Wednesday, April 29, 2015

They Expect Us to Believe that #FreddieGray Broke His Own Neck

The Washington Post reports that:
A prisoner sharing a police transport van with Freddie Gray told investigators that he could hear Gray “banging against the walls” of the vehicle and believed that he “was intentionally trying to injure himself,” according to a police document obtained by The Washington Post.

The prisoner, who is currently in jail, was separated from Gray by a metal partition and could not see him. His statement is contained in an application for a search warrant, which is sealed by the court. The Post was given the document under the condition that the prisoner not be named because the person who provided it feared for the inmate’s safety.

The document, written by a Baltimore police investigator, offers the first glimpse of what might have happened inside the van. It is not clear whether any additional evidence backs up the prisoner’s version, which is just one piece of a much larger probe.

Gray was found unconscious in the wagon when it arrived at a police station on April 12. The 25-year-old had suffered a spinal injury and died a week later, touching off waves of protests across Baltimore, capped by a riot Monday in which hundreds of angry residents torched buildings, looted stores and pelted police officers with rocks.

Police have said they do not know whether Gray was injured during the arrest or during his 30-minute ride in the van. Local police and the U.S. Justice Department both have launched investigations of Gray’s death.

“We disagree with any implication that Freddie Gray severed his own spinal cord,” Downs said. “We question the accuracy of the police reports we’ve seen thus far, including the police report that says Mr. Gray was arrested without force or incident.”

Baltimore police said they will wrap up their investigation Friday and turn the results over to the Baltimore state’s attorney’s office, which will decide whether to seek an indictment. Six police officers, including a lieutenant and a sergeant, have been suspended.
Apparently, the Baltimore Police Department expects us to believe that Freddie Gray broke his own neck. That is ridiculous as hell. Instead of leaking bits and pieces of information to the media, the Baltimore Police Department should be transparent and release the entire report to the public. Secrecy will only fuel the rage. If the State's Attorney's Office does not indict those officers, Monday's riots will be nothing compared to the storm that is on the horizon.

Baltimore Gangs Unite for Justice and Peace

The Baltimore Sun reports that:
Self-identified gang members stood with the Baltimore City Council at City Hall Tuesday to call for an end to the violence and rioting that broke out across the city Monday.

A gang member who identified himself as “Trey” wore a red bandana on his arm. He and another self-described gang member, who also wore a red bandana, said they were “against the violence” and prevented stores from being looted.

“If we can stick together doing something negative, then we can stick together doing something positive,” the man identified as "Trey" said. “I need a job. Most of the youths need a job. We need help. It ain’t right what people was doing, but you’ve got to understand. Some people are struggling.”

City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young said politicians, faith leaders and gangs must come together to stop the violence in Baltimore.

“These men have been out on the street quelling the senseless violence that has consumed our city,” Young said.

Baltimore Police said Monday they had received a "credible threat" that rival gangs have teamed up to "take out" law enforcement officers. Police said in a statement that they have received information that members of "various gangs" — including the Black Guerrilla Family, the Bloods and the Crips — have "entered into a partnership" to harm police.

Young called those comments “false” Tuesday.

Read more here.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Freddie Gray, Baltimore and the Rebellion Part 1

Yesterday, I attended Freddie Gray's funeral.  It was a powerful and moving experience.  The speakers demanded justice. They made calls for peace. Well, last night, that message of peace did not resonate with the streets of Baltimore. The young rebels did not hear that message. Instead, they took to the streets and expressed their outrage by burning cars and buildings.  They expressed their anger by throwing rocks at police officers.  They expressed their frustration by smashing windows and liberating the property of various businesses.

They are not interested in responsible Negro action.  They do want to hear about praying and being patient. I don't blame them.  I understand their rage.  When I saw Freddie Gray's body laying in that casket, I felt that rage.  At the young age of 25 years old, Freddie's precious life as snuffed out. There is no doubt in my mind. Those Baltimore police officers killed that brother.

We have all seen the video.  The police held Freddie Gray down.  We can see and hear him screaming and yelling out in agony. The brother was unable to walk.  The police had to hold him up and put him into the paddy wagon. According the news reports, the brother repeatedly demanded medical attention. Yet, the police waited and waited and waited. Eventually, the brother received medical attention and later fell into a coma.  A week later, he was dead. His neck was broken and his spine was nearly severed.

