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Tag Archives: Justice

Histroric Moment! Cop Who Murdered Walter Scott Going to Jail

Every once in a while in America, bad cops who disgrace the uniform actually go down for their crimes.

Kinda gives a little hope that traitors like the Chumph will go down, despite being supported by Republicans who countenance child rape and treason.

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Walter Scott

Cop who shot Walter Scott in the back as he fled sentenced to at least 19 years in jail

Michael SlagerFormer South Carolina police officer Michael Slager has been sentenced to at least 19 years in jail over the killing of Walter Scott, a black man whom Slager had shot in the back as he was trying to flee.

ABC News reports that U.S. District Judge David Norton ruled on Thursday that Slager must serve a prison sentence of between 19 to 24 years for both committing second-degree murder and obstructing justice.

Slager fatally shot Scott in 2015 while he was an officer at the North Charleston Police Department. Shortly after the shooting occurred, an eyewitness video emerged showing that Scott had turned around to flee from Slager during a confrontation the two men had — at which point, Slager took out his firearm and shot Scott in the back.

The video directly contradicted Slager’s assertion that he only shot Scott because he felt his life was in danger. After the video emerged, Slager was fired from his job at the North Charleston Police Department.

Despite this clear video evidence, however, a jury late last year was unable to reach a verdict on Slager’s guilt, and the judge in the case eventually declared a mistrial.

“The state retrial and federal trial were expected to take place this year, but instead, in May Slager pleaded guilty to violating Scott’s civil rights in federal court, ending the federal case against him and also resolving the state charges that were pending after the mistrial,” reports ABC News.

 

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Yet Another Vicious Republican Woman Beater

Rich white kid attacks woman with Claw Hammer…

What happens?

It all goes away and he becomes a Republican Party Official.

You got money, and are white…

Stuff that would wind up locking a poor(er) kid away for 20 years to life…Just magically goes away, and you a free to join the white wing criminal cartel.

Rupert Tarsey and Dolly Rump

As a teen, he savagely beat a classmate. The attack was forgotten, until he went into politics

The Republicans of Broward County, Fla., knew little about Rupert Tarsey when he ran for an open slot on the local party’s executive committee. But the young man had some decent political cred.

Before the 2016 presidential election, he told them, he knocked on thousands of doors and got 50 Republicans in the liberal enclave to register to vote to support Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. He worshiped at the same church as the committee’s vice chair and headed a local chapter of the Catholic fraternal group Knights of Columbus. He came from a wealthy California family and followed four generations into a real estate career.

Within months of joining the local party, the 28-year-old was elected secretary in May, defeating two challengers who’d been around longer.

But something felt off about Tarsey for Bob Sutton, chairman of the committee. After a few months, Tarsey went after Sutton’s position, members said, by working to persuade the committee to unseat him. That’s when Sutton started getting phone calls warning him that Tarsey was not quite who he seemed.

“Houston, we’ve got a problem,” he said one caller told him.

It wasn’t long before the story of Tarsey’s past unfolded.

It began a decade ago, some 2,700 miles away at the exclusive Harvard-Westlake High School, a private college preparatory academy where tuition this year is $37,100 and which is a magnet for the children of Los Angeles’ elite.

Rupert Ditsworth, a 17-year-old from Beverly Hills, was a senior. One day in May, he finished an Advanced Placement exam and was waiting for a friend when he saw another schoolmate, Elizabeth Barcay. He invited her to lunch in his Jaguar.

They’d known each other for two years and eaten together before. She accepted.

They took the Jaguar to a Jamba Juice and sipped smoothies. After lunch, Ditsworth asked Barcay if she would go with him to mail something on the way back to school. She agreed.

Soon after, according to court records, he drove past a mailbox and detoured to a quiet residential street, parking at a dead-end with the passenger door up against a wall. There, he told Barcay he had thoughts of suicide. She suggested he drive back to school and see a counselor.

Instead, according to court records, he reached inside his backpack, pulled out a claw hammer and started swinging. Ditsworth delivered dozens of crushing blows, smashing Barcay’s nose and leg, splitting her scalp and giving her two black eyes, the records say. Her family said they counted at least 40 visible wounds.

During a struggle, the weapon broke. So Ditsworth grabbed Barcay’s throat and tried to strangle her, she testified during a preliminary hearing.

Barcay said she bit down on his finger to stop the attack. He let go.

“I’m done,” he screamed.

Bloody and wounded, Barcay managed to escape from the car before collapsing in front of a nearby home.

She survived the attack, emerging with fierce resolve. Five days later, she went to prom — in a wheelchair — and was crowned queen, the high school’s student newspaper reported at the time. Barcay could not be reached for comment for this article.

Prosecutors filed three felony charges against her attacker: one count of attempted murder and two counts of assault with a deadly weapon. If convicted of those charges, Ditsworth was facing the rest of his life behind bars.

