United States - Human Rights Monitor

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Re: United States - Human Rights Monitor

Postby darshan » 06 Aug 2019 07:08

Lawsuit alleges USU failed psychology student who died by suicide
https://www.hjnews.com/news/crime_court ... 6c074.html

Psychology faculty accused of failing to help bullied student

The family of a Utah State University student who died by suicide in 2017 is seeking damages from the university through a lawsuit alleging that the psychology department didn’t do enough to address an alleged bullying situation in the semesters prior to the student’s death.

Jerusha Sanjeevi, a 24-year-old Malaysian woman studying for a Ph.D. in psychology at USU, died by suicide in April 2017. The lawsuit, filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City, alleges a pattern of bullying, the Ph.D. program’s failure to address the bullying and a failure to mediate intercultural conflict between Sanjeevi and her alleged bully when the program touted its ability to navigate exactly such conflicts.

The lawsuit names USU itself and three psychology faculty members as defendants: Gretchen Peacock, then the psychology department head; Melissa Tehee, a professor in the department who advised the lab both Sanjeevi and her alleged bully were in; and psychology emeritus professor Carolyn Barcus. The lawsuit also names as defendants two USU students individually alleged to have bullied Sanjeevi.

The bulk of the bullying came from one of Sanjeevi’s fellow psychology Ph.D. students, the lawsuit alleges. During the fall 2016 semester, Sanjeevi and the student were the only two students in professor Melissa Tehee’s lab. Tehee and the other student were personal friends and often went horseback riding together at a ranch owned by Barcus, the lawsuit alleges, and that relationship biased Tehee against Sanjeevi when the latter brought up the alleged bullying.

The alleged bullying also included statements about Sanjeevi’s culture that she found hurtful, including that “Asians only want to please their parents” and that “Asian names are weird,” the complaint states.

Despite her previous strong academic record, the perceived favoritism and the alleged bullying had Sanjeevi considering leaving USU only weeks after beginning her first semester there.

Sanjeevi reported her bullying concerns to Tehee, who then met with both students. The lawsuit is sparse on details concerning this meeting, stating that the attorneys hope to learn more in discovery. Sanjeevi, however, told her boyfriend that she felt neither Tehee nor the other student took her concerns seriously.

Following the meeting, the bullying escalated into rumors about Sanjeevi’s academic character, according to the lawsuit.

A student told attorneys that the other student would text Sanjeevi pictures of Indian foods and memes, asking her whether they were “legitimate.”

“This was done despite the fact that (Sanjeevi) affirmed numerous times that she was not from India, but from Malaysia,” the student told attorneys.

Sanjeevi was of Indian and Chinese heritage, making her a minority even in her native Malaysia.

The other student would mock Sanjeevi when she spoke in class, the lawsuit states, and told Sanjeevi that she was “too sensitive.”

Students the attorneys spoke with allege that the other student “started a narrative in the (psychology Ph.D. program) about a ‘minority hierarchy’ which basically stated that if two parties were of a minority status, the one with the darker skin was the inferior of the two.”

At one point Sanjeevi said her alleged bully is “Native American but ‘presents white,’” the lawsuit states.

The alleged bully’s idea of “racial hierarchy permeated the Program and tormented Jerusha until her death,” the lawsuit states.

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Re: United States - Human Rights Monitor

Postby darshan » 06 Aug 2019 08:34

Study finds racial bias in tweets flagged as hate speech | Cornell Chronicle
https://news.cornell.edu/stories/2019/0 ... ate-speech
Tweets believed to be written by African Americans are much more likely to be tagged as hate speech than tweets associated with whites, according to a Cornell study analyzing five collections of Twitter data marked for abusive language.

All five datasets, compiled by academics for research, showed bias against Twitter users believed to be African American. Although social media companies – including Twitter – probably don’t use these datasets for their own hate-speech detection systems, the consistency of the results suggests that similar bias could be widespread.

“We found consistent, systematic and substantial racial biases,” said Thomas Davidson, a doctoral candidate in sociology and first author of “Racial Bias in Hate Speech and Abusive Language Datasets,” which was presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics, July 28-Aug. 2 in Florence, Italy.

“These systems are being developed to identify language that’s used to target marginalized populations online,” Davidson said. “It’s extremely concerning if the same systems are themselves discriminating against the population they’re designed to protect.”

In all five cases, the algorithms classified likely African American tweets as sexism, hate speech, harassment or abuse at much higher rates than those tweets believed to be written by whites – in some cases, more than twice as frequently.

The researchers believe the disparity has two causes: an oversampling of African Americans’ tweets when databases are created; and inadequate training for the people annotating tweets for potential hateful content.

The paper was co-authored with Debasmita Bhattacharya ’21 and Ingmar Weber of the Qatar Computing Research Institute.

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Re: United States - Human Rights Monitor

Postby darshan » 06 Aug 2019 08:45

Women vs football. Football wins.

Creech: Hiring of Art Briles sends a terrible message
https://www.houstonchronicle.com/sports ... 895812.php
The messages are heartbreaking to read.

A number of brave women – rape survivors from Baylor University – have reached out to me in the last couple of hours since former Baylor football coach Art Briles was hired to coach at Mount Vernon High School in East Texas.

"Once again, winning matters more than our safety," one woman texted me on Friday night. "How can they keep doing this to us?"

Another one sent this: "I feel sick. He is going to be in charge of children. How are they letting this happen?"

There's a lot wrong with the hiring of Briles – a man who turned his head when he was told that players on his team had sexually assaulted women. Baylor regents reported that 19 football players were accused of sexual assault or domestic violence between 2011-16. Another lawsuit filed alleges that 31 football players committed at least 52 acts of rape between 2011-14.

Briles was always going to coach again. No one can argue the fact that he is a good football coach.

But winning football games shouldn't matter more than the safety of women at a school or in a community.

Briles didn't just make mistakes at Baylor. According to a report by Jessica Luther and Dan Solomon – who broke the first news of the Baylor scandal in 2015 in Texas Monthly – in Deadspin earlier this year, a former Stephenville student alleges that Briles played accused rapists in high school football games when he was the coach there.

The district will receive loads of warranted backlash. Heaps of negativity will be thrown onto the small town of under 3,000 people.

Maybe it will cause them to change their minds. Maybe the school will live with the PR nightmare and let him coach anyway.

Regardless, the district has already sent a clear and unsettling message that the safety of the women in the community is of no real importance.

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Re: United States - Human Rights Monitor

Postby darshan » 06 Aug 2019 09:01

THE REGULARS: United States imprisons far too many people
https://siouxcityjournal.com/opinion/co ... aa9ab.html
The U.S. population comprises 5% of the world population, but we have 21% of the world’s prisoners.

Taking a close look at Iowa,
women now comprise an increasing portion of the Iowa prison population, and it’s grown 20% in the last five years. Appallingly, Bartruff reveals that nearly 40% of incarcerated females have an IDENTIFIED (caps added) mental illness and nearly 97% of the women are on some type of prescribed medication. It’s little wonder, then, that the recidivism rate for women and men in Iowa is now comparable.

Iowa must also address an irrefutable racial disparity in our judicial and corrections system which has held steady from 2009 through 2018. African Americans comprise 3.8% of Iowa’s population, but according to the Iowa Commission on the Status of African Americans, they represent 24.5% of the 2018 prison population. No, you don’t get to infer that crime rates are higher in the African American community. According to the NAACP, who has carefully studied this in order to get to the root of the problem, African Americans and whites use drugs at similar rates, but the national imprisonment rate for our black brothers and sisters is more than five times the imprisonment rate for whites. Please note: African Americans represent 12.5% of illicit drug users, but they are 29% of those arrested, and then become 33% of those incarcerated in our state prison facilities for drug use. Someone, somewhere along the way gets the benefit of the doubt throughout our court and corrections systems, but much less so if you are a person of color.

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Re: United States - Human Rights Monitor

Postby darshan » 06 Aug 2019 09:06

Uruguay issues travel alert for US, warning of deadly hate crimes
https://thehill.com/latino/456251-urugu ... ate-crimes
Uruguay on Monday issued a warning for its citizens who are traveling to the United States in the aftermath of two deadly mass shootings.

The foreign ministry of the South American nation told its citizens to exercise extreme caution “against growing indiscriminate violence, mostly for hate crimes ... which cost more than 250 people their lives in the first seven months of the year."

Because of “the indiscriminate possession of firearms by the population,” travelers are advised “to avoid areas with large concentrations of people like theme parks, shopping centers, art festivals, religious events, food festivals and any kind of cultural or sporting gathering.”

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Re: United States - Human Rights Monitor

Postby darshan » 06 Aug 2019 16:23

How did readers respond to AJC’s Race and Religion series?
https://www.ajc.com/lifestyles/religion ... wspV3GzhI/
As I’ve read reaction to the Race and Religion series that launched recently, that has never been more clear to me. Some of us view slavery as simply a thing of the past and the resulting racism as “a figment in someone’s mind,” “the go-to excuse” when blacks don’t like the outcome.

Perhaps it’s just easier to believe in the fallacy of a “post-racial America.”

To be sure, we have a mess on our hands or should I say in our hearts.

I remember clearly white pundits like Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck denouncing President Obama when he linked the 2009 arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates by Cambridge police to racial profiling. Beck said it revealed Obama’s “deep-seated hatred for white people.” And Limbaugh said Obama was “trying to destroy a white policeman.”

And yet they explain away every indication of racism in President Donald Trump, ignoring his equivocation after the march in Charlottesville, his immigration policies that cage little children and his ongoing attacks on black activists, athletes and more recently congressmen and women.

I know how that happens.

One reader, in response to the second day column on systemic racism, offered this: “Quite simply blacks commit crime at a higher rate than whites. While blacks are sometimes accosted for being black there are far fewer places a black person can go with a risk of violent assault for their color than there are for whites. While you may argue that point you cannot argue the rate of black on black murder.”

He isn’t alone in that line of thinking. Racism is OK because black people commit more crimes than whites.

One of my fellow church members, Joe Beasley, for instance, wrote to say I didn’t tell the whole story.

Instead of beginning with slavery, he said, “Bishop Claude Alexander should have at least (gone) back to 1493 when Pope Alexander VI, in collusion with the monarchs of Europe, promulgated the ‘Doctrine of Discovery,’” which has played a role in U.S. law, and “is … responsible for the annihilation of the native Americans throughout the Americas. It is very ironic that these people were slaughtered in the name of Jesus Christ!”

Beasley went on to say that while the denial of benefits to African Americans who served in the Second World War is significant, even more significant is Field Order 15 signed by Gen. William T. Sherman and approved by President Abraham Lincoln but vetoed by President Andrew Johnson.

“This Field Order granted our people a separate nation consisting of 400 thousand acres running from South Carolina to Florida, and 30 miles inland! This was at the request of 20 African American Ministers in Savannah, Georgia after meeting” with Sherman. This land — which was to be divided into parcels of not more than 40 acres for black families and likely led to the expression “40 acres and a mule” — was eventually returned to the Southern planters who owned it.

