Commemorating the 150th Anniversary of End of Legal Slavery, President Obama Reflects on the Abolition of Slavery Amendment

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Standing in the United States Capitol today, President Obama reflected on the progress we’ve made since the U.S. abolished slavery in 1865.

On December 6, 1865, the U.S. ratified the 13th Amendment to the Constitution: the abolition of slavery. It was a long overdue step in the long road we continue to walk in our efforts to address and uproot the systemic injustices embedded into our society.

Standing in the United States Capitol today, President Obama reflected on the history of our progress — hard-fought, hard-won, incomplete, but always possible. Watch his remarks here:

As many made clear at the time of its ratification, the 13th Amendment was not a final step, but rather the first step in making real the promise that all men are created equal. Read the letter that Annie Davis, an enslaved woman living in Maryland, wrote to President Lincoln asking if she was free after he had signed the Emancipation Proclamation. He never replied, but the answer was no. It would take an amendment to Maryland’s constitution — and the 13th Amendment — to ensure that she and all enslaved people in the U.S. were free in the eyes of the law.

Emancipation Proclamation

Drafted December 22, 1862 The 13th amendment, which formally abolished slavery in the United States, passed the Senate on April 8, 1864, and the House/Congress on January 31, 1865. The National Consensus of the Proclamation/Bill/Amendment happened after end of Civil War December  6th, 1865.  The 13th amendment abolished slavery in the United States and provides that “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”.

Transcript of Emancipation Proclamation (1863)

print-friendly versionRead By the President of the United States of America,

September 22, 1862:

A Proclamation.

Whereas, on the twenty-second day of September, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-two, a proclamation was issued by the President of the United States, containing, among other things, the following, to wit:

“That on the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free; and the Executive Government of the United States, including the military and naval authority thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons, and will do no act or acts to repress such persons, or any of them, in any efforts they may make for their actual freedom.

“That the Executive will, on the first day of January aforesaid, by proclamation, designate the States and parts of States, if any, in which the people thereof, respectively, shall then be in rebellion against the United States; and the fact that any State, or the people thereof, shall on that day be, in good faith, represented in the Congress of the United States by members chosen thereto at elections wherein a majority of the qualified voters of such State shall have participated, shall, in the absence of strong countervailing testimony, be deemed conclusive evidence that such State, and the people thereof, are not then in rebellion against the United States.”

Now, therefore I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, by virtue of the power in me vested as Commander-in-Chief, of the Army and Navy of the United States in time of actual armed rebellion against the authority and government of the United States, and as a fit and necessary war measure for suppressing said rebellion, do, on this first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and in accordance with my purpose so to do publicly proclaimed for the full period of one hundred days, from the day first above mentioned, order and designate as the States and parts of States wherein the people thereof respectively, are this day in rebellion against the United States, the following, to wit:

Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, (except the Parishes of St. Bernard, Plaquemines, Jefferson, St. John, St. Charles, St. James Ascension, Assumption, Terrebonne, Lafourche, St. Mary, St. Martin, and Orleans, including the City of New Orleans) Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia, (except the forty-eight counties designated as West Virginia, and also the counties of Berkley, Accomac, Northampton, Elizabeth City, York, Princess Ann, and Norfolk, including the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth[)], and which excepted parts, are for the present, left precisely as if this proclamation were not issued.

13th Amendment

13th Amendment signed by all states on December 5th, 1865

And by virtue of the power, and for the purpose aforesaid, I do order and declare that all persons held as slaves within said designated States, and parts of States, are, and henceforward shall be free; and that the Executive government of the United States, including the military and naval authorities thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of said persons.

And I hereby enjoin upon the people so declared to be free to abstain from all violence, unless in necessary self-defence; and I recommend to them that, in all cases when allowed, they labor faithfully for reasonable wages.

And I further declare and make known, that such persons of suitable condition, will be received into the armed service of the United States to garrison forts, positions, stations, and other places, and to man vessels of all sorts in said service.

And upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of justice, warranted by the Constitution, upon military necessity, I invoke the considerate judgment of mankind, and the gracious favor of Almighty God.

In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the eighty-seventh.

