Posts Tagged ‘MURDER’

Black officer (HALF-BLACK -CONFLICTED BY WHITE MOTHER),who detained George Floyd had pledged to fix police – Twin Cities

July 1, 2020

Black officer (HALF-BLACK-conflicted by white mother),who detained George Floyd had pledged to fix police
By NEW YORK TIMES |
PUBLISHED: June 28, 2020 at 10:26 a.m. | UPDATED: June 28, 2020 at 10:37 a.m.
MINNEAPOLIS — There were two Black men at the scene of the police killing in Minneapolis last month that roiled the nation. One, George Floyd, was sprawled on the asphalt, with a white officer’s knee on his neck. The other Black man, Alex Kueng, was a rookie police officer who held his back as Floyd struggled to breathe.

Floyd, whose name has been painted on murals and scrawled on protest signs, has been laid to rest. Kueng, who faces charges of aiding and abetting in Floyd’s death, is out on bail, hounded at the supermarket by strangers and denounced by some family members.

Long before Kueng was arrested, he had wrestled with the issue of police abuse of Black people, joining the force in part to help protect people close to him from police aggression. He argued that diversity could force change in a Police Department long accused of racism.

J. Alexander Kueng (Courtesy of the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office)
He had seen one sibling arrested and treated poorly, in his view, by sheriff’s deputies. He had found himself defending his decision to join the police force, saying he thought it was the best way to fix a broken system. He had clashed with friends over whether public demonstrations could actually make things better.

“He said, ‘Don’t you think that that needs to be done from the inside?’” his mother, Joni Kueng, recalled him saying after he watched protesters block a highway years ago. “That’s part of the reason why he wanted to become a police officer — and a Black police officer on top of it — is to bridge that gap in the community, change the narrative between the officers and the Black community.”

As hundreds of thousands of people demonstrated against the police after Floyd’s killing on May 25, Kueng became part of a national debate over police violence toward Black people, a symbol of the very sort of policing he had long said he wanted to stop.

Derek Chauvin, the officer who placed his knee on Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes, has been most widely associated with the case. He faces charges of second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter; Kueng and two other former officers were charged with aiding and abetting the killing. At 26, Kueng was the youngest and least experienced officer at the scene, on only his third shift as a full officer.

The arrest of Kueng, whose mother is white and whose father was from Nigeria, has brought anguish to his friends and family. “It’s a gut punch,” Joni Kueng said. “Here you are, you’ve raised this child, you know who he is inside and out. We’re such a racially diverse family. To be wrapped up in a racially motivated incident like this is just unfathomable.”

Two of Alex Kueng’s siblings, Taylor and Radiance, both of whom are African American, called for the arrests of all four officers, including their brother. They joined protests in Minneapolis. In a Facebook Live video, Taylor Kueng, 21, appeared with the head of the local NAACP to speak of the injustice that befell Floyd, acknowledging being related to Alex Kueng but never mentioning his name.

Alex Kueng’s sister Radiance posted a video of Floyd’s final minutes on Facebook. “Just broke my heart,” she wrote. In an interview, she said that as a Black man, her brother should have intervened. She said she planned to change her last name in part because she did not want to be associated with her brother’s actions.

“I don’t care if it was his third day at work or not,” she said. “He knows right from wrong.”

A FULL HOUSE

Through his life, Alex Kueng straddled two worlds, Black and white.

Kueng, whose full name is J. Alexander Kueng (pronounced “king”), was raised by his mother, whom he lived with until last year. His father was absent.

As a child, Kueng sometimes asked for siblings. Joni Kueng, who lived in the Shingle Creek neighborhood in north Minneapolis, signed up with an African American adoption agency.

When Alex was 5, Joni Kueng brought home a baby boy who had been abandoned at a hospital. Alex soon asked for a sister; Radiance arrived when he was 11. Taylor and a younger brother came in 2009, when Alex was about 16.

Radiance Kueng, 21, said their adoptive mother did not talk about race. “Race was not really a topic in our household, unfortunately,” she said. “For her adopting as many Black kids as she did — I didn’t get that conversation from her. I feel like that should have been a conversation that was had.” Growing up, Alex Kueng and his family made repeated trips to Haiti, helping at an orphanage. Alex Kueng and his siblings took a break from school to volunteer there after the earthquake in 2010.

Joni Kueng, 56, likes to say that the Kuengs are a family of doers, not talkers.

“I had to stay out of the race conversations because I was the minority in the household,” Joni Kueng said in her first interview since her son’s arrest. She said that race was not an issue with her, but that she was conflicted. “It didn’t really matter, but it does matter to them because they are African American. And so they had to be able to have an outlet to tell their stories and their experience as well, especially having a white mom.”

Joni Kueng taught math at the schools her children went to, where the student body was often mostly Hmong, African American and Latino. Classmates described Alex Kueng as friends with everyone, a master of juggling a soccer ball and a defender against bullies. Photos portray him with a sly smile.

