“We shouldn’t get too caught up in this notion that somehow people who are asking for fair treatment are somehow, automatically, anti-police, are trying to only look out for black lives as opposed to others. I think we have to be careful about playing that game.” Statement of President Obama
As a Pacifist, I believe that every life matters. For the last two weeks or so, I’ve watched town hall meetings with people speaking about the Black Lives Matter Movement. I listened. I learned.
After watching a town hall meeting on CNN called Black, White and Blue, I asked myself why are people who have had no experience whatsoever being discriminated against in America because of the color of their skin, arguing over the meaning of Black Lives Matter?
Each generation sits around the dining table and shares stories of their lives. They talk about the challenges and struggles. First generation immigrants had struggles, but Black Americans have had continuous struggles. Many of the struggles are because of laws, policies and procedures that were intended to keep people of color in their place. For example, employment is one area where systemic racism has resulted in the trickle-down effect where people of all races are now faced with student loan debt and low wages because of employers raising the bar for educational qualifications. But, that’s another subject for another post.
On a gun control basis, I could very well argue that the problem with violence and killings is rooted in the lax procedures for getting guns in America and particularly, assault rifles. The illegal distribution and selling of guns is like the distribution and selling of illegal drugs in America. The root issue is that those distributing and selling are not the people who are bringing the products into this country. Those caught with them are punished in the legal system, but the origination of drug traffic is never stopped. But, that’s another subject for another post. Read the rest of this entry
Melania Trump stole portions of the FLOTUS’s speech, plain and clear. She needs to muster up some integrity and publicly admit that instead of having “aids” make excuses for her on the media.
While pundits appeared mildly surprised at Melania Trump’s not-as-bad-as-we-were-expecting speech, tucked in as it was amongst the rantings and raving of D-listers and has-beens, journalist Jarrett Hillnoticed a striking similarity to another well-known speech—one delivered by Michelle Obama at the Democratic National Convention in 2008.
Watch the video and read along with the text below. They are almost word-for-word:
— Javier Panzar (@jpanzar) July 19, 2016
Melania Trump’s stunning plagiarism at the Republican National Convention should by all rights be fatal to her husband’s campaign for president, not merely because she plagiarized but because of who she plagiarized from. Melania, who claimed beforehand that she wrote her speech “with as little help as possible,” stole…
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By Guest Blogger Yahtzeebutterfly
Each month, Yahtzeebutterfly writes a This month in Black American History. Throughout the month, she updates in the comment section. Your contributions and discussions are welcomed.
July 2, 1908 – Thurgood Marshall
July 6, 1931 – Singer and actress Della Reese
July 7, 1915 – Writer and poet Margaret Walker
Former Georgia Court Justice Leah Ward Sears tells of the impact of Margaret Walker’s poem “For My People” and then reads the poem:
Stand Your Ground should be titled “Shoot first and claim self-defense later.”
SB656, a bill designed to change Missouri’s laws on self-defense laws, and make Missouri the first state since the Trayvon Martin incident to pass a stand your ground law, was vetoed by Governor Jay Nixon today (June 27). After sailing through the state’s Senate and the House, the bill had been awaiting approval or veto by Nixon since May 13.
Nixon, a Democrat, faced enormous pressure from the Republican-led Missouri legislature to enact the law. The bill has been widely considered “veto-proof”; however, a bill which faces opposition by the Governor after passing through the legislature can be challenged with a veto override in the next legislative session, and still become law in the future.
Missouri’s current self-defense laws state that only the property owner or someone leasing it are allowed to use deadly force against an intruder.
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Last night, I caught some of the BET Awards on television. I don’t care much for commercial television. During commercials, I tend to walk away from the television, get distracted and do not return to watching the program. Survivor is the only program that I set time aside to watch when it airs. It’s not on television year round so I’m not tied down to the television for an hour or two every week.
When I turn on the television, it’s mostly to news channels or I channel surf for movies. Last night, I had a phone call and decided to turn on the television and channel surf when I discovered that the BET Awards were on.
