Megyn Kelly trotted out Mark Fuhrman, who was exposed as a racist during the O.J. Simpson trial, and pretended he was just a regular retired detective commenting on the riots in Baltimore following the death of Freddie Gray in police custody. And surprise! The two of them used the segment to smear African Americans in general. Kelly frequently turns to Fuhrman in racially sensitive matters. She… Continue reading Megyn Kelly And Mark Fuhrman Use Baltimore Riots To Smear African American Community As A … →
Baltimore teachers and parents tell a different story from the one you’ve been reading in the media.
By: Sam Brodey online editorial fellow at Mother Jones and Jenna McLaughlin D.C. editorial fellow with Mother Jones in the Washington Bureau
After Baltimore police and a crowd of teens clashed near the Mondawmin Mall in northwest Baltimore on Monday afternoon, news reports described the violence as a riot triggered by kids who had been itching for a fight all day. But in interviews with Mother Jones and other media outlets, teachers and parents maintain that police actions inflamed a tense-but-stable situation.
The funeral of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who died in police custody this month, had ended hours earlier at a nearby church. According to the Baltimore Sun, a call to “purge”—a reference to the 2013 dystopian film in which all crime is made legal for one night—circulated on social media among school-aged Baltimoreans that morning. The rumored plan—which was not traced to any specific person or group—was to assemble at the Mondawmin Mall at 3 p.m. and proceed down Pennsylvania Avenue toward downtown Baltimore. The Baltimore Police Department, which was aware of the “purge” call, prepared for the worst. Shortly before noon, the department issued a statement saying it had “received credible information that members of various gangs…have entered into a partnership to ‘take-out’ law enforcement officers.”
When school let out that afternoon, police were in the area equipped with full riot gear. According to eyewitnesses in the Mondawmin neighborhood, the police were stopping busses and forcing riders, including many students who were trying to get home, to disembark. Cops shut down the local subway stop. They also blockaded roads near the Mondawmin Mall and Frederick Douglass High School, which is across the street from the mall, and essentially corralled young people in the area. That is, they did not allow the after-school crowd to disperse.
Meghann Harris, a teacher at a nearby school, described on Facebook what happened:
Police were forcing buses to stop and unload all their passengers. Then, [Frederick Douglass High School] students, in huge herds, were trying to leave on various busses but couldn’t catch any because they were all shut down. No kids were yet around except about 20, who looked like they were waiting for police to do something. The cops, on the other hand, were in full riot gear, marching toward any small social clique of students…It looked as if there were hundreds of cops.
The kids were “standing around in groups of 3-4,” Harris said in a Facebook message to Mother Jones. “They weren’t doing anything. No rock throwing, nothing…The cops started marching toward groups of kids who were just milling about.”
A teacher at Douglass High School, who asked not to be identified, tells a similar story: “When school was winding down, many students were leaving early with their parents or of their own accord.” Those who didn’t depart early, she says, were stranded. Many of the students still at school at that point, she notes, wanted to get out of the area and avoid any Purge-like violence. Some were requesting rides home from teachers. But by now, it was difficult to leave the neighborhood. “I rode with another teacher home,” this teacher recalls, “and we had to route our travel around the police in riot gear blocking the road…The majority of my students thought what was going to happen was stupid or were frightened at the idea. Very few seemed to want to participate in ‘the purge.'”
A parent who picked up his children from a nearby elementary school, says via Twitter, “The kids stood across from the police and looked like they were asking them ‘why can’t we get on the buses’ but the police were just gazing…Majority of those kids aren’t from around that neighborhood. They NEED those buses and trains in order to get home.” He continued: “If they would’ve let them children go home, yesterday wouldn’t have even turned out like that.”
Meg Gibson, another Baltimore teacher, described a similar scene to Gawker: “The riot police were already at the bus stop on the other side of the mall, turning buses that transport the students away, not allowing students to board. They were waiting for the kids…Those kids were set up, they were treated like criminals before the first brick was thrown.” With police unloading busses, and with the nearby metro station shut down, there were few ways for students to clear out.
Several eyewitnesses in the area that afternoon say that police seemed to arrive at Mondawmin anticipating mobs and violence—prior to any looting. At 3:01 p.m., the Baltimore Police Department posted on its Facebook page: “There is a group of juveniles in the area of Mondawmin Mall. Expect traffic delays in the area.” But many of the kids, according to eyewitnesses, were stuck there because of police actions.
The Baltimore Police Department did not respond to requests for comment.
