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The New Jim Crow at the DOJ

There is a particularly virulent and dangerous type of white-right racist out there, who plays the white-victim game.

This type of racist is set to destroy much of Civil Rights in the country and further establish the New Jim Crow under chief racist Jeff Sessions.

The white-victim game works like this. The biggest kid in elementary school is the schoolyard bully. A Martial Arts studio opens up in the town, and some of the other kids, tired of being beat up, begin to take classes. Afraid some of his victims might be able to defend themselves, he goes to his Dad, who sits on the City Council, and convinces him to pass a law making Martial Arts studios illegal in the town because “they encourage violence”.

The white-right racist victimrat plays this game. During the Bush administration these people were put in charge of destroying the DOJ’s Civil Rights division. They spent 8 years searching for that elusive instance where a white person had been discriminated against by a minority, nearly ignoring the more than 20,000 cases a year referred to them. In years, they found exactly 1 case. During this entire time denying the existence of racism against blacks and minorities.

The DOJ under Sessions may as well be the KKK. They are becoming the enemy of the entire country.

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The new DOJ “Civil Rights” Division under Putin’s Bitch and Sessions

How Trump Will Dismantle Civil Rights Protections in America

The same way Bush did: by politicizing the DOJ.

If you talk to people who worked in the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division during the George W. Bush administration about their old jobs, you might hear one of two stories. Each can be viewed as a possible prelude to what the DOJ’s “crown jewel” division is poised to go through now that Donald Trump is president and Jeff Sessions is attorney general.

The first story takes place in Ohio during the lead-up to the 2004 election, when local officials were sued over a Republican plan to send thousands of “voter challengers” to polling places in predominantly black districts. The practice, putatively aimed at identifying ineligible voters, stemmed from a controversial Ohio law that civil rights advocates considered a vestige of Jim Crow.

One person who didn’t see it that way was Alex Acosta, the head of the Civil Rights Division at the time and now Trump’s nominee for secretary of labor. Less than a week before Election Day, Acosta wrote a letter to the judge overseeing the Ohio case to express his support for the “challenger” law and to argue that its purpose was to create a “balance between ballot access and ballot integrity”—not to intimidate voters.

The surprising thing about Acosta’s letter was that no one had asked for the DOJ’s opinion. The federal government was not party to the Ohio case, and Acosta was under no obligation to comment on it; in fact, he was defying a long-standing Civil Rights Division norm by taking action on a voting issue so close to an upcoming election. The “challengers” were ultimately allowed to go to the polls. Among liberals, the episode went down as a defining example of how zealous and brazen Bush-era political appointees could be in pursuing a partisan agenda.

The second story you might hear from alumni of Bush’s Civil Rights Division concerns a litigator named David Becker, who had been working in the voting section since the tail end of the Clinton administration. In 2005, Becker decided to quit—but not before getting involved in a DOJ lawsuit that accused the city of Boston of “improperly influencing, coercing, or ignoring the ballot choices of limited-English-proficient Hispanic or Asian-American voters.”

Becker, who had years of experience helping jurisdictions make their elections accessible to minority language–speakers, believed that Republicans in the Justice Department were pursuing the lawsuit for political reasons. In a series of letters to Boston officials, Becker asserted that the case was “largely without legal merit” and was being brought, in part, because Boston had voted Democratic in the 2004 election. Though he was still working for DOJ when he first reached out to city officials, Becker offered to help them fight against the government when he left.

The Becker story is not particularly well-known. But for some conservatives, it remains a galling example of the kind of treachery that Bush’s team encountered from career civil rights staff when Republicans took over the division in 2001. Bradley Schlozman, who worked in the “front office” of Civil Rights from 2003 until 2006 and was despised by many of the former career lawyers I spoke with, recently brought it up to illustrate what he called the “extraordinary unprofessionalism” he encountered in the division as a Bush appointee.“In my opinion, these were extremely partisan attorneys who had difficulty separating their political views from their obligations to their client: the United States,” Schlozman told me.

These two stories—both of them, as it happens, about letters that probably shouldn’t have been sent—serve as a reminder of the destructive, politically polarized rancor that plagued the Bush-era Civil Rights Division. Remembered by many DOJ alums as a traumatic and humiliating low point in the division’s history, the period was marked by an unprecedented level of hostility and mutual distrust between career attorneys and the “politicals” who supervised them.

