America's Brutal Society

Notes on police violence

No charges against US Park Police in 2017 shooting death of Bijan Ghaisar

By Harvey Simpkins, 16 November 2019

US Park Police in Alexandria, Virginia, just outside Washington, D.C., gunned down the unarmed 25-year old in his vehicle after he was the victim of a minor traffic incident.

Two killed, three injured in Santa Clarita, California school shooting

By Dan Conway, 15 November 2019

The victims were aged 14 to 16 with the suspected shooter also admitted to the hospital with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot to the head.

Following Georgia execution

Protests mount vs. planned execution of Texas inmate Rodney Reed

By Kate Randall, 15 November 2019

In the case of both Ray Cromartie and Rodney Reed, state authorities and courts have ruled against new DNA testing that could prove their innocence.

Arizona: Second trial begins of pro-immigrant “No More Deaths” volunteer

By Meenakshi Jagadeesan, 13 November 2019

The main accusation against Warren is that he provided two undocumented migrants with food, water and a place to sleep over three days.

California police arrest woman for delivering stillborn baby with drugs in its system

By Dan Conway, 11 November 2019

California police arrested 25-year-old Chelsea Cheyenne Becker on a charge of 1st degree murder last week after she delivered a stillborn baby with methamphetamine in its system.

Massachusetts: Buffalo Wild Wings worker dies after inhaling toxic fumes

By Jessica Goldstein, 9 November 2019

Ryan Baldera’s death is just one of the latest tragic indictments of the disregard of corporations for the health and safety of the workers who make their profits.

Hundreds protest police violence in Brooklyn, New York subway

By Josh Varlin, 4 November 2019

Recent incidents of police violence in the subway system, connected to the crackdown on “fare evasion,” have fueled growing anger among workers in New York City.

Independent pathologist says evidence shows Jeffrey Epstein’s death was a homicide

By Kevin Reed, 31 October 2019

Private pathologist Dr. Michael Baden found that substantial forensic evidence exists showing that jailed multi-millionaire Jeffrey Epstein was the victim of “ligature homicidal strangulation” and did not commit suicide.

The murder of Baghdadi and Washington’s crisis in the Middle East

By Bill Van Auken, 28 October 2019

The targeted assassination of the ISIS leader was politically timed to deflect criticism within the US ruling establishment and its military and intelligence apparatus of Trump’s Syria policy.

The police murder of Isiah Murrietta-Golding

By Tom Carter, 26 October 2019

The epidemic of police brutality in the US, which enjoys the full backing of the state, is a product of a social and economic system in deep crisis.

Video shows Fresno police officer shooting unarmed 10th grade boy in the head

By Tom Carter, 24 October 2019

After Isiah Murrietta-Golding’s body drops to the ground, another police officer yells, “good shot.”

Police in Washington state seize cache of firearms from suspected Neo-Nazi leader

By Kevin Reed, 24 October 2019

Acting on the provisions of a “red-flag law” in Washington State last month, police from the Seattle area seized a cache of assault weapons from Kaleb J. Cole, a suspected leader of the neo-Nazi Atomwaffen Division.

Youth suicide rate skyrockets in the US: A symptom of a rotting social order

By Genevieve Leigh, 24 October 2019

In the United States, suicide is the second leading cause of death for youth aged 12-18.

California Governor vetoes $2 billion affordable housing bill

By Rafael Azul, 16 October 2019

Gavin Newsom’s veto exposes the Democrat as a fiscal austerity conservative in the mold of Republican governors.

Four homeless men murdered in New York City’s Chinatown

By Owen Mullan and Sandy English, 14 October 2019

The tragic incident, involving six of the poorest people in the United States, is a product of the city’s social decay, the most unequal large American city.

Prosecutors in Illinois charge nine-year-old with murder after mobile home fire claims the lives of five family members

By Jacob Crosse, 11 October 2019

The fire took place on April 6 at the Timberline Mobile Home Park located in Eureka, Illinois, a small community outside of Peoria.

