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What To Do When You're Stopped By Police - The ACLU & Elon James White

What To Do When You're Stopped By Police - The ACLU & Elon James White

Know Anyone Who Thinks Racial Profiling Is Exaggerated? Watch This, And Tell Me When Your Jaw Drops.


This video clearly demonstrates how racist America is as a country and how far we have to go to become a country that is civilized and actually values equal justice. We must not rest until this goal is achieved. I do not want my great grandchildren to live in a country like we have today. I wish for them to live in a country where differences of race and culture are not ignored but valued as a part of what makes America great.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Before Jailing a Young Woman, a Judge Puts Her Mother’s Racist Views on the Stand - The New York Times

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"A group of 10 white teenagers in Mississippi went to Jackson, the state capital, from a neighboring county in June 2011 on a drunken mission to terrorize black residents.

James Craig Anderson, who worked at a local Nissan plant, became their target. He was standing near his car in the parking lot of a motel just off a highway when the teenagers, both male and female, pounced.

‘White power!’ they yelled as some of them pummeled Mr. Anderson, who was 47, and stole his cellphone, his wallet and a ring. One of the teenagers in the group, who was behind the wheel of a Ford pickup truck, fatally struck Mr. Anderson with the vehicle.

The prosecutions that followed were the first uses of the federal Hate Crimes Act in the Deep South, and all 10 teenagers were charged under the act. Judge Henry T. Wingate presided over one of the resulting trials, the subject of the recent hourlong TV documentary called ‘Love & Hate Crime: A Murder in Mississippi.’ "

(Via.) Before Jailing a Young Woman, a Judge Puts Her Mother’s Racist Views on the Stand - The New York Times

Opinion | Where the Streets Have No Names, the People Have No Vote - The New York Times

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"The Enlightenment gave us street addresses and ushered in democracy. The Age of Un-Enlightenment is using addresses to usher it out.

This month, the Supreme Court released a 6-to-2 decision upholding a law requiring North Dakotans who want to vote to provide a street address. It’s a good thing for the Republicans that so many Native Americans don’t have them.

People often think of their street names and house numbers as banal. But they’re an essential part of proving your identity. Want to register for school? Open a bank account? Build credit and start a business? Show proof of address.

Native Americans, the largest minority group in North Dakota, have some of the highest rates of poverty in the country. They also disproportionately lack street addresses. Many live in rural locations, where streets have never been systematically numbered and named, and where the Postal Service still does not deliver. They rely largely on P.O. boxes — and a P.O. box doesn’t count as a “residential street address” under the North Dakota law.

Even those who do have an address can be disenfranchised by this law. Many Native Americans rent their homes, which means that the address they have on an ID is more likely to be out of date than it is for those who own their homes. They can provide supplementary documents, like utility bills, to prove residency, except that as Ruth Bader Ginsburg pointed out in her dissent, an estimated 18,000 North Dakotans don’t have those, either.

One of the plaintiffs in the case, Lucille Vivier, said the police department, the paramedics and Federal Express each had a different address for her on file. And none of those addresses appeared on her tribal ID, which Ms. Vivier presented when she tried to vote in 2014. She was turned away by the poll worker, a woman she had known since she was 5 years old. Another voter was turned away by her own niece.

I wasn’t surprised to learn that addresses were being used as a tool for disenfranchisement. Governments have, intentionally or not, long excluded their most marginalized citizens from this crucial aspect of legal identity. There are still at least tens of millions of city dwellers around the world who don’t have an address.

Street names and house numbers weren’t inevitable; they were invented. Almost 250 years ago, for example, Empress Maria Theresa of Austria began to number the homes across her vast realm to enable mass conscription of men to fight her wars. As Anton Tantner of the University of Vienna has chronicled, more than a thousand officers fanned out across her empire, painting on each house a number in black paint made from oil and boiled bones, while recording who lived there on preprinted forms.

Violent protests broke out occasionally across Europe as subjects realized house numbers were yet another way governments could exercise control over their money, time and bodies. A Swiss visitor to Austria was “horrified to see numbers on the houses which appear to us a symbol of the hand of the rule determinedly taking possession of the private individual.”

But with the burdens of street addresses came privileges. House numbering was “one of the most important innovations of the era of Enlightenment,” Mr. Tantner said. Assigning each house a number simultaneously advanced two bedrock principles of Enlightenment thought: rationality and equality. Cities were now easy to navigate, and people easy to find. A peasant’s home was numbered in the same way as an aristocrat’s. And residents soon noticed the advantages in mail delivery and advertising rewards for lost pets, like the “Bolognese puppy, a male white all over and having blue eyes but with one lighter blue than the other and a small muzzle and a black nose” whose lonely owner was waiting for him at No. 222 Bognergasse in the winter of 1771.

They also noticed that having an address meant that someone might actually want to find you; lacking an address became a badge of inferiority. Maria Theresa only cursorily considered Jews and women in her house numbering campaign; animals, so much more useful in war, received more attention.

In parts of the United States, it was often the publishers of city directories who first numbered houses, and they tended to exclude women, children and servants from their books. Reuben Rose-Redwood of the University of Victoria in Canada recounts how one directory publisher in 19th century New York City boasted that “the names of laborers, colored people, persons in low obscurity who rent tenements by the week or month, may be excluded without impairing the utility of the work.” Some people were simply not worth counting.

Today this kind of blatant address discrimination is rare, but the unaddressed around the world often remain the most marginalized. Last year, I went to Kolkata, India, where a nonprofit is assigning addresses to slum residents to allow them access to bank accounts and ID cards. In apartheid South Africa, areas designated for black people were often not assigned addresses.

A few years ago, I wrote about West Virginia’s attempt to name and number streets in some of its poorest, most rural hollows, where residents risked death while ambulances struggled to find them. One ambulance driver told me he would ask the stricken callers how loud the sirens were as a way of finding them: “Getting hotter? Getting closer?”

Now the Supreme Court seems to have decided that discriminating against people for a lack of address is legally permissible. The United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, in its opinion upholding the North Dakota law, didn’t even try to deny that Native Americans would be disenfranchised. The judges wrote that even if “some communities” lack residential street addresses, that alone was not enough for a statewide injunction against the law.

“Some communities.” What they mean is “Native Americans,” who overwhelmingly vote for Democrats. The law now threatens Heidi Heitkamp, the state’s embattled Democratic senator, simply by reducing the number of citizens eligible to vote. Tens of thousands of North Dakotans could be disenfranchised. Ms. Heitkamp won her last election by fewer than 3,000 votes. “This is a blatant form of voter disenfranchisement,” Mr. Rose-Redwood told me, “that uses geography as a weapon.”

The Enlightenment gave us street addresses, and at the same time it toppled monarchies and ushered in democracy. So it’s perhaps not surprising that the Age of Un-Enlightenment is using addresses as a tool to undo these same democratic ideals, one brown voter at a time.

Deirdre Mask, a writer in London, is working on a book about street addresses."

