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Another Travesty of Justice Freeing Alabama Cop

Well – the State injustice system has proven again it should by no means be in charge of rendering justice… Yet another case where the Police are not held accountable for criminal actions.

Vicious Attack on unarmed, non-violent Mr Patel, who was guilty of nothing more than walking while brown

Alabama cop paralyzed Indian grandfather; judge throws out case after two racially charged trials

Sureshbahi Patel was walking on the sidewalk outside of his son’s home in an Alabama suburb on the morning of Feb. 6, 2015, minding his own business, when a white police officer approached him, frisked him and threw him to the ground, leaving him paralyzed.

The 57-year-old grandfather had just arrived to the U.S. from a small town in India, and did not understand English. He reportedly said “no English” and repeated the address of his son’s home to the cop as he approached him.

A neighbor had called Madison, Alabama police claiming they saw someone “suspicious” wandering around the neighborhood. They described him a “skinny black guy” who is “walking around close to the garage.”

Hank Sherrod, the family’s attorney, shot back at the allegation, which he insisted was racist. “This is broad daylight, walking down the street. There is nothing suspicious about Mr. Patel other than he has brown skin.”

“He was just walking on the sidewalk as he does all the time,” the man’s son Chirag Patel explained. Chirag noted his father had no health problems before the incident.

The family filed suit against the police officer, Eric Parker. Police dashcam footage clearly shows Parker violently throwing Patel to the ground. He faced up to 10 years in prison on the charge of excessive force and a civil rights charge of deprivation of rights under color of law.

There were two trials for the case. Both ended with a deadlocked jury, and the results were racially charged.

In the first trial, the 10 white male jurors said the cop was innocent, while the two black female jurors said he was guilty.

Defense attorney Robert Tuten began the second trial with comments critics called racist. “When you come to the U.S. we expect you to follow our laws and speak our language,” he said.

“Mr. Patel bears as much responsibility for this as anyone,” the officer’s lawyer insisted.

Tuten defended the Parker’s actions with racially coded language, saying there was no way the cop could have known whether this was a “harmless Indian grandfather walking down Hardiman Place Lane.”

“The government wants you to give Mr. Patel a free pass because he doesn’t speak English,” Tuten told the jury.

Federal prosecutors were preparing for a third trial, but there now will not be one.

Judge Madeline Hughes Haikala threw the case out late Wednesday night, saying “The Government has had two full and fair chances to obtain a conviction; it will not have another.”

The neurosurgeon who operated on Patel said that, after the police attack, he was left unable to walk or grip things with his hands.

 
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Posted by on January 16, 2016 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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Alabama Town Appoints Neo-confederate as Chief of Police

Lot more wrong in Alabama than just cops planting evidence and false arrests in Dothan…

‘This is a nightmare’: Black residents fume as Alabama city backs ‘Confederate commander’ police chief

Residents of an Alabama city are up in arms because their city leaders openly support the police chief, who has admitted to being a member of a neo-Confederate group, WTVM reports.

Dothan police Chief Steven Parrish is a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, and residents voiced outrage that he continues in his capacity at a Tuesday city government meeting. Some on Tuesday complained they were not allowed to speak when Mayor Mike Schmitz cut short public comment, allowing one representative for and against the chief to speak.

“This would never happen to the Jewish community,” resident Paul Carroll told the City Commission. “You would never see someone who’s a neo-Nazi being made chief of police, but somehow we as the black community are supposed to accept that we have a neo-Confederate?”

According to WTVY, protesters have been calling for Parrish to resign or for him to be fired, with some saying they do not feel safe in the city as long as he is police chief.

“We are supposed to accept that we are supposed to put our trust and our faith in someone who has those connections?” resident Paul Carroll said, according to theDothan Eagle.. “I don’t (feel safe). Sometimes when you have had a life of white privilege it is very difficult for you to understand what it is like to be a minority.”

In a blog post written by Parrish, he identifies himself as a commander of the Henry County chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. In the post, he talks about efforts to preserve the grave of a Confederate captain who died fighting for the South from a logging company.

Blogger Jon Carroll accused the chief of being part of a ring of narcotics detectives that planted drugs and weapons on African-American men for years before becoming chief. Carroll sites the Alabama Justice Project and says the documents were leaked by anonymous Dothan police officers from the Internal Affairs division, and that many of the men prosecuted by the complicit district attorney are still behind bars.

However Radley Balko wrote in the Washington Post in December that doubts have been raised about the sourcing and credibility of Carroll’s allegations.

Parrish was selected by the City Commission in April to serve as police chief. He has worked for the department since 1984.

