Category Archives: US

Daunte Wright killed by Minneapolis cops for driving while being black

Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old black man is dead after being shot by racist police in a Minneapolis suburb.

The murderous shooting took place during a traffic stop on Sunday and shortly after the man had phoned his mother, Katie Wright, to say he was being pulled over by cops.

The community has risen up in protest against the latest police killing of an innocent black person.

Protests broke out last night and continued into Monday morning, with the Brooklyn Center suburb at the centre of the rebellion.

Underlining the horror of the latest shooting is the fact that it took place a mere 10 miles from where the cop – Derek Chauvin – who murdered George Floyd is on trial, just before the 11th day of that trial.

Justice for Daunte Wright protests met by more violence

As is typical of racist America, the authorities instead of arresting the killer cops, have launched a repressive push back against protesters, firing rubber bullets and other weapons at members of the community.

Brooklyn Center’s mayor has put in place a curfew until 6am

Even with the eyes of the world on the Minneaplos police force, their impunity still knows no bounds.

As is usual for such police crimes, the cops got in their narrative (lies) first.

Chief Tim Gannon of the Brooklyn Center Police Department said that as the traffic stop unfolded the police discovered that there was a warrant out for the arrest of the motorist, as if this was excuse enough for the shooting dead of Wright.

Katie Wright said her son told her he had been pulled over “for having a dangerous air freshner on his car window”.

The ACLU [American Civil Liberties Union] said his mother heard the cops tell him to get out of the car but they refused to say why. Then she heard scuffling followed by gunshots.

The bodycam of the latest police murder has yet to be released, despite calls from family members and the community.

The killing of Duante Wright follows outrage over the treatment by racist police of US Army Lieutenant Caron Nazario, who was assaulted and threatened with being shot by cops in Virginia. Nazario is of mixed Africa-American and Hispanic heritage.

Racism in the USA: cops handcuff 5-year-old black child

Racism in the USA brings forth more shocking scenes, this time from a newly released body camera footage from January 2020 showing two police officers in Montgomery County, Maryland, berating and handcuffing a 5-year-old child.

You won’t be surprised to know that the child is black. But what is perhaps more surprising is the fact that the cops responsible for the child abuse were themselves African-American.

Such is the deep institutional racism of the police in the US that even the black cops conform to type and learn to see all black people as worthy or ‘special treatment’ – even five-year-old boys.

The police officers have still not been disciplined, let alone sacked.

The officers were responding to a call to bring back the child, who left school after allegedly breaking a computer. The child’s mother has filed a lawsuit against the police department.

A few minutes into the footage, the following interaction take place:

“I don’t care if you don’t want to go to school — you do not have that choice, do you understand?” says one of the two cops, before he decides to get more aggressive. “Get back over there! Now!” he screams.

The boy does not respond, so the cop grabs him by the arm and begins walking him back to the school. The boy starts coughing and crying uncontrollably.

“There is no crying!” the female officer yells.

The male officer, who has the boy by the arm, tells him: “Cut it out!”

George Floyd murder trial: ‘When I look at George Floyd, I look at my dad’

The trial of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd has put America on trial for its institutional racism.

Already the Chauvin defence strategy is clear – assassinate the character of the victim and insist on the unblemished professionalism of the killer police officer.

In this weird police union world it is not the knee on George Floyd’s neck that killed him but his poor heart condition and alleged drug use.

All this simply piles pain on the family, despite the ‘financial compensation’ they have received from Minneapolis city authorities. But no amount of money will bring George back from the dead.

The trial is expected to last a month and will prove to be both tortuous and painful.

One thing is certain – if the jury fails to convict Chauvin on the second degree murder charge, which is too weak a charge in any case – there will be hell to pay, both in the US and around the world. BLM will make sure of that.

Witnesses to George Floyd’s killing: ‘It seemed like he knew it was over for him’

The most powerful testimony at the first day of the trial came from Darnella Frazier, the teenager who was one of the bystanders filming the murder and is now 18 years old.

Having witnessed the killing, she is still traumatised by the experience and sometimes finds it hard to sleep as she thinks over if it she could have saved George’s life by intervening.

She spoke of how she would lay awake “apologising to George Floyd for not doing more and not physically interacting and not saving his life.”