Darrow Jones said he first met Alex Kueng on the playground when he was 6. Jones was trying to finish his multiplication homework. Alex Kueng helped Jones and then invited him into a game of tag.

When Jones’ mother died in 2008, Joni Kueng took him in for as long as a month at a time.

By high school, Alex Kueng had found soccer, and soon that was all he wanted to do. He became captain of the soccer team; he wanted to turn pro. The quote next to his senior yearbook picture proclaimed, “We ignore failures and strive for success.”

Alex Kueng went to Monroe College in New Rochelle, New York, to play soccer and study business. But after surgery on both knees, soccer proved impossible. Alex Kueng quit. Back in Minneapolis, he enrolled in technical college and supported himself catching shoplifters at Macy’s.

About that time, he started talking about joining the police, Joni Kueng recalled. She said she was nervous, for his safety and also because of the troubled relationship between the Minneapolis police and residents.

Given his background, Alex Kueng thought he had the ability to bridge the gap between white and Black worlds, Jones said. He often did not see the same level of racism that friends felt. Jones, who is Black, recalled a road trip a few years ago to Utah with Alex Kueng, a white friend and Alex Kueng’s girlfriend, who is Hmong. Jones said he had to explain to Alex Kueng why people were staring at the group.

“Once we got to Utah, we walked into a store, and literally everybody’s eyes were on us,” recalled Jones, whose skin is darker than Alex Kueng’s. “I said, ‘Alex, that’s because you’re walking in here with a Black person. The reason they’re staring at us is because you’re here with me.’”

By February 2019, Alex Kueng had made up his mind: He signed up as a police cadet. Only a few months later, his sibling Taylor, a longtime supporter of Black Lives Matter who had volunteered as a counselor at a Black heritage camp and as a mentor to at-risk Black youths, had a confrontation with law enforcement.

Taylor Kueng and a friend saw local sheriff’s deputies questioning two men in a downtown Minneapolis shopping district about drinking in public. They intervened. Taylor Kueng used a cellphone to record video of the deputies putting the friend, in a striped summer dress, on the ground. “You’re hurting me!” the friend shouted.

As the confrontation continued, a deputy turned to Taylor Kueng and said, “Put your hands behind your back.” “For what?” Taylor Kueng asked several times. “Because,” said the deputy, threatening to use his Taser.

Taylor Kueng called home. Alex Kueng and their mother rushed to get bail and then to the jail. “Don’t worry, I got you,” Alex Kueng told his sibling, hugging Taylor, their mother recalled.

Alex Kueng reminded his sibling that those were sheriff’s deputies, not the city force he was joining, and criticized their behavior, his mother recalled.

After Taylor Kueng’s video went public, the city dropped the misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct and obstructing the legal process. The sheriff’s office announced an official review of the arrests, which resulted in no discipline.

DIVERGING PATHS

Alex Kueng’s choice to become a police officer caused a rift in his friendship with Jones.

“It was very clear where we stood on that,” said Jones, a Black Lives Matter supporter who protested on the streets after the deaths of Jamar Clark and Philando Castile at the hands of police. “Our fundamental disagreement around law enforcement is not that I believe cops are bad people. I just believe that the system needs to be completely wiped out and replaced. It’s the difference between reform and rebuilding.”

After Alex Kueng became a cadet, Jones went from seeing Alex Kueng twice a month to maybe three times a year. He said he did not even tell Alex Kueng when the police pursued him for nothing and then let him go.

In December, Alex Kueng graduated from the police academy. For most of his field training, Chauvin, with 19 years on the job, was his training officer.

At one point, Alex Kueng, upset, called his mother. He said he had done something during training that bothered a supervising officer, who reamed him out. Joni Kueng did not know if that supervisor was Chauvin.

Chauvin also extended Alex Kueng’s training period. He felt Alex Kueng was meeting too often with a fellow police trainee, Thomas Lane, when responding to calls, rather than handling the calls on his own, Joni Kueng said.

But on May 22, Alex Kueng officially became one of about 80 Black officers on a police force of almost 900. In recent years, the department, not as racially diverse as the city’s population, has tried to increase the number of officers of color, with limited success.

That evening, other officers held a small party at the Third Precinct station to celebrate Alex Kueng’s promotion. The next evening, he worked his first full shift as an officer, inside the station. On that Sunday, he worked the 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. patrol shift, his first on the streets.

On May 25, Alex Kueng’s third day on the job, Alex Kueng and Lane, now partnered up despite both being freshly minted rookies, were the first officers to answer a call of a counterfeit $20 bill being passed at a corner store. They found Floyd in a car outside.

After they failed to get Floyd into the back of a squad car, Chauvin and Tou Thao, another officer, showed up.

As Chauvin jammed his knee into the back of Floyd’s neck, Alex Kueng held down Floyd’s back, according to a probable cause statement filed by prosecutors.

Chauvin kept his knee there as Floyd repeated “I can’t breathe” and “mama” and “please.” Through the passing minutes, Alex Kueng did nothing to intervene, prosecutors say. After Floyd stopped moving, Alex Kueng checked Floyd’s pulse. “I couldn’t find one,” Alex Kueng told the other officers. Critics of the police said the fact that none of the junior officers stopped Chauvin showed that the system itself needed to be overhauled.

