DOJ to Launch Civil Rights Investigation Into Ferguson Police Department

Ferguson missouri 350x282 DOJ to Launch Civil Rights Investigation Into Ferguson Police Department

Justice Dept. to Launch Probe of Ferguson, St. Louis County Police Departments

The Justice Department will launch a “broad civil rights investigation” into the Ferguson and St. Louis County police departments, the Washington Post reports. The investigation comes after unarmed black teen Michael Brown was gunned down by a white officer, Darren Wilson, as he and a friend walked in the middle of the street in Ferguson, Mo., on Aug. 9.

More from the Washington Post:

Holder’s decision will represent the Obama administration’s most aggressive step to address the Ferguson shooting, which set off days of often-violent clashes between police and demonstrators in the streets of the St. Louis suburb.

The federal officials said the probe will look at not only Ferguson, but other police departments in St. Louis County. Some, like Ferguson, are predominantly white departments serving majority African-American communities and at least one department invited the Justice Department to look at its practices. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss a pending investigation.

[...]

The new probe will look more broadly at whether the department employed policies and practices that resulted in a pattern of civil rights violations.

The Washington Post reported Sunday that five current and one former member of the police force face pending federal lawsuits claiming they used excessive force. The lawsuits, as well as more than a half-dozen internal investigations, include claims that individual officers separately hog-tied a 12-year-old boy who was checking his family mailbox, pistol-whipped children, and used a Taser on a mentally-ill man who died as a result.

Theodore Wafer Sentenced to Minimum of 17 Years for Renisha McBride Murder

theodore wafer 350x221 Theodore Wafer Sentenced to Minimum of 17 Years for Renisha McBride Murder

Theodore Wafer Sentenced to Minimum of 17 Years for Renisha McBride Murder

Theodore Wafer was sentenced to a minimum of 17 years for the porch shooting death of Renisha McBride. His attorney Cheryl Carpenter said the sentence wasn’t “fair or right.” Um, Renisha McBride being shot in the face through the screen door of his Dearborn Heights, Mich., home wasn’t either.

Henry Lee McCollum & Leon Brown Convicted in 1983 NC Murder, Freed After DNA Tests

henry lee mccollum 350x265 Henry Lee McCollum & Leon Brown Convicted in 1983 NC Murder, Freed After DNA Tests

Henry Lee McCollum [pictured] & Leon Brown Convicted in 1983 NC Murder, Freed After DNA Tests (Photo Credit: NC Prison)

If you think justice is blind, think again. Henry Lee McCollum, 50, and Leon Brown, 46, who spent 30 years on death row for a 1983 murder in North Carolina, were ordered freed by a Robeson County court, after DNA evidence implicated Roscoe Artis, a sexual predator with a history of rape and murder. Superior court judge Douglas B. Sasser vacated their convictions and ordered their release.

The half-brothers, who are mentally-disabled, were convicted of the rape and murder of an 11-year-old girl in rural North Carolina in 1983. The exoneration of the brothers shows how the system treats black men, who can be imprisoned for crimes they did not commit, simply on the basis of false or coerced confessions. Thank God DNA testing is available.

Mr. McCollum was 19, and Mr. Brown was 15, when they were picked up by police in Red Springs, a small town in the southern part of the state, on the night of Sept. 28, 1983. Earlier, the body of Sabrina Buie, who had been raped and suffocated with her underwear, had been discovered in a soybean field.

No physical evidence tied the youths, both African-American, as was the victim, to the crime, but someone had apparently cast suspicion on Mr. McCollum. After five hours of questioning with no lawyer present and with his mother weeping in the hallway, not allowed to see him, Mr. McCollum told a story of how he and three other youths attacked and killed the girl.

“I had never been under this much pressure, with a person hollering at me and threatening me,” Mr. McCollum said in a recent videotaped interview with The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C. “I just made up a story and gave it to them so they would let me go home.”

After he signed a statement written out in longhand by investigators, he asked, “Can I go home now?” according to an account by his defense lawyers.

Before the night was done, Mr. Brown, told that his half-brother Henry had confessed and facing similar threats that he could be executed if he did not cooperate, also signed a confession. Both of them subsequently recanted at trial, saying their confessions had been coerced. Oddly, the other two men mentioned in Mr. McCollum’s confession were never prosecuted. Source: NY Times

What’s equally shameful is that as recent as 2010, the NY Times reports, Henry Lee McCollum’s booking photograph was used on campaign flyers by the North Carolina Republican Party to accuse a Democrat of being soft on crime, according to the News & Observer. How many more people are sitting on death row, thanks to unscrupulous and dishonest cops and prosecutors? The state of North Carolina should compensate these two men for the 30 years of their lives they lost.