I heard from Max Lipscomb of Atlanta, who said: “I’m quite sure some of your older white readers will not be too happy with you for exposing an old wound, but as we see every day in America, this conversation is badly needed and you are right it needs to start with the church! When people say I didn’t own slaves or I’m not a racist, all these things are true but what’s missing is they profited off the mistreatment of Africans through slavery all in the name of the bible!”


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Why I needed to write about race and religion
https://www.ajc.com/lifestyles/why-need ... iwL3lkziL/
As a Mississippi native who grew up in the ’50s and ‘60s, I’ve long had a heightened sense of race and racism, keenly aware that there were those who, because of my dark skin, saw me as other.

In my hometown of McComb, color lines were clearly drawn and bombings in the African American community were a near constant, so much so that in 1964 it was deemed the “Bomb Capital of the World.”

Just as white slave owners used Scripture to justify slavery and perpetuate racism, it has been Scripture that has kept me sane, given me hope that things will get better, by and by.

I flinched at every shooting of unarmed black men and shook my head when critics of the Black Lives Matter movement pretended the very name denied the humanity of whites. And last year when whites started calling the police on blacks for just being present in Starbucks or their apartment or the common areas of their college dorms, I couldn’t help crying.

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Re: United States - Human Rights Monitor

Postby darshan » 06 Aug 2019 16:51

More Hispanic Kids Are Depressed Than Their Peers As Anti-Migrant Rhetoric Rises
https://www.npr.org/player/embed/748565528/748565541
For Latino youths in the U.S., the El Paso shooting is just the latest trauma. Researchers say hateful rhetoric and discrimination are taking a toll on their mental health.

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In one of the country's 'healthiest' states, obesity plagues black and Hispanic people
https://www-m.cnn.com/2019/08/03/health ... index.html
But upon closer inspection, Colorado weighs in as two states: one dangerously heavy and one fit and trim.
There are the mostly well-educated, affluent whites, many of whom were drawn to Colorado by high-paying tech jobs and myriad outdoor opportunities.

By contrast, the adult obesity rates among minorities are much higher — 29.9% for blacks and 27.7% for Latinos, far worse than the 21.6% rate for non-Hispanic whites. While those figures beat the nation's overall obesity rate of 39.8%, a large portion of state residents still struggle to eat healthily and live active lifestyles.
Few places illustrate that contrast as clearly as Leadville, a Lake County town of 2,759 nestled among the Rocky Mountains, and most known as the home of an eponymous 100-mile ultramarathon. Though Lake County is near the glamorous resorts of Vail and Breckenridge, Leadville and its surroundings are filled with trailer parks, home to the workers who make the tourism economy hum.

Many other states, counties and cities register similar disparities on the scales of obesity, healthy eating and exercise. The overarching statistics mask underlying problems, making it hard to attract attention and resources for those in need.

"Lots of people think of Leadville as really healthy. How can Leadville have an obesity problem?" said Katie Baldassar, director of the local public health department's Lake County Build a Generation project. "What we really see in Colorado is an equity problem. And we see that in Leadville."

The adults here commute to jobs in the ski towns on the well-to-do sides of mountain passes. "They clean hotel rooms over in Vail. They work construction over in Breckenridge," Baldassar said. "And they're experiencing the double-headed monster of food scarcity and obesity."

Their children attend public schools, where 70% of students are Hispanic. Despite the outdoor opportunities that surround them, nearly twice as many students in Lake County fail to meet physical activity guidelines as those in the more affluent Summit and Eagle counties nearby. Obese children tend to become obese adults.
Lake County's obesity levels mirror those in the rest of the state, with Hispanics faring worse than many of their neighbors.

"It's a common characteristic of the way we observe obesity levels throughout the country," said John Auerbach, CEO of Trust for America's Health, a nonprofit that issues an annual state-by-state obesity report. "Obesity is more likely to be prevalent among those with lower incomes and among certain populations of color, in particular, African Americans, Latinos and American Indians."
That is true in part because these populations may have less access to healthy foods, beverages or safe community spaces for physical activity, said Dr. Ruth Petersen, who runs the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity division. Minority neighborhoods see more marketing of unhealthy foods and beverages, while fresh fruits and vegetables are often nonexistent — or more expensive than in wealthier neighborhoods that can attract supermarkets.

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Re: United States - Human Rights Monitor

Postby darshan » 06 Aug 2019 20:47

Galveston police apologize after photo surfaces of horse-mounted officers leading handcuffed suspect
https://m.chron.com/news/houston-texas/ ... 282778.php
Galveston police are apologizing after a dramatic photo circulated online showing horse-mounted officers leading a handcuffed man of color by what appears to be a rope.

"With the climate in the country today, I would hate to see, six months or three years down the road, what kind of judgment these same officers would make in a worse scenario," Phillips said.

"Stay there with him instead of humiliating him," he said. "And now you've humiliated the whole city of Galveston because everybody who sees it is going to have an opinion."

Phillips also said the image reminded him of racist images from the 1920s. He said he didn't know the officers personally, but the optics of the photo was shocking.

"All I know is that these are two white police officers on horseback with a black man walking him down the street with a rope tied to the handcuffs, and that's doesn't make sense, period," he said. "And I do understand this — if it was a white man, I guarantee it wouldn't have happened."

James Douglas, president of Houston's NAACP chapter, also responded to the photo, saying it showed a lack of respect for people of color.

"This is 2019 and not 1819," he said in an email. "I am happy to know that Chief Vernon [Hale] issued an apology and indicated that the act showed poor judgement, but it also shows poor training. Even though the chief indicated that the technique would be discontinued he failed to address the lack of respect demonstrate by the officers in the episode."

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Re: United States - Human Rights Monitor

Postby darshan » 06 Aug 2019 20:51

Boy Scouts failed to stop hundreds of previously unreported sexual predators, a lawsuit alleges
https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2 ... edirect=on

A group of lawyers is claiming to have uncovered hundreds of previously unreported cases of sexual abuse in the Boy Scouts, according to a lawsuit filed in Pennsylvania on Monday. The plaintiff in the case, named only as S.D. because he wishes to keep his identity private, is alleging that he was assaulted “hundreds” of times by a scout leader in Pennsylvania over the course of approximately four years in the 1970s.

The lawsuit alleges that S.D.'s abuse would not have been possible had it not been for the negligence of the Boy Scouts, that the organization conspired to keep incidents of sexual assault a secret, and that the organization and other defendants engaged in “reckless misconduct” in failing to protect its young participants.

The litigation stems from an effort to unearth previously unreported cases of child sexual abuse in one of America’s most prominent youth organizations, spearheaded by Abused in Scouting, a group of law firms that collaborate on bringing such cases to light.

“BSA knew for decades that sexual predators of boys had infiltrated scouting,” the complaint says, and claims that the Boy Scouts “knew or should have known the dangers” that pedophiles, including S.D.'s alleged abuser, posed to children such as him.

For decades, Boy Scouts has kept detailed files, known as the Ineligible Volunteer files, that documented pedophiles known to the organization. In the past decade, a large tranche of the documents became public through lawsuits and investigative reporting. But those records may be incomplete.

Included in S.D.'s lawsuit is a claim that Abused in Scouting has identified more than 350 people who do not appear in the Ineligible Volunteer files, S.D.'s alleged abuser among them.

S.D.'s ordeal began in approximately 1974 or 1975, when he was 12 or 13 years of age, according to the lawsuit. He was the alleged victim of an assistant scoutmaster who “actively groomed young boys under his charge for later sexual molestation,” the lawsuit says. S.D. was allegedly subjected to “hundreds of instances of fondling, hundreds of incidents of oral sexual assault and repeated attempts of anal penetration” at Camp Acahela, a Boy Scouts retreat in eastern Pennsylvania, as well as at his abuser’s home, the lawsuit says.

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Re: United States - Human Rights Monitor

Postby Manish_Sharma » 08 Aug 2019 00:05

https://www.thedailybeast.com/utah-stat ... uit-claims

Utah State Student Killed Herself After Eight Months of Racist Attacks—and the School Did Nothing


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Re: United States - Human Rights Monitor

Postby darshan » 08 Aug 2019 06:00

Dartmouth Reaches $14 Million Settlement in Sexual Abuse Lawsuit
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/06/us/d ... ement.html
Dartmouth College and nine women who claimed they were raped, sexually assaulted or harassed by their professors said on Tuesday that they had reached a $14.4 million settlement, in a case that forced soul-searching in academia about the system of mentoring and promoting graduate students in the sciences.

The women accused three Dartmouth professors in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, whose research included studies of sexual desire and attractiveness, of coercing them into an alcohol- and sex-saturated party culture in the human behavior lab that they led. The professors, all men, used their power over their students’ academic careers and future employment to keep them from complaining, the women said.

A “21st century Animal House” atmosphere took hold as far back as 2002, while the college administration looked the other way, according to the lawsuit. The case prompted protests from students and alumni about how the college handled sexual misconduct complaints.

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Re: United States - Human Rights Monitor

Postby darshan » 08 Aug 2019 06:03

State's clergy abuse hotline got 1,900 calls over first year
https://cruxnow.com/church-in-the-usa/2 ... irst-year/
HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania - Investigations remain underway after 1,862 calls were made to a clergy abuse hotline in the 12 months since a landmark grand jury report exposed decades of child abuse within Pennsylvania’s Roman Catholic dioceses, the state attorney general said Tuesday.

About 90 percent of those calls concerned allegations of abuse or cover-ups within the Catholic church, Attorney General Josh Shapiro said. The rest were about institutions or people outside the Catholic Church.

Shapiro, a Democrat, blamed Senate Republicans for blocking a vote on four reforms the grand jury recommended - to allow a period for victims to sue over claims that would otherwise be too old to pursue, to eliminate any age limit for child sexual abuse victims in criminal cases, to toughen rules for people in certain positions to report suspected abuse and to end nondisclosure agreements that keep victims from cooperating with criminal investigations.

The August 2018 grand jury report, drawing from diocesan records, concluded that 300 priests had sexually abused at least 1,000 children going back to the 1940s, and said church officials had been involved in covering up abuse cases. Many of the attacks occurred decades ago, far outside time limits under Pennsylvanian law for civil or criminal cases to be pursued.

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Missouri Abbey: 8 Priests Credibly Accused of Abusing Kids
https://www.voanews.com/usa/missouri-ab ... using-kids
CONCEPTION, MISSOURI - A Benedictine monastery in northwestern Missouri has released the names of eight priests or brothers who it says face credible allegations of having sexually abused children during the last seven decades.

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Survivors Of Child Sexual Abuse Plan To File Lawsuits August 14
https://wskg.org/news/survivors-of-chil ... august-14/
ALBANY, NY (WSKG) – Beginning August 14, New Yorkers who are survivors of childhood sexual abuse will have a one year window of opportunity to file civil suits against their abusers, under the terms of the Child Victims Act passed by the legislature earlier this year. Thousands of cases are expected to be filed, with payouts potentially in the millions.

