Category Archives: civil rights

White Nationalist Organizers and James Alex Fields Sued for $3 Million

Tadrint and Micah Washington, the owners of the car struck in the protests held in Charlottesville, Virginia this past weekend, have filed a lawsuit in the Charlottesville, VA circuit court.

James Alex Fields He drove his car into a group of counter-protesters, killing Heather Heyer

James Alex Fields has been arrested and charged with one count of second degree murder, three counts of malicious wounding and one count of failing to stop at an accident that resulted in a death.  Fields was a participant in the “United the Right” demonstration organized by White Nationalists in Charlottesville, VA.

Fields allegedly drove his car into a group of counter-protesters.  At his appearance on Monday in court, Fields told Chief Judge Robert H. Downer Jr.  that he cannot afford a lawyer.   The 20-year old Fields has been assigned court appointed attorney Charles Weber.  Fields’ next court appearance is on August 25, 2017.  He is currently held in the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail and was denied bond.

The Washington’s allege in court documents that they were driving home when Fields drove through a group of people, ramming their vehicle from the back injuring them.

The lawsuit names Fields, “Unite the Right” rally organizer Jason Kessler and about two dozen alt-right leaders and organizations as defendants. Read the rest of this entry

Wordless Wednesday – August 16, 2017

 

 

In Loving Memory of Heather Heyer, Killed by Self-Proclaimed White Supremacist

SUPABUTTERFLY

Heather Heyer, was killed when a Dodge Charger, allegedly driven by James Alex Fields, a self-identified white supremacist, plowed through a crowd of counter-protesters.  Heyer was attending an Alt-White Rally, protesting the removal of a confederate statue in Charlottesville, Virginia.  She was a counter-protester when she was murdered. 20 others were severely injured. Heyer, was a paralegal at the The Miller Law Group, also in Charlottesville.  According to their website,

Heather Heyer is one of our Paralegals here at Miller Law Group and continues to be an irreplaceable asset to our firm. Heather was born and raised in the beautiful state of Virginia. Originally from Ruckersville, VA, Heather now resides here in Charlottesville.

After being struck, Heyer was transported to UVA Hospital, where she was pronounced deceased.

Virginia Governor Terry McAulife tweeted that Heyer:

“died standing up against hate & bigotry.”

The driver, James Alex Fields Jr., a 20-year-old…

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A Gigantic Step Backwards: Trump Bans Transsexuals from the Military on the Anniversary of Truman’s Desegregation of the Armed Forces

Padre Steve's World...Musings of a Progressive Realist in Wonderland


Friends of Padre Steve’s World,

Russian dissident Gary Kasparov said this on Twitter yesterday shortly after President Trump announced on the same platform that Transsexuals, even those currently serving honorably would not be allowed to serve in the military. Kasparov noted:

“The autocrat always requires enemies to protect his base from. If real enemies don’t exist, they will be created. Minorities preferred.”

Yesterday I was debating whether to write about President Harry Truman’s courageous decision sixty-nine years ago yesterday to desegregate the U.S. Military. I didn’t because first I have written about it before and I couldn’t come to a decision on how I wanted to approach it. So I wrote an article combining baseball that the principle of interiorizing public rules, norms, traditions, and behaviors that are necessary for our Republic to survive.

But this morning when I saw the series of three Trump tweets about excluding transsexuals from…

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Sean Christopher Urbanski Indicted For The Stabbing Death of Richard Collins III

Richard Collins IIII

It was Saturday, May 20, 2017.  Richard Wilbur Collins III was 23 years old.  He completed his ROTC training and had been recently commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army, where he expected to join the intelligence division.

Richard was attending Bowie State University, in Maryland.  He was with two friends standing at a bus stop at the University of Maryland’s campus in College Park.  In three days, he was to graduate.

 

Sean Christopher Urbanski took away Richard’s opportunity to graduate.  Urbankski took away Richard’s military career.   Urbanksi took away Richard’s future.  Urbankski took all of that away by carrying out an unprovoked stabbing to Richard’s chest with a knife.

On the day of what would have been Richard’s commencement ceremony, his cap and gown were draped over an empty seat during the ceremony.  His family received a standing ovation as they accepted a degree on Richard’s behalf.

Meanwhile, Sean Christopher Urbanski was sitting in a jail cell, denied bail. Read the rest of this entry

Black St. Louis Cop Shot By White St. Louis Cop But Armed and Dangerous White St. Louis Escaped Prisoner Wasn’t Shot

Hello.  chuquestaquenumber1 here.

