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ACLU Sues Ferguson Schools For Being “Too White”

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This is from Mad World News.

If there are too many whites on the school board who elected them was it whites and blacks or whites only?

Why does not blacks run for the school board positions?

Maybe the blacks just do not give enough of a rats rear end to run for office. 

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a lawsuit last week on behalf of the NAACP against Ferguson School districts for being “too white” and discriminating against African-Americans.

According to the federal complaint filed against the school district, the system used to elect the members of its school board dilutes the “black vote,” causing African-Americans not to be represented properly on the school board. According to the lawsuit, six of the seven board members are white, although seventy percent of the school is African-American.

The ACLU lawsuit was filed on behalf of the Missouri NAACP and the district’s black residents, according to an ACLU press release. The complaint charges that the at-large voting system violates the Voting Rights Act, as it “impermissibly denies African-American voters an equal opportunity to participate in the political process and to elect representatives of their choice.” (Huffington Post)

While this does seem a little discriminatory the way that it is presented in the lawsuit by the ACLU, as other organizations have pointed out, it is simply not factual.

Well, it turns out the blacks aren’t a majority in the school district at all:

“While more than three-fourths of the district’s students are black, the area’s voting-age population is majority-white. The ACLU suit contends that the district’s at-large system results in the black vote getting drowned out. It calls for a new system where the district is broken down into sub-regions, each of which would elect one person to the district school board.” (my emphasis)

You see, Ferguson-Florissant School District is made up of many communities, not just the embattled town of Ferguson. It was created by a 1975 desegregation order to include diverse communities, and wouldn’t you know it, some of those communities include white people. Even more treacherous is that somehow the whites represent a majority. (Downtrend)

This school district does not just represent the one school, but many schools in the community.

The ACLU is turning this into a battle over what happened with the riots and the militarization of the police, maintaining that the school district does not provide for the “needs” of African-Americans.

“There is also a significant lack of responsiveness to the needs of the African-American community on the part of other local government officials,” it says. “These protests were triggered by a number of events following the shooting that signaled local officials’ disregard for the needs of Ferguson’s African-American residents, including the police department’s initial refusal and delay in releasing the name of the shooting officer; and the police department’s excessive response to peaceful protesters, including the use of tear gas, armored vehicles, assault rifles, and military uniforms.” (Huffington Post)

On the other side of the coin, the school district is reviewing the lawsuit in hopes it is merely a political stunt in light of recent happenings in the embattled city. They plan to have a lengthy response to the press at another time.

Brian Anderson of Downtrend puts it this way:

Besides ignoring the democratic process of holding fair elections, this lawsuit assumes that black people are both interested in public service and vote. The city of Ferguson is majority black and yet the city council is almost entirely white. You can’t chalk that up to gerrymandering or at-large elections. The blacks of Ferguson do not want the low-paying jobs of city council members and they don’t care enough to vote the white people out of office. I’m sure a similar dynamic is in place for the school board. (Downtrend)

IF their candidates were denied the right to run based on the color of skin, or if they were suppressed from running, they would have cause to sue. Neither of those scenarios are represented by this lawsuit. Attempting to discredit the votes of the white majority in that district to provide for a black minority is beyond wrong. Not to mention, this completely discredits the voting system that has been established and has worked without complaint since 1975.

This seems like a case of reverse discrimination. What do you think of this lawsuit? Let us know in the comments below.

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FBI WANTS EXPANDED HACKING AUTHORITY

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This is from The Hill.

The FBI, NSA, DEA and any other combination of letters in the government have way too many surveillance rights now.

It is time to bring their over reaching surveillance to a screeching halt.

 

The FBI is pressing the little-known Advisory Committee on Criminal Rules to give it expanded authority to remotely hack and spy on computers in the U.S. and abroad.

Civil liberties and privacy advocates are calling the proposal a “new, expansive power” that could allow the government to collect private data, raising “significant” First and Fourth Amendment concerns. The FBI is arguing the change is a necessary update to outdated rules on territorial limits of warrants for electronic storage searches.

The proposal will come before the Oversight Committee Wednesday. A lineup of technology experts and privacy advocates are scheduled to air their grievances.

“Possibly the broadest expansion of extraterritorial surveillance power since the FBI’s inception,”said Ahmed Ghappour, a computer law specialist at the University of California-Hastings College of the Law who will address the committee next week.

Currently the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure only allow magistrate judges to issue search warrants within their jurisdiction, with some narrow exceptions.

The FBI believes the exceptions don’t tackle the realities of modern Internet crime investigations. Frequently, the FBI can identify a computer it wants to search, but can’t locate the computer itself.

“Criminals are increasingly using sophisticated anonymizing technologies when they engage in crime over the Internet,” the FBI said.

And cyber crime investigations often involve searching multiple computers simultaneously in different jurisdictions.

The rules don’t “directly address” those “increasingly common situations,” the FBI noted.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) says it’s “sympathetic” to the FBI’s challenges fighting cybercrime but thinks the bureau is being coy about the “invasiveness” of these proposed techniques.

“The government seeks to conduct its searches using techniques that pose a serious risk to cybersecurity, and that may fail” the Fourth Amendment’s unreasonable search and seizure test, the civil rights group said in comments on the proposal.

“The government does not describe the almost incomprehensibly large storage capacity of many cloud-based services, the vast amount of personal information now stored on the cloud, or the dizzying array of cloud storage services to which a computer may be connected.”

The ACLU will also speak before the committee on Wednesday.

The debate occurs amid a number of recent incidents that have stirred questions about federal law enforcement’s digital tactics.

The Drug Enforcement Agency is being sued, after a woman alleged the agency created a fake Facebook profile using her identity. She said officers lifted private photos from her phone to surreptitiously create the fake account.

The FBI also acknowledged this week it fabricated an Associated Press story on a fake Seattle Times website so officers could plant tracking software on a suspect’s computer.

