Diversity Headlines

St. Louis Alderman, Citizen Journalist Antonio French Spent the Night In a Ferguson Jail

Colorlines - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 09:37
St. Louis Alderman, Citizen Journalist Antonio French Spent the Night In a Ferguson Jail

Among those arrested last night at a Ferguson, Missouri, protest was St. Louis Alderman Antonio French, for unlawful assembly. Using Twitter and Vine, French has been reporting on the unrest that has followed the police killing of Michael Brown, a black, unarmed 18-year-old who was walking down the street. From USA Today:

French, alderman of the 21st ward in St. Louis, was taken into custody, said his wife, Jasenka Benac French, who uses the Twitter handle @senka.

She tweeted that "@antonioFrench is in Ferguson jail," and that he had been arrested. About 90 minutes later she tweeted, "@AntonioFrench being booked now. Not sure what the charge is yet. Was ordered out of his car and arrested because he "didn't listen.'"

French was released at around 7 a.m. CDT according to a tweet from journalist Gabe Bullard.


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Los Angeles Public Schools Open for Child Migrants

Colorlines - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 09:08
Los Angeles Public Schools Open for Child Migrants

Fall semester for Los Angeles Unified School District students began this week, and the school district is opening its doors to some new enrollees. The district is planning for 1,000 new unaccompanied minor children to enroll in its schools, LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy told the Los Angeles Times.

The district isn't rolling out the welcome mat out of mere kindness. It's also the law. Under a 1982 Supreme Court ruling in Plyler v. Doe, school districts may not deny a child access to public education based on their immigration status. 

While the unaccompanied minors crisis exploded this year, the district has already been experiencing increased demand for services for immigrant children. The Los Angeles Times' Howard Blume reports:

During the 2013-14 school year, the immigrant enrollment center handled 1,800 students, an increase of 400 from the previous year. In the latter months, 80% were "children who crossed the border unaccompanied," one just 7 years old, according to an internal district analysis.

The numbers from the center don't provide a full count because schools typically enroll new students on their own.

The impact, however, is probably reflected in the figures for Spanish-speaking students who are not fluent in English. Their numbers had been declining in L.A. Unified, but increased last year from 142,457 to 146,794, even as overall enrollment dropped.

Read the rest at Los Angeles Times.

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Will Missouri Governor Pull St. Louis PD Out of Ferguson?

Colorlines - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 08:48
Will Missouri Governor Pull St. Louis PD Out of Ferguson?

It took Missouri Governor Jay Dixon five days to get to Ferguson after the shooting of Michael Brown. Dixon, a Democrat, finally announced in the middle of the night that he would be altering his schedule to head to St. Louis County. The governor says he's listening at Christ the King United Church of Christ in Florissant, Missouri.

Police have arrested some 60 people in and around Ferguson since Saturday--including two journalists and alderman and community journalist Antonio French. The local police department has meanwhile declined to release the name of the officer who shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown, which is one of the few modest demands demonstrators have been making. One of several Anonymous accounts on Twitter has claimed to have the officer's name, but it hasn't been independently verified.

It appears that Governor Dixon will soon announce that he'll be relieving St. Louis County police officers of their duties in the county. Bloomberg's Derek Wallbank tweeted that Representative Lacy Clay (D-Missouri) told him as much:

Clay: "The gov. just called me and he's on his way to St. Louis now to announce he's taking St. Louis County police out of the situation"

-- Derek Wallbank (@dwallbank) August 14, 2014

It's unclear which agencies would replace the St. Louis police department:

Gov. Jay Nixon, D-Mo., didn't say whether state police or FBI would be taking over: Clay to @jonallendc #Ferguson

-- Derek Wallbank (@dwallbank) August 14, 2014

President Obama is expected to issue remarks on Ferguson later today. 

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Watch Journalists Get Arrested in Ferguson McDonald's

Colorlines - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 07:45

Police in Ferguson appear to have crossed a clear line and jeopardized freedom of the press--which is protected by the First Amendment--Wednesday evening. Washington Post's Wesley Lowery and Huffington Posts's Ryan Reilly were both arrested while they were working at a local McDonald's by people who look more like soldiers than they do police officers.

Lowery published his account of the night's events over at the Washington Post:

As they took me into custody, the officers slammed me into a soda machine, at one point setting off the Coke dispenser. They put plastic cuffs on me, then they led me out the door.

