Contact Me By Email


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.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Police Respect Squandered in Attacks on de Blasio - NYTimes.com





Mayor Bill de Blasio has spent weeks expressing his respect and admiration for the New York Police Department, while calling for unity in these difficult days, but the message doesn’t seem to be sinking in.

When he spoke at a police graduation ceremony at Madison Square Garden on Monday, some in the crowd booed and heckled him. This followed the mass back-turning by scores of officers when the mayor spoke on Saturday at the funeral of Officer Rafael Ramos; the virtual back-turning the day before by an airplane-towed banner (“Our backs have turned to you”), and the original spiteful gesture by officers on the night Mr. de Blasio visited the hospital where Officer Ramos and his partner, Wenjian Liu, lay dead.

Mr. de Blasio isn’t going to say it, but somebody has to: With these acts of passive-aggressive contempt and self-pity, many New York police officers, led by their union, are squandering the department’s credibility, defacing its reputation, shredding its hard-earned respect. They have taken the most grave and solemn of civic moments — a funeral of a fallen colleague — and hijacked it for their own petty look-at-us gesture. In doing so, they also turned their backs on Mr. Ramos’s widow and her two young sons, and others in that grief-struck family.

These are disgraceful acts, which will be compounded if anyone repeats the stunt at Officer Liu’s funeral on Sunday.



Police Respect Squandered in Attacks on de Blasio - NYTimes.com

Monday, December 29, 2014

Chris Rock On Police Turning Their Back On Mayor de Blasio

Texas Is Throwing People In Jail For Failing To Pay Back Loans

"At least six people have been jailed in Texas over the past two years for owing money on payday loans, according to a damning new analysis of public court records.

The economic advocacy group Texas Appleseed found that more than 1,500 debtors have been hit with criminal charges in the state -- even though Texas enacted a law in 2012 explicitly prohibiting lenders from using criminal charges to collect debts.

According to Appleseed's review, 1,576 criminal complaints were issued against debtors in eight Texas counties between 2012 and 2014. These complaints were often filed by courts with minimal review and based solely on the payday lender's word and frequently flimsy evidence. As a result, borrowers have been forced to repay at least $166,000, the group found.

Appleseed included this analysis in a Dec. 17 letter sent to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Texas attorney general's office and several other government entities.

It wasn't supposed to be this way. Using criminal courts as debt collection agencies is against federal law, the Texas constitution and the state’s penal code. To clarify the state law, in 2012 the Texas legislature passed legislation that explicitly describes the circumstances under which lenders are prohibited from pursuing criminal charges against borrowers.

It’s quite simple: In Texas, failure to repay a loan is a civil, not a criminal, matter. Payday lenders cannot pursue criminal charges against borrowers unless fraud or another crime is clearly established."

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Bratton Calls Police Officers’ Protest of de Blasio ‘Inappropriate’ - NYTimes.com



This photo shows everything that is wrong with American policing. The level of disrespect for civilian leadership by the field troops of the NYC justice system is appalling. The Eric Garner murder and the so many other police homicides are a direct result of this type of collective policing culture.



John H Armwood

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Ohio Man Imprisoned For 2 Decades Is Acquitted

New Yorkers Defy Mayor's Request To Pause Protests

"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.”

Monday, December 22, 2014

NYC mayor has criticized NYPD policy, but not of police

"While the mayor has been a vocal critic of 'stop and frisk,' a policy that has been around for decades, he has gone out of his way to praise the police corps and its leadership. In addition, as noted by Police Commissioner Bill Bratton during a Monday interview with Today, de Blasio has provided $400 million to the NYPD outside of its normal budget this year for additional training, improved facilities and better technology."

NYC mayor has criticized NYPD policy, but not of police

The unfortunate rush to politicize the NYPD murders | MSNBC

"There is no decency in exploiting murder to advance ideological ends.

 
It is wrong, it is ugly, and it is incumbent on those who think this way to reflect on what’s become of their moral compass.
 
There’s also value in having longer memories. In 2008, Jim David Adkisson walked into a Unitarian church in Tennessee, opened fire, and killed two people while wounding seven others. The shooter said he felt compelled to kill liberals because they’re bad for the country, and police later found books written by Fox News hosts in Adkisson’s home.
 
Was Sean Hannity responsible for these murders? Of course not. Deranged people are capable of horrific acts; their preferred television personalities are not to blame.
 
