STOP DETROIT WATER SHUTOFFS NOW! CANCEL THE #DETROITWATER DEBT AND START AFRESH: PETITION

VOD with red

May 22, 2015

The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) has announced that it is hanging water shut-off notices on Detroit residents’ doors this month, re-starting the internationally notorious, criminal program of cutting off the human right to water. VOD is running a series on what is being done, and what can be done to stop this atrocity. This is the first of the stories in the series.

Demeeko Williams and Beulah Walker load water to carry to two Detroit residents, one a senior whose water has been shut off for a year, and another a young woman with a child who has been forced to squat in a Detroit home. Gallons of water are given out freely, with no questions asked.

Demeeko Williams and Beulah Walker load water to carry to two Detroit residents, one a senior whose water has been shut off for a year, and another a young woman with a child who has been forced to squat in a Detroit home. Gallons of water are given out freely, with no questions asked.

On April 21, VOD interviewed Demeeko Williams and Beulah Walker of the DETROIT WATER BRIGADE,  which estimates that 40 percent of Detroit residents and their families may face shut-offs soon.

The Detroit Water Brigade is collecting petitions with the language below to CANCEL PREVIOUS WATER BILLS AND START AFRESH WITH AFFORDABLE RATES. 

VOD asks that you sign and share this petition link with your friends, families, and neighbors. It is a start, hopefully to become a mass uprising against water charges like that in Ireland, where people are marching by the hundreds of thousands and burning their water bills, in a country where water used to be FREE, financed by tax dollars. The Irish activists hosted members of the DWB and expressed their solidarity with Detroit. (See second portion of this post.)

SIGN THE PETITION BELOW NOW AT:

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/cancel-the-detroitwater-debt-and-start-afresh.

(Photos below are not part of the petition itself.)

We call on the City of Detroit and the newly-formed Great Lakes Water Authority to cancel the existing debts of Detroit Water and Sewerage customers and start afresh with simple, affordable rates: all customer past-due balances are wiped clean.

Park used for DWB activities off Woodward.

Private garden used for DWB activities off Woodward.

Last year, Detroit made international headlines when tens of thousands of residents lost their access to water through an aggressive shut-off program by the water department.

The city of Detroit has endured decades of economic turmoil, drastic depopulation and repeated mismanagement. The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) is over $5 billion in debt (over $4,500 per family in the metro Detroit area).To compensate, they have increased rates over 119% in the last decade.¹Residents who fall behind on their bills risk water shutoff, and in 2014 that’s exactly what happened to tens of thousands of Detroiters.

The shutoff program didn’t work, and the DWSD collected less than 3% of the over $100 million currently owed.² A large number of the families who entered into payment plans last year are now defaulting on them yet again because they lack sufficient income.

Home next door used for DWB water hub.

Home next door used for DWB water hub.

In contrast, a voluntary bond tender offer initiated during the shutoffs allowed the city to renegotiate high interest rates on municipal water bonds and save over $250 million in interest fees for the city.³

The bond markets know that Detroit’s water debt is junk and the city will unlikely ever be able to pay the current interest rates, which is why Default Trends proclaimed Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) its “Biggest Default of 2014″.⁴

Corruption in the DWSD has been rampant, with former Department head Victor Mercado currently serving an 8-month federal corruption sentence for “conspiracy to commit extortion” by padding department contracts and rigging bids that netted his business associates millions. Although many of those contracts are now being scrutinized by the city’s legal team, Detroiters are still paying dearly for the fraud of past leaders.

Nurses help lead last years' massive march against water shutoffs in downtown Detroit, July 18, 2014.

Nurses help lead last years’ massive march against water shutoffs in downtown Detroit, July 18, 2014.

The overbearing Detroit water debt has a human side, too: it has pushed Detroit into an outright humanitarian crisis. Rates of infectious disease and sickness are up dramatically, leading the National Nurses union recently to declare a ‘Public Health Emergency’ in Detroit.⁵

The water department is significantly under-staffed and water infrastructure is crumbling, leading to leaks that cost taxpayers tens of millions annually. The department is unable to address these time-sensitive issues due to lack of funding, as it currently spends 46% of its operating revenue on debt service to banks – the largest line-item by far in its budget.

We call on the City of Detroit and the newly-formed Great Lakes Water Authority to cancel the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department’s existing debts and start afresh with simple, affordable rates: all customer past-due balances are wiped clean.

Protesters blockage entrance to city contractor Homrich, which shut water off last year, likely because DWSD workers could not be counted on to do so.

Protesters blockage entrance to city contractor Homrich, which shut water off last year, likely because DWSD workers could not be counted on to do so.

Detroit’s existing water/sewerage rate structure is highly-regressive and unaffordable for too many families. We call on the city to implement the 2005 Water Affordability Plan to ensure that no family pays more than the EPA-recommended threshold for water, including “lifeline rates” for essential quantities of drinking/bathing water.

The water department acknowledges that 90% of its operating costs are fixed⁷, meaning they don’t depend upon how much water is consumed by users. Still, they charge usage-based rates that fluctuate dramatically with weather (up to 18% decrease in usage) and with broader demographic shifts in the region (2/3 of Detroit’s population has left the city since 1950).

"Mayor" Duggan shows how only Detroit will remain of six-county area previously run by DWSD Sept. 9, 2014, after Great Lakes Water Authority takes over. Even more drastic rate increases are expected at that time.

Detroit “Mayor” Duggan shows how only Detroit will remain of six-county area previously run by DWSD Sept. 9, 2014, after Great Lakes Water Authority takes over. Even more drastic rate increases are expected at that time, to pay off $5 billion in DWSD debt. Debt was originally to be cut by $2 billion under bankruptcy plan, but was restored under GLWA plan.

Creating a progressive rate structure based at least partially upon a family’s income – as is done with many public services like streetlights, schools, libraries, etc – would more equitably distribute the burden of operating a system relied upon by over 4 million people for essential drinking water.

The Detroit Water Brigade has provided emergency relief and advocacy to hundreds of families since June of 2014, including providing immediate financial assistance to families currently without water.⁸We’ve seen first-hand the disastrous effects of these harsh, debt-driven austerity policies.

We pledge to escalate this campaign in the coming months until we bring relief to the tens of thousands of metro Detroit families living without water today and the millions living precariously with unaffordable water rates. 

¹Source:http://archive.freep.com/article/20140624/NEWS01/306240181/John-Conyers-detroit-water-shutoffs 

²Source: DWSD Financials, Sep 15, 2014, p. 61  http://www.dwsd.org/downloads_n/about_dwsd/financials/Finance_Committee_Binder_9-5-2014.pdf 

³Source: http://www.kutakrock.com/successful-bond-tender-eases-detroits-bankruptcy-exit-10-03-2014/

Source: http://www.bondbuyer.com/news/markets-buy-side/defaults-reached-record-in-2014-1069491-1.html

Source:http://www.nationalnursesunited.org/press/entry/nurses-activists-cite-public-health-emergency-in-detroit-water-shutoffs/

Source:http://water.epa.gov/infrastructure/sustain/affordability.cfm

Source:http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/wayne-county/2015/01/22/water-use-jeopardizing-four-percent-rate-cap/22187455/

Source:http://detroitwaterbrigade.org/waf/

100000 Irish March Through Dublin to Protest Against Water Charges

The Guardian (UK)

March 21, 2015

Ireland Ministry of Thirst

Marchers in Ireland protest government’s austerity measures including water charges.

In Ireland, with a population of 5 million, upwards of one hundred thousand took to the streets to protest the new charges for water. The Irish government’s austerity measure has sparked widespread public anger, with Saturday’s street protest the fourth since October.

Tens of thousands of people marched in Dublin on Saturday in the latest protest against the government’s new water charges. It is the latest show of public opposition to the austerity measure put in place by Ireland’s coalition government, which hopes the country’s economic growth will quell the discontent.

Ireland’s economy surged by a post-crisis high of 4.8% last year and is forecast to be the fastest-growing in the European Union again in 2015, but many have been left frustrated by the uneven nature of the recovery.

Irish protesters demand that no water meters be installed.

Irish protesters demand that no water meters be installed.

One year before it seeks re-election, the government has begun directly charging households for water use. It is the final piece of a seven-year, _30bn (£21.7bn) austerity drive, but also the measure that has elicited the largest public backlash. Saturday’s mass protest was the fourth since October.

Organisers said 80,000 protesters marched in the capital – many holding Greek flags to show solidarity with the stricken eurozone member. The national broadcaster, RTE, said the crowd was 30,000 to 40,000 strong.

“This government believes that the anti-water charges campaign is dying, that we are on our last legs. Well, today we have sent them a message,” said Lynn Boylan, a member of the European Parliament for the opposition Sinn Féin party.

“These families simply cannot take any more. The government is pushing people over the edge.”

“This campaign is going from strength to strength. We are on the march. And we will not stop until water charges are scrapped and Irish Water is abolished.

Protest in Donegal, Ireland.

Protest in Donegal, Ireland.

“Sinn Féin warned the government that Irish Water was nothing more than a toxic quango. The citizens of Ireland in their hundreds of thousands told [minister for the environment] Alan Kelly that they cannot and they will not pay.

“Europe has warned the government that their back of the envelope calculations do not stack up. How do they respond? By jailing protestors and spending _650,000 on a new ad campaign; not to mention wasting over _85m on private consultants, _539m wasted on water meters. Hundreds of Garda hours wasted on policing the ill-fated installation of water meters.”

Boylan also questioned how people could pay the charge when they “cannot afford to keep the roof over their head”.

Resign these logosShe said: “The lengths that this government will go to defend their precious Uisce Éireann [Ireland’s water company] is astounding. Local authorities have begun the process of handing over the details of tenants. Landlords are being forced to do the same. For Sinn Féin this is a red line issue. Let this message go out loud and clear;: water charges and Irish Water must be consigned to the dustbin of history.”

