Tag Archives: black

The black hole at the center of our galaxy just lit up twice as bright as ever. Who knows why

The black hole at the center of our galaxy just lit up twice as bright as ever. Who knows whyAstronomers observing the black hole at the center of our galaxy watched it light up with "unprecedented brightness." And they aren't sure why.



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Illinois Cop Shot Unarmed Black 12-Year-old in Bed During Botched Raid: Lawsuit

Illinois Cop Shot Unarmed Black 12-Year-old in Bed During Botched Raid: LawsuitHandoutAn Illinois mother filed a lawsuit on Thursday accusing police officers of “terrorizing” innocent children after her unarmed, 12-year-old son was shot in his bed with an assault rifle during a pre-dawn raid on their home. The lawsuit alleges that nearly two dozen Country Club Hills and Richton Park SWAT officers entered Crystal Worship’s home in May with exploding flash-grenades and automatic rifles to execute a search warrant intended for her boyfriend. During the raid, her black son, Amir, was allegedly shot by a white officer as he sat on his bed with his hands in the air and suffered a shattered kneecap.“There is a silent epidemic of trauma being perpetrated upon the children and families of color by Chicago and South Suburban police barreling into the wrong homes, handcuffing innocent adults, holding guns on children, handcuffing children, trashing their homes, refusing to show warrants, and screaming dehumanizing commands,” Al Hofeld Jr., the family’s attorney, said in a press release announcing the lawsuit.“Now, children are being shot in their beds,” he added. ‘You’re Gonna Kill Me’: Body-Cam Footage Shows Cops Mocking Dallas Man as He DiesThe lawsuit, which was filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County on Thursday, names the city of County Club Hills, the village of Richton Park, and several police officers as defendants. The family is seeking $ 50,000 in damages for alleged negligence, willful and wanton conduct, assault, battery, and false imprisonment.On May 26, 2019, officers dressed in “army fatigues with black cloth covering their faces and wearing goggles” entered the family’s home at about 5 a.m. while Crystal Worship and her three sons—Amir, 13-year-old Eric, and 18-year-old Robert—were asleep, according to the lawsuit. The court documents allege the officers “battered open the two entry doors and set off between two and five flash-bang grenades,” while executing a search warrant for Crystal’s boyfriend.The boyfriend, Mitchell Thurnam, was arrested and charged with drug possession in a case that was dropped weeks later.Once inside the house, the lawsuit alleges, SWAT officers went to the children’s bedroom and shouted “commands at them” while holding their assault rifles. “The children were terrified they were about to be killed,” the lawsuit states. One officer allegedly continued pointing his firearm directly at Amir, who was shirtless and sitting at the edge of his bed with his hands in the air, even after the room had been cleared. After asking his age, the officer “pulled him up and off of his bed and told him to sit on his brother’s bed… and to put a shirt one,” the lawsuit alleges. Miami Cop Charged With Misconduct After Violent Arrest of Black WomanThirty seconds later, another officer entered the room and allegedly told Amir to “put his shoes on” but then snatched the child’s shoes away when he tried to follow his orders. The officer then “asked which pair of shoes in the room were his” and examined one of the shoes with a flashlight, the lawsuit says.While handing the shoe back to Amir and trying to put his flashlight away in his vest, “the officer quickly moved his right hand back to the handle and trigger of his rifle, grabbing it and firing it,” the lawsuit states. After the officer shot Amir in the knee, shattering his kneecap, he allegedly “covered his badge with black tape and covered his body camera.” “Mom, they shot me,” Amir started to yell, according to the documents. “I can’t move it.”As Amir started screaming, Crystal Worship asked officers in the next room if they were “shooting” the children, the lawsuit says. Officers allegedly refused to tell her what happened and “lied to her and told her they shot someone walking past outside.”The lawsuit also alleges Eric heard his brother being shot while another officer pointed an assault rifle at him. He was handcuffed and placed in a squad car alone for an hour before officers held him at the station for five hours, according to the documents.Amir Worship was transported to the hospital after the bullet “entered his joint and partially exited the back of his leg on the right side”—an injury that required surgery, the lawsuit states. Texas Police Apologize for Viral Photo of Mounted Officers Leading Black Man by RopeThe boy was initially hospitalized for four days after the surgery, and later returned after he “developed complications from infection” which included a high fever, blurred vision, and blacking out twice, the family says.“According to an orthopedic doctor, Amir will not be able to play any sports again, will have difficulty in physical education, will walk with a limp, and will have difficulty walking and running for the rest of his life,” the lawsuit states. A spokesperson for the Country Club Hills Police Department declined to comment on Thursday’s lawsuit, citing an ongoing investigation with the Illinois State Police. Richton Park Police did not immediately respond to The Daily Beast’s requests for comment.Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.