 

Opinion | Where the Streets Have No Names, the People Have No Vote - The New York Times: ""

Thursday, October 18, 2018

GOP Voter Suppression Ramps Up in Georgia | The Daily Show

Stacey Abrams Always Knew They’d Try to Cheat | The Nation

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By Joan Walsh 10/18/2018

"As she campaigns across all of Georgia’s 159 counties—from Fulton to Brantley, Gwinnett to Chatham, Glynn to DeKalb—Democrat Stacey Abrams’s pitch comes down to this: I’m one of you. “I’m not running to be governor of Atlanta; I’m running to be governor of Georgia” is one way she often puts it.

If elected, Abrams would become the state’s first black and first female governor, so it’s understandable that her political gamble has a personal edge to it. Can she take the details of her impressive biography—devoted daughter of two ministers who were “genteel poor”; loving sister of five siblings; doting auntie; graduate of Spelman College, the University of Texas, and Yale Law School; small-business owner; tax attorney; the first woman leader in either house of the State Legislature; award-winning romance novelist (yes, you read that right)—and find something in it, at every stop, to reach a different group of voters? And will this be enough to bridge Georgia’s deep fissures of race, gender, and culture?

“Well, she’s gonna have a tough time, being black,” a white suburban retiree tells me flatly as we sit down for lunch at Savannah’s historic Olde Pink House restaurant. His candor about race, which I appreciate, isn’t the only thing that surprises me. David (a pseudonym) is a lifelong conservative and Trump voter who nonetheless plans to vote for Abrams. He thinks her Republican opponent, Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, is “an idiot.” Trump’s administration has turned out “worse than I even imagined,” he confesses. And in an age when we suffer at least 10 school shootings a year, “I’m sick of the NRA,” he tells me, even though he’s a gun owner and former member.

“I’m an angry Republican, and I’m trying to give my party a kick,” he declares. Even though David doesn’t want me to use his real name, he says he’s extremely vocal about his plans to vote for Abrams when talking to fellow Republicans in his affluent white retiree community. “And, honestly, I don’t get a lot of pushback,” he adds.

Years before she decided to run for governor, Abrams had famously banked on an unprecedented surge of black voters, along with other nonwhite voters and progressive whites, to win state elections. In 2013, she began the New Georgia Project, a voter-registration-and-mobilization group focused on Georgians of color. Her overwhelming victory in the Democratic primary this past May—she won 76 percent of the vote, including the majority of the white vote, against a formidable white opponent, turning out 200,000 more Democrats than had voted in the 2014 primary and 43 percent more black voters than had voted in the 2010 primary—was a powerful demonstration of this strategy. Now, in campaign speak, she needs to mobilize “low-propensity” black voters, who sometimes vote for president but rarely turn out for the midterms. Campaign officials are cautiously optimistic: According to GeorgiaVotes.com, 42 percent of the early voting has been done by African-American voters, who make up 30 percent of registered voters, a surge that Georgia hasn’t seen since Barack Obama’s election in 2008.

Unfortunately, Abrams’s opponent is, as secretary of state, also the man in charge of overseeing the mechanics of voting. A recent investigation by the Associated Press found that Kemp has held up 53,000 new voter-registration forms. Seventy percent of the registrants involved are black, but Kemp—who has long tangled with the New Georgia Project—says that this racial disparity is the group’s fault for submitting inaccurate or incomplete paperwork. The New Georgia Project rejects this assertion, and lawyers are trying to force Kemp to process the forms. “As he has done for years, Brian Kemp is maliciously wielding the power of his office to suppress the vote for political gain and silence the voices of thousands of eligible voters—the majority of them people of color,” says Abigail Collazo, spokeswoman for the Abrams campaign. “This isn’t incompetence; it’s malpractice.” Abrams has since renewed her call for Kemp to step down as secretary of state, a demand he has repeatedly rebuffed.

But in a race in which the polls have the two candidates essentially tied, Abrams also needs to pick up some “white persuadables,” by and large suburban independents turned off by Trump and Republican extremism. Drawing the far-right Kemp as her opponent—he finished second in the GOP primary to Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle, but triumphed in a runoff after Trump endorsed him—has given Abrams an opening, especially with the business community, which had enthusiastically backed Cagle. “The state Chamber [of Commerce] is freaking out,” one campaign official told me midsummer, with some glee.

The bad news is there may not be that many white persuadables left. Only 6 percent of the electorate is undecided, according to the most recent polling, and Trump won 75 percent of the state’s white voters in 2016. The good news is that a white retiree like David, who by no means fits the definition of a “white persuadable,” is against all odds in Abrams’s corner. He’s a bonus vote, and if she gets a lot of bonus votes, Abrams will be the next governor.

Georgia Democrats have a 200,000-vote problem. That’s roughly the margin by which the party’s statewide standard-bearers have lost recent elections, whether they were scions of old-time native pols, like Michelle Nunn or Jason Carter in 2014, or presidential nominees like Hillary Clinton in 2016. Over 550,000 people voted in the Democratic primary in May, just shy of the 608,000 who voted in the six-way GOP primary, so making up that margin is not impossible. “We have over 15 field offices and 150 staffers” in both red and blue counties, says state party chair DuBose Porter, including in places where nobody’s laid eyes on a Democratic staffer in years. “It’s the biggest field operation the party has ever seen.”

The Abrams campaign has also been bolstered by visits from high-profile Democrats, a rarity in a state long written off as solidly red. Former vice president Joe Biden and Senators Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, and Cory Booker have all showed up to campaign for her; one writer dubbed this parade of potential presidential candidates “the Stacey Abrams primary.” For better or worse, this is a nationalized race, much like the gubernatorial contest in Florida, where Andrew Gillum could become the state’s first black governor if he defeats the Trump-worshipping Ron DeSantis. (Gillum currently has a small lead.) Meanwhile, in Maryland, another African-American candidate for governor, Ben Jealous, trails far behind GOP incumbent Larry Hogan. The news is better in the race for a US Senate seat in Mississippi, where the black Democratic candidate, Mike Espy, is given a good chance of making it into a late-November runoff.

Abrams and her campaign strongly dislike the notion that her race is somehow a rematch of Clinton versus Trump. And they positively hate the idea, peddled by The New York Times in July, that the two parties’ extremist wings are squaring off in the Peach State. The Abrams-Kemp battle, the Times wrote, “has come to mirror the disorienting polarization of the Trump era and expose the consequences of a primary system that increasingly rewards those who appeal to the fringes.”

That equivalency, of course, would require Abrams to be as far to the left as Kemp is to the right, which is patently absurd. She supports the expansion of Medicaid, which is backed by 73 percent of Georgians (including a majority of Republicans); he favors a wildly unpopular religious-freedom restoration act that would allow discrimination against LGBTQ citizens. She has worked successfully with Republican Governor Nathan Deal on criminal-justice reform, education, and tax bills; Kemp, who calls himself a “politically incorrect conservative,” has slavishly embraced Trump and promised to “round up criminal illegals” in his pickup truck.