Girl’s arrest for doodling raises concerns about zero tolerance

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This is from  CNN Justice.

I know a story from CNN  like the old saying goes “Even a blind hog finds an acorn from time to time.”

So even CNN can tell the truth.

 

 

CNN) — There was no profanity, no hate. Just the words, “I love my friends Abby and Faith. Lex was here 2/1/10 :)” scrawled on the classroom desk with a green marker.

Alexa Gonzalez, an outgoing 12-year-old who likes to dance and draw, expected a lecture or maybe detention for her doodles earlier this month. Instead, the principal of the Junior High School in Forest Hills, New York, called police, and the seventh-grader was taken across the street to the police precinct.

Alexa’s hands were cuffed behind her back, and tears gushed as she was escorted from school in front of teachers and — the worst audience of all for a preadolescent girl — her classmates.

“They put the handcuffs on me, and I couldn’t believe it,” Alexa recalled. “I didn’t want them to see me being handcuffed, thinking I’m a bad person.”

Alexa is no longer facing suspension, according a spokeswoman for the New York City Department of Education. Still, the case of the doodling preteen is raising concerns about the use of zero tolerance policies in schools.

Critics say schools and police have gone too far, overreacting and using well-intended rules for incidents involving nonviolent offenses such as drawing on desks, writing on other school property or talking back to teachers.

“We are arresting them at younger and younger ages [in cases] that used to be covered with a trip to the principal’s office, not sending children to jail,” said Emma Jordan-Simpson, executive director of the Children’s Defense Fund, a national children’s advocacy group.

There aren’t any national studies documenting how often minors become involved with police for nonviolent crimes in schools. Tracking the incidents depends on how individual schools keep records. Much of the information remains private, since it involvesjuveniles.

But one thing is sure: Alexa’s case isn’t the first in the New York area. One of the first cases to gain national notoriety was that of Chelsea Fraser. In 2007, the 13-year-old wrote “Okay” on her desk, and police handcuffed and arrested her. She was one of several students arrested in the class that day; the others were accused of plastering the walls with stickers.

At schools across the country, police are being asked to step in. In November, a food fight at a middle school in Chicago, Illinois, resulted in the arrests of 25 children, some as young as 11, according to the Chicago Police Department.

The Strategy Center, a California-based civil rights group that tracks zero tolerance policies, found that at least 12,000 tickets were issued to tardy or truant students by Los Angeles Police Department and school security officers in 2008. The tickets tarnished students’ records and brought them into the juvenile court system, with fines of up to $250 for repeat offenders.

The Strategy Center opposes the system. “The theory is that if we fine them, then they won’t be late again,” said Manuel Criollo, lead organizer of the “No to Pre-Prison” campaign at The Strategy Center. “But they just end up not going to school at all.”

His group is trying to stop the LAPD and the school district from issuing the tickets. The Los Angeles School District says the policy is designed to reduce absenteeism.

And another California school — Highland High School in Palmdale — found that issuing tardiness tickets drastically cut the number of pupils being late for class and helped tone down disruptive behavior. The fifth ticket issued landed a student in juvenile traffic court.

In 1998, New York City took its zero tolerance policies to the next level, placing school security officers under the New York City Police Department. Today, there are nearly 5,000 employees in the NYPD School Safety Division. Most are not police officers, but that number exceeds the total police force in Washington, D.C.

In contrast, there are only about 3,000 counselors in New York City’s public school system. Critics of zero tolerance policies say more attention should be paid to social work, counseling and therapy.

“Instead of a graduated discipline approach, we see … expulsions at the drop of a hat,” said Donna Lieberman, an attorney with the New York branch of the American Civil Liberties Union.

“If they have been suspended once, their likelihood of being pushed out of the school increases,” she said. “They may end up in jail at some point in their life.”

One of Lieberman’s clients was in sixth grade when police arrested her in 2007 for doodling with her friend in class. The child, called M.M. in court filings to protect her identity, tried to get tissues to remove the marks, a complaint states.

Lieberman says police subjected M.M. to unlawful search and seizure. A class-action lawsuit, filed in January on behalf of five juveniles, is pending. It maintains that inadequately trained and poorly supervised police personnel are aggressive toward students when no criminal activity is taking place.

Several studies have confirmed that the time an expelled child spends away from school increases the chance that child will drop out and wind up in the criminal justice system, according to a January 2010 study from the Advancement Project, a legal action group.

Alexa Gonzalez missed three days of school because of her arrest. She spent those days throwing up, and it was a challenge to catch up on her homework when she returned to school, she said. Her mother says she had never been in trouble before the doodling incident.

New York attorney Joe Rosenthal, who is representing Alexa, plans to file a lawsuit accusing police and school officials of violating Alexa’s constitutional rights. New York City Department of Education officials declined to comment specifically on any possible legal matters.

“Our mission is to make sure that public schools are a safe and supportive environment for all students,” said Margie Feinberg, an education department spokeswoman.

Several media outlets have reported that school officials admitted the arrest was a “mistake,” but when asked by CNN, Feinberg declined to comment specifically on the incident. She referred CNN to the NYPD.

The NYPD did not return CNN’s repeated phone calls and e-mails. It is unknown whether charges will be pressed against Alexa.

Kenneth Trump, a security expert who founded the National School Safety and Security Services consulting firm, said focusing on security is essential to the safety of other students. He said zero tolerance policies can work if “common sense is applied.”

Michael Soguero recalls being arrested himself in 2005 when, as principal at Bronx Guild School, he tried to stop an officer from handcuffing one of his students. A charge of assault against him was later dropped. He says police working in schools need specific training on how to work with children.

In Clayton County, Georgia, juvenile court judge Steven Teske is working to reshape zero tolerance policies in schools. He wants the courts to be a last resort. In 2003, he created a program in Clayton County’s schools that distinguishes felonies from misdemeanors.

The result? The number of students detained by the school fell by 83 percent, his report found. The number of weapons detected on campus declined by 73 percent.

