Alleged Nicolas Maduro co-conspirator is in US custody: Report | News | Al Jazeera
Sun, 29 Mar 2020 07:47
A retired Venezuelan army general indicted alongside Nicolas Maduro has surrendered in Colombia and is being taken by Drug Enforcement Administration agents to New York for arraignment, four people familiar with the situation told the Associated Press on Friday.
Cliver Alcala has been an outspoken critic of the Venezuelan president for years. But he was charged on Thursday with allegedly running a "narcoterrorist conspiracy" with Maduro, socialist party boss Diosdado Cabello and another retired army general. United States prosecutors allege they sent 250 metric tonnes of cocaine a year to the US and turned the Venezuelan state into a platform for violent cartels and Colombian rebels.
More:US indicts Venezuela's Maduro on 'narco-terrorism' charges Timeline: How the new coronavirus spreadFear as coronavirus closes border with Venezuela over coronavirusThe US Justice Department had offered a $10 million reward for Alcala's arrest.
Alcala was being flown on a chartered plane to the US from Barranquilla, Colombia, after waiving an extradition hearing and agreeing to collaborate with prosecutors, said the four people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss actions that had not yet been made public.
Alcala has been living in the coastal city since fleeing Venezuela in 2018 after the discovery of a conspiracy that he was secretly leading in hopes of ousting Maduro.
After being indicted on Thursday, Alcala shocked many by claiming responsibility for a stockpile of US-made assault weapons and military equipment seized on a highway in Colombia for what he said was a planned incursion into Venezuela to remove Maduro.
US indicts Venezuela's Maduro on narco-terrorism charges
Without offering evidence, he said he had a contract with opposition leader Juan Guaido and his "American advisers" to purchase the weapons.
"We had everything ready," Alcala said in a video published on social media. "But circumstances that have plagued us throughout this fight against the regime generated leaks from the very heart of the opposition, the part that wants to coexist with Maduro."
The confusing remarks from someone who was among Maduro's loudest critics were seized on by Venezuela's socialist leader, who accused the DEA of being behind a plan by Alcala to assassinate him and other political leaders.
According to the indictment, Alcala in 2008, when a trusted aide to then-President Hugo Chavez, was given additional duties to coordinate drug shipments with corrupt elements of the Venezuelan military and guerrillas from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, which the US listed as a terrorist group.
The DEA did not respond to an emailed request for comment. Nicole Navas, a Justice Department spokesperson, declined to comment.
Moments before his surrender, Alcala published a video on social media bidding farewell to his family.
"I face the responsibilities for my actions with the truth," he said.
The United States Announces Assistance To Combat the Novel Coronavirus - United States Department of State
Sun, 29 Mar 2020 06:43
This week the State Department has facilitated the transportation of nearly 17.8 tons of donated medical supplies to the Chinese people, including masks, gowns, gauze, respirators, and other vital materials. These donations are a testament to the generosity of the American people.
Today, the United States government is announcing it is prepared to spend up to $100 million in existing funds to assist China and other impacted countries, both directly and through multilateral organizations, to contain and combat the novel coronavirus. This commitment '' along with the hundreds of millions generously donated by the American private sector '' demonstrates strong U.S. leadership in response to the outbreak.
This assistance only adds to what the United States has done to strengthen health security programs around the world. For the last 20 years, the United States through USAID has invested over one billion dollars to strengthen the capacity of more than 25 countries to prevent, detect, and respond to existing and emerging infectious disease threats. Since 2015, under our commitment to the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA), this support has helped improve surveillance and laboratory systems, risk communication, outbreak response, and address the rising threat of anti-microbial resistance.
The United States is and will remain the world's most generous donor. We encourage the rest of the world to match our commitment. Working together, we can have a profound impact to contain this growing threat.
Caroline Kennedy quits advisory board at Harvard school named after her father, JFK - The Washington Post
Sun, 29 Mar 2020 06:40
Caroline Kennedy, former U.S. ambassador to Japan and daughter of President John F. Kennedy, has resigned unexpectedly as honorary chair of the advisory board of an institute at Harvard University's Kennedy School. The school confirmed the resignation Wednesday.
The John F. Kennedy School of Government issued a statement commending Kennedy for her service on the Senior Advisory Committee of the Institute of Politics, saying, ''Caroline's role at the Institute of Politics will always be prized and remembered.''
Kenneth M. Duberstein, chairman of the 18-member senior advisory panel, also resigned. Duberstein, a D.C. lobbyist and former chief of staff to President Ronald Reagan, has been close with Kennedy.
The Kennedy School released a statement quoting its dean, Douglas Elmendorf, a former director of the Congressional Budget Office who began his tenure as dean in January 2016:
''Caroline Kennedy is a distinguished public leader with an exemplary record of service to her country. I am extremely grateful for the extraordinary dedication and commitment she has shown to Harvard Kennedy School over many years. Caroline's role at the Institute of Politics will always be prized and remembered. Her commitment to the IOP's crucial mission of inspiring students to pursue politics and public service has made a tremendous positive difference to the hundreds of Harvard College students who participate in the IOP each year and to the members of the IOP staff.
''Ken Duberstein has served the Institute of Politics with exceptional dedication for many years. We greatly appreciate his absolute commitment to encouraging students to enter public life and for his tireless efforts to strengthen the IOP to support and inspire those students.''
The statement did not address the reasons for the departures of Kennedy and Duberstein.
Several people with direct knowledge of the events, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly, said there had been tension between Kennedy and Elmendorf. The people said Kennedy and her allies on the committee felt that Elmendorf was not collaborative and micromanaged the institute's affairs. Kennedy sent a letter to the school recently announcing her resignation.
Two other people at Harvard with direct knowledge of what happened said the conflict was sparked by some members of the Senior Advisory Committee seeking to be directly involved in '-- and sometimes inserting themselves into '-- the management of the Institute of Politics. The committee had long been more active in the institute's operation than advisers at the Kennedy School's other institutes. That caused tension over how much management power the commission should have, said the people with knowledge, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue and because it involves personnel.
Kennedy, whose family largely funds the Institute of Politics through an endowment established in 1966, could not be reached for comment. Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-Mass.), the grandnephew of John F. Kennedy and Caroline Kennedy's cousin, is a member of the advisory committee. He could not be reached for comment but remains on the panel.
Duberstein said in a statement that he joined the Institute of Politics at the request of the late senator Edward M. Kennedy, brother of the slain president. He said:
''After careful consideration and heartfelt conversations with Caroline, I have decided to step down immediately as Chairman of the SAC of our beloved Institute of Politics.
''Ted Kennedy asked me to serve on the SAC approximately 25 years ago because he knew of my commitment to inspire young men and women to make public service a major priority. That is the fundamental mission of the IOP which the Kennedy family envisioned.
''Working side by side with Senator Kennedy, John Junior and with Caroline has been a rare privilege and high honor. ... I hope the next chairman continues to guard jealously the sacred role the IOP plays for undergrads at Harvard.
''We must keep the dream alive for our students who aspire to politics and public service.''
Harvard President Lawrence Bacow's office said the Kennedy School should respond to queries.
Officials at the Institute of Politics, led by executive director Mark Gearan, did not respond to queries.
The Kennedy family has been involved in the Institute of Politics since it was established some 50 years ago as a living memorial to John F. Kennedy, who attended Harvard and whose family is a Massachusetts institution. It is unusual because, while it resides within a graduate school, it focuses on educating undergraduates.
The Kennedy School was previously known as the Graduate School of Public Administration. The name was changed to honor John F. Kennedy in 1966, three years after his assassination.
Coronavirus Will Change the World Permanently. Here's How. - POLITICO
Sun, 29 Mar 2020 06:26
For many Americans right now, the scale of the coronavirus crisis calls to mind 9/11 or the 2008 financial crisis'--events that reshaped society in lasting ways, from how we travel and buy homes, to the level of security and surveillance we're accustomed to, and even to the language we use.
Politico Magazine surveyed more than 30 smart, macro thinkers this week, and they have some news for you: Buckle in. This could be bigger.
A global, novel virus that keeps us contained in our homes'--maybe for months'--is already reorienting our relationship to government, to the outside world, even to each other. Some changes these experts expect to see in the coming months or years might feel unfamiliar or unsettling: Will nations stay closed? Will touch become taboo? What will become of restaurants?
But crisis moments also present opportunity: more sophisticated and flexible use of technology, less polarization, a revived appreciation for the outdoors and life's other simple pleasures. No one knows exactly what will come, but here is our best stab at a guide to the unknown ways that society'--government, healthcare, the economy, our lifestyles and more'--will change.
Click on a subject to skip straight to its entries. The personal becomes dangerous. Deborah Tannen is a professor of linguistics at Georgetown and author, most recently, of You're the Only One I Can Tell: Inside the Language of Women's Friendships.
On 9/11, Americans discovered we are vulnerable to calamities we thought only happened in distant lands. The 2008 financial crisis told us we also can suffer the calamities of past eras, like the economic meltdown of the Great Depression. Now, the 1918 flu pandemic is a sudden specter in our lives.
This loss of innocence, or complacency, is a new way of being-in-the-world that we can expect to change our doing-in-the-world. We know now that touching things, being with other people and breathing the air in an enclosed space can be risky. How quickly that awareness recedes will be different for different people, but it can never vanish completely for anyone who lived through this year. It could become second nature to recoil from shaking hands or touching our faces'--and we might all find we can't stop washing our hands.
The comfort of being in the presence of others might be replaced by a greater comfort with absence, especially with those we don't know intimately. Instead of asking, ''Is there a reason to do this online?'' we'll be asking, ''Is there any good reason to do this in person?'''--and might need to be reminded and convinced that there is. Unfortunately, if unintendedly, those without easy access to broadband will be further disadvantaged. The paradox of online communication will be ratcheted up: It creates more distance, yes, but also more connection, as we communicate more often with people who are physically farther and farther away'--and who feel safer to us because of that distance.
A new kind of patriotism. Mark Lawrence Schrad is an associate professor of political science and author of the forthcoming Smashing the Liquor Machine: A Global History of Prohibition.
America has long equated patriotism with the armed forces. But you can't shoot a virus. Those on the frontlines against coronavirus aren't conscripts, mercenaries or enlisted men; they are our doctors, nurses, pharmacists, teachers, caregivers, store clerks, utility workers, small-business owners and employees. Like Li Wenliang and the doctors of Wuhan, many are suddenly saddled with unfathomable tasks, compounded by an increased risk of contamination and death they never signed up for.
When all is said and done, perhaps we will recognize their sacrifice as true patriotism, saluting our doctors and nurses, genuflecting and saying, ''Thank you for your service,'' as we now do for military veterans. We will give them guaranteed health benefits and corporate discounts, and build statues and have holidays for this new class of people who sacrifice their health and their lives for ours. Perhaps, too, we will finally start to understand patriotism more as cultivating the health and life of your community, rather than blowing up someone else's community. Maybe the de-militarization of American patriotism and love of community will be one of the benefits to come out of this whole awful mess.
A decline in polarization. Peter T. Coleman is a professor of psychology at Columbia University who studies intractable conflict. His next book, The Way Out: How to Overcome Toxic Polarization, will be released in 2021.
The extraordinary shock(s) to our system that the coronavirus pandemic is bringing has the potential to break America out of the 50-plus year pattern of escalating political and cultural polarization we have been trapped in, and help us to change course toward greater national solidarity and functionality. It might sound idealistic, but there are two reasons to think it can happen.
The first is the ''common enemy'' scenario, in which people begin to look past their differences when faced with a shared external threat. COVID-19 is presenting us with a formidable enemy that will not distinguish between reds and blues, and might provide us with fusion-like energy and a singularity of purpose to help us reset and regroup. During the Blitz, the 56-day Nazi bombing campaign against the Britain, Winston Churchill's cabinet was amazed and heartened to witness the ascendance of human goodness'--altruism, compassion and generosity of spirit and action.
The second reason is the ''political shock wave'' scenario. Studies have shown that strong, enduring relational patterns often become more susceptible to change after some type of major shock destabilizes them. This doesn't necessarily happen right away, but a study of 850 enduring inter-state conflicts that occurred between 1816 to 1992 found that more than 75 percent of them ended within 10 years of a major destabilizing shock. Societal shocks can break different ways, making things better or worse. But given our current levels of tension, this scenario suggests that now is the time to begin to promote more constructive patterns in our cultural and political discourse. The time for change is clearly ripening.
A return to faith in serious experts. Tom Nichols is a professor at the U.S. Naval War College and author of The Death of Expertise.
America for several years has become a fundamentally unserious country. This is the luxury afforded us by peace, affluence and high levels of consumer technology. We didn't have to think about the things that once focused our minds'--nuclear war, oil shortages, high unemployment, skyrocketing interest rates. Terrorism has receded back to being a kind of notional threat for which we dispatch volunteers in our military to the far corners of the desert as the advance guard of the homeland. We even elevated a reality TV star to the presidency as a populist attack on the bureaucracy and expertise that makes most of the government function on a day to day basis.
The COVID-19 crisis could change this in two ways. First, it has already forced people back to accepting that expertise matters. It was easy to sneer at experts until a pandemic arrived, and then people wanted to hear from medical professionals like Anthony Fauci. Second, it may'--one might hope'--return Americans to a new seriousness, or at least move them back toward the idea that government is a matter for serious people. The colossal failure of the Trump administration both to keep Americans healthy and to slow the pandemic-driven implosion of the economy might shock the public enough back to insisting on something from government other than emotional satisfaction.
Less individualism. Eric Klinenberg is professor of sociology and director of the Institute for Public Knowledge at New York University. He is the author, most recently, of Palaces for the People: How Social Infrastructure Can Help Fight Inequality, Polarization, and the Decline of Civic Life.
The coronavirus pandemic marks the end of our romance with market society and hyper-individualism. We could turn toward authoritarianism. Imagine President Donald Trump trying to suspend the November election. Consider the prospect of a military crackdown. The dystopian scenario is real. But I believe we will go in the other direction. We're now seeing the market-based models for social organization fail, catastrophically, as self-seeking behavior (from Trump down) makes this crisis so much more dangerous than it needed to be.
When this ends, we will reorient our politics and make substantial new investments in public goods'--for health, especially'--and public services. I don't think we will become less communal. Instead, we will be better able to see how our fates are linked. The cheap burger I eat from a restaurant that denies paid sick leave to its cashiers and kitchen staff makes me more vulnerable to illness, as does the neighbor who refuses to stay home in a pandemic because our public school failed to teach him science or critical thinking skills. The economy'--and the social order it helps support'--will collapse if the government doesn't guarantee income for the millions of workers who will lose their jobs in a major recession or depression. Young adults will fail to launch if government doesn't help reduce or cancel their student debt. The coronavirus pandemic is going to cause immense pain and suffering. But it will force us to reconsider who we are and what we value, and, in the long run, it could help us rediscover the better version of ourselves.
Religious worship will look different. Amy Sullivan is director of strategy for Vote Common Good.
We are an Easter people, many Christians are fond of saying, emphasizing the triumph of hope and life over fear. But how do an Easter people observe their holiest day if they cannot rejoice together on Easter morning? How do Jews celebrate their deliverance from bondage when Passover Seders must take place on Zoom, with in-laws left to wonder whether Cousin Joey forgot the Four Questions or the internet connection merely froze? Can Muslim families celebrate Ramadan if they cannot visit local mosques for Tarawih prayers or gather with loved ones to break the fast?
All faiths have dealt with the challenge of keeping faith alive under the adverse conditions of war or diaspora or persecution'--but never all faiths at the same time. Religion in the time of quarantine will challenge conceptions of what it means to minister and to fellowship. But it will also expand the opportunities for those who have no local congregation to sample sermons from afar. Contemplative practices may gain popularity. And maybe'--just maybe'--the culture war that has branded those who preach about the common good with the epithet ''Social Justice Warriors'' may ease amid the very present reminder of our interconnected humanity.
New forms of reform. Jonathan Rauch is a contributing writer at the Atlantic and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.
One group of Americans has lived through a transformational epidemic in recent memory: gay men. Of course, HIV/AIDS was (and is) different in all kinds of ways from coronavirus, but one lesson is likely to apply: Plagues drive change. Partly because our government failed us, gay Americans mobilized to build organizations, networks and know-how that changed our place in society and have enduring legacies today. The epidemic also revealed deadly flaws in the health care system, and it awakened us to the need for the protection of marriage'--revelations which led to landmark reforms. I wouldn't be surprised to see some analogous changes in the wake of coronavirus. People are finding new ways to connect and support each other in adversity; they are sure to demand major changes in the health-care system and maybe also the government; and they'll become newly conscious of interdependency and community. I can't predict the precise effects, but I'm sure we'll be seeing them for years.
Regulatory barriers to online tools will fall. Katherine Mangu-Ward is editor-in-chief of Reason magazine.
COVID-19 will sweep away many of the artificial barriers to moving more of our lives online. Not everything can become virtual, of course. But in many areas of our lives, uptake on genuinely useful online tools has been slowed by powerful legacy players, often working in collaboration with overcautious bureaucrats. Medicare allowing billing for telemedicine was a long-overdue change, for instance, as was revisiting HIPAA to permit more medical providers to use the same tools the rest of us use every day to communicate, such as Skype, Facetime and email. The regulatory bureaucracy might well have dragged its feet on this for many more years if not for this crisis. The resistance'--led by teachers' unions and the politicians beholden to them'--to allowing partial homeschooling or online learning for K-12 kids has been swept away by necessity. It will be near-impossible to put that genie back in the bottle in the fall, with many families finding that they prefer full or partial homeschooling or online homework. For many college students, returning to an expensive dorm room on a depopulated campus will not be appealing, forcing massive changes in a sector that has been ripe for innovation for a long time. And while not every job can be done remotely, many people are learning that the difference between having to put on a tie and commute for an hour or working efficiently at home was always just the ability to download one or two apps plus permission from their boss. Once companies sort out their remote work dance steps, it will be harder'--and more expensive'--to deny employees those options. In other words, it turns out, an awful lot of meetings (and doctors' appointments and classes) really could have been an email. And now they will be.
A healthier digital lifestyle. Sherry Turkle is professor of the social studies of science and technology at MIT, founding director of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self, and author, most recently, of Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age.
Perhaps we can use our time with our devices to rethink the kinds of community we can create through them. In the earliest days of our coronavirus social distancing, we have seen inspirational first examples. Cello master Yo-Yo Ma posts a daily live concert of a song that sustains him. Broadway diva Laura Benanti invites performers from high school musicals who are not going to put on those shows to send their performances to her. She'll be watching; Lin-Manuel Miranda joins the campaign and promises to watch as well. Entrepreneurs offer time to listen to pitches. Master yoga instructors teach free classes. This is a different life on the screen from disappearing into a video game or polishing one's avatar. This is breaking open a medium with human generosity and empathy. This is looking within and asking: ''What can I authentically offer? I have a life, a history. What do people need?'' If, moving forward, we apply our most human instincts to our devices, that will have been a powerful COVID-19 legacy. Not only alone together, but together alone.
A boon to virtual reality. Elizabeth Bradley is president of Vassar College and a scholar of global health.
VR allows us to have the experiences we want even if we have to be isolated, quarantined or alone. Maybe that will be how we adapt and stay safe in the next outbreak. I would like to see a VR program that helped with the socialization and mental health of people who had to self-isolate. Imagine putting on glasses, and suddenly you are in a classroom or another communal setting, or even a positive psychology intervention.
The rise of telemedicine. Ezekiel J. Emanuel is chair of the department of medical ethics and health policy at the University of Pennsylvania.
The pandemic will shift the paradigm of where our healthcare delivery takes place. For years, telemedicine has lingered on the sidelines as a cost-controlling, high convenience system. Out of necessity, remote office visits could skyrocket in popularity as traditional-care settings are overwhelmed by the pandemic. There would also be containment-related benefits to this shift; staying home for a video call keeps you out of the transit system, out of the waiting room and, most importantly, away from patients who need critical care.
An opening for stronger family care. Ai-Jen Poo is director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance and Caring Across Generations.
The coronavirus pandemic has revealed gaping holes in our care infrastructure, as millions of American families have been forced to navigate this crisis without a safety net. With loved ones sick and children suddenly home from school indefinitely, they've been forced to make impossible choices among their families, their health and financial ruin. After all, meaningful child care assistance is extremely limited, access to long-term care is piecemeal at best, and too few workers have access to paid family and medical leave, which means that missed work means missed pay.
This crisis should unleash widespread political support for Universal Family Care'--a single public federal fund that we all contribute to, that we all benefit from, that helps us take care of our families while we work, from child care and elder care to support for people with disabilities and paid family leave. Coronavirus has put a particular national spotlight on unmet needs of the growing older population in our country, and the tens of millions of overstretched family and professional caregivers they rely on. Care is and always has been a shared responsibility. Yet, our policy has never fully supported it. This moment, challenging as it is, should jolt us into changing that.
This week from Politico Magazine
Government becomes Big Pharma. Steph Sterling is vice president of advocacy and policy at the Roosevelt Institute, and co-author of the forthcoming paper ''In the Public Interest: Democratizing Medicines through Public Ownership.''
The coronavirus has laid bare the failures of our costly, inefficient, market-based system for developing, researching and manufacturing medicines and vaccines. COVID-19 is one of several coronavirus outbreaks we have seen over the past 20 years, yet the logic of our current system'--a range of costly government incentives intended to stimulate private-sector development'--has resulted in the 18-month window we now anticipate before widespread vaccine availability. Private pharmaceutical firms simply will not prioritize a vaccine or other countermeasure for a future public health emergency until its profitability is assured, and that is far too late to prevent mass disruption. The reality of fragile supply chains for active pharmaceutical ingredients coupled with public outrage over patent abuses that limit the availability of new treatments has led to an emerging, bipartisan consensus that the public sector must take far more active and direct responsibility for the development and manufacture of medicines. That more efficient, far more resilient government approach will replace our failed, 40-year experiment with market-based incentives to meet essential health needs.
Science reigns again. Sonja Trauss is executive director of YIMBY Law.
Truth and its most popular emissary, science, have been declining in credibility for more than a generation. As Obi-Wan Kenobi told us in Return of the Jedi, ''You're going to find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view.'' In 2005, long before Donald Trump, Stephen Colbert coined the term ''truthiness'' to describe the increasingly fact-lite political discourse. The oil and gas industry has been waging a decades-long war against truth and science, following up on the same effort waged by the tobacco industry. Altogether, this led to the situation in which the Republicans could claim that the reports about the coronavirus weren't science at all, but mere politics, and this sounded reasonable to millions of people. Quickly, however, Americans are being reacquainted with scientific concepts like germ theory and exponential growth. Unlike with tobacco use or climate change, science doubters will be able to see the impacts of the coronavirus immediately. At least for the next 35 years, I think we can expect that public respect for expertise in public health and epidemics to be at least partially restored.
Congress can finally go virtual. Ethan Zuckerman is associate professor of the practice in media arts and sciences at MIT, director of the Center for Civic Media and author of Digital Cosmopolitans: Why We Think the Internet Connects Us, Why It Doesn't, and How to Rewire It.
Coronavirus is going to force many institutions to go virtual. One that would greatly benefit from the change is the U.S. Congress. We need Congress to continue working through this crisis, but given advice to limit gatherings to 10 people or fewer, meeting on the floor of the House of Representatives is not an especially wise option right now; at least two members of Congress already have tested positive for the virus.
Instead, this is a great time for congresspeople to return to their districts and start the process of virtual legislating'--permanently. Not only is this move medically necessary at the moment, but it has ancillary benefits. Lawmakers will be closer to the voters they represent and more likely to be sensitive to local perspectives and issues. A virtual Congress is harder to lobby, as the endless parties and receptions that lobbyists throw in Washington will be harder to replicate across the whole nation. Party conformity also might loosen with representatives remembering local loyalties over party ties.
In the long run, a virtualized Congress might help us tackle one of the great problems of the contemporary House of Representatives: reapportionment and expansion. The House has not grown meaningfully in size since the 1920s, which means that a representative, on average, speaks for 770,000 constituents, rather than the 30,000 the Founding Fathers mandated. If we demonstrate that a virtual Congress can do its job as well or better using 21st-century technologies, rather than 18th-century ones, perhaps we could return the house to the 30,000:1 ratio George Washington prescribed.
Big government makes a comeback. Margaret O'Mara is a professor of history at University of Washington and author of The Code: Silicon Valley and the Remaking of America.
The battle against the coronavirus already has made government'--federal, state and local'--far more visible to Americans than it normally has been. As we tune in to daily briefings from public health officials, listen for guidance from our governors, and seek help and hope from our national leaders, we are seeing the critical role that ''big government'' plays in our lives and our health. We also see the deadly consequences of four decades of disinvestment in public infrastructure and dismissal of public expertise. Not only will America need a massive dose of big government to get out of this crisis'--as Washington's swift passage of a giant economic bailout package reflects'--but we will need big, and wise, government more than ever in its aftermath.
Government service regains its cachet. Lilliana Mason is an associate professor of government and politics at the University of Maryland, College Park, and author of Uncivil Agreement: How Politics Became Our Identity.
The Reagan era is over. The widely accepted idea that government is inherently bad won't persist after coronavirus. This event is global evidence that a functioning government is crucial for a healthy society. It is no longer ''terrifying'' to hear the words ''I'm from the government, and I'm here to help.'' In fact, that is what most people are desperately hoping to hear right now. We will see a rebirth of the patriotic honor of working for the government.
A new civic federalism. Archon Fung is professor of citizenship and self-government at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Just as the trauma of fighting World War II laid the foundations for a stronger American government and national solidarity, the coronavirus crisis might sow the seeds of a new civic federalism, in which states and localities become centers of justice, solidarity and far-sighted democratic problem-solving. Many Americans now bemoan the failure of national leadership in the face of this unprecedented challenge. When we look back, we will see that some communities handled the crisis much better than others. We might well find that success came in states where government, civic and private-sector leaders joined their strengths together in a spirit of self-sacrifice for the common good.
Consider that the virology lab at the University of Washington far surpassed the CDC and others in bringing substantial COVID-19 testing early, when it was most needed. Some governors, mayors, education authorities and employers have led the way by enforcing social distancing, closing campuses and other places, and channeling resources to support the most vulnerable. And the civic fabric of some communities has fostered the responsibility and altruism of millions of ordinary citizens who have stayed home, lost income, kept their kids inside, self-quarantined, refrained from hoarding, supported each other, and even pooled medical supplies and other resources to bolster health workers. The coronavirus is this century's most urgent challenge to humanity. Harnessing a new sense of solidarity, citizens of states and cities will rise to face the enormous challenges ahead such as climate change and transforming our era of historic inequality into one of economic inclusion.
The rules we've lived by won't all apply. Astra Taylor is a filmmaker and author of Democracy May Not Exist, but We'll Miss It When It's Gone.
America's response to coronavirus pandemic has revealed a simple truth: So many policies that our elected officials have long told us were impossible and impractical were eminently possible and practical all along. In 2011, when Occupy Wall Street activists demanded debt cancellation for student loans and medical debt, they were laughed at by many in the mainstream media. In the intervening years, we have continued to push the issue and have consistently been told our demands were unrealistic. Now, we know that the ''rules'' we have lived under were unnecessary, and simply made society more brittle and unequal.
All along, evictions were avoidable; the homeless could've been housed and sheltered in government buildings; water and electricity didn't need to be turned off for people behind on their bills; paid sick leave could've been a right for all workers; paying your mortgage late didn't need to lead to foreclosure; and debtors could've been granted relief. President Donald Trump has already put a freeze on interest for federal student loans, while New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has paused all medical and student debt owed to New York State. Democrats and Republicans are discussing suspending collection on'--or outright canceling'--student loans as part of a larger economic stimulus package.
It's clear that in a crisis, the rules don't apply'--which makes you wonder why they are rules in the first place. This is an unprecedented opportunity to not just hit the pause button and temporarily ease the pain, but to permanently change the rules so that untold millions of people aren't so vulnerable to begin with.
Confirmed U.S. Cases: 124,686 | U.S. Deaths: 2,191
Revived trust in institutions. Michiko Kakutani is author of the 2018 bestseller The Death of Truth and former chief book critic of the New York Times.
The coronavirus pandemic, one hopes, will jolt Americans into a realization that the institutions and values Donald Trump has spent his presidency assailing are essential to the functioning of a democracy'--and to its ability to grapple effectively with a national crisis. A recognition that government institutions'--including those entrusted with protecting our health, preserving our liberties and overseeing our national security'--need to be staffed with experts (not political loyalists), that decisions need to be made through a reasoned policy process and predicated on evidence-based science and historical and geopolitical knowledge (not on Trump-ian ''alternative facts,'' political expediency or what Thomas Pynchon called, in Gravity's Rainbow, ''a chaos of peeves, whims, hallucinations and all-round assholery''). Instead of Trump's ''America First'' foreign policy, we need to return to multilateral diplomacy, and to the understanding that co-operation with allies'--and adversaries, too'--is especially necessary when it comes to dealing with global problems like climate change and viral pandemics.
Most of all, we need to remember that public trust is crucial to governance'--and that trust depends on telling the truth. As the historian John M. Barry wrote in his 2004 book The Great Influenza'--a harrowing chronicle of the 1918 flu pandemic, which killed an estimated 50 million people worldwide'--the main lesson from that catastrophe is that ''those in authority must retain the public's trust'' and ''the way to do that is to distort nothing, to put the best face on nothing, to try to manipulate no one.''
Expect a political uprising. Cathy O'Neil is founder and CEO of the algorithmic auditing company ORCAA and author of Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy.
The aftermath of the coronavirus is likely to include a new political uprising'--an Occupy Wall Street 2.0, but this time much more massive and angrier. Once the health emergency is over, we will see the extent to which rich, well-connected and well-resourced communities will have been taken care of, while contingent, poor and stigmatized communities will have been thoroughly destroyed. Moreover, we will have seen how political action is possible'--multitrillion dollar bailouts and projects can be mobilized quickly'--but only if the cause is considered urgent. This mismatch of long-disregarded populations finally getting the message that their needs are not only chronically unattended, but also chronically dismissed as politically required, will likely have drastic, pitchfork consequences.
Electronic voting goes mainstream. Joe Brotherton is chairman of Democracy Live, a startup that provides electronic ballots.
One victim of COVID-19 will be the old model of limiting voting to polling places where people must gather in close proximity for an extended period of time. We have been gradually moving away from this model since 2010, when Congress passed a law requiring electronic balloting for military and overseas voters, and some states now require accessible at-home voting for blind and disabled voters. Over the long term, as election officials grapple with how to allow for safe voting in the midst of a pandemic, the adoption of more advanced technology'--including secure, transparent, cost-effective voting from our mobile devices'--is more likely. In the near-term, a hybrid model'--mobile-phone voting with paper ballots for tabulation'--is emerging in the 2020 election cycle in certain jurisdictions. We should expect that option to become more widespread. To be clear, proven technologies now exist that offer mobile, at-home voting while still generating paper ballots. This system is not an idea; it is a reality that has been used in more than 1,000 elections for nearly a decade by our overseas military and disabled voters. This should be the new normal.
Election Day will become Election Month. Lee Drutman is a senior fellow at New America and author of Breaking the Two-Party Doom Loop: The Case for Multiparty Democracy in America.
How do we hold an election in the time of coronavirus? By making it easier to vote when citizens want and where they want, so that Election Day doesn't become a health risk of big crowds and long lines. The change will come through expanded early voting and no-excuse mail-in balloting, effectively turning Election Day into Election Month (or maybe months, depending on the closeness of the election and the leniency for late-arriving ballots postmarked on Election Day). This transition requires considerable thought and planning to ensure that all communities are treated equally, and to prevent fraud. But facing the prospect of crowded polling places staffed by at-risk poll workers (who tend to be older), states will come under tremendous pressure to develop plans so that the election can go on regardless. This will mark a permanent change. Once citizens experience the convenience of early voting and/or voting by mail, they won't want to give it up. More convenience will generate higher voter turnout, potentially transforming partisan competition in America.
Voting by mail will become the norm. Kevin R. Kosar is vice president of research partnerships at the R Street Institute.
To date, five states'--Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland and Ohio'--have postponed their presidential primaries. More states may well follow. But these elections cannot be put off indefinitely. Parties need to hold their conventions and select a presidential nominee before the autumn general election. The coronavirus might, according to some reports, continue to menace Americans through June or even the end of summer. In most states, this means elections policy is inviting an electoral train wreck. The clock is ticking.
Fortunately, there is a time-tested means for the country to escape the choice between protecting public health and allowing voters to exercise their right to vote: voting by mail. Military members overseas have voted by mail for decades. Some states, such as Washington, Oregon and Utah, already let everyone vote at home. They send every voter a ballot and then let them choose to cast it either via mail or at a polling place. Unfortunately, most states have set the toggle to voting in-person and requiring individuals to request to vote by mail. Voters already receive registration cards and elections guides by mail. Why not ballots? Given the risks that in-person voting poses, states now have urgent cause to move immediately to modernize their hidebound systems'--and we should soon expect them to.
Dale Ho is director of the Voting Rights Project at the American Civil Liberties Union.
The COVID-19 pandemic poses an unprecedented threat to the way that most people vote: in person on Election Day. But there are several obvious steps we can take to ensure that no one has to choose between their health and their right to vote.
First, every eligible voter should be mailed a ballot and a self-sealing return envelope with prepaid postage. All ballots postmarked by Election Day should be accepted and counted. Ballots cast by mail should not be discarded based on errors or technicalities without first notifying voters of any defects and giving them an opportunity to correct them. At the same time, states can preserve in-person voting opportunities for people who need them'--such as voters with disabilities, with limited English proficiency, with limited postal access or who register after mail-in ballots have been sent out.
Elections administrators should receive extra resources to recruit younger poll workers, to ensure their and in-person voters' health and safety, and to expand capacity to quickly and accurately process what will likely be an unprecedented volume of mail-in votes. Moreover, states should eliminate restrictions prohibiting elections officials from processing mail-in ballots until Election Day (15 states currently have such restrictions). And the media should help set public expectations that, in an environment with record levels of mail-in voting, tabulating results and forecasting winners may take longer than we have grown accustomed to.
If a state cannot do all of the above, it should take as many of these steps as possible. The current crisis makes these changes all the more necessary'--and all the more likely to happen.
More restraints on mass consumption. Sonia Shah is author of Pandemic: Tracking Contagions From Cholera to Ebola and Beyond and the forthcoming The Next Great Migration: The Beauty and Terror of Life on the Move.
In the best-case scenario, the trauma of the pandemic will force society to accept restraints on mass consumer culture as a reasonable price to pay to defend ourselves against future contagions and climate disasters alike. For decades, we've sated our outsized appetites by encroaching on an ever-expanding swath of the planet with our industrial activities, forcing wild species to cram into remaining fragments of habitat in closer proximity to ours. That's what has allowed animal microbes such as SARS-COV2'--not to mention hundreds of others from Ebola to Zika'--to cross over into human bodies, causing epidemics. In theory, we could decide to shrink our industrial footprint and conserve wildlife habitat, so that animal microbes stay in animals' bodies, instead. More likely, we'll see less directly relevant transformations. Universal basic income and mandatory paid sick leave will move from the margins to the center of policy debates. The end of mass quarantine will unleash pent-up demand for intimacy and a mini baby-boom. The hype around online education will be abandoned, as a generation of young people forced into seclusion will reshape the culture around a contrarian appreciation for communal life.
Stronger domestic supply chains. Todd N. Tucker is director of Governance Studies at the Roosevelt Institute.
In the ancient days of 2018, the Trump administration was panned by experts for imposing tariffs on imported steel on a global basis for national security reasons. As the president tweeted at the time, ''IF YOU DON'T HAVE STEEL, YOU DON'T HAVE A COUNTRY!'' But to most economists, China was the real reason for disruptions in the metal market, and imposing tariffs additionally on U.S. allies was nonsensical, the argument went: After all, even if America lost its steel industry altogether, we would still be able to count on supplies from allies in North America and Europe.
Fast forward to 2020. Just this week, U.S. allies are considering substantial border restrictions, including shutting down ports and restricting exports. While there's no indication that the coronavirus per se is being transmitted through commerce, one can imagine a perfect storm in which deep recessions plus mounting geopolitical tensions limit America's access to its normal supply chains and the lack of homegrown capacity in various product markets limits the government's ability to respond nimbly to threats. Reasonable people can differ over whether Trump's steel tariffs were the right response at the right time. In the years ahead, however, expect to see more support from Democrats, Republicans, academics and diplomats for the notion that government has a much bigger role to play in creating adequate redundancy in supply chains'--resilient even to trade shocks from allies. This will be a substantial reorientation from even the very recent past.
Dambisa Moyo is an economist and author.
The coronavirus pandemic will create move pressure on corporations to weigh the efficiency and costs/benefits of a globalized supply chain system against the robustness of a domestic-based supply chain. Switching to a more robust domestic supply chain would reduce dependence on an increasingly fractured global supply system. But while this would better ensure that people get the goods they need, this shift would likely also increase costs to corporations and consumers.
The inequality gap will widen. Theda Skocpol is professor of government and sociology at Harvard.
Discussions of inequality in America often focus on the growing gap between the bottom 99 percent and the top 1 percent. But the other gap that has grown is between the top fifth and all the rest'--and that gap will be exacerbated by this crisis.
The wealthiest fifth of Americans have made greater income gains than those below them in the income hierarchy in recent decades. They are more often members of married, highly educated couples. As high-salary professionals or managers, they live in Internet-ready homes that will accommodate telecommuting'--and where children have their own bedrooms and aren't as disruptive to a work-from-home schedule. In this crisis, most will earn steady incomes while having necessities delivered to their front doors.
The other 80 percent of Americans lack that financial cushion. Some will be OK, but many will struggle with job losses and family burdens. They are more likely to be single parents or single-income households. They're less able to work from home, and more likely employed in the service or delivery sectors, in jobs that put them at greater danger of coming into contact with the coronavirus. In many cases, their children will not gain educationally at home, because parents will not be able to teach them, or their households might lack access to the high-speed Internet that enables remote instruction.
A hunger for diversion. Mary Frances Berry is professor of American social thought, history and Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.
Some trends already underway will probably accelerate'--for example, using voice technology to control entryways, security and the like. In the short term, universities will add courses on pandemics, and scientists will devise research projects to improve forecasting, treatment and diagnosis. But history suggests another outcome, as well. After the disastrous 1918-19 Spanish flu and the end of World War I, many Americans sought carefree entertainment, which the introduction of cars and the radio facilitated. Young women newly able to vote under the 19th Amendment bobbed their hair, frequented speakeasies and danced the Charleston. The economy quickly rebounded and flourished for about 10 years, until irrational investment tilted the United States and the world into the Great Depression. Probably, given past behavior, when this pandemic is over, human beings will respond with the same sense of relief and a search for community, relief from stress and pleasure.
Less communal dining'--but maybe more cooking. Paul Freedman is a history professor at Yale and author, most recently, of American Cuisine: And How It Got This Way.
For the past few years, Americans have spent more money on food prepared outside the home than on buying and making their meals. But, now, with restaurants mostly closed and as isolation increases, many people will learn or relearn how to cook over the next weeks. Maybe they will fall back in love with cooking, though I won't hold my breath, or perhaps delivery will triumph over everything else. Sit-down restaurants also could close permanently as people frequent them less; it is likely there will be many fewer sit-down restaurants in Europe and the United States. We will be less communal at least for a while.
A revival of parks. Alexandra Lange is the architecture critic at Curbed.
People often see parks as a destination for something specific, like soccer fields, barbecues or playgrounds, and all of those functions must now be avoided. But that doesn't make the parks any less valuable. I'm sheltering in place in Brooklyn with my family, and every day, the one time we go outside is to walk a loop north through Brooklyn Bridge Park and south down the Brooklyn Heights Promenade. I'm seeing people asking Golden Gate Park to close the roads so there's even more space for people. In Britain, the National Trust is trying to open more gardens and parks for free. Urban parks'--in which most major cities have made significant investments over the past decade'--are big enough to accommodate both crowds and social distancing. It helps that it is spring in the northern hemisphere.
Society might come out of the pandemic valuing these big spaces even more, not only as the backdrop to major events and active uses, but as an opportunity to be together visually. I've been writing a book about shopping malls, and I would certainly not recommend a visit right now (all those virus-carrying surfaces). But, in suburban communities, malls have historically served the same function: somewhere to go, somewhere to be together. What we have right now is parks. After this is all over, I would love to see more public investment in open, accessible, all-weather places to gather, even after we no longer need to stay six feet apart.
A change in our understanding of 'change.' Matthew Continetti is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.
''Paradigm shift'' is among the most overused phrases in journalism. Yet the coronavirus pandemic may be one case where it applies. American society is familiar with a specific model of change, operating within the existing parameters of our liberal democratic institutions, mostly free market and society of expressive individualism. But the coronavirus doesn't just attack the immune system. Like the Civil War, Great Depression and World War II, it has the potential to infect the foundations of free society. State and local government are moving at varying and sometimes contrary speeds to address a crisis of profound dimensions. The global economy has entered the opening stages of a recession that has the potential to become a depression. Already, large parts of America have shut down entirely. Americans have said goodbye to a society of frivolity and ceaseless activity in a flash, and the federal government is taking steps more often seen during wartime. Our collective notions of the possible have changed already. If the danger the coronavirus poses both to individual health and to public health capacity persists, we will be forced to revise our very conception of ''change.'' The paradigm will shift.
The tyranny of habit no more. Virginia Heffernan is author of Magic and Loss: The Internet as Art.
Humans are not generally disposed to radical departures from their daily rounds. But the recent fantasy of ''optimizing'' a life'--for peak performance, productivity, efficiency'--has created a cottage industry that tries to make the dreariest possible lives sound heroic. Jordan Peterson has been commanding lost male souls to make their beds for years now. The Four-Hour Workweek, The Power of Habit and Atomic Habits urge readers to automate certain behaviors to keep them dutifully overworking and under-eating.
