Watch: Darren Wilson Arrests Man for Recording Him

Watch: Darren Wilson Arrests Man for Recording Him

In a video posted on YouTube Friday, Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson is heard refusing to divulge his name on camera—while telling the man who’s recording him, “If you wanna take a picture of me one more time, I’m gonna lock your ass up.”

The video was shot in 2013 and posted by Mike Arman. It ends abruptly, after which Arman was, indeed, arrested. The Guardian reports that Ferguson Police Department’s spokesman issued an e-mail stating that he didn’t think the officer in the video was Wilson. The accompanying police report, however, lists Darren Wilson as the reporting officer—and illustrates several discrepancies. In a separate case, a St. Louis jury is deciding whether to indict Wilson in connection with killing Mike Brown in August.  

Photographing or filming police officers in the line of duty is a constitutional right

Doctor Dies of Ebola in Nebraska, DEA Raids NFL, Norovirus Aboard Princess Cruise Ship

Doctor Dies of Ebola in Nebraska, DEA Raids NFL, Norovirus Aboard Princess Cruise Ship

Here’s what I’m reading up on:

  • The Sierra Leonean doctor, Martin Salia, who was being treated for Ebola in Nebraska dies
  • Unclassified e-mails from the State Department are hacked
  • One hundred seventy two travelers aboard a Princess cruise ship are infected with norovirus aboard the exact same ship where 129 people were infected just seven months ago. 
  • What are you doing tonight? Might I suggest watching the Leonids (if you’re not on the East Coast). 
TAGS: Morning Rush

Obamacare’s Racial Justice Wins, by the Numbers

Obamacare's Racial Justice Wins, by the Numbers

The Supreme Court and John Boehner not withstanding, open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act’s insurance exchange resumes this weekend. And if outreach workers around the country recreate last year’s enrollment success, the rates of uinsured among blacks and Latinos in particular will have been dramatically reduced.

More than a fifth of African Americans and nearly 42 percent of Latinos lacked coverage in 2013, according to one survey the federal government cited in a recent progress report on the Affordable Care Act. The two communities account for nearly half of the nation’s uninsured.

African Americans have seen the most dramatic change since the health law launched. As of June 2014, the uninsured rate among African Americans had dropped by nearly a third. More than 1.7 million people got covered, either through Medicaid or through the exchange.

Progress among Latinos is also impressive, if a bit more complicated. More than 2.6 million Latinos gained coverage, which cut the community’s uninsured rate by 18 percent. Latinos, however, continue to represent a far disproportionate share of the uinsured. The health law bars undocumented immigrants from participating in the exchange, but the real challenge has been for mixed-status families. People who qualify for coverage but have undocumented workers in their families have both been confused about eligibility and, frankly, terrified of engaging a government that has deported more than 2 million people under President Obama’s watch.  

The survey did not break out data for other non-white communities due to the small sample size.

Open enrollment begins on Nov. 15 and continues until Feb. 15. For more information on buying new coverage or renewing existing coverage for 2015, check out or your state’s own insurance portal.

States Offer Varying Protection for Youth to Put Juvenile Records Behind Them

States Offer Varying Protection for Youth to Put Juvenile Records Behind Them

The juvenile justice system in the United States was first conceived 115 years ago as an alternative to the adult criminal justice system, one that emphasized rehabilitative support over punitive discipline. Privacy for young people involved in the system was prioritized. That meant limited access to juvenile records, and options for youth to embark on adulthood without being held back by acts they committed as children. The original goal was to protect children from being branded as criminals and importantly, juvenile adjudication has been considered as distinct from a criminal conviction. 

In 2014, the landscape varies greatly across the country, but by and large, states have moved away from those founding ideals. A new report released today by the Juvenile Law Center (PDF) offers the first nationwide evaluation of its kind of how states handle juvenile records. The Juvenile Law Center, a Philadelphia-based public interest law firm which advocates for young people in the juvenile justice and child welfare systems, found that many states not only provide members of the public—including employers, media, schools, and government agencies—access to juvenile records, some states also even force youth to proactively inquire as to whether or not they may expunge their records.

