Hundreds from across Pennsylvania rallied inside the Rotunda of the Capitol in Harrisburg recently to offer a solution for resolving an enormously expensive problem in state law that plagues the state’s prison system That expensive problem arises from Pennsylvania’s Life Without Parole (LWOP) sentences that keep inmates in prison until they die. Every year Pennsylvania’s …
Donald Trump is an asshole – as in a definition of that body part descriptor applicable to an irritating personality disorder: a detestable, spiteful, stupid person. The now former British Ambassador to the United States described the 45th U.S. President as “a very stupid guy” and a “pompous fool” – polished phrases consistent with a …
The recent release of three inmates from prisons in Pennsylvania – persons considered political prisoners by many worldwide – is a poignant reminder of how the costs of injustice ravage not just those directly targeted for persecution but also the taxpayers who unwittingly pay for that persecution. The 40-years of unjust, revenge-driven imprisonment endured by …
Remember the Vincennes? That’s the name of the U.S. Navy warship that shot down an Iranian airliner with missiles in 1988, killing all 290 people aboard that airplane. That shoot down, in which 60 children perished, was an accident, according to the U.S. Navy’s official report. However, many, including military personnel, considered that report a …
The recent protest outside Philadelphia’s Police headquarters – triggered by yet another instance of police racism – had an emphasis distinctively different from similar demonstrations during past decades against recurring police misconduct in the city that preens as the Birthplace of Democracy in America. While protestors demanded disciplinary action against the 328 individual officers responsible …
Chicago, the major city with roots dating from a late 18th-Century settlement founded by a black man, achieved another historic Black First recently with the renaming of a street in the downtown section for legendary anti-lynching investigative journalist Ida Wells Barnett. That renaming of a section of Congress Parkway to Ida B. Wells Drive makes …
Efforts by Tyrone Cook in 2010 to end the wrongful arrest of a nephew plunged this veteran law enforcer into the cesspool of dirty practices among police and prosecutors in Philadelphia.
An investigation conducted by Cook succeeded in having the false charges against his nephew dismissed. Those charges arose from improper investigative techniques by detectives Cook discovered. Such corner-cutting techniques fuel mass incarceration from flawed arrests through overzealous prosecutions.
But Cook’s whistleblowing that exposed improprieties by the cops and the prosecutor on his nephew’s case cost Cook the job he held for over two decades: Philadelphia policeman.
“I just want my name cleared,” Cook said recently.
Those cesspool practices that swamped Cook are too often covered-up by the same authorities who administer crackdowns on ordinary citizens for the same infractions ignored when committed by police and prosecutors.
The discharge of then Sgt. Tyrone Cook reeked of retaliation…retaliation routinely visited upon whistleblowers in police departments across America. Whistleblowers rarely receive support from police officials stated a disturbing study issued by the International Association of Chiefs of Police nearly twenty-years ago.
Philadelphia police officials fired Cook in September 2010 for repeated lateness that allegedly occurred six years earlier. Officials fired Cook despite the fact that in 2004 Cook never received a single reprimand for any of the three dozen times officials claimed he arrived to work late.
In July 1987 Philadelphia’s then District Attorney lashed out at local judges in an unusual verbal assault where that DA castigated what he said was the “historic” practice of judges in Pennsylvania’s largest city to acquit police officers in cases where evidence clearly showed officers engaged in “egregious” brutality.
That DA, Ronald Castille, told a reporter that, “I know the judges will bend over backwards to use whatever reasons they can to throw a case out against a police officer.”
Eleven years after Castille’s outburst against pro-police bias by some Philadelphia judges, Castille engaged in pro-police bias as a member of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.
Castille’s 1998 bias act occurred when he participated in the Pa Supreme Court’s rejection of a critical appeal in the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal – the Philadelphia journalist convicted in 1982 and sentenced to death for killing a Philly cop during a trial tainted by a pro-police judge.
Abu-Jamal’s conviction is condemned internationally as a gross miscarriage of justice engineered by police, prosecutors and the trial judge.
Condemnation is also leveled at the appellate process that has consistently rejected extraordinary evidence of Abu-Jamal’s innocence and documentation of multiple misconduct by authorities. An Amnesty International report on the Abu-Jamal case, released in February 2000, criticized the “appearance of judicial bias during appellate review…”
Two New Jersey Republican candidates recently inserted a new page into the GOP’s perverse aggravate-racial-prejudice electoral playbook with the false claim that iconic civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. employed fraud to launch his legendary career of activism.
These candidates, one for U.S. Congress and the other for a county-level office, claimed King maliciously manipulated circumstances surrounding his first protest against race prejudice in June 1950. King’s sit-in demonstration at a cafe’ in the small South Jersey town of Maple Shade produced King’s first lawsuit against discrimination.
Republican Congressional candidate Paul Dilks and Republican Camden County Freeholder candidate Vincent Squires claim Dr. King perpetrated a mendacious mess by playing a ‘Race Card’ about that Maple Shade incident.
Dilks and Squires contend racism played no role in that incident. Their posture conflicts with King’s own accounts, newspaper articles in 1950 about that incident and details in award-winning biographies on King.
Dilks and Squires, during recent radio broadcasts, railed that King’s false claims of racist mistreatment maligned the entire town of Maple Shade for the past 68-years.
Dilks claimed that “half” the story surrounding the Maple Shade incident has been suppressed…deliberately.
“The question is: Is the narrative correct? We have got to get the story right,” Dilks said, bashing Democrats for corrupted behavior in South Jersey inclusive of embracing the historic accounts of King’s Maple Shade protest. Dilks leveled specific barbs against his Democrat opponent, Congressman Donald Norcross.
Bigot Boy is at it again, dangling black boogeymen in another of his pathetic attempts to distract attention from his most recent public disaster.
President Trump, America’s Twitter-N-Chief, lashed out again at the NFL for not harshly cracking down on [black] players who do not stand for the national anthem. Trump oozed that tweet recently while reeling from rare bi-partisan criticisms of his pusillanimous performance during that Helsinki press conference with Russian President Putin.
Trump disguised his distract-attention tweet as a reaction to the announcement that the NFL and the NFL players union would negotiate on a policy regarding the national anthem. That announced negotiation suspended the NFL’s previously announced ban on protests during the national anthem…a ban that made Trump beam.
Trump again demanded ejection of any NFL players that protested during the national anthem. He cast the announced negotiations between NFL owners and players as owners’ caving-in to players. Yet, Trump has defended his carven cozy-up to Putin as the need for the two nuclear-armed adversaries to engage in negotiations to improve relations. Trump preens himself as a master negotiator.
The rancorous racism inherent in Trump’s tirades against black NFL players for exercising their First Amendment rights to raise concerns about police brutality assumed absurd dimensions during his post-Putin press conference antic to exploit the national anthem controversy.
The same Trump that extols the national anthem as a seemingly sacrosanct ritual for football games, when he verbally bludgeons black pro-football players, is the same Trump that trashed both the presidency and patriotism in Helsinki when he refused to publicly condemn Putin for the documented Russian interference in the 2016 election. Those Russian cyber onslaughts struck at the heart of America’s democracy: voting.