Breaking. DC Atty Gen Racine files motion to stay Judge Scullin’s ruling easing city's concealed-carry gun law.— Tom Sherwood (@tomsherwood) May 26, 2015
D.C. has asked a judge to stay the ruling that tossed out a key provision of the city's concealed carry law: http://t.co/dnPCQTVRAi— Martin Austermuhle (@maustermuhle) May 27, 2015
Thanks, General Racine!
Saturday's acquittal of a Cleveland police officer who jumped onto the hood of a car and fired 49 shots through the windshield at an unarmed couple demonstrated the near-impossibility of getting justice against out-of-control police even after the most outrageously excessive use of deadly force.
Below are some illustrative tweets from yesterday regarding the bench-trial verdict and the protests that followed. I note that nonviolent protests were met with phalanxes of riot-geared officers who seemed determined to thwart constitutional speech and provoke unrest in order to justify their habitual brutality. Meanwhile, officials called for citizens not to be violent, when the clear problem was police violence. Wake up, America.
Judge finds Brelo’s use of force to be constitutional. All of it. He’s been fully exonerated. Good Lord. #BreloVerdict— Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) May 23, 2015
You can officially jump onto the hood of a car and riddle two suspects with bullets, as long as your fellow cops are also shooting them.— Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) May 23, 2015
This started because a Cleveland officer believed a car backfire was a gunshot.— Syan Rhodes (@SyanRhodes) May 23, 2015
To clarify, there is no rioting, gunfire, looting, etc. heavily equipped officers methodically arrested protesters while locals watched.— Sam Allard (@SceneSallard) May 24, 2015
I'm standing at the spot where #TamirRice was killed and the video doesn't convey just how suburban and chill this neighborhood is. At all.— deray mckesson (@deray) May 23, 2015
Time and again over the past few decades, the loudest anti-gay defenders of "family values" have turned out to be adulterers and sexual predators themselves. A big chunk of the blame must be shouldered by the media who have given them a platform. One example, as our friend Joe Sudbay notes below, is the TLC Network.
Multiple fatalities in shootings between two rival motorcycle gangs reported outside a Twin Peaks Waco restaurant http://t.co/RfUhPIUXJU— Dallas Morning News (@dallasnews) May 17, 2015
But what about White on White crime? https://t.co/3Rtmp70UgE— that jay. (@jayydodd) May 17, 2015
I guess the biker gangs in Waco didn't call a truce like the street organizations in Baltimore did.— deray mckesson (@deray) May 17, 2015
A conspiracy by police and clergy to cover up child rapes and a murder by a Baltimore high school chaplain is unraveled decades later by alumna of the school.
Sandy Rios: Engineer's Homosexuality Was A Factor In The Amtrak Crash: RELATED: World Net Daily is calling the... http://t.co/xzIbO34DiJ— JoeMyGod (@JoeMyGod) May 14, 2015
The latest thing to make you shake your head. Really: our opponents are this desperate, this unscrupulous, this hateful, this unhinged. Take your pick.
Good afternoon. I am Rick Rosendall, president of the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance, which has worked for LGBT equality in D.C. since 1971. Thanks to Jody Westby for launching Communities Against Law Enforcement Misconduct, and to those who have helped her.
When thousands held a vigil in Meridian Hill Park last August 14 in solidarity with the people of Ferguson, Missouri, a few Metropolitan Police Department officers were on hand to ensure order. There was none of the belligerence we have seen in other cities. D.C. has come a long way since the 1991 riot by police against revelers at the High Heel Race on 17th Street Northwest.
Police reforms in D.C. since then have included creation of special liaison units such as the Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit, which promote trust and cooperation between community members and police. With allies including the NAACP and ACLU of the Nation's Capital, GLAA helped push for creation of the independent Office of Police Complaints in the late 1990s.
After the unlawful mass arrest in Pershing Park in September 2002, our then mayor and police chief refused to acknowledge problems until a federal judge ordered the release of an internal report. Then-D.C. councilmember Kathy Patterson, with assistance from ACLU and support from GLAA, won passage of the First Amendment Rights and Police Standards Act of 2004.
Vigilance, persistent engagement, and data are essential to reform. ACLU-NCA reported in 2013 on a dramatic racial disparity in marijuana arrests in the District. Given the roughly equal rates of self-reported marijuana use by white and black citizens, the disparity was scandalous. A partial remedy came with Initiative 71, the Legalization of Possession of Minimal Amounts of Marijuana for Personal Use Act of 2014, which is now law. This was not the first time intervention was required. In 1998, we needed legislation to stop the arrest of people for drinking on their own front porches.
Marshall University running back Steward Marshall jumped out of a car and assaulted a gay couple. He might have gotten away with it, but there was video.
The New York Times Magazine has a fascinating story on social media activists Johnetta Elzie (@Nettaaaaaaaa) and DeRay Mckesson (@deray), who met last summer during the police-citizen standoff in Ferguson. McKesson has been ubiquitous during the unrest in Baltimore the past few weeks. He is smart and brave, never letting the media get him off-message. He is openly gay and single. A new era in activism dawns.
“knife was not a switchblade & it is lawful.” Mosby said officers “failed to establish probable cause for an arrest” http://t.co/xAlmXw4wN7— Joe Sudbay (@JoeSudbay) May 1, 2015
Maryland State Attorney Marilyn Mosby, who comes from a family of police officers, has had to deal with a lot of dishonesty and diversion coming from the Baltimore Police Department. This is one example.
