RSS

Tag Archives: BLM

White Student Who Wore Gorilla Mask to BLM Demonstration Gets Indicted

Another Trumpazoid soon headed to jail.

Student Who Wore Gorilla Mask and Disrupted Black Lives Matter Protest Indicted by Grand Jury

The former East Tennessee State University student who wore a gorilla mask and disrupted a Black Lives Matter protest on campus while carrying bananas and a rope has been indicted by a grand jury.

The Associated Press reports that Assistant District Attorney Erin McArdle confirmed that Tristan Rettke of Hendersonville, Tenn., was indicted by a Washington County grand jury on two counts of civil rights intimidation and two counts of disorderly conduct and disrupting a meeting.

As previously reported on The Root, Rettke showed up to the on-campus protest wearing overalls and gorilla mask. He carried bananas, a rope and a Confederate flag. He told Johnson City, Tenn., police that he used the items “to provoke the protesters.” Rettke reportedly dangled the bananas, tied with a rope, in people’s faces at the Sept. 28 protest.

AP reports that witnesses told the grand jury that Rettke used racial slurs, intimidated them and made them fearful.

From the Johnson City Press:

Thomas Madison, who was not part of the rally but stopped by on his way to a class, said he began videoing and asked Rettke what was his purpose for being there. On the video, Rettke can be heard saying in a muffled voice that he was there to support the protesters.

“He said, ‘I identify as a gorilla,’” Madison testified. “I took that as a reference to me being black. And I took him wearing a mask at a Black Lives Matter protest … the fact black people historically have been called monkeys.”

Madison also testified that he took the bananas being tied up with rope as “a very serious threat … when you come offer me a banana this close to my face, it’s calling me a monkey, and I’m not a monkey,” he said, demonstrating that Rettke was just inches from Madison’s face during the encounter.

Jaylen Grimes testified Rettke wrapped a rope around the bananas over and over, then pulled the ends of the rope, which sliced through the fruit. Grimes said he viewed the rope as a noose and took it as a reference to the historical lynching of African Americans.

Patrick Denton, Rettke’s attorney, says that his client was exercising his freedom of speech and didn’t intimidate anyone.

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Laquan McDonald Murderer Cop Charged With 16 More Counts

New prosecutors are trying to clean up the mess made by the previous crew’s attempt at coverup of the Police murder of McDonald.

Ain’t it funny how every time a black man is murdered the “find” drugs in his system to justify the murder? Oh! He was a “serial offender!” – he got 4 Parking Tickets and a Jaywalking charge in the last 20 years!

Jason Van Dyke charged with 16 new counts in shooting death of Laquan McDonald

Jason Van Dyke

A new indictment unsealed Thursday in the murder case against Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke added 16 counts of aggravated battery — one for each time the officer shot Laquan McDonald in 2014.

Joseph McMahon, the Kane County state’s attorney who was appointed special prosecutor in the high-profile case, had previously said his office believed that none of the rounds fired by Van Dyke was legally justified.

In the indictment returned March 16 by a new grand jury, Van Dyke is still charged with six counts of first-degree murder and one count of official misconduct as well.

Van Dyke, who has been suspended without pay since soon after he was first charged in November 2015, pleaded not guilty Thursday to the new indictment through his attorney.

McMahon denied in court that he sought the new indictment to correct what Van Dyke’s attorney, Daniel Herbert, had labeled fatal errors in the initial charges.

“I disagree with Mr. Herbert,” said McMahon, who made it clear, though, that he believed the issues raised by Van Dyke’s motion to dismiss the original indictment “were now moot.”

Herbert had alleged prosecutors misled the original grand jury by instructing them to consider Van Dyke’s actions only under the state’s first-degree murder statute, not under a separate law that governs an officer’s use of force.

He also alleged that prosecutors improperly presented to the grand jury statements that other officers at McDonald’s shooting were required to give by police disciplinary officials. And he also said grand jurors were wrongly told that the 17-year-old McDonald was shot first in the back.

The autopsy report showed that McDonald was shot 16 times in the scalp, neck, both sides of his chest, his back, both arms and his right hand and leg. But authorities have never publicly divulged — if they know — where he was first shot.

Herbert said he planned to file a similar motion to dismiss involving the new indictment after reviewing grand jury testimony given before the indictment was returned March 16.

Through his attorney, Van Dyke again entered a not guilty plea before Judge Vincent Gaughan.

The fallout over the dashboard camera video of the white police officer shooting the black teen has caused the most severe crisis for Mayor Rahm Emanuel in his time in office and led to a blistering report by the U.S. Department of Justice that portrayed a broken Police Department in which officers commit misconduct and use excessive force with little fear of repercussions.

