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.
Thursday, April 30, 2015
Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Police were forcing busses to stop and unload all their passengers. Then, [Frederick Douglass High School] students, in huge herds, were trying to leave on various busses but couldn't catch any because they were all shut down. No kids were yet around except about 20, who looked like they were waiting for police to do something. The cops, on the other hand, were in full riot gear, marching toward any small social clique of students…It looked as if there were hundreds of cops.
Eyewitnesses: The Baltimore Riots Didn't Start the Way You Think | Mother Jones
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Monday, April 27, 2015
"Our Nation Is Moving Toward Two Societies, One Black, One White--Separate and Unequal": Excerpts from the Kerner Report
“Our Nation Is Moving Toward Two Societies, One Black, One White—Separate and Unequal”: Excerpts from the Kerner Report
"Our Nation Is Moving Toward Two Societies, One Black, One White--Separate and Unequal": Excerpts from the Kerner Report
"For instance, according to the Maryland Historical Society Library: “Mary Denston, the elderly wife of a Somerset County farmer, was returning to her home in Princess Anne on the morning of October 17, 1933 when she was attacked by an assailant. A manhunt quickly began for the alleged perpetrator, 22-year-old African-American George Armwood. He was soon arrested and charged with felonious assault. By 5:00 pm, an angry mob of local white residents had gathered outside the Salisbury jail where the suspect had been taken. In order to protect Armwood from the increasingly hostile crowd, state police transferred him to Baltimore. But just as quickly he was returned to Somerset County. After assuring Maryland Governor Albert Ritchie that Armwood’s safety would be guaranteed, Somerset County officials transferred Armwood to the jail house in Princess Anne, with tragic consequences.
The report continued: “Sources are conflicting regarding many of the details of the assault on Denston and the subsequent murder of George Armwood, but what is certain is that on the evening of October 18 a mob of a thousand or more people stormed into the Princess Anne jail house and hauled Armwood from his cell down to the street below. Before he was hung from a tree some distance away, Armwood was dragged through the streets, beaten, stabbed, and had one ear hacked off. Armwood’s lifeless body was then paraded through the town, finally ending up near the town’s courthouse, where the mob doused the corpse with gasoline and set it on fire.”
As Baltimore’s Afro-American newspaper reported at the time, in addition to Armwood’s blackened skin, mutilated face and missing ear, his tongue was “clenched between his teeth,” giving “evidence of his great agony before death.” It continued: “There is no adequate description of the mute evidence of gloating on the part of whites who gathered to watch the effect upon our people.”
Additionally, according to the historical society, there were 32 lynchings in Maryland between 1882 and 1931."
Excerpt from Charles Blow's column about a family member.
"For instance, according to the Maryland Historical Society Library: “Mary Denston, the elderly wife of a Somerset County farmer, was returning to her home in Princess Anne on the morning of October 17, 1933 when she was attacked by an assailant. A manhunt quickly began for the alleged perpetrator, 22-year-old African-American George Armwood. He was soon arrested and charged with felonious assault. By 5:00 pm, an angry mob of local white residents had gathered outside the Salisbury jail where the suspect had been taken. In order to protect Armwood from the increasingly hostile crowd, state police transferred him to Baltimore. But just as quickly he was returned to Somerset County. After assuring Maryland Governor Albert Ritchie that Armwood’s safety would be guaranteed, Somerset County officials transferred Armwood to the jail house in Princess Anne, with tragic consequences.”
Sunday, April 26, 2015
"About a dozen Native American actors quit the set of a new Adam Sandler film, produced by Netflix, to protest the script's portrayal of Apache culture and what the actors claim are racist jokes about native women and elders."
"Discussions about gender inequality in the workplace often assume that women aren’t sure about their ability to lead or don’t want to shoot for high-profile positions. But a new report suggests that such uncertainties are less common with black women than with white women — and that black women may face other barriers that keep them out of high-level jobs.
Twenty-two percent of black women want a powerful job with a prestigious title, compared with just 8 percent of white women, according to the report, released this week by the Center for Talent Innovation, a nonprofit organization that focuses on diversity in the workplace."
"A Florida woman not-so-respectfully disagreed with just about everything a U.S. district court judge represents in an epic, profanity-laced court document filed this week in Atlanta.
Saturday, April 25, 2015
"An analysis in The Times — “1.5 Million Missing Black Men” — showed that more than one in every six black men in the 24-to-54 age group has disappeared from civic life, mainly because they died young or are locked away in prison. This means that there are only 83 black men living outside of jail for every 100 black women — in striking contrast to the white population, where men and women are about equal in numbers.
