White Man Attacked on STL Train After Being Asked About Michael Brown

Suspect Wanted for Attacking White Man on Train, Asked About Michael Brown

Suspect Wanted for Attacking White Man on Train, Asked About Michael Brown (Photo Credit: Video Screengrab)

Michael Brown incident

A white man was attacked on a Metro-Link train in St. Louis, Mo., after he was asked about the Michael Brown shooting.

Police are searching for one or more suspects in the assault.

The 43-year-old victim told KMOV that a man in his early 20s asked to use his cellphone. He declined. The suspect sat next to him and asked him what he thought about the “Mike Brown situation.” He responded that he had not thought much about it and the suspect punched him in the face, according to the police report.

Video surveillance footage shows two other men participating in the attack, police said.

Taraji P. Henson Apologizes to Glendale Police for Racial Profiling Claims

'Empire' Star Taraji P. Henson Apologizes to Glendale Police for Racial Profiling Claims

‘Empire’ Star Taraji P. Henson Apologizes to Glendale Police for Racial Profiling Claims

Taraji P. Henson racial profiling claims

“Empire” star Taraji P. Henson apologized to Glendale police for alleging her son, Marcell Johnson, was racially profiled.

The actress alleged that her son was racially profiled during a traffic stop, but a video obtained by the Los Angeles Times cast doubt on her claims. After the 40-minute video of the encounter went viral, the actress issued an apology.

“I would like to publicly apologize to the officer and the Glendale Police Department,” she said in an Instagram message with the hashtag #TurningANegativeIntoAPositive #LoveTarajiPHenson. “A mother’s job is not easy and neither is a police officer’s. Sometimes as humans we overreact without gathering all the facts. As a mother in this case, I overreacted and for that I apologize. Thank you to that officer for being kind to my son.”  Source: LA Times

It should be noted that Marcell Johnson admitted to police that he had weed in the car. He also had the drug Ritalin, that was not prescribed to him. He was stopped because he did went right through a crosswalk with yellow lights flashing. It should be noted that he was allowed to leave without a ticket, despite having weed, a knife, hash oil, Ritalin and a grinder in his car.

The officer can be heard on the dash cam video saying, “I am not going to give you a citation for running that yellow because that would actually put a moving violation on your driving license, and you are going to have to go to traffic school and all that stuff, so I am helping you by not giving you a violation on it. All I am going to do is take the weed from you.”

Taraji P. Henson Enrolls Son at HBCU After He Was Racially Profiled at USC

Taraji P. Henson Enrolls Son at HBCU After He Was Racially Profiled at USC

Taraji P. Henson Enrolls Son at HBCU After He Was Racially Profiled at USC (Photo Credit: Empire via Facebook)

Taraji P. Henson’s son racially profiled

“Empire” star Taraji P. Henson’s 20-year-old son was racially profiled on the campus of the University of Southern California. Her solution was to enroll him in a Historically Black College or University (HBCU).

In the February/March issue of Uptown magazine, Henson said, “My child has been racially profiled.” “He was in Glendale, California, and did exactly everything the cops told him to do, including letting them illegally search his car. It was bogus because they didn’t give him the ticket for what he was pulled over for.”

Taraji P. Henson added, “Then he’s at University of Southern California, the school that I was going to transfer him to, when police stopped him for having his hands in his pockets. So guess where he’s going? Howard University. I’m not paying $50K so I can’t sleep at night wondering is this the night my son is getting racially profiled on campus.”

Read more at Uptown Magazine.

Shooting Cops Isn’t the First Step to Healing in Ferguson MO

Shooting Cops Isn't the First Step to Healing in Ferguson MO

Shooting Cops Isn’t the First Step to Healing in Ferguson MO (Photo Credit: AP Video Screengrab)

(OPINION) — Shooting two officers isn’t the first step to healing in Ferguson, MO. It’s a travesty. I was appalled to learn that two officers were shot. They were called in from a different police department to help with crowd control during protests outside the police headquarters in Ferguson. That is simply unacceptable under any circumstance.

