“OPEN SEASON” — UNARMED BLACK MAN RUMAIN BRISBON KILLED BY WHITE PHOENIX COP

Rumain Brisbon with daughters, two of his four children.

Rumain Brisbon with daughters, two of his four children. He had stopped at their apartment building to drop off food for them.

“It’s ‘open season for killing black men,’ according to a community leader in Phoenix where another unarmed black man is dead at the hands of local police. An officer said he felt threatened by Rumain Brisbon before shooting him twice in the torso.”

By Megan Cassidy

The Arizona Republic

December 4, 2014

PHOENIX — The facts surrounding Rumain Brisbon’s death — the ones that could be agreed upon as of Wednesday evening — follow a narrative familiar to a nation still reeling from the racially charged police incidents in Ferguson, Mo., New York City and elsewhere.

In Phoenix on Tuesday evening, a white police officer who was feeling threatened used lethal force on an unarmed black man. The incident left the officer unharmed and Brisbon, 34, dead with two bullet wounds in his torso at a north Phoenix apartment complex.

Protesters outside Phoenix police station.

Protesters outside Phoenix police station.

Phoenix police quickly released a detailed account of the killing for the media on Wednesday morning in what officials said was an effort to promote transparency, especially in light of the unrest that has played out in Ferguson and New York City following the deaths of unarmed black men at the hands of white officers.

But portions of that account have already been challenged by some witnesses and community activists who say that the officer’s use of force was excessive and that Brisbon’s death was unwarranted.

Shortly before 6 p.m. MT on Tuesday, officers were in the area of Interstate 17 and Greenway Road for a burglary investigation when a resident of an apartment complex told them that men inside a black Cadillac SUV were engaged in a drug deal, said Sgt. Trent Crump, a Phoenix police spokesman.

Police checked the license plate that the tipster provided and found it was registered to a resident in the 15400 block of North 25th Avenue, where there was also a pending report of a “loud music disturbance.”

The loud-music call was canceled, so the officer went to the SUV to ask questions of those inside, Crump said.

The officer said the driver, later identified as Brisbon, got out and appeared to be removing something from the rear of the SUV. The officer told Brisbon to show his hands, but Brisbon stuffed his hands into his waistband, Crump said.

Graphic from Color Lines

Graphic from Color Lines

The officer drew his weapon and Brisbon ran toward nearby apartments, Crump said. A short foot chase ensued.

“Witnesses indicated to us that the suspect was verbally challenging to the officer,” Crump said.

Brisbon refused to comply with the officer’s commands to get on the ground, and the two struggled once the officer caught up with him, Crump said.

Phoenix police Sgt. Trent Crump, spokesman

Phoenix police Sgt. Trent Crump, spokesman

“During the struggle, Brisbon put his left hand in his pocket and the officer grabbed onto the suspect’s hand, while repeatedly telling the suspect to keep his hand in his pocket,” he said. “The officer believed he felt the handle of a gun while holding the suspect’s hand in his pocket.”

A woman inside an apartment opened a door at that moment, and the officer and Brisbon tumbled inside, Crump said. Two children, ages 9 and 2, were in a back bedroom, he said.

The officer could no longer keep a grip on Brisbon’s hand and, because he feared that the suspect had a gun in his pocket, fired two shots, Crump said.

The item in Brisbon’s pocket turned out to be a bottle of oxycodone pills, he said.

Crump said the officers are aware of the delicate nature of the case and are asking the community to allow investigators to gather all the facts.

Below: video of police assault Oct. 28, 2014 on police brutality protest.

“I would like to think that in our officer-involved shootings, that we are transparent as we can be as an organization,” Crump said. “We always have been and always will be concerned about what it is that our residents think about our role in this community and the levels of force that we use.

“Let’s be very clear: The officer was doing what we expect him to do, which is investigate crimes that neighbors are telling him are occurring in that part of the complex.”

Crump said the department was not identifying the officer, a 30-year-old with seven years on the force.

He also acknowledged that, as in most police investigations, witness accounts varied.

Michelle Cusseaux, 50, was fatally shot August 14, 2014 by Phoenix Police Officer Percy Dupra after, police say, she threatened officers with a hammer when they went to serve a court order to deliver Cusseaux to a mental-health facility. Family and activists demanded an external investigation of the shooting. This didn't happen -- until people marched outside City Hall with Cusseaux's body in a casket on Friday.

Michelle Cusseaux, 50, was fatally shot August 14, 2014 by Phoenix Police Officer Percy Dupra after, police say, she threatened officers with a hammer when they went to serve a court order to deliver Cusseaux to a mental-health facility. Family and activists demanded an external investigation of the shooting. This didn’t happen — until people marched outside City Hall with Cusseaux’s body in a casket on Friday.

Martin Rangel lives upstairs from where the shooting occurred and said he heard some banging and then a gunshot.

“It was so loud, I heard the vibration through the floor,” Rangel said. “I ran to the window, and that’s when I saw the cop running out, or like, walking out, and he was cussing, you know, he was screaming, ‘F–k, f–k,’ like upset that he shot the guy.”

Brandon Dickerson, who said he was in the car with Brisbon shortly before the shooting and witnessed some of the incident, said Brisbon was dropping off fast food to his children in the apartment. On Wednesday evening, strewn french fries still littered the front porch.

Dickerson said he never saw the officer try to talk with Brisbon. He also said his friend wasn’t yelling at the officer.

“Who’s gonna argue with police?” Dickerson said. “He had no death wish yesterday.”

Zachary Pithan, with mother Cleo Daily. He was killed by Phoenix police officer Clint Brookins on April 20, 2013.

Zachary Pithan, with mother Cleo Daily. He was killed by Phoenix police officer Clint Brookins on April 20, 2013.

Marci Kratter, a Phoenix attorney who represented Brisbon in a previous DUI case and is now representing his family, said she is concerned that the story offered by police is not complete.

“There are numerous witnesses that will challenge the police officer’s account of what transpired,” she said.

Kratter said she dispatched investigators to the scene to determine whether a civil wrongful-death suit is necessary.

“Tonight, four children are missing their father, a woman is missing her husband and a mother is missing her son,” she said. “It was a senseless tragedy. He was unarmed and not a threat to anyone. We intend to pursue this to the full extent of the law.”

Jarrett Maupin

Jarrett Maupin

Civil rights activist Jarrett Maupin was at the scene Wednesday and said he spoke with Brisbon’s family members.

“I think the statements given to me by neighbors, friends and family members are in direct contrast to what has been disseminated by the Phoenix Police Department,” he said.

Court records show that while Brisbon was serving a five-year probation sentence stemming from a 1998 burglary conviction, he spent several months in the hospital after being shot. Details of the shooting were not immediately available, but court records state that he had been on “a self-destructive path due to his emotional state” after the shooting.

Records show that Brisbon was booked on suspicion of driving under the influence twice in 2009 and once in October. He also had a marijuana conviction.

Officer-involved shootings are not uncommon, but the events that transpired in Ferguson, Mo., in August triggered a national debate about lethal police force and whether it too often crosses the line in minority communities.

Karl Gentles

Karl Gentles

The Aug. 9 death of Michael Brown, an unarmed man, sparked riots in Ferguson and protests nationwide. Darren Wilson, the White officer who shot him, was not indicted.

Then, on Wednesday, it was announced that a white officer would not be indicted in the chokehold death of Eric Garner, who was allegedly selling loose cigarettes on Staten Island.

Karl Gentles, a local leader in the black community and public policy chairman of the Greater Phoenix Black Chamber of Commerce, said there is clearly a concern in Phoenix, as well as nationwide, that justice is not being served in defense of the African-American community.

Gentles encouraged police to address these perceptions and for city officials to get all the facts surrounding the shooting.

“There has to be some additional communication, dialogue, training, about how black males are perceived,” he said. “Because, as you see from other incidents, black males are feared with unfound reason in many cases, and there is an explicit overreaction in dealing with African-American males that leads to these contentious situations.”

Ann Hart, chairwoman of the African American Police Advisory for South Phoenix, wonders how this latest incident could have been prevented.

“It gives the impression that it’s open season for killing black men,” Hart said. “We need to take a deeper dive into why police officers are feeling compelled to shoot and kill as opposed to apprehend and detain, arrest and jail.”

Contributing: Jennifer Soules and Joe Dana, The Arizona Republic

Go to http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/ for more about Phoenix police.


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NO JUSTICE FOR ERIC GARNER, NO PEACE AS PROTESTERS FLOOD NYC, COUNTRY’S STREETS

Eric Garner with three of six children

Eric Garner with three of his six children

December 4, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) — The cellphone video of the last moments of Eric Garner’s life showed a white police officer holding the unarmed black man in a chokehold as he repeatedly gasped, “I can’t breathe.”

Eric and Esaw Garner.

Eric and Esaw Garner, his wife

Despite the video and a medical examiner’s ruling that the chokehold contributed to the death, a Staten Island grand jury decided Wednesday not to bring any charges against the officer, prompting protests across the country and sending thousands onto New York’s streets, where they marched, chanted and blocked traffic into Thursday morning.

