Texas Democratic Representative Beto O’Rourke, who represents Texas 16th congressional which includes El Paso, is running for the Senate seat currently held by first term Republican Senator Ted Cruz, probably the most disliked senator on both sides of the aisle. Sen. Lindsay Graham jokingly once said, “If you killed Ted Cruz on the floor of …
Tag: Black Lives Matter
Aug 23 2018
Aug 03 2016
New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton abruptly announced yesterday that he would resign his position effective September 1. He had already signaled that he would not remain after the end of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s term ends in 2017. He will be taking a position in the private sector and will be replaced by …
Sep 29 2015
In an address at Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate in Boston, established by her late predecessor, Sen. Ted Kennedy, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) got to the heart of the Black Lives Matter movement and what everyone should be doing to end racial inequality.
Transcript for the speech as it was written can be read here
May 27 2015
In the wake of the acquittal, in a non-jury trial, of white Cleveland police officer of Michael Brelo in the murder of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams, Cleveland once again has come under the scrutiny of the Department of Justice.
Federal officials will review the trial testimony and evidence, and a city panel is investigating Mr. Brelo’s actions and police conduct in the episode. Five supervisors face misdemeanor charges for their oversight of the case.
There are also two ongoing investigations of police shootings in November. One is looking into the death of Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old black boy who was holding a replica gun when a white Cleveland police officer shot him. That shooting, captured on video, has also garnered national attention and resulted in protests.
In the other, the Cuyahoga County prosecutor’s office is investigating the death of Tanisha Anderson. Ms. Anderson, a 37-year-old black woman whose family said she suffered from bipolar disorder, lost consciousness and died in police custody after being placed face down on the pavement. The medical examiner ruled her death a homicide
In an attempt to ease the tensions, the Cleveland Police Department reached a settlement with the Justice Department accepting tougher standards and oversight to insure that the rules are followed.
The agreement is part of a settlement with the Justice Department over what federal officials have called a pattern of unconstitutional policing and abuse in Cleveland. The department found in a review released late last year that police officers here used stun guns inappropriately, punched and kicked unarmed people, and shot at people who posed no threat. The episodes often went unreported and uninvestigated, investigators found.
The new rules in Cleveland prohibit officers from using force against people for talking back or as punishment for running away. Pistol whipping is prohibited, and so is firing warning shots, the agreement says. The city has agreed to allow an independent monitor to track its progress. If the city does not put into effect the changes specified in the settlement, a federal judge has the authority to demand them.
Cleveland also agreed to hire a civilian to lead its internal affairs unit and to appoint an inspector general to investigate police misconduct and analyze policies and trends. The federal authorities believe that those changes, along with an internal panel assigned to review use-of-force cases, will ensure that police keep accurate records and conduct genuine investigations. The city will also form a civilian advisory panel to review policies and advocate better community relations.
This is a good start but there is a lot more within these cities that needs to be done.
More prosecutions of the police who are abusing their powers would go a long way to ease the distrust in cities like Cleveland, Ferguson and New York City. It would would be better if those cities did it themselves rather than the Justice Department. Aside from Baltimore, however, it appears quite unlikely. It’s in your court, AG Lynch.
Feb 10 2015
Up date: 2/11/2015 15:00 EDT
A New York City police officer was arraigned Wednesday afternoon in State Supreme Court in Brooklyn on several felony charges, including second-degree manslaughter in the fatal shooting of an unarmed man in an East New York housing project.
The officer, Peter Liang, appeared in a suit and tie and stood silently as a prosecutor read the charges against him in the death of the man, Akai Gurley: the top charge of manslaughter as well as criminally negligent homicide and second-degree assault, both felonies, and misdemeanor charges of reckless endangerment and two counts of official misconduct. [..]
He pleaded not guilty before Justice Daniel Chun of Brooklyn and was released on his own recognizance.
It has been reported that a New York City police officer has been indicted in the shooting a young black man in a Brooklyn housing project stairwell on November 20 of last year. According to three sources close to the grand jury proceeding, rookie Police Officer Peter Liang, 27 will be charged in the death of 28-year-old Akai Gurley inside the darkened stairwell of the Pink Houses in East New York, Brooklyn. There was no comment from the office of Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson. An official statement on the charges is expected Wednesday.
On the night of Nov. 20, Gurley and his girlfriend, 28-year-old Melissa Butler, left Butler’s seventh-floor apartment inside the Louis Pink housing projects. The pair tried to take the elevator but it wasn’t working, so they entered the building’s stairwell.
The building’s superintendent had requested that the New York City Housing Authority fix the lights in the stairwell months earlier, but when Gurley and Butler entered, it was still dark.
Just as they entered stairwell, two first-year police officers — Liang and his partner, Shaun Landau — entered from the eighth floor. The two cops were conducting a “vertical patrol,” in which officers walk the stairs of public housing buildings in order to prevent crime.
According to multiple reports, Liang was carrying his gun in one hand and a flashlight in another, when he opened the door to the stairwell. At that moment, a bullet was fired from Liang’s gun, striking Gurley in the chest. Gurley managed to get down two flights of stairs before collapsing on the fifth floor, where a neighbor called 911 and Butler tried to administer first aid.
Gurley — a father of a 2-year-old daughter, and who had been planning on surprising his mother in Florida for Thanksgiving the following weekend — was pronounced dead at the hospital.
The indictment comes after grand juries in Ferguson, Missouri and Staten Island, a borough of New York City, voted not to charge the white police officers who killed two black men, Michael Brown, 18 and Eric Garner, 42, that raised serious questions about the grand jury system, and the relationship of local district attorneys with the police.
This could not have been an easy case for DA Thompson but, it will now be decided in a public trial before a jury if Off. Laing should be held responsible for Mr. Gurley’s death.
Dec 07 2014
Reposted from Wednesday. The night before Thanksgiving is not the best time to post. ;-
After marching for about 4 hours and being on the front line when the police confronted the protesters and having only 6 hours of sleep, I’m exhausted. Still, I have all these random thoughts going through my head this morning as I process both what I directly experienced last night and the social commentary I’ve read since then. This may ramble or be disjointed. It may also be raw, unclear or not fully thought out. I’m seeing it as a snapshot into a frame of mind and body after a highly charged event. Nuggets to, perhaps, spark dialogue or lead to further exploration. I want to see what comes out in hopes of not losing any particularly valuable nuggets. So, here goes….