White supremacist Coast Guard officer pleads guilty to drug and weapons charges

By Matthew Taylor, 5 October 2019

A list of potential targets found on Paul Hasson’s computer included the Democratic Party politicians and media figures routinely attacked by President Donald Trump and his supporters.

Thousands of children under age ten arrested every year in the United States

By Casey Gold, 1 October 2019

The recent arrests of two 6-year-old children at their elementary school in Orlando, Florida has shone light on the shocking number of child arrests and detainments in the US.

Sacramento, California killer cops return to work 18 months after murdering 22-year-old Stephon Clark

By Dan Conway, 28 September 2019

The two Sacramento, California, police officers who fatally shot unarmed Clark 20 times last year returned to work Thursday after no federal civil rights charges were brought against them.

Department of Homeland Security counterterrorism strategy targets left-wing politics as “violent extremism”

By Kevin Reed, 23 September 2019

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has issued a new strategy document expanding the definition of terrorism to include what it calls “domestic actors inspired by violent extremist ideologies.”

US deal with El Salvador puts new roadblock to asylum seekers

By Norisa Diaz, 23 September 2019

The attempt to label El Salvador as a “safe third country” is a deeply sadistic measure to undermine the rights of asylum guaranteed by international asylum law.

Inspector general report details Trump’s abuse of immigrant children

By Patrick Martin, 17 September 2019

Thousands of children have been subjected to intense trauma in the detention facilities of the Trump administration.

Ohio jury acquits young woman on murder charges in baby’s death

By Casey Gold, 14 September 2019

The jury’s verdict comes as a rejection of barbaric laws and the common practice of prosecutors excessively charging individuals for what amounts to non-criminal behavior.

US study shows: Poverty and social inequality are killers

By Patrick Martin, 12 September 2019

A study by the Government Accountability Office released this week shows that poor Americans are nearly twice as likely to die before they reach old age as rich Americans.

Courts back Trump administration as ICE continues to force-feed immigrants

By Adam McLean, 3 September 2019

Force-feeding typically can causes excruciating pain, is dangerous when performed on unwilling participants, and is recognized by international doctors’ associations as a form of torture.

New York cook arrested by ICE after filing lawsuit for $200,000 in stolen wages

By Owen Mullan, 3 September 2019

There is no doubt that the agency was tipped off on Xue Hui Zhang’s whereabouts in order to make his suit for repayment more difficult.

Texas gunman kills seven people before being shot to death by police

By Patrick Martin, 2 September 2019

The bloodbath in the Midland-Odessa area of west Texas brings the death toll from US mass shootings to 142 this year, more than all of 2018.

Texas prisoner executed despite debunked forensic evidence pointing to his innocence

By Kate Randall, 24 August 2019

The US Supreme Court denied Larry Swearingen’s appeal for a stay, clearing the way for his execution.

Police violence the sixth leading cause of death for young men in the US

By Gary Joad and Kate Randall, 20 August 2019

There were only 22 days in all of 2018 in which someone was not shot dead by police.

Still no explanation for death of Epstein in prison

By a reporter, 15 August 2019

No information has been made public to explain who made the decisions that left the multi-millionaire alleged sex-trafficker alone in his cell the day he died.

US media continues to downplay suspicions about Jeffrey Epstein’s death

By David Walsh, 14 August 2019

After days of breathless coverage, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal both removed the Epstein story from the front pages of their print editions on Tuesday.

“We can come together as a force:” Nashville resident who saw neighbors stop ICE speaks out

By our reporters, 13 August 2019

Rosheda Martin lives in the Hermitage neighborhood, where residents physically prevented ICE from snatching their neighbors.

Why is the media dismissing questions about Jeffrey Epstein’s death as “conspiracy theories”?

By Patrick Martin, 13 August 2019

Whether a “hit” orchestrated by those who feared he knew too much, or a suicide under conditions of multiple violations of prison protocols, Jeffrey Epstein’s death is the result of a conspiracy.