By the President: ABRAHAM LINCOLN
WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

Mr. President

 

On August 25, 1864, Annie Davis, an enslaved woman living in Maryland, wrote this letter to President Lincoln asking if she was free. No reply from President Lincoln has been located, but the answer to her question would have been: “No.”

President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, freeing slaves in states that had seceded from the Union. But it excused slave-holding border states like Maryland that had remained loyal to the Union, as well as parts of the Confederacy already under Northern control. And further the Emancipation Proclamation ultimately depended on a Union military victory.

That means slavery continued to exist in Annie’s Maryland until a rewritten Maryland Constitution freeing slaves came into effect on November 1, 1864. And the 13th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States finally finished the work of freeing the slaves nationwide when ratified after the end of the Civil War on December 6th, 1865—150 years ago this week.

It is my Desire to be free. To go to see my people on the eastern shore. My mistress won’t let me. You will please let me know if we are free. And what I can do. I write to you for advice. Please send me word this week. Or as soon as possible. And oblige.

Annie Davis

“Our freedom is bound up with the freedom of others—regardless of what they look like, or where they come from, or what their last name is, or what faith they practice.” —President Obama

Find out more about Annie’s letter from USNatArchives​, and watch President Obama’s speech todayon the 150th anniversary of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

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Letter from Annie Davis to President Abraham Lincoln 08/25/1864 RG 094 Old Military and Civil Records Colored Troops Division, Letters Received D-304, 1864 Records of the Adjutant General’s Office, 1780s-1917 00913_2005_001

“Verily, the work does not end with the abolition of slavery, but only begins.”  Frederick Douglass

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Why Black Women’s Faith is So Strong…

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Experts and scholars find black women and our patterns of behavior fascinating, and are perpetually attempting to assess and analyze us. An area of particular interest is our commitment and devotion to faith as an overall group. A recent survey conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Washington Post found that 74 percent of black women (and 70 percent of black men) view “living a religious life” as important.

In an article posted on EURWeb.com, the survey’s results are cited, which concluded that in hard times, 87 percent of black women from all walks of life, education, class, and income level turn to faith–the highest percentage of any group.

Stacey Floyd-Thomas, an Associate Professor of Ethics and Society at Vanderbilt University, weighed in on the study last month. She links black women’s historical struggle to our firm faith roots.

“Black women have been the most mistreated and scandalized in U.S. society and culture as they wrestle both individually and collectively with the triple jeopardy of racism, sexism and classism,” said Floyd-Thomas.

According to her, black women, due to our oppression, seek out faith “as a way of finding relief, reprieve, resolution, and redemption.”

Cheryl Townsend Gilkes, a professor of sociology and African American studies at Colby College in Maine, on the other hand, views things from somewhat of a different perspective. Gilkes suggests black women’s religious devotion can be tied to cultural heritage.

“African Americans are more likely to have grown up with gospel music in the background of their lives, as well as with a mother or grandmother who insisted on all-day church on Sundays and Bible school in the summers,” says the article featuring Gilkes, an African American ordained minister and assistant pastor at a Baptist church.

Your thoughts?

 

Here’s Why from Her Perspective…

 

By EEW Magazine Editors

#BoycottRevlon: Black Women Protest Revlon Cosmetics – #LOVEISOFF

If you have any doubt about whether black Revlon customers are upset over alleged racist comments by CEO Lorenzo Delpani, then you need only visit the cosmetic company’s Instagram account.

The Grio reports:

Last week Delpani was hit with a lawsuit by Alan Meyer, a former top scientist for the company. The suit claims that Delpani made a number of disparaging and racist comments about Jewish and black people. Delpani is accused of saying that he “could smell a black person when he entered a room.”

Recent photos posted to the company’s Instagram account are overrun with comments — primarily from black women — urging others to #BoycottRevlon. Their latest photo, posted 2 days ago, received nearly 150 comments. That’s a noticeable spike from images posted before news of the lawsuit broke. Unfortunately for Revlon, the overwhelming majority of those comments are from women vowing not to buy their products.

In a Revlon post featuring an African-American couple, one commenter quips “Can he smell those to from the picture?”

Another writes, “Looking for a new foundation this weekend. Until you remove that CEO you WON’T smell any of my money.”

