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.
Monday, November 18, 2019
Bloomberg's weak apology for stop and frisk is too little, too late | Derecka Purnell | Opinion | The Guardian
"Bloomberg's weak apology for stop-and-frisk is too little, too late
Derecka PurnellMon 18 Nov 2019 11.21 EST
Michael Bloomberg should pay more than lip service to black people. He should redistribute his massive wealth to communities he harmed
‘Michael Bloomberg should pay more than lip service and an offering to black churchgoers.’ Photograph: Yana Paskova/Getty Images
During election season, white politicians waltz into black churches to deliver political sermons about their future plans. During this dance, sometimes they repent. Prospective presidential hopeful Michael Bloomberg apologized for New York City’s stop-and-frisk practices at a huge black church in Brooklyn last week:
“Over time, I’ve come to understand something that I long struggled to admit to myself,” he said. “I got something important really wrong. I didn’t understand the full impact that stops were having on the black and Latino communities. I was totally focused on saving lives, but as we know, good intentions aren’t good enough. Now, hindsight is 20/20. But, as crime continued to come down as we reduced stops, and as it continued to come down during the next administration, to its credit, I now see that we could and should have acted sooner and acted faster to cut the stops. I wish we had. I’m sorry that we didn’t. But, I can’t change history. However, today I want you to know that I realize … I was wrong, and I’m sorry.”
Forgiving him would be ungodly. New York police department officers have been stopping and frisking people for decades. Under Bloomberg, half of the people stopped were black, a third were Latinx. About half were 14-24 years old, a tiny fraction of the city’s population. And while recorded police pat-downs and rough-ups have started to decline, they are disproportionately increasing for black people, up to 52% in 2016, 57% in 2017 and 2018, and 60% in 2019, according to the New York Civil Liberties Union. Police found no weapon on 93% of the people stopped, and it is unclear what was found on the remaining 7%. Actually, among people that the police frisked, black and Latinx people were less likely than white people to have a weapon on them.
Black people have long known that the policies are racist and target them more than other groups. In 1966, James Baldwin wrote movingly in A Report from Occupied Territory about what it means to live under stop-and-frisk policies as a black person: “The police are afraid of everything in Harlem and they are especially afraid of the roofs, which they consider to be guerrilla outposts. This means that the citizens of Harlem who, as we have seen, can come to grief at any hour in the streets, and who are not safe at their windows, are forbidden the very air. They are safe only in their houses – or were, until the city passed the No Knock, Stop and Frisk laws, which permit a policeman to enter one’s home without knocking and to stop anyone on the streets, at will, at any hour, and search him. Harlem believes, and I certainly agree, that these laws are directed against Negroes. They are certainly not directed against anybody else.”
But Bloomberg has, up until recently, been loth to admit the harm that stop and frisk does to communities of color. In a radio interview in 2013 he said: “One newspaper and one news service, they just keep saying ‘oh it’s a disproportionate percentage of a particular ethnic group.’ That may be, but it’s not a disproportionate percentage of those who witnesses and victims describe as committing the [crime]. In that case, incidentally, I think we disproportionately stop whites too much and minorities too little. It’s exactly the reverse of what they’re saying. I don’t know where they went to school, but they certainly didn’t take a math course. Or a logic course.” Now he’s changed his tune, but it’s too little, too late.
Bloomberg’s presidential pivot is in sharp contrast to how most presidential hopefuls addressed their criminal justice records. Senator Cory Booker awkwardly dodged questions about Newark police department’s history of brutality. Senator Kamala Harris doubled down on her problematic prosecutorial decisions; at a recent town hall she told formerly incarcerated people that they should ask other candidates about their records before asking her to reconcile her record.
Mayor Pete Buttigieg had to briefly respond to outraged black residents after a member of his police force killed a black man allegedly breaking into a car with a knife. Before jumping in the race, Vice-President Joe Biden conveniently apologized for championing the disastrous 1994 Crime Bill in front of the Rev Al Sharpton’s National Action Network.
In this tradition, Bloomberg apologized, but his apology is incomplete. Rather than “I was wrong,” he should have said, “I was racist. I was classist. The policies were racist and classist. I encouraged my police force to violate the privacy and dignity of black and brown people by touching their bodies under the threat of a gun or a nightstick.”
Bloomberg should pay more than lip service and an offering to black churchgoers. He can fund campaigns by organizations like BYP100 or Communities United for Police Reform in New York City. Or, he can learn from activists in Chicago, who fought for and won reparations for black survivors of torture from the Chicago police department. Their city council approved a $5.5m settlement; in addition the city will pay for free counseling, education and employment services and provide a city-wide school lesson on police violence.