I am all for peaceful protests, but what transpired in Ferguson last night was just disgraceful. It is not clear if the shooters were from Ferguson or not. The reality is a few bad characters are hurting the cause of people in the community and the country, who want to see real change.

One officer was shot in the shoulder and the other in the face. They are said to be in serious condition and expected to survive, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

Belmar said he felt police have been fortunate since protests erupted in Ferguson in August after the police shooting of Michael Brown in that officers patrolling those protests have not been injured.

“But I have said all along that we cannot sustain this forever without problems,” he added. “That’s not an indictment of everybody that’s expressing their First Amendment rights but we have seen in law enforcement that this is a very, very dangerous environment for officers to work in regarding the amount of gunfire that we have experienced up there.

Belmar said there were no suspects in the shooting and he was unsure of any links to the protests. “I don’t know who did the shooting, to be honest with you, but somehow they were embedded in that group of folks,” he said.

Police chief Belmar said one officer was with the St. Louis County Police Department, while the other was with the Webster Groves department.

I won’t join the shrill chorus from the right wing blaming President Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder and Al Sharpton for this sad turn of events. There are a few people hellbent on making trouble. They should not be allowed to drown out the voices of those people who want to see change. One thing I know, is that the attempted murder of police officers, who put their lives in harm’s way on a daily basis, isn’t the way for Ferguson or any other city to heal.

Amateur video from shooting:

Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson Resigns Following DOJ Report

Report: Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson to Resign Following DOJ Report

Report: Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson to Resign Following DOJ Report

BREAKING:  Fox News is reporting that Ferguson police chief Tom Jackson will resign today following a damning DOJ report on pattern of racism rampant in his police department. This comes one day after the city manager resigned.

CNN is reporting that Jackson has indicated he is willing to step down, but does not mention timing.

Chief Tom Jackson had previously said he would not resign but wanted to be a part of the change.

Developing story. Stay tuned.

Ferguson Cops Capt. Rick Henke, Sgt. William Mudd Quit Over Racist Emails

Ferguson Cops Capt. Ricke Henke, Sgt. William Mudd Quit Over Racist Emails

Ferguson Cops Capt. Rick Henke, Sgt. William Mudd Quit Over Racist Emails (Photo Credit: CNN Video Screengrab)

Ferguson police officers Capt. Rick Henke and Sgt. William Mudd resigned on Thursday, and the city’s top court clerk, Mary Ann Twitty, was fired over racist emails uncovered during an investigation by the Department of Justice.

Examples of the racist emails include one sent in October 2011 that showed a photo of bare-chested dancing women, apparently in Africa, with the caption “Michelle Obama’s High School Reunion.” A June 2011 email described a man trying to put his dogs on welfare because the canines were “mixed in color, unemployed, lazy, can’t speak English and have no … clue who their Daddies are.” Source: CNN

More from the St. Louis Post Dispatch: The sources said Henke was associated with an email from 2008 suggesting that President Barack Obama would not be president for very long because a black man can’t hold a job. They said Mudd was associated with an email from 2011 suggesting that CrimeStoppers paid a black woman who terminated a pregnancy.

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Michael Brown’s Parents to File Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Ferguson, Darren Wilson

Michael Brown's Parents to File Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Ferguson, Darren Wilson

Michael Brown’s Parents to File Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Ferguson, Darren Wilson

Michael Brown’s parents, Lesley McSpadden and Michael Brown Sr.,  to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the city of Ferguson and officer Darren Wilson. This comes one day after the Justice Department said it would not file federal civil rights charges against Wilson for the teen’s death.

Attorneys Anthony Gray and Daryl Parks told reporters that a civil action has a different burden than the burden for state and federal prosecutors considering criminal charges.

“The burden of proof for the federal and state investigation is far different from the burden of proof in a civil case,” said Anthony Gray, a Brown family attorney.

