Home Tags Posts tagged with "black lives matter"

black lives matter

0
Image credit: Getty Images

President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden have clashed over the violence that has erupted at protests in Portland, Oregon.

President Trump blamed the Democrat mayor of Portland, Ted Wheeler, for allowing the “death and destruction of his city”.

However, Joe Biden said the president was “recklessly encouraging violence”.

A man was shot dead in Portland on August 29 as elsewhere in the city a pro-Trump rally clashed with Black Lives Matter protesters.

Portland has become a flashpoint for demonstrations against police brutality and racism since the police killing of African-American George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25 triggered a wave of national and international outrage.

George Floyd Death: US Cities Placed under Curfew Following Violent Protests

Black Lives Matter: Minneapolis Protesters Clash with Police over George Floyd’s Death

Eric Garner death: Thousands protest in Staten Island over police chockhold death

Mayor Ted Wheeler warned against people coming to the city to seek revenge amid a flurry of social media posts.

He said: “For those of you saying on Twitter this morning that you plan to come to Portland to seek retribution, I’m calling on you to stay away.”

The mayor also hit back at President Trump’s criticism, saying it was the president who had “created the hate and the division”.

He said: “I’d appreciate it if the president would support us or stay the hell out of the way.”

Some activists have called for Mayor Wheeler’s resignation, saying that he was not capable of resolving the protests.

In a series of tweets on August 30, President Trump said that “Portland will never recover with a fool for a mayor”, and suggested sending federal forces to the city.

He also accused Joe Biden of being “unwilling to lead”.

The president tweeted: “…The people of Portland, like all other cities & parts of our great Country, want Law & Order. The Radical Left Democrat Mayors, like the dummy running Portland, or the guy right now in his basement unwilling to lead or even speak out against crime, will never be able to do it!”

In response, Joe Biden said in a statement: “[President Trump] may believe tweeting about law and order makes him strong – but his failure to call on his supporters to stop seeking conflict shows just how weak he is.”

Law and order is a major theme of Donald Trump’s bid for re-election, painting the Democrats and their candidate Joe Biden as soft on crime.

Earlier, acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said Democrats officials in Portland had allowed “lawlessness and chaos” to develop, saying “all options” were on the table to resolve the situation.

Democrats have responded by saying the violence is happening under President Trump’s presidency, and accuse him of worsening the situation with his rhetoric.

Police are investigating the shooting in Portland, which has seen months of demonstrations.

Portland police said in a statement: “Portland Police officers heard sounds of gunfire from the area of Southeast 3rd Avenue and Southwest Alder Street. They responded and located a victim with a gunshot wound to the chest.”

According to Oregon Live, a “camouflage gear” with “thin blue line patches” was seen next to the body – a common sign of support for the police.

Another image shows police trying to restrain a man who was apparently with the person who was shot.

Police have not identified the dead man or specified whether the shooting was directly linked to the clashes which broke out elsewhere in the city.

The founder of the far-right group Patriot Prayer identified the victim as Aaron “Jay” Danielson, adding that he was “a good friend and a supporter”, the Associated Press reports.

The shooting came amid fights between the Trump supporters and BLM protesters in Portland.

Tension rose after a convoy of some 600 vehicles flying flags and carrying an estimated 1,000 Trump backers gathered at a mall in Clackamas County on the outskirts before entering Portland’s downtown.

According to police, 10 people were arrested over the clashes.

0

Juneteenth – the June 19th date which marks the end of US slavery – will become an official holiday in New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced.

The move comes as millions of Americans plan to commemorate, with marches and personal observances, the 1865 date when the last US slaves were freed.

Several states already observe Juneteenth as an official holiday and there is a push to declare it a national holiday.

The date’s significance has grown this year amid Black Lives Matter protests.

Mayor de Blasio said in a press conference on June 19 that the date would be marked as an official city holiday beginning in 2021, and will also be a public school holiday.

He said: “We’ll work with all the unions to work through the plan, give this day the importance and recognition it deserves.

“Every city worker, every student will have the opportunity to reflect the meaning of our history and the truth.”

Earlier this week, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an order making Juneteenth – also known as Emancipation Day and Freedom Day – a paid holiday for state workers.

Andrew Cuomo said he would introduce legislation to make the day a holiday for all New Yorkers by 2021.

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam also promised to make Juneteenth a holiday by 2021 in the former capitol of the Confederacy which rebelled against the US during the Civil War for the legal right to enslave black people.

In Pennsylvania, Governor Tom Wolf has also signed an order making Juneteenth a holiday for state workers.

He said in the statement: “In recent weeks, people around the nation have joined together to demand an end to systemic racism and oppression of African Americans.”

“Freedom for all is not fully realized until every person is truly free. This Juneteenth we have an opportunity to unite against injustice and create lasting change,” he continued.

Texas was the first state to declare Juneteenth a holiday in 1980. Now all but four US states observe or recognize the date in some form.

Image by Wynn Pointaux from Pixabay

Juneteenth: Houston Community College Hit With $100 Million Dollar Racial Discrimination Class Action Suit Filed On Behalf of Black Employees

President Donald Trump Postpones Oklahoma Rally to Avoid Juneteenth Day

This year, the date has become particularly prominent in the public consciousness amid a wave of protests over racial inequality following the deaths of several unarmed African Americans. Juneteenth rallies are planned in Washington DC and across the US.

On June 19, 1865 enslaved people in Galveston, Texas received the news that slavery had been abolished by President Abraham Lincoln two years earlier.

According to historians, the news took so long to reach slaves in Texas in part due to fighting that continued even after the surrender of the Confederacy that ended the Civil War.

Corporate America is also treating Juneteenth with more reverence than in previous years, with employees from Nike, Uber, and Twitter being given a paid day off.