I am just wondering how many cameras are the police prepared to smash, and how many witnesses are they going to intimidate, if they are unwilling to stop their contempt and their occupation-force mentality regarding communities of color. The indictments announced this morning are one sign that the game is up. We must press on for vital reforms. Bravo to the people in those communities who have led efforts, and put themselves in harm's way, to demand justice and to protect their youth.
Excellent speech by Mrs. Clinton, appearing at Columbia University.
The Chief Operating Officer of the Baltimore Orioles, John Angelos, made an eloquent statement on racial and economic injustices in his city. Keith Olbermann explains.
Activist DeRay Mckesson refuses to let CNN's Wolf Blitzer move him from his focus on police violence. McKesson is right. He himself practices and advocates nonviolent protest, but that is not enough for the establishment media. I would love to see the tape of Blitzer asking police officials if they renounce police violence against black men.
Ta-Nehisi Coates in The Atlantic gets at the racist double standard at the heart of the failure of policing in his native city:
When nonviolence is preached as an attempt to evade the repercussions of political brutality, it betrays itself. When nonviolence begins halfway through the war with the aggressor calling time out, it exposes itself as a ruse. When nonviolence is preached by the representatives of the state, while the state doles out heaps of violence to its citizens, it reveals itself to be a con. And none of this can mean that rioting or violence is "correct" or "wise," any more than a forest fire can be "correct" or "wise." Wisdom isn't the point tonight. Disrespect is. In this case, disrespect for the hollow law and failed order that so regularly disrespects the community.
Amazing. (H/T @radleybalko)
On the surface, two different stories. But the excuses some make for tolerating hatemongers make it easier for bullies to assault gay youth while adults who should know better look on and shrug. If we would protect our youth, we must repudiate those who demonize a core part of who they are.
As Loretta Lynch prepares to be sworn in as Attorney General, Walter Olson at Overlawyered objects to her defense of civil asset forfeiture. I agree with Walter on this.
I am glad this measure got some Republican votes. That the rest of that caucus could not be minimally humane is very disturbing but sadly not surprising. When you say there is no difference between the political parties, and when you don't bother voting, or abandon an imperfect Democrat in favor of a third-party candidate you know cannot win, you should not be surprised when you get legislative results like this.
Thanks to the ACLU for this. Walter Olson at Cato has written a good deal on the outrage that is Civil Asset Forfeiture. Here is a sample.
Lou Chibbaro at the Blade reports:
Officers assigned to the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department’s Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit may no longer be allowed to attend “fundraising or alcohol served events” held by LGBT community organizations, according to an April 3 email memo issued by the unit’s commander.
The email issued by Lt. Cheryl Crawley, commander of the MPD’s Special Liaison Division, which oversees the GLLU, also was sent to several LGBT organizations through a police list serv.
At least two activists who saw the email have raised questions about why GLLU officers should suddenly be barred from attending community events that they have routinely attended in the past.
As Earl Fowlkes of the Center for Black Equity says, this makes no sense.
In my April 11 email to Chief Lanier about this, I raised the following questions regarding Lt. Crawley's directive:
I noted that Lanier's predecessor, now Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey, attended our 2007 reception where he received our Distinguished Service Award from Frank Kameny. What is the problem now that was not a problem then? Chief Lanier has informed me that her chief counsel is looking into the matter and expects a ruling on Friday.
NBC News reports on Archbishop Robert Carlson:
The St. Louis archbishop embroiled in a sexual abuse scandal testified last month that he didn’t know in the 1980s whether it was illegal for priests to have sex with children, according to a court deposition released Monday.
Archbishop Robert Carlson, who was chancellor of the Archdiocese of Minneapolis and St. Paul at the time, was deposed as part of a lawsuit against the Twin Cities archdiocese and the Diocese of Winona, Minnesota.
D.C. Council shuts down controversial jail contract. http://t.co/Uni6XeUZmp— Will Sommer (@willsommer) April 14, 2015
Thanks to Councilmembers Charles Allen, Mary Cheh, David Grosso, Phil Mendelson, Brianne Nadeau, and Elissa Silverman for voting today to disapprove the Corizon contract for inmate healthcare. Thanks also to our many allies who opposed the contract, including Deb Golden at the D.C. Prisoners Project, Samantha Davis at So Others Might Eat, and Shannon Minter at the National Center for Lesbian Rights. Here is a sample of GLAA's letter to CMs urging rejection of the contract.
A number of people hired by Corizon wore t-shirts saying "Jobs Not Jail," which is agreeable enough but not the issue under discussion, which was Corizon's terrible record in providing correctional healthcare services. Some of the same folks were picketing in front of the Wilson Building when I arrived for the legislative meeting, and their picket signs were incoherent. I asked one of the Corizon picketers whether he was for Corizon or against it, and he could not answer me. I guess the instructions were, "Wear this shirt and carry this sign."
This could come up again if allies of Mayor Bowser win the special elections for D.C. Council seats in Wards 4 and 8. So stay tuned.
Bowser admin pushing decision of contracting agency that mayor just said was so badly run that she had to push out the agency boss.— Will Sommer (@willsommer) April 14, 2015
Deb Golden of the D.C. Prisoners Project tweets GLAA's letter to D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson urging rejection of the Corizon contract. Here is a copy of our letter to Ward 1 CM Brianne Nadeau. We have also signed on to a joint letter.