“As time went on, it became more and more abrasive and overbearing,” said Albert Moskowitz, who oversaw the criminal section of the Civil Rights Division between 1999 and 2005. Particularly during Bush’s second term, he said, “People were abused and treated terribly, and there was just no one to tell and no place to go.”

At the heart of the rift was a fundamental misalignment of goals. As one lawyer hired into the Civil Rights Division under Bush, J. Christian Adams,described it in his 2011 polemic on the Obama-era DOJ, the conflict was part of “a larger war between two camps”: “militant leftists” who believed “civil rights laws do not protect everyone equally, but only certain ‘oppressed’ minorities,” and conservatives “who support a race-blind future.”

To frame it in a slightly less bellicose way, most attorneys who joined the Civil Rights Division before the Bush administration did so because they wanted to help the federal government challenge policies that discriminated against historically marginalized groups. The conservatives in charge under Bush, by contrast, were generally skeptical of federal intervention and believed in devoting more of the division’s resources to investigating things like voter fraud and human trafficking. In applying what they called a “race-neutral” approach to enforcement, they also made a point of bringing civil rights cases on behalf of white victims.

“Even attorneys who had served the division through the Reagan years and the [George H.W.] Bush years found it unbearable,” said Kristen Clarke, who started in the division a few months before Bush took office and now leads the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

Nearly a decade since Bush left office, Trump and Sessions have started making their own moves to transform the DOJ and reorient the Civil Rights Division in particular to fit with their agenda. As we look for clues about how far they’ll go, the turbulent 2000s are a reminder of just how bad it can get, and how a new political team might go about pushing the division’s long-serving career attorneys out of the way.

So far, those attorneys haven’t even been told who their new boss will be, as Trump has not yet nominated anyone to the post. In the meantime, looking back on the Bush years is a way of putting down markers—an exercise in bracing oneself and establishing a worst-case precedent against which to measure the next four years.

If they deny you your legal right to vote…Its time to “Stand Your Ground”. The Ballot…Or the bullet.

 

 
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Posted by on April 21, 2017 in The New Jim Crow

 

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The New Jim Crow….Auto Insurance

You start out in 1954 by saying, “Nigger, nigger, nigger.” By 1968 you can’t say “nigger”—that hurts you, backfires. So you say stuff like, uh, forced busing, states’ rights, and all that stuff, and you’re getting so abstract. Now, you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is, blacks get hurt worse than whites.… “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, uh, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “Nigger, nigger.” _Republican Lee Atwater

The “Black Tax” on everything from a home mortgage to your car insurance…

For those black folks who wouldn’t get out to vote against the Chumph and his Republican henchmen last election…Start writing those checks.

All of that crap about how awful Hillary was…When the white-party really is out to kill your dumb black ass.

BlackLivesMatter is about a bit more then just police brutality. When you are targeted and ticketed at a rate 3-10 times higher than white folks…What exactly happens to your insurance rates?

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Racism in America: It’s so pervasive that white people pay less for car insurance

Black people pay more than white people for car insurance, even when the risk is lower

It’s expensive to be black in America. From cradle to grave, for everything from starter home loans to burial insurance, African Americans are confronted with a paywall that demands they fork over more than whites. Driving a car, a critical element of the American Dream, is yet another area where being black incurs a surcharge. Studies find blacks are charged higher interest on car loans, quoted higher prices by car dealers and, according to a new ProPublica and Consumer Reports investigation, given far heftier car insurance bills. The report finds that between 2012 and 2014 in California, Illinois, Missouri and Texas, top insurers including Allstate, Geico and Liberty Mutual leveraged “premiums that were on average 30 percent higher in zip codes where most residents are minorities than in whiter neighborhoods with similar accident costs.”

