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The Racism & Social Injustice Catch-All
St. Louis County jailed a pregnant woman for over a month because she failed to submit to a paternity test. Now she's taking them to court:

https://theappeal.org/st-louis-jailed-a-...nity-test/

Quote:Adrianna Thurman was seven months pregnant when she was arrested and booked at the St. Louis County Jail on Oct. 2, 2018. She was not accused of any crime, yet she remained in jail for the next 39 days.

Thurman was being held in contempt of the St. Louis County Family Court, after not submitting her two young children to a court-ordered paternity test requested by her ex-boyfriend, Erwin Rush. She had told a court official that Rush was not the father of her children, and that his request for a test was an attempt to stalk and harass her.

Since Thurman’s case was civil, not criminal, she was not provided with counsel. She did not see a doctor until two weeks after her arrival, according to court documents Thurman filed after her release. During her time in jail, Thurman alleges, jail officials did not provide the limited accommodations typically given to pregnant women, such as an extra mattress and blanket. She says her repeated requests to speak with a caseworker to figure out why she was being held on a civil charge went unfulfilled. And according to her complaint, even when her ex-boyfriend’s attorney repeatedly asked the division clerk of the court to set a hearing before the court commissioner, he refused to do so, incorrectly claiming that hearings must be initiated by jail officials.

When Thurman was released on Nov. 9, she was eight months pregnant, had been separated from her children for 39 days, and had lost her job and housing. She soon gave birth to her daughter prematurely, which she alleges was the “direct result of the wrongful incarceration.” Postnatal testing revealed she was suffering from Stage 4 breast cancer, which had gone undetected during her jail stay. A paternity test showed Rush was not the father of her children, according to the lawsuit.

This month, Thurman filed a civil lawsuit in federal court, alleging that her extended stay in jail over a civil matter violated her rights under the Fourth, Eighth, and 14th Amendments.

In her complaint, Thurman charges that a series of misconduct and errors led to her lengthy incarceration. She says she was not notified that Family Court Commissioner Mary Greaves had ordered a paternity test. And when she refused to submit her children to the test and the opposing attorney filed a motion for contempt, Commissioner Greaves ordered her arrest, even though the contempt motion was never served to Thurman in person, as the law requires.
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Holding out for that Maury appearance
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This video of an unarmed 15-year-old getting assaulted by an officer is tough to watch:

https://twitter.com/TalbertSwan/status/1...1049075713
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Interesting development in Michigan:

https://twitter.com/DavidLagrand/status/...0535351296

Quote:Success! The House Judiciary Committee just passed the #RaiseTheAge bills. Under current law, 17-year-olds are automatically prosecuted as adults. Michigan is one of 4 states that does this. These bills change the age to 18. On to the House floor!
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Illinois just created a parole process for youth up to age 21:

https://www.appealpolitics.org/2019/illi...le-age-21/

Quote:Why should people be cut off from the logic of having a separate youth justice system—that people change, that people grow, that people should not be defined by an act—because they are a day over 18? 

A new Illinois reform (House Bill 531), signed into law this month by Governor J.B. Pritzker, defies the usual pattern that in the United States even bold youth justice reforms stop at the age of majority, if not earlier.

It does so by creating a parole process for most people who will be convicted of offenses they committed before the age of 21, providing them review after either 10 years or 20 years depending on the offense category. Jobi Cates, executive director of Restore Justice, an Illinois-based group that helped craft and steer HB 531, told me that the law starts “chipping away at what’s been a completely merciless system.”

While the law has major limitations, it also opens doors to think differently about what criminal justice reform can look like. 

It builds on two reform areas that are bubbling up nationwide—first in challenging the upper limit of youth justice, and second in promoting a mechanism with which to counter virtual life sentences.
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Some children attending a Wisconsin middle school have not been able to enjoy their lunch break after actions by adult staff who are accused of taking away the students' school lunches upon discovering there weren't sufficient funds in their lunch accounts:

https://www.jsonline.com/story/communiti...302229002/

Quote:Some children attending a Sussex middle school have not been able to enjoy their lunch break after actions by adult staff, who are accused of taking away the students' school lunches upon discovering there weren't sufficient funds in their lunch accounts.

One parent of a Templeton Middle School student said her son was in tears after his lunch was taken away. He also was not allowed to go to the school office to call his parents, she said.

Hamilton School District spokeswoman Denise Lindberg said these incidents are not common and the district has a policy in place to handle low lunch account balances. 

The student's parent, who requested anonymity to protect her son from further embarrassment, said the problem came about when a deposit to her son's lunch account was held up.

When she needed to refill her son's lunch account, she normally would deposit the money in the morning, with no problems. But one day in mid-March the bank put a hold on the funds, thinking the deposit looked like a suspicious charge. The mom hadn't followed up on the deposit since she hadn't had any trouble in the past, she said.
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Three years ago, the NYPD said it was arresting 120 members of a murderous gang, but none were accused of murder. Few were convicted of any violence. One was 9 credits shy of his MBA:

https://theintercept.com/2019/04/25/bron...tion-rico/

Quote:Kraig Lewis was living in Connecticut and was nine credits away from his MBA when the neighborhood he had spent his life trying to get away from came back to haunt him. Growing up in a mostly poor and at times violent section of the Bronx, Lewis had seen his share of illegal activity. Some of those behind the criminality — mostly low-level drug dealing — were his friends. Lewis hung out with them while also keeping focused on school. Education was his ticket to a different life, his mother always said, and no one could take that away from him.

She was wrong. Three years ago this week, helicopters and armored vehicles swarmed Lewis’s old neighborhood, and SWAT teams and some 700 officers with the NYPD and a host of federal law enforcement agencies knocked down doors at the Eastchester Gardens public housing project and nearby homes. At the same time, 40 miles and a world away, police showed up at the loft apartment Lewis shared with his girlfriend in the seaside city of Bridgeport. Lewis, who had no criminal record and had never been arrested before, was taken away in handcuffs while his 6-year-old son was asleep in his bed. Police drove Lewis to the local station and then back to the Bronx, to a police precinct where he saw dozens of his childhood friends, some for the first time in years.

Lewis was one of 120 people, almost all young black and Latino men, who were indicted following that pre-dawn raid as part of what prosecutors called the “largest gang takedown in New York City history.” According to Preet Bharara, then U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, the 120 were members of two violent, rival street gangs that had “wreaked havoc” in the neighborhood for years and were responsible for at least eight murders. “These gang members do not belong on our streets,” William Bratton, then NYPD commissioner, said at a press conference the day after the raid. “Instead they belong exactly where they are going, to federal prison, for many years, where they won’t be surrounded by their buddies, they won’t be close to their families, and they’ll no longer be free to terrorize the neighborhoods in which they grew up.”

The raid made news for a couple days, with mostly sensationalized headlines and images peddling police and prosecutors’ claims about those swept up in the bust. But few reporters followed up. Now a new report, published ahead of the raid’s third anniversary and shared exclusively with The Intercept, reveals troubling details about the prosecution and raises serious questions about due process, the abuse of federal conspiracy charges, and the criminalization of social relationships in communities of color.

Babe Howell, a co-author of the report and a professor at CUNY School of Law who studies gang policing practices, told me that she feared that the overinclusive, error-ridden, and nontransparent way in which police have long labeled individuals as gang members would be replicated in mass gang prosecutions. “When I saw these big, mass indictments coming down, what I wanted to know was, are these people gang members?” she said. “More importantly, not every gang member actually engages in violent crime; contrary to popular belief, many people who are in gangs do nothing more than smoke weed and hang out.”

“I wanted to see, are these prosecutions narrow and targeted? And even for actual gang members, are they fair?” she added. “It’s not a crime to be a gang member. You shouldn’t be prosecuted simply because of association.”

The report’s conclusions were startling even to Howell. Only two out of the 120 defendants chose to fight their charges at trial. But while 115 entered plea agreements — an all-too-common outcome among poor defendants — the crimes they pled guilty to were significantly less severe than the crimes prosecutors had originally accused them of committing. While a series of murders and other violent incidents, some dating back years, were highlighted in statements to the press and as part of the prosecutors’ narrative about the gangs, none of the 120 were charged with murder in the original indictments. Instead, prosecutors referred to the murders and violence to successfully argue against bail for 101 of the defendants, but what they actually charged each individual with was some combination of federal conspiracy charges, two different narcotics charges, and a firearms charge. Of the 91 defendants charged with the firearms charge, only 22 were convicted. Two-thirds of the defendants were not convicted of any violent crime at all.
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The Tennessee speaker thinks black kids who use illegal drugs should get lengthy jail sentences, but his white chief of staff admitted to taking cocaine in the state capitol, and, huh, it doesn't seem to be as big a deal to him:

https://www.newschannel5.com/news/newsch...t-messages

Quote:Tennessee House Speaker Glen Casada’s chief of staff has admitted to using illegal drugs – including snorting cocaine in his legislative offices – in response to text messages obtained by NewsChannel 5 Investigates.

Cade Cothren made the admission Monday morning after NewsChannel 5 provided him with text messages from 2015 and 2016 – including photos – in which he bragged to a former acquaintance about his exploits. NewsChannel 5 Investigates also has related videos.

At the time, Cothren was press secretary for the Tennessee House Republican Caucus.

“Regarding the texts in question, I readily admit that I sent some of them,” Cothren said in a joint statement with Casada.
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Oh you...accidentally admitting that the “War on Drugs” is nothing more than a scheme to rob poor folks who can’t fight back.

Of course it’s not a big deal when whites do drugs—THEY HAVE LAWYERS!
"Why did she do it?"
"Why are you the fucking Police?"

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The GOP recently paraded a Turning Point leader to say that there weren't any neo-Nazis on the right at the congressional hearing on white supremacy.

Hey, how about this one?

https://twitter.com/IGD_News/status/1126670175384662016

Quote:In viral video, leader of #LasVegas chapter of Turning Point USA seen giving Alt-Right "OK" sign while friend screams, "We're gonna run the world! White Power! Fuck N*****s!" Was seen giving same hand sign at recent "Build the Wall" rally. 
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The Chicago Cubs banned a fan for life after he was seen flashing a white power gesture behind former player, Doug Glanville:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ft.../39462135/

Quote:The Chicago Cubs didn't wait long to take action against the fan who flashed a racist gesture associated with white supremacy during NBC Sports Chicago's broadcast.

According to a statement from team president of baseball operations Theo Epstein, the fan in question was identified and banned for life from Wrigley Field.

Viewers noticed the incident during Tuesday night's game against the Miami Marlins. As former Cubs player and current NBC Sports Chicago reporter Doug Glanville was doing his in-game report, a man in a Cubs hoodie could be seen flashing an upside-down "OK" symbol, which has become a white supremacy sign.

The Cubs initially released a statement that they were investigating the incident and looking to identify the fan.

On Wednesday, Epstein told reporters that the fan had been barred from Wrigley Field for the "disgusting" gesture
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(05-10-2019, 08:46 AM)Iron Maiden Wrote: The Chicago Cubs banned a fan for life after he was seen flashing a white power gesture behind former player, Doug Glanville:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ft.../39462135/

Quote:The Chicago Cubs didn't wait long to take action against the fan who flashed a racist gesture associated with white supremacy during NBC Sports Chicago's broadcast.

According to a statement from team president of baseball operations Theo Epstein, the fan in question was identified and banned for life from Wrigley Field.

Viewers noticed the incident during Tuesday night's game against the Miami Marlins. As former Cubs player and current NBC Sports Chicago reporter Doug Glanville was doing his in-game report, a man in a Cubs hoodie could be seen flashing an upside-down "OK" symbol, which has become a white supremacy sign.

The Cubs initially released a statement that they were investigating the incident and looking to identify the fan.

On Wednesday, Epstein told reporters that the fan had been barred from Wrigley Field for the "disgusting" gesture

"That very same day, the Chicago Cubs decided to allow Addison Russell to take the field for them."

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Disturbing:

https://www.local10.com/news/florida/bro...oward-jail

Quote:Tammy Jackson -- the woman who gave birth, alone, in a Broward County jail cell -- is home Wednesday, and spoke to exclusively to Local 10 News about her ordeal. 

Jackson suffers from a mental illness, bipolar schizophrenia, according to her mother, Shirley Nixon, who was with her when she was released from the hospital Wednesday after several days of mental health evaluation. 

Her condition is delicate, and what happened to her is disturbing. 

But, Jackson was determined to say what she had to say. 

"If anything, blessed to be alive," Jackson said. 

Her little girl, Miranda, who weighed 6 6 pounds, 7 ounces, was also released from the hospital Wednesday. Miranda is currently being cared for by the Florida Department of Children and Families. 

"I'm glad she's out and hopefully, things will fall into place, She'll get her the help she needs, and I can get my grandbaby," Nixon said. 

Nixon learned from me that her granddaughter was not born in the hospital where she first held her. 

She was born at the North Broward Bureau. She also learned that her daughter was alone in an isolation cell when she went into labor. 

"It was horrifying. It was horrifying," Jackson said. "When she fell, I had to bend down to pick her up and tell her, ‘I'm sorry. I didn't mean for that to happen.' She was still crying," Jackson said. 

Later, at her home, I asked Jackson why she apologized to her baby.

"I didn't even get clean before I had her. Also, she had hit the floor, and to me that was hard because she was just coming out of me," Jackson said. "I just apologized for her being in the jailhouse. The situation, because I would rather for my mom to be by my side in the hospital with me having her." 

Jackson was arrested this year and held on trespassing and drug charges. 

She's struggled with homelessness and bipolar schizophrenia, according to her mother. An incident report details how a Broward County Sheriff's Office deputy saw Jackson inside her isolation cell the morning of April 10 "screaming in pain." 

The deputy reported later hearing a baby crying and seeing Jackson holding her child in her arms before she was rushed to the hospital. 

"It isn't a joke when it comes to pregnancy. And if they don't want to abide by that, they should get fired because I don't believe no woman should really have to go through that," Jackson said. 
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Jeebus...
...don't do it
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https://mobile.twitter.com/TatianaYSanch...5710441473

   
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Rural hospital closures is an issue we've discussed a zillion times, but it hasn't gotten any better.  Here's the story of an Oklahoma hospital where workers went 11 weeks without pay just to keep the place open:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/nati...11a661d512

Quote:The staff had been fending off closure hour by hour for the past several months, ever since debt for the 15-bed hospital surpassed $1 million and its outside ownership group entered into bankruptcy, beginning a crisis in Fairfax that is becoming familiar across much of rural America. More than 100 of the country’s remote hospitals have gone broke and then closed in the past decade, turning some of the most impoverished parts of the United States into what experts now call “health-hazard zones,” and Fairfax was on the verge of becoming the latest. The emergency room was down to its final four tanks of oxygen. The nursing staff was out of basic supplies such as snakebite antivenin and strep tests. Hospital employees had not received paychecks for the past 11 weeks and counting.

The only reason the hospital had been able to stay open at all was that about 30 employees continued showing up to work without pay, increasing their hours to fill empty shifts and essentially donating time to the hospital, understanding what was at stake. Some of them had been born or had given birth at Fairfax Community. Several others had been stabilized and treated in the emergency room after heart attacks or accidents. There was no other hospital within 30 miles of two-lane roads and prairie in sprawling Osage County, which meant Fairfax Community was the only lifeline in a part of the country that increasingly needed rescuing.

“If we aren’t open, where do these people go?” asked a physician assistant, thinking about the dozens of patients he treated each month in the ER, including some in critical condition after drug overdoses, falls from horses, oil field disasters or car crashes.

“They’ll go to the cemetery,” another employee said. “If we’re not here, these people don’t have time. They’ll die along with this hospital.”

“We have no supplies,” Steele said. “We have nothing. How much longer can we provide quality care?”
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A dozen employees at a Florida Panhandle prison say inmates are being beaten and starved by guards. And they say the guards use racist intimidation, like dangling toilet paper nooses, to keep black staffers quiet:

https://www.jacksonville.com/news/201905...ida-prison

Quote:One former Panhandle prison employee said she filed a written complaint about a correctional officer’s racist behavior, then came into work several days later to another officer dangling a noose made of toilet paper in front of her.

Another former employee said she walked in on a handcuffed inmate being beaten in the medical unit, surrounded by a group of officers. She was suspended one day after filing an incident report about it, and fired within two weeks.

Though both of those employees are now gone, they aren’t alone.

In interviews with the Times-Union, a dozen former and current employees at Santa Rosa Correctional Institution described a culture of abuse, bullying, racism and administrative cover-ups in the mental health dorms. Officers selected inmates they had problems with for unsanctioned forms of punishment: to include physical violence or withholding their food to the point where prisoners lost considerable weight, employees said.

“It frustrates us and makes us angry every time this happens and we report it and these officers are still there working,” said Betty Young, a former activities technician. “They won’t fire them because they’re so short on staff, and they keep them.

Several employees complained all the way to the top — Warden Walker Clemmons.

There were multiple meetings about the work environment in the mental health dorms between concerned employees and their supervisors, including two with Clemmons in attendance, one as recently as mid-April, according to employees with direct knowledge of the meetings and records obtained by the Times-Union.

The Times-Union isn’t identifying any current employees, who expressed fears of retaliation. It is naming two former employees and used records to corroborate many of the claims.
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Students and staff are rallying behind a Mascoma Valley Regional High School lunch lady fired for allowing a boy to run up an $8 lunch debt rather than go hungry:

https://www.unionleader.com/news/educati...ee53c.html

Quote:Mascoma Valley Regional High School lunchroom employee Bonnie Kimball thought she was doing the right thing when she let a student take food even though he didn’t have money to pay.

Her employer, Cafe Services, disagreed and fired her, accusing her of stealing the $8 lunch tab, according to a letter the company gave her.

Kimball said the staff at the small high school where she worked for 4½ years knows the students and their circumstances when they come through the lunch line.

“We know these kids,” Kimball said.

The boy had several a la carte items on his tray, and Kimball quietly told him to have his mother put some money on his account, she said. That was on March 28 while a manager for the Manchester-based Cafe Services was at the high school observing the operations. The food vendor’s contract was up for renewal at the time.

On March 29, the student came in and paid his lunch bill. Kimball was called in by two managers later that day and fired over the tab, she said.

“I was doing what I was told to do,” Kimball said.

Kimball said her direct manager instructed her in February to let students take food and discreetly tell them they need to add money to their account. The manager was concerned about the pending contract renewal and did not want to cause any issues at the school, she said.
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They'd had to fire me too. Who could look at a hungry little child's face and take their tray away? That's the saddest shit in the world.

If they're gonna be pricks about lunches to this degree, they should just set up a lunch donation box at every school entrance/school concession stand and at close businesses. There's no way they wouldn't make enough to cover the people who couldn't pay. Who cares if a few who CAN pay take advantage of the system if every child gets food? I mean fucking seriously..
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Stopped for being black and playing with your dog on your own front lawn:

https://twitter.com/nowthisnews/status/1...0634975232
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I guarantee you that if this had been a white guy, the "Why not just show him your ID?" crowd would be all "Private property! Sovereign citizen! This is why we need the Second Amendment!"

Oh, wait, if this had been a white guy, THIS WOULDN'T HAVE HAPPENED.
My karmic debt must be huge.

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My blog: An Embarrassment of Rich's
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