Black Lives Matter

Alamance battleground: Protesters sit-in at Council member's soda shop

The cost of doing business in an unjust environment:

On Wednesday evening, about 60 people gathered in the Alamance County town’s Court Square to call for justice in the name of Andrew Brown, the Black man recently shot and killed by sheriff’s deputies in Elizabeth City.

A few minutes before 7 p.m., about a dozen protesters marched from the park in Court Square to Graham Soda Shop and Grill, a restaurant across from the courthouse owned by Jennifer Talley, a member of the city council. Inside, they sat and sang “Amazing Grace” to protest her support of the anti-protest ordinance.

An ordinance that makes it illegal to gather more than 10 people for a protest without obtaining a permit from notorious Sheriff Terry Johnson. Once the 11th person walks up, arrests can immediately follow. Of course the first protesters to be ejected from her restaurant were African-American:

Family will view Andrew Brown shooting video today

But a judge will have to approve the release to the general public:

As community leaders ask for the release of body camera footage to the public, Wayne Kendall, attorney for the family of Andrew Brown, Jr., says the family will be able to view the footage on Monday.

"Family members are allowed to see bodycam recording if the image of a deceased person that is related to that person is on the recording," Kendall explained. "And their attorneys are allowed to see it. That's codified within the statute, so there's no issue there."

Apparently there is an issue, since Brown was shot Wednesday morning and the family has yet to see it. I can see waiting 24 hours to give the department time to analyze the footage, but not six days. As expected, this story went national pretty quickly: Note: the image above shows a stray bullet that struck a neighbor's home. When SWAT shows up, it's time to duck and cover.

Kinston police punched black man after he was on the ground

Apparently it's open season for this kind of behavior:

Two North Carolina police officers were placed on leave after at least one of them was shown on video throwing punches at a Black man who was taken to the ground after a foot pursuit.

A roughly 17-second video clip from a bystander's cellphone during the arrest Monday night in Kinston appears to show an officer standing over David Lee Bruton Jr. and throwing multiple punches while he's on the ground. The leader of the local chapter of the NAACP called the video disturbing and the man's mother said she's grateful he's alive.

Bolding mine, because it's a damn shame when simply surviving a police encounter is considered a blessing. A woman called 911 to say she had been threatened by somebody (not even sure if it was him), and I'm very curious to see what that threat actually entailed:

Trial of George Floyd's killer set to begin

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All eyes are on Minneapolis, once again:

As soldiers prepared to take to the streets, the officer, Derek Chauvin, believed that the case against him was so devastating that he agreed to plead guilty to third-degree murder. As part of the deal, officials now say, he was willing to go to prison for more than 10 years. Local officials, scrambling to end the community’s swelling anger, scheduled a news conference to announce the deal.

But at the last minute, according to new details laid out by three law enforcement officials, the deal fell apart after William P. Barr, the attorney general at the time, rejected the arrangement.

The article claims that Barr nixed the plea deal because he thought it was too lenient, and would stir up public unrest. But after watching him in action supporting Trump for so long, I find that hard to believe. I think (it's possible) he wanted to force it to trial with harsher charges so the jury would fail to convict this cop. Whatever the case, a guilty verdict is not a foregone conclusion:

Minority advocates worry Jan. 6 Insurrection will spawn laws that hurt them

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They always get the sharp end of the stick:

“The answer ought to be to sort of pause. Because the instinct to do something is something I’m really quite afraid of,” said Maya Berry, executive director of the Arab American Institute, one of more than 130 civil and human rights organizations that say the FBI already has the tools it needs.

“White violence is consistently perpetuated and then used as justification for increased surveillance or increased state power against communities of color,” said 26-year-old Iranian American activist Hoda Katebi, who is Muslim, wears a headscarf and grew up defending herself against harassment and being called a terrorist in the years after Sept. 11, 2001.