However it seems as if Revlon is standing by their man. The company said the following in a statement last week:

Revlon’s CEO Lorenzo Delpani

Alan Meyer’s lawsuit is a completely meritless attack by a former employee who is trying to distract from his own failed performance with false, sensational, and offensive allegations. Our Chairman, Ronald Perelman has expressed his unequivocal support for Lorenzo Delpani in the face of these offensive allegations.

Swat Raid Ends in Shooting Face Down to Back of Head Death – No Drugs Found! #DavidHooks

David-Hooks

LAURENS COUNTY, GA- A Georgia widow is filing charges against Laurens County Police following the murder of her husband in a SWAT raid on their home in September. This week, her attorney claimed David Hooks was shot as he was face down in the drug raid that turned up nothing. As the Hooks’ family attorney noted,

“That search of some 44 hours conducted by numerous agents of the G.B.I. [Georgia Bureau of Investigation] resulted in not one item of contraband being found.”

In fact, Hooks owned a construction company that contracted with the military. He had undergone background checks by the Department of Homeland Security and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to obtain security clearance.

Teresa Hooks, David Hooks’ wife, recounted the incident in full to 13-WMAZ News:

“Between 10:30 and 11, I turned the light off upstairs. I heard a car coming up the driveway really fast, and I looked up the upstairs window. I saw a black vehicle with no lights. I saw 6 to 8 men, coming around the side of my house, and I panicked. I came running downstairs, yelling for David to wake up. He was in the bedroom asleep, had been for about an hour and a half. When I got downstairs to the bottom of the stairs, he opened the door and he had a gun in his hand, and he said, ‘Who is it?,’ and I said I didn’t know. He stepped back into the bedroom like he was going to grab his pants, but before he could do that, the door was busted down. He came around me, in the hall, into the den, and I was gonna come behind him, but before I could step into the den the shots were fired, and it was over.”

She said that the police did not knock or identify themselves until after they had barged into the home and fired shots.

This week, the Hooks family attorney, Mitchell Shook, claimed that the Laurens County Sheriff deputies and their SWAT counterparts shot Hooks when they broke in the door and again when he was on the ground.  He had gun shot wounds to his back, the side of his head, and the back of ihs left shoulder.

Shook cited evidence this week from EMS and hospital records indicating that

“The trajectory of both of those shots coupled with the numerous shots that were obviously fired downward lead us to believe that David Hooks was face down on the ground when he was shot those last two times.”

A police statement made shortly after the raid claims that Hooks became aggressive and it was only then that they fired shots. Shook disagreed:

“The task force and the SRT members broke down the back door of the family’s home and entered, firing an excessive sixteen shots. There is no evidence that David Hooks ever fired a weapon.”

He further disputed the “official” story”:

“In the affidavit that the G.B.I. agent did to get the second search warrant, there was a statement in there which obviously came from Laurens County officers and deputies indicating that David Hooks was seen retreating up the stairs, that he then came back down the stairs with a gun. First of all we know from Teresa Hooks statement of what happened that is not what happened. Secondly we know that’s not what happened because it would be completely impossible for the entry team to have seen the stairs that Teresa Hooks came down to awaken David Hooks that night.”

Police obtained a search warrant to raid the Hooks’ home after a methamphetamine addict, Rodney Garret, robbed the Hooks’ truck the night before, going on to steal another car the family owned. He said he took a bag he thought was filled with cash, but later realized it was filled with meth and scales. Fearing for his safety, he turned himself in and blamed the drugs on Hooks. This, combined with a similar (but unproved) allegation against Hooks from 5-years earlier, earned the police their warrant.

It is not uncommon for SWAT officers and police to shoot people when conducting raids. Often, it is done while they are raiding the wrong homesor the homes of innocent people. The ACLU estimates that 124 SWAT raids are executed a day in the United States (46,000 a year, though some claims are higher).

The Hooks’ case is particularly disturbing because if the medical evidence is correct (the autopsy is still forthcoming), it implies the final shots fired were execution-style and entirely unnecessary as the victim was already debilitated on the floor.

Naturally, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and Laurens County Police have refused to comment any further on the case. Shook said

“The Sheriff’s Department has [gone] into complete lockdown. They have issued no statements. They won’t tell the press or even the Hooks family who the people who participated in this illegal raid were. They haven’t told us if they’ve been placed on administrative leave, suspended, or if they’re still out there supposedly enforcing the law.”

