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Poll Finds 63 Percent of Latino Voters Personally Know an Undocumented Immigrant

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Immigration reform is once again the number one political issue for Latino voters.

Latino Decisions released new polling data [PDF] today that found 58 percent of Latino registered voters now cite immigration reform as the top priority for Congress and the President, up from 35 percent in November 2012.

On the Latino Decisions blog, Matt Barreto summarized the polls findings and explained why immigration reform is back on top as the number one issue for Latinos voters:

One reason is that 63% of Latino voters say they personally know someone who is an undocumented immigrant, either a member of their family or a close personal friend. Further, 39% of Latino voters say they personally know someone, or a family who has faced deportation or detention for immigration reasons, and increase of 14 points over 2011, when 25% of Latino voters said they personally knew someone who had faced deportation or detention. It is clear that the immigration reform issue is one that Latinos agree with in principle, but that Latino voters are also directly connected to, and intertwined with the undocumented immigrant population in the United States. Finally, the poll asked Latino voters if they knew any young immigrants who had applied for the 2012 “deferred action” program that would allow DREAM Act-eligible immigrants to live in the U.S. and attend college with temporary visas. More than one in five Latino voters (22%) knows someone who has already applied for deferred action, with 18% saying they know someone who is eligible, but not yet applied.

“There is no segmenting Latinos into those for whom immigration is important and those who have little interest. Immigration reform is a highly salients issue across all generations, national origin groups and even political parties. Latino voters are asking for comprehensive immigration reform. Period,” said Gary Segura, co-founder of Latino Decisions in a statement.

Latino Decisions interviewed 800 Latino registered voters via landline and mobile phone, across all 50 states, from February 15-26, 2013. Interviews were conducted in English or Spanish.

The poll was sponsored by America’s Voice, National Council of La Raza, and SEIU.

Mee Moua Politely Schools GOP Senator Jeff Sessions on Separating Families

Mee Moua Politely Schools GOP Senator Jeff Sessions on Separating Families

At a Senate Judiciary hearing on how comprehensive immigration reform should address the needs of women and families on Monday Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) argued family reunification policies should be cut out of the immigration system.

Immigration reform advocates at the hearing defended programs allowing immigrants to bring extended family members to the U.S., including adult siblings or adult children.

“Children will always be our children whether they’re over the age of 21 or not,” said Mee Moua, chief executive of the Asian American Justice Center and one of the witnesses at Monday’s hearing. “For us to start thinking about which members of our family we’re going to trade away is a dramatic and drastic departure from the core values of what has been driving this country since the founding days.”

At one point during the hearing Moua took the opportunity to give Sessions a history lesson and a piece of her mind.

Transcript of the exchange is below:

MOUA: Senator Sessions, coming from the Asian American community when in the 1880s we were the first people to be excluded explicitly by the United States immigration policy I’m well aware that this country has never hesitated in the way that it chooses to exercise its authority to permit people to either enter or depart its borders. And we know that the Asian American community in particular didn’t get to enjoy the benefit of immigration to this country until the 1960s when those restrictive policies were lifted. So I know very well and very aware that…

SESSIONS: Well let me just say, it seems to me. It’s perfectly logical to think there are two individuals, let’s say in a good friendly country like Honduras. One is a valedictorian of his class, has two years of college, learned English and very much has a vision to come to the United States and the other one has dropped out of high school, has minimum skills. Both are 20 years of age and that latter person has a brother here. What would be in the interest of the United States? …

MOUA: Senator I think that under your scenario people can conclude about which is in the best interest of the United States. I think the more realistic scenario is that in the second situation that individual will be female, would not have been permitted to get an education and if we would create a system where there would be some kind of preference given to say education, or some other kind of metrics, I think that it would truly disadvantage specifically women and their opportunity to come into this country.

On January 29, 2002, Mee Moua received over 51 percent of the votes in a four-way race to win the special election in Senate District 67 on St. Paul, Minnesota’s east side, becoming the first Hmong elected official in the United States.

