Later this morning in America


People still want to discuss the ongoing ghastliness in Ferguson, MO, but the thread dedicated to that in Good Morning, America is getting old…and as a spam defensive measure, commenting on posts older than three months is automatically shut down. No exceptions allowed.

So here’s a fresh new post to accumulate comments!

Comments

  1. rq says

    #BenevolentRacism 2014 The white-saviour’s boys have a whole different perspective. #blacktwitter

    Related to the last article previous comment, NYC asks federal court to approve mass arrests of protesters

    The City is arguing in its legal brief that the three judge panel’s “decision will frustrate, not further, the work of police attempting to facilitate peaceful demonstrations while ensuring both the safety of demonstrators and those among whom demonstrations are staged.” This argument is ridiculous because the Fourth Amendment specifically states that police cannot arrest a person without probable cause to believe he or she committed a crime. Police are also prohibited from entrapping law abiding citizens into committing crimes they did not intend to commit. In this case, officers from the NYPD entrapped Occupy Wall Street protesters by leading and escorting them onto the Brooklyn Bridge only to arrest them en masse for violating an order not to go on the bridge that no one heard. […]

    Seeking to legitimize a practice of widespread false arrests by entrapping protesters is an egregious Fourth Amendment violation that deserves condemnation. This is no way to calm troubled waters. Instead it’s yet another reason, as if we needed one, to increase the protests.

    Obviously, the NYPD doesn’t get it.

    Police identify man killed by officer.

    Locke was shot and killed by a Rapid City Police officer inside a house at the Lakota Community Homes. At this time, police believe he was shot up to five times.

    Police said Locke had ties to the subdivision, but would not elaborate on what those ties were.

    Protests In Milwaukee After DA Fails To File Charges Against Cop In Death Of Mentally Ill Man.

    US Attorney’s Office will investigate shooting of Dontre Hamilton.

    Nate Hamilton says he’s taking his brother’s fight for justice to the feds chanting, “Convict indite, send that killer cop to jail”

    The family and his attorneys are asking for two things– a federal investigation into Dontre Hamilton’s death, and the Milwaukee Police Department’s operating procedures.
    The ACLU, NAACP, and the Hamilton family are all working together on the case. Mayor Tom Barrett says he’ll cooperate with any investigation.

    Mayor Barrett says, “I will certainly work with the Justice Department or anyone in Washington DC to make sure their concerns are addressed here. I want those concerns addressed, I need to have a community where police and citizens can work with and trust each other..”

    Hamilton supporters say this case represents a bigger picture of racism, and poor relations between police and African Americans.

  2. says

    rq

    I’m not inclined to believe that unions need to be done away with completely. But there is definitely a problem with the power structure. And perception of power.

    Unions, no. Police unions, absolutely. They can join the same union as any other civic employees (usually PEU or SEIU in the States), but specifically police unions need to be abolished post haste.

    “These messages are different. They seem almost, perhaps, maybe, just a little bit antagonistic.”

    Well, gee, asshole, why ever would anyone feel antagonistic about their friends and family being murdered for laughs, about being assaulted, imprisoned, threatened, and harrassed with no recourse? It’s a fucking mystery, innit?

    “media, politicians, and community activists [who] have been vilifying the police.”

    If y’all don’t want to be vilified, it would probably help if you quit acting like the fucking Mafia. ‘Cos, see, when you act like a criminal organization, you are, in fact, villains, pretty much by definition, and thus are going to be in for some vilifying.

  3. rq says

    Bowdoin will waive tuition for son of slain NYPD officer. And the kids of Eric Garner, or any other black person shot by police?

    Battered and blue

    These deaths come at a terrible time for New York City. Between the killing of Eric Garner in Staten Island and the shooting of Akai Gurley in Brooklyn, many residents are wary of the police. And their protests against police brutality have fueled a counter-movement from cops and their supporters, who see criticism as hostile and “anti-police,” and who have scorned officials who sympathize with the protesters. “Police officers feel like they are being thrown under the bus,” said Patrick Lynch, president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, after de Blasio spoke about Garner in the context of his son, who is black. “Is my child safe, and not just from some of the painful realities of crime and violence in some of our neighborhoods,” said de Blasio, “but safe from the very people they want to have faith in as their protectors? That’s the reality.”

    All of this was in the air during the New York City mayor’s Saturday evening press conference with Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, where he tried to ease tensions, despite a dramatic action from police at the event, who turned their backs when de Blasio spoke. The mayor called the killings a “particularly despicable act” that “tears at the very foundation of our society.” He called it an “attack on all of us.” “Our city is in mourning, our hearts are heavy,” he said. “We lost two good men who devoted their lives to protecting all of us.”

    But for several politicians and police organizations, this call of solidarity wasn’t enough. “Our society stands safer because of the sacrifices officers make every day, but the hatred that has grown over the past few weeks in this country has gone unchecked by many elected leaders,” said the head of the New Jersey Policemen’s Benevolent Association in a statement on Facebook. “The blood of 2 executed police officers is on the hands of Mayor de Blasio,” tweeted the New York Sergeants Benevolent Association. Likewise, on Twitter, former New York Gov. George Pataki said he was “sickened by these barbaric acts, which sadly are a predictable outcome of divisive anti-cop rhetoric of #ericholder & #mayordeblasio.”

    Lynch was even more inflammatory. “There is blood on many hands, from those that incited violence under the guise of protest to try to tear down what police officers do every day,” he said, addressing police outside the hospital where the slain officers were taken. “That blood on the hands starts on the steps of city hall in the office of the mayor.” In Baltimore, one lodge president in the Fraternal Order of Police gave a more expansive statement, blaming national officials for the violence. “Politicians and community leaders from President Obama, to Attorney General Holder, New York Mayor de Blasio, and Al Sharpton have, as the result of their lack of proper guidance, created the atmosphere of unnecessary hostility and peril that police officers now find added to the ordinary danger of their profession.”

    And all of these sentiments were echoed by former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani. “We’ve had four months of propaganda starting with the president that everybody should hate the police,” said Giuliani during an appearance on Fox News on Sunday. “The protests are being embraced, the protests are being encouraged. The protests, even the ones that don’t lead to violence, a lot of them lead to violence, all of them lead to a conclusion. The police are bad, the police are racist. That is completely wrong.”

    But these complaints aren’t true. Police officers aren’t under siege from hostile elected officials. At no point, for example, has de Blasio attacked the New York City Police Department. Instead, he’s called for improved policing, including better community relations and new training for “de-escalation” techniques. “Fundamental questions are being asked, and rightfully so,” he said at the beginning of the month, after the grand jury decision in the death of Eric Garner. “The way we go about policing has to change.”

    Likewise, neither President Obama nor Attorney General Eric Holder has substantively criticized police. After a Ferguson, Missouri, grand jury declined to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the killing of Michael Brown, Obama appealed for calm and praised law enforcement for doing a “tough job.” “Understand,” he said, “our police officers put their lives on the line for us every single day. They’ve got a tough job to do to maintain public safety and hold accountable those who break the law.”

    When directly asked if “African-American and Latino young people should fear the police,” Holder said no. “I don’t think that they should fear the police,” he said in an interview for New York magazine with MSNBC’s Joy-Ann Reid. “But I certainly think that we have to build up a better relationship between young people, people of color, and people in law enforcement.”

    Even Al Sharpton supports cops. “We are not anti-police,” he said after the Wilson grand jury concluded. “If our children are wrong, arrest them. Don’t empty your gun and act like you had no other way.” And on this Sunday morning, Sharpton held an event where he and the Garner family condemned the cop killings in Brooklyn. “I’m standing here in sorrow over losing those two police officers,” said Garner’s mother. “Two police officers lost their lives senselessly.” The family of Michael Brown has condemned the shootings — “[We reject] any kind of violence directed toward members of law enforcement” — and in a statement, the chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, Ohio Rep. Marcia Fudge, D, said, “This is not about race or affiliation, and it isn’t about black versus blue. All lives matter.”

    Black lives matter: speaking truth to power in the US

    Protests over the killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner have dominated the airwaves in the United States. Even as Americans characteristically slide back into a culture of willful denial in the aftermath of these rightfully disruptive outpourings of heartfelt indignation, the country is not the same as it was before August 9.

    The country cannot be as it was before that fateful August day when Brown’s body was riddled with six bullets from officer Darren Wilson’s emptied 12-round clip. Nor can the United States resist impending metamorphosis following officer Daniel Pantaleo choking out Eric Garner on video for the world to see.

    New Cameras, Same Narratives

    The US Department of Justice has released findings of its investigations of police departments in Cleveland, Ohio and Albuquerque, New Mexico. The probe confirms an age-old pattern of widespread use of excessive force and institutional misconduct. President Obama has announced that greater oversight will be exercised in distributing military hardware to police departments and has set aside millions of dollars for the purchase of police body cameras, a supposed last ditch ‘never again’ effort. The president also unveiled new federal racial profiling guidelines. He has yet to visit Ferguson, Missouri, the town that set off the global outcry following Brown’s death.

    These ‘changes’ in the United States do not include an alteration in the narrative of American exceptionalism, nor a hint from official channels that the police forces in Staten Island, New York, where Garner was killed, were wrong. Instead the reflection has been directed outward into mediums of television, news, and social media. The conversation has trended ‘violent’ protesters, thugs that disobey the law, racism in America, the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter, and ways to make police forces less forceful.

    Still, the only people that directly confront the reality and gravity of what these latest rounds of killings mean are the people on the ground in marches, their many supporters, and the people that live in fear of state-sanctioned police brutality. The residents of Ferguson have led the way in translating their daily encounters with state violence into political action.

    Americans tend to think of themselves as violently free and are unflinching in their resolve to support any- and everything that maintains the status quo of ‘freedom.’ These protests aren’t really concerned about ideals. They are visceral reactions to violence and systemic tolerance of inequality. They are the lamentations and cries of a generation expecting the fruits of free enterprise and capital. At the grassroots, they are the standing exceptions to American exceptionalism, a generation of urbanized black people that have only tasted the bitter end of American grace.

    Following that, contrast. A little from the other side: Howard Safir: Anti-Police Rhetoric Unlike Anything I’ve Seen in 45 Years

    The national dialogue on proper and effective policing has been totally distorted. Activists purporting to represent the majority of the black community have been bolstered by a 24 hour news cycle that gives them unwarranted credibility. I do not believe for one minute that Al Sharpton represents the feelings of most hardworking, law abiding black American families. I know through dozens of community meetings during my time as NYC Police Commissioner that what the black community wants most is what we all want—a safe environment in which to live their lives.

    There are 18,000 police departments in the United States. They interact millions of times with the public, and make hundreds of thousands of arrests. Very few result in a suspect’s death or injury. We do not have police forces out of control as the media and the Sharptons of the world would have us believe. Does that mean that there are not serious incidents of police abuse or misjudgment? Of course there are. When they take place we should investigate them thoroughly and prosecute and punish those who committed the wrong doing. We should not burn down buildings and murder police officers.

    When Ismaaiyl Abdulah Brinsley brutally executed Officers Ramos and Liu he did so in an atmosphere of permissiveness and anti-police rhetoric unlike any that I have seen in 45 years in law enforcement. The rhetoric this time is not from the usual suspects, but from the Mayor of New York City, the Attorney General of the United States, and even the President. It emboldens criminals and sends a message that every encounter a black person has with a police officer is one to be feared. Nothing could be further from the truth. We will never know what was in the mind of Brinsley when he shot officers Ramos and Liu. However we do know that he has seen nothing but police bashing from some of the highest officials in the land.

    We should all be concerned about the reaction our police officers will have. I have seen times when police bashing has resulted in officers doing the minimum necessary to complete their tours and go home safely to their families.

    Positive: Nelly announces Michael Brown memorial scholarship at Black and White Ball

    In a special live interview before a couple hundred of St. Louis’ most influential citizens, master of ceremonies Mike Claiborne managed to mix in some of the tough questions facing the community in the wake of the Ferguson unrest – including how Nelly sees his role in making a difference – during the celebratory evening Sunday night at The Four Seasons.

    “That’s what happens sometimes when tragedy strikes your community – it’s a wakeup call,” Nelly said. “Sometimes it takes a situation to wake people up. Not for the worse, but for the better so the generations and the community can come together.”

    Dr. Shane Williamson, Lindenwood University’s dean of first year student programs who helped present the full scholarships for 2014 proudly announced that one of this year’s recipients, Savoy Smith, is actually from Ferguson.

    “Kaylon and I are a beaming light in Ferguson,” Smith said of himself and his co-recipient Kaylon Michael Grant said when accepting his scholarship.

    “Every single day I keep realizing the full impact of this full ride,” Grant said during his brief remarks.

    The fact that they understood how the award will change their lives touched Nelly as well.

    “I want to thank the young brothers for even taking advantage of the option,” Nelly said. “That’s what we need more of – we need more kids to understand that there are options and situations that can help them out and change their lives so that they can change the lives of their loved ones and their community – it’s called a domino effect. The best place to start is with education.”

    The scholarship is in conjunction with Lindenwood University Black Student Union, Plaza Motors and Nelly. According to Williamson, the award is worth about $22,000 annually.

    “I’m hoping that these kids – whatever they learn from this opportunity – that they take it back to their communities to help bring a positive light to help create change,” Nelly said.

    Police Unions Hated Giuliani & Bloomberg Too. Going to list some tweets with links to stories on this (from respective years) in a bit.

  4. rq says

    Repost? Youtube video: The Mike Brown Rebellion Pt 1

    This week, Ñ Don’t Stop brings a Special Report- one of four segments- on the #FergusonRebellion, that has resulted from the killing of #MikeBrown at the hands of Police Officer #DarrenWilson. The story covers the beginnings of the rebellion and the most current events from #FergusonOctober narrated by the young people in the front lines. Special interviews with activist and MC @TefPoe, and activist and organizer Tara Tee.

    And it didnt take long – Mayor @deBlasioNYC throws in his lot with murderers and rapists down at #NYPD #ICantBreathe (see picture at link for details).

    @deray we protested Saturday night in riverside ca, we stand with you my man. #BlackLivesMatter ;
    They watch. We march. #DontreHamilton;
    Mike Brown’s family expresses remorse for deaths of cops they never met; Darren Wilson says he’d kill Mike Brown again Dam;
    I’ve been in 5 cities in protest. And people are tired of the killings y’all. Tired.

  5. rq says

    Frustrated protesters call for deeper scrutiny of police

    “It is time for the federal government and the Department of Justice to initiate the pattern-and-practice investigation of the Milwaukee Police Department, which we have been hearing about now for a number of years,” attorney Jonathan Safran told about 200 protesters who gathered for a news conference outside the federal courthouse. “Milwaukee has had more than its share of cases with claims of excessive force deaths and civil rights violations at the hands of Milwaukee and other law enforcement officers. When is this going to stop?”

    Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn said he believes his department can withstand such federal scrutiny. “If that federal scrutiny should lead to criticism that needs to be addressed, we’re prepared to do that,” Flynn said.

    Statistics on officers killed: FBI Releases 2013 Statistics on Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted

    The 27 felonious deaths occurred in 16 states. The number of officers killed as a result of criminal acts in 2013 decreased by 22 when compared with the 49 officers who were feloniously killed in 2012. The five- and 10-year comparisons show a decrease of 21 felonious deaths compared with the 2009 figure (48 officers) and a decrease of 30 deaths compared with 2004 data (57 officers).

    Officer Profiles: The average age of the officers who were feloniously killed was 39 years. The victim officers had served in law enforcement for an average of 13 years at the time of the fatal incidents. Twenty-five of the officers were male, and two were female. Twenty-five of the officers were white, and two were black.

    Circumstances: Of the 27 officers feloniously killed, six were killed in arrest situations, five were investigating suspicious persons or circumstances, five were ambushed, four were involved in tactical situations, four were answering disturbance calls, and two were conducting traffic pursuits/stops. One was conducting an investigative activity, such as surveillance, a search, or an interview.

    Weapons: Offenders used firearms to kill 26 of the 27 victim officers. Of these 26 officers, 18 were slain with handguns, five with rifles, and three with shotguns. One officer was killed with a vehicle used as a weapon.

    Regions: Fifteen of the felonious deaths occurred in the South, six in the West, four in the Midwest, and two in the Northeast.

    Suspects: Law enforcement agencies identified 28 alleged assailants in connection with the felonious line-of-duty deaths. Twenty of the assailants had prior criminal arrests, and six of the offenders were under judicial supervision at the time of the felonious incidents.

    Accidental Deaths

    Forty-nine law enforcement officers were killed accidentally while performing their duties in 2013. The majority (23 officers) were killed in automobile accidents. The number of accidental line-of-duty deaths increased by one from the 2012 total (48 officers).

    Officer Profiles: The average age of the officers who were accidentally killed was 41 years; the average number of years the victim officers had served in law enforcement was 13. All 49 of the officers were male. Forty-one of the officers were white, six were black, and race was not reported for two officers.

    Circumstances: Of the 49 officers accidentally killed, 23 died as a result of automobile accidents, nine were struck by vehicles, four officers died in motorcycle accidents, four officers were killed in falls, two were accidentally shot, two drowned, one died in an aircraft accident, and four officers died in other types of duty-related accidents. Seatbelt usage was reported for 22 of the 23 officers killed in automobile accidents. Of these, 14 officers were not wearing seatbelts, three of whom were seated in parked patrol vehicles. Eight officers were wearing their seatbelts at the times of the accidents.

    Regions: Thirty-one of the accidental deaths occurred in the South, nine in the West, five in the Northeast, and 4 in the Midwest.

    Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm’s decision in Dontre Hamilton shooting. That’s a link to the full report released.

  6. rq says

    4. The PBA ran ads against Bloomberg and threatened to picket the Republican National Convention in 2004. Link: http://nyti.ms/1wWiin9
    5. Exploiting their huge power over public safety, NYC police unions have historically behaved less responsibly than any other public union.

    Thunderdome saw posted some badly edited footage of protestors suposedly chanting “Kill a cop”. WBFF apologizes for misleading edit on videotape of protest chant

    The Sinclair-owned Fox affiliate aired the misleading video in the wake of news of two New York City police officers being murdered by a gunman from Baltimore.

    Rather than comment when reached by phone Monday, Bill Fanshawe, general manager of Fox45, referred The Sun to a statement posted at 4:46 p.m. Monday on its website.

    “Fox45 is apologizing for an error made on Fox45 News at Ten last night,” the statement said.

    “We aired a clip from a protest in Washington, DC where we reported protesters were chanting ‘kill a cop’. We received a phone call from Tawanda Jones, who is in the video, who informed us that the chant was actually ‘We won’t stop….We can’t stop…. ’til killer cops…. are in cell blocks’.

    “We here at Fox45 work hard every day to earn your trust and bring you fair and comprehensive news from around the country. Although last night’s report reflected an honest misunderstanding of what the protesters were saying, we apologize for the error. We have deleted the story on our webpage and we offered to have Ms. Jones on Fox45 News at 5:00 tonight for a live interview. We had a constructive conversation with her earlier today and she has accepted our invitation and will join us for a live interview at 5:30.”

    I’m sure all damage is undone. [/sarcasm]

  7. rq says

    De Blasio, With Bratton by Side, Seeks Balance After 2 Killings

    Mr. de Blasio visited the families of the slain officers, spoke to a nonprofit police group and, for the first time since the shooting, took several questions at a news conference at Police Headquarters.

    And at every stop, the Democratic mayor of New York, who ascended to office with a pledge to reshape the Police Department, had company: Police Commissioner William J. Bratton — once renowned for helping turn back crime in the 1990s, now the essential bridge between the mayor and a department that distrusts him more deeply than ever.

    Mr. de Blasio, at the helm of a city still raw from weeks of protests after a grand jury’s decision, called for a suspension of the demonstrations, asked the public to report any possible threats against police officers and urged New Yorkers to thank and console officers in mourning, even as detectives continued to trace the movements and communications of the gunman before the attack on Saturday.

    “Suspend #NYC protests” says @BilldeBlasio When does America “suspend” systemic racism & socioeconomic inequality? (intro to previous article).

    OMG OMG I CAN’T EVEN. Racist song at ex-cop’s charity event compares Michael Brown to a ‘roadkill dog’. Do I TW this? Yes.

    “Michael Brown learned a lesson about a messin’ / With a badass policeman,” lodge member Gary Fishell sings. “And he’s bad, bad Michael Brown / Baddest thug in the whole damn town / Badder than old King Kong / Meaner than a junkyard dog.”

    The song continues: “And he’s dead, dead Michael Brown / Deadest man in the whole damn town / His whole life’s long gone / Deader than a roadkill dog.”

    According to TMZ, the event was hosted by retired LAPD Officer Joe Myers, and about half of the 50-60 attendees were officers. The gathering was part of an annual charity golf tournament.

    In poor taste? IN POOR TASTE?????
    More on that: Horrific Racist Song at Charity Event
    ‘And He’s Dead, Dead Michael Brown’ [VIDEO]

    If you want to keep some christmas spirit, don’t watch the video. But then, what’s the point of christmas spirit with bullshit like this in the world?

    Ferguson protest leaders eye next phase

    Protest leaders in many cities say they are warning their participants to be vigilant about retaliation from officers. Organizers in New York are still considering how to move forward in the short term in light of a request from New York Mayor Bill de Blasio that demonstrations cease in light of the officers’ deaths.

    In general, the path ahead has been hampered as the young leaders continue to clash over messaging, goals and tactics. The protest momentum has grown to include activist groups in close to a dozen cities nationally, but the expansion has come with some baggage.

    “It is deeply necessary right now to kind of get on the balcony, survey what we’ve done thus far and look out on the horizon about where we need to go,” said Brittany Packnett, one of the key organizers of the Ferguson protests.

    One thing that is not going to change is that the protests will continue — especially during the rest of the holiday shopping season, through Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Black History Month in February.

    But much of the organizational discussion is now focused on refining a long-term messaging strategy and crafting specific goals for 2015 that run deeper than the indictment of specific police officers and the shutting down of a local Wal-Mart or freeway for an afternoon.

  8. rq says

    Police officers lives are NOT more important than Citizens

    The latest killings have shown the discontent the people have with the police. Instead of trying to defuse the situation the NYPD went as far as declaring war on the public, Like there was ever any peace, basically saying the deaths they perpetrated was a way of keeping “peace.” After it’s all said and done they can deny and shift blame all they want but the blood of those officers are on their hands.

    Ferguson protesters, especially me and Tef Poe, are having the finger pointed in our direction. Very responsible to blame peaceful protesters for violence perpetrated in a different part of the nation. Yes we have inspired a bunch of good folks to go out and make a difference. But we have also stressed keeping the peace regardless of the narrative of crash-dummy-journalists. A Fox affiliate even went as far as editing a video to make it sound like a group of protesters were calling out for deaths of police officers. This puts us all at risk, both police and citizens alike, and all for pageviews to keep itself relevant. The mainstream media is brainwashing the public to believe they are in danger so that the government can take away more of our rights. All to the thunderous applause by the sheeple.

    What’s next? Why don’t we see some accountability for a change? Officers are turning their backs on the mayor, signaling to the nation that the NYPD has gone rogue. They answer to no one, servicing only the highest bidder. Instead of addressing the issue they are calling for more violence against protesters. Will that keep cops safe? Will that help the healing process? Why do we allow that gang of thugs to keep law and order when they know nothing of the sort?

    Their only answer is “Comply with the law and you won’t be hurt.” I think that is bullshit. America foundation was built on revolution, was built on questioning the intentions of those in power. The sheeple who stress to comply with the law are completely un-American. They know nothing of what it takes to be a true American, unless everything we were taught was a lie. Which is becoming the case day by day, and the constitution is looking like a document created to appease the people. It’s looking like it’s a sham, lies to justify a change in power. How can you deny that? They stated all men were created equal while they owned slaves. Does that sound democratic?

    Police officers are human, and they are citizens, but they are no more human than anyone else. Their citizenship isn’t supposed to supersede ours, but that is the reality. While they scramble to protect killer cops, they are putting innocent cops in danger. This is by design. All of it, to keep those officers in check just like the rest of the populace.

    We protest to bring awareness to the public including the police. We protest to protect citizens from state-sanctioned violence, which includes the police. Do they do anything in return? No, they’re shifting blame And they point fingers to anyone else but themselves. We won’t go back in the house until we see and feel a change.

    The revolution has just begun. It’s on them to comply with us not vice versa. We the people have spoken. It’s time they actually listen, they are not doing any one any favors by ignoring the cries of the people they claim to protect. Either the police recognize and take measures to right the wrongs or they will be forced out of the job.

    Yet another: Houston Grand Jury Chooses Not to Indict Police Officer in Shooting. More tomorrow.

  9. rq says

    Officer Juventino Castro Will Walk Free After Killing Unarmed Man Jordan Baker (that’s on the previous).

    Related to the 2 NYPD cops, Shaneka Thompson’s Life Matters

    Twenty-nine-year old Shaneka Thompson was the first victim of Ismaiyil Brinsley, the man alleged to have executed two NYPD officers on Dec. 20. Thompson suffered a 9-millimeter gunshot wound to the abdomen about 8 hours before Brinsley – the man she had been dating for about a year – made his way to New York. She remains in critical condition as of this writing. She is also perhaps the starkest example yet of how little Black women’s lives matter to media and the NYPD – those who say their job is to protect and serve – and their union and their supporters.

    And that’s because the media, the NYPD, its union and its supporters have seized upon the deaths of officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos not as a tragedy but as an opportunity. This opportunity, evidently too good to pass up, seeks to demonize a legitimate and righteous movement against police terror the likes of which has never before been seen in this country. A movement that rightfully calls into question police policies, practices and procedures, and decries the impunity of police actions.

    One would think that Thompson would receive widespread support and concern for her well-being as she could have very easily died by Brinsley’s hands. While Baltimore media did their due diligence in acknowledging her presence, The New York Times didn’t get around to telling her story until approximately two days after NYPD officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos were shot. To my knowledge, neither Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake or New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, NY Police Commissioner Bill Bratton or NY Patrolman’s Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch have even uttered her name.

    One would think that concern about Thompson’s well-being would be leading nightly newscasts since, as a survivor, she is in the best position to provide valuable insight into Brinsley’s motivations. According to the Daily Mail, Brinsley called Thompson’s mother to apologize for having shot her daughter. Thompson’s relationship with Brinsley, described as “on again-off again,” was obviously substantive and could possibly provide clues to Brinsley’s other relationships.

    One would think that as a member of the US military, Thompson would be seen as a comrade-in-arms of law enforcement, a worker whose job description also entails risking her life in various situations. And one would think that as a member of the US military, acknowledgement would be made that Thompson also took an oath to protect and defend. In their rush to demonize this movement both media and New York police in have exalted a local institution – a police department – over that of the United States military. One would think that the story would begin with Thompson – because it actually does – but that actual narrative does not serve the current project to place police and any criticism of them off limits.

    Well, at least the NYPD have a nice narrative for themselves.

  10. rq says

    Officer Juventino Castro Will Walk Free After Killing Unarmed Man Jordan Baker (that’s on the previous).

    Related to the 2 NYPD cops, Shaneka Thompson’s Life Matters

    Twenty-nine-year old Shaneka Thompson was the first victim of Ismaiyil Brinsley, the man alleged to have executed two NYPD officers on Dec. 20. Thompson suffered a 9-millimeter gunshot wound to the abdomen about 8 hours before Brinsley – the man she had been dating for about a year – made his way to New York. She remains in critical condition as of this writing. She is also perhaps the starkest example yet of how little Black women’s lives matter to media and the NYPD – those who say their job is to protect and serve – and their union and their supporters.

    And that’s because the media, the NYPD, its union and its supporters have seized upon the deaths of officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos not as a tragedy but as an opportunity. This opportunity, evidently too good to pass up, seeks to demonize a legitimate and righteous movement against police terror the likes of which has never before been seen in this country. A movement that rightfully calls into question police policies, practices and procedures, and decries the impunity of police actions.

    One would think that Thompson would receive widespread support and concern for her well-being as she could have very easily died by Brinsley’s hands. While Baltimore media did their due diligence in acknowledging her presence, The New York Times didn’t get around to telling her story until approximately two days after NYPD officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos were shot. To my knowledge, neither Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake or New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, NY Police Commissioner Bill Bratton or NY Patrolman’s Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch have even uttered her name.

    One would think that concern about Thompson’s well-being would be leading nightly newscasts since, as a survivor, she is in the best position to provide valuable insight into Brinsley’s motivations. According to the Daily Mail, Brinsley called Thompson’s mother to apologize for having shot her daughter. Thompson’s relationship with Brinsley, described as “on again-off again,” was obviously substantive and could possibly provide clues to Brinsley’s other relationships.

    One would think that as a member of the US military, Thompson would be seen as a comrade-in-arms of law enforcement, a worker whose job description also entails risking her life in various situations. And one would think that as a member of the US military, acknowledgement would be made that Thompson also took an oath to protect and defend. In their rush to demonize this movement both media and New York police in have exalted a local institution – a police department – over that of the United States military. One would think that the story would begin with Thompson – because it actually does – but that actual narrative does not serve the current project to place police and any criticism of them off limits.

    Well, at least the NYPD have a nice narrative for themselves.

  11. rq says

    Okay, these two tweets of Dotson handing out money are not working for me.
    On this one, replace * with appropriate letter for the link to work. https://twitter.com/C*ntMeOut/status/547497355134504960 RT @deray: Y’all, Chief Dotson is in Secret Santa mode giving out cash in #Ferguson. This is real. America. – The URL won’t work because you have to replace the * with the appropriate letter.

    https://twitter.com/peppersandeggs/status/547497600241250304 @deray Where’s the $ from? His own pocket? From taxpayer funded police Fines/Tickets acct? From the $500k in the DW Fund?

  12. rq says

    In the spirit of helpiong the poor and disadvantaged – St. Louis rules Larry Rice’s homeless shelter a nuisance.

    In the past 48 hours alone, while we’re supposed to cease protests, police were let off for murdering #JordanBaker & #DontreHamilton;
    121 shootings in four years and all of them cleared but the jury isn’t biased? #JordanBaker There’s a nice little citation at the link.

    Ignoring Shaneka Thompson to make Brinsley some kind of revolutionary hero is again stepping on BW under faux-black unity.

    Interlude: Five African Americans Named Rhodes Scholars. Congratulations!

    This is prior to the Houston announcement: Grand jury clears officer in deadly police shooting

    The panel, which has been meeting for months, cleared officer Juventino Castro in the death of 26-year-old Jordan Baker.

    The inquiry marked one of Harris County’s first grand jury deliberations in a police shooting following recent unrest over the lack of indictments in the officer-involved deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and Eric Garner in New York.

    Baker’s death has gained national attention as another unarmed black man killed by police, a trend that has sparked protests and calls for body cameras on officers.

    Janet Baker, who spent most of Tuesday and Thursday last week awaiting a decision at the Harris County Criminal Justice Center, had maintained that Castro profiled her son – who was wearing a black hoodie – as a criminal. Along with activists, she has been accompanied by mothers whose sons have been injured or killed in local shootings.

    The grieving mother and her supporters had remained hopeful that the grand jury would indict the officer so that his actions can be considered by a trial jury.

    thisisthemovement, installment #67:

    Ferguson
    McCulloch Acknowledges That Some Grand Jury Witnesses Lied In a radio interview, Bob McCulloch acknowledged that he allowed witnesses that he knew to be lying to testify before the grand jury. You really must read and listen to this interview. Absolute must read. And listen to the interview.

    Ferguson Commission Chooses Managing Director And Receives $150,000 Donation The Ferguson Commission has chosen Bethany A. Johnson-Javois, a current Commission member, to be the Commission’s Managing Director. And a few non-profits/foundations have recently donated a combined $150,000 to the Commission. Interesting and important read.

    Obama Appoints Ferguson Protestor To Police Reform Task Force Brittany Packnett, a Ferguson protestor and member of the Ferguson Commission, has been appointed by President Obama to the Task Force on 21st Century Policing. Here is the full listing of the Task Force members.

    The Supreme Court In the Midst of Ferguson Y’all, read this. This article explores the case of Heien vs. North Carolina. “On Monday, eight justices ruled that although the police officer stopped a car for having only one working brake light, and having only one working break light is actually legal in North Carolina, the stop was ‘reasonable’ under the Fourth Amendment.” Absolute must read.

    Arne Duncan Visits Ferguson Recently, US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan visited Ferguson to speak with students, protestors, elected official, and education leaders.

    Eric Garner
    NYC Seeks To Settle Civil Rights Lawsuit Re: Eric Garner The NYC Comptroller is trying to negotiate a $75 million settlement with the family of Eric Garner in the civil rights claim that they have filed before it heads to trial. Quick, important read.

    Eric Garner GJ Judge Recuses Himself From Transcript Request Proceedings Due to a potential conflict of interest involving his wife, the judge who oversaw the Garner GJ has recused himself from proceedings about whether the GJ transcripts will be released. His wife is the chairwoman of the board at the hospital whose workers responded to the scene where Garner died. Interesting read.

    Bill Clinton On Eric Garner In an interview, Bill Clinton noted that: Eric Garner “didn’t deserve to die.” And then Clinton goes on to say some seemingly problematic statements both about Garner and Mike Brown. Interesting read.

    Dontre Hamilton
    Ex-Officer Christopher Manney Not Indicted In The Killing Of Dontre Hamilton Dontre Hamilton was killed on April 30, 2014 by then-Officer Manney after being shot 14 times and it was announced yesterday that Officer Manney will not be indicted. The District Attorney decided not to call a Grand Jury and, instead, made the decision not to indict on his own. Absolute must read.

    Philadelphia Police Union Chief Complains About Protests The president of the Philadelphia Police Union defends the killing of Brandon Tate Brown and also decries protest as usurping due process and the rights of officers. Yes, this is America. Important read.

    Protests
    Mall of America Expects to File Charges Against Organizers Bloomington City Attorney Sandra Johnson looks to file criminal chargers against organizers of the Saturday protest at the mall. The city attorney says she is looking to get restitution for the money lost by the mall, city and police agencies from Saturday’s protest.

    Baltimore Fox Affiliate Intentionally Alters Video To Suggest Protestors Chanted “Kill A Cop” In Baltimore, the local Fox affiliate intentionally edited protestors in a way that made the chant appear to say “Kill A Cop.” The station has since apologized via Facebook. America. Important read.

    National Political Figures
    Eric Holder’s Parting Shot As AG Holder prepares to leave office, he notes that in light of the recent unrest re: police violence it means, “we, as a nation, have failed. It’s as simple as that. We have failed.” Important read.

    Commentary/Miscellaneous
    What White Privilege Really Means The subtitle of this article is “It’s not what whites get, it’s what blacks don’t” and the article powerfully explores white privilege, specifically in the context of systemic oppression. Powerful long-read.

    The Blame Game Instead of blaming the shooting of two NYPD police officers on the shooter, Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani blames the president, protesters, editors and “left-wing talking heads.” Instead of acknowledging that this one person is responsible for this act of violence, Former Governor Pataki says the murders are “a predictable outcome of anti-cop rhetoric.”

    Volunteer Auxiliary Officer Resigns Over Racist Online Comments Aaron McNamara, a volunteer officer with he Fairview Park Police Department recently resigned after his YouTube comments full of racial slurs and gay slurs were exposed by the Cleveland Scene. McNamara denied the comments were his even though his first, middle, and last names were all identical to his YouTube account name.

    ACLU Sues Kansas City School On November 20th, 14 students stood and raised their hands in silent protest while Governor Jay Nixon made an assembly appearance. School staff escorted the students out of the assembly and threatened them with 10 days of suspension. The district decided for one day of detention in January. School officials say the students are being punished for not sitting down when told to, not protesting. The students fear to express themselves because their opinions may get them punished again.

  13. rq says

    Excellent photo.

    In this 24 hour news cycle…

    In this 24-hour news cycle — we continue to be concerned about how #BlackLivesMatter is covered and we challenge the ways in which a senseless tragedy, an isolated incident, is being used to send a chilling message to protesters and to shape a dangerous narrative primarily by the Patrolmen Benevolent Association’s Patrick Lynch. Mayor de Blasio and Chief Bratton have not pushed back on the newly shaping narrative. Our hearts go out to the families of officers Liu and Ramos. We ask the media not to erase from these tragic events that the shooting of Shaneka Nicole Thompson in Baltimore, is where these unfortunate events began, ending with the alleged shooter, Ismaaiyl Brinsleyn, taking his own life. According to his own family we know he had a history of mental illness and instability that was not properly addressed. Our hearts go out to all of the families that have suffered violence and loss connected to these events. In light of all we know, and with respect to all who hurt most now, we must not let misconceptions prevail.

    Percy Green on St. Louis’ Veiled Prophet (V.P.) Fair

    The legendary civil rights activist talks to PubDef.net (http://www.pubdef.net) about the history of St. Louis’ “Veiled Prophet Fair”.

  14. rq says

  15. Pteryxx says

    I just saw the news about Antonio Martin via retweets in Chris Kluwe’s timeline. Word is police are macing protesters and smoke is flying now.

    Anonymous ‏@YourAnonNews

    Another black man has been shot & killed by police in the St. Louis area. See @search4swag’s timeline. #Ferguson #ICantBreathe

    10:11 PM – 23 Dec 2014

    (twitter)

    Loctavia Butler ‏@LovnMyLocs

    For anyone else who may be confused #AntonioMartin was shot and killed by a cop in BERKELEY, MO literally a county over from #Fergson

    10:09 PM – 23 Dec 2014

    (twitter)

    #BlackLivesMatter ‏@VeryWhiteGuy

    I already know that in 24 hours we will know more about #AntonioMartin past behavior than anything related to his extrajudicial killing

    10:27 PM – 23 Dec 2014

    (twitter)

    deray mckesson ‏@deray

    And the police brought the police dogs out to the scene. Dogs. They just killed someone and they brought the K-9 unit. #AntonioMartin

    11:50 PM – 23 Dec 2014

    (twitter)

    ShordeeDooWhop ‏@Nettaaaaaaaa

    Police watching twitter obviously, all K-9 units have left the scene to where we can’t hear them anymore #AntonioMartin #Berkeley #Ferguson

    12:11 AM – 24 Dec 2014

    (twitter)

    More from ‏@Nettaaaaaaaa

    ShordeeDooWhop retweeted
    Dr. Cornel Fresh @WyzeChef · 54m 54 minutes ago

    Bystanders saying he was alive for approximately 30 minutes after being shot. No ambulance. #antoniomartin

    ShordeeDooWhop @Nettaaaaaaaa · 20m 20 minutes ago

    Me: “Why is your body cam all the way down there?” Officer Klein: “so we can record ur hands” #AntonioMartin #Berkley

    ShordeeDooWhop @Nettaaaaaaaa · 4m 4 minutes ago

    Police Macing ppl #AntonioMartin #Berkeley #Ferguson

    ShordeeDooWhop @Nettaaaaaaaa · 2m 2 minutes ago

    3 ppl on the ground being attested #AntonioMartin #Berkeley #Ferguson

    ShordeeDooWhop @Nettaaaaaaaa · 1m 1 minute ago

    This shit got real FAST

  16. Pteryxx says

    from Kluwe’s timeline, starting here:

    Chris KluweVerified account ‏@ChrisWarcraft

    Hopes and thoughts to those in Missouri right now, especially those looking for justice. #blacklivesmatter

    11:27 PM – 23 Dec 2014

    The scene in Missouri right now reminds of the Terry Pratchett book, Night Watch, the one where the riots are brewing in Ankh-Morpork.

    One of the young watchmen asks Vimes, “Shouldn’t we take out our swords?” And Vimes says “No, that’s how we end up dead.”

    “What you need, son, on a night where people are tired, and scared, is a light on in the window and a warm drink on the doorstep.”

    “You need to show them that you live down the street, and their mum buys a curry from yours, and that you’re all neighbors.”

    “Because they ARE our neighbors, and we owe them justice, and if they realize they outnumber you, you’re just a smear on the cobbles.”

    Just paraphrased Terry Pratchett quite badly, but I feel the spirit was there.

    And sadly, I feel that the police in Missouri will not have the wisdom of Sam Vimes, and will pull their swords, and our tragedy will go on.

  17. rq says

  18. Pteryxx says

    Article and what seems to be a livestream at HuffPo: Antonio Martin, Black Teenager, Fatally Shot By Police 2 Miles From Ferguson: Report

    Antonio Martin, 18, was shot at 1 a.m. on Christmas Eve at Mobil gas station in Berkeley, Mo., the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

    The victim’s mother, Toni Martin, spoke to the publication and said her son was shot by police.

    The hashtag #AntonioMartin is gaining traction on social media. Those at the scene, along with The Dispatch, report approximately 60 to 100 people have gathered around the gas station where the shooting took place.

    […]

    I can’t believe my best friend just died in front of me #AntonioMartin

    — Jesús Christo (@DesJuanTheThug) December 24, 2014

    Jesus Christo, 18, told The Huffington Post that he and Martin were stopped by an officer who said they fit the descriptions of recent robbery suspects. Christo declined to speak over the phone, but spoke through direct messages on Twitter.

    The officer attempted to search Martin, who refused, Christo said.

    “The officer then stepped back and drew his weapon and pointed at Antonio and told us to lay on the ground,” Christo said. “I layed [sic] down but Antonio Refused [sic].”

    More from Christo:

    “The officer then began to step back from us with his gun still aimed at us. He told Antonio to lay down once again and when Antonio didn’t lay down the officer opened fire. And when I tried to get up to help my friend he screamed at me to stay down with his weapon still drawn.”

  19. rq says

    ‘To Protest Is A First Amendment Right’: New Yorkers Defy Mayor’s Request To Pause Demonstrations

    Knight added that de Blasio’s call to halt demonstrations infringed on protesters’ First Amendment rights. “Why should our freedoms of assembly and speech be curtailed because a deranged man killed two officers?” he said.

    Event organizers expressed similar sentiments in a statement released Tuesday, calling de Blasio’s request an “outrageous” and “misguided response” that encroached on their constitutional right to peacefully assemble.

    Siervo Del Pueblo, one of the organizers, told HuffPost before the demonstration that although he respects the families of the officers who lost their lives, the protests must continue. “It’s not that we’re going against the mayor’s wishes,” Del Pueblo, a 29-year-old EMT from Brooklyn, said. “This demonstration has been planned for a long time.”

    Pueblo added that Tuesday’s location was deliberate. “Fifth Avenue was named the world’s most expensive shopping district this year,” he said. “We want to make the connection between police brutality and the ruling class of Americans and New York City. It’s a symbolic, peaceful protest.”

    Stuff from Milwaukee intermittently, too, where protest last night was at a high. “@deray: “I’m paying for the overtime, I might as well get a photo.” Milwaukee. ”
    #Milwaukee: This entrance to the Bucks game is BLOCKED. #ShutItDown #DontreHamilton via @deray

    Ah, more on the apology: WATCH: Protester Confronts Fox Station That Deceptively Edited ‘Kill A Cop’ Chant

    The chant went “we won’t stop, we can’t stop, ’til killer cops, are in cell blocks,” according to C-SPAN footage.

    But WBFF cut the audio short and told viewers that the words were in fact “we won’t stop, we can’t stop, so kill a cop.”

    The station apologized both on its Facebook page and in an interview with one of the protestors leading the chant, Tawanda Jones.

    “Although last night’s report reflected an honest misunderstanding of what the protesters were saying, we apologize for the error,” the post read.

    “We have deleted the story on our webpage and we offered to have Ms. Jones on Fox45 News at 5:00 tonight for a live interview,” it continued.

    In that interview, Jones called out the station several times for misrepresenting her words.

    “The interesting part that really gets to me is, where you guys edited it and stopped — like, how could that be a mistake?” she said.

    “Once you play that whole thing, you would know that’s not something that’s being said,” she added.

    The interviewer apologized several times, and though Jones told the station she was grateful to come on, she also said she now fears for her reputation and her safety. Near the end of the interview she began to cry.

    “At the end of the day, people’s lives are on the line,” she said. “Now, even though we’re doing this, I still don’t feel safe because I still feel like the message is out there.”

    That is irresponsible reporting.

    New York: NOW: Malcolm X Blvd shut down! We need stuck together cuz every 28 hrs our people are killed #ShutDown5thAve.

    Via Wonkette, Off-Duty Black Cops Racisted By White Cops In NYC Because Of Course

    Maybe this isn’t really racisming. Maybe 96 percent of black cops Reuters talked to were just hyper-sensitive. Or asking for it. What really happened?

    The officers said this [racial profiling] included being pulled over for no reason, having their heads slammed against their cars, getting guns brandished in their faces, being thrown into prison vans and experiencing stop and frisks while shopping. The majority of the officers said they had been pulled over multiple times while driving. Five had had guns pulled on them.

    We have no scientific or even anecdotal evidence, but we would bet Dok Zoom’s left testicle that you’d be hard pressed to find five out of 100 white cops in NYC who have had a gun pulled on them from a fellow cop, even if they were #CrimingWhileWhite.

    Good thing there is a system set up for complaints like this. And in America, we know that The System works so well for black men, so this is sure to have a happy ending, right?

    All but one said their supervisors either dismissed the complaints or retaliated against them by denying them overtime, choice assignments, or promotions. The remaining officers [two-thirds of them] who made no complaints said they refrained from doing so either because they feared retribution or because they saw racial profiling as part of the system.

    Fuck, man. We can’t even be funny about this. This is just monumentally fucked up. What kind of goddamed society are we living in when this shit can happen? And on top of that, there are asshats out there who claim that it’s white people who are the real victims of racism?

  20. Pteryxx says

    Shaun King ‏@ShaunKing

    It appears the same thing happened with #AntonioMartin. Witnesses are saying he was alive, refused medical attention, until he died tonight.

    11:23 PM – 23 Dec 2014

    (twitter)

    Davey D ‏@mrdaveyd

    Police refused to let #AntonioMartin’s mom comfort her son who was still alive after being shot… he died alone, left for 2 hours

    12:31 AM – 24 Dec 2014

    (twitter)

    LEFT ‏@LeftSentThis

    Like #MikeBrown, the best friend of #AntonioMartin was there as he died. He too feared for his life. The police will ignore his testimony.

    12:37 AM – 24 Dec 2014

    (twitter)

    Kirsten West SavaliVerified account ‏@KWestSavali

    But they want us to “pause” protests, though. Where is the moratorium on the extrajudicial murder of Black people? #AntonioMartin

    12:17 AM – 24 Dec 2014

    (twitter)

    deray mckesson ‏@deray

    You’re right, we don’t know all the details. But we know this detail: Antonio is dead. And we know: an officer killed him. #AntonioMartin

    12:12 AM – 24 Dec 2014

    (twitter)

    Black Santa ‏@greghoward88

    we know the excuses. we know he’ll be big and scary. we know there will no indictment. we know it’ll happen again and again. #AntonioMartin

    12:10 AM – 24 Dec 2014

    (twitter)

  21. Pteryxx says

    Shaun King ‏@ShaunKing

    Earliest account I’ve found of what happened tonight. #AntonioMartin

    12:43 AM – 24 Dec 2014

    (twitter) (referencing the HuffPo article)

    Shaun King ‏@ShaunKing

    The official police account of what happened tonight. #AntonioMartin

    12:45 AM – 24 Dec 2014

    (twitter) (screenshot of press release including text:

    […The Berkeley Police Officer exited his vehicle and approached the subjects when one of the men pulled a handgun and pointed it at the officer. Fearing for his life…]

    Shaun King ‏@ShaunKing

    Now, compare the police account versus the account of a friend. Worlds apart.

    12:46 AM – 24 Dec 2014

    (twitter)

    Arianne Young ‏@Bettykiss

    @ShaunKing This gas station footage needs to be released now. Not damaged in transferring, not accidentally erased. Released. Now.

    12:47 AM – 24 Dec 2014

    (twitter)

  22. Pteryxx says

    Buzzfeed: Large Crowd Gathers Near Ferguson After Police Shoot Teen

    Tweets and images going up at the link…

    St. Louis County Police told BuzzFeed News in a statement that the shooting happened at a Mobile Gas Station on Hanley Road. At about 11:30 p.m., an officer was doing a routine business check at the the gas station when he saw “two male subjects on the side of the building,” police say. As the officer approached the men one of them reportedly pulled out a handgun.

    “Fearing for his life, the Berkeley Officer fired several shots, striking the subject, fatally wounding him,” the statement said. “The second subject fled the scene.”

    Investigators recovered a handgun at the scene, the statement added.

    Police did not confirm the identify of the man who was shot, but Toni Martin identified him to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch as her 18-year-old son, Antonio Martin.

    A large crowd — which witnesses said included at least 100 people — gathered at a police line that surrounded a gas station in a town that lies just two miles from Ferguson. Rumors circulated widely that an officer had shot Martin at the gas station, and witnesses in a live stream could be heard yelling “why the fuck he still on the ground?”

    Charles ‏@2kOverCondoms

    Their facial expressions tell the whole story smh. It’s just another day at the job to them.

    12:50 AM – 24 Dec 2014

    (twitter)

    [Cell phone pic of a distraught black woman being comforted by another as three white cops with pens and clipboards stand nearby.]

    occutord ‏@occbaystreet

    Here’s a transcription of the #AntonioMartin initial Police dispatch call at 11:36pm CST. Will upload sound ASAP

    12:53 AM – 24 Dec 2014

    (twitter)

    [Transcript image reads: 11:36pm (CST) “Requesting assistance 6800 N. Hanley. 6800 N. Hanley at the Mobil gas station. I just had a shooting and am requesting assistance for crowd control if you could respond J1. 2205, respond as well so you can advise. It’s 11:35.”]

  23. rq says

    New York: #shutdown5thave Morningside & 125th st #shutitdown #nyc

    Zephyr Teachout, Hands Up United and John Oliver Made Our 2014 Progressive Honor Roll. Who Else Made the List?

    Most Valuable House Member
    Barbara Lee

    St. Louis Rams players got plenty of attention when, after a grand jury failed to indict the police officer who shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown, they entered the field with their hands up, highlighting the “Hands up, don’t shoot” message of the protests that erupted nationwide. But they weren’t alone. Members of the Congressional Black Caucus stepped up, with Lee declaring, after a Staten Island grand jury refused to indict the police officer for the chokehold death of Eric Garner, that while the death was a tragedy, the “decision not to indict is an outrage.” That’s typical of Lee, the House’s full-spectrum advocate for peace, civil rights, civil liberties and economic justice. Progressive Democrats of America argues that the way forward for progressives is to develop “inside/outside” strategies that link activists in the streets and members of Congress. It’s a tall order, but Lee meets it by keeping her office door open to advocates—taking up the causes that others neglect and waging the fights that others fear. She has bravely and steadily struggled to force congressional debates on the military interventions of Republican or Democratic presidents. “There is no military solution to the crisis in Iraq and Syria,” she declared in September. “In fact, continued U.S. military action will result in unintended consequences. We must remember the roots of ISIS—President Bush’s ill-begotten war. Congress needs to debate the political, economic, diplomatic and regionally-led solutions that will ultimately be the tools for U.S. and regional security.” […]

    Most Valuable Grassroots Activism
    Millennial Activists United, Hands Up United, Justice League NYC and…

    With the fury over the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson and Eric Garner on Staten Island, a new age of protest emerged, and so too did groups that make old demands in new ways: for police accountability, for an end to mass incarceration, for racial and economic justice. In Missouri, groups like Millennial Activists United and Hands Up United stepped up in Ferguson. After a grand jury’s failure to indict in the Garner case, Justice League NYC (a project with roots in singer Harry Belafonte’s Gathering for Justice initiative) expanded its work on behalf of criminal-justice reform to play a coordinating role in organizing protests. They weren’t the only groups trying new approaches and forging fresh alliances in those communities; and those communities weren’t the only places where activists made connections that have the potential to be transformational. That was evident in Richmond, California, where police chief Chris Magnus held a “#BlackLivesMatter” sign as he joined local young people at a mid-December protest. And it was evident in cities across the country on December 4, as striking fast-food workers integrated cries of “I can’t breathe!” with their call for living wages. Campaigns that began at the local level are adding a sense of urgency to the national discourse. After Millennial Activists United co-founder Ashley Yates met with President Obama, she explained, “We have been on the ground making the changes that we can in our community, but these are high-level changes that we need to see. These are systemic issues, and we need systemic solutions for them.” She’s right.

    This on the Native American man who was shot by police: Native American Man Who Attended Anti-Police Brutality Rally Is Killed By Police Next Day

    Pennington County Sheriff Kevin Thom, who was on sight investigating the shooting, told the Rapid City Journal that Officer Anthony Meirose fired his weapon after Locke allegedly charged him with a knife. Police are saying Locke was shot up to five times by Officer Meirose. Locke was pronounced dead at the scene.

    The day before the shooting, Locke’s family said he had attended the #NativeLivesMatter Anti-Police Brutality Rally and March in Rapid City.

    Says a lot that I haven’t heard of the #NativeLivesMatter movement until now. :(

    One Tweet Captures What People Don’t Get About the NYPD and #BlackLivesMatter

    The death of a police officer is never something to be celebrated in the pursuit of justice, let alone as retribution for a totally unrelated crime. Putting a target on the back of all police officers because of the poor judgement of some members of the force is no better than making unfair and unreasonable assumptions about an entire group people because of the color of their skin. Black lives matter, but so do the lives of police officers.

    Those who are politicizing the deaths of police officers as an ostensible win for #BlackLivesMatter are missing the point of the movement for police reform entirely. The goal of the protests isn’t to eliminate the police force, or to exact bloody vengeance from every police officer who walks the streets. It’s to reform an inherently broken system that’s plagued by institutionalized racism, inequality and the frequent use of unnecessary force by officers who aren’t held accountable by their superiors or the courts, not to arbitrarily mow down hardworking men and women who strive to uphold the law.

    LAPD Investigating Racist Michael Brown Song Performed at Cop Party (VIDEO)

    Los Angeles police Officer Drake Madison told us the party involved an LAPD detective who had retired in 2007. Another source told us the detective was the host of the event, which was the after-party for a charity golf tournament.

    Madison said that Internal Affairs would conduct a “fact-finding” preliminary investigation to determine if any active LAPD officers were involved in misconduct at the party.

    “If so,” he said, “they’ll initiate a formal investigation.”

    He said the department doesn’t believe the event had any formal connection to the LAPD. For example, he said, officials don’t think that any money was raised directly for the force.

    Yes, but still, the PD has been connected to the event. So.

  24. rq says

    Pteryxx
    They left him out there for about 3 hours. And then picked him up in an SUV, not even a medical vehicle (or related). Apparently kept touching the body, too. Makes me question the images of the gun supposedly found on the scene.
    Shee-it.

  25. rq says

  26. rq says

    Yes. Well, ‘keep in our thoughts’, but the thought counts. #Ferguson this is all just too much. Please let’s all pray for this poor mom in Berkeley. I can’t stop crying for her.


    St. Louis Area Police Murder Another Black Teen, Antonio Martin
    0

    Some witnesses say he was unarmed, and that his family was not allowed to see his body when they initially arrived on the scene. There were also reports that say he was still breathing and the police would not call paramedics, and that he was running away when shot.

    Police are trying to block our view of them placing #AntonioMartin’s body in a SVU. People have broken through tape!

    From last night: Can’t wait. RT @deray: And if people are annoyed with the protests now, then they will be absolutely livid when it gets warm again.

  27. Pteryxx says

    rq, you’re not the only one questioning the gun.

    Dr. Cornel Fresh ‏@WyzeChef

    I’m seeing a pic of a gun floating around. Ppl are saying that it wasn’t there when they got here hours ago. #AntonioMartin

    11:50 PM – 23 Dec 2014

    (twitter)

  28. Pteryxx says

    deray mckesson ‏@deray

    Now the @AP and @nytimes are reporting AS FACT that Antonio pulled a gun out on the officer. Did they see the tape? http://mobile.nytimes.com/aponline/2014/12/24/us/ap-us-killings-by-police-berkeley.html

    1:42 AM – 24 Dec 2014

    (twitter)

    Also @BBCBreaking according to replies in that stream.

