Images of Darren Wilson Surface Online

Images of Darren Wilson Surface Online

So far, the only recent image we’ve seen of Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson has been one obtained through social media by Yahoo! News, which illustrates Wilson getting a certificate for good police work. When given the opportunity, the Ferguson Police Department didn’t issue an image of their officer who shot and killed Michael Brown more than three weeks ago. Instead, it provided reporters with still images from surveillance video of Brown at a convenience store close to where he was killed.

Media have reported that images of Wilson are hard, if not impossible, to come by. The Washington Post and the St. Louis Post Dispatch have speculated that Wilson deleted any social media accounts that he may have had. If that’s the case, the Ferguson police department’s decision to wait nearly an entire week before releasing Wilson’s name may have helped him remove his online presence. It’s unclear what internal protocols may have been in place, but Ferguson’s police department hasn’t been forthcoming with details about Wilson or the shooting itself

Colorlines has obtained several photos of someone who appears to be Darren Wilson. One, found on Facebook, features Wilson out of uniform. Colorlines has also confirmed that there are several others: two from a professional photographer who photographed Wilson’s wedding, as well as several other photos, likely taken by an amateur, also at his wedding in 2011. 

What’s Different About Fast Food Worker Strikes This Thursday?

What's Different About Fast Food Worker Strikes This Thursday?

This Thursday marks another day of planned walkouts by fast food workers. This time they’re ratcheting up the stakes by adding sit-ins and inviting home care workers to join protests expected to take place in more than 100 cities. Organizers hope sit-ins will increase pressure on the restaurant industry and invoke the legacy of the Civil Rights movement for their cause. And in an attempt to broaden the low-wage labor fight into a movement, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is inviting the nation’s two million home care aides to join this week’s protests, too. SEIU has bankrolled the fast food worker drive to unionize and raise the minimum wage to $15 since the first round of protests in November 2012.

(h/t The New York Times)

Donation Pages for Officer Darren Wilson Suddenly Closed This Weekend

Donation Pages for Officer Darren Wilson Suddenly Closed This Weekend

Donation pages raising more than $400,000 for Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson were suddenly shut down without explanation this weekend, the LA Times reports. Wilson is the officer who shot and killed unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown on the afternoon of August 9th. Neither owners of the two fundraising efforts with similar names have explained why both GoFundMe pages appear to have shut down around similar times on Saturday. They had inspired controversy some weeks ago for defending Wilson, drawing racist remarks and lack of accountability. The page “Support Officer Darren Wilson,” which has so far raised more than $230,000 is run by an anonymous organizer.

“Support Officer Wilson,” run by a St. Louis police charity, Shield of Hope, has so far brought in slightly less than $200,000. One of the organization’s three named officers is a Democrat and member of the Missouri House of Representatives Jeffrey Roorda. This January, Roorda sponsored a bill that would keep officers’ names secret if involved in a police shooting unless they were criminally charged. The bill “went nowhere,” according to the LA Times.

A GoFundMe set up by lawyer Benjamin Crump for Michael Brown’s family has so far raised more than $300,000.

U.S. Airstrike in Somalia, Israeli Land Grab, Cantor Takes Wall Street Job

U.S. Airstrike in Somalia, Israeli Land Grab, Cantor Takes Wall Street Job

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

  • Are you an iOS developer wondering why your app was rejected? Apple lists the reasons for about half the time apps are turned down. 
TAGS: Morning Rush

Students to Boycott Newark Public Schools

Students to Boycott Newark Public Schools

When Newark public school students return to class this Thursday, some children will be missing their first day. A local parents’ group announced last week that some 600 parents have pledged to keep their children out of classes to protest the district’s sweeping new reform plan, One Newark. Campaign leaders have described the boycott as move of desperation for a community that has felt steamrolled by the high-powered reform agenda and the state control that has governed their schools for two decades.

One Newark has been billed as a massive overhaul of the struggling school system. Under the plan, which was approved last December, the district will close, phase out or reformulate roughly one-third of its schools. Students will no longer be assigned to their neighborhood schools. Instead, a complex algorithm will match families with schools of their choice across the district.

The plan, which focuses elementary and middle schools,has had a rough rollout over the past couple of weeks. Parents who were invited to register their children for school have waited in line for hours, CBS reported. New Jersey’s News 12 found a family with five children who were assigned to five different schools.

