Category Archives: Videos
The students of the Stoneman Douglas High School Drama Club perform “Shine.” They wrote the song after the shooting at their school that took the lives of 17 and wounded 15.
Victims’ bios are at this link.
Oprah, in her charismatic personality, said it all in her acceptance speech. She included some of her personal experience, putting a very personal and real touch to her words.
I love movies. When it comes to war movies, I’m seen many and some I really liked, but never want to watch again. Saving Private Ryan is one such movie.
When I heard of the Academy Award nominations for 2017, there were movies that caught my attention. Hacksaw Ridge was one such movie. It is categorized as a war movie, directed by Mel Gibson. In other movies he directed, Gibson likes to show the horror of reality. In The Passion, he showed spurting blood from the hands of Jesus as the nails were driven in. In Braveheart, Gibson did not shy away from showing the use of swords to cut off the legs of horses ridden by the English army. It brought their soldiers to the ground, making combat more equal.
A war movie directed by Gibson would have to be brutally bloody. However, the war itself is not the main theme in Hacksaw Ridge. The main theme is a man – a real man, a Pacifist, and his struggle to serve in the Army as a combat medic while staying committed to his faith.
I rented Hacksaw Ridge through On Demand and I watched. I watched again, and again. Desmond Doss captivated me. As a Pacifist, he was misunderstood. I can relate to that.
On April 1, 1942, Desmond Doss joined the United States Army. It was just after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and Desmond wanted to serve his country – the United States, saving lives. He was 23-years old; a skinny native of Virginia with a southern drawl. In Desmond’s mind, God said, “If you love me, you won’t kill.”
When he voluntarily enlisted, he was assured that he would be assigned to a medic company and because of his Seventh Day Adventist belief in Saturday being the Sabbath, he was told that belief would be honored.
Instead, Desmond was assigned to an infantry rifle company. His commanding officers wanted to get rid of him. They intimidated him, and assigned him to extra duties. They even tried to court martial him for refusing a direct order to carry a rifle. But, they failed to toss him out, and he refused to leave.
His fellow soldiers ostracized and bullied him. Because he refused to touch a gun, they called him a coward. Desmond believed in the Golden Rule and never held a grudge. When the men got blisters on their feet, Desmond had a way of healing them. When they fainted from heat stroke, he was at their side with his own canteen. Read the rest of this entry
“Open your heart
Feel a touch of devotion
Maybe this song
Will help uplift your day
Make a better way”
“How did switching lanes with no signal turn into all of this?”
(Question left on a voicemail by Sandra Bland during a call from the jail house.)
On July 10, 2015, Texas Department of Public Safety trooper Brian Encinia stopped Sandra Bland for failure to signal a lane change. Sandra was 28-years old. She was in Texas to start a job on August 3, 2015 as a summer program associate with Prairie View A&M University in Waller County, Texas.
Upon returning to Sandra’s car with citations for her to sign, Encinia asked Sandra to put out her cigarette. When Sandra asked Encinia why she would need to put out her cigarette in her own car, Encinia ordered Sandra out of her car, and taking out his stun gun, threatened to “light” her up if she did not comply. Encinia accused Sandra of assaulting him and she was taken to jail.
On July 13, 2015, Sandra was found dead in her jail cell. She was found hung with a plastic trash bag around her neck, from a partition that was shorter or about the same height as Sandra, who was 6 feet tall.
In December 2015, a grand jury declined to indict anyone in connection with Sandra’s death. In January 2016, a grand jury indicted Brian Encinia (the arresting officer) for perjury. The grand jury did not believe Encinia’s statement that he wanted Sandra removed from her car so he could conduct a safer traffic investigation. The Texas Department of Public Safety terminated Encinia for violating department standards.
Encinia is free on a $2,500 bond. If convicted, he faces up to a year in jail and a $4,000 fine.
A Tangled Web is Weaved
In August 2015, Sandra’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit. They demanded investigative records in the case. A federal judge in Houston set January 23, 2017 for the case to go to trial.
There are videos showing shootings that cause my mouth to fall open. They make me sad. Some have brought me to tears. Some have caused me to feel helpless. (Oh God! If I only had the power to resurrect the dead.)
There are no words to describe what I felt when watching the video of the killing of Noel Aguilar. The closest I can come to describing my feelings is when seeing photos of Nazi Germany officers nonchalantly shooting Jewish men, point blank. That was before my time. It was in another country. It was during war.
