Black Lives Matter-Ugliness of Racism.

spaminator

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Toronto's top cop apologizes to Black community for 'systemic discrimination' in policing
Author of the article:Scott Laurie
Scott Laurie
Publishing date:Jun 15, 2022 • 11 hours ago • 2 minute read • 193 Comments

Toronto’s top cop apologizes to Black community for ‘systemic discrimination’ in policing


Interim Toronto Police Chief James Ramer apologized to the city’s Black community after data from 2020 showed members of that community are far more like to be subject to use of force by officers.

“There is systemic discrimination in our policing,” Chief Ramer said. “As an organization, we have not done enough to ensure that every person in our city receives fair and unbiased policing.”

A review of 949 interactions with police in 2020 showed that Black people are 2.2 times more likely to experience an enforcement interaction with officers.

They are also 1.6 times more likely to experience force, once involved in an enforcement interaction.

“As chief of police and on behalf of the service, I am sorry. And I apologize unreservedly,” Ramer said.


“There is a disproportionate impact experienced by racialized communities, and particularly those in the Black community,” he added.

Saying the police have been “gas lighting” the Black community for years, members of the No Pride in Policing Coalition said the community never asked for an apology.

“That apology was for the rank and file. That apology wasn’t for us,” said Beverly Bain of the coalition. “It is his rank and file that visits the violence on us every day in our neighbourhoods, on the streets, in our communities.”

Desmond Cole, also of the coalition, said he wonders what approach a new chief will take once Ramer, who is slated to retire later this year, is replaced.

“We are not here to acknowledge this apology. We did not ask for this apology,” said Cole, adding that he considers the best solution “defunding this police force and reallocating their resources so they can’t hurt us like this anymore.”


Ramer said a lot of work needs to be done to gain the trust of some citizens.

“We have often heard from communities that apologies alone are not sufficient — and we agree,” the he said.

In a statement, Mayor John Tory said the findings were “not acceptable and that is why we are committed to the reforms underway to make sure everyone in our city receives fair and unbiased policing.”

The Toronto Police Association said the “disappointing” data raises more questions than answers.

“More than 90% of all use-of-force incidents were the result of a reactive policing encounter, meaning our officers responded to a call for service, more than half being violent calls for service,” TPA said.

“The data does not reflect the totality of each engagement because there is no context given to the circumstance or individual officers were faced with.”

slaurie@postmedia.com
Twitter: @_ScottLaurie
 

spaminator

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Judge accuses Norfolk OPP of racial profiling in man's arrest
The judge “strongly denounced as unacceptable and intolerable” the conduct of Norfolk OPP in a case involving a young Black man.

Author of the article:Susan Gamble • Postmedia News
Publishing date:Jun 16, 2022 • 1 day ago • 4 minute read

SIMCOE – A Southwestern Ontario judge “strongly denounced as unacceptable and intolerable” the conduct of Norfolk OPP in a case involving a young Black man.


In a 9,100-word decision, Ontario Court Justice Aubrey Hillard said the conduct of officers who arrested and tasered Cassell J. Chase, 21, in Delhi last July 11 “calls into question the integrity of the justice system itself.”

Wrote Hilliard: “The police misconduct involved in the excessive use of force, the breach of Mr. Chase’s right to counsel and racial profiling resulting in unequal treatment, each individually warrant condemnation by the court. When considered together, I find the police conduct must be strongly denounced as unacceptable and intolerable.”

Chase came before the judge charged with two counts of prowling at night, obstructing police, escaping custody, assaulting police causing bodily harm and failing to comply.


He was stopped after police got a report of a man spotted near the downtown, checking out homes. Police were told the man was wearing no shoes.

An officer stopped a shoeless Chase near the neighbourhood, but Chase declined to give his name. When he ran away, he was chased by four officers.

Const. Richard Fody, the acting sergeant on duty that night, yelled for Chase to stop, then deployed a Taser, felling the man. Fody used the Taser again when Chase began to move.

Fody testified that Chase wanted to get up. “So, I cycle the Taser one more time just to say, ‘You got to stay on the ground, you got to be compliant, you listen to our commands’.”

Chase was held overnight, without the chance to call a lawyer or speak to duty counsel, according to the decision.