But he never spent a day in jail.

What followed instead was a series of moves that gave the teenager a near-clean criminal slate, allowing him to reinvent himself in Florida.

“When you have a lot of money, you can kind of get away with stuff,” said Celeste Ellich, vice chair of the Broward County Republican Party, who had supported Tarsey’s secretary bid before she knew about his past. “They thought they had it buried.”

Deputy Dist. Atty. Ed Nison, who prosecuted the case in California, told The Times that because Ditsworth was relatively young, had no prior record and suffered from psychiatric issues, putting him in jail “would not serve the purpose that it’s supposed to serve.”

“The goal was to avoid a reoccurrence of this kind of behavior,” Nison said. “And simply locking him up wouldn’t have done anything to prevent future behavior under these circumstances.”

But at the time, others saw the situation differently.

“You should have gone to prison,” David Barcay, the victim’s father, told Ditsworth at a dramatic court hearing in 2010. “Instead, you’re going to school and making friends and enjoying the outdoors and posing for pictures with your fraternity brothers with paintball guns in army fatigues …. You have moved to Florida and created a life that has allowed you to forget.”… The Rest Here

 

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Every Element of the “Justice” System is Racially Biased

Most minor crimes in the US are “Plea Bargained” instead of prosecuted. Typically defendants admit to crimes, even if they are not guilty, because they can’t afford to defend themselves is cout due to the expense of lawyers.

This means that at any time, possibly as much as half the people accused of crimes…Didn’t do a damn thing and are “convicted” solely on their ability to pay for a defense.

That situation can be exacerbated by the severity of the crime Prosecutors decide tot charge them with. What the defendant is charged with lies largely on the whim of the Prosecutor.

Meaning different people get charged vastly different things for the exact same crime.

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When Race Tips the Scales in Plea Bargaining

 

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1983 Racially Motivated Murder Finally Solved With Arrest of 2 Cops, and 3 Others in Georgia

Sometimes Justice is slow. Kudos to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation for pursuing this one.

Timothy Collins murdered in 1983 by at least two white men, whose crimes were covered up by local cops.

 

Five arrested in Georgia — including two law enforcement officers — over 1983 murder of black man Timothy Coggins

A decades-old investigation in the U.S. state of Georgia into the murder of a black man in 1983 culminated in the arrest of five white people on Friday, including two law enforcement officers charged with hindering the probe, officials said.

The body of Timothy Coggins, 23, was found on Oct. 9, 1983, in a grassy area near power lines in the community of Sunnyside, about 30 miles (48 km) south of downtown Atlanta.

He had been “brutally murdered” and his body had signs of trauma, the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

Investigators spoke to people who knew Coggins, but the investigation went cold, Spalding County Sheriff Darrell Dix said at a news conference.

This past March, new evidence led investigators from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and Spalding County to re-examine the case.

Dix did not provide details on the nature of the evidence, saying more tips were received after authorities, over the summer, announced to the media the case was re-opened.

Some witnesses confessed they lived with knowledge about the case for years, but were afraid to come forward, Dix said.

“It has been an emotional roller coaster for everybody that was involved,” Dix said.

Police arrested five people on Friday in connection with the slaying. Frankie Gebhardt, 59, and Bill Moore Sr, 58, were each charged with murder, aggravated assault and other crimes.

Authorities did not immediately say where Gebhardt and Moore lived.

Gregory Huffman, 47, was charged with obstruction and violation of oath of office, Dix said. Huffman was a detention officer with the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office but his employment was terminated after he was arrested.

Lamar Bunn, a police officer in the town of Milner, which is south of Spalding County, was also arrested and charged with obstruction, as was Sandra Bunn, 58. She is Lamar’s mother, according to Atlanta television station WXIA.

Investigators are convinced the murder was racially motivated, Dix said.

“There is no doubt in the minds of all investigators involved that the crime was racially motivated and that if the crime happened today it would be prosecuted as a hate crime,” the Sheriff’s Office said.

Several members of Coggins’ family appeared at the news conference where authorities announced the arrests.

The family held out for justice all this time, said Heather Coggins, a niece of the victim.

“Even on my grandmother’s death bed, she knew that justice would one day be served,” she said.

It was not immediately clear if any of the five arrested people had an attorney, and they could not be reached for comment.

Dix promised more arrests in the case, as the investigation continues.

 

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Florida Finally Apologizes for Legal “Lynching” and Murder of Groveland Four

The wheels of Justice only took 70 years this time… Took about 15 minutes to convict the boys of something they couldn’t possibly have done.

70 years to admit a wrong that only took 15 minutes to commit.

‘We’re truly sorry’: Fla. apologizes for racial injustice of 1949 ‘Groveland Four’ rape case

In the summer of 1949, a 17-year-old white girl named Norma Padgett accused four black men of kidnapping her from a dark road in central Florida and then, in the back seat of their car, taking turns raping her.

