July 6, 2015

Article Published on HipHopWired:


Unfortunately, the Chicago 4th Of July weekend has become a tradition for gratious violence that has ripped families apart. The madness continued these past three days during a very bloody holiday period were at least eight people were pronounced dead, including a seven-year-old boy.


NBC Chicago reports that Amari Brown was watching the fireworks with his father on Friday evening in Humboldt Park when he was shot in the chest before succumbing to his injuries at the nearby John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital. His father, Antonio Brown, told NBC that he didn’t realize his son had been shot due to the sound of the fireworks until he called out for him.


Chicago police Superintendent Garry McCarthy blasted the elder Brown for his gangbanging career and ultimately blamed him for his son’s death. “If Mr. Brown is in custody, his son is alive,” McCarthy said during a press conference at the Harrison District police station yesterday, July 5.


“That’s not the case. Quite frankly, he shouldn’t have been on the street.”Brown has reportedly been arrested 45 times and his last run-in with the law in April for gun possession led for him to be released on bail. Elsewhere, a 17-year-old boy named Vonzell Banks caught a stray bullet while playing basketball at recently named Hadiya Pendleton Park (after another shooting victim), killing him at the scene in broad daylight.


Overall a total of 41 gunshot wounds among the survivors was reported. Last year, the Chicago 4th of July weekend violence was even more deadly, with a total of 82 people shot and 15 dead being documented. However, that still doesn’t excuse 2015 from being anything less than tragic. 


June 16, 2015

Original Article Published on AHH:


After receiving much backlash for passing as a black woman while engaging in civil rights work, Rachel Dolezal has resigned as the president of the NAACP chapter in Spokane, Washington.

Dolezal was outed by her parents, Larry and Ruthanne, last week who did an interview saying that they were white and so is their daughter. Mr. and Mrs. Dolezal said that their daughter began pretending to be a black woman eight or nine years ago. She attended Howard University, is a professor of Africana Studies at Eastern Washington University and has identified herself on state documents as partly black. Dolezal has even gone as far as having her two adopted siblings stage as her sons and identify a black man as her father in the media.


Read her statement below that she issued via her Facebook face.


Dear Executive Committee and NAACP Members,


It is a true honor to serve in the racial and social justice movement here in Spokane and across the nation. Many issues face us now that drive at the theme of urgency. Police brutality, biased curriculum in schools, economic disenfranchisement, health inequities, and a lack of pro-justice political representation are among the concerns at the forefront of the current administration of the Spokane NAACP. And yet, the dialogue has unexpectedly shifted internationally to my personal identity in the context of defining race and ethnicity.


I have waited in deference while others expressed their feelings, beliefs, confusions and even conclusions – absent the full story. I am consistently committed to empowering marginalized voices and believe that many individuals have been heard in the last hours and days that would not otherwise have had a platform to weigh in on this important discussion. Additionally, I have always deferred to the state and national NAACP leadership and offer my sincere gratitude for their unwavering support of my leadership through this unexpected firestorm.


While challenging the construct of race is at the core of evolving human consciousness, we can NOT afford to lose sight of the five Game Changers (Criminal Justice & Public Safety, Health & Healthcare, Education, Economic Sustainability, and Voting Rights & Political Representation) that affect millions, often with a life or death outcome. The movement is larger than a moment in time or a single person’s story, and I hope that everyone offers their robust support of the Journey for Justice campaign that the NAACP launches today!


I am delighted that so many organizations and individuals have supported and collaborated with the Spokane NAACP under my leadership to grow this branch into one of the healthiest in the nation in 5 short months. In the eye of this current storm, I can see that a separation of family and organizational outcomes is in the best interest of the NAACP.


It is with complete allegiance to the cause of racial and social justice and the NAACP that I step aside from the Presidency and pass the baton to my Vice President, Naima Quarles-Burnley. It is my hope that by securing a beautiful office for the organization in the heart of downtown, bringing the local branch into financial compliance, catalyzing committees to do strategic work in the five Game Changer issues, launching community forums, putting the membership on a fast climb, and helping many individuals find the legal, financial and practical support needed to fight race-based discrimination, I have positioned the Spokane NAACP to buttress this transition.


Please know I will never stop fighting for human rights and will do everything in my power to help and assist, whether it means stepping up or stepping down, because this is not about me. It’s about justice. This is not me quitting; this is a continuum. It’s about moving the cause of human rights and the Black Liberation Movement along the continuum from Resistance to Chattel Slavery to Abolition to Defiance of Jim Crow to the building of Black Wall Street to the Civil Rights and Black Power Movement to the ‪#‎BlackLivesMatter movement and into a future of self-determination and empowerment.


