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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Another community grieves over losing Nicholas Thomas, a "person of value" - action, not talk, needed

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To donate towards funeral expenses, go to: http://www.gofundme.com/q3g7kg

Cobb County, Ga...The vigil held in memory of Nicholas Taft Thomas at Smyrna City Hall tonight left one depressed and bewildered. How could this be happening in our community, a young black man shot while he was at work, killed by police for no good reason?  Is the message "Black lives don't matter?" Is genocide the cause of this latest tragedy, leaving another black family in shambles?

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Touching photo of black male and mother during vigil -
two valuable persons in our community
Thomas' only sibling, Triston, said the officer who killed his brother was wrong. "It's outrageous that Nicholas is dead." Triston said he had Officer Kenneth Owens' picture hanging on his bedroom wall. "I want justice for Nick."

A member of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement said police and security personnel have been militarized, and cops have morphed into armed vigilantes.

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Derrick Boazman (l) gave live broadcast from vigil site.
Radio Personality Derrick Boazman said, "We are here because Nicholas lived...
Kenneth Owens killed something that was valuable to us... He was a son, a brother, a father, a nephew, a friend...Where are the good police? Why aren't they standing here beside us?"

Local NAACP President, Deane Bonner, said, "All is not well in Cobb County."  She said she shares the family's grief. "We stand for a swift, independent investigation."


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Cobb County NAACP President Deane Bonner said members are willing
to give the Thomas family any assistance they need.
Local SCLC President Ben Williams asked attendees to launch an economic boycott of Cumberland Mall until an independent investigation is done. He said the police had gunned down "a strong tree in the forest."

Another spokesman said that,"Cobb County's jail motto to black men is C.O.B.B. - Come on Back Boys."

A poem was read by a young black woman. "We're here again, ya'll, angry...the issue is here, right on our front porch. When is the time when enough is enough? Today we morn. Tomorrow we fight."

Attendees were wondering which shirt to wear now, the Trayvon Martin shirt, the Eric Garner shirt, the Michael Brown shirt, or the Calvon Reid shirt.

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Messages displaying outrage were wore by vigil attendees.








"I got a parking ticket yesterday because I didn't put enough money in the meter," said DJ Ryan Cameron. "I better pay that ticket because I might end up dead. We've got to vote. Stop this at the ballot box."

"Where will they kill us next?" he said. "At the bus stop? Inside the classroom? It's gonna have to stop today. How in hell can you close the case before you close the casket?"



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Hands up. Don't shoot!
"We need an outside agency to investigate because Cobb police can't police their buddies."

Leon Ford from Pittsburgh said, "Being here is very hard for me. I was shot four times and paralyzed by police. I was unjustly shot. This family is going through the same thing my family went through. I'm tired of saying, 'No justice, no peace' and seeing signs."

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Attendees were bid, "Don't sleep tonight. Advocate for other families across the country."


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Thomas' parents, coming through the crowd, have not been able to bury their son yet.
Nicholas Thomas was killed one week ago today.
The sister of Kevin Davis, killed by police on December 29 in metro Atlanta, said, "They kept him from us until he died alone at Grady Hospital. I'm tired of seeing them kill our black men like dogs in the street."

A cry went out to indict and convict the policeman who killed Thomas. "There are a lot of unstable police out there," another speaker announced. "Eric Holder is leaving the Justice Department and Lynch is going in. Ferguson is not unique. The feds need to check all the police departments in the country, including our local department."

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Some signs looked like they had been used before.
After the event, Thomas Carter of the Black Political Action Group said he was concerned that the organizers did not have a plan or petition, and they were basically "just talking....Also, why wasn't there any crowd control in case something happened?" he said.

Update: The Thomas' attorney informed us that, "The family just received word they could get his body yesterday afternoon, and they are hoping the GBI will accept the body to do a second autopsy, being that the Cobb county medical examiner is a part of the same agency that committed the shooting."


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People discuss what to do next in their action plan.

Vigil for Nicholas Thomas to draw interfaith groups and community activists



To donate towards funeral expenses, go to: http://www.gofundme.com/q3g7kg

 
An interfaith vigil in support of the Nicholas Taft Thomas family will be held tonight at Smyrna City Hall, 2800 King Street in Smyrna, Ga.  The vigil, a period of purposeful sleeplessness and prayer, is the first of several initiatives planned by community activists in response to Thomas' killing while he was at work. Thomas was unarmed when shot dead by Smyrna police in cooperation with Cobb County police.