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Re: United States - Human Rights Monitor

Postby darshan » 08 Aug 2019 06:44

'We have a long way to go:' Descendants of first black Americans on...
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-afri ... SKCN1UV0YN
The Tucker family, who trace their ancestry to the 1624 census of the then English colony of Virginia, has experienced every chapter of African-American history.

From captivity on ships to slavery on plantations, to the 1861-1865 U.S. Civil War waged over legal slavery, 20th century discrimination laws and lynchings, the civil rights struggle and to the Black Lives Matter movement, racial disparities course through life and politics in the United States.

“The race issues have always been here,” said Vincent Tucker, the president of the William Tucker 1624 Society who believes he is nine or 10 generations removed from William Tucker, born in Virginia in 1624 after his parents were transported from present-day Angola in 1619.

“Reparations, I think, would be very appropriate because we, as hard as we worked and continue to work, we were not able to establish businesses to grow other businesses in mass, and that’s what it’s going to take to grow our economic state,” she said.

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Re: United States - Human Rights Monitor

Postby darshan » 08 Aug 2019 06:57

Hate Crimes In Colorado Nearly Doubled From 2017 To 2018, Hitting A 5-Year High
https://www.cpr.org/2019/08/07/hate-cri ... year-high/
A new report from the Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management shows reported hate crimes in the state are again on the rise after declining from 2016 to 2017.

The state reported 185 cases of hate crimes in 2018, almost doubling the 96 cases in 2017.

Most of the crimes, 112, were based in racial bias. There were 32 victims of sexual orientation and gender identity bias, and 26 of religious bias. Anti-Semitic crimes continue to rise.

The most common hate crime offense was intimidation, followed by assault and then vandalism.

There are 22 hate groups identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center in Colorado.

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We Asked: Are hate crimes a problem in the state?
https://www.doverpost.com/news/20190807 ... m-in-state
Are hate crimes a problem in Delaware? We asked your members of Congress about that. Here’s what they said:

Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester

Are hate crimes a problem in Delaware?

Yes. FBI data from 2017 showed that hate crimes in Delaware had nearly doubled from the year prior. [Chart, 2017, above]

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Racial slurs found spray painted after house explosion in Wayne Co.
https://www.news5cleveland.com/news/loc ... n-wayne-co
STERLING, Ohio — Deputies are investigating a suspected hate crime after racial slurs were found spray painted on a garage after an explosion early Wednesday morning, according to the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department.

The house in the 6700 block of Spruce Street in Sterling had a minor electrical fire on July 3. The couple who lived there, a white man and a black woman, was staying elsewhere during repairs, deputies said.


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Los Angeles Hate Crime Alert: June 12 – June 18, 2019
https://xtown.la/2019/08/07/los-angeles ... e-18-2019/
There were 15 reported hate crimes in the City of Los Angeles for the week of June 12 – 18, 2019. The total number of hate crimes reported from Jan. 1 – June 18, 2019 is 136.


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Arkansas governor urges hate-crime law; red-flag proposal also on his mind after shootings
https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/201 ... -20190807/

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For a third time, S.C. senator will introduce hate crime bill
https://www.wmbfnews.com/2019/08/05/thi ... rime-bill/
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WMBF) – In the wake of the mass shootings across the nation, one South Carolina senator said he’s going to make another push to pass a hate crime bill in the state.

But it won’t be the first time Jackson has tried to create a hate crime bill for the state. Back in 1997, and again in 1999, he proposed bills that would strengthen sentences for crimes motivated by prejudice or hate, but neither one has passed both houses.

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Re: United States - Human Rights Monitor

Postby darshan » 08 Aug 2019 07:29

Mom recounts brutal assault on son for not removing hat during national anthem ~ Missoula Current
https://missoulacurrent.com/government/ ... m-assault/
Witnesses told deputies the suspect grabbed, picked up and slammed the boy on the ground — apparently because he did not remove his hat during the national anthem.

“Dude come up and grabbed him by his neck, picked him up and threw him to the ground head first,” Keeler told MTN News.

The suspect, Curt Brockway, is accused of assaulting the 13-year-old.

Witnesses say Brockway tried to justify his actions because the boy was disrespecting the flag by not removing his hat during the National Anthem.

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Re: United States - Human Rights Monitor

Postby darshan » 08 Aug 2019 07:47

Witnesses say robbery suspect killed by Colorado Springs police was shot while fleeing
https://gazette.com/news/police-brutali ... 2a03a.html
A robbery suspect, who police said reached for a gun when confronted by officers, was shot and killed Saturday night southeast of Memorial Park.

The shooting has raised tensions in the neighborhood, with a large, hostile crowd gathering Saturday night, a vigil Sunday evening at Adams Park and calls for a police brutality protest Monday at City Hall.

Elizabeth Powell was on her way to Adams Park to get her children Saturday evening after she saw a patrol car go by. She said officers got out and were interrogating two men, one of whom took off running.

The officers went for their guns and one officer fired seven times, she said.

Garcia and Powell said they didn’t see a weapon on the fleeing man before he was shot.

Bailey is the fifth person killed by police this year in Colorado Springs. Two of the shootings have already been ruled justified by the 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, while the other three, including Bailey, remain under investigation.

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‘You Guys Are Brutes!’ St. Albans Cop Punches Handcuffed Woman
https://m.sevendaysvt.com/OffMessage/ar ... ffed-woman
A St. Albans police officer punched a handcuffed woman in the face during a March altercation inside a holding cell, police video filed in Franklin County Superior Court shows.
But police video of the incident, captured from different angles and filed in court last Thursday, does not support the assault allegation, according to attorney Albert Fox. Rather, he wrote, in a motion asking the judge to throw out the charges, the footage shows Lawton assaulting Connelly, and represents “an absolute miscarriage of justice and a shameful abandonment of the duty police officers owe the public.”

Here's a view of what happened from several vantage points of police bodycams and security cameras.

Lawton's bodycam video shows he was eating dinner with a colleague when he stopped, walked over to Connelly’s holding cell, opened it and told her to stop kicking the door. She was in a holding area the size of a phone booth, with just a small bench.

“No,” she responded and stood up, her arms cuffed behind her.

Lawton shoved her against the wall with his forearm, causing her to cry out.

“Don’t come at me like that,” he said.

“How ****** dare you!” she yelled back. “He has hurt me!” she continued, speaking to another officer.

“Shut up!” Lawton yelled at her.

Connelly then stood up and appeared to raise her leg. Lawton immediately threw her back against the wall and landed an uppercut to her face while she cried and yelled, “Ow!”

“You ****** kicked me!” Lawton said. “That was real stupid, real stupid, OK?” he added, as he and two other officers threw her face-first to the floor outside the cell.

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Re: United States - Human Rights Monitor

Postby darshan » 08 Aug 2019 15:29

Bloomfield butcher shop a target of a hate crime
https://fox61.com/2019/08/07/bloomfield ... ate-crime/
BLOOMFIELD -- Plywood leans along the side of Saba Live Poultry to cover the hateful messages left behind.

The graffiti read “Cease with the Needless Slaughter” and “Muslims go home”. Attempts to remove the words have already begun.

The Halal butcher shop was in the headlines recently following the slaughtering of a runaway calf behind the Bloomfield Home Depot July 13th.
An incident the graffiti appears to reference. Police body cam footage shows three employees and a former contractor corner the calf and slaughter it in public view.

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Re: United States - Human Rights Monitor

Postby darshan » 08 Aug 2019 15:42

Trump words linked to more hate crime? Some experts think so
https://www.apnews.com/7d0949974b1648a2bb592cab1f85aa16
A team from the University of North Texas recently produced a study that found counties that hosted a 2016 Trump campaign rally saw a 226% increase in reported hate incidents over comparable counties that did not host such a rally.

“I’m convinced now that political rhetoric of elites influences the behavior of supporters,” said North Texas political science professor Valerie Martinez-Ebers. “This research confirms, at least in my mind, that the political rhetoric that’s happening today is influencing the American public’s actions.”

Martinez-Ebers noted there has been valid criticism that researchers haven’t looked for spikes in hate incidents after rallies by other presidential candidates. “We still need to do that,” she said.

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Re: United States - Human Rights Monitor

Postby Ravi Karumanchiri » 09 Aug 2019 03:25

Amnesty issues travel warning for US over 'rampant gun violence'

Rights groups cautions visitors to the US, saying Washington is 'unwilling to ensure protection against gun violence'.

A prominent human rights group has issued a travel warning for the United States following two mass shootings that killed 31 people in the states of Ohio and Texas.

Travellers to the US should be "extra vigilant at all times and be wary of the ubiquity of firearms among the population," Amnesty International said in a statement on Thursday.

"Avoid places where large numbers of people gather, especially cultural events, places of worship, schools and shopping malls," said the group, which advocates for tighter gun control measures in the US.

It added: "Exercise increased caution when visiting local bars, night clubs and casinos."


<snip>

Ernest Coverson, manager of Amnesty's End Gun Violence Campaign, said, "people in the United States cannot reasonably expect to be free from harm - a guarantee of not being shot is impossible."

He added: "Once again, it is chillingly clear that the US government is unwilling to ensure protection against gun violence."

Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Monday urged the US to "control the indiscriminate sale of weapons" after eight Mexicans were shot dead in the El Paso shooting.

Uruguay's warning on travel to the US, issued on Wednesday, advised its citizens to avoid US theme parks, shopping centres, art festivals, religious activities and sporting events, according to the Associated Press news agency.

Venezuela meanwhile advised citizens to "to take extreme precautions or postpone their travels in the face of the proliferation of acts of violence and hate crimes".

More than 79 million people from other countries are forecast to visit the US as tourists, on business, or as students in 2019, according to the US Travel Association, a national non-profit group based in Washington, DC

The US share of global tourist travel has been declining and is projected to continue to fall through 2022, according to a report issued by the US Travel Association on August 1. Economists pointed to a strong US dollar, weakening global economy, trade tensions and "uncertainty surrounding the Trump administration" as sources of the decline.

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Re: United States - Human Rights Monitor

Postby darshan » 09 Aug 2019 05:48

Sheriff: Teen's racist videos show SC needs hate crime law
http://m.startribune.com/sheriff-teen-s ... 528384351/

COLUMBIA, S.C. — A South Carolina sheriff said Thursday that the state needs a hate crime law after his deputies couldn't initially charge a 16-year-old Catholic school student who made videos using racial slurs and shooting a box that he said represented black people.

The teen was charged four days later with making student threats after a third video surfaced of him threatening to shoot people at Cardinal Newman school in Columbia, Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said.

The sheriff said investigators were disgusted by the videos, which show the teen using at least two different guns to fire more than two dozen shots into a box that he says represents all black men. He uses a racial slur several times in the videos and says black people "are stinky and they just suck."

Deputies took about 20 guns from the teen's home following his arrest, said Lott, who wouldn't comment if officers took anything else from the home.

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Re: United States - Human Rights Monitor

Postby darshan » 09 Aug 2019 06:05

Police responded to his 911 call for help. He died. What happened to Tony Timpa?
https://www.dallasnews.com/news/investi ... tony-timpa
One muggy night in August 2016, Tony Timpa began to panic.