While legal experts note it’s impossible to know how the grand jurors reached their conclusion, they say the Garner case, like Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, Missouri, once again raised concerns about the influence local prosecutors have over the process of charging the police officers they work with on a daily basis.

VOD readers, YouTube removed the original video below from its site saying it was intended to “harass, bully or threaten.” Didn’t they mean the NYPD? So here’s another one with full commentary.

VOD: in second video, killer kops stand over Eric Garner, who is totally unresponsive and clearly dead, for at least seven minutes, appearing to pretend he is still alive while they wait for EMS, even talking to him after finding no pulse. Officers are trained in CPR, they obviously refused to try to resuscitate the man they had just asphyxiated. All of them should go to prison for life for Eric Garner’s death.

“The video speaks for itself,” said Jeffrey Fagan, a professor at Columbia Law School. “It appears to show negligence. But if we learned anything from the Brown case, it’s the power of prosecutors to construct and manage a narrative in a way that can shape the outcome.”

Protesters flood Rockefeller Center during Xmas tree lighting.

Protesters flood Rockefeller Center during Xmas tree lighting.

 Ekow N. Yankah, a professor at Cardozo School of Law, agreed that, “It is hard to understand how a jury doesn’t see any probable cause that a crime has been committed or is being committed when looking at that video, especially.”

James A. Cohen, who teaches at Fordham University Law School, went further, saying, “Logic doesn’t play a role in this process.”

U.S. Attorney Eric Holder said federal prosecutors would conduct their own investigation of Garner’s July 17 death as officers were attempting to arrest him for selling untaxed cigarettes on the street. The New York Police Department also is doing an internal probe which could lead to administrative charges against Officer Daniel Pantaleo, who remains on desk duty.

Protesters chanted "We can't breathe!"

Protesters chanted “We can’t breathe!”

The grand jury’s decision prompted emotional protests around New York and in cities from Atlanta to California. The same day, a white police chief in Eutawville, South Carolina, was charged with murder in the death of an unarmed black man after an argument at a town hall meeting.

In Manhattan, demonstrators laid down in Grand Central Terminal, walked through traffic on the West Side Highway and blocked the Brooklyn Bridge. A City Council member cried. Hundreds converged on the heavily secured area around the annual Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting with a combination of professional-looking signs and hand-scrawled placards reading, “Black lives matter” and “Fellow white people, wake up.” And in the Staten Island neighborhood where Garner died, people reacted with angry disbelief and chanted, “I can’t breathe!” and “Hands up — don’t choke!”

Demonstrators flooded streets in New York City, Oakland, CA and other places across the country after grand jury refused to indict NYPD killer cop in Eric Garner murder.

Demonstrators flooded streets in New York City, Oakland, CA and other places across the country after grand jury refused to indict NYPD killer cop in Eric Garner murder.

Police said 83 people were arrested, mostly on disorderly conduct charges. The demonstrations were largely peaceful, in contrast to the arson and looting that accompanied the decision nine days earlier not to indict the officer in Brown’s death.

Staten Island District Attorney Daniel Donovan said the grand jury found “no reasonable cause” to bring charges, but unlike the chief prosecutor in the Ferguson case, New York law forbids him from giving details on the grand jury action. The district attorney was seeking a court order to have some information released.

Protesters block Market Street in San Francisco.

Protesters block Market Street in San Francisco.

Garner’s widow, Esaw, said she had no faith in the local prosecutors.

“As far as the police and the DA, there was no sincerity from Day One,” she said in an interview on the “Today” show.

In order to find Pantaleo criminally negligent, the grand jury would have had to determine he knew there was a “substantial risk” that Garner would have died. Pantaleo’s lawyer and union officials argued that the grand jury got it right, saying he used an authorized takedown move — not a banned chokehold — and that Garner’s poor health was the main cause of his death.

NYC protesters block traffic on Brooklyn Bridge.

NYC protesters block traffic on Brooklyn Bridge.

The Rev. Al Sharpton, who has led protests over the custody death of Garner and the police shooting of Brown in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, said the New York decision is yet another reason he has lost confidence in state grand juries and local prosecutors to bring such cases.

“State grand juries tend to be too compromised with local politics because local prosecutors run for office and they have to depend on the police for evidence,” he said. “Don’t we have the right to question grand juries when we’re looking at a video and seeing things that don’t make sense?”

Eric Garner verdict protest in Oakland, CA.

Eric Garner verdict protest in Oakland, CA.

The video shot by an onlooker showed the 43-year-old Garner telling a group of police officers to leave him alone as they tried to arrest him. Pantaleo responded by wrapping his arm around Garner’s neck in what appeared to be a chokehold.

The heavyset father of six, who had asthma, was heard repeatedly gasping, “I can’t breathe!” He later died at a hospital.

A forensic pathologist hired by Garner’s family agreed with the medical examiner, saying there was hemorrhaging on Garner’s neck indicative of neck compressions.

Protest in Seattle, Washington.

Protest in Seattle, Washington.

Columbia’s Fagan said another factor was that the Staten Island grand jury came from the most conservative and least racially diverse of the city’s five boroughs, and home to many current and retired police officers and their families.

“Staten Island is a very different borough,” he said. “In fact, it may be closer to suburban St. Louis, and we can’t discount that.”


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MISSOURI POLICE, GOVT. GO AFTER MICHAEL BROWN’S FAMILY, A REPEAT OF ACTIONS VS. AIYANA JONES’ FAMILY


Brown’s cousin Ty Pruitt interviewed on CNN in video above

The usual M.O. in the Police States of America: blame the victims

 Aiyana Jones’ family was similarly tortured and punished in Detroit 

Holiday appeal for funds for her family

St. Louis police target youth who participated in rebellion as well; refuse to charge killer of Vonderrit Myers, Jr.

Robert Williams, author of "Negroes with Guns"

Robert Williams, author of “Negroes with Guns”

_________________

“I made a statement that if the law, if the United States Constitution cannot be enforced in this social jungle called Dixie, it is time that Negroes must defend themselves even if it is necessary to resort to violence.

That there is no law here, there is no need to take the white attackers to the courts because they will go free and that the federal government is not coming to the aid of people who are oppressed, and it is time for Negro men to stand up and be men and if it is necessary for us to die we must be willing to die. If it is necessary for us to kill we must be willing to kill.” – Freedom fighter Robert Williams, author of “Negroes with Guns”

http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/negroeswithguns/rob.html

By Diane Bukowski 

Andrew Brady, Korey Haulcy, Cedric James: more Black youth targeted by St. Louis Police-- IT IS RIGHT TO REBEL!

Andrew Brady, Korey Haulcy, Cedric James: more Black youth targeted by St. Louis Police– IT IS RIGHT TO REBEL!

Update: In the wake of the outrageous grand jury decisions in the murders of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, St. Louis-area police are pursuing charges not only against Brown’s family members, but against dozens who participated in rebellions against his murder and the grand jury decision.

Nicholas Green, beaten up during arrest, charged with interfering with police radio transmission.

Nicholas Green, beaten up during arrest, charged with interfering with police radio transmission.

See links below this article. They include three young men charged with throwing items at police (photo above) another man charged with interfering with police radio dispatches, (at left) who was beaten up during his arrest, and at least 24 others.

Two possible witnesses in the grand jury case, Shawn Gray and De’Andre Joshua, have been found dead in suspicious circumstances as well. The St. Louis Police Department has also refused to bring charges against the officer who killed Vonderrit Myers, 18.

Commentary 

December 3, 2014

Michael Brown, 18

Michael Brown, 18

Aiyana Jones, 7

Aiyana Jones, 7

DETROIT – Now the torture begins again for the family of Michael Brown.

On May 16, 2010, a Detroit police SWAT team raided the home of Aiyana Jones, 7. Officer Joseph Weekley, Jr. instantly blasted her in the head with an MP5 submachine gun as she lay sleeping on her family’s couch. Her brains and blood flew out across the couch and floor.

The first question a mainstream reporter asked at a press conference several days later was, “Didn’t Charles Jones [Aiyana’s father] give the gun to Chauncey Owens?” She referred to the killing of JeRean Blake, 17, on May 14, 2014. It was information that could only have been leaked by police. Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy did not charge the child’s father with first-degree murder until 17 months later.

Killer cop Weekley freed; Aiyana’s father imprisoned

Killer cop Joseph Weekley, Jr.-- DETROIT

Killer cop Joseph Weekley — DETROIT

Killer cop Darren Wilson--FERGUSON

Killer cop Darren Wilson–FERGUSON

Weekley is now free as a bird, after two mistrials, never having spent a day in jail. But forensics experts testified at his trial that his gun could not have gone off accidentally. The medical examiner said it is possible that the gun was placed directly against Aiyana’s head. Other officers said the gunshot rang out only seconds after entry, and that they are thoroughly trained not to put their finger on the trigger unless they plan to shoot.

Aiyana with father Charles Jones before her murder.

Aiyana with father Charles Jones before her murder.