“How do you as an individual think that you’re going to be able to change that system, especially when you’re going in at a low level?” said Michelle Gross, president of Communities United Against Police Brutality in Minneapolis. “You’re not going to feel OK to say, ‘Stop, senior officer.’ The culture is such, that that kind of intervening would be greatly discouraged.”

All four officers have been fired. All four face 40 years in prison. Alex Kueng, who was released on bail on June 19, declined through his lawyer to be interviewed. He is set to appear in court Monday.

A day after Floyd’s death, Jones learned that Alex Kueng was one of the officers who had been present. Around midnight, Jones called Alex Kueng. They talked for 40 minutes — about what, Jones would not say — and they cried.

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“I’m feeling a lot of sadness and a lot of disappointment,” Jones said. “A lot of us believe he should have stepped in and should have done something.”

He added: “It’s really hard. Because I do have those feelings and I won’t say I don’t. But though I feel sad about what’s occurred, he still has my unwavering support. Because we grew up together, and I love him.”

Jones said he had gone to the protests but could not bring himself to join in.

Tags: George Floyd

New York Times
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FLOYD OOO!–11 BLACK PEOPLE KILLED IN PROTESTS ACTIONS O!–From m.facebook.com

June 7, 2020

https://m.facebook.com/sharer/sharer.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.femestella.com%2F11-black-people-killed-george-floyd-protests-nationwide%2F

A bizarre tale: An unexplained cop shooting of Black man killed in his home brings tears, fears and questions

September 14, 2018

https://www.finalcall.com/artman/publish/National_News_2/Killed-At-Home-While-Black.shtml

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Check out @TheFinalCall’s Tweet: https://twitter.com/TheFinalCall/status/1039781149705420800?s=09

BLACK PEOPLE!–MARY TURNER WAS LYNCHED ALONG SIDE HER HUSBAND IN 1918! –FROM MARYTURNERPROJECT.ORG,SEEN ON FACEBOOK

September 22, 2015

from maryturnerproject.org

mary turner historical marker

Remembering Mary Turner

  WARNING: This website contains graphic information, violent images, and adult language.

In May of 1918, Hampton Smith, a 31 year old White plantation owner in Brooks County, Georgia was shot and killed by one of his Black workers named Sydney Johnson. Hampton Smith was known for abusing and beating his workers to the point few people in the area would work for him. To solve this labor shortage, Smith turned to the debt peonage system of the day and found a ready labor pool. He used that system by bailing people out of jail, people typically arrested for petty offenses, and having them work off their debt (the bail money) to him on his plantation. Nineteen year old Sydney Johnson, arrested for “rolling dice” and fined thirty dollars, was one such unfortunate person.

After a few days of work on Smith’s plantation, and shortly after being refused his earned wages and beaten by Smith for not working while he was sick, Sidney Johnson shot and killed Hampton Smith. What ensued after the shooting was a mob driven manhunt for Johnson and others thought to be involved in his decision to kill Hampton Smith. That manhunt lasted for more than a week and resulted in the deaths of at least 13 people with some historical accounts suggesting a higher number of persons killed. One of the people killed was a woman named Mary Turner.

Twenty year-old Mary Turner (m.n. Hattie Graham), 8 months pregnant at the time and whose husband had been killed in this “lynching rampage” on Sunday, May 19th, publicly objected to her husband’s murder. She also had the audacity to threaten to swear out warrants for those responsible. Those “unwise remarks,” as the area papers put it, enraged locals. Consequently, Mary Turner fled for her life only to be caught and taken to a place called Folsom’s Bridge on the Brooks and Lowndes Counties’ shared border. To punish her, at Folsom’s Bridge the mob tied Mary Turner by her ankles, hung her upside down from a tree, poured gasoline on her and burned off her clothes. One member of the mob then cut her stomach open and her unborn child dropped to the ground where it was reportedly stomped on and crushed by a member of the mob. Her body was then riddled with gunfire from the mob. Later that night she and her baby were buried ten feet away from where they were murdered. The makeshift grave was marked with only a “whiskey bottle” with a “cigar” stuffed in its neck.

Three days after the murder of Mary Turner and her baby, three more bodies were found in the area and Sydney Johnson was killed in a shoot out with police on South Troup Street in Valdosta, Georgia. Once killed, the crowd of more than 700 people cut off his genitals and threw them into the street. A rope was then tied to his neck and his body was drug for nearly 20 miles to Campground Church in Morven, Georgia, 16 miles away. There, what remained of his body was burned. During and shortly after this chain of events it is reported that more than 500 people fled Lowndes and Brooks Counties in fear for their lives.

