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Police Harass BLM Ahead of Republican Convention

Seems like Cointelpro is still active in Cleveland…

 

Are Police Targeting Black Lives Matter Activists Ahead of the GOP Convention?

Law enforcement says it’s community outreach. Activists say it’s a harassment campaign.

With the Republican National Convention fast approaching in Cleveland, tensions over security are mounting. Presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump is expected to draw thousands of protesters and the scene outside the convention could turn volatile. At least two outside police departments have pulled out of the security effort, citing concerns that the city is ill-prepared. And the American Civil Liberties Union sued Cleveland over protest rules it views as draconian. (A settlement was reached last week.) Now, local and federal authorities have begun aggressively tracking activists—including members of the Black Lives Matter movement who have helped spotlight Cleveland’s brutal policing problems.

Last week, law enforcement agents began visiting the homes of known activists in Cleveland. Jocelyn Rosnick, an attorney with the Ohio chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, which is providing legal advice and holding civil rights trainings for activists ahead of the RNC, said her group had received about two dozen reports from activists who said they’d been visited by agents from the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Secret Service, or by Cleveland PD officers and Cuyahoga County sheriff’s deputies. Law enforcement agents, some of them said, also made phone calls to relatives, neighbors, and places of employment asking about the activists’ whereabouts. According to Rosnick, most of these reports have come from people involved with the local chapter of Black Lives Matter or the Occupy Wall Street movement.

The people receiving these visits and calls have found them intimidating. Local resident Dionne Hudson told Cleveland’s NewsChannel 5 that two law enforcement officials visited her home on June 21 looking for her 20-year-old daughter, who was among 71 people arrested at a protest following the acquittal of Cleveland PD officer Michael Brelo for a fatal shooting. Her daughter’s case was thrown out and she has not been involved in a protest since, Hudson said. “Where can we find her at? They asked things of that nature. What’s her phone number. It was like they were hunting her down,” Hudson said. “It’s intimidating.”

A prominent Cleveland activist, contacted byMother Jones via the National Lawyers Guild, said an agent with the FBI’s Cleveland field office left him a voicemail last Tuesday asking to speak with him. The activist, who asked to remain anonymous, said he had heard from others who received visits or phone calls from law enforcement. One said officers stopped him while he was jogging, and another said officers blocked his car with theirs as he attempted to pull out of his driveway. The activist, who has done organizing in Cleveland for nearly two decades, said he was not intimidated, but he worries about the impact on younger, less experienced activists.

“Clearly this is a harassment campaign,” he said. He pointed to the FBI’s history of targeting activists, including a local 2012 case in which five Occupy activists were arrested on terrorism charges after a federal agent infiltrated their group. The Cleveland PD, meanwhile has said it planned to use undercover officers in its security preparations. The activist said he thinks law enforcement is using the convention as a pretext to harass people who may end up on their radar for other reasons.

In a statement to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, a FBI spokeswoman said agents were conducting community outreach as a part of their security planning for the convention. “Law enforcement is reaching out to individuals known to the community who might have information that could help to ensure a safe and secure environment during the RNC,” the FBI spokeswoman said. Neither the FBI’s field office nor the Cleveland mayor’s office, which is handling media requests related to the RNC, responded to inquiries from Mother Jones.

Since 2014, Cleveland has seen a wave of protests in response to police shootings of black people. Activists affiliated with Black Lives Matter have also disrupted severalpolitical events since the beginning of the campaign season. One BLM leader saidin an interview last July that the group would take “any opportunity we have to shut down the GOP convention.” But Rosnick noted that many of the people who had been contacted by law enforcement recently said they had no plans to protest at the convention.

J. Edgar Hoover

Law enforcement also conducted these kinds of operations ahead of national political conventions in 2008 and 2012, Rosnick said, but “to me it seems like they have cast a wider net this time around.” She said members of an arts collective on the city’s west side—which hosted meetings related to protests of the Tamir Ricecase—have also been paid visits. And Maggie Rice, an organizer with Food Not Bombs, told Mother Jones that at least four of her group’s members were visited by FBI agents and plainclothes Cleveland police last week. “It made me feel uneasy,” one of those members told Mother Jones, “like no one I knew was necessarily safe.”