“The superintendent announced this plan as an opportunity of choice, but what it’s turning out to be is an opportunity of chance,” says Sharon Smith, a co-founder of Parents United for Local School Education (PULSE). “At some point parents don’t have a chance to get into their schools of choice, or even into a school at all.”

The boycott is only the latest battle in a long-running feud that pits teachers’ unions and progressive education advocates aga

Obama Suggests He Won’t Provide Immigration Relief Before Election

Obama Suggests He Won't Provide Immigration Relief Before Election

Deportation relief for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. may not come before November’s midterm election.

President Obama made clear in June that, because Congress hadn’t moved forward on legislation, he’d take major action himself on immigration by the end of the summer:

If Congress will not do their job, at least we can do ours.  I expect their recommendations before the end of summer and I intend to adopt those recommendations without further delay.

When Obama made his remarks on immigration reform in the Rose Garden in late June, he also provided more resources to secure the border—but many have been waiting patiently for some kind of deal that would allow undocumented immigrants some kind of administrative status change, even temporarily. The president’s comments claiming he’d take action on immigration by the end of the summer have also been backed by insiders and senior advisors. Some groups were already preparing undocumented immigrants for what Obama was expected to do in the next couple of weeks. 

But now, it seems, he’s changed his mind. Obama told reporters on Thursday that his timeline on immigration action may change. According to the New York Times, Obama’s calculation has everything to do with key Senate races:

Under pressure from nervous Democratic Senate candidates in tight races, President Obama is rethinking the timing of his pledge to act on his own to reshape the nation’s immigration system by summer’s end, and could instead delay some or all of his most controversial proposals until after the midterm elections in November, according to people familiar with White House deliberations.

And, according to the Los Angeles Times, immigration enforcement could, in fact, increase before the election:

Under that plan, the president would first announce measures aimed at tightening enforcement of current law, then put off until the end of the year a decision on a more sweeping program that could temporarily shield millions of immigrants from deportation.

Obama’s administration has already deported more than two million people—more than have been deported under any other president.  

The High Price of Gun Violence

The High Price of Gun Violence

Gun violence cost U.S. tax payers nearly $700 million in 2010, according to a new study from the Urban Institute. Add “societal costs” and the number jumps to an estimated $174 billion. To help put these figures into context, note that the injuries associated with firearm assault, including homicide, aren’t evenly distributed across the country. Rather, they concentrate among uninsured black boys and men and in a relatively small number of communities. As an example, in Boston, one study found that more than half of all gun violence clustered around less than 3 percent of streets and intersections. And while firearm injuries typically affect black and Latino men and boys ages 15 to 34, in a study of six states, black females were found to have higher rates of hospitalization than white males in all but one. Such concentrations of violence, particularly among youth of color, study authors say, “should serve as a clear call to action to find new solutions to gun violence.”

The six states studied: California, Maryland, Wisconsin, Arizona, New Jersey and North Carolina.

Read the full report here.

(h/t CNBC)

Weekend Read: Ta-Nehisi Coates on Education and Segregation

Weekend Read: Ta-Nehisi Coates on Education and Segregation

For the educators and learners among us: Make time for this meandering introspection from The Atlantic’s Ta-Nehisi Coates on learning a new culture, navigating its border police and finding out this summer that, “I was more ignorant than I knew.” Baltimore born and raised Coates spent the summer learning French at Middlebury College in Vermont. He uses this French immersion to understand and explain how segregation prepared him well to become a writer, less so a high-achiever in the classroom.

There’s much to dig in Coates’ essay. But I’m drawn to the notion that for members of marginalized communities, acquiring education does not necessarily mean an end to persecution. It has often meant the opposite:

In the early 19th century, the Cherokee Nation was told by the new Americans that if its members adopted their “civilized” ways, they would soon be respected as equals….

The Cherokee Nation…embraced mission schools. Some of them converted to Christianity. Other intermarried. Others still enslaved blacks….Thus the Native Americans of that time showed themselves to be as able to to integrate elements of the West with their own culture as any group of Asian or Jewish American. But the wolf has never much cared whether the sheep were cultured or not.

