A Tale of 2 People Billy Jones & Jesse Romero and a DOJ Report

Billy Jones

Billy Jones

Here’s a tale of two people and a DOJ Report (Department of Justice ) about a police department.. One story is about a man named Billy Jones, age 34. He’s from Sebastian County, Arkansas The boy was named Jesse Romero age 14. He lived in East Los Angeles, Boyle Heights to be exact.

Yesterday Billy Jones shot and killed a sheriff deputy named Bill Cooper in what police are describing as a possible planned attack. Jones who is career criminal was in a stand off for over 5 hours but when all was said and done, Jones was taken alive and will have his day in court.
We will find out what was behind Jone’s action. Was he mentally disturbed? Did he hold a particular anti-government/ anti police philosophy? Was he in trouble and defending himself? Whatever questions we have we will eventually find out in a trial.
Korryn Gaines

Korryn Gaines

The police who are no doubt suffering from the loss of their colleague Bill Cooper opted not turn off Facebook feeds and shoot Billy Jones to death like they did Koryn Gaines in Baltimore.

The police didn’t send in a robot with a bomb to kill Billy Jones the way Dallas police did Micah Xavier Johnson.
To date police union reps did not hold a press conference and blame the killing of Deputy Cooper on Black Lives Matter like they did in New York, Dallas and Baton Rouge..
The police for the most part, even with their lives in danger, handled a tough, tragic grueling situation professionally, fully aware there’s a possibility the day not end the way they want.. They eventually got their man.. Again Billy Jones who killed a cop will go to court..
Jesse Romero

Jesse Romero

In Los Angeles, 14 year old Jesse Romero who attended Hollenback Middle school, was accused of tagging a building. It’s not a cool thing to do, but it happens everyday in cities all over the country. People when caught are usually made to pay for the damage caused..

In this case members of a police gang unit saw Jesse who promptly ran away. Because Jesse wears sagging pants, as he sprinted he pulled up his pants and according to witnesses tossed something from his waistband. Police say it was a gun and lit Jesse up killing him on the spot. They claimed Jesse fired at them and they feared for their life.. Witnesses say otherwise. They say Jesse did not shoot at anyone..
Snoop and Game Meet with LAPD

Snoop and Game Meet with LAPD

This is the same LA police department about a month ago held a highly publicized meeting with rappers Snoop Dogg and The Game. Supposedly a truce was established and LAPD would be showing more restraint. Our people would be taken into custody and not killed. I guess the police who patrol Boyle Heights didn’t get the memo.

We heard this story before. It’s a a textbook boilerplate tale. All you have to do is fill in the blanks for name and location. 14 year old Jesse Romero becomes 13 year old Andy Lopez in Santa Rosa carrying a pellet rifle to return to a friend.
Andy Lopez becomes 12 year old Tamir Rice in Cleveland playing by himself with a toy gun..
Aiyanna Stanley Jones

Aiyanna Stanley Jones

Tamir Rice becomes 7 year old Aiyanna Stanley Jones sleeping in bed with her grandmother as police storm the house in the dead of night with a camera crew in tow looking for a murder suspect who was hunkered down at an adjacent house.

In the case of Tamir, Andy and Ayanna, the parents and victims themselves were blamed for their deaths. We blamed them for scarring seasoned officers who we pay to be trained so they can discern kids with toy guns and hardened criminals. We blamed them for running. We blamed them for not being perfect. We blamed them for living in bad neighborhoods where cops according to statistics, are rarely killed.
We cheered the police and even promoted them as we just saw in the Andy Lopez case. Anyone protesting these shootings are told they should be focusing on Black on Black / Brown on Brown crime.
Freddie Gray

Freddie Gray

This is also a tale about a police department in Baltimore where 6 officers were charged with killing a man who they falsely arrested named Freddie Gray. The police were accused of breaking his spine by driving him around unseatbelted in what is known as a ‘rough ride’..Although 6 cops were charged, all got off free. A man died in their custody and no one is going to jail.

That same Baltimore Police department was investigated by the Department of Justice who just issued a scathing report. It was discovered that the goal of this department was to stop and dehumanize as many Black people as possible. The report brought to light that many on the Baltimore police force did not see themselves as part of a community in which they were to protect, but instead saw themselves as people who were to control the community. The report noted that the culture of the police department was us vs them..I’ll let what was written in the report where an excerpt is shown below in the photo speak for itself..

God Bless ‘Merica
Baltimore Police department


Why are Bay Area District Attorneys Reluctant to Charge Police on Rape Case?

The following statement listed below is coming from the Anti Police-Terror Project: Folks need to pay attention and see how these elected officials respond.. Pay close attention to the actions or lack thereof of district attorneys Nancy O’Malley (Alameda County) Mark A Peterson (Contra Costa County) and George Gascon (San Francisco)
Bay Area District Attorneys

Anti-Police Terror ProjectWhy no charges for Bay Area law enforcement sexual exploitation, corruption and conspiracy?

Coalition members to retrieve signed promises to prosecute criminal cops from District Attorneys

In the 3 months since the public learned of the Bay Area-wide sexual exploitation and misconduct by law enforcement, no charges have been brought against any officers or staff involved in the commission or cover-up of crimes and departmental policy violations. Why aren’t our District Attorneys dedicating the same resources toward this gang activity as they would if it were conducted by civilians?