But COVID-19 suggests that Peterson (or any other habit-preaching martinet) is not the leader for our time. Instead, consider Albert Camus, who, in The Plague, blames the obliteration of a fictional Algerian town by an epidemic on one thing: consistency. ''The truth is,'' Camus writes of the crushingly dull port town, ''everyone is bored, and devotes himself to cultivating habits.'' The habit-bound townspeople lack imagination. It takes them far too long to take in that death is stalking them, and it's past time to stop taking the streetcar, working for money, bowling and going to the movies.
Maybe, as in Camus' time, it will take the dual specters of autocracy and disease to get us to listen to our common sense, our imaginations, our eccentricities'--and not our programming. A more expansive and braver approach to everyday existence is now crucial so that we don't fall in line with Trump-like tyrannies, cant and orthodoxy, and environmentally and physiologically devastating behaviors (including our favorites: driving cars, eating meat, burning electricity). This current plague time might see a recharged commitment to a closer-to-the-bone worldview that recognizes we have a short time on earth, the Doomsday Clock is a minute from midnight, and living peacefully and meaningfully together is going to take much more than bed-making and canny investments. The Power of No Habits.
Half Of Americans Don't Trust Mainstream Media's COVID-19 Coverage | Zero Hedge
Sun, 29 Mar 2020 06:25
Americans are split on whether to trust news media with information regarding the coronavirus outbreak, according to a new poll.
As Statista's Willem Roper notes, a joint poll conducted by NPR, PBS NewsHour and Marist, shows that 47 percent of U.S. adults responded by saying ''not very much'' or ''not at all'' when asked how much they trusted news media with coronavirus information.
This poll also included questions asking how much Americans trusted President Donald Trump, with 60 percent saying they didn't trust him with coronavirus information, and on public health experts, with 13 percent saying they had little to no trust.
Unsurprisingly, Americans views on the news media were split along partisan lines. For Democrats, only 33 percent said they had little to no trust in the news media. Republicans, however, responded at a substantial 60 percent on their lack of confidence in the news media handling coronavirus information. Independents were equally high in their skepticism at 47 percent
You will find more infographics at Statista
Democrats and Republicans have been pointing fingers at news organizations since the coronavirus outbreak began to reach the U.S. Some Republicans believed liberal-leaning news outlets were blowing the outbreak out of proportion to damage the presidency and economy, while some Democrats believed conservative-leaning outlets were endangering American lives by not taking the outbreak seriously enough.
More Evidence of the Efficacy of Hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin | Power Line
Sun, 29 Mar 2020 06:15
This could be extremely important: a renowned French doctor has reported the most extensive evidence so far that a combination of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin can be an effective treatment for COVID-19:
Today, Prof. Didier Raoult and his team published results of their new study. The study was supported by the Institut Hospitalo-Universitaire (IHU) M(C)diterran(C)e Infection. Unlike the previous small study trial, the new observation study has a larger sample size of 80 COVID-19 patients. The objective of the study was to find an effective treatment to cure COVID-19 patients and to decrease the virus carriage duration.
In 80 in-patients receiving a combination of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin, the team found a clinical improvement in all but one 86 year-old patient who died, and one 74-year old patient still in intensive care unit. The team also found that, by administering hydroxychloroquine combined with azithromycin, they were able to observe an improvement in all cases, except in one patient who arrived with an advanced form, who was over the age of 86, and in whom the evolution was irreversible, according to a new paper published today in IHU M(C)diterran(C)e Infection.
This study found that in addition to preserving the lives of the patients who were given the combination of drugs, the therapy also dramatically shortened the time duration of virus shedding, which can limit the spread of the disease.
More at the link. Earlier today, Prof. Raoult said:
Our study concerns 80 patients, without a control group because we offer our protocol to all patients with no contraindication. This is what the Hippocratic Oath that we have taken dictates to us.
I understand Raoult to be saying that there is no control group, because in his opinion it would be unethical to deprive patients of the benefit of the hydroxychloroquine/azithromycin therapy. Which, curiously, is what some American politicians are trying to do.
Exclusive: U.S. axed CDC expert job in China months before virus outbreak - Reuters
Sun, 29 Mar 2020 05:51
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Several months before the coronavirus pandemic began, the Trump administration eliminated a key American public health position in Beijing intended to help detect disease outbreaks in China, Reuters has learned.
The American disease expert, a medical epidemiologist embedded in China's disease control agency, left her post in July, according to four sources with knowledge of the issue. The first cases of the new coronavirus may have emerged as early as November, and as cases exploded, the Trump administration in February chastised China for censoring information about the outbreak and keeping U.S. experts from entering the country to help.
''It was heartbreaking to watch,'' said Bao-Ping Zhu, a Chinese American who served in that role, which was funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, between 2007 and 2011. ''If someone had been there, public health officials and governments across the world could have moved much faster.''
Zhu and the other sources said the American expert, Dr. Linda Quick, was a trainer of Chinese field epidemiologists who were deployed to the epicenter of outbreaks to help track, investigate and contain diseases.
As an American CDC employee, they said, Quick was in an ideal position to be the eyes and ears on the ground for the United States and other countries on the coronavirus outbreak, and might have alerted them to the growing threat weeks earlier.
No other foreign disease experts were embedded to lead the program after Quick left in July, according to the sources. Zhu said an embedded expert can often get word of outbreaks early, after forming close relationships with Chinese counterparts.
Zhu and the other sources said Quick could have provided real-time information to U.S. and other officials around the world during the first weeks of the outbreak, when they said the Chinese government tamped down on the release of information and provided erroneous assessments.
Quick left amid a bitter U.S. trade dispute with China when she learned her federally funded post, officially known as resident adviser to the U.S. Field Epidemiology Training Program in China, would be discontinued as of September, the sources said. The U.S. CDC said it first learned of a ''cluster of 27 cases of pneumonia'' of unexplained origin in Wuhan, China, on Dec. 31.
Since then, the outbreak of the disease known as COVID-19 has spread rapidly worldwide, killing more than 13,600 people, infecting more than 317,000. The epidemic has overwhelmed healthcare systems in some countries, including Italy, and threatens to do so in the United States and elsewhere.
During a press briefing on Sunday shortly after this story was first published, President Donald Trump dismissed the Reuters report as similar to other stories regarding the CDC that he described as ''100 percent wrong,'' without addressing whether the role had been eliminated.
U.S. CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield maintained the agency's presence in China ''is actually being augmented as we speak,'' without elaborating.
In a statement to Reuters before the report was published, the CDC said the elimination of the adviser position did not hinder Washington's ability to get information and ''had absolutely nothing to do with CDC not learning of cases in China earlier.''
The agency said its decision not to have a resident adviser ''started well before last summer and was due to China's excellent technical capability and maturity of the program.''
The CDC said it has assigned two of its Chinese employees as ''mentors'' to help with the training program. The agency did not respond to questions about the mentors' specific role or expertise.
The CDC would not make Quick, who still works for the agency, available for comment.
Asked for comment on Chinese transparency and responsiveness to the outbreak, China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs referred Reuters to remarks by spokesman Geng Shuang on Friday. Geng said the country ''has adopted the strictest, most comprehensive, and most thorough prevention and control measures in an open, transparent, and responsible manner, and informed the (World Health Organization) and relevant countries and regions of the latest situation in a timely manner.''
One disease expert told Reuters he was skeptical that the U.S. resident adviser would have been able to get earlier or better information to the Trump administration, given the Chinese government's suppression of information.
''In the end, based on circumstances in China, it probably wouldn't have made a big difference,'' Scott McNabb, who was a CDC epidemiologist for 20 years and is now a research professor at Emory University. ''The problem was how the Chinese handled it. What should have changed was the Chinese should have acknowledged it earlier and didn't.''
ALERT FROM CHINA'S CDC Alex Azar, secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) said on Friday that his agency learned of the coronavirus in early January, based on Redfield's conversations with ''Chinese colleagues.''
Redfield learned that ''this looks to be a novel coronavirus'' from Dr. Gao Fu, the head of the China CDC, according to an HHS administration official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. ''Dr. Redfield always talked to Dr. Gao,'' the official said.
HHS and CDC did not make Azar or Redfield available for comment.
Zhu and other sources said U.S. leaders should not have been relying on the China CDC director for alerts and updates. In general, they said, officials in China downplayed the severity of the outbreak in the early weeks and did not acknowledge evidence of person-to-person transmission until Jan. 20.
After the epidemic exploded and China had imposed strict quarantines, Trump administration officials complained that the Chinese had censored information about the outbreak and that the United States had been unable to get American disease experts into the country to help contain the spread.
Azar told CNN on Feb. 14 that he and CDC director Redfield officially offered to send a CDC team into China on Jan. 6 but still had not received permission for them to enter the country. HHS oversees the CDC.
''Dr. Redfield and I made the offer on January 6th - 36 days ago, 60,000 cases and 1,300 deaths ago,'' Azar said. ''We made the offer to send the CDC experts in to assist their Chinese colleagues to get to the bottom of key scientific questions like, how transmissible is this disease? What is the severity? What is the incubation period and can there be asymptomatic transmission?''
Days later, the World Health Organization secured permission to send a team that included two U.S. experts. The team visited between Feb. 16th and 24th. By then, China had reported more than 75,000 cases.
On Feb. 25, the first day the CDC told the American public to prepare for an outbreak at home, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused China of mishandling the epidemic through its ''censorship'' of medical professionals and media.
FILE PHOTO: People coming from the Hubei province wait at a checkpoint at the Jiujiang Yangtze River Bridge in Jiujiang, Jiangxi province, China, as the country is hit by an outbreak of a new coronavirus, February 1, 2020. REUTERS/Thomas Peter - RC2JRE950YUT/File PhotoRelations between the two countries have deteriorated since then, as Trump has labeled the coronavirus the ''Chinese virus'' - a description the Chinese have condemned as stigmatizing. Last week, the Chinese government announced that Americans from three U.S. news organizations, The New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal, would be expelled from China.
ONCE 'FRIENDS,' NOW RIVALS The decision to eliminate Quick's job came as the CDC has scaled back the number of U.S. staffers in China over the last two years, the sources told Reuters.
''We had already withdrawn many technical public health experts,'' the same expert said.
The CDC, however, disputed that staffing was a problem or that its information had been limited by the move. ''It was not the staffing shortage that limited our ability'' it said.
The U.S. CDC team in Beijing now includes three American citizens in permanent roles, an additional American who is temporary and around 10 Chinese nationals, the agency said. Of the Americans, one is an influenza expert with expertise in respiratory disease. COVID-19 is not influenza, though it can cause severe respiratory illness.
The CDC team, aside from Quick, was housed at U.S. Embassy facilities. No American CDC staffer besides Quick was embedded with China's disease control agency, the sources said.
China in recent weeks has reported a dramatic slowdown in new cases, the result of drastic containment measures including the lockdown of Hubei province, home to 60 million people.
Nevertheless, the infectious disease experts who spoke with Reuters said, the United States could use people like Quick with contacts on the ground, especially if fears of a second wave of infections materializes.
Thomas R. Frieden, a former director of the CDC, said that if the U.S. resident adviser had still been in China, ''it is possible that we would know more today about how this coronavirus is spreading and what works best to stop it.''
Dr. George Conway, a medical epidemiologist who knows Quick and had served as resident advisor between 2012 and 2015, said funding for the position had been tenuous for years because of a perennial debate among U.S health officials over whether China should be paying for funding its own training program.
Yet since the training program was launched in 2001, the sources familiar with it say, it has not only strengthened the ranks of Chinese epidemiologists in the field, but also fostered collegial relationships between public health officials in the two countries.
''We go there as credentialed diplomats and return home as close colleagues and often as friends,'' Conway said.
In 2007, Dr. Robert Fontaine, a CDC epidemiologist and one of the longest serving U.S. officials in the adviser's position, received China's highest honor for outstanding contributions to public health due to his contribution as a foreigner in helping to detect and investigate clusters of pneumonia of unknown cause.
But since last year, Frieden and others said, growing tensions between the Trump administration and China's leadership have apparently damaged the collaboration.
Slideshow (2 Images) ''The message from the administration was, 'Don't work with China, they're our rival,''' Frieden said.
Trump's re-election campaign sent out a statement Sunday evening dismissing controversy about the CDC'S cut as a matter of politics.
''Democrats are eager to politicize the coronavirus crisis and weaponize it against President Trump, the statement said. ''In so doing, they're siding with the Chinese and providing cover for Beijing's cover-up.''
Marisa Taylor reporting from Washington; Additional reporting by Alexandra Alper in Washington, Tony Munroe and Cheng Leng in Beijing; Editing by Michele Gershberg and Julie Marquis
Read the JFK Assassination Files Released by President Trump | Fortune
Sun, 29 Mar 2020 00:24
Bob Dylan Releases 17-Minute Song About JFK Assassination '' Variety
Sun, 29 Mar 2020 00:20
March 26, 2020 10:01PM PTThe surprise track, which Dylan said only was recorded "a while back," comes eight years after his last album of original material.For years, Bob Dylan fans have spoken in a sort of hushed awe about the longest song he ever released, ''Highlands,'' an album side-length 1997 track that ran 16 minutes and 31 seconds. Now, 23 years later, he's slightly outdone himself. As the clock struck midnight on the east coast Friday morning, Dylan released a new song, ''Murder Most Foul,'' that has a running time just seconds shy of the 17-minute mark '-- and it's an epic free association on the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
Little information was given about the surprise track, except for a brief statement from Dylan himself:
''Greetings to my fans and followers with gratitude for all your support and loyalty over the years.
''This is an unreleased song we recorded a while back that you might find interesting.
''Stay safe, stay observant and may God be with you.
A Dylan representative said the statement was all the information they would be releasing about the song, so whether ''a while back'' means a matter of months or many years remains a mystery.
Dylan's tender vocal tone '-- a trademark of his more recent shows and recordings '-- and elements of the song's minimal bed of violin, piano and light percussion quickly had hardcore fans guesstimating that the tune might actually be of fairly recent vintage.
His last album of original material, ''Tempest,'' came out in 2012, although he has released three sets of his interpretations of songs from the Great American Songbook in-between, the last of which was the triple-album ''Triplicate'' three years ago. Rumors have been rampant that this year Dylan might be releasing his first album of self-penned songs in eight years, but there's been no confirmation of that.
The lyrics of the monumental track will fascinate Dylanologists who've waited years for something fresh to dissect, since there's literally half an album's worth of lyrical material just in one track here.
In verses that proceed freely enough that it's not always easy to break them down into separate stanzas, the lyrics often speak extremely literally of the Kennedy assassination, with a bent toward conspiratorial takes on the event. But as the song goes along it breaks more freely into a pop-culture fantasia.
Dylan frequently references or riffs on 1960s events, catchphrases or titles, with lines that include: ''The Beatles are coming, they'e gonna hold your hand'' (the arrival of the Fab Four in America in early 1964 is regarded by some as a tonic to the lingering depression from the assassination); ''ferry cross the Mersey and go for the throat'' (only part of which is a nod to Gerry and the Pacemakers); ''Tommy can you hear me, I'm the Acid Queen,'' and ''I'm going to Woodstock, it's the Aquarian age / Then I'll go to Altamont and stand near the stage.''
Dylan doesn't have his head entirely in the '60s: ''Frankly Miss Scarlett, I don't give a damn'' also comes up for a citation. And eventually, so do '-- moving into the '70s, and beyond and back '-- Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks, Don Henley and Glenn Frey, the Allman Brothers Band's Dickey Betts, ''Only the Good Die Young, ''Nightmare on Elm Street,'' Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd, Art Pepper, Oscar Peterson, Stan Getz, ''Charlie Parker and all that junk,'' Nat King Cole, Marilyn Monroe, John Lee Hooker, Wolfman Jack, Patsy Cline, Houdini, ''Wake Up Little Suzy,'' ''Let the Good Times Roll,'' ''The Old Rugged Cross,'' ''Down in the Boondocks,'' ''The Merchant of Venice,'' ''Memphis in June,'' ''Moonlight Sonata,'' ''Play Misty for Me,'' ''Lonely at the Top'' and ''Lonely Are the Brave.''
Occasionally, Dylan directly marries his pop-culture references and the assassination, as when he sings, ''You got me Dizzy Miss Lizzy, you fill me with lead.'' Or: ''What's new pussycat, what'd I say / I said the soul of a nation been torn away.''
When it comes to the actual assassination, Dylan doesn't skimp on the details: ''They blew off his head while he was still in the car,'' he sings in the first stanza. Later on, he traces the car's frantic exit away from Dealey Plaza in Dallas, even taking the first-person point of view of the deceased Kennedy: ''Riding in the backseat next to my wife / And it's straight on into the afterlife / I'm leaning to the left I got my head in her lap'...'' He gets specific about details following the death, too '-- like ''Johnson sworn in at 2:38.''
He also takes the point of view of Kennedys assailant '-- or, in his view, assailants '-- singing provocative lines like, ''We've already got someone here to take your place,'' or, of Kennedy's brothers, ''we'll get them as well.''
Dylan's fascination with the Kennedy assassination is nothing new '-- it dates back to 1963. At least, Robert Shelton's biography, ''Bob Dylan: No Direction Home,'' recounts an incident three months after the killing when the singer and his fellow travelers took a detour to Dealey Plaza and ''took the station wagon along Kennedy's path,'' ''appraised the theory that Oswald acted alone'' and ''started acting like a detective.''
In the song's view, the killing of JFK, ''right there in front of everyone's eyes,'' is the ''greatest magic trick'' '-- and one he presumably thinks has some relevance in 2020.
DJ D-Nice's Instagram Live virtual dance parties have been the sensation of isolation, drawing upwards of 150,000 viewers '-- among them, both Democratic candidates, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, former first lady Michelle Obama, Drake, Oprah Winfrey, Will Smith and even Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg '-- and helping relieve anxiety during this time of stress [...]
Cardi B, like most people in the world, is hooked on Netflix's ''Tiger King.'' Over the past couple of days, Cardi has been tweeting about the new docu-series, which follows the bizarre story of Joe Exotic, a private zoo owner with hundreds of exotic animals who ends up in jail for hiring a hitman to [...]
The big kahuna among this weekend's music live-streams is a half-day marathon Saturday being put on by Twitch. The 12 hours of performances on ''Twitch Aid'' feature a wide array of artists from multiple genres, including Barry Gibb, Luke Combs, Marcus Mumford, Yola, Garth Brooks, Ryan Tedder, Rufus Wainwright, Diplo, Charlie Puth, Ashley McBryde, Steve [...]
Caroline and Latin label Sie7etr3 have entered into a worldwide distribution pact. Sie7etr3 The Label (known as Siete Tres or 73) is home to Chucky73, Fetti031, Youngkilla73 and Dglo73. ''Dili'' by Chucky73 and Fetti031, which dropped January 17, is the Bronx-based label's first release under the new partnership. Future releases and label services will be [...]
Rapper Scarface gave an emotional account of his time in isolation since testing positive for the coronavirus. Scarface, whose real name is Brad Jordan, was interviewed by Atlanta rapper Ludacris on Instagram Live on March 27. Some three thousand people tuned in for the 20-minute chat. ''I'm scared to death,'' said Scarface, who on Thursday [...]
Is it wrong, right now, to be as happy as Dua Lipa's second album makes you? Is this any time to celebrate pop music at its most ebullient, when we should be bullish on meditation? Shouldn't we be focusing our attention on weightier matters than how to all guiltlessly throw ourselves a solo disco party? [...]
In today's TV News Roundup, Hulu released a trailer for the third and final season of ''Future Man,'' and Fox and iHeartRadio's upcoming concert special added Camila Cabello, Dave Grohl, H.E.R. and Sam Smith to its lineup. FIRST LOOKS Hulu has released a trailer for the third and final season of ''Future Man.'' As the [...]
US Military Command Rushes Into Mountain Bunkers After Daughter Of Murdered President John F. Kennedy Meets With Trump
Sun, 29 Mar 2020 00:07
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March 28, 2020
US Military Command Rushes Into Mountain Bunkers AfterDaughter Of Murdered President John F. Kennedy Meets With Trump
By: Sorcha Faal, and asreported to her Western Subscribers
An at first just merely alarming new Ministryof Defense (MoD) report circulating inthe Kremlin today noting its plansto speed up testing of the Zircon hypersonic missile andannouncing that upgrades to thefacilities for the serial production of Sarmatmultiple-warhead nuclear armed ICBM'shave been completed, turns mind-blowingly surreal when one reads areferenced appendix attached to it prepared by the beyond highly-secretive 8thDirectorate of the General Staff'--an appendix that begins by revealingthat the US Northern Command has dispersed essential command andcontrol teams to multiple hardened locations, including the famous CheyenneMountain bunker complex in Colorado, as well as another unspecified site, andis keeping them in isolation '--a war move coming at thesame time President Donald Trump ordered the immediate call-up of 1 million ready reservecombat troops '--all coming within 48-hours of Trumpholding a secret meeting at the WhiteHouse with Caroline Kennedy'--thelast surviving child of the murdered 35th Presidentof the United States John F. Kennedy'--who was publicallyexecuted by having his head blown off after he was abandoned by his SecretService bodyguards on 22 November 1963 in Dallas-Texas '--andwas a meeting made especially noteworthy as just a few weeks prior, Caroline Kennedy resigned unexpectedly from her boardposition at Harvard University's KennedySchool that was named after her executed father'--and following hermysterious meeting with Trump, saw anumber of mysterious events occurring to include'--the wife of Trump-loyalist rock music icon Ted Nugent suddenly releasing a never-before-seen photograph of them with Caroline Kennedy's '' believed to be murdered so Hillary Clinton could take the USSenate seat he planned to run for '' brother John F. Kennedy Jr.'--the grandchildrenof executed President Kennedy thenposting a video that sees them joyfully singing the warning words '' It's goin down...I'm yellin timber....You better move... '''--andmost astonishingly, then saw the most important figure in pop-culture history ,Bob Dylan, ending a near 17-year period of isolation to release his over 16-minute song aboutthe execution of President Kennedythis master songwriter for the ages titled '' MurderMost Foul ''. [Note: Some words and/or phrases appearing in quotesin this report are English language approximations of Russian words/phraseshaving no exact counterpart.]
According to this report, little known to the American people as to why the 2016US Presidential Election was the most bitterly fought over one in nearlytheir nation's entire history, was due to a US federal law called the PresidentJohn F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992'--a lawarising from the AssassinationRecords Review Board, one of whose most damning findings concluded that'' the brain photographs in the Kennedy records are not ofKennedy's brain and show much less damage than Kennedy sustained '''--butwhose most terrifying findings and evidence were ordered by this law to be keptat the highest level of secrecy until 27October 2017'--thus meaning that whomever became the United States president in 2016,would be the first American leaderin history to know everything about the execution murder of President Kennedy.
When 27 October 2017 arrived,however, this report notes, PresidentTrump was already under the most withering attack ever witnessed on an American leader in modern times, whichsaw him breaking his promise to release all of the information to the publicabout President Kennedy'sassassination execution'--but whose most feared secrets he kept to himself ,provided him the masterplan to take down and destroy the Deep State forces that not only executed Kennedy, but were planning Trump'sdemise, too'--but to successfully carry out, would see Trump having to completely destroy the existing world order'--thatnot only is Trump doing, it is whyformer globalist-socialist British PrimeMinister Gordon Brown is now urgently calling for a new global government to beimmediately created and established to rule over the world .
While waging the greatest war ever witnessed in modern times to destroy theexisting world order, this report details, PresidentTrump is using the current global coronavirus pandemic as his cover tocarry out his masterplan'--as the indisputable facts prove this pandemic isnothing but a '' red herring '' device (somethingthat distracts attention from the real issue) meant to distract the public'sattention away from what is truly occurring'--facts which include the truth that the total number of coronavirus deaths to datein the world are still less than the total number of flu deaths in the UnitedStates this flu season '--the Imperial Collage expert who predicted 500,000 deaths in UKadmitting he was wildly wrong, and his expecting this pandemic to peak in twoweeks with less than 20,000 deaths '--the top virus expert for the CDC concurring and saying thepandemic will peak in another two to three weeks '--top White House Coronavirus Task Forcescientist Dr. Deborah Birx furtherconcurring and saying the initial pandemic death toll claims '' Were Wildly Exaggerated '''--all joinedby lead White House Coronavirus TaskForce scientist Dr. Anthony Fauciadmitting the truth in his research article published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine whereinhe conceded that the coronavirus mortality rate may be muchcloser to a very bad flu .
As of 28 March 2020 at12:34 hrs GMT +3: United States total of 104,837 coronavirus ill patients and around 1,500+ coronavirus deaths still come nowhereclose to their nation's 29 million flu infected patients and 16,000 flu deathsfrom a month and a half ago.
While effectively using the coronavirus pandemic as his '' red herring '' distraction device, this reportfurther notes, to understand what PresidentTrump is really doing one needs only to fully understand why top Wall Street Journal journalist Jacky Wong posted about 48-hours ago his warning Tweet saying '' World War 3 during a pandemic wasn't something I expected '''--awarning issued at the same time Trump ordered the US Navy to sail a combat ready warshipthrough the Taiwan Strait in defiance of Communist China '--andwas a wartime order issued by Trumpimmediately after he signed into law Thursdaynight, 26 March, the TAIPEI Act '--which pledges full economic and military American support to Taiwanand vows to punish countries that side with Communist China on this issue .
While directly and deliberately targeting Communist China with this wartime move in support of Taiwan, this report continues, President Trump then made anotherwartime move with his order to refineries in both the United States and Europeto begin refusing all deliveries of oil from Saudi Arabia '--whichled to the dire warning being issued that declining oil revenues may lead to an'' unthinkable balance-of-payments crisis ''for Saudi Arabia and end that country's decades long policy of pegging itscurrency, the Riyal, to the US Dollar '--otherwise known asthe Petrodollar System whose Petrodollar Warfare global chaos Trump is now attempting to destroy atall costs.
The global and domestic environments any American leader would need before even attempting to take on anddestroy the Petrodollar System, thisreport explains, are as complicated, interconnected and so farfetched tobelieve in, no one in the world ever seriously considered such a thing apossibility'--as first the United Stateswould have to overcome a globalist-socialist onslaught of environmental laws,rules and unending lawsuits to become the world's largest oil producer and nolonger needing Middle East oil'--nextthe United States would have toachieve and maintain for at least two years the full employment of all of itscitizens in order for them to provide for themselves an economic buffer'--thenthe United States would to haveinterest rates at 0% or below, whileat the same time maintaining an inflation rate of less than 3% to keep their currency fromcollapsing'--while the world itself would need to have so much excess oil there'sno place left to store it'--when the final attack is made against the Petrodollar System, it would have tosee an entire world bunkered down in wartime mode'--and most critically of all,would have to be led by an Americanleader having no fear of pumping trillions-of-dollars into the American economy to keep it afloatwhile the war raged'--who in its aftermath, also, would have to back a new goldstandard for America.
But like the rarest of celestial alignments that occur once in a lifetime,this report continues, President Trumpnow sees himself against all odds presiding over a United States that's the largest oil producer in the world '-- achieved and maintained full employment for his citizens forover two years '--has a national interest rate of 0.01% and an inflation rate of less than 3% '-- today sees the world on the brink of running out of places toput oil '-- today sees the entire world bunkered down in wartime modebecause of the coronavirus pandemic '-- yesterday saw Trump signing a rescue package whose totalworth of $6 trillion will be pumped into the US economy to keep it afloat '--andis the same Trump who's moving to reinstate his nation's goldstandard .
Virtually unknown to the Americanpeople currently living through the most existential period in their lifetimes,this report concludes, is that the most pivotal date in their nation's historythat future historians will write about is 17 February 2016 '--and was when thencandidate for president Donald Trumpvowed to all of his country's citizens that if elected: '' you will find out who really knocked down the World TradeCenter '''--a date on which the price for an ounce ofgold was around $1,100 , versus the $1,627 an ounce of gold costs today'--an over 37% increase in the price per ounce of gold benefitting both Russia and China as both knew this currency war wascoming '--and along with every other sound mind in theworld, knew that Trump's vow about 9/11 was an all-out declaration of waragainst his nation's globalist-socialist DeepState'--specifically the US intelligenceand military communities, who for decades had used the Petrodollar System to wage their global hegemonic wars'--and woulddestroy without mercy, like PresidentKennedy, all who opposed them, as well as think nothing about killingthousands of innocent Americancivilians to start another war, like on 9/11'--aruthless warmongering cabal PresidentDwight Eisenhower warned Kennedy andthe American people about on hislast day in office when he famously declared: '' We must guard against the acquisition of unwarrantedinfluence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrialcomplex....The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists andwill persist....We must never let the weight of this combination endanger ourliberties or democratic processes '''--and when firstmeeting the leaders of in the Pentagonafter taking office, and where they believed they would overpower him, saw President Trump '' blasting them to their faces while calling them a bunch oflosers, dopes and babies '''--and as one would expectfrom a fearless wartime leader who knows his enemies better than they knowthemselves, and is ruthless enough to win any fight of revenge for his nationand its peoples he finds himself in.
March 28, 2020 (C) EU and US all rights reserved.Permission to use this report in its entirety is granted under the condition itis linked to its original source atWhatDoesItMean.Com. Freebase content licensed under CC-BY and GFDL.
[ Note :Many governments and their intelligence services actively campaign against theinformation found in these reports so as not to alarm their citizens about themany catastrophic Earth changes and events to come, a stance that the Sisters of Sorcha Faal strongly disagree with in believing that it is every human being's right toknow the truth. Due to our mission's conflicts with that of those governments,the responses of their 'agents' has been a longstandingmisinformation/misdirection campaign designed to discredit us, and others likeus, that is exampled in numerous places, including HERE .]
[ Note: The WhatDoesItMean.com website was created for anddonated to the Sisters of Sorcha Faal in 2003 by a small group of Americancomputer experts led by the late global technology guru Wayne Green(1922-2013) tocounter the propaganda being used by the West to promote their illegal 2003invasion of Iraq.]
[ Note: The word Kremlin (fortress inside a city) as used inthis report refers to Russian citadels, including in Moscow, having cathedrals wherein femaleSchema monks (Orthodox nuns) reside, many of whom are devoted to the mission ofthe Sisters of Sorcha Faal.]
America Endures First In World History ''Let Stupid People Die'' Pandemic
Nothing Will Ever Be The Same AfterNew Age Of Heroes Arises With Coronavirus
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Spain: "Youths" attack ambulances and police carrying elderly people - Voice of Europe
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 23:42
A gang of youths in masks and hoods attacked a convoy of ambulances with a police escort in La Lnea de la Concepci"n that was bringing elderly people from Alcal del Valle. Later, they attacked the building where the pensioners are being housed.
The police said that the youths threw stones at the vehicles as they were transporting the residents of a retirement home which had seen an outbreak of the coronavirus virus (COVID-19) to a new home, according to a report by The Daily Mail. Later, they threw incendiary Molotov cocktails at the police officers who were guarding the home.
Two were arrested for blocking the road with a car in an attempt to stop the convoy from entering the town. Reports indicate that the men had earlier been calling on social media for barricades made of burning tyres to be set up to stop the ambulances. They were angered that people were being brought into the town from an infected area.
Migrants attack German ambulance crew: Emergency doctor suffers traumatic brain injuries https://t.co/1lVVj1rDSt
'-- Voice of Europe ð (@V_of_Europe) June 23, 2018
Later, fifty rioters surrounded the building where the pensioners are being held. Police moved to protect the building. Both the police and healthcare workers were threatened by the crowd. People on the rooftop of a neighboring building threw an explosive device at the officers which missed. Another attack occurred half an hour later. Trash cans were also set on fire.
In addition to the violence, the rioters were in violation of Spain's shelter-in-place order, which requires that people do not venture outside without essential cause and cannot assemble in groups.
The pensioners' reception in La Lnea de la Concepci"n was in sharp contrast to their departure from Alcal del Valle, when residents came out to their balconies to show their support for them and wish them well as the convoy left the facility. The move is only temporary until the home can be disinfected.
Elderly people are particularly at risk of mortality if they become infected with the virus.
La Lnea de la Concepci"n, near Gibraltar, suffers from a high unemployment rate and is considered a center for illegal drug and cigarette trafficking. ''There is a tense atmosphere here because those who smuggle illicit tobacco or hashish can't do anything, they can't leave their homes without justification,'' a police spokesman told Sud Ouest according to their report on the incident.
France: Firefighters attacked with Molotov cocktails https://t.co/Id5GVVv8SL pic.twitter.com/3AEXv1LL16
'-- Voice of Europe ð (@V_of_Europe) September 12, 2019
South African police fire rubber bullets to enforce social distancing
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 17:35
By Sara Dorn
March 28, 2020 | 5:29pm
A South African policeman points his pump rifle to disperse a crowd of shoppers in Yeoville, Johannesburg. AFP via Getty Images
South African soldiers trying to slow the spread of the coronavirus fired rubber bullets at hundreds of grocery shoppers in Johannesburg to keep them a safe distance apart, photos taken Saturday show.
The soldiers were deployed to a Shoprite in the Yeoville neighborhood, where a crowd of a few hundred had gathered outside the store, The Guardian reported.
Saturday was the second day of a 21-day imposed last week by President Cyril Ramaphosa.
'' A South African policeman uses a pump rifle to shoot rubble bullets to disperse a crowd of shoppers in Yeoville, Johannesburg today. AFP via Getty Images The shocking images show the tactic didn't necessarily work '-- some scared bystanders huddled closer together in fear when confronted with the firearms.
''These are people who don't have a good will, people who are doing exactly what they were told not to do,'' Bheki Cele, minister of police, told The Guardian.
Soldiers wearing masks and gloves also patrolled Alexandra township in northern Johannesburg. Officials reportedly said 55 people were arrested there Friday.
South Africa has more than 1,100 confirmed coronavirus cases and has recorded one death.
Becoming Self-Sufficient for Six Months By Pandemic Flu Information Co - Fieldcraft Survival
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 16:59
THE ABSOLUTE NECESSITY OF THOROUGH PREPARATION
According to the 2005 United States Census, approximately 12.5% of the American population is impoverished. That works out to roughly 37,500,000 people who live in households with annual incomes of less than $20,000 for a family of four. At this income level, these people are unable to meet all of their own needs for food, shelter, clothing, and medicine; therefore, many of them rely upon government assistance programs and private charities in order to survive. Millions of these poor families live in run-down apartment buildings in bad neighborhoods. They live there because that is all they can afford. As you might expect, the ones who are gainfully employed tend to perform menial labor in low-paying industries, such as lodging, agriculture, food service, janitorial, entertainment, and transportation. Just think of all the people in this country who work in thankless, dead-end jobs as busboys, dish washers, fry cooks, custodians, chamber maids, ticket takers, ushers, car washers, landscapers, field hands, parking lot attendants, et cetera. These people do not have the disposable income for even the most rudimentary of pandemic preparations. They live from pay- check to paycheck, buying only what they can for daily subsistence. They could not possibly ''shelter in place'' for more than a week or two, because they simply do not have the resources. These poor people will be among the earliest and hardest hit.
When the pandemic finally does arrive in the U.S., and people begin to practice social distancing, the lowest-paying industries with the highest public exposure will be shut down, and most of their employees will be laid off. People who are not laid off, but are still interacting with the general public, will almost certainly be exposed to the flu and they, in turn, will bring the virus home to their families. Ironically, the ones who were laid off will fare no better. They, too, will eventually be exposed to the flu and will bring it home to their families, because at some point in time they will have to leave their apartments in search of food, toiletries, and medicine. When they do, they will encounter infected people on the street, in public transportation, and in the stores. In very short order, these people are going to cause an enormous problem for the health care system, law enforcement agencies, and every level of government.
Whether or not they are actually sick with the flu, it is likely that several million poor people will be flat broke and starving within a week, so they are sure to pursue every resource possible to get free food. They are going to show up at medical facilities, police stations, government offices, churches, and schools in search of assistance. When they discover that nobody is able to help them, panic will set in and there will be civil disturbances and property crimes (remember New Orleans). Some of these people will merely go from door to door begging for handouts, but others will try to steal what they need from wherever they can. To make matters worse, within a couple of weeks, millions of these people will have full-blown cases of the flu, and there will be no safe means of handling the sick and the dying, or their corpses. Surely, any location with low-rent apartment buildings will be hell on Earth.
Although it might seem reasonable to believe that people at higher income levels will fare substantially better than the poor, that is not necessarily going to be the case. In fact, this same panic-despair scenario will eventually unfold in every neighborhood in the country, no matter what the socioeconomic status: if you are laid off you will re-
Becoming Self-Sufficient for Six Months page 15
Spread of coronavirus accelerates in U.S. jails and prisons - Reuters
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 16:58
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Sean Hernandez says he covers his mouth and nose with a t-shirt or towel when he leaves his cell, the only defense he can improvise against the coronavirus outbreak now sweeping through New York's Rikers Island jail system.
FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen outside of Rikers Island, a prison facility, where multiple cases of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) have been confirmed in Queens, New York City, U.S., March 22, 2020. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
Inmates have no access to gloves or proper masks and have only cold water to wash their hands, said Hernandez, who was convicted of attempted murder and has served eight years. He said inmates watched on Thursday as a guard coughed, her cheeks turned red and she collapsed to the ground.
''We are pleading with officers'' for better defenses, he said. ''They just shrug. In the end, we are just inmates, second-class citizens. We are like livestock.''
As of Friday, at least 80 staff and 103 inmates at jails across New York City had tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. The virus appears to be spreading quickly through a jail system famous for its overcrowded cell blocks. The city's Department of Correction said it is taking many measures to protect detainees, and declined to comment on Hernandez's account of an infected guard collapsing.
Across the United States, jails and prisons are reporting an accelerating spread of the new disease, and they are taking a varied approach to protecting the inmates in their charge. Thousands of inmates are being released from detention, in some cases with little or no medical screening to determine if they may be infected by the coronavirus and at risk of spreading it into the community, Reuters found.
Since Sunday, jails have reported 104 staff and 146 inmates with confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to a Reuters survey of cities and counties that run America's 20 largest jails. The numbers are almost certainly an undercount given the fast spread of the virus. Hot spots include Cook County jail in Chicago, Illinois. Since the first case was confirmed there on Sunday, the virus has infected 38 inmates and nine staff. Test results are pending for 123 other detainees.
Inmate advocates, local officials and public defenders are urging jails and prisons to speed up the release of inmates. Jails typically hold people for relatively short periods as they await trial. They have more flexibility to reduce populations than state or federal prisons, whose inmates have been convicted and sentenced.
''We are nowhere close to the rate of release we need to see to stop the spread of COVID-19,'' said Udi Ofer, director of the justice division at the American Civil Liberties Union. ''Every day that government officials do not act is another day that lives are put at risk.''
Some groups are pushing back. Victims' rights group Marsy's Law, named after the murdered sister of billionaire Henry Nicholas, has criticized the releases, saying victims of crimes should be notified before the people who committed them are let out '-- a process that could delay releases of some inmates by weeks or months. However, officials supervising releases in New York, Los Angeles, Houston and other major cities say they are releasing only low-level, non-violent offenders.
New York City has freed about 450 inmates from its jails since last weekend as it scrambles to contain the virus, which has killed more than 28,000 people, including more than 1,600 in the United States.
The city's independent oversight body for the jails, the Board of Correction, has identified around 2,000 people who could be released '-- including inmates aged 50 and above, the infirm, nonviolent, low-level offenders or people jailed for parole violations. The city has declined to disclose the number of inmates it has tested for the virus.
The mayor's office said the city was evaluating who to free in consultation with state officials, courts and district attorneys. ''Hundreds more will be released soon,'' said Colby Hamilton, a spokesman for the mayor.
'THERE IS NO PROTECTION' The United States has more people behind bars than any other nation, a total incarcerated population of nearly 2.3 million as of 2017, including nearly 1.5 million in state and federal prisons and another 745,000 in local jails, according to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics.
An inmate released on Monday from Rikers Island said sick and healthy people often mingled freely inside the jail. After a prisoner and a guard in his area of the jail were diagnosed with COVID-19, the inmate said he started spending more time in his two-man cell. But he still had to line up with other inmates at the medicine window to get his daily dose of methadone, a drug-addiction treatment.
''There is no protection,'' said the 32-year-old inmate, who spoke on condition of anonymity. ''You want to get away from people but you can't.''
The New York City Department of Correction said it has taken measures to address the outbreak, including distributing masks to inmates in areas where someone tested positive for COVID-19, promoting distancing between inmates, cleaning cells and providing soap.
''The Department of Correction is doing everything we can to safely and humanely house people in our custody amid the broader COVID-19 crisis,'' said Peter Thorne, the deputy commissioner of public information.
Some jails are releasing inmates who may be ill. In Marietta, Georgia, Aubrey Hardyway, 21, developed a cough, headache, sore throat and a 103-degree fever while held at the Cobb County Adult Detention Center on theft charges. ''I just couldn't take it, I was feeling terrible,'' he said.
Four days after falling ill, Hardyway says he was tested for flu and strep throat. When both came back negative, he was taken to a nearby hospital for blood work and other tests. Hardyway says he was never told if he was tested for the coronavirus. A doctor urged deputies to quarantine Hardyway, he says, but he was released hours later after he returned to jail and his friends paid his bond.
Hardyway says he believes he might have exposed cellmates and guards who were in contact with him. At least one deputy has tested positive for the virus and a second has been quarantined after showing symptoms, according to two sources familiar with the jail's operations.
The Cobb County Sheriff's Office did not respond to requests for comment.
Jails report they are adopting different tactics to keep the virus out. Some screen new inmates before they're even booked, taking their temperatures inside police cruisers or garages. Some are quarantining new arrivals until they are medically cleared to join the general population. Some are doing nothing.
Federal prison guards have asked for permission to wear masks on duty, though the Bureau of Prisons had so far declined, said Sandy Parr, a vice president of the union that represents federal prison workers. The Bureau of Prisons did not respond to a request for comment.
A pandemic could be ''very dangerous for our inmate population,'' Parr said.
Some courts are beginning to agree: A federal judge late on Thursday ordered federal authorities to immediately release 10 people who were being held in county jails in New Jersey while their immigration cases were being heard. U.S. District Judge Analisa Torres ruled that each detainee ''faces an imminent risk of death or serious injury in immigration detention'' because of the outbreak.