This astounding shortfall in black men translates into lower marriage rates, more out-of-wedlock births, a greater risk of poverty for families and, by extension, less stable communities. The missing men should be a source of concern to political leaders and policy makers everywhere.
While the 1.5 million number is startling, it actually understates the severity of the crisis that has befallen African-American men since the collapse of the manufacturing and industrial centers, which was quickly followed by the “war on drugs” and mass imprisonment, which drove up the national prison population more than sevenfold beginning in the 1970s."
"In death, Mr. Gray, 25, has become the latest symbol in the running national debate over police treatment of black men — all the more searing, people here say, in a city where the mayor and police commissioner are black.
Questions are swirling around just what happened to Mr. Gray, who died here Sunday — a week after he was chased and restrained by police officers, and suffered a spine injury, which later killed him, in their custody. The police say they have no evidence that their officers used force. A lawyer for Mr. Gray’s family accuses the department of a cover-up, and on Tuesday the Justice Department opened a civil rights inquiry into his death."
"The commissioner, Anthony W. Batts, said during a news conference that officers should have called for an ambulance when Mr. Gray, 25, was first arrested, not about 50 minutes later when he was at the police station.
“We know that police employees failed to get him medical attention in a timely manner,” Mr. Batts said.
Mr. Batts also acknowledged that the officers had violated department procedure by not putting a seatbelt on Mr. Gray while he was being transported.
“We know he was not buckled in the transportation wagon as he should have been,” Mr. Batts said. “No excuses for that. Period.”
Friday, April 24, 2015
The Grahams have always been at the back of the line when it comes to human rights. "Graham is the son of Billy Graham, an Evangelical Christian and missionary and an outspoken opponent of gay rights. Although Graham was against Marvel's decision to make Iceman gay, most people have responded positively, according to Marvel Comics Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso.
"The report concludes Bates didn't receive special treatment for admittance into the program because no one fully met internal standards at that time. It did, however, find that Bates — a longtime friend of the sheriff — received special treatment once admitted that included department leaders ignoring complaints about his performance."
Thursday, April 23, 2015
"It found that from 1957 until 2013, more than 90 percent of these legal “events” occurred in jurisdictions that were required to preclear their voting changes. The study also provides evidence that the number of successful voting-rights suits has gone down in recent years, not because there is less discrimination, but because several Supreme Court decisions have made them harder to win.
Mr. Kousser acknowledges that the law’s formula, created without the benefit of years of data, was a “blunt tool” that focused on voter turnout and clearly discriminatory practices like literacy tests. Still, he says, the statistics show that for almost a half century it “succeeded in accurately homing in on the counties where the vast majority of violations would take place.”
"Marissa Holcomb was hard at work at a Popeye's in Texas. She was in the midst of one of the busiest shifts of the week when a gunman with a stocking cap entered the store, jumped over the counter and robbed the clerk at gunpoint. Unable to open the safes, she opened the registers and the thief made of with roughly $400. Did she receive praise for handing over the cash and surviving the ordeal? Nah:
Marissa claimed that after the robbery, one of her managers gave her a choice to either pay the money back or get fired.
"I don't think it's right because now I'm struggling for my family because what I had to do to keep my life"
Just days after she refused, she was fired for violating store policy:"
"Tuesday in Phoenix, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's civil contempt hearing began, and the first day was a doozie. US District Judge Murray Snow ordered Sheriff Arpaio to appear at the hearing because the bigoted blowhard had arrogantly defied the judge's orders following Melendres v. Arpaio. In that 2007 incident, argued by the ACLU, the court found that the sheriff's office did indeed use race as a determining factor in traffic stops and other detainments, the very definition of racial profiling.
Following the Melendres verdict in 2011, which was upheld by the 9th Circuit Court a year later, in 2013 Judge Snow ordered three major reforms: Arpaio must end his infamous immigration roundups (neighborhood "sweeps"), turn over video evidence from traffic stops, and install a court-appointed monitor to oversee compliance. Arpaio did none of this; in fact, he destroyed video evidence and continued his sweeps. Having run out of patience, last month Judge Snow, a George W. Bush appointee, ordered Arpaio and several key deputies to appear at this week's four-day contempt hearing."