Instead of raising money or spending his own for a multimillion-dollar presidential run, Bloomberg, who is worth $52bn, should redistribute that wealth to the people of color and organizations in New York City who suffered under his administration."
Bloomberg's weak apology for stop and frisk is too little, too late | Derecka Purnell | Opinion | The Guardian
By Ashley SouthallNov. 17, 2019
"During Michael R. Bloomberg’s tenure as mayor of New York City, police officers stopped and questioned people they believed to be engaged in criminal activity on the street more than five million times.
Officers often then searched the detainees — the vast majority of whom were young black and Latino men — for weapons that rarely materialized.
The encounters were part of a controversial program known as “stop-and-frisk,” which defined policing under Mr. Bloomberg.
As Mr. Bloomberg, the 108th mayor of New York, lays the groundwork for a possible presidential campaign, his legacy with stop-and-frisk has emerged as a vulnerability for him on the campaign trail.
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On Sunday he apologized for his role in promoting a policy during his time in office that eroded trust of the police in black and Latino neighborhoods.
“Our focus was on saving lives,” he said during a speech at a black church in Brooklyn. “But the fact is: Far too many innocent people were being stopped.”
Here’s why the program was and remains a divisive issue in New York.
What is ‘Stop-and-Frisk’?
Stop-and-frisk is a crime-prevention strategy that had been a staple of policing in the United States for more than 30 years before Mr. Bloomberg took office. It allows police officers to detain someone for questioning on the street, in public housing projects or in private buildings where landlords request police patrols.
Officers are required to have reasonable belief that the person is, has been or is about to be involved in a crime. If police officers believe the detainee is armed, an officer can conduct a frisk by passing his hands over the person’s outer garments.
The strategy spread with the adoption of the data-driven Compstat management system in the 1990s, which allowed police to track and respond to crime trends in real time.
After taking office in 2002, Mr. Bloomberg oversaw a dramatic expansion in the use of stop-and-frisk. The number of stops multiplied sevenfold, peaking with 685,724 in 2011 and then tumbling to 191,851 in 2013. During Mr. Bloomberg’s three terms, the police recorded 5,081,689 stops.
“The temperature in the city at the time was that the police were at war with black and brown people on the streets,” said Jenn Rolnick-Borchetta, the director of impact litigation at the Bronx Defenders, one of the groups that has successfully sued the Police Department over the practice. “And that is how people experienced it.”
Why did Mr. Bloomberg support it?
At the same time that officers were conducting more searches as part of stop-and-frisk, crime continued to decline, a correlation that Mr. Bloomberg and his police commissioner, Raymond W. Kelly, viewed as cause and effect. The two men said stop-and-frisk was helping to take guns off the street and reduce violence across the city.
Statistics appeared to back them up: In 2002, Mr. Bloomberg’s first year in office, the number of murders in the city fell below 600, and dropped to 335 by the time he left office in 2013. Even as the amount of crime rose or fluctuated in other cities, New York’s crime rate declined, continuing a streak that had begun in 1991.
Former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York and his police commissioner, Raymond W. Kelly, defended the stop-and-frisk policy in the face of criticism.
Former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York and his police commissioner, Raymond W. Kelly, defended the stop-and-frisk policy in the face of criticism.Christoph Bangert for The New York Times
Mr. Bloomberg and Commissioner Kelly fiercely defended stop-and-frisk in the face of criticism and legal challenges. They argued that it was an essential practice for police, and predicted — wrongly, it would turn out — that curtailing it would lead to a dramatic rise in crime.
“Look at what’s happened in Boston,” Mr. Bloomberg said in 2013. “Remember what happened here on 9/11. Remember all of those who’ve been killed by gun violence and the families they left behind.”
Opponents said it was racist and counterproductive
But more factors affect crime trends than just police tactics, and critics of the program said that under Mr. Bloomberg it gave officers overly broad discretion to target mostly black and Latino boys and men for stops.
In 2009, black and Latino people in New York were nine times as likely to be stopped by the police compared to white residents.
The strategy was used with such intensity that officers in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Brownsville conducted 52,000 stops over eight square blocks between January 2006 and March 2010 — the equivalent of one stop for each resident there every year. The arrest rate was less than one percent for the 14,000 residents.
The policy resulted in a series of lawsuits by black and Latino men. One man, Nicholas Peart, described being held at gunpoint on his 18th birthday as an officer passed his hand over the young man’s groin and buttocks before leaving without an explanation — one of five times he had been stopped by the police.
