Angered and hurt, hundreds of marchers gathered at the spot Freddie Gray was brutally arrested in West Baltimore on Tuesday to rally for justice. Friends, family, and supporters of Gray, who died from his injuries, made their way to the Western District Police Station, chanting for the officers involved to be brought to justice. Six Baltimore police officers have been suspended with pay, but charges have not been filed. As the investigation continues, so will the community of Baltimore in its fight against police brutality.

All photos by Josh Sinn

To see more: http://joshsinn.com/blog/2015/4/22/justice-for-freddie

City Paper: http://www.citypaper.com/photos/bcpnews-freddie-gray-vigil-and-protest-in-photos-part-2-20150422,0,3484503.photogallery


My oldest sister Stacie fell victim to extremely serious physical abuse in the early hours of Sunday morning. Her boyfriend kicked her to the ground, knocking her unconscious and then continued kicking her in her face and neck. The fact that her two sons, Cody (11) and Logan (10) were witnesses didn’t stop this monster from his brutal acts. My nephew Cody ran to the neighbors who then contacted police. In doing so, he saved his mothers life. Stacie was then rushed to Johns Hopkins shock trauma.

In the last picture, you can see Stacie is obviously a trooper. She was released to go home Monday night but is suffering from many facial fractures, cuts, bruises, and swelling. She is due back in a few days for her first facial surgery.


Below is Stacie’s “go fund me” please feel free to donate any amount in order to help Stacie and her boys start a new, safer life and to help towards many medical bills. Feel free to share Stacie’s story, in doing so, it could give someone the courage to leave a violent relationship they are suffering in.


Our Three-Year Struggle to Get Chicago to Admit We Were Beaten by the Police

Later, after the beating, after the intimidation by police, after the hours and hours spent going through legal documents and telling our story at depositions, after the media fixed us in its gaze and then released us, people still asked us the question. It’s always the same question—they want reassurances that what happened to us couldn’t happen to them.

“Why did those cops attack you?”

Sometimes it’s an honest query; other times it sounds more like an accusation. It’s the same sort of question people ask when victims like Ferguson’s Michael Brown are killed by the police—what did they to do deserve being targeted?

More than four years after our attack, we still don’t know the answer. And we’re unable to reassure anyone, regardless of the color of their skin, that what happened to us won’t happen to them. All we know is that when we attempted to fight back we found out just how  deeply dysfunctional the system can be.

CHAPTER 1: The Assault

It was three in the morning on February 7, 2010, when our lives changed—not that we had any warning that the moment would hold any sort of significance. We were just two guys eating a late dinner at Arturo’s Tacos, a 24-hour Mexican joint known for selling burritos the size of mini-footballs in Chicago's  Logan Square neighborhood.

As we finished our meal, Greg stood to put his coat on in the narrow aisle of the restaurant and two men and a woman approached him. The first guy looked like a bodybuilder or a wannabe pro wrestler: a white dude with a concentrated, powerful build. The second guy was taller and slimmer but still muscular, with slicked-back hair and a leather jacket.

“What the fuck? Get out of my way!” barked the shorter one.

“What the hell? I’m just putting my coat on. I’ll be out of your way in one second,” Greg replied.

The man pushed Greg, and a waitress came over to see what was happening. Matt reassured her: “Everything’s fine. We’re not looking for any problems.”

The group slipped past us to the exit, and we thought that was the end of it. But after we went to the register and paid, we found them waiting for us in the small parking lot outside. As we neared Matt’s car, we could feel the tension ratchet up; the men were shouting obscenities as they moved toward us.

We didn’t want a fight with these lunatics, and as they neared us Greg kept saying, “Let’s just shake on it. We’re here out of peace. We’re not looking for any problems. Let’s just go home and forget about it.”

They weren’t having it. The shorter one charged at Greg a few times with balled fists, stopping just short of making contact, and then he made his move: He charged again, this time shoving Greg and swinging around to hit Matt with a vicious right hook. Within seconds both the men were on top of Matt, throwing him to the ground and pounding him repeatedly in his face with their fists.

Greg pulled the instigator off Matt and for a moment managed to pin his arms to his sides. But he broke free quickly, hit Greg in the head, then brought him to the ground with a practiced takedown maneuver and put him in a choke hold while kneeling behind him.

Matt, meanwhile, had blacked out when he was thrown to the ground, but the taller guy went on pummeling his head, tossing it from side to side. Matt’s eyes shot open as he woke to the sound of his own blood splashing on the ground. The woman who’d accompanied the two guys was now leaning over Matt, screaming, “Quit resisting! They’re cops! They’re going to beat your ass!”

Finally they stopped, either convinced by our pleas for mercy or simply tired of whaling on us. As they walked back to their car, Matt staggered to his feet, fishing his phone from his pocket while trying to make out the license plate of the vehicle the trio was getting into. As Matt dialed 911 in shock, he was just grasping the new reality: We’ve just been assaulted by some plainclothes cops, and they’re leaving.