You cannot tell me that Freddie Gray broke his own neck.  In essence, the police served as judge, jury and executioner.  As Rev. Dr. Jamal Bryant said during his sermon at the funeral, Freddie Gray had the courage to look a white police officer in the eye.  For that offense, Freddie was sentenced to death. The police killed that brother and they can't even tell us why they arrested him.

As attorney Billy Murphy said during the funeral, most of the attendees did not know Freddie Gray personally.  However, they know many Freddie Grays. We know Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Rekia Boyd, Sean Bell, Oscar Grant, Amadou Diallo and countless other unarmed black people killed by the police. So yes, I understand the rage of the rebels.

For their actions, they have been demonized. They have been called thugs and criminals. Instead of attacking the so-called thugs, we need to attack the conditions that created this problem.  We need to finally address the problem of police brutality. Too often, the police are the real thugs and gangsters. Too often, the police harass, abuse, maim and kill unarmed black people with impunity. Too often, the police are not indicted. In the rare cases when they are indicted, they are frequently found not guilty.  The people have no reason to believe in such a system. When one does not believe in the system, one has no reason to respect the laws and property of such a system.  One will destroy the system.

Poor inner city communities have been neglected and ignored. Now, Baltimore cannot and will not be ignored.  Instead of attacking the thugs, we need to attack the problems of high unemployment, poverty and failing schools.

Unfortunately, the politicians have failed the black community.  We have the illusion of progress, not actual progress. We have an African American mayor, an African American police commissioner, an African American prosecutor, an African American Attorney General and even an African American President. Yet, the systemic problems of police brutality, unemployment, poverty and failing schools persist. Last night, black dreams deferred exploded. Sadly, this is only the beginning.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Loretta Lynch: The First African American Woman US Attorney General

The Washington Post reports that:
Loretta E. Lynch’s long wait to become U.S. attorney general ended Thursday, with the Senate voting 56 to 43 to confirm the veteran New York prosecutor five months after President Obama submitted her nomination to Congress.

Lynch is expected to be sworn in as the nation’s 83rd attorney general Monday, according to Justice Department officials not authorized to comment publicly.

Obama said in a statement that “America will be better off” with Lynch in charge of the Justice Department. “She will bring to bear her experience as a tough, independent, and well-respected prosecutor on key, bipartisan priorities like criminal justice reform,” he said.

Lynch is the first African American woman to be nominated for the post, which has taken on a higher-than-usual profile in the Obama administration ­because of the leading role the Justice Department has recently played in the debate over race and policing across the country.

A Staten Island police officer choked a black man to death on camera. Yet, there was no indictment. The killer walked free. In another case, according to witnesses, a Ferguson police officer shot and killed an unarmed black teen who had his hands up. Yet, there was no indictment. The killer walked free. A Chicago police officer shot an unarmed black woman in the back of the head. Yet, there was no indictment. The killer walked free. Here, in Baltimore, an unarmed black man's spine was nearly severed while in police custody. The man later died. The officers involved are under investigation. Will they walk free like all of the other police officers?

Obviously, the appointment of an African American woman as U.S. Attorney General is a major symbol of progress in this country. However, at a time when police have a license to kill black people, we need much more than symbols. We need justice. I hope that future Attorney General Lynch truly addresses the problem of police brutality in the black community. Otherwise, her appointment will be absolutely meaningless.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

#WalterScott: We Must Protect Witness Feidin Santana

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Feidin Santana is a hero. He videotaped former North Charleston police officer Michael Slager shooting and killing Walter Scott. If it was not for Mr. Santana, Officer Slager, like so many other white police officers, would have gotten away with murdering another unarmed black man.  Often, the word of a white police officer is accepted as the gospel truth. Unfortunately, the black victim is demonized, condemned and convicted.  Sadly, the cop is praised and honored for killing a black man. Right wing nuts even raise funds for these killers.

Hopefully, thanks to Mr. Santana, there will be justice for Walter Scott. Heroes like Mr. Santana deserve our support and protection. We should organize fundraisers for Walter Scott and Feidin Santana. Legal civil rights organizations should offer to provide pro bono legal assistance. Black organizations like the Nation of Islam should offer to provide security for Mr. Santana. We should not allow the police or anyone else to harass, threaten, jail or harm Mr. Santana. That is exactly what happened to Ramsey Orta, another witness who videotaped another incident of police brutality.

