Black Lives Matter-Ugliness of Racism.

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Senegalese government says diplomat 'savagely beaten' by Gatineau police
Author of the article:Canadian Press
Canadian Press
Publishing date:Aug 06, 2022 • 22 hours ago • 1 minute read • 13 Comments

GATINEAU, Que. — The government of Senegal is accusing Canadian police of “savagely” beating one of its diplomats.


The Senegalese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a release made public on Friday that the diplomat, who works at the West African nation’s embassy in Ottawa, was handcuffed and beaten at her Gatineau, Que., home on Aug. 2.

The ministry says she was taken to hospital due to her injuries, which they say included breathing problems, but did not immediately offer further details on her condition.

Gatineau police said in a release responding to the allegations made by the Senegalese government that they arrested a woman after she hit a police officer in the face.

They say she was tackled to the ground after allegedly biting another officer.

Police say the woman did not complain about injuries while she was detained.
 

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Viral video of Mississippi arrest sparks investigation
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Michael Goldberg
Publishing date:Aug 08, 2022 • 10 hours ago • 4 minute read • Join the conversation
A video shows the arrest of Eugene Lewis in Jackson, Miss.
A video shows the arrest of Eugene Lewis in Jackson, Miss. PHOTO BY SCREEN GRAB /Facebook video
JACKSON, Miss. — An incident involving a white Mississippi Highway Patrol officer and three Black men is under investigation after a viral video showed the officer putting a handcuffed man into a chokehold and wrestling him into a ditch.

The video, captured on Friday in McComb by a man named Packer Lewis, sparked outrage over the officer’s conduct.

The video shows one of Lewis’ brothers, Eugene Lewis, standing in the street in handcuffs as Packer Lewis and another brother, Darius Lewis, yell that they are recording the incident. Suddenly, the officer grabs Eugene Lewis by the neck and pulls him across the street, tackling him to the ground. At one point, the officer appears to use his knee to pin him down.

“That’s how George Floyd died,” Packer Lewis yelled while recording a livestream on Facebook, referring to the 2020 murder of Floyd, a Black man who was pinned under a Minneapolis police officer’s knee for more than nine minutes.

Packer Lewis said the Mississippi officer became aggressive after he told the Lewis brothers to leave the scene.

“He said y’all need to leave. It’s not y’all business. We said it’s our business because it’s our brother,” Lewis told the Associated Press on Monday.

After detaining Eugene Lewis in a police car, the officer then walked toward the other two brothers and pointed a weapon at one of them. After another officer arrived, Packer and Darius Lewis were then arrested.

Public officials said an investigation is underway. Authorities have not identified the officer involved nor said what prompted Eugene Lewis to be placed in handcuffs. Packer Lewis said his brother was pulled over for allegedly speeding and then was arrested for having an expired license.

“The Mississippi Department of Public Safety was made aware of an incident involving a Mississippi Highway Patrolman conducting an arrest on a subject in McComb, MS,” said Bailey Martin, a spokesperson for the Mississippi Department of Public Safety. “This incident is being reviewed internally by the Department of Public Safety. The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation is also conducting an inquiry.”

McComb Mayor Quordiniah Lockley urged patience as an investigation unfolds.

“I know that many of you like myself, have viewed the video of the Mississippi Highway Patrol Officer and Mr. Eugene Lewis. I am alarmed as well as disturbed over it,” Lockley said. “I ask that you allow the investigation to be completed but at the same time let your voice be heard.”

Lockley said he contacted State Representative Daryl Porter Jr. and asked him to intervene on behalf of the City of McComb since it involved Mississippi Highway Patrol, which is the state’s jurisdiction.

In a statement, Porter, Jr., a Democrat from Summit, said the commissioner of public safety told him the incident is being investigated by the Internal Affairs and the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation.

Packer Lewis said his brothers were released from jail Friday night, but he was kept up until Sunday night because of a past charge on his criminal record. He said he is facing eight charges related to the incident, including obstruction of justice. He is still processing Friday’s events several days later.

“I was kind of shocked because I’ve seen this type of activity on TV. But I never thought I’d be hands-on with it. I never thought I’d be a part of something like this.”

The incident occurred less than a month after the firing of the police chief in Lexington, 130 miles (210 kilometers) north of McComb. The Mississippi Center For Investigative Reporting said the Lexington police chief was caught on tape using racial slurs and talking about how many people he killed in the line of duty.