Charles Jones is serving 40-60 years in prison on trumped-on charges in the Blake case, brought to justify the police raid on his mother’s flat, an address not named in the original search warrant. A police video at his trial showed Owens naming another man, not Charles, as the provider of the gun. No witnesses except two jailhouse snitches testified that Jones gave Owens the gun. No eyewitnesses saw such an act.

Meanwhile, the Detroit police continue to harass other members of this very large extended and impoverished family, still suffering from the unimaginable and ongoing horror that began four and a half years ago, as the holidays approach. Charles Jones is not there to help care for his six other children, two of whom were in the house along with him and their mother Dominika Jones, when Aiyana was killed.

Below: video of Mertilla Jones’ courtroom testimony on witnessing killing of her granddaughter Aiyana Jones

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

History repeats itself for Michael Brown’s family

On Aug. 9, 2014, Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson chased and shot Michael Brown, 18 and unarmed, at least six to eight times as he held up his hands in surrender. So said eyewitnesses closest to the scene, including one young woman only feet away from the police, and two white construction workers, one of whom imitated what Brown had done, holding his hands up in the air as police swarmed the area.

Michael Brown’s body lay in the street for over four hours in the hot sun as his blood and brains poured out of his head and his family begged police to cover him.

Below: video of account from Dorian Johnson, who was walking with Michael Brown when he was killed.

On Nov. 24, 2014, a grand jury which inappropriately heard four and a half hours of unbridled testimony from Wilson, refused to indict the killer cop. During his testimony, Wilson referred to Brown as “it,” a “demon” and “Hulk Hogan.”

St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch was in charge of presenting the case. In an on-line commentary, an attorney noted “the ‘prosecutor’ presented the case as if he were REPRESENTING THE DEFENDANT. . .Why did the prosecutor do this? …because he is a police force advocate. There’s a long history on this. His dad was a police officer killed by a black suspect; his brother, nephew, and cousin are also officers; his mother worked for the force for 20 years. (Click on The unethical use of a grand jury to defend defendant Darren Wilson  for full remarks.)

As crowds of youth massed in the streets outside Ferguson police headquarters, the news hit like the stun grenade police threw into Aiyana Jones’ home. Eventually a large part of Ferguson’s commercial section was burnt to the ground.

Michael Brown’s mother Lesley McSpadden, back from testifying before the United Nations, stood on a car in those streets, shouting out her sorrow and despair, then broke down weeping uncontrollably.  Her husband, Michael’s stepfather Louis Head, jumped up to hold her tightly in his arms. His shirt read on the back, “I am Mike Brown,” with a picture of Brown in his high school graduation gown on the front.

Astonishingly, even commentator Nancy Grace, known as a conservative defender of cops, blasted Darren Wilson and the grand jury decision on national TV.

“Burn this b—- down”

As someone in the crowd shouted, “Fuck the police,” he turned around and cried out in grief and anger, “Burn this  bitch down.”

Like pit bulls trained to kill, Missouri government officials and police now are after Louis Head for allegedly inciting a riot.  It’s not enough that Wilson, like Weekley, is free as a bird, after committing outright murder. They want MORE  blood, not just Michael’s.

Vonderrit Myers, 18, with mother

Vonderrit Myers, 18, with mother

Kaijeme Powell

Kaijeme Powell

Police have launched an investigation of Head, speaking first to other individuals before talking to him. Missouri’s Lieutenant Governor has called for him to be charged. Head and his wife have been placed in the outrageous position of having to DEFEND his words and will likely face other investigations, as happened with Aiyana Jones’ family.

The mainstream media piously declares that Head’s remarks, and Ty Pruitt calling Wilson a murderer, were inappropriate and slanderous. During Weekley’s trial earlier this year, Detroit News reporter George Hunter tweeted piously that this reporter’s depiction of Weekley as a “killer cop” was unjust.

Some of the 89 people killed by Chicago police in last five years; over 300 were shot.

Some of the 89 people killed by Chicago police in last five years; over 300 were shot.

Never mind that Missouri police killed two other Black youth only weeks after Mike Brown was gunned down like an animal. Never mind that the United Nations Committee on Torture condemned the U.S. as a whole for hundreds of incidents of police killings and brutality committed against Blacks in particular, on Nov. 20, just before the grand jury verdict was handed down. Eighty-nine Blacks killed in Chicago alone over the last five years, and 300 shot.

THIS IS WAR. What are Blacks and other people of this country supposed to do to defend themselves? The people of Ferguson have been accused of “burning down their own community.” They didn’t burn their homes; they burned stores run by people of other ethnicities. In two cases, phone calls to the police by store clerks for petty incidents may have precipitated the police MURDERS of Mike Brown and Kaijeme Powell.

Detroit protesters block I-75 freeway at Gratiot Nov. 25 after grand jury verdict.

Detroit protesters block I-75 freeway at Gratiot Nov. 25 after grand jury verdict.

Detroit protest against Michael Brown grand jury verdict Nov. 25, 204

Detroit protest against Michael Brown grand jury verdict Nov. 25, 204

YES THEY WERE MURDERS, AND YES, BLACK PEOPLE IN THE POLICE STATES OF AMERICA HAVE THE HUMAN RIGHT TO DEFEND THEMSELVES AND FIGHT BACK!

Fortunately, a multinational movement comprised of both Black and white youth has developed out of Michael Brown’s racist murder, with thousands of demonstrators occupying freeways and shopping malls across the U.S. since the grand jury verdict. May this movement develop until it reaches the scale of the civil rights and Black Power movements of the 1960’s, and go beyond them until this entire system is burnt to the ground and replaced with one devoted to the people, not police, and not profit.

King burning house

“We Will Not Be Satisfied Until Justice Rolls Down Like Water and Righteousness Like a Mighty Stream” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Related:

http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/two-dozen-charged-with-looting-other-crimes-in-ferguson-area/article_a3ebef9e-8062-5913-a47f-16d6de8009b9.html

http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/three-men-charged-with-throwing-bricks-tire-iron-at-cops/article_cc3d4ad2-7139-587e-b25e-89421c45bb6d.html

http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/ferguson-protester-used-police-radios-to-interfere-with-cops-charges/article_4f8eccb6-5be0-5f46-8529-38828d962cff.html

http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/st-louis-police-seek-no-charges-in-officer-s-killing/article_613ee14a-5c6f-50a9-9566-009df039d49e.html

http://www.kmov.com/news/editors-pick/ATF-offers-reward-for-information-on-fires-started-in-Ferguson–284909361.html#ixzz3L8ePcYM4

http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/missouri-highway-patrol-sued-over-drowning-of-handcuffed-man-at/article_06ec9daf-a73b-5c36-857d-2ab03581626e.html 

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Charles Jones and other members of his family before Aiyana's funeral.

Charles Jones and other members of his family before Aiyana’s funeral.

VOD APPEAL FOR HOLIDAY FUNDS FOR AIYANA JONES’ FAMILY:  Aiyana Jones’ extended family, including numerous young children whose parents have had difficulty finding employment, has nothing for the holidays. VOD is appealing to the community not to forget them. Checks and money orders should be made out to “Mertilla Jones” (Aiyana’s grandmother), and sent c/o Voice of Detroit, P.O. Box 32684, Detroit 48232.  

(The family’s civil lawsuit has not been heard during the pendency of the Detroit bankruptcy. Lawyers representing the family will likely have a difficult time if trial does begin, due to the unjust conviction of Aiyana’s dad, who along with Dominika Jones, represents her estate. Any  trial will likely take years.)

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RAMS RAISE HANDS IN SOLIDARITY WITH FERGUSON, RECALLING 1968 OLYMPICS BLACK POWER SALUTE

Louis Rams wide receiver Stedman Bailey (12), wide receiver Tavon Austin (11), tight end Jared Cook (89), wide receiver Chris Givens (13) and wide receiver Kenny Britt (81) put their hands up to show support for Michael Brown before a game against the Oakland Raiders at the Edward Jones Dome.(Photo: Jeff Curry, USA TODAY Sports)

Louis Rams wide receiver Stedman Bailey (12), wide receiver Tavon Austin (11), tight end Jared Cook (89), wide receiver Chris Givens (13) and wide receiver Kenny Britt (81) put their hands up to show support for Michael Brown before a game against the Oakland Raiders at the Edward Jones Dome.(Photo: Jeff Curry, USA TODAY Sports)

AP logo 3Associated Press

By R.B. FALLSTROM

Ferguson protesters: Stop killing us!

Ferguson protesters: Stop killing us!

ST. LOUIS (AP) Five St. Louis Rams players stood with their arms raised in an apparent show of solidarity for Ferguson protesters before trotting onto the field for pregame introductions

A Rams spokesman said Sunday the team was not aware the gesture had been planned before the game against Oakland.

Wide receivers Tavon Austin and Kenny Britt came out together first, with the move obscured by a smoke machine in the upper reaches of the Edward Jones Dome. Stedman Bailey, Jared Cook and Chris Givens – all of whom are Black – then came out and stood together with arms raised.

There have been riots, looting and buildings burned in Ferguson since a grand jury declined Monday to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of unarmed Michael Brown in August.