Last week, after hearing about 12-year-old Alexa’s arrest in New York, he wasn’t shocked.

“There is zero intelligence when you start applying zero tolerance across the board,” he said. “Stupid and ridiculous things start happening.”

JUDGE: ‘GAY RIGHTS’ TRUMP 1ST AMENDMENT

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This is from World Net Daily.

This ruling sets a dangerous precedent.

It has opened the door to more lawsuits by the homosexual

activists thugs claiming discrimination.

Orders Colorado baker to violate beliefs, submit to homosexuals’ demands.

Another judge has ruled homosexuals have a right not to be offended that supersedes First Amendment religious rights.

In the latest case, a Denver cake baker must make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple’s wedding even if the message being conveyed in the ceremony violates his religious beliefs.

“America was founded on the fundamental freedom of every citizen to live and work according to their beliefs,” Nicolle Martin, an attorney with the Alliance Defending Freedom, said.

“Forcing Americans to promote ideas against their will undermines our constitutionally protected freedom of expression and our right to live free. If the government can take away our First Amendment freedoms, there is nothing it can’t take away.”

The ruling came from Administrative Law Judge Robert Spencer in Denver against Jack Phillips, a Christian who owns Masterpiece Cake Shop in Lakewood, Colo.

Jack Phillips, owner of the Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colo., cited conflicting religious beliefs when he declined in July 2012 to bake a cake for a gay couple’s wedding reception. Photo/Denver Post

Phillips told the homosexual couple he couldn’t make the cake because he believes marriage between a man and a woman. The couple subsequently filed a discrimination claim arguing that Phillips’ refusal was based on their sexual orientation.

However, Phillips insisted he refused because of the message conveyed by the wedding cake.

“I told them I don’t do wedding cakes for same-sex marriages,” Phillips told WND. “I then let them know I would make any other kind of cake for them, just not a wedding cake.”

He explained to WND there are cakes for other circumstance he also would refuse to make.

“If a couple were to come in and ask me to do an erotic cake for a wedding I would refuse to do that as well,” he said. “These are my personal standards taken from Jesus Christ and the Bible.”

The case centers on whose rights take precedence.

Judge Spencer said the view that Phillips’ First Amendment rights are primary “fails to take into account the cost to society and the hurt caused to persons who are denied service simply because of who they are.”

In his ruling, Spencer noted Phillips’ argument that he also would have refused a request by a heterosexual couple to make a cake for a same-sex wedding.

However, Spencer granted homosexuals a special standard.

“Only same-sex couples engage in same-sex weddings. Therefore, it makes little sense to argue that refusal to provide a cake to a same-sex couple for use at their wedding is not ‘because of’ their sexual orientation,’” Spencer wrote.

In Wednesday’s hearing on the case, the American Civil Liberties Union argued that while the government had the right to force a Christian to use his artistic talents to design a homosexual wedding cake, the standard should not be applied to other groups – such as asking a Muslim baker to make a cake criticizing his faith.

Spencer lined up behind the ACLU and said that while Phillips is expected to give up his religious beliefs regarding marriage to avoid offending homosexuals, if a Muslim baker were to be asked to design a cake denigrating the Quran or if a black cake maker was asked to do a cake for the KKK, neither would be under any compulsion to do so.

“In both cases, it is the explicit, unmistakable, offensive message that the bakers are asked to put on the cake that gives rise to the bakers’ free speech right to refuse,” Spencer said.

“That, however, is not the case here, where respondents refused to bake any cake for complainants regardless of what was written on it or what it looked like. Respondents have no free speech right to refuse because they were only asked to bake a cake, not make a speech.”

Spencer bluntly offered cake makers an alternative: They can quit.

“If … respondents choose to quit making wedding cakes altogether to avoid future violations of the law; that is a matter of personal choice and not a result compelled by the state,” he suggested.

Spencer’s arguments are similar to statements by other government officials regarding homosexuality and same-sex ceremonies.

Raymond Sexton, executive director for the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Human Rights Commission in Kentucky, told WND that it might be perfectly fine for a printing company run by “gays” to refuse to print anti-”gay” literature, but a Christian company refusing to print T-shirts for a “gay” event would not have that same right.

Hands On Originals, a company in Lexington, Ky., refused a request to print T-shirts for a local “gay” pride festival, citing religious beliefs.

But Sexton told WND that if a “gay” printing company was asked to print T-shirts from someone wanting the statement “Homosexuality is an abomination in the eyes of God,” the “gay” group would have the right to refuse to print the order.

“If the company does not approve of the message, that is a valid non-discriminatory reason to refuse the work,” he said.

He also said a black business owner would have the right to refuse to print a flyer for a Klan rally.

However, when asked if the same would apply to Hands On Online if officials said “we don’t support ‘gay’ pride festivals, but we won’t discriminate against a person because they are ‘gay,’” Sexton was not as committed, simply saying “possibly.”

“This is a gray area, but possibly. I can’t say definitively, but it possibly could pass the test,” he said. “I would recommend they take the word ‘gay’ out of there and say they simply don’t approve of the message.”

A New Mexico judge ruled that a Christian wedding photographer must surrender her religious beliefs as the price of good citizenship.

Elaine Huguenin, co-owner of Elane Photography with her husband Jonathan, was asked to commemorate a same-sex ceremony by Vanessa Willock.

Huguenin refused, saying that while she does not discriminate against homosexuals on the basis of their orientation, her Christian beliefs prohibited her from sanctioning the marriage of two members of the same sex.

The state Supreme Court ruled that the Huguenins did not have any right to refuse to express sentiments contrary to her beliefs, ordering the couple to pay $6,637.94 in attorneys’ fees to Willock and her partner.

