Annie Leonard on the Environmental Movement With One Year of Trump, and the Latest from Our Police, Power and Prison Series: Death by Taser

January 1st marks the anniversary of the murder of Oscar Grant, killed by BART Police at the Fruitvale BART station in 2009. A vigil is held every year by community members at the Fruitvale station to honor his memory, support his family and the families of all police victims, and to demand justice for the hundreds of black and brown people killed by police forces across the country.

We feature excerpts from the Mario Savio Memorial Lecture series, and a speech by Annie Leonard, Executive Director of Greenpeace.

Then we have an interview with Kara Ellerby on her book No Shortcut to Change: An Unlikely Path to a More Gender-Equitable World, brought to us by former UpFront intern Anna Saldinger.

In the second half of the show, we broadcast the latest from our series Police, Power and Prisons with interviews focused on the use and effects of tasers. Cat Brooks sits down with Lamesha Smith-Toney, the widow of Marcellus Toney. Toney was killed in Oakland Police custody, involving a taser, on September 28, 2017. 
Then, we hear from attorney, Fulvio Cajina, who is representing the family of James Greer seeking justice after he was killed at the hands of the Hayward Police Department. Greer was pulled over allegedly for drunk driving in 2016. The situation escalated and Police report tazing Greer three times. Then, they applied a restraint device called “The Wrap” designed to safely immobilize a suspect. Six minutes later, he was dead.

Finally, in the most detailed study ever of fatalities and litigation involving police use of stun guns, Reuters finds more than 150 autopsy reports citing Tasers as a cause or contributor to deaths across America. Behind the fatalities is a sobering reality: Many who die are among society’s vulnerable – unarmed, in psychological distress and seeking help. We speak with one of the report’s authors, Peter Eisler on the investigation and what they found. 

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