The trade unions affiliated to the campaign – the CPSU, CWU, Mandate, Opatsi and Unite – are also calling for a referendum to be held “following abolition of the charges” to enshrine public ownership of Irish Water in the Constitution.

The trade unions will present the outline of their draft water management policy at their forthcoming May Day conference.

Irish people demand: Water is a right!

Irish people demand: Water is a right!

BELOW: DETROIT WATER BRIGADE PARTICIPATES IN DUBLIN MARCH: FROM DUBLIN TO DETROIT, WATER IS A HUMAN RIGHT!

Detroit Water Brigade website: http://detroitwaterbrigade.org/

DWB Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/waterbrigade?fref=ts

Related VOD stories:

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2014/10/26/we-charge-genocide-detroit-water-shut-offs-foreclosures-focus-of-un-visit/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2014/09/10/detroit-bankruptcy-great-lakes-water-authority-to-steal-largest-asset-of-largest-u-s-black-city-4/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2015/03/02/detroit-long-term-debt-rises-300-in-bankruptcy-retirees-fight-back-with-protest-court-appeals/


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‘JAIL BANKSTERS, REPARATIONS NOW!” PROTEST AT JPMORGAN CHASE ANNUAL MEETING IN DETROIT

Protesters confront Chase shareholders at annual meeting in Westin Book Cadillac May 19, 2015/Photo: Stephanie Gordon

Protesters confront Chase shareholders at annual meeting in Westin Book Cadillac May 19, 2015/Photo: Stephanie Gordon

Chase, 5 other global banks just pled guilty to felony rate-rigging, agreed to pay $9 billion in fines, but serve no jail time 

Chase earlier paid a record $13 billion linked to sale of junk mortgages during housing bubble, another $4.5 billion settlement with institutional investors in those mortgages

Protesters say Chase crimes include slavery profits, foreclosures, water shut-offs, huge prison population, student loan debt

Retirees: Detroit bankruptcy appeal aided by May 8 Illinois Supreme Court ruling calling pension, annuity reductions violation of state constitution

 By Diane Bukowski

 May 20, 2013 

Chase shareholders held their meeting at the Westin Book Cadillac in downtown Detroit, formerly home to Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr. Photo: Stephanie Gordon

Chase shareholders held their meeting at the Westin Book Cadillac in downtown Detroit, formerly home to Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr. Photo: Stephanie Gordon

DETROIT – As global banks including JPMorgan Chase pled guilty to felony market manipulation charges, agreeing to pay $9 billion in fines, protesters at Chase’s annual meeting in Detroit demanded prison for the banks’ executives, and billions in reparations to re-build the City of Detroit. Chase is the world’s largest investment bank.

Chase’s portion of the fines followed a record $13 billion settlement linked to its sale of junk mortgages during the housing bubble, and another $4.5 billion settlement with institutional investors in those mortgages. Protesters questioned why Detroit and other poor cities across the U.S. have seen none of those settlements, since Chase made its money off illegal practices foisted on homeowners, workers and taxpayers.

“Chase had the gall to hold its shareholders meeting in the city of Detroit, which has been devastated by home foreclosures, many by Chase,” Abayomi Azikiwe of Moratorium NOW! said. “They have bragged about investing in Capitol Park and the rest of downtown Detroit, but we want to know what Chase Bank is going to do for the people of Detroit.”

Abiyomi Azikiwe of Moratorium NOW! and Bill Davis, Pres. of the Detroit Active and Retired Employees Association, marched on Chase meeting. In background is Kris Hamel of Moratorium NOW! telling Chase to leave Detroit. /Photo: Stephanie Gordon

Abiyomi Azikiwe of Moratorium NOW! and Bill Davis, Pres. of the Detroit Active and Retired Employees Association, marched on Chase meeting. /Photo: Stephanie Gordon

The protesters confronted shareholders going into the meeting at the Westin Book Cadillac, former home to Detroit’s Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr. He and his banking and corporate cronies virtually dismantled the City of Detroit through an involuntary and likely criminal Chapter 9 bankruptcy.

Detroit is the poorest and largest majority-Black city in the U.S. An astounding 59 percent of its children are mired in poverty, with an overall rate of 39 percent. In January, Chase admitted that it profited from slavery in the U.S. after it bought out Bank One and Citizens Bank, said Azikiwe.

“From 1831 to 1865, 13,000 slaves were accepted as collateral for loans from these banks,” Azikiwe said, “but all Chase offered was an apology and a $5 million scholarship funds. Millions of our people are in prison, but how many bankers are in prison or on death row?”

Errol Jennings of the Russell Woods-Sullivan Area Association said banks made $6.4 trillion in profits, using today’s dollar value, during the slavery era, 40 percent from cotton.

Elder Helen Moore of the Keep the Vote No Takeover Coalition protested the devastation of Detroit Public Schools through bank debt that has drained district of per-pupil funding.

Elder Helen Moore of the Keep the Vote No Takeover Coalition protested the devastation of Detroit Public Schools through bank debt that has drained district of per-pupil funding. In background is Rev. Bill Wylie-Kellerman. Photo: Stephanie Gordon

“They’ve been oppressing us ever since we set foot on U.S. soil,” he said. “The prison population right now is traded on Wall Street; how you do in middle school is being decided on Wall Street. They take our pensions and shut off our water because we got into a bad deal with derivatives. They caused the global economic crash of 2006-08, got $700 billion in our tax dollars to get bailed out, and now they’re growing at a faster rate than ever before.  They tell us, ‘We don’t need you, we’ll take your houses, your water, kill your schools, and see to it that your children kill each other on the streets.’”

Protesters chanted, “The blight is Chase.”

Multi-billionaire Dan Gilbert, who has close ties to Chase, ironically heads the city’s “Blight Removal Task Force,” as he buys huge parcels of city land and drives out Black and poor residents. The recent re-development of Brush Park and the conversion of the Section 8 Griswold Apartments in Capitol Park to high-end condos called “The Albert” are only two examples.

Detroit "Mayor" Mike Duggan meets with Chase CEO Jamie Dimon Feb. 11, 2015.

Detroit “Mayor” Mike Duggan meets with Chase CEO Jamie Dimon Feb. 11, 2015. Photo: Daniel Mears, Detroit News

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan met with Chase CEO Jamie Dimon Feb. 11, taking him on a tour of Eastern Market and lauding Chase’s support for Detroit. In early 2014, the global bank committed $100 million to support “economic development, blight removal and job training” in Detroit. Compared to the $2.6 trillion in assets the bank reported in 2014, that represents a demeaning drop in the bucket.

Many protesters carried signs denouncing water shut-offs in Detroit, which are scheduled to begin May 29.

“Save Detroit’s children! Don’t shut off their water!” they chanted.

JPMorgan Chase cost the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department $537 million in illegal interest rate swaps. Under the city’s bankruptcy provisions, DWSD will now control only a small part of the city’s water mains, while the Great Lakes Water Authority will control and profit from all water and wastewater treatment plants in the six counties originally under DWSD jurisdiction, as well as water mains and the remaining infrastructure.

Protesters said Chase is largely responsible for pending water shut-offs in Detroit, due to $537 million in illegal interest rate swaps it foisted on DWSD.

Protesters said Chase is largely responsible for pending water shut-offs in Detroit, due to $537 million in illegal interest rate swaps it foisted on DWSD. Photo: Stephanie Gordon

The DWSD workforce has been drastically cut and union representation essentially busted. The remaining workers have been forced to reapply for their jobs regardless of seniority and other union contract provisions.

“Over 200,000 people have fled Detroit after our communities were devastated by predatory mortgages and foreclosures that resulted in the global economic crash of 2008,” Pat Driscoll of Detroit Eviction Defense said.

Cheryl West, evicted last week from her home of 60 years, during protest at Wayne Co. Treasurer's office March 31, 2015.

Cheryl West, evicted last week from her home of 60 years, during protest at Wayne Co. Treasurer’s office March 31, 2015.

“People that took these predatory loans were in fact eligible for other loans. As of 2012, half of the foreclosed homes were owned by banks like Chase, who have not paid their property taxes. But this year the residents left in Detroit face the largest tax foreclosure crisis in history. Over 11,000 homes, about 33,000 people, face eviction, people like Cheryl West, who lived in her Detroit home for 60 years and was evicted last week. Detroit’s homeowners haven’t been bailed out like the banks were after the 2008 crash.”

Driscoll announced that a coalition of groups led by the Michigan American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) just sent a scathing letter to Wayne County Treasurer Raymond Wojtowicz demanding an immediate moratorium on tax foreclosures, in part because homeowners have been paying illegal tax rates for at least the last 20 years.

The groups, including Moratorium NOW!, the Russell Woods-Sullivan Association, the Detroit People’s Platform, the Sugar Law Center, and others, said the following in part:

“A moratorium on tax foreclosures is necessary where the local government has violated its statutory duty to assess property values, leading to unwarranted taxes based on grossly inflated home values before the Great Recession.

Instituting a moratorium on tax foreclosures of occupied homes is not only the right policy decision; it is required as a matter of law. Michigan law obligates local assessing units to determine property values on a yearly basis in order to ensure that residents pay taxes based on the actual value of their home.”

Yvonne Williams-Jones, DAREA officer, attended protest.

Yvonne Williams-Jones, DAREA officer, attended protest. She retired after 34 years with the City of Detroit.

Bill Davis and Yvonne Jones of the Detroit Actives and Retired Employees Association(DAREA) registered their outrage at what has been done to Detroit. (This reporter apologizes for her confused note-taking: their comments are combined here.)