The video showed Van Dyke opening fire within seconds of exiting his police SUV as McDonald walked away from police with a knife in his hand in the middle of the road shortly before 10 p.m. Oct. 20, 2014, contradicting many of the officers’ written accounts that the teen had lunged at police with the knife.

As McDonald walked away from him, Van Dyke took at least one step forward and fired 16 rounds at McDonald in about 14 seconds and was reloading when another officer told him to hold his fire, prosecutors have said.

Hundreds of pages of Chicago police reports showed that Van Dyke and at least five other officers claimed that the McDonald moved or turned threateningly toward officers, even though video of the shooting showed McDonald walking away.

Authorities said McDonald had PCP in his system at the time of his death.

Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson is seeking to fire Van Dyke and four other officers whose accounts did not match the video.

McMahon has asked that the Chicago Police Board, which will decide on the firings, to hold off on hearings until after Van Dyke’s criminal trial to minimize publicity that could affect the trial’s jury selection.

However, most Chicago police officers charged with misconduct have opted to put their fate in the hands of a judge, not a jury.

At Thursday’s hearing, an attorney for the police board said the board has agreed to hold off on an evidentiary hearing in Van Dyke’s case until Gaughan, who is presiding over the officer’s criminal trial, rules on the issue.

Gaughan, who has routinely held lengthy off-the-record discussions with the attorneys in the case in his chambers at each status hearing, held to form Thursday, meeting privately with the attorneys — without a court reporter present — for about 45 minutes. The public discussion in his courtroom then lasted about 15 minutes.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 24, 2017 in BlackLivesMatter

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Black Folks 3-12 Times More Likely to be Wrongfully Convicted

It is not surprising…And it is why black folks have so little faith in the criminal justice system. What is amazing to me is the number of TV Shows on cops on the air which are completely propaganda and bear no relationship to reality. Perhaps it is time to start suing the Networks for promoting propaganda which encourages police violence, lack of accountability, and wrongful actions. The reason so many white folks believe the police are doing a fine job is that is the only narrative they are ever exposed to. The reality, as this shows is quite something different, and without substantive change to make the system more fair and accountable – there just isn’t going to be any trust.

Image result for falsely convicted

Innocent Blacks More Likely Than Whites To Be Wrongfully Convicted

The U.S. set a record for exonerations in 2016 for the third consecutive year.

The majority of the 2,000 people in the United States formally exonerated of crimes they never committed are black, according to a new report examining the relationship between race and wrongful convictions.

In addition, the majority of more than 1,800 innocent defendants framed by law enforcement since 1989 in widespread police scandals are African American, says the report, “Race and Wrongful Convictions in the United States,” published Tuesday as a companion to the annual National Registry of Exonerations.

“Judging from the cases we know, a substantial majority of innocent people who are convicted of crimes in the United States are African Americans,” the report declares.

The report examines exonerations for defendants who had been wrongly convicted of murder, sexual assault and drug crimes since 1989.

Murder

While African Americans make up about 13 percent of the U.S. population, half of all defendants exonerated for murder are black ― a rate seven times that for innocent whites. These wrongly convicted black Americans spent on average more than 14 years in prison, the report says.

Many more are innocent, but not yet cleared. “More often than not, they will die in prison,” researchers wrote.Related image

The false murder convictions of black defendants were 22 percent more likely to involve police misconduct than those of white defendants. On average, African Americans who were exonerated waited three years longer in prison before their release than whites in similar circumstances.

The major reason for the disproportionately high number of black murder exonerations is the high homicide rate in the black community, researchers say. But those who are wrongly convicted did not contribute to the murder rate, and instead are “deeply harmed by murders of others,” the report says.

Sexual Assault

A black person imprisoned for sexual assault is 3.5 times more likely to be innocent than a white inmate convicted on similar charges. Blacks also received much longer prison sentences than whites who were exonerated of sexual assault charges, spending an average of 4.5 years longer in prison before being cleared.

Researchers found that a major cause of this disparity was mistaken identification by white victims.

“It appears that innocent black sexual assault defendants receive harsher sentences than whites if they are convicted, and then face greater resistance to exoneration even in cases in which they are ultimately released,” the report reads.

Drug Crimes

While black and white Americans use illicit substances at about the same rate, African Americans are about five times more likely to go to prison for drug possession as whites. And innocent black people are about 12 times more likely to be wrongfully convicted of drug crimes than innocent white people, according to the report. 

