Colorlines - Wed, 11/26/2014 - 11:05
At the behest of Tamir Rice's family, Cleveland police released audio and video of the shooting that claimed the 12-year-old's life at a local playground four days ago.
In it, Rice is shown walking around a park with a BB gun in his hand, looking fairly bored and talking on his cell phone before a police cruiser pulls up. The two responding officers appear to shoot the boy immediately after leaving their moving police car. Those officers were identified as Frank Garmack, 46, a six-year veteran of the force, and Timothy Lowman, 26, who had only been with the department since March. Both officers are on administrative leave, which is standard after fatal shootings.
"We are honoring the wishes of the family and releasing this and also in the spirit of being open and fair with our community," Deputy Chief Edward Tomba said at a press conference this afternoon. Tomba called the shooting an "obvious tragic event."
Colorlines - Wed, 11/26/2014 - 11:00
Emerald Garner is thinking about her father, Eric, this holiday season. But among the many happy memories she has of him, his death isn't one of them. Eric Garner died this past summer in an NYPD officer's chokehold, footage of which quickly went viral and put him in a long line of black lives ended prematurely due to state violence.
"I can't tell him what I want to tell him," the younger Garner says in a recent video. "I can't speak to him, I can't let him know that I love him anymore."
Her heart-wrenching message was filmed in a video released this week by Blackout for Human Rights, a coalition of activists, artists and concerned citizens that has come together in the wake of protests in Ferguson, Mo. The coalition's organizers are calling on viewers to stand in solidarity with Emerald this holiday season by boycotting major retailers.
The coalition describes itself as a "network of concerned citizens who commit their energy and resources to immediately address the staggering level of human rights violations against fellow Americans throughout the United States." Its members include well-known filmmakers like Ryan Coogler ("Fruitvale Station") and Ava DuVernay ("Selma," "Middle of Nowhere"), actor Jesse Williams ("Grey's Anatomy"), musician Childish Gambino and advocacy organization Color of Change.
It's estimated that black buying power will reach $1 trillion by 2015 and organizers hope that this boycott will underscore the economic significance of black people whose lives are routinely threatened by law enforcement. The boycott is the first of several planned actions. You can find more on Tumblr, Instagram and Facebook.
New America Media - Wed, 11/26/2014 - 10:56
Reaction from Asian American civil rights groups and leaders remains overwhelmingly negative to the grand jury decision not to prosecute Officer Darren Wilson in the killing of Michael Brown (Photo by Debra Sweet).Many called for a national dialogue on racism... Asam News http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
New America Media - Wed, 11/26/2014 - 09:51
The Institute of Women and Ethnic Studies (IWES) of New Orleans presented BY! NOLA! (Believe in Youth, New Orleans, LA) Leadership Summit on Adolescent Health, to reveal the findings from its newest survey, on November 18, at the Loews Hotel... Louisiana Weekly http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
New America Media - Wed, 11/26/2014 - 09:45
As many as 200,000 Medi-Cal recipients will be shocked to learn they are losing their health care benefits at the end of this month. In Los Angeles County alone, close to 100,000 Medi-Cal families received or will receive termination notices.... Alhambra Source http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Colorlines - Wed, 11/26/2014 - 07:48
The family of a 12-year-old boy who died Sunday morning from a police-inflicted gunshot wound to his stomach is asking the mayor and the police department to release video of the incident. What's known of this still-developing story is that the tragedy unfolded Saturday afternoon when two officers responded to calls of a "man" pointing a gun at people in the park. The replica gun was a toy. There are reports that dispatch did not relay crucial information to the officer, however, that the gun "was probably fake" and that the guy was "probably a juvenile." The officer, on the force less than a year, fired twice and at least one bullet hit Tamir Rice, reports say.
Today at 1 p.m. EST, police "will provide additional updates and audio and visual evidence from the use of deadly force," according to a November 25 post on a Cleveland Division of Police Web site. The medical examiner's office, which ruled Rice's death a homicide, has so far denied requests for more information, according to Northeast Ohio Media Group. The officer's name has not yet been released.