I could see Ryan still talking to an officer. I said: "Ryan, tweet that they're arresting me, tweet that they're arresting me."

He didn't have an opportunity, because he was arrested as well.

The officers led us outside to a police van. Inside, there was a large man sitting on the floor between the two benches. He began screaming: "I can't breathe! Call a paramedic! Call a paramedic!"

Ryan and I asked the officers if they intended to help the man. They said he was fine. The screaming went on for the 10 to 15 minutes we stood outside the van.

"I'm going to die!" he screamed. "I'm going to die! I can't breathe! I'm going to die!"

Lowery and Reilly were eventually released without charge--and without the names or badge numbers of the officers involved in their arrest.

You can read Lowery's full account at the Washington Post

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New Witness, New Video in Michael Brown Shooting

Colorlines - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 07:41

A new witness to Michael Brown's shooting has emerged--and she's also got new amateur video from Saturday in Ferguson. Her account of what happened corroborates what Dorian Johnson says he saw on Saturday.

Tiffany Mitchell told KMOV News 4 that she saw an officer inside a police vehicle wrestling with Brown through the car's window before a shot rang out. That's when she says that Brown began running away. Mitchell says the officer fired again and Brown raised his hands in the air before being fired upon until he was killed.

"The cop just continues walk up on him and shoot him until he goes all the way down," she recalls. Mitchell also has new video, taken from her cell phone.

Mitchell has been dealing with the trauma of witnessing Brown's shooting and says that she cries herself to sleep as a result of what she saw. 

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Chaos in Ferguson, New Michael Jackson Video and More Salt for a Healthy Heart

Colorlines - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 07:39
Chaos in Ferguson, New Michael Jackson Video and More Salt for a Healthy Heart

Here's some of what I'm reading up on this morning:

  • A new app called Spring will supposedly make online shopping more fun and beautiful. 
  • The massive arapaima, an Amazonian fish that can weight up to 500 pounds, may soon go extinct due to overfishing. 
Categories: Diversity Headlines

What My Grandmother Learned (Not to Say)

Hyphen Blog - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 07:05

Akemi Johnson considers the legacy of internment within her family.

read more

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Why the GOP's Black Voter Outreach Won't Stick

Colorlines - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 14:39
Why the GOP's Black Voter Outreach Won't Stick

The Republican Party's overtures to black voters have been awkward. And with newly re-established College Republican chapters on historically black college campuses and a calculated deployment of Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus to the National Urban League and the National Association of Black Journalists, they continue. In an op-ed for the New York Times, University of Connecticut historian Jelani Cobb takes the GOP to task for its ongoing and seemingly blithe racial ignorance.

Cobb writes:

The party that hopes to attract black students is the party whose congressional leadership filed a baseless lawsuit against the first African-American president. It is the party whose representatives allied with birthers who demanded that the president prove his citizenship. It is the party that has endorsed the evisceration of the Voting Rights Act and made it more difficult for the very people it is courting to actually cast a ballot for its candidates. Senator Paul himself has expressed ambivalence about enforcing the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Read the rest for a quick history lesson on why the GOP has a long way to go before it can really win black voters.

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Police Dispatch Tapes From Michael Brown's Shooting

Colorlines - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 13:37

Anonymous has obtained and released St. Louis police dispatch audio from the day Michael Brown was shot and killed by a Ferguson Police Department officer. The audio is largely unedited and contains police codes throughout the recording. 

It appears that Ferguson police called for additional cars, officers and K-9s from different precincts to control crowds--and waited several hours before calling in an ambulance for the 18-year-old Brown. His body lay on the ground for hours, uncovered before it was attended to. 

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Following Ferguson: What's Being Said Today

Colorlines - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 13:36
 What's Being Said Today

Referring to his late but hard-won graduation this summer, one of Michael Brown's high school teachers told the Washington Post, "In the last two months, man, Mike was there every doggone day and he was giving it his full effort." In the past 24 hours, more details are filtering out about the life of 18-year-old Brown, cut down in Ferguson, Missouri, by a still unreleased number of police-issue bullets. Below, here's today's wrap-up of reporting or commentary that helps cut through the noise of this national story (or, that just makes me think). Let's go.

"We don't need to keep talking about [Mike Brown's] college plans to communicate that his killing was dead wrong." Or do we? Would Ferguson have protested under similarly suspicious shooting circumstances for a more questionable kid? Would Ferguson be national news if Brown wasn't a "gentle giant?" Whatever your position on the need for victims to be innocent in order to get justice, check out parent Jasmine Banks's provocative essay.

Writing for Essence.com, ProPublica's Nikole Hannah-Jones calls out national media for overlooking critical details in Ferguson and hewing to the official police version of events last Saturday. "The reliance on law enforcement to provide the official record of a shooting it was involved in is highly problematic," she says. "Over and over again, we've seen the first reports on police shootings contain errors or just be plain wrong. For instance, in the July death of Eric Garner in New York, an internal police report did not mention the chokehold used on Garner and said that Garner was not in 'great distress.'"

Why did Ferguson explode this weekend? The definitive account is still a ways off. But in the search for answers, it appears that local concerns about racial profiling, residential segregation, police diversity and more are being explored with a new intensity and purpose.

And finally, in "Why you've been seeing young kids at Ferguson crime scenes," Post-Dispatch reporter Aisha Sultan gives voice to families in the neighborhood.

As always, feel free to add to this list. See you back here tomorrow.

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Robin Williams: A Certain Sadness, His Fil-Am Ex-Wife Shares Tribute

New America Media - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 12:50
The world was stunned by the death of Robin Williams and devastated by the manner in which he died, reflects writer Mona Lisa Yuchengo on Filipino online magazine "Positively Filipino."He was an icon and role model for so many people... Mona Lisa Yuchengco http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
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Remembering Lauren Bacall

New America Media - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 12:19
 It was 1984, and Shimon Peres had just become Prime Minister of Israel.As a feature reporter/producer at a radio network, I wanted to get a comment on his new position from someone appropriate. Israel’s first prime minister (and Peres mentor)... Jewish Journal http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
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Actress Lauren Bacall Dead at 89

New America Media - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 12:05
 Lauren Bacall, the sultry actress with the heavy-lidded eyes and husky voice who captured Humphrey Bogart's heart both on and off the movie screen, died on Tuesday at the age of 89."With deep sorrow, yet with great gratitude for her... Jewish Journal http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
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Robin Williams - A Genius Who Named Everything, Except His Own Depression

New America Media - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 11:00
Robin Williams once joked that death is “nature’s way to let you know that your table is ready.” It’s not funny now that the comedian overrode nature by grabbing the table without waiting for the maître d’. But if his... Andrew Lam http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=8
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Friend Who Witnessed Michael Brown Shooting Speaks

New America Media - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 10:59
 The last words Dorian Johnson heard from his friend were, “Keep running, bro!”The 22-year-old, who was walking with Michael Brown before Brown was fatally shot, revealed to MSNBC in an exclusive interview exactly what he saw during the inexplicable shooting... The Root http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
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No Fly Zone Lifted in Ferguson

Colorlines - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 10:55
No Fly Zone Lifted in Ferguson

Journalists covering the unrest in Ferguson following the killing of Michael Brown have warned that authorities there are preventing them from doing their jobs. The issue became more concerning when Ashon Crawley, a professor and writer, tweeted that the Federal Aviation Administration had designated the airspace over Ferguson a restricted area:

yall. #Ferguson is listed as restricted airspace. it has literally been zoned for warfare. http://t.co/7suRRQ1fAQ

-- #EatBaéLove (@ashoncrawley) August 12, 2014

Authorities claim the move was prompted by shots fired at a police helicopter on Sunday--and restricting flights would keep police safe. But that didn't ease the fact that media helicopters were also banned from flying over Ferguson through Monday.

But, according to the Lambert-St. Louis Airport's Twitter account, the no fly zone has been lifted:

.@FAA lifted flight restrictions moments ago. The airlines will resume normal flight paths. #flystl

-- Lambert-STL Airport (@flystl) August 12, 2014

Police and media helicopters have presumably resumed their flights. 

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Will Demanding Justice for Mike Brown Land You a Visit from the FBI?

Colorlines - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 10:54

An unnamed caller recorded himself placing a phone call to the publically listed phone number for the Ferguson Police Department, demanding justice for Mike Brown. The person who answers the phone--in all likelihood a Ferguson police officer--sarcastically answers that "justice isn't here right now" before threatening to show up at the caller's home with the FBI. 

Categories: Diversity Headlines

10 Tweets: Munitions in Ferguson

Colorlines - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 10:51
 Munitions in Ferguson

It's getting hard to distinguish Ferguson, Missouri, from a war zone these days--a war in which one side has its arms up in the air with signs demanding justice for Michael Brown, while the other is armed with more conventional weapons.