Five years after police murder of Michael Brown

Police have killed 5,000 Americans since Ferguson protests

By Niles Niemuth, 10 August 2019

Despite popular protests and increased scrutiny in the aftermath of Michael Brown’s killing, US police officers have continued to kill at a rate of more than 1,000 people per year.

Study finds workplace injuries increase risk of death by suicide, drug overdose

By Jessica Goldstein, 10 August 2019

A recent study found a relationship between work-related injuries and the rapid growth of deaths caused by suicide and drug overdose among workers in New Mexico, one of the poorest states in the US.

Trump in El Paso: The culprit returns to the scene of the crime

By Eric London, 8 August 2019

The trip to Texas and Ohio was a dishonest attempt to evade responsibility for the fact that Trump instigated and bears principal political responsibility for what took place.

Fascist violence and the politics of race and racism

By Joseph Kishore, 6 August 2019

Evading the political causes of the reemergence of fascist violence, the New York Times promotes a racialist narrative of American society, centered on “whiteness,” that legitimizes the reactionary claims of the extreme right.

Trump: The political enabler of fascist violence

By Patrick Martin, 5 August 2019

The president is the moral and political author of the bloody violence in El Paso, Gilroy and Dayton.

Big business parties preside over a social catastrophe in 21st century America

By Kate Randall, 3 August 2019

The Democrats have no more intention than the Republicans of addressing the burning social questions confronting the working class on a daily basis.

The fascist attack in Gilroy and the US epidemic of mass shootings

By Patrick Martin, 31 July 2019

Two processes are intersecting in the explosion of violence in America: the long-term impact of social decay and militarism, and the deliberate incitement of fascistic sentiments by President Trump.

US military conducting classified operation in Washington D.C. area

By E.P. Milligan, 31 July 2019

The operation, whose purpose remains unknown, involves Black Hawk helicopters backed by a force of active and reserve duty soldiers of an unknown size.

Three dead in Gilroy, California festival shooting

Gunman motivated by white supremacist ideology

By Kate Randall, 30 July 2019

An examination of this and other heinous mass shootings points to the type of forces Trump and his fascistic advisers seek to rally against the working class.

US attorney general directs Bureau of Prisons to reinstate federal death penalty

By Kate Randall, 26 July 2019

The order by William Barr targeting five federal prison inmates of the death penalty for federal inmates sets the stage for the execution of inmates on federal death row for the first time in 16 years.

Electrical worker killed at pipe mill in Western Pennsylvania

By Samuel Davidson, 26 July 2019

Forty-six-year-old David Bupp was electrocuted last Wednesday while repairing a piece of equipment at a small steel pipe manufacturing plant north of Pittsburgh.

Pennsylvania school threatens children with foster care for school lunch debt

By our reporter, 24 July 2019

Some of the threatened families owe the district as little as $10.

UN human rights chief denounces “outrageous conditions” for immigrants in US concentration camps

By Josh Varlin, 10 July 2019

Indicating that the US government has no intention of heeding Bachelet’s statement, DHS has requested another 1,000 National Guard troops on the border between Texas and Mexico.

Building the infrastructure of a police state

Detroit’s facial recognition surveillance system exposed

By Kevin Reed, 9 July 2019

The poorest large city in the US is being used as a testing ground for invasive surveillance technologies in preparation for coming eruptions in the class struggle.

Global conflict situations, poverty lead to rise in mental health crises

By Alex Johnson, 9 July 2019

US imperialism and its allies bear principal responsibility for the wars and military interventions that have wrought devastation throughout the world.

Latest Office of Inspector General report reveals inhumane conditions at US immigrant detention centers

By Matthew Taylor, 4 July 2019

Children are being detained without access to showers or hot meals and in one instance adult immigrants were held in standing room only conditions for a full week.

