From different angles, the videos show the same scene.
Vernita Walker calls her son, Keith Lamont Scott, a “mama’s boy” who called her every day.
He last checked in with her on Tuesday afternoon at around 2, Walker says. “But I missed his call.”
About two hours later, Scott, 43, was fatally shot by police conducting a search for someone who had an outstanding warrant. Scott was not the person police were looking for.
His shooting launched a night of violent protests in the University area and conflicting stories from neighbors and police. Police say they saw Scott had a handgun as he got out of his car and got back in. A woman who said she is Scott’s daughter said on a live-streamed video that Scott was unarmed, sitting in his car reading a book.
In a brief phone interview with the Observer, Walker hesitated talking about her son in the past tense: “I don’t like to talk about him in that term.”
She called him “a family man” and “a likeable person.”
“… And he loved his wife and his children … And this was, they don’t want to say it, but a mama’s boy. Yes, he’s one of those. But he was a smart, young man.”
Days after Flint Mayor Karen Weaver served notice that her city might file a lawsuit against the State of Michigan over the Flint drinking water crisis, the state removed Flint’s ability to sue.
Though Flint has not been under a state-appointed emergency manager since April 2015, the state still exerts partial control over the city through a five-member Receivership Transition Advisory Board, whose members are appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder.
The board moved quickly to change the rules under which Flint is governed so that the city cannot file a lawsuit without first getting approval from that state-appointed board.
In other words, Flint cannot sue the state without getting the state to sign off on it first.
Posted by The NON-Conformist
As the United Nations summit on migrants and refugees begins in New York, campaigners in the UK have created a”life jacket graveyard” on Parliament Square in London to raise awareness of the ongoing crises. The installation by Snappin’ Turtle productions is to commemorate those who died trying to get to Europe. Almost 7,000 people died…
Posted by Libergirl
At a time when professional athletes such as Colin Kaepernick are labeled as unpatriotic for refusing to stand during the national anthem at sporting events, it turns out that the very displays of patriotism and tributes to the armed forces on display at those games were paid for by the U.S. government. So when those teams tell the players to stand for the “Star-Spangled Banner,” it is because the fake patriotism is bought and sold like a commodity.
Stephen A. Smith brought attention to the practice on ESPN’s “First Take” recently, as players have come under fire for refusing to salute the flag. Smith noted that players were not required to stand until 2009, and before that time players did not stand for the anthem because they remained in the locker room until game time.
In November 2015, Republican U.S. Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake of Arizona released a report stating that “In all, the military services reported $53 million in spending on marketing and advertising contracts with sports teams between 2012 and 2015. More than $10 million of that total was paid to teams in the National Football League (NFL), Major League Baseball (MLB), National Basketball Association (NBA), National Hockey League (NHL), and Major League Soccer (MLS).”
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In a continued push for criminal justice reform, President Barack Obama commuted the sentences of 111 additional inmates, the White House announced Tuesday.
Obama broke his previous single-day record when he pardoned 214 federal inmates earlier this month. According to the White House, a whopping 325 people were granted clemency this August, making it the greatest number of commutations ever granted by a president in a single month.
“We must remember that these are individuals — sons, daughters, parents, and in many cases, grandparents — who have taken steps toward rehabilitation and who have earned their second chance,” White House Counsel Neil Eggleston wrote in a blog post Tuesday. “They are individuals who received unduly harsh sentences under outdated laws for committing largely nonviolent drug crimes.”
The majority of those pardoned Tuesday were serving lengthy sentences for cocaine, heroin, marijuana and methamphetamine trafficking, USA Today reports. Thirty-five individuals also had their life sentences commuted.
Obama has fiercely defended his use of commutations and continues to work with bi-partisan Congress to make sweeping criminal justice reforms. However, legislation aimed at ending unduly harsh sentencing for drug offenses remain stalled on Capitol Hill.
Posted by The NON-Conformist
As the nation wrestles with the weight of mass incarceration and its impact on individuals and communities, a study released Wednesday by the Vera Institute of Justice and Safety and Justice Challenge explores a growing epidemic: the steady rise of incarcerated women.
The report, titled Overlooked: Women and Jails in an Era of Reform, shows that since 1970, the number of women held in local jails has increased from under 8,000 to nearly 110,000.
Poor women are affected the most, according to the study. Approximately two-thirds of women in jail are of color: 44 percent are Black, 15 percent are Hispanic, and five percent are of other racial/ethnic backgrounds. Thirty-six percent of women in jail identify as White.
So-called broken windows policing serves as one of the many probable causes leading to the significant hike of women in jail. In the 1990s, policing began to focus on responding to quality-of-life or low-level offenses, along with increased rates for drug possession. Today, 82 percent of women are in jail for nonviolent crimes.
Since women are more likely to commit non-violent crimes or minor offenses such as drug possession, the rate of women in jail dramatically increased. Affiliating with romantic partners, accused of committing some of the offenses, also helps to sweep women into the system, experts say.
Elizabeth Swavola, a senior program associate at Vera, and one of the authors of the study, spoke to NewsOne about why it was necessary to delve into research that explored this unfamiliar subject.
“Oftentimes when we talk about mass incarceration, we focus on prisons, not local jails,” she said. “When we looked at women, there was a 14-fold increase.”
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Posted by Libergirl