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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, CALL 313-460-3175
See full Channel 7 report at
200 remember Terrance Kellom with sorrow, prayers, call for justice Candlelight, balloons and floating lanterns provide comfort in midst of grief Did DPD shoot 19-year-old father too? Autopsy alleged to show 7 shots in front, 2 in back, despite Chief Craig’s denial that DPD “took action” at scene Uncle: Family members with toddlers were in home when police, including DPD, invaded
May 2, 2015 By Diane Bukowski
DETROIT — When a squad of cops shot Terrance Kellom to death April 19, their bullets also entered the hearts of hundreds of his family members and friends, who crowded his father’s front yard today to grieve for the 19-year-old father of one baby son, who will never see his second child born. They wore dozens of varying T-shirts commemorating the young son, brother, cousin, and friend they called “Tee Tee.” “I will truly miss my Tee Tee,” one young woman said. “He was at my home every weekend with my brothers, and I’d be tripping over bodies. Now that he’s gone, I wish he was back.”
Another young woman remembered “Tee Tee” cutting off his sister’s ponytail when he was a child, then going on to collect other ponytails as well, for which he was whipped.
His father Kevin Kellom bent over in tears at first, comforted by his cousin Jerry Bell and other family members, before telling the crowd how much he appreciated the outpouring of support to lift him up at this time. Bell told VOD that his “little cousin” was getting his life back together, knowing he would have two children to raise. Kellom’s “Auntie Bobbie,” related to both sides of the family, called on them to keep their heads up.
“They were here for me when I lost my daughter at the age of 18,” she remembered. Sandra Hines said, “They’re telling a lot of stories right now. But no matter what the story is, they didn’t have to shoot him. It was a slaughter. They took one of our precious loved ones again, and we cannot continue to stand for this.” Detroit Police Chief James Craig has told the media that Kellom threatened Immigration and Customs Enforcement (I.C.E.) agent Mitchell Quinn with a hammer before the agent shot and killed Kellom, allegedly wanted on an armed robbery warrant. Craig said Detroit police who were part of the multi-agency fugitive task force that barged into the Kellom home “took no action” themselves.
But Kevin Kellom showed VOD today how his son was brought downstairs with two cops in front and two in back. He said he witnessed the first two shots by the agent, then was dragged into the dining room as a volley of other shots went off.
The mainstream media has basically debunked police claims that Terrance Kellom jumped on the second floor storage place until he fell through, startling the cops. A tour of the house showed there was no damage to the crawl space floor. Kellom said that his son could easily have been arrested earlier when he took a walk with him to the local gas station. Police have admitted that they had the family under surveillance. Chief Craig alleged that the senior Kellom has an outstanding warrant, but claimed he would “give him time to grieve” before arresting him. However, Third Judicial Circuit Court records show no such warrant. Kellom’s last encounter with the courts was in 2008, when he was given probation for the offense in question. Family members also present at the scene, including Kevin’s brother Tony, told VOD there were numerous Detroit police in the home at the time. Tony Kellom said he, his brother, two of his brother’s daughters, and three little grandchildren were there during the raid.
“I’m here to help my brother get justice,” he said. “I heard my nephew call out, ‘Dad and Uncle Tony, help me.'” He said he was in the home’s basement during the invasion.
During the vigil, Ron Scott reported “unofficially” that the completed autopsy shows Kellom was shot seven times in the chest and twice in the back, which would make it highly likely that cops other than Quinn also shot the young man, in what the elder Kellom has called an “assassination.” Police reported in their search warrant return that they had recovered seven shell casings and four fired bullet fragments from areas including the hallway at the bottom of the stairs, adjacent bedrooms, the bathroom and the molding of the door leading to the stairway. A funeral for Terrance Kellom is planned for Wed. May 6, 2015, according to a family member.
But chief on today’s agenda was the huge outpouring of support from all over the city, including the North End where much of the family grew up. So the rest of this story is being told in pictures, so that the community of Detroit and police of all agencies may know who else was shot in the heart that day.
Kevin Kellom tells protesters April 26 about his son’s “execution,” posted by Keith Horton on Youtube. Related: http://voiceofdetroit.net/2015/04/30/police-assassination-of-terrance-kellom-19-detroit-chief-craig-feds-have-blood-on-hands/
UPDATE: Above, Kevin Moore took original video of Freddie Gray’s arrest. He questions why it is the Black van driver, Caesar Goodson, Jr. who is facing the heaviest charges. He says the officers who first arrested Freddie on the street were responsible for his mortal injuries. A white woman cop shown in the arrest video has NOT been charged at all; three of six cops charged are Black. See Washington Post article on charges at:
Gray’s arrest declared illegal
Most severe charge, second degree depraved heart murder, which carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison, leveled at driver of van.
May 01, 2015 8:30 AM ET
The death of Freddie Gray was a homicide, and six Baltimore police officers now face criminal charges that include second degree murder and involuntary manslaughter, Baltimore chief prosecutor Marilyn J. Mosby says.
Mosby announced the charges Friday morning, citing her office’s “thorough and independent” investigation and the medical examiner’s report on Gray’s death. She said warrants were issued today for the officers’ arrest.
The city’s recently elected state’s attorney, Mosby detailed a range of charges against several officers, with the offenses ranging from one count of second degree murder and four counts of involuntary manslaughter to assault and misconduct in office.
The most severe charges are leveled against Officer Caesar R. Goodson, Jr., identified as the driver of the van that transported Gray to a police station. He is charged with second degree depraved heart murder, which carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison.
The investigation by the prosecutor’s office found there had been no reason to detain Gray — and that his arrest was in itself illegal, Mosby said. She said that the knife that police officers had found on Gray turned out to be legal.
After announcing the charges, Mosby noted her own ties to the police community — including her mother and father. She thanked officers who are committed to serving the community.
We’ll have more details from the announcement and any documents released by the prosecutor’s office.
From the release:
Officer Caesar R. Goodson, Jr.: Second degree depraved heart murder; involuntary manslaughter; second-degree assault; manslaughter by vehicle (gross negligence); manslaughter by vehicle (criminal negligence); misconduct in office
Officer William G. Porter: Involuntary manslaughter; second degree assault; misconduct in office
Lt. Brian W. Rice: Involuntary manslaughter; two counts of second degree assault; manslaughter by vehicle (gross negligence); two counts of misconduct in office; false imprisonment
Officer Edward M. Nero: Two counts of second degree assault; manslaughter by vehicle (gross negligence); two counts of misconduct in office; false imprisonment
Officer Garrett E. Miller: Two counts of second degree assault; two counts of misconduct in office; false imprisonment
Sgt. Alicia D. White: Involuntary manslaughter; second degree assault; misconduct in office
Update at 10:51 a.m. ET: Recounting Details Of Gray’s Arrest
Running down an exhaustive account of Gray’s arrest and treatment while in custody, Baltimore’s chief prosecutor is listing numerous occasions on which Gray was not properly restrained with a seatbelt while he rode in the back of a police van.
Update at 10:48 a.m. ET: Gray’s Death A Homicide, Prosecutor Says
Mosby said she has assured Gray’s family that “no one is above the law,” also cited her oath of office, in which she promised “uphold justice.”
She said that her review of the case found there had been no reason to detain Gray, and that his arrest was illegal.
The leading prosecutor in Baltimore spoke at a 10:30 a.m. news conference held in downtown Baltimore. The occasion brought a large show of force from both police and National Guard personnel who have been called on to secure the area since violence and vandalism broke out Monday night.
Earlier today, the local chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police says it has sent a letter to Mosby, asking her to appoint a special independent prosecutor in the case. The chapter’s president alleged that she had “many conflicts of interest” in the case. This morning, Mosby said she would be handling the case herself, adding that the people of Baltimore had elected her.
Mosby spoke one day after receiving the Baltimore Police Department’s report on Gray’s death. The findings aren’t public, and police revealed only a few new details when they announced the transition in the case Thursday.
NPR and other news organizations have asked Baltimore’s police department to release its report on the arrest and death of Freddie Gray, as well as for related documents and materials such as tapes of 911 calls made when Gray was taken into custody.