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org  and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

ST. LOUIS RAMS’ HEROIC ACTION RECALLS BLACK POWER SALUTE AT 1968 OLYMPICS

By Diane Bukowski

December 1, 2014

Gold medallist Tommie Smith, (center) and bronze medalist John Carlos (right) showing the raised fist on the podium after the 200m race in the 1968 Summer Olympics. Australian medalist Peter Norman stood with them in solidarity.

Gold medallist Tommie Smith, (center) and bronze medalist John Carlos (right) showing the raised fist on the podium after the 200m race in the 1968 Summer Olympics. Australian medalist Peter Norman stood with them in solidarity.

DETROIT – St. Louis Rams players Tavon Austin, Kenny Britt Stedman Bailey, Jared Cook and Chris Givens entered the playing field Sunday, Nov. 30, raising their hands in solidarity with Michael Brown and the people of Ferguson, in the wake of a grand jury’s exoneration of Brown’s killer KKKop executioner Darren Wilson.

Their action strongly echoed the heroic stand taken by Black Olympics athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos, along with white Australian Peter Norman, during the 1968 Olympics.

The two Black athletes, accepting their victory medals, took their shoes off first to solidarize with the poverty of people in their communities. Then they put beads on to represent their opposition to lynchings. Then, heads solemnly bowed, they raised their fists in the Black Power salute representing the mass civil and human rights movements of their times.

Norman stood on the victory stand in front of them, expressing his own solidarity with the Black struggle in the U.S. All three were banned from professional and non-professional sports for the rest of their lives.

See video below:

 Now the mass media is on the attack against the Rams’ players as well,  publicizing and printing a statement from the St. Louis KKKops demanding an apology. The same papers which have printed this statement have refused to fully cover the Nov. 28 statement by the United Nations Committee Against Torture, which condemned police atrocities against Blacks in the U.S., as well as conditions in U.S. prisons including solitary confinement which amount to torture. (Click on UN Committee on Torture Report on US 11 20 14. and VOD story at http://voiceofdetroit.net/2014/11/29/u-s-killings-by-police-prison-conditions-trouble-united-nations/.)

Protesters during the civil rights movement of the 1960's fought police brutality as well.

Protesters during the civil rights movement of the 1960’s fought police brutality as well.

Fortunately, the NFL and Rams administrators have refused to sanction the players involved. But there will likely be more attacks on these heroic Rams from professional sports bigots in the coming days.

What Tommie Smith, John Carlos and Peter Norman did in 1968 and what Tavon Austin, Kenny Britt, Stedman Bailey, Jared Cook and Chris Givens did in 2014 will be forever remembered in the journals of the people’s history. Both actions took place during mass movements for justice for Black people in the U.S., as protesters occupied the streets, marched by the millions, and went to jail to stand up against this racist, imperialist police and prison nation known as the United States.

These athletes used the power of their names and publicity to join the movement for their people and will forever be considered heroes.


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REV. PINKNEY: LYNCH MOB MENTALITY IN ST. JOSEPH AS HE AWAITS SENTENCING DEC. 15

Rev. Edward Pinkney of BANCO speaks at Moratorium NOW! meeting in Detroit Nov. 17, 2014.

Rev. Edward Pinkney of BANCO speaks at Moratorium NOW! meeting in Detroit Nov. 17, 2014.

Pinkney-in-Detroit-11-17-14 cropped

Pinkney spoke in Detroit again Nov. 17

Attorneys filing pretrial motions: “We’re going to rock their world”

Detroit strategy meeting Sat. Dec. 6 @ 1 pm Central Methodist Church

By Diane Bukowski

November 30, 2014

Berrien County Sheriff L. Paul Bailey

Berrien County Sheriff L. Paul Bailey

Berrien County Clerk Sharon Tyler

Berrien County Clerk Sharon Tyler

DETROIT –An announcement of Rev. Edward Pinkney’s Oct. 3 conviction by an all-white jury on five felony charges elicited wild applause and a standing ovation at a monthly Republican meeting Nov. 15 in St. Joseph, Rev. Pinkney told VOD this week.

The life-long Benton Harbor activist said an individual who attended the meeting also told him that Berrien County Clerk Sharon Tyler and Sheriff L. Paul Bailey, both instrumental in concocting phony charges of “forgery under the Michigan election law” against him, were part of the merriment.

“There’s a lynch mob mentality there,” he said. “But we’re going to rock their world; I’m expecting fireworks there by the time of my sentencing Dec. 15.”

Marian Kramer of MWRO (center), flanked by Dave Sole of Moratorium NOW! and Rev. Pinkney. announces Dec. 6 strategy meeting in Detroit.

Marian Kramer of MWRO (center), flanked by Dave Sole of Moratorium NOW! and Rev. Pinkney. announces Dec. 6 strategy meeting in Detroit.

He said his appeals attorneys are moving forward with motions to overturn the verdict. There was no evidence brought forward at trial to convict him of altering dates on petitions to recall Benton Harbor Mayor James Hightower, as even a Michigan State Police Forensics Technician admitted. Subsequent investigation has shown that many jurors did not disclose their ties with opposing parties in the case. Additionally, the Court of Appeals ruled Oct. 23 that violations of election law are misdemeanors, not felonies.

Earlier, Pinkney spoke in Detroit at Moratorium NOW’s weekly meeting Nov. 17, where Michigan Welfare Rights Organization (MWRO) leader Marian Kramer announced that a strategy meeting on Pinkney’s case will be held this coming Sat. Dec. 6 at 1 p.m. at Central Methodist Church, located at Woodward and Adams.

Marcina Cole said another busload is being organized to attend the Pinkney’s sentencing in St. Joseph Dec. 15. Over $700 was raised at the meeting for his defense.

Benton Harbor rebellion against police murders, including that of Terrance Shurn, in 2003,

Benton Harbor rebellion against police murders, including that of Terrance Shurn, in 2003.

“Our fight against racism is spreading from Benton Harbor to Ferguson to Detroit to New York City and all over the country and the world,” Pinkney said. “While the federal government is giving billions of dollars to our cities for military armaments to help police kill our kids, in Benton Harbor they found me guilty with no evidence because I organized a petition campaign to recall our mayor.”

Berrien County and Benton Harbor police carried out a mini-version of the police state that exploded after Ferguson, MO killer cop Darren Wilson shot 18-year-old Michael Brown to death Aug. 9, as he raised his hands in surrender.

In addition to the SWAT team with tanks that raided Pinkney’s home May 24 attempt to arrest him, police from numerous districts were all over Benton Harbor knocking on doors to terrorize its 90 percent Black population, he said.

Ferguson protesters take the streets Aug. 19, 2014 against police murder of Michael Brown.

Ferguson protesters take the streets Aug. 19, 2014 against police murder of Michael Brown.

“But the people of Benton Harbor are not intimidated,” Pinkney said. “They are organized to struggle. I’m proud to say I’m able to make them call martial law. At my trial, we turned their prosecution witnesses into our witnesses. They described how police came to their homes, kicked in their front and back doors, and tried to get them to lie. The prosecution tried to get over 30 people to say they didn’t sign the recall petitions on the date listed, but everyone said they signed them on that date. One lady said she signed the wrong date first and then changed it, using two different color pens.”

Pinkney recounted the testimony of a Michigan State Police forensics lab technician who was asked, “Can you say Rev. Pinkney did it [changed dates on petitions]. He said NO—that was a victory for the people.”

Pinkney identified racism as the chief problem everywhere today in the U.S., a view that was recently confirmed by a report from the United Nations Committee on Torture.

Quincy Stewart, with another Pontiac resident, speaks at meeting,

Quincy Stewart, with another Pontiac resident, speaks at meeting,

“They’re still burning crosses and hanging nooses in the workplace in St. Joseph,” he said. “This fight is not about Rev. Pinkney, it is about the people. We have to take the struggle to a whole different level.”

Quincy Stewart and another man from Pontiac, Michigan told the audience the travails that residents of their city have suffered since an Emergency Manager took over as has been done only in majority-Black cities across Michigan, including Benton Harbor and Detroit.

“We’ve suffered for five years under an EM,” Stewart said. “Every single asset has been taken. They sold the Pontiac Silverdome for a measly $580,000. We are right in the middle of Oakland County, and police repression happens every day.”

Judge Sterling Schrock, who is to sentence Pinkney.

Judge Sterling Schrock, who is to sentence Pinkney.

Oakland County, a majority white, is one of the wealthiest counties in the U.S. Oakland and Macomb Counties were two of only four counties, out of 83 in Michigan, that voted against a referendum to repeal the first Emergency Manager law, Public Act 4.

Pinkney asked his supporters to write letters to Berrien County Judge Sterling Schrock demanding to know how he could be convicted with no evidence. Schrock’s address is 811 Port St. St Joseph, MI 49085.

BANCO targeted Schrock in 2011 for his racially discriminatory murder sentencings of a white man to probation, and three Black youths to prison for life. Click on Sterling Schrock legacy of hatred to read story.

Rev. Pinkney's wife Dorothy Pinkney is in front row, with grey hat, during meeting Nov. 17 in Detroit.

Rev. Pinkney’s wife Dorothy Pinkney is in front row, with grey hat, during meeting Nov. 17 in Detroit.

