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    Local activists in Kentucky’s largest city, Louisville, are calling for a citizens’ campaign to hold police accountable by recording them after a video of city officers brutalizing a man went viral.

    ‘Phones Out’: Kentucky Activists Call for Public to Watch, Record Police

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    Local activists in Kentucky’s largest city, Louisville, are calling for a citizens’ campaign to hold police accountable by recording them after a video of city officers brutalizing a man went viral.

    The video, posted to the internet last week, has been viewed nearly 220,000 times. It shows Louisville throwing Jarrus Ransom from his car onto the ground and punching him as bystanders look on. He was left in a neck brace due to his injuries.

    Police say Ransom tried to destroy pills, and so they had to restrain him.

    Now, the Louisville Urban League and more than a dozen other groups are seeking to establish a brigade of citizens to film police as they interact with the public.

    The ACLU of Kentucky; Black Lives Matter, Louisville; the local branch of the NAACP; pro-immigrant groups; a mosque; youth groups and churches are among the backers of the statement.

    They are also calling on the Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) to fire the officers seen in the video.

    "The idea that a man would be ripped from his vehicle, his head smashed against asphalt and repeatedly struck after an officer allegedly observed him destroying three pills is unacceptable," the statement says.

    "We understand that an investigation has been launched, and we further understand that it has not concluded, however, such processes have rarely been exercised in such a way to offer any justice for Black and Brown people," the coalition said.

    In mid-November, a federal grand jury charged Gregory Bush with hate crimes after he shot and killed two black grandparents in a supermarket parking lot in Louisville in October.

    The stark contrast between the violence of Ransom's arrest and the relative calm with which Bush was detained was not lost on the activist groups.

    "Armed and dangerous White men and women have been successfully taken into custody without force. For example, the White supremacist that killed two Black Louisville residents at Kroger was taken into custody unharmed, and without incident… gun in hand," they said. 

    "We want the officers involved in the beating of Jarrus Ransom to be terminated, and prior to that, we want them off of our streets. To put them back in our community places us all at risk," the statement reads. They also called for LMPD officers to go through implicit bias training.

    They further announced the implementation of "our version of Cop Watch."

    "We are asking every Louisville resident, who stands with us, to be aware of bystander intervention tactics and to record any incident involving police," the group said, calling on residents to use the campaign's slogan "phones out" while filming police.

    "We want to let police know that we are watching," the groups said.

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    Tags:
    excessive force, Filming Police, Filming Cops, police brutality, Black Lives Matter, Black Lives Matter, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
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