Neighbors quietly doubted the girl’s version of events, and others speculated that the elaborate, detailed account was merely a coverup for the bruises she’d collected from her husband’s suspected beatings.

But this was the era of Jim Crow, in the middle of Lake County, where the local economy was sustained by orange groves that white men relied on black men to nurture.

And there to ensure law and order was Willis V. McCall, a sheriff buoyed by his segregationist, union-busting, white supremacist reputation.

Within days of Padgett’s accusations, three black men from the city of Groveland were in jail and a fourth, Ernest Thomas, was dead, shot and killed by an angry mob — led by McCall — who had chased him 200 miles into the Panhandle. In Groveland, black-owned homes were shot up and burned, sparking chaos so intense the governor eventually sent in the National Guard.

Based on little evidence, a jury quickly convicted the living three.

Charles Greenlee, just 16 at the time, was sent to prison for life.

Samuel Shepherd and Walter Irvin, friends and Army veterans, were sentenced to death, but the U.S. Supreme Court later overturned their convictions and ordered a retrial. Before that could happen, though, McCall shot them both. Shepherd died at the scene, but Irvin — who played dead — survived, and his sentence was later commuted to life in prison.

The saga of the men who became known as the “Groveland Four” has spanned nearly seven decades, tarnished the reputation of the town that endorsed it, inspired a revelatory, Pulitzer Prize-winning book and became the subject of an online petition demanding that Gov. Rick Scott formally exonerate all four.

After 68 years, and several previous failed attempts, the state of Florida has finally found the words that justice had been waiting on all this time: “We’re truly sorry.”

On the floor of the Florida House of Representatives on Tuesday, lawmakers unanimously passed a resolution apologizing to the families of the “Groveland Four” and exonerating the men. It also calls on Scott to expedite the process for granting posthumous pardons.

None of the “Groveland Four” are still living.

“This resolution is us simply saying ‘We’re sorry’ understanding that we will never know nor be able to make up for the pain we have caused,” said Rep. Bobby DuBose, a bill sponsor, according to the Miami Herald.

Then he asked House members to stand and face relatives of the “Groveland Four” who were present.

“As the state of Florida and the House of Representatives,” DuBose said, “we’re truly sorry.”

The formal acknowledgment of the case, now widely considered a racial injustice, has been years in the making. A book by author Gilbert King, “Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America,” revived interest in the decades-old case and unearthed new evidence from once redacted FBI files that cast doubt on Padgett’s version of events.

Then in 2015, after reading King’s book in a college history class, University of Florida student Josh Venkataraman was driving from Orlando back to campus when he passed the road sign for the city of Groveland.

The book had “touched him,” he told a Miami Herald columnist in 2015, but seeing the physical place made it real.

He reached out to Carole Greenlee, the late Charles Greenlee’s daughter, who was living in Nashville, and asked if he could help.

At first the woman was skeptical, but eventually gave Venkataraman her permission to start a petition.

“I’m in the mode of trying to get my father exonerated,” she told the Herald years ago, “and I need all the help I can get.”

Exonerate the Groveland Four” was born, and in the two years since has garnered nearly 9,000 signatures…Read the Rest Here

 
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Posted by on April 19, 2017 in Black History, BlackLivesMatter

 

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White Boy “Justice” – Child Rapist Gets 60 Days In Jail

You know the “Justice” system in America is corrupt and racist when a white child rapist can spend less time in jail than a black teen caught with a joint of Marijuana.

Father who ‘repeatedly raped his 12-year old daughter’ gets 60-day sentence. Fury erupts.

(Courtesy Montana 17th Judicial District Court)

Judge Robert McKeon

As the judge in the Stanford rape case learned, along with the judge in the “affluenza” drunken driving case, the whole world is watching them. A crowd, an angry crowd, can form in a matter of days of people outraged by what they consider a lenient sentence for a heinous crime.

In the case of Judge Robert McKeon, as of early morning Wednesday, almost 20,000 people had signed a Change.org petition calling for his impeachment for the 60-day sentence he gave a Glasgow, Mont., man who pleaded guilty to repeatedly raping his prepubescent daughter.

“A father repeatedly raped his 12-year old daughter,” Deputy Valley County Attorney Dylan Jenson said during an Oct. 4 sentencing hearing.

“It’s time to start punishing the judges who let these monsters walk our streets,” read the petition.

Prosecutors had recommended a mandatory 25-year sentence, 100 years with 75 suspended, which is what state law calls for.

Instead, though, Judge McKeon handed down a far lighter sentence: a 30-year suspended prison sentence, which means the man will only serve it if he fails to meet the conditions of his probation.

Among those conditions, which McKeon called “quite rigorous,” was the requirement for the man to register as a sex offender, the Glasgow Courierreported. He also cannot access pornography and has limited access to the Internet.

In addition, the man will serve 60 days in jail, but McKeon gave him credit for the 17 days he already served, meaning he’ll only spend another 43 days in jail.