"Participating in the organizing of this initiative are an unprecedented number of organizations," said Rich Pellegrino of Cobb Immigrant Alliance. "We are working together with the family and their attorneys to align our actions and messaging with their goals."

Pellegrino said the public should not be swayed by how the killing of Thomas is being portrayed in the media. "This goes without saying but do not believe all the reports regarding the incident or about Nicholas that are put out by the media and the police as they contain misleading discrepancies."

This story is still developing, with the police releasing yesterday the name of the officer who killed Thomas.
http://www.11alive.com/story/news/local/smyrna-vinings/2015/03/30/smyrna-police-id-cop-nicholas-thomas-shooting/70677020/

It is predicted that the vigil will bring together members from the following groups and many more:
SCLC
Moral Monday (Kath)
Sankofa United Church of Christ
Active Voices
Cobb NAACP
National Action Network
Black Political Action Group (BPAG)
Solutions Not Punishment – BT
Stop Mass Incarceration
Cobb Peoples Agenda-Sharon Hill
Greater Works Ministries
United Church of Christ
Georgia Community Coalition
New Order National Human Rights Organization
Occupy Homes Atlanta
Law Firm Davis & Bozeman—Anana Parris
Giving a Hand
Southern Anti-Racism Network
Lakeside Family Life Church
Rise Up Georgia
Hello Racism
Emerson Unitarian Universalist Church—Pastor Jeff Jones
Powder Springs Task Force—Joan Trent
Parental Empowerment Institute—Troya Sampson
National Coalition to Combat Police Terrorism
Cobb Immigrant Alliance
Saving Our Selves

For more information, call 
404-573-1199

Friday, March 27, 2015

Nicholas Thomas - candlelight vigil scheduled


Candlelight vigil, June 4, 2007 Massacre in China. Author - Wrightbus
 "And Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary his mother: Behold this child is set for the fall and for the resurrection of many in Israel, and for a sign which shall be contradicted; And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that out of many hearts thoughts may be revealed." (Luke II: 34-35)


A candlelight vigil for Nicholas Taft Thomas will be held Tuesday, March 31 at 7 p.m. at Smyrna City Hall in Smyrna, Ga., 2646 Atlanta Rd SE.  "Please tell all friends and family that are interested in showing solidarity and support of our son’s murder by Smyrna Police," said Thomas' father, Huey Thomas, in an email.

"We have also set up a 'Go Fund Me' account as follows for assistance for funeral expenses of Nicholas," Thomas said. Monies will also be put in a memorial services fund account. To donate, go to:  http://www.gofundme.com/q3g7kg

"Go Fund Me" photo of Nicholas Thomas with his daughter, London
GFM account to assist with Nick's memorial services.At a press conference held earlier this week, Thomas' mother, Felicia Thomas, said she hoped something positive comes from her son's death, and that he did not die in vain.

Other mothers have made similar comments, saying the killing of their sons by police will be a "watershed" moment, however, the homicide of young men by police is increasing.  According to Killed by Police, 275 people have been killed by police in 2015. In 2014, 1110 people were killed by police.

Milwaukee County, Wis.: 50% of Black men have been incarcerated

Graph by Timeshifter

One in eight black men of working age are incarcerated in Wisconsin.
 
Wow!!!Unbelievable!!!
"In Milwaukee County, over half of African American men in their 30s and half of men in their early 40s have been incarcerated in state correctional facilities...
 
"Among the most critical workforce issues facing Wisconsin are governmental policies and practices leading to mass incarceration of African Americans men and suspensions of driving privileges to low-income adults. The prison population in Wisconsin has more than tripled since 1990, fueled by increased government funding for drug enforcement (rather than treatment) and prison construction, three-strike rules, mandatory minimum sentence laws, truth-in-sentencing replacing judicial discretion in setting punishments, concentrated policing in minority communities, and state incarceration for minor probation and supervision violations. Particularly impacted were African American males, with the 2010 U.S. Census showing Wisconsin having the highest black male incarceration rate in the nation...."
 