“We must defend our home! Our home is Detroit! These devils have taken our health care and cut our pensions. Detroit is now a great city if you’re a white billionaire like Dan Gilbert, Mike Illitch, and Roger Penske. We can’t even go to Belle Isle anymore because Penske wanted it for his Grand Prix. We have to fight back, we have to take the water department and Belle Isle and the city back! The people can make a difference, whenever we show up and stand up and act up. No justice, no peace!”

They said DAREA has an ongoing appeal of the bankruptcy confirmation plan currently being heard in the U.S. District Court, despite threats by former Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr that retirees could not appeal a thing.

Justice Lloyd Karmeier of Illinois Supreme Court wrote passionate defense of his state's pension systems, declaring reductions unconstitutional.

Justice Lloyd Karmeier of Illinois Supreme Court wrote passionate defense of his state’s pension systems, declaring reductions unconstitutional May 8, 2015.

DAREA’s appeal is likely to be given a huge boost by an Illinois Supreme Court ruling on May 8. The Court held unanimously that Public Act 98-599, which drastically reduced the pensions and annuities of public workers across the state, was unconstitutional and therefore unenforceable.

The Illinois constitution’s  pension protections clause is very similar to Michigan’s. It provides: “Membership in any pension or retirement system of the State, any unit of local government or school district, or any agency or instrumentality thereof, shall be an enforceable contractual relationship, the benefits of which shall not be diminished or impaired.” Ill. Const. 1970, art. XIII, § 5.

City of Detroit retirees at rally outside bankruptcy court April 1, 2014.

City of Detroit retirees at rally outside bankruptcy court April 1, 2014.

The Illinois decision is striking in its passion for upholding the will of the people as expressed in the constitution they enacted, in this case, the 1970 Illinois State Constitution.

“The people of Illinois give voice to their sovereign authority through the Illinois Constitution,” the ruling, authored by Justice Lloyd Karmeier, declared. “It is through the Illinois Constitution that the people have decreed how their sovereign power may be exercised, by whom and under what conditions or restrictions. Where rights have been conferred and limits on governmental action have been defined by the people through the constitution, the legislature cannot enact legislation in contravention of those rights and restrictions.”

The lawsuits filed by five pension systems in the state predominantly addressed the reduction of annuity payments to workers, also the most damaging provision of the Detroit bankruptcy plan. However, the Illinois court held that the annuity reductions could not be severed from the entire act, and therefore struck down all portions of the act.

Related documents:

ACLU of Michigan AND Other Groups Make Joint Call for Moratorium on Mass Tax Foreclosures in Wayne County

ACLU Letter to WCT

Illinois Supreme Court pension ruling

Recent related stories:

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2015/04/24/u-s-sues-dan-gilberts-quicken-loans-over-mortgage-fraud-one-cause-of-detroit-blight/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2015/03/29/unprecedented-katrina-of-tax-foreclosures-to-hit-detroit-wayne-county-march-31/

Four banks in conspiracy

 Six Banks to Pay $9 Billion, Five Guilty of Market Rigging

JPMorgan Chase, Citicorp, Barclay’s, RBS plead guilty to felonies, no jail time slated

Banks operated private chat rooms for members of the “Cartel”

USDOJ, Fed Reserve file charges

By David McLaughlin, Tom Schoenberg, and Gavin Finch

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-05-20/six-banks-pay-5-8-billion-five-plead-guilty-to-market-rigging

Bloomberg NewsBloomberg

May 20, 2015

Six of the world’s biggest banks will pay $5.8 billion [through U.S. Department of Justice settlement] and five of them agreed to plead guilty to charges tied to a currency-rigging probe as they seek to wind down almost half a decade of enforcement actions.

Citicorp, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Barclays Plc and Royal Bank of Scotland Plc agreed to plead guilty to felony charges of conspiring to manipulate the price of U.S. dollars and euros, according to settlements announced by the Justice Department in Washington Wednesday. The main banking unit of UBS Group AG agreed to plead guilty to a wire-fraud charge related to interest-rate manipulation. The Swiss bank, the first to cooperate with antitrust investigators, was granted immunity in the currency probe.

BOA 5 9 12 Cancel debt

Protesters demand cancellation of Detroit’s debt to banks in 2012.

The four banks that agreed to plead guilty to currency charges are among the world’s biggest foreign-exchange traders. They were accused of colluding to influence benchmark rates by aligning positions and pushing transactions through at the same time. Traders who described themselves as members of “The Cartel” used online chat rooms to discuss their positions before the rates were set and suppress competition in the market, the Justice Department said.

All of the banks that pleaded guilty said they received needed waivers from the Securities and Exchange Commission to continue managing mutual funds and raise capital quickly, a person familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.

“Brazen Collusion”

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch with Pres. Barack Obama

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch with Pres. Barack Obama

The scheme was a “brazen display of collusion,” Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in a statement. “This Department of Justice intends to vigorously prosecute all those who tilt the economic system in their favor, who subvert our marketplaces, and who enrich themselves at the expense of American consumers,” she said.

The accords bring the total fines and penalties paid by the five banks to resolve the currency investigations to about $9 billion, the Justice Department said.

In the settlement with the Justice Department, Citicorp parent Citigroup Inc. will pay $925 million, the highest of the banks penalized. Barclays agreed to a fine of $650 million. JPMorgan will pay $550 million, and Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc agreed to a $395 million fine. UBS will pay $203 million.

Separately, the Federal Reserve imposed fines of more than $1.6 billion on the five banks for “unsafe and unsound practices.” London-based Barclays will pay an additional $1.3 billion as part of settlements with the New York Department of Financial Services, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority.

Terminate Employees

As part of its settlement with New York banking superintendent Benjamin Lawsky, Barclays agreed to terminate eight employees engaged in currency trading between London and New York.

JPMG boxThe Fed also fined Bank of America Corp. $205 million for failing to detect and address conduct by traders who discussed the possibility of entering into agreements to manipulate currency prices, according to a statement.

“The resolution will come out of our existing reserves,” said Lawrence Grayson, a spokesman for Charlotte, North Carolina-based Bank of America.

The penalties represent the first criminal resolutions in a two-year currency probe, which is ongoing, said Andrew McCabe, assistant director in charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Washington Field Office.

Other firms, including Deutsche Bank AG and HSBC Holdings Plc are still under investigation. Cases against individual traders also may be forthcoming, people with knowledge of the probe have said.

“Calculated Move”

The settlements show the eagerness of bank executives to end one of the last big legal cases dogging the industry. Scandals involving the aggressive sale of mortgage bonds and interest-rate rigging helped reinforce the view that some firms are too big to manage properly and should be broken up.

“This is a very calculated move to get the Justice Department off their backs, because otherwise this could go on for years,” said Phillip Phan, a professor at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School. “In a way, there’s anonymity in the crowd — you don’t know who’s more guilty than others.”

Although UBS wasn’t charged for currency manipulation, the government said the Swiss bank engaged in deceptive currency trading and sales practices after it settled a previous investigation in the manipulation of the London interbank offered rate in 2012. The conduct violated the non-prosecution agreement with the Justice Department.

UBS Markups

UBS traders and sales staff misrepresented to customers on certain transactions that markups were not being added, when in fact they were, using hand signals to conceal the markups, the Justice Department said in its statement. A UBS trader also conspired with other banks acting as dealers in the spot market by agreeing to restrain competition in the purchase and sale of dollars and euros, the government said. UBS’s collusive conduct occurred from October 2011 to at least January 2013.

Bank executives expressed embarrassment and frustration over the conduct, pointed a finger at a few bad apples and vowed to do better.

“The conduct of a small number of employees was unacceptable and we have taken appropriate disciplinary actions,” UBS Chief Executive Officer Sergio Ermotti and Chairman Axel Weber said in a statement.

JPMorgan said in a statement that the conduct underlying the antitrust charge against the bank is “principally attributable” to a single trader, who has since been dismissed.

“The conduct described in the government’s pleadings is a great disappointment to us,” said Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon. “We demand and expect better of our people. The lesson here is that the conduct of a small group of employees, or of even a single employee, can reflect badly on all of us.”

Operations Continue

Too Big to JailShares of both JPMorgan and Citigroup slid 0.8 percent at 12:05 in New York. UBS climbed 3 percent, RBS rose 1.8 percent, Barclays advanced 3.4 percent.

JPMorgan and Citigroup said they don’t anticipate a material impact on operations or their ability to serve clients.

The Justice Department had been aiming to extract pleas from the banks’ parent companies, people familiar with the talks had said. In its announcement, the department characterized the companies entering pleas as “parent-level.”

Drexel Case

Citicorp, the unit agreeing to plead guilty, is wholly owned by parent Citigroup Inc. Citicorp, in turn, contains the company’s main banking subsidiary, Citibank NA, which held 74 percent of Citigroup’s assets at year-end. Royal Bank of Scotland Plc is a unit of Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc.

JPMorgan Chase Chairman, President and CEO Jamie Dimon presents his driver's license to Justice Department security officer G. Rocher, as he arrives at the Justice Department in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

JPMorgan Chase Chairman, President and CEO Jamie Dimon presents his driver’s license to Justice Department security officer G. Rocher, as he arrives at the Justice Department in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

The guilty pleas by Citicorp and JPMorgan are the first in criminal cases by major U.S. banks since Drexel Burnham Lambert admitted to six counts of mail and securities fraud in 1989. They follow pleas last year by the bank subsidiary of Zurich-based Credit Suisse Group AG for aiding tax evasion and BNP Paribas SA for violating U.S. sanctions. This year, a Deutsche Bank unit pleaded guilty for its role in manipulating interest rates.

Drone strike on banksThe foreign-exchange investigation began after Bloomberg reported beginning in June 2013 that traders were colluding to manipulate benchmark currency rates and profit at clients’ expense. Their efforts were focused on the WM/Reuters 4 p.m. fix, used to value trillions of dollars of investments worldwide and to determine the price some companies and fund managers pay to swap currencies.

