The Mystery of St. Louis’s Veiled Prophet | The Atlantic

There’s a lot that I love about St. Louis, the city I was born in: baseball, the free zoo and art museum, a rich cultural history that stretches from T.S. Eliot to Miles Davis, and, of course, all of my friends and family. But the city’s inability to deal with its history of racial inequality, always closely tied to class issues, has run parallel to the city’s cultural and economic decline, leaving it in something resembling a stupor. A case study in this long decline can be found in the emblematic history of the annual Fair Saint Louis.

Held annually every Fourth of July, usually in downtown St. Louis, Fair St. Louis is a festival that includes food, music, hot-air balloons, and fireworks. Touted as “America’s Biggest Birthday Party”, it’s basically just a fun excuse to enjoy the usually hot and humid St. Louis Fourth of Julys with friends and family. This summer, due to construction along the Mississippi riverfront, the fair was held in Forest Park, a jewel of a turn-of-the-century public park built for the 1904 World’s Fair. [Read more]

Twenty Days of Harassment and Racism as an American Apparel Employee | Gawker

When I graduated college I moved to a new city and wanted a low-stress job that would allow me time to focus on creative projects. I knew people who had worked for American Apparel in the past, both in sales and at the LA headquarters, so I decided to interview for a part-time position.

My friends had had mixed experiences. I was drawn to the company because I try to make ethical consumer decisions, and I appreciated that American Apparel pays their garment workers well and doesn’t use sweatshops. But I was also very wary of the sexual harassment allegations against the company’s former CEO, Dov Charney. Because he had recently been asked to step down from his position, it seemed like the company was making progress. [Read more]

Cop cam: Ferguson police to wear body cameras | RT

Following the shooting death of black teenager Michael Brown by a white police officer, which sparked three weeks of protests and violence, officers in Ferguson, Missouri, are now wearing body cameras to film their work.

There have been conflicting reports over exactly what transpired between Brown and Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson on August 9, with some witnesses claiming that the unarmed black teenager was attempting to surrender at the time of being shot, while others say he was struggling with the officer in an apparent attempt to seize Wilson’s revolver.  [Read more]

Justice Department to investigate entire Ferguson police force | Raw Story

The U.S. Justice Department is launching a civil rights probe into the police department in Ferguson, Missouri, several weeks after a white officer shot an unarmed black teenager, sparking racial unrest, the Washington Post reported on Wednesday.

Citing two federal law enforcement officials, the Post said the investigation would also look at the practices of other police departments in St. Louis County. [Read more]

Here’s Why the Feds Are Investigating Ferguson | Mother Jones

On August 11, the Department of Justice announced that FBI agents were working with attorneys from the Civil Rights Division and US Attorney’s Office to conduct what Attorney General Eric Holder promised would be a “thorough and complete investigation” into the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Since then, more than 40 FBI agents have arrived in the St. Louis suburb to interview witnesses and canvas the neighborhood where Brown was shot by a police officer on August 9.

The following week, the AG himself arrived in Ferguson for a series of meetings with federal investigators, local authorities, and community members. Writing in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Holder said, “At a time when so much may seem uncertain, the people of Ferguson can have confidence that the Justice Department intends to learn—in a fair and thorough manner—exactly what happened.” [Read more]

Human Rights Lawyer Arrested For Standing On NYC Sidewalk Waiting For Kids To Use Bathroom | Gothamist

A human rights lawyer who was formerly the top attorney for Public Advocate Tish James was arrested for blocking the sidewalk following a pro-Palestinian rally in Times Square while waiting for her children to use the bathroom.

Chaumtoli Huq, 42, was standing outside of Ruby Tuesday on July 19th when her husband and children went into the restaurant to use the restroom. Police officers told her to keep moving down the sidewalk. [Read more]

Police Arrest Young Black Politician For Distributing Voting Rights Leaflets (Updated) | thinkprogress

The stars of North Carolina’s Moral Mondays movement took the stage on Labor Day at Charlotte’s Marshall Park to condemn the state’s record on voter suppression and racial profiling, and urge the community to organize and turn out at the polls this November. Just a few hundred feet away, police cuffed and arrested local LGBT activist and former State Senate candidate Ty Turner as he was putting voting rights information on parked cars.

“They said they would charge me for distributing literature,” Turner told ThinkProgress when he was released a few hours later. “I asked [the policeman] for the ordinance number [being violated], because they can’t put handcuffs on you if they cannot tell you why they’re detaining you. I said, ‘Show me where it’s illegal to do this.’ But he would not do it. The officer got mad and grabbed me. Then he told me that I was resisting arrest!” [Read more] – Michael’s Blog