Some may ask, why bring up “the past” and these atrocities now? “It happened so long ago.” We think we should bring these crimes up and face them for many reasons. We should bring them up to acknowledge the lives lost, along with the reality that no justice has ever occurred for the victims, their families and so many others affected by these events. We should bring them up because few in the region speak publicly about these events yet wonder why race relations in the area are often so strained. We should bring them up because these events remain one of the most gruesome cases of racism and racial terrorism in this nation’s history, yet they are omitted from the history we teach our children. We should bring them up because Mary Turner’s murder remains one of the most horrific crimes committed against a human being in this nation’s history. And last but not least, we should bring these events up so we can face our collective past in order to see how it might affect the present and the future. Please help us do that.

To find out what you can do please email us or visit our Get Involved page.

The information above is drawn from the following scholarly and historical sources.

Dr. Julie Armstrong Buckner’s text, Mary Turner and the Memory of Lynching, Georgia University Press, 2011.

Dr. Christopher Myers’s article “Killing Them by the Wholesale: A Lynching Rampage in South Georgia” pgs. 214-235 in Georgia Historical Quarterly. Vol. XC. No. 2. Summer 2006.

“Memorandum For Govenor Dorsey from Walter F. White,” July 10, 1918, Papers of the NAACP, Group I. Series C, Box 353, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

Walter White’s “The Work of a Mob,” The Crisis 16 (September 1918), 221.

Sandy Bland’s family files a federal lawsuit because they believe she would not have taken her life

August 7, 2015

SADSandy Bland’s family files a federal lawsuit because they believe she would not have taken her life

BLACK PEOPLE!— KILLING BLACK MEN/WOMEN IS A RACIST WHITE POLICE SPORT IN amerikkka!–lions GET SUPPORT FROM THEM MORE THAN BLACK LIVES!-FROM COUNTERCURRENTNEWS.COM

August 4, 2015

from countercurrentnews.com
cecil-the-lion-bill-protests
Tuesday, August 04, 2015
BLACK MEN/WOMEN ARE TARGETED TO BE KILLED BY POLICE IN amerikkka!–LIONS ARE FAVORED BY white racist mentality!–from COUNTERCURRENTNEWS.COM
FROM COUNTERCURRENTNEWS.COM

Counter Current News
Tuesday, August 4, 2015
Senate Proposes Cecil The Lion Bill, But Still Nothing To Stop Killer Cops
August 2, 2015 6:45 pm·
cecil-the-lion-bill-protests
While the police in America are gunning down hundreds of unarmed citizens every year, four Democratic senators just announced Friday that they are introducing a bill named for the slain Zimbabwean lion Cecil.
Social network memes and stories flooded Facebook, Instagram and Twitter with images of the lion, who was killed by an American trophy hunter earlier this month. We were quick to denounce this killing, but to simultaneously point out the irony that the death of a single non-human animal was getting far more attention and universal condemnation than all of the unarmed, innocent citizens who are killed by the police every year.
Why is that?
While we tried to get to the bottom of the strange lack of empathy that so many have for unarmed victims of police brutality in the United States, Senators were moving quickly to underline our point.
The Conserving Ecosystems by Ceasing the Importation of Large (CECIL) Animal Trophies Act would extend existing U.S. import and export restrictions on trophy hunting to lay down severe penalties for animals listing or proposed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act.
Meanwhile, those senators have not proposed any similar, parallel measures to punish police officers who kill unarmed or non-aggressing human beings in the United States.
Democrats Bob Menendez (N.J.), Cory Booker (N.J.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.) and Ben Cardin (Md.) all co-sponsored the legislation, but they have found it apparently easier to take a stand for Cecil than to do the same for John Crawford, Mike Brown, Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, Sam DuBose and so many new names added to the list every day.
“Cecil’s death was a preventable tragedy that highlights the need to extend the protections of the Endangered Species Act,” Menendez expressed in a statement on Friday. “When we have enough concern about the future of a species to propose it for listing, we should not be killing it for sport.” In a similar statement, Blumenthal called the hunting of endangered species “a reprehensible and repugnant act.”
So why not step up and propose similar harsh penalties for killer cops?
What message is the government sending here? It is clear that they believe Cecil the Lion’s life matters… so why don’t our lives matter to them – at least not to the extend that they are willing to step up and hold the killers accountable in the same way?
?
(Article by M. David and Shante Wooten; image via #Op309 Media)
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Freddie Gray is now a Martyr

May 12, 2015

“NO JUSTICE,NO PEACE!”

politics from the eyes of an ebony mom

On last night while watching the local news they showed a mural in Freddie Gray’s neighborhood. The mural is being done by a neighborhood artist with the help of Gray’s brother. It features a larger than life picture of Gray but I  was struck by the side images which featured Martin Luther King Jr. Gray has been elevated to martyr status. What happened to Gray was criminal. No individual should be treated like he was, but does that treatment erase any of his prior deeds. So often when someone dies everyone seeks to make that person the nicest person to walk the earth. perhaps you have been sitting at a memorial service and you heard all these wonderful things about the decedent that you wonder if you are at the right service, but it is another thing when you complete erase the person’s past because it does not fit in…