In October of that year, regulators around the world announced they were opening formal probes. Within weeks, more than 25 foreign-exchange traders at banks including Citigroup, JPMorgan and Barclays were fired, suspended or put on leave.

What began as a narrow inquiry into rate-rigging was broadened into a wider examination of the industry. In recent months, authorities have looked into practices including banks charging excessive commissions, sales staff passing on tips to favored clients and traders.

Related documents:

Six Global Banks to pay USDOJ release

 

To purchase Brandon Garrett’s book, “Too Big to Jail,” click on http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674368316

To read about JPMorgan Chase as ringleader of banks just sued, and its ties with British Petroleum, click on http://prepperchimp.com/2014/12/31/the-rigging-triangle-exposed-the-jpmorgan-british-petroleum-bank-of-england-cartel-full-frontal/

http://billmoyers.com/2013/10/22/the-13-billion-jpmorgan-settlement-is-a-good-start-%E2%80%94-now-someone-should-go-to-jail/


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DEMONSTRATE AT JPMORGAN CHASE ANNUAL MEETING: DETROIT, TUES. MAY 19 @ 9 AM; STOP FORECLOSURES

Chase demo_0001 downsizedChase demo_0002

CLICK ON https://www.facebook.com/events/809008012528813/ TO GO TO FACEBOOK EVENT PAGE.


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REST IN PARADISE, AIYANA STANLEY-JONES; YOU WILL BE IN OUR HEARTS FOREVER; SIGN PETITION TO PRES. OBAMA

Empress JonesAiyana Mo’Nay Stanley-Jones (July 20, 2002 – May 16, 2010)

EmpressJones

May 16, 2015

From Diane Bukowski, the staff of VOD, and many others:

Aiyana multiple

Aiyana Jones, from her mother Dominika Jones’ FB page.

First, please sign the petition at the bottom of this post, to President Barack Obama and three others, asking for justice for Aiyana.

Also see information on the May 21 Black Spring Campaign for Women of Color killed by the police below that.

Today is the fifth anniversary of beautiful little Aiyana Jones’ death at the age of 7. VOD hopes to comfort her family with this post, her mother, Dominika Jones, her father Charles Jones, her grandmother Mertilla (Maria) Jones, and the dozens of  extended family members we have met since May 16, 2010.

Many stories on Aiyana’s killing by Detroit cop Joseph Weekley, now back on the streets, and a vicious police raid team, as well as her father’s frame-up have been posted on VOD–just put “Aiyana” in the search engine and they will all come up. But this is not a news story–this is a tribute. Our hearts still ache for this precious little girl, but we want her family to know she will live on in them forever. Everywhere across this city, this state and this country that we have seen the young people of the U.S. rising up against police murders, we have seen Aiyana’s name and photo on signs and banners.

AIYANA WILL BE LOVED AND REMEMBERED FOREVER!

March on April 26, 2015 for Terrance Kellom, 19, killed by police April 19.

March in Detroit on April 26, 2015 for Terrance Kellom, 19, killed by police April 19.

PAUL SHUKER
Published on Mar 12, 2015
“Youth Of The Nation (Acoustic Version)” by P.O.D

Demonstration in Philadelphia in Nov. 2009 to save Mumia Abu-Jamal.

Demonstration in Philadelphia in Nov. 2009 to save Mumia Abu-Jamal.

Video and song by nationally-known recording artist J. Cole, dedicated to Aiyana Jones. He dedicated his 2013 show to Aiyana in Detroit, and met with her mother Dominika Jones and other relatives.

*

Dominika Jones backstage with J. Cole after 2013 concert.

Marchers for justice for Floyd Dent in Inkster carry sign for Aiyana April 3, 2015.

Marchers for justice for Floyd Dent in Inkster carry sign for Aiyana April 3, 2015.


Three Little Girls – Jasiri X

Written by Jasiri X of San Francisco, and featuring 10 year old Hadiyah Yates, “Three Little Girls” was produced by GM3 and directed by Paradise Gray.

“Three Little Girls” tells the stories of the senseless murders of Christina Taylor Green (9 yrs old), killed during the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, Brisenia Flores (9 yrs old), gunned down by anti-immigrant militia intent on starting a race war, and Aiyana Jones (7 yrs old), shot to death while asleep in her home, by the Detroit Police Department, while they were filming a reality TV show.

City of Detroit retirees carry Aiyana's sign outside Crain's luncheon honoring Detroit EM Kevyn Orr and bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhoes, Jan. 2015.

City of Detroit retirees carry Aiyana’s sign outside Crain’s luncheon honoring Detroit EM Kevyn Orr and bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes, Jan. 2015.

 

Poster for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in Detroit, 2015.
Poster for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in Detroit, 2015.

Sky banner flown across Detroit on the third anniversary of Aiyana's death, by the Justice for Aiyana Jones Committee.

Sky banner flown across Detroit on the third anniversary of Aiyana’s death, by the Justice for Aiyana Jones Committee.

 

Jewell Allison and her daughter Honesti of New York City organized this march for Aiyana on June 26, 2010.
Jewell Allison and her daughter Honesti of New York City organized this march for Aiyana, held in downtown Detroit on June 26, 2010. Photo: Herb Boyd

 Justice for 7 year old Aiyana Stanley-Jones

Petitioning President Barack Obama and 3 others

Please click on link above, as requested by Aiyana’s family, to sign petition to get justice for their little girl. Five years have gone by, and Aiyana’s killer walks the streets while her father is in prison, framed-up.

Women of Color Killed by Police

 

They tried to bury us. They didn’t know we were seeds. Now Black Spring is in full bloom… May 21st, join the campaign to stop police violence against women and girls of color! For more info: https://www.facebook.com/events/825982420817036/ ‪#‎blackspring ‪#‎invisiblevictims ‪#‎aptp ‪#‎blackbrownsolidarity Raquel Manzo-Portillo Cadine Williams La Mesha Irizarry Mollie McKinnon Costello Ralowe Trinitrotoluene Ampu Irina Contreras Cat Brooks Trishia Andrea Daniela Kantorová Melissa Or Shakes Yvonne Metiche Xan West Asantewaa RN Florencia Rojo Adriana Camarena Alma Jurado Marissa M Carolyn Shmarolyn Luz Calvo Catriona Rueda Esquibel Zakiyyah Iman Jackson Sharena Diamond Thomas Eric Stanley Carroll Fife Robbie Clark INCITE Community News Incite L.A. Wild Tigers Antoinette Chen See M.i. Jazz Freeman Inés Ixierda


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DUGGAN, GILBERT TARGET BRUSH PARK AFTER MURDER, ARSON, EVICTIONS DROVE BLACK RESIDENTS OUT

The ongoing white-out of Detroit: over 800 largely Black Brush Park residents were driven out from late 90’s through recent years

 Only 20 percent of housing in new $70 million plan for “low-income” residents

Dan Gilbert’s 8.4 acre project part of 30 acre Brush Park plan including Brewster Wheeler Rec Center, Brewster Douglass site

 Rec Center awarded to suburbanite whites Curt Catallo, Keith Crain

By Diane Bukowski 

March 14, 2015 

Architects' rendering of plan for portion of Brush Park, controlled by Dan Gilbert.

Architects’ rendering of plan for portion of Brush Park, controlled by billionaire Dan Gilbert.

DETROIT – Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, with his  crony Steve Rosenthal of billionaire Dan Gilbert’s Bedrock Real Estate Services, announced a $70 million plan May 6 to re-develop 8.4 acres of Detroit’s 100-acre Brush Park neighborhood.  So far, the price the developers are paying for the land, which is adjacent to downtown, mostly city-owned and “primarily vacant,” has not been disclosed.

The plan still must be approved by the Detroit City Council, a mere formality since the state-appointed Detroit Financial Review Team (DFRT) still dictates what the city’s elected leaders do under terms of the city’s bankruptcy. Ironically, one member of the “Brush Park Redevelopment Partners” (BPDP) handling the project is Darrell Burks, who sits on the DFRT.

Buddies in white-out of Detroit:  "Mayor" Mike Duggan, billionaire Dan Gilbert

Buddies in Detroit white-out, “Mayor” Mike Duggan, billionaire Dan Gilbert

During a press conference, the developers said they will rehab four historic mansions and build 337 units of housing for sale and rent, as well as retail and green space.  They announced that home mortgages will be available through Gilbert’s Quicken Loans, currently being sued by the federal government for fraudulent lending practices.

“I love these old houses, and I love seeing them restored,” Duggan said. “The city let too many of these treasures go. This is a red-letter day. People will want to live here.”

Only 20 percent of the housing would be set aside for “low-income” residents, with a household income of $21,060, 80 percent of the city’s average median income. Detroit families have a 39 percent poverty rate, with children at 59 percent. Only families with 4 or more members could meet even that income rate.

Duggan and cronies at Brewster Wheeler press conference. They said culinary arts classes will be provided for Detroit youth, who have virtually no public recreation centers left. See photos of Catallo and Crain below for real beneficiaries.

The 8.4 acre BPDP redevelopment is only part of the complete “white-out” of Brush Park and its history.

Keith and Mary Kay Crain

Keith and Mary Kay Crain

Curt Catallo, wife of Clarkston, MI

Curt Catallo, wife of Clarkston

Duggan earlier announced a $50 million redevelopment of the former Brewster Wheeler Recreation Center in Brush Park, with a restaurant, 150 residential units, and retail stores. That project has been awarded to restaurateur Curt Catallo of Clarkston, Michigan, and Keith Crain of Crain Communications, who has dozens of prestigious addresses ranging from Bloomfield Hills, MI to Vero Beach, FL.