The line rang, and in a heartbeat the taller man sprinted at Matt. You can hear him scream on the recorded 911 call, “Who the fuck are you calling?” just before he hit Matt hard enough to knock him several feet backward and into the wall. They were on Matt again in seconds—Greg rushed to pull them off once more, but they violently slammed the back of Greg’s head to the pavement. He lost consciousness.


‘Baltimore Is Here': Ethiopian Israelis protest police brutality in Jerusalem

Ben Norton on May 1, 2015

Ethiopian Israelis took to the streets of Jerusalem on the evening of April 30 to protest police brutality and systemic racism. Haaretz reports that approximately 1,000 protesters gathered, principally from the Ethiopian Jewish community.

The citizens condemned racism and police brutality toward the Ethiopian Jewish community, calling for the end of impunity for cops who harass them.

A video released of a white Israeli police officer attacking a black Israeli soldier in Tel Aviv on April 26 angered many in the Ethiopian Israeli community, which is disproportionately targeted by Israeli police. The video shows officers pushing Demas Fekadeh, an Ethiopian Israeli soldier, to the ground and beating him.

Zionist Union Member of Knesset Shelly Yachimovich remarked in a Facebook post “It wouldn’t be far-fetched to expect that if [Demas Fekadeh], the soldier who was hit, was a light-skin soldier, preferably with an Ashkenazi appearance, he would not have sustained harsh blows without consideration from police.”

This is by no means an isolated incident. In March 2014, an Ethiopian Israeli by the name of Yosef Salamseh was in a public park with his friends when police approached him. They accused him of breaking into a house, a claim he adamantly denied. The cops then attacked him with a Taser gun, kicked him, handcuffed him, shackled his legs, threw him in a police car, and detained him in a nearby police station. His family later found him unconscious and tied-up. A few months later, he died. Police claimed it was a suicide.

In the wake of the incident, Salamseh came to be known by many as “Israel’s Michael Brown,” referring to an 18-year-old black American man who was walking down the street with a friend in Ferguson, Missouri when white police officer Darren Wilson shot him nine times, three times in the head.

Numerous journalists reported that the Ethiopian Jewish protesters in Jerusalem were chanting “Baltimore is here!”, connecting their struggle against racist brutality in Israel to the struggle of black Americans against racist brutality in the US.

Civil unrest emerged in Baltimore on April 25, in response to the police killing of Freddie Gray, an innocent, unarmed black man who was arrested for looking at a police officer in the face and then running away. While in police custody, Gray’s voice box was crushed and his spine was 80% severed. Baltimore police later accused him of injuring himself, although video footage was released of cops pummeling Gray. In the video, Gray can be heard asking for his inhaler, as he had trouble breathing, and appears to be incapable of walking, because of the brutal beating he suffered. (Police also harassed and later arrested the man who captured the attack on camera.) A medical expert revealed that it is virtually impossible that Gray injured himself.

Black Israelis have tied their own struggle to that of the Black Lives Matter movement in the US—a civil and human rights movement that emerged in response to the constant police murders of unarmed, innocent black Americans at the hands of white police—not just by drawing connections between Baltimore and Jerusalem, but furthermore by launching an Israeli offshoot of the “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” campaign.

Thousands of Ethiopian Jews reportedly also gathered outside of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s house, in protest of racist police violence.

Israeli police sprayed protesters with “skunk water” to break up the protests. Israeli forces do the same to peaceful Palestinian protesters in the occupied West Bank. There are also numerous recorded instances of occupation forces spraying skunk water into Palestinian homes.

According to police, some Ethiopian Israeli protesters in the largely peaceful demonstrations were also throwing stones—a protest tactic in which Palestinians living under military occupation in the occupied territories also engage.

The intense racism people of African descent face in Israel is well-documented. Many journalists have written of “Israel’s Disgustingly Racist Behavior Towards Ethiopian Jews.” The self-proclaimed Jewish state has forcibly sterilized Ethiopian Jews,refused to take blood donations from Ethiopian Members of Knesset (referring to it as “the special kind of Jewish-Ethiopian blood” they avoid), and even refused to wed Ethiopian Jews, expressing doubts that they are “truly” Jewish.

2/3rds of Ethiopian Jewish children in Israel live in poverty. Many Ethiopian Jews are forced to live either in ghettos or illegal settlements. These gaping disparities and this structural racism have led to critics calling Israel an Ashkenazi-supremacist state and Zionism a white-supremacist movement, one that is itself anti-Semitic in its oppression of non-Ashkenazi Jews.

Scholar Hanan Chehata describes Israel as the “promised land for Jews… as long as they’re not black.”

Jews of African descent are not the only ones to suffer from the Ashkenazi supremacy of Zionism. Since its earliest days, Mizrahi Jews (those of Middle Eastern descent) have faced systematic discrimination in Israeli society. In the 1950s, Israel forced Mizrahi Jews to live in poverty in tents in shantytown-like transit camps while Ashkenazim were given hotels.

In the decades since, Mizrahim have continued to endure systemic racism. This intense oppression led to the creation of the Israeli Black Panthers, in parallel to the revolutionary socialist Black Panther Party in the US. Former Israeli Black Panthers still protest Israeli racism against Mizrahi Jews today.