Walmart Murder: Ohio Declines To Indict Two Police, Killers Of John Crawford III


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Ohio Walmart Murder: Ohio Declines To Indict Two Police, Killers Of John Crawford III

 

 

By Urban Intellectuals Media Activist:

 

The black community has waited to find out what would happen in the case of John Crawford, the young father who was shot down inside of a Walmart Store holding a toy gun. The wait is over, but unfortunately, it isn’t the response we wanted to hear.

 

The Ohio grand jury met, deliberated and decided not to indict the two officers who shot and killed John Crawford. The event happened at the Beavercreek, Ohio, Walmart on August 5th, 2014, according to Special Prosecutor Mark Piepmeier.

 

 

 

 

The Walmart video has been released. you can see Mr. Crawford walking around the Walmart store with the toy rifle. Police were called as a store employee, who later admitted he lied, said Mr. Crawford was waving and pointing the gun at customers in the store. Police arrived tense to say the least.

 

The police walk into the video to encounter Mr. Crawford from behind. Before he could turn around, shots were fired and Mr. Crawford was down on the ground after to fatal shots.

 

The grand jury did see the video and hear the 911 call from the Walmart employee, along with testimony from 18 people regarding the case. They provided this statement after denying to pursue the case.

 

“The events of August 5th were tragic and we wish the outcome of that evening had been different. However, based on the information the responding officers had and Mr. Crawford’s failure to comply with the responding officers orders, the officers did what they were trained to do to protect the public. The officers followed accepted law enforcement training protocol in their response to the report of an active threat in the Wal-Mart store. The grand jury review of the evidence and subsequent no bill decision indicates the officers’ actions were not of a criminal nature and justified under Ohio law.”

 

The City will have no further comment pending the Department of Justice review.”

 

Source: Buzzfeed

 

Thank you Urban Intellectuals Media Activist.

 

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From The Daily KOS:

 

Ohio grand jury: No indictments in John Crawford Walmart shooting

 

by Jen Hayden

 

Stunning news out of Ohio. Special prosecutor Mark Piepmeier has announced that after three days of grand jury testimony, there will be no indictments in the shooting death of John Crawford III, which took place inside an Ohio Walmart in August.

 

Video taken from Walmart surveillance cameras were released at the press conference and they still don’t seem to tell the whole story.

 

Based on the video they released, Crawford does not appear to be pointing the air rifle at anyone. Ronald Ritchie was the 911 caller who alerted police and claimed:

 

Ronald Ritchie said Crawford “was just waving [the gun] at children and people…I couldn’t hear anything that he was saying. I’m thinking that he is either going to rob the place or he’s there to shoot somebody.

“He didn’t really want to be looked at and when people did look at him, he was pointing the gun at them. He was pointing at people. Children walking by,” Ronald Ritchie said.

 

Unless there is additional video supporting Ritchie’s original claims, which he has since recanted, it is hard to imagine why charges haven’t been brought against Ronald Ritchie at a minimum.

 

Crawford’s family, who were on the phone with him at the time of the shooting, are disputing the police version of events, specifically that he ignored warnings to drop the “weapon.”

 

See the press conference and surveillance video below the fold.

 

10:25 AM PT: To clarify, the grand jury were only considering whether to indict the two police officers who fatally shot John Crawford III. No word on whether any action will be taken against Ronald Ritchie for the exaggerated and/or false claims he made to the 911 operator.

 

Thank you The Daily KOS & Jen Hayden.

 

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Here’s some logic & common sense: When caucasian open carry AmeriKKKan citizens start to get shot on the spot, with no verbal warnings or verbal identification given by law enforcement, then and only then will WE THE PEOPLE start to see laws changed and indictments handed down by Grand Juries.

 

People are screaming for the arrest and indictment of the 911 caller, Ronald Ritchie, for the exaggerated and/or false claims he made to the 911 operator. It’s not at all logical to take a legal route with Ronald Ritchie, no matter how stupid, racist and untruthful his actions were, if you allow the very policemen who murdered John Crawford The III, in cold blood, to walk free.

 

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Are Black Lives Important In A Caucasian World Of “White Privilege”?


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Themuthafuckingospel

 

In case you haven’t noticed over the past few weeks, Black male life is a lot less important than the pet cat, dog or cockatoo, which is to say Black men are being systematically hunted and slaughtered like wild deer.

 

Eric Garner was choked to death by New York City Policemen in broad daylight on a NYC street, as citizens looked on and recorded the murder on video camera. The man & wife responsible for that video have since been arrested by the same New York City Police force….on trumped up charges….don’t fuck with the POLICEEEE.

 

As if killing innocent Eric Gardner was not accomplishment enough, and arresting those responsible for recording the murder on their video was still lacking….the proud NYC thugs then stalked and harassed mourners at Mr. Garners funeral service……

 

“Calvin Bryant, a 53-year-old anti-police-violence activist who says he knew Garner growing up. Bryant was angry, and let the press know it as he stood with his cousin, Richard Kirkpatrick, and his two young children, holding a sign that read “# I Can’t Breath” and wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with the face of Ramarley Graham, the Bronx teenager killed in his own home by police in 2012. “When is this going to stop?” Bryant asked reporters, clutching his shirt. “Ramarley Graham, this case ain’t been solved yet, and already you’ve got the nerve to kill this man Eric Garner.”

 

Mr. Bryant was arrested in front of his children.

 

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Then there is Mr. John Crawford, LeeCee Johnson, who said she is the mother of Crawford’s children, said she was on a cell phone call with Crawford when he was shot by officers. She said Crawford went to the area to visit family members. “I could hear him just crying and screaming,” Johnson said. “I feel like they shot him down like he was not even human.”

 

“We was just talking. He said he was at the video games playing videos and he went over there by the toy section where the toy guns were. And the next thing I know, he said ‘It’s not real,’ and the police start shooting and they said ‘Get on the ground,’ but he was already on the ground because they had shot him,” she said, adding: “And I could hear him just crying and screaming. I feel like they shot him down like he was not even human.”