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Judge acquits Chicago cop in fatal off-duty shooting, sparking anger - Chicago Tribune
Tuesday, April 21, 2015
"WASHINGTON, April 21 (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday placed a new limit on when police can use drug-sniffing dogs, ruling the dogs cannot be employed after a routine traffic stop has been completed if there is no reasonable suspicion about the presence of drugs in the vehicle."
Monday, April 20, 2015
Police chief speaks out on cop ramming videoMarana, Arizona Police Chief Terry Rozema speaks to Chris Hayes about the shocking dashcam video, released this week, showing one of his officers appearing to deliberately run down a suspect with his police cruiser.
"In a surprise move Monday, a Cook County judge threw out all the charges against a veteran Chicago police detective who was on trial for fatally shooting a woman during an off-duty incident in March 2012.
Moments before the defense was to put on its evidence in the bench trial, Judge Dennis Porter ruled that prosecutors failed to prove that Dante Servin acted recklessly, saying the shooting was an intentional act.
Under Illinois law, Porter held that a person who shoots a gun in the direction of an intended victim cannot be convicted of involuntary manslaughter but only first degree murder. Anytime a person points a gun at their intended victim and shoots, it is intentional act, not a reckless one, he said."
"The video from the camera attached to the officer's stun gun shows how David Kassick died, authorities say: two bullets, four seconds apart, fired into his back as he lay face down.
Two months before a police officer was captured on video shooting a South Carolina motorist eight times in the back, Kassick was killed by a Pennsylvania officer who is now charged with criminal homicide.
"I think it would be impossible not to see some similarities between the two, inasmuch as the manner in which both individuals are shot," said Christopher Slusser, a lawyer working for Kassick's family who has viewed the video.
Unlike the video in the South Carolina case, which has itself resulted in a murder charge, the footage recorded by Hummelstown police Officer Lisa Mearkle's stun gun has not been released. Attorneys for the officer want to keep it that way: they asked a judge on Friday to bar the prosecution from releasing it."
"Tyrus Byrd, a former city clerk, was officially sworn in as mayor on Tuesday after beating incumbent Randall Ramsey. Ramsey had served as mayor of Parma for 37 years under two terms.
The outgoing mayor said five of the city's six police officers submitted their resignation, citing "safety concerns." Parma's city attorney, clerk and water treatment supervisor also quit."
Sunday, April 19, 2015
Saturday, April 18, 2015
"IT’S been called “America’s most ‘open’ secret”: According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, around 80,000 women and men a year are sexually abused in American correctional facilities. That number is almost certainly subject to underreporting, through shame or a victim’s fear of retaliation."
"The weight of this revelation cannot be overstated.
While any protestor in Ferguson would tell you that they certainly felt like they were viewed as "the enemy" by police and the military, it's now a matter of official record and this is not okay. American protestors must never be viewed as adversaries, but as citizens to be protected."
Friday, April 17, 2015
"In our not-so-distant history, many Americans conceded the legitimacy of black struggle only because its leaders brilliantly staged protests for the world to see. White citizens struggled to digest their meals in peace as scenes from Selma’s blood bath, for instance, flashed on their television screens.
But the optics of race are tricky. Today, the proliferation of social media may allow us to see more, but it doesn’t necessarily allow us to see more clearly. For example, with the exception of interracial dating, polls show that millennials hold many of the same racially warped views as generation Xers and baby boomers do. Stereotypical representations of blackness, some authored by blacks and disseminated on reality TV, are still accepted as the norm.
Problems arise when images of blackness contradict a received racial script. That’s why it was easier for some to believe that the video footage of Michael Brown stealing cigarillos before he died in Ferguson more accurately communicated his character as a “thug” than to believe that the last gasps of Eric Garner were the pleas of an unjustly assaulted man. We can’t believe what we see because it contradicts what we’ve been led to believe is true."
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Tuesday, April 14, 2015
Recommended read from Salon.com: Black people are not here to teach you: What so many white Americans just can't grasp
"[People of color] are expected to educate white people as to our humanity. Women are expected to educate men. Lesbians and gay men are expected to educate the heterosexual world. The oppressors maintain their position and evade their responsibility for their own actions. —Audre Lorde
The Walter Scott outrage nobody is talking about - Salon.com Until the eight shots heard ’round the world, cops in North Charleston, South Carolina, were primarily distinguished by their zesty use of Tasers
"Until the eight shots heard ’round the world, cops in North Charleston,
South Carolina, were primarily distinguished by their zesty use of Tasers.
As computed by a local newspaper in 2006, cops there used Tasers 201
times in an 18-month period, averaging once every 40 hours in one six-
month stretch and disproportionately upon African Americans.