Around 3:30, the police reported that juveniles had begun to throw bottles and bricks. Fifteen minutes later, the police department noted that one of its officers had been injured. After that the violence escalated, and rioters started looting the Mondawmin Mall, and Baltimore was in for a long night of trouble and violence. But as the event is reviewed and investigated, an important question warrants attention: What might have happened had the police not prevented students from leaving the area? Did the department’s own actions increase the chances of conflict?
As Meghann Harris put it, “if I were a Douglas student that just got trapped in the middle of a minefield BY cops without any way to get home and completely in harm’s way, I’d be ready to pop off, too.”
Videos from many sources show some of the events as well.
Shep Smith was reporting the events of Monday’s protests and pockets of rioting with the Fox News “The Five”. Eric Bolling and Greg Gutfeld, co-hosts asked questions that clearly annoyed Shepard while he was trying to accurately report on the facts of the incidents he was witnessing. As the video shows here is the discussion:
Co-host Eric Bolling asked:
“I haven’t heard anything from any civil rights leaders. Have you?” Bolling asked.
Smith reported that he had heard that Alveda King had made statements calling for peace, discussing this in quick detail.
“But it seems like in the middle of all of this,” Smith said, “to start picking on people for civil rights and what they’re saying and what they’re not saying, we could spend our time watching this and reporting on it-”
Bolling added that it would be “nice timing” for a civil rights leader to call on protesters to remain peaceful.
Greg Gutfeld also would ask, “Where are the parents?”
“Well, you know, I’ve not been on the phone with them,” Smith said. “But if we want to sit here and indict the civil rights community and indict the parents for what we’re watching right now, instead of for now, just covering what happens and then later talk about whose fault it is, because we don’t know whose fault it is.”
“No one’s indicting anyone,” Bolling jumped in to say. “We’re asking the legitimate questions.”
“Bolling, the question was, ‘Where are the parents?'” Smith said. “Surely you don’t expect me to know that.”
Gutfeld replied that he’d asked about a “hypothetical.”
“We’ve got a major American city that has decades of turmoil within this neighborhood,” Smith said. “Clearly there is a big problem. Then, all of a sudden, an African-American man is taken into a vehicle and he comes out of it and dies.”
It is nice to see at least an attempt at journalism considering the horrific ways so many branches of mainstream media have reported on the events in Baltimore these past few days. We need to look closely at what is being reported because plenty of distractions are thrown at us every minute of every day.
Written by Mitchell Robinson. Please read more of Mitchell’s work at http://www.mitchellrobinson.net/
Recently, the Lansing School District released a series of TV and radio ads designed to promote their schools . Amid a floating stream of expertly produced and edited video of young children bouncing basketballs and playing music instruments, the voiceover claims that the Lansing Schools “offer more educational choices to students than any other school district in the greater Lansing region.” This, in spite of the fact that the District decided to slash the offerings for those very children by eliminating all of the 27 elementary art, music and PE positions in the Lansing schools over a year ago, leaving the city’s students with only 2 music, art and PE classes per semester, while their peers in neighboring school systems often receive these classes twice per week.
Now, if the superintendent, board of education and teachers union in Lansing had just gotten together and cut the elementary art, music and PE programs and teachers in the schools, that would have been one thing…
- But to hear the former AMPE program now be referred to as the “Innovative Arts & Fitness” Department, as though there is anything “innovative” in firing 27 teachers and depriving thousands of children of a full and complete education…
- To read press releases and interviews with district officials touting the current art and music offerings as being better than what was previously in place, because of the presence of “real artists and musicians” in Lansing’s schools…
- To see that the LSD held a promotional fair at the Lansing Center this past weekend, with radio and media coverage, in an effort to stem the tide of those leaving the District, largely due to the curricular narrowing and impoverished offerings now available at the elementary level…
- And now, for the art and music teachers in Lansing who had their careers taken away to be subjected to thousands of dollars worth of TV and radio ads promoting the “rich and diverse curricular offerings” in the Lansing School District, even as the elementary curriculum has been gutted of art, music and PE, and to know that their former students are only receiving instruction in these subjects 4 TIMES PER YEAR…
Let me be clear: I believe that there are many excellent teachers in the Lansing schools, including several outstanding music teachers working in the District’s high schools. I’ve been blown away by what the music students and faculty are doing in Lansing, especially given the difficult conditions under which they are working. These students and teachers deserve nothing but our support, encouragement, and respect.
