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2 stories


Large turnout at police-community forum

JAN 30, 2015

Jim Jackson, president of the Sandusky chapter of the NAACP, speaks during Thursday's “What to Do When Stopped by Police” forum at Quality Inn in Sandusky.

Thursday's forum hosted by the Toledo-based Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle Club included Sandusky police Chief John Orzech, Erie County Sheriff Paul Sigsworth, a representative from the FBI's civil rights division, as well as Jim Jackson, president of the Sandusky chapter of the NAACP, Darryl Gant, president of the local minister's association, and local attorneys, including Geoff Oglesby.
Register photo/ANGELA WILHELM Local attorney Geoff Oglesby speaks during Thursday's forum.

PART II video available below

Community members, law enforcement and local leaders alike gathered together Thursday evening to discuss police behavior and how citizens respond to it.
Roughly 70 people convened at the Quality Inn on Cleveland Road for “What to do when stopped by police,” a program put on by local officials in conjunction with the Toledo chapter of the Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle Club.
The event kicked off with comments by Sandusky police Chief John Orzech and Sandusky man Geral Garrett, a diversity and management consultant. It then quickly segued into a presentation by Earl Mack Jr., the club's president and a former high-ranking state agent.
From there, several speakers shared their knowledge on various subjects related to police-community relations and attendees asked the group questions.
Two out-of-town officers —Lt. Morris Hill, an assistant district commander with the Ohio State Highway Patrol, and Captain Thomas Walker, of the Lucas County Sheriff's Office — touched on what can, or should, happen during traffic stops or other interactions with police.
Sandusky police Assistant Chief Phil Frost detailed the complaint-filing process at the Sandusky department and Lisa Kaplan, a special agent with the FBI, discussed what constitutes a civil rights case.
Jim Jackson, president of the Sandusky chapter of the NAACP, and Geoff Oglesby, local attorney, gave the group an alternative, non-law-enforcement perspective and also responded to audience questions about police's treatment of minority communities — namely, young black men.



Danger Will Robinson! DANGER!!!
This has the potential for being bad. Very bad:
In a case some argue could throw open the long-standing secrecy behind police internal investigations, the 4th District Court of Appeals in Springfield has ruled internal affairs files are a public record regardless of the outcome of the probe.

Attorneys specializing in Illinois public records law said Thursday it is the first such ruling of its kind in the state and therefore binding on trial courts statewide. It could also have repercussions for long-running complaints about Chicago police brutality.

Great. Compelled testimony rears its ugly head again. Remember, you have less rights in an administrative investigation than a criminal one. You are ordered to answer questions. You are ordered to testify give information against your own self interests. You are assumed to be in possession of facts and recollections of incidents merely by your presence on a scene.

And if a single error or omission can be attributed to anything you put on paper, you will be fired.

Not only that, the bottom-feeders are going to use this civilly to ruin cops across the board. Anything you own, anything you've worked for, anything you've accomplished by dint of hard work serving and protecting is going to have to be sold, pawned or given away to defend yourself in a Crook County courtroom with a juries who already give felons millions.
The Sangamon County Sheriff and the State Attorney’s Appellate Prosecutor—who argued the case—have 35 days to decide whether to appeal the ruling to the Illinois Supreme Cou
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Local History: Civil rights worker with ties to Carbondale murdered in ...
February 1 2015
Mr. Johnson immediately ordered the FBI to work round the clock to catch her killer. Mrs. Liuzzo was the third person killed since civil rights leaders descended ...

Four Klan members ­— Eugene Thomas, 42; William Orville Eaton, 41; Gary Tommy Rowe Jr., 34; and Collie Leroy Wilkins Jr., 21 — were arrested in Birmingham and charged with federal conspiracy for Ms. Liuzzo’s death. Alabama Attorney General Richmond Flowers “said he would insist on a first-degree murder indictment against the men if the evidence warranted it,” according to a March 27, 1965, AP article published in The Scranton Times.

But none of the four were ever convicted of murder. Mr. Wilkins, Mr. Eaton and Mr. Thomas were all found guilty of conspiracy. Mr. Rowe, later revealed to be an FBI informant, was indicted in 1978 after two of his co-defendants said he was the shooter. He denied the allegations. In 1980, a federal judge permanently blocked Alabama from prosecuting him.
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NY Cop Draws Gun On Kids Over A Snowball Fight

Feb 1, 2015
NY Cop Draws Gun On Kids Over A Snowball Fight
A police officer in New Rochelle, New York, a suburb of New York City, was caught on video drawing his gun on a group of black teenagers having a snowball fight. An unidentified woman who filmed the incident, shows an unnamed police officer pointing his gun at the teenagers with their hands in the air, while they are kneeling on the ground. On the video you can hear the officer yelling at the group saying: “Don’t f*@$%&g move, guys!”
Later, the woman recording the video says, “They were having a snowball fight. This gro
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The other speakers on hand, Attorney Robert Boyle, Suffolk University Law Professor Michael Avery, and Tarek Mehanna Support Committee organizer, Laila Murad, all offered scandalous tales about the ways in which the US Attorney’s office and the FBI have abused their respective positions of power to grossly distort the law and, in turn, dispense with civil rights.
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SPD Chief to make changes to social media policy after officer's racially-charged posts


Seattle police chief Kathleen O’Toole said Tuesday she is making changes in how the department handles social media after launching an investigation into an officer who posted racially-charged comments on Facebook.

“There’s no place for racial bias in policing,” O’Toole said “I’ve been a champion for civil rights my entire career so I certainly won’t tolerate it.”

O’Toole is creating a new social media policy for officers.

It’s been in the works since last summer after an officer posted comments in support of Ferguson, Missouri, police Officer Darren Wilson.

The importance of putting itthe policy in place surfaced again when posts by Officer Cynthia Whitlatch surfaced that include statements like, “I am tired of black people’s paranoia that white people are out to get them.”

“How do you characterize those Facebook comments?” KIRO 7 asked.

“Well, I was very disturbed by them,” O’Toole said, “but the officer is entitled to tell her side of the story when she comes in over the course of the investigation and I certainly don’t want to do anything to jeopardize the disciplinary process.”

Brian Davis filed a complaint in August with the Office of Professional Accountability when he saw those posts.

The new policy, O'Toole said, will flag posts that might damage an officer's ability to serve, put him or her at risk, or harm the reputation of the department and its community relations.

Whitlatch is also under review for her arrest of 69-year-old William Wingate, as he used his golf club as a cane at 12th Avenue and Pike Street.

She accused him of swinging it at her, though her cruiser's dashcam video never shows it.

“I’m a black man walking down the street doing nothing,” Wingate told KIRO 7, “and I got stopped and sent to jail by a white police officer. That's all I can say. I guess you can add that up yourself.”

SPD apologized in September but took months to connect the incidents and pull Whitlatch off patrol.

O’Toole pointed to systemic failure: she was unaware of the Facebook complaint with OPA and OPA was unaware of SPD's apology.

“We were going along two parallel tracks,” she said.

O’Toole said a dramatic overhaul is in the works, which she describes as an “early identification system” that will catch patterns of behavior.

“All complaints, whether they're made to the police department or they're made to OPA, will go into one system and it will trigger early warnings,” she said.

O’Toole would not
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FBI Watch
Joseph Baltar to you & 6 more
F.B. Eyes,’ by William J. Maxwell
By Glenn C. Altschuler Published 10:27 am, Thursday, February 5, 2015

see link for full story

In “The FB Eye Blues” (1949), Richard Wright, a renowned black writer
and a frequent target of J. Edgar Hoover’s G-men, satirized the agency
he deemed the most invasive, pervasive and powerful arm of the
American surveillance state: “Woke up this morning/ FB eye under my
bed/ Said I woke up this morning/ FB eye under my bed/ Told me all I
dreamed last night, every word I said.”
According to William Maxwell, an associate professor of English and
African American studies at Washington University in St. Louis,
African American writers were high on Hoover’s most-wanted list. In
“F.B. Eyes,” Maxwell draws on the bureau’s files of dozens of them
(obtained through the Freedom of Information Act), its publications
and its covert activities to argue that the FBI became a purveyor of
“lit.-cop federalism,” crossing the line between state power and civil
society to insert itself in as a shaping presence in the nation’s
print public sphere, and producing a “counter-literature” designed to
“police black writing with some of its imaginative medicine.”
Maxwell makes the provocative (and counterintuitive) claim that by
maintaining an uneasy — and perverse — obsession with African American
letters, the bureau became “the most dedicated and influential
forgotten critic of African American literature.”
Maxwell demonstrates that the FBI paid considerable attention to the
poems, plays, essays and novels of African American writers. Released
in 1919, “Radicalism and Sedition Among the Negroes as Reflected in
Their Publications” was the bureau’s “first major work of book-talk”
and an early survey of the Harlem Renaissance.
Aspiring to total literary awareness, the FBI amassed one of the
world’s largest libraries of radical writing. In 1943, the FBI’s
Internal Security Division completed a 730-page Survey of Racial
Conditions, compiled from 77,000 pages of raw data. During World War
II, the bureau designated many black writers as candidates for
“Custodial Detention.”
A year before the Broadway premier of Lorraine Hansberry’s “A Raisin
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Prominent L.A. minister apologizes for sermon comparing cops to the Klan

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see link for full story


FBI monitored and critiqued African American writers for decades
A new book reveals the extent to which J Edgar Hoover’s bureau kept files on well-known black writers between 1919 and 1972

Lorraine Hansberry’s play A Raisin in the Sun was one of the many works the FBI reviewed before publication.
Alison Flood
Monday 9 February 2015 10.37 EST

Newly declassified documents from the FBI reveal how the US federal agency under J Edgar Hoover monitored the activities of dozens of prominent African American writers for decades, devoting thousands of pages to detailing their activities and critiquing their work.

Academic William Maxwell first stumbled upon the extent of the surveillance when he submitted a freedom of information request for the FBI file of Claude McKay. The Jamaican-born writer was a key figure in the Harlem Renaissance, author of the sonnet If We Must Die, supposedly recited by Winston Churchill, and Maxwell was preparing an edition of his complete poems. When the file came through from the FBI, it stretched to 193 pages and, said Maxwell, revealed “that the bureau had closely read and aggressively chased McKay” – describing him as a “notorious negro revolutionary” – “all across the Atlantic world, and into Moscow”.

