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"[T]he only good n[igger] is a dead n[igger] and they should hang you in the town square to prevent any other n[igger] from coming in the area."
-- July 2011 Statement by Oakland Public Schools Police Chief Pete Sarna, referring to an African-American police officer.
Top News Story!
Posted: 6:56 p.m. EDT May 1, 2015 ~ Updated: 6:36 p.m. PST May 1, 2015
Shoot 'em All!
Detroit, Mich. — Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor Teana Walsh resigned Friday. Her resignation came after being disciplined for a highly inflammatory Facebook message. She set off a firestorm by writing about the Baltimore riots on her Facebook page Monday night. The message said the way to end the violence in Baltimore was to shoot the protesters. "Solution," she wrote. "Simple. Shoot em. Period. End of discussion. I don't care what causes the protesters to turn violent ... what the 'they did it because' reason is ... no way is this acceptable. Flipping disgusting."
Walsh quickly deleted the post. However,an attorney who is friends with her on Facebook, took a screen shot of it and posted it on his page. "You cannot be a member of law enforcement and decide you're going to be judge, jury and executioner," said the criminal defense attorney from Southfield. She is drawing support from many whites and law enforcement officials while blacks are criticizing her, the attorney said. The attorney, who has tried several cases against Walsh, described her as strong, tenacious and passionate. But he was surprised by what she wrote Monday night. "I was shocked, appalled and outraged," he said.
News sources learned about and reported on the post. Media sources and others railed against the comments. The Wayne County Prosecutor's Office announced Friday that Walsh would resign as a result of the comment. Walsh was an assistant prosecutor for eight years. In a statement, a spokeswoman for the prosecutor's office said the comments didn't reflect the type of person Walsh is. "During her tenure in the office, Teana Walsh has been known for her great work ethic and her compassion for victims of crime and their families," Assistant Prosecutor Maria Miller said.
Criminal defense attorneys and a liberal statewide group said they were glad to see Teana Walsh leave the prosecutor's office. Earlier, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy had only said Walsh's discipline was an "internal matter." No working number could be found for Walsh and her Facebook page has been taken down.
Progress Michigan, which "holds public officials and government accountable" and "assists in the promotion of progressive ideas," said it was glad to see Walsh leave the prosecutor's office. "Her comments are a perfect example of the mentality that has to be purged from the criminal justice system as a whole," said Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan. But he said Worthy should use this incident as an opportunity to lead a conversation about how law enforcement must be used as a tool for — not against — the people of this state. Otherwise, people will lose faith in the criminal justice system, he said.
Aaron Herskovic, a Southfield attorney, said his bigger concern is others in law enforcement who share Walsh's attitudes but keep them hidden. "Unfortunately, I think there are others in her former office who fall into that category," he said.
The criminal defense attorney from Southfield shared Herskovic's concerns. He said he also was alarmed by a divide over Walsh's comment that is playing out over social media.
Posted: March 4, 2015, 3:00 p.m. ET ~ Updated: March 4, 2015, 7:39 p.m. PT
Washington, D.C. The US Department of Justice found many things during its investigation into the Ferguson Police Department. One of those things included a pattern of racial bias. However, the most disturbing findings were the racist email exchanges between police and court officials. The racist email exchanges show outright hostility and prejudice toward the St. Louis suburb's black residents. Below are seven emails the Justice Department uncovered. All of the e-mials come from current employees and were apparently sent during work hours:
•» A November 2008 email said President Barack Obama won't be president for long because "what black man holds a steady job for four years."
•» A March 2010 email mocked African Americans with horrible stereotypes about their families and how they speak. One line of the email read, "I be so glad that dis be my last child support payment! Month after month, year after year, all dose payments!"
•» An April 2011 email depicted President Obama as a chimpanzee.
•» A May 2011 email said, "An African-American woman in New Orleans was admitted into the hospital for a pregnancy termination. Two weeks later she received a check for $5,000. She phoned the hospital to ask who it was from. The hospital said, 'Crimestoppers.'"
•» A June 2011 email said a man wanted to obtain "welfare" for his dogs because they are "mixed in color, unemployed, lazy, can't speak English and have no frigging clue who their Daddies are."
•» An October 2011 email had a photo of a bare-chested group of dancing women, apparently in Africa, with the caption, "Michelle Obama's High School Reunion."
•» A December 2011 email made jokes based off offensive stereotypes about Muslims.
The Justice Department found no evidence that any of the police and court officials who engaged in these emails were ever disciplined. The investigation also found no indication that any official asked the sender to stop sending such emails. There wasn't any proof that the emails were reported. "Instead, the emails were usually forwarded along to others," the report stated.
The emails back an important point made by the Justice Department. The exchanges show that outright racism very clearly exists between law enforcement and court officials. The report argued the disparities in law enforcement can only be explained by unlawful bias and stereotypes against African-Americans.