Residents have made complaints to the FBI and Department of Justice, according to the Eagle.

“This is a nightmare,” resident Ruth Nelson told WTVY. “And when we look at the real underlying problems that are causing this..they need to be addressed and they need to be addressed with equality and with truth.”

In December, African-American resident Kevin Saffold warned in that if city leaders wouldn’t address the matter, they run the risk of civil unrest.

“If you don’t want this to be another Ferguson, if you don’t want civil unrest, if you don’t want people taking matters in their own hands and not being cooperative, then you should do something about that,” Saffold had said, according to the Eagle. “I believe in the court system and I believe in justice … I don’t see no reason why the board should not at least demote him to some other field.”

 
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Posted by on January 6, 2016 in The New Jim Crow

 

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Republican Governor Using Tax Money to Build Mansion – While Closing DMVs to Stop Black Voters

 

Ralph Gilges walks his dog Dixie outside Alabama’s abandoned beachfront governor’s mansion in Gulf Shores, Ala. Work began earlier this month to fix the 7,500-square-foot gubernatorial mansion that wasn’t repaired after Hurricane Danny in 1997. A spokeswoman for Gov. Robert Bentley says BP grant money left over from the 2010 oil spill will cover the $1.8 million in renovations.

Alabama Governor Uses BP Spill Money To Fix Up A Second Mansion For Himself

As storms once again battered the state of Alabama over Christmas, Republican Gov. Robert Bentley moved to divert funding from the 2010 BP oil spill recovery effort to finance the renovationof a second Governor’s mansion on the Gulf Coast.

Yet that beachside mansion, which Alabama governors beginning with famed segregationist George Wallace have enjoyed, was not damaged by the BP oil spill. It was damaged more than two decades earlier by Hurricane Danny, and has sat empty ever since.

While Alabama’s oyster industry and coastal communities continue to suffer from the effects of the massive Deepwater Horizon oil well blowout, the repairs to the governors’ mansion areestimated to cost between $1.5 million and $1.8 million. Though Bentley says he will stay there only “on occasion,” the administration said the property would be “primarily” used to wine and dine corporate executives considering the state for investment.

While the funding comes from a grant, not taxpayer money, the state plans to divert other BP settlement dollars to cover the state’s General Fund shortfalls. Bentley has been widely criticizedfor prioritizing the far-flung beachfront property at a time when the state is struggling to provide basic services to its residents.

In October, citing a budget crunch, the state closed more than 30 DMVs — all in rural areas with a majority-black population. After an outcry from residents, lawmakers, and civil rights groups, the governor agreed to keep the DMVs open one day per month. Arguing that this isn’t sufficient to give residents the ability to get the voter IDs they need to access the ballot box, the NAACP and other groups are currently suing the state.

Yet Bentley argues that the mansion repairs are a priority for economic development, and says the move has no connection to the fact that he recently lost two beachfront properties in a messy divorce.

 

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More on that Alabama Police Department Planting Evidence to Falsely Convict Black Men

A group of 11 Dothan Alabama Police systematically planted drugs and guns on innocent black suspects for nearly 20 year in a conspiracy by a white supremacist group of officers. At least 1,000 –  and possibly more young black men were falsely convicted.

 
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Posted by on December 4, 2015 in BlackLivesMatter, The New Jim Crow

 

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Cop Threatens Murder and Coverup

You would think, by now – the Police Leadership would have gotten a clue.While the fact that this Cop is pissed and mouthing off doesn’t prove malfeasance – the harassment, and settlement by the Police Department would seem to indicate more than just a little bad blood. And is proof that some sort of harassment indeed occurred.

White Cop…Black Citizen…Again.

 

White Alabama cop caught on tape discussing how he’d cover up the murder of a black man police had been harassing

The Guardian’s Jon Swaine published a damning article Tuesday about the measures an Alabama town took to cover up the behavior of a police officer who threatened to murder a black resident who claimed that he was being targeted by the police.

Vincent Bias alleged that for the past two years, the Alexander City Police Department had been engaged in a systematic campaign of harassment against him, issuing an “exorbitant number of traffic tickets, citations and concocted city code violations.”

In 2013, police were called to the home of Bias’ brother-in-law because of an unleashed dog. While there, Officer Troy Middlebrooks confided in Bias’ brother-in-law — who is white — that he was tired of “that nigger” being released from jail. Bias has multiple drug convictions and has spent time in prison, and Middlebrooks had arrested him on possession charges earlier that year.