Local police, backed by other authorities, roam the streets in tanks and armored trucks, and have been dispersing crowds with tear gas and rubber bullets. Every morning, residents and journalists take to Twitter to post photos of the canisters, magazines and bullets left behind from the previous nights:

Volunteering in action on W Florissant in #Ferguson Saw rubber bullets in street pic.twitter.com/EPYXeG1Q1Y

-- Stefanie D. (@_StefanieD_) August 13, 2014

A volunteer cleans up rubber bullets from the street


Brian Schellman of St. Louis PD confirms these were shot at protesters. They are "less lethal wooden baton rounds" pic.twitter.com/5hV2t0cJwo

-- Jon Swaine (@jonswaine) August 12, 2014

Wooden batons used to disperse protestors


From same street: remains of "Triple Chaser" CS gas canister, "60 cal stinger" rubber bullet magazine; rubber bullets pic.twitter.com/ImgZNfwyzN

-- Jon Swaine (@jonswaine) August 12, 2014

Tear gas canister, magazine and rubber bullets


What remains of last night in #Ferguson: tear gas canisters, broken glass, discarded signs, rubber bullets pic.twitter.com/LdOOJWo99b

-- Wesley Lowery (@WesleyLowery) August 12, 2014

Another tear gas canister and more rubber bullets


#Ferguson not sure who fired these rounds but Missouri Highway Patrol armored truck was at this site on Monday pic.twitter.com/NEgKVi7cjx

-- David Carson (@PDPJ) August 12, 2014

And more rubber bullets


#Ferguson police ordering people to go home, people mad say they can't because blocked by cops pic.twitter.com/iGgny72ChS

-- David Carson (@PDPJ) August 12, 2014

Unknown munition


#Ferguson rubber bullets? Lots of them in grass at Lang and Gage also found more pepper balls? pic.twitter.com/3rPldMVpTK

-- David Carson (@PDPJ) August 12, 2014

And even more rubber bullets


#Ferguson pepper balls? found in grass at Lang and W Florissant crowd here reported be shot by rubber bullets pic.twitter.com/YOPF8taHX6

-- David Carson (@PDPJ) August 12, 2014

Peppershots, filled with hot chili powder and designed to
burst on impact 
to irritate the nose, eyes and throat.


#Ferguson found this discarded in grass on scene where I thought I heard rubber bullets being fired yesterday pic.twitter.com/J3Y8F4ZzT1

-- David Carson (@PDPJ) August 12, 2014

Rubber bullet magazine


Remnants of last night. Rubber bullets found on the ground outside #Ferguson @QuikTrip. #MichaelBrown pic.twitter.com/qTwKq2noNW

-- Eli Rosenberg (@EliKMBC) August 13, 2014

And, of course, even more rubber bullets

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Witness to Michael Brown's Killing Explains What He Saw

Colorlines - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 08:31

Dorian Johnson was walking down the middle of the street in Ferguson, Missouri, with his friend Michael Brown on Saturday--just moments before Brown was shot and killed by a still unnamed police officer. Johnson says that police officer began cursing at them and emerged from the car with his weapon drawn. He says he remembers no fewer than seven shots fired. He recalls that Brown's hands were in the air as the officer fired.

MSNBC is reporting that Johnson's attorney, Freeman Bosley, says that police declined the opportunity to speak with Johnson during their investigation. In this video, Johnson recounts the violence he encountered the day his friend Mike Brown lost his life.

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Trial Underway for North Carolina Sheriff Accused of Targeting Hispanic Drivers

Colorlines - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 08:16
Trial Underway for North Carolina Sheriff Accused of Targeting Hispanic Drivers

A non-jury federal trial began yesterday in the case of a North Carolina sheriff accused of jailing Latino drivers in order to boost deportations, the Justice Department says. Two retired deputies have already testifed that Alamance County Sheriff Terry Johnson ordered them in 2007 to 2008 to lock up Latino drivers for traffic violations instead of issuing citations. One reportedly spoke to investigators because, according to the AP, "he worried the sheriff's priorities would be adopted by young law officers."

Johnson, a Republican, is running unopposed for a fourth four-year term in November. His defense says the Justice Department will not be able to prove a pattern of racial profiling.

(h/t The Guardian)

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