COUPLE SENTENCED TO PRISON FOR RACIAL THREATS

Hate is a STRONG word. Why people hate others is probably one of the most baffling issues of all time. There have been people abused, maimed, killed, and even more in the name of hate. Yesterday, hate took center stage in a trial in Georgia and stiff sentences were handed down by the judge. The issue began on July 25, 2015 at an African-American child’s birthday party in a suburban Atlanta community. A group carrying and waving large Confederate flags approached and began to harass and otherwise threaten the group at the party. Hate and alcohol mixed with a gang mentality ignited a firestorm that culminated in jail-time for the culprits. Check out the article that I found on CNN regarding this story:

(CNN)A Georgia couple who rode with a Confederate flag-waving group that made armed threats against African-Americans at a child’s birthday party were sentenced to prison Monday.
Jose “Joe” Torres, was sentenced to 20 years, with 13 years in prison, after a jury convicted him on three counts of aggravated assault, one count of making terroristic threats and one count of violating of Georgia’s Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act.
Kayla Norton was sentenced to 15 years, with six years in prison. She was convicted on one count of making terroristic threats and one count of violation of the Street Gang Act.
“Many people tried to make the case about simply flying the Confederate Battle Flag,” Douglas County District Attorney Brian Fortner said in a statement. “This case was about a group of people riding around our community, drinking alcohol, harassing and intimidating our citizens because of the color of their skin.”
On July 25, 2015, Torres and Norton, joined about a dozen other people in a convoy of pickup trucks waving large Confederate flags as they drove around Douglas County, a suburban Atlanta community. Most of them belonged to a group called “Respect the Flag.”
“The convoy of trucks passed by the victim’s residence where the victims were grilling hot dogs and hamburgers while hosting a child’s birthday party featuring a bouncy castle, snow-cone machines, and a DJ,” the district attorney’s office posted on its official Facebook page.
The party-goers said the people in the trucks yelled racial slurs as they passed, the statement said.
The drivers parked the trucks near the house, prosecutors said. Torres was part of a smaller group that “threatened to kill the party goers while repeatedly using derogatory racial slurs against them,” said the statement.
“Torres, who had retrieved a shotgun from his vehicle, pointed his shotgun at the group of African American party-goers and stated he was going to kill them while his co-defendants stated that ‘the little ones can get one too,’ referring to the young children at the party,” the statement said.
Norton was accused of making similar threats. The victims said some member of Torres’ group was armed with a knife and a tire tool.
According to the district attorney’s statement, Torres testified he carried the shotgun because he feared for his friends’ safety. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported members of “Respect the Flag” said people at the party had thrown objects at them.
CNN has tried to reach the two defendants’ lawyers for comment.
After the arrests, investigators looked through the defendants’ Facebook accounts, the statement said.
“Law enforcement was able to locate numerous posts and messages indicating that members of the group were white supremacists who discussed attending KKK rallies, joining Skinheads Nation, and making numerous derogatory remarks about African Americans as a whole,” the DA’s statement said.
Video of Monday’s sentencing shot by WSB-TV, a CNN affiliate, showed both Torres and Norton breaking down in court as Judge William McClain handed down the sentence.
Norton apologized for her role in the incident saying, “I want you all to know that is not me. That is not me, that is not him. I would never walk up to you and say those words to you. I’m so sorry that happened to you. I am so sorry.”
Hyesha Bryant, one of the people at the party, testified at the hearing and told Norton, “What you said affected my life. It affected my children’s lives.”
But Bryant ended up telling Norton that “I forgive you, I forgive all of you.”
‘They have to learn to forgive themselves’
Melissa Alford, who hosted the birthday party, told HLN’s Ashleigh Banfield on Tuesday that she still feels emotional about what happened in 2015, but justice was served.
“I think Judge Beau McClain did what he had to do” at the sentencing, she said. “I know justice was served.”
Like Bryant, Alford was concerned about the lasting impact the day had on the children at the party, but she also has forgiven the defendants.
“Yes, I did forgive them. They have to learn to forgive themselves for their wrongdoing,” Alford said.
For her, offering forgiveness was more about finding peace. “I’m not going around hating anyone.”
She also shared with Banfield that the children who were at the party are still confused.
One of her grandchildren is white, she added. “How am I supposed to explain the difference between white and black when she doesn’t see that. How are the other kids supposed to explain?”
Banished
A jury convicted Torres and Norton on February 6. They are both banished from Douglas County when they’re released from prison.
Fifteen members of the Respect the Flag group were originally indicted. The disposition of all their cases is unknown, but the district attorney said some of them pleaded guilty to similar charges and received shorter sentences.

