Last Monday, attorney Barbara Arnwine was rudely awakened by the sounds of Prince George County’s SWAT team raiding her Maryland home at 5:30 am. Arnwine is the executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law who said she believes the officers entered her home without a warrant, and may have even had the wrong house.
“They held us at gunpoint for three hours,” Arnwine told Rev. Al Sharpton and Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr. on Sharpton’s radio show “Keepin’ It Real.” “There is no justification for them operating like this. It’s totally unprofessional and unjustified.”
“If they had a warrant and were targeting any of us then how could they not know our names and know how to spell them,” Arnwine said to D.C radio station’s WPFW news anchor Askia Muhammad. “It looks like they were randomly looking, like they were on a fishing expedition. I honestly think they were looking for someone else. I honestly think they had the wrong address. I don’t think they had the right house, but I’ll never know because I never saw a warrant.”
“If it can happen to her it can happen to anyone,” Rev. Jackson said during the interview. Arnwine’s home is located in the wealthiest African American majority county in the nation, according to a 2006 Ebony magazine article,Politics365 points out.
Maya Wiley is the founder and President of the Center for Social Inclusion, a national public policy strategy organization that works to unite public policy research and grassroots advocacy to transform structural racial inequity into structural fairness and inclusion.
A civil rights attorney and policy advocate, Ms. Wiley graduated from Columbia University School of Law in 1989. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Dartmouth College in 1986. She has litigated, lobbied the US Congress and developed programs to transform structural racism in the US and in South Africa.
Prior to founding the Center for Social Inclusion, Ms. Wiley was a senior advisor on race and poverty to the Director of U.S. Programs of the Open Society Institute, and helped develop and implement the Open Society Foundation — South Africa’s Criminal Justice Initiative. She has worked for the American Civil Liberties Union National Legal Department, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. in the Poverty and Justice Program and the Civil Division of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. She currently serves on the Tides Network Board and has previously served on the Boards of the Institute on Race and Poverty at the University of Minnesota School of Law, Human Rights Watch and the Council on Foreign Relations.
She was a contributing author to the National Urban League’s 2006 State of Black America, and authored a chapter on Race, Equity and Land Use Planning in Columbia, South Carolina recently published in Growing Smarter: Achieving Livable Communities, Environmental Justice and Regional Equity, R. Bullard, ed. The MIT Press: Cambridge, MA (2007).
Civil Rights Violation in Chicago? An Attorney Can Help
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While the United States issues repeated condemnations this week against Russian President Vladimir Putin for his aggressive actions in the Ukraine, it would have been fitting if he gave the U.S. a taste of its own medicine by firing back at the Senate for disavowing one of the fundamental aspects of our U.S. Constitution in the vote to deny Debo Adegbile an opportunity to serve…
SUSANA LORENZO-GIGUERE: SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE CHINESE EXCLUSION LAWS
CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY SUSANA LORENZO-GIGUERE RECENTLY WORKED WITH THE 1882 PROJECT TO SUPPORT AND PROMOTE LEGISLATION IN THE U.S. SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES THAT ADDRESSED AND EXPRESSED REGRET FOR THE CHINESE EXCLUSION LAWS OF THE 19TH CENTURY. BASED IN WASHINGTON, D.C., SHE CURRENTLY SERVES AS AN ATTORNEY WITH THE FEDERAL DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE.
IMPLEMENTED IN 1882, THE CHINESE EXCLUSION ACT IMPOSED A 10-YEAR BAN ON CHINESE LABOR IMMIGRATION TO THE UNITED STATES. OVER THE NEXT 60 YEARS, CONGRESS REVISITED THIS LEGISLATION MULTIPLE TIMES, REAFFIRMING IT, EXPANDING IT, AND INCREASING RESTRICTIONS THAT FURTHER CUT DOWN ON THE NATURALIZATION OF PEOPLE OF CHINESE DESCENT WHILE FINDING NEW WAYS TO DEPORT EXISTING CHINESE CITIZENS LIVING IN THE U.S. FINALLY, IN 1943, THE BILL WAS REPEALED.
THE CHINESE EXCLUSION LAWS PRODUCED A LASTING IMPACT ON CHINESE AMERICANS AND ON THE ATTITUDES OF ALL PEOPLES TOWARD THE UNITED STATES AS A NATION THAT SUPPORTS FAIR AND EQUAL RIGHTS FOR ALL. THE LAWS WERE CONTRADICTORY TO THE 14TH AND 15TH AMENDMENTS OF THE U.S. CONSTITUTION AND THEY OFTEN CONDONED ANTI-CHINESE ATTITUDES AMONG AMERICANS. SUCH ATTITUDES MADE IT EVEN HARDER FOR CHINESE SETTLERS AND LABORS TO ASSIMILATE INTO THE UNITED STATES AND FOR THEM TO ESTABLISH FAMILY UNITS HERE.