Google has asked employees to cancel non-urgent meetings and instead “create space for learning and reflection”.

Amazon told employees to “take some time to reflect, learn and support each other”.

In Washington, the most senior Republican in the Senate said on June 18 that he would introduce a bill to make Juneteenth a federal holiday.

Four Democrats have also announced a similar proposal.

In the House of Representatives, the Texas congresswoman who has been pushing for a national holiday for two decades, told CBS that the chances of a holiday becoming a reality are growing.

0

Press release

HOUSTON, TEXAS.  A $100 million racial discrimination lawsuit has been filed in a Houston, Texas state district court on behalf of hundreds of Black present and former employees of the Houston Community College (“HCC”). The suit was intentionally filed Friday, June 19, 2020– “Juneteenth—the anniversary date that Black slaves in Texas learned they had been freed from slavery two years earlier by President Abraham Lincoln. The lawsuit details a damning list of allegations about what has happened at Houston Community College under the leadership of Chancellor Cesar Maldonado and the Human Resources Director, Ms. Janet May. According to the lawsuit, Maldonado accepted his position in 2014 with a Hispanic “preferential treatment” agenda. The suit contains an actual email chain created shortly after Maldonado’s appointment, which states “Now we [Hispanics] are going to receive preferential treatment.” The suit alleges that since Maldonado’s arrival 90% of the long-time Black professionals at HCC have either been terminated or demoted, while there has been a 50% increase in Hispanic hires and promotions. Shockingly, the suit claims, while 90% of tenured and experienced Black employees have been displaced only 10% of similarly tenured White employees have been displaced.

President Donald Trump Postpones Oklahoma Rally to Avoid Juneteenth Day

The lawsuit continues with a disturbing list of tactics used by Cesar Maldonado and Janet May to get rid of Black employees. These tactics include, among many others:  

  • Telling a Black male that a White woman’s word was more truthful than his word;
  • When a White person complains, believing them, but if a Black person complains doubting them unless corroborated;
  • “Padding” Black employee personnel files with false complaints to be used later as pretexts for firing them;
  • When Black employees are accused of harassment, believing the complainant – but if the complaint is made by a Black person, doubting them until HHC can corroborate;
  • Using the term “transformation” as a cover for getting rid of Black employees; and
  • Forcing Black employees to take leaves of absence without cause to later use as grounds to terminate the Black employee. 

 If these allegations are proven in court, HCC is in for a bad day at the courthouse.

Image source: Dolcefino

The named plaintiff in the lawsuit is a 55-year-old Black female, Zelia Brown, who was forced to take a leave of absence when she complained about missing grant money at HCC. She reported that the grant funds had been misused or taken to the federal government, according to the lawsuit. After federal investigators notified HCC officials they were going to investigate Ms. Brown’s allegations, she was immediately told not to return to work and to take a leave of absence. Her locked grant office is said to have been rummaged through while she was on this leave of absence. Although HCC is said to have later asked her to return to work, the return was conditioned on her accepting a false complaint that she had created a hostile work environment and presumably remain silent about the missing grant dollars. Ms. Brown refused to remain silent and filed suit. Tonight, she will speak to the media for the first time.

Zelia Brown is asking the court to approve a class action lawsuit against HCC on behalf of all Black employees who have been terminated or demoted since Maldonado became Chancellor in 2014. It is estimated that the number of class members will be in the hundreds with each member seeking individual damages in the case. Zelia Brown is represented in the lawsuit by Benjamin L. Hall, III, the former Houston City Attorney under Mayor Bob Lanier and former mayoral candidate. Hall stated, “Ms. Brown is one of the more recent casualties of what appears to be a modern-day Jim Crow environment at Houston Community College for Black executives. She is a brave lady to stand up to power and speak the truth. We feel confident there are more victims of HCC’s discriminatory policies who will come forward to tell their stories as well.”

The lawsuit has been filed in the 164th District Court and a copy of the lawsuit as well as the listed exhibits accompanies this press release.

0

Former police officer Garrett Rolfe, who fatally shot fleeing Afro-American Rayshard Brooks in the back last week in Atlanta, Georgia, will be charged with murder and assault, officials say.

Garrett Rolfe, who has already been fired, faces 11 charges related to Rayshard Brooks’ death. If convicted, he could face the death penalty.

The other officer at the scene, Devin Brosnan, will testify as a prosecution witness in the case, officials said.

The Rayshard Brooks case comes amid protests over police killings of black Americans.

Lawmakers in Washington are currently debating new police reform laws.

According to officials, this was the ninth time that an Atlanta police officer had been prosecuted for homicide.

They added that it is believed to be the first time a police officer would testify against a member of his own unit, though Devin Brosnan’s lawyer denied his client would be a witness in the case.

Image source: Wikipedia

President Donald Trump has said he is concerned about the way the case against Garrett Rolfe is being handled.

“I hope he gets a fair shake because police have not been treated fairly in our country,” the president told Fox News.

“You can’t resist a police officer like that,” he added, referring to Rayshard Brooks’ actions during the incident.

Rayshard Brooks, 27, failed a sobriety test on June 12 after he was found asleep inside his car that was blocking a drive-through lane at a Wendy’s restaurant.

After pulling over his vehicle, the father-of-four appeared “slightly impaired, but his behavior during this incident was almost jovial”, Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard said on June 17.

For over 40 minutes, video shows Rayshard Brooks complying with officers as he consented to a weapons search and provided them with his identification details.

However, as officers tried to handcuff him, Rayshard Brooks began struggling. The footage appears to show Rayshard Brooks punched Garrett Rolfe, grabbed Devin Brosnan’s stun gun and turned back while fleeing to fire it at Garrett Rolfe.