Our original post continues:
Gray died on April 19, one week after being taken into custody. Police have said that during his transport, Gray wasn’t buckled in properly and did not receive timely medical care. Six police officers remain suspended over the case.
As the Two-Way has reported, when police turned over the documents to State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby in Baltimore, they announced that “the van transporting Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old black man who suffered a serious spine injury while in police custody and later died, made one more stop than previously thought.”
The roughly 40 minutes that Gray spent in the van have emerged as the focal point in the inquiry over how he sustained the injury.
That extra stop was discovered through a review of recordings made by security and private cameras, Deputy Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said. He added that another detainee who was riding in the van told police that Gray was “still moving around … kicking and making noises” until the van reached the police station.
That second detainee rode in the police van on the other side of a metal partition that divides its cargo space. When he was picked up, Gray was already in the van.
Local news WJZ-TV reports that Donta Allen, 22, was that second man — and that he came forward Thursday out of concern over how his comments were being portrayed by both the police and the media.
“When I was in the back of that van it did not stop or nothing. All it did was go straight to the station, but I heard a little banging, like he was banging his head,” Allen said. ” I didn’t even know he was in the van until we got to the station.”
Saying his words have been distorted by recent reports and that he doesn’t think Gray hurt himself intentionally, Allen also told a WJZ reporter, “The only reason I’m doing this is because they put my name in a bad state.”
Allen, who was reportedly taken into custody for a minor offense and was not charged with a crime, also spoke to WBAL TV. He told the station that when he got into the van, he didn’t know Gray was already there. He said he heard “a little banging for like four seconds.”
(VOD: is current account of Freddie Gray’s spinal injury accurate? A witness at the scene said he saw a cop kneeling on Freddie Gray’s neck before they dragged him into the van, as shown in the video. The witness says Gray was NOT able to even walk at the time. He is heard screaming out in pain repeatedly. Which version will unpublished autopsy results bear out and how will that affect the prosecution of the officers charged?)
WBAL aired surveillance camera footage that shows officers looking into Gray’s side of the van during the stop that also picked up Allen.
When the van arrived at the police station, Allen said he heard the officers say that Gray didn’t have a pulse and was unresponsive — and that another officer later said, “He’s got vitals now, he must’ve come back.”
The sequence of events has led to wide-ranging questions over what happened: Was the van driven in a way that caused Gray’s injury? When did Gray become unresponsive? Were the sounds Allen heard caused by a seizure experienced by a gravely wounded man?
The Baltimore Sun reports: “Maryland’s chief medical examiner, Dr. David R. Fowler, said his office has not completed an autopsy or turned any documents over to police or prosecutors. He said homicide detectives had observed the examination, a routine practice.”
When it’s complete, Fowler’s report will go straight to the state’s attorney’s office, the newspaper says.
NPR and other news organizations have asked Baltimore’s police department to release its report on the arrest and death of Freddie Gray, as well as for related documents and materials such as tapes of 9-1-1 calls made when Gray was taken into custody.
Protesters have been calling on police to reveal more information about the case.
Thursday was the third night of Baltimore’s 10 p.m.-5 a.m. curfew. Ahead of the deadline, crowds of demonstrators marched downtown amid a large police presence. Baltimore’s curfew is expected to remain in effect through this weekend.
According to The Associated Press, here’s what protesters were chanting Thursday night:
“They assassinated my son”—Kevin Kellom, who witnessed the shooting
I.C.E. agent Mitchell Quinn, the alleged sole shooter, part of federal-city task force under Detroit Police Chief James Craig’s control
Hundreds rally near Kellom home, march to Cody High School, call for community replacement of police, control of resources
By Diane Bukowski
April 29, 2015
DETROIT – “They assassinated my son,” Kevin Kellom, father of 19-year-old Terrance Kellom, told an angry rally of hundreds, largely youth, near their home on Evergreen in Detroit April 26. “They [police] closed the [front] door, then they brought my son down the stairs, and they shot him in the chest. They executed my son in my face.”
Kellom added, “My son clenched his fists and said, ‘Daddy.’ Then he fell to his knees, and they shot him 10 times. He didn’t deserve that.” A medical examiner’s report said Kellom died of “multiple” gunshot wounds.
The “Detroit Fugitive Apprehension Task Force” (D-FAT), killed the younger Kellom at 1:38 p.m. Monday, April 25, according to his father. The team includes the U.S. Marshals Service, U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and Detroit Police.
The mainstream media has focused only on the alleged shooter, identified as Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (I.C.E.) agent Mitchell Quinn, a former Detroit cop with a sordid history of violence on that force. Police claim that Kellom lunged at Quinn with a hammer.
However, the elder Kellom said, multiple cops restrained his son as he was shot to death. Detroit police were included among those who mobbed the home.
“He had no weapons, he had no hammer,” the elder Kellom said. “I want nothing but justice. My son was 19 with one son and a daughter on the way. He had children to stand by. He didn’t weigh any more than 100 pounds. He had officers in the front of him and officers in the back of him, how could he grab a hammer? There were anywhere from 40-50 cops around the house. Every time [police] come into contact with a young Black man, does that have to result in his death?”
Kellom said the police had no search warrant when they came to his house, but got one signed after 4 p.m., which they left on his dining room table at 7 p.m. Police have claimed he voluntarily admitted them to the home, but a cousin of the family said that police threatened to break down the door if Kellom didn’t let them in.
Janay Williams, mother of Terrance Kellom’s children, told Fox 2 News that justice for Kellom would be, “If the police who did that to him get locked up.”
The children’s aunt Adrienne Williams, told Fox 2, “He was here everyday with his son. His son knows who he is. His son knows his face. His son talks about the police, his son is terrified. He didn’t deserve what he got from the police.”
Police said the younger Kellom was wanted on armed robbery charges. He never had a chance to be heard in court on that warrant because he was killed first. He had previous adult convictions of drug trafficking and attempted CCW (carrying a concealed weapon,) but was sentenced to probation in both cases.
Later during a community meeting held April 28, Detroit Police Chief James Craig praised a general police sweep by D-FAT which he alleged has resulted in the arrests of 24 people wanted for murder, 33 for assault to commit murder, and 66 for criminal sexual assault. He did not say how many of those arrests resulted in convictions.
Seventeen such raids, part of “Operation Restore Order,” have been conducted with the DPD in charge since Nov. 2013, when police raided the allegedly “high crime” Colony Arms Apartments. Craig announced the beginning of “Operation River Walk 2,” the 17th raid, through Detroit’s west side March 2.
Neighbors, relatives, friends, and a large contingent of youth participated in the April 26 rally near the Kellom home at Evergreen and W. Chicago. A number of organizations were involved, including CopWatch.com, Mothers of Murdered Children, who are planning a national rally in Washington, D.C. June 5-7, (see flier below) Good Brothers and Sisters for a New Power Coalition, the Franklin Neighborhood Association, and members the Original Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality as well as the Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality, Inc.
Some protesters traveled from Ann Arbor as well, carrying banners depicting Aura Rosser, killed by police there in November, 2014, and Aiyana Stanley-Jones, 7, who was shot to death with an MP-5 submachine gun by Detroit police May 16, 2010.
“I’m here to support my neighbors, the family,” said Sandra Viena. “I have a couple of sons, and I don’t want to see them shot down.”
Bobbi Johnson of the Franklin Park Association added, “There are two day care centers on the corner here, and kids were out walking when the police came. What made it such a priority? We don’t want to see any more young Black men end up dead.”
Dennis Black of Good Brothers and Sisters said, “We have Terrance Kellom, we had Aiyana Stanley-Jones, Renisha McBride and many others. The problem is systematic. It’s a system of violence that terrorizes the Black community. We want everyone prosecuted. We want an end to the militarization of the police and these multi-jurisdictional task forces.”
After an initial press conference and rally, hundreds took off on a march to the former Cody High School at Faust near Chicago, taking over West Chicago on both sides of the street, as drivers honked their horns and young people from the neighborhood hurried out of their backyards to join the march.