Actress Eva Longoria was born March 15, 1975 in Corpus Christi, Texas. A beauty pageant contestant in her youth, she got her first break in show business with a regular role on The Young and the Restless from 2001 to 2003. Her breakthrough role came in 2004 as Gabrielle Solis on the hit television seriesDesperate Housewives.
The Justice Department filed a wide-ranging lawsuit against Ferguson, Missouri, in federal court Wednesday, accusing the municipality of “a pattern or practice of law enforcement conduct that violates the Constitution and federal civil rights laws,” Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced.
“Residents of Ferguson have suffered the deprivation of their constitutional rights—the rights guaranteed to all Americans—for decades,” Lynch said. “They have waited decades for justice. They should not be forced to wait any longer.”
The lawsuit’s allegations mirror those in the Justice Department’s landmark Ferguson Report, which was released last March on the same day as a separate report clearing Officer Darren Wilson of civil-rights violations for the shooting death of Michael Brown in August 2014. Brown’s death, alongside the high-profile shootings of unarmed black men and women in other cities, led to violent protests in Ferguson and ignited a national debate over race and policing in the U.S.
Although federal investigators declined to prosecute Wilson for Brown’s death in one report, they effectively indicted Ferguson itself in the other, accusing the city of flagrantly violating federal law and the First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendments. The Ferguson Report describes a municipal government transformed into what my colleague Ta-Nehisi Coates described as a system of plunder, funded by exorbitant court fines levied against the town’s impoverished black residents, and enforced by a police department for whom the Bill of Rights was an alien concept.
Justice Department lawyers filed the lawsuit Wednesday, a day after the Ferguson City Council unanimously voted to amend a proposed reform agreement negotiated between the city and the federal government. Both sides labored for months to craft a consent decree that would both reform Ferguson’s deeply troubled government and police force as well as avert a protracted legal battle.
Those hopes fell apart when the full scale of the agreement became public last month. Among its requirements: the Ferguson Police Department would no longer oversee the municipal court, stricter use-of-force policies would be drafted, the city’s most egregiously abused ordinances would be repealed, and a federal monitor would be appointed to ensure compliance.
But other conditions seemed more onerous for a municipality of 21,000 people. Ferguson’s annual budget is $14.5 million and the city is already running multimillion dollar deficits, but local officials estimate it will cost $3.7 million a year to carry out the agreement over the next three to five years. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, $1.9 million of that will go toward salary increases: $900,000 to make Ferguson Police Department salaries among the nation’s “most competitive” to attract better-trained officers, and another $1 million to raise salaries for other city government employees to keep pace.
Another contentious point in the agreement, according to the Post-Dispatch, was a clause that would uphold the reforms even if city officials disbanded the Ferguson Police Department.
One provision in the decree, which the city released to the public two weeks ago, says that all the requirements would apply to any agency that took over policing in Ferguson. By removing that stipulation, Ferguson could disband its police force and sidestep a large part of the agreement.
In an interview after the meeting, Councilman Wesley Bell acknowledged the change was significant, but said the tight deadline under which the city was operating left Ferguson little choice but to ask the provision be removed.
“If we get to the point where we have to disband our police department, which honestly I don’t see happening, but let’s say it does happen, no department is going to take us on with those conditions without charging twice as much,” Bell said. “It’s not a ‘no’ on the provision. It’s, ‘Let’s talk about the provision. Let’s figure out something we can all live with that actually makes sense.’”
In their vote Tuesday, Ferguson’s seven-member city council unanimously approved seven changes to the drafted agreement, including the removal of the “most competitive” requirement and the disbanding provision. City lawyers warned that the vote would almost certainly guarantee a federal lawsuit in retaliation. The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division followed through within 24 hours.
For Ferguson, a victory in the courts is unlikely. The Justice Department has launched 67 investigations since Congress empowered it to sue police departments for civil-rights violations in 1994 after the Rodney King beating, according to the Washington Post. Of those, 66 led to consent decrees for the departments targeted—and Justice Department lawyers are appealing a lower-court defeat to obtain the 67th one.
However, not everything went as planned. “[Amal] comes in and she’s just come back from London. Usually, she’ll dress up and now she’s like, 'Maybe we’ll just order in.’ I go, 'No, no, no I’ve made dinner.’ I’ve got it all set up, timed out and the song is coming and she gets up to go wash the dishes, which she’s never done,” he explained. “And I’m like, 'What are you doing?’ and then she comes back in.”
While she threw a few hurdles at him, Clooney still managed the perfect proposal. “Finally I said [that] I blew out the candle and I think the lighter’s in the box behind you. And she reaches around, pulls out the box and I’ve got just the ring sitting in there. She pulls it out and she looks at it and she’s like, 'It’s a ring,’ like as if somebody had left it there some other time,” he told DeGeneres. “I’m doing all the moves you can do with my face. I got down on my knee and said, 'I couldn’t imagine spending the rest of my life without you.’ And she kept looking at the ring and she was looking at me and she was like, 'Oh My God.’ And we now know, because there was a playlist [and] we know how long it actually took, it was like 25 minutes.”