I consider myself a supporter of the 2nd Amendment, but our current gun laws are a big mess. And "Open Carry" is one of the worst ideas that has emerged from the gun culture, and the lawmakers who embrace this trend have no business holding elected office. It has only served two main purposes; to intimidate other citizens, and to "normalize" dangerous and misanthropic behavior in the public square. Law enforcement has become inured to the inherent danger of open carry in our society, which is (of course) one of the main goals of these groups. Back to the potential statutory backlash of the failed coup:

Driving While Black: NC's racial profiling problem continues

Your "probable cause" is actually racism:

We spent two months on a special Times-News data investigation of these roadside stops in three counties – Alamance, Davidson and Randolph – sorting and analyzing the police stops for 11 jurisdictions covering a span of nine years. It became clear in the investigation that white people are being treated differently by police.

In the police agencies in and near Burlington, Black drivers are stopped 58 percent more often than white drivers, when you consider demographics. And in the full region we studied, including 11 Triad area police departments, Black drivers were stopped at an even higher rate — twice as often as white drivers, compared to what local demographics would indicate.

And before you say, "But Steve, they are more likely to have mechanical problems with their cars, blah blah blah," SC Republican Senator Tim Scott was pulled over 7 times in one year:

Notes from the Kakistocracy: Barr wants to use "Seditious Conspiracy" law on protesters

This authoritarian nightmare can't end soon enough:

If two or more persons in any State or Territory, or in any place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, conspire to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, or to oppose by force the authority thereof, or by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States, or by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States contrary to the authority thereof, they shall each be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both.

Bolding mine. What's the first thing that crossed your mind when you read that? It should be the Bundy family taking over a Federal facility in Oregon, which fits that statute to the T. But they were not charged with Seditious Conspiracy. As a matter of fact, all of the charges against them were dropped when a judge declared a mistrial. Nevermind the fact the whole world saw them commit the crime, and nevermind the fact right-wing snipers were photographed targeting Federal and state law enforcement officers. Their rights must not be infringed upon. Back to the Kakistocracy:

Alamance battleground: Protesters arrested for stepping in jail parking lot

Sheriff Terry Johnson is nothing more than a petty tyrant:

The demonstration took a turn, however, once the march reached the jail. Deputies quickly arrested and detained Nicholas Cassette for not complying with orders to vacate the parking lot in a fast enough manner. Though officers sequestered protestors to the sidewalk along West Pine Street, protestors didn't know they weren't allowed in the parking lot.

Liles was taken into custody after trying to help Nicholas Cassette, and Blunk was arrested for doing the same with Liles. Half an hour after the initial arrests, officers arrested Katherine Cassette for having used what they believed to be foul language.

Foul language? Some 100 inmates in that jail have been stricken by COVID 19, and these idiots are concerned about foul language? It doesn't get much more absurd than that. The protest originated at the County Courthouse, in response to the all Republican County Commissioners' ruling that Graham's Confederate statue cannot be removed:

Sign the petition to censure Rep. Larry Pittman!

North Carolina Republican Larry Pittman is in the news yet again after his public Facebook screen (pictured here) made national headlines. He called Black Lives Matter “vermin” and “terrorists” financed by George Soros (of course) and advocated that police officers murder them.

Surveillance nation: Asheville PD's monitoring of advocacy groups

So much for being the most progressive city in NC:

Asheville Police Department Chief Tammy Hooper authorized the monitoring of Black Lives Matter and Showing Up for Racial Justice in response to what she said were threats to officers after the shooting of Jai "Jerry" Williams by a white police sergeant.

The groups' organizers said they are unaware of any threats made by their members to harm police. Their groups work to raise awareness about racism and get more equitable treatment for minorities, they said. City Council members appear to have been briefed on the operation sometime after March 2018, according to statements from the elected officials and police. APD revealed the operation to the Citizen Times in May after questioning.

You know what? Between that shooting and the brutal beating of a black man for jaywalking, it is blatantly obvious any sort of monitoring or surveillance that needs to be carried out should be directed at the Police Department itself, not those citizens trying to stop such fascist behavior. And as far as this rationalization:

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