Posts tagged with "violence"

Rita Azar illustrates article on white militia and violence for 360 MAGAZINE

ARMED WHITE MILITIA VIOLENCE

Leading national racial justice organizational leaders issued a joint statement on armed white militia violence and police camaraderie with militia members following the arrest of a militia member in connection with the killing of two police accountability protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

“Tuesday night, two protesters who were advocating for accountability following the horrific police shooting of Jacob Blake were allegedly shot and killed by a 17-year-old associated with a white militia group. We are outraged by these killings. The ability of a minor to travel from another state at the urging of adult white supremacists organizing on Facebook highlights the corrosive and dangerous convergence of race, police violence, and the presence of these violent groups. That this volatile cocktail was allowed to develop led directly to one of the most violent nights in the city’s history. In light of the fact that the suspect apparently crossed state lines in order to commit this crime, the federal government should launch an investigation to determine whether he was involved in an interstate criminal conspiracy.
“We are equally outraged by videos showing Kenosha Police Department Officers exhibiting camaraderie toward militia members – who were out in violation of the curfew before the shootings — and also seemingly ignoring protesters who tried to identify the shooter in this incident. Police solidarity with white militia members is abhorrent and intolerable – and it represents a highly dangerous threat to the lives and rights of people of color. In addition, the fact that Kenosha Police Chief Daniel Miskinis blamed protestors for the killings is another example of the racially disparate treatment that Americans across the country have been protesting against since May and for decades before. We call on Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers and Attorney General Josh Kaul, to immediately investigate and prosecute these killings, the shooting of Mr. Blake, and the increasingly pervasive issue of armed white militia members confronting and attacking protesters demanding police accountability. They must also demand the immediate removal of Chief Miskinis.

“Finally, turning to Facebook, the prevalence of armed white militia groups organizing on the platform is not new. Facebook must also be held accountable for its inaction while these violent groups have been allowed to grow and organize. Facebook must take immediate steps to ensure that its platform is not used to foment violence and hatred — and to take immediate and comprehensive action to put an end to groups using its services to organize activities that perpetuate racism and cause harm.”
 
The following leaders signed the statement:
 
·       Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director-counsel, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.
·       Reverend Al Sharpton, founder and president, National Action Network
·       Melanie L. Campbell, president and CEO, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, Convener, Black Women’s Roundtable
·       Kristen Clarke, president and executive director, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
·       Vanita Gupta, president and CEO, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
·       Derrick Johnson, president and CEO, NAACP
·       Marc H. Morial, president and CEO, National Urban League
 
Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization. LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute (TMI) is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF. Follow LDF and TMI on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.
 
National Action Network is one of the leading civil rights organizations in the Nation with chapters throughout the entire United States. Founded in 1991 by Reverend Al Sharpton, NAN works within the spirit and tradition of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to promote a modern civil rights agenda that includes the fight for one standard of justice, decency and equal opportunities for all people regardless of race, religion, nationality or gender. For more information go to www.nationalactionnetwork.net.
The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation (NCBCP), founded in 1976, is one of the most active civil rights and social justice organizations in the nation “dedicated to increasing civic engagement, economic and voter empowerment in Black America.” The Black Women’s Roundtable (BWR) is the women and girls empowerment arm of the NCBCP. At the forefront of championing just and equitable public policy on behalf of Black women, BWR promotes their health and wellness, economic security & prosperity, education, and global empowerment as key elements for success. Visit www.ncbcp.org and follow us on Twitter @ncbcp and Instagram @thenationalcoalition.
 
The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination. Now in its 56th year, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is continuing its quest to “Move America Toward Justice.” The principal mission of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice for all, particularly in the areas of criminal justice, fair housing and community development, economic justice, educational opportunities, and voting rights.
 
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 220 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org.
 
Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s largest and foremost grassroots civil rights organization. The mission of the NAACP is to secure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights in order to eliminate race-based discrimination and ensure the health and well-being of all persons. Members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights and social justice in their communities. You can read more about the NAACP’s work by visiting naacp.org
 
The National Urban League is a historic civil rights organization dedicated to economic empowerment in order to elevate the standard of living in historically underserved urban communities. The National Urban League spearheads the efforts of its 90 local affiliates through the development of programs, public policy research and advocacy, providing direct services that impact and improve the lives of more than 2 million people annually nationwide. Visit www.nul.org and follow us on Twitter and Instagram: @NatUrbanLeague.

