Monthly Archives: November 2015

Washington University Cancels Classes Over Hate Speech Against Blacks, Muslims


SEATTLE (AP) — After a racist thread on social media sparked outrage on a quiet Washington state campus, college officials sent students home a day early for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Western Washington University sent out an alert cancelling classes and an email to students just after 6 a.m. Tuesday from President Bruce Shepard. It is unknown if the people who posted the threats are students at the state university in Bellingham, but the posts were made from a phone located within 10 miles of campus, Shepard said.

“I need to be very clear here: we are not talking the merely insulting, rude, offensive commentary that trolls and various other lowlifes seem free to spew, willy nilly, although there has been plenty of that, too. No, this was hate speech,” Shepard wrote in an email posted on the university website.

A series of threats against minorities were posted over the weekend on Yik Yak, an anonymous social media platform popular among college students.

The posts mentioned almost every ethnic group, including blacks, Muslims, Jews and American Indians, blaming them for an effort on campus to debate changing the university’s mascot, a Viking. The threats came days after some student leaders suggested that the mascot is …read more

Source:: Black America Web

Missing Surveillance Footage In Laquan McDonald Case Raises Questions [WATCH]


In May, the district manager of a Burger King restaurant in Chicago said police officers deleted footage from one of their security cameras located fewer than 100 yards from where 17-year old Laquan McDonald was shot and killed.

On Tuesday, Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez addressed the missing footage, saying it has undergone forensic testing to determine whether or not it was “tampered with.”

“Forensic testing was done on the Burger King surveillance system to determine if anyone tampered with the evidence and the testing did not reveal any such evidence,” she said.

McDonald was shot 16 times by a Chicago police officer on the night of October 20, 2014. Nine of the shots struck McDonald in the back, according to the Medical Examiners report. First degree murder charges were filed Tuesday against Officer Jason Van Dyke .

On the night of the shooting, McDonald was trailed by Chicago police officers through the Burger King parking lot on 40th and Pulaski after a call about a man with a knife, according to attorneys for the McDonald family. The 86-minutes of missing video runs from 9:13 p.m. to 10:39 p.m., according to the lawyers for McDonald’s family. He was shot at approximately 9:50 p.m.

Just …read more

Source:: Black America Web

Activists In Minneapolis Targeted, 5 Shot By White Supremacists [VIDEO]

By AMY FORLITI, Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Protesters demanding justice for a black man fatally shot by Minneapolis police were settling in for their ninth night of demonstrations when something just didn’t seem right.

Lingering in the crowd were four people who seemed out of place. They were asked to leave. Moments later, shots rang out about a block away.

“I really did think it was like firecrackers or something initially because it was so loud and there was like this acrid smell,” protester Jie Wronski-Riley said. “I thought, ‘Surely, they are not shooting at us.’”

Then Wronski-Riley heard the cries of wounded people on the ground. “I really understood the danger we were in and what had happened.”

Police say five people were shot in the attack, which unfolded late Monday near a police precinct where dozens of protesters have been camped out since the Nov. 15 fatal shooting of Jamar Clark. None suffered life-threatening wounds.

Authorities arrested a 23-year-old white man, who remained in custody Tuesday evening, and a 32-year-old Hispanic man, who was later released. Two more men — both white, ages 26 and 21 — turned themselves in Tuesday afternoon.

According to police, Clark was shot after he struggled with officers. But some people who said …read more

Source:: Black America Web

Freddie Gray Jury Will Be Anonymous, Not Sequestered

By Associated Press

BALTIMORE (AP) — A Baltimore judge has ruled that jurors in the first trial of a police officer in the death of Freddie Gray can remain anonymous, but they won’t be sequestered.

Judge Barry Williams ruled Tuesday on more than a dozen motions ahead of Officer William Porter’s trial, which starts next week. Porter is charged with assault, manslaughter, misconduct in office and reckless endangerment. He is the first of six Baltimore officers to stand trial.

Williams ruled that he will not preemptively limit the number of character witnesses and won’t bar the introduction of certain evidence, including policies and procedures related to belting prisoners. Gray was not wearing a seatbelt when he was injured in the back of a police van.

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…read more

Source:: Black America Web

Chicago Cop Charged With Murder in Killing of Black Teen

By DON BABWIN and MICHAEL TARM, Associated Press

CHICAGO (AP) — A white Chicago police officer accused of fatally shooting a black teenager was charged with murder Tuesday, just a day ahead of a deadline for the city to release a squad-car video of the killing.

The state’s attorney’s office said in a statement that Officer Jason Van Dyke was charged with first degree murder in the killing of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald on Oct. 20, 2014.

City officials and community leaders have been bracing for the release of the video, fearing an outbreak of unrest and demonstrations similar to those that occurred in Baltimore, Ferguson, Missouri and other cities after young black men were slain by police or died in police custody. The judge ordered the dash-cam recording to be released by Wednesday after city officials had argued for months it couldn’t be made public until the conclusion of several investigations.

Several people who have seen the video say it shows the teenager armed with a small knife and walking away from several officers. They say Van Dyke opened fire from about 15 feet and kept shooting after the teen fell to the ground. An autopsy report says McDonald was shot at least twice in his back. It also said …read more

Source:: Black America Web

Wooing Blacks, Sanders Reframes, But Doesn’t Change Argument

By BILL BARROW, Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) — Bernie Sanders acknowledges that he needs more support from black voters to have any chance of defeating Hillary Rodham Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination.