    ShordeeDooWhop ‏@Nettaaaaaaaa

    This white reporter took a photo of a gun but it’s photos and vines from ppl who been out here since it happened, no gun.

    1:29 AM – 24 Dec 2014

    (twitter)

  29. rq says

    Giliell Link borked. :( On that tweet you posted.

    And yes, I’m going to post up a series of tweets now, possibly reposts, sorry. No time to filter, lots of info still coming in.

  30. rq says

    We’re calling on all police officers to hold off on killing Black people until #AntonioMartin is laid to rest.

    #AntonioMartin was an 18 yr old black kid who was trying to get his life together. Until the police decided to take it from him.

    Berkeley officer fatally shoots teenager. If you google, other headlines say “Police shoot black man with gun”. Awesome.

    St. Louis County police said the incident started about 11:15 p.m. Tuesday as the Berkeley officer “was conducting a routine business check” at the Mobil gas station at 6800 North Hanley Road.

    The officer saw two people outside the station, got out of his vehicle and approached them. One of the suspects pulled out a handgun and fired at the officer.

    “Fearing for his life, the Berkeley Officer fired several shots, striking the subject, fatally wounding him,” the release from the county police said. “The second subject fled the scene.”

    Berkeley police requested that the county department’s Crimes Against Persons Unit handle the investigation of the shooting. Detectives “recovered the deceased subject’s handgun at the scene,” the release from county police said.

    For at least two hours, the body remained on the parking lot just in front of the gas station as police investigated the shooting. Berkeley police cars were on either side. A Berkeley police car was later towed away.

    The station appeared to have security cameras that are trained on the parking lot.

    Toni Martin said her son was with his girlfriend at the time of the shooting. The girlfriend remained at the scene but declined to talk to a reporter.

    If you don’t feel compassion for #AntonioMartin’s Family – Ask yourself Why? Then tell me why you use the HT #AllLivesMatter. That, too.

    On the gun: This white reporter took a photo of a gun but it’s photos and vines from ppl who been out here since it happened, no gun.
    Witnesses reported seeing the cops tamper with evidence at the scene #AntonioMartin

  31. rq says

  32. rq says

  33. rq says

    Go media: Just now CNN FINALLY reporting #AntonioMartin death near #Ferguson after multiple repeats of latest on “the Interview”.

    Why does the peacekeeper have a bloody nose “@PDPJ ” #AntonioMartin;
    Man in red sitting on ground was tased by police & is convulsing badly folks are upset.fist fight btwn cops & people;
    Police are tasing an arrestee who appears to be on the ground and handcuffed behind the police line in the crime scene. #AntonioMartin.

    St. Louis Area Police Murder Another Black Teen, Antonio Martin (article).

    Just heard confirmation from a source that there is video of the incident. Let’s see how long before it’s released. #AntonioMartin.

    Facebook release from the St Louis PD:

    The St. Louis County Police Department is conducting an investigation into a shooting death involving a Berkeley, Missouri police officer.

    At approximately 11:15 PM on December 23, 2014, a police officer with the City of Berkeley was conducting a routine business check at the Mobile Gas Station located at 6800 N. Hanley when he observed two male subjects on the side of the building.

    The Berkeley Police Officer exited his vehicle and approached the subjects when one of the men pulled a handgun and pointed it at the officer. Fearing for his life, the Berkeley Officer fired several shots, striking the subject, fatally wounding him. The second subject fled the scene.

    The Berkeley Police Department requested the St. Louis County Police Department’s Crimes Against Persons Unit to handle the investigation. St. Louis County Police Detectives have recovered the deceased subject’s handgun at the scene.

    At this time, we cannot confirm the identity of the deceased subject. The investigation is on-going and further details will be provided as the investigation proceeds.

    A list of PDs present on site: Velda City, Brentwood, Vanita Park, Ferguson, Webster Groves, STL County, Creve Coeur, St. Charles & Woodson Terrace, Fenton PD all here. Pretty impressive list.

    About half of the crowd has left. Some left for medical treatment. #AntonioMartin.

  34. rq says

    Previous in moderation for too many tweets. :P This and that about police tasing an arrestee, who was convulsing for quite some time after the fact.

    Streamer reports 4 arrests at scene of #AntonioMartin shooting | tense standoff now ( @stackizshort live at http://ustre.am/1i2lw ). Don’t know if the livestream is down yet.

    And this: Moment apparent flash bang went off in middle of police-protester clash Link to youtube: Police are seen making arrests in Berkeley, Missouri early Wednesday morning . That is intense. And scary.

    Pics of the gun: Here are the pics–first two before cars moved and last two with gun. #AntonioMartin The first couple are admittedly from a bad angle.

  35. rq says

  36. rq says

  37. rq says

    Oh, and about that QuikTrip: FYI. @PDPJ just confirmed that peaceful PROTESTORS put out the fire at the QT with their bare hands while police stood by and watched.
    Lots of ppl seem to be more upset about broken windows of gas stations & cop cars than are upset about teenagers lying dead in the street.
    I usually cry on New Year’s (it’s tradition), but maybe I’ll jsut do it today for good measure, too.

    Criminal charges for ‘put wings on pigs’ post likely violate the First Amendment

    CBS Boston reports that Charles DiRosa is being charged for a Facebook comment that says, “Put Wings on Pigs” (see this MassLive.com screenshot). That appears to be an allusion to the post by Ismaaiyl Brinsley, who murdered two New York police officers, saying that he was “putting wings on pigs.”

    But DiRosa’s Facebook comment is likely protected by the First Amendment, unless there are more facts that aren’t being reported. It isn’t punishable incitement of crime — to fit within the incitement exception, speech must be intended to and likely to produce imminent unlawful conduct, as opposed to just being “advocacy of illegal action at some indefinite future time.” See Hess v. Indiana (1973) and Brandenburg v. Ohio (1969). And this post, even if it is intended as advocacy of murder, is indeed advocacy of murder at some indefinite future time (as opposed to in the coming hours).

    Nor is it likely to be a punishable threat. It is far from clear that it is indeed a statement of what the speaker would do (“I will kill police officers”), which would be subject to the threats test, as opposed to a statement of advocacy (“you should kill police officers”), which would be subject to the incitement test. But even it is a statement of intention, such general statements, with no specificity of victim, place, or time, are not punishable threats.

    The police have ample authority to investigate people who say such things, and see whether such speakers are actually planning something beyond speech. But prosecuting a person based on such a statement is, I think, forbidden by the First Amendment.

  38. rq says

    “Anti-Police Brutality” Does Not Mean “Anti-Police”

    In a rush to assign blame and politicize these murders, some very prominent people (a police union chief, an ex-Governor, etc) have blamed Brinsley’s act on Barack Obama, Eric Holder, Bill de Blasio, and the hundreds of thousands who have recently protested how our communities are policed. This is, to put it bluntly, some dumb-ass fucking shit. It is also predictable. American history is filled with examples of “things a Black person has done” being blamed on “things Black people are doing.” Crimes that have nothing to do with hip-hop are blamed on hip-hop. If a Black kid gets teased for enunciating /a/ sounds, Black people are anti-education. And now, criticism of the police is apparently responsible for the act of an obviously disturbed and violent man.

    Ismaaiyla Brinsley was an anomaly. A tragedy whose history and erratic behavior suggest that, if he didn’t receive some form of help, he was going to kill somebody. Those somebodies happened to be police officers. His Instagram rants read less like a sane person with a vendetta against cops than a deranged man who could have very easily carried the same animus against postal workers or flight attendants or the Milwaukee Bucks. Treating him as anything more, as an example of something bigger, suggests that this movement is “anti-police” instead of “anti-police brutality” or “anti-racial profiling” or “anti-institutional racism” or “anti feeling scared of instead of protected by the police.”

    And, as someone who has four family members, three high school classmates, and several friends and acquaintances who are in some capacity of law enforcement, it’s insulting.

    I want my friends and family who happen to be cops to be safe. I want them to be able to go home at night. I want them to raise their families, retire, and collect their well-earned pensions. I pray for them. I thank them when I get the opportunity, and I appreciate them for doing one of the most difficult jobs you can do. What people like George Pataki and Patrick Lynch and the members of the “I Can Breathe” gang have either failed to realize or realize but don’t want to articulate is that “wanting cops to be able to do their jobs” and “wanting cops to be better at their jobs” are not conflicting concepts. You can protest bad policing while also wanting good police to be protected. You can hate what Darren Wilson did while loving your boy for putting his life on the line every day. You can mourn the death of Eric Garner — and denounce who killed him — while mourning the deaths of Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos — and denouncing who killed them. You can cry for Michael Brown’s parents while shedding tears for Rafael Ramos’ son.

    While flipping through the channels last weekend, I heard someone (I forgot who) suggest the protesters want a “war” on police. They had it backwards. The reason why millions are protesting, sitting in, organizing, demonstrating, speaking, writing, reporting, and boycotting is because they believe the police are at war with them, and we want this war to end.

    [emphasis mine]

  39. rq says

  40. rq says

  41. rq says

    I don’t want to hear anything about the gun being reported stolen. We need that video and it shouldn’t take all day. #AntonioMartin;
    It must be true because the police spokesperson said it and the media reported it! Besides, they have no reason to lie & never make mistakes.

    Speaking of which, media update: Police plan media briefing Wednesday morning

    Meanwhile, Schellman said he has seen video from cameras at the gas station where the shooting occurred. He said that footage will be released soon.

    “You can see the gentleman raise a handgun and the officer fire a shot,” Schellman said.

    He said that, based on footage he has seen, the officer was carrying a flashlight when he approached two people at the Mobil gas station and engaged in a conversation. He also said it appears that the officer did not pull his weapon until one of those people pulled a gun.

    Schellman said police are looking for the second person who was with the person the officer fatally shot. Police have not released that person’s identity.

    This is interesting, because witnesses on scene say he was with his girlfriend, who remained at the scene with his mother to ID the body. Are the police that incompetent, or what? See, the story itself later says:

    Toni Martin said her son was with his girlfriend at the time of the shooting. The girlfriend remained at the scene but declined to talk to a reporter.

    Declined to talk to a reporter, but no word on whether a cop even tried to talk to her.
    Also,

    Others at the scene were pressing police to reveal details about what happened. They questioned why a large contingent of officers could be at the scene yet none of those officers would discuss what had taken place.

    I can understand police not being allowed to disclose details of a crime scene. That’s pretty normal, because not every officer knows the correct story, and it’s best to curtail rumours before they even start. But. A large contingent of officers and no ambulance? Yeah, that kind of reaction deserves some explanation, from SOMEone.

  42. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    I can’t see shit in that footage. The last bit looks like one person rising their hand in direction of another. Claim is they are holding a gun. For all I can see (and the footage, interestingly, ends at that moment), they could be gesticulating.

  43. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Also, what we can see clearly from shitty grainy footage is that the two men approached the police car when it drove in front of the station. That somehow doesn’t strike me as behavior of someone who just robbed a gas station.

  44. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/miles-ferguson-another-black-teen-killed-police

    Mayor Theodore Hoskins spoke Wednesday morning to emphasize that this was not another Ferguson.

    “We’re different than the city of Ferguson,” he said in a press conference, noting that the mayor, city manager, and police chief are all black. ”At this point, it appears – let me say this strongly – it appears that the person, this deceased, was pointing a gun which was found at the scene.”

    “Everybody don’t die the same,” he continued. “Some people die because the police initiated it, some people die because they initiated it. At this point our review indicates that the police did not initiate this like Ferguson.”

    Emphasis mine. Could be just an unfortunate turn of phrase, but there is just something so cold about that sentence.

    There is something seriously wrong with the police force that “needs to” shoot so many (black) people.

  45. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Now it was an ambush:

    Milliken said it’s possible that his client was being set up for an ambush. Store employees called 911 after the suspects stole from the store, Milliken said.

    “Their behavior is certainly bizarre, and it wouldn’t surprise me at all, in the environment we are in, that’s for sure,” Milliken said.

    also

    Milliken would not comment on why his client was not wearing his body camera at the time of the shooting, “There could be some internal issues,” he said.

    source

  46. Pteryxx says

    -_- from STL Today linked by Beatrice @59: (link with pulled-a-gun title)

    While expressing condolences to the family of the man who was killed, [Police Chief Jon] Belmar noted “bad choices were made.”

    “This individual could have complied with the officer. He could have ran away, he could have dropped the gun, all sort of things could have happened. It didn’t have to end with him approaching the officer with an arm extended and a 9 mm pistol in his hand,” Belmar said.

    [The officer’s attorney, Brian] Milliken said his client recounted the details to him several hours after the shooting.

    “The other guy was doing the talking, and as the cop starts talking, the suspect starts walking away again,” Millikan said. “At that point, the cop says, ‘Hey, come back here,’ and he turns around, pulls a gun from his left pant pocket.”

    “He’s trying to process all of this, and the suspect raises it, points it at him. The cop pulls his weapon and starts backpedaling and fired three or four shots. It happened that quickly. He doesn’t understand why the suspect’s gun didn’t fire. I’m not sure if he tried to pull the trigger and it jammed.”

    Not that the dead teen’s family gets to have an attorney on call to speak to the press, though black people in this country sure need one.

    Belmar said the officer was given a body camera at the start of his shift but for whatever reason, hadn’t put it on. The officer, in a debriefing with police, indicated he was doing something else when the body camera was handed to him at roll call.

    “He said he clipped it somewhere in the car, didn’t put it on, and next thing you know you’re here,” Belmar said, adding it can happen, particularly with new equipment if you aren’t used to it.

    Millikan would not comment on why his client was not wearing his body camera at the time of the shooting, “There could be some internal issues,” he said.

    Hoskins said the cameras are new to the officers, but once they are better trained on them, there will be penalties for not putting them on.

    Belmar said he did not believe the car’s dash-camera was activated.

    Hoskins, Millikan and the chief all said they were glad the incident was captured by surveillance cameras. St. Louis County police released one of those videos Wednesday morning.

    “Having video really helps in this situation because it puts to rest all of the false narratives that would be out there,” Millikan said.

    This after saying the officer just happened to have no cameras on, because he’s only human and these things happen with new equipment (what a shame) and speculating on why the dead teen’s supposed gun didn’t fire. But a single camera’s worth of grainy video, that cuts out before shots were fired, is so valuable for putting to rest all those false narratives.

    Millkan said his client was calm, but shaken.

    “On the one hand, you know you have followed proper procedures and policies, and, on the other hand, these guys are human beings, and on the day before Christmas, he had to take somebody’s life,” Millikan said. “He’s no different than anyone else involved in the situation. It’s a traumatic experience and something he’ll be doing a lot of reflecting on for the rest of his life.

    “He did certainly express remorse that the situation happened at all.”

    Well, he’s different from anyone else involved in one major way. He’s alive. While Antonio’s mother at least had her son’s life taken on the day before Christmas. ‘After expressing condolences to the family’ indeed.

    Millkan also represents St. Louis police officer Jason Flanery, who killed VonDeritt Myers, 18, in the city’s Shaw neighborhood in October.

    No comment.

    Martin was pronounced dead at the scene by EMS units. Berkeley police called the county’s crimes against persons unit at 11:45 p.m., and they arrived at the scene at 12:15 a.m., Belmar said.

    The body, which was covered and concealed from the crowd by a partition, was removed from the scene at 1:40 a.m., Belmar said. Officials said the man was first treated by EMS about 25 minutes after the shooting. Belmar said it is pretty standard to have a body at a scene for two hours while police investigate.

    Belmar said the 9 mm gun found on the suspect had five rounds in the magazine and one round in the chamber. He said the gun’s serial number had been filed off, which could suggest the gun was stolen.

    Which could suggest the gun had been stolen at some point in its history, among other things. It just means now the gun’s untraceable, whoever had it.

    Belmar said he notified St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch of the shooting, and McCulloch assigned a prosecutor to the case.

    No comment.

    The chief called the shooting a tragedy for both the family of the man killed and for the police officer.

    “These are nothing but tragedies,” Belmar said. “This is a family right now that, regardless of the decisions that this individual made, are without a family member this Christmas season. This is also a tragedy for the police officer. He will carry the weight of this for the rest of his life, certainly for the rest of his career.”

    “This really underscores the task that our police officers across the nation have to deal with day in and day out as they answer these calls in our community,” he added.

    More background follows, about Martin’s record, the police officer’s record, arrests and protesters being dangerous (natch). At the very end is the family’s reaction. This is the same article that, in the top quarter or so, quoted Millikan’s theory that the officer was being set up for an ambush.

    “This doesn’t make any sense for them to kill my son like this,” Toni Martin-Green said early Wednesday from her home near the University of Missouri-St. Louis campus. “I am trying to be calm.”

    Martin was the oldest of four children born to her and Jerome Green.

    “He’s like any other kid who had dreams or hopes,” said Green. “We loved being around him. He’d push a smile out of you.”

    Green described his son as a “follower” who took medication for being hyperactive.

    “It was hard for him to focus,” Green said.

    “He was not a violent person, to our knowledge,” he added. “Around us there weren’t any pistols. It’s hard to believe that.”

    His grandmother, Margret Chandler, was also in disbelief.

    “When he was around me, he knew to do right,” she said. “Why would he pull out a gun against the police? That’s the thing I don’t get. It just doesn’t add up.”

    Gov. Jay Nixon issued a statement: “The events in Berkeley are a reminder that law enforcement officers have a difficult, and often dangerous, job in protecting themselves and law-abiding citizens.”

    Article ends.

  47. says

    rq

    Makes me question the images of the gun supposedly found on the scene.

    There is a widespread concept in policing called the ‘throw down gun’ or ‘drop gun’, which is an unregistered gun carried by an officer for the purpose of dropping next to the body of someone he’s shot, to justify the killing.

  48. Pteryxx says

    The parallel STL Today article, Parents of Antonio Martin say his fatal shooting ‘doesn’t make any sense’, is only about one screen long and has little more information than the previous.

    Martin mainly grew up in the Hyde Park area of North St. Louis before moving with family to unincorporated St. Louis County a few years ago. Martin attended high school in Jennings before dropping out and had also been enrolled in the federal Job Corps program for a spell. He last worked at White Castle and wanted to go back to Job Corps, his father said.

    Police say the man shot had a criminal record, with charges including three assaults, armed robbery, armed criminal action and multiple uses of weapons since he was 17.

    Martin’s parents acknowledged that their son has been arrested before and had “stumbled in the past.”

    “In the last year, he was really trying to find who he was. He was ready to take the world on,” the father said. “He knew he had parents who loved him. He had that support.”

    “He was not a violent person, to our knowledge,” he added. “Around us there weren’t any pistols. It’s hard to believe that.”

    His grandmother, Margret Chandler, was also in disbelief.

    “When he was around me, he knew to do right,” she said. “Why would he pull out a gun against the police? That’s the thing I don’t get. It just doesn’t add up.”

  49. Pteryxx says

    As long as the officers’ attorney Millikan is talking about false narratives and speculating that the dead kid may have planned to ambush this officer, I’ll just throw out there that it’s roughly as plausible that an officer might have wanted to get payback for the two cops shot in New York. No, I don’t think that’s what happened or even that it’s likely. But we’re supposed to all be considering both sides, aren’t we. *spits*

  50. Pteryxx says

    By the way, the most direct sources I could find for a couple of the images linked above via Twitter. The map of St Louis showing how Michael Brown, Kajieme Powell, Vonderrit Myers, and now Antonio Martin died within a few miles of each other, from St Louis Public Radio: (twitter)

    and the picture of the memorial sign reading “They can’t kill us all”, from reporter John Henry of KSDK News: (twitter)

  51. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    What’s with releasing footage piece by piece? Do they want to incite violence?!
    … oh. Silly question.

  52. Pteryxx says

    Few more tweets from the dark of this morning:

    Shaun King ‏@ShaunKing

    FYI. @PDPJ just confirmed that peaceful PROTESTORS put out the fire at the QT with their bare hands while police stood by and watched.

    1:36 AM – 24 Dec 2014

    (twitter)

    David Carson ‏@PDPJ

    @KatCapps @search4swag Yes I saw people putting out the fire that appeared not to be police, I think @BradleyRayford had video too

    1:21 AM – 24 Dec 2014

    (twitter)

    occutord ‏@occbaystreet

    #AntonioMartin TL: 1) Police report shooting to dispatch 11:35pm 2) Police move body 1:25am 3) Black gun photo 1:26 (2, 3 per @valeriehahn

    2:23 AM – 24 Dec 2014

    (twitter)

    Shaun King ‏@ShaunKing

    When good folk say “cameras are useless” it’s understood, but misplaced. Imagine if Eric Garner had not been filmed. We’d NEVER know him.

    1:51 AM – 24 Dec 2014

    (twitter)

    Shaun King ‏@ShaunKing

    An enormous part of the problem in the current climate is that the people feel like we must crowdsource credible crime scene information.

    2:26 AM – 24 Dec 2014

    (twitter)

    Indeed. These killings by police *shouldn’t* be dropping off the radar with no investigations, oversight, or follow-up, and ordinary people *shouldn’t* have to risk themselves to get cameras on police and get information to the public however they can before official police spin poisons the well.

  53. Pteryxx says

    Shaun King is going *off* on that theme. Starting here: (twitter)

    Shaun King ‏@ShaunKing

    They thought Amadou Diallo’s wallet was a gun. And the courts agreed with them. QUESTION EVERYTHING.

    8:38 AM – 24 Dec 2014

    In spite of video showing us & a report proving to us that Eric Garner was choked to death, they said he wasn’t. QUESTION EVERYTHING.

    8:42 AM – 24 Dec 2014

    A 911 caller said John Crawford was pointing a gun at people. Loading it. LIES that got him killed. QUESTION EVERYTHING.

    8:46 AM – 24 Dec 2014

    Police said Tamir took a gun out of his waistband & pointed it at them. Video shows he did no such thing. QUESTION EVERYTHING.

    8:48 AM – 24 Dec 2014

    Google It. Police said Kendric McDade shot at them 3 times. Said they saw the flash from his gun & heard shots. NO GUN! QUESTION EVERYTHING

    8:55 AM – 24 Dec 2014

    When the lead witness that @FOXNEWS has quoted over 200 times in Darren Wilson’s defense turns out to be white supremacist. QUESTION IT ALL

    9:00 AM – 24 Dec 2014

    And on pasts, starting here: (twitter)

    Shaun King ‏@ShaunKing

    If pasts are relevant, let’s talk about how Daniel Pantaleo, the officer who killed Eric Garner, was sued 3 times for police misconduct.

    9:44 AM – 24 Dec 2014

    If pasts are relevant, let’s talk about how Timothy Loehman, who killed Tamir Rice, was deemed UNFIT FOR DUTY.

    9:47 AM – 24 Dec 2014

    If pasts are fair game, let’s talk about how Bob McCulloch called 2 unarmed men shot 21x by police, “bums”.

    9:52 AM – 24 Dec 2014

    If pasts are fair game, it can’t just be for the people who police shoot, but for the police & the prosecutors who protect them as well.

    9:54 AM – 24 Dec 2014

    Pasts? Let’s talk about how Sean Williams, who shot John Crawford, is the officer in the only other Beaver Creek police killing ever.

    10:00 AM – 24 Dec 2014

  54. Pteryxx says

    They made us wait hours to see a video from the furthest camera they could find on that parking lot. I’m not suprised.

    8:58 AM – 24 Dec 2014

    (twitter)

    Berkeley PD can’t figure out how to work a camera? They need extensive training to do so? They really believe we’re morons. #AntonioMartin

    9:19 AM – 24 Dec 2014

    (twitter)

    Not to mention that there were cops there last night using body cams to film us. #AntonioMartin

    9:22 AM – 24 Dec 2014

    (twitter)

  55. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Good God, people are saying Antonio Martin made a threatening gesture, simply by viewing an altered grainy far away in the dark video tape!
    Seriously, i want everyone right now to stop wtf you’re doing, and pretend you’re in front of a cop.. he just asked you where you’re headed, now raise your arm is if to point, and begin to say “right over there”, or “Across the street” or Anything that could cause you to raise your arm while answering a question, perhaps the cop said “where you headed” and he raised his arm to motion he was going with his girlfriend who is seen walking behind him… NOW, stop your arm exactly before it gets all the way up. Freeze it JUST like they to the video…
    According to bootlicking assholes, you just made a threatening gesture to a cop an deserved to be gunned down.
    I am not saying thats what happened, im not saying i know what happened, what i am saying is there is no way anyone can possibly see a gun in his hand from that video (idk if there is or not) and that my scenerio very well coulda been exactly what unfolded.

    source

  56. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    re: third angle video

    “Mr. Martin has been left out of frame out of respect for his grieving family”

    mhm.

  57. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    The three videos released do far:

    First angle: 1
    Second angle: 2
    Third angle: 3

  58. Pteryxx says

    Wesley LoweryVerified account ‏@WesleyLowery

    “This kid had a gun and…it’s an illegal gun.” @MariaChappelleN tells me. “The police officer was justified.”

    8:09 AM – 24 Dec 2014

    (twitter)

    Wesley LoweryVerified account ‏@WesleyLowery

    Updated: What we know about the Berkeley, Mo shooting — which local officials insist is not another Ferguson [WaPo link in original]

    8:43 AM – 24 Dec 2014

    (twitter)

    From the article:

    Tuesday night’s shooting in Berkeley — which sits due west of Ferguson, Mo., about five miles from where Brown was killed — left dead a man identified by authorities as Antonio Martin, 18, of St. Louis. Hundreds of people soon gathered at the scene, a gas station parking lot, and four were arrested and charged with assaulting police officers.

    But while many St. Louis area community leaders rushed to Berkeley demanding answers, several local black elected officials rejected comparisons with the death of Brown and other recent police killings of unarmed black people, such as Eric Garner, who died after being put in a chokehold by a New York police officer.

    Berkeley Mayor Theodore Hoskins (D) defended the officer involved in Tuesday’s shooting and said it was likely justified, citing surveillance video that appeared to show Martin pointing a gun at the officer. Police said the officer, who has not been named, fired back in fear for his life.

    “You couldn’t even compare this with Ferguson or the Garner case in New York,” Hoskins said at a news conference. “The video shows the deceased pointed a gun that has been recovered.” The mayor stressed that unlike Ferguson, Berkeley has elected civic leaders and hired a police force largely reflective of the city’s majority black population.

    State Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal (D), whose districts includes Ferguson and Berkeley, criticized protest leaders for what she called a “rush to judgement.’’

    “Different narrative, completely different narrative,” Chappelle-Nadal said. “This kid had a gun and obviously it is an illegal gun. . . . The police officer was justified.”

    The WaPo article also states that the officer’s attorney Milliken is a former St. Louis police officer himself.

    At a news conference Wednesday, Belmar played surveillance video from the gas station, which appeared to depict a verbal confrontation between an officer and several people. The blurry video, shot from a distance, contains no audio and ends when it appears that one of the men raises his arm at the officer.

    Belmar stressed that the shooting was a tragedy.

    “There are no winners here. There are nothing but losers,’’ Belmar said.

  59. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    “This kid had a gun and obviously it is an illegal gun. . . . The police officer was justified.”

    Police officer was justified because it was* “obviously” an illegal gun? Police officer is psychic, but he doesn’t know how to turn on a fucking body camera.

    * for certain values of was…. like “was probably planted afterwards”

  60. Pteryxx says

    Unrelated to Antonio’s death, via Twitter and the account of a protester arrested last week: Houston PD Orders All Officers Turn Off Body Cameras During Protest (at a site called Everlasting GOP Stoppers)

    “We’re going to go ahead and turn off the personal video devices going forward, so be sure all officers have them turned off when engaging the protesters.” The words cut through me and chilled my spine as I sat, helplessly handcuffed in the back of a Houston Police cruiser after being arrested in the midst of a protest.

    As an activist who has been around the block a few times, I knew that little would endanger a crowd more than a crowd of officers who had just received an order from higher up to disable their own personal accountability.

    Barely into the pilot program, the Houston Police Department’s commanding officers managed to brazenly display how easily the personal video devices can be misused. As per an earlier interview, “Capt. Mike Skillern, who heads HPD’s gang unit and is involved in testing the cameras, said his fellow officers act “a little more professionally” when wearing the devices.” But how do they act when they switch the devices off? If officers had their way, no one would know.

  61. Pteryxx says

    Marchers are holding a vigil for Antonio Martin tonight. Highway 170 is shut down. Pics and updates from @Nettaaaaaaaa ‘s stream. (8 a’s)

    ShordeeDooWhop ‏@Nettaaaaaaaa

    Highway takeover 170 #Ferguson

    5:43 PM – 24 Dec 2014

    (twitter)

    ShordeeDooWhop ‏@Nettaaaaaaaa

    Highway 170 Southbound is shut down #AntonioMartin #MikeBrown #Ferguson #Berkeley https://vine.co/v/OHKpFjWuEuT

    5:49 PM – 24 Dec 2014

    (twitter)

    ShordeeDooWhop ‏@Nettaaaaaaaa

    #AntonioMartin’s mom has her candle lit #Berkeley #Ferguson http://ift.tt/1xiJSx1

    5:10 PM – 24 Dec 2014

    (twitter)

  62. Pteryxx says

    Pics of Antonio Martin via @Search4swag

    Search4Swag ‏@search4swag

    First photos of #Antonio Martin

    3:32 PM – 24 Dec 2014

    (twitter)

    This is #AntonioMartin at 16 with his little brother Jerome 12

    3:30 PM – 24 Dec 2014

    (twitter)

    #AntonioMartin mother Toni Martin holding #AntonioMartin baby sister 1yr old Jamiah.

    3:12 PM – 24 Dec 2014

    (twitter)

  63. atheistorganist says

    Just delurking after about a decade of reading this blog to thank rq in particular and everyone else who has posted on this thread.

    I live in St. Louis County and am DREADING our lovely family Christmas gathering tomorrow. Thank you all so much for being here!

  64. says

    And here’s another police shooting: A First Nations man named Allen Locke attended an anti-police brutality rally. He was killed the next day.

    Rapid City Police identified the victim as Allen Locke, 30, of Rapid City. At about 6 p.m. Saturday, police were dispatched to a subdivision known as Lakota Community Homes to remove a person from a residence there, the Rapid City Journal reported.

    Pennington County Sheriff Kevin Thom, who was on site investigating the shooting, told the Rapid City Journal that Officer Anthony Meirose fired his weapon after Locke allegedly charged him with a knife. Police are saying Locke was shot up to five times by Officer Meirose. Locke was pronounced dead at the scene.

    The day before the shooting, Locke’s family said he had attended the #NativeLivesMatter Anti-Police Brutality Rally and March in Rapid City.

    On Monday, Locke’s family released a statement calling on the community for peace.

    “We genuinely appreciate the prayer vigils and ceremony circles that are being organized in Allen’s memory; this is a crucial time for our family as Allen is making his spirit journey,” the statement reads, as posted on Last Real Indians. “We feel the community’s hurt; we know you are angry, we know you are sad and we know everyone is on edge as a result of Allen’s violent death coming off the [sic] heals of his participation in the #NativeLivesMatter Anti-Police Brutality Rally and March a day before this horrific incident. There are many details that we will share in time but we are trying very hard to hold it together and to be strong and peaceful in order to send our loved one off and to give our children an appropriate holiday’s memory.”

    The family is asking for privacy during their time of mourning.

    On Monday, the victim’s family was scheduled to meet Rapid City Mayor Sam Kooiker and Police Chief Karl Jegeris at 10 a.m. MST. People were scheduled to gather outside the mayor’s office for a prayer gathering.

  65. says

    Activists say blaming them for police killings is a dangerous distraction

    Activists aligned with protests against police brutality and discrimination said Tuesday that comments linking their peaceful grassroots movement to the recent murder of two New York Police Department (NYPD) officers form a dangerous distraction from the issue the activists have worked so hard to elevate to a national conversation.

    A mentally ill black man fatally shot two NYPD officers at close range in the city’s Brooklyn borough on Saturday, hours after shooting and wounding his ex-girlfriend in Baltimore. The shooter had posted Tweets saying he was taking revenge for the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown — unarmed black men killed by white police officers earlier this year.

    After the Saturday killings, Patrick Lynch, the president of New York City’s largest police union, said police reform protesters and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio have “blood on their hands” — and some organizations aligned with the protest movement say they now feel pressure to disavow the murders, even though their actions have been largely peaceful.

    “I think it (Lynch’s comment) reveals the danger of distraction, in part because the issue of police brutality against black people and people of color is being heavily opposed even as cities, states and even the White House are responding to these calls for police reform,” said Akiba Solomon, editorial director of Colorlines, a daily news website focused on racial justice.

    “That was the story up until Saturday; now it’s about the effect these two police officers could have on the movement,” Solomon said, adding that some activists resented being linked to the actions of a “crazy person” who had nothing to do with their protests.

    Expecting the movement against police violence to deny responsibility for the actions of a lone gunman resembles a tactic used earlier against the protests over Brown’s Aug. 9 death in Ferguson, Missouri. There, critics tried to “lump in the violence and looting with legitimate protesters, who have disavowed that behavior,” Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, a six-time NBA champion, wrote in an opinion piece for Time magazine.

    Abdul-Jabbar called such efforts to link the crime with the protests against police brutality “deliberately misleading in a cynical and selfish effort to turn public sentiment against the protesters.”

    “They hope to misdirect public attention and emotion in order to stop the protests and the progressive changes that have already resulted,” he added.

    The anti-protester backlash stemming from the murders of Police Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu is aimed at discrediting the movement as a whole, said Alicia Garza, a founder of Black Lives Matter — an organization working for justice system reform — and special projects director for the National Domestic Workers Alliance.

    She said the situation bears similarities to what happened during the civil rights movement of the 1960s, when violence by a few was conflated to be representative of the entire group working for racial equality.

    “There was a real attempt to discredit a very righteous struggle for equality, justice and democracy,” Garza said. “We’re seeing a little of that now.”

    Yep. We’ve been seeing attempts to discredit the protesters since the protests began in the wake of Michael Brown’s death.

    ****
    Over at my blog, I wrote about those attempts and the attempts to change the narrative of the movement.

  66. rq says

  67. rq says

    Also, re: medical attention.
    From all the pictures and comments from people on the scene. there was no ambulance called. There was no EMS called immediately after the shooting, when witnesses said he may still have been alive. A body – yes, a body may be at the scene for a long time. But before a body is a body it is a living human being and it is that human being that did not get the emergency care it needed. It is this lack of thought and consideration for basic human decency that still shocks me. So callous.

  68. says

    Another post from my blog: Black women’s lives matter.

    I wrote that post after reading this article at Bustle:

    Protestors in New York flooded the streets last week, toting signs that blazed with images and phrases about cruel injustice. Just a week after similar events in Ferguson, a grand jury ruled that Daniel Pantaleo — the NYPD officer who put Eric Garner, a 44-year-old, black, Staten Island man, in a chokehold that led to Garner’s death — should not be brought to trial for his actions. A failure to indict the police officer responsible for Garner’s unjustifiable, illegal, and unnecessary death signifies why there’s been a breach of trust between communities of color and those tasked with enforcing the laws. In black American communities, we are holding our breath, waiting for whoever’s next. There is no guarantee that the next victim will be a black male, but there appears to be a guarantee that the victim will be marginalized or forgotten by the mainstream media if she is a girl or woman of color.

    The Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, a non-profit organization whose mission is to defend the human rights of black people, found that every 40 hours, a black man, woman, or child is killed by police, security guards, or self-appointed law enforcers. In fact, since the killing of Mike Brown, more than 14 black teens have been killed by the police, including 12-year-old Tamir Rice, a boy in Cleveland, Ohio who was murdered less than two seconds after police arrived at a playground to answer a 911 call related to a black child carrying a pellet gun. We know another Eric Garner is coming, and it is impossible to prepare for the onslaught of grief that will accompany the next traumatic injustice.

    But one of the largest injustices is how little we collectively discuss the many women of color who are also killed by police.

  69. Pteryxx says

    Chris King, managing editor of the St. Louis American:

    Chris King ‏@chriskingstl

    2nd time today a producer told me “unless there is fresh violence we’re not coming back to the Berkeley story.” Stereotype come to life.

    3:54 PM – 24 Dec 2014

    (twitter)

    Our mainstream media, everyone.

  70. Pteryxx says

    deray mckesson ‏@deray

    There are at least 60 riot gear police here. At a vigil. Peaceful protesting. #AntonioMartin

    10:10 PM – 24 Dec 2014

    (twitter)

    deray mckesson ‏@deray

    My mind is BLOWN that there are this many riot police here. BLOWN. #AntonioMartin

    10:13 PM – 24 Dec 2014

    (twitter)

    Several photos of riot police, in lines and packs, at that link.

    deray mckesson ‏@deray

    Y’all, the police just followed @Nettaaaaaaaa and I home. You just can’t make this up. #Ferguson

    12:21 AM – 25 Dec 2014

    (twitter)

    Nettaaaaaaaa has been tweeting Vines of people at the vigil singing.

    ShordeeDooWhop ‏@Nettaaaaaaaa

    More Christmas carols for the police #ferguson https://vine.co/v/OHq0vhFivZx

    10:45 PM – 24 Dec 2014

    (twitter)

  71. Pteryxx says

    Photos from Chris King of the St. Louis American.

    Chris King ‏@chriskingstl

    Tiny lights in the darkness at the new Antonio Martin memorial, Xmas eve (@LBPhoto1)

    11:03 PM – 24 Dec 2014

    (twitter)

    [Picture of three toddler-aged children with their parents kneeling alongside, small tealights in their hands, beside the “They can’t kill us all” memorial stacked with teddy bears.]

    Chris King ‏@chriskingstl

    Marching shadows in the night, Berkeley MO, Xmas eve (@LBPhoto1)

    11:05 PM – 24 Dec 2014

    (twitter)

    [A row of protesters marching down the closed Highway 170, throwing long shadows from the headlights of cars behind them.]

    Chris King ‏@chriskingstl

    Passing on the light at the memorial, Berkeley MO, Xmas eve (@LBPhoto1)

    11:08 PM – 24 Dec 2014

    (twitter)

    [Protesters’ solemn faces lit by candlelight as one candle is kindled from the next.]

    Chris King ‏@chriskingstl

    Protestor gets pepper spray for Xmas eve (@LBPhoto1)

    11:10 PM – 24 Dec 2014

    (twitter)

    [A cop in riot gear with his arm extended, aiming a pepper spray canister at a protester whose hands are raised a few feet away.]

    Chris King ‏@chriskingstl

    Police looking like paterollers in the neighborhood, Xmas eve (@LBPhoto1)

    11:12 PM – 24 Dec 2014

    (twitter)

    [A squad of a dozen riot police, with shields and billy clubs in hand, walking along the sidewalk in front of the yard of a house with an American flag in front.]

    Chris King ‏@chriskingstl

    POLICE: they can’t kill us all, Berkeley, MO, Xmas eve (@LBPhoto1)

    11:13 PM – 24 Dec 2014

    (twitter)

    [Behind the legs and shields of a line of riot police, the memorial for Antonio Martin sits unattended, a heap of dozens of small stuffed animals and a few balloons around the handwritten sign “They can’t kill us all”.]

  72. rq says

  73. Pteryxx says

    Two from HuffPo today:

    Keanna Brown, Antonio Martin’s Girlfriend, Grieves: ‘He Didn’t Deserve To Die’

    Brown said she arrived to the scene after Martin had been shot. St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said Martin pointed a gun at the officer, a six-year veteran of the Berkeley Police Department who was responding to reports of a theft at the gas station when he confronted Martin and another person.

    The officer soon fired three shots, one of which struck Martin. The other person reportedly fled the scene.

    It took close to 30 minutes for ambulances to arrive, according to Brown, who also said responders hung up on her own phone call to request emergency medical help.

    Brown said she was prohibited by police officers from comforting or providing help to Martin as they awaited the arrival of the medical response team. When she told one nearby police officer that she was Martin’s girlfriend, Brown said, the officer told her she didn’t care.

    “You can’t tell me you don’t care about my baby being dead over there and you still got his body down,” Brown said.

    Martin stayed at Brown’s home often, and she said she was with him earlier in the day before he was killed. She said the two were at home when Martin decided to walk to the gas station but, after some time had passed without his return, she grew worried. She walked down to the Mobil, where she found him bleeding on the concrete.

    “I should’ve been there to protect him, that’s all I wanted,” Brown said. “That was my baby.”

    Protesters Mourn Antonio Martin, Shut Down Missouri Highway On Christmas Eve

    Minutes before Christmas Day officially started, a few dozen activists stood outside the Cathedral Basilica in St. Louis, Missouri, with lit candles and posters in memory of Antonio Martin, a black 18-year-old who was fatally shot by a police officer Tuesday night in the St. Louis suburb of Berkeley.

    “The intent is to gather people in honor of him and other people who have been slain by police,” Lydia Marie, 23, an intern for Amnesty International who coordinated the demonstration, told The Huffington Post. “This is another Christmas Eve a family is spending without their child who was lost to police violence.”

    “As a black man, I’m trying to consistently deal with this, waking up and seeing slayings on the news,” said Michael Anthony, 29, a cinematographer from St. Louis. “Hopefully things like [this event] will spearhead overall connectivity, and by next summer we’ll be one unified movement.”

    […]

    In addition to events in St. Louis and New York, protests over police brutality have taken place in other major cities over the past several weeks, including Washington, D.C., and Berkeley, California, which experienced several days of violence earlier this month.

    On Tuesday, a grand jury in Texas declined to indict a Houston police officer in the shooting death of 26-year-old Jordan Baker, who was black and unarmed.

    Along with Martin, two other black men have been killed by St. Louis-area cops since Brown’s death in August, including one unarmed teenager who was allegedly shot eight times by an officer moonlighting as a security guard.

    “This is something that has been happening in the city for a really long time, and it doesn’t feel like it’s out of nowhere,” Andie Glik, 22, a student who grew up in St. Louis, told HuffPost outside the church Wednesday night. “When you bring light to something, people notice, but this has been happening forever.”

  74. rq says

    So now that Mike Browns death has forced police to wear body cams, now we must fight to get them to actually turn them on? #AntonioMartin

    Interesting. @seanjjordan @deray the response ‘you cannot compare this to Ferguson/Garner’ comes across as ‘we can justify this, we cannot justify those’

    The Terrain of Police Violence. STL. Map at the link. They’re all so young. Younger than me. :(

    The best video I’ve seen put together for #AntonioMartin is in this article: [link redacted but to follow] And I STILL think he’s holding a phone. Link redacted: Another police-involved shooting death of black teen sparks tensions in St. Louis

    But while many St. Louis-area community leaders rushed to Berkeley demanding answers, several local black elected officials rejected comparisons with the death of Brown and other recent police killings of unarmed black people, such as Eric Garner, who died after being put in a chokehold by a New York police officer.

    Berkeley Mayor Theodore Hoskins (D) defended the officer involved in Tuesday’s shooting and said it was probably justified, citing surveillance video that appeared to show Martin pointing a gun at the officer. Police said the officer, who has not been named, fired back in fear for his life.

    “You couldn’t even compare this with Ferguson or the Garner case in New York,” Hoskins said at a news conference. “The video shows the deceased pointed a gun that has been recovered.” The mayor stressed that unlike Ferguson, Berkeley has elected civic leaders and hired a police force largely reflective of the city’s majority black population. […]

    Fearing for his life, the officer then drew his weapon and stepped backward, firing three shots — one of which struck the suspect, police said. […- emphasis mine, previous reports had this at five]

    The victim’s mother, Toni Martin, told reporters at the scene that her son had not been carrying a gun and was walking to visit his girlfriend at the time of the shooting. “This doesn’t make any sense for them to kill my son like this,” she later told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. [… – this is for clarification, as earlier I posted from what I understood that he was WITH his gf at the time, but apparently not, after all, as she arrived shortly after the shooting, as in Pteryxx’ link above]

    Milliken, a former St. Louis police officer himself, said the officer involved in the shooting had encountered two men at a gas station. “The other guy was doing the talking, and as the cop starts talking, the suspect starts walking away again,” Milliken said. “At that point, the cop says, ‘Hey, come back here,’ and he turns around, pulls a gun from his left pant pocket.”

    “He’s trying to process all of this, and the suspect raises it, points it at him,’’ Milliken said. “The cop pulls his weapon and starts backpedaling and fired three or four shots. It happened that quickly. He doesn’t understand why the suspect’s gun didn’t fire.”

    Milliken did not return telephone calls from The Washington Post on Wednesday. […]

    At a news conference Wednesday, Belmar played surveillance video from the gas station, which appeared to depict a verbal confrontation between an officer and several people. The blurry video, shot from a distance, contains no audio and ends when it appears that one of the men raises his arm at the officer.

    Belmar stressed that the shooting was a tragedy.

    “There are no winners here. There are nothing but losers,’’ Belmar said.

    Well, he said one thing right.

  75. rq says

  76. rq says

  77. rq says

    Ferguson Responsibility with some stats, of the white vs. black kind. Some very disparate numbers there.

    And from the International Journal of Critical Pedagogy, White Fragility. It’s a document at thel ink, hadn’t had a chance to read it all yet, but..

    White people in North America live in a social environment that protects and insulates them from race-based stress. This insulated environment of racial protection builds white expectations for racial comfort while at the same time lowering the ability to tolerate racial stress, leading to what I refer to as White Fragility. White Fragility is a state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive moves. These moves include the outward display of emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and behaviors such as argumentation, silence, and leaving the stress-inducing situation. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium. This paper explicates the dynamics of White Fragility.
    I am a white woman. I am standing beside a black woman. We are facing a group of white people who are seated in front of us. We are in their workplace, and have been hired by their employer to lead them in a dialogue about race. The room is filled with tension and charged with hostility. I have just presented a definition of racism that includes the acknowledgment that whites hold social and institutional power over people of color. A white man is pounding his fist on the table. His face is red and he is furious. As he pounds he yells, “White people have been discriminated against for 25 years! A white person can’t get a job anymore!” I look around the room and see 40 employed people, all white. There are no people of color in this workplace. Something is happening here, and it isn’t based in the racial reality of the workplace. I am feeling unnerved by this man’s disconnection with that reality, and his lack of sensitivity to the impact this is having on my co-facilitator, the only person of color in the room. Why is this white man so angry? Why is he being so careless about the impact of his anger? Why are all the other white people either sitting in silent agreement with him or tuning out? We have, after all, only articulated a definition of racism.

    White people in North America live in a social environment that protects and insulates them from race-based stress. Fine (1997) identifies this insulation when she observes “… how Whiteness accrues privilege and status; gets itself surrounded by protective pillows of resources and/or benefits of the doubt; how Whiteness repels gossip and voyeurism and instead demands dignity” (p. 57). Whites are rarely without these “protective pillows,” and when they are, it is usually temporary and by choice. This insulated environment of racial privilege builds white expectations for racial comfort while at the same time lowering the ability to tolerate racial stress.

    Those are the first three paragraphs. Going to read the rest tomorrow.

  78. rq says

    The fact that you know about the protests means that they “are working.” This conversation about racism is now front and center. Protests.

    Officers quicker to shoot black targets in simulations, even when unarmed. #AntonioMartin Link: The Science of Why Cops Shoot Young Black Men

    Taking the IAT, one of the most popular tools among researchers trying to understand racism and prejudice, is both extremely simple and pretty traumatic. The test asks you to rapidly categorize images of faces as either “African American” or “European American” while you also categorize words (like “evil,” “happy,” “awful,” and “peace”) as either “good” or “bad.” Faces and words flash on the screen, and you tap a key, as fast as you can, to indicate which category is appropriate.

    Sometimes you’re asked to sort African American faces and “good” words to one side of the screen. Other times, black faces are to be sorted with “bad” words. As words and faces keep flashing by, you struggle not to make too many sorting mistakes.

    And then suddenly, you have a horrible realization. When black faces and “bad” words are paired together, you feel yourself becoming faster in your categorizing—an indication that the two are more easily linked in your mind. “It’s like you’re on a bike going downhill,” Amodio says, “and you feel yourself going faster. So you can say, ‘I know this is not how I want to come off,’ but there’s no other response option.”

    You think of yourself as a person who strives to be unprejudiced, but you can’t control these split-second reactions. As the milliseconds are being tallied up, you know the tale they’ll tell: When negative words and black faces are paired together, you’re a better, faster categorizer. Which suggests that racially biased messages from the culture around you have shaped the very wiring of your brain. […]

    Science offers an explanation for this paradox—albeit a very uncomfortable one. An impressive body of psychological research suggests that the men who killed Brown and Martin need not have been conscious, overt racists to do what they did (though they may have been). The same goes for the crowds that flock to support the shooter each time these tragedies become public, or the birthers whose racially tinged conspiracy theories paint President Obama as a usurper. These people who voice mind-boggling opinions while swearing they’re not racist at all—they make sense to science, because the paradigm for understanding prejudice has evolved. There “doesn’t need to be intent, doesn’t need to be desire; there could even be desire in the opposite direction,” explains University of Virginia psychologist Brian Nosek, a prominent IAT researcher. “But biased results can still occur.”

    The IAT is the most famous demonstration of this reality, but it’s just one of many similar tools. Through them, psychologists have chased prejudice back to its lair—the human brain.

    We’re not born with racial prejudices. We may never even have been “taught” them. Rather, explains Nosek, prejudice draws on “many of the same tools that help our minds figure out what’s good and what’s bad.” In evolutionary terms, it’s efficient to quickly classify a grizzly bear as “dangerous.” The trouble comes when the brain uses similar processes to form negative views about groups of people.

    But here’s the good news: Research suggests that once we understand the psychological pathways that lead to prejudice, we just might be able to train our brains to go in the opposite direction. […]

    But now consider white and black people. Like other human attributes (gender, age, and sexual orientation, for example), race tends to be strongly—and inaccurately—essentialized. This means that when you think of people in that category, you rapidly or even automatically come up with assumptions about their characteristics—characteristics that your brain perceives as unchanging and often rooted in biology. Common stereotypes with the category “African Americans,” for example, include “loud,” “good dancers,” and “good at sports.” (One recent study found that white people also tend to essentialize African Americans as magical—test subjects associated black faces with words like “paranormal” and “spirit.”) Of course, these assumptions are false. Indeed, essentialism about any group of people is dubious—women are not innately gentle, old people are not inherently feebleminded—and when it comes to race, the idea of deep and fundamental differences has been roundly debunked by scientists. […]

    As these experiments suggest, it is not that we are either prejudiced or unprejudiced, period. Rather, we are more and less prejudiced, based on our upbringings and experiences but also on a variety of temporary or situational prompts (like being told we’re on the green team).

    One simple, evolutionary explanation for our innate tendency toward tribalism is safety in numbers. You’re more likely to survive an attack from a marauding tribe if you join forces with your buddies. And primal fear of those not in the in-group also seems closely tied to racial bias. Amodio’s research suggests that one key area associated with prejudice is the amygdala, a small and evolutionarily ancient region in the middle of the brain that is responsible for triggering the notorious “fight or flight” response. In interracial situations, Amodio explains, amygdala firing can translate into anything from “less direct eye gaze and more social distance” to literal fear and vigilance toward those of other races. [..]

    Remarkably, subjects who’d read the nonessentialist essay about race fared considerably better on the creativity test. Their mean score was a full point—or 32 percent—higher than it was for those who read the essentialist essay.

    It’s not like the people in this study were selected because of their preexisting racial prejudices. They weren’t. Instead, merely a temporary exposure to essentialist thinking seemed to hamper their cognitive flexibility. “Essentialism appears to exert its negative effects on creativity not through what people think but how they think,” conclude Tadmor and her colleagues. That’s because, they add, “stereotyping and creative stagnation are rooted in a similar tendency to overrely on existing category attributes.” Those quick-judgment skills that allowed us to survive on the savanna? Not always helpful in modern life.

    So, yes: Prejudice and essentialism are bad for your brain—if you value creative thinking, anyway. But they can also be downright dangerous. […]

    I’m sorry to ruin the suspense: I don’t know what my score was on the Weapons Identification Task. The test ruffled me so much that I messed up badly. It is stressful to have to answer quickly to avoid being rebuked by the game. And it’s even more upsetting to realize that you’ve just “seen” a gun that wasn’t actually there, right after a black face flashed.

    This happened to me several times, and then I suddenly found myself getting “TOO SLOW” messages whenever the object to be identified was a gun. This went on for many minutes and numerous trials. For a while, I thought the test was broken. But it wasn’t: I finally realized that rather than pressing the right shift key, I had somehow started pressing the enter key whenever I thought I saw a gun. It’s almost like I’d subconsciously decided to stop making “gun” choices at all. (Psychoanalyze that.)

    But don’t take that as a cop-out: Before I (arguably) tried to dodge responsibility by pressing the wrong key, I clearly showed implicit bias. And it was horrifying.

    The upshot of all of this research is that in order to rid the world of prejudice, we can’t simply snuff out overt, conscious, full-throated racism. Nor can we fundamentally remake the human brain, with its rapid-fire associations and its categorizing, essentializing, and groupish tendencies. Instead, the key lies in shifting people’s behavior, even as we also make them aware of how cultural assumptions merge with natural cognitive processes to create biases they may not know they have. […]

    The single best intervention involved putting people into scenarios and mindsets in which a black person became their ally (or even saved their life) while white people were depicted as the bad guys. In this intervention, participants “read an evocative story told in second-person narrative in which a White man assaults the participant and a Black man rescues the participant.” In other words, study subjects are induced to feel as if they have been personally helped or even saved by someone from a different race. Then they took the IAT—and showed 48 percent less bias than a control group. (Note: The groups in these various studies were roughly three-fourths white; no participants were black.) […]

    When it comes to weakening racial essentialism, Carmit Tadmor and her colleagues undertook a variety of experiments to try to produce what they called “epistemic unfreezing.” Subjects were exposed to one of three 20-minute multimedia presentations: one exclusively about American culture, one exclusively about Chinese culture, and one comparing American and Chinese cultures (with different aspects of each culture, such as architecture or food, presented back to back). Only in the last scenario were subjects pushed to compare and contrast the two cultures, presumably leading to a more nuanced perspective on their similarities and differences.

    This experimental manipulation has been found to increase creativity. But surprisingly, it also had a big effect on reducing anti-black prejudice. In one study, Tadmor et al. found that white research subjects who had heard the multicultural presentation (but not the American-only or Chinese-only presentation) were less likely than members of the other study groups to endorse stereotypes about African Americans. That was true even though the subjects had learned about Chinese and American cultures, not African American culture. […]

    These studies clearly suggest that, at least for the relatively short time span of a psychology experiment, there are cognitive ways to make people less prejudiced. That’s not the same as—nor can it be a substitute for—broader cultural or institutional change. After all, there is ample evidence that culture feeds directly into the mind’s process of generating prejudices and adopting stereotypical beliefs.

    Nonetheless, if prejudice has both a psychological side and a cultural side, we must address both of these aspects. A good start may simply be making people aware of just how unconsciously biased they can be. That’s particularly critical in law enforcement, where implicit biases can lead to tragic outcomes. […]

    Unsettling though it is, the latest research on our brains could actually have some very positive outcomes—if we use it in the right way. The link between essentialism and creativity doesn’t just tell us how we might reduce prejudice. It could also help us to become a more innovative country—by prioritizing diversity, and the cognitive complexity and boost in creativity it entails. The research on rapid-fire, implicit biases, meanwhile, should restart a debate over the role of media—the news segment that depicts immigrants as hostile job snatchers, the misogynistic lyrics in a song—in subtly imparting stereotypes that literally affect brain wiring. Indeed, you could argue that not only does the culture in which we live make us subtly prejudiced, but it does so against our will. That’s a disturbing thought.

    Especially when you consider how biases affect government policy. Consider this: In October 2012, researchers from the University of Southern California sent emails asking legislators in districts with large Latino populations what documentation was needed in order to vote. Half the emails came from people with Anglo-sounding names; the other half, Latino-sounding names. Republican politicians who had sponsored voter ID laws responded to 27 percent of emails from “Latino” constituents and 67 percent of emails from “white” constituents. For Republicans who’d voted against voter ID laws, the gap was far less dramatic—the response figures were 38 percent for Latino names and 54 percent for white names.

