Some Police Departments have been under Investigation*

Some Police Departments have been under Investigation*

Ferguson isn’t alone. There are 20 other law-enforcement agencies around the country that are plagued by abuses, according to the Department of Justice

The Justice Department’s much-anticipated report on the Ferguson Police department is now out, but the St. Louis city is just one of 21 U.S. law-enforcement agencies that the feds have investigated over the past six years for chronic abuses like racial bias and excessive force. The maps below show the investigations that have been launched since 2009, and include some of the cases that highlight some of the practices that have gotten those departments in trouble.

Source*

Related Topics:

Report Confirms Predatory System of Ferguson*

Obama’s Policed State

Utah Police Responsible for More Killings than Criminals*

No Debate on Congress Passing Police Unlimited Access to Citizens’ Private Communications*

Undercover Cops Inciting Violence in anti-Police Brutality Demos*

Spanish Police also getting Training from Israel*

U.S. Killer Cops get Further Training in Israel*

Report Confirms Predatory System of Ferguson*

Report Confirms Predatory System of Ferguson*

By Juan Thompson and Ryan Devereaux

Police in Ferguson, Missouri have presided over a predatory system of entrenched racism, economic exploitation and constitutional rights violations stretching back several years, according to a long-awaited Department of Justice investigation released Wednesday. The scathing 102-page report paints a portrait of a vicious environment in which Ferguson’s black residents are disproportionately mired in municipal court fines — frequently resulting from dubious traffic stops — in order to generate revenue for the St. Louis suburb and routinely subjected to excessive use of force.

The report, six months in the making, confirms many of the complaints black residents raised in the wake the fatal August shooting of Michael Brown — an unarmed African American teen — by Darren Wilson, a white Ferguson police officer. Brown’s killing sparked months of protest, highlighting longstanding discriminatory practices carried out by Ferguson’s majority white police force against Ferguson’s majority black population.

In a press conference Wednesday unveiling the report, Attorney General Eric Holder blamed Ferguson’s police for creating a “powder keg” that exploded when Brown was gunned down in broad daylight. In November, a grand jury declined to indict Wilson in Brown’s slaying; in a separate development Wednesday, the DOJ cleared Wilson of alleged civil rights violations in the teen’s killing.

The DOJ’s report on the Ferguson police department places responsibility for the deplorable civil rights conditions in Ferguson on department and city officials alike — some of whom federal officials documented sending racist emails denigrating the president, the first lady and black people in general.

The report took aim at five distinct areas: the Ferguson Police Department’s exploitation of citizens as a source of revenue, police practices, the municipality’s court system, racial bias and community distrust. In each area, the police department in Ferguson was found to be an abysmal failure in which interlocking abuses and perverse incentives have eroded constitutional rights.

The report tells the story of a city where, under the colour of law enforcement, demands for revenue have been coupled with racial discrimination, resulting in disastrous conclusions for the city’s black residents.

As the report noted, from 2012 to 2014 African Americans accounted for “85% of vehicle stops, 90% of citations, and 93% of arrests made by FPD officers, despite comprising only 67% of Ferguson’s population.” Tickets mean money for the city — in 2013, municipal court fines were Ferguson’s second highest source, the bulk of which were levelled against African Americans.

“Ferguson’s law enforcement practices are shaped by the City’s focus on revenue rather than by public safety needs,” the report stated.

“This emphasis on revenue has compromised the institutional character of Ferguson’s police department, contributing to a pattern of unconstitutional policing, and has also shaped its municipal court, leading to procedures that raise due process concerns and inflict unnecessary harm on members of the Ferguson community.”

For those familiar with law enforcement in St. Louis County, the report reflected a confirmation of longstanding problems.

“This report tells us something we already know,” said Montague Simmons, chair of the St. Louis nonprofit Organization for Black Struggle.

“The question we should be asking is what do we do with it? Do we dismantle the racist police state, and disband the Ferguson the Police Department? Or do we learn nothing and keep on with the same thing.”

Holder’s DOJ stopped short of calling for the wholesale disbanding of Ferguson’s police department, though he did blame the department for fostering a “toxic environment, defined by mistrust and resentment.” In the report, however, his office laid out 26 recommendations for Ferguson’s police department and municipal court system. Failure to comply with a “consent decree” could result in the city facing a lawsuit from the federal government.

“It is time for Ferguson’s leaders to take immediate, wholesale and structural corrective action,” Holder said Wednesday, adding that,

“the United States Department of Justice reserves all its rights and abilities to force compliance and implement basic change.”