The Washington Post is not identifying the convicted man as it could expose the identity of his victim.

In most of these controversial cases, the judges under siege tend to remain silent. What makes McKeon’s case unusual is that he has chosen to defend himself in public.

In an email to the Associated Press, McKeon said he had several reasons for handing down the seemingly light sentence….Read the Rest Here

 

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Wrongful Justice…Is No Justice At All

Yet another case of 5 black men convicted of a rape and murder they didn’t do…

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The Dixmoor 5 – In this case, 5 innocent teenagers (*Dixmoore Five*) were convicted of the rape and murder of 14-year-old Cateresa Matthews. DNA excluded all of them. The DNA found on and in this young girl belonged to Willie Randolph, a convicted rapist. In 2011, his DNA was matched to the DNA left at the crime scene, and he has yet to be charged with the murder of this innocent girl. He is a convicted sex offender, and is in prison for that a some other charges. Three were 14 and two were 16 when convicted (Sound familiar?)

The five men spent a collective 80 years in prison

The State knew 5 years ago that these men were innocent, and the identity of the real murderer…But did nothing. Losing a $40 million lawsuit to the 5 wrongly convicted in 2012, still didn’t move the state forward. Ain’t it funny how fast Justice can convict someone wrongly …But to correct an error takes years?

Sex offender to be charged in 1991 rape, murder of Illinois teen after men known as ‘Dixmoor Five’ had wrongly spent time in prison

A 58-year-old sex offender will be charged in the 1991 rape and murder of a 14-year-old suburban Chicago girl after men known as the “Dixmoor Five” had wrongly spent time in prison for the brutal crime.

Willie Randolph will appear in bond court on Thursday afternoon on charges of murder, kidnapping and predatory criminal sexual assault in the death of Dixmoor teen Cateresa Matthews. He is already serving a three-year sentence for drug possession in an Illinois state prison, but was to be released in a few weeks, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The “Dixmoor Five” reached a $40 million settlement with Illinois State Police two years ago after they were cleared of all charges in Cateresa’s death. They spent a decade or more in prison before DNA evidence pointed to Randolph, and not them.

The DNA evidence against Randolph was discovered five years ago, according to the Chicago Tribune, but authorities did not bring charges against the sex offender until now.

“I kept meeting with them and meeting with them, and they said they were investigating,” Cateresa’s mother Theresa Matthews told the Tribune on Wednesday. “They said, ‘We don’t have enough evidence.’ And I said, ‘What more do you need? You have the DNA.’ It just didn’t make any sense.”

Randolph had recently made statements in prison to incriminate himself, and he made them “with much bravado,” a law enforcement official told the newspaper.

Cateresa vanished late in 1991 after leaving her grandmother’s home, and her body was found three weeks later, according to the Tribune.

Registered sex offender Willie Randolph will be charged in the murder.

The real killer

 

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Getting Away With Murder – Reka Boyd Killer Retires

American Justice…Better for some “special” people – bad for everyone else.

Rekia Boyd – Murder victim.

Dante Servin Quits, Set To Collect Pension 4 Years After Killing Rekia Boyd

The police detective who shot into a crowd while off-duty and killed teenager Rekia Boyd in 2012 has resigned, saving his pension as well as the indignity of getting fired.

Dante Servin’s resignation Tuesday came two days before an “evidentiary hearing” before the Chicago Police Board, said Max Caproni, the police board’s executive director. Any charges against Servin, a 24-year police veteran, will now be dropped.

Servin’s resignation comes about a year after he was acquitted of all charges related to the death of Boyd, a 22-year-old woman who was with a group of near Douglas Park when Servin pulled a gun while off-duty and shot into the crowd, striking Boyd in the head.

By resigning, Servin is now eligible to collect his pension and any other outstanding benefits he stood to lose if fired, angering the activists who called for his ouster.

Dante Servin

“The best union to be in in this country is the [Fraternal Order of Police] because you can get away with murder and still get paid,” community activist and anti-violence organizer Father Michael Pfleger said.

Martinez Sutton, Boyd’s brother, said he found out about Servin quitting Tuesday morning and wasn’t at all surprised. He said he figured the process would drag on until Servin walked away with his pension.

After four years of fighting for “justice” for his sister, Sutton said he wasn’t sure what “justice” was anymore.

“It destroyed a family. Rekia was light,” he said. “I don’t know how it affects [Servin], but he has to live with that. He has to live with it on his conscience.”

Servin was found not guilty on manslaughter charges in Boyd’s shooting death just over a year ago. A judge’s ruling suggested he should have been charged with murder instead, which was “unusual” according to legal experts.

Servin’s continued employment drew infuriated protesters and figured in Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez’s defeat in the March primary. Former top cop McCarthy last year recommended to the Police Board that Servin be fired.