And yet at least part of the media narrative fits. Like the 2016 election, the Georgia contest is being played out against the backdrop of racial transformation and white backlash. In 1990, the state was over 70 percent white, but today only 54 percent of registered voters identify as white, and within less than a generation, the state is projected to be majority-minority. And then there’s the live wire of gender. White women in Georgia backed Trump in 2016, as they did elsewhere in the country, while women of color were the party’s solid-blue wall. Abrams and her campaign aren’t necessarily expecting to change that dynamic in one election cycle, but like Democrats nationwide, they are hoping to ride a wave of women activists and first-time candidates who have been galvanized by Trump’s election.

The confirmation of accused sexual assaulter Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court only adds fuel to this fire. During the nomination fight, Lucy McBath, a candidate for Congress in Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District, told me on the trail, “That’s the reason more women have to run. We’re not just numbers and statistics—we’ve lived these experiences.” But the effort to mobilize the state’s women voters long predates the Kavanaugh fight. “Georgia women have been organizing for a while,” former Savannah mayor Otis Johnson tells me. “During my campaigns, the people who I could always depend on were women. The difference this year is that they’re running.”

And boy, are they running! As I travel with Abrams from rural Nahunta to metro Atlanta and places in between, I meet astonishing women, many of them black, who have moved from being organizers to candidates themselves. “Yes, ma’am, I plan to be the first,” Nahunta mayoral candidate Barbara Mayfield tells me. “First black, first female!” a friend adds, making sure I get it. “After the Women’s March, we were telling women to step up, and I said, ‘OK, I gotta step up!’” says Julie Jordan, a registrar in suburban Brunswick who’s running for the Georgia House of Representatives. In suburban Marietta, north of Atlanta, I followed Essence Johnson, who was an Indivisible activist when she knocked on doors for Jon Ossoff in 2017. He narrowly lost that special congressional election. But now Johnson is knocking doors for her own campaign, also for a State House seat. Abrams is counting on these women to lift her, and they’re counting on her to lift them. If they succeed, the future will finally overtake the past here in Georgia on November 6.

But Abrams is not merely the lucky beneficiary of this unprecedented surge in women’s political participation. In Georgia, she’s one of its original and prime sponsors. “She’s been at the center of it for a long time,” Johnson tells me.

When Abrams became Democratic leader of the State Legislature in 2010, Republicans held all statewide offices and were on the verge of attaining a legislative supermajority that would prevent any checks on their plans to curtail women’s rights, labor rights, or voting rights. So Abrams began working around the state to groom a new generation of Democrats, many of them black women. “It was part of my mission to build the capacity of new voices to enter the political arena,” she tells me. “I had a very intentional focus on women and people of color.” This behind-the-scenes recruitment, many Democratic activists believe, was part of the reason she enjoyed that lopsided primary victory, despite opposition from some white Democrats who didn’t believe that Georgia was ready for a black, female governor. “They had no idea of the reach and the groundwork Stacey had put in,” DuBose Porter says.

Sitting down with Abrams in her bare campaign office, her desk adorned with a Post-it note reminding her to eat, I am struck by her apparent calm in the eye of the storm. She is warm, greeting me with a hug. We met four years ago, when Emily’s List named her a “rising star,” but she’s nonetheless cautious, speaking slowly and in full paragraphs.

Abrams takes nothing for granted, believing the race is essentially tied despite internal polling showing her ahead. When I tell her that I’m surprised to have met white suburban ladies and Republican men who support her, Abrams replies that she isn’t. “Part of my approach to this campaign is to build on the work I’ve done the last decade, and I’m constantly engaging with communities that are not seen as natural supporters of mine…. It’s why I won so many counties in the primary; I won every major demographic,” she reminds me with pride.

What about my white progressive sisters, I ask: Are they finally starting to see the light and get behind the campaigns of black women? Abrams smiles and says, “There are anecdotal moments where women tell me they are surprised they’re supporting me. But I’m not surprised. The scenario for me for victory has always been multiple communities to engage and step up. And they are.”

Indeed, in the epicenter of white-lady wokeness—Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District in suburban Atlanta—the energy is behind African-American gun-sense activist Lucy McBath. The Moms Demand Action organizer is one of the Mothers of the Movement, a coalition of black women who have lost children to police or gun violence, many of whom traveled with Clinton in 2016. McBath is challenging freshman GOP Representative Karen Handel, who beat Jon Ossoff by only four points in 2017, and the same multiracial, women-led coalition that backed Ossoff is supporting her bid.

One veteran of the Ossoff campaign, Tracy Prescott, volunteered to host a canvassing launch for McBath, and she’s stunned by the turnout: 50 people on a hot Saturday afternoon have shown up to walk the precincts for McBath and the full slate of Democrats. “I’m just blown away,” Prescott tells me. She and her husband, Jeff Corkill, are active in their local Democratic Socialists of America chapter—Prescott wears a big red DSA button—as well as the Bernie Sanders–inspired Our Revolution, which endorsed Abrams. In a naked attempt to red-bait his opponent, Kemp has claimed that Abrams was also endorsed by the Metro Atlanta DSA chapter. But Corkill tells me plainly that that’s not true. “We endorse socialists,” he says. “We did encourage our members to participate…. But Stacey didn’t seek our endorsement, and we didn’t endorse her. If she was a socialist,” he adds, “we’d endorse her. But she’s not.” Even so, Prescott and Corkill describe themselves as hard-core Abrams supporters.

Later, when I ask Abrams about Kemp’s red-baiting, she takes it in stride, while welcoming voters to her left. “They support me; so do labor unions. So do some moderate Republicans. People of all stripes stand with me. The common trope to beating a candidate with my background is to try to vilify her. If you look at my record, I’m absolutely a progressive, but I’m a pragmatist who is able to get things done.”

This corner of the Sixth District, in DeKalb County, is diverse and heavily Democratic. In the opposite corner, Essence Johnson, the black Indivisible activist now campaigning for a seat in the Georgia House, is walking the rolling hills and steep driveways of Eastern Cobb County. It’s a much less diverse area (75 percent white and only 10 percent black), so Johnson likes to team up and knock on doors with white State Senate candidate Christine Triebsch, most of whose district she shares.

At every door, the two women leave their own literature, as well as a Democratic-candidate card with Abrams at the top of the ticket. (“Vote down ballot!” it reads.) And while they’re hoping to run and win on Abrams’s coattails, their hard work in this wealthy suburban district also helps Abrams, raising the possibility of a “reverse-coattails” effect in which an unprecedented number of female candidates, at all levels of the ballot, lifts Abrams to victory. “We’re all out here trying to help each other,” Triebsch says. “That’s how women do it.”

It’s not surprising to find such passion for Abrams among the activists in suburban Atlanta—but to win the state, she’s got to get votes beyond the metro area. In mid-September, I watched her address the Georgia Economic Developers Association convention in Savannah and saw how she put another aspect of her variegated biography to work. For a statewide, business-oriented gathering, it was a fairly diverse group. Whether they’re county staffers or local businessmen, these folks tend to be the do-gooders in their communities—but they are not necessarily liberals.

