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Moms Demand Action: Time To Block Gun Violence Against Women


 

By Jueseppi B.

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Time to block gun violence against women

 

By Chelsea Parsons and Shannon Watts & Moms Demand Action

 

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If October is like every other month, 46 women in the United States will be murdered with a gun by an intimate partner.

 

Public attention was gripped by the most recent mass shooting, at the Navy Yard in Washington, but during Domestic Violence Awareness month, we need to focus on the fact that women face a heightened risk of gun violence.

 

Women are more than three-and-a-half times as likely to be killed by an intimate partner as men. A gun in a household with a history of domestic violence increases by 20 times the risk that a woman will be killed there, compared to households without guns. Similarly, more than 75 percent of stalking victims are women — and stalkers use weapons to harm or threaten their victims in 1 out of 5 cases. The statistics show: Guns plus a history of domestic violence or stalking equals increased risk of death to women.

 

Tragically, there are numerous stories that bear this out. Zina Daniel obtained a restraining order against her estranged husband after he made numerous threats against her. Teri Lee sought police protection and obtained a restraining order against her ex-boyfriend after he broke into her home and threatened her with butcher knives. Stacey Sutera notified police when an acquaintance began stalking her, and ultimately helped secure a criminal conviction against him. Laura Acevez sought police protection from an abusive ex-boyfriend and told police that he owned guns. These women were all shot and killed by the men who abused them, even after seeking help from the criminal justice system. Unfortunately, there are so many others.

 

Congress recognized the risks posed by domestic abusers with guns by passing legislation in the 1990s prohibiting people convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors or subject to certain restraining orders from possessing guns. These laws have been effective in preventing some dangerous individuals from obtaining guns: Since November 1998, more than 104,000 gun sales to convicted domestic abusers have been prevented by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, as well as an additional 44,000 sales to abusers subject to restraining orders.

 

Yet women like Daniel, Lee, Sutera and Acevez are still vulnerable to gun violence. Why?

 

Because federal laws have significant loopholes that permit dangerous predators easy access to guns. Women legislators — Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) in the Senate and Representatives Lois Capps (D-Calif.) and Janice Hahn (D-Calif.) in the House — have introduced bills to address these issues. Their bills are still in committee and we urge Congress to act quickly to pass this important legislation to better protect women.

 

There are four significant weaknesses in the current law that leave women vulnerable to gun violence. First, background checks are not required for all gun sales. The current background check system makes it easy for felons and domestic abusers to buy guns with no questions asked from unlicensed sellers at gun shows, online and just about anywhere else. This is how Daniel’s killer was able to buy the gun he used to murder his estranged wife and two others, despite the restraining order against him.

 

Second, the current gun possession ban on domestic abusers fails to cover dating partners. Federal law protects women victimized by spouses or co-parents, not dating partners. This is why Lee’s abuser was permitted to own the gun he used to kill her despite the restraining order she obtained to protect herself from him.

 

Third, convicted stalkers can buy guns. Seven states bar people convicted of misdemeanor stalking crimes from possessing guns. But federal law allows these convicted stalkers to buy guns, despite the often increasingly violent nature of their behavior. This is why Sutera’s murderer was able to own a gun even after his conviction for stalking her.

 

Fourth, law enforcement isn’t doing enough to take guns away from domestic abusers. Too often domestic abusers who are prohibited from gun ownership are not forced to surrender guns they already own. This is why Acevez’s killer was able to keep his guns, even after she obtained a restraining order and informed police that he continued to own guns.

 

The bottom line is that it is just too easy for men who seek to harm women to buy and possess guns. As fatal gun violence against women continues, Congress must take action to close these loopholes that put all women in danger.

 

Read the full article at Reuters.com

 

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AMBER ALERT: Amber Alert Issued For Central Texas Toddler ~ 2-Year-Old Jaelynn Gucciana Johnson


 

By Jueseppi B.

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Copperas Cove PD issues Amber Alert

 

Jacob Brooks | Herald staff writer

 

Jaelynn Gucciana Johnson (left) and Shemeka Denise Johnson

Jaelynn Gucciana Johnson (left) and Shemeka Denise Johnson. 

 

Anyone with information, should call police at (254) 547-8222.

 

Copperas Cove Police Department issued an Amber Alert in regards to a missing Copperas Cove child Tuesday afternoon.

 

The grandparents of Jaelyn Gucciana Johnson, 2, reported that their granddaughter had been taken from their residence by the toddler’s mother on Aug. 5, according to a CCPD press release.