    You can imagine how this kind of thing might create a vicious cycle: When biased legislators make it harder for certain communities to vote, they are also less likely to serve alongside lawmakers from those communities—thus making it less likely for a coalitional experience to change their biases.

    So how do we break the cycle? We could require lawmakers to engage in exercises to recognize their own unconscious prejudice, like the Fair and Impartial Policing program does. Or we could even go a step further and anonymize emails they receive from constituents—thus taking implicit bias out of the equation.

    Short of that, you can do something very simple to fight prejudice: Trick your brain. UNC-Chapel Hill’s Payne suggests that by deliberately thinking a thought that is directly counter to widespread stereotypes, you can break normal patterns of association. What counts as counterstereotypical? Well, Payne’s study found that when research subjects were instructed to think the word “safe” whenever they saw a black face—undermining the stereotypical association between black people and danger—they were 10 percent less likely than those in a control group to misidentify a gun in the Weapons Identification Task.

    To be sure, it will take more than thought exercises to erase the deep tracks of prejudice America has carved through the generations. But consciousness and awareness are a start—and the psychological research is nothing if not a consciousness-raiser. Taking the IAT made me realize that we can’t just draw some arbitrary line between prejudiced people and unprejudiced people, and declare ourselves to be on the side of the angels. Biases have slipped into all of our brains. And that means we all have a responsibility to recognize those biases—and work to change them.

    So much good stuff in that article, incl. charts and graphs. And by ‘good’, I also mean scary, in the implications of what goes on in our own (read: my) brains. Going to have to read it over more carefully, but the impression I get (for myself) is that combatting my internal prejudices requires constant, conscious vigilance and acknowledgement of the unconscious biases I may still harbour within my thoughts and reactions. And this is by no means easy. But it can be done, and that is what matters. Never give up?

  79. says

    Gun used in NYPD murders was sold at pawn shop where guns regularly end up in criminals’ hands

    Federal investigators have traced the semiautomatic handgun that Ismaaiyl Brinsley used to kill two police officers in Brooklyn, New York this weekend to a Jonesboro, Georgia pawn shop, one of a small number of gun dealers that sell the weapons used in a majority of U.S. crimes.
    Investigators are still trying to determine how Brinsley obtained the gun through a series of transactions following the 1996 purchase from Arrowhead Pawn Shop, according to a New York Times interview with an anonymous police official. Because of his criminal record which included multiple felony convictions for theft, shoplifting and firing a stolen handgun, the shooter would not have legally been able to purchase a firearm for himself.
    Although 57 percent of guns recovered and traced to crimes originate from just 1.2 percent of the nation’s gun dealers including Arrowhead, the government has taken little action to prevent illegal sales. Lawsuits against individual dealers are usually settled when the stores agree to short-term monitoring or minor changes in their sales policies.
    For the last eight years, Georgia has been a top five source for guns recovered in crimes in New York state. In 2006, Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration sued 27 gun dealers which were providing multiple guns that turned up in crimes throughout the city. Most of the dealers settled and agreed to just three years of a federal monitor overseeing their businesses, according to the New York Times. Arrowhead was not among the sellers targeted in the two lawsuits.
    Though he was not legally permitted to purchase a hand gun through a licensed dealer, Brinsley could have bought the weapon at a gun show or in a private transaction through the private sale loophole. Private dealers in many states do not have to conduct background checks on buyers despite the more strict federal law that mandates licensed dealers to run background checks. In 2013, the U.S. Senate defeated a proposal to expand background checks, although a majority of senators favored the legislation.

  80. rq says

    Deray has been going on on twitter with definition, but I really liked this one: press conference, n.: an event designed to distract us from the truth; a public declaration of misinformation #BlackDictionary. Yes, the hashtag #BlackDictionary will have more of similar.

    Newly released videos in #AntonioMartin shooting death by Berkeley, MO police are cropped, removing crucial evidence Link: http://bit.ly/1rlF6vS Haven’t watched, sorry. Story:

    St. Louis County police have released an additional two video clips from the Tuesday night police shooting of an 18-year-old black man whom they say had pulled a gun on an officer.

    The new clips, one which is a continuation from the first clip they released, the other a clip from a difference surveillance camera, still do not show the alleged gun that Antonio Martin had pulled out on the Berkeley police officer before he was shot.

    But one shows the officer reeling backwards as he fires his gun, falling on his back as his flashlight goes sprawling. The officer quickly hops back up and runs behind gas pumps, indicating that Martin either had a gun or that the officer truly believed he had a gun.

    St. Louis County police, which is investigating the incident, said they cut out the portion where Martin’s body falls to the ground out of respect for his family, but in doing so, they also cut out the portion where we might be able to see the gun falling from his hands as police said they found it near his body.

    The second video released is from a different angle and doesn’t show the actual shooting but does capture Martin’s friend running from the scene into the store, indicating he was looking for cover rather than just trying to escape.

    The dimensions of the two new videos are 640 x 360 while the dimensions of the first video is 640 x 480, meaning they cropped 25 percent from the height of the newly released videos.

    In the video from the second camera, this would be the portion where Martin’s body falls to the ground as well as give us a better view of the alleged gun.

    I’ve included screenshots showing the actual dimensions on Youtube below.

    Police also released two videos from a press conference but the audio is so horrendous that it’s impossible to listen to from my end.

    Meanwhile, demonstrators continue to protest the shooting, including some who threatened a news crew, ordering them to leave the area.

    There is no word yet on the identity of Martin’s friend who ran into the store after the shooting, who would probably be able to provide the most accurate account of what took place, given the fact that police are purposely manipulating the video evidence in the name of compassion and respect towards Martin’s family.

    But Martin’s family is saying they want to see the actual evidence because they are not buying the official story. So police would be doing everybody a favor, including Martin’s family, by releasing all the footage without it being cropped.

    (title: “Newly Released Videos in Berkeley Antonio Martin Shooting Death are Cropped, Removing Crucial Evidence”)

  81. rq says

  82. says

    This is a story of police harassment and abuse of power from earlier this year. Police SWAT-Raid Innocent Man’s Home Because He’s Muslim, Civil Rights Group Claims (VIDEO)

    Around midnight on February 10th, police knocked on Mohammed Moneed’s door without a search warrant, then shoved their way into his Santa Clara, CA home. They thought he had a dashboard camera that his uncle was accused of stealing. Moneed asked the police officers to leave, and they did.

    But Moneed hadn’t seen the last of them. Tracey Kaplan from the San Jose Mercury News reports Santa Clara’s finest returned six weeks later with a vengeance:

    More than a dozen police officers armed with assault rifles and pistols stormed into a Santa Clara man’s front yard in late March, used a battering ram to bust into his house and ransacked the place looking for property they never found.

    While supposedly searching for this dash cam at Moneed’s place, police scattered things — including a now-disheveled Koran — all over the floor and even went so far as to open containers of deodorant, squeeze out entire tubes of toothpaste (can one possibly hide a 7-inch dash cam in a tube of toothpaste?), and take photos of religious wall hangings with Arabic script. The overly-thorough search and level of force used in this SWAT-style raid on Moneed’s home seems bizarre and excessive, considering that the dash cam is only worth between $268 (according to the San Jose Mercury News) and $400 (according to CBS San Francisco).

    Despite finding absolutely nothing, Santa Clara police seized computer equipment and handed it over to the Secret Service, and then charged Moneed with a felony count for allegedly receiving the stolen property they never found. That felony count got automatically downgraded to a misdemeanor in November, when voters passed Proposition 47 to reduce penalties for some crimes. Criminal.

    It all started when Moneed’s uncle got into an accident while driving a car he subleased from Muhammad Choudhry, and the car’s dash cam (which would have provided a record of the accident) went missing. When Choudhry filed a complaint with police, he mentioned that the dash cam may have wound up in Moneed’s home. Although Choudhry later dropped charges, Santa Clara police continued pressing the case.

    To add insult to injury, Moneed himself works in law enforcement in the Customs and Border Protection division of the Department of Homeland Security for the San Francisco Bay Area’s three airports. The 26-year-old’s parents emigrated from Pakistan, but Moneed was born here and is a US citizen.

  83. rq says

  84. says

    Here’s another non-indictment:
    http://thegrio.com/2014/01/23/grand-jury-declines-to-indict-nc-cop-who-killed-former-famu-footballer-looking-for-help/

    In a handwritten note, Mecklenburg County grand jurors said there wasn’t enough evidence to indict Officer Randall Kerrick, 28, for voluntary manslaughter and asked the state attorney general’s to refile the case with lesser charges.

    But prosecutors immediately said they would resubmit the case after they learned that not all of the grand jurors were present for the decision. They didn’t specify whether they would stick to the original voluntary manslaughter charge or would seek lesser charges.

    Jonathan Ferrell, 24, in an undated photo provided by Florida A&M University, where he played college football.

    No explanation for why the grand jury voted with fewer than 18 members — 12 of whom must agree — was offered.

    Kerrick, a three-year veteran of the Charlotte force, shot Jonathan Ferrell, 24, 10 times in a confrontation in September. Ferrell had crashed his car and staggered to a nearby home for help. Kerrick has been on unpaid leave ever since.

    George Laughrun, Kerrick’s attorney, told The Charlotte Observer that Kerrick “feels like the weight of the world has been lifted from his shoulders.”

    “He’s extremely relieved that the grand jury members saw fit to keep an open mind and not listen to all the propaganda on all the things he did wrong,” Laughrun said.

  85. says

    http://countercurrentnews.com/2014/12/sheneque-proctor-the-female-eric-garner/

    That headline is insulting and sexist. Sheneque Proctor was her own person. She should not be defined in relation to anyone else.

    A new petition is circulating in response to death of an African American citizens at the hands of police officers who many are calling the “female Eric Garner.” The petition demands is demanding a federal and state investigation into the death of 18-year-old Sheneque Proctor.

    Proctor was kill in the Bessemer City Jail after she was arrested on November 1st. She was at a Bessemer hotel at a part with friends when police arrived and arrested her for “disorderly conduct,” according to her aunt, Tracy Rodda.

    Early the next morning, Proctor was found dead in her jail cell, after having complained of problems with asthma which police apparently refused to take seriously.

    Bessemer City Attorney Shan Paden commented, “I know the case. I know we had a death in the jail. Erring on a conservative side, not to protect the city but to protect the rights of an 18-year-old, the city of Bessemer will not disclose any information.”

    The petition was created on Change.org last Monday, but has received relatively little attention. The petition explains the following about Sheneque Proctor’s death and links it to unrest throughout the nation.

    “The death of Black Men like Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and Tamir Rice is a clear indication that Black Lives are in jeopardy from Police who have declared it open season on Black Men,” Karen Jones of Montgomery Alabama writes, in her description of the petition.

    “Insult over injury no indictment and a video which clearly shows officers using a choke hold on Eric Garner who loudly and clearly stated that he could NOT breathe was not enough to save his life.

    “Yet in Alabama where most of the historical landmark Civil Right Movements and cases we have lost an 18 year old Black young woman under the hands of Bessemer Police,” the petition continues.

    Proctor’s family says that she suffered from asthma, and had complained of being treated violently by Bessemer Police officers who made the arrest.

    After making her complaints, she was found dead in her jail cell the next morning. But Bessemer authorities have refused to so much as comment on the case. All media inquires have been referred to the State Bureau of Investigations, which spokeswoman Robyn Bryan says “is looking into the case.”

    “This family deserves some answers,” the petition declares. “We don’t need another ‘I can’t breathe’ story. Her life mattered and still matters to her family. They deserve answers from the State Bureau of Investigations and the FBI.”

    The petition demands that State Senator Quinton Ross, State Representative Alvin Holmes and U.S. Representative Terri Sewell “request both State and Federal investigations in the death of this 18 year old Black female.”

    (hat tip to Sally Strange)

  86. says

    Concert fundraisers for John Crawford

    Far from momentum dying in the fight for justice for John Crawford, the movement is picking up steam and proving to be a “slow burn” instead of a “flash in the pan.” Now, with 2015 just around the corner, two new concerts have been announced to help raise funds for John Crawford’s family.

    The first of the two fundraiser shows is the Gem City Get Down.

    Saturday, January 10, 2015
    at 10:00pm – 2:00am
    Jan 10, 2015 at 10:00pm to Jan 11, 2015 at 2:00am

    The event page for the show says the following:

    “You already know!!! The premier Hip Hop event in Dayton, OH is back at Blind Bob’s Bar January 10th, 2015. The formula is simple: we provide the jams, you provide the party. This Get Down will directly benefit the children of John Crawford. We are working with the Ohio Student Association and if you’ve never attended a Get Down, now is the time!!! See you January 10th!”

    In May, the massive, weekend-long Justice Fest will kick off. While planning for the huge event is still in the works, being coordinated with bands all over the country, the month of May has been fixed, and the planners are working hand-in-hand with the Gem City Get Down to make sure the event features the best of local and national music. There will be multiple styles and genres of music, including hip hop, reggae, ska, punk, metal, hardcore and perhaps more.

    Political speakers will take to the microphone in between sets, including members of the alternative media like The Free Thought Project, Anti Media and Counter Current News. This event will take place right in the heart of Beavercreek, Ohio so the police and citizens will never be able to sweep the shell casings from Officer Sean William’s assault rifle under the proverbial rug.

    If you are a musician who is interested in performing at Justice Fest, inbox them at their Facebook page and let them know. The event will be free to all, with a request for donations. All donations go to help the family of John Crawford out.

    Come out to these concerts in Beavercreek, and Dayton Ohio. Tell everyone you know who loves good music and who believes in the cause of justice. If you would like to support the John Crawford family before then, there is a fundraiser page which we have confirmed with John’s mother, goes directly to help his family out (link). Why not kick them $1, $5 or even more if you can?

  87. says

    Ex-NYPD police officer ‘We planted evidence, framed innocent people’ for arrest quota

    This comes as an a former New York City narcotics detective, Stephen Anderson, testified in court that the NYPD routinely plants drugs on innocent people. He described this as a “common practice,” a “quick and easy” way for officers to reach arrest quotas.

    The practice is known among NYPD cops as “flaking.”

    Anderson was busted, along with four other officers, “flaking” four men in Queens back in 2008. He has cooperated with prosecutors, and is admitting that far from a few “bad apples,” this is the modus operandi of the NYPD.

    “It was something I was seeing a lot of, whether it was from supervisors or undercovers and even investigators,” Anderson testified.

    “It’s almost like you have no emotion with it, that they attach the bodies to it, they’re going to be out of jail tomorrow anyway; nothing is going to happen to them anyway.”

  88. says

    FBI keeps lid on sniper plot to kill Occupy Wall Street organizers

    Heavily redacted FBI memos confirm that the Federal Bureau of Investigation was aware of a plot to assassinate the Houston organizers of “Occupy Wall Street,” but the agency has managed to withhold the details from the American public using the worn-out excuse that transparency compromises national security.

    According to the agency’s official memos, an unnamed party or agency “planned to engage in sniper attacks against protestors in Houston, Texas, if deemed necessary… [Redacted] planned to gather intelligence against the leaders of the protest groups and obtain photographs, then formulate a plan to kill the leadership via suppressed sniper rifles.”

    The plot was allegedly devised in October 2011, shortly after the national debut of Occupy Wall Street in September of the same year. It wasn’t until 2013 that any mention of the plot was made known to the public, when Massachusetts Institute of Technology doctoral student Ryan Noah Shapiro noticed startling references in the course of his extensive efforts to pursue transparency in the FBI. Mr. Shapiro subsequently filed a Freedom Of Information (FOIA) request for additional details.

  89. Pteryxx says

    deray mckesson ‏@deray

    Baltimore Officer reports officers assaulting citizen. A rat is placed on his car and his house. Then this.

    12:04 PM – 27 Dec 2014

    (twitter)

    Original article in the Baltimore Sun, Dec 23: Whistle-blower officer files lawsuit against Batts, BPD

    Detective Joseph Crystal, who resigned in August, came forward in 2012 and told prosecutors he had observed fellow officers assaulting a man. Crystal said word spread within the department that he was cooperating, and one morning he found a rat on the windshield of his car outside his home.

    […]

    Crystal also alleges that other officers refused to back him up on the streets. He alleges that in November 2012, no one from his unit responded to a call he put out over the radio that he was involved in a foot chase as part of a drug investigation.

    Two days later, he stopped two suspects and called for backup. He contends his supervisor called his cellphone and “gave him a direct order to return back to the district and that he would not be given backup.”

    “Nobody wants to ride with you,” a detective told him later, according to the lawsuit.

    Crystal also alleges that a detective once pulled up alongside his police car and asked if he was “having a cheese party. I know rats like cheese.” And he says a union official told him he should “look into going to another agency.”

    The former president of the Fraternal Order of Police declined to comment.

    Crystal contends the incidents were fallout from him coming forward about a beating he said he observed during an October 2011 drug arrest.

    Officers saw a man throw away suspected drugs and tried to chase him, then later found him hiding in the home of a police officer’s girlfriend. Prosecutors said that after the suspect was handcuffed and put in a wagon to be taken away, police took him back into the house, where Officer Anthony Williams, who was off duty, beat him.

    Williams was convicted of assault and obstruction of justice, and Sgt. Marinos Gialamas was found guilty of misconduct.

  90. rq says

    Whew! 1700+ tweets to sort through!
    Cops Turn Their Backs On De Blasio At Funeral For NYPD Officer Rafael Ramos;
    Hundreds of NYPD officers turn backs on de Blasio during funeral address;
    Protestors told for the past week to take a hiatus to allow for healing. NYPD stages a protest at the funeral. Incredible.

    Ferguson officer placed on leave over remarks about damaged memorial;
    Police arrest two men who fired a BB gun inside an Idaho Walmart (this can’tpo ssibly be a double-standard, can it?);
    New Guidelines on Government Profiling Announced

    The Department of Justice has updated federal guidance on the consideration of race and other attributes when performing law enforcement activities. Federal law enforcement agencies are now prohibited from using race, ethnicity, gender, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, or gender identity when making “routine or spontaneous law enforcement decisions, such as ordinary traffic stops.” The guidance permits federal law enforcement to consider these factors when engaged in national security, intelligence, immigration law, and organized crime investigation. Federal agencies including the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Customs and Border Protection routinely use immutable characteristics, like race and ethnicity, to assign “risk-assessment” profiles on individual who are not suspected of any crime. EPIC has previously urged the government to end this practice and to suspend the Automated Targeting System’s “risk assessment” scoring EPIC said that the use of factors such as race and nationality to profile individuals is unconstitutional. For more information, see EPIC: Automated Targeting System, EPIC: Passenger Profiling, and EPIC: EPIC v. Customs and Border Protection (Analytical Framework for Intelligence).

  91. rq says

  92. rq says

    Check @coryprovost’s experience with overly-aggressive “policing” in FL tonight. Read. America. Storify link: Cory Provost PD incident.

    Ferguson business owners take boards down, hopeful for future.

    So many people I can’t see the beginning or end of the march. Random shoppers coming out in solidarity with their hands up #MillionsMarchLA

    This “NYPD Funeral” Photo Being Shared On Twitter Is Not From Today. Just in case anyone is interested.

    Who Police Killed In 2014

    Below is a list of 21 people of color and/or mentally ill persons who were killed by cops in 2014. Some cases are more clear-cut than others, but all of them raise questions about the use of force — like shooting to kill — in policing. They also prompt scrutiny of how cops confront people with mental illnesses:

    1. Darrien Hunt; Saratoga Springs, UT: Hunt was shot six times and killed after someone reported a man with a suspicious sword. Hunt, who had a fascination with Japanese anime characters, was carrying a toy sword. A recent autopsy report found the shots hit him in the back, suggesting he was running away from police on the scene.

    2. Ezell Ford; Los Angeles, CA: In what was described as “an execution” by family members, Ford was unarmed when LAPD shot him last August. Officers stopped him on the street, in response to a possible officer-involved shooting. One witness contends that officers beat the 25-year-old disabled man while saying “shoot him.” Others maintain that Ford was laying on the ground when he was shot.

    3. Omar Abrego; Los Angeles, CA: Abrego died a mere four blocks from where Ezell Ford was shot. A father of three, Abrego was beaten to death by LAPD after a car chase last August. Witnesses allege that officers punched Abrego in the face continuously, and also hit him with a baton.

    4. Tamir E. Rice; Cleveland, OH: Police responded to a 911 call about a boy with a gun in the park. Within seconds of arriving at the park, police opened fire, killing the 12-year-old who had been holding a toy gun. Officers on the scene refused to administer first aid for four minutes, and left him laying on the ground. They allegedly handcuffed his 14-year-old sister.

    5. Tanesha Anderson; Cleveland, OH: Anderson, a schizophrenic and bipolar women, died after police allegedly slammed her onto the pavement outside her family’s home. Officers had approached Anderson after a caller reported her for “disturbing the peace.” Police claim that they planned to take her to the hospital for a psychiatric evaluation, and that she went limp in an officer’s arms. But Anderson’s brother and daughter deny the cops’ story and contend that the 37-year-old was slammed to the ground.

    6. Rumain Brisbon; Phoenix, AZ: Brisbon was killed earlier this month, after an officer mistook a pill bottle for a gun. The officer approached Brisbon’s car after someone reported a drug deal happening near the vehicle. When asked to raise his hands, Brisbon put them in his pockets. A quick chase on foot ensued after the officer pulled out a weapon. There was a brief scuffle when the cop caught up to Brisbon, during which the latter reached into his pocket. The officer shot him, and explained later that he thought he felt a gun in the pocket. The perceived gun was actually a pill bottle.

    7. John Crawford III; Beavercreek, OH: Crawford was shot by police officers in a Walmart, who were responding to a 911 call about an armed man. The caller, who originally stated that Crawford was pointing the gun at people, changed his statement later on. In a video released after the incident, Crawford was walking down a store aisle while holding a BB gun that he was buying for his children, and then swung it over his shoulder. All the while, he was talking on a phone and looking at the shelves. Officers descended upon him and fired two shots.

    8. Keith Vidal; Southport, NC: Police responded to a 911 call for assistance from the parents of Vidal, a schizophrenic 18-year-old, who was in the middle of an episode. Although Vidal picked up a screwdriver, two officers were able to calm him down. But the situation turned deadly when a third cop tased the teenager shortly thereafter. That officer allegedly said “we don’t have time for this” before shooting and killing Vidal on the spot.

    9. Kajieme Powell; St. Louis, MO: Just days later and a few miles away from where Mike Brown was shot, officers gunned down Kajieme Powell, who had stolen energy drinks and pastries from a convenience store. Officers said they shot Powell after he approached them wielding a knife with an “overhand grip,” and that he was within three or four feet of them. But video from a cell phone showed the 25-year-old standing farther away and with his hands by his sides.

    10. Akai Gurley; Brooklyn, NY: A police officer accidentally shot Gurley, who was walking down a dark flight of stairs. The officer fired his gun while he was performing a vertical patrol, and texted a union rep as Gurley was dying. Police Chief Bill Bratton confirmed that Gurley was a “total innocent.”

    11. Eric Garner; Staten Island, NY: NYPD officers stopped Garner, who was selling untaxed cigarettes, on the sidewalk. The encounter turned deadly when Officer Daniel Pantaleo put Garner, an asthmatic, in an illegal chokehold. Garner repeatedly said ‘I can’t breathe’ before dying on the scene. The entire incident was caught on camera, but a grand jury decision refused to indict the officer.

    12. Mike Brown; Ferguson, MO: Brown was shot by Officer Darren Wilson, after the police stopped him and friend Dorian Johnson, who were walking in the street. After he stopped them, Wilson realized that Brown matched the description of a suspected thief who the officer was trying to find. Wilson claimed there was a physical altercation, and that Brown tried to grab his gun and charged at him. Witnesses say Brown was running away with his hands up when the officer shot him. Police kept the body in the street for 4.5 hours. A grand jury chose not to indict Wilson.

    13. Michelle Cusseaux; Phoenix, AZ: Frances Garrett called Southwest Behavioral Health Services to transport her 50-year-old daughter, Michelle Cusseaux, to an in-patient facility. Cusseaux, who was schizophrenic, bipolar, and had depression, was showing signs of threatening behavior. But when officers came to take her away, the incident escalated. Cusseaux threatened them with a hammer, and was shot in her home when she wouldn’t put it down. Later Garrett said, “They knew (who) they were going to work with — a person with a mental illness. You don’t come with guns drawn, guns at her door. I’m sure it frightened her.”

    14. Jack Jacquez; Rocky Ford, CO: When Jacquez returned home after babysitting with a friend, officers showed up unexpectedly and burst into the home. According to his sister in law, Jacquez was standing next to his mom with his back to the cops, when Officer James Ashby shot him two times. His fiance was woken up by gun shots. Details haven’t emerged about why officers were at the house.

    15. Jason Harrison; Dallas, TX: When Harrison’s mother dialed 911, she was seeking help for her son who had bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. But the officers who responded to the call shot and killed Harrison on the front porch of his mother’s home, when he didn’t obey orders to put a screwdriver down. Police claimed Harrison was acting aggressively, but the victim’s family filed a lawsuit stating that excessive force was used. Harrison’s father also alleges that cops were previously called to subdue the victim. Video of the shooting, recorded by a body cam, has not been released to the public.

    16. Yvette Smith; Bastrop County, TX: Police were called to a house where a disturbance call was placed, although a dispatcher misinformed them that the disturbance was about a gun. Officers allege that people inside the house ignored demands to step out of the home. The Sheriff’s Department originally said that Smith eventually opened the door with a gun in her hand and refused to listen to orders, which is when Deputy Daniel Willis shot her in her abdomen and hip. But the department backtracked on the gun claim hours later. Witnesses say the disturbance call was about money and not a gun, and that Smith was compliant. The 47-year-old woman died at the hospital, and Willis was indicted for murder.

    17. Louis Rodriguez; Oklahoma City, OK: Police were called about a domestic dispute between a mother and daughter, but wound up killing the father outside of a movie theater. Rodriguez was trying to calm his wife down when he was approached by police and security guards from the theater. Officers began to beat him when, in an attempt to stop his wife from driving away, Rodriguez bypassed the officers. Although an autopsy conducted by the Oklahoma State Medical Examiner’s Office concluded that the victim died from “cardiac arrhythymia due to physical constraint,” a private autopsy concluded that he died of asphyxia as a result of a maneuver that restricted his breathing. The daughter, Lunahi Rodriguez, recorded the incident.

    18. Matthew Pollow; Palm Beach, FL: Police were called to investigate an “armed disturbance,” when they approached Matthew Pollow standing next to a car. Pollow complied when he was ordered to remove everything from his pockets. Then Deputy Evan Rosenthal drew his weapon, alleging that the victim looked “very disturbed.” Pollow, who had a history of mental illness, grabbed a screwdriver and charged at the officer. Rosenthal shot Pollow, who died at the scene.

    19. Dontre D. Hamilton; Milwaukee, WI: Hamilton, a 31-year-old schizophrenic man, was sleeping in a park when Officer Christopher Manney approached him for a standard welfare check. After assessing that Hamilton was mentally ill, Manney approached him from the back and started to pat him down. The two exchanged punches before, Manney eventually used his baton to hit the victim in the neck. Manney then shot Hamilton 14 times. Chief Edward Flynn of Milwaukee said that Manney disregarded police policy after correctly determining that Hamilton was mentally unstable. “You don’t go hands-on and start frisking somebody only because they appear to be mentally ill,” said Flynn.

    20. David Latham; Northfolk, VA: According to Latham’s family, his mother and sister called 911 when he threatened his brother with a knife. Latham had stopped taking his medication for schizophrenia, which explained his behavior. When he didn’t immediately put down his knife, an officer shot Latham, who was standing in a doorway, nine times.

    21. Maria Godinez; Orlando, FL: Officer Eduardo Sanguino accidentally shot and killed Godinez, a 22-year-old college student. The officer was shooting at Kody Roach, who was a caller reported for waiving a gun outside of a bar. Police attempted to tase Roach, but that didn’t work. And when Roach turned around, Sanguino shot his firearm nine times. Godinez was inside when she was hit by a stray bullet.

    But the total is over 1000.

  93. rq says

  94. rq says

    Protester who advocates peace charged with setting fire at Berkeley QT

    Woman charged after throwing bacon, sausage in Framingham police station

    An Ashland woman accused of walking onto the Framingham Police Department and throwing sausage and bacon says God told her to go “feed the pigs.”

    Civil rights leaders at odds as Ferguson protests grow

    Activists who spurred demonstrations across the country after a white police officer shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old black man in Ferguson, Mo., now demand a prominent voice in a national conversation about race, challenging the primacy of established civil rights organizations such as Al Sharpton’s National Action Network and the NAACP. While the newer activists may share goals with more experienced groups, they have clashed with them in attempts at joint efforts.

    That divide went on public display earlier this month at a march organized by Sharpton in Washington, D.C. when activist Johnetta Elzie, 25, and other protesters pushed to the front of the stage and demanded a share of the spotlight.

    “This movement was started by the young people,” Elzie, of St. Louis, said at the Dec. 13 march. “We started this. There should be young people all over this stage. This should be young people all up here.”

    It was the second time in the last five months that Ferguson protesters had chastised the old guard. In October, during an interfaith service in St. Louis, young activists interrupted the program by heckling speakers and shouting for a place on stage. Eventually, several clergy members ceded their spots to protesters, who told the crowd that NAACP President Cornell William Brooks was out of touch.

    “This ain’t your grandparents’ civil rights movement,” rapper and activist Tef Poe said while on stage. “A lot of us are not scholars. We’re not trained organizers. We are not professional activists. We are just real people who identified a problem and decided to do something about it.”

    The tactics employed by Ferguson protesters demonstrate a shift toward more daring actions for civil rights, said William Chafe, a history professor at Duke University who wrote a book on North Carolina’s sit-in movement. Similarly, he said, in the early 20th century, activists moved from polite letter-writing campaigns pleading for an end to segregation to boycott and civil disobedience.

    Black NYPD cops expose climate of rampant racial profiling in force

    An overwhelming majority of injustices perpetrated by one police officer against another involved black cops being mistaken for criminals by their white colleagues. But the statistic only emerged in a task force report in 2010, when the first comprehensive study of the problem was carried out, Reuters reports.

    The fresh disclosure to the news agency of a slew of accusations and complaints of racial profiling filed by black officers comes at a difficult time for America, which is already preoccupied with allegations of police brutality – largely white-on-black.

    The current tension in race relations in American society has even escalated to a black gunman murdering NYPD cops in retaliation amid nationwide protests over the question of police using disproportionate violence against unarmed black men. […]

    One of the most severe allegations involved a black police veteran of 30 years, who was leaving a party wearing civilian clothes and some flashy jewelry. Exiting a New York nightclub sometime before 1am in 2012 he was involved in an altercation with white cops who pushed him up against his Escalade and took him away in handcuffs.

    “If I was white, it wouldn’t have happened,” Harold Thomas, formerly of the elite Joint Terrorism Task Force, said. […]

    However, an African-American colleague of Blaize’s from Los Angeles believes things aren’t as clear-cut.

    “It makes good headlines to say this is occurring, but I don’t think you can validate it until you look into the circumstances they were stopped in,” Bernard Parks, former chief of the LA Police Department, told Reuters.

    What is clear to Parks is that most offenders are, after all, racial minorities. Therefore their ill-treatment is pretty much down to statistics.

    According to those defending the NYPD’s treatment of both black civilians and cops, the practice of racial profiling that often ends in being roughly tripped up, slammed against the wall and handcuffed is justifiable, borne out by the fact that New York is no longer the murder capital of the United States.

    Moreover, while they comprise 23 percent of New York’s population, black people were responsible for 72 percent of shooting attacks in New York in 2011. […]

    And yet all 25 of the interviewed officers reported being racially profiled. Of those, only a third filed complaints, officially or unofficially.

    Twenty-four of the interviewed officers reported being racially profiled by their white peers when off-duty and not in uniform.

    Similarly, 24 said that some form of punishment for complaining ensued, either in the form of disciplinary action, denial of overtime, promotions, or specific choice assignments. They say there is a sense among black officers that reporting is more trouble than it’s worth. […]

    “There’s no real outlet to report the abuse,” he says, telling the agency about the gross misconduct inherent even in Internal Affairs.

    With the current focus on police racial profiling of suspects across the US, the plight of black officers may shed further light on the issue – if these cops can find support within their departments to do so.

  95. rq says

    A Message From a Protestor and Former Cop: We Are Not Anti-Cop. We Are Pro-Life. (from the Lounge via birgerjohansson). Co-opting language the right way? Or crossing purposes?

    RT @joejackson: #AkaiGurley protesters turn their backs on officers imitating cop demo against mayor.

    NYPD’s helicopter flyover tribute to fallen officer.

    ‘A Long Hungry Look’: Forgotten Gordon Parks Photos Document Segregation.

    More good cops? Whistle-blower officer files lawsuit against Batts, BPD

    Detective Joseph Crystal, who resigned in August, came forward in 2012 and told prosecutors he had observed fellow officers assaulting a man. Crystal said word spread within the department that he was cooperating, and one morning he found a rat on the windshield of his car outside his home.

    When the incident became public, Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts vowed to protect Crystal and investigate. But Crystal, who now lives in Florida, contends in a multimillion-dollar lawsuit that a continued hostile workplace environment forced him to leave.

    His lawsuit alleges that the retaliation violated his free-speech rights, that the department broke state wage and hour laws, and that he was forced to resign.

    The Police Department said an outside investigation of the intimidation that Crystal alleged is not complete and declined to comment on the lawsuit.

    Crystal also alleges that other officers refused to back him up on the streets. He alleges that in November 2012, no one from his unit responded to a call he put out over the radio that he was involved in a foot chase as part of a drug investigation.

    Two days later, he stopped two suspects and called for backup. He contends his supervisor called his cellphone and “gave him a direct order to return back to the district and that he would not be given backup.”

    “Nobody wants to ride with you,” a detective told him later, according to the lawsuit.

    Crystal also alleges that a detective once pulled up alongside his police car and asked if he was “having a cheese party. I know rats like cheese.” And he says a union official told him he should “look into going to another agency.”

    The former president of the Fraternal Order of Police declined to comment.

    (this is the article on rats found on the car previously mentioned)

  96. rq says

    Baltimore settlements on police brutality more restrictive than in other cities

    When Baltimore residents settle lawsuits alleging police brutality or other misconduct, they must promise to keep silent about the incidents that sparked the suits — an arrangement that shields key details from the public. The penalty for disobeying: Lawyers for the city may try to recoup tens of thousands of dollars from the settlement.

    But many other cities — including Washington, Philadelphia and Las Vegas — have rejected the use of such confidentiality clauses in an effort to increase the transparency of government operations.

    “The plaintiff can publicly discuss the case — no restrictions,” Ted Gest, spokesman for the attorney general’s office in Washington D.C., said as he described that city’s policy.

    Jeffrey Furbee, assistant city attorney in Columbus, Ohio, said such clauses in public lawsuits “would be illegal. We are an open-records state.”
    Sun Investigation: Undue Force
    Sun Investigation: Undue Force

    Baltimore’s standard settlement agreement has drawn criticism from defense lawyers and some city officials after it was highlighted in an investigation by The Baltimore Sun. The investigation revealed the city spent $5.7 million on 102 court judgments and settlements for alleged police misconduct since 2011, and critics said the nondisparagement clause helped keep the scope of misconduct allegations from becoming widely known. The clause states that limitations on “public statements shall include a prohibition in discussing any facts or allegations … with the news media,” except to say the suit has been settled.

    In recent years, a wide range of residents have settled civil suits for significant amounts. For example, an 87-year-old woman who alleged that an officer shoved her against a wall received $95,000. A pregnant accountant was awarded $125,000 after alleging that an encounter with an officer left her facedown — bleeding and bruised — on a sidewalk. In those and other settlements, the city and officers do not acknowledge any wrongdoing.

    But the risks of violating terms of the agreement became clear in October, when city lawyers cut the amount of another settlement. They withheld $31,500 — about half the settlement — from a woman who had posted online comments about her allegations of police brutality.

    Michael Brown memorial destroyed overnight

    Officer Timothy Zoll, the Ferguson Police Department’s public relations officer, said that no crime had been reported in connection to the memorial’s destruction. He suggested that the department would look at any video of the incident, but he did not specify whether the department would investigate.

    “I don’t know that a crime has occurred,” Zoll said Friday. “But a pile of trash in the middle of the street? The Washington Post is making a call over this?”

    Yup, he called it a pile of trash. Hence the leave without pay.

    The Brutality of Rudy Giuliani – on Twitter introduced as what Cheney is to torture, Giuliani is to police brutality.

  97. rq says


    Protesters Planning Massive Rally In Front Of Fox News Headquarters After Non-Stop Racist Coverage

    On January 2, protesters are meeting in front of the News Corporation headquarters (home of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire) right outside of Fox News’ studios to hold a “die-in” shutdown. While Fox tries to record their usual garbage inside, outside hundreds will be letting the company and the world know that what Fox is doing is not okay.

    Relatedly, Journalism Magazine Calls Don Lemon The Worst

    The Columbia Journalism Review’s recap of the year’s “most cringeworthy news blunders” included the out anchor because of a series of off kilter moments that made headlines this year.

    “Live television is exceedingly difficult to produce, of course, but Lemon’s gaffes this year offer a case study in how to choose words wisely — or not,” wrote David Uberti.

    Some examples at the link.

    Interlude: The Reality of Dating White Women When You’re Black.

    Related to the NYPD racism towards black officers, Black cops fear other cops

    In the article, Reuters equates what they experience as the same type of racial profiling that cost Eric Garner his life after he was swarmed by police officers and one applied a choke hold to him.

    The black police officers said their experiences included being pulled over by police for no reason (multiple times for most), being stopped and frisked, thrown into prison vans, and being physically assaulted and threatened. Black cops say that they’ve had their heads slammed against vehicles and guns brandished in their faces.

    “The black officers interviewed said they had been racially profiled by white officers exclusively, and about one third said they made some form of complaint to a supervisor.”

    “All but one said their supervisors either dismissed the complaints or retaliated against them by denying them overtime, choice assignments, or promotions. The remaining officers who made no complaints said they refrained from doing so either because they feared retribution or because they saw racial profiling as part of the system.”

    White American have been brainwashed about race: Lies we tell ourselves about black women . Can’t blockquote, but there’s 4 pages of stuff about the erasure of black women and also their presentation (or lack thereof) n the media.

  98. rq says

    Ferguson’s other tragedy: School segregation still leaves a mark in Missouri.

    Cops Threaten a Blue Coup in New York City

    On Internet message boards, police union activists instructed the rank and file to refuse to respond to incidents unless two units were dispatched to the scene, and to double up even if given orders to the contrary. Under this “wartime” footing, the police would simply seize the power to deploy and assign themselves, as they liked – and to hell with the chain of command and civilian authorities.

    To hell, especially, with Mayor de Blasio, who now travels nowhere except under the protective custody of police commissioner Bill Bratton, a “cop’s cop” and architect of the “Broken Windows” policing strategy that begat stop-and-frisk. Bratton translates de Blasio’s words into cop-speak, and has forged a tense truce between the uniformed legions and the man who won 95 percent of the Black vote on the promise to put a leash on the gendarmes.


    Alabama Senator Teaches Charles Barkley How Bad Slavery Was In Epic Open Letter

    “I don’t think anytime anything bad that happens in the black community we have to talk about slavery,” Barkley said. “Listen, slavery is, uh, well, I shouldn’t say one of the worst things ever, because I don’t know anything about it other than what I read or what my grandmother told me.”

    According to Barkley, slavery wasn’t so bad. It’s a statement that many white supremacists are probably pinning to bulletin boards in glee. But Alabama Senator Hank Sanders was deeply hurt by what Barkley said, and composed an epic open letter to teach Sir Charles just how bad slavery was and how it still affects us today. […]

    I write you out of love. I write you out of profound pain. I write you out of deep concern. I hope you accept this letter in the spirit that I write.

    Mr. Barkley, I understand that you said, in so many words, that slavery was not so bad and that you were tired of people bringing up slavery. I was shocked by both statements. Then I was mad. Then I was terribly disappointed. Finally, I was just in deep hurt and great pain. Now, I am trying to help you and all those who may think like you.

    Mr. Barkley, allow me to tell you why slavery was “not so bad,” but very, very bad. First, African people were snatched from their families, their villages, their communities, their tribes, their continent, their freedom. African people were made to walk hundreds of miles in chains. They were often beaten, poorly fed and abused in many ways. Women and girls were routinely raped. The whole continent was ravaged and still suffers to this day. Mr. Barkley, this is very, very bad.

    Second, African people were placed in “slave dungeons” for weeks and sometimes months until the slave ships came. They were often underfed, terribly beaten, raped and stuffed together so tightly they could hardly move. African people were packed in the holds of ships with little space to even move. They performed bodily functions where they lay and then lived in it. They were oftentimes beaten, raped and abused mentally, physically and emotionally. Many died from disease and broken spirits. Some were so terribly impacted that they jumped overboard and drowned when brought to the deck of the ships. Millions died during the Middle Passage from Africa to the Americas. Mr. Barkley, this is very, very bad.

    Third, African people were broken like wild animals. They were stripped of every element of their identity. Their names were taken. Their languages were taken. Their religions were taken. Their histories were taken. They were forbidden to have family. They had no rights to own anything. They were considered property. Their personalities were permanently altered. Their freedom was taken. They became chattel sold from “slave blocks.” This crushing of identity impacts us to this day. I call it the psychology of the oppressed. Mr. Barkley, this is very, very bad.

    Fourth, African Americans were worked from “kin to can’t;” that is from “can see” in the morning to “can’t see” at night. There was no pay for their long, hard labor. Many were poorly fed. Most felt the lash of the whip. All felt the lash of the tongue. Many were repeatedly raped. Their children and other loved ones were sold at will. Some mothers killed their baby girls so they would not have to endure the ravages of slavery. Mr. Barkley, this is very, very bad.

    Fifth, African Americans had no right to defend themselves no matter what was done and how wrong it was. By law, they could not even testify against their abusers. As U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger B. Toney said in the 1857 Dred Scott case, “A Black man has no rights a White man is bound to respect.” This became the law of the land and its legacy bedevils us to this day. Mr. Barkley, this is very, very bad.

    Sixth, African Americans were perceived and treated as sub human. The only way enslavers could square this terrible treatment with their Christian beliefs was see us as less than human. Therefore, they could proudly place such beautiful words in the Declaration of Independence and the U. S. Constitution with impunity: i.e. – “We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” To them, African Americans were not human so these beautiful words did not apply. Even the U.S. Constitution designated us as 3/5 of a person. That’s why White terrorists, in and out of uniforms, can kill us without punishment. The legacy of being less human lingers with us today. Black lives are worth much less than White lives. Mr. Barkley, this is very, very bad.

    Seventh, it required great violence to implement and maintain the worse form of human slavery known to humankind. It required unbridled violence by enslavers, slave catchers, local, state, federal governments and the entire society. Maintaining the institution of slavery created a very violent society that infests us to this day. That’s why the United States has far more violence than any country in the world. Mr. Barkley, this is very, very bad.

    Eighth, even after slavery formerly ended, we still had Jim Crow. These same imbedded attitudes generated state-sanctioned terrorism for nearly another 100 years. The Ku Klux Klan and other terrorist groups hanged, mutilated, maimed and murdered without any punishment. It was state sanctioned terrorism because the “state” did not do anything to prevent it. That’s why even during the Civil Rights Movement murders took many years before even a modicum of justice was forged. Just look at the deaths of Medgar Evers, James Chaney, the three little girls murdered by the bombing of a Birmingham Church and so many others. That is why today Trayvon Martin could not walk the streets of his neighborhood and Jordan Davis could not play loud music in his car and Eric Garner was choked to death and Michael Brown was gunned down. Mr. Barkley this is very, very bad.

    Mr. Barkley, if you knew your history, you would not say slavery is not so bad and you are tired of people bringing up slavery. The legacy of slavery is everywhere. However, you are not totally to blame because you were deliberately denied the opportunity to learn your history. That is one more legacy of slavery. I hope you will seek the full history for yourself so that you will not ever say such things again.

    In deep concern,

    Hank Sanders

    For some reason, the media gravitates toward Charles Barkley to seek his comments on social and political issues that he clearly knows nothing about. He’s a jock, not a historian. His only expertise is basketball and awkward golf swings. Clearly, if he had pursued academic achievement instead of spending hours putting a ball through a hoop, he would know that slavery is indeed, one of the worst travesties in world history. But like a lot of jocks, Barkley no longer has to study hard to find out how evil slavery was. All he has to do is read the open letter written to him by the smart person in the class.

    Nothing New: The Last Time An NYC Mayor Tried To Rein In NYPD, Cops Rioted. (A number of links via Tony, thank you very much!!!)

  99. rq says

    Something we’ve all heard before, though in a different context:
    I will never be okay with folks wanting to play devil’s advocate in the midst of a political movement about black people’s lives.
    I’m not a thought experiment. This movement is not a thought experiment. The systematic killing of blk folks is not a thought experiment.

    How Many KKK Chapters Are In Your Area? With map.

    Nashville police chief shares message, responds to questions

    To All Employees:

    It is the holiday season and this has been a good year. My sincere thanks for the work you do every day to make this a successful police department. The Nashville public is especially pleased with the work you do and has even more confidence in you as events have unfolded over the last few weeks.

    Over the last weeks, across the nation, and here in Nashville, we have witnessed many protests and demonstrations. Some of the demonstrations have been peaceful. Some have been violent, with significant property damage. Here in Nashville, persons have gathered to express their thoughts in a non-violent manner. I thank all involved for the peaceful manner in which they have conducted themselves.

    I also thank you. As a member of the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department, you have responded to these events in a manner that clearly shows that this is a professional police department staffed by professional individuals who respect the points of view of all persons. Again, thank you for showing the Nashville public that, individually and collectively, they have a police department they can be proud of.

    Obviously, as you have come to know over your police career, not everyone will understand or agree with the manner in which we have responded during these demonstrations. In any endeavor we undertake, decisions should be made with a view toward producing the best outcome for all of Nashville. Our decisions must be made with this in the forefront. However, in that we work for the public, public opinion should be given consideration in the decision making process in matters such as this.

    Overwhelmingly, in comments that have been directed to me, the public is supportive of your actions. Obviously, some have expressed disagreement. Most have stated their disapproval in a well thought out and rational manner. Their thoughts should be respected and given consideration.

    However, as in any similar issue, there is a fringe, generally about 5 percent, on either end of the approval spectrum that have very strong views. It is readily apparent that their thought processes are driven, not by what has occurred during the demonstration, but more by the social positions taken by the demonstrators. Clearly, they are more angry at the thoughts expressed by the demonstrators than how the demonstrations are being conducted. While I respect their right to take that position, we cannot allow those views to be a part of our decision making process. Decisions need to be made with a view toward what is best for all of Nashville.

    Below is my reply to one such email I received. I have removed the name and other identifying information from the email in order to respect the privacy of the individual.

    Again, the Nashville public is very proud of you and the work you have done over the last years. The confidence and support of the public is continually and loudly expressed to both me and the Mayor at any time we are out in the public. Thank you for making this a very impressive police department–another thing we can celebrate during this holiday season.

    I wish you and your family well during the holidays and I am predicting, thanks to the work that you do day in and day out, that we will have another very successful year.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    [Email Received]

    Chief Anderson,

    I wanted to send you this email to express my frustration and outrage at how the situation of these protesters is being handled in Nashville. The first night protesters marched here after the incidents in Ferguson they never should have been allowed to shut down the interstate. Instead of at least threatening to arrest them, they were served coffee and hot chocolate. I don’t feel that is an appropriate use of taxpayer dollars. It sends a message that they can do whatever they want and will be rewarded. Then, this past week, more protesters march around downtown for 3 or more hours and once again, no arrests, and it took THP to keep them from getting on the interstate again. Saturday night, marching and “die ins” at Opry Mills mall. How long are we going to allow these people to disrupt our city?

    I have a son who I have raised to respect police officers and other authority figures, but if he comes to me today and asks “Why are the police allowing this?” I wouldn’t have a good answer. If any other group of people wanted to march around the streets they would have to get a permit weeks or months in advance, and I know it’s not possible to get a permit to obstruct traffic and walk on the interstate.

    Please understand I am not trying to disrespect you or your department, I just want myself and my family to feel that our city is safe, and right now we don’t feel that way. Is this going to be allowed to continue until someone gets hurt? Protection of the city should be coming from MNPD, not THP. I also understand that you get direction from the mayor’s office, but these actions are putting the department at disharmony from the majority of the citizens. At some point you are going to have to answer this question to yourself – “Am I following or giving orders that help or hurt the community?” In closing, if these recent actions have been due to pressure from the mayor’s office, please reach out to the people of Nashville, there are many who will gladly contact the mayor’s office as well.

    Sincerely, ________ __________

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    [Reply to Email]

    Mr. _____________

    While I certainly appreciate your offer to intercede on my behalf with our Mayor, you should know that the Mayor has not issued any order, directive or instruction on the matter with which you take issue. All decisions concerning the police department’s reaction to the recent demonstrations have been made within the police department and approved by me. Therefore, any reasons or rationale supporting your proposal as what would be the best approach for all of Nashville, and not just a method of utilizing the police department to enforce a personal agenda, should be directed to me.

    In that your thoughts deserve consideration, I will attempt to address some of the issues you have raised:

    • Has consideration been given as to whether the response of the police department “help or hurt the community.”

    It is our view that every decision made within the police department should be made with the community in mind. Obviously, there are some matters in which we have no discretion. On matters in which we do have discretion, careful consideration is given as to the best course of action, always with the welfare of the general public in mind.

    That has been the consideration on this issue. Certainly, in comparing the outcome here in Nashville with what has occurred in some other cities, the results speak for themselves. I stand on the decisions that have been made.

    • “These actions are putting the department at disharmony from the majority of the citizens.”

    While I don’t doubt that you sincerely believe that your thoughts represent the majority of citizens, I would ask you to consider the following before you chisel those thoughts in stone.

    As imperfect humans, we have a tendency to limit our association with other persons to those persons who are most like us. Unfortunately, there is even more of a human tendency to stay within our comfort zone by further narrowing those associations to those persons who share our thoughts and opinions. By doing this we can avoid giving consideration to thoughts and ideas different than our own. This would make us uncomfortable. By considering only the thoughts and ideas we are in agreement with, we stay in our comfort zone. Our own biases get reinforced and reflected back at us leaving no room for any opinion but our own. By doing this, we often convince ourselves that the majority of the world shares opinion and that anyone with another opinion is, obviously, wrong.

    It is only when we go outside that comfort zone, and subject ourselves to the discomfort of considering thoughts we don’t agree with, that we can make an informed judgment on any matter. We can still disagree and maintain our opinions, but we can now do so knowing that the issue has been given consideration from all four sides. Or, if we truly give fair consideration to all points of view, we may need to swallow our pride and amend our original thoughts.

    And, it is only by giving consideration to the thoughts of all persons, even those that disagree with us, that we can have an understanding as to what constitutes a majority.

    • “I just want myself and my family to feel that our city is safe, and right now we don’t feel that way.”

    I have to admit, I am somewhat puzzled by this announcement. None of the demonstrators in this city have in any way exhibited any propensity for violence or indicated, even verbally, that they would harm anyone. I can understand how you may feel that your ideologies have been questioned but I am not aware of any occurrence that would give reason for someone to feel physically threatened.

    • “I have a son who I have raised to respect police officers and other authority figures, but if he comes to me today and asks “Why are the police allowing this?” I wouldn’t have a good answer.”

    It is somewhat perplexing when children are injected into the conversation as an attempt to bolster a position or as an attempt to thwart the position of another. While this is not the type of conversation I ordinarily engage in, here are some thoughts you may find useful as you talk with your son.

    First, it is laudable that you are teaching your son respect for the police and other authority figures. However, a better lesson might be that it is the government the police serve that should be respected. The police are merely a representative of a government formed by the people for the people—for all people. Being respectful of the government would mean being respectful of all persons, no matter what their views.

    Later, it might be good to point out that the government needs to be, and is, somewhat flexible, especially in situations where there are minor violations of law. A government that had zero tolerance for even minor infractions would prove unworkable in short order.

    Although this is unlikely, given your zero tolerance stance, suppose that, by accident or perhaps inattention, you found yourself going 40 miles per hour in a 30 miles per hour zone and that you were stopped by a police officer. Then, after making assurances that licenses were in order and that there were no outstanding warrants, the officer asked you not to speed again and did not issue a citation, but merely sent you on your way.

    As you have suggested, a question may come to you from the back seat, “How can I respect the police if they will not enforce the law?” In the event this does occur, here are some facts that might help you answer that question.

    In the year 2013, our officers made over four hundred thousand vehicle stops, mostly for traffic violations. A citation was issued in only about one in six of those stops. Five of the six received warnings. This is the police exercising discretion for minor violations of the law. Few, if any, persons would argue that the police should have no discretion.

    This is an explanation you might give your son. Take into account, however, that the innocence of children can produce the most profound and probing questions. They often see the world in a very clear and precise manner, their eyes unclouded by the biases life gives us. This could produce the next question. “If you believe that the police should enforce the law at all times, why didn’t you insist that the officer write you a ticket?”

    I don’t have a suggestion as to how that should be answered.

    I do know, however, that this is a very diverse city. Nashville, and all of America, will be even more diverse when your son becomes an adult. Certainly, tolerance, respect and consideration for the views of all persons would be valuable attributes for him to take into adulthood.

    Mr. ______, thank you for taking the time to express your position on this matter. I assure that your thoughts will be given all due consideration. We will continue, however, to make decisions, on this and all matters, that take into account what is best for all of Nashville.

    Steve Anderson
    Chief of Police

    (Yes, it’s rather long, but oh well, I’ve been away for a few days!)

    @ChipotleTweets <<<— please do not eat or support this company till they release a apology to the NYPD thank you. Protestors, however, say boycott if they DO apologize. Because some employees greeted entering police officers with their hands up and the words, “Hands up, don’t shoot!”, and the company refuses to apologize. Ha!

  100. rq says

    NYPD head William Bratton calls for less rhetoric, more dialogue

    Speaking on NBC’s Meet The Press, Commissioner William Bratton said the “pent-up frustrations” that have caused people to take to the streets in recent weeks go far beyond policing policies across the nation.

    “This is about the continuing poverty rates, the continuing growing disparity between the wealthy and the poor. It’s still about unemployment issues. There are so many national issues that have to be addressed that it isn’t just policing, as I think we all well know,” he said.

    Bratton said rank-and-file officers and much of America’s police leadership feels under attack, including “from the federal government at the highest levels.”

    He urged: “See us. See the police. See why they have the anxieties and the perceptions they have.”

    Bratton also appeared on CBS’s Face the Nation, where he defended Mayor Bill de Blasio, saying it was wrong for hundreds of police officers to turn their backs to a video monitor outside a Queens church as de Blasio spoke at the funeral of Officer Rafael Ramos.

    “I certainly don’t support that action,” he said. “That funeral was held to honour Officer Ramos. And to bring politics, to bring issues into that event, I think, was very inappropriate.” […]

    After Bratton, former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani told the CBS program that it was wrong for officers to turn their backs on de Blasio or to try to blame him for the deaths of the officers.

    But he also said de Blasio should apologize to the police department because he “created an impression with the police that he was on the side of the protesters.”

    “Say you’re sorry,” Giuliani urged.

    De Blasio stayed out of sight Sunday, staging no public events and continuing to let Bratton hold centre stage in the week since the double murder.

    I can’t imagine what de Blasio’s wife is feeling during this time.

    Rafael Ramos, slain NYC police officer, honoured with huge funeral

    Ferguson officer suspended after calling Michael Brown memorial a ‘pile of trash’

    Zoll is being placed on unpaid leave while disciplinary proceedings begin, according to the statement.

    “The City of Ferguson wants to emphasize that negative remarks about the Michael Brown memorial do not reflect the feelings of the Ferguson Police Department and are in direct contradiction to the efforts of city officials to relocate the memorial to a more secure location,” the statement reads. The department noted that even after the officer’s initial denial, it “continued the investigation until the truth was discovered.”