ELDERLY ABUSE **CONTAINS GRAPHIC LANGUAGE**

I’m a bit busy today and don’t have time to give you all of the particulars on this story but I wanted to share it with you for your information. You may want to consider it before you think about allowing someone to care for your elderly parents/relatives/friends. I’ll update this post later. Just know that this FOOL has now been arrested for abusing this elderly lady. To be continued……………..

JOHN LEWIS- THE “GENTLE GIANT”

john-lewis
Recently I met civil rights icon John Lewis. This gentleman is not very tall in stature but he could certainly be described as a gentle giant. This U.S. Representative for Georgia’s 5th congressional district who has been serving since 1987, has been on a mission most of his life. His continued legacy to “recognize the dignity and worth of every human being” looms large yet miniscule in comparison to what he has endured throughout the years. Any conversation regarding the struggle for civil rights has to include the name John Lewis. He is mostly known for being on the front lines (along with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.) of many protests in the ‘60s and certainly one of the key figures in the march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama in 1965. This was the march where state troopers brutally attacked the crowd. Lewis can be prominently seen being beaten by the troopers with a night stick.
Despite the struggle then, Lewis is still continuing the fight for equal rights even to this day.
As of late, Lewis has been a trending name in the news for his public refusal to attend the inauguration of the current President-elect. John Lewis has stated that he does not consider this man to be a legitimate President because of the alleged interference of Russia in the November 8, 2016 election. After hearing of Lewis’ remarks, the current President-elect has made several immature statements about Lewis including a tweet that read in part “Congressman John Lewis should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart……..” The President-elect also immaturely tweeted that Lewis is “all talk, talk, talk”………
All talk, talk, talk is not the words that many would use to describe this Gentle Giant who has dedicated his life for the betterment of others. Check out some of the quotes from John Lewis:
“When I was growing up, my mother and father and family members said, ‘Don’t get in trouble. Don’t get in the way.’ I got in trouble. I got in the way. It was necessary trouble.”
“Second-class citizenship is not citizenship at all.”
“Courage is a reflection of the heart—it is a reflection of something deep within the man or woman or even a child who must resist and must defy an authority that is morally wrong. Courage makes us march on despite fear and doubt on the road toward justice. Courage is not heroic but as necessary as birds need wings to fly. Courage is not rooted in reason but rather Courage comes from a divine purpose to make things right.”
“People around the world will not be inspired by our missiles and our guns; they will be inspired by our ideas.”
“I have not accomplished everything I wanted to. I would like to, before I leave this little piece of real estate, do a little more for the cause of peace. To end the violence here at home and violence abroad. We spend so much of our resources killing each other.”
“We were determined not to let any act of violence keep us from our goal. We knew our lives could be threatened, but we had made up our minds not to turn back.”
“When Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act, he helped free and liberate all of us.”
“I disagree with the court that the history of discrimination is somehow irrelevant today. The record clearly demonstrates numerous attempts to impede voting rights still exist, and it does not matter that those attempts are not as ‘pervasive, widespread or rampant’ as they were in 1965. One instance of discrimination is too much in a democracy.”
“Imagine that. I was beaten near to death at the Rock Hill Greyhound bus terminal during the Freedom Rides in 1961. Now the police chief is black.”
“We all recognize the fact that if any radical social, political and economic changes are to take place in our society, the people, the masses, must bring them about. In the struggle, we must seek more than civil rights; we must work for the community of love, peace and true brotherhood. Our minds, souls and hearts cannot rest until freedom and justice exist for all people.”
“I believe in nonviolence as a way of life, as a way of living. I believe that this idea is one of those immutable principles that is nonnegotiable if you’re going to create a world community at peace with itself.”
“I know maybe it won’t happen in my lifetime, but I know somehow in some way we’re going to create the Beloved Community, that we’re going to create a national community, a world community that is at peace.”
“When we were organizing voter-registration drives, going on the Freedom Rides, sitting in, coming here to Washington for the first time, getting arrested, going to jail, being beaten, I never thought—I never dreamed—of the possibility that an African American would one day be elected president of the United States.”
—John Lewis

John Lewis was a part of the “Big Six” leaders of the Civil Rights Movement and he has continued the fight for people’s rights.
There is now a growing list of Democrats, at least 42, who have indicated that they will boycott the inauguration on Friday to protest this criticism as well as the President-elect’s overall view of humanity. Today I salute this “gentle giant”, Congressman John Lewis.