George Floyd Funeral: Family and Friends Pay Their Last Respects

George Floyd Death: Derek Chauvin’s Bail Set at $1.25 Million in 1st Court Appearance

George Floyd Death Declared A Homicide in Official Post-Mortem Examination

Rayshard Brooks suffered two gunshots to the back that caused organ injuries and blood loss. One police bullet also hit a witness’ vehicle, nearly killing the driver, investigators say.

Prosecutors said Garrett Rolfe said: “I got him.”

For over two minutes after Rayshard Brooks was shot, neither officer provided medical attention as police are required to do, prosecutors said.

Instead, Garrett Rolfe kicked Rayshard Brooks while he was on the ground.

Officer Devin Brosnan – who has already been placed on administrative leave – will be charged with assault for allegedly standing on Rayshard Brooks’ shoulder as he lay dying.

0

Impassioned pleas for racial justice have been heard at the funeral of George Floyd, an African American whose death in police custody spawned global outrage.

Speakers in the church in Houston, Texas, lined up to remember a man whose “crime was that he was born black”.

George Floyd, 46, died in Minneapolis last month as a white police officer held a knee on his neck for nearly nine minutes, his final moments filmed on phones.

Four police officers involved have been sacked and charged over his death.

George Floyd’s coffin was taken from the church driven in a motorcade to the Houston Memorial Gardens where he was to be buried beside his mother.

One of George Floyd’s nieces, Brooke Williams, called for a change in laws which, she argued, were designed to disadvantage black people.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

George Floyd Death: Derek Chauvin’s Bail Set at $1.25 Million in 1st Court Appearance

George Floyd Memorial Held in Minneapolis

George Floyd Death Declared A Homicide in Official Post-Mortem Examination

Joe Biden addressed the service in a video message saying: “When there is justice for George Floyd, we will truly be on our way to racial justice in America.”

The Democratic presidential candidate has sharply criticized President Trump, accusing himat the weekend of making “despicable” speculative remarks about George Floyd.

The service was held at the Fountain of Praise church, attended by some 500 guests including politicians and celebrities.

“George Floyd was not expendable – this is why we’re here,” said Al Green, the local Democratic congressman.

“His crime was that he was born black.”

Veteran civil rights activist Reverend Al Sharpton told the service: “All over the world I see grandchildren of slave masters tearing down slave masters’ statues.”

Talking about George Floyd’s difficult life, he said: “God took the rejected stone and made him the cornerstone of a movement that’s gonna change the whole wide world.”

In Minnesota, Governor Tim Walz called on people to honor the funeral by observing silence for eight minutes and 46 seconds, the time George Floyd was pinned to the ground before he died.

George Floyd’s coffin was taken to a cemetery in Pearland, south of Houston, for a private burial ceremony. For the last mile of the procession it was conveyed in a horse-drawn carriage.

Barriers were erected along the route to allow members of the public to pay their respects safely as the procession passed.

George Floyd’s body was on display at the church for six hours on June 8.

0

Derek Chauvin, the Minneapolis ex-policeman accused of killing unarmed black man George Floyd, has made his first court appearance, where his bail was set at $1.25 million.

Prosecutors cited the “severity of the charges” and public outrage as the reason for upping the former officer’s bail from $1 millio.

Derek Chauvin faces charges of second-degree murder and manslaughter. Three other arresting officers are charged with aiding and abetting murder.

George Floyd’s death in May led to global protests and calls for police reform.

Derek Chauvin, who is white, knelt on George Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes while he was being arrested in Minneapolis on May 25.

The 44-year-old and the three other police officers have since been fired.

Meanwhile, mourners in Houston, Texas, where George Floyd lived before moving to Minneapolis, have been viewing his body, publicly on display for six hours at The Fountain of Praise church.

On June 9, a private funeral service will be held in Houston. Memorial services have already been held in Minneapolis and North Carolina, where George Floyd was born.

It is believed a family member escorted George Floyd’s body on a flight to Texas on June 6.

Joe Biden is expected to visit George Floyd’s relatives in Houston to offer his sympathies. Aides to the former vice-president said he would also record a video message for June 9 service.

Image source: Wikipedia

Derek Chauvin, a 19-year police veteran, did not enter a plea as he appeared via teleconference on June 8.

The former officer did not speak during the 15-minute hearing, and was handcuffed and wearing an orange jumpsuit as he sat a small table.

Judge Jeannice M. Reding set a bail of $1.25 million with no preconditions, or $1 million with conditions that include Derek Chauvin not contacting George Floyd’s family, surrendering his firearms and not working in law enforcement or security as he awaits trial.

His lawyer did not object to the bail price.

Derek Chauvin is currently being held at the Minnesota state prison in Oak Park Heights, after being transferred several times.

His next court appearance is set for June 29.

George Floyd Memorial Held in Minneapolis

George Floyd Death Declared A Homicide in Official Post-Mortem Examination

George Floyd Death: President Trump Threatens to Deploy Army to End Civil Unrest

Derek Chavin faces three separate charges: unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, for which the maximum penalties are prison terms of 40, 25 and 10 years respectively.

By bringing multiple charges, prosecutors give jurors a choice and increase the chances of a conviction.

Minneapolis city council has voted to ban chokeholds and neck restraints by police officers, and Democrats in Congress have unveiled sweeping legislation on police reform.

Anti-racism protests started by George Floyd’s death are now entering their third week in the US. Huge rallies have been held in several cities, including Washington DC, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

With the rallying cries “Black Lives matter” and “No Justice, No Peace”, the demonstrations are among the largest US protests against racism since the 1960s. June 6 gatherings included a protest in the Texas town of Vidor, once infamous as a stronghold of the Ku Klux Klan white supremacist group.

0

A service to commemorate George Floyd, the first of three planned memorials, is being held in Minneapolis.

George Floyd, 46, died on May 25 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His death in police custody has sparked huge protests across the US.

