On Friday Greg Palast filed a lawsuit against Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp for violation of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993. Palast says “our experts found Georgia wrongly purged 340,134 voters. Palast and rights groups filed National Voter Registration Act suit against Kemp to open voter purge files to the public.”
From [HERE] Georgia secretary of state and gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp improperly purged more than 340,000 voters from the state’s registration rolls, an investigation charges.
Greg Palast, a journalist and the director of the Palast Investigative Fund, said an analysis he commissioned found 340,134 voters were removed from the rolls on the grounds that they had moved – but they actually still live at the address where they are registered.
“Their registration is cancelled. Not pending, not inactive – cancelled. If they show up to vote on 6 November, they will not be allowed to vote. That’s wrong,” Palast told reporters on a call on Friday. “We can prove they’re still there. They should be allowed to vote.”
Palast and the Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda filed a lawsuit against Kemp on Friday to force him to release additional records related to the state’s removal of voters.
Under Georgia procedures, registered voters who have not cast ballots for three years are sent a notice asking them to confirm they still live at their address. If they don’t return it, they are marked inactive. If they don’t vote for two more general elections after that, they are removed from the rolls.
Georgia removed more than 534,000 voters that way in 2016 and 2017. Using databases employed by commercial mailing firms, analysts commissioned by Palast’s group found that 334,134 of those citizens actually still live at the address they registered.
Of the rest, 41,797 had in fact moved out of state, and 8,990 moved from one county to another within Georgia. More than 19,000 had died. Others could not be determined.
It’s the latest voting rights controversy to crop up in the Georgia governor’s race, which pits Republican Kemp against Democrat Stacey Abrams, who if elected would become the first African American woman governor of any state.
Lawsuits have also charged that Kemp blocked the registrations of 50,000 would-be voters, 80% of them black, Latino or Asian, because of minor discrepancies in the spelling or spacing of their name. Another suit targeted the state’s most diverse county after it rejected an unusually large number of absentee ballots.
“Brian Kemp has abused his power as secretary of state of Georgia to purge the voting rolls of Georgia primarily of black and brown people,” said Joe Beasley, an Atlanta civil rights activist. “If he had one ounce of integrity, he would have stepped aside as secretary of state, because you can’t referee an election in which you stand to be a winner.”
WHITE PARTY [GOP] MESSAGE: ‘CAN YOU PROVE IT?’
rigged trump election
puppet trump collusion
excluding immigrants based on skin color, religion
promoting hate crimes
supporting police brutality
and much more
From [HERE] and [MORE] A political action committee said Friday that it won’t pull radio ads in hotly contested races in Arkansas and Missouri that suggest African American men will face rape accusations if Democrats win midterm elections.
An ad from Black Americans for the President’s Agenda in an Arkansas congressional race features a woman saying “white Democrats will be lynching Black folk again.”
In Missouri, the radio ad favoring Republican challenger Josh Hawley and attacking Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, does not mention lynching. Instead, the woman says that if Democrats prevail in mid-term elections, “Black folk will be catching hell again” and that Black men could face allegations of rape. Hill and Tucker are both White. The 2nd District is about 23 percent Black, according to U.S. Census estimates.
About 12 percent of Missouri’s residents are Black. [MORE] Among those in the Black votary who are allowed to participate in the agreed upon illusion [election], as always they will choose between a nicer master [Dems] or a mean cracker master [GOP]? [MORE]
WHITE PLUS BLACK = “YOU WILL NOT REPLACE US.” The above ad also parrots Yurugu’s fears of non-white men intermixing with white women. As stated by Dr. Frances Cress Welsing, white people are vulnerable to their sense of numerical inadequacy. Most white people consciously or subconsciously understand the following;
White plus Black equals Colored.
White plus Brown equals Colored.
White plus Yellow equals Colored.
The declining white population is not a new or reversible trend - the decline has only quickened. Although rarely discussed, white people are genetic recessive. It is scientific fact that Black is a genetically dominant trait. Whenever Black mixes with White, which is a recessive genetic trait, Black will dominate. In general, this means "whites" cannot reproduce a white child when they have sexual relations with non-whites. The so-called white "race" can and eventually will be replaced or "genetically annihilated" through such assimilation or social intermixing with non-whites. As white populations have been consistently declining, Black and Brown populations are surging. And this causes racists to practice racism or act genocidally by engaging in such activities as rigging elections and much more as recent events reveal on a daily basis.
The above formula is also the meaning of what "you will not replace us" and "‘Europe Will Be White." It also is what "Clean Blood’ is referring to - clean white blood. [MORE]
From [HERE] Fox News contributor Jonas Max Ferris downplayed the murder of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi by arguing that Saudi Arabia “is one of the safest places to be a journalist in the world” and touting the country’s investments in U.S. businesses.