“I find that PC Fody’s belief about the threat posed by Mr. Chase was a result of PC Fody’s perceptions of Black people,” Hilliard said, noting that his attitude likely affected the way other officers interacted with Chase.

The following day during fingerprinting, Chase twice punched an officer, fracturing his nasal bone, according to the decision.

A three-day trial was held with Chase’s lawyer asking for all charges to be stayed due to multiple charter rights violations. Hilliard dismissed the two prowling charges, saying there is no evidence Chase was the man lurking around the neighbourhood.

The judge also dismissed the charge of escaping custody, saying Chase hadn’t been arrested or detained when he ran from the officers, who contradicted each other during the trial.


Hilliard said a pedestrian has no legal obligation to answer questions from an officer during an “investigative detention.”

The judge also dismissed the obstructing police charge, noting police have the right and duty to ask questions but citizens aren’t obligated to answer unless they’re part of a “regulated activity” like driving.

Since there was no evidence presented in the trial that Chase was bound by a probation order, Hilliard dismissed his fail to comply charge.

The final charge was for assault, where Chase’s actions were clearly caught on camera.

But the judge then began to tally the ways Chase’s charter rights had been violated: detained and questioned despite making it clear he wasn’t talking; Tasered twice while not under arrest; having an unjustified amount of force used that was “racially motivated” by an officer who referred to him as a “coloured male;” not provided a lawyer call; and never advised of a reason for his detention.


Considering the multiple breaches of rights, there was no other option but to stay Chase’s last charge, said the judge. “The breaches were flagrant and involved racial bias. The remaining charge . . . may not have even occurred had Mr. Chase been given an opportunity to speak with a lawyer after his arrest.”

Hilliard said the officers involved were either unaware of Chase’s charter rights or chose not to inform him of those rights.

“Ignorance or malice – I find that this conduct supports my conclusion this incident was neither isolated nor trifling. Failure by the police to uphold the charter-enshrined values must result in that conduct being denounced by the court on behalf of the greater community.”

In 2019, Justice Hilliard condemned a “culture of complacency” within Norfolk OPP that resulted in charges being stayed against an Ohsweken man after it took 16 months to charge him after DNA confirmed his involvement in a crime. She added that anything short of staying those charges would look like the court was condoning the “dereliction of duty” shown by police and would send a message to the public that the judiciary doesn’t hold police to account.


Leah Shafran, a criminal defence lawyer from Toronto who represented Chase, said Hilliard’s ruling sends a clear message.

“This wasn’t one breach of rights in the heat of a busy night,” Shafran said in an interview. “It was breach after breach after breach.”

The lawyer said it is particularly concerning that officers didn’t seem to be clearly aware of Chase’s charter rights. “I hope a case like this will encourage further education and proper training.”

Shafran said she and Chase have filed a complaint against Fody with the Office of the Independent Police Review Director, which handles complaints about police in Ontario.

OPP spokesperson Derek Rogers said the police force is aware of Hilliard’s decision and is conducting an internal investigation. “We are assessing the information and will take any appropriate action,” Rogers said.

A message left for Fody at the Norfolk OPP detachment was not returned.

SGamble@postmedia.com
 

spaminator

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T-shirts? Ice cream? Retailers cash in on Juneteenth
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Anne D'innocenzio
Publishing date:Jun 17, 2022 • 20 hours ago • 4 minute read • Join the conversation

NEW YORK — Retailers and marketers have been quick to commemorate Juneteenth with an avalanche of merchandise from ice cream to T-shirts to party cups.


But many are getting backlash on social media for what critics say undermines the day, designated as a federal holiday last year to honor the emancipation of enslaved African Americans. A search for Juneteenth items among online sellers like Amazon and J.C. Penney produced everything from toothpicks with pan-African flags to party plates and balloons.

Walmart, the nation’s largest retailer, apologized last month after getting slammed for a Juneteenth ice cream flavor — swirled red velvet and cheesecake — under its store label Great Value. Walmart said it’s reviewing its product assortment and will remove items “as appropriate.” As of Thursday, Walmart’s site was still offering lots of T-shirts and party plates.