“When I look at George Floyd, I look at my dad,” she added. “I look at my brothers. I look at my cousins, my uncles because they are all Black. I have a Black father. I have a Black brother. I have Black friends. And I look at that, and I look at how that could have been one of them.”

“It seemed like he knew it was over for him. He was terrified. He was suffering. This was a cry for help, definitely.”

The onlookers at the scene were understandably scared to intervene and noted how all the police on scene refused to respond to warnings from bystanders about the threat to George’s life their restraint clearly showed.

Calling the police on the police

Donald Williams, 33, a mixed martial arts fighter called the police on the police, such were his fears, as he saw the life being squeezed out of George. “I believe I witnessed a murder,” he informed the 911 phone operator.

Genevieve Hansen, 27, was another. witness to the murder. She is a firefighter and just happened to be passing by.

Hansen told the police to check George’s pulse but they told her to go away. “I would have been able to provide medical attention to the best of my abilities, and this human was denied that right,” Hansen stated to the court.

Chauvin’s lawyer Eric J. Nelson tried to claim that the police officers on the scene were being threatened by the small crowd of onlookers.

Hansen probably had the best response to that twisting of the truth: “I don’t know if you’ve seen anybody be killed, but it’s upsetting.”

Another thing that is emerging already from the trial is the bias of the judge, who took issue with several comments from witnesses, telling them not to argue with the court, and admonishing Hansen for daring to point out the trauma of watching someone being killed in front of their eyes.

Racist police handcuff and pepper-spray 9-year-old Black girl

A 9-year-old girl was handcuffed and pepper-sprayed by racist cops but still none of them have been disciplined, as the racist impunity of law enforcement in the US continues.

Sadly this is apart and parcel of the everyday racist violence from police that Black people continue to suffer in the US.

On Friday, January 29, several officers from the Rochester police department responded to a family disagreement. Instead of resolving the dispute, the responding officers quickly escalated the situation and it ended with police hand-cuffing and pepper-spraying a nine-year-old girl. 

Here’s what we know: 

Three RPD officers pepper-sprayed a child. The child’s mother, Elba Pope, called the police for a domestic dispute. When the police arrived, Pope’s daughter was experiencing a mental health emergency. Bodycam footage shows officers tackling the nine-year-old to the ground before placing her in handcuffs and later pepper-spraying her in the back of the squad car. 

The situation called for trauma-informed care, not state-sanctioned violence. The bodycam footage reveals a pattern of historically anti-Black racism within the Rochester Police Department.  Last year, Daniel Prude, a Black man experiencing a mental health emergency was murdered by RPD, which we only discovered months later because his family demanded the footage be released. RPD has a long history of violent racism, police brutality, and attempted cover-ups. In a very similar situation — a family member calling for help — officers responded with excessive force instead of community care. 

The implication that a Black child should have the capacity to respond calmly while being handcuffed, pepper-sprayed, and berated by a gang of police officers is unacceptable. It’s infuriating that multiple police officers (grown men and women) would brutally attack a child. 

We stand in solidarity with the families traumatized by the Rochester police department, and the Black community in Rochester as they demand justice after the violent assault of a 9-year-old child experiencing a mental health crisis. Every officer involved is guilty of prioritizing violence before community care. 

We demand justice.

Release the names of the officers involved 

Terminate all officers who responded to the scene 

Ban the practice of handcuffing children 

Ban the use of chemical weapons by RPD: prohibit the use of CS gas (tear gas), PepperBalls, and any chemical weapon that threatens the health and safety of community members  

Add your name to the petition demand justice now! 

Below is the letter we will send to the Mayor of Rochester, Lovely Warren& Police Chief Cynthia Harriot-Sullivan.

Sign the Petition against racist police:

Dear Mayor Lovely Warren & Police Chief Cynthia Harriot-Sullivan: 

I’m standing in solidarity with the families traumatized by Rochester police officers, the Black community in Rochester, and Color of Change to demand justice for the 9-year-old girl who was handcuffed and pepper-sprayed by officers on Friday, January 29th. The criminalization of Black children and the irresponsible use of state-sanctioned violence on our communities will not be tolerated. 

We demand justice, 

Release the names of the officers involved 

Terminate all officers who responded to the scene 

Ban the use of chemical weapons by RPD: prohibit the use of CS gas (tear gas), PepperBalls, and any chemical weapon that threatens the health and safety of community members 

If police officers are protected by anonymity, internal investigations, and paid administrative leave they will continue to harm Black people with impunity.  