US Navy SEAL acquitted of murder and other war crimes by military jury

By Kevin Reed, 3 July 2019

Edward Gallagher was acquitted of the most serious charges against him, including the unprovoked murder of a wounded teenage ISIS soldier, by a military court martial.

Outrage over manslaughter charge facing Alabama woman who miscarried after shooting

By Fred Mazelis, 3 July 2019

The case of Marshae Jones is part of the escalating attacks on abortion rights and the criminalization of the poor.

Washington Post’s Richard Cohen comes to the defense of Linda Fairstein, overseer of the Central Park Five prosecution

By Kate Randall, 3 July 2019

Cohen gushed over Colin Powell’s infamous February 4, 2003 presentation of lies at the UN that formed the justification for the Iraq War.

US Border Patrol agents joke about immigrant deaths in secret Facebook group with 9,500 members

By George Marlowe, 2 July 2019

A report by ProPublica revealed that Border Patrol agents used a secret Facebook group to make sadistic and violent jokes about immigrants as well as members of Congress.

House Democrats give $4.6 billion for Trump’s concentration camps

Ocasio-Cortez plays critical role in ensuring passage

By Eric London, 28 June 2019

House Democrats voted for a Senate bill that exposes the critical role of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other “progressive” Democrats in facilitating Trump’s crackdown on immigrants.

No more lies!

The way forward in the struggle against the poisoning of Flint

By the WSWS editorial board, 28 June 2019

The following statement is being distributed to a community meeting in Flint Friday night.

No to concentration camps in America!

By Eric London, 26 June 2019

Hundreds of millions of people around the world are sickened by Trump’s sadistic crimes against immigrants, which have exposed the rot at the core of American capitalism.

Horror across US-Mexico border with multiple parents, infants dead

By Eric London, 25 June 2019

Over the weekend, two young parents and four young children died crossing the desert in separate instances while Mexican police shot a young migrant in the head.

Oregon legislature shut down by right-wing militia threats

By Kayla Costa, 25 June 2019

The Oregon State Capitol building in Salem was shut down after right-wing militias made violent threats in defense of 11 Republican senators who fled the state to prevent a vote on a carbon-emissions bill.

Biden under fire over comments about working with segregationist senators

By Patrick Martin, 21 June 2019

The controversy has put the spotlight on the role of Southern Democrats in defending racial discrimination well into the 1970s.

Three incidents of police brutality spark outrage across US

By Jessica Goldstein, 19 June 2019

Each incident exposes the systematic brutality that workers in all areas of the US suffer at the hands of police on a daily basis.

Mistrial in case against “No More Deaths” volunteer charged with aiding immigrants

By Meenakshi Jagadeesan, 13 June 2019

Scott Warren was arrested for providing food, water and shelter to two undocumented immigrants.

Minneapolis police officer sentenced to over 12 years in prison for murder of Justine Damond

By Anthony Bertolt, 13 June 2019

A month-long trial in April resulted in Noor being found guilty of third-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter.

Alabama governor signs chemical castration bill into law

By Jessica Goldstein, 12 June 2019

The mandate, ostensibly to protect children from rape, follows the recent enactment of an Alabama law that prohibits abortion in the vast majority of sexual assault and incest cases.

Biden drops support for abortion-funding restriction after political firestorm

By Patrick Martin, 7 June 2019

The leading candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination had sought to stake out a right-wing position on access to abortion.

Three immigrants die in US custody in three days

By Niles Niemuth, 6 June 2019

Immigrants are being subjected to inhumane treatment all along the line, guaranteeing that there will be more deaths in federal detention centers across the US.

By Kate Randall, 3 June 2019

Shooter Dwayne Craddock had worked as a certified professional engineer in the city’s public utilities department for about 15 years and was not previously known as a violent individual.

“It’s immoral. It’s unethical. It’s torture”

US uses solitary confinement as weapon against detained immigrants

By Meenakshi Jagadeesan, 1 June 2019

An International Consortium of Investigative Journalists report documents the widespread use of solitary confinement by the US government against detained immigrants.