“Something’s going on with that fucking lawyer he knows, and that fucking judge or something,” Middlebrooks can be heard saying on a secret recording of the conversation made by the brother-in-law. If Middlebrooks had his druthers, he would “fucking kill that motherfucker with whatever I had in the fucking house.”

More significantly, Middlebrooks said that “before the police got here, I’d fucking put marks all over my shit and make it look like he was trying to fucking kill me. I god damn guarantee you. What would it look like? Self fucking defence. Fuck that piece of shit. I’m a lot different from a lot of these other folks. I’ll fucking tell you what’s on my fucking mind.”

“That motherfucker there needs a goddamn bullet,” he added. “You fucking know exactly what I’m talking about.”

When Alexander City Police Chief Willie Robinson learned of the tape, he defended his officer, saying “he was just talking, he didn’t really mean it.” However, he insisted that although Middlebrooks wasn’t terminated, “he got disciplined.”…(More)

Could just be the reason we are seeing this –

AP-NORC Poll: Things to know about race and Americans’ views of policing

A new survey by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research has found a vast gulf between black and white Americans in how they view police officers. Things to know about Americans’ opinions and experiences with policing:

BLACK AMERICANS DON’T TRUST POLICE

The AP-NORC poll shows that just a third of black Americans say they can always or often trust police to do what is right for their communities, while a large majority of whites say that. Nearly half of blacks trust the police just sometimes, and 2 in 10 trust them rarely or never.

Eight in 10 black Americans say police are too quick to use deadly force, and 7 in 10 say police officers who cause injury or death are usually treated too leniently by the criminal justice system. Just a third of whites say either of those things.

More than 8 in 10 blacks say police sometimes treat minority groups more roughly. A similar proportion says that police are more likely to use deadly force against a black person than against a white person. Most whites think race does not affect police use of deadly force.

PERSONAL EXPERIENCES ARE KEY

Fifty percent of blacks, compared with just 3 percent of whites, say that they personally have felt treated unfairly by a police officer because of race. Another 15 percent of blacks and 5 percent of whites say unfair treatment by police has happened to a family member.

Whites who live in communities where census data shows at least a quarter of the population is non-white are more likely than other whites to say police in their community sometimes treat minorities more roughly, 58 percent to 42 percent, and are more likely to see the police as too quick to use deadly force, 42 percent to 29 percent.

Six in 10 Americans, including blacks and whites, say they personally know someone who is now, or recently was, a police officer.

About a quarter of blacks, but less than 1 in 10 whites, say they’re very worried about becoming victims of violent crime.

DIFFERING VIEWS ON REASONS FOR RECENT INCIDENTS

More than 7 in 10 blacks say major reasons for police violence against civilians include minimal consequences for police misconduct, poor relations between police and the public, and problems with race relations in society. Fewer than half of whites cited any of those as major reasons.

But 62 percent of whites, and just 45 percent of blacks, said a major reason is that civilians confront police officers when they’re stopped instead of cooperating.

Although they disagree on the reasons, 7 in 10 Americans, including similar percentages of blacks and whites, say requiring police officers to wear body cameras would be an effective way to prevent similar incidents.

 
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Posted by on August 5, 2015 in Domestic terrorism

 

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75 Years Late…Scottsboro Boys Pardoned

This was one of the major (Mis)Trials of the last century. 9 black Boys accused of raping two white women in the segregated, Jim Crow, Alabama of 1931.Amazingly enough, despite high tensions – they didn’t get lynched. All but one of the boys was convicted and given the death penalty. None of the Boys was executed, but spent long terms in jail.

The Scottsboro Boys, with attorney Samuel Leibowitz, under guard by the state militia, 1932

   Alabama grants posthumous pardons to Scottsboro Boys

Alabama’s parole board voted Thursday to grant posthumous pardons to men known as the Scottsboro Boys from a 1931 rape case.

The Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles granted full and unconditional pardons to three of the nine black boys who were falsely accused of raping two white women on a train in northeast Alabama in 1931.

The board unanimously approved the pardons for Haywood Patterson, Charlie Weems and Andy Wright after a short hearing in Montgomery. The three men were the last of the accused to have convictions from the case on their records.

“This decision will give them a final peace in their graves, wherever they are,” said Sheila Washington, director of the Scottsboro Museum and Cultural Center in Scottsboro, who helped initiate the petition.

Patterson, Weems and Wright, along with defendant Clarence Norris, were convicted on rape charges in 1937, after a six-year ordeal that included three trials, the recantation of one of the accusers and two landmark U.S. Supreme Court decisions on legal representation and the racial make-up of jury pools.

The men were all convicted by all-white juries, and all but the youngest defendant was sentenced to death.