(h/t Think Progress via Angry Asian Man)

Meet David Floyd, the Man At the Center of the NYPD’s Stop-and-Frisk Trial

Meet David Floyd, the Man At the Center of the NYPD's Stop-and-Frisk Trial

On the first day of testimony in the Stop-and-Frisk trial, lead plaintiff David Floyd took the stand and testified that he’d been humiliated by the NYPD when they stopped him twice near his Bronx home.

Here’s more from the Huffington Post:

The Center for Constitutional Rights, a non-profit civil rights legal group, is bringing the lawsuit, Floyd v. City of New York, against the city, alleging stop and frisk as it is currently being practiced violates constitutional protections against racial discrimination and unreasonable search.

…Floyd, who is black, is currently studying to become a doctor. He testified for more than an hour on Monday, wearing a dress shirt and tie, and recalled in a strong, even voice two police stops near his house.

In April 2007, Floyd said, he was stopped by three police officers who demanded his identification and then proceeded to pat him down from his groin to his ankle on both legs. Despite telling the officers that he did not consent to the search they went ahead, one using a finger to search in Floyd’s pants.

The entire stop lasted no more than 10 minutes, but for Floyd it was a jarring experience. He said he felt “frustrated, humiliated — because it was on my block where I live, and I wasn’t doing anything.” All he could think, he said, was that he wanted to get back to the safety of his home.

Floyd’s story is an interesting one, but it’s also a common one. Read more about his first day of testimony over at The Huffington Post.

NYPD Officer Says ‘There Are Definitely Quotas’ for Arrests

NYPD Officer Says 'There Are Definitely Quotas' for Arrests

This spells trouble for the outgoing administration of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg:

Audio obtained by The Nation confirms an instance of New York City’s police union cooperating with the NYPD in setting arrest quotas for the department’s officers. According to some officers and critics of quotas, the practice has played a direct role in increasing the number of stop-and-frisk encounters since Mayor Michael Bloomberg came to office. Patrolmen who spoke to The Nation explained that the pressure from superiors to meet quota goals has caused some officers to seek out or even manufacture arrests to avoid department retaliation.

Watch the video above for details. And read more over at The Nation.

New Report Lays Out a Blueprint for Grassroots Communication Strategies

New Report Lays Out a Blueprint for Grassroots Communication Strategies

These days, there are lots of ways to tell a story. You’ve got traditional media outlets, blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. But what happens when you don’t just want to tell a story, but you want to change it? That’s a big concern among today’s community organizers. And today, a coalition of grassroots communication strategists released a new report that offers insight into how some groups are making it work.

The report is called “Echoing Justice: Communications Strategies for Community Organizing in the 21st Century” and its key finding is that grassroots groups do a lot with just few resources to change the framing of stories. The report aims to lay out a path that will help more groups meaningfully create and interrupt the media messages that we hear about issues of racial justice. The coalition of groups who wrote the report include the Center for Media Justice, the Praxis Project, the Center for Story-Based Strategy, the Movement Strategy Center, and others.

In total, 56 grassroots organizations participated in a survey that found more than one third of them spend less than $10,000 annually on communications. Eighty percent of respondents said that their communications staff has a year or less of experience of training. That means that there’s lots of good work going on around issues of race, poverty, and gender equity, but comparatively few people hear about it. Compare those numbers to the seasoned right wing political operatives who spend millions to spread conservative messages. It’s a lopsided game.

The good news is that when grassroots groups make an impact, they do so in a big way. Like many big cities, Miami’s low income resident have felt the sting of a steady rise in gentrification over the past several years. In 2006, the Miami Workers Center was able to help change the perception of the city’s low-income residents by building a large and powerful community-based coalition that caught the eye of an investigative reporter at The Miami Herald. That collaboration ultimately led to the Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation “House of Lies”, in which that exposed a series of ill-fated government housing deals.