Maxwell, associate professor of English and African American studies at Washington University in St Louis, decided to investigate further, knowing that other scholars had already found files on well-known black writers such as Langston Hughes and James Baldwin. He made 106 freedom of information requests about what he describes as “noteworthy Afro-modernists” to the FBI; 51 of those writers had files, ranging from three to 1,884 pages each.

“I suspected there would be more than a few,” said Maxwell. “I knew Hoover was especially impressed and worried by the busy crossroads of black protest, leftwing politics, and literary potential. But I was surprised to learn that the FBI had read, monitored, and ‘filed’ nearly half of the nationally prominent African American authors working from 1919 (Hoover’s first year at the Bureau, and the first year of the Harlem Renaissance) to 1972 (the year of Hoover’s death and the peak of the nationalist Black Arts movement). In this, I realised, the FBI had outdone most every other major institution of US literary study, only fitfully concerned with black writing.”

Maxwell’s book about his discovery, FB Eyes: How J Edgar Hoover’s Ghostreaders Framed African American Literature, is out on 18 February from Princeton University Press. It argues that the FBI’s attention was fuelled by Hoover’s “personal fascination with black culture”, that “the FBI is perhaps the most dedicated and influential forgotten critic of African American literature”, and that “African American literature is characterised by a deep awareness of FBI ghostreading”.


Princeton said that while it is well known that Hoover was hostile to Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement, Maxwell’s forthcoming book is the first exposé of “the extent to which the FBI monitored and influenced African American writing” between 1919 and 1972.

Taking its title from Richard Wright’s 1949 poem The FB Eye Blues, in which the Native Son novelist writes that “every place I look, Lord / I find FB eyes / I’m getting sick and tired of gover’ment spies”, the work also posits that for some authors, suspicion of the surveillance prompted creative replies.

Digital copies of 49 of the FBI files have been made available to the public online. “The collected files of the entire set of authors comprise 13,892 pages, or the rough equivalent of 46 300-page PhD theses,” Maxwell writes in the book. “FBI ghostreaders genuinely rivalled the productivity of their academic counterparts.”

The academic told the Guardian that he believes the FBI monitoring stems from the fact that “from the beginning of his tenure at the FBI ... Hoover was exercised by what he saw as an emerging alliance between black literacy and black radicalism”.


“Then there’s the fact that many later African American writers were allied, at one time or another, with socialist and communist politics in the US,” he added, with Wright and WEB Du Bois both becoming Communist Party members, Hughes a “major party sympathiser”, and McKay “toasted by Trotsky and published in Russian as a significant Marxist theorist”.

The files show how the travel arrangements of black writers were closely scrutinised by the FBI, with the passport records of a long list of authors “combed for scraps of criminal behaviour and ‘derogatory information’”, writes Maxwell. Some writers were threatened by “‘stops’, instructions to advise and defer to the Bureau if a suspect tried to pass through a designated point of entry” to the US.

When McKay went to the Soviet Union, a “stop notice” instructed that the poet should be held for “appropriate attention” if he attempted to re-enter the US. In Baltimore, writes Maxwell, FBI agents “paraded their seriousness in a bulletin sent straight to Hoover, boasting of a clued-in ‘Local Police Department’ on the ‘lookout’ for one ‘Claude McKay (colored)’ (23 Mar. 1923)”.

They also reveal how, with the help of informers, the agency reviewed works such as Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun and Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man before publication.

“What did the FBI learn from these dossiers? Several things,” said Maxwell. “Where African American writers were travelling, especially during their expatriate adventures in Europe, Africa, and Latin America. What they were publishing, even while it was still in press.” In the 1950s, he said, the FBI aspired to “a foreknowledge of American publishing so deep that literary threats to the FBI’s reputation could be seen before their public appearance”.

The bureau also considered “whether certain African Americans should be allowed government jobs and White House visits, in the cases of the most fortunate”, and “what the leading minds of black America were thinking, and would be thinking”.
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Published on
Tuesday, February 10, 2015
Common Dreams
NYPD Officer Indicted in Shooting of Akai Gurley: Reports

Officer Peter Liang reportedly texted union representative instead of calling for ambulance
Nadia Prupis, staff writer


Akai Gurley was killed by a New York City police officer on November 20, 2014. (Photo: Screenshot)

NYPD Officer Peter Liang, who shot an unarmed Brooklyn man to death in November by firing his gun up a dark stairwell in a housing project, was indicted on Tuesday, according to reports.

A formal announcement by District Attorney Kenneth Thompson is expected to be made Wednesday. It was unclear Tuesday afternoon if charges would include manslaughter.

Liang, who reportedly texted his union representative before calling for an ambulance after shooting Gurley in the chest on November 20, said he had fired his gun accidentally while patrolling the Louis H. Pink Houses in East New York.

Following the shooting, police commissioner Bill Bratton called Gurley a "total innocent."

Gurley's death became one of the focal points of the Black Lives Matter movement, which called attention to institutional racism and police brutality after the police killings of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and Eric Garner in Staten Island last year. Neither officer in those cases was indicted.
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see link for full story

organization that assassinated Martin Luther King
will organize celebration of Black History

2 stories


FBI office in SC putting on Black History Month program
Feb 12, 2015 04:07 AM
WEST COLUMBIA, S.C. - The Columbia office of the FBI is putting on a special program to commemorate Black History Month.

Special Agent in Charge Dave Thomas is hosting a program on ThTh

The Martin Luther King Murder Conspiracy – LewRockwell.com
Lew Rockwell Books; Ron Paul Books ... By Jim Douglass ... The seriousness with which U.S. intelligence agencies planned the murder of Martin Luther King Jr. speaks ...

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4. storiesstories see below



FBI director comments on role of race in policing

Washington FBI Director James Comey took on the issue of police and race relations Thursday challenging police to avoid "lazy mental short-cuts" that can lead to bias in the way they treat blacks and other minorities.

While he asked minority communities dealing with issues of high crime to also recognize the inherent dangers officers face in trying to keep them safe, Comey was also critical of the history law enforcement in the country, which he described as "not pretty," but also the racial tensions have plagued American society as a whole.

"I worry that this incredibly important and difficult conversation abou

see link for full story


Alabama policeman charged with assault after Indian man thrown to ground, injured

An Alabama policeman has been charged with assault after a man recently arrived from India said he was left partially paralyzed when an officer threw him to the ground during a morning walk, authorities said on Thursday.

Sureshbhai Patel, 57, sued the city and two officers in a civil rights complaint filed on Thursday, alleging race factored into his treatment, his attorney said. The FBI said it was also investigating.

Police officials in Madison, Alabama, apologized to Patel and his family at a news conference on Thursday afternoon. They said one of the officers involved in the incident last Friday had been arrested on an assault charge, and officials had recommended he be fired.

Patel, who speaks no English, moved from India to northern Alabama about two weeks ago to help his son's family care for a 17-month-old child, said his lawyer, Henry Sherrod.

He was walking on the sidewalk outside his son’s home around 9 a.m., when police said they received a call about a suspicious person, according to the lawsuit in the U.S. Northern District of Alabama.

Patel told police officers who stopped him: “No English, Indian,” and gave the house number for his son, the suit said.

A police officer then tossed Patel, who weighs about 130 pounds, to the ground, according to the complaint.

He was severely injured, requiring surgery to relieve pressure on his spinal cord, the complaint said. He has regained some movement in his arms and legs but remains weak, his attorney said.

“I just can’t believe what they did to this very gentle man who wanted nothing more than to go out for a walk,” Sherrod said.

The police said in an earlier statement that Patel put his hands in his pockets and tried to pull away as officers patted him down.

Police on Thursday released video of the incident, recorded from inside a patrol vehicle. It showed Patel standing with his hands behind his back with two uniformed officers in a residential neighborhood.

Then an officer abruptly flipped him to the ground.

Police also shared a recording of the suspicious person call, which had been questioned by Patel's attorney.

The officer involved "did not meet the high standards and expectationexpectation


Inquiries Find Blatant Racism At FBI
January 25, 1988|
WASHINGTON -- On this one point, the government`s investigators are already agreed: Donald Rochon, an FBI agent, was a victim of often-brutal racial harassment by his white colleagues.

In separate investigations, the Justice Department and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission have found that Rochon was shunned and humiliated by agents in the FBI`s Omaha office in 1983 and 1984 because he is black.

Law-enforcement officials say Rochon`s ordeal is one of the most troubling examples of institutional racism in the recent history of the bureau, which is responsible for enforcement of federal civil rights laws, among others.

In one incident, Rochon returned to his desk to find that a family photograph had been destroyed when someone taped a picture of an ape`s head over his son`s face. His former supervisor told investigators that the pranks were ``healthy.``

The Justice Department is now conducting a criminal investigation into allegations that white agents in the bureau`s office in Chicago, where Rochon was transferred in 1984, made repeated death threats to Rochon and his family.

In April 1985, Rochon said, he received an unsigned, typewritten letter in the mail, threatening him with mutilation and death and threatening his wife, who is white, with sexual assault. Attached was a picture of a black man whose body had been mutilated.

``I couldn`t believe this was happening,`` said Rochon, shaking his head as he recalled the well-documented, three-year campaign of harassment. ``It was like I was in a time machine, and someone had turned the clock back from the 1980s to the 1950s.``

Rochon, 37, now serves in the FBI`s Philadelphia office, where he says he has experienced no ``overt`` racism.

The FBI`s new director, William S. Sessions, has characterized Rochon`s complaints as ``extremely serious.`` ``Racial discrimination has absolutely no place in the FBI and will not be tolerated,`` he said.

Rochon, who is now suing the bureau and the Justice Department, is not the only FBI agent who has taken concerns about racial discrimination to court. In El Paso, one of the bureau`s highest-ranking Hispanic agents filed suit last year alleging that he and other Hispanic agents were routinely denied promotions.

Rochon would seem to be just what the FBI wants in its agents: he is intelligent, well-spoken and polite.

In a report last August on Rochon`s treatment in Omaha, the Justice Department found that he had been subjected to ``racially obnoxious pranks`` and ``blatant racial harassment.``

A 66-page report by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission described a series of incidents in Omaha in which Rochon was harassed because of his race.

