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Nigerian Citizens As Endangered Species in India | allAfrica.com

60934935It is dangerous to be a Nigerian in a part of India called Goa, described by Wikipedia as India’s smallest but richest state. It is also probably one of India’s most xenophobic states.

On October 30 this year, a Nigerian by the name of Obodo Uzoma Simon was murdered in cold blood by a gang of Indian brutes for no apparent reason. But the Indian press, taking cues from their local politicians, immediately associated the murder with a drug deal gone bad. Well, this turned out to be false, as you will see shortly.

A day after the murder, about 200 Nigerians in Goa staged a raucous protest to register their outrage. They wanted the murderer of their compatriot to be brought to justice and for Nigerian consular officers in India to supervise an autopsy of his corpse. While I admit that the manner of the protest (smashing road dividers, threatening police officers, dumping Simon’s corpse in the middle of the highway and halting traffic for hours on end, etc.) was condemnable and unacceptable, the reaction of Indians to the protest has been even more disconcerting.

First, after the protest, scores of Nigerians were arbitrarily arrested and clamped in jail. After this string of arrests, on the instruction of the police and politicians in Goa, landlords ejected all “black” people, not just Nigerians, from their apartments. According to the Times of India, “a resolution [was] passed by a local panchayat headed by the wife of a BJP legislator, Michael Lobo, banning Nigerians” from living in Goa.

“My landlord said all the ‘blacks’ had to be evicted on police instructions,” a 24-year-old Nigerian by the name of Chioma Ghansoli told the Times of India. “I have nowhere to go in Goa. Me and my friends will spend the night at the beach tonight with our luggage.” Talk of guilt by association.

In justifying the onslaught on Nigerians, an Indian minister by the name of Dayanand Mandrekar told local Indian media that “Nigerians are like cancer” that must be eradicated from India. In the wake of this thinly veiled call to mass murder, a video surfaced on YouTube of a Nigerian being savagely clobbered with unspeakable barbarity by a bloodthirsty Indian mob. We have no idea how many other Nigerians have been lynched in Goa because, well, there are almost no Nigerians in Goa now. But when a government minister describes an entire nationality as a “cancer,” it is reasonable that the vulgar herd will interpret him as giving them the license to cut off (read: slaughter) the “cancerous” people. The only thing cancer is good for is total annihilation.

When Indians are not lynching “cancerous” Nigerians physically in Goa, they turn to the Internet to accomplish this. The comments on news articles involving Nigerians on Indian websites are some of the most nakedly negrophobic hate-fest I’ve ever seen in my life. Nigerians are called monkeys, niggers, wild animals, sub-humans, Third World scum (as if India isn’t the leader of the Third World), and such other dehumanizing and unmentionable epithets.

The undiluted racist hate against Nigerians in Indian isn’t merely spewed under the pseudonymic cover of the Internet; even billboards revile and demean Nigerians. A particularly jarring billboard prominently displayed in a Goa town, which a Nigerian living in India called to my attention to, has the following inscription: “Say No To Nigerian (sic), Say No to Drugs.”

Apparently, because a few Nigerians living in India engage in drug trafficking, all Nigerians have been tarred with the same xenophobic broad brush. Well, it turned out, as I said earlier, that the Nigerian whose murder is the trigger for the rash of racist assaults against Nigerians in India was never involved in drugs, contrary to the claims of the Indian press, local police and politicians.

According to the November 11 edition of the Times of India, investigations have concluded that “There is not a single drug related case filed against Nigerian national Obado [sic] Uzoma Simeon who was murdered on the intervening night of October 30 to 31 at Parra.” Yet, Indians still repeat the canard that Simon (or is it Simeon?), who was ferociously stabbed more than 25 times, was murdered by rival Indian drug lords. (Oh, so Indians also do drugs? I thought only Nigerians did!)

All this doesn’t surprise me, frankly. India is an inexorably racist society. According to a global survey conducted in October this year, India ranks as the most racist country on earth. The survey measured racial intolerance by how “frequently people in a given country said they don’t want neighbors from other races.” India’s racial intolerance, according to the survey, is equaled only by Jordan. (The most racially tolerant societies, the survey found, are the United States, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Guatemala, Britain, Sweden, Norway, Latvia, Australia, and New Zealand.)

The current anti-Nigerian hysteria in India is fueled by two strains of bigotry in the Indian society: a lethal mixture of visceral negrophobia and Islamaphobia. India has a well-known, age-old problem with dark skin, a problem that is congealed in the country’s invidious caste system. Even dark-skinned Indians from the country’s south are often the victims of racist taunts and denigration, and Africans, according to many Indians who spoke frankly with me, are considered ugly, undesirable, and worthy only of ice-cold disdain.

India is, without a doubt, a terrible place for a black person to call home.

It’s even more terrible if the black person is also a Muslim. As a consequence of India’s continuing bitter animosities with Pakistan, many, perhaps most, Indians gaze at Muslims from the jaundiced lenses of their troubled relations with Pakistanis and instinctively assume that every Muslim is a Hindu-hating enemy. Of course, this is not true of all Indians, but it is true of most of them.

For anecdotal evidence, look at the comment sections of India’s English-language news websites about Nigerians. (I hear that the local-language websites are way worse). You will find a disproportionate percentage of commenters claiming that Nigerians are doing drugs to fund terrorism against Indians. Many commenters on TimesofIndia.com and other Indian websites also described Nigerians in Goa, including the late Simeon, as “Boko Haram terrorists”! Yet others called them “muzzies,” apparently a pejorative term for Muslims in India.

The Indians couldn’t be bothered that the people they call “Boko Haram terrorists” and “muzzies” are Christian Nigerians. You would think that a name like “Simon” would at least make that clear to them. Well, as I pointed out in a previous article three years ago, stereotyping is a great timesaver; it enables ignorant and bigoted people to rush to quick judgment without the pesky encumbrance of nuance and factual information.

From what I can gather, it is now open season on Nigerians in Goa. Unspeakable atrocities are being committed against innocent Nigerians there. The Indian and Nigerian governments must act expeditiously to halt this madness.

allAfrica.com: Nigeria: Citizens As Endangered Species in India.

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Jesus Huerta: A Child Killed in Durham Police Custody | blacksankofa

Jesus Huerta

By Lamont Lilly – Durham, NC

 

Another Durham resident has now died in a controversial encounter with the Durham Police Department. This time it was teenager and local Riverside High School student, Jesus Huerta. An official response from Durham police chief, Jose Lopez states that 17 year old, Jesus Huerta died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound while placed under arrest in the back seat of a police squad car. After Durham police officer, Samuel Duncan arrested Huerta, reports state that Officer Duncan heard a loud noise from the vehicle’s rear seat and jumped out of his moving patrol cruiser. Duncan’s squad car then slammed into a parked van, leaving Huerta shot and killed in the process. This incident occurred right outside of the Durham Police Department’s headquarters parking lot.

 

Personally, I don’t believe one word of what the Durham Police Department has stated. It seems to me, and many others throughout the city, Durham police officers are simply covering their tracks with a concocted story that makes no physical or logical sense whatsoever. Judging from the city’s buzz of conversations, many residents believe Officer Duncan was directly responsible for Huerta’s death. It is also quite disturbing how the first thing Durham police chose to highlight in this controversy was Huerta’s past juvenile offenses. Trespassing and misdemeanor possession of cannabis was not the cause of Jesus Huerta’s death. Such sheer lack of accountability on behalf of the Durham Police Department is not only disrespectful, it’s outright despicable. Entertaining such ploy is merely a distraction from gathering the truth of what actually happened, here. Maybe someone should pull up the Durham Police Department’s criminal record. Fact is, a 17 year old boy who was allegedly handcuffed, mysteriously died in police custody. Many residents are pointing to police brutality and excessive use of force.

 

Unfortunately, Jesus Huerta became the third Durham resident killed by or in Durham police custody over the last five months. Thirty-three year old, Jose Ocampo was killed July 27th, shot four times in the chest for possessing a knife. Twenty-six year old, Derek Deandre Walker was executed September 17th by a Durham police sniper for publicly threatening to commit suicide.

 

Personally, I’m not worried about the “Bloods and Crips” in Durham. I’m worried about our local thugs in pressed blue uniforms. I’m worried about gang members who carry badges, tasers, steel batons and handguns, “law enforcers” who are paid with public tax money to terrorize people. Jesus Huerta deserves more than blanket apologies from city officials. Phony condolences are of no use, here. Huerta’s family members deserve justice; local Durham residents deserve the truth. A child has been killed, and we need answers. We need answers and Officer Samuel Duncan arrested. Now!

 

Lamont Lilly is a contributing editor with the Triangle Free Press, Human Rights Delegate with Witness for Peace and organizer with Workers World Party. He resides in Durham, NC.

Jesus Huerta: A Child Killed in Durham Police Custody | blacksankofa.

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‘How Many Black People Must Get Dissed?’ SF Protests after Cops Knock Out Black Student | The BrownWatch: News for People of Color. – BrownWatch News

If you don\’t understand white supremacy/racism, what it is and how it works,  the issue of police brutality will only confuse you. [MORE]

From [HERE] San Francisco police have been accused of using excessive force in a bloody incident that escalated after officers allegedly beat a Black man for riding his bicycle on the sidewalk. New video of the arrest is above.

Video footage of the event has also surfaced showing multiple arrests, including one that occurred after a white plainclothes officer confronted a man and began fighting with him. The man is soon arrested and led to a police car with a bloodied face.