The city also plans to redevelop the 18 acres of land where the former Brewster Douglass housing projects stood, for a total of 30 acres of land. The last of the Douglass high rises were demolished in 2014, completing the goals of President Bill Clinton’s “HOPE VI” plan which has razed low-income housing across the U.S.

Gwen Mingo at home in Brush Park.

Gwen Mingo at home on Watson Street in Brush Park.

“They’ve come out with a lot of plans and allocated a lot of money over the years, but all I’ve seen is people chased out, and the neighborhood burnt up,” said Gwen Mingo, a Brush Park resident renowned for the long battle she waged in the late’s 90’s and 2000’s to save the homes and apartments of predominantly Black residents in her district.

“It was my obligation as head of the Brush Park Citizens District Council to fight to protect the rights of everyone living in that district,” she said.

Mingo was also chair of the city-wide CDC panel.

It is estimated that over 800 mostly Black residents living in both homes and apartment buildings there were driven out during that period. City officials and developers used tactics ranging from de-funding of the CDC’s, mass evictions, arson, asbestos contamination, arrests (Mingo herself faced ongoing harassment by the police), and likely even murder.

This map by the Detroit News shows the small area of Brush Park involved in the Duggan-Gilbert development. Note its proximity to Mike Illitch's new Red Wings arena and retail site, as well as Comerica Park and Ford Field. Brush Park's original area ranged west of Woodward to east of 1-75.

Map shows the small area of Brush Park involved in the Duggan-Gilbert development. Note its proximity to Mike Illitch’s new Red Wings arena/residential/ retail site, as well as Comerica Park and Ford Field. Brush Park’s original area ranged W. of Woodward to E. of 1-75.

Former Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr abolished the CDC’s in October, 2014 with a stroke of his bankruptcy pen, replacing them with neighborhood “managers” appointed by the mayor. His action was part of a long assault on the CDC’s which began during the Archer administration, which included de-funding and other strategies.

But, Mingo said, “They still can’t re-design the area without our input. They’ve never approached me or sent me a letter about the new plan. They know I’m still here. This is illegal. Anytime they develop an area, they are supposed to consult with anybody in a certain radius. They’re just tearing up and banking the land and it’s going to be a disaster once again.”

Gilbert already owns over 70 parcels of prime downtown Detroit property, most of them as yet incompletely developed. Of those that are complete, most, marked by “Opportunity Detroit” signs, are still unoccupied.

Brush Park burns as city drives out Black residents in previous years.

Brush Park burns as city drives out Black residents in previous years.

Mingo lives in a historic home on Watson, adjacent to the parcel targeted by the Gilbert consortium.  She said the devastation of the original Brush Park neighborhood began in in the 1970’s and even before.

She noted Brush Park boundaries originally extended west of Woodward and east of I-75 to include the fabled Paradise Valley of Black-owned businesses and entertainment venues, parts of the “Black Bottom” neighborhood, occupied by Black participants in “The Great Migration” from the south beginning in the 1920’s, and the Brewster-Douglass apartments and townhomes, the first housing project built to provide decent housing for Blacks in the U.S., under the auspices of Eleanor Roosevelt.

Flame Show Bar in Paradise Valley. Black business district was wiped out by construction of 1-75 freeway though its heart.

Flame Show Bar in Paradise Valley. Black business district was wiped out by construction of 1-75 freeway though its heart.

Reporter Ron Seigel chronicled the city’s deliberate devastation of  the remainder of Brush Park in an extraordinary series in the now-defunct Michigan Citizen. He describes what happened in a companion article for the Voice of Detroit (shortly to come). Meanwhile a chronological compilation of his articles is available in a link below this story.

In contrast, the City’s Request for Proposal (RFP) on the project claims, “The 1960’s saw the Brush Park neighborhood substantially deteriorate, with a high incidence of vacancy, crime, and abandonment with subsequent demolition. Since the mid 1990’s the City of Detroit has initiated an aggressive campaign in order to save the remaining historic properties, and to promote historically influenced residential infill of the vacant land left by demolition.”

That “historically influenced” infill has so far included the blandly modern Crosswinds Communities condominiums lining Woodward, built by notorious real estate mogul Bernie Glieberman, who defaulted on $100 million in corporate loans in 2009.

Crosswinds “Garden Lofts” on Woodward replaced much of historic Brush Park.

According to the project RFP, the city has invested $39 million over the last 13 years in Brush Park, “inclusive of infrastructure, demolition, acquisition and historic rehabilitation,” Mingo, however, states that figure is more likely in the hundreds of millions.

BPDP, however, is spending a mere $7.8 million on the project. Duggan denied the project is getting tax credits, so the remaining financing is still a mystery.

 

Brush Park players 2In addition to principal Steve Rosenthal, the BPDP also includes:

  • Marvin Beatty, a board member of the Greektown Casino owned by Gilbert;
  • Sam Thomas of Star Development, involved with the Whirlpool Corporation in the ongoing takeover of public land in Benton Harbor;
  • Darrell Burks, a member of the state-appointed Detroit Financial Review Commission, whose authority supersedes that of Detroit’s elected officials;
  • Freman Hendrix, CEO of Advanced Security & Investigative Solutions, which includes former local, regional and federal law enforcement agents;
  • Pamela Rodgers, president of Rodgers Chevrolet and a member of the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy board, which controls much of the city’s east riverfront land.
Charlie Beckham

Charlie Beckham

“This neighborhood goes back to early 1800’s and used to be called Little Paris,” Charlie Beckham, Duggan’s group executive for Detroit neighborhoods, said during the press conference. “You see some of the architectural renderings and motifs on the buildings here. We’re going to try to maintain that. Hopefully the families of Brush and Adelaide and Edmund and a lot of the names that you see on the streets right here will be happy with what we’re doing.”

Joe Foster, a major Black landholder in Brush Park through the late 20th century, must have been ready to rise up from his grave at Beckham’s remarks. He and his fiancée were murdered in 1997 in cases that have never been solved. Many felt their deaths were linked to a land grab by whites abetted by the city government.

Joe Foster, Jr. owned FIne Arts Theater in Brush Park until his murder in 1997. The city drove it out of business the following year.

Joe Foster, Jr. owned FIne Arts Theater in Brush Park until his murder in 1997. The city drove it out of business the following year, raiding it with helicopters and SWAT as  middle-class patrons attended a jazz concert.

Beckham’s comments were historically inaccurate. According to various records, Edmund Brush, the wealthy son of Elijah Brush, the second mayor of Detroit in 1806, developed the area for the city’s “elite” citizens, naming the streets Edmund, Alfred, Adelaine and Brush after his family members.

Elijah Brush held African Peter Denison in indentured servitude for a year. When he tried to free him, Denison’s “owner” Catherine Tucker appealed, winning a decision by Judge Augustus Woodward which upheld slavery status for all who had been kidnapped before 1796, when the British turned the Michigan Territory over to the U.S.

Denison became a prominent leader, heading a Black militia that fought alongside U.S. forces and Native Americans against British forces in the War of 1812, then migrating to Canada, where he was no longer considered a “slave.”

Mona Ross at earlier press conference with Duggan et al.

During the press conference, Duggan thrust Mona Ross, of the Brush Park Community Development Corporation (also known as a CDC), into the spotlight, falsely claiming it was the first time neighborhood representatives have been involved in planning new developments.

Ross, who runs a bed and breakfast out of one of Brush Park’s historic mansions, gave thanks to God, then to Duggan, Gilbert, and other BPDP partners, for the opportunity.

“This is nothing but identity theft,” Mingo reacted. “They are making people think the Citizens District Council is involved because of the same initials, but a Development Corporation is not an elected or governmental agency. It’s a private corporation.”

Gwen Mingo speaks against takeover of entire city of Detroit during bankruptcy proceedings, at protest May 1, 2014.
Gwen Mingo speaks against takeover of Detroit during bankruptcy proceedings, at protest May 1, 2014.

 RELATED DOCUMENT:

Brush Park articles 1995 to 2004 Michigan Citizen Ron Seigel

RELATED ARTICLES:

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2010/09/29/detroit-works-project-violate-state-law/

http://www.bhbanco.org/2006/02/city-commissioners-clear-way-for-take.html

http://www.mlive.com/news/detroit/index.ssf/2009/11/report_michigan_housing_chief.html

http://www.mlive.com/news/detroit/index.ssf/2015/04/50_million_development_coming.html


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HUNDREDS PROTEST EXONERATION OF MATT KENNY, MADISON COP WHO KILLED TONY ROBINSON, JR.

Protesters march in Madison, Wisconsin, on Tuesday, May 12, 2015, after a prosecutor announced that a police officer will not be charged for killing 19-year-old Tony Robinson.   Reuters/Ben Brewer

Protesters march in Madison, Wisconsin, on Tuesday, May 12, 2015, after a prosecutor announced that a police officer will not be charged for killing 19-year-old Tony Robinson. Reuters/Ben Brewer

WISCONSIN DA: NO CHARGES V. COP IN TONY ROBINSON, JR. KILLING

Young, Gifted & Black calls for school walk-outs, recalls Aiyana Jones, 7, killed by Detroit police May 16, 2010 

Protesters flood Madison streets

May 13, 2015

Tony Robinson, Jr. at high school graduation.

Tony Robinson, Jr. at high school graduation.

MADISON, Wis. (AP)

The mother of an unarmed biracial man who was killed by a white Madison police officer March 6 is questioning the official investigation of the incident.

Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne said Tuesday that he won’t charge Officer Matt Kenny for shooting and killing Tony Robinson. The announcement triggered new protests Tuesday and Wednesday from those who want Kenny to stand trial.

Andrea Irwin says she doesn’t think the authorities have released all of the facts regarding her 19-year-old son’s death. She disputes Kenny’s account of the moments leading up to the shooting.