Howard Henderson, the director of the Center for Justice Research at Texas Southern University and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, said Lewis’ video displayed “bad policing 101.”

“He seems to obviously have lost control of himself, and he almost looked like he was afraid of the gentleman recording. And because of that, he overreacted in the moment,” Henderson said.

Henderson said police departments should hire more Black police officers, as they bring a different perspective to the job than their white colleagues.

A 2017 Pew Research survey of police officers found that 72% of white police officers but fewer than half of all Black officers view police killings of Black people as “isolated incidents,” instead of “signs of a broader problem between.”

These disparities beget distrust, and distrust begets poor policing, Henderson said.

“Trust in the community is fundamental to successful policing. And only through police conduct are you able to improve community interactions and promote a shared responsibility for addressing crime and disorder,” Henderson said. “When that trust is broken down, you destroy the ability of a police department to be effective at doing the job society has said it needs to do.”

——

Michael Goldberg is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/mikergoldberg.
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Grand jury declines to indict woman in Emmett Till killing
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Michael Goldberg And Allen G. Breed
Publishing date:Aug 09, 2022 • 12 hours ago • 4 minute read • Join the conversation

JACKSON, Miss. — A Mississippi grand jury has declined to indict the white woman whose accusation set off the lynching of Black teenager Emmett Till nearly 70 years ago, most likely closing the case that shocked a nation and galvanized the modern civil rights movement.


After hearing more than seven hours of testimony from investigators and witnesses, a Leflore County grand jury last week determined there was insufficient evidence to indict Carolyn Bryant Donham on charges of kidnapping and manslaughter, Leflore County District Attorney Dewayne Richardson said in a news release Tuesday.

The decision comes despite recent revelations about an unserved arrest warrant and the 87-year-old Donham’s unpublished memoir.

The Rev. Wheeler Parker, Jr., Emmett Till’s cousin and the last living witness to Till’s Aug. 28, 1955, abduction, said Tuesday’s announcement is “unfortunate, but predictable.”

“The prosecutor tried his best, and we appreciate his efforts, but he alone cannot undo hundreds of years of anti-Black systems that guaranteed those who killed Emmett Till would go unpunished, to this day,” Parker said in a statement.


“The fact remains that the people who abducted, tortured, and murdered Emmett did so in plain sight, and our American justice system was and continues to be set up in such a way that they could not be brought to justice for their heinous crimes.”

Ollie Gordon, another one of Till’s cousins, told The Associated Press that some justice had been served in the Till case, despite the grand jury’s decision.

“Justice is not always locking somebody up and throwing the keys away,” Gordon said. “Ms. Donham has not gone to jail. But in many ways, I don’t think she’s had a pleasant life. I think each day she wakes up, she has to face the atrocities that have come because of her actions.”

A third cousin, Deborah Watts, who leads the Emmett Till Legacy Foundation, said the case is an example of the freedom afforded to white women to escape accountability for making false accusations against Black men.


“She has still escaped any accountability in this case,” Watts said. “So the grand jury’s decision is disappointing, but we’re still going to be calling for justice for Emmett Till. It’s not over.”

An email and voicemail seeking comment from Donham’s son Tom Bryant weren’t immediately returned Tuesday.

In June, a group searching the basement of the Leflore County Courthouse discovered the unserved arrest warrant charging Donham, then-husband Roy Bryant and brother-in-law J.W. Milam in Till’s abduction in 1955. While the men were arrested and acquitted on murder charges in Till’s subsequent slaying, Donham, 21 at the time, was never taken into custody.

The 14-year-old Chicago boy was visiting relatives in Mississippi when he and some other children went to the store in the town of Money where Carolyn Bryant worked. Relatives told the AP that Till had whistled at the white woman, but denied that he touched her as she’d claimed.


In an unpublished memoir obtained last month by the AP, Donham said Milam and her husband brought Till to her in the middle of the night for identification but that she tried to help the youth by denying it was him. She claimed that Till then volunteered that he was the one they were looking for.

Till’s battered, disfigured body was found days later in a river, where it was weighted down with a heavy metal fan. The decision by his mother, Mamie Till Mobley, to open Till’s casket for his funeral in Chicago demonstrated the horror of what had happened and added fuel to the civil rights movement.

Following their acquittal, Bryant and Milam admitted to the abduction and killing in an interview with Look magazine. They were not charged with a federal crime, and both have long since died.


In 2004, the U.S. Department of Justice Department opened an investigation of Till’s killing after it received inquiries about whether charges could be brought against anyone still living.