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Father of black man killed by US police in 2014 demands answers

Father of black man killed by US police in 2014 demands answersThe father of Michael Brown, the black American whose killing by police triggered countrywide protests, on Friday marked the fifth anniversary of his son’s death by calling on the Justice Department to re-open its investigation into the shooting. Prosecutors dropped the case against the officer who shot the unarmed 18-year-old, sparking riots in Ferguson, a suburb of St Louis in the conservative state of Missouri. “I am demanding evidence to be reanalyzed, and accountability to follow,” Michael Brown Senior told a news conference.



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Texas police lead black man down street on end of rope

Texas police lead black man down street on end of ropeA Texas police chief has apologised after officers on horseback were spotted leading a black man through the streets by a rope.Photographs of the arrest in Galveston quickly spread online as social media users compared it to the era of slavery.“This is wrong!!!” wrote Erin Toberman, who was the first to share the image on Facebook. “A person should NEVER be roped up and pulled by a horse to go anywhere.”Adrienne Bell, a Democrat congressional candidate for the district, called for an investigation, adding: “It is a scene that has invoked anger, disgust, and questions from the community.”The uproar resulted in Galveston Police Department issuing a statement to say it had immediately suspended use of the technique.According to the statement, officers arrested the suspect, 43-year-old Donald Neely, for criminal trespass and clipped a line to his handcuffs to “escort” him back to their unit nearby.The department claimed alternative transport was “not immediately available” and that the officers used “a trained technique” that was “considered best practice in certain scenarios such as during crowd control”.However it accepted that the technique was incorrectly used in this case.Police chief Vernon Hale said: “First and foremost I must apologise to Mr Neely for this unnecessary embarrassment.“I believe our officers showed poor judgement in this instance and could have waited for a transport unit at the location of arrest.“My officers did not have any malicious intent at the time of the arrest, but we have immediately changed the policy to prevent the use of this technique and will review all mounted training and procedures for more appropriate methods.”Leon Phillips, president for the Galveston Coalition for Justice, told the Houston Chronicle that the photograph reminded him of racist images from the 1920s.“All I know is that these are two white police officers on horseback with a black man walking him down the street with a rope tied to the handcuffs, and that doesn’t make sense, period,” he said.“If it was a white man, I guarantee it wouldn’t have happened.”James Douglas, president of the Houston branch of the civil rights organisation NAACP, agreed the photo showed a lack of respect, adding: “This is 2019 and not 1819.”Galveston Police Department said in its statement on Sunday: “We understand the negative perception of this action and believe it is most appropriate to cease the use of this technique.”



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White cops on horseback led a black man by rope in Texas. Their police chief apologized

White cops on horseback led a black man by rope in Texas. Their police chief apologizedGalveston police chief Vernon L. Hale, III apologized to the man on behalf for the officers. The man, Donald Neely, was under arrest for trespassing.



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Texas Police Apologize for Viral Photo of Mounted Officers Leading Black Man by Rope