That case remains on appeal.
Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2013/12/judge-gay-rights-trump-1st-amendment-for-christians/#Jja863PGHu124lZb.99

EXCLUSIVE: SHERIFF JOE ARPAIO LAUGHS AT HUFFINGTON POST THANKSGIVING HIT PIECE

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This is from Breitbarts Big Journalism.

If you can’t do the time don’t do the crime.

You want a turkey with all of the fixings for your

Thanksgiving dinner do not commit crimes.

America needs more Sheriff’s like Joe Arpaio.

 

The Huffington Post was none too pleased with Arizona’s Sheriff Joe Arpaio over his cost-cutting efforts with his county jail’s Thanksgiving Day menu.

“Joe Arpaio Offers Inmates, Fed Only Twice A Day, 56-Cent Thanksgiving Meal,” author Shadee Ashtari cried. She then went on to quote an anonymous jail employee from another state entirely who allegedly spends 48 cents more per prisoner meal: “We don’t want to release angry inmates.”

Sheriff Joe spoke with me Friday and laughed: “I’m concerned because the meals had gone up a little,” he said. “These people are in jail for committing crimes.” The Sheriff went further and stated: “These people are lucky they get to eat their turkey-flavored soy substance. It’s Thanksgiving, so I gave them them a turkey-flavored meal.”

“Look,” he said. “We have one of the largest county jails in the country. We serve about 20,000 meals per day. Whatever we do costs our taxpayers a lot of money.”

The Sheriff said he intended to take the matter even further: “I’m going to go vegetarian with these guys.” He added: “That’s where the real savings will be.”

“I put American flags in each cell and we listen to the Star-Spangled Banner each day. We also play God Bless America.” He also said his inmates suffer strict consequences if they deface or destroy the American flag in their cells. He stated: “If they damage the flag, they go on a bread and water diet. We have about ten inmates who had to eat bread and water today.”

Another effort Sheriff Joe has in mind will likely upset his detractors even more; namely, Arpaio intends to begin separating U.S. military veterans from other inmates. “These guys served our country,” he explained. “I want them to have special training, job programs, I want to have a program that helps them get jobs after they serve their time,” he said.

Sheriff Joe added: “I’m sure any effort to house veterans separately from the others will get the ACLU [American Civil Liberties Union] after me again, but these guys fought for our country and I want to do something for them.

 

10 Shocking Examples of Police Killing Innocent People in the “War on Drugs”

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This is from Jews For The Preservation Of Firearms Ownership.

I am a firm supporter of the police.

That being said many of the improperly trained officers are trigger happy.

 

Many innocent victims have become collateral
damage in our pointless, destructive drug war.

 

 

By Alex Henderson, August 21st, 2013
Article Source

 

In a democratic republic, the “innocent until proven guilty” concept is supposed to be sacrosanct. Jurors, police officers, judges and prosecuting attorneys—at least in theory—are required to err on the side of caution, and if a guilty person occasionally goes free, so be it. But with the war on drugs, the concept of innocent until proven guilty has fallen by the wayside on countless occasions. The war on drugs is not only fought aggressively, it is fought carelessly and haphazardly, and a long list of innocent victims have been killed or maimed in the process.

Attorney General Eric Holder recently addressed the war on drugs during a speech for the American Bar Association‘s annual meeting, calling for the United States to seriously reevaluate its harsh policy of mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent, low-level drug offenses. Holder acknowledged that “too many Americans go to too many prisons for far too long and for no truly good law enforcement reason,” and he pointed out that according to one report, black males convicted in drug cases typically receive sentences that are 20% longer than the sentences imposed on white males for similar offenses. It was refreshing to hear an attorney general make those statements; also encouraging is a recent Rasmussen poll finding that 82% of Americans see the war on drugs as a failure.

Many people from across the political spectrum—from the American Civil Liberties Union, the NAACP, the National Urban League and the Rev. Jesse Jackson to right-wing libertarians like Ron Paul, Walter Williams and 2012 Libertarian Party presidential nominee Gary Johnson—have pointed out that the war on drugs has become much deadlier than the drugs themselves. Innocent civilians have more to fear from botched drug raids and careless police work than they do from drug dealers.

Below are 10 innocent victims who became collateral damage and lost their lives in the war on drugs (there are many, many more).

1. Kathryn Johnston; Atlanta, Georgia, 2006.

Narcotics officers who kill innocent people in the war on drugs often don’t even face suspensions, let alone criminal charges. But the conduct of three Atlanta police officers in the killing of 92-year-old Kathryn Johnston was so unscrupulous that all three faced criminal charges.

On November 21, 2006, plainclothes officers Jason R. Smith, Gregg Junnier and Arthur Tesler carried out a no-knock drug raid on Johnston’s Atlanta home based on bad information from an informant/marijuana dealer named Alex White. When they broke in, Johnston (who lived alone in a high-crime area of the city and kept a gun in her house for protection) assumed she was being the victim of a home invasion and fired a shot. But a lot more shooting was done by the officers: a total of 39 shots were fired, several of which hit her. And while Johnston was lying on the floor dying, Smith handcuffed her.

An investigation revealed that after Johnston’s death, a major coverup was attempted, including planting bags of marijuana in her house and trying to bully White into lying and saying that Johnston was selling crack cocaine. Smith, Junnier and Tesler faced a variety of charges from both the federal government and the state of Georgia. Smith and Junnier both pled guilty to charges of voluntary manslaughter; Smith also pled guilty to perjury and admitted he planted the marijuana in Johnston’s house. And all three of them pled guilty to federal charges of conspiracy to violate her civil rights. In a civil suit, Johnston’s family was awarded a $490,000 settlement.

2. Tarika Wilson; Lima, Ohio, 2008.

On January 4, 2008, narcotics officer Joseph Chavalia shot and killed 26-year-old Tarika Wilson in Lima, Ohio. Wilson, a single mother, had been romantically involved with a suspected drug dealer named Anthony Terry (who later pled guilty to selling drugs). When Chavalia and other narcotics officers raided the house where Wilson was living, Terry was nowhere to be found. Wilson, however, was in one of the bedrooms; when Chavalia fired shots into that bedroom, she was killed. Wilson’s one-year-old child was also shot but survived, although one of his fingers needed to be amputated.