Servin “should’ve been fired and instead he can resign and make money and that’s an insult,” Pfleger said. Trina Reynolds-Tyler of Black Youth Project 100, an activist group that called for Servin’s ouster, said his resignation is “disrespectful.”

“He just took an early retirement,” Reynolds-Tyler said. “It’s ridiculous that this process has taken so long to get to a firing hearing.”

Page May, another local activist, said “it ain’t over” till Servin loses his pension.

 
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Posted by on May 17, 2016 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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Georgia KKK Imperial Wizard Killed in Gunfight With Police

In America, white people actually have to have guns and shoot at Police to be killed.

But…Thanks for taking out the trash.

J.J. Harper (Screenshot/WALB)

Georgia KKK imperial wizard killed after shooting at police during eight-hour standoff

An “imperial wizard” of the Ku Klux Klan died Friday after an hours-long standoff with police, WALB reports.

J.J. Harper exchanged fire with police during an 8-hour standoff in Dooly County following a domestic dispute. He was a well-known and active member of the KKK, law enforcement confirmed.

“Yes, he was. He had a membership drive on the courthouse steps,” Dooly County Sheriff’s deputy David Grantham told WALB.

During the standoff, “Harper exited and entered his residence multiple times wearing a bullet resistant vest, gas mask, and other weapons to include a long gun and handguns,” police said in a statement to the Telegraph.

Police told the station that during the standoff, Harper had vowed, “Someone’s going to die today.” He shot multiple rounds at police and officers returned fire before Harper walked inside his home and a gunshot was heard.

Harper was confirmed dead inside the home.

 
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Posted by on April 20, 2016 in Domestic terrorism

 

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Georgia Judge Delivers a Message

Hopefully she gets through to a few of the hardheads…

Bibb County Superior Court Judge Verda Colvin

 
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Posted by on April 13, 2016 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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How SC Judges Could Force a Vote to Confirm

The Supreme Court requires a minimum of 6 Justices in attendance for the Court to legally hear cases. Perhaps it is time for a boycott by the Justices themselves.The result of not reaching a Quorum isn’t dismissal of the case, the case is moved onto the docket of next year’s cases to be heard. The reason this has not been used before is that it sets a dangerous precedent if used solely to delay the hearing of cases.

28 U.S.C. 1 provides:

The Supreme Court of the United States shall consist of a Chief Justice of the United States and eight associate justices, any six of whom shall constitute a quorum.

However – if the Court cannot meet…

 
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Posted by on March 30, 2016 in American Greed, Domestic terrorism, General

 

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Getting Away With Murder – 10,000 Shootings…13 Convictions

Since 2005, only 13 cops have been convicted of murder. Using this year as a baseline where Police shot over 1,000 citizens…That could be 10,000 shootings in the last decade. We know that a lot of those shootings haven’t exactly been the stereotypical shootout with Bank Robbers. And to update the author of this piece…There is something wrong with this picture.

Here’s How Many Cops Got Convicted Of Murder Last Year For On-Duty Shootings

There’s something strange about this picture.

Many people viewed 2015 as a year of reckoning for police, with continued scrutiny of the use of deadly force spurring momentum for reform. In reality, however, the road to accountability remains a long one.

That point is clearly reflected in the number of police officers who were convicted on murder or manslaughter charges last year for fatally shooting a civilian in the line of duty.

In 2015, that number was zero.

And that’s not unusual. No officers were convicted on such charges in 2014 either.

In fact, since 2005, there have only been 13 officers convicted of murder or manslaughter in fatal on-duty shootings, according to data provided to The Huffington Post by Philip Stinson, an associate professor of criminology at Ohio’s Bowling Green State University. Stinson’s data doesn’t include cases in which civilians died in police custody or were killed by other means, or those in which officers only faced lesser charges.

One of the last successful convictions came in 2013, when Culpeper Town, Virginia, police officer Daniel Harmon-Wright was sentenced to three years in jail for voluntary manslaughter charges in the slaying of Patricia Cook, an unarmed 54-year-old, a year earlier.

On Feb. 9, 2012, Harmon-Wright responded to a suspicious vehicle call and found Cook parked in a local Catholic school parking lot. In court, Harmon-Wright said when he asked Cook for her driver’s license, she rolled up her window, trapping his arm, before beginning to drive away. Harmon-Wright responded by unloading seven rounds into Cook, with fatal shots hitting her in the back and head. But a jury didn’t find the officer’s testimony credible, returning a guilty verdict on three charges in the shooting death. After serving out his sentence, Harmon-Wright was releasedin 2015.

Some officers in these cases have served out yearslong sentences for their crimes. Others were in and out of jail in months. Some even became police officers again. But only a tiny portion of cops who kill while on duty ever face charges for their actions, much less actual punishment.