But cuts to music and art programs in any school system are unacceptable ways to manage school finances, and are disproportionately devastating to children in urban communities, whose families may not have the resources to provide them with alternative forms of instruction in the arts. School district leaders are charged with providing the students in their care with a full and comprehensive education, which includes the arts. Eliminating these offerings, at any level, is an abrogation of their duty, and merits a strong and forceful response.
The children in Lansing deserve strong, quality arts programs, delivered by qualified, certified music and art teachers. What is currently being offered as “Innovative” is unacceptable, and the District needs to restore the teaching positions they have eliminated so that Lansing’s students get the education that they deserve.
The One about Two Schools 20 Miles and Worlds Apart…
I spent the day observing two student teachers. Both were teaching instrumental music in middle and high schools, and each was assigned to an experienced, master teacher. But that’s where the similarities end…
One of the student teachers was placed in an urban school and the other in a rural school. The differences between these two schools were stark, and illustrative of the disparities in how our society treats children based on their socioeconomic status.
Upon entering the urban school, I was immediately struck by how quiet it was. The hallways were eerily empty, with none of the typical hallway chatter and vibrancy of excited students making their way from class to class. The corridors were dark and gloomy, with the walls and lockers looking badly beat up and in need of a fresh coat or two of paint. A quick trip to the men’s restroom revealed a dirty, broken mirror, no soap, and a single roll of paper towels propped up on the edge of a cracked porcelain sink with a leaky faucet. The restroom, like the halls and classrooms, hadn’t been cleaned in a long time.
Less than an hour later I found myself 20 miles away in a bustling school with busy hallways flooded with natural light, brightly painted walls and lockers, and large classrooms with freshly vacuumed, plush carpeting. The restroom was spotlessly clean, and fully stocked with soap dispensers, paper towels and hot air hand dryers.
While the contrasts between these schools could not have been more clear, the students in each building were amazingly similar. Both bands were beautifully behaved, engaged and enthusiastic. Each group of musicians entered their respective band room, got their instruments out of their cases, and began warming up for rehearsal. It was only upon closer examination and discussion that the differences between these two settings became more readily apparent:
- In the rural school, every child had their own instrument, and kids who played large instruments like the tuba had one school-owned instrument to play at school, and another instrument for home practice; in the urban school, some instruments were shared among multiple students during the day, and no students had school-owned instruments at home.
- All of the instruments in the rural school were in good playing condition, and when repairs are required there is a school budget and an established repair procedure in place; the teacher in the urban school was busy re-padding a clarinet when I entered the band room, and shared that she spends over $1000 out-of-pocket per year on instrument repairs and equipment replacement–there is virtually no school budget for these things.
- Most of the students in the rural school’s high school band had been playing their instruments since 5th grade, and had lived in that community their entire lives. The 112-piece band played advanced repertoire, had a full instrumentation, and many of the band’s alumni went on to participate in music ensembles in college after graduation; the urban school’s band program had been decimated by the elimination of the district’s elementary music program the previous year, and as a result there were only 15 students in the ensemble. Due to the transient nature of the school’s population, students who had been playing their instruments for several years were sitting next to kids who had just started playing two weeks previously, making for a very challenging learning environment for students and teachers alike.
Driving home at the end of the day, I couldn’t help but wonder how different things would be if all of these children, both rural and urban, had the same advantages at school–clean, safe and adequate facilities; high-quality instruments in good working condition; vibrant, attractive surroundings conducive to learning.
I wondered what a student from the urban school would think if she spent a day at the rural school, in a bright, spacious and well-maintained environment. Would she feel angry, knowing that her peers in the rural school district had advantages that were denied her?
And I wondered what it says about us as a society that we allow some of our children to spend their school days in squalid conditions that make learning more difficult, while their peers in more affluent communities enjoy advantages that help prepare them for success.
Pushing back–hard–against the manufactured “crisis” of “failing” schools, “bad” teachers, and “under-achieving” students, one day at a time. . .