Till’s body was exhumed, in part to confirm it was he. A 2005 autopsy found that Till died of a gunshot wound to the head, and that had fractures in his wrist bones, skull and femur.

In 2006, the FBI launched its Cold Case Initiative in an effort to identify and investigate racially-motivated murders. Two years later, Congress passed the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act.

The Justice Department said the statute of limitations had run out on any potential federal crime, but the FBI worked with state investigators to determine if state charges could be brought. In February 2007, a Mississippi grand jury declined to indict anyone, and the Justice Department announced it was closing the case.


But federal officials announced last year that they were once again closing their investigation, saying there was “insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that she lied to the FBI.”

Timothy Tyson, the North Carolina historian who interviewed Donham for his 2017 book, “The Blood of Emmett Till,” said the newly rediscovered warrant did nothing to “appreciably change the concrete evidence against her.” But he said the renewed focus on the case should “compel Americans” to face the racial and economic disparities that still exist here.

“The Till case will not go away because the racism and ruthless indifference that created it remain with us,” Tyson wrote in an email Tuesday. “We see generations of Black children struggle against these obstacles, and many die due to systemic racism that is every bit as lethal as a rope or a revolver.”

For Gordon, the renewed attention on the Till case has been a reminder of the social progress it helped spark.

“It helps the younger generations identify how far we’ve come with the many liberties and civil rights that we’ve gained since Emmett’s death,” Gordon said. “As his mother would say, his death was not in vain.”
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Black Missouri family says racism led to pool party cancellation
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Publishing date:Aug 09, 2022 • 12 hours ago • 2 minute read • Join the conversation

LEE’S SUMMIT, Mo. (AP) — A Black family says racism prompted officials at a suburban Kansas City water park to cancel a private pool party for their 17-year-old son’s birthday during the weekend.


Chris Evans said he signed a contract with Summit Waves Aquatic Facility in Lee’s Summit to host 250 people for the party on Saturday. But when his sons arrived at the park they were told the reservation was canceled and were not given a reason, Evans said at a news conference Tuesday.

Evans said he and his wife learned while they were on the way to the water park that “this event doesn’t represent Lee’s Summit Waves and that my reservation was canceled because (a park official) was uncomfortable,” The Kansas City Star reported.

That official, flanked by police officers, met the parents when they arrived and reiterated that the party would not be held.

“What are you scared of, Lee’s Summit?” Evans asked at the news conference. “Why are you uncomfortable?”



Lee’s Summit Parks and Recreation Department, which operates the water park, said in a statement issued Tuesday that it apologized to the Evans family because of miscommunication and missed processes that led to the cancellation.

The statement said its investigation found the department failed to arrange additional security for the party, which Evans paid for as part of his contract. Parks officials said the event was promoted on social media although the contract said that would not happen.

After several unsuccessful efforts to reach the Evans, the department decided to cancel the party, according to the statement.

“Safety pertaining to the anticipated crowd size and the potential impact it might have on party guests and the staff was the sole reason for the cancellation,” the statement said.


Park department officials said up to 500 people showed up in the parking lot for the party but Evans countered the event was canceled before the teenagers arrived and there was “never anything close to 500 kids in the parking lot.”

“My kids were heartbroken that the party was canceled,” he said. “They are good kids who make good grades, have bright futures and do not deserve to be treated like this. And that goes for all the kids at the park that day.”

Lee’s Summit Mayor William Baird on Tuesday criticized the department’s handling of the incident and denounced “appalling” statements he said a park employee made on social media after the incident.

“We must intentionally embrace a culture that is welcoming and inclusive, and we must continually denounce any urge or impulse to exclude,” he said.

The parks department’s statement on Tuesday said its administrator apologized to the Evans family for “the inappropriate and insensitive language” used by staff and said appropriate actions would be taken.

The department said it would review its rental processes, including communication, and improve training to align with the city’s diversity and inclusion efforts.
 

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Sesame Place to train workers on diversity after lawsuit
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Publishing date:Aug 10, 2022 • 16 hours ago • 1 minute read • Join the conversation

PHILADELPHIA — Sesame Place has announced the implementation of diversity and inclusion training for its employees following a $25 million class-action lawsuit alleging multiple incidents of discrimination after outcry sparked from a video of a costumed character snubbing two 6-year-old Black girls went viral online.


The Sesame Street-themed park, operated by SeaWorld Parks, in a statement Tuesday said that all employees will be mandated to participate in training created to address bias, promote inclusion and prevent discrimination by the end of September.