“Essentially, I incorporated into my daily life the sense that I might find myself up against a wall or on the ground with an officer’s gun at my head,” he wrote in The Times. “For a black man in his 20s like me, it’s just a fact of life in New York.”
Only 14 out of every 10,000 stops conducted during the Bloomberg era turned up a gun, and just 1,200 out of every 10,000 ended with a fine, an arrest or the seizure of an illegal weapon, according to police data analyzed by the New York Civil Liberties Union. A Columbia University professor said the stops were no better at producing gun seizures than chance.
Black and Latino people were more likely be to stopped and frisked, even though their white counterparts were twice as likely to be found with a gun, according to the New York Civil Liberties Union.
“This is where the racial bias is particularly clear,” Christopher Dunn, the legal director of the group, said.
And a judge said it was illegal
The controversy culminated with a federal judge in Manhattan ruling in 2013 that the searches amounted to a “policy of indirect racial profiling” of black and Latino people. The ruling covered three concurrent cases.
According to data and testimony presented at trial, the police targeted black and Latino males as young as 13 for being in neighborhoods with high crime rates or for making “furtive” movements — a loosely defined term that encapsulated virtually any type of behavior, such as sitting on benches, looking over a shoulder or going into a building with a broken front door. Dissenting officers described being pressured to make stops to meet numerical quotas.
The city argued in court that a stop that did not result in a summons, arrest or weapons seizure still prevented crime by discouraging people from carrying guns.
“That was the theory that Bloomberg supported, that if you let them know that they might be stopped anytime, anywhere, that they will stop bringing out their guns,” the judge who made the ruling, Shira Scheindlin, now a private mediator and lawyer, said on Sunday.
Mr. Bloomberg defended the practice as recently as January, denying any racial bias in the policy by pointing to the drop in murders during his time in office.
He struck a different tone on Sunday.
“I got something important really wrong,” he said at the Christian Cultural Center, a black megachurch in Brooklyn. “I didn’t understand back then the full impact that stops were having on the black and Latino communities.”
Crime continued to fall after the policy was abandoned
Stop-and-frisk became a key issue in the 2013 mayoral race. Mayor Bill de Blasio won a long-shot campaign that year in part because he promised to undo the heavy-handed policing tactics of the Bloomberg administration.
During the campaign, Mr. Bloomberg criticized the attacks on stop-and-frisk as political showmanship that risked people’s lives. But his predictions about what would happen if the strategy was eliminated were wrong.
During Mr. de Blasio’s first term as mayor, stops decreased by 76 percent, to 11,627 in 2017, from 45,787 in his first year. At the same time, crime fell to levels not seen since the 1950s. Over the last two years, the city has logged fewer than 300 murders annually.
Where stop-and-frisk stands now
Mr. Bloomberg appealed Judge Scheindlin’s ruling, but Mr. de Blasio agreed to implement court-ordered reforms. The changes included mandating most officers to wear body cameras and the entire force to be trained in de-escalating conflict and recognizing their own bias.
But racial disparities persist in the street-stop program, and a federal monitor overseeing reforms has repeatedly raised concerns that officers and supervisors do not document and review stops in accordance with Police Department policy. The monitor, Peter L. Zimroth, said the failures impeded efforts to make sure reforms were taking hold.
“Addressing the persistent problem of underreporting of stops and the failure of supervisors to deal with that underreporting and the quality of the stop reports that are filed must be part of that effort,” Mr. Zimroth said".
Why ‘Stop-and-Frisk’ Inflamed Black and Hispanic Neighborhoods - The New York Times
"Bloomberg’s Bogus, Belated Mea Culpa
By Charles M. BlowNov. 17, 2019
His apology for the stop-and-frisk policy is politically convenient.
Last Sunday I wrote a column entitled “You Must Never Vote for Bloomberg” because of Michael Bloomberg’s promotion, advocacy and defense of the racist stop-and-frisk policy that ballooned during his terms as mayor of New York City.
This Sunday, Bloomberg apologized for that policy.
Speaking at the Christian Cultural Center, a black megachurch in Brooklyn, Bloomberg said:
“Over time, I’ve come to understand something that I long struggled to admit to myself: I got something important wrong. I got something important really wrong. I didn’t understand that back then the full impact that stops were having on the black and Latino communities. I was totally focused on saving lives, but as we know, good intentions aren’t good enough. Now, hindsight is 20/20. But, as crime continued to come down as we reduced stops, and as it continued to come down during the next administration, to its credit, I now see that we could and should have acted sooner and acted faster to cut the stops. I wish we had. I’m sorry that we didn’t. But, I can’t change history. However today, I want you to know that I realize back then I was wrong, and I’m sorry.”
