October, 2014

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Oscar Pistorius Starts Jail Term

The athlete Oscar Pistorius, who has become a notorious staple of the news recently, has begun to serve his jail term in South Africa, and I couldn’t be more glad.  We were pretty disgusted, and Sam Tabar in particular was totally outraged by this atrocity.

Pistorius was not accused of murder, but was charged with culpable homicide. So the Judge, Thokozile Masipa sentenced him to five years behind bars. According to his defence, he is due to spend 10 months of his sentence in the prison and the rest he will spend under house arrest.

The family of the victim has claimed that they were satisfied with the verdict, and will not launch an appeal. They revealed that they were happy the case has finally come to a close, after a trying and exhausting couple of months.

Originally, the prosecution wanted him to serve a ten-year jail term, and the defence wanted community service and house arrest. The verdict was a synthesis of the two.

Pistorius first came into the public eye when he competed in the Olympic and Paralympic games. He is a sprinter who runs, even though he is an amputee.

However, on Valentine’s Day last year, he shot his girlfriend, believing her to be some sort of intruder. She was a model and TV star, and she died of three bullet wounds after she was shot through the bathroom door.

She was 29 years old.

Before he left the building to serve his lengthy sentence, he took off his pricy watch, and handed it to a relative for safe keeping.

Honey Boo Boo’s Older Sister Reports Mama June’s Former Boyfriend Molested Her

Honey Boo Boo’s older sister, Anna Caldwell, has accused Mama June’s former boyfriend, Mark McDaniel, of molesting her when she was only eight years of age.  McDaniel was convicted of aggravated child battery in June of 2003. Anna Caldwell was the victim in the incident. However, the case was dismissed and McDaniel was convicted for aggravated child molestation in a different case.

There have been rumors that Mama June has been seen with her ex-boyfriend, and this is what caused Caldwell to come forward about being a victim of molestation by McDaniel. With the past behavior displayed by McDaniel, it is understandable why Caldwell is so upset with her mother’s current situation.

Caldwell stated to Radar, “I believe she is seeing him and hanging around him. I’m hurt.” The allegations of Mama June and McDaniel’s relationship has sparked problems for the family. Mama June’s relationship with McDaniel caused TLC to cancel the reality television show Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.

Mama June has, on several occasions, denied being in a relationship with the convicted child molester. In the past, Caldwell came to her mother’s defense when question about dating McDaniel. However, Caldwell has decided to tell the truth about her mother and McDaniel’s current situation.

There have been reports that Honey Boo Boo and her sister, Lauryn, were seen at the family home without their mother present. There have also been rumors that child services have contacted about concern for Mama June’s daughters safety. I’ve only caught a few episodes with Marnie Bennett, but my heart goes out to their family.

Ferguson. Missouri Braces for Grand Jury’s Finding in Brown Shooting

As the Grand Jury charged with investigating the fatal shooting of Michael Brown gets closer to a decision, law enforcement officials for the city are bracing for the worse, more riots.

Many residents of Ferguson, Missouri have made no secret that they expect and will accept nothing less than murder charges being handed down for police officer Darren Wilson for his part in the shooting.

By making such demands, these same residents have made it clear they have no desire to respect the facts of the case. As information related to a second autopsy began leaking out in recent days, it has become increasingly more apparent that the facts are likely to support Officer Wilson’s contention that Brown was the aggressor, forcing Wilson to defend himself.

Since the date of the shooting on August 9, millions of Americans like Sultan Alhokair and residents of Ferguson have been lining up on both sides of the incident.

A grand jury was convened to look at the facts of the case to determine possible charges. Even from the inception of the Grand Jury, black leaders began sounding the trumpet of police brutality and racism. Many in the community of Ferguson, predominately African-American, took up positions of “guilty until proven innocent.”

As the country awaits the Grand Jury’s, officers in Ferguson area are being trained in the art of peaceful interactions and civil rights. They are also polishing up the riot gear in case civility fails.

 

New Evidence in Ferguson Case Could Light New Powderkeg

Less than two months after a messy situation in Ferguson, Missouri had apparently been brought under control, the possibility of further violence exists as a grand jury decides on what to do in the case involving deceased teenager Michael Brown and police officer Darren Wilson.