 

“The grandparents, who have custody of Jaelyn, reported that their daughter who is the toddler’s biological mother Shemeka Denise Johnson had taken Jaelyn,” the press release stated.

 

Police said the grandparents made contact by telephone with the mother on Aug. 8, but she refused to acknowledge where the child was. It is believed that Shemeka Denise Johnson is staying with friends or acquaintances in or around the Killeen area, police said.

 

The case continues to be investigated by the Copperas Cove Police Department.

 

Anyone with information, should call police at (254) 547-8222.

 

Jaelyn Gucciana Johnson Jaelyn Gucciana Johnson was last seen at 9:45 a.m. Aug. 5, 2013. She is a black 2-year-old girl who weighs about 40 pounds. She has brown eyes and black hair. Copperas Cove issued an Amber Alert for Jaelyn early this evening.

Jaelyn Gucciana Johnson
Jaelyn Gucciana Johnson was last seen at 9:45 a.m. Aug. 5, 2013. She is a black 2-year-old girl who weighs about 40 pounds. She has brown eyes and black hair. Copperas Cove issued an Amber Alert for Jaelyn early this evening.

 

 

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CORYELL COUNTY, Texas -

 

An Amber Alert has been issued for a toddler in central Texas.

 

Officials said 2-year-old Jaelynn Gucciana Johnson was last seen on Wednesday morning in Copperas Cove, which is located about 70 miles northeast of Austin.

 

Jaelynn is believed to be with 19-year-old Shemeka Denise Johnson. Officials did not say how they are related.

 

Jaelynn has brown eyes and black hair.

 

Shemeka Johnson is described by authorities as 5 foot 4 inches, 165 pounds, with brown eyes and black hair.

 

Anyone with information is asked to call DPS at 254-547-8222.

 

A vehicle description was not provided by authorities.

 

 

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Free Carlos Riley Jr.!


 

By Jueseppi B.

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Free Carlos Riley Jr!

 

Petition by

Liberty and Justice for Carlos Riley Jr

 

To help bring awareness to racial profiling, unlawful arrest, covering up the wrong doings of police officers and violation of civil rights.

 

We do not know everything about what occurred when Officer Kelly Stewart approached Carlos Riley Jr. on December 18, 2012. Our understanding will undoubtedly increase as Carlos’ lawyers investigate these incidents and obtain additional information from the police and prosecuting attorneys. But what we know so far has persuaded us that the following is true:

 

1. On December 18, at about 10 a.m., Carlos had just dropped his girlfriend off at work and had stopped to talk with an acquaintance. Without any lawful reason for doing so, Officer Stewart, who was driving an unmarked police vehicle and wearing civilian clothes, pulled up behind Carlos.

 

 

2. Carlos did not know that the person who came up behind him was a police officer and drove away, as he was legally entitled to do. Officer Stewart, without legal justification, chased Carlos and turned on the lights on his vehicle.

 

3. When Carlos saw the lights, he immediately stopped. Officer Stewart came up to the side of Carlos’ car and wrongly accused him of smoking marijuana… Carlos denied smoking or having marijuana in the car.

 

4. Office Stewart then jumped into the car and began to choke and punch Carlos. Carlos could not breathe and struggled to free himself. Officer Stewart then threatened to kill him and began to draw his gun. Office Stewart shot himself in the leg.

 

5. Carlos feared that the next shot would be for him and was afraid that he would be killed. He grabbed the gun and pulled it away from the officer. He then helped the officer out of the car and fled to protect himself because he thought he would be shot and killed when other officers arrived at the scene.

 

6. Within a few hours Carlos voluntarily turned himself in to the Durham Police Department. He is now facing state and federal charges.

 

7. This situation developed because of the actions of Officer Stewart and the policies and practices of the Durham Police Department. Officer Stewart should never have stopped or chased Carlos, should not have jumped into his car, should not have punched or choked Carlos, and should not have drawn his gun. The Police Department is responsible because it does not properly train or supervise its officers and does not discipline officers who violate peoples’ rights.. Instead, like many police departments across the country it engages in racial profiling and allows its officers to abuse people, particularly young African American men.

 

 

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From Workers World:

 

Defend Carlos Riley Jr. against police brutality

 

By  on July 8, 2013

 

Durham, N.C. — On Dec. 18, 21-year-old Carlos Riley Jr., who is African American, was dropping off his companion around 10 a.m., when he stopped to speak with an acquaintance in Durham, N.C. Shortly after, police officer Kelly A. Stewart, who is also African American, wearing plain clothes, pulled behind him driving an unmarked police vehicle. As Riley drove off, Stewart followed him, turned his lights on and pulled him over. Riley stopped immediately, turned the car off and left his seat belt on.