In response, host Neil Cavuto acknowledged that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the de facto ruler of the country, has engaged in oppressive practices against critics. But he also downplayed Khashoggi's murder, saying, “It is a reminder how this one journalist death, tragic though it is, has disproportionately skewed the picture.”
Khashoggi, who was critical of the Saudi government, was killed during a visit to a Saudi Arabian consulate in Turkey earlier this month. After initially claiming that Khashoggi had left the consulate after his October 2 visit, the Saudi Arabian government has now acknowledged that he was killed, implausibly claiming that he died after a fight broke out inside the diplomatic facility.
Reacting to those developments, Ferris argued that “investors know Saudi Arabia isn’t really the enemy” and that “Saudi Arabia is one of the safest places to be a journalist in the world” during the October 20 broadcast of Cavuto Live:
JONAS MAX FERRIS: They’re turning their oil revenue slowly into an investment fund of epic proportions that keeps Silicon Valley -- it’s one of the major sources of cash --
NEIL CAVUTO (HOST): And we want to be part of that.
FERRIS: Of course we do, which is why in some ways the president’s not being diplomatic, which is possibly good. The end of the day, investors know Saudi Arabia isn’t really the enemy. Saudi Arabia is one of the safest places to be a journalist in the world, believe it or not. If you go to the Committee to Protect Journalists, which is a very excellent site with a database, it’s almost 1,000 journalists killed since 1993. It’s only one in Saudi Arabia and that was by Al Qaeda in 2004.
Ferris cited a database maintained by Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) to claim that Saudi Arabia is a safe country for journalists. While he is correct that the database includes the murder of only one journalist in the country, in 2004, Ferris failed to note that Salman has ratcheted up oppression of journalists leading up to Khashoggi being targeted for murder.
CPJ -- which has called Saudi Arabia’s explanation for Khashoggi’s death “ridiculous” and said that the government “lied to the world” -- has documented the oppressive conditions journalists work under in Saudi Arabia.
As CPJ explained in an October 6 statement about Khashoggi, “Saudi Arabia's repression of journalists has intensified since Crown Prince Salman rose to power as the apparent heir to the king last year. CPJ recently documented a steadily increasing number of bloggers and journalists detained in unknown locations without charges since the start of what Saudi authorities term an anti-corruption campaign in September 2017.”
From [HERE] Ahead of Great March of Return protests slated to continue at the fenced border of the Gaza Strip on Friday, Amnesty International condemned Israel’s reported “zero tolerance” policy toward such demonstrations, warning it likely will lead to more bloodshed after more than six months of confrontations during which Israeli forces have killed more than 150 Palestinians and injured thousands more.
“Given Israeli forces’ horrific track record of using deadly force against Palestinian demonstrators in Gaza, as well as journalists, medics, and others, the announcement of a ‘zero tolerance’ policy is deeply alarming,” declared Saleh Higazi, deputy director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International.
Noting that “Israel has repeatedly used lethal force unnecessarily and excessively against unarmed protesters in shameless violation of international law,” Higazi emphasized that “there are serious fears that this policy will further sanction the use of deadly force against unarmed protesters during today’s demonstrations, and that Israeli forces will be given carte blanche authorization to carry out large-scale, unlawful killings escalating the bloodshed.”
While the details of the policy have not yet been publicly disclosed, Higazi called on world leaders to pressure the Israeli government to scale back its response to the ongoing protests of the decades-long Israeli occupation and 11-year blockade of Gaza. He concluded, “It is now time the international community shows ‘zero tolerance’ towards Israel’s flagrant contempt for Palestinian lives and disregard for its obligations under international law.”
Since the series of weekly demonstrations began on March 30, foreign leaders and human rights advocates have fiercely denounced the Israeli government for authorizing the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) to use live ammunition on unarmed protesters and demanded an immediate end to the blockade that Israel and Egypt have imposed since Hamas took control of Gaza in 2007.
Hagai El-Ad of the Israeli human rights group B’Tsalem addressed the United Nations Security Council on Thursday to call for international action against Israel’s treatment of Palestinians, and appeared on Democracy Now! Friday morning to discuss the uprising and the humanitarian crisis in Gaza that’s resulted from the blockade:
From [HERE] In a recent decision, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals held that the use of the N-Word in the workplace one time is sufficient to trigger a hostile work environment. Additionally, the Eleventh Circuit held that an employer may be held liable for workplace harassment when the plaintiff admitted that she did not complain of harassment until her final day of employment (and when the employer alleged that the plaintiff never complained of harassment). In light of this decision, and in light of the increased focus on workplace harassment over the past year, employers should use this case as an opportunity to review their No Harassment Policies and update their employment law training—to proactively ensure that harassing conduct does not occur in their workplaces.