On Thursday, August 4th, members of the Take Back Oakland Coalition dropped off letters to the District Attorneys in Alameda, Contra Costa (Richmond office) and San Francisco Counties demanding the following:

Prosecute all sworn officers who committed or had peripheral involvement in crimes or the conspiracy to cover up those crimes.

Investigate with the intent of pressing charges and jailing criminal cops — and enumerate the reasons why DAs chose not to file charges for any officers they have already cleared.

Charges to pursue include but are not limited to:

California Penal Code:

52.1 Police brutality and coercion

186 California Street Terrorism Enforcement and Prevention Act (gang enhancement)

236.1 False imprisonment/human trafficking of a minor

261.5 Statutory rape

266i Pimping and Pandering

182 Conspiracy

118.1 Perjury

Weapon enhancements for all of the above
Federal law:
Criminal street gangs (18 U.S.C. 521)
Coercion And Enticement of a Minor (18 U.S.C. 2422)
Perjury (18 U.S.C. 1621)

Announce a full investigation by an outside agency that will examine how many people have been wrongfully incarcerated due to cases touched by these officers, as well as the depth and breadth of corruption within each department.

Acknowledge the imbalance of power that always exists between police officers and the general public and state that the coercion and enticement of a minor is never the fault of the child.

It is time for our District Attorneys to behave like elected leaders and work on behalf of the people. They have a duty to charge and convict these officers to combat the existing culture that allows them to simply quit or transfer when they’re caught abusing their power and preying on civilians.

The Coalition indicated that members would return on Tuesday, August 9th to pick up the DAs’ signed agreements to honor the demands brought forth in the letters. Coalition members and representatives from allied organizations will visit each office simultaneously at 10:30am this Tuesday to accept our elected officials’ commitment to uphold the law as they are sworn to do.

Where is Kamala Harris on this Mario Woods Killing?

Davey-D-purple-frameIn the wake of last week’s brutal police execution of Mario Woods by San Francisco police in Bayview Hunters Point, many are asking where is California State Attorney General Kamala Harris?

She was elected with the hope and expectation, naive as it may be, that she of all people would be out there weighing in and demanding justice for Mario. The hope and expectation was not only would she be sympathetic, but legislatively effective and politically impactful to issues of concern from the communities that backed her. In this case the issue front and center for many in California is police terrorism.

Shelly Tatum addressing the capacity crowd at Shipwreck

Shelly Tatum addressing the capacity crowd at Shipwreck

Kamala got her political jump off in the Bayview as was noted last week by her good friend and long time SF activist and promoter Shelly Tatum. He stood before a standing room only crowd of more than 500 people inside the St Paul of the Shipwreck Church and talked about how before anyone really knew who Kamala was, she had reached out to his family for help.

Tatum talked fondly of Harris. He talked about how he saw her go from assistant district attorney in Oakland to two term district attorney of San Francisco of San Francisco to two term state Attorney general of California. She is perched to replace out going US Senator Barbara Boxer. “She was someone to believe in”, he noted.

Gwendolyn Woods

Gwendolyn Woods

Shelly told, Mario’s grieving mother Gwendolyn Woods, what took place was beyond egregious. He added, that he had never asked Kamala for any favors but promised he would personally call her and press her to get involved with this case.

Tatum then turned to the audience and somberly stated: “Kamala, I say this to you. I love you. We love you. Bayview Hunter’s Point, the Black community of San Francisco, helped get you to where you are today… and today, we need you.”

He then asked the capacity crowd to repeat loudly in unison: “Kamala Harris!…. We need you today!”.

Kevin Epps

Kevin Epps

In the days that followed we seen and heard a number of other prominent folks from the Bayview public call for Harris to step up including ‘Straight Outta Hunter’s Point’ film maker Kevin Epps as well as Minister Christopher Muhammad of Mosque 26. He is on widely circulated video calling for Chief Greg Suhr to his face to step down and calling for Kamala Harris to get involved.  Sadly Harris has thus far been pretty much absent from the fight.


Now in the past, people have given Kamala  Harris a bit of a pass when she was running for State Attorney General where she would replace then outgoing Jerry Brown who is now our governor. People figured they’d hold back and not upset the proverbial apple cart so she could get into the top position and then make moves. Once she became State Attorney General, instead of going hard on police accountability, Harris has been currying favor with police unions.

Here’s a breakdown on this…


kamala Harris

Kamala Harris

Back in January of this year (2015) during her inauguration Kamala Harris  pledged to do a series of reforms to help restore trust between police and communities of color. She gave the usual line of calling for more sensitivity training, pushing body cameras and insisting on community policing.

She completely sidetracked the main police accountability measure that has been vigorously pushed up and down the state by damn near every organization fighting for police reform which is special prosecutors in cases of police shootings. Folks have been crystal clear, that the day to day relationship local prosecutors have with police puts victims of police terrorism at a severe disadvantage. There’s an inherent conflict of interest.