The incident at the Valencia Gardens apartments began when 20-year-old D’Paris “DJWilliams was told by police to stop riding his bicycle on the sidewalk. Both Williams’ family and law enforcement agree that Williams did not listen to the undercover, plainclothes officers’ commands, but the family said it was because Williams was listening to music and did not hear what police said. [MORE]

Williams kept riding, and officers detained him as he tried to enter his apartment. Police said he resisted arrest after refusing to comply with their orders. Williams was forced to the ground when his sister, Christina, says that police used excessive force on a man that was just trying to get into his house.

“One choking him, one pinned all his weight on him, leaning on him and the lady over there trying to put the handcuffs on him,” she told the local KPIX station. “And he started beating on him for no reason.”

At this point, multiple residents came outside and the situation escalated. According to police officer Gordon Shy’s account to the San Francisco Examiner, “multiple subjects came out of the home and created a hostile situation for the officers.”

The video footage posted to YouTube mostly captures the tail end of this incident, when one man has already been brought to the ground and another, later identified as 25-year-old Orlando Rodriguez, is confronted by the plainclothes officer in a baseball cap.

The video has sparked accusations of police brutality, but police say the officers used reasonable force against those who resisted arrest. Police told the Examiner that two of the three officers who approached Williams about his bike had their badges displayed and added that officers came under attack when the confrontation escalated.

According to Shy, one officer was nearly hit with a cane while another was bitten. Two were transported to the hospital to be treated for injuries.

“If an officer feels that he, she or another officer are under the threat of physical violence, then they have the right to defend that officer, which was what the officer was trying to do,” Shyy told the Examiner.

Travis Jensen, the man who took the YouTube video and who\’s also a friend of Williams’ cousin, said the situation would not have gotten worse if people didn’t feel the police were abusing their power.

“Clearly something not right is happening here,” Jensen said to KPIX. “People don’t get that upset for no reason. They were upset because they were seeing DJ getting beaten.”

Williams was arrested on suspicion of assaulting a police officer, resisting arrest, and riding his bike on the sidewalk. Rodriguez was cited for misdemeanor resisting arrest and released. Two others were also arrested – 22-year-old Antoine Bradford for assault and battery of a police officer, and 24-year-old Masai Bradford, Jr. for outstanding warrants.

Williams and Antoine Bradford have both been released and their cases discharged, pending further investigation.

via The BrownWatch: News for People of Color. – BrownWatch News – ‘How Many Black People Must Get Dissed?’ SF Protests after Cops Knock Out Black Student.

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SFPD Assaults Black Cyclist, Discover He Was Only “Packing” a Cupcake and Juice [UPDATES] | Uptown Almanac

Photographer Travis Jensen reports that 21 20-year-old D’Paris Williams, a.k.a. “DJ,” a City College student, was assaulted by SFPD officers Friday afternoon for what appears to be no reason:

Yesterday afternoon, while riding his bicycle home from the Make A Wish Foundation‘s “Bat Kid” happenings, DJ was confronted by two undercover police officers in an unmarked vehicle at the Valencia Gardens Apartments in the City’s Mission District. Apparently, the officers said something to DJ about riding his bicycle on the sidewalk as he was pulling up to his home in the complex. It is unclear whether the officers identified themselves or not, but did proceed to get out of their car, grab DJ from behind as he was entering the home and beat him for no apparent reason. A police search uncovered a cupcake and juice that DJ had just purchased from the corner store. Nobody has spoken to DJ since the incident occurred as he was immediately taken to S.F. General Hospital for treatment, and then to the 850 Bryant police station. So far, it appears no charges have been made against DJ either. There is building video surveillance footage of DJ’s confrontation w/ police, but it that has yet to be released by housing authority. Furthermore, three residents came to DJ’s aid when they saw officers beating him up, only to find themselves also under attack by officers. By this time, uniformed backup had arrived on the scene. Including DJ, a total of four individuals were beaten and arrested by officers.

As mentioned, after DJ was allegedly assaulted and taken to SF General, the Valencia Garden community spilled out into the street in protest of the violence.  Residents began filming and soon captured footage of officers attacking protesters.  Around 1:30, an officer can be seen punching a detained man on the ground:

That man, who can also be seen earlier in the video trying to pull an aggravated man away from officers and then being attacked, was later seen with his face bloodied:

We’ll update as this story develops.

UPDATE 2:00pm: We’re now getting more information about the incident.

We’re told that the scene unfolded right as DJ was entering his house.  As he was questioned byundercover narcotic agents plainclothes officers from the Violence Reduction Team, the officer in the black baseball hat (pictured above) grabbed DJ and shoved his head into his front door.  DJ’s sister, who was holding a newborn baby, was witness to the entire scene.  When she approached the door where DJ was being assaulted, a second officer pushed her.