When faced with allegations of a hostile work environment, employers often rely on two defenses: First, in order to be actionable, a hostile work environment must be both “subjectively” and “objectively” hostile. In other words, the plaintiff must subjectively perceive the harassment to be abusive, and the work environment must be one “that a reasonable person would find hostile or abusive.” Over the years, courts have typically required multiple instances of inappropriate or harassing behavior, in order to meet this standard. Second, if the harassing behavior was committed by co-workers, the plaintiff must have complained of the harassment. In other words, the employer must have knowledge of the harassing conduct (either actual or implied—companies cannot hide their heads in the sand) before it can be held liable.
In a recent decision, however, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals held that use of the N-Word on one occasion could create a hostile work environment, and the Court held that the employer could be held liable even though the plaintiff admitted that she never complained about alleged harassment until (allegedly) right before her termination. (In fact, the company denied that she ever complained at all.)
Given the increased media focus on workplace harassment, this case provides a good opportunity for employers to review their anti-harassment policies and procedures, in order to proactively ensure that harassment-related issues do not proliferate in the workplace.
Background on the Case
In Smelter v. Southern Home Care Services, Inc., the plaintiff had been hired by Southern Home Care Services in July 2013 as a customer service supervisor. As part of her job, the plaintiff was responsible for coordinating with caregivers and clients, scheduling in-home visits, and accurately recording all caregivers’ work time. There was no dispute that the plaintiff required extra training and committed many mistakes during her employment. In September 2013, she was terminated for poor performance, after a final incident in which she got in a heated argument with and yelled at a co-worker. Following her termination, the plaintiff asserted the following allegations:
She had endured racist remarks from her co-workers nearly every day during her employment.
During the argument with her co-worker on the last day of her employment, her co-worker had called her a “dumb black [N-Word].”
Her co-workers had made derogatory comments about black men, black women, President Obama, and compared the plaintiff with a monkey from the movie Planet of the Apes.
Her supervisor thought the racist comments were funny.
Although the plaintiff admitted that she had never complained about any of the comments prior to the final incident, the plaintiff alleged that she had told her supervisor about the harassment before she was terminated. Her supervisor claimed that she never complained about any race-related comments, and the plaintiff’s exit interview paperwork—which both the plaintiff and her supervisor signed—had no mention of any harassment-related complaints.
Ultimately, the district court granted summary judgment for the company, finding that the harassment the plaintiff allegedly experienced was not sufficiently severe or pervasive enough to constitute a hostile work environment, as a matter of law, and that the company had no knowledge of the alleged harassment. The plaintiff appealed to the Eleventh Circuit.
The Eleventh Circuit’s Opinion
On appeal, the Eleventh Circuit reversed the district court’s dismissal of the plaintiff’s hostile work environment claim. In doing so, the Eleventh Circuit made two significant holdings:
First, the Court held that even standing alone, the single use of the N-Word was sufficient to constitute severe harassment. The Court explained:
Southern Home argues that [the co-worker]’s “one-time use” of [the N-Word] was insufficient to establish severity as a matter of law. We strongly disagree. This Court has observed that the use of this word is particularly egregious when directed toward a person in an offensive or humiliating manner.
The Court also held that the other comments alleged by the plaintiffs were similarly sufficiently severe to create a hostile work environment, and consequently, the plaintiff had alleged a legally actionable hostile work environment claim.
Second, the Court disagreed with the district court that the employer did not have knowledge of the alleged harassment. Although it was undisputed that the plaintiff failed to report any harassment until the final day of her employment (and the company disputed whether she had even reported it then), the plaintiff had alleged that the racist slurs were “funny to everybody that worked in the . . . office,” including her supervisor. The Court found that this was sufficient evidence to hold that the supervisor had knowledge of the comments, since she could not have found the comments funny if she did not hear them.
Thus, the Court found that the plaintiff had alleged an actionable hostile work environment claim, and it remanded the case to the district court for trial. [MORE]
From [HERE] With nothing but a vague “violation of community standards” note and offering no ability to appeal the decision, Facebook has once again blocked a piece of critical journalism—this time a short documentary video depicting the brutal legacy of Christopher Columbus—from its global online platform.
“Monbiot’s piece of video journalism was about the airbrushing of history; therefore, there is a great irony in the fact it has now been airbrushed from their platform.” —Yannis Mendez, Double Down News
The short video—produced by Double Down Newsand titled “The true legacy of Christopher Columbus: ‘Western Civilisation’“—features author and journalist George Monbiot recounting the infamous European explorer’s history of subjugation and brutalization of the Indigenous people he encountered when he arrived in the so-called “New World” in the late 15th Century.
After being up for more than a week, and raking up more than 900,000 views, DNN co-founder Yannis Mendez says the video, “a serious piece of historical journalism,” was deleted by Facebook on Tuesday without warning, a specific reason, or any avenue of recourse.