 
Note: Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke is African American.

Calif. AG Kamala Harris moves against sodomy criminalization

Kamala Harris, Esq., official government photo
Los Angeles, Calif...Attorney General Kamala D. Harris filed an action for declaratory relief this week seeking judicial authorization to not issue a title and summary for the so-called Sodomite Suppression Act.

The Act presented to her office by Matt McLaughlin of Huntington Beach could result in a death conviction for people caught in the act of buggery or sodomy. Touching for sexual gratification between members of the same sex could be punishable by two bullets to the head as outlined in the document. Distribution of "sodomistic" literature could lead to a $1 million fine, and/or 10 years in prison, or expulsion from the state for life.
(Link to petition below)
 http://oag.ca.gov/system/files/initiatives/pdfs/15-0008%20%28Sodomy%29_0.pdf?#__utma=149406063.731238992.1423511836.1425676430.1427385499.11&__utmb=149406063.1.10.1427385499&__utmc=149406063&__utmx=-&__utmz=149406063.1427385499.11.10.utmcsr=google|utmccn=(organic)|utmcmd=organic|utmctr=(not%20provided)&__utmv=-&__utmk=204848400

“As Attorney General of California, it is my sworn duty to uphold the California and United States Constitutions and to protect the rights of all Californians.  This proposal not only threatens public safety, it is patently unconstitutional, utterly reprehensible, and has no place in a civil society," Harris said.

"If the Court does not grant this relief, my office will be forced to issue a title and summary for a proposal that seeks to legalize discrimination and vigilantism,” she concluded in a written press release.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Reasons for killing Black men

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Calvon "Andre" Reid was killed by police in Florida last month.
Here are some rather ludicrous reasons attributed to killing black men.

ANCIENT TIMES:
Working on holy days
Saying God is your father
Healing the sick
Getting angry at money changers
Railing against the government
Fishing without a permit

THEN:
Skipping rocks across a pond
Voting
Stealing chickens or livestock
Demanding respect
Vagrancy
Allegedly looking at, talking to, or raping white women
Being unpopular

http://atlantablackstar.com/2014/02/14/10-outrageous-reasons-black-people-were-lynched-in-america/

NOW:
Resisting arrest
Stealing cigars/selling loose cigarettes
Appearing scary or belligerent
Carrying toy gun
Being homeless
Minding own business
Jaywalking/walking home
Driving recklessly
Asking for medical help

Breaking news...Nicholas Thomas family attorney holds press conference

Davis Bozeman Law Group, P.C. photo from their website
(Bozeman seated third from right)
Decatur, Ga...The Thomas family has hired Attorney Robert Bozeman of the Davis Bozeman Law Group to represent them over the death of 23 year old Nicholas Taft Thomas who was killed by police on Tuesday.

"Mr. Thomas' death is the latest in a disturbing trend of killings of unarmed African American men. We are committed to helping this family obtain the answers they deserve." - Attorney Robert Bozeman

The family deems the shooting unjustified, although they admit their son was not perfect. One news account claims Thomas was driving a customer's car into the garage where he worked for service and was not fleeing from or trying to harm police.

"You don't get the death sentence...for having an arrest warrant against you," said Attorney Robert Bozeman at the press conference.

The family is also demanding an independent investigation be performed other than one done by law enforcement agencies. A prayer vigil is being planned for next week.

"It's very sad when family after family starts coming to our office because their loved ones have been killed," said Anana Harris Parris, director of operations and community affairs with the Davis Bozeman Law Firm, P.C.

According to the firm's official press release, Nicholas Thomas was unarmed when he was shot multiple times by members of the Smyrna Police Department. The family and their attorneys are seeking answers in the death of Mr. Thomas.

