police murder victim

2

30 June, 2017. 24-year-old Nikita Zharkov of Ulyanovsk went outside to visit his father at the gym where he was working. After hours of waiting, Nikita’s father, Alexey realized that something is wrong. Soon he was notified that his son committed suicide by jumping of an apartment building. However, when Alexey was taken to the body, he immediately realized that was not true. It was clear that Nikita was severely beaten and this kind of body damage couldn’t haven been caused by the fall. Alexey counted 54 torture-related injuries on his son’s body. The most disturbing signs were traces of handcuffs on his son’s arms and legs. Alexey claims that on this fateful day Nikita became a witness of mass fight that was initiated by a father of Nikita’s friend. As many witnesses and participants of the fight, Nikita was detained. But unlike them, he never exited the police station, therefore his father concluded that Nikita was killed there and then the police officers staged his suicide. There are many witnesses of the mass fight that led to Nikita’s death, however they all are refusing to testify out of fear for their lives.

3

The Police Officers Who Returned 14-Year-Old Boy To Jeff Dahmer

“MILWAUKEE, Aug. 25 1991— A police officer suspended for returning a 14-year-old Laotian boy to Jeffrey L. Dahmer, who has since admitted killing 17 people, said he had agonized over how he might have prevented the boy’s death.

“God as my witness, I just didn’t dump a little boy in the hands of a murderer. That’s not what happened,” the officer, Joseph T. Gabrish, told The Milwaukee Journal in a story published today.

On May 27, neighbors called the police to report seeing a naked and bleeding boy run from Mr. Dahmer’s apartment building. After interviewing Mr. Dahmer, Officer Gabrish and two fellow officers accepted his explanation that the youth was an adult and his lover and that the boy was drunk. The officers went with Mr. Dahmer and the boy to Mr. Dahmer’s apartment. The other officers were also suspended. Incident Led to Protests

After Mr. Dahmer was arrested in July, he told the police that he strangled the boy, Konerak Sinthasomphone, soon after the officers left. He also said the body of another victim was in a bedroom during the officers’ visit.”

Aftermath:
After the trial the officers were fired, but both were reinstated soon. With full back pay. And right after that Balcerzak and Gabrish were named “officers of the year” by their local union, the Milwaukee Police Association. 
In May 2005, Balcerzak was elected president of the Milwaukee Police Association

9

The Assassination of Civil Rights Activist Medgar Evers, & The Conviction Of His Killer 30+ Years After His Murder

Medgar’s Life & Activism Before His Assassination

Evers was born July 2, 1925, in Decatur, Mississippi, third of the five children (including older brother Charlie Evers) of James and Jesse Evers; the family also included Jesse’s two children from a previous marriage.[4] The Everses owned a small farm and James worked at a sawmill.[5] Evers walked twelve miles to go to school, and earned his high-school diploma.[6] From 1943 to 1945 he fought in the European Theater and the Battle of Normandy with the United States Army during World War II, and was discharged honorably as a sergeant.[7]

In 1948 Evers enrolled at Alcorn College (a historically black college, now Alcorn State University) majoring in business administration.[8] He also competed on the debate, football, and track teams, sang in the choir, and was junior class president.[9] He earned his Bachelor of Arts in 1952.[8]

On December 24, 1951, he married classmate Myrlie Beasley.[10] Together they had three children: Darrell Kenyatta, Reena Denise, and James Van Dyke.[11] Darrell died in February 2001 of colon cancer.[12]

The couple moved to Mound Bayou, Mississippi, where Evers became a salesman for T. R. M. Howard’s Magnolia Mutual Life Insurance Company.[13] Howard was also president of the Regional Council of Negro Leadership (RCNL);[14] Evers helped organize the RCNL’s boycott of filling stations which denied blacks use of the stations’ restrooms.[15] Evers and his brother Charles also attended the RCNL’s annual conferences in Mound Bayou between 1952 and 1954, which drew crowds of ten thousand or more.[16]

Evers applied to the then-segregated University of Mississippi Law School in 1954 but his application was rejected.[17] He submitted his application in concert with the NAACP as a test case.[18]

In late 1954 Evers’ was named the NAACP’s first field secretary for Mississippi.[5] In this position, he helped organize boycotts and set up new local chapters of the NAACP. He was involved with James Meredith’s efforts to enroll in the University of Mississippi in the early 1960s.[18] Evers’ also helped Dr. Gilbert Mason Sr. organize the Biloxi Wade-Ins, protests against segregation efforts on the Mississippi Gulf Coast beaches.[19]