A year later, in 2009, Richard Poplawski gunned down three police officers in Pittsburgh. He later said he targeted law enforcement because of the non-existent “Obama gun ban” he’d heard about in the media. Were conservative figures who’d carelessly used the ridiculous phrase partially responsible for the death of the three officers? No, they weren’t."






The unfortunate rush to politicize the NYPD murders | MSNBC

White Privilege, Racism, White Denial & The Cost of Inequality YouTube

Tim Wise White Privlige

NYT: Prosecute The Torturers

Friday, December 19, 2014

St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch breaks his silence Admits He Knew Witness 40 Was Lying. DA May Have Suborned Perjury And Obstructed Justice Violating American Bar Association Rule 3.3 | MSNBC



St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch breaks his silence | MSNBC



Rule 3.3: Candor Toward the Tribunal

Advocate
Rule 3.3 Candor Toward The Tribunal

(a) A lawyer shall not knowingly:
(1) make a false statement of fact or law to a tribunal or fail to correct a false statement of material fact or law previously made to the tribunal by the lawyer;
(2) fail to disclose to the tribunal legal authority in the controlling jurisdiction known to the lawyer to be directly adverse to the position of the client and not disclosed by opposing counsel; or
(3) offer evidence that the lawyer knows to be false. If a lawyer, the lawyer’s client, or a witness called by the lawyer, has offered material evidence and the lawyer comes to know of its falsity, the lawyer shall take reasonable remedial measures, including, if necessary, disclosure to the tribunal. A lawyer may refuse to offer evidence, other than the testimony of a defendant in a criminal matter, that the lawyer reasonably believes is false.
(b) A lawyer who represents a client in an adjudicative proceeding and who knows that a person intends to engage, is engaging or has engaged in criminal or fraudulent conduct related to the proceeding shall take reasonable remedial measures, including, if necessary, disclosure to the tribunal.
(c) The duties stated in paragraphs (a) and (b) continue to the conclusion of the proceeding, and apply even if compliance requires disclosure of information otherwise protected by Rule 1.6.
(d) In an ex parte proceeding, a lawyer shall inform the tribunal of all material facts known to the lawyer that will enable the tribunal to make an informed decision, whether or not the facts are adverse.

'Witness 40' for Ferguson grand jury is racist liar: report - NY Daily News

The key witness, who described Michael Brown charging 'like a football player' at Officer Darren Wilson in the moments before the fatal Aug. 9 shooting, has been named as Sandra McElroy, a 45-year-old St. Louis woman and Wilson supporter who likely was not even in Ferguson the day of the shooting. The Smoking Gun report found McElroy, who once lied to police in another high-profile St. Louis case, has a history of racist rants online and was convicted of felony check fraud.



'Witness 40' for Ferguson grand jury is racist liar: report - NY Daily News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Eric Holder opens up about policing and race relations in the US | MSNBC



Eric Holder opens up about policing and race relations in the US | MSNBC

Eric Holder On Racial Issues In America: 'We, As A Nation, Have Failed'

"Reid cited the case of Amadou Diallo, a 23-year-old West African immigrant shot and killed by four NYPD officers in 1999. Diallo was unarmed when he died.

Diallo's death touched off a national uproar, and on Thursday, Reid and Holder noted that things hardly seem to have progressed in the 15 years since.

"What does it say that we essentially are in the same exact place now, so many years later?" asked Reid.

"It means that we, as a nation, have failed," Holder replied. "It's as simple as that. We have failed."

Eric Holder On Racial Issues In America: 'We, As A Nation, Have Failed'

"Reid cited the case of Amadou Diallo, a 23-year-old West African immigrant shot and killed by four NYPD officers in 1999. Diallo was unarmed when he died.

Diallo's death touched off a national uproar, and on Thursday, Reid and Holder noted that things hardly seem to have progressed in the 15 years since.

"What does it say that we essentially are in the same exact place now, so many years later?" asked Reid.

"It means that we, as a nation, have failed," Holder replied. "It's as simple as that. We have failed."

