If you still think Islamic terrorists pose one of the gravest threats to Americans, it’s because you haven’t seen the stats on gun violence. BillMoyers.com, as well as a small number of other high quality news organizations (including The Guardian) fill in the gaps left by many bigger news providers to give us a true picture of who presents the biggest threat.
“President Obama just banned the federal government’s transfer of certain military vehicles and weaponry to local and state police departments across America.”
By Robert A. Vella
Relations between minority communities and local law enforcement are rapidly deteriorating across the U.S. in the wake of two grand jury decisions not to indict police officers for the killing of unarmed black men (Michael Brown, Eric Garner), and the subsequent murder of two NYPD cops. The most prominent flashpoints have occurred in Ferguson, Missouri and now New York City, but worsening race relations are a national problem which has shaken America to its moral foundations.
At the heart of the matter is the dangerous increase in economic inequality that has plagued the U.S. and other western countries since the Great Recession. As societies become more stratified and segregated along class and ethnic lines, civil unrest intensifies as a natural result. This pits a stubborn – and predominantly white – administrative establishment against an angrily disaffected – and racially diverse – population with law enforcement…
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I recently received this message, and an accompanying petition, in an email from the ACLU:
“On August 9th, local police fatally shot an unarmed African-American 18-year-old named Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. In the days that followed, there have been massive protests in Ferguson and heavily armed SWAT teams are roaming the streets in response. Our communities are not war zones.”
By Robert A. Vella
Here are the major developments that have occurred over the past day regarding the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and the subsequent violent confrontations between local law enforcement and civilian protesters in that beleaguered town:
Yesterday, after a phone conversation with President Obama, Missouri governor Jay Nixon ordered the state highway patrol – headed by Captain Ron Johnson – to assume law enforcement duties in Ferguson (see: Missouri Gov. Puts Highway Patrol in Charge in Ferguson).
Afterwards Robert McCulloch, the St. Louis County prosecuting attorney who would be responsible for bringing the Ferguson police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown to trial, responded to the Governor’s move. From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch – McCulloch blasts Nixon for replacing St. Louis County Police control:
“It’s shameful what he did today, he had no legal authority to do that,” McCulloch said…
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After reading about Eric Garner and seeing the video on Time.com of him being attacked by members of the New York Police Dept. (NYPD), the official ruling of his death as homicide brings mixed emotions. I’m sad that it has been confirmed by a medical examiner that he was indeed killed by the rough treatment he received by police, including a choke hold. But I’m glad, too- glad that the NYPD can no longer try to feed the Black community lies about how Garner really died. The homicide ruling leaves no room for the police’s previous excuses, which include that they believed he was not in any distress during or after several officers roughly subdued and took Garner down with a chokehold, pushing his head into the pavement and practically piling on top of him.