Those premium variances can ultimately amount to significant differences in blacks and whites’ monthly cash expenditures, hurting African Americans’ buying power in other areas and life outcomes in general. ProPublica cites Chicagoan Otis Nash, who is black and lives in a majority-black neighborhood, and pays $190.69 a month in insurance costs for his Honda Civic LX, the only means he has of getting to his two jobs during his six-day workweek. Across town, Ryan Hedges, who is white and lives in a white neighborhood, is billed just $54.67 a month for insurance on his 2015 Audi Q5 Quattro. Based on a series of issues, from car cost to the number of accident claims filed in their respective communities, Nash’s insurance premiums should be lower than Hedges’. Instead, as ProPublica notes, Geico “actually give[s] a discount to the riskier white neighborhood.”

This practice of price gouging on insurance premiums for residents of black neighborhoods — which is another way of saying black drivers — held true again and again. The investigation looked at “more than 100,000 premiums charged for liability insurance” in the “four states that release the type of data needed to compare insurance payouts by geography.” Investigators defined “minority zip codes” as those with more than 66 percent non-white residents in California and Texas, and 50 percent in Missouri and Illinois, due to demographic demands.

The authors point out that while regulation of the car insurance industry varied in the states surveyed (California has the most government oversight in this area while Illinois rates near the bottom of the national list), those differences offer a broad-view look at how racist car insurance policies proliferate around the United States. “Some insurers whose prices appear to vary by neighborhood demographics operate nationally,” they write. “That raises the prospect that many minority neighborhoods across the country may be paying too much for auto insurance, or white neighborhoods, too little.”

“In all four states, we found insurers with significant gaps between the premiums charged in minority and non-minority neighborhoods with the same average risk. In Illinois, of the 34 companies we analyzed, 33 of them were charging at least 10 percent more, on average, for the same safe driver in minority zip codes than in comparably risky white zip codes. (The exception was USAA’s Garrison Property & Casualty subsidiary, which charged 9 percent more.) Six Illinois insurers, including Allstate, which is the second largest insurer in the state, had average disparities higher than 30 percent.

While in Illinois the disparities remained about the same from the safest to the most dangerous zip codes, in the other three states the disparities were confined to the riskiest neighborhoods. In those instances, prices in whiter neighborhoods stayed about the same as risk increased, while premiums in minority neighborhoods went up.

In Missouri and Texas, at least half of the insurers we studied charged higher premiums for a safe driver in high-risk minority communities than in comparably risky non-minority communities. And even in highly regulated California, we found eight insurers whose prices in risky minority neighborhoods were more than 10 percent above similar risky zip codes where more residents were white.”

As always, respectability politics — America’s favorite lie, which holds that success will save black folks from racism — proves useless. ProPublica spoke with Los Angeles-based businessman Pernell Cox, a resident of a “wealthy enclave in South Los Angeles sometimes referred to as the ‘Black Beverly Hills.’” Turns out the Liberty Mutual subsidiary that insured Cox’s cars “charges 13 percent more for a 30-year-old female safe driver in his neighborhood than in a zip code with comparable risk in Woodland Hills, a predominantly white suburb in north Los Angeles.” Cox’s two Mercedes-Benzes, career success and address couldn’t surmount the extra price of race.

“Learning that our community might be targeted for higher insurance rates than the risk is a reason for people to be angry,” Cox told Chicago’s ABC affiliate.

Redlining, common American discriminatory practices that historically kept black people from buying middle-class homes and acquiring equity-building loans, was outlawed decades ago. But while anti-discrimination is a critical element in combating pervasive racism, laws can only curb unfair business practices to a point. From the moment ordinances were passed to stop bias in selling and lending, covert workarounds were created to ensure the system remained unchanged. Bill Corley, an African-American car insurance agent in the field since 1977, describes how the subterfuge works.

“Officially, you could write insurance anywhere you wanted to write insurance,” Corley told ProPublica. Unofficially, too many minority clients inspired questions Corely rarely saw asked about white clients. “They would ask you questions about people’s income levels and questions about neighboring properties — which I don’t really recall ever having to address when I was writing policies in other neighborhoods in the city.”

Today, the use of neighborhood racial demographics is an altogether unsubtle way insurers continue to shortchange black drivers. The effects of those discriminatory practices do more than siphon off dollars once they month; they cause a ripple effect, hurting black financial prospects overall. ProPublica found that “households in minority-majority zip codes spent more than twice as much of their household income on auto insurance (11 percent).” That’s money diverted not just from short-term necessities but from long-term investments as well, such as homeownership, which blacks are still denied loans for far more often than whites.