Randy Cunningham, a 66-year-old veteran environmental activist who’s coordinating an anti-poverty march for the GOP convention, described how two Cleveland PD detectives visited his home on June 20: One carried a manila folder with his name on it that contained a picture of his driver’s license and other documents, Cunningham said. He said they asked him questions about his plans for the march, how many people were expected to attend, and if he knew of people who might be coming from out of town to cause mayhem.

Meanwhile, Mother Jones also contacted four supporters of Trump in the Cleveland area who submitted applications for parade permits during the RNC. All replied they had not been contacted by law enforcement…. Read More Here

 
 

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Drinking Coffee While Black in Cincinatti

This arrest for walking down the street sipping coffee is supposedly under review…

Yeah…Right.

Drinking coffee while black: Ohio cop stops black man strolling down the street –then slams him into wall

Saying, “This is what we have to go through in Cincinnati,” a black man strolling down the street drinking a cop of coffee filmed a police officer stalking him, leading to  a confrontation that ended with him handcuffed and face-down on the ground.

In the video uploaded to YouTube, a man identified by The Free Thought Project as 29-year-old Charles Harrell, can be seen on screen with a police officer on a bicycle following closely behind him.

“You can’t be a black man and enjoy your morning, because the police are going to harass you in Cincinnati, Ohio,” Harrell explained. “Walking down the street, the cop just asked me if I have a problem.”

Off-camera the officer, identified as Baron Osterman, can be heard telling Harrell that he crossed against the light on the deserted street.

“Sir, you were scaring me, sir. I don’t know why were following me, anyway,” Harrell replied. “You were following me all the way down the street.”

Told to set his phone and coffee cup on the ground, Harrell refused before offering his ID to the officer only to be told “don’t reach around” when he went for his wallet.

Protesting that the officer was violating his rights, Harrell is told to put his hands behind his back, leading to a scuffle with Harrell slammed into a wall before being pulled to the ground where he is handcuffed

Harrell’s cellphone continues to record the altercation from the ground after it fell between the officer’s legs.

Harrell was arrested for a pedestrian violation, resisting arrest and a small amount of marijuana that was found on him.

Informed of the video, Cincinnati Police Chief Eliot K. Isaac issued a statement the incident is being reviewed internally.

 
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Posted by on March 7, 2016 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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Another Whitewash Jury in San Jose

I could debate about the punishment that would be appropriate for the miscreants – and whether locking them up, or giving them some serious community service time would be more effective. I think about 30 days in jail, followed by 4-6 months of working community service in a poor section of town might do wonders.

Donald Williams Jr., center, walks with his parents, Nancy and Donald Williams, out of Santa Clara Superior Court on Monday morning, Feb. 1, 2016, in San Jose, Calif.

All white jury fails to convict white San Jose State students who abused black classmate of hate crimes

Donald Williams Jr.’s parents were shocked to find a the Confederate flag posted in the common room of their son’s dorm. It was accompanied by a white board that featured the N-word and a swastika. But that wasn’t the worst of what Williams endured as a freshman at San Jose State University.

In September of 2013, one of his seven white roommates came up behind him and placed a U-shaped bike lock around his neck. Williams struggled to be released for five minutes before his roommate finally gave him the key. A week later, three of his other roommates attempted to do the same thing but failed when Williams engaged in a scuffle.

There was also an incident when Williams, who is reportedly claustrophobic, was locked inside a closet. His roommates assigned him nicknames such as “three-fifths” and “fraction,” which referenced how the Constitution once counted black slaves.

Despite the racially charged and abusive behavior, which were pieced together by police statements and an independent investigation, an all white jury deadlocked on the hate crime charges and ultimately failed to convict the suspects. Instead, Colin Warren, Logan Beaschler and Joseph “Brett” Bomgardner were found guilty ofmisdemeanor battery after “offensively touching” Williams during the bike-lock prank, the San Jose Mercury News reported.