They chanted, “No Justice, No Peace, No Racist Police,” “Whose Streets, Our Streets!” and carried signs declaring “Fuck the Police,” “Bring Down the Detroit Police State and Prison Nation,” among others.
The video above, taken by long-time Detroit activist Kenneth Snodgrass, includes speeches made outside Cody to a predominantly youthful crowd who had lasted through the long march.
Speakers targeted in particular the presence of police in the Detroit school system, and the “school-to-prison pipeline,” which suspends Black youth out of proportion to whites, leaving them vulnerable to the streets and eventually to police and incarceration.
Detroit Public School teachers shut down over 18 schools April 29 and marched to Lansing to protest further devastation of the district by Governor Rick Snyder’s plan to divide it up.
Speakers at Cody also connected the struggle against police brutality to the larger struggles of Black and poor people in the U.S., including the battle for fundamental human rights like water, jobs, and homes. The City of Detroit has announced new plans for more mass water shut-offs.
Later, youth at the rally marched back to the Kellom home, and blocked the intersection at Evergreen and W. Chicago, for a short period, to the displeasure of Detroit police. Police had cleared the way for the march at first, but on the marchers’ return, they began mobilizing for arrests, taking out plastic handcuffs and bringing in the Detroit Police blue bus to threaten protesters.
However, an uncle of Terrance Kellom’s intervened and forestalled any arrests. George Hunter of the Detroit News belatedly obtained a video of this section of the march, which he published today, April 30, in an attempt to demonize the protesters.
He had left the scene long before the march. Hunter also demonized the family of Aiyana Jones in much of his coverage of that case.
Barbara McQuade, head of the U.S. Attorney’s office in Detroit, reacted to the shooting in a statement.
“Police work sometimes requires use of deadly force, but officers may use only as much force as is reasonable under the circumstances,” McQuade said. “In a situation like this, it is important to protect the rights of both the deceased and the officer. Therefore, we are closely monitoring the investigation.”
The U.S. Department of Justice refused last year to file civil rights charges in the Aug. 9 killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown, which led to repeated rebellions in Ferguson. They are also supposed to be investigating the brutal killing of Freddie Gray in Baltimore, as rebellions there and across the U.S. have erupted week after week. Gray’s spinal cord was severed during his arrest by Baltimore police April 12, and he died of his injuries April 19.
Police there have recently tried to turn the case around, claiming that Gray already had a spinal injury from a hospital operation. However, the Baltimore Sun obtained the medical records in that incident, which showed no such injury.
The Kellmon case is allegedly to be turned over to the office of Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy to decide if any charges will be brought against Mitchell.
In the now notorious case of Floyd Dent in Inkster, Worthy charged only “Robocop” William Melendez with “Assault with Intent to Do Great Bodily Harm Less than Murder,” although he beat Dent 16 times on the top of his head with a gloved fist likely covering brass knuckles, as he held him in a chokehold. Dent said he thought he was “taking my last breath.”
Worthy closed her investigation without charging the other cops involved in the beating, who have been recently exposed by tenacious Channel Four reporter Kevin Dietz for their vicious, humiliating treatment of Dent while he was being booked and was begging for medical care, in addition to their assistance in his near-fatal beating. See video below.
“I think America must see that riots do not develop out of thin air. Certain conditions continue to exist in our society which must be condemned as vigorously as we condemn riots. But in the final analysis, a riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it that America has failed to hear?
It has failed to hear that the plight of the Negro poor has worsened over the last few years. It has failed to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met. And it has failed to hear that large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility and the status quo than about justice, equality, and humanity.
And so in a real sense our nation’s summers of riots are caused by our nation’s winters of delay. And as long as America postpones justice, we stand in the position of having these recurrences of violence and riots over and over again.
Social justice and progress are the absolute guarantors of riot prevention.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
DONATE FOR FUNERAL EXPENSES FOR TERRANCE KELLOM’S FAMILY AT http://www.gofundme.com/tatz2e6,
Sponsored by his aunt Dietra Slym Goody Kellom. Ms. Kellom also posted a video on her own Facebook page showing the undamaged ceiling and attic of the Kelloms’ home. Police have claimed falsely that Terrance ran up into the attic, then jumped up and down on its floor until he fell through, shouting at the same time, “You’ll have to kill me.” Mainstream media toured the Kellom home April 29 so their lawyer could show that there was no damage. Channel Four briefly reported on the tour, but that video is now gone from their website. So view the tour on Ms. Kellom’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/dietra.kellom?fref=ufi&pnref=story.
For march application with info about signing up, click on MOMC march. Hotel reservations must be made by May 5, 2015.
Breaking news in Detroit (VOD story to come–teenage father shot multiple times to death by Detroit, ICE police after they invaded his home)
PROTEST COP KILLING OF TERRANCE KELLOM, 19
Today Tues. Apr. 28 @ 4 pm p.m.
Evergreen at W. Chicago
The events in Baltimore today are part of a long tradition of urban uprisings in the U.S.
Some social scientists, like the late Harlan Hahn and I, have been researching black urban uprisings in great detail since the 1960s. Yet, when urban uprisings occur every few years, this major research and the deep historical background it assesses are regularly ignored or forgotten—not surprisingly, of course, given that the mainstream media and most political institutions are controlled by elite white men with no interest in remedying the underlying conditions that create so-called “urban riots.”
In the first sustained analysis of the black urban rebellions ever done by social scientists, Harlan Hahn and I (Ghetto Revolts, Macmillan, 1973, nominated for a Pulitzer) dissected and refuted the prevailing conservative theories of these black rebellions— always blaming the victim theories— and laid out an alternative power-and-oppression interpretive framework. We showed how these were not “wild riots,” but were urban uprisings. Given that, they were, and are, better conceptualized as part of centuries-old racial power struggles. In our book we examine, for the years between the early 1960s and early 1970s, the hundreds of black urban revolts that occurred throughout the United States. These included massive uprisings in the Watts district of Los Angeles in 1965, in Detroit and Newark in 1967, and in Washington, D.C., in 1968.
The impact of these large-scale revolts was felt across the nation, which was confronted by a militant new generation of proud African Americans willing to engage in this ultimate type of anti-racism protest, much like we seem to be witnessing again. Critical studies of the 1960s-1970s black revolts regularly emphasized the concepts of “precipitating events” and “underlying conditions.”
Police malpractice – usually police brutality – like the many cases in Baltimore – of various kinds often has been the precipitating event for black rebellions, now for seven decades. White police officers have historically played, and still play, a major role in the violent repression of black Americans, especially those who seek to protest racism. Historical data on police violence are chilling. In the years 1920-1932 alone substantially more than half of all African Americans killed by whites were actually killed by police officers. Police were also implicated in the 6,000 lynchings of black men and women from the 1870s to the 1960s.
Not surprisingly, in recent decades police harassment and violence have been openly resisted by black Americans in the form of large-scale community rebellions. Our analysis of black community rebellions for the years 1943-1972 indicated that the immediate precipitating event of a great many uprisings was the killing or harassment of black men by white officers.
This reaction to police harassment can also be seen in more recent rioting by black citizens, such as in Los Angeles and Miami in the 1980s and 1990s, and in Ferguson, New York, Baltimore, and many other cities since. In spite of some desegregation and other improvements in policing since the 1960s, police violence and malpractice have continued to oppress black communities.
The role of white officials and the police in generating and accelerating rioting, while often rationalized or overlooked by a majority of white Americans, has been significant. Police brutality and other malpractice targeting African Americans remain a major problem across the United States. In one nationwide poll, nearly 80 percent of the black respondents said that in most cities the police did not treat black residents as fairly as white residents.
Yet urban black rebellions have always been about much more than these precipitating events, including police malpractice. As we showed four decades ago in Ghetto Revolts, a full understanding of urban uprisings requires much attention to the underlying foundation of three-plus centuries of white-on-black oppression. This oppression set in place, and keeps in place, numerous highly exploitative, inegalitarian, and undemocratic national and local-urban political-economic institutions. The “underlying conditions” of urban uprisings mostly involve the structural realities of economic oppression that create much unemployment and underemployment and have a severe impact on black individuals and communities. It is not surprising that economic institutions are often targets of those who protest by violent means.