A 2017 study found that education attainment, spending, working endlessly or raising kids in a two-parent family never closes the ever-expanding racial wealth gap, the $13 to $1 net wealth difference between white and black households. Longstanding racial privilege, codified into programs like the GI Bill, helped build white wealth. Those assets and monies, particularly in the form of property, were handed down, giving successive generations of whites a leg up on their black contemporaries.

“Homeownership is the central vehicle Americans use to store wealth,” Demos senior policy analyst and study co-author Catherine Ruetschlin told Forbes, “so homeownership and access to homeownership are at the heart of that widening wealth gap.”

Who can save for a house when you’re being unfairly nickel-and-dimed at every turn, on every front? The extra expense of being poor, we’ve long known, keeps people trapped in cycles of poverty. Add institutional racism to that equation, and the ante is effectively upped. As the case of Pernell Cox proves, a nice home and the right degree can’t break the system, which was fixed long ago.

Otis Nash says he’s on the “verge of homelessness” because his car costs are so exorbitant. ProPublica reports that he was nonplussed by the discovery that race weighs so heavily in his insurance payments.

“When you go to the richer neighborhoods, the red-light cameras kind of go away,” he told the outlet. “That system is kind of designed for you to fail.”

 

 
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Posted by on April 7, 2017 in BlackLivesMatter, The New Jim Crow

 

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White Supremacist Travels to NYC to Murder Unarmed Black Men

I am going to do two articles on this one. The first deals with the crime, the second is about Timothy Caughman – the victim, and how the press has tried to de-humanize him as a black man. Funny how the Press and the courts can find so much sympathy for a white boy committing the most heinous of crimes…

But make excuses for the murder of an unarmed black man by sullying his reputation – such as to say somehow he deserved getting shot or stabbed in the back for doing nothing more than walking down the street.

White veteran charged with murder of black man as hate crime

screen-shot-2017-03-22-at-7-06-57-pm.png A white Army veteran accused of randomly killing a black man on the streets of New York by stabbing him with a sword was charged Thursday with murder as a hate crime.

“His intent was to kill as many black men here in New York as he could,” prosecutor Joan Illuzzi said as James Harris Jackson, 28, was arraigned in the slaying of 66-year-old Timothy Caughman. “The defendant was motivated purely by hatred.”

Illuzzi said Jackson was angered in particular by black men who date white women.

Authorities said Jackson traveled from his home in Baltimore last week, picking New York because he hoped to “make a statement” in the media capital of the world. He encountered Caughman, who was collecting bottles from trash cans, and stabbed him in his chest and back, authorities said.

He turned himself in at a Times Square police station early Wednesday, a day after the wounded Caughman staggered into a police precinct. The sword was found in a trash can.

Illuzzi said the charges could be upgraded because the killing was an act “most likely of terrorism.”

Jackson’s lawyer suggested that his client might be suffering from mental illness.

“What we’re going to do is take a few minutes, let the dust settle and figure out what the facts are,” defense attorney Sam Talkin said outside court. “If the facts are anything near what the allegations are, then we’re going to address the obvious psychological issues that are present in this case.”

Jackson told police he had harbored hatred toward black men for at least 10 years, authorities said….More Here

 

11 things corporate media won’t tell you about Timothy Caughman — the unarmed Black man stabbed to death by a white supremacist

nyc-victim.png Timothy Caughman was killed for being Black. He was 66.

A canner, who supported himself by gathering and redeeming bottles and cans, Caughman was doing his job–sorting through recycling–when a 28-year- old army veteran, James Harris Jackson, pulled out a 26-inch mini-sword and repeatedly stabbed him in the chest and back Monday night in Manhattan’s Hell’s kitchen neighborhood. Caughman died at a hospital.

Wednesday, Jackson turned himself in, telling police that he traveled from Maryland to New York City on Friday in order to “target male blacks,” according to Assistant Chief William Aubry of Manhattan South Detectives. “The reason why he picked New York,” said Aubry, “is because it is the media capital of the world… He wanted to make a statement.” The New York Post reports that “Jackson identifies as a white supremacist and told police he penned a manifesto about his racist views,” which included a plan “about an imminent attack on blacks in New York.” He was particularly disturbed by Black men who were in romantic relationships with white women.