This story is still developing...
 
http://www.myfoxatlanta.com/story/28602877/shooting-reported-at-cobb-co-shopping-center
and
http://www.wsbtv.com/ap/ap/georgia/family-of-man-killed-by-smyrna-police-plan-news-co/nkfmD/

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Black men killed by police - media shines light on victims first; NAACP to hold meeting

Map of Georgia highlighting Cobb County by David Benbennick
Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons 
Metro Atlanta, Ga... After reading an account of a 23-year old black man killed by police yesterday, I wanted to know how Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter Mike Morris was able to obtain and release the criminal record of Nicholas Taft Thomas so quickly. (http://www.ajc.com/news/news/family-of-man-killed-by-smyrna-police-call-for-fbi/nkd64/)

Morris had gone for the day, so I was able to talk to a training editor, Rodney, who told me Thomas' parents were on the scene after their son was killed and identified him, providing the media with his full name. Then the newspaper "ran his name through records" and printed the criminal history of Mr. Thomas before an official police report or the man's name were released.

"The police take their time in verifying that information," Rodney informed me. Wingcom Watchdog searched for police records online and found no arrest records for Nicholas Taft Thomas in Fulton Sheriff records. (http://mugshot-record-search.com/mugshot/GA/Fulton-County-Sheriff-Office/2013-Nov-03/6086275/NICHOLAS-THOMAS) Thomas' mother said he was being issued a warrant for a traffic violation. A search of the Fulton County Jail records turned up no records for Nicholas Taft Thomas (http://justice.fultoncountyga.gov/PAJailManager/JailingSearch.aspx?ID=400).

Another search of Nicholas Thomas found this record: http://justice.fultoncountyga.gov/PAJailManager/JailingDetail.aspx?JailingID=532674) Wingcom Watchdog cannot confirm that this was Nicholas Taft Thomas. A search of Cobb County Sheriff's office website did not reveal an arrest record for Thomas. The department has discontinued putting photos on the site.

The newspaper, however, did not release information on the officers who killed Thomas. The system is first shining the light on the victim instead of the killers.

I talked to Cobb County NAACP President Deane Bonner who questions why it took five policemen to serve a warrant and why bullets were in the side and back of car if Thomas was allegedly trying to run over police. The media has reported that Thomas was allegedly trying to back up over police who said he was trying to use the car as a weapon.

"I feel for the grieving mother," Bonner said. She also informed me that the Smyrna police chief called her office shortly after the incident occurred. The NAACP will be holding a meeting to discuss these matters at 6:30 p.m. at their offices in Marietta at 605 Roswell Street. I went to this location, and the office was closed.

For more information on community policing, go to: http://www.alex-vitale.info/protest-policing-reports.html

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Douglas weds Medlock in Huntsville, Ala.

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Members of the wedding party included 13 bridesmaids and 13 groomsmen.
Francisia "Franki" Douglas wed Vincent Lee Medlock, Jr. yesterday in a ceremony at Progressive Union Church at 4 p.m.  The bride is a native of Huntsville, and the groom is a native of Jasper.


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The Medlocks greet guests at their wedding celebration.
The wedding reception was held at the Von Braun Civic Center, East Hall. The bride's exquisite, Empire-style dress was white organza with lace overlay and rhinestone accents. The groom wore a tan and pink tuxedo with Vans shoes.

Stylin'!

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Mrs. Francisia Medlock greets her cousin, Bernard Gilbert, at Von Braun Civic Center reception.
Flowers and decorations were provided by Albert's Flowers and Morris Greenhouses.  The reception featured a sit down dinner with DJ music and appropriate dance floor.

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Table decorations featured rhinestones and feathers.
The bride's cake was a castle, and groom's cake was a designer tennis shoe.
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Grandmother Katie Morris looks on while mom, Tonya Morris Douglas,
celebrates daughter's wedding.
Yes, love is still in the air, and people are still getting married, leading to happily every after. A family brunch was given in the couple's honor at their grandparent's home the next day. The couple will be honeymooning in Florida.

Here are extra photos from this weekend's wedding events.
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Aunt Moyna Robeson and Cousin Tomi Johnson, Hostess Ilea Johnson,
and bride's grandfather, Henry Morris, with Tomi Johnson (below)

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Hostess Arionne Morris and mother, Renee Morris

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Bridesmaids on cellphone break, probably posting photos to Facebook!

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Groomsmen were attentive and very handsome!
 
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Family friends, Robert and Alice McCoy, arrive at Sunday Brunch for newlyweds.
 

Friday, March 20, 2015

Starbucks "race" conversation may provide an opening...