THOUSANDS BEING RELEASED Inmate releases are being driven by judges, public defenders, prosecutors and occasional orders by political leaders. New Jersey's chief justice ordered the release of 1,000 jail inmates statewide at the start of the week, seeking to prevent deaths behind bars.
Los Angeles County has released at least 1,700 inmates who had sentences with less than 30 days left. In California's Santa Clara County, authorities cut the inmate population by at least 400 by releasing some people, delaying sentences and other steps. Harris County, Texas, which includes Houston, has cut its jail population by at least 500.
In some counties, police are issuing citations for low-level crimes instead of arresting people. Furloughing work-release prisoners is another strategy to try to limit spread of the virus in crowded and often-unsanitary facilities, where the quality of medical care varies dramatically. Some worry the churn of detainees '-- coupled with the constant shuffle of officers coming from outside '-- will spread the illness across jails and communities.
Among a dozen large U.S. jails surveyed by Reuters, there was no uniform approach to preventing an infected inmate from spreading the coronavirus into a community.
Some jurisdictions screened inmates before letting them out. Others, such as King County Correctional Facility in Washington, did not.
''At this time, there is no enhanced screening of inmates occurring at release unless there is some type of pre-existing medical or psychiatric issue,'' said Captain David Weirich of the King County Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention, where at least one correctional officer has tested positive for the coronavirus according to the county.
In Ohio, the Hamilton County Justice Center is checking the temperature of all released inmates before they leave. At the John E. Polk Correctional Facility in Seminole, Florida, if an inmate shows any signs of illness, they're referred to an outside medical provider. Other jails are offering literature on COVID-19 to exiting inmates.
Inmates in federal prisons said some religious services have been canceled, along with education programs and most visits.
''If the virus gets in here, and we are all expecting it to, we are doomed,'' said Steven Jones, a 55-year-old inmate at a federal prison in Littleton, Colorado.
Ned Parker and Grant Smith reported from New York. Linda So and Brad Heath reported from Washington. Additional reporting by Peter Eisler, Beatrix Lockwood and Karen Freifeld. Editing by Jason Szep
United States of Paranoia: They See Gangs of Stalkers - The New York Times
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 16:03
Timothy Trespas at his home in Brooklyn, where he now lives, last month. ''I don't really have any friends anymore. I've become so extremely isolated,'' he said. Credit... Jake Naughton for The New York Times Nobody believed him. His family told him to get help. But Timothy Trespas, an out-of-work recording engineer in his early 40s, was sure he was being stalked, and not by just one person, but dozens of them.
He would see the operatives, he said, disguised as ordinary people, lurking around his Midtown Manhattan neighborhood. Sometimes they bumped into him and whispered nonsense into his ear, he said.
''Now you see how it works,'' they would say.
At first, Mr. Trespas wondered if it was all in his head. Then he encountered a large community of like-minded people on the internet who call themselves ''targeted individuals,'' or T.I.s, who described going through precisely the same thing.
The group was organized around the conviction that its members are victims of a sprawling conspiracy to harass thousands of everyday Americans with mind-control weapons and armies of so-called gang stalkers. The goal, as one gang-stalking website put it, is ''to destroy every aspect of a targeted individual's life.''
A growing tribe of troubled mindsMental health professionals say the narrative has taken hold among a group of people experiencing psychotic symptoms that have troubled the human mind since time immemorial. Except now victims are connecting on the internet, organizing and defying medical explanations for what's happening to them.
The community, conservatively estimated to exceed 10,000 members, has proliferated since 9/11, cradled by the internet and fed by genuine concerns over government surveillance. A large number appear to have delusional disorder or schizophrenia, psychiatrists say.
Yet, the phenomenon remains virtually unresearched.
For the few specialists who have looked closely, these individuals represent an alarming development in the history of mental illness: thousands of sick people, banded together and demanding recognition on the basis of shared paranoias.
They raise money, hold awareness campaigns, host international conferences and fight for their causes in courts and legislatures.
Perhaps their biggest victory came last year, when believers in Richmond, Calif., persuaded the City Council to pass a resolution banning space-based weapons that they believe could be used for mind control. A similar lobbying effort is underway in Tucson.
An 'echo chamber' of paranoiaDr. Lorraine Sheridan, who is co-author of perhaps the only study of gang-stalking, said the community poses a danger that sets it apart from other groups promoting troubling ideas, such as anorexia or suicide. On those topics, the internet abounds with medical information and treatment options.
An internet search for ''gang-stalking,'' however, turns up page after page of results that regard it as fact. ''What's scary for me is that there are no counter sites that try and convince targeted individuals that they are delusional,'' Dr. Sheridan said.
''They end up in a closed ideology echo chamber,'' she said.
In instructional tracts online, veterans of the movement explain the ropes to rookies:
' Do not engage with the voices in your head.
' If your relatives tell you you're imagining things, they could be in on it.
' ''Do not visit a psychiatrist.''
The tribe cuts across all classes and professions, and includes lawyers, soldiers, artists and engineers. In Facebook forums and call-in support groups, they commiserate over the skepticism of their loved ones and share stories of black vans that circle the block or co-workers conscripted into the campaign.
Image A T.I. subgenre has blossomed on Amazon. Left, the cover of John Hall's ''Guinea Pigs: Technologies of Control,'' and Robert Duncan's ''How to Tame a Demon.''They have self-published dozens of e-books, with titles like ''Tortured in America'' and ''My Life Changed Forever.'' In hundreds of YouTube videos they offer testimonials and try to document evidence of their stalking, even confronting unsuspecting strangers.
''They wanted to basically destroy me, and they did,'' a young mother in Phoenix says in one video, choking back tears. She lost custody of her daughter and was sent to a behavioral health hospital, says the woman, whose name is being withheld to protect her privacy. ''But I am going to fight back for the rest of my life.''
She adds, ''And guess what, I'm not crazy.''
Dr. Sheridan's study, written with Dr. David James, a forensic psychiatrist, examined 128 cases of reported gang-stalking. It found all the subjects were most likely delusional.
''One has to think of the T.I. phenomenon in terms of people with paranoid symptoms who have hit upon the gang-stalking idea as an explanation of what is happening to them,'' Dr. James said.
A mishmash of conspiracy theoriesPerhaps unsurprisingly, the community is divided over the contours of the conspiracy. Some believe the financial elite is behind it. Others blame aliens, their neighbors, Freemasons or some combination.
The movement's most prominent voices, however, tend to believe the surveillance is part of a mind-control field test done in preparation for global domination. The military establishment, the theory goes, never gave up on the ambitions of MK Ultra, the C.I.A.'s infamous program to control the mind in the 1950s and '60s.
A leading proponent of that view is an anesthesiologist from San Antonio named John Hall.
In his 2009 book, ''A New Breed: Satellite Terrorism in America,'' Dr. Hall gave his own account of being targeted. Agents bleached his water, he wrote, and bombarded him with voices making murderous threats.
The book made a splash because of the messenger: a licensed member of the medical establishment who was telling those who feel targeted that psychiatrists were misleading them. A janitor knows as much about the human mind, he wrote.
Dr. Hall, 51, was invited for an interview on ''Coast to Coast AM,'' a conspiracy-minded radio show based in California that is said to reach millions of listeners. After that, he said, ''I had probably three or 4,000 emails from people saying: 'It's happening to me in this state.' 'It's happening to me in Florida.' 'It's happening to me in California.' ''
The similarities of the cases spoke to a wide-ranging campaign, he said. ''If the psychiatrists want to say that this is schizophrenia or delusional disorder, that's fine,'' he said. ''But every one of these victims have the same story.''
While Dr. Hall has faced scrutiny from the Texas Medical Board over his mental fitness, he retains his license. Over time, however, many others who identify as gang-stalking victims end up out of work. They are mocked by colleagues, tolerated by family. Friends and spouses fall away.
A pretext for violenceThe despair that results has led some to lash out in violence.
Many in the community, for example, are convinced that Aaron Alexis, who killed 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard in 2013, was a victim. Mr. Alexis, a former sailor, left behind a document accusing the Navy of attacking his brain with ''extremely low frequency'' electromagnetic waves. On the side of his shotgun were etched the words ''my elf weapon.''
It was unclear when Myron May's mental distress began, but by the fall of 2014, it had become too much. He quit his job as a prosecutor in New Mexico and traveled to Florida. There, he videotaped a testimonial about how gang-stalking had ruined his life.
''As you can see right now,'' he says into the camera, ''I am totally not crazy.''
Laying out his case, he describes an episode at a gas station where he believed somebody in dark glasses was mimicking his movements. ''It was really creepy,'' he said. ''Everything I did, he did.''
Later in the video, he prays for forgiveness for his future sins. ''Father,'' he says, ''right now I ask that you look down on all the targeted individuals across the globe. Help them to cope with this madness.''
On Nov. 20, 2014, Mr. May walked into a library at Florida State University, where he had graduated in 2005, and shot three people, leaving one paralyzed. He dared the police to kill him, then fired in their direction before being fatally shot, officials said. He was 31.
Image Officers standing over the body of Myron May on Nov. 20, 2014, after the shooting at Florida State University. Credit... Mark Wallheiser/Associated Press The vast majority of people with psychosis never resort to violence. Still, studies suggest that a small number of those experiencing psychotic episodes '-- especially paranoid thoughts, accompanied by voices making commands '-- are more likely to act on hostile urges than people without a mental illness.
Many in the T.I. community, as anyone would, have repudiated the shootings by Mr. Alexis and Mr. May. But some also harbor troubling views about their perceived oppressors. They question how people could be so cruel.
Karen Stewart of Tallahassee, Fla., believes large numbers of regular people have been brainwashed by the National Security Agency into thinking that she is a traitor or terrorist. Wherever she goes, she says '-- to church, to the grocery store, to the doctor's office '-- they are there, watching.
It baffles her, she said. But worse, ''It makes me angry to see how many people in this country are sociopaths. They are absolute groupthink drones,'' she said. ''I don't even consider them human anymore.''
'A need for meaning'Susan Clancy, a Harvard-trained psychologist who has researched people who believe they've been abducted by aliens, said it could be extremely difficult to dissuade patients who have latched onto beliefs that they think explain their delusions.
''I think it's a need for meaning and a need to understand your life and the problems you're having,'' she said. ''You're not some meaningless nobody. You're being followed by the C.I.A.''
In that way, Dr. Clancy said, the behavior shares a trait with religious belief: To abandon it would be life upending.
Paula Trespas, Mr. Trespas's mother, said she avoided debating with him.
''It wasn't something that he was making up,'' she said. ''He really felt the way he felt and experienced what he experienced. I got to the point where I was just finally saying to him: 'I'm very, very sad that you have to go through this. I wish that there was something that I could do.' ''
The big hope is that society will wake up to what's happening and put a stop to it, those who feel targeted say. In some cases, they do seek psychiatric help. In others, the delusions subside. For the rest, the prognosis isn't good, psychiatrists say. Many contemplate suicide.
Mr. Trespas, now 49, says he went so far as to prepare a rope.
Sitting at a coffee shop in Brooklyn last month, he says the stalking has thankfully quieted down. But he says his harassers have also been seeding his body with Morgellons, a painful, insectlike infestation of the skin that many doctors say is psychosomatic.
He is gaunt, with weary, sad eyes. It's been eight years since it all began, he says. He can't hold a job. His friends have drifted away.
The online community has been a crucial support, he says. ''But we don't know exactly what's happening,'' he says. ''Maybe we're believing the wrong thing. I don't know. That's why I try to keep my mind open about who and what and why and how.''
One thing he is certain of though, he says: He's not crazy.
Urban Dictionary: gang stalking
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 16:02
Gang stalking is
organised harassment at it's best. It the targeting of an individual for revenge, jealousy, sport, or to keep them quite, etc.
It's organised, widespread, and growing. Some describe this form of harassment as, "A psychological attack that can completely destroy a persons life, while leaving little or no evidence to
incriminate the perpetrators."
2. Who gets targeted
The people getting targeted seem to be (single) woman, minorities, outspoken individuals, whistle
blowers, dissidents, people who have gone against large corporations, etc.
3. Goals of this hate campaign.
The goal is to sensitize the target to a stimuli,
isolate the target, make them
destitute. The secondary goals seem to be to make the target homeless, jobless, give them a breakdown, and the primary goals seems to be to drive the target to suicide.
4. Who gang stalks.
The surprising thing is that gang stalkers can be found in every level of society. There is no real age barrier, gender barrier, and a variety of races do participate. In almost every occupation in society you can find people who are going along with this.
Gang stalking for many is seen as a game, a sport to be played with another individuals life. Many do not understand or care that the end consequence of this game is to destroy a person.
5. Why they gang stalk.
"It is conceivable that the participants in the harassment don't even know why the person has been targeted, nor would most of these individuals have any personal stake in harassing the victim.
- Gang stalking is an both an addictive behavior as well as a form of entertainment for the stalkers. There is a vicious kind of pleasure that they derive from bullying their victim. Clearly they like the feeling of being "in control".
Like our society's current obsession with "reality TV", this activity must inevitably gain popularity as the ultimate experience of "reality" entertainment. To the perpetrators, their targets are merely their prey, in a game that never ends. But
make no mistake, whatever the reasoning behind it, this is a vicious and calculated
-Others are blackmailed or forced into talking part in this activity.
-Others go along with it because they want to fit in and feel part of something that is large and powerful.
-Some are part of community groups who believe they are targeting an undesirable.
-Some are part of the
informant groups within cities.
6. Methods used against targets.
Getting a target sensitised to sounds, colors, patterns, actions. Eg. Red, white, yellow, strips, pens clicking, key
jangling, coughing, sneezing, whistling, fingers snapping, clapping, etc.
This will involve following the target everywhere they go. Learning about the target. Where they shop, work, play, who their friends and family are. Getting close to the target, moving into the community or apartment where they live, across the street. Bugging targets phone, house, computer activity.
c) Isolation of target.
This is done via slander campaigns, and lies. Eg. Saying the target is a thief, into drugs, a prostitute, pedophile, crazy, in trouble for something, needs to be watched. False files will even be produced on the target, shown to neighbours, family, store keepers.
d) Noise and mimicking campaigns.
the targets life, sleep with loud
power tools, construction,
stereos, doors slamming, etc. Talking in public about private things in the targets life. Mimicking actions of the target. Basically letting the target know that they are in the targets life. Daily interferences, nothing that would be too overt to the
untrained eye, but psychologically degrading and damaging to the target over time.
gangstalking.ca to see more details.
e) Every day life breaks and
Flat tires, putting dirt on targets property. Mass strangers doing things in public to annoy targets. These strangers might get text messaged to be at a specific
time and place, and perform a specific action. If might seem harmless to these strangers, but it could be causing great psychological trauma for the target. Eg. Blocking targets path, getting ahead of them in line, cutting or boxing them in on the road, saying or doing things to elicit a response from targets. Etc.
7. Where can you
get help if you are a target?
Use these great links to learn more and to get help.
8. Gang stalking is an illegal form of harassment.
However when targets seek help they still get quite a bit of resistance. Some people in today's society even try to pass
gang stalking off as a form of paranoia, even though the meetings in Toronto are held out of the Toronto Rape Crisis Center and many woman's support groups and crisis centers are now aware of gang stalking, and even training their workers to deal with this form of harassment.
In Korea the online version of this is well acknowledged and has even been written about in the International
Gang stalking has also been recognised by members of the
The problem with gang stalking just like other urban slang is that it has not been normalised in society, and until it is people will continue to misunderstand this modern day reincarnation of several old time
Eg. Gang stalking is similar to what the KKK used against blacks in the south, what Hitlers
Brown Shirts used against the Jews, and what the organised harassment the
Stasi used against dissidents in
It can be hoped that with enough education and understanding this issue will someday become normalised in society
and that there will be enough understanding and support for targets.
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Gang Stalking is really a covert government or police investigation. It's similar to
Cointelpro or red squads, and it's being used on a lot of innocent people to ruin them and make them look crazy. Gang Stalking is all about government
disinformation, and using civilian spies/snitches to help with stalking and monitoring innocent people.
Jim was placed under
covert investigation by his
employer because of his whistle-blowing. Mistakenly he
termed it gang stalking, which made him sound crazy.
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1. What is
gang stalkingGang stalking is a form of
community mobbing and organised stalking combined. Just like you have
workplace mobbing, and online mobbing, which are both fully recognised as legitimate, this is the community form.
Gang stalking is organised harassment at it's best. It the targeting of an individual for revenge, jealousy, sport, or to keep them quite, etc.
It's a psychological attack that can completely destroy a persons life, while leaving little or no evidence to incriminate the perpetrators."
primary targets are woman, minorities, dissidents, whistle blowers, etc
To get some revenge we had Joe
mobbed and harassed 24/7, the gang stalking never stopped. We had him followed, cut off, we
bugged his house, made that guy think he was going loco, crazy. We really messed with him till he was broken.
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Gang Stalking is a form of bullying and intimidation from multiple perpertraitors.
Whereas ordinary bullying is usually
one on one, and
workplace mobbing is where multiple people in one workplace attack one (or a few) person(s), Gang Stalking involves multiple people attacking one person in any situation.
Groups of people, or, loosely organised people pick a target, and attempt to destroy the victims life in any way that they can.
They attempt to scare and
terrorise their target, causing anxiety and other problems.
They will do whatever they can to get the target fired from their job.
People become a victim when they have attacked a member of a group (ie gang) as part of revenge, or, in the case of political groups, attack their political opponents such as authors, etc.
The person who is responsible for picking the victim out is called the Gang Stalking Rat.
All of this is done secretly, and is usually known only to the
attackers, and the victims. Other people around the victim will be oblivious as to what is going on.
I experienced multiple people
harrasing me in the same manner, all of them seemed to know more about me than what they ordinarily should have. I was the victim of Gang Stalking.
Phil was trying to get me fired and cause me to lose friends, and lose
credibility. Phil was doing the same things as many other people I've come accross before. He was yet another Gang
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Gang Stalking is stalking by more than one person to a victim, usually involving community harassment, or the "mob", using people from all backgrounds and vocations to harass, tracking 24/7, sometimes organizing lethal vehicle accidents, poisoinings,
electronic harassment, home invasions/property destruction, corrupt or ignorant doctor diagnosis given to stamp the victim as bogus mentally ill with delusions, paranoi, or schizophrenia, etc. Everything is done covertly, and with a sophisticated real time dispatching system to organize the criminals' harassments and attacks, often in the hundreds to thousands of criminals participating as a coordinated mob at any given time while the criminals due their normal routines of work, shopping, commuting to and from work, leisure, etc., using the method of moving foot and vehicular surveillance techniques, and computers, cell phones, verbal and visual cues, and every other conceivable type of communication.
Often, the local network of this mob is connected to a national and international network - funding is done by illicit drug industry/crime syndicates, CRIMINALS working in:coroporate envioronment, and government sponsored terrorism for military weapons research using unconsenting human medical research testing linked to teaching/research hospitals. Practically all work environments and local communities have been compromised and
set-up as a super
domestic terrorism predator for mob antics- in every form of business, the government, and even police and fire departments and intelligence agencies. All of those entities have been reportedly ,on the internet and by victims accounts , to have been infiltrated with SOME of these numerous criminals willing to do this crime for money, greed, revenge, politics,war on the poor and disabled,
psychological warfare and Direct Energy Weapons testing/research for contractors of phsychotronic equipment, and mind control operations. No place is immune from these criminal
dirty birds, not even hospitals or police stations. These weapons, which
omit various forms of Electromagnetic Frequency(
RF:radio frequency), and other tactics are meant to mimic natural illness, and mental illness. Organ and cell damaging, Pictures and sounds,
mind reading, and dream interogation can be achieved now by satellite delivery,
CCTV, house wiring serving as a conductor, or even portable devices that are top secret and denied technology, but both the good guys and the bad guys have gotten their hands on them. They are used to sometimes drive a person's life into the ground, with hopes of the perfect unprovable crime results. These RF Weapons can cause Diabetes, cancer, and a host of other digestive and other terrible diseases. Remarkably, its not usual for some neighbors, co-workers, or family members to ALREADY be involved in these secret operations before a related victim is chosen to be attacked. That is a closely guarded secret, and hardly any person who is unfamiliar with
gang stalking or mob organization and tactics would believe to be true. Often,person known by the victim are recruited before or after the victim even realizes what is happening, that his/her life has the problem of gang stalking. Some victims never figure out that they are being attacked covertly,even if they die, or who is the
main person of group who desired the criminals to destroy the often innocent victims life. Corportate and influential well connected small business owners to politicians and the underworld can put a person on this list to be attacked by gang stalking, and the other criminal components that go along with it.There is belief that this crime, gang stalking, is often the
underbelly, or dark side of "The
New World Order" that
the elder President George Bush spoke of in the early 1990's. New World Order is a push by Bush and his millions of partners to have the USA be the strongest leader in the new one world
global government that is taking shape now, and already bascically exists in the illicit
drug trade. George Bush believes in parnterships between the government and criminal syndicates as evidenced by the
Iran-Contra War scandal. Gang Stalking increased dramatically starting under the elder George Bush Presidency, and continues growing exponentially like an evil cancer accross the world. There are thousands, if not millions of victims. For a relevant history, look up "The Dan
Bolles Papers" on Google concerning the Charles Schuld case. Also, look up the "Ken Wilbourne,Jr" on Google that directs to the perfect.co.uk web site. Note: RF Weapons can be made by savvy electrical criminal from parts from electronic stores, and are used to make a beam weapon utilizing destructive ionizing radiation or
microwaves into a persons house using precision for that one intended victim, can cause radiation sickness, as said cancer, and worse, even
sudden death by heart attack, or brain stroke.
Eleanor White, and Liza Parker have websites concerning the crime of gang stalking, which needs to be better compentently addressed by law enforcement and new laws put on the books to protect innocent citizens from gang stalking,
electronic harassment, and
RF weapons. Uninformed people in society, and the criminals claim this "flash
crime mob" tactics are not real......which is a lie right out of hell. See also: mindjustice.org , www.eharassment.ca, www.raven1.com, and "mind control forum". There is a saying: "Its better to
light a candle than to curse the darkness". I believe in good government, not bad government laced with human rights abuse that the seemingly Nazi ties and family history President Bush has at his core. The Nazi Germany state believed some lives are not worth living, and committed attrocities on humans on a mass scale on behalf of the elite who were under a Satanic delusion. Senator
Prescott Bush, the Grandfather of George Bush, financed Hitler's rise to power, along with his other partners. It's easy for me to see that the Iraq war is a lie. I voted for George Bush twice as I am a Christian,as I trust in Jesus Christ to be my savior to grant me enternal life, but I am no longer fooled this bad guy in disquiese, George Bush. He is an extremist for money and power for the himself and his elite partners and elite society. He just cut 50 billion dollars from the poor, disabled, and honest students. It's little wonder why USA is now called the Great Satan in the world under his leadership.
World Trade Center Tower 7 fell without a plane attack?? Hmm.....interesting. Afghanistan opium production is up by 500 percent since USA Bush took influence according to Newsweek Magazine, and still climbing to the applause of some USA economists?? Hmm. Put it all together, what do you get??? God or mercy or some savior help us all. We have entered into a very dark period under George Bush, disquiesed as
glib words such as "peace, democracy, prosperity,
regime change,fight against terrorism, etc."!! Einstein said evil (such as Bush) would never prevail if good people would tell the truth. What a thief George Bush and my criminal relatives are is
on my life, and also on the lives of so many other gang stalking and other terrorism victims of his regime across the world. (other reference, The Harold
Groome,Jr-Wilbourne-Johnson Crime Family of Richmond, Virgnia.
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Gang stalking is a
hate crime/discrimination or
vigilantism against whistle-blowers and/or those ACCUSED of wrong doing such as pedophiles--who have paid thier debt to society by seeving out thier sentence. Other examples are innocent mental patients that stand up for themselves against powerful psychiatrists. It is also an extremist groups attempt to
supress truths about institutions and businesses.
Stalkers come from all walks of life and all nationalites. They can be full families and communities and also mercinaries and convicts. The Mafia, for example also engages in these adgendas and co-operates with other gangs to these ends. They all have extremist and
vindictive adgendas as well and finacial motivations. They build upon the backs of the KKK and Nazis. The
stalkers primary attack is to attack the mental state and psyco-social reputation of the victums. Their crimes are ingenious because they are not quite thefts and not quite vandalism. While many of the perpetrators are police and firemen, the crimes they commit are so subtle and bizarre that today's unware honest citizens and crime fighting barnches of goverement that normally would care are confused and even unwittingly support the harrasment and hazing becuase the
victum appears to be an enemy of the state. For example some victums are already semi-disenfranchized. And the goal is to full separte them from all support and to drive them to suicide if not outright kill them. The crimes appear to be ordinary decay or mistakes. For example they will tear shower curtian rings or
carve holes in the back of shoes--both of which appear to be ordinary but only the victum knows that it wasn't that way the day before or that he did not cause them. The method can be seen in the film
Gaslighting (where a man drives his wife insane by altering the briteness of the lighting in thier house.)
Those that would define these claims as
mentally ill in and of themselves are seving the cause of
the gang stalking if not being
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A social phenomenon conducted by an organized group of individuals who's intent is to cause harm or enforce a desired outcome upon an individual; by covertly
stalking to gain information, building a psych profile of
targeted individual, and constantly harassing and undermining the psyche and livelihood of an individual via social proxy. For example, The group would learn of your standard daily/weekly routine, habits, likes and dislikes, interests, and goals. Once they have this information, via false allegation or accusation, they can trick people into willingly complying with their schemes to frame you as the bad guy, or drive you into committing a crime. You could be relaxing, only to have people intentionally and aggressively approach you as if attacking, then turn away at the last moment and pretend that they have no idea what you are getting so "anxious" about. The goal of this is to 1, make you feel unsafe. 2, make you react violently so they can claim assault, or worse, murder you in self defense. 3, try to make you yourself question your own sanity. 4, coerce an admission of guilt, or make a certain decision to make the ubiquitous torment end.
it could be state law, scorned ex, baby mamma custody, or Even high school cliques bullying into suicide. For more information, view the TED TALK by Hubertus Knabe called "The dark secrets of a surveillance state." about stazi police in east germany.
"Jon claims he is a victim of
gang stalking. what the hell is that about?"
"Ya apparently his ex claims that he raped her when he left her
crazy ass. Now her and her family and friends are
hell bent to ruin his life. Hard to catch and prove though."
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The Manchurian Candidate - Wikipedia
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 15:55
The Manchurian Candidate is a novel by Richard Condon, first published in 1959. It is a political thriller about the son of a prominent U.S. political family who is brainwashed into being an unwitting assassin for a Communist conspiracy.
The novel has been adapted twice into a feature film with the same title, in 1962 and again in 2004. The 1962 film is faithful to the book; the 2004 remake updates the action and alters characters.
Plot summary [ edit ] Major Bennett Marco, Sergeant Raymond Shaw, and the rest of their infantry platoon are captured by an elite Soviet commando unit during the Korean War in 1952. They are taken to Manchuria, and brainwashed into believing Shaw saved their lives in combat '' for which Shaw is subsequently awarded the Medal of Honor.
Years after the war, Marco, now back in the United States working as an intelligence officer, begins suffering a recurring nightmare. In the dreams that Major Marco was experiencing, the platoon were all together surrounded by what appeared to be sweet little old ladies, a part of their brainwashing. The platoon was seated together and one of the ladies tells Sergeant Shaw to murder two of his comrades from his platoon. The backdrop with the old ladies changes back and forth between them and Chinese and Soviet intelligence officials. When Marco learns that another soldier from the platoon has been suffering the same nightmare, he investigates why this is happening.
Major Marco looks up Sergeant Raymond Shaw and discovers that Raymond's new manservant is someone that he recognizes from Korea. They start fighting in Raymond's house and both get bloodied significantly. Marco is arrested, and when Shaw sees that it's his old Major, they rekindle their relationship. Both find love interests; for Marco, it's Rose Cheyney, and for Raymond, it's Jocelyn Jordan. Jocelyn Jordan is the daughter of Senator Thomas Jordan, who is a neighbor of Raymond Shaw's. Senator Jordan and Raymond's mother don't like each other, but Raymond continues to see Jocelyn.
It is revealed that the Communists have been using Shaw as a sleeper agent who, activated by a posthypnotic trigger, immediately forgets the assignments he carries out and therefore can never betray himself either purposely or inadvertently. In Shaw's case, the suggestion that he play solitaire is the trigger. Seeing the "Queen of Diamonds" playing card transforms him into an assassin who will kill anyone at whom he is directed. Shaw's KGB handler is his domineering mother, Eleanor. Married to McCarthy-esque Senator Johnny Iselin, Eleanor has convinced the Communist powers to help her install her husband as president and allow them to control the American government through him.
By observing Shaw, Marco discovers the trigger shortly before the national convention of Iselin's political party. He uses the Queen of Diamonds card to draw out Eleanor's plan: after she obtains the vice presidential nomination for Iselin, Shaw is to shoot the presidential candidate so that Iselin can succeed him. Blaming the killing on the Communists will enable Iselin to assume dictatorial powers. Marco reprograms Shaw, although it is unclear until the final pages whether this is successful. At the convention, Shaw instead shoots and kills his mother and Senator Iselin. Marco is the first person to reach Shaw's sniper nest, getting there just before Shaw turns the gun on himself.
Alleged plagiarism [ edit ] In 1998, software developer C. J. Silverio noted that several long passages of the novel seemed to be adapted from Robert Graves' 1934 novel I, Claudius. Forensic linguist John Olsson judged that "There can be no disputing that Richard Condon plagiarized from Robert Graves." Olsson went on to state that "As plagiarists go, Condon is quite creative, he does not confine himself to one source and is prepared to throw other ingredients into the pot." Jonathan Lethem, in his influential essay The Ecstasy of Influence: A Plagiarism, has identified The Manchurian Candidate as one of a number of "cherished texts that become troubling to their admirers after the discovery of their 'plagiarized' elements," which make it "apparent that appropriation, mimicry, quotation, allusion, and sublimated collaboration consist of a kind of sine qua non of the creative act, cutting across all forms and genres in the realm of cultural production."
Film adaptations [ edit ] The book has been adapted twice into a feature film of the same title. The Manchurian Candidate (1962) is considered a classic of the political thriller genre. It was directed by John Frankenheimer and starred Laurence Harvey as Shaw, Frank Sinatra as Marco, and Angela Lansbury as Eleanor in an Academy Award-nominated performance.
The Manchurian Candidate (2004) was directed by Jonathan Demme, and starred Liev Schreiber as Shaw, Denzel Washington as Marco, and Meryl Streep as Eleanor. It was generally well received by critics, and moderately successful at the box office. The film updated the conflict (and brainwashing) to the Persian Gulf War in 1991, emphasized the science fiction aspects of the story by setting the action in a dystopian near-future (implied to be 2008), had a U.S. corporation (called "Manchurian Global") as the perpetrator of the brainwashing and conspiracy instead of foreign Communist groups, and dropped the Johnny Iselin character in favor of making both Shaw and his mother elected politicians.
Both adaptations discard several elements of the book. The book spends more time describing the brainwashers and the facility in Manchuria where the Americans were held. The head of the project grants Raymond a "gift"; after his brainwashing, he becomes quite sexually active, in contrast to his reserved nature beforehand where he had not even kissed his love interest, Jocelyn Jordan.
In the novel, Mrs. Iselin and her son travel abroad, where she uses him to kill various political figures and possibly Jocelyn Jordan's first husband. Rosie, Marco's love interest, is the ex-fiancee of one of his associates handling the Shaw case for Army Intelligence, making things between the couple tense. The movie adaptations also all but omit the novel's portrayal of incest between Raymond and his mother, only hinting at it with a mouth-to-mouth kiss.
As a child, Mrs. Iselin was sexually abused by her father, but fell in love with him and idolized him after his early death. Towards the end of the book, as Raymond is hypnotized by the Queen of Diamonds, he reminds her of her father and they sleep together.
The 1962 version does not state outright the political affiliation of Senators Iselin and Jordan (implied to be Republicans), although in the 2004 film the equivalent characters are Democrats. According to David Willis McCullough, Senator Iselin is modelled on Republican senator Joseph McCarthy and, according to Condon, Shaw's mother is based on McCarthy's counsel Roy Cohn.
See also [ edit ] List of assassinations in fictionConspiracy thrillerBrainwashingNotes [ edit ] References [ edit ] Tuck, Donald H. (1974). The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy. Chicago: Advent. p. 110. ISBN 0-911682-20-1. Condon, Richard. "'Manchurian Candidate' in Dallas", The Nation, December 28, 1963.Loken, John. Oswald's Trigger Films: The Manchurian Candidate, We Were Strangers, Suddenly? (2000), pgs. 16, 36.External links [ edit ] Photos of the first edition of The Manchurian CandidateReview: The Manchurian CandidateThe Manchurian Candidate at complete review'Manchurian Candidate' in Dallas 28 December 1963, article by Richard Condon in The Nation about the JFK assassination and The Manchurian Candidate
2016 shooting of Baton Rouge police officers - Wikipedia
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 15:40
On July 17, 2016, Gavin Eugene Long shot six police officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in the wake of the shooting of Alton Sterling. Three died and three were hospitalized, one critically; of the officers who died, two were members of the Baton Rouge Police Department, while the third worked for the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office. Long, who associated himself with organizations linked to black separatism and the sovereign citizen movement, was shot and killed by a SWAT officer during a shootout with police at the scene. Police arrested and questioned two other suspects, but Long was confirmed to be the only person involved in the shooting.
Background [ edit ] The shooting occurred during a period of unrest in Baton Rouge, though it is unclear if the events are related. Baton Rouge was experiencing ongoing protests following the officer-involved killing of Alton Sterling less than two weeks before on July 5. On July 7, the FBI's New Orleans field office issued a warning about "threats to law enforcement and potential threats to the safety of the general public" stemming from the death of Sterling. Within the previous week, four suspects were arrested in connection with an alleged plot to kill Baton Rouge police officers, which was described as a credible threat by law enforcement officials. Ten days earlier, five police officers were killed in a mass shooting in Dallas.
Shooting [ edit ] Map of area around
Airline Highway near
Hammond Aire Plaza, where Long began the shooting sometime before 8:40 a.m.
The area around B-Quik convenience store and Hair Crown Beauty Supply where Long shot six police officers, killing three, until he was shot and killed by
SWAT at 8:48 a.m.
Baton Rouge Police Department headquarters, where protests in response to the
police killing of Alton Sterling took place in the weeks prior to the shooting by Long.
Long arrived at Hammond Aire Plaza, a shopping complex on Airline Highway, sometime before 8:40 a.m. CT and began scouting the area in search of police officers. He first spotted a police patrol vehicle parked at a B-Quik convenience store; it belonged to a sheriff's deputy who was working security in the area. Long parked his vehicle behind an adjacent building, got out, and prepared to shoot, but found that the vehicle was empty. He then drove north and noticed a police officer washing his vehicle a short distance away, but the officer left before Long could get close.
By 8:40, police received a call about a suspicious person carrying a rifle near the plaza. However, due to Louisiana's open carry law at the time, the potential threat of Long was downplayed, with one dispatcher describing him as a "subject walking with a coat and an assault rifle." Authorities were going to question him and had no probable cause to take him into custody.
When officers arrived at the scene, they found Long clad in black and wearing a face mask behind the Hair Crown Beauty Supply store on the 9600 block of Airline Highway. Shots were reportedly fired two minutes later. Another two minutes afterwards, there were reports that officers were down.
According to investigators, Long fired upon the first responding officers, fatally wounding three. He first shot and killed a police officer, and shot and wounded his partner who fell to the ground. A third officer tried to help the wounded policeman, but Long engaged him in a gunfight as he approached, and killed him with multiple gunshot wounds. Long then shot the first wounded officer twice more, killing him as well. Long then turned around and shot another police officer standing outside a store and then moved to another part of the complex, where he shot and wounded two sheriff's deputies who were investigating his car. At 8:46, he was reported to be near Benny's Car Wash. Officers fired on Long from behind the cover of patrol cars. Eventually, a SWAT team responded to the scene; one member took aim at Long from about 100 yards (91 m) away and killed him at about 8:48. Louisiana State Police said Long was the only person involved in the shooting. The entire shooting lasted for less than ten minutes.
Officers used a robot to check Long's body for explosives. A preliminary investigation determined that Long was targeting officers and ignoring civilians. A preliminary autopsy indicated that in addition to being shot by the SWAT officer, Long suffered multiple other gunshot wounds.
Police recovered from the crime scene an IWI Tavor SAR 5.56-caliber rifle and a Springfield XD 9mm pistol. A third weapon'--a Stag Arms M4-type 5.56-caliber semi-automatic rifle'--was recovered from Long's rental Malibu. Officials believed Long had intentions of attacking the Baton Rouge police headquarters and continuing to kill officers.
Victims [ edit ] Two Baton Rouge Police Department (BRPD) officers and one East Baton Rouge Parish sheriff's deputy were killed in the shooting, while three others'--a police officer and two sheriff's deputies'--were injured. The injured were transported to Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, which said it received five patients from the shooting, three of whom later died from multiple gunshot wounds. Of the surviving two, one was in critical condition, being on life support as of August 3, and the other in fair condition. The third injured officer was transported to Baton Rouge General Medical Center and treated for non-life-threatening injuries. The critically injured officer was moved to TIRR Memorial Hermann, a recovery facility in Houston, Texas, on November 16.
The officers killed were identified as:
Deputy Brad Garafola, 45, who had been with the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office since 1992.Officer Matthew Gerald, 41, a former Marine who had been with the BRPD for four months.Corporal Montrell Jackson, 32, who had been with the BRPD since 2006.In addition, deputy Nicholas Tullier was badly injured.
Perpetrator [ edit ] Gavin Eugene Long (July 17, 1987 '' July 17, 2016) was identified as the shooter. He was a resident of Kansas City, Missouri. In May 2015, Long filed papers in Jackson County, Missouri, to change his legal name to Cosmo Ausar Setepenra, but court officials there said he never completed the process of legally changing his name. Long was believed to have traveled more than 700 miles (1,100 km) from his hometown to Baton Rouge using a rental car. He was also believed to have been in Baton Rouge for "several days" prior to the shooting. Long committed the shooting on his 29th birthday.
Long's body was released to his family on July 26, and a funeral was planned in Arkansas for a later date.
Personal life [ edit ] Long grew up in Kansas City and graduated from high school in 2005. His parents divorced when he was eleven, and his father was neglectful of Long, according to court records. He failed to appear on scheduled visits with his son while the divorce was pending, and did not deliver birthday or Christmas presents to him. Court records described one instance where Long was picked up by his father, but dropped off at a day care facility at a casino shortly after.
Long served in the U.S. Marine Corps as a data network specialist from August 22, 2005, to August 1, 2010. He was honorably discharged with the rank of sergeant. During his military service, he was deployed to Iraq from June 2008 to January 2009. He was also assigned to units in San Diego, California, and Okinawa, Japan. Long was awarded the Good Conduct Medal, along with an Iraq Campaign Medal, a National Defense Service Medal, a Navy Unit Commendation, and others.
Following his military service, Long told relatives and friends that he suffered from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). He reportedly had prescriptions for Ativan and Valium, both anti-anxiety drugs; Lunesta, a sleep aid; and citalopram, an antidepressant. Health records from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) reportedly indicated contacts with Long from 2008 to August 2013. The VA records said that Long told doctors that he contracted PTSD after a friend showed him photos of maimed and decapitated bodies while they were in Iraq. In November 2011, doctors debunked Long's suspicions of PTSD and instead diagnosed him as having "adjustment disorder with depressed mood." They eventually concluded that he was mentally stable, with no evidence that he was a threat to himself or others. According to Long's mother, the VA then sent him a letter denying him further treatment on the grounds that his disorder was not related to his military service. Long's mental health and related combat experience may have been a factor leading to the shooting.
Long graduated from Central Texas College, attending the college's San Diego site at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar and via an online education program from fall 2007 to summer 2011; he received an associate of arts degree in general studies. Long studied at Clark Atlanta University during the 2012-13 academic year. Long also spent one semester at the University of Alabama, in spring 2012, with his name making it to the Dean's List as a general business major. According to local court records, Long had no criminal record and was married for two years before the couple divorced.
Views and statements [ edit ] Long was identified as a "black separatist" by a law enforcement official. Mass shooting scholars said that Long displayed hallmarks of a "disgruntled, paranoid loner" (a common type of mass killer), with a narcissistic and grandiose personality.
Social media posts indicated that he was an active member of the anti-government New Freedom Group. According to CNN, a card was found on Long's body, suggesting that he was a member of the Washitaw Nation, a group of African Americans associated with the sovereign citizen movement that originated in Richwood. In addition to changing his legal name, he claimed his nationality was "United Washitaw de Dugdahmoundyah Mu'ur",[b] and expressed his support for the Moorish Science Temple of America, another African American organization associated with the sovereign citizen movement. However, Long disavowed all prior associations in a recent video, saying, "Don't affiliate me with nothing. ... I'm affiliated with the spirit of justice."
In April 2015, while in West Africa, Long also became a member of a group dedicated to helping "Targeted Individuals" suffering from "remote brain experimentation, remote neural monitoring of an entire humans body." He asked to be put on the group's "buddy list", but he unexpectedly deactivated his account a month later. His mother said he once believed the Central Intelligence Agency was following him. He appeared as a guest on an online show discussing "Targeted Individuals", but downplayed his belief that he was being tracked, saying, "That's just a small aspect of me. It's not a complete picture of who I am." However, the show's host, who had frequent phone and email correspondence with Long, claimed that Long was adamant about being tracked during their communications.
In a "rambling" series of YouTube clips, Long claimed to be a former Nation of Islam member and referred to Alton Sterling, a black man killed by Baton Rouge police officers on July 5, in online videos. Long operated his YouTube channel under his new legal name, Cosmo Setepenra, making references to oppression against blacks and police protests. At one point less than two weeks before committing the shooting, Long called the shootings of five Dallas police officers an act of "justice". In one video, he said, "One hundred percent of revolutions... have been successful through fighting back through bloodshed." In another, he said the act of peaceful protesting was a futile method based on emotion and was easily forgettable. Long also maintained a personal website in which he described himself as a "freedom strategist, mental game coach, nutritionist, author and spiritual advisor." The website contained dozens of additional videos and podcasts.