So, to recap, a self-identified white supremacist fatally stabbed an unarmed man because he was Black.

Yet, much of the mainstream media coverage has turned a story about the murder of an unarmed Black men into an investigation into the character of an unarmed Black man, as Adam Johnson points out at FAIR. The Daily News and New York Post reported on Caughman’s utterly unrelated and irrelevant arrest record. Even more remarkably, The Daily News thought it was appropriate to remind readers that, “In December 2014, Ismaaiyl Brinsley traveled to the city from Baltimore and assassinated Police Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, who were in the car near Myrtle and Tompkins Avenues in Bedford-Stuyvesant. Brinsley had made anti-police statements on social media prior to the murders.” Though tragic, a murder that took place over two years ago doesn’t seem germane. Johnson suggests,

This is a bizarre journalistic choice that appears to be some kind of attempt at “balancing” the coverage, suggesting that there could be a bit of score-settling going on: Yes, this black man was senselessly murdered by a white supremacist, but some other black guy killed cops two-and-a-half years ago, so….

To be fair, there is another angle here. Both crimes were committed by men who traveled from the state of Maryland to New York City. So there’s that.

Another important thing, according to the Daily News and New York Post, is that Caughman lived in transitional housing.

This isn’t the first time the media has tasked itself with scrutinizing and smearing the character of an unarmed Black murder victim. See: Michael “no angel” Brown, Freddie “he caused his own injuries (which he didn’t)” Gray, Trayvon “he smoked pot once and gave the middle finger in a photo once” Martin. The punishment for having once smoked pot is not, actually, execution at the hands of someone who failed the police entrance exam, beats his girlfriends and volunteers as a neighborhood watchman.

Curiously, the same media which is so quick to the judge victims, finds itself capable of extraordinary empathy and understanding when the perpetrator is white. Consider, for example, the story of Brock Turner, who was sentenced to six months (of which he’d serve three) for assault with intent to rape an intoxicated woman and sexually penetrating an unconscious person with a foreign object. While some were disturbed by the rape and the light sentence, The Washington Post, worried that Turner’s promising swimming career would be disrupted by the conviction. The article, whose headline read, “All-American swimmer found guilty of sexually assaulting unconscious woman on Stanford campus,” featured a fresh-faced posed photo of Turner, not the traditional mugshot.  and not his mug shot.

Caughman happened to be a collector of autographs, a passionate consumer of pop culture and a huge fan of Shari Headley, so outlets have also picked up the human interest angle of the story, which, though preferable, still manages to incorporate the irrelevant information from the smear-based reports. Even an additional article in The Daily News, whose headline reads, “New Yorker who was fatally stabbed by Maryland man loved meeting Hollywood stars,” includes the fact that he lived in transitional housing. Because so little information has been released about Caughman, even places like The Hollywood Reporter, included this irrelevant tidbit in its seemingly harmless listicle: “Timothy Caughman Stabbed To Death: 5 Things About The Innocent NYC Man.” The fourth thing you need to know, apparently, is that Caughman,

lived in transitional housing. Timothy resided in a transitional housing facility on W. 36th street, sources told New York Daily News. Transitional housing is a place for homeless people to stay, generally after they have suffered a crisis.

At least Bustle focuses on the positive in its meta piece promising that “The New Yorker’s Sense Of Optimism Won’t Be Forgotten.”

But there is another story to be found in Caughman’s biography. I first heard about Caughman when Benjamin Dixon, the host of the Benjamin Dixon Show, shared a selfie Caughman had posted of himself at 9:30 A.M. this past election day. It read, “Standing on line waiting to vote I love america.”  Dixon added his own comment: “Wow. Timothy Caughman. Murdered by a white supremacist who specifically targeted black men.”…More on Timothy’s life Here...

 
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Posted by on March 24, 2017 in BlackLivesMatter, The New Jim Crow

 

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DOJ Sues JP Morgan for Racial Discrimination

In yet another case that likely will met its end under a Chumph racist administration looking to legalize the practice of Mortgage redlining against Minorities…

The DOJ filed suit today against JP Morgan for its role in charging Minority buyers higher rates then equally credited whites.