 

(rawstory.com) – Police fatally shot a man carrying an air rifle at an Ohio Walmart earlier this week. Another customer called 911 to report 22-year-old John Crawford waving what appeared to be an AR-15 at children and others at the Beavercreek retailer. The mother of Crawford’s children said she was speaking to him by cell phone when he was confronted by police in the store. “He said he was at the video games playing videos, and he went over there by the toy section where the toy guns were,” said LeeCee Johnson. “The next thing I know, he said, ‘It’s not real,’ and the police start shooting, and they said ‘Get on the ground,’ but he was already on the ground because they had shot him.”

 

 

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Finally we have 17 or 18 year old Mark Brown, shot dead by Ferguson, Missouri police for shoplifting candy from a gas station. Shot ten times, body left lying in the street for 4 hours….allegedly.

 

Ferguson police gunned down 17 year old Michael Brown as he and a friend walked down the street. A witness stated police pulled up to the two boys and said “Get the fuck on the sidewalk”. According to a witness police grabbed the kid around the neck and repeatedly shot the unarmed kid

Ferguson police gunned down 17 year old Michael Brown as he and a friend walked down the street. A witness stated police pulled up to the two boys and said “Get the fuck on the sidewalk”. According to a witness police grabbed the kid around the neck and repeatedly shot the unarmed kid

 

The details are sketchy, but not the results.

 

Witnesses tell News 4 that Mike Brown, 18, was unarmed and had his hands in the air when he was shot multiple times by the a Ferguson police officer. Police have not confirmed those claims and they have not released any details of the incident other than an officer was involved and that he has been placed on administrative leave.

 

Dorian Johnson tells News 4 he was walking with Brown when the officer confronted them and drew his weapon.

 

“He (the officer) shot again and once my friend felt that shot, he turned around and put his hands in the air,” said Dorian Johnson, a friend Brown’s. “He started to get down and the officer still approached with his weapon drawn and fired several more shots.”

 

St. Louis County NAACP President Esther Haywood told News 4 that Brown was shot once by the officer and then an additional nine times as he lie in the street. Police have not confirmed that account.

 

“He was a good kid. He didn’t live around here,” said Desuirea Harris, grandmother of the victim. “He came to visit me and they did that to him for no reason.”

 

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Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson will hold a news conference today at 10AM.

 

Ferguson residents react after unarmed teen shot 10 times

 

 

If you have noticed, the one constant in these 3 recent murders is that all 3 were UNARMED Black Americans, murdered because they were not viewed as human beings but things to be killed and treated like that deer I mentioned above. Since when did shoplifting candy, holding a toy BB gun in the TOY section of Wal-Mart or standing on a NYC street, become a sentence of death?

 

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From The Huffington Post:

 

These Mothers Lost Their Sons To The NYPD, And They Vow ‘This Has To Stop’

 

By 

 

They all know each other, having met at this rally or that funeral. For years, these women — all black or Latino — have stood in front of cameras, holding photographs of their sons. The NYPD, they say, murdered their children, and the officers involved have never been held accountable.

 

Many of these mothers gathered in Lower Manhattan Wednesday evening to meet with Philip Eure, the new NYPD inspector general, a watchdog position created last year amid outrage over the department’s controversial stop-and-frisk crime-fighting tactic.

 

“This is a very important day for the families,” Loyda Colon of the Justice Committee, a police reform group that helped organized the meeting, told reporters. “Families of those killed by the NYPD don’t usually get the opportunity to meet with officials, so this is a huge opportunity.”

 

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Eure agreed to the meeting before Eric Garner’s death three weeks ago pushed police brutality back into the national spotlight. Garner was put into a chokehold by NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo during an arrest on Staten Island for selling untaxed cigarettes. The city medical examiner has ruled the death a homicide.

 

Before Wednesday’s meeting, the mothers told reporters outside Eure’s office that they wanted the new inspector general to investigate the NYPD’s use of force, especially in cases involving death.

 

Constance Malcolm is the mother of Ramarley Graham, the unarmed Bronx 18-year-old shot to death by Officer Richard Haste in 2012 after cops entered Graham’s home without a warrant.

 

Constance Malcolm, mother of Ramarley Graham, leads a march to the New York City Police Department's 47th Precinct after a vigil for Graham on March 22, 2012, in the Bronx. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

Constance Malcolm, mother of Ramarley Graham, leads a march to the New York City Police Department’s 47th Precinct after a vigil for Graham on March 22, 2012, in the Bronx. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

 

Haste was indicted on a manslaughter charge, but a judge threw out the indictment on a technicality. Another grand jury declined to indict Haste. One year ago today, the U.S. Department of Justice said it would investigate Graham’s death.

 

“My son didn’t have a weapon,” Malcolm said Wednesday. “My son didn’t pose no threat. But yes sir, my son is dead while [Officer Haste] is walking free collecting a paycheck. All these officers that are killing people, abusing people — there’s no accountability.

 

“There’s nobody standing up for us mothers,” Malcolm continued. “We standing here, we have to fight for justice. They didn’t just take away a son or a daughter. They destroyed whole families. They don’t understand this and it has to stop.”

 

Margarita Rosario is the mother of Anthony Rosario and the aunt of Hilton Vega.

 

Margarita Rosario, mother of Anthony Rosario and aunt of Hilton Vega, at a rally outside One Police Plaza in Manhattan. (Photo: Mizue Aizeki)

Margarita Rosario, mother of Anthony Rosario and aunt of Hilton Vega, at a rally outside One Police Plaza in Manhattan. (Photo: Mizue Aizeki)

 

In 1995, police investigating a burglary in the Bronx fired 28 shots at Rosario’s son and her nephew, killing both. Anthony Rosario was hit by 14 bullets, mostly in the back. Vega was struck by eight bullets, including seven in his back.

