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Federal Judge – “Black Lives Matter”

Gaining traction against the intractable…

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Federal Judge Declares “Black Lives Matter” From the Bench

U.S. District Judge James Robart held a dramatic hearing on Monday that began with a fierce rebuke of the Seattle police union’s refusal to address unconstitutional policing and closed with a declaration from the bench that “black lives matter.” Robart’s comment marks the first time a sitting federal judge has explicitly cited the nascent civil rights movement, though Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor hasechoed its calls to end police brutality and validated the demands for police reform.

Robart, a George W. Bush appointee, is presiding over a consent decree—a court-ordered settlement—between the Justice Department and Seattle reached in 2012. That agreement required the city to remedy unconstitutional practices at nearly every level of policing, from illegal stops to unreasonable and deadly use of force. Since then, Seattle’s chief of police Kathleen O’Toole has pushed the police force to adopt innovative and successful trainings on crisis intervention and bias-free policing. But further reforms are necessary to fulfill the consent decree’s requirements—and the police union has tethered its adoption of these reforms to pay raises and benefit increases.

In order to fulfill its legal obligation, Seattle attempted to reach a compromise with the police union this summer, offering a new contract that mixed the requisite reforms with wage hikes. The union overwhelmingly rejected the contract on the grounds that it did not sufficiently reward officers with more money and benefits in exchange for engaging in constitutional policing. According to the Seattle Times, it was this repudiation that pushed Robart to speak out so forcefully. In particular, the union appears resistant to adopt new standards and procedures regarding officer discipline and internal investigations, which Robart insists are vital to any sufficient reform.

“The court and the citizens of Seattle will not be held hostage for increased payments and benefits,” Robart said during Monday’s hearing. “I’m sure the entire city of Seattle would march behind me.”

After scolding the recalcitrant union, Robart noted that, nationwide, blacks represent 41 percent of police shooting victims—but only 20 percent of the overall population. He then said from the bench: “Black lives matter.” The remark drew an audible reaction from the audience.

 
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Posted by on August 16, 2016 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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Implicit Bias – Training Law Enforcement to Be Less Racist

Since the early 90’s when books by Dinesh D’Souza and Jared Taylor hit conservative bookshelves, racism, and the pseudo science behind it have gone mainstream in the conservative world. Fox News picked up and found serial racism was profitable. It is safe to say than anyone you meet who watches Faux more than an hour a day…

Is a racist.

Faux News talking heads like Sean Hannity have built their entire careers around defending, encouraging, and promoting racism though implicit bias.

I think back a few weeks to the brother who murdered 5 Cops in Dallas. Stupid, stupid, stupid. First off, there was no evidence that any of the victims were either “bad cops” or criminal in any way. Killing the symptom, not the cause. If the brother was going to do some good in eradicating some of the racism in america – including the murder by cop of unarmed, innocent black men – he needed to shoot the hand behind the hand holding the gun. He needed to go to 1211 Avenue of the Americas in New York City, and shoot the first 5 talking heads emerging out of limousines.

Especially if 2 or 3 of those were the incessant purveyors of implicit racism.

It simply isn’t going to stop until the purveyors of racist trash know there is a cost to it. All the nice training courses discussed below won’t do a damn thing.

It is sort of like alcohol addiction. Alcohol is one of the, if not the hardest drug to kick. The reason? I would say in most cities it would be hard to walk a block though a commercial section without seeing a bar, a restaurant that serves alcohol, signs promoting alcoholic beverages. Turn on the TV – happy people consuming alcohol. Go to ball game – signs for alcohol everywhere, and dozens of places selling beer on draft (heck – there are even guys who will bring beer to your seat). Alcohol consumption is part of our social fabric. We are bombarded with messages hundreds of times a day promoting alcohol consumption.

Faux News and other conservative outlets do the same thing for racism. A good portion of their programming is devoted to promoting and advancing racism in the form of implicit bias.

So if you want to kill the implicit bias beast – you need to a lot better than a 2 hour slide show.

Implicit bias training seeks to counter hidden prejudice in law enforcement

When the Justice Department released its report on the Baltimore Police Department last week, examples of racial bias were clear:

The police:

— employs “enforcement strategies on African Americans, leading to severe and unjustified racial disparities”

— “disproportionately searches African-Americans during stops,” yet illegal items were found twice as often on white individuals during vehicle stops and 50 percent more during pedestrian stops

— arrests black people five times more than others for drug possession, yet black drug use is about the same or only slightly higher.

What is not so clear is the unseen, but not unfelt, implicit bias that provides the foundation for racism.

Most people carry some implicit bias, which Justice defines as “the unconscious or subtle associations that individuals make between groups of people and stereotypes about those groups.”

Justice and Baltimore agreed to reach a consent decree setting out needed reforms, including improved implicit bias training. At the same time, the Justice Department is launching a major effort for its own crew. All Justice law enforcement officers and prosecutors will undergo implicit bias training under a directive issued by Deputy Attorney General Sally Q. Yates and backed by her boss, Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch.