The training — which was developed by civil rights educators — will also be integrated into onboarding for all new employees and “will become a regular part of our training and workforce development,” the statement said.

Outrage ensued online in July when a video went viral showing a Sesame Street character waving off the two Black girls during a parade at Sesame Place. Jodi Brown, the mother of one of the girls, posted the video on Instagram.

President of Sesame Place Philadelphia Cathy Valeriano said the park has already begun implementing temporary measures while a review of the park continues.



“We are committed to making sure our guests feel welcome, included and enriched by their visits to our park,” Valeriano said.

SeaWorld’s CEO, Marc Swanson, is scheduled to meet with the Brown family alongside Rev. Jesse Jackson on Thursday to “address the deficiencies we have noted from this most recent press release,” said B’Ivory LaMarr, the family’s attorney.
 

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BLM activist accused of using donations to fund lifestyle seeks unemployment benefits
Author of the article:Denette Wilford
Publishing date:Aug 19, 2022 • 17 hours ago • 2 minute read • 51 Comments

A Black Lives Matters activist whose Boston non-profit was shut down after she allegedly spent thousands of charity donations to fund her fancy lifestyle has asked a court to allow her to apply for unemployment benefits.



Monica Cannon-Grant, 41, who headed up Violence in Boston before it was shut down in July, wants government assistance.

She and husband Clark Grant, 38, allegedly spent thousands of the anti-violence charity’s funding on dinners, vacations and trips to the nail salon.

They were indicted in March for allegedly soliciting millions of dollars in donations, and were also accused of illegally collecting about $100,000 in pandemic unemployment benefits as well as lying on a mortgage application.

Conditions for Cannon-Grant’s release on personal recognizance included that she “not apply for, or facilitate the application for, any unemployment benefits unless approved by the court,” according to the 18-page indictment obtained by the Boston Herald.


But Cannon-Grant’s attorney, Robert Goldstein, filed a motion asking to amend the original terms, simply stating that his client “is currently unemployed and would like to apply for unemployment benefits.”


Cannon-Grant and Grant founded Violence in Boston in 2017 and the non-profit received significant attention following the 2020 murder of George Floyd.

The pair allegedly had exclusive control over the organization’s finances and did not disclose to others at the non-profit that they had used the funds for their own extravagances.

It is unknown if they used the nonprofit’s funds to purchase their home in 2021.

They were arrested in March and charged with two counts of wire fraud conspiracy, one count of conspiracy, 13 counts of wire fraud, and one count of making false statements to a mortgage lending business, with an additional mail fraud charge against Cannon-Grant.



Both pleaded not guilty to all charges.

“Unemployment caught my ass,” Cannon-Grant allegedly told her husband in a text message on March 26, 2021, according to prosecutors. “Asked me to provide documents by June [or else] I’ll have to pay it all back.”

Last year, BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors stepped down as executive director of the Black Lives Matter Global Network after she was slammed for her multimillion-dollar real estate portfolio.

Earlier this year, Black Lives Matter defended using donated funds for its $5.8 million purchase of a luxury home in Southern California, as a place to encourage “Black creativity” in a space “for Black folks to share their gifts with the world and hone their crafts as we see it.”
 

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Black pastor arrested while watering neighbour's flowers, video shows
Author of the article:Washington Post
Washington Post
Jonathan Edwards, The Washington Post
Publishing date:Aug 26, 2022 • 19 hours ago • 4 minute read • 152 Comments

Michael Jennings was watering flowers for his out-of-town neighbour in May when an officer approached him. Within minutes, he was arrested, handcuffed and in the back of a police cruiser, video released by his lawyer this week shows.


“I’m supposed to be here. I’m Pastor Jennings. I live across the street,” he told the officer during the May 22 exchange in his neighbor’s driveway in Childersburg, Ala.


“I’m looking out for their house while they’re gone, watering their flowers,” he added.

The 20-minute video captured his subsequent arrest. An initially friendly encounter with three officers escalated when Jennings declined to show identification, accused police of racially profiling him, threatened to sue and dared them to arrest him. After the two sides got into a shouting match, the officers did just that, accusing Jennings in the video of obstructing a government operation, a charge that was dismissed in June by a municipal judge, one of his lawyers, Harry Daniels, said in a statement.


The Childersburg Police Department didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from The Washington Post late Thursday. Jennings told ABC News he cooperated with police even though he was agitated because he feared being shot.