Family members and friends are now arriving and taking their seats for the memorial service.

The service at a sanctuary at the city’s North Central Universityis also being attended by a number of lawmakers, actors and musicians.

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and Congresswoman Ilhan Omar are some of the politicians in attendance.

Ludacris, TI, Tiffany Haddish and Kevin Hart are among the celebrities present.

Attendees have also been reminded to socially distance themselves to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

George Floyd Death Declared A Homicide in Official Post-Mortem Examination

George Floyd Death: President Trump Threatens to Deploy Army to End Civil Unrest

George Floyd Death: US Cities Placed under Curfew Following Violent Protests

The service has begun with a reading of scripture by Reverend Jerry McAffey of the New Salem Missionary Baptist Church.

On June 3, new charges were announced against all four of the now sacked officers present at George Floyd’s death.

The charge against Officer Derek Chauvin has been elevated to second-degree murder while the other three officers, previously uncharged, face counts of aiding and abetting murder.

The vast majority of demonstrations over the past eight days have been peaceful, but some have turned violent and curfews have been imposed in a number of cities.

Former President Barack Obama and Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, are among senior public figures who have offered their support to the protesters.

Benjamin Crump, a lawyer for the Floyd family, said it was more than just honoring George Floyd’s memory.

“It’s going to be a celebration of life, but it’s also going to be a plea to America and a plea for justice that we don’t let his death be in vain,” he told NBC’s Today show.

0

Large demonstrations have taken place in at least 30 cities across the US following the death of a black man in police custody.

Curfews have been ordered in cities across the US to try to stem unrest sparked by George Floyd’s death.

Largely peaceful protests later turned violent in many areas, with cars and buildings set alight and riot police using tear gas and rubber bullets.

President Donald Trump urged “healing” over the death of 46-year-old George Floyd but said he could not allow mobs to dominate.

Derek Chauvin, an ex-police, officer has been charged with murdering George Floyd in Minneapolis.

The 44-year-old white man is due to appear in court on June 1.

In video footage, Derek Chauvin can be seen kneeling on George Floyd’s neck for several minutes on May 25. George Floyd repeatedly says that he is unable to breathe.

Three other officers present at the time have also since been sacked.

The Floyd case has reignited US anger over police killings of black Americans. It follows the high-profile cases of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Eric Garner in New York and others that have driven the Black Lives Matter movement.

One of the cities worst affected by unrest is Los Angeles. California Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency in the city and activated the National Guard – the reserve military force that can be called on by the US president or state governors to intervene in domestic emergencies.

LA City is under a 20:00 to 05:30 curfew. Numerous shops have been looted, including on the famous retail avenues, Melrose and Fairfax, while overhead footage showed fires burning. Earlier police fired rubber bullets and hit protesters with batons. Hundreds of arrests have been made.

Mayor Eric Garcetti said this was “the heaviest moment I’ve experienced” since the riots in 1992 that were sparked by the acquittal of police over the beating of Rodney King.

Image source: Wikipedia

Black Lives Matter: Minneapolis Protesters Clash with Police over George Floyd’s Death

Eric Garner death: Thousands protest in Staten Island over police chockhold death

In New York, video showed a police car driving into a crowd of protesters. Mayor Bill de Blasio said the situation was not started by the officers, but Congress Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said his comments were unacceptable and he should not be making excuses for the officers.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot imposed a 21:00 to 06:00 curfew until further notice, saying she was “disgusted” at the violence.

In Atlanta, protesters remained on the streets after the curfew began, damaging property and vehicles. Dozens of arrests were made.

One city that has seen less violence is where George Floyd died. Some 700 National Guard officers are aiding police in Minneapolis and they acted quickly to enforce the curfew imposed there. The Star Tribune said the action had so far headed off the unrest of the previous night.

For the second day running, a large crowd of protesters taunted National Guard officers outside the White House in Washington, DC. If they had breached the fence, President Trump said they would have been “greeted with the most vicious dogs, and most ominous weapons, I have ever seen”.

In under-curfew Philadelphia, 13 police officers were hurt and at least 35 arrests made as stores were looted, police cars torched and buildings defaced.

San Francisco is the latest to impose a curfew, announced by Mayor London Breed for 20:00 local time on Sunday, after looting and violence.

Indianapolis was one of the cities that had seen peaceful protests during the day turn violent later. At least one shooting death has occurred, but police said no officers had discharged weapons.

Overnight curfews have also been declared in Philadelphia, Miami, Portland and Louisville, among other cities, although many were simply ignored.

0

Minneapolis police have clashed with protesters following the death of an unarmed black man in police custody.

Police fired tear gas and protesters threw rocks and sprayed graffiti on police cars.

Video of the death shows 46 –year-old George Floyd groaning “I can’t breathe” as a policeman kneels on his neck.

Four police officers have been fired, with Mayor Jacob Frey saying that being black “should not be a death sentence”.

The incident echoes the case of Eric Garner, who was placed in a police chokehold in New York in 2014. Eric Garner’s death became a rallying call against police brutality and was a driving force in the Black Lives Matter movement.

Violent clashes began in the afternoon on May 26, when hundreds of people came to the intersection where the incident had taken place on May 25.

Organizers tried to keep the protest peaceful and maintain coronavirus social distancing, with demonstrators chanting “I can’t breathe,” and “It could’ve been me”.

Image source: WCCO

Eric Garner’s Death: Black Lives Matter Activist Erica Garner Dies Aged 27

Eric Garner’s death: Grand Jury testimony will remain secret in chokehold case

Eric Garner death: Thousands protest in Staten Island over police chockhold death

A crowd of hundreds later marched to the 3rd Precinct, where the officers involved in the death are thought to have worked.