Alabama ultimately dropped rape charges against five of the accused. Norris received a pardon before his death from Alabama Gov. George Wallace in 1976.

Last spring, the Alabama Legislature unanimously passed a law to allow the parole board to issue posthumous pardons for convictions at least 75 years old. The law was specifically designed to allow the pardon of the Scottsboro Boys to go forward.

In October, a group of scholars petitioned the Board of Pardons and Paroles to grant pardons to the men. The petition was endorsed by the judges and district attorneys of the counties where the initial trials took place.

“This is a different state than it was 80 years ago, and thank God for that,” said state Sen. Arthur Orr, a Republican from Decatur where the second and third round of trials took place. “It’s an important step for our state to take.”

Under Alabama law, pardons can only be granted to those who have felony convictions on their record. The petitioners had initially hoped the board would review the status of each of the defendants.

The Board’s decision led to a round of applause Thursday morning, but many of those who worked on the pardon called the news bittersweet. Patterson died of cancer in 1952, and many of the other defendants, including Weems and Wright, felt compelled to move out of Alabama and keep a low profile after their release from prison.

University of Alabama professor John Miller, who helped prepare the petition, said at the time of his pardon, Norris was living in New York under his brother’s name.

“With some of them, we really don’t know if they died with their right name, or a different name,” Washington said. “They no longer wanted to be known.”

Weems is known to have moved to the Atlanta area after his release, but his date of death is unknown. Washington said Wright, along with his brother Roy, another one of the Scottsboro Boys, is buried in Chattanooga, Tenn.

“It’s tragic in that those young men’s live were destroyed, all by a very biased and unfair judicial process,” Orr said. “The place where you seek justice did not dispense justice for these young men. It ruined their lives, some more than others, and it affected them to their graves.”

 
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Posted by on November 21, 2013 in Black History

 

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A Long Overdue Change At U of Alabama

When Libertarians say they support private organizations making their own choices of whom to associate with…

This is what they really mean.

I really don’t see where the black women in this instance needed any validation whatsoever from a white Sorority…And my departed mother who was a lifetime AKA would be truly upset at losing these women to another Sorority (there was a major family “crisis” when one of her grand-nieces pledged Delta!)…

But, overall – in the long term…This is a good thing.

One would have hoped, however – that sans the social pressure from fellow students…The Sorors had the intelligence and morality to have figured this out on their own.

A Turnabout at Traditionally White Sororities, in Nine Days at Alabama

Nine days after the University of Alabama’s campus newspaper detailed chronic racial discrimination within the campus’s Greek system, the university’s president said on Friday that six minority students had accepted offers of admission to traditionally white sororities.

The announcement marked the first time since 2003 that those organizations said they had added minority students to their memberships. Other new minority members could follow, said the president, Judy L. Bonner.

“I am confident that we will achieve our objective of a Greek system that is inclusive, accessible and welcoming to students of all races and ethnicities,” Dr. Bonner said in a videotaped statement. “We will not tolerate anything less.”

Dr. Bonner said the sororities had extended 72 bids this week to students, including 11 black women.

By Friday afternoon, six women who are minorities had agreed to join the sororities, including Halle Lindsay, who accepted an offer of admission from the Alpha Gamma Delta chapter in Tuscaloosa.

“This is all so surreal and exciting,” Ms. Lindsay wrote on her Twitter account. “I love my sisters already and happy to be an Alpha Gam!”

The national headquarters of Alpha Gamma Delta did not respond to a request for comment.

News of the admissions capped a tumultuous week for the university, the site of a Wednesday demonstration by hundreds of students and faculty members who demanded an end to long-running racial biases on the campus.

In marching to the Rose Administration Building, the protesters recalled the actions of Gov. George Wallace, who 50 years ago tried to bar African-American students from enrolling at the university, where blacks now make up more than 12 percent of the student body.

Although segregation in Alabama’s Greek system had been the subject of periodic anger and conversations through the years, the issue resurfaced last week when The Crimson White published an interview with a woman who described the conduct inside the Alpha Gamma Delta sorority house during August’s recruitment process.

According to the woman, Melanie Gotz, the sorority’s alumnae forbade current students from offering bids to two black women, one of them the stepgranddaughter of a member of Alabama’s board of trustees.

After days of escalating pressure, Dr. Bonner, in an abrupt reversal of the university’s longstanding contention that the privately run Greek organizations should fashion their own membership standards, ordered the sororities to engage in a protracted recruitment process.

On Friday, she said that step was “already yielding positive results,” and she expected the sororities to continue to broaden their membership throughout the academic year.

 
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Posted by on September 22, 2013 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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