I hate that you and your family must join this exclusive yet growing group of parents and relatives who have lost loved ones to senseless gun violence. Of particular concern is that so many of these gun violence cases involve children far too young. But Michael is much more than a police/gun violence case; Michael is your son. A son that barely had a chance to live. Our children are our future so whenever any of our children – black, white, brown, yellow, or red – are taken from us unnecessarily, it causes a never-ending pain that is unlike anything I could have imagined experiencing. … You will experience a swell of support from all corners of the world. Many will express their sympathies and encourage you to keep fighting for Michael. You will also, unfortunately, hear character assassinations about Michael which I am certain you already have. This will incense and insult you. All of this will happen before and continue long after you have had the chance to lay your son to rest.
Time.com has published an open letter from Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin, to the family of Michael Brown, the unarmed 18-year-old who was killed on August 9th by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. In the two years since Martin’s murder, Fulton and Trayvon’s dad founded The Trayvon Martin Foundation to provide support for the family members of victims of violent crimes. I encourage you to read the full letter at the link. [TIME] [Photo: Getty]
This weekend, police in Brooklyn, New York, busted some folks who were grilling on the sidewalk — which, I didn’t know until reading this New York Daily News article, is illegal. But a “melee” broke out, with several of the parties resisting arrest. Now there are photographs being distributed by a community advocacy group which purport to show a NYPD officer with his arm in an illegal chokehold around a woman, Rosan Miller, who is seven-months pregnant. Keep reading »
The NYPD has finally agreed to ban the confiscation condoms as evidence from people they suspect of being sex workers. With similar measures having been fought for and won in San Francisco and Washington, D.C., this seems like a win for sexual health, right?
Well, sort of. The headlines I keep seeing aren’t actually accurate: “NYPD to stop seizing sex work suspects’ condoms,” “NYPD To Stop Seizing Condoms From Suspects As Evidence Of Prostitution,” etc. This sort of shoddy reporting might mean that the public thinks that condoms as evidence is an issue over and done with, when in fact there is more to do. The policy announced by NYPD Commissioner Bratton bars confiscation of condoms as arrest evidence in prostitution, prostitution in a school zone, and loitering for the purposes of prostitution cases, which is a great start. But it’s not as overarching as the mainstream media seems to think it is. Keep reading »
An as-yet unnamed Boyton Beach, Florida, police officer has been placed on administrative duty after he was caught on camera kicking the legs out from under a handcuffed 13-year-old for “no reason,” and now the child’s parents are planning to file a formal complaint. Kevens Jean Baptiste, 13, was riding the bus to school last Thursday, when he decided to open his window to get some air. Baptiste explained that his asthma was acting up after another classmate sprayed perfume, making it hard for him to breathe. “I was coughing, and my face was turning red and stuff,” Baptise told NBCMiami. “So, I just let down my window.”
When Baptiste refused to comply with the bus driver’s orders to put up his window, the driver pulled over and called the police, who removed Baptiste from the bus and handcuffed him. At least two students on the bus were filming the incident on their cellphones and captured one of the responding officers forcefully grabbing Jean Baptiste by the torso and neck, dragging him to the grass, prompting one child to exclain, “They’ve got Kevens in a choke hold!” In a second, even more disturbing video (above), an officer is seen swiftly approaching Jean Baptiste, kicking his legs out from under him, sending the teen to the ground.
“They can’t do that!” a child on the bus is heard yelling. “I recorded it!” yelled another. Keep reading »