View original post 16 more words

BLACK LYNCHING IN 2014,NORTH CAROLINA !-BLACK BOY DATED A WHITE WOMAN AND GOT LYNCHED FOR IT!-FROM HUFFPOST’S THE BLOG ATI IACENTER.ORG

February 10, 2015

FROM YEYEOLADE.BLOGSPOT.COM

THE BLOGFeaturing fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost’s signature lineup of contributors

Michael W. Waters Headshot

The Life and Death of Lennon Lacy: Strange, Still

Posted: 02/08/2015 11:03 am EST Updated: 02/08/2015 11:59 am EST
LENNON LACY

The animus for Time Magazine’s “song of the 20th century” was a photograph of a Southern lynching. A Southern lynching would often draw an entire region of spectators together for a day of socializing. Small children were even present in the crowd, lifted high upon shoulder for an uninterrupted view of the day’s fatal proceedings. It was a strange, albeit frequent Southern spectacle, one that claimed many Black lives.

Given the frequency of this horrid practice, and the abundance of lynching photographs in circulation, many that doubled as postcards, it is unclear why one particular photograph troubled, then inspired Abel Meeropol, a New York English teacher and poet. Yet, it did. Unable to free his mind of this troubling image over several days, Meeropol sought consolation through his pen. As ink dried upon its canvas, its residuum formed words that have haunted generations, words etched into our collective memory as lyric by the incomparable Billie Holiday:

“Southern trees bear a strange fruit,
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root,
Black body swinging in the Southern breeze,
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.”

Now seventy-six years removed its initial recording, there is still cause to sing this sorrowful song.

On August 29, 2014, another Black body was added to the crowded annals of those swung by Southern breeze. In a cruel twist of irony, the body of seventeen year-old Lennon Lacy was not found swinging upon a Southern tree, but upon a Southern swing set – a fact only beginning the strangeness surrounding his death. Authorities in Bladenboro, North Carolina, abruptly ruled Lennon’s death a suicide, declaring that he was depressed, and closed the case in five days.

Still, many questions remain.

Why did authorities fail to place bags over Lennon’s hands to prevent contamination and preserve DNA from a possible struggle?

Why didn’t authorities take any pictures at the scene of Lennon’s death?

Why were the shoes found on Lennon’s feet not the same shoes that he departed from home wearing?

Why were the shoes found on Lennon’s feet a size and a half smaller than his foot size?

Why were those same shoes removed from the body bag between the time his corpse was placed in the body bag and the time the body arrived at the medical examiner’s office?

Strange.

Very strange.

Strange, still, is an independent examiner’s conclusion that declaring Lennon’s death a suicide is virtually impossible given Lennon’s height, weight, and the items found at the scene.

The circumstances surrounding Lennon’s death, however, begin to lose some of its strangeness when the fact that he was in an interracial relationship with a white woman in an area still ripe with racial tension, and where the Ku Klux Klan has an active presence, is brought to the fore. History has taught us time and time again that when authorities move too quickly to close a case, a cover-up is afoot. With so many questions surrounding Lennon’s death, the move to close his case remains startlingly strange, and it is cause for great concern. Thankfully, the FBI is now investigating the case.

Strange, still, is how justice for so many Black lives remains so fleeting.

Strange, still, is how swiftly certain tragedies that befall Black lives are swept under the rug.

Strange, still, is the spectacle of a Southern lynching upon a swing set, a symbol of youthful euphoria now rendered the site of a Black youth’s strangulation. Of Meeropol and Holiday’s “Strange Fruit,” the late jazz writer Leonard Feather penned that it was “the first significant protest in words and music, the first unmuted cry against racism.” The very nature of a lynching is to render the victim forever mute — asphyxiating in suspended space — the violent snapping of the neck. While Lennon Lacy is forever muted, we who love justice must become for him as Meeropol and Holiday: an unmuted cry.

We must continue to pen Lennon’s story.

We must continue to sing Lennon’s song.

We must continue to seek answers to strange circumstances.

We must continue to seek justice for another Black life, a life, strangely, still, gone too soon.

This post is part of the “28 Black Lives That Matter” series produced by The Huffington Post for Black History Month. Each day in February, this series will shine a spotlight on one African-American individual who made headlines in 2014 — mostly in circumstances we all wished had not taken place. This series will pay tribute to these individuals and address the underlying circumstances that led to their unfortunate outcomes. To follow the conversation on Twitter, view #28BlackLives — and to see all the posts as part of our Black History Month coverage, read here.

BLACK PEOPLE!—BLACK KILLINGS BY COPS-“FERGUSON JUROR SUES PROSECUTOR,SAYS EVIDENCE WAS MANIPULATED TO IMPLICATE MICHAEL BROWN!”–FROM THE ROOT.COME

January 6, 2015

FROM THE ROOT.COM

 ATI YEYEOLADE.BLOGSPOT.COM

WE MUST HAVE A BLACK STANDARD OF BEAUTY BASED ON THE BLACK SKINNED BLACKEST WOMAN

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

BLACK KILLINGS!- MICHAEL BROWN!- “FERGUSON JUROR SUES PROSECUTOR,SAYS EVIDENCE WAS MANIPULATED TO IMPLICATE MICHAEL BROWN!-FROM THE ROOT.COM

FROM THEROOT.COM

Ferguson Juror Sues Prosecutor, Says Evidence Was Manipulated to Implicate Michael Brown

The unnamed juror filed the lawsuit so that he or she will be able to speak publicly about the case and make clear that not every person on the grand jury wanted to see Officer Darren Wilson go free.