    Before Saturday’s statement, Jeff Small, a spokesman for the city, told The St. Louis Post-Dispatch that Zoll had been misquoted and denied questioning why The Washington Post reporter made the call.

    DelReal stuck by his story, tweeting Friday afternoon: “The department told The St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the quote is a misunderstanding. The quote is accurate.”

    Kill a black boy, though, and you get paid leave for weeks and weeks. Huh.

  101. says

    Tony! 108
    The fact that there even is such a thing as fucking ‘arrest quotas’ is a pretty major fucking problem all by itself, and would be regardless of how it was applied. Given the existing context, however, it’s even worse, because they’re pretty much being told, straight out :’ go find at least X n-words to lock up tonight.’
    rq

    How Many KKK Chapters Are In Your Area? With map.

    I’d feel better about the fact that there aren’t any in my neck of the woods (Oregon, Washington and Idaho are all clear of markers) if I didn’t know why that’s the case. Around here, we get neo-Nazis and Christian Identity types, who consider the KKK to be a bunch of wimps and backsliders.

    Bill Bratton, a “cop’s cop” and architect of the “Broken Windows” policing strategy that begat stop-and-frisk

    NYPD head William Bratton calls for less rhetoric, more dialogue.

    Gee, Bill. I wonder what could possibly make the protestors beleive that dialogue with you on matters of race and policing might not be the most fruitful course of action. Any thoughts?

  102. rq says

    Ezell Ford: The Timeline. They’re finally releasing his autopsy results tomorrow.

    #BlackLivesMatter: From Ferguson October to Chicago’s Union Station, a personal account of someone participating in Ferguson and Chicago in support of BlackLivesMatter.

    History: Fleeing To Dismal Swamp, Slaves And Outcasts Found Freedom.

    For Hollywood, ‘Selma’ Is A New Kind Of Civil Rights Story. Anyone see it yet?

    Cleveland pro-police rally draws thousands, including family members of fallen officers. As twitter remarked, it was about 90% white.

    The rally on Saturday was organized to contrast nationwide unrest over fatal police shootings, including the Nov. 22 shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice at Cudell Recreation Center by a rookie Cleveland police officer.

    People wearing blue to support the police enveloped Public Square on Saturday. The group silently marched to the Greater Cleveland Peace Officers Memorial across on Lakeside Boulevard and West 3rd Street.

    Some carried signs that said “All lives matter” and “Police lives matter.”

    About 20 members of the group CLEdemands formed a counter-protest across the street from the Sea of Blue rally.

    “It’s a love campaign,” said protester Dylan Sellers. “We’re here because of the lives lost in the struggle. This is a silent march. We’re not engaging the other group.”

  103. rq says

    Detroit Won’t Restore Police Review Board Even Though Abuses Continue . Video at the link, with a full transcript, too.

    Protest For Akai Gurley Held In Brooklyn

    Today, however, standing three stories on a rooftop with the Stars and Stripes waving behind him at half-mast, one cop grinned and others puffed stogies as the protesters filed past. The whir of the circling NYPD helicopter muffled their chants calling for unity and calling out police brutality. They seemed to sense that the mood of the city, which once had sympathized with the protesters and Mayor Bill De Blasio, had shifted to support the police after the murders of Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu on Dec. 20 by a deranged Ismaaiyl Brinsley.

    LAPD set to release Ezell Ford autopsy report.

    “We’re asking for two things,” said Hutchinson, standing Sunday in front of a mural of Ford painted on the side of a corner mini-mart. “We want to make sure that this is an autopsy report without opinion, and if the report shows a discrepancy in how officers explain Ford was killed, then it has to be turned over to L.A. County Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey for possible prosecution of these officers.”

    Hutchinson was joined by Pedro Baez, who writes a weekly blog called Voice of the People, and Waymon Baker, with the gang intervention program Cease Fire. Standing to the side were family members of Ford.

    “We are issuing a call for peace,” Baker said. “We are calling for peace — and let the killing cease.” […]

    But the chief of investigations at the coroner’s office told The Times that it was unusual to see a months-long security hold on an autopsy involving a police shooting. Such holds generally last only a few weeks.

    The delay prompted Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti in November to order the LAPD to release the report. Since then, demonstrations have continued to occur on the streets of the city. The protests have been mostly peaceful, but last month a march resulted in the injury of one police officer.

    Hutchinson supports continued demonstrations as long as they are nonviolent and focused on the issue. “Anyone can get into the street, and that’s chaos and we oppose that,” he said. “We need a clear focus. Any misconduct on the behalf of the police must result in disciplinary action against the officers. That is the end game. That is the message.”

    The release of the report — and the LAPD’s handling of the findings — is a litmus test for the department, Hutchinson said.

    “If these officers engaged in an abuse of force out of the color of the law,” he said, “then there must be real discipline imposed upon them, including legal action.”

    In Black Lives Matter Protest, Corporate Rights Trump Free Speech

    “Youth leaders of color [are] under attack,” Black Lives Matter-Minnesota said in a statement. “It’s clear that the Bloomington City government, at the behest of one of the largest centers of commerce in the country, hopes to set a precedent that will stifle dissent and instill fear into young people of color and allies who refuse to watch their brothers and sisters get gunned down in the streets with no consequences.”

    Around 3,000 people flooded the mall on Saturday, December 20, to sing carols and chants following police killings of unarmed African-American men like Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, and Dontre Hamilton. The protests were peaceful, and some mall workers stepped outside of their businesses and raised their hands in support. Police closed around 80 stores during the two-and-a-half hour protests, and locked down several mall entrances.

    Days after the action, Bloomington City Attorney Sandra Johnson announced that she will not only seek criminal trespass and unlawful assembly charges against the protesters, but will also seek to have them pay for the mall’s lost revenue and overtime for police officers–a cost that she says will be “staggering.”[…]

    Mall of America’s status as a public space under the Minnesota state constitution was challenged in the 1990s by anti-fur activists who wanted to protest outside Macy’s. A Minnesota trial court initially found that, thanks to the Mall’s substantial public subsidies, the Mall of America was “born of a union with government” and could only impose reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions on protest.

    The Minnesota Supreme Court, though, reversed the lower court in 1998 and declared that the state constitution’s protection of free speech “does not apply to a privately owned shopping center such as the Mall of America, although developed in part with public financing.” […]

    In 1968, in an opinion authored by Justice Thurgood Marshall, the Court held that suburban shopping malls were serving the same public function as a town square, and therefore should be subject to similar constitutional constraints.

    “The shopping center premises are open to the public to the same extent that as the commercial center of a normal town,” Marshall wrote in the case, which involved the Logan Valley Mall in Pennsylvania. “So far as can be determined, the main distinction in practice between use by the public of the Logan Valley Mall and of any other business district … would be that those members of the general public who sought to use the mall premises in a manner contrary to the wishes of the [owners] could be prevented from so doing.”

    Subsequent decisions, however, chipped away at that “public function” doctrine, most notably in a 1972 decision authored by Justice Louis Powell. […]

    In recent years, the First Amendment has undergone a revolution in the U.S. Supreme Court–in cases like Citizens United, Hobby Lobby, and McCutcheon–but largely in favor of expanding the “free speech rights” of corporations and the wealthy few, rather than protecting what Justice Hugo Black described in 1945 as “the poorly financed causes of little people.” When average Americans raise their voices in protest, they can still be muffled by corporate interests.

    I think that’s rather interesting, town mall as public market. Huh.

  104. rq says

    Cops behaving horribly. Boy Struck, Killed by Police Cruiser Responding to Call: Police

    The child’s family told NBC10 the boy was walking with two of his friends on Delsea Drive and Paul Street. The boy was crossing the street to attend a sleepover when he was suddenly struck by a Franklin Township Police cruiser passing by. Police told NBC10 the officer was responding to a call.

    The boy later died from his injuries. The boy’s two friends were not hurt and are currently being interviewed by detectives.

    Family members and a witness claimed the police cruiser was traveling fast and did not have on any lights or a siren at the time of the accident. Investigators have not yet confirmed this however.

    Again re: Mall of America, Milwaukee WI: Police Issue Arrest Orders For Protest Organizers

    For three years now dating back to the in custody death of Derek Williams, I have been a vocal activist for the group Occupy the Hood Milwaukee. Within these three years we have faced four very influential cases of injustice; Darius Simmons, Derek Williams, Corey Stingley, and now a national case with Dontre Hamilton.

    Just recently, I have been arrested three times for civil disobedience, have been personally called out by our chief of police and now am wanted (without a warrant issued) for ‘interrogation and desire to charge’ by Milwaukee Police Department. They have searched for me for two days now using the Fugitive and Apprehension Division.

    Since December 26, after our rally on 27th & Burleigh, targets were identified for arrest. On December 29th, we will be releasing information to the public regarding these “temporary warrants” issued. Our goal is to develop a community where we can police ourselves, correct ourselves, and have a community response team in place throughout identified neighborhoods.

    We believe that these are intimidating and harassment tactics by MPD to isolate protesters and die down the movement. We stand against community repression, suppression and oppression. Milwaukee has been unjust for years and years, and we must bring a spotlight to this crisis of police violence.

    “HANDS UP!” at Grambling State University’s fall graduation on December 19th.

    “I Can’t Breathe” 25 Year Old Michigan Man Dies After Being Suffocated To Death By 3 Security Guards!

    Not allowed on the arch? Guardians of the Arch, downtown STL, Dec 27 (@LBPhoto1); Mike Brown on the Gateway Arch, downtown STL, Dec 27 (@LBPhoto1).

  105. rq says

    Police shoot burglary suspect in East Baltimore.

    3 White Officers In S.C. Indicted For Shooting Unarmed Black Men – baby steps?

    Combs was removed from his position and charged with murder. Groubert was fired and indicted for assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature. Craven was indicted with a charge of misconduct in office, even though the prosecutor initially sought a manslaughter charge.

    Recently, the difficulty of indicting a police officer has been highlighted in media stories and by protesters across the nation, with much focus on the secrecy of grand jury proceedings.

    University of South Carolina law professor Seth Stoughton told Al Jazeera America: “I think there’s something different happening in South Carolina in prosecutors’ and solicitors’ offices who are asking for and receiving these indictments.”

    Stoughton said the indictments may have been influenced by the Brown and Garner cases.

    “I don’t know if we would have seen the three indictments that we’ve seen recently here in South Carolina if we had gone back a year or so, prior to August,” he said.

    Throw-away Weapons: A Cop Insurance Policy or an Abuse of Power?

    By way of an example, what would happen if an officer were confronted with an assailant aiming a toy pistol at the officer? The answer would be that the officer would hopefully aim for center-mass, thereby ending the perceived threat. Well, okay, but that’s when the officer’s troubles begin.

    The very next step would be for the officer to face his or her internal affairs division’s investigations. “What, you mean even in the dark you couldn’t tell that the gun was really a plastic toy?“ There would sure to be a judicial review board, followed, at the very minimum, by a lengthy unpaid suspension, a stain on the officer’s perhaps otherwise stellar personnel record, thereby preventing future promotions, perhaps even termination, perhaps even criminal prosecution with the possibility of incarceration. So what were those aforementioned preparations put in place by some very well-meaning veteran officers? Well, many, if not most, carried, what became known as, “throw-away weapons.”

    Those weapons had any and all possible serial numbers removed, were impossible to trace back to the officers, and were concealable. The weapons in question ranged from switchblades to daggers, derringers to small caliber two-inch revolvers, to the smallest of semi-automatic pistols, and just about anything else thrown in for good measure. The common denominator was that they could all be used if and when the unimaginable were to happen. In the case of the plastic toy gun, in the frantic seconds after the fact, the throw-away derringer, sans serial numbers, could be substituted for that toy gun, thereby ensuring that disciplinary actions would be prevented. And just where does one acquire such a strange and assorted mix of weapons? Well, if you work on the streets long enough, they just somehow place themselves in your hands. You come across those items on nearly a daily basis, and not all of them get turned over to the evidence division.

    Yes, I know, I’m a dinosaur, and I’m relatively sure I couldn’t manage to fit in with today’s new breed of highly trained law enforcement professionals. But just give them a few years out in patrol, and, dollars to donuts, I’ll be willing to bet that a high percentage of them will be carrying throw-away weapons as well.

    Vocal Ferguson Protester Arrested on Arson Charge

    Joshua Williams, vocal in Ferguson, Mo., protests, has been arrested on an arson charge in nearby Berkeley, police say.

    (With autoplay video.)

    And I really liked this article: The Root Names 2014 The Year of the Protester

    The fury over these state-sanctioned killings, however, would reach the tipping point on August 9, two days prior to Ford’s death, on Canfield Drive in Ferguson, Missouri.

    It was there that now former police officer Darren Wilson gunned down unarmed, 18-year-old Michael Brown as he reportedly begged for his life in the middle of the street. It was there that Brown’s bullet-riddled body would be left to lie in the sweltering heat for four hours as his mother’s wails of rage and grief pierced the air. It was there that protesters stood unbowed before a militarized police force armed with tear gas, dogs, sonic grenades, armored tanks and rubber bullets.

    And it was there that the justifiable rage and resentment would explode in a firestorm after a grand jury announced on November 24 that Wilson would not be indicted in Brown’s killing. Governor Jay Nixon had declared a state of emergency the previous week in order to preemptively intimidate protesters into submission—it didn’t work. The revolution was live-streamed and images of law enforcement officers engaging protesters as if they were enemy combatants flooded social media.

    The #Ferguson hashtag became the cyber headquarters of the Twitter arm of the movement and everyone gathered to get information that mainstream media would not cover. As tensions fueled by anti-protester sentiment continued to escalate, Attorney General Eric Holder weighed in with what has become his go-to response in these miscarriages of justice: reiterating that the Justice Department’s civil rights investigation would be ‘thorough.’ President Obama eventually joined the chorus of voices demanding that protests remain calm but his words did not sway the Ferguson protesters. For 139 days and counting, they have continued despite naysayers who doubted their dedication and miscalculated the depth of their commitment. They continue to stand in solidarity, refusing to prioritize peace over justice, while boldly chanting the words of Assata Shakur:

    “It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love each other and support each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains.”

    On December 3, barely one week after the Wilson decision, a grand jury in New York City declined to indict Garner’s killer. The psychological and emotional trauma inflicted with that vicious 1-2 punch caused tens of thousands of people to stage protests and “die-ins” around the world. Politicians such as former and current NYC mayors Rudy Giuliani and Bill de Blasio have tried to suppress protesters’ voices in the wake of the recent shooting deaths of two NYPD officers, but they have remained steadfast in their refusal to allow them to reframe black love as anti-cop hate.

    They have forced this nation to reckon with the fact that it was forged in protest and that Americans—yes, even black Americans—have the right to dismantle systems of oppression that destroy the lives of our people. Sparked by the Ferguson uprising, a generation of protesters from around the country—including Atlanta, Boston, Miami, Houston, Oakland, Birmingham, Chicago, D.C. and Berkley, Ca.—have been baptized in radical fire, refusing to sell out or buy into a corrupt system that allows police officers to kill with impunity.
    […]

    It belongs to the youth who refuse to romanticize the presence of an African American president who has positioned the relentless killing of black people as a manifestation of the mistrust between communities and law enforcement, instead of the continuation of this country’s legacy of lynching black bodies who are perceived as dangerous threats when not in shackles.

    Legendary poet and activist Amiri Baraka taught us that if we ever find ourselves surrounded by enemies who won’t let us speak our own language, who ban our oom boom ba boom, then we’re in trouble so deep that it will probably take us several hundreds of years to get out.

    This is a generation of activists that recognizes we’re in deep trouble.
    […]

    They continue to speak hard truths to morally bankrupt power–bravely, consistently and unapologetically—and we are in their debt.

    The Root proudly salutes our person of the year: The Protester.

  106. rq says

    I haven’t been following Butterflies & Wheels as much as I used to, but here’s five pieces from Ophelia Benson, commenting on the latest NYPD behaviour:
    1) “Our backs have turned to you”;
    2) Hundreds of officers outside turned their backs;
    3) The occupying-force mentality;
    4) No use of force by the police can ever seem too excessive;
    5) Somebody has to do the managing.
    She’s got some good links within the OPs themselves, good reading.

    Here’s one more from Mano:
    6) Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on the police shootings.

    I doubt I’ll be focussing on the police shootings so much from now on, though – until and as much as they don’t have any direct bearing on the protesting and general movement-building. But we’ll see, who knows what interesting things will pop up.

  107. rq says

  108. rq says

    Ferguson officer placed on leave over remarks about damaged memorial;
    After calling Mike Brown memorial ‘pile of trash,’ Ferguson police spokesman let go.

    A Conversation With Ferguson’s Only Black City Councilman. Yup, there’s just the one. Audio at the link.

    Black women and girls killed by the police. Speak their names, see their faces and know their stories. A whole stack of links and pictures at the link, please make an effort to check this one out and to reduce the erasure of black women killed by cops!


    Guess Who Took A BB Gun Off A Walmart Shelf, Loaded It, Ran Around Shooting, And Lived?

    One can’t help but wonder if the outcome would have been different, had these men been black. Of the three men who recently dealt with police after picking up a BB gun in a Walmart, the only one who is dead is the one who intended to buy it — yet the two who are alive actually fired inside the store and made further threats.

    Once again, this kind of comparison is stark and frightening.

    We fabricated drug charges against innocent people to meet arrest quotas, former detective testifies

  109. rq says

    They’ve released Ezell Ford’s autopsy results.
    Ezell Ford’s Autopsy Shows LAPD Shot Him Three Times, Once In The Back

    The report reveals that Ford was shot three times: once in the abdomen, once in the back and once in the right arm. The wounds to abdomen and back were ruled fatal. The wound to back showed a muzzle imprint, suggesting it occurred from very close range.

    A muzzle imprint suggests contact when fired. Gunshot residue or soot suggests close range firing. A muzzle IMPRINT means that gun was pressed to his skin & then fired. #EzellFord @deray

    The police claim that Ford tackled one of the officers and tried to grab one of the officer’s guns, causing his partner to shoot Ford. The city supported the officers’ claims in their response to the Ford’s lawsuit, saying they acted in self-defense.

    The shooting led to months of protests in the community as Ford’s death garnered national media attention and was compared to the police killings of other unarmed black men such as Eric Garner and Michael Brown, who was killed by a police officer just two days before Ford was.
    The LAPD initially delayed the release of Ford’s autopsy for months, arguing it was part of its ongoing investigation into his death. On Nov. 14, Mayor Eric Garcetti ordered police to release the autopsy results before the end of the year.

    Yeah, that was a no indictment.
    The document is here: in scanned pdf.

    Ezell Ford autopsy: Black man shot in back, side, arm by L.A. police.

    A timeline: Aug. 11 Shot – 8:10pm Died – 10:10pm Aug. 12 Coroner Called – 3:15pm Aug. 13 Body Delivered to Coroner – 3pm Body Processed – 4pm #Ezell.
    Ezell did not immediately die. They attempted to save his life. “Evidence of Therapeutic Intervention.” #EzellFord

  110. rq says

    The Year In Police Killings

    The killings of Michael Brown, Eric Garner and John Crawford III, among others, by police officers this year focused national attention on race, police violence and the apparent unwillingness of grand juries to indict those who carry a badge.

    The incidents spurred research that found black men are 21 times more likely to be killed by police than their white counterparts. And recent reports have found an accurate count of all police killings is nearly impossible because of the way records are kept.

    As the year ends, mass protests against the killings continue, undeterred by claims that protesters have blood on their hands.

    A list of the better-known, most controversial incidents follows. No, not incidents, murders. Incl. Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Samantha Ramsey. Among others.

  111. rq says

    In web video, 911 operator defends comments on police

    Murray said in the video that after her comments were widely shared and became the topic of news stories, she has felt harassed and fearful.

    Murray worked with Leaders of Beautiful Struggle to produce the video. A member of the group said Murray was not immediately available Monday for additional comment.

    The initial Facebook post surfaced at a time of heightened tension about the relationship between police and minority communities after the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown at the hands of police, and fears among officers that they have become the target for retaliatory attacks.

    Murray posted to Facebook before two NYPD officers were gunned down in Brooklyn earlier this month. The Facebook page has since been taken down.

    In the video, Murray said thoughts about her black son and the fate he might face if he ever got into trouble were on her mind when she wrote the post.

    “I gave birth to a son that I want to see grow up,” she said. “I can’t imagine him being shot down like that.”

    A Majority of Cop Killers Have Been White

    But, while every killing of an officer is a tragedy, it is worth noting, as my colleague Shane Bauer reported in the context of another story, assaults and felony killings of police officers in the US are down sharply over the past two decades. Attention has also been focused on Brinsley’s race, but FBI data shows that, though African Americans are arrested and incarcerated at a higher rate than whites, the majority of assailants who feloniously killed police officers in the past year were white.

    Some nice graphs at the link.

    10:30am Mayor of Berkeley, MO will tell lies about cops murdering #AntonioMartin (evidence suggests cops planted gun)

    Protesters #ShutItDown on #Highway170! #Ferguson #FreeJosh

    Group of #EzellFord protesters at 65th & Broadway, on the 110 Fwy were met by CHP & LAPD. The link in the tweet: African-American Community Leaders React to the Ezell Ford Autopsy Report

  112. rq says

    Cali basketball tournament changes mind on banning Mendocino High School girls team over “I Can’t Breathe” shirts (with photo).

    America tweeted about Ferguson more than any other news story in 2014

    The Michael Brown shooting: According to Twitter mentions, the August 9 shooting of unarmed black 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, was by far the year’s biggest news event. After three months, a grand jury in Missouri decided not to indict Darren Wilson, then a Ferguson police officer, for the shooting. The shooting and the grand jury’s decision led to a wave of protests around the country against what many view as racial disparities in the criminal justice system, further bolstered by another grand jury’s decision not to indict the New York City police officer who killed Eric Garner, who was also unarmed at the time of this death.

    From the BBC: Ezell Ford shot in back by LA police – coroner.

    Protesters stand-off w/#Berkeley pd 63134.

    Emails and racist chats show how cops and GOP are teaming up to undermine de Blasio. Can’t copy-paste from the link, but it’s full of a lot of exposed racist bullshit. Like a LOT of it.

    Die-in happening at grand central #NYC! #BlackLivesMatter #ThisStopsToday #Icantbreathe #shutitdown.

  113. rq says

    thisisthemovement, installment #68:

    Ferguson
    McCulloch Has No Regrets “I did what I thought was right under the circumstances in presenting everything to the grand jury,” said McCulloch. A legislative panel has asked a committee to look into McCulloch’s actions and have filed proposals to change how police shootings are handled.

    Silent March to the Arch Protestors silently marched from Union Station in downtown STL to the Arch and placed colored tape on the gates at the Arch in memory of those killed by police.

    Protesters Gathered Outside Midnight Mass, Police in Riot Gear Did Too Around 75 people gathered outside the Cathedral Basilica before Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve to stage a quiet protest. St. Louis City police stood on the steps of the church in full riot gear.

    Rebuilding The Mike Brown Memorial The street memorial on Canfield was vandalized over the weekend and rebuilt by protestors. This is the second time that a Mike Brown memorial has been vandalized.

    Antonio Martin
    Antonio Martin killed by a Berkeley Police Officer, Minutes From Ferguson
    Late Wednesday night a young man, Antonio Martin was shot and killed by a Berkeley police officer. The officer’s dash cam and body cam were not on to record the interaction. St. Louis County police released 3 surveillance videos that are blurry and don’t show much of what possibly happened at the scene.

    Ezell Ford
    Ezell Ford’s Autopsy Is Released After months of waiting, Ezell Ford’s autopsy has been released. You absolutely must read this. Now.

    Commentary/Miscellaneous
    Federal Officials May Use Little Known Civil Rights Statute in Police Shooting Cases Department of Justice and FBI have been looking into the deaths of Michael Brown Jr, Eric Garner, John Crawford III and Dontre Hamilton. Title 18, section 242 of the US code, also known as the “color of law” statute could be used in their cases. “The government does not have to prove any racial bias for a successful prosecution and cases involving the death of a victim can theoretically be punished with life imprisonment or even a death sentence.”

    Understanding Bias This resource importantly helps readers understand the nuance of implicit bias and therefore helps readers understand how to think about race more deeply. Important read.

    Nashville Police Chief The Chief of Police in Nashville offered helpful commentary from the police perspective on the current unrest. Must read.

    The Lessons of Ella Baker Ella Baker served an important organizing for during the Civil Rights Movement and this article helps readers better understand the way(s) in which she functioned during this time. Important read.

    Every 28 Hours, Fact or Fiction? This article calls into question the “every 28 hours” stat. Absolute must read.

    Campaign against twitter activism: RT @Trap_Jesus: I need to be in on this. RT @Nettaaaaaaaa: This is. RT @CassandraRules: Honored to be included. (see photo).

    Women Are Leading and Will be leading this movement. Ashe to these powerful sisters. #chi2ferguson

    And Ezell couldn’t even be an organ donor because they let his body sit for so long. Autopsy. #EzellFord

  114. rq says

    This is a protest in 1936. In case you’re not good at math, that’s 78 years ago. Great photo, possible re-post.

    Protest in Nashville today, random inserted pictures to follow. Ferguson, Chicago, Atlanta, Cleveland, and New York to #Nashville. We just took the mayor’s office! @LiberateNville @BYP_100 @MillennialAU.

    Y’all, Wal-Mart just isn’t safe. Cops: Tot accidentally shoots, kills woman in Idaho Wal-Mart.

    A 2-year-old boy accidentally shot and killed a woman after he reached into her purse at an Idaho Wal-Mart and her concealed gun fired, authorities said Tuesday.

    The woman was shopping with several children, and it is unclear how they are related, sheriff’s spokesman Stu Miller said.

    Authorities originally said the boy was the woman’s son.

    The woman, whose identity was not released, had a concealed weapons permit.

    Miller said the shooting was accidental and occurred in the Wal-Mart in Hayden, Idaho, a town about 40 miles northeast of Spokane, Washington.

    This picture has been going around on twitter here and there, with the idea that, if she were black, she would never get away with this. Here’s the article: What Would Happen if I Got in White Cop’s Face?

    Unfortunately, those demonstrations have also exposed a disturbing truth—that even among those bound together in the quest for social justice, unexamined privilege is prevalent.

    The best example of this came in the form of a single photograph, published by the New York Daily News, of a 20-something white woman standing fearlessly, pressed breasts-to-chest with a New York City police officer. From her expression, we know she is passionately shouting in unchecked defiance as another officer looks on passively from a few paces away. Neither seems bothered that she is in his face. Neither is unnerved by her apparent anger, nor do they see her as threatening.

    Like most of the protesters, maybe she’s challenging the belief that equal protection is a reality, or maybe she is demanding that the justice system end over-policing in black neighborhoods, dismantle mass incarceration, and end the school-to-prison pipeline. Maybe, she—like me—is frustrated that two separate grand juries, in two different states, failed to hold police officers accountable in the deaths of two African American men. Maybe (and I amuse myself) she’s shouting: Black lives matter!

    My amusement doesn’t last.

    I know I cannot be the woman in that photograph. I cannot be indignant, no matter how righteous my fury. And even if I were inclined, I couldn’t shout at a police officer—not in his face, not from across the street. I couldn’t grip my waist and jam my chest against his. “I would not make it home,” I tweeted a few nights ago.

    The truth is while I don’t know what she was saying, I do know this: Similar actions by a person of color, specifically a black woman like me, would likely end up with us in jail, in a hospital or who knows—like Eric Garner, on a medical examiner’s table.

    6-year-old K, daughter of @bdoulaoblongata, leads us in the Assata quote at the direct action today. #ItIsOurDuty

  115. rq says

    Nashville is empowered. #Ferguson2Nashville;
    #Ferguson2Nashville;
    Die-in at one of the only locations still standing where earlier Nashville sit-ins took place in the civil rights era;
    #Ferguson2Nashville happening now in Downtown Nashville.

    The NYPD Is an Embarrassment to the City of New York

    Those symbolic displays of contempt were intended to demonstrate the department’s lack of faith in its democratically elected leader. What they have communicated instead is that the New York Police Department is too childish and entitled to deserve its privileged status, and too aggrieved and resentful to be called “New York’s Finest.” The New York Police Department is an embarrassment to the city of New York.

    After the non-indictment of Daniel Pantaleo, the officer who killed unarmed Staten Island man Eric Garner, the department has embarked on an apparent mission to make itself look as juvenile as possible. In addition to the turned backs, the union representing NYPD officers recently pushed a petition to bar the mayor from attending cops’ funerals, then all but instructed officers to participate in a work stoppage.

    Why? Because de Blasio had the temerity to admit in public that his son is at a higher risk of being killed by the NYPD because his son is black. Because de Blasio said out loud, as mayor of New York city, what American parents of black and Latino children have said in private for decades. (There was also an incomprehensible dustup about de Blasio’s use of the word “allegedly.”) […]

    But if the deaths of Liu and Ramos gave the police department a moment to solemnly reflect and an opportunity to reconnect with a citizenry it had alienated with abuse and violence, they were squandered within only a few hours, when Patrick Lynch, the head of the police department’s largest union, told reporters that there was “blood on the hands” of the mayor and protesters. The willfully ignorant dolchstosslegende of de Blasio’s culpability in the murders was ridiculous to anyone with even passing understanding of the story: Ismaayil Brinsley allegedly shot and wounded his girlfriend before the murder-suicide; he’d had a long list of past weapons and robbery charges; he was obviously sick and hurting.

    And so while Lynch brayed, the rest of the city kept moving. De Blasio, recognizing the gravity of the moment, called for a temporary halt to the public protests that have filled streets around the city all month. Protesters declined to heed de Blasio’s call, and returned to the streets a few nights later, some singing “This Little Light of Mine” and paying their respects at an impromptu memorial for officers Liu and Ramos. In a tremendous showing of grace, Eric Garner’s daughter Emerald visited the memorial, telling reporters, “I just had to come out and let their family know that we stand with them, and I’m going to send my prayers and condolences to all the families who are suffering.” […]

    Not moving: The cops. Days before the murders, Lynch proudly said at a police union meeting that officers should respond to gentle criticism from the mayor and demonstrators by deliberately slowing down their patrols: “We’re going to take that book, their rules and we’re going to protect ourselves because they won’t. We will do it the way they want us to do it. We will do it with their stupid rules, even the ones that don’t work.” Another PBA spokesman denied that Lynch was calling for a slowdown, but the union chief’s language is clear enough.

    That apparent slippage in enforcement is addressed in a pair of New York Post articles published this week. According to the emphatically pro-cop tabloid, since December 22, tickets and minor summonses are down 94 percent and overall arrests down 66 percent compared to the same period last year. But instead of framing the lack of action in terms of Lynch’s raging ego, the Post and its sources posit that the recent unrest and the Liu-Ramos murder have left cops feeling afraid of being hurt on the job.

    In truth, it’s probably a little bit of both. Whether you’re a good cop or a bad cop, waking up and starting your patrol in a city where two of your colleagues were killed on the job and where throngs of people express their displeasure with you every single night is surely a source of enormous anxiety and discomfort, and rightfully so.

    But fearful as it may be, this is the job the cops signed up for: to protect and serve, as the motto on the side of every squad car in New York says, with courtesy, professionalism, and respect. This is why the angle that Lynch’s vituperative rhetoric is really about a union contract dispute is so unconvincing. Despite what the NYPD would have you believe, a police officer is not an oppressed minority, but a special, protected class of person—just look at what happened to Daniel Pantaleo after he killed a man on video for clear evidence of that. And if the pressures of being a police officer ever become too great, cops are welcome to relieve themselves of that special status by turning in their guns and badges and quitting the force.

    Eric Garner wasn’t so privileged. When the pressures of being a black man in a racist police state became too great for him to bear, he didn’t have the luxury of quitting. The greatest tool at his disposal in the moments before his death was his voice, and he used it. “I’m tired of it! This stops today,” he pled with officers as they questioned him about allegedly selling a single loose cigarette. “Please, just leave me alone.” For that simple request, he was executed in public without a trial. […]

    But the world is changing. Stop-and-frisk has slowed, if not entirely ended. Thanks to collective action in the wake of Garner’s death, outcry over the NYPD’s brutality and recklessness became too loud for the department or the city or its white establishment to ignore this year. Mayor de Blasio’s experience raising a son at high risk of NYPD killing makes him a compassionate and impassioned, if not always effective, advocate for change. His administration, the incisive editorials in the New York Times and the New York Daily News, and, most of all, the thrilling sight of people taking to the streets to demand justice have made New York feel like the city it wants to be—the greatest city in the world.

    The infantile response from the NYPD and the unions that represent it is not worthy of it. It is hardly worthy of a schoolyard bully who can’t believe he’s finally been called on his bullshit.

    Reports: Enjoy Yourself, Sulky NYPD Is Refusing to Enforce the Law

    Arrests, the Post reports, were down 66% in the week following the deaths of officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, compared to the same period in 2013.

    The arrest numbers are reportedly even lower for certain low-level offenses. From the Post:

    Citations for traffic violations fell by 94 percent, from 10,069 to 587, during that time frame.

    Summonses for low-level offenses like public drinking and urination also plunged 94 percent — from 4,831 to 300.

    Even parking violations are way down, dropping by 92 percent, from 14,699 to 1,241.

    Drug arrests by cops assigned to the NYPD’s Organized Crime Control Bureau — which are part of the overall number — dropped by 84 percent, from 382 to 63.</blockquote?

    The Daily News reports that the 84th Precinct, where officers Ramos and Liu worked, and the 79th Precinct, where they were killed, issued only one summons combined last week, compared to 626 the week before.

    Why the drop? One of the Post's sources says its partly out of safety concerns and partly a continuation of the childish and embarrassing protest against Mayor de Blasio's response to the non-indictment of Daniel Pantaleo, the officer who killed Eric Garner last summer.

    From the Post:

    “The call last week from the PBA is what started it, but this has been simmering for a long time,” one source said.

    “This is not a slowdown for slowdown’s sake. Cops are concerned, after the reaction from City Hall on the Garner case, about de Blasio not backing them.”

    NYAH, says the NYPD, while the general public… gets on with their lives?

  116. rq says

    Meh, borkquote.
    Boehner Stands by Steve Scalise, even though he’s a supporter of white supremacy. Yay.

    Idaho appeals court overturns conviction of black man in case where prosecutor recited Confederate anthem

    “Nothing in the record suggests that the jurors harbored any racial prejudice or that they were actually influenced by the prosecutor’s recitation of ‘Dixie,’ but the risk of prejudice to a defendant is magnified where the case is as sensitive as this one, involving alleged sexual molestation of minors,” Lansing wrote. “Although the state’s case here was a strong one, it was not so compelling that no rational juror could have voted to acquit.”

    The Appeals Court ordered Kirk’s conviction overturned and sent the case back to Canyon County for another prosecution. Decker said the county is waiting to see whether the Attorney General’s Office will appeal the opinion to the Idaho Supreme Court.

    Oh, this belongs with the previous comment: “Know how we’ll get back at De Blasio? Stop arresting people for bullshit charges!” – NYPD. GREAT JOB GUYS KEEP IT UP I SUPPORT YOU.

    Ezell Ford autopsy report: Four questions that remain unanswered

    “The other fatal wound, the back to front one, is very strange. One thing I’ve learned about muzzle imprints is that they don’t necessarily mean the muzzle was touching skin when the shot was fired, because the gun shoots out a lot of gas that can cause the skin to inflate. But if it wasn’t a contact wound, it was fired from just millimeters away.”

    He says some of the questions could include:

    If the flank shot wasn’t at close range, then how do police account for one distant shot and one contact wound occurring simultaneously? “If Officer B was holding a gun to Ford’s back, what was Officer A even shooting in their direction? That put Officer B in extreme danger,” says Jacobsen.
    Which fatal shot came first? “After the first, would Ford still have been able to act voluntarily or pose a threat? Not all fatal wounds are immediately incapacitating,” says Jacobsen.
    What is the timing of the shots? “If the shots weren’t simultaneous, then it could mean that Ford fell onto his face after the flank shot and the back contact wound was a coup de grace,” he said.

    But Islamic H.O.P.E.’s Ali says the most burning question of all will likely remain: Why was Ford stopped in the first place?

    That question touches on the same vein that has spurred protests in the wake of two other high-profile police shootings of black men in Ferguson, Mo., and Staten Island, N.Y.

    Berkeley mayor to give update this morning on investigation into fatal police shooting. I think the update already happened, and a lot of time was spent speaking about the arrested protestor Joshua, rather htan the shooting itself.

    Erasing black victims? This 16 yr old boy was raped and murdered by white men. They are trying to toss out the rape. #justiceforDionePayne. Or just part of their suffering. Same thing.

  117. rq says

    The NYPD is Essentially Refusing to do Its Job and Yet New York Hasn’t Collapsed into Chaos. Seems like they’re just digging their own deep hole to me.

    Mayor de Blasio is to meet face-to-face with the heads of five police unions today. If there is one thing that we can rest assured will not be brought up at this meeting, it is that this sharp drop in the enforcement of certain offenses has not created the Mad Max scenario that so many people predict would happen if police loosen their grip.

    Drug offenses, parking violations, traffic citations; these are not so much crimes as they are streams of revenue for the city. They are also the reason for the majority of police harassment within certain communities.

    Without the war on drugs and without police shaking down every young person who they suspect is carrying an illegal plant, the quality of life for so many people would instantly increase, as it likely already has.

    Ending prohibition would also effectively and drastically reduce the amount of crime in communities derived from the black market sale of drugs and the gang-related monopolies which arise from making certain substances illegal.

    These are real solutions to real problems and we have an opportunity now to show how many of these laws are based in irrational fear or simply designed for revenue generation.

    Sure, if police start refusing to arrest murderers and rapists, things will probably get really bad, especially since most of the residents in New York City have been disarmed. But this lawlessness would likely be a temporary reality. As we’ve seen with the economic collapse in Detroit and the subsequent lack of government policing, solutions like the Threat Management Center arise, which provide a more efficient and much more peaceful means of societal security.

    As Reason Magazine’s Scott Shackford said, presumably, next year, after this all dies down, the NYPD may note a big drop of crime in December entirely because they stopped finding reasons to charge people with crimes.

    Police unions could use the experience to decry all the petty, unnecessary reasons they’re ordered to cite and arrest people in the first place, but that’s not going to happen because they love the drug war and the money that comes into the departments from fighting it.

  118. says

    Man assaulted by NYPD for dancing on Christmas Eve

    The New York Police Department once again is proving they are out of control. They detained, choked, and threw a man to the ground, simply because he was taking part in a dance challenge offered by talk show host Ellen Degeneres.

    The idea behind #DanceDares is that people dance behind random people. That’s it. It’s harmless and fun, unless you’re a black man and you dance behind a New York Police Officer.

    Alexander BOK, a YouTube prankster, saw opportunity when Ellen presented the challenge.

    BOK spent Christmas Eve dancing “Gangnam Style” behind random New Yorkers. Most responded either with confusion, obliviousness or amusement, but when BOK encountered several New York Police Officers, things turned ugly.

    The police were clearly not feeling threatened. They acknowledged that BOK was dancing but insulted him nonetheless, they pressed him up against the van with an officer’s hand on his neck, asking “what’s wrong with you,” and even calling him a “fucking asshole.”

    At first, according to BOK, the police threatened to arrest him, but with no cause, they decided instead to throw him to the ground.

    Video at the link.

  119. Pteryxx says

    via The Mary Sue, the director of the new movie Selma responded to a WaPo op-ed’s claims of historical inaccuracy.

    In his critique of the film, Califano claims the Voting Rights Act was LBJ’s “greatest legislative achievement” and calls the civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama “LBJ’s idea.” As punishment for Selma‘s depiction of LBJ, Califano also called on audiences to boycott the film, saying it “should be ruled out this Christmas and during the ensuing awards season.”

    Thankfully, Selma director Ava DuVernay took to Twitter yesterday to respond to Califano’s claims, encouraging audiences to “interrogate history” rather than accept Califano’s revisionist version of events:

    I can argue, @HitFixGregory. Notion that Selma was LBJ’s idea is jaw dropping and offensive to SNCC, SCLC and black citizens who made it so.

    — Ava DuVernay (@AVAETC) December 28, 2014

    Ava DuVernay also linked to this excellent New Yorker longread on the detailed history of the voting rights movement, published last July after the Supreme Court struck down part of the Voting Rights Act. Much of it should sound extremely familiar when compared to events of just the past few weeks. All of it’s worth reading.

    The Color of Law

    On February 18, 1965, a civil-rights worker named James Orange was arrested in Marion, Alabama, on charges of disorderly conduct and contributing to the delinquency of minors, and was thrown into the local jail. Orange had organized a march by young people (“minors”) in support of a voter-registration drive being run by several groups, including the one he worked for, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, whose president was Martin Luther King, Jr.

    That night, four hundred people gathered in Zion’s Chapel Methodist Church, in Marion, and prepared to walk to the jail, about a block away, and sing freedom songs. They left the church at nine-thirty and ran into a police blockade. Ordered to disperse, they were attacked by fifty or more state troopers and other law-enforcement officials wielding clubs. Street lights had been turned off or shot out; white vigilantes were on the scene; reporters were attacked and cameras were smashed. No photographic record of the night survives.

    As Gary May tells the story, in “Bending Toward Justice” (Basic), people still in the church, hearing the screams outside, ran out the back, chased by the troopers. One of those who fled, Cager Lee, was struck on the head, fell to the ground, and was kicked. Lee was eighty-two; he was five feet tall and weighed a hundred and twenty pounds. But he escaped, and ran into a café, where he saw his daughter Viola and two grandchildren, Emma Jean and Jimmie Lee Jackson. When troopers stormed the café and began beating people, Jackson tried to protect his mother. He was shoved up against a cigarette machine and shot twice in the stomach by a trooper named James Fowler. Jackson managed to get out of the café but was beaten over the head until he collapsed on the street. He lay there, bleeding, for thirty minutes. Eventually, after a nearby hospital was unable to treat him, he was driven by a black undertaker, in a hearse, to a hospital in Selma, thirty miles away.

    Jackson was twenty-six years old, and an Army veteran. He had tried five times to register to vote, without success. While he was in the hospital, Colonel Al Lingo, the director of public safety for the state of Alabama, placed him under arrest for assault and battery with intent to murder a peace officer. But on February 26th, eight days after the shooting, Jackson died. The Voting Rights Act of 1965, generally regarded as the greatest legislative achievement of the so-called “classical phase” of the civil-rights movement—the phase that began in 1954 with the Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education—had three martyrs. Jimmie Lee Jackson was the first.

    […]

    Convicting Southern registrars of racial discrimination was not easy, though. One reason, as Taylor Branch explains in “Parting the Waters” (1988), the first volume of his stupendous history of the King years, was Screws. Claude Screws was a Georgia sheriff who, in 1943, arrested an African-American named Robert Hall and, with two other white men, drove him to a courthouse and beat him to death in public view. The State of Georgia declined to prosecute, but the Justice Department secured a conviction under a Reconstruction-era statute that made it a federal crime willfully to deprive someone of his civil rights under color of law.

    Screws argued that his actions were not covered by the statute, because he had not killed Hall under color of law. He had killed Hall in violation of the law. It was Georgia’s business, not the federal government’s, to prosecute him for it. The Supreme Court rejected this argument, but it reversed Screws’s conviction on a theory of its own. In an opinion by Justice William O. Douglas, the Court ruled that it was not enough to show that a white sheriff had brutally murdered a handcuffed black man. The government had to prove that he did so with the willful intention of depriving the prisoner of his rights. The case was remanded, and Screws was duly retried and acquitted.

    Screws v. United States was a jurisprudential tease. It said that discriminatory acts were covered by federal statute but that the government had to show intent, a state of mind notoriously difficult to prove. The shooting of Jimmie Lee Jackson was perfectly analogous. If Fowler killed Jackson with the intention of depriving him of a constitutional right (the right to a fair trial) but claimed to have done so in the line of duty, then the act fell under the federal statute. But, to obtain a conviction, the government would have to establish what was in Fowler’s mind when he pulled the trigger.

    In cases of voting, Southern states made things even more difficult by having registrars in suspect counties resign, so that, when the Justice Department came calling, there were no officials around to charge. Also, in some Southern counties, almost no African-Americans in the twentieth century had ever even attempted to register, so there were few cases to litigate. One goal of voter-registration drives was to build up the inventory of litigable cases.

    The primary goal, though, was to provoke official reaction sufficiently violent to compel the White House to produce a voting-rights bill with enforcement bite. The provocation part proved amazingly easy. All that the protesters had to do was to walk to the courthouse and ask to register. There was nothing covert about the strategy—“We are going to bring a voting bill into being in the streets of Selma,” King proclaimed from the pulpit of Selma’s Brown Chapel—yet Southern police, troopers, sheriffs, and deputies clubbed, sicced police dogs on, blasted fire hoses at, teargassed, and shocked with cattle prods nonviolent demonstrators, many of them clergymen and children, with an indifference to national and international opinion that was almost blithe. Their tactics were encouraged, defended, and sometimes ordered by Southern city halls and statehouses.

    But in Birmingham, when the Commissioner of Public Safety, Eugene (Bull) Connor, brought out the police dogs and fire hoses, and in Selma, when Sheriff Jim Clark socked a black minister, C. T. Vivian, in the face, reporters and cameramen were right there. Many white Americans who saw or read about the violence blamed the demonstrators, but the world blamed the American government. That got the attention of the White House.

    […]

    Before African-Americans were disenfranchised, they were enfranchised by the Fifteenth Amendment. The era of Jim Crow began, around 1890, with states erecting obstacles to voting, such as poll taxes and literacy tests, with loopholes exempting many whites. In 1896, in Plessy v. Ferguson, the Supreme Court ruled that segregation was constitutional; in 1898, in Mississippi v. Williams, and, in 1903, in Giles v. Harris, it upheld voting laws that operated to disenfranchise African-Americans. Those were the judicial pillars of legal segregation. Their effect was immediate. In 1896, there were 130,334 African-Americans registered to vote in Louisiana. In 1904, there were 1,342. Estimated black turnout in Virginia and South Carolina in the 1904 Presidential election was zero.

    The greatest voter suppression was often in areas where blacks were in the majority. Selma was more than fifty per cent black; in 1965, only 383 of the fifteen thousand African-Americans living there were registered to vote. Marion (where Coretta Scott King went to school) had no black voters. In nearby Lowndes County, where almost half of the lynchings in Alabama between 1880 and 1930 took place, and where stores refused to sell Marlboro cigarettes because of rumors that the company had donated to the N.A.A.C.P., four out of five residents were black. None could vote. Mississippi was almost fifty per cent black; 6.4 per cent of eligible African-Americans there could vote.

    One consequence was the near-ubiquity of all-white juries—since jurors were typically drawn from the pool of registered voters. The Southern judicial system, as Claude Screws appreciated, was turned into a rubber stamp of approval for police and vigilante actions against African-Americans. The system also produced some astonishing verdicts. In 1958, a black handyman named James Wilson was convicted of stealing a dollar ninety-five in change from the white woman he worked for in Marion, and was sentenced to death. The Alabama Supreme Court upheld the sentence, but the international outcry was so intense that the governor, James (Big Jim) Folsom, commuted it.

    The South became a one-party bloc, standing for one principle above all, expressed by the logo of the Alabama Democratic Party: a white rooster with a banner above it reading “White Supremacy.” It was as though the purpose of holding elected office was to perpetuate the system that made one’s election possible. Voting rights went to the very heart of the Southern “way of life.”

    Officials were therefore ingenious in coming up with ways to thwart registration efforts. In response to an S.C.L.C. registration drive in Louisiana, the state reviewed voter rolls and found cause to remove ten thousand African-Americans. Mississippi cut off the distribution of federal food surpluses to two counties in the Delta: Sunflower, where 161 of 13,524 African-Americans were registered to vote, and LeFlore, where fourteen-year-old Emmett Till had been lynched, in 1955. In LeFlore alone, twenty-two thousand people lost their relief. In Alabama, Circuit Court Judge James Hare enjoined virtually every civil-rights leader from gathering in groups of more than three.

    And there were methods of discouragement that did not bother with the color of law—that is to say, terror. In 1963, Hartman Turnbow became the first African-American of the century to try to register to vote in Holmes County, Mississippi. A month later, his farmhouse was firebombed. Turnbow engaged in a gunfight with men surrounding the house and drove them off. When the sheriff arrived, he arrested Turnbow and charged him with bombing his own house.

    […]

    There were, in the end, three marches from Selma. Each was momentous. King was not present at the first, which took place on March 7, 1965—“Bloody Sunday.” Some six hundred marchers, led by John Lewis, of SNCC, and Hosea Williams, of the S.C.L.C., set off from Brown Chapel and crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge (Pettus was a Confederate general, later a Grand Dragon of the Alabama Ku Klux Klan), over the Alabama River. At the far end, they found arrayed before them more than a hundred and fifty armed men: state troopers, under Lingo’s command, and Sheriff Clark’s posse, some on horseback. Wallace had ordered Lingo to take “whatever steps necessary” to stop the march. The troopers wore gas masks and carried nightsticks; Clark’s men were armed with clubs, whips, and cattle prods. One carried a rubber hose wrapped in barbed wire. A number of white Alabamans had come out to watch the sport.

    So had the press. It’s all on film. The marchers halt fifty feet from the line of troopers. They are told that they have two minutes to turn around and go back to their homes and churches, but, well before two minutes have passed, the troopers charge into the line, beating everyone in sight. They are followed by Clark’s men on horseback, then by the tear gas.

    Forty tear-gas cannisters were fired that day. The marchers were chased for a mile back to Selma. Troopers fired tear gas into the Carver housing project; posse men rode their horses up the steps of Brown Chapel. That evening, forty-eight million television viewers watching “Judgment at Nuremberg” on ABC had the movie interrupted for a fifteen-minute film of the attack. There was no voice-over. The only sounds were the thuds of clubs, reports of tear-gas cannisters being fired, the rebel yells of Clark’s posse, and the constant, hysterical screams of the victims.

    At least ninety marchers were wounded, and Lewis had a fractured skull, but the effect was achieved. The film left no room for hairsplitting about provocation. Unarmed men and women on a highway were set upon by uniformed men wearing gas masks and riding horses. The Pettus Bridge was a turning point in American race relations and American history. Branch calls it “the last great thrust of a movement built on patriotic idealism.” Many years later, Lewis said that Barack Obama “was what comes at the end of that bridge.”

  120. rq says

    Milwaukee Police Up the Organizer Intimidation with Late Night Home Visits .

    Really? REALLY?? Berkeley, MO Mayor says he thinks the officer who shot and killed Antonio Martin should return to work

    The unnamed officer still has to wait for St. Louis County to finish its independent investigation, but Mayor Hoskins said it can`t be any more clear. He said, ‘The biggest piece is the young man that was next to the car in the video. He indicated that he saw a gun.’

    Police say it was not a flashlight or a cell phone, as some have speculated after seeing surveillance video from the Mobile on North Hanley. They say it was a 9 millimeter gun. At a news conference, Berkeley Police Chief Frank McCall addressed the evidence photo showing the safety on. He said, ‘If the safety had been released off the weapon there`s a possibility we might be talking about more than one death, maybe even two.’

    Another long read: What your first-grade life says about the rest of it

    Later, as the children grew and dispersed, some falling out of the school system and others leaving the city behind, the conversations took place in McDonald’s, in public libraries, in living rooms or lock-ups. The children — 790 of them, representative of the Baltimore public school system’s first-grade class in 1982 — grew harder to track as the patterns among them became clearer.

    Over time, their lives were constrained — or cushioned — by the circumstances they were born into, by the employment and education prospects of their parents, by the addictions or job contacts that would become their economic inheritance. Johns Hopkins researchers Karl Alexander and Doris Entwisle watched as less than half of the group graduated high school on time. Before they turned 18, 40 percent of the black girls from low-income homes had given birth to their own babies. At the time of the final interviews, when the children were now adults of 28, more than 10 percent of the black men in the study were incarcerated. Twenty-six of the children, among those they could find at last count, were no longer living.

    A mere 4 percent of the first-graders Alexander and Entwisle had classified as the “urban disadvantaged” had by the end of the study completed the college degree that’s become more valuable than ever in the modern economy. A related reality: Just 33 of 314 had left the low-income socioeconomic status of their parents for the middle class by age 28. […]

    We like to think that education is an equalizer — that through it, children may receive the tools to become entrepreneurs when their parents were unemployed, lawyers when their single moms had 10th-grade educations. But Alexander and Entwisle kept coming back to one data point: the 4 percent of disadvantaged children who earned college degrees by age 28.

    “We hold that out to them as what they should work toward,” Alexander says. Yet in their data, education did not appear to provide a dependable path to stable jobs and good incomes for the worst off.

    The story is different for children from upper-income families, who supplement classroom learning with homework help, museum trips and college expectations. Alexander and Entwisle found one exception: Low-income white boys attained some of the lowest levels of education. But they earned the highest incomes among the urban disadvantaged.

    They were able, Alexander and Entwisle realized, to tap into what remains of the good blue-collar jobs in Baltimore. These are the skilled crafts, the union gigs, jobs in trades traditionally passed from one generation to the next and historically withheld from blacks. These children did not inherit college expectations. But they inherited job networks. And these are the two paths to success in the Beginning School Study.

    David Duke: I’ve Met With Steve Scalise Several Times, So What?

    “If Scalise is going to be crucified — if Republicans want to throw Steve Scalise to the woods, then a lot of them better be looking over their shoulders,” Duke told Fusion. He added that he wasn’t afraid to release a list of names of politicians he has connections to.

    Duke also disputed accusations that he was a “racist” or “white supremacist,” saying the political scorn being directed at him was “all bullshit.”

  121. rq says

    Durham mayor reminds citizens of protest rules

    Those rules, adopted in February, include:

    • Demonstrators must get a parade permit and may not march at night.

    • Demonstrators must not wear masks, hoods or other devices to hide their identity.

    • Demonstrators “shall not damage property, commit assaults, participate in disorderly conduct, possess or use pyrotechnics, or possess dangerous weapons such as rocks, bricks etc.”

    • Demonstrators must stay off police parking lots and grassy areas next to police buildings.

    “I think it’s really important that we get that resolution that we passed unanimously as a council out into the public once again as well as to the police,” said Councilman Eugene Brown.

    The regulations were a response to protests after Durham teenager Jesus Huerta fatally shot himself while in police custody in November 2013.

    WTF? STL 250 Birthday Cakes Voted 2014 St. Louis Person of the Year in Mayor’s Poll. At least it wasn’t McCullogh.

    Walgreens we protested at today was once a diner where the #Nashville sit-ins of 1960 took place. The movement lives.