A beefy redhead who grew up in Rockwall, the 32-year-old executive had driven his Mercedes to a seedy stretch of West Mockingbird Lane, to the parking lot of a ***** store.

From there, he called 911 and said he was afraid and needed help.

In less than an hour, he was dead.

For months, what happened to Timpa remained a mystery to his family and friends: A heart attack? A drug overdose? Murder?

His mother immediately started asking questions — and says she found herself stonewalled at every turn. An acquaintance of her son's contacted The Dallas Morning News seeking answers.

The people who know most about what happened to Timpa — the Dallas Police Department — won't say.

The News has spent more than a year examining Timpa's death and fighting for public records from the city of Dallas and Dallas County.

Both have repeatedly blocked the release of any information about the police call on Aug. 10, 2016, citing a "continuing investigation."

But evidence unearthed by The News, NBC5 and lawyers for his family shows that Timpa, unarmed and frightened, died in the custody of police officers — as they mocked him.

More than 100 people each year die in Texas during encounters with police, according to state data. Sometimes these deaths prompt a lot of scrutiny and even disciplinary action, as when an officer in Balch Springs shot an unarmed teenager leaving a party. Roy Oliver was fired and indicted on a murder charge this summer in the death of 15-year-old Jordan Edwards; his trial is set for January.

But often, the police give out little or no information. And families question whether the little they learn from officials is accurate.

One North Texas couple spent two years fighting to find out how their 18-year-old son died during an arrest in Mesquite; police had failed to report they shocked the handcuffed teen in the testicles with a stun gun and stood on his head.

A month after Timpa’s death, his family learned something from state records that they found alarming: He was already handcuffed when Dallas police arrived.


——————————
South Suburban Family Left In Fear After Police Raid Goes Wrong, Boy Is Shot In Knee
https://chicago.cbslocal.com/2019/07/18 ... ong-raids/
MARKHAM, Ill. (CBS) — A police raid went horribly wrong in south suburban Markham back in May – with a 12-year-old boy ending up getting shot in the knee.

It was her son – 12-year-old Amir – shot by an officer.

“When he goes to put his flashlight back in his vest, and then returns his arm and his hand to the handle and the trigger of the gun, the gun discharges,” Hofeld said.

Amir was struck in the knee. His kneecap was shattered.

“But as soon as it was clear that this 12-year-old boy didn’t pose any threat and there was no one else in the room who posed any threat, he should have moved his gun down, put it on the safety position, so it could never be discharged,” Hofeld said.

Worship said she tried to run to her son, but was restrained by police.

“The police had grabbed the back of my neck,” Worship said.

She said she was taken to the police station instead of being allowed to go with her son to the hospital. And she was not even the target of the warrant.

The CBS 2 Investigators have uncovered several bad Chicago police raids that have traumatized children, and now Worship is describing how her family was hurt.

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Re: United States - Human Rights Monitor

Postby Ravi Karumanchiri » 09 Aug 2019 22:37

In the United States, even their much vaunted 'Constitutional Rights' are conditional......... to be exercised at one's own (mortal) risk....


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Re: United States - Human Rights Monitor

Postby darshan » 10 Aug 2019 19:48

Bible peddlers killing people. Nothing new. After all using charity money to hire medical people seems like a rocket science when there’s no opportunity to convert.


American Missionary With No Medical Training Ran Center For Malnourished Ugandan Kids. 105 Died
https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandso ... kids-105-d
Bach was not a doctor. She was a 20-year-old high school graduate with no medical training. And not only was her center not a hospital — at the time it didn't employ a single doctor.

Yet from 2010 through 2015, Bach says, she took in 940 severely malnourished children. And 105 of them died.

Now Bach is being sued in Ugandan civil court.

How could a young American with no medical training even contemplate caring for critically ill children in a foreign country? To understand, it helps to know that the place where Bach set up her operation — the city of Jinja — had already become a hub of American volunteerism by the time she arrived.

A sprawling city of tens of thousands of people on the shores of Lake Victoria, Jinja is surrounded by rural villages of considerable poverty. U.S. missionaries had set up a host of charities there. And soon American teens raised in mostly evangelical churches were streaming in to volunteer at them.

Bach was one of these teens. On her first trip, in 2007, she worked at a missionary-run orphanage — staying on for nine months.

Funded by money raised through church circles back home, Bach rented a large house in one of Jinja's poorer districts, called Masese, and began testing out options, including starting a program to serve a free hot meal to neighborhood children. Twice a week about 1,000 of them would line up by Bach's house to receive a bowl of food. Bach named her charity "Serving His Children."

She says she agreed to help the children. And before long she came to feel that this was God's plan for her: turn the house into a center where malnourished children and their mothers could live while the youngsters recuperated — complete with free rations of the special foods they would need, the medicines doctors had prescribed and lessons for the mothers on nutrition ... and the Bible.

Kramlich — who had just been certified as a registered nurse in North Dakota — was taken aback to realize just how sick these children were. They weren't just malnourished. They had complicated illnesses.

"Pneumonia, intestinal parasites, tuberculosis, many were in stage 4 HIV," Kramlich says.

Almost every week a child would die.

Also, it seemed to Kramlich that Bach, now 22 years old, was handling a lot of the medical care herself.

Kramlich says that as was often the case, it was clear to her that Bach was the one making the medical decisions. And in this instance, she says, none of the staff nurses were even at the center.

"It's just horrifying," says Kramlich. In Uganda, just as in the U.S., only a medical professional is permitted to perform invasive procedures like a blood transfusion. She says her thought at that moment was, "This isn't a game. You have no business running blood — at all."

An American attitude

Bach says she took in these complicated cases "not because we felt like it was fine." But because there didn't seem to be a better place for them.

"I mean I can tell you time and time again," she says to NPR, "taking kids to hospital after hospital, and them being like, 'meh — we don't really deal with malnutrition. Your best bet is to take them back to your nutrition center.'

"It wasn't ideal. But what do you do in a non-ideal situation?"

Hanifa Bachou, a Ugandan pediatrician who specializes in malnutrition, finds Bach's explanation preposterous.

"No, no, no. I don't accept that," says Bachou. During the period at issue, Bachou, then based at the NGO University Research Co., was working with Uganda's government on a U.S. government-funded project to set up in-patient care for severely malnourished children across the country. And by 2010, Bachou says, Jinja's regional referral hospital had a well-established malnutrition unit to care for complicated cases of severe acute malnutrition.

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Re: United States - Human Rights Monitor

Postby darshan » 10 Aug 2019 20:01

Evolution doesn’t happen that fast. 99% of whiteness is going to remain white.


White Supremacy Has Never Been Fringe
https://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch ... ricas-core

In September of 1885, a mob of about 150 white men, armed with rifles, descended upon the Chinatown in Rock Springs, Wyo. They issued an ultimatum to the people who lived there: you have an hour to leave town.

The assembled horde was angry at Chinese laborers in the region, who they blamed for keeping the choicest mining areas and depressing their wages. They felt that the Chinese were working the choicest areas of the coal mines, the part that would yield the most coal and thus the most compensation. The Chinese, they felt, were taking what was rightfully theirs.

The ultimatum was a formality: the mob had surrounded the neighborhood to make sure there was no easy way to escape, and they didn't even wait the full hour. The mob rushed in, shooting wildly — the beginning of what would become a full-on pogrom.

Some of the Chinese survivors would later issue an account of what happened to the Chinese consul in New York City:

Some of the rioters, when they could not stop a Chinese, would shoot him dead on the spot, and then search and rob him. Some would-overtake a Chinese, throw him down and search and rob him before they would let him go. Some of the rioters would not fire their weapons, but would only use the butt ends to beat the Chinese with. Some would not beat a Chinese, but rob him of whatever he had and let him go, yelling to him to go quickly. Some, who took no part either in beating or robbing the Chinese, stood by, shouting loudly and laughing and clapping their hands.

The Rock Springs Massacre was just one episode of anti-Chinese violence in the years immediately following the passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 — which marked the first time the federal government banned immigration by people of a specific ethnicity or nationality. There would be anti-Chinese massacres in Hells Canyon, Ore., and anti-Chinese purges in Seattle and Tacoma in Washington State.

These paroxysms of racist violence, however, could not be neatly characterized as a consequence of the Chinese Exclusion Act; rather, the act was a transmutation of a violent, popular, pre-existing white supremacy into formal, legitimate law. There were other incidents of racial terror towards Chinese in America in the years leading up to the law's passage, including a mass lynching in Los Angeles. And it came at a time of broad white anxieties over the country's changing demographics. The authorization of the Chinese Exclusion Act, and the bloodshed surrounding it, dovetailed with the collapse of Reconstruction in the South, the rise of Jim Crow, and the emergence of terrorist white supremacist organizations like the Ku Klux Klan — themselves responses to what millions of emancipated black people might augur for the country's racial order. Like the Exclusion Act, the Plessy decision in 1896 would go on to make white supremacy a matter of settled law, but it would hardly stanch the flow of blood: over the next six decades, more than 4000 Black people would be lynched.

As a practical matter, these mechanisms of white supremacy — legitimate and lawful; violent and extra-legal — were both manifestations and accelerants for each other. Municipal leaders and local law enforcement rarely investigated even the most public spectacle lynchings; in many cases, they would be present while the carnage unfolded, providing crowd control for the proceedings. When racial caste was not enforced by the state or its agents, it was enforced by vigilantism and mobs. It was guns, nooses, and dynamite that gave restrictive covenants their teeth. The popular will was expressed in both law and lawlessness.

Federal laws against lynching never passed in large part because many officials in Washington, up to and including sitting presidents, were themselves sympathetic to white supremacy or reluctant to pick a fight with Southern lawmakers and voters. Which is to say: it has historically been politically inconvenient for government officials to confront violent white supremacy. This is in large part because it is impossible to find any period in American politics in which the notion that there should be a racial order with white people at the top, or the idea that the United States is and should remain a country for white people, has not enjoyed a robust mainstream constituency.

In the aftermath of the deadly shooting last week in El Paso, Texas, that left at least 21 people dead — most of whom were Latino, as my colleague Lulu Garcia-Navarro reminds us — there was fresh scrutiny paid to President Trump's rhetoric. As the alleged gunman had in his hate-filled screed, Trump had often derided Latino migrants to the southern U.S. border as "invaders." But the alleged gunman also alluded to the "great replacement theory, a view most explicitly articulated by avowed white nationalists that holds that United States (and the "West," more broadly) is in danger of being overrun by a population of nonwhites.

But this belief is hardly the domain of the fevered fringes. Consider the most recent annual large-scale survey of American public opinion by the Public Religion Research Institute, a nonpartisan research group in Washington, D.C. Respondents were asked how they felt about the country's rapidly changing demographics. While a majority of those surveyed said they thought that the United States becoming a majority non-white country by 2045 would be mostly positive, nearly 60 percent of Republicans felt that it would be mostly negative. Six in 10 Republicans also said that they felt like strangers in their own country, while a majority of white respondents (and nearly 80 percent of Republicans) said there should be stricter limits placed on legal immigration to the U.S. Almost six in 10 white evangelical Protestant said immigrants threatened American society. Just as it did at the end of the 19th century, the idea that a rapidly browning populace poses a danger to the Republic continues to enjoy wide purchase.