Evers’ civil rights leadership and investigative work made him a target of white supremacists. In the weeks leading up to his death, the hostility directed towards him grew. His public investigations into the murder of Emmett Till and his vocal support of Clyde Kennard had made him a prominent black leader. On May 28, 1963, a Molotov cocktail was thrown into the carport of his home.[20] On June 7, 1963, Evers was nearly run down by a car after he emerged from the Jackson NAACP office.[13]

The Assassination of Medgar Evers By His Murderer, Byron De La Beckwith & How Long It Took To Get Justice

In the early morning of June 12, 1963, just hours after President John F. Kennedy‘s speech on national television in support of civil rights, Evers pulled into his driveway after returning from a meeting with NAACP lawyers. Emerging from his car and carrying NAACP T-shirts that read “Jim Crow Must Go,” Evers was struck in the back with a bullet fired from an Enfield 1917 rifle; the bullet ripped through his heart. He staggered 9 meters (30 feet) before collapsing. He was taken to the local hospital in Jackson where he was initially refused entry because of his color, until it was explained who he was; he died in the hospital 50 minutes later.[21][full citation needed]

External image

The driveway where Medgar Evers was shot at 2332 Margaret Walker Alexander Drive.

[22]

Mourned nationally, Evers was buried on June 19 in Arlington National Cemetery, where he receivedfull military honors before a crowd of more than 3,000.[14]

On June 21, 1963, Byron De La Beckwith, a fertilizer salesman and member of the White Citizens’ Council (and later of the Ku Klux Klan), was arrested for Evers’ murder.[23]

District Attorney and future governor Bill Waller prosecuted De La Beckwith.[24] Juries composed solely of white men twice that yeardeadlocked on De La Beckwith’s guilt.

In 1994, 30 years after the two previous trials had failed to reach a verdict, De La Beckwith was brought to trial based on new evidence.Bobby DeLaughter was the prosecutor. During the trial, the body of Evers was exhumed from his grave for an autopsy.[3] De La Beckwith was convicted of murder on February 5, 1994, after having lived as a free man for much of the three decades following the killing (he was imprisoned from 1977 to 1980 for conspiring to murder A. I. Botnick). De La Beckwith appealed unsuccessfully, and died at age 80 in prison in January 2001.

The Murderer of Medgar Evers: Byron De La Beckwith

The White Citizens’ Council was founded in 1954 following the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in Brown v. Board of Education that school segregation was unconstitutional. Begun in Mississippi, chapters arose in towns across the South and used a variety of economic tactics to suppress black activism and sustain segregation. The councils applied pressure through boycotts, denial of loans and credit, employment termination, and other means. In Mississippi they prevented school integration until 1964.[6]

De La Beckwith became a member of the White Citizens’ Council; however, he thought that more direct action was needed. On June 12, 1963, he assassinated NAACP civil rightsleader Medgar Evers outside Evers’ home in Jackson.

The state twice prosecuted De La Beckwith for murder in 1964, but both trials ended with hung juries. The jurors were all male and all white. Mississippi had effectivelydisfranchised black voters since 1890, and they were thus prevented from serving on juries, whose membership was limited to voters. During the second trial, the former GovernorRoss Barnett (D) interrupted the trial to shake hands with Beckwith while Myrlie Evers, the widow of the activist, was testifying.[1] In the 1980s, the Jackson Clarion Ledgerpublished reports on its investigation of the trial, which found that the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission, supported by residents’ taxes, had assisted De La Beckwith’s attorneys in his second trial by using state resources to investigate members of the jury pool during voir dire.[1][2]

In January 1966, De La Beckwith, along with a number of other members of the White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, was subpoenaed by the House Un-American Activities Committee to testify about Klan activities. Although De La Beckwith gave his name when asked by the committee (unlike other witnesses, such as Sam Bowers, who invoked theFifth Amendment in response to that question), he answered no other substantive questions.[2] In the following years, Beckwith became a leader in the segregationist Phineas Priesthood, an offshoot of the white supremacist Christian Identity Movement. The group was known for its hostility towards African AmericansJewsCatholics, and foreigners.