The report noted that, although black people make up about 67 percent of Ferguson's population, 88 percent of documented uses of force by Ferguson police from 2010 to August 2014 were against African Americans. In the 14 police canine bite cases for which racial data was available, the people bitten were black.
There were similar racial disparities in traffic stops. From 2012 to 2014, 85 percent of people stopped; 90 percent of people who received a citation; and 93 percent of people arrested were black. Black drivers were more than twice as likely as their white counterparts to be searched during vehicle stops, but 26 percent less likely to have contraband.
Posted: 6:56 PM EDT on Wednesday, Feb 18, 2015 ~ Updated: 12:06 AM PDT on Sunday, June 21, 2015
Bridgeport, Conn. -- Bridgeport authorities are investigating after a racist memo printed on official letterhead. The memo was placed in employee mailboxes at Bridgeport police headquarters. The memo libels and slanders minority officers. It singled out Officer Clive Higgins who was recently cleared of police brutality charges.
The memo was printed on paper marked with the department's official letterhead. It is addressed to Bridgeport Police Chief Joseph Gaudett. The memo starts off with "WHITE POWER." It goes on to say "Officer Clive Higgins doesn't belong here in this Police Department." It also said: "These Black Officers belong in the toilet." Higgins was recently acquitted in a 2011 police brutality case. Bridgeport officers were caught on camera beating a suspect at Beardsley Park. They shot him with a stun gun.
A screen grab from a video, posted on YouTube on Jan. 6, 2013, showing three Bridgeport, Conn. police officers Elson Morales, Joseph Lawlor and Clive Higgins kicking a man in Beardsley Park on May 20, 2011.
Elson Morales and Joseph Lawlor, the two other officers involved in the beating were convicted by guilty plea. However, a federal jury found Higgins not guilty in January 2015. The memo continues, "He's not getting his gun or his badge back. He didn't even support his fellow Officers in Court. Where were you Higgins?? You better watch your back.. We know where you live." The letter alleges both the chief and assistant chief want Higgins out of the department. Higgins' attorney declined to comment on the letter.
Bridgeport Police Officer Clive Higgins and his wife arrive at the Federal Courthouse in downtown New Haven, Conn. on Friday, Aug. 7, 2014.
A minority officers' organization, addressed the letter in a news conference. Det. Harold Dimbo, vice president of the group and a 27-year veteran of the police department, said the "racial, insensitive and threatening" letter is the most recent of at least three hateful notes to circulate within the department over the past year. Dimbo said copies of the letter were discovered in multiple officers' mailboxes and the principal internal mailbox. He believes a member of the department generated the memo and that it ended up in the main mailbox by mistake. "Something like this coming through the police department, it just never should have happened," Dimbo said Wednesday. "This type of behavior affects a minority and spreads racism and hatred throughout the Bridgeport Police Department as well as the community." Dimbo said he has received hundreds of calls from worried community members.
Dimbo said Gaudett is investigating the incident. "We will support Chief Gaudett and find out who this person is or individuals, and we would love to see them out of the police department," Dimbo said, "because this does not just hurt the police department's image, it's also going to the community that we have to worry about." He added: "... [i]f a person is walking around in the police department with this type of hatred in them," it creates concern over the safety of minorities in the community.
A screen grab from a video, posted on YouTube on Jan. 6, 2013, showing three Bridgeport, Conn. police officers kicking a man in Beardsley Park on May 20, 2011. Officers Elson Morales, Joseph Lawlor and Clive Higgins were put on the paid administrative leave Jan.18, 2013 pending an investigation of the incident by the city's Office of Internal Affairs. The man, who has not been identified, is lying on the ground after being Tasered by one of the officers when two of the officers begin kicking him. A third officer then gets out of his patrol car and walks over to where the other two are still kicking the man and then he too begins kicking him.
The attorney who is representing the minority officers said that the organization will be monitoring any investigation into the issue. The attorney also said, "These letters were abhorrent and intolerable, especially in 2015 in an urban police department. "The Guardians want to acknowledge that the majority of the Bridgeport police officers find this intolerable... it's the few that spew this hateful language that must be isolated because they have no place in a police organization." The attorney said that if the [minority officers] don't believe the issue is being properly investigated, the organization will seek legal "remedies."
Elson Morales, center, walks with his wife to the U.S. District Court in Bridgeport, Conn. on Tuesday, June 10, 2014. He pleaded guilty to stomping a Tasered man in Beardsley Park. Morales, a 12-year veteran of the Bridgeport Police Department, faces up to a year in prison for the misdemeanor charge of violating a person's civil rights.
Brett Broesder, communications director for the city of Bridgeport, said officials are prepared to take action against whoever is behind the derogatory note. "Bottom line is that any discussion of discrimination within any part of the city is something we have a zero-tolerance policy on," Broesder said. "If there is any wrongdoing found in the situation, swift, fair, immediate action will be taken."