“To be shackled and to have your freedom taken away from you, it’s something else. It’s dehumanizing, and I thought, ‘Why would they be doing this?’ It’s something that – it gives you nightmares,” he said during the interview. Jennings, 56, has been a pastor at the Vision of Abundant Life Church for more than 30 years.

Jennings’s account echoes similar events in recent years in which police have been called on Black people doing everyday activities – barbecuing, swimming at a pool, viewing a home with a real estate agent, birdwatching or trying to get into their own apartment building. In one 2018 incident, a White woman in San Francisco threatened to call police about an 8-year-old girl selling bottled water without a permit. Such incidents led people to create the hashtag #LivingWhileBlack.


The chain of events that ended in Jennings’s arrest started when one of his neighbors, not recognizing him, called 911 to report a suspicious person outside her neighbors’ house. The couple living there had gone out of town.

The body-camera video shows that, when the first officer arrived, he greeted Jennings with a “Howdy,” and Jennings replied by saying, “Hey man, how’s it going?” It devolved from there.

The officer told Jennings that someone had called police to report a strange man around the house who was “not supposed to be here.” Jennings identified himself as “Pastor Jennings” and said he lived across the street. When the officer asked for an ID to prove that, Jennings balked, saying he hadn’t done anything wrong.


“You want to lock me up, lock me up. I’m not showing y’all anything,” Jennings said. “I’m going to continue watering these flowers. I don’t care who called y’all. Lock me up and see what happens.”

Alabama law allows law enforcement to demand someone in a public space identify themselves, give their address and explain their actions if the officer “reasonably suspects” that person has committed or is about to commit a felony or other public offense.

In their statement, Jennings’s lawyers said that their client didn’t have to provide police an identification because “he was not in a public place.”

After declining to provide an ID, Jennings walked away. Officers followed and handcuffed him before the two sides got into a shouting match. The officer who first approached Jennings then began to arrest him, the video shows.


A few minutes later, after Jennings was handcuffed and in the back of the cruiser, the woman who called police came outside to speak with officers at their request, the video shows. She told police she did know Jennings, that he lived close by and that she wouldn’t have been surprised if her neighbors had asked him to water their flowers while they were away.

“They are friends, and they went out of town today. He may be watering their flowers. It would be completely normal,” she said, adding “This is probably my fault.”

Jennings’s attorneys said that the body-cam footage revealed evidence that cleared “the way for legal action against the officers.”

“This video makes it clear that these officers decided they were going to arrest Pastor Jennings less than five minutes after pulling up and then tried to rewrite history claiming he hadn’t identified himself when that was the first thing he did,” Daniels said. “This was not only an unlawful arrest. It’s kidnapping. It’s irrational, irresponsible and illegal.”

Jennings told ABC News he’s considering filing a racial-discrimination lawsuit against the department. Regardless, he wants to do something that prevents someone else from going through what he’s had to endure.

“It’s been exhausting,” he told NBC News, “and I just really hope there’ll be some change.”
 

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Woman who called cops on Central Park birdwatcher loses lawsuit over firing
Author of the article:Bloomberg News
Bloomberg News
Chris Dolmetsch
Publishing date:Sep 23, 2022 • 23 hours ago • 2 minute read • Join the conversation
Amy Cooper is seen in Central Park in a screengrab from video.
Amy Cooper is seen in Central Park in a screengrab from video. PHOTO BY CHRISTIAN COOPER /Facebook
A woman lost a lawsuit against Franklin Resources in which she claimed her former employer unfairly branded her as a racist and fired her after she was caught on video confronting and calling the police on a Black birdwatcher in Central Park.


Amy Cooper sued the company, which is more widely known as Franklin Templeton, in May 2021, claiming it publicized the incident on Twitter and falsely claimed it conducted an investigation before firing her. U.S. District Judge Ronnie Abrams on Wednesday threw out the lawsuit, rejecting her claims of racial and sexual discrimination and defamation.


A video posted on Twitter in 2020 by the sister of birdwatcher Christian Cooper — no relation to Amy — showed the woman calling 911, complaining an African-American man was threatening her and her dog. Amy Cooper made the call after Christian Cooper asked her to leash her dog in Central Park. The video went viral, with more than 40 million views, during a national discourse on systemic racism.


Cooper argued the encounter became “international news as a racial flashpoint” and misportrayed her as a privileged White woman because Franklin Templeton cited the incident on Twitter. But the judge rejected the claim.