While most states protect confidentiality and access to juvenile records while proceedings are ongoing, once a juvenile is adjudicated as delinquent—the juvenile justice equivalent to being found guilty of an offense—access broadens. In Arizona, for example, report authors wrote, “all juvenile records are public unless a court order is issued to protect a particular record.” Just nine states—California, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, and Rhode Island—shield juvenile records from public access.

When it comes to sealing, which broadly refers to who beyond youth courts have access to juvenile records, and expungement, which refers to the destruction of records, policies and practices also vary widely. 

“There is a misperception that juvenile records are confidential and automatically destroyed when a youth is no longer under court supervision. The reality is that juvenile records are widely accessible long after a young person has become an adult,” Juvenile Law Center attorney and report author Riya Saha Shah said in a statement. Not only that, argues the Juvenile Law Center, but limiting young people’s options to put their pasts behind them doesn’t improve public safety and only makes it harder for young people to move on to productive adult futures. 

Go to the Juvenile Law Center for its interactive scorecard and read their review in full here (PDF).

Remezcla’s New Video Explores the Politics of the Dance Floor

Remezcla's New Video Explores the Politics of the Dance Floor

A new video published on Remezcla features music by Mexico City’s Fvded and the Cyborg Dance Collective—a group borne out of Haiti’s Cite Soleil, one of the poorest slums in the poorest country in the Americas, which is also home to dubious foreign aid schemes.

An accompanying essay authored by senior editor Andrea Gompf explains some of what’s at stake:

[T]he dancers needed a demo reel, and D.F. producer Fvded (aka Jesus Torres) needed a music video for his track “Barreto.” At first glance, the artists may seem like strange bedfellows, but in a way they make sense — both Cyborg Dance and Fvded belong to a generation that understands that the dance floor can be just as political as any protest. That a fight to change the world can take place at a party, with a bottle of mezcal or Betancourt rum.

Check out the video, which was directed by Daniel M. “Luky” Torres, and read Gompf’s entire essay over at Remezcla

Eddie Huang Sounds Off About ‘Fresh Off the Boat’

Eddie Huang Sounds Off About 'Fresh Off the Boat'

Eddie Huang, the restaurateur whose memoir “Fresh Off the Boat” is the inspiration for the forthcoming ABC sitcom, also named “Fresh Off the Boat,” took to Twitter Wednesday to sound off about pressure he says he’s facing to scrub clean political criticisms of America in his voiceovers on the show.

It started here: And then Huang leveraged his Twitter followers to amplify his criticisms. Melvin Mar, an executive producer of “Fresh Off the Boat,” didn’t respond to a request for comment as of press time.

Five Things You Need to Know About Obama’s Immigration Plan

Five Things You Need to Know About Obama's Immigration Plan

Are ICE agents getting a big raise? Is there about to be a massive executive amnesty? And will the government shut down again?

News is running wild with rumors about how President Obama might move on executive action on immigration as early as next week. Here’s a quick roundup that covers some of what you need to know:

  • The New York Times is reporting that Obama’s executive action “will protect up to five million undocumented immigrants from the threat of deportation and provide many of them with work permits.” That would largely be done by extending deferred action to the parents of U.S. citizens or permanent residents and expanding the criteria for those people currently eligible for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.
  • Fox News, meanwhile, is reporting that it’s obtained what it calls a 10-point plan—although it’s unclear what all ten points are. According to Fox, it would provide a path to citizenship for 4.5 million undocumented immigrants, but also provide raises to immigration agents in order to “increase morale.”
  • These estimates all fall short, however, of the Congressional Progressive Caucus’s call to the president made Wednesday. Rep. Raul M. Grijalva (D-Arizona) and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Illinois) have proposed a plan that would benefit seven million undocumented immigrants. It just doesn’t seem likely to happen at this point.
  • As the Chicago Tribune is reporting, whatever takes place, the rumors alone are enough to make Republicans pretty livid—and they might use a tactic that shut down the government last year in protest. But, as CNN reports, the G.O.P. wants to avoid another shutdown this round. Still, CNN says “it’s clear that conservatives are bracing for a major confrontation with the president.”
  • The Department of Homeland Security is now a defendant in a lawsuit to end deportations—because it hasn’t responded in a timely manner to a petition to change the rules around deferred action.  