VIDEO BELOW: I SUPPORT THE BALTIMORE REBELLION! Gazi Kodzo
History suggests too that the current uprisings in Baltimore can get much worse. For example, in major uprisings in Miami in spring 1980, black residents lashed out against the police and the larger white society with extensive burning and looting of stores. That uprising resulted in 16 deaths, 400 injuries, and $100 million in property damage. A poll asked black Americans nationally whether that rioting was justified. Twenty-seven percent said “Yes,” and another 25 percent replied “Don’t know” or “Not sure.”
More black uprisings occurred in Miami between 1982 and 1991, triggered by incidents involving police officers. Recall too that in Los Angeles in spring 1992, the acquittal on charges of police brutality of four officers who had been videotaped brutally beating an unarmed black man (Rodney King) triggered the most serious urban rebellion in the 20th century. After days of rioting, more than 10,000 blacks and Latinos had been arrested, and more than 50 people had been killed. Property damage exceeded one billion dollars. At one point, 20,000 police officers and soldiers patrolled large areas of Los Angeles. The events there triggered uprisings in other cities. As in the 1960s urban rebellions, the underlying conditions included poverty, unemployment, and poor housing conditions.
The exploitative, discriminatory, and unjust-enrichment-hoarding actions by whites who run our inegalitarian political-economic institutions, generally elite white men and their acolytes, have actually generated black rebellions from the 1930s, through the radical 1960s, to the present day. They have intentionally generated unjust enrichment for a majority of whites, and unjust impoverishment for a majority of black Americans, past and present. This country, from colonial years, has been firmly grounded in highly oppressive political-economic institutions –under slavery (about 240 years of that) and then under legal and official segregation (another 90 years of that). Not even official freedom for this country, and for black Americans, came until the 1969 Civil Rights Act when into effect, barely two generations ago.
If one gives serious attention to understanding that foundation of white-generated, white-maintained oppression and its ever-present institutions (for example, we still live under a Constitution made by slaveholders), one can see more clearly how and why some of the earliest historical “riots” (for example, Chicago in 1919) were actually white “riots of control” involving rank-and-file whites and elite whites enforcing centuries-old racial oppression. Only later do we see large-scale black rebellions (the 1960s rebellions and those since) against that system of racial oppression. To make sense of all this, one needs to accent much more the critical white actors, especially elite white actors, in the institutional contexts that generate the unjust impoverishment and unjust police malpractice that generates urban black uprisings.
Where does this leave us today? Certainly, in a highly and systemically racist society.
In a summer 1857 speech in New York, the great abolitionist and intellectual Frederick Douglass, long ago noted the reality of this racial oppression and what it often takes to truly combat it:
The whole history of the progress of human liberty shows that all concessions yet made to her august claims have been born of earnest struggle. . . . If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet deprecate agitation are men who want crops without plowing up the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning. . ..
Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. . . . If we ever get free from the oppressions and wrongs heaped upon us, we must pay for their removal. We must do this by labor, by suffering, by sacrifice, and if needs be, by our lives and the lives of others.
Above: earlier report from RT including background of Baltimore police brutality incidents similar to the killing of Freddie Gray
Violence breaks out near Camden Yards during Freddie Gray protests
Baseball fans trapped in stadium
BY Yvonne Wenger, Mark Puente, Kevin Rector, Colin Campbell and Erica L. Green
BALTIMORE—A day of mostly peaceful demonstrations against the death of Freddie Gray turned confrontational as dark fell over Baltimore Saturday evening, as protesters blocked traffic near the Inner Harbor, smashed police car windows and shouted, “Killers!” at officers in riot gear.
More than 100 officers — wearing helmets, gloves and vests and carrying batons — formed a wall along several blocks of Pratt Street, and began to make arrests. State police in full tactical gear were deployed to the city.
Protesters shouted “Killers!” and “You can’t get away with this!” and “Hands up don’t shoot!” Some threw rocks and water bottles at police mounted on horses, smashed the windows of businesses and looted at least two convenience stores.
At the intersection of Howard and Pratt streets, police chanted “Move back. Move back.”
Some protesters indicated that they didn’t expect to retreat anytime soon. The Orioles, playing a night game that went into extra innings at Camden Yards, asked fans to stay in the stadium until further notice, as police were clearing crowds on downtown streets with riot shields.
“People are not leaving,” London Hall said. “We are tired. We are not going to show them that they got the muscle and the power. We’re the voice of the street. These streets belong to us.”
Below is CNN interview with “The Wire” actress who knew Freddie Gray and said she too would have run from police due to their past history.
It was the largest of the demonstrations that protesters have staged every day since Gray died last Sunday. The 25-year-old sustained spinal cord injuries while in police custody following his arrest April 12 near Gilmor Homes in West Baltimore.
At the Gallery at HarborPlace around 7 p.m., a window at the Michael Kors store was smashed and shoppers were evacuated. Customers, who held coats and scarves over their faces, reported hearing a loud bang as the window was smashed with a trash can.
Leila Rghioui, 20, of Randallstown had stopped by the mall after protesting with friendsearlier in the day.
“All I remember is the security guards started barricading doors and everyone started losing their minds coughing,” Rghioui said. She said pepper spray made her throw up.
Faith Demby of West Baltimore was shopping at The Children’s Place with her daughter, a third-grader, when the crowd was disrupted. Amena Demby-Ajadi earned the trip to the mall by making the honor roll.
“I know the next time something like this happens — if they are protesting or something — I’ll stay home,” the girl said.
“I knew when I saw that many people something was going to happen,” her mother said. “It was just too many people.”
Demonstrators clashed with police outside Oriole Park.
A few protesters jumped on police cars and smashed their windows with trash cans and traffic cones. They grabbed police caps from the cars and posed atop them to cheering and howls of laughter. The group quickly dispersed, sprinting away as a line of police officers came running down the street.
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said she was “profoundly disappointed.”
“I am grateful to the many demonstrators who sought to make their concerns heard in a peaceful and respectful manner,” she said. ” “A small group of agitators intervened and turned what was otherwise a peaceful demonstration into a violence protest. This is something that was unacceptable to me and everyone who lives in Baltimore.”
Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts said more than a dozen people were arrested, and more arrests were expected into the night.
He said protests were “extremely peaceful” for most of the day. He blamed the trouble on a small number of agitators.
“Baltimore residents were telling people in the crowd to calm down and relax,” Batts said. “Residents put themselves between police officers and this agitated crowd and asked for calm and asked for peace, which was very good to see. There appeared to be conflict between the agitators.”
Aides to Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said he skipped the White House Correspondents Association dinner in Washington Saturday night to monitor the situation.
In a statement, Sen. Ben Cardin asked demonstrators to remain peaceful.
“As our community watches what was a meaningful and justified protest descend into an ugly scene we have seen all too often across the nation, I make an earnest appeal for peace in Baltimore,” he said. “I ask for those involved to not work against our shared goal and distract from seeking justice for Freddie Gray.”
Trouble popped up across Downtown Baltimore. Several people smashed the front door of the 7-Eleven on Light Street at about 9:20 p.m. One person entered the store and took several items while tossing others on the ground.Donald Kennedy, one of the owners of Pratt Street Ale House, watched as protesters took over downtown. Police asked him to move patrons inside.
“We just hope it’s a safe night for everybody involved “Normally this is a busy Boston baseball weekend for us, and this is troubling that.”
The crowds began to assemble about noon at the site of Gray’s arrest near Gilmor homes in West Baltimore. Some participants came from as far as Ferguson, Mo. Most of the marchers, estimated by the Fire Department at 1,200, were from Baltimore.
From Gilmor, they marched in the afternoon to the Western District Police Station, where about 50 officers formed lines around the building.
Twelve-year-old Charles Sheppard leaned against the barricade, holding a sign with a quote from James Baldwin: “Ignorance allied with power is the most ferocious enemy of justice.”c
His mother, Tina Commodore, yelled toward the line of officers: “He’s a murder! He’s a murder!”
“You know how a volcano erupts?” Charles asked. “That’s how I feel inside about this.”