“The Central Park incident coincided exactly with the date of George Floyd’s murder in Minneapolis, an event which similarly sparked intense discourse nationwide on issues of racial justice and policing,” Abrams wrote. “The contents of the viral video, as well as the dialogue surrounding it both in the media and on social media, were already matters of public knowledge when defendants’ May 26 tweet was posted.”

Cooper’s attorneys didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment on the decision.


Cooper pointed to three male employees who she said were treated more favorably after engaging in similar conduct, but Abrams said that comparison doesn’t apply because the misconduct they engaged in, “which runs the gamut from plagiarism to insider trading to a felony conviction — is simply too different in kind to be comparable to her conduct in this case.”

The judge also rejected Cooper’s claims of defamation over a company tweet that said they had fired her after conducting an internal review and “do not tolerate racism of any kind,” as well as a comment from Chief Executive Officer Jenny Johnson in an interview about the incident. Abrams said any implication from the tweet that Cooper is a racist is an opinion and that the statement didn’t indicate the company considered any information not already known to the public.

Franklin Templeton said in a statement that it is pleased that the court has agreed that the claims should be dismissed and that it continues to believe the company responded appropriately.
 

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Sheriff must pay $15M for death of Florida teen outside fair
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Publishing date:Sep 23, 2022 • 23 hours ago • 2 minute read • Join the conversation

TAMPA, Fla. — A Florida sheriff has been ordered by a jury to pay $15 million to the parents of a teenager who died while trying to cross a highway after being kicked out of the state fair by deputies.


The 10-person jury reached its verdict Thursday evening in Tampa federal court in the case of Andrew Joseph III, a Black 14-year-old who was killed on Interstate 4 in 2014 after he was booted from the Florida State Fair following a disturbance involving several teenagers.


The jury verdict culminates more than six years of court action. Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister, who could appeal the verdict, issued a statement Friday expressing sympathy for the Joseph family.

“Losing a child is a heartbreaking and eternal grief that no parent should have to face, and we continue to keep the Joseph family in our prayers,” Chronister said in an email.

The jury found Chronister’s department 90% responsible for the child’s death, with Joseph assigned 10%. The money will be split evenly between his parents, Andrew Joseph Jr. and Deanna Joseph.


“That child didn’t do nothing wrong,” Joseph Jr. said after the verdict, according to media outlets. “Fifteen million (dollars) put some respect on it.”

“We are elated at this moment,” Deanna Joseph added.

The teenager wound up on Interstate 4 after he and others were kicked out of the fair for what deputies described as an altercation that included knocking over fair patrons and stealing from vendors.

Attorneys for the defendants said Joseph refused an offer for a ride from his football coach and instead decided to try to cross the highway to reach the main gate.

“It was not foreseeable that someone would leave and enter the interstate,” attorney Robert Fulton said.

The plaintiffs’ attorney said the boy should never have been placed in such a vulnerable situation by authorities.

“A kid should never have been put in this position,” attorney Chris Anulewicz told the jury. “He should not have been put in the position of trying to do this on his own.”
 

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Black man in police custody died due to ketamine injection, restraint
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Colleen Slevin
Publishing date:Sep 23, 2022 • 19 hours ago • 3 minute read • Join the conversation
A demonstrator carries an image of Elijah McClain during a rally and march in Aurora, Colo., June 27, 2020.
A demonstrator carries an image of Elijah McClain during a rally and march in Aurora, Colo., June 27, 2020. PHOTO BY DAVID ZALUBOWSKI /THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
DENVER — A Black man died after a police encounter in a Denver suburb in 2019 because he was injected with a powerful sedative after being forcibly restrained, according to an amended autopsy report publicly released Friday.


Despite the finding, the death of Elijah McClain, a 23-year-old massage therapist, was still listed as undetermined, not a homicide, the report shows. McClain was put in a neck hold and injected with ketamine after being stopped by police in Aurora for “being suspicious.” He was unarmed.


The original autopsy report that was written soon after his death in August 2019 did not reach a conclusion about how he died or what type of death is was, such as if it was natural, accidental or a homicide. That was a major reason why prosecutors initially decided not to pursue charges.

But a state grand jury last year indicted three officers and two paramedics on manslaughter and reckless homicide charges in McClain’s death after the case drew renewed attention following the killing of George Floyd in 2020. It became a rallying cry during the national reckoning over racism and police brutality.


The five accused have not yet entered pleas and their lawyers have not commented publicly on the charges.