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It cost me $4 to discuss "race" at Starbucks!
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I went to Starbucks today to discuss "race" over a mocha. It cost me just over four bucks, but I had to ask for a cup with "race together" on it because they had discontinued their promotion a few days ago. I live in Marietta, Ga.

"We stopped the campaign because someone shouted at an employee, saying she didn't want us to write 'race together' on her cup," said a female barista. The manager was not available for comment because she had "gone to lunch."

"Race is still a sensitive issue in corporate America," said a friend of mine who is an attorney. "No one discusses race unless HR is involved or high level executives who have been guided by HR and their legal department."

Disappointed, I took my cup and looked for a seat.  "Can I sit here?" I said. "Yes, please do," said a young woman with a laptop who turned out to be Jody Foster, founder of Symphony Consulting LLC. The main topic we discussed was economics/employment being the root cause of racial disparities in the U.S.

Foster said she didn't see why anyone would be upset about the Starbucks campaign to increase the dialogue about race. She hadn't heard about the black man being hanged in Mississippi or the black college student being beaten up by ABC officials in Virginia. She grew up in New York and Chicago and said she didn't understand why neighborhoods were so segregated there when compared to neighborhoods in Atlanta.

We talked about race and religion for about 35 minutes, she gave me her card, and said her company was seeking people who were hard workers, knew how to show up on time and dress for success, and young folks whose parents didn't get involved with their children's fledgling careers.

I told her I would have my daughter forward her resume immediately... maybe we will be able to race together.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Color bravery: should you practice it?

Harriet Tubman was a courageous Black female who led
many to freedom. (Artist: H. Seymour Squyer, National Portrait Gallery)
Attorney General Eric Holder said Americans are "cowards" for not having honest conversations concerning race. Mellody Hobson, president of Ariel Investments L.L.C. and wife of a Star Wars movie director, says we need "not to be color-blind but to be color-brave." Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz announced today that his company would be putting "Race Together" messages on coffee cups to start a dialogue on race.

But should African Americans practice race-courage in 2015, especially when law enforcement is involved?

I must admit, I've lived in Marietta, Ga. for 20 years, and today was the first day I ventured into the police department building. I've gone to the county jail once to give a friend some spending money for toiletries and to the sheriff's office twice to file some papers. I try to stay away from downtown Marietta because I don't want to be pulled over for no reason...

Today I went to file a fraud report on my husband's behalf.  I went to the Cobb County Police Department where I was directed to the Sheriff's office. Everyone up to this point had been nice and civil, even going through police checkpoints into the building.

"What can I do you for?" asked the on duty officer which took me aback. I was disrespected, I thought. I waited 35 minutes with no one else in front of me before an investigator came out. He asked me "personal" questions related to a form I had completed. Our conversation was in front of two other people who were waiting to state their concerns. The entire conversation was very public which was an interesting way to have a "fraud" report filed.

The officer said my husband would have to take off work to come in himself and file the report or come in between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Saturday, but to call 15 minutes ahead to make sure someone was there to take the report.  What the???

He said he couldn't verify that I was my husband's wife, even though I offered to show him that we had the same address which appeared on my driver's license. He said he couldn't call him, either. And no, I couldn't take a form to have him fill out at home. Blank forms were not allowed outside the building. And there was no form that could be filled out online.

"Since this is an important matter, your husband has to come in himself." No report or notes were taken, but he did keep the form I filled out and signed that asked for my signature and Social Security number. When I asked for it back, he said he had to keep it, but it would be shredded that night.

I waited to listen to his next conversation which was with a young black woman complaining that her ex-boyfriend had used her cellphone and racked up a lot of charges which she did not authorize.

"You're over 18, and you should have kept up with the charges on your bill." No report was taken on her either. Was it because we were two Black women trying to file problem-solving reports?

The badge stood out, and our time was wasted. No reports were filed. Justice was not served. Maybe payback for recent complaints about police brutality in Ferguson, Mo. and Coconut Creek, Fla.

I talked to my son about this, and his response was that I was dealing with overworked, ill-paid and ill-trained government officials, a stereotyped view of those who are supposed to be protecting and serving us. He said it was nothing against me and was probably just how the county's system works.

Only men with guns know for sure.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Holmes breaks through judicial ceiling in Cobb County, Ga.