Long wrote and self-published (also under the name "Cosmo Setepenra") three books about "how to be a strong man" and self-empowerment for black males, which all appeared on Amazon.com in October and November 2015. The books were described by The Los Angeles Times as "bizarre" works featuring a "combination of New Age-style jargon, pseudoscience, motivational bromides, health tips and racial theory." In the books, Long harshly criticized Western medicine, denied the germ theory of disease, and asserted that "[t]he abundance of Melanin in Black humans produces a superior organism both mentally and physically." The books were pulled from Amazon.com after the shooting. According to one of his books, he spent two years in several African countries studying their histories and cultures. In addition to the books, Long wrote two diaries'--one in 2014 and the other in 2015'--where he shared "rambling thoughts" about philosophy, religion, and politics.
Sahib Taylor, a nephew of Long, told The Los Angeles Times that his uncle would teach him about the importance of self-reliance, share his views on racism, and assert that "only advanced survival skills and decisive action" could overthrow the U.S. government. Taylor said that Long recently began sharing his beliefs that international corporations, federal banks, and political organizations were influencing ethnic groups for their own gain; and that the government was using police to control and kill people.
Before the shooting [ edit ] Within the preceding six months, Long visited the shooting range of a gun shop in Olathe, Kansas, and purchased a target that he used in shooting practice, according to an employee. The same employee also said Long did not purchase any firearms or exhibit any strange behavior at the store.
In a ten-minute video, Long claimed that he arrived at Baton Rouge not to protest Sterling's death, but to educate local blacks. He also expressed his distaste for white people and mentioned Huey P. Newton, co-founder of the Black Panther Party, in a rambling, one-sided conversation. He had previously made a similar recording using a body camera while visiting barbershops in Dallas sometime after the shooting there, to promote one of his books. A friend said that Long visited him in DeSoto, Texas, two days after the Dallas shooting; during the visit, Long obsessively watched video footage of Sterling's death and praised the Dallas shooter Micah Xavier Johnson, saying "at least he did something". The same friend said that Long also showed him a Washitaw Nation card and unsuccessfully urged him to join. Long's mother said that he would get upset at news stories of black men being shot by police, often renting cars and use them to drive to locations where such shootings occurred to pass out his books.
Less than an hour before the shooting, Long purportedly emailed a three-page, handwritten letter, self-described as a "manifesto", to a Columbus, Ohio, musician whose YouTube videos he commented on. In the letter, Long described his belief that the shooting was necessary to "create substantial change within America's police force." He also wrote his belief that there was a "concealed war" between "good cops" and "bad cops", and that he had to attack "bad cops" as vengeance for perceived destruction that they continued to inflict on blacks.
Aftermath [ edit ] Although Long was said to have acted alone in the shooting, police arrested and questioned two other people in Addis as part of the investigation. They were later identified as Damarcus Alexander, a cousin of slain victim Corporal Montrell Jackson, and Alexander's friend Den'Trell White. According to them, police held them for seven hours, barring them from making any phone calls and refusing to give Alexander diabetic medication even after they were made aware of his condition. Both were eventually released without any charges being filed. At the time, Alexander was unaware of Jackson's death during the shooting. A spokesman for the Louisiana State Police responded to Alexander's claim of police mistreatment, saying, "No complaints or concerns have been brought to our attention."
Following this shooting and a previous one in Dallas, Texas, that killed five police officers and wounded nine others, local law enforcement agencies across the U.S. began readjusting response strategies, with more officers being paired up in patrol vehicles.[c]
On July 28, the victims of the shooting were honored at a memorial service in Healing Place Church in Baton Rouge. Hundreds of people were in attendance. Governor Edwards, Vice President Joe Biden, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, and the wives of the victims made speeches during the service.
Louisiana's open carry law [ edit ] The shooting renewed attention on Louisiana's open carry law, which some law enforcement officials have expressed discomfort towards, believing openly carrying citizens could complicate police matters. Some elected officials have made calls for a reevaluation of the state's open carry law. However, previous attempts at altering state gun laws have resulted in failure due to an amendment to the Louisiana State Constitution in 2012, which gave strong gun ownership protection laws and required limitations of any kind to be faced with strict scrutiny. State Senator Jean-Paul Morrell remarked that gun control bills filed every year in the state are "almost universally unsuccessful." James Gill, a columnist with The Advocate wrote an op-ed addressing the state gun laws and their legal complications on August 11.
[ edit ] President Barack Obama condemned the shooting in a statement and added, "These are attacks on public servants, on the rule of law, and on civilized society, and they have to stop." Later that day, he ordered for all flags in the U.S. to be flown at half-staff in honor of the victims. On July 22, Obama met with law enforcement officials in Washington, D.C., and pledged solidarity in the wake of this shooting and the one in Dallas.
Governor John Bel Edwards released a statement immediately after the shooting, saying, "This is an unspeakable and unjustified attack on all of us at a time when we need unity and healing." On the day after, he called the shooting "pure evil" and "a diabolical attack on the very fabric of society."
In an interview, Mayor Kip Holden recommended police agencies across the U.S. to put their officers on high alert and urged Americans to be "vocal about their support for law enforcement".
Legal [ edit ] On June 30, 2017, district attorney Hillar C. Moore, III released a report, clearing the officers who killed Long of wrongdoing.
In July 2017, injured deputy Tullier filed a federal lawsuit against several leaders of Black Lives Matter for inciting violence. The lawsuit was later dismissed.
See also [ edit ] 2014 killings of NYPD officers2016 shootings of Des Moines police officers2016 shooting of Dallas police officersGun violence in the United StatesList of American police officers killed in the line of dutyList of killings by law enforcement officers in the United StatesNotes [ edit ] ^ The motive can be specifically attributed to Long's outrage over the shooting of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, which had happened just a few weeks prior, as well as by killings of African-Americans by police officers in general. ^ Washitaw de Dugdahmoundyah is another name for the Washitaw Nation. Mu'ur is claimed by Washitaw Nation members to be the accurate spelling of Moors, a civilization that developed after the Arab conquest of North Africa. ^ While it was once standard practice to pair officers in patrol vehicles, budget cuts and other staffing demands prompted many police departments to implement more single-officer patrols. References [ edit ] ^ a b c d e Swaine, Jon (July 17, 2016). "Baton Rouge suspect Gavin Long was marine with alias Cosmo Setepenra". The Guardian . Retrieved July 17, 2016 . His history of rambling postings indicated that the attack was motivated at least in part by killings by police of black Americans in recent years and the resulting unrest. ^ Hensley, Nicole; Ng, Alfred; Greene, Leonard (July 17, 2016). "Baton Rouge shooter Gavin Eugene Long '-- retired Marine '-- was outraged at police for Alton Sterling death". The New York Daily News . Retrieved July 21, 2016 . The gunman behind a deadly rampage that killed three cops in Baton Rouge Sunday was a retired Marine with an online trail of rants complaining about the treatment of African-Americans by police after Alton Sterling's death. ^ "3 police officers fatally shot in Baton Rouge; dead suspect identified". USA Today. July 17, 2016 . Retrieved October 3, 2016 . ^ "Gavin Long, cop killer, linked to separatists". The Washington Times. July 20, 2016 . Retrieved October 3, 2016 . ^ Kennedy, Merrit (July 17, 2016). "Motive In Baton Rouge Police Slayings Still Unclear, Investigators Say". NPR . Retrieved July 17, 2016 . ^ a b Carrero, Jacquellena; Fieldstadt, Elisha; Gutierrez, Gabe (July 17, 2016). "Three Baton Rouge Officers Killed, Three Injured in 'Ambush ' ". NBC News . Retrieved July 17, 2016 . ^ Bullington, Jonathan (July 17, 2016). "Baton Rouge shooting leaves 3 police officers dead". The Times-Picayune . Retrieved July 17, 2016 . ^ a b Shapiro, Emily; Hayden, Michael Edison; Blake, Paul (July 17, 2016). "Gunman Identified in Shooting That Killed 3 Baton Rouge Officers". ABC News . Retrieved July 17, 2016 . ^ "3 police killed, 3 more wounded in Baton Rouge". CBS News. Associated Press. July 17, 2016 . Retrieved July 17, 2016 . ^ a b Schuppe, Jon (July 18, 2016). "Baton Rouge Gunman Gavin Long Stalked Cops With Military Focus, Police Say". NBC News . Retrieved July 18, 2016 . ^ a b c d e Buchanan, Larry; Burgess, Joe; Fessenden, Ford (July 17, 2016). "How the Shooting of Police Officers in Baton Rouge Unfolded". The New York Times . Retrieved July 17, 2016 . ^ a b c d Visser, Steve; Fantz, Ashley; Berlinger, Joshua (July 18, 2016). " ' Helluva' shot stopped gunman in Baton Rouge, officials say". CNN . Retrieved July 18, 2016 . Long served from August 22, 2005, to August 1, 2010, according to the little information the military has released. ^ a b Lau, Maya; Mustian, Jim (August 6, 2016). "Baton Rouge police shooting brings renewed attention to Louisiana's 'open carry' rights". The Advocate . Retrieved August 6, 2016 . ^ a b Gill, James (August 11, 2016). "James Gill: Civilians carrying 'ultimate weapon' Gavin Long used in Baton Rouge would be regarded worldwide as insane". The Advocate . Retrieved August 13, 2016 . ^ a b Sues, Brock (July 17, 2016). "Shooter wanted to kill police; Deputy on life support Monday". WBRZ . Retrieved July 17, 2016 . ^ Kunzelman, Michael (September 3, 2016). " ' Nick is our priority': Flooded home another tragedy for injured Baton Rouge deputy Nick Tullier's family". The Advocate. Associated Press . Retrieved September 9, 2016 . ^ a b "Baton Rouge shooting: 3 officers killed, suspect dead". Chicago Tribune. July 17, 2016 . Retrieved July 17, 2016 . ^ a b Fausset, Richard; Hauser, Christine; Eligon, John (July 18, 2016). "Baton Rouge Gunman 'Was Targeting Officers,' Police Say". The New York Times . Retrieved July 18, 2016 . ^ a b c Berman, Mark; Goldman, Adam (July 18, 2016). "Police: Officers in Baton Rouge were 'targeted and assassinated ' ". The Washington Post . Retrieved July 18, 2016 . ^ a b Samuels, Diana (July 20, 2016). "Autopsy says Baton Rouge shooter Gavin Long shot multiple times". The Times-Picayune . Retrieved July 20, 2016 . ^ Jansen, Bart (July 18, 2016). "Police: "sheer brutality" as 3 officers slain in Baton Rouge ambush". USA Today . Retrieved July 18, 2016 . ^ Lau, Maya (July 17, 2016). "What we know, don't know after Baton Rouge officer shooting". The Advocate. Baton Rouge, Louisiana . Retrieved July 17, 2016 . ^ Park, Madison (August 3, 2016). "Baton Rouge officer's father writes touching Facebook post". CNN . Retrieved August 3, 2016 . ^ "3 Baton Rouge officers killed in shooting; suspect dead". MSN. Associated Press. July 17, 2016. Archived from the original on July 20, 2016 . Retrieved July 17, 2016 . ^ Samuels, Diana (November 16, 2016). "Baton Rouge deputy wounded in July police shooting moving to Houston rehab facility". The Times-Picayune . Retrieved November 21, 2016 . ^ "Baton Rouge shooter was a former Marine sergeant". Washington, North Carolina: WITN-TV. Associated Press. July 17, 2016 . Retrieved July 17, 2016 . ^ "Latest on the shooting of Baton Rouge police officers". CBS News. Associated Press. July 17, 2016 . Retrieved July 17, 2016 . ^ Hardy, Steve; Mustian, Jim (July 17, 2016). " ' Humble, kind, sweet,' new dad Montrell Jackson one of Baton Rouge officers killed in attack". The Advocate . Retrieved July 17, 2016 . ^ a b Jones, Terry L. (July 29, 2016). "Cousin of slain Baton Rouge officer Montrell Jackson one of men detained during police shootings". The Advocate . Retrieved July 31, 2016 . ^ http://abcnews.go.com/US/critically-injured-east-baton-rouge-deputy-fighting-life/story?id=40696824 ^ Parker, Ned; Hosenball, Mark (July 18, 2016). "Baton Rouge shooter said he was member of anti-government group: documents". Reuters . Retrieved July 19, 2016 . ^ a b Berlinger, Joshua (July 18, 2016). "Gavin Long: Who is Baton Rouge cop killer?". CNN . Retrieved July 18, 2016 . ^ a b c Stanglin, Doug; Johnson, Kevin (July 17, 2016). "Baton Rouge shooter identified as Gavin Long, 29". USA Today . Retrieved July 17, 2016 . ^ a b c McBride, Brian (July 18, 2016). "Investigators Scour Baton Rouge Gunman's Social Media as Motive Remains Unknown". ABC News . Retrieved July 18, 2016 . ^ "Baton Rouge shooter's body released to family; funeral planned in Arkansas". The Advocate. Associated Press. July 26, 2016 . Retrieved August 17, 2016 . ^ a b Sahagun, Louis; Kaleem, Jaweed (July 19, 2016). "A study in anger: How Gavin Long went from decorated Iraq veteran to cop killer". The Los Angeles Times . Retrieved July 19, 2016 . ^ a b "Gavin Long's path to Baton Rouge marked by big plans, 'bizarre' claims". The Kansas City Star. July 18, 2016 . Retrieved July 24, 2016 . ^ a b Bauer, Laura; Williams, Mar Rose; Cummings, Ian (July 21, 2016). "Gavin Long's last 10 days, from book peddler to Baton Rouge cop killer". The Kansas City Star . Retrieved July 24, 2016 . ^ a b "Gavin Long: What we know about Baton Rouge police shooting suspect". The Times-Picayune. July 17, 2016 . Retrieved July 17, 2016 . ^ a b c Chan, Melissa (July 18, 2016). "Stepbrother of Baton Rouge Cop Shooter Gavin Long: 'I Didn't Think It Would Reach This Point ' ". Time . Retrieved July 18, 2016 . ^ Berlinger, Joshua; Hanna, Jason (July 20, 2016). "Gavin Long said he suffered from PTSD, source tells CNN". CNN . Retrieved July 20, 2016 . ^ a b Hegeman, Roxana (August 29, 2016). "VA records: Baton Rouge gunman Gavin Long had mood disorder, not PTSD, wasn't seen as threat". The Advocate. Associated Press . Retrieved September 9, 2016 . ^ "Report: Baton Rouge shooter Gavin Long claimed he suffered from PTSD". The Advocate. July 20, 2016 . Retrieved July 20, 2016 . ^ a b c "Mom: Louisiana gunman would "lose it" over police shootings". CBS News. Associated Press. July 22, 2016 . Retrieved July 22, 2016 . ^ Chakrabarti, Meghna (July 21, 2016). "Former Army Psychiatrist On Veterans, Mental Health: 'Everybody Who Goes To War Is Changed ' ". Here and Now. Boston, MA. NPR . Retrieved July 21, 2016 . ^ a b Zapotosky, Matt (July 18, 2016). "What we know about the shooter in Baton Rouge". The Washington Post . Retrieved September 10, 2016 . ^ Davis, Janel; Kass, Arielle (July 18, 2016). "Baton Rouge shooter Gavin Long attended Clark Atlanta University". Atlanta Journal-Constitution . Retrieved September 10, 2016 . ^ "Personal videos offer clues about Baton Rouge shooter's motives". CBS News. July 18, 2016 . Retrieved July 18, 2016 . ^ a b c d e Simerman, John (July 30, 2016). "In Baton Rouge shooter Gavin Long, mass shooting scholars see familiar template". The Advocate . Retrieved July 30, 2016 . ^ a b Hennessy-Fiske, Molly; Jarvie, Jenny; Wilber, Del Quentin (July 17, 2016). "Marine Corps veteran identified as suspect in fatal shooting of three police officers in Baton Rouge". The Los Angeles Times . Retrieved July 17, 2016 . ^ Levitz, Jennifer; Lazo, Alejandro; Campo-Flores, Arian (July 17, 2016). "Three Police Officers Killed in Baton Rouge Shooting; Suspect Is Dead". The Wall Street Journal . Retrieved July 17, 2016 . ...was from Missouri and was affiliated with an antigovernment group called the New Freedom Group, the person added. ^ a b Stickney, Ken (July 17, 2016). "Baton Rouge shooter may have embraced bizarre outlook". The Advertiser . Retrieved July 17, 2016 . Shimon Prokupecz, a reporter for CNN, said a card was found on Gavin Long suggesting he was a member of the Washita[w] Nation, a peculiar sovereign citizen movement group... ^ a b "Gavin Long belonged to Washitaw Nation. Who are they?". The Times-Picayune. July 18, 2016 . Retrieved July 18, 2016 . ^ "Baton Rouge Shooter Linked to Black Sovereign Movement". Yahoo! News. July 18, 2016 . Retrieved July 18, 2016 . ^ a b "Baton Rouge officer shooter Gavin Long's mother: He would 'pretty much lose it' upon hearing police shoot black man". The Advocate. Associated Press. July 21, 2016 . Retrieved July 21, 2016 . ^ a b Bauer, Laura; Williams, Mar Rose (July 22, 2016). "Gavin Long's stepfather: 'What in the hell happened? ' ". The Kansas City Star . Retrieved July 22, 2016 . ^ a b Schaub, Michael (July 18, 2016). "The bizarre books by Baton Rouge police shooter Gavin Eugene Long, aka Cosmo Setepenra". The Los Angeles Times . Retrieved July 18, 2016 . ^ Sahagun, Louis (July 21, 2016). "He looked to his uncle for guidance. Then his uncle went on a deadly rampage". The Los Angeles Times . Retrieved July 21, 2016 . ^ a b Mustian, Jim; Stole, Bryn; Lau, Maya; Sledge, Matt (July 19, 2016). "Before bloodshed: Where Gavin Long stayed, what he preached, odd encounters all on video". The Advocate . Retrieved July 20, 2016 . ^ "Baton Rouge gunman visited Dallas barbershops days before La. attack". CBS News. July 19, 2016 . Retrieved July 21, 2016 . ^ "Report: Friend says Baton Rouge gunman Gavin Long obsessed with Alton Sterling video footage". The Advocate. July 21, 2016 . Retrieved July 21, 2016 . ^ "Baton Rouge gunman's manifesto describes actions as "necessary evil " ". CBS News. Associated Press. July 20, 2016 . Retrieved July 20, 2016 . ^ McKay, Tom (July 17, 2016). "Gavin Eugene Long Named As Suspect in Killing of Three Police in Baton Rouge". Mic . Retrieved July 17, 2016 . ^ Hider, Alex (July 17, 2016). "Gavin Long: What we know about the suspected Baton Rouge shooter". WTVF. Nashville, Tennessee . Retrieved July 17, 2016 . ^ a b Sanburn, Josh (July 18, 2016). "How America's Police Are Responding to Baton Rouge and Dallas". Time . Retrieved July 19, 2016 . ^ Kunzelman, Michael (July 29, 2016). "At Vigil, Biden Tries to Comfort Relatives of Slain Officers". ABC News . Retrieved July 29, 2016 . ^ Litten, Kevin (July 28, 2016). "Wives of Baton Rouge officers killed in shooting speak at memorial". The Times-Picayune . Retrieved July 29, 2016 . ^ "Hundreds gather at vigil for slain Baton Rouge officers". The Times-Picayune. Associated Press. July 28, 2016 . Retrieved July 29, 2016 . ^ Ford, Matt; Calamur, Krishnadev; Appelbaum, Yoni (July 17, 2016). "The Baton Rouge Police Shooting: What We Know". The Atlantic . Retrieved July 17, 2016 . ^ Crisp, Elizabeth (July 18, 2016). "President Barack Obama calls families of slain Baton Rouge officers, orders flags flown at half-staff". The Advocate . Retrieved July 18, 2016 . ^ Crisp, Elizabeth (July 22, 2016). "President Obama meets with law enforcement, pledges solidarity in wake of Baton Rouge, Dallas shootings". The Advocate . Retrieved August 17, 2016 . ^ Visser, Steve (July 17, 2016). "Baton Rouge shooting: 3 officers dead; shooter was Missouri man, sources say". CNN . Retrieved July 17, 2016 . ^ Crisp, Elizabeth (July 18, 2016). " ' Diabolical': Photos of shooter, more details released in emotional news conference". The Advocate . Retrieved July 18, 2016 . ^ In re. Gavin Long ^ http://www.cbsnews.com/news/black-lives-matter-sued-police-deadly-ambush-baton-rouge-deray-mckesson ^ https://www.theadvocate.com/baton_rouge/news/courts/article_11cdb1da-a168-11e8-a51a-53e06e434a73.html
Pan-African flag - Wikipedia
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 15:37
Flag using the Pan-African colours
The Pan-African flag'--also known as the UNIA flag, Afro-American flag, Black Liberation flag, and various other names'--is a tri-color flag consisting of three equal horizontal bands of (from top down) red, black and green. The Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League (UNIA-ACL) formally adopted it on August 13, 1920 in Article 39 of the Declaration of the Rights of the Negro Peoples of the World, during its month-long convention at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Variations of the flag can and have been used in various countries and territories in the Americas to represent Garveyist ideologies.
History [ edit ] The flag was created in 1920 by members of UNIA in response to the enormously popular 1900 coon song "Every Race Has a Flag but the Coon". which has been cited as one of the three songs that "firmly established the term coon in the American vocabulary". In a 1927 report of a 1921 speech appearing in the Negro World weekly newspaper, Marcus Garvey was quoted as saying:
Show me the race or the nation without a flag, and I will show you a race of people without any pride. Aye! In song and mimicry they have said, "Every race has a flag but the coon." How true! Aye! But that was said of us four years ago. They can't say it now. ...
The Universal Negro Catechism, published by the UNIA in 1921, refers to the colors of the flag meaning:
Red is the color of the blood which men must shed for their redemption and liberty; black is the color of the noble and distinguished race to which we belong; green is the color of the luxuriant vegetation of our Motherland.
Journalist Charles Mowbray White has asserted that Garvey proposed the colors red, black and green for the following reasons: "Garvey said red because of sympathy for the 'Reds of the world', and the Green their sympathy for the Irish in their fight for freedom, and the Black [for] the Negro."
According to the UNIA more recently, the three colors on the Black Nationalist flag represent:
red: the blood that unites all people of Black African ancestry, and shed for liberation;black: black people whose existence as a nation, though not a nation-state, is affirmed by the existence of the flag; andgreen: the abundant natural wealth of Africa.The flag later became a Black Nationalist symbol for the worldwide liberation of Black people. As an emblem of Black pride, the flag became popular during the Black Liberation movement of the 1960s. In 1971, the school board of Newark, New Jersey, passed a resolution permitting the flag to be raised in public school classrooms. Four of the board's nine members were not present at the time, and the resolution was introduced by the board's teen member, a mayoral appointee. Fierce controversy ensued, including a court order that the board show cause why they should not be forced to rescind the resolution, and at least two state legislative proposals to ban ethnic flags and national flags (other than the U.S. flag) in public classrooms.
In the United States, the flag is presently widely available through flag shops or ethnic specialty stores. It is commonly seen at parades commemorating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, civil rights rallies, and other special events.
2010s usage [ edit ] In the United States, following the refusal of a grand jury to indict a police officer in the August 9, 2014 shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, a Howard University student replaced the U.S. flag on that school's Washington, DC campus flagpole with a Black Nationalist flag flying at half-mast. The incident resulted in the university president, Wayne Frederick, issuing a statement disapproving the flag-raising by unauthorized personnel.
Derivative flags [ edit ] The Biafran flag another variant of this one, with a sunburst in the center. The colors are based directly off of Garvey's design.
The flag of Malawi issued in 1964 is very similar, reflects the Black Nationalist flag's order of stripes. It is not directly based on Garvey's flag, although the colors have the same symbolism: Red for blood symbolizing the struggle of the people, green for vegetation, and black for the race of the people.
The African National Congress flag is three horizontal stripes, descending black, green, and dark yellow (gold).
The United States Postal Service issued a stamp in 1997 to commemorate Kwanzaa with a painting by fine artist Synthia Saint James of a dark-skinned family wearing garments traditional in parts of Africa and fashionable for special occasions among African-Americans. The family members are holding food, gifts, and a flag. The flag in the stamp may have been meant to represent the Pan-African flag, However, instead of the stripes descending red, black, and green, the stamp's flag transposes the top two bands and descends black, red, and green.
In 1990, artist David Hammons created a work called African-American Flag, which is held by the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Based on the standard U.S. flag, its stripes are black and red, the field is green, and the stars on the field are black.
In response to the controversy over the flying of the Confederate flag, an African American-run company called NuSouth created a flag based on the Confederate naval jack, with the white stars and saltire outline replaced by green and the blue saltire made black.
The flag of Saint Kitts and Nevis has similar colors, arranged diagonally and separated by yellow lines. It similar to the Malawian flag in that the colors are not directly taken from the Pan-African flag but the symbolism is the same.
Alternative names [ edit ] The flag goes by several other names with varying degrees of popularity:
the UNIA flag, after its originators;the Marcus Garvey flag;the Universal African flag;the International African flag;the Black Liberation flag;the Black Nationalist flag;the African Nationalist flag;the Afro-American flag;the Bendera Ya Taifa (Kiswahili for "flag of the Nation"), in reference to its usage during Kwanzaa.Proposed holiday [ edit ] In 1999, an article appeared in the July 25 edition of The Black World Today suggesting that, as an act of global solidarity, every August 17 should be celebrated worldwide as Universal African Flag Day by flying the red, black, and green banner. August 17 is the birthday of Marcus Garvey.
See also [ edit ] Marcus GarveyBlack NationalismNotes [ edit ] ^ 25,000 NEGROES CONVENE :International got'
1 / Own Bill of Rights. 1920. New York Times (1857-Current file), August 2, Proquest (Last accessed October 5, 2007) ^ Special to The Christian Science Monitor from its Eastern News Office 1920. NEGROES ADOPT BILL OF RIGHTS: Convention Approves Plan for African Republic and Sets to Work on Preparation of Constitution of the Colored Race Negro Complaints Aggression Condemned Recognition Demanded. Christian Science Monitor (1908-Current file), August 17, Proquest (accessed October 5, 2007). ^ "New Flag for Afro-Americans," Africa Times and Orient Review 1 (October 1912):134; Cited in RACE FIRST: The Ideological and Organizational Struggles of Marcus Garvey and the Universal Negro Improvement Association (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1987), p43. ^ Garvey, Marcus (March 19, 1927). "Honorable Marcus Garvey, Gifted Man of Vision, Sets Out In Unanswerable Terms the Reasons Why Negroes Must Build in Africa". Negro World (Vol XXII No. 6). Universal Negro Improvement Association. ^ Mcguire, George (1921). Universal Negro catechism: a course of instruction in religious and historical knowledge pertaining to the race. New York: Universal Negro Improvement Association. p. 34. hdl:2027/emu.010000685445. ^ Garvey Papers Vol. 2, p. 603. ^ "History - Red - Black - Green". The Official Website of the United Negro Improvement Association and the African Communities League. Archived from the original on 27 August 2018 . Retrieved 13 November 2019 . ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-03-13 . Retrieved 2015-08-18 . CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) ^ "Howard University President Removes Pan-African Flag Flown at Half-Mast | DC Inno". Dcinno.streetwise.co. 2014-11-25 . Retrieved 2017-04-06 . ^ Jaschik, Scott (2014-12-01). "Howard U. President Issues Statement on Flag Protest". Insidehighered.com . Retrieved 2017-04-06 . ^ "Statement by President Frederick Concerning the University Flagpole". Howard University. Archived from the original on 2015-08-08 . Retrieved 13 November 2019 . ^ "David Hammons. African American Flag. 1990 | MoMA". The Museum of Modern Art . Retrieved 2019-10-08 . ^ http://www.nusouth.com/ ^ "NuSouth Apparel Confederate Flag Photo by stagolee7 | Photobucket". Media.photobucket.com . Retrieved 2017-04-06 . References [ edit ] "Black Flag," unattributed article in Time magazine, December 13, 1971.External links [ edit ] Afro-American flags at Flags of the World non-commercial vexillology siteSheet music from the American Memory website of the Library of Congress'Fly the Red, Black, and Green' article proposing holiday at The Black World Today, July 25, 1999Kwanzaa Stamp U.S. postage depicting similar flag, with explanatory press releaseMoMA Learning an educational exercise based on David Hammons' African-American FlagUNIA official websiteNusouth website and flag
Dallas shooting suspect's online posts reflect anger, frustration - Reuters
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 15:32
NEW YORK/MESQUITE, Texas (Reuters) - Former U.S. Army reservist Micah Xavier Johnson posted an angry rant against white people on the Facebook page of a group called Black Panther Party Mississippi last Saturday, denouncing lynching and the brutalizing of black people.
Micah Xavier Johnson, a man suspected by Dallas Police in a shooting attack and who was killed during a manhunt, is seen in an undated photo from his Facebook account. Micah X. Johnson via Facebook via REUTERS
Five days later, police said on Friday, the Afghan war veteran took part in a sniper-style ambush of police officers in Dallas, killing five and wounding seven others before dying in a police-initiated explosion.
''Why do so many whites (not all) enjoy killing and participating in the death of innocent beings,'' Johnson, 25, wrote on Saturday above a video of what appeared to be people participating in a whale-killing.
In the disjointed July 2 post, Johnson expressed anger over lynchings of black people and ''our ancestors'' being beaten, mutilated and killed.
''Then they all stand around and smile while their picture is taken with a hung, burned and brutalized black person,'' he wrote. ''They even go to our homeland and shoot our endangered wildlife for sport.''
On Johnson's own Facebook page, which was deactivated on Friday, a profile photo showed him with one arm raised and fist clenched in a Black Power salute. The page included images of a Black Power symbol and a red, black and green flag associated with the Black Liberation Army.
U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said at a news conference on Friday that it was unclear if Micah Johnson was a member of a black nationalist group.
Johnson served as a private first class in the U.S. Army Reserve from March 2009 to April 2015.
His deployment in Afghanistan from November 2013 to July 2014 earned Johnson a number of service medals, according to Army spokeswoman Jennifer Johnson.
Attempts to reach Johnson's relatives and friends on Friday were not successful. It was not clear if he was employed.
Dallas police said on Friday that a search of Johnson's home yielded bomb-making materials, ballistic vests, rifles, ammunition and a personal journal of combat tactics. Johnson had no criminal record, police said.
Public records indicated that he lived in Mesquite, a suburb of Dallas, and the Army also listed Mesquite as his place of residence.
The assault, the deadliest for law enforcement in the United States since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, took place on Thursday night during a protest over the fatal police shootings this week of two black men in Louisiana and Minnesota. Those deaths fanned public outrage over excessive use of force by police, especially against black men.
Dallas Police Chief David Brown said earlier on Friday that police had tried unsuccessfully to negotiate an end to an hours-long standoff before sending in a bomb-carrying robot that killed Johnson.
According to Brown, Johnson told police that ''he was upset about the recent police shootings.''
''The suspect said he was upset at white people. The suspect stated that he wanted to kill white people, especially white officers,'' Brown said.
Johnson's Facebook page included a photo of him with Professor Griff of the hip-hop group Public Enemy at what appeared to be a book-signing event.
''I will not sit back and let these people assassinate my character and tie me to the Dallas shootings,'' Griff said on Twitter on Friday, adding, ''I DO NOT KNOW THE SHOOTER.''
According to media reports, Johnson's sister Nicole posted on Facebook after he was identified by news outlets that ''those that knew him know this wasn't like him.'' The message had been deleted from her page by Friday afternoon.
On Friday, three police cars and several television news trucks were parked near the large, two-story brick house of Johnson's family in Mesquite, Texas, a middle-class Dallas suburb.
Neighbor Kimberly Smith said her son went to high school with Johnson. ''He was a nice kid. My son was surprised he would cause any problem.''
Slideshow (2 Images) Army Lieutenant Colonel Major Michael Waltz, a former special forces officer and White House aide, said in an interview with Reuters that a video of the attack indicated that Johnson was ''not only trained, but well trained.''
The video was taken by a person at the scene and widely circulated on social media.
Waltz said Johnson appeared to have received ''close-quarters battle'' training, which focuses on urban combat.
Reporting by Gina Cherelus and Erwin Seba; Writing by Joseph Ax; Additional reporting by Daniel Trotta and Mimi Dwyer in New York and Jonathan Landay in Washington; Editing by Frances Kerry, Toni Reinhold
2016 shooting of Dallas police officers - Wikipedia
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 15:29
mass murder by Micah Xavier Johnson during protest rally
On July 7, 2016, Micah Xavier Johnson ambushed and fired upon a group of police officers in Dallas, Texas, killing five officers and injuring nine others. Two civilians were also wounded. Johnson was an Army Reserve Afghan War veteran who was angry over police shootings of black men and stated that he wanted to kill white people, especially white police officers. The shooting happened at the end of a protest against the police killings of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, which had occurred in the preceding days.
Following the shooting, Johnson fled inside a building on the campus of El Centro College. Police followed him there, and a standoff ensued. In the early hours of July 8, police killed Johnson with a bomb attached to a remote control bomb disposal robot. It was the first time U.S. law enforcement used a robot to kill a suspect.
The shooting was the deadliest incident for U.S. law enforcement since the September 11, 2001 attacks, surpassing two related March 2009 shootings in Oakland, California and a November 2009 ambush shooting in Lakewood, Washington, which had each resulted in the death of four police officers.
Background [ edit ] A protest was organized in Dallas by the Next Generation Action Network in response to the killings of two men, Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, by police officers in Louisiana and Minnesota, respectively, days before. The Dallas protest was one of several held across the United States on the night of July 7. Around 800 protesters were involved, and around 100 police officers were assigned to monitor the event.  About 20 to 30 open-carry gun rights activists joined the protest march, some wearing gas masks, bulletproof vests, and fatigues, according to Dallas Police Chief David Brown.
Events [ edit ] Map of events.
1. Johnson parks SUV and fires towards Main Street
2. Senior Corporal Lorne Ahrens, Officer Patrick Zamarippa, and Officer Michael Krol are killed. Several other officers and a civilian were injured.
3. Johnson chases down and kills DART Police Officer Brent Thompson.
4. Johnson attempts but fails to enter the college.
5. Johnson enters the college from Elm Street (location unknown)
6. Johnson goes to second floor, runs into a dead end, and shoots towards a
7. 7-Eleven where Sergeant Michael Smith is shot and killed.
Most of the events happened in the streets and buildings around El Centro College, which forms a city block composed of multiple buildings. The block is bordered by Main Street on the south where the protest march was taking place; Lamar Street to the east from where Johnson initiated the shooting spree; and Elm Street to the north where Johnson eventually entered the college.
Main Street shootings [ edit ] Around 8:58 p.m. Johnson parked his SUV sideways on Lamar Street, in front of the east entrance to the college, at Building A, and left the vehicle hazard lights blinking. At the time, the street had been cleared out in anticipation of the protest. Taking cover at street level, he began shooting at groups of police and protesters who were gathered on Main Street. Johnson was believed to have talked to three of the officers he shot before he first opened fire.
Three officers were killed in the initial gunfire, while at least three others and a civilian were injured. Eleven officers fired back. During the shooting, officers, unaware where the shots were coming from, scrambled to block intersections and were exposed to gunfire as a result.
Immediately afterwards, Johnson made his way north on Lamar Street, encountering Officer Brent Thompson along the way. A civilian recorded video of the encounter from his hotel balcony on Lamar Street. The video showed Johnson, clad in tactical clothing and armed with a rifle, loading his rifle and firing indiscriminately to draw officers near his position. When Thompson approached a corner, Johnson engaged him in a gunfight, forcing Thompson to take cover behind a concrete pillar. Johnson fired towards one side of the pillar, then ran over to the other side of the pillar to flank Thompson and shot him multiple times from behind, killing him.
El Centro College shootout [ edit ] Johnson, now injured during the firefight, attempted to enter the Lamar Street entrance of the college by shooting out the glass door but was unable to make his way in. He wounded two campus police officers who were near the doorway inside the building. One was shot in the stomach underneath his bulletproof vest (with the bullet not being discovered until three weeks later), while the other was hit by flying glass in the legs. Johnson then made his way to Elm Street where he shot out another glass door and entered the college unseen; he then made his way to Building B. Hearing the shattering glass, one of the injured campus officers, Corporal Bryan Shaw, made his way through the building and discovered a trail of blood leading to a stairwell. Accompanied by another police officer, Shaw entered the stairwell and was met with a hail of gunfire coming from above. Unable to see Johnson, he held his fire and retreated with the other officer.
Afterwards, Johnson made his way along a mezzanine between the school's second-floor dining area and third-floor library, but came onto a dead end of windows facing down onto Elm Street. He shot out multiple windows and fired repeatedly at officers on Elm Street. He hit Michael Smith, a police officer standing in front of a 7-Eleven, killing him and shattering the store-front glass. Officers began entering the college, sealing escape routes from the building, and evacuating students and teachers in the building, including those on a floor above Johnson, through a different stairwell.
Approaching Johnson on the second floor near the library, officers found him secured behind a corner firing intermittently. He was in an area filled with offices and the school's computer servers, with only two doors leading to where he was positioned, and a hallway about 30 feet (9.1 m) long separating him from SWAT members. At least 200 gunshots were believed to have been fired by Johnson and SWAT officers in that area during the standoff.
Standoff and shooter's death [ edit ] Officers opened negotiations for surrender but Johnson said he would speak to black police officers only. Johnson stated that he had acted alone and was not part of any group. According to Chief Brown, Johnson appeared delusional during his standoff; "We had negotiated with him for about two hours, and he just basically lied to us, playing games, laughing at us, singing, asking how many did he get and that he wanted to kill some more." By about 2:30 a.m., Chief Brown saw no possibility of negotiating further and made the decision to use a bomb disposal remote control vehicle armed with about 1 pound (0.45 kilograms) of C-4 explosive. The plan was to move the robot to a point against a wall facing Johnson and then detonate the explosives. The robot exploded as intended, killing Johnson immediately. The robot, while sustaining damage to its extended arm, was still functional.
It was later discovered that Johnson scrawled the letters "RB" in his own blood while in the college, apparently after being wounded while making his way up a stairwell. The meaning of "RB" and other markings made by Johnson was unclear, and investigators subsequently attempted to discern its meaning.
Chief Brown said that during negotiations, Johnson declared he had placed explosives in downtown Dallas. A sweep of downtown Dallas found no presence of explosives.
Victims [ edit ] Five officers were killed, and nine others and two civilians were injured.
Most of the victims were shot during the protests, and at least one other during a shootout. The dead comprised four Dallas Police Department (DPD) officers and one Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) officer. Four of the injured officers were from DPD, three were from DART, and two were from El Centro College. Seven of the injured officers were treated at Parkland Memorial Hospital. Two officers underwent surgery. One civilian was shot in the back of the leg, breaking her tibia.
The officers killed were identified as:
DPD Senior Cpl. Lorne Ahrens, age 48, who had been with the department since 2002.DPD Officer Michael Krol, 40, who had been with the department since 2007.DPD Sgt. Michael Smith, 55, a former Army Ranger who had been with the department since 1989.DART Officer Brent Thompson, 43, a former enlisted Marine who had been with the department since 2009. Thompson was the first DART officer to be killed in the line of duty since the department's inception in 1989.DPD Officer Patricio "Patrick" Zamarripa, 32, a former Navy sailor and Iraq War veteran who had been with the department since 2011.This was the deadliest single incident for law enforcement officers in the United States since the September 11 attacks, surpassing two 2009 shootings in Lakewood, Washington, and Oakland, California, where four officers each were killed.
Perpetrator [ edit ] Early life and education [ edit ] Micah Xavier Johnson was born in Mississippi and raised in Mesquite, Texas. He once described his childhood as "stressful" during a VA visit on August 15, 2014, but further details were redacted on the visit report. When he was four, his parents divorced.
Johnson transferred into John Horn High School when he was 17 and participated in its Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps program, according to the Mesquite Independent School District. He struggled academically, graduating in 2009 with a 1.98 grade-point average and a ranking of 430 out of 453 students in his class.
In the spring of 2011, he enrolled in four classes at Richland College, but never completed any of them. Investigators believed that Johnson had access to El Centro College through his enrollment at Richland, citing his pre-planned and coordinated movements throughout Building B.
Military service [ edit ] Immediately after high school, Johnson enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserve and served from March 2009 to April 2015 as a 12W carpentry and masonry specialist. He completed basic training, which required qualification on handling of an M16 rifle or M4 carbine, basic rifles for U.S. military personnel. According to Justin Garner, a high-school friend and classmate who later served alongside Johnson in the same unit, Johnson lacked proficiency in certain required technical skills, such as marksmanship.
Johnson was activated at the rank of private first class in September 2013 in support of the War in Afghanistan, where he was deployed from November 2013 to July 2014 with the 420th Engineer Brigade.
People who knew Johnson during his time in the Army described him as openly religious and often socializing with white soldiers. A squad leader, who trained Johnson in tactical maneuvers and protection in 2009 and 2010, described him as "klutzy", "goofy sometimes", and "a nice guy", but also quiet and unmotivated.
Documents released by the Army on July 29 detailed early signs of disturbing behavior being exhibited by him, but specific details were redacted. They also said that while Johnson was sociable, he was generally described by soldiers as a loner who sometimes ate his lunch in a vehicle alone while the rest of his unit ate outside together.
Discharge [ edit ] On May 1, 2014, during his deployment, he was accused of sexual harassment by a female soldier, who sought a protective order against him and said that he needed mental health counseling. The accusation was made after the soldier reported four pairs of women's underwear missing from her laundry bag. A "health and welfare inspection" of soldiers' rooms found one pair in Johnson's quarters, while a soldier discovered the remaining three in Johnson's pocket. Upon being confronted about it, Johnson fled with the undergarments and attempted to dispose of them in a nearby dumpster. He then lied that a female civilian acquaintance gave the underwear to him, but the female soldier confirmed that they were in fact hers.