The commission and the Justice Department found that the FBI retaliated against Rochon because of his formal complaints to superiors about the harassment.

Investigators said Rochon was improperly denied a hardship transfer to Los Angeles, where his father was ill with diabetes, although white agents were routinely permitted to move to the cities of their choice. Rochon was instead transferred in June 1984 to Chicago, where Dillon, his chief adversary, had been transferred several months earlier. Rochon`s father died las


Pa. Woman: Fbi Tried To Incriminate Black Agent Who Charged Racism
March 23, 1988|
A Pennsylvania woman has accused the FBI of trying to coerce her into making false and damaging statements about a black FBI agent who had brought charges of racism against the bureau.

The woman, Rosemary Coleman Peszko, said two bureau agents subjected her to 20 hours of interrogation and lie-detector examinations earlier this month about her relationship with Donald Rochon, the black agent. Rochon's allegations of racial harassment in the bureau's Omaha office caused a sensation two months ago and have been upheld by two government agencies.

Peszko was questioned after she and Rochon, an agent in the bureau's Philadelphia office, had a violent quarrel. Their lawyers said that Rochon was left with a broken nose and Peszko with a bloody one in the incident March 3 in Pennsauken, N.J., where Rochon lives. Rochon and Peszko filed charges against each other in court and then dropped them.

Lawyers for the two said the FBI was trying to capitalize on the domestic quarrel to open an internal investigation of an agent who has made embarrassing charges against the bureau.

"We have a vendetta against Donald Rochon by the FBI, such that someone he's dating gets interrogated for 20 hours," said his lawyer, David Kairys of Philadelphia. "The FBI is distorting and exaggerating the facts in every way possible to make him look bad."

Peszko's lawyer, Stefan Presser, who is legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union in Pennsylvania, said, "It seems clear to me that there's been a conspiracy by officials of the FBI to damage Mr. Rochon and, in doing so, they have made Peszko a pawn in that game."

The bureau said in a prepared statement that the questioning of Peszko was "professional and in keeping with FBI policy and in no way interfered with anyone's rights."

It said she was interviewed "following the FBI's receipt of information alleging possible criminal wrongdoing by an FBI special agent," apparently a reference to the court charges filed by Peszko.

Bureau officials rejected suggestions that Peszko's questioning had been unnecessarily long and intensive. The "time taken" for the interviews and the "extended intervals were in full recognition of her distress following an apparent assault," the bureau said in its statement.

The bureau would not say if the investigation was continuing.

In what law-enforcement officials describe as one of the most troubling examples of institutional racism in the FBI's recent history, the Justice Department and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission have found that Rochon was the victim of often brutal racial harassment in the FBI's Omaha office in 1983 and 1984.

The Justice Department has said it is still investigating allegations that Rochon was later subjected to other harassment, including death threats, by white agents in the bureau's Chicago office.

It is unclear exactly what Peszko may have told the FBI agents in three days of interrogation that began March 4. In an affidavit dated March 7 and provided to a reporter by Rochon's lawyer, Peszko described the sessions as being "like brainwashing."

"I was so tired, hungry and upset, I do not know what I told them or whether what they wrote down is accurate," she said. "They were often suggesting things and leading me in certain directions, and much of what is in the statements they have may well be inaccurate."

The police were called after the first argument the couple had March 2 in Rochon's home; in the altercation, Peszko bruised her eye. But there was another, more violent dispute the next day. According to Kairys, the lawyer for the FBI agent, the argument involved Rochon's efforts to end the relationship.

Sometime in the fight, Kairys said, Peszko threw a telephone at Rochon and broke his nose. "Don pushed back at her in self-defense, and that may have cause
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couple of stories


Amid race talk, FBI struggles to hire black agents


2/13/15 3:17 PM
FBI Director James Comey’s pointed critique of law enforcement’s rocky dealings with African-American communities indirectly called attention to an uncomfortable fact: The percentage of black FBI agents has actually fallen over the past two decades.

The most recent statistics posted on the website of the nation’s premier law enforcement agency show African-Americans accounted for 4.7 percent of the bureau’s special agents in 2012, down from 5.6 percent in 1997.



WEB POSTED 12-07-1999

Court documents reveal a 1998 FBI plot against Mayor Barry

by Rosalind D. Muhammad
and Nisa Islam Muhammad

WASHINGTON—A federal government plan to entrap former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry in a cash-for-job scheme backfired when the secret arrest of the informant the government was to use against Mr. Barry was leaked to the media, recently unsealed court documents reveal.

The revelation has renewed fears among Black leadership that the government targets Black elected officials more often than whites and that unscrupulous methods are used to bring Blacks down. The recent court documents bring back memories of Cointelpro, the notorious FBI program used against Black leaders and organizations under the late FBI boss J. Edgar Hoover.

"The FBI and federal government have a history of harassing Black public officials. It’s not just me. There is example after example. This is no surprise," said the former mayor in an interview with The Final Call. "I think they (government) never got past 1990 when they weren’t able to put me away in jail for a long time. They’re determined to find a way to harass me for doing something illegal. But that won’t happen," he said.

In 1990, Mr. Barry was videotaped using the drug crack. He was convicted of a drug charge in the case that was brought as a result of a government covert operation.

According to the court papers, the most recent operation went like this:

D.C. police lieutenant Yong H. Ahn, was arrested in February 1998 on charges that he accepted $8,000 in bribes from illegal massage parlor operators. FBI agents approached him about helping them to target Mr. Barry and enlisted the help of Mr. Ahn’s wife Azita. In the court papers Mrs. Ahn quotes a FBI agent as saying "they would get him (Barry) with a felony and he would never get away with this."

The court papers, released by U.S. District Judge Thomas F. Hogan after Mr. Ahn’s trial, detail how Mr. Ahn and his wife agreed to work with investigators. The plan was for Mrs. Ahn to meet privately with Mr. Barry at the home of an acquaintance.

The FBI had prepared a phony resume for her to use to get a job with the city. Mrs. Ahn was to secretly videotape Mr. Barry receiving an envelope with $5,000 from her as down payment for a job. She then was to make him believe that he would receive another $5,000 once she was on the payroll.

According to Mrs. Ahn, the plan was targeted for April 1998 but fell apart when the arrest of Lt. Ahn was leaked to the news media.

As more information about the plot comes to light, law enforcement officials are trying to absolve themselves of responsibility. U.S. Attorney Wilma A. Lewis has said the sting would not have happened even if Mr. Ahn’s arrest had remained secret, saying she never authorized the operation.

However, the lead agent on the case, William H. Spivey Jr., a 16-year FBI veteran, said he had support from top supervisors and kept them informed along the way. "I don’t think anyone believes that just being an agent, I would be able to run or conduct an investigation of this nature on my own," he said.

That kind of cooperation for such an operation from top government brass is what has Black leaders worried.

"The fact that we are paranoid about the FBI doesn’t make us wrong," said retired U.S. Congressman Mervyn M. Dymally (D-Calif.). He pointed out that the investigation of a cover-up of government involvement in the Waco, Texas, fire that killed members of the Branch Dividians offers a "new opportunity to look into this web of deceit and corruption buried within the permanent bureaucracy of the Department of Justice (DOJ)."

A former California lieutenant governor, Mr. Dymally said he was once the target of successive, unsuccessful attempts by the FBI and DOJ to entrap him from 1974, when he was elected to the California State Senate, to 1992, when he retired from Congress. Mr. Dymally now heads his own consulting firm, Dymally International Group, Inc., in Inglewood, Calif.

His experiences with the FBI/DOJ apparatus included office burglaries, surveillances, media investigations that stemmed from "leaked" information, bugged telephones, public records stored by University of California archives removed by the FBI, and investigations by the California state attorney general and state grand jury.

Former FBI agent Dr. Tyrone Powers, a 10-year veteran of the bureau, quit in1994 in part to expose what he characterized as systemic racism within the bureau.

Now a full-time professor at Anne Arundel Community College in Arnold, Md., and author of the book "Eyes to My Soul: The Rise or Decline of a Black FBI Agent," Dr. Powers suggested that one would be naive to believe FBI denials about Operation Fruehmenschen, the alleged government operation that mirrors Cointelpro.

"When we conclude that an agency that has no problem burning white children (in Waco) will have no problem targeting Black people, their leaders, and their organizations, we will know that Cointelpro (Fruehmenschen) is alive," Dr. Powers said. "We keep looking for evidence that the FBI has shown they are experts at hiding. So we continue to be targeted and the FBI maintains their motto of ‘Admit Nothing, Deny Everything, and Use a Pencil.’ "

This isn’t to suggest that Black officials are incorruptible, those interviewed said.

"The problem is that when the government throws a fish net (under Fruehmenschen), it gets some very innocent sardines along with the occasional sharks," Mr. Dymally said.

Observers noted government stings such as Operation Incubator, where Michael Raymond, a convicted killer, was sent into Chicago to try to set-up Harold Washington, the city’s first Black elected mayor.

On January 27, 1988, Mr. Dymally, then chairman of the CBC, testified before Congress about a sworn affidavit given by attorney Hirsch Friedman, who had worked with the FBI in Atlanta. Mr. Friedman alleged that the FBI had an established official policy that initiates investigations of Black officials without probable cause. That policy was called "Operation Fruehmenschen", a German word for "early man."

Mr. Dymally said that while the affidavit offered "irrefutable proof" of government corruption, Congress took no action, which was one of the reasons he left Congress.

According to attorney Friedman, Fruehmenschen holds that Black politicians are inherently immoral, unethical and illiterate, to the extent that they can not lead people of a "high moral" order (Caucasians) and are incapable of high-level governing.

Patterns of harassment of Black officials usually begin with an interplay that takes place between the news media and law enforcement agencies, usually beginning with a rumor started by the FBI or by an ill-founded news report. This usually spirals into a "trial by media," criminal investigations and sometimes culminates in an indictment. The indictment typically results in acquittal, or in a conviction which is ultimately overturned on appeal.

"The reality is that both the FBI and the U.S. Attorney work hand and hand," Dr. Powers said. "If the FBI wants a case prosecuted the U.S. Attorney rubber stamps it."