Read the whole report over at the Center for Media Justice’s website.

Touré Makes the Case Against Calling Immigrants ‘Illegals’ on MSNBC

Touré Makes the Case Against Calling Immigrants 'Illegals' on MSNBC

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

On Monday writer and cultural critic Touré made a case to his co-anchors on NBC News’ “The Cycle” to stop labeling undocumented immigrants as “illegal immigrants.”

“We don’t say treat Martha as an illegal business woman,” Touré said after pointing out being in the country without proper authorization is a civil infraction and not a crime. His co-hosts conservative commentator S.E. Cupp, Salon writer Steve Kornacki and former Congressional candidate Krystal Ball all remained silent and quickly pivoted away from the i-word discussion.

Touré’s comments came in a segment about the Supreme Court hearing arguments over Arizona’s proposition 200, the 2004 measure that required proof of citizenship to vote.

Arizona Wants Birth Certificate to Vote, But Not For Weapons Permit

Arizona Wants Birth Certificate to Vote, But Not For Weapons Permit

Should you have to show your birth certificate in order to register to vote? Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments over an Arizona state law passed in 2004 that requires proof of citizenship documents to determine voter registration legitimacy. The federal National Voter Registration Act says we only need to swear by affidavit that we are citizens, under penalty of perjury, to register to vote. But Arizona added the birth certificate test, mainly under the belief that unnaturalized immigrants were illegally registering and voting, despite any significant evidence supporting this. Instead, voting rights advocates say the law has made voting tougher for Latino- and Native Americans.

At issue is whether state voting laws can trump federal laws. If Arizona has its way, then copycat “proof of citizenship” laws could surface across the nation, creating unnecessary, additional burdens for voters, specifically people of color.

But on Monday, Justice Antonin Scalia — who last month pejoratively referred to the Voting Rights Act as a “racial entitlement” — said he saw nothing wrong with Arizona’s law. Ryan Reilly at Huffington Post said Scalia mocked the existing federal perjury penalty saying, “So it’s under oath, big deal. I suppose if you’re willing to violate the voting laws you’re willing to violate the perjury laws.”

Despite some waffling on the matter by Justice Anthony Kennedy, many voting rights advocates came out convinced that the Supreme Court would strike down Arizona’s law. Constitutional Accountability Center President Doug Kendall said:

“A majority of the Court, including Justice Kennedy, appeared to recognize that the entire point of having a single Federal form was to streamline the voter registration process, and that approving Arizona’s law would pave the way for a patchwork of 50 state forms. We are optimistic that that recognition will lead the Court to strike down Arizona’s law and respect Congress’ power to protect the right to vote in Federal elections.”

It should be noted that Arizona is where the extreme nativist Kris Kobach has pushed anti-immigrant laws like SB 1070 making life harder for people of color.

Also note, that while Arizona wants you to show a birth certificate to register vote, they don’t care much about if you have one if you want to register for a [concealed weapons permit] (http://www.azdps.gov/Services/Concealed_Weapons/Permits/Obtain/) — this in the land where former Congress member Gabby Giffords was shot along with thirteen others, six of whom were killed.

TAGS: Arizona

Meet (and Mourn) Wan Joon Kim, an Unlikely Godfather of Gangsta Rap

Meet (and Mourn) Wan Joon Kim, an Unlikely Godfather of Gangsta Rap

When you think about gangsta rap, plenty of names come to mind. NWA. Dre. Snoop. But here’s one that you probably don’t come up with right away: Wan Joon Kim, the longtime proprietor of the Compton Swap Meet. Kim died last week at the age of 79, but he played an important role in the distribution of early gangsta rap.

Wan Joon Kim opened a swap meet stall in the now-famous suburb of Compton in the mid-1980s. He sold some of the earliest work of those stars at a time when few knew them and fewer stores would sell their music.