The female soldier told investigators that she and Johnson had been platonic friends for five years, but had stopped talking to each other. She described their relationship as being tumultuous and involving fights and disagreements. She specifically recalled one incident where Johnson punched out a car window over her leaving for college and severed an artery, then forced her to bring him to a hospital for treatment. However, Johnson claimed that he punched out the window when the soldier missed a movie they planned to see together, and added that he had been under stress from his job and turbulent home life at the time.
According to the soldier, Johnson asked her for a pair of her underwear before the May 1 incident, but she declined. Also, during a Facebook conversation with her, Johnson mentioned "tying her down and having her face down on the bed" but then claimed the statement was a joke. Though she told him that rape was "never a joke" and to stop contacting her, the soldier did not report him for harassment at the time because she was used to that kind of rhetoric, as she was frequently around men at home and work. Though the May 1 incident did not meet the Army's criteria for sexual harassment, investigators found that Johnson's sexually suggestive comments to the female soldier met said criteria.
Following the inspection, he was disarmed under the recommendation of his platoon sergeant, who felt he posed a potential threat. Another Army official later described the action as unusual, as Johnson did not appear to be visibly agitated or a threat to himself or others at the time. Johnson was then placed under 24-hour escort, which was reportedly a shameful and ostracizing experience, before being temporarily moved to Bagram Airfield on May 3, but he did not have enough time to pack all of his belongings. While soldiers were emptying Johnson's quarters and packing his belongings for him on May 14, they discovered an unauthorized single M430I High Explosive Dual Purpose 40mm grenade, a .50-caliber round, and another soldier's prescription medication in his sleeping bag.
Later, the Army sent Johnson back to the U.S., and according to the military lawyer who represented Johnson at the time, the Army initiated proceedings to give Johnson an "other than honorable" discharge. The lawyer claimed this was "highly unusual" because written reprimands are usually issued before more drastic steps are taken, and also because the decision was allegedly based on a single sexual harassment allegation. The lawyer was evidently unaware of the grenade and other contraband discovered in Johnson's possession shortly before he was repatriated to the United States from Afghanistan as well as other factors in Johnson's possibly redacted record. On the advice of his attorney, Johnson waived his right to a hearing in exchange for a more favorable general discharge under honorable conditions. He was honorably discharged in September 2014, apparently as a result of an Army error. Johnson remained in the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR), meaning he could be recalled into the Army if needed, and was part of the IRR at the time of his death.
Johnson received the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with campaign star, Army Achievement Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, and NATO Medal for his tour of duty in Afghanistan.
Some of Johnson's fellow soldiers criticized the Army's handling of the case.
Motive [ edit ] Chief Brown said that Johnson, who was black, was upset about recent police shootings "stated he wanted to kill white people, especially white officers." A friend and former coworker of Johnson's described him as "always [being] distrustful of the police." Another former coworker said he seemed "very affected" by recent police shootings of black men. A friend said that Johnson had anger management problems and would repeatedly watch video of the 1991 beating of Rodney King by police officers. Brown said that Johnson had told police negotiators that he was upset about Black Lives Matter.
Investigators found no ties between Johnson and international terrorist or domestic extremist groups.
An investigation into his online activities uncovered his interest in black nationalist groups. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and news outlets reported that Johnson "liked" the Facebook pages of black nationalist organizations such as the New Black Panther Party (NBPP), Nation of Islam, and Black Riders Liberation Army, three groups which are listed by the SPLC as hate groups. On Facebook, Johnson posted an angry and "disjointed" post against white people on July 2, several days before the attack.
NBPP head Quanell X said after the shooting that Johnson had been a member of the NBPP's Houston chapter for about six months, several years before. Quanell X added that Johnson had been "asked to leave" the group for violating the organization's "chain of command" and espousing dangerous rhetoric, such as asking the NBPP why they had not purchased more weapons and ammunition, and expressing his desire to harm black church preachers because he believed they were more interested in money than God. Following the shooting, a national NBPP leader distanced the group from Johnson, saying that he "was not a member of" the party.
Johnson also "liked" the Facebook page of the African American Defense League, whose leader, Mauricelm-Lei Millere, called for the murders of police officers across the U.S. following the fatal 2014 shooting of Laquan McDonald. In response to the police killing of Alton Sterling, the organization had "posted a message earlier in the week encouraging violence against police".
Johnson's Facebook profile photo depicted Johnson raising his arm in a Black Power salute, along with images of a Black Power symbol and a flag associated with the Pan-Africanism movement. These symbols have long represented nonviolent black empowerment, "but have also been co-opted by extremist groups with racist views."
Conversely, people familiar with Johnson during his military service believed he may have been severely stressed with serving in a combat zone. They also said he had little interest in the topics of racial injustice and the shooting of Trayvon Martin that occurred at the time. In an interview, Johnson's parents said that he was once extroverted and patriotic, and wanted to become a police officer. Following his discharge from the Army, they described him as disillusioned, reclusive, and resentful of the U.S. government; and believed he had been disappointed by his experience in the military. According to a soldier, Johnson had a small breakdown after he began losing his friends in the Army after details of the sexual harassment accusation were released.
Before the shooting [ edit ] According to an employment application made by Johnson seven months before his death, he worked in a Jimmy John's sandwich shop in north Dallas beginning in 2010, and took a position as a quality assurance worker at a Garland, Texas truck plant in 2012. At the time of his death, Johnson was working as an in-home caregiver for his mentally disabled adult brother. Both men lived with their mother in her home.
Johnson had no criminal record in Texas. However, the Mesquite Police Department documented an encounter with him in January 2011. According to the report, Johnson walked into their police station "visibly upset and...bouncing from side to side." He told an officer that a female friend had lied to him and that he had nowhere else to go. He also declined mental health treatment and claimed he was not a threat to himself or others. Johnson was eventually picked up from the station by a friend from his Army Reserve unit.
The Veterans Health Administration released documents in August 2016 showing that Johnson had symptoms for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following his return from Afghanistan. He was not formally diagnosed with the condition, and doctors concluded that he presented no serious risk to himself or others. Johnson had sought treatment for anxiety, depression, and hallucinations, once telling doctors that he had experienced nightmares after witnessing fellow soldiers dying in explosions. Johnson also said that he would hear voices and mortars exploding; and that after returning to the U.S., he would be paranoid, suffer from lower back pain, and experience panic attacks a few times per week. For the latter condition, he recalled one incident at a Wal-Mart that required a police response. For his conditions, Johnson was prescribed several medications, including a muscle relaxant, an antidepressant, and anti-anxiety and sleep medication.
Chief Brown said that while Johnson had been planning the shooting before the deaths of Sterling and Philando Castile, both incidents served as the trigger to commit the shooting and that he saw the Dallas protest as "an opportunity" to attack police officers. Johnson had offered to work security at an anti-Donald Trump rally led by Dallas civil rights activist Reverend Peter Johnson on June 16, but he insisted on bringing a gun, so the reverend declined.
According to police and a neighbor, Johnson practiced military exercises in his backyard. In 2014, Johnson received training and instruction at a private self-defense school that teaches tactics such as "shooting on the move" (i.e., quickly firing, then changing position and resuming gunfire). The tactic was designed to keep a gunman's location uncertain and create the impression of multiple shooters. Although the school's website does mention such training as being offered, Justin Everman, the founder of the school, stated that Johnson only took self-defense courses two years ago. Investigators believed that he began amassing his arsenal around the same time, stockpiling guns and gathering chemicals and electronic devices and PVC piping needed to build explosives.
Investigation [ edit ] Law enforcement personnel investigating the crime scene.
Weapons [ edit ] There were conflicting reports on the type of semi-automatic rifle that Johnson used during the shooting. Clay Jenkins, the Dallas County chief executive and the director of homeland security and emergency management, said Johnson used an SKS. News reports, all citing unnamed officials familiar with the investigation, said Johnson used an Izhmash-Saiga 5.45mm rifle, which is a variation on the AK-74.
The New York Daily News did an interview with a man who sold Johnson a semiautomatic AK-47 pattern rifle in November 2014. The man said he sold Johnson the rifle and made the deal in a Target parking lot. When the man asked the ATF if his weapon played a part in the shooting, the ATF agent who responded said, "All we can say is it was recovered. We're just finding out everything we can."
In addition to the rifle, Johnson carried at least one handgun with a high-capacity magazine during the attack. CNN, citing an unnamed official, reported that two handguns were recovered, one a Glock 19 Gen4 pistol and the other a Fraser .25-caliber.
The FBI reported that Johnson wore ballistic body armor with plates during the shooting.
Searches [ edit ] Johnson's family home was searched by authorities the day after the shooting. Bomb-making materials, ballistic vests, two rifles, ammunition, and a "personal journal of combat tactics" containing "instruction on shooting techniques and tactical movements" were recovered from the home by detectives. Amateur civilian footage of the shooting captured from a rooftop showed Johnson shooting while advancing at Officer Thompson, who was positioned defensively behind a pillar, before pivoting and immediately flanking the officer on the other side of the pillar and unleashing another barrage of point-blank gunfire.[citation needed ] Chief Brown reported that the journal included "quite a bit of rambling ... that's hard to decipher."
Chief Brown said that recovered evidence pointed to Johnson practicing detonations and having enough explosive material to cause "devastating effects" throughout Dallas and the North Texas area. However, the latter claim was contradicted on July 18 by two officials familiar with the investigation, who both said small amounts of Tannerite, a binary explosive used to make explosive targets for gun ranges, and acetone, an accelerant in explosives, were recovered from the home.
Statements were taken from three hundred witnesses and officers during the course of the investigation. Investigators are examining Johnson's laptop, journal, and cell phone, along with 170 hours of body camera footage. However, there were concerns about the resolution quality of some of the 90 cameras installed in downtown Dallas, which could have recorded parts of the shooting essential to the investigation. The cameras were part of a multimillion-dollar downtown surveillance system implemented to reduce crime in the area. The Dallas Police Department planned to release surveillance footage of the shooting on August 29, but held it off, saying the release would interfere with its investigation.
[ edit ] Officials initially said two or more snipers carried out the shooting, with the confusion later attributed to ricocheting bullets and the echoes of gunshots. They later said that Johnson appears to have been the lone gunman, with all of the gunshots traced back to him. Three other people were taken into custody by police, "but officials have not said what roles they may have played." These three included two persons seen carrying camouflage bags and leaving the shooting scene on Lamar Street. They were both stopped and detained after a six-mile chase. The detained persons were all later determined to be fleeing protesters who were either armed or carrying ammunition gear. However, police announced on July 9 that they were continuing to investigate whether Johnson acted alone or conspired with others in planning the shooting. Investigators obtained a search warrant to look for phone numbers connected to Johnson.
One of the people taken into custody by police had attended the protest wearing a camouflage T-shirt and openly carrying an unloaded AR-15 rifle. Shortly after the shooting, the Dallas Police Department (DPD) tweeted a photo of the man describing him as one of their suspects and asked the public's help in finding him. The police-released image of the suspect was widely shared on social media and broadcast on national television. The suspect turned himself in and was subsequently released after questioning without charge.
Army internal review [ edit ] On July 13, Pentagon officials announced that the U.S. Army has launched an internal review into Johnson's military service. The review was initiated after questions were raised about the appropriateness of his honorable discharge despite the sexual harassment allegations made against him, and the fact that the Army had been highly considering an "other than honorable discharge" for Johnson.
During the investigation, the Army uncovered an incomplete amount of information regarding the sexual harassment allegations. The following day, another review was initiated by the Army's Criminal Investigation Command, to determine if a full investigation was made into the allegations. An Army official echoed a statement made by the lawyer who represented Johnson, saying that Johnson's honorable discharge may have been the result of an administrative error. The same official added that nothing had been found in Johnson's record that indicated a willingness to commit murder.
On July 29, the Army released a heavily redacted report, which detailed the incident behind Johnson's discharge but did not address why he was discharged honorably. Another investigative report was released on August 17. On September 7, the Army released Johnson's personnel files.
Aftermath [ edit ] 2016 Dallas police shooting memorial service 2
DART suspended service in downtown Dallas after the shooting, but resumed the next morning with the exception of West End station. The Federal Aviation Administration issued a temporary flight restriction of civilian aircraft for the immediate vicinity in which the shooting occurred, allowing only police aircraft in the airspace.
El Centro College canceled all classes on July 8. Police barricaded the perimeter and began canvassing the crime scene. The explosion that killed Johnson also destroyed the school's servers, further delaying reopening. The school partially reopened on July 20, with staff returning that day and students on the following day. Buildings A, B, and C remained closed pending the FBI investigation. A "Reflect and Renew" ceremony dedicated to demonstrating citywide efforts to unify Dallas was held at the college on July 27. Students and staff, along with city and community officials, were in attendance.
Chief Brown said that police efforts to identify the gunman were made more difficult by the presence of up to thirty civilians openly carrying rifles during the protest, which is legal in Texas. Brown said, "We're trying as best we can as a law enforcement community to make it work so that citizens can express their Second Amendment rights. But it's increasingly challenging when people have AR-15s slung over their shoulder and they're in a crowd. We don't know who the good guy is versus the bad guy when everyone starts shooting." In an interview after the shooting, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said that he supported changing state law to restrict the public carrying of rifles and shotguns so that the police could distinguish between suspects and civilians more easily during crises.
Dallas Observer noted several similarities between Johnson and Mark Essex, a discharged U.S. Navy sailor and Black Panther who committed two attacks against white civilians and police officers on December 31, 1972, and January 7, 1973, in New Orleans. The attacks left nine people dead, including five police officers.
Lawsuits [ edit ] In November 2016, Enrique Zamarripa, the father of Officer Patrick Zamarripa, one of the murdered police officers, filed a lawsuit against Black Lives Matter and 13 other defendants, including the Nation of Islam, the New Black Panther Party, the Reverend Al Sharpton, and individual activists. The lawsuit seeks $550 million in damages and claims that Johnson was acting as an agent for the defendants and alleged that the defendants incited violence and caused the Dallas shooting as a "direct result". The mother of the officer, Valerie Zamarripa, distanced herself from her ex-husband's lawsuit, saying that it did not reflect her views, or the views of the foundation set up in her son's name.
Earlier, in September 2016, a Dallas police officer, Sgt. Demetrick Pennie, represented by lawyer Larry Klayman, filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas against 17 people'--including Louis Farrakhan, the Nation of Islam, Sharpton, the National Action Network, Black Lives Matter, DeRay Mckesson, Malik Zulu Shabazz, the New Black Panther Party, George Soros, President Barack Obama, Eric Holder, Hillary Clinton, and Jesse Jackson'--blaming them for the attack and seeking damages of over $500 million. Klayman has used his nonprofit group Freedom Watch to pursue lawsuits that "further supposed 'far-right' causes" in the past. The lawsuit was seen as "unlikely to be taken too seriously by a judge" and all of Klayman's claims against Mckesson and Black Lives Matter were dismissed or withdrawn. Attorneys for Mckesson have argued that "Klayman should have known his claims were frivolous."
In January 2017, Pennie separately sued Twitter, Facebook, and Google in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, claiming that the websites "knowingly and recklessly" allowed terrorist propaganda to be spread on their social networks.
Effects on policing [ edit ] As a result of the shooting, local law enforcement officers worked more than $800,000 in overtime to help the Dallas Police Department (DPD). This included $86,000 spent by the Dallas County Sheriff's Office, $88,000 spent by the Arlington Police Department, about $705,250 by DPD, and unknown sums by the Irving Police Department and the Dallas Fire-Rescue Department.
Following this shooting and another in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, that killed three police officers and wounded three others, local law enforcement agencies across the U.S. began readjusting response strategies, with more officers being paired up in patrol vehicles.[a] Departments also began to increase security and surveillance at protest events against police.
Within twelve days following the shooting, DPD received 467 job applications, representing a 344% increase from the 136 applications received by the department in June. In the months before the shooting, DPD, along with other police departments across the country, had been struggling to recruit new officers. DPD even had to cancel academy classes because there were not enough applicants, and also struggled in retaining officers due to a low salary. On August 25, DPD announced their goal to hire 549 officers by October 2017, though some police and City Council officials called it an unrealistic goal due to the department's strict hiring requirements.
Use of a police robot to kill Johnson [ edit ] The killing of Johnson was the first time in United States history a robot was used by police to kill a suspect. The Remotec ANDROS Mark V-A1, a bomb disposal remote control vehicle used by police, was rigged with about 1 pound (0.45 kilograms) of C-4 explosive. The decision to attack Johnson with a robot was made after it was concluded that the heavily armed assailant had secured himself behind a corner at the end of a hallway, with no safe way for police to rush him or reach him with a sniper.
There were various reactions to the lethal use of a robot by police. P. W. Singer, a robotics expert at the New America Foundation, said it was the first instance of which he was aware of a robot being used lethally by police. Seth Stoughton, an assistant professor of law at the University of South Carolina, said, "This is sort of a new horizon for police technology. Robots have been around for a while, but using them to deliver lethal force raises some new issues."
To this effect, Stoughton said, "I'm not aware of any police department having on hand something that is intended to be used as a weaponized explosive." He believed that the manner in which the police used the robot was justified due to Johnson being an imminent threat to police personnel and civilians, stating, "The circumstances that justify lethal force justify lethal force in essentially every form." Security researcher Matt Blaze tweeted that he was concerned about how the control link to the robot was secured.
[ edit ] Texas Governor Greg Abbott ordered the director of the Texas Department of Public Safety to offer any assistance to Dallas when requested. He also said, "In times like this we must remember'--and emphasize'--the importance of uniting as Americans." Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick attributed the violence to individuals on social media, "former Black Lives Matter protesters", and others with anti-police views, later expressing regret for his statement.
President Barack Obama called the shooting a "vicious, calculated, despicable attack" and a "tremendous tragedy". He also made immediate calls for gun control. The Fraternal Order of Police, the largest police union in the U.S., called for the shooting to be investigated as a hate crime and criticized President Obama's response, saying that he needed to speak for everyone and not give one speech for police officers and another one for African Americans.
Leaders associated with the Black Lives Matter movement, including organizers of the protest rally, condemned the shooting.
On July 8, the day after the shooting, a special interfaith vigil attracted hundreds of people to Thanks-Giving Square in Downtown Dallas, where Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and regional faith leaders led prayers for the officers involved in the shooting and for everyone affected by it.
An interfaith memorial to the dead officers was held at Dallas's Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center on July 12. Former President George W. Bush, a Texan, and President Obama both spoke. Obama praised the Dallas police as heroes and called the killings "an act not just of demented violence but of racial hatred." In the aftermath, Obama urged Americans not to give in to despair, saying, "[W]e are not so divided as we seem."
Attorney General Loretta Lynch said that agents from the ATF, FBI, Marshals Service, and other U.S. Department of Justice agencies were on the scene working with state and local agencies. Lynch stated that the proper response to uncertainty and fear "is never violence" but rather is "calm, peaceful, collaborative and determined action." Lynch also said, "To all Americans, I ask you, I implore you, do not let this week precipitate a new normal in this country."
After the shootings at Dallas, Louisiana, and Minnesota, the Bahamian government issued a travel advisory telling citizens to use caution when traveling to the U.S. due to racial tensions. They specifically advised that young men use "extreme caution" when interacting with police and to be non-confrontational and cooperative.
See also [ edit ] 1985 MOVE bombing2014 killings of NYPD officers2015 attack on Dallas police2016 shootings of Des Moines police officers2016 shooting of Baton Rouge police officersGun violence in the United StatesList of American police officers killed in the line of dutyList of killings by law enforcement officers in the United StatesList of rampage killers (religious, political or racial crimes)Notes [ edit ] ^ While it was once standard practice to pair officers in patrol vehicles, budget cuts and other staffing demands prompted many police departments to implement more single-officer patrols. References [ edit ] ^ a b c d "Sniper Ambush Kills 5 Officers, Injures 7 in Dallas Following Peaceful Protest". NBC DFW. July 7, 2016 . Retrieved July 8, 2016 . ^ Wash, Stephanie; Jacobo, Julia; Shapiro, Emily (July 9, 2016). "Dallas Shooting Suspect Micah Johnson Had Rifles, Bombmaking Materials in His Home, Police Say". ABC News . Retrieved May 30, 2017 . ^ a b c Achenbach, Joel; Wan, William; Berman, Mark; Balingit, Moriah (July 8, 2016). "Five Dallas police officers were killed by a lone attacker, authorities say". The Washington Post . Retrieved July 8, 2016 . ^ "Dallas Gunman Micah Johnson Used Assault-Style Rifle: Law Enforcement". NBC News. ^ a b "Dallas Police shed light on gunman's possible motives". ABC News. July 8, 2016 . Retrieved July 10, 2016 . The suspect said he was upset about Black Lives Matter. He said he was upset about the recent police shootings. The suspect said he was upset with white people. The suspect stated he wanted to kill white people, especially white officers. ^ a b c d Bruton, F. Brinley; Smith, Alexander; Chuck, Elizabeth; Helsel, Phil (July 7, 2016). "Dallas Police 'Ambush': 12 Officers Shot, 5 Killed During Protest". NBC News . Retrieved July 7, 2016 . ^ a b c d Shapiro, Emily; Jacobo, Julia; Wash, Stephanie (July 9, 2016). "Dallas Shooting Suspect Micah Xavier Johnson Had Rifles, Bomb-Making Materials in His Home, Police Say". ABC News . Retrieved July 9, 2016 . ^ Thielman, Sam (July 8, 2016). "Use of police robot to kill Dallas shooting suspect believed to be first in US history". The Guardian . Retrieved August 8, 2019 . ^ a b c d e f g h i j McGee, Patrick; Fernandez, Manny; Bromwich, Jonah Engel (July 7, 2016). "Snipers Kill 5 Dallas Officers at Protest Against Police Shootings". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331 . Retrieved July 7, 2016 . ^ Gunaratna, Shanika (July 7, 2016). "12 officers shot at Dallas protest against police shootings". CBS News . Retrieved July 7, 2016 . ^ "11 Dallas Police and DART Officers Wounded, 5 Fatally, at Rally to Protest Police Shootings". Dallas Observer. July 7, 2016 . Retrieved July 7, 2016 . ^ Pane, Lisa Marie. "Friend or foe? Open-carry law poses challenge to police". News West 9. Associated Press. Archived from the original on July 12, 2016 . 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David Clarke (sheriff) - Wikipedia
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 15:14
David Alexander Clarke Jr. (born August 21, 1956) is an American former law enforcement official who served as Sheriff of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin from 2002 to 2017. In 2002, Clarke was appointed to the position by Republican Governor Scott McCallum and later elected that same year to his first four-year term. He was reelected in November 2006, 2010 and 2014. Although he ran as a Democrat in a heavily Democratic county, many of Clarke's political views align with those of conservative Republicans. Clarke refused to join the Wisconsin Democratic party, raising doubts about his political motives.
While Sheriff of Milwaukee County, Clarke came under scrutiny for deaths and alleged mistreatment of the inhabitants of Milwaukee County jail facilities. One man died of thirst in what a coroner ruled was a homicide, and pregnant women were handcuffed and shackled while undergoing labor.
Clarke frequently appeared as a guest on Fox News through February 2018 and was a speaker at the 2016 Republican National Convention. He resigned as sheriff in August 2017. A vocal supporter of President Donald Trump, Clarke was considered for a role in the Trump Administration. After resigning as Sheriff of Milwaukee County, Clarke joined the super PAC America First Action as a spokesman and senior advisor, serving until February 2019.
Early life, education, and early career [ edit ] Clarke was born in Milwaukee, one of five children of Jeri and David Clarke Sr. His father was a paratrooper with the 2nd Ranger Infantry Company. Clarke Jr. attended Marquette University High School where he played for the varsity basketball team. After finishing high school, Clarke took classes at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee but dropped out during his first year when he got a job driving beer trucks.
His career in law enforcement began in 1978 at the Milwaukee Police Department (MPD). He "rose through the ranks at a slow but steady pace in his 24 years with the department." Clarke was a patrol officer for eleven years and then a homicide detective; he was promoted to lieutenant of detectives in 1993 and captain in 1999.
Clarke's career was not without controversy; in 1994, the mother of a 15-year-old boy filed a complaint alleging that Clarke used excessive force when arresting her son. According to public documents, Clarke was returning from a vacation when he spotted five teenagers heaving rocks at passing cars. Clarke chased down the teens, drew his service revolver and ordered them to lie on the ground. He admitted to using his foot to turn one boy over as he searched for weapons. The boy's mother claimed Clarke put a gun to her son's head and kicked him in the side, causing bruised ribs that required medical attention. However, the Fire and Police Commission ruled there was insufficient evidence to charge Clarke and dismissed the case.
In 1999, Clarke received a B.A. in Management of Criminal Justice from Concordia University Wisconsin's School of Adult and Continuing Education. In January 2002, Milwaukee County Sheriff Leverett F. (Lev) Baldwin resigned midway through his term to take a pension payout. Clarke was one of ten applicants for the position, and Governor Scott McCallum appointed him on March 19, 2002. He was elected to a full term later in 2002, and was reelected in 2006, 2010, and 2014.
Thesis plagiarism [ edit ] In 2013, Clarke received a master's degree in security studies from the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS). In May 2017, CNN reported that Clarke had plagiarized portions of the thesis he completed as part of the requirements for this degree, stating that in the thesis, "Clarke failed to properly attribute his sources at least 47 times." The thesis ("Making U.S. security and privacy rights compatible"), was found to have lifted material verbatim from several sources without proper citation, including reports by the American Civil Liberties Union, The 9/11 Commission Report, and George W. Bush's memoir Decision Points. Clarke provided footnotes to sources that he used, but did not properly place quotations around verbatim words of his sources, which is an act of plagiarism according to the Naval Postgraduate School. Following the report, the Naval Postgraduate School removed the thesis from its online archive. In response to the report, Clarke called journalist Andrew Kaczynski, who broke the story, a "sleaze bag" and denied that he had plagiarized.
In a July 2017 letter to Clarke, the NPS's dean of students, Commander Paul Rasmussen, wrote that he concurred with the Honor Code Board that Clarke's thesis was "in violation" of the school's honor code but that the "violation was not a result of any intentional deception or misappropriation efforts." Rasmussen instructed Clarke to submit a revised thesis within 100 days or NPS would "initiate degree revocation." According to news accounts in June 2018, Clarke received several extensions on the original deadline before submitting his revised thesis in March 2018. On March 30, school officials informed him that his edits were satisfactory, and that he would be allowed to retain his degree.
Political views [ edit ] Clarke has "built a following among conservatives with his provocative social media presence and strong support of Donald Trump." His prominence as a right-wing firebrand has made him a controversial and polarizing figure.
Planned Parenthood [ edit ] He has criticized Planned Parenthood, suggesting instead that it be renamed "Planned Genocide."
[ edit ] In 2015, Clarke received criticism for his statement on his podcast: "Let me tell you why blacks sell drugs and involve themselves in criminal behavior instead of a more socially acceptable lifestyle: because they're uneducated, they're lazy and they're morally bankrupt. That's why."
In 2017, Clarke attracted attention and criticism for trading racial insults with Marc Lamont Hill, an African-American CNN commentator; on Twitter, Clarke used a racial slur ("jigaboo") to insult Hill.
Black Lives Matter [ edit ] Clarke is a frequent and vociferous critic of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, referring to it as "Black Lies Matter" and describing the movement as a hate group. Clarke denies that police officers are more willing to shoot black suspects than white suspects, has labeled BLM activists "subhuman creeps", and has called for the targeted eradication of the movement "from American society." He has also claimed that Black Lives Matter would eventually join forces with ISIS in order to destroy American society. He has urged the Southern Poverty Law Center to include BLM among the hate groups it monitors. Clarke has blamed "liberal policies" for rioting and other issues in American cities. Clarke's stance on the movement has been criticized by the Milwaukee chapter of the NAACP and other activists.
Clarke has harshly criticized various black critics of police abuses. He has called former Attorney General Eric Holder an "a[ss]hole" and accused him in testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee of "outright hostility" toward police, referred to Al Sharpton as a "charlatan" and criticized Beyonc(C) for her reference to the Black Panthers in her halftime-show performance at the 2016 Super Bowl.
Gun control [ edit ] In January 2013, Clarke was featured on a series of public radio ads that said citizens could no longer rely on the police for timely protection and should arm themselves. Later that month, Clarke appeared on the CNN program Piers Morgan Live, with Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, who "said it was irresponsible of Clarke to 'basically imply' that it won't help citizens to call 911 when they need help."
In 2015, Clarke traveled to Moscow on a $40,000 trip, with all expenses paid by the NRA, Pete Brownell (an NRA board member and CEO of a gun-parts supply company) and "The Right to Bear Arms," a Russian pro-firearms organization, founded by Maria Butina, a Russian national, who pleaded guilty in 2018 to being an unregistered Russian agent. During the meeting, Clarke met the Russian foreign minister and attended a conference at which Russian official Aleksander Torshin, a close ally of Vladimir Putin, spoke.
In 2018, Clarke attracted attention for using Twitter to promote a conspiracy theory about the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida; Clarke tweeted that "The well ORGANIZED effort by Florida school students demanding gun control has GEORGE SOROS' FINGERPRINTS all over it", suggesting that the students from Parkland were being manipulated by Soros to organize for gun control.
Suspension of habeas corpus in the United States [ edit ] Clarke has called for the suspension of habeas corpus in the United States in a December 2015 appearance on his radio program, where he asserted that there were "hundreds of thousands" or "maybe a million" people who "have pledged allegiance or are supporting ISIS, giving aid and comfort," and stated that "our commander in chief ought to utilize Article I, Section 9" to imprison them at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp "and hold them indefinitely under a suspension of habeas corpus."
Ideology and relationships with Republican and Democratic parties [ edit ] Clarke ran for sheriff as a Democrat, which, according to Journal Sentinel reporter Daniel Bice, is advantageous in heavily Democratic Milwaukee County. However, Clarke is almost universally regarded as a conservative and has been referred to as "right of most righties." Clarke frequently criticizes Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and other Democrats; often speaks at Republican events, and is allies with the National Rifle Association, which has raised funds for his re-election campaigns. Clarke has in turn been criticized by the local Democratic Party. On his website in 2014, Clarke stated that he questioned "why the Office of Sheriff is a partisan election" and wrote: "I have never asked a person to vote for me because I run as a Democrat. I ask them to vote for me based on my 35-year commitment to keeping citizens safe. Most voters get it when it comes to public safety. There is no Democrat or Republican way to be a sheriff. The enemy is not the opposing party; the enemy is the criminal."
In 2016, Maurice Chammah of The Marshall Project characterized Clarke as an "iconoclastic sheriff," one of "a long line of controversy-courting lawmen" that includes Richard Mack and Joe Arpaio in Arizona. Clarke attracted attention for "dalliances with the far right" over time including his acceptance in 2013 of the "Sheriff of the Year Award" from the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, a group of sheriffs founded by Mack that has been criticized by the Southern Poverty Law Center for espousing radical-right views. Earlier the same year, Clarke appeared for an interview on the syndicated show of Alex Jones.
Sheriff of Milwaukee [ edit ] Budget and clashes with the Government of Milwaukee County [ edit ] Clarke has often clashed with the county government over the sheriff's office budget, engaging "in a long-running, high-profile tiff" over the issue with Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele, "with Clarke providing the more incendiary rhetoric." Abele's proposed budget for 2014 would cut $12 million from the Sheriff's Office budget, eliminating 69 jobs and "shifting park patrols, emergency management, 911 communications and training divisions" to other entities, such as the Milwaukee Police Department, suburban police departments, and the county Department of Emergency Preparedness. Abele described the budget as a way to refocus the sheriff's office on "core, mandated services." Clarke issued a statement calling Abele a "vindictive little man" and saying that "Abele should be drug-tested. He has to be on heroin or hallucinating with that statement." Abele responded by saying that it was "unfortunate the sheriff, instead of engaging in thoughtful civil discourse, is making personal attacks and making light of a serious problem in our community and state."
On another occasion, Clarke said that Abele had "penis envy."
In 2015, Clarke clashed with Abele again after Clarke filed a lawsuit against the county over the sheriff's budget, seeking $25 million in funds to hire 75 deputies, 43 House of Corrections officers and 17 supervisors. Clarke argued that his office is underfunded by the county, while Abele noted that the sheriff's office had received the largest increase of any county department and criticized Clarke for having what he termed "a very heavy command staff," "a lot of unnecessary overtime," and redundancies in courthouse security. Clarke sued Abele, alleging that he had violated Clarke's right to free speech through the budget process; a federal judge dismissed Clarke's suit in April 2016.
A county audit released in 2012 showed that the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office used asset forfeiture funds to buy exercise equipment for Clarke's command staff, for a Disney training, and for a mounted patrol unit. The audit reported that the spending violated county procurement rules, although not federal rules on the use of seized money. Clarke was criticized for the amount of money spent on the mounted patrol by County Supervisor Patricia Jursik; Clarke defended the office's use of the funds.
According to an Associated Press tally, from 2012 to April 2016, Clarke had incurred more than $310,000 in legal fees for his private attorney, who represented him in litigation against Milwaukee County. Milwaukee County taxpayers paid the legal fees. The county spent an additional $83,000 defending itself against Clarke's lawsuits.
In 2012, the Milwaukee County Sheriff's office under Clarke spent $75,000 on an order of 565 new Glock handguns with "glow-in-the-dark" sights, "enough to outfit each of the department's 275 deputies with two of the popular guns and still have some left over." The order was criticized as excessive by critics, including county Supervisor John Weishan Jr. (who said there "was absolutely no reason to justify" the purchase) and the Milwaukee County Deputy Sheriffs Association president (who said that he would have preferred the sheriff's department to use funds to re-hire laid-off deputies rather than to replace weapons). Clarke declined to comment, but a department official defended the purchase.
House of Correction and detainee abuse controversies [ edit ] In January 2008, a National Institute of Corrections audit of the Milwaukee County House of Correction in Franklin identified 44 areas of concern, calling the House of Correction "dysfunctional" and determining that it suffered from "serious security, staff morale and management flaws." The House of Corrections was at the time a separate Milwaukee County department overseen by a superintendent who reported to then Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker. Walker and the County Board transferred control over the House to the Sheriff's Department under Clarke on January 1, 2009.
Clarke was repeatedly accused of abusing detainees at the county jail. Following the deaths of four inmates at the jail in six months, the United States Department of Justice launched an investigation of the jail. Milwaukee County chief medical examiner Brian Peterson accused Clarke of verbally harassing and threatening him in an October 2016 telephone conversation after Peterson's office made the mysterious deaths of two inmates at the jail earlier that year public. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Clarke also attracted attention for temper-related incidents: "He once berated a 911 dispatcher for not being professional, threatened to arrest the new House of Correction chief and called a sergeant a 'terrorist' and 'cancer' in a two-hour, expletive-filled rant".
Death of Terrill Thomas [ edit ] The Milwaukee County Jail turned the water off to inmate Terrill Thomas's cell, resulting in his death by dehydration on April 24, 2016. According to inmates, the water was turned off for six days and the staff refused to provide water to Thomas. On September 15, 2016, the Milwaukee medical examiner ruled Thomas's death a homicide. Later that day Clarke's office sent out a press release which stated it would be "withholding employee internal investigations and will not be commenting on this matter until the completion of all investigative and review processes, and any resultant civil litigation." Clarke did not comment publicly on his agency's handling of Thomas's incarceration, but has highlighted Thomas's poor physical health and criminal history.
In May 2017, after hearing six days of testimony at an inquest, a Milwaukee County jury found probable cause that seven jail employees (two supervisors, five officers) had committed a crime'--specifically, abuse of a resident of a penal facility'--and recommended that charges be brought. In February 2018, three Milwaukee jail officers were charged with a felony in connection with Thomas's death. Clarke was not charged. District Attorney John T. Chisholm said "he believed his office had charged the people who were most culpable."
In May 2019, Milwaukee County and the health care company Armor Correctional Health Services Inc. settled the lawsuit for $6.75 million, which is one of the largest settlements related to the death of an inmate in an American prison.
Death of newborn and shackling of pregnant women [ edit ] Clarke's department came under fire for its use of restraints on pregnant women inmates. This controversial practice has been abolished or restricted by at least ten states and has been prohibited by the Wisconsin Department of Corrections as well as by the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
In 2014, a woman who was handcuffed and shackled for 21 hours while in labor sued the county. In 2017, a second lawsuit was filed by another woman who was shackled while giving birth, and while hospitalized for prenatal care and postpartum treatment. The suit contends that the jail has a blanket policy of shackling all hospitalized inmates, "regardless of their criminal or medical history," and that at least 40 women were shackled in this manner.
In June 2017, a federal jury awarded $6.7 million in a lawsuit by a woman who accused a Milwaukee County Jail guard of raping her on at least five occasions when she was 19 years old and pregnant. Criminal charges of sexual assault had been dropped against the guard after he pled no contest to lesser charges in 2014.
In July 2016, a pregnant inmate at the jail with serious mental illness went into labor and the newborn baby died. The mother filed a federal lawsuit against the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office, stating that she was denied medical attention before her pregnancy, had medical appointments canceled, received prenatal vitamins only once, and was "laughed at" by guards after going into labor. This death and others at the jail prompted calls for Clarke's resignation from a county supervisor and several Democratic state legislators.
Proselytism lawsuit [ edit ] In 2006, Clarke invited members of an Evangelical Christian organization, the Fellowship of Christian Centurions, to speak at several mandatory employee meetings, at which the group members proselytized. Several deputies complained about the Centurions' proselytizing, but Clarke refused to stop the presentations. The sheriff deputies' union and two individual sheriff's deputies (a Catholic and a Muslim) successfully sued Clarke in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. Clarke appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, which upheld the lower court's ruling in 2009. The sheriff did not seek review in the U.S. Supreme Court.
Airport harassment and abuse-of-power investigation and lawsuit [ edit ] In February 2017, a Detroit-area man, Dan Black, filed a harassment lawsuit against Clarke after Milwaukee deputies detained the man at the Milwaukee airport in January. The man had asked Clarke about his football team preference and shook his head at Clarke. On the tarmac, Clarke sent text messages to one of his captains, Mark Witek, directing sheriffs' deputies to detain Black. Clarke wrote: "Question for him is why he said anything to me. Why didn't he just keep his mouth shut? Follow him to baggage and out the door. You can escort me to carousel after I point him out." After arriving at the airport, Black was "met by a group of six uniformed deputies and two dogs, all of whom were accompanied by the sheriff" who questioned him before releasing him. Airport surveillance video showed Black telling deputies: "He [Clarke] thinks because I asked who he is, he can exert that kind of power over me." Local media reported that "at least one of the deputies who was ordered to confront Black didn't believe he had been disruptive."
After Black filed a complaint with Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office, Clarke responded by taunting and threatening Black via Facebook. Black's counsel states that Clarke engaged in a "gross and arbitrary abuse of power" and ordered an unlawful stop and detention. An ensuing civil lawsuit by Black resulted in 2018 in a verdict in Clark's favor; the jury found that Clarke's Facebook posts did not chill Black's exercise of his First Amendment rights.
The incident drew national attention, prompting federal investigations to examine Clarke's conduct. In a May 2017 letter, the U.S. Attorney's Office declined to prosecute Clarke for federal civil-rights offenses, writing: "Our decision is not meant to affirm the wisdom or propriety of what occurred. It reflects only our belief that it would be difficult or impossible to prove a violation of the only federal statute available to us ... beyond a reasonable doubt."
Milwaukee County auditors launched an investigation into whether Clarke abused taxpayer resources during the airport incident. Clarke has refused to cooperate with the investigation, and has blocked auditors from interviewing Milwaukee County sheriff's deputies. Clarke's refusal to cooperate in the investigation prompted the Milwaukee County Board to authorize legal action against Clarke on the issue. An affidavit filed by the FBI in March 2017 (and made public in December 2017) indicated that "investigators for the Audit Services Division of the Milwaukee County controller's office determined as part of its own investigation that Clarke had 'used his official position as sheriff of Milwaukee County in excess of his lawful authority to direct his deputies to stop and question Black without legal justification.'"
Approval ratings [ edit ] In a January 2017 poll conducted by Public Policy Polling, which surveyed Milwaukee County voters, 31% approved of the job Clarke was doing, compared to 62% who disapproved. In the same poll, 65% said they believed Clarke had a negative impact on the image of Milwaukee County, and among registered Democrats, 13% said they would vote for Clarke in a hypothetical Democratic primary, compared to 82% who would prefer another candidate.
Donald Trump support and possible role in Trump administration [ edit ] Clarke is a strong supporter of Republican Donald Trump, saying during Trump's 2016 presidential campaign that he would "do everything I can" to help Trump win the presidency. Clarke spoke at the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. In October 2016, Clarke tweeted, "It's incredible that our institutions of gov, WH, Congress, DOJ, and big media are corrupt & all we do is bitch. Pitchforks and torches time." with an attached photo of an angry mob holding pitchforks and torches. Clarke met with Trump, when Trump was president-elect, about a possible position in his administration.
In May 2017, Clarke said in a radio interview that he would take the post of Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for Partnership and Engagement in the Trump administration. The White House declined to comment, and the Department of Homeland Security stated that no appointment had been officially made. The position does not require Senate confirmation.
The DHS did not say whether the appointment was actually offered to Clarke. Following a CNN report on plagiarism in his master's thesis, Clarke said that he was unsure if the Trump administration would hire him.
The prospective appointment of Clarke was criticized by Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele; former Homeland Security official Juliette Kayyem; and California Senator Kamala Harris, who sits on the Senate Homeland Security Committee. Harris wrote that "Clarke's unconscionable record makes him unfit to serve" and that the "appointment is a disgrace." On June 17, Clarke rescinded his acceptance of the post. John F. Kelly, who had been the Secretary of Homeland Security at the time, told Clarke that he would not be given a position at the DHS in part due to scandal surrounding the treatment of inmates in Clarke's jail and the ensuing negative media attention.
Resignation [ edit ] On August 31, 2017, Clarke resigned his position. News reports several days later indicated that Clarke would join the pro-Donald Trump Super PAC America First Action as a spokesman and senior advisor.