This conflict was glaring during the Oscar Grant case back in 2009. Many forget that in the beginning Alameda County prosecutor Tom Orloff refused to investigate, much less charge BART cop Johannes Mehersle. I was present when over 100 black ministers, elected leaders and community activists came to his office on the morning of Grant’s funeral and demanded he step up and press charges on Mehersle.

At first Orloff refused to meet, with folks.  Alameda County supervisor Keith Carson convinced him otherwise. He then tried to hand pick two or three people to speak with and that was rejected by the crowd at hand. Finally everyone piled into his conference room where he dragged his feet and made no commitment to go after Grant’s killer


It was only after intense political pressure both locally and nationally that Orloff finally pressed charges. It was an unusual move but resulted in a conviction. That was the first time that had happened in California history. Mehesrle was due to get 14 years, but the pro-cop judge Robert Perry down in LA where the trial was moved, vacated 10 years, claiming he ‘made a mistake’.

With regards to district attorneys  we’ve seen time and time again from place to place, a reluctance for prosecutors to go after ‘killer cops’. From Ferguson to Staten Island to Cleveland to LA, to Houston to Chicago and beyond, the bonds between cops and DAs are too strong. Their political ties are even stronger.

We saw those strong political ties in Ferguson in the case around Mike Brown and DA Bob McCulloch.  We’ve seen this playing out in Cleveland around the Tamir Rice case with DA Timothy J. McGinty.


RIP Andy Lopez

Andy Lopez

Here in the Bay Area, we witnessed how the political interests of district attorney Jill Ravitch and Sonoma County sheriffs trounced over justice around the case of Andy Lopez.

For those who are unaware, in October of 2013, 13-year-old Andy Lopez was gunned down in Santa Rosa, California by a Sonoma County deputy sheriff named Erick Gelhaus as he was walking in field to return a toy gun that a friend had left at his home.

The field Andy was walking by was a well known spot where neighborhoods kids frequently do target practice with their pellet guns. It’s the same field where they hold pellet gun and paint ball leagues. In short holding an Airsoft rifle like the one Andy was holding, was not an unusual site in Santa Rosa.

Erick Gelhaus

Erick Gelhaus

Gelhaus upon seeing Lopez claims he thought the gun was real because it didn’t have an orange tip. He drove his patrol car up behind him and told the kid to stop. As Lopez turned around, the officer claimed he ‘feared for his life’ and shot him 7-10 times. Month’s earlier, Deputy Gelhaus had penned an article in a police trade publication instructing officers how they can clear themselves of wrongful shootings especially if it involves toy guns…

The shooting set off 60 days of protests in Santa Rosa, led mostly by Lopez’s middle school classmates who were devastated at the loss of the popular student. It was 54th killing in 10 years in that area with the Brown/Latino community being disproportionately on the receiving end of many of those deaths. They had enough and pushed the for the DA Jill Ravitch to press charges. Initially she stalled on making a decision and then she flat out refused.

Santa Rosa DA Jill Ravitch

Santa Rosa DA Jill Ravitch

It was revealed there was this political relationship between the sheriff and Jill Ravitch, meaning they were both campaigning and pushing for each others respective re-election bids and attending each others fundraisers. In fact the sheriff directly contributed to Ravitch’s campaign…

According to Civil Rights lawyer Jon Melrod who was key organizer around the Justice for Andy Lopez efforts, numerous calls were placed over and over asking for Kamala Harris to intervene. The community called for an independent special prosecutor to eliminate what they perceived as conflict of interest.. Those calls were met with deafening silence.


Kamala HarrisMany figured Kamala who was gearing up for the 2014 re-election was trying to stay above the fray and not piss off California police unions whose endorsement she wanted but did not actually need. Many forget that in her first election, most police unions in Cali got behind her opponent and she still won.

Police were upset with Harris and avoided endorsing her because as San Francisco district attorney she refused to seek the death penalty against David Hill a man from the Bayview who was accused of killing police officer Isaac Espinoza back in 2005. They held that against her in 2010 when she first ran for State Attorney General.  This time as she is running for US Senate, she wanted police union support in hand. This is important to note and here’s why …

Kevin McCarthy

Kevin McCarthy

In January of 2015 around the same time Kamala announced her package of police reform proposals, Sacramento Assemblyman Kevin McCarty proposed bill AB 86 the Peace Officers: Department of Justice: independent Investigation bill. Basically his bill would mandate that the Attorney General’s office would review and handle all police shootings. This is what folks had been fighting for all these years. The California Peace Officers’ Association opposed the bill before it even hit committee.

Kamala side stepped it and by publicly stating she is ‘philosophically disinclined to take away the discretion of local elected officials’. In short,  lets keep the status quo and lets not piss off the police unions.