We demand that the Rochester Police Department is held accountable publicly. Your community demands immediate changes and we won’t stop fighting until you move towards our collective vision of safety and dignity. 

Sincerely 

[Your Name]

Thanks to the Color of Change (sign the petition):

https://act.colorofchange.org/sign/care_not_cops/?t=3&ak_proof=1&akid=49080%2E8946524%2EVBRuzG#

Covid racism: Being poor or Black means no vaccine

Covid racism by the authorities means there is a huge disparity in getting the vaccine if you are from a poor, Black or Asian background.

On 20 February the Financial Times published an article entitled Racial Inequality Plagues US Vaccine Rollout.

Change US to UK and the headline would fit for the UK too.

The FT article contains some striking graphic representations of that disparity, with contrasting maps of the major cities showing the incidence of deaths and infections (blue) and the incidence of vaccine administration (green).

Being poor or black means no vaccine for you

The shocking truth that it is black and poor people doing most of the dying but rich white people getting the best vaccine coverage. BAME and frontliners are in the Covid firing line but seemingly at the back of the queue for the vaccine.

To repeat, what is true for the US is also true for the UK, but try as we might we cannot find similar maps of the UK, presumably because our millionaire owned press does not think it worthy of investigation.

And vaccine hesitancy among African Americans does not explain the gross disparity. Although that metric is higher among the demographic because of the history and current practice of racism in the delivery of US healthcare, it is the weakest factor explaining the low take up.

Instead, the way in which the vaccine rollout has been executed is the problem. Although the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended ‘priority groups’ get the vaccine first, this has been ignored by the individual states administering the rollout.

Vaccine hesitancy doesn’t explain rollout disparity

Most states have opted for an online first-come-first-served approach, which skews heavily in favour of the rich and well-heeled populations that have the time to sit in front of a computer refreshing the appointments site all day (or can hire someone to do that for them), or who don’t work all-hours and therefore don’t have the time to allocate for the necessary screen time.

And then there are the people who don’t have good internet access, which will tend to be the poorest communities. Then there is the already existing biases in healthcare delivery that skew to the richest in society.

Also, governments on both sides of the Atlantic are doing little if anything to counter vaccine hesitancy, with targeted outreach campaigns delivered by institutions and individuals trusted by the communities affected.

Short-sighted ruling class policy means a Covid pandemic without end

What is going on inside the rich countries is a reflection of what is going on at a global level, where the rich countries look after themselves but leave the middle income and poorest countries to fend for themselves. If it wasn’t for the Chinese and the Russians there would be no vaccine delivery in Latin America and Africa, for example.

But the short-sightedness of the rich white ruling-class elite means that the pandemic will never end because it will continue to circulate and mutate.

All graphics courtesy Financial Times.

Video: the everyday horror of America’s racist police violence – enough!

More racist American police violence. It never stops so we must keep up the fight until it does.

Parler data dump ongoing with names of terrorist organisers set to emerge

Its a few years late but social media has booted fascist-enabler-in-chief Donald Trump and now his supporters on Parler are about to be uncovered.

That has thrown up also sorts of real issues about the power of social media over our lives and politics, but the arguments of the right shutting down Trump is an affront to free speech is specious, to say the least.

But there can be no freedom to spread hate and violence, which is what Trump has been doing and to be honest it is what his followers continue to do on Twitter and Facebook.

Trump and assorted racists and fascists thought they would be able to spew their filth on Parler, but after Amazon’s withdrawal of Amazon Web Services hosting and its removal from the Apple and Google app stores, that outlet has been blocked too.

Parler data dump set to expose fascists

Parler is underwritten by Trump billionaire backer’s the Mercer family and has billed itself as the home of the far right.

Today it emerged that the entire content of Parler has been accessed and is currently being downloaded.

So in addition to all their live-streaming and selfies of their criminal conduct on Capitol Hill, we will soon have access to much of the planning and the individuals and organisations responsible.

Obviously relying on the police to bringing any of the far right criminals to justice is a waste of time given the police were accomplices and facilitators, apart from one or two honourable exceptions.

As the Parler planning is uncovered we will have further reports.