In the piece, Mendez explains, Monbiot “recounts the horrors of history in vivid detail. Therefore, at times, we understand the film may have been uncomfortable for some to watch. A number of visuals used, taken from the film 1492 and historical documentary footage, were graphic in nature. Facebook could have opted to put a warning screen on the video, which we would of had no problem with.”
As of this writing, the video remains deleted from Facebook—it was originally posted at this link—and its producers have been given no further explanation for why it was taken down. The video remains available on YouTube.
From [HERE] In a long-standing effort to desegregate Connecticut’s schools, the State has created a myriad of educational options for families including inter-district magnet schools, charter schools and the open choice program that allow students in one district to attend open seats in schools in other districts. There are often long waiting lists for these schools and a large number of students each year are turned away due to the lack of space in these programs. Several families from urban districts who have unsuccessfully applied for seats in these alternative schools filed a federal lawsuit in 2016 alleging that the State’s statutes, which they allege put a moratorium on building new magnet schools, limit the number of available charter school seats and discourage suburban districts from offering additional open choice seats, violated their federal constitutional rights to equal protection and due process. At the core of their complaint in Martinez v. Malloy et al, an action in Federal Court in Connecticut, was an allegation that the students, who are all minorities, are deprived of their “fundamental right to a minimally adequate education” and their “fundamental right to a substantially equal education” because of the State’s limitations on enrollment in these alternative programs.
The United States Supreme Court ruled over forty years ago in San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 1 (1973) that education is not a fundamental right under federal law. In that case, the plaintiffs contended that Texas’s school financing system violated the Equal Protection clause of the U.S. Constitution because it relied heavily on local property taxes, resulting in wide disparities in per pupil expenditure among districts. The Court held that there was no fundamental right to an education, and therefore, no equal protection violation in a funding system that resulted in large disparities of resources among districts but that did not systematically discriminate against all lower-income families throughout Texas.
This is contrasted with the later U.S. Supreme Court decision in Plyler v. Doe, 457 U.S. 202 (1982). In that case, the Court addressed a Texas law that denied the children of illegal aliens the right to enroll into public schools and entirely withheld funding from schools for the education of the children of illegal aliens. While again affirming that public education was not a right guaranteed under the Federal Constitution, the Court this time found an Equal Protection violation based in large part on the fact that these children were denied the right to any public education at all based solely on the fact that their parents were illegal aliens.
In Martinez, the Federal District Court rejected the plaintiffs’ claims that the various Connecticut laws that limit the availability of seats in magnet, charter and open choice schools violated either the Equal Protection or Due Process clauses of the U.S. Constitution. The Court reasoned that because there is no fundamental right to education under the U.S. Constitution, then there is no “right to substantial equality of educational opportunity under the Equal Protection Clause” of the U.S. Constitution. The District Court similarly held that because there was no fundamental right to an education, then there also was no federal constitutional right to a “minimally adequate education.” Because the laws in question apply equally to all children and because there is not a claim that an entire group of children are being denied any education at all, the District Court found that the rational basis test applied. The Court then held that the plaintiffs had failed to establish a lack of rational basis for the laws in question and dismissed the complaint.
This is not the end to the question of educational equality in Connecticut, especially because the Connecticut Constitution provides a different framework for answering it. Earlier this year, the Connecticut Supreme Court in Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding, Inc. v. Rell ruled that “It is not the function of the courts . . . to create educational policy or to attempt by judicial fiat to eliminate all of the societal deficiencies that continue to frustrate the state’s educational efforts. Rather, the function of the courts is to determine whether the narrow and specific criteria for a minimally adequate educational system under our state constitution have been satisfied.” In that case, the Court held that under the Connecticut Constitution (as opposed to the Federal Constitution) students are entitled to a minimally adequate education and found that the State had met that requirement. More information on this case can be accessed in previous posts.
Additionally, the recently filed case Robinson v. Wentzell, filed in the Federal District Court in Connecticut, involves a U.S. constitutional challenge to the systems used by the State of Connecticut to seat children in magnet schools. Oral arguments on motions to dismiss filed by the defendants in that case were heard this week and it is anticipated that a decision will be issued shortly. Finally, the parties in Sheff v. O’Neill have been unable to reach a new settlement, prompting the plaintiffs to request Connecticut Superior Court intervention. If settlement is not reached between the parties, this case is likely to be heard by the Superior Court in the near future. Thus, it is likely that within the next year, Connecticut will have more clarity on the question of educational equality and access across the State.
From [HERE] The excessive force case against an Adams County Sheriff's Office deputy ended this past week in a mistrial.
About 8 p.m. Friday, after less than five hours of deliberations, a Weld County jury told the court it was unable to agree on whether to convict or acquit 34-year-old James Cook of felony second-degree assault causing serious bodily injury. In response, Weld District Court Judge Julie Hoskins declared a mistrial.