White House to Women and Girls of Color: We Haven’t Forgotten You

White House to Women and Girls of Color: We Haven't Forgotten You

After facing months of criticism for sidelining women and girls of color in its exclusively male initiative My Brother’s Keeper, the White House released a report (PDF) Wednesday aimed at letting women know they’re important to racial justice, too. 

The report, released by the White House Council on Women and Girls, chaired by Valerie Jarrett, gathered information about how women and girls of color are faring in education, health, employment, domestic violence, and criminal justice. 

“Women and girls of color still face higher rates of poverty and receive lower wages for their work than their white peers, and they are more likely to become involved in the criminal justice system,” wrote Jarrett and White House Council on Women and Girls executive director Christina Tchen. “And when women are the primary or sole breadwinners for nearly half of all households of color, these disparities do not just affect them, but their families and communities as well.”

It’s a line that groups like the African American Policy Forum have been repeating for the last year in forums held around the country to highlight the experiences of girls and women of color. 

In addition to the report release, the Council is also putting together another committee called the Working Group on Challenges and Opportunities for Women and Girls of Color and will host a gathering January of next year to discuss increasing access to science, technology, engineering and math educational opportunities to girls of color. 

DHS Sued to Stop Deportations

DHS Sued to Stop Deportations

The National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON) is suing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to put an end to deportations.

NDLON submitted a rulemaking petition to DHS in February, urging the Obama administration to expand DHS’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which provides temporary relief from deportation as well as work permits to undocumented youth, to “a much larger class of individuals.” DHS is legally bound to respond to the petition within a reasonabe amount of time—but has failed to do so for more than nine months.

In its lawsuit, NDLON claims electoral hopes—and not a genuine need for more time—have caused the Obama administration to delay its response. It also outlines how people are placed at risk as a result:

Thus, while DHS has failed to respond to Plaintiff’s Petition, it has continued to aggressively deport and criminalize immigrants, mainly through operations of one of its constituent agencies, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”). An entire population that would benefit from the President’s promised action continues to face the daily risk of deportation because of electoral political calculations. ICE has acted arbitrarily and, in the most egregious of cases, has even retaliated against people who dared organize and protest its abuses.

Plaintiffs, along with their lawyers, are holding a mock trial today in front of Washington, D.C.’s ICE office today.

The lawsuit follows renewed promises by President Obama that he’ll soon take executive action to expand deferred action. It remains unclear when the president will follow through and how many people may obtain temporary relief from deportation as a result. 

Ferguson’s Tef Poe Drops a Powerful ‘War Cry’ [AUDIO]

Ferguson's Tef Poe Drops a Powerful 'War Cry' [AUDIO]

Tension is mounting as a Ferguson grand jury decides whether or not it will indict Officer Darren Wilson for killing unarmed teen Michael Brown in August. Within this context, Ferguson MC and activist Tef Poe has a new song called “War Cry (Gov. Jay Nixon Diss).”  

In a lengthy blog post, Poe—who recently joined Michael Brown’s parents on a trip to Geneva where they testified before the United Nations Committee Against Torture—explains:

Our backs have been forced into a corner and we are currently trapped in the belly of one of the most immoral situations this country has birthed. Darren Wilson is a killer yet we are rounded up and treated like cattle for demanding his arrest. Vonderitt Meyers and Kim King are both dead and the police refuse to give us answers. The Ball family still has not received a moment a of clarity and honesty concerning the death of their lost family member. The police in Saint Louis, Missouri have decided to declare war upon people of color. Gov. Jay Nixon alongside many other elected officials has decided to close his eyes to these atrocities. He has shielded and aided Michael Browns killer from prosecution. He has cosigned our community being brutally attacked by an uncontrollable force of wild cowboys. Jay Nixon is blatantly standing on the wrong side of history with zero regard for the pain we currently feel as a community. He is not our friend. He is not our comrade. He is not our Governor. Jay Nixon does not work for us. He works for those that use institutionalized racism to kill us.