Posted: Jan. 5 2015 4:00 PM
459539610

St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch St. Louis Post-Dispatch/Getty Images
One of the jurors on the St. Louis County grand jury that decided not to indict then-Police Officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown commissioned the American Civil Liberties Union to file a lawsuit to allow the juror to publicly discuss the proceedings. Specifically, the juror, who remains unnamed, wants to be able to discredit the claim that “all 12 jurors believed there was no support for any charges,” the Associated Press reports.
The lawsuit was filed against Robert McCulloch, the St. Louis County prosecutor who oversaw the grand jury proceedings. In the lawsuit, the juror described how McCulloch presented evidence in such a way that implicated Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old.
Brown, not Officer Wilson, the lawsuit argues, was fashioned as the instigator and “the wrongdoer.” The juror has “the impression that evidence was presented differently than in other cases,” AP explains.
Because Missouri grand jurors are not allowed to speak publicly about proceedings, the lawsuit argues that the Ferguson, Mo., case is “unique” and that lifting the gag order will allow the juror to contribute to the national discourse about race and law enforcement’s handling of the case.
Tony Rothert, an ACLU attorney, explained why he believes the gag order should be lifted. “The rules of secrecy must yield because this is a highly unusual circumstance,” Rothert said. “The First Amendment prevents the state from imposing a lifetime gag order in cases where the prosecuting attorney has purported to be transparent.”
Read more at ABC News.

BLACK AMERIKKKA!-COP KILLINGS!-THIS BROTHER BRIAN BROWNE NOW LIVING IN NIGERIA TELLS IT LIKE IT BLACK IS!-MICHAEL BROWN/ERIC GARNER-NO JUSTICE,NO PEACE!-FROM THE NATION NEWSPAPER,NIGERIA

December 30, 2014

from the nation newspaper,nigeria

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Brown - Anti-NYPD protesters march through the Upper East Side of Manhattan with their hands up in solidarity with Michael Brown on New York City. Despite calls from New York City Mayor Bill de Blasi

A Nation that betrays its own

Law is the house that justice built but no longer occupies.

BULLED into deep complacency by the election of Barak Obama, the political conscience of Black America has finally begun to stir to life. Sadly, it took the daytime killings of Black men by White police officers to revive the community back to political life.

Protests have occurred in major cities throughout the nation. Black people have been jolted by the realization that their lives remain less valuable than they should be, than what they had been told to believe. They hoped racial discrimination had become a residual breach of the national contract on social equality. The painful lesson relearned is that Black Americans are disposable byproducts of a political economy with little need for most of them and one that affords diminishing living space for that beleaguered majority of Black America.

The killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson was one thing. The strangulation of Eric Garner in New York was quite another. In the Brown case, conflicting interpretations of that day’s events abounded. The shooter said one thing, Brown’s friend said another. Witness accounts varied on important points. Although the aggressor police officer’s testimony remains highly implausible, it cannot be ruled impossible. The possibility that he was being truthful is slight but the possibility nonetheless exists.

(In a telling postscript in the Brown case, a witness whose testimony was cited by the prosecutor has been discovered to be a mentally unbalanced racist. Moreover, this witness may not even have been at the scene when the shooting occurred. She has previously inserted herself in other cases, giving unreliable testimony. The prosecutor in Brown should have been aware of her flagrant history; yet, he still presented her to the grand jury without informing them of her habit of bearing false witness. For this alone, the prosecutor should be investigated for professional misconduct.)

The cloud of factual discrepancy and differing versions of the fatal encounter do not haunt the Garner case.  What haunts that case is the episode was videoed for the world to see. Yet, the picture made no difference to the New York prosecutor and the grand jury he selected. Normally, a picture is worth a thousand words. This video encapsulated more than a thousand words. It showed all that is wrong in the racial history of the nation claiming to be the world’s finest democracy. As long as the legal system affirms killings like Garner’s, the claimed greatness of the American political economy is as true as it is false.

Mr. Garner was a large, burly Black man living in New York City. Estranged from the world of prosperity and steady employment, the man did what millions of city dwellers across the nation do. He street-hustled. Among his money-making ventures, the man would at times buy packs of cigarettes then resell individual cigarettes to people. The area was a poor neighborhood where many people could not afford an entire pack; they would muster coins for one or two cigarettes at a time. Garner was doing no harm; that same day, he even helped resolve an altercation. However, his street hustle was illegal because all cigarette sales are to be taxed.