 

“For 19 years, I’ve been coming out here and saying, ‘When are we going to do something? When are we going to train these police officers?'” Rosario said Wednesday. “When are we going to train them to stop killing our children?! Our community can’t take it anymore!”

 

Hawa Bah is the mother of Mohamed Bah.

 

Hawa Bah, 56, Mohamed Bah's mother, the day after her son was shot to death by police in Morningside Heights on Sept. 25, 2012. (Photo via Trevor Kapp at DNAinfo)

Hawa Bah, 56, Mohamed Bah’s mother, the day after her son was shot to death by police in Morningside Heights on Sept. 25, 2012. (Photo via Trevor Kapp at DNAinfo)

 

On Sept. 25, 2012, police fatally shot Mohamed Beh, an emotionally disturbed man who had locked himself in his room and was holding a large knife. Hawa said cops need better training in how to deal with mental illness.

 

“He was a wonderful boy, who never commit any crimes, never do nothing,” Hawa Beh said Wednesday. “I’m here today to ask for justice because what happened to Mohammed. If the city doesn’t do anything, it will happen again.”

 

Iris Baez is the mother of Anthony Baez.

 

The Rev. Al Sharpton, second left, leads a ceremony saluting mothers Kadiadou Diallo, left, Iris Baez, third left, and Lucy Turrull, whose sons were killed in police brutality cases, Saturday, May 8, 1999, in New York. (AP Photo/Stephen Chernin)

The Rev. Al Sharpton, second left, leads a ceremony saluting mothers Kadiadou Diallo, left, Iris Baez, third left, and Lucy Turrull, whose sons were killed in police brutality cases, Saturday, May 8, 1999, in New York. (AP Photo/Stephen Chernin)

 

In 1994, 29-year-old Anthony Baez was playing football with friends when the ball hit a police car. Cops put Baez in a chokehold, which killed him.

 

“The police are supposed to protect us, not abuse us,” Iris Baez said Wednesday. “For little crimes, for spitting in the street, jaywalking, they are supposed to get a ticket, not go to jail, not get murdered in the street, for any petty thing.”

 

This has to stop,” Baez continued, “and that’s why I’m talking to the IG to plead with him if I have to do to make an investigation and I mean a real investigation.”

 

Carol Gray is the mother of Kimani Gray.

 

In this March 13, 2013, file photo, Carol Gray, left, holds a photo of her son, Kimani "Kiki" Gray, with the aid of New York City Councilman Charles Barron, during a news conference in New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File)

In this March 13, 2013, file photo, Carol Gray, left, holds a photo of her son, Kimani “Kiki” Gray, with the aid of New York City Councilman Charles Barron, during a news conference in New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File)

 

The 16-year-old was shot to death by two police officers in the East Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn on March 9, 2013. The officers said Gray pulled a gun on them first, but eyewitnesses say Gray was unarmed.

 

“This has gone on too long,” Gray said Wednesday. “And we need answers and justice today.”

 

The inspector general’s office confirmed that Eure met with the mothers, but wouldn’t comment further.

 

“The families felt the meeting was productive and hope to continue a open dialogue with the IG’s office moving forward,” Colon told HuffPost in a statement. “It is our strong hope that the IG will prioritize an investigation into NYPD killings, as we believe a report on findings from it would shed light on why the NYPD continues to unjustly kill black and Latino New Yorkers, as well as the dire need for real systemic change in the Department.”

 

Thank you The Huffington Post & .

 

Instead of “shoot to kill” how about we try wounding?

 

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Related Reading

 

Ferguson Missouri Police Gun Down 18 Year Old Mike Brown, Shooting Him TEN Times…For Shoplifting Candy.

 

If You Are Black, Open Carry Is NOT YOUR Right. YOUR Tan Stops YOU From Open Carrying.

 

Eric Garner’s Funeral: NYPD Impenitent

 

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If You Are Black, Open Carry Is NOT YOUR Right. YOUR Tan Stops YOU From Open Carrying.


Jueseppi B. The Militant Negro

Jueseppi B. The Militant Negro

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Every Black person who thinks these open-carry laws are for YOU, here’s some news: YOU can’t safely hold a TOY BB gun in a Walmart TOY section without being shot to death.

 

Cops Gun Down Ohio Man Holding Toy Rifle In Walmart ‘Like He Was Not Even Human.’

 

Published on Aug 8, 2014

“I could hear him just crying and screaming,” Johnson said. “I feel like they shot him down like he was not even human.”
(Dayton Daily News) Man police shot in Walmart killed over fake gun, family says
Relatives of John Crawford, the man shot dead by police at a Beavercreek Walmart, say they’ve contacted civil rights organizations because they believe the shooting was not justified.

 

They believe he was killed possibly after he picked up a toy gun in the store.

 

Crawford, 22, of Ridge Drive in Fairfield, was identified as the man Beavercreek police shot and killed Tuesday night.

 

LeeCee Johnson, who said she is the mother of Crawford’s children, said she was on a cell phone call with Crawford when he was shot by officers. She said Crawford went to the area to visit family members.

 

“We was just talking. He said he was at the video games playing videos and he went over there by the toy section where the toy guns were. And the next thing I know, he said ‘It’s not real,’ and the police start shooting and they said ‘Get on the ground,’ but he was already on the ground because they had shot him,” she said, adding: “And I could hear him just crying and screaming. I feel like they shot him down like he was not even human.”

 

Beavercreek Police Chief Dennis Evers did not answer questions Wednesday but said officers acted appropriately.

 

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Johnson said she has two children with Crawford: John Crawford IV, who is 1, and Jayden Crawford, who is 4 months old. She just found out she is pregnant with a third child, but never got the chance to tell Crawford.

 

“He had a lot of family members that cared about him, and his kids. They’re not going to be able to know their dad. They’re too young — only 4 months and a year old — to even know how wonderful he was to them,” she said.

 

Johnson said police did not talk to her at the time of the shooting. She believes the police did not do their job properly and wants to see justice done. Once the case is reviewed, they will find everything she said is consistent with what camera footage and phone records will show.