Of course with Clooney, his proposal story wasn’t without a few jokes. “Finally, I literally said, 'Look, I hope the answer is yes but I need an answer. I’m 52 and I could throw out my hip pretty soon,’” he quipped. “And she said, 'Oh, yes.’ It worked out really well.”
Wednesday was Amal’s 38th birthday, and when ET caught up with the Clooneys at the premiere of Hail, Caesar! on Monday, the actor was hesitant about inviting his handsome co-star, Channing Tatum, to his wife’s birthday celebration. Both men agreed that it would be a bad idea for the Magic Mike XXL star to pop out of the cake. “I’d like to stay married,” Clooney joked. “Stay away from my wife, man!”
Day 2 of Black History Month:
Barack Hussein Obama is not only the 1st African American to be President of the United States of America, but he also was the president of the Harvard Law Review. His accomplishments began with his work as a civil rights attorney and teaching constitutional law at University of Chicago Law School. President Obama has signed laws such as the Job Creation Act of 2010 to the Repeal of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Act of 2010 that have changed our future for the better. We thank you Barack Obama for your terms you have served in office & paving the way for minorities, reminding us that…
“Yes We Can!” ❤️💚💛
#BHM #DayTwo #BSU
This week, host Richard Steele was joined by folks from City Bureau. They’ll talk about their recent batch of work, digging into police misconduct and young black activism in Chicago.
We were joined by • Martin Macias, journalist with City Bureau and • Darryl Holliday, Editor with City Bureau, as well as: • Chaclyn Hunt. She is a civil rights attorney who directs the Youth/Police Project at the Invisible institute. and •Retired CPD officer David Lemieux
Then, we got a preview from Audra Wilson about the latest installment of Practically Speaking. She spoke with Kimberly Norwood, Law Professor at Washington University in St. Louis. Norwood is also author of the new book “Ferguson’s Fault Lines: The Race Quake That Rocked A Nation”.
Finally, a United Nations “Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent” was in Chicago last weekend to gather “first-hand information about the current human rights situation of African Americans.” We heard an audio postcard.
The Barber Shop Show airs live on Fridays at Noon on 91.1FM. You can also stream live at vocalo.org. In addition, the show rebroadcasts on Saturdays at 9am on 91.1FM and on Sundays at 3pm on WBEZ 91.5FM (photo credit: Martin Macias)
The lawyer who brought the first legal challenge to the brand-new gun limits announced by President Obama just last month now is asking a judge for a quick ruling, saying there’s really nothing to argue over.
The new motion for summary judgment was just filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Palm Beach Division, by civil rights activist attorney Larry Klayman of Freedom Watch.
George Clooney's Proposal to Amal Is Straight Out of a Rom-Com
If you’d ask almost any woman how long it would take her to accept a marriage proposal from George Clooney, the answer would probably be mere fractions of a second. However, it supposedly took Clooney’s gorgeous wife Amal, a whole 25 minutes to say yes! What?! Turns out Clooney’s proposal to Amal wasn’t without a few memorable hiccups!
After just six months of meeting the civil rights attorney, the Hail, Caesar! star knew that he had found the one. However, Clooney describes the actual proposal as “one of those horrible moments.” Uh, excuse us, Clooney? “I plotted the whole thing out,” he explained to DeGeneres. As one would expect from the always-suave star, he pulled out all the stops when it comes to the quintessential romantic elements of a perfect proposal — from having his aunt Rosemary Clooney’s song “Why Shouldn’t I” softly playing in the background to cooking an elaborate homemade meal for his sweetheart.
“I had the ring hidden behind her,” he said. But when the big moment finally arrived, Amal nearly missed it! “I’ve got it all set up, timed out, and the song is coming, and she gets up to go wash the dishes, which she’s never done! And I’m like, ‘What are you doing?’” remembers Clooney.
At last, Clooney had caught her attention. After blowing out a candle, he instructed his about-to-be-fiancée to light it with the box of matches sitting behind her. “She reaches around, pulls out the box, and I’ve got just the ring sitting in there,” said Clooney. “She pulls it out and she looks at it and she’s like, 'It’s a ring’ — like as if somebody had left it there some other time!” Too funny!
Still not quite getting it, the actor tried to help his bride along. “I’m doing all the moves you can do with my face. I got down on my knee and said, 'I couldn’t imagine spending the rest of my life without you.’ And she kept looking at the ring and she was looking at me and she was like, 'Oh My God.’” Finally, Amal!
“Because there was a playlist, we know how long it actually took. It was like 25 minutes!” laughs Clooney. “Finally, I literally said, 'Look, I hope the answer is yes but I need an answer. I’m 52 and I could throw out my hip pretty soon.’”