Squad cars were sprayed with graffiti and protesters threw stones at the police building. Police fired tear gas, flash grenades and foam projectiles.

Police said one person had suffered non-life-threatening injuries after being shot away from the protest area but gave no further details.

Officers responding to reports of the use of counterfeit money had approached George Floyd in his vehicle.

According to police the man was told to step away from the vehicle and physically resisted officers.

A police statement said: “Officers were able to get the suspect into handcuffs and noted he appeared to be suffering medical distress.”

The video taken at the scene does not show how the confrontation started.

It shows a white officer using his knee to pin George Floyd to the ground by the neck.

George Floyd groans “please, I can’t breathe” and “don’t kill me” as bystanders urge officers to let him go.

He ceases to move and an ambulance arrives to take him to hospital where he later died.

Mayor Jacob Frey said it was the “right call” to fire the officers.

He said: “Being black in America should not be a death sentence. For five minutes we watched as a white police officer pressed his knee into the neck of a black man. For five minutes. When you hear someone calling for help, you are supposed to help.”

The FBI is investigating the incident and will present its findings to the Minnesota state’s attorney for possible federal charges.

Allegations of police brutality have been constantly highlighted since the start of the Black Lives Matter movement. It began after the acquittal of neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman in the shooting death of African-American Trayvon Martin in February 2012.

0

Eric Garner’s daughter, Erica, who became a civil rights activist against police brutality after the death of her father in 2014, has died aged 27.

Three years ago, a video of Eric Garner, in a police chokehold complaining he could not breathe, sparked national protests.

Erica Garner became a prominent member of the Black Lives Matter movement following her father’s death.

She had been in a coma since December 23 after suffering a heart attack triggered by an asthma attack.

Erica Garner’s official Twitter account, being run by her family, said she had suffered major brain damage from a lack of oxygen.

A tweet posted to her account said: “When you report this you remember she was human: mother, daughter, sister, aunt. Her heart was bigger than the world. It really really was.”

“She cared when most people wouldn’t have. She was good. She only pursued right, no matter what. No one gave her justice.”

Image source Wikimedia

Eric Garner’s death: Grand Jury testimony will remain secret in chokehold case

Eric Garner death: Thousands protest in Staten Island over police chockhold death

Forty-three-year-old father-of-six Eric Garner was detained by police for allegedly selling loose cigarettes on Staten Island in July 2014.

Eric Garner also had asthma, and was filmed telling officers multiple times: “I can’t breathe.”

His words became a rallying cry for Black Lives Matter protesters, and the video of the arrest made headlines around the world.

Eric Garner’s death was ruled a homicide by medical examiners, but a grand jury did not charge any arresting officers in the case.

In a 2015 civil lawsuit, New York City agreed to pay $5.9 million to Eric Garner’s family.

Erica Garner was a mother-of-two, and had a son in August whom she named after her father.

Pepsi has decided to withdraw the ad featuring Kendall Jenner after it sparked an outcry and accusations that the drinks maker was trivializing recent street protests across the US.

The ad shows Kendall Jenner leaving a photo shoot to join a heavily policed demonstration.

Kendall Jenner defuses the tension by walking to the police line and handing an officer a can of Pepsi, prompting cheers.

In a statement posted on its website, Pepsi said they did not intend to make light of serious issues.

The much-ridiculed ad was posted to YouTube on April 4 but was no longer accessible there less than 24 hours later.

Image source Pepsi

For nearly two years, there have been protests about the use of force by police against African Americans.

Since last year’s election, there have also been demonstrations against President Donald Trump.

The ad did not specify what the crowds of mainly young, and very good looking, people were marching for. Even their signs only had generic slogans like “conversation” and “voice”.

However, within minutes of the commercial’s launch, observers said it trivialized protests in cities like Baltimore, Maryland, and Ferguson, Missouri, that followed the police killing of black men.

Leading activist in the Black Lives Matter movement DeRay McKesson said: “If I had carried Pepsi, I guess I never would have gotten arrested. Who knew?”

“Pepsi, this ad is trash.”

Pepsi said it was “trying to project a global message of unity, peace and understanding”.

The company’s statement went on: “Clearly we missed the mark, and we apologize.

“We did not intend to make light of any serious issue. We are removing the content and halting any further rollout.”

0

Kendall Jenner has been criticized for her new Pepsi ad.

She is accused of undermining the Black Lives Matter movement in the advert.

In the ad, Kendall Jenner leaves a photoshoot to join protesters calling for love and peace, before handing a can to police as a peace offering.

The officer cracks a smile and the crowd cheers.

Image source YouTube

Critics think the ad is based on recent protests over police brutality against black people in America.

The ad has been criticized for painting a “privileged, white” supermodel as a peacemaker between civil rights activists and police.

Pepsi posted the ad on its YouTube channel.

Some have suggested the ad looks similar to a picture of Ieshia Evans who was charged by riot police in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 2016.

In a statement, Pepsi said: “This is a global ad that reflects people from different walks of life coming together in a spirit of harmony.

“We think that’s an important message to convey.”

Kendall Jenner did not comment yet.

In 1971, Coca-Cola made a similar ad based on the Vietnam War.

0

Kanye West has told an audience in San Jose he would have opted for Donald Trump if he had voted.

“I told you I didn’t vote,” the rapper said.

“But I didn’t tell you… if I would’ve voted, I would’ve voted on Trump.”

Angry fans responded by booing Kim Kardashian’s husband and throwing items on stage.

Photo Getty Images

Photo Getty Images

Kanye West said he had “loved the debates” between Donald Trump and rival Hillary Clinton and that his “approach was absolutely genius because it… worked”.

He also asked for people to “stop focusing on racism”, saying: “This world is racist, okay. Let’s stop being distracted to focus on that as much. We are in a racist country – period.”