In the post-civil rights period, a fragile consensus emerged around the most public racism, and new mores made it far less acceptable for white supremacy to be overtly stated. But this hardly meant that the popular forces undergirding it evaporated — how could something be so elemental ever be blotted out? And as long as the formal expression of those sentiments remain in place — in criminal justice, in housing, in employment, in immigration policy — then it will remain dangerously easy to activate the less legitimate violence that has always been twinned to it. That means that more bloodshed, like the carnage we saw in El Paso, is not only possible, but perhaps inevitable.

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Re: United States - Human Rights Monitor

Postby darshan » 10 Aug 2019 20:20

US jails are something. One that could tell many tales about abuses was conveniently allowed to commit “suicide”. Bah like even newborn down the road didn’t know that the guy would be dead one way or another. Look at the disparity. There are many out there in prison that are not white and rich and want to commit suicide but can’t. Poor Bill Cosby comes to the mind.


Jeffrey Epstein Found Dead In Manhattan Jail
https://www.npr.org/2019/08/10/75011321 ... ay-morning
Epstein, 66, was charged with sex trafficking of minors in July and was being held without bail.

Last month, he was found unconscious in his cell with marks on his neck. Prison officials were investigating as a possible suicide attempt, according to The New York Times.

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Re: United States - Human Rights Monitor

Postby darshan » 10 Aug 2019 22:33

Las Vegas man planned attack targeting Jews, LGBT community
https://m.jpost.com/Diaspora/Las-Vegas- ... ity-598258

Colin Climo was found to be in possession of two rifles, as well as materials intended to build a bomb.

A young security guard was arrested in Las Vegas by the FBI on Thursday under suspicion that he planned to attack members of the Jewish and LGBT communities.

According to the indictment, 23-year-old Conor Climo wanted to attack Jews as well as customers at an LGBT bar and was collecting parts to build a bomb. He also had two rifles in his room, which were immediately seized along with the bomb parts by federal agents.

Climo was also in contact with white supremacists who were part of the extremist group Atomwaffen Division, in online conversations that were encrypted, according to NBC News.

The man told FBI agents that he wanted to put together an eight-man sniper platoon to enter a Las Vegas synagogue or some other Jewish center and shoot Jews.

Climo had even gone so far as to have a homeless person nearby engage in surveillance on a synagogue. He had additionally drawn up doodles of the planned attack on the LGBT bar, which included two infantry squads attacking with guns from the outside while one attacked from the inside.


————————
Rifle-Carrying Man Faces Terrorism Charge After Causing Panic At Walmart In Missouri
https://www.npr.org/2019/08/09/74976378 ... n-missouri
Prosecutors in Springfield, Mo., have filed formal charges of making a terrorist threat in the second degree against a 20-year-old man arrested for wearing body armor and carrying a loaded rifle — and more than 100 rounds of ammunition — at a Walmart store Thursday.

Officers had rushed to the Walmart Neighborhood Market, responding to calls of a potential shooter at the store where they encountered Dmitriy Andreychenko. Afterwards, police said they believe he didn't want to kill anyone; instead, he wanted to cause chaos.

Andreychenko had a slightly different story.

"I wanted to know if that Walmart honored the 2nd Amendment," he is quoted as saying in a police statement. He also said he did not expect people in Missouri to react they way they did. "I understand if we were somewhere else like New York or California, people would freak out."


——————————
California city denies permit for Straight Pride rally
https://apnews.com/71ffd224ec7b469fac5dae2fb04f8832
MODESTO, Calif. (AP) — A Northern California city has denied a request to hold a so-called Straight Pride rally at a park.

Modesto city officials on Friday denied an application by the National Straight Pride Coalition for an Aug. 24 event at Graceada Park.

Organizer Don Grundmann had estimated 500 people would attend. The group says it supports heterosexuality, Christianity and white contributions to Western civilization.

Opponents argued the rally would promote hatred of LGBTQ people and minorities.

City spokesman Thomas Reeves says the permit request was denied over safety concerns, because the group lost its liability insurance and the parks department determined the event wasn’t consistent with park use.

However, Reeves says the city would allow the rally at a downtown plaza if the group proves it has insurance by Tuesday.

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Re: United States - Human Rights Monitor

Postby darshan » 12 Aug 2019 02:12

Black motorist told "These are Texas Roads" while driving through Harrison County, Texas
Brenda Teele
https://www.ktbs.com/news/east-texas/bl ... 54786.html

Marshall, Texas - A father and journalist is urging the Harrison county sheriff's office to act.

He says while driving through Elysian Fields, Texas, the neighborhood where he grew up, a man on a horse intentionally blocked the road, making it clear to him he says that he didn't belong.
James Ragland is no stranger here. He grew up here and graduated Elysian Fields high school.
He’s a fellow journalist - writing for the Dallas Morning News and the Washington Post.


Ragland says he was with his 10 year old son and 12 year old great nephew as he drove slowly telling stories of his childhood. He says he noticed three people on horseback. Two of them moved to the side of the road. But, one stopped right in front of his vehicle.

He later found out the person on the horse was Grant Williams who lives on this road.
Ragland says Williams made a comment about the rental car license plate being from California.
And then said, "These are Texas roads".

Ragland says the kids were visibly shaken up and he drove off.
But, that wasn't the end of it.
Williams came after him again as he was leaving the area on the same road.

Ragland says, "When we left about 6pm from the place where I was on Floyd Evans Road and headed back west. The gentleman was on the side of the road of his property, facing his property. He whipped his horse around and charged at my vehicle by horseback and tried to get in front of it. My son was in the passenger seat, and he was screaming."

Ragland says he's made several calls to the sheriff's office and felt they were dismissive of his complaint.

I talked to Captain Duncan who doesn't want to make an official comment but, says Ragland has to come in person to make an official police report.

Gerry, I asked if there's a law prohibiting a person blocking the road.

He said it is unlawful to block the road - but, a deputy would have had to witness the road being blocked.

The Facebook post has received more than a-thousand views and comments.

Ragland says he just wants to be assured by the sheriff that this matter has been addressed so that others don't experience what he and his son and nephew experienced.

Ragland has not yet filed an official police report but has called the sheriff's office several times asking for them to investigate his concerns.

He lives 2 hours away and the sheriff’s office tells us he would have to file a report in person.

The sheriff’s office says they won’t do anything until Ragland comes in to make a report.

Although they have talked to Williams who denies anything happened. KTBS3's Brenda Teele called his wife who refused to give any comment on behalf of her family before hanging up the phone warning not to call back again.

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Re: United States - Human Rights Monitor

Postby darshan » 12 Aug 2019 08:36

The FBI Told Congress Domestic Terror Investigations Led to 90 Recent Arrests. It Wouldn’t Show Us Records of Even One.
https://www.propublica.org/article/fbi- ... ata#166140
On July 23, FBI Director Christopher Wray told the Senate Judiciary Committee that federal investigations of domestic terrorism had led to some 100 arrests in the last nine months. While the FBI quickly announced that the number was 90, not 100, the basic message appeared unchanged: The FBI was actively investigating and prosecuting domestic terrorists.

The 90 arrests have been cited countless times since last weekend’s killing of 22 people in El Paso, Texas, by a man suspected of harboring racist views of immigrants. To find out more, we contacted the FBI on Monday, asking who had been arrested, as well as where and when, and what the allegations were in each case.

Four days later, we have been given next to no information about them.

The entire exchange left us increasingly perplexed. The FBI had clearly been proud of its record in making arrests of possible domestic terrorists. Wray had testified that the bureau took the threat “extremely seriously.” The country was eager to be reassured in the aftermath of the killings in El Paso. Why wouldn’t the FBI be able to quickly cite its array of successes?

We asked the FBI if it could send us any of the press releases of the cases Wray had referenced specifically at the hearing. Once again, the spokeswoman demurred.

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Re: United States - Human Rights Monitor

Postby darshan » 12 Aug 2019 08:54

Pendleton police chief reinstated after earlier demotion for controversial Facebook posts
https://www.indystar.com/story/news/pol ... 969488001/
Months after the Pendleton Town Council demoted their police chief for controversial Facebook posts targeting transgender, black and Muslim people, the council reinstated him in a surprise vote Thursday.

The council voted in January to fire Marc Farrer, after finding that his posts "reflect and promote biases" that could compromise his ability to serve the public in a "fair, impartial and nondiscriminatory manner." Farrer appealed the discipline, and he and the council settled on a demotion in March.

But in another vote this week after a new member, Shane Davis, joined the council, the motion to reinstate Farrer passed 3-2.

Council member Jessica Bastin, who also voted against Farrer, said in a statement to IndyStar that the motion to reinstate him was "a political stunt."

"Our town deserves better. It is obvious that the 'Good Old Boy's Club' is alive and well in Pendleton, and it is disappointing that we couldn't do better for our community, and especially our children," she said.

Another post featured a man with a noose around his neck and the word "liberals" above him. He appears to be watering a small tree with a noose around it. The word "Islam" is above the tree.

The council voted in January to fire Farrer, but voted in March to keep him on the Pendleton Police Department payroll as a patrolman. The vote Thursday makes him acting town marshal once again.

Cheers from the audience can be heard on the video of the meeting after the vote in favor of Farrer's reinstatement. That vote also demoted the acting town marshal Randy Sidwell to his previously held position of captain.

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Re: United States - Human Rights Monitor

Postby darshan » 12 Aug 2019 17:08

After Ferguson, black men still face the highest risk of being killed by police
https://www.pbs.org/newshour/health/aft ... -by-police
Five years after Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, Missouri, launched a national conversation about race and police brutality, black men are still more likely to die by police violence than white men.

According to a study published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences, over the course of a lifetime, black men face a one in 1,000 risk of being killed during an encounter with police, a rate much higher than that of white men.

Black men and boys face the highest risk of being killed by police–at a rate of 96 out of 100,000 deaths. By comparison, white men and boys face a lower rate of 39 per 100,000 deaths, despite being a bigger portion of the U.S. population. Overall, men faced a rate of 52 per 100,000 deaths.

A decade ago, the Department of Justice stopped collecting data on deaths tied to police violence because the numbers were unreliable, Edwards said. Reporting these cases was voluntary, and there were virtually no incentives for police departments to submit this information to the federal government. Inside the department, the Bureau of Justice Statistics has used the database and other crowdsourced methods to factcheck its own arrest-related deaths statistics and redesign the program, according to a December 2016 report.