STATEMENT BY REV. EDWARD PINKNEY ON BANCO WEBSITE:

Gail Freehling, the racist juror from Three Oaks, Michigan

 Standing ovation for sheriff stating Pinkney’s conviction

Gail Freehling, former city clerk for New Buffalo, MI was on Pinkney jury. Sharon Tyler, the Berrien County Clerk who oversees all city clerks there, was one of chief witnesses against Rev. Pinkney,

Gail Freehling, former city clerk for New Buffalo, MI was on Pinkney jury. Sharon Tyler, the Berrien County Clerk who oversees all city clerks there, was one of chief witnesses against Rev. Pinkney.

The look in her eyes, the expression on her face – if her eyes could shoot I would be dead. How much hate can one person have in their heart? Gail Freehling is the type who would be responsible for mobbing, hanging, and shooting blacks for no reason.

Racism in the 1960’s:  it was a huge decade and a war/battle every day between Blacks and Whites. Black and Whites had different drinking fountains and wash rooms.

Whites in Mississippi would scare blacks into leaving town by putting up signs, burning crosses, burning homes, and killing all members of the family.

In Berrien County, Michigan blacks are viewed as horrible people. When whites see a black person on TV or walking around Three Oaks, St. Joseph, or Stevensville, their first thought is, “what is a black person doing in our community?”

On October 27, 2014 in Berrien County, Michigan an all-white jury was sitting in judgment of me. The jury was motivated by something other than the truth.

Marion, Indiana, Aug. 7, 1930: Thomas Shipp and Abram Smith are lynched,

Marion, Indiana, Aug. 7, 1930: Thomas Shipp and Abram Smith are lynched.

I was found guilty with no evidence and no witnesses to testify against me, no confession, and a group of whites hating black people. In the Berrien County courthouse this was a modern day lynching.

The Sheriff of Berrien County, Paul Bailey, went to a Republican meeting and was given a standing ovation when he made the announcement that, “we convicted Rev. Edward Pinkney and he will be going to prison for the rest of his life” (with absolutely no evidence.)

In 1960 they wore white robes and masks to symbolize their color and to sometimes act like ghosts. Today they wear suits, ties, and black robes to symbolize their color. We  must not forget our friendly American police officers whose job is to serve and protect -and have murdered someone every single day of the year.

Mike Brown, 18, of Ferguson, MO, and his executioner KKKop Darren Wilson.

Mike Brown, 18, of Ferguson, MO, and his executioner KKKop Darren Wilson.

Only in America, the land of the free and the home of the brave, it is open season for cops to kill unarmed black people and not go to prison.  If Whirlpool, Rep. Fred Upton, and Berrien County Court have their way, Rev. Pinkney will be going to jail for the rest of his life, convicted with no evidence.  Killer cop Darren Wilson set free with evidence in Ferguson, Mo.

We the people must stand up against racism and discrimination, we must protect the have-nots. It is not one thing, it is everything. Let us stand together and fight and win.

Rev. Edward Pinkney

bhbanco.org

blogtalkradio.com

Pinkney to Pinkney Every Sunday at 5pm ET

Burn Baby Burn

Burn all NAACP Membership Cards

Posted by: Gordon Matthews <gormatthews@gmail.com>

_____________________________________________________________

To sign up for bus to Rev. Pinkney’s sentencing in St. Joseph, Dec. 15 at 8 am, contact Marcina Cole at 248-383-3595, or Abayomi Azikiwe at 313-671-3714.

To sign petition in support of Rev. Pinkney, click on http://www.bhbanco.org/2014/09/b-n-c-o-petition-we-demand-justice-in.html?spref=tw

To donate to the campaign to free Rev. Pinkney, send funds to
Rev. Edward Pinkney (checks made out to BANCO)
1940 Union St.
Benton Harbor, MI 49022  Phone: 269-925-0001

Listen to Rev. Pinkney every Sunday 5:00 p.m. on http://www.blogtalkradio.com/rev-pinkney/2014/10/19/pinkney-to-pinkney

Related stories:

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2014/04/26/free-rev-edward-pinkney-recall-whirlpool-stooge-benton-harbor-mayor-james-hightower/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2014/05/10/rev-edward-pinkney-marcus-muhammad-battle-whirlpool-for-benton-harbor-pinkney-court-hearing-may-30/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2014/05/27/dismiss-all-charges-against-rev-pinkney-court-fri-may-30-save-benton-harbor-boycott-whirlpool/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2014/06/03/rev-pinkney-in-the-mouth-of-the-beast-in-benton-harbor/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2014/06/07/benton-harbor-rev-pinkney-to-face-trial-on-felony-charges-july-21-despite-no-evidence/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2014/07/13/drop-the-charges-against-rev-edward-pinkney-of-benton-harbor-trial-set-for-july-21/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2014/10/29/free-rev-pinkney-frame-up-benton-harbor-trial-targets-nationally-known-freedom-fighter/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2014/11/05/all-white-jury-convicts-rev-pinkney-of-5-felony-counts-pros-wants-life-sentence/


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U.S. KILLINGS BY POLICE, PRISON CONDITIONS TROUBLE UNITED NATIONS

Alessio Bruni

Alessio Bruni (l) of Italy, Committee expert on U.S. Review, and Claudio Grossman, of Chile, Chairperson of the UN Committee against Torture, during news conference by UN Committee Against Torture.

Tribune News Service

Tribune News Service

By John Zarocostas

November 29, 2014

Protesters occupy suburban St. Louis mall on "Black Friday" to protest grand jury verdict on police murder of Michael Brown, 18, in Ferguson, MO Aug. 9, 2014.

Protesters occupy suburban St. Louis mall on “Black Friday” to protest grand jury verdict on police murder of Michael Brown, 18, in Ferguson, MO Aug. 9, 2014.

GENEVA — A U.N. anti-torture panel that is investigating the United States said Friday it was deeply concerned by what it described as the high incidence of police brutality and shootings — especially against African-Americans — in the U.S., was troubled by what it called harsh conditions in many prisons and was worried about the interrogation methods used on detainees.

The experts on the United Nations panel called for declassifying evidence of torture by the U.S. — in particular Guantanamo Bay detainees’ accounts — and declassifying and promptly releasing, with minimal redactions, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s report about the CIA’s secret detention and interrogation program.

“We express concern at the reported current police violence in Chicago, especially against African-American and Latino young people, and deep concern at the frequent and recurrent police shootings or fatal pursuit of unarmed black individuals,” said Alessio Bruni, a member of the panel and a lead investigator in the review of U.S. compliance with the 1984 Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment. The U.S. ratified the 156-member-country convention in 1994. [See report on Chicago killings at http://report.wechargegenocide.org/people.html.]

Some of the 89 people killed by Chicago police in last five years; over 300 were shot.

Some of the 89 people killed by Chicago police in last five years; over 300 were shot.

Bruni, an Italian, said the 10-member panel recommended “that all instances of police brutality and excessive use of force by law enforcement officers are investigated promptly, effectively and impartially by an independent mechanism with no institutional or hierarchical connection between the investigators and the alleged perpetrators.”

On Nov. 12-13, nearly 30 senior officials from the U.S. Departments of Defense, Justice and Homeland Security, along with the attorney general of Mississippi, presented evidence and were examined by the U.N. panel. The session was part of the periodic review of U.S. compliance with the anti-torture convention. The U.S. was last reviewed in May 2006.

Michael Brown's parents Leslie McSpadden and Michael Brown, Sr. testify at UN Committee on Torture.

Michael Brown’s parents Lesley McSpadden and Michael Brown, Sr. testify at UN Committee on Torture.

Civil rights activists and human rights groups also met with the panel in Geneva. Among those testifying were the parents of Michael Brown, 18, who was shot dead Aug. 9 in Ferguson., Mo., by a police officer. A grand jury chose this week not to indict the officer.

Asked about the decision not to charge the officer who shot Brown, Bruni said: “It is always a tragedy when a person is killed and especially by an official of the government. … Can’t say more because there has been a judicial decision on this point and we have to respect that decision.”

The committee also said it was concerned about what it called excessive use of force by law enforcement officials against immigrants and LGBT individuals, about racial profiling and about the growing militarization of policing activities.

“This (U.N.) report — along with the voices of Americans protesting around the country this week — is a wake-up call for police who think they can act with impunity,” said Jamil Dakwar, the director of human rights at the American Civil Liberties Union.

A pair holds a solitary confinement protest sign outside the Ronald Reagan State Building in downtown L.A. Monday, July 8, 2013, during a protest against solitary confinement in California prisons. (Michael Owen Baker/L.A. Daily News)

A pair holds a solitary confinement protest sign outside the Ronald Reagan State Building in downtown L.A. Monday, July 8, 2013, during a protest against solitary confinement in California prisons. (Michael Owen Baker/L.A. Daily News)

The panel said it was appalled at the number of reported deaths that followed the use of stun guns, and it recommended that the weapons be used “exclusively in extreme and limited situations” and be banned for use on children and pregnant women.