Chavalia later said he thought shots were coming from that bedroom, but the fact that he killed an unarmed woman holding a baby was inexcusable, especially in light of the fact that Wilson, according to her sister Tania Wilson, was not involved in drug sales herself. In a democratic republic, civilians are not executed in paramilitary-like raids based on guilt by association. And using a SWAT team to go after a small-time drug dealer is bad police work. Although Chavalia was acquitted of criminal charges, Wilson’s family was awarded $2.5 million in 2010 in a civil lawsuit against the city of Lima.

3. The Rev. Accelyne Williams; Boston, 1994.

The Rev. Accelyne Williams was no drug dealer. In fact, the 75-year-old minister was a substance abuse counselor in Boston and had a long history of doing good work in that city’s African-American community. But no good deed goes unpunished, and on March 25, 1994, Williams’ efforts to help a substance abuser led to his death.

That substance abuser was a police informant who gave Boston narcotics officers the address of an alleged drug dealer who lived in the same building as Williams, but a SWAT team raided the wrong apartment—Williams’ apartment—and after being violently shoved onto the ground and handcuffed, the minister began to vomit. Williams suffered a heart attack and died.

4. Annie Rae Dixon; Tyler, Texas, 1992.

Annie Rae Dixon, an 84-year-old African-American woman, was killed by a narcotics officer in Tyler, Texas on January 29, 1992. Dixon, who was a paraplegic and was battling pneumonia, was in her bedroom when narcotics officers raided her home at 2am; an informant claimed he had bought drugs from Dixon’s granddaughter. Narcotics officer Frank Baggett, Jr. said that when he kicked down the door to Dixon’s bedroom, he stumbled—which caused his gun to go off and sent a bullet into Dixon’s chest. No drugs were found in her house.

At an inquest, a predominantly white jury decided that the shooting was accidental and that Baggett should not be charged with anything. Many African Americans in that part of Texas, including members of the local NAACP chapter and Smith County Commissioner Andrew Mellontree, were outraged that Baggett dodged both criminal and civil charges. Mellontree, in a 1992 interview, told the New York Times: “People can’t accept the idea that a 84-year-old grandmother gets shot in her bed, and it’s not even worth a negligence charge.”

5. The Rev. Jonathan Ayers; Toccoa, Georgia, 2009.

One of the most disturbing examples of “collateral damage” in the war on drugs was that of the Rev. Jonathan Ayers, a 28-year-old Baptist minister from northern Georgia. Ayers, who was white, had a reputation for being the type of Christian who didn’t spend all of his time on a soap box preaching about sin and salvation—he actually put his money where his mouth was, became active in his community, and did things to help people. Tragically, that cost Ayers his life when, on September 1, 2009, he gave a woman named Johanna Jones Barrett $23 to help her pay her rent.

Undercover narcotics officers who had been trailing Barrett suspected that she was selling crack cocaine, and when Ayers gave her $23, they began trailing Ayers. When Ayers left a gas station/convenience store after using an ATM and saw three plainclothes officers pointing their guns at him, he had no idea they were cops. Ayers, who obviously thought they were gang members or carjackers, tried to escape but was shot and killed. Not surprisingly, no drugs were found in either Ayers’ vehicle or on his dead body, although one of the officers claimed that before the killing, Barrett had sold him $50 worth of crack cocaine.

6. Rodolfo “Rudy” Cardenas; San Jose, California, 2004.

Had the narcotics officers who confronted Ayers been wearing uniforms that made them easily recognizable as cops, it’s possible that he would not have fled and would still be alive today. But Ayers had no way of knowing he wasn’t being attacked by carjackers or gang members; in fact, the officers who killed him went out of their way to look as thuggish and intimidating as possible. A similar tragedy occurred in San Jose, Calif. on February 17, 2004, when plainclothes officers were attempting to serve a warrant for a drug-related parole violation and 43-year-old Rodolfo Cardenas, a father of five, had the misfortune of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The officers saw Cardenas and assumed he was David Gonzales, the man they were looking for—and when they pointed their guns at Cardenas, he fled (first in a vehicle, then on foot) but was shot in the back and killed. Cardenas, clearly, found himself in the same position as Ayers: he was violently confronted by police officers he didn’t know were police; he ran for his life and was shot dead. Dorothy Duckett, a 78-year-old neighbor, told the San Jose Mercury News that when Cardenas was running away, he had his hands in the air and was yelling, “Don’t shoot.”

Michael Walker, the California Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement officer who fired the fatal shot, was charged with voluntary manslaughter but was acquitted by a San Jose jury in 2005.

7. Ismael Mena; Denver, Colorado, 1999.

SWAT teams can serve a valuable function in law enforcement. In hostage situations, for example, a SWAT team can save lives. But in the drug war, the combination of SWAT teams, no-knock raids and sloppy police work can have deadly consequences for innocent people. In Denver, one such person was 45-year-old Ismael Mena, who was shot and killed by a SWAT team during a no-knock raid on September 29, 1999. The raid was conducted based on bad information from an informant, but a thorough search of the house turned up no evidence of drug dealing—and an autopsy showed no evidence of drugs in Mena’s body. Apologists for the killing claimed that Mena (a Mexican immigrant) had a gun, and LeRoy Lemos (a community activist) responded: “If police hadn’t gotten the wrong house, Mena would be alive. No matter what the misconduct is, the police are always exonerated.”

ACLU members were critical of the way the raid was handled and asserted that a no-knock raid was totally uncalled for; Mark Silverstein, legal director for the Colorado ACLU, said, “If the government officials who authorized the warrant had followed the law, Ismael Mena would be alive today.”