Sentencing is set for March, and the students face a maximum of six months in jail. According to the Washington Post, they’re unlikely to serve any time due to the absence of a hate crime conviction. They’re likely to get off easy with community service instead.

Ultimately the jury believed that the actions taken by the students were just pranks that went too far as opposed to hate crimes. But the fact that the students forcefully put a bike lock around Williams’ neck and didn’t deal with felony assault charges is ludicrous.

The Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen disagrees that what Williams went through was nothing more than pranks, and is considering pursuing a retrial.

“Prejudice is not a prank,” Rosen said. “This violence did not happen in a historical vacuum. This violent act was done to a young black college student by five white men, an injustice inflicted upon him because of the color of his skin.”

Often times when debates about white privilege come about, white individuals believe it’s a denial of their own struggles and the hard work they put into their success. But white privilege is simply getting the benefit of the doubt by those in authority and the community.

The jury in the Williams case decided to give the white students the benefit of the doubt by believing that their actions were simply meant to be pranks and nothing more. But if the tables were turned and the races were reversed, does anyone actually think that black students would get the same treatment? Anyone who says “yes” is either incredibly naive or in denial.

 
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Posted by on February 28, 2016 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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Crossing the Street While Black

Guy walking home from work, stops to drop off a video at the local Redbox… Stopped by Cop who “doesn’t like the way he walks”…

Black man stopped by ‘Bama cop for 30 minutes because he ‘didn’t like the way he was walking’

Is it because I’m black?

 
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Posted by on November 1, 2015 in BlackLivesMatter, The New Jim Crow

 

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DWB – Arrested For “Suspicion of Breastfeeding”

Welcome to Charles County, Maryland – where the Cops are still fighting the Civil War.

Maryland cops arrest man and threaten his girlfriend over non-existent ‘breast feeding violation’

Charles County, MD — An infuriating video posted to Facebook this week shows the grim and infuriating reality of incompetent and power tripping cops in police state USA.

Local artist, DC Prophitt was doing absolutely nothing wrong when he was approached by multiple Charles County Sheriff’s deputies. The deputies mistakenly thought that Prophitt’s girlfriend was breastfeeding their baby in the vehicle, so he decided to ruin their year.

The family was getting gas when their world was quickly turned upside down by badged agitators.

When the video begins, Prophitt is understandably aggravated by the stop and he was unafraid of voicing this emotion. As a deputy attempts to cite the couple for the non-existent “breast feeding violation,” Prophitt becomes even more upset.

“You say one more curse word, you’re going to jail,” said the deputy.

“Can we just get the ticket and go?” asks Prophitt’s girlfriend. “My daughters are in there.”

At this point, the deputy then grabs the woman and forces her to the other side of the vehicle. He then begins to threaten her with arrest too.

When Prophitt gets upset that the deputy is assaulting his girlfriend, he voices his concern to which the deputy replies, “Now your under arrest.”

When they ask why Prophitt is being arrested, the deputy asserts his authority, claiming that he is responsible for regulating how people should act in public. “There’s a certain way to act in public my friend, and that is not it,” spouts the deputy.

When his girlfriend asks why Prophitt is being arrested, she is told to “Sit in the car! Or you will be arrested too!”

The video then ends abruptly. According to Prophitt, however, his girlfriend did not stop recording. After police put Prophitt in the patrol car, they approached his girlfriend, assaulted her, took the camera, and confiscated her phone.

The phone was given back to them only days before the court date on Wednesday and the subsequent assault and camera snatching was deleted.

According to Prophitt, On Wednesday, he was found guilty of all charges and police are blaming him for the negative calls to the department from people who’ve seen his ridiculous arrest.

In the video below, a man was arrested, a woman assaulted, and state violence threatened — for what? There were no victims, no property had been damaged, and no one was harmed. This is the type of behavior by police that is driving a wedge in society between the state and everyone else.

Of course, people will say that Prophitt should have just been quiet, accepted the ticket, and he would have avoided the arrest. This is probably true. However, Prophitt’s anger is entirely understandable. He had harmed no one, yet he was surrounded by multiple armed state antagonists, who could and would have killed him with impunity.