From NPR:

…Wan Joon Kim didn’t intend to become the godfather of gangsta rap; in the beginning, his son Kirk says, he just wanted to support his family. Kim escaped North Korea on a fishing boat, and the family eventually wound up in the U.S. in 1976. Kirk Kim says at first his parents sold a random assortment of stuff at swap meets to make ends meet. Then: “Somebody was selling hip-hop CDs at one of these swap meets. My dad saw an opportunity. He saw these big lines in front of there, and he said, ‘I’m gonna try this.’ “

Last year, the Los Angeles times noted the significance of Kim’s place in hip-hop history given the racial hostilities that led up to and were inflamed by the L.A. uprisings of 1992. Kim says that his strategy was simple: just be nice. “Most of my customers were the gang-bangers and drug dealers, so I built a friendship with them,” Kim told the paper.

Rapper Bobby Wilson put it this way: “[Kim’s] in the heart of Compton.”

TAGS: Compton Music Rap

Obama’s New Labor Nominee Gave Him a Long Thank You en Español

Obama's New Labor Nominee Gave Him a Long Thank You en Español

At a news conference on Monday President Obama announced he would nominate Thomas E. Perez, who heads the Civil Rights Division at the Justice Department, to be the next secretary of labor.

“Thomas Perez reminds us if you’re willing to work hard you can find success in America,” Obama said at the conference held in the East Room.

Perez, 51, the son of Dominican immigrants thanked the president in Spanish and English early in his address.

“Muchisimas gracias Señor Presidente,” Perez said. He continued to speak in Spanishand told the president he was grateful for “this great honor of being nominated to serve in this position.” 

Labor unions and immigrant advocates applauded Perez’s nomination.

James P. Hoffa, general president of the Teamsters, told the NY Times that Perez was “the right choice” because of his history of advocacy. “In these difficult economic times,” Hoffa said, “workers need a fighter at the Labor Department who will stand up for them, and they are getting just that with Thomas Perez.”

The president of The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), the largest federation of unions in the United States, echoed Hoffa’s statements.

“Throughout his career, Perez has fought to level the playing field and create opportunities for working people, whether in the workplace, the marketplace or the voting booth,” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said in a statement.

Immigrant worker advocates also applauded the decision.

“The appointment of Thomas Perez as head of the Department of Labor brings immigrants one step closer to equal rights at the workplace. It is a signal of the need for full labor protections within immigration reform,” Pablo Alvarado, Executive Director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network said in a statement.

“Perez would be a strong choice to lead the Department. He brings with him his local experience in labor and a deep understanding from his time on the board of Casa de Maryland.”

Alvarado was referencing CASA of Maryland, the Latino and immigration advocacy-and-assistance organization founded “in response to the human needs of the thousands of Central Americans arriving to the D.C. area after fleeing wars and civil strife in their countries of origin.”

“His experience with the civil rights division of the Department of Justice is good grounding to carry on the legacy of former Secretary Hilda Solis. Solis truly made the Department of Labor serve to advance the lives of workers and improve the status of low-wage and immigrant workers,” Alvarado went on to say.

AFL-CIO Praises Obama’s Perez Pick

AFL-CIO Praises Obama's Perez Pick

President Obama announced Monday that he would nominate Thomas E. Perez, who heads the Civil Rights Division at the Justice Department, to be the next secretary of labor. The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), the largest federation of unions in the United States, applauded the nomination.

“Throughout his career, Perez has fought to level the playing field and create opportunities for working people, whether in the workplace, the marketplace or the voting booth,” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said in a statement.

“At a time when our politics tilts so heavily toward corporations and the very wealthy, our country needs leaders like Tom Perez to champion the cause of ordinary working people. And working families need and deserve a strong advocate as their Secretary of Labor — one who will vigorously enforce job safety standards, wage laws, and anti-discrimination rules, and who will speak out forcefully for working families and their workplace rights, including their right to join together to improve their lives and working conditions.

“President Obama has chosen such an advocate in Tom Perez, and we congratulate him on this nomination.”