This is a necessary apology, but a hard one to take, coming only now, as he considers a run for the Democratic nomination, a nomination that is nearly impossible to secure without the black vote.
It feels like the very definition of pandering.
It is impossible for me to take seriously Bloomberg’s claim that he didn’t understand the impact that stop-and-frisk was having on the black and brown communities when he was in office.
Too much was written about it, by me and others. Too much was studied about it. Too many civil rights activists and groups complained about it.
No, I believe that he knew very well, and understood clearly, the pain that he was causing, but he was making a collateral damage argument: Because there was crime and many of those committing those crimes were born with black or brown skin, all those with that skin should be presumed guilty until proven innocent.
That feels like the very definition of racism.
It is important to remember that racism can exist in the absence of malice, that this dragnet presumption of guilt, even if well intentioned, amounted to a systemic racism to which Bloomberg was not only apathetic, but zealous about.
It is also hard to take his apology seriously because as recently as January he was still vigorously defending the policy, making the incredulous and insulting claim that during the execution of stop-and-frisk “we certainly did not pick somebody by race.”
It’s hard to take it seriously because as The New York Post reported Sunday, the Police Benevolent Association president, Patrick Lynch, slammed Bloomberg’s convenient apology, saying, “Mayor Bloomberg could have saved himself this apology if he had just listened to the police officers on the street.” He continued:
“We said in the early 2000s that the quota-driven emphasis on street stops was polluting the relationship between cops and our communities. His administration’s misguided policy inspired an anti-police movement that has made cops the target of hatred and violence, and stripped away many of the tools we had used to keep New Yorkers safe.”
Bloomberg is no dummy. He knew the statistics. He knew that the vast majority of the people being stopped were black and brown and that the vast majority were innocent. He knew. And yet, he kept the system and defended it.
This was a maximum pressure campaign targeted against black and brown communities, an intimidation tactic to signal constant surveillance and random checks. These whole communities were under siege, and it not only did lasting damage to the relationship between those communities and the Police Department, it accrued immeasurable psychological damage to an entire generation of black and brown boys and men.
Bloomberg’s cynicism here is staggering.
But, this is something that black voters must contend with: politicians who do harm through policy to black communities, then come forward with admissions and contrition when they need black people’s votes.
I haven’t forgotten that it was just this year, as he was about to enter the race, that Joe Biden finally offered a full apology for the disastrous 1994 crime bill that wreaked havoc on the black community, after having defended the bill for years. Biden offered his apology at the National Action Network’s Martin Luther King Jr. breakfast.
Bloomberg needed to apologize. But the apology is not for the sake of the hundreds of thousands of young black and brown men subjected to his millions of stops. There, the damage is done. The grip of a strange man’s hands, with the power of a badge and gun, groping their bodies will stay with them. The personal, physical trauma and violation that he endorsed will linger for a lifetime.
Bloomberg needed to apologize so that the truth could be told: New York violated the rights and bodies of a generation of black and brown boys and men at the eager, willful insistence of its mayor.
Black voters — and all Democratic voters — must ask themselves: Is Bloomberg the antidote to what ails America on race and criminal justice, or is he one of its vectors?"
Opinion | Bloomberg’s Bogus, Belated Mea Culpa - The New York Times
Sunday, November 17, 2019
'I Was Wrong': Bloomberg Apologizes For Controversial Stop-And-Frisk Policy. LOL, a desperate and politically dead Bloomberg admits he was wrong on “Stop and Frisk”. What a jerk. He attacked the Courts when a judge told him he was violating the Constitution. I can’t stand phony hypocrites like Bloomberg. He is lying. He made a political decision to sacrifice the rights of Blacks and Hispanics back then to appease is more conservatove White supporters and he now wants our support for his ill advised presidential run. He really thinks we are fools. Go back to hanging out with your golfing buddy Donald Trump.
Over the years, lawmakers have recognized the crucial service whistleblowers provide in holding organizations accountable for wrongdoing. As a result, many state and federal laws have been enacted to encourage whistleblowers as well as protect them from workplace retaliation. One such law is the Whistleblower Protection Act, which provides a way for federal employees to make disclosures of misconduct and to report instances of retaliation. Below, you’ll find an overview of the Whistleblower Protection Act and key points to consider if you are – or might be – a federal whistleblower.