Rice's killing comes as Cleveland's police department is currently under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice to determine whether it regularly uses excessive force. Cleveland residents have been protesting both the Tamir Rice shooting and the Ferguson grand jury decision.
Colorlines - Wed, 11/26/2014 - 07:43
During last night's protests for Mike Brown in New York City, this happened on CNN. And it was awkward:
Colorlines - Wed, 11/26/2014 - 07:17
More ABC US news | ABC World News
After a series of "auditions" with news anchors, first reported by CNN's Brian Stelter, police officer Darren Wilson appears to have selected ABC's "World News Tonight" or anchor George Stephanopolous for his first interview since fatally shooting Michael Brown on August 9.
Watch the teaser above. The interview airs tonight at 6:30 p.m. EST on "World News Tonight."
Colorlines - Wed, 11/26/2014 - 07:01
This is what I'm reading up on today:
- Protests continued in cities across the country in response to a Ferguson grand jury's failure to indict Officer Darren Wilson for Mike Brown's killing.
- Demonstrations also continued in Ferguson, where 44 people were arrested on Tuesday.
- Darren Wilson gave his first public interview to ABC in which he repeated his racially incendiary descriptions of Mike Brown as a "demon" with superhuman strength. Rachel Maddow compared it to the 1990's hysteria over so-called "super predators."
- Another woman from Bill Cosby's civil suit has publicly identified herself.
- Your favorite movies are probably leaving Netflix at the end of November.
- Why your family will drive you crazy at Thanksgiving.
Colorlines - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 21:10
The Darren Wilson grand jury has decided that the officer will not be indicted for the August 9 fatal shooting of unarmed, black teenager Michael Brown. The decision comes within the context of intense local and national protesting and organizing. So what does the lack of an indictment in the Michael Brown killing mean? Here's what leading activists and thinkers told Colorlines immediately after the decision was announced:
How do you feel about the decision? The decision to not indict Darren Wilson is infuriating, frightening, and maddening. This country has shown time and time again that black life is without value. I also know that the indictment or non indictment of one officer will not end the rampant terror police departments enact upon black communities. We can not jail or indict our way out of white supremacy.
What can we do to move forward? We must continue to be in the streets, lobby for new laws and push for the demilitarizing of police departments as well as reducing their budgets. We need to believe that safety does not have to rely on a badge or gun, but rather healthy communities that are provided with jobs, shelter and proper education.
Brittney Cooper, Crunk Feminist Collective
How do you feel about the decision? Devastated.
What can we do to move forward? Revolt.
Imani Perry, professor in the Center for African American Studies at Princeton University
How do feel about the decision? The decision is harrowing and yet mundane. Police violence, a lack of due process, surveillance, presumptions of black guilt, and the absolute devaluation of black life are all everyday business in America. The American criminal justice system is so rotten, perhaps it is a fools errand to ever seek justice or fairness from it. Had Darren Wilson been indicted, the odds that he would be convicted would have been minimal. If he had been convicted, it wouldn't have changed the fact that law enforcement is an engine of anti-black racism in this country. Yet this decision is still a terrible blow. It is a green light for an ever more murderous police state.
What can we do to move forward? We must follow the organizers, both Ferguson organizers and national organizers. It is time for us to remember the legacies of SNCC, Ella Baker and Fannie Lou Hamer, to hold them close as our inheritance. It is time for us to study the systems of racial and economic injustice in order to best struggle against them. It is time for establishment and bureaucratic civil rights professionals to step back and make space for this rebirth of the freedom movement. It is time for us to join this movement, to listen, to learn, and to keep our hands on freedom's plow.
Deepa Iyer, Race Forward board of directors and former director of South Asian Americans Leading Together
How do you feel about the decision? I am deeply saddened and outraged by the failure of the grand jury to indict Darren Wilson. The legal system too has failed Michael Brown and his family. But I'm also trying to draw courage and inspiration from the protestors in Ferguson who have, for three months now in the midst of a virtual police state, reminded us why we must continue to fight for reforms in the criminal justice system, from police accountability to the demilitarization of law enforcement to anti-profiling laws.