A decision has not yet been made about whether Cook will be retried, said Krista Henery, spokeswoman for the Weld District Attorney's Office.
The charge stems from March 21, 2017, when Cook, a K9 handler with the Adams County Sheriff's Office, along with 10 other officers from four separate police agencies, were trying to locate Alejandro Martinez, a suspect in an earlier reported domestic violence incident.
Police had been looking for Martinez for well over an hour when he was found hiding up in a pine tree at 12988 Weld County Road 4. Officers ordered Martinez, in English and Spanish, to give himself up. But Martinez climbed onto the roof of an outbuilding and nonchalantly lit a cigarette.
When he didn't give himself up, Cook, along with his K9, Bayou, went up on the roof after him. Moments later, Martinez was on the ground with a broken pelvis. A Weld deputy later filed an excessive force complaint, saying Cook kicked Martinez off the roof.
A four-day jury trial took place last week. Cook took the stand Friday in his own defense testifying he slipped on some debris and, while falling to the ground, inadvertently kicked Martinez, causing him to fall off the roof.
While helping Cook and Bayou off the roof, responding officers noticed Cook had injuries to his left elbow and left arm, as well as rips near the left knee of his pants. One officer commented, saying it looked like Cook had taken a hard fall.
"Deputies say they saw Mr. Martinez 'launch' off the roof, 'explode' off that roof and 'slam' into a tree," Weld Deputy District Attorney Tate Costin said. "Those words are important because they're not consistent with someone simply falling off a roof." [MORE]
At least one Weld deputy heard Cook respond, “Yeah, I slipped and fell. I’ll go with that.” The comment is what prompted the excessive force complaint. Cook denied at trial making any such comment.
On Thursday, black Judge Wilhelmina Wright, sentenced Terry Albury to 48 months in prison, telling him that his disclosure “put our country at risk.”
From [HERE] BURHAN MOHUMED WAS home alone one afternoon in July 2016, when two FBI agents knocked on his apartment door in the West Bank neighborhood of Minneapolis and asked to be let in. They wanted to talk to him, they said through the door, about “radicalism in the community.” In three days, Mohumed was set to co-host a community event about the government’s controversial Countering Violent Extremism program, which many in Minneapolis’s large Somali-American community saw as surveillance and harassment of Muslims under the guise of outreach. Some of Mohumed’s friends had already received visits from the FBI, and he knew they were on a quest to recruit informants. Without opening the door, he took his phone and started recording.
“You got a warrant?” he asked. “We don’t need a warrant,” one of the agents replied. “You could just make this easier or make this hard.”
“I was really nervous,” Mohumed told The Intercept during a recent interview. “I’m thinking, they could knock the door down, they can plant something, I could be set up. … The power they held over the situation is what scared me. They could literally do anything to me.”
Mohumed, invoking his constitutional rights, refused to let the agents in. “It’s kind of scary to have two white guys coming into the neighborhood looking for people,” he told them.
“I’m not white, brother,” one of the agents replied.
That agent — who only told Mohumed his name was “Terry” — was Terry Albury, a 17-year veteran of the FBI and the only black agent in the Minneapolis field office. Last April, Albury pleaded guilty to two federal charges of violating the Espionage Act after he was accused of taking dozens of FBI documents, including several that were classified, and leaking some to the press. Court documents filed against Albury did not identify the news outlet he was accused of leaking to, but reports linked the charges to a series of stories published by The Intercept regarding secret guidelines for the FBI’s use of informants, surveillance of journalists, and other topics.
Albury’s sentencing is scheduled for Thursday. The government wants him imprisoned for 52 months; Albury’s attorneys say that his was an “act of conscience” and have asked the judge for no time.
Albury, his attorneys say, was driven to his actions by the racism he witnessed throughout his career at the FBI, both within the agency and in the ways in which the bureau interacted with the communities it policed — particularly the Somali-American community Albury was tasked with surveilling in Minneapolis.
That day in 2016, Albury and his colleague left Mohumed’s home without entering or giving him their full names or business cards. They later showed up at his workplace, and Mohumed ultimately turned to Minnesota’s chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations for legal representation. According to a sentencing memo filed by Albury’s attorneys, “This was an every-day encounter for Mr. Albury. He comported himself in this setting as a model FBI agent. But the conflict and depression generated by these routine but soul-destroying events took its toll.”
Last April, at the time of Albury’s plea, I reached out to members of Minneapolis’s Somali-American community — including Mohumed, who had by then changed his name to Burhan Israfael Isaaq. At the time, neither he nor I knew that Albury was one of the agents who had paid him an unannounced visit two years earlier. “I think he did a great service to the citizens of this country and especially to the people who are vulnerable to harassment from the FBI,” Mohumed told me then. “More power to him. People are definitely grateful.”
Today, Mohumed is less forgiving, and says he’s “adopted a more radical understanding.”