Concerning Mayor Barry, Mr. Powers noted the bigger issue is why the FBI was even involved in the 1990 case against Mr. Barry since the offense was a misdemeanor crime.

"They never could have answered that question," he said. "That in and of itself is an indication of the continuation of Cointelpro."

In 1994, the FBI ended a five-year probe of alleged political corruption in the predominately Black city of Compton, Calif., that subsequently sent former U.S. Representative Walter R. Tucker III (the former mayor of Compton), and former City Councilwoman Patricia A. Moore to prison for extortion. Both have claimed that the government entrapped them.

"The FBI tried so many times to entrap me," said current Compton Mayor Omar Bradley, 42, whose harassment began six days after he was elected into office in 1993. "They bugged my house, hid transmitters under my cars. Everywhere I went, the same people would show up to try to bribe me."

In the past, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan has called for a class action suit against the FBI/DOJ by all individuals and organizations that have been wrongfully targeted.

"Government is capable of the most wicked of criminal behavior against the masses of the peop

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Tampa stands with Rasmea Odeh
By staff | February 14, 2015

Tampa protest demands justice for Rasmea Odeh. (Fight Back! News/Staff)
Tampa, FL - On Feb. 13 the Committee to Stop FBI Repression-Tampa held a sign-holding in support of Rasmea Odeh during the National Week of Action to Defend Rasmea Odeh.

Members of CSFR-Tampa, Tampa Bay SDS and Raices en Tampa gathered on the corner of 56th Street and Fowler Avenue during rush hour holding signs that said, “Solidarity is not a crime,” and “Justice for Sami AlArian, Sami Osmakac and Rasmea Odeh.”

Jessica Schwartz, organizer with CSFR-Tampa, spoke of the importance to organize around Odeh’s case: “Rasmea was found guilty for trumped-up immigration charges. This is based on her immigration application, where she supposedly omitted her imprisonment in Palestine over 40 years ago. She was eventually released, but only after enduring torture and rape until confessing to a crime she did not commit. This is strictly a political move to silence Palestinians and activists. We stand in solidarity with Rasmea and all political prisoners."
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FBI agent Paul DiMura behaving like a naughty racist....

Footprint Prank Gets Fbi Agent Suspended - Orlando Sentinel
Jul 19, 1992 - An FBI agent screening a prominent black lawyer for a federal ... was not disclosed, told lawyer Walter Prince that collecting footprints was ...
DiMURA v. F.B.I. | Leagle.com
... the background investigation of Walter Prince, a prominent lawyer in Boston who ... According to plaintiff, Mr. Prince failed to return several phone calls placed to ... Herald identified plaintiff as the FBI agent responsible for taking the footprint.
Sources ID FBI agent who took footprint from judge candidate - The ...
http://www.highbeam.com › ... › Jul - Sep 1992 › July 22, 1992
Jul 22, 1992 - The FBI agent who forced a black Boston lawyer who is a candidate for ... After obtaining the footprint from lawyer Walter Prince, Dimura hung it ...
Jul 19, 1992 - An FBI agent screening a prominent black lawyer for a federal ... was not disclosed, told lawyer Walter Prince that collecting footprints was ...
FBI Agent's Footprint 'Joke' Gets Him Suspended - AP News Archive
Jul 18, 1992 - BOSTON (AP) _ An FBI agent screening a prominent black lawyer for a ... was not disclosed, told lawyer Walter Prince that collecting footprints ...
FBI Watch - Page 260 - UTSanDiego Forums
Jul 22, 2009 - 15 posts - ‎1 author
The foundation filed FOIA requests with the CIA, FBI, Director of National Intelligence, ..... After obtaining the footprint from lawyer Walter Prince.
Boston Lawyer Sues Over Footprint | Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly
Dec 26, 1994 - Boston lawyer Walter Prince, once considered for a federal judgeship, is suing the FBI, saying he was humiliated when an FBI agent took his ...
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NAACP asks FBI agents to solve crimes the FBI has covered up.

I guess they Have not yet heard that a Memphis Jury declared in 1999 that
FBI agents had assassinated Martin Luther King

Google. Mlk Douglass Rockwell fbi

2 stories



FBI investigates claim suspects in 1946 Georgia mass lynching may be alive

16 Feb 2015 at 10:57 ET

US authorities are investigating whether some of those responsible for one of the American south’s most notorious mass lynchings are still alive, in an attempt to finally bring prosecutions over the brutal unsolved killings.

FBI agents questioned a man in Georgia who was among several in their 80s and 90s newly named in connection with the Moore’s Ford Bridge lynching of 1946 on a list given to the US Department of Justice by civil rights activists, he told the Guardian.

Speaking at his home in Monroe, 10 miles west of the lynching site, Charlie Peppers denied taking part in the killings of four African Americans who were tied up and shot 60 times by a white mob.

“Heck no,” said Peppers, 86, when asked if he was involved. “Back when all that happened, I didn’t even know where Moore’s Ford was.” Peppers, who was 18 at the time of the lynching, said: “The blacks are blaming people that didn’t even know what happened back then.”

Related: Jim Crow lynchings more widespread than first thought, report concludes

A report by the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) published last week found at least 700 more lynchings than had previously been recorded in southern states, renewing calls from campaigners for any suspects still at large to be brought to justice before it is too late.

The Moore’s Ford incident, widely described as America’s last mass lynching, stands out as a particularly brutal case even in Georgia, where more lynchings were recorded between 1877 and 1950 than in any other state, according to the EJI study. The report was the result of almost five years of investigations into lynchings in 12 southern states .

No one was ever prosecuted for the killings on 25 July 1946 of two black couples in their 20s: George and Mae Murray Dorsey, and Dorothy and Roger Malcom. According to unconfirmed claims from the time that are now asserted by campaigners, Dorothy Malcom was heavily pregnant and her unborn baby was cut from her body by the attackers.

An outraged President Harry Truman ordered a federal investigation and rewards totalling $12,500 – worth more than $150,000 today – were offered for information leading to a conviction. A grand jury was convened and heard evidence for three weeks. Yet no indictments were brought for the killings, which have long been linked to the Ku Klux Klan.

However then-Georgia governor Roy Barnes reopened the state’s inquiry in 2000 and the FBI reopened its own case in 2007. Georgia state representative Tyrone Brooks, who leads an annual re-enactment of the lynching as part of a campaign for justice, said the absence of prosecutions still hurts black residents of the area.

“There is a lot of pain, a lot of frustration and a lot of disappointment,” said Brooks. “Because it has always said – like other cases have suggested more recently – that black lives don’t matter”.

Peppers was accused of being involved by his nephew, Wayne Watson. Video of Watson, 57, claiming in 2013 that Peppers and several other men from the area had spoken of their involvement in the killings was given to the US Department of Justice by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

“All through my life, I heard them talk about the Moore’s Ford and the lynching,” said Watson, in an April 2013 interview. “I’m tired of it, when you go through life, and you’re living with lies.”

Watson alleged that several of the men he named were Klan members. When asked this week Peppers denied he is or ever was a member of the Ku Klux Klan.

Watson said he had previously given information on the lynching to the city police and was ignored.

Watson made his remarks to Benjamin Jealous, who was then the NAACP president. Hilary Shelton, the NAACP’s Washington Bureau director, told the Guardian this week that during a meeting he handed a DVD containing the video footage to Thomas Perez, who was then the head of the Justice Department’s civil rights division and is now the US Labor Secretary, and urged him to take action.

“We already knew it was true that some of them were still here, and still alive, but we just needed people who could name names,” said Edward Dubose, an NAACP national board member and former Georgia branch president, who has campaigned for many years on the issue.

Peppers said he was visited at his home by two FBI agents, one man and one woman, last year and was questioned for about 40 minutes. He said he asked them: “Why in the world are y’all bringing stuff up that happened 60 years ago. Why didn’t y’all do something about it then?” The male agent called Peppers a week later asking for further details of his family, he said.

The victims of the lynching, who were sharecroppers, were killed after Roger Malcom was bailed from Walton County Jail on charges of stabbing Barnette Hester, a 29-year-old white farmer. Hester was rumoured locally to be having an affair with Roger’s wife, Dorothy, according to Laura Wexler, the author of Fire In A Canebrake , a 2003 book on the killings.

The couples were seized by a crowd on a dirt road while being driven home in a truck by Loy Harrison, a white farmer who had paid to bail Malcom out of jail. They were beaten, dragged to a clearing beside the Apalachee River and shot. Harrison, who escaped unharmed and said he was ambushed, has been accused by civil rights activists of being a Klan member and helping to set up the lynching.

Investigators at the time reported difficulty in obtaining statements and evidence on the killings. A conspiracy of silence among the white residents of the area was blamed. Bullets and shell casings were recovered from trees and the surrounding area but little other evidence existed at the time.

The killing of George Dorsey, who was a second world war veteran, caused particular outrage. Eventually about 55 suspects or people of interest were identified. Several were called to testify to the grand jury but none was charged.

In July 2008 the FBI and Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) said they had collected material from a home in Walton County that was being investigated further. Watson said in his interview that he had provided the tip-off for that raid.

Special Agent Stephen Emmett, a spokesman for the FBI’s Atlanta field office, declined to discuss the case or Peppers’s questioning.

“We’re not going to be able to confirm or clarify any development that you’re describing,” said Emmett. “It’s still a pending investigation”.

The Department of Justice did not respond to several requests for comment. A spokeswoman for the GBI referred all inquiries to the FBI.

Watson told Jealous he had been shunned by members of his family after entering a relationship with a black woman. “I want it all over with, the racism,” he said.

Watson said in the video that he had spent time in jail. According to public records he was convicted in 1999 of obstructing a law enforcement officer. He could not be reached for comment. Two neighbours at his last known address said he had bee



The Most Dangerous Place to Be Black
For Florida, being at the center of a maelstrom about race and justice for black Americans is nothing new. Especially if you ever had a run-in with Lake County’s brutal seven-term sheriff, Willis McCall.