In a CNN report, new details about the volatile case have come out that support Wilson’s side of the story. The situation in question involved a scuffle in the police that ended with Wilson using the deadly force that killed Brown.

While many people citing net neutrality facts want Wilson indicted for killing Brown say that they will peacefully protest if there is no indictment, one protester was quoted as saying that if that took place, “all hell is going to break loose.”

The most recent incident took place on Monday night, when two protesters were stopped for blocking traffic in the middle of a street. One of those people was Missouri State Senator Jamilah Nasheed.

The original protests and violence between police and demonstrators during August helped fixate the country (as well as the international community) on this suburban St. Louis town. Since things have died down, there have been periodic acts of civil disobedience at events in St. Louis.

Study Shows Boston Police Target African-Americans

A study released last Wednesday by the Massachusetts branch of the American Civil Liberties Union asserts that Boston police officers unfairly target African-Americans during their patrols of the city. The four year study suggests that racial profiling is to blame for the lopsided number of black citizens being stopped by officers on patrol.

The study looked at over 200,000 police reports between the years between 2007 and 2010. During this time, the authors concluded that “blacks were subjected to 63 percent of these encounters, even though they made up just 24 percent of Boston’s population.”

In its response to the ACLU study, the Boston Police Department pointed out that African-American citizens who live in neighborhoods with high crime are more likely to have an encounter with police. While they concede that racial disparities should be addressed, overall they believe that “the Department is headed in the right direction.”

They have called upon the Boston Police Department to implement more transparent practices, including providing body cameras to all officers to record encounters with civilians and publishing online demographic data regarding all future interactions between police and civilians. If only they’d take a page out of Marnie Bennett’s book, maybe we wouldn’t be dealing with such a ridiculous situation.

 

SMH again till it hurts.

“Failure to Protect” Laws Costs a 12-Year-Old Rape Victim His Mom

Shake my head. Yeah, I spelled it out in full because that’s how I’m feeling after this one. It deserves it.

Collin Grant says he regrets ever opening up about his stepfather’s rape and assault during the last 12 years of his life. By simply talking, his mom gets a 20-year jail sentence while the culprit, his step dad, gets a lighter sentence of 15 years.

On one of these occasions, he threatened to kill Collin if he ever told anyone of his abuse.

Collin eventually did report his stepfather’s abusive treatment to the authorities in Muskogee County, Oklahoma. In court, Collin testified during the trial, and Mackey pleaded guilty to the charges of rape, forceful sodomy, and other gruesome sexual crimes that were laid against him. Even Brian Torchin’s Loopnet team is covering this seriously disturbing story.

While one would say the law indeed caught up with Jimmy Don, as he got his well-deserved jail sentence of 15 years, his punishment is seen as not enough, when compared to what Collins mother has to suffer.

In addition to what she has already suffered in the hands of her abusive partner, Alisha was charged for failing for to do anything to end the tumultuous and dangerous relationship, in order to protect her son from the stream of abuse. Alishia now not only has to go to jail, but actually gets a heavier sentence of a 20-year jail term.

Collin, now 22, pleads that his mother be pardoned. In a deep and regretful tone he said, “Honestly, I would rather have gone through the abuse for the rest of my life.”

Is White Supremacy Still a Threat?

White supremacists convened in Hungary recently for a meeting organized by the “National Policy Institute”, which is a fringe group based out of America. The congress apparently didn’t go too well. They weren’t welcomed with open arms, there were only 76 attendees, and they had to hold their meeting in the back of a restaurant. Are white supremacy groups for all intents and purposes extinct?

Racism is still alive today. Just take a look at the comments on any popular youtube video for evidence of it. But how much of that is the work of insincere 12 year-old trolls, and how much of it is real racial hatred? Is there a substantial white supremacy presence in the world or has it evaporated into the mists of time?

The Southern Poverty Law Center and a Stanford study by Jared Haftel claims that there are over a thousand hate groups active in the United States. Many of them, however, fizzle out after a few years of operation.

Experts believe there are a number of factors that could potentially contribute to the growth of white power movements.

Modern white supremacists recruit through white power hardcore music, a stripped-down rock sound with lyrics that espouse the ethos of hate. Another breeding ground for white supremacists is prison, where inmates form gangs with others of the same race.