But following Ferguson, the increased attention paid to police brutality complicated the ability to collect data, Burghart wrote on his blog.

https://fatalencounters.org/methodology/

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Re: United States - Human Rights Monitor

Postby darshan » 13 Aug 2019 17:21

Maryland Court Blasts Roadside Strip Search Of Female Driver
http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/67/6772.asp
Frederick County Maryland sheriffMaryland police should not be strip-searching female motorists in broad daylight on the side of a busy interstate highway. That was the finding earlier this month of a three-judge panel of the Court of Special Appeals that suppressed the evidence gathered by officers who invasively searched Shawna Lynn Faith on the side of Interstate 70 on April 21, 2017.

_______________________
Trump Called Baltimore “Vermin Infested” While the Federal Government Fails to Clean Up Rodents in Subsidized Housing — ProPublica
https://www.propublica.org/article/trum ... ing#166192#166192
BALTIMORE — President Donald Trump launched a multiday Twitter tirade last month directed at U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings, sharing video footage of derelict Baltimore neighborhoods and asking why the Democratic congressman wasn’t doing more to address the “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess” in his district.

Though Trump didn’t say so, some of the responsibility for any such conditions rests with his own administration. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has ultimate oversight of nearly 35,000 public housing and federally subsidized rental units in the city, many of which suffer from the squalor the president decried on social media. HUD has known for years of failing conditions in many of them but hasn’t taken steps to ramp up oversight as it has done in other regions, such as New York City.

Charles Thomas, 68, lives in Gilmor Homes, a public housing complex where nearly all residents are black, in the Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood.

It’s the same neighborhood where police arrested Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old who died from injuries he suffered while shackled in the back of a police van in 2015. Gray’s death sparked protests alleging police brutality and racist policies that marginalized black residents since the early 20th century.

After failing inspection in 2018, Gilmor passed this year. The improvement in the numbers doesn’t translate for many residents. An inspector working on behalf of HUD photographed broken doors and windows at Gilmor Homes, trash and large ruts in the yard where stormwater collects, according to HUD’s online database of inspection pictures.

For the last five years or so, Thomas has resigned himself to cold winters because of spotty radiators that don’t heat his home. Instead, he uses his oven, despite the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

“You bundle up,” he said. “Rats live better.”

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Re: United States - Human Rights Monitor

Postby darshan » 14 Aug 2019 07:02

Protestors March Against Police Brutality In Downtown Colorado Springs
https://www.hppr.org/post/protestors-ma ... do-springs
Around 100 peaceful demonstrators gathered Saturday morning near downtown Colorado Springs to march in protest against police brutality.

The organizers, 18-year-old Kalani Lesane and 19-year-old Surina Lanza, are not part of any organization but they say they hope to form one.

The two organized the march primarily in response to the recent Colorado Springs police shootings of two men – 19-year-old De’Von Bailey and 38-year-old Josh Vigil.

The diverse crowd of protestors started outside the First Congregational Church and marched south on Tejon Street past Acacia Park, down Kiowa, and ended up on the steps of City Hall. They chanted and raised signs with phrases like “Black Lives Matter” and “Stop Police Brutality Against Black & Brown People.”

CSPD had issued a public message in advance of the protest to people within a 2-mile radius of the planned demonstration saying there was police activity in the area and warning them to stay indoors.

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Re: United States - Human Rights Monitor

Postby darshan » 14 Aug 2019 19:07

The Case That Made an Ex-ICE Attorney Realize the Government Was Relying on False “Evidence” Against Migrants — ProPublica
https://www.propublica.org/article/laur ... nts#166176
Laura Peña could see that her 36-year-old client was wasting away. Gaunt and haggard after nearly two months in jail, he ran his fingers through his hair and opened his hands to show her the clumps that were falling out. He was so distraught that his two young children had been taken from him at the border, he could barely speak without weeping.

After Carlos requested political asylum, border and immigration agents had accused him of being a member of the notorious MS-13 gang in El Salvador — a criminal not fit to enter the United States. But as Peña looked at him, she saw none of the typical hallmarks of gang membership: the garish MS-13 tattoos or a criminal record back home. He was the sole caregiver for his 7-year-old son and 11-year-old daughter. He’d even brought an official letter from El Salvador’s Justice Ministry certifying that he’d never been in jail. Something else about his case bothered her, too: She’d been peppering the government’s lawyers with phone calls and emails for weeks and they’d yet to reveal any evidence to back up their accusation.

As a pro bono attorney working for the nonprofit legal group Texas Civil Rights Project, Peña had a growing stack of cases on her desk. She’d spent the last six months monitoring “zero tolerance” prosecutions at the courthouse, searching for unlawful separations. Her mandate was simply to reunify Carlos with his children. He was luckier than most; he had her asking questions on his behalf. The majority of migrants who are arrested at the border never see a lawyer, let alone understand how to fight the allegations against them. Carlos was one drop in a river of cases.

But something about his case made her want to dig deeper. What wasn’t the government telling them?

Without the accusation, Carlos and his children would likely have been processed like other asylum-seekers and released with a court date before a judge or would have been detained together at a family shelter. Now ICE could quickly deport him.

Her colleagues at TCRP quickly agreed that Carlos’ case was egregious enough to warrant their limited time and resources if she could persuade a larger firm to help. They’d heard of other families separated at the border because of vague gang allegations and wanted answers just as badly as she did. That night, she sent out an SOS to a handful of firms more accustomed to representing Fortune 500 companies and politicians than penniless fathers in immigration detention.
Peña puzzled over the government’s argument. The lawyers acknowledged that Carlos wasn’t a criminal, then insisted he was a gang member because the government databases said so. But they wouldn’t discuss the nature of the evidence these databases contained. Peña supposed one of the databases was the one the Border Patrol used for background checks. But the other had to be the State Department’s new gang intelligence gathering initiative. That raised a bunch of questions that no one appeared willing to address or even let her ask. Did the center collect biometric evidence, like fingerprints, she wondered, or just names Salvadoran police had turned over? And how were they vetting the information from police? She herself had helped author reports, while working at the State Department, documenting corruption and human rights abuses committed by the police in El Salvador. (The DOJ and ICE did not respond to requests for comment. A State Department spokesperson said that each analyst at the center is vetted as required by law.)

“Your Honor,” Peña said, addressing the judge, “as a former ICE trial attorney, whenever I had evidence in immigration court that questioned whether or not some of the documentation … was inaccurate, we were required as officers of the court to go back and do our due diligence. What I find surprising here is that we don’t even have some of the basic evidence.”

“You asked for it in writing?” Friedman asked.

“Yes, your honor. The government refused to provide any documentation.”

She’d learned through more research that the State Department’s gang intelligence center had recently expanded to Guatemala, Mexico and Honduras. And that it was also growing its network in the United States. They’d only discovered the bad intelligence from El Salvador because they’d taken Carlos’ case to court, which had required a team of lawyers and cost upward of $100,000. Even with that, she still hadn’t been able to view the evidence, and the database was still largely a secret to the world. As far as she knew, Carlos’ name was still listed, and she had learned it was up to the accused to convince law enforcement in their home country to correct any false information — a nearly impossible task.

She wondered how many more parents were out there falsely accused and separated from their kids.

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Re: United States - Human Rights Monitor

Postby darshan » 15 Aug 2019 06:43

Rep. Steve King says humanity might not exist if not for rape and incest
https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics ... edirect=on
Rep. Steve King said Wednesday that humanity might not exist if not for rape and incest, prompting the latest round of outrage at the Iowa Republican, who has a long history of making inflammatory remarks.

Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyo.), the third-ranking Republican in the House, responded to King’s comment by declaring, “It’s time for him to go.”

In a discussion at the Westside Conservative Club in Urbandale, Iowa, King was defending his position against laws allowing abortion exceptions in cases of rape and incest.

“What if we went back through all the family trees and just pulled out anyone who was a product of rape or incest? Would there be any population of the world left if we did that?” King said, according to the Des Moines Register. “Considering all the wars and all the rapes and pillages that happened throughout all these different nations, I know that I can’t say that I was not a part of a product of that.”

Over the years, King has claimed that “our civilization” can’t be restored with “somebody else’s babies,” supported a Toronto mayoral candidate considered to be a white nationalist and met with a far-right Austrian group with historical Nazi ties. He has made a variety of remarks widely viewed as racist, anti-Semitic or insulting to minorities.

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Re: United States - Human Rights Monitor

Postby darshan » 15 Aug 2019 06:54

Christian Extremist Justin Olsen Targeted Planned Parenthood, Federal Agents
https://www.patheos.com/blogs/progressi ... al-agents/
Christian Extremist Justin Olsen Targeted Planned Parenthood, Federal Agents August 14, 2019 Michael Stone

Domestic terrorism for Jesus: Justin Olsen, an 18-year-old Ohio man who went by the online name “Army Of Christ,” has been arrested for making threats against law enforcement.

Authorities report Olsen targeted Planned Parenthood and federal agents for violent attack in online rants, and was found with a large cache of weapons, including 25 guns and over 10,000 rounds of ammunition.

Cleveland.com reports:

Federal prosecutors on Monday charged a Boardman man with making threats against law enforcement, following an investigation that revealed he voiced his support online of mass shootings and lived in a house with 25 guns and 10,000 rounds of ammunition, records show.

Justin Olsen, 18, faces a charge of threatening to assault a federal law enforcement officer. Authorities arrested him on Aug. 7 on state charges and he was taken to the Mahoning County Jail. He has been in custody ever since.

KTLA notes:

Court documents say Justin Olsen also wrote that he supported mass shootings and attacks on Planned Parenthood.

Police report Olsen used the handle “ArmyOfChrist” as his moniker on the meme sharing website iFunny, where the proponent of domestic terrorism had over 4,000 followers.

In one rant concerning the Branch Dividians in Waco, Texas, a dangerous group of Christian extremists killed by federal agents after a standoff and raid, Olsen declared:

In conclusion, shoot every federal agent on sight.

In another rant Olsen told his followers:

Don’t comply with gun laws, stock up on stuff they could ban. In fact, go out of your way to break these laws, they’re f—–g stupid

Olsen also wrote:

Hell, even the Oklahoma City bombing shows that armed resistance is a viable method of political change. There is no legal solution.

Bottom line: Justin Olsen, an 18-year-old Ohio man who went by the online name “Army Of Christ,” has been arrested after making threats against law enforcement.

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Re: United States - Human Rights Monitor

Postby darshan » 15 Aug 2019 07:08

Research Reveals That Black Children were Fed to Hogs and Used as Alligator Bait in the Early 1900s - The Westside Gazette
https://thewestsidegazette.com/research ... rly-1900s/

NEW ORLEANS, LA — August 2019 will mark 400 years of the first documented arrival of Africans brought to America as indentured servants. Children suffered and continue to suffer cruelties such as sex slaves, forced child labor, physical abuse, and in some cases, human cannibalism in United States. These cruelties are a big part of human trafficking where body organs and other body parts are sold to wealthy people. These atrocities, abuse, and modern-day slavery will plague America like an incurable cancer until we address this ugly past.

When Dr. Antoinette Harrell thought that she had heard the worst of the worst, there was even more to discover. Harrell heard four stories that were so evil that most people didn’t want to talk about what they experienced or repeat the painful experiences told to them by their family members. No one wants to visit things that hurt them. Having these hurtful injustices to resurface can take them back to that time, place, and period in their lives that they do not want to remember.