Watch Henry Lee McCollum jailhouse interview:

Is Democratic Lawmaker Jeff Roorda Linked to Darren Wilson GoFundMe Page?

jeff roorda 350x288 Is Democratic Lawmaker Jeff Roorda Linked to Darren Wilson GoFundMe Page?

Is Democratic Lawmaker Jeff Roorda Linked to Darren Wilson GoFundMe Page?

Is Missouri state Democratic lawmaker Jeff Roorda linked to one of the Darren Wilson GoFundMe pages? The LA Times reports the “Support Officer Wilson” page, which raised $197,620, is run by a St. Louis police charity, “Shield of Hope,” which lists three officers — Joseph Eagan, Timothy Zoll and Jeffrey Roorda, on its state nonprofit records.

The LA Times reports, Zoll is a public information officer for the Ferguson Police Department, while Eagan is a city council member for Florissant and Roorda is a Democratic member of the Missouri House of Representatives, who is now running for state Senate. This begs the question, should a lawmaker be involved to the point of publicly taking sides in a shooting death that has rocked the country? How can he represent the black community? This is why the Justice Department and the FBI had to get involved in the Michael Brown shooting death.

Here’s more on Jeffrey Roorda from the LA Times:

Roorda sponsored a bill in January that would keep police officers’ names secret if they were involved in a shooting unless they were criminally charged. That bill went nowhere.

Eagan, the president of Shield of Hope, told The Times in an email Monday that he had been traveling and that all public responses would be given by Roorda, the group’s vice president. Neither Roorda nor Zoll has responded to Times requests for comment.

Roorda was fired from the police force of Arnold, a St. Louis exurb, in 2001. His superiors accused him of filing a false statement against a suspect in 1997 and against his own police chief when the chief declined to give Roorda paid paternity leave, according to Missouri court records.

Roorda responded at the time that he’d been unjustly fired, but he lost his appeals. He later became police chief of Kimmswick, another St. Louis exurb, and a business manager for the St. Louis Police Officers Assn. He now sits on the Missouri House’s public safety committee.

Here’s an excerpt from Find Law about Jeffrey Roorda during his stint as a cop:

So viewed, the record reveals that in July 1997, Roorda attempted to try to “cover” for another police officer by filing a report that contained false statements as to what happened during a suspect’s apprehension and arrest.   As a result of this false report, all charges against the defendant involved were dropped, and Roorda received a written reprimand from B.J. Nelson (the City’s Chief of Police at the time) for violating the City Police Department’s General Order 74.4 (“False Reporting”).4  The written reprimand issued to Roorda stated, in relevant part:  “If it is ever determined again that you have lied in a police report, you will receive a more severe punishment, up to and including termination.”

Tweets on Jeff Roorda:

Sweet Briar College Student Confesses to ‘White Only’ and ‘Colored’ Signs

sweet briar college 350x350 Sweet Briar College Student Confesses to White Only and Colored Signs

Sweet Briar College Student Confesses to ‘White Only’ and ‘Colored’ Signs

A student at Sweet Briar College confessed to placing “White Only” and “Colored Only” labels on students doors and on a water cooler on the fourth floor of Meta Glass Hall.

The school’s interim president James Jones Jr. issued a statement on the school’s website:

Sometime between 8 and 10:30 this morning, four labels, made with a label-maker, were affixed to doors and the water cooler on the fourth floor of Meta Glass. As difficult as this is to believe, two of the labels read “White Only,” and two “Colored.” For someone who grew up in the deeply segregated South, those words recall to me a world of racial discrimination, disregard for human dignity, and institutionalized prejudice.

Here’s an excerpt of the email from the student sent to James Jones Jr.:

“While posting these extremely hurtful labels, I had one thing in mind. My mission was to show others that words can still have an extreme impact, and the past still resonates with us all. While moving forward, we can never really shake the past. The past is a part of us and we are a part of the past. While they did not necessarily know this before, we are all equal and nobody deserves to be treated unfairly. I was trying to make a point, but the point ended up “making me”…now everyone has ideas on what type of person that I am. I am none of these things….I am myself, I am caring and kind. I am the last person who would ever intentionally hurt someone else, but most of all, I am sorry!”

 

Parolee Claude D. Wyman Yells “White Power” and Tries to Stab Black Man

fist power 316x450 Parolee Claude D. Wyman Yells White Power and Tries to Stab Black Man

Parolee Claude D. Wyman Yells “White Power” and Tries to Stab Black Man (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Parolee Claude D. Wyman yelled “white power” and brandished a knife, “making several stabbing motions,” at a black man standing in front of a billiards hall in Costa Mesa, Calif.

The OC Weekly reports witnesses say “without provocation, Wyman purposefully shoved his chest against the chest of an African American male adult who happened to be standing in front of the billiards hall. Wyman next reportedly called the male a racial slur and threatened to kill him.”

A Hispanic male was reportedly also targeted by Claude Wyman.

