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Anson Co. deputy resigns after allegations of using racial… | www.wsoctv.com

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By Mark Becker

ANSON COUNTY, N.C. —

An Anson County sheriff’s deputy handed in his resignation on Tuesday after allegations he used a racial slur over police radio while out on call.

The sheriff is not releasing the name of the deputy involved, but he confirmed that the deputy resigned on Tuesday after he admitted to using the n-word on the radio during a call for help.

The deputy, who had been with the department for less than three months, was answering a call about a fight at a trailer park south of Wadesboro late Saturday night.

“They all started surrounding, getting up close to my car,” said Samantha Flowers.

She showed Eyewitness News where she was hit on the arm by a large chunk of brick that is still on the gravel road.

It was clearly tense, she said, when the deputy got on the radio, frantically calling for help, and used the n-word.

“If he said it, it was down low because at the time I was talking to my son and I couldn’t hear what he was talking about at the time. I was upset, I was shaking,” she said.

But others on the radio did hear it. After an internal investigation that started on Monday, Sheriff Tommy Allen released a statement on Tuesday afternoon saying that the deputy had resigned.

“Words hurt,” said Anna Baucom, Anson County Commission .chairman.

On Tuesday afternoon Baucom said she hopes the sheriff’s quick investigation will send the right message.

“I certainly think he handled it appropriately,” she said.

Most people had not even heard about the incident, but those Eyewitness News told did not seem terribly surprised.

Bruce Ingram is a member of a church that had been vandalized with racial graffiti just two years ago.

The sheriff told Eyewitness news that he has no plans to release the audio recording of that deputy’s call.

Anson Co. deputy resigns after allegations of using racial… | www.wsoctv.com.

 

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Do Cameras Stop White Supremacy? Black Man Stopped 258 Times by Cops in Store where he works: Miami Gardens Police caught Targeting Black People | The BrownWatch: News for People of Color. – BrownWatch News

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From [HERE] Miami-area police have been accused of racial targeting after stopping and questioning a young black man 258 times in four years. They reportedly also arrested him 56 times and searched him more than 100 times. The USA Today reported the most serious charge Earl Sampson, 28, has been convicted of is possession of marijuana.

Miami Gardens police have arrested Sampson 62 times for trespassing at the 207 Quickstop. Sampson works as a clerk at the convenience store, the USA Today reported the Miami Herald stated. Owner of the store, Alex Saleh, 26, said he wants to know why that for more than a year Sampson, as well as other 207 Quickstop customers and employees have been stopped and frisked repeatedly by Miami Gardens police. He reported most of those have been poor and black. Saleh said some have been stooped up to three times in one day.

Earl Sampson, an employee of 207 Quickstop in Miami Gardens, exits the store to take out the garbage. After he walks back inside, he is arrested — for trespassing. [MORE]

The New York Daily News reported Saleh plans to file a civil rights lawsuit against the mayor of the city and the police department. He says he has installed cameras in the store to monitor police activity both inside and outside of his store.

“They ask him, ‘What are you doing here?'” recalled Saleh. “He said, ‘I work here.’ The clerk said he works here. I said, ‘I’m the owner, let him go. I work here.’ The officer said, ‘Yeah right.’

“So he has more power than me!” According to Saleh, it doesn’t stop there.

In addition to video appearing to show Sampson being grabbed by an officer while taking out the trash and at another time searched against a wall, Saleh accuses them of searching throughout his store without a warrant.

A Miami Gardens police officer who asked to use the bathroom searches around the back room without permission.

The Daily News reported that nobody returned calls immediately to the Miami Gardens Police Department, including Chief Matthew Boyd and Deputy Chief of Police Paul Miller, requesting comment.

The police department did release a statement to the Miami Herald, however, stating “the department is committed to serving and protecting the [white] citizens and businesses in the city.”

An employee is working at 207 Quickstop when an officer strides in, grabs him and takes him away. Owner Alex Saleh says his customers and employees are routinely arrested for trespassing by Miami Gardens police. He installed video cameras to prove his point.

“There is just no justifying this kind of behavior,” police policy consultant Chuck Drago commented to the Herald. “Nobody can justify overstepping the constitution to fight crime.”

According to newshour24.com, when Saleh told police they did not have a search warrant, he was told the law enforcement officers would open an investigation. One reportedly told him, “it’s been 15 months. ” [MORE]

The BrownWatch: News for People of Color. – BrownWatch News – Do Cameras Stop White Supremacy? Black Man Stopped 258 Times by Cops in Store where he works: Miami Gardens Police caught Targeting Black People.