The other week as I channel surfed, I came upon a movie titled Hope & Redemption: The Lena Baker Story. It’s strange now that I think about it because that night, the same friend called me who called last night. Maybe he should call me more often in the evenings.
By now, you might be asking what the Lena Baker story has to do with the BET Awards? BET awarded Jesse Williams the 2016 Humanitarian Award. His acceptance speech spoke volumes. Read the rest of this entry
Thursday night, Jack Jacquez Sr. said he was burning all of the documents he amassed in a case concerning the murder of his son. He said he was doing it to get the stress from the court proceedings off his chest.
In October 2014, his son, 27-year-old Jack Jacquez, was killed in his mom’s kitchen by Rocky Ford, Colorado police officer James Ashby. Ashby claimed that he thought Jack was a burglar. However, Jack’s mom, Viola, told The Denver Post that Ashby opened fire on her son inches from her face.
The Colorado Bureau of Investigation reviewed the shooting and decided that Ashby lied about circumstances that led up to and followed the shooting, finding that many of his statements contradicted physical evidence and witness accounts. Ashby was arrested a month after he killed Jack. Ashby was charged with second-degree murder. He was also fired from his job. Read the rest of this entry
The Baltimore Sun reports that Officer Ceasar Goodson Jr., who faced the most serious charges of any of the six officers indicted in the death of Freddie Gray, has been acquitted of all charges.
Officer Caesar Goodson, Jr., 46, had faced the most serious charges of any of the six officers indicted in Gray’s arrest and death last April, including second-degree depraved heart murder. Goodson was also acquitted of three counts of manslaughter, second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office.
Freddie Gray was 25 years old when he suffered a fatal spinal injury while in the back of the police van driven by Goodson.
Goodson opted for a bench trial before Circuit Judge Barry Williams. Judge Williams said the timeline of Gray’s injuries remains unclear, and the state “failed to meet its burden” to present enough evidence to back its assertions. “As the trier of fact, the court can’t simply let things speak for themselves,” stated Judge Williams. Read the rest of this entry
This is what I thought almost from the beginning.
This video from the USA says about itself:
Orlando Shooter’s Lover Comes Forward
22 June 2016
Many like to point out that the Orlando shooter claimed allegiance to ISIS before he attacked the Pulse nightclub. However, his motivations may have had much more to do with his feeling shame in his sexuality rather than radical Islam. Cenk Uygur, host of The Young Turks, breaks it down.
(I’m writing this on 3 hours of sleep, so please forgive any typographical errors.)
In January 2013, 17-year old Kendrick Johnson was found dead in a gym mat in the Lowndes High School gym in Georgia. The US Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia opened an investigation in October of 2013.
This afternoon, DOJ offices announced that they will not file criminal charges in the death of Kendrick Johnson due to “insufficient evidence” to prove that anyone “willfully violated Kendrick Johnson’s civil rights” or committed any other crime.
Acting U.S. Attorney Carole Rendon stated;
“The Department of Justice, in particular the lawyers and investigators who have worked tirelessly on this investigation, express their most sincere condolences to Kendrick Johnson’s parents, family, and friends. We cannot imagine the pain of their loss, or the depths of their sorrow. We regret that we were unable to provide them with more definitive answers about Kendrick’s tragic death.”
In October 2015, the DOJ filed a motion in the civil case that Kendrick’s parents filed for wrongful death. In their filings, they said that their investigation expanded to include witness tampering and obstruction of justice. They also advised the Georgia court that the grand jury had convened. Read the rest of this entry
Since that tragic event, some have recorded new songs in honor of the victims, and in honor of the human race. It was difficult choosing which ones to present here, but I decided on two. Hope you enjoy them as much as I do. Read the rest of this entry
DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images
Source: The Washington Post
|2. British lawmaker killed, leading to Brexit campaign halt|
|A British lawmaker, Jo Cox, was fatally shot and stabbedThursday as she prepared to meet with constituents. Cox, a rising star…|
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Vice President Biden was also present.
On June 17, 2015, Dylann Roof staged a massacre at the Emanuel AME Church during Bible study. Among those who killed were Pastor Clementa Pinckney. Roof has been charged under South Carolina law where prosecutors seek the death penalty. He has also been charged under federal law.
Roof, 22-years old, is charged with murder and attempted murder on the state level. Federal prosecutors have charged Roof with 33 counts, including hate crimes, obstruction of religion, and firearms offenses.
On June 7, 2016, federal Judge Richard M. Gergel scheduled Roof’s trial to begin on a November 7, 2016. The trial is estimated to take about 6 weeks. The judge turned down an earlier request by the South Carolina prosecutor, Scarlett A. Wilson, to allow the state’s trial to go forth first. It is scheduled for January, 2017. Jury selection in the state trial is due to start in early December, which could overlap with the federal proceedings.
To select 12 impartial jurors, Judge Gergel planned to have 1,500 prospective jurors called statewide for jury duty. Jury selection includes 12 and 6 alternates. Roof’s attorneys filed a document that Roof will waive his right to a trial by jury. The filing does not give a reason for why Roof wants to waive a trial by jury. Read the rest of this entry
My heart is heavy. It cries out for the families and friends. Here’ hoping that the wounded fully recover. It must be very hard on the owner of the Pulse to decide what to do with the nightclub and I hope the owner is not placed in financial ruin.
~~June 13, 2016~~
Orlando nightclub shooting victims’ names released
In honor of the 49 victims of the Orlando LGBTQ nightclub shooting.
(*Note that we will update this as more images become available*)
Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34 years old
Stanley Almodovar III, 23 years old
Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20 years old
Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22 years old
Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36 years old
Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22 years old
Luis S. Vielma, 22 years old
Kimberly Morris, 37 years old
Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30 years old
Darryl Roman Burt II, 29 years old
Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32 years old
Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21 years old
Anthony Luis Laureano Disla, 25 years old
Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35 years old
Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez, 50 years old
Amanda Alvear, 25 years old
Martin Benitez Torres, 33 years old
Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37 years old
Mercedez Marisol Flores…
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When I heard that Trayvon Martin was killed, and that his killer was claiming Florida’s stand your ground defense, that law peeked my interest. I had not heard of stand your ground and wanted to know of other cases in Florida where the defendant claimed that defense.
Among the cases I found was that of Trevor Dooley. On January 23, 2013, I wrote an article on the significance of the Dooley decision. It is a Florida case where the defendant claimed self-defense.
I expected that Dooley would prevail on his claim of stand your ground because of testimony that Dooley retreated when David James came up behind him, knocking him to the ground. Dooley shot and killed David James.
At trial, prosecutors argued that Dooley could not claim that he stood his ground because he broke the law by showing his gun to the victim, thereby committing the crime of unlawful exhibition of a weapon.
In November 2012, Dooley was found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to 8 years in prison. He remained free on bond until his first appeal was denied and on November 2014, Dooley began serving his prison time.
After the verdict in Dooley’s case, and when I wrote the first article about the case, it was my position that the jury applied the facts to Florida law from the beginning, finding that if not but for the fact that Trevor Dooley left his garage with a loaded gun and approached David James for mouthing off at him, the two would not have come into physical contact. If Dooley was truly the initial aggressor, then the jury should find the same in George Zimmerman’s case.
In George Zimmerman’s case however, Judge Debra Nelson omitted the part of initial aggressor from the jury’s instructions because the defense asked her to.
Tampa Bay Times reports that now, Trevor Dooley gets a new trial because the 2nd District Court of Appeal found that the wording in the jury instructions on the justifiable use of deadly force was “erroneous.”
The 2nd District Court of Appeal also found that the state was wrong — that “stand your ground” doesn’t depend on whether or not a person is “engaged in unlawful activity.”
Dooley, who is now 73-years old, is being returned to Hillsborough County and his lawyer said he will be eligible to be freed on bond pending the new trial.
This is Dooley’s second appeal. On his first appeal in 2014, the court said that the attorney handling that appeal should have raised the error in the jury instructions about self-defense. The jury’s instructions included; Read the rest of this entry