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Holmes says Pledge of Allegiance before being sworn in as chief magistrate judge.
Joyette M. Holmes has made history by becoming the first female and the first Black chief magistrate judge on the Cobb County, Ga. bench! 

But more importantly, Joyette M. Holmes brings hope to citizens that a magistrate judge can uphold the law while still being compassionate in administering justice.

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According to Georgia's court system, chief magistrate judges manage "county courts that issue warrants, hear minor criminal offenses and civil claims involving amounts of $15,000 or less.

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The courtroom was standing room only for the swearing in ceremony.
"Magistrate court is the court of first resort for many civil disputes including: county ordinance violations, dispossessories, landlord/tenant cases, and bad checks. In criminal matters magistrates hold preliminary hearings; issue search warrants to law enforcement and also warrants for the arrest of a particular person. In some criminal matters magistrates are authorized to set bail for defendants.

"No jury trials are held in magistrate court; civil cases are often argued by the parties themselves, rather than by attorneys." http://www.georgiacourts.org/aoc/selfhelp/court_diagram.html

Holmes, a Valdosta, Ga. native, is now Judge Holmes. "I grew up shy," she said, but later studied psychology, criminal justice, and law. Holmes identifies with the biblical Gideon in Judges 6 who was a hero of faith.

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Some noted that all the portraits on the courtroom walls were White men which will be changed with Holmes' appointment.
In her own words, she's blessed. "I thank my mother who never said no to me," said Holmes at her swearing in ceremony attended by a standing room only crowd in Cobb's Superior Court building. "I thank God who rewards us abundantly, more than we can ever imagine."

She's a sorority woman who is qualified, poised, tall, thin, nervous, stubborn, confident, excited, compassionate, good tempered, and gracious.  She's got it all: a loving husband, two healthy girls, a good paying job, and a community network wishing her well. She claims that with the help of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., she was able to shine.

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Rev. Howard Holmes said he was in a different seat in the courtroom.
Her father-in- law, Rev. Holmes, was called to speak, and he said he felt out of place. "I haven't broken any laws, have I?" he joked, perhaps relating to the fact that Blacks are usually on the other side of the law in the courtroom.

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Holmes said her family, colleagues, and network of friends helped her, and she loves them.
Holmes gave a lot of personal information regarding her best friend - her husband - who was a good sport when he was called "Mr. Joyette Holmes." Bridges Holmes said that his wife had done what she set out to do: she become an attorney and then a judge. She will manage over 50 people. Her salary will be based on population served. http://www.accg.org/library/salary_guide.pdf

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Reynolds got to know and respect Holmes on the campaign trail in 2012.
District Attorney Vic Reynolds said Holmes will not be judged by her color or sex, but by her character. "She will be the kind of judge that you and I will be proud of," Reynolds said. "She will serve the citizens of this county well...We are proud of you. God speed."

Holmes was appointed after Chief Magistrate Frank Cox resigned citing health reasons, but he had complaints against him for abusing attorneys, defendants, and witnesses. Holmes will have to win a race in 2016 to stay in office.

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Outside proceeding, Attorney Phaedra C. Parks (l) posed with President of the State Bar,
Patrise M. Perkins-Hooker, who is also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
Note: Although there are several Black female judges in Cobb, there are no Black male judges. Attorney Nathan Wade has run several times, but he has not been elected.

How can discriminatory employment practices be monitored?

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Remaining positive AND realistic is needed in order to overcome obstacles.
(Photo by Rossana, 2013 blizzard in Boston.)
Check this out...

Most businesses and institutions establish EEO Compliance procedures to ensure employees and applicants for employment are not discriminated against, regardless of race, national origin, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability (physical or mental), age, status as a parent, or genetic information.

Systems of non-discrimination in labor activity, however, show huge gaps between the races in employment. As long as an employer can show they have picked an employee from a "diverse pool of applicants", they can still go about their business of hiring who they want, and most times that means hiring folks who look and think like them.

This is the economic floor of our societal problems in the United States and is the foundation of how one's heirs are unable to BUY a good education, decent housing, and political power.

It is imperative that as we shift our focus on community policing in Ferguson, Mo. we now shine the light on equal employment opportunity in America.