At least 12 dead in Virginia Beach mass shooting

By Bryan Dyne, 1 June 2019

Mass shootings in America are a product of mounting social inequality at home and unending wars abroad.

Democratic governor signs Louisiana fetal “heartbeat” abortion ban

By Kate Randall, 31 May 2019

Louisiana is the fifth state to pass bans on abortions based on detection of a fetal heartbeat, following Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi and Ohio.

Chicago police kill bipolar man inside his home

By Andy Thompson, 28 May 2019

Myles Frazier was shot and killed after he barricaded himself in his home in the Woodlawn neighborhood on the city’s south side.

US federal prisoner dies after more than 35 years in solitary confinement

By Kate Randall, 27 May 2019

The dehumanizing conditions of solitary confinement described by Dickens in 1842 have been replaced in the 21st century with its “modern” version, used widely in the US prison system.

Supreme Court justices battle over execution delays

By John Burton, 20 May 2019

In opinions last week, the three most extreme right-wing Supreme Court justices lashed out at two fellow members of the five-vote right-wing bloc.

Alabama abortion ban: Back to barbarism

By Patrick Martin, 16 May 2019

The purpose of the law is to give the new right-wing majority on the US Supreme Court the opportunity to overturn Roe v. Wade.

After shouting “I’m pregnant,” woman fatally shot by Texas police officer

By Marcus Day, 15 May 2019

Video recorded by a bystander and posted to Snapchat quickly went viral, prompting widespread outrage at the horrific killing.

Guatemalan boy detained by US Border Patrol dies after succumbing to illness

By Kevin Martinez, 3 May 2019

The 16 year old, who has not been named, is the third immigrant child to die in government custody in just five months.

Another school shooting claims two lives at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte

By Jessica Goldstein, 3 May 2019

The shooting at UNCC is only the latest deadly mass shooting in the United States.

US military set to loosen rules for troops operating along southern border

By Genevieve Leigh, 27 April 2019

The Pentagon and the Department of Homeland Security are clearing the way for Trump to escalate his anti-immigrant program amidst silence from Democrats.

Massachusetts judge and court officer charged with helping immigrant evade ICE officer

By Kevin Martinez, 27 April 2019

Newton District Court Judge Shelley Richmond Joseph and former trial court officer, Wesley MacGregor both face up to 20 years if found guilty of obstructing ICE.

US Navy SEAL officers attempted to cover up evidence of war crimes

By Josh Varlin, 27 April 2019

Navy SEAL officers told lower-ranking soldiers not to report war crimes, including the murder of civilians and a wounded teenager in Iraq.

Amid mass beheadings, Wall Street scrambles for Saudi profits

By Bill Van Auken, 27 April 2019

With the blood of 37 men decapitated in public squares barely dry, top financiers rushed to Riyadh in search of deals with the ruling monarchy.

Rising death toll in San Diego jails

By Norisa Diaz, 20 April 2019

Within the short span of six weeks, four people have died while in custody in San Diego, California jails.

Twenty years since the Columbine High School massacre

By David Walsh, 19 April 2019

The Colorado event, in which two high school seniors shot and killed 12 of their fellow students and one teacher before committing suicide, represented something qualitatively new and disturbing in American social life.

In 3 A.M. ruling, Supreme Court allows Alabama execution to proceed

By Dan Conway, 13 April 2019

For the second time in as many weeks, the US Supreme Court has ruled that the execution of a death row inmate can proceed despite claims that the method of execution, lethal injection, will cause intense pain and suffering.

Arrest made in connection with church burnings in Louisiana

By Aaron Murch, 12 April 2019

The son of a white sheriff’s deputy faces charges of setting fire to three black churches.

America the Barbaric

By Niles Niemuth, 6 April 2019

If the conditions that exist in US prisons were exposed in Russia or China, there would be a hue and cry in the press and the halls of Congress for economic sanctions and “humanitarian” military intervention.

