Thursday, August 21, 2014

Police "doctoring" evidence after murder

St. Louis Police shot Kajieme Powell, a 25-year-old black man 9 times this week for stealing 2 soft drinks. You may have heard about the "shoot me" killing. If that's not bad enough, the video below shows them turning over the body and putting cuffs on him. It's stunning.
I just found out that Mr. Powell was mentally unbalanced......

Watch the eyewitness video

Now here is what happened according to police:

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Bordain on Ice Bucket Challenge

Questions and Answers about Ferguson

What We Know and Don’t Know About the Michael Brown Shooting in Fergusn
Taken from Time magazine here is information about
what's been going on in Ferguson, Missouri during the past 11 days. For those of you who've not been following the situation.

written by
Alex Altman / Ferguson, Mo. @aaltman82

How did Wilson encounter Brown?

Shortly before noon on Aug. 9, Brown walked into Ferguson Market and Liquor, a convenience store on West Florissant Avenue. He was with a friend, 22-year-old Dorian Johnson. At approximately 11:51, according to a police report, an unidentified officer received a call that a robbery was in progress at the store. But the suspect, who a Brown family lawyer has acknowledged “appears to be” Brown from surveillance footage, was gone when the officer arrived.

Minutes later, Brown and Johnson turned onto Canfield Drive, where they came upon a second officer, Wilson, at 12:01 p.m. At that point, Wilson didn’t know Brown was suspected of committing the robbery minutes earlier, according to Ferguson police chief Thomas Jackson. He just saw a pair of people blocking traffic. Ferguson police have provided conflicting reports on whether Wilson received information that Brown was a robbery suspect between the moment that the officer encountered Brown and the fatal shooting.

So what led to the shooting?

It’s unclear and witness accounts differ. What we know is that within about three minutes, Brown was dead of multiple gunshot wounds to the head and torso. Pictures show him sprawled face down in the middle of the street, with a trail of what appears to be blood seeping from his body.

Johnson has said that Wilson ordered them onto the sidewalk and when they didn’t move right away, the office pulled up to Brown. A struggle ensued, and in Johnson’s version of events, Brown was shot from inside the car before they both took off running with Wilson in pursuit. Johnson has said Wilson fired multiple times despite Brown having his hands up.

Other witnesses have provided conflicting accounts, alternately alleging that Brown was shot in the back or while on his knees in a posture of surrender. And Wilson’s version of events is even harder to ascertain, because he’s in hiding: He fled his St. Louis-area neighborhood a few days after shooting and hasn’t spoken publicly. Police have said Brown reached for Wilson’s gun and the shooting occurred during that struggle. It’s unclear why Brown was shot so many times.

Why has it taken so long for details of the shooting to come out?

Wilson’s name was withheld for almost a week out of concerns for his safety. Three dueling autopsies have either been conducted or ordered—the standard one by the local medical examiner, a private one requested by the family, and a third one ordered by federal authorities.

And federal and state authorities have mostly declined to comment on their pending investigations, while leaks have been kept to a minimum, likely to avoid fanning the cycle of violence that has roiled the city’s downtown streets.

Who’s investigating all this?

Multiple authorities at various levels of law enforcement are looking into the shooting. A St. Louis County grand jury is probing the matter. And a federal civil rights investigation is also underway.

Why does violence keep breaking out every night?

It’s instigated by a small faction of what police describe as “agitators.” They mix in with the crowd of peaceful demonstrators, but they’re on the scene to confront cops as much as to Brown. These people are shooting guns, hurling bricks, bottles and Molotov cocktails, and looting and vandalizing businesses. After dark, West Florissant Avenue and the neighboring streets are extremely dangerous, and several people have been shot.

Who’s trying to keep the peace in Ferguson?

On the demonstrators’ side, it’s a diverse collection of pastors, politicians, community leaders, black power groups, and many ordinary citizens who are disheartened by the way in which the violence has subverted the quest for justice. The vast majority of the protesters in the streets are peaceful—at least, until dark.

Riot-gear clad officers from the county and state highway patrol—now backed by the Missouri National Guard—have responded to provocations from protesters with tear gas, flash bangs, and other methods.

What happens next?

A St. Louis County grand jury will begin hearing evidence on Wednesday. But there’s no hard timetable on how long the whole process will take, and it could be weeks or months before the details of the investigation are know, the U.S. Attorney in Eastern Missouri told TIME Tuesday.

Ferguson, Mo.

Friday, August 15, 2014

This has to stop

Copied from the Saint Louis American
Wish I knew the author, this is well written.