What can we do to move forward? As a South Asian American, I am committed to the struggle for racial justice and my responsibility to our movement has become even more clearer in light of the events in Ferguson.
Dr. Yaba Blay, director or Africana Studies, Drexel University
How do you feel about the decision? I'm frustrated with myself for expecting, if only for a moment, that people who have historically not valued black life, would actually value black life. More than anything, I'm sad. I'm just sad. This is no way to live.
What can we do to move forward?Organize. Organize. Organize.
Mychal Denzel Smith, writer and Knobler Fellow at the Nation Institute
How do you feel about the decision? The decision was as expected. The United States is founded on white supremacy and the destruction of black bodies and continues its existence on those principles.
What can we do to move forward? Moving forward, toward justice, is a matter of making the privileged uncomfortable. The marginalized and terrorized communities of America will have to assert their right to existence in every way possible, from politics to the arts, from classrooms to corner stores, and beyond. The fight is on.
Bakari Kitwana, executive director of Rap Sessions and author of the forthcoming "Hip-Hop Activism in the Obama Era
How do you feel about the decision? The debt America owes the Brown family can never be paid. This verdict reveals the salient message lost on the powers that be: There is no conditioning that can be imagined that can prepare black people to accept that death of an unarmed teen at the hands of a police officer is justifiable. America has just lost the latest generation of black Americans who imagined justice could be found in the land that prides itself on a perverted sense of the rule of law.
The country has no jobs for black youth. No affordable meaningful education. No justice. With every new state sanctioned murder, America is signing its own death certificate. Minus an apparatus of justice, black people are left to mete out a brand of justice of their own.
What can we do to move forward? It is clear the police have been empowered by the state to shoot to kill with impunity. In the reformist lane, that means at the very least disarming the police and requiring officers to live in the communities they serve. In the revolutionary lane, we must keep in mind that we are dealing with the second generation of black Americans to come of age after the civil rights movement. The promises that black folk imagined two generations ago have not been realized. This is a generation to whom America feels no obligation. No obligation to provide jobs. No obligation to provide a living wage. No obligation to get the vampire corporations out of their pockets. No obligation to provide affordable, meaningful education. We have a generation that imagined justice would prevail who just had that snatched away. Much like the second generation that came of age after the civil war, who ushered in the great migration, this is a generation whose backs have been pushed to the wall. They have nothing to lose. In my estimation, no form of vigilante justice is off the table.
Salamishah Tillet, associate professor of English, University of Pennsylvania, co-founder, A Long Walk Home
How do you feel about the decision? Waiting for this [decision] is the ritual of black life in America: dying, grieving, fighting, demanding, mourning, mounting protests, hoping, voting, being disenfranchised, shot at and dying again. Right now, I am wondering how to stop a cycle that African-Americans neither created nor condone and how far from freedom we still remain.
Last time Black America gathered around like this was probably when Barack Obama became president in 2008. How little the word "hope" means right now and how huge the project/practice/principle and radical act that #?BlackLivesMatters means today, as it did then, as it is always has in this grand experiment we call America. Rest in power, beloved prince. #?FergusonGoddam.
What can we do to move forward? We continue to organize with vigilance to dismantle a capitalist, racist, and sexist system that predicates itself on rendering black lives as weaponized bodies, as inferior, and not worthy of state protection and due process. This means we continue to take on the prison-industrial complex, violence against women, wealth inequality, and our elected officials (even those who claim to be with us) with deep, unwavering resistance.
Dorian Warren, Columbia University assistant political science professor, Roosevelt Institute fellow, Race Forward board member
How do you feel about the decision? Deeply saddened for the family of Mike Brown and deeply angered by the lack of justice in this country for black people. I feel like this is the millennial generation's Emmett Till moment.