Here Abrams promotes herself as not just the daughter of ministers or a pioneering state legislator, but also as a small-business owner—one business failed, another is thriving—and a tax attorney. She immediately dives deep into the weeds of so-called tax-allocation districts, which funnel local tax revenue into economic development, and describes one widely hailed project that she worked on in the Atlanta mayor’s office back when she was deputy city attorney. And in case they worry that she’ll look out only for Atlanta, Abrams talks about her time in the State Legislature working with rural colleagues on similar issues, asking: “Why can’t Valdosta get the same tax flexibility Atlanta does?” Representatives of rural counties in the crowd nod in agreement.

Abrams also wows the group with her trademark command of Georgia facts. For example, the state has 64 counties without a pediatrician, and almost half of its counties have no licensed psychiatrist. There are 5,000 4-year-olds on a waiting list for pre-kindergarten, and 140,000 people living with Alzheimer’s. Georgia is second only to Florida in the number of retirees, and second to California in film production. Abrams also tells virtually every crowd that a main provider of mental-health services in Georgia is the prison system. She knows this because that’s where her brother Walter, whom she describes as “brilliant” and a heroin addict, had his bipolar condition diagnosed.

As she does at every stop, Abrams promises that her top priority will be expanding Medicaid. “Georgia loses $8 million a day in federal Medicaid funding,” she tells the room. Someone in the crowd gasps; another whistles in amazement. The state provides $1.7 billion in uncompensated care annually, Abrams adds, usually through emergency-room visits. Her pitch is bipartisan: Democratic California Governor Jerry Brown expanded Medicaid, but so did Vice President Mike Pence in his days as Indiana’s Republican governor. “If Jerry Brown and Mike Pence can agree on anything in politics, then it’s the right thing to do,” she says to laughs and applause.

But Abrams’s best moment comes when she’s asked whether she would veto a state religious-freedom restoration act, which would allow discrimination against LGBTQ people. Governor Deal vetoed it, reacting to outrage from the business community; Kemp has promised to sign it. One member of the association says that an overwhelming majority of the group opposes such an act, so Abrams is not taking a particularly brave stand here, but she makes the most of the moment. “I’m the daughter of two ministers. Protecting my faith by discriminating against others is against my faith,” she tells the crowd. She mentions a recent trip to California—state Republicans had chastised her for this visit to Blue America—and says, “Yes, I met with studio heads. They will pull their films [over this]. The mere conversation is toxic.” Later, Kemp would play down his support for the act, promising to sign a state bill that simply mirrors the language of the federal version.

After Abrams’s address, one economic-development professional (speaking off the record because his agency works closely with the state) says that he was impressed. “Abrams was clear and had a plan,” he tells me. “She wasn’t afraid to mention her failures in business as well as her successes. The consensus from my group of peers is that Abrams outperformed Kemp.”

From Savannah, I follow Abrams and her campaign to Nahunta, in rural, red Brantley County, where members of the Little Rock Baptist Church and others in the community are waiting for her. It will prove to be a milestone of sorts: As of this afternoon, Abrams will have officially visited all 159 of Georgia’s counties. We take the Clarence Thomas Interchange out of Savannah (the Supreme Court justice was born in nearby Pin Point) and pass a Confederate-soldiers park and a towering Confederate flag near Waynesville. As we approach Nahunta, a smaller Confederate flag waves at us, right next to a Kemp for Governor sign. A little white church awaited, with about 30 people, mostly older black women, inside. Abrams has traveled from a crowd of nearly 700 to a smaller gathering of 30 because she knows that rural black women, so often ignored, were a cornerstone of Senator Doug Jones’s victory in Alabama last year. Mayoral candidate Barbara Mayfield introduces her as “a child of God,” and Abrams tells the group that her parents sometimes pastored multiple small congregations at a time. “So I’m very familiar with churches like this,” she adds. “You need a governor who sees everybody!”

As Abrams drives away to her next event, the church ladies mill about in the yard outside, looking at the photos on their phones and savoring the moment. One older woman grumbles about Abrams arriving a few minutes late; a younger church member—an avid Abrams volunteer—quickly comes over to tell me that her neighbor doesn’t understand how campaigns work, because “we don’t get too many candidates coming to see us.”

In Brunswick, about 45 minutes away, Glynn County Democratic Party chair Audrey Gibbons knows exactly how that feels. Democratic candidates rarely visited her district in the past, but with four days’ notice, Gibbons got about 250 folks to come out in the 90-degree heat on a Friday afternoon to hear Abrams and a slate of local candidates. Gibbons is ecstatic: “We hit a home run today!”

Women are powering the Democratic revival in Glynn County, Gibbons continues. The local Women’s Voices group “started out with six ladies, and now we have 400,” all of them working on issues of education, criminal justice, climate change—and yes, a lot of local campaigns. Many women in the crowd wear the group’s lavender T-shirts, along with campaign buttons for one (or all) of the local Democratic candidates. “When I took over in 2012, we had no more than two Democrats on the local ballot for five years,” Gibbons tells me. This year, eight of nine Glynn County ballots have a Democratic challenger, and five of the eight are women.

When Abrams comes to the stage, the crowd chants her name, waving blue cardboard fans adorned a picture of with her smiling face. Here, she draws on another tale from her biography: the story of when she became her high school’s valedictorian. Invited to a reception at the governor’s mansion in Atlanta, Abrams and her parents arrived on a city bus, she recalls softly, only to have a guard at the gate tell them it was “a private event.” After much haggling, the guard found Abrams’s name on his list and let them in. “I do not remember meeting the governor or my fellow valedictorians,” she recalls. “I just remember a man telling me I don’t belong. On November 6, I’m gonna open those gates wide so everyone knows they belong.”

In his run against this potentially historic candidate, Brian Kemp isn’t trying to wow Georgians with either his résumé or his big ideas. Instead, he’s trying hard to counter Abrams’s pitch that “I’m one of you.” The tagline for his campaign commercials is dire: “Stacey Abrams: Too Extreme for Georgia.”

Kemp is also playing dirty, running a scurrilous ad claiming that Abrams supported legislation to let convicted sex offenders live near schools and even “take pictures of our children.” Local fact-checkers have called it bunk: Abrams voted no on a 2008 bill to create a new set of punitive restrictions on where convicted sex offenders could live and work, even though state law already prohibited them from being within 1,000 feet of schools and other places where children gather. But I saw the ad a dozen times in my two days in Atlanta.

Other campaign materials hit Abrams hard for owing $50,000 in back taxes and $170,000 in student-loan and credit-card debt. But Abrams has turned the issue around, explaining that she ran into tough financial times taking care of her parents, while making common cause with the many Georgians who also carry such a burden. “Paying the bills for two households has taken its toll,” she wrote in an op-ed for Fortune. “Nearly twenty years after graduating, I am still paying down student loans, and am on a payment plan to settle my debt to the IRS. I have made money mistakes, but I have never ignored my responsibilities…. I suspect my situation will sound familiar to others who are the first in their families to earn real money.”

