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American Indians Killed at Higher Rate Than Anyone Else in USA--But No One Talks About It

In These Times' Stephanie Woodard had a piece earlier this month about how American Indians are killed by police at a rate higher than any other group in the United States. American Indians are 3.1 times more likely to be killed by police than whites.

The next group that is most likely to be killed by police are blacks. But the amount of media coverage is much higher for blacks killed by police than for American Indians, Woodard reports, even though blacks and American Indians both experience violence and discrimination: "Native Americans’ experiences of violence and discrimination in the United States often parallel those of African Americans. Federal investigations have found that on the borders of reservations, Native Americans are treated as second-class citizens by police and public agencies in ways that echo the experience of black Americans in towns like Ferguson, Mo."



The Business of Law Behind Police Brutality Cases

Fusion's Daniel Rivero has an interesting profile on the attorneys who are taking on police brutality cases. Not only do they find the work rewarding but they also are finding the case work lucrative, Rivero reports.

An attorney at the National Bar Association's annual conference said there's been $300 million in legal fees generated from police-misconduct cases in the last five years.

Chicago attorney Antonio Romanucci told Rivero that more lawyers are looking at police brutality cases because there are more civilian recordings of police interactions. But Dallas-area attorney Daryl Washington told Fusion that the cases are '"a more specialized field than just your normal personal injury law, because you’re dealing with violations to the constitution, and these cases tend to be in federal court.'"

Do the Lives of the Mentally Ill Matter to the Supreme Court?

The U.S. Supreme Court has taken up a police shooting case--and this time the victim wasn't a man of color, but a woman with mental illness who was shot to death in her own residence, Slate's Cristian Farias reports. Farias notes that one advocacy group estimates that at least half of all people shot to death by police have mental health issues. One issue in the case is "the extent to which the Americans With Disabilities Act serves as a check on police officers’ interactions with people with mental illnesses" when they are exhibiting erractic or violent behavior. Farias noted that U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor said during oral argument that '''isn’t the ADA ... intended to ensure that police officers try mitigation in these situations before they jump to violence?”'

Supreme Court Case Will Shape #Ferguson Investigation

As the investigations and civil turmoil continue after Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson shot Michael Brown to death in Ferguson, Mo., a 25-year-old U.S. Supreme Court case will shape the paramaters on how the officer will be judged, the Associated Press reports: "The Supreme Court case, decided at a time when violence against police was on the rise, has shaped the legal standards that govern when police officers are justified in using force. The key question about [Brown']s killing on Aug. 9 is whether a reasonable officer with a similar background would have responded the same way."

The case is Graham v. Connor. The late Chief Justice William Rehnquist wrote that '"the ‘reasonableness’ of a particular use of force must be judged from the perspective of a reasonable officer on the scene, rather than with the 20/20 vision of hindsight.'"

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