The Trumpazoids continue their campaign of terror….
Police have linked three package bombings that have killed two residents in Austin, Texas, over the last 10 days, raising fears that a serial bomber is targeting the city as hundreds of thousands of festival-goers flock to town for South by Southwest.
Two of the bombings happened in residential areas in the eastern half of the city on Monday morning, not at the festival, and police have not identified a suspect or given a possible motive as federal officials joined the investigation.
“We are not ruling anything out at this point,” Police Chief Brian Manley said at a televised news conference. “We’re imploring the community, if you know anything about these attacks, it is imperative that you come forward and let us know. We have innocent people getting hurt across this community.”
Before 7 a.m. Monday, residents at one home in east Austin found a mysterious package on their doorstep and brought it inside, Manley said.
When they began opening the package in their kitchen, the package exploded, killing a 17-year-old boy and injuring a woman who was taken the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, Manley said.
Several hours later, shortly before noon and about five miles to the south, a 75-year-old woman found a similar mysterious package on her porch. “She picked up the package, and at that point, the explosion, the box detonated,” Manley said.
The day’s second bombing happened so soon after the morning’s first explosion that some officials went directly from one bombing site to another, Manley said. The elderly woman remained in critical condition Monday afternoon with life-threatening injuries.
The two bombings came a little over a week after a northeast Austin resident, Anthony Stephan House, 39, was killed in a “very similar” package bombing early in the morning, Manley said.
Police had initially deemed House’s death “suspicious” — saying it couldn’t be ruled out that he had assembled the package himself — but on Monday reclassified his death as a homicide.
The “average-sized” packages don’t appear to have been sent through traditional delivery services such as the U.S. Postal Service or UPS, and were left without ringing the bell, said Manley, who declined to give details about the devices but suggested they came in cardboard boxes.
“These devices can explode in many ways, either by being moved or being opened,” Manley said, also cautioning that the bombs “can be hidden in many different ways. … There is a certain level of skill required to put a device like this together successfully.”
Manley suggested that residents call 911 if they find a suspicious package and to leave their homes or wait in the rear until officials arrive.
“We will respond,” Manley said. “It make take a little while to get there because we are getting several calls.”
The victims of the first two bombings were black, raising fears early Monday that the Austinites were targeted because of their race, but a Latina was the victim of the third bombing, after which police declined to speculate on a possible pattern.
“We have no specific ideology or victimology behind this, and it will remain an ongoing investigation while we pursue any and every lead,” Manley said.
“We do not know yet whether the victims are the intended targets,” Manley said, adding that some homes had multiple residents and the bomber may have also targeted the wrong addresses.
Something somewhat extraordinary happened last month at Billy Earl Dade Middle School in Dallas.
The school — with a student population of nearly 900, about 90 percent from low-income families — planned to host its first “Breakfast with Dads,” according to the Dallas Morning News. About 150 male students, ages 11 to 13, signed up. But event organizers were concerned that some would attend without a male figure at their side, so they put out a call for volunteers who could serve as mentors.
“When a young person sees someone other than their teacher take interest in them, it inspires them. That’s what we want to see happen,” the Rev. Donald Parish Jr., pastor of True Lee Missionary Baptist Church and the event organizer, told the Morning News.
A call for volunteers by children’s advocate Kristina Chäadé Dove — who has served on what is called a site-based decision-making team for the middle school — was published on social media in early December
When the day came for the event, nearly 600 men showed up to help and mentor the boys, some of them volunteering for the first time.
Stephanie Drenka, a Dallas photographer and blogger who works with Dove at Big Thought, a nonprofit organization that works with partners across the city to provide creative learning programs for young people, chronicled the event here in words and photos. She wrote:
Back in December, the team ran into some difficulty when planning their annual “Breakfast with Dads” event. Dade’s community liaison Ellyn Favors mentioned that student participation was low due to young men not having a father/father-figure available to attend the event. Kristina decided to post a call for volunteers on Facebook in the hope of finding 50 male mentors to accompany the middle schoolers…
The unexpected influx of interest led the team to move the event from the cafeteria into the gymnasium so they could house more guests. Kristina engaged the community again in getting volunteers to help with setup and check-in. Team members from Big Thought, the Office of Cultural Affairs, and even Kristina’s personal friends showed up alongside the male mentors to make the event possible…
I will never forget witnessing the young students surrounded by supportive community members. There were so many volunteers, that at times I saw young men huddled in the center of 4-5 mentors. The look of awe- even disbelief- in students’ eyes as they made their way through the crowd of “Dads” was astonishing.
Jamil “The Tie Man” Tucker led the auditorium in a hands-on icebreaker activity. He spoke of learning how to tie a tie as a rite of passage some young men never experience. Mentors handed out ties to the eager students and helped them perfect their half-Windsor knot.
The sight of a necktie may forever bring a tear to my eye.
Black man in Dallas shoots and kills cops… It’s news 24 x 7.
Black Man in Louisiana shoots and kills cop…It’s NEWS 24×7, including lots of attempts to blame BLM.
Whait alt-right racist shoots 4 Cops, killing one…And hardly a mumble.
Welcome to Jim Crow American News.
The Chumph’s white supremacy and making America white again….Driving While Black, long a method to harass and intimidate the American born black population, is used as an excuse to forcibly deport supposedly “illegal aliens” who are black, under a system of trumped up laws and regulations designed to rid the country of it’s immigrant black population.
Although only 7 percent of non-citizens in the U.S. are black, they make up 20 percent of those facing deportation on criminal grounds.
If it were not for the Canadian leaf tattoo on his wrist, Chris Gustave may not be behind bars.