 

“I hope the police get fired and sent to jail, because (the officer who fired) didn’t do his job. He didn’t treat him like a human being. He didn’t treat him someone at Walmart looking at toy guns,” she said.

 

Beavercreek Police and the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, when contacted Wednesday, refused to say whether Crawford was armed with a toy or a real weapon.

 

“I can’t comment – that’s part of the open investigation,” Attorney General’s Office spokeswoman Jill Del Greco said.

 

Lamon Brown, Crawford’s cousin, spoke on behalf of the family. The family has contacted the NAACP and National Action Network, he said.

 

“He does not own (a rifle-like weapon). We think it was a toy,” Brown said. “We actually think it was a toy. After these things happen they usually report what kind of gun it was, but they’re not saying what kind of gun it was.”

 

Tasha Thomas, who identified herself as Crawford’s girlfriend and appeared in the audience with his family members at Wednesday’s police news conference, said that Crawford has two children and that she has known him for four months.

 

She said she drove him to the Walmart after picking him up at an outlet mall in Cincinnati. He was not armed when he entered the Walmart, she said. She said she was with him in the store, but was in another aisle when he was shot.

 

“He did not have any type of gun on him,” she said. “It’s not fair.”

 

 

 

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Man shot dead by police in Walmart ‘after he picked up a toy gun’

 

 

 

 

Published on Aug 8, 2014

(rawstory.com) – Police fatally shot a man carrying an air rifle at an Ohio Walmart earlier this week. Another customer called 911 to report 22-year-old John Crawford waving what appeared to be an AR-15 at children and others at the Beavercreek retailer. The mother of Crawford’s children said she was speaking to him by cell phone when he was confronted by police in the store. “He said he was at the video games playing videos, and he went over there by the toy section where the toy guns were,” said LeeCee Johnson. “The next thing I know, he said, ‘It’s not real,’ and the police start shooting, and they said ‘Get on the ground,’ but he was already on the ground because they had shot him.”

 

Cops Gun Down Ohio Man Holding Toy Rifle in Walmart Like He Was Not Even Human – John Crawford

 

 

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I’m going to attempt to write this without profanity…..fuck that, the police in the United States of AmeriKKKa have lost their muthafuckin minds. How the holy hell does a law enforcement officer arrive on the scene and just shoot a “Black” man dead for holding a weapon in a Wal-Mart, without first ascertaining if said weapon is real? How many caucasian fucks open carrying weapons have been stopped by death from opening carrying?

 

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I am sick and fucking tired of blatant racism fueling AmeriKKKa. Laws in this “never great nation” are not based on skin tone or lack of Melatonin in your DNA. Which is known as a Melatonin Deficiency. If coward ass caucasians are allowed by LAW to open carry, then a Black man is allowed by that same Law to open carry to protect himself from those coward ass caucasians who “legally open carry.

 

Common sense & logic 101. Laws are written for the people by the people,…ALL PEOPLE. NOT JUST RACIST CAUCASIANS.

 

A Race War is needed to purge the United States Of AmeriKKKa of it’s disease of racism. Blood needs to be shed to remove this divide between racist caucasians and people of color.

 

Here ends the lesson.

 

What The United States Of AmeriKKKa has become………….

 

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Man’s Inhumanity To The Transgender Community. This MUST STOP.


By The Militant Negro, Jueseppi B.

By The Militant Negro, Jueseppi B.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Man’s Inhumanity To The Transgender Community.

 

From  

Body of transgender woman found shot to death, left on a Cincinnati street

 

  Saturday, June 28, 2014

 

CINCINNATI, Ohio – A transgender woman was found dead Thursday morning in the middle of a Cincinnati street.

 

Tiffany Edwards, 28, had been shot to death, according to news reports, which said her body was discovered about 8 a.m. Thursday by a city sanitation driver.

 

Tiffany Edwards, 28

Tiffany Edwards, 28

 

Local news reports identified her as DeAndre Edwards and didn’t mention her gender identity, but BRAVO — the Buckeye Region Anti-Violence Organization — said Edwards identified as Tiff or Tiffany.

 

BRAVO also said it believes the murder was hate-motivated and that Edwards was targeted based on perception of her gender identity and expression.

 

“BRAVO is saddened and outraged as our communities continue to be targeted,” Executive Director Gloria McCauley said in a statement.

 

Aaron Eckhardt, BRAVO training and technical assistance director said it’s the fourth killing nationwide this month of a transgender woman of color. A 2013 report by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs found that transgender people were the victims in half the hate-crime killings of LGBT people, and people of color are the victims  in 75 percent of the killings.

 

Edwards’ death is the fourth murder of a transgender woman in Ohio in the past 18 months, and the third murder of a young transgender woman of color:

 

 

  • Betty Skinner, 52, was found dead in her Cleveland apartment in December by a home health worker.

 

  • Brittany Stergis, 22, was found dead in a car in Cleveland, also in December. She had been shot to death. Delshawn Carroll, 19, was arrested and charged with aggravated murder earlier this month.

 

“The brutality and violence we see being committed against trans communities of color is real. It’s happening in our own cities, in our own state. This violence needs to end. Trans lives matter,” Shane Morgan, said founder and chair of TransOhio.

 

McCauley said the latest killing underscores the need for discussion and action on hate crimes against LGBT people. Ohio’s hate-crimes law does not cover crimes based on a victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

 

The murders of two other transgender women are being investigated in California and in Florida.

 

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Body of transgender woman found burned, dumped behind garbage bin

 

 Monday, June 23, 2014

 

FORT MYERS, Fla. — More than 200 people attended a vigil Sunday to honor a transgender woman whose body was found dumped behind a garbage bin in Fort Myers, Fla., last week.

 

The bloody and charred body of 31-year-old Yaz’min Shancez was discovered on a dead-end road behind a truck rental facility shortly after 8 a.m. on Thursday, June 19.