Violence Spikes in Major Cities

By Eamonn Burke

Last month, 65 people were shot in New York City and 87 in Chicago over the course of the 4th of July weekend. Six children were killed that weekend as well. The holiday may have been a peak in homicides, but numbers of shootings and deaths have been trending upward as the nation handles a pandemic and a historic recession. The amount of shootings in NYC from January to July exceeded the total for the entire year of 2019. Other major cities are experiencing high rates of gun violence as well, such as Philadelphia, where more than 240 people have been killed this year and which now has the 2nd highest homicide rate in the nation. Chicago saw a violent July, with 584 shootings and 105 deaths. Even smaller cities like Pheonix and Omaha are seeing rises.

As a whole, homicides are up 24% in the nation since last year. Data shows homicides and shootings trending upward sharply since late May in major cities across the US. However, as a national study shows, gun violence was creeping upward even before the pandemic began.

President Trump blames the rise in violent crime to “radical” Democratic politicians , such as Major Bill DeBlasio, despite signs that this is a bipartisan issue. DeBlasio himself blames the shootings on the virus, among other factors such as the BLM protests and faults in the criminal justice system that have recently been exposed. The Council on Criminal Justice also concluded that the virus is the root issue, and that it must be stopped first in order to reduce homicides. A chart of homicides in Chicago does in fact show a major spike after the beginning of the protests, and the BLM protests in 2014 and 2015 had a similar effect on gun violence. However, further analysis of police data instead points to a decrease in gun-related arrests as a potential cause, as well as the increase in gun purchases in recent months.

Police say that many of these crimes are gang related, and a shortage of staff due to the virus have made it harder to crack down on crime. DeBlasio was adamant about getting back on top of the gun crisis through the courts: “Our courts not only need to reopen, they need to reopen as fully and as quickly as possible.” Chief administrative judge Lawrence Marks fired back, saying the blame of courts was “false, misleading and irresponsible.”

A strange finding amongst this gun crisis is that rates of other crimes such as burglaries have not followed the same trend, and have even decreased in some cases. As this is extremely odd, it’s possible that it’s a matter of what is getting reported given the complications of COVID-19 and the BLM protests on policing.

Allison Christensen, 360 Magazine, Vaughn Lowery

Federal Officers in Portland

By Eamonn Burke

In the wake of George Floyd’s death, cities around the country and the world erupted in protest. While in many cities protests have diminished or stopped, one city has shown crowds of protestors since Memorial Day: Portland, Oregon.

Rallies were shrinking here too, but were reinvigorated following repeated and excessive use of force by federal officers in the city. Video shows officers responding to one protest using non-lethal ammunition, gas, and fire. Secretary Chad Wolf of the Department of Homeland Security sided with the officers, calling the protestors “lawless anarchists.” Trump and his administration have also given consistent support to the efforts of the officers.

Tensions first rose last Thursday night when protestors gathered around a local precinct shouting “Who do you protect? Who do you serve?”, and police told them to leave after hearing rumors of a plot to burn down the building. The crowd, however, were equipped with homemade shields and flashlights. The crowds stayed however, leading to police discharging impact munitions and using smoke and tear gas to disband them.

The ongoing clash continued Tuesday when roughly 1,000 people filled Portland’s center, with help from the recently dubbed “Wall of Moms.” Hundreds of moms stood before the officers to provide protection for protestors. Their arms were linked as they chanted things like “Don’t shoot your mother!”

“That really affected me the most, being a mom. I wanted to come down and give my support as a mother and a grandmother to all these people who have been out every night” said 55 year old mom Debbie Scott.

The “Wall or Moms” has recently spread beyond Portland into other major cities such as New York, Chicago, and Philadelphia, ready to defend Democratic-lead cities from Trumps’ plan to deploy federal officers. Meanwhile, the violence continued in Portland on Tuesday when officers used more gas, non-lethal bullets and stun grenades as protestors gathered outside the courthouse.

Mina Tocalini, 360 Magazine, Fireworks

4th of July Violence Across America

By Eamonn Burke

This year’s Fourth of July, while stifled by the coronavirus concerns and pleas from officials to stay in, was still a violent one.

39 people were shot in New York City on the night of July Fourth, including three confirmed deaths. All three victims were in their 20s, and two were in Harlem; the other in Brooklyn. One of the deaths, a 23 year old man, was the result of a party and the product of much confusion amidst fireworks. “You didn’t know where it was coming from because they were running this way and that way,” said a witness.