WORDUP WEDNEDSAY

This goes on my list of: If this were my child………………..
Okay, I admit that I don’t know the full story here but certainly I can tell you that there is no reason for this type of behavior from this police officer. This looks more like some WWE wrestling match. I know, I’ve gotten ahead of myself….again. Here’s what I know from the video above and other reports that I’ve listened to. There was a fight between two female students that was apparently broken up by the officer in question and another teacher. The officer, for some odd reason, picked one of the girls up and body-slammed her to the floor. He then picked her up and escorted her out of the room. From the looks of things….this police violence has already started and we are just four days into the new year……………
THANK GOD that I don’t have to deal with this personally. I would probably be in real trouble.

MORE POLICE MISCONDUCT

 

I found the story below on autoblog.com and it is horrific.    The police are at it again.  This lady’s story is both scary and sad.  AND… the video seems to back up her claims that the officers were very much out of line.  What really saddens me most is the fact that these “officers” act like they are on the playground and having fun when in all actuality, they are toying with the lives of individuals like you and me.  Watch the video and tell me if you would have reacted like Mrs. Brown.  I think I would have been terrified!

By Erin Marquis

Reverend Catherine Brown is suing the Chicago Police Department over a 2013 traffic stop where she says she was the victim of excessive force. Her lawyer released the dashboard camera footage of the May 2013 incident last week.

Brown told CBS Chicago she was pulling into her driveway with her two young children in the back seat from an alley when a speeding squad car without lights or sirens on blocked her path. Officers Michelle Murphy and Jose Lopez were in that squad car. She said Murphy jumped out of the car, cursing at Brown and demanding she reverse her vehicle from outside of her home.

“It startled me,” Brown told to CBS. “I reached for my license … the other officer takes the gun and points it at the front of my head.”

Brown called 911 several times. In the tapes, you can hear her 8-year-old and 1-year-old daughters crying in the background. Brown requested a lieutenant or police to come and help her. Instead of waiting for a supervisor, Murphy and Lopez tried to force Brown from her car. Brown reversed her vehicle quickly in terror. The police got back into their own car and chased after Brown. Brown stopped on the main street only to have her car rammed by the Chicago Police car. Brown popped out of her car and started shouting for her neighbors to help. Murphy then pepper-sprayed Brown while Lopez laughed. Murphy then jumped on to a nearby parked car and trained her gun on Brown. Lopez stuck her car with a metal stick, and then both officers participated in the beating.

“Beat me down to my underwear, pulled my skirt off me,” Brown says. “They beat me with the sticks and hit me with their boots in my head.”

Brown was charged with attempted murder because Murphy claimed Brown dragged her while backing out of the alley. She was acquitted on the attempted murder charge, but was convicted of reckless conduct a misdemeanor, for driving in reverse. She’s appealing the conviction.

The Chicago Police Department declined to comment, citing pending litigation. However, the Citizens Police Data Project shows both officers have a history with excessive force. Murphy has had 19 complaints made against her and Lopez has had 21.

IF THIS HAD BEEN MY CHILD….

Another OMG! moment caught on film.  I found this one on youtube.

In Beaumont Texas, this teacher decided that she could actually slap (5 times) and berate a student with no repercussions. In walked…social media and now 63-year old Mary Hastings, a Geometry teacher at Ozen High School, has been arrested and placed on administrative leave.

Information has not been released about what made the teacher so angry but she can be heard in the video saying, “…because you’re stopping him from graduating you idiot @$%^&.”