Persona, media appearances, and travel [ edit ] Clarke on horseback at the 2008 Milwaukee St. Patrick's Day parade
Clarke frequently appears at public events on horseback wearing a cowboy hat. He often wears 20 or more pins and badges on his uniform when in public, many not of official meaning or purpose, leading to accusations of "stolen valor" (i.e., trying to create the image of heroic accomplishments).
Clarke "has become a fixture of conservative media" and in 2015 began hosting a podcast talk show, David Clarke: The People's Sheriff, on Glenn Beck's TheBlaze Radio Network, where he has expressed support for the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. Clarke also frequently appeared as a guest on Fox News, and on one occasion in September 2015 guest-hosted The Sean Hannity Show. However, in March 2019, The Daily Beast reported that Clarke had essentially been banned from Fox News and that he had not appeared on Fox News since February 2018. He also appeared on CNN, Fox News, and other major news outlets to discuss ongoing police controversies.
Clarke's higher profile coincided with an increase in his speaking fees and time spent outside Milwaukee County on outside activities. In 2015 financial disclosure documents, Clarke reported receiving $150,000 in speaking fees, travel reimbursements, gifts and other items; in 2016, he received $220,000 worth of such items. Also in 2016, Clarke spent about 60 days traveling or attending events, 59 of them outside Wisconsin. Clarke's absences from the county, as well as redactions in his official schedule as provided to journalists who made public-records requests, led to "increasing scrutiny over his job performance" from local media outlets and criticism from the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council. Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele has repeatedly criticized Clarke's absences from the county.
In January 2018, Clarke was temporarily suspended by Twitter after posting three messages appearing to encourage violence against the media, including a tweet reading "Punch them in the nose & MAKE THEM TASTE THEIR OWN BLOOD." Clarke was unblocked by Twitter after deleting the posts.
In March 2020, Twitter deleted three of Clarke's posts urging people to ignore official warnings related to the 2019-20 coronavirus pandemic, because the tweets violating the platform's policy against encouraging self-harm. Clarke responded by labeling Twitter administrators "totalitarian bigots'. [better source needed ] One of his tweets proclaimed that coronavirus was "just the damn flu", despite the death rate among COVID-19 victims being 23 to 68 times higher than that of flu sufferers.
Potential mayoral run [ edit ] In January 2014, Clarke announced he was considering a run for mayor of Milwaukee in 2016, but ultimately decided not to run, instead endorsing Republican Alderman Bob Donovan's unsuccessful bid to unseat Mayor Tom Barrett. 
Book [ edit ] In 2017, Clarke published a book titled Cop Under Fire: Moving Beyond Hashtags of Race, Crime and Politics for a Better America. The book was promoted by President Donald Trump on Twitter.
Electoral history [ edit ] Personal life [ edit ] Clarke married his wife Julie in 1996; she was a court clerk and later a real estate agent. They lived on the northwest side of Milwaukee. In 2018, Clarke filed for divorce from his wife.
References [ edit ] ^ "Meet the Sheriff". county.milwaukee.gov . Retrieved 2017-05-01 . ^ a b c Daniel Bice, Does anyone still think Sheriff David Clarke is a Democrat? Apparently, one, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (July 27, 2014). ^ Gun fight? National political donors spend hundreds of thousands on local Milwaukee sheriff's race, Fox News (August 12, 2014). ^ Chandler, Kurt. "The New Black Power: A Profile of Sheriff David Clarke". Milwaukee Magazine . Retrieved 21 March 2020 . ^ McNally, Joel (5 September 2017). "The 'Terrible Man Theory' of David Clarke". Shepherd Express . Retrieved 21 March 2020 . ^ Murphy, Bruce (18 October 2016). "David Clarke the Demagogue" . Retrieved 21 March 2020 . ^ Schmidt, Richard. "David A. Clarke Jr. resigns as Milwaukee County sheriff". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel . Retrieved 1 September 2017 . ^ a b c d e f Kurt Chandler, The New Black Power, Milwaukee Magazine (July 25, 2003). ^ Milwaukee Sheriff, CU Alum Receives Award Archived 2016-10-17 at the Wayback Machine (press release), Concordia University Wisconsin (April 1, 2016). ^ Strupp, Joe (March 28, 2017). "Milwaukee journalists: Sheriff David Clarke is "missing in action " ". Salon.com. San Francisco, CA. Media Matters. ^ a b Kaczynski, Andrew; Massie, Christopher; McDermott, Nathan (May 20, 2017). "Sheriff David Clarke plagiarized portions of his master's thesis on homeland security". CNN. Archived from the original on May 21, 2017. ^ Clarke, David A. (September 2013). "Making U.S. security and privacy rights compatible" (PDF) . Calhoun: Institutional Archive of the Naval Postgraduate School. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 21, 2017 '' via DocumentCloud. ^ John Fauber, Report: Sheriff David Clarke plagiarized parts of homeland security thesis, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (May 21, 2017): "the Naval Postgraduate School removed Clarke's thesis from its website and replaced it with the following note: 'This item was removed from view at the discretion of the Naval Postgraduate School.'" ^ Hayden, Michael Edison (May 21, 2017). "Sheriff David Clarke denies plagiarism, calls reporter a 'sleaze bag ' ". ABC News . Retrieved May 21, 2017 . Guy is a sleaze bag," Clarke wrote in a post that linked to a story in which Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky pushed back against a Kaczynski-authored story for Buzzfeed News, in which he was accused of using disputed quotes. "I'm on to him folks. ^ Chris Massie & Andrew Kaczynski, Former Sheriff David Clarke must revise thesis or risk losing degree, docs reveal, CNN (September 15, 2017). ^ Massie, Chris; McDermott, Nathan; Kaczynski, Andrew (June 15, 2018). "Emails show former Sheriff David Clarke's tense and protracted process to retain master's degree". CNN. Atlanta, GA. CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link) ^ "Emails show former Sheriff David Clarke's tense and protracted process to retain master's degree". ^ a b Ivan Moreno, Firebrand Milwaukee sheriff takes job with Homeland Security, Associated Press (May 17, 2017). ^ Alex Yablon, Trump Taps David Clarke, a Staunch NRA Ally, For Homeland Security Post: The Milwaukee lawman joined the gun group's junket to Russia, while compiling accusations of negligence and abuses of power at home, The Trace (May 17, 2017). ^ Milwaukee sheriff's star rises, but he remains polarizing, Chicago Tribune news services (February 5, 2017). ^ Wesley Lowery & Lisa Rein, Controversial Milwaukee sheriff David Clarke says he'll be appointed to high-ranking DHS post, but agency has not confirmed, Washington Post (May 17, 2017). ^ Ford, Matt. "Sheriff Clarke Gets a Job in the Trump Administration". The Atlantic . Retrieved 2017-05-17 . Clarke's opining often went beyond policing issues: On his podcast, he referred to Planned Parenthood as "Planned Genocide" and American higher education as "a racketeering ring." ^ Chammah, Maurice. "American Sheriff". The Atlantic . Retrieved 2017-05-17 . ^ Kertscher, Tom. "Which black people did David Clarke call uneducated, lazy and morally bankrupt?". Politifact . Retrieved 17 Nov 2015 . ^ Alex Griswold, CNN's Marc Lamont Hill, Sheriff David Clarke Fling Racial Slurs at Each Other on Twitter, (January 17, 2017). ^ Theo Keith, Milwaukee County launches investigation of Sheriff Clarke over airplane complaint, Clarke says it's a "witch hunt", WITI (January 25, 2017). ^ D.L. Hughley, David Clarke and Marc Lamont Hill Trade Insults with Each Other, WZAK. ^ David Clarke, It's time to stand up to Black Lives Matter, Fox News (July 11, 2016). ^ a b c Brendan O'Brien, Black Milwaukee sheriff takes on Black Lives Matter movement, Reuters (February 27, 2016). ^ David Clarke, Before long, Black Lies Matter will join forces with ISIS to being down our legal constituted republic. You heard it first here., Twitter (October 27, 2015). ^ J.F. (18 August 2017). "The misplaced arguments against Black Lives Matter". The Economist . Retrieved 20 August 2017 . ^ a b Sabina, Carmine (28 April 2015). "Sheriff Clarke: Why are we surprised at sub-human behavior in American ghettos? Lib policies created it". Bizpac Review . Retrieved 18 July 2016 . ^ a b c d Maurice Chammah, American Sheriff: David Clarke, the Trump-loving, pro-mass-incarceration, Fox News favorite, is challenging criminal-justice reform'--and stereotypes, The Atlantic (May 5, 2016). ^ "David Clarke, Tom Barrett square off over guns on CNN". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel . Retrieved 2014-03-30 . ^ Prosecutors seek 18-month sentence for Maria Butina in Russian plot to forge ties to U.S. conservative groups, Washington Post (April 19, 2019): "Capitalizing on her novelty as a Siberian-born gun activist in restrictive Russia, Butina and Torshin invited NRA leaders to Moscow in December 2015, including Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke and David Keene, a former NRA president and past head of the powerful American Conservative Union." ^ Daniel Bice (March 13, 2017). "Sen. Tammy Baldwin says Sheriff David Clarke is being 'groomed' for Senate bid". Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. ^ a b Cliff Schecter (December 5, 2016). "How David Clarke Bridges Donald Trump's Gun Nuts and Vladimir Putin's Kleptocrats". The Daily Beast. ^ a b Rosalind S. Helderman & Tom Hamburger (April 30, 2017). "Guns and religion: How American conservatives grew closer to Putin's Russia". ^ Keneally, Meghan (February 22, 2018). "After school shooting, breaking down the conspiracy theories facing Parkland students". ABC News . Retrieved 18 May 2018 . ^ Bowden, John (February 21, 2018). "David Clarke: Fla. students' gun control push has 'George Soros' fingerprints all over it ' ". The Hill . Retrieved 18 May 2018 . ^ a b Daniel Bice, Former Sheriff David Clarke files for divorce in Milwaukee County, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (February 23, 2018). ^ Jeremy Stahl, Potential Homeland Security Pick Wanted to Suspend Habeas Corpus, Jail One Million, Slate (November 29, 2016). ^ Pema Levy, Potential Trump Pick for Homeland Security Wants to Send up to 1 Million People to Gitmo, Mother Jones (November 28, 2016). ^ a b Clarke, David. "Meet the Milwaukee County Sheriff '' David A. Clarke Jr". Friends of Sheriff Clarke. Archived from the original on July 18, 2016. ^ a b c Lisa Kaiser (July 23, 2014). "Is It Time For a New Sheriff in Town?". Shepherd Express. ^ Bice, Daniel (31 May 2014). "Sheriff David Clarke files for re-election amid talk of other offices". Journal Sentinel . Retrieved 20 August 2014 . ^ Maurice Chammah, America's Loudest Sheriffs: A Reading Guide: Milwaukee's David Clarke is the latest in a long line of controversy-courting lawmen, The Marshall Project (May 6, 2016). ^ a b Daniel Bice, David A. Clarke's sheriff of the year honor isn't your typical award: Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association known for anti-government views, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (May 15, 2013). ^ Steve Schultze. "Abele wants to cut Clarke's budget; sheriff calls exec 'vindictive little man ' ". Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel . Retrieved 4 August 2014 . ^ Clarke, Abele at odds over sheriff's budget lawsuit, WDJT-TV (February 4, 2015). ^ a b c d Milwaukee County pays high price for sheriff's lawsuits, Associated Press (April 23, 2016). ^ a b Steve Schultze, Clarke spent asset forfeitures on workout equipment, horse patrol, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (September 28, 2012). ^ a b c Steve Schultze, Sheriff's office orders Glocks in bulk: Critics say 565-gun purchase seems excessive; department disagrees, says it got a great deal, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (July 15, 2012). ^ a b c Jason Silverstein, Dozens of Milwaukee County Jail inmates had been forced to give birth while shackled, lawsuit alleges, New York Daily News (March 19, 2017). ^ a b Daniel Bice, Medical examiner 'threatened' by Clarke over jail deaths, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (December 2, 2016). ^ Eric M. Johnson (September 15, 2017). "A black Wisconsin inmate's death by dehydration ruled a homicide". Reuters. ^ "An Inmate Died Of Thirst In A Jail Run By A Loudly Pro-Trump Sheriff". The Huffington Post. September 19, 2016. ^ "MCSO Release Related to MCMEO Updated Finding in Terrill Thomas In-Custody Death" (PDF) . Archived from the original (PDF) on December 19, 2016 . Retrieved January 22, 2017 . ^ "Milwaukee inmate's family says dehydration death was torture". Associated Press. March 10, 2017. ^ Luthern, Ashley; Diedrich, John (February 12, 2018). "Former commander, 2 staffers charged in dehydration death of Terrill Thomas in Milwaukee County Jail". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel . Retrieved 1 March 2018 . ^ Terrill Thomas Case: Milwaukee Jury Wants Charges Because Inmate Died After Week Without Water, Associated Press (May 2, 2017). ^ Smith, Mitch (February 12, 2018). "Three Milwaukee Jail Officers Charged in Dehydration Death". New York Times . Retrieved 1 March 2018 . ^ Reilly, Ryan J. (2019-05-28). "Lawsuit Over Dehydration Death In David Clarke's Jail Settles For $6.75M". HuffPost . Retrieved 2019-05-29 . ^ a b c d Lawsuit says woman was shackled while giving birth at Milwaukee County Jail, Associated Press/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel (March 16, 2017). ^ Tess Owen, Sheriff David Clarke's jail employees should be charged in inmate's dehydration death, jury says, VICE News (May 2, 2017). ^ a b Gina Barton, Victim in alleged assault at jail sues Milwaukee County, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel (February 22, 2014). ^ Katie Mettler (June 8, 2017). "Jury Awards $6,700,000 to Inmate Raped Repeatedly by Guard in Sheriff David Clarke's Jail". Washington Post. ^ "Sex assault charges dropped against former jail guard" . Retrieved 2017-06-11 . ^ a b Katie DeLong, Federal lawsuit filed after newborn baby died at Milwaukee County Jail; 1 of 4 deaths in 6 months, WITI (December 27, 2016). ^ "Milwaukee Deputy Sheriffs Association v. Clarke". Americans United for Separation of Church and State. ^ Milwaukee Deputy Sheriffs Ass'n v. Clarke, 588 F.3d 523 (7th Cir. 2009), aff'g 513 F.Supp.2d 1014 (E.D. Wis. 2007). ^ a b c d e f Daniel Bice, Auditors want to sue Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke for blocking probe, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel (April 6, 2017): "Clarke later taunted and threatened Black in posts on his county Facebook page and on Twitter." ^ a b c d Daniel Bice, Sheriff Clarke directed staff to hassle plane passenger after brief exchange, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (May 25, 2017). ^ a b Terry Sater, Sheriff's text to deputies about passenger on plane: Follow him out of airport, WISN (May 25, 2017). ^ a b "Riverwest man files lawsuit against Sheriff David Clarke". WISN. 2017-02-03 . Retrieved 2017-02-14 . Black filed a complaint with Milwaukee County a few weeks. Clarke responded by threatening Black on Facebook, saying, 'Next time he or anyone else pulls this stunt on a plane, they may get knocked out. The sheriff said he does not have to wait for some goof to assault him. He reserves the reasonable right to pre-empt a possible assault.' ^ Bruce Vielmetti, Jury rules for former Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. in Facebook post case, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (January 23, 2018). ^ Mary Papenfuss, FBI Affidavit Details Ex-Sheriff David Clarke's Intimidation of Fellow Passenger, Huffington Post (December 30, 2017). ^ Jensen, Tom (January 31, 2017). "Milwaukee County Survey Results" (PDF) . Public Policy Polling . Retrieved April 23, 2017 . ^ Bice, Daniel (June 16, 2016). "Clarke says he will 'do everything I can' to help Trump win". Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel . Retrieved 13 July 2016 . ^ Sheriff Clarke, Rep. Duffy added to GOP convention speakers list, WISN-TV (July 14, 2016). ^ David A. Clarke [@SheriffClarke] (October 15, 2016). "It's incredible that our institutions of gov, WH, Congress, DOJ, and big media are corrupt & all we do is bitch. Pitchforks and torches time" (Tweet) '' via Twitter. ^ "Controversial Trump-Supporting Sheriff Calls for 'Pitchforks and Torches ' ". ABC News. 2016-10-15 . Retrieved 2016-10-15 . ^ Steve Peoples & Todd Richmond (November 25, 2016). "With recounts looming, Trump adds new administration picks". The Washington Post. ^ a b Ron Nixon (May 17, 2017). "Polarizing Sheriff David Clarke Says He'll Take a Top Homeland Security Job". New York Times. ^ David Shortell, Milwaukee County Sheriff Clarke says he's accepted DHS job -- but was it offered?, CNN (May 18, 2017). ^ Nathan McDermott & Andrew Kaczynski, Sheriff David Clarke says he's unsure if Trump administration will still hire him after plagiarism report, CNN (May 23, 2017). ^ Abby Phillip, Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke rescinds acceptance of Homeland Security post, CNN (June 17, 2017). ^ Markay, Lachlan; Suebsaeng, Asawin (September 5, 2017). "Sheriff Clarke Was in Talks for a Trump White House Job'--Then John Kelly Killed It". The Daily Beast . Retrieved September 7, 2017 . ^ Daniel Bice, David A. Clarke Jr. resigns as Milwaukee County sheriff, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (August 31, 2017). ^ Andrew deGrandpre, David A. Clarke Jr. resigns as Milwaukee County Sheriff, Washington Post (August 31, 2017). ^ Bice, Daniel (September 5, 2017). "Ex-Sheriff David Clarke to work for Trump PAC". Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Milwaukee, WI. ^ "FACT CHECK: Does Sheriff David Clarke Wear 'Fake' Military Medals?". Snopes.com. 2017-05-23 . Retrieved 2017-05-27 . ^ "Analysis: Here's what the pins that Sheriff Clarke wears actually mean". Washington Post . Retrieved 2017-05-27 . ^ " ' The People's Sheriff' Is the Latest Addition to TheBlaze Radio Network". TheBlaze. 2015-06-02. ^ "A rational defense of Ammon Bundy and the Oregon Occupation: Sheriff David Clarke". 3 Feb 2016. ^ Maxwell Tani & Asawin Suebsaeng (2019-03-06). "Fox News Quietly Ditched Trump-Loving Sheriff David Clarke" . Retrieved 2019-03-16 . CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link) ^ a b Daniel Bice, As Sheriff Clarke's profile soars, gifts roll in, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (September 17, 2016). ^ a b c Theo Keith, Documents show Sheriff Clarke brought in $220K in speaking fees, gifts, travel reimbursements in 2016, WITI-TV (February 1, 2017). ^ Theo Keith, Sheriff David Clarke flies the country, avoids questions, redacts records in his official schedule, WITI-TV (May 25, 2017). ^ Video: Milwaukee County exec says Sheriff David Clarke not 'an active manager', WisconsinEye (July 13, 2017). ^ Former Sheriff David Clarke temporarily blocked from tweeting due to his caustic threats, Wisconsin Gazette (January 5, 2018). ^ Jake Tapper, Sheriff David Clarke temporarily blocked on Twitter after violating terms of service, CNN (January 2, 2018). ^ "It's Hard to Believe David A. Clarke Was Recommended for a Real Job in Homeland Security". ^ Litke, Eric (19 March 2020). "David A. Clarke Jr. Says coronavirus is just "the damn flu. " ". Politifact . Retrieved 20 March 2020 . ^ "Milwaukee Co. Sheriff David Clarke considers 2016 run for mayor". Fox 6 TV. January 31, 2014. ^ "Sheriff David Clarke will not run for MKE Mayor in '16". News/Talk 1130 WISN. December 2, 2015. ^ Spicuzza, Mary (April 6, 2016). "Mayor Barrett wins easy re-election victory over Donovan". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. ^ "Race for mayor of Milwaukee: Big endorsements for incumbent Tom Barrett, challenger Bob Donovan". Fox 6 TV. March 16, 2016. ^ Bergquist, Lee (August 27, 2017). "Trump tweets that Sheriff David Clarke's book is 'a great book by a great guy ' ". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel . Retrieved 1 March 2018 . ^ Savransky, Rebecca (August 27, 2017). "Trump promotes book by Sheriff David Clarke". The Hill . Retrieved 1 March 2018 . ^ Wigglesworth, Alex (August 27, 2017). "Trump promotes book by controversial sheriff and campaign supporter". Los Angeles Times . Retrieved 1 March 2018 . External links [ edit ] Official website "The People's Sheriff" PAC '-- official website of the super PAC affiliated with ClarkeProfile of the super PAC from the Center for Responsive PoliticsAppearances on C-SPAN
Leaked Documents Contain Major Revelations About the FBI's Terrorism Classifications - Just Security
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 15:04
New revelations about the FBI's classification system for domestic terrorism investigations raise questions about why the government is unable or unwilling to shed greater light on white supremacist violence. They also cast doubt on whether the FBI has truly abandoned the concept of ''Black Identity Extremism.''
The FBI uses a classification system to organize case files according to the type of criminal activity being investigated. These records provide a sense of the FBI's prioritization of different types of criminal activity over which it has jurisdiction, as well as the nature and extent of the threat posed by those activities. In the decade since the Department of Homeland Security released, and later under pressure withdrew, a report warning about the threat of white supremacist violence, the topic has become a major concern of policymakers, the media, and impacted communities alike. Amid a surge of white supremacist attacks and a reported increase in hate crime, many have questioned whether the Trump administration has done enough to counteract the scourge of white supremacist violence.
As a result, we have seen a push for the release of federal data, such as the FBI's investigative records, that would help elucidate both the threat posed by white supremacist violence and the federal government's response to that threat. In spite, or perhaps in light, of this push for data, the Trump administration has reportedly changed its approach to classifying domestic terrorism investigations. For years, the FBI has used a specific alphanumeric code to designate domestic terrorism investigations involving white supremacist violence. But in May 2019, it was reported that the FBI replaced the investigative classification for white supremacist violence with a broader category that encompasses different forms of ''Racially Motivated Violent Extremism.''
A group of Democratic senators viewed this as an attempt by the administration to ''obfuscate the white supremacist threat,'' and blamed the reclassification for the FBI's inability to produce specific data related to that threat.
According to official documents leaked to the press last month, however, the truth is more complicated. Although the FBI has grouped white supremacist violence within the broader concept of ''Racially Motivated Violent Extremism,'' the Bureau's investigative classifications still distinguish between ''White Racially Motivated Violent Extremism'' and so-called ''Black Racially Motivated Violent Extremism.'' The latter was formerly known as ''Black Identity Extremism,'' and before that, ''Black Separatist Extremism.''
Based on the leaked documents, and in apparent contradiction with congressional testimony from FBI Director Christopher Wray, this reclassification seems to have had little more than a nominal impact on the Bureau's counterterrorism operations. In fact, both investigative classifications have retained their respective alphanumeric codes: ''266N'' for White Racially Motivated Violent Extremism; and ''266K'' for Black Racially Motivated Violent Extremism.
These revelations suggest two things: the FBI should be able to produce specific data on its investigations into white supremacist violence; and the federal government still sees what it once called ''Black Identity Extremism'' as a domestic terror threat.
At a July 23 hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Democratic Senators Dick Durbin and Cory Booker pressed Wray for more information regarding the Bureau's approach to investigating domestic terrorism. In particular, the senators questioned the FBI's reported elimination of a discrete investigative classification for cases involving white supremacist violence. According to a May 2 letter from Durbin, Booker, and five other Democrats on the committee, the FBI retired its ''White Supremacist Extremism'' classification in favor of a broader, more equivocal label known as ''Racially Motivated Violent Extremism.''
In their letter, the senators decried the reclassification, noting that officials from the Department of Justice and the FBI who initially briefed committee staff about the name shift could not produce specific data on white supremacist violence. Instead, they could only provide information corresponding to the broader category. The senators suggested that the resulting ambiguity was intentional.
''The Trump Administration,'' they wrote, ''has shifted its approach to tracking domestic terrorism incidents to obfuscate the white supremacist threat.'' The letter also criticized the new category for ''inappropriately combin[ing] incidents involving white supremacists and so-called 'Black identity extremists,''' which the senators described as ''a fabricated term based on a faulty assessment of a small number of isolated incidents.''
The use of this term has been the subject of intense scrutiny from members of Congress, particularly Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), who has drawn a line between what she called an ''absurd designation'' and the FBI's historic targeting of black civil rights activists. Relatedly, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), who chairs the House Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, has compared the reclassification to the FBI's now-defunct ''Anti-Abortion Extremism'' designation. Raskin suggested that the FBI changed the classification to ''Abortion Extremism'' to ''disguise the nature of the real threat to women's health care clinics and doctors and nurses who work there.''
During the July 23 hearing, Director Wray was unable to provide specific data on the nature and scope of the white supremacist threat, but said that a majority of the domestic terrorism cases the FBI had investigated at that point in 2019 were ''motivated by some version of, what you might call, white supremacist violence.''
The senators were not satisfied with this response. Five days after an armed white supremacist, allegedly looking to target Mexicans, killed 22 people and injured dozens more at a shopping center in El Paso, Texas, they sent a letter addressed to Wray and Attorney General William Barr. In the August 8 letter, the senators doubled down on their concerns regarding the reclassification, and attributed Wray's imprecision to the administration's ''decision to eliminate the specific designation for white supremacist incidents.'' As a reminder, this is the same explanation that officials reportedly provided during the aforementioned committee staff briefing last spring.
But FBI documents that were revealed last month complicate the narrative, as it turns out that a discrete investigative classification for white supremacist violence still exists. According to leaked ''threat guidance'' documents obtained exclusively by The Young Turks, a progressive news site, although the FBI has implemented its new category for ''Racially Motivated Violent Extremism,'' the investigative classification system continues to distinguish between ''White Racially Motivated Violent Extremists'' and ''Black Racially Motivated Violent Extremists.'' While the documents include materials dating back to fiscal year 2018, this particular revelation comes from threat guidance for FY2020, which begins next month.
The implications here are twofold. First, the FBI should be able to provide the senators, not to mention the general public, with specific data on federal domestic terrorism investigations involving white supremacist violence. Second, although the FBI has abandoned its use of the term ''Black Identity Extremism'' to describe a purported domestic terror threat that many have criticized as a false predicate for targeting black racial justice activists, the underlying premise of that category continues to inform the FBI's counterterrorism operations.
According to the leaked documents, motivations for ''Black Racially Motivated Violent Extremists'' include the desire to establish ''autonomous black social institutions, communities, or governing organizations within the United States,'' or even create ''physical or psychological separation.'' Based on this language, rather than disavowing the underlying framework that so many found objectionable about the ''Black Identity Extremism'' designation, the FBI seems to have broadened its scope under the new classification.
Both revelations cast a shadow over Wray's testimony during the July 23 hearing, where he told members of the committee that the elimination of terms like ''White Supremacist Extremism'' and ''Black Identity Extremism'' was part of a reorganization of the FBI's domestic terrorism threat categorizations. ''That terminology went away as part of this racially motivated violent extremism category,'' he said, referring to ''Black Identity Extremism.'' As the leaked documents seem to suggest, however, the FBI continues to track its domestic terrorism investigations as it has in the past, only now with even less transparency.
We do not need to speculate about the FBI's intentions behind the reclassification to understand its effect. Publicity and confusion surrounding the ''Racially Motivated Violent Extremism'' category have obscured the FBI's efforts not only to counteract the threat of white supremacist violence, but also to further entrench the framework that underpinned the ''Black Identity Extremist'' designation.
Assuming the leaked documents indeed reflect the FBI's current approach to classifying domestic terrorism investigations, the Bureau's investigative records will shine a light on both efforts. Members of Congress should continue their dogged oversight of the federal response to white supremacist violence and demand transparency from the relevant agencies, including the FBI. But the records alone will not suffice. These latest revelations demand an explanation.
Image: FBI agents check vehicles outside the Wal-Mart where a shooting left 20 people dead in El Paso, Texas, on August 4, 2019. Photo by Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images
The FBI's 'Black Identity Extremist' Report
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 15:02
12:15-1:15 p.m., S.J. Quinney College of Law Moot Courtroom, Level 6The FBI came under fire in 2017 after a report revealed it had begun using the term ''black identity extremists'' in official documents to describe black activists and individuals who were considered security threats by law enforcement. The classification shares multiple similarities to the bureau's COINTELPRO project, which was used throughout the 1950s and '60s to track and disrupt domestic political organizations, including the Civil Rights movement.
More recently, the term ''black identity extremist'' was applied to activist Rakem Balogun, a founding member of the Dallas-based black power group Guerilla Mainframe. Balogun was arrested in December 2017 and later learned the FBI had been investigating him for domestic terrorism, monitoring his social media posts for anti-police rhetoric. Charges against Balogun were later dropped in May 2018, following widespread backlash.
A series of ''Threat Guidance'' documents leaked in August 2019 showed that the FBI under President Trump considers ''black identity extremists'' a bigger threat than white supremacists and al-Qaida.
Free and open to the public. 1 hour CLE (pending).
Melanie Schmitz is a political journalist and editor based in Washington, D.C. She currently works as the managing editor for Shareblue Media and was previously a senior editor with ThinkProgress. In addition to covering the FBI's ''black identity extremist'' classification, she has written and reported on a broad array of topics including global epidemics, the Nicaraguan revolution, and the Russia investigation.
This event is part of the Zions Bank Diverse Ideas in Law and Culture Speaker Series.
Karen Bass - Wikipedia
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 15:00
U.S. Representative from California
Karen Ruth Bass (/Ëb...s/; born October 3, 1953) is an American Democratic politician who has represented Culver City and parts of South Los Angeles in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2010.
On November 28, 2018, Bass was elected to chair of the Congressional Black Caucus for the 116th Congress. She serves also as Chair of the United States House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations and the House Committee on the Judiciary where she serves as Acting Chair of the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security.
Prior to being elected to Congress, Bass represented the 47th district in the California State Assembly 2004''2010. In 2008, she was elected to serve as the 67th Speaker of the California State Assembly, becoming the first African-American woman in United States history to serve as a Speaker of a state legislative body. For her leadership during the worst recession California had faced since the Great Depression, she, along with three other legislative leaders whom she worked alongside, was awarded the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award in 2010.
Early life and education [ edit ] Bass was born in Los Angeles, California, the daughter of Wilhelmina (n(C)e Duckett) and DeWitt Talmadge Bass.[unreliable source? ] Her father was a postal letter carrier and her mother was a homemaker. She was raised in the Venice and Fairfax neighborhoods of Los Angeles and attended Hamilton High School.
Witnessing the civil rights movement on television with her father as a child sparked her interest in community activism. While in middle school, Bass began volunteering for Bobby Kennedy's presidential campaign.
She went on to study philosophy at San Diego State University, and graduated from the USC Keck School of Medicine Physician Assistant Program. She then earned a Bachelor of Science degree in health sciences from California State University, Dominguez Hills. She also received her Masters in Social Work from the University of Southern California.
Community Coalition and the crack cocaine epidemic [ edit ] In the 1980s, while working as a Physician Assistant and as a clinical instructor at the USC Keck School of Medicine Physician Assistant Program, Bass witnessed the impact of the crack epidemic in South Los Angeles. After attending a San Francisco conference hosted by Rev. Cecil Williams titled ''Crack: The Death of a Race'', Bass decided to organize a response.
In the late 1980s, Bass and other local community organizers and founded Community Coalition, an organization with a mission to help transform the social and economic conditions in South LA that foster addiction, crime, violence and poverty by building a community institution that involves thousands in creating, influencing and changing public policy.
Since its founding, Community Coalition has blocked the construction of liquor stores and encouraged construction of small businesses, affordable housing, and nonprofits. Community Coalition has also secured funding for low-income students in middle and high schools in Los Angeles Unified School District. Community Coalition activists spoke at the March for Our Lives rally in 2018.[citation needed ]
California Assembly [ edit ] In 2004, Bass was elected to represent California's 47th Assembly district. At her inauguration, she became the only African-American woman serving in the state legislature. She was re-elected in 2006 and 2008 before her term limit expired. Bass served the cities and communities of Culver City, West Los Angeles, Westwood, Cheviot Hills, Leimert Park, Baldwin Hills, View Park-Windsor Hills, Ladera Heights, the Crenshaw District, Little Ethiopia and portions of Koreatown and South Los Angeles.
Leadership prior to speaker election [ edit ] Speaker Fabian Nº±ez appointed Bass California State Assembly Majority Whip for the 2005''2006 legislative session and Majority Floor Leader for the 2007''2008 legislative session. During her first term, she founded and chaired the California Assembly Select Committee on Foster Care, implementing a host of new laws to help improve the state's Foster Care System and leading the effort to secure $82 million in additional funding for the state's child welfare system. Under her direction, the Select Committee brought together bipartisan and broad-based community support, together with the voices of youth and families, to pass legislation designed to improve the lives of California's most vulnerable children.
During her term as Majority Whip, Bass also served as vice chair of the Legislative Black Caucus. As vice chair, she commissioned the first ever 'State of Black California' report, which included a statewide organizing effort to involve Black Californians in town halls in every part of the state with a prevalent Black community to solicit ideas to develop a legislative agenda. The result of the report was a legislative agenda for the Black community, which was released during her term serving as Majority Floor Leader.
Speakership [ edit ] Speaker Nº±ez termed out of the Assembly at the end of the 2007-2008 session, leaving Bass as the next-highest-ranking Democrat in the Assembly. After consolidating the support of a majority of legislators, including some who had previously been planning to run for the Speakership themselves, Bass was elected Speaker on February 28, 2008 and then sworn in as Speaker on May 13, 2008.
Under her Speakership, Bass promoted numerous laws to help improve the state's child welfare system. During her first year, she ushered through expansion of Healthy Families Insurance Coverage to help prevent children from going without health insurance and worked to slash bureaucratic red-tape to help speed up the certification of small businesses. She also secured more than $2.3 million to help revitalize the historic Vision Theater in Los Angeles; and more than $600 million for Los Angeles Unified School District. Bass worked with the governor and initiated the California Commission on the 21st Century Economy to reform the tax code in California. She also fought to repeal the California Citizens Redistricting Commission.
Bass' speakership was defined, though, by the economic turmoil dominating the state. It was characterized by the John F. Kennedy Foundation in the following way:
''In February 2009, amid one of the worst budget crises in California's history, an imploding economy, and potentially catastrophic partisan deadlock, the state's Republican and Democratic party leaders came together to address the financial emergency. After weeks of grueling negotiation, the legislative leaders and Gov. Schwarzenegger reached an agreement on a comprehensive deal to close most of a $42 billion shortfall, putting an end to years of government inaction and sidestepping of the difficult decisions necessary to address California's increasingly dire fiscal crisis. The deal was objectionable to almost everyone; it contained tax increases, which the Republicans had long pledged to oppose, and draconian spending cuts, which brought intense criticism to the Democrats. Bass, David Cogdill, Darrell Steinberg, and Michael Villines were presented with the 2010 Profile in Courage Award in recognition of the political courage each demonstrated in standing up to the extraordinary constituent and party pressure they faced while working with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to address California's severe financial crisis.''
Bass was criticized[by whom?] for the following statement to Los Angeles Times reporter Patt Morrison: "The Republicans were essentially threatened and terrorized against voting for revenue. Now [some] are facing recalls. They operate under a terrorist threat: 'You vote for revenue and your career is over.' I don't know why we allow that kind of terrorism to exist. I guess it's about free speech, but it's extremely unfair."
U.S. House of Representatives [ edit ] Elections [ edit ] 2010 [ edit ] Karen Bass with Diane Watson on the day Bass announced she would run for US Congress in 2010.
In 2010, Congresswoman Diane Watson retired from Congress and encouraged Bass to run for her seat. Bass was ineligible to run for reelection to the State Assembly in 2010 due to California's term limits so on February 18, 2010, Bass confirmed her candidacy to succeed retiring Watson in California's 33rd congressional district.
Bass raised $932,281.19 and spent $768,918.65. Her 2010 campaign contributions came from very different and diverse groups with none donating more than 15% of her total campaign funds. The five major donors to her campaign are Labor Unions with $101,950.00; Financial Institutions with $90,350.00; Health Professionals with $87,900.00; the Entertainment Industry with $52,400.00 and Lawyers and Law Firms with $48,650.00.
Bass won the election with over 86% of the vote on November 2, 2010.
2012 [ edit ] In redistricting following the 2010 census, the district was renumbered from 33rd to 37th. In 2012 she had no primary opponent, and carried the general election with 86%. She raised $692,988.53 and spent $803,966.15, leaving $52,384.92 on hand and a debt of $3,297.59.
Bass was involved in the Presidential election, having endorsed Barack Obama for a second term. She played a leadership role in the California African Americans for Obama organization in addition to serving in her post on Obama's national African American Leadership Council. Bass had also served as a co-chair of African Americans for Obama in the state of California during the 2008 presidential campaign.
2014 [ edit ] Bass received 84.3% of the vote to be re-elected for a third term.
2016 [ edit ] Bass received 81.1% of the vote to be re-elected for a fourth term. Bass endorsed Hillary Clinton for President in 2015. On August 3, 2016, Bass launched a petition to have then-candidate for President Donald Trump to be psychologically evaluated, suggesting that he exhibited symptoms of the mental disorder Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). The petition was signed by 37,218 supporters. She did not attend the inauguration of President Trump after conducting a poll on Twitter.
2018 [ edit ] Fueled by the 2016 election of Donald Trump and in an effort to channel the political frustrations of Angelinos, Bass created the Sea Change Leadership PAC to activate, educate, and mobilize voters. Bass won her primary with 89.18% of the vote. Bass received 88.2% of the vote to be re-elected for a fifth term.
Committee assignments [ edit ] Committee on the JudiciarySubcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations (Chair)Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the InternetCommittee on Foreign AffairsSubcommittee on Africa, Global Health, and Human Rights (Chair)Caucuses [ edit ] Congressional Black Caucus, ChairCongressional Caucus on Foster Youth, Founder and Co-ChairCongressional Coalition on Adoption (CCA)American Sikh Congressional CaucusCongressional Addiction, Treatment and Recovery CaucusCoalition for Autism Research and Education (CARE)Congressional Caucus on Black Men and BoysCongressional Creative Rights CaucusCongressional Diabetes CaucusCongressional Entertainment Industries CaucusCongressional Ethiopia CaucusCongressional HIV/AIDS CaucusCongressional International Conservation CaucusCongressional LGBT Equality CaucusCongressional Library of Congress CaucusCongressional Military Mental Health CaucusCongressional Multiple Sclerosis CaucusCongressional Quiet Skies CaucusCongressional Progressive CaucusCongressional Social Work CaucusCongressional Valley Fever Task ForcePolitical positions [ edit ] Bass is generally considered a liberal, with ratings of 100% or close from liberal interest group capitol Weekly Positions. Conservative groups like the California Republican Assembly Positions have consistently awarded her a 0%.
United States''Africa Relations [ edit ] Throughout her entire time in Congress, Bass has held the position of being the top Democrat on the United States House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations. Her goal is to transform how we think and engage African nations and to promote the many opportunities to expand trade and economic growth between the U.S. and African nations. During her time in that post, one of her key priorities was the re-authorization and Strengthening of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), which enables the nations of Africa to export goods to the U.S. duty free. In 2015, Bass was instrumental in reauthorizing the bill.
Bass has been a leading voice and an advocate for preventing and ending famine in Africa. In 2017, she helped secure nearly $1 billion in funds to combat famine in Nigeria, Somalia, and South Sudan.
She has introduced more than 50 bills and resolutions pertaining to democracy protection, expanding economic opportunity, and other issues pertaining to the continent. Bass continues to engage the African diaspora with regular popular policy breakfasts, which are open for public participation, to discuss the latest issues on the continent.
Committee on Caucus Procedures [ edit ] Previously known as the Committee on Oversight, Study and Review (OSR), Bass was appointed by Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi to chair the Democratic Committee on Caucus and Procedures in 2014. She served in that capacity for six years. The Committee is responsible for the review and recommendation of Democratic Caucus Rules in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Congressional Black Caucus [ edit ] Bass served as the 2nd Vice Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus during the 115th Congress. She was elected to Chair the Congressional Black Caucus on November 28, 2018. Her priorities include the restoration of the Voting Rights Act, reinforcement of the Affordable Care Act, the lowering of health care costs, and the advancement of comprehensive criminal justice reforms, in addition to ensuring that more Americans learn about the actions of the Congressional Black Caucus.
Criminal justice [ edit ] Bass believes that the criminal justice system is terribly broken in part due to the disproportionate incarceration rates of poor people of color. Bass currently serves as Chair of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security. She has long called for criminal justice reform and to pay special attention to the way women are treated by the criminal justice system '' from how they become entangled in the criminal justice system in the first place, how they are treated when in prison, and what happens to them after they return to their communities.
In 2018, she voted in favor of the First Step Act, which divided Democrats and focused on rehabilitating people once they're already in prison by incentivizing them, with the possibility of earlier release, to partake in rehabilitation programs. Her contribution to the bill was a section addressing the inhumane practice of shackling women during pregnancy, labor and delivery.
Child welfare reform [ edit ] Upon arriving in Congress, Bass founded the Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth (CCFY), a bipartisan group of Members of Congress who develop policy recommendations to strengthen the child welfare system. One of the group's most significant achievements was the passage of the Family First Prevention Services Act, also known as Family First, which was signed into law as part of the Bipartisan Budget Act on February 9, 2018. This historic reform aims to change child welfare systems across the country by addressing the top reasons children are removed from their homes and placed in foster care.
Starting in May 2012, the Caucus began hosting an annual Foster Youth Shadow Day, during which current and former foster youth come to Washington, DC for a week-long trip to learn about advocating for reforms to the child welfare system. The week culminates in Shadow Day, which is when participants spend a day following their Member of Congress through their daily routine. Shadow Day is hosted in collaboration with the National Foster Youth Institute, an organization based in Los Angeles dedicated to transforming the nation's child welfare system. Bass serves on the organization's Board of Directors.
Environment [ edit ] Bass believes that combating climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing the United States and the entire international community. Shortly before EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt resigned, Bass signed a letter to President Trump demanding he be fired for mounting ethics violations. Bass is also a strong supporter of the Paris Climate Agreement. She was also one of the first 30 Members of Congress to support the Green New Deal.