The inability to convict police on murder or manslaughter charges for fatal on-duty shootings contrasts with a recent increase in prosecution, Stinson said. In 2015, 18 officers faced such charges, a significant increase from an average of around five officers each year over the preceding decade. Many of these cases involved incidents from previous years and have yet to go to trial, but if history is any indicator, it seems unlikely that many of the officers will be convicted.

The tiny number of convictions in fatal police shootings looks even smaller when you consider just how many cases the criminal justice system considers each year. Although there are no reliable government statistics on civilians killed by police, data compiled independently last year by outlets like The Guardian and The Washington Post, or civilian tracker Mapping Police Violence, have led to estimates of roughly 1,000 deadly shootings each year.

Of that total, prosecutors and grand juries around the nation each year have determined that around five of these cases involve misconduct worthy of manslaughter or murder charges. And in the end, the criminal justice system typically concludes that only around one shooting each year is consistent with manslaughter or murder.

This means the overwhelming majority of police shooting cases are ultimately determined to be justified homicides, in which deadly force was used lawfully, often in what police say was an effort to protect an officer’s safety or to prevent harm to the public.

One reason for the lack of prosecution and subsequent conviction begins with the Supreme Court’s legal standard for use of lethal force. According to Graham v. Connor, the landmark 1989 case that established the standard, each “use of force must be judged from the perspective of a reasonable officer on the scene, rather than with the 20/20 vision of hindsight.” The ruling specifically cautions against judging police too harshly for split-second decisions made in “tense, uncertain and rapidly evolving” situations. All of this gives officers plenty of leeway to explain why their actions were legal…Read the rest Here

 
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Posted by on January 13, 2016 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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Central Park 5 Rally For Teacher

The Central Park Five case in the early 90’s was a modern day lynching and serves as a template of how young black men are demonized, and ultimately denied justice by racism. The case remains as a Hallmark of racial justice and injustice in the United States on a par with the Scottsboro Boys sham trial and attempted executions.

Recently a NYC High School Teacher made the story of the Central Park 5 part of her lesson plan on history. She was promptly fired.

Central Park Five: Rehire Teacher Allegedly Fired Over Central Park Five Lesson

Administrators reportedly were concerned the lessons would cause “riots” among black students.

Two of the five men who were wrongfully convicted in the 1989 rape and assault of a woman in Central Park have expressed support for a New York City teacher who says she lost her job after teaching students about the case.

“We support her 100 percent,” Raymond Santana, a member of a group known as the Central Park Five, told The Huffington Post. “We’ll probably rally for her — go to the courthouse. I want her to keep doing what she’s doing. I hope this doesn’t discourage her.” He believes the teacher should be reinstated, he added.

Raymond Santana, right, Kevin Richardson, and Yusef Salaam, left, all members of the Central Park Five, react to supporters Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013, in New York.

Jeena Lee-Walker, who taught English at the High School of the Arts, Imagination and Inquiry in Manhattan’s Upper West Side, filed a federal lawsuit last week alleging that administrators at the school feared her lessons on the Central Park Five might “rile up” black students and cause small “riots.” They asked her to take a more “balanced” approach in teaching students about the case, her lawsuit claims.

“I was stunned,” Lee-Walker told the Daily News Friday. “I was kind of like, the facts are the facts. This is what happened.”

Students, she told the paper, “and black students in particular, should be riled up.”

Trailer for the Documentary –

Headline From the NY Daily News Creating the Term “Wilding” to describe out o control minority youth. A term which would enter the lexicon after being repeated again and again by periodicals and TV news around the country.

“It was awesome — they were so engaged,” she said of teaching her students about the Central Park Five, adding that they were “really moved” by a 2012 documentaryon the subject. “They really identified with the teenagers.”

Lee-Walker says she received a series of bad performance reviews, and was ultimately fired, in retaliation for pushing back against criticism from administrators over her Central Park Five lessons.

Santana, Antron McCray, Yusef Salaam, Kevin Richardson and Korey Wise — all black and Latino men — were all under 16 years old when they were each arrested in 1989 for the beating and rape of Trisha Melli, a 28-year-old investment banker. The brutal attack dominated headlines, with the city’s tabloids stirring racially charged fears of “wilding” groups of violent black and Latino teenagers across the city.

Police zeroed in on the five teens, all of whom had reportedly been in or near Central Park at the time of the attack.

Each teen confessed to the crime during 24 hours of interrogation, but later claimed their statements had been coerced by police. They were all nevertheless convicted and sentenced to prison in 1990. (At the time, billionaire businessman and current Republican front-runner Donald Trump called for their execution.)

Santana, McCray, Salaam and Richardson each spent nearly six years in prison. Wise spent nearly 13 years in prison.

The convictions against the men were vacated in 2002 after a New York inmate named Matias Reyes confessed to raping Melli. Then-Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau announced that DNA evidence from the crime scene matched Reyes’ DNA.

In 2014, the city agreed to pay the five men a total of $40 million to settle a federal lawsuit they had filed. …Read the rest Here

 
 

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SCUMUS “Justice” Scalia’s Racism

This piece is an open letter by Kiki Petrosino, who is a renowned poet. As a half Italian-American, black person she sees sides of Scalia’s racist Affirmative Action spew that he refuses to recognize… To be frank – Justice Scalia should be remanded from the case entirely based on his obviously racist views which make him unable to render a judgement within the Law. With Scalia, Justice isn’t blind, it wears polarizing lenses based on the color and ethnicity of the plaintiff.

An open letter to Justice Scalia

You assert that we can’t compete academically. As an artist and an educator of color, I feel compelled to respond

Dear Justice Scalia,

On Wednesday, as you heard arguments in the affirmative action case Fisher v. University of Texas, you suggested that black students should enroll at “slower-track school[s],” rather than study alongside white students at the university. “I don’t think it stands to reason that it’s a good thing for the University of Texas to admit as many blacks as possible,” you said. Your words reinforced a panoply of false stereotypes about the intellectual abilities of African Americans and underscored what many Americans fear: that our institutions of higher learning are somehow overrun with minorities who have “taken” white students’ rightful spots. You ignored the fact that the University of Texas’s holistic admissions program isn’t about “admit[ting] as many blacks as possible;” that it’s a tailored procedure designed to ensure diversity in each freshman class, and it follows guidelines endorsed by the Supreme Court in 2003. But your choice of wording telegraphs a message that many Americans are all too willing to believe: that black people can’t compete in academically rigorous environments. This is a message to which I, as an artist and educator of color, feel compelled to respond.

In 1994, I was a high school freshman when a book called The Bell Curve was published to extensive attention. The treatise, authored by Richard J. Herrnstein and Charles Murray, argued that human intelligence is heritable and that various ethnic groups have measurably different levels of intelligence. In a series of now-debunked statistical analyses, the Bell Curve authors suggested that African Americans have lower intelligence (as measured by IQ) than whites or Asians, a factor that supposedly predestines us for a host of social misfortunes, like poverty and teen pregnancy. The book’s conclusions weren’t closely examined prior to publication, but that didn’t stop The Bell Curve from selling 400,000 copies in hardcover or spending fifteen weeks on the New York Times best seller list. Thousands of people were willing to hand over good money to buy into this book’s awful premise.

As a result, I entered high school knowing precisely how low an opinion many Americans had of black students like me. I already knew I’d have to work hard to achieve success, but the praise for that book—author interviews, pundit commentary—made me see what I was up against. While I was lucky to find supportive teachers and friends throughout my education, my mixed-race heritage baffled many of the other adults around me. I recall family friends congratulating me on my academic successes by implying that I “must have gotten that from Dad,” while my singing talent was ascribed to my African American mother. I responded to most of these statements with a healthy eyeroll, but I understood that my achievements continually would be “surprising” to certain observers, and that I’d have to keep proving that I deserved to be exactly where I was. This never ends, by the way.

When I was accepted to the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, a friend who’d applied to the same program asked, pointedly, whether the fellowship I’d won was “something for African Americans.” In the moment, I understood his anxiety; he was still waiting for an acceptance letter. But this friend had never talked to me that way before; we’d never drawn asterisks beside each other’s achievements. As it happened, my fellowship from Iowa was for underrepresented students, but of course, you had to meet the highly selective requirements of your program first, and show exceptional talent. No “slower-track” needed, thanks. Even now, as a teacher, my color confounds. A colleague at one of my first teaching jobs once looked me up and down, and asked, “which half of you is black?” as if my body were divided by a secret equator, or dipped in invisible ink. At another moment in my early teaching career, a student who was unhappy with her grade surreptitiously snapped a photo of me at my lectern and tweeted that my afro made it impossible to take me seriously as a professor.   

Justice Scalia, I want to remind you that we share this country together. I’m descended from free and enslaved people. Some of them were black Virginians who worked hard to attain literacy and economic mobility in a nation that continually excluded them from the body politic. In fact, I hold a BA from the University of Virginia, where you spent four years as a Professor of Law, and an MA from the University of Chicago, another institution where you taught. And we share more than academics. My European ancestors arrived in America as Italian immigrants, just as yours did. You must know that the privileges of “whiteness” were not automatically bestowed on Italians. It wasn’t that long ago that Creuzé de Lesser wrote, “Europe ends at Naples, and ends badly. Calabria, Sicily, and all the rest belong to Africa.” At the height of the immigration wave, Italian Americans were subject to discrimination and violence, to negative stereotypes and offensive caricatures. In public schools, Italian children were discouraged from speaking their native language, even at home, while in the workplace, their parents often were barred from all but the lowest-paying manual labor jobs. The Johnson-Reed Act of 1924 was authorized, in large part, to curtail immigration from southern and eastern Europe. Today, we recognize how unfair all of this was, and we celebrate the contributions of Italian Americans in every sector of public life.