Joseph Lawlor leaves the U.S. District Court in Bridgeport, Conn., with his girlfriend Tuesday, June 10, 2014. He pleaded guilty to stomping a Tasered man in Beardsley Park. Lawlor, a 12-year veteran of the Bridgeport Police Department, faces up to a year in prison for the misdemeanor charge of violating a person's civil rights.
Posted: 12:38 am edt Wednesday, June 11, 2014 ~ Updated: 05:06 PM PDT on Sunday, June 28, 2015
BRIDGEPORT, CT -- A video went viral showing veteran Officers Joseph Lawlor, Elson Morales and Clive Higgins kicking and stomping a prone Orlando Lopez-Soto on a spring afternoon in 2011 in Beardsley Park. The video has been called the most flagrant act of police brutality in city history. The two veteran city cops seen in the video pled guilty to civil-rights violations. As a condition of the plea they have agreed to resign from the Police Department. They each face up to a year in prison.
It was in a very quiet federal courtroom that first Morales and then Lawlor pleaded guilty to one count each of depriving a person of their civil rights (a misdemeanor) before U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Meyer.
Under the plea bargain, the officers each face up to a year in prison when they are sentenced Sept. 2, 2014. They had been on paid administrative duty pending the investigation. Both remain eligible to collect pensions from the city.
Published on Jul 20, 2014
Posted: 11/09/2013 03:18:41 PM PST - Updated: 11/10/2013 11:03:41 PM PST
True View Photography!
Home Depot issued [a phony] apology for a racist tweet and blamed the agency that sent it from the company account.
The home improvement retailer pulled the tweet and apologized on Twitter on Thursday, saying, "We have zero tolerance for anything so stupid and offensive. Deeply sorry. We terminated agency and individual who posted it."
In a statement provided to media sources, Stephen Holmes, director of corporate communications, said, "We have zero tolerance for anything so stupid and offensive. The outside agency that created the Tweet and The Home Depot associate who posted it have been terminated. We're also closely reviewing our social media procedures to determine how this could have happened, and how to ensure it never happens again.
Customers responded to the apology on various social media sites.
"Deflecting blame and now all is hunky dory? Hmm," one Facebook user wrote. "So even though you hired the firm responsible for the shockingly racist tweet, you bear/accept no responsibility? Here's to hoping your company uses your one 'do over' wisely."
Another Facebook user wrote: "Very respectful way for you to respond to that offensive tweet. I will continue shopping at the Home Depot. Thank you for firing whoever posted that!"
"A MOM'S MEMORY."
Posted: 3:20 PM, Feb. 29, 2012 - Updated: 11:18 AM PST, Mar. 01, 2012
HELENA, MONTANA — Chief U.S. District Judge Richard Cebull on Wednesday admitted to sending a racially charged email about President Barack Obama from his courthouse chambers. Cebull, of Billings, was nominated by former President George W. Bush and received his commission in 2001 and has served as chief judge for the District of Montana since 2008. One of the recipients of the email Cebull sent forwarded it to another person, who in turn forwarded it to another person. The email was eventually pass along to the media, who contacted Cebull. Cebull said he was surprised the recipients of the e-mail passed it along with his name on it. "This is a private thing that was, to say the least, very poor judgment on my part," Cebull said. "I did not forward it because of the racist nature of it. Although it is racist, I'm not that way, never have been."
The subject line of the email, which Cebull sent from his official courthouse email address on Feb. 20 at 3:42 p.m., says "A MOM'S MEMORY." The forwarded (body) text of the e-mail reads as follows:
"Normally I don't send or forward a lot of these, but even by my standards, it was a bit touching. I want all of my friends to feel what I felt when I read this. Hope it touches your heart like it did mine.
"A little boy said to his mother; 'Mommy, how come I'm black and you're white?'" the email joke reads. "His mother replied, 'Don't even go there Barack! From what I can remember about that party, you're lucky you don't bark!'"
Cebull (pictured left) admitted Wednesday to sending the email to seven recipients, including his personal email address. The judge acknowledged that the content of the email was racist, but said he does not consider himself racist. He said the email was intended to be a private communication. "It was not intended by me in any way to become public," Cebull said. "I apologize to anybody who is offended by it, and I can obviously understand why people would be offended." Cebull said his brother initially sent him the email, which he forwarded to six of his "old buddies" and acquaintances. He admitted that he read the email and intended to send it to his friends.
"The only reason I can explain it to you is I am not a fan of our president, but this goes beyond not being a fan," Cebull said. "I didn't send it as racist, although that's what it is. I sent it out because it's anti-Obama." Cebull said he does not consider himself prejudice against people of other races or ethnic backgrounds, and that his actions in his courtroom have demonstrated that. "I have never considered myself that way," Cebull said. "All I can emphasize is I've treated people in my courtroom all these years fairly. I don't think I've ever demonstrated racism. Nobody has ever even implied it."