One month after stating her position the Los Angeles Police Protective League came out and endorsed her bid for US Senate. Many political pundits feel that move derailed any chance of former LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa who was threatening to challenge Harris in her Senatorial bid to jump into the race. Read about that HERE- http://lat.ms/1R9Ukzz

More police unions are expected to line up behind Harris as the latest newspaper headlines detail her opening up campaign offices on Sacramento K Street, the Democratic Party expressing concern that she is spending too much money on her campaign and medical marijuana clubs throwing weight behind her republican opponent because she is distancing herself from them.  What we have not seen or heard publicly is Kamala Harris weigh in the Mario Woods killing. See for yourself HERE- http://bit.ly/1R9UcAf

She hasn’t even weighed in on the recent major 5 part expose by the UK Guardian that shows the most dangerous police department in all the US is located here in Cali’s Kern County. What routinely takes place here is heart wrenching. 13 people have been killed by police in 2015. 79 have been killed since 2005. The expose has been met with stone walled silence Read about that HERE-http://bit.ly/1jO27oa

Robert Murray

Robert Murray

Perhaps we should not be surprised when you consider that Kamala Harris has a rather interesting relationship with law enforcement in that county. Earlier this year Kern County deputy prosecutor Robert Murray admitted to falsifying a confession transcript that he provided to a defense attorney during plea negotiations.

The false confession would’ve sent the defendant away for life. When this false confession was realized, the judge threw out the case and Murray was facing possible suspension from the state bar.

In this particular case,  Kamala Harris did intervene. She stated to the appeals court that the prosecutor’s actions were “not outrageous” and that only physical abuse would warrant the dismissal of the charges. Yes indeed she said that. The courts rejected her arguments. You can read about that HERE- http://bit.ly/1SO2gnK


Kamala HarrisKamala Harris in her political ascent has attempted to remain above the frey and absent from some very important fights. Her absence leads one to wonder, what good is it to have Black and Brown faces in high places if they are not going to step in and change the game when the community needs them most?

Harris has the power to change the game right now as state Attorney General, not as US Senator where she has to obtain favorable votes from the majority of 49 other senators to get a bill passed. As AG she can jump into controversial cases where the community is crying out and level the playing field.

When running for her current position, Kamala Harris said she was there to protect the most vulnerable and voiceless people. From Santa Rosa, to Kern County and now the Bayview, vulnerable people are crying out.  We should not forget that vulnerable and voiceless people came out for her big time in 4 major elections. There is no doubt Kamala is expecting folks to come out and generously support her bid for Senate. When will Kamala come out for them is the 64k question?

PS Today Dec 9th 2015, The SFPD Police union has just come out backing the actions of the officers who executed Mario Woods..Will Kamala  back the unions or the people who voted for her??

written by

Davey D

People are urged to call or write to Kamala Harris Let her know the following

The San Francisco Police Department has lost our confidence after the shooting death, recorded on video, of Mario Woods. We demand that California Attorney General Kamala Harris immediately appoint a special prosecutor in this case. The San Francisco Police Department cannot police itself.” How’s that?

Attorney General’s Office
California Department of Justice
Attn: Public Inquiry Unit
P.O. Box 944255
Sacramento, CA 94244-2550. Public Inquiry Unit
Voice: (916) 322-3360 or
(Toll-free in California)
(800) 952-5225
Fax: (916) 323-5341.
Email contact form: https://oag.ca.gov/consumers



Sheriff Says Brutalizing officer Ben Fields has a Black Lover So He’s Not Racist

Davey-D-purple-frameOct 28 2015: So apparently, the officer, Brian Fields who threw this child around and dragged her, is not a racist.  The reason being according to his boss, Richard County Sheriff Leon Lott; is because ‘He’s been dating  a Black woman for some time’.

Yes you read that right, the logic being put forth pretty much implies; that ball the past allegations and lawsuits against deputy Ben Fields that have been filed by Black folks who see this man as violent and abusive have no racial implications because he gets down at night with a Black woman. The fact that he’s nicknamed Officer Slam because of his brutality to students at Spring Valley High can be overlooked because of his Black lover.. One can make this stuff up.

Officer Ben FieldsLet’s put this in perspective… because we always have folks who are in denial of police brutality and racial discrimination who like to point to a Black spouse or friend of those accused and insist that’s the reason why they can’t be racist. We saw this logic play out in the aftermath of George Zimmerman killing Trayvon Martin. He had a Black friend named Joe Oliver, a former CNN reporter who went on all sorts of TV newscasts vouching for him.

We saw this with former NBA basketball team owner Donald Sterling, who in the aftermath of being caught on tape making disparaging remarks about Black people pointed to the fact he was set to receive and award from the NAACP and had a Black girlfriend  as proof he was not a racist. Fortunately, the NBA thought otherwise and issued a lifetime ban and made him sell the team.

Thomas JeffersonThe ‘I have a Black lover/ friend and hence can’t be a racist’ excuse goes back to the founding of this country. We should never forget one of this country’s beloved founding fathers ‘dated’ a Black woman.. actually she was a 13-year-old slave girl named Sally Hemmings.

He was 44 and was a key architect to this nation’s Declaration of Independence which proclaimed ‘All Men are Created Equal‘. Let that sink in for a minute. The man in question was Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States.

He supposedly loved 13-year-old Sally Hemmings and she bore him 6 kids but he never saw fit to set her free along with the other 200 plus slaves he owned.  Can you really ‘date someone’ when you’re their slave and you are deemed property? And again to reiterate, we revere Jefferson for helping found this country and putting forth the notion that all men are created equal..(Unless your Black…)

What’s the point here? You can be as lofty and high brow as Jefferson and still be a racist and rapist who owns slaves. Hence, you can be white deputy in South Carolina revered by his fellow officers and supposedly loved by a Black woman and still be a racist, brutalizing dimwit who should be removed from the force and sent to jail for brutalizing that teenager. In short, no passes are given..