Batts, who a day earlier defied calls to step down, walked briefly into a crowd of a hundred or so outside the station. He told reporters he had been working to change the culture of the Police Department.
Some demonstrators shouted: “There’s blood on your hands!” and “sellout!”
Before he walked back behind the police line, Batts paused to give 52-year-old Resa Burton a hug.
Burton, a lifelong West Baltimore resident, said she had a message for Batts: “We need justice.”
“They killed a man,” Burton said. “It could’ve been me! It could’ve been me! It could been my brother, my nephew! It could’ve been you!”
After the protesters crossed Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, they stopped for a moment of silence outside Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where Gray fell into a coma before dying. As drivers honked, a bullhorn-carrying leader, Malik Shabazz, president of Black Lawyers for Justice, he told the crowd to hold the intersection.
They then headed to Oriole Park, where Shabazz said, “Let’s shake it up.”
Protesters began running toward the stadium, kicking parked cars. Shabazz tried to stop them.
One stomped across the top of a police cruiser, and another stood on it.
Gray’s brother Juan Grant and cousin Carron Morgan were among the hundreds gathered there early in the day. They helped calm the crowd.
Seventy-five officers stood in unison at the entrance of Camden Yards. Protesters stood steps away, calling them killers.
“You ought to be ashamed of yourselves!” one man shouted. “You like breaking people’s necks!”
Another man shouted: “Some of you are good people. It’s just the ones who do stupid stuff that we don’t like.”
As the crowd moved through the intersection of Howard and Camden streets, a group of men and teenagers grabbed soda, water and chips from a hot dog vendor and ran away.
“Hey! that stuff isn’t free!” the vendor yelled.
Tywan Paige, 12, marched with his uncle from the Western District.
“The police are gonna keep beating people up!” he shouted.
Police greeted the marchers on Fayette Street near police headquarters. Officers kept helmets strapped to their legs in case violence erupted.
With hundreds of protesters in front of City Hall, organizers shouted into a microphone to energize the crowd.
“Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, raise your hand if you think Freddie Gray was murdered,” Shabazz yelled. Hundreds and hundreds of hands went reached for the sky.
“We see black men dropping like files,” he said. “We see them all across the United States of America.”
Shabazz called on leaders from President Barack Obama to Mayor Rawlings-Blake to address the violent relationship between black communities and law enforcement. He criticized Rawlings-Blake for not getting answers about the Gray case.
“How can you be the mayor and you can’t even get a police report from the Police Department?” Shabazz said.
He said the Black Lawyers for Justice are planning another mass rally for next Saturday.
Quicken Loans owner Dan Gilbert heads city’s “Blight Removal Task Force,” but his own company has been responsible for creating much of the blight through fraudulent lending and foreclosures. Gilbert, owner of the Greektown Casino and also involved with former Detroit mayor Dennis Archer in getting casinos in other states, was convicted while attending Michigan State University in a $114,000 bookmaking operation.
Quicken: ‘irrational and baseless witchhunt’
“This case is the latest step in our commitment to hold accountable mortgage lenders who profit by taking advantage of HUD insurance and issuing defective loans that do not meet HUD’s standards.” – John Walsh, U.S. Attorney, District of Colorado
Apr 24, 2015
A three-year battle between the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and Quicken Loans came to a head yesterday when the department filed a lawsuit alleging the Detroit-based lender violated the False Claims Act by improperly originating and underwriting mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA).
The lawsuit is the latest volley in a longstanding government probe of Quicken’s participation in the FHA insurance program as a direct endorsement lender. According to the DOJ, from 2007 to 2011, Quicken knowingly submitted claims for hundreds of improperly underwritten FHA-insured loans, encouraged employees to disregard FHA rules and requested inflated property appraisals.
As a result of these alleged actions, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) paid “millions of dollars” of insurance claims, and many additional loans that have become at least 60 days delinquent could result in further HUD claims, the DOJ said.
What’s more, the department claims that Quicken managers were well aware of the problems and even granted “management exceptions” whereby managers would allow underwriters to break an FHA rule in order to approve a loan.
According to the DOJ’s complaint, Quicken’s divisional vice president for underwriting — the second-highest senior executive in the lender’s operations department — wrote in an email discussing the value appeal process that “I don’t think the media and any other mortgage company (FNMA, FHA, FMLC) would like the fact we have a team who is responsible to push back on appraisers questioning their appraised values.”
In another email, the same individual told a group of Quicken executives that 40 percent of the management exceptions on FHA’s early payment defaults should not have been granted, adding, “we make some really dumb decisions when it comes to client service exceptions. Example, purchase loan we pulled new credit and the client stopped paying on almost everything and the scores fell by 100 points, we [still] closed it.”
In another email discussing an FHA loan, the operations director explained that the loan was approved based on “bastard income,” which he described as “trying to put some kind of income together that is plausible to the investor even though we know its creation comes from something evil and horrible.”
The DOJ’s complaint further alleges that Quicken failed to implement an adequate quality-control program to identify deficient loans, and that Quicken failed to report to HUD the loans it did identify. Despite its obligation to report to HUD all materially deficient loans, “Quicken concealed its deficient underwriting practices and failed to report a single underwriting deficiency to the agency,” the DOJ alleges.
“As the complaint alleges, Quicken violated HUD’s quality standards when obtaining HUD insurance for mortgage loans,” U.S. Attorney John Walsh of the District of Colorado, whose office helped to lead the investigation, said in a statement. “Quicken issued hundreds of defective mortgage loans, and left HUD — and the taxpayer — to pay for the loans that defaulted. Quicken’s alleged fraudulent conduct affected communities nationwide. This case is the latest step in our commitment to hold accountable mortgage lenders who profit by taking advantage of HUD insurance and issuing defective loans that do not meet HUD’s standards.”
Walsh’s office conducted the investigation along with HUD and its Office of Inspector General and the DOJ Civil Division’s Commercial Litigation branch.
Quicken quickly responded to the DOJ’s lawsuit, calling the filing “simply the continuation of the abusive actions and a make-good on the DOJ’s threats since their witchhunt began three years ago.” Just last week on April 17, the lender filed a lawsuit of its own against the DOJ and HUD, alleging they have been strong-arming it into making false public admissions and either agreeing to pay a fine or face legal action.
According to Quicken, the DOJ’s investigation is based on a small sample of 55 loans, “a minuscule number of cherry-picked mortgages from the nearly 250,000 FHA loans the company has closed since 2007.”
“The complaint filed today is riddled with inaccurate and twisted conclusions from fragments of a handful of emails cherry-picked from 85,000 documents that the DOJ subpoenaed,” the company said in a statement. “Worse than that, the DOJ appears to be basing their entire case on a handful of out-of-context email conversations skimmed from the communication between Quicken Loans employees. These conversations relate to a miniscule number of loans out of the nearly 250,000 FHA mortgages the company has closed over the past seven years.”
Quicken has also noted its position as the nation’s largest FHA lender and said it has originated the agency’s best-performing loan portfolio, with the lowest default rate of any single lender compared to FHA’s total mortgage portfolio. However, in light of these events, the lender said, “We will be evaluating the prudence of our continued participation in the FHA program.”
“The irrational and baseless claims by this powerful federal agency will be exposed in federal court,” Quicken said. “We are confident that after examining the facts, the judicial branch will clearly see the outrageous actions of the DOJ and exercise its authority to end this agency’s misuse of power.”
The False Claims Act, also called the Lincoln Law, imposes liability on persons and companies who defraud governmental programs. Federal penalties can total three times of amount of the claim, plus fines of $5,500 to $11,000 per claim.
Read the entire 69-page lawsuit at US Quicken Loans lawsuit 4 24 15.
(VOD–other sources report that Quicken Loans had done $70 BILLION worth of business in Detroit as of 2011.)
It appears that former amateur sports bookie, owner of Quicken Loans, the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers, numerous casinos in Ohio and wannabe White Jesus of Detroit, Dan Gilbert and his merry band of boiler room telephone operators at Quicken Loans contributed to Detroit’s epic blight problem that Gilbert has now pledged to eliminate.
