Driving While Black? There’s an Ap for That!

The Original DWB Guide

One of the common misconceptions out there is that DWB only affects young black males. Looking at the number of stops by Police in some areas and the vast differential between black motorists being stopped and whites… It really is an issue which cuts across all economic, professional, and educational lines. The anger and frustration being expressed by the tens of thousand marching in the streets isn’t just about the murder of young black men like Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, and Mike Brown – it is about systemic discrimination which impacts the lives of many black Americans.

Driving While Black? App Developers Offer Advice

Though the developers of the soon-to-be released “Driving While Black” smartphone application want motorists to download their product, there is a time when they definitely don’t want users searching for it.

“Do not reach for your phone when you are talking to police,” stressed Melvin Oden-Orr, one of two Portland lawyers creating the app.

Avoiding moves that could make police think you’re reaching for a gun is just one tip included in the app that educates drivers about how to safely deal with police during traffic stops.

Despite its attention-grabbing name, Oden-Orr said the app due for release in late December will provide common sense advice to motorists of all races and outline what civil rights you have during a stop. With the phone hopefully in a hands-free device, the app allows drivers to send an alert to friends and family that they have been pulled over. There’s also a recording function to document the interaction with an officer.

The app is coming to market as protesters around the country keep attention on instances of deadly encounters with police in Ferguson, Missouri, and New York City. Similar apps also are aimed at helping people navigate interactions with police.

Three Georgia teenagers created “Five-O,” an app released this summer that lets people rate their interactions with law enforcement. And last month, American Civil Liberties Union affiliates in four states unveiled “Mobile Justice,” an app that allows users to take video of police encounters and upload the video to the ACLU. It’s modeled on “Stop and Frisk Watch,” an app released for New Yorkers in 2012.

“It’s obviously in the forefront of everybody’s mind; the police know they are being recorded and people in public know they can record,” said Sarah Rossi, director of advocacy and policy for the ACLU Missouri affiliate. “I think the benefit of this app (Mobile Justice) specifically is it goes straight to the ACLU and we can review it for any due-process violations.”

The apps also include a “Know Your Rights” section that informs people about their rights when contacted by police.

Portland attorney Mariann Hyland got the idea for “Driving While Black” after learning of an app for drivers suspected of drunken driving. She approached Oden-Orr in April, and the two have been working on the app since summer with software developer James Pritchett.

The term “driving while black,” perhaps unfamiliar to some, is common among African-Americans. A Justice Department report released last year, based on a survey of those stopped by police in 2011, suggests blacks are more likely than whites to be pulled over and have their cars searched. Moreover, African-Americans are much more likely to believe a traffic stop is not legitimate…

Beginning to Feel a Lot Like 1963…

For you youngsters, 1963 was the year the Civil Rights Movement spawned the anti-War Movement. Literally millions of people were marching in the streets.

In that 1963 March, SNCC Chairman, now Congressman John Lewis had a few things to say –

SNCC Chairperson John Lewis, whose speech was considered so militant that the lead organizers requested he revise it. His original draft states, “We march today for jobs and freedom, but we have nothing to be proud of, for hundreds and thousands of our brothers are not here. They have no money for their transportation, for they are receiving starvation wages or no wages at all.

“In good conscience, we cannot support wholeheartedly the administration’s civil rights bill, for it is too little and too late. There’s not one thing in the bill that will protect our people from police brutality.”

Lewis also generated controversy when he stressed, “We are now involved in a serious revolution. This nation is still a place of cheap political leaders who build their careers on immoral compromises and ally themselves with open forms of political, economic and social exploitation. What political leader here can stand up and say, ‘My party is the party of principles?’ The party of Kennedy is also the party of [racist Mississippi Senator James] Eastland. The party of [Republican Senator Jacob] Javits is also the party of [rightist Senator Barry] Goldwater. Where is our party?”

It is coming again. This isn’t growing into a movement just to stop police murder and brutality…

It is a movement for accountability.

Russell Simmons hints at it…

It’s Not a Riot…When it is White Folks

Let’s see, car windows smashed, police vehicles burned, Trader Joe’s and other stores looted… 2 Police injured…

We are talking about an upscale “civil disturbance” here.

The key here is they looted Trader Joe’s…Ostensibly just for a bit of Yerba Matte to clear tear gas sting and re-align their chakras…

At least two officers were injured as demonstrations over police killings turned violent in California overnight, with protesters smashing windows and hurling rocks at cops, according to authorities. Berkeley Police said officers used smoke and tear gas after crowds refused to disperse. What started out as a peaceful protest devolved into chaos when “splinter groups broke off and began hurling bricks, pipe, smoke grenades, and other missiles at officers,” according to Berkeley Police spokeswoman Jennifer Coats. She said six people were arrested in the melee.