We cry for justice and they tear gas us in return. This situation has turned into a political game of cat and mouse and we are the mice. We believe in nonviolent protests. We advocate strongly for nonviolent protests. Our mission statement is nonviolent protests. We say this while we know for a fact that every police precinct in the metropolitan area is preparing to partner with the National Guard and attack us as if we are not tax paying citizens. We have witnessed your cruelty once before. We know you will not stop until there are no more bullets for you to shoot. We pray for peace but we are prepared defend our families. We are prepared to protect our children. We say this while we also realize you are currently preparing your militia to shoot us down in the streets of our very own communities as if we are stray dogs. My heart is heavy simply because I feel helpless.

“War Cry” isn’t the most SFW song in the world (after all, it is a war cry). And if the term “cracka” upsets you, don’t listen. But if you want to hear a visceral testimony from a city on the brink, this is the record for you.

Ferguson Movement Transforms Civilians Into Activists

Ferguson Movement Transforms Civilians Into Activists

Washington Post social change reporter Sandhya Somashekhar took a look at some of the non-traditional leaders of the Ferguson-based movement for justice in the Michael Brown case.

There’s Shermale Humphrey, a 21-year-old who quit her job at a St. Louis Subway to organize acts of civil disobedience; she’s currently couch-surfing.

There’s DeRay Mckesson, a 29-year-old school administrator who flies from Minneapolis to Ferguson on his days off to protest. He co-produces an almost-daily newsletter, Words to Action, with Twitter star Johnetta Elzie.

And then there’s Charles Wade, a 32-year-old stylist from Austin who has raised $35,000 in protestor-support funds on ­Twitter. He’s taken up residence at a St. Louis airport hotel and he hosts Sunday dinners for protestors. 

These activists aren’t your traditional organizers, according to Somashekha:

A November 10 tweet from Mckesson sums up their guiding principle:
“Silence will lure you with its promise of comfort. But silence will drain your spirit and weaken your soul. Silence corrupts. #Ferguson.”

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: College Athletes, Unite

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: College Athletes, Unite

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar continues to speak up for college athletes’ rights. The sports great has been vocal about college athletes unionizing in the face of exploitation by the NCAA. His latest article in socialist publication Jacobin speaks at length about the underside of his championship-winning tenure at UCLA in the late 1960s:

The worst part is that nothing much has changed since my experience as a college athlete almost forty years ago. Well, one thing has changed: the NCAA, television broadcasters, and the colleges and universities are making a lot more money.

  • The NCAA rakes in nearly $1 billion annually from its March Madness contract with CBS and Turner Broadcasting.
  • The NCAA president made $1.7 million in 2012.
  • The ten highest paid coaches in this year’s March Madness earnbetween $2,627,806 and $9,682,032….

Life for student-athletes is…big business in which everyone is making money — everyone except the eighteen to twenty-one-year-old kids who every game risk permanent career-ending injuries.

Read the rest at Jacobin Magazine.

U.S.-China Climate Deal, ‘Selma’ Reviews, Fukushima Radiation Off California Coast

U.S.-China Climate Deal, 'Selma' Reviews, Fukushima Radiation Off California Coast

A note to readers: I’ll be heading to Dallas for Facing Race today and will be taking a break from Morning Rush for a couple of days. Morning Rush will be back on Monday. 