“The problem, from a white point of view,” writes historian Daniel Walker Howe, “was that the success of these efforts to ‘civilize the Indians’ had not yielded the expected dividend in land sales. On the contrary, the more literate, prosperous, and politically organized the Cherokees made themselves, the more resolved they became to keep what remained of their land and improve it for their own benefit.”

Cosmopolitanism, openness to other cultures, openness to education did not make the Cherokee pliant to American power; it gave them tools to resist. Realizing this, the United States dropped the veneer of “culture” and “civilization” and resorted to “Indian Removal,” or The Trail of Tears.

Read the whole essay, “Acting French” on The Atlantic.

15 Photos to Remember Hurricane Katrina

15 Photos to Remember Hurricane Katrina

Labor Day weekend marks a somber anniversary in the United States. Nine year ago, in 2005, Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast. The storm itself, as well as the subsequent flooding, claimed nearly 2,000 lives and displaced some one million people.

Hurricane Katrina also illustrated systemic racism in the U.S. and in the New Orleans area specifically—from the collapse of the levees to the belated rescue efforts to police shootings to media coverage. Katrina first made landfall in Louisiana as a Category 3 hurricane on Monday, August 29, 2005. By the time celebrities gathered to raise funds on television for the survivors four days later on September 2, Kanye famously blurted out “George Bush doesn’t care about black people” before his feed was cut off.

Here are some of the striking images from a devastating storm, nine years ago: 

08-29-14-katrina-1.jpgA man who refused to give his name covers his face as 50-mph winds blow in advance of Hurricane Katrina August 25, 2005 in Deerfield Beach, Florida. (Photo: Carlo Allegri/Getty)


08-29-14-katrina-2.jpgTrinidad Ribero stands at the gate of her flooded home after Hurricane Katrina dumped as much as 15 inches of rain as it passed over this community south of Miami August 26, 2005 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo: Carlo Allegri/Getty)


08-29-14-katrina-3.jpgPeople wait in line while attempting to rent a car at New Orleans International Airport in preparation for Hurricane Katrina August 27, 2005 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo: Mario Tama/Getty)


08-29-14-katrina-4.jpgJeff Johnson holds his daughter Kayla, 1, in the nearly deserted French Quarter before the arrival of Hurricane Katrina August 28, 2005 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo: Mario Tama/Getty)


08-29-14-katrina-5.jpgResidents wait in line to enter the Superdome which is being used as an emergency shelter before the arrival of Hurricane Katrina August 28, 2005 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo: Mario Tama/Getty)


08-29-14-katrina-6.jpgWinn Dixie grocery store meat manager Amanda Keierleber stocks the last expected supply of meat before Hurricane Katrina moves through the morning of August 29, 2005 in Meridian, Mississippi. (Photo: Barry Williams/Getty)


08-29-14-katrina-7.jpgA man peers out of a window broken by Hurricane Katrina at the Hyatt Hotel on August 29, 2005 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty)


08-29-14-katrina-8.jpgPeople walk down a flooded street after Hurricane Katrina hit the area August 29, 2005 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty)


08-29-14-katrina-9.jpgMark Benton, of Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, helps to rescue three month old Ishmael Sullivan from a school rooftop after he and his mother were trapped with dozens of others in high water after Hurricane Katrina August 30, 2005 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo: Mario Tama)


08-29-14-katrina-10.jpgA McDonalds lies in ruins across from the beach and Highway 90 August 30, 2005 in Biloxi, Mississippi. (Photo: Barry Williams)


08-29-14-katrina-11.jpgPatricia Barela (L) and Jose Samaniewo make a donation for victims of Hurricane Katrina at a daylong disaster relief collection event at Dodger Stadium August 31, 2005 in Los Angeles. (Photo: Ann Johansson/Getty)


08-29-14-katrina-12.jpgDaryl Thompson holds his daughter Dejanae, 3-months, as they wait with other displaced residents on a highway in the hopes of catching a ride out of town after Hurricane Katrina August 31, 2005 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo: Mario Tama/Getty)


08-29-14-katrina-13.jpgIn this handout photo provided by the White House, U.S. President George W. Bush looks out over devastation from Hurricane Katrina as he heads back to Washington D.C. August 31, 2005 aboard Air Force One. (Photo: Paul Morse/White House via Getty)