The U.N. panel noted its concern at what it described as the high number of deaths in custody — 958 inmates died in American jails in 2012, up nearly 8 percent from2010 — and it called on the U.S. government to investigate all deaths of detainees promptly.

The panel said the U.S. should limit solitary confinement to “a measure of last resort” and prohibit its use for juveniles, people with disabilities, and pregnant and breastfeeding women. It said it was concerned about the use of solitary confinement for indefinite periods.

Bruni said keeping people in maximum-security prisons in solitary confinement up to 22 to 23 hours a day was not acceptable.

The panel also raised concerns about the U.S. military’s interrogation methods. Bruni said, “Certain changes have to be made in certain parts of the military manual for interrogation.”

The report said the United States should abolish the “physical separation technique,” which limits detainees to at least four hours of continued sleep.

With regard to the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, the panel concluded that the United States should “cease the use of indefinite detention without charge or trial for individuals suspected of terrorism or related activities,” and it recommended that the government end the force-feeding of detainees on hunger strikes.

Inside U.S. Guantanamao Bay politicial prisoner concentration camp.

Inside U.S. Guantanamao Bay politicial prisoner concentration camp.

———

(Zarocostas is a McClatchy special correspondent.)

See summary of UN Committee against Torture report on United States at UN Committee on Torture Report on US 11 20 14.


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MIKE BROWN’S STEPFATHER LOUIS HEAD REACTS TO VERDICT: BURN THIS PLACE DOWN!

Stepfather Louis Head speaks for many grassroots Black youth

Enough of officials calling for peace–where were they when Mike Brown was killed?

By Diane Bukowski

Commentary

November 25, 2014

Aiyana Jones on her mother Dominika's Facebook page, with her father Charles Jones.

Aiyana Jones on her mother Dominika’s Facebook page, with her father Charles Jones.

DETROIT — As did thousands across the country, I watched the St. Louis County Prosecutor announce that the grand jury in Ferguson would NOT charge Michael Brown’s killer kop Darren Wilson with ANYTHING–not even involuntary manslaughter or reckless use of a firearm, charges faced here in Detroit by killer kop Joseph Weekley, Jr. in the machine gun slaughter of Aiyana Jones, 7, in 2010.

Of course, Weekley walked anyway while Aiyana’s FATHER Charles Jones went to prison instead for 40-60 years on trumped-up charges.

I also listened to the pathetic platitudes mouthed by our President Barack Obama, and other so-called leaders across the country, including Rev. Charles Williams of the National Action Network, here in Detroit. PEACE, they said–we need PEACEFUL protests. Williams spoke at Aiyana’s funeral, but he has been nowhere to be seen since, as her family has suffered excruciating pain, poverty and media assaults through the last four and a half years.

Ferguson police car burns Nov. 24 after grand jury verdict announced.

Ferguson police car burns Nov. 24 after grand jury verdict announced.

WHERE WERE THEIR CRIES FOR “PEACE” WHEN DARREN WILSON, EXPOSED BY “ANONYMOUS” AS LIKELY TIED TO THE KKK, EMPTIED 12 BULLETS FROM HIS GUN AT AN UNARMED 18-YEAR-OLD WHO WAS ON HIS WAY TO COLLEGE?

Tamir Rice

Tamir Rice

Where were they when Cleveland police just murdered 12-year-old Tamir Rice at a recreation center PLAYGROUND as he allegedly played with a toy gun?

Where were they when Vonderrit Myers, Jr., 18 was shot to death IN THE BACK as autopsy results have shown, by St. Louis killer kops Oct. 9?

Where were they when a virtual firing squad of white Saginaw cops lined up in 2012 to surround Milton Hall, Jr., a mentally disabled man who had only a penknife, then shot him multiple times to death?

Where were they when Northland Mall security guards in Southfield, MI lay on top of 25-year-0ld McKenzie Cochran, Jr. as he cried out that he couldn’t breathe because they had cut off his windpipe, then died as dozens of shoppers watched?

Where were they when Florida cops tased 18-year-old accomplished 18-year0ld artist Israel Hernandez to death in 2012 because he was painting on a building? Where were they back in 2005 when police in California killed 5-year-old Suzie Pena?

Kids-dead-by-police-640x205

 

The Michael Brown verdict has given the green light to killer kops across the country. This is nothing but outright violent, military WAR, particularly on youth of color, and it will only be stopped in the way that ANY war is stopped–by organizing and responding in kind.

Negroes with Guns 2Volleys of gunshots were heard during the start of last night’s rebellion in Ferguson streets. It’s not clear if they came from protesters or police. But if it was the protesters, there is no way that they can be blamed for what amounts to self defense, as famed leader Robert Williams advocated in  decades ago.

The Final Call reported that young people took the stage during Ferguson October, displacing religious leaders and other so called “civil rights” advocates.

“On stage, Tef Poe offered his street level assessment of issues and problems. So-called gang members like the GD’s and the Vice Lords are not on this stage, he noted. But it wasn’t the professional people or academics out on the streets protecting us, it was the brothers with tattoos and their shirts off, he declared. We are not professional activists or organizers but we are real people dealing with real problems, he said. “I don’t need Don Lemon to tell me what happened. I was there,” said Tef Poe, referring to the CNN newsman. Elders were challenged to listen to, respect and support this emerging crop of fearless young leaders, who have not stopped their demands for justice.”

More to come in VOD on the Ferguson grand jury verdict. I’m on my way to Detroit’s protest at 4:30 pm in Hart Plaza. Hope to see you there.

Related:

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2014/10/02/weekley-shot-aiyana-instantly-gun-at-head-grandmother-says-weekley-grabbed-raid-sgt-s-gun-after-shooting/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2014/10/30/code-black-alert-vonderrit-myers-shot-in-back-slave-patrol-officials-continue-disinformation-campaign/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2014/10/30/aclu-testifies-at-inter-american-commission-on-police-execution-of-milton-hall-in-saginaw-mi/

And more.


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CLEVELAND POLICE KILL 12-YEAR-OLD TAMIR RICE AT PLAYGROUND; PROTESTERS BLOCK FREEWAYS

Tamir Rice, 12, killed by Cleveland police at playground.

Tamir Rice, 12, killed by Cleveland police at playground.

Cleveland City Councilman Zack Reed: “How did a 12-year-old go from the rec center to the morgue?”

Child had toy gun but did not point it; caller told 911 it might be fake

Police video of killing to be released at family’s demand, killer cops not identified, put on 3 days paid leave

Investigation to take three months using grand jury

November 26 2014

Tamir Rice's father Leonard Warner comforts the child's big sister at vigil in park where he was killed.)

Tamir Rice’s father Leonard Warner comforts the child’s big sister at vigil in park where he was killed.)

CLEVELAND — Surveillance video is “very clear on what took place” at a Cleveland playground when a rookie police officer fatally shot a 12-year-old boy brandishing a fake gun, police said Monday.

Tamir Rice was shot twice in the torso Saturday afternoon and died at a hospital Sunday morning.

Deputy Chief Ed Tomba said the officer, one of two who responded to a dispatcher’s call, was less than 10 feet from Tamir under a gazebo when the confrontation took place He declined to say if the video matches the officer’s description of events, saying a full interview of the officer has not been conducted.

Neither he nor Chief Calvin Williams explained why police have not obtained a full statement from the officer.

The boy’s family declined to view the video but it was shown to family representatives, Tomba said. Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty said the video would be released, but did not say when.

Protesters block freeway in Cleveland, outraged at police murder of Tamir Rice, 12.

Protesters block freeway in Cleveland Nov, 25, outraged at police murder of Tamir Rice, 12.

(Update: authorities agreed to release the video Nov. 26 after receiving a letter from the child’s parents demanding it. Click on LETTER FROM TAMIR RICE FAMILY to read it in its entirety. It says in part, “The news of Tamir’s death has devastated our family. Tamir was a bright young man who had his whole life ahead of him. This is a tragedy in our eyes. He was a loving brother. He was a grandson. He was a nephew and cousin. His favorite sport was basketball. Tamir often visited the Cudell Recreation Center to play with friends. Most of all, he enjoyed being around people. Everyone loved him.”)

Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty is advocate of the death penalty. Will he advocate it for killer cops?

Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty is advocate of the death penalty. Will he advocate it for killer cops?

The identities of the officers have not been made public. They were placed on three days’ paid administrative leave, and will be on restricted duty when they return, police said.

Tomba said the investigation could take three months, after which a grand jury will hear the case to decide if charges are warranted.

Tomba said one officer fired twice after the boy pulled the fake weapon from his waistband but had not pointed it at police. The boy did not make any verbal threats, but he grabbed the replica handgun after being told to raise his hands, Tomba said.

Williams said the “airsoft“-type pellet gun lacked the orange safety tip required at the time of sale and was indistinguishable from a real semiautomatic pistol.

Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams sworn in by Mayor Frank Jackson Feb. 2014

Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams sworn in by Mayor Frank Jackson Feb. 2014

“Guns are not toys,” he said. “We need to teach our kids that.”

