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Tamir Rice’s Family Responds to Cleveland Court Filing

Tamir Rice's Family Responds to Cleveland Court Filing

Tamir Rice’s family has responded to a Friday filing by the city of Cleveland which argued that the 12-year-old African-American boy was to blame for his own death at the hands of Cleveland police last November. “It’s unbelievable,” Walter Madison, an attorney for the Rice family, told the Washington Post.

In a 41-page document filed last week on behalf of Cleveland, the city argued that Rice’s death was “directly and proximately caused” by his own actions. 

“There are a number of things that we in society don’t allow 12-year-olds to do,” Madison said. “We don’t allow them to vote, we don’t allow them to drink. In court we don’t try them as adults. They don’t have the capacity to undersatnd the consequences of their actions.”

In a Monday press conference Cleveland mayor Frank Jackson apologized for the “insensitivity” embedded in what he said was standard legal language, CNN reported. The city would amend the document, Jackson said.

“What I care about right now is that the family of Tamir Rice and the people of the city of Cleveland understand and realize that we are sorry for what we have done and that we apologize to them,” Cleveland mayor Frank Jackson told reporters today, CNN reported. 

Read the court filing at USA Today.

Justice Department Finds Racial Bias in Ferguson Traffic Stops

Justice Department Finds Racial Bias in Ferguson Traffic Stops

Months of investigation by the Department of Justice into the Ferguson police department is expected to end as early as this week with the release of a report finding the department discriminates against African-American residents. Described by The New York Times as “highly critical,” the report concludes that the city of Ferguson disproportionately tickets, arrests and fines African-Americans, which in turn, balances the city budget. Ferguson is about 70 percent African-American; its police department is about 95 percent white, as is city leadership. If released this week, the DOJ’s “pattern or practice” investigation findings will echo those of a 2013 report by Missouri’s attorney general as well as a 2014 one by local indigent defense group, ArchCity DefendersPerhaps this third report, and the threat of settling or being sued on federal civil rights charges, will be the charm that brings reform to Ferguson. 

Also expected to be released this week is the DOJ’s separate investigation into police officer Darren Wilson who shot and killed Michael Brown last August and set off months of local and national protests. Early coverage of the report back in January reported that no federal civil rights charges would be brought.

LAPD Kills Black Homeless Man, DOJ Report on Ferguson, IKEA Smartphone Furniture

LAPD Kills Black Homeless Man, DOJ Report on Ferguson, IKEA Smartphone Furniture

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

  • Rick shaves his beard and stuff on “The Walking Dead.” (And Carol talks about missing her “wonderful husband”—the same man that constantly abused her and she ultimately killed—but no one’s writing about that.)
  • Sierra Leone’s vice president, Samuel Sam-Sumana is quarantined for Ebola after one of his security guards dies from the virus.
TAGS: Morning Rush

This Man Set Fire to a Houston Mosque. Islamic Leaders Forgave Him

This Man Set Fire to a Houston Mosque. Islamic Leaders Forgave Him

Two weeks ago, we told you about how a fire that destroyed a building in Houston’s Quba Islamic Institute was likely the result of arson. Sure enough, authorities arrested Darryl Ferguson, a 55-year-old homeless man for setting the fire. According to KHOU 11 News, police say Ferguson made anti-Muslim comments to a local store clerk. That means he could be charged with a hate crime. But Quba’s leadership has declined to pursue charges against Ferguson. Here’s assistant imam Ahsan Zahid’s explanation:

According to the Houston Chronicle, Ferguson is being held without bond. If convicted of first-degree arson, he faces life in prison—which the Quba Islamic Institute opposes. 

Senate Committee Clears Path for Loretta Lynch

Senate Committee Clears Path for Loretta Lynch

The Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday cleared a path for Loretta Lynch, 55, to replace outgoing attorney general Eric Holder, 64. If confirmed by the full chamber, Lynch, currently the top federal prosecutor for New York’s Eastern District, will become the first African-American woman to head the department of justice.

Lynch is perhaps best known, along with Brooklyn’s new district attorney and reformer, Kenneth Thompson, for successfully prosecuting the 1997 beating and sodomy case of Haitian immigrant Abner Louima by New York City police officers. One ABC News report describes Lynch as, “not part of the president’s inner circle,” and her reportedly low profile has been a common theme in coverage.