What can we do to move forward? Mourn. And then organize. Strategize. We have plenty of demands and solutions to change, systematically, racially unjust policing and a criminal justice system that does not value black life. Now we have to organize--over the long haul--to win.
Darnell L. Moore, co-managing editor of The Feminist Wire and member of Black Lives Matter
How do you feel about the decision? That I continue to not be shocked when the legal system fails black folk is a problem. New laws and polices are great, but if we fail to change anti-black ideologies we won't experience the type of transformation necessary to ensure black folk can live free from extrajudicial murder, state sanctioned police killings, and the various affects of institutional racism.
asha bandele, author, advocate, mother
Even as I expected the decision to be what it was, it still hurts deeply. Who can be shown their babies' lives don't matter and expect to feel anything but pain and rage? And fear? The decision leaves me in fear for the safety of the children I love so deeply.
What can we do to move forward? As the process followed the terrible historical arc of cynical, vulgar, anti-justice and racist actions undertaken within American jurisprudence it tells me that we have to be as disciplined, focused, loving and courageous as so many of our progenitors were to ensure we even made it this far up the mountain. I believe in organizing. I believe in agitating. I believe in confrontation and speaking truth even when it's unpopular or frightening. And I believe that all of these done together and with integrity and an other centered spirit will ultimately be lifesaving.
Gary Delgado, Alliance for a Just Society and Race Forward board member
How do you feel about the decision? The preparation, timing, and cautions for peaceful protest all pointed to an unjust decision. I'm angry but not surprised. The most common result of a police murder is the exoneration of cop who didn't get the memo that America is post racial. As Wilson's defenders say, "He was doing what he got trained to do." Now, as communities of color express, a deep sadness, and a glowering rage, men in riot gear are doing what they are trained to do--channeling their fear into defending bricks, glass, and concrete.
Feminista Jones, activist
I did not expect an indictment. I have seen this happen too many times over the years. When police are held accountable for taking the lives of black Americans, I find myself surprised; it is troubling, yes, but honest. This is a great miscarriage of justice and a reminder that we cannot give up our fights for justice and liberation. We must have true freedom and that freedom includes the ability to live without fear of being killed by police simply because we were born black. We are still awaiting news on whether or not Officer Pantaleo will be indicted in the choking death of Eric Garner. Officer Dante Servin goes on trial soon for killing Rekia Boyd in 2012. Joseph Weekley may face a third trial in the shooting death of Aiyana Jones. Officer Randell Kendrick was indicted after a second grand jury reviewed the case. There is more to come.
What can we do to move forward? We cannot become complacent. We must fight for our rights and for the rights of our children to live as free human beings in this country.
Jessica Luther, freelance writer
How do you feel about the decision? I am not surprised by this outcome; all signs pointed to it. That doesn't make it less painful or less frustrating. My thoughts are with Mike's family and the community of Ferguson.
I think moving forward there are some things we can do. First, follow the lead of the Ferguson community and the organizers working there. Continue to listen to them and see what they need and want, what they think is best. Second, look into our own communities because the problems in Ferguson are in your community, too. I live in Austin, Tex. The People's Task Force (http://taskforceatx.org/) is a group whose singular goal is to "hold the police department accountable for any and all police shootings." They are doing the work here. And if you look where you live, you will find people there doing it already. Listen to what they want and need and offer support, and begin to change things where you are. Finally, us white folks need to talk to other white people about the injustices happening around this country, about the fact that the police around the country keep committing violence against black people disproportionately, from the shooting deaths of the unarmed like those of Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, John Crawford, or Akai Gurley, to the deaths of the mentally ill like Tanesha Anderson and Kajieme Powell, to the sexual assault of black women at the hands of cops like Daniel Holtzclaw. White people need to tell other white people about the risks that black people take for simply existing in this world, risks that we will never face because of the privilege we carry in our skin. And maybe that will feel uncomfortable but so what. We are talking about people's lives and risking uncomfortable conversation seems like the least we can do.