Meanwhile, the Indianapolis Children’s Museum removed a Juneteenth watermelon salad from its menu and issued a mea culpa earlier this week. In a statement posted on its Facebook page, the museum blamed a lapse in vendor oversight, noting the label and salad were not reviewed by museum staff.

“We are an imperfect institution, but we are committed to improvement and will work tirelessly to regain your trust,” the museum wrote on its Facebook page.

The backlash comes as companies promised after the police killing of George Floyd in May of 2020 to no longer stay silent and vowed to take an active role in confronting and educating customers and employees on systemic racism. According to the preliminary results of a survey by Mercer of 200 employers, 33% are offering Juneteenth as a paid holiday to their staff. That’s up from 9% last year in a survey of more than 400 companies conducted shortly before Juneteenth was declared a federal holiday.


At the same time, many have cashed in on a holiday that Black Americans have observed since June 19, 1865, when Union Major General Gordon Granger proclaimed freedom for enslaved people in Galveston, Texas, in alignment with President Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 Emancipation Proclamation.

Many experts believe that if retailers and other marketers plan to recognize the day, they should either sell merchandise from Black-owned businesses or invest in campaigns that would help Black communities. Amazon. for instance, does have a Black-owned business storefront that’s live all year-round for customers who want to support and shop Black-owned businesses selling on the site.

“This is a serious and reflective moment — I am excited and grateful for the recognition,” said Ramon Manning, chairman of the board at Emancipation Park Conservancy, a nonprofit organization aimed to restore the park, which was purchased in 1872 by a group of former enslaved people to commemorate the anniversary of their emancipation.


“However, I feel like it is also brought back everybody else out of the woodwork who are opportunists more so than folks who are looking at the history of this country and looking at where a group of people have come from,” he added.

Manning, who is also founder and chairman of Ridgegate Capital, a private investment fund, further wondered: “Who is this going to benefit?”

Sheryl Daija, founder and CEO of Bridge, a group of marketing and diversity, equity and inclusion executives, noted there’s a disconnect between the seriousness of the holiday and the merchandise on display.

“A lot of companies have good intentions, but unfortunately good intentions can go awry, and this is what we have seen,” said Daija, who found Walmart’s Juneteenth ice cream particularly egregious because it used the holiday moniker to brand a new ice cream flavor.


Companies have a long history of commercializing holidays and other moments in order to cash in. Take Cinco de Mayo, which has become in the U.S a celebration of all things Mexican, with companies selling everything from beans to beer to sombrero hats. The holiday has spread from the American Southwest, even though most have no idea about its original ties to the U.S. Civil War, abolition and promotion of civil rights for Blacks. In fact, it’s often mistaken for Mexican Independence day.

Meanwhile, every October, retailers are awash in pink merchandise to celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness month, but critics say many make misleading claims about supporting cancer groups. And Memorial Day, a federal holiday day designated to mourn the U.S. military who have died while serving in the U.S. armed forces, has morphed into all-day mattress sales at stores.

But what makes the move by companies to cash in on Juneteenth worse is that it comes as the U.S. remains fraught with racial tensions, said Darnise Martin, clinical associate professor of African American studies at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.

“It is weird to merchandise around it, but that’s what America does,” Martin said.
 
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spaminator

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Georgia city official resigns after Confederate shop reopens
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Publishing date:Jun 18, 2022 • 17 hours ago • 1 minute read • Join the conversation

KENNESAW, Ga. — A city councilman in Georgia has resigned to protest the reopening of a Confederate souvenir shop that sells images with racial slurs and dolls and statues that caricature Black people, news outlets reported.


Kennesaw Councilman James “Doc” Eaton said he wanted no part of the city’s decision to issue a business license to the downtown store. His resignation is effective on June 21.

“It breaks my heart to have to do it,” Eaton told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Eaton’s daughter, Cris Eaton Welsh, owns a chiropractic business across the street from the souvenir shop and said she plans to relocate.

“There’s a difference between selling merchandise and propagating hate,” Eaton Welsh said.

Wildman’s Civil War Surplus reopened Tuesday after closing earlier this year following the death of its founder, Dent “Wildman” Myers, and the expiration of its business license, the AJC reported.