Some Republicans have raised concern over her stance on immigration and a money laundering case in which, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) says, execs got off lightly. But with unanimous Democrat (and police chiefs’) support, Lynch, The Hill reports, only needs one more Republican vote in the Senate order to be confirmed. 

President Obama announced last September, Eric Holder’s intention to resign as soon as his successor is confirmed.

New Study Debunks Myths of NYC’s LGBT Youth Who Trade Sex For Survival

New Study Debunks Myths of NYC's LGBT Youth Who Trade Sex For Survival

A new study released this week by the Urban Institute paints one of the more in-depth pictures of LGBT youth in New York City who trade sex for survival. The report is the first in a series to present findings based on in-depth interviews with nearly 300 young people whose median age was 19. And so far, those findings are debunking some of the more commonly held myths surrounding who does sex work.

Among the study’s initial findings is that young men were just as likely, if not more, to trade sex for survival. In total, of the study’s nearly 300 participants, 54 percent were men, 42 percent were women and 4 percent identified as transgender. Those findings fly in the face of the more commonly held assumptions that young women are far more likely than young men to trade sex for food, shelter or basic necessities.

But exactly how those young people enter the sex trade differs based on their gender. Cisgender women — those whose gender identities align with how they were assigned at birth — were less likely to report trading sex on their own. In total, 11 percent of cisgender women reported first trading sex on their own, compared with 24 percent of men. Similarly, transgender women were least likely to indicate initially trading sex on their own, according to researchers. What that means is cisgender and transgender women were more likely to be recruited into the commercial sex trade by an exploiter.

Of the nearly 300 participants in the study who identified as LGBT, young men who sleep with men (YMSM) or young women who sleep with women (YWSW):

  • The vast majority were of color: 37 percent identified as black, 22 percent identified as Latino and 30 percent identified as more than one race.
  • Homelessness is one of the most common drivers of youth engagement in survival sex.
  • Homophobia contributed not only to young people becoming homeless, but was also identified as a huge barrier in their access to social services in New York City.

Read the report here

Black and Blue Dress, What’s Next for Net Neutrality, House of Cards is Back

Black and Blue Dress, What's Next for Net Neutrality, House of Cards is Back

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

  • “House of Cards” is back, although I haven’t watched a third season yet so, tbh, I only have a link for an article that I haven’t read because I don’t want to ruin it for myself. 

Prison Rape: One Black 20-Year-Old Shares His Devastating Story

Prison Rape: One Black 20-Year-Old Shares His Devastating Story

John Doe 1 was 17-years-old when he, like thousands of other adolescents in the U.S., was placed in an adult prison in Michigan. He’d been convicted of participating in a couple of home invasions and was looking at a minimum of three years inside. Attacks by older, much larger prisoners—the first, a cell mate—started soon after arrival. John, not his real name and now 20, recounts the abuse to The Marshall Project in an intimate and devastating long-read on the origins, status and limitations of the 12-year-old Prison Rape Elimination Act.

John would later be asked why he did not tell correctional staff, since in theory they could have taken steps to protect him. “I didn’t know what to do,” he said. He assumed the staff knew what was happening. From their station at the end of the hall, the officers would see men going in and out of his cell and they would not intervene. The rapists would put a towel over the cell door’s window, which was not allowed but must have been noticed by officers making their rounds. John says some of the officers would even make jokes, calling him a “fag,” a “girl,” and a “bust-down.” Two months after his arrival, John finally reached a breaking point.

According to TMP, “17 year-olds are automatically tried as adults in 10 states, while 16 year-olds automatically face adult charges in North Carolina and New York.” All states typically give prosecutors and judges wide discretion in deciding whether to charge youth under 18 as adults. 

Go here for a primer on PREA and read the rest of John’s story at TMP.

Actions Planned Nationwide on Third Anniversary of Trayvon Martin’s Death

Actions Planned Nationwide on Third Anniversary of Trayvon Martin's Death

Today marks the third anniversary of Trayvon Martin’s death. One of the organizations that grew out of the outrage, after, is called Million Hoodies, and they’re calling for supporters to shut protest at their local hall of justice.

The hashtag #HoodiesUp has also been used widely on Twitter to mark the anniversary. Overall, it’s been a particularly difficult week to mark the ocassion. On Monday the Department of Justice announced that it would not bring federal civil rights charges against George Zimmerman, the man accused and then acquitted of killing Martin. That led Martin’s father, Tracy, to tell BuzzFeed that he thought the bar for proving hate crimes was too high. “The state tried and failed. The Justice Department didn’t feel there was enough evidence, there’s nothing left to do but continue to fight for kids like Trayvon,” Martin said.

FCC Net Neutrality Vote, Jobless Claims Climb, Ceres’s Bright Spot

FCC Net Neutrality Vote, Jobless Claims Climb, Ceres's Bright Spot

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

TAGS: Morning Rush

The Latest In The Fight For Our Internet

The Latest In The Fight For Our Internet

Some poor guy knocked on my Brooklyn apartment door the other day shilling for a competing cable-Internet-phone company. He was just an ordinary guy with a clipboard, a spiel and an off-the-boat accent like mine (when I use it). But when he said “deal,” that set me off.

“Deal? What deal? Internet connections in the U.S. are slower and more expensive than in Asia or Europe. Why is that?!” He said, “package.” I said “Package?! You mean like me paying extra for a home phone line I don’t want or use and y’all acting like I’m getting a two-fer?”

By now, my fellow immigrant’s clutching his clipboard to his chest and sidling away to my neighbor’s door saying, “I don’t get into the politics of it all.” I felt bad when I closed my door; dude was just doing his job. But the price to communicate, like rent, is too damn high. Every month it’s hard not to catch feelings.

That’s why the FCC’s big vote on net neutrality today matters. On one hand, it’s one more skirmish in a decade-long war over whether to keep the Internet as is: open. (Watch John Oliver for players and stakes.) On the other hand, I’m slightly paranoid and thinking these corporate and government suits are fighting over how many extra lines they can someday add to my itemized bill. Here’s an overview of where we are:

We may think of the Internet like a public utility but it isn’t; that could begin to change today.

After a nudge from President Obama, FCC chair Tom Wheeler’s expected to move the Internet a big step closer to regulating it like water or electricity. The big deal is ownership. The FCC could establish the premise that the Internet is an essential good and therefore, first and foremost belongs to the public rather than the free market. 

Technically, the whole thing’s called Title II regulation, referring to a section of the 1934 Telecommunications Act. Specifically, its language forbids discrimination of the sort that a coalition of media activists and tech companies are warning against: the creation of pricey fast lanes for rich customers and slow lanes for the rest of us. “Pay-to-play prioritization would absolutely raise customer bills,” says Malkia Cyril, founding director of the Center for Media Justice. “[Maintaining] net neutrality prevents that.”

Title II regulation could keep the Internet open for the next breakout YouTube hit.

“Do you want a blog like Racialicious or a webisode series like “Black Folk Don’t” to reach you under the same terms as news and video provided by your broadband company?” asks American University communications professor Patricia Aufderheide. (Comcast, for example, provides broadband and it owns content creator, NBC Universal.) “Do you want a black entrepreneur to have the same ability to start a web-based business as one the broadband company has equity in? Then you want the company providing broadband to have to offer it on the same terms to every end user and treat all the content coming to it with the same terms.” Title II gives the FCC more control over behemoth companies that not only own content but the delivery system, too.

But Title II was written long before the Internet was a thought. Can it keep the Internet open?

“It’s complicated,” Lewis Friedland, founding director of the Center for Communication and Democracy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, tells me by e-mail. “In an ideal world we’d construct a new way of regulating an open internet, taking the best from what is known as [Title II] and combining it with some new forms of regulation,” he says. But he’s a realist: “No new regulation is going to make it through Congress,” he says. Title II appears to be the best shot of keeping the Internet open and accessible on equal terms.

But even if the FCC votes yes for Title II, Cyril is prepping for new battles. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), the Washington Post reports, is pursuing a GOP net neutrality bill, described as an alternative to Chairman Wheeler’s proposal. “[Broadband providers] are threatening to sue. And legacy civil rights groups may step back into the fray as opponents,” says Cyril, a Panther baby who’s been organizing around access and representation for people of color since she was 15. “Just as we fought for the vote [during Jim Crow], we fight for our voice now.”

Can Title II lower any future bills?

No, not directly. What it can do, Aufderheide says, is, “make it more likely that competition of services provided over broadband can benefit startups and entrepreneurs who do not have the provider’s blessing or input.” 

Why not just trust broadband providers to maintain net neutrality without government regulation?

“We have a long history of seeing what happens when companies are not all forced to agree to the same rules of play; it puts the most disreputable of them in an advantaged position. And then it’s a race to the bottom,” Aufderheide says. “That’s why we got common carriage [or, Title II] in the first place, and USDA meat inspection and requirements for standards in milk and so on.”

Supreme Court Hears Muslim Woman’s Challenge to Abercrombie & Fitch

Supreme Court Hears Muslim Woman's Challenge to Abercrombie & Fitch

Did Abercrombie & Fitch discriminate against a Muslim woman named Samantha Elauf when a manager denied her a job because of her headscarf? That’s, broadly, the question the Supreme Court took up today when it heard Elauf’s case against the declining preppy-cool retailer. 

Elauf, who was 17 when she applied for a job at a Tulsa, Okla. store in 2008, had a strong interview with a manager, but was denied a job because Elauf didn’t fit in with the company’s “Look Policy,” which dictated that employees ought to conform to the company’s preppy aesthetic. Abercrombie company policy actually had allowances for religious head coverings, but no one asked Elauf why she wore a headscarf, and neither did Elauf explicitly ask for an exemption. The question before the Supreme Court is whose responsibility it was to make sure that Elauf’s rights weren’t being violated.

While there’s no way of knowing until the High Court’s ruling comes out, questioning at today’s oral arguments hints that the justices are sympathetic to Elauf’s argument, the BBC reports. “Justice Samuel Alito … said there was no reason not to hire her unless the firm assumed she would always wear a headscarf to work because of her religion,” the BBC reported. “He added employers could avoid such situations by asking prospective employees if they are able to abide by work rules.”

For more on the legal back and forth, read SCOTUSblog’s preview of today’s case.

‘Fresh Off the Boat’: A Sweet Father-Son Fiction

'Fresh Off the Boat': A Sweet Father-Son Fiction

Are my unabashedly positive feelings about “Fresh Off the Boat” colored by a desperation to see Asian faces on television? How much is due to the fact that it genuinely makes me laugh? Then again am I only laughing so hard because the Huang family reminds me of my own Chinese family? Is it possible that this show really is as good as it seems?

That’s what I’ve been asking myself the last four weeks that ABC’s “Fresh Off the Boat” has been on the air. As the show continues, and I continue to laugh, I’m no better able to answer those questions today than I was a month ago. Mine is an incredulity born of a lifetime of jaded pop culture consumption where crap TV is the norm and Asian invisibility is the standard. Last night’s Episode 6, “Fajita Man,” was no different.

In it, young Eddie, NBA and hip-hop obsessed, finds a new item through which to channel his combined loves: the impending release of Shaq Fu, a video game released in 1994 starring Shaquille O’Neal. Shaq Fu’s since been panned as one of the worst games ever created. But Eddie has no way of knowing that then. The video is almost like Mortal Kombat, Eddie explains, but it actually stars a bonafide basketball star. Except, at $50 a pop, the game’s way too expensive for him to afford on his own.

When his pining turns to whining, his dad Louis puts him to work at the family’s Western-themed steakhouse, Cattleman’s Ranch. It’s the mid-1990s, and sizzling fajitas are just coming on to the mainstream dining scene. Eddie’s anointed Fajita Boy. “There are no handouts in the Huang family,” Louis tells Eddie, recalling his own Taiwanese father who worked his whole life, and who was similarly hard on him. “The only time your grandfather got anything without working for it was on his birthday,” Eddie’s father tells him. “You know what he got? An egg. One egg.”

“To eat or to play with?”

“Now you see his dilemma.”

When Eddie realizes his first week of work still won’t make him enough money to buy Shaq Fu, he skips out. Louis, ready to come down hard on Eddie, is pulled back by Grandma. “And how was your relationship with your father?” she asks him, reminding Louis that his own father wasn’t just a hard worker, “He was also a hard man.”

The two both end up learning something—Louis to give a little, Eddie to step up and work for what he wants. The storyline is ostensibly about a father instilling in his son an appreciation for hard work. But it’s also about how fathers can learn from their own childhoods. It’s possible to do things differently with the next generation. The arc is sweet, and clearly fictionalized. (Ask any Asian adult for whom Amy Chua’s brand of parenting is not merely an arch comedy routine but the source of lasting scars.) Real life Eddie’s relationship with his father was far rougher.

But I didn’t mind the softened sitcom version. As comedian Jenny Yang said last night on Fresh Off the Show, the unofficial post-show chat hosted by Yang and blogger Phil Yu, the show gave audiences an aspirational moment. The kind of sweetness that, were she a young Asian-American kid watching today, would give her hope about the possibilities of parent-child relationships.

When I first saw the pilot last fall, I went into it tightly wound, bracing for the usual anti-Asian racial ignorance, flat jokes, a TV show starring Chinese characters and ridiculing Chinese people. And when “Fresh Off the Boat” wasn’t that, and then when it made me laugh, and then when the subsequent episodes featured honest and even barbed race humor, I decided to give myself occasional breaks from sussing out the finer layers of it. It was time to just enjoy it all.

Last night was one of those moments of relish. I’d also be lying if I said there wasn’t some catharsis to it as well. I never had the childhood Eddie Huang describes in his memoir, but neither did I have the softer relationship with my parents depicted in last night’s episode.

Amidst the sweetness was the usual funny that “Fresh Off the Boat” is so good at. Taking refuge from the swampy Orlando subtropics in air-conditioned grocery stores, laying still in heat-soaked clothes instead of turning on the A/C. And Jessica Huang, always.

Speaking of catharsis, the best line in the episode probably goes to young Eddie in the opening scenes.

“Aren’t you Japanese?” a white kid asks him in the school cafeteria.

“Shut your damn mouth,” says Eddie.

High Hopes for Chicago’s First Openly Gay Latino Alderman

High Hopes for Chicago's First Openly Gay Latino Alderman

The big news out of Chicago politics today is, of course, the unexpected run-off between incumbent Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Jesus “Chuy” Garcia. Emanuel is former Chief of Staff in the Obama White House and one of the country’s best fundraisers, while Garcia is a Cook County commissioner and progressive democrat who’s lambasted the mayor for widely publicized school closures and downtown development plans. The run-off election will be held on April 7.

But there was other news out of Chicago politics that could have big implications: the election of 25-year-old Carlos Ramirez-Rosa, the city’s first openly gay alderman.

Rosa is a 26*-year-old activist who beat out incumbent Ald. Rey Colon to represent the city’s 35th ward, which includes the city’s Logan Square neighborhood, home to one of its biggest Latino populations.

Rosa, born and raised in Chicago, was a staffer for Congressman Luis Gutiérrez (D-IL). He earned an endorsement from the Chicago Tribune and is now the youngest alderman in the city. And — as is smart to do these days, though expected — has painted himself as a politician who’s against Big Money influences. “There’s money in this city,” Rosa said at his campaign kick-off rally on Sept. 6. “If you look at the decisions City Hall is making, if you look at the way our aldermen vote, you would think that Chicago belongs to corporations buying our public institutions. You would think that Chicago belongs to politicians selling out our schools and developers evicting our families.”

 * A previous version of this post misstated Rosa’s age. He is 26, not 25.

Chicago ‘Black Sites’ Expose More on How the City Tortures Its Residents

Chicago 'Black Sites' Expose More on How the City Tortures Its Residents

First there was Spencer Ackerman’s bombshell report in the Guardian connecting the dots between a longtime Chicago police officer’s torturous reign against that city’s black residents and the subsequent abuse experienced by U.S. detainees at Guantánamo. Now, there’s more: news that the Chicago police department has long maintained an off-the-books compound called Homan Square used to torture city residents, one that’s being called the domestic equivalent of a CIA black site. The facility, which has allegedly been run for 40 years, held people as young as 15 years old.

From the Guardian:

“Homan Square is definitely an unusual place,” Church told the Guardian on Friday. “It brings to mind the interrogation facilities they use in the Middle East. The CIA calls them black sites. It’s a domestic black site. When you go in, no one knows what’s happened to you.”

The secretive warehouse is the latest example of Chicago police practices that echo the much-criticized detention abuses of the US war on terrorism. While those abuses impacted people overseas, Homan Square - said to house military-style vehicles, interrogation cells and even a cage - trains its focus on Americans, most often poor, black and brown.

Read more at the Guardian. 

Dori Maynard, Advocate for Media Diversity, Dies at 56

Dori Maynard, Advocate for Media Diversity, Dies at 56

Dori Maynard, president of the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education and one of the nation’s most effective advocates for representative media and excellent journalism, died on Tuesday at her California home. She was 56; the cause was lung cancer. Tributes are pouring in today from at least two generations of journalists (See #DoriMaynard to follow on Twitter). Many had been touched by Maynard in some way, if not by her personal kindness or hand in their careers then by the nearly 40-year-old Maynard Institute, an institutional beacon for black, Latino, Native, and Asian-American journalists in a predominantly white and “color-blind” media landscape.

“You can hardly put into words how important the work Dori and the Maynard Institute did to train young people of color for careers in journalism and how the Institute trained the media to write fair stories about communities of color,” Bob Butler, president of the National Association of Black Journalists, wrote on the MIJE site. Maynard, he said, was a founding member of the Chauncey Bailey Project. Bailey, an Oakland journalist who edited several African-American newspapers covering the Bay Area, was gunned down in 2007 for seeking to expose crime and violence in the community. 

“We cannot stand for a reporter to be murdered while working on behalf of the public. Chauncey’s death is a threat to democracy,” Maynard is reported to have said. “We will not be bullied.”

Maynard reportedly said that her middle initial, “J” stood for Journalism. She is the daughter of Robert C. Maynard, the African-American owner and publisher of The Oakland Tribune and co-founder of MIJE.

I met Maynard once. She was warm and welcoming to me, then, a cub journalist, and I’ll remember that. But most of all, I will remember her for helping to create spaces in newsrooms throughout this country for journalists of color and for continually insisting that representative media is the foundation of excellent journalism. 

Obama Vetoes Keystone XL, Torture in Chicago’s ‘Black Site,’ Giuliana Apologizes

Obama Vetoes Keystone XL, Torture in Chicago's 'Black Site,' Giuliana Apologizes

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

  • Obama vetoes a bill that would have allowed the construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline. 
  • Chicago’s police department has been running a ‘black site,’ where, for the last 40 years or so, adults and children as young as 15 years old are tortured without ever even being booked into custody. At least one person has died.
  • Speaking of Chicago, Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, a Mexican-American politician with broad grassroots support, will face Rahm Emanuel in a runoff for mayor on April 7 after Emanuel failed to get 50 percent of the vote in yesterday’s mayoral election. 
TAGS: Morning Rush

Obama: My Administration Will Fight Texas Ruling

Obama: My Administration Will Fight Texas Ruling

As the end-of-month deadline to fund the Department of Homeland Security looms and the Obama administration takes on a Texas judge’s ruling to temporarily halt President Obama’s historic executive action, the president himself is weighing in on the mess. “My administration will fight this ruling with every tool at our disposal,” Obama wrote in an op-ed for The Hill, “and I have full confidence that these actions will ultimately be upheld.”

On Monday, the Obama administration asked U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen to lift his ruling temporarily halting the implementation of Obama’s executive action program to offer an estimated 4 million undocumented immigrants short-term protection from deportation. The Obama administration says it plans to appeal Hanen’s ruling, arguing that the 26 states who challenged Obama’s executive action have no right to interfere with the federal government’s immigration enforcement plans. Hanen’s ruling last week disrupted the planned February 18 rollout of the first phase of Obama’s executive action, which would have allowed an expanded class of undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children to apply for temporary work permits and deportation deferrals. 

“I am confident that all the steps I’ve taken on my own to fix our broken immigration system will eventually be implemented,” Obama wrote, also taking time to chastise Republicans for what he called their “irresponsible threats” to withhold funding of the Department of Homeland Security so long as such funding also goes to the implementation of Obama’s immigration policies. 

DOJ Declines to Charge George Zimmerman in Trayvon Martin Case

DOJ Declines to Charge George Zimmerman in Trayvon Martin Case

As was widely expected, the Department of Justice declined to bring federal charges against George Zimmerman, the man who shot and killed unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin back in 2012. Federal prosecutors have concluded that there’s not enough evidence to prove Zimmerman violated Martin’s civil rights, according to ABC News

The news come almost exactly three years after Martin’s death, and nearly two years since Zimmerman was acquitted by a Florida jury in the killing. 

“The death of Trayvon Martin was a devastating tragedy. It shook an entire community, drew the attention of millions across the nation, and sparked a painful but necessary dialogue throughout the country,” said Attorney General Eric Holder, according to a statement obtained by BuzzFeed. “Though a comprehensive investigation found that the high standard for a federal hate crime prosecution cannot be met under the circumstances here, this young man’s premature death necessitates that we continue the dialogue and be unafraid of confronting the issues and tensions his passing brought to the surface. We, as a nation, must take concrete steps to ensure that such incidents do not occur in the future.”

Benjamin Crump Takes New Case, Chicago Mayoral Election, Emoji of Color

Benjamin Crump Takes New Case, Chicago Mayoral Election, Emoji of Color

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

TAGS: Morning Rush
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