However, Kanye West said his preference did not mean he was any less supportive of women’s rights and the Black Lives Matter movement.

In footage uploaded on social media, Kanye West can be heard saying: “That don’t mean I don’t believe in these things because that is the guy I would’ve voted for.”

Kanye West, 39, was performing in San Jose, California, on November 17 as part of his Saint Pablo tour. His next concert will be held in Sacramento, California, on November 19.

At 2015 MTV Music Video Awards, Kanye West announced that he planned to run for president in 2020.

0

Shots have been fired at several locations during new protests in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, police say, as demonstrators took to the streets for a second night.

Protests erupted on August 13 after 23-year-old African-American Sylville Smith was shot dead in a police chase.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said Sylville Smith did not drop a gun he was holding when told to do so.

Police violence against the black community in the past two years has prompted huge protests.

The Milwaukee Police Department tweeted that shots had been fired at several locations before and after midnight on August 14, local time.Sylville Smith death Milwaukee protests

Rocks were also thrown at police as they attempted to disperse crowds in the Burleigh area. Officers were making “multiple arrests” in the Sherman and Burleigh districts, police said.

One civilian had earlier been taken to hospital after he suffered a gunshot wound.

Local news footage also showed a car on fire.

On August 13, cars and buildings, including a petrol station, had been set ablaze.

According to Milwaukee police, Sylville Smith had fled from a car after being stopped by officers in traffic on Saturday afternoon; he died from his injuries at the scene.

Sylville Smith had a “lengthy arrest record”, police said on August 14.

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported the man had been charged over a shooting and witness intimidation, charges that were eventually dropped.

Milwaukee police chief Edward Flynn did not say what prompted officers to stop Sylville Smith’s car, saying only that he was “behaving suspiciously”.

Footage of the shooting was captured by a body camera worn by the officer who fired the shots, who was African-American.

On August 14, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker made the National Guard available to Milwaukee police should more violence occur later in the day.

Khalif Rainey, who represents the area where the violence hit on Milwaukee’s city council, said people were “tired of living under this oppression” in a city that is 40% black.

In 2014, police shot dead an unarmed black man, Dontre Hamilton, in Milwaukee, leading to protests in the city. Prosecutors chose not to charge the officer responsible.

In December, the DoJ said it would carry a full review of Milwaukee’s police department, at its request, to look into areas for improvement.

0

The police and city of Baton Rouge have been sued by Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson over mass arrests during protests against police killings.

DeRay Mckesson said police acted in a “militarized and aggressive manner” in detaining him and nearly 200 other people last month.DeRay Mckesson sues Baton Rouge

The protests were against the killing of Alton Sterling, a black man, in the Louisiana city.

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards has previously said the police’s response was appropriate.

DeRay McKesson was held on July 9 on a charge of obstructing a highway.

In the lawsuit, the Black Lives Matter activist and two other fellow protesters claimed that police were unnecessarily aggressive during the arrests.

The document said that “defendants used excessive force in attacking, battering, beating and assaulting plaintiffs and class members without provocation or the need for defense”.

The three arrested protesters said they wanted the lawsuit to have class action status.

Alton Sterling’s death was one of a string of police killings of black people by white police officers in recent years that triggered mass protests and rekindled debates about race relations in the United States.

0

George Zimmerman’s auction for the gun he used to kill unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin in 2012 has closed.

The handgun has been sold in a private auction, according to the website that hosted the sale.

George Zimmerman, who was acquitted of Trayvon’s murder, auctioned the gun, calling it an “American icon”.

Auction host, UnitedGunGroup.com, did not disclose the sale price.

The auction has drawn criticism from those claiming George Zimmerman was seeking to profit from Trayvon Martin’s death.

George Zimmerman has been arrested on charges he pointed a shotgun at his girlfriend

George Zimmerman has been arrested on charges he pointed a shotgun at his girlfriend

Gun rights advocates have applauded George Zimmerman for exercising his legal rights under current US law.

There were two separate auctions being hosted on UnitedGunGroup.com – one for prequalified bidders and one for the general public.

UnitedGunGroup.com said that the highest public bid of $138,900 by “John Smith” was not authentic.

“He was on the fake auction page, we had two auctions going at the same time,” they said in a tweet.

Another gun auction website and two other prominent gun auctioneers had previously refused to sell the weapon.

Earlier attempts to sell the gun online were hacked and fake bids were placed, causing that auction to be cancelled without a sale.

Last week’s highest bid of $65 million was posted by one “Racist McShootFace”.

Trayvon Martin’s death helped launch the national Black Lives Matter social movement.

0

Jamar Clark, the 24-year-old black man shot by police in an incident that sparked large protests in Minneapolis, Minnesota, has died.

He had been on life support in hospital since the shooting on November 15.

Police say that Jamar Clark was the suspect in an assault case and was interfering with medics who were working on the victim when he was he was shot.

Protesters have camped outside the police station for two days, and blocked a major highway on November 16.

That demonstration led to the arrest of 51 protesters on that night.Jamar Clark dead at 24

Police have released few details about the shooting of Jamar Clark – who some say was handcuffed when he was shot. Police have denied that claim.

The demonstrations came after the mayor’s decision to ask the federal government to launch a civil rights investigation.

Mayor Betsy Hodges said she was asking for the investigation in the “interest of transparency and community confidence”.

While a state agency has already launched a criminal investigation, the mayor said that Minneapolis needs “all the tools we have available to us”.

Two officers involved in the shooting are on paid leave – which is standard procedure after incidents such as this.

The police chief has said that the officers were not wearing body cameras, but would not say whether the squad car or other surveillance video captured the incident.

Protesters have welcomed the federal investigation, but have vowed to continue demonstrating until any video of the situation is released and the officers involved are identified.