But as Republican presidential candidates call for sealing our borders to Muslim immigrants, and as increasing numbers of Americans react to world events with fearful xenophobia, your words feed into a stream of ugly “othering” that must end. I think you know that skin color is no predictor of intellectual acuity or future success in school. Students who are admitted to colleges and universities have the right to a rewarding education full of discoveries and challenges. This is the blessing of equal protection in public education. The Court must uphold it. Your comments this week show that you prefer to think of your fellow Americans, and especially African Americans, as points on a graph. But that approach reflects the exact type of one-size-fits-all thinking that you claim to oppose in affirmative action policy. Even worse, because you make no room in your comments for the health of the campus communities that admissions policies are designed to serve. Diversity benefits the whole campus. Every day, I’m thankful for the students I’m privileged to teach. They come from rural and urban areas, they practice Christian and non-Christian religions, they’re young parents and returning veterans and hopeful poets. We need them all.       

Allow me to describe something for you: in the mountains of Fumin County, in the southern Chinese province of Yunnan, there’s a slender village road that twists through a landscape of clouds and red earth. At the center of town is a Christian church where young people, dressed in colorful robes, gather to sing the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah in crystalline harmony. They do this each evening, after completing their farm work. The choir is famous. The singers know hundreds of songs and can sing in multiple languages. If you go there, as I did several years ago, they will sing for you. Afterwards, they’ll invite you to ask as many questions as you wish about their culture (the Miao people) and it’s only polite to return their invitation. What would you like to know about my country? You’ll ask. But the singers of Xiaoshuijing will have just one question: Tell us about your choirs.

Justice Scalia, I wish to imagine America as a great chorus of unfolding voices, a massive instrument. When I think of the Xiaoshuijing singers, of the mystery that moved through their question so beautifully asked, I’m nearly undone. But I’m a professor of poetry; I live for beautiful questions. As a Supreme Court Justice, you move in the realm of answers, interpretations, solutions. Sometimes I wonder whose voice you hear. What’s it like to hear the law speaking with a singular voice, immutable from the moment of ratification? Over the years, you’ve sparred with Justice Breyer and others about how the 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education decision was reached. It seems that this vital ruling doesn’t square as neatly as you’d like with your originalist approach to constitutional interpretation. You’ve had to return to the issue in public comments, and you’ve consistently voted to weaken laws and policies, like affirmative action and the Voting Rights Act, designed to remedy the damage caused by our nation’s ongoing romance with structural racism.   

Where should black students study? What schools are best for them? These questions already have been settled as a matter of constitutional law and they are not before you in the current case. The problem we must resolve as a society is not where to send students of color, but how to acknowledge the humanity of every American and how to ensure an educated populace for future generations. When I left my hometown for college, I was a black student. So? What else? I was a woman, an Italian American, a singer, a writer, an intellectual. I made good decisions to attend UVA, Chicago, and Iowa, and those institutions made good decisions by accepting me. Just like any other student, it was my responsibility to seek success for myself, to find mentors, to compete in the academic environments where I found myself, and to try to leave the place a little better than I found it. Who were you when you left for college, Your Honor? I’m sure the answer would not fit comfortably into a single sentence, a solitary line of prose. Remember there are 350 million Americans who are just as complex as you are. Imagine the sound we could make with all of our voices. 

Kiki Petrosino is the author of two books of poetry: Hymn for the Black Terrific (2013) and Fort Red Border (2009), both from Sarabande Books. She holds graduate degrees from the University of Chicago and the University of Iowa Writer’s Workshop. Her poems have appeared in Best American Poetry, The New York Times, FENCE, Gulf Coast, Jubilat, Tin House and elsewhere. She is founder and co-editor of Transom, an independent on-line poetry journal. She is an Associate Professor of English at the University of Louisville, where she directs the Creative Writing Program. Her website is http://wwww.kikipetrosino.com.
 
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Posted by on December 13, 2015 in The New Jim Crow

 

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Oklahoma Cop Convicted of Rapes of Black Women

In something of a surprise, Daniel Holtzclaw, former OKC Cop was convicted of at least some of the counts against him…

Former Oklahoma police officer found guilty of multiple rapes

It is unclear whether the counts will run concurrently or sequentially from the video.

A former Oklahoma City police officer has been convicted of sexually assaulting women he preyed upon in a low-income neighborhood he patrolled.

A jury convicted Daniel Holtzclaw of four charges of first-degree rape and 14 other counts. He sobbed while hearing the verdicts Thursday on his 29th birthday. He could spend the rest of his life in prison, based on the jury’s recommendation he serve 263 years.

The mother of his youngest accuser, who was 17, said the case should demonstrate the problem of sexual misconduct by officers isn’t limited to one police department.

“It’s a problem for the nation,” the mother told The Associated Press...Read Further Details Here

 
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Posted by on December 11, 2015 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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