For example, the Daily Beast reports that:
The amateur videographer [Ramsey Orta] has stated he’s being targeted by law enforcement after his July 2014 footage of a policeman putting [Eric] Garner in a deadly chokehold went viral, becoming a high-profile example of controversial police tactics. The Garner death, and a subsequent grand jury decision not to indict the officer involved, became a flashpoint for New York City and set off massive protests in December of last year. Orta claims that officers have been stalking and arresting him in retaliation for the video ever since it became public.
We cannot allow this to happen. Stand up, brothers and sisters.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Ferguson Makes History

CNN reports that:

The racial makeup of Ferguson's city council changed drastically Tuesday night with big victories for candidates Wesley Bell and Ella Jones.

Ferguson is 70% black, but was governed by a board on which five of six members and the mayor were white. Now the council will be 50% black.

Jones screamed when her victory became official late Tuesday night. She won 49.63% of the vote.

"Thank you, Ward 1. I love you," said an emotional Jones at a party held at Drake's restaurant.

She will become the first black woman to sit on the Ferguson council, but she said she never looked at it from a racial perspective. She said she heard the same complaints from a 65-year-old black man as she did from his white peers.

"My job is to be that catalyst so we can put a new face on Ferguson," she said.

Bell won the Ward 3 seat with almost 67% of the vote.

This was the first city election since white police Officer Darren Wilson shot and killed unarmed black teenager Michael Brown last August. Since then, this St. Louis suburb of 21,000 people has gone through epic upheaval with revelations of systemic discrimination against African-Americans by law enforcement and the courts.

Hopefully, these new African American city council members will actually make a difference. We do not need mere tokens. We need real change and progress.

White Police Officer Murders Unarmed Black Man #WalterScott

The New York Times reports that:

A white police officer in North Charleston, S.C., was charged with murder on Tuesday after a video surfaced showing him shooting in the back and killing an apparently unarmed black man while the man ran away.

The officer, Michael T. Slager, 33, said he had feared for his life because the man had taken his stun gun in a scuffle after a traffic stop on Saturday. A video, however, shows the officer firing eight times as the man, Walter L. Scott, 50, fled. The North Charleston mayor announced the state charges at a news conference Tuesday evening.

The shooting came on the heels of high-profile instances of police officers’ using lethal force in New York, Cleveland, Ferguson, Mo., and elsewhere. The deaths have set off a national debate over whether the police are too quick to use force, particularly in cases involving black men...

North Charleston is South Carolina’s third-largest city, with a population of about 100,000. African-Americans make up about 47 percent of residents, and whites account for about 37 percent. The Police Department is about 80 percent white, according to data collected by the Justice Department in 2007, the most recent period available.

“When you’re wrong, you’re wrong,” Mayor Keith Summey said during the news conference. “And if you make a bad decision, don’t care if you’re behind the shield or just a citizen on the street, you have to live by that decision.”

The shooting unfolded after Officer Slager stopped the driver of a Mercedes-Benz with a broken taillight, according to police reports. Mr. Scott ran away, and Officer Slager chased him into a grassy lot that abuts a muffler shop. He fired his Taser, an electronic stun gun, but it did not stop Mr. Scott, according to police reports...

Moments after the struggle, Officer Slager reported on his radio: “Shots fired and the subject is down. He took my Taser,” according to police reports.

But the video, which was taken by a bystander and provided to The New York Times by the Scott family’s lawyer, presents a different account. The video begins in the vacant lot, apparently moments after Officer Slager fired his Taser. Wires, which carry the electrical current from the stun gun, appear to be extending from Mr. Scott’s body as the two men tussle and Mr. Scott turns to run.

Something — it is not clear whether it is the stun gun — is either tossed or knocked to the ground behind the two men, and Officer Slager draws his gun, the video shows. When the officer fires, Mr. Scott appears to be 15 to 20 feet away and fleeing. He falls after the last of eight shots...

Mr. Scott had been arrested about 10 times, mostly for failing to pay child support or show up for court hearings, according to The Post and Courier newspaper of Charleston. He was arrested in 1987 on an assault and battery charge and convicted in 1991 of possession of a bludgeon, the newspaper reported. Mr. Scott’s brother, Anthony, said he believed Mr. Scott had fled from the police on Saturday because he owed child support.

“He has four children; he doesn’t have some type of big violent past or arrest record,” said Chris Stewart, a lawyer for Mr. Scott’s family. “He had a job; he was engaged. He had back child support and didn’t want to go to jail for back child support.”