Marjorie Lyon, who worked with Myers for years, said reopening Wildman’s “wasn’t a decision.”


“It’s an honour,” she told the AJC. Lyon identified herself as the store’s manager.

“I don’t have any control over someone’s emotional response,” she said. “I’ve heard all kinds of colourful things. And everybody’s entitled to their opinion.”

The store also carries Confederate memorabilia, antique weapons and Civil War books, the Marietta Daily Journal reported.

City officials said the store had gone through the process required of all businesses to obtain a license.

“The city of Kennesaw does not pick nor choose nor try to find reasons not to issue a business license when an applicant meets all of the criteria,” City Manager Jeff Drobney told WAGA-TV.
 

Serryah

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"A city councilman in Georgia has resigned to protest the reopening of a Confederate souvenir shop that sells images with racial slurs and dolls and statues that caricature Black people, news outlets reported."

Wonder if it's offensive enough that it breaks discrimination laws and thus they can be sued for it.

"And everybody's entitled to their opinion." Excuse me, you fucking cunt; opinion? No, you opening such a place to sell such things is fucking RACIST and that is not an opinion, but fact.

You might as well just don those white robes I'm sure you have, or you daddy had, and throw the hood on.
 

Tecumsehsbones

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"A city councilman in Georgia has resigned to protest the reopening of a Confederate souvenir shop that sells images with racial slurs and dolls and statues that caricature Black people, news outlets reported."

Wonder if it's offensive enough that it breaks discrimination laws and thus they can be sued for it.

"And everybody's entitled to their opinion." Excuse me, you fucking cunt; opinion? No, you opening such a place to sell such things is fucking RACIST and that is not an opinion, but fact.

You might as well just don those white robes I'm sure you have, or you daddy had, and throw the hood on.
The law doesn't work that way here. You can say, and sell, any words you want.
 
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spaminator

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17-year sentence sticks for man who killed Black woman on porch
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Ed White
Publishing date:Jun 23, 2022 • 21 hours ago • 2 minute read • Join the conversation

DETROIT — A white Detroit-area man who said he feared for his life when he fatally shot a young Black woman on his porch in 2013 was given the same 17-year prison sentence Wednesday at a new hearing ordered by the Michigan Supreme Court.


Ted Wafer was convicted of second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter in the death of Renisha McBride in Dearborn Heights.

But about halfway through Wafer’s prison term, the Supreme Court in February unanimously threw out the manslaughter conviction, saying he couldn’t be punished twice for the same homicide.

Wayne County Judge Dana Hathaway said the prison sentence won’t change: 15 years for second-degree murder, plus two years for using a gun during a crime, which Wafer has already served. She noted that the murder sentence still was within the scoring guidelines.

Wafer, 63, gets credit for roughly eight years in custody, making him eligible for parole in 2031.

Wafer has been a “model prisoner” but the “facts remain the same,” the judge said.


“You cannot murder someone for simply knocking on your door in the middle of the night. You had choices,” Hathaway said.

The front cover of a funeral service program for 19-year-old Renisha McBride at House of Prayer and Praise Cathedral in Detroit on Friday, Nov. 8, 2013.
The front cover of a funeral service program for 19-year-old Renisha McBride at House of Prayer and Praise Cathedral in Detroit on Friday, Nov. 8, 2013. PHOTO BY BRIAN KAUFMAN /Detroit Free Pres via AP
Wafer opened his front door and shot McBride, 19, through a screen door before dawn. He said he was awakened by pounding and feared for his life, though he didn’t call police first. A jury rejected his self-defense claim.

Prosecutors speculated that McBride, who was drunk and had crashed her car hours earlier, might have been confused when she arrived on Wafer’s porch.

“I remain terribly sorry,” Wafer said Wednesday.

Some people wondered in the aftermath of the shooting whether race was a factor, likening it to the 2012 shooting of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin. But race was hardly mentioned during Wafer’s trial in 2014, and the judge at that time said she didn’t believe it played a role.

McBride’s mother said her daughter is deeply missed.

“Holidays are no longer holidays because we have no joy,” Monica McBride said in court. “Every day is a living nightmare that we can’t and won’t wake up from.”
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