According to Delmar Dennis, who acted as a key witness for the prosecution at the 1994 trial, De La Beckwith boasted of his role in the death of Medgar Evers at several KKK rallies and at similar gatherings in the years following his mistrials. In 1967, he unsuccessfully sought the Democratic Party’s nomination for Lieutenant Governor of Mississippi.[2]

In 1973, informants alerted the Federal Bureau of Investigation of Beckwith’s plans to murder A.I. Botnick, director of the New Orleans-based B'nai B'rith Anti-Defamation League, in retaliation for comments that Botnick had made about white southerners and race relations. Following several days of surveillance, Beckwith’s car was stopped by New Orleans Police Department officers as he crossed over the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway Bridge. Among the contents of his vehicle were several loaded firearms, a map with highlighted directions to Botnick’s house, and a dynamite time bomb. On August 1, 1975, Beckwith was convicted of conspiracy to commit murder; he served nearly three years in the Angola Prison in Louisiana from May 1977 until his parole in January 1980.[2] Just before entering prison to serve his sentence, Beckwith was ordained by Rev. Dewey “Buddy” Tucker as a minister in the Temple Memorial Baptist Church; a Christian Identity congregation in KnoxvilleTennessee.[7]

“Where Is the Voice Coming From?” (1963), a short story by the notable writer Eudora Welty, is considered one of the most significant works related to De La Beckwith’s crime. Welty was from Jackson, Mississippi, and she said later:

“Whoever the murderer is, I know him: not his identity, but his coming about, in this time and place. That is, I ought to have learned by now, from here, what such a man, intent on such a deed, had going on in his mind. I wrote his story–my fiction–in the first person: about that character’s point of view.”[9]

Welty’s story was published in The New Yorker (July 6, 1963) soon after De La Beckwith’s arrest. So accurate was her portrayal that the magazine changed several details in the story before publication, for legal reasons.[10]

Byron De La Beckwith was the subject of the 1963 Bob Dylan song “Only a Pawn in Their Game”, which deplores Evers’ murder and the racial environment of the South.

In 1991, the murder of Evers and first trials of Beckwith were the basis of the episode titled “Sweet, Sweet Blues”, written by author William James Royce for the NBC television series In the Heat of the Night. In the episode, actor James Best plays a character based on De La Beckwith, an aging Klansman who appears to have gotten away with murder.

The 1996 film Ghosts of Mississippi tells the story of the murder and 1994 trial. James Woods portrayed De La Beckwith in an Academy Award-nominated performance.

In 2001, Bobby DeLaughter published his memoir of the case and trial, Never Too Late: A Prosecutor’s Story of Justice in the Medgar Evers Trial.[11]

Medgar’s Legacy

Evers’s legacy has been kept alive in a variety of ways. Evers was memorialized by leading Mississippi and national authors, both black and white: Eudora WeltyJames BaldwinMargaret Walker and Anne Moody.[25] In 1963, he was awarded the Spingarn Medal from theNAACP.[26] In 1969, Medgar Evers College was established in Brooklyn, New York as part of the City University of New York. Evers’s widow,Myrlie Evers co-wrote the book For Us, the Living with William Peters in 1967. In 1983, a movie was made based on the book. Celebrating Evers’s life and career, it starred Howard Rollins, Jr. and Irene Cara as Medgar and Myrlie Evers, airing on PBS. The film won the Writers Guild of America award for Best Adapted Drama.[27] On June 28, 1992, the city of Jackson, Mississippi erected a statue in honor of Evers. All of Delta Drive (part of U.S. Highway 49) in Jackson was renamed in Evers’ honor. In December 2004, the Jackson City Council changed the name of the city’s airport to “Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport” (Jackson-Evers International Airport) in honor of him.[28]

External image

Statue at Medgar Evers Boulevard Library in 

Jackson, Mississippi

.

His widow Myrlie Evers became a noted activist in her own right later in life, eventually serving as chair of the NAACP.[29] Medgar’s brother Charles Evers returned to Jackson in July 1963 and served briefly in his slain brother’s place. He remained involved in Mississippi civil rights activities for many years and resides in Jackson.[30]

On the 40-year anniversary of Evers’ assassination, hundreds of civil rights veterans, government officials, and students from across the country gathered around his grave site at Arlington National Cemetery to celebrate his life and legacy. Barry Bradford and three students—Sharmistha Dev, Jajah Wu and Debra Siegel, formerly of Adlai E. Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, Illinois—planned and hosted the commemoration in his honor.[31] Evers was the subject of the students’ research project.[32]

In October 2009, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, a former Mississippi governor, announced that USNS Medgar Evers (T-AKE-13), a Lewis and Clark-class dry cargo ship, would be named in the activist’s honor.[33] The ship was christened by Myrlie Evers-Williams on November 12, 2011.[34]

In June 2013, a statue of Evers was erected at his alma mater, Alcorn State University, to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of his death.[35] Alumni and guests from around the world gathered to recognize his contributions to American society.