Shook hopes “…the Laurens County District Attorney will take the case to a grand jury and not solely rely on law enforcement’s take of the deadly raid.” Given the recent trends, however, such an outcome is a long shot.


This article is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author Carey Wedler and TheAntiMedia.org. Tune-in to The Anti-Media radio show Monday-Friday @ 11pm EST, 8pm PST. Carey Wedler

ALL ROADS LEAD TO #PHOENIX – NATIONAL STOP THE KILLING MARCH AND TOWNHALL

1658577_10152427103350740_5190067577660394519_oA Call To Action:

All Roads Lead To Phoenix
Dec.16, 20, 22


Across this country a persistent flurry of unjust police shootings, acts of excessive force, and wanton police violence has and will continue to rob our communities of the lives of our brothers and sisters. We must respond.
Just this year we’ve added Mike Brown – Eric Garner – Michelle Cusseaux – Tamir Rice – Ballentine Mbegbu – Rumain Brisbon and many other names to the ever growing list of victims. Victims, sacrificed to the evil trinity of police brutality, racial profiling, and antiquated policies that instill in law enforcement a seemingly insatiable drive to criminally dehumanize people.
The time for action is at hand. As a result of the latest case of a preventable police related fatality, we are organizing a town hall & march in Phoenix, Arizona to refocus our energies and redouble our efforts for a national push to solve this pandemic of hate defined violence.
Brothers and sisters, all roads lead to Phoenix.
We invite you and your organizations to become actively involved in this campaign to right wrongs and to combat injustice.
Please find below, an outline of the events taking place in Phoenix:
____________________
– December 16th, 2014
The Stop The Killing Organizing Committee will be hosting a training for local and visiting organizers to ensure the effectiveness of our upcoming protests and give an overview of what has and is happening in Phoenix. You are invited. This event is by invitation only.
The meeting will be held at the HISTORIC Tanner Chapel AME Church in downtown Phoenix from 7:00PM to 9:00PM. Doors open at 6:30PM.
Historic Tanner Chapel AME Church
20 S. 8th Street, Phx, AZ 85034
_____________________
– December 20th, 2014
STOP THE KILLING!!!!
MARCH ON PHOENIX
3:00PM
Cesar E. Chavez Plaza
251 W. Washington Street, Phx, AZ 85003
This march is set to descend on downtown Phoenix and will include stops at Phoenix city hall, Phoenix police headquarters, the Maricopa county attorney’s office and will culminate outside of the office of the United States department of justice satellite office.
__________________
– December 22, 2014
STOP THE KILLING !!!
NATIONAL TOWN HALL
(open to the public)

Featuring:
Attorney Malik Zulu Shabazz
President/ Founder
of Black Lawyers for Justice Association
(Keynote Speaker)
Special Guests
Student-Minister Akbar Muhammad
(International Representative of the Nation of Islam)
Bro. Anthony Shaheed – Ferguson, Mo
Tori Russell – Hands Up United
Other special invited guests, members of the clergy, and the elect.
Starts 7:00PM

Historic Tanner Chapel AME Church
20 S. 8th Street, Phx, AZ 85034
Doors Open At 6:00PM

ALL roads lead to Phoenix! We strongly encourage our youth, fraternities/sororities, churches mosques, nonprofits, community organizations, elected and appointed officials, and other groups to attend. We’re stronger together and through our unity we will: STOP THE KILLINGS!

YOU ARE INVITED!

PLANNING MEETING FOR CLERGY, GROUP AND ORGANIZATION LEADERS, AND INTERESTED PROFESSIONALS (SINGERS, DOCTORS, NURSES, BAND MEMBERS, COMPUTER NETWORK SPECIALISTS, ARTISTS, SOCIAL NETWORK SPECIALISTS, PROMOTERS)

REGISTER YOUR GROUP, ORGANIZATION, CHURCH, OR SELF AT: STOPTHEKILLINGSMEDIA@GMAIL.COM

LIVE VIEWING FOR THE NATIONAL STOP THE KILLING MARCH…http://www.ustream.tv/channel/stop-the-killing1

NATIONAL STOP THE KILLINGS MARCH PLANNING MEETING

7PM THIS TUESDAY
TANNER CHAPEL
20 S. 8TH ST
PHOENIX, AZ 85034

RSVP AT STOPTHEKILLINGSMEDIA@GMAIL.COM

MEDIA LINKS:

United Nations Aims to Reduce Racism Across the Globe During ‘International Decade of People of African Descent’

With the racial unrest swirling across the United States serving as a backdrop, the United Nations yesterday kicked off the International Decade of People of African Descent, spanning from Jan. 1, 2015, to Dec. 31, 2024, with a goal of confronting the challenges faced by people of African descent across the globe because of pervasive racism against Black people. While racism and discrimination against people of African descent has been a problem that has infected world societies for generations, this is an auspicious time to commence such a campaign, considering how prominent a topic racism is in the United States. The nightly protests, involving multiracial crowds of angry Americans, occurring across the country to protest police killings and brutality are a shocking development in a country that typically has tried to keep discussions of racism as far from the mainstream as possible. But the grand jury decisions not to indict police officers in the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, respectively, seem to have awakened outrage among Americans who previously weren’t inclined to see racism as still a major problem in the U.S. Sam Kutesa, president of the United Nation General Assembly, introduced the International Decade of People of African Descent by declaring that people of African descent still face racism in every country, region and continent of the world.

“Over the next 10 years, people everywhere are encouraged to take part in the global conversation on the realities faced by people of African descent,” said Kutesa, who is from Uganda. “The Decade will allow us to explore the challenges faced by people of African descent due to pervasive racism and racial discrimination engrained in our society today.” His remarks were reported on the United Nations website, un.org. The resolution for the international decade was actually adopted a year ago, on Dec. 23, 2013, with the theme “People of African descent: recognition, justice and development.” Kutesa pointed out that when global societies ensure the protection of the human rights of all people of African descent, it makes a tangible improvement in the lives of millions of people of African descent around the world. He said people of African descent are “too often” victims of crime and violence, and then face discrimination when they attempt to seek legal redress. It was hard not to consider his comments aimed at the United States, which many countries often accuse of hypocrisy because the U.S. frequently accuses other nations of human rights violations while clearly denying equal rights to Black and brown people inside the U.S. Kutesa said the international community has also recognized the correlation between poverty and racism, which serves to marginalize people of African descent in world economies, despite the significant contributions people of African descent have made to the development of world societies. The UN is encouraging nations to assist people of African descent by revisiting policies and practices that have a negative impact on Black people. Kutesa said the coming decade offers the world a chance to “unite our voices” and renew the political will to eliminate racial discrimination against anyone, anywhere. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was represented at the kickoff by UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Valerie Amos, who noted that people of African descent suffer from inequality and disadvantage from the history of slavery and as a result are among the poorest and most marginalized around the world, with limited access to healthcare, education and even employment. Speaking for Ban, Amos called on governments around the world to do more to protect people of African descent from the alarmingly high rates of police violence and racial profiling. The entire effort is to see that “a decade from now the situation of people of African descent is improved.” “Human rights belongs to us all,” said UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Šimonović, noting that the recent events in New York with the death of Garner and the grand jury decision serve as tragic reminders that people of African descent face disproportionate levels of racial discrimination. “This Decade aims to shine a light on inequality, invisibility, underdevelopment, discrimination and violence on each and every continent,” the human rights chief said. During the coming decade, the UN hopes to see the adoption of anti-discrimination laws around the world, in addition to countries fighting against impunity in regard to racial profiling and guaranteeing the equal protection of the law. The Decade will also promote the right to development for people of African descent, which is always a big issue on the African continent, in addition to equal access to education, health, and employment.

WE CAN’T BREATHE IN PHOENIX EITHER!

WE CAN’T BREATHE UNTIL WE KNOW WHO THE MURDERER IS!

rumain

“The shooting death of Rumain Brisbon by Phoenix police has sparked outrage in our community! The slaying of this unarmed black man and the unjust profiling that proceeded it are abominable offenses! The only thing worse is the impact of his tragic death on his family and little girls.”
Rev. Jarrett Maupin

PROTEST for ‪#‎RumainBrisbon‬ and other victims of Police Killings

When: Tomorrow Starting at 5PM

Where: ELKS LODGE 1007 S 7th Ave, Phoenix, Arizona 85007

Why: THE POLICE HAS REFUSED TO GIVE UP NAME OF OFFICER…WE WANT HIS NAME!
MARCH on POLICE DEPARTMENT starting at 7PM UNTIL!

We join thousands of people across the nation raising their voices, taking to the streets, rallying and demanding justice for the lives of the Black men, women and children killed every 28 hours by police. Rumain Brisbon, father of four and resident of Phoenix, AZ was killed by an unnamed Phoenix Police Officer on Tuesday December 2, 2014. Police statements and mainstream media outlets allege that Mr. Brisbon was a drug dealer and threatened the officer, causing the officer to use deadly force. However, witnesses, family and friends present a different story. Rumain was not a drug dealer. In fact, he was just in front of his home while approached by the police officer. Sources say, Rumain was shot in front of his young children. The white police officer mistook a pill bottle for a gun.
The police ambush started because of a phone call put in by a unnamed resident. The caller told police Rumain looked suspicious. However, Rumain was dropping off food for his little girls.

Details for Funeral Services of Akai Gurley, Black Man Murdered by Police

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REV. AL SHARPTON TO GIVE EULOGY AT AKAI GURLEY’S FUNERAL ON FRIDAY, DECEMBER 5TH

—PUBLIC SERVICE TO BE HELD FOR THE 28-YEAR-OLD UNARMED MAN FATALLY SHOT BY POLICE IN EAST NEW YORK—

 

WHO:

Rev. Al Sharpton, President, National Action Network

 

WHEN:

Friday, December 5, 2014 –

5:00-7:00p.m. ET Viewing (open to public)

7:00-9:00p.m. ET Akai Gurley’s funeral service (open to public)

WHERE:

Brown Memorial Baptist Church

484 Washington Ave. (at Gates Ave.)

Brooklyn, NY 11238

WHAT:

Rev. Sharpton to give the eulogy at Akai Gurley’s funeral, the 28-year-old unarmed man fatally shot by police in East New York. The viewing and funeral are open to the public.

Paid for by National Action Network

NEW YORK (AP) — Stunned relatives of an unarmed man killed by a rookie police officer in a dark public housing stairwell looked on as the Rev. Al Sharpton and public officials demanded a full investigation Saturday into what law enforcement officials have termed an apparent accident.”We’re not demonizing the police,” Sharpton said, but “this young man should not be dead.”

Police said the fatal shooting Thursday night of Akai Gurley in Brooklyn’s gritty East New York neighborhood appears accidental. But “how do we know until there is a thorough investigation of all that happened?” Sharpton asked.

He spoke at a rally in Harlem, standing alongside Gurley’s 2-year-old daughter, her mother and several elected officials. Gurley’s relatives remained silent during and after the rally.

Gurley’s death comes at a sensitive time, with a grand jury weighing whether to bring criminal charges against another officer in the chokehold death of a man on Staten Island, and the nation bracing for a potential announcement soon on whether an indictment will be handed up in the police shooting of an unarmed 18-year-old in Ferguson, Missouri.

“Until we address the issue of police killing people of color, we’re going to always have the problem; we’re deaf on the issue,” Alex Mallory, 64, a Bronx resident who once lived in public housing, said after the rally. “I could have easily been this guy, walking down the stairs.”

City police often conduct “vertical patrols” inside public housing by going from roofs down staircases that sometimes are havens for crime. Police Commissioner William Bratton has said the patrols are needed, and the development where Gurley was shot had recently seen a shooting, robberies and assaults.

Officer Peter Liang and his partner, also new to the force, were patrolling a pitch-dark stairwell with flashlights late Thursday, police said. Gurley, 28, was leaving his girlfriend’s apartment after she had braided his hair, according to the girlfriend, who is not his daughter’s mother.

Police said the officers walked down the stairs onto an eighth-floor landing when Gurley and his girlfriend opened a stairwell door one floor down, after giving up on waiting for an elevator. Police said Liang, patrolling with his gun drawn, fired without a word and apparently by accident, hitting Gurley from a distance of about 10 feet.