“I do think what he did as a matter of public record is great, I think it really shed light for people,” he said. “But the FBI in and of itself is too problematic. Anyone who involves themselves with it and who naively thinks that they can do good work for them, do community work, is misled and misguided.”
In court filings, his lawyers described Albury as “a consummate professional,” a devoted husband and father of two small children with an impeccable record and little time left to a comfortable retirement. “Why would someone with such a stellar career, a history of probity, young children, and just three years from a pension, jeopardize all he had?” they wrote in a sentencing memo. “The answer lies in the FBI’s own checkered history with race.”
“His objective in disclosure was to alert the U.S. public to practices and procedures that he believed represented both a systemic departure from the FBI’s proper mission in counterterrorism, and abuses of the enormous investigative authority the FBI has been granted since 9/11,” the lawyers argued.
In an online fundraiser set up to help cover his legal fees, friends of Albury wrote that, at the FBI, “he soon found himself immersed in an institutional culture that, in his view, demeaned, demonized, harassed, and intimidated the very people he was sworn to protect and serve.”
“Worse yet,” they added, “Terry was required to implement FBI investigative directives that sanctioned the use of race and religion as basis for targeting wide swaths of communities throughout Minnesota, and other locations in which he served.”
The government, for its part, has argued that Albury was a criminal, who, over an 18-month period, stole information from more than 70 documents, including about 50 classified ones, taking photographs and copying and pasting them in order to avoid detection. The FBI claims, offering no specifics, that his actions could harm national security.
“This case is not about race. Nor is it about blowing any whistles,” prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memo. “What it is about is the unlawful transmission and retention of classified national defense information by someone who fully understood how wrong his conduct was.” [MORE]
From [HERE] Police are investigating the arrest of a 12-year-old black rapper after a video of him being manhandled by a white officer went viral.
The Georgia cop sparked outrage after he was caught on video apprehending Corey J, also known as Lil C-Note, who performed on the Ellen Show last year.
He can be seen gripping the child's arm and threatening to send him to jail as he tries to wriggle free.
The Cobb County cop also seemingly got into a physical altercation with the child's aunt, who filmed the incident at Cumberland Mall, Atlanta, on October 6.
They were both arrested on charges including misdemeanor criminal trespass.
Cobb Police Chief Mike Register said the department launched a probe Tuesday into the incident.
'You’re 12?' the officer is heard asking the boy.
'You’re about to go to jail. You’re going to go to a youth detention center if you don’t...'
Corey J's aunt continued to film as the officers prepared to arrest him. She pleads with the officer to talk to the boy's father on the phone.
'He’s got his rights. He’s not doing anything right now sir,' she says to the cop with panic in her voice.
She adds: 'I have his father on the phone and you won’t even speak to him.'
The officer simply replies: 'Yup'.
Corey asks to be let go but the officer cuts him off.
The camera then suddenly seems to fall from the aunt's hand and an altercation between her and the officer appears to take place as she shrieks.
In a threatening tone, the officer says: 'You put your hands on me again...'
'You put your hands on my motherf***ing nephew!' she screams through tears. [MORE]
Non-violence and obedience to authority has made Black people like butter. Larken Rose states, “The idea of average people imposing justice upon wayward “law enforcers” existentially terrifies statists, even when a “law enforcer” has done something as serious as committing murder. In the eyes of the well indoctrinated, the only “civilized” course of action in such a situation is to beg some other “authority” to make things right, but never to “take the law into one’s own hands.” People may complain about and condemn “legal” injustice, but few are even able to consider the possibility of engaging in premeditated, “illegal” resistance, even when agents of “government” are inflicting vicious brutality upon unarmed, non-violent targets. And if, through prolonged brainwashing, a people can be rendered psychologically unable to resist the oppressions done in the name of “authority,” then it makes no difference whether those people have the physical means to resist. Modem tyrants and their enforcers are always outnumbered (and often outgunned) by their victims by a factor of hundreds or thousands. Yet tyrants still maintain power, not because people lack the physical ability to resist, but because, as a result of their deeply inculcated belief in “authority,” they lack the mental ability to resist. As Stephen Biko put it, “The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.“
Robin Anderson, 20, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that she filed a lawsuit on Monday against two Glendale police officers for alleged racial profiling. Anderson, who is black, told the newspaper that she had arrived early for a job interview at the Bayshore Town Center in Glendale on December 20, 2017, when police hit her car and broke her window.
Anderson said she was parked outside of a cellphone store next to the Applebee’s at the center when the incident occurred, the Journal Sentinel reported. Glendale police had been alerted to multiple robberies at cellphone stores in Milwaukee, Mequon, Brookfield, and Wauwatosa, according to a civil rights complaint obtained by the Journal Sentinel. Police were looking for four black males in a black Hyundai Elantra and had specific license plate numbers, the paper reported."They pulled up to the car, hit her door, got out, jumped around, smashed the window on the other side, pointed their guns. They had her get out of the car crawling over glass,” Mark Thomsen, Anderson’s attorney, told news station CBS 58. “She was scared to death.”