There's more than one way to skin a cat!  If you don't want Blacks and Browns moving into your million dollar neighborhood or competing for high paying jobs, you make sure they don't gain entrance into the workplace. Better yet, you make sure they only get minimum wage jobs that keep them in poverty. Running for political office is expensive and, therefore harder for grass roots people to effect change, especially when they redistrict to rich people's advantage.

Then you set up a system that cannot be monitored.

Folks interested in employment law should take a look at the increasing number of right-to-work states. http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/OTUS/work-law/story?id=17945956. The right-to-work movement could have a damning effect on equal employment opportunities. and ways to monitor employment decisions by labor unions and other groups.

Right-to-work states (Uploaded by Jaernwater)
At the psychological level, you demean existing employees, deny them raises, keep them out of important meetings, blame them for circumstances which they have no direct responsibility, and deny them proper training needed for advancement. You undermine their advancement at every level and when they become depressed, you call them lazy and unqualified.

These are reasons why the economic gap is widening, and the only way to counteract that is to stop it now! Unfortunately, many people in power in the hiring suite refuse to acknowledge there is a problem, therefore, the problem continues.

Also, Blacks and Browns need to start their own businesses and support each other. They also need to create wealth and live off their assets instead of living paycheck to paycheck.

Enough said for now.

For more information on per capita income in the U.S., go to:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_highest-income_places_in_the_United_States

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Uptick in people killed by police

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Community policing is important but won't solve societal issues that affect public safety.
(Policeman talks to man on sidewalk in Cobb County, Ga.)
We check this site everyday, and yesterday there were nine people killed by police reported on KilledByPolice.com. (http://www.killedbypolice.net/) This year, 214 people have been killed by police.

Officer deaths are also viewed at the Officer Down Memorial Page (http://www.odmp.org/search/year), but not all these deaths were cops killed by citizens. The page reports that 22 law enforcement officers have died in 2015, only 4 from gunfire, and one was from accidental gunfire.

With the events unfolding in Ferguson, Mo. and two police officers shot, the investigation is not complete, however, officials have insinuated that the bullets came from protesters and not police which fuels distrust. How can they insure that this was not an accident or friendly fire? A lot of questions will be answered, hopefully, after the damage has already been done.

It seems that we are at war with ourselves, and morality has flown out the window!

What's the solution to ending this war? One thing is for sure - citizens cannot win in a gun battle with police. The battle can only be won in hearts and minds with a change in our culture of death and destruction replaced with justice.

"True justice involves more than just reforming police procedures. We need to stop using policing and incarceration to manage the problems of an increasingly unequal society."
---Alex S. Vitale, Brooklyn College (http://america.aljazeera.com/opinions/2015/3/doj-report-fails-to-address-fergusons-major-problems.html)

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Less than half of U.S. police homicides reported

Do not use without permission.
Blue lights in a parking lot signal a police event that could turn deadly,
possibly ending in a homicide not being reported to the public.
Statistics can prove whatever you want them to, but looking at those published by the Justice Department could shine the light on law enforcement.

The U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) conducts an Arrest-Related Deaths (ARD) Program, collecting information on civilian deaths that were attributed to events that occurred during an interaction with state or local law enforcement personnel.

"...ARD program captured, at best, 49% of all law enforcement homicides in the United States," the report stated. BJS uses the term "arrest-related" to capture civilian deaths that occurred prior to, during, or following an arrest event or noncriminal incident and that were attributed to -
  • any use-of-force by state or local law enforcement
  • injuries sustained while attempting to elude law enforcement or injuries incurred while in custody
  • self-imposed events, such as suicides, accidents caused by the decedent, and intoxication
  • medical conditions or illness.
"We found considerable variability between states in the proportion of law enforcement homicides that are reported..." The latest report was released this month. (http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/ardpatr.pdf), and the form used to report the statistics is at: http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/cj11a_12.pdf

 BJS also releases data on perception of people during traffic stops.
 