As I reported on earlier this week for The Fifth Column News twice in the past fifteen days, two separate class action lawsuits, one in U.S. District Court, one in Grady County Superior Court, were filed naming Red Hills Community Probation (RHCP) LLC, its CEO Margaret B. Crutchfield, and the cities of Cairo, Pelham and Bainbridge, GA, as defendants. The Federal case, Edwards, et al, v Red Hills Community Probation LLC, et al, filed by the Southern Center for Human Rights, also names probation officers and members of various police departments. The state case, Green v Red Hills, et al, alleges the defendants violated a number of state statutes including various RICO laws as well. The two cases, though not connected in any way, arise out of nearly identical facts and the same pattern of conduct. Joining me this morning to discuss the merits of the case is Attorney for the Plaintiff in Green, K, Todd Butler. Attorney Butler will discuss the allegations and the law supporting his decision to advance a RICO legal argument to the court. Along with the improper and illegal actions of a corporation acting “under color of state law”, for the sole purpose of profit. I will be covering the latest important news subjects as well as our weekly education battle updates. Longtime Activist, Radio Host, Journalist and Coffee Party Director Bobby Rodrigo’s show “I Take LIBERTY With My Coffee” on Coffee Party USA Radio every Sunday Morning at 8:30AM EDT. Advocating engagement, pointing out the Constitution is the Rule of Law and why it should remain so. Booby attacks Money in Politics & political party blind allegiance hoping to stop corruption & tyranny. Plus join us Sunday Morning 8:30 AM EDT
Check Out Politics Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Coffee Party USA on BlogTalkRadio
April 24, 2015 (Liberty) Ervin Leon Edwards died in jail. He was arrested and transported to the West Baton Rouge Parish Jail. Allegedly, he committed the horrendous crime of WEARING SAGGING PANTS. You read that correctly. Mr. Edwards, who was also mentally ill, was arrested for wearing sagging pants and for that transgression he would die at the hands of the police who transportd him to the jail, helped by officers who worked at the jail. The video of the incident shows Edwards died face down in a jail cell and while officers and jail medical staff looked through the glass in the cell door at Edwards, it would be at least ten minutes before anyone would check on him even though he was lying motionless.
Upon arriving at the jail, Edwards was shuffling his feet because his pants had fallen to around his ankles. He would then be dragged into an isolation cell and, while surrounded and physically held down by seven officers, Edwards sometimes struggling with them and other times lying still, would never again move after he would be tasered multiple times and for an extensive time just before one of the officers left the cell. As the video shows, Edwards was not moving at all during the last time he was tasered and yet the officer kept the taser on him for an extended period of time.
This video clearly shows what happened and how long Edwards was motionless in the cell before anyone checked to see if he was alright.
An internal investigation determined there was not any wrong doing by the law enforcement person involved. Many who have viewed the footage strongly disagree.
“The fact that the subject appeared unresponsive, perhaps unconscious on the floor as the officers withdrew from the cell, should have resulted in an immediate request for medical intervention and a quick determination of whether there was a pulse or breathing,” said Greg Meyer, who retired several years ago as a captain with the Los Angeles Police Department and is recognized nationally as a use of force expert. “If not, CPR should have been started immediately.”
The autopsy report classified the 38 Jennings native’s death as “undetermined” by death investigators, officially a result of “acute cocaine and phencyclidine (PCP) intoxication in association with restraint by law enforcement,” according to his autopsy report.
“The drugs didn’t kill him,” said Viney Edwards, Ervin Edwards mother. “The police killed him.”
This then has the possibilty of being considered as a wrongful death lawsuit.
A wrongful death lawsuit refers to the passing of a loved one caused through the negligence of another person or entity. If you would like to learn more about what makes a wrongful death lawsuit then you can look at something like https://www.nehoralaw.com/practice-areas/wrongful-death/. So in this instance, what people are assuming is that the police killed him becasue they did nothing to help him.
According to a wrongful death lawsuit filed in federal court in February 2014 on behalf of Edwards’ only son, Ervin Edwards was with his girlfriend at a gas station near Port Allen on Nov. 26, 2013, when the couple got into a “minor argument.”
By the time West Baton Rouge Parish sheriff’s deputies responded, the argument was over, the lawsuit says.
Nevertheless, deputies began to question Edwards about his “sagging” pants, the suit says, and before long Edwards was being arrested.
By the time the Port Allen officer, Dustin McMullan, arrived at the gas station, Edwards already was in restraints, according to a police incident report. McMullan said Edwards was combative during the arrest process, threatening multiple times to kill the officers who were arresting him.
At one point while still at the gas station, the lawsuit says one of the law enforcement officers threatened to “tase” Edwards. When his girlfriend heard this comment, she begged the officers not to shock him because of his high blood pressure, the suit says.
While authorities didn’t shock Edwards at the gas station, a Port Allen police officer did end up shocking him inside the cell.
The Sheriff’s department has reported that it has turned over its reports to the Department of Justice.