Daily Archives: June 13, 2012

Teen ‘Stop And Frisked’ More Than 60 Times Speaks Out!

stop and frisk police brutality

Getting stopped and frisked more than sixty times is outrageous.   Look at the following stats from the ACLU:

In the first three months of 2012, New Yorkers were stopped by the police 203,500 times
181,457 were totally innocent (89 percent).
108,097 were black (54 percent).
69,043 were Latino (33 percent).
18,387 were white (9 percent).

NewsOne

Stop And Frisk‘ is hailed by NYPD law enforcement officials as a life-saving police tactic that keeps guns off of the streets and prevents gun-related crimes from occurring.

But Tyquan Brehon (pictured) of Flatbush, Brooklyn, says that the tactic has made it impossible for him to walk the streets in peace. Brehon claims that he has been stopped by cops more than 60 times before his 18th birthday, according to the New York Times.

“Most of the times I get stopped, I’m walking down the block,” he says. “They never say, ‘This is why I’m stopping you.’ When you’re young and you’re Black, no matter how you look, you fit the description.”

Breton recalled a time when officers stopped and frisked both him and a group of other teens and lined them up against a wall. Breton asked why he was being stopped. An officer told him he was spraying graffiti on the wall. Breton in turn asked how could he possibly be spraying anything on the wall if it is Black and he only has a pink highlighter in his pocket.

Continue reading here…

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Five Things To Know About The Republican Witchhunt Against Attorney General Holder

Think Progress

In 2006, during the presidency of George W. Bush, the Justice Department launched the first of a series of misguided “gunrunning” schemes that eventually led to the death of federal Agent Brian Terry. Rather than look to ways to prevent such a tragedy from happening again, however, House Oversight Chair Darrell Issa’s (R-CA) spent his tenure as a committee chair trying unsuccessfully to embarrass Attorney General Eric Holder.

Next week, Issa plans to escalate this witch-hunt by holding an committee vote on a resolution to hold the Attorney General in contempt of Congress. Here’s what you need to know about this vote:

1. Issa Has No Case: Issa’s uncovered no evidence showing Holder bears any blame for the botched operations begun under George W. Bush, even though the Justice Department turned over thousands of pages of documents concerning the operations. Instead of accepting this fact, Issa has requested many more documents containing confidential information regarding ongoing law enforcement investigations, and is now threatening to hold Holder in contempt if these documents are not turned over. Holder is entirely correct to withhold these documents, however, because Justice Department documents are not subject to congressional subpoena if they would reveal “strategies and procedures that could be used by individuals seeking to evade [DOJ's] law enforcement efforts.”

2. Reagan’s Justice Department Agreed With Holder: President Reagan’s Justice Department warned in the 1980s that the Constitution’s separation of powers prevents the kind of documents Issa is seeking from being revealed to Congress because of the risk that the legislature could “exert pressure or attempt to influence the prosecution of criminal cases.”

3. Law Enforcement Rejects Issa’s Witchhunt: Issa’s efforts to embarrass Holder are an unnecessary distraction that hinders the Department of Justice’s ability to do its real job.  As an organization representing numerous senior law enforcement officials warned Issa, his efforts are “an impediment to the vigorous enforcement of violence and crime.”

4. Even Top Republicans Think Issa Goes Too Far: After Issa leaked his plans to pursue contempt charges to the media, the House Republican leadership pressured him to back off. Indeed, even House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) has indicated that Issa is overreaching.

5. Issa Is Fixated On A Conspiracy Theory: Perhaps the most bizarre aspect of this affair is what Issa once suggested his investigation will uncover. In an interview with Sean Hannity, Issa claimed that the Obama administration “made a crisis” when they continued the Bush-era gunrunning operations because they wanted to “us[e] this crisis to somehow take away or limit people’s Second Amendment rights.” This accusation originates from a former militiaman who supports violent resistance to imagined government attempts to seize his guns. And it amounts to an accusation that a series of botched gun stings that begun during the Bush Administration were actually part of a secret Obama plot to release guns to Mexican drug lords, so that those guns could then be used to kill federal agents, which would then cause a national uprising in support of gun control.

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GOP Front Group Suing States To Force Voter Purges

A screen shot from True the Vote’s website

This is going to get uglier than it already is.   For instance, Florida is a swing state and Romney must win Florida to even be in the running.  I suspect this is why they are playing hardball with the voter purge there and in several other states as well.

Think Progress

A Tea Party group is suing states to try to purge their voter rolls before November’s election. True the Vote, an arm of the King Street Patriots, has filed a suit against the state of Indiana, alleging that the state has poor “list maintenance” of its voters.

This suit kicks off a series of state-focused attempts by True the Vote, serving as a co-plaintiff with the conservative “watchdog” group Judicial Watch, to limit voter turnout this election season. Voter purges may be presented under the guise of fairer elections, but the idea of “cleaning” a list usually results in legal voters — overwhelmingly voters of color — being kicked off the rolls.

True the Vote’s agenda is clearly political, as can be evidenced from their website that lists Wisconsin’s recall election as a ‘victory’ (despite day-of claims of voter fraud) and Florida as an upcoming target. Other states on the list for lawsuits include more than half are swing states in play this election season:

According to a Judicial Watch investigation voter rolls in the following states appear to contain the names of individuals who are ineligible to vote:Mississippi, Iowa, Indiana, Missouri, Texas, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Florida, Alabama, and California. As part of its 2012 Election Integrity Project, Judicial Watch has put these states on notice that they must clean up their voter registration lists or face Judicial Watch lawsuits.

The Obama Justice Department has failed to enforce Section 8 the NVRA in court, having last filed a lawsuit to enforce voter list maintenance requirements of the NVRA in 2007. The current DOJ it is now opposing Florida’s Section 8 efforts to remove non-citizens from the voting rolls.

“This lawsuit is a historic step in restoring integrity to the American system of electing its leaders,” stated True the Vote President Catherine Engelbrecht.“Dirty election rolls can lead to election fraud and stolen elections.”

Attempts at “list management” aren’t quite as clear-cut as the press release makes it out to be. Florida’s recent tussles over voter rolls have resulted in voter suppression efforts — though it was technically aimed at non-citizens, those kicked off the rolls included two 90-plus world war two veterans. But while those voters were purged under the banner of protecting elections, fraud in the state is still less likely than getting hit by lighting.

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Mitt Romney thinks it’s ‘absurd’ to tell the truth about his job-killing policies

The fact is, Mitt Romney is the absurdity.

Daily Kos

Here’s Mitt Romney’s explanation for why he’s not out of touch for having mocked President Obama’s plan to help state and local governments hire more firefighters, police officers and teachers:

Well, that’s a very strange accusation. Of course teachers and firemen and policemen are hired at the local level and also by states. The federal government doesn’t pay for teachers, firefighters, or policemen. So obviously that’s completely absurd.

But as HuffPost’s Michael McAuliff  writes, the federal government actually does exactly what Romney says it does not: It provides billions to fund the hiring of the firefighters, cops and teachers that Romney wants to see laid off.

Specifically:

  1. Roughly $1 out of every $9 spent on public schools comes from the federal government—that’s a lot of teachers.
  2. More than one hundred thousand cops have been hired thanks to federal funding.
  3. In the past two fiscal years, Congress has spent more than $600 million each year on fighting fires. (And Republicans love that money: You may recall Rick Perry beggedPresident Obama for fire fighting aid last year after cutting the Texas fire fighting budget.)

The only absurd thing here is that Mitt Romney thinks it’s a good idea to keep on letting good public servants lose their jobs.

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