 

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“I Didn’t Mean to Kill Renisha McBride.” But Does it Matter? | Bennett L. Gershman

RT_Renisha_McBride_funeral_nt_131113_16x9_992While accidents are commonplace, many can have legal consequences. Spilling hot coffee, slipping and falling, and the often-occurring automobile “fender bender” may cause injury to people and property and result in lawsuits seeking monetary damages. But some accidents are far more serious. Automobile fatalities and drug overdoses come to mind. And, of course, hundreds of accidental deaths are caused each year by guns. Accidents lie on a spectrum of increasing seriousness, generally depending on the degree of fault, and a serious accident may be punished as a crime, even as murder. So, was Theodore Wafer’s fatal shotgun blast to the face of 19-year-old Renisha McBride on the night of November 2 anunintentional accident, as he has claimed? And even if it was an accident, is it nevertheless a punishable homicide, either as murder or manslaughter?

The shotgun killing of McBride, a young black woman, who was standing on Wafer’s porch in Dearborn Heights, Michigan, apparently seeking help after her car crashed, has attracted considerable media attention, and is certainly a tragedy. It has been equated with the killing of Trayvon Martin in Florida. Some of the commentary has addressed purported similarities between the two cases, particularly allegations that race was a factor in both killings, and that self-defense as justification may play some role. However, whereas the prosecution of George Zimmerman for killing Martin focused almost exclusively on the issue of self defense, and related critiques of Florida’s “stand-your-ground” self-defense law, it is far from clear at this point whether Wafer can or will invoke self-defense as a justification for his act.

Piecing together the reported facts and trying to make rational inferences form these facts offers some basis for conjecture on what may have happened on Wafer’s porch that night. It has been reported that McBride crashed her car into a parked car on a Detroit street on Nov. 2, around 1:30 a.m., was attended to by passersby who reported to the police that she was injured and bleeding from the face. Before the police arrived, McBride wandered away from the accident scene, returned briefly, and wandered away again. Several hours later, at 4:42 a.m., the police received a 911 call from Wafer stating: “I just shot somebody on my front porch with a shotgun banging on my door.” It is not known when Wafer fired the fatal shot. According to the toxicology report, McBride was highly intoxicated when she was shot, with a blood-alcohol level of 2.18 percent, and marijuana in her system. There is no evidence that the shot was fired at close range, according to the Medical Examiner‘s Office. The District Attorney has charged Wafer with both Murder in the Second Degree and Involuntary Manslaughter. Wafer also was charged with possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. His next court appearance is December 18. 
There is some evidence that McBride may have been seeking help when she arrived at the killer’s residence and walked onto his porch. There is no evidence that McBride, 5 foot 4 inches tall, was armed, or threatened Wafer with harm. Wafer told the police that he “believed the girl was breaking into [my] home,” and that the “gun discharged accidentally.” There are several items of evidence that are not yet known: ballistic reports that may help to determine where Wafer was standing when he shot through the screen door, and how far away he was from McBride when he shot her; autopsy evidence that might show the trajectory of the shot; and cell phone records that might corroborate whether McBride’s cell phone had died, and that she was going door-to-door for help.

Even if the shooting was accidental, as Wafer has claimed, is he nevertheless potentially guilty of murder or manslaughter? Under Michigan’s penal law, charging Wafer with murder in the second degree is not unreasonable. The key element in the murder charge is proving that the defendant acted with “malice,” and without legal justification.

Under Michigan law, malice requires proof that the defendant had the intent to kill or do great bodily harm, or created and disregarded a very high risk of death, or as one courtobserved, had the “intent to do an act that is in obvious disregard of life-endangering consequences.” A lesser manslaughter charge requires proof that the defendant caused the death of the victim from the discharge of a firearm that the defendant intentionally pointed at the victim without lawful justification. Thus, what distinguishes manslaughter from murder is the absence of malice, namely, that the killing was committed with gross negligence, a less blameworthy state of mind.

So, if Wafer claims that he was awakened in the middle of the night by loud banging at his front door, that he grabbed his shotgun, rushed to the door, and that as he held the gun, and under the stress of the moment the gun discharged accidentally, he might be able to convince a jury that he should not be blamed for McBride’s death. A jury under these circumstances might have a reasonable doubt about whether Wafer acted in utter disregard of human life, or even with gross negligence. By contrast, if he perceived that the person on his porch posed no threat, and pointed his gun at the person, and the gun discharged, even accidentally, a jury might conclude that he created an unacceptably high risk of danger by arming himself and under the circumstances behaved so recklessly as to be guilty of murder or manslaughter.

There are a host of obviously relevant questions that need to be addressed. Whether Wafer will claim that his killing was justified as self-defense is hard to predict, but under the circumstances, if he does that will be an extremely difficult argument. Wafer would have to claim that he killed McBride intentionally and allege that he did it because he feared for his life from the unarmed, diminutive young woman who was banging on his door but posed no life-threatening harm. Such a claim might strike most jurors as unconvincing and unreasonable, and so far there are no facts that would make such a claim plausible.

However, claiming that his shotgun discharged accidentally may be a more persuasive defense, but its success would hinge on several facts, which are not yet known: What was Wafer’s experience with guns? Did he take any gun safety course? How often did he fire the weapon previously? Where was his shotgun stored? Was it stored loaded? Was there a safety mechanism on the weapon? At what point did he load the weapon and take the safety off? At what point did he put his finger inside the trigger guard? If he was standing at the front door pointing the weapon at McBride, why was his finger inside the trigger guard? If he was not standing at the door, where was he standing? Did he place his finger on the wrong place on the weapon in a moment of stress?

Did race play a role in the killing of Renisha McBride? The claim has been made. One recalls the case of Yoshihiro Hattori, a teenager in Louisiana out trick-or-treating on Halloween who was killed by a homeowner who claimed the boy was trespassing, or the arrest in Boston of Henry Louis Gates, a Harvard professor who was detained by police as he was trying to enter his residence. These kinds of incidents may happen more often than we know. To be sure, perceptions of danger may be very real, but they are also highly subjective. The extent to which race plays a role in these perceptions is difficult to measure, as in the Trayvon Martin case. Whether race influenced Wafer’s actions, even if his shooting was an accident, is unclear. But even if the shooting was an accident, if it was influenced by the race of the victim it would seem to be more blameworthy. We don’t yet know where this killing will fall on the spectrum of culpable accidents.

“I Didn’t Mean to Kill Renisha McBride.” But Does it Matter? | Bennett L. Gershman.

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Who will defend Black women? | Florida Courier

Who will defend Black women?

 Filed under COMMENTARIES 

00-drjuliannemalveauxAll Renisha McBride wanted to do was to go home.  She had been in a car accident, her cell phone was dead and she needed help.  She knocked on a couple of doors in the suburban Detroit neighborhood where she was stranded, but it was well after midnight and people weren’t opening their doors.  Finally, she found a homeowner who opened his door, but instead of offering the help she so desperately needed, he shot her, saying he thought she was going to break into his home.

He didn’t shoot her at close range; he shot her from a distance.  He might have simply shut the door, or he might have shut the door and called 911.  Instead he shot 19-year-old McBride in the face.

Law enforcement officials have said that Renisha’s death is a homicide and her family is waiting to see if the 54-year-old homeowner will be charged.

Blame the victim
There are chilling parallels to the Trayvon Martin case.  All we know about the murderer is that he is a homeowner.  But already the character assassination of Renisha has begun. Her blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit. She may have had marijuana in her system.  She may have, but that’s not definitive.  So why has that information been leaked when no one has leaked a murderer’s name.

If Renisha were drunk as Cootie Brown and high as a kite, she did not deserve to be killed. Why didn’t the “54-year-old homeowner” call 911 and tell them there was a drunken woman on his porch?  Why did he shoot?

Renisha McBride’s murder bears attention for several reasons.  First of all it reinforces the unfortunate reality that young Black people are at high risk for violence, often because too many shoot first and ask questions later.  Secondly, in the cases that are highly publicized, usually it is the massacre of a young man that is at the center of a case.  It is important to note that young Black women are too often at risk.  And it is important to ask what we plan to do about it.

The case of Marissa Alexander
Marissa Alexander didn’t want to take another beating.  Her husband Rico Gray is an admitted abuser whose brutal beatings of his wife were described as “life threatening”. She fired a warning shot into the ceiling to warn off her abuser husband. She was charged with felony use of a firearm and sentenced to 20 years in jail.

The prosecutor in this case, Angela Corey, is the same one who only reluctantly charged George Zimmerman in the massacre of Trayvon Martin, the same prosecutor who assembled a flawed legal team, the same prosecutor who believes in the Stand Your Ground laws. That is, except for Marissa, who stood her ground against an abusive husband and hurt no one.

With domestic violence an epidemic in our country, it seems unfathomable that a woman who wanted to prevent it is charged with a crime.  While the civil rights community has surrounded Marissa, I am not aware of women’s organizations or domestic violence organizations that have been similarly supportive.  E. Faye Williams of the National Congress of Black Women says that her organization has been active in assisting Marissa, and that’s a good thing.

Black women vulnerable
Marissa Alexander’s incarceration and the murder of Renisha McBride have something in common. They illustrate the vulnerability of Black women, both in the legal system, and in the public perception of race and gender.  Black women are not afforded the privilege of standing their ground against batterers.  Black women can be shot at far range because a 54-year-old homeowner was so frightened that he had to shoot.

Dr. Julianne Malveaux is a D.C.-based economist and writer, and president emerita of Bennett College for Women.

Who will defend Black women? | Florida Courier.

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