The 2 stories I’m bringing to you show how, in a system motivated by racism/white supremacy, race matters all the time. It matters so much that a white male criminal can be treated better by law enforcement (even though the greatest threat to law enforcement is a white male) than a black cop.

Story One

On June 21,2017 in St Louis, Missouri, police officers approached a car that had been reported stolen. Inside the car were 3 black males. The car drove off and the suspects fired on police. The car eventually crashed and the suspects ran with the police chasing them on foot.  (Source: NY Times)

An off duty Black police officer(name unknown) was home when he heard what was happening. He grabbed his service firearm and decided to help his fellow officers. When he was at the crime scene 2 of the cops ordered him down to the ground . After he was on the ground they recognized him and told him to walk toward them. At this point a White police officer (name unknown) showed up and immediately fired at the Black officer, hitting his “brother” officer in the arm.

When asked why he shot his fellow Black officer ,the white officer responded “Fear for my safety.” Rufus  J Tate a lawyer representing the wounded officer,  stated that he saw nothing in the police report that showed that the officer feared for his safety.  An investigation into the shooting is ongoing.

Now the website known as Blue Lives Matter, which states it is run by active and retired LEOs, covered this story. Blue Lives Matter took the position on how “the media was pushing a racist cop narrative” instead of offering sympathy or demanding justice for the wounded Black cop, and instead of asking why the White cop shot a fellow Black officer when the other cops had the situation in control?  Also out of the 25 comments on that site, only 2 offered sympathy for the wounded black cop. Obviously his Blue Life doesn’t matter. Here is the link, tell me if my assertions are incorrect. Read the rest of this entry

Remembrance, Celebration The Loving Couple and The Pulse

Thanks for this post. We should never, ever, forget history.

Nel's New Day

Two anniversaries make this a bitter-sweet day.

Fifty years ago, the Supreme Court made interracial marriage the law of the United States in its ruling in Loving v. Virginia. The 1967 unanimous decision came nine years after Mildred Jeter, a black woman who later identified as Native American, married Richard Loving, a white man, and the couple was threatened with prison if they didn’t leave Virginia. Justice Anthony Kennedy cited Loving v. Virginia in the Supreme Court ruling that legalized marriage equality, a case in which four of the nine justices—John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia, and Clarence Thomas—supported bigotry.

On the 40th anniversary of Loving v. Virginia, one year before Mildred Loving died in 2008, she talked about her support for marriage equality:

“I believe all Americans, no matter their race, no matter their sex, no matter their sexual orientation, should have that same freedom to marry. Government…

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The Face Of Evil … Jeremy Joseph Christian

Filosofa's Word

On Friday, 35-year-old Jeremy Joseph Christian, of north Portland, Oregon, boarded a light rail MAX train in Northeast Portland.  He apparently had a chip on his shoulder and, for no discernable reason, began berating two women, one of whom was wearing a hijab.  He began ranting and shouting, telling them to “Get off the bus, and get out of the country because you don’t pay taxes here”.  Fearing that his rants were escalating, at least three other passengers acted to try to calm Mr. Christian and protect the two women.  Two of the three men are now dead, the third is in the hospital being treated for non-life-threatening injuries, and Mr. Christian is being held without bond in police custody on two counts of aggravated murder, one count of attempted murder, two counts of intimidation in the second degree and one count of possession of a restricted weapon…

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Black and Blue: Not Funny

My blog is dedicated to advocating equality and equal justice for all. We are currently following the trial of police officer Betty Shelby who killed Terence Crutcher in Oklahoma.

Free The Truth

A guy and a girl get ready to go on a blind date, both nervous and worried. The guy is hoping that his date won’t be fat and ugly. The girl is hoping she won’t be raped or killed.

That’s a joke I remember hearing when I was a teenager, laughing and thinking to myself, “How true.”

The other day I thought of one like it that I wanted to share.

A black kid and a white kid go to a gas station, both nervous and worried.  The white kid is afraid his parents will find out he stole money from the coin jar and bought candy. The black kid is afraid a police officer will mistake his candy bar for a gun and shoot him.

Not funny? What? Did you laugh at the first one?

All right, I will try one more that I told the other day.

Raise…

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Man Mistaken for 13-Year Old Sues Police And City

Kameron Teel is a substitute teacher.  He is also a former high school soccer star. Kameron set a record for goals scored at Gloucester Catholic High School in Gloucester City and he also played at Immaculata University. Kameron was a scholarship soccer player for La Salle University, as well as a judo and soccer coach/trainer.

On June 24, 2016 in Glassboro, New Jersey, 26-year old Kameron was riding his bike through a borough park.  Glassboro Police Sargent Dan Eliason yelled for Kameron to get on the ground.   What happened next led to a lawsuit filed by Kameron.

NJ.com reports:

“The suit claims that Kameron was laying on the ground, complying to police orders, when Eliason put his knee on Teel’s back, making it difficult for Teel to breathe and causing extreme pain. 

Teel allegedly yelled “I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe. They are trying to kill me and I don’t want to die.” 

Teel alleges he was pepper-sprayed and handcuffed. After leading him to a police vehicle, an unidentified police officer allegedly “slammed” Teel’s head into the hood. After seeing the damage to the vehicle, the officer allegedly told Teel he would be charged with destruction of governmental property.

Teel was also injured when he was bitten numerous times on his legs and hands by the police K-9, he claims in the lawsuit.”

Photos of Kameron Teel’s injuries were included as exhibits accompanying the lawsuit.

At the time of his arrest, police were seeking a suspect in the park for drug activity.  The suspect was described as a Black male, approximately 13 years old.

The police say that they mistook the 26-year old with a full facial beard for the 13-year old suspect.  

Kameron’s lawsuit alleges malicious prosecution, false arrest, false imprisonment, excessive force and assault, and failure to supervise, train,  adopt needed policy, and violation of Kameron’s civil rights. According to Courier Post, the suit seeks damages of more than $150,000.

Kameron had no prior arrests and the charge of destruction of government property was dismissed.

Kameron is represented by lawyer D. Wesley Cornish of Philadelphia, who says that the borough has not provided police video of the incident.

Read the rest of this entry

On This Day You Made it To the Mountaintop, Remembering Dr. King

Thanks for the reminder and Dr. King’s encouraging words.

Nikki Skies

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. – January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968

drkingquote1

Martin Luther King Jr. was an American Baptist minister and activist who was a leader in the Civil Rights Movement.

drkingquote2

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Former Chief of Police Vetted At JFK When Returning From Paris

Hassan Aden

Hassan Aden is a former Police Chief of Greenville, North Carolina.  He is currently senior policy advisor at the Vera Institute of Justice.  Prior to his appointment as Chief of Police for the Greenville, NC Police Department, he served in the Alexandria, Virginia Police Department for 26 years rising to the rank of deputy chief of police.

Aden is a United States citizen who traveled to Paris, France to celebrate his mom’s 80th birthday.

On March 13, 2017, Aden was held for an hour and a half at the JFK airport by Customs and Border Agents.  On his Facebook page, Aden wrote:

“My freedoms were restricted, and I cannot be sure it won’t happen again, and that it won’t happen to my family, my children, the next time we travel abroad.”

“This experience has left me feeling vulnerable and unsure of the future of a country that was once great and that I proudly called my own. This experience makes me question if this is indeed home. My freedoms were restricted, and I cannot be sure it won’t happen again, and that it won’t happen to my family, my children, the next time we travel abroad. This country now feels cold, unwelcoming, and in the beginning stages of a country that is isolating itself from the rest of the world – and its own people – in an unprecedented fashion. High levels of hate and injustice have been felt in vulnerable communities for decades-it is now hitting the rest of America.”

Read the rest of this entry

Walker, Louisiana Police Officer Resigns After Found Placing Noose In Squad Room

An unnamed, high-ranking Walker Police officer, who was employed by the department for about a decade, has resigned after he was suspended for placing a noose inside the squad room of the department.  He was originally suspended for 3 days without pay.  A meeting to review the officer’s conduct and consider disciplinary action was scheduled, but was cancelled after the officer announced his resignation.

Louisiana law RS 14:40.5 prohibits a noose in a public place. Anyone convicted faces up to a $5,000 fine and one year in prison or both.  The Walker police Investigative Unit has asked Attorney General Jeff Landry’s Office to investigate for criminal charges.  The case has been handed over to the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office for criminal investigation.

Police Chief David Addison is new to the job.  The assistant chief is an African American.  A lieutenant, who is also Black, found the noose.  Security camera footage recorded the officer leaving the noose hanging in the department’s squad room.