Kenny told investigators that Robinson hit him in the head and he feared Robinson would take his gun. Irwin says there’s no way Kenny’s story could have played out in such a short amount of time.

1:15 p.m.

People angry about a prosecutor’s decision not to charge a white Madison police officer for killing an unarmed biracial man have conducted a mock trial of the officer in protest.

Madison cop Matt Kenny shot Tony Robinson, Jr. 7 times, killing him.

Madison cop Matt Kenny shot Tony Robinson, Jr. 7 times, killing him.

About 150 to 200 protesters marched through the streets of Wisconsin’s capital city on Wednesday before gathering outside of the Dane County Courthouse to stage the fake trial.

The crowd cheered when actors said they would charge Officer Matt Kenny in the March killing of 19-year-old Tony Robinson. Members of the Young, Gifted and Black Coalition, which has led protests since the killing, said the demonstration was intended to represent the processes they wished Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne had used.

Ozanne said Tuesday that he believes Kenny’s actions were justified and didn’t warrant charges.

11:50 a.m.

(M.P. King/Wisconsin State Journal via AP). Andrea Irwin, center, mother of Tony Robinson, and her boyfriend, Jeff Jackson, center right, participate in a protest march on Williamson Street, Tuesday, May 12, 2015, in Madison, Wis. Dane County District.

(M.P. King/Wisconsin State Journal via AP). Andrea Irwin, center, mother of Tony Robinson, and her boyfriend, Jeff Jackson, center right, participate in a protest march on Williamson Street, Tuesday, May 12, 2015, in Madison, Wis. Dane County District.

Madison Mayor Paul Soglin says any protesters who break the law should expect to be arrested.

Scores of people are marching through the city to protest a prosecutor’s decision not to charge Madison police Officer Matt Kenny for shooting and killing an unarmed biracial man in March. Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne said Tuesday that he believes the shooting was justified.

Madison Mayor Paul Soglin

Madison Mayor Paul Soglin

Soglin says the city will provide “the greatest latitude” for anyone expressing their beliefs. But he says police won’t tolerate illegal acts such as the blocking of ambulances. He also urged protesters not to interfere with the arrests of others.

The mayor acknowledged that many community members are unhappy about Ozanne’s decision, but he said there are many who support it.

11:30 a.m.

Hundreds of protesters are blocking a downtown Madison intersection as they rally against a prosecutor’s decision not to charge a white police officer in the death of an unarmed biracial man.

The crowd blocked the intersection for about five minutes Wednesday morning during a march to the Dane County Courthouse, where they plan to stage a street trial of the city’s police department. The demonstration’s leaders say they need to put their bodies on the line to show the public that black lives matter.

Officer Matt Kenny shot 19-year-old Tony Robinson in an apartment house on March 6. According to investigative reports, Robinson was high on mushrooms and punched Kenny in the head.

9:39 a.m.

Olga Ennis touches a memorial on Wednesday, May 13, 2015, on the porch of the Williamson Street home in Madison where Tony Robinson Jr. was killed by police. Ennis said she is a neighborhood resident who knew Robinson. Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne said Tuesday, May 12, that he wouldn't file charges against Madison Officer Matt Kenny in the March 6 death of Robinson, saying the officer used lawful deadly force after he was staggered by a punch to the head and feared for his life. (Photo: John Hart/Wisconsin State Journal/AP)

Olga Ennis touches a memorial on Wednesday, May 13, 2015, on the porch of the Williamson Street home in Madison where Tony Robinson Jr. was killed by police. Ennis said she is a neighborhood resident who knew Robinson. Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne said Tuesday, May 12, that he wouldn’t file charges against Madison Officer Matt Kenny in the March 6 death of Robinson, saying the officer used lawful deadly force after he was staggered by a punch to the head and feared for his life. (Photo: John Hart/Wisconsin State Journal/AP)

Scores of protesters have gathered outside of an apartment house where a white Wisconsin police officer shot and killed an unarmed biracial man in March.

Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne said Tuesday that he wouldn’t charge Madison Officer Matt Kenny in 19-year-old Tony Robinson’s death because he believes the shooting was justified.

Outside apartment building where Tony Robinson, Jr. was killed, protesters march May 13.

Outside apartment building where Tony Robinson, Jr. was killed, protesters march May 13.

About 100 demonstrators had gathered by 9:30 a.m. and were shouting protest slogans, including “No justice, no peace, no racist police.”

They plan to march downtown and conduct a street trial of the Madison Police Department. Volunteers from community groups such as 100 Black Men and the Urban League are watching the protesters and plan to advise anyone who appears to be on the verge of committing a crime to think twice.

9 a.m.

Protesters are gathering outside an apartment house where a white Wisconsin police officer shot and killed an unarmed biracial man in March.

The Young, Gifted and Black Coalition (http://www.ygbcoalition.org/) is asking people to leave work and school Wednesday and join them on a march from the apartment house to downtown Madison, where they plan to set up a street court to try the Madison Police Department themselves.

Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne said Tuesday that he wouldn’t charge Officer Matt Kenny in Tony Robinson’s death because he believes the shooting was justified.

About a dozen people had gathered at the apartment house as of 9 a.m. with wagons loaded with coffee and water bottles.

1 a.m.

An activist group that has led several demonstrations over the police shooting of an unarmed man in Madison is calling for a widespread walkout.

Aiyana Jones, 7, killed by Detroit police May 16, 2010 was recalled by Young, Gifted and Black in Madison, WI.

Aiyana Jones, 7, killed by Detroit police May 16, 2010 was recalled by Young, Gifted and Black in Madison, WI.

Young, Gifted and Black is calling the effort Black Out Wednesday. They say it recognizes the death in March of Tony Robinson Jr., as well as struggles such as poverty and mass incarceration that blacks face in America.

The group is staging its effort one day after a Wisconsin prosecutor declined to charge a white police officer in the death of Robinson, who was biracial. The prosecutor said the officer used lawful deadly force after he was punched in the head by Robinson and feared for his life.

Some 300 people staged a peaceful march Tuesday from the apartment building where Robinson was shot to the Capitol.


YGB PETITION TO THE UNITED NATIONS

YGB needs your voice in order to get an investigation by the United Nations as we elevate the conversation of oracial disparities in Madison and fight for justice for Tony Robinson, the unarmed black teen murdered at the hands of officer Matt Kenny of the Madison Police Department. SIGN THE PETITION HERE.


Dane County, District Attorney Ismael Ozanne announced Tuesday afternoon that he would not bring criminal charges against the Madison, Wisconsin, police officer who shot and killed unarmed 19-year-old Tony Robinson, Jr. on March 6 of this year.

Dane County DA Ismael Ozanne wipes sweat from his face as he announces decision not to charge white cop in Tony Robinson, Jr. death March 6.

Dane County DA Ismael Ozanne wipes sweat from his face as he announces decision not to charge white cop in Tony Robinson, Jr. death March 6.

Nervously dabbing sweat from his face during his 30-minute statement, the DA told reporters that he had concluded that Matt Kenny used a “lawful amount of force” when he ended Robinson’s life.

The killing of Robinson sparked walkouts and protests by thousands of students and workers in the state capital. Kenny, who had previously shot and killed a mentally disturbed white man in 2007, was placed on paid administrative leave.

To prove his bona fides, Ozanne began the speech by referring to the fact that, like Tony Robinson, he is biracial, and that his African-American mother participated in the civil rights movement in the 1960s. He also drew attention to the fact that he is the first non-white DA in the history of the state.

“My decision will not bring Tony back. My decision will not end racial disparities that exist in our criminal justice system. My decision is not based on emotion. Rather, this decision is based on the facts as they’ve been investigated and reported to me—guided by rule of law and the oath I took to uphold the constitution of the United States and the state of Wisconsin,” he said.

Video above: part of massive protests across the state after Robinson killing

He then launched into an official account of the moments before Robinson’s killing. According to Ozanne, Kenny and other officers were responding to 911 calls reporting that Robinson had assaulted one of his friends and was assaulting pedestrians and disrupting traffic. The young man was apparently having a negative reaction to hallucinogenic mushrooms that he had ingested a short time before.

As Kenny arrived on the scene Robinson had already returned to his friend’s apartment. Ozanne reported that Kenny then entered the second floor flat through a door that had already been broken open by Robinson after he heard a disturbance.

According to Ozanne, the officer announced himself, after which Robinson allegedly rushed the officer, hitting him in the face with his fist, knocking him back against the stairwell wall. As he retreated backward down the stairwell the officer opened fire seven times, emptying his gun into the unarmed Robinson, hitting him seven times. Robinson was pronounced dead at the hospital with bullet wounds in his head, torso, and right arm.

Dashcam video released by police shows cop shooting rapidfire into the building Tony was in; there is no footage of Tony himself.

The family’s attorney, John Loevy, questioned the DA’s accounting of the event, highlighting video evidence that reportedly shows the police officer firing the seventh and final shot which killed Robinson from outside the house. Loevy also stated that Kenny was warned by dispatchers not to pursue Robinson and unnecessarily escalated the situation.

The district attorney concluded his news conference Tuesday by quoting Martin Luther King, Jr. as a warning to those who might protest his decision, encouraging them to instead turn their anger and frustration back into the electoral system. “I am reminded that true and lasting change does not come from violence but from exercising our voices and our votes,” he stated. “The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said ‘violence brings only temporary change, violence by creating many more social problems than it solves never brings permanent peace.’”

(VOD with redSee commentary below on Ozanne’s slander of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s real beliefs on violence.)