Many unfortunate events happened to children during Slavery, Reconstruction, and Jim Crow that continues to this very day. The story that Johnny Lee Gaddy shared with peonage researcher, Dr. Antoinette Harrell, will upset your stomach. Johnny witnessed a child’s hand in the hog pen at the infamous Arthur G. Dozier Reform School in the Florida Panhandle. Gaddy told Harrell during a radio interview that he saw the severed hand of a child in the fire pit while taking the trash to be burned. Gaddy knew it was the body part of one of the boys. After discussing what he saw with one of the boys, he was told never to tell anyone what he saw if he wanted to stay alive.

Gaddy alleges they were cooking the boys and feeding them to the hogs.

Gaddy told Harrell that he worked like a slave cutting lumber, raising livestock, and farming the land. He worked in the swamp with large alligators and snakes. Boys younger than Gaddy also had to work hard at Dozier. Gaddy said his life was a living hell at the state-operated school. The reform school was in operation from January 1, 1900 to June 30, 2011 by the state of Florida in the panhandle town of Marianna.

This was not a surprise to Harrell. She had previously met a family who was held in the system of peonage in Gillsburg, Mississippi in the 1960s. Cain Wall, Sr., who was 107 years old at the time, told Harrell his family’s story. He recalled a time when a man rode a horse throughout the area and picked up Black babies, cut them up and use them for fish bait. Wall said, “I saw the blood dripping from his sack on the side of his horse. Everybody would grab their children when they heard that he was coming. He was a mean and evil man,” said Walls.

Some people in the South claim white men used Black babies as alligator bait in the swamps of Louisiana and Florida. They used the babies to lure large alligators with human flesh and blood during the era of slavery. They kidnapped the babies, skin them alive, and drop them into the swamp waters. In 1923, a publication in Times Magazine reported from Chipley, Florida that Black babies were being used as alligator bait. On June 3, 1908, the Washington Times reported that a zookeeper at the New York Zoological Garden baited alligators with pickaninnies. Pictures, postcards, and other trinkets were sold to commemorate this evil, dark practice.

Deangelo and Kirk Manuel, intern researchers with Harrell, recently traveled to Shubuta, Mississippi to investigate six lynchings. The Manuels read how the four young black people were lynched at the Hanging Bridge in 1918. Those lynched were brothers, Major, 20, and Andrew Clark, 16, and sisters; Alma, 16 and Maggie Howze, 20. Maggie was six months pregnant and Alma was due in two weeks. Both young women were pregnant by the dentist who employed them. Major signed up for the draft in WWI on September 9, 1918 and was lynched in December of 1918. Ernest Greene and Charles Lang were lynched in 1942 in the same town in Mississippi. “There life was cut short, it’s no telling what the future held for those two young boys. We will never know the effects they could have had on this world,” said Deangelo.

Learn more about Dr. Antoinette Harrell at http://peonagedetective.com/

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Re: United States - Human Rights Monitor

Postby darshan » 15 Aug 2019 07:45

"Swatting" didn't kill a man in Kansas, police did
(AP/Denis Poroy)
Police accountability needs to be a part of the conversation in the shooting of an innocent man after a prank call
https://www.salon.com/2018/01/06/swatti ... olice-did/
“There’s a reason why swatting is such an effective tactic,” said Kade Crockford from the ACLU of Massachusetts in an interview last week for “Salon Now.” “It’s because police departments across the country have largely, in the dark, militarized to the extent that they are really hair-trigger ready to be deployed by a malicious actor like this in a prank that unfortunately, in Kansas, ended in someone’s death."

SWAT teams are primarily used in the war on drugs, often in lower income and minority communities. An ACLU study from 2014 found that 80 percent of the raids they analyzed were carried out to execute a search warrant. The allegedly violent incident that police were responding to and the amount of media attention paid to the raid in Kansas makes it an outlier.

“This is obviously a very highly publicized SWAT raid that ended very badly. SWAT raids end badly all the time in the United States,” said Crockford.

The government doesn’t keep across-the-board statistics on SWAT raids, but a New York Times investigation found that at least 81 civilians and 13 law enforcement officers died in raids of this kind from 2010 through 2016, with many others maimed or wounded.

“We really have to look at police department policies and procedures with respect to what happens after those SWAT teams are deployed,” said Crockford. “We have to ask, as a society, what are we doing or not doing at a systemic level that enables these kinds of mistakes to take place.”

Despite a renewed national focus on excessive police force, thanks in large part to the Black Lives Matter movement, courts have shown that the law usually sides with the officers involved if they believed their lives were in danger.

Radley Balko has written extensively about police militarization and no-knock raids. In his latest article at the Washington Post about the Kansas incident, he wrote about the conditioning of police to believe they are increasingly under attack, despite statistics showing the opposite to be true. “It puts lives at unnecessary risk. It increases the chances that a police officer will see an innocent gesture as a furtive one,” wrote Balko.

As much as “swatting” is a waste of public resources and an atrocious prank that deserves attention, it’s irresponsible and disingenuous to leave police accountability out of the conversation about the case in Kansas.


———————————
The Hidden Police Violence Epidemic Behind a ‘Swatting’ Death
https://theappeal.org/the-hidden-police ... 00f43cb5a/
According to the Finch family complaint, his killing at the hands of the Wichita police was unusual only because it stemmed from a prank. Police shootings are disproportionately common for a city its size, the complaint says. Wichita has a ratio of one shooting for every 120 officers, about 11 times higher than the national average. Wichita officers were involved in at least 29 shootings between 2010 and 2015, 15 of which were fatal. Nonetheless, the DA has determined that every one of these shootings was justifiable. And in 95 percent of police shootings there, Wichita officials have also shielded the officers’ names from the public.

“This pattern and practice of concealing misconduct and concealing the identities of officers involved in misconduct encourages officers to believe that their unconstitutional behavior will be protected,” the Finch family said in its complaint, “and that they will suffer no discipline, thereby emboldening them to act with impunity.”

The Finch family argues in its lawsuit that even if the police faced a true hostage situation at Finch’s house, shooting whoever came to the door violated departmental policy. But despite clear Wichita Police Department guidelines regarding how volatile situations involving mentally ill suspects should be handled — including instructions that “in a stressful situation, a police member’s first reaction should be to determine whether the objective can be accomplished without the use of a weapon” — the Wichita DA has only once determined that an officer-involved shooting violated department policy over the past two decades.

Perhaps this is because the city’s police shooting investigations are hampered by strict requirements in its police union contract. According to data compiled by the Black Lives Matter-affiliated Campaign Zero, Wichita allows officers to meet privately with union representatives who can coach them on what to tell investigators before being questioned about a shooting. The city also allows officers to record their own interrogations, tightly restricts what interrogators can say or do in questioning, and erases officer misconduct files. Interviews are conducted by the officer’s co-workers, rather than by independent or state investigators.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Innocent Man "Swatted" to Death by Kansas heroes...
https://www.ericpetersautos.com/2017/12 ... as-heroes/
“We learned through that call that the father was deceased, shot in the head. So that’s the information we were working off of,” Livingston said. “Our officers came here preparing for a hostage situation. Several got in position. A male came to the front door, and one of our officers discharged his weapon.

Note that the anonymous caller’s assertions were taken as verbatim truth – “we learned through the call that the father was deceased ” a statement of fact that was anything but – and no effort was made to verify the actual truth.

Instead, the “heroes” effectively judged-and-juried and carried out sentence. The baffled – and entirely innocent of any crime deceased victim – probably never knew what hit him.

The “heroes” claim they shot Finch – a “hero” “discharged his weapon” – after they say he moved his hands to his waistline. Naturally, the “hero” who “discharged his weapon” – the clinical language is revelatory – “feared for his safety.”

Which made Finch’s life forfeit. Which makes any of our lives forfeit.

Livingston admitted Finch was not armed. But the most maddening thing is that Finch was in his own home, minding his own business.

What about the “irresponsible actions” of the “heroes”?

Who stormed an innocent man’s house and shot him dead in front of his family on the basis of a prank call – without even a cursory attempt at fact-checking the situation, something even hack reporters usually at least go through the motions of doing? And hack reporters can only murder the truth – while armed government workers – “heroes” – murder flesh and blood human beings.

And get away with it.

The fact that a man can be shot to death over an anonymous call ought to outrage Americans. But most Americans have become inured to such atrocities by the “post-911 reality.” Official barbarism is now par for the course – the new routine. It reaches to the highest levels – the president of the United States speaks like a street corner thug, braggadociously. That having been normalized by the thug from Texas who preceded him and who, more than any other single individual, created “the post 911 reality.”

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Re: United States - Human Rights Monitor

Postby darshan » 15 Aug 2019 08:03

The Great Land Robbery
Vann R. Newkirk II
https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/ar ... nd/594742/
Drive Route 61 through the Mississippi Delta and you’ll find much of the scenery exactly as it was 50 or 75 years ago. Imposing plantations and ramshackle shotgun houses still populate the countryside from Memphis to Vicksburg. Fields stretch to the horizon. The hands that dig into black Delta dirt belong to people like Willena Scott-White, African Americans who bear faces and names passed down from men and women who were owned here, who were kept here, and who chose to stay here, tending the same fields their forebears tended.

But some things have changed. Back in the day, snow-white bolls of King Cotton reigned. Now much of the land is green with soybeans. The farms and plantations are much larger—industrial operations with bioengineered plants, laser-guided tractors, and crop-dusting drones. Fewer and fewer farms are still owned by actual farmers. Investors in boardrooms throughout the country have bought hundreds of thousands of acres of premium Delta land. If you’re one of the millions of people who have a retirement account with the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association, for instance, you might even own a little bit yourself.

Unlike their counterparts even two or three generations ago, black people living and working in the Delta today have been almost completely uprooted from the soil—as property owners, if not as laborers. In Washington County, Mississippi, where last February TIAA reportedly bought 50,000 acres for more than $200 million, black people make up 72 percent of the population but own only 11 percent of the farmland, in part or in full. In Tunica County, where TIAA has acquired plantations from some of the oldest farm-owning white families in the state, black people make up 77 percent of the population but own only 6 percent of the farmland. In Holmes County, the third-blackest county in the nation, black people make up about 80 percent of the population but own only 19 percent of the farmland. TIAA owns plantations there, too. In just a few years, a single company has accumulated a portfolio in the Delta almost equal to the remaining holdings of the African Americans who have lived on and shaped this land for centuries.

This is not a story about TIAA—at least not primarily. The company’s newfound dominance in the region is merely the topsoil covering a history of loss and legally sanctioned theft in which TIAA played no part. But TIAA’s position is instrumental in understanding both how the crimes of Jim Crow have been laundered by time and how the legacy of ill-gotten gains has become a structural part of American life. The land was wrested first from Native Americans, by force. It was then cleared, watered, and made productive for intensive agriculture by the labor of enslaved Africans, who after Emancipation would come to own a portion of it. Later, through a variety of means—sometimes legal, often coercive, in many cases legal and coercive, occasionally violent—farmland owned by black people came into the hands of white people. It was aggregated into larger holdings, then aggregated again, eventually attracting the interest of Wall Street.