Anderson’s car was a different Hyundai model and had a different license plate than the one the police were searching for, according to the Journal Sentinel. Anderson told CBS 58 that she was screaming and crying during the incident.
"The only thought going through my mind: If you move, they will have a reason to shoot you," Anderson told the news station.
In a statement to Newsweek, the Glendale Police Department said it had heard of the lawsuit but has not been served yet.
"At this point, we can confirm that Glendale Police Officers were involved in the incident in question, and that we are taking these allegations very seriously," the statement read. "Since we have not been provided with a copy of the suit and have not had an opportunity to review any of the specific allegations, we do not feel it is prudent to comment on the specifics of the incident itself."
Since the incident, Anderson said, she has had panic attacks and cries every time she sees a police officer, according to the Journal Sentinel. She says she hopes the lawsuit will prevent others from going through what she experienced.
“This is something that I see all the time, everywhere: that African-Americans are being stopped for no reason and police officers aren’t being held accountable for the situations when they are wrong,” Anderson told the paper. “I just want it to stop. I just want them to know this is not OK.”
A similar incident occurred in July when a black man filed a lawsuit against a Pennsylvania police officer after he was shot with a stun gun. Sean Williams filed a lawsuit alleging that officer Philip Bernot of the Lancaster Police Department used excessive force and violated his civil rights when the officer shot him with the stun gun. Williams told NBC Miami that he was asked by two police officers to sit on the curb of the sidewalk before he was shot.
Ricardo Hayes, then 18, was shot and wounded in the arm and chest by an off-duty police officer, Sgt Khalil Muhammad. The teenager's family had reported Hayes missing only hours before, advising police he had developmental problems and autism. The police officer is heard on a 911 call saying that Hayes had a gun and he shot in self-defence, but the family is now suing for excessive use of force. The incident happened in August 2017 but the video has only just been released.
Mentacide refers to the deliberate, systematic destruction of a group's mind, Dr. Bobby Wright says it is the ultimate threat to Black people’s survival [MORE].
From [HERE] and [HERE] CHICAGO’S CIVILIAN OFFICE of Police Accountability, or COPA, today released video footage of the August 13, 2017 shooting of an African-American teenager named Ricardo Hayes by police officer Khalil Muhammad.
Viewed against the backdrop of the recently concluded trial of officer Jason Van Dyke for the murder of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, the release of the Hayes video is an occasion to ask what has and has not changed since the release of the McDonald video in the fall of 2015 precipitated a political upheaval and demands for reform.
At the time of the incident, Ricky Hayes was 19 years old, but apart from his height, everything about him was childlike. He is developmentally and intellectually disabled. He looks like a child and has the mind of a child. A ward of the state, he lives with a caretaker in a neighborhood on the far south side of the city.
According to his lawyer Gabriel Hardy, Hayes frequently sneaks out of the house and has a history of getting lost out in the city. At roughly 1:25 a.m. on August 13, 2017, his caretaker checked his room and found that he wasn’t there. She immediately called the police to report him missing. About half an hour later, police officers arrived. The caretaker filled out a missing person report and told the officers about Hayes’s disabilities.
In a civil suit against Muhammad and the city of Chicago, Hardy alleges that multiple surveillance cameras recorded Hayes as he wandered his neighborhood. Dressed in shorts, a short sleeve shirt, and sneakers, he can be seen skipping and singing to himself.
At about 5:00 a.m. Muhammad, who was off-duty and was driving his own pick-up truck, saw Hayes and began chasing him. At one point, he drove his truck up on the sidewalk within a few feet of Hayes. Frightened, the boy ran away. The officer continued the pursuit.
Eventually, Hayes stopped running and stood motionless with his hands at his sides on the front lawn of a house. What happened next was captured by a surveillance camera mounted on that house.
Muhammad pulled up and stopped roughly 20 feet from Hayes. Sitting in the cab of his truck, he opened fire with his service weapon, striking Hayes in his chest and arm. Wounded, Hayes again ran away. Muhammad pursued him in his truck, caught up with him, and ordered him to lie face down on the ground.
Muhammad then called 911 and requested an ambulance. I obtained an audio recording of the call through a Freedom of Information Act request. When the dispatcher asks what happened, Muhammad replies, “The guy pulled like he was about to pull a gun on me, walked up to the car, and I had to shoot.” [MORE]
From [HERE] A racist suspect city commissioner in central Florida was indicted on the charge of second degree murder in the death of a suspected shoplifter at his military surplus store earlier this month, a state attorney said Friday.
