Truthout’s Candice Bernd discusses police retaliation against cop monitoring groups. In Austin, Texas, the police department is trying to classify one group as a “domestic extremist” group in order to shut down the organization.
Police brutality can run the gamut from the shooting of unarmed citizens to beatings. The shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, by officer Darren Wilson is one of the most stunning examples of the way in which some police departments view individuals and groups as lethal threats. The militarization of many police departments and the uptick in cases of police officers reacting violently to incidents have spurred grassroots groups to form and monitor police activity for brutal or illegal behavior.
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Truthout assistant editor and reporter Candice Bernd spoke to some of these cop-monitoring groups in a piece she wrote on Truthout. In the article, she chronicles how some police departments have responded to these groups by linking them to domestic extremist groups – which legally allows the police to crackdown on their activities. Groups like Peaceful Streets Project record videos of police responding to incidents and document corruption and brutality. If the Austin Police Department in Texas gets Peaceful Streets classified as “domestic extremists,” organization leaders fear that the police will do real physical harm to their members who state they want to “end the institutional violence taking place on our streets.”