Poll shows significant distrust of police in US

3 Feb
Hundreds rally outside LAPD headquarters over the fatal police shooting of Ezell Ford, Aug 11, 2014.

Hundreds rally outside LAPD headquarters over the fatal police shooting of Ezell Ford, Aug 11, 2014.

Press TV recently published an insightful article detailing the results of a new poll regarding police and community relations. The poll has found a significant distrust of police in the United States, where many Americans believe police target minorities unfairly and often lie for their own interests.

The survey released on Thursday by the Reuters and IPSOS polling organization shows that 31 percent of Americans feel that some officers “routinely lie to serve their own interests.”

That number jumps to 45 percent among African Americans and 43 percent among Latinos.

The survey also found that 70 percent of African Americans and 52 percent of Latinos believe “police officers tend to unfairly target minorities”. About 30 percent of whites feel that way.

Read more here: http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2015/01/16/393390/Significant-distrust-of-police-in-US-Poll

Me on ‘Selma’, Martin Luther King Jr. on Police Brutality

19 Jan

I had the emotionally jarring pleasure of watching “Selma” last night with my mother. We were in tears within the first 60 seconds of the film. But, despite the predictable waves of anger, sadness (and relief) that occupied us while we relived the painful cultural memories (and feats) of the civil rights era, the film was undoubtedly a triumphant production. It was easy to see that director Ava DuVerney and British lead actor David Oyelowo were indeed snubbed by the Academy in not being nominated this year. I think director of photography Bradford Young was snubbed too — the film was intimately and beautifully shot.

Beyond that, America herself was snubbed.

As a country, we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of both the Selma marches and the Voting Rights act. You’d think the Academy would more wholeheartedly join the rest of us in a more sincere celebration. At the very least, four nominations would be worthy of the kismet timing of an incredible creative achievement like “Selma” to complement the anniversaries of some of the proudest moments for our nation. Or naw?

The scenes of police brutality are expectedly disturbing. For me, it wasn’t so much the gore and inhumanity of it all, but the knowledge that many of the same attitudes and behaviors of the badge carrying, political power wielding racists of the 60’s, still loudly echo in the actions of their badge carrying, political power wielding descendants. From the Oakland BART Station where an unarmed black father Oscar Grant was shot to death, to the streets of Ferguson, Austin, Miami, Denver, Atlanta, New Orleans, New York City, and countless other cities across America. Police brutality and misuse of force is an outrageously common, everyday, often fatal battle for people of color.

Previous White House appointed tasks forces on this matter have obviously proved inept.

Amadou Diallo’s mother is deeply frustrated that we seem to be going backwards.

And I, for one, am sick and tired of marching.

The good news?

People around the world have united in educating the uninformed that #BlackLivesMatterPresident Barack Obama has asked for $263 million in federal funding to help pay for training and more than 50,000 police body cameras. And, you have subscribed to this blog. Plus, you keep your camera phone with you at all times.

Marissa Alexander’s Plight; State Attorney’s Egregious Agenda

17 Oct

marissa alexanderFirstly, I’m embarrassed that it has taken me this long to blog about the plight of Marissa Alexander, but I hope you are following this case. It is, sadly, yet another shameful “WTF?!” moment of institutionalized racial bias in the Florida criminal justice system–my home state.

This time, the victim isn’t a young black male shot dead by a prejudice cop, but rather a victim of domestic violence who’d recently given birth. A black mother who fired a warning shot in an effort to get her abusive husband out of their home. Had she killed him, she’d likely have gotten off thanks to the controversial Stand Your Ground law (read: all too convenient loophole for bigots acting out their ethnic cleansing fantasies). However, her intention was not to kill, but to save a life—her own and/or her husbands.

Florida State Attorney Angela Corey isn’t about that life though. After Alexander refused to accept a guilty plea bargain, maintaining her innocence, Corey successfully prosecuted the victim, and slapped her in the face with a 20-year prison sentence. For black people in Florida reading behind the lines, her message to them appears to be clearly “kill or be killed— or waste away in a prison.” National outcry and protests helped overturn Alexander’s 2012 conviction in September of 2013, although it was officially reported as a case of “jury misinformation.” You’d think the overzealous State Attorney would drop the case after all the national backlash; after all, Alexander is a survivor of domestic violence who was defending herself and no one was hurt.  But nah. Now, a new trial is underway and Ms. Corey is pushing for a 60-year sentence! What’s her agenda here?