If you are wondering about the extent of the collusion and facilitating between cops and fascists, then the video below should help clear things up. Even as a woman laid dying, the police we talking to the far right rioters about calming down so that theey could let them continue on their journey around the Capitol building in search of lawmakers to kidnap, put on trial and execute, as was planned by some of the terrorist elements.

Even after a woman lies dying, police tell far right rioters to calm or you can’t some in! If they were Black their heads would have been blown off by now: “You guys can’t come in here if you are so unruly. You guys got to calm down”

https://secureservercdn.net/160.153.138.177/d29.586.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/WhatsApp-Video-2021-01-10-at-21.41.00.mp4

The Daily Kos has more on how the Parler data was accessed here and more from Vice here.

Trump coup attempt in motion as fascists storm Congress, police watch on

Trump supporters have stormed the US Capitol with reports of shots being heard inside the building.

Congress has gone into lockdown and the police have allowed the assorted fascists to breach all the capitol buildings, according to reports.

The floor of Congress is being evacuated and gas masks distributed to the country’s elected officials

The kid glove treatement of the all-white Trump rabble is in stary contrast to the treatment meted out to BLM or left-wing demonstartors.

It is not lost on those viewing the scenes how different the response of law enforcement would have been if this was a mostly Black crowd.

Earlier ni the day the protesters heard from Trump who egged on the crowd to do their worst inhis hour long diatribe of lies about how the election was supposedly stolen.

The Trump supporters are even more enraged by the events in Georgia where the Democrats are set to win both Senate seats, giving them control of all three branches of the US government.

Despite the best efforts of Republican white supremacists to suppress the Black vote in the state, it was the turnout of African-Americans that has swung the election in Georgia in the Democrats’ favour.

All the political leaders of the US are in the capitol and the police appear to have lost control of the situation as “protesters”, some alleged to have concealed weapons, roam the buildings.

This is a Trump coup attempt

This is political intimidation that has all the hallmarks of fascism in action.

A republican congressman has described the storming of the capitol as a coup attempt. He is right.

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A 6pm curfew has been declared by the mayor of Washington DC but many will be asking why the capitol was not properly protected in the first place following days of warnings about violence from Trump loyalists.

It is time for Trump to be arrested for sedition against the republic.

Kenosha cop who shot Jacob Blake in the back faces no charges

Rusten Sheskey, the police officer in Kenosha County, Wisconsin, who shot Jacob Blake sparking off days of protests which led to white supremacist vigilante Kyle Rittenhouse shooting dead two BLM protesters, will not be charged with any crime.

The news was announced by Kenosha County district attorney Michael Graveley. The announcement was greeted with dismay by Blake family members.

“This decision failed not only Jacob and his family but the community that protested and demanded justice,” said the family’s lawyer, Ben Crump.

The white policeman who shot Blake several times in the back after attending a domestic incident with other officers, has left Blake semi-paralysed and he will never walk again.

Expected protests on Tuesday, many businesses had been boarded up and National Guardsmen were stationed at the court house.

Sheskey has been on administartive leave since the shooting, on full pay. So while he has been on holiday, another Black family has been grieving as a result of racist police violence in the US.

Rittenhouse was arraignment today also, and pleaded not guilty to the six charges against him, which included first degree intentional homicide.

In the protests that turned into an anti-police uprising, the armed Rittenhouse, who was 17 at the time, was seen colluding with police and even after he killed two protesters was able to depart the scene with no intervention from the police.

Minneapolis police killing of Dolal Idd and raid shows their brutal racism

The shooting dead by police of Dolal Idd last Wednesday in Minneapolis was the first since the murder of George Floyd by the same police force.

Police have released a body cam video they say shows that Mr Idd fired first, but he shows no such thing.

All that is seen in the video is the man’s car window blowing out, but that shot could equally have come from the other side of the car as it could from within the vehicle. The police claim a firearm was found in the car.

No further body cams have been released by the police to help to clarify the situation.

Following the killing, police officers descended on the family home of Mr Idd in a raid that has left the Somali-American family shell shocked.

The police forced their way into the home screaming orders, putting teenagers into handcuffs as well as Dolal’s father Bayle Gelle when he came rushing down the stairs after hearing his wife screaming.

The only ones not put into cuffs were the young children. The police did not say what they were searching for and it was only as they were leaving the home that they saw fit to inform the family that Dolal had been killed by police.

The killing by police of Dolal Idd
Raid by militarised police on the family home