The Charleston Post & Courier did the tally after the death of a mentally ill
man named Kip Black, who was tasered six times on one occasion and
nine times on another. Black died immediately after the second jolting,
though the coroner set the cause of death as cocaine-fueled “excited
"Despite emotional pleas for leniency, Judge Jerry W. Baxter of Fulton County Superior Court imposed sentences ranging from one to seven years, with three high-level administrators getting the longer prison terms. The sentences appeared to be more harsh than educators convicted of similar incidents elsewhere and exceeded what criminals can get for some violent crimes."
"The case against Mr. Hargrave was built, in part, on the work of Detective Louis Scarcella and his partner, Stephen W. Chmil, and it is one of dozens of cases that have come under review since accusations emerged that Mr. Scarcella once framed an innocent man.
The scrutiny of Mr. Scarcella’s work has led the Brooklyn district attorney’s office to move to have several convictions thrown out, but this ruling marks a first time that a judge has conducted an independent review of a Scarcella case and found profound problems.
Justice ShawnDya L. Simpson of State Supreme Court offered a scathing review of Mr. Scarcella’s record, finding that his work as a detective fundamentally compromised the defendant’s right to a fair trial."
Monday, April 13, 2015
Sunday, April 12, 2015
"CHARLESTON, S.C. — The Rev. Al Sharpton on Sunday will urge the South Carolina authorities to prosecute a black police officer for his conduct in the aftermath of the April 4 shooting death of Walter L. Scott.
“Given what I’ve seen, he certainly should be held accountable,” Mr. Sharpton said in an interview here on Saturday night. “What charge, I don’t know. But certainly he should not walk away without facing some accountability in the criminal justice system.”
The officer, Clarence Habersham, did not fire any rounds at Mr. Scott and arrived on the scene in North Charleston shortly after the confrontation between Mr. Scott and Officer Michael T. Slager, who was charged with murder after a video that showed him shooting Mr. Scott as he fled on foot became public."
Saturday, April 11, 2015
Clearly this officer's training record demonstrates that racist attitudes among police officers cannot be trained away. We need a zero tolerance policy for biased police. Unlike this South Carolina case, the Staten Island NY Eric Garner case demonstrates we are a long way from reaching that goal.
North Charleston Prepares for Mourning and Protest in Walter Scott Shooting - NYTimes.com
The rarity likely occurred because the two companies weren't launching competing products for once. Just a few months ago at the Consumer Electronics Show, the two conglomerates blasted each others' TV strategy, at odds over OLED and LCD screen technology. The two chaebols were embroiled in legal proceedings over an allegedly vandalized washing machine. Though this particular chapter has come to a close, the rivalry itself has gone on for 50 years.
The chaebols: Samsung and LG's 50-year 'star wars' - CNET
Friday, April 10, 2015
Thursday, April 09, 2015
Tweet from @chrislhayes @chrislhayes: SC law requires only *one* working tail light. Walter Scott had two. He was stopped anyway.
Gay conversion therapy survivor speaks about experienceAs the White House calls for a state-level ban on therapy aimed at “converting” or “repairing” LGBT youth, Alex Wagner talks with Matthew Shurka, the spokesperson for NCLR's Born Perfect campaign, and a survivor of gay conversion therapy.
"BOSTON -- The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit ruled unanimously late Friday that Simon Glik had a right to videotape police in action on Boston Common. Mr. Glik sued three police officers and the City of Boston for violating his civil rights after police arrested him and charged him with illegal wiretapping, aiding the escape of a prisoner, and disturbing the peace--all for merely holding up his cell phone and openly recording Boston police officers who were punching another man on Boston Common in October 2007. As a defense, the police argued the law was not clear, but the Court decisively rejected their claim of immunity from being sued.
"This is a resounding victory for the First Amendment right to openly record police officers carrying out their duties in a public place," said Sarah Wunsch, ACLU of Massachusetts staff attorney. "It will be influential around the country in other cases where people have been arrested for videotaping the conduct of the police," said Wunsch.
"Police officers must be trained to respect the right of people to openly record their actions in public," said David Milton, a Boston attorney representing Mr. Glik for the ACLU in the civil rights suit. "Simon did what we hope any engaged citizen would do, which was documenting what he thought looked like an improper use of force, and his action in no way interfered with the police."