Barbara Ransby, professor, historian of African-American history, writer and longtime activist based in Chicago
How do you feel about the decision? It is profoundly disturbing but not terribly surprising. The threshold was so low, one would hope a group of jurors would at least consider the possibility of involuntary manslaughter, which suggests at a minimum, Wilson's actions were reckless. Given this decision, we do have to ask, "Do black lives, especially the lives of poor and working class black youth, really matter?"
People have a right be outraged by this. It is another way of denying our humanity to suggest that in the face of rampant police violence across this country and disregard for the lives of young black people, that we should not be upset. What kind of parents, grandparents, teachers and elders would we be to not be upset? And for young people, if they do not speak out for themselves and their peers loudly and forcefully, who will?
What can we do to move forward? Well, if the decision had been different, the next steps would have been virtually the same. Why? Because the underlying problem is racist policing practices, the criminalization of poor black youth, regardless of whether they are engaged in criminal behavior, as well as poverty and the lack of jobs and quality education. So, this is not about one death and one rogue cop. We need to fight for access, resources and accountability. This case is not an isolated one. It is symbolic of the plight of poor and working class black communities all across this country. This is so much bigger than Ferguson and Darren Wilson and we have to remain clear about that. Building broad coalitions, rejecting the idea of outside agitators, and generating creative and sustainable tactics of direct action to push for change.
Joan Morgan, writer
How do you feel about the decision? I expected this decision. Optimism is something that is too dangerous an indulgence in a country deeply and historically invested in using both racism and sexism to maintain white supremacy. I know many feel this is a different political moment. I think what we just saw was a long, condescending rationale that was tantamount to saying to us black and brown people, "Same shit, different day."
How do we move forward? I don't know that the immediate response should be to "move forward". I'm tired of lost black lives being a teaching moment. I think we need to feel every bit of this pain. Every bit of this anger before we move anywhere.
Linda Sarsour, National Advocacy Director, National Network for Arab American Communities
How do you feel about the decision? While the decision was unfortunately not a surprise, it still was overwhelming. I watched the decision unfold with my family including my three children. My 10-year-old daughter, upon learning that Wilson will not be indicted, said, "This is just not fair." I am feeling sad, outraged, angry and frustrated--these are normal emotions that unfortunately are being criminalized by the media and others. I'm keeping my eyes on Ferguson, my heart in the movement and my feet on the streets of New York City because Ferguson is everywhere.
How do we move forward? We need to stay united and use this moment to refuel us to bring true systematic change to our communities. We need to empower each other, take care of one another and remain hopeful. We need to revamp the campaign to pass the End Racial Profiling Act, a bill that would prohibit the use of profiling on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin or religion by local, state and federal law enforcement agencies. We need to continue the fight to bring justice for Mike Brown, Ramarley Graham, Eric Garner and the countless others who have lost their lives to police violence.
*Post has been updated since publication to include Linda Sarsour's responses.
New America Media - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 15:48
Michael Brown. Rekia Boyd. Oscar Grant.They were all unarmed black youth at the center of high-profile shootings that spurred protests about police use of excessive force and reignited debates about police relations with communities of color. Brown was shot by... Adeshina Emmanuel http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
New America Media - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 15:10
Editor’s Note: Obama announced last week that he is ending Secure Communities, the controversial program of cooperation between ICE and state and local police that claimed to focus on serious criminals but actually ended up deporting many people who had... Reshma Shamasunder http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
New America Media - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 12:30
On March 22, 1991, a visibly shaken and angered President George H.W. Bush said he was sickened and "outraged" by what he saw on television. That was the beating of black motorist Rodney King by a swarm of LAPD cops.... Earl Ofari Hutchinson http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Colorlines - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 11:24
Atlanta rapper Killer Mike was performing in St. Louis last night when it was announced that a Ferguson grand jury would not indict Darren Wilson for Michael Brown's death. He spoke openly to the crowd about his own fears as a black father to two sons. "I knew it was coming and I knew when Eric Holder resigned, I knew it wasn't going to be good." the rapper said tearfully. "I have a 20-year-old son and a 12-year-old son and I am so afraid for them."
New America Media - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 09:43
A national poll found that 89 percent of Latino voters support for President Obama’s use of executive authority on immigration. Eighty percent say they are opposed to congressional Republicans’ plans to block executive action by defunding programs that would support... New America Media http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
New America Media - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 09:04
Last night hundreds took to the streets of Oakland to protest the ruling by a grand jury that officer Darren Wilson will not be indicted for the murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Protesters marched from Downtown Oakland to... Anna Vignet http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Colorlines - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 08:49
After a Ferguson grand jury failed to indict Officer Darren Wilson in Mike Brown's killing, nationwide protests and actions took place to bring attention to the extrajudicial killings of young black men. Here's a look at different scenes from across the country.
Ferguson: Protesters gather in 90 cities http://t.co/P7NLTXBU4U Black lives do matter but why don't they matter w/black on black murder-- NJ Kingston (@jakeandpooky) November 25, 2014 Ferguson, Missouri: November 24, 2014 November 25, 2014 November 25, 2014 November 25, 2014 November 25, 2014
Oakland, California:November 25, 2014 November 25, 2014 November 25, 2014 Chicago, Illinois: November 25, 2014 November 25, 2014 November 25, 2014 November 25, 2014 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: November 25, 2014 Seattle, Washington: November 25, 2014 Washington, D.C.: November 25, 2014 November 25, 2014 New York City: November 25, 2014 November 25, 2014 November 25, 2014 November 25, 2014
Union Sq protest in NYC for Ferguson and Mike Brown https://t.co/MhQSxsI3qW-- Mikell Kober (@mikellkober) November 25, 2014 November 25, 2014
Colorlines - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 08:11
Michael Brown's mother, Lesley McSpadden, visibly broke down before a crowd of supporters and a phalanx of cameras last night as news spread that a St. Louis grand jury decided not to indict officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of her unarmed, 18-year-old son. McSpadden learned of the decision, according to USA Today, through a phone call received by Benjamin Crump, a family attorney, minutes before the public announcement.
[She] cried and shouted when Crump told her there was no indictment and that the prosecutor was willing to meet with the family. ... Her body vibrated with pain as she jumped to her feet. "I do want to meet with him right now," McSpadden screamed. "What do you mean no indictment?!" She then ran out of a hotel room followed by family members.
Wilson, like Brown's family, issued a public statement last night stating in part, "Officer Wilson followed his training and followed the law." Wilson's testimony to the grand jury in which he describes encountering and ultimately shooting Brown, has been publicly released (see page 195). At one point, Wilson, a little under 6 '4" and 210 pounds to Brown's 6' 4" nearly 300 pound frame, describes grabbing him: "I felt like a 5-year-old holding onto Hulk Hogan." Summaries can be found at CNN and the Washington Post.
Colorlines - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 07:04
This is what I'm reading up on today:
- A Ferguson grand jury failed to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the killing of Michael Brown, triggering protests nationwide.
- St. Louis County prosecuting attorney Robert McCulloch released Officer Wilson's grand jury testimony late on Monday night, in which Wilson said that Brown "looked like a demon." Also released: photos of Wilson after Mike Brown's shooting.
- The night's most heartbreaking image: Mike Brown's mother, Lesley McSpadden, screams and sobs over the grand jury's decision.
- Despite President Obama's pleas for peace, anger and violence broke out on the streets of Ferguson. One police officer was shot near Ferguson; 61 people were arrested.
- Don Lemon said predictably Don Lemon-esque things from Ferguson.
New America Media - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 03:25
Photo: Hong Kong-based dementia-care expert, Timothy Kwok, PhD, spoke at the recent Gerontological Society of America conference in Washington, D.C. The University of Miamis Sara J. Czaja looks on. (Rong Xiaoqing/Sing Tao Daily)WASHINGTON, D.C.--International research is demonstrating that online educational program... Rong Xiaoqing http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
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