Evacuees from the New Orleans area take shelter in the Reliant Astrodome September 1, 2005 in Houston, Texas. (Photo: Dave Einsel/Getty)


08-29-14-katrina-15.jpgEvacuees from New Orleans who survived Hurricane Katrina arrive on September 2, 2005 at Kelly USA in San Antonio, Texas. (Photo: Ronald Martinez/Getty) 

#BeyondFerguson Town Hall Puts Mayor in Hot Seat

#BeyondFerguson Town Hall Puts Mayor in Hot Seat

A standing room only crowd gathered at church last night for a frank town hall with Ferguson’s mayor and invited guests that included nationally respected moderator and mediator, NPR’s Michel Martin. Mayor James Knowles III, who is white, weathered heavy criticism from the multi-racial crowd and in particular, sharp disagreement from Daniel Isom about police procedure and allowing Michael Brown’s uncovered body to lay on the asphalt that Saturday afternoon. Isom, a former St Louis police chief and current professor, was recently nominated by Gov Jay Nixon to become Missouri’s top law enforcement official and the first African-American in Nixon’s cabinet. Listen at 6:45 in the NPR audio above for more.

More young people arrived as the evening wore on, Martin says, and some complained that none of yesterday’s panelists represented their generation, which has disproportionate contact with area police. Listen at 2:30 above as a 20-year-old college student tells the mayor, “The people who’re directly under you are taking our rights away,” and more. (The absence of young people, specifically, in policing discussions has been noted elsewhere.)

Listen at 4:15, too, to hear some of the views of Ferguson’s white residents, many of whom expressed surprise at learning of their black neighbors’ frustrations with police.

A Twitter chat #BeyondFerguson accompanied last night’s town hall and it’s still active today. Video of the forum, sponsored by St Louis Public Radio, is supposed to be up at noon today.

3 Million Syrians Displaced, Google Drones, Senegal Confirms First Ebola Case

3 Million Syrians Displaced, Google Drones, Senegal Confirms First Ebola Case

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

  • The U.N. says that three million Syrians—or about one of out every eight—have been displaced since 2011. 
  • West African students arriving on U.S. campuses this fall may be subjected to increased health checks.
TAGS: Morning Rush

Hillary Clinton Actually Says Something Meaningful About Ferguson and Racism

Hillary Clinton Actually Says Something Meaningful About Ferguson and Racism

It took her almost three weeks, but likely 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton finally said something about the shooting and killing of Michael Brown and what’s transpired since.

She said she was heartbroken by Brown’s funeral, and added she also grieves for the community of Ferguson. Clinton, who was in San Francisco for a conference, called out the militarized of police on Ferguson streets, which she says looked “like a warzone.” She also praised community leaders, young demonstrators and “decent and respectful law enforcement officers.”

She then explicitly addressed the institutional racism of the entire criminal justice system—from traffic stops to prison sentences.

Clinton had long been called out for not addressing Ferguson—although one writer recently attempted to make a case as to why Clinton should remain quiet about one of the biggest stories in the world. 

(h/t TPM)

Ferguson Update: Audio of Michael Brown Shooting Authenticated

Ferguson Update: Audio of Michael Brown Shooting Authenticated

Audio appearing to capture the shots fired at unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown by officer Darren Wilson has been authenticated by Glide, a video messaging app company. An unidentified resident of the nearby apartment complex was using the app on his/her smartphone and unwittingly captured the sound of gunshots and the time of the incident: 12:02:14 p.m. CDT according to a Glide press release today. Lee reports that time matches when police say Brown was shot. The audio, in which a pause between shots can be heard, could be a critical piece of evidence in the investigation of Brown’s death. The unidentified resident is cooperating with the FBI.

Read more at MSNBC.

Ousted High-Ranking Official: Border Patrol has Become a ‘Paramilitary Force’

Ousted High-Ranking Official: Border Patrol has Become a 'Paramilitary Force'

Twenty eighy unarmed migrants have died at the hands of U.S. Customs and Border Protection since 2010—and not one agent has faced criminal charges in the killings. Two months ago, the Border Patrol’s head of internal affairs, James F. Tomsheck, was fired for not doing enough to investigate the shootings. But since that time, Tomsheck’s gone on the record to refute that claim, and to tell the public just corrupt the agency has become.