The protests began on November 15 and included an overnight encampment at a Minneapolis police station near the scene of the shooting.

At least eight tents were seen at the campsite on the next day, and a few protesters were sitting inside the glass doors of the station – including one who was knitting.

“We’re still not moving until we get that footage,” said Michael McDowell, a demonstrator with the Black Lives Matter movement.

According to police, the incident began on November 15 when police were called to north Minneapolis following the report of an assault.

At the scene, police found Jamar Clark interfering with paramedics who were attempting to help the victim. They attempted to calm him, which resulted in a struggle and a shot being fired, police said.

Jamar Clark’s father told the Associated Press news agency that his son suffered a single gunshot wound over his left eye.

His brother told the AP that family members assembled at the hospital on November 16 to take Jamar Clark off of life support.

A number of high-profile police shootings of black people have sparked protests nationwide about the police use of excessive force against African Americans.

0

Black Lives Matter protesters have been demonstrating in Minneapolis over the police shooting of Jamar Clark who witnesses say was unarmed and handcuffed at the time.

A state agency is investigating the incident, which happened on November 15. Relatives of the man concerned say he is on life support.

On November 16, Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges called for a federal civil rights investigation into the case.

Black Lives Matter gained prominence after the police shooting of a black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014.

That sparked protests nationwide about the police use of excessive force against African Americans.

Jamar Clark, a 24-year-old black man, was shot after police were called to a reported assault, and police say he “interfered” with the paramedics assisting the assault victim.

Police officers have said “misinformation” is spreading about Jamar Clark case, and some have told reporters he was not handcuffed.

On November 15, about 150 people gathered to demonstrate at the scene of the shooting and some camped out outside the police station.

The officer involved in the shooting has not been identified yet but two officers have been placed on paid leave.Black Lives Matter protest Minneapolis

Black Lives Matter organizers are demanding the release of any video footage that may exist of the altercation.

“We have been saying for a significant amount of time that Minneapolis is one bullet away from Ferguson,” Jason Sole, chair of the Minneapolis chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), told Minnesota Public Radio.

“That bullet was fired last night. We want justice immediately.”

Jamar Clark has convictions for making terroristic threats, aggravated robbery and possessing a small amount of marijuana.

In 2013, Minneapolis police shot and killed 22-year-old black man Terrance Franklin, who was suspected of burglary.

Minneapolis is participating in a federal Justice Department program for increasing trust between police and their communities.

A Hillary Clinton campaing rally at Clark Atlanta University has been interrupted by Black Lives Matter activists as she began a speech about reforming the criminal justice system.

The Democratic presidential contender spoke over the shouting, saying if elected she would carry on the work on President Barack Obama.

The group of 10 Black Lives Matter protesters were quickly escorted away.

They have interrupted campaign events to highlight police brutality, racism and mass incarceration.

The activists have mostly targeted Democrats – including Hillary Clinton and her chief rival Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have responded to the protests with policy proposals, meeting activists and talking about racial issues on the campaign trail.

The Black Lives Matter movement was originally formed after George Zimmerman, a Hispanic man in Florida, was acquitted of the shooting death of black teenager Trayvon Martin.

Photo EPA

Photo EPA

It grew to greater prominence after a white police officer killed Michael Brown – an unarmed black teenager – in Ferguson, Missouri, last year.

The protest movement has continued to gain strength over the past year after several controversial police-involved deaths of black people including those of Freddie Gray and Sandra Bland.

Friday’s rally was entitled “African Americans for Hillary”. Guests included pop singer Usher and civil rights activist and Congressman John Lewis.

The crowd of about 2,000 chanted “Let her talk!” and John Lewis asked them to stop.

“I’m sorry they didn’t listen, because some of what they demanded I am offering and intend to fight for as president,” Hillary Clinton said.

“We have to come together as a nation.”

In 1994, Hillary Clinton lobbied for one of the largest crime bills in US history, the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, which provided billions for prisons. The law also introduced the “three strikes” policy, which called for mandatory life imprisonment without parole for federal offenders with three or more felony or drug trafficking convictions.

Hillary Clinton has changed her position since she has been on the campaign trail, calling for the end of mass incarceration and expressing her concern over police violence and black people.

On October 30, Hillary Clinton also proposed a legal ban on racial profiling by police.

The policy would forbid federal, state and local officers from “relying on a person’s race when conducting routine or spontaneous investigatory activities,” unless they have information linking a suspect to a crime.

Hillary Clinton also supported the “ban the box” movement, an effort to prevent job applicants from being disqualified because of their criminal history.

0

The City of North Charleston in South Carolina has reached a $6.5 million settlement with the family of Walter Scott, an unarmed black man shot dead by a white police officer in April 2015.

North Charleston City Council approved the deal in a unanimous vote.

Walter Scott, 50, was shot in April by Officer Michael Slager while running from a routine traffic stop.

It was one of several cases across the US in which unarmed black men died during encounters with police officers.

Officer Michael Slager was charged with murder and dismissed from the police force.Walter Scott shooting Michael Slager

A police dashboard camera caught the moment Walter Scott ran from his car, while footage from a bystander’s mobile phone showed the officer firing eight shots at him as he fled.

“This is a very difficult period for the Scott family. I know they are glad to have this part behind them so their healing process can continue,” said North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey in a statement quoted by the Washington Post.

“As a result of this tragedy, important issues have been discussed, not only in North Charleston, but around the country. Citizens have become engaged in this process and government officials are listening.”

In July, New York City agreed to pay $5.9 million to the family of Eric Garner, who died after allegedly being put in a chokehold by a police officer.

In September, the City of Baltimore agreed to pay $6.4 million to the family of Freddie Gray, who died of a critical spine injury while in the back of a prisoner transport van in April.

Michael Slager has been detained in solitary confinement pending his trial. If convicted, the former officer faces from 30 years to life in prison without parole.