Travis McAdam, executive director for the Montana Human Rights Network , said the email contained highly racist rhetoric unbecoming of a federal judge. "It's one thing if the judge is not a fan of President Barack Obama, but you would think someone in his position would articulate that in a way that criticizes his policy decisions or his position on issues," McAdam said. "We have a hard time believing that a legitimate criticism of the president involves distributing a joke that basically compares African Americans with animals."
"Another federal official who is entrusted to do his duties fairly and impartially has yet again sent an email from his work account during work hours that espouses deeply racist and bigoted views," a Montana immigration attorney said. "The reason why I think it's so troubling, is it espouses the deeply racist view that interracial sex is equivalent to bestiality. For a federal judge to be equating the two, and say since Barack Obama is of mixed racial background, that his mother was somehow committing acts of bestiality is incredibly racist and "deeply troubling."
Posted: 1:08 PM EST, Feb. 21, 2012 - Updated: 11:36 AM PST, Mar. 01, 2012
Rye, N.Y. -- Residents and other associates of a popular building superintendent are finding it impossible to fathom that the married father could have molested a tenant’s Labrador retriever at the Rye Colony apartment complex. “It’s unbelievable,” said Kris Lumaj, who does renovation work at Rye Colony and has known the super for years. “That’s an animal, you know. He’s got a wife and two kids, has no criminal record. I don’t know anybody who’d say anything bad about him.”
Kujtim Nicaj (pictured above, left) who lives and works at the complex, was arrested Feb. 9 on charges of sexual misconduct and bestiality involving a tenant's Labrador retriever, the local media reports. Nicaj, who lived and worked at the Rye Colony apartment complex in Rye, N.Y., until his arrest, is also charged with burglary. Nicaj's lawyer says his 41-year-old client is "humiliated" by the charges, which he denies, and is worried about providing for his wife and two kids. The police say Nicaj allegedly broke into the tenant's apartment with a key on Feb. 8 and sodomized the dog. The newspaper, quoting authorities, says the incident was captured on a "nannycam" set up by the tenant, who had suspected that someone had been entering the apartment.
Nicaj, seen as friendly and hardworking, hasn’t said a word publicly, or shown his face around the complex, since his arrest. No one answered the door at his home Monday, though his lawyer has maintained contact with the 41-year-old and his wife since the news broke last week. The beastiality case has made Nicaj a target of public ridicule, and he’s lost his job.
August 2, 2011
WASHINGTON, D.C. (WCJB) -- A member of Congress has apologized after saying that being associated with President Barack Obama would be similar to touching a "tar baby." Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colorado (pictured left) sent a letter to Obama "apologizing for using a term some find insensitive," he said in a statement Monday. Lamborn made the comment during an interview on a Denver radio station about proposals to raise the nation's debt ceiling in exchange for spending cuts.
"Even if some people say, 'Well, the Republicans should have done this or they should have done that,' they will hold the president responsible," Lamborn said. "Now I don't want to even have to be associated with him. It's like touching a tar baby and you get, you get it, you know ... you are stuck and you are part of the problem now and you can't get away."
The term "tar baby" is a reference to 19th century Uncle Remus stories about Br'er Rabbit, as set down by Joel Chandler Harris. It can refer to a sticky problem or situation but also is understood as a derogatory term for African-Americans.
"Lamborn was attempting to tell a radio audience last week that the president's policies have created an economic quagmire for the nation and are responsible for the dismal economic conditions our country faces," said the statement from Lamborn's office."He regrets that he chose the phrase 'tar baby,' rather than the word 'quagmire.' The congressman is confident that the president will accept his heartfelt apology." Lamborn's spokeswoman, Catherine Mortensen, said Monday that the comment was misunderstood.
Lamborn is not the first to run into trouble with the phrase. Mitt Romney referred to the Big Dig construction project in Boston as a "tar baby" in 2006 during a fundraiser on the campaign trail. And Sen. John McCain also used the term during his campaign for president. Both men apologized.
The White House has not commented on Lamborn's remark.
Posted: 04/21/2011 03:12:26 PM PDT
Aunt Samantha Speaks!
Orange County, CA -- A Republican Party official, Marilyn Davenport (pictured below, center) distributed an email with an image depicting President Barack Obama and his parents as chimpanzees, and then, at least temporarily, angrily defended the stunt as non-racist. Orange County is an incubator for grotesque, racist ugliness. The darker side of right-wing American politics routinely emerges in gloriously shameful fashion.
Back in the '80s, OC Congressman Robert K. Dornan celebrated AIDS as God's answer to eliminating gay Americans.
Dick Nichols, a Republican city councilman in Newport Beach, gleefully shared in 2003 the motive of a local public-policy stance: to keep Latinos away from ritzy Corona del Mar beaches.