 
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Posted by on October 22, 2015 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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Black Couple Threatened And Harassed by Neighbor …Sues

Family moves into house. Neighbor subjects them to slurs and racist threats. Neighbor threatens them with a gun…

Neighbor resists arrest by Police, and is charged with a Misdemeanor…

Special laws for “special” people?

Gregory and Sophia Bonds

Black couple uses housing law to sue over slurs, threats

Citing a sliver of civil rights-era legislation more commonly used as protection against discriminatory landlords, a black couple is suing their former neighbor and a north Georgia city they say failed to stop him from harassing them.

Gregory and Sophia Bonds say the slurs and threats began the day they moved into the brick ranch rental home in a well-kept neighborhood in Gainesville, northeast of Atlanta, back in February 2012.

Roy Turner Jr., the white neighbor who worked for the city’s solid waste department, verbally assaulted them whenever he saw them outside, including sometimes while he was working, the couple contends. He also sometimes walked and made sounds like an ape when he saw them, the Bonds family asserts in a lawsuit filed last month against Turner and the city.

Turner told The Associated Press he wasn’t aware of the lawsuit but that he never threatened anyone.

“I said ‘porch monkey,'” he said with a chuckle. “That’s just a joking-around term.”

Gainesville Mayor Danny Dunagan said he couldn’t comment on pending litigation.

The lawsuit details more than a dozen specific instances of alleged harassment. Gregory Bonds said the final straw came in May: The family had company and Turner came out into his yard with a baseball bat and began hitting a tree aggressively and yelling more slurs. The family moved the next month.

They cite a provision of the federal Fair Housing Act of 1968 and a nearly identical section of Georgia law that says it’s illegal to coerce, intimidate, threaten or interfere with someone who is exercising or enjoying any right guaranteed by that law. Conceived to protect against violent actions such as cross burnings, bombs or other physical attacks, it also applies to verbal attacks, said Robert Schwemm, a law professor at the University of Kentucky who has decades of experience with the Fair Housing Act.

“It’s specifically a separate section of the statute that was designed to apply to people who were not housing providers — neighbors and others,” Schwemm said.

That provision isn’t used very often against neighbors in the modern era, Schwemm said. He’s aware of one or two cases a year but said there are likely others he doesn’t hear about.

Schwemm said he’s never heard of a case that sought to hold a municipality accountable for a neighbor’s actions.

Gregory and Sophia Bonds had saved money to move out of an apartment into a house so their three teenage children would have a yard for the first time and would have more space to invite their friends over, their lawyer Ashley Bell said. Turner’s behavior violated fair housing statutes that bar discrimination on the basis of a variety of factors when people are renting, buying or seeking financing for housing, the lawsuit says.

The city’s knowledge of Turner’s actions, many of which occurred while he was a city employee, and its failure to curb them make it liable for them, the family argues. Roy Turner Mug Shot

City records show some steps were taken against Turner, but the Bonds family says it wasn’t enough.

Sophia Bonds first called police in March 2012, about a month after they moved in, and told an officer Turner regularly hurled racial slurs at them. She said she was afraid of him, according to a police report. Turner told the officer he wouldn’t use words like that because he was a city employee, the report says.

A month later, on April 19, 2012, Turner and Gregory Bonds exchanged words outside before Turner went into his house and reappeared at his back door with a loaded rifle that he pointed at Gregory Bonds, the couple told police.

After a standoff lasting several hours, officers entered the home and forcibly removed Turner, using a stun gun on him when he refused to obey their commands, police reports say.

Turner pleaded guilty a month later to a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge. The judge ordered him to pay a $200 fine and to serve 12 months on probation with extra conditions: no violence or insults toward the Bonds family, no weapons on his property and no drinking or possessing hard liquor.

The Bonds family was frustrated that Turner only faced a misdemeanor charge, said Bell, their lawyer. Hall County Solicitor General Stephanie Woodard, whose office prosecuted Turner, said she understood that frustration.