 

 31-year-old Yaz’min Shancez

31-year-old Yaz’min Shancez

 

Workers reported that Shancez’ body was “still smoldering” when she was discovered.

 

Family and friend describe Shancez — nicknamed “Miss T” — as a proud transgender woman who loved being surrounded by endless relatives at family barbecues, and who never forgot to say I love you.

 

No arrests have been made in what authorities are calling a homicide, but have not classified as a hate crime.

 

In 2013, 13 of the 18 documented anti-LGBTQ homicides were transgender women and 89 percent of the victims were people of color, GLAAD reports.

 

In California, police are investigating the death of another transgender woman whose body was found June 12 behind a Dairy Queen restaurant in Anaheim, Calif.

 

Thank you   

 

 

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Not one single human is safe in this nation until every single human is safe in this nation. The sexual orientation of a person does not allow for that person to be abused, bullied, harassed or systematically murdered.

 

What makes a coward man think he has the right to take a life, especially because he is too chickenshit to accept the fact that humans have a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness dependent upon their own individual ideas of what life liberty and the pursuit of happiness is to them?

 

The problem with Americans in 2014 is their lack of the ability to mind their own muthafuckin business and leave others the fuck alone. I hate AmeriKKKa and coward ass AmeriKKKans.

 

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44 Years After Kent State AND Jackson State.


 

By Jueseppi B.

John Filo's Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph of Mary Ann Vecchio, a 14-year-old runaway kneeling over the body of Jeffrey Miller minutes after he was shot by the Ohio National Guard

John Filo‘s Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph of Mary Ann Vecchio, a 14-year-old runaway kneeling over the body of Jeffrey Miller minutes after he was shot by the Ohio National Guard

 

From WBCE.ORG:

 

Weekend Ceremonies Commemorate 1970 Kent State University Shootings

 

 

 

Kent State University will pause this weekend to commemorate the 44th anniversary of the shooting deaths of four students during a protest of the Vietnam War.

 

Panel discussions are scheduled on campus tomorrow to reflect on the May Fourth, 1970 shootings and the evolution of political activism. An annual candlelight vigil in the parking lot where the students were killed by Ohio National Guard troops begins Saturday night and runs into noon on Sunday, when commemoration ceremonies begin.

 

Thank you WBCE.ORG.

 

 

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The Kent State shootings (also known as the May 4 massacre or the Kent State massacre) occurred at Kent State University in the US city of Kent, Ohio, and involved the shooting of unarmed college students by the Ohio National Guard on Monday, May 4, 1970. The guardsmen fired 67 rounds over a period of 13 seconds, killing four students and wounding nine others, one of whom suffered permanent paralysis.

Some of the students who were shot had been protesting against the Cambodian Campaign, which President Richard Nixon announced during a television address on April 30. Other students who were shot had been walking nearby or observing the protest from a distance.

There was a significant national response to the shootings: hundreds of universities, colleges, and high schools closed throughout the United States due to a student strike of four million students, and the event further affected public opinion—at an already socially contentious time—over the role of the United States in the Vietnam War.

Kent State Remembered

 

Published on Apr 26, 2012

One of the most tragic days in American history is described by Rita Rubin Long, a student on the Kent State Campus on May 4, 1970, when Ohio National Guardsmen opened fire on an anti-Vietnam War rally and killed four young people.

 

 

 

 

Historical background

Richard Nixon had been elected President of the United States in 1968, promising to end the Vietnam War. In November 1969, the My Lai Massacre by American troops of between 347 and 504 civilians in a Vietnamese village was exposed, leading to increased public opposition in the United States to the war. The nature of the draft also changed in December 1969, with the first draft lottery since World War II. This eliminated deferments allowed in the prior draft process, affecting many college students and teachers.

The war had appeared to be winding down throughout 1969, so the new invasion of Cambodia angered those who believed it only exacerbated the conflict. Across the country, campuses erupted in protests in what Time called “a nation-wide student strike”, setting the stage for the events of early May 1970.

Timeline

Thursday, April 30

President Nixon announced to the nation that the “Cambodian Incursion” had been launched by United States combat forces.

 

Friday, May 1

At Kent State University a demonstration with about 500 students was held on May 1 on the Commons (a grassy knoll in the center of campus traditionally used as a gathering place for rallies or protests). As the crowd dispersed to attend classes by 1 pm, another rally was planned for May 4 to continue the protest of the expansion of the Vietnam War into Cambodia. There was wide spread anger, and many protesters issued a call to “bring the war home.” A group of history students buried the U.S. Constitution to symbolize that Nixon had killed it.

Trouble exploded in town around midnight when people left a bar and began throwing beer bottles at police cars and breaking downtown store fronts. In the process they broke a bank window, setting off an alarm. The news spread quickly and it resulted in several bars closing early to avoid trouble. Before long, more people had joined the vandalism.

By the time police arrived, a crowd of 120 had already gathered. Some people from the crowd had already lit a small bonfire in the street. The crowd appeared to be a mix of bikers, students, and transient people. A few members of the crowd began to throw beer bottles at the police, and then started yelling obscenities at them. The entire Kent police force was called to duty as well as officers from the county and surrounding communities. Kent Mayor LeRoy Satrom declared a state of emergency, called Ohio Governor Jim Rhodes‘ office to seek assistance, and ordered all of the bars closed. The decision to close the bars early increased the size of the angry crowd. Police eventually succeeded in using tear gas to disperse the crowd from downtown, forcing them to move several blocks back to the campus.

Saturday, May 2

City officials and downtown businesses received threats while rumors proliferated that radical revolutionaries were in Kent to destroy the city and university. Mayor Satrom met with Kent city officials and a representative of the Ohio Army National Guard. Following the meeting Satrom made the decision to call Governor Rhodes and request that the National Guard be sent to Kent, a request that was granted. Because of the rumors and threats, Satrom believed that local officials would not be able to handle future disturbances. The decision to call in the National Guard was made at 5:00 pm, but the guard did not arrive into town that evening until around 10 pm. A large demonstration was already under way on the campus, and the campus Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) building was burning.