Tomsheck spoke with NPR in a report that aired this morning. He explains that agents routinely lie or distort the truth to protect themselves. But the problem isn’t individual agents—it’s the leadership, too. And, according to Tomsheck, the agency itself tends to think of itself as a “paramilitary border security force” that’s operating outside of the “constitutional restraints regarding use of force.”

The Border Patrol is largest federal law enforcement agency in the United States. It says it is launching a new training program, as well as an improved internal affairs unit headed by the F.B.I. 

New Report Tracks Discrimination Against California’s Muslims

New Report Tracks Discrimination Against California's Muslims

California’s Muslims reported 933 discrimination complaints during 2013, according to a new annual report from the state offices of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). Chief among them were employment discrimination (15 percent) with immigration and FBI and law enforcement complaints coming in at a close second.

Though they comprise the vast majority, not all complaints to CAIR came from Muslims. They also include complaints from individuals thought to “look Muslim,” too. 

“While most people who know of CAIR know us through our grassroots work within the American Muslim community and therefore tend to be Muslim, we would never turn away someone who was discriminated against because they were perceived to be Muslim,” says Brice Hamack, CAIR’s civil rights coordinator in the San Francisco office.

Read the full report here, which shows a slight increase in reporting from 854 complaints received in 2012.

Hip-Hop’s Biggest Names Release Song After Ferguson: ‘Don’t Shoot’

Hip-Hop's Biggest Names Release Song After Ferguson: 'Don't Shoot'

Some of hip-hop’s biggest stars got together to record a new track dedicated to Michael Brown called “Don’t Shoot.” The song features the Game, Rick Ross, 2 Chainz, Diddy, Fabolous, Wale, DJ Khaled, Swizz Beatz, Yo Gotti, Currensy, Problem and King Pharaoh & TGT. It also names other victims of police and vigilante violence, including Ezell Ford and Trayvon Martin. 

Ta-Nehisi Coates’ New Book Club To Tackle Mass Incarceration

Ta-Nehisi Coates' New Book Club To Tackle Mass Incarceration

The Atlantic’s Ta-Nehisi Coates, writer of The Case for Reparations, is reviving his book club. But instead of the Civil War, this time it’ll focus on mass incarceration. First up is Michelle Alexander’s, “The New Jim Crow.” The reading schedule for September is posted. Take a look and join the discussion. 

Black Oakland City Workers Find Noose on Truck

Black Oakland City Workers Find Noose on Truck

A group of black Oakland Public Works employees noticed a noose was placed on one of their trucks Tuesday—in a department in Northern California where many say racial tensions have been brewing. 

According to San Francisco’s local CBS News, KPIX, the workers’ union says the hangman’s noose is representative of racism in the department. Mayor Jean Quan reluctantly told KPIX that she thought there weren’t racial tensions there, only concerns over promotions.

The case is being investigated by Oakland Police Department. 

Black Ex-Police Chief May Become Missouri’s Top Cop

Black Ex-Police Chief May Become Missouri's Top Cop

Governor Jay Nixon has nominated an African-American ex-police chief to direct the Department of Public Safety (DPS), the top law enforcement post in the state. Daniel Isom’s nomination comes amidst heavy criticism of Nixon’s response to Ferguson protests, and it’s been interpreted by some as the governor’s attempt to appease blacks in his state. If confirmed, Isom would be the only African-American in Nixon’s cabinet and the second high profile African-American law enforcement officer tapped by Nixon in the aftermath of Michael Brown’s killing by a white police officer.

Isom spent 24 years with the St. Louis police, four as chief. He retired two years ago to become a professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. The head of DPS oversees the Highway Patrol, the National Guard, the Office of Homeland Security and other statewide law enforcement agencies.

(h/t The New York Times)

Ukraine Fears Russian Invasion, Hello Schrödinger’s Kitty, Josh Shaw’s Suspension

Ukraine Fears Russian Invasion, Hello Schrödinger's Kitty, Josh Shaw's Suspension

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

  • Some headlines this morning are actually wondering whether 9-year-olds should be learning how to use submachine guns.
  • The Samsung and LG smartwatches are here
  • USC’s Josh Shaw is suspended after he admits he lied about a heroic story. 
TAGS: Morning Rush
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