First, let’s go back in time to 2007 when Dan Gilbert, proclaimed to Tom Walsh at the Detroit News, “Quicken and Rock have never made sub-prime loans to home buyers.”
This claim was later debunked by investigative journalist and writer, Michael Hudson.
In 2011, an Ohio court awarded a $3 million verdict to former Quicken Loans customers who claimed they were victims of predatory lending. This was followed up by a ruling by a West Virginia judge who awarded homeowners $2 million claiming Quicken used fraudulent appraisals in order lend homeowners more money. The judge in that case even went so far to call Quicken’s actions, “unconscionable.”
During all this, Gilbert, a man whose vanity is exceeded only by his pettiness and who runs Quicken as if it were a rogue Scientology cult operated by North Korean Dictator Kim Jung-Un, still claimed, “Quicken to be “one of the good guys.”
Quicken was able to escape the carnage and tarnished images of the financial crisis not because Quicken Loans was ‘one of the good guys’ as Dan Gilbert likes to claims but because Quicken didn’t carry any liability from the loans they originated because they sold the loans on the secondary mortgage market to Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac or into private mortgage backed securities Trusts.
In October of last year, Gilbert made a pledge to Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan to assist Detroit in tearing down blighted residential properties and was then put in charge of the Detroit Blight Removal Task Force. Everyone in Detroit media praised Gilbert and treated him as a White Jesus who had come to rescue Detroit. What they weren’t asking Gilbert and his ballyhoo boys at Quicken was, “Did any of these home have mortgages originated by Quicken Loans?”
After all with Gilbert’s checkered past and after losing several predatory lending lawsuits, this simple question should be the foremost question Detroit media should be asking.
I began asking friends in Detroit media why no one was not only asking this question but why no one was researching this. The reaction was shockingly similar to the look I used to get from Chinese foreign exchange students in college who were worried their every move was being monitored by the Chinese Ministry of State Security.
Since members of Detroit’s media are too intimidated by the ominous eye of Dan Gilbert to do any type of investigative journalism, MFI-Miami’s staff spent a day at the Wayne County Register of Deeds looking through mortgage filings in the city of Detroit that listed Quicken Loans as the holder of the mortgage from 2003 to September of 2008.
What we found will be surprisingly shocking to people in Detroit who think Dan Gilbert is a the second coming of Jesus.
Of the 75 homes sampled that had Quicken Loans named as the original mortgagee sampled, 70.6% of these home went into foreclosure within the first 24-36 months of being sold on the secondary housing market by Quicken Loans to either Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac or to a private mortgage backed securities trust on Wall Street.
Thanks to Keith Hines for contributing the following 2009 news on Gilbert:
Thanks to Roldo, and the Internet, the people of Northeast Ohio are finally starting to see a clearer picture of Dan Gilbert, the man betting $10s millions that more than 50% of Ohioans will risk the state’s social and economic future and $ billions on him and casinos. Roldo first awoke real NEO to the “TRUTH ABOUT DAN GILBERT’S GAMBLING CHARGES“, on October 19, and today Roldo brings forward first hand testimony that “STATE COP’S ARREST STORY DIFFERS FROM GILBERT’S VERSION“, opening “A former Michigan state trooper tells a different story of Dan Gilbert’s arrest on operation of gambling business than the Cavs owner has been peddling to the news media.” See video above for Officer Fielder’s video statement.
Several hours after Roldo broke this development on the free Internet, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported on Cleveland.com: “Retired Michigan police officer says Dan Gilbert’s 1981 gambling operation was much bigger than Gilbert admits“, which opens “John Fielder, a retired Michigan police detective, alleged that Dan Gilbert ran an illegal bookmaking operation in 1981 that was far more serious than the Cleveland Cavaliers owner has admitted. Gilbert was convicted of conspiring to violate the state’s gambling laws and served three years probation.”
The PD goes on to report:
Fielder, on Friday, said Gilbert lied during an Oct. 19 Cleveland City Club debate on Issue 3 when the Cavs owner downplayed the arrest as a sweep of dorm rooms by police who caught him and others exchanging football trading cards. Gilbert said in the debate that no money had changed hands. He made a similar statement this week in Columbus while on a cross-state tour rallying for Issue 3.
“When I learned Mr. Gilbert’s characterization of what happened back in 1981, I agreed to tell the people of Ohio what really happened,” said Fielder, 74, who retired in 1989 after a 25-year career in law enforcement.
The segment of the City Club debate where Dan Gilbert is asked about his arrest for gambling-related crimes, and he makes statements Fielder challenges, is found between minutes 6:00 and 7:20 of the embedded City Club video below:
What is most disturbing is that the audience at the City Club applauds Gilbert for being arrested in college for gambling-related activities… they laugh and seem to think this is cool. Even the mayor of Youngstown, who is supposed to be debating against Gilbert, high-fives Gilbert for getting busted in college for this.
Wonder who will be getting some VIP passes to Gilbert’s casino… tickets in the owners box at the Q…!?!?
This inappropriate “community behavior” makes me think of Eternity’s sadly parallel posting on REALNEO, today, “Savagery in America and the spectacle of a teenager’s rape as public exhibition“, which opens “In America — in my country — I fear we are losing the battle for our humanity. Some say we have already lost it. Deep down I think they may be right“.
And, I see in my mind the painting that best captures this odd City Club scene, and so much about our leadership in NEO: “Woman Walks into Bar – Is Raped by Four Men on the Pool Table – While 20 Watch“, by Sue Coe, painted two years after Gilbert’s arrest.
I am so saddened to see our community presented this way, on the internet, at the esteemed City Club, with 100+ of our region’s leaders laughing together with Gilbert about him being arrested in college for gambling.
Gilbert laughs outloud – rapists are worse!
Hopefully, Gilbert won’t laugh his way to the bank with our money, as well.
Reported in the PD: “Mr. Gilbert was part of a serious organized bookmaking ring that threatened some of its victims with violence,” said retired detective lieutenant John Fielder, who led the organized crime unit for the Michigan Department of State Police when Gilbert was arrested.
Need you know more about the self-appointed Casino Czar and sole beneficiary of Issue 3?
Other related stories:
(VOD: thanks to Roberto Guzman for alerting us to this live, unedited version of Worthy’s press conference, which includes questions from reporters Diane Bukowski and Cornell Squires, as well as others on the case of Davontae Sanford. Move your cursor to about 9:13 minutes as the first portion contains a lot of the time reporters waited for Kym Worthy to enter to speak.)
Drug possession charge vs. beating victim Floyd Dent dropped
Prosecutor Worthy: “We cannot turn our heads when law enforcement becomes the lawbreaker.”
No charges of filing a false report or perjury, none against other 8 cops involved in beating
Father Ellis: “Matters of justice in Inkster are bigger than just one person”
By Diane Bukowski
April 21, 2015
DETROIT – Everyone is not satisfied that charges brought in the case of the near fatal beating of Detroit autoworker Floyd Dent by William “Robocop” Melendez, assisted by four other Inkster cops and four state troopers, will bring justice. The case has become notorious across the U.S. after police dashcam videotapes of the bloody beating were aired.
Four mass protests followed in Inkster and Highland Park, where Melendez also worked as a part-time narcotics detective. He has since been fired from both forces.
Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy announced during a press conference April 20 that Melendez had been charged with two felonies: one count of assault with intent to do great bodily harm, which carries up to 10 years in prison, and one count of misconduct in office through mistreatment of a prisoner, which carries up to five years.
“To many people in this region and across the country, police brutality appears to be out of control,” Worthy said during a press conference April 20. “We cannot turn our heads when law enforcement becomes the lawbreaker.”
Melendez was arraigned on the charges today at 2 p.m. in 22nd District Court in Inkster. A “not guilty” plea was entered, and his bond was set at $20,000.
Approvingly, one local newspaper headlined an editorial, “Kym Worthy Lays Down the Law.”
Worthy also announced that cocaine possession charges against Dent would be dropped in court April 22. She did not address the missing 16 minutes of a videotape of Dent’s treatment during his booking at the police station, which was to have been produced at that hearing in front of Wayne County Circuit Court Judge David Groner.