The Kemp campaign has also skirted the edges of race-baiting. A Republican Governors Association ad about Abrams’s tax issues featured a giant-size Abrams clutching the State Capitol dome, reminding some of King Kong wrapped around the Empire State Building. When white supremacists who identified as Kemp supporters disrupted an Abrams event for female military veterans in Augusta, the Republican refused to explicitly denounce them. Under pressure, Kemp released a bland statement decrying “hatred, violence, and bigotry” but made no mention of the incident.

In the end, Abrams and her campaign know that her real opponent isn’t Kemp—it’s the isolation and alienation of many Georgia voters, especially the low-income voters of color she’s bet the race on. While she’s doing an extraordinary job, it’s still an uphill climb. At a campaign office that Abrams visits in Savannah, the mostly black women who turn out to volunteer there are on fire, many putting in seven days a week. One of them, Tammy Lawrence, has just returned from registering voters at her grandson’s high-school football game. “We’re gonna make her the next governor,” Lawrence says proudly.

But a couple of women admit to me that their day working the phones has drained them. “I made calls today and talked to so many people who tell me they don’t vote at all, they’ve never voted—they don’t think it matters,” says Olivia Ray, a retired social worker. “Even with a black woman running, it’s not really making a difference to them.” Another female volunteer jumps in. “If they’re not woke now, what will wake them?”

Abrams believes she can do this, despite the obstacles of race, class, gender, and a pervasive voter alienation that’s part fatalism, part deliberate disenfranchisement. In addition to the 53,000 voters whose registration forms he’s so far failed to process, Kemp is also being sued for purging almost 700,000 voters, many of them minorities, from the rolls in the past two years without notifying them. Activists are trying to make the list of purged voters public so people can see if they’re on it. The Abrams campaign is also spearheading an effort to help people make sure that they’re registered and to get them to vote early or use absentee ballots, which provide more security than the state’s traditional paper-free voting system. There’s no doubt that Democrats are concerned about ensuring that every vote is counted.

Then there’s the ineffable fact that Kemp is a white man running in a state that has always been governed by white men. At the Savannah economic-development conference, one attendee told me, “It seemed a little like he was laying on the Southern accent to prove his conservative street cred. I’ve met him a few times, and this thick accent seems new to me, almost like he is trying to ‘out-Bubba’ anyone.” There’s always the chance that some of the white men and women who disdain Kemp now will go home to the Republican Party in November, as they did overwhelmingly for Trump in 2016.

Abrams knows what she’s up against, but she trusts her campaign and its plan for victory. Watching her in large crowds, in small groups, and with her staff, I can see how this quiet confidence might strike some as aloofness. “I’m naturally an introvert,” Abrams confesses. Her whole approach in this campaign—excavating her biography to make the case that “I’m one of you”—doesn’t come at all naturally, she says. “But being governor is one of the most personal jobs you can have. Because, done right, the governor of a state helps guide the future of your family: your access to education, to a job, to health care, to housing—all of these things. People should trust who that person is.”

Abrams also had to come to grips with the fact that her leadership style is very different from that of many other politicians—most of them white men, it goes without saying. “I had to learn that my introversion had to accommodate my job. We often learn how to expand who we are in order to get good done.”

But this introvert comes alive in a crowd of her people. At the Gwinnett Democratic Party dinner in suburban Duluth, I am able to meet some of the women (and men) who have been partners in Abrams’s project of turning red Georgia blue. In 1990, Gwinnett County was almost 90 percent white. By 2010, it had become majority-minority, and today it’s only 39 percent white. In 2010, a little over 17,000 Democrats voted in the primary—just a quarter of the total vote. This year, more than 40,500 voted—53 percent of the county total—for the largest Democratic increase in the entire state.

Among the people in attendance at the party dinner is Donna McLeod, who ran for a State House seat in 2016, lost by 200 votes, and decided to run again in 2018. She was just endorsed by Barack Obama. “Stacey’s gonna do this, I promise you,” she tells me. Local congressional candidate Carolyn Bourdeaux, an academic, comes over to talk about the tax bills she worked on with Abrams in the State Legislature. “She is just the smartest,” Bourdeaux kvells. I also meet “two white Stacey stalkers,” as Susan Clymer, chair of the Gwinnett County Democratic Party, describes herself and her close friend Sharon Wood, an Abrams volunteer. State party chair DuBose Porter is there as well. The former Georgia House leader tells me that he retired after Republicans took over his state—“I didn’t switch parties when so many others did, because I actually believed in my values”—but returned to politics when Abrams recruited him to be party chair, “to help get this place back to how it should be.”

When Abrams walks into the dinner, she’s quickly mobbed. She normally wears tailored dresses in solid colors, but here she’s wearing a flowing, black-and-white dress with wavy lines and bell sleeves. Her demeanor is less buttoned-down, too. She hugs her way up to the podium and begins with a story about her parents losing their Mississippi church during Hurricane Katrina. Expecting to rescue them, she and her sister made a beeline home, only to find them coordinating relief efforts and rescuing neighbors. They’d lost nearly everything, but they still had something to give.

For Abrams, it’s a parable about the condition that she found the Democratic Party in at the start of her career: flattened by a political hurricane. “We could have cowered in the corner. It could have been the beginning of the end of the party,” she tells the crowd, to applause. Instead, they built the party back up, starting in places like Gwinnett County, which “now looks like America.” People talk about a blue wave, she continues, but “waves don’t just come up. We’ve been building for that wave for a long time. The blue wave is not coming,” she roars, as the crowd gets to its feet. “The blue wave is here!”

Susan Clymer is sobbing. “Stacey makes me cry every time,” she says unapologetically. “She is such an authentic person. She’s raised up a crop of women, and she’s bringing us all along with her.”

“Don’t get me wrong—it’s gonna be a very tight race,” DuBose Porter tells me later. “But Stacey has the field operation and the broad appeal to do this.”

Stacey Abrams Always Knew They’d Try to Cheat | The Nation

Author defends calling Trump supporters cruel

In Final Column, Jamal Khashoggi Laments Dearth of Free Press in Arab World - The New York Times

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"The Washington Post published a column by the Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi on Wednesday, more that two weeks after he disappeared.Middle East Monitor, via Reuters

The dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi disappeared after he walked into the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul just over two weeks ago, and evidence increasingly suggests he was brutally murdered.

But on Wednesday night, a new piece of his work — submitted by his assistant after he disappeared — was published by The Washington Post, for which Mr. Khashoggi worked as a columnist.

In just over 700 words, his column lamented the dearth of a free press in the Arab world, which he said “is facing its own version of an Iron Curtain, imposed not by external actors, but through domestic forces vying for power.” He sought to promote the free exchange of ideas and information under the headline, “What the Arab world needs most is free expression.”

Mr. Khashoggi’s editor, Karen Attiah, wrote a preface to the column. She said she received the file from Mr. Khashoggi’s translator and assistant a day after he was reported to be missing.

“The Post held off publishing it because we hoped Jamal would come back to us so that he and I could edit it together,” Ms. Attiah wrote. “Now I have to accept: That is not going to happen. This is the last piece of his I will edit for The Post.”