Another student recorded the exchange and indicated that the incident happened last Friday. Nakisha Burns, Beaumont Independent School District spokeswoman, indicated that “BISD does not condone employees abusing any child and will not tolerate such conduct.” She also stated that “the teacher was immediately removed from the classroom and placed on administrative leave pending action on her contract.”

After being booked in the Jefferson County Jail on a misdemeanor charge of assault, Hastings was released on a $2500 bond.

While I am cognizant that kids can be a handful, in my opinion Hastings should never be allowed in another classroom. If this were my child that she had slapped and berated……….I would be the one facing multiple charges….. (just saying.)

 

DO DEAD PEOPLE NEED JEWELRY?

I can’t say that this world has changed.  What I will say is that because of social media and the current level of surveillance that exists, we are able to see more and more of the out of this world acts that we wouldn’t ordinarily see.  Consider the above video.  Who would ever think of going to a funeral home and stealing a ring off of a dead persons’ finger.  Well… this woman more than thought about it.  SHE DID IT!!!  In Odessa Texas, the family of Louise Hicks were surprised to learn that their deceased mom’s wedding ring had been taken off of her finger.  Video from Sunset Funeral Home showed that a woman came in to the funeral home and took the ring from the deceased lady’s finger…  then left.  I wished that somehow the dead lady would have come back to life, if only momentarily, to say “Leave my ring alone.”  That would have been sensational!!!

MAILMAN CUFFED IN BROKLYN, NY * CAUGHT ON VIDEO *

Glen Grays, a 27-year-old community-oriented African-American mail carrier is in the news as of late for an incident that occurred just last week on St. Patrick’s day.  According to reports, the incident went down this way:  On the afternoon in question, Grays was backing down off the steps of his mail truck (he is a postal worker) when he noticed a vehicle making a sharp right turn onto the street he was parked on, President St.  Grays immediately climbed back up the steps to avoid getting sideswiped and he yelled at the driver.  The driver in question was in a black car that happened to hold five plainclothes police officers.  In an interview, Gray indicated that the black car came tearing back his way in reverse and the driver said to him “I have the right of way because I’m law enforcement.”

By the time Grays had arrived at 999 President St., the four officers were approaching him.  An innocent bystander began taping the incident at this point and the video can be seen below:  **** WARNING**** VIDEO CONTAINS GRAPHIC LANGUAGE****

In the video, Grays is shown being handcuffed and taken to the unmarked police vehicle.  People can be heard in the background questioning why this incident is occurring.  The five plain clothed white officers can be heard telling Grays to stop resisting arrest.  The video does not show that Gray was resisting.

In a later interview, Glen Grays indicates that he was placed cuffed in the back seat of the unmarked car without a seatbelt.  His mail truck was left unattended.  He also indicated that the driver of the police vehicle turned around to taunt him and hit a vehicle in front of them.  At this point, Grays indicated that this caused him to bang his shoulder against the front seat of the police vehicle.  Grays was taken to the police department and issued a summons for disorderly conduct and then released.

The above video was released by a former police officer, Eric L. Adams (now the Brooklyn borough president).  Adams indicated that he was outraged over “the ostensible violations of the civil rights of yet another young black man, this one an employee of the federal government.”  During a recent press conference Adams said: “It is not a crime for someone to voice outrage after almost being struck by a vehicle … It is not a crime to state that you’re angry at someone who almost hit you. That is not a crime,” Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams stressed.  Here’s how federal law reads: “when any person interferes with the delivery of the US mail.Title 18, USC, Section 1701. Section 1701. Obstruction of mails generally, whoever knowingly and willfully obstructs or retards the passage of the mail, or any carrier or conveyance carrying the mail, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than six months, or both”.  There is nothing in the code that states that cops are exempt from the law. I guess we will see if charges are filed by federal officials

Grays is the oldest of six males in his family. His mother, Sonya Sapp, recently spoke only to say, “I worry about them every day, every minute, every second of every day,” before fading off with, “I’m short on words; I’m just hurt.”

The Police Department has indicated that this incident is “under internal review.” Mayor Bill de Blasio’s deputy press secretary, Monica Klein, added that the mayor would be “in close touch with  Police Commissioner William J. Bratton over this incident’s investigations and findings.”

Mr. Grays’s fiancée is a New York City police officer he met while delivering the mail.  No word yet on her feelings about this incident.