“An excessive amount of violence, sexual abuse, and prisoner deaths”

Federal report exposes horrific levels of abuse in Alabama prisons

By Niles Niemuth, 5 April 2019

A more than two-year investigation exposed appalling violations of constitutional protections for the approximately 25,000 men locked up in facilities operated by the Alabama Department of Corrections.

US detaining immigrants under highway overpass in Texas amid renewed crackdown

By Eric London, 29 March 2019

Amidst a media blackout, the Trump administration is arresting unprecedented numbers of immigrants at the border while demanding the expansion of internment camps.

Three suicides in two weeks linked to US mass shootings

By Matthew MacEgan, 28 March 2019

Last week saw the tragic deaths of two students who survived the 2018 Parkland massacre, followed by the suicide of the parent of a girl who was killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook School shooting.

Arsonist attacks mosque in Southern California

By Norisa Diaz, 28 March 2019

An arsonist set fire to the Islamic Center of Escondido in North San Diego County on Sunday, leaving behind a note referencing the New Zealand rampage.

Indiana teachers shot ‘execution style’ with plastic pellets during school shooting drill

By George Marlowe, 23 March 2019

Teachers in Indiana were subject to a violent school shooting drill by law enforcement officials in January which left them bleeding and bruised for weeks.

Massive police presence for trial of cop in murder of Antwon Rose

By Samuel Davidson, 21 March 2019

A massive show of police force is being staged for the trial of former East Pittsburgh police officer Michael Rosfeld, who killed 17-year-old Woodland High School honor student Antwon Rose last year, shooting him three times in the back.

California governor announces moratorium on death penalty

By Alan Gilman, 16 March 2019

The 737 condemned inmates in the nation’s largest death row will have their death sentences stayed for the duration of a moratorium issued by Governor Gavin Newsom.

“I was treated like a caged animal”

Single mother and healthcare worker jailed for three days in Indiana over unpaid ambulance bill

By George Marlowe, 1 March 2019

Melissa Latronica, a single mother of three and a certified nursing assistant, was recently arrested and thrown into jail for an unpaid ambulance bill she never received.

Laid-off worker opens fire and kills at least five in Aurora, Illinois manufacturing plant

By George Marlowe, 16 February 2019

A recently laid-off worker at the Henry Pratt Company opened fire Friday, killing at least five people and injuring many others.

One year since the Parkland high school massacre: A political balance sheet

By Genevieve Leigh, 14 February 2019

One year has passed since the mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, which killed 17 people and sparked nationwide protests by students and youth against gun violence.

US Supreme Court clears way for execution of Muslim inmate without imam in death chamber

By Kate Randall, 9 February 2019

The Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling openly violated the separation of church and state enshrined in the US Constitution and the high court’s jurisprudence that government may not discriminate among faiths.

Federal agents release more than 1,000 immigrants in El Paso, Texas

By Patrick Martin, 28 December 2018

The mass releases, with detained immigrants dropped at bus stations, shelters and city parks, seem to be a politically-motivated campaign by ICE agents.

The death of Felipe Alonzo-Gómez: A crime of US imperialism

By Eric London, 27 December 2018

The eight-year-old immigrant died in US custody after fleeing from Nentón, Guatemala, close to where a horrific massacre took place in 1982 during the country’s civil war.

Plead for charity or die: A blunt message from the American health care system

By Nancy Hanover, 28 November 2018

One of the ugly secrets of US medical care—the rationing of life-saving procedures based on ability to pay—was exposed by the recent experiences of a Michigan woman seeking a heart transplant.

Kidnapping, rape and murder by US border patrol agents

By Norisa Diaz and Meenakshi Jagadeesan, 15 November 2018

Numerous migrants, mostly women and girls, have been victims of murder, attempted murder, kidnapping or rape at the hands of US Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) agents.