The column came amid reports of audio recordings suggesting that Mr. Khashoggi was met by his killers shortly after he walked into the consulate in Turkey on Oct. 2, and that his fingers were severed and he was beheaded.

Saudi officials have denied harming Mr. Khashoggi, but they have not provided evidence that he left the Saudi Consulate, or offered a credible account of what happened to him.

President Trump appeared to take Saudi officials’ claims at face value, disregarding Turkish assertions that senior figures in the royal court had ordered his killing. The president told reporters on Wednesday that the United States had asked for copies of any audio or video evidence of Mr. Khashoggi’s killing that Turkish authorities may possess — “if it exists.”

In his column on Wednesday, Mr. Khashoggi wrote that government clampdowns on the press in the Arab world were sometimes met with little resistance.

“These actions no longer carry the consequence of a backlash from the international community,” he said. “Instead, these actions may trigger condemnation quickly followed by silence.”

In Saudi Arabia, Mr. Khashoggi once served as an adviser to and unofficial spokesman for the royal family. But after Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman barred him from writing in the kingdom, he traveled to the United States. He reinvented himself as a prominent critic of the Saudi government — and of Crown Prince Mohammed in particular — and became a resident of Virginia.

On Oct. 2, he entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul to pick up a document he needed to get married. His fiancée was waiting outside. But Mr. Khashoggi never came out.

His column on Wednesday was reminiscent of ones he had written before, which often condemned human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia. He wrote that he had been reading a Freedom House report on political rights and civil liberties around the world, and it ranked most countries in the Arab world as “not free.”

“As a result, Arabs living in these countries are either uninformed or misinformed,” Mr. Khashoggi wrote. “They are unable to adequately address, much less publicly discuss, matters that affect the region and their day-to-day lives.”

He wrote about the hopes that had been shattered across the Middle East after Arab Spring uprisings in 2011 failed in several countries. And he wrote about governments’ efforts to imprison dissidents, block internet communication and censor the media.

He suggested the formation of a transnational media outlet — like Radio Free Europe, which was created by the United States government during the Cold War — that could be a platform for Arab writers, reporters and thinkers.

“We need to provide a platform for Arab voices,” Mr. Khashoggi wrote.

“We suffer from poverty, mismanagement and poor education. Through the creation of an independent international forum, isolated from the influence of nationalist governments spreading hate through propaganda, ordinary people in the Arab world would be able to address the structural problems their societies face.”

In her note, Ms. Attiah wrote that Mr. Khashoggi’s column “perfectly captures his commitment and passion for freedom in the Arab world. A freedom he apparently gave his life for.”

Matt Stevens contributed reporting."

In Final Column, Jamal Khashoggi Laments Dearth of Free Press in Arab World - The New York Times

Audio Offers Gruesome Details of Jamal Khashoggi Killing, Turkish Official Says - The New York Times

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"Whether Mr. Khashoggi was killed before his fingers were removed and his body dismembered could not be determined.

 

But the consul was present and objected, the official said. “Do this outside. You will put me in trouble,” Mr. Otaibi told the agents, according to the Turkish official and a report in the Turkish newspaper Yeni Safak. Both cited audio recordings said to have been obtained by Turkish intelligence.

 

“If you want to live when you come back to Arabia, shut up,” one of the agents replied, according to both the official and the newspaper.

 

A top Saudi doctor of forensics had been brought along for the dissection and disposal of the body — an addition to the team that Turkish officials have called evidence of premeditation. And as the agents cut off Mr. Khashoggi’s head and dismembered his body, the doctor had some advice, according to the senior Turkish official.

 

Listen to music, he told them, as he donned headphones himself. That was what he did to ease the tension when doing such work, the doctor explained, according to the official describing the contents of the audio recordings.

 

Although several Turkish officials have described the audio recordings or other evidence related to Mr. Khashoggi’s disappearance in the consulate, all have declined to disclose how the material was obtained. Some recordings or other evidence may have come from intercepted communications or audio surveillance that the Turkish government is unwilling to acknowledge for fear of compromising intelligence sources or revealing violations of international law.

 

But Mr. Trump’s comments suggested that the Turks have also declined to share their evidence with United States intelligence agencies, which are usually close partners. That reluctance suggests the Turkish government may be seeking to reach some accommodation with Saudi Arabia while avoiding a full rupture in relations with another important regional power.

 

The Turkish leaks implicating Saudi officials in the Khashoggi case have followed a distinctive pattern.

 

They began on Oct. 6, the day Turkish officials have said President Erdogan was first briefed on the evidence. But the flow of leaks ceased in more recent days as diplomatic steps to address the matter escalated: King Salman of Saudi Arabia called Mr. Erdogan and sent a high-level delegation. President Trump suggested that he was taking the accusations seriously and sent Mr. Pompeo to Saudi Arabia for answers. And people knowledgeable about the Saudi plans said the royal court was preparing to acknowledge Mr. Khashoggi’s killing and punish what they would describe as a rogue operator in the Saudi intelligence service.

 

On Wednesday, however, the leaks resumed and escalated, a possible sign of Turkish frustration as the Saudis have delivered no such public explanation and the Trump administration has shown no rush to get one.

 

After meeting the previous night with King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed, Mr. Pompeo told reporters in Riyadh: “They made a commitment to hold anyone connected to any wrongdoing that may be found accountable for that. Whether they are a senior officer or official, they promised accountability.”

 

Asked if that included members of the royal family itself, he said, “They made no exceptions.”

 

President Trump said his administration has asked Turkish officials for an audio tape that they claim to have as evidence of the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, a prominent Saudi journalist.Oct. 17, 2018Image by Saul Loeb/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
An investigation by The New York Times revealed on Tuesday that at least four of the suspects whom Turkish officials have said played a role in Mr. Khashoggi’s disappearance or death have close ties to Crown Prince Mohammed, having traveled with him as members of his security team.

 

Those four are among 15 Saudis, including the doctor of forensics, whom the Turks have said flew into Istanbul the day of Mr. Khashoggi’s disappearance. The Times has confirmed that at least nine worked for the Saudi government, military or security services.

 

Mr. Pompeo has declined to comment on such specifics but has expressed confidence in the promise of the king and crown prince to investigate. After flying to the capital, Ankara, to meet with Mr. Erdogan, Mr. Pompeo said repeatedly that the Trump administration was withholding judgment until seeing the results of the Turkish and Saudi investigations.

 

Mr. Trump, too, appeared inclined to trust the Saudis and denied that he was “giving cover” by insisting that they should be regarded as innocent until proven guilty.

 

Saudi Arabia “has been a very important ally,” Mr. Trump said. He noted again, as he has repeatedly since Mr. Khashoggi’s disappearance, that the kingdom was spending billions of dollars on American weapons.

 

Still, the implication that the Saudi government orchestrated Mr. Khashoggi’s disappearance and possible death has created a stigma around Crown Prince Mohammed, who runs the country.

 

His plan for a financial conference in Riyadh next week has been upended by cancellations from high-profile Western financiers and media organizations. Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, on Wednesday became the latest to scrap plans to attend.