Aug 7, 2013


“[I]t's just harder for black defendants to assert stand-your-ground defense if the victim is white, and easier for whites to raise a stand-your-ground defense if the victims are black," says Darren Hutchinson, a law professor and civil rights law expert at the University of Florida in Gainesville. "The bottom line is that it's really easy for juries to accept that whites had to defend themselves against persons of color." —Christian Science Monitor, August 6, 2013

* * *

Sixty years before George Zimmerman fired his single shot in Sanford, the people of central Florida lived through one of the most suspicious claims of self-defense in American history. The incident on November 6, 1951, prompted outrage and protest across the country—as well as from the podium at the United Nations, where the Soviet foreign minister Andrei Vishinsky brandished a newspaper with headlines and gruesome photos of two black men who had been shot by a Florida sheriff, as he chided, “This is what human rights means in the United States! This is the American way of life!”

Eight months earlier Thurgood Marshall and lawyers from the NAACP’s Legal Defense and Educational Fund had been able to convince the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a Florida court verdict that had sentenced to death two of three young black men between the ages of 16 and 22, known as the Groveland Boys, in the alleged rape of a white 17-year-old farm girl that whipped up a frenzy of mob violence against the local African-American community. It was widely thought that the accusations were trumped up in order to rid Lake County of a handful of “uppity” blacks who were not dependent on day work in the citrus groves. (Ernest Thomas was hunted down and killed by a posse, while 16 year-old Charles Greenlee was given mercy and sentenced to life on a chain gang.)

The Groveland case, if up to the Florida justice system of the time, would have ended with the quick and quiet executions of the convicted black youths, and then it would have disappeared, as did so many capital cases in the Jim Crow South. But, unlike the Trayvon Martin shooting in late February 2012, something extraordinary occurred in Lake County, Florida, on that rainy night in November 1951. Like a Shakespearian ghost, a young man, presumed to be dead, rose from a ditch to tell a tale of murder.
Willis McCall continued to serve another 21 years as sheriff. In 1972, he was forced to stand trial for kicking to death a black, mentally retarded prisoner who’d been brought into his jail on a minor traffic offense.

After the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the verdict, Lake County Sheriff Willis McCall volunteered to transport the two young defendants, Samuel Shepherd and Walter Irvin, from the Florida State Prison back to court for the retrial. McCall, it should be known, was revolted by the high court decision. The two young men didn’t make it back to the town of Tavares, Florida, for court that night. McCall turned down a dark, clay road where, he claimed, the two handcuffed prisoners jumped him in an escape attempt. In self-defense, McCall insisted, he’d been forced to shoot the two assailants.

Samuel Shepherd was killed instantly. Cuffed to his now dead best friend, Walter Irvin took two gunshot wounds to the chest and collapsed beside Shepherd. But Irvin’s evening of horror wasn’t over yet. Summoned to the scene by Sheriff McCall, Deputy James Yates arrived and shined his flashlight down on Irvin. “This nigger is not dead,” Yates mumbled. Then he fired what was supposed to be the coup de grace: a .38 caliber bullet straight through Irvin’s neck.

Miraculously, Walter Irvin survived. While he lay on the roadside, McCall and Yates moved into the glare of the sheriff’s Oldsmobile headlights. They ripped at McCall’s clothes, rumpled his Stetson, and struck a blow to his head that produced a trickle of blood. Thus the two men concocted, and substantiated, their story of an attempted escape.

Then they summoned witnesses to the scene. It was not until a photographer’s flash fired 15 minutes later that a prosecutor on the scene noticed that Walter Irvin was still alive.

From his hospital bed the next morning, Irvin offered Thurgood Marshall and the FBI a version of events very different from McCall’s. Irvin claimed that the sheriff had shot him and his friend Samuel in cold-blooded murder.

But Irvin was black and convicted of rape in the eyes of the state. Next to the testimony of the popular sheriff, Irvin’s version carried little weight. A coroner’s jury made up mostly of McCall’s friends swiftly cleared the sheriff of any wrongdoing, concluding that he had indeed acted in self-defense. Judge Truman Futch, the Groveland trial judge, declined to impanel a grand jury on the grounds that the coroner’s jury had proved to be so thorough there was no need for a grand jury investigation.

FBI agents—men from the South who weren’t necessarily sympathetic to civil rights cases—were nonetheless aghast. They went back to the crime scene and dug into the soil beneath Walter Irvin’s spilled blood. The FBI offered to make their forensic evidence, which supported Irvin’s version of the shootings, available to prosecutors in order to secure indictments against McCall and Yates. But they were rebuffed by Judge Futch. So the incriminating evidence remained sealed in FBI files, hidden from Thurgood Marshall and his NAACP attorneys. Sheriff McCall, with the help of powerful friends in Florida and a supportive public that believed a trial would be a waste of time and money, had escaped ye
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What really happened to Malcolm X?

Updated 5:23 PM ET, Tue February 17, 2015

Malcolm X was assassinated on February 21, 1965
Zaheer Ali: Fifty years later, we still have more to learn from Malcolm X's life

"Zaheer Ali served as project manager of the Malcolm X Project at Columbia University, and as a lead researcher for Manning Marable's Pulitzer Prize-winning Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention. He lectures on African American history. The views expressed are his own. Tune into a CNN special report, Witnessed, The Assassination of Malcolm X, tonight at 9p ET."

(CNN)When Malcolm X was assassinated on February 21, 1965, many Americans viewed his killing as simply the result of an ongoing feud between him and the Nation of Islam. He had publicly left the Nation of Islam in March 1964, and as the months wore on the animus between Malcolm's camp and the Nation of Islam grew increasingly caustic, with bitter denunciations coming from both sides. A week before he was killed, Malcolm's home -- owned by the Nation of Islam, which was seeking to evict him -- was firebombed, and Malcolm believed members of the Nation of Islam to be responsible. For investigators and commentators alike, then, his death was an open and shut case: Muslims did it.

Yet although three members of the Nation of Islam were tried and found guilty for the killing, two of them maintained their innocence and decades of research has since cast doubt on the outcome of the case. Tens of thousands of declassified pages documenting government surveillance, infiltration and disruption of black leaders and organizations -- including Malcolm X and the Nation of Islam -- suggest the conclusions drawn by law enforcement were self-serving. Furthermore, irregularities in how investigators and prosecutors handled the case reflect at best gross negligence, and at worst something more sinister.

At the time of his death, Time magazine remembered Malcolm X unsympathetically as "a pimp, a cocaine addict and a thief" and "an unashamed demagogue." But for those who had been paying closer attention to him, Malcolm X was an uncompromising advocate for the urban poor and working-class black America. Instead of advocating integration, he called for self-determination; instead of nonviolence in the face of violent anti-black attacks, he called for self-defense. He reserved moral appeals for other people committed to social justice; the government, on the other hand, he understood in terms of organized power -- to be challenged, disrupted and/or dismantled -- and sought to leverage alliances with newly independent African states to challenge that power.

It was his challenge to the organized power of the state that appealed to growing numbers of African-Americans, and it was this challenge that also attracted a close following among federal, state and local law enforcement. Under Federal Bureau of Investigation Director J. Edgar Hoover's watch, the FBI kept close tabs on Malcolm's every move through the use of informants and agents. Even before Malcolm began attracting large audiences and widespread media coverage in the late 1950s and early '60s, the FBI reported on his efforts to organize Nation of Islam mosques around the country. One organizing meeting in a private home in Boston in 1954 had maybe a dozen or so people present; one of them reported to the FBI.
Ilyasah Shabazz on learning about her father's life

Ilyasah Shabazz on learning about her father's life 01:24

After Malcolm left the Nation of Islam in March 1964, agents pondered the prospect of a depoliticized more religious Malcolm, but still perceived him as a threat. On June 5, 1964, Hoover sent a telegram to the FBI's New York office that simply and plainly instructed, "Do something about Malcolm X enough of this black violence in NY." One wonders, what that "something" was.

In New York, the FBI's actions were complemented by, if not coordinated with, the New York Police Department's Bureau of Special Services, which regularly logged license plates of cars parked outside mosques, organizational meetings, business


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Google warns against expanding FBI hacking power

02/17/15 06:42 PM EST

Google urged a small government rules committee to block a Department of Justice (DOJ) request that would expand the FBI’s ability to remotely collect electronic information in the U.S. and abroad.

The DOJ filed its request last year to the little-known Advisory Committee on Criminal Rules.

The department wants the committee to give judges the power to authorize warrants for electronic searches in multiple jurisdictions, or when investigators don’t know the physical location of a device.

Such a move, Google said in comments filed to the committee, “substantively expands the government’s current authority,” and “raises a number of monumental and highly complex constitutional, legal and geopolitical concerns.”

The tech giant’s comments put them on the side of civil liberties and privacy advocates, who appeared before the committee in November to strongly protest the proposal.

DOJ has argued such an update is needed to eliminate address changes in technology and ease logistical nightmares. A single computer network, for instance, can span multiple jurisdictions. Having to get a warrant for each jurisdiction instead of just one warrant for the computer network, significantly slows down investigators, authorities say.

But Google countered that this power would create blanket warrants that blindly target wide swaths of people around the world without notice.

Granting a search on one computer network could authorize searches of thousands people whose Internet traffic is routed through that specific server.

That might infringe on Fourth Amendment protections from unreasonable search and seizures, Google said.

The change “weakens” requirements to notify individuals prior to a search, and “expands the practice of covert entry warrants,” Google said.

Federal law enforcement officials have come under fire for their clandestine digital tactics to collect information on suspects.

The Drug Enforcement Agency is being sued after allegedly lifting photos from a woman’s phone to create a fake Facebook account under her name and communicate with other people of interest.

The FBI has also admitted to faking an Associated Press story and planting on a mock Seattle Times website to try and plant tracking software on a suspect’s computer.

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Significance of the Assassination of Malcolm X

Feb 20, 2015

A strong force for the liberation of Africans, African Americans and oppressed people throughout the world was gunned down on Feb. 21, 1965.

At the Audubon Ballroom in the Washington Heights section of Harlem, New York, Malcolm X, El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, was preparing to address an audience of some 400 people at a weekly meeting of the Organization of Afro-American Unity (OAAU) at 3:15 p.m. when he was interrupted by an apparent diversionary tactic. Then several men stood up and began firing shotguns and pistols at Malcolm X striking him at least six times in the face, chest and other parts of his body.

This act of public premediated murder deriving from a conspiracy was not surprising to many people. Just one week before, the home of Malcolm X was firebombed in Elmhurst, Queens Long Island where he lived with his pregnant wife and four children.

Malcolm had received countless threats since his departure from the Nation of Islam 11 months before. Members of the NOI security force, the Fruit of Islam, had made attempts to attack him on several occasions since early 1964.

In the aftermath of his assassination the corporate media proclaimed that his death was a direct result of political struggle between Malcolm X and the Nation of Islam led at the time by Elijah Muhammad who was based in the city of Chicago. However, what is often overlooked and not thoroughly examined is the role of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the New York Police Department (NYPD) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in conducting surveillance and other counter-insurgency operations against the NOI as well as two other organizations Malcolm X formed during the last year of his life, the Muslim Mosque, Inc. and the OAAU.

What the FBI Files Reveal

The FBI kept extensive files on Malcolm X and the NOI over a period of years. Malcolm joined the NOI at the aegis of his family members who had been recruited while he was in prison.

Even prior to Malcolm’s conversion, he had read extensively on numerous topics including history and philosophy while incarcerated in the Norfolk Prison Colony in Massachusetts. By the time he joined the NOI in 1948 he was well versed in logic, historical studies and politics.

Some of the earliest FBI files which have been released under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) contain a letter written by him to the-then United States President Harry S. Truman at the beginning of the U.S. intervention in Korea where he stated that “I have always been a communist.”Malcolm expressed his opposition to the invasion of Korea and said during the last war he had attempted to enlist in the Japanese army.

This letter was written even after he had joined the NOI. Malcolm spent over six years in prison for petty crimes such as burglary and larceny during 1946-1952. He had been scheduled for parole in 1951 but was denied.

After his parole he came to live in Inkster and Detroit, Michigan where he had family members. After working in a retail outlet and a factory in Inkster and Wayne, he would soon become a full-time organizer for the NOI.

The files reveal that the FBI in conjunction with the Detroit police monitored his activities thoroughly. They noted in the files that he resided on Williams Street in Inkster and Keystone in Detroit.

Meetings taking place at Temple No. 1 in Detroit on Frederick Street where Malcolm was in attendance and spoke were recorded in the files. It was noted when he travelled to Chicago to meet with Elijah Muhammad and when Malcolm was sent to Philadelphia and Boston to takeover operations there.

In 1954 it is shown that he became the minister at No. 7 in Harlem. The content of his sermons were recorded in the files as well. Efforts were underway to determine whether he was in violation of his parole so that he could possibly be locked up again by the authorities in Michigan or other states.

An office memorandum from the Detroit Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the FBI to the-then Director J. Edgar Hoover, dated May 10, 1954, says “On May 7, 1954 SA (presumably Special Agent whose name is redacted), contacted the Michigan parole authorities, at which time (redacted) advised that captioned subject was discharged from his parole by the Michigan parole authorities on May 18, 1953 and thus is not currently in violation of his parole.”

By 1955 it is noted in the FBI files that Malcolm was approached and interrogated by at least two government agents. According to the report on the Jan. 10, 1955 “Interview of Malcolm Little”, it says that “The subject was very uncooperative in this interview. He refused to furnish any information concerning the officers, names and members, to furnish doctrines or beliefs of the MCI (Muslim Cult of Islam, the NOI as described and labelled by the FBI) or family background data on himself.”

Malcolm maintained as reported by the agents that “he believes in all the teachings of Elijah Mohammed of Chicago, Illinois, and that Elijah Mohammed was his leader and that he considered Elijah Mohammed superior to all. Subject considered the ‘Nation of Islam’ higher and greater than the United States Government. He claimed that Allah is God, the supreme being, and that Elijah Mohammed is the greatest prophet of all, being the last and greatest Apostle.” (NY 105-8999)

The report went on to describe the physical characteristics, names and aliases of Malcolm X. Little or Malachi Shabazz. It also recorded that in 1943 Malcolm had been turned down by the draft board for induction in the military saying that he had a “Psychopathic Personality and sexual perversion.”

Malcolm X Splits With the NOI and is Assassinated Within One Year

Surveillance of Malcolm X and the NOI continued throughout the late 1950s and 1960s. At the time of the suspension of Malcolm X by Elijah Muhammad, his departure to form two other organizations, the Muslim Mosque, Inc. and the OAAU, the FBI files indicate that close monitoring of both organizations intensified.

One year prior to the departure of Malcolm X from the NOI it was stated in a book by African American journalist Louis Lomax that John Ali, National Secretary of the NOI based in Chicago, was a former FBI agent. The book entitled “When the Word is Given: A Report on Elijah Muhammad, Malcolm X and the Black
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Family Of Detroit Mosque Leader Shot 20 Times By FBI Agents Loses Appeal
February 21, 2015


Dearborn, FBI, imam, lawsuit, Luqman Abdullah

- The family of a Detroit mosque leader shot 20 times by FBI agents has failed to persuade a federal court to reinstate a lawsuit against the government.

An appeals court this week upheld a decision to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the estate of Luqman Abdullah. The decision centers on a technical point: The court says a three-year deadline to sue was missed.

Abdullah was killed when agents tried to

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Why Do Good People Become Silent-or Worse-About 9/11?

Part 14: Learned Helplessness

"I can see that 9/11 was a false flag operation, but there is nothing I can do to make a difference," a male friend quietly admitted to me...

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60 Structural Engineers Cite Evidence for Controlled Demolition of Three WTC High-Rises

Since its inception in 2006, Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth has remained steadfast in its mission of exposing the flaws in the claims made by the National Institute of Safety and Technology (NIST) - namely, that...

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New Jersey group goes to college to make the case for 9/11 Truth

Rutgers students receptive to message from NJ911Aware

A criminal defense attorney, retired police officer, U.S. Army veteran, and long-time political activist, Meiswinkle sees the effort to flood colleges and universities with information as an essential part of...

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#3 of 6: NIST's WTC 7 Reports: Filled with Fantasy, Fiction, and Fraud

PART 2: Fictitious Gouge Launches Design Flaw Myth and Collapse Initiation Fantasy

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Daughter of woman killed in civil-rights struggle to speak
5:00 AM, Feb 21, 2015
local news

Sally Liuzzo Prado, daughter of slain civil-rights activist Viola Liuzzo, will speak about her mother's legacy at 12:45 p.m. Wednesday in the Lyceum at Walters State Community College's Morristown campus.

The Lyceum is in the Student Services Building.

Liuzzo, a white woman killed in the civil-rights movement, was shot hours after she marched with 25,000 others from Selma to Montgomery in segregated Alabama.

Liuzzo's participation in the march is included in the recent film "Selma."

She also is the subject of a documentary, "Home of the Brave."

The documentary will be shown at 6 p.m. Thursday in the Lyceum.

Both events are free and open to the public.

Liuzzo was shuttling fellow protesters back to Selma when her car drew the attention of four Ku Klux Klan members. After a 20-mile car chase, Liuzzo, 39, was shot twice and killed instantly. Prado was 6 years old.

Gary Rowe, an FBI informant, was one of the four accused men. He testified and was given a new identity and government protection. Separate juries took less than two hours each to acquit Collie Wilkins and Eugene Thomas. The fourth man, William Eaton, died before he could be tried. All were sentenced to relatively short stays in a federal prison for gun charges.

Decades later, Prado said, her family learned the FBI was responsible for the rumors that sullied her mother's reputation.

"In the 1980s, we found out that (then-FBI director) J. Edgar Hoover had initiated a horrible smear campaign against my mom so people would not blame the agency," she said. "They said she had needle marks in her arm. That's the reason I started talking about my moth
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Moving toward revolution
February 23, 2015

In the second part of a SocialistWorker.org feature on the revolutionary politics and enduring relevance of Malcolm X, Lee Sustar moves on from his early years to see how Malcolm's efforts transformed the Nation of Islam--even while setting the stage for a later clash with the organization. Click here to see all the stories in the series.

Malcolm X speaking to a crowd in HarlemMalcolm X speaking to a crowd in Harlem

FOR MALCOLM X and his siblings, the Nation of Islam provided a kind of stability that had long been denied them. Having endured the loss of two houses when racists torched them, the Little family had lost their father when he likely died at the hands of racists and their mother when she was institutionalized for mental illness. Government authorities dispersed the children to various foster homes.

The Nation of Islam (NOI) seemed to fill that void. Malcolm and his siblings found a familiar, uncompromising message of Black nationalism that had been embraced by their parents, followers of Marcus Garvey. What the NOI added were religious dogmas that diverged in many fundamental ways from orthodox Sunni Islam.

The inner world of the NOI was highly structured and deeply conservative. Members had to abide by a strict moral code or face suspension or expulsion. Women recruits were expected to undergo Muslim Girl's Training, which encouraged them to be subordinate to men and become homemakers rather than work. The group was rigidly hierarchical, investing spiritual leader Elijah Muhammad with virtually total authority. The NOI was enthusiastically pro-capitalist, too: The problem, in their view, wasn't the pursuit of profit, but the fact that African Americans were excluded from opportunities to do so.

By focusing on prisoners, the poor and the unemployed, the organization taught African Americans who were among the most marginal and despised in a racist society to be proud of their heritage and to band together to create their own separate society, with their own businesses, schools and social institutions.

The legacy of Malcolm X
Lee Sustar examines the politics of Malcolm X as they were shaped by the world of struggle around him—and their meaning for today's struggles

Malcolm X: A revolutionary life
Moving toward revolution

Malcolm, the one-time zoot-suited hustler, aspiring entertainer, low-wage worker and convict, could speak to the NOI's target audience with authority:

To have once been a criminal is no disgrace. To remain a criminal is the disgrace. I formerly was a criminal. I formerly was in prison. I'm not ashamed of that. You never can use that over my head, and he is using the wrong stick. I don't feel that stick. They charged Jesus with sedition. Didn't they do that? They said he was against Caesar. They said he was discriminating because he told his disciples, "Go not the way of the gentiles, but rather go to the lost sheep." Go to the people who don't know who they are, who are lost from the knowledge of themselves and who are strangers in a land that is not theirs. Go to these people. Go to the slaves. Go to the second-class citizens. Go to the ones who are suffering the brunt of Caesar's brutality.