Mallory, the former public housing resident, said an officer should never patrol a building with a gun drawn.

“What are you saying, people who live in developments are animals, or something?” he asked.

Bratton said officers generally have discretion on whether to draw their weapons based on what they are encountering or believe they may encounter. He called Gurley’s death a tragedy that befell someone “totally innocent.”

It was unclear how long the stairway’s lights had been out or whether there had been complaints. The New York City Housing Authority did not answer those questions Saturday, saying only that the shooting was tragic and that housing officials would “continue to work with the NYPD and our residents to make our properties as safe as possible.”

The fatal shooting came a decade after 19-year-old Timothy Stansbury was shot dead by a startled officer on a Brooklyn rooftop of a housing complex. His family got a $2 million settlement with the city.

Liang, 26, has been placed on modified duty. Under standard policy, police internal affairs investigators won’t be able to question him until prosecutors have decided whether to file criminal charges. Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson has called the shooting “deeply troubling” and said it warrants “an immediate, fair and thorough investigation.”

New York Assemblyman-elect Charles Barron organized a protest march on Saturday evening from the shooting scene to the police department office that patrols housing developments.

In a statement, march organizers said there was nothing accidental about Gurley’s shooting.

“This is the deadly consequence of the increasing militarization of the police, from New York City to Ferguson — and beyond.”

Another Black Unarmed Male Shot By Police in Phoenix Arizona!

rumain.brisbon

Rumain Brisbon, father of four and resident of Phoenix, AZ was killed by an unnamed Phoenix Police Officer on Tuesday December 2, 2014. Police statements and mainstream media outlets allege that Mr. Brisbon was a drug dealer and threatened the officer, causing the officer to use deadly force. However, witnesses, family and friends present a different story. Rumain was a loved father, son, brother and neighborhood member. Phoenix community members and activists are rallying support to get the truth of how and why Rumain’s life was taken. The following is a heartfelt statement from family and friends.

In the wake of the Ferguson verdict, citizens across America have been questioning their safety amongst police officers. Specifically, those questioning have been members of the Black community. As a Black woman, Ferguson hit home for obvious reasons, as I’m a sister, daughter, cousin and friend of these “Black Male” victims that have been sweeping the nation in recent months.

Last night, I relived Ferguson all over again, with the murder of friend Rumain Brisbon, a Phoenix resident. Rumain is the father of four, in his mid-30s, a wonderful spirit who enjoyed spending time with his family, but his death came suddenly too soon.
The reason being, he was Living While Black.

His Blackness warranted a call to the Phoenix police department the night of December 2nd, from a resident in his apartment complex. The resident thought Rumain looked suspicious because he was sitting in his parked SUV in the apartment parking lot with his best friend; again, in front of his own home.

One simple call led police officers to bum rush the two young men, while accusing them of selling drugs. Panicked and rightfully confused, Rumain ran unarmed towards his home, only to be shot twice in the torso. His friend is now in police custody.

Questions have been raised by Phoenix’s Black community & activists because his family was not permitted to see the body of their slain son, brother, and cousin. His family was denied answers to their questions of concern about what happened to their loved one. The crime scene was blocked off for hours. Could he have been saved? Was he left to die on the scene? Most importantly, can someone explain WHY this happened? Why are police officers quick to shoot as if lives don’t matter? These are questions, that might painfully go unanswered.

While grieving, the family has to endure false media headlines, that accuse Rumain for being “a drug dealer and the cop as a hero.” This false accusation led to his death and his hero is nothing more than a murderer with a badge. As an open to carry firearms state (in Arizona), police found a small handgun in Rumain’s vehicle. He didn’t take the gun out to shoot back at any policemen. It was simply left behind and he ran away unarmed. It’s been reported, the drugs that claimed to have been found, was of no large amount for any type of distribution.

In these times, it’s important to question the integrity of our armed forces. Officers set-up crimes to make it appear, as they want it to be reported. As a community, we’re smarter than this. As an intelligent force of Black individuals we’re able to service our own media news and report truth. We’re able to be heard. If they aren’t looking out for us, its time the Black community looks out for each other.

Rumain lost his life for being in the right place at the right time. Simply sitting in front of his home spending time with his best friend.