 

Stewart then approached the vehicle, accusing Riley of smoking marijuana. There was none.  Stewart was unable to find one illegal thing in Riley’s vehicle. Frustrated, Stewart then began yelling obscenities and cursing. Riley provided his license, ignored the bait and waited for further instruction. Without any justification, Stewart punched Riley in the face. Riley’s attempt to defend himself was then interpreted as validation for Stewart to exert full force. Stewart entered the vehicle, and choked and punched Riley. Stewart then threatened to kill the young man and began to draw his gun.

 

Fearing for his life and barely breathing, Riley struggled to free himself. Entangled, Stewart fired his weapon, shooting himself in the right leg. Riley was well aware of the recent cases of Chavis Carter, Trayvon Martin and Oscar Grant, who had been killed by police or vigilantes. So, he batted the gun out of Stewart’s hand. He then assisted Stewart out of the vehicle and fled to protect himself. Riley knew that once backup arrived, they were guaranteed to shoot first and ask questions later.

 

Hours after, Riley received word that the Durham Police Department had seized control of his grandmother’s home, wreaking havoc on neighbors and surrounding residents. Black men between the ages of 15 and 65 were stopped, frisked and temporarily detained. Helicopters and SWAT units terrorized women and children. Local law enforcement officers ransacked several apartments and held residents hostage, putting many on lockdown in their own community. Those in custody during the search for Riley could overhear the dispatch call to “Bring him down” and “Shoot to kill.”

 

Riley voluntarily turned himself in with the assistance of his father, Carlos Riley Sr. Two escorts, LaDarius Riley, Carlos’ brother, and a friend, Dustin Portee, assisted Riley Jr. in turning himself in to try to prevent officers from carrying out further brutality.  Though neither escort was present at the scene of the initial stop, they were arrested and charged with “accessory after the fact.” Portee is being harassed by the members of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

 

City police officers and the local sheriff’s department have targeted Riley family members. Despite requests from the Riley family, medical records and forensics results have remained sealed. Meanwhile, Riley Jr. is imprisoned on charges of assaulting a law enforcement officer, robbery with a dangerous weapon and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Authorities are holding him on $1 million bail in the Durham County Jail. The Durham Police Department has yet to release a valid report or formal statement.

 

 

Racial profiling widespread in Durham

Without legal justification, Stewart should never have stopped Riley Jr.  Recent reports suggest racial profiling is a widespread practice in Durham. It does not help when officers aren’t properly trained in conflict resolution. They are also not disciplined for violating residents’ basic rights.

 

Brian Schnee would still be on the police force today if it weren’t for organized weekly protests calling for him to resign.  Just two months prior to the Stewart shooting, Schnee brutally assaulted Stephanie Nickerson, a 25-year-old Black woman, by punching her multiple times in the face. Nickerson, a local student and Navy veteran, had asked to see a search warrant before officers randomly trampled through her friend’s apartment. She was brutally beaten, while other officers watched nearby. Both cases involved police misuse of force against young people of color. Charges were dropped against Nickerson as the result of strong protests.

 

In Durham, Black suspects are nine times more likely than white suspects to be incarcerated for criminal conduct.  This is the highest racial disparity in any of North Carolina’s 100 counties. Black motorists are more than 200 percent more likely to be searched by law enforcement in routine traffic stops.These statistics were reported last year by attorney Scott Holmes in “End Racial Profiling in Durham Now.” (TinyURL.com/n2nf9y7) Local residents know that such patterns are caused by systematic discrimination.

 

Activists and Riley’s supporters are not only demanding justice, they’re actively seeking an independent community investigation. They are calling for all charges to be dropped against Carlos Riley Jr., Portee and LaDarius Riley. Community members are now involved in public protests that are sprouting up on college campuses and in front of the Durham Police Department headquarters.

 

Police shootings in the United States typically involve white men violating the safety of Black youth. Not in this case. Stewart is a young African-American male. Unfortunately, Black officers generally have to prove themselves. They too subscribe to the same practices of institutional racism as white police officers. Racial profiling becomes a part of the job, an occupational requirement, particularly for patrol officers. Unbeknownst to the public, patrol officers’ numbers of arrests have a direct effect on their promotions and pay raises. It is a recipe for injustice.