Dent and his attorney Gerald Rohl said that tape shows additional “terror” and “humiliation” perpetrated by Melendez and other officers.
Channel 4 aired the other five minutes, which shows Melendez and others bringing a bloodied Dent into a jail cell, wiping blood from his head and in terrible pain. Despite begging repeatedly to go to the hospital, he was denied medical attention. He had four fractured ribs, a fractured orbital bone, and bleeding on the brain. (See Channel Four report below.)
Melendez and the others took their time photographing and fingerprinting Dent before someone finally said they should call EMS.
Before Melendez’ arraignment, Father Ellis Clifton of St. Clement’s Episcopal Church in Inkster told VOD, “We want the officer’s immediate surrender and that he either be remanded [without bond] or have a bail set so high that anyone in his family who’s interested, that he wouldn’t violate it. This is because of his history—falsifiying police reports, witness tampering, and witness intimidation. There are rumors circulating in the community that people who stood up to protest Dent’s beating could end up disappearing.”
Melendez faced numerous such charges during the 2004 federal trial of a ring of cops he led, which had terrorized Detroit’s southwest side. One charge was that he told a witness that he would be killed if he testified.
Federal prosecutors called the jury’s “not guilty” verdict a “nullification verdict,” noting that more than a dozen Black Detroit officers had testified against the Ramparts-style gang in addition to its Black victims.
Worthy asserted during her press conference that the vast majority of police officers do their jobs well, and that she has “complete trust” in the Michigan State Police, who aided in the investigation of the Dent case, despite the presence of four state troopers at the scene, who Melendez testified actually participated in the events.
She said she was aware of the 2004 federal trial of Melendez and other cops and knew Inkster police chief Vicki Yost from her tenure with the Detroit police department, but would make no comment about the state of Inkster’s 80 percent white department. Yost was the partner of three-time killer cop Eugene Brown when he shot Lamar Grable, 20, to death in 1996. Yost continues to insist that her department has not finished investigating the Dent beating.
“It’s a great day for the legal system [but] I would like to see others … held accountable for their actions,” Dent’s attorney Gregory Rohl said in published remarks. “Others stood by and did nothing or were complacent in trying to (frame Dent).”
He said Dent was “elated,” it appears mostly at the fact that all charges against him had been dropped. He told Channel Four that he had not been able to sleep for 90 days.
Father Clifton said, “While I am very happy that Floyd Dent has been cleared of any wrongdoing and that Officer Melendez has been charged, I am distressed that the people who tased and kicked Mr. Dent and humiliated him at the jail are not at least being disciplined or prosecuted.”
Worthy brought no charges against Melendez’ partner, reserve cop John Zeileniewski, who dragged an unresisting Dent out of his car to the ground and held him by the legs, as Melendez put him in a chokehold and slugged him in the head 16 times with some sort of hard object in his glove, or another officer who tased Dent three times during the beating. She brought no charges against the other five officers present, including the troopers, for either taking part or failing to report the incident.
She told reporters no charges of filing a false police report or perjury would be brought against Melendez.
Earlier that day, Detroit’s Channel 7 aired an interview with Melendez in which he boastfully repeated his statement that Dent threatened to kill the officers, which Dent has vigorously denied. The video above shows Melendez at his arraignment and comments from his attorney David Lee, who also represented him in the 2004 federal trial.
The officers present wore no mics. Melendez also testified during the preliminary exam that Dent bit him twice, although his report indicated “no injuries” to any of the police involved in the arrest. Rohl released a dashcam video which appears to show Melendez taking a baggie of drugs out of his pocket to plant in Dent’s car.
Worthy said that she was not aware of the beating until March 23, when it was aired by Channel 4, with Kevin Dietz reporting. She said her office’s investigation into the case is now closed, “in the best interests of justice,” despite the missing 16 minutes of videotape.
In an amended statement she said today that her office issued a warrant for Dent on all charges Jan. 30, but did not see the video until March 17, the day before Wayne County Assistant Prosecutor Ragan Lake handled Dent’s preliminary exam in the 22nd District Court of Michigan. Twenty-Second District Court Judge Sabrina Johnson viewed the videotape and dropped all but the cocaine possession charge against Dent. (To read complete transcript of preliminary exam, click on Floyd DentPreliminary Transcript.)
“As Mr. Dent’s case is being resolved, we need to remember that matters of justice in Inkster are bigger than just one person,” said Father Clifton. “St. Clement’s Church and the National Action Network have been very deliberate in the words we use—healing and transformation of our community. We are hopeful that all unjust structures will either topple or be changed, from local government to city services to charitable services to our police. The case with Mr. Dent should be something to energize us for a long time.”
He said Dent’s cases is not isolated, that there have been many cases of police brutality in Inkster, “often unreported and talked about only in casual conversation. Too many citizens of Inkster have lost hope. The fact that this happened in January but did not reach public attention until March gives credence to the belief of Inkster citizens that nothing substantial will come from them reporting instances of injustice.”
One man whose son had been framed by Melendez in an earlier case said of Worthy,
“She has left a trail of blood. People have been killed, put in jail, and their lives destroyed. Worthy opened the door for Melendez to walk free at trial. Look how they did [Detroit officer Joseph] Weekley and Aiyana Jones’ family. They framed her father and he will never see the light of day. They threw the case against Weekley. Prosecutors throw cases all the time. History speaks for itself.”
Joseph Weekley is now back patrolling Detroit streets, as are all the other officers involved in the horrific raid on the home of Aiyana Jones, 7, and her killing with an MP5 shotgun blast to the head. VOD reported earlier that an inside source said many in the prosecutor’s office were not happy with the way the Weekley and Charles Jones trials were handled, both prosecuted by Wayne County Assistant Prosecutor Robert Moran.
Neither man was charged until after a lengthy Michigan State Police investigation, which ended up being focused primarily on Jones. An interrogation video of Chauncey Owens, who pled guilty to the killing of Je’Rean Blake, shown at the Owens-Jones trial, revealed that he named another man, not Jones, as the one who gave him the gun.
During her press conference, Prosecutor Worthy also said regarding the filing of a motion for a new trial for Davontae Sanford last week, by innocence clinics in Ann Arbor and Chicago, “It doesn’t make them right. None of you know all the facts. We will file a brief in response, and the case will be heard in court. It is not in the best interest of justice to drop the charges.”
Attorneys produced a 24-page detailed confession from admitted hitman Vincent Smothers, attached to their motion, to the murders for which Sanford, 14 when arrested, is serving 37-100 years.
Worthy also refused to file charges against the Highland Park and Grosse Pointe officers involved in the videotaped beating of Andrew Jackson, now charged with carjacking.
As indicated in the last VOD story linked below:
“The Detroit Free Press earlier reported that Highland Park Officer Ronald Dupuis had a long history of assaults in various suburban departments, including tasering a female partner, beating a disabled man, refusing to allow a woman in a jail cell access to a bathroom, forcing her to urinate in the cell, and stalking another woman, repeatedly pulling her over. He was fired from the Hamtramck Police Department for the taser incident, and resigned rather than being fired from the Southgate Police Department for the incidents involving the women.
Dupuis was also sued for beating a man in 2002, with a settlement, and false arrest in 2004. In 2012, he accidentally shot himself in the foot in a police station. (Click on Ronald DuPuis record DV Project for full accounting from a domestic violence project.)”
Press Releases from Prosecutor’s Office:
Freddie Gray had to undergo a double surgery on three broken vertebrae and an injured voice box on Tuesday, after he was released by the police. He died today after days of remaining in a coma.
The 27-year old was arrested last week for an undisclosed violation. The police said that he was restrained on the ground by an officer during the arrest, but appeared to be fine when he was taken to the district station. However, a cell phone video shows that the arresting officers used force that some may see as “brutal.”
Protests have broken out in his neighborhood since Gray was sent to the hospital.
“What happened to Freddie was unnecessary and uncalled for,” the Rev. Jamal Harrison Bryant of the Empowerment Temple said to protestors on Saturday. “All of those police officers involved need to be held accountable and answer for what they did, and need to be terminated from their positions,” he urged.
The case is pending a review by a “blue-ribbon” panel commissioned by the police.
April 20, 2015
BALTIMORE — Relatives, activists and even Baltimore city officials have more questions than answers about what happened to Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old man who died one week after he was rushed to the hospital with spinal injuries following an encounter with four Baltimore police officers.
Gray, who died Sunday morning at the University of Maryland R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center, was stopped by Baltimore Police Department officers on bike patrol April 12. Police have said Gray was running away from the officers when he was arrested and placed in a transport van. Police say roughly 30 minutes later, Gray was rushed to the hospital in critical condition.
Billy Murphy, an attorney for Gray’s family, said Sunday that 80 percent of the man’s spinal cord had been severed near his neck.
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and top police officials promised accountability and transparency Sunday at a news conference at City Hall.
“How was Mr. Gray injured? Were the proper protocols and procedures actually followed? What are the next steps to take from here?” Rawlings-Blake said.
She promised a thorough investigation and “real answers” for the community.
“I will ensure we will hold the right people accountable,” Rawlings-Blake said.
Gray’s family has declined, so far, to interact with police, said Police Commissioner Anthony Batts. He said the department would try again this week to share information with them.
“A mother has lost her son,” Batts said. “Freddie Gray passed. My greatest hope and wish and desire is that any time we have an interaction as a police department or a contact, that everyone goes home safe.”
Batts said he is assembling a “hybrid task force” that will include homicide investigators and the force investigation team.
Officers and other witnesses have been interviewed, according to Deputy Commissioner Jerry Rodriguez. However, not everyone has been interviewed, Rodriguez noted, saying the officers who are subjects of the criminal investigation have a right not to potentially incriminate themselves.
But Murphy said he has interviewed 11 witnesses as part of an investigation on behalf of the Gray family, and has asked the department for video footage, which it has declined to release to the public. Murphy said he disputes the department’s timeline of events, and believes Gray was in police custody for longer than they say.
“We are tired of the words. We want to see action,” Murphy said Sunday. “We want to see fair compensation for victims of police brutality, we want to see a fair response and an impartial investigation not cops investigating themselves.
“We have no confidence that the city or the police department is going to fairly and objectively investigate this case,” Murphy added. “We have no confidence the investigation will reveal the truth.”
BALTIMORE A “POLICE STATE” — SCLC LEADER
Meanwhile, Baltimore’s activist community on Sunday called for increased transparency and accountability of the city’s police department, which last year volunteered for a Justice Department review of its policies and procedures.
Outside of the Western District station house, where Gray was brought after his arrest and before officers called for medical assistance, Cortly “C.D.” Witherspoon, president of the Baltimore chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, called Baltimore a “police state” where criminalization of African American men is a pervasive problem. Witherspoon called for action, and an independent investigation into Gray’s death.
“They want the citizenry to be patient. They want the citizenry to let the investigation play out,” Witherspoon said. “We can’t do that. There has never been honest and genuine conversation with the police department and the people on the ground. We want an independent investigation. We want the officers fired, we want them stripped of their pension and we want them charged.”
“Stop police brutality and save American communities from “Rogue Cops” and “Robo Cops.”
“Our new generation is faced with being murdered in American streets in the same racist attacks done to the ancestors . . . .mostly killing Brown and Black men.”
By Cornell Squires
April 18, 2015
Detroit — It’s time for younger and older men alike to stand against corruption, police brutality. and all injustice in our communities. Americans must stand up for the truth and our personal freedom! All human beings have a constitutional right for equality and God given rights no man can take away! “God is the true lawgiver.”
The world is watching the United States of America. They see these young men of color are being assaulted, killed and incarcerated unjustly due to rogue cops lying and committing crimes because they feel privilege and are not being charged with these crimes! America has a double standard in our legal system and we must demand a new legal system immediately!
This is also an unfair, hateful, malicious, ungodly and disrespectful system to our city’s residential homeowners and the taxpayers in our communities. Citizens’ human rights are being violated by rogue officers and homeowners are paying for these crimes they commit with increased of tax bills.
Rogue cops have no thoughts for human life. These officers are taking advantage of the taxpayers, citizenry who contributed hard earned money to pay taxes for good services. But Detroit’s local government can’t provide better services because of tax dollars being squandered, payid out for unnecessary illegal fees, continued lawsuits against repeat offenders know, as rogue cops.
Detroit’s record speaks for itself. The rogue officers refusing to adhere to the same law citizen must follow, but then officials don’t enforce the law when rogue officers break it. All our residents must rise up!
Detroit’s rogue cops cost taxpayers more money while the “good” officers are demanding higher salarIes, but will not speak out against the bad officers! Actually taxpayers are the real bosses for the police officers. The people actually paying taxes are the keepers of this city. Each time a rogue cop deliberately assaults a residents he/she is threatening the city payroll and possibly a pay cut in the near future to fellow employees especially after City just got out of bankruptcy! Police officers’ families may suffer more financial losses like the city has taken from the general city retirees’ pensions.
But rogue cops’ acts of brutality are hurting everyone in the cities and harming American families across this country. Residents pay higher taxes and water bills to compensate for the losses. The city of Detroit residents paid well over $100 million dollars in the past 25 years because of police misconduct.
This happens because leadership is unjust and doesn’t uphold law equally. The past and current Wayne County Prosecutors should be held accountable and responsible for rogue cops’ conduct and action over the past 25 years because they refused to bring charges against those officers!
Many rogue cops are repeat offenders, just like “Robocop” William Melendez who assaulted Floyd Dent, which was captured on police dash cam in January 2015. Floyd’ Dent was assaulted by police and then they planted drugs in his car.
Robocop, then an Inskter police officer, once worked for city of Detroit police department and cost city tapayers a millions of dollars in civil lawsuits for wrongful death, assaulting city residents and framing numerous citizens, as he did with my son. He has only ever been charged for filing a false police report, which he also did in my son’s case.
Detroit paid out the highest lawsuit awards for wrongful death caused by police misconduct in the 1990’s per capita.
U.S. lawmakers should pass a law to stop police brutality and save American communties from “Rogue Cops” and “Robo Cops.”
Many times rogue officers transfer to another police department after being reprimanded of fired for committing crime(s), and get hired there. Normally prosecutors will not charges police officers with perjury or assult charges like average citizens are charged.
The injust killings of Black citizens continues today just like it was 50 years ago. Only a few cops have ever been brought to justice for assulting or killing U.S citizens, but received minor reprimands or little punishmen.
Looking at the historical prospective in America our ancestors were unjustly killed by police officers and no police officers were ever criminally charged for murdering our ancestors. Now our new generation is faced with being murdered in American streets in same racist attacks done to the ancestors and communities, mostly killing Brown and Black men.
Many people have seen the video on the news about the S.C. man running from the scene and the police officer shot him in the back numerous times, killing him. But what crime was committed ? Did the man commit a felony ? I thought police officers could only persue a fleeing felon.
Did his crime constitute or warrant the police officer shooting a human being in his back? Why are so many Black men are being killed by police officers in the United States today? Why?
But the U.S Federal or State prosecutor’s are not charging police officers with any crime! Should the prosecutors’ offices in America be held LIABLE? These young men killed are human beings and were created in God’s image likeness. Where is humanity? God loves them the same way he loves police officers, but God hates evil.
Where’s America truthful churches? Is there a such thing as a true church, who always say that God is good all the time, while our brothers and sisters need our help! The killing of Black men must STOP because it is wrong and sinful! Where is America’s leadership? Now so many candidates are running to for president of the U.S. What’s their precise plan to stop police brutality?
Before you vote the next presidential election remember “Black Lives Matter” Where are the righteousness peoples on the earth? The faith community? The church peoples says, One Lord One faith One Bapstim for ALL Us Ephesian 4:6 But faith-based communities are to quiet today? Everyone that God fearing in America should step up to plate, and denounce this Gross Injustices in United States of America speak out about Rogue Police Officers. Come out from among them” unity together for righteousness sake, peace, love, harmony for the lost H tribes of young Americans! God, our children need our support ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !