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Cops Shot Journalists in Ferguson with Rubber Bullets

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 20th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Cops Shot Journalists in Ferguson with Rubber Bullets
Ryan Devereaux of The Intercept: Late Monday evening, after many of the major media outlets covering the protests in Ferguson, Mo., had left the streets to broadcast from their set-ups near the police command center, heavily armed officers raced through suburban streets in armored vehicles, chasing demonstrators, launching tear gas on otherwise quiet residential lanes, and shooting at journalists. At approximately 2 a.m. local time, Missouri Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson announced at a press conference that 31 people had been arrested over the course of the night (NBC News later reported that, according to jail records, the actual total was more than double that). I was unable to attend or report on Johnson’s press conference because I was one of those people. Here’s what happened.

No News Helicopters Over Ferguson
Peter Suderman, Reason: One of the strangest things about the tense situation in Ferguson, Missouri, … is that there have been no overhead shots of the action. There’s a reason for that. Last week, when the protests began, the Federal Aviation Administration banned low-flying vehicles — vehicles like news helicopters — below 3,000 feet over Ferguson airspace, in order “to provide a safe environment for law enforcement activities.” The no-fly-zone was created at the request of local law enforcement, following a police report that a police chopper had been shot at. Yesterday, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D) renewed the ban, citing the same police-safety justification.


Social media pushes back at militant propaganda

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 20th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Social media pushes back at militant propaganda
AMSTERDAM (AP) — Twitter and some other social media outlets are trying to block the spread of gruesome images of the beheading of journalist James Foley by Islamic State militants, while a movement to deny his killers publicity is also gaining momentum.

Los Angeles port welcomes massive rubber duck
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Port of Los Angeles is welcoming an unusual visitor — the world’s biggest bath toy.


New NRA ad campaign targets Michael Bloomberg

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 20th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

New NRA ad campaign targets Michael Bloomberg
The National Rifle Association hopes to turn the former NYC mayor’s anti-gun push into an issue in the upcoming midterm elections

Obama on ISIS: Tough words, but will it lead to more action?
The execution of American journalist James Foley personalizes the fight against ISIS for the U.S., experts say


Fox’s Keith Ablow: “Something Is Deeply Wrong With The Psyche” Of Ferguson Residents

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 20th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Fox’s Keith Ablow: “Something Is Deeply Wrong With The Psyche” Of Ferguson Residents

Ablow

Fox News medical contributor Keith Ablow wrote that there is something wrong in the minds of Ferguson residents who reacted to the shooting death of 18 year-old Michael Brown by a police officer with protests.

In an August 20 opinion piece posted on FoxNews.com, Ablow opined that the psyche of Ferguson needs to be investigated following the unrest that erupted after Brown’s killing. Ablow suggested that the community’s reactions were racially motivated; accusing the residents of presuming “the moral depravity of whites,” which they would not have done if the teen was raped or killed by a black police officer:

The psychology of those who rioted and committed other lawless acts in Ferguson is as suspect at this moment as the psychology of Darren Wilson, because their psychology presumes the moral depravity of whites – at least those in authority.

[...]

If a black officer had shot and killed Michael Brown, chances are there would be no protests at all. Perhaps there would be a civil suit. Perhaps there would be criminal charges against the officer involved. But there would be no unrest.

When a woman is raped even if by a police officer, the community does not erupt in violence, with throngs of women breaking windows and threatening to storm the police command station.

Whether or not Officer Darren Wilson is guilty of anything, something is deeply wrong with the psyche of the community in Ferguson, Mo. And understanding and addressing that pathology should be the first order of business of community leaders – even as the work of investigating the Michael Brown shooting is unfolding.

Community leaders and residents in Ferguson have worked to keep demonstrations peaceful, and media reports indicate that many of the people arrested for violence in Ferguson have come from outside the community to confront police. Some Ferguson residents have also worked to protect local businesses from looters.

Ablow continues to use his Fox News platform to make inflammatory claims and attack the Obama administration, most recently coming under fire for his comments calling Michelle Obama too fat to be a credible voice on school nutrition.


Could Legal Challenges Boost Perry, Christie, Walker in ’16?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 20th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Could Legal Challenges Boost Perry, Christie, Walker in ’16?
Scott Conroy, RealClearPolitics
Chris Christie, Scott Walker and Rick Perry are all positioning themselves to enter the 2016 presidential race as top-tier candidates for the Republican nomination. But before concerning themselves in earnest with becoming the next GOP standard-bearer, these three governors must contend with a shared, and unpleasant, distinction: Each man, or his administration, faces accusations of legal wrongdoing. For months, Christie has been trying to move beyond investigations into a decision by members of his administration to close traffic lanes on the George Washington Bridge last September in an…

The Ferguson Feeding Frenzy
Michelle Malkin, RealClearPolitics
The most poisonous “-ism” now infecting Ferguson, Missouri, is not virulent racism. It’s viral narcissism. Over the past two weeks, the impoverished St. Louis County suburb has become a magnet for self-absorbed publicity seekers of all colors and agendas. Perhaps the most repulsive species on display in Ferguson is the Journalisto Vanitatis. This breed of egotistical East-Coast reporters can be easily identified by its ever-present appendages: a smartphone and smart glasses. For the J.V., the story is all about “me, me, me!” Huffington Post reporter Ryan Reilly and Washington Post reporter…


Expenses fraud probe MEP in clear

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 20th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Expenses fraud probe MEP in clear
A former Conservative MEP who was accused of expenses fraud faces no further action, police say.

AUDIO: Rennard accuser on party ‘fudge’
One of the women who accused Lord Rennard of harassment said she is “flabbergasted but really not that surprised” that his membership suspension has been lifted.


Holder tells Ferguson students he was a victim of racial profiling

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 20th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Holder tells Ferguson students he was a victim of racial profiling
“He told the story about how he was humiliated,” one student said.

After Strike on Family, Fate of Hamas Commander Is Unknown

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 20th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

After Strike on Family, Fate of Hamas Commander Is Unknown
The chief, Muhammad Deif, lost one of his wives and a baby son in Tuesday’s bombing of a house in Gaza City.






Letter From India: Narendra Modi to Replace India’s Planning Commission
The Planning Commission was once the heartbeat of India’s planned economy, but it will now be replaced.






Terence Todman, an Envoy to 6 Nations, Is Dead at 88
Mr. Todman became the senior African-American member of the Foreign Service during his four decades in diplomacy.







The Dangerous Bill That Threatens To Hold Officers In This Brutally Violent Jail Even Less Accountable

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 20th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

The Dangerous Bill That Threatens To Hold Officers In This Brutally Violent Jail Even Less Accountable

In New York’s largest jail, a “correction officers physically abuse adolescent inmates with the expectation that they will face little or no consequences for their unlawful conduct,” according recent federal findings.

The post The Dangerous Bill That Threatens To Hold Officers In This Brutally Violent Jail Even Less Accountable appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Prison Guard

CREDIT: Shutterstock

In New York’s largest jail, a “deep-seated culture of violence is pervasive,” in which “brute force” is a first option, not a last resort, solitary confinement is used to punish teens for offenses that would be mere disciplinary violations outside of prison, and staff are intimidated out of reporting misconduct, according to a recent Department of Justice report.

Overall, the DOJ found the conduct of staff constitutes a “pattern and practice of constitutional violations” against inmates — most of them charged with crimes and not even yet convicted. But a bill quietly passed by the New York State legislature and awaiting Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) signature would take away the power of prosecutors in that county to file charges against staff for violations of the law.

The corrections officers’ association that represents prison staff complained that the Bronx District Attorney was prosecuting too many prison staff and not enough prison inmates. So they asked the legislature if they could just put together a plan to stop the prosecutions, by switching the jurisdiction of the jail over to Queens instead.

“We believe we will be treated a little bit differently in Queens, in Richard Brown’s county,” Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association President ­Norman Seabrook told the New York Post. “[Bronx District Attorney Robert] Johnson doesn’t give the correction officers the benefit of the doubt.”

That doesn’t seem to jibe with recent decisions of the Bronx District Attorney’s Office. In a recent incident even after the DOJ’s scathing report, Bronx prosecutors declined to file charges against officers who had beaten inmates so severely that blood splattered on the walls. The New York City Department of Investigation had referred the case for prosecution, and the New York Times pointed to the case as “a striking case study of just how rare it is for Rikers guards to be punished.”

The recent Justice Department report found that at Rikers, “a culture of excessive force persists, where correction officers physically abuse adolescent inmates with the expectation that they will face little or no consequences for their unlawful conduct.” These findings jibe with a nationwide dearth of accountability for police and other law enforcement officers.

Nonetheless, corrections officers seem to think they will be punished even less if jurisdiction is moved to a different county, perhaps because of the message that the bill would send. In fact, the district attorneys for both Queens and the Bronx oppose the bill, arguing along with the New York Civil Liberties Union that the bill is likely unconstitutional, and sends a terrible message to counties that they could lose their jurisdiction over some areas if they pursue cases that are controversial or politically unpalatable. New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio’s office also opposes it, pointing out that the bill would also strip other agencies’ power to prosecute some crimes at the jail, the New York Law Journal reports.

No one other than corrections officers seems to support the bill. The attorney in chief of the Legal Aid Society piled on to complain that the bill will transfer jurisdiction to an office that has no experience with the sorts of violent incidents typical of Rikers.

Despite all this opposition, the legislature passed the bill under the reasoning that Queens County would have more time and resources to prosecute these cases — a rationale disputed by the two counties’ district attorneys, who also refuted claims that the bill would save money.

In a letter urging Cuomo to veto the bill, New York Civil Liberties Union leaders call the proposal an “ill-advised special-interest bill that slipped through the legislative process on a false premise.”

“It is firmly opposed by every public stakeholder with an important interest in the matter,” the letter adds. “It threatens fundamental constitutional guarantees, and it purports to relieve state officials of the responsibilities of office simply for performing as the New York State Constitution demands.”

The post The Dangerous Bill That Threatens To Hold Officers In This Brutally Violent Jail Even Less Accountable appeared first on ThinkProgress.


What Would Real Economic Justice Look Like in Ferguson?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 20th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

What Would Real Economic Justice Look Like in Ferguson?
From: Michelle Chen

Labor activists are deepening the conversation about what “justice for Mike Brown” should mean for the impoverished community that now grieves for him.

Strange Fruit in Ferguson
From: Mychal Denzel Smith

It’s business as usual for police to kill black people. So why did Michael Brown’s death elicit such a strong reaction?

For Many Politicians, Ferguson Isn’t Happening
From: George Zornick

Most of the candidates likely to contend for the presidency in 2016 have been silent—even Hillary Clinton, who’s been otherwise eager in recent weeks to opine extensively on national issues.