She said “numerous officers” were struck and that one officer who was struck with a large sandbag was treated for a dislocated shoulder at a local hospital. Protesters vandalized cars, smashing windows and looting businesses, according to Coats, who said a Trader Joe’s, a Radio Shack and a Wells Fargo Bank were vandalized along with “numerous” police cars. The local police department was reinforced by more than a hundred officers from other local police departments, highway patrol and the county sheriff’s office.

Because 80% of the crowd in upscale Berkeley, Ca was white folks…It could not have been a riot!

 

Rabbis Arrested for Saying Prayers for Eric Garner

You KNOW when things are spinning out of control when the Police are arresting folks for saying a prayer.

Rabbis Recite Kaddish, Jewish Mourning Prayer, For Eric Garner, Later Arrested In NYC Protest

Four prominent New York rabbis were arrested during protests against police brutality and racial injustice on Thursday night, along with more than 200 others taken into custody throughout the city.

Rabbis Sharon Kleinbaum, Jill Jacobs, David Rosenn and Shai Held, along with Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, joined thousands of other protesters who took to the streets Wednesday and Thursday evenings in opposition to a grand jury’s decision not to indict Officer Daniel Pantaleo for the death of Eric Garner.

Rabbi Jacobs told HuffPost by email that she and others arrived at the police station at roughly 11:30 p.m. and were held until 5:15 a.m. Friday morning. Despite the sleepless night, Jacobs said the protest was crucial to her as “a religious act” to highlight the “dignity of every single human being.”

“Rabbis and all Jews need to stand up and say that every single person is a creation in the divine image — that black lives matter,” Jacobs said. “We put our bodies on the line to show how crucial it is that the systems meant to protect us do protect all of us.”

The protest began at B’nai Jeshurun, a Jewish synagogue on 88th St., and proceeded along Broadway to 96th St. where the rabbis engaged in an act of civil disobedience. Many of the protesters had just attended a ceremony organized by Jews for Racial and Economic Justice (JFREJ) at B’nai Jeshurun, during which Rabbi Kleinbaum was one of three recipients of the Rabbi Marshall T. Meyer Risk Taker Awards.

B’nai Jeshurun’s Rabbi J. Rolando Matalon said the ceremony was planned months in advance, and when the grand jury decision was announced it was clear to him and others that a demonstration of their concern was in order.

“It was all very peaceful and respectful but carried a great deal of concern and the commitment that we have to make serious change in our justice system and in our society to eradicate racism,” Matalon told HuffPost over the phone. “These incidents which are now a recurring pattern of the deaths of black men at the hands of police are issues of tremendous concern.”

The protesters recited the kaddish, a Jewish mourning prayer delivered in memory of loved ones — video of which several participants posted to Facebook and can be viewed below. During the prayer attendees read the names of more than 20 black individuals who had been killed by New York police, followed by the statement, “I am responsible.”

Matalon said the purpose of the kaddish was to deliver a “symbolic action” of community solidarity and to offer some hope for the future.

“This prayer is a prayer of hope,” Matalon explained. “It’s a prayer about the vision of the world redeemed. It was a desire to express in Jewish terms our outrage, our concern and also our vision for a brighter future.”

Erica Garner…And the Definition of Grace

Another ambush interview by the resident Lawn Jockey on CNN, Don Lemon.

Erica Garner, the daughter of murder victim Eric Garner really lays it out with grace and humility.

Walking While Black

This one is hard to believe. A black man, committing no crime other than walking down the street to his house…

Gets stopped for having his hands in his pockets on a 30 degree day.

Sheriff Defends Stopping Black Man For Walking With Hands In His Pockets

A black Michigan man who was stopped by a sheriff’s deputy after walking with his hands in his pockets said he believes he was the victim of racial discrimination.

The local sheriff says the deputy acted appropriately, and that the video of the incident doesn’t show the full story.

Brandon McKean, 25, told The Huffington Post he was in the middle of walking a mile from a friend’s house in Pontiac, Michigan to his own home to eat dinner around 4:30 p.m. on Thursday. The temperature had hovered around freezing that day, and he had his hands in his pockets.

McKean had been walking for just a few minutes, he said, when an Oakland County sheriff’s deputy drove up, got out of the car and questioned him. McKean began filming with his phone.

“You were walking by … well you were making people nervous,” the deputy says in the video McKean recorded, above. “They said you had your hands in your pockets.”

“Wow, walking by having your hands in your pockets makes people nervous to call the police, when it’s snowing outside?” McKean responds.

“They did,” the deputy says. “I’m just checking on you.”

McKean posted the video on Facebook, intending to show a few friends what he considered an absurd and unjustified stop by police. But it quickly went viral, with many outraged commenters sharing the post. By Tuesday, the video had been seen more than 3 million times, according to Facebook’s stats, and had circulated widely, from Gawker to “The Colbert Report.”

Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard forcefully objected to the version of the incident that comes across when McKean’s clip is viewed on its own, saying it doesn’t clarify the reason for the stop and leaves out context. McKean’s video cuts off before the end of their conversation, when the deputy further explains why he stopped McKean and the importance of following up on any 911 call.

The video “was posted with an agenda,” Bouchard told HuffPost.

The sheriff said that before McKean was questioned, a business owner called 911, audibly frightened, about a man who had walked by the shop six or seven times looking in the windows with his hands in his pockets. The caller believed the man was casing the business and that a robbery could be imminent. The business and its employees had reportedly already been robbed seven times.

Bouchard would not name the deputies who were dispatched nor the business, but said they had determined the person the 911 caller described was McKean, “without question.” After the furor over the video, the sheriff’s office posted their own video, which the deputy had also recorded with a phone.

More Dirt in Ferguson

If you peruse some of the boards and blogs on the Internet, the conservascum racists are out in full glory about Michael Brown’s murder. One of the issues is why exactly did the town blow up over the shooting?

My theory has been there have been a lot of incidents which have led up to the rioting – and more than just the scam the police and judges were running to skim money from the residents.

What sort of person is Officer Wilson?

Well, you might get an idea from this video released by the Guardian…

Officer who shot and killed Michael Brown is seen telling Mike Arman ‘I’m gonna lock your ass up’ if he does not stop

Video footage has emerged showing Darren Wilson – the police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed black 18-year-old in Ferguson, Missouri – threatening and arresting a resident who refused to stop filming him with a cellphone.

Wilson is seen standing near his Ferguson police SUV and warning Mike Arman: “If you wanna take a picture of me one more time, I’m gonna lock your ass up.” Arman, who had requested Wilson’s name, replies: “Sir, I’m not taking a picture, I’m recording this incident sir.”

The officer then walks to the porch of Arman’s home and apprehends him, after telling him that he does not have the right to film. The 15-second clip was uploaded to YouTube on Friday but recorded in 2013, according to police documents.

Arman, 30, was charged with failing to comply with Wilson’s orders. He claimed in an interview on Saturday that the charge was dropped after he told his lawyer he had video footage of the incident. Arman, who runs a small housing non-profit, has a criminal record and has previously been charged with resisting arrest.

“I was working on my porch with my toolbelt on and was being cordial,” Arman said of the incident. “But I wanted to safeguard myself by recording what happened.” Filming police officers carrying out their duties is widely considered to be legal and protected by the first amendment of the US constitution.

Court and police officials in Ferguson could not be reached for comment. When asked on Friday whether the officer in the video clip was Wilson, a spokesman for the Ferguson police department told the Guardian in an email: “I don’t think that is him.” The spokesman did not respond to further questions.

But a police incident report confirms that Wilson arrested Arman at his home on Redmond Avenue on 28 October 2013. The report states Wilson had arrived to issue a court summons regarding derelict vehicles that were being left on the property in violation of city rules. Redacted images of the report were first published by the Free Thought Project….more…

And that is by no means the worst of the police criminal behavior that has been going on in Ferguson…

 

From the Daily Beast

Rape, Lies & Videotape in Ferguson

A pregnant woman’s account of being assaulted by a city police officer and a video of an aggressive Darren Wilson are only heightening the foreboding over the Michael Brown grand jury.

…And a video was posted on YouTube of a citizen’s October 2013 encounter with a uniformed cop who a police department spokesman suggests was not Wilson but almost certainly was.

The department spokesman’s doubts notwithstanding, the ensuing arrest report was fielded by none other than Wilson, badge 609. The report states that Wilson had been preparing to issue 30-year-old Mike Arman a summons for having broken-down cars in his yard, in violation of one of the ordinances that allow the city to raise millions of dollars from poor and working people and issue an annual average of three warrants per household. Wilson attests that he arrested Arman for “failure to comply” after he supposedly ignored instructions to “remove the camera from my face in order for us to complete the process of the derelict vehicles.”

Never mind that Arman’s camera was those eight strides from being in Wilson’s face. Wilson also cited Arman for “violation of pit bull regulations,” saying there were three in the yard. Arman would insist that he has only a bulldog.

Wilson’s narrative is enough at odds with the videotape that the possibility arises that his written account is in possible violation of state law 575.080 against making false reports to a law-enforcement officer. That would seem to apply even if you are one yourself.

The report ends with Wilson transporting Arman to the Ferguson jail….

In any event, Arman seems to have fared much better than a woman who was consigned to the correctional staff at the Ferguson jail after being pulled over for an expired license plate and giving a false name on Oct. 9, 2013.

The woman is identified only by the initials J.W. in court papers from a subsequent federal civil-rights lawsuit. She is described as having been “in her work clothes, that is, nursing scrubs,” as Hayden commenced to fingerprint her and take her mug shot.