Among the other non-fatal violence was a 34 year old woman struck by a haywire bullet while walking her dog in the Bronx, a group of four men and one woman shot in Manhattan, and a man walking in Brooklyn with a friend who was shot and killed. Additionally, there were 13 reported stabbings in the city that night. The violent night comes after an overall above average level of violence in the city throughout the month of June.

Chicago saw an even bloodier night, as 67 people were shot over the weekend, killing 13. Two of the dead were children, 7 and 14, prompting a statement from Mayor Lori Lightfoot:

“As a city, we must wrap our arms around our youth so they understand there’s a future for them that isn’t wrapped up in gun violence.”

The death of the teen late Saturday resulted from the open fire that a group of four men unleashed on a large crowd, killing four people total. The 7 year old girl was shot in the head on the sidewalk outside a party at her grandmother’s house.

While LA seems relatively unscathed by gun violence over the holiday, the emergency services nevertheless had their hands full dealing with over 3,000 calls to the fire department, despite banning fireworks due to the coronavirus. The most severe of the cases was a fire that had engulfed an apartment complex in Northridge. The extensive use of fireworks in the city also lead to decreased air quality. It was one of worst firework cases the city had seen in years, according to air quality management executive Philip Fine.

Baltimore shootings over the weekend claimed the life of one in a double shooting, shortly after a quadruple shooting injured four more, and two other unrelated shootings, bringing the total injured to eight.

A family of five was shot in Detroit, killing the 39 year old mother and injuring four others. Two shootings injured four people in Philadelphia on Saturday night, and more violence followed on Sunday, including a six year old boy who died. A child is in critical condition after being shot in the head in St. Louis, and an eight year old girl was shot and injured in Cleveland. A nightclub shooting in Greenville left two people dead and injured eight others.

So far, no arrests have been made in the wake of any of these shootings.

Rayshard Brooks Killer Bailed Out

By Eamonn Burke

Garrett Rolfe, the former Atlanta police officer who murdered Rayshard Brooks in a Wendy’s parking lot on June 12, was released on $500,000 bond. Rolfe faced a felony murder charge among 10 others after a deadly altercation in which Brooks was shot in the back while running away carrying the officer’s taser.

Tomika Miller, Brook’s widow, was emotional at the hearing. She remembered Rayshard Brooks as a loving man and father, and described Rolfe as a threat while pleading the judge not to grant him bail. 

“My husband did not deserve to die, and I should not live in fear while waiting for the man who killed my husband to be tried in court,” said Miller. “My life is completely turned upside down since this has happened. I’ve been unable to sleep, eat, or even console my children.”

Rolfe’s lawyers suggested that he had to use deadly force because it was Brooks’ who escalated the altercation and asked for a $50,000 bond initially. They even denied the fact that Rolfe kicked the defenseless Brooks after he was shot, which is shown on video. The prosecutors, on the other hand, wanted at least a $1 million dollar bond and argued that Brooks was not a threat to the officer as he was running away without the taser pointed at Rolfe.

The killing re-ignited protests in the Atlanta area, and has brought policing changes to the Atlanta police department, as it will for the entire nation.

Mina Tocalini, 360 MAGAZINE, BigKlit, illustration

Notorious BigKlit

‘The epitome of an angry bird’360

Provocative rap sensation BigKlit has announced a special new edition of her infamous 2019 LP, KLITORIUS B.I.G. The album – which includes a number of previously deleted tracks – is available today via ROT$ WORLDWIDE/RECORDS/The Orchard. KLITORIUS B.I.G. features the return of such long-unavailable fan favorites as “FaceFuk,” available now at all DSPs; the track is joined by a companion video, premiering exclusively via YouTube. 

LISTEN TO “FACEFUK”

WATCH “FACEFUK”

With its snarling vocal delivery, intense production, and wildly audacious lyrics, KLITORIUS B.I.G. marks one of the first highlights of what has proven a truly incendiary run from BigKlit. The project was recorded soon after her arrival in New York City, informed by grit, heart, and an insatiable hunger to create something altogether original and her own. 