Oscar Grant Film ‘Fruitvale’ Gets Official Release Date

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“Fruitvale,” written and directed by first-time filmmaker Ryan Coogler will be released on October 18th.

The Sundance grand jury prize for dramatic film winner depicts the final 24 hours in the life of Oscar Grant—the 22-year-old Oakland, Calif., resident shot by police at the Fruitvale subway stop in 2009.

The Weinstein Company acquired the distribution rights for the U.S., Canada, U.K., Australia, and South Africa; and worldwide international sales rights for “Fruitvale.” Deadline Hollywood reports The Weinstein Company agreed to “a commitment for a big theatrical release.

NYPD Issues Memo Ordering Cops to Run Criminal Checks on Domestic Abuse Victims

NYPD Issues Memo Ordering Cops to Run Criminal Checks on Domestic Abuse Victims

The New York Post is reporting that a new memo sent out by the Chief of Detectives Phil Pulaski “requires detectives to look at open warrants, complaint histories and even the driving records” of domestic abuse victims.

The NY post has the details:

The directive tells detectives that when they are investigating cases of domestic violence, they should run a search that cross-references all NYPD databases. 

[…]

Beside warrants, a person’s criminal record and history of making criminal complaints should be checked, the directive says.

Gawker published a statement from the NYPD saying they’ll indeed run background checks but that the department has no “must arrest” policy.

“While it is standard practice and policy for detectives to investigate victims’ backgrounds to help lead them to the victims’ assailants, the NYPD - contrary to a published report - has no “must arrest” policy that applies to domestic violence victims. In fact, the discovery of open warrants on domestic violence victims often results in their warrants being vacated,” said NYPD spokesman Paul Browne.

Marilyn Chinitz, a lawyer who represents victims of domestic abuse told The Post the directive could further dissuade victims from reporting abusers.

One in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime, with most cases never reported to the police, according to The Public Policy Office of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. [PDF]

Only approximately one quarter of all physical assaults, one fifth of all rapes, and one half of all stalkings perpetuated against females by intimate partners are reported to the police.

“They would not report a crime because they would fear getting locked up. It would empower the perpetrator, and there’s going to be more domestic violence as a consequence, and you’re endangering children,” Chinitz told the Post.

The Fiscal Policy Institute estimates there are about 535,000 unauthorized immigrants living in New York City and the new directive could impact this group especially hard. Abusers often use their partners’ immigration status as a tool of control, according to a Georgetown Journal on Poverty Law and Policy report published in 2000. [PDF] The new NYPD directive could further prevent immigrant women and men from reporting their abusers due to fear of deportation.

Brooklyn Artist Reveals Strategy Behind Anti-Street Harassment Posters

Brooklyn Artist Reveals Strategy Behind Anti-Street Harassment Posters

Tatyana Fazlalizadeh’s posters about street harassment have gotten plenty of attention recently. From the New York Times to Fast Co, Fazlalizadeh’s posters have raised raised eyebrows because they’re so simple and to the point. They feature a simple aesthetic, usually a hand-drawn face of a black woman with notes that ring true for most women who’ve been harassed on the street. Captions have messages like, “My name is not baby”, and “Stop telling women to smile.”

Fast Co.’s Zak Stone caught up with Fazlalizadeh recently and the artist revealed the strategy she’s used to place the ads.

“I’ve put them in places where I’ve personally been harassed, and where I know street harassment is prevalent—which, honestly is everywhere,” she told Stone. “So, I’ve placed them on mailboxes in downtown business areas, on abandoned buildings in residential areas, on spare walls in tourist areas. Anywhere I can.”

See more of Fazlalizadeh’s work at her Tumblr, “Stop Telling Women to Smile.

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TAGS: Art Brooklyn

This Is Why It Sucks to Be Stopped and Frisked in New York City

This Is Why It Sucks to Be Stopped and Frisked in New York City

Today marks the beginning of an important trial in New York City to determine the constitutionality of the NYPD’s Stop and Frisk program. Long before the NYPD’s signature program went to trial, men of color have documented their experiences. Here’s what they have to say.