In 2009, Los Alamitos Republican Mayor Dean Grose welcomed the inauguration of the first black U.S. president by sending out an image of the White House lawn planted with watermelons.
This takes us to current OC Republican Central Committee member Marilyn Davenport, who sent to fellow conservatives on April 15 the Obama-is-a-chimp image along with the words, "Now you know why no birth certificate." She thought the picture was hilarious. Among her defenses was a demand for the "coward" who leaked the story to come forward and her suggestion she couldn't be racist because she has black friends.
Davenport and her husband, Dick—a tall fellow with polite manners and an easy smile—watched their lives change before their eyes. The couple stopped answering the door because Los Angeles television news crews were demanding on-camera interviews. A local political website published the Davenports' home address and telephone number, which made them fear for their safety. They had to take their phone off the hook because callers from as far away as Michigan, they said, were leaving "vulgar" voice-mail messages. They were forced to lower their window shades because the media were camped out on their street in a gorgeous, hilly part of Fullerton.
Still other local Republican activists argued that while the email image is racist, they didn't think it warranted a resignation. There's even a camp blaming Baugh and Schroeder for the mess. One veteran OC GOP activist who spoke on condition of anonymity, "The thing I am most mad about isn't the email. I don't like it. I think it was racist. But what really upsets me is that other Republicans threw her under the bus. It's them who embarrassed the party. They should have kept their mouths shut and not let the media ever see that email."
Within the local GOP, there is talk that Davenport was targeted for public ridicule simply because she isn't a fan of the local Republican leader. She concluded, "I don't know why he would come after me." She wondered aloud: Had it been because she'd argued for him to release $10,000 in party committee funds for a Republican youth day at the Nixon Library?
March 21, 10:33 PM
RICHMOND, VA — After spending 27 years in prison for rapes and attacks prosecutors now say he did not commit, Thomas Haynesworth (pictured above, center) started a new life as a free man Monday. At his mother’s cozy bungalow, where a spare bedroom has always waited for him, Haynesworth ate the Chinese takeout he had been craving — chicken fried rice for lunch. For the first time in his life, he placed a call on a cellphone. Two nieces he had just met crawled into his lap as he relaxed on a recliner in the living room. It was his 46th birthday, and he was finally home. “I’m just going to sit here and relax and spend time with my mother,” Haynesworth said.
Haynesworth was an 18-year-old high school dropout when was arrested as he walked to the market to buy sweet potatoes and bread for Sunday dinner. He told police they had the wrong man. Now, nearly three decades later, Virginia Attorney General Ken T. Cuccinelli II and two prosecutors say they believe he was telling the truth. DNA and other evidence, they say, point to another attacker. Haynesworth has his freedom, but he is still fighting to clear his name. He was released after Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R) asked the parole board to review his case. The state of Virginia is supporting Haynesworth’s bid to have the Virginia Court of Appeals issue a “Writ of Actual Innocence.”
“I believe in Mr. Haynesworth’s innocence, and I will continue to work toward a complete vindication,” Cuccinelli said in a written statement.
Haynesworth said he will continue fighting for exoneration. He thinks the court “will see the truth,” he said. But Monday was about celebrating and starting anew.
About 11:20 a.m., Haynesworth, wearing khaki pants and a button-down shirt, walked out of the Greensville Correctional Center in Jarratt carrying his television and a single garbage bag that held the rest of his belongings.
“He’s home,” his mother, Dolores Haynesworth, said as she tucked her arm around her son. “It’s still hard to believe. I’m holding him, but it’s still hard to believe.”
Haynesworth has never googled, used an ATM or traveled on an airplane. He doesn’t have a driver’s license. During nearly three decades behind bars, he was told when to eat, exercise and go to bed. He said he’s ready to catch up with a world he knows only from television and books.
But for starters, he craves simple things. He wants to sit on a porch, reconnect with old friends and enjoy some of his mother’s fried trout.
“It’s been a long journey,” Haynesworth said. “I just want to reflect and sit down and talk to my momma and eat a meal with her.”
Haynesworth was arrested on a February afternoon in 1984 when his mother sent him out to buy groceries. A woman who had been attacked days earlier saw Haynesworth and told a police officer he was the man.
Haynesworth, who had no criminal record, maintained from the start that he was innocent. But five women ultimately identified him as their attacker. He was convicted in three attacks and acquitted in one; one case was dropped.
In 2005, in the wake of the exonerations of five other wrongly convicted men, then-Virginia governor Mark R. Warner (D) ordered a sweeping review of thousands of criminal cases from 1973 through 1988. Haynesworth’s was among them.
Using technology that wasn’t available in the 1980s, authorities tested DNA collected from a January 1984 rape for which Haynesworth was convicted. The results cleared him and implicated a convicted rapist named Leon Davis.
The Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project took on Haynesworth’s case. DNA testing exonerated Haynesworth in a second rape in which he had been a suspect. Again, Davis was implicated.
Davis lived in the same neighborhood as Haynesworth. They resembled each other and have the same blood type.
Davis, who is jailed on other charges, has declined to be interviewed.
Haynesworth also was convicted in two attacks for which there is no genetic evidence. Prosecutors who have reexamined the cases are convinced he was wrongly convicted of those crimes, too.
Haynesworth said guards at the prison woke him up about 1 a.m. Monday to tell him he soon would be released. The other inmates gave him a birthday card that he brought home.
Hours later he was walking outside, hugging his mother and sisters. News photographers shot photos and reporters fired questions at him.
“Back in the hands of the people that love him,” a nephew said.
“I always believed this day would come,” Haynesworth said. “I didn’t think it would take 27 years.”
At home, he checked out his new bedroom and decided it would need some of his own touches. His mother’s dog, Stud, snapped at him. And he settled back in the easy chair as his mother prepared to whip up a dinner of scalloped potatoes, string beans and her son’s favorite trout.
“When we’re here tonight and it’s just the two of us, it will sink in,” she said.
November 10, 2010
OAKLAND, CA -- A 37-year old father and barber shop owner, suspected to be involved in a domestic dispute, was shot and killed Monday by officers who thought he was reaching for a weapon. The man, however, was unarmed.
Police said East Oakland barber shop owner Derrick Jones did not have a gun or knife on him. He was the married father of a 2-year-old girl and known to friends and family as "D.D."
Angry relatives at police headquarters said that, although they still don't have all the facts, they consider the shooting unjustified and an overreaction by the two officers involved. A cousin, Charles Jones, said it was hard to understand why the officers could not arrest Jones and, instead, ended up shooting him.
"If they are professionals, they should be able to detain someone without killing them," said Morice Jones, the man's cousin. "They are not protecting people, they are killing people. "... They did not have to be scared of Derrick. This has to stop."
Police were called to Jones' barbershop in the 5800 block of Bancroft Avenue about 9:30 p.m. Monday to investigate a report of a domestic dispute.
A woman who said she was Jones' girlfriend told officers he had beaten, choked and threatened her, police said.
Deputy Chief Jeff Israel said the officers, whose names were not released, confronted Jones outside the barber shop. Israel said the man denied being Jones and tried to flee. At least one officer attempted to use a Taser on Jones, Israel said, but it was ineffective, apparently because of the jacket Jones was wearing.
Israel said the officers began chasing Jones, who they said grabbed toward his waistband several times. The officers told him repeatedly to stop and raise his hands, Israel said, adding that witnesses corroborated the officers' story. At one point, the officers said they saw Jones holding a shiny object that police later said was not a weapon, although they have not identified it.
Israel said the officers told investigators that Jones stopped running in the 5800 block of Trask Street, turned around to face them while continuing to put his hands toward his waistband, "consistent with the move of somebody reaching for a weapon."
He said the officers, "believing they were in a life-threatening situation," fired several shots at Jones, who fell to the pavement. Israel said the officers immediately began first aid, but Jones was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.
Family members said people claiming to be witnesses to the shooting told them Jones was shot at least a half-dozen times in the back. But police said they expect an autopsy scheduled for today will show otherwise.
Police said Jones was on parole for a gun conviction and also had previously been charged for drugs, domestic violence and resisting arrest.
Israel said the shooting is being investigated by the police homicide and internal affairs units and the district attorney's office, and that more details will be released as the investigation progresses. He encouraged anyone with information to call police at 510-238-3821.
The officers were placed on paid administrative leave, which is routine after officer-involved shootings.
Relatives painted a different picture of Jones, calling him a hardworking businessman, a loving father to his daughter and as "someone who would not hurt anybody," according to his uncle, evangelist Sammy Jones.
Tay Dunmore, 26, attended a gathering of friends and family who held a vigil for Jones on Tuesday outside his Kwik Cuts Shop, lighting candles, writing on a banner and expressing outrage at the killing.
"When we were in middle school, we didn't have to worry about having snack money or anything," Dunmore said. "We could just come by and D.D. would say, 'Show me your report card,' and he'd set you up."
A protective, older-brother type of presence in the neighborhood, Jones was "the only barber I know who would cut on Sundays," Dunmore added. "And his baby girl was always here. Everybody knew D.D. had a baby, because he was a good daddy, and it's not that many of them out here."
Two hours before the shooting, a suspect had fired on two other officers in West Oakland, though in that shooting no one was harmed and the officers did not return fire. The suspect was later arrested.
"They didn't shoot at the guy who shot at them, but they shot at my cousin?" Charles Jones said.
Johnny Williams, a 37-year-old friend of Jones, said living in East Oakland means struggling with a constant feeling of threat from police.