Texas Police Apologize for Viral Photo of Mounted Officers Leading Black Man by RopeTwitterThe Galveston, Texas police department is under fire after photos surfaced over the weekend showing two horse-mounted white police officers leading a black man in handcuffs down a street with a rope. The two officers, identified by police as P. Brosch and A. Smith, arrested Donald Neely, 43, on Saturday for criminal trespass after several warnings, according to the Galveston Police Department. But instead of waiting for a transport vehicle to take Neely back to where the other officers were stationed, the cops on horseback tied a rope around his handcuffs and forced him to walk behind their horses for several blocks. “We understand the negative perception of this action and believe it is most appropriate to cease the use of this technique,” the Galveston Police Department wrote in a Monday Facebook post. “The practice was not used correctly in this instance.”Galveston Police Chief Vernon Hale also issued a statement apologizing to Neely, who was charged with misdemeanor criminal trespassing. Hale added that the two officers were “familiar” with Neely.He said that Neely was in the controversial position for about two blocks as they made their way to “where the Mounted Patrol Unit was staging from,” and insisted the officers “did not have any malicious intent.”The technique, he said, is usually used in volatile situations, such as for crowd control. Black Woman Sues Miami PD After Violent Arrest: ‘I Don’t Feel Safe Calling the Police’“My officers did not have any malicious intent at the time of the arrest, but we have immediately changed the policy to prevent the use of this technique and will review all mounted training and procedures for more appropriate methods,” Hale said. “We understand the negative perception of this action and believe it is most appropriate to cease the use of this technique.”The chief’s statement did not say whether the two officers, whose body cameras were activated during the incident, have faced disciplinary action. A police spokesperson declined The Daily Beast’s request for comment on Tuesday. The image, which was taken by an onlooker on Saturday, has since gone viral and sparked outrage.James Douglas, president of Houston’s NAACP chapter, told The Daily Beast the photo shows a lack of respect for the black community and “poor judgment.”Florida Cops Under Fire for Violent Incidents With Black Women“This is 2019 and not 1819,” he said in an email. “Even though the chief indicated that the technique would be discontinued, he failed to address the lack of respect demonstrated by the officers in the episode.”Adrienne Bell, a Texas Democratic congressional candidate, tweeted the photos on Monday and said the scene “invoked anger, disgust, and questions from the community.”“Swift action is needed to ensure that no one is demeaned in this manner again, and arrest procedures are fair, just, and humane,” Bell wrote on Monday. Neely is free on bond, a police spokesperson said Tuesday. Cop Charged With Assault After Video Shows Him Slamming Suspect’s Head Into PavementRead more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.



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Texas police condemned after officers on horseback lead black suspect by rope

Texas police condemned after officers on horseback lead black suspect by ropePolice in Texas have apologised after photographs emerged of two white officers on horseback leading a black man down the street by a rope. Donald Neely, 43, had been arrested on suspicion of trespassing in an office building in downtown Galveston, a coastal city of 50,000 people just outside Houston. The officers attached a rope to the handcuffs behind his back, before leading him to a police staging area eight street blocks away. A passerby took photographs which circulated on social media, leading to a widespread backlash against the police department. "This is 2019 and not 1819," said James Douglas, president of the Houston chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. It was the latest incident to raise tensions over police treatment of black suspects. Prominent alleged abuse and deaths in custody have sparked riots in recent years up and down the US. Melissa Morris, a lawyer for Mr Neely's family, said he was homeless, mentally ill, and suffered from bipolar disorder. She said: "I'm appalled. I believe the way they handled him was disgusting. The family is offended. The family is upset." Galveston's police department said leading a suspect by a rope on horseback was something officers were trained to do. It was an accepted law enforcement technique, and even "best practice" in some situations. However, following fierce criticism, it was announced that the practice would be discontinued. In a statement the police department said: "We understand the negative perception of this action and believe it is most appropriate to cease the use of this technique. "While this technique of using mounted horses to transport a person during an arrest is considered a best practice in certain scenarios, such as during crowd control, the practice was not used correctly in this instance." Vernon Hale, the Galveston Police Chief, said: "First and foremost I must apologise to Mr Neely for this unnecessary embarrassment. "Although this is a trained technique, and best practice in some scenarios, I believe our officers showed poor judgment in this instance, and could have waited for a transport unit at the location of the arrest. "We will review all mounted training and procedures for more appropriate methods." He added that the officers had no "malicious intent" when they led Mr Neely by a rope, and their body cameras were activated at the time. Mr Neely was previously known to the officers. The officers were named by the police department as Officer P. Brosch and Officer A. Smith, but it was not clear if they would face disciplinary action. Mr Neely was accused of trespassing in a building containing offices for companies including investment management firm Merrill Lynch. He was later released on bail. Leon Phillips, president of the Galveston Coalition for Justice, said: "These are two white police officers on horseback, with a black man, walking him down the street with a rope tied to the handcuffs, and that's doesn't make sense, period. "Stay there with him instead of humiliating him, and now you've humiliated the whole city of Galveston. And I do understand this, if it was a white man, I guarantee it would not have happened." The incident will likely put authorities on high alert for a backlash. In 2014 Michael Brown, an unarmed black 18-year-old, was fatally shot by a white officer, Darren Wilson, in Ferguson, Missouri. The officer was not charged and Mr Brown's death led to months of protests, becoming a catalyst for the Black Lives Matter movement. The following year there were protests in Baltimore when Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man, died after being injured in a police van. In New York relations between police and the black community have been poisoned by the death of Eric Garner, a 43-year-old black man, in police custody in 2014. Daniel Pantaleo, the officer who applied a chokehold to Mr Garner, is still on the force amid ongoing calls for him to be fired.