To comply with the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) and National Institute of Justice (NIJ) developed the Police Public Contact Survey (PPCS).  The PPCS is a national survey designed to understand the nature and characteristics of citizen contacts with the police. Data are collected from a nationally representative survey of nearly 90,000 residents age 16 or older, and include information on face-to-face contacts with the police including traffic stops, arrests, handcuffing and incidents of police use-of-force.   BJS plans to conduct the next PPCS in 2015.  
http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=dcdetail&iid=251

"Black drivers (13 percent) were more likely than white (10 percent) and Hispanic (10 percent) drivers to be pulled over by police in a traffic stop," according to the latest statistics compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics.

"Among those involved in street or traffic stops, blacks were less likely than whites and Hispanics to believe the police behaved properly during the encounter," the release stated.

The information was released by Kara McCarthy with the help of Matthew Durose and Lynn Langton, Ph.D. on September 24, 2013 based on interviews with citizens conducted in 2011.
(Look at questionnaire at
http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/ppcs11q.pdf)
 

The FBI’s Supplementary Homicide Reporting Program (SHR) annually reports on data collected through the Uniform Crime Reporting Program. A justifiable homicide is defined as the willful killing of a felon by 1) a peace officer in the line of duty; or 2) by a private citizen during the commission of a felony. http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/nibrs/addendum-for-submitting-cargo-theft-data/shr

Two openings for police chiefs...

Phote by Will Crump.
According to eyewitnesses, Calvon A. Reid (above) was tasered by as many as five Coconut
Creek police officers managed by Chief Michael Mann who resigned today.
Two places where young, unarmed Black men were killed are looking to hire new police chiefs.

The chief of the Coconut Creek Police Department, Michael J. Mann, has resigned after controversy surrounding the Taser death of Calvon A. Reid in Florida. Also, Ferguson, Mo. Police Chief Thomas Jackson stepped down today over how the Michael Brown incident was handled.

Both these men, as well as other government officials who resigned in the wake of these incidents, did so before they could be fired under a shadow of mismanagement.

Calvin and Mamie Reid, parents of Calvon "Andre" Reid who was reportedly tasered to death by Coconut Creek police officers in late February, were notified by the family attorney, Jarrett Blakeley of Fort Lauderdale, and Sun Sentinel Reporter Lisa Huriash that the chief of police "has stepped down."

"Maybe they are taking this thing seriously now," said Calvin Reid in a telephone interview. "All officers that were involved in that incident, we want them suspended. We want their names, and we want them suspended.

"The eyewitnesses said there were five officers down there on Andre," referring to his son Calvon. "Isn't that something! I believe after this thing opens up, there may be some more eyewitnesses to come forward. I got a gut feeling," Reid said.

Reid said he and his wife were just interviewed by Fox 21 News in Greenville, S.C., and their story will be aired at 4p.m. and 10p.m., and more information will be on the television website.

"We're looking for justice. Those officers that did this... they don't need to be on the police department. If they could do it to Andre, they can do it to another. That's what frightens me. They should not be allowed to practice law enforcement if they're found guilty. The more it's brought to their attention and put in the public eye, it will help this country as a whole."

"It's unreal, really, what is happening in our country," Reid said.

For information on this developing story, go to: http://miami.cbslocal.com/2015/03/11/coconut-creek-police-chief-resigns-after-in-custody-death/
AND
http://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/broward/fl-taser-death-chief-resigns-20150311-story.html
AND
http://www.foxcarolina.com/story/28397482/parents-son-yelled-theyre-going-to-kill-me-before-dying-during-police-encounter

Holmes to become Cobb County, Ga. magistrate judge

Holmes, 38, 2012 campaign photo
The Cobb County Bar Association has announced the Swearing-In Ceremony for Joyette M. Holmes, Friday, March 13 at 2 p.m. at the Ceremonial Courtroom, Cobb Superior Court. The address is 70 Haynes Street in Marietta, Ga.

Holmes is presently Assistant District Attorney assigned to the courtroom of Judge Robert Flournoy, III.

According to the Marietta Daily Journal's 2012 Voter's Guide, Holmes ran for State Court Judge in 2012. She has dual degrees in Psychology and Criminal Justice from The University of Georgia and a Juris Doctorate from The University of Baltimore School of Law.

Holmes lives in Kennesaw, Ga., is married, and the mother of two girls.

Do not use without permission.
Attorney Joyette M. Holmes (r) with Attorney Yolanda Smith-Williams and Thomas R. Carter at Otis Brumby's funeral.