Enough is enough. No one deserves to die for having a broken taillight. No one deserves to die for owing child support. This injustice must end. These stinking police officers are not our protectors. They are our oppressors. They are terrorists.

If that scum bag Pig Slager is not convicted for murder, the message will be clear, yet again. The message will be this. The American criminal injustice system does not give a damn about us. As far as this system is concerned, a fart has more value than a black life.  If the U.S. Department of Injustice finds that there was no civil rights violation, the message will be clear. The civil rights laws are like toilet paper, useless and worthless.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Terrorists Kill 147 Students at a Kenyan University

CNN reports that:
The massacre that killed 147 people and wounded scores of others at a Kenyan university lasted for hours Thursday before the terror was over.

"It is a very sad day for Kenya," Interior Ministry Joseph Nkaissery said of the carnage at Garissa University College.

The death toll is the highest in a terror attack on Kenyan soil since the U.S. Embassy was bombed in 1998. More than 200 people died in the Nairobi blast.

A total of 147 people were killed Thursday, according to the official Twitter account of Kenya's National Disaster Operation Centre and Kenyan media reports. The agency also said 79 people were injured and 587 people were evacuated.

Four gunmen were killed, officials said.

The Somalia-based Al-Shabaab militant group claimed responsibility for the assault.

Awaking to terror: 'I am lucky to be alive'

Islamist gunmen burst into the university before dawn Thursday, shooting students and taking hostages during early morning prayer services.

At one point, the attackers cornered a building in which 360 students live, but some of the students escaped, Nkaissery said.

Kenyan forces cleared three of four dormitories and had cornered the militants in the last one, the Interior Ministry explained.

Read more here.

This is truly sickening. This is not Islam. This can't be Islam. Why do so many groups kill innocent people in the name of God?

Thursday, April 2, 2015

President Announces Tentative Nuclear Arms Deal With Iran

Good evening, family. May peace prevail over war and hatred. Hopefully, this deal will make the world a safer place. Congress must have the courage to stand up to the war mongers.

Isaiah Washington and the Broken Negro

Freedom is natural and fundamental. It is our birthright. Human beings and even animals have an innate desire to be free. Oppression and bondage are unnatural states of being. If a man is mentally free, he will do everything in his power to fight and resist oppression and captivity. If a hunter attempts to capture a lion, the lion will attack or flee. The same is true for a wild horse or any other wild animal. If captured, the mentally free man will constantly attempt to escape.

To deal with such a man, the captor or oppressor must either break that man or kill that man. To break such a man, as Dr. Amos Wilson has stated, the oppressor conditions the captive through a reward and punishment system. Submissive and obedient behavior is rewarded. Defiance is severely punished. Eventually, the oppressed man succumbs. He gradually begins to embrace and accept his condition of oppression. He adapts to his new hostile environment and becomes subservient. The situation is similar to how a ferocious and powerful lion is tamed and trained to be an obedient, amusing and entertaining circus animal. Another example is a wild horse being broken and transformed into a beast of burden, a vehicle to transport men.

Sadly, this is what happens to people like actor Isaiah Washington. They are broken Negroes. His frightening and humiliating encounters with the police have forced him to adapt. Apparently, he felt compelled to adapt in order to protect his family and himself.

Rather than driving around in an expensive Mercedes Benz, he drives around in Prius to avoid being racially profiled and stopped for driving while black. Instead of standing up to racial profiling, he has submitted to it. In fact, he encouraged comedian Chris Rock to adapt to it as well. The broken Negro thinks that if he is a good boy maybe Mr. Charlie will leave him alone.

Unfortunately, that is not the case. Driving a less expensive car will not save you. The police will still stop, harass and beat you. They will stop and harass you whether you are driving a fancy BMW or rundown jalopy. They will brutalize you regardless if your an honor student at UVA or a brother in hood selling loose cigarettes. You can say, "I go to UVA! I go to UVA!" hundred times.  The police do not give a damn.  It does not matter whether you are wearing saggy jeans or a suit. You can still end of being the next police brutality victim, the next Twitter hash tag. It does not matter whether you are a prominent Harvard professor trying to enter your home or if you an African immigrant returning home "from a meal". The police will still harass you or even kill you. In their eyes, you're just another nigger.

In America, black people are born suspects. Driving while black, walking while black, shopping while black, and hell, even breathing while black are crimes. We cannot afford to adapt. We must resist. We must fight. We should never surrender our human dignity to placate racists.