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One inmate killed and five others hospitalized after clash between white and black federal prisoners

One inmate killed and five others hospitalized after clash between white and black federal prisonersOne inmate was killed and five others were injured in a violent clash between black and white inmates at a Florida federal prison.



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Trump's response to the weekend massacres show he is an ethical black hole

Trump's response to the weekend massacres show he is an ethical black holeTrump is playing the country like he’s a conductor of a symphony of racist violence‘Under this president, people are now afraid to go the hospital or to go the police.’ Photograph: Susan Walsh/APDonald Trump continues to play his cynical game of dodging responsibility, shifting blame and exploiting tragedy. In a press conference called to address the horrors of two mass shootings in the United States over the past weekend, the president said nothing about his pivotal role in stoking fear and racism among certain segments of the population, said nothing about the fact that five of the 10 deadliest shootings in American history have happened since 2016, the fact that he has become a figurehead in the dark underground of the global white nationalist movement.Instead, Trump blamed the internet, blamed video games, blamed Congress and blamed “mental health issues”. By tying legislation for tougher gun laws to immigration reform, as he tweeted earlier, Trump also and by extension blamed immigrants, who themselves are the victims of the very racism that has been unleashed by this president.With this ethical black hole of leadership and narcissistic exploitation of other people’s tragedy, Trump proves once again – as if we needed any more proof – that he is unfit for the office he occupies. But the tragedy is larger than his job. It’s also what he’s doing to our country.How are we, the ordinary people of this country, supposed to go about our daily lives in this country any more? The victims in Ohio were doing nothing but enjoying themselves before they were gunned down. The killed and wounded in El Paso were doing nothing but back-to-school shopping.Nor does it stop there. Last April, people were terrorized in Poway, California, when a shooter entered their synagogue as they were celebrating Passover and began firing. And at least since last March, when a suspected white supremacist stormed two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, killing 51 people, American Muslims have congregated more nervously, increasing security at their mosques around the country. If you think the New Zealand connection is far afield from the American context, note that both the alleged Poway and El Paso shooters referenced the New Zealand shooter directly and favorably in their own manifestos.“In general, I support the Christchurch shooter and his manifesto,” the alleged El Paso shooter’s manifesto says. “This attack is a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas. They are the instigators, not me.” The rhetoric here sounds suspiciously like the president’s, who for months, had been tweeting and shrieking about the so-called caravan being “an invasion of our country”. Trump even laughed at the suggestion that migrants should be shot.Such is the world of ideas that circulate dangerously and freely today. Hispanics are invaders, says the suspected El Paso shooter. Muslims want to “replace” white people, according to the accused Christchurch shooter. Jews are determined to “enslave” all the other races, proclaims the alleged Poway shooter. All of these notions are as ridiculous as they are noxious.But while such ideas can be easily dismissed, their real-world consequences cannot. When will the next shooting happen? And who will be its target? The world of the rightwing extremist is populated by too many enemies. Muslims, Latinxs, Jews, immigrants, African Americans, refugees, women. And who will the president blame next?Probably those with mental disabilities, but the idea that mass shooter phenomenon is “a mental illness problem” is another Trumpian sleight of hand. Not only does such a notion deflect responsibility from his own racist statements and actions (and not only does it conveniently forget that in 2018 Trump himself made it easier for people with mental illness to buy guns), but it also advances a dangerous falsehood. In fact, there is no scientifically discernible link between gun violence and mental illness. But with Trump making the link loudly and publicly, those with mental disabilities become even more vulnerable.In fact, Trump is playing the country like he’s a conductor of a symphony of racist violence. Each of us has come to know a particular fear under him, and he draws it out of us when he wants. Muslims have learned to prepare for violence against them when the president tweets or retweets Islamophobic content. Immigrants – including legal permanent residents, for God’s sake – are being told to live in constant fear of Ice raids and immigration detention. Jewish Americans worry about attending their synagogues. Refugees are told they will be sent back.Trump waves his baton, and the racism sings.Nor is this just a matter of perception or limited to the violent acts of the extreme fringe. Reports in El Paso indicate that some people avoided seeking medical care or approaching authorities to find their loved one because of their immigration status, leading the West Texas wing of the Customs and Border Protection to tweet: “We are not conducting enforcement operations at area hospitals, the family reunification center or shelters. We stand in support of our community.”Under this president, people are now afraid to go the hospital or to go the police. We are being taught to be afraid of the very institutions that have been created to protect us.Enough of this bloody, miserable and discordant concert of death and hatred. The basic answers are not difficult. We need fewer guns. We need less racism. We need a different president. * Moustafa Bayoumi is the author of the award-winning books How Does It Feel To Be a Problem? Being Young and Arab in America. He is professor of English at Brooklyn College, City University of New York