With much love and a commitment to always fight for what is right and good in this world,


Rachel Dolezal


May 28, 2015

Recently reported by HIPHOPWIRED:


A released body cam video shows police officers in the city of Barstow, Calif. slamming a Black pregnant woman to the ground. The American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Southern California obtained the footage of the incident in the midst of a settlement last week between the organization and the Barstow city administration in another similar case. The incident between Barstow Police and Charlena Michelle Cooks took place last January after Cooks was dropping her second-grade daughter off to school. The police were responding to a traffic dispute between an unidentified white woman and Cooks. One of the officers approaches the white woman, who Cooks says was behaving in a “scared” fashion.


The police were responding to a traffic dispute between an unidentified white woman and Cooks. One of the officers approaches the white woman, who Cooks says was behaving in a “scared” fashion.The officer tells the white woman that a crime didn’t take place and notes he’ll file a police report before speaking with Cooks. The officer approached Cooks and she told him that the woman was upset at her driving and issued threats. Cooks let the officer know she wasn’t sure why the woman called the police and asked was the dispute about the color of her skin.


Things go awry quickly when the officer asks for Cooks’ name, which she refuses to give. When Cooks questioned the officer’s right to that information, she asks to make a call. In a span of seconds as she’s calling an unknown person, the officer takes Cooks down by her wrist and slams her to the ground on her stomach despite her pleas of telling them they shouldn’t touch her.Moments later, Cooks is forced to the ground and handcuffed while screaming at the top of her lungs. The officers then pick up Cooks and place her in the squad vehicle, where she continues to ask them to stop what they’re doing.


The ACLU conceded that while Cooks’ arrest was wrongful as she does have a right to refuse showing her ID, an officer might still proceed. Considering the racial tensions of late regarding police officers and communities of color, there was some speculation that race might have played a factor.The case the ACLU settled involved two brothers who were arrested in Barstow in 2014 for failing to show ID to officers and were forcefully arrested. Cooks, telling local paper the Desert Dispatch that she now fears for her life and feels largely unwelcome in Barstow, has not said if she’ll pursue the matter further. Cooks delivered her baby back in March and says her daughter appears to be healthy.


May 28, 2015

Reported by the Smoking Gun:


A Louisiana woman is facing a public bribery charge after allegedly making an indecent proposal to the cop who arrested her for pummeling her live-in boyfriend, according to court records. Diane Thomas, 52, was busted earlier this month for punching her beau in the face “multiple times” and scratching him with her fingernails during a confrontation in the couple’s Monroe home.


When Thomas was read her Miranda rights by a Monroe Police Department officer, she stated that her boyfriend was a “bitch,” adding that he “got in her face so she beat his ass,” according to a May 16 probable cause affidavit. After Thomas was handcuffed, she told Corporal Chris Ballard that she could not go to jail since she “has a good job.”At that point, Thomas allegedly made Ballard an offer he would refuse.“If you won’t take me to jail I will get on my knees right now,” she reportedly declared. “Officer I will even lick your butt hole.”Already facing a misdemeanor domestic abuse charge, Thomas was then hit with a felony public bribery count for allegedly offering to lick Corporal Ballard. 


May 28, 2015

Story published by AHH:


Photo Of Chicago Officers Posing With A Black Man With Antlers On Surfaces

A photo of two white Chicago officers posing with a black man in antlers has been discovered. The Chicago tried to hide the photo from the masses but after a Cook County judge denied a request that the photo stay private, it was published by the Chicago Sun Times.The photo was given to the Chicago PD by federal prosecutors in 2013, which led to officer Jerome Finnigan, on the right, being fired.


Timothy McDermott, on the left, had been incarcerated after being sentenced to 12 years in prison in 2011 after being convicted of being the ring leader of a crooked cop crew that committed a slew of robberies, home invasions and other crimes. In a statement, Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said the photo is “disgusting.” “The despicable actions of these two former officers have no place in our police department or in our society,” he said.


“As the superintendent of this department, and as a resident of our city, I will not tolerate this kind of behavior, and that is why neither of these officers works for CPD today. I fired one of the officers and would have fired the other if he hadn’t already been fired by the time I found out about the picture. Our residents deserve better than this, as do the thousands of good men and women in this department.”


Finnigan claimed that the black man in the picture, taken between 1999 and 2003, has been brought in for carrying “20 bags of weed” but he didn’t arrest him due to him not having a criminal background. He said snapping the disgraceful picture was a “spur of the moment” thing after the man gave them the rifles. “Appearing to treat an African-American man not as a human being but as a hunted animal is disgraceful and shocks the conscience,” wrote the police board when they voted to terminate Finnigan.


Finnigan is now appealing this decision in court. “I am embarrassed by my participation in this photograph,” said McDermott when interviewed about the photo in 2013. “I made a mistake as a young, impressionable police officer who was trying to fit in.”