The report found that in nearly nine out of 10 uses of force by the Ferguson police department, the person on the receiving end was black. In one particularly brutal scene described in the report, the police tasered a mentally disabled man who had tried to commit suicide in his cell. It occurred in July 2011 when, “a correctional officer used a [taser] to stun an African-American male inmate three times after he tried to hang himself with material torn from a medical dressing and banged his head on the cell wall.”

Another incident in the report illustrated how Ferguson police frequently violated the First Amendment rights of Ferguson’s black residents. “In July 2012,” the report said, “a police officer arrested a business owner on charges of Interfering in Police Business and Misuse of 911 because she objected to the officer’s detention of her employee. According to FPD records, the owner ‘became verbally involved,’ came out of her shop three times … The officer characterized her protestations as interference and arrested her inside her shop. The arrest violated the First Amendment.”

Such arrests were routine; the report detailed numerous cases of police arresting residents for constitutionally protected activities such as disrespectful language toward police and the recording of citizens’ encounters with police.

The Department of Justice accused Ferguson Police of being too quick to “escalate encounters with subjects they perceive to be disobeying their orders or resisting arrest. They have come to rely on [Electronic Control Weapons], specifically Tasers, where less force — or no force at all — would do.”

The department’s use of force also included the discriminatory use of police canines, even on children: “FPD engages in a pattern of deploying canines to bite individuals when the articulated facts do not justify this significant use of force. The department’s own records demonstrate that, as with other types of force, canine officers use dogs out of proportion to the threat posed by the people they encounter, leaving serious puncture wounds to nonviolent offenders, some of them children.” The report documented 14 bites by police dogs in which racial information was available — every person was black.

The Ferguson police also targeted black women. In one scene, officers were called to a domestic disturbance, but instead of aiding the woman who called 911, police jailed her for an occupancy violation. In a separate incident, another black woman, who had also called 911, was issued a summons for an occupancy permit violation. The report says she told the officer that she “hated the Ferguson Police Department and will never call again, even if she is being killed.” The Department of Justice also catalogued how police tasered black women even when they posed no physical threat.

Discriminatory behavior by street-level cops was matched by racist attitudes by higher-level city officials. One remarkable section of the report detailed how “some Ferguson decision makers hold negative stereotypes about African Americans, and lack of personal responsibility is one of them” — despite the fact that black residents made incredible efforts to pay the fines that were disproportionately handed out to them. At the same time, according to the report, white Ferguson police officers made a habit of fixing parking tickets for friends.

“Even as Ferguson City officials maintain the harmful stereotype that black individuals lack personal responsibility,” the report said, “and continue to cite this lack of personal responsibility as the cause of the disparate impact of Ferguson’s practices — white City officials condone a striking lack of personal responsibility.”

Ferguson’s municipal employees also held anti-black views, using official city email accounts to trade racist jokes. The report documents seven such emails. In one email municipal officials “mocked African Americans through speech and familial stereotypes, using a story involving child support. One line from the email read: ‘I be so glad that dis be my last child support payment! Month after month, year after year, all dose payments!’” Other employees referred to Barack Obama as a Chimpanzee, and endorsed the termination of black pregnancies as an effective tool for reducing crime. Another email “included a photo of a bare-chested group of dancing women, apparently in Africa, with the caption, ‘Michelle Obama’s High School Reunion.’” The authors of the emails were not identified.

The city of Ferguson — which is still reeling from the events following Brown’s killing last summer — will now have to answer for a report that depicts a widely bigoted police force and local government that actively targets black residents for harassment and assault.

In a statement released Wednesday, Brown’s parents welcomed the report, saying,

“It is our hope that through this action, true change will come not only in Ferguson, but around the country. If that change happens, our son’s death will not have been in vain.”

Source*

Related Topics:

Soros Turned Ferguson from a Local Protest to a National Flashpoint*

A Communique From Ferguson*

A Loophole that Could Save Maryland From Common Core*

A Loophole that Could Save Maryland From Common Core*

By Kelsey Harkness

As millions of students across the nation begin taking Common Core-aligned standardized tests for the first time, Maryland finds itself in a unique position to opt-out.

A loophole discovered by a state lawmaker gives the governor the power to withdraw Maryland from tests created by Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), which are designed to assess how well students are learning under the Common Core standards.