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Will Hurd’s Departure Shows That Trump’s GOP Is Becoming No Party for Black Reps

Will Hurd’s Departure Shows That Trump’s GOP Is Becoming No Party for Black RepsBill Clark/GettyAn unexpected political earthquake shook national Republican party circles Friday night, when the party’s lone African American Congressman, William Hurd (R-TX), announced he is retiring after only three terms in the House of Representatives. This is a huge loss for the Republican party, and an ominous sign about where it is headed. Notably, his only mention of the party comes in the closing line of his statement about leaving: “I will keep fighting to remind people why I love America: that we are neither Republican nor Democrat nor Independent; We are better than the sum of our parts.”A former intelligence officer for the CIA, a soft-spoken gentleman, family man, and African American who represents Texas’s southernmost border, Hurd had been seen as someone who’s prospects in the party were limitless, potentially even including a future run at the presidency. Now he is walking away from his hard-won seat as the president runs for  reelection by using race and immigration to promote division in the electorate. Hurd had been the only Republican on the House Intelligence Committee who actually asked questions during Robert Mueller’s testimony about the security of America’s elections, and the role Russia is actively playing in trying to undermine them. One of just four Republican House members to condemn, along with former Republican turned independent Justin Amash, President Donald Trump’s racist tweets and comments about the four Democratic congresswomen known as The Squad. And he had been an outspoken maverick about the need for the GOP to look more like America, particularly in Texas where Beto O’Rourke almost turned the red state blue in 2018. With his exit, the party lost a key member of a new generation of black conservatives with appeal in swing districts in traditionally blue areas. Now, the Party’s hope for finally building a more diverse and female political leadership is fading quickly. Two of the House Republican’s 13 female members are retiring. When Hurd departs, Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) will be the only black Republican in Congress. The party has been here before, too many times. I worked on the Hill when Rep. J..C. Watts (R-OK) was the lone black Republican in Congress. I also remember Rep. Gary Franks (R-CT) when he was in the House. And, of course, Rep. Mia Love (R-UT) made history when she was elected to the House of Representatives in 2014 as the first black female Republican ever elected to the Congress, only to lose her seat in 2018 after splitting with Trump. This is not the way to build a “big-tent” party.As a black female Republican who has been screaming into the wind for over 25 years for party leadership to shift and embrace America’s changing demographic landscape, the reign of Donald Trump is my worst nightmare come true. This is not the party of Jack Kemp that I enthusiastically joined at age 20 in 1988. Does it not worry leaders at the NRCC and RSC that the Republican party is pretty much all white, all male, and over 55, with very few exceptions?Hurd’s decision to depart came days after the release of a taped racist conversation between President Nixon and then California Gov. Ronald Reagan and as the Republican Party is getting more and more aligned with Trump’s nativism, and less aligned with the party’s once great legacy on racial equality, women’s rights, economic empowerment, and a strong national defense. It was Republican presidents who fought the evil Russian empire in the '80s and '90s. No more. President Trump has embraced dictators, tyrants, and murderous regimes so long as they will pay him false homage above all.The Hurd exit, is I believe the first sign of a Republican exodus from the party. Not even long-time conservatives like Bill Kristol, George Will, Tom Nichols, and others can stomach the new Trump GOP. It is an openly racist, sexist, mean-spirited party, not of ideals, but of grievances, gripes, and personal grudges. I am not sure the party can be turned around even after Trump is gone (whether that is in 2020 or 2024), but I think that patriots who love their country, like Rep. Justin Amash, Rep. Will Hurd, Rep. Fred Upton, Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, Gov. John Kasich, Rep. Susan Brooks, Gov. Bill Weld, and many more will have to stand up to President Trump and fight to make once revered Republican values, like faith, family, morals, and American  leadership great again. Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.



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