“We have been requiring implicit bias training in a lot of our consent decrees for local jurisdictions,” Lynch said in a brief interview following her appearance before a joint conference of the National Association of Black Journalists (disclosure: I am a member) and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. “We really felt that if we were going to make that a prescription for local law enforcement, we should also be part of it.”

That means the department’s 23,000 law enforcement agents in four agencies and 5,800 lawyers are being trained in how to recognize implicit bias in their daily work.

Perhaps anticipating push back, Yate’s memo to staffers said “I know that your time is valuable, and that you already devote many hours to various training requirements, but I would not have asked you to take on this additional responsibility unless I and other Department leaders were convinced of its value.”

While the training will be geared to different elements in the department, all of it will begin with the science behind implicit bias, Yates said by telephone. “As you might expect, people can naturally start out a little defensive when they come into this kind of training.”

Yates, who has taken some training, said it’s important for employees to understand that implicit bias is distinct from explicit bias “and that it is something we all carry around unconsciously in one form or another.”

After the science, the training includes scenarios where implicit bias might kick in and strategies to counter it.

Strategies can include providing factual information to counter stereotypes. The Justice Department’s finding that contraband is found much more often among white folks, yet black people are stopped and searched at a higher rate is an example.

That information, perhaps, could have an impact on those who assume higher arrest rates mean black people are more criminally inclined. Studies have shown that black people are treated more harshly by the criminal justice system than white people for similar offenses at every step of the process.

“What the science also shows is that the most important aspect of countering implicit bias is being aware that you have it to begin with,” Yates said. “Most people don’t really recognize that they are carrying around the bias, particularly people who believe themselves to be fair-thinking, non-prejudice folks.”

I wonder if that fits Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation and a former Justice Department lawyer.

He thinks the department is going “to spend a lot of taxpayer money on training for a nonexistent problem.” Despite science to the contrary, von Spakovsky said, unconvincingly, “these claims are based on very dubious, questionable studies…the bias I saw there when I worked in the (DOJ’s) Civil Rights Division was towards whites.”

Perhaps he should talk with Lenese Herbert, a Howard University law professor.

Implicit bias training “represents cutting-edge research,” she said, “that may be enlisted to eradicate the internationally embarrassing and domestically destabilizing scourge of officers killing unarmed Black people in extraordinarily disproportionate numbers and in the face of shockingly nonviolent resistance.”

 

 
 

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BLM Goes International – Protests in England

Not just in the US anymore…

Black Lives Matter Activists Stage Protests Across Britain

Black activists, responding to calls for a nationwide protest against racial injustice, staged demonstrations in London and several other cities across Britain on Friday, in their boldest show of support to date for the emerging Black Lives Matter movement here.

Black Lives Matter U.K. had called for a nationwide “shutdown” to protest an array of injustices, including police brutality; racial disparities in arrests, convictions and sentencing; the treatment of immigrants in detention; inadequate mental health services; and a reported increase in hate crimes since Britain’s decision, in a June 23 referendum, to leave the European Union.

“We are here because we have no choice,” Wail Qasim, an activist and journalist who took part in a protest near Heathrow Airport, which serves London, wrote on Twitter. “We are here because this is a crisis.”

The Black Lives Matter movement, which emerged in the United States in 2013, has spread to several countries, including Britain, Canada and France.

On Friday morning, activists unfurled a giant banner and lay down on an access road near Heathrow, bringing traffic to a standstill for several hours. The police arrested 10 people.

Five more people were arrested in Birmingham, Britain’s second-most populous city, after blocking traffic leading to the airport. Four activists were arrested in Nottingham, a city of more than 300,000 in the Midlands, after protesters blocked trams and buses by lying down in front of the Theatre Royal.

The demonstrations were peaceful but powerful; in several cases, the authorities had to use special equipment to cut through the tubes the protesters had used to link their arms.

The demonstrations were timed to coincide with the fifth anniversary, on Thursday, of the fatal police shooting of Mark Duggan, a 29-year-old unarmed black man, in the Tottenham section of London. His deathtouched off riots in poorer sections of the capital, as well as in cities including Birmingham, Bristol and Liverpool.

In January 2014, an inquest jury found that the killing of Mr. Duggan had been justified, finding it more likely than not that he had tossed a firearm from a taxi shortly before he was shot. But in October, a judge granted Mr. Duggan’s family the right to appeal those findings.

The 2011 riots echoed disturbances that shook the Brixton neighborhood of London no fewer than three times — in 1981, 1985 and 1995 — in response to anger at police treatment of black residents…

 

 
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Posted by on August 5, 2016 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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Unarmed Teen “Executed” By Chicago Cops

Same old story – same old bulls*it…

Lawyer: Paul O’Neal was “executed” by Chicago police

Paul O'Neal

A family lawyer said Friday that 18-year-old Paul O’Neal was “executed” when he was fatally shot by Chicago police after a July 28 confrontation over an alleged stolen car.

Chicago authorities released video Friday of the moments before the shooting and the incident’s aftermath. The shooting itself was not captured on video because the body camera worn by the officer who fired the fatal shot wasn’t recording.

