On May 11th, 2013 Atlanta Police (APD) conducted a roadblock on Mayson Ave and Hardee St in the Edgewood Neighborhood. A man who lived a few houses down from the roadblock parked in front of his house and was going inside when officers came from the intersection and began demanding his ID. The man did not pass through the roadblock and did not feel he needed to comply. He was peppersprayed before he entered his house and a SWAT team was called. A standoff ensued.
Copwatch was surprised to read in East Atlanta Patch that the Kirkwood Neighborhood Association had censured our organization, and we were shocked to see the reasons they cited. All three of the accusations against Copwatch are false, and it's troubling that they got this far before we were given a chance to address them. Hopefully we can dispel them now:
A young man was stopped by Lt. Johnson on Mayson Ave near Hardee St, suspected of committing a robbery. When the young man exercised his constitutional right to remain silent, Lt. Johnson responded by cuffing him and driving him away in a squad car. Johnson was heard saying "You don't want to talk, so we have to go talk to the people who said they saw you."
He was transported several blocks away and held along with another young man for about an hour. Eventually both were released when witnesses said that neither of them had committed the crime.
April 21st, 2013 11am
Two MARTA police officers (Officers Jann and Huff) stopped 3 young men as they were leaving the Edgewood/Candler Park MARTA station. The cops stopped them, ordered them to sit on the ground, and then questioned them. Finding nothing suspicious, the 3 were allowed to leave. But within a few minutes, they were stopped again by more police. This time they were held for over 2 hours and interrogated by APD Officer C Jones about a supposed purse-snatching which had happened the previous day.
Octavious Mcghee was attacked and beaten by APD officers on Monday, April 8th 2013. His arrest and brutal treatment was the incident which set off waves of protest from the Edgewood Court community, including the arrest of Nakia Jenkins and Cory Hill, both of whom were also beaten. In this video, he gives a candid interview and explains exactly what happened on that day.
The first segment of video shows a youth being carried by officers after he was reportedly beaten by Officer Hall (#6728).
A crowd gathered and objected to the violence, and Lt. MJA Lewis (#3211) responded by attacking a man and woman in the crowd. They were both thrown to the ground, pepper-sprayed, and beaten while on the ground. The man was struck in the head, and has suffered a blood clot in his eye and other medical problems related to the beating.
Finally, the father of the woman who was arrested speaks out about the abuse of his daughter and son-in-law.
Edgewood Courts Apartment, Edgewood, Atlanta, GA
The same cop is shown in two separate instances ignoring requests to identify himself. In both cases he acknowledges the speaker by looking directly at or talking to them. But when asked to identify himself, he either pretends not to hear or blatantly ignores the request.
APD officers have been criticized for refusing to identify themselves to civilians in the past. Most notably, a federal judge ordered APD to ensure that police identify themselves to the public.
Jan 4th 2013 7:23AM
The APD APEX Unit (formerly REDDOG) raided a house in the Edgewood neighborhood.
Tear gas caused coughing and irritation in the surrounding area. Witnesses say flashbang grenades were used inside the house.
Police searched the house and seized items, but no weapons were ever seen. However the SWAT police were equipped with assault rifles, armor and gas masks. It's unclear what (if anything) prompted such overwhelming force in this raid.
Copwatch is a tactic for stopping police harassment and brutality. Basically it means recording the police when you see them messing with someone. It can be a powerful tool, and we want to see it used more.
So we are calling a public meeting for everyone who is interested in this idea. We will discuss:
- Who already watches the cops in Atlanta, and what their experiences have been
- Organizing street patrols in different communities
- How to incorporate copwatch into existing movements
- New ideas for taking action against police violence