  122. rq says

    .@YourAnonNews Full list of cities going all out for #NYE2015PROTEST to Stop Police Brutality & End ALL oppression Link: https://sites.google.com/site/weekofoutrage/rock-in-the-new-year-with-resistance-to-police-murder-3

    Albuquerque
    Albuquerque, NM- Protest The Governor’s Inaugural Ball
    Jan. 01, 2015
    6:00 pm
    1 Civic Plaza (West side of Convention Center)
    facebook

    Atlanta
    December 31 Downtown Atlanta Peach Drop New Year’s Celebration @ Underground Atlanta
    9:30 – midnight
    HOW TO PARTICIPATE: Text message @ATLcantBREATHE2015 to 23559
    Details will be announced via text message leading up to the day and more minutes before the event begins. Show up at Underground and Rock in the New Year with Resistance to Police Murder!
    CONTACT:
    Atlanta Revolution Club
    RevClubATL@gmail.comBoise
    New Years Eve Dec 31
    At the Idaho Capital Building. 9pm

    Boston
    December 31, 5pm, Copley Square in Front of Boston Public Library
    protest called by First Night Against Police Violence
    Look for NO NEW YEAR UNDER THIS OLD SYSTEM! WE CAN’T BREATHE! banner
    join with staff of Revolution Books and others

    Chicago
    December 31, 10 pm
    Chicago Tribune Tower (Plaza), 435 N. Michigan Ave, just north of bridge on Michigan
    FacebookCleveland
    Assemble 9:30 pm, Public Square
    Rock in the New Year with Resistance to Police Murder! NO NEW YEAR UNDER THIS OLD SYSTEM! WE CAN’T BREATHE!
    Facebook

    Houston
    New Year’s Eve Dec 31
    8:30 pm: Meet up at Market Square Park, (Preston & Travis)
    We will march through downtown, and beyond, saying loud and clear: NO NEW YEAR UNDER THIS OLD SYSTEM!
    WE CAN’T BREATHE!
    Download Flyer Ċ12 31 FLYER.PDF

    Los Angeles
    New Year’s Eve Dec 31
    9pm Entrance to Grand Park

    New Year’s Day
    MEET AT 7AM @ MEMORIAL PARK, 30 N. Raymond Ave., Pasadena, CA 91103
    Take the Gold Line from Union Station to Memorial Park Metro Stop In Pasadena
    Assemble from 7am – 8am and march from Memorial Park to Fair Oaks and Colorado Blvd.
    Bring banners, posters, signs, whistles and noisemakers! WEAR BLACK
    Contact Stop Mass Incarceration Network, So Cal @ 213-840-5348;
    Download Flyer NO NEW YEAR UNDER THIS OLD SYSTEM!

    New Haven and Ct
    Gather on December 31, 3:00 pm At the New Haven Green
    (Corner of Chapel and Church Streets)
    Bring banners, signs, whistles, noise makers
    tpfr.newhaven@yahoo.com Flyer download NEWYEAREVE–NEWHAVENR.PDF

    Pittsburgh
    8pm December 31st: Fifth and Washington, outside Consol Energy Center
    march to the Allegheny County Jail
    Bring kazoos, bells, and pots and pans.

    San Diego
    December 31 9:00 pm meet at Hall of Justice March through Downtown at 9:30pm
    Rock in the New Year With Resistance to Police Murder!
    Hosted by United Against Police Terror – San Diego
    Facebook event

    San Francisco/Bay Area
    December 31 at 9:00pm
    Embarcadero BART exit on Market Street
    New Year’s Day
    Memorial for Oscar Grant and all victims of Police Murder
    Fruitvale BART Station, Oakland, 12 Noon-4pm, then march

    Seattle
    December 31, 2014 at 10:00 pm
    Denny Way & Broad Street (Seattle Center side)
    Facebook Event Page

    St. Louis
    December 31, 2014 from 8:00 PM to 11:00 PM
    All Out for Rock in the New Year with Resistance to Police Murders!
    Gather at Washington Ave & 14th Street, St Louis 63103 and march down Washington Ave.
    Octmonthofresistance2014@gmail.com
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/014Downey

    Wailuku, HI
    December 31, 10pm to midnight+?
    New Years Eve Drum Circle at Maui Community Correctional Center
    600 Waiale Drive
    Global Noise Demo for Prisoner Solidarity, New Years Eve 2014/2015
    Facebook event

    #NYE2015PROTEST. The difference between wanting in on this system or wanting out! #blacklivesmatter #AntonioMartin

    ‘You’re either a cop or little people’: The American police state in 2014

    The lesson of 2014 is simply this: in a police state, you’re either a cop or you’re one of the little people. Right now, we are the little people, the servants, the serfs, the grunts who must obey without question or suffer the consequences.

    If there is to be any hope in 2015 for restoring our freedoms and reclaiming our runaway government, we will have to start by breathing life into those three powerful words that set the tone for everything that follows in the Constitution: “we the people.”

    It’s time to stop waiting patiently for change to happen and, as Gandhi once advised, be the change you want to see in the world.

    Get mad, get outraged, get off your duff and get out of your house, get in the streets, get in people’s faces, get down to your local city council, get over to your local school board, get your thoughts down on paper, get your objections plastered on protest signs, get your neighbors, friends and family to join their voices to yours, get your representatives to pay attention to your grievances, get your kids to know their rights, get your local police to march in lockstep with the Constitution, get your media to act as watchdogs for the people and not lapdogs for the corporate state, get your act together, and get your house in order.

    In other words, get moving. Time is growing short, and the police state is closing in. Power to the people!

  123. rq says

    Previous in moderation, oh well.

    Could be relevant, should the movement remain alivE: Revealed: how the FBI coordinated the crackdown on Occupy

    Comment is free
    On making change

    Series: On making change
    Previous | Next | Index
    Naomi Wolf: On making change
    Revealed: how the FBI coordinated the crackdown on Occupy
    New documents prove what was once dismissed as paranoid fantasy: totally integrated corporate-state repression of dissent

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    Naomi Wolf
    Naomi Wolf
    theguardian.com, Saturday 29 December 2012 14.58 GMT
    Jump to comments (698)

    Occupy Oakland clashes
    Police used teargas to drive back protesters following an attempt by the Occupy supporters to shut down the city of Oakland. Photograph: Noah Berger/AP

    It was more sophisticated than we had imagined: new documents show that the violent crackdown on Occupy last fall – so mystifying at the time – was not just coordinated at the level of the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, and local police. The crackdown, which involved, as you may recall, violent arrests, group disruption, canister missiles to the skulls of protesters, people held in handcuffs so tight they were injured, people held in bondage till they were forced to wet or soil themselves –was coordinated with the big banks themselves.

    The Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, in a groundbreaking scoop that should once more shame major US media outlets (why are nonprofits now some of the only entities in America left breaking major civil liberties news?), filed this request. The document – reproduced here in an easily searchable format – shows a terrifying network of coordinated DHS, FBI, police, regional fusion center, and private-sector activity so completely merged into one another that the monstrous whole is, in fact, one entity: in some cases, bearing a single name, the Domestic Security Alliance Council. And it reveals this merged entity to have one centrally planned, locally executed mission. The documents, in short, show the cops and DHS working for and with banks to target, arrest, and politically disable peaceful American citizens.

    The documents, released after long delay in the week between Christmas and New Year, show a nationwide meta-plot unfolding in city after city in an Orwellian world: six American universities are sites where campus police funneled information about students involved with OWS to the FBI, with the administrations’ knowledge (p51); banks sat down with FBI officials to pool information about OWS protesters harvested by private security; plans to crush Occupy events, planned for a month down the road, were made by the FBI – and offered to the representatives of the same organizations that the protests would target; and even threats of the assassination of OWS leaders by sniper fire – by whom? Where? – now remain redacted and undisclosed to those American citizens in danger, contrary to standard FBI practice to inform the person concerned when there is a threat against a political leader (p61).

    F.B.I. Evidence Is Often Mishandled, an Internal Inquiry Finds

    The report’s findings, based on a review of more than 41,000 pieces of evidence in F.B.I. offices around the country, could have consequences for criminal investigations and prosecutions. Lawyers can use even minor record-keeping discrepancies to get evidence thrown out of court, and the F.B.I. was alerting prosecutors around the country on Friday that they may need to disclose the errors to defendants.
    Continue reading the main story
    Related Coverage

    F.B.I. Faces New Setback in Computer OverhaulMARCH 18, 2010

    Many of the problems cited in the report appear to be hiccups in the F.B.I.’s transition to a computer system known as Sentinel, which went online in 2012 and was intended to move the bureau away from a case-management system based on paper files. But other problems, including materials that disappeared or were taken from F.B.I. evidence rooms and not returned, are more serious.

    “A majority of the errors identified were due in large part to human error, attributable to a lack of training and program management oversight,” auditors wrote in the report, which was obtained by The New York Times.

    F.B.I. officials on Friday said that they decided on their own to conduct the review after discovering during an internal audit that there might be issues with the record keeping for evidence.

    “The FBI identified issues primarily related to the migration of its earlier record-keeping process to its updated case management system,” said Michael Kortan, the F.B.I.’s chief spokesman. “The bureau is now strengthening procedures in field offices across the country to improve administrative consistency and record-keeping.”

    The F.B.I. is separately dealing with the fallout from a case at its Washington office, where an agent is under investigation for tampering with evidence. That has led to the dismissal of convictions in some drug cases. Though the internal review is unrelated to that matter, the issues are so entwined that the F.B.I. plans to distribute the report to dozens of lawyers involved whose cases were affected by the Washington investigation, officials said.

    The errors cited in the audit range in severity from computer glitches and duplicate bar codes to evidence that could not be located. The investigation found that federal agents had removed 1,600 pieces of evidence from storage and had not returned them for more than four months. One piece of evidence in a drug case has been signed out since 2003. Another piece of evidence has been out since 2006, the report found.

    Because the audit was based on a sample, the actual number of items that have been checked out and not returned is probably much higher.

    I’m sure the FBI is not alone in this.

    Recap of the Antonio Martin press conferene: Police: Multiple witnesses say Antonio Martin pulled gun on officer

    “Mr. Martin was armed, Mr. Martin did attempt to fire when he pulled a weapon on the officer,” said Berkeley Police Chief Frank McCall, who added that several witnesses including the man who is seen walking with Martin moments before the shooting have confirmed that Martin drew a weapon on the officer before being shot. [… – protestors have been asking, which witnesses? how many?]

    But top officials in Berkeley have insisted that the shooting of Martin should not be lumped together with that of Brown and the deaths of Eric Garner in New York and Tamir Rice and John Crawford in Ohio – all black men who were unarmed when they were killed by white officers – because Martin allegedly pulled a weapon on the officer.

    Police in Berkeley have released several partial video clips that appear to show Martin approaching the officer, then walking away before lifting his arm. In a second video clip, the officer can be seen scurrying backward and falling down – his weapon discharging – before he ran for cover.

    Mayor Theodore Hoskins said that groups that continue to protest the shooting have no “objective,” and said that demonstrations that attempt to “disrupt” the city such as one on Monday night that closed a local freeway, will not be tolerated.

    According to police, they first received a call about shoplifting at a Mobil gas station at 11:11 p.m., with an officer arriving on the scene and confronting Martin – who police say matched the description of the suspected shoplifter – at 11:14. [… – matched the description, i.e. was black?]

    A common criticism and question from protest groups has concerned whether Martin was given medical attention after being shot. Within 20 minutes of the shooting, many of the protesters who have demonstrated in Ferguson had shown up at the scene of the shooting – including at least one who provided livestream video footage. Many online have questioned why no paramedics were seen tending to Martin by the protesters who arrived.

    However, city officials insisted that paramedics arrived at the scene of the shooting at 11:21 p.m. – approximately six minutes after the shooting – and had declared Martin dead, covering his body, by 11:28 p.m.

    Hoskins and McCall declined to provide the name of the officer involved in the shooting, saying only that he remains on paid leave and is dealing with anxiety related to the shooting.

    The news conference came one day after protesters shut down the freeway near the site of the shooting, prompting police response. […]

    “Mayor says that blocking highways and streets ‘will not be acceptable from this day forward.’ That sounds like a challenge,” declared protest organizer DeRay Mckesson, who live-tweeted his reaction to the news conference. “This Mayor has just re-ignited the protests in Berkeley. I hope that we’re all ready for what he just started with that statement.”

    Police also confirmed information about the arrest of Joshua Williams, a well-known 19-year-old Ferguson protester who they say has confessed to starting a fire at the QuickTrip gas station across the street from where Martin was killed on the night of the shooting.

    Williams, who has been a near-constant presence at the Ferguson protests, has been charged with arson and burglary after store surveillance cameras and media footage captured images that appear to show Williams entering the gas station and attempt to start fires both inside and outside.

    While Williams has never been a key organizer or leader of any of the protest groups that have emerged in the months since the Brown shooting, his energy – often among those yelling loudest at elected officials and police during demonstrations – has made him one of the most photographed and interviewed of the protest regulars.

    Critics of the budding protest movement have seized the charge – which appears to be the first charge of arson related to any of more than two dozen buildings that have been at least partially damaged on nights when protests have turned violent – to fuel their claim that the Ferguson demonstrators were never, in fact, peaceful protesters. Many of the most vocal and prominent protesters, however, have stood by Williams – beginning online fundraising efforts for his bail. Several expressed anger that Berkeley officials brought up Williams’s charges while providing relatively few new details about Martin’s fatal encounter with officers.

    “It’s amazing how clear they can be about Josh and yet the events leading to Antonio Martin’s death are fuzzy,” tweeted Charles Wade, who has helped organize many of the Ferguson protests. “A press conference about Antonio Martin should be about Antonio Martin… Josh had nothing to do with Antonio Martin’s death.”

  124. rq says

    They were greeted with tasers: https://twitter.com/deray/status/550347372140580864

    Oh, the bogus story about the kill-the-cops protest chant? Fox 45 fires crew behind the bogus ‘kill a cop’ story

    YouTube footage later showed Jones and others were chanting “We won’t stop/ We can’t stop/ Till killer cops/ Are in cell blocks.” The station invited Jones on the air to offer an apology—albeit a botched one.

    But it seems there has been further fallout, as reporter Melinda Roeder and cameraman Greg McNair have been released, and news director Mike Tomko and a producer who expressed his discomfort with the story have been suspended one and two days, respectively.

    An insider told FTVLive Tomko was the one who pushed doing the story. “It was found by him, assigned by him and ultimately proofed by him,” the source said.

    Now a person familiar with the situation tells City Paper the news director is losing control of the newsroom, with photographers threatening to stage a “sick out.”

    Think of the children!!!! ‘Die In’ Activists Urged Not to Traumatize Kids at Boston’s First Night

    Activists planning a “Die In” demonstration at this city’s historic First Night festivities will be allowed to protest, but Boston public safety officials urged them not to disrupt the family event that draws hundreds of small children for New Year’s Eve.

    “We’re going to accommodate the protesters if they choose to do so. But we will not let it disrupt the events,” Boston Police Commissioner William Evans said at a City Hall news conference today where he was flanked by officials, including Mayor Martin Walsh and Boston Fire Commissioner Joseph Finn.

    “I can only appeal that if people are going to demonstrate, just realize there are a lot of young kids out there, a lot of families.

    Yes, think of the poor families being forced to watch activists doing their thing. Never mind those parents who were forced to watch their children die or see their dead children. Never mind them, others are trying to have fun.

    The Benefits of Fewer NYPD Arrests

    The Post, which enthusiastically championed the NYPD during this year’s turmoil, portrayed this slowdown in near-apocalyptic terms—an early headline for the article above even read “Crime wave engulfs New York following execution of cops.” But the police union’s phrasing—officers shouldn’t make arrests “unless absolutely necessary”—begs the question: How many unnecessary arrests was the NYPD making before now?

    Policing quality doesn’t necessarily increase with policing quantity, as New York’s experience with stop-and-frisk demonstrated. Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg asserted that the controversial tactic of warrantless street searches “keeps New York City safe.” De Blasio ended the program soon after succeeding him, citing its discriminatory impact on black and Hispanic residents. Stop-and-frisk incidents plunged from 685,724 stops in 2011 to just 38,456 in the first three-quarters of 2014 as a result. If stop-and-frisk had caused the ongoing decline in New York’s crime rate, its near-absence would logically halt or even reverse that trend. But the city seems to be doing just fine without it: Crime rates are currently at two-decade lows, with homicide down 7 percent and robberies down 14 percent since 2013.

    The slowdown also challenges the fundamental tenets of broken-windows policing, a controversial strategy championed by NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton. According to the theory, which first came to prominence in a 1982 article in The Atlantic, “quality-of-life” crimes like vandalism and vagrancy help normalize criminal behavior in neighborhoods and precede more violent offenses. Tackling these low-level offenses therefore helps prevent future ones. The theory’s critics dispute its effectiveness and contend that broken-windows policing simply criminalizes the young, the poor, and the homeless.

    Public drinking and urination may be unseemly, but they’re hardly threats to life, liberty, or public order. (The Post also noted a decline in drug arrests, but their comparison of 2013 and 2014 rates is misleading. The mayor’s office announced in November that police would stop making arrests for low-level marijuana possession and issue tickets instead. Even before the slowdown began, marijuana-related arrests had declined by 61 percent.) If the NYPD can safely cut arrests by two-thirds, why haven’t they done it before?

    <a href="http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/newcomers-reflect-their-first-months-st-louis&quot;?Newcomers Reflect On Their First Months In St. Louis

    This summer, the newsroom of St. Louis Public Radio hired five people who had never lived in St. Louis. As 2014 draws to a close, we asked each to reflect on what they’ve discovered in their five months here.

    News producer Stephanie Lecci has been surprised by crime and race relations while also finding hope.
    Reporter Emanuele Berry, who was brought in on a fellowship focusing on race, culture and diversity, has had unexpected questions about race and Ferguson thrown her way.
    Reporter Willis Ryder Arnold is searching for creativity and invention in the arts, finding talent.
    Reporter Durrie Bouscaren set aside her list of ideas for health and science stories to cover Ferguson and document a search for change.
    Newscaster Wayne Pratt has brought their work together in the mornings and talks about an “impressive roster” of colleagues.

  125. rq says

  126. rq says

  127. rq says

    Protesters push through security at courthouse

    An incident report says a group of protesters entered the plaza-side entrance, “overrunning the Security (sic) on site and forcing their way in.” One officer with the security company, G4S, reported being pushed, according to the report.

    One protester, Rondriquez White, said the group went inside to demand the mayor’s office form a citizens review board for investigating police misconduct. The group included protesters from Nashville, Ferguson, Mo., and other states who were in the city attending a conference at American Baptist College, White said.

    Protest is fundamentally community-building. Community-building is the movement. If you protest and do not build community, it is awry.

    Re: “protests and riots” won’t bring change – @deray “I prayed for twenty years, but received no answer until I prayed with my legs.” -Frederick Douglass

    Group of helmeted police, some holding batons, on 34th and 6th. Demonstrators a few blocks south #NYE2015PROTEST

    Peaceful protestors confronted w mase taunting police & a helicopter #BlackLivesMatter @deray @Ent73Michael

    Revolutionary criminologist (@JWilliams004) looking to interview men in STL (@DrHillaryPotter is interviewing women)

  128. rq says

    December 30, another one, Jerame Reid: Wife of man fatally shot by Bridgeton police says, ‘My biggest fear has come true’.
    Here’s the Daily Journal, Millville man, 36, killed by police gunfire in Bridgeton

    Zakeeda Hill and her 12-year-old cousin, Josh Scurry, who live across the street, said they saw both officers pull up behind the vehicle and surround the driver and passenger sides Tuesday night.

    “The boy said, ‘We ain’t got nothing, why you pulling us over?'” Hill, 28, said. “Then they just killed that boy. They let so many shots off, it happened so fast.”

    Scurry said he saw the driver raise his hands out the window after the officers drew their weapons.

    “The cop just said, ‘Don’t you f’ing move,'” Scurry said.

    “They didn’t even give them a chance to do anything,” Hill said of the officers.

    Hill and Scurry agreed they heard at least seven gunshots.

    “It happened so fast,” Hill said. “It didn’t make no sense.”

    After the shooting, Hill said, an officer opened the driver’s side door and the driver “rolled out,” apparently unscathed. He then was handcuffed, she said.

    Another child without a father.

    Invisible no more…we reclaim First Night as Our Night. We have removed the barriers at Delmar.

    The PD shut down the page that showed Rossomanno’s military history? lol. It’s too late for that. #ferguson Rossomanno, FYI, was an extremely aggressive officer at the Metro PD in St Louis yesterday.
    Since last night, they’ve deactivated the link showing Sgt. Brian Rossomanno’s deep military background. What’s to hide Rossomanno?

    MAKE 2015 THE YEAR OF RESISTANCE. Sign the pledge:

    I pledge to make 2015 my year of resistance to state violence against Black lives.

    I challenge myself and those in my community to take risks as we confront the many ways that Black lives are diminished and taken from us.

    This pledge is in defense of ALL black lives. We stand with Black men and women. We act when Black Queer and Trans lives are threatened. We defend the rights of our Black family when we are poor, disabled and incarcerated. I will elevate their names.

    I pledge to practice resilience. As I make space for direct action and civil disobedience, I will also act for the healing of our communities and make space for my own healing so I may be a part of this movement for the long-haul.

    This year, I will declare boldly and loudly through my words and actions, that #BlackLivesMatter.

  129. says

    Article about the financial consequences of saying ‘Black’ vs ‘African-American’. At first glance it might not seem this article is appropriate here, but it speaks to the biases and assumptions made about Black people in the United States.

    A 2001 study catalogued all the ways in which the term “Black” carried connotations that were more negative than those of “African American.” This is troubling on the level of an individual’s decision making, and these labels are also institutionalized: Only last month, the U.S. Army finally stopped permitting use of the term “Negro” in its official documents, and the American Psychological Association currently says “African American” and “Black” can be used interchangeably in academic writing.

    But if it was known that “Black” people were viewed differently from “African Americans,” researchers, until now, hadn’t identified what that gap in perception was derived from. A study, to be published next month in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, found that “Black” people are viewed more negatively than “African Americans” because of a perceived difference in socioeconomic status. As a result, “Black” people are thought of as less competent and as having colder personalities.

    The study’s most striking findings shed light on the racial biases undergirding the professional world. Even seemingly innocuous details on a resume, it appears, can tap into recruiters’ biases. A job application might mention affiliations with groups such as the “Wisconsin Association of African-American Lawyers” or the “National Black Employees Association,” the names of which apparently have consequences—and are also beyond their members’ control.

    In one of the study’s experiments, subjects were given a brief description of a man from Chicago with the last name Williams. To one group, he was identified as “African-American,” and another was told he was “Black.” With little else to go on, they were asked to estimate Mr. Williams’s salary, professional standing, and educational background.

    The “African-American” group estimated that he earned about $37,000 a year and had a two-year college degree. The “Black” group, on the other hand, put his salary at about $29,000, and guessed that he had only “some” college experience. Nearly three-quarters of the first group guessed that Mr. Williams worked at a managerial level, while 38.5 percent of the second group thought so.

    Curiously, the authors of the study itself avoid taking a side in the question of whether to use the term “Black” or “African American,” instead using “Americans of African descent.” The lead author, Emory University’s Erika Hall, told the podcast On the Media that this was done primarily out of a desire not to confuse the reader. She has doubts about the practicality of the term “Americans of African descent”—it’s kind of a mouthful—but is hopeful that a new phrase, purged of the old weight, will arrive someday. “I think a lot of the stigma is embodied in the time in which the term was created,” Hall told On the Media. “Eventually, there shouldn’t be a stigma attached with the word that’s created out of a more positive time.”

  130. rq says

    Good news: there’s been a 94% drop in racial profiling arrests in NYC / Bad news: NYPD thinks they are punishing people by “striking”;

    Overheard:”If they let these guys do what they wanted…” “Don’t say that, they’re locking people up for making threats.”
    Look what they did with this U.S. flag:

    In a move that could set a terrible precedent for free speech, BART is suing activists over #BlackLivesMatter protest, Link: BART Directors: When it comes to ending the war on Black communities, which side are you on?

    As someone who believes that Black lives matter, I strongly urge Thomas Blalock and Tom Radulovich, President and Vice President, respectively, of the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Board of Directors, to end their shameful attempts to extort, intimidate, and demonize the Black protesters fighting for our right to live without police violence. I urge the BART Board of Directors to:

    1) Withdraw the BART criminal complaint pending against the 14 Black leaders who put their lives on the line to temporarily interrupt BART trains on both sides of the West Oakland BART in protest of the police brutality epidemic that has taken too many Black lives.

    2) Immediately suspend the punitive, retaliatory, and unconstitutional restitution of approximately $70,000 it is seeking in its attempt to silence Black protesters from speaking out against police brutality.

    Using unreasonable fines and restitution to suppress Black protest is punitive, has a chilling effect on the people’s first amendment right to protest, and sets a dangerously anti-democratic precedent.

    When it comes to preserving democracy and the dignity of Black life, which side are you on?

    More elaboration at the link.

  131. rq says

    One of the signs at the Support the Police rally downtown at the STL City pd. #Ferguson
    Yup, there was a rally to support police. A touch more later.

    Aside: Report: Cop Turned Himself In For Allegedly Attacking MTA Worker At Subway Station

    Man charged for posting ‘terroristic threats’ on Twitter

    Jason Valentine, 35, posted tweets between December 3 and December 14 that included the phrases, “St. Louis City Justice Center Mysteriously Exploded 12/31/2014,” “Kill a pig night in Stl,” “PICK A sidE or die with em,” and “News Years Eve Massacre.” Each tweet included the date 12/31/2014.

    Police say Valentine knowingly communicated to the public a threat to cause the death of police officers in those tweets, and that he did so for the purpose of frightening 10 or more people.

    Breaking: activists participate in #BlackLivesMatter die-in at Wheaton Mall MD @naturallyelsa @MJiffar ;
    Just got a call that my big sis @2liveunchained was targeted by the police and arrested today AFTER an action #DCFerguson. After that action at the Wheaton Mall, that is.

  132. rq says

    Reminder: It’s A New Year And Protests Are Still Raging Across America

    The protest movement that began with Michael Brown’s death has proven to be remarkably persistent.

    Of course, the protests have grown to become about more than Brown’s killing. In New York, protesters continue to march over the death Eric Garner. On the other side of the country, Angelenos demonstrated Wednesday over the death of Ezell Ford. As the list of black men killed by police grew over 2014, the protests evolved into a debate about the role of police in the U.S.

    And now, as 2014 comes to a close, “no justice, no peace” sounds less rhetorical and more descriptive of what is actually going on. The demonstrations show no sign of abating.

    Has a quick little roundup of actions around the country. Nice to see.

    KKK: Much of David Duke’s ’91 Campaign Is Now in Louisiana Mainstream

    Still, Roy Fletcher, a Baton Rouge-based political consultant who has managed campaigns for Republicans like former Gov. Mike Foster and Senator John McCain, said Mr. Duke may have become a toxic political personality, but he foreshadowed the state’s coming political and ideological shift.

    “Now he doesn’t matter anymore,” Mr. Fletcher said. “But politicians here have still co-opted part of his message without having the same baggage.”

    Louisiana, like most of the South, has become solidly Republican in a way it was not then, and race remains a fluid issue. The current governor, Bobby Jindal, is a conservative Republican of Indian descent whom Mr. Scalise supported.

    Mr. Duke, 64, who now calls himself a “human rights activist,” continues to sell books, a newsletter, DVDs, art and apparel and to speak on racial and cultural issues. He regularly tells audiences he is not a white supremacist and “condemns any form of racial supremacism and oppression.” But he rails against “the ultimate racists, the Jewish, Zionist tribalists.”

    During the 1991 race for governor, Mr. Duke attempted to build a bridge between the Klansman he was and the polished politician he wanted to be. He told voters he regretted being “too intolerant” in his youth and said he would not disown his daughters if they brought home an African-American or Jewish boyfriend.

    Instead, he focused on anti-big government and anti-tax mantras that preceded the Tea Party movement. His decision to run to the right of the field is now a common maneuver in Louisiana’s open primary system.
    Continue reading the main story

    Mr. Duke supported forcing welfare recipients to take birth control. Now there are near-perennial attempts by members of the Louisiana Legislature to give welfare recipients drug tests.

    After being elected to the state House of Representatives in 1989, Mr. Duke filed nine bills, including measures implementing stricter guidelines for residents of public housing, repealing affirmative action programs and eliminating minority set-asides.

    Stephanie Grace, a Louisiana political reporter and columnist for the past 20 years, first with The Times-Picayune in New Orleans and now The Advocate of Baton Rouge, recalled her first meeting with Mr. Scalise.

    “He was explaining his politics and we were in this getting-to-know-each-other stage,” Ms. Grace said. “He told me he was like David Duke without the baggage. I think he meant he supported the same policy ideas as David Duke, but he wasn’t David Duke, that he didn’t have the same feelings about certain people as David Duke did.”

    Mr. Scalise, his Washington staff and political consultant did not respond to emails, texts and phone calls over the past two days. Mr. Duke did not respond to an email sent through his website.

    But Chuck Kleckley, the Republican speaker of the Louisiana House of Representatives, said Mr. Scalise’s conservative values should not be confused with Mr. Duke’s personal statements and actions. “It’s not fair to Steve at all,” Mr. Kleckley said. “He’s a good man, a good father, a good husband and a great person. Ever since I’ve known Steve, he wanted to do what’s right for Louisiana. I never felt like there was any kind of David Duke leanings with Steve.”

    Mmhm,, right.

    This is what happens when #blacklivesmatter tries to go to the #RoseParade. Happy 2015! Nothing’s changed. #FTP;
    The part of the #RoseParade mainstream media won’t show. #Policestate

    NYPD turn their backs on their mayor, threaten strikes,meanwhile in little ol’ Pittsburgh our police chief is like… (see picture).

    End-of-Year Round-up for Ferguson Protests: More than 600 Arrests, At Least 18 Still in Jail with Serious Charges. Those are pretty big numbers.

    Over the course of the last few months, the jail support team working under the umbrella of Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment (MORE), has received calls from 634 arrestees. It’s estimated that this number is potentially far less than the total number of people arrested. The majority of arrestees were released without charges or bond. St. Louis University Law Professor and National Lawyers Guild Legal Observer Justin Hansford said, “The targeted arrests of peaceful activists and Legal Observers, including myself, is a black eye on this nation. It proves that this has not been about upholding the law but about silencing protest. Anyone who claims to favor freedom but at the same time uses their power to discourage dissent is abusing our democracy.”

    The number of people charged with felonies and the severity of those charges far exceeds anything that has occurred at protests in the United States in the last decade. Law enforcement officers put two people’s eyes out with ‘less lethal’ weapons, one of whom is an expectant mother who was a passenger in a car leaving a gas station; one person was shot three times with live ammunition but survived; numerous arrestees were taken to the hospital while in police custody due to the brutality of their arrests. On December 11, 2014 a federal judge granted protesters a temporary restraining order against the police, due to substantial evidence that police had violated protesters’ constitutional rights with their use of chemical weapons and excessive force.

    There are currently 18 activists who remain in jail stemming from the months-long civil unrest. The protesters have been in jail for a month or longer due to their inability to pay cash-only bonds ranging from $20,000 to $200,000. The majority of activists still in custody were arrested during protests following theNovember 24th grand jury decision not to indict Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson. “Keeping a presumptively innocent human being in a cage solely because she cannot afford to make a monetary payment is both unconstitutional and morally shocking,” said Alec Karakatsanis from the Washington, D.C. based civil rights organization Equal Justice Under Law. “Sadly, it is standard practice in the courts of St. Louis.”

  133. rq says

    I’m hearing that Sgt. Rossomanno is at the 2pm pro-police rally at the Metro PD today.
    I’ve seen one black person at this rally in downtown St. Louis, and here she is, with Rossomano:
    See, this isn’t about “intimidating” Sgt. Rossomanno. This is about showing you that police brutality has a face, a name, a history.
    Y’all, Sgt. Rossomanno’s company JUST posted this on their facebook page. Can’t make it up. America.

    Rossomanno’s company website, with his bio: 0311 Tactical Solutions

    Brian Rossomanno is former Marine 0311 Infantry and served as a Marine security guard at the Presidential Retreat at Camp David and the Marine Barracks at 8th & I. Brian also served as a Corporal of the Guard and React Team NCOIC for the Marine unit that assisted the Secret Service with guarding the President and first family during their visits to the Presidential Retreat. Brian served as a primary marksmanship instructor for the 2dMarDiv Marksmanship Training Unit.

    Brian is 17 year veteran of the St. Louis Police Department and served as the training coordinator for the SWAT unit, Lead Active Shooter Response instructor, and lead tactics and firearms trainer from 2006-2014. Brian has participated in and supervised over 1,200 high risk search warrant entries and dozens of hostage response call-outs and real world active shooter incidents. He is a NRA certified firearms instructor, NTOA certified Active Shooter Response instructor and a NTOA certified MACTAC instructor. Brian is also Department of Homeland Security: WMD Technical Emergency Response Course (CBRNE/COBRA) certified and has National Sheriff’s Association Terrorism First Responder certification.

    Brian devised, developed and implemented the three phase Active Shooter Response program utilized by the St. Louis Police Department, which is mandatory for all officers. He is currently as supervisor with the department’s Mobile Tactical Training Unit responsible for Active Shooter, Officer Safety/Street Survival and other Tactical

    (the bio kind of ends like that – and this is a guy meant to keep the peace on the streets… or something).

    Local politicians get a lesson in how policemen work

    State Rep. Mike Kelley “shoots” a “prostitute,” played by St. Louis police officer Erin Becherer during a police training scenario on Monday, Oct. 20, 2014, at the St. Louis Sheet Metal Training Center in St. Louis, while trainer Brian Rossomanno watches. Becherer had just “stabbed” Kelley, R-Lamar, in the scenario. Local politicians were asked to go through the same type of training that police officers receive so that they could get a feel for police work and the risks officers face every day. Rossomanno is a St. Louis police officer and part owner of 0311 Tactical Solutions.

    See that last little bit. Conflict of interest? :P

  134. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    See that last little bit. Conflict of interest? :P

    *snicker* to anybody but a bigoted RWA.

  135. rq says

    Y’all. I’ll share this without commentary. Sgt. Rossomanno. America. Police. STL.
    Now. This. Remember, they’ve been deleting Facebook comments all day long. Sgt. Rossomanno.
    @deray 0311 Tactical Solutions; why they took their website down.

    NYC Labor May Break With Police Union. Oh, good for them, if they do.

    While labor’s silence regarding Lynch has been, in part, out of respect to the families of the two murdered NYPD officers — de Blasio also called for a moratorium on political rhetoric and demonstrations in the weeks surrounding the funerals — sources said it was also an act of “solidarity” to avoid union-on-union warfare.

    “There is a reluctancy for unions to weigh in against each other,” a source with close ties to the city’s progressives and unions told BuzzFeed News. “Though certainly that is less true when you talk about the progressive unions and the police unions.”

    The city’s police unions are not members of the AFL-CIO, unlike many of New York City’s largest unions.

    Though top labor officials and other citywide progressives have refrained from addressing Lynch, many have vocally supported the large protests after a grand jury did not indict the police officer involved in Eric Garner’s death. […]

    While conversations about what to do next have mostly remained internal, others have publicly called for a repudiation of Lynch. In an op-ed for the New York Daily News, former labor official Jonathan Tasini called on unions to fight back against Lynch’s “poisonous rhetoric.”

    If some were to speak out, according to two people familiar with progressive thinking in the city, the ultimate goal would not be to wage and win a political battle against Lynch, but to reign in the discourse and create a “respectful, appropriate dialogue” on the issue of policing.

    “We reached a dangerous point in this city a couple of weeks ago,” said Nathan Smith, a Democratic consultant in New York. “Folks believe that we were brought to the brink of a very dangerous and explosive situation, and folks want a much more productive path to find a solution in the future.”

    .@SLMPD sprayed EVERYONE today even photographers. @stltoday photog @PDPJ trying to recover @deray #Ferguson #ABanks

    The Birth of a New Civil Rights Movement

    This re-energized millennial movement, which will make itself felt all the more in 2015, differs from its half-century-old civil rights-era forebear in a number of important ways. One, it is driven far more by social media and hashtags than marches and open-air rallies. Indeed, if you wanted a megaphone for a movement spearheaded by young people of color, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better one than Twitter, whose users skew younger and browner than the general public, which often has the effect of magnifying that group’s broad priorities and fascinations. It’s not a coincidence that the Twitterverse helped surface and magnify the stories of Trayvon Martin and Eric Garner and Michael Brown.

    Two, the new social-justice grass roots reflects a broader agenda that includes LGBTQ (lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender-questioning) issues and immigration reform. The young grass-roots activists I’ve spoken to have a broad suite of concerns: the school-to-prison pipeline, educational inequality, the over-policing of black and Latino communities. In essence, they’re trying to take on deeply entrenched discrimination that is fueled less by showy bigotry than systemic, implicit biases.

    Three, the movement’s renewal has exposed a serious generational rift. It is largely a bottom-up movement being led by young unknowns who have rejected, in some cases angrily, the presumption of leadership thrust on them by veteran celebrities like Al Sharpton. While both the younger and older activists both trace their lineage to the civil rights movement, they seem to align themselves with different parts of that family tree. And in several ways, these contemporary tensions are updates of the disagreements that marked the earlier movement.

    Sarah Jackson, a professor at Northeastern University whose research focuses on social movements, said the civil rights establishment embraces the “Martin Luther King-Al Sharpton model”—which emphasizes mobilizing people for rallies and speeches and tends to be centered around a charismatic male leader. But the younger activists are instead inclined to what Jackson called the “Fannie Lou Hamer-Ella Baker model”—an approach that embraces a grass roots and in which agency is widely diffused. Indeed, many of the activists name-checked Baker, a lesser-known but enormously influential strategist of the civil rights era. She helped found Martin Luther King’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference but became deeply skeptical of the cult of personality that she felt had formed around him. And she vocally disagreed with the notion that power in the movement should be concentrated among a few leaders, who tended to be men with bases of power that lay in the church. “My theory is, strong people don’t need strong leaders,” she said.

    Baker’s theories on participatory democracy were adopted by later social movements, like Occupy Wall Street, which notably resisted naming leaders or spokespeople. But James Hayes, an organizer with the Ohio Student Association, said that he didn’t think of this new social justice movement as “leaderless” in the Occupy style. “I think of it as leader-ful,” he said.[…]

    At the same time, the new movement’s emergence has caused friction with the traditional civil rights establishment that identifies with those earlier, historic victories. At a recent march put together by Sharpton’s National Action Network in Washington, D.C.—meant to protest the recent decisions not to indict the officers in several high-profile police-involved killings and push for changes in the protocol from prosecutors—younger activists from St. Louis County were upset at what they saw as a lineup of older speakers on the podium who were not on the ground marching in Ferguson. So they climbed onto the stage and took the mic. “It should be nothing but young people up here!” a woman named Johnetta Elzie yelled into the microphone. “We started this!” Some people cheered them. Others called for them to get off the stage. After a few minutes, the organizers cut off their mics. (In the crowd, someone held up a neon-green sign making their discontent with the march’s organizers plain: “WE, THE YOUTH, DID NOT ELECT AL SHARPTON OUR SPOKESPERSON. HAVE A SEAT.”)

    A few days later, Elzie downplayed the incident and told me that the disagreement was simply about “someone who doesn’t want to give up the reins and who has a huge platform.”

  136. says

    According to Andre Perry, two undercover officers approached him at Union Station in November, and told him that his ring was considered a deadly weapon.

    “I’m not saying those are your intentions, but you could hurt somebody with this,” the officer says in a video of the arrest recorded on Perry’s cell phone. “Does it make sense why I’m stopping you?”

    “Not per se because like any…” Perry replies before being interrupted.

    “I get that, but this is considered a weapon,” the officer insists.

    In a post on Facebook, Perry explained that he was handcuffed, and detained overnight.

    “It made me very upset when I was being held in jail. I was sitting next to people who actually committed crimes. I bought this ring with the intent of wearing it as jewelry. I’ve been wearing it for over a year, and never had a problem, Perry told DNAinfo New York.

    Perry said that he had bought the ring at a Williamsburg flea market. It is marketed by Dallas & Dynasty as a $30 fashion accessory.

    The photographer, who shot ads for Reebok, Brooklyn Circus and Nordstrom, is now facing charges for two counts of criminal possession of a weapon.

    “When I asked the defendant [Perry] about the metal knuckles, he said in substance, ‘I know I could hurt someone with it,’” NYPD Officer Jonathan Correa wrote in the criminal complaint.

    Mark Bederow, who Perry hopes to hire as a criminal defense attorney, pointed out to DNAinfo New York that there was no legal definition for brass knuckles.

    “A fashionable person wearing a two-finger flat, gold ring marketed and sold as legitimate jewelry, and worn exclusively as such, should not be treated as a criminal accused of being in possession of a weapon,” Bederow said. “A case involving the legitimate possession of jewelry, which arguably looks like metal knuckles, screams out for the use of prosecutorial discretion and the dismissal of all criminal charges.”

    A Kickstarter campaign to fund Perry’s defense was unsuccessful, so he intends to pay the attorney’s fees himself. And he said that he would sue the city if they decided to prosecute the case.

    “I am tired of being profiled and deemed suspicious,” he wrote. “I was profiled two years ago and my life was almost taken from me when an undercover cop chased me in my house and pulled a gun out because, again, I looked suspicious.”

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/12/i-am-tired-of-being-profiled-nyc-fashion-photographer-faces-weapon-charges-over-jewelry/

    People donated half a million dollars to the murderous thug Darren Wilson, but for Andre Perry, a guy arrested on some fucking outlandish charges, he can’t even raise the necessary funds for a lawyer.

  137. says

    13-year-old black teen writes letter to Santa, gets response from President Obama

    Malik Bryant is just thirteen years old, and lives in the high-crime Englewood neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago. His Christmas wish for the New Year was simple and heartbreaking:

    “All I ask for is for safety. I just wanna be safe.”

    He wrote his letter as part of Chicago non-profit DirectEffect Charities’ annual campaign, which collects letters from Chicago public school students and coordinates with donors (or Santas) to grant their Christmas wishes. Even among this sea of worthy requests, Malik’s stood out.

    Speaking to the Chicago Sun-Times, the charity’s CEO Michelle DiGiacomo said she was so moved by Malik’s letter, she sent it along to U.S. Rep. Michael Quigley, who agreed to send the letter to White House.

    Here is the full text of his letter (as it appears in the link above; so no, I did not make any corrections):

    I would like to ask you sum but first imma tell you about me Im a black African american I stand 5’10 Im In 7th Grade My favorite subJect is math I have 2 siblings living with me and Im the only boy on my moms side of my family but any way All I ask for is for safety I just wanna be safe.

    The President’s response:

    Dear Malik:

    I want to offer you a few words of encouragement this holiday season.

    Each day, I strive to ensure communities like yours are safe places to dream, discover, and grow. Please know your security is a priority for me in everything I do as President. If you dare to be bold and creative, work hard every day, and care for others, I’m confident you can achieve anything you imagine.

    I wish you and your family the very best for the coming year, and I will be rooting for you.

    Sincerely,

    Barack Obama

    The article closes out with some good news for Malik:

    Even better news may be around the corner for Malik though, as the DirectEffect charity wrote on their Facebook Page on Dec. 21 that they are searching for a three-bedroom apartment for his family to move into in a safer neighborhood. Here’s wishing Malik and his family have a safer, more comfortable 2015.

  138. rq says

    Tony
    It’s good news for Malik, but in the long run, it will not help all the other black teens out there worried for their own safety. Malik’s letter was distributed via the internet and he got lucky (yes, I say lucky), but there are so many others, in slightly better or worse situations, who will never see an ounce of help because they are invisible. The security of all of these children should be Obama’s priority, and the best way to ensure their security is to change the racist system in place (what a task!).

    +++

    I would like to thank the @NYPD for its “virtual work stoppage.” Racial profiling arrests have dropped off 94 percent. Exemplary! Great numbers, NYPD! *applause* Oh, you mean that wasn’t your point?

    Let’s remember Shaneka Thompson, too: Ex-Girlfriend of Man Who Killed Two NYPD Police Officers Released From Hospital.

    Soundbite – Anti-Protester Edit

    Citizens met outside the new St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department Headquarters on New Year’s Day 2015 to conduct a “Blue Lives Matter” rally. The police drove back and forth honking horns, they chanted a little, and blue balloons were released near the end of the rally.
    I caught about 40 seconds of audio while standing in the street. In the recording, a man excoriates politicians and saves special scorn for Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York.

    Check the Post-Dispatch’s headline describing the Pro Police Rally. I shouldn’t be, but I’m actually shocked. Friendly crowd, it says. Police return the favour, it says. But then there was that sign I posted yesterday… The link to the article: Friendly crowd gathers in St. Louis to support police, who return the favor

    “People have been out here promoting their causes, and so much of it has been negative,” she said of repeated anti-police protests in the St. Louis area since August.

    “Most of us staying at home support the police. But unless we get out here, how will they know it?”

    The friendly rally took place one day after more seasoned protesters attempted to rush the headquarters for a sit-in.

    Officers met them at the door in what became a shoving match. Police used pepper spray and made 24 arrests.

    Dennison said the timing and place of Thursday’s rally were coincidental, as she had been promoting the pro-police rally for more than a week.

    Officers appreciated her effort.

    Maj. Jerry Leyshock walked through the crowd shaking hands and thanking everyone.

    “The young guys inside really appreciate seeing all of you here. This is awesome,” he told them.

    Referring to the protesters from the day before, he said, “A lot of them also are good people. Sometimes, it’s all about the presentation.”

    Many of the people who gathered Thursday emphasized the contrast.

    “This is an example of peaceful assembly,” said Bev Bremer of St. Louis.

    There was a running joke about how there would be no rushing of doorways.

    Among the signs that were waved above the crowd: “God bless our police,” “Police lives matter,” “We back the badge” and “I support the police, not thugs.”

    Jan Endicott LaVar of Affton showed up with several relatives to honor her late father, Leonard Endicott Sr., a former University City police officer.

    LaVar called the previous day’s disturbance at the headquarters door “disgraceful,” and said, “We need to give the police the respect they sorely deserve.”

    The respect they deserve? The respect they cannot return to people a few shades darker than themselves and to those who have a different opinion on their respect-worthiness. And “I support the police, not thugs” counts as a friendly sign? Right.

    The NYPD Might Inadvertently Prove ‘Broken Windows’ Theory Is A Sham

    Some cops have cut back on arrests for petty offenses because they fear for their safety while others want to get back at Mayor Bill de Blasio for his perceived lack of support amid growing tensions after the chokehold death of Eric Garner, the Post reports.

    For its part, The New York Times accused the city’s cops of “walking off the job” and wants them to get back to work immediately.

    If the police don’t resume arresting people for minor crimes, however, they could end up testing whether the city’s aggressive “broken windows theory” of policing actually works. […]

    Ironically, de Blasio — the candidate who promised to curb stop-and-frisk — has openly supported broken windows since taking office. He even picked Bill Bratton, whom Giuliani originally hired as NYPD commissioner in 1994, to assume the role once again.

    “Because of the broken-windows approach, we are the safest we’ve ever been. I lived through the 1980s in this city and the early ’90s, and I don’t ever want to go back there,” de Blasio said, according to the New York Daily News.

    In light of the death of Garner, Bratton published a sprawling, 4,500 word defense of broken windows for the Winter 2015 issue of City Journal. “The NYPD’s critics object, in particular, to the department’s long-standing practice of maintaining order in public spaces,” he writes.

    Ultimately though, fewer arrests means fewer people behind bars, which effectively means fewer minorities and poor are incarcerated, as The Atlantic noted. That could end up improving race relations in New York City, which sparked the battle between de Blasio and the police force originally.

  139. rq says

  140. rq says

    @deray Deeba and Rossomanno talking tough, but clearly under their skin. What is hidden will come to light. #corrupt

    Art: 2014 Person of The Year “The Ferguson Protesters” (version 1) got a few more versions coming…stay tuned.

    Aside: CEO of Revlon Believes He Can ‘Smell’ Blacks When They Walk into a Room: Lawsuit Claims. Among other rather racially charged statements.

    Tamir Rice Shooting: Cleveland Seeks To Outsource Deadly Force Investigations

    A spokesman for Cleveland safety director and former police Chief Michael McGrath told the Northeast Ohio Media Group Thursday that the city has been in talks with officials in the surrounding Cuyahoga County about handling use-of-force investigations. Currently, Cleveland police investigators are looking into Rice’s death, a high-profile case that began on Nov. 22 when an officer mistook a nonlethal “airsoft” gun for a deadly firearm and opened fired on the African-American boy.

    “Not only this investigation, but we would like a different, outside agency to handle all deadly use-of-force cases,” said spokesperson Dan Ball. “But nothing’s set in stone.”

    Is this a good thing? I can’t really tell.

  141. rq says

    St Louis man arrested over alleged Twitter threats against police

    One tweet allegedly said: “St Louis City Justice Center Mysteriously Exploded 12/31/2014”. Prosecutors charge that was a threat to cause an explosion at the building. Their statement said police “considered these threats to be serious in nature” and claimed that “kill a pig night” had “gained momentum nationally”.

    Another tweet allegedly used the hashtag “#KillJeffRoorda”. Roorda, the business manager of the St Louis Police Officers Association, is a prominent supporter of Darren Wilson, the Ferguson police officer who shot dead Michael Brown after an altercation on 9 August.

    Brown’s death was followed by several nights of protests that met a heavy response from police and reopened a national debate about policing and race relations. The town was hit by looting and arson after a grand jury declined in November to charge Wilson with a crime.

    Nine of the 10 tweets allegedly posted by Valentine featured a “Ferguson” hashtag; all referenced Vonderrit Myers, a black 18-year-old who was shot dead after allegedly shooting at an off-duty St Louis police officer in the Shaw neighbourhood in October, prompting further protests.

    According to the probable cause statement, Valentine “admits to using the Twitter user handle @jdstl314 and being the sole poster under that user handle”. The account has since been suspended and cannot be viewed. Police said Twitter suspended it on 29 December.

    And to compound the grief of the family, Girlfriend of Fairfield man killed in Wal-Mart dies in New Year’s crash (that’s John Crawford III they’re talking about).

    Tasha Thomas, 26, of Fairborn and Frederick Bailey, 30, were killed Thursday on North Broadway Street and Edgewood Avenue, according to the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office.

    County coroner’s records match the date of birth, name and hometown of Tasha Thomas who was on the phone with John Crawford the night of Aug. 5 when he was shot and killed inside the store.

    Autopsies will be performed Friday on Thomas and Bailey, a coroner’s official said.

    Both were ejected from a speeding gray Pontiac after it crashed about 3 p.m., said Cara Neace, a spokeswoman for the Dayton police department.

    Oprah is waiting on leaders from Ferguson to arise. And that is astonishing. I’m not mad. Today, I’m hurt.

  142. says

    rq @175:

    Is this a good thing? I can’t really tell.

    On the surface it appears to be. But can we trust another police department to conduct a fair and balanced investigation into complaints of excessive force by police officers? The cynic in me says “no”.

  143. rq says

  144. rq says

  145. rq says

    Wow, I’m completely in awe of the activists in #Ferguson for pulling off today’s action. The Link: BREAKING: “Doors Stormed” Ferguson Protesters have Occupied the STL Police Department

    In response to this dispatch, we intend to evict injustice and blight, by occupying St. Louis Police headquarters on December 31st, 2014, at 11am. The decision to reclaim our police department is the result of willful neglect and violence on behalf of the department toward the community, which they are bound, by oath, to protect and serve. Violations include: Committing crimes against humanity, by ending the life of men, women, and children, and then labeling these executions as “justified” without regard for your humanity, and without thorough investigation. Hiring officers, who are unfit to wear a badge, like Randy Hayes, a known animal torturer, and Jason Flannery, who publicly declared he wanted to “shoot Muslims.” Both these men shot and killed two members of our community and have not been held accountable for these egregious actions, but rather have been protected behind a blue shield. Despite thousands marching in the streets; despite our community having to sue our own police department to stop the use of tear gas and rubber bullets; despite urgent demands for broad and substantive reforms, our cries have been ignored. For all these reasons, we intend to occupy St. Louis Police Headquarters as part of our New Year’s resolution to take back our Justice System, and in doing so reclaiming the promise of our future.

    Below is a copy of the eviction notice give to Chief Sam Dotson.

    The eviction notice is at the link, along with other video and pictures and the livestream recording.

  146. rq says

    More on Jerame Reid: Authorities ID man killed in Bridgeton police involved shooting

    Ben Mosely watched it all unfold from his bedroom window. He says the passenger had gotten out of the car and the police were yelling for him to get on the ground.

    But Reid allegedly turned and tried to get back in the vehicle.

    Mosley says, “They shot him. They shot the boy… He was trying to get back in the car.”

    Mosley says he is a retired deputy county sheriff. He says he has police training and is unwavering about what he saw.

    “I saw a disarmed man go down to the ground and get shot. That’s exactly what I saw,” he said.

    Authorities say there was a gun in the car, and if so, the police may have thought the man was reaching for it.

    Reid’s friends say he was shot for no apparent reason.

    Bridgeton resident Ricky Young tells us, “They shot that man for nothing. This cop’s been doing this to everybody around here. He running around like he Robocop.”

    Officer Days is a rookie, and records show Worley has faced disciplinary action in the past for insubordination. Both have been placed on administrative leave.

    Another ‘rookie’ cop. I wonder how much of a rookie he will actually turn out to be?

    New York:
    Die-in happening now outside FOX News/Newscorp. #BlackLivesMatter
    Another die-in, this time outside the barricades. #BlackLivesMatter
    Protesters DieIn outside the caged area #NYC on @Our_Friend_Ken Take that #NYPD #BlackLivesMatter @AnonRastaFTP

    Press Release: Upcoming Town Halls Focus on Policing in St. Louis Region

    January 2, 2015 – St. Louis, Mo. – Over the next two weeks, Better Together and the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) will host four town-hall discussions to which the community is invited.

    Better Together and PERF (a national research organization focused on critical issues in policing) are conducting an exploratory study to identify the “ideal” policing solution for the St. Louis region. The key purpose of PERF’s collaboration with Better Together is to examine the geographic and demographic characteristics of St. Louis City and County and, with extensive input from the community, develop an idealized policing strategy for St. Louis.

    The first town hall is Wednesday, January 7, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Sheet Metal Workers’ Hall (2319 Chouteau Avenue, #100, St. Louis, 63103). The event is co-sponsored by Missouri State Senator Jamilah Nasheed. The second town hall takes place Thursday, January 8, from 6 to 8 p.m. at The Lodge Des Peres (1050 Des Peres Road, St. Louis, 63131).

    On Wednesday, January 14, the third town hall is from 6 to 8 p.m. at Greater St. Mark Family Church (9950 Glen Owen Drive, St. Louis, 63136). The event is co-sponsored by Missouri State Representative Tommie Pierson, who is also the pastor at Greater St. Mark. The fourth town hall takes place Thursday, January 15, from 6 to 8 p.m. and is co-sponsored by Missouri State Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal. The location will be announced shortly.

    “We feel privileged to gain this type of community input,” said Better Together Executive Director Nancy Rice. “These meetings are by far the most important component of our Police Study.”

    Throughout the coming months, Better Together and PERF will gather opinions and insights from thousands of community members – including police officers, clergy members and their congregants, police officers’ families’ groups, neighborhood association leaders, local elected officials, and constituents. They will also obtain and analyze data, such as jurisdiction population and demographics, crime patterns, police resources, staffing issues, etc. for the jurisdictions and police departments within the St. Louis region.

    “Our work in St. Louis comes at a historic moment,” said Chuck Wexler, Executive Director of PERF. “We are here to listen to community members throughout the region as they share their thoughts about the challenges of policing in this area and how police and community members can work together to improve police services.”

    To sign up for one of the town-hall meetings, please visit http://www.bettertogetherstl.com/policetownhall

  147. rq says

    Via Tony, it’s nothing particularly new, but the presentation is good: Watch This Y.A. Author Break Down Racism in America by the Numbers

    The latest installment, “Racism in the United States: By the Numbers,” comes from John and tries its hand at breaking down the undeniable reality of racism in 2014. “To deny the existence of systemic racism is to deny a huge body of evidence indicating that racial bias affects almost every facet of American life,” he says.

    Some things we learned from Green (which are backed up with links to studies and articles here):

    75% of white Americans do not think that there is racial bias in the criminal justice system.
    Black people and white people use illegal drugs at practically identical rates, but black people are three times more likely to be arrested for drug possession.
    Black people are far more likely to be stopped and searched by police, despite the fact that the likelihood of contraband actually being found is higher among white people.
    People convicted of crimes and later exonerated by DNA evidence are “disproportionately black.”
    Black children are more likely to be tried in court as adults and sentenced to life in prison than white children.
    The majority of white Americans don’t think that racism is a significant problem in America.

    What sustained this discussion? Every direct protest action. Every open letter. Every march. Every rally. Every insightful tweet.