Daily Kos reported today that five women have stepped forward as witnesses and victims of Marissa Alexander’s husband’s history of domestic violence. Their show of support will hopefully be the nail in the coffin of this charade of justice, but we will have to stay tuned and stay vigilant.

I echo the thoughts of Daily Kos writer Leslie Salzillo here, and hope you follow her keen reporting on this trial as she’s been a diligent watchdog from the beginning:

“I also hope to see a renewed national discourse, not only about victims of domestic violence, but also about those who survive the abuse defending themselves, and are then prosecuted. Many victims of domestic abuse are taken from their children, incarcerated, and left to rot in prison.”

Read more details of this case here: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/10/17/1337149/-5-More-Women-Accuse-Marissa-Alexander-s-Abusive-Husband-Of-Extreme-Brutality

Missouri teen shot by police was two days away from starting college

12 Aug

Michael BrownOur hearts go out to Michael Brown’s family, community, and those of us whose souls are broken yet again. We must put our foots on the necks of our government to end these tired consequences of unchecked hate, racial bias, and homicidedly racist unfit cops (read: decidedly prone to homicide when it comes to black men) #WhatWouldTheDashCamSay

(CNN) — Monday was supposed to be Michael Brown’s first day at technical college. Instead, his parents were planning his funeral.

The 18-year-old was shot by a police officer in a St. Louis suburb on Saturday, sparking a federal civil rights inquiry, local protests and national debate.

One side says the African-American teenager was surrendering, his hands in the air to show he was unarmed, when the officer opened fire. Authorities counter that Brown had attacked the officer in his car and tried to take his gun.

His parents and their lawyer say they don’t believe the police account of what happened. They describe Brown as someone who steered clear of violence.

“He was funny, silly. He would make you laugh. Any problems that were going on or any situation, there wasn’t nothing he couldn’t solve. He’d bring people back together,” his father, Michael Brown Sr., told reporters.

Family members nicknamed him the “gentle giant.”

Read more on CNN.com Continue reading

Standing Ovation: Donald Sterling’s Lifetime Ban from the NBA

29 Apr

We echo brother Rev. Sharpton in applauding NBA Commissioner Adam Silver for announcing Donald Sterling’s Lifetime Ban from the NBA and financial penalty

April 29, 2014 (New York, NY)– “The lifetime banning of Donald Sterling is a bold and appropriate action in this matter. This is a huge victory for those of us that stood against this ugly display of racism. We must continue to make unequivocal stands against bigotry and racism. I look forward to speaking to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and beginning the dialogue with other civil rights leaders right away to discuss putting in measures to make sure this never happens again.” The Reverend Al Sharpton


Jay Electronica Targets Zimmerman, Police Brutality And Corruption In ‘Rant’

6 Apr

Early Friday morning (April 4), Jay Electronica unleashed a stream of thoughts on everything from George Zimmerman and police corruption to shady journalists and label executives.


The Roc Nation rapper certainly has a lot on his mind, and hopefully all of those thoughts will end up on an album. In the meantime, his Twitter account holds some insight on Jay’s outrage, and he included some footage to show us why we should feel the same way.

Read more: http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1725488/jay-electronica-rant-targets-zimmerman.jhtml

Black female soldiers say new grooming regulation is ‘racially biased’

2 Apr

Thousands of soldiers and others have signed a White House petition calling for the president to order the Army to reconsider just-released appearance and grooming regulations they contend are “racially biased” against black women.

The update to Army Regulation 670-1 was published Monday , and among the rules are clarifications for Army-appropriate hairstyles. For example, the Army does not allow twists or multiple braids that are bigger than a quarter of an inch in diameter. The reg also bans dreadlocks of any style, and cornrows must be uniform and no bigger than a quarter of an inch.


Twists and dreadlocks have been prohibited since 2005, but the regulation at the time did not clearly define the specific hairstyles, Army spokesman Paul Prince said.

The new AR 670-1 clearly defines the different hairstyles and gives soldiers specific guidance on what’s allowed, he said. Leadership training released in mid-March, published before the reg was official, includes photos of a number of unauthorized hairstyles, several of which are popular natural hair styles among black women.

“I’ve been in the military six years, I’ve had my hair natural four years, and it’s never been out of regulation. It’s never interfered with my head gear,” said Sgt. Jasmine Jacobs, of the Georgia National Guard, who wears her hair in two twists.

Thanks for sharing Tiffani W. It’s important we contribute to this conversation. “Get a perm, or go home” attitudes have no place in the 21st century.

Read more here: http://www.armytimes.com/article/20140331/news07/303310051/black-female-soldiers-say-new-grooming-reg-racially-biased-