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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.

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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.

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.

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