The family of Michael Brown leave a message on the street where he was gunned down by a Ferguson police officer on Saturday.

Posted: Thursday, August 14, 2014 8:00 am
With deep humility, we admit we did not see this coming, and not where it came – in a ring suburb, rather than in the city – though we can see where it came from.

North St. Louis County and many of its municipalities have suffered decades of economic disinvestment, loss of manufacturing jobs and disruption by highway construction and airport expansion. Those who chose to stay in these ring suburbs, or who had no other options, had to live – or die – with the consequences.
White flight, particularly to St. Charles County, first hit the school districts, then the tax base. Remaining homeowners are heavily taxed in areas with often struggling schools, little industry and dwindling businesses and services. The mortgage bubble really burst in these areas, with rampant home foreclosures. Large retail areas in North County have been abandoned. Small businesses face difficulty establishing a presence due to high prices for retail space and insurance costs. Those who stay charge more, and those who buy from them pay more.
When businesses and retail move, those who remain have to spend their money with establishments elsewhere in the region. That builds up the tax base in other areas, not their own. For those who lack reliable transportation (let alone job skills and education), there are few opportunities to eke out a livelihood locally. There is little escape.

Disillusionment, resentment and tension set in where economic opportunities, recreation and thriving businesses once flourished. The “look at us, we are on our way back” slogans boasted by chambers of commerce say nothing about those who have been treated as invisible or dispensable.
As for our youth, many of them may not be properly educated, but they are not stupid, and it is not difficult for them to hear what they are being told in the cold language of unaccredited districts and transfer students. Michael Brown graduated in the much-discussed Normandy School District, an unaccredited school district that expired not long before he was killed. He and his peers – specifically, those strivers willing to transfer to a better school district – were told they were not wanted by many other districts in the region, once those districts were no longer required to accept them.
It may take a village to raise a child, but many administrators and parents in better-resourced parts of our region had no problem saying quite publicly that Michael Brown and his brothers and sisters did not belong in their village.

So it is not difficult to understand the frustration and anger of the sons and daughters of these disinvested ring suburbs. It is even easier to understand why, when their frustration and anger turned to rage at the murder of one of their own by a cop, it was directed at the police.
Most obviously, a police officer killed Michael Brown – in cold blood, according to eyewitnesses. But our sons’ and daughters’ rage at the police started long before Michael Brown and his friend were told to get out of the street on Saturday afternoon by a foul-mouthed Ferguson cop.
In many North County municipalities, it seems police run contests to see how many young black men you can pull over, flaunting the officers’ power and the motorists’ powerlessness. Our young men especially are regularly inconvenienced and humiliated while simply trying to get where they are going. The Missouri Attorney General annually releases a report, which no black person needs to read, that documents appalling disparities in how often black drivers are pulled over and searched, compared to white people, all over the state and the region.

But Michael Brown was not pulled over while driving. He was told to get out of the street while walking. For offering what was initially, according to an eyewitness, the mildest of resistance to a rude and unnecessary police order, this unarmed teen was shot in the middle of the day, and his bullet-riddled body left by police to lay in the street for hours, as if to provide a grisly example.

That did it. That’s what drove people (not just young people) to act out their pent-up rage. That’s what drove people to demonstrate (which is within their rights). That’s what drove people to the candlelight vigil on Sunday. And that’s what drove a few who disregarded the greater good to lash out at what was in front of them. The resulting chaos created an opportunity for looters – many of them, according to reported arrests, not from the immediate area – to smash and grab from what businesses remain.
We can’t bring Michael Brown back. But we can insist on a prompt, credible, transparent investigation – under the leadership of the U.S. Department of Justice, we urge – and that his killer be brought to justice. The officer should receive the constitutionally guaranteed due process he did not give to his victim. When his name is finally disclosed – as should have been done immediately – there must be no effort to bring him to the vigilante justice we see too often delivered from behind the authority of a badge.

We also must insist – as a life-or-death matter essential to the peace and functioning of our society – on an immediate and thorough review of police policy, procedure and training throughout the region. There are successful models of police/community cooperation that can be adopted. We must diversify our police departments – the Ferguson Police Department reportedly has three black cops in a staff of 53. We must train police officers who patrol minority neighborhoods in how to better understand the people on their beats and interact with them in a spirit of mutual respect. And we must stop protecting police officers when they use unwarranted force, against black men or anyone.

