Hat tip to Black Lives Matter Memphis.
On March 29, 2018, 17-year old Dorian Harris walked into the Top Stop Shop in Memphis, Tennessee, snatched a bottled drink, and ran out of the store. Some news sources say that he stole a beer while others say it was a wine cooler.
The store clerk, 28-year old Anwar Ghazali, left the store with a gun in his hand. He chased Dorian and fired about three times. Ghazali returned to the store and told a customer that he thought he shot Ghazali. He did not call the police to report the theft, neither the shooting.
Another customer went through the neighborhood looking for the kid, thinking that if he had been shot, he might need help. She did not see him and thinking he escaped, neither did she call the police.
It was Good Friday, and Dorian was expected to spend the night a cousin’s house.
Two days later, Dorian’s body was discovered about a block from the store. He died from a gunshot to the left thigh. Read the rest of this entry
It’s not what Laquan did or did not do. Rather, it is what the Chicago Police Department did after officer Jason Van Dyke killed Laquan.
Brandon Smith’s introduction on The Guardian, says that he is a Chicago-based independent journalist who, with the help of whistleblowers and the Freedom of Information Act, has reported on civil rights abuses, privatization of public assets, digital privacy concerns and pollution of land and water.”
“Independent journalist.” I like that title because it reflects a form of journalism that has almost gone the way of the dinosaur. It would be correct to replace “independent” with “investigative” in this matter, because what Brandon Smith did goes beyond reporting. Without the backing of a publication to finance his endeavors, Brandon Smith did not have to proceed at his own costs. Brandon worked along with another independent journalist, Jamie Kalven, and University of Chicago law professor Craig Futterman. Because they are independent journalists, they aren’t often issued press credentials to attend press conferences and such. In fact, he was not allowed to attend the press conference that discussed the release of video that came about due to his persistence and good work.
Had they not been independent and determined, we would not have the video of the killing of Laquan McDonald. Without the release of the video, Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke would still be on paid desk duty; and his fictionalized report of what happened would be business as usual in cover-ups.
Kalven filed the Freedom of Information request for the video. The City declined his request. Brandon’s battle for release of the video began in May, 2015. In an article published in The Chicago Reader on August 7, 2015, Brandon wrote:
“But I’m not taking no for an answer—particularly in light of Kalven v. Chicago, an Illinois Appellate Court decision last March that established information about police misconduct is public, except in limited circumstances that don’t apply in the case of the McDonald shooting video.”
Wow! I was just putting together information to report on the Julie Schenecker trial, suspecting for it to last at least another week. Just a few moments ago, I learned that the trial closed, the jury went into deliberations, and less than two hours later, returned a verdict of guilty of two counts of first-degree murder.
Julie killed her two children, Calyx, 16, and Beau, 13. She shot them first in the head, and then in their mouths.
After the verdict was read, Julie made a statement to the court, including;
“I understand that there are people who are affected by this who may have just read about it in the paper or maybe had a child looked at her mommy and said, “Mommy, are you going to shoot me?’ …
I’m one of those affected by her actions. She killed children; and not just children, but her own children. Read the rest of this entry