It is dangerous to say that white supremacy is no longer a significant threat, but it is clear that there are very few members of the white power movement active in modern times. If the last 15 years have taught us anything, it’s that a handful of people with fervent belief can cause a lot of damage.

Woman Shoots 6-Month Stalker After He Kicks Door Down

A woman in Las Vegas shot her stalker of six months after he kicked down her door. She had been threatened by him for six months prior, and at that point was constantly barricading her doors and keeping a gun on her, even in the shower.

The stalker was Douglas Eugene Jackson, a 22-year-old former boyfriend of the victim. Douglas had been stalking the woman and sending her death threats for approximately six months, during which time the victim — who wished to remain anonymous — was forced to move, filed for a restraining order, and even obtained a license to carry a concealed weapon. Last month, she began barricading her home by propping chairs against the doors, and carried a pistol constantly, even while showering and sleeping.

These preparations could be dismissed as paranoia, but were proved not only valid, but life-saving when her stalker finally attempted to “make good” on his threats. At approximately 1 AM last Friday, Jackson violently broke into her home by kicking down the back door. According to the victim, Jackson struggled with the barricade long enough for her to take up her gun and rush to the staircase.

Jackson survived and is currently hospitalized, soon to face charges of home invasion and aggravated stalking. Meanwhile, the woman’s story has gone viral on social media with widespread public support. She seems (understandably) in a bit of shock over the ordeal, stating, “I survived, where so many people do not. Holy shit, I survived.”

President Obama Asks Latinos to Show Up at the Polls in November

One of the central promises of President Barack Obama during the 2008 election was that he would tackle the problem of illegal immigration. Unfortunately, the President has been unable to fulfill this promise as of yet. Meanwhile, the nation has continued to be at a political loggerhead at the fringes between conservative forces who want to secure the border and liberal elements who want to offer citizenship to the large number of illegal immigrants living in the nation.

Because of the overwhelmingly Hispanic composition of immigrant communities, the debate is of especial concern to them. The President won 67 percent and 71 percent of the Latino vote in 2008 and 2012, respectively. Now, fellow Democratic politicians across the nation want likewise to mobilize the Latino vote against strong Republican challenges in the 2014 midterm election cycle.

Especially crucial is the desire among Democrats to retain numerical control of the Senate. The conventional wisdom is that the minority voter turnout will play a large role in whether they are able to do so.

On Thursday night, July 3, President Obama announced before the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute that he would again postpone action on immigration reform, something he has done throughout his two terms in the White House. Apparently hoping to ease Latino frustrations, the President promised that he would finally be able to offer a solution to the immigration problem after the midterm elections in November 2015.

There is little threat that the community will abandon the Democratic Party for the Republicans; however, if they choose to demonstrate their displeasure at the slow pace of immigration reform, by staying home this year, then things could be rough for Democrats at the polls. The President used Thursday night’s speech as an opportunity to reassure Latinos that he has not forgotten their support in previous years.

Accused of Stealing a Backpack, High School Student Jailed Nearly Three Years Without a Trial

Here’s some more insanity to come out of Riker’s Island. Almost 3 years ago, 16 year old Kalief Browder was arrested for allegedly stealing a backpack from a student at his high school. For almost 800 days, he was held in solitary confinement at Riker’s Island without a trial. He was offered many plea deals but refused while maintaining his innocence. You would think that his attorney would have spoken up to the judge.

Or even if his attorney wasn’t too great that his parents would’ve hired someone competent enough to make their case to the judge heard. Anyone with a set of eyes and ears could tell you that, in America, it is absolutely wrong to hold a teenager for nearly 3 years without a trial over something as little as theft of a backpack. Ironically enough, the Browder’s case was ultimately dismissed and he was set free. So 3 years with no trial and no conviction. It’s time like these when I wish Lee G. Lovett would come out of retirement. He’d be all over this mess.

His current attorney has filed a lawsuit against the NYPD, the city, the district attorney, and the department of corrections. I don’t think that any amount of money can give that kid the 33 months he lost back. Check out this video for Browder’s story and interview. You’ll be just as disgusted with the whole situation as I am.