"What authority have we given as citizens for that to happen?" he said. "Who's giving them authority to shoot somebody without a gun? This is our home, and we care about the people in it. This is inexcusable. We need justice, and we need help."
In a statement released by Mayor Ron Dellums, he said his "office has been in close contact with Chief (Anthony) Batts and leadership of the Oakland Police Department, and we support their thorough and timely investigation into the circumstances which led to this unfortunate outcome. In addition, I am pleased that the Alameda County District Attorney is conducting its own investigation into this case, and we will closely monitor the progress moving forward."
Jones' death was the third fatal shooting by Oakland police this year.
November 9, 2010
Another O.P.D. Homicide!
OAKLAND, CA -- Derrick Jones, a 37-year-old Oakland man, was killed in an officer-involved shooting Monday night, police said. Police responded to a domestic dispute between a man and a woman in the 5800 block of Bancroft Avenue at 9:40 p.m., police spokesman Officer Jeff Thomason said. When officers arrived, the man ran toward Trask Street. More officers arrived and found the man in the 5800 block of Trask Street. The officers fired several rounds from their service pistols. The man was hit and pronounced dead at the scene.
No officers were injured in the incident. The officers' names are not being released at this time. They have been put on administrative leave, which is routine in officer-involved shootings. The shooting is being investigated by the homicide and internal affairs sections and the District Attorney's Office, and police have not said what prompted the shooting.
Anyone with information about the incident may contact the Homicide Section at 510-238-3821. This story will be updated as more details become available.
November 7, 2010
Since January 2007, at least 140 people have been killed by police officers in Los Angeles County, according to coroner's data collected for the Homicide Report. [99.9% of those killed were African-American males.]
RIVERSIDE, CA -- Police have put up roadblocks and are using dogs to search a Southern California park for a big-rig trucker they suspect killed an officer during a chase.
Lt. Steve Johnson says the 200-acre Fairmount Park in Riverside will remain sealed off for several more hours Monday.
Police say Officer Ryan Bonaminio stopped a truck Sunday night after a report that it was involved in a hit-and-run accident.
Authorities say the trucker got out and ran into the park, where he and Bonaminio had a gunfight. Bonaminio was hit at least once and died at a hospital. The trucker drove off.
The search briefly delayed deliveries at a nearby Walmart distribution center but the general manager says all his trucks are accounted for and business is normal.
Note: Probation would appear to be appropriate for the truck driver!
November 6, 2010
The People of the State of California Johannes Mehserle
C.J. Note: We note that Johannes Mehserle, an immigrant from (former Nazi) Germany (at the age of two (2) years), having been convicted of a violent felony and sentenced to prison, is now eligible for deportation to his native Germany.Shame on every Black police Officer that contributed to Mehserle's $3,000,000.00 bail!
November 6, 2010
"I made the ruling because I believe it is in justice to do so."
- Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert Perry on his decision to sentence Johannes Mehserle's to two (2) years in prison for murdering Oscar Grant
"Today we saw the best example of what we already believed," Johnson said. "It's a racist criminal justice system. There can be no peace without justice."
- Cephus Johnson, Oscar Grant's uncle responding to Johannes Mehserle's two (2) year sentence for murdering Oscar Grant.
[Corrupt] Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley issued a statement asking for calm. "It is the sincere hope of the District Attorney's Office that our community can continue to build on our strength and our commitment to equal justice so that this tragedy will never be repeated," O'Malley said. "The District Attorney's Office, along with law enforcement partners, community leaders and community partners, will foster the dialogue that strives for peace and nonviolence."
(Pictured left to right Trial Judge Robert Perry, Johannes Mehserle, Oscar Grant and ex-Officer Tony Pirone) "To lose our right to justice because of your judicial error will raise significant questions about our criminal justice system," Johnson said as his voice rose and tears formed in his eyes. "We should not lose this case because of you." Grant's other relatives also questioned the equality of the criminal justice system and talked of how Grant's death has damaged them emotionally. Wanda Johnson, Grant's mother, could barely finish her speech to Perry as she broke down in sobs as she discussed how she received a phone call early Jan. 1, 2009, and was told her son had been shot. "I live every day of my life in pain, my son is not here," she said, crying. "The people that were supposed to protect and serve were the ones that took his life."
Jack Bryson, the father of two of Grant's friends who were on the Fruitvale BART station platform and saw Grant get shot, twice walked out of the courtroom when Perry began. Wanda Johnson also left the courtroom with Grant's sister after Perry declared that he would not allow the gun enhancement to stand.