The Oct. 3 shooting was captured on store surveillance and showed Lakeland City Commissioner Michael Dunn firing at Christobal Lopez, 50, at the front door of Dunn's Vets Army & Navy Surplus.
Dunn could be seen grabbing Lopez, an agricultural laborer, as he tried to leave, then firing a semiautomatic Glock at him. Lopez was holding a hatchet in his right hand that belonged to the store, police said, but wasn't seen in the video physically threatening Dunn.
Dunn, who was booked into Polk County Jail, has not commented about the incident. Second degree murder carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.
From [HERE] A white man who fired a shotgun at three African Americans amid the chaos that followed Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans more than 13 years ago pleaded guilty on Wednesday to two federal criminal counts.
Roland Bourgeois, 55, was indicted in 2010 and originally pleaded not guilty. His case dragged on for years, with a series of delays and hearings related to his physical and mental health and his competency to stand trial. He was out on bond at times but was returned to custody last year after an unspecified bond violation.
Prosecutors said Bourgeois, who lived in Mississippi when he was first charged, fired a shotgun at three black men, wounding one seriously. Authorities said Bourgeois and others used racial epithets in discussing shooting black people and defending the Algiers Point neighbourhood of New Orleans from "outsiders" after the storm.
According to local media, the guilty plea came just a little over a month before Bourgeois's trial was expected to begin.
Bourgeois had waived a grand jury hearing and prosecutors filed amended charges in a bill of information: Interfering with the victim's rights because of their race and using a firearm in a crime of violence.
US District Judge Mary Ann Vial Lemmon still must review the guilty plea. New Orleans news outlets say sentencing was tentatively set for January 17.
Final resolution of the case will mark the end of one of a handful of violent post-Katrina incidents that added to the slow and painful recovery from the storm that, when levees failed, flooded 80 percent of New Orleans.
Two others involved police, including the deadly shooting of unarmed civilians at the Danziger Bridge in the days after the storm - a case that led to eventual guilty pleas from several officers during a long and complicated court case.
In an unrelated post-Katrina case, five other officers were tried on charges related to the death of 31-year-old Henry Glover, who was fatally shot outside a strip mall before his body was burned. The officer who burned the body was the only one who stood convicted when the case was over. The officer who fatally shot Glover was convicted of manslaughter but was later acquitted by another jury after an appeals court awarded him a new trial.
73% of North Carolina's Death Row Sentenced Under Obsolete Laws, New Report Says. From [HERE] Most of the 142 prisoners on North Carolina’s death row were convicted under obsolete and outdated death-penalty laws and would not have been sentenced to death if tried today, according to a new report by the Center for Death Penalty Litigation. The report by the Durham-based defense organization, titled Unequal Justice: How Obsolete Laws and Unfair Trials Created North Carolina’s Outsized Death Row, says that nearly three-quarters of the prisoners on the nation’s sixth-largest death row were tried and sentenced before the state enacted significant reforms in prosecution, defense, and trial practices. “[I]f these people on death row had been tried under modern laws, most of them would be serving life without parole sentences instead of facing execution,” said Gretchen Engel, the Center’s executive director.
Seventy-three percent of the men and women on North Carolina’s death row (103 prisoners) were tried and sentenced to death before July 2001, when North Carolina repealed a 1990s-era law that had required prosecutors to pursue the death penalty in every aggravated murder case, irrespective of reasons that might call for mercy, and created a statewide office to represent indigent defendants in capital trials and appeals. North Carolina was the only state in the country that denied prosecutors the discretion to decide when to seek the death penalty, and as a result, there were more than fifty capital trials in the state each year, including cases involving defendants who were seriously mentally ill or intellectually disabled or were comparatively minor participants in a murder. Capital trials fell to an average of sixteen per year in the decade following the change. The creation of the capital defender office that same year dramatically improved the quality of representation, and further reduced the number of cases in which death verdicts were returned. Since then, North Carolina has enacted additional reforms aimed at ensuring fairer trials in capital cases. In October 2004, the state became the first in the country to require prosecutors to make all witness files, police reports, other investigative records, and physical evidence available to capital defendants prior to trial. In 2008, it adopted a series of eyewitness identification and interrogation protocols designed to prevent mistaken identifications and false or coerced confessions.
The report states that during the 1990s, before the reforms were enacted, “courtrooms were dominated by prosecutors like Ken Honeycutt in Stanly County, who celebrated new death sentences by handing out noose lapel pins to his assistant prosecutors.” “Today,” Engel said, “we are living in a different world .... Public support for the death penalty is at a 50-year low, and North Carolina has stopped executing people. Juries now see life without parole as a harsh and adequate punishment for the worst crimes.” That, however, has produced its own historical inequities. In terms of moral culpability, Engel said, the defendants facing trial in 1995 and 2015 “are equal. And yet, one of them is being subjected to execution and other is not and that is an unfairness that as a fair society, we can not tolerate.”