 

In Istanbul, Turkish investigators were allowed to search the residence of the Saudi consul on Wednesday, 15 days after Mr. Khashoggi’s disappearance. The Turks have repeatedly pressed for access to the premises, and they were accompanied on Wednesday by a team of Saudis.

 

Former United States intelligence officials have said they consider their Turkish counterparts both competent and credible when it comes to domestic intelligence gathering, and it would not be surprising if the Turks possessed audio surveillance from within the Saudi Consulate.

 

The Turkish news media has less credibility. Turkish media outlets and newspapers are either government-controlled or owned by pro-government business executives. Censors are often present in newsrooms, and reporters and editors take close instructions from officials in the presidency.

 

Pro-government news organizations may publish incorrect information. But it is highly unlikely that they would publish information about a politically sensitive investigation without the consent of the authorities. So the resumption of disclosures about Mr. Khashoggi’s disappearance is more likely to reflect a decision by the Turkish president than a burst of muckraking zeal.

 

On Wednesday night, The Post published a column by Mr. Khashoggi that was filed by his assistant the day after he disappeared. In it, Mr. Khashoggi criticized government control of the news media in the Arab world. “A state-run narrative dominates the public psyche,” he wrote, “and while many do not believe it, a large majority of the population falls victim to this false narrative.”

 

Matthew Rosenberg and Eileen Sullivan contributed reporting from Washington, and Rick Gladstone from New York.

Audio Offers Gruesome Details of Jamal Khashoggi Killing, Turkish Official Says - The New York Times

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

DACA: DOJ Threatens to go to the Supreme Court, The Justice Department has warned that if the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals doesn’t rule on the program, it’ll take it up to the new conservative Supreme Court majority. - The Atlantic





"The Trump administration wants a decision on DACA from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals by the end of the month—or else it will go to the Supreme Court with Brett Kavanaugh in a new conservative majority. 



On Wednesday, the Justice Department sent a letter to the Ninth Circuit urging that it rule on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, an Obama-era program that shields undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States illegally as children from deportation. The department warned that if the court doesn’t come to a decision by October 31, they would take it up to the Supreme Court.



The high court  previously took up a case on the legality of the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans program (known as DAPA), which, like DACA, protected some undocumented immigrants from deportation. In 2016, the Court, then made up of only eight justices following Justice Antonin Scalia’s death, deadlocked. It’s not clear how a DACA case would be decided by the Court, though Kavanaugh’s arguments in a two immigration cases would suggest that he’d side with conservatives on the issue."



DACA: DOJ Threatens to go to the Supreme Court - The Atlantic

Jake Tapper calls out Trump's 'stunningly dismissive' tone

“Cornerstore Caroline” Falsely Accuses a 9-Year-Old Black Boy of Sexual ...

A History of Crushing Dissent: Before Khashoggi, Saudis Targeted Feminis...

Jeff Sessions Is Transforming Immigration Courts - The Atlantic



"The attorney general has stepped up the hiring of immigration judges, ordered them to hear more cases, and shown a preference for those who’ve previously been prosecutors."


Jeff Sessions Is Transforming Immigration Courts - The Atlantic

Trump's Saudi defense leaves Sanders stunned

'Privilege doesn't protect you': Facebook exec's brother dead after police encounter | US news | The Guardian

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"Chinedu Okobi, who was unarmed and living with mental illness, died after being Tasered near San Francisco
Lois BeckettFirst published on Tue 16 Oct 2018 14.57 EDTThe first news of his death came as a traffic update. El Camino Real, a busy road south of San Francisco, had been closed for hours on 3 October as law enforcement investigated what local news called a “deadly encounter”.

A man was dead after being Tasered by sheriff’s deputies. He was described, in the early reports, only as a “36-year-old black man”, who the sheriff’s department said in a statement had been “running in and out of traffic” early that afternoon and had “assaulted” a sheriff’s deputy who approached him. An investigation was taking place.

Amaka Okobi, 72, saw the news and remembered thinking: “Oh God, I feel so bad for his mother.”
That evening, Amaka, who lives in Pacifica, south of San Francisco, received a visit from the San Mateo coroner’s office. The man on the news was her son.

Chinedu Valentine Okobi was a poet, a devoted father to his 12-year-old daughter, Christina, and a 2003 graduate of Morehouse, the historically black college in Atlanta.

His death has caused agony and a quest for answers as to exactly how and why Chinedu died – answers that, they feel, are not being provided by the police. It has also renewed debate over the deaths of unarmed black men at the hands of law enforcement, especially those with mental illness.

In 2015, more than one in five cases of Americans killed by the police reportedly involved mental health issues, according to The Counted, the Guardian’s investigation into every police killing in the United States in 2015 and 2016. Black males aged 15-34 were nine times more likely than other Americans to be killed by law enforcement officers in 2016, according to data collected for the project.

While the majority of America’s more than 1,000 police killings each year are shootings, dozens of Americans die each year after being tased by the police. In 2015, at least 50 Americans died after being tased by the police, and victims were disproportionately black.

Chinedu had grown up in San Francisco as the youngest son of a Nigerian American family. He had spent the last decade managing serious mental illness, and in the past year, his older sister Ebele Okobi said, his family had grown worried as he seemed to grow more unstable, dropping in and out of contact with them.

Chinedu had been unarmed during his encounter with San Mateo county sheriff’s deputies, the San Mateo district attorney, Steve Wagstaffe, who was investigating his death, told reporters. The public statement from the sheriff’s department suggested deputies had intervened to protect Chinedu from getting injured by traffic, Ebele said.
So why is her brother dead?

Ebele, 44, is a Columbia-trained lawyer who currently works as Facebook’s public policy director for Africa. Her role has included accompanying the Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, on African visits, including a meeting with Nigeria’s president. But her high-profile job and elite connections had not given her the power to keep her younger brother safe.
“That’s the crazy thing: privilege does not protect you in any way,” she said. “I’ve been struck by the responses from people I know: ‘I don’t believe this happened to you.’”

As a black American woman, Ebele said she had lived in fear for years that she would lose someone she loved to police violence.

After the birth of her twins, a son and daughter, she had decided to move her family to London. They moved in 2014. “I don’t have the mental or emotional fortitude to raise a son in America,” she said she had decided. “I don’t have it.”
 Chinedu Okobi at his Morehouse graduation.Chinedu Okobi at his Morehouse graduation. Photograph: Courtesy Okobi familyWagstaffe, the district attorney investigating the incident, had told reporters that Chinedu was 6ft3in tall, and he weighed 330 pounds.

Chinedu had used to joke about his height with his oldest sister, calling her “Little Big Sis”, because she was only 5ft4in. Now, her brother’s height had become a piece of evidence.

In an interview on Monday, the day before a Tuesday morning memorial service for Chinedu in San Francisco, Ebele said that she and had her family had tried to piece together information about Chinedu’s last days, hours and minutes.
What they had found so far were only fragments, she said, and some of the details were conflicting.
“All we know is what we’re piecing together from news reports and from video that people are sending us,” Ebele said. Right now, the family does not even know when and where Chinedu died.

