by Abby Zimet
This week marks the fourth anniversary of the killing of Anastasio Hernandez Rojas, an undocumented immigrant, by border police who have yet to be held accountable. This week also saw protests over the assault of an Asian-American woman by Chicago police, the assault – smashing through a window for “talking smart” – of a handcuffed black 14-year-old boy by NYPD, and the third recent killing by Salinas police of a Hispanic man wielding garden shears – because he was a gardener. U.S. police, increasingly armed with leftover hardware designed for use on foreign battlefields, kill an estimated 500 innocent people a year; since 9/11, that total has reached an estimated 5,000, or more than those killed in the Iraq War. A powerful short film by Charles Shaw, a Bay Area activist who runs the The Exile Nation Project documenting the costs of the so-called War on Drugs, examines what’s wrong with that picture.