The Baltimore Police Department (BPD) has engaged in tactics that violate the First and Fourth Amendments and numerous anti-discrimination laws, according to a report released by the US Department of Justice (DoJ) on Aug. 10. The report is centered on the use of excessive force and illegal stops, seizures and searches, especially within the African American community. Most at fault for the systemic discrimination, the DoJ said, are "deficient policies, training and accountability systems," including the "zero-tolerance" street enforcement. A variety of statistics were used to highlight the problem within the Baltimore force, including a finding that African Americans accounted for over 80% of all BPD vehicle stops, despite white individuals being found with contraband twice as often.
Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein just announced her running mate as Ajamu Baraka, who she hails as "a powerful, eloquent spokesperson for the transformative, radical agenda whose time has come—an agenda of economic, social, racial, gender, climate, indigenous and immigrant justice." (Politico) Among his touted credentials is that he served on the board of Amnesty International, where he apparently did anti-death penalty work. That is certainly a worthy cred. But it is also hilariously ironic in light of Baraka's vigorous support for what is probably the bloodiest regime on the planet right now: the genocidal dictatorship of Syria's Bashar Assad.
We know we're going to be accused of alarmism, but please follow the logic. First, however self-serving it may be, the accusation of a Russian intelligence hand in the WikiLeaks dump of hacked e-mails from the Democratic National Committee is plausible. Famously, the e-mails reveal DNC staffers pulling for Hillary Clinton and against Bernie Sanders, prompting the resignation of the supposedly neutral body's chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz. The DNC had apparently been hit by Russian hackers, and Clinton campaign manager Robbie Mook is now openly charging that Moscow is trying to boost Donald Trump.
The man who apparently shot dead three police officers before being brought down himself in Baton Rouge on July 17, Gavin Eugene Long, was a former Marine sergeant who went by the online name Cosmo Setepenra. His blog seems to be still online, as well as his YouTube rants in which he made clear that he did not want to be associated with any organized groups, apparently in anticipation of his attack. "I'm affiliated with the spirit of justice: nothing else, nothing more, nothing less," he said in one clip. But the Kansas City Star notes that he filed documents last year with county authorities at his Missouri home declaring himself a "sovereign" affiliated with the "United Washitaw de Dugdahmoundyah Mu'ur Nation, Mid-West Washita Tribes." It is a little strange to suddenly see the Washitaw Nation making headlines on NBC, and being mentioned in CNN, the New York Times and the like.
The suspected sniper who killed five police officers and wounded two civilians following a peaceful Black Lives Matter march in Dallas was killed when police deployed an explosives-rigged robot into the parking garage where he was holed up. Police say there were hours of fruitless negotiations before the robot outfitted C4 explosive was sent in. Associated Press said this "appears to be the first time US police have used a robot for lethal purposes. As such, it may represent the latest escalation in the use of remote and semi-autonomous devices by law enforcement." Ironically, the robot was ostensibly procured by the police force for "bomb-disposal" purposes. This apparent first use of a killer robot in domestic policing comes as human rights groups are calling for restrictions on their use in actual warfare.
We've long considered Jill Stein, presidential candidate of the Green Party, too inconsequential to be worth calling out. But we are seeing her stuff being promoted more and more—particularly her calls for Bernie Sanders to ditch the Democrats if (when) he doesn't get the nomination and run with the Greens. See, for instance, the pathetically gushing interview with her on Democracy Now. We doubt Bernie would be so monstrously reckless as to split the anti-Pendejo vote, fortunately. But leave it to Democracy Now's pusillanimous Amy Goodman to not throw Stein a single hard-ball—either about the wisdom of tempting a Pendejo presidency, or about the Green candidate's atrocious politics. Stein is getting this kind of free ride everywhere. Check out this glowing account on AlterNet about Jill's defense of anti-pipeline actvists protesting outside the home of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission chairman. This from the woman whose party is practically a stateside propaganda organ of the Bashar Assad regime, which has serially massacred protesters and is now escalating to genocide against the Syrian people.
Here we go again. Omar Mateen, named as the shooter in the Orlando massacre of at least 50 at a gay nightclub, is said to have made a 911 call before the attack, in which he pledged allegiance to ISIS and invoked the Boston Marathon bombers. (CNN) Amaq News Agency, the ISIS media arm, issued a statement saying the attack "was carried out by an Islamic State fighter." (Heavy) The ISIS statement is doubtless mere opportunism, simply claiming Mateen because he had declared for them, thereby becoming a one-man franchise. But there's more. A bizarre Washington Post story tells us that Mateen's father is a vocal supporter of the Taliban and "appears to be portraying himself as the president of Afghanistan"...
A former member of the Black Panthers was released from prison on Feb. 19 after having spent a record 43 years in solitary confinement. Albert Woodfox had been held in solitary confinement since 1972 after being charged and convicted of fatally stabbing a prison guard. Authorities first moved Woodfox to isolation in the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola and later to "closed-cell restriction" at state jails. In June a federal judge ordered that Woodfox be unconditionally released, which included strong language barring any further trials on the original charges of murdering prison guard Brent Miller. He was able to be released after striking a deal in which he plead "no contest" to two lesser charges.