“J.W. heard Hayden say softly, ‘You smell good,’” the papers report. “Hayden softly said words to the effect, ‘This will teach you a lesson.’”

The papers note that J.W. had never met Hayden before. She was placed in a cell and Hayden told her that she also had outstanding traffic warrants in other jurisdictions. He repeatedly walked past her cell.

“J.W. was distraught and said words to the effort of, ‘Let me go… I haven’t done anything wrong… I just don’t have money to get my plates,’” the papers report. “Hayden said words to the effect of, ‘Be quiet… Others will hear.’”

The report goes on, “J.W. sensed that Hayden was acting in a sexually provocative manner toward her. J.W. did not respond… J.W. told Hayden that she was several months pregnant. J.W.’s pregnancy was showing.”

J.W. then informed Hayden that she was suffering “pain and discharges.” Hayden checked with a superior and summoned an ambulance. The EMTs checked J.W. and said it was up to Hayden whether she was released into their custody.

“Hayden did not indicate a decision in J.W.’s presence,” the papers say. “Hayden and the EMTs left the room. J.W. never saw the EMTs again.”

Salvation must have seemed at hand when J.W.’s boyfriend arrived and posted the necessary bond to free her on the new Ferguson charges. Hayden removed J.W. from her cell and had her sign some official forms.

“Hayden began to make remarks with words to the effect of, ‘You’re the type of girl that can get me in trouble,’” the papers report.

The papers go on to note: “J.W. was crying. J.W. kept asking to go home. J.W. said, ‘I will do anything to go home.’”

The papers emphasize, “By that remark J.W. did not intend to deliver the message that she would have sex with Hayden in exchange for release. The remark was in the nature of a rhetorical statement while in an emotional state of extreme distress.”

Hayden continued to say that J.W. had outstanding warrants. J.W. had no way of knowing that he had not notified any of those other jurisdictions that she was in custody.

“J.W. was in great fear,” the papers report. “Hayden said, ‘Follow me.’”

The papers allege that Hayden escorted J.W. down a number of hallways.

“Hayden took J.W. into a boiler room in the City of Ferguson jail,” the papers charge. “Hayden then unbuttoned his pants, removed his penis.”

The papers report that J.W. was too afraid to resist his command for her to perform oral sex on him. She nonetheless seems to have proved herself the wrong woman to assault.

“J.W. captured some of Hayden’s pubic hairs in her hand,” the papers report.

She held on to the hair as Hayden led her further back into the boiler room.

“Hayden then had J.W. bend over and he indicated that he was going to have intercourse with her,” the papers say. “Because she was afraid, J.W. did not resist.”

The papers suggest that Hayden was careful not to leave any DNA-laden material.

“Hayden ejaculated in his hand,” the papers allege. “Hayden then released J.W. from jail custody via a side door to the building… Hayden told J.W. words to the effect of, ‘Run and stay close to the building.’”

The papers suggest that this was to avoid security cameras. Hayden might well have imagined he had no further worries, that he was at the very worst in the realm of “he said, she said.” He does not seem to have anticipated that she could have maintained such remarkable presence of mind.

“Immediately after the rape, J.W. went to a Subway restaurant across the street and retained a bag to hold the captured pubic hair,” the papers go on to recount.

J.W’s sister came and took her to a hospital emergency room. Investigators from the St. Louis County Police responded. J.W. presented them with her evidence.

“DNA analysis has confirmed that the public hair is from Hayden,” the papers say.

One remaining question, a question the authorities have not yet answered, is why they took more than a year to arrest Hayden when such seemingly damning evidence was available almost immediately. And then he was charged not with forcible rape, but with having sex with a prisoner and then aiding her escape. His attorney says he will be pleading not guilty at his arraignment in December.

Another lawyer closely associated with the case has indicated that the FBI had become involved in the investigation. That suggests the feds may have come across the stalled case after the shooting of Michael Brown, when U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder ordered a larger investigation into the way law enforcement is conducted in Ferguson.

Even though J.W. and Hayden are both black, she felt only right in filing a federal civil-rights suit on Friday against him and the City of Ferguson. The suit charges that she was denied due process by being raped by a correction officer while in custody.

“The conduct of City of Ferguson law enforcement in engaging in repeated acts of violence and constitutional violations against the citizenry constitutes a pattern,” the suit charges. “The city has taken inadequate steps or no steps at all to control the violent acts of its law-enforcement personnel.”

Another federal lawsuit, one in which a man was arrested in a case of mistaken identity and then charged with destroying property by bleeding on the uniforms of the Ferguson cops who allegedly beat him, was tossed out by a lower court judge who ruled the complainant’s injuries were not sufficiently serious. That case is due to be heard by an appeals court next month.

 

 

 

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