Perry said that he understood the pain Grant's family had endured and the long-held skepticism many minority communities feel toward the criminal justice system, but he said he could not solve the problems with one ruling. "I can't transform law enforcement (If this was an accident, why the need to transform law enforcement?). I am just one judge out of many judges doing my best," Perry said. "I heard genuine pain in Mr. Johnson's voice that there was a possibility that the court might let him down," Perry continued. "Mr. Johnson, we are doing the best we can." Perry said he was also disheartened to see that the community remained polarized over the killing and that race continued to be a factor into people's emotions even though evidence in the case showed race played no role. And the judge said he was upset that people continued to make points about the case that were not true. "It is obvious to this court that the community is greatly polarized, and, in my view, that is a tragedy of this case," Perry said. "I cannot and will not allow consideration of race to impact my view; based on the evidence this is not a case about race."
See: The Johannes Mehserle Trial - Verdict Watch!
See: The Johannes Mehserle Trial - 2010 - Part III
See: The Johannes Mehserle Trial - 2010 - Part II
See: The Johannes Mehserle Trial - 2010
(Pictured left to right (clockwise) Juden (GA) Chief Justice [Supreme Court] Carol Hunstein; Juden (CA) State Trial Judge Robert Perry; and Juden (CA) Federal Trial Judge "Sara" Claudia Wilkens.)
The Jew Courts Speak!
"The undisputed evidence shows that Officers Jimenez and Borello acted reasonably when they used deadly force against Mr. Moppin[.]"--Juden Wilkens
"Based on the facts set forth above, the trial court's determination that Bunn is immune from prosecution because he acted in self-defense in discharging his service weapon, although based upon conflicting evidence, was supported by a preponderance of the evidence. Accordingly, the trial court did not err by granting Bunn's immunity motion."--Juden Hunstein
We now see a pattern of law emerging from both the state and federal courts that grant police departments across the nation, a license to kill black men. In virtually every case that has made its way before the court involving the killing of unarmed black men by police officers, the court has found legal precedent to justify such killings. The publice record demonstrates that not one police officer in America has been convicted of killing an unarmed black man. In one of the most egregious cases, New York Police Officers shot an unarmed black man fifty (50) times. Every officer involved in this shooting of Sean Bell was exonerated in a court of law. "The undisputed evidence shows that Oakland, CA Police Officers Hector Jimenez and Jessica Borello acted reasonably when they used deadly force against Mr. Moppin [an African-American]," Wilken wrote. "The officers shot [an unarmed] Mr. Moppin only after he failed to come toward them, as ordered, dropped his hands and then made a movement toward his waist area as though reaching for a weapon." Less than seven months after Moppin-Buckskin was killed, Jimenez fatally shot Mack "Jody" Woodfox III, 27, [an African-American] after stopping him on suspicion of drunken driving. Jimenez said he believed Woodfox had been reaching into his waistband for a gun when he jumped from his car and ran after a chase July 25, 2008, that ended at East 17th Street and Fruitvale Avenue in the Fruitvale district. Woodfox, who was shot in the back, turned out not to have a gun.
March 21, 2010
L.A.P.D. Kills Developmentally Disabled!
Los Angeles, CA -- "On the night of July 14, 2002, Raymond Bunn, a [White] plain clothes police officer who was patrolling an Atlanta neighborhood in an unmarked vehicle, fired fatal shots into the driver-side window of a Chevy Tahoe twice wounding its driver 19 year-old Corey Ward, an African-American male, on the left side of his head. Those facts are certain. Otherwise, the evidence is conflicting as to where Bunn was standing in relation to the Chevy Tahoe Ward was driving;1 how fast Ward's vehicle was moving; and whether Ward and his passengers knew Bunn and his partner were police officers. There are also discrepancies with Bunn's incident report in which he alleges his knee was "pinned" by Ward's vehicle. Specifically, there is no physical or medical evidence of any injury to Bunn's knee and Bunn's partner did not actually see Bunn being hit by Ward's vehicle. There is also troubling evidence that Bunn previously used excessive force for which he was found civilly liable for damages stemming from an incident in which he punched a woman in the face during a routine traffic stop."
October 29, 2010 A Winnfield, Louisiana jury acquitted a white police officer, Scott Nugent, of the January 17, 2008 blatant and wanton murder of Mr. Baron "Scooter" Pikes, an African-American, which was caught on tape. The trial had been delayed numerous times. The jury, an all "white" panel, acquitted him anyway. The prosecutor (yes, the guy who brought the charges against Nugent) said "all 'black' jurors were tainted" and thus would not be good jurors. He apparently got his wish.
Officer Nugent (pictured left) tasered Mr. Pikes, who was in handcuffs, 14 times in nine minutes, while other "white" cops around him were yelling things like "are you on crack nigger" and several other slurs. All of this was caught on tape, but this still did not matter in the Louisiana courtroom. This jury will lean on the word of "expert" witness Mark Kroll, who is an employee at Taser International, as their excuse for setting a murderer free. Kroll said the nine Taser shots did not kill Mr. Pikes and continued, "[Taser shots] hurt, but there's zero negative effect on the body."