“It’s important for Maryland because the PARCC assessments and the consortium already—in its very short life—has shown clear evidence that it was poorly developed, poorly managed, and crammed down the throats of the states,” said David Vogt III, a Republican member of the state assembly.

Vogt recently discovered a hidden clause in a memorandum — signed by former Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley in 2010 — that committed Maryland to PARCC testing.

The loophole grants the newly elected governor, Republican Larry Hogan, the authority to either recommit or remove Maryland from the PARCC exams within the first five months of holding office.

Maryland’s legislature remains Democratically controlled.

Vogt is rallying a coalition of parents, educators, and administrators to pressure Hogan to pull the state out of PARCC.

“[PARCC’s] not only unconstitutional, but it’s a hindrance to the education system of Maryland,” Vogt said.

“Education was built to be a state-managed and operated function and the governor exercising his authority here will put it back in the state of Maryland’s hands.”

The timing of the discovery is significant, because Maryland, along with a number of other states, is officially administering the new Common Core-aligned tests for the very first time, despite protests that have sparked across the nation.

In New Mexico, two hashtags, #BarkAtThePARCC and #PARCCWalkOut, went viral on Twitter, encouraging students to “walk out” on the exams.

@AP @BurqueMedia Day 2: Students from Albuquerque High walk out to protest #PARCC testing. #BarkAtTheParcc #ABQ #NM

In New Jersey, technical problems caused some schools to delay the tests, which are taken on a computer. Thousands of students simply refused to take the tests.

“It took more time to set up the test than it did to take the test,” junior Emily Green of Cresskill, N.J., told CBS New York.

As millions of students across the nation begin taking Common Core-aligned standardized tests for the first time, Maryland finds itself in a unique position to opt-out.

A loophole discovered by a state lawmaker gives the governor the power to withdraw Maryland from tests created by Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), which are designed to assess how well students are learning under the Common Core standards.

“It’s important for Maryland because the PARCC assessments and the consortium already—in its very short life—has shown clear evidence that it was poorly developed, poorly managed, and crammed down the throats of the states,” said David Vogt III, a Republican member of the state assembly.

Vogt recently discovered a hidden clause in a memorandum — signed by former Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley in 2010 — that committed Maryland to PARCC testing.

Don’t have time to read the Washington Post or New York Times? Then get The Morning Bell, an early morning edition of the day’s most important political news, conservative commentary and original reporting from a team committed to following the truth no matter where it leads.

The loophole grants the newly elected governor, Republican Larry Hogan, the authority to either recommit or remove Maryland from the PARCC exams within the first five months of holding office.

Maryland’s legislature remains Democratically controlled.

Vogt is rallying a coalition of parents, educators, and administrators to pressure Hogan to pull the state out of PARCC.

“[PARCC’s] not only unconstitutional, but it’s a hindrance to the education system of Maryland,” Vogt said. “Education was built to be a state-managed and operated function and the governor exercising his authority here will put it back in the state of Maryland’s hands.”

The timing of the discovery is significant, because Maryland, along with a number of other states, is officially administering the new Common Core-aligned tests for the very first time, despite protests that have sparked across the nation.

In New Mexico, two hashtags, #BarkAtThePARCC and #PARCCWalkOut, went viral on Twitter, encouraging students to “walk out” on the exams.

In New Jersey, technical problems caused some schools to delay the tests, which are taken on a computer. Thousands of students simply refused to take the tests.

“It took more time to set up the test than it did to take the test,” junior Emily Green of Cresskill, N.J., told CBS New York.

In Colorado, The Denver Post reported that of 100 students who tried to log on to take the computerized tests, only five were able to due to technical glitches, spurring criticism that states were inadequately prepared to test to the new standards.

William Reinhard, spokesman for the Maryland State Department of Education, told The Daily Signal that “very few” students protested the exams.

“Full testing began this week with few technical issues and no broad student or parent protests,” he said.

“More than 40,000 Maryland students are taking the assessment today.”

Still, the grassroots opt-out movement in Maryland is difficult to ignore.

Tony Piacente, the father of an 8th grader who goes to school in Mechanicsville, Md., told The Daily Signal that he’s been battling St. Mary’s County and the State Department of Education for over six weeks trying to refuse his son’s participation in PARCC.

“They are trying to bully me into submission,” he said.

“I get contradictory statements from both places and they still have yet to provide me the law or regulation that states my child must participate in the PARCC to graduate.”

Piacente said he opposes PARCC because,

“The prep time and test time takes away over 30 plus hours of quality instructional time for students, kids are tested enough in class, and it places undue stress and pressure on kids of all age groups.”

Maryland State Superintendent of Schools Lillian Lowery yesterday spoke out in support of the PARCC assessment, calling it “a tremendous opportunity to gain more insights than ever before into how our students are progressing, and identify where we can all do better.”

But Vogt believes he can garner enough momentum through grassroots organizations to pressure the governor to pull out of the tests.

“It’s fairly uniform across the board [that] everybody’s concerned about the testing problems,” he said.

“I’ve had phone calls and letters and emails come in — from parents and teachers who are in the public school system, to members of local school boards across the state.”

Without the PARCC exams, teachers would still be required to follow the Common Core curriculum.

Common Core proponents argue that PARCC and similar assessments are the best way for the federal government to ensure that states are faithfully implementing the standards.

Maryland, along with 45 other states, adopted the Common Core standards in 2010 as a way to ensure that kids are college and career ready, and to track student success in a way that’s comparable state-by-state.

Critics say the exams are too rigorous and detract from local and state control of the classroom. They also argue that states were incentivized by the Obama administration to adopt Common Core and its affiliated exams with $4.35 billion in Race to the Top grants and waivers from the No Child Left Behind law.

Maryland received a four-year, $250 million federal grant for fully implementing the standards by the 2014-2015 academic year.

State lawmakers will formally challenge Common Core this week, when they consider a number of proposals that intend to slow down or halt the process of implementing the standards.

A spokeswoman for Hogan told The Daily Signal that the governor is still deciding what to do about the PARCC tests.

“The governor has major concerns about ‘one-size fits-all’ standards like Common Core and PARCC, and he will be exploring ways to improve or remove them during his term,” Erin Montgomery, the spokeswoman, said.

Source*

Related Topics:

Top Teachers Resigning because of Common Core*

Brick-by-brick: Missouri Judge Rules Common Core Unconstitutional*

The Essential Facts about How Common Core Became a Reality and Its Rebranding*

Breaking: Google gives new meaning to “Orwellian”

Originally posted on Jon Rappoport's Blog:

Breaking: Google gives new meaning to “Orwellian”

Becomes Ministry of Truth

by Jon Rappoport

March 1, 2015

NoMoreFakeNews.com

“…if all records told the same tale — then the lie passed into history and became truth.” (1984, George Orwell)

The New Scientist has the stunning story (2/28/15, “Google wants to rank websites based on facts not links,” by Hal Hodson):

“THE internet is stuffed with garbage. Anti-vaccination websites make the front page of Google, and fact-free ‘news’ stories spread like wildfire. Google has devised a fix – rank websites according to their truthfulness.”

Great idea, right?

Sure it is.

The author of the article lets the cat out of the bag right away with his comment about “anti-vaccination” websites.

These sites will obviously be shoved into obscurity by Google because they’re “garbage”…whereas “truthful” pro-vaccine sites will dominate top ranked pages on the search engine.

This is wonderful if you believe what…

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Why Two Canadian Schools Have Stopped Using Wi-Fi*

Why Two Canadian Schools Have Stopped Using Wi-fi*

In “The Bigger Picture,” Mary Garofalo shows the reasons why two Canadian schools have stopped using Wi-Fi.

You can’t hear it, you can’t taste it, but some are calling Wifi wireless networks a serious health threat that every parent should understand. Wireless internet is in schools around the world, but some kids are saying that wifi is making them sick. Is the convenience really worth the health risk?

Wi-Fi causes heart problems, headaches and other neurological disorders in children.

Related Topics:

WiFi — an Invisible Threat to all Life*

U.S. Farmer Harvests a Profit by not Planting the Big GMO Lie*

U.S. Farmer Harvests a Profit by not Planting the Big GMO Lie*

By Christina Sarich

We need GMOs to feed the world like a fish needs dry land. A controversial farmer in California is proving that a veritable bumper crop can be had using new farming methods that don’t require GMO pesticides, herbicides, or even weeding, and require 10 times less water than the average farm. The best part – he earned $100K per acre last season without even harvesting all of his land.

What kind of super-fertilizer allows Paul Kaiser to grow so much food on a mere 8 acres? Lots of rotten food scraps and rotten plants – otherwise known as compost. And he uses loads of it.

He uses farming practices both old, and cutting-edge-new so well that agricultural specialists from University of California at Davis who have tested his top soil can drive a four-foot steel pole all the way through his fields. This, as opposed to most parts of California, where it would hit infertile hard-pan in less than 12 inches.

Last year, Kaiser’s farm located in Sonoma Valley, CA grossed more than $100,000 an acre, too. This is ten times the average for most farmers of this area, even in lucrative wine-country.

His farm is no mega-farm, either. At just under 8 acres, he is beating even other large organic farms because the soil is still so damaged in other conventional and organic farms alike. He is certainly out-performing Big Ag methods of farming as his unique farming practices have turned the soil into a goldmine.

Kaiser follows what he calls the 3 main rules of soil health: Keep roots in the ground as much as possible, keep the soil covered as much as possible, and disturb the soil as little as possible.

Kaiser follows what he calls the 3 main rules of soil health: Keep roots in the ground as much as possible, keep the soil covered as much as possible, and disturb the soil as little as possible.

Kaiser also doesn’t plow his fields (which means a lot less work) and he uses around 10 times less water than his peers. His neighbours still run sprinklers, but he waters for about an hour a week, using almost exclusively drip irrigation. This means that while California is still recovering from a drought, most farmers are watering the air – since most of the water is lost to evaporation. Kaiser is watering – how novel an idea – just his plants.

Many California farmers recently spent millions tanking in water to try to save their crops, while Kaiser just made a healthy annual salary for even most high-paid lawyers. Water was being sold on the black market for ridiculous prices, but you can bet Kaiser wasn’t paying them.

Kaiser uses a thick, acrylic blanket to keep both soil and compost piles covered. Most farmers, if the cover soil at all, us immense plastic sheets, which end up each year in the landfill. “These blankets last me 10 years!”

Kaiser is a bit of a mad genius, and a dreamer, too. He rattles off statistics at local talks he gives about exactly how he grows so sustainably, often including surprising facts. For example, he leaves his roots in the ground after harvest to feed the worms. He sounds a bit like a Martin Luther King for growing green:

“Sustainable farming methods are just one corner,” he said. “Economic sustainability is another, and social sustainability is the third.”

During a recent Sunday farmers’ market, representatives of several different agricultural organizations approached Kaiser, each asking him for advice. Now, when billed for talks, he often packs the house.

Kaiser envisions small farms near every city around the globe, even in the most dry, arid climates, and with the proof of his own sweat, and soil, I believe his dream is possible.

Source*

Related Topics:

California an Engineered Drought Catastrophe*

Philippine Farmers Uproot Monsanto’s GM Golden Rice*

GM Crops Entrench U.S. Drought

Monsanto Reports $156 Million Loss in Q4 as Farmers Abandon GM Crops*

From Factory Farming to the Dinner Plate: Livestock Sicker than Ever Due to Antibiotics*

Monsanto Pays Up for Contaminating Farmer’s Field*

Russia’s GMO Import Ban Boosts Local Organic Farmers*

Chilean Women Farmers to Teach the Region Agro-ecology*

Occupy World: Chilean Farmer Wins Case against Monsanto*

Senegal Farmers Tell Transnational Corporations to get off their Land*

Right to Farm Denied in Michigan*

Corporate Landgrab Deprives Small Farmers Who Feed the World- with Less than a Quarter of all Farmland*

Farmers of El Salvador Block Monsanto Seeds*

Colonialism in Disguise: Farmers Sued for Reusing Monsanto Seeds*

Farmers Abandoned by EU from Russian Food Ban*

Monsanto Herbicides in 75% of Mississippi Air and Rain Samples*

Ebola hoax update: my FOIA request to the CDC

Originally posted on Jon Rappoport's Blog:

Ebola hoax update: my FOIA request to the CDC

by Jon Rappoport

March 4, 2015

NoMoreFakeNews.com

“The Reality Manufacturing Company enjoys creating and selling components that are invisible, that aren’t there at all.” (The Underground, Jon Rappoport)

There are things people say they know for certain. No error is possible.

When medical officials say they have discovered a new disease caused by a germ, or they have discovered a new outbreak of a known disease…

Almost everyone climbs on board.

Almost everyone automatically assumes that the disease is, in fact, what officials say it is…

And more importantly, almost everyone assumes this disease MUST BE caused by the germ that officials claim is the cause.

Four months ago, I sent a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the CDC.

I have heard nothing back. No data, no email, no acknowledgment of my request. Nada. Zilch. Zero.

I’m not…

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