Evers was further honored in a tribute at Arlington National Cemetery on the 50th anniversary of his death.[36] Former President Bill Clinton, Attorney General Eric Holder, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, Senator Roger Wicker and NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous all spoke commemorating Evers.[37][38] Evers’ widow, Myrlie Evers-Williams, who also honored her late husband, spoke on his contributions to the advancement of civil rights:[39]

“Medgar was a man who never wanted aberration, who never wanted to be in the limelight. He was a man who saw a job that needed to be done and he answered the call and the fight for freedom, dignity and justice not just for his people but all people.”

Medgar Evers’ Legacy In Popular Culture

The murder and subsequent trials caused an uproar. Musician Bob Dylan wrote his 1963 song “Only a Pawn in Their Game” about the assassination.[40] Nina Simone wrote and sang “Mississippi Goddam” about the Evers case and Phil Ochs wrote the songs “Another Country” and “Too Many Martyrs” (also titled “The Ballad Of Medgar Evers”) in response to the killing, with Matthew Jones and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating CommitteeFreedom Singers also recording the latter song.[40] Eudora Welty’s short story “Where Is the Voice Coming From”, in which the speaker is the imagined assassin of Medgar Evers, was published in The New Yorker in 1963.[41]

Evers’ story inspired a 1991 episode of the NBC TV series In the Heat of the Night, entitled “Sweet, Sweet Blues”, written by author William James Royce. The story tells of a murder of a young black man and the elderly white man, played by actor James Best, who seems to have gotten away with the 40-year-old murder. (The TV episode preceded by several years the trial that convicted Beckwith.) In the Heat of the Night won its first NAACP Image Award for Best Dramatic Series that season.[42]

The 1996 film Ghosts of Mississippi, directed by Rob Reiner, tells the story of the 1994 retrial of Beckwith, in which prosecutor DeLaughter of the Hinds County District Attorney’soffice secured a conviction in state court. Beckwith and DeLaughter were played by James Woods and Alec Baldwin, respectively; Whoopi Goldberg played Myrlie Evers. Evers was portrayed by James Pickens, Jr.. The film was based on a book of the same name.[43][44]

Robert DeLaughter wrote a first-person narrative article entitled “Mississippi Justice” published in Reader’s Digest, and a book, Never Too Late: A Prosecutor’s Story of Justice in the Medgar Evers Case (2001), based on his experiences.[45]

Rapper Jahshua Smith has a song entitled “The Ghost of Medgar Evers,” which can be heard on his 2013 release “The Final Season.” The song contains themes of revolution, political justice, and racial equality and empowerment.

youtube

The Weepy-Voiced Killer

This terrifying audio is taken directly from 911 calls made by
Paul Michael Stephani, also known as the “Weepy-Voiced Killer.”
Stephani would send crazy, high-pitched calls to the police shortly
after murdering his victims during a killing spree in the early 80′s

The 1959 Lynching of Mack Charles Parker In Mississippi

The Rape Allegations & Subsequent Lynching

Parker was arrested for the February 23, 1959 rape and kidnapping of June Walters, a pregnant white woman, in Pearl River County, Mississippi. Walters reported that the crime occurred on a dirt logging road called Black Creek Ford Road, off U. S. Route 11, approximately seven miles south of Lumberton, where she and her child were waiting alone in a car while her husband, Jimmy sought help for repairs.[4] Parker vehemently denied having raped anyone, and statements from his supporters after his death suggested that the rape accusations may have been fabricated by the alleged victim as a means of concealing an ongoing consensual affair with a local white man.[5]

According to reports published in the New Orleans Times Picayune and the Jackson Clarion Ledger, Parker and four friends, Norman Malachy, David Alfred, Curt Underwood and Tommy Grant were returning to Lumberton from Poplarville. The five men had been to Slim’s, an illegal bar which was operated under the protection of the Poplarville City Police. It was located in the black section of Poplarville, and was known for selling white lightning moonshine. As the five neared Lumberton, Parker and his four companions spotted a Dodge