The primary reason for the drug crime disparity is that police enforce drug laws more vigorously against the black community, according to the report. Blacks are more frequently “stopped, searched, arrested and convicted ― including in cases in which they are innocent,” researchers write.

“Of the many costs that the War on Drugs inflicts on the black community, the practice of deliberately charging innocent defendants with fabricated crimes may be the most shameful,” said Samuel Gross, a University of Michigan law professor who authored the race report and is senior editor of the national registry.

A Record Year

There were 166 exonerations in 2016, an average of three per week ― the most since the analysis began in 1989 and double the number in 2011, the National Registry of Exonerations annual report finds. It was the third consecutive year with a record number of exonerations.

“The room for growth is essentially unlimited,” the researchers conclude. That’s because the number of innocent defendants who are cleared is “a function of the resources that are available to reinvestigate and reconsider cases on the one hand, and the level of resistance to doing so on the other.”

The report found a range of factors leading to wrongful convictions, including including government misconduct, false guilty pleas by innocent people, and situations where it was later determined that no crime was committed.

The National Registry of Exonerations now lists 2,000 exonerations since 1989. On average, those who were cleared had served almost nine years in prison. Some had been on death row. Others were younger than 18 when they were convicted, or had intellectual disabilities.

Even after they are cleared and released, those exonerated often get little assistance as they adjust to freedom, update job skills and re-enter society. Thirty-one states, Washington, D.C., and the federal justice system offer some compensation, but the majority do not receive anything meaningful. 

Image result for falsely convicted

Yusef Salaam of the Central Park 5

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Can a BLM Champion Win in Missouri?

What we are beginning to see is BLM move into the political space as a method of promoting the values and issues the organization supports. A new generation of politicians not tied to the 60’s Civil Tights establishment. Making the government accountable covers a lot more ground than just stopping Police violence. Go for it!

Tishaura O. Jones

Tishaura O. Jones, currently City Treasurer is running for Mayor of St. Louis

 

Can a Champion of Black Lives Matter Become Mayor of St. Louis?

Tishaura Jones is running to “uproot racism” just a few miles from the streets where Michael Brown was murdered.

Most political candidates would do just about anything to win the endorsement of their largest hometown newspaper, but Tishaura O. Jones knows that the old rules are rigged—and ripe for revision.

The 44-year-old city treasurer, Black Lives Matter advocate, and labor-backed progressive is running to be the next mayor of St. Louis. Last month, she declined to sit down for a standard candidate interview with the editorial board of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Instead, in a stroke of gutsy defiance, she wrote a searing open letter to the newspaper’s leadership in which she criticized its coverage of poverty and racism in the city and laid out her own bold political platform.

“I had a Fannie Lou Hamer moment,” Jones says, referring to the iconic Southern civil-rights activist. “I was sick and tired of being sick and tired.”

Specifically, as her letter lays out, she was sick and tired of the way the Post-Dispatch leadership seemed to blame poor and struggling residents for St. Louis’s woes, attributing its problems to racially coded issues like “blight” and “graffiti.” She was sick and tired of the paper’s “thinly veiled racism and preference for the status quo past.” She wanted no part of it.

“What is killing our city is poverty…,” she wrote. “What is killing our region is a systemic racism that pervades almost every public and private institution, including your newspaper, and makes it nearly impossible for either North St. Louis or the parts of South St. Louis where African Americans live to get better or safer or healthier or better-educated.”

Jones believes she can begin to change all that. And she detailed a plan to do so in her unsparing letter, which quickly went viral and helped infuse her candidacy with a last-minute boost of money and populist energy. As she enters the final days of her primary run, she hopes that energy will be enough to propel “the people’s candidate,” as she calls herself, one crucial step closer to the city’s highest office.

Jones’s campaign, set against the backdrop of the murder of Michael Brown in nearby Ferguson, is further evidence that the movements against mass incarceration, police brutality, and entrenched racism are holding the line at the local level. Should she win, her success would offer reassurance that the progressive flame can still burn hot in City Hall, despite the reactionary white-supremacist agenda ascendant at the White House.

Indeed, most grassroots progressive groups in St. Louis back Jones’s candidacy, says Kennard Williams, a community organizer with the nonprofit Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment, or MORE, which is currently leading a campaign against mass incarceration, called Decarcerate STL, in the city.

Jones’s record, her ideas and her rhetoric, he says, have earned her endorsements from organizations like MORE, the SEIU Missouri State Council, the St. Louis Action Council, and the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, as well as dozens of Black Lives Matter, civil-rights, and community activists in the city. Mobilize Missouri, a statewide coalition of grassroots activists that emerged out of the Bernie Sanders campaign, endorsed her in mid-February.