BigKlit will celebrate the return of KLITORIUS B.I.G. with a livestream release party tonight, June 26, at 8 pm ET. Presented by Brooklyn’s BABY TV, tickets for the event are available on a sliding scale HERE; ticket holders will receive a link and password 30 minutes before the start of the show. Fans purchasing tickets in the 30 minutes leading up to the performance will receive their info in their order confirmation email.

BigKlit made an auspicious debut with last year’s BIG KLITOIRUS EP, followed quickly by the full-length projects. The NYC-based artist quickly caused a worldwide sensation with her breakthrough hit, “Liar.” With its brazenly explicit lyrics and brutal, relentless beats, the track proved one of 2019’s most provocative hits, first blowing up on TikTok before ascending to multiple streaming charts around the world, reaching #1 on the US Viral 50 on two separate occasions. “Liar“ is joined by an age-restricted companion video streaming now via YouTube.

2020 kicked off with the premiere of PSYCHOSIS, a remarkable 30-minute short film directed by @pgdm. “PSYCHOSIS is a dark and dreary fever dream with apocalypse-level anxiety steady throughout,” raved PAPER. “Every song featured in the film hits listeners’ ears like a hallucinogen — they can be deeply disturbing, comforting (‘Beautiful’), or both at once…It’s the type of digi-gothic, post-genre art-making that BigKlit has come to be known for, and her fans are going absolutely nuts over it.”

Last month saw BigKlit teaming up with Universal Music Group/Caroline Distribution recording artist Trippie Redd on a new version of “Beautiful. The track arrived alongside a haunting music video and companion short film, hailed by PAPER as “a work of art that’s unpredictable at every turn…complete with everything you’d likely see in a twisted thriller: lightning, murder, out-of-body experiences and drugs, all with romantic yet eerie songwriting aimed at a subject unaware of their own beauty.” Audiofemme further praised the video and short film, noting that “Beautiful” “embodies the song’s duality with a macabre love story and BDSM imagery. It’s fitting, because shifting the balance of power has been her trademark as a woman in male-dominated rap. By blurring the edges of asserting control or losing it totally, BigKlit remains a provocative artist worth keeping an eye on.”

LISTEN TO “BEAUTIFUL”

WATCH “BEAUTIFUL (OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO)”

WATCH “BEAUTIFUL (SHORT FILM)”

This spring also saw the premiere of another propulsive single, “Boy Bye.” The rocket-fueled track is accompanied by a spectacular intergalactic sex domination romp of a video.

LISTEN TO “BOY BYE”

WATCH “BOY BYE”

BigKlit is also featured in the new NOISEY documentary, 6 HOURS WITH BIGKLIT, streaming now exclusively via VICE.

CONNECT WITH BIGKLIT:

TIK TOK
INSTAGRAM
YOUTUBE

Justice illustration

Justice For 2015 LAPD Shooting

Los Angeles finally agrees to settle excessive force claim for the 2015 LAPD shooting of unarmed teenagers

On February 10, 2015, Jamar Nicholson and friends were rapping in an alley on the way to school when LAPD opened fire. The City of Los Angeles agreed to settle a lawsuit for excessive force against the Los Angeles Police Department for $985, 000 for the wrongful shooting a black high school student in the back while he was on the way to school. Jamar Nicholson, Jason Huerta and their schoolmates were rapping in an alley a block from school when an LAPD officer, Miguel Guitterez, recklessly assumed there was a robbery in progress. The officer shot at the four students, striking Nicholson in the back and nearly hitting Jason Huerta. According to the Los Angeles Times, the officers did not identify themselves as police offers.

Despite having been shot for no reason, Nicholson remained handcuffed when transported by ambulance to the hospital and while in the emergency room. Both of the minors remained handcuffed and in custody for approximately five hours even though the police immediately learned at the scene that they had shot into a group of innocent minority children on their way to school.

“The officer falsely claimed a crime was being committed by Blacks and a Latino as they filmed themselves rapping with a bright orange-tipped replica gun as a prop,” stated John Harris of Harris & Associates who represented the plaintiffs. “This shooting wouldn’t have occurred if the kids were white, or on the way to school in a Westside neighborhood. This was a classic example of the mistreatment, racial prejudice and injustice against blacks, including black children. They regularly and routinely suffer at the hands of police. After waging a long and rigorous five-year battle against the City of LA for Guitterez’s blatant and egregious misconduct, we finally convinced them to do the right thing and compensate our clients for their physical injuries and emotional distress suffered.”

As we mourn the lives of wrongfully attacked Black people in our country, it is uplifting to see justice in this 5-year-old case.