Here’s what I’m reading up on this morning: 

  • Missouri’s governor says he won’t tolerate violent protests following a grand jury decision on whether to indict Darren Wilson in connection to Michael Brown’s killing; makes little to no mention of police repression. 
  • Five big banks, including JPMorgan Chase, Citibank and HSBC, are fined billions of dollars for trying to manipulate of foreign exchange markets. 
  • Kaiser nurses walk off the job, citing Ebola measures and patient safety standards. 
TAGS: Morning Rush

‘Illegal Pete’s’ to Keep Name Despite Criticism

'Illegal Pete's' to Keep Name Despite Criticism

The Colorado fast-food chain known as Illegal Pete’s will be keeping its name. 

Activists had urged the owner, Pete Turner, to change the burrito restaurant’s name. They met with him during a community meeting in October and told him that using the word “illegal” in the name of a Mexican restaurant is racist, given the connotation to immigrants. After meeting with activists, Turner said he’d think about changing the name ahead of opening its seventh location in Fort Collins.

But in a lengthy statement largely focusing on his brand’s history, as well as the contributions he’s made as an employer, Turner explained why he chose to keep the name:

The word “illegal” means many things, in this statement, I have outlined what it means to me. So, I will not change the name of our company. We welcome you, and all humans, to visit our restaurant; to get to know us, and to form your own opinion, and hopefully create a meaningful relationship with Illegal Pete’s and other humans while in an atmosphere that celebrates individuality and relaxed human connection.

That invitation to make a human connection, however, is unlikely to take place with local residents who are denouncing Turner’s decision. We Are Not Illegal, a group of community members, students and professors, issued its own statement, which highlights the name’s negative impact:

The group has stressed, and continues to stress, that regardless of the intention of Pete Turner’s decision to name the restaurant initially, the impact is painful and offensive. Turner maintains that he engages in fair practices with his employees, and cares deeply about the betterment of the community, but he has chosen to name his restaurant in such a way that he is aligning he himself with anti-immigrant activists such as John Tanton who use the word “illegal” to hurt and oppress others.

Illegal Pete’s is set to open its new location Thursday. 

What Happens to America’s Deported Veterans?

What Happens to America's Deported Veterans?

It’s Veteran’s Day and over at Fusion, Jorge Rivas looks at the roughly 35,000 undocumented immigrants who serve in the United States military. In the case of one, Manuel de Jesus Castano, the criminal justice and immigration systems overlap with heartbreaking consequences. 

Castano’s friends say he was deported for a misdemeanor based on allegations that were retracted after he had already been deported.

Castano passed away at age of 55 in June 2012, about a year after he was deported. He died away from his family, including his sons who also served in the military.

Only then, after death, could he return to the U.S.  According to military policy, honorably discharged veterans, even those who have been deported, are entitled to burial at a U.S. military cemetery.

Fellow veteran Clavo Martinez, who helped bring Castano’s body back to the U.S. for burial, put it this way: “Deported veterans aren’t considered citizens again until their body is dead.”

Read more at Fusion

Palestinian Activist Rasmea Odeh Found Guilty of Immigration Fraud

Palestinian Activist Rasmea Odeh Found Guilty of Immigration Fraud

On Monday, a Detroit jury deliberated for a scant couple of hours before finding Palestinian activist Rasmea Odeh guilty of immigration fraud. Prosecutors argued that Odeh falsified information on an immigration application, failing to notify authorities that she’d been convicted by an Israeli military court for participating in a 1969 bombing. For her conviction, Odeh faces 10 years in prison, revocation of her U.S. citizenship and deportation, the Detroit Free Press reported.

According to the Detroit Free Press, Odeh told supporters outside of the Detroit courthouse, “We can’t find the justice … in this court. Maybe in another place, there is justice in this world. We will find it. We will find the justice.”

Palestinian-American activists and Odeh’s supporters argued that her case was politically motivated and the charges were a pretext to pursue a prominent activist fighting for Palestinian liberation. Odeh, who’s lived in the U.S. since 1995 and who became a citizen in 2004, was arrested in October 2013 for withholding information on a citizenship application. However, her supporters said, she was convicted by Israeli military courts that have little use for fair justice. While in Israeli custody her confession was extracted after she was subjected to 25 days of torture and sexual assault, her supporters said. According to a 2013 U.S. State Department report (PDF), Israeli military courts have a conviction rate of more than 99 percent for Palestinians. Odeh maintains that she was not involved in the 1969 attack, even though opponents argue a film confirms her involvement, the Detroit Free Press reported. 