As for the recent news reports that attempt to justify her being beat because a third video has surfaced claiming this girl hit the 300 pound body builder officer Ben Fields, many are led to believe she hit the officer prior to the encounter..Not true. The girl flailed her arms when her chair was upended and that’s when the officer ‘was hit’.

Her classmates who were interviewed were horrified and in disbelief.

Here’s additional information on this case along with a video of the classmate who filmed the encounter and as a result was arrested for ‘disturbing the school’.  Check that out here–> http://nydn.us/20xKk6j





Live Dispatches from Ferguson: Standing at the Crossroads

Rosa Clemente FergusonHere are some of our recent Interviews from Ferguson, Missouri. In recent days we spoke with local activist Bgyrl 4 Life along with long time activists and former Vice Presidential candidate Rosa Clemente. They give a breakdown of the harrowing events that transpired the night before when police drew guns on them and their contingent as they peacefully assembled. One of the cops threatened to shot a 14-year-old boy who was on the ground next to her hyper ventilating.

Their narrative was in sharp contrast to what was being hailed on the news as a night of peace and a big turning point in the Ferguson Uprisings where folks are seeking justice for the murder of Michale Brown. You can listen to the interview below as well as read their accounts HERE


Rev SekouWe spoke with long time activist Rev Osagyefo Uhuru Sekou. he’s been on the ground as part of delegation of clergy who not only want Justice for the murder of Mike Brown but also want to help the community heal from the trauma they have been experiencing. During our interview he spoke in detail about US Attorney general Eric Holder’s visit and what that meant and didn’t mean for folks on the ground.

Rev Sekou has also been very clear in dispelling many of the false narratives being put forth by corporate media. For example, here’s a recent Dispatch from Ferguson that he penned

What CNN did not report: We held a line be between the police and protestors for 5 hours. When stores were broken into. young black men blocked the doors to prevent further looting. try time some one approached the police they pointed machine guns at us. There were about 50 cops at one point with 4 urban tanks, drones and snipers. These young people were crying and screaming. They are hurting deeply. We need folks to come out at night to protect the people. And a final note, looting in a consumerist society is political act!

Another dispatch from a couple of days later read as follows:

I am home safe. I was at the front of the protest holding the line. We were marching in a peaceful protest and about 9pm. Urban tanks descended upon us, said disperse and immediately started shooting tear gas and sound grenades. Women and children were trapped on a ledge and the police continued to shoot tear gas. CNN is lying! The police started the violence by attacking peaceful protestors. The continued to move down the street and shot tear gas and eventually rubber bullets. It was sheer pandemonium. #Ferguson

Below is our interview with Rev Sekou


Uncle Bobby pictured left w/ wife Beatrice X and Mike Browns fathers

Uncle Bobby pictured left w/ wife Beatrice X and Mike Browns fathers

Also on the ground in Ferguson was Cephus Johnson aka Uncle Bobby. For those who are unfamiliar he is the Uncle of Oscar Grant. Anita Johnson sat down with Uncle Bobby to get an assessment of how he saw things in Ferguson.

He compared and contrasted what he was seeing on the ground with what he and so many others experienced during the Oscar Grant Movement.

He also filled in the crucial gaps as to what the media was talking about with what was actually taking place..He also met with the family of Mike Brown..

Our Hard Knock radio interview with Uncle Bobby is below



Ferguson: Police Draw Guns on Rosa Clemente, Talib & Others

This is a harrowing account from Rosa Clemente who is down in Ferguson with a group of folks who she names in her Dispatches about what went down last night.. It’s important to compare her account with what’s being hailed in corporate media as some sort of major turning point…This sounds like a turning point in the wrong direction.. keep in mind about who is mouth piecing for the police.. Davey D

Rosa Clemente

Rosa Clemente

An hour ago, Jessica Care Moore, Talib Kweli, folks from the Fellowship of Reconcillation, Philip Agnew of Dream Defenders, Bgyrl ForLife, Malik Rhasaan from Occupy the Hood and Trymaine Lee from MSNBC and many others were chased like animals by the cops.

We ran to get away and were surrounded on a small path on bridge, surrounded by all types of police and told to lie down and put our hands up. We complied and we were told if we did not stop moving we would be shot. We were breathing. The young brother lying on my feet as I was holding him was not able to control his breathing he said “I’m choking” the cop told him to stop or he would shoot him.

I told him “try not to move, just lay still I got you.” The gun was at his chest. I looked at the cop and said “please, he is not doing anything”

I tried to record but the cop had his finger on the trigger. I could feel Talib’s hand on my back and Jessica behind me.

Ferguson ProtestsWe laid there until one Black officer said “Let them go, we got who we wanted.” In all my life I have never been so terrified. The young brother Devin said thank you I think you saved my life. What is going down here in#ferguson in all my years of activism, organizing, I have never seen.