“I was greatly outraged at the behavior that Roy Turner exhibited and at the behavior that this family and their children endured,” she said, adding that her office can only prosecute misdemeanors and the district attorney had declined to bring felony charges.

Turner was in a car crash in the 1970s that left him with a traumatic brain injury that caused mental impairment and altered his behavior, said Dunagan, the mayor, who grew up with Turner and said he never knew him to be violent. A group of friends watches out for Turner and helps him live as independently as possible, two of them told Woodard before Turner’s sentencing.

Woodard detected some cognitive disconnect when speaking to Turner, but she said she still believed Turner was capable of controlling himself.

Woodard said she believes the city’s police handled him properly, sending in a SWAT team and using force to arrest him.

Turner landed back in court for probation violations several times. After his probation officer said Turner continued to insult the Bonds family, the judge ordered him not to drink or possess any alcohol, to submit to random alcohol testing, to allow police to enter his home randomly to make sure there were no guns and to have no contact with the Bonds family, court records show.

Turner had worked for the city’s solid waste department since October 1992. In recent years, he worked as a garbage collector and had a string of run-ins with customers and co-workers, according to city personnel records. There’s a record in his personnel file of a call from Sophia Bonds a few days after his arrest asking that Turner not work the route that included her house.

The city suspended him following his arrest in April 2012. After he was sentenced to probation, he was allowed to return to work but was warned not to have arguments or to use derogatory language.

After numerous confrontations with co-workers and the public, Turner was fired Oct. 23.

 
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Posted by on September 7, 2015 in Domestic terrorism

 

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Pulled Over for Looking at a Cop

Another over-the-top Police stop of a black man for DWB in Dayton. This comes on top of news of a Harris County, Texas Officer being shot execution style at a gas station – and what seems to be a rise in violence against Police in general. Hard to tell at this point if there is any correlation as the shooters have been both black and white. But as a person who has gone through the DWB routine, living in a high end majority white neighborhood for over 30 years – Once being stopped because the Dealer installed tags on my expensive car had a clear plastic cover (just as the hundreds of other cars sold by the local dealer in that town)…I can certainly agree with John Felton’s frustration

This Black Driver’s Mistake Was Looking a Police Officer in the Eye

John Felton was driving to his brother’s house in Dayton, Ohio, on a recent night when he noticed a police car tailing him. Not wanting to give the officer any excuse to pull him over, Felton, who is black and was visiting Dayton from Michigan, tried to drive extra carefully. But the effort was insufficient: Soon after making a turn, Felton was forced to stop his car and show the officer his driver’s license.

It turned out Felton had not switched on his turn signal at the exact right moment; as you can see from the video Felton made of the encounter and sent to talk show host David Pakman, the white officer told him he had failed to signal within 100 feet of making his turn.

But why, Felton wanted to know, had the officer decided to follow him in the first place? That’s when the stop went from being an ordinary illustration of racial profiling to an extraordinary one.

“You made direct eye contact with me and held onto it when I was passing you,” the officer told Fenton. The implication was that Fenton had marked himself as a suspicious character simply by looking at the officer.

Update, Aug. 28, 5:10 p.m.: The city of Dayton put out a statement about the incident, acknowledging that “making direct eye contact with an officer is not a basis for a traffic stop.” The statement implies—but doesn’t say outright—that in pulling Felton over for not signaling within 100 feet of a turn, the officer was complying with a Dayton police initiative called “Safe Communities Through Aggressive Traffic Enforcement,” aimed at reducing traffic-related fatalities. The statement also says that the police department “is in contact with Mr. Felton,” and that he “has agreed to a conversation with the officer, facilitated by the Dayton Mediation Center” that will “allow Mr. Felton and the Officer to discuss the specifics of the incident.”

For those who have been following the past year in race relations between police officers and black people, that will sound familiar: Making eye contact with cops was also what set off a chase in Baltimore that ended with Freddie Gray sustaining fatal injuries in the back of a van.…More…

 
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Posted by on August 29, 2015 in BlackLivesMatter, Domestic terrorism

 

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