The arsonists were never apprehended and no one was injured in the fire. More than a thousand protesters surrounded the building and cheered its burning. Several Kent firemen and police officers were struck by rocks and other objects while attempting to extinguish the blaze. Several fire engine companies had to be called in because protesters carried the fire hose into the Commons and slashed it. The National Guard made numerous arrests and used tear gas; at least one student was slightly wounded with a bayonet.

 

Sunday, May 3

During a press conference at the Kent firehouse, an emotional Governor Rhodes pounded on the desk and called the student protesters un-American, referring to them as revolutionaries set on destroying higher education in Ohio. “We’ve seen here at the city of Kent especially, probably the most vicious form of campus oriented violence yet perpetrated by dissident groups. They make definite plans of burning, destroying, and throwing rocks at police, and at the National Guard and the Highway Patrol. This is when we’re going to use every part of the law enforcement agency of Ohio to drive them out of Kent.

We are going to eradicate the problem. We’re not going to treat the symptoms. And these people just move from one campus to the other and terrorize the community. They’re worse than the brown shirts and the communist element and also the night riders and the vigilantes”, Rhodes said. “They’re the worst type of people that we harbor in America. Now I want to say this. They are not going to take over [the] campus. I think that we’re up against the strongest, well-trained, militant, revolutionary group that has ever assembled in America.” Rhodes can be heard in the recording of his speech yelling and pounding his fists on the desk.

Rhodes also claimed he would obtain a court order declaring a state of emergency that would ban further demonstrations and gave the impression that a situation akin to martial law had been declared; however, he never attempted to obtain such an order.

During the day some students came into downtown Kent to help with cleanup efforts after the rioting, which met with mixed reactions from local businessmen. Mayor Satrom, under pressure from frightened citizens, ordered a curfew until further notice.

Around 8:00 pm, another rally was held on the campus Commons. By 8:45 pm the Guardsmen used tear gas to disperse the crowd, and the students reassembled at the intersection of Lincoln and Main Streets, holding a sit-in with the hopes of gaining a meeting with Mayor Satrom and the university president, Robert White. At 11:00 p.m., the Guard announced that a curfew had gone into effect and began forcing the students back to their dorms. A few students were bayoneted by Guardsmen.

Monday, May 4

On Monday, May 4, a protest was scheduled to be held at noon, as had been planned three days earlier. University officials attempted to ban the gathering, handing out 12,000 leaflets stating that the event was canceled. Despite these efforts an estimated 2,000 people gathered on the university’s Commons, near Taylor Hall. The protest began with the ringing of the campus’s iron Victory Bell (which had historically been used to signal victories in football games) to mark the beginning of the rally, and the first protester began to speak.

Companies An and C, 1/145th Infantry and Troop G of the 2/107th Armored Cavalry, Ohio National Guard (ARNG), the units on the campus grounds, attempted to disperse the students. The legality of the dispersal was later debated at a subsequent wrongful death and injury trial. On appeal, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled that authorities did indeed have the right to disperse the crowd.

The dispersal process began late in the morning with campus patrolman Harold Rice, riding in a National Guard Jeep, approaching the students to read them an order to disperse or face arrest. The protesters responded by throwing rocks, striking one campus Patrolman and forcing the Jeep to retreat.

Just before noon, the Guard returned and again ordered the crowd to disperse. When most of the crowd refused, the Guard used tear gas. Because of wind, the tear gas had little effect in dispersing the crowd, and some launched a second volley of rocks toward the Guard’s line, to chants of “Pigs off campus!” The students lobbed the tear gas canisters back at the National Guardsmen, who wore gas masks.

When it became clear that the crowd was not going to disperse, a group of 77 National Guard troops from A Company and Troop G, withbayonets fixed on their M1 Garand rifles, began to advance upon the hundreds of protesters. As the guardsmen advanced, the protesters retreated up and over Blanket Hill, heading out of The Commons area. Once over the hill, the students, in a loose group, moved northeast along the front of Taylor Hall, with some continuing toward a parking lot in front of Prentice Hall (slightly northeast of and perpendicular to Taylor Hall).

The guardsmen pursued the protesters over the hill, but rather than veering left as the protesters had, they continued straight, heading down toward an athletic practice field enclosed by a chain link fence. Here they remained for about ten minutes, unsure of how to get out of the area short of retracing their path. During this time, the bulk of the students congregated off to the left and front of the guardsmen, approximately 150 to 225 ft (46 to 69 m) away, on the veranda of Taylor Hall. Others were scattered between Taylor Hall and the Prentice Hall parking lot, while still others (perhaps 35 or 40) were standing in the parking lot, or dispersing through the lot as they had been previously ordered.

While on the practice field, the guardsmen generally faced the parking lot which was about 100 yards (91 m) away. At one point, some of the guardsmen knelt and aimed their weapons toward the parking lot, then stood up again. For a few moments, several guardsmen formed a loose huddle and appeared to be talking to one another. They had cleared the protesters from the Commons area, and many students had left, but some stayed and were still angrily confronting the soldiers, some throwing rocks and tear gas canisters. About ten minutes later, the guardsmen began to retrace their steps back up the hill toward the Commons area. Some of the students on the Taylor Hall veranda began to move slowly toward the soldiers as they passed over the top of the hill and headed back down into the Commons.

At 12:24 pm, according to eyewitnesses, a Sgt. Myron Pryor turned and began firing at the students with his .45 pistol. A number of guardsmen nearest the students also turned and fired their M1 Garand rifles at the students. In all, 29 of the 77 guardsmen claimed to have fired their weapons, using a final total of 67 rounds of ammunition. The shooting was determined to have lasted only 13 seconds, although John Kifner reported in the New York Times that “it appeared to go on, as a solid volley, for perhaps a full minute or a little longer.” The question of why the shots were fired remains widely debated.