“Who would’ve thought he would go so soon?” Gregory Henderson, a close friend of Tamir’s family, told WKYC-TV. “To be 12 years old, he doesn’t know what he’s doing. Police, they know what they’re doing.”

Henderson also questioned why police did not use a Taser-type weapon.

“You shot him twice, not once, and at the end of the day you all don’t shoot for the legs, you shoot for the upper body,” Henderson said to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Henderson, identified by that newspaper’s website as Tamir’s father, said Tamir was a “respectful” young man who minded his elders.

A 911 call to police in which a man says the gun was “probably fake” has added to the controversy.

Memorial for Tamir Rice at park where he was killed.

Memorial for Tamir Rice at park where he was killed.

Jeff Follmer, president of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association, said the officers were not told the caller thought the gun might be fake. He said an officer taking a Taser out when they believe there could be a person with a gun puts the officer at risk, the Plain Dealer reported.

The hacker group Anonymous claimed responsibility Monday for shutting down the City of Cleveland’s website after Rice’s shooting, WKYC said. The FBI is investigating.

Rice’s friends and family brought posters, candles and teddy bears to the scene.

Monday afternoon, a few dozen protesters rallied on the city’s Public Square, and some briefly blocked traffic. About 5 p.m., protesters gathered at the Cudell Recreation Center, where Tamir was killed.

Update: Tuesday after the news of the grand jury decision in the Michael Brown case was released, protests ramped up across Cleveland. See photos below:

Tamir Rice protesters block Public Square in downtown Cleveland.

Tamir Rice protesters block Public Square in downtown Cleveland.

Front shot of Tamir Rice protesters occupying downtown Cleveland freeway.

Front shot of Tamir Rice protesters occupying downtown Cleveland freeway.

 

Demonstrators lie down in Public Square.

Demonstrators lie down in Public Square.

 


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HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS: MAILAUNI WILLIAMS BACK WITH MOM AFTER 6 MONTH KIDNAPPING

Mailauni, holding her pet dog Holly, and mother Lennette Williams relax at home Nov. 24, 2014.

Mailauni, holding her pet dog Holly, and mother Lennette Williams relax at home Nov. 24, 2014. Holly had just barked out “I wuv you” at Mailauni’s urging,

“I’m happy now” – Mailauni

“I WUV YOU” — Holly

“Her mother is the woman she loves above all others”—Judge Keith

“When is the corruption of our probate courts going to end?”—Lennette Williams

 By Diane Bukowski

 November 23, 2014

 “I just can’t believe it’s so, and though it seems strange to say I never been laid so low, in such a mysterious way. And the course of a lifetime runs over and over again. But I would not give you false hope on this strange and mournful day. When the mother and child reunion is only a motion away, Oh, the mother and child reunion is only a moment away.”  Mother and child re-union, by Paul Simon

Mailauni in high school graduation photo and posing with rose.

Mailauni in high school graduation photo and posing with rose.

DETROIT – Mailauni Williams, 33, was back home with her mother Lennette Williams Nov. 21, in time for the holidays, after being viciously kidnapped and disappeared for six months by Grosse Pointe Farms police, former visiting Probate Judge Kathryn George, who was appointed by Wayne County Probate Court Chief Judge Milton Mack,  and Mailauni’s former “guardian” Mary Rowan.

“I’m happy now,” Mailauni, who her mother calls “Pookie,” said during a visit to their home. Mother and daughter, reunited, sat together on their living room sofa with Mailauni’s dog Holly, better known as “Mutt” to Lennette, grinning from ear to ear. They were dressed comfortably for home, in matching pink and blue pajamas.

Lennette was in the process of cooking dinner for them.

Mailauni told the little dog, “I wuv you, I wuv you,” and tiny Holly responded with a loud yowl that sounded much like “I love you,” as Mailauni had trained her.

Mary Rowan, seated in blue, grabs Mailauni's arm possessively after being appointed guardian June 13. Mailauni's sister Monique is at center. Photo by Cornell Squires

Mary Rowan, seated in blue, grabs Mailauni’s arm possessively after being appointed guardian June 13, while admonishing VOD reporter for being in courtroom. Mailauni’s sister Monique is at center. Photo by Cornell Squires

Mailauni said she misses her sister Monique and was looking forward to Monique visiting the next day to bring her bookbag. She stayed with Monique at Rowan’s  direction, without a court order, for part of the six months, unbeknownst to her mother and friends, who were frantic to know her whereabouts.

Williams had just returned from trying to get Mailauni’s Blue Cross Blue Shield reinstated. Estate trustee Walter Sakowski allowed it to lapse during the kidnapping, meaning medications she needs must be paid for out-of-pocket. At Judge George’s order, Sakowski also ceased mortgage and utility payments on their home, as well as on Lennette’s car insurance, while getting fees approved for yet another attorney on the case.

“They didn’t care if she lived or died,” Williams said. Mailauni suffers from cerebal palsy and a seizure disorder that nearly killed her previously, caused by admitted malpractice during her birth at Henry Ford Hospital. She has other permanent ailments as well.

Wayne County Probate Court Judge Terrance Keith, newly assigned to Mailauni’s case, declared during a court hearing Nov. 19 that Lennette Williams is “the woman Mailauni loves beyond all others,” and that she should immediately go back to the only home she has ever known.

Lennette Williams (center), with attorney Vanessa Fluker at right, supporters Arnetta Grable (l) and Min. Malik Shabazz (top) after court hearing Nov. 19, 2014

VICTORY! Lennette Williams (center), with attorney Vanessa Fluker at right, supporters Arnetta Grable (l) and Min. Malik Shabazz (top) after court hearing Nov. 19, 2014

“Attorney [Allison] Folmar and I were in tears when Mailauni finally got home,” Williams said. “When is the corruption of probate courts in Wayne County and everywhere going to end? Jail the judges! They kidnapped my daughter to make me sign over the malpractice money in her case. No one should be allowed to get away with the thieving and plundering of estates they are guilty of.”

Grosse Pointe Farms police broke down the door to the Williams home May 22 with no valid court order, held her at gunpoint outside, and seized Mailauni, as she kept crying, “Is my mother going to be OK?”

During a subsequent, chaotic court “hearing” June 13, Judge George, acting erratically and with obvious malice, jailed Lennette Williams for five days for contempt of court, barred Attorney Folmar from presenting her case or cross-examining witnesses, and then threatened to jail her as well.

VOD ran a story on that hearing, including an expose of George’s well-publicized  removal as Macomb County Probate Court Chief Judge in Jan. 2008 by the Michigan Supreme Court.

Judge Kathryn George, now back in Macomb County.

The high court cited her appointment of a high number of cases to one agency, ADDMS Guardianship Services, among other factors.  After reviewing an audit of the Macomb Court, former State Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Weaver wrote, “the Report confirms not only Judge George’s apparent inappropriate involvement with ADDMS guardian services, but also her apparent failure to properly oversee numerous guardianship cases.”

Despite Mack’s appointment of this shady judge, Williams kept fighting on her own until she finally retained Folmar with the assistance of her well-known friends Arnetta Grable and Anita Peeks and Elaine Steele  from the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute. Growing up, Mailauni and her mother frequently visited the civil rights heroine, who considered her her godchild.

With the help of the VOD expose, Attorney Folmar, working with attorney Vanessa Fluker, who appeared in court Nov. 19, successfully got the Williams case re-assigned.

Judge Keith then removed Rowan from the case and temporarily assigned her to stay with her sister.

Curt Guyette said in a 2002 Metro Times story that records he reviewed showed that “Calculated over a life span of 73 years for Mailauni, the entire settlement was valued at $30.5 million, according to the settlement agreement.” Williams says the agreement  covered both mother and daughter, since she also suffered permanent physical injuries during prolonged labor.

Judge Terrance Keith with his book, "Sunrise on the Detroit River."

Judge Terrance Keith with his book, “Sunrise on the Detroit River.”

At the time, doctors expected Mailauni to survive only several years. But, as Keith himself declared, it was her mother’s constant love and nurturing that brought her to adulthood, along the way earning a high school diploma. Keith has also lauded Lennette Williams’ legal skills.

Since Mailauni’s birth, Williams, a strong, feisty, articulate, well-read and legally well-versed woman, has had to battle a legion of judges and court-appointed attorneys who progressively stripped the family’s estate with outrageous fees. Also in the mix were the Grosse Pointe Farms police, who invaded her home several times, and the school district, which falsely accused her of child abuse after stripping Mailauni naked in an exam at the school. No charges were ever brought.

Judge Keith issued his ruling for Mailauni’s return Nov. 19 on the recommendation of Mailauni’s guardian ad litem John Sullivan, who toured her Grosse Pointe Farms home with attorney Folmar the night before.  Keith also terminated the guardianship in her case, restoring the central mother-daughter relationship which has never died.

Sullivan testified that even though the home’s original built-in appliances had not yet been replaced, Williams kept a well-stocked refrigerator and freezer in the home’s connected garage, and a wide array of cooking appliances sufficient to feed her family.

Frequently, Williams also caters.

Judge Milton Mack, Jr. at left and Trustee Walter Sakowski at right live it up at Geoffrey Fieger's holiday party.