 

Some critics have questioned whether Stewart actually shot himself. Many have expressed doubts about how a well-trained police officer could make this type of careless mistake. In the case of Alan Blueford, it is well documented through ballistics reports that Oakland police officer Miguel Masso shot himself in the foot. Though mainstream media reported that high school senior Blueford died in a “gun battle” with Masso, more than a dozen witnesses testified that Blueford was unarmed and that Masso shot himself and then Blueford.

 

When NFL wide receiver Plaxico Burress shot himself in the thigh in 2008, he was automatically found guilty and served prison time for it. When a police officer makes the same mistake, it can’t possibly be true.

 

 

Movement calls for justice

Stewart’s supporters have tried to demonize Riley, exaggerating and overly emphasizing his past. Riley’s supporters are well aware that he was on probation for petty drug possession at the time he was attacked, but that’s no reason for a cop to assault or pull a gun on someone who was cooperating. That’s no reason to end a young man’s life.

 

Riley had 10 days until his probation would have legally been lifted. He was a good son and dedicated companion. He was loved and respected by former teachers. He was also scheduled to appear for a job interview the following day. If not for his struggle to survive, Riley would probably be dead right now.

 

Some say the role of the police department is to protect and serve. How unfortunate that for Black, Brown and poor people the only thing they’re served are vast portions of injustice, brutality and misconduct. In Detroit, during a “reality show” taping, police shot to death 7-year-old Aiyana Stanley-Jones. Somehow, the recorded video of the shooting was never found.

 

Police cover-ups always paint rogue officers as the victims. These national smear campaigns that mask brutality are merely a reflection of the U.S justice system.  The more that average citizens become change agents against police terror, the more that cover-ups can be exposed. The more that voices are raised, the more that lives of Black youth can be saved in the future.

 

Join us as we take a stand against police brutality and excessive force. Join us in the struggle for justice for Carlos Riley Jr. Connect with the movement at carlosrileyjr.weebly.com or via email at car121812@gmail.com. Sign the Liberty Petition for Carlos Riley Jr. at change.org. Join us on Twitter @Justiceforcrj and on Facebook at Liberty and Justice for Carlos Riley Jr.

 

Sources for this article include the blog, Liberty and Justice  for Carlos Riley Jr., and statements by  attorney Walter Riley and Riley family members.

 

Lamont Lilly is a contributing editor with the Triangle Free Press, a human rights delegate with Witness for Peace and an organizer with the Durham Branch of Workers World Party.

 

Thank you Workers World.

 

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Statewide Amber Alert Issued For Missing 8-Year-Old Cleveland Boy: Kevin J. Criss, Jr.


By Jueseppi B.

 

Kevin J. Criss, Jr.

 

 

 

From The

The News Herald, local news, sports and weather serving Lake County and Northern Ohio

&  By Matthew Skrajner
MSkrajner@News-Herald.com
@MattNewsHerald

 

The Cleveland Police Department issued an Amber Alert early Monday morning for a 8-year-old Cleveland boy reportedly taken by his non-custodial father.

 

The missing boy, Kevin J. Criss, Jr., was last seen on Sunday at about 4 p.m. at a home on West Boulevard. Police describe the boy as a 4-foot-2-inches white male weighing 65 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing a blue Cleveland Indians T-shirt and dark blue shorts.

 

The man suspected of taking the boy, Kevin Criss, 36, is described as a white male standing 5-feet-10-inches tall and weighing 175 pounds. He allegedly took the child from a family member, saying he was taking his son swimming at a hotel.

 

 

The suspect Kevin Criss.

 

Kevin Criss is also “a suspected meth addict and paranoid with violent tendencies,” police said.

 

 

He also made statements about going to California.

 

The pair is believed to be travelling in a 2003 gold-colored Oldsmobile Silhouette minivan with a license plate of FOA3605.

 

 

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Call 1-877-AMBER-OH (1-877-262-3764) or 911 if you see the child, suspect or vehicle.

 

 

Black Talk Radio News Exclusive: Amos G. Smith “gunned down” By Union City Police


 

By Jueseppi B.

 

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Added by Black Talk Radio News on May 23, 2013

 

 

Exclusive: Amos G. Smith “gunned down” by Union City Police

 

Black Talk Radio New / Occupy The Microphone Exclusive: 26 yr-old Amos G. Smith was “gunned down” by Union City Police on March 2, 2013 according to Smith family attorney John L. Burris. California Bay Area police shot and killed four young black men in a span of 27 hours after two Santa Cruz officers were shot by a gunman.

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you Black Talk Radio News.

 

 

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