Owners of small farms everywhere, black and white alike, have long been buffeted by larger economic forces. But what happened to black landowners in the South, and particularly in the Delta, is distinct, and was propelled not only by economic change but also by white racism and local white power. A war waged by deed of title has dispossessed 98 percent of black agricultural landowners in America. They have lost 12 million acres over the past century. But even that statement falsely consigns the losses to long-ago history. In fact, the losses mostly occurred within living memory, from the 1950s onward. Today, except for a handful of farmers like the Scotts who have been able to keep or get back some land, black people in this most productive corner of the Deep South own almost nothing of the bounty under their feet.

It was never much, and it was never close to just, but by the early 20th century, black people had something to hold on to. In 1900, according to the historian James C. Cobb, black landowners in Tunica County outnumbered white ones three to one. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, there were 25,000 black farm operators in 1910, an increase of almost 20 percent from 1900. Black farmland in Mississippi totaled 2.2 million acres in 1910—some 14 percent of all black-owned agricultural land in the country, and the most of any state.

The foothold was never secure. From the beginning, even the most enterprising black landowners found themselves fighting a war of attrition, often fraught with legal obstacles that made passing title to future generations difficult. Bohlen Lucas, one of the few black Democratic politicians in the Delta during Reconstruction (most black politicians at the time were Republicans), was born enslaved and managed to buy a 200-acre farm from his former overseer. But, like many farmers, who often have to borrow against expected harvests to pay for equipment, supplies, and the rent or mortgage on their land, Lucas depended on credit extended by powerful lenders. In his case, credit depended specifically on white patronage, given in exchange for his help voting out the Reconstruction government—after which his patrons abandoned him. He was left with 20 acres.

Around the turn of the century, in Leflore County, a black farm organizer and proponent of self-sufficiency—referred to as a “notoriously bad Negro” in the local newspapers—led a black populist awakening, marching defiantly and by some accounts bringing boycotts against white merchants. White farmers responded with a posse that may have killed as many as 100 black farmers and sharecroppers along with women and children. The fate of the “bad Negro” in question, named Oliver Cromwell, is uncertain. Some sources say he escaped to Jackson, and into anonymity.

That era of black ownership, in the Delta and throughout the country, was already fading by the time Scott died. As the historian Pete Daniel recounts, half a million black-owned farms across the country failed in the 25 years after 1950. Joe Brooks, the former president of the Emergency Land Fund, a group founded in 1972 to fight the problem of dispossession, has estimated that something on the order of 6 million acres was lost by black farmers from 1950 to 1969. That’s an average of 820 acres a day—an area the size of New York’s Central Park erased with each sunset. Black-owned cotton farms in the South almost completely disappeared, diminishing from 87,000 to just over 3,000 in the 1960s alone. According to the Census of Agriculture, the racial disparity in farm acreage increased in Mississippi from 1950 to 1964, when black farmers lost almost 800,000 acres of land. An analysis for The Atlantic by a research team that included Dania Francis, at the University of Massachusetts, and Darrick Hamilton, at Ohio State, translates this land loss into a financial loss—including both property and income—of $3.7 billion to $6.6 billion in today’s dollars.

Major audits and investigations of the USDA have found that illegal pressures levied through its loan programs created massive transfers of wealth from black to white farmers, especially in the period just after the 1950s. In 1965, the United States Commission on Civil Rights uncovered blatant and dramatic racial differences in the level of federal investment in farmers. The commission found that in a sample of counties across the South, the FmHA provided much larger loans for small and medium-size white-owned farms, relative to net worth, than it did for similarly sized black-owned farms—evidence that racial discrimination “has served to accelerate the displacement and impoverishment of the Negro farmer.”

In Sunflower County, a man named Ted Keenan told investigators that in 1956, local banks had denied him loans after a bad crop because of his position with the NAACP, where he openly advocated for voting rights. The FmHA had denied him loans as well. Keenan described how Eugene Fisackerly, the leader of the White Citizens’ Council in Sunflower County, together with representatives of Senator James Eastland, a notorious white supremacist who maintained a large plantation there, had intimidated him into renouncing his affiliation with the NAACP and agreeing not to vote. Only then did Eastland’s man call the local FmHA agent, prompting him to reconsider Keenan’s loan.

Analyzing the history of federal programs, the Emergency Land Fund emphasizes a key distinction. While most of the black land loss appears on its face to have been through legal mechanisms—“the tax sale; the partition sale; and the foreclosure”—it mainly stemmed from illegal pressures, including discrimination in federal and state programs, swindles by lawyers and speculators, unlawful denials of private loans, and even outright acts of violence or intimidation. Discriminatory loan servicing and loan denial by white-controlled FmHA and ASCS committees forced black farmers into foreclosure, after which their property could be purchased by wealthy landowners, almost all of whom were white. Discrimination by private lenders had the same result. Many black farmers who escaped foreclosure were defrauded by white tax assessors who set assessments too high, leading to unaffordable tax obligations. The inevitable result: tax sales, where, again, the land was purchased by wealthy white people. Black people’s lack of access to legal services complicated inheritances and put family claims to title in jeopardy. Lynchings, police brutality, and other forms of intimidation were sometimes used to dispossess black farmers, and even when land wasn’t a motivation for such actions, much of the violence left land without an owner.

These cases of dispossession can only be called theft. While the civil-rights era is remembered as a time of victories against disenfranchisement and segregation, many realities never changed. The engine of white wealth built on kleptocracy—which powered both Jim Crow and its slave-state precursor—continued to run. The black population in Mississippi declined by almost one-fifth from 1950 to 1970, as the white population increased by the exact same percentage. Farmers slipped away one by one into the night, appearing later as laborers in Chicago and Detroit. By the time black people truly gained the ballot in Mississippi, they were a clear minority, held in thrall to a white conservative supermajority.

Mass dispossession did not require a central organizing force or a grand conspiracy. Thousands of individual decisions by white people, enabled or motivated by greed, racism, existing laws, and market forces, all pushed in a single direction. But some white people undeniably would have organized it this way if they could have. The civil-rights leader Bayard Rustin reported in 1956 that documents taken from the office of Robert Patterson, one of the founding fathers of the White Citizens’ Councils, proposed a “master plan” to force hundreds of thousands of black people from Mississippi in order to reduce their potential voting power. Patterson envisioned, in Rustin’s words, “the decline of the small independent farmer” and ample doses of “economic pressure.”

But land is never really lost, not in America. Twelve million acres of farmland in a country that has become a global breadbasket carries immense value, and the dispossessed land in the Delta is some of the most productive in America. The soil on the alluvial plain is rich. The region is warm and wet. Much of the land is perfect for industrialized agriculture.

What we do know is that, whatever the specific lineage of each acre, Wall Street investors have found a lucrative new asset class whose origins lie in part in mass dispossession. We know that the vast majority of black farmland in the country is no longer in black hands, and that black farmers have suffered far more hardships than white farmers have. The historian Debra A. Reid points out that “between 1920 and 1997, the number of African Americans who farmed decreased by 98 percent, while white Americans who farmed declined by 66 percent.” Referring to the cases studied in their 2001 investigation, Dolores Barclay and Todd Lewan of the Associated Press observed that virtually all of the property lost by black farmers “is owned by whites or corporations.” The foundation of these portfolios was a system of plantations whose owners created the agrigovernment system and absorbed thousands of small black-owned farms into ever larger white-owned farms. America has its own grileiros, and they stand on land that was once someone else’s.

Economics is, of course, a major consideration. According to the researchers Francis and Hamilton, “The dispossession of black agricultural land resulted in the loss of hundreds of billions of dollars of black wealth. We must emphasize this estimate is conservative … Depending on multiplier effects, rates of returns, and other factors, it could reach into the trillions.” The large wealth gap between white and black families today exists in part because of this historic loss.

But money does not define every dimension of land theft. Were it not for dispossession, Mississippi today might well be a majority-black state, with a radically different political destiny. Imagine the difference in our national politics if the center of gravity of black electoral strength had remained in the South after the Voting Rights Act was passed.

banrjeer
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Re: United States - Human Rights Monitor

Postby banrjeer » 15 Aug 2019 08:42

Native women routinely murdered. Legal system is good in general but seems ineffective for such cases.

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/missing- ... 94185fe56f

darshan
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Re: United States - Human Rights Monitor

Postby darshan » 19 Aug 2019 01:45

Ohio white nationalist arrested for threatening Jewish community center
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/james-rear ... oungstown/
A man arrested in Ohio for threatening a Jewish community center on Instagram is an avowed white nationalist and had an arsenal of firearms and combat gear in his home when he was taken into custody, police said.

James Reardon Jr., 20, was arrested by New Middletown Police on Saturday and faces charges of menacing and harassing. He's being held on $250,000 bond in Mahoning County Jail and is scheduled to appear in court Monday.

Vincent D'Egidio, the police chief in New Middletown, told CBS affiliate WKBN-TV that officers on Friday got a tip about the video, which shows a man who appears to be Reardon firing a semi-automatic rifle.

The caption on the post, which appeared on the account @ira_sheamus, reads, "Police identified the Youngstown Jewish Family Community shooter as local white nationalist Seamus O'Rearedon." "Seamus" is the Gaelic equivalent of "James." The user tagged the Youngstown center in the post, which was dated July 11.

"That kicked off an intense investigation, a very rapidly evolving investigation because of the way the world is," D'Egidio said. He said his officers ramped up protection at the community center and the department contacted the FBI.


————————————
Daytona Beach Man Arrested For Mass Shooting Threats
https://www.volusiasheriff.org/news/day ... reats.stml
DAYTONA BEACH MAN ARRESTED FOR MASS SHOOTING THREATS

A Daytona Beach man has been charged with making threats to commit a mass shooting after the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office was alerted to text messages in which he detailed plans to shoot as many people as he could in a large crowd.

Tristan Scott Wix, 25 (DOB 7/20/1994), of Botefuhr Avenue in Daytona Beach, was arrested Friday after sending several text messages that included:

“A school is a weak target.. id be more likely to open fire on a large crowd of people from over 3 miles away.. I'd wanna break a world record for longest confirmed kill ever.”

“I wanna open fire on a large crowd of people from over 3 miles away before I die and I need a spotter (laughing cry face emoji)”

“What you wanna do after the fact, is your own business, if you want to plan to escape we can work on that. But I don't intend on walking away alive, unless I see it fit.”

“But a good 100 kills would be nice. I already have a location (laughing cry face emoji) is that bad?”

“Ah well even if you told someone, me saying I wanna do it and think about it is not the same as actually doing it lol. Was kinda hoping someone would come into my life worth not doing it for, for the sake of all those people (laughing cry face emoji). I'm not crazy I just wanna die and I wanna have fun doing it, but I'm the most patient person in the world.”


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