In October, 24 year old Gustave was staying at a weekly motel in Phoenix when police arrived searching for his friend, who had violated parole. At first, “all the attention was on him,” Gustave told me in a phone interview last month. But then, Gustave claimed, an officer noticed the tattoo. “The dude just asked if I was Canadian, the next thing I knew I was in here”—“here” being the remote and sprawling Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center in Eloy, Arizona.
Gustave is one of more than half a million black unauthorized immigrants in the United States—about 575,000 as of 2013. Last week, The New York Times reported that the presence of immigrants from Haiti and Nigeria, who together represent roughly 20 percent of the foreign-born black population, vexed president Trump. The Haitians “all have AIDS,” Trump said in a June meeting with his top advisors according to the Times, while the Nigerians would not “go back to their huts” after seeing America, he said. (The White House denied the comments.)
Research suggests that because black people in the United States are more likely to be stopped, arrested, and incarcerated, black immigrants may be disproportionately vulnerable to deportation. The criminal-justice system acts like a “funnel” into the immigration system, said César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández, a University of Denver law professor who studies the nexus of policing and immigration law. New York University law professor Alina Das said black immigrants are “targeted by criminalization.”
While the Obama administration prioritized immigrants with felony convictions for deportation, President Trump’s executive orders effectively made anyone in the country illegally a target for removal. Arrests of non-criminals more than doubled, and among those who have been charged with a crime, the top three categories are “traffic offenses – DUI,” “dangerous drugs,” and “immigration,” which means illegal entry, illegal reentry, false claim to US citizenship, and trafficking, according to ICE. In fiscal year 2017, almost 74 percent of people arrested by ICE had a criminal conviction—arrests the agency uses to argue “that its officers know how to prioritize enforcement without overly prescriptive mandates.”
But Hernández sees something different in the large number of criminal convictions among ICE detainees. “Racial bias present in the criminal-justice system plays itself out in the immigration context,” he said. “There are so many entry points” to deportation, said Das, “when you are a person of color who is also an immigrant, you face a double punishment.”
A 2016 report by the NYU Immigrant Rights Clinic, where Das is the co-director, and the Black Alliance for Just Immigration found that although black immigrants represent about 7 percent of the non-citizen population, they make up more than 10 percent of immigrants in removal proceedings. Criminal convictions amplify the disparity: Twenty percent of immigrants facing deportation on criminal grounds are black.
Today, almost 10 percent of the black population in the United States is foreign-born, up from about 3 percent in 1980. As the number of black immigrants has grown, so, too, have the linkages between cops, courts, and the immigration system.
Aside from ICE’s splashier arrests within so-called “sanctuary cities,” most apprehensions nationwide happen inside jails once an immigrant has had contact with local police. This collaboration is a result of decades of legislation and executive action by both Democrats and Republicans. Two years after the passage of his controversial crime bill, former President Bill Clinton signed the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act in 1996. Known as IIRIRA (pronounced “ira-ira”), the law expanded mandatory detention and the number of deportable crimes. As the federal inmate population doubled, prison-like immigrant-detention centers rose up in tandem. In the early 1990s, there were around 5,000 immigrants detained each day; by 2001, the populationquadrupled. And the Trump administration wants to keep that number growing: The president’s 2018 budget called for increasing the daily detainee population to 51,000, a 25 percent bump over last year.
“Additional detention space does make Americans safer,”argued Jessica Vaughan of the Center for Immigration Studies, a group that advocates for stricter enforcement. Detention also ensures that undocumented immigrants don’t “disappear into the woodwork,” Vaughan said. “The benefit of keeping illegal aliens in custody,” she said, is that “it prevents the release of criminal aliens back into the community to have the opportunity to re-offend.”
While the prison population has begun to dwindle in recent years—the incarceration rate fell 13 percent between 2007 and 2015—immigration detention remains “one of the fastest-growing sectors of the carceral state,” said Kelly Lytle Hernandez, a University of California, Los Angeles, historian who studies the origins of U.S. immigration control.
ICE’s Secure Communities program—which began under former President George W. Bush; was expanded, then killed, under his successor Barack Obama; then reinstated by Trump—provides local police with a national fingerprint database to check suspects for immigration violations. ICE can also deputize local law enforcement to make immigration arrests, a power authorized by IIRIRA. Some 60 law-enforcement agencies across 18 states participate in that program.
“Local police are some of the biggest feeders into the immigration-enforcement system,” said Will Gaona, the policy director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona. “And that’s more true in Arizona”—where Gustave was picked up—“because of S.B. 1070.” That 2010 state law, which has since been emulated in dozens of states, requires police to ask about immigration status if they suspect someone is in the country illegally….
Nice move, Memphis!
In a rapidly emerging war between municipalities, the Trump administration and white-wing, neo fascist Republican dominated legislators opposed to local rule…
Another mile marker.
The city of Memphis engaged in a “massive operation” on Wednesday to take down two controversial Confederate statues before the morning light, the Commercial Appealreports.
The Memphis City Council first unanimously voted to sell two public parks to a private entity. Within minutes, Memphis Police Department officers had deployed to the sites of statues honoring Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest and Confederate President Jefferson Davis. Within one hour of the vote, Mayor Jim Strickland had signed the ordinance.
The sale of the parks was a legal mechanism to circumvent a decision by the Tennessee Historical Commission intended to prevent local governments from taking down the statues.
“Health Sciences Park and Memphis Park have been sold. Operations on those sites tonight are being conducted by a private entity and are compliant with state law,” Mayor Strickland explained. “We will have further updates later tonight.”