Jeff Jackson, left, comforts his girlfriend, Andrea Irwin, the mother of Tony Robinson, while escorting her during a protest march on Williamson Street, Tuesday, May 12, 2015, in Madison, Wis.  (M.P. King/Wisconsin State Journal via AP)

Jeff Jackson, left, comforts his girlfriend, Andrea Irwin, the mother of Tony Robinson, while escorting her during a protest march on Williamson Street, Tuesday, May 12, 2015, in Madison, Wis. (M.P. King/Wisconsin State Journal via AP)

Ozanne’s remarks gave expression to the deep concern amongst the ruling elite about growing social opposition, especially in the wake of mass protests against the killing of Freddie Gray in Baltimore, Maryland, where the National Guard was deployed for a week in order to suppress popular anger.

Police officers were mobilized in advance of the DA’s news conference to respond to any spontaneous protests in response to his decision. Several hundred protestors holding banners which read “#JusticeforTony” and “Black Lives Matter” marched on the State Capitol building Tuesday evening. The protest organization Young Gifted and Black has called for students to walk out of school Wednesday to protest the decision not to bring charges.

Robinson was just one of more than 100 people killed by the police across the United States in March. According to killedbypolice.net Robinson was the 192nd person killed by police since the beginning of 2015, and since his death another 227 people have been killed as the result of an encounter with the police.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/no-charges-in-madison-wisconsin-police-killing-of-unarmed-youth-tony-robinson-jr/5449220

VOD with redThe DA arrogantly and cynically misconstrued Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s approach to revolutionary violence. Dr. King said:

As I have walked among the desperate, rejected, and angry young men, I have told them that Molotov cocktails and rifles would not solve their problem. I have tried to offer my deepest compassion while maintaining my conviction that social change comes most meaningfully through non-violent action. But they asked, and rightfully so, “What about Vietnam?” Their questions hit home and I knew I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today: my own government.”

Dr. King's historic meeting with Malcolm X, both revolutionaries.

Dr. King’s historic meeting with Malcolm X, both revolutionaries.

A Jan. 15, 2015 Counterpunch article by Eric Mann titled “Martin Luther King and the Black Revolutionary Tradition” explains how Dr. King used non-violent civil disobedience as a strategy, while aiming at the overturn of the entire racist, imperialist, capitalist system in the U.S.

Click on Martin Luther King and the Black Revolutionary Tradition or go to internet link at http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/01/19/martin-luther-king-and-the-black-revolutionary-tradition/.

Related articles:

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2015/03/07/black-teen-tony-robinson-shot-dead-by-madison-serial-killer-kop-matt-kenny-police-out-now/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2015/01/29/cops-kill-girls-charges-dismissed-in-death-of-aiyana-jones-7-two-teens-dead-in-colorado-texas/


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MOTHERS MARCH IN DC VS. POLICE KILLINGS; VOD HONORS LOCAL MOTHERS WHO LOST, FIGHT FOR CHILDREN

Mother's Day march in Washington, D.C. by mothers who lost their chidren to police violence, May 9, 2015. It was organized

Mother’s Day march in Washington, D.C. by mothers who lost their chidren to police violence, May 9, 2015. It was organized by Maria Hamilton, mother of Dontre Hamilton, 31, killed by police office last year./Linda Davidson, the Washington Post

(VOD is re-publishing this article by an independent writer,  from the Washington Post, to remember all our mothers throughout Detroit and surrounding areas who have lost their children to the police, or fought relentlessly to free their children from prison or from the hands of State Child Protective Services. Some of their photos have been inserted, but they represent only a few of the many who have lost children to police killings or who have had children snatched by the criminal justice system or by Child Protective Services.)

By Brigid Schulte May 9 at 9:15 PM

Dominika Jones, mother of Aiyana Jones, with Aiyana's father Charles Jones at upper left. Aiyana was murdered by Detroit police May 16, 2010.

Dominika Jones, mother of Aiyana Jones, with Aiyana’s father Charles Jones at upper left. Aiyana was killed by Detroit police May 16, 2010.

They wore photos of their dead sons’ faces on buttons pinned to their chests, like joyless Mother’s Day corsages. They wore T-shirts emblazoned with their dead sons’ names. They carried signs that read, “Stop Racist Police Terror” and “We Are Not Criminals” and “They are ALL our sons.”

Like incantations, they chanted the names of their unarmed sons who they said were shot in the back, shot point blank in the chest, shot 14 times, shot on their bikes, shot in parks, shot after leaving a dance, or left to bleed to death in the street. They chanted the names of those whose deaths inflamed a nation: Freddie Gray. Michael Brown. Amadou Diallo. Tony Robinson.

Mertilla Jones, grandmother of Aiyana and mother of Charles, who was framed by police and is now serving a 40-60 year sentence.

Mertilla Jones, grandmother of Aiyana and mother of Charles, who was framed by police and is now serving a 40-60 year sentence.

And the names of those perhaps remembered only by the grieving mothers themselves, such as Tremaine Flythe, who was shot by two D.C. police officers while walking to his mother’s house for breakfast the day after Christmas in 2009.

For several hours Saturday afternoon, more than a dozen mothers from around the country whose sons or daughters had been killed by police, or who died while in police custody, were joined by several hundred protesters in a “Million Mom March” to the steps of the Justice Department to demand sweeping police reforms.

“Not another life. Not another son. Not another daughter. We will not stop. We cannot stop until the killing ends,” pastor Traci Blackmon, of Ferguson, Mo., shouted to the mournful and angry crowd.

Nelda Kellom, mother of Terrance Kellom, executed by a Detroit police task force April 19, 2015, shot nine times,

Nelda Kellom, mother of Terrance Kellom, 19, executed by a Detroit police task force April 19, 2015, shot nine times.

“We have come here because a blue uniform does not make you God.”

The march, which is not associated with another Million Mom March to protest gun violence in 2000, was organized on a shoestring by Maria Hamilton, who founded Mothers for Justice United in Milwaukee after her son, Dontre, 31, was shot and killed by a police officer in 2014.

Dontre Hamilton, who had a history of mental illness, had been sleeping in a park when employees from a nearby Starbucks called the police to complain three times. A scuffle with a police officer who responded ended when he shot Hamilton 14 times.

Arnetta Grable (center), mother of Lamar Grable, executed by three time killer cop Eugene Brown in 1996, with her family, lawyers and supporters, celebrating victory in civil lawsuit that took 10 long hard years of struggle.

Arnetta Grable (center), mother of Lamar Grable, executed by three time killer cop Eugene Brown in 1996, with her family, lawyers and supporters, celebrating victory in civil lawsuit that took 10 long hard years of struggle.

Maria Hamilton buried her son one year ago to the day. Organizing the protest, she said, was a way to help with the shock and numbness that set in after he died. The recent death of Freddie Gray, who suffered a severe spine injury while in police custody in Baltimore, steeled her reserve.

Jacquelyn Porter, (2nd from l) with husband Tommie Staples Sr. at her left, and their children. Detroit police killed Staples Sr. for advocating for children stopped by police in their neighborhood.

Jacquelyn Porter, (2nd from l) with husband Tommie Staples Sr. at her left, and their children. Detroit police killed Staples Sr. for advocating for children stopped by police in their neighborhood.

“This is something that had to be done,” she said, noting that, in many of the cases, including Dontre’s, the officers have gone unpunished.

“The officer shot Dontre 14 times, emptied his clip, reloaded, and shot him in the back. And the district attorney found that that wasn’t excessive force. I won’t be satisfied until I see true change.”

After a spirited but peaceful march down Constitution Avenue, in the shadow of the U.S. Capitol, the mainly African American mothers and a diverse crowd of marchers waited on a hot day for nearly an hour to deliver their 13 demands for police reform.

Maryanne Godboldo, who stood off a Detroit police SWAT team for 11 hours as they tried to seize her daughter Ariana and medicate her with a dangerous drug,

Maryanne Godboldo, who stood off a Detroit police SWAT team for 11 hours as they tried to seize her daughter Ariana and medicate her with a dangerous drug,

They want the Justice Department to compile a public directory of all officer-related deaths in the past five years, as data like that is hard to come by; to require independent investigations when someone’s been shot or killed by a police officer; body cameras and better training; and to put an end to racial profiling and arming local police with military-style weapons.

Kevin Lewis, a spokesman for the Justice Department, took the demands, promised that the department would review them and spoke briefly to the crowd.

“No officer should be above the law,” he said.

Many of the mothers met with White House officials Friday in what Lewis described as a “productive and very emotional” meeting.

Taminko Sanford-Tilmon, fighting for her son Davontae Sanford, falsely jailed for 8 years since the age of 14 for murders to which hitman Vincent Smothers confessed,

Taminko Sanford-Tilmon, fighting for her son Davontae Sanford, falsely jailed for 8 years since the age of 14 for murders to which hitman Vincent Smothers confessed,

Many of the group’s demands are already under consideration — including gathering better data on police shootings, better training to reduce bias and examining the distribution and use of military-style weapons — as part of the soon-to-be-released recommendations of the White House Task Force on 21st Century Policing.

Obama appointed the task force to assuage what he called “deep-rooted frustration” over law enforcement practices in communities of color.

Marchers thrust photos of dead sons, dead nephews, dead brothers at Lewis as police sought to lead him out of the crowd.

Leda Reed with son Anthony Clark Reed, 24 when he died during a Detroit police traffic stop March 30, 2015.

Leda Reed with son Anthony Clark Reed, 24 when he died during a Detroit police traffic stop March 30, 2015.

“I’m sorry for your loss,” he told one. Just before he addressed the crowd, Lewis, 32, who is African American, embraced a weeping Maria Hamilton. “I told her I very well could have been her son,” he said.

Marion Gray-Hopkins, a retired bank executive in Maryland, marched so the world would not forget her son, Gary Hopkins Jr., who was shot and killed by police in November 1999 after a dance at a local fire station. He was 19.

Andrea Irwin flew in from Madison, Wis., so the world would not forget her son, Tony Terrell Robinson, who was shot in the chest, face and back by police officers March 6. He was 19. She wore a T-shirt with a photo of the 6-foot-4 Robinson, smiling and dressed in a suit.