Wayne Co. Probate Court Chief Judge Milton Mack, Jr. at left and Trustee Walter Sakowski at right live it up at Geoffrey Fieger’s holiday party.

The greedy nature of the probate court system came to light at the hearing after Judge Keith’s order returning Mailauni home immediately. Trustee Sakowski began quibbling about the amounts needed for replacement appliances and renovations for the 30-year-old home.

He said that even he didn’t have a $10,000 refrigerator in his home.  A friend of Lennette’s told VOD, “They want her to live like a welfare mom.” Sakowski and other attorneys involved financially in the case are white, as is Chief Judge Mack.

Attorney Fluker and Williams explained that the refrigerator, stove and cook-top were built into the home, and that quotes included the cost of stripping out the original installment, replacing power lines, and other matters. Judge Keith ordered Fluker to get two additional quotes and prepare a petition for funds release, including mortgage and other home-related payments as well as the monthly allowance Williams has received for other necessities of life.

Door to the Williams home in Grosse Pointe Farms, which police have not repaired after breaking in to seize Mailauni June 13, 2014.

Door to the Williams home in Grosse Pointe Farms, which police have not repaired after breaking in to seize Mailauni June 13, 2014. Photo: David Schied

Trustee Sakowski sits on the Wayne County Probate Board with Mack, who battled Williams for years over the settlement, apparently outraged that a Black woman would have the gall and intelligence to speak her mind in court. Sakowski and Mack apparently socialize together as well, as seen in a photo from a holiday party at Attorney Geoffrey Fieger’s law offices.

Williams has contended all along that she is perfectly capable of handling her own financial affairs. She says she needs no trustee, and no guardian for her own daughter. Until George’s ruling June 13, Williams was her daughter’s guardian, a victory she won. Williams keeps volumes of documents from her 30 years of battle with the courts in pristine covers, well-organized and at her fingertips and is able to argue toe-to-toe with the best legal minds.

“Mailauni is my heart, I would die for her,” she says, explaining her decades long fortitude in the battle.

Related stories:

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2014/10/24/rosa-parks-godchild-mailauni-williams-found-judge-george-guardian-rowan-removed-from-case/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2014/07/21/amber-alert-rosa-parks-godchild-mailauni-williams-missing-judge-kathryn-george-loots-estate-bars-mortgage-payments-on-her-home/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2014/10/23/serial-kidnapper-atty-mary-rowan-takes-second-adult-ward-from-home-without-court-order/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2014/06/16/shady-probate-judge-kathryn-george-jails-mom-seizes-daughter-and-estate/

 


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9 WHITES, 3 BLACKS ON GRAND JURY IN MIKE BROWN CASE; POLICE UNION BELIEVES NO CHARGES WILL ENSUE

Ferguson demonstrators outside police station with photo of Mike Brown's killer, cop Darren Wilson, projected on wall Nov. 21, 2014. Photo: Scott Olsen/Getty
Ferguson demonstrators outside police station with photo of Mike Brown’s killer, cop Darren Wilson, projected on wall Oct. 22, 2014. Photo: Scott Olsen/Getty

 

Where Is Ferguson Jury? Who Are They? It’s All Secret, and Vote Will Stay That Way

Nine votes required to indict; jurors’ identities to remain secret

Jury meeting in secret location in Clayton, MO

By Tim Bross and Andrew Harris Nov 21, 2014 5:01 AM ET

Bloomberg

Mike Brown, 18 (l), killed by Officer Darren Wilson (r) with up to 8 gunshots, on Aug. 9, 2014.

Mike Brown, 18 (l), killed by Officer Darren Wilson (r) with up to 8 gunshots, on Aug. 9, 2014.

Secrecy surrounds almost every aspect of the grand jury deciding whether a white police officer in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson should be charged with a crime for fatally shooting an unarmed black teenager.

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, a Democrat, has mobilized National Guard troops to support local law enforcement agencies if there is unrest after the decision, which could come as early as today.

The panel of nine whites and three blacks has been reviewing evidence since Aug. 20, 11 days after officer Darren Wilson killed Michael Brown, 18, in a street encounter.

Some eyewitnesses said Brown was shot while raising his hands in surrender. Police said he attacked Wilson while the officer was in his patrol car. The killing touched off street protests, some of them violent in the days after the shooting. Demonstrations have reignited as the grand jury’s determination draws near.

Mike Brown's body lying in street for four hours after he was killed, as agonized family members and neighbors watched.

Mike Brown’s body lying in street for four hours after he was killed, as agonized family members and neighbors watched.

The office of St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch hasn’t divulged when or where the grand jury meets or when its work will be done, offering only the estimate its decision will be made in mid- to late-November.

St. Louis County doesn’t include the city of the same name. Grand jurors have been meeting in suburban Clayton, the county seat.

Identities of the grand jurors, seven of whom are male and five female, will be kept secret. At least nine of them will have to agree to a charge to return an indictment.

Jury’s Vote

Michael Brown's parents Leslie McSpadden and Michael Brown Sr. have testified before the United Nations.

Michael Brown’s parents Leslie McSpadden and Michael Brown Sr. have testified before the United Nations.

When a decision is reached, the actual vote won’t be disclosed, only whether the jurors voted for an indictment or for what’s known as a no-true bill. State law prohibits disclosure of the vote.

Panel members are prohibited by law from disclosing anything they saw or heard in the proceeding, or expressing an opinion about them, said Paul Fox, director of judicial administration for St. Louis County.

Violating that secrecy would put a juror in contempt of court with a penalty to be determined by a judge, said Edward Magee, a spokesman for McCulloch. Magee said he’s unaware of any such prosecutions in his 19 years in the prosecutor’s office.

Ferguson cops and protesters outside police station Nov. 22, 2014.

Ferguson cops and protesters outside police station Nov. 22, 2014.

The only significant disclosure from the current proceedings has been a description of Wilson’s four hours of testimony before the grand jury that was reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch newspaper.

St. Louis County Circuit Court Judge Carolyn Whittington overseeing grand jury, must OK verdict.

St. Louis County Circuit Court Judge Carolyn Whittington overseeing grand jury, must OK verdict.

If there is an indictment, it will require the approval of Circuit Judge Carolyn Whittington, who is overseeing the grand jury operations.

The case would then go to Presiding Judge Maura McShane, who will schedule an arraignment. From there, it would be assigned randomly to a circuit judge in the court’s criminal division.

McCulloch has already decided that barring the discovery of additional relevant evidence, he will not bring charges or resubmit the case to a grand jury if Wilson isn’t indicted, Magee has said.

POLICE UNION: CHARGES UNLIKELY FOR FERGUSON COP WHO KILLED MIKE BROWN

“It’s fair to say that neither he nor his defense team expect an indictment”

(VOD: Wilson and his attorney may have violated grand jury secrecy rules by disclosing information to police union; note subsequent denial by union head that they did so.)

By David A. Lieb 

Associated Press

 November 21, 2014

(excerpt)

Jeff Roorda, Business Manager for St. Louis Police Officers Association

Jeff Roorda, Business Manager for St. Louis Police Officers Association

Jefferson City, Mo. — The suburban St. Louis police officer who fatally shot Michael Brown seems confident that he will not face criminal charges from a grand jury that has been investigating the case for several months, a police union official said Thursday.

Jeff Roorda, business manager for the St. Louis Police Officers’ Association, said he met Thursday with Ferguson officer Darren Wilson, who has remained secluded from the public eye since the Aug. 9 shooting that sparked tense and occasionally violent protests and drew national attention.

Wilson has been under a lot of pressure and stress but appeared confident in the outcome of the grand jury investigation, Roorda said.

“It’s fair to say that neither he nor his defense team expect an indictment,” Roorda said, offering his impression of the situation based on the meeting with Wilson.

Roorda later told the AP in a text message that he was only speaking for himself.

“Wilson seems confident that justice will be served, but neither he nor his attorneys shared any expectations with me,” he said in the text.

Roorda told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the AP “mistook what I said.”

Protesters demand indictment of Darren Wilson.

Protesters demand indictment of Darren Wilson.

“At no time did I say they don’t expect an indictment or that they are confident in what the outcome of the grand jury would be; it’s just that they seemed confident in the system,” Roorda said.

One of Wilson’s attorneys, who also attended Thursday’s meeting, said there was no specific discussion of expectations.

Darren WIlson attorney Neil Bruntrager

Darren WIlson attorney Neil Bruntrager

“We have absolutely no idea — no more than anyone else — what may or may not happen,” attorney Neil Bruntrager said. “The only expectation that we would have is that the grand jury would be thorough and fair.”

“We have absolutely no idea — no more than anyone else — what may or may not happen,” attorney Neil Bruntrager said. “The only expectation that we would have is that the grand jury would be thorough and fair.”

If he is indicted, Wilson will immediately turn himself in to authorities, Bruntrager said.

Wilson has been on paid administrative leave since the shooting.

A 12-person St. Louis County grand jury has been hearing evidence in the case as it weighs whether to issue charges against the white officer for the black 18-year-old’s death. A decision could come soon, though authorities have not publicized any specific date for an announcement.


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