They then dragged DJ into the street and punched him in the head until he was knocked out.  Others in lock-up with DJ report that he blacked out and has no recollection of what happened.  DJ is still in custody and not being allowed to speak to anyone; however, criminal charges are yet to be filed.

Currently two of the other three men who were arrested have been released.

We’re told the man seen holding the cane in the video is a gay, HIV-positive man who needs his cane because of medical complications.  The police are continuing to hold him in custody, allegedly because his cane is being considered a “deadly weapon.”

Orlando (last name unknown), who had his face bloodied after pulling the man with the cane away from officers, was released “a few hours ago,” according to Travis Jensen.

UPDATE 7:45pm: We are still yet to receive a comment from SFPD about the incident.  We’ll continue trying to reach someone from their Media Relations Department.

UPDATE 9:00am: SFPD just released this statement:

At approximately 3:41 PM Friday, officers from the Violence Reduction Team, working a plainclothes assignment attempted to stop a bicyclist in the area of Maxell and Rosa Parks for a California vehicle code infraction.  The suspect fled from the officers after they identified themselves as police.  The suspect attempted to flee into a residence.  The officers confronted the suspect near the doorway and requested additional units for assistance.  The suspect failed to comply with lawful orders from the officers and continued to resist the officers.  Reasonable force was used by the officers to effect the arrest.  During this incident, multiple subjects came from the rear of the residence and formed a hostile crowd around the officers.  One subject attempted to strike an officer with a cane, while another suspect bit an officer.  Two officers suffered non-life threatening injuries.  In total, 4 suspects were arrested. 2 felony and 1 misdemeanor arrests resulted in bookings.  One misdemeanor arrest resulted in a cite.

We have requested surveillance footage recorded by the SF Housing Authority and for comment on the officer who charged at a bystander. We’ll update if we receive more word.

UPDATE 10:30am: SFPD denied our request for surveillance footage, saying:

The video surveillance is evidence for the assault and battery on the officers.

The officers have not been suspended.  There is a criminal investigation into the suspects that assaulted and battered the officers and resisted arrest.

Persons wishing to file a complaint may do so with the Office of Citizen’s Complaints (OCC).

Williams is in court today facing four felony charges and one misdemeanor charge.  Orlando, who has been released, has reportedly claimed Williams has been in the infirmary most of the weekend and “looks like he was in a bad car accident.”

UPDATE 4:45pm: At Williams’ arraignment at SF Superior Court this afternoon, his bail was set at $143k. Read on.

UPDATE 6:15pm: A new video showing Williams screaming in pain and unable to walk following the beating has been released.

UPDATE 9:30pm: KTVU is now reporting that the District Attorney has “discharged the case against Mr. Williams and another man pending further investigation.”

[Portrait by Travis Jensen]

Previously on Uptown Almanac

SFPD Assaults Black Cyclist, Discover He Was Only “Packing” a Cupcake and Juice [UPDATES] | Uptown Almanac.

 

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Exclusive: Grosse Pointe cops film, humiliate black men – Motor City Muckraker

Text-message

Most of the videos are shot from squad cars while African American men are told to sing or “dance like a chimp.”

Grosse Pointe Park police officers are capturing humiliating photos and videos of black men and texting them to friends and family, the Motor City Muckraker has found.

One of the main culprits is Officer Mike Najm, who texted a picture of a black man in the back of a trailer and typed, “Gotta love the coloreds.” In one video, Najm can be heard telling a mentally ill black man to sing.

Most of the videos are shot from squad cars while African American men are told to sing or “dance like a chimp.” Some of the subjects are even in the back of police cars.

 Update: Police open investigation

Grosse Pointe Park Capt. David Loch said earlier today he was skeptical of the allegations because of a contentious divorce between Najm and his ex-wife, whom Loch presumed to be the source of the texts. But after we watched more than a dozen racially charged videos this afternoon sent from officers in his department, Loch said he would immediately investigate.

“If you are in possession of something, we will meet with you,” Loch offered.

We are not revealing the source of the texts and videos but were able to verify they were sent from the cell phones of police officers. Many of the photos and videos have been forwarded numerous times.

“It’s disgusting,” the source of the messages said. “It’s part of the culture in Grosse Pointe.”

Najm didn’t return calls or texts for comment.

Because of the humiliating nature of some of the videos, we aren’t publishing most of them.

On the border of Detroit, Grosse Pointe is emblematic of the racial divide. In 1960, a civil case revealed the community used a screening process to effectively make it impossible for black people and “Orientals” to buy property. Grosse Pointe remains an area of wealth and privilege – and critics say it has done little to ease fears of racism.

“I won’t even go there anymore,” Anthony Baker, who is black, told me. “Last three times I went, I got pulled over every single time. Never got a ticket, just lots of questions.”

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Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.

Exclusive: Grosse Pointe cops film, humiliate black men – Motor City Muckraker.

 

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