 

 

The Adjutant General of the Ohio National Guard told reporters that a sniper had fired on the guardsmen, which itself remains a debated allegation. Many guardsmen later testified that they were in fear for their lives, which was questioned partly because of the distance between them and the students killed or wounded. Time magazine later concluded that “triggers were not pulled accidentally at Kent State.” The President’s Commission on Campus Unrest avoided probing the question of why the shootings happened. Instead, it harshly criticized both the protesters and the Guardsmen, but it concluded that “the indiscriminate firing of rifles into a crowd of students and the deaths that followed were unnecessary, unwarranted, and inexcusable.”

The shootings killed four students and wounded nine. Two of the four students killed, Allison Krause and Jeffrey Miller, had participated in the protest, and the other two, Sandra Scheuer and William Knox Schroeder, had been walking from one class to the next at the time of their deaths. Schroeder was also a member of the campusROTC battalion. Of those wounded, none was closer than 71 feet (22 m) to the guardsmen. Of those killed, the nearest (Miller) was 225 feet (69 m) away, and their average distance from the guardsmen was 345 feet (105 m).

 

 

Kent State Documentary

 

 

 

 

Eyewitness accounts

Two men who were present related what they saw.

Unidentified speaker 1:

Suddenly, they turned around, got on their knees, as if they were ordered to, they did it all together, aimed. And personally, I was standing there saying, they’re not going to shoot, they can’t do that. If they are going to shoot, it’s going to be blank.

 

 

Unidentified speaker 2:

The shots were definitely coming my way, because when a bullet passes your head, it makes a crack. I hit the ground behind the curve, looking over. I saw a student hit. He stumbled and fell, to where he was running towards the car. Another student tried to pull him behind the car, bullets were coming through the windows of the car.

 

As this student fell behind the car, I saw another student go down, next to the curb, on the far side of the automobile, maybe 25 or 30 yards from where I was lying. It was maybe 25, 30, 35 seconds of sporadic firing.

 

The firing stopped. I lay there maybe 10 or 15 seconds. I got up, I saw four or five students lying around the lot. By this time, it was like mass hysteria. Students were crying, they were screaming for ambulances. I heard some girl screaming, “They didn’t have blank, they didn’t have blank,” no, they didn’t.

 

 

May 4, after the shootings

Immediately after the shootings, many angry students were ready to launch an all-out attack on the National Guard. Many faculty members, led by geology professor and faculty marshal Glenn Frank, pleaded with the students to leave the Commons and to not give in to violent escalation:

I don’t care whether you’ve never listened to anyone before in your lives. I am begging you right now. If you don’t disperse right now, they’re going to move in, and it can only be a slaughter. Would you please listen to me? Jesus Christ, I don’t want to be a part of this … !

 

After 20 minutes of speaking, the students left the Commons, as ambulance personnel tended to the wounded, and the Guard left the area. Professor Frank’s son, also present that day, said, “He absolutely saved my life and hundreds of others”.

 

Casualties

Killed (and approximate distance from the National Guard):

  • Jeffrey Glenn Miller; age 20; 265 ft (81 m) shot through the mouth; killed instantly
  • Allison B. Krause; age 19; 343 ft (105 m) fatal left chest wound; died later that day
  • William Knox Schroeder; age 19; 382 ft (116 m) fatal chest wound; died almost an hour later in a hospital while undergoing surgery
  • Sandra Lee Scheuer; age 20; 390 ft (120 m) fatal neck wound; died a few minutes later from loss of blood

 

 

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Jackson State killings

 

The Jackson State killings occurred on Friday May 15,1970, at Jackson State College (now Jackson State University) in Jackson, Mississippi. On May 14, 1970, a group of student protesters against the Vietnam War, specifically the United States invasion of Cambodia, were confronted by city and state police. Shortly after midnight, the police opened fire, killing two students and injuring twelve. The event happened only 11 days after National Guardsmen killed four students in similar protests at Kent State University in Ohio, which had first captured national attention.

 

Timeline

A group of around a hundred African-American students had gathered on Lynch Street (named after John R. Lynch), which bisected the campus, on the evening of Thursday, May 14 to protest the United States invasion of Cambodia during the Vietnam War. By around 9:30 p.m. the students had started fires, thrown rocks at white motorists and overturned vehicles, including a large truck. Firefighters dispatched to the scene quickly requested police support.

The police responded in force. At least 75 Jackson police units from the city of Jackson and the Mississippi Highway Patrol attempted to control the crowd while the firemen extinguished the fires. After the firefighters had left the scene, shortly before midnight, the police moved to disperse the crowd then gathered in front of Alexander Hall, a women’s dormitory.

Advancing to within 50 to 100 feet (15 to 30 m) of the crowd, at roughly 12:05 a.m., officers opened fire on the dormitory. The exact cause of the shooting and the moments leading up to it are unclear. Authorities claim they saw a sniper on one of the building’s upper floors and were being sniped in all directions. Later two city policemen and one state patrolman reported minor injuries from flying glass, and an FBI search for evidence of sniper fire was negative. The students say they did not provoke the officers. The gunfire lasted for 30 seconds, and at least 140 shots were fired by a reported 40 state highway patrolmen using shotguns from 30 to 50 feet. Every window on the narrow side of the building facing Lynch Street was shattered.

The crowd scattered and a number of people were trampled or cut by falling glass. Phillip Lafayette Gibbs, 21, a junior, and James Earl Green, 17, a senior and miler at nearby Jim Hill High School, were killed; twelve others were wounded. Gibbs was killed near Alexander Hall by buckshot, while Green was killed behind the police line in front of B. F. Roberts Hall, also with a shotgun.

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Aftermath

The President’s Commission on Campus Unrest investigated this event and also held public hearings at Kent State, in Los Angeles, and Washington, DC. There were no arrests in connection with the deaths at Jackson State, although the Commission concluded “that the 28-second fusillade from police officers was an unreasonable, unjustified overreaction…A broad barrage of gunfire in response to reported and unconfirmed sniper fire is never warranted.”