“People understand that she is the best option,” Williams adds. “She is the only candidate to come out and trash on our criminal-justice system, to acknowledge there is a problem with this system and that we can’t keep operating it this way.”

In her letter to the Post-Dispatch, for instance, Jones pledged to “look at every issue through a racial equity lens” and to advocate for people who have been “disenfranchised, red-lined and flat-out ignored for way too long.”

One sees this approach in her past work. During her innovative tenure as city treasurer, a normally staid political office, she launched a program to open college savings accounts for every kindergartner in St. Louis and seed each account with $50 drawn from parking fees. She also created an Office of Financial Empowerment, which provides free financial education and credit-counseling services.

As mayor, Jones says she would expand such programs. Her agenda, though, goes far beyond that.

She intends, for instance, to close once and for all the city’s notorious Workhouse, a jail that some activists have likened to a debtors’ prison. In her open letter, Jones described the facility as a “rat hole.” If she succeeds in shuttering it, she says she will funnel the budget savings to reentry programs, mental-health services, and substance-abuse centers.

“We have advocated shutting down the Workhouse for a couple years now,” says Williams, who helps spearhead MORE’s campaign against mass incarceration. “Her plan falls perfectly in line with what we are trying to do.”

Jones supports the placement of social workers in the city’s police department, the establishment of a $15 minimum wage, and the creation of a Tenants Bill of Rights to help protect poor and working-class renters from predatory landlords. She plans to eliminate the St. Louis cash-bail system too.

“Cash bail has a domino effect on low income families,” she says. “If someone is in jail because they can’t afford to pay a cash bail, then they may lose their jobs, and from there it becomes a downward spiral.”

If Jones’s campaign prevails, if she beats out six other Democrats in the March 7 primary as well the inevitable Republican opponent in the April 4 general election, the Black Lives Matter movement will clearly, finally, have an unequivocal ally at City Hall.

“St. Louis is the epicenter of Black Lives Matter,” says Jones. “As I wrote in my letter, after that tragic incident in Ferguson, we woke up, black people woke up, and we have seen more civic and political activity from young people than we have ever seen before. I want to make sure that we are amplifying their voices. I want to make sure we are giving them a seat at the table.”

“Uprooting racism,” she contends, “has to be the number-one priority.”

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 6, 2017 in BlackLivesMatter

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Off Duty LA Cop Fires Gun Into Group of Unarmed Teens Walking Home From School

An off duty LA Cop fired his service pistol into a group of teens after escalating an argument over a kid walking over his lawn. There were a lot of opportunities to deescalate this one, and the Cop chose none of them, manhandling an unarmed 13 year old teen as the crowd around him grew. This is one of those neighborhood spats that should have been taken up with the boy’s parents in a neighbor-neighbor discussion.

 

Protests Erupt After Video Shows Off-Duty LAPD Cop Firing A Gun In Dispute With Teen

Police have arrested two teenagers in connection with Tuesday afternoon’s confrontation, but Gaby Hernandez, a spokesperson for a group that organized the protest, told The Huffington Post that activists want the “immediate arrest” of the officer for “child abuse” for the incident.

In the video, the off-duty officer can be heard saying that the boy threatened to shoot him. The teen can be heard denying the officer’s claim. The teenager adds that the officer called another girl an offensive word for walking on his property.

One kid rushes at the off-duty officer and the teen, causing them to fall in a bush. Another teenager tries to punch the man but misses. The officer then appears to pull a gun from his waistband and a single gunshot rings out. Police later arrive on the scene.

The video does not show what led up to the incident, but authorities said it began when a group of kids walked across the officer’s  property on Tuesday at 2:40 p.m., according to an official press release.

Police allege that a 13-year-old boy threatened to shoot the off-duty police officer, “at which time the officer attempted to detain the teen.” Anaheim police confirmed that the off-duty officer fired the gun once, but said no one was struck by gunfire.

Demonstrators assembled Wednesday night in the neighborhood where the footage was filmed condemned the officer’s behavior. Naui Oceloti Hitzilopochtli, a protestor and Orange County resident who lives five miles from the officer’s house, said that the community was upset with the Anaheim police for arresting the teen and not the officer.

“You can tell the people are mad,” Hitzilopochtli told HuffPost.

“If it would have been a [white kid] this would have never happened,” he added. “White kids don’t go through this,” referring to the 13 year old’s arrest. “Only people of Mexican descent or black people.”

