Mixer: Protests and policing – marching ahead

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friday mixer bannerProtests continue across the country and here in California against high-profile police killings of unarmed black men and boys.

The decisions by grand juries not to indict the officers who killed Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner on Staten Island in New York, have touched off a heated debate about police-community relations.

There have been some violent confrontations and arrests in Los Angeles and the Bay Area over the last few weeks as demonstrators blocked roads and freeways. They held their hands up, to exemplify what witnesses said the 18-year old Brown was doing before he was shot and killed by the officer in Missouri.

They also chanted “I can’t breathe,” which – according to video of the incident – were among the last words spoken by Garner, who police had in a chokehold before he died.

There was this story about an undercover agent pulling a gun on protesters and a Reuters photographer during an Oakland protest of police killings. The hacker collective Anonymous also wrought havoc in Oakland, claiming responsibility for knocking out several websites for the city.

Meanwhile, here in LA, the County Board of Supervisors has voted to create a civilian oversight board for the LA County Sheriff’s Department, in response to alleged inmate abuse at county jails.

Joe Mathews joined us on this week’s Mixer. He’s California Columnist for Zocalo Public Square.