Paperwork says that it was reported,
“You informed me that you fashioned the noose, or as you called it, the ‘slip knot,’ to pick with an arrestee that you had in custody…It was revealed to me via our department’s video cameras, that there was no arrestee present when you fashioned and displayed the cookie and noose in the squad room.”

Chief Addison is reported saying:

“Whether they’re white, black or oriental, we have a mixture here in Walker.  Everyone, I don’t care if you’re white, black, oriental, you will be treated fairly by my officers. This will not be tolerated period. This was poor judgment, bad character. It will not be tolerated with the Walker Police Department.”

WBRZ has a video and more on this story.

 

 

Have You Heard of Former Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Conrad Hafen?

Conrad Hafen

Conrad Hafen was raised in Roy, Utah.  He served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, then attended Weber State University where he graduated in 1983 with a Bachelor of Science in Political Science.  He was accepted into Brigham Young University’s Public Administration Masters Program.  In 1985, he enrolled in the University of Idaho School of Law, graduating in 1988.

After law clerking and working as an associate attorney with a private law firm concentrating in insurance defense and products liability, Conrad Hafen accepted a position with the Humboldt County Nevada District Attorney’s Office.  Within several months, he was promoted to Chief Deputy District Attorney and served in that capacity for 10 years.

Hafen lost a race for district judge in 2006, and when the Las Vegas Justice Court Department was looking for a judge for one of its specialty courts, Hafen threw his hat in the ring.  During his campaign, Hafen said, “When people come before me … they’ll know my decision is based on the law and is a fair and just resolution.”

Saying what citizens want to hear, in 2010, Hafen was elected as a Justice of the peace in Nevada.  Those judges hear misdemeanor cases and hold preliminary hearings to determine if there is enough evidence to move felony cases to state courts for trial.

Hafen’s career in the Nevada judicial system has now involuntarily ended and he is back in Utah.  This is how it happened …

Deputy Public Defender Zohra Bakhtary

Zohra Bakhtary is a deputy public defender, and while advocating for one of her clients, Judge Hafen did not want her to speak.  He had Bakhtary handcuffed and seated with inmates who were awaiting their hearings.  After Hafen sentenced Bakhtary’s client, Daniel Fernandez, to six months in jail, he had court security remove her handcuffs and said, “I think she’s learned a lesson.”

District Judge Rob Bare released Fernandez and the petty theft conviction was later thrown out after a ruling that Fernandez was deprived of assistance of a lawyer when he was sentenced. Read the rest of this entry

Dylann Roof Wants a New Federal Trial – Argues Lack of Jurisdiction

Victims at AME ChurchABC reports that Dylann Roof, who was convicted for murdering 9 people in Charleston’s Emanuel AME Church in June 2015, has asked for a new federal trial.  Roof was sentenced to death.  Roof’s argument is that federal prosecutors lacked jurisdiction to bring their case against him.

Represented by attorneys, they claim that the federal government failed to prove that Roof’s use of the internet, the highways, and a gun manufactured out of state, were sufficient links to allow religious obstruction charges.  A similar argument was made in July 2016 as a part of Roof’s plea bargain that if the government took the death penalty off the table, that he would plea guilty as charged.  The court denied Roof’s motion.

A federal grand jury found that Roof violated subsections of federal law 18 U.S.C. 247 in that he intentionally obstructed, by force, the enjoyment of free exercise of religious beliefs.  That section requires that the circumstances takes place in or affects interstate or foreign commerce.

Roof is currently in custody in the Charleston County jail awaiting trial in state court.

 

Acting Attorney General Sally Yates Fired By Donald Trump. What It Means For America.

sally-yates

Acting Attorney General Sally Yates

There’s so much in the news regarding President Trump’s Executive Order banning Muslims from 7 countries from entering the United States, that following it is almost like putting a jig saw puzzle together.  There are many, many pieces that make the whole.

On Saturday, a U.S. District Court judge placed a temporary injunction on Trump’s Executive Order.  A hearing is scheduled for next month.  That means that the federal judge is giving the United States (Trump) time to prepare and file a defense as to why the Executive Order is not in violation of the constitution.  It has now been reported that four federal judges have temporarily enjoined the Executive Order.

Earlier this evening, cable news reported that the acting Attorney General, Sally Yates, was not going to defend Trump’s Executive Order.  According to the New York Times;

“At present, I am not convinced that the defense of the executive order is consistent with these responsibilities, nor am I convinced that the executive order is lawful,” Ms. Yates wrote in a letter to Justice Department lawyers.