The day of the encounter, Garner may not even have been selling the loose cigarettes. Had he been guilty of such sales that day, his transgression was de minimis. A loose cigarette probably sold for no more than a dollar each.  The city tax on the tobacco sales is 10 percent. Had he sold five cigarettes, he owed the city 50 cents (90 kobo) in taxes. For this small indiscretion, a swarm of police officers descended on him like a small army corralling a thief who had pinched the national treasury and the crown jewels.

Gardner had no chance. While a number of officers pinned him to the ground, one officer administered a choke hold unauthorized by the police department that hired him. Adding indignity to impending death, another officer placed his hands on Garner’s head, using his full weight to press the man’s face into the hard, cruel New York City pavement. The man pleaded roughly a dozen times that he could not breathe. A dozen times, his uniformed assailants ignored the desperate alarm. His last moments on earth were with his face pressed to the ground that he might take in the foulness and grime of the urban sidewalk as his life’s breath was slowly stolen from him by those hired to protect him.

As he lay dying, no officer sought to revive him. They walked around his body nonchalantly as if walking around an animal struck by a passing car. There was no urgency in their actions, no remorse on their faces. They felt they had done their job. What they had done to Garner was so disproportionate to his alleged wrong; no logical excuse can be assayed for this ending. At most, they should have given Garner a citation as they do any traffic offender or errant merchant. The reason for lethally attacking him for less than a dollar remains cloaked in racism.

The coroner properly ruled the outrageous death a homicide. Yet, the grand jury and prosecutor thought otherwise. Upon seeing video, they did not see Garner as a human being. All they saw was black and his blackness obscured any sight and sense of justice they might have otherwise known.

Had Garner lived during slavery, he would still be alive.  The law enforcement officers would have been more careful with him because he would have been the property of a White man. They would have acted with due care in returning the valued property to his owner. He would have been tussled a bit but not executed. Strange how the worth of a Black man’s life is not established by the mere fact of being a human being. It is established by how closely associated he is to White society. To exist outside the social mainstream, makes a Black man a dreaded superfluity, a victim transmuted into the villain in his own execution. Police men who kill him will be excused because they serve a function in society. While you, the Black man, do not.

Garner and Brown have not been the only casualties of this dynamic.  The average White racist feels the nation is slipping from their control due to Obama’s presidency and to demographic changes that see Blacks and Latinos becoming larger percentages of the overall population. Perceived change prompts a backlash. The average racist joins the Tea Party or sends anonymous cant to rightwing blogs. Those racists in blue police uniforms are more apt to pull the trigger when the face on the wrong end of the barrel is Black or Brown.

In Ohio, a Black man, walking in a store while holding a non-lethal pellet rifle, was gun downed by police with no reasonable warning. Ohio law allows people to openly carry lethal weapons.  Thus, the man committed no crime. Yet, he was killed and the offending police officers were given no reprimand. It boggles the mind and makes a farce of justice when an innocent man can be executed and those who committed the misdeed are exonerated. He did no wrong yet he is gone. They wronged him yet they suffer not even minor sanction. When such partiality occurs in a foreign nation, America criticizes and writes annual reports condemning it. When it happens in America, the power establishment protects if not celebrates the transgression as a necessary function of law and order. In the process, justice is disinherited.

Protests against these attacked were organized in major cities throughout the nation.  Had this been the summer and not the advent of winter, more people would have been taken to the streets in a greater number of cities.  The best aspect of this wave of protests is that they were organized by grassroots activists and not the normal servitors who inhabit the Black establishment.  The youthful organizers’ first plank is to halt the street executions by the police.  But they will not stop there. They will see that defending the right to life is insufficient in itself.  That is where the Civil Rights Movement left off.

Today’s protesters hopefully will assume the mantle of true leadership the current Black Establishment now deploys for their narrow elitist interests. These new leaders will discover the incompleteness in securing the right to life if unaccompanied by demanding the right to live not merely survive on the social periphery. They will demand jobs, education, economic reform and justice. This will attract a backlash much as the Civil Rights Movement did. The most vocal segment of the backlash will be the right-wing conservatives. The most dangerous element of that backlash will be the falsely liberal establishment.

That establishment has given their Black surrogates marching orders to stop the genuine young leaders from organizing more people’s marches. The Black establishment did not need to be given the directive.  They already felt the heat. They realized their positions were placed in jeopardy. No one was bounded by quandary more than President Obama. If Black people started to display independent action, his job would be on the line.  No, not the White House job. Whether for good or bad, his mark there has mostly been made.

The position jeopardized by the young Black leaders is the post-White House sinecure the establishment has designed for him – that of the unofficial leader of Black America. For the past six years, he had proven his worth by keeping Black activism in deep freeze despite the  hardtack policies he has initialed resulting in the deterioration of community institutions, particularly Black universities, and a growing disparity between average Black and White per capita wealth and income. During the Obama years, the Black community has been weakened willfully by establishment policy and practice. The establishment hired Obama to smile and pontificate his people all the way to the poor house. He was doing an excellent job of it until the unruly police began to exhibit a deadly overt racism that would cause the somnambulant Black community to awaken. Obama’s slickness was undone by the gratuitous violence of the new praetorians.

