Democracy Now, December 23, 2015
Family members and supporters are demanding justice for Sandra Bland after a grand jury failed to indict anyone for her death. Bland, an African-American woman, was arrested on July 10 in Prairie View, Texas, after she allegedly failed to signal a lane change. She was jailed with bond set at $5,000. Three days later, she was found dead in her jail cell. Authorities say she committed suicide, a claim her family rejects. The family has filed a wrongful death suit and wants charges against the officer who arrested her. Will anyone be held to account for Sandra Bland’s death? We are joined by Sandra Bland’s mother, Geneva Reed-Veal; her sister, Sharon Cooper; and family attorney, Cannon Lambert.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Family members and supporters are demanding justice for Sandra Bland after a grand jury failed to indict anyone for her death. Bland, a 28-year-old African-American woman, was arrested on July 10th when a traffic stop escalated into a confrontation with the officer involved. Three days later, her body was found hanging from a trash bag inside her jail cell. Authorities say she killed herself, a claim her family rejects. They’ve also questioned why Bland was arrested and jailed in the first place, and why she was kept behind bars for so long.
AMY GOODMAN: Sandra Bland had recently moved to Texas to start a job at Prairie View A&M University, her alma mater. She was driving near campus when Texas State Trooper Brian Encinia pulled her over and accused her of failing to signal a lane change. Police dash cam video, that captured part of the arrest, shows Encinia threatening to forcibly remove Bland from her car. Continue reading
November 2, 2015
The number of hunger strikers at a Texas immigrant detention facility has swelled to almost 500 since last Wednesday, an Austin-based advocacy group revealed in a phone call with RH Reality Check.
When news of the protest action broke on October 28, about 27 women at the T. Don Hutto detention center in Taylor, 35 miles east of Austin, were reportedly refusing their meals.
While grievances ranged from abusive treatment by guards to a lack of medical care, the women, hailing primarily from Central America, were unanimous in their one demand: immediate release.
The strike snowballed over the weekend, according to Grassroots Leadership, an organization that forms part of a larger umbrella group known as Texans United for Families (TUFF).
Cristina Parker, immigration programs director for Grassroots Leadership, told RH Reality Check that one striker who contacted the organization Sunday night to brief them on the situation used the Spanish expression “casi todo,” suggesting that nearly all of the roughly 500 detainees are now observing the strike. Continue reading
Although the U.S. government has done everything in its power to criminalize me, I am not a criminal
My name is Assata Shakur, and I am a 20th century escaped slave. Because of government persecution, I was left with no other choice than to flee from the political repression, racism and violence that dominate the US government’s policy towards people of color. I am an ex-political prisoner, and I have been living in exile in Cuba since 1984.
I have been a political activist most of my life, and although the U.S. government has done everything in its power to criminalize me, I am not a criminal, nor have I ever been one. In the 1960s, I participated in various struggles: the black liberation movement, the student rights movement, and the movement to end the war in Vietnam. I joined the Black Panther Party. By 1969 the Black Panther Party had become the number one organization targeted by the FBI’s COINTELPRO program. Because the Black Panther Party demanded the total liberation of black people, J. Edgar Hoover called it “greatest threat to the internal security of the country” and vowed to destroy it and its leaders and activists. Continue reading
[Revolutionaries in India call for electoral boycott, expose the lack of content or substance in the government’s claims of “democratic reform.” — Frontlines ed.]
Days ahead of Bihar polls, Maoist posters surface in Jamui, police on alert
JAMUI: Days ahead of the first phase of election in Bihar, posters have surfaced in Jamui issuing a warning from the Maoists to boycott polls.
“Majdoor, kisan, chhatra aur naujawan jaan gayee netaon ki chaal… humsab milkar karengay vote ka bahiskar (labourers, farmer, students and youth have understood the viewpoint of politicians and hence will boycott the poll),” read one of the posters which was found pasted on the wall of welcome-archway and Charka Patthar in Sono Block of Jamui district on Friday.
“Operation green-hunt ke naam par nirdosh janata kay saath maar-peet, hatya, jail aadi daman chalanay walay neta ka aaj vote bahiskar karen (let us stay away from the poll of the politicians who have subjected innocent people through coercion like assault, killing and jail in the name of operation green-hunt),” said another poster.
The posters, painted in bold red color and written in Hindi, were in the names of Communist Party of India (Maoist). Such posters had earlier surfaced in Boutha, Musharatand and other villages under Maheshwari panchayat in the district in the past fortnight. Continue reading
Eric Garner and Tamir Rice among those missing from FBI record of police killings
Only 224 of 18,000 law enforcement agencies reported fatal shootings in 2014
Previously unpublished FBI data sheds new light on flawed voluntary system
Jon Swaine and Oliver Laughland in New York, The Guardian
Thursday 15 October 2015
Killings by police that unleashed a new protest movement around the US in 2014, including those of Eric Garner, Tamir Rice and John Crawford, are missing from the federal government’s official record of homicides by officers because most departments refuse to submit data.
Analysis The tracking of police violence in the US may have reached a turning point
The past week has seen a series of comments regarding the state of documenting US police killings – and some clarity on how the government plans to do so
Only 224 of 18,000 law enforcement agencies around the US reported a fatal shooting by their officers to the FBI last year, according to previously unpublished data obtained by the Guardian, which sheds new light on flaws in official systems for counting the use of deadly force by police. Continue reading
Answer: When the child is Black and the shooter is a police officer.
Welcome to America, where #BlackLivesMatter is a trending hashtag, but police impunity is a lethal reality of Black life.
There’s an old saying that the definition of a consultant is “someone who borrows your watch to tell you what time it is.” That is true when it comes to police experts as well. Cops and prosecutors come from the same culture. So it surprises no one that the experts hired by Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty to investigate the fatal shooting of Tamir Rice are reading the time from the watch supplied by law enforcement and have come to the same conclusions as the county police and (let’s be honest) McGinty himself: that the shooting was “reasonable.”