“We just came from watching Chicago police officers execute Paul O’Neal,” Family lawyer Michael Oppenheimer said. “We just watched the family watch the execution of their loving son.”

Autopsy results show that O’Neal, of Chicago, died of a gunshot wound to the back. The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office have classified the death as a homicide, reports CBS Chicago.

Oppenheimer and family spokesman Ja’Mal Green said O’Neal, who was unarmed, was running away from officers when he was fatally shot.

“What I saw was cold-blooded murder,” Oppenheimer said, calling the video “beyond horrific.” “You don’t shoot dogs that are running away.”

The video shows officers firing into the Jaguar in which O’Neal was allegedly fleeing police. It also shows officers handcuffing and searching O’Neal after he was shot as he lay on the ground bleeding.

The family was set to speak to the media Friday morning, but were too distraught after viewing the video, Green said. O’Neal’s mother, he said, broke down in tears.

“This is amazing to me how this officers come into our neighborhood and treat us like savages,” Green said. “If he did steal that car that was for the courts to decide. Instead, the police decided to be the judge and execute him the way they did.”

The department’s current superintendent, Eddie Johnson, relieved three officers of their police powers after the shooting after officials said a preliminary determination concluded they had violated department policy.

Johnson has said he doesn’t suspect the body camera that wasn’t recording had been tampered with. Friday, Green called on him to hold officers accountable and enforce the use of body cameras.

“Every time a shooting happens, something’s wrong with the body camera,” Green said. “It’s like, the dog ate my homework.”

O’Neal’s family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit. Chicago’s Independent Police Review Authority, the body that investigates police misconduct, expects to complete an investigation within 60 days.

 
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Posted by on August 5, 2016 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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Like The NRA, Cop Apologists Make Up Lies to Support Racism

Not sure why CNN would pay a racist clown like this to be on the air. The lies people like this promote are ther chief reason the dialog between the people being policed, and the Police breaks down.

CNN’s cop apologist promotes racist video calling for a ban on violent ‘n****s’

 
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Posted by on July 25, 2016 in Black Conservatives, BlackLivesMatter

 

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Another Police Killing in Baton Rouge

Here we go again. White Cops, black man – and another questionable shooting of a suspect on the ground.

Once again a Cell Phone video provides the evidence when Police Body Cams mysteriously fall off and cease functioning.

 

 

 

Alton Sterling shot, killed by Louisiana cops during struggle after he was selling music outside Baton Rouge store

It’s happened again.

Chilling cell phone video surfaced Tuesday of two Louisiana cops killing a 37-year-old man selling music outside a Baton Rouge convenience store after an anonymous caller claimed he had a gun.

The police gunfire sparked impassioned protests that continued past midnight outside the store — 24 hours after authorities shot Alton Sterling during a fatal 12:35 a.m. encounter. More than 100 demonstrators shouting “no justice, no peace” clogged the street, setting off fireworks and blocking an intersection to protest Sterling’s death.

Alton Sterling, 37, was shot and killed by police in Baton Rouge, La. on Tuesday.

Alton Sterling, 37, was shot and killed by police in Baton Rouge, La. on Tuesday.

The grim 48-second cell phone video of the killing outside Triple S Food Mart shows two police officers tackling and wrestling a heavy-set man in a red shirt against the hood of a car before throwing him to the pavement.

“He’s got a gun,” one officer cries while the pair pinned Sterling to the ground.

“You f—–g move, I swear to God,” the other cop yells, before the two draw their weapons. The terrified bystander turns the camera phone away as five shots ring out — two of which a coroner said struck Sterling in the chest and back.

“They shot him?” a man’s startled voice says in the video. “Yes,” a woman replies between sobs.

Officers responded to the store about 12:35 a.m. Tuesday after an anonymous caller said a man selling CDs and wearing a red shirt threatened him with a gun, said Baton Rouge Cpl. L’Jean McKneely.

In Louisiana, gun owners are allowed to carry weapons without a permit as long as they’re over 18 and not felons.

It’s unclear how Sterling obtained the weapon. His rap sheet dates back two decades with several drug, firearm, theft and assault arrests. He was sentenced to five years to prison for marijuana and weapon possession in 2009, the Advocate reported.

The owner of the store had no knowledge of an argument outside his store that led to the initial 911 call.

He later saw officers pull a gun from Sterling’s pocket after the shooting and acknowledged Sterling bought the firearm days earlier for protection after learning other disc sellers in the region had been robbed.

“He was screaming, ‘What did I do,’ ‘What’s going on,” Triple S Food Mart owner and witness Abdullah Muflahi told the Daily News.

Police confiscated the store’s surveillance footage that Muflahi said would have captured every second of the violent death outside his store.

Muflahi watched police kill Sterling, a father of three children and his friend of six years, he said. Sterling died steps from where he allowed him to peddle music daily.

“His hand was not in his pocket, nor did he have the gun in his hand,” he said, defending Sterling’s final moments.

A cop was seen on video using a stun gun on Sterling before the shooting. 

A cop was seen on video using a stun gun on Sterling before the shooting.

 

 
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Posted by on July 6, 2016 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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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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