    More on Rossomanno and his company (I believe the actual officer being discussed is not Rossomanno but someone he hired for his other company):
    How can you have ex-police officers, fired for sending racist emails showing/training policy makers on what a “day in the life” is like?
    The racist email was sent out after Obama was elected &uses the phrase “Ni&&ER lover”.These are the people we count on to fairly police POC?
    The PO responsible for sending those emails was fired by @SLMPD & essentially hired back as an independent consultant, teaching tactical.
    The @SLMPD has been sending more & more officers to this racist lead tactical training site to “deal with” #Ferguson protesters.

  148. rq says

    Albuquerque police haven’t killed anyone in 5 months, this is some kind of record for them. As previously established, Albuquerque has the killingest police force of them all in America.

    From History (TW!!!), James Meredith…..moments after being shot by a sniper while leading a march to encourage Blacks to vote. (1966)

    So they talked about it, and now they’re doing it: Cleveland hands off probe into boy’s shooting

    Cleveland’s mayor said Friday the city is handing off the probe to the Cuyahoga (ky-uh-HOH’-guh) County sheriff to make sure the investigation is transparent.

    Tamir Rice had an airsoft gun that shoots nonlethal plastic pellets when a rookie officer shot him Nov. 22 at a Cleveland playground. The black youth’s death raised questions about how police treat blacks.

    A police union official says the white officer had no way of knowing Tamir wasn’t carrying a real firearm.

    A police deadly force investigation team has been collecting evidence and conducting interviews since the shooting.

    Cleveland police have been under federal scrutiny on how they’ve handled other use-of-force cases.

    ‘No way of knowing’ would be true, as the officer behind the wheel was driving a mite too fast and braking a touch too hard for them to get a clear look as they rolled out the car door weapons-ready and trigger-happy. *sigh*

    Tanisha Anderson’s Death, At Hands Of Police, Ruled A Homicide

    The medical examiner’s office has not yet released its full report, but shared its cause of death finding with BuzzFeed News, stating that Anderson’s sudden death was “associated with physical restraint in a prone position in association with ischemic heart disease and Bipolar disorder with agitation.”

    On November 13, 2014, police were called to Anderson’s Cleveland residence by her family seeking help in getting her to go to the hospital. According to her family, Anderson was mentally ill and had been prescribed medication for bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

    The family and the police both said that after what the cops described as a “lengthy discussion” Anderson agreed to be escorted to Saint Vincent Charity Hospital for a psychiatric evaluation. […]

    Joell Anderson, the victim’s brother who told Cleveland.com that he witnessed the incident, said that one of the officers repeatedly pushed down on Anderson’s head while she resisted in the backseat of the police car.

    The officer then allegedly used a takedown move and pushed Anderson’s head on to the pavement, knocking Anderson unconscious. The officers made no effort to resuscitate her before EMS arrived, according to Joell Anderson, who said about 20 minutes passed before the ambulance arrived.

    According to police, Anderson was treated at the scene by EMS before being transported to Cleveland Clinic emergency room where she was pronounced dead at 12:30 a.m. local time.

    “They killed my sister,” Joell Anderson told Cleveland.com. “I watched it.”

    The cause of death is listed in the medical examiner’s report as: “Homicide (Legal Intervention).”

    Does ‘legal intervention’ simply mean that cops were involved? Or is there some other meaning behind that phrase?

    We’ve seen it, but here it is again, police do not need to know the law. Court Rules for a Mistaken Police Officer

    Chief Justice Roberts wrote that the court’s decision “does not discourage officers from learning the law,” because only objectively reasonable mistakes were permitted.

    “An officer can gain no Fourth Amendment advantage,” the chief justice wrote, “through a sloppy study of the laws he is duty-bound to enforce.”

    Justice Elena Kagan joined the majority opinion but added a concurrence, which was joined by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She emphasized that the state law in question “poses a quite difficult question of interpretation, and Sergeant Darisse’s judgment, although overturned, had much to recommend it.”

    Justice Sonia Sotomayor dissented. She said the court’s ruling “means further eroding the Fourth Amendment’s protection of civil liberties in a context where that protection has already been worn down.”

    The majority’s approach will also, she said, contribute to distrust between citizens and the police. If police officers are given leeway to interpret the law, she wrote, “one wonders how a citizen seeking to be law-abiding and to structure his or her behavior to avoid these invasive, frightening and humiliating encounters could do so.”

    Chief Justice Roberts conceded that the court’s decision at first blush ran afoul of the maxim that “ignorance of the law is no excuse.”

    On reflection, he said, the maxim holds the government and its citizens to the same standard where it counts.

    “Just as an individual generally cannot escape criminal liability based on a mistaken understanding of the law,” Chief Justice Roberts wrote, “so too the government cannot impose criminal liability based on a mistaken understanding of the law.”

    Hmm, that last bit rings a bit off to me, since police especially should know the law and should know their own limits within that law, and should be the first to not overstep those limits. But I’m not a lawyer, judge OR police officer, so what do I know.

  149. rq says

    In California, remember those cops who went undercover then pulled guns on protestors? California police lied about #BlackLivesMatter protesters ‘posing with guns, explosives’; the link: After weeks of pestering for the alleged tweets, the CHP finally told me they had disappeared. The reality: they never existed in the first place.

    Chief Browne, in an attempt to show why his officer’s feared for their lives when confronted by largely peaceful protesters had to present evidence – any evidence – to support this claim. Absent any direct or demonstrable proof, the CHP spokesman appealed to the always reliable “twitter reports” – a vague straw man that the press rarely, if ever, actually asks to cite. But here’s the rub: Twitter is entirely public so evidence of Chief Browne’s claim really shouldn’t be hard to come by, especially if there are multiple instances as he indicates. So I asked the CHP, via email, for the URL’s showing the tweets of protesters posing with said weapons, if only because the very same LA Times report also mentioned the CHP was running a series of fake twitter accounts posing as protestors —

    Officers have also been creating Twitter accounts, on which they don’t identify themselves as police, in order to monitor planned demonstrations.

    and I wanted to make sure they weren’t crossing their own wires by citing their own undercovers or the undercovers of other agencies. After all, in a follow up report in the San Francisco Chronicle, the Oakland PD admitted they had no idea the California Highway Patrol had undercover officers at the protests […]

    Now, while it’s true that one cannot say for certain the CHP is lying – that the tweets never existed in the first place – it’s the only rational conclusion to reach for two reasons:

    1) The CHP has every reason to lie.

    2) The idea that the CHP needed to “preserve” the tweets is a non sequitur – Twitter is public and only the tweeter can delete or erase tweets so this means for any of the evidence to be scrubbed off social media, each and every one of the alleged weapon-posing “protestors” would have to have deleted their tweets to the last man.

    When asked, point blank, if it’s possible their officers had simply made up (or, more generously, assumed) the tweets in question, the CHP moved the goal post once more, writing back:

    We do, however, have audio records of radio traffic by officers on the ground, our aircraft overhead, and our dispatchers which relate that our officers were assaulted on several occasions with rocks, bottles, and other projectiles, and that incendiary devices were utilized against our patrol vehicles, officers, and our helicopter.

    But radio traffic is, once again, just an assertion by the police. It could be true, but its not the same thing as the objective evidence of pictures of “protesters” “posing” with weapons on social media. It’s not even close to being the same thing. The most likely scenario is the police widely believed they saw these weapons (again, entirely possible) and instead of telling the press “trust us” simply asserted vague social media evidence they knew the press was unlikely to follow up on. After three weeks and the resources of the largest state government in the union, the most likely reason they could have for not providing a single URL of the (supposedly several) tweets in question is simple: no such tweets actually exist.

    This and that else at the link.

  150. rq says

    My friend just texted me that a major brawl is happening at a bar. No NYPD to be found. Crazy that they’re mad they can’t kill w/ impunity.
    In memo to all NYPD cops, Commish Bratton warned them not to turn their back on Mayor: “A hero’s funeral is about grieving, not grievance.”

    It’s not just black people, but the disadvantaged in general, esp. those with mental illness: MD Grand Jury Refuses Indictment Of Cop Who Killed Man With Down Syndrome Because He Wouldn’t Leave Movie

    Police justified their killing by explaining that Saylor, who has Down Syndrome, verbally and physically resisted their attempts to remove him from the theater, and because of his large size, the officers say they had to use three sets of handcuffs on him and placed him on his stomach for “one to two minutes.” When he showed signs of distress, officers said they administered CPR and other First Aid. However, back in February, the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office in Baltimore said that Saylor’s death was a homicide resulting from asphyxia.

    The killing happened when cops arrived to force Saylor to leave a movie theater after he wanted to see “Zero Dark Thirty,” a second time.

    Old one: Haunting pic of an empty Mall of America with arrest warning on the jumbotron following #BlackLivesMatter shut down.

    Oklahoma lawmakers want to ban hoodies.

    Introduced by the chair of the Oklahoma’s public safety committee, state senator Don Barrington (R), the bill is intended “to deter crime, making it unlawful to wear a mask, hood or covering during the commission of a crime or to intentionally conceal a person’s identity in a public place.” The reasoning behind the bill is to cut down the number of masked robberies and crimes.

    There are some exceptions to the bill, as it wouldn’t apply to the pranks of children on Halloween, those participating in masquerade parties or public parades, against “those wearing coverings required by their religious beliefs,” or against masks/facial coverings worn for medical purposes.

    Damn, for a minute there I thought they were going to ban the burqa, too.

    There was another shooting in the area #BrandonTateBrown died in last Sunday. The outcome was a tad bit different. In other words, visibly armed and threatening white guy does not die in encounter with police. SOORPREEZ!!!

  151. rq says

    In St Louis – Are candidates for the Board of Aldermen representative of their ward’s racial make up?

    With 17 of the city’s 28 seats open, Alderman Antonio French encouraged candidates to step up through a message on his twitter account, which said, “If Ferguson taught us anything, it’s the importance of having representative government.”

    As of Friday morning, many two ward seats that represent a mostly black population did not have any black candidates for the open positions.

    Christine Ingrassia, the current representative for the city’s sixth ward, was the only candidate in the race.

    “I know there was a push to get someone to run against me, because there is a school of thought among some folks that I’m occupying a black seat,” Ingrassia said.

    The last census shows the population of the sixth ward as about 60 percent black. Similarly, Ward 20 also has a predominantly black population and did not have a black candidate running for the seat going into the deadline.

    Just some protestor-activist faces: 2015. The crew. Protest. (@Nettaaaaaaaa @MsPackyetti @kidnoble @RE_invent_ED @WyzeChef)

    Manhattan Man Calls 911, Says He’s “Dying To Kill NYPD,” Attys Say

    Three calls were made at about 5 a.m. Tuesday, according to call transcripts.

    “Come up here, I’ll blow their ******* heads off,” Dixon allegedly told the 911 dispatcher, adding that he was on 91st Street near Central Park.

    Minutes later, he called again and allegedly said, “I don’t know why you can’t come here yet, ’cause I am dying to kill NYPD. I am waiting for them.”

    When dispatchers asked how the officers could identify him, Dixon is alleged to have responded, “They’ll figure it out. They’ll see me pull that hammer out, they’ll figure it out.”

    Investigators traced Dixon’s cellphone and were able to track the phone to a Domino’s pizza store located at 592 Columbus Avenue, where he happened to be waiting on a pizza order.

  152. rq says

    Via Wonkette, Smirking Thug Who Attacked Lady Subway Worker Was An NYPD Cop, Surprise!

    Anyway, on New Year’s Eve, the New York Police Department requested the public’s help in finding a man who grabbed an MTA worker, threw her on the ground, throttled her, and then ran away with a jaunty and satisfied smirk on his face. A few days later, the man turned himself in. It turns out that who the NYPD was on the hunt for was one Mirjan Lolja (yes, LOL-ja. yes.) — a 7 year veteran of the NYPD, who apparently heroically took it upon himself to continue the NYPD’s public relations campaign on his off time:

    An NYPD officer is in police custody in connection with an attack last week on an MTA employee on a Bronx subway platform, police said.

    Officer Mirjan Lolja turned himself in Thursday at the 25th precinct in East Harlem where he is stationed. No charges have been filed yet.

    Lolja, who was off duty at the time of the attack, has been suspended from the force pending an investigation by the NYPD’s Internal Affairs unit, police said.

    […]

    We’re as shocked as you to discover that cops in New York are violently assaulting the citizens they are entrusted to protect for basically no reason at all. Shocked. But what’s more terrifying than what police officers are willing to do, for no reason, on camera and in public, is what they must be doing privately, off-camera, under the pretext of fighting crime.

    The hilarious coda to this story is the treatment of this story in the news by the New York Daily News. Here’s the headline from the story they wrote before they knew that the culprit was a police officer:

    Thug attacks female MTA employee at Bronx station

    And here’s the lede of that story:

    A hulking brute grabbed a 28-year-old MTA employee up in a bear hug at a Bronx train station, shoved her onto the platform and began choking her in an unprovoked attack – then ran away smiling, authorities said Wednesday.

    Here’s the story after they found out that the culprit was a police officer:

    NYPD cop turns himself for attacking female MTA employee

    And here’s the lede of that story:

    Police Officer Mirjan Lolja, 37, was suspended after the assault in which the Metropolitan Transportation Authority worker — who was on-duty and in her uniform — was allegedly put into a bear hug, thrown to the floor and choked, cops said.

    Notice anything? Gone is the evocative “thug” in the headline and the “hulking brute” of the lede, and the sensationalism of the label of an “unprovoked” attack, replaced by plainspoken and bare nouns. Gone, too, is the directness of the active voice, replaced by a circumspect passive voice, accompanied by the (necessary) lawyerly “allegedly”. The callousness of him smiling has been dropped, too, demoted to the second paragraph. This is no surprise — it’s just an example of the subtle way in which our media defers to and genuflects before law enforcement, shaping and coloring the narrative in their favor.

    Thank you, media, for that lovely comparison in reporting.

    Protesters demonstrate outside St. Louis Police Headquarters.
    Some ‘interesting’ language in that article.

  153. rq says

    thisisthemovement, installment #69:

    Ferguson
    Ferguson, We Still Have a Long Way to Go In this on-air interview with Emanuele Berry, Brittany Packnett, Johnetta Elzie, Patricia Bynes and Rev. F. Willis Johnson STL Public Radio host Don Marsh asked difficult questions to activists and community leaders from St. Louis about what they’ve learned over the past 140+ days.

    Ferguson Year-End-Review The Post-Dispatch has compiled a year-end-review from staff that recount significant experiences and moments from the protests thus far. Interesting read.

    Protestors Occupy the STL Metro PD Headquarters Protestors occupied the lobby of the Metro PD and protested outside of the headquarters. For now, check out the Post-Dispatch’s article describing the occupation/protest. Check the language throughout the article. Must read.

    Pro-Police Rally Held In STL Police supporters held a rally in front of the STL Metro Police Department. Check how the Post-Dispatch describes their rally — it seems as if they missed the sign calling Mike Brown a thug who “caused his own death.” Must read.

    McCulloch and Stenger Request Change-Of-Venue for Inauguration Citing “security concerns,” McCulloch and Stenger have requested a change of venue for the inauguration and the event became invite-only.

    Protests Nationwide
    New York Recent Drop in Arrest NYPD officers have seemed to slow down on policing in New York city, possibly due to tension with Mayor Bill de Blasio. “There was a marked decline in arrests and court summonses in the last week, according to statistics released by police on Tuesday.”

    Nashville Police Chief Comments, Protestors Respond The Chief of Police in Nashville offered helpful commentary from the police perspective on the current unrest. And here is the response from Nashville protestors.

    Wheaton, MD New Year’s Day Mall Die-In On New Year’s Day, protestors in Wheaton, MD had a die-in to bring in the Year of Resistance.

    Utah New Year’s Eve Protests On New Year’s Eve, protestors in Salt Lake City marched through downtown to bring in the Year of Resistance.

    Protests Cost DC Approximately $3 Million The District of Columbia has recently released figures noting that policing the protests have cost approximately $3 million.

    Dontre Hamilton
    The Landscape of Milwaukee Police Brutality This article provides invaluable historical context to the recent killing of Dontre Hamilton and helps the reader understand the long legacy of police brutality citizens have faced in Milwaukee. Important read.

    Ezell Ford
    Ezell Ford’s Family Responds to Autopsy Report “I thought the gangs would kill him. I thought the police would protect him,” said Ezell Ford’s grandmother Dorothy Clark. This is one of many heartbreaking responses to reading the autopsy report that was recently released. Ford, a mentally ill young black man was killed by a LAPD officer on August 11th, days after Michael Brown Jr.

    Protestors Shutdown 110 Freeway After Ezell Ford’s Autopsy Is Released Protestors briefly shutdown the 110 Freeway after the release of Ezell Ford’s autopsy which showed that Ford was shot three times, once in the back.

    Sheneque Proctor
    Autopsy States Sheneque’s Death Caused by Drug Overdose 18 year old Sheneque Proctor was arrested on November 1, 2014 for disorderly conduct, harassment and possession of marijuana. While in custody, Sheneque died overnight in her Bessemer jail cell. While authorities have not released any information about her death until now. The Jefferson County Coroner’s Office said that her death was from complications of a polydrug overdose.

    Commentary/Miscellaneous
    17 Horrible Things That People Said Weren’t Racist In 2014 Simply put, you must read this. 2014 was quite the year re: race. Absolute must read.

    The Politics of Black vs. African American A recent study has found that “‘Black’ people are viewed more negatively than ‘African Americans’ because of a perceived difference in economic status. As a result, ‘Black’ people are thought of as less competent and has having colder personalities.” Absolute must read.

    Grand Jury System Needs Change This article explains the purpose of a grand jury, and why in some countries grand juries have been abolished because they seem “too secretive.” “The old saying is a prosecutor can get an indictment on a ham sandwich,” said John Roman of Urban Institute’s Justice Policy Center.

    Shouting While Black Goldie Taylor reflects on the picture from a NYC protest, showing a white woman yelling into the face of a white male officer. In her commentary she explains the many ways in which the picture exposes the presence of privilege, especially in protest.

    What’s Next
    Protests In Your City
    Check out fergusonresponse.tumblr.com to see (or add) a protest in your city. The movement lives.

    Events in Ferguson
    Remember to check the calendar for events happening in Ferguson.

    One of the most important (and under emphasized) aspects of the protest taking place is the empowering effects that it’s having on children.

    Ferguson movement drafts its own blueprint

    The marches, the sit-ins and other demonstrations in the 150 days following the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, are the same kinds of actions protesters are planning for the new year.

    It’s a playbook that has puzzled many in the St. Louis area who aren’t sure what the protesters are asking for, how long demonstrations will continue, or even who is leading the charge.

    That’s because while the protesters are drawing on civil rights movements of the past, they are also drafting their own blueprints.

    They’ve engaged in conventional civil disobedience, such as rallies and highway shutdowns. And yet, tools such as Twitter have allowed protest organizers to mobilize quickly with no need of a single leader or a centralized message.

    They’ve clashed with establishment civil rights leaders, such as the Rev. Al Sharpton at a recent march in Washington.

    Their perspective shows a difference in tactics and generations. While the protesters are of all ages, most are millennials. Many are women.

    “We’re the lost generation,” said Kayla Reed, 24, who grew up in north St. Louis County. “It was very necessary that we didn’t allow someone who’d done this before to come into this space. Michael Brown was my age bracket.”

    The movement has remained a decentralized one. Leaders step up and step back. Some virtually disappear.

    Antonio French, a St. Louis alderman, was one of the most visible faces of the movement at the start. His chronicling of its events in the first few weeks through Twitter found an international audience. But now French is rarely seen or heard from.

    “Everyone is replaceable,” said Johnetta Elzie, 25, who organizes meetings and documents protests on social media. “I could go away right now and there could be 100 more who could Vine and Instagram the same way I do.”

    As the new year begins, the Ferguson movement is at a critical juncture.

    Some organizers want to keep the focus strictly on police brutality. Others want to continue to push other issues. Among them are municipal court reform, stronger laws addressing racial profiling and new protocols for how police respond after an officer has fatally shot someone. […]

    In the days that followed, strangers came together holding signs and chanted in marches along West Florissant Avenue and at demonstrations in front of the Ferguson police station.

    They eventually formed a loose family.

    At the most formal level are the organized groups. Some, such as the Organization for Black Struggle, had existed before the Brown shooting. Others have cropped up since.

    Millennial Activists United organizes rallies. Operation Help or Hush works almost entirely on building the infrastructure of support needed for protests to continue, raising money to feed people and put them up in hotels.

    On a less formal level are the organizers, who act essentially as free agents, filling whatever role they are drawn to.

    Some choose to work behind the scenes. Others are far more visible, using social media to build as large an audience as possible. […]

    Before Ferguson, Mckesson directed his energy solely to addressing education inequities. A former math teacher, he continues to work as the senior director of human resources for Minneapolis Public Schools.

    Brown’s death drew Mckesson to St. Louis. He arrived on Aug. 16 to join the protests. He has come to believe that educating black children means nothing if they die in the streets. It’s why he’s fighting for better policing.

    Mckesson spends most weekends and vacation time in St. Louis to continue the push. He said he doesn’t see an end in sight to the struggle.

    “What are the fights you won’t walk away from?” Mckesson said. “This is mine.”

    In contrast, Charles Wade, another out-of-town organizer, sees less value in street demonstrations. The fight, he said, needs to move away from protests and more toward structural reforms of public policy.

    Based in Austin, Texas, Wade, 32, is a former fashion stylist turned consultant. Since the protests started in August, he’s been living in St. Louis hotels and working in a behind-the-scenes role through Operation Help or Hush, an organization he founded with two partners.

    Operation Help or Hush is not yet a nonprofit, but it’s the vehicle through which Wade and his partners have raised an estimated $50,000 since mid-August, by seeking donations on Twitter.

    The group spent the money to set up secretive safe houses for protesters thought to be targeted by police. They handed out gasoline cards and bought people groceries. They paid for hotel rooms for out-of-town protesters and fed hundreds of demonstrators each week. […]

    Ferguson will be a dominant theme during the Missouri legislative session that begins Wednesday. Based on prefiled bills, lawmakers plan to debate a range of issues spotlighted by the movement, from limiting when police may use deadly force to reducing the amount municipalities could collect in traffic fines.

    Meanwhile, the governor created the 16-member Ferguson Commission to address the social and economic conditions highlighted by the protests.

    “I’m of the opinion that nobody takes these things seriously until it affects their bottom line. We can march all we want, but the whole point of the movement is to bring accountability,” Hansford said. “So the push you’re going to see from us is from the streets to the halls of power.”

    But whether protesters can effectively make that transition is unclear. The movement has some support in the Legislature, but there is also a growing disconnect between the protesters on the street and elected officials who represent them. […]

    To outsiders, the movement can seem loud and leaderless.

    That point of view was highlighted last week when Oprah Winfrey called for leadership to emerge and articulate clear demands for change.

    Protesters pointed to that as an example of how the older generation doesn’t understand what they’re trying to do.

    “Everyone wants this to be the Civil Rights Movement, to go by the book, what Martin Luther King did, what Malcolm X did,” said Elzie, a protest organizer. “We do not have a manual.”

    The only prediction she would make about the movement is that protests will continue.

    Today we march for Ryan Ronquillo – unarmed, killed by DPD at his friend’s funeral. Dress warm & join. #DenverForFerguson #BlackLivesMatter

    Press release from #BlackBrunch action organized by Black UC Berkeley students. #BlackLivesMatter #Ferguson2Cal

  154. rq says

    What service! A wake up call and everything! #OccupyLAPD #Day5 #BlackLivesMatter #Justice4Ezell
    #BlackBrunch protest ongoing on Berkeley’s 4th St RT @BylineGraph: Singing, marching into Peets #ferguson2berkeley

    New records show Police Officer, who shot #DontreHamilton 14x, was investigated by police internal affairs on 17 separate allegations prior

    Where are the cops? Not cops anymore. Whistleblower Cop Fired For Calling Out Corruption In Her Department

    Laura Landenwich, Schook’s attorney says her client is being disciplined for being a whistleblower and that during the hearing they will present this evidence.

    “She is being disciplined for bringing those allegations to light,” Landenwich said.

    Unfortunately this response from Schook’s department seems to be standard operating procedure for departments across the country when it comes to rogue officers calling out corruption in their departments.

    Last month, also in Kentucky, a sheriff’s deputy was fired for “insubordination” after pointing out that the sheriff had planted drugs in another deputy’s car. Even though the sheriff was indicted, the deputy was still fired.

    Earlier this month we broke the story of a cop in Buffalo, NY who was beaten and fired after she stopped a fellow cop from nearly killing a handcuffed man. She is still fighting for her pension.

    In September we exposed the Baltimore police department’s attempt to intimidate a whistleblower officer. Detective Joe Crystal became a target of intimidation for his entire department after testifying against other officers in a misconduct case. Following his testimony, he received threats from other officers, and even found a dead rat on his car one day.

    NYPD Officer Speaks Out on Fellow Cops Who Turned Backs to Mayor & Why People of Color Fear Police (how is he back on patrol)??? (you have to scroll down for the video). WARNING for heavy racism at that link.

    Nicki Minaj on Black Artists Speaking Out: ‘Look What Happened to Kanye’

    “It’s sickening, and I’ve been reading so many people saying, ‘Why are we surprised?’ That’s what’s really sad: that we should somehow be used to being treated like animals,” Minaj tells contributing editor Jonah Weiner in our new cover story, on stands Friday. “It’s gotten to the point where people feel like there’s no accountability: If you are law enforcement and you do something to a black person, you can get away with it.”

    Reflecting on the role of black artists in addressing a racist society, Minaj spoke about the backlash Kanye West faced after announcing, “George Bush doesn’t care about black people” during A Concert for Hurricane Relief in September 2005.

    “I feel like when Public Enemy were doing ‘Fight the Power,’ we as a culture had more power — now it feels hopeless,” Minaj says. “People say, ‘Why aren’t black celebrities speaking out more?’ But look what happened to Kanye when he spoke out. People told him to apologize to Bush!”

    Minaj points out that West has been silent on recent social-justice issues. “He was the unofficial spokesman for hip-hop, and he got torn apart,” she says. “And now you haven’t heard him speaking about these last couple things, and it’s sad. Because how many times can you be made to feel horrible for caring about your people before you say, ‘Fuck it, it’s not worth it, let me live my life because I’m rich, and why should I give a fuck?'”

  155. rq says

    It troubles me that even in the movement space some won’t accept that women and men are leading TOGETHER in powerful ways.

    Justice Department Announces National Effort to Build Trust Between Law Enforcement and the Communities They Serve – from September 2014.

    “The events in Ferguson reminded us that we cannot allow tensions, which are present in so many neighborhoods across America, to go unresolved,” said Attorney General Holder. “As law enforcement leaders, each of us has an essential obligation – and a unique opportunity – to ensure fairness, eliminate bias, and build community engagement. The National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice represents a major step forward in resolving long standing tensions in many of America’s communities and it will allow us to build on the pioneering work that the Justice Department and our law enforcement partners across the country are already doing to strengthen some of our nation’s most challenged areas.”

    The initiative, which will be an ongoing partnership with the Justice Department, will provide training to law enforcement and communities on bias reduction and procedural fairness and will apply evidence-based strategies in five pilot sites around the country. It will also establish a clearinghouse where information, research, and technical assistance are readily accessible for law enforcement, criminal justice practitioners and community leaders.

    Post-racial? Ijs @deray (graph at link on the War on Drugs)

    Appropriation? Jewish Atheist’s Controversial T-Shirt: “I Met God, She’s Black”.

    Former US Senator Edward W. Brooke dies at 95

    Edward W. Brooke, the Massachusetts Republican who was the first African-American to be elected to the US Senate since Reconstruction, died today, according to Kirsten Hughes, chairwoman of the Massachusetts Republican Party. He was 95.

    Mr. Brooke served in the Senate from 1967-1979. Elected attorney general in 1962 and reelected two years later, he was the first African-American to hold that office in any state. […]

    There have since been six subsequent African-American senators: three Illinois Democrats, Carol Moseley Braun, Barack Obama, and Roland W. Burris; Massachusetts Democrat Mo Cowan, appointed to fill the seat of John F. Kerry; South Carolina Republican Tim Scott, and New Jersey Democrat Cory Booker.

    “I knew Ed Brooke way, way back. I guess there aren’t many of us left,” said Francis X. Bellotti, a former state attorney general and lieutenant governor. “I always liked him and I had a great deal of admiration for what he accomplished. He blazed a trail and became really one of a kind.”

    Brooke was elected attorney general in 1962, and served in the Senate from 1967 to 1979.

    Mr. Brooke’s electoral success carried enormous symbolic weight. He was a figure of national, even international, prominence. A few months after he went to Washington, a bumpersticker appeared, “The New Look — Romney and Brooke ’68” (“Romney” was Michigan Governor George Romney, the father of future Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney). […]

    His own actions helped remove him from the stage. Much of Mr. Brooke’s popularity stemmed from a reputation for dignity and rectitude. During the latter part of his second term, that reputation began to fray. He filed for divorce from his first wife, Remigia, in 1976 and was photographed disco dancing with the actress Elizabeth Taylor at an Iranian embassy party. In her 2008 memoir, “Audition,” the television journalist Barbara Walters revealed that she and Mr. Brooke had had an affair during this period.

    Mr. Brooke admitted in 1978 to making a false financial statement in a deposition during his divorce. It was learned his mother-in-law had received $50,000 in Medicaid benefits she was ineligible for. “It was just a divorce case,” Mr. Brooke said in a 2000 Globe interview. “It was never about my work in the Senate. There was never a charge that I committed a crime, or even nearly committed a crime.”

    Mr. Brooke eventually reimbursed the state Department of Public Welfare $40,000. The Senate Ethics Committee decided that there was “credible evidence” of wrongdoing by Mr. Brooke, though it took no action against him. The voters of Massachusetts already had. In 1978, US Representative Paul Tsongas defeated Mr. Brooke in his bid for a third term.

    A few years earlier, the idea that a two-term congressman could have defeated Mr. Brooke would have been unthinkable. In 1972, he had easily beaten Middlesex County District Attorney John Droney, despite the fact Massachusetts had been the one state not to vote for Nixon, the Republican incumbent, in the presidential race. “I was sorely hurt when the people of Massachusetts voted against me and didn’t look beyond the allegations and didn’t remember what I had tried to do for them,” Mr. Brooke said in that 2000 interview. “Why did it happen? I don’t know.” […]

    Mr. Brooke led “the life of a country gentleman,” as one associate put it. He moved to a farm in northern Virginia, an hour’s commute from his law practice in Washington. In 1979, he married Anne Fleming, who survives him. For the most part, Mr. Brooke kept a low public profile. He was again in the news in 1989 when a government audit found he had made $183,000 in consulting fees from developers seeking rent subsidies from HUD. An audit nine years later cleared him of any wrongdoing. In 2000, the state courthouse at the corner of New Chardon and Merrimac streets was named after him.

  156. rq says

    You’re welcome.

    +++

    Witness Says NJ Man Killed by Police During Traffic Stop Had Hands Up (this is Jerame Reid we’re talking about here).

    Expecting the usual character-assassination turned victim-blaming from police and the press, Reid’s family acknowledged he has had prior run-in’s with the law, but are adamant that he had turned a corner.

    “He was a good kid,” his cousin Keesha Springs told nj.com. “He had a troubled past but after that he became a good person. I love my cousin. Everybody has their bad times and he had his bad times. But he was very lovable.”

    His wife echoed Springs statement, since sadly every past mistake will likely be pulled up and used to some how justify her husbands death.

    “My husband was no saint; he was not perfect — he had a background, but he walked out of there a free man. He was destined to be someone great, if given a chance … And they took him from me. They took him from me. For nothing.”

    US Department of Justice report on the Orleans Parish Prison System in New Orleans, Louisiana. Because this: Dying at OPP: 44 inmates dead in 9 years.

    Maybe another one? GUYS PLEASE RT. Matt may have been murdered by police in Georgia while in custody. #BlackLivesMatter #JusticeforMatt He was bipolar, having an episode, his gf called 911 to take him to the hospital, instead the cops took him to jail, where he died. If not incompetence or outright assault, then it was definitely negligence in denying him medical care.

    TW on this one… It kind of fits, kind of doesn’t (no cops involved) – mysterious death of black teenager athlete – A Death in Valdosta

    The Berkeley Cop Who Shot and Killed Antonio Martin is Andrew Weusthoff

    The officer’s name was inadvertently released by the St. Louis County police department on Monday after we made a public records request for the full, unedited video as well as the incident report.

    We still have not received the full video footage of the incident, but the report we received listed an assault on a law enforcement officer, listing Weusthoff as the victim, which makes sense because police have said from the beginning that he was defending himself after Martin pulled a gun on him.

    That report also states the case was “exceptionally cleared,” which is a phrase police use to close a case when circumstances prevent an officer from making an arrest as would happen when a suspect is dead.

    However, three days later, we were contacted by the St. Louis County Police Department, who informed us that the initial report was no longer valid, sending us an “updated” report.

    The updated report, which they sent us today, now states that it is a “homicide” investigation, instead of an assault on a police officer.

  157. rq says

    Fan-generated or not, I’m not sure if this was in good taste (mildly put) considering the current re-awoken political issues in America: Madonna defends altered Instagram pics of Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela.

    Also, police shootings and poor interaction with the mentally ill – not just for the States anymore. Mother remembers Ian Pryce, shot by police in 2013 with a pellet gun in his hand

    In November 2013, 30-year-old Pryce was shot dead by Toronto police after a standoff with the Emergency Task Force unit near Sherbourne and Carlton Sts.

    Pryce had been wielding a weapon that police later learned was a pellet gun.

    On Friday, the Special Investigations Unit — the provincial watchdog that probes police-involved deaths — cleared the two officers who fatally shot Pryce.

    But the watchdog did not name the man killed by police in its press release Friday, or at any time since his death; the Star has independently confirmed his identity.

    Spokesperson Jasbir Brar said the watchdog does not identify victims unless the next-of-kin gives permission.

    But Heather Thompson, Pryce’s mother, said she met with SIU investigators hours before the watchdog’s decision was released, and was not asked if she wanted his identity withheld. She in fact wants her son’s story told, to raise awareness about mental illness and avoid similar deaths.

    “There are many, many Ians out there, from many walks of life,” Thompson said in an emotional interview at her home Saturday, speaking publicly for the first time about her son’s death.
    […]

    In November 2014 — nearly a year after Pryce’s death — Thompson wrote a letter to Loparco pleading for more information about her son’s case. She also asked for a meeting with the inspector in charge of the probe.

    “You are counting on the passage of time to diffuse my anger. You think I will — by necessity — concentrate my grief on healing, and eventually lose interest in any demand for remediation for the loss of my son’s life … I will not let that happen,” she wrote in the letter.

    Thompson said she did not receive a response.
    […]

    Pryce’s illness worsened, and he moved from group homes to psychiatric institutions, including the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Thompson said. He was given medication, but Thompson thinks he didn’t take it when he was out of professional care.

    In April 2013, Pryce told a social worker he was going to live with a friend. Thompson didn’t know the friend or have the address; at a dinner together that month, she pleaded for contact information so she could keep tabs on him.

    “I was actively trying to figure out how to help him,” she said. “I didn’t just sit back and let things happen. I tried and tried and tried.”

    Thompson says she didn’t hear from him again. Seven months later, she got a knock on the door, informing her of his death.

    According to the SIU, Toronto police stopped Pryce at 12:30 p.m. Nov. 13, 2013, because there was a warrant for his arrest.

    Thompson believes it was connected to a violent incident at CAMH, when Pryce harmed a security guard while trying to leave the facility. But details of the warrant could not be independently confirmed Saturday.

    Pryce ran from officers, then began pointing in their direction what they believed to be a gun. A standoff ensued as Pryce took cover on the porch of a Sherbourne St. building and pointed the gun toward the street and nearby officers, according to the SIU.
    […]

    “While the officers may have been mistaken as to the type of weapon the man had in his possession, it was a mistake that was reasonable in the circumstances,” Loparco said, adding that everyone who saw the weapon, including a civilian less than two metres away, believed it was a real gun.

    The SIU did, however, identify a communication problem between the police. Before Pryce’s death, one officer who’d heard Pryce’s weapon discharge believed it sounded like a cap gun or pellet gun.

    “Unfortunately, there is no indication that the officer’s description of the sound, and the possibility that the gun was a pellet gun, was ever passed along to other officers,” says the SIU release.
    […]

    Thompson said she can understand the situation officers were in, not aware her son’s weapon was not a real gun. But she has other concerns about what happened and wonders if more could have been done to prevent Pryce’s death.

    She hopes an inquest would provide some answers and increase broader resources available to the mentally ill. (In his 2014 report into police encounters with the mentally ill, retired Supreme Court Justice Frank Iacobucci stated a failed and underfunded mental health system was one of the reasons fatal encounters with police occur.)

    What. An. Absolute. Mess.

    Mayor Bill de Blasio draws salutes at slain NYPD officer’s wake

    The uniformed police officers showed respect rather than disdain for de Blasio when he arrived with Police Commissioner William Bratton, with some saluting as the men entered at the start of the daylong event for Officer Wenjian Liu. His funeral arrangements had been delayed so relatives from China could travel to New York. […]

    For de Blasio, the gesture of respect during the wake contrasted with the back-turning insults hundreds of officers displayed last week toward video screens showing the mayor speaking at Ramos’ funeral. Bratton had urged rank-and-file officers not to make political statements at Liu’s wake and funeral.

    “A hero’s funeral is about grieving, not grievance,” Bratton said in a memo read to all commands at roll calls Friday and Saturday. “I issue no mandates, and I make no threats of discipline, but I remind you that when you don the uniform of this department, you are bound by the tradition, honour and decency that go with it.”

    Well… that’s nice of him, I suppose.

  158. says

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/codeswitch/2015/01/03/374564307/the-goal-to-remember-each-jim-crow-killing-from-the-30s-on

    The Civil Rights Restorative Justice Project is working to document every racially motivated killing in the American South between 1930 and 1970. So far, they’ve documented about 350 cases. Most of the crimes received little attention when they were committed, and often, even the family members of the victims don’t know how their relatives died.

    Gotta run to work, so I haven’t had the chance to read any further.

  159. rq says

    Via Tony, Al Sharpton is being paid thousands of dollars to not cry ‘racism’ at large corporations, it is claimed

    For more than 10 years, firms have reportedly handed over enormous donations and consulting fees to the activist preacher’s National Action Network (NAN)

    In return for their cash, they have received Sharpton’s supposed influence in the black community – or more often, his silence on the matter, it is reported.

    ‘Al Sharpton has enriched himself and NAN for years by threatening companies with bad publicity if they didn’t come to terms with him,’ said Ken Boehm, chairman of the National Legal & Policy Center, a watchdog group in Virginia that has produced a book on the Harlem minister. […]

    Experts told the newspaper that the lack of a public assertions of support for Pascal on Sharpton’s behalf is exemplary of his typical ‘shakedown’ move – making people pay for his support or silence.
    […]

    In 2008, NAN received a $500,000 donation that was made to New York-based nonprofit Education Reform Now by Plainfield Asset Management, a Connecticut hedge fund.

    Although the money was apparently to support NAN’s attempts to bring ‘educational equality’, it was donated at the same time the firm was trying to achieve a lucrative gambling deal in the Big Apple.

    Harold Levy, managing director at Plainfield at the time, has denied the contribution was made to win over Sharpton or aid Capital Play’s efforts in the Aqueduct Racetrack deal. [..]

    Meanwhile, in 2003, Sharpton accused American Honda of not hiring enough African-American managers, saying: ‘We cannot be silent while African-Americans spend hard-earned dollars with a company that does not hire, promote or do business with us in a statistically significant manner.’

    Shortly after his criticism, the firm’s chiefs met with Sharpton and decided to sponsor NAN.

    After this, the racially-charged accusations stopped.

    During his 60th birthday party in October, Sharpton raised a staggering $1million for NAN, with donations from unions and an array of corporations, including AT&T and McDonald’s.

    He has previously received money from the lakes of Macy’s, General Motors and Pfizer.

    Didn’t know Macy’s, General Motors and Pfizer had/were lakes.

    Death of mentally ill Cleveland woman in police restraint ruled homicide

    The medical examiner’s report comes amid criticism of the Cleveland police after the death of Tamir Rice, 12, who was shot to death by a Cleveland officer while he held a airsoft gun in a public park.

    Anderson’s death also comes in the wake of nationwide protests over the killing of unarmed black men by white police officers. Protests erupted in November after a St. Louis grand jury declined to bring charges against Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, who shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed black 18-year-old.

    A grand jury likewise failed to indict a police officer over the case of Staten Island resident Eric Garner, 43, who died in July after being thrown to the sidewalk and put in a chokehold by an officer.

    According to the Anderson family’s account of Tanisha’s death, an officer put her on the ground and placed his knee on her back and handcuffed her. She then stopped breathing, the Plain Dealer reports.

    Police tell a different story, however, describing Anderson as uncooperative, kicking at officers before going limp. Authorities said the incident is under investigation, according to the paper.

    A recent Justice Department review of Cleveland police tactics, which found widespread abuse and training shortfalls, identified abuses by law enforcement officers against the mentally ill.

    “Officers too often use unreasonable force against individuals with mental illness, individuals in medical crisis and individuals with impaired faculties,” the report found, according to the Plain Dealer.

    17 horrible things people said weren’t racist in 2014

    It was revealed this week that House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) spoke in 2002 to a white nationalist group founded by Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke. Scalise was quick to dismiss the news, saying he wasn’t sympathetic to the organization’s racist views — he was simply confused about what they stood for and where he was.

    “For anyone to suggest that I was involved with a group like that is insulting and ludicrous,” Scalise told the Times-Picayune. Others raced to his defense. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said, in a statement to the Hill, “I know Congressman Scalise to be a good man who is fair-minded and kindhearted. I’m confident he absolutely rejects racism in all its forms.”

    In other words, this was not racist — and, in fact, didn’t have anything to do with race at all. It’s a fitting end to 2014, when, if certain people were to be believed, very little happened that was racist, or even close.

    The way elected officials, cable news anchors, and celebrities have vehemently defended some of this year’s most outrageous and bigoted statements and offenses leaves us with one major question: what does deserve the dreaded r-word? Maybe we’ll find out in 2015. (Except, if it’s worse than all these things, that would be kind of scary. So hopefully not.) Here’s a list of some of the things that weren’t racist in 2014.

    Includes outrage over the new Annie, blackface, brown and black immigrants ruining everything for white people, a black president and black movies, gang signs, black people as props, and much, much more.

    Stuart Scott Accepts Jimmy V Award, video at the link – in memoriam. For so many of us, Stuart Scott was a model of what was possible for Black journalists. He showed that we could be ourselves and succeed.

    I mentioned the mysterious death of Kendrick Johnson (see “A Death in Valdosta” above) @deray I’ve been following this case. The article failed to mention the 3 videos with an avg of ~4 hrs missing data. And KJ’s missing organs. If you look at some of the replies, there’s all kinds of weirdness about the case (and I’m not talking about chemtrails and Halliburton).

  160. rq says

    Charlotte-Mecklenburg. North Carolina. Sunday, January 4th. Officer Involved Shooting.

    Threat Of Protests Moves St. Louis County Inaugurations

    Normally held in the County Council chambers on the second floor of the Lawrence K. Roos County Administration Building, the inaugural events will instead take place on the 6th floor of the St. Louis County Courthouse by invitation only.

    Stenger spokesman Cordell Whitlock said unspecified threats prompted the decision to move the proceedings to the courthouse.

    “After consulting with law enforcement we decided it was prudent to change the venue,” Whitlock said.

    A St. Louis County Police spokesman said the request to switch sites came at the request of McCulloch and Stenger’s offices.

    An announcement was delivered via email to invitees early Wednesday afternoon.

    “Please be aware that the venue has changed,” it reads. “Also, additional security measures have been put in place and the ceremony and reception are now private, invitation-only events.”

    THE PEOPLE DEMAND TRANSPARENCY FOR GARNER GRAND JURY (Facebook event but doesn’t require login)

    Pack the court – Monday, January 5th in Staten Island!

    Few realize the grand jury proceedings are still up for grabs, that there’s a fight going on to release them.

    Support the release of the Eric Garner grand jury proceedings!

    The struggle for justice for Eric Garner continues. A Staten Island grand jury failed to indict anyone for Garner’s death, now millions of people want to know: What’s in those grand jury proceedings?

    So far, almost no information about how the grand jury did its job has been made public.

    What are they hiding? After Mike Brown’s death in Ferguson, Missouri – just about everything has been released.
    The Legal Aid Society, New York City Public Advocate Letitia James, and the New York Civil Liberties Union are all working hard to let in the sunshine.
    Even the conservative New York Post, in a strong editorial, has called for release and the paper is also sending its lawyers to court!

    Pack the court on Monday so the judge knows that We The People want those records!

    Directions: The courthouse is right across the street from the ferry terminal.

    A few links with more information and context at the site.

    Youtube video: The New Year’s Eve Countdown to 2015 at Downtown LA’s Grand Park! The projected phrase “#BlackLivesMatter” appears for a short while at 2.30, then for over a minute starting at 3.20, with a green laser pointer emphasizing it; at about 4.50, the phrase “Disarm The Police” is projected. This is AWESOME.

  161. rq says

    So NYPD cops were a model of restraint and respect once again, during the funeral of the second murdered officer, after explicit requests (well, explicit public requests, as who knows what he said in private) from Bratton not to make any protest-like statements during the funeral – and the officer’s widow also madea special request for no gestures during the funeral. Well, here’s some tweetage on what actually happened:
    NYPD turn there backs on NYC Mayor @BilldeBlasio again after widow already asked you guys not to. #SHAME #NYPD (alternate caption: The donut’s siren song proved to be too strong for some NYPD officers.
    @itsmepanda1 @deray You can’t have a conversation if you turn your back. Its childish. Period.
    The NYPD is too cowardly to organize their own protest. So they hijack the funeral of their slain brothers.
    Would the NYPD have disrupted those funerals if the officers slain had been Smith and Johnson instead of Ramos and Liu? Just wondering.
    I never thought anyone would out asshole the Westboro Baptists in the funeral protesting department. I vastly underestimated the NYPD.

    mtc…

  162. rq says

  163. rq says

    Via Lynna, Shootings by police vastly underreported in Utah and nationally

    The FBI’s annual Uniform Crime Report gathers nationwide crime statistics from more than 18,000 police agencies, representing 98 percent of the U.S. population. But police agencies often do not submit the supplementary information that shows the number of people killed by police in justifiable homicides.

    Most Utah agencies did not report officer-involved homicides, and those agencies that did vastly underreported them.

    From 2007 to 2012, the most recent year for which full FBI stats are available, Utah police agencies reported 18 justifiable homicides by law enforcement. However, The Salt Lake Tribune has identified 59 homicides by law enforcement officers, deemed justified by prosecutors, during that time period. A Tribune review from 2010 through 2014 showed police use of force is the second leading contributor to the state’s homicide tally, topped only by domestic violence.

    The paper’s findings of underreporting are borne out by other reviews of FBI data. The Wall Street Journal recently gathered internal data on homicides by police during the same time period from 105 of the nation’s largest departments and found that more than 500 of at least 1,800 police killings were missing from the FBI tally.

    The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tracks “legal intervention” deaths, using death certificates and autopsy findings. But experts long have considered the totals to be incomplete because medical examiners may not always note police involvement on death certificates.

    In yet another federal effort to count deaths at the hands of law enforcement, the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) called on states to report use-of-force fatalities as part of its “Arrest-Related Deaths” program, launched in 2003. Utah’s tally was more accurate in this report than in the FBI data, accounting for 49 use-of-force homicides of 53 identified by The Tribune from 2003 to 2009. The Utah Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice gathered and submitted the figures for the BJS report, but rather than relying on police agencies to volunteer information, the commission culled media reports and contacted police for background details, said Ben Peterson, director of research for the CCJJ.

    But when an audit found too many deaths missing in the BJS national data, the program was discontinued, said Andrea Burch, a statistician for the U.S. Department of Justice. No data after 2009 will be available.

    Peterson said that, to his knowledge, the raw numbers submitted by the state to the justice bureau have never been requested by any agency hoping to study the use of deadly force by police in Utah.

    In Oakland, they went from restaurant to restaurant with their protest:
    Stand up for black lives. At Forge. #BlackBrunch #oakland
    Stand up for black lives. Boca Nova. #BlackBrunch #oakland
    Hella folks stood up for black lives at Lungomare. #BlackBrunch #oakland

    Cops behaving badly and getting wrist-slapped for it – TW for sexual assault on a childThis is How Child Molesting Cops are Treated in a Corrupt Police State.

    Someone recently asked an elder, “How do we keep the movement alive?” to which the elder replied, “The police will do it for you.”

  164. rq says

    At the intersection of being black, mental illness, and policing, lies a whole stack of horror.
    On youtube, A Mother’s Mission: The Shooting of Milton Hall (NSFW) .

    Police officers in Saginaw, MI fired more than 45 shots at Jewel Hall’s son Milton. Despite abundant evidence that officers showed a reckless disregard for Milton’s life, the U.S. Justice Department did not charge any of the officers responsible for the killing.

    In Washington D.C., the ACLU of Michigan is playing Jewel Hall’s testimony at a hearing before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on “Reports of Racism in the Justice System of the United States.” Learn more at http://www.aclumich.org/MiltonHall

    Here’s another on the use of deadly force on mentally ill people (not a video). Deadly Force, Police, and the Mentally Ill. It’s a four-part series, of which this is the first part.

    Five separate fatal shootings of mentally ill people by Maine police in 2011 prompted the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram to examine law enforcement’s use of deadly force. Since 1990, police have fired on 101 people, many of them mentally ill, and in every case the state attorney general ruled that the shooting was justified. The newspaper sought to find out why so many mentally ill Mainers were being shot and whether the outcomes were avoidable. The investigation, involving hundreds of interviews and thousands of pages of documents, revealed that Maine and rest of the country have failed to employ methods or invest in training that could defuse life-threatening situations with mentally impaired people.

    Youtube video, LAPD murders Omar Abrego (Warning: Graphic)

    **Warning – Graphic** This video shows the end of the murder of Omar Abrego. What you see first are the Sergeants, Robert Calderon and Jeff Mares who murdered Omar Abrego, attempting to get handcuffs on Omar who is already bleeding profusely. The first additional officer who appears is helping get Omar handcuffed so they can make him appear to be a criminal. The officers and Omar are in front of Omar’s delivery van. The officers squad car can be seen blocking the drivers side door of Omars van. It’s why Omar was forced to exit the back of the van.

    When all the officers arrive they are very casual and only are seen to casually glance at Omar. No one asks any questions about what happened. They are only concerned with standing around or clearing the area. One officer in a white t-shirt can be seen, once all the officers are standing around Omar, taking pictures of herself. She takes four shots. None of the officers, tell her to put down her phone and stop taking pictures of herself. About twenty officers arrive. This is not a gathering of some good cops and some bad ones, the video shows the actions of the biggest, most well funded gang in Los Angeles, the LAPD. Jailing these murderers will send a message to all other police officers in LA – A Badge is not a licence to kill! It will change the balance of power between the black and Latina/o communities and the police.

    To get involved contact 323.317.7675 or join BAMN at http://www.bamn.com or

    california@gmail.com

  165. rq says

    If you watch the Omar Abrego video, it is … I have no words. Two officers already have him down, soon there are six practically on top of him, trying to hold him down though he is obviously not going anywhere, and then they start arriving, more and more and more of them, just crowding in and around, like vultures. And Omar dies.

    Martin Luther King Day -19/01/2015 #BlackLivesMatter #ICantBreathe #BeReady

    I think that the police may be reviewing all of the footage they’ve recorded of protestors and will begin making random arrests. I wouldn’t be surprised, really.
    Y’all, if the police do begin making random arrests based off of age-old protest footage, the protests will intensify and never end.

    I have no interest in a ‘New’ Civil Rights movement, but I’m totally down for a Black Freedom and/or Liberation movement #justbeinghonest

  166. rq says

    Also, just because Happy New Year, police in Wichita killed another unarmed black man.
    UPDATE: Man dies after confrontation with police

    Two officers arrived on scene; Quintero and a man identified as his father were sitting in a SUV located in front of the home. Mosley says officers asked the men to step out of the vehicle. The father complied with the police officers commands, but Quintero did not. Once outside the vehicle, Qnintero started making threats to the officers, which prompted authorities to use a taser on the suspect, but it didn’t have an effect.

    The second officer then shot Quintero after he took two steps forward after being tazed.

    Quintero was then taken to Wesley Hospital where he later died.

    Another on the same: Man hurt in officer-involved shooting has died.

    And someone almost witnessed it:
    So the police stand-off I saw on my drive home last night resulting in the officer shooting an unarmed man to death, seconds after I passed.
    Passed police officers with automatic rifles drawn at single suspect on way home, 5ft from my car. Guns are dumb. Wonder if suspect had one.

  167. says

    More on police turning their backs on de Blasio — cross posted from the Lounge.

    Police union members turned their backs on Mayor de Blasio again at another funeral. Way to protest inappropriately, police persons.
    Link.

  168. rq says

    More cops behaving badly: BOSTON COP BEATS UBER DRIVER, STEALS CAR

    It all started when the driver “picked up a white male … who was with [another] unknown white male at 200 Hanover St.” in the North End.

    He then “drove the unknown white male to Charlestown and was then asked to take [the second white male] to E 2nd in South Boston.”

    But when they arrived at that address, the “suspect stated they were in the wrong location.”

    The “suspect then stated ‘[You] think I’m stupid you fucking spic’ and told the victim to continue driving.”

    With the car stopped at E 2nd and M Street, the report says “the suspect began hitting the victim.” The Uber driver said he then removed his seatbelt and exited the vehicle, only for the suspect to begin “chasing the victim around the motor vehicle.”

    With the victim “attempting to stop passing traffic to assist him,” an “unknown black male” lent a hand. “When the victim went toward the male that stopped to assist him, the suspect entered the [victim’s]” car and drove off.

    The victim then entered the vehicle of the assisting black male “and they followed the suspect,” who was driving the Uber toward Farragut Road, “where the suspect stopped.”

    Once outside the stolen taxi, the suspect “approached both the victim and the male assisting and stated to the black male ‘[What] do you want you fucking nigger’ and began swinging at both parties.”

    In the process the “suspect knocked the victim to the ground and began hitting him and the assisting male attempted to pull him off. They all struggled until the suspect observed blue police lights coming in their direction.”

    The suspect then “stopped fighting and began to walk away.” At which point two MassPort police officers “arrived on the scene and the suspect walked away.” The Uber driver pointed at the suspect, but according to the police report he made an “escape” up P Street.

    There’s suspicion that it was an off-duty cop behaving like a racist idiot. And the BPD released a statement (at the link):

    Boston Police Officer Placed on Administrative Leave after Being Charged with Assault & Battery: At about 2:45am, on Sunday, January 4, 2015, officers from District C-6 (South Boston) responded to a call for a ride share driver stating that he had been assaulted by a passenger in the area of E. 1st Street and Farragut Road in South Boston. On arrival, officers spoke to the victim, an Uber driver, who stated that he was in the process of dropping a passenger off in the area of E. 2nd Street in South Boston when the passenger began yelling at him and accusing him of trying to drop him off at the wrong location. Victim further states that the suspect physically assaulted him when he stopped his vehicle in the area of E. 2nd and M Streets. In an effort to escape the suspect, the victim states that he exited his vehicle. Once outside the vehicle, the victim states that he watched as the suspect got into the front seat of his car and drove off. The victim, who was aided by a passing motorist, followed the victim to E. 1st Street and Farragut Road where the suspect stopped and exited the victim’s car. The suspect fled the area before police arrived. The suspect was later identified, located and placed under arrest.

    Officers arrested Michael Doherty, 40, of South Boston and charged him with Assault & Battery and Using a Motor Vehicle without Authority.

    Doherty, a 16 year-veteran of the Boston Police Department, has been placed on Administrative Leave pending the outcome of the charges filed against him.

    The Boston Police Anti-Corruption Unit is actively reviewing facts and circumstance surrounding this incident.