Sara Sandman, Black Lives Matter, illustration, 360 magazine, protest, rebellion, looters, riot, civil rights, human rights

1st Amendment

On June 1st, thirty minutes before DC’s curfew, Attorney General Barr ordered an escalation of police force to clear protestors on a public street outside of the White House. That’s not just an abuse of power — it’s a violation of our constitutional rights.

Sign your name here to condemn breaking up peaceful protesters and stand with the folks fighting for change:

Anyone brave enough to stand up for justice peacefully right now is a hero, not a threat. Police and law enforcement should be working to protect our rights to free assembly, not attacking peaceful protesters.

Our history is full of moments like these — where protesters and demonstrations have helped us correct systemic injustices. Standing up like this is not hurting our country, it’s part of our very foundation.

Justice illustration

Supreme Court Reform

Police violence against blacks won’t end until the U.S. Supreme Court adopts a substantially different approach to the issue, says a Virginia Tech expert on race and social policy. “The bottom line is that better or different police training will not end this violence because it does nothing to limit the police’s power to do violence,” said Wornie Reed. “Police have a license to kill anyone, and they use it disproportionately on black people.” Reed says law enforcement received this “license” in the Graham v. Conner Supreme Court decision in 1989, written by Chief Justice William Rehnquist. The Graham decision in 1989 interpreted the Fourth Amendment to protect police officers, not black people, Reed said. “It in effect changed the view of the police use of force from that of an individual encountering a state action that could potentially be a violation of the person’s constitutional rights under the Fourth Amendment to that of the police officer’s right, the right to act—and use force–if they feel it is reasonable,” says Reed. “If the intended situation is to place the police officer’s life equal to that of the civilian, we need to make these rules clear and havepolice practices conform. If the intent is to value the police officer’s life as more significant, we need to debate this issue in public and the courts. A large proportion of the citizenry might object to that orientation as a cultural practice.” Professor Wornie Reed, Blacksburg Police Chief Anthony Wilson and other local leaders and officials will talk about these issues at a news conference at noon on Tuesday, June 2, at the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office in Christiansburg, Virginia.

About Wornie Reed

Wornie Reed is the director of the Race and Social Policy Research Center and a professor of Africana Studies and sociology in Virginia Tech’s College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. His areas of expertise include race, ethnic health disparities, social policy and criminal justice. Reed also has several connections to the civil rights movement: he marched alongside Martin Luther King Jr. and saw over 30 of his speeches; he attended King’s funeral in Atlanta and marched in Memphis; he participated in the Poor People’s’ Campaign, the 1963 March on Washington and the Montgomery Bus Boycott; He also participated with the Olympic Committee for Human Rights which sponsored the Black Power salute boycott.

Reed’s expertise has been featured in TIME, HuffPost, WSLS (Virginia CBS affiliate), WVTF(Virginia NPR affiliate), Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder, and the Philadelphia Tribune, to name a few.

Crime, Vaughn Lowery, Allison Christensen, 360 MAGAZINE

Snapped: Betty Broderick

Oxygen, the network for high-quality true crime programming, takes a deep dive into the story that captivated a nation, the case of La Jolla socialite Betty Broderick, in  “Snapped: Betty Broderick,” premiering Wednesday, July 15, at 8PM ET/PT. Convicted of murdering her ex-husband, Dan Broderick and his new wife, Linda Broderick on November 5, 1989, “Snapped”  investigates the tale of a woman scorned, a shattered family, and a violent double-murder. For a sneak peek, please visit: https://www.oxygen.com/snapped/season-25/videos/the-case-of-betty-broderick. 

“Snapped: Betty Broderick,” depicts  the shocking details of the heinous murders of Betty’s ex-husband, Dan, and his new wife, Linda, along with the investigation, and trial that led to Betty’s 32-years-to-life sentence. Through in-depth interviews with former detective, Terry Degelder, friends of Dan Broderick, Betty’s attorney Jack Farley, and the author of Forsaking All Others: The Real Betty Broderick Story, Loretta Schwartz-Nobel, the episode delves into the history of Betty and Dan’s relationship and its ultimate demise. Taking a different perspective, the special aims to unravel the age-old question: Had Betty Broderick been plotting a murderous attack all along against a husband who took her for granted for years, left her for a younger woman, and put her through a vicious custody trial—or did she just snap?

For more information, visit here.