Posts Tagged ‘Civil Rights’

ACLU: Emails show racial bias in immigration law

Sunday, July 22nd, 2012


(SeattlePI) Opponents of Arizona's hardline immigration enforcement law contend that emails sent, received and forwarded by a former legislator who championed the law support allegations it was racially motivated.


Dozens of emails are cited in a new legal effort by the American Civil Liberties Union and other civil rights groups to block police from enforcing the Arizona law's so-called "show me your papers" provision recently upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.


The groups said the emails and other material reveal that ex-Sen. Russell Pearce and other supporters of the law known as SB1070 embraced discriminatory views and bent the truth about immigration-related matters, setting the stage for enactment of a law that the groups contend will lead to racial profiling if enforced.


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Rodney King’s legacy was to blast away the myth of a post-racial US

Thursday, June 21st, 2012


(The Guardian) For a man of humble origins who might have lived life as most do – without fame or notoriety – Rodney King will go down in history as a seminal figure in the evolution of America's criminal justice system. He died yesterday, only hours before thousands marched silently to protest against abusive police practices in New York City; even in death, he found himself in the midst of an historic moment.

In 1991, the 25-year-old construction worker with a drink problem and a tendency to drive too fast was severely beaten by several white Los Angeles police officers. The attack was caught on videotape, the beating was seen round the world and overnight King became the poster boy for black victims of police brutality in the post-civil rights era. At a moment in American history when the charred memories of fire hoses, German shepherds and viciously slain black teenagers, like Emmett Till, were supposed to fade away, new painful memories were ignited.

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Rodney King, whose beating started the L.A. riots, dies at 47

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012


( In 1991, Rodney King, an African American motorist was beaten by the Los Angeles police officers that escalated into the most destructive race riots in the nation's history.

Accord to the Huffington Post, King's fiancé, Cynthia Kelly, called 911 at 5:25 a.m. on Sunday, June 17, 2012 to say she had found him at the bottom of the swimming pool of his Rialto, California home.

When police officers arrived, they found King unresponsive in the water. He was transported to the Aaronhead Regional Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 6:11 a.m.

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Editorial: Why so few black jurors?

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012


(Detroit Free Press Op-Ed) It's a conundrum that has bedeviled metro Detroit for decades: In a federal judicial district whose population is more than 20% African American, fewer than 1 in 10 citizens who report for jury duty in Detroit's U.S. District Courthouse are black.

Now, with a well-known black businessman on trial and his alleged partner in a massive kickback scheme, former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, scheduled to square off with federal prosecutors later this summer, the prospect of all-white or mostly-white juries sitting in judgment of prominent African-American defendants has rekindled long-standing resentment and suspicion in the black community.

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After Trayvon Martin: Is It Time to End Racial Profiling?

Sunday, May 27th, 2012

(Daily Beast) In his first State of the Union address, George W. Bush took aim at the practice of racial profiling, proclaiming that “we will end it in America.”



Then came 9/11.

“I think we were on the verge of passing it 10 years ago and the attack on our country put the legislation on hold,” says Sen. Ben Cardin. But another, more recent tragedy may have changed the political atmosphere.

“We thought last year the climate was right to get the support necessary to pass this along, and the Trayvon Martin case brought this legislation to better focus,” Cardin says. The Maryland Democrat has sponsored the End Racial Profiling Act, which would prohibit law enforcement from using race or religion as a basis for search, seizure, or arrest for a half-dozen years. Seizing on momentum generated by the killing of 17-year-old Martin in February, Cardin has gained the support of 12 Democratic cosponsors, including Sen. John Kerry, and the Senate Judiciary Committee recently held a hearing on the measure.

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Protest erupts after all-white jury acquits ex-Houston cop over teen’s beating

Monday, May 21st, 2012

(MSNBC) The day after an all-white jury acquitted a former Houston police officer for his role in the beating of a 15-year-old African American burglary suspect, community activists rallied a crowd of at least 200 people on the courthouse steps to protest.


Andrew Blomberg was acquitted by a jury in Houston on Wednesday in the alleged beating and stomping of Chad Holley two years ago.

The verdict was criticized by the Houston Police Department on Thursday.

"I understand the jury's verdict, I just have to respectfully disagree," Police Chief Charles McClelland said, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Protesters carrying signs with slogans like, "No justice, no peace. Stop the racist police," and "Justice for Trayvon Martin" circled in front of the Harris County Courthouse and a phalanx of media cameras.

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Another innocent executed?

Saturday, May 19th, 2012


( Death-penalty abolitionists long believed that the execution of an innocent person would turn the public against capital punishment. But that conviction has recently been shaken. First, there was Cameron Todd Willingham, who, after his 2004 execution in Texas, was found to have been likely innocent of killing his three small daughters. Nearly a decade later, Georgia executed Troy Davis despite widespread doubts about his guilt.



A new investigative report by the Columbia Human Rights Law Review reveals that Carlos DeLuna, who was executed by the state of Texas in 1989, was likely innocent as well. The full report, titled “Los Tocayos Carlos: An Anatomy of a Wrongful Execution,” can be viewed at CHRLR’s newly launched interactive website where readers can view all of the evidence cited in the article.

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Black writer warns of probable aftermath if Zimmerman acquitted Continue reading on Black writer warns of probable aftermath if Zimmerman acquitted

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012


( Statistics show a deep divide in opinions along racial lines regarding the killing of a black Florida teenager, Trayvon Martin, by George Zimmerman, who is of mixed ethnicity, white and Hispanic.

Zimmerman has claimed self-defense, invoking the Sunshine State’s “Stand Your Ground” law which has also come under intense scrutiny in the wake of the incident.

Reuters news service reported last week, 91% of blacks believe Martin was unjustly killed, while only 35% of whites concurred. Hispanics were in between at 59% according to polling numbers Reuters gathered by querying nearly 2,000 Americans.

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Lawsuit alleges NYPD violated civil rights by entering private buildings

Friday, March 30th, 2012

(The Guardian) The New York City police department is facing a federal class action lawsuit over the expansion of its controversial stop-and-frisk program into residential buildings largely populated by African Americans and Latinos.

On Wednesday the New York Civil Liberties Union, LatinoJustice PRLDEF and The Bronx Defenders set their sights on Operation Clean Halls, an element of the department's stop-and-frisk program that allows police officers to conduct patrols inside thousands of residential buildings throughout the city.

Filed on behalf of 13 black and Latino New Yorkers and a class of similarly situated individuals, the suit accuses the NYPD of systematically violating the constitutional rights of hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers. The suit is the third major legal challenge to the department's stop-and-frisk program in the last five years.

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U.S. Commission on Civil Rights raises concerns about healthcare reform

Monday, August 24th, 2009

You would think that if the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has concerns about healthcare reform, it is because people of color are getting screwed in the process. Guess again.

Instead, the Commission has questioned whether some of the provisions provide racial preferences that are unconstitutional. Say what? It became clear where the Commission was coming from after looking at its members – four appointed by George W. Bush, two independents, and two Democrats appointed by Congress.

It is no surprise that the Commission has come under fire from the Leadership Council on Civil Rights, a coalition of 200 civil rights organizations, for becoming too political. That would seem almost a prerequisite for working in the Bush administration. Apparently the Commission has taken issue with programs in the healthcare bill that would provide incentives for physicians to practice in underserved areas by forgiving medical school debts, and education for underserved populations about public health issues.

This is exactly the kind of thing the Commission should be advocating for, instead of opposing in such a blatantly political way.

Ethnicmajority healthcare page.

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