In the meantime, our angry youth and many supportive citizens remain on the streets, taunting police in riot gear with snipers sprawled on what amount to tanks, training high-powered rifles on unarmed black people with their hands in the air, chanting, “Don’t shoot!” among other things we won’t print.
We commend St. Louis Alderman Antonio French, state Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal and community activist and writer Tef Poe, in particular, for showing leadership on the streets in these tense days. It is clear, now more than ever, that many more of us need to leave our offices, churches and comfort zones and engage more directly with our angry and misdirected youth.

“We as leaders can help redirect their justified anger,” French tweeted in the heat of the battle. “But we can’t do it from churches or our living rooms. We have to be with them.”

It should also be painfully clear, now more than ever, that this is not a black problem, but a problem for our entire region and others like it across the nation. True, if our community were more organized and voted its strength, then municipalities like Ferguson would not have the utterly inadequate mayors and police chiefs that are making life-or-death decisions today – and making them very badly, with fatal consequences.

But these consequences have regional impact. In countless editorials, we have urged our corporate and political leaders to do more to include African Americans in educational, economic and social opportunities for the greater good of the region. Over and over, we have exhorted, our region cannot thrive when we consign so many of our youth to the oblivion of failing schools and poor job skills. Now, more than ever, it is clear that our region needs to do more to include African Americans from the earliest ages for the region not only to thrive, but simply to function peaceably.

We believe it is because not nearly enough capable people with resources in this region have heeded our plea that we have reached this crisis point of complete breakdown, when the St. Louis region has entered the world’s spotlight, not as one of its great places to live and work, but as one of its war zones. We need peace. But first, we need justice and equity, so that Michael Brown’s death is not wasted, like so many young black lives before his, and with them the future prospects of this region and nation.

Michael Brown

Dorin Johnson, witness to the murder of his friend, Michael Brown.

Ferguson Police Chief gives HIS side of the murder:

from Anonymous.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Tributes to Robin Williams

There are SO MANY beautiful tributes on Facebook, I'd like to share them here.

from Astronaut Buzz Aldrin:

I regarded Robin Williams as a friend and fellow sufferer. His passing is a great loss. The torment of depression and the complications of addiction that accompany it affect millions, including myself and family members before me - my grandfather committed suicide before I was born and my mother the year before I went to the moon - along with hundreds of veterans who come to a similar fate each year. As individuals and as a nation we need to be compassionate and supportive of all who suffer and give them the resources to face life. ‪#‎RobinWilliams‬ RIP

From the a nice article regarding those who think suicide is a selfish act.

From Rolling Stone online this compilation of videos of Williams' comedy routines:
"From his pre–Mork stand-up to a 'Set List' guest appearance last year, here's a history of Robin Williams in 15 jokes"

NPR's "Fresh Air" with Terry Gross interviewed Williams in 2006. listen here

Sharing videos found on youtube, but not many. To find more, go to youtube and search for Robin Williams tribute.

"> click to see

Time dot com has put together a chart showing All 101 of Robin Williams’ Defining Roles here

RIP, Robin.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

RIP, Robin Williams

It's the day after the world found out that Robin Williams took his own life, giving in to the demons that lived inside of him.
It's the day we found out that how he did it made sure he wanted to die: he slit his wrist and hanged himself with a belt.

Oh, how I wish it didn't happen. Life is cruel every day. I pray every day, with thankfulness that I can get out of bed in the morning and love life. But there are SO MANY who are battling the same demons Robin gave into. They feel hopeless, can't find a positive thought, just feeling black inside.

There IS help for those of us with depression.

Please, put this number on your phone. You may never use it, but it's good to have when times are tough.

Writer/Director Kevin Levine's blog entry to Robin Williams is here. Give it a read.

Here is an excerpt:

ith apologies to Robin, we remain in utter shock. We even cry. We mourn the loss of an irreplaceable talent, a force of nature, and I think more than that, we mourn the circumstances. No one should suffer such emotional pain and hopelessness. Especially one who has brought such joy to so many.

I still am getting a lump in my throat when I think about this situation, probably will for the rest of my life. I thank God for sharing this brilliant person with us for 63 years and hope Heaven is laughing.

RIP, Robin Williams

Saturday, August 02, 2014

I can't breathe.....

Over 100 Broadway stars, directors, producers, musicians, choreographers, designers and technicians from some of the most prominent productions gathered in front of the police station in Times Square on Tuesday. They wanted to send a message about police violence and the killing of Eric Garner. ‪#‎itstopstoday‬ ‪#‎blukluxklan‬

Video here: