Thursday, November 16, 2017

St. Louis Still Mired In Racist Heritage

A federal judge has placed restrictions on the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, saying their conduct during recent protests had violated demonstrators’ constitutional rights.

The protests  took place in September, following a “not guilty” verdict in the murder trial of Jason Stockley, a white (and former) police officer who in 2011 shot and killed Anthony Lamar Smith, who was black.

Perry found sufficient evidence that police arbitrarily declared an assembly unlawful even when there was no violence, and that there was “no credible threat of force or violence to officers or property” when police rounded up citizens, including journalists, two months ago After those arrests, the head of the St. Louis MPD arrogantly declared that his department had “owned” the night, while his officers mocked protesters by chanting “Whose streets? Our streets!”

It turns out the protesters and free speech had the final word, however.  Judge Perry said that officers had clearly retaliated against protected First Amendment speech because they didn’t like being criticized, and used chemical weapons to suppress speech they didn’t like.

Perry said police cannot declare an unlawful assembly unless there’s a clear and present threat, and cannot use the law to punish people engaged in protected activity. She also said chemical agents can’t be used unless there is probable cause to arrest a person, and that police can’t threaten to use chemical agents against anyone engaged in expressive, nonviolent activity.

American Civil Liberties Union attorney Anthony Rothert declared that “pepper spray is the new fire hose,” and said officers were using pepper spray “arbitrarily, gratuitously and without warning.”

Monday, November 13, 2017

More Confirmation That Roy Moore Is A Scumbag

GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore was banned from a mall in the early 1980s after he repeatedly attempted to pick up teenage girls, former mall employees and local police told reporters.

Other locals also confirmed that Moore was known for prowling the mall. Moore, whom five women have accused of making advances on them or molesting them when they were teenagers, allegedly had a reputation for hanging around the Gadsden Mall, in Gadsden, Alabama, in pursuit of high school-age girls.

One former mall employee said that a security guard asked mall employees to be on the lookout for Moore, who was “banned from the mall.” Blake Usry, who was a teenager in town at the time, said Moore was known to "flirt with all the young girls," and would hang out at the mall on weekends "like the kids did." Other locals said that Moore's penchant for flirting with teens was common knowledge in town.

One former waitress said that Moore made young waitresses uncomfortable by staring at them, then becoming rude if they did not "give him an opening." A police officer said that “general knowledge at the time when I moved here was that this guy is a lawyer cruising the mall for high-school dates” and that Moore may not have received an official ban but was a persona non grata at the mall and had been “run off” from “a number of stores.”

Saturday, November 11, 2017

More Hate From Maine Governor

The controversial governor of Maine says that people of color were enemies of his state, and suggested they should be shot.

Talking about Maine's effort to combat drug crime, Governor Paul LePage said that "the enemy right now... are people of color or people of Hispanic origin".

"When you go to war... and the enemy dresses in red and you dress in blue, then you shoot at red," he said.

Democrats and political observers are urging him to resign.  LePage made the shocking comments while seeking to clarify remarks he made earlier in the week which were criticized as racist.

On Wednesday,  LePage was asked about a statement he made in which he blamed the state's heroin problem on "guys by the name D-Money, Smoothie, Shifty" who "come from Connecticut and New York".

"They come up here, they sell their heroin, then they go back home. Incidentally, half the time they impregnate a young, white girl before they leave," he said.

He denied it was racist, saying that he had been putting together a binder cataloguing drug arrests in the state, and that "90-plus per cent of those pictures are black and Hispanic people".

Asked by reporters to provide the binder,  LePage replied: "Let me tell you something: Black people come up the highway and they kill Mainers. You ought to look into that."

On Thursday, LePage called Democratic state representative Drew Gattine and, when he was unable to reach him, left him an abusive, expletive-laden voice message.  He later invited reporters to an interview to explain the voice message, and told them he wished he could shoot Gattine in a duel.

"I'd like him to come up here because, tell you right now, I wish it were 1825," LePage said.  "And we would have a duel, that's how angry I am, and I would not put my gun in the air, I guarantee you... I would point it right between his eyes, because he is a snot-nosed little runt and he has not done a damn thing since he's been in this legislature to help move the state forward."

On Friday, the Portland Press Herald published FBI statistics which show that 1,211 people were arrested on charges of drug sales or manufacturing in Maine in 2014. Of those, 170 - 14.1% - were black, and almost all the rest were white.

LePage said he was "enormously angry" at being called a racist, but did not try to refute the FBI statistics. 

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