This is a war zone, a military occupation and our children are the cannon fodder. P.S. The white boy who threw the water bottle a big fuck you, I am sure you were an agent provocateur. But for the police to act this way, they are itching to kill more of us. P.S. Women are also brutalized and terrorized by the police, at the end all of us are Black and Brown and animals to them.

Ferguson Dispatch #1

Ferguson ProtestsLet me state from the beginning: nothing provoked this, the first hour we were there, we walked, talked to folks, people were moving as they were told they had to and chanting. I saw Amy Goodman, Trymaine Lee, who I talked to for a while. He was the last person I talked to before police vamped. Right before I had talked to clergy, at one point their was a prayer vigil, I observed and did not join that as the police seemed to get very agitated because people were still protesting.

I was staying observant. Talib and Jessica were in a circle with young people who began to notice who they were and I truly believed there was about to be a cypher. I kept my eye on the crew we were with; the amount of police officers was just as many as protestors. I then saw people from Amnesty International, many who I know as I used to work there. We were talking, building; they told me we would see you tomorrow.

As soon as they left I stepped to Talib and said something is about to go down. I felt something shift, as a long time activist against police brutality I have been trained by elders and my organization Malcolm X Grassroots Movement to be alert, stay focused.

I saw them raising their batons and getting in formation. As I was finishing talking to Trymaine, we saw a water bottle, plastic water bottle being thrown, people kind of looked up, turned back to what they were doing talking etc.…and the next thing police came at us like charging bulls, weapons drawn, screaming, causing mass confusion “leave the area now!” “Don’t move!”

At the moment Jessica Talib and I grabbed hands and ran. As we were running the police came from all directions and locked us down. The threats, their eyes, postures, weaponry says it all, we have the power, we don’t care how many cameras there are we will never have to be held accountable. This is one of account of a small group of us. If young people of color did not know where they stood, they surely know now and they told us as much.

Ferguson protestsThese young people were tired, but they were still determined. They were deflated but not defeated. They were longing for direction and leadership that is def not coming from the older generation. They are acquiring knowledge in this moment and are awake. They were expressing their frustrations with so called leadership, the honest truth is I saw many older people of color, talking with, shaking and laughing with the police. They also seemed to be angry with the older people, yelling at them, telling them to go home, they young people replied we are home.

Many of the male so called leadership were as Malcolm eloquently wrote, acting truly like house Negroes, the were not being subversive to the slave master, but being obedient to the new slave master. This might not be the most eloquent, succinct 500 word essay, but on da real: The moment I saw that rifle pointed at Devin, the young men who was right next to me, and I looked into this white bald headed man, and I saw his eyes, I feared the moment that so many young Black and Latino, Latina men and women face, potential death and all I could think about is my daughter hugging me telling me “be careful Mommy, the police hurt women too.”

That split second you think it is over is the most harrowing, terrifying. I thought I was prepared, and I was to a certain extent, but nothing can ever prepare you for that and that fact is that none of us should ever have to prepare for it. Devin and his boys got to go home tonight. They got to go home tonight. I hope they always get to go home.

Ferguson Dispatch #2



Jasiri X: Raising the Flag & Using Music as a Weapon to Fight Oppression

Jasiri  x micWe sat down and spoke with long time activist/ artist Jasiri X about his latest moves and why he continues to raise up the flag of activism  and use music as a potent weapon.

In recent months Jasiri X has been doing a lot of work with Harry Belafonte. He talks at length about the profound influence this iconic human rights leader has had on his activism as well as his music. He went into depth about some of the work that Belafonte has been doing to combat mass incarceration as it pertains to juveniles. He also notes all the behind the scenes closed-door meetings Belafonte has been having since last year with prominent artists and entertainers, encouraging them to raise awareness and take appropriate action.

Jasiri noted there have been significant changes amongst the many who Belafonte has been meeting with which is great. In terms of how it’s impacted him, he noted that after traveling with Belafonte to the rural south and Appalachia his understanding of poverty and how its impacted folks was greatly expanded. His commitment to working with youth was strengthened. His music was sharpened..

2001 Hip Hop summit FarrakhanDuring our interview Jasiri X talked about the influence of his other mentor Minister Farrakhan. We talked about the the powerful speech Farrakhan gave in 2001 at the Hip Hop Summit in New York and the tour he made around the country speaking directly with popular rappers. From NY to LA to Atlanta, the Minister laid out key issues he felt artists should be addressing. He described them as world leaders whose music had great impact and encouraged them to step up and fully embrace their responsibilities.  It was at one of these gatherings that Jasiri X first heard the Minister and it changed his life. It opened Jasiri’s eyes to activism and inspired him to join the NOI. It was there he honed his skills and came to understand the power cultural expression has on the community and the world at large.

During our interview Jasiri gave some insight as to how both men are similar in their desire for change but different in their approach in terms of how they engage the Hip Hop community. Jasir noted he has benefited greatly from both.

Paradise Gray  the Arkitech

Paradise Gray the Arkitech

Although we didn’t talk too much about him, it should be noted that Jasiri has a 3rd mentor who has helped him greatly over the years and has been with him at many of the gatherings with Harry Belafonte and is his partner in the 1 Hood organization they helped co-found. That individual is Paradise Gray who is founding member of the iconic group X-Clan and Blackwatch and a long time fixture within Hip Hop.

During our interview Jasiri X updated us on some key cases of police terrorism that he brought to light in his songs, including the vicious beating that took place in his native Pittsburgh, 3 years ago, of honor student Jordan Miles. He talked about some of the new strategies people are using to deal with this scourge of violence at the hands of police. He talked about how and why music and cultural expressions are important tools in our quest to fight back. Jasiri also talked about how two of his songs were banned from concerts and caused alot of controversy because they made police and others in power feel uncomfortable.

Jasiri X also spoke on the work he, Paradise Gray and educator Amil Cook are doing with their 1 Hood Media Academy. In recent months they’ve been doing an interview/mentor series where popular artists land activists like Pharaoh Monch, Jean Grae, Rhymefest, Rosa Clemente, Bakari Kitwanna and KRS-One to name a few have all stopped by and worked directly with the youth. In our interview we hear from the kids as they weigh in on their opinion around the recent NBA controversy with Donald Sterling..



Cali State Laws Prevent Abusive Police from Being Banned Like Donald Sterling

Davey-D-brown-frameThe NBA is banning Donald Sterling for Life for his outrageous remarks which they know and fear could manifest into abusive behavior and policy effecting the team and the overall image of the league. It’s pretty straight forward. People are cheering and saying this is a good way to go.

With this being the case, lets’ imagine and then push for similar zero tolerance policies for police officers who are abusive and over the top with their attitude and behavior toward innocent citizens. We all heard the stories and saw the disturbing pictures when NYPD brass decided to do a feel-good PR blitz and took to twitter asking people to send photos of them with a NYPD officer.

The brass thought they would be inundated with photos of smiling police officers standing next to jovial tourists. Instead they were bombarded with thousands of photos showing NYPD beating or choking out people. They were blitzed with endless amounts of videos showing NYPD in unsavory, abusive situations.  There is no doubt many of the people pictured in those videos were hoping that what befell Sterling and his ban for life, could be applied to rogue police officers. Sadly in many places that won’t happen..

Oklahoma PoliceFor the past two years we have been alerting people to an insidious law that shields police from being held accountable. It’s called the Policeman’s Bill of Rights… The law is on the books in many states, but its strongest and most impenetrable in California.

In the past when we’ve written about POBOR, many have dismissed the conversation and called it overacting and conspiracy theory. It’s hard for many to accept that those they trust with authority would routinely cross the line. It’s either that or they mistakenly think such abuse will only visit ‘those Black and Brown folks who they feel probably ‘deserve it’..

Well that was backwards thinking and now we are seeing such practices are habitually happening to good ole white bred citizens who like to profess they have nothing to hide, have done nothing wrong and thus should not be wary of the cops having ‘too much’  power. Here’s what prompted an in depth investigative news report on NBC affiliate KNTV. SFPD went HAM on two techies and unjustly arrested them. Here’s an excerpt from their report:

Tech entrepreneurs Peretz Partensky and Ben Woosley came up against POBOR when he complained about what he says was an unfair arrest. He says he saw two bicyclists injured along Folsom street in San Francisco near his house. He didn’t even know the two bicyclists, but he called 911 for medical help.

“The next thing I know, [the police] grabbed me from behind and wrenched my arm back,” said Ben Woosley. He said he and Partensky were trying to get answers from the police, but the two were handcuffed and set on the ground.

“Since then,” Partensky said, “I’ve not actually been able to get any information about the incident.”

It’s not an uncommon story. Retired Marine Garret Bondaug was also left with unanswered questions when police unexpectedly showed up at his mother’s Santa Clara home one night.

“We were literally watching PBS,” Bondaug said. That’s when the police showed up at about 11pm. “As soon as we ask ‘what for?’, [the officer] whipped out his ASD, aluminum baton, and started beating me.”

Police Riot gearWhat was described here is just the tip of the iceberg.  A former elected official is pushing for new laws to scale back the Policeman’s Bill of Rights, which last year was strengthened with more provisions added, making it virtually impossible for anyone to know if a cop has shoddy record of abuse.

Check out the story below and lets re-imagine what a just community looks and feels like when abusive people who we pay with our tax dollars are banned after coming at folks sideways… http://www.nbcbayarea.com/investigations/State-Law-Hides-Investigations-of-Police-Misconduct-from-Public-Scrutiny-257080571.html

The Killing of Unarmed Louis Rodriguez by Oklahoma Police is Beyond Troubling

Oklahoma PoliceBy now folks know of this story out of Moore, Oklahoma where a father Louis Rodriguez was killed in front of his wife and daughter.  I hesitated in posting it because at this point in time its one of far too many… It’s at a point where its apparent the police who commit these acts of terrorism get off and relish the notoriety…At the same time repeatedly showing such brutal acts is not empowering.. It fosters a climate of fear, which is what the police want…

With that being said, its important that those who choose to read and watch the video be thinking about solutions to this epidemic… One must be cautious not to allow our brains to slip into the realm where such videos become a macabre form of entertainment. Nor can it be something we talk about in such a way to indicate how rough things are and one is using such incidents as a way to brag about how you are navigating its effects…

Whats the solutions? whats the practical solutions? We already know to film.. People are doing that.. This incident below was caught on tape? Take the cops to trial??

First we have to be assured the prosecutors who work the police everyday and depend upon them, hence forming strong bonds centered around enforcing the law, will break that bond and dedicate the full force of their office and bring every resource to press charges and prosecute them in court..

Up to now we’ve seen prosecutors throw away cases for non cops shooting Black people.. ie the high profile Florida cases involving  George Zimmerman and Michael Dunn..where state attorney Angela Corey and her office did a terrible job.

Santa Rosa DA Jill Ravitch

Santa Rosa DA Jill Ravitch

We see prosecutors who look like us,  refuse to appoint special prosecutors even when there are clear conflicts of interests…That would be the refusal of Kamala Harris,  a Black woman who won’t remove the prosecutor in Santa Rosa, Jill Ravitch over the police killing 13-year-old Andy Lopez.

Ravitch had 90 days to press charges on the sheriff deputy Erick Gelhaus who shot unarmed Andy last November..She has steadfastly stalled  with many organizers pointing out her extreme bias.  Ravitch is running for re-election and has taken quite a bit of money from the sheriff department that is pushing for her to be re-elected. Ravitch in turn has been supportive of the sheriff’s re-election bid.  Harris has not removed the DA to ensure a clean slate and unbiased justice pool..

That leads us to the question of what other solutions can be put forth if the justice system is not working? Its been suggested that communities hold their own public tribunals, where they issue subpoenas for those being charged to show up. Such activities may good for helping heal the community even if penalties can’t be ‘legally’ forced. However it does put the issue on record. Important information can be shared and ideally it’ll inform folks in the community as to what steps to take legislatively and electorally.

Others have suggested that communities return to armed patrols and basically police the police..That requires a committed body of folks and serious discipline. It might be helpful for folks to consult with groups if any already doing similar actions.

Others have suggested that folks push to have laws on the books that allow one to stand their ground against police which is what they basically have in Indiana. It might be a good idea for folks to look at that law, see whats practical and start the process of pushing this..

Oklahoma Cops 2Personally I have long advocated that there should be s special office and prosecutor that is not connected to local law enforcement that only deals with the wrong doings of  police and elected officials. How that office is established needs to be worked out. Is it an elected position which leaves it vulnerable to big money interests? Is it appointed by an elected official which means whoever is appointed will be the result of political leanings?  In any case we should be thinking long and hard about how to eradicate these types of brutal incidents.

For those unfamiliar, here’s the 4-11… A family went to a movie, father, mother daughter.. The mother and daughter got into an argument, the mother slapped the daughter the father went to calm down his wife. The police were called for a domestic violence disturbance and assumed Louis Rodriguez  was the one who did it.. He was pepper sprayed  as 5 police piled upon him and was killed. While they were killing him, the wife was calling for them to stop and even asked if he was still alive.. Police are on paid leave..

As noted earlier with the current climate, even with video and scores of witnesses, they are unlikely to vigorously prosecuted much less convicted.. There are simply too many people in America who wind up sitting on juries who can’t fathom the police doing anything wrong..This can’t be allowed to be swept under the rug. There has to be push back on all levels even as we know the justice system is biased. How do we help this family heal? How do we heal the community from such trauma?

Below is the raw video as well as a link to the story as reported to CNN



NJ Police Threaten to Kill Black Man-Say He Assaulted them..He’s Saved by New Footage

Police brutality NJThis is an incredible yet disturbing and sad story. For many who are about to watch the video posted below, you may wanna sit down as it is certain to trigger a lot of emotions. Its upsetting to the least.

What you are about to see  is the potential for murder and in this case a young Black man named Marcus Jeter from Bloomfield, New Jersey was on his way to jail for 5 years because of the deliberate and over the top nihilistic behavior of 3 police officers who then lied and piled up a bunch of charges.

As you watch the video and hear officers yelling ‘He’s got a gun, He’s got a gun”,  one can’t but help wonder how many innocent people are languishing in jail or have been killed by police behaving in this manner. Jeter had no gun. Jeter didn’t assault an officer. One can’t help but wonder what would’ve happened if Jeter didn’t have the temperament and presence of mind to take a beating vs panicking and running away or resisting as a way to protect himself..

When the second cruiser pulls up to the scene and deliberately crashes into the car and officers yell stop going for my gun, I couldn’t help but think of how police in Westchester County in NY murdered Pace University student DJ Henry in 2010 when he was asked to drive his car away from a fight he happened to drive upon. Police came over to his car and instructed him to drive away as he did so, an officer jumped on the hood of his car and started shooting,  claiming Henry tried to run them over. Two years later police admitted they lied, but nothing ever happen to them and sadly their admission doesn’t bring Henry back from the dead.

In this latest case involving Marcus Jeter, whats even more disturbing is one of the officers who tampered with evidence and hid it from defense lawyers wasn’t even indicted, he was allowed to simply retire. Now we’ll see if these indictments of the other two lead to convictions. This all underscores the fact that we need to have special incorruptible cameras on police at all times and we as citizens when pulled over or stopped need to have some irrefutable protections for ourselves.