And if Jesus were here in America today, he wouldn't be going to the white man. The white man is the oppressor. He would be going to the oppressed. He would be going to the humble. He would be going to the lowly. He would be going to the rejected and the despised. He would be going to the so-called American Negro.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

MALCOLM HAD won his first recruits to the NOI while in prison. Upon his release, he soon became close with Elijah Muhammad, who recognized that Malcolm's intellect, energy and unparalleled speaking ability could help the NOI.

Malcolm's first big assignment was to build the NOI's Boston temple. There, he shook up the local leadership and found a protégé, a young calypso singer named Louis Walcott, would become Louis X, and later Louis Farrakhan, the leader of a reconstituted NOI in the 1970s. In the 1950s, with Malcolm's support, Louis wrote and performed a play called The Trial, which was featured at NOI meetings around the U.S.:

I charge the white man with being the greatest liar on earth! I charge the white man with being the greatest drunkard on earth...I charge the white man with being the greatest gambler on earth. I charge the white man, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, with being the greatest murderer on earth. I charge the white man with being the greatest peace-breaker on earth...I charge the white man with being the greatest robber on earth. I charge the white man with being the greatest deceiver on earth. I charge the white man with being the greatest troublemaker on earth. So therefore, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I ask you, bring back a verdict of guilty as charged!

A film of The Trial became the opening sequence of a 1959 five-part television series on the NOI in New York called The Hate that Hate Produced (now available online), hosted by Mike Wallace, who warned viewers of a rising "Black supremacist" movement. The FBI monitored the program, providing a "substantially verbatim" transcript of parts of the series to FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover.

In fact, the FBI had been keeping an eye on Malcolm since he began protesting prison restrictions on the practice of Islam, and twice sent agents to meet--that is, harass--him. Historian Clayborne Carson's edited volume of Malcolm's FBI files recorded two agents' January 1955 "interview" with Malcolm at his home in New York City's borough of Queens:

The subject was uncooperative in this interview. He refused to furnish any information concerning the officers, names of members, to furnish doctrines or beliefs of the MCI [the abbreviation for "Muslim Cult of Islam," the FBI's term for the NOI] or family background data for himself...

When asked if he considered the MCI a government as well as a religion, the subject would not answer. When asked if he considered himself and the Negro race in slavery in the United States by the white man, the subject remarked that you would have to only read the history books in the library to know that they are in slavery.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

BY THE time The Hate that Hate Produced went on the air, Malcolm was a well-known figure across Black America. Now the television show, while broadcast only in New York, made him a national star. A man who a few months earlier had been frenetically travelling the country to run recruiting drives at sleepy NOI temples now found himself as the most visible figure in what had taken the shape of movement.

The NOI didn't have the 250,000 members guessed by Mike Wallace, or even half that number. But it was certainly a phenomenon--one that grew in parallel with the Southern civil rights movement, which had taken shape under very different politics and leadership. Where the Southern movement demanded integration and an end to Jim Crow, the NOI spoke to working class African Americans north of the Mason-Dixon line, whose lives were still constrained and disfigured by racism.

Malcolm's unflinching determination to speak out about racism--and the hypocrisy of Northern politicians--won recruits to the NOI and the sympathy of many more who never considered joining the organization. The African American poet and activist Sonia Sanchez recalled Malcolm's message as this: "'I am not afraid to say what you've been thinking all these years, that's why we loved him. He said it out loud, not behind closed doors. He took on America for us."

Malcolm's success--especially his rapid rise in the NOI and his close relationship with Elijah Muhammad--rankled veteran leaders of the organization, writes Manning Marable in his book Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention. In the NOI's command-and-control culture, Malcolm's punishing regimen became the standard by which all others were judged. Those who failed to measure up were pushed aside. Malcolm himself showed little personal ambition, always giving credit to Elijah Muhammad for any success.

But as Malcolm brought in many thous
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Angela Davis equates lynchings with prisons, death penalty

The text of Angela Davis’ lecture is projected on a monitor for the hearing impaired.

John Terhune/Journal & Courier

Angela Davis, social justice activist, author and educator speaks Wednesday at Elliott Hall of Music at Purdue University.

Iconic civil rights leader Angela Davis opened her lecture Wednesday evening at Purdue University by evoking Black History Month — setting the stage for a moving presentation that connected past stories of oppression to today's movements for freedom.

"It is often assumed that Black History Month is primarily for black people, for people of African descent in this country," she said. "But let me say that black history is integral to the history of this hemisphere. One cannot understand the history of North America, or of Central or South America, without understanding black history."

Davis spoke to a crowd of about 2,750 people. The lecture was coordinated by the Division of Diversity and Inclusion. Other Purdue sponsors included the LGBTQ Center, Black Cultural Center, College of Liberal Arts, College of Agriculture's Office of Multicultural Programs, and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.

Davis was notoriously placed on the FBI's "10 Most Wanted" list and arrested in 1970 for charges related to a courtroom escape attempt. She was acquitted in 1972 and went on to become a leading writer, activist and educator for feminist issues and prisoners' rights.

She has authored nine books, including, "Women, Race, & Class" "Abolition Democracy: Beyond Empire, Prisons, and Torture" and "Are Prisons Obsolete?"

At age 71, she is still very much an activist. She continues to travel the country, speaking on issues of police brutality, racism and other forms of discrimination. She is professor emerita in the History of Consciousness and Feminist Studies Departments at University of California Santa Cruz and her recent work focuses on prisoners' rights. She is a founding member of Critical Resistance, a national organization aiming to eliminate imprisonment, policing and surveillance.

During her talk at Purdue, Davis tied the historical tradition of the black struggle against oppression to multiple contemporary movements against racist violence, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, homophobia and able-ism.

"The black radical tradition can be claimed by anyone who believes that freedom is a worthy cause and that the struggle for freedom links our contemporary aspirations with many struggles of the past," she said.

She connected the history of black lynchings to today's issues of mass incarceration and capital punishment.

"The death penalty's roots are sunk deep into the legacy of lynching," she said. "… If we fail to take into account the central role of lynching, then we will never truly understand the way racism worked its way into the criminal justice system."
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Daughter recalls slain civil rights leader

6:01 AM, Feb 28, 2015

In 1965, Viola Gregg Liuzzo was gunned down and killed on an Alabama highway after taking some marchers to the Montgomery airport following the famous march from Selma to Montgomery to demand voting rights for all.

The death of a white woman who felt sympathetic to the Selma cause and had come from her Michigan home to help drew national attention to the civil-rights cause.

Next month, Liuzzo's daughters, Sally Liuzzo Prado and Penny Herrington, will complete the trip back to Selma their mother was unable to finish when they attend the 50th anniversary observance of the historic march.

It will be a trip they are honored to take.

"We know she changed the world, and it took a lot of sacrifice, and we are very proud of her," Prado said.

Prado, now a resident of East Tennessee, was scheduled to speak about her mother's legacy this week at Walters State Community College in Morristown. Because of the snow and canceled classes, the free event has been rescheduled for Monday at 2:30 p.m. in the Lyceum on campus.

In a telephone interview on Wednesday, Prado said she has spent much of her adult life trying to remind people of her mother's positive legacy. Part of the reason, she said, was that the family later learned the FBI had tried to smear her mother's reputation.

"It's been a struggle of 50 years to bring back the mother we know and love and not the creature (former FBI director) J. Edgar Hoover created," she said.

Prado said her life has be
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Homan Square protesters demand answers over Chicago police 'black site'

Crowd gathers outside facility at centre of claims of unconstitutional abuse
Anonymous and Black Lives Matter among groups represented

Saturday 28 February 2015 22.00 EST

The disappeared: Chicago police detain Americans at abuse-laden 'black site'

More than 100 activists and community leaders rallied in Chicago on Saturday to call for official investigations into and even a shutdown of Homan Square, the police facility at the centre of allegations over unconstitutional abuse and a growing protest movement known as #Gitmo2Chicago.

Less than a week after a Guardian investigation uncovered detailed accounts from Chicago citizens who said they were abused and detained without access to legal counsel or basic rights, demonstrators from groups including the hacktivist collective Anonymous and the Black Lives Matter movement chanted “freedom first” and pushed for open access to the secretive police warehouse.

The diverse crowd pressed most directly for answers from Rahm Emanuel, the Chicago mayor who is facing a runoff election in an extended campaign in which police reform has featured prominently.

“Rahm Emanuel says, ‘Trust us, we are doing the right thing,’” said organizer Andy Thayer of the Gay Liberation Network, referring to the mayor’s brief comments about the allegations on Thursday night. “But I’m sorry, Mr Mayor, you have lied to us about enough other things that we are not going to take your word for it that things are just hunky dory in the building behind us. We demand that you shut down this facility.”

Emanuel, who was engaged in a campaign initiative to meet 50,000 voters in a single day, did not address Homan Square on Saturday, as multiple protesters continued to compare it to a CIA “black site”.
Homan Square protest Protesters congregate outside Homan Square. Photograph: Chandler West/the Guardian

This week, multiple witnesses and attorneys detailed to the Guardian claims of police holding people for long periods inside the Homan Square facilty without access to attorneys or their families. Many reported shackling and physical abuse.

Travis McDermott, one of the other lead organizers of Saturday’s protest, spoke about the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which allows for the military detention of persons the government suspects of involvement with terrorism. McDermott said the NDAA was the primary reason sites like Homan Square remained in operation.

“The main issue,” he said, “is that when individuals are empowered by a contract” – the NDAA – “they have no threat of accountability, they can’t be expected to exercise self-restraint. They can deny and then it’s a battle of confidence between the people who have witnessed it and those protecting it.”

McDermott said he wanted real answers to the allegations about Homan Square, not quick dismissals.

“Our object is to get hard evidence,” he said, “because the burden of proof now [rests] on the Chicago police department.”

Brian Jacob Church, the first arrestee to come forward to the Guardian regarding his time inside Homan Square, could not attend the protest but requested McDermott read a statement on his behalf. One of the so called “Nato Three” who travelled to the city to protest a 2012 Nato summit, Church says he was arrested and held for 17 hours at Homan Square in 2012, before being charged and convicted and spending two and a half years in prison.

“Today you are standing here because basic humanity has been disregarded in the grossest fashion,” McDermott read. “We hear about things like this happening in other countries … but we never expect them to hit so close to home.”