Raw and other sources now report that President Donald Trump has “relieved” acting Attorney General Sally Yates of her duties as reported by White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer.

Spicer made the announcement via Twitter, writing: “@POTUS has named Dana Boente, US Attorney for the Eastern District of VA as Acting Attorney General. Sally Yates has been relieved.”

The Danger In Trump’s Firing of Yates

Read the rest of this entry

Breaking News: Brooklyn Judge Stops Trump’s Immigration Ban

A cheer and toast to the ACLU! When it comes to the constitution, they know their stuff. I read the petition and among their arguments is that Trump is in violation of the Immigration and Naturalization Act which does not allow for discrimination based on country of origin. If Trump is going to ban the entry of non-citizens, he has to ban all and not just citizens of 7 countries.

Gronda Morin

donald-trump-signing-orders1485289256441On Friday, Mr. Trump issued an executive order banning immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim countries from being able to enter the USA (including even green card holders) under the auspices of national security. On Saturday, Mr. Trump was hit with a class-action lawsuit by the ACLU, which argued that this executive order was unconstitutional.

About an hour ago, Judge Ann Donnelly from the Eastern District of New York (federal court in Brooklyn) agreed with the ACLU, and issued a national injunction staying enforcement of Trump’s unconstitutional order anywhere in the country. Under this injunction, no one can be removed from the United States solely by virtue of President Trump’s Executive Order, and the Government must even provide the ACLU with a list of names of people who have been affected.

President Trump’s unconstitutional move was meant to please his followers despite the fact that there have been no refugees from any of…

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Marches Across America and The World Standing In Solidarity Against Donald Trump

I’ve spent most of today watching and reading the news about the  “Women Marches” happening today.   It is reported that in America alone, the numbers are over a million participating.

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Photo credit: (Meredith Blake/Los Angeles Times)

Teresa Shook of Hawaii is given credit for starting the march.  She invited her Facebook friends to join her in a march in Washington, D.C. and what began with 40 of her friends grew to 10,000.  Today, there is an estimated 500,000 in attendance in D.C.

In Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. Rep. John Lewis,  kicked off the proceedings.

“We all came to this land in different ships but we’re all in the same boat now,” Lewis told the crowd, to loud whoops and cheers. “Got on your marching shoes? Let’s do it!”

Others are marching in New York, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Los Angeles,  Portland.  Women and men  around the world are also marching in solidarity and in opposition to the bigotry and hate that  Trump represents.   There are marches in  Sydney, Berlin, London, Paris and Cape Town, South Africa.

 

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Los Angeles, California

 

For about 2 hours now, MSNBC and CNN have reported that Trump’s press secretary is suppose to give a statement.

 

Department of Justice Investigative Findings Of The Chicago Police Department

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Photo credit (Jose Osorio / Chicago Tribune)

The United States Department of Justice completed a probe of the Chicago Police.  Its investigation was conducted over a period of 13 months. They found that the Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA) used biased techniques to investigate officers and a consistent unwillingness to probe or dispute officers’ statements.

The Chicago police force is one of the nation’s largest, with 12,000 officers.

The DOJ also found that the police received insufficient training in de-escalation techniques and poor training on all levels.

The investigation also found Constitutional violations, and violations of federal law by officers in the use of force, racial disparities and other systemic problems.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports;

“The Justice Department and City Hall have hammered out a pact, called a “statement of agreement,” which will detail remedies the city has already or will be taking to address problems that have ruptured relations between police and the people they serve, particularly minority communities.”

Attorney General Loretta Lynch will be out of office on January 20, 2017, and wanted to complete DOJ investigations in Baltimore and Chicago before the new administration takes over.  Read the rest of this entry

Dylann Roof Sentenced to Death

dylann-roof

Dylann Roof, found guilty of the murder of nine people, and sentenced to death.

The jury began their deliberations early this afternoon.   It did not take them long to decide that Dylann Roof, the murderer of nine people, receive the death penalty.

At closing argument, Roof reminded the jury that its decision must be unanimous.  Apparently, he was looking to impress upon just one juror not to sentence him to death.

Also during his closing argument, Roof told the jury,  “I still feel like I had to do it.”

It is reported that every member of the jury looked directly at Roof as he spoke for about 5 minutes.

The prosecutor’s closing argument included;

“They welcomed a 13th person that night … with a kind word, a Bible, a handout and a chair,” Richardson said during his closing argument. “He had come with a hateful heart and a Glock .45.”

 

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