Back in 2010, the Colorlines.com team made its way to Brownsville, Brooklyn, a largely black and Latino neighborhood that’s considered by many to be the epicenter of the Stop-and-Frisk program. We heard first hand accounts from young men who said they’d been stopped up to twenty times. The takeaway: it sucks.

While there has been a ton of really important reporting on the impact of Stop-and-Frisk, there wasn’t much documented evidence of what the ordeal entails. That all changed in the fall of 2012 when TheNation.com published exclusive video recorded by a young man named Alvin, who recorded his encounter with cops in Harlem.

The New York Times has had some stellar reporting that’s uncovered important details about Stop-and-Frisk. Reporters there dug through data and came up with hard numbers on how black and Latino young men are disproportionately stopped, and how so few of those stops actually result in finding illegal firearms.

A Tribe Called Red Brings Dubstep Powwows to SXSW

A Tribe Called Red Brings Dubstep Powwows to SXSW

Ottawa based Native Producer/DJ crew A Tribe Called Red will play South by Southwest on Friday and Saturday nights. DJ Shub, DJ NDN and Bear Witness will bring their unique mix of Native powwow chants, hip-hop and dubstep beats to the music festival in Austin, Texas.

The DJ collective’s self-titled 2012 debut album was released for free online without the backing of a record label—the DJ crew says they’re interested in controlling their own image.

“If you’re First Nations in Canada, just the fact that you’re even alive is a political statement,” Ian “DJ NDN” Campeau told NowToronto.com last month.

“We’re always being looked at through the lens of colonialism, and we’re never portraying ourselves. We’re starting to take control of that, but it’s really just beginning. Something as simple as being photographed laughing can start to change the way we’re perceived, and challenges the stereotype,” Bear Witness told NowToronto.com.

If you’re not in Austin you can still enjoy A Tribe Called Red’s music by downloading their latest album for free on Electricpowwow.com.


A Tribe Called Red will perform in Austin, Texas on Friday and Saturday night.

Grey_star Friday, March 15

1:00AM - 1:50AM 

Speakeasy 412 Congress Ave


Saturday, March 16 

10:00PM -10:45PM 

Townhouse 303 W 5th St

A Two-Minute Video Explains Why Jail Is Not the Answer for Youth Crime

A Two-Minute Video Explains Why Jail Is Not the Answer for Youth Crime

Jail is no place for kids who make mistakes. So argues Mistakes Kids Make, a new MacArthur Foundation-funded storytelling project, which unveiled a video and new website Thursday as part of an awareness-raising campaign to build momentum to reform the juvenile justice system.

The project engages viewers directly, asking readers: Have you ever gotten high? Shoplifted? Vandalized property or gotten into a fight? They’re not uncommon activities. The problem is that in recent decades, and especially for kids of color in poor communities, these transgressions can become arrestable offenses with lifelong consequences. The well-produced video makes no mention of the racial inequity which is so rampant throughout the juvenile justice system, but it does make a compelling argument for why a juvenile justice system with harsh automatic punishments which treats kids in a one-size-fits-all manner does little good for society. They’re not alone in arguing that youth would be better served with alternatives like counseling, social services, job opportunities and education.

The fact is that juvenile incarceration can very quickly close off children’s futures. It is the most salient predictor of eventual adult incarceration, in fact. And, as the video argues, “66 percent of kids who have been incarcerated never return to school.”

Find out more at MistakesKidsMake.org and learn about how you can speak up on this issue.

Maryland House of Delegates Votes to End Death Penalty

On March 15, the Maryland House of Delegates decisively passed (82-56) a bill that would replace the death penalty with life without parole, clearing the way for Maryland to become the sixth state in six years to abandon capital punishment. The measure will now go to the governor, who has pledged to sign it.