    No mention of racial language used. Huh. Oh, and this is funny-but-not-funny: According to the @BostonGlobe one of the charges against the cop is “using a motor vehicle without authority” do they mean “stealing a car”? See, cops can’t even steal, they just use things without authority. :P

    So they don’t just shoot black people, the cops. They shot a white guy in San Francisco: Officer-involved shooting near San Francisco’s Mission District Police Station

    Three police sergeants approached the man and asked him to leave, Esparza said. He began to walk away but stopped before reaching the parking lot entrance at Valencia Street and turned to confront the officers.

    Still facing the sergeants, Esparza said the man began to back away while also reaching his hands into his waistband, revealing the butt of a gun.

    “The sergeants saw the butt of the weapon as he pulls it out and brandishes it at the sergeants,” Esparza said.

    Two of the sergeants fired their weapon at the man, striking him multiple times, she said.

    A witness at the scene said he heard six or seven shots fired.

    He was transported to San Francisco General Hospital, where he underwent surgery, but Esparza said he has died.

    It was a pellet gun. See, white people? You shouldn’t play with guns, even when you’re an adult!!! And especially if you’re a cop.

  169. rq says

    More cops behaving badly: BOSTON COP BEATS UBER DRIVER, STEALS CAR

    It all started when the driver “picked up a white male … who was with [another] unknown white male at 200 Hanover St.” in the North End.

    He then “drove the unknown white male to Charlestown and was then asked to take [the second white male] to E 2nd in South Boston.”

    But when they arrived at that address, the “suspect stated they were in the wrong location.”

    The “suspect then stated ‘[You] think I’m stupid you fucking sp*c’ and told the victim to continue driving.”

    With the car stopped at E 2nd and M Street, the report says “the suspect began hitting the victim.” The Uber driver said he then removed his seatbelt and exited the vehicle, only for the suspect to begin “chasing the victim around the motor vehicle.”

    With the victim “attempting to stop passing traffic to assist him,” an “unknown black male” lent a hand. “When the victim went toward the male that stopped to assist him, the suspect entered the [victim’s]” car and drove off.

    The victim then entered the vehicle of the assisting black male “and they followed the suspect,” who was driving the Uber toward Farragut Road, “where the suspect stopped.”

    Once outside the stolen taxi, the suspect “approached both the victim and the male assisting and stated to the black male ‘[What] do you want you fucking n*gg*r’ and began swinging at both parties.”

    In the process the “suspect knocked the victim to the ground and began hitting him and the assisting male attempted to pull him off. They all struggled until the suspect observed blue police lights coming in their direction.”

    The suspect then “stopped fighting and began to walk away.” At which point two MassPort police officers “arrived on the scene and the suspect walked away.” The Uber driver pointed at the suspect, but according to the police report he made an “escape” up P Street.

    There’s suspicion that it was an off-duty cop behaving like a racist idiot. And the BPD released a statement (at the link):

    Boston Police Officer Placed on Administrative Leave after Being Charged with Assault & Battery: At about 2:45am, on Sunday, January 4, 2015, officers from District C-6 (South Boston) responded to a call for a ride share driver stating that he had been assaulted by a passenger in the area of E. 1st Street and Farragut Road in South Boston. On arrival, officers spoke to the victim, an Uber driver, who stated that he was in the process of dropping a passenger off in the area of E. 2nd Street in South Boston when the passenger began yelling at him and accusing him of trying to drop him off at the wrong location. Victim further states that the suspect physically assaulted him when he stopped his vehicle in the area of E. 2nd and M Streets. In an effort to escape the suspect, the victim states that he exited his vehicle. Once outside the vehicle, the victim states that he watched as the suspect got into the front seat of his car and drove off. The victim, who was aided by a passing motorist, followed the victim to E. 1st Street and Farragut Road where the suspect stopped and exited the victim’s car. The suspect fled the area before police arrived. The suspect was later identified, located and placed under arrest.

    Officers arrested Michael Doherty, 40, of South Boston and charged him with Assault & Battery and Using a Motor Vehicle without Authority.

    Doherty, a 16 year-veteran of the Boston Police Department, has been placed on Administrative Leave pending the outcome of the charges filed against him.

    The Boston Police Anti-Corruption Unit is actively reviewing facts and circumstance surrounding this incident.

    No mention of racial language used. Huh. Oh, and this is funny-but-not-funny: According to the @BostonGlobe one of the charges against the cop is “using a motor vehicle without authority” do they mean “stealing a car”? See, cops can’t even steal, they just use things without authority. :P

    So they don’t just shoot black people, the cops. They shot a white guy in San Francisco: Officer-involved shooting near San Francisco’s Mission District Police Station

    Three police sergeants approached the man and asked him to leave, Esparza said. He began to walk away but stopped before reaching the parking lot entrance at Valencia Street and turned to confront the officers.

    Still facing the sergeants, Esparza said the man began to back away while also reaching his hands into his waistband, revealing the butt of a gun.

    “The sergeants saw the butt of the weapon as he pulls it out and brandishes it at the sergeants,” Esparza said.

    Two of the sergeants fired their weapon at the man, striking him multiple times, she said.

    A witness at the scene said he heard six or seven shots fired.

    He was transported to San Francisco General Hospital, where he underwent surgery, but Esparza said he has died.

    It was a pellet gun. See, white people? You shouldn’t play with guns, even when you’re an adult!!! And especially if you’re a cop.

  170. rq says

    [picture of students protesting]

    Something about this new addition to the #FergusonCommission feels side-eye worthy… They’ve added a (black) county police sergeant.

    Tonight’s benefit raised $1035 for the family of #AntonioMartin to bury their son. #Ferguson

    Do not forget that #VonDerritMyers DNA was not present on the alleged gun.

    Mentioned upthread, but here’s an article on Matthew Ajibade, young man who died in police custody January 1st. Report: 22-Year Old Man Suffering A Bipolar disorder Dies In Police Custody!

    Matthew Ajibade died while being in the Savannah Chatham Metropolitan police custody. The 22-year-old’s girlfriend called police to escort him to the hospital because he was suffering a bipolar episode. Both Ajibade’s girlfriend and his manager asked police to take him to a hospital- to which the police agreed.

    Aijbade was instead arrested and charged with obstruction of justice, battery and domestic violence while being restrained.
    According to police, while being restrained, Matthew Ajibade injured three deputies. Cops say Ajibade was then placed in an isolation cell due to his dangerous behavior.
    Ajibade was in custody since 6:40pm on 1/1/15. It was during a second welfare check that police found Ajibade unresponsive.
    Police say “The Medical Unit staff started CPR and administered defibrillation while preparing the subject for transport to a local hospital. Efforts to resuscitate the inmate were unsuccessful.”
    Per protocol, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation is conducting an independent investigation.

  171. rq says

    McCullogh probably thought he’d have to get through a few more protests, and then things would quiet down, life would go on, the public would forget… Well, it seems things are heating up again.
    Grand Juror Sues McCulloch, Says He Mischaracterized The Wilson Case

    The grand juror, referred to only as “Grand Juror Doe” in the lawsuit, takes issue with how McCulloch characterized the case. McCulloch released evidence presented to the grand jury and publicly discussed the case after the grand jury decided not to indict Wilson, then a Ferguson police officer, in the shooting death of Michael Brown, an 18-year-old African American.

    “In [the grand juror]’s view, the current information available about the grand jurors’ views is not entirely accurate — especially the implication that all grand jurors believed that there was no support for any charges,” the lawsuit says. “Moreover, the public characterization of the grand jurors’ view of witnesses and evidence does not accord with [Doe]’s own.”

    “From [the grand juror]’s perspective, the investigation of Wilson had a stronger focus on the victim than in other cases presented to the grand jury,” the lawsuit states. Doe also believes the legal standards were conveyed in a “muddled” and “untimely” manner to the grand jury.

    In the lawsuit filed Monday in federal court, the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri argues that this case is unique and that the usual reasons for requiring the jurors to maintain secrecy should not apply.

    In this specific case, “any interests furthered by maintaining grand jury secrecy are outweighed by the interests secured by the First Amendment,” the lawsuit says, adding that allowing the juror to speak would contribute to a discussion on race in America.

    As the grand juror points out in the lawsuit, the Wilson case was handled in a very different manner than other grand juries. Instead of recommending a charge, McCulloch’s office presented thousands of pages worth of evidence and testimony before the grand jury. At one point, McCulloch’s spokesman characterized the grand jury as co-investigators.

    “From [Doe]’s perspective, although the release of a large number of records provides an appearance of transparency, with heavy redactions and the absence of context, those records do not fully portray the proceedings before the grand jury,” the lawsuit says. […]

    State law says that grand jurors shall not “disclose any evidence given” nor “the name of any witness who appeared before them,” adding that any juror who violates that is guilty of a misdemeanor. The ACLU is asking a judge to grant an injunction that prohibits enforcing those laws (or threatening to) in this case.

    The laws “prevent [the grand juror] from discussing truthful information about a matter of public significance,” the lawsuit says. “As applied in the circumstances of this case, the challenged laws act as a prior restraint on [Doe’s] expressive activity.”

    We have reached out to McCulloch’s office for comment and will update when we hear back.

    Here’s the Fox2 link – Michael Brown grand juror suing over lifetime gag order, with a link to the actual complaint, if any lawyerly types want to take a swing through it. (I will be posting tweets with excerpts later.)
    ** Note: The correct term is the ‘Darren Wilson Grand Jury’, as Darren Wilson was supposedly the one undergoing examination for indictment, not Michael Brown, but I’m sure I’ve made the mistake – though it would be nice if the media didn’t.

    The ACLU: St. Louis County Grand Juror Challenges Lifetime Gag Order.

    ST. LOUIS – Grand Juror Doe, who served on the grand jury which investigated the killing of Michael Brown by Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson, is suing Robert McCulloch, prosecuting attorney for St. Louis County. Doe would like to talk about the experience of serving on a grand jury, the evidence presented and the investigation in a way that could contribute to the public dialogue concerning race relations.

    The American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri is representing Grand Juror Doe because, without permission from a court, it is a crime for grand jurors to discuss their service. McCulloch is named as a defendant since he would be the person to bring charges against Doe.

    “The Supreme Court has said that grand jury secrecy must be weighed against the juror’s First Amendment rights on a case-by-case basis,” explains Tony Rothert, legal director of the ACLU of Missouri. “The rules of secrecy must yield because this is a highly unusual circumstance. The First Amendment prevents the state from imposing a life-time gag order in cases where the prosecuting attorney has purported to be transparent.”

    “Grand Juror Doe’s perspective can and should help inform a way forward here in Missouri,” says Jeffrey Mittman, executive director of the ACLU of Missouri. “The ACLU will fight to allow this important voice to be heard by the public and lawmakers so that we can begin the healing process that can only result from fact-based reforms.”

    Cooperating attorneys on this case are Eric Sowers, Ferne Wolf and Joshua Pierson, from Sowers & Wolf Attorneys at Law. A copy of the complaint can be found on the ACLU of Missouri website.

  172. rq says

    This is from a while ago, but probably still relevant: St Louis prosecutor Bob McCulloch’s office says records I’ve requested aren’t public, and if a court rules they are, I’d need to pay $12,000.

    Coming to Terms With My Father’s Racism

    I cannot quote verbatim his tirades, and I am grateful for that small mercy, but I remember his tone with a bone-deep weariness. Raised voice, fist on the table. He was angry with black people for reasons that depended on his day at the plant, a song on the radio, a story he’d read in the afternoon paper. To this day, I hear the n-word and can see the contortions in his face.

    Most daughters want to be daddy’s little girl. This aspiration was lost on me at an early age. I loved my father, always, and feared him too often, but by age 6 or so I knew there was something wrong about him. He would rant about black people he’d never met, and I would see the faces of my classmates, my friends. Silently, I’d pick at the fried Spam or pile of goulash on my plate and think about Sandy and Gary and Valerie and Phillip, and sometimes my eyes would sting. It was not the natural order of things to be so young and know your father had no idea what he was talking about.

    I live in Cleveland, where a 12-year-old black boy named Tamir Rice was recently shot and killed by a white police officer. The community at large professed outrage, but when I attended his public funeral it was filled with black mourners, and I left wondering if maybe most of us white people think this isn’t our problem anymore. After weeks of reading and moderating public comment threads about the deaths this year of Tamir and two other unarmed black males, Michael Brown and Eric Garner, I can’t ignore this dark and familiar something clawing at my heart.
    There are moments when it feels like we’re inching back toward the 1960s.

    There are moments when it feels like we’re inching back toward the 1960s, but back into communities that are far more segregated, by race and means. If you are black and poor, you can now spend your entire childhood knowing only other poor, black children. If you are born lucky and grow up surrounded by mirror images of your good fortune, it’s easy to see yourself as a majority stakeholder in a world primed to do your bidding. […]

    I grew up surrounded by children who didn’t look like me, and my only problem with that, aside from the constant tension with my father, was that I wanted to be them. The girls were my confidants, my touchstones. We played with each other’s hair and swapped barrettes and ribbons like boys trading baseball cards. I loved their music, from the Motown on their kitchen radios to the gospel songs in their churches, where worshippers praised God like they knew him, instead of sitting ramrod-straight week after week waiting to make his acquaintance. […]

    I loved their mothers, too. Ours was not an “I love you” kind of home, and I melted in the arms of these women who called me “child” and “honey” and always ordered me to sit at their tables for after-school snacks. Surely they noticed that their children were never invited to my home, but I never felt they held that against me.

    My father had no idea that I visited my black friends’ churches or stepped foot in their homes. I don’t remember my mother ever saying we were keeping our secrets. The conspiracy was implicit; the necessity understood.

    Here begins the long list of excuses I’ve made for my father in my head all of my adult life. […]

    When I started junior high school in 1969, my father and I were arguing all the time, sometimes about boys, occasionally about hemlines, but usually about race. He was full of contradictions. He liked a black guy at work, but that’s because he didn’t “act black.” He loved The Supremes until I played them constantly, at which point he set a limit on how many black artists’ records I could buy with my babysitting money. One a month, tops. He smashed my 45 of Aretha’s “Respect” into a pile of pieces when I violated the rule.

    When my father found out I had a crush on a black boy, he grounded me for weeks.

    The timing of his attempt to rein me in couldn’t have been worse, because everything was changing at school. Within days of my seventh-grade year, the kids who had come from the all-white elementary school on the other side of town took note of my companions at the lunch table and started calling me a n— lover. The kids from the mostly black elementary school badgered my friends for hanging out with the white girl. The same mothers who used to pull me to their bosoms now acted like they didn’t see me in the hallways and at Friday-night games, and nodded terse hellos to my parents.

    My father saw a glimmer of hope in my feelings of abandonment. So much for friendship. Blood’s thicker than water. Guess you’re learning that God made us different for a reason.

    I had spent most of my childhood identifying with children who did not look like me, and in a fit of pubescent angst, decided it was time to change that. A week before school pictures, I talked a neighbor lady into cutting my long hair and giving me a white girl’s Afro with a Toni perm.

    My mother collapsed on the sofa and fanned her face with her apron. My father refused to be seen in public with me. When he found out I had a crush on a black boy, he grounded me for weeks. I bought tubes of QT and worked on my tan.

    My father and I were at war. […]

    If the story ended there, at the gulf of our divisions, I would feel no hope now in these troubled times. I would look at those class pictures from my childhood and see a failed experiment in good intentions. I’d have to tell myself that some white people, white people like my father, are just unreachable.

    For years, I wondered: How good is a daughter’s liberation if her father only sees it as his failure? Where’s the victory in that? Maybe it’s enough for those who don’t care what their father thinks, but I always did. I didn’t want his approval. I wanted his agreement that he’d been wrong all along about black people. More to the point, I wanted him to admit he’d been wrong about me. [..]

    Last year we moved into the city of Cleveland, where I’ve worked as a journalist for more than 30 years. I can’t run to the drugstore or fetch a loaf of bread without crossing paths with faces that remind me of what I came from—of who I came from, I should say. Some suburban acquaintances have questioned our move with various versions of the same indictment: What were you thinking? Always, I am able to answer: Home. I was thinking of home.

    My father died in 2006. He lived seven years longer than my mother. She never got in the middle of our fights about race, but it was her short illness and death, at 62, that helped us find our way to a fragile middle.

    The turning point arrived without warning in a hospital waiting room.

    It was late August 1999. My mom was weeks from dying. Dad and I were a tag team of concern. We spent our days sitting in offices and waiting rooms, sometimes with Mom, sometimes without her. Over and over, my father would whisper to me, “This should be happening to me. I should be the one who is dying.”

    On this particular morning, Dad and I sat wedged together in a packed room, our backs against a wall. We were waiting for Mom, again.

    To get to this place, this moment, we had walked behind the black orderly who pushed Mom’s wheelchair down the hall. We had thanked the black receptionist who directed us where to sit. We had just nodded hello to the black resident who always made my mother smile.

    My father leaned his head against the wall and closed his eyes.

    “God,” he said, “they’re everywhere now.”

    I clenched the armrests and tried to control my breathing as I turned to look at him. Tears pooled at the corners of his eyes. For the first time ever, he reached for my hand.

    We started there.

    And that’s how it ends.

    But more on suing McCullogh:
    So far this morning, @stltoday, @FOX2now, & @stlpublicradio have all mischaracterized the Darren Wilson grand jury as the Michael Brown GJ. So yes, that’s where I got that from.
    Number 37 is important., where paragraph 37 reads: “Plaintiff’s views would add to the public debate – occurring in Missouri and across the country – about the proper role of state grand juries and whether they continue to serve their original purpose of protecting the accused, or are now increasingly used to deprive those accused of crimes of due process to which they are otherwise entitled.” (tpyos mine)
    This is the shot across the bow paragraph. Paragraph 34, in other words, where Plaintiff desires to speak about the experiences of being a grand juror and to delve into the details of McCullogh’s mischaracterisations (condensed version mine). It ends with the thought that evidence was presented to insinuate that Brown was the wrongdoer, not Wilson, and that the GJ was never clearly counselled on the law.
    This seems to be signaling a majority of the GJ did want to charge Darren Wilson but they couldn’t agree on charges. A list of sentences saying how a majority of 9/12 are needed to indict, and that at no point were there less than 4 dissenting voices for an indictment – implying, of course, that the grand jury members were not as single-minded in their ‘no indictment’ result as McCullogh presents to the public. A bit more to follow.

  173. rq says

    Interesting. The lawsuit cites the Jack-in-the-Box police shootings as precedent of McCulloch not being transparent. Yup, it says that explicitly (citing the date of the incident, rather than the common name). How McCullogh before promised transparency and apparently failed to deliver.

    Racism elsewhere – namely, Pittsburgh: This Is The Generic Anti-Racism Sign That Outraged Pittsburgh’s Police Union

    Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto came upon the photo while sitting at home and, viewing it as a “great way to start the new year,” promptly shared it on his own Facebook page. “I thought there was very little chance for someone to say this was the wrong message to send,” Peduto told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

    But someone did. The photo swept across social media, and local police union president Howard McQuillan took the statement against racism as an affront to the entire police department, telling KDKA: “The chief is calling us racists. He believes the Pittsburgh Police Department is racist. This has angered a lot of officers.”

    KDKA reports that other officers were so outraged by the photo they believed it must have been fake. McLay has even reportedly been called to a meeting at city hall to address the photo.

    The group that made this sign, WWHAT’S UP?! Pittsburgh, defines itself by the belief “that racism hurts everyone and that unlearning racism is liberating for all.” It makes little reference to police or any other particular group. McLay said in a statement released after the photo was disseminated that he came upon this group in a coffee shop in what was a “great, spontaneous” moment at the time, during which they talked about unconscious bias and community relations. “Their message is not anti-anybody. It is simply a call for awareness.”

    Still, McQuillan, president of the local chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police, responded to the sign in an email by accusing Chief McLay of “[p]andering to the community at the expense of the police community.”

    Then it talks about NYC. Pandering to the community, though? The police should do more of that, actually, since so little of it seems to be at the expense of the police community.

    toni morrison reminding you #blacklivesmatter & so does black theory. People, not aliens – active agents, not props or storylines.

    Interlude: Keshia Knight Pulliam Fired From Celebrity Apprentice for Not Talking to Bill Cosby.

    The season premiere was filmed about a year ago, months before mounting rape allegations irrevocably ruined Cosby’s reputation. So when the cast found out they needed to contact rich friends in order to raise money for a bake sale, it’s understandable that Pulliam’s teammates leaned on her to call up her (as-of-then-relatively-untarnished) former TV dad. Pulliam (who was her team’s project manager) awkwardly declined, cryptically saying she opted instead to reach out to “people I felt can deliver the quickest.” Cosby went unmentioned for much of the rest of the episode. Then came the boardroom. The two teams were summoned to appear before Donald Trump and co-judges Ivanka Trump and Piers Morgan. Pulliam’s team had come up short in their fund-raising, and her teammates took aim at her.

    What followed was an excruciating three minutes for anyone even vaguely aware of the Cosby rape scandal. The Trumps, Morgan, and Pulliam’s team took her to task for not calling Bill Cosby and asking him for money.

    “Did you call Bill?” the elder Trump asked her.

    “I did not,” Pulliam said, crying. “I have not talked to Bill Cosby on the phone in I don’t know how long. So for me to pick up the phone, having not talked to you for five years, except for when we run into each other for a Cosby event — I feel that’s not my place to do.”

    That defense wasn’t good enough for Trump, who went on to fire her, specifically because she refused to call Cosby. “I really believe, if you’d called that gentleman, he would’ve helped you, even if you hadn’t spoken to him in years,” Trump said, “because you were an amazing team with one of the most successful shows ever. So I think it would’ve been a very good call to make for charity. But you have to take responsibility. I think you agree with that.”

    So basically, for having a sense of decency – and his raping past actually makes the appearance of this episode in the final show rather mystifying, the article notes.

    Interlude 2: Two Baltimore police motorcycles crash in Elizabeth, police say. They’re fine, though. Alive and to recover fully.

  174. rq says

  175. rq says

    And Shaun King on DailyKos: 58-point lawsuit filed by juror in Darren Wilson case against St. Louis prosecutor Bob McCulloch

    In the lawsuit, seen below in its entirety, the juror, suing in part for the opportunity to speak openly about the case without harm of criminal penalty, claims that she/he did indeed feel that Darren Wilson should’ve been charged with crimes, but that McCulloch, in his public statements about the case, suggested otherwise. The lawsuit also alleges that the entire grand jury process was prejudicially managed by McCulloch and that it often felt like slain Ferguson teenager Mike Brown was on trial instead of Darren Wilson.

    Already under fire for calling Witness #40, Sandy McElroy, to testify before the grand jury when he now admits he knew she was never actually on scene to witness the shooting of Mike Brown, which may be a crime in and of itself, it is increasingly obvious that Bob McCulloch had no intentions whatsoever of charging Darren Wilson with any kind of crime in the shooting death of Mike Brown.

    Basically another link to the pdf document (at the link).

  176. rq says

    Early protesters line up for silent wall against police terrorism before 3:30pm @libbyformayor #Oakland inauguration.

    .@BLMLA #OccupyLAPD protesters were arrested trying to take letters to LAPDHQs front desk for Beck. They were told the building was closed.
    However, after seeing multiple civilians come in and out of LAPDHQs .@BLMLA decided to walk in to deliver their letters and were arrested.

    7 Things I Can Do That My Black Son Can’t.

    This part of the grand juror’s lawsuit is in reference to what the Post-Dispatch uncovered about the 2000 grand jury.

    thisisthemovement, installment #70:

    Ferguson
    Grand Juror SUES Bob McCulloch Grand jurors are prohibited by laws to discuss a case they were involved in, but “Grand Juror Doe” is suing St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch in an effort to speak about the Darren Wilson case. “From the grand juror’s perspective, the investigation of Wilson had a stronger focus on the victim than in other cases presented to the grand jury.” Absolute must read.

    Nixon Names Retired Police Officer to Ferguson Commission As one Ferguson Commissioner has been appointed to be the Commission’s Managing Director, Nixon has appointed a retired St. Louis County Police Officer to replace the outgoing civilian member. Interesting read.

    Metro-East Police Spent $120K For Riot Gear in November In November, preparing for possible civil unrest in Illinois after grand jury decision announcement in Ferguson, metro-east police stock piled supplies and equipment.

    Tamir Rice
    Investigation Into Shooting of Tamir Rice Turned Over to Sheriff’s Office The City of Cleveland has turned over the investigation into the death of Tamir Rice to the Cuyahoga County’s sheriff’s office in an attempt to ensure that it is fairly handled. Important read.

    Antonio Martin
    Berkeley Police Maintain That Antonio Martin Pulled A Gun, Press Conference Offers No New Facts Berkeley officials recently held a press conference noting that the official investigation into the killing of Antonio Martin was over. The press conference, however, offered no new details. Click here to watch the press conference, read a summation, and review the timeline of the events. Absolute must read/view.

    Darrien Hunt
    Darrien Hunt’s Family Files Lawsuit, Suing Two Officers and Saratoga Springs The family of Darrien Hunt has filed a lawsuit, suing two officers and Sarataga Springs re: civil rights violations. Remember, Darrien was killed for allegedly killed for waving a samurai-style sword at officers. Absolute must read.

    Tanisha Anderson
    Tanisha Anderson’s Death Ruled Homicide “Anderson’s official cause of death was ruled ‘sudden death associated with physical restraint in a prone position.'” Tanisha Anderson was killed by a police officer in Cleveland, Ohio on November 13th.

    John Crawford
    John Crawford’s Girlfriend Dies in a Car Crash On January 1, 2014, Tara Thomas, girlfriend of John Crawford was killed in a car crash in Dayton, Ohio. Autopsies have not been performed yet.

    Baltimore
    Baltimore Detective Reports Fellow Officers Assaulting Man, Other Officers and Department (Allegedly) Retaliate Baltimore City Police Detective reported that he had seen other officers assaulting a man. Afterwards, a rat was placed at his house and on his car. And officers stopped supporting him in the field. Absolute must read.

    Commentary/Miscellaneous
    Wearing A Hoodie In Oklahoma Could Soon Cost You A $500 Fine A Republican lawmaker has drafted legislation that that would make it illegal “to intentionally conceal his or her identity in a public place by means of a robe, mask, or other disguise.” Here is the a link to the legislation. Important read.

    Black Owned Banks Here is a collection of the Black-owned banks in America. Interesting resource.

    Pittsburgh Police Chief Cameron McLay Receives Criticism for Holding a Protest Sign “I resolve to challenge racism @ work #EndWhiteSilence” is what the protest sign read that Pittsburgh police chief held inside a coffee shop. Police union president Howard McQuillan was outraged, “The chief is calling us racists.”

    More Than Protests There are many who have offered a critique of the protests, including the author of this article. Though we disagree with core parts of his argument and we think that his critique is without nuance, we include it because we think that it captures the spirit of the critique of the movement well.

    Fact-Checking Selma Entertainment Weekly has “fact checked” the movie Selma. We’ll just leave this here for you to explore on your own.

  177. rq says

  178. Ichthyic says

    It alleges that McCulloch’s team acted as defense attorneys, are misrepresenting the views and deliberations of the grand jurors…;

    |

    shocker. I’m glad someone is finally doing something about it, but this was blatantly obvious from the beginning; hell even McCulloch himself made it clear!

    he even implied it’s what he would do if the governor did not remove him as prosecutor, which of course the governor did not do, since they are good buddies.

    so, this lawsuit SHOULD include the governor as a defendant IMO.

  179. Ichthyic says

    failed to properly instruct the grand juror’s on the law. This all supports the idea that prosecutors were biased toward the defense.

    I was saying this was what happened from the day after the grand jury proceedings were made public.

    same exact thing happened in NY.

  180. Pteryxx says

    re rq’s #217:

    NEW STORY : 7 St. Louis residents file a legal complaint against Prosecutor Bob McCulloch for 15 counts of misconduct. I understand this is separate from the previously mentioned suit. Mentions misplaced/lost evidence, improper counselling, and presenting witnesses known to be untruthful and/or not actually witnesses.

    Here’s the source article from KMOV that Shaun King’s tweet referenced: Several Missouri residents file bar complaint against McCulloch’s office

    According to the complaint, McCulloch, Alizadeh and Whirly violated 15 Missouri Rules of Professional Conduct, including “presenting witnesses to the Grand Jury including Darren Wilson, who McCulloch, Alizadeh and Whirley knew or should have known would make false statements.”

    The complaint also alleges McCulloch, Alizadeh and Whirley mislabeled and misplaced evidence related to Dorian Johnson along with failing to provide specific charges to the jurors.

    The complaint has been mailed to the Office of the Chief Disciplinary Counsel and will be hand delivered to the Jefferson City Office on Wednesday.

    That’s basically the entire article. The Missouri OCDC complaint process is described here.

    What Should I Report?

    Many complaints about lawyers can be resolved by better communication between lawyers and their clients. If that fails, clients (and others) may submit complaints about any violations of the Missouri Rules of Professional Conduct, including but not limited to:

    · inadequate communication;

    · neglect of legal matters;

    · conflicts of interest;

    · misuse of client funds;

    · improper advertising;

    · breach of confidentiality;

    · improper communication with opposing parties represented by another attorney;

    assisting a non-lawyer in the unauthorized practice of law.

    The Missouri Court Rules of Professional Conduct referenced above: Link

  181. Pteryxx says

    For the grand juror’s lawsuit challenging the gag order, see the ACLU’s press release here. Shaun King’s Daily Kos article here has the lawsuit via Scribd. The ACLU has it available for download as a PDF: Direct link

    1.
    In this civil rights action under 42 U.S.C. §1983, Plaintiff, Grand Juror Doe, 1
    seeks declaratory judgment that Missouri laws criminalizing speech by Doe,
    about Doe’s experiences as a state grand juror for the investigation of the matter known as State of Missouri v. Darren Wilson, are unconstitutional as-applied.
    Doe also seeks preliminary and permanent injunctive relief enjoining
    Defendant, Robert P. McCulloch, the official charged with enforcement of the challenged laws, from taking any action to enforce the challenged laws against Doe.

    1
    Grand Juror Doe is a pseudonym. A motion for leave to proceed under a pseudonym is filed with this Complaint.

  182. Pteryxx says

    More from the grand juror’s lawsuit, which copy/paste a lot more easily from the Scribd version.

    Facts

    10.Plaintiff began serving as a grand juror in the circuit court for St. Louis County in May 2014, for a term originally scheduled to end on September 10, 2014.

    11.Several weeks prior to the scheduled end of Plaintiff’s service as a grand juror, that service was extended to no later than January 2015.

    12.The purpose of extending Plaintiff’s service was to have the grand jury investigate
    Darren Wilson, a former police officer of the City of Ferguson, who on August 9, 2014, while still working as a police officer, shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed teenager.

    13. Defendant is the government official with the authority to initiate a criminal prosecution of Wilson for his actions and omissions related to the events of August 9, 2014.

    14. Defendant decided to delegate to the grand jury the decision about whether there was probable cause to believe that Wilson violated any state criminal laws.

    15.Defendant was responsible for deciding what evidence would be presented to the grand jury, what evidence would be withheld, how evidence would be presented, and what the State’s counsel to the grand jury would be.

    16. Defendant promised the grand jurors and the public that the grand jury investigation would be transparent.

    17. Defendant told the grand jurors, “If your determination is that there are no charges to be filed, then everything will be released immediately or as close to immediately as we can get, and that’s everything. Your deliberations aren’t, as I said, your deliberations are not recorded and never will be recorded, notes won’t be released, but every bit of evidence that you have, the testimony of the witnesses who come in, the statements of the witnesses, the physical evidence, the photographs, everything that you have seen and heard will be released to the public. That is as transparent as we can get short of putting a pool TV camera in here and that’s not going to happen.”

    18. Once before, in the investigation of a June 12, 2000, police shooting, Defendant had promised transparency and to release all evidence presented.

    19. From Plaintiff’s perspective, the presentation of evidence to the grand jury investigating Wilson differed markedly and in significant ways from how evidence was presented in the hundreds of matters presented to the grand jury earlier in its term.

    20. From Plaintiff’s perspective, the State’s counsel to the grand jury investigating Wilson differed markedly and in significant ways from the State’s counsel to the grand jury in the hundreds of matters presented to the grand jury earlier in its term.

    21. From Plaintiff’s perspective, the investigation of Wilson
    had a stronger focus on the victim than in other cases presented to the grand jury.

    22. From Plaintiff’s perspective, the presentation of the law to which the gr and jurors were to apply the facts was made in a muddled and untimely manner compared to the presentation of the law in other cases presented to the grand jury.

    23. In Missouri, an indictment is returned only when at least nine out of twelve grand jurors concur in finding that an indictment should issue. Mo. Rev. Stat. § 540.260.

    24. The decision of a grand jury to return no true bill of indictment means that as few as four out of twelve grand jurors did not concur in finding that an indictment should issue.
    Id .

    25. None of the charges presented to the grand jury investigating Wilson resulted in an indictment.

    […]

    32. From Plaintiff’s perspective, Defendant’s statement characterizes the views of the grand jurors collectively toward the evidence, witnesses, and the law, in a manner that does not comport with Plaintiff’s own opinions.

    33. From Plaintiff’s perspective, although the release of a large number of records provides an appearance of transparency, with heavy redactions and the absence of context, those records do not fully portray the proceedings before the grand jury.

    34. Plaintiff would like to speak about the experience of being a grand juror, including expressing Plaintiff’s opinions about the evidence and the investigation, and believes Plaintiff’s experience could contribute to the current public dialogue concerning race
    relations. In Plaintiff’s view, the current information available about the grand jurors’
    views is not entirely accurate — especially the implication that all grand jurors believed that there was no support for any charges. Moreover, the public characterization of the grand jurors’ view of witnesses and evidence does not accord with Plaintiff’s own. Plaintiff also wishes to express opinions about: whether the release of records has truly provided transparency; Plaintiff’s impression that evidence was presented differently than in other cases, with the insinuation that Brown, not Wilson, was the wrongdoer; and questions about whether the grand jury was clearly counseled on the law.

    35. Plaintiff believes that by sharing Plaintiff’s experience, Plaintiff could aid in
    educating the public about how grand juries function.

    36. Plaintiff would also like to use Plaintiff’s own experiences to advocate for legislative change to the way grand juries are conducted in Missouri.

    37. Plaintiff’s views would add to the public debate—
    occurring in Missouri and across the country — about the proper role of state grand juries and whether they continue to serve their original purpose of protecting the accused, or are now increasingly used to deprive those accused of crimes of due process to which they are otherwise entitled.

    38. In Missouri, proposed House Joint Resolution 17 would repeal the state constitutional authorization for grand juries. A copy of HJR 17 is attached hereto as Exhibit E.

    39. Plaintiff would also like to be able to discuss Plaintiff’s experiences and opinions with close family members in the privacy of Plaintiff’s own home.

    40. Plaintiff is chilled from expressing individual views and experiences because Plaintiff fears the imposition of criminal penalties or other punishment by government officials.

    […]

    50. Plaintiff is reasonably chilled from engaging in expressive activity because of Mo. Rev. Stat. §§ 540.080, 540.120, 540.310, and 540.320, as well as any other provision of Missouri law that prohibits Plaintiff from discussing or expressing an opinion about Plaintiff’s grand jury service, the witnesses and evidence, the State’s counsel to the grand jury, and Defendant’s characterizations of the grand juror’s views (collectively referred to as “the challenged laws”).

    51. The challenged laws operate to permanently and totally prohibit Plaintiff from engaging in any expressive activity related to evidence, witnesses, and counsel before the grand jury.

    52. The challenged laws prevent Plaintiff from speaking about matters of public concern.

    53. The challenged laws prevent Plaintiff from engaging in political speech.

    54. The challenged laws prevent Plaintiff from engaging in expressive activity based on the content of Plaintiff’s desired expression.

    Attachments to the lawsuit include the relevant Missouri statutes, the transcript of Prosecutor McCulloch’s press conference on November 24, and the letter from McCulloch’s office concerning transparency and release of materials in the case of a non-indictment under Missouri’s Sunshine Law. The first page attached is the oath taken by grand jurors in the state of Missouri.

    “Grand jurors may be sworn in the following form:

    Do you solemnly swear you will diligently inquire and true presentment make, according to your charge, of all offenses against the laws of the state committed or triable in this county of which you have or can obtain legal evidence; the counsel of your state, your fellows and your own, you shall truly keep secret? You further swear that you will present no one for any hatred, malice or ill will; neither will you leave unpresented any one for love, fear, favor or affection, or for any reward or the hope or promise thereof, but that you will present things truly as they come to your knowledge, to the best of your understanding, according to the laws of this state, so help you God.”

  183. Pteryxx says

    thanks to Daily Kos, some more information about the misconduct complaints. KMOX: Bar Complaint Filed Against McCulloch

    Attorney and former judge James R. Dowd and attorney Robert Ramsey reviewed the grand jury transcript – including evidence, witness interviews and testimony – before a group of seven citizens and attorneys – led by Christi Griffin, founder of the Ethics Project – filed an 11-page complaint with the Office of the Chief Disciplinary Counsel in Jefferson City, Missouri.

    Griffin says the complaint focuses on more than 15 Rules of Professional Conduct the group believes were violated, including the following:

    – Presenting witnesses to the grand jury – including Darren Wilson – who McCulloch, Alizadeh and Whirley knew or should have known would make false statements, is not exhaustive.

    Under Missouri Supreme Court Rule, the Office of the Chief Disciplinary Counsel has the duty to investigate allegations of misconduct by lawyers and for prosecuting cases where the misconduct poses a threat to the public or to the integrity of the legal profession.

    It is the position of the complainants that McCulloch, Alizadeh and Whirley’s conduct have done both.

    – Presenting the grand jury with a legal instruction ruled unconstitutional for decades.

    – Mislabeling and misplacing evidence related to key witness Dorian Johnson.

    – Failing to provide specific charges to the jury after “dumping” on them thousands of pages of interviews and evidence the complainants cite as going above gross negligence.

  184. rq says

    Say this headline while speaking through nose to get full effect: RT @peterfhart: Someone frame this headline. The headline: “White men have stories to tell, too”.

    What Oprah missed when she criticized the Ferguson protests

    “I think it’s wonderful to march and to protest and it’s wonderful to see all across the country, people doing it,” Winfrey told People Magazine in a Thursday interview promoting “Selma,” a film she produced about Martin Luther King, Jr.’s 1965 campaign to win voting rights for African-Americans.

    “But what I’m looking for,” she continued, “is some kind of leadership to come out of this to say, ‘This is what we want. This is what we want. This is what has to change, and these are the steps that we need to take to make these changes, and this is what we’re willing to do to get it.’ ”

    Protest organizers and sympathizers swiftly slammed her comments, calling her condescending, ill informed, and dismissive of youth-led organizing in a way that widens the generational civil rights divide. [tweets follow]

    They may be right that Oprah has failed to pay close attention to the anatomy of the recent protests or the demands that have accompanied them. (After all, there is leadership, if in a different form than the MLK variety, and participants have said, “This is what we want” – demanding everything from an indictment of Darren Wilson, to mandatory body cameras for police, to federal investigations of controversial cases, to special prosecutors to ensure impartiality in all police-involved shooting).

    But the biggest problem with Oprah’s comments is that she’s looking for the civil rights movement of half a century ago. The problem with that is racism looks different today — and so must the activism and the solutions meant to fight it. […]

    The battle is no longer between people who say African-Americans should have equal rights and those who don’t. It’s between those who believe that we already have a colorblind society —a society where, if you just listen to what police officers say and don’t behave like a thug, you’ll be fine — and those who believe that racism still infects the criminal-justice system, including among people who don’t believe themselves to be racist. […]

    To get a bit social sciencey about this, the protestors in Selma were fighting explicit bias and concrete discrimination. But those protesting racially biased policing in Ferguson and around the country are fighting something more complicated and more insidious: implicit racial bias.

    Implicit racial bias is what happens when, despite our best intentions and often without our awareness, racial stereotypes and assumptions creep into our minds and affect our actions.

    Thirty years of neurology and cognitive psychology studies show implicit bias influences the way we see and treat others, even when we’re absolutely determined to be, and believe we are being, fair and objective.

    It affects all of us, including the people who keep the wheels of the criminal justice system turning — police officers like the ones who killed Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and Tamir Rice, members of grand juries who decide not to indict, and prosecutors who decide whether or how hard to push for charges. [….]

    Even if there were a specific legislative fix for “what we want” —a fantasy law making it mandatory to reject the stubborn stereotype that black men are terrifying, “giant negroes” (which has been around since the turn of the 20th century and reared its head again in Darren Wilson’s testimony about why he killed Michael Brown), a mandate that officers have to see black 12-year-olds with a toy gun as a children, not a criminal threats, or a bill putting an end to the despair people feel when they know their skin color makes them perceived as criminals — this isn’t the political system of 1965, either.

    Remember, President Lyndon B. Johnson had huge majorities in Congress when the Voting Rights Act of 1965 passed. As the 89th Congress opened, there were 68 Democrat senators and 295 Democratic House members — meaning Democrats had a more than two-thirds majority in both chambers. That’s one reason King was so intent on winning new legislation — it was a moment in which new legislation could actually be won. […]

    So it’s perfectly appropriate that today’s version of “this is what we want” is more complicated than a bullet-point list of legislative demands. It makes sense that, instead, it’s a desperate plea for law enforcement officials and others to respect the humanity of African-Americans by first acknowledging and then working to erase the racial stereotypes that can destroy their lives.

    If Oprah is looking for a more specific, familiar, neat version of “this is what we want” than “Black lives matter,” she’s better off watching “Selma” than criticizing today’s civil rights movement. The only place an old-fashioned approach to old-fashioned racism is going to win the day is, well, in the past.

    US Map of Black-Owned banks: [link redacted for the end] #MoveYourMoney #BlackLivesMatter (h/t @deray & @Nettaaaaaaaa), the link: U.S. Map of Black-Owned Banks.

    The MOMENT you know you found the best day care center for your little person: [has a vertical display entitled “Ode to the Youth of Ferguson” with MLK pictures on it and such].

  185. rq says

  186. rq says

    Also, I’m not sure what this means:
    And I stand with @MillennialAU (@bdoulaoblongata and @MusicOverPeople) and others in the decision to stop feeding the state bail money.
    @akacharleswade @MillennialAU @bdoulaoblongata @MusicOverPeople The leadership & members of @UnitedFrontRev also stand w/this decision.

    Activist organizers receive hate-mail of the racist kind: *Iyanla voice* “Who hurt you, beloved?” “@deray: Today, at my office, I received this mail. America. #Ferguson ” If you can, check the pictures.

    This: Again, we don’t have a manual. There was no blueprint that dropped out of the sky on August 9th telling us what to do or how to react. NONE. They’re doing pretty good, in my opinion.

    This is from end-of-September. Police In Ferguson Lock Up Peaceful Daytime Protesters By Mistake, Chief Testifies. Think an ‘oops, sorry’ will cut it?

    Police applied the rule to everyone, from protesters and journalists, to children and a 73-year-old woman. Even during daylight hours, officers arrested people who stopped moving for a few seconds, and threatened those who didn’t keep in motion. The American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri is suing both St. Louis County and the Missouri State Highway Patrol over the enforcement of the law on behalf of protesters, seeking an injunction forbidding police from arresting protesters who are standing still.

    Belmar testified that the five-second rule was only supposed to be applied at night. Yet the rule was enforced during daylight. Even a news photographer was arrested during a peaceful daytime protest, apparently because he stopped on the sidewalk to take photos and wasn’t inside the designated media area.

    Belmar said the “keep moving” instructions were applied by mistake by officers. He said there had been a breakdown in communication.

    “I don’t think we were clear enough as commanders,” Belmar testified, according to The St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Some instructions, he said, “confused” the officers. “We understand that now, but I didn’t understand it then,” he said.

    Makes me wonder if they can use that new ‘but I didn’t know the law’ defense that just became allowable for officers in December or so.

    Now the NYPD can point to the danger of their job once more: 2 NYPD officers shot responding to robbery in the Bronx, expected to survive

    “I am saddened by the news that two NYC Police Officers were shot in the line of duty while preventing an armed robbery in the Fordham section of the Bronx, Torres said. “As the Council Member who represents the area, I ask all New Yorkers to keep these officers and their family in your prayers, as I will in mine.”

    “Tonight’s shooting underscores, in the most painfully human terms, the extraordinary risk that officers take in keeping our neighborhoods safe from violent crime. The two criminals responsible for the shootings deserve no mercy at all: they should be swiftly apprehended and prosecuted aggressively to the fullest extent of the law.”

    And as interlude, this is the website of Neil Kenlock, photographer:

    Neil Kenlock, photographer and media professional has been living in London since he came to Britain from Jamaica in 1963, to join his parents. He was a professional photographer for the first twenty years of his working life specialising in the cultural lifestyles of Jamaicans living and visiting the UK. In the late 60s, he became the official photographer for the UK Black Panther Movement, documenting the rallies, racism and upheaval during the 1970s and early 1980s in London. Alongside the big picture of marches, protests and portraits of prominent campaigners, there are images focusing on details – a 1972 front door daubed with the slogan ‘KEEP BRITAIN WHITE’ is a moving and memorable moment captured on film.

    Kenlock was also the staff photographer for the West Indian World newspaper, the first national paper to target the black community. Then in 1979, he co-founded Britain’s first black, glossy, lifestyle magazine called ROOT, until 1987. Kenlock later went on to become a co-founder of Choice FM, the UK’s first radio station broadcasting to the black community.

  187. Pteryxx says

    Buzzfeed: Staten Island Judge Will Hear Arguments About Releasing Eric Garner Documents

    Four different parties, including civil rights groups and a newspaper, have asked the Staten Island branch of the New York State Supreme Court to release the minutes of the grand jury that declined to indict the police officer who killed Eric Garner with a chokehold in 2014.

    The first hearing of the special proceedings took place on Monday before Richmond County Supreme Court Judge William Garnett. Oral arguments for the case are scheduled for Jan. 29.

    Grand jury proceedings are usually kept secret, but New York City’s public advocate, the New York Civil Liberties Union, the Legal Aid Society, and the New York Post are all arguing that an exception should be made in the Garner case.

    Daniel Donovan, the Staten Island District Attorney who led the grand jury proceedings, is fighting to keep the documents secret. Donovan’s office did not respond to requests for comment. The Republican prosecutor is considering running for the U.S. Congress. He has already been endorsed by at least one police union.

  188. rq says

    I must say, the bashing of the bail fund today was probably the most confusing and problematic discussion I’ve seen in a long time. (This relates to the first couple of links of previous post, which is, unfortunately, in moderation.)

    New York: The police filmed this entire peaceful protest, btw. #GrandCentral #CarryTheNames into the New Year #BlackLivesMatter;
    Los Angeles: Small and mighty #OccupyLAPD encampment endures. Can’t kill the movement! #BlackLivesMatter @BLMLA

    St Louis Public Radio: McCulloch, Two Assistants Face Ethics Complaint Over Darren Wilson Grand Jury

    Specifically, McCulloch, Alizadeh and Whirley are accused of violating the following rules of conduct:

    Rule 4-3.3: Candor toward the tribunal. The complaint says, among other things, that Alizadeh and Whirley cited an outdated, unconstitutional use-of-force statute, and failed to properly correct their mistake. The two are also accused of knowingly allowing witnesses to lie to the grand jury.
    Rule 4-1.1: Competence. Historically, the plaintiff — or the person bringing the case — is supposed to receive the benefit of the doubt. In the Wilson case, the state is the plaintiff. The complaint alleges that Alizadeh and Whirley, presumably with McCulloch’s knowledge, did not do all they could to present the strongest case for the state.
    Rule 4-1.6: Confidentiality of information. The complaint says McCulloch needed permission to release the transcripts of grand jury testimony and witness statements and that he dumped all the evidence in an effort to taint a second grand jury.
    Rule 4-1.8: Conflict of interest: prohibited transactions. The complaint alleges that Alizadeh and Whirley acted more like Darren Wilson’s defense attorneys. They cite the continual references to the marijuana in Michael Brown’s system, and the fact that he was suspected of robbing a convenience store moments before the shooting.
    Rule 4-3.8: Special responsibilities of a prosecutor. The complaint alleges that McCulloch made several public statements that went beyond what’s permitted to “inform the public of the nature and extent of the prosecutor’s actions.”
    Rule 4-3.4: Fairness to opposing party and counsel. McCulloch made several public statements that seemed to bolster Wilson’s statements, while commenting negatively about Michael Brown.
    Rule 4-3.5: Impartiality and decorum of the tribunal. Alizadeh is accused of making comments about protesters, the NAACP and Ferguson unrest that could prejudice the grand jurors.
    Rule 4.4-1: Truthfulness in statements to others. This complaint also deals with the outdated use-of-force statute originally presented to the grand jury. It specifically references the day Alizadeh handed the copy of the unconstitutional statute to the grand jury, and also comments she made about messing up the exhibit numbers.
    Rule 4-5.2: Responsibilities of a subordinate lawyer. Alizadeh and Whirley were required to abide by the rules of professional conduct regardless of what McCulloch told them to do.

    Griffin said the availability of the transcripts and evidence, even though it was released in violation of the codes of conduct, brought to light problems with the entire judicial system.

    “It’s made possible by the prosecutors, because as long as the police can expect not to be prosecuted for their misconduct, they will continue to over-police, they will continue to abuse citizens, they will continue to use excessive force,” she said. […]

    Bob Ramsey, an attorney who served as a legal consultant to the seven complainants, said the OCDC will evaluate Monday’s complaint and decide whether to dismiss the complaint, resolve it privately or open a formal investigation. The OCDC has five years to make that decision and unless an investigation is opened, the public won’t know what happened to the complaint, Ramsey said. Nothing else would happen publicly until a potential disciplinary hearing. The Supreme Court of Missouri would make the final decision about any attorney discipline.

    Ramsey said he was unaware of any Missouri prosecutors who were ever publicly disciplined, even for what he said were pretty egregious violations.

    Well, then, time to set a precedent!

    Just the Washington Post on the same: Grand juror in Darren Wilson case sues for right to speak out.

  189. rq says

    Family of man shot by Wichita officer says police escalated situation

    “They got out of the vehicle ready to kill,” said Alina Quintero, a family spokeswoman and cousin of John Paul “Paulie” Quintero, who died at a hospital hours after the shooting Saturday.

    Alina Quintero, 24, was referring to a Wichita police officer who carried a rifle used to fire two shots into Quintero’s midsection Saturday night in the 500 block of North Oliver.

    That’s John Paul Quintero, over in Kansas City, to clarify.

    On Sunday, Interim Police Chief Nelson Mosley said the female officer shot John Paul Quintero after 911 dispatchers received calls that he was armed with a knife and under the influence of alcohol. Nelson described Quintero as being “belligerent” and confrontational with officers and ignoring commands. After a male officer deployed a Taser, which had no effect on Quintero, Quintero moved toward the male officer and reached toward his own waistband, and the female officer fired two shots into Quintero’s midsection, Mosley said.

    Detectives later determined that Quintero had threatened to kill people at the home, at one point holding a knife to a woman’s throat, before going outside and sitting in an SUV, Mosley said.

    In an interview at a family home Monday afternoon, Quintero’s family was critical of how police handled the situation.

    “One fact is, police shot an unarmed man,” Alina Quintero said.

    On Sunday, police said they had not found any weapon that John Paul Quintero might have used.

    His cousin noted that one witness said he saw her cousin holding his hands up, facing the female officer, “who had her rifle up, and she was looking down the sight.”

    The witness was quoted in Monday’s Eagle saying that he was on his way home from work and saw the officer pointing the rifle at Quintero and looking down the sight. He slowed down as he was driving by and did not see the shooting.

    “Everybody’s upset, angry, hurt,” Alina Quintero said.

    She said that as her cousin lay there critically injured, officers handcuffed him. “Like they didn’t care if he was bleeding to death, that he was nothing,” she said. “They treated him like he was not a human being. My aunt had to call the ambulance to make sure they got there fast.”

    According to the police time line, the disturbance call came to 911 at 6:43 p.m. Saturday, and two officers arrived at 6:51, eight minutes later. Police said EMS got there at 7:04 and took Quintero to Wesley Medical Center.

    US prison population up 800% since launch of War on Drugs. Nice handy graph previously posted via Twitter link, now via BoingBoing.

  190. Pteryxx says

    HuffPo on Oklahoma’s proposed hoodie ban: Wearing A Hoodie In Oklahoma Could Soon Cost You A $500 Fine

    The wearing of hoods or similar head coverings during the commission of a crime has been against state law since the 1920s, with the original intent of curbing violence perpetrated by the Ku Klux Klan. But the new proposal would also ban an individual from intentionally concealing “his or her identity in a public place by means of a robe, mask, or other disguise” even if he or she were not involved in a crime. Violation of the proposed law would constitute a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine up to $500.

    The bill’s language includes exemptions for religious garments, weather protection, safety or medical purposes, parades, Halloween celebrations, masquerade parties, “minstrel troupes,” circuses, sporting groups, mascots or “other amusements or dramatic shows.” But several residents who spoke to KFOR expressed concern that the language was still overly broad and could be easily misconstrued to ban hooded sweatshirts on any occasion.

    […]

    The bill’s author, state Sen. Don Barrington (R), said that the goal is simply to help deter crime.

    “The intent of Senate Bill 13 is to make businesses and public places safer by ensuring that people cannot conceal their identities for the purpose of crime or harassment. … Similar language has been in Oklahoma statutes for decades and numerous other states have similar laws in place,” he said. “Oklahoma businesses want state leaders to be responsive to their safety concerns, and this is one way we can provide protection.”

    Mic.com : One State Is About To Make It Illegal to Wear a Hoodie

    A new law proposed by Republican state senator Don Barrington called Senate Bill 13 would enable police to issue tickets of up to $500 to people attempting to conceal their identity in public “by means of a robe, mask or other disguise.” It also opens the possibility that violators could be subject to “imprisonment in the county jail for a period of not exceeding one year.”

    The penalties would apply to anyone caught wearing such concealing clothing during the commission of a crime, or much more troublingly, to anyone identified as attempting to remain anonymous in public, a broad and vague descriptor that experts believe could lead to various problems.

    […]

    Oklahoma’s proposed ban would allow cops and overly suspicious citizens alike greater leeway to harass people who are doing nothing wrong other than fitting a subjective “thug” profile. It would send the message that the same kind of racial profiling that led to the death of unarmed black kids like Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown isn’t some necessary component of public safety, but an objective in and of itself. It’s difficult to see how giving police the power to indiscriminately target anyone in a hoodie for fines and jail time will do anything to fight actual crime, and it certainly won’t challenge the widespread perception that the police are at war with the black community.

    Nothing in there about police who remove or hide their name badges when they put on the riot gear, speaking of being anonymous in public for the purpose of harassment.

  191. rq says

    NYPD Officer Turns Himself in After Attacking MTA Employee

    Thus far, charges have not been filed against Lolja, although he was suspended. Internal Affairs has launched an investigation into the incident. The union is also pushing for the Bronx DA to prosecute the case. Assaulting an on-duty, uniformed MTA conductor is a felony in New York State, with a maximum seven year prison sentence. “Transit workers deal with physical and verbal abuse from the public on a daily basis, but to have an off duty Police Officer engaging in this inexplicable act of violence is an outrageous breach of the public trust,” Samueslen said.

    Will there be ANY charges?

    Banner hanging at Stanford Law School #BlackLivesMatter

    To be clear, 2 separate complaints have been filed against Bob McCulloch today. 1 from a grand juror & another from 7 St. Louis residents.

    Consistent reporting of crime drops in New York is scary. Crime can’t drop forever. God help us when this ends. The link: Has Oprah been living under a rock? The post-Ferguson movement will make history in 2015

    That’s why these three sentences, from Oprah’s People magazine interview last week about her new film Selma, cut to the core:

    What I’m looking for is some kind of leadership to come out of this to say, ‘This is what we want. This is what has to change, and these are the steps that we need to take to make these changes, and this is what we’re willing to do to get it.’ I think what can be gleaned from our film is to take note of the strategic, peaceful intention required when you want real change.