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DOJ Sues JPMorgan For Racial Discrimination

The suit claim that the bank charged African-American and Hispanic borrowers more than white borrowers with the same credit profile.

The United States on Wednesday sued JPMorgan Chase & Co, accusing the bank of discriminating against minority borrowers by charging them higher rates and fees on home mortgage loans between 2006 and at least 2009.

Filed in a Manhattan federal court, the government’s complaint accused the bank of violating the U.S. Fair Housing Act and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act by charging thousands of African-American and Hispanic borrowers more for home loans than white borrowers with the same credit profile.

JPMorgan Chase and U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The alleged discrimination involved so-called wholesale loans that were made through mortgagebrokers the bank used to originate loans, the complaint said. Chase allowed brokers to change rates charged for loans from those initially set based on objective credit-related factors, the complaint said.

Chase did not require mortgage brokers to document the reasons for changing rates and failed to address racial discrimination, encouraging it to continue, the complaint said.

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Posted by on January 18, 2017 in The New Jim Crow

 

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Historic ‘End White Supremacy’ Sign

We need to find ways big and small to fight back, disrupt, and yes – even destroy the Chump’s government and plans every single day…

Historic ‘End White Supremacy’ Sign Reinstalled In New York City

The message, referencing a 1963 civil rights protest, is shamefully relevant today.

In 1963, a protestor scrawled the words “End White Supremacy” onto a sign and carried it during a civil rights march in New York. Over 50 years have passed and, disgracefully, the message pleading for the most essential of human rights remains just as relevant.

In 2008, digging through archival photographs, artist Sam Durant found an image of the ‘60s sign. Durant creates large-scale lightboxes featuring language culled from various protests and demonstrations throughout history, often focusing on the Civil Rights Movement and Black Panther protests. He gravitates towards words whose relevance is not bound up with any one time or event, whose message resounds regardless.

The artist scanned and cropped the sign’s language to create one such text-based artwork, which was mounted on the exterior of New York’s Paula Cooper Gallery just around the time America elected its first black president until 2009.

On Nov. 29, however, the piece was restored to the Paula Cooper Gallery facade. The sign’s return is a response to the recent election of Donald Trump, who, as a candidate, was widely accused of feeding off the racism, misogyny and xenophobia lingering on the fringes of the American psyche, giving bigotry a platform and ushering it into the mainstream.

Gallery owner Paula Cooper explained the importance of using skills and resources to fight against the normalization of hate and fear in an interview with Hyperallergic.

“We should, as spaces available and open to the public, do whatever we can to resist and overcome whatever abominations are about to confront us,” Cooper said. “How we best do that is the question.”…

 
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Posted by on December 5, 2016 in Second American Revolution

 

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Walter Scott Murderer to go Free on Mistrial

One juror in the Walter Scott murder trial “can’t in good conscience vote to convict”. Knowing the Jury is made up of 11 whites and one black person raises questions in itself.

Sounds like they got a Klansman or a Trumpazoid (but I repeat myself) on the jury.

Seems to me there is one other option the judge can pursue, which is to impeach the juror in question. In the fact that the juror perjured him/her self when asked the standard question of all jurors – “Are you willing to vote to convict if the preponderance of the evidence indicates guilt?”

That one juror will probably make the case go to mistrial, allowing the murderer to pleas down to basically a traffic ticket.

Murder most foul protected by a Jim Crow Juror.

Mistrial Appears Likely in Murder Trial of South Carolina Cop Who Killed a Fleeing, Unarmed Suspect

Lone juror cannot “in good conscience” vote to convict officer Michael Slager.

It appears likely that Judge Clifton Newman will be compelled to declare a mistrial in the racially charged South Carolina murder trial of former North Charleston police officer Michael Slager, who fatally shot an unarmed man who had fled from a April 2015 traffic stop. Late Friday afternoon, a lone juror sent a letter to the judge saying that he or she could not, in good conscience, vote to convict Slager of murder or manslaughter. The judge sent word asking the jurors to clarify whether that meant they were hopelessly deadlocked. The jurors responded that they were, but the prosecutor requested that the jurors receive further instruction, if need be, and the jurors expressed a willingness to deliberate further. In the meantime, the judge has sent jurors home for the weekend.