Maryland becomes the 18th state to abolish the death penalty, and the sixth in six years—and the first state below the Mason-Dixon line to end its capital punishment program.

Among the groups credited with turning the tide this year were the NAACP and the Catholic Church. The NAACP, led by president Ben Jealous, made Maryland repeal a national priority, according to the Baltimore Sun.

“Final vote in the MD House: 82-56. Today we accomplished a milestone that the Maryland NAACP has worked toward for more than a century,” Jealous tweeted shortly after the vote. “Today we finish the mission advanced by Juanita Mitchell and Thurgood Marshall: abolishing the death penalty in MD,” he went on to say.

Five states - Connecticut, Illinois, New Mexico, New York, and New Jersey - have repealed the death penalty since 2007, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. A total of 17 U.S. states have put an end to state-sanctioned executions.

Family of Slain Woman Killed by Chicago Police Officer’s Aimless Shots Wins $4.5 Million

Family of Slain Woman Killed by Chicago Police Officer's Aimless Shots Wins $4.5 Million

Rekia Boyd, 22, died on March 22, 2012, just a day after she was shot in the back of the head by a off-duty Chicago police detective Dante Servin. Boyd’s family filed suit last April alleging that Servin opened fire after having an argumenton with one person among a group of individuals Boyd was standing with in Douglas Park.

On Wednesday, close to a year after her death, the Chicago City Council approved a $4.5 million settlement for Boyd’s family.

WLS-TV has more details: 

Rekia’s Boyd’s family will receive $4.5 million as part of a wrongful death settlement approved by the city council. But justice, they say, will not be served until and unless Detective Servin is criminally charged.

“Superintendent (Garry) McCarthy and State’s Attorney (Anita) Alvarez should accelerate their investigation and bring charges,” said Bishop Tavis Grant. “It’s very clear this woman was murdered.”

Boyd’s family is still troubled that the officer is still with the department. Detective Servin was placed on administrative duty after the shooting where he remains today.

“We didn’t even get a damn I’m sorry yet. We’re still waiting,” Boyd’s brother, Martinez Sutton told WLS-TV.

Kimani Gray’s Mother Speaks: ‘He Was Slaughtered’

On Wednesday, Kimani “Kiki” Gray’s mother spoke at a news conference to talk about her son who died on Saturday night after being shot seven times by two NYPD police officers.

Carol Gray told reporters that her son was slaughtered.

“He was slaughtered,” Gray told a room filled with reporters, the AP reports. “And I want to know why.”

“Today was very hard,” she said, and paused for a long moment before she was able to finish the sentence. “I had to choose the color of the casket that I wanted,” Gray’s mother said at the press conference.

Justice Department Will Investigate Cleveland Police

The Justice Department announced today that it has opened a pattern or practice investigation into use of force by the Cleveland Division of Police (CPD). The investigation will focus on allegations that CPD officers use excessive force, including unreasonable deadly force, and on the adequacy of CPD’s training, supervision, and accountability mechanisms that are essential to effective, constitutional policing.

The Justice Department’s investigation will determine whether CPD officers engage in a pattern or practice of using excessive force in violation of the Constitution and federal law. This investigation will include a comprehensive review of CPD’s policies, procedures, training, accountability systems, and community engagement. As part of this investigation, the Justice Department will reach out to community members and groups for help in identifying potential problems within the police department.

Department officials have met with Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, CPD Chief Michael McGrath, and Director of Public Safety Martin Flask and will continue to work closely with both the city and CPD as the investigation progresses.

“Police officers across the country are called upon to protect and safeguard members of their communities and are afforded the authority they need to do so, including the authority to use deadly force,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “It is absolutely imperative that officers use that authority responsibly and within the boundaries of the law. We are eager to work together with the city of Cleveland and its police department to help ensure that its officers are best serving the individuals they are sworn to protect.”

To learn more about the investigation, click here. Click here to read Assistant Attorney General Tom Perez’s remarks at the

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