Wyman fled the scene and was later apprehended by police, who found a large folding knife in one of his front pants pockets. He was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, making a terrorist threat, hate crimes, violating parole and a gang enhancement.

Claude D. Wyman, who has a lengthy rap sheet, is currently being held without bail. In 1995, he was sentenced to seven years in state prison after a conviction of attempted murder, assault with a firearm, two criminal gang enhancements, the Orange County Register, reports.

Rapper Snoop Dogg in Whiteface, Funny or Racist?

snoop dogg as todd 350x263 Rapper Snoop Dogg in Whiteface, Funny or Racist?

Rapper Snoop Dogg in Whiteface, Funny or Racist?

SNOOP DOGG IN WHITEFACE: Most blacks hate blackface, so should whites be upset over Snoop Dogg (Snoop Doggy Dogg, Snoop Lion, etc.) in whiteface? Snoop, whose real name is Calvin Broadus Jr., has a new name — Todd.

Snoop Dogg posted a series of “Todd” photos and videos on his Instagram page, as part of a promotional stunt for a dating service, “White Guys Connect” (which isn’t real). He wrote, “Hi, I’m Todd. I like to paintball, crochet and a little spoken word in my free time.”

Nick Cannon, Mariah Carey’s estranged husband, tried a similar stunt recently and it backfired. His whiteface character was Connor Smallnut, which he used to promote his album, “White People Party Music.” Yeah, he got media backlash, Snoop Dogg doesn’t seem to be attracting any outrage.

Hundreds March in Ferguson to Remember Michael Brown 3 Weeks After Shooting

michael brown mother marches 350x214 Hundreds March in Ferguson to Remember Michael Brown 3 Weeks After Shooting

Hundreds March in Ferguson to Remember Michael Brown 3 Weeks After Shooting (Photo Credit: Twitter via @ryanjreilly)

Hundreds march in Ferguson to remember slain teen Michael Brown, three weeks after he was gunned down by white officer Darren Wilson. Marchers include his mother, Lesley McSpadden. Signs called for an end to racial profiling.

The march, a protest “against police killings, brutality, profiling and legal cover-ups,” was made up of a diverse crowd including children and adults. Some people shouted “Justice for Michael Brown,” while many carried signs.

The protesters gathered at 10 a.m. in the parking lot of Red’s B-B-Q on West Florissant Avenue, and then marched down Canfield toward the spot where Michael Brown was fatally shot by Darren Wilson.

 

Fired Glendale Cop Matthew Pappert “Remorseful” Over Comments About Ferguson Protesters

matthew pappert 350x178 Fired Glendale Cop Matthew Pappert Remorseful Over Comments About Ferguson Protesters

Fired Glendale Cop Matthew Pappert “Remorseful” Over Comments About Ferguson Protesters

Glendale, MO, police officer Matthew Pappert was fired after an internal investigation concluded over disparaging comments he made about Ferguson protesters on Facebook. Pappert wrote the protesters over Michael Brown’s shooting, should be “put down like rabid dogs” and were a “blight on the community.”

Pappert was suspended with pay last Friday after his Facebook posts were disclosed. He also said the protesters were a “burden on society” and asked “Where is a Muslim with a backpack when you need them?” The Daily Caller preserved Matthew Pappert’s Facebook posts.

Pappert issued an apology through his lawyer after he was fired. He said  he was “deeply remorseful” for his comments and recognized that his “words were insensitive and hurtful.” He also pledged to “engage in diversity training.” Um, don’t they all say this when caught?

Separately, St. Ann police Lt. Ray Albers resigned on Thursday after he pointed an assault rifle at protesters and cursed at them using profane language. Albers, who worked with the St. Ann Police Dept. for 20 years, had three disciplinary actions in the past.

Glendale Cop Matthew Pappert Apology

Warren Buffett’s Son Says His Foundation Bought Rosa Parks Archive

rosa parks 350x350 Warren Buffetts Son Says His Foundation Bought Rosa Parks Archive

Warren Buffett’s Son Says His Foundation Bought Rosa Parks Archive (Photo credit:  Attribution Unkown)

Warren Buffett’s son, Howard Buffett, says the foundation he runs has bought Rosa Parks archive, the AP reports. This begs the question of why didn’t some African Americans step up to the plate and purchase this historical trove?

Buffett said, “I’m only trying to do one thing: preserve what’s there for the public’s benefit.””I thought about doing what Rosa Parks would want. I doubt that she would want to have her stuff sitting in a box with people fighting over them.”

There’s a feud between the civil rights icon’s familiy and friends, which led to the archive being sold to the highest bidder. This is just a shame.

Separately, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s kids are also fighting over his personal items. Bernice King said she’s trying to bar her brothers from selling his personal items, including his Nobel Peace prize, for personal gain.