The community is coming together to stand up for Rumain:

When:   Thursday December 4, 2015
Time:    8PM
Where: Downtown Phoenix Civic Space

            424 N Central Ave, Phoenix, Arizona 85004

original story can be found at allhiphop.com

New York Prepares for Riots, as Grand Jury Weighs In on the Eric Garner Decision

As the video below unmistakably shows, Eric Garner was killed by the cops.

His crime? Allegedly selling cigarettes not approved and taxed by the state. Garner was knocked to the ground and a white police officer, Daniel Pantaleo, strangled him to death. The suffocation was exacerbated by the fact Garner suffered from asthma.

With Ferguson fresh in their minds, Police Commissioner William Bratton met with elected officials and clergy members on Staten Island Monday to talk about possible reaction to a grand jury decision (scheduled to be released any day) in the Eric Garner case. NY1’s Amanda Farinacci filed the following report.

Bratton Meets Officials on SI Ahead of Eric Garner Grand Jury Decision
“Staten Island is not Ferguson.” That was the message after a 90-minute meeting in St. George Monday between Police Commissioner William Bratton, community leaders and elected officials.

The agenda, according to Staten Island Borough President James Oddo, was “how we’re going to deal with the emotions coming in this next week.” That’s because a special grand jury could soon announce whether or not it’ll hand up an indictment against police officer Daniel Pantaleo in the death of 43-year-old Eric Garner.

Pantaleo is seen on video putting Garner in a chokehold as officers tried to arrest him this summer for illegally selling cigarettes.

Garner’s death happened less than a month before Michael Brown’s, and the case has stirred some of the same strong emotions.

“There certainly will be increased police presence in the area, especially around the vicinity of where they anticipate demonstrations to be taking place, and that is something that I believe the NYPD is taking very seriously,” said Assembly woman Nicole Malliotakis, whose district covers parts of Staten Island and Brooklyn.

A rally for Garner this summer drew thousands of protesters. While some businesses along the march route decided to close their doors that day, the demonstration was largely uneventful.

“The businesses that remained open actually got business, a lot of business, and it was just a peaceful demonstration. We’re expecting the same thing,” said City Councilwoman Debi Rose of Staten Island.

“Here on Staten Island, Eric Garner had a lot of friends, especially in that area, and he’s very, very well missed by a lot of people who’s anxiously waiting the decision,” said Cynthia Davis of the National Action Network. “So I even think maybe some agitators may try to worm their way in and try to cause problems, but we’re just praying and hoping that that doesn’t happen.”

The National Action Network said it isn’t planning a march or protest on Staten Island after a decision is announced. Instead, the group says it plans to march over the Brooklyn Bridge to federal court in Brooklyn.

“We’re praying that federal prosecutors take over the case,” Davis said.

“The tone and tenor that has been set by his mother Gwen and by all of the family is that they do not want to see violence, and we’ve tried to echo that message throughout the city,” said the Rev. Victor Brown of the Mt. Sinai United Christian Church.

On July 17, 2014, in Staten Island, New York, United States, Eric Garner died of neck compression, combined with asphyxia proximate to chest restriction, as a result of a chokehold applied while police officers were arresting him for the suspected sale of untaxed cigarettes.[3][4] Garner previously had been arrested for selling untaxed cigarettes. When a police officer attempted to arrest Garner, he had broken up a fight which brought additional police units to the scene. He was approached by police officer Justin Damico.[5][6] A New York City Police Department officer, Daniel Pantaleo, put Garner on the ground by the use of force, which included the use of aheadlock, backed by video evidence of the event.[1] Garner died some minutes later. NYPD Union leader Patrick Lynch challenged that chokehold claim.[7]

On August 1, 2014, medical examiners concluded that police brutality as the primary causes of Garner’s death and Garner’s heart problems, obesity and asthma as additional factors.[8] As a result of Garner’s death, four EMTs and paramedics who responded to Garner’s death were suspended without pay on July 21, 2014, and officers Justin Damico and Daniel Pantaleo were placed on desk duty, the latter stripped of his service gun and badge.

The event stirred public protests and rallies with charges of police brutality and was broadcast nationally over various media networks.

Response to Current Events by the Minister Louis Farrakhan