Monthly Archives: November 2007

DNA HELPS SOLVE 1984 MURDER OF SHARON DARNELL

 

06:41 PM CST on Friday, November 30, 2007

Associated Press HOUSTON—DNA testing and the dogged efforts of a retired officer have helped solve the 1984 rape and murder of a teen, police said Friday.

HPD, Crime Stoppers

Frederick Johnson, 47

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Fourteen-year-old Sharon Darnell’s body was found in an abandoned Houston apartment building on the afternoon of Feb. 7, 1984.

She was stabbed at least seven times in the neck. Her body and been bound and there was evidence she had been sexually assaulted.

An object inserted into her throat also contributed to her death, police said.

“It was a very gruesome scene. The investigators that worked on it were convinced they knew who the guilty party was but were unable to prove it,” said former Houston police Sgt. John Burmester, who investigated the case and has kept track of it since retiring in 2003.

Police identified Frederick Johnson, who was 23 at the time, as the prime suspect.

Blood was found on his clothing and semen was found on the victim.

But in 1984, DNA testing of evidence was not available.

The case went cold until May when Officer Connie Park, with the homicide squad, talked with Burmester, who asked investigators to take another look at it and several other cases.

“It was amazing. He knew the date, the incident number, the location.

He knew everything about it. He had his own database, which he kept over the years,” Park said.

Burmester, who estimated he investigated at least 1,000 murders in his 31-year career, said this case stuck in his mind because of its brutal nature and because he had a good idea of who was responsible.

“We had come to the point where the evidence that was collected back then could be analyzed and the results could come back showing that Johnson either was or was not the suspect,” he said.

Blood and other DNA evidence was sent to a private lab in Dallas.

The test results showed the victim’s blood was on Johnson’s clothing and the semen found on the victim was his as well, said Houston police Sgt. Eric Mehl.

Johnson, now 47, was charged on Tuesday with capital murder in Darnell’s slaying. He is currently serving a life sentence in a Texas prison for another sexual assault involving a 16-year-old girl.

He was denied parole in 2003.

“The good Lord works in mysterious ways,” Burmester said. “I guess justice seems to catch up with people.”

Darnell’s family is also relieved that somebody has been charged in their loved one’s death, Mehl said. Her slaying is one of nearly 3,000 unsolved murders dating back to 1970 that the Houston Police Department’s cold case squad is investigating.

Johnson, who has been convicted twice before, in 1979 and 1984, of sexually assaulting minors, will be brought back to Harris County to face the new charge, Mehl said.

“I think any of us who have done this for all these years, we have these cases that you don’t forget them,” Mehl said. “As the technology improves, now we can go back and hold these people accountable for what they did after they thought they had gotten away with it.”

(Article courtesy of Channel 11-News-KHOU)

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THINK (TWICE) BEFORE USING DEADLY FORCE

10:35 AM CST on Thursday, November 29, 2007

By Dave Fehling /11 NEWS
 

The Pasadena case where a homeowner gunned down two burglars who were ripping off his neighbor, has put a spotlight on Texas’ Castle Law.

You may have one at home right now: a gun.    

Would you use it to stop someone who’s stealing from you or from your neighbor?

It’s what happened earlier this month in Pasadena, but using deadly force can have repercussions that could cost you far more than whatever it was the thieves were after.

It’s one thing to know how to shoot a gun at a target, but what if you were shooting at a real person?

It’s what Joe Horn did when he said he saw two men burglarizing his neighbor’s house in Pasadena.

“I can’t take a chance on getting kill over this,” he was heard saying on a call to 911. “I’m going to shoot. I’m going to shoot.”

The deadly blasts from his shotgun caught on the 911 tape.

It’s one thing to be for the right to bear arms, to protect you or your property. But what if you really did it? Shooting someone is about as serious as it gets, legally, financially and even emotionally.

Take Jerry Casey.

One night 13 years ago, he thought a thief was trying to steal his pickup from in front of his home in north Houston.

He got his rifle and fired, killing the man who was in a wrecker and turned out to be a repo man just doing his job.

A grand jury though did not indict Casey, but eight months later, he nonetheless killed himself, citing the repo tragedy in a suicide note.

In cases like these where it’s not a clear cut case of self-defense, the legal costs can soar.

“The average price today to be represented before a grand jury is about $8,000,” Greg Smith said. “If they no-bill you, you’re still open to civil litigation.”

Smith isn’t a lawyer. He’s an instructor for people wanting to get licensed to carry a concealed gun.

“The bottom line is, I don’t want them to ever have to use their gun,” Smith said.

He said after he explains the legal and financial liability for shooting someone, the majority of his students decide not to pack a pistol.

“They realize going through this class all the repercussions, all the implications,” Smith said.

“There’s an attorney attached to every bullet you fire,” lawyer Tom Nixon said.

Nixon is a lawyer. He’s also a card-carrying concealed handgun owner and has a company that provides licensed gun owners legal help for $10 a month.

“And if God forbid, you ever have to go to trial, we defend you at trial,” Nixon said.

How much would that cost?

“For murder? Probably between $75,000 and a $100,000 because you’re going to have to hire expert witnesses, and they’re never cheap,” he said.

You can get free advice on his Web site:

Like, “Do not tell the 911 dispatcher” any details about the shooting because it’s “being recorded” and will be used “against you.”

And instructor Smith said, “If someone breaks into your house, you don’t go hunting for them … defend yourself if necessary, but hide or run.”

The point: Minimize the chance you’ll have to shoot because pulling the trigger can carry extraordinary costs.

(Article courtesy of Channel 11 KHOU News)

http://www.khou.com/video/news-index.html?nvid=197416

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RELATED LINKS:

2/7/2008:
Castle Law: Shoot or Don’t Shoot?”: http://www.wlbt.com/Global/story.asp?S=7841201   

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CONROE, TEXAS MAN SLAIN BY NEIGHBORHOOD SHOOTER

FAMILY SAYS SHOOTER SHOULD HAVE BACKED DOWN
08:36 PM CST on Friday, November 30, 2007

By Chau Nguyen / 11 News

A make-shift memorial marks the area near where Clark Dennis was shot.

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On a quiet road, sit displays of grief. Flowers for a man whose family says he didn’t deserve to die.

“He was really kind hearted,” said Dennis’ niece Lita Acree.

A kind hearted man, whose story is now making headlines in Conroe.

Clark Dennis, known by friends and family as corky, was shot and killed at his neighbors home just doors down.

“They’re very upset, they think it’s a tragic that shouldn’t have happened and it did,” said Acree.

Sunday night, authorities say, Dennis had walked to Paul Smiths home, to complain that Smith’s daughter and her boyfriend were speeding down the road.

Police say there was an altercation on the porch, then Smith shot Dennis dead.

“(It) is not required to retreat before using deadly force,” said Montgomery County District Attorney Mike McDougal.

The District Attorney is taking a close look at the case to determine whether this shooting falls under the state’s castle doctrine law.

The new law that took effect on Sept. 1, gives homeowners more rights to open fire on their property.

“I just want to make sure before we go throwing people in jail that we’re making the right decision,”

Smith was not arrested that evening. The District Attorney is referring the matter to a grand jury to decide whether this was a case of murder, or self defense.

Whatever the grand jury decides, Dennis’ loved ones have already made up their minds.

11 News: Do you consider this murder?

“Yes I do,” said Acree. “I think he should have locked the door and called the cops if it was that big of a deal.”

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DNA CONFIRMS BABY GRACE’S IDENTITY

UPDATE
09:18 PM CST on Friday, November 30, 2007

KHOU.com staff report HOUSTON  — A murdered 2-year-old girl, called “Baby Grace” by the police officials investigating her brutal death, has been officially identified as a missing Ohio girl.On Friday, DNA tests confirmed the little girl’s identity as that of Riley Ann Sawyers, who disappeared in June after her mother moved to Texas from Mentor, Ohio, to marry a man she met online.Riley’s mother, Kimberly Dawn Trenor, 19, and her husband, Royce Clyde Zeigler II, 24, have been arrested in the toddler’s death.Trenor told police she and Zeigler beat and tortured Riley to death July 24 in a disciplinary session that veered out of control.  Trenor said they hid the girl’s body in a shed for two months before dumping it in Galveston Bay.

“BABY GRACE” Alt Tag

WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT Probable cause documents, Part 1 | Part 2

Baby Grace case

Baby Grace case timeline

The little girl’s remains were found inside a plastic storage bin that washed ashore October 29.

For weeks, a contingent of Galveston County Sheriff’s investigators and FBI officials worked to track down the identity of the little girl, who wore a Target-brand pink, broom skirt, and white light-up tennis shoes with purple flowers. They distributed a police artist’s rendering of the girl, showing a toddler with blonde hair and a cherubic face.

That sketch caught the attention of Riley’s paternal grandmother in Ohio, who called police to say Baby Grace could be the granddaughter she hadn’t seen in months. Riley’s father, Robert Thomas Sawyers, 20, lives in Mentor.

That call led police to Trenor and Zeigler, who were living in Spring, Texas, about 75 miles north of Galveston.

Trenor and Zeigler were charged with injury to a child and tampering with evidence. Bail was set at $350,000 each. Trenor’s attorney, Tommy Stickler Jr., said Trenor is pregnant.

According to Stickler, Trenor said that Zeigler wanted his wife to spank Riley with a belt when she failed to say things like “please” and “yes sir” or “no sir.” Zeigler didn’t believe Trenor was doing it, however, because the 2-year-old’s behavior wasn’t changing.

The fatal beating happened after Zeigler stayed home from work to make sure his wife was following his discipline plan, Stickler said.

In a statement to authorities, Trenor said the girl was beaten with leather belts, had her head held underwater in a bathtub and then was thrown across a room, her head slamming into a tile floor.

An autopsy revealed that Riley suffered three skull fractures, but the cause of death has not been determined.

After Riley was killed, Trenor said in the police statement, Zeigler had her forge a document that the Ohio Department of Children’s Services had taken Riley away because of allegations of sexual abuse.

Trenor told relatives that someone claiming to be a social worker from Ohio had taken Riley.

Galveston authorities said they will review the case to determine the possibility of other charges against Trenor and Zeigler.

http://video.ap.org/v/Legacy.aspx?g=26b0d457-7f8d-4432-8b61-cfe185ecb84c&f=&partner=en-ap

http://www.khou.com/video/index.html?nvid=197002

http://www.khou.com/video/index.html?nvid=196874

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THRILLER

Yep. It has been two-and-a-half decades, but, today is the 25TH Anniversary of Micheal Jackson’s video/choreo-dance “Thriller”.

 Thrillertitlecard.jpg

 Yes, those dance steps we all could not wait to try out on our captive parents, friends, siblings, neighbors, co-workers, bosses…………..

Those snazzy zombie movements that were the bomb—or should I say, were the graveyard beat of the last century.

It was a 14-minute music video for the song of the same name released on December 2, 1983 and directed by John Landis. It is considered to be the best music video of all time, and redefined the concept of music videos; hence it is acclaimed in its genre. It was the most expensive video of its time, costing $800,000 — the equivalent of 1.4 million in 2007 U.S. dollars, until Michael beat his own record with sister Janet for the $7,000,000 video for “Scream”. It also held the record for the world’s longest music video, until ceding that to Jackson’s 35 minute, long-form music video, “Ghosts”, in 1996.

The “Thriller” video premiered on December 2, 1983 on MTV, exactly a year and a day after the album’s December 1, 1982 release. Hugely popular, even by the standards of Michael’s prior releases, “Thriller” went into heavy rotation on MTV, being played as much as twice an hour (especially notable considering the piece’s fourteen-minute run time). The video won the inaugural MTV Video Music Award for Best Choreography in 1984.

Released at the same time of the 14-minute video was an hour-long documentary providing  behind the scenes views of the production and the choreography of how “Thriller” was made. This video, entitled Making Michael Jackson’s Thriller,  was also shown heavily on MTV for a time and was the top-selling home-video release of all time at one point, with more than 9 million copies sold.

THRILLER.

Michael Jackson

Who can forget the following classics that still stand the test of time:

“Beat It,” “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin,” “Thriller” and “Billie Jean”?

Who has not put their hand into a sequinned glove, put on the well-constructed shoes, and made numerous attempts (many in vain) to try and dance like the King of Pop in a desire to mimic his classic “Moonwalk” glide as only Michael can do it? How many tried to do the “Robot” only to come off looking like robots with no sense of rhythm? How many have danced to the beat of those killer zombies of “Thriller”, zombies who could put the greatest of dancers to shame, while they shaked, shimmied and bopped to the bass of the “funk of 40,000 years”? Who can forget Vincent Price’s classy voice-over narrative of those ghouls who hungrily chased after Michael and his lady friend, Ola Ray?

THRILLERghouls.jpg

Twenty-five years. Hard to believe that so many years have passed. Here is what the rest of the world is saying about Micheal’s video, a video that forever changed how we view music videos right up to today:

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25TH ANNIVERSARY OF ‘THRILLER’ PLANNED

Published: Nov. 30, 2007 at 2:52 PM

NEW YORK, Nov. 30 (UPI) — Epic Records/Legacy Recordings announced plans to release a 25th anniversary edition of Michael Jackson’s monster hit album, “Thriller.”The new, deluxe version of the award-winning album is set to hit U.S. stores on Feb. 12 and will feature new and previously unreleased bonus tracks, including remixes by Akon, will.i.am and Kanye West. Showcasing classic songs like “Beat It,” “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin,” “Thriller” and “Billie Jean,” the new package will also include a bonus DVD, featuring digitally restored music videos.The album will go on sale worldwide the week of Feb. 11.Legacy Recordings said the 25th anniversary “Thriller” celebration will kick off in December with the release of a new single.

© 2007 United Press International.”

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 THRILLER.

The wait. The anticipation of getting the video release into our hands, popping it into the VHS VCR (or Sony Betamax, if you will, for those of us who owned [or still own] our Sony SL-5600 VCRs), and then, finally…………there it was.

Music history in the making.

I still own my black vinyl LP of “Thriller”. I still own my Betamax copy of “Thriller”; I also still own my Laserdisc and RCA SelectaVision CED disc copies of “Thriller” as well.

I guess you could safely say that I kinda like “Thriller”.

Michael made use of innovative, beautiful movements in “Thriller” and the music and the lyrics are the best of any album of the latter part of the last century.

Here are more accolades attesting to the longevity, the endurance, the masterful accomplishment of “Thriller”:

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 “Originally released in the US 25 years ago on November 30, 1982 by Epic Records, Thriller, Michael Jackson’s sixth solo album and second with producer Quincy Jones, rocketed the former child-star lead singer for the Jackson 5 into the stratosphere of international superstardom. Introducing the “robot” and the “moonwalk” into the international lexicon of clubland dance moves via the pulsing sounds of Thriller, Michael Jackson revolutionized all aspects of mainstream pop culture — from radio airwaves to the newly emerging art form of music videos — becoming the world’s most popular entertainer in the process.

The original Thriller spent an astounding 80 consecutive weeks in the American Top 10, 37 of those at #1. Seven of the album’s original nine tracks became Top 10 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 while Individual singles from Thriller reached #1 chart positions in the US, the UK, France, Italy, Australia, Denmark, Belgium, South Africa, Spain, Ireland, New Zealand and Canada.“Thriller made history as the first and only record to be America’s top- selling album two years running (1983 and 1984).

“Thriller has been certified 27x platinum by the RIAA, giving it Double Diamond Award status in the US. In addition, the album has achieved Diamond or Multi-Platinum status in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Belgium, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and the UK. In 1985, the Guinness Book of Records named Thriller the Best Selling Album of All Time, an achievement which remains unsurpassed to this day.

“In February 1984, Michael Jackson held a record-breaking 12 Grammy nominations, going on to win eight, which stands as the record for most Grammy Awards to be won by anyone in a single year. Seven of Michael’s Grammys that year were for Thriller: Album of the Year; Record of the Year (“Beat It”); Best Male Pop Vocal Performance (“Thriller”); Best Engineered Recording, Non- Classical (Thriller); Best Male Rock Vocal Performance (“Beat It”); Best Male R&B Vocal Performance (“Billie Jean”); Best R&B Song (“Billie Jean”). (Michael’s eighth Grammy that year was in the Best Recording For Children – Single or Album, Musical or Spoken category for “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial”). That same year, Michael Jackson took home eight American Music Awards and three MTV Video Music Awards. The following year, “The Making of Michael Jackson’s Thriller” took home the Best Video Album trophy at the 27th Annual Grammy Awards.

“Named the “Most Successful Entertainer of All Time” by the Guinness World Records, Michael Jackson is among the most highly acclaimed and influential artists in pop culture. He was named the World Music Award’s Best-Selling Pop Male Artist of the Millennium and received the American Music Award’s Artist of the Century Award. He has been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame twice: in 1997 as a member of the Jackson 5 and as a solo artist in 2001.”

THRILLER

Tonight, I will put on “Thriller” and let Michael, the zombies, the grisly ghouls, Vincent and the music and lyrics bring back fond memories when music could transcend across all socio-economic classes, racial/ethnic groups, genders——-without having to resort to profanity and degrading stereotypes that offended—–music that was, and still is music in the truest sense.

THRILLER.

See it again and realize that at that time we were witness to the outstanding creative genius of Michael Jackson at work on a song/video that many of us never knew would have such a profound change in music video formats and technical production. ************************************************************************************************************

“THRILLER VIDEOS”

 

http://www.dailymotion.com/related/237029/video/xuje7_mickael-jackson-billie-jean_music

http://www.dailymotion.com/related/1424815/video/xmcdg_michael-jackson-billie-jean-live_music

http://www.dailymotion.com/related/1042468/video/xmc4y_michael-jackson-beat-it_music

 

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UPDATE:

MICHAEL JACKSON CELEBRATES HIS ’50TH’BIRTHDAY!

 

“POP SUPERSTAR TURNS 50”:  http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/7448908.stm

“PRINCE, MADONNA, AND MICHAEL JACKSON TURN 50 THIS YEAR”:  http://blog.cleveland.com/lifestyles/2008/06/prince_madonna_and_michael_jac.html

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BLACK AMERICAN WOMEN: WHERE THEY STAND

For the  past few days, NBC Nightly news has been doing a series of reports on the staus of Black American women. These nightly reports range in topics on career/employment, education, life in the home and many other topics of importance.

Monday’s report centered on the following:

  Monday: Booming in business

  The business of black women

  Women’s edge in education

  Succeeding at worK

  Web-exclusive: Trading briefcases for diaper bags

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Tuesday’s report addressed the health risks for Black women, most notably, the risks of breast cancer and how it affects Black women in relation to the rest of the general population:

Tuesday: Health risks for Black women 

 _Black women and breast cancer

_Health experts on Black women, cancer

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Wednesday’s report centered on the statistics that says that 40% of black women have never married, with the national average of never-marrieds at 27%, and among whites, never-married is at 16% for white women. Some of the Black women interviewed considered the choices they faced:  marry outside of the Black race, or marry men who have different goals/values than the Black woman (Black women who are college-educated who are unable to find Black men of comparable educational backgrounds as themselves).  The report also stated that 47% of single Black women have adopted children.

Wednesday:  Redefining Black Families  The growing achievement gap between Black women and Black men may be having an impact on their relationships.

_Rehema Ellis reports

 

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The series continues for the rest of this week.

Thurday:  Power At the Polls

Friday:      Heart Disease

Saturday:  Interracial Dating

The series was compiled and presented by Ms. Rehema Ellis, a correspondent for NBC News.

Please check out this series.

It remains to be seen if this series will help or hinder the image of Black women in America. Black women have had more than their share of negative racist/sexist stereotypical assaults that have culminated from 400 years of racialized, sexist gendered oppression. Will this series offer concrete solutions? Will it present the facts of Black women’s lives and how they tackle personal issues in their lives competently and capably? Or will this series attempt to portray Black women as some problem in need of shunting off to the side?

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ON THE WEB: 

FRIDAY:  Hip Hop’s influence

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__WEB EXCLUSIVE REPORTS

TRADING BRIEFCASES FOR DIAPER BAGS

http://video.msn.com/?mkt=en-us&brand=msnbc&tab=m5&rf=http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21982216/&fg=&from=00&vid=be2dfe7e-31c4-4316-bc22-359caad9c1b1&playlist=videoByTag:mk:us:vs:0:tag:News_Editors%20Picks:ns:MSNVideo_Top_Cat:ps:10:sd:-1:ind:1:ff:8A

LOVE IN BLACK AND WHITE:

http://video.msn.com/?mkt=en-us&brand=msnbc&tab=m5&rf=http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21982216/&fg=&from=00&vid=b679062f-6e5f-4c96-beef-d618daca0591&playlist=videoByTag:mk:us:vs:0:tag:News_Editors%20Picks:ns:MSNVideo_Top_Cat:ps:10:sd:-1:ind:1:ff:8A

GIRL TALK

http://video.msn.com/?mkt=en-us&brand=msnbc&tab=m5&rf=http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21982216/&fg=&from=00&vid=86f005d2-227d-49cc-8933-816360249d3b&playlist=videoByTag:mk:us:vs:0:tag:News_Editors%20Picks:ns:MSNVideo_Top_Cat:ps:10:sd:-1:ind:1:ff:8A 

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A WEEK-LONG SERIES:

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LINKS:

MSNBC Nightly News

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21982216/

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ABOUT THE SERIES:

http://dailynightly.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2007/11/20/476352.aspx

ELLIS:  WOMEN MAKING GAINS IN RECORD NUMBERS:

http://dailynightly.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2007/11/26/480738.aspx

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HEADLINES: RACE IN AMERICA

HUNTER SENTENCED 69 YEARS IN RACE-TINGED KILLING:

Case rekindled tensions after Hmong man fatally shot white hunters  –

Wed., Nov. 28, 2007

MARINETTE, Wis. – A white hunter convicted of killing a Hmong man as they both stalked squirrels in the woods was sentenced Wednesday to 69 years in prison.

James Nichols, 28, of Peshtigo, was convicted last month in the death of Cha Vang, a 30-year-old father of five. The slaying rekindled racial tensions in northern Wisconsin, where a Hmong deer hunter fatally shot six white hunters three years ago.”

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22008866/

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LAWMAKER:  TICKET RACIALLY MOTIVATED:

Rep. Danny Davis

Charles Rex Arbogast / AP

Illinois Rep. Danny Davis, who is black, said he will go to traffic court to challenge the $75 ticket given to him early Monday by two white officers.

 

Chicago police say Rep. Davis’s allegations will be investigated

Fri., Nov. 23, 2007

CHICAGO – An Illinois congressman said he was a victim of racial profiling when police gave him a traffic ticket alleging he swerved over the center line.

Rep. Danny Davis, who is black, said he will go to traffic court to challenge the $75 ticket given to him early Monday by two white officers.”

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21941960/

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LATINO OFFICERS GROUP RIPS NYPD BIAS STUDY:

Report found no clear racial bias in department’s “stop-and-frisk” policy  – 

Thurs., Nov. 22, 2007

NEW YORK – A national Latino law enforcement group on Thursday blasted an outside report that concluded the New York Police Department demonstrated no clear racial bias with its aggressive “stop-and-frisk” policy.

The policy resulted in more than 500,000 stops of pedestrians last year, most of them black or Hispanic, but the report said RAND Corp. researchers found only “small racial differences in the rates of frisk, search, use of force and arrest.”

The National Latino Officers Association of America said the report confirmed what it already knew: “You get exactly what you pay for.”

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21932274/

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JENA 6 PROCEEDINGS OPEN TO PUBLIC:

Judge rules they be made available, even though they involve a juvenile  –

Wed., Nov. 21, 2007

JENA, La. – Legal proceedings against a black teenager among a group whose prosecution in the beating of a white classmate led to a massive civil rights protest must be open to the public, a judge ruled Wednesday.

Because the charges involve violence, all proceedings against Mychal Bell — including hearings, the trial and sentencing — will be public even though Bell is being tried as a juvenile, state District Judge Thomas Yeager decided.

“We need to have public trials so the public has confidence in what we do,” Yeager said during a hearing in a lawsuit filed by media organizations covering the so-called Jena Six. “

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21918698/

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FBI: HATE CRIMES ROSE BY 8 PERCENT IN 2006:

HATE CRIME PROTESTERS

Pressure from civil rights activists to deal with hate crimes include this rally last Friday outside the Justice Department in Washington.

Mark Wilson / Getty Images

 

Annual count does not include all police agencies—-among them, Jena, La.

Mon., Nov. 19, 2007

WASHINGTON – Hate crime incidents in the United States rose last year by nearly 8 percent, the FBI reported Monday, as racial prejudice continued to account for more than half the reported instances.

Police across the nation reported 7,722 criminal incidents in 2006 targeting victims or property as a result of bias against a particular race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnic or national origin or physical or mental disability. That was up 7.8 percent from the 7,163 incidents reported in 2005.

Although the noose incidents and beatings among students at Jena, La., high school occurred in the last half of 2006, they were not included in the report. Only 12,600 of the nation’s more than 17,000 local, county, state and federal police agencies participated in the hate crime reporting program in 2006 and neither Jena nor LaSalle Parish, in which the town is located, were among the agencies reporting. “

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21882843/

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