Vetress Boyce, a candidate for alderman in Chicago’s 24th ward, said communities in the city had long been aware of the threat of violent treatment by police.

She said she stood “wholeheartedly” with protesters and supported a public investigation into what she called “torture” at Homan Square. “We hear a lot of what goes on in our neighborhood and in some cases we have stopped marching, we have stopped fighting for those that matter,” she said.
'I sat in that place for three days, man': Chicagoans detail abusive confinement inside police 'black site'
Read more

Reverend Gregg Greer, of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, called on more people who had spent time inside the facility to come forward. “If the Chicago police department hasn’t gotten anything to hide,” he said, “then open up the doors!”

The Chicago police have denied multiple requests for comment since the Guardian began reporting on Homan Square. In a statement issued to multiple media outlets on Tuesday, the department said it “abides by all laws, rules and guidelines pertaining to any interviews of suspects or witnesses, at Homan Square or any other CPD facility”. Without saying when records or attorney meetings took place, the police said: “If lawyers have a client detained at Homan Square, just like any other facility, they are allowed to speak to and visit them.”

On Saturday, protesters called for a public inspection of Homan Square. They also called for all people booked by Chicago police to be given access to a phone and a lawyer; for an opportunity for the public to ask questions pertaining to Homan Square; and for informational posters to be posted in Chicago police facilities informing people of their rights and including contact details for legal providers.
Homan Square protest An officer appears to film protesters from a fire escape at Homan Square. Photograph: Chandler West/the Guardian

“I’m hoping you will be back again,” Greer said. “And next week, tomorrow, as long as it takes, we will shut this down if we have to. Because what do we need? We need freedom first.”

As the crowd began chanting Greer’s last phrase one police officer, who had seemed to be holding back laughter, shook his head and cracked a smile.

The crowd then dispersed. Many planned to return on Sunday, ahead of a planned Monday demonstration closer to Emanuel’s office, in an ongoing effort to seek reparations for longtime Chicago poli
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2. Stories



Kelly: Ex-FBI chief tells of cop-killer swap that Cuba rejected
February 28, 2015, 4:39 PM Last updated: Sunday, March 1, 2015, 9:39 AM

Years before Joanne Chesimard was placed on the FBI’s list of most wanted terrorists and the bounty for her capture was increased to $2 million, federal authorities secretly reached out to their Cuban counterparts with a plan to bring the convicted cop killer back to New Jersey.

It was the fall of 1998. The FBI drew up a proposal to trade five captured Cuban spies for Chesimard, who had been convicted two decades earlier of killing a New Jersey state trooper in a turnpike gunfight but had broken out of jail and fled to Cuba, where she was granted political asylum.

Former FBI Director Louis Freeh, above in 2013, said he presented a spies-for-Chesimard trade to Cuba through intermediaries.

Cuban authorities refused to discuss the proposed deal.

Three of those spies were sent back to Cuba in December in exchange for American contractor Alan Gross and a CIA operative. The two others had returned earlier after serving their U.S. prison terms.
Joanne Chesimard lives in Cuba as Assata Shakur.        
Joanne Chesimard's appearance through the years.

The proposed 1998 trade, which has never been publicly acknowledged by either the United States or Cuba, was described in detail in two recent interviews with The Record by one of its originators, former FBI Director Louis Freeh.

Why the plan failed may offer insight about the obstacles facing the state police, the FBI and a host of political figures as they renew efforts to bring back Chesimard. The story also illustrates the legacy of suspicion that permeates U.S.-Cuban relations.

In New Jersey, however, the renewed discussion of Chesimard’s fugitive status has reopened old wounds that date to an unsettling time in America — a time that was punctuated by a horrific confrontation on the New Jersey Turnpike between state troopers and members of the Black Liberation Army who were calling for an armed revolution.

Just before midnight on May 2, 1973, Chesimard, then 25, was traveling south with two male compatriots when two troopers stopped their car. Within minutes a wild gunbattle broke out, leaving Trooper Werner Foerster dead and his partner wounded.

Chesimard, who also was wounded, was later caught, charged with murder and sentenced to a life term. But in 1979, she escaped from the state women’s prison in Clinton and disappeared, only to turn up five years later in Cuba.

Chesimard, 67, and reportedly living in the Havana area under the name Assata Shakur, is regarded as a criminal by U.S. authorities. Cuba has never shown any inclination to rescind her political asylum, which was granted by Fidel Castro in the mid-1980s.

In the fall of 1998, however, Freeh thought he saw an opening for U.S. authorities to get their hands on Chesimard.

As outlined by Freeh in two interviews with The Record, the FBI hoped to start talks to extradite Chesimard and possibly other American fugitives, including William Morales, a Puerto Rican nationalist who was implicated in a series of U.S. terror bombings, including one at Manhattan’s Fraunces Tavern that killed a Fair Lawn resident.

Freeh, who grew up in North Bergen and was a student at Rutgers Law School in Newark in the mid-1970s, said he had long harbored a special interest in the Chesimard case. And with the September 1998 arrest of the five Cuban spies in Florida, Freeh, who became FBI director five years earlier, said he figured he might have enough leverage to persuade the Cubans to return her.

“It always occurred to me that exchange would be a good one,” he said, recalling his enthusiasm.

But Freeh, who now runs a private security consulting firm, said the Cubans wouldn’t consider even the most ordinary of discussions.

“The response was no response,” he said.

Today, that message from Cuba appears unchanged.

Days after President Obama announced plans on Dec. 17 to restore diplomatic relations with the communist nation, Cuba’s foreign ministry, in response to questions from journalists in Havana, defended Chesimard’s status.

“Every nation has sovereign and legitimate rights to grant political asylum to people it considers to have been persecuted,” said the ministry’s head of North American affairs, Josefina Vidal.

“We’ve explained to the U.S. government in the past that there are some people living in Cuba to whom Cuba has legitimately granted political asylum,” she said.

In a recent interview, Guillermo Suarez, a counselor at Cuba’s U.N. mission, said extradition of Chesimard was not part of the talks to reestablish diplomatic ties with the U.S.

Suarez said Cuban officials were “quite surprised” to learn that the announcement of Cuban-American détente was greeted with demands from law enforcement officials and political figures in New Jersey and elsewhere for Chesimard’s return. He added that the $2 million bounty for her capture made Cuban officials “very nervous” about whether an influx of tourists would include bounty hunters.
Deepening tensions

By the fall of 1998, Cuban-American relations had grown very tense.

In February 1996, Cuban Air Force fighters shot down two civilian planes and killed four members of the Miami-based anti-Castro group Brothers to the Rescue, whose planes patrolled waters off Cuba to spot people trying to escape to the United States. Although the Cubans maintained that the planes had entered Cuban territory on the day they were shot down, an investigation showed they were attacked in international airspace.

In June 1998, FBI agents flew to Havana at the invitation of Cuban authorities to hear complaints about bombings in Cuba that had been allegedly orchestrated by anti-Castro dissidents supported by Florida’s large exile community.

Three months later, when FBI agents in Miami arrested the five Cuban spies who had reportedly infiltrated that exile community, Freeh saw an opening.

The arrest of the spies, known as the Cuban Five or the Miami Five, confirmed what the FBI and anti-Castro Cuban-Americans had long suspected: Cuba’s intelligence service had numerous operatives in the United States. One of the alleged spies was later charged with passing along information about Brothers to the Rescue flights.

Freeh sensed that the spies’ capture might also offer an opportunity to gain access to Chesimard. He approached U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno with the idea of a trade.

Freeh said Reno approved the plan, which called for him to reach out to his contacts in a nation with friendly ties to Cuba and the United States. That nation, which Freeh declined to identify, agreed to communicate the proposal to Cuba.

Because the plan was in its early stages, Freeh said neither he nor Reno contacted the White House or the State Department.

“What I did is I contacted the chief of service in another country’s security service,” Freeh said “We asked them to contact their counterparts in Cuba to see if they were interested in a conversation where we would exchange Chesimard for one or more of the Cuban Five. The answer came back: ‘No. Not interested.’Ÿ”

Freeh, who has never publicly discussed the rejected offer until now, said he was doing so to raise awareness of the importance of extraditing Chesimard. Reno could not be reached for comment.

Why the Cubans so hastily rejected Freeh’s overture to trade for Chesimard may have had something to do with how angry they were about the timing of the spies’ arrests — which came only months after the June 1998 meeting with the FBI in Havana to discuss concerns over violence by anti-Castro dissidents.

“When these spies were arrested, from the Cuban point of view, they had just been betrayed,” said Stephen Kimber, a Canadian journalist who wrote a book about them. “Why would they have been interested in a deal at that point?”
Asylum prevails

U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, the New Jersey Democrat and former chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee who has emerged as a vocal critic of Obama’s plan to restore ties with Cuba, said he was surprised the Cubans had not agreed to exchange Chesimard for the spies.

“The Cuban government placed a high value on the spies,” said Menendez, the son of Cuban immigrants, noting that for years Cuba has campaigned for their return. “If there had been a deal more than a decade ago that they could have achieved the same thing, for them to say no just tells you what Chesimard means to them.”

Menendez called Chesimard “an enemy of the United States.”

“We see her for what she is — a cold-blooded murderer, who had her day in court and was convicted,” Menendez said. “They see her in some broader struggle for liberation. For them, she is a great propaganda claim.”

Peter Kornbluh, director of the Cuba Documentation Project at the National Security Archive, a non-governmental research institute in Washington, D.C., said the Cubans viewed the granting of political asylum to Chesimard as a matter of sacrosanct honor.

“I’ve discussed these cases, particularly Joanne Chesimard,” said Kornbluh, who returned from Cuba recently. “Their focus is that they made the political commitment of political asylum to her. They made the decision to give her political asylum and they are not going to revisit the issue.”

Lennox Hinds, Chesimard’s attorney and a professor of criminal justice at Rutgers University, said he had been assured by Castro that his client would not be sent back to the United States under any circumstances.

“In my view, Assata would not be viewed as someone who they would trade off,” Hinds said, using the name Chesimard calls herself


The FBI's War on the Black Panther Party's LA Chapter
Subject: [BRC-NEWS] The FBI's War on the BPP's Southern California Chapter ... ultraleft turn of the East Coast BPP (which became the Black Liberation Army).
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