8. Mario Paz; El Monte, California, 1999.

On August 9, 1999, 64-year-old Mario Paz was in his home in Southern California when up to 20 narcotics officers for the city of El Monte conducted a no-knock raid and used a grenade during the attack. Some of the officers claimed that Paz appeared to be going for a gun, and they fatally shot him twice in the back in front of his wife. Although Paz was a gun owner, he never shot at the officers—he didn’t live long enough. No drugs were found in the house, and Bill Ankeny (El Monte’s assistant police chief) later acknowledged that there was never any evidence of the Paz family being involved in drug dealing.

The decision to raid the Paz home, according to Ankeny, was made after narcotics officers found some bills and Department of Motor Vehicle records containing the family’s address among the possessions of a drug suspect named Marcos Beltrán. Back in the 1980s, Beltrán had lived next door to the Paz family—and at one point, they agreed to let Beltrán receive mail in their home. So in other words, El Monte officers conducted a commando-style raid on the Paz home based on the fact that a drug suspect (who was out on bail and hadn’t been convicted) had received some mail in their home during the previous decade.

9. Alberta Spruill; New York City, 2003.

In many cases, politicians (both Democrats and Republicans) are so afraid of being considered soft on drugs that they are reluctant to say anything critical of narcotics officers no matter how badly they screw up. But in the case of 57-year-old Harlem resident Alberta Spruill, New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg admitted: “Clearly, the police made a mistake.”

Around 6:10am on May 16, 2003, officers executed a no-knock drug raid on Spruill’s apartment based on bad information they had received from an informant/alleged drug dealer. A concussion grenade was thrown into the apartment; Spruill, a city employee who was getting ready to leave for work, suffered a heart attack and died. After causing Spruill’s death, the officers realized that they had just killed an innocent person. Attorneys for the city of New York agreed to pay $1.6 million to Spruill’s family.

10. Pedro Oregon Navarro; Houston, Texas, 1998.

Drug raids are often conducted based on information from informants (many of them drug users and/or low-level drug dealers), but all too often, the information is unreliable and costs innocent victims their lives. One such victim was 22-year-old Pedro Oregon Navarro. On July 12, 1998, Houston officers raided Navarro’s home based on an alleged drug user’s claim that drugs were being sold there. A total of 30 bullets were fired, and Navarro was shot 12 times. Officers claimed Navarro had a gun and fired at them, but ballistics tests proved that all 30 shots were fired by the officers.

In 1999, Al Robison (president of the Drug Policy Forum of Texas), denounced the killing of Navarro as a “very clear illustration of the insanity of our current drug policy.” The officers who raided Navarro’s home violated department policy by failing to obtain a search warrant. No illegal drugs were found in Navarro’s home, and blood tests conducted after his death showed no traces of any illegal drugs in his system.

Posthumously, Navarro was proven innocent, and his senseless death underscored the need for the United States to seriously reform its misguided drug laws. Had war on drugs supporters learned a lesson from Navarro’s death, it is quite possible that the killings of the Rev. Jonathan Ayers, Rodolfo “Rudy” Cardenas, Alberta Spruill, Mario Paz, Kathryn Johnston and others could have been prevented.

Alex Henderson’s work has appeared in the L.A. Weekly, Billboard, Spin, Creem, the Pasadena Weekly and many other publications.

 

Atheist group opposes Holocaust memorial on Ohio statehouse grounds

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This is from Fox News.

Where in any of our founding documents does the term Separation

of Church and State appear?

I have never been able to locate this term.

Another example of atheist bullying.

statehouse.jpg

An atheist group believes the Holocaust memorial depicted above violates the separation of church and state. (daniel-libeskind.com)

A Wisconsin-based atheist group has expressed its opposition to a Holocaust memorial set to be built on the ground of the Ohio statehouse, arguing that its location violates the separation of church and state and calling the Star of David “exclusionary” in memorializing victims of the Nazis.

But Ohio Gov. John Kasich and proponents of the memorial say it will teach people about man’s inhumanity to man and that, contrary to the atheists’ claim, it will include all those killed by the Nazis — including U.S. soldiers, ethnic and religious minorities, homosexuals and the mentally ill.

Joyce Garver Keller, executive director of Jewish Communities, an organization that represents Jewish groups across the state, said the memorial is intended “mostly to honor those who had survived and who had come to Ohio to build a life.”

Keller said it is appropriate to build the structure on state grounds because it will “remind lawmakers and those who work in and around government of the important role and responsibility they have in speaking out in the face of  hatred, anti-Semetism and genocide.”

“The Holocaust did not begin in concentration camps in the ovens with smoke stacks and mass graves,” Keller told FoxNews.com. “It began in the halls of government with the passage of laws that targeted Jews, taking their properties, their businesses, their home, their freedom and ultimately their lives.

Kasich first proposed the idea of a memorial during a May 4, 2011, annual Holocaust commemoration at the statehouse.

“We need to have remembrance in this statehouse,” Kasich said at the time. “I’d call on the Jewish community, along with our brothers in faith, to develop some sort of a memorial that members of our legislature and members of the public, as they pass through this great rotunda, will be able to understand not just the history of a time when people wouldn’t stand, but the fact that it’s today we must stand against evil.”

“Let’s construct something in this rotunda that can teach people about man’s inhumanity to man, best exemplified by what happened in the Holocaust,” he said.

The inscription planned for the memorial will read: “Inspired by the Ohio soldiers who were part of the American liberation and survivors who made Ohio their home. If you save one life, it is as if you have saved the world.”

“In remembrance the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust and millions more including prisoners of war, ethnic and religious minorities, homosexuals, the mentally ill, the disabled, and political dissidents were suffered under Nazi Germany.”

The Jewish Star of David will be prominently featured at the site.

Kellers and others call such a memorial “inclusive,” while the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) claims the memorial is discriminatory and has no place on government grounds.