Timeline Black History Slavery Ended in 1865, not 1942

"1941 -  Dec 19, US Attorney General Francis Biddle issued Circular No. 3591 to all federal prosecutors to drop references to peonage and label such files as “Involuntary Servitude and Slavery.” This was in response to Pres. Roosevelt’s fear that mistreatment of blacks would be used in propaganda by Japan and Germany."  This and the final prosecution under the peonage statute in 1942 marked the end of slavery in the United States.   I dare you to find one in a hundred Americans who know that slavery actually ended in 1942".  Most Americans are clueless concerning American history because like in Japan mythology, not history is taught in the schools.



Timeline Black History

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Poll: 57 Percent of Americans Say Race Relations in U.S. Are Bad - NBC News.com

No kidding, when will Americans wake up and stop wishing this divide will go away. It is structural and permanent. It is the glue that holds the America class structure of inequality together. White Privilege is the basis of the social contract between the wealthy and working and middle class whites.



Poll: 57 Percent of Americans Say Race Relations in U.S. Are Bad - NBC News.com

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Jon Stewart blasts Dick Cheney’s outrageous torture denial - Salon.com


Jon Stewart blasts Dick Cheney’s outrageous torture denial - Salon.com

City Comptroller Seeks to Settle Civil Rights Claim by Eric Garner’s Family - NYTimes.com

A spokesman for the Law Department, Nicholas Paolucci, said: “The comptroller has the authority to settle claims against the city before a lawsuit is filed. We trust that he will exercise that authority wisely. As always, the Law Department is available to consult with the comptroller in connection with any settlement of this matter,” referring to the Garner family’s claim.

Mr. Stringer — who, like Mayor de Blasio, a fellow Democrat, won a landslide victory last fall — said he saw the Law Department as a partner. But he added, “Not all cases should be litigated.”

“At some point, you have to look at the process holistically,” he said, adding that early settlement of a meritorious claim can save the city money in terms of the settlement cost itself, litigation costs, legal fees, interest and administrative costs. “And you also have an opportunity to bring closure and security to those who have been wronged,” Mr. Stringer said."

City Comptroller Seeks to Settle Civil Rights Claim by Eric Garner’s Family - NYTimes.com

Sunday, December 14, 2014

March against police violence underway in DC | MSNBC



March against police violence underway in DC | MSNBC

What it takes to build a movement | MSNBC



What it takes to build a movement | MSNBC

What Happened When Two Students, One Black and One White, Participated in a Peaceful Protest | Rev. Shawn Torres

We are two students -- one black, one white -- at Union Theological Seminary, an institution historically and presently committed to fighting against injustice through faith and action. We were outraged by the non-indictment in the case of Eric Garner, which is only the most recent example of our law enforcement's lack of accountability for violent action, particularly when said violence is committed against communities of color.

On Friday night, we participated in a peaceful protest march calling for change. Together we lay in Macy's, in Grand Central, and on the wet, cold ground of Bryant Park. Together we marched through the streets of our city, demanding that justice be served against those sworn to protect and serve when they so egregiously violate this promise. The march ended on the FDR when we stood together, arm-in-arm, as riot police charged. 

We linked arms to show that neither of us stood alone. We linked our arms to show our solidarity in the fight against injustice, police brutality and the slaying of black bodies. We loudly proclaimed that black lives matter.

Up to this point in our story we acted identically, we acted in unison and we committed the same acts of civil disobedience. It is at point in the story, however, that our narratives sharply diverged. Ironically so, as this treatment only underscored the unfortunate truth we had taken to the streets to protest: black and white bodies are not treated equally.
As a line of riot cops approached, two officers broke off and headed directly toward us. Both of them went after the black one of us, Shawn, forcefully ripping us apart. A few seconds later an officer grabbed Ben, the white one of us, and threw him to the ground.

Then the officer leaned over and whispered in Ben's ear, "Just get out of here."

No such offer was made to Shawn. Ben stood up, suddenly and bewilderingly free, and saw Shawn being dragged off towards the police vans. Unwilling to abandon his friend, Ben waited until he, too, was arrested -- at which point the person who had cuffed him sought out someone else to officially take him in.

In the mean time, as Shawn spoke with his arresting officer another officer accused him of "making smart remarks" and charged into the back of the police holding van. Afraid and feeling physically threatened, Shawn yelled "I am not saying anything smart!" The officer backed off, and eventually Ben joined him in the van.

At the station Shawn had his 2.5-inch round Union Seminary button removed because it could be used as a weapon. Ben kept his. With a broken phone in the holding cell, we each asked our arresting officers to make a phone call on our behalf. Ben's officer made the call, Shawn's officer declined. Another officer entered the cell to speak with us, and referred to Latinos as the "real thugs," intensifying an already unsafe atmosphere for Shawn, who is half Puerto Rican.