Creation of the Whistleblower Protection Act
Whistleblower rights and protections were initially addressed by the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978. In 1989, Congress passed the Whistleblower Protection Act to “strengthen and improve protection for the rights of federal employees, to prevent reprisals, and to help eliminate wrongdoing within the Government.” One way the law did this was by clarifying the procedure by which employees could report wrongdoing and workplace retaliation. Another was by separating the Office of Special Counsel(OSC) from the Merit Systems Protection Board and empowering the OSC to represent whistleblowers in these matters.
Who Is Protected Under the Whistleblower Protection Act?
For purposes of disclosure and protection from retaliation, the law generally covers current federal employees, former federal employees, and applicants for federal employment. However, the OSC does not handle claims for employees of federal contractors, members of the military, or the U.S. Postal Service, among others. With regard to complaints of workplace retaliation, the OSC also cannot represent you if you work for certain intelligence agencies (such as the CIA, FBI, or NSA). Additionally, the OSC does not handle disclosures that are specifically prohibited by law and required by Executive order to be kept secret (for example, information necessary for national defense).
Making Disclosures of Wrongdoing Under the Whistleblower Protection Act
As a federal employee, you can report directly to the OSC any instance of the following types of misconduct:
- A violation of law, rule, or regulation
- Gross mismanagement
- Gross waste of funds
- Abuse of authority
- Substantial and specific danger to public health or safety
Although the OSC does not investigate whistleblower claims, they will review the disclosure and if they find a substantial likelihood of wrongdoing, they will refer the matter to the agency head who is required to investigate the claim and report back to the OSC within 60 days. In order to show a substantial likelihood of wrongdoing under the Whistleblower Protection Act, you must provide reliable, first-hand knowledge of the misconduct. Speculation or second-hand information is not enough. You also cannot make the disclosure anonymously, although you can request that the OSC keep your identity confidential.
Filing a Whistleblower Retaliation Claim Under the Whistleblower Protection Act
If you’ve already made disclosures as a whistleblower and you feel you’ve been treated unfairly as a result, you may report the retaliation to the OSC. The OSC will investigate your claim and, if they believe retaliation did occur, they will report their findings to the agency to take corrective action.
In order to prove that retaliation occurred, you must show the following elements:
- You disclosed misconduct as described above.
- The official who took, threatened, or influenced the adverse personnel action against you (such as firing, transfer, demotion, pay cut, significant change in duties, failing to promote, etc.) knew of your disclosure.
- Your disclosure was a contributing factor in the adverse actions against you.
If retaliation did occur, you may be able to obtain back pay and benefits, attorneys’ fees, a clean record, and other costs. Additionally, officials who retaliate may be subject to disciplinary action such as demotion, removal, suspension, and fines.
Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act
While the Whistleblower Protection Act included important avenues and protections, many people believed that in practice its protections were weak, especially due to judicially created loopholes. As a result, President Obama and Congress unanimously passed the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act in 2012. This law strengthened and expanded the rights and protections of the original Whistleblower Protection Act.
Navigate Daunting Whistleblower Laws with the Help of an Attorney
The decision to come forward with evidence of waste, fraud, or abuse by a government agency is a heroic one, and there are many laws like the Whistleblower Protection Act that may protect you. However, it’s vitally important to know what types of disclosures are protected, who can be considered a whistleblower, and the procedures you must follow for making disclosures and filing retaliation claims. Make informed decisions by contacting an attorney familiar with whistleblower protection laws.
Friday, November 15, 2019
Trump Denigrates Ex-Envoy Yovanovitch on Twitter During Impeachment Testimony - The New York Times
Thursday, November 14, 2019
Inside the Founding Fathers’ Debate Over What Constituted an Impeachable Offense | History | Smithsonian
"The Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia was winding down, the draft of the United States’ supreme law almost finished, and George Mason, the author of Virginia’s Declaration of Rights, was becoming alarmed. Over the course of the convention, the 61-year-old had come to fear the powerful new government his colleagues were creating. Mason thought the president could become a tyrant as oppressive as George III.
Inside the Founding Fathers’ Debate Over What Constituted an Impeachable Offense | History | Smithsonian
Wednesday, November 13, 2019
Impeachment Hearings Open With Revelation on Trump’s Ukraine Pressure As public hearings began, William B. Taylor Jr., the top American diplomat in Ukraine, said he was told President Trump cared more about investigating Joe Biden than he did about Ukraine.
Tuesday, November 12, 2019
Is It a Crime to Encourage Unauthorized Immigration? The Supreme Court Will Decideby Adam Liptak, nytimes.com
November 11, 2019 06:25 AM