Gun law [ edit ] Bass is a very strong supporter of gun control. Her National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund Lifetime Score is an F. The Gun Owners of California Positions on Gun Rights have also given Bass an F. In 2010 while campaigning for Congress, Bass supported legislation that with other regulations would have made all gun dealers report their sales to the Department of Justice.
Bass participated in the 2016 sit-in against gun violence in the House of Representatives. Democratic members of Congress adopted the slogan "No Bill, No Break" in an attempt to push the introduction of legislation increasing restrictions on guns. Bass is a strong supporter of legislation to prohibit the sale, transfer, manufacture, and importation of semiautomatic weapons and ammunition-feeding devices capable of accepting more than ten rounds in the United States. In 2019, she voted in favor of legislation to require a background check for every firearm sale and also to close the same loophole that allowed a gun to be acquired in the Charleston church massacre.
Health care [ edit ] Bass supports universal health care and was one of the founders of the Congressional Medicare for All Caucus. She has voted more than 60 times against a repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and believes that Congress should improve the landmark piece of legislation instead of trying to destroy it.
Housing [ edit ] Bass has been a longtime fighter against cash-for-keys scams, the decrease of Section 8 housing accessibility, and the rising maintenance costs in certain neighborhoods, all of which are factors that led to the housing crisis in South L.A. In November 2016, Bass supported the passage of Measure HHH and Measure H, that promises billions of dollars towards housing for homeless individuals. Bass believes that supporting public housing, promoting loan modifications and protecting consumers against unsustainable loans are not only necessary to help at-risk families and individuals, but fundamental for economic recovery.
Immigration [ edit ] In July 2018, Bass visited a federal facility used to detain migrant families and children separated from their parents after calling for the resignation of Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. She also introduced the Family Unity Rights and Protections Act, which would require the federal government to reunite families that have been forcibly separated at the border. Bass also paid special attention to the impact that this policy was having on the child welfare system given her work on the issue.
Impeachment of Donald J. Trump [ edit ] Bass voted yay to support the proposed articles of impeachment against Trump. Regarding her vote to support the articles of impeachment, Bass tweeted "He abused the power of his office. He obstructed Congress. No one is above the law."
Intellectual property [ edit ] Bass is in favor of Net Neutrality and supports legislation to protect the internet from attempts by the Trump administration to roll back regulations. Bass supported the 2018 passage of the Music Modernization Act, which creates a formalized body, run by publishers, that administers the "mechanical licensing" of compositions streamed on services like Spotify and Apple Music
Jobs [ edit ] Bass has fought to give tax credits to small businesses to hire new employees, increase the flow of credit to small businesses so they can grow and create jobs, and extend the research and development tax credit that encourages innovation and job creation. She also introduced the Local Hire Act to allow cities and counties to prioritize hiring local residents for infrastructure projects. The rule resulted in new jobs in Los Angeles. In May 2018, Bass and members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) introduced the Jobs and Justice Act of 2018, omnibus legislation that would, if passed, increase the upward social mobility of Black families, and help ensure equal protection under the law.
LGBTQ rights [ edit ] Bass, a social liberal, has received ratings around 100% approval by pro-gay marriage associations. In 2018, Bass was awarded the ''Public Official of the Year'' from the Los Angeles Stonewall Democratic Club. In 2019, she voted in favor of the Equality Act, which ensures LGBTQ individuals have an equal opportunity to succeed and contribute to their communities by banning discrimination against LGBTQ people in housing, employment, education, credit and financing, and more.
Student loan debt [ edit ] Bass believes that it is shameful that in this day and age, students are deprived access to their dreams because of their debt. In 2019, she introduced two pieces of legislation to address this issue. The Student Loan Fairness Act of 2019 addresses this crisis in three major ways: creating a new ''10-10'' standard, capping the interest rate, and accounting for cost of living. She also introduced the FAFSA Act of 2019 (Financial Aid Fairness for Students Act), which would repeal a law that makes it all but impossible for people with a drug conviction, no matter how petty, to receive federal financial aid for higher education.
Taxes [ edit ] Bass is considered a liberal in her fiscal positions. She has a rating of 10% from the very conservative California Tax Payers Association. However, the more liberal Consumer Federation of California gives her very high ratings. Bass has supported keeping taxes low for the middle class and "tax credits for small businesses to hire new employees". She states that the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy should expire. In 2017, she voted against the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, citing a disproportional impact the bill would have on California's middle class families.
Personal life [ edit ] Bass suffered the loss of her only child, daughter Emilia Wright, and her son-in-law Michael Wright, in a car accident in 2006.
From 1980 to 1986, Bass was married to Jesus Lechuga. Following their divorce, Bass and Lechuga jointly raised their daughter and four step-children, Scythia, Omar, Yvette, and Ollin, together. Bass has three grandchildren: Henry, Harlynn, and Michael.
See also [ edit ] List of African-American United States RepresentativesList of female speakers of legislatures in the United StatesWomen in the United States House of RepresentativesReferences [ edit ] [ edit ] ^ a b c Young, Kerry (November 6, 2010). "112th Congress: Karen Bass, D-Calif. (33rd District)". Congressional Quarterly. ^ "California Assembly District 47". California Assembly. July 7, 2008. Archived from the original on June 2, 2009 . Retrieved October 1, 2013 . ^ "Full Biography | Congresswoman Karen Bass". U.S. House of Representatives. Archived from the original on October 4, 2013 . Retrieved October 1, 2013 . ^ "Karen Bass '' Archives of Women's Political Communication". Archives of Women's Political Communication. Iowa State University . Retrieved October 1, 2013 . Bass was born October 3, 1953, and raised in Los Angeles. She attended San Diego State University from 1971''1973 and graduated from California State University, Dominguez Hills in 1990 with a Bachelor of Science in health sciences. ^ a b c d e Barone, Michael; Chuck McCutcheon (2013). The Almanac of American Politics 2014. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. pp. 243''245. ISBN 978-0-226-10544-4. Copyright National Journal. ^ "Aztec Action Network". San Diego State University . Retrieved October 2, 2013 . Residence: Los Angeles ^ "Largest-Ever Congressional Black Caucus Sworn In". Diverse. January 3, 2019. ^ "Congressional Black Caucus Chair Cedric Richmond Says Goodbye to Seat as he Prepares to Pass "Chair" to Rep. Karen Bass". January 2, 2019. ^ "The Blue Wave Of Black Politicians Gets Sworn In". January 3, 2019. ^ a b Vogel, Nancy (February 28, 2008). "L.A. woman to follow Nunez". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035 . Retrieved December 21, 2015 . ^ "African American Speakers of the California". Los Angeles Sentinel . Retrieved December 21, 2015 . ^ "Karen Bass, David Cogdill, Darrell Steinberg, and Michael Villines | JFK Library". www.jfklibrary.org . Retrieved December 4, 2019 . ^ "Karen Bass ancestry". RootsWeb . Retrieved October 1, 2013 . ^ "Karen Bass: Madame Speaker". Los Angeles Times. June 27, 2009 . Retrieved December 4, 2019 . ^ a b "About Karen". KarenBass.com. Archived from the original on December 2, 2010 . Retrieved December 4, 2010 . ^ "About Us". Community Coalition. Archived from the original on February 22, 2014 . Retrieved February 15, 2014 . ^ "BREAKING NEWS: LAUSD Settlement Announced by Community Coalition and Parents". Community Coalition . Retrieved December 4, 2019 . ^ "Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth Profile Series: Representative Karen Bass -". February 27, 2018 . Retrieved December 4, 2019 . ^ Samad, Anthony Asadullah. "Between the lines". 8 February 2007. The Black Commentator . Retrieved September 11, 2012 . ^ Bass, Karen. "The State of Black California" (PDF) . February 2007. California Democratic Caucus. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 5, 2013 . Retrieved September 11, 2012 . ^ Yi, Matthew (February 29, 2008). "L.A. lawmaker first African American woman to lead state Assembly". San Francisco Chronicle . Retrieved March 1, 2008 . ^ "Karen Bass Makes United States History as the first African American Woman to be named to Speaker of | Black Voice News". March 6, 2008 . Retrieved December 4, 2019 . ^ href='https://jewishjournal.com/author/'></a>, BY <a (June 3, 2009). "Q&A with Karen Bass: Life in the Hot Seat". Jewish Journal . Retrieved December 4, 2019 . ^ "African American Speakers of the California". Los Angeles Sentinel. April 29, 2010 . Retrieved December 4, 2019 . ^ Cogan, Marin. "Former California speaker resets". POLITICO . Retrieved December 4, 2019 . ^ Morrison, Patt (June 27, 2009). "Madam Speaker: An interview with state Assembly Speaker Karen Bass". The Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on June 30, 2009 . Retrieved July 8, 2009 . ^ Merl, Jean (February 18, 2010). "Karen Bass confirms candidacy for seat in Congress". Los Angeles Times . Retrieved March 3, 2010 . ^ a b c "Representative Karen Bass' Campaign Finances '' Project Vote Smart" . Retrieved October 2, 2013 . ^ Van Oot, Torey (November 3, 2010). "Bass, Denham win seats in Congress". The Sacramento Bee . Retrieved November 3, 2010 . ^ a b c "California's 37th Congressional District election, 2018". Ballotpedia . Retrieved December 4, 2019 . ^ "Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations '' House Foreign Affairs Committee". House.gov. Archived from the original on April 17, 2019. ^ "Membership". Congressional Black Caucus . Retrieved March 7, 2018 . ^ "Our Members". U.S. House of Representatives International Conservation Caucus. Archived from the original on August 1, 2018 . Retrieved August 1, 2018 . ^ Tully-McManus, Katherine; Tully-McManus, Katherine (November 28, 2018). "Rep. Karen Bass Elected to Lead Growing Congressional Black Caucus" . Retrieved December 4, 2019 . ^ Lopez, German (May 22, 2018). "Congress's prison reform bill, explained". Vox . Retrieved December 4, 2019 . ^ "Family First Prevention Services Act '' CWLA" . Retrieved December 4, 2019 . ^ "National Foster Youth Institute | Non-Profit Organization". www.nfyi.org . Retrieved December 4, 2019 . ^ "Q&A on Gun Control". Congresswoman Karen Bass. December 19, 2012 . Retrieved December 12, 2019 . ^ "Rep. Bass Applauds Background Check Legislation". Congresswoman Karen Bass. February 27, 2019 . Retrieved December 4, 2019 . ^ "Rep. Bass Speaks on Closing the Charleston Gun Loophole". Congresswoman Karen Bass. February 28, 2019 . Retrieved December 4, 2019 . ^ Almukhtar, Sarah; Buchanan, Larry; Corum, Jonathan; Lu, Denise; Parlapiano, Alicia; Ward, Joe; Yourish, Karen (December 13, 2019). " ' No Choice' or 'a Sham': Where Every House Member Stands on Impeachment". The New York Times . Retrieved December 13, 2019 . ^ Bass, Congressmember (December 13, 2019). "I just voted to proceed on both articles of impeachment into Donald Trump.He abused the power of his office.He obstructed Congress.No one is above the law.pic.twitter.com/Y8C70Ol0Ox". @RepKarenBass . Retrieved December 13, 2019 . ^ www.grandpixels.com (March 23, 2018). "42nd Annual Stoney Awards". Suzanne Westenhoefer . Retrieved December 4, 2019 . ^ "Karen Bass Makes United States History as the first African American Woman to be named to Speaker of (sic)". The Black Voice News. Riverside, California: Brown Publishing Company. March 6, 2008. Archived from the original on October 4, 2013 . Retrieved October 2, 2013 . Sources [ edit ] External links [ edit ] Wikimedia Commons has media related to Karen Bass .Official U.S. House websiteKaren Bass at CurlieAppearances on C-SPANBiography at the Biographical Directory of the United States CongressProfile at Vote SmartFinancial information (federal office) at the Federal Election CommissionLegislation sponsored at the Library of Congress
FBI Abandons Use of Term 'Black Identity Extremism' - WSJ
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 14:51
WASHINGTON'--The Federal Bureau of Investigation's director said the bureau has abandoned the term ''black identity extremism'' as part of a broad reconceptualization of how it thinks about racially motivated crime.
In testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, FBI director Christopher Wray said the bureau has replaced an array of categories that it once used to describe and track violent extremism with the broader designation ''racially motivated violent extremism.''
The term ''black identity extremism'' drew scrutiny from civil rights leaders and others over concerns that it delegitimized activism against police violence and drew a false equivalence with white supremacy.
In a controversial move, the bureau has stopped characterizing white supremacy'--which Democrats say poses a growing violent threat'--as a separate category, considering all racially motivated violent extremism as a single broad category.
Mr. Wray acknowledged that many domestic terrorism arrests involved white supremacy. Many such cases ''are motivated by some version of what you might call white supremacist violence,'' Mr. Wray said in his testimony.
Democrats in Congress had been told about the adoption of the term ''racially motivated violent extremism'' in a private briefing, they said earlier this year. In addition, an FBI official said last month in a House subcommittee hearing that the term black identity extremism had not been used by the bureau since early 2018.
Mr. Wray said the shift was an attempt to emphasize that law enforcement doesn't investigate people merely for their ideology. In the U.S., the First Amendment broadly protects a wide swath of hateful speech as well as the right to organize in groups around hateful ideologies. Law enforcement can only intervene if there are concerns about violence.
''We only investigate violence. We don't investigate extremism. We don't investigate ideology. We don't investigate rhetoric. It doesn't matter how repugnant, how abhorrent or whatever it is,'' Mr. Wray told members of the Senate panel.
The elimination of the use of terms like ''white supremacy'' and ''black identity extremism'' was meant to reflect the FBI's approach in domestic terrorism situations.
''That was part of the reorganization of all of our domestic terrorism threat categorization. That terminology went away as part of this racially motivated violent extremism category,'' Mr. Wray told Sen. Cory Booker (D., N.J.), who had pressed him on the ''black identity extremism'' label.
Mr. Wray's comments provided the most high-profile explanation by the bureau about how and why it has shifted the way it thinks about domestic terrorism and extremism.
The controversy over the term ''black identity extremism'' began in 2017 when the FBI produced a 12-page report alleging that such activists were increasingly targeting law enforcement. Such extremists were acting ''in retaliation for perceived past police brutality incidents,'' the report said.
The issue of police killings has roiled U.S. politics since 2014 and sparked a wave of activism under the banner ''Black Lives Matter'' after several high-profile incidents. They include the deaths of teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and Eric Garner while in the custody of police in New York City.
As a result, the use of the term by the bureau has drawn criticism from civil-rights activists who say it raises the specter of the kind of surveillance the FBI employed against civil-rights activists in the 1950s and 1960s.
''We're deeply concerned about the FBI's 'black identity extremist' designation. This is mere distraction from the very real threat of white supremacy,'' said Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the National Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, in congressional testimony earlier this year.
''It is not real. It is not a real threat. It harkens back to the dark days of our federal government abusing its power to go after civil rights activists during the heyday of the civil-rights movement. There is no such thing as black identity extremism,'' Ms. Clarke said.
Write to Byron Tau at firstname.lastname@example.org
Black Identity Extremists - Wikipedia
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 14:42
In the United States, Black Identity Extremists (BIE) was a designation used by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) from August 2017 to July 2019. It first appeared in an counterterrorism report dated August 3, 2017 sent to thousands of American police departments and described safety concerns about allegedly violent African-American activists. The term was discontinued when the FBI merged several classifications under the umbrella term of ''racially motivated violent extremism''.
[ edit ] The term first received media attention in October 2017 when Foreign Policy published a leaked copy of the report in October 2017. According to Foreign Policy, the report is the first reference to "black identity extremists", while also noting the report claims "[t]he FBI assesses it is very likely Black Identity Extremist perceptions of police brutality against African Americans spurred an increase in premeditated, retaliatory lethal violence against law enforcement and will very likely serve as justification for such violence". However, former government officials and legal experts claimed the term described a movement that did not exist.
Civil liberties organizations and political commentators expressed concern that the internal use of this designation by the FBI's counter-terrorism unit signals a politically-motivated effort to falsely equivocate black activism, such as the Black Lives Matter movement, with white supremacists.
In November 2017, the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, the nation's largest black police group, states that the FBI designation is "ill advised."
In December 2017, Rakem Balogun was arrested after he was designated as a "Black Identity Extremist". However, by May of 2018 all charges against him had been dropped.
In March 2018, the term was discussed during a sitting of the Congressional Black Caucus.
See also [ edit ] COINTELPRORacial views of Donald TrumpReferences [ edit ] ^ "US judge orders release of 'first Black Identity Extremist ' ". www.aljazeera.com . Retrieved 2018-05-08 . ^ Tau, Byron (July 23, 2019). "FBI Abandons Use of Term 'Black Identity Extremism ' ". The Wall Street Journal . Retrieved March 25, 2020 . ^ a b "The FBI's New U.S. Terrorist Threat: 'Black Identity Extremists ' ". Foreign Policy . Retrieved 2018-01-02 . ^ a b "FBI's "black identity extremists" label is ill-advised, the nation's largest black police group says" . Retrieved 2017-12-16 . ^ Weinberger, Sharon. "BIE Redacted". www.documentcloud.org . Retrieved 2017-12-16 . ^ Beydoun, Khaled A.; Hansford, Justin (2017-11-15). "Opinion | The F.B.I.'s Dangerous Crackdown on 'Black Identity Extremists ' ". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331 . Retrieved 2018-01-02 . ^ Kortyka, Lindsey. "Who Are "Black Identity Extremists"? The FBI Identified Them As A New Domestic Terror Threat". Bustle . Retrieved 2018-01-03 . ^ Schladebeck, Jessica. "Black activist jailed for Facebook posts slams secret surveillance and FBI for 'their tyranny' - NY Daily News". nydailynews.com. ^ "Is a Court Case in Texas the First Prosecution of a 'Black Identity Extremist'?". foreignpolicy.com. ^ Branigin, Anne. "Is This the 1st Victim of COINTELPRO 2.0? Jailed 'Black Identity Extremist' Speaks Out". theroot.com. ^ Krueger, Katherine. "Activist Thought To Be First Jailed As 'Black Identity Extremist ' ". splinternews.com. ^ Levitz, Eric. "Feds Jailed Gun Owner for Making Politically Incorrect Facebook Posts". nymag.com. ^ "Texas judge dismisses FBI case against 'Black Identity Extremist ' ". dailydot.com. 12 May 2018. ^ Levin, Sam (11 May 2018). "Black activist jailed for his Facebook posts speaks out about secret FBI surveillance". The Guardian. ^ Bourmont, Martin de (11 May 2018). "Charges Dropped in First Case Against 'Black Identity Extremist ' ". The Daily Beast. ^ "Congressional Black Caucus". Congressional Black Caucus. 2018-03-20 . Retrieved 2018-05-08 . ^ "US legislators worried by FBI term 'Black Identity Extremist ' ". www.aljazeera.com . Retrieved 2018-05-08 .
Rakem Balogun - Wikipedia
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 14:41
Rakem Balogun, whose legal name is Christopher Daniels, is an American activist, best known for his involvement in a Facebook-related incident that occurred on December 12, 2017, which became headline news in the United States.
Background [ edit ] Balogun enlisted as a US Marine in 2001 and served in the Iraq War in 2003. Balogun cites his time serving in the US Marine Corps as alienating due to the behaviour and racial attitudes of white officers, and left the Marine Corps 3 years into an 8-year contract on an "Other Than Honorable" discharge . Balogun became a founding member of groups such as Guerrilla Mainframe in 2008, and of the Huey P. Newton Gun Club in 2014, both based in Dallas, Texas. Balogun cites the killing of unarmed black men by police officers as the motivation for creating these groups. In 2016, Balogun distanced himself from the Huey P. Newton Gun Club, as he felt it had become too influenced by New Black Panther Party (also based in Dallas), which he identifies as being a Black Separatist organisation, something which clashed with his Socialist outlook. However, during a 2019 interview on Klepper, Balogun is seen leading a demonstration including several participants in Huey P. Newton Gun Club paraphernalia.
2017 arrest [ edit ] Balogun was startled awake in his Dallas home by a large crash and police officers screaming commands on December 12, 2017, when he and his 15-year-old son were forced outside of their Dallas home dressed only in their underwear. Balogun was handcuffed and learned FBI agents were investigating domestic terrorism and had been monitoring him for years for posts on Facebook criticizing police. In particular, posts by Balogun praising Micah Johnson, the perpetrator of the 2016 shooting of Dallas police officers, were cited as grounds for Balogun's arrest. According to Balogun he was exercising his right to free speech when he praised Johnson, and was not endorsing violence against individual police officers, but a general struggle against the Dallas Police Department.
The event made worldwide news due to Balogun being the first person ever to be publicly designated a "Black Identity Extremist" by the FBI, sparking a national debate on the appropriateness of that term. In May 2018, Balogun had all charges dropped against him.
References [ edit ] ^ Alcorn, Chauncey (26 July 2018). "Black gun rights advocates criticize FBI's, NRA's response to Rakem Balogun". Mic . Retrieved 7 June 2019 . ^ Simek, Peter (October 2018). "The Right to Bear Arms (And Say Shocking Stuff on Facebook)". D Magazine . Retrieved 7 June 2019 . Daniels enlisted in the Marine Corps in June 2001. Three months later, the World Trade Center towers fell. By 2003, he was in Ramadi, Iraq, serving in an artillery unit. ^ Simek, Peter (October 2018). ^ Simek, Peter (October 2018). ^ Simek, Peter (October 2018). ^ a b Klepper, Jordan (June 6, 2019). "This Is My Gun, These Are My Rights". Klepper. Season 1. Episode 6. Event occurs at 14. Comedy Central. ^ Schladebeck, Jessica. "Black activist jailed for Facebook posts slams secret surveillance and FBI for 'their tyranny' - NY Daily News". nydailynews.com. ^ "Is a Court Case in Texas the First Prosecution of a 'Black Identity Extremist'?". foreignpolicy.com. ^ Branigin, Anne. "Is This the 1st Victim of COINTELPRO 2.0? Jailed 'Black Identity Extremist' Speaks Out". theroot.com. ^ Krueger, Katherine. "Activist Thought To Be First Jailed As 'Black Identity Extremist ' ". splinternews.com. ^ Levitz, Eric. "Feds Jailed Gun Owner for Making Politically Incorrect Facebook Posts". nymag.com. ^ "Texas judge dismisses FBI case against 'Black Identity Extremist ' ". dailydot.com. 12 May 2018. ^ Levin, Sam (11 May 2018). "Black activist jailed for his Facebook posts speaks out about secret FBI surveillance". The Guardian. ^ Meet Rakem Balogun, the Texas man whose support for a cop killer made him a FBI target, Mic, Aaron Morrison, 17 July 2018 ^ Bourmont, Martin de (11 May 2018). "Charges Dropped in First Case Against 'Black Identity Extremist ' ". The Daily Beast.
The FBI and Its Fictional ''Black Identity Extremism'' Movement
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 14:40
H ours after police Officer Darren Wilson shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown on a quiet suburban street in Ferguson, Missouri, Olajuwon Ali Davis stood with a few dozen people on that same street. As the impromptu candlelight vigil that August night in 2014 turned into a historic wave of nationwide protests against police violence, Davis, wearing a black Malcolm X T-shirt, was among the first to lift his hands in surrender, as Brown was rumored to have been doing when Wilson shot him.
Within days, the gesture became the symbol of a movement for police accountability and racial justice the nation had not seen since the civil rights era. And the refrain protesters began chanting that night '-- ''Hands up, don't shoot'' '-- would soon be replaced by one that would echo across the country for years to come: Black lives matter.
Davis, who was 22 at the time, kept showing up as the protests grew larger and angrier, and as scores of law enforcement descended on Ferguson wearing riot gear and firing tear gas. Days after Brown's death, during a short-lived break in the looting and police violence, Davis was photographed wearing all black and directing traffic; the New Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, which he had joined on the heels of Brown's killing, was keeping the peace.
Days later, Davis emailed a local reporter who had covered the NBPP's peacekeeping efforts to thank him for portraying ''the true nature and the intent'' of the party, which, despite taking its name, is not affiliated with the Black Panther Party of the 1960s. ''For the record we the NBPP and its local chapter members have and never [sic] promoted acts of violence towards anyone or any establishment or businesses,'' Davis wrote to the Riverfront Times, a St. Louis weekly. ''True enough there are people so angry that they show their pain and emotions with aggression towards cops and frankly anything that they can get their hands on. But let these few not distort the genuine peaceful intention and benevolence of the NBPP.''
Three months later, Davis and another young man named Brandon Orlando Baldwin were arrested in an FBI sting and accused of planning to plant bombs, kill officials connected to the Brown case, and blow up St. Louis's iconic Gateway Arch.
Ten-year-old Robert Dunn uses a megaphone to address hundreds of demonstrators during a protest against police brutality and the death of Freddie Gray outside the Baltimore Police Western District station in Maryland on April 22, 2015.
Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Ideological Make-BelieveThree years later, the FBI listed Davis's case in a secret memo warning of the rise of a ''black identity extremist'' movement whose members' ''perceptions of police brutality against African Americans'' spurred what the FBI claimed was ''an increase in premeditated, retaliatory lethal violence against law enforcement.'' Although Baldwin was convicted of the same crimes, the FBI report inexplicably only mentioned one suspect.
The ''black identity extremism'' report was prepared by the FBI's Domestic Terrorism Analysis Unit, part of the bureau's Counterterrorism Division, and was distributed to scores of local and federal law enforcement partners across the country. Although Davis and Baldwin were not charged under anti-terrorism laws, they do appear to be the first individuals retroactively labeled by the FBI as ''black identity extremists.''
The FBI report was written six months into the Trump administration '-- as white supremacist groups felt emboldened by support for their ideology seemingly coming from the very top of the government '-- and was released only a week before the ''Unite the Right'' rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, where a white nationalist ran down and killed Heather Heyer. When the report was leaked to Foreign Policy later in 2017, it prompted fierce and widespread criticism from activists, civil rights advocates, and lawmakers, many of whom accused the FBI of reverting to the surveillance and sabotage of black activists that had defined its activities in the civil rights era.
Critics called the report's contents ''fiction,'' ''fantasy,'' ''weak'' and ''irresponsible.'' Several noted that it seemed designed to distract attention from the reality of police abuse against minorities. ''The feds have invented a title '-- BIE '-- and linked it to a handful of episodes of violence,'' wrote Andrew Cohen, a fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice. ''To deflect legitimate criticism of police tactics, to undermine a legitimate protest movement that has emerged in the past three years to protest police brutality, the FBI has tarred the dissenters as domestic terrorists, an organized group with a criminal ideology that are a threat to police officers.''
''Whenever you create an assumption that somebody poses a physical threat to law enforcement, that provides incentive for law enforcement to shoot first and ask questions later.''
The National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, which includes leaders of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, called for the classification to be eliminated. ''This assessment resurrects the historically negative legacy of African American civil rights leaders who were unconstitutionally targeted and attacked by federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies for seeking full U.S. citizenship under the law,'' the group
wrote in a statement.
Yet even more worrisome than the report's political implications is the immediate threat to life that labeling someone a ''terrorist'' can pose, especially as the FBI has no way to monitor what law enforcement departments do with the reports it distributes. For many black people, already accustomed to being uniquely vulnerable to police violence, the fear is that being viewed as potential terrorists for expressing legitimate political grievances might give police license to target them even more intensely than they already do.
''Not only can they go after these people with surveillance, but they can then justify using the most aggressive, violent tactics,'' said Justin Hansford, a St. Louis activist and law professor who heads the Thurgood Marshall Civil Rights Center at Howard University. ''Whenever you create an assumption that somebody poses a physical threat to law enforcement, that provides incentive for law enforcement to shoot first and ask questions later.''
Testifying before the House Judiciary Committee in December 2017, shortly after the report was leaked to the press, FBI Director Christopher Wray said that the FBI investigates as domestic terrorism only cases involving federal crimes that include the use or attempted use of violence in furtherance of political or social goals. ''We don't have that, we don't investigate,'' Wray said. ''It doesn't matter whether they are right-wing, left-wing, or any other wing.''
FBI Director Christopher Wray arrives to testify before the House Judiciary Committee on oversight of the FBI in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 7, 2017.
Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images
''We take respect for the First Amendment very seriously, and in this context, as in every other domestic terrorism context, we want to be very clear with people, and all the American people, that we do not investigate rhetoric, ideology, opinion, no matter who might consider it extremist,'' he added. ''What we do investigate is when rhetoric, ideology, opinion takes that next step into the category of federal crime and of particular violence.''
At the hearing, Wray said that the ''black identity extremism'' report was based on both open-source information and ongoing FBI investigations. He also said, citing no specific numbers, that the bureau had ''about 50 percent more'' investigations of white supremacists than it did of ''black identity extremists.'' In subsequent meetings with lawmakers, he said he was unfamiliar with any investigations of ''black identity extremists.''
In a statement to The Intercept, a spokesperson for the FBI wrote that the agency ''does not police ideology.'' The bureau, she added, will only initiate an investigation if there is an allegation of a federal crime or a threat to national security. ''Our focus is not on membership in particular groups but on criminal activity,'' the spokesperson wrote. ''When an individual takes violent action based on belief or ideology '-- and breaks the law '-- the FBI will enforce the rule of law. The FBI cannot initiate an investigation based solely on an individual's race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, or the exercise of their constitutional rights, and we remain committed to protecting those rights for all Americans.''
The FBI declined to answer The Intercept's questions about how various ideologies are presented, downplayed, or emphasized in threat assessment reports that the agency routinely circulates to law enforcement, or about how those reports might impact surveillance and policing of targeted communities, regardless of the threats they pose. At the 2017 Judiciary Committee hearing, as well as at a second hearing before the same committee in June 2018, Wray also failed to address those questions.
''My big concern is that local law enforcement will misinterpret that and will clamp down on people exercising their First Amendment rights,'' Rep. Karen Bass, one of the report's fiercest critics in Congress, told him at the first hearing.
Police stand watch as demonstrators protest the shooting death of teenager Michael Brown on Aug. 13, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo.
Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images
It's unclear how the ''black identity extremism'' report has been used by local law enforcement agencies. But if the threat is as serious as the FBI report implies, that hasn't turned into successful federal prosecutions. According to
The Intercept's analysis, Davis and Baldwin's case was the only federal prosecution of individuals the FBI considers to be ''black identity extremists'' that resulted in a conviction. By comparison, the analysis found that
268 right-wing extremists were prosecuted in federal courts since 9/11 for crimes that appear to meet the legal definition of domestic terrorism, even though the Justice Department applied anti-terrorism laws against only 34 of them.
While several news reports referred to the case of Christopher Daniels, a Texas activist who advocated for the rights of black gun owners, as the first known prosecution of a ''black identity extremist,'' the FBI appears to have retroactively used that label to refer to individuals it started surveilling as early as 2014, on the heels of the Ferguson protests. Daniels, who also went by the name Rakem Balogun, was indicted of a weapons offense months after the release of the FBI report, but a judge dismissed the charge last May. The FBI declined to comment on any of these cases, as well as on the origins of the ''black identity extremist'' label.
''This was literally picking six random events and then imagining a movement around them.''
None of the other five individuals referenced in the FBI's 2017 report were federally prosecuted. They include three black men who attacked and, in two cases, killed, police officers in New York, Baton Rouge, and Dallas, though the FBI's report fails to connect their actions to any specific group or clear ideology. A man who shot at two police stations in Indiana in October 2016 and another who drove his car toward three police officers in Arizona in September 2016 '-- both of whom were prosecuted on state charges '-- also appear to have acted independently of any groups or discernible ideology. Three were killed by police on the scene.
Davis himself, while he had recently joined the New Black Panther Party, was found to have plotted the St. Louis bombings without the group's knowledge or support. And he was also known to police as a devotee of the Moorish Science Temple of America, a black variation of the overwhelmingly white sovereign citizen movement, a domestic extremist ideology well known to the FBI.
The only connection between the six men referenced in the report, besides their race, is a thread of anger at police that is common among tens of thousands of Americans who never committed or intended to commit acts of violence. ''In all of them, there is no connection to any national movement; the cases are not linked in any way,'' said Michael German, a former FBI agent and a fellow with the Brennan Center for Justice's Liberty and National Security Program. ''This was literally picking six random events and then imagining a movement around them.''
''This is not just a failure of an intelligence product, but a dangerous intelligence product,'' German added. ''It spreads misinformation rather than intelligence.''
Olajuwon Ali Davis, far left, was one of a small group of people who went into the Ferguson Police Department to speak with Lt. Craig Rettke on the night of Aug. 9, 2014, hours after Michael Brown was shot and killed by Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson.
Photo: David Carson/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via Polaris
The Bomb PlotOn November 21, 2014, three months after Brown's killing, Davis and Baldwin were arrested in an FBI sting and indicted in federal court on weapons charges, accused of making false statements to buy guns at a Cabela's store where Baldwin worked.
Three days later, a grand jury declined to charge Wilson for Brown's death. As protests once again engulfed St. Louis, news outlets citing unnamed law enforcement sources reported that Davis and Baldwin had bought what they thought was a pipe bomb and had plans to buy two more from undercover agents, and that they intended to blow up the city's celebrated arch and kill St. Louis County prosecutor Robert McCulloch and Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson. In a packed courtroom, the friends and families of the accused dismissed those accusations as ''lies,'' while the New Black Panther Party's national leadership called them a ''FRAME UP attempt.'' Davis's wife, who was pregnant and due in two weeks, fainted in court and went into early labor.
The most explosive allegations against Davis and Baldwin were not detailed in the original court filings. But in a revised federal indictment filed months after their arrest, the two were charged with additional crimes, including attempting to ''damage and destroy, by means of explosives, a building, vehicle and other property.''
If the court documents were light on detail, the press coverage was not. In the heated atmosphere that followed the Ferguson protests, many news outlets hyped the story, writing headlines that mischaracterized Davis and Baldwin as affiliates of the ''Black Panthers,'' and letting anonymous law enforcement sources drive the narrative around their alleged scheme. The press picked on the story's most salacious details: Davis and Baldwin had planned to buy more bombs, several outlets reported, but had been unable to do so because they were waiting for funds to be disbursed to ''a girlfriend's'' EBT card '-- a detail, presumably leaked by law enforcement, that turned out to be false.
According to their nearly identical sentencing plea agreements, Davis and Baldwin, who met during the protests over Brown's killing, discussed acquiring guns and bombs and wanting to organize Ferguson protesters to ''be like an army.'' Baldwin told an FBI informant that he wanted to ''build bombs and blow things up.''
''We are at war, you understand, bro,'' he told the informant. According to Baldwin's plea, Davis ''put it out there that he was a terrorist'' '-- a reference that appears to have been scrapped from Davis's own plea. The Gateway Arch, which according to earlier accounts had been the pair's main target, was never actually mentioned in conversations recorded by law enforcement, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
Pastor Spencer Booker addresses the crowd at a press conference, where a boycott and protest of Black Friday shopping was announced by the Justice for Michael Brown Leadership Coalition in St. Louis on Nov. 12, 2014. Olajuwon Ali Davis, far left, participated in the public announcement.
Photo: David Carson/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via Polaris
For their part, law enforcement officials conceded that it was unlikely that Davis and Baldwin would have been capable of executing a bomb plot, and that it was unclear how they would have made it through airport-style security at the arch; nonetheless, they painted the duo as a dangerous threat.
Richard Callahan, then-U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of Missouri, said in a statement after the guilty plea that the disruption of the plot days before the grand jury's rejection of charges against Wilson ''undoubtedly saved lives. Luckily for all of us, we'll never know just how many.'' But that seemed to contradict an earlier interview, in which he had said that a lot of Davis's and Baldwin's ideas were ''totally unrealistic and impractical, and we didn't include [in the indictment] all of the things they rambled on about, to not sensationalize the case or make it more than it is.'' Callahan did not respond to The Intercept's request for comment. Kenneth Tihen, a lead prosecutor in the case, declined to comment.
Davis and Baldwin pleaded guilty to explosives and gun charges in June 2015, and in September 2015 they were sentenced to seven-year prison terms. (Davis's father told The Intercept that before their plea, prosecutors had threatened his son with the possibility of 30 years in prison.)
At sentencing, Davis called his actions ''reckless, irresponsible and just stupid.'' Baldwin's attorney said on behalf of his client that Baldwin also apologized for ''his stupidity.'' Davis's attorney did not respond to The Intercept's requests for comment; Baldwin's declined to comment. Davis and Baldwin, who are currently in prison, could not be reached for comment.
But those close to them maintain that their ordeal was a classic case of entrapment.
''They wanted to set an example through my son to show that we are onto you all. The FBI, the federal government, is onto you activist people. We're watching you; this can happen to you too.''
''He was tricked,'' Henry Davis, Olajuwon Davis's father, told The Intercept. ''They wanted to set an example through my son to show that we are onto you all. The FBI, the federal government, is onto you activist people. We're watching you; this can happen to you too.''
Henry Davis said that FBI ''agents'' befriended his son during the Ferguson protests, then offered him money, marijuana, and hotel stays. They later moved into his apartment complex and spent weeks hanging out with him, talking about ''the resistance.''
His son, he said, felt obligated to do what they asked. ''They pretended to be part of the whole movement, said that they wanted to be down,'' Henry Davis said. He added that FBI agents gave his son and Baldwin the money they used to buy the guns, claiming that they couldn't buy the weapons themselves because of felony records. But the same agents later insisted that Davis and Baldwin pay for the pipe bombs with their own money. That should have made his son suspicious, Henry Davis said.
''I'm not trying to justify his actions, because I'm ashamed, and I've expressed my disappointment to my son,'' said Henry Davis. But, he added, ''Olajuwon never had the intention of harming anyone. He's actually harmless. '... They got him.''
Baldwin's father, Berlin Baldwin Jr., also told The Intercept that his son was caught in a trap. ''If you believe in what you hear on TV, yeah, you would think he was a terrorist,'' he said. The elder Baldwin readily admitted that his son made a mistake and committed a crime, but added, ''He is not no terrorist. They just went after somebody and wrapped him up in it. And he's none of what they're saying. Just none of that stuff is true.''
Daniels, the Dallas gun activist who federal authorities tried and failed to prosecute as a ''black identity extremist,'' put it more bluntly. ''A lot of people in this movement are not fully developed and mature individuals,'' he told The Intercept, noting that he himself had staved off entrapment attempts by law enforcement. ''If I go to any white college in America and talk to a whole bunch of 20-year-olds, and be like, 'Hey man, I got some grenades, would you like to buy some?' '-- somebody's going to buy them. It's like offering a gun to a baby.''
''Moorish'' CitizensBrandon Orlando Baldwin appears to have been politicized by the protests over Brown's killing. Three days after the shooting, Baldwin changed his Facebook profile picture to one of himself wearing a black beret '-- a symbol of the Black Panthers '-- and in the following months, his social media posts alternated between enraged comments about police brutality and pictures of himself with his young daughter.
Brandon Orlando Baldwin and his daughter.
Photo: Courtesy of the Baldwin family
In one post about the proliferation of videos showing police abuse, he wrote, ''Stop filming and start blow'n they fuckin heads off'... or beaten they Ass with they batons'... When r we gonna really say enough is enough and stop turning the fuckin cheek for ppl who wouldn't turn on the water if yo Ass was on fire.'' In October 2014, a month before his arrest and while he was already under FBI surveillance, he posted: ''I wonder how many of my Followers are FEDS.''
To his family, Baldwin's arrest came as a shock, his father told The Intercept. His parents had not even known that he had started going to the protests in Ferguson until a family friend told his father that he had seen him on TV. ''I immediately called him and said, What the hell are you doing?'' Berlin Baldwin Jr. said.
''He might have been a protester, but he's not an activist,'' the senior Baldwin added, arguing that his son was young, naive, and new to the world of protests and activism. ''To me and the family, we feel that he was brainwashed. '... It was just a big mistake in his life, thinking that he was joining something that was important, being young.''
Davis had a longer history of political engagement. He had been a valedictorian in high school and won a full scholarship to the University of Missouri-Kansas City, where he was studying economics, his father told The Intercept. Davis was also a promising actor, and in 2013 he starred in an award-winning independent film that was released last year. ''The story surrounding his arrest and crime aren't a full picture,'' Robert Herrera, the film's director, said in an interview. ''I think people would have a hard time reconciling who they see on screen versus what they read about him '-- and I think that is something to think about when you read about all the young minorities out in this country who are considered irredeemable criminals.''
''The bureau's fever dreams of leftist subversion have undermined American efforts for social justice.''
In college, inspired by an African history class, Davis learned about the Moorish movement, a group that's grown considerably in recent years, whose beliefs are a mixture of sovereign citizen ideology '-- a historically right-wing and white supremacist ideology whose adherents reject the legitimacy of government institutions '-- and devotion to the Moorish Science Temple of America. The senior Davis, who is a vocal Trump supporter and hopes the president will pardon his son, had dreamed that Olajuwon Davis would become the first black secretary of the Treasury. But to his father's horror, Davis joined the Moors, dropped out of college, and moved back to St. Louis. ''The Moors convinced him that he was too black and too powerful to work for the government,'' his father said.
Because they reject government authority, including that of law enforcement, sovereign citizens are perceived by police agencies as a top threat. But the FBI's ''black identity extremism'' report, while noting ''sparse evidence'' of a convergence of sovereign citizen extremism and Moorish beliefs, said that the connection is clearest in the production of fraudulent personal identification documents. ''Not all self-identified Moors are sovereign citizens, and not all sovereign citizen Moors engage in violence against law enforcement or other illegal activity,'' the FBI conceded in the report.
Davis filed an ''Abjuration of Citizenship'' document with the Moorish nation movement, according to the Anti-Defamation League, and declared himself an ''aboriginal indigenous Moorish national of Northwest Amexem,'' the Moorish name for North America.
He carried a Moorish ID and said he had been tased and arrested in 2013 after attempting to make a ''tax-free'' purchase at a gas station using the ID. In social media posts, he described St. Louis as a ''Slave Capital in a Slave State!'' and the Gateway Arch as a ''Symbol of Our destruction and demise.'' According to his father, Davis met out-of-state members of the New Black Panther Party after Brown's killing and was quickly recruited to lead the group's local chapter. He befriended two FBI informants shortly thereafter.