Gray said they plan to file the suit “very shortly.”

He said they would “outline pretty much the same evidence” that state and federal prosecutors considered.

“However, you will get a more clear, more accurate picture of what took place that day,” Gray said. “We feel, as we’ve always felt from the very beginning, that Officer Daren Wilson did not have to shoot and kill Mike Brown Jr. in broad daylight in the manner that he did. That other options (were) available to him.” Source: St. Louis Post Dispatch

DOJ: George Zimmerman Won’t Face Federal Charges for Killing Trayvon Martin

Report: DOJ Finds No Evidence Zimmerman Intentionally Violated Trayvon Martin's Civil Rights

Report: DOJ Finds No Evidence Zimmerman Intentionally Violated Trayvon Martin’s Civil Rights

ABC News is reporting that the Justice Department found no evidence George Zimmerman intentionally violated Trayvon Martin’s civil rights when he fatally shot him in Sanford, Fla. In other words, he will not face any federal charges. The teen was not armed when he was killed in February, 2012.

Here’s the entire press release from the DOJ on Trayvon Martin case:

The Justice Department announced today that the independent federal investigation found insufficient evidence to pursue federal criminal civil rights charges against George Zimmerman for the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin on Feb. 26, 2012, in Sanford, Florida.  Prosecutors from the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, officials from the FBI, and the Justice Department’s Community Relations Service met today with Martin’s family and their representatives to inform them of the findings of the investigation and the decision.

“The death of Trayvon Martin was a devastating tragedy.  It shook an entire community, drew the attention of millions across the nation, and sparked a painful but necessary dialogue throughout the country,” said Attorney General Eric Holder.  “Though a comprehensive investigation found that the high standard for a federal hate crime prosecution cannot be met under the circumstances here, this young man’s premature death necessitates that we continue the dialogue and be unafraid of confronting the issues and tensions his passing brought to the surface.  We, as a nation, must take concrete steps to ensure that such incidents do not occur in the future.”

Following the shooting, a team of some of the department’s most experienced civil rights prosecutors and FBI agents conducted a comprehensive, independent investigation of the events of Feb. 26, 2012.  The federal investigation was opened and conducted separately from the state of Florida’s investigation of the shooting under local laws.  Once the state initiated the second-degree murder prosecution, federal investigators began monitoring the state’s case and halted active investigation in order not to interfere with the state’s trial.  Federal investigators provided reports of interviews and other evidence they obtained to the state’s prosecution team.

Shortly after Zimmerman’s acquittal in state court on July 13, 2013, federal investigators resumed active investigation.  Federal investigators reviewed all of the material and evidence generated by the state of Florida in connection with its investigation and prosecution of Zimmerman, including witness statements, crime scene evidence, cell phone data, ballistics reports, reconstruction analysis, medical and autopsy reports, depositions, and the trial record.  Federal investigators also independently conducted 75 witness interviews and obtained and reviewed the contents of relevant electronic devices.  The investigation included an examination of police reports and additional evidence that was generated related to encounters Zimmerman has had with law enforcement in Florida since the state trial acquittal.  In addition, federal authorities retained an independent biomechanical expert who assessed Zimmerman’s descriptions of the struggle and the shooting.

The federal investigation sought to determine whether the evidence of the events that led to Martin’s death were sufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Zimmerman’s actions violated the federal criminal civil rights statutes, specifically Section 3631 of Title 42 of the U.S. Code or Section 249 of Title 18 of the U.S. Code, as well as other relevant federal criminal statutes.  Section 3631 criminalizes willfully using force or threat of force to interfere with a person’s federally protected housing rights on account of that person’s race or color.  Section 249 criminalizes willfully causing bodily injury to a person because of that person’s actual or perceived race.  Courts define “willfully” to require proof that a defendant knew his acts were unlawful, and committed those acts in open defiance of the law.  It is one of the highest standards of intent imposed by law.