Looking at the story of our arrests we find both commonality and difference. We both peacefully surrendered to the police and we both found our peaceful surrender met with violent response. This did not surprise either of us, but our lack surprise is indicative of how normative it has become for police to use violence as a first response instead of as a last resort.

More pressing than this commonality, though, is the difference in our experiences. At a protest of how the law treats white and black bodies differently, police treated our white and black bodies differently. 

At the end of the day, this difference did not end tragically for either of us. We were not seriously hurt and were released from jail later that evening. However, in the case of Eric Garner and far too many black bodies in this country, this difference in perception is fatal.

Justice may be blind, but the officers who enforce it are most certainly not.

We emerge from this encounter united. As Christian ministers the book that gives rise to both of our faith centers around the story of a man killed at the hands of the state and the promise that this death is not, and cannot be, the final word. We will continue to speak out as long as we see bodies killed at the hands of a state that refuses to indict those responsible. We will continue to speak out as long as black and white bodies experience unequal treatment at the hands of the law. We will speak for those bodies whose voices were violently stolen from them.

Death will not be the final word.


What Happened When Two Students, One Black and One White, Participated in a Peaceful Protest | Rev. Shawn Torres

Friday, December 12, 2014

A Single Factual Error - The Daily Show - Video Clip | Comedy Central



A Single Factual Error - The Daily Show - Video Clip | Comedy Central

Noam Chomsky on Syria, China, Capitalism, and Ferguson

A Victory For Ferguson Protesters

" By Carey Gillam

Dec 11 (Reuters) - A federal judge on Thursday ordered St. Louis area police to issue warnings and give crowds reasonable time disperse before firing tear gas, following complaints by activists over heavy-handed police tactics during ongoing race-related protests.

The protests erupted in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson in August after white Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown, an African-American who was unarmed.

U.S. District Judge Carol Jackson delivered the ruling after hearing arguments in a lawsuit filed by a group of protesters against local and state police officials in Missouri.

In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs said children and elderly people were within the crowds when police launched tear gas without warning, boxed in demonstrators making it hard for them to leave the area, and failed to wear visible identification.

The judge did not grant all of the conditions sought by protesters, including one seeking an order that tear gas be used only as a "last resort to prevent significant threats to public safety."

The complaint filed Monday names as defendants St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson, St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar, and Missouri Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson."

Noam Chomsky discusses Ferguson: “This is a very racist society; it’s pretty shocking” -
Salon.com

"There are prospects, but it is going to be very hard. This is a very racist society; it’s pretty shocking. What has happened with regard to African-Americans in the last 30 years actually is very similar to what Blackmon describes happening in the late 19th century."

"The constitutional amendments after the Civil War that were supposed to free African-American slaves -- it did something for about 10 years, then there was a North-South compact that granted the former slave-owning states the right to do whatever they wanted. And what they did was criminalize black life, in all kinds of ways, and that created a kind of slave force ... It threw mostly black males into jail, where they became a perfect labor force, much better than slaves.”

“If you’re a slave owner, you have to pay for — you have to keep your ‘capital’ alive. But if the state does it for you, that’s terrific. No strikes, no disobedience, the perfect labor force. A lot of the American Industrial Revolution in the late 19th, early 20th century was based on that. It pretty much lasted until the Second World War, when there was a need for free labor."

"After that, African-Americans had about two decades in which they had a shot at entering society. A black worker could get a job in an auto plant, the unions were still functioning, and he could buy a small house and send his kid to college. But by the 1970s and 1980s it’s going back to the criminalization of black life."

"It’s called the drug war, and it’s a racist war. Ronald Reagan was an extreme racist — though he denied it — and the whole drug war is designed, from policing, to eventual release from prison, to make it impossible for black men and, increasingly, more and more women and hispanics to be part of society."

"In fact, if you look at American history, the first slaves came over in 1619, and that’s half a millennium. There have only been three or four decades in which African-Americans have had a limited degree of freedom — not entirely, but at least some."

He continues later:

"They have been re-criminalized and turned into a slave labor force — that’s prison labor. This is American history. To break out of that is no small trick."

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Recommended read from Salon.com: Death by cunnilingus

"A Brazilian woman has been accused of trying to kill her husband by putting poison in her vagina and asking him to have oral sex with her.

The intended victim -- identified only as a 43-year-old man from Sao de Jose Rio Preto -- knew something was going on when he noticed an unfamiliar odor coming from his wife's freshly poisoned nether region."

Monday, December 08, 2014

DN! WATCH: "The Assassination of Fred Hampton: How the FBI and Chicago Police Murdered a Black Panther"

Today marks the 45th anniversary of the death of Black Panther leader Fred Hampton. On December 4, 1969, Chicago police raided Hampton’s apartment and shot and killed him in his bed. He was just 21 years old. Black Panther leader Mark Clark was also killed in the raid. While authorities claimed the Panthers had opened fire on the police who were there to serve a search warrant for weapons, evidence later emerged that told a very different story: that the FBI, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office and the Chicago police conspired to assassinate Fred Hampton. In this 2009 interview from the Democracy Now! archive, Amy Goodman and Juan Gonz├ílez speak with attorney Jeffrey Haas, author of The Assassination of Fred Hampton: How the FBI and the Chicago Police Murdered a Black Panther.





DN!

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Why Ferguson Burns | The Nation

"To begin with, let's talk about the near impunity with which law-enforcement agents in this country shoot, choke and beat unarmed civilians. This epidemic of lawful violence has become so routine that we lack even accurate statistics about it. By one count, on-duty police officers committed 3 percent of all homicides last year. A more expansive study by the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement found that in 2012, a black person was killed by a police officer, security guard or self-appointed vigilante every twenty-eight hours.

As Chase Madar points out at TheNation.com, state and federal law gives wide latitude to police officers to use deadly force in self-defense, or merely in carrying out an arrest, if such force is "objectively reasonable." In practice, that standard means police accounts are almost always taken as truth, even if eyewitness testimony or forensic evidence points to a different reality. And as recent cases remind us, when the suspect has dark skin, what counts as an "objectively reasonable" use of force by police may be prompted by a toy gun, a loose cigarette, the symptoms of mental illness, or a person simply walking into the darkened stairwell of his own building. This two-tiered system of justice—one for civilians, the other for law enforcement—must end."

Thursday, December 04, 2014

If our grief were colorblind - Opinion - The News Herald

" The Cleveland murderer cop had bad record as a cop.  "Initially, Loehmann was depicted as a young cop who, according to an interview with his father, had left a suburban police force for Cleveland's because he wanted more action.

On the day of Tamir's funeral, that suburban police department, in Independence, Ohio, released Loehmann's personnel file, revealing a far more troubling story behind his December 2012 departure.

From Deputy Chief Jim Polak's Nov. 29, 2012, letter in Loehmann's personnel file:

"It appears from the pattern developing within our short time frame with Ptl. Loehmann that he often feels that when told to do something, that those instructions are optional, and that he can manipulate them if he so feels it can better serve him. I do not say he is doing this for some benefit, or in an insubordinate way, but he just appears to have the mind set that if he thinks he knows better, (then) that is the course he follows.

"Due to his dangerous loss of composure during live range training and his inability to manage this personal stress, I do not believe Ptl. Loehmann shows the maturity needed to work in our employment.

"Unfortunately in law enforcement there are times when instructions need (to) be followed to the letter, and I am under the impression Ptl. Loehmann, under certain circumstances, will not react in the way instructed. ...

"...I am recommending he be released from the employment of the City of Independence. I do not believe time, nor training, will be able to change or correct these deficiencies."

NYC protests over Eric Garner case resume for second night - NY Daily News

"Protesters flood Manhattan for second night to oppose grand jury’s ruling not to indict NYPD cop in chokehold death of Eric Garner
By 6 p.m., at least 3,000 demonstrators had gathered in Foley Square. They shouted ‘Justice! Now!’ and ‘Black Lives Matter!’ and held signs to reveal their anger toward a Staten Island grand jury. More demonstrators flocked to Union Square for a peaceful march. Demonstrations were also breaking out in Washington, D.C., Chicago and Atlanta."