“The Star of David is a religious symbol that is exclusionary,” Dan Barker, a spokesman for the group, told FoxNews.com. “We’re not opposed to the memorial and we have sympathy for all the victims. We would probably give money to it if it were not on state grounds.”

“A secular government is not supposed to have a religious endorsement,” Barker continued. “I have Jewish heritage myself, but just because we like the religion and we’re sympathetic to Holocaust survivors, doesn’t mean we should violate the precious American principle of separation between church and state.”

Barker said the group expressed its opposition in a letter to the state, but has no plans to sue.

Approximately 11 million people perished in the Holocaust. Historians say at least 6 million Jews died at the hands of the Nazis, as did 1.9 million Polish civilians, mostly Christians. More than three million Soviet prisoners of war died and more than two million Soviet civilians, mostly Christians, were killed. More than one million Yugoslav civilians died and between 22,000 and 500,000 Gypsies were the victims of genocide, according to historical accounts. Approximately 70,000 men, women and children with mental and physical handicaps were murdered as well as an unknown number of political prisoners, resistance fighters, homosexuals and deportees.

According to Kasich’s office, the memorial will sit 84 yards from a bronze inscription in front of the statehouse that reads: “With God, all things are possible.” The American Civil Liberties Union had previously sued over that inscription and lost.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/07/25/atheist-group-opposes-holocaust-memorial-on-ohio-statehouse-grounds/#ixzz2a7Djf5k2

Obama’s Snooping Excludes Mosques, Missed Boston Bombers

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This is from Investors Business Daily.

 Why are the camel riding goat humpers  exempt?

Obama is looking after his Moose Slime brothers.

While not all Muslims are terrorist.

All of the terrorist’s have been Muslims .

 

Homeland Insecurity: The White House assures that tracking our every phone call and keystroke is to stop terrorists, and yet it won’t snoop in mosques, where the terrorists are.

That’s right, the government’s sweeping surveillance of our most private communications excludes the jihad factories where homegrown terrorists are radicalized.

Since October 2011, mosques have been off-limits to FBI agents. No more surveillance or undercover string operations without high-level approval from a special oversight body at the Justice Department dubbed the Sensitive Operations Review Committee.

Who makes up this body, and how do they decide requests? Nobody knows; the names of the chairman, members and staff are kept secret.

We do know the panel was set up under pressure from Islamist groups who complained about FBI stings at mosques. Just months before the panel’s formation, the Council on American-Islamic Relations teamed up with the ACLU to sue the FBI for allegedly violating the civil rights of Muslims in Los Angeles by hiring an undercover agent to infiltrate and monitor mosques there.

Before mosques were excluded from the otherwise wide domestic spy net the administration has cast, the FBI launched dozens of successful sting operations against homegrown jihadists — inside mosques — and disrupted dozens of plots against the homeland.

If only they were allowed to continue, perhaps the many victims of the Boston Marathon bombings would not have lost their lives and limbs. The FBI never canvassed Boston mosques until four days after the April 15 attacks, and it did not check out the radical Boston mosque where the Muslim bombers worshipped.

The bureau didn’t even contact mosque leaders for help in identifying their images after those images were captured on closed-circuit TV cameras and cellphones.

One of the Muslim bombers made extremist outbursts during worship, yet because the mosque wasn’t monitored, red flags didn’t go off inside the FBI about his increasing radicalization before the attacks.

This is particularly disturbing in light of recent independent surveys of American mosques, which reveal some 80% of them preach violent jihad or distribute violent literature to worshippers.

What other five-alarm jihadists are counterterrorism officials missing right now, thanks to restrictions on monitoring the one area they should be monitoring?

Read More At Investor’s Business Daily: http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/061213-659753-all-intrusive-obama-terror-dragnet-excludes-mosques.htm#ixzz2WQmTetHe
Follow us: @IBDinvestors on Twitter | InvestorsBusinessDaily on Facebook

 

Gun evidence links parolee killed in Texas shootout to Colorado prisons chief’s murder

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This is from Fox News.

I guess Colorado’s gun laws are not working.

This man is a convict on parole but he got a gun.

The bad guys will always be able to get guns inspite of gun laws.

So why keep good guys from legally buying guns?

 

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. –  Gun evidence links a Colorado parolee fatally shot in Texas with the death of Colorado’s corrections’ chief, investigators said Monday.

The El Paso County sheriff’s office said that “unique and often microscopic markings” found on shell casings in Texas and Colorado leads investigators to conclude that the gun Evan Ebel used to shoot at authorities in Texas was the same gun used to kill Tom Clements at his home on Tuesday.

It had been known that the casings found at both scenes were of the same caliber and brand but Monday’s announcement was the first time Colorado investigators made a direct link between Ebel and Clements’ death.

What remained unknown though was why Clements was killed when he answered his front door Tuesday night and whether Ebel acted alone.

“There are no answers at this time surrounding motive and gaining these answers could be a lengthy process for investigators,” sheriff’s spokesman Lt. Jeff Kramer said in statement.

The announcement came just hours after hundreds of people, including corrections officials and guards from as far away as Morocco, gathered for a memorial service to honor Clements.

The crowd at New Life Church included 39 current and former corrections’ chiefs as well as guards from 14 states. A delegation of corrections officials from Morocco also attended along with dignitaries including Gov. John Hickenlooper and U.S. Attorney John Walsh.

Hickenlooper and his widow both spoke about Clements’ strong belief in redemption. His family said he decided as a teenage to work in corrections after visiting his uncle in prison, and he worked to reduce the use of solitary confinement in Colorado prisons.

Standing with her two daughters, Lisa Clements said her husband of 28 years would want justice as well as forgiveness.

“We want everyone who hears Tom’s story to know that he lived his life believing in redemption, in the ability of the human heart to be changed. He would want justice certainly but moreover he’d want forgiveness. Our family prays for the family of the man who took Tom’s life and we will pray for forgiveness in our own hearts and our own peace,” said Lisa Clements, a psychologist who oversees Colorado’s state mental health institutes.