Police arrested a 13-year-old boy they believe appeared in the video for criminal threats and battery. They also arrested a 15-year-old for assault and battery, according to an Anaheim police press release issued Tuesday. The off-duty officer was not arrested but is cooperating with the investigation.

A spokesperson for the LAPD told HuffPost on Wednesday that it has launched an administrative investigation into the incident, adding that the off-duty officer is not currently facing any charges. However, he has been placed on administrative duty while the LAPD conducts their investigation, according to NBC4 News.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on February 23, 2017 in BlackLivesMatter

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Dayton Police Pepper Spray Black Man Already in Restraint Chiair

Talk about serial molesters! Police in Montgomery Country in Dayton, Ohio again Pepper Spray detainees who have been put into a restraint chairs and is helpless to defend themselves.

The man, Charles Wade had been arrested for being drunk

‘I can’t breathe!’: Video reveals Ohio cops pepper spraying man while he’s strapped in chair

New video has surfaced that shows police officers at the Montgomery County Jail in Dayton, Ohio pepper spraying a black suspect’s face despite the fact that they had already strapped him into a restraint chair.

The video, which was obtained and posted by the Washington Post, shows a man named Charles Wade being repeatedly hit with shots of pepper spray to the face while sitting in a restraining chair after his arrest for alleged drunk driving last October.

As he was being sprayed, Wade coughed and repeatedly told the officers that he was having trouble breathing as they told him to “stop resisting.”

“I can’t breathe, help me please!” he said repeatedly.

The Post notes that Wade this week filed a lawsuit against the Montgomery County sheriff’s department with the U.S. District Court in Ohio, in which he alleges the officers employed excessive force during their attempts to restrain him.

The Montgomery County Jail is the same jail that drew heavy criticism for similarly pepper spraying a white woman named Amber Swink, who was sprayed even after being restrained with a seven-point harness.

Montgomery County Sheriff Phil Plummer at the time said that it was wrong to pepper spray Swink while she was restrained, but he called it an isolated incident. Wade’s attorney, Douglas Brannon, tells the Post that this new footage shows such incidents are much more common than what the department has let on.

“I think it happened again because there was no discipline handed out to officers involved in abusing Amber Swink,” he said. “I think this type of treatment is becoming something that happens with impunity within the Montgomery County jail.”

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 16, 2017 in BlackLivesMatter, Domestic terrorism

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

BLM Releases Statement on Immigration Ban

BLM Statement:

The Black Lives Matter Global Network and movement could not exist without our Black Muslim, immigrant and refugee family.

On Friday, Donald Trump signed an executive order severely restricting Muslim immigrants from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Libya and Yemen — all Muslim-majority countries — from entering the United States. Refugee admissions have been halted for at least 120 days. Green-card holders who happened to be traveling, those with visas or permanent residence granted by the U.S., found themselves detained by TSA agents upon returning to the United States. Legally, they should have been protected, but their nationality, race and religion outweighed their right to safety and protection in America. 

We cannot allow this injustice to continue.

The war against Muslims and refugees, the separation of families, immigrants deported and detained, the turning away of those seeking asylum and the denial of basic human dignity must stop. Within the first week of this new administration, we watched as families were detained for hours without food, some were denied legal counsel and some have been released while many more still await their fate. 

Since the order, thousands of people have gathered at airports across the nation demanding the removal of the ban and the immediate release of detainees. Local Black Lives Matter chapters have been in the fight; we know that an attack on any of us is an attack on all of us. 

Hate has no borders. Because of the Trump administration’s actions, Muslims everywhere are at risk, and we must rise in solidarity whenever and wherever necessary. Two days after Trump signed the executive order, a racist white nationalist walked into a mosque in Quebec and killed six Muslims in prayer. We know that these attacks do not live in a vacuum and that our issues are connected. White supremacy and Neo-Nazis are not only being emboldened in America — this is a worldwide growing and strengthening of their ideals and movement. We must be steadfast that this is not normal.

It’s been less than two weeks since Trump took office. The impact of his hate-filled presidency has already sent shockwaves throughout the world. Xenophobia and islamophobia cannot be allowed to rage without intervention. Many of us have made the decision not to stand idly by, but rather to show up for the lives of people who are being profiled and pushed out. Rising intolerance means fewer and fewer people are safe. This fight is for all who believe in justice. 

We will fight for the safety of all people.

We will protect people everywhere that we can.

This is going to be a long fight; Black Lives Matter will be there every step of the way.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 1, 2017 in Second American Revolution

 

Tags: , , , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: