Attorney asks CNN for ‘redress’ of ‘hoax’ comment regarding Ferguson tape | Washington Post

Lopa Blumenthal says she knows how today’s news cycles go. “I understand that the media’s fickle,” she says.

Yet she says she’s “not going to tolerate” the treatment she received this morning on CNN’s “New Day” morning program. As reported on this blog, a CNN law-enforcement commentator, Tom Fuentes, said of an audiotape whose release Blumenthal had negotiated with CNN on Monday: “When I heard this yesterday, I thought the exact same thing — it’s a hoax,” said Fuentes, who clarified that he was ultimately unsure of its status. [Read more]

It’s Not Business As Usual In Ferguson, Missouri | Here and Now

Missouri Highway Patrol Captain Ronald Johnson was among the officers walking the streets of Ferguson over the weekend, greeting the throngs of people protesting the shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown.

“I see that we need to communicate more. When you don’t communicate more, you don’t show yourself for what you are and explain your processes and your policies, then you lend yourself to perception — and perception can be a negative thing,” Johnson said. [Read more]

Do Cops Just Tase People for Fun Now? | Alternet

On the first Sunday in August, Brandon Ruff, an offduty sergeant with the Philadelphia Police Department, was given three guns by a friend who wanted to turn them in to the police under the city’s no-questions-asked firearms policy. Little did Ruff know when he walked into a station at 6:30pm, that by midnight he would be assaulted by a half-dozen police officers using Tasers—stun guns delivering up to 50,000 volts—arrested, thrown in a cell, and put under a police investigation.

“You are a piece of f**king sh*t, you are scum, and you are supervisor. You are a disgrace to me, this department and the 35th District. You do not belong on this job,” a desk sergeant yelled at Ruff, after he produced his police ID, according to a federal civil rights lawsuit filed by the officer on Monday, seeking damages and a court review of cops who use “their status as police officers to have persons falsely arrested, assaulted and [subject to] malicious prosecution and unlawfully searched… to achieve ends not reasonably related to their police duties.” [Read more]

How Trayvon Martin’s Death Launched a New Generation of Black Activism | The Nation

On July 13, 2013, George Zimmerman was found not guilty in the murder of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed African-American 17-year-old walking home from a 7-Eleven. What The Washington Post and other media outlets had dubbed “the trial of the century” was over, with a deeply unsettling verdict. In the fifteen months between Trayvon’s death and the beginning of the trial, people across the country had taken to the streets, as well as to newspapers, television and social media, to decry the disregard for young black lives in America. For them—for us—this verdict was confirmation.

A group of 100 black activists, ranging in age from 18 to 35, had gathered in Chicago that same weekend. They had come together at the invitation of Cathy J. Cohen, a professor of political science at the University of Chicago and the author of Democracy Remixed: Black Youth and the Future of American Politics, and her organization, the Black Youth Project. Launched in 2004, the group was born as a research project to study African-American youth; in the decade since then, Cohen has turned the BYP into an activist organization. The plan for this meeting was to discuss movement building beyond electoral politics. Young black voters turned out in record numbers in the 2008 and ‘12 elections: 55 percent of black 18-to-24-year-olds voted in 2008, an 8 percent increase from 2004, and while a somewhat smaller number—49 percent—voted in 2012, they still outpaced their white counterparts. But how would young black voters hold those they had put in office accountable? And what were their demands? [Read more]

Here Are Six Other People Who Were Killed By Guns On The Day A Nine Year-Old Shot A Man With An Uzi | thinkprogress

Monday’s shooting death of Charles Vacca was a preventable tragedy. Vacca was a shooting instructor at a commercial gun range that permitted a 9 year-old girl to fire an Uzi submachine gun, a lightweight, automatic weapon notorious for its recoil. The girl lost control of the weapon, and at least one bullet penetrated Vacca’s head. When it did, Vacca “just dropped,” according to the local sheriff. If the gun range had prevented young children who lack the physical strength to handle Uzis from firing them, Vacca probably would still be alive.

Vacca, however, was only one of several people who lost their lives to a gunshot wound on Monday. Indeed, ThinkProgress uncovered six additional cases of people killed by guns on Monday simply by searching for incidents that were reported in the press. This includes three cases of police officer-involved shootings, one suicide, one case where a man accidentally shot and killed his own brother, and a man who died in a shootout between a fugitive and three bounty hunters. It should be noted, as is explained in more detail below, that six is probably a massive underestimate of the number of people killed by guns in the United States on Monday. This list only includes incidents that were reported in the press, and only includes press reports that could be found in the Lexis-Nexis database to boot. [Read more]


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