The University has memorialized the tragic occurrence by naming the area of the shootings Gibbs-Green Plaza. The Plaza is a large, multi-level brick and concrete patio and mall on the eastern side of the JSU campus that borders J. R. Lynch Street and links Alexander Hall to the University Green. A large stone monument in front of Alexander Hall near the plaza also honors the two victims. Damage to the façade of Alexander Hall caused by the rounds fired by the police is still visible.

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From Remember the Jackson State Killings, Too. By Mr. 

Philip Gibbs James Earl Green

Philip Gibbs
James Earl Green

Beginning on May 12, 1970, a week after the Kent State killings, students at Jackson State College in Mississippi (it became Jackson State University in 1974) began to demonstrate for the same reason students in Ohio and elsewhere were demonstrating—against Nixon’s invasion of Cambodia. Most of the students demonstrating at Jackson State were black.  It was an affront to police, but also to residents, who took to riding by the demonstrators and launching racist insults. In return, students began launching stones at the passing cars. The night of May 14, students set a dumpster on fire. Firefighters responded, so did the Mississippi Highway Patrol — in riot gear, supposedly to protect the firefighters. The fire was put out. The troopers didn’t leave. They roamed.

They came about a group of 100 students outside a women’s dormitory, or 400, according to the patrol. It was midnight. The same excuse was heard: a “sniper” fired at the Highway Patrol from the dormitory. The patrol responded by letting loose with shotguns, firing 275 rounds into the dormitory. Of course, no evidence of a sniper was found. The dormitory’s every window was blown out. Nine black students were wounded. Two were killed: Philip Gibbs, a junior in a prelaw program, married, father of one child, who was about to turn 11 months, wife expecting another, and James Earl Green a 17-year-old high school student who had just finished his shift at a grocery store and was just walking through campus.

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Green worked six hours a day for $12 a week to help his widowed mother, three younger brothers and a sister. Senator Birch Bayh of Indiana visited the scene days later with Walter Mondale, then a senator from Minnesota. “What we have seen,” Bayh said, “is enough to make a grown man cry, that this can go on in the United States of America.” And Mondale: “An assault on the dignity of this country was made here in an utterly disgraceful fashion.”

A federal commission would eventually call the patrol’s action at Jackson State “clearly unwarranted.” But those were just words. The commission also found that the officers did what they did because they thought they’d never be disciplined. And they never were. Not a single person was prosecuted. A $13.8 million civil suit by the victim’s families was dismissed. To this day of course, the Jackson State killings continue to be virtually ignored (as I had ignored them), although there seems to be a continuing moral in there if one were to take that line—“The uncontrolled use of firearms by police and National Guardsmen has become a menace to internal security”—and apply it to Americans wielding arms in Iraq. Northing much has changed except the rioters’ color and identity.

Not even the ease with which American “authorities” from Nixon to the current crop of commanders call their opponents thugs or terrorists has changed. Those students back in 1970 weren’t called any less. The bullets are only demonization’s climactic crown jewels.

Thank you Remember the Jackson State Killings, Too.


Laurel Krause (Allison Krause's sister)  Kent State Truth Tribunal

Laurel Krause (Allison Krause’s sister)
Kent State Truth Tribunal

 

Wounded (and approximate distance from the National Guard):

  • Joseph Lewis Jr.; 71 ft (22 m); hit twice in the right abdomen and left lower leg
  • John R. Cleary; 110 ft (34 m); upper left chest wound
  • Thomas Mark Grace; 225 ft (69 m); struck in left ankle
  • Alan Michael Canfora; 225 ft (69 m); hit in his right wrist
  • Dean R. Kahler; 300 ft (91 m); back wound fracturing the vertebrae, permanently paralyzed from the chest down
  • Douglas Alan Wrentmore; 329 ft (100 m); hit in his right knee
  • James Dennis Russell; 375 ft (114 m); hit in his right thigh from a bullet and in the right forehead by birdshot, both wounds minor
  • Robert Follis Stamps; 495 ft (151 m); hit in his right buttock
  • Donald Scott MacKenzie; 750 ft (230 m); neck woundIn the Presidents Commission on Campus Unrest (pp. 273–274) they mistakenly list Thomas V. Grace, who is Thomas Mark Grace’s father, as the Thomas Grace injured.

 

All those shot were students in good standing at the university.

Although initial newspaper reports had inaccurately stated that a number of National Guard members had been killed or seriously injured, only one Guardsman, Sgt. Lawrence Shafer, was injured seriously enough to require medical treatment, approximately 10 to 15 minutes prior to the shootings. Shafer is also mentioned in a memo from November 15, 1973. The FBI memo was prepared by the Cleveland Office and is referred to by Field Office file # 44-703. It reads as follows:

Upon contacting appropriate officers of the Ohio National Guard at Ravenna and Akron, Ohio, regarding ONG radio logs and the availability of service record books, the respective ONG officer advised that any inquiries concerning the Kent State University incident should be direct to the Adjutant General, ONG, Columbus, Ohio. Three persons were interviewed regarding a reported conversation by Sgt Lawrence Shafer, ONG, that Shafer had bragged about “taking a bead” on Jeffrey Miller at the time of the ONG shooting and each interviewee was unable to substantiate such a conversation.

 

 

In an interview broadcast in 1986 on the ABC News documentary series Our World, Shafer identified the person that he fired at as Joseph Lewis.

 

 

 

Kent State shootings

 

 

 

 

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KENT, Ohio – A large crowd gathered just after 11 p.m. Saturday behind the Taylor Hall at Kent State University to honor the fallen. The crowd stood near the Victory Bell holding candles in remembrance of May 4th, 1970.

It was 44 years ago that four students were killed after 67 shots were fired in 13 seconds by the National Guard.

The students were pushed over to the parking lot of Prentice Hall as they were protesting the Vietnam War.

Students and volunteers are still standing in the parking lot area where the four students died. The students will stand there for 12 hours honoring the victims in the very spot where they were shot and killed.

 

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