The federal investigation examined whether Zimmerman violated civil rights statutes at any point during his interaction with Martin, from their initial encounter through the fatal shooting.  This included investigating whether there is evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that Zimmerman violated Section 3631 by approaching Martin in a threatening manner before the fatal shooting because of Martin’s race and because he was using the residential neighborhood.  Investigators also looked at whether there is evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that Zimmerman violated Section 3631 or Section 249, by using force against Martin either during their struggle or when shooting Martin, because of Martin’s race.

“Although the department has determined that this matter cannot be prosecuted federally, it is important to remember that this incident resulted in the tragic loss of a teenager’s life,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta of the Civil Rights Division.  “Our decision not to pursue federal charges does not condone the shooting that resulted in the death of Trayvon Martin and is based solely on the high legal standard applicable to these cases.”

After a thorough and independent investigation into the facts surrounding the shooting, federal investigators determined that there is insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt a violation of these statutes.  Accordingly, the investigation into this incident has been closed.  This decision is limited strictly to the department’s inability to meet the high legal standard required to prosecute the case under the federal civil rights statutes; it does not reflect an assessment of any other aspect of the shooting.

The Justice Department is committed to investigations of allegations of bias-motivated violence and will continue to devote the resources required to ensure that allegations of civil rights violations are fully and completely investigated.  The department aggressively prosecutes criminal civil rights violations whenever there is sufficient evidence to do so.

The family of Trayvon Martin issued a statement:

“We would like to thank the Department of Justice for their extensive and thorough investigation into the killing of our son. Although we are disappointed in these findings, it has steeled our resolve to continue traveling the country with the message of the Trayvon Martin Foundation.

We remain poised to do everything in our power to help eradicate senseless violence in our communities, because we don’t want any other parent to experience the unexplainable loss we have endured,” the family statement read. “We will never, ever forget what happened to our son, Trayvon, and will honor his memory by working tirelessly to make the world a better place.”

New Rochelle Cop Holds Black Teens at Gunpoint Over Snowball Fight

New Rochelle Cop Holds Black Teens at Gunpoint Over Snowball Fight

New Rochelle Cop Holds Black Teens at Gunpoint Over Snowball Fight (Photo Credit: YouTube Video Screengrab)

A video has surfaced of a New Rochelle police officer holding some teenagers at gunpoint over a snowball fight.

The video was posted on local news blog Talk of the Sound. The cop forced the teens to kneel on the ground and put their hands up.

As he approaches the teens he shouts, “Don’t f*cking move guys.” He then frisks one of the teens and pointed his gun at another.

HBO Picks Up “Thug Music” Documentary About Jordan Davis Shooting

HBO Picks Up "Thug Music" Documentary About Jordan Davis Shooting Trial

HBO Picks Up “Thug Music” Documentary About Jordan Davis Shooting Trial

HBO picks up the “Thug Music” documentary, 3 1/2 Minutes about the trial for the murder of black teen Jordan Davis by Michael Dunn, in Jacksonville, Fla., in November 2012.

3 1/2 Minutes, which was directed by Marc Silver, made its premiere at the Sundance Music Festival last week. HBO bought the U.S. television rights to the movie and will air it later this year after its theatrical release.

Shiela Nevins, president of HBO Documentary Films said, “I am grieved that these continuing stories are everyday matters swept away. By bringing this powerful film to HBO audiences we hope to elevate the national conversation around these tragic issues.”

The jury deadlocked on the first-degree murder charge while returning a guilty verdict on three counts of attempted murder during the trial last February. Michael Dunn was retried and found guilty of first-degree murder for Jordan Davis’ murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Last year, Jordan Davis’ family attorney John Phillips released a damning video of a neighbor, Charles Hendrix, slamming Michael Dunn as a bully and someone who was hard to get a long with.

Watch the trailer for “3 1/2 Minutes” via Participant Media: