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Freddie Gray May Get Justice

Maryland State Attorney Marilyn Mosley charges 6 officers with the death of Freddie Gray

In a shocking turn-of-events Maryland State Attorney Marilyn Mosby announced Friday that six Baltimore police officers involved in the arrest and death of Freddie Gray, due to a severed spinal cord, will be charged criminally. Attorney Mosby stood on the steps of the War Memorial Building in Baltimore before a crowd of reporters and local citizens and delivered a well thought confident and resolute statement explaining some of the details she gathered from her independent investigation. During that investigation she found evidence that lead her to believe the initial arrest of Freddie Gray was not warranted. The officers who arrested him lied in their statements and said he had an illegal switchblade but Mosby said Freddie had a legal pocket knife. Marilyn Mosby is new to the office of State Attorney only being there for 3 months now, which I believed played a part in her decision to charge and prosecute. She has no obligations or improper relationships with the police department, and she hasn’t been there long enough to owe anyone any favors yet.

Warrants were issued for the arrest of all six officers, and here are the names and charges:

Officer Caesar Goodson Jr., 45, who was the driver of a police van that carried Gray through the streets of Baltimore, was charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter, second-degree assault, two vehicular manslaughter charges and misconduct in office.

Officer William Porter, 25, was charged with involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault and misconduct in office.

Lt. Brian Rice, 41, was charged with involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault and misconduct in office.

Sgt. Alicia White, 30, was charged with involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault and misconduct in office.

Officer Edward Nero, 29, was charged with second-degree assault and misconduct in office.

Officer Garrett Miller, 26, was charged with second-degree assault, misconduct in office and false imprisonment.

If convicted of all charges, Goodson would face up to 63 years in prison. Rice would face up to 30 years and Porter, Nero, Miller and White would face up to 20 years.

Protesters in Baltimore protesting against police brutality

Protesters in Baltimore protesting against police brutality

It’s important to remember that this is just the beginning. It feels very vindicating to make it this far because we’ve seen prosecutor after prosecutor look the other way and decline to charge officers with anything when the life of an unarmed black man is taken. It’s ok to enjoy the relief we feel by crossing this first hurtle, but we have a long way to go before we can see true just justice. So don’t let this lure you into complacency or dampen the urgency and determination that has fueled protest and the #BlackLivesMatter movement. We’ve worked so hard to get the attention of our leaders and the world and as long as we keep the pressure on we’ll continue to make progress towards our ultimate goal of a total reconstruction of our entire criminal justice system and the removal of all institutionalized racism within the system.

Conservative Media Lies

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When will conservatives stop listening to conservative media (Fox News & Limbaugh) and conservative politicians? How many times do they have to be wrong before their base starts to question their credibility? I know most liberals are well aware of the many conservative media lies that show up frequently in their reporting, but for those who watch conservative media exclusively I’m not so sure they know when they are being lied to. In recent history Fox News and their pundits have been proven wrong on a number of issues, and proven wrong in a big public way. First let’s start with the 2012 presidential election. All of conservative media which includes Fox, bloggers, columnist, radio personalities, religious leaders etc told their audience over and over again that Mitt Romney was going to win in a huge landslide. Even though every single poll projected President Obama as the winner. They duped their audience into ignoring the polls by telling them that all the polls were rigged by the liberal media to favor President Obama. Then on election night Obama wins with a very comfortable lead and Fox’s viewers were in shock because they all had their trust in a news network that was supposed to be “fair and balanced” as their slogan proclaims. You’d think a gaff that big would at least warrant some kind of apology… but surprisingly none were offered. For several months leading up to the election all of conservative media trotted out a number of big company ceo’s from across the nation to warn voters of the grave consequences that awaited them if President Obama won reelection. All of the ceo’s said the stock market would take a huge dive, they would have to lay off thousands of employees, they would have to close plants, interest rates would skyrocket, etc etc etc. These guys weren’t saying these things may happen, they were saying emphatically these things will happen. Now that we’re almost one year into President Obama’s second term we saw none of those doom and gloom predictions materialize. In fact quite the opposite. The stock market is surging at an all time high. Company’s are reporting record breaking profits. Unemployment has seen a slow but steady decline, but still no apology from any of those who made the misleading comments… not even an explanation as to why they got things wrong.  I’m not even going to get into the many many many lies they’ve reported about Obamacare. For that I’d need at least 3 or 4 blog entries to properly address it.  Fox has a habit of reporting misinformation to manipulate their viewers and sadly they continue to do this.

Watching the way conservative media has covered the murder of 17 year old Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman has been an eye opening experience for me. I have never seen the murderer of a teenager get embraced by a political party, a television network, and major radio personalities before. George Zimmerman was hailed as a hero to these sick minds. The Trayvon Martin shooting brought out the absolute worst in conservative media. Normally they would dance around race and use euphemisms and code words to keep plausible deniability just in case someone tried to call them out on it. But during the Zimmerman trial they threw caution to the wind and flew their confederate www.sociallyurban.comflag high. Bill O’Riley, Sean Hannity, and Rush Limbaugh all warned their viewers that if Zimmerman got acquitted African American’s would riot. They all reported this over and over again for a whole week. But hearing them say that made me realize they actually believe the racist crap they report. They believe every black man is a suspect and should be treated as such. They saw the whole black community in the same way that George Zimmerman saw Trayvon Martin… as a criminal. I knew there weren’t going to be any riots, and so did every other black person, but those who buy into ugly racist stereotypes talked about it like it was a forgone conclusion. Then the verdict came and surprise surprise NO RIOTS. There were plenty of civil protest but no riots. You’d think after being wrong about that they would stop warning their audience about scary black riots… right? No, of course that didn’t stop them. Truth and facts never gets in the way of reporting at Fox News. Over the weekend Reverend Al Sharpton and the parents of Trayvon organized rally’s in major cities all over the country. Sean Hannity again predicted violence and anti-white demonstrations. He even went as far as to warn his audience to expect a race riot if these Trayvon rallies continue. And again he was proven wrong. Thousands of black and white people gathered together all over the country for rallies and speeches and not one incident of violence of any kind. This is the second time Fox has promised racial violence and were 100% wrong. When are their viewers going to hold them accountable? When are conservatives going to demand the truth from the people they support. How many times do they have to be proven wrong before people start to see them as tired outdated racist clichés who are always part of the problem instead of being part of the solution?

The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything.” – Albert Einstein

TO FIND MORE CONSERVATIVE MEDIA LIES DEBUNKED VISIT THIS SITE: http://mythopedia.mediamatters.org/



NO JUSTICE FOR TRAYVON

www.sociallyurban.com

The verdict for the George Zimmerman trial is in and a jury of his peers has found him not guilty of murder 2 as well as not guilty of manslaughter. Although I am saddened and deeply disappointed in this verdict, if you look at how the law is written and the instructions given to this jury I do not think they had any other choice. I know there’s a lot of people who will find fault with the jury, some will find fault with the presentation of the prosecution’s case, some will find fault with the strategy used by the defense and there are legitimate arguments for all of those points, but the real injustice of this case and verdict has nothing to do with any of those. The real injustice of the Trayvon Martin George Zimmerman case occurred when racial profiling intersected with legal self defense… here’s what I mean: All that is needed to convert a cold blooded murder into a justifiable homicide when evoking self defense is a reasonable fear that your life is in eminent danger. Whether that fear was real or imagined does not matter and whether you initiated the confrontation does not matter. Legally all that matters is your fear. There’s no refuting the fact that Trayvon was racially profiled by George Zimmerman. It’s disgusting, it’s horrible it’s morally wrong but believe it or not racial profiling is 100% legal. Racial profiling is openly used by law enforcement every single day. In this country racial stereotypes and assumptions are ingrained and reinforced in the psyche and subconscious of most Americans and rarely even challenged because they are presented as fact. Here are a few examples. If you ask most people (both African American and white) who they think benefits more from government assistance and food stamps, almost all of them would say African Americans benefit the most. But that is not true at all. According to the 2010 US Census 33% of whites were receiving government assistance via food stamps while 22% of African Americans received them (http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2012/tables/12s0572.pdf). Another example of this racial perception vs reality shows up when people are asked about drug abuse. Again, the public perception would have you believe that African American’s are more likely to be drug users than whites. And again, this is not true. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (http://www.samhsa.gov/data/NSDUH/NSDUH-M9-Youth-Apps-2012.pdf), researchers found that 9% of white young adults struggled with drug abuse while only 5% of African American young adults had substance abuse problems . I’m not pointing this data out to say white people are bad and African Americans are good or maybe not as bad. In fact I’m sure I could find studies and research that will show African American’s in a much harsher light in other areas when compared to whites. But when we use racial profiling and let racial stereotypes stand unchallenged, we create a situation where African American youth are arrested for drug crimes at a rate ten times higher than that of whites despite proven research that says they abuse drugs much less. We get right-wing media and politicians telling their base that African Americans are dependent on food stamps which implies African Americans are the only recipients despite facts that says otherwise. We get people like George Zimmerman shooting and killing an unarmed teenager without having to serve a single day in prison. I can’t say whether or not Mr Zimmerman is a racist because I do not know this man. It’s very possible that he was unaware of his racial profiling of Trayvon. Something in his subconscious labeled Trayvon as a criminal the moment he laid eyes on him and in that very moment George Zimmerman decided he was going to catch a criminal and be the hero of the neighborhood.

 I’ve heard a lot of different opinions from friends and family since this case became a national story. I’ve argued in forums, I’ve read countless news stories, and I’ve watch pundit after pundit comment and editorialize. Anyone who says this case isn’t about race is extremely naive or horribly uninformed. Race was evident in almost every discussion I took part in. Almost all African Americans were saying Zimmerman was guilty, but most whites did not share that opinion. This puzzled me for a while because some of my white friends also thought Zimmerman should be found not guilty. Maybe if I didn’t know them I could chalk their opinion up to racism and dismiss it, but these were people who I knew were not racist at all. Not even close to being racist. So there had to be some other explanation as to why the opinions about George Zimmerman’s guilt or innocence usually divided straight down racial lines. This became very clear during the last day of the trial when I watched the defense give their closing. At the end of his speech to the jury, defense attorney Mark O’Mara held up a picture of Trayvon Martin. It was a picture of Trayvon shirtless with a baseball cap. Mr O’Mara held up that picture and said to an almost all white jury this is who George Zimmerman encountered that night. At that very moment I knew what the verdict would be. I knew what Mr O’Mara hoped to do with that picture. He wanted the jury to put themselves in George Zimmerman’s shoes that night. And that’s exactly what the jury did. I bet every single woman on that jury would be scared to death if they encountered an African American male in the dark of night alone. The scary big black criminal rapist is the image they have been taught to fear their whole lives. That fear is in the subconscious of every white woman in this country whether they know it or not. As an African American man I have witnessed countless examples of this irrational fear. I’m 5’6” 125lbs always impeccably dressed and I’ve had white women that would not get on the elevator in my doctors office when they see me in it. I’ve seen white women rush back to their unattended handbags in their shopping carts when they see me coming down the aisle at the grocery store. I’ve heard car doors lock as I pass them in a parking lot. A majority of these women are most likely not racist at all. They have been conditioned to fear black men. When African American’s see the pictures of Trayvon they see their brother, or their cousin, or their son, but when most white people look at pictures of Trayvon they see a thug, a criminal, a drug user, or a drug dealer which is further evidence of their conditioning.

The thing that scares me and should scare a lot of other young African American males is now this acquittal of George Zimmerman says to America that your irrational fear of African American men is enough to justify cold blooded murder no matter the circumstances. The precedent has been set. Take racial profiling, add irrational fear, plus self defense and you got a legal way to kill as many black men as you want. What a fucked up reality in which we live.

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