Article claims ‘proof’ Ofc. Wilson had to shoot | MSNBC



Article claims ‘proof’ Ofc. Wilson had to shoot | MSNBC: 17

Joe: Garner decision is outrageous | MSNBC



Joe: Garner decision is outrageous | MSNBC

Justice in America | MSNBC



Justice in America | MSNBC

Justice in America | MSNBC



Justice in America | MSNBC

Mo. Atty. Gen: change deadly force law | MSNBC



Mo. Atty. Gen: change deadly force law | MSNBC

NYC mayor sees Garner ruling through 'a personal lens' | MSNBC




NYC mayor sees Garner ruling through 'a personal lens' | MSNBC

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Staten Island, Home Is Where The Hatred Is

In three weeks I will be staying a couple of miles from where Mr. Eric Garner was murdered on tape on tape where I grew up on Staten Island. I hated living on Staten Island due to the pervasive racism and move away when I was 21. My two Black friends and I were pulled over with no legal basis even asserted by the police 8 times in a row on Hylan Blvd. In direct violation of the 1968 Terry v Ohio Supreme Court case.  I and my two friends were harassed and followed by these police.  None of us ever had got in trouble with the law.  Unlike these police we were in college and all received graduate degrees from excellent,  highly rated schools.  Unlike these cops we spoke English properly.  Unlike the cops we had good grades in school so we never would have considered being a cop even if there were Black cops on Staten Island in the 60s and 70s. We only knew of one named DeQhilla.. For me,  Staten Island. Holds at of painful memories of racial violence,  racism in practice and students in school who engaged in racial violence and taunts.  As Gill Scott Heron wrote "Home is where the hatred is". My left was shut for three weeks after a racial attack by Gary Felini and Sal. De Falco at Richmond Town Prep on Staten Island where the school administrators did nothing about it,  they gave me a towel and I had to wait for the old 113 Bus,  which ran every half hour to take me or the HIP HMO on Targee Street in October of 1969. Staten Island has always been the most racist part of NYC and still is.

White People Have A Problem This murderous police cases and the emperialistic U. S. Military are the reason why I have not pledge allegiance to the United States and never will nor will I sing the Star Spangled Banner. In the last ninety days look at how many Black people java been murdered by police and white jurors refuse to charge them. This is a white problem. White people of good heart you have a 400 year old problem with your people on this continent. When are you going to deal with your tribes? This is your problem. These are your people. Only you can do something about this by not remaining silent. Unfortunately not enough of you are standing up and handling your problem.

Black people have no rights which white people are bound to respect in America

No indictment for cop in chokehold death of Eric Garner | MSNBC

"New York City lawmakers including Reps. Hakeem Jeffries, Charlie Rangel, Nydia Velazquez, Gregory Meeks and Yvette Clarke held a press conference on Capitol Hill to renew their call for federal civil rights investigation into the case. “We have a problem America has to confront. We can’t run away from it any further,” Jeffries said, noting that he is the father of two black sons.

“I don’t know what to say to them about this,” Jeffries said."

Police Body Cameras Could Come to New York City Soon - NYTimes.com

"Mayor Bill de Blasio on Wednesday announced that the New York Police Department was accelerating its efforts to eventually outfit nearly every patrol officer on the force with body cameras.

With communities across the nation wrestling with questions about police conduct and struggling to bolster public trust in law enforcement after the unrest in Ferguson, Mo., Mr. de Blasio said the cameras would provide a sense of accountability and transparency.

Officers in several precincts could be wearing the cameras as soon as Friday.

Mr. de Blasio, speaking at a news conference at the police academy in Queens, said the cameras would “fundamentally change” the way the police and community interact."

Monday, December 01, 2014

NYTimes: Crime and Punishment

"A September report by the Sentencing Project found that “white Americans overestimate the proportion of crime committed by people of color, and associate people of color with criminality.” For some crimes, the overestimation was “by 20-30 percent.”

This is particularly significant in light of the fact that Americans overestimate the presence of crime in general. As a Gallup report pointed out recently: “For more than a decade, Gallup has found the majority of Americans believing crime is up, although actual crime statistics have largely shown the crime rate continuing to come down from the highs in the 1990s and earlier.”

If we continue to think that crime is up, data be damned, and we associate people of color with that crime, of course our concepts of guilt, innocence, veracity and compassion in encounters between police and people of color will be affected.

This is not to say that statistics don’t tell us that crime rates are disproportionately high in minority neighborhoods, but rather than ascribe that to some racial pathology — and doing so is racist on its face — we must consider the intersection of race and concentrated poverty, which is attended by everything from poorer-performing schools to fewer job opportunities."