“Whatever happened, this suspect was running away,” said Stephen A. Saltzburg, a professor at the George Washington University Law School in Washington and a former deputy assistant attorney general in the criminal division of the Justice Department. “That is, the suspect was trying to avoid the officer. It is highly doubtful that the officer could legitimately claim that he thought that the suspect posed a danger to the life or the serious health of anybody else in the community.”
Wednesday, April 08, 2015
"Nevada prison guards created a "gladiator-like scenario" to let two handcuffed inmates fight before a corrections officer trainee fired four shotgun blasts, killing one of the prisoners and wounding the other, according to a lawsuit.
An attorney for the family of slain inmate Carlos Manuel Perez Jr. characterized the Nov. 12 shooting at High Desert State Prison as an execution.
State officials declined to comment, citing the pending lawsuit filed Tuesday in state court in Las Vegas."
"For many in a city that has long had a troubled relationship between the police and black residents, it was proof not just of a possible crime but of a pattern of abuse — a concern that mirrors many of the issues over policing that have played out nationally."
Tuesday, April 07, 2015
A Million Gays to Deny in the Midwest - The Daily Show - Video Clip | Comedy Central
Sunday, April 05, 2015
"THE drama in Indiana last week and the larger debate over so-called religious freedom laws in other states portray homosexuality and devout Christianity as forces in fierce collision.
They’re not — at least not in several prominent denominations, which have come to a new understanding of what the Bible does and doesn’t decree, of what people can and cannot divine in regard to God’s will.
And homosexuality and Christianity don’t have to be in conflict in any church anywhere.
That many Christians regard them as incompatible is understandable, an example not so much of hatred’s pull as of tradition’s sway. Beliefs ossified over centuries aren’t easily shaken.
But in the end, the continued view of gays, lesbians and bisexuals as sinners is a decision. It’s a choice. It prioritizes scattered passages of ancient texts over all that has been learned since — as if time had stood still, as if the advances of science and knowledge meant nothing.
It disregards the degree to which all writings reflect the biases and blind spots of their authors, cultures and eras.
It ignores the extent to which interpretation is subjective, debatable.
And it elevates unthinking obeisance above intelligent observance, above the evidence in front of you, because to look honestly at gay, lesbian and bisexual people is to see that we’re the same magnificent riddles as everyone else: no more or less flawed, no more or less dignified."
Saturday, April 04, 2015
We cannot overestimate the importance of this election. African Americans can send a message to the nation by voting. Will they is the question?
Big corporations like Walmart, Apple, Salesforce.com and General Electricand their executives have done the right thing by calling on officials in Indiana and Arkansas to reject “religious freedom” laws designed to give businesses and religious groups legal cover should they deny service to gay couples. But the business response to these laws raises a larger issue about the role companies play in the political process. If corporate leaders are serious in opposing discrimination, they should refuse to finance the campaigns of lawmakers who want to deny civil rights to gays and other minority groups.
Corporations and their executives have long supported right-wing lawmakers who back their favored economic policies; the businesses looked the other way when those politicians pursued divisive culture-war campaigns against marginalized groups. This marriage of convenience has been extremely beneficial for both sides.
Friday, April 03, 2015
"A group of former Atlanta educators convicted in a test cheating scandal were locked up in jail Thursday as they await sentences that could send them to prison for years.
In one of the nation's largest cheating scandals of its kind, the 11 defendants were convicted Wednesday of racketeering for their roles in a scheme to inflate students' scores on standardized exams."
"Tiger Woods ended all that speculation about his game by letting everyone see for themselves.
He said Friday he will play next week in the Masters.
Golf's biggest attraction and four-time Masters champion played two practice rounds at Augusta National this week before a simple announcement on his website that he would end his two-month leave on the sport's biggest stage.
"I'm playing in the Masters," Woods said on his website. "It's obviously very important to me, and I want to be there. I've worked a lot on my game, and I'm looking forward to competing. I'm excited to get to Augusta, and I appreciate everyone's support."
Rachel Maddow slams despicable Alabama lawmaker who tried to repeal a law inspired by his own patient’s death - Salon.com
"In a development that drew national attention this week and inspired a segment on Rachel Maddow’s show last night, GOP state senator Larry Stutts attempted to repeal Rose’s Law, a 1999 measure to protect new mothers by requiring a two-day hospital stay after giving birth. Under the law, mothers with complicated births stay in the hospital for four days."
Thursday, April 02, 2015
Wednesday, April 01, 2015
"A new executive order lets the US Attorney General and the Secretaries of Treasury and State go after cyberattackers "where it really hurts -- at their bottom line."