And, also stating the obvious, Sanders is a longtime politician from Vermont, where the population is 95 percent white. So he’s not exactly spent much time before now campaigning among African-Americans.

The result is a political tightrope for a 74-year-old senator who has assembled a national following as a self-styled “democratic socialist” calling for a “political revolution” that wrests control of the U.S. government from “the billionaire class” comprising the nation’s wealthiest individuals and corporations.

Facing that reality, Sanders has opted not to change his central argument, but to reframe it and force it in front of voters he’s never before needed to win an election.

“Our job is to end institutional racism,” he said on Monday at a raucous rally in downtown Atlanta. “But it is also to create an economy that makes sure our kids are able to get decent jobs and a decent education. I see those two issues as absolutely overlapping.”

The Fox Theatre event, which drew about 5,000 supporters, concluded a four-day stretch that highlighted Sanders’ outreach to black voters. On Friday, …read more

Source:: Black America Web

Minneapolis Police Say 5 Shot Near Protest Scene

By DOUG GLASS, Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Five people were shot late Monday night near the site of an ongoing protest over the fatal shooting of a black man by a police officer, Minneapolis police said. None of the five suffered life-threatening injuries.

The shootings occurred late Monday night about a block from the police department’s 4th Precinct, where protesters have been demonstrating since the shooting of 24-year-old Jamar Clark on Nov. 15.

Police Department Spokesman John Elder said in a news release that officers responded to the sound of gunshots around 10:40 p.m. and 911 calls shortly after reported five people had been shot. Dozens of officers assisted victims and secure the scene, the statement said.

Elder said three victims were taken to a hospital in a private vehicle, and two were transported by ambulance. All had injuries that were not life-threatening. Mica Grimm, an organizer with Black Lives Matter who said she arrived on the scene soon after the shooting, said two of the wounded were hit in the leg, another in the arm and a fourth in the stomach.

It wasn’t immediately clear what prompted the shooting or how many suspects police were searching for. No one was in custody, and police are interviewing witnesses …read more

Source:: Black America Web

Search Continues For Shooters In New Orleans Who Injured 17


NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Police on Monday sought to determine what touched off a wild shootout in a crowd of hundreds of people at a New Orleans playground, where an evening of fun at a block party swiftly turned into a nightmare.

The shootout, combined with the recent shooting of a good Samaritan who tried to help a woman who was being dragged toward a vehicle, put a city that has long struggled with violence on edge.

“No one feels safe,” said Peter Scharf, a Louisiana State University professor who studies crime.

The Sunday night shootout happened as hundreds of people — possibly as many as 500 — gathered at the Bunny Friend Playground in what police described as a block party. A music video was also being filmed there. Police said neither event had a permit.

Officers were nearby overseeing a neighborhood parade when they received reports of a large crowd at the park. The shooting happened while they were on their way over to disperse the gathering. Two groups pulled out weapons and started firing, police said.

Local media reported a mad scramble as terrified people ran from the playground, leaving behind cellphones and IDs. The gunmen escaped.

Seventeen people were wounded, including 11 …read more

Source:: Black America Web

Chicago Police Officer Expected To Be Charged In Teen’s Fatal Shooting

By DON BABWIN, Associated Press

CHICAGO (AP) — Cook County prosecutors are expected to charge a white Chicago police officer with murder in the death of a black teenager who was shot 16 times more than a year ago, an official close to the investigation said Monday night.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity so as not to pre-empt the charges, told The Associated Press that Jason Van Dyke is expected to be indicted Tuesday, as the city prepares to release squad-car video of the veteran officer shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald.

An attorney for Van Dyke did not respond to messages from the AP seeking comment.

Several people who have seen the video, which a judge ruled the city had to make public by Wednesday, say it shows the teenager armed with a small knife and walking away from several officers on Oct. 20, 2014. They say Van Dyke opened fire from about 15 feet and kept shooting after the teen fell to the ground. An autopsy report says McDonald was shot at least twice in his back. It also said PCP, a hallucinogenic drug, was found in the teen’s system.

Also Monday night, Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy recommended the firing of another officer who shot and …read more

Source:: Black America Web

Two Men Charged In Murder Of Indianapolis Pastor’s Wife

By RICK CALLAHAN, Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Authorities charged two men with murder on Monday in the fatal shooting of a pastor’s pregnant wife during a home invasion of the couple’s Indianapolis home.

Amanda Blackburn, 28, was found partially nude and with her shirt pulled up, lying in a pool of blood on her living room floor. She died a day after the Nov. 10 attack. Her husband, Pastor Davey Blackburn, said he had left the home unlocked earlier that morning to go to the gym and work out and returned about 7:30 a.m. to find his wounded wife. The couple’s 15-month-old son, Weston, was at home upstairs in a crib but was not harmed in the attack.

Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry identified the two men charged with murder as Larry Jo Taylor Jr., 18, and Jalen E. Watson, 21, both of Indianapolis, face murder, burglary, theft and several other charges. A probable cause affidavit says that Taylor shot Blackburn three times, including once in the back of the head.

It was not clear whether Blackburn, who was 13 weeks pregnant, had been sexually assaulted, the affidavit says.

“The investigation will continue, including any further forensic analysis that’s appropriate or ongoing,” Curry said.

The affidavit says that the …read more

Source:: Black America Web