Hickenlooper, who hired Clements about two years ago, told mourners that Clements was both pragmatic and principled.

“He had common sense and he had courage,” Hickenlooper said.

Authorities say the car Ebel had in Texas is also similar to one seen not far from Clements’ home the night he was killed.

A federal law enforcement official said Ebel had been a member of the 211s, a white supremacist prison gang in Colorado. El Paso County sheriff’s spokesman Lt. Jeff Kramer said Monday that investigators are trying to determine whether there was any gang involvement in the killing, but he stressed that’s only one aspect of a broad investigation.

Denver police say Ebel is also a suspect in the March 17 slaying of pizza delivery man Nathan Leon.

Hickenlooper is a longtime friend of the suspect’s father, attorney Jack Ebel, who testified two years ago before state lawmakers that solitary confinement was destroying his son’s psyche.

Hickenlooper confirmed he mentioned the case to Clements as an example of why the prison system needed reform before the job was offered, but the governor said he did not mention Evan Ebel by name.

There was no indication that Hickenlooper’s relationship with Jack Ebel played a role in the shooting. Hickenlooper said he did not having any role in Evan Ebel’s parole in January.

Jack Ebel issued a statement offering condolences to all those who have suffered from his son’s actions.

Clements, born in St. Louis, worked for 31 years in the Missouri Department of Corrections, both in prison and as a parole officer, before taking the top corrections’ job in Colorado just over two years ago. He began a review of the state’s solitary confinement system and eventually reduced the number of prisoners being held in solitary. He closed a new prison built specifically to hold such prisoners — Colorado State Penitentiary II.

His work won praise from groups including the American Civil Liberties Union and the union representing prison workers, which called him a “leader who looked out for those he led.”

Officials took additional security measures after Clements’ death and placed the state prisons on lockdown Friday.

Following Clements’ killing, corrections professionals said their jobs have grown more dangerous for themselves and their families because of the growing influence of prison gangs, their ability to communicate with affiliates on the outside through smuggled cellphones and the ease with which people can be found and tracked online.

Clements is at least the second head of a state prison system to be killed. The top administrator of the Oregon Department of Corrections, Michael Francke, was stabbed to death outside his office in 1989 in what prosecutors described as a bungled car burglary. A former state prison inmate was found guilty of aggravated murder in 1991 and sentenced to life in prison.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/03/25/gun-evidence-links-colo-parolee-to-death-corrections-chief/#ixzz2Oaif2cO1

 

Parental rights shredded by wolves

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This is from BizPac Review.

First I want to say The ACLU is not about protecting everyone.

The ACLU is not about free speech for everyone.

The ACLU’s agenda is to promote homosexuality and other previsions.

Leviticus 18:22

King James Version (KJV)

22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.

Wolves

We travel in packs” said Lisa Tillmann, a professor from Rollins College. That is how she introduced herself to the Lake County School Board on the evening of March 11th.

It was an appropriate way of announcing the attack about to be unleashed on theparents of Lake County’s public school children by professors from Rollins College and the ACLU.

She was preceded by two assistant professors, Dr. Erik Kenyon and Samuel  Sanabria. None of them live in Lake County.

The pack was advocating for the establishment of the Gay Straight Alliance club at Carver Middle School.

In reference to the board’s impending policy decision regarding clubs and organizations, Tillmann went on to say “I urge you not to require parental consent.”

The Equal Access Act, a federal law passed in 1984, requires equal access be given to all extracurricular clubs at federally funded secondary schools. There had been some discussion that the school district would prefer to have only curriculum based clubs, but that would not have been fair.

Many students participate and excel in clubs such as Clermont Middle’s Knit-Witts. They recently delivered dolls they had knit to the elderly.

Instead, the Board voted to adopt an open forum for both middle and high schools, but required that “all student clubs and organizations shall obtain a Consent Form from the parents of each participating student, on a form provided by the District.”

According to the superintendent, there are 41,000 students enrolled in Lake County’s Public Schools. One parent showed up for the 6 p.m. meeting to affirm the request of parental consent.  Speaking of her son, Tina Rizzo stated that she wanted to know “what his club associations are going to be.”

To the other parents of school students in Lake County, please be aware that the American Civil Liberties Union does not want you to know what your children’s club associations are going to be. So much so, that they’ve begun a full assault on your parental rights.

On Tuesday morning, while the board’s preliminary decision from the night before was still warm,  the ACLU of Florida issued a press release. One of their policy strategists, Daniel Tilley, stated:

“We have seen in other places that parental-consent requirements like those the school board passed can create administrative burdens, prevent access to support groups for minority students, and discourage participation in extracurricular activities.”

Let those words sink in. If the ACLU has their way, and lures another 100 activists to the April 22 School Board meeting, where the final vote on this policy change will take place, parents’ rights may be on the chopping block.

Sure, clubs may be considered safe now, but what about when the “Luciferian Hell Fire Club” gets started, or, since schools in New York have now included bestiality in their curriculum, how long will it be before Lake County gets an “Animal Lovers” club? When they do, parents won’t know if their child drops in or joins a club, if the ACLU gets their wish — pardon me, if the ACLU and the professors at Rollins College get their wish.

After Professor Lisa Tillman urged the School Board not to require parental consent, some in the audience were curious why this “pack” from Rollins had driven so far, or how they even knew of the Board’s agenda.

Perhaps it was Dr. Kenyon’s fellow faculty member in the Philosophy and Religion Department,  Eric Smaw. He would have had the skinny, since Smaw is also one of the elite ACLU of Florida Board of Directors.

Indeed, they do travel in packs. The question is, will parents of Lake County students show up on April 22nd and protect their young, or remain silent and feed them to the wolves.

Patricia Sullivan is the Lake County Republican state committeewoman. She ran for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010 under the Tea Party banner and was also elected chairwoman of the Tea Party Network, serving for much of 2012.

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