    Not since the civil rights movement has the United States seen a more widespread, sustained peaceful protest movement than the one – than the as-many, one – unfolding since Mike Brown was killed by Darren Wilson in Ferguson. Within 48 hours of those fateful three minutes on Canfield Drive, steps were taken, and policy changes were being advocated, and, quite organically, similar actions have taken place – almost instantaneously but not always out in the open – in Ohio following the deaths of John Crawford and Tamir Rice, and in New York following the deaths of Eric Garner and Akai Gurley. Within the last five months and with rare exception, this movement has been peaceful, intentional, organized, creative and diverse.

    Has Oprah been living under a rock since August?

    What she says she was looking for – change – has happened, on the highest levels, for 150 days and counting:

    One week after Mike Brown was killed, I posted these fair and achievable policy solutions on Change.org – and over 250,000 people signed our petition.
    In the weeks that followed, leaders from Ferguson posted these changes they want to see happen – and some of them are. Leaders from Chicago posted this detailed report assessing problems and offering concrete solutions. The Ohio Student Association has consistently advocated for tangible policy changes.
    In December, respected activists and leaders had an incredibly transparent and tough meeting with President Obama in the White House, which led to a task force that will convene this month.
    The day after that meeting, a grand jury in New York City refused to indict the officer who killed Eric Garner, and leaders there posted these changes that they want to see happen. Maybe they will.
    And don’t forget that the family of Mike Brown and activists from Ferguson, Chicago and Ohio traveled to Geneva to speak before the United Nations – not just to air grievances but to offer concrete policy solutions regarding systemic injustices faced by people of color in the United States. It was a groundbreaking moment – the kind that moves rocks.

    Beyond all of these singular moments, hundreds of peaceful, courageous protests and walkouts have been staged by hundreds of thousands of people on streets, in malls and on campuses all over this nation – from the inner-cities to Harvard Law School. […]

    If anything is missing in the year 2015 – and this may be what tripped up Selma’s billionaire producer and co-star – it is that the current movement for justice is not driven by any one singular leader. To infer that the movement somehow lacks leadership, however, is a huge mistake. Each city is full of skilled leaders who’ve quit their jobs, or moved across country – some of whom are incredibly seasoned, while others started protesting in August for the very first time and feel like old pros today.

    So far, this sad reality is missing, too: 2015 will likely bring the same injustices as 2014, and 2013, and 2012. Any day now, we will learn about some new, tragic story of parents who lost their child in an avoidable death at the hands of police. The number of unarmed men and women who are killed by police in our country may actually be on the rise. But lessons have been learned, skills have been gained, and networks have been built. Strategies have been tested and revised and tested again.

    This year will indeed still be one of widespread injustice, but you – and Oprah – are going to see action from the ground-up, unlike anything in recent American history. And I’m tempted to believe that none of these predictions will happen, that absolutely no progress will be made on these issues of injustice and justice, of equality and the law. But maybe action in the year 2015 will look a little something like this:

    1. We will pass the Civil Rights Bill or Voting Rights Act of our generation. […]
    2. The movement will kick into high-tech overdrive. […]
    3. The movement will run for office. [..]
    4. There will be a new Mike Brown. […]
    5. Oprah and the old guard of leaders will connect with the new.

    It all seems optimistic.

    Murders in New York Drop to a Record Low, but Officers Aren’t Celebrating

    With hours left in 2014, the number of murders capped a year of lower numbers in nearly every major crime category and offered an answer to what had been a central question of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s first year: Could a mayor elected on promises of police reform keep the specter of the bad old days from returning?

    But there is little celebration among the city’s police officers, who remain in mourning after the recent killings of two comrades. They have also heard calls to reverse their policing practices and found their union representatives locked in a bitter public struggle with the mayor that, in recent days, has coincided with a substantial drop in enforcement of everyday crime by officers.

    Reports of major crimes citywide continued their yearlong decline, to 105,428 through Dec. 28, from 110,728 in the same period in 2013, according to Police Department statistics. Murders dropped from 335 in 2013.[…]

    Under the guidance of his police commissioner, William J. Bratton, the department ended its reliance on stopping and frisking vast numbers of mostly minority men, a practice that exposed rifts between the police and some communities. But even as street crime receded, the mayor found those rifts torn open by the chokehold death of Eric Garner after his arrest on Staten Island in July, and a grand jury’s decision last month not to indict the officer involved.

    Followed by a more detailed look at crime stats and levels comparing 2014 with 2013 and other years, too.
    Wondering if public is prepared for inevitability of a crime rise in New York.

  192. rq says

    Repost? McCulloch, Two Assistants Face Ethics Complaint Over Darren Wilson Grand Jury.

    The complaint was filed Monday with the Missouri Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel which handles attorney discipline in the state. It accuses McCulloch and assistants Kathi Alizadeh and Sheila Whirley of “gross failure to vigorously represent their client – the citizens of St. Louis, Missouri, in their capacity as prosecutors.” Alizadeh and Whirley were in charge of presenting the Wilson case to the grand jury.

    “We would like to send the message that prosecuting attorneys can no longer abuse their power and expect it to be swept under the rug,” said Christi Griffin, a former attorney who is the founder and president of the Ethics Project, and one of seven citizens to sign the complaint.

  193. Pteryxx says

    via Shakesville, Andrea Grimes writing in the Texas Observer: The Mental Gymnastics of Excusing White Men’s Violence

    A New York Times piece described Brown, who was stopped for jaywalking before being shot and killed by officer Darren Wilson, as “no angel.” After officer Tim Loehmann shot and killed Rice at the park gazebo where Rice was playing with a replica gun, the Cleveland Plain Dealer hurried to run a story about Rice’s parents’ criminal records, apparently desperate to associate the boy with criminality any way it could.

    Surely these people must have done something to invite their deaths at the hands of law enforcement?

    Meanwhile, a white Christian man plans and executes a terrorist attack in Texas’ capital and he’s just a nice guy who lost his way, a Renaissance Faire enthusiast in a tricorn hat who enjoyed tubing and trying to blow up government buildings.

    This response accomplishes two things: It obfuscates the role of racism and white supremacy in the construction of the “victim” in our discourse, and it excuses white-perpetrated violence as a fluke, rather than as the not-illogical result of pro-gun, anti-government and anti-immigrant rhetoric.

    Austin police chief Art Acevedo was unequivocal in calling McQuilliams a terrorist, and local and national news outlets did pick up on that language in the brief spate of coverage following McQuilliams’ spree, though rare was the coverage that exposed and examined the connections between McQuilliams’ beliefs and mainstream conservative ideology about border militarization, the unassailable right to bear arms and an imagined war on Christian religious freedoms.

    We heard no calls for a national conversation about religious extremism in the Christian community, no hand-wringing cable news pundits imploring American whites to get their violent males in line, no somber public statements from Christian leaders hurrying to distance themselves from McQuilliams and his ilk.

    also via Shakesville: “What White Publishers Won’t Print:” Systemic Racism in (Institutionalized) Knowledge Production

    My co-intern and I took the initiative to call these issues to attention. We tried to show the importance of bridging the gap between talent, story, and institutional racism. The Press nodded, agreed, but failed to act on these obvious vacancies. Although it made us uncomfortable that we still need this conversation in 2014, we were willing to be facilitators between our communities and the institution. We networked, evoked excitement for a writing project within our diverse communities, and proposed an anthology to the Press. This anthology focused on a compilation of personal narratives by millennials of color in our state, which was over due. We felt it would be an important entry point to introduce the Press’ work to communities of color. At first we were met with excitement from the Press, but then their focus turned to incessant questions about quality, veracity, and expertise. Ultimately, these tropes created doubt about the project, and led to its demise.

    […]

    I began to study experiences like mine—ones that focused on rejection implicitly articulated through race. Studying the ways creators have balanced the tightrope of criticism, rejection, and praise provided me strategies that enabled me to continue to practice my craft and to recognize institutional racism when I see it.

    I read The Indignant Generation and took direction from Black Professor Nick Aaron Ford who was the chair of Morgan State College’s English Department and a prolific writer. His 1947 manuscript titled, “Fighting With Words,” was new, radical, and argued for the creation of a Black protest tradition. However, it was rejected by racist editor Allen Tate at the University of Illinois Press who refused to publish him and cited that his work simply did not “justify the publisher’s expense.” Additionally, the University of North Carolina Press wrote that they were afraid “they couldn’t even make suggestions to save the work.” Further, the University of Chicago Press said that it was simply “not profound enough.”

    Like ours, the critique of Ford’s book questioned his basic competency. Despite holding a post-doctorate and prolific writing career, the University of Illinois Press simply decided “Professor Ford is uncertain in his grammar, his spelling, and occasionally in his punctuation.” After a series of dead-end revisions made by Ford and the Press, Illinois simply concluded that to publish a work about literary criticism through a multi-racial lens was “social protest” and ultimately, “unconvincing.” The manuscript was revised and reworked over the course of four to five years, but ended in disappointment. After a total of eight years, Ford regrettably abandoned the project.

    The Press asked these very same questions of our project: What will the quality of the writing be? Who will read it? Can we make money off it? At first glance they may seem to be asked of everyone, regardless of race. But the assumed threat to the credibility of their Press reveals the institutional racism and fear the Press exhibits.

    R. Roosevelt Thomas Jr. argues that racial prejudice happens in workspaces of all kinds: “What managers fear from diversity is a lowering of standards, a sense that ‘anything goes.”

    “IS THIS NOT WHY WE WERE REJECTED?” my co-creator asked me. He was right. Wasn’t he?

  194. rq says

    Who will read it? *
    Indeed, who will read it? Perhaps all those people hungry for that information – the friends, acquaintances and passers-by of those writing for that project. Because if there’s one person writing, there’s probably at least 20 people thinking it and searching for validation for those thoughts, though for some reason unable or unwilling to write themselves.
    Yes, who will read it, I do wonder.
    The most idiotic question ever.

    And like shit,

    “Professor Ford is uncertain in his grammar, his spelling, and occasionally in his punctuation.”

    This is why editors have jobs. And plenty of white people have terrible grammar, spelling and punctuation, and still get published to accolades (rather mysteriously, really). So I call bullshit on the publishing industry here.

    (* I would read it, for one, just in case anyone’s wondering.)

  195. Pteryxx says

    More on #OccupyLAPD from the Guardian: Police shut down Black Lives Matter protest outside LAPD headquarters

    The protesters set up a camp of makeshift tents and a kitchen about a week ago, prompted by the release of the autopsy report on Ezell Ford, a mentally ill 25-year-old shot dead during a confrontation with police in August. The hazy circumstances of Ford’s death and simmering, nationwide resentment toward the police force have provoked outrage in Los Angeles for weeks.

    The “Occupy LAPD” demonstrators called for the department to fire both officers involved Ford’s death, and for indictments against them.

    On Monday, the Times reported, police ordered the protesters to pack up their encampment and leave the sidewalk. The protesters complied peacefully, although they traded shouts with police.

    Two protest leaders, Melina Abdullah and Sha Dixon, were arrested after trying to deliver letters with their demands to the police chief, Charles Beck. The women, a professor of pan-African studies at Cal State and a television producer respectively, attempted to bypass the police line and enter the building, at which point they were detained. Both Abdullah and Dixon were released hours later.

    LA Times:

    After loading their belongings into cars Monday, organizers began a planned news conference to go over their demands — the firing of the two LAPD officers involved in Ford’s death and a request that the district attorney file murder charges against the pair.

    But the scene turned chaotic as two of the movement’s most vocal proponents were arrested.

    The women — Melina Abdullah and Sha Dixon — had tried to pass barricades outside police headquarters to deliver letters with their list of demands to Beck, but they were blocked by officers. They then tried another entrance and were arrested on suspicion of trespassing.

    “We are not a threat to anyone’s safety,” Abdullah told reporters as she gripped a large manila envelope and prepared to face the first barricade by police. “We are two women who are armed with letters.”

    […]

    LAPD Sgt. Barry Montgomery said the protesters was blocking the sidewalk and refusing to leave as a worker tried to steam-clean the area, where there were colorful chalk markings on the sidewalk.

    Capt. Donald Graham said police would be looking at the markings, which an officer photographed, to see if they carried any specific threats against police.

    “Your 1st Amendment rights are absolutely guaranteed,” Graham said. “We have done our best to facilitate that since the Ferguson decision. However, time, place and manner is the purview of the regulatory agency.”

    Anya Slaughter, mother of Kendrec McDade, was among the protesters. McDade, 19, was unarmed when he was killed by Pasadena police in 2012. Slaughter said police were “killing our kids.”

    She called on Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey to reopen the investigation into McDade’s death: “I want to know what happened to my baby.”

    One of the group’s youngest protesters, 11-year-old Thandiwe Abdullah of Los Angeles, said she feared for her own future given the recent police killings.

    “I have a target on my back everywhere I go to,” she said. “There is nothing I can do about it and age doesn’t matter anymore. I can be killed at 11.”

  196. Pteryxx says

    Background to the conversation on Twitter about suspending the Ferguson bail fund… since police arrest protesters basically at will for any trivial or gamed-up offense, then charge thousands of dollars to release them, some activists are declaring they no longer intend to fund these corrupt practices by paying bail.

    Background in this Bloomberg article from December 12, thanks to commenters in Charles Wade’s timeline:

    Ferguson to Increase Police Ticketing to Close City’s Budget Gap

    Ferguson, Missouri, which is recovering from riots following the August shooting death of an unarmed black teenager by a white policeman, plans to close a budget gap by boosting revenue from public-safety fines and tapping reserves.

    […]

    “There are a number of things going on in 2014 and one is a revenue shortfall that we anticipate making up in 2015,” Blume said. “There’s about a million-dollar increase in public-safety fines to make up the difference.”

    Revenue from violations, which already represents the city’s second-largest source of cash after sales taxes, will rise to 15.7 percent of receipts in fiscal 2015, from a projected 11.8 percent this year, he said. In 2013, fines brought in $2.2 million, or 11.8 percent of the city’s $18.62 million in annual revenue, according to budget documents.

    […]

    Government dependence on police fines is a larger issue in surrounding St. Louis County, especially among its “poor” and “small” communities, Tim Fischesser, executive director of the St. Louis Municipal League, said in a telephone interview. The poverty rate in Ferguson was 22 percent in 2012, the latest year for which data is available, compared with a national average of 15 percent, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.

    “They said they weren’t going to go after poor people, so to speak, to fund their budget, but I guess that’s changed, Fischesser said.
    Proposed Limits

    Two bills that were pre-filed last week in the State Senate would limit what municipalities can collect from public-safety fines.

    ‘‘For Ferguson to respond to all of this and say that increasing ticketing was a good idea is outrageous,” Scott Sifton, a Missouri state senator who sponsored one of the pieces of legislation, said in a telephone interview.

    The bills will be reviewed and voted on after the legislature reconvenes on Jan. 7, he said. If approved, the measures would take effect in August at the earliest, Sifton said.

  197. rq says

    Pteryxx
    Thanks for that on the bail fund. I can understand why they don’t want to add to the system, but I’m worried for those who may be arrested or otherwise held with no financial means of getting out of jail. Or how that exactly may apply. :(

  198. rq says

    Also, re: not publishing works by authors of colour for silly reasons.
    This, I think contributes mightily to white people’s ignorance about black people. They’ve shown themselves willing to write, willing to share, willing to provide information – but that information is not being distributed or disseminated to those who most need to be aware of it: white people (most especially those who don’t have access to or who don’t participate in any way in communities not their own). Granted, there is information already out there, but how much more would there be, if publishing houses weren’t so wary? Especially for those people who don’t have contact with any black people at all – if they can’t speak to them, the second best thing would be for them to read them, in order to understand, and perhaps be less afraid (or less susceptible to fear-mongering attempts).
    As a person who loves information for information’s sake, I find this practice of censoring black people and refusing them a voice (read or not, because I’m sure there’s bestsellers by white people out there that could mitigate any losses on those supposedly unsellable books by black people) completely and utterly despicable and unforgiveable. Especially if coming from bigger publishing houses that could, in reality, afford to publish some books at a loss – and heck, maybe not even at a loss, if they invest in some decent marketing for them!
    [/opinion]

  199. Pteryxx says

    rq – I’d guess the protesters will have to change tactics somehow, and/or simply warn people they may end up spending time in jail and talk about how to deal with that. In the Moral Monday protests in North Carolina, specific protesters who could handle it volunteered to be on the front lines most at risk of arrest… those who had social support, who could afford to be detained for a time, who had been in jail before and knew what to expect.

    But more to the point, protests or no protests, Ferguson is clearly going back on those earlier community-meeting promises to ease up on nuisance ticketing to fill their budget. The residents simply have no way to avoid being caught and milked for cash, either as protesters or just while walking or driving around their own neighborhood. Which of course is a foundation of this whole mess.

    Unless we are talking massive jail occupation to cause financial inconvenience then getting arrested just to post bail is counterproductive.

    5:46 PM – 5 Jan 2015

    (Twitter)

  200. Pteryxx says

    Breaking – an explosion this morning near a Colorado NAACP chapter, police and FBI investigating. Rawstory, Denver Post:

    The explosion was heard near the building on the 600 block of South El Paso Street on the southern end of the city just before 11 a.m. Those nearby reported hearing a “loud boom,”

    “I was cutting somebody’s hair and I heard the explosion,” said Gene Southerland, the owner of Mr. G’s Hair Design Studio in the same building. “It was such a loud explosion that some plastic containers fell off the shelf.”

    Henry Allen Jr., the NAACP chapter president, told The Gazette the explosion was strong enough to knock items off the walls and that volunteers who looked outside to see what happened saw what they described as a gas can rigged with some kind of incendiary device, such as a flare.

    “We’ll move on,” Allen told the newspaper. “This won’t deter us from doing the job we want to do in the community.”

  201. rq says

    Yup for 245: BREAKING: An explosion has occurred near the headquarters of the NAACP in Colorado. Fears of racial retaliation.
    Police, feds respond to explosion near Colorado Springs NAACP chapter.

    VIDEO: How Prisons Rip Off And Exploit The Incarcerated.

    Eddie Conway and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges discuss the forms of slavery and exploitation thriving in today’s U.S. prison system.

    Relevant to the above rE: no bail fund.

    5 Times “Obeying the Law” in America was a Terrible Idea

    1. The Fugitive Slave Act- In times of slavery, the federal government attempted to pacify slave owners by passing the Fugitive Slave Act. The 1850 law mandated that even though slavery was banned in the North, if a Northern citizen (or government employee) happened upon escaped slaves from the South, they had to help return them to their owners. Escaped slaves were also denied a jury trial.

    This law was challenged by abolitionists and decent human beings and many slaves escaped to Canada. But if all Americans had simply “followed the law,” further injustice (than was already enforced with the whole “owning” other human beings policy) would have been committed. The law was later repealed.

    2. Pornography Prohibition- For as long as humans have existed, they have been interested in sex. In 1873, the federal government decided it could alter human instinct. Under the puritanical Comstock laws, pornography, sex toys, contraception, and information about contraception became illegal to send in the mail, as well as to sell, give away, or own. There is no evidence that the law stopped the human sex drive, even with the threat of up to five years in prison with hard labor and a fine up to $2,000. It eventually ceased to be enforced and was undermined by Roe v. Wade, but for years, engaging in these activities meant violators “deserved” the punishment they received.

    3. Alcohol Prohibition- The prohibition of alcohol was an unpopular and unsuccessful constitutional amendment enacted in 1918. It attempted to stop people from drinking by banning liquor. It unwittingly encouraged the formation of gangs, who sold bootleg drinks while underground speakeasies flourished.

    This, by the logic of cop defenders, should have been brutally punished-because those heathens were breaking the sanctity of the law! (It was repealed three years later.) No matter how nonsensical or ineffective the law, dogma to and obedience of it pervades the logic of authority worshipers. It applies today with the failed war on drugs, which like alcohol prohibition, has failed to curtail usage and created waste and black markets, as well as an excess of police violence and prison populations.

    4. Sedition Acts-Shortly after the creation of the United States, in 1798 President James Madison signed theSedition Act-intended to ban
    criticism of the government . It was sparked by the government’s fear of Democratic-Republican rebellion and dissent against the Federalists and accompanied other laws that persecuted immigrants.

    Right out of the gate of the American revolution, the federal government was doing exactly what the Constitution was intended to prevent: running away with power. A similar law, also titled The Sedition Act, was passed in 1918 to silence dissent against World War I. It was an extension of the Espionage Act of 1917, whichObama has used to prosecute whistleblowers (the other acts were repealed). The 1918 incarnation made it illegal to

    “willfully utter, print, write, or publish any disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language about the form of the Government of the United States.“

    In both the 18th and 20th centuries, the state was attempting to crush free speech, so anyone who had an opinion (legally guaranteed by the first amendment and philosophically by natural human rights) should have just learned to shut up to avoid a beating and prison. Right?

    5. Modern Day America- It can be amusing to examine old laws and point out their absurdity and injustice (this is only a small sampling that doesn’t cover Plessy v. Ferguson, the banning of Native Americans from Boston, orbans on interracial marriage, for example). But the reality is that many unjust laws are on the books today.

    The National Defense Authorization Act allows the government to indefinitely detain anyone it deems a terrorist threat or having ties to terrorists. That judgment is entirely up to the state, but if those it deems dangerous try to resist, they will be violating “the law.” Is this fair? At what point do political dissidents and activists become threats to the state when the Pentagon has already stated that protesters are “low level terrorists?”

    One of the major problems in American society and politics is the belief that the law is infallible, such as the cigarette law that led to Eric Garner’s murder. In spite of so many examples to the contrary, people still believe that the law is sacrosanct and to violate it is to be an immoral, bad person who deserves whatever the government does to them. This is directly contradicted by the fact that most of the laws listed in this article were eventually repealed.

    Rather than glorifying “the law,” Americans should revere the morals government claims underpin them. As long as individuals view government decrees as the gold standard of ethics, however, the government will continue to destroy humanity. Perhaps it’s time to stop making excuses for police officers and politicians and instead, judge them by how they treat their fellow humans.

  202. rq says

    Oops, it seems I doubled up on the Denver Post link. :P

    thisisthemovement, installment #71:

    Ferguson
    St. Louis County Jail Corrections Officer Accused of Sexual Contact with an Inmate Elizabeth Hanson, is accused of having a sexual relationship with a male inmate. Hanson was interviewed by Clayton police charged, and released after bail was set on her own recognizance.

    Michael Brown, Sr. and The Agony of The Black Father In America This is an absolutely incredible long-read interview/article on Michael Brown, Sr. Bookmark it now and read it in full. Absolute must read.

    NAACP Legal Defense Fund Writes Letter To Judge McShane The NAACP Legal Defense Fund has written a letter to Missouri Judge McShane, highlighting the problematic nature of the Darren Wilson Grand Jury and the prosecutor’s actions. Absolute must read.

    Oprah Missed the Mark While promoting the movie Selma that she produced, Oprah said she thinks it’s “wonderful” to march and protest. In the same breath, Oprah said she’s looking for leadership to emerge out of Ferguson and twitter responded. Interesting read.

    An Open Letter to the Attorney General Ferguson business owners, residents and the mayor of Ferguson sent Attorney General Eric Holder a letter asking that the fiendish found in his investigation be released quickly.

    Kendrick Johnson
    Two Years Later, Investigations Continue into the Death of Kendrick Johnson An attorney for the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office maintains that a school bus carrying the schools wrestling team before Kendrick Johnson was last known to be alive. Kendrick Johnson was found dead inside a rolled up gym mat in January of 2013.

    NYC/Eric Garner
    DeBlasio Calls Police Who Protested At the Funeral “Disrespectful” “They were disrespectful to the families who had lost their loved ones. I can’t understand why anyone would do such a thing in the context like that.” remarked Mayor DeBlasio on the officers who turned their backs to him at the recent funeral of Officer Liu. Important read.

    On Jan. 29th Court Hearing(s) Re: The Release of the Garner GJ Will Begin On January 29th, a Staten Island Judge will begin hearings into whether or not the materials from the Garner Grand Jury will be released. Important, quick read.

    Second Week of NYPD Arrest Numbers Decrease NYPD officers are apart of the country’s largest police department in the country and are using their own say so on when to arrest people for low-level offenses. The difference in number of arrests are extremely low from 2015 to 2014.

    John Quintero
    Attorney Crump In Talks with the Family of John Quintero The family of John Quintero, who was killed by police in Witchita on January 3rd, is now in talks with Attorney Crump. This article also provides a brief overview of the circumstances leading to and questions remaining re: the death of John Quintero.

    Tamir Rice
    Cleveland Mayor Expresses Lack of Faith in the State of Ohio To Investigate the Death of Tamir Rice In a series of quotes, Mayor Jackson expresses a deep lack of faith in Ohio institutions to investigate the death of Tamir Rice. Absolute must read.

    Commentary/Miscellaneous
    Black Brunch Protestors in California and NYC have recently protested during weekend brunch times — read more about #BlackBrunch.

    Fraternal Order of Police Want Assaults On Officers Deemed Hate Crimes The National President of the Fraternal Order of Police is lobbying to get federal law amended to make assaults on police officers be deemed as hate crimes.

    Activists are receiving things that look an awful lot like death threats, sample: Today, this. The picture is rather fright-inducing.

    This is the letter 2 women from .@BLMLA #OccupyLAPD were arrested for after trying to deliver to @LAPDChiefBeck. It’s barely a full page, asking for a meeting with the chief. And they got arrested for it.

    Hey, speaking of the NAACP! NAACP wants new grand jury in Ferguson case

    The NAACP’s Legal Defense and Educational Fund on Monday submitted a letter to St. Louis County Circuit Judge Maura McShane. The letter also requests an investigation of the grand jury proceedings that led to the decision not to indict officer Darren Wilson. The white officer fatally shot Brown, who was black and unarmed, on Aug. 9, leading to significant unrest.

    The NAACP says its review of the grand jury proceedings raised “grave legal concerns.” The organization is also seeking a special prosecutor for the new investigation, replacing St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch.

    And via Kansas news outlet, NAACP calls for new Ferguson grand jury, investigation.

  203. rq says

    Comic called Lucky Strike, on the NYPD’s massive pout that has reduced unnecessary arrests – final panel has a cop saying “We’ll earn respect if we have to” as he helps an old lady across the street.

    Engaged, informed, speaking up. @deaconessfound @MissouriSenate #moleg #ActiveAdvocacy.

    This was supposed to have been the NAACP press release on the grand jury item above, but it’s not finding the page for me.
    And here’s the pdf to the letter to Judge McShane, which won’t C&P for me to quote. :( Nine pages of detailed accusations against McCullogh and his team, though. Worth the read.

    Cops keep misbehaving: Lawyer: Cops Break Woman’s Ribs for ‘Disrespect’ Over Incident Involving a Truck.

    And was this posted? Cleveland Police Hand Off Investigation Into Tamir Rice Shooting.

    The North East Ohio Media Group reported on Wednesday that top city officials were in talks with county officials to have an outside agency take over the investigation, which so far has been conducted by the city’s use of deadly force investigation team. Those early reports, which identified the sheriff’s office as the likely home for the ongoing investigation, initially raised concerns from some close to the Rice family – who noted that county sheriff Frank Bova is a longtime law enforcement official and former Cleveland police officer.

    But Bova will not be directly involved in the investigation, which will be overseen by the office’s second-in-command, chief Clifford Pinkney – who has been with the sheriff’s department since 1991 and is the county’s first African-American chief.

    “Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department is well-prepared to conduct this investigation. We have some of our most experienced Detectives working this case and I’m confident that the investigation will be extensive,” said Pinkney, in a statement on Friday. “I intend to lead this investigation with an understanding of the importance and gravity of a thorough and systematic resolution.”

    Officials close to the decision said that Cleveland lawmakers wanted to avoid some of the appearances of conflict that existed in Ferguson – where protesters questioned whether county prosecutor Bob McCulloch, who had close professional and family ties to local officers, could conduct a fair grand jury process — and ensure that the public remained confident in the process.

  204. throwaway, never proofreads, every post a gamble says

    Indicative of the common knowledge that the media is not on our side: I heard an anchor on tonights NBC Nightly News, reporting on the officers in NY turning their backs yet again, say that it was due to de Blasio siding with the “anti-law protesters”.

    What the fucking hell is that bullshit?

    smdh

  205. Pteryxx says

    More on the NAACP’s open letter request to Missouri Circuit Court Judge Maura McShane, via Shaun King at Daily Kos: NAACP Legal Defense Fund files a potential game changer in the case against Darren Wilson

    According to Missouri law, a Missouri Circuit Court Judge has the power to appoint a Special Prosecutor in any case in which a citizen has not yet been indicted and prosecutorial misconduct is alleged. The judge with jurisdiction in the case against former Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson is Maura McShane.

    The NAACP Legal Defense Fund, in their open letter to McShane, makes an extremely compelling case for misconduct by St. Louis Prosecutor Bob McCullough and his staff. In the nine-page letter, Ifill and the NAACP LDF thoroughly detail three instances of misconduct. One is enough to appoint a special prosecutor.

    In summary the letter details the following:

    1. How prosecutors violated Missouri law and professional ethics for calling a witness they’ve since admitted they knew did not witness the shooting and was not at the scene. They not only called her once, but twice, and encouraged her to bring physical evidence on her second visit. This witness, Sandy McElroy, perjured herself over 100 times.

    2. Prosecutors consistently made documented mistakes in the essential instructions they gave to the grand jurors. MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell masterfully details one such mistake here.

    3. Legal analysts and now an actual member of the grand jury felt strongly that Bob McCulloch and his team acted as de facto defense attorneys for Darren Wilson and that it often appeared as if Mike Brown was on trial instead of Darren Wilson.

    Please read the full letter from Sherrilyn Ifill below.

    Scribd direct link

    NAACP LDF press release: LDF Seeks Investigation of Darren Wilson Grand Jury Proceedings by 21st Judicial Circuit in Missouri

    PDF link to the letter as per rq’s #248: (Link)

    Both copies of the open letter are images, so I can’t copy-paste from it, but I’ll work on transcribing a sample.

  206. Pteryxx says

    Here’s the core of point 2 of the NAACP LDF’s open letter, transcribed exactly as in the PDF to the best of my ability.

    As officers of the court who took an oath to uphold the integrity of the legal process, we were struck by the deeply unfair manner in which the proceedings were conducted by Prosecuting Attorney McCulloch and his assistant prosecutors. Our review of the proceedings yielded grave concerns about a number of significant issues, including the knowing presentation of false witness testimony, erroneous instructions on the law, and preferential treatment of Mr. Wilson by the St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. These and other issues call into question both the integrity of the process and the lawfulness of the prosecutors’ conduct.

    […]

    St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch and Assistant Prosecuting Attorneys Kathi Alizadeh and Sheila Whirley Presented Incorrect and Misleading Statements of Law to the Grand Jury and Sanctioned Unlawful Juror Practices

    Prosecuting Attorney McCulloch and his assistant prosecutors compounded the problems created by the knowing presentation of false testimony to the grand jury by providing inaccurate and confusing legal instructions to the grand jurors. On the day that Mr. Wilson testified before the grand jury, Ms. Alizadeh distributed to the grand jurors copies of Missouri Statute § 563.046 – Law Enforcement Officers Use of Force in Making an Arrest. See, State of Missouri v. Darren Wilson Grand Jury Transcript (hereinafter “Grand Jury Transcript”) Vol. V at 5 (Sept. 16, 2014). A portion of that law directly contravenes a decision of the United States Supreme Court issued nearly 30 years ago.

    Specifically, § 563.046.3 provides that a police officer may use deadly force in effecting an arrest if he reasonably believes such force is immediately necessary because the person to be arrested “[h]as committed or attempted to commit a felony.” Mo. Stat. § 563.046.3 (2014). However, in Tennessee v. Garner, the
    United States Supreme Court held that the use of force against an unarmed, non-dangerous fleeing suspect violates the Fourth Amendment. 471 U.S. 1, 11-12 (1985). Accordingly, Missouri’s jury instructions were revised to advise jurors that a law enforcement officer may use deadly force during the course of an arrest or
    while preventing an escape only when “he reasonably believes that the person being arrested is attempting to escape by use of a deadly weapon or that the person may endanger life or inflict serious physical injury unless arrested without delay.” MAI-CR § 306.14. Thus, the appropriate jury instruction as adopted by the Missouri Supreme Court, does not allow mere suspicion that someone has committed a felony to justify the use of deadly force in order to make an arrest. Disturbingly, the legal standard provided to the grand jurors immediately before Mr. Wilson testified was erroneous as it did not reflect either Supreme Court precedent or the updated Missouri jury instruction.

    Weeks later, Ms. Alizadeh informed the grand jurors that the statue did “not comply with the case law.” Ms. Whirley then distributed a statement of the law that purportedly complied with Missouri and U.S. Supreme Court law, but did not satisfactorily answer the jurors clarifying questions about the relevance of the Mo. Stat. § 563.046, which neither assistant prosecutor answered fully:

    Ms. Whirley: Did you have a question?

    Grand Juror: So we’re to disregard this?

    Ms. Alizadeh: It is not entirely incorrect or inaccurate, but there is something in it that’s not correct, ignore it totally.

    Grand Juror: It is because of the federal?

    Ms. Whirley: Of a Supreme Court case that we must follow Supreme Court of the United States. It is Tennesee v. Garner, not that that matters much to you.

    Grand Juror: The Supreme Court, federal Supreme Court overrides Missouri statutes.

    Ms. Alizadeh: As far as you need to know, just don’t worry about that.

    Grand Juror: All right.

    Ms. Alizadeh: Just disregard that statute.

    Ms. Whirley: We don’t want to get into a law class.

    Grand Jury Transcript Vol. XXIV at 135-136 (Nov. 21, 2014).

    The assistant prosecutors expressed uncertainty about the legal standards governing the grand jury’s deliberations on a number of fronts. In addition, the assistant prosecutors expressed doubt to the grand jurors about whether the grand jury had to decide (1) whether there was probable cause to believe that Wilson used excessive force and, (2) if he did use excessive force, whether he was justified as a matter of self-defense or as a matter of the lawful use force to effect an arrest. See, Grand Jury Transcript Vol. XXII at 101-03 (Nov. 11, 2014). Specifically, Assistant Prosecutors Alizadeh and Whirley and the grand jurors had the following exchange:


    Ms. Whirley: We [sic] still talking about the probable cause and that standard.

    Ms. Alizadeh: We had a conversation with that [sic] even last night and we still have to kind of work that out, we’re not really sure.

    [Grand Juror]: Probable cause, you are still looking at?

    Ms. Alizadeh: We both agree that you can’t return an indictment unless you believe there is probable cause to believe that a crime occurred and that the defendant or suspect or the person you’re considering committed it. But the question is, if you’re going to consider self-defense and use of [sic] lawful use of force to affect [sic] an arrest are affirmative defenses and they’re what we call complete defenses.

    And so if you believe that the person acted in lawful self-defense or if you believe the person was justified in the use of force as a law enforcement officer, then it is a complete defense, there would be no indictment on any charge.

    The question we don’t really know is that beyond a reasonable doubt, what is the standard by which you have to consider that.

    Id. at 101-02.

    It became clear that the grand jurors, who sought legal advice and accurate legal instructions, remained confused and needed further direction. The exchange continued as follows:


    [Grand Juror]: Will that be outlined in writing for us as well? (sup. 8)

    Ms. Alizadeh: I don’t know because we don’t know. If this matter were a trial, it would be different because obviously, in a trial, it is beyond a reasonable doubt. And in trial it is the obligation of the defense to raise the issue, and if the issue is raised, it becomes the obligation of the State to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the person did not act in lawful self-defense or was not justified in the use of force, but that is a trial setting.

    So we don’t know how this, this investigation was, we talked about yesterday, is not typical on how we would present cases to the grand jury. This is an investigation and I believe, and I think Sheila agrees, I don’t want to speak for you, that your determination of whether or not force was justified either as self-defense or use of force to affect an arrest is part of your decision process.

    So that’s something for you to consider. I don’t think the answer is simply, well, we believe that a crime was committed, you know, probable cause to believe a crime was committed and he did it and not at all talk about those defenses.

    But I don’t know, we don’t know what kind of instruction to give you on, [sic] do you have to believe that there’s probable cause to believe that he used excessive force. I don’t know, we don’t know that. We don’t want to tell you the wrong thing. So we’re still trying to work that out.

    [footnote copied here by Pteryxx: (8) It appears as though the grand jurors ultimately received written instructions. Grand Jury Transcript Vol. XXIV at 137-38.]

    Id. at 102-03. Ultimately, Ms. Whirley gave the following instruction to the grand jurors:

    [I]n order to vote true bill, you must consider whether you believe Darren Wilson, you find probable cause, that’s the standard, to believe that Darren Wilson committed the offense and the offenses are what is in the indictment and you must find probable cause to believe that Darren Wilson did not act in lawful self-defense …you must also have probable cause to believe that Darren Wilson did not use lawful force in making an arrest.

    See, Grand Jury Transcript Vol. XXIV at 137.

    These excerpts of the transcripts reveal that the assistant prosecutors did not know the legal standard at the time of these grand jury proceedings and were, therefore, unable to articulate a clear legal standard to the grand jury. By initially providing erroneous legal instructions that indicated that Mr. Wilson was authorized to use deadly force under circumstances outlawed by the Supreme Court for nearly thirty years; by following up that false statement of law with confusing and misleading statements regarding the applicable law; and by expressing great uncertainty about the applicable legal standard by which the grand jury was required to weigh the facts, the prosecutors effectively ensured that no indictment could be returned against Mr. Wilson.

  207. says

    Muslims speak out against police brutality

    The growing Muslim outrage over the ever-increasing number of black lives being snuffed out by men in blue has reached a boiling point.

    In Philadelphia on Dec. 27, nearly 300 protesters expressed their outrage by marching around City Hall, holding a rally and die-in that included lying on the ground for 4½ minutes to symbolize the 4½ hours Michael Brown laid dead on the street before his body was moved. The event, titled “Muslims Make it Plain,” mirrored other events occurring across the country.

    The genesis for the demonstration came from believers concerned that the Muslim community hadn’t added its voice to the outrage.

    “It was a feeling, a growing frustration, anger, shame at the lack of American Muslim representation in a growing national movement,” said Kameelah Mu’Min Rashad, Muslim chaplain at the University of Pennsylvania and one of the event’s principal organizers.

    On Dec. 29, in Houston, a similar march also led by Muslims took place, highlighting what organizers said was the unjust shooting of unarmed Jordan Baker by a Houston police officer and failure by the grand jury to indict Officer Juvenetino Castro for his murder.

    Deric Muhammad of the Houston-based Mosque #45, and one of the organizers of the march, said they must march because whenever a “Muslim sees an injustice, it’s our God-demanded duty to speak out.”

    Referencing the Prophet Muhammad, during a phone interview, Muhammad said, “Whenever you see an injustice, the Prophet said you are duty-bound to respond in one of three ways: correct it if you can, speak out, or the least option in your heart, hate the injustice that was done.

    “We as Muslims should be at the forefront of the cry for justice. As long as we do it in a dignified manner, protest is not against our religion.”

    Questioned about the anti-police stance that some feel these demonstrations have taken, Qasim Rashid of United Muslim Masjid and a member of the coalition that organized the Philadelphia demonstration said, “We all know police officers, and for the most part, most police officers are good, but it seems that there is an increasing number of police officers that are not so good.

    “We want to bring attention to those cops and to the fact that not one of them has been indicted for snuffing out a black life, “Rashid added. “It really appears in the way justice is met out in America that black lives really don’t matter.”

    Florida-based Imam Abdul Malik, who delivered the keynote at the rally, noted in his opening remarks that “this (rally) is not about police bashing… It’s about Muslims coming out of hiding and coming out of the mosque, from those four walls of prayer and doing what Allah said we must do, stand up for justice.”

    The youth, who have largely been the catalyst for the growing national outrage against police violence, were well represented by spoken-word artist Youssef Kromah and activist and journalist Shahida Muhammad.

    Asked about the significance of the protest and rally, Muslims Make It Plain (MMIP) member Donna Auston said, “Protests should never be seen as an end in and of themselves. They are but one tool that can be effectively employed to educate people and mobilize communities around a set of issues.”

    According to its Facebook page, MMIP “is a coalition of concerned Muslims working to inspire, empower and support grassroots mobilization around direct action to address police brutality, racial and religious profiling, unlawful surveillance and the over policing of America’s Black and Brown communities.”

  208. rq says

    All O.O @252 (I didn’t read it all last night because it was late, just skimmed, it is WORSE than I thought!).

    +++

    So that NAACP bombing apparently didn’t make mainstream media. This will be a string of tweets in response, plus the few articles so far written on it.
    Plus the usual random assortment of information that may or may not be useful.

    At least the have the country’s top people on it, ha. FBI investigating explosion outside NAACP office in Colorado (and just as a note, CNN published this almost 11 hours after it happened – or more, I think; none of this Breaking News! crap for the NAACP).

    The makeshift bomb, or improvised explosive device, detonated late Tuesday morning but failed to ignite a gasoline can placed alongside it. No one was injured but the incident left some in Colorado Springs shaken.

    “All of a sudden I heard this big boom,” one witness told CNN affiliate KDVR. “There was smoke everywhere the building on the side was burnt.”

    The witness continued: “Whoever did it took off right away though. That’s all I heard and it was scary.”

    The FBI has not said if the NAACP was specifically targeted. But some pointed out that the other tenant in the building, Mr. G’s Hair Design Studios, likely was not.

    “Who would want to bomb a beauty salon?” one member of the local NAACP chapter told CNN affiliate KCNC. […]

    The NAACP is the nation’s oldest civil rights organization. The group’s national office says it is looking forward to a “thorough investigation” into the explosion by national and local authorities.

    The FBI has asked that anyone with information call its Denver tip line at (303) 435-7787.

    So finally some stellar reporting by CNN, right? Hmm. A bit more on that in a moment.
    Meanwhile, Y’all, MTV has one of the 6 articles I can find on the #NAACPBombing. What have we become when MTV is one of the only sources? The article: Explosive Device Detonated Outside NAACP Building In Colorado

    No one was injured in the explosion, FBI Denver spokeswoman Amy Sanders told the Los Angeles Times.

    Sanders also confirmed that a gasoline can was found near the device. The can did not ignite in the explosion.

    FBI Denver officials say the explosion was deliberate. Their person of interest is a white male, about 40-years-old. He might be driving an “older-model dirty white pick-up truck with paneling, a dark-colored bed liner, an open tailgate and a missing or covered license plate,” says the Times.

    Note presence of a white suspect in MTV article, but not CNN article. A tweeter asks: Is Don Lemon gonna ask if the bomber had a father in his life? #NAACPBombing

    And that discrepancy (no suspect / suspect) wasn’t lost on others. So, get this — @CNN covers #NAACPBombing almost a day late and doesn’t mention that the suspect is a white 40ish man. Y’all.
    Which was tongue-in-cheek responded to with, @deray @CNN To be fair, they didn’t mention the suspect at all. (At least, I’m pretty sure that wasn’t an entirely straight-up answer.)

  209. rq says

    To continue with the NAACP.
    FBI looking for man regarding explosion near Colorado Springs NAACP office . That’s from The Gazette, which has a decent account:

    The explosion charred the exterior wall of the building, but no one was injured and no other damage was reported.

    The FBI said it is looking for a person of interest, described as a balding white man in his 40s who may be driving a dirty, 2000 or older model, white pick-up truck with paneling, an open tailgate, and a missing or covered license plate.

    “Some neighbors came out and said they saw a Caucasian gentleman get into white truck,” said Gene Southerland, who owns Mr. G’s Hair Design Studios, which shares the building with the NAACP office.

    “It was such a beautiful day and everything, sunny. And in broad daylight, you hear this explosion. It’s frightening,” he said. […]

    Two volunteers in the NAACPP office around 10:45 a.m. heard a loud “boom” that was strong enough to knock items off the walls, said Henry Allen Jr., president of the chapter. He was not there at the time, but said the volunteers looked outside to see what had happened, and saw what they described as a gas can rigged with some kind of incendiary device.

    Allen said he is hesitant to call the explosion a hate crime without further information from the FBI and other law enforcement agencies investigating, but said the organization “will not be deterred.”
”We believe in civil rights for all, and really we won’t work in fear and we won’t be deterred,” he said. “We’ll move on. … This won’t deter us from doing the job we want to do in the community.”

    Oh, except for that bit about hesitating to call it a hate crime by Allen, but that’s Allen’s issue, not the Gazette’s.
    KOAA(dot)com on the same: Neighbors shaken by morning explosion, with video.

    The FBI tells News 5 that an explosive device, next to a gas can was detonated but the can didn’t explode. The blast left singe marks against the building that houses Mr. G’s Hair Design Studios and the local chapter of the NAACP.

    Which is why federal agents are trying to figure out if this was a targeted attack, something the group’s president says only spurs them on.

    “We don’t give up the struggle, apparently we are doing something correct. Apparently we have the attention of someone that knows we are working for civil rights for all. That is making some people uncomfortable, so therefore they feel the need to target,” said Colorado Springs NAACP President, Henry Allen Jr.

    And thinkprogress on the same: A Colorado NAACP Office Was Bombed Today, and I think the only article that references bombings in the 1960s:

    Although the apparent bomber’s motives are not yet known, bombings were a common terrorist tactic during the Jim Crow era. The city of Birmingham, Alabama became known as “Bombingham” due to a rash of bombings targeting black homes and churches, including a 1963 church bombing that killed four girls. The aftermath of that bombing is depicted in the picture at the top of this post.

    Then there was John Paul Quintero, in Wichita – Wichita police is saying tonight that killer of #JohnQuintero was not wearing her body cam. Wichita has a body cam program already in place. Just a note re: body-cams. :P

    Interlude: David Duke Calls Nicki Minaj a ‘Degenerate’ for Her Role in Hip-Hop’s Downfall

    During Duke’s radio show, he made reference to that interview and the downfall of hip-hop. Duke stated that Minaj promoted “absolute filth, drugs and violence.”

    “Why do people blame blacks like Minaj?” he asked rhetorically. “Because Minaj wouldn’t be a pimple on somebody’s rear end except for the fact that she is promoted by the Jewish record producers and the media, the mass media, the powerful media, that promotes absolute degenerates like her.”

    Duke also said black people were not responsible for the popularity of hip-hop music.

    “One of the Jewish producers who’s boasting about the fact that every one of the top 10 Billboard songs were those he controlled—even rap music is not something that blacks really are responsible for,” Duke said. “It was the Jewish record producers who promoted this degenerate and sick and horrific music.”

    This is the guy who insists he’s no racist? Or was that Scalise? Anyway, as the subtitle says, who knew former KKK leaders even cared about hip-hop?

  210. rq says

    BREAKING NEWS: FBI a says an improvised explosive device was placed next to a gas can outside #NAACP H.Q.
    @deray Of course the MSM aren’t covering it. FBI says #NAACP purposefully targeted w/ IED. White suspect. Nobody calling him a terrorist.
    they love throwing the words “rioters” “looters” & “thugs”…meanwhile a bomb exploded outside of NAACP in colorado and the silence is LOUD.
    @deray The neighborhood she said is not always a quiet one.” Did they -really- just “was no angel” the GEOGRAPHIC LOCATION of a hate crime? (I didn’t even notice, to be honest, until this pointed it out. Seriously.)
    #NAACPbombing Black= thug Brown= terrorist White= person of interest probably with mental illness

    And for a while on twitter, the LA Times was the only article on the bombing: Explosion outside NAACP in Colorado deliberate, FBI says

    A gasoline can had been placed near the device but did not ignite during the explosion, Sanders said.

    The sidewalk and the local NAACP headquarters building, which also houses a barbershop, suffered minor damage, she said.

    FBI Denver and the Colorado Springs Police Department are on the scene. A man aged about 40 is a person of interest in the investigation. He may be driving a 2000 or older-model dirty white pick-up truck with paneling, a dark-colored bed liner, an open tailgate and a missing or covered license plate.

    The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is also investigating the case, according to Christopher Amon, acting spokesman for the agency’s Denver office.

    Interestingly, they describe the suspect simply as a ‘man’. Apparently, that means he’s white. Or maybe people are to assume he’s black. Oh, the confusion!!!

  211. rq says

  212. rq says

    Back in NY, meanwhile… those cigarettes, man. Still punishable by death or nah? RT @ParisBurned: NYC man busted with 500K untaxed cigarettes The link: NYC man busted with 500,000 untaxed cigarettes in his van.

    He admittedly boasted of his earnings to police, and told investigators he peddled the smokes across Staten Island and Brooklyn about every 10 weeks, the documents charge.

    “I go to Virginia every 10 weeks, I make $5,000 to $7,000 on a load, a carton sells between $40 to $50, you got a good one! I’m out of business now,” he told arresting officers.

    After cops executed a search warrant for his home, they uncovered 500 more cartons of untaxed cigarettes, the documents state.

    That’s approximately 517,200 loose cigarettes.

    If Zekry had sold the smokes, it would have resulted in a $150,000 loss in city and state tax revenue, authorities said.

    He has been charged with tax fraud for peddling the tax-free smokes, which is considered a felony offense, law enforcement sources said.

    But he’s white, and therefore alive. *sigh*

    Are we surprised? @deray Just now on @CNN w/ @donlemon Texas KKK recruiter says they recruit from Right Wing Political Rallies. How shocking..

    Remember a while ago, back during protests in Minneapolis, some guy drove into a crowd of protestors, hitting at least one? He may yet be charged: Driver who lurched into Minneapolis protesters could be charged.

    The possibilities in the case range from a felony charge to no charge at all against Rice. He was not arrested after he ran into and slightly injured a 16-year-old girl as others were perched atop the hood of his Subaru wagon at E. Lake Street and Minnehaha Avenue late in the afternoon on Nov. 25.

    “We charge, with rare exceptions, only felonies against adults, so that is what we would be looking at,” Chuck Laszewski, spokesman for the county attorney’s office, said Tuesday. He said there is no deadline for his office on how soon a charging decision must be made, because Rice is not in custody. However, he continued, “we want to get this case decided as soon as possible.”

    Should the county decline to charge the driver, the case could move to the city attorney’s office for consideration of gross misdemeanor or misdemeanor charges.

    May. May be charged. For running over a child. “Only charge felonies against adults”.

    Prosecutor in Eric Garner case going for the big leagues: Michael Grimm’s Replacement
    Here are five reasons Daniel Donovan shouldn’t be it.

    . Hype in this election is bad for the GOP.
    This should be a sleepy special election, a low-turnout afterthought to the contentious 2014 midterms. Under those conditions, the basic math of the district should provide a comfortable Republican victory. But Donovan changes all of that. He makes this a minor national story, but far worse, he makes it a huge story in New York City. Democratic activists will be motivated to try to defeat him. The bigger this election gets, the better chance a moderate Democrat has of taking the seat. It becomes the “I can’t breathe” election.

    2. Running Donovan is bad for the New York City GOP.
    It’s no secret that New York City is a pretty liberal place. But notwithstanding its progressive leanings, Gotham hadn’t elected a Democrat mayor in over two decades prior to Bill de Blasio’s 2013 victory. Part of the reason de Blasio won, despite being a very flawed candidate, is that Republicans had no serious challenger. The primary between eventual winner Joe Lhota and outsider John Catsimatidis was a cringeworthy race to general-election sacrifice. The Republican brand will not be resurrected by making the prosecutor from the infamous Garner case the top GOP elected official in the city.

    3. Running Donovan is bad for the national GOP.
    When Grimm agreed to step down after meeting with John Boehner, it was widely viewed as a victory for the speaker, who was ridding his caucus of controversy. Well, welcome back controversy once Donovan steps through the doors of Congress. Whether reasonable or not, the narrative will be that Republicans elected the man who gave the police a pass to kill black men. It’s difficult to imagine how this will help grow the Republican tent.

    4. There are legitimate questions about the Garner grand jury.
    A featured talking point from conservatives during the recent unrest has been that Ferguson and Staten Island were very different cases. The Ferguson grand jury had a complicated situation to parse out, with varied testimony and evidence. The Garner grand jury, on the other hand, faced a case in which a man had died because of, to quote the coroner’s report, “compression of neck (choke hold), compression of chest and prone positioning during physical restraint by police” — and there was video to prove Garner posed no real threat to the officers. To date, Donovan has not provided a compelling explanation as to why or how the grand jury failed to indict. Until he does, many people, including some Republicans, will feel trepidation about voting for him.

    5. There may be a better choice.
    The only other serious Republican contender for the NY11 seat is Nicole Malliotakis, a young, popular state assemblywoman whose district, like the 11th, spans the Verrazano bridge between Staten Island and Brooklyn. In 2013, Malliotakis spoke at CPAC as one of the ten rising GOP stars under 40. Unlike the polarizing Donovan, Malliotakis has the promise of appealing to potential new Republican voters in New York City. As the city’s leading Republican, she would offer a fresh vision and image of what the new Grand Old Party can and should look like.

    The Republican Party’s Rebranding Effort Might Be Headed For A Roadblock In New York

    Multiple local officials have said Republican leadership in the district is eager to back Staten Island District Attorney Dan Donovan.

    Though he seems to have the support of local GOP officials, civil rights groups are set to stage protests if Donovan runs for the seat due to his role in a grand jury’s decision not to indict the police officer in the apparent chokehold death of an unarmed black man named Eric Garner on Staten Island last summer. Both activists and Republican insiders say these demonstrations could have a devastating effect on the rebranding effort aimed at reaching out to a more diverse selection of voters that the party launched after losing the 2012 presidential election.

    Kirsten John Foy is the northeast regional director of the Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, a civil rights group that has led many of the protests in the wake of Garner’s death and other killings of unarmed African American men by police officers in recent months. In an interview with Business Insider last week, Foy said he thought Donovan was “losing his mind” for thinking he should run.

    “You have a GOP that’s trying to position itself as a friend to communities of color and you’re going to have the nemesis of justice run under your banner?” Foy said of Donovan.

    Though he said there have been no “formal meetings” yet, Foy predicted activists would stage protests against Donovan throughout the campaign if he is chosen to run.

    Garner Police Protests APDemonstrators marching across the Brooklyn Bridge to protest a grand jury’s decision not indict a police officer involved in the death of Eric Garner.

    “The sentiment among the entire activist and civil rights community and the sent among the core of the Democratic Party is that we cannot allow this man to take his values to Washington to represent New York City,” said Foy.

  213. rq says

    More on the NAACP bombing slowly coming out, and by ‘more’ I just mean the same basic articles with the same basic information, but no TERRORISM! speculation or discussion of how black people might feel about a potential renewal of terrible, impersonal violence against them.

    White ppl have bombed black churches, black wall street, black orgs {m.o.v.e.}, etc. #NAACPBombing is nothing new. With pictures of targeted bombings of the black community from the past.
    Coincidence? Nationwide protests. Selma release. Grand Jury member files suit again McCulloch. And then a NAACP a branch is bombed.

    “Improvised explosive device” set off near Colorado Springs NAACP chapter

    Henry Allen Jr., the NAACP chapter president, told The Gazette the explosion was strong enough to knock items off the walls and that volunteers who looked outside to see what happened saw what they described as a gas can rigged with some kind of incendiary device, such as a flare.

    “We’ll move on,” Allen told the newspaper. “This won’t deter us from doing the job we want to do in the community.”

    Photos from the scene showed evidence markers littering the area surrounding the building, local police and their police bomb squad maneuvering around yellow tape.

    “The investigation is ongoing and it is not known at this time if the NAACP or a business in the vicinity was the intended target,” said Amy Sanders, an FBI special agent.

    Well, the building contains the NAACP and a hair salon. You decide.

    A Bomb Was Deliberately Detonated Outside A Colorado NAACP Office…In 2015 (DETAILS). With autoplay video. Again, mentions this:

    Police have not identified a motive or confirmed that the explosion was a threat, but bombings during the Civil Rights era were a common terrorism tactic. In 1963, the Birmingham, Alabama bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church left four black children dead, all girls, and a nat