The findings of the amended autopsy report, updated in July 2021, echo an opinion included in the grand jury indictment handed down about two months later from an unspecified pathologist who concluded McClain died of complications of being injected with ketamine, a sedative, while being violently subdued and restrained by law enforcement and emergency responders. It is not clear whether that pathologist is the same one, Dr. Stephen Cina, who updated the autopsy report.

In the updated report, Cina concluded that the ketamine dosage given to McClain, which was higher than recommended for someone his size, “was too much for this individual and it resulted in an overdose. even though his blood ketamine level was consistent with a ‘therapeutic’ blood concentration.”


He also said he could not rule out that metabolic changes in McClain’s blood due to exertion during his restraint contributed to his death, and that there was no evidence that injuries inflicted by police caused his death.

“I believe that Mr. McClain would most likely be alive but for the administration of ketamine,” said Cina, who noted that body camera footage shows McClain becoming “extremely sedated” within a few minutes of being given the drug.

Cina acknowledged that other reasonable pathologists with different experience and training may have labeled such a death, while in police custody, as a homicide or accident, but that he believes the appropriate classification is undetermined.

Qusair Mohamedbhai, attorney for McClain’s mother, Sheneen McClain, declined a request for comment.


The updated autopsy was released Friday under a court order in a lawsuit brought by Colorado Public Radio, joined by other media organizations including The Associated Press. Colorado Public Radio sued the coroner to release the report after learning it had been updated, arguing that it should be made available under the state’s public records law.

Coroner Monica Broncucia-Jordan said she could not release it because it contained confidential grand jury information and that releasing it would violate the oath she made not to share it when she obtained it last year.

But Adams County District Judge Kyle Seedorf ordered the coroner to release the updated report by Friday, and a Denver judge who oversees state grand jury proceedings, Christopher Baumann, ruled Thursday that grand jury information did not have be redacted from the updated report.


McClain’s death fueled renewed scrutiny about the use of the ketamine and led Colorado’s health department to issue a new rule limiting when emergency workers can use it.

Last year, the city of Aurora agreed to pay $15 million to settle a lawsuit brought by McClain’s parents. The lawsuit alleged the force officers used against McClain and his struggle to survive it dramatically increased the amount of lactic acid in his system, leading to his death, possibly along with the large dose of ketamine he was given.

An outside investigation commissioned by the city faulted the police probe into McClain’s arrest for not pressing for answers about how officers treated him. It found there was no evidence justifying officers’ decision to stop McClain, who had been reported as suspicious because he was wearing a ski mask as he walked down the street waving his hands. He was not accused of breaking any law.
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High school football players allegedly acted out ‘slave auction’ of Black teammates
Author of the article:Denette Wilford
Publishing date:Oct 03, 2022 • 13 hours ago • 2 minute read • Join the conversation

A California high school has cancelled the remaining football season after players filmed what appeared to be a “slave auction” of their Black teammates.



Members of River Valley High School’s football team are seen on video allegedly enacting the “reprehensible” so-called prank.


School district officials received the video on Thursday, prompting the shuttering of the football season.

“The recording clearly demonstrates that this situation was orchestrated and organized, which underscores my concern that students spent time contemplating this terrible act without the slightest regard that this action is hateful and hurtful,” Yuba City Unified School District Superintendent Doreen Osumi said in a statement to CNN.

“(River Valley players) may argue that it was a joke, and they intended no harm, but the fact is that this is not only harmful, it is disgraceful,” she continued.


The video was first made public by the mother of a student at the school who posted it on Facebook after her son informed her of the incident.


“Re-enacting a slave sale as a prank tells us that we have a great deal of work to do with our students so they can distinguish between intent and impact,” Osumi added.

“They may have thought this skit was funny but it is not; it is unacceptable and requires us to look honestly and deeply at issues of systemic racism.”

The students were barred from competing in the rest of the football season for violating the student athlete code of conduct, Osumi said.

But because of how many students were involved in the abhorrent stunt, the team did not have enough players to fill a team, hence the season ending early.


Osumi added that some students could face disciplinary consequences as well.

“At this time, the District and site administration are working in earnest to identify lessons and programs to help our student body learn from this situation,” she said.

“When students find humor in something that is so deeply offensive, it tells me that we have an opportunity to help them expand their mindset to be more aware, thoughtful and considerate of others.”
 

spaminator

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Human rights prof cancelled over N-word chat with students
Author of the article:postmedia News
Publishing date:Oct 03, 2022 • 15 hours ago • 1 minute read • Join the conversation

A 72-year-old human rights professor at George Washington University is fuming after being fired from his course over talks about the N-word.