0

Tyrone Harris, who was shot by Ferguson police during events marking the first anniversary of the killing of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown, has been charged with assaulting officers, prosecutors say.

Tyrone Harris, 18, was critically wounded in a gun battle with police on August 9.

The authorities have declared a state of emergency in Ferguson, Missouri.

Michael Brown’s death triggered a wave of demonstrations over the use of excessive police force by officers.

The 18-year-old was shot in August 2014 by white police officer Darren Wilson, who was later cleared of any wrongdoing by a grand jury and the DoJ.

On August 10, some 50 people were shown on local news networks being arrested after blocking the main courthouse in St Louis, including civil rights activist Cornel West.Tyrone Harris Michael Brown protest in Ferguson

Rallies were due to take place in parts of St Louis and other major US cities as part of a day of civil disobedience called by activists.

Hundreds of people stood silent on August 9 for four-and-a-half minutes at the spot where Michael Brown was killed in Ferguson, representing the number of hours that his body lay in the street unattended.

However, the day of peaceful and somber commemorations turned violent late at night when, according to police, a gunfight erupted between two rival groups on West Florissant Avenue.

Police say Tyrone Harris was armed and opened fired, but his father has described their account of events as “a bunch of lies”.

Prosecutors filed 10 counts of charges against him, including assaulting an officer.

Police said Tyrone Harris was among six people who fired at an unmarked SUV with plainclothes detectives inside, who then fired back.

Tyrone Harris’ father told the AP news agency that his son, a close friend of Michael Brown, was shot between eight and 12 times as he was running away.

The gunmen “were criminals; they weren’t protesters,” he said, adding that the officers were not wearing body cameras – a major concern cited by protest groups.

Four police officers have been placed on administrative leave.

Photos from the scene showed a young black man lying bloodied on the ground. He was face down and handcuffed.

Announcing a state of emergency on August 10, the authorities in St Louis county placed police chief Jon Belmar in charge of Ferguson and the surrounding areas.

US attorney Loretta Lynch denounced the incident on Sunday, saying “not only does violence obscure any message of peaceful protest, it places the community, as well as the officers who seek to protect it, in harm’s way”.

It also drew criticism from protest groups, including the Ferguson Action Council and Organization for Black Struggle which described the police response as “excessive”.

John Gaskin III, a member of US rights group NAACP, told AP he did not expect unrest to escalate in Ferguson in the same way it has over the past year.

However, he warned, not many people would believe the police officers’ account of Sunday night’s events as “there’s still a tremendous level of distrust between law enforcement and the community”.

There have been a number of high-profile shootings of unarmed black men in US cities in recent months.

The most recent case involved 19-year-old Christian Taylor who was shot dead by a white police officer after he was spotted on surveillance footage vandalizing cars in Arlington, Texas, on August 7.

0

People in Ferguson, Missouri, are commemorating the first anniversary of the killing of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown.

On the eve of Sunday’s anniversary, several hundred marched through Ferguson in his honor, led by his father.

The shooting of Michael Brown by white police officer Darren Wilson sparked demonstrations across America.

Along with killings of unarmed black men elsewhere in the US, it also fuelled a national protest movement against racial bias by the police.

Activists and religious figures from across the country are among those who have gathered this weekend in Ferguson, a suburb of St Louis, Missouri.

Saturday’s rally was peaceful and heavily policed.

Michael Brown’s father, also called Michael, said: “Some families got justice through Michael Brown’s legacy, and that helped them. But I’m still trying to get through.”Michael Brown Ferguson shooting anniversary

On Sunday, a march is planned from the site of the shooting to a local church.

Participants are expected to observe a four and a half minute silence to reflect the approximately four-and-a-half hours that Michael Brown’s body lay in the street.

The protests, which sometimes involved violent clashes between demonstrators and police, continued in Ferguson for weeks after the killing.

The protest movement gained fresh impetus in November, when a grand jury decided not to charge Darren Wilson.

Officer Darren Wilson, who argued that he was acting in self-defense, resigned from the police force in November.

In March, a justice department investigation found evidence of widespread racial bias in the Ferguson police department.

The report led to several high profile resignations, including the chief of police.

The “Black Lives Matter” movement that emerged in the wake of 18-year-old Michael Brown’s death has focused attention on the troubled relationship between black communities and police forces in a number of US states.

0

Sandra Bland’s family is suing the arresting officer and other Texas authorities.

Sandra Bland, who was black, died in police custody three days after a physical confrontation with a white police officer during a traffic stop.

Police say that Sandra Bland hanged herself while being held in the Waller county jail. The family has denied that she was suicidal.

In the last 12 months, the death of black Americans in police custody has caused debate and protests.

An official post-mortem examination report found that Sandra Bland had hanged herself while in her cell.Sandra Bland death 2015

The wrongful death lawsuit was announced in Houston by the family of the 28-year-old Chicago native.

In it, they name State Trooper Brian Encinia, the Texas Department of Public Safety in Waller County, the county’s sheriff’s department and two jailers as defendants.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified punitive damages “for egregious acts and omissions” and alleges Brian Encinia, 30, falsified an assault allegation to take Sandra Bland into custody.

The jail is accused of being “reckless” in disregarding her safety and failing to keep her free from harm.

Dash cam video shows Sandra Bland’s car being pulled over on 10 July for failing to signal during a lane change.

An argument began after Sandra Bland was asked to put out her cigarette and demanding she get out of her car.

Brian Encinia then points his stun gun at Sandra Bland, telling her “I will light you up” after she refuses his orders.

Sandra Bland was arrested for assaulting an officer. On July 13 she was found dead in her jail cell.

The Texas Department of Public Safety had previously said that Trooper Brian Encinia had acted improperly during the stop.