America's Brutal Society

COVID-19 outbreak in New York prisons threatens lives of thousands

By Sam Dalton, 23 March 2020

Thirty-eight people in the New York prison system test positive for COVID-19 as reports emerge that Harvey Weinstein has also been infected by the virus.

“No one wants to die in jail”

Immigrants at New Jersey ICE detention center launch hunger strike over COVID-19 threat

By Erik Schreiber, 23 March 2020

Detainees at the Newark, New Jersey jail used by ICE are protesting filthy conditions that increase their risk of infection by the coronavirus and are demanding to be released.

Catastrophic worldwide medical ventilator shortfall despite years of warning

By Steve James, 23 March 2020

World productive capacity of medical ventilators is far below peak requirements during the coronavirus outbreak.

First ICE officer tests positive for COVID-19

Immigrants in US detention facilities plead for help as coronavirus pandemic spreads

By Genevieve Leigh, 20 March 2020

The lack of medical care and the extremely close quarters in America’s detention camps create excellent conditions for the coronavirus to spread rapidly if even a single person catches the disease.

Pregnant migrant teenager dies after falling from US border wall in southern Texas

By Meenakshi Jagadeesan, 18 March 2020

Estefany Girón Luna from Guatemala fell nearly 20 feet as she attempted to scale the steel mesh border wall near Clint, Texas. Despite multiple surgeries, neither Girón Luna nor her child could be saved.

ICE officials running unchecked facial recognition searches on Maryland drivers

By Dmitri Church, 17 March 2020

Officials from Immigration and Customs Enforcement have been accessing Maryland state driver’s license photos for years to catch undocumented immigrants given licenses by a special state program.

Riot police fire “pepper balls” at University of Dayton students ordered to evacuate campus housing within 24 hours

By Genevieve Leigh, 12 March 2020

Students have taken to social media to voice their outrage over the police crackdown after the university ordered an evacuation of student housing due to the coronavirus.

New York cops caught on video assaulting unarmed man

By Shuvu Batta, 10 March 2020

Yet another display of NYPD gangsterism sparks outrage.

Opioid-related deaths in Columbus, Ohio area up 45 percent from last year

By Katy Kinner, 9 March 2020

The Franklin County coroner recently released data showing a shocking increase in overdose, suicide and homicide deaths in the first two months of 2020.

Following Milwaukee brewery shooting, Molson Coors starts a GoFundMe for victims’ families

By Jacob Crosse, 7 March 2020

News of the company starting an online fundraiser was met with justified scorn and derision on social media, with commenters pointing out the hypocrisy of a billion-dollar conglomerate shaking down the population for money to pay for the consequences of deaths suffered while on the job.

Mass workplace shooting at Milwaukee, Wisconsin brewery leaves six dead including gunman

By Jacob Crosse, 27 February 2020

Anthony N. Ferrill, a 51-year-old Molson Coors Beverage employee opened fire Wednesday morning, killing five coworkers before committing suicide.

Video shows Florida school police officer boasting after arresting six-year-old

By Shuvu Batta, 27 February 2020

Dennis Turner bragged that he had made more than 6,000 arrests and that Kaia Rolle had “broken the record” for the youngest child he had ever detained.

Tennessee carries out fifth electric chair execution since 2018

By Warren Duzak, 27 February 2020

Nicholas Todd Sutton, convicted and sentenced to death in 1986 for the stabbing death of a fellow prisoner, had spent his entire adult life in prison.

Washington, D.C., transit police engaged in competitions for highest number of arrests in the metro system

By Dmitri Church, 24 February 2020

A whistleblower revealed that approximately 50 Metro Police in Washington, D.C., engaged in a weekly contest for number of arrests, tickets, and citations.

Las Vegas anti-homeless ordinance enforcement begins

By Jacob Crosse, 17 February 2020

Passed by the Las Vegas, Nevada, city council in November, the ordinance makes it a misdemeanor crime, punishable by up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine, for “sleeping or camping” in a public space.

Chicago high school students hold sit-in in defense of students who refused to stand for national anthem

By Andy Thompson, 15 February 2020

The sit-in is an example of young peoples’ complete rejection of nationalism and racism promoted by the ruling class.

New York City police in open revolt against Mayor de Blasio

By Philip Guelpa, 13 February 2020

Two shooting incidents by a single individual against New York officers have been used as a pretext to conduct a vicious, right-wing campaign against democratic rights.

New York state bail reform prompts backlash from Democrats and Republicans

By Sam Dalton, 12 February 2020

While the Democrats wasted no time jettisoning their facade of ‘progressive’ politics in the face of resistance from the NYPD and other law-and-order advocates, the Republicans have taken the opportunity to push their fascistic appeals.

999 south dakota

7 February 2020

Montana state representative calls for socialists to be shot

By Bryan Dyne, 6 February 2020

The diatribe by Rodney Garcia mirrors the fascistic appeals of President Trump.

White supremacist Coast Guard officer sentenced to thirteen years in federal prison after plotting massacre of Democrats and “leftists in general”

By Kevin Reed, 4 February 2020

Christopher Hasson, a fascist Coast Guard Lieutenant who had amassed an arsenal in his Silver Spring, Maryland home, was sentenced Friday after pleading guilty to firearm and drug charges.

Pennsylvania cancer patient sentenced to 10 months in prison for shoplifting $109.63 in groceries

By Kate Randall, 4 February 2020

Ashley Menser, 36, and her family were hoping that the fact that she was being treated for cancer would persuade the judge to either delay or defer her sentencing. They were wrong.

Maryland police officer faces murder charges after shooting handcuffed man seven times inside patrol car

By Harvey Simpkins, 1 February 2020

With highly unusual swiftness, Prince George’s County police charged the officer, Michael Owen, 31, with second-degree murder and manslaughter within 24 hours of the shooting.

“It’s going to be a bureaucratic nightmare”

Ohio foodbanks and charities struggle to prepare for Trump food stamp cuts

By Katy Kinner, 30 January 2020

By some estimates, the new rule being implemented in April will cause 20,000 Ohio residents to lose SNAP benefits.

Eleven inmates dead in a month of violence at Mississippi state prisons

By Aaron Murch, 27 January 2020

The majority of deaths have come at the notorious Mississippi State Penitentiary, known as Parchman Farm.

The Politician: The unreality of official American political and social life

By Joanne Laurier, 24 January 2020

The Politician centers on the Machiavellian operations of an ambitious California high school senior, determined to win the election for student body president as a stepping-stone, ultimately, to the White House.

Trump backs armed gun-rights rally in Richmond, Virginia

By Barry Grey, 21 January 2020

For the second time in three days, President Donald Trump tweeted support as thousands of gun-rights activists, many of them carrying semi-automatic weapons, descended on Virginia’s capital, Richmond.

Detroit, Michigan man declared innocent and released after nearly 30 years of wrongful imprisonment

By Dan Conway, 18 January 2020

Gerry Thomas, exonerated after spending close to three decades in prison, is one of thousands who have and are currently spending time in US prisons for crimes they did not commit.

Texas becomes the first state to refuse refugee resettlement

By Meenakshi Jagadeesan, 14 January 2020

An order issued by Trump in September precludes non-governmental and non-profit organizations from resettling refugees without the consent of state and local governments.

After two crashes that killed 346 people

Fired CEO Dennis Muilenburg gets $80.7 million on exit from Boeing

By Bryan Dyne, 13 January 2020

The aerospace giant allocated only $50 million to compensate the 346 families who lost loved ones in the two Boeing 737 Max 8 crashes, $144,500 for each life lost.

New York City judge orders 13-year-old held awaiting trial for murder of Barnard College student

By Owen Mullan, 9 January 2020

Tessa Majors was stabbed and killed during an apparent robbery in Morningside Park in Harlem in early December.

Florida: James Dailey faces execution based on testimony of a serial jailhouse informant

By Kate Randall, 3 January 2020

Dailey has consistently maintained his innocence in the 1985 murder of Shelly Boggio. By the prosecution’s own admission, no eyewitnesses or forensic evidence connected him to the crime.

Texas church shooting caps record year for mass killings in America

By Trévon Austin, 31 December 2019

This year has marked the most mass killings in the US since the 1970s.

Hasidic Jews injured in machete attack in Rockland County, New York

By Philip Guelpa, 30 December 2019

The attack Saturday was the latest in a growing number of hate crimes occurring within a climate of racial tension encouraged by both Trump and the Democrats.

Washington state legislator investigated for ties with violent far-right groups

By Kayla Costa, 30 December 2019

Representative Matthew Shea mobilized support for armed militia standoffs, and drafted a document of rules for militia-based war during his time in office.

Edward Gallagher, Donald Trump and America’s criminal wars

By Patrick Martin, 30 December 2019

A new report documents the gruesome record of the Navy Seal commander Trump has praised and pardoned.

Christmas Day fire in Minneapolis, Minnesota displaces more than 200

By Kate Randall, 27 December 2019

The tragedy underscores the Trump administration’s vindictive housing policy, which has cut funding for housing programs and strengthened work requirements for obtaining assistance.

“It’s just getting harder and harder to live”

Homeless in San Diego, “America’s Finest City”

By Meenakshi Jagadeesan and Ryley Koffing, 27 December 2019

San Diego has the fourth-highest number of homeless residents in the United States.

Industrial carnage in US: 5,250 workers killed on the job in 2018

By Steve Filips, 27 December 2019

Fatal on-the-job injuries in the US increased by 2 percent in 2018, according to this year’s report by the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Workplace violence a major problem for US nurses

By Alex Johnson, 20 December 2019

A major cause of the increase in violence is the lack of mental health resources and treatment for a large section of the population.

Mississippi death row inmate released on bail after being tried six times for the same crime

By Matthew Taylor, 19 December 2019

Curtis Flowers still faces the possibility of a seventh trial and is subject to electronic monitoring as part of his bail conditions.

US rural county jails see a rapid rise in incarceration rates

By Benjamin Mateus, 18 December 2019

There are an estimated 758,400 people incarcerated in local jails throughout the US, an increase of 1.8 percent from mid-year 2017.

Two executions in one week

Blind man dies by electric chair in Tennessee, Texas inmate executed amid claims of false testimony

By Kate Randall, 13 December 2019

The final two executions of 2019 involved cases in which juries were not told about defendants’ mental health struggles and violent upbringing, and trials involving false testimony and faulty jury selection.

Mass shooting in Jersey City, New Jersey being investigated as anti-Semitic hate-crime

By Matthew Taylor, 12 December 2019

New Jersey police believe that two assailants deliberately targeted a Kosher grocery store in an attack on Tuesday.

George Zimmerman, killer of Trayvon Martin in 2012, sues his victim’s family for $100 million

By Fred Mazelis, 12 December 2019

Zimmerman’s legal maneuvers must be treated with the contempt they deserve.

South Florida UPS driver, motorist killed in reckless police shootout in rush hour traffic

By Matthew Taylor, 7 December 2019

At least nineteen police officers fire 200 rounds into a UPS delivery truck which had been hijacked after a jewelry store heist, killing the driver, the two carjackers and an nearby motorist.

Trump administration food stamp cuts spell hunger and destitution for millions

By Kate Randall, 6 December 2019

The Trump Administration announced Wednesday a rule change that will deprive nearly 700,000 people of benefits from the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, increasing hunger for countless families.

Seton Hall Law School report exposes new details of CIA torture program

By Kevin Reed, 6 December 2019

The report reveals for the first time—with drawings and notes provided by CIA detainee Abu Zubaydah—details of the “enhanced interrogation techniques” used by the US government.

Retiring Chicago Police Chief Superintendent fired after video shows police body-slamming a mentally ill man

By Ben Mateus, 3 December 2019

Democratic mayor Lori Lightfoot offered a standard prepared statement noting that the ensuing investigation “will be comprehensive and expedited so that the public may gain a complete picture.”

Over 250 students arrested in Michigan by ICE in fake university scam

By Jacob Crosse, 29 November 2019

After arresting 161 students in January and February earlier this year, US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement revealed that they had detained an additional 91 students in an ongoing sting operation conducted by the federal agency.

Trump threatens to designate Mexican cartels as “terrorists”

By Andrea Lobo, 28 November 2019

The step would set the stage for direct US military interventions in Mexico, while pressuring the Mexican government to escalate militarized repression of social opposition.

Five dead in Minneapolis, Minnesota high-rise fire

By Matt Rigel, 28 November 2019

Most of the victims were Somali immigrants in a neighborhood near the city’s downtown area.

Baltimore, Maryland: Three men exonerated after 36 years behind bars for wrongful murder conviction

By Kate Randall, 27 November 2019

The trio’s harrowing experience was the direct result of a rush to solve a brutal crime, abetted by gross misconduct on the part of police and prosecutors.

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.