Professor Michael Stoil, a former CIA analyst, found himself in trouble with the university after students filed three racial bias reports against him for comments he made about the use of the N-word in a class last month, according to the Daily Mail.


He was asked to step down from his human rights course and was allowed to stay on as a tenured professor — but he’s resigning from both positions.

Stoil reportedly used the N-word uncensored during a phone chat with an unnamed vice provost.

Recounting the conversation with students, he used the same word while telling the anecdote.

The fuming prof insisted his comments were not intended to be racially insensitive and that students misinterpreted a story he was telling to demonstrate that the word has no place anywhere.


“My conversation with the vice provost addressed this,” Stoil said, according to the Daily Mail. “My mother, who is white, was shocked when her best friend — an African-American woman from Detroit — referred to her as a (‘silly N-word’) 45 years ago.”

He added: “I was explaining my commitment, and that of my family, to opposition to ethnic slurs, even when in this case it was voiced as a colloquialism by an African-American woman.”

He went on to say that academia was now too woke.

“I also suspect that my age and years of teaching in truly multiethnic institutions have made me too divorced from current cultural norms in the U.S. to teach such a sensitive topic as human rights,” Stoil said.
 

spaminator

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Kanye West wears 'White Lives Matter' shirt at Paris fashion show
Author of the article:postmedia News
Publishing date:Oct 04, 2022 • 9 hours ago • 1 minute read • Join the conversation

Kanye West made a statement with a garment choice at the Yeezy fashion show in Paris on Monday.

The rap star wore a black sweatshirt with the slogan: “White Lives Matter” written across it.


Models wearing his clothing also sported the message, according to the Daily Mail.

Right-wing commentator Candace Owens also posed, along with West’s nine-year-old daughter, North.



The slogan worn on West and Owens’ shirts has previously been used by the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacist organizations as an attack against the Black Lives Matter movement and Black people more broadly.

West has supported Owens in the past with his comments.

Former ESPN presenter Jemele Hill said: “So many folks are trying to excuse Kanye wearing a white lives matter t-shirt as just a troll move or marketing. Maybe it is … But it’s a dangerously dumb message to send for someone with his massive platform. I been off dude. But y’all go ahead labeling his foolishness as genius.”

Will Smith’s son, Jaden, tweeted: “I can’t stand behind what Kanye’s saying. He doesn’t have the full support of the youth.”
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spaminator

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Kanye West wears 'White Lives Matter' shirt at Paris fashion show
Author of the article:postmedia News
Publishing date:Oct 04, 2022 • 9 hours ago • 1 minute read • Join the conversation

Kanye West made a statement with a garment choice at the Yeezy fashion show in Paris on Monday.

The rap star wore a black sweatshirt with the slogan: “White Lives Matter” written across it.


Models wearing his clothing also sported the message, according to the Daily Mail.

Right-wing commentator Candace Owens also posed, along with West’s nine-year-old daughter, North.



The slogan worn on West and Owens’ shirts has previously been used by the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacist organizations as an attack against the Black Lives Matter movement and Black people more broadly.

West has supported Owens in the past with his comments.

Former ESPN presenter Jemele Hill said: “So many folks are trying to excuse Kanye wearing a white lives matter t-shirt as just a troll move or marketing. Maybe it is … But it’s a dangerously dumb message to send for someone with his massive platform. I been off dude. But y’all go ahead labeling his foolishness as genius.”

Will Smith’s son, Jaden, tweeted: “I can’t stand behind what Kanye’s saying. He doesn’t have the full support of the youth.”
View attachment 15930
the future potus. ;)
 

Ron in Regina

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So much bullshit could’ve been avoided with the initial slogan being “Lives Matter” and everyone and their dog could’ve gotten behind that message…but it wasn’t divisive enough at the time.
 
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Tecumsehsbones

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So much bullshit could’ve been avoided with the initial slogan being “Lives Matter” and everyone and their dog could’ve gotten behind that message…but it wasn’t divisive enough at the time.
No, the whole point was to emphasize that U.S. society values Black lives less than White lives. "Black Lives Matter Too" might have worked.

But these days you could say "truth is good" and half the damn population would shriek about how offended they are.

West is a witless provocateur. Only a fool would give a second thought to what he says or does. So I figure he'll get a lot of attention for this stunt.
 
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