Local law enforcement officials have made no attempt to reach out and are not talking to them, Ebele said. The only contact her family has had with any officials is with the coroner’s office, on the day of her brother’s death, she said.
“Chasing him down and tasing him – there’s a protocol for dealing with people in crisis, and that’s not it,” Ebele said.
Basic facts of Chinedu’s death remain unclear, said John Burris, an Oakland-based civil rights attorney who is representing his family.

“The question is: what was he doing that caused the police to confront him in the first place? There’s no evidence that he was committing any type of crime,” said Burris, who has served as an attorney in multiple high-profile police abuse cases. “How many times was he tased? How many officers tased him?”

A witness video obtained by the family provides a “partial” documentation of Chinedu’s encounter with the sheriff’s deputies, Burris said. “You can see on it that the officers were beating Chinedu, tasing him. We can see that he’s on the ground … he’s shouting ‘What have I done?’ and he finally breaks loose and he starts to run and they catch him,” he said. But then the video breaks off, Burris said.

The video has not yet been released to the public and has not reviewed by the Guardian. Burris said his team was continuing to review the footage and wanted to make sure they understood its full context before releasing it.
Burris is calling on officials to release any videos of the incident.

While there are several witnesses to what happened, “no one saw beginning to end,” Burris said, and they have not identified any witnesses who saw how Chinedu’s encounter with the police began.

The San Mateo county district attorney’s office investigation of Chinedu’s death will take eight to 10 weeks, and “we do not expect to give any information out until that time”, Karen Guidotti, San Mateo county’s chief deputy district attorney, told The Guardian.

Guidotti said prosectors would interview the deputies involved, but she could not comment on whether those interviews had taken place.

The San Mateo county district attorney’s office has named five deputies involved in the incident, all of whom are reportedly on paid leave during the investigation.

“Staff members in critical incidents where a death occurs are routinely placed on paid administrative leave, pending investigation,” Detective Rosemary Blankswade, a spokesperson for the office, said in a statement. Once a district attorney’s investigation is complete, she said, the sheriff’s office “will often conduct a separate administrative investigation” looking at “compliance with our policies”.

“Additional and updated details surrounding the incident are not available at this time in light of the ongoing investigation,” she wrote.

Burris told the Guardian that the lack of information from law enforcement officials was “pretty typical” and that, as always, the lack of basic information about a loved one’s death only added to the family’s pain.
Ebele described her younger brother as someone who had been gregarious, personable, kind, and deeply devoted to his young daughter. He had been passionate about music and slam poetry, and was featured in a 2001 documentary about teenage slam poets, Poetic License, she said.

It was as he was preparing for life after college that Chinedu experienced the onset of serious mental illness, she said. He had been studying for graduate placement exams when he had what Ebele described as a psychotic break. The family brought Chinedu back to California, but struggled to get him a diagnosis and appropriate care.

For the past decade, since 2009, he had been on medication and had built himself “a regular life.” He worked a series of jobs, including at Home Depot, “he took care of his daughter, he paid child support, he went to church”. At different times, he had lived at a halfway house, on his own, with his brother, and with a girlfriend.

Ebele wrote in a tribute to her brother: “We were so proud of him for creating a good and kind life.”
Around December 2017, his family noticed a change in his behavior. Chinedu did not show up to the family’s Christmas, even to see her children visiting from London.

“He just wasn’t himself,” she said.

He wouldn’t return calls, she said. He would send a text, but then not respond back.
Family members thought he had either stopped taking his medication, Ebele said, or that his current medication was no longer working.

Even as he struggled, his daughter, who lived in Tennessee, had remained a priority. He went to see her in May, Ebele said. And one of the final things that he did, the last day before he was killed, was to pay child support.
Another last fragment: “He texted my mother and said, ‘Hello, sunshine,’” Ebele said.

'Privilege doesn't protect you': Facebook exec's brother dead after police encounter | US news | The Guardian

Georgia Election 2018: Seniors ordered off bus for black voters



"Government officials in an east Georgia county told about 40 African-American senior citizens to get off a bus taking them to vote Monday, leading to complaints of voter suppression.

The bus, run by the group Black Voters Matter, was preparing to depart from a senior center operated by Jefferson County when the center’s director said they needed to disembark, said LaTosha Brown, a co-founder of Black Voters Matter.

A county clerk had called the senior center raising concerns about allowing the bus to take residents from the senior center in the city of Louisville, south of Augusta.

“We knew it was an intimidation tactic,” Brown said Tuesday. “It was really unnecessary. These are grown people.”

The senior citizens agreed to get off the bus and cast their ballots later. Monday was the first day of in-person early voting in Georgia in the election for governor between Democrat Stacey Abrams and Republican Brian Kemp.

Jefferson County’s administrator said Tuesday that the county government considered the event at the senior center “political activity,” which isn’t allowed during county-sponsored events.

Black Voters Matter is a nonpartisan group encouraging African-Americans to vote in the election, but the county government considered the event political because Jefferson County Democratic Party Chairwoman Diane Evans helped organize it, County Administrator Adam Brett said in a statement.

“Jefferson County administration felt uncomfortable with allowing senior center patrons to leave the facility in a bus with an unknown third party,” Brett said. “No seniors at the Jefferson County senior center were denied their right to vote.”

ThinkProgress, a progressive news website, first reported the incident Monday.

Black Voters Matter had received permission in advance for the event at the senior center, Brown said. The event was originally intended to encourage seniors to vote, and when some of the seniors asked whether they could ride the bus to an early-voting location, Black Voters Matter agreed to take them.

But someone apparently saw the bus, painted with the words “The South is Rising Tour,” and called county government offices, Brown said. That led to the phone call from the county clerk to the senior center. When they were asked, the senior citizens agreed to leave the bus.

“It was discouraging that they weren’t able to vote,” said Evans, who was on the bus. “When they’re suppressing votes, they’re going to come up with any kind of excuse about what your problem is.”

Evans said the event wasn’t political, nor did its organizers advocate for any candidates. Evans said she helped coordinate the event in her capacity as a private citizen, pastor and community leader, not as the chairwoman of the county’s Democratic Party.

During the event, the senior citizens got excited about voting and they danced near the bus as “Say It Loud — I’m Black and Proud” by James Brown blasted through the speakers, Evans said.

After the seniors got off the bus, they were initially told they could ride in a county van provided by the senior center to go vote, Brown said. But then the seniors had to get off the van because the senior center’s leaders decided it was close to lunchtime, and the seniors could vote another day.

Jefferson County Commission Chairman Mitchell McGraw didn’t respond to an email seeking comment, and the senior citizens who were on the bus couldn’t immediately be located for comment Tuesday. The senior center’s staff routinely arranges public transit options for senior citizens to vote, Brett said.

Despite the obstacles, the senior citizens will find a way to cast their ballots, Brown said.

“The seniors were so resolved. They said: ‘We’re going to vote. Nobody’s going to stop us,’ ” Brown said. “It wasn’t the first time someone has denied them or tried to prevent them from voting.”

Georgia Election 2018: Seniors ordered off bus for black voters