A viral bystander video showed Slager, who is white, shooting 50-year-old Walter Scott, who is black, multiple times from behind. Posted online soon after the incident, the video thrust the Charleston area into the national debate on race and the use of deadly force by police.

What the video didn’t show is the preceding tussle during which, Slager testified, Scott had defied his orders and tried to grab the Taser he was deploying. After Scott broke free and ran away, Slager took aim and fired. Slager said he was in a state of “total fear” and believed Scott remained a threat to him, even though he was running away.

Earlier on Friday, the jurors told Newman they were deadlocked in their attempt to reach a verdict, and the judge—who had given them the option of a lesser verdict of manslaughter—sent them back to try again. Over two days of deliberations, the jury twice asked the judge for assistance. They asked for transcripts of Slager’s courtroom testimony and that of the officer who interviewed Slager after the shooting. They also asked Newman to clarify the legal distinction between “fear” and “passion.” The judge responded that they would have to make that determination themselves.

Many observers have taken note of the racial imbalance of the jury: six white men, five white women, and one black man. No matter which way it goes, the verdict has to be unanimous. A jury foreman’s note that accompanied the letter from the holdout juror noted there was only one juror who “had issues” with convicting the officer.

A hung jury would probably be good news for Slager and his defense team. The prosecutor, Ninth Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson, would have to decide whether to pursue a new trial and on what charge. She announced in court that she would first want to interview jurors to gather insights before making further decisions on resolving the case. It’s also possible Slager could head off a second trial by pleading to a lesser charge in exchange for a short prison stint—a manslaughter sentence in South Carolina ranges from two to thirty years without parole. But involuntary manslaughter, for instance, carries a maximum sentence of five years.

 
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Posted by on December 2, 2016 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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Federal Court Orders New Elections in North Carolina Due to Racial Gerrymandering

Looks like there was more than just vote tampering going on in North Carolina…

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Federal court orders North Carolina to hold special 2017 elections after ruling “racial gerrymander” of districts unconstitutional

NC lawmakers must redraw legislative map that won the GOP veto-proof majorities despite losing 2012’s popular vote

North Carolina lawmakers have been ordered by a U.S. federal court to redraw 28 state House and Senate districts and to hold a special legislative election next year after the court struck down the state’s legislative map as an unconstitutional “racial gerrymander.”

A three-judge panel of the Middle District Court ruled Tuesday that the Republican-drawn legislative map had illegally packed African-American and Hispanic voters into a few districts, ruling that 28 of them were unconstitutional racial gerrymanders. The judges found North Carolina’s legislative districts to be so racially biased that they are forcing the state to redo its elections next year.

In an 83-page ruling last summer, the same three-judge panel found that Republican lawmakers’ “new provisions target African Americans with almost surgical precision.” While the court ruled at the time that 28 of the General Assembly’s 170 districts were illegal racial gerrymanders, it decided it was too late in the election cycle to redraw new maps and hold elections in November. On Tuesday, the judges ordered lawmakers to redraw its own districts by March 15, meaning those elected to the state House and Senate a few weeks ago in districts ordered to be redrawn would serve just one year, not two as expected.

“This gives the state a total of seven months from the time the districts were held to be unconstitutional, which is longer than it took the 2011 legislature to redistrict the entire state,” read the order by Judges James Wynn, Thomas Schroeder and Catherine Eagles. The ruling also requires lawmakers to submit new maps to the court within seven days of passage.

This is a major blow to Republican control of the state legislature in North Carolina.

Democrats in North Carolina carried the popular vote for Congress and won a 7-6 majority in the state’s House delegation in the 2010 election, under the redistricting plan drafted by Democrats in 2001. As Executive Editor of the non-partisan, non-profit ReclaimTheAmericanDream.org, Hedrick Smith, explained, in 2012, Democratic House candidates again won a statewide popular vote majority for the House, but a new gerrymandered map drawn by the Republican-dominated legislature allowed the GOP to emerge with 9 seats to 4 for the Democrats. Republican state lawmakers  managed to win veto-proof majorities in North Carolina despite losing the popular vote in 2012, by drawing up such racially gerrymandered districts to dilute the power of voters of color.

 
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Posted by on November 30, 2016 in Second American Revolution, The New Jim Crow

 

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