A delicious twist of irony is in the making. Black political consciousness may reawaken under the very watch of a man endorsed by the establishment to keep the Black community politically dormant. Sensing things were going awry, Obama went into gear. He sent fellow Black elitist, Attorney General Eric Holder, to Ferguson to express concern in hope that a tactful display of implied solidarity would keep the natives from turning restless.  Holder announced his feckless Justice Department would investigate the Ferguson Police Department as a way to soothe community anger. The people realized this Justice Department has a nose for privilege and not a resilient sternum when it comes to protecting the weak and under from the rich and powerful above. Holder’s Justice Department refused to prosecute Wall Street for the visible criminality resulting in the 2008 financial crisis and will not take account of those who tortured and terrorized detainees in the alleged war against terror. That same department will not reform the police.

It is part of the same federal government that militarized the police by providing the surplus military equipment that has transformed local law enforcement into a paramilitary agency unsuitable for democratic society.

The protests continued. Then the First Couple took to the media to demonstrate their blackness by citing they had been victims of racism because they had been ignored by taxi drivers or mistaken as store clerks by White shoppers. If these trite remarks were supposed to evoke a sense of solidarity with the average Black, they missed the mark. If this is all the Obamas have experienced, no wonder they are out of touch. They should consider themselves fortunate, then open a listening ear that they may learn the realities of the everyday lives of everyday people. (In part, they cited these inanities so as not to offend their White sponsors. If the President testifies that racism is limited to such innocuous inconveniences, it means that racism did not cause dire condition of the Black community.)

Raising these trivial incidents insults the millions of Black men and women who have felt the heavy intimidation and have been scarred by the instruments of this unjust system. The bones of thousands of Black men lie in the woods, swamps and along the back roads of the south. So many of us have been stopped along isolate stretches of road by policemen with their hands twitching at their holsters or brandishing their billy clubs, waiting and wanting to draw their pistol or swing that club. As rivulets of sweat swim down your back, you tell yourself to be still and don’t move, no matter the provocation or meanness of the man. They await merely one odd movement or angry word and they will pounce. You will be found guilty of causing the assault against you.

When their trite examples did not work, Obama summoned a white House meeting of the young activists. His advice was to take it slowly as change comes gradually. This advice was not commended by any true interpretation of history. Change may come slowly but those who succeed in bringing reform rarely seek it piecemeal. They ask for the whole thing then take as much as they can get. The young activists should have retorted that, since the bullets did not kill Brown gradually and the stranglehold did not gradually asphyxiate Garner, they see no reason why their pursuit of justice should march gradually.

Next, Obama deployed mercenary cleric Al Sharpton to confuse and sidetrack the grassroots movement by holding a march on Washington of his own. During the Obama presidency, Sharpton has visited the White House an extraordinary 60 times. He has become Obama’s man Friday just as Obama is Wall Street’s man Friday. Sharpton is the servant of the servant. However, this tack did not work well either. The people are on to Sharpton. They know he has been an FBI informant, ratting on other Black leaders. He may still be. He refused to allow activists from Ferguson a place in his orchestrated rally. He feared they might say something incendiary or anti-Obama. The crowd began to shout him down.  Eventually, some activists managed to seize the microphone and speak their piece.

Establishment backlash against the protests went into full gear when a mentally unstable Black man killed two police officers in New York, afterward killing himself. The New York Mayor called for protests to be suspended until the burial of the fallen officers. Former Mayor Giuliani criticized Black leaders for inciting hate. Police officials declared that their department had gone on “war footing.” To that declaration, most Black men would respond, “That is nothing new. You have always been on war footing against us.”

The murder of the two police officers is a tragedy but no greater than the killing of Brown, Gardner and others.  The protests did not lead to the officer’s death. The proximate cause of the officers’ demise was that police nationwide had been too lethal. When a White supremacist executed two police officers earlier this year and draped the corpses in racist flags, the establishment did not rail that White supremacists should disband their racist campaign and organizations. Police officials did not assert they needed to be on war footing against White hate groups. White establishment politicians said little or nothing about this episode. Now that a Black assailant is involved, they shout to the rafters and quake with self-righteous indignation. It is all part of the ploy to keep Blacks in a lowly place.

The protesters smartly refused to stop demonstrating. To do so would have been a wrongful, coerced admission that their actions prompted the killings of the officers. What they should do is expand the scope of the protests. While protesting police brutality, they should also advocate tighter gun control so that unstable people cannot get easy access to weapons. The spirit of the expanded protests would be that neither the police nor the populace needs to be on war footing. Both should take intelligent steps toward peace.

Finally, perhaps the Black community is awakening. Theirs must be a dual arising. First, they must come to grips with the fact that the current ways of the political economy work against them. Second, they must realize that the established Black leadership is wedded to the current ways of the political economy. The people must seek reform as well as reject those who claim to be their leaders. Perhaps, just perhaps, the son of the Civil Rights Movement is being born out of the deaths of Brown and Garner.

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