Noel was 23-years old. What happened to Noel is during my life-time. It happened in my country. There is a war between truth and lies. Certainly, if the truth is told, then just maybe citizens could sigh in relief that justice will be served. But, when there are lies to cover up murder, what can citizens do?
The ACLU of Southern California calls the video “chilling.”
It’s hard to watch, but we must watch. Noel deserves it. As chilling as it is, we must watch.
The backdrop of the story makes the video all the more chilling. It is usual to hear stories of officer involved shootings that allege that the suspect was armed with a gun. In some of those cases, it turns out that the suspect did have a gun. In some cases, it was a toy gun that the officer claimed not being distinguishable from a real gun. In some cases, the officer was at risk. In other cases, no gun was found. In some cases, a cell phone or keys were mistaken for guns. There are cases where officers or rent-a-cops mistook their guns for tazers. And then, there are cases where officers were simply angry, and used their weapon. Read the rest of this entry
The city had resisted releasing the police shooting video of Cedrick Chatman for months.
Using Press This;
CHICAGO — A federal judge on Thursday ordered the public release of video footage that shows the 2013 fatal shooting by Chicago police of an unarmed 17-year-old African-American man.
The move by U.S. District Judge Robert Gettleman comes the day after attorneys for the city, who had vigorously fought for months to keep the footage private, dropped their objection to the video’s release.
The decision on the video, which is evidence in a wrongful death lawsuit filed against the city and two police officers for the 2013 death of Cedrick Chatman, comes as the Chicago Police Department and Mayor Rahm Emanuel are facing mounting criticism over the use of force by the city’s police.
The city has been embroiled in weeks of protests following the court-ordered release of police video in November that showed the 2014 shooting death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. Officer Jason Van Dyke was charged with first-degree murder on the same day of the video’s release, 400 days after the incident.
After the McDonald video’s release, Emanuel said the city would strive for greater transparency as it tried to balance the public’s interest in disclosure with the importance of protecting the integrity of investigations. Read the rest of this entry
The cop was not shot. He lived, and so did the suspect.
New Richmond, Ohio, rookie Police Officer Jesse Kidder has been on the force for a year. A friend gave him a body camera and he was wearing that on Thursday when stopping a suspected murderer. Michael Wilcox has since been charged with killing his fiancee, Courtney Fowler. Wilcox is also under suspicion for the death of his best friend.
Wilcox took the police on a car chase through multiple counties on the Ohio-Kentucky border before Kidder caught Wilcox and arrested him. 911 dispatchers told officer Kidder that Wilcox could have a gun under his seat and may be threatening suicide-by-cop.
Kidder said since he knew backup was coming, he held off shooting Wilcox. Read the rest of this entry
A passerby video taken by cell phone showed a man running, his back turned, as 8 bullets were fired at him until he fell. Had investigators depended solely on North Charleston Police Officer’s Michael T. Slager’s story, the 33-year old might not have been charged with murder.
Slager stopped 50-year old Walter Scott for a broken brake light and found that Scott was wanted on a warrant for failure to pay child support. Slager claimed he tried to subdue Scott with a taser, only for Scott to take the taser from him before trying to overpower him, making the cop fear for his life, leaving him no choice but to open fire.
Hat tip to Jueseppi.
Just in case you missed it, here is President Obama’s full speech that he made today at the 50 year anniversary of the march on Selma.
Trayvon Benjamin Martin (February 5, 1995 – February 26, 2012) was a 17-year-old Black teen from Miami Gardens, Florida. His life became famous in his death that brought many issues to public interest, including neighborhood watch, stand your ground law, racial profiling, and police investigations. Trayvon’s death brought attention to the justice system and cultural diversity.
Trayvon was born in Miami, Florida. At the time he was killed, he was a junior at Dr. Michael M. Krop High School. Trayvon is the son of Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin who divorced in 1999. On February 26, 2012, Trayvon was visiting his father who was at his fiancee’s townhouse at the Retreat at Twin Lakes in Sanford, Florida. That evening, Trayvon walked to a convenience store and purchased candy and juice. On his walk back, George Zimmerman saw him and called the Sanford Police reporting a suspicious person. According to an ear witness who was on the phone with Trayvon, after noticing that he was being closely and consistently followed by a man in a truck, Trayvon ran. The man in the truck was George Zimmerman who left his vehicle and followed Trayvon. Subsequently, Zimmerman shot Trayvon in the heart, killing him.