A screenshot of the Moorish ID that Olajuwon Ali Davis shared in a YouTube video where he discussed sovereign citizenship.
Screenshot: The Intercept
The older Davis said his son did not realize that he was being framed, but the younger Davis indicated in social media posts that he knew he was under surveillance. ''Family and Friends, every day I got Caucasians following me in SUV trucks,'' he wrote on Facebook two days before his arrest. ''Please be advised that if you show any signs of noncompliance with this Devil they will try to assassinate you.''
In prison, Davis has been taking classes, reading Paulo Coelho novels, recording himself reading books to his children, and volunteering to support fellow inmates who were placed on suicide watch, he wrote last year in a letter to the judge who sentenced him. ''I recognize that my incarceration was due to my failure to adhere to the principles of unwavering faith and affirming peace in thought and in action,'' he wrote. ''My imprisonment has given me the chance to once again develop a perspective that is sound and humane.''
Egregious ''Bothsidesism''As protests over Brown's killing intensified in Ferguson and spilled across the country over the next months and years, so did the FBI's scrutiny of protesters. In November 2014, days before the Ferguson grand jury's decision and Davis and Baldwin's arrest, the bureau circulated an internal bulletin warning law enforcement of ''Potential Criminal Reactions to Missouri Grand Jury Announcement.'' Two years later, after protests against police brutality had engulfed Baltimore, Chicago, and several other cities, the FBI again issued an intelligence bulletin, warning that ''Black Separatist Extremists' Call for Retaliation in Response to Police-Involved Incidents Could Incite Acts of Violence against Law Enforcement.''
By 2017, the FBI had given this presumed threat a new name: Black Identity Extremism, or what the bureau claimed was a growing, violent, and racially motivated movement targeting law enforcement. Filled with innuendo and stereotypes, the 12-page report that first introduced the label was written so imprecisely that the very definition of a ''black identity extremist'' was left grammatically incomplete, making its meaning unclear:
The FBI defines black identity extremists as individuals who seek, wholly or in part, through unlawful acts of force or violence, in response to perceived racism and injustice in American society and some do so in furtherance of establishing a separate black homeland or autonomous black social institutions, communities, or governing organizations within the United States.
The report also explicitly connected its analysis to the Ferguson protests, focusing on incidents of what it called ''premeditated attacks against law enforcement officers since 2014.''
''The FBI assesses it is very likely incidents of alleged police abuse against African Americans since [Ferguson] have continued to feed the resurgence in ideologically motivated, violent criminal activity, within the BIE movement,'' it noted, adding that agency had ''high confidence'' in its assessment. ''The FBI further judges it is very likely BIEs proactively target police and openly identify and justify their actions with social-political agendas commensurate with their perceived injustices against African Americans, and in some cases, their identified affiliations with violent extremist groups.''
Hansford, the activist and professor, told The Intercept that law enforcement took legitimate grievances about a broken system as personal attacks against them, and fabricated a nonexistent threat to repress criticism. ''The Black Lives Matter protesters and other black protesters oftentimes are protesting the police themselves, so it's a situation of self-interest where [police] feel personally attacked,'' he said. ''The problem is there really hasn't been a major [African-American] group that has in any way, shape, or form been a tangible threat to law enforcement, physically, since the Black Liberation Army,'' Hansford added, citing a militant black nationalist group active in the 1970s. ''It's been over 40 years.''
Lawmakers also condemned the report. In addition to Wray's meetings with the Congressional Black Caucus and testimonies about it at two separate House Judiciary Committee hearings, Bass memorably grilled then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions about the report's claims at a different committee hearing. Sessions said he hadn't read the report and couldn't name an African-American organization that had committed violence against police. Moments after Bass asked him whether he considered the Ku Klux Klan to be ''white identity extremists,'' Sessions quipped that the names of any white supremacist groups were ''not coming to me at this moment.''
Despite a barrage of criticism the FBI did not retract or amend the report. Speaking before the House Judiciary Committee in December 2017, Wray said that the FBI would not ''withdraw intelligence assessments based on public outcry.'' Appearing before that committee again, in June 2018, he offered no answers to some legislators' questions about who exactly had written the report and based on what premises, but he said that their feedback ''prompted us to go back and take a very hard look at how we are bucketing the different categories of domestic terrorism.'' ''I think it's been a useful learning experience for us,'' Wray said, ''and I expect we will see some changes in how we do things going forward.'' Still, to date, the FBI has issued no clarification or amendment to the report.
But the ''black identity extremism'' report wasn't the only one the FBI produced that year warning about the threat posed by a nonexistent ideological group. As Jezebel reported in January, the FBI in 2017 issued a similar alert about what it called ''pro-choice extremists.''
In a one-page memo obtained via public records request by the government transparency group Property of the People, the FBI lists the new category of made-up extremists along actually existing ''pro-life extremists'' under the common banner of ''Abortion Extremism Ideology.'' As was the case with ''black identity extremism,'' the FBI concedes in the report that its own evidence for claiming that such an ideology exists is scant. ''Only one pro-choice extremist has been prosecuted,'' the report notes. ''And that person acted independently and without any direct affiliation to a pro-choice group.''
As Jezebel notes, that is a reference to Theodore Shulman, who served three years in prison for harassing and threatening to kill two leaders of the anti-abortion movement. The only killing of an anti-abortion activist came at the hands of a mentally ill man who had also killed someone else that day, and that showed no signs of being motivated by ideology.
The documents obtained by Property of the People also give a sense of how these reports might be put to use by law enforcement. In one email published by the group, a Washington state sheriff shares the FBI material with his staff with the following warning: ''Attached is the latest and greatest about groups we should be aware of. Some of them operate in Eastern Washington.''
Property of the People called the equation of imaginary ''pro-choice extremism'' to the real ''pro-life extremism,'' whose adherents have murdered at least a dozen doctors and abortion providers, ''an especially egregious case of 'bothsidesism.'''
''The term 'terrorist' is so nebulous, it's so abstract. Anything they don't like, they'll call terrorist.''
''The FBI has a long, sad history of targeting progressive movements as threats to national security,'' Ryan Shapiro, the group's executive director, told The Intercept. ''From the civil rights and anti-Vietnam War movements to the animal rights, anti-fascist, pro-choice, and Black Lives Matter movements today, the bureau's fever dreams of leftist subversion have undermined American efforts for social justice.''
The FBI has also done little to address criticism that while it has long warned of the ''persistent'' threat posed by white supremacist groups '-- and even investigated white supremacist infiltration of law enforcement, as The Intercept has reported '-- it has grossly undercounted the violent incidents stemming from white supremacist ideology. While a May 2017 FBI report argued that ''lone actors and small cells'' within the white supremacist extremist movement ''will continue to pose a threat of lethal violence,'' that report minimized the level of violence coming from these individuals, listing only ''one lethal and five potentially lethal attacks'' carried out by white supremacist extremists in 2016 and omitting, for instance, the case of Brent Ward Luyster, a neo-Nazi who murdered three people in 2016 while under FBI investigation.
Between 2008 and 2017, ''right-wing extremists'' were responsible for 274 murders '-- more than 70 percent of all murders carried out by domestic extremists, according to a review by the ADL. And of 34 extremist-related murders in 2017, 59 percent were related to right-wing extremism, including 53 percent involving individuals who explicitly espoused white supremacist views. But many of those cases were rarely discussed by officials in terms of domestic terrorism, nor were the accused charged under anti-terrorism laws, even though they appeared to be motivated by a clear ideology.
Instead, as The Intercept's analysis revealed, the Justice Department applied anti-terrorism laws against only 34 of 268 right-wing extremists it prosecuted for crimes that appear to meet the legal definition of domestic terrorism '-- while also targeting 17 environmental and animal rights activists with anti-terrorism laws.
''They view terrorism through a distorted lens that overemphasizes nonviolent acts by groups opposed to government policy over acts of violence against marginalized groups here in the United States,'' said German, the former FBI agent, referring to the agency. ''The language is intentionally malleable because they want to include certain acts and exclude other similar acts, depending on who is committing them or who the victim of the crime is.''
''The reason they're able to do this is because the term 'terrorist' is so nebulous, it's so abstract. Anything they don't like, they'll call terrorist,'' echoed Hansford, the activist and law professor. ''They will always resist having a more precise definition of terrorism because they want to use it as a tool to basically go after whoever they want to go after.''
Members of an FBI evidence response team work at the scene of the attack on police officers in Dallas on July 9, 2016.
Photo: Gerald Herbert/AP
The FBI's ''BIE List''In addition to the case of Davis and Baldwin '-- which the FBI report inexplicably describes as involving only one unnamed suspect '-- the ''black identity extremism'' report mentions the deadly shootings of police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge in the summer of 2016. Those shootings followed the police killings of Philando Castile in Minnesota and Alton Sterling in Louisiana, which were caught on video and reignited the national outrage sparked by Brown's killing two years earlier. The report also lists nonfatal attacks on police in New York, Indiana, and Arizona.
But despite the FBI's efforts to group the incidents together, there is no evidence that the perpetrators knew each other, belonged to any common groups, or subscribed to the same set of beliefs. Instead, the cases present a mix of resentment toward police, anger at the treatment of minorities, and mental health issues. At least two of the men referenced had expressed sovereign citizen beliefs: one was a Muslim convert who had shown fascination with jihadi violence, and two were military veterans who had sought treatment for symptoms associated with post-traumatic stress disorder. In many cases, the ideologies that law enforcement has attributed to them appear to have been based on FBI agents scrolling through comments the men had made on social media.
Three of the six referenced in the report were killed before their motives could be tested in court. Micah Johnson, who on July 7, 2016, shot and killed five law enforcement officers and wounded several others at a Dallas protest against police violence, told police negotiators before being killed in a standoff that ''he was upset about recent police shootings and white people, and expressed a desire to kill white people, especially white officers,'' according to the FBI report. The report notes that Johnson had ''searched and liked social media pages of BIE and black separatist groups'' and ''appeared to have been influenced by BIE ideology.'' It also cites news reports saying that he had been ''ousted from a local BIE group for being too radical.'' It's unclear what groups the FBI was referring to, since ''black identity extremist'' organizations do not exist.
Gavin Eugene Long, who shot six Baton Rouge police officers on July 17, 2016, killing three, had used ''black separatist rhetoric'' on social media and in a manifesto he left behind, in which he described his actions ''as a necessary evil '... in order to create substantial change,'' the FBI report notes, adding that Long had also declared himself a ''Moor,'' changed his ''slave'' name to a Moorish name, and was carrying a Moorish identification card at the time of his death. In videos and tweets posted shortly before the shooting, Long had praised Johnson, the Dallas shooter. He added, if ''anything happens to me '... don't affiliate me with anybody.''
The cases present a mix of resentment toward police, anger at the treatment of minorities, and mental health issues.
Both Johnson and Long were military veterans. Johnson had sought treatment for anxiety, depression, and hallucinations after returning from Afghanistan in 2014, according to the Veterans Health Administration, and he had reportedly told doctors that he heard voices and mortars exploding, and that he had panic attacks and nightmares. Long, who served with the Marines in Iraq between 2008 and 2009, had told doctors that he experienced symptoms of PTSD, though his ultimate diagnosis was ''adjustment disorder with depressed mood.''
The FBI report also lists the case of Zale Thompson, who attacked four New York police officers with a hatchet in October 2014, injuring two. According to the report, Thompson had tattoos that ''indicated he was affiliated with a black separatist extremist group'' and ''pocket litter indicating he may have been associated with another black separatist group.'' The FBI report cites ''law enforcement reporting'' as its source, but doesn't mention that Thompson also appeared to have become fascinated by Islamic State propaganda videos and jihadi rhetoric.
Finally, the report listed the cases, though not the names, of Damoine Wilcoxson and Marc Laquon Payne. Wilcoxson was sentenced to 37 years in Indiana state prison after shooting at two Indianapolis police stations in 2016, leaving behind delirious handwritten notes saying, ''White must die.'' Payne was accused of plowing his car into three officers in Arizona that same year. Authorities indicated that Payne, who has pleaded not guilty and is facing trial later this year, was impaired at the time and that his motives were unknown, but the FBI report notes that Payne's social media accounts ''indicated that he was tied to a BIE group and a Moorish group and that he was angry over police shootings since at least the killing of Brown in 2014.''
But while the FBI stretched its definition of ''black identity extremism'' to include a disparate series of disconnected cases, white criminal suspects' connections to extremist groups are often discounted, German said. ''There's evidence that the shooter in Las Vegas had expressed some anti-government views that are in line with some far-right groups, but you don't see this rush to say he was a far-right extremist and to attribute those deaths to far-right extremism in the United States,'' he said, referring to the massacre of 59 people at a country music concert in 2017. ''That's where the politics of this kind of approach are very damaging and divisive in American society, because they do tend to reflect political views rather than the threat of violence.''
Rakem Balogun, photographed near his home in Dallas, Texas.
Photo: Allison V. Smith
Rakem's StoryThe case of Rakem Balogun is often characterized as the first attempted federal prosecution of a ''black identity extremist'' since the FBI report about the supposed ideology. Balogun is a Dallas-based former Marine and a member of Guerrilla Mainframe, a pan-African group with a broad agenda ranging between universal health care and the abolition of the U.S. Constitution. He was also a member of the Huey P. Newton Gun Club, which promotes the Second Amendment rights of African-Americans.
Balogun, whose legal name is Christopher Daniels, was arrested in December 2017, when officers in riot gear pulled him and his 15-year-old son out of their house and forced them to stand outside in the cold, handcuffed and in their underwear. Balogun spent the next five months in jail on a single illegal firearms possession charge, while prosecutors tried and failed to paint him as a domestic terrorist. At his detention hearing, where Balogun was denied bail, an FBI agent testified that he had been under surveillance for two years, since video of him at an open-carry rally against police brutality circulated online, including on the right-wing conspiracy site InfoWars.
The video shows protesters, including Balogun, chanting, ''The only good pig is a pig that's dead'' and ''Oink oink, bang bang.'' Balogun's Facebook page ''openly and publicly advocates violence toward law enforcement,'' the FBI agent said. On the first anniversary of the July 2016 Dallas police shooting, Balogun posted several comments that appeared to celebrate shooter Micah Johnson. ''Today one year ago one Black Man brought Dallas Pig Department to their knees,'' he wrote.
Today, Balogun says he always suspected that he was being watched. ''Anybody that knows a little bit about the history of black activism would know that once you become politically involved as a black person, especially as somebody who counters popular politics, that you will be watched,'' he told The Intercept months after a judge ordered his release. ''I don't mind having an audience. I'm not doing anything illegal and I don't advocate for anything illegal.''
''The thing about it is, a lot of mature black nationalists, militants, are not into the concept of going to war with the police or the state or anything of that nature,'' he added, noting that he espouses what he called ''scientific revolutionary socialism,'' and that he believes in an individual's right to self-defense.
Ultimately, the case against Balogun hinged on an accusation that he was prohibited from owning a gun due to a 10-year-old misdemeanor conviction for domestic assault in another state. Prosecutors tried to convince him to take a plea deal, he said. ''Their plan was for me to be weak and sign for six months, and to feel guilty for being a black activist who promotes a culture of self-defense and self-preservation in a white nation. '... That's really the crime,'' he told The Intercept. He refused to take a deal.
Balogun, who has long been an advocate for gun rights, said he's used to the double standard applied to black gun owners. Perhaps the most infamous example of that is Philando Castile, who was killed by a police officer during a traffic stop, which his girlfriend streamed on Facebook Live. Castile was a legal gun owner and told the officer he had a gun, but he was shot anyway while reaching for his license as ordered. Balogun told The Intercept that while police officers are generally friendly with open-carry demonstrators in Texas, black open-carry demonstrators routinely receive more hostile treatment.
A federal judge ultimately dismissed the gun charge against him, but Balogun lost his job and home, and missed his newborn daughter's first months while he was in jail. He says he is now considering legal action to obtain whatever surveillance material the government may have gathered on him. Wray said at a House Judiciary Committee hearing in June 2017 that he was not familiar with Balogun's case.
Babu Omowale, a founder and director of the Huey P. Newton Gun Club, told The Intercept that he is sure Balogun was not the only member under surveillance. The group, which is named after a co-founder of the Black Panther Party, is mostly made up of former members or the New Black Panther Party who have focused their activism on gun rights and self-defense in the black community, mostly staging open-carry rallies, neighborhood patrols, and in one case, counterdemonstrating as an anti-Muslim group rallied outside a Dallas mosque.
''We see them sitting outside of our meetings, watching us, but it's not going to stop us from organizing our people,'' said Omowale, referring to the FBI. ''We've known about it since the 1960s, when J. Edgar Hoover was over the counterintelligence program where he sought out black leadership.''
At a rally outside the U.S. Courthouse on Oct. 29, 1969, Fred Hampton, chair of the Illinois Black Panther Party, speaks at a protest against the trial of eight people accused of conspiracy to cause a riot during the Democratic National Convention in 1968.
COINTELPRO 2.0The FBI's leaked memo, as well as evidence that had already emerged that the FBI was targeting black activists for surveillance, drew widespread comparisons to the notorious COINTELPRO, a program aimed at surveilling, infiltrating, and sabotaging the civil rights, anti-war, and black liberation movements of the 1960s and 1970s. ''Martin Luther King Jr. was one of the original 'Black Identity Extremists,''' a HuffPost column noted. Several people called the FBI report ''COINTELPRO 2.0.'' The FBI itself referred to the civil rights era in its 2017 report, retroactively applying its new ''black identity extremist'' label to the now-defunct Black Liberation Army. ''BIEs have historically justified and perpetrated violence against law enforcement, which they perceived as representative of the institutionalized oppression of African Americans,'' the report argued. ''BIE violence peaked in the 1960s and 1970s in response to changing socioeconomic attitudes and treatment of blacks during the Civil Rights Movement.''
Under the COINTELPRO umbrella, the FBI went from tracking King's every move and attempting to smear him, to surveilling Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, including by obtaining a floor map of his apartment, before Chicago police shot about 90 rounds into the apartment in 1969, killing Hampton and fellow Panther Mark Clark. At the same time, they routinely failed to intervene as white supremacist groups like the Ku Klux Klan engaged in a sustained campaign of violence against civil rights activists and African-Americans.
The FBI report noted that between 1970 and 1984, the Black Liberation Army was involved in at least 38 criminal incidents, including 26 armed assaults, three assassinations, four bombings, and four hijackings and hostage-takings '-- half of them targeting law enforcement officers. But it made no reference to law enforcement violence against black activists, including the 1985 bombing of the Philadelphia headquarters of black liberation group MOVE, that killed 11 people.
Speaking before the House Judiciary Committee in November 2017, Wray called COINTELPRO ''one of the darker moments in FBI's history.'' ''It's something we are not proud of, but it's also something we have learned from,'' he said. But when Rep. Cedric Richmond asked him why the FBI's building continued to be named after J. Edgar Hoover '-- COINTELPRO's infamous architect '-- Wray replied, ''Like most people, he's complicated.''
The ''black identity extremism'' report was hardly the first FBI effort to revive the tactics of COINTELPRO. In 2012, German, then at the American Civil Liberties Union, obtained public records revealing that the FBI had come up with yet another label to target what they claimed was a growing threat: ''black separatist'' domestic terrorism. Then, as now, the more recent violence driven by black nationalist ideology dated back decades, but the FBI included new warnings in its terrorism training materials that inexplicably connected the growing size of the black population in states like Georgia with a growing domestic terror threat. (As the ACLU noted at the time, the FBI had around the same time also invented what it called ''American Islamic Extremists.'')
''The government has always kept an eye on black people because they want to keep us in a certain social order.''
''You would hope that a law enforcement agency learns from its past mistakes,'' said German. ''I think that's where the biggest failure is, that there are enough parallels to how the FBI reacted to protests in the 1960s and 1970s that should have dissuaded them from adopting similar approaches again.''
But rather than learning from the past, it seems that the FBI is trying to maintain its old ways under a different name. While the ideologies that the terms ''black separatism'' and ''black identity extremism'' purport to represent would appear rather different, the FBI has recently folded both into the latter category, documents reveal. In an internal email exchange obtained by Property of the People and shared with The Intercept, Michael F. Paul, an official with the FBI's Counterterrorism Division, wrote to colleagues that the bureau had updated its definition of ''black separatist extremism'' in order ''to broaden it beyond simply those seeking 'separatism,''' he wrote. ''The threat or movement has simply evolved,'' Paul added, ''and many are seeking more than/other than separation.''
Shapiro, of Property of the People, said the reclassification aimed to cast an even wider net on black activists at a time when police accountability, rather than separatism, was their priority. ''Black Lives Matter isn't a separatist movement, and the FBI wanted to expand its surveillance of black activists and communities,'' he told The Intercept.
''With 'black identity extremism,' the FBI has expanded its 'black separatist extremist' category to also designate groups like Black Lives Matter a security threat,'' he added. ''The 'BIE' classification is the FBI's bureaucratic umbrella for targeting as terrorists black people who expose the daily terror against their families and neighborhoods perpetrated by unaccountable killers in blue.''
To many black activists, that's a familiar story.
''The government has always kept an eye on black people because they want to keep us in a certain social order,'' said Omowale, of the Huey P. Newton Gun Club. ''The term 'black identity extremist' may be a new term, but the way that the government operates is nothing new. They've been doing it since we've been in this country, since black people, even slaves, tried to organize for some type of freedom.''
UK has enough intensive care units for coronavirus, expert predicts | New Scientist
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 12:25
By David Adam
There are a limited number of ICU beds in the UKJustin Paget
The UK should now be able to cope with the spread of the covid-19 virus, according to one of the epidemiologists advising the government.
Neil Ferguson at Imperial College London gave evidence today to the UK's parliamentary select committee on science and technology as part of an inquiry into the nation's response to the coronavirus outbreak.
He said that expected increases in National Health Service capacity and ongoing restrictions to people's movements make him ''reasonably confident'' the health service can cope when the predicted peak of the epidemic arrives in two or three weeks. UK deaths from the disease are now unlikely to exceed 20,000, he said, and could be much lower.
The need for intensive care beds will get very close to capacity in some areas, but won't be breached at a national level, said Ferguson. The projections are based on computer simulations of the virus spreading, which take into account the properties of the virus, the reduced transmission between people asked to stay at home and the capacity of hospitals, particularly intensive care units.
The Imperial model has played a key role in informing the UK's coronavirus strategy, but this approach has been criticised by some. ''To be fair, the Imperial people are the some of the best infectious disease modellers on the planet,'' Paul Hunter at the University of East Anglia, UK, told New Scientist last week. ''But it is risky to put all your eggs in a single basket.''
Ferguson said the current strategy was intended to keep transmission of the virus at low levels until a vaccine was available. Experts say that could take 12 to 18 months and Ferguson acknowledged it was impractical to keep the UK in lockdown for so long, especially because of the impact on the economy. ''We'll be paying for this year for decades to come,'' he said.
The UK government is aiming to relax restrictions on people's movements only when the country has the ability to test more people for the virus, said Ferguson. Some have criticised the UK for not following the advice of the World Health Organization to ''test, test, test''. But Ferguson said community testing and contact tracing wasn't included as a possible strategy in the original modelling because not enough tests were available.
He said the UK should have the testing capacity ''within a few weeks'' to copy what South Korea has done and aggressively test and trace the general population.
New data from the rest of Europe suggests that the outbreak is running faster than expected, said Ferguson. As a result, epidemiologists have revised their estimate of the reproduction number (R0) of the virus. This measure of how many other people a carrier usually infects is now believed to be just over three, he said, up from 2.5. ''That adds more evidence to support the more intensive social distancing measures,'' he said.
His comments come as a team at the University of Oxford released provisional findings of a different model that they say shows that up to half the UK population could already have been infected. The model is based on different assumptions to those of Ferguson and others involved in advising the UK government.
Most importantly, it assumes that most people who contract the virus don't show symptoms and that very few need to go to hospital. ''I don't think that's consistent with the observed data,'' Ferguson told the committee.
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Inaccurate Virus Models Are Panicking Officials Into Ill-advised Lockdowns
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 12:17
As U.S. state and local officials halt the economy and quarantine their communities over the Wuhan virus crisis, one would hope our leaders were making such major decisions based on well-sourced data and statistical analysis. That is not the case.
A scan of statements made by media, state governors, local leaders, county judges, and more show many relying on the same source, an online mapping tool called COVID Act Now. The website says it is ''built to enable political leaders to quickly make decisions in their Coronavirus response informed by best available data and modeling.''
An interactive map provides users a catastrophic forecast for each state, should they wait to implement COVID Act Now's suggested strict measures to ''flatten the curve.'' But a closer look at how many of COVID Act Now's predictions have already fallen short, and how they became a ubiquitous resource across the country overnight, suggests something more sinister.
When Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins announced a shelter-in-place order on Dallas County Sunday, he displayed COVID Act Now graphs with predictive outcomes after three months if certain drastic measures are taken. The NBC Dallas affiliate also embedded the COVID Act Now models in their story on the mandate.
The headline of an NBC Oregon affiliate featured COVID Act Now data, and a headline blaring, ''Coronavirus model sees Oregon hospitals overwhelmed by mid-April.'' Both The Oregonian and The East Oregonian also published stories featuring the widely shared data predicting a ''point of no return.''
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer cited COVID Act Now when telling her state they would exceed 7 million cases in Michigan, with 1 million hospitalized and 460,000 deaths if the state did nothing.
A local CBS report in Georgia featured an Emory University professor urging Gov. Brian Kemp with the same ''point of no return'' language and COVID Act Now models.
We need '...@GovKemp'(C) to act now, the point of ''no return'' for GA is rapidly closing. To prevent a catastrophe in the healthcare system due to #COVID19 we need for him to shut down GA now. '...@drmt'(C) '...'...@Armstrws'(C) '...@colleenkraftmd'(C) https://t.co/aZEJVYcUH0
'-- Carlos del Rio (@CarlosdelRio7) March 21, 2020
The models are being shared across social media, news reports, and finding their way into officials' daily decisions, which is concerning because COVID Act Now's predictions have already been proven to be wildly wrong.
COVID Act Now predicted that by March 19 the state of Tennessee could expect 190 hospitalizations of patients with confirmed Wuhan virus. By March 19, they only had 15 patients hospitalized.
In New York, Covid Act Now claimed nearly 5,400 New Yorkers would've been hospitalized by March 19. The actual number of hospitalizations is around 750. The site also claimed nearly 13,000 New York hospitalizations by March 23. The actual number was around 2,500.
In Georgia, COVID Act Now predicted 688 hospitalizations by March 23. By that date, they had around 800 confirmed cases in the whole state, and fewer than 300 hospitalized.
In Florida, Covid Act Now predicted that by March 19, the state would face 400 hospitalizations. On March 19, Gov. Ron DeSantis said 90 people in Florida had been hospitalized.
COVID Act Now's models in other states, including Oklahoma and Virginia, were also far off in their predictions. Jordan Schachtel, a national security writer, said COVID Act Now's modeling comes from one team based at Imperial College London that is not only highly scrutinized, but has a track record of bad predictions.
4) Their models come 100% from Imperial College UK projection that is coming under *heavy* scrutiny from scientific community. IC UK produced the famed doomsday scenario that guaranteed 2MM dead Americans. The man behind the projections is refusing to make his code public.
'-- Jordan Schachtel (@JordanSchachtel) March 24, 2020
Jessica Hamzelou at New Scientist notes the systematic errors researchers and scientists have found with the modeling COVID Act Now relies on:
Chen Shen at the New England Complex Systems Institute, a research group in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and his colleagues argue that the Imperial team's model is flawed, and contains 'incorrect assumptions'. They point out that the Imperial team's model doesn't account for the availability of tests, or the possibility of 'super-spreader events' at gatherings, and has other issues.
Among other issues, COVID Act Now lists the ''Known Limitations'' of their model. Here are a few that seem especially alarming, considering they generate a model for each individual state:
Many of the inputs into this model (hospitalization rate, hospitalization rate) are based on early estimates that are likely to be wrong.
Demographics, populations, and hospital bed counts are outdated. Demographics for the USA as a whole are used, rather than specific to each state.
The model does not adjust for the population density, culturally-determined interaction frequency and closeness, humidity, temperature, etc in calculating R0.
This is not a node-based analysis, and thus assumes everyone spreads the disease at the same rate. In practice, there are some folks who are 'super-spreaders,' and others who are almost isolated.
So why is the organization or seemingly innocent online mapping tool using inaccurate algorithms to scaremonger leaders into tanking the economy? Politics, of course.
Founders of the site include Democratic Rep. Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins and three Silicon Valley tech workers and Democratic activists '-- Zachary Rosen, Max Henderson, and Igor Kofman '-- who are all also donors to various Democratic campaigns and political organizations since 2016. Henderson and Kofman donated to the Hillary Clinton campaign in 2016, while Rosen donated to the Democratic National Committee, recently resigned Democratic Rep. Katie Hill, and other Democratic candidates. Prior to building the COVID Act Now website, Kofman created an online game designed to raise $1 million for the eventual 2020 Democratic candidate and defeat President Trump. The game's website is now defunct.
Perhaps the goal of COVID Act Now was never to provide accurate information, but to scare citizens and government officials into to implementing rash and draconian measures. The creators even admit as much with the caveat that ''this model is designed to drive fast action, not predict the future.''
They generated this model under the guise of protecting communities from overrun hospitals, a trend that is not on track to happen as they predicted. Not only is the data false, and looking more incorrect with each passing day, but the website is optimized for a disinformation campaign.
A social media share button prompts users to share their models and alarming graphs on Facebook and Twitter with the auto-fill text, ''This is the point of no return for intervention to prevent X's hospital system from being overloaded by Coronavirus.''
The daunting phrase, the ''point of no return,'' is the same talking point being repeated by government officials justifying their shelter-in-place orders and filling local news headlines.
Democrats are not going to waste such a rich political opportunity as a global pandemic. Americans already witnessed Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats attempt to take advantage of an economic recession with a pipe-dream relief bill this week. Projects like COVID Act Now are another attempt to play the same political games, but with help from unknown, behind-the-scenes Democratic activists instead.
Our community leaders, the mayors and the city councils, deserve better than to be swindled by a handful Silicon Valley tech bros. Our governors and state officials deserve better data and analysis than a Democratic activists' model that doesn't adjust for important geographical factors like population density or temperature. Americans and their families deserve better than to be jobless, hopeless, and quarantined because of a single website's inaccurate and hyperbolic hospitalization models.
Copyright (C) 2020 The Federalist, a wholly independent division of FDRLST Media, All Rights Reserved.
COVID-19: Further Evidence that the Virus Originated in the US - Global ResearchGlobal Research - Centre for Research on Globalization
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 11:59
It would be useful to read this prior article for background:
China's Coronavirus: A Shocking Update. Did The Virus Originate in the US?
By Larry Romanoff , March 04, 2020
As readers will recall from the earlier article (above), Japanese and Taiwanese epidemiologists and pharmacologists have determined that the new coronavirus could have originated in the US since that country is the only one known to have all five types '' from which all others must have descended. Wuhan in China has only one of those types, rendering it in analogy as a kind of ''branch'' which cannot exist by itself but must have grown from a ''tree''.
The Taiwanese physician noted that in August of 2019 the US had a flurry of lung pneumonias or similar, which the Americans blamed on 'vaping' from e-cigarettes, but which, according to the scientist, the symptoms and conditions could not be explained by e-cigarettes. He said he wrote to the US officials telling them he suspected those deaths were likely due to the coronavirus. He claims his warnings were ignored.
Immediately prior to that, the CDC totally shut down the US Military's main bio-lab at Fort Detrick, Maryland, due to an absence of safeguards against pathogen leakages, issuing a complete ''cease and desist'' order to the military. It was immediately after this event that the 'e-cigarette' epidemic arose.
Screenshot from The New York Times August 08, 2019
We also had the Japanese citizens infected in September of 2019, in Hawaii, people who had never been to China, these infections occurring on US soil long before the outbreak in Wuhan but only shortly after the locking down of Fort Detrick.
Then, on Chinese social media, another article appeared, aware of the above but presenting further details. It stated in part that five ''foreign'' athletes or other personnel visiting Wuhan for the World Military Games (October 18-27, 2019) were hospitalised in Wuhan for an undetermined infection.
The article explains more clearly that the Wuhan version of the virus could have come only from the US because it is what they call a ''branch'' which could not have been created first because it would have no 'seed'. It would have to have been a new variety spun off the original 'trunk', and that trunk exists only in the US. (1)
There has been much public speculation that the coronavirus had been deliberately transmitted to China but, according to the Chinese article, a less sinister alternative is possible.
If some members of the US team at the World Military Games (18-27 October) had become infected by the virus from an accidental outbreak at Fort Detrick it is possible that, with a long initial incubation period, their symptoms might have been minor, and those individuals could easily have 'toured' the city of Wuhan during their stay, infecting potentially thousands of local residents in various locations, many of whom would later travel to the seafood market from which the virus would spread like wildfire (as it did).
That would account also for the practical impossibility of locating the legendary ''patient zero'' '' which in this case has never been found since there would have been many of them.
Next, Daniel Lucey, an infectious disease expert at Georgetown University in Washington, said in an article in Science magazine that the first human infection has been confirmed as occurring in November 2019, (not in Wuhan), suggesting the virus originated elsewhere and then spread to the seafood markets. ''One group put the origin of the outbreak as early as 18 September 2019.'' (2) (3)
Wuhan seafood market may not be source of novel virus spreading globally.
Description of earliest cases suggests the outbreak began elsewhere.
The article states:
''As confirmed cases of a novel virus surge around the world with worrisome speed, all eyes have so far focused on a seafood market in Wuhan, China, as the origin of the outbreak. But a description of the first clinical cases published in The Lancet on Friday challenges that hypothesis.'' (4) (5)
The paper, written by a group of Chinese researchers from several institutions, offers details about the first 41 hospitalized patients who had confirmed infections with what has been dubbed 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).
In the earliest case, the patient became ill on 1 December 2019 and had no reported link to the seafood market, the authors report. ''No epidemiological link was found between the first patient and later cases'', they state. Their data also show that, in total, 13 of the 41 cases had no link to the marketplace. ''That's a big number, 13, with no link'', says Daniel Lucey . . . (6)
Earlier reports from Chinese health authorities and the World Health Organization had said the first patient had onset of symptoms on 8 December 2019 '' and those reports simply said ''most'' cases had links to the seafood market, which was closed on 1 January. (7)
''Lucey says if the new data are accurate, the first human infections must have occurred in November 2019 '' if not earlier '' because there is an incubation time between infection and symptoms surfacing. If so, the virus possibly spread silently between people in Wuhan '' and perhaps elsewhere '' before the cluster of cases from the city's now-infamous Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market was discovered in late December. ''The virus came into that marketplace before it came out of that marketplace'', Lucey asserts.
''China must have realized the epidemic did not originate in that Wuhan Huanan seafood market'', Lucey told Science Insider. (8)
Kristian Andersen is an evolutionary biologist at the Scripps Research Institute who has analyzed sequences of 2019-nCoV to try to clarify its origin. He said the scenario was ''entirely plausible'' of infected persons bringing the virus into the seafood market from somewhere outside. According to the Science article,
''Andersen posted his analysis of 27 available genomes of 2019-nCoV on 25 January on a virology research website. It suggests they had a ''most recent common ancestor'' '' meaning a common source '' as early as 1 October 2019.'' (9)
It was interesting that Lucey also noted that MERS was originally believed to have come from a patient in Saudi Arabia in June of 2012, but later and more thorough studies traced it back to an earlier hospital outbreak of unexplained pneumonia in Jordan in April of that year. Lucey said that from stored samples from people who died in Jordan, medical authorities confirmed they had been infected with the MERS virus. (10)
This would provide impetus for caution among the public in accepting the ''official standard narrative'' that the Western media are always so eager to provide '' as they did with SARS, MERS, and ZIKA, all of which 'official narratives' were later proven to have been wrong.
In this case, the Western media flooded their pages for months about the COVID-19 virus originating in the Wuhan seafood market, caused by people eating bats and wild animals. All of this has been proven wrong.
Not only did the virus not originate at the seafood market, it did not originate in Wuhan at all, and it has now been proven that it did not originate in China but was brought to China from another country. Part of the proof of this assertion is that the genome varieties of the virus in Iran and Italy have been sequenced and declared to have no part of the variety that infected China and must, by definition, have originated elsewhere.
It would seem the only possibility for origination would be the US because only that country has the ''tree trunk'' of all the varieties. And it may therefore be true that the original source of the COVID-19 virus was the US military bio-warfare lab at Fort Detrick. This would not be a surprise, given that the CDC completely shut down Fort Detrick, but also because, as I related in an earlier article, between 2005 and 2012 the US had experienced 1,059 events where pathogens had been either stolen or escaped from American bio-labs during the prior ten years.
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Larry Romanoff is a retired management consultant and businessman. He has held senior executive positions in international consulting firms, and owned an international import-export business. He has been a visiting professor at Shanghai's Fudan University, presenting case studies in international affairs to senior EMBA classes. Mr. Romanoff lives in Shanghai and is currently writing a series of ten books generally related to China and the West. He can be contacted at: [email protected] . He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.
(3) Science; Jon Cohen; Jan. 26, 2020 https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/01/wuhan-seafood-market-may-not-be-source-novel-virus-spreading-globally
Featured image is from Health.mil
Vulture Investors Using Coronavirus Carnage to Wipe Out Small Business
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 11:56
Private equity firms are reportedly using the Chinese coronavirus pandemic as an opportunity to cheaply buy up businesses, which will have a crippling impact on America's small business owners.
While small and medium-sized businesses struggle to stay afloat in the midst of the coronavirus crisis '-- awaiting aid from the federal government '-- reports indicate that private equity firms on Wall Street ''have been waiting'' for economic devastation to capitalize on those hardships.
The coronavirus pandemic is shutting down entire sectors of the economy and putting millions of Americans out of work, but one corner of Wall Street may find opportunity amid the carnage: private equity. [Emphasis added]
The group, which includes investment giants Blackstone, Carlyle and KKR, has a record $1.5 trillion in cash ready to deploy and has been actively seeking deals across the struggling travel, entertainment and energy industries, according to a half-dozen investment bankers who declined to be identified to speak candidly about potential clients. [Emphasis added]
''They have been waiting for this type of market dislocation,'' the head of mergers at a major Wall Street firm told CNBC. ''I don't think they wanted something quite this bad, but they did want a pullback in valuation.'' [Emphasis added]
Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Commissioner Rohit Chopra has blasted the predatory practices currently being used to further devastate American small businesses and monopolize economic power.
''Small business in America is facing extinction,'' Chopra wrote on Twitter. ''COVID19 has put them in peril. But it's the predatory fallout that could wipe them out for good.''
''Small businesses shouldn't go extinct,'' Chopra wrote. ''We need to preserve them by throwing them a lifeline to stay afloat and by policing against shameless shakedowns during our national emergency.''
Chopra detailed three impending ''existential threats'' to small business amid the coronavirus crisis, noting how multinational corporations like Amazon are using the pandemic to further devastate smaller and medium-sized sellers:
1. Loan sharks are crippling cash-strapped companies. Their poison pill loans come with exorbitant rates, draconian terms, and an automatic green light to collect whatever they can when a company falls short. https://t.co/LI1bC7QrVL
'-- Rohit Chopra (@chopraftc) March 24, 2020
3. Vulture investors, especially in private equity, are waiting in the wings to scoop up scores of struggling businesses on the cheap through "roll-up" deals. They can then extract cash by saddling companies with debt and kicking workers to the curb. https://t.co/IoBygiKfC7
'-- Rohit Chopra (@chopraftc) March 24, 2020
Chopra said ''lawyers running lawsuit mills are suing small businesses to extract cash'' and that small businesses are ''now under siege,'' suggesting immediate federal action to stop the predatory deals.
Small businesses need help now to stop lenders and their lawyers from exploiting this emergency and kicking small businesses while they're down.
''> We need a moratorium on these sham collection actions.''> We need to crack down on abusive, take-it-or-leave-it contract terms.
'-- Rohit Chopra (@chopraftc) March 19, 2020
While restaurants, local retail shops, movie theaters, and other small to medium-sized American businesses have been forced to close their doors, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard has warned of a 30 percent unemployment rate during the year's second quarter.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder .
COVID Near You
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 11:43
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Wat Nederland mag met jouw gegevens in strijd tegen het coronavirus | Nieuwsuur
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 10:53
Ben je vandaag al naar buiten geweest? Hoe ver? Wie kwam je tegen? Het zijn vragen die normaal alleen jij kunt beantwoorden. Maar sommige overheden kennen het antwoord inmiddels ook. Zij gebruiken locatiegegevens van burgers in de strijd tegen het coronavirus. Zo kregen Isralirs een sms'je nadat ze contact hadden met coronapatinten, en worden besmette Zuid-Koreanen gevolgd om zeker te weten dat ze hun quarantaine niet doorbreken.
Noodzakelijk, of gaat dit te ver? De Europese Unie roept lidstaten op om het gebruik van locatiegegevens te overwegen. Onder meer Belgi, Slowakije en Oostenrijk zijn al overstag. Nederlandse telecomproviders zijn bereid de overheid te helpen, maar de Tweede Kamer ziet dat voorlopig niet zitten.
In deze video zie je wat de Nederlandse overheid mag doen met onze gegevens (best veel) en wat de Isralische overheid al doet (nog veel meer).
Purmerend en Beemster openen 'corona-kliklijn' | Binnenland | Telegraaf.nl
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 10:52
Dat gebeurt via de Mijn Gemeente-app. Normaal gesproken komen meldingen daarvan eerst bij een klantcontactcentrum, maar de 'corona-kliks' komen rechtstreeks binnen bij medewerkers van de Handhaving.
Voor iedereen op straat geldt de regel om anderhalve meter afstand te houden van anderen om verspreiding van het coronavirus te beperken. Ook vraagt de overheid om niet samen te komen met drie of meer personen.