Judge Gershwin Drain barred Odeh’s testimony about her conviction from being raised before jurors. As a result, Odeh’s defense team was cut off from a key part of their defense, and instead argued that Odeh did not knowingly lie to immigration investigators, according to Electronic Intifada, which reports from a Palestinian perspective. 

Odeh has vowed to appeal the verdict.

South Korea Ferry Captain Sentenced to 36 Years, Mayo Lawsuit, #CosbyMeme

South Korea Ferry Captain Sentenced to 36 Years, Mayo Lawsuit, #CosbyMeme

Here’s what I’m reading up on this morning: 

  • What’s mayo if it doesn’t contain eggs? According to a lawsuit filed by multinational food giant Unilever, it’s not mayo
  • This is what happens when you don’t understand the Twitter: In a now deleted tweet, Bill Cosby encouraged users to, “Go ahead. Meme me! #CosbyMeme.” It didn’t turn out that well for him
TAGS: Morning Rush

[VIDEO] President Obama Steps Up on Net Neutrality

[VIDEO] President Obama Steps Up on Net Neutrality

President Obama today ratcheted up his support for a free and open Internet by recommending a specific plan of action to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The FCC is currently deciding on new “net neutrality” rules or, whether to allow folks to continue using the Internet as they’ve always used it. That means open and free, without service providers charging higher prices for access to “premium” content for example (think about cable companies charging extra to watch HBO versus a network channel). In order to keep the status quo, Obama suggests regulating broadband like a utility—the option also pushed by consumer advocacy groups. Listen to Obama’s two-minute pitch above. The FCC has already received more than 4 million public comments supporting net neutrality. 

Boko Haram Suspected in Suicide Bombing, AA Attendants Reject Contract, ‘Dolphin Smooth’

Boko Haram Suspected in Suicide Bombing, AA Attendants Reject Contract, 'Dolphin Smooth'

Here’s what I’m reading up on today: 

  • The last of two U.S. citizens held by North Korea are released
  • IS’ leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is spared by U.S. airstrikes. Or wounded by U.S. airstrikes. Or killed by U.S. airstrikes. No one’s really sure
  • American Airlines flight attendants reject a union contract by 16 votes—largely over healthcare costs and work rule changes; we’ll likely see mediation before arbitration next. 
  • You know those easy-to-use laundry detergent pods? Toddlers often mistake them for toys—and wind up in the hospital as a result. 
  • Reid Wiseman is back from space and his photo tweets are pretty amazing. 

94% of Child Migrants Who’ve Received Removal Orders Had No Attorney

94% of Child Migrants Who've Received Removal Orders Had No Attorney

Between July 18 and October 21, immigration courts sped through 800 cases a week to begin processing the tens of thousands of child migrants who crossed the border into the U.S. this past summer, Politico reports. In the same span of time, judges issued 1,542 deportation orders and 94 percent of them went to children who faced their court proceedings without the aid of an attorney.

The public tussle over how children are being fast-tracked through the nation’s notoriously complex immigration system has swung from whether or not the child migrants in question show up at their hearings to whether or not these children deserve to have access to attorneys at all. Because immigration is handled in civil, not criminal courts, those who go before an immigration judge have no right to an attorney. 

The already backlogged immigration courts may not have yet seen the full weight of the child migrant crisis, since in those same three months judges have granted more than 10,000 continuances, which put off court hearings so that children can find the time to seek out the services of an attorney, Politico reported.

In addition to $9 million in federal aid to provide these children, many of whom are under the age of 14 and do not speak English, with attorneys, cities like Oakland, San Francisco, and New York have stepped up to provide legal services. 

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