3 1/2 Minutes is a documentary movie about the Jordan Davis’ murder. For a background on the film, click here to see our previous article. The documentary was presented at the Sundance Film Festival and has won the Documentary Special Jury Award for Social Impact. Jordan’s parents, Lucia McBath and Ronald Davis, spoke at the acceptance.
“I am grieved that these continuing stories are everyday matters swept away,” HBO Documentary Films president Sheila Nevins said in a statement. “By bringing this powerful film to HBO audiences, we hope to elevate the national conversation around these tragic issues.”
HBO has secured the film’s television rights.
Here’s the award announcement and acceptance.
Here’s the trailer for the movie.
The chants were “We want his badge! We want his gun! We want his job!” These were the words of Rev. Jarrett Maupin, a protégé of Rev. Al Sharpton and a civil rights activist and protestor at a recent march against a police shooting in the Phoenix area.
Fox 10 in Phoenix decided on a little experiment, have an outspoken protestor take a “use of force simulation”. Check it out below.
and his after interview
After the simulation, in which he also shot an unarmed man, he said that the intensity of the situation was eye opening. He also stated that people need to comply and that you don’t lose dignity by complying. He still supports and calls for independent reviews of police shootings, but I believe his experience has also opened his eyes to some of the situations that police face. Read the rest of this entry
Hat tip to Glenn Robinson.
There’s no sound to either video. It starts before Kristiana arrives. Since there is no sound, there is no way of knowing why the first officer restrained, but not handcuff her, even though it is now reported that she told the officer she had a gun.
Suicide, even by cop, is not a desire to die but a desire to stop the pain. Kristiana was hurting inside. May she rest in peace.
He was only 3 miles from the emergency room when Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin police pulled over the car for speeding through a red light. The car was driven by Leah Hryniewicki, Casey Kressin’s girlfriend. Casey was having a severe asthma attack. It was November 30, 2014, the last day of the 29-year-old Casey’s life.
A reeling Casey exited the car and kneeled to the ground and asked for his inhaler as he wheezed away, police said. Police said that Leah also jumped out and yelled to the officer that the man was having an asthma attack and that he needed to get to the emergency room. Read the rest of this entry
On November 18, 2012, it took more than an hour for dispatchers to send the police to the home of 44-year old Loretta Barela. One of Loretta’s neighbors called 911 reporting that she saw Loretta shirtless and being hit by a man who was dragging her across the street. About 45 minutes later, the neighbor called again because the police had not arrived. Police knocked on the door and not getting an answer, left.
It was not until about six hours later when Loretta’s husband, Christopher Perea, called the police saying that he killed his wife, that police arrived and found Loretta’s body. Her family has now filed a lawsuit alleging “a pattern of inadequate 911 dispatching.” The lawsuit names the city of Denver, four 911 employees and two officers. One dispatcher resigned pending further discipline in the case. Read the rest of this entry
The things happening on our planet can be overbearing. As individuals, we can make positive changes in our environment and in relationships, but find it difficult making changes when problems are caused by a system intended to bring about negativity, death to humans, animals, and our planet.
Let’s turn lemons into lemonade and fill ourselves up with the positive belief that we can make our world a better place.
For our encouragement, here are some songs. I hope that you enjoy them. Read the rest of this entry
Thanks for this article. The uncivilized and criminal actions of law enforcement upon the citizens of America cause all cops to be profiled as terrorists who the government has given authority to terrorize and murder citizens without consequences. The bad cops impugn the integrity of the profession. Why do they want to be cops anyway, and why do they want to be cops in communities where they do not reside? That in itself questions their motivation.
While the shills in the corporate media try to convince us with their propaganda that ISIS is the most imminent threat to America’s security and necessitates us spending another $10 billion by year‘s end to “wipe them out” with bombs, many Americans are a lot more fearful of a threat much closer to home – a threat which terrorizes them and the ones they love just about everyday. I speak not of some foreign jihadi bogey-man whom we are told should be arriving any day now to chop off all our heads. No, I speak about the police officers who make up the police departments in every region of this country.
Now you’re probably saying, “You must be out of your mind. Cops are more dangerous than ISIS, or al-Qaeda, or [insert whatever Islamist group name the media wants us to be terrified of this week]?! That just can’t…
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