Lidjinet Barber with poster remembering her son Ian May, 18, killed by a retired Detroit cop with a past,

Lidjinet Barber with poster remembering her son Ian May, 18, killed unnecessarily by a retired Detroit cop with a brutal past,

“I called him my gentle giant,” she said, wiping her eyes.

Janet Baker, a recently laid-off human resources worker, paid her own way to come from Houston to remember her only child, her son, Jordan, who was killed by an off-duty police officer while riding his bike because the officer thought the 26-year-old looked like a suspect.

“I feel like I’m walking around with a terminal illness, like I have no heart,” she said. “He was my everything. Now, fighting for justice for Jordan is my everything.”

Betty Flythe found out about the march Saturday morning. And though nearly crippled with arthritis, she leaned on her cane and marched to remember her son, Tremaine.

The late Jamiliah Sombai 2nd from l) with daughter Akua Tuere. Their son and brother Rahaab White was killed by Detroit cop in 1996.

The late Jamiliah Sombai (2nd from l) with daughter Akua Tuere (l). Their son and brother Rahaab White was killed by Detroit cop.

“It felt good to yell out his name. To finally tell people his story,” she said. “And to let them know, he would have had a good life.”

Brigid Schulte

Brigid Schulte

Brigid Schulte writes about Good-Life: work-life issues, time, productivity, gender and income inequality. She is the author of the bestselling Overwhelmed: Work, Love and Play when No One has Time.


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COALITION CONFRONTS I.C.E., DEMANDS JUSTICE IN TERRANCE KELLOM KILLING, END TO OTHER ATTACKS

Imam Dawud Walid of Mi-CAIR speaks during rally for justice for Terrance Kellom, other I.C.E. victims

Imam Dawud Walid of Mi-CAIR (2nd from l) speaks during rally  for Terrance Kellom, other I.C.E. victims

“Can’t stop, won’t stop until killer cops are in cell blocks” 

Speakers say Kellom killing recalls assassination of Iman Luqman Abdullah, other I.C.E. raids 

I.C.E. also involved in bringing drugs across U.S. borders

Water shut-offs, foreclosures cited as part of broad attack on Blacks

VOD, Freep file FOIA requests for Kellom autopsy

By Diane Bukowski

 May 9, 2015 

Terrance Kellom, killed at 19 by police, with baby son.

DETROIT – A coalition of groups gathered outside Detroit’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office on East Jefferson May 8, to demand justice for 19-year-old father Terrance Kellom, shot to death April 19 by ICE officer Mitchell Quinn with Detroit police. Speakers said they wanted ICE to stop taking part in multi-jurisdictional task forces, and called for transparency in the investigation of Kellom’s death.

They chanted “Can’t stop, won’t stop until killer cops are in cell blocks,” and “No justice, no peace, no racist police.”

The groups included Michigan United, Black Lives Matter-Detroit, the Coalition for Black Struggle, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Michigan, the National Action Network, the Northern Borders Coalition, the Michigan Council on American Islamic Relations (Mi-CAIR), and the Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality, Inc. according to a release from Michigan United.

Detroits Imam Luqman Abdullah, slaughtered by 66 federal agents and local police Oct. 28, 2009.

“We want law enforcement to respect our people and not be involved in extra-judicial killings,” Imam Dawud Walid of Mi-CAIR, said. “I.C.E. was also involved in the assassination of Imam Luqman Abdullah in 2009. The autopsy report in Iman Abdullah’s case was withheld just as in the Kellom case. We had to go to court to get it. This just fuels more distrust of the entire criminal justice system.”

Sixty-six federal agents, with local officials, slaughtered Imam Abdullah, leader of the majority-Black Masjid El-Haqq mosque on Detroit’s west side, on Oct. 28, 2009. He sustained 21 gunshot wounds, a broken arm, and lacerations to his face and upper body, resulting from police dog bites, during a raid on an abandoned Dearborn warehouse. The Imam and his members had been set up on conspiracy and theft charges by the FBI, using confidential informants.

Walid said Imam Abdullah’s family has a lawsuit pending in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, naming then Detroit FBI director Andrew Arena and others as defendants. Arena now heads the non-profit Detroit Crime Commission.

Mourners at Terrance Kellom’s funeral salute with “Hands Up Don’t Shoot” gestures and closed fists as his coffin is carried out for burial.

Kellom was shot to death nine times. His distraught father Kevin Kellom witnessed only the first two shots by Quinn before he was pulled away from the scene by police. He has repeatedly denied police claims that his son threatened police with a hammer. According to Ron Scott, who said at a vigil for Kellom that he had seen the autopsy report, the young man sustained seven gunshot wounds in the front of his body, and two in his back.

Kellom was laid to rest Wed. May 6, with over 200 attending his funeral. Young relatives and friends gave the “Hands Up Don’t Shoot” and power fist signals l as his coffin was carried out for burial.

Many in the community are now questioning whether Detroit police as well as Quinn shot Kellom. Family members have not been given a copy of the autopsy report, which Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy announced this week would be sealed. Some members of Kellom’s extended family issued a press release demanding a copy May 5.

Jerry Bell, Jr. and his cousin Kevin Kellom, father of Terrance, at vigil May 2, 2015.

Jerry Bell, Jr. and his cousin Kevin Kellom, father of Terrance, at vigil May 2, 2015.

“I believe there may be a cover-up. . . . There was no need for such a slaughter,” Jerry Bell, a cousin of Kevin Kellom’s, said in the release. “My cousin was turning his life around, because of his children, and he would not have caused his own death by confronting the police.” (See full release at Terrance Kellom press release.)

Both the Voice of Detroit and the Detroit Free Press have filed Freedom of Information Act requests demanding copies of the report. The Freep earlier won a case, Swickard v. Wayne County Medical Examiner (1991), which held autopsy reports to be public record. It is questionable whether Worthy has the right, independent of judicial proceedings, to seal the report.

During the rally, Grover Easterling III, a youth working with the Coalition for Black Struggle, said, “American law enforcement is killing our people. We want an end to the militarization of the police and task forces like the one that killed Terrance Kellom. We also stand in solidarity with other organizations fighting water shut-offs and evictions, another form of violence against our people.”

Easterling of the Coalition for Black Struggle, wearing green button for Terrance Kellom, addresses rally.

Grover Easterling III of the Coalition for Black Struggle, wearing green button for Terrance Kellom, addresses rally as Monica Lewis Patrick of People’s Water Board (background), Elder Louise listen.

Monica Lewis Patrick of the People’s Water Board and Dianne Feeley of Detroit Eviction Defense also spoke. Detroit is expected to begin more water shut-offs this month, while Feeley said activist Cheryl West was evicted from her home May 7 after a long battle. She noted that victims of shut-offs and foreclosures in Detroit are predominantly Black.

“For many decades now, I.C.E. has been abusing its power on the southern borders, including many killings,” said a spokesman for the Northern Borders Coalition. “Now they are escalating actions in the north, where 80 percent of the immigrantss it has detained in raids are held on nothing more than traffic violations.”

Luis Valencia r)describes I.C.E. raid during which he was brutalized.

Luis Valencia (r)describes I.C.E. raid during which he was brutalized.

Luis Valencia, a former reporter in Mexico, said his brother was killed by the drug cartels there, and his life and that of his mother were threatened. They fled to the U.S., only to experience more brutality from I.C.E., he said.

“In 2007, I.C.E. raided my workplace and ordered everybody to drop on the floor. I could not because of my hip injury, so they shoved me down and kicked and yelled at me. They told a judge that I tried to run away, but I showed the judge how I can barely walk. That was the only reason I was released from detention.”

In a federal trial in Chicago during April 2011,  Jesus Vicente Zambada Niebla, a top leader of the Mexican Sinaloa drug-trafficking cartel, claimed to have been working with the U.S. government for years according to pleadings filed in federal court in Chicago.

Jesus Vicente Zambada

Jesus Vicente Zambada Niebla trafficked drugs for I.C.E., other U.S. agencies.

Zambada Niebla said he was working “on behalf of the U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration (‘DEA’); and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (‘FBI’); and the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (‘ICE’).” He said they gave the Sinaloa cartel permission to traffic drugs in the U.S. as part of a scheme to capture members of a rival cartel.

According to a story by Deborah Dupre in the Examiner, Niebla is also connected to the Gulfstream II jet that crashed in 2007 with four tons of cocaine aboard. European investigators linked the wrecked plane’s tail number, N987SA, to CIA “rendition” operations.  (See link below.)

Protesters including Grover Easterling

Protesters including Grover Easterling III, Ron Scott, and Imam Dawud Walid were denied entrance to I.C.E. offices. They had intended to meet with I.C.E. Special Agent in Charge Rebecca Adducci. Guards informed them both she and an I.C.E. press representative were out of the city.

For further information, contact Erik Shelley of Michigan United at 248-982-6326.

Related stories:

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2015/05/05/family-members-want-terrance-kelloms-autopsy-report-unsealed-funeral-announced-to-public/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2015/05/03/hundreds-comfort-terrance-kelloms-family-at-vigil-will-autopsy-show-both-feds-dpd-shot-him/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2015/04/30/police-assassination-of-terrance-kellom-19-detroit-chief-craig-feds-have-blood-on-hands/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2011/08/05/targeted-dead-journalist-gary-webbs-allegations-of-fed-involvement-in-drug-trafficking-further-vindicated/


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FAMILY MEMBERS WANT TERRANCE KELLOM’S AUTOPSY REPORT UNSEALED, FUNERAL ANNOUNCED TO PUBLIC

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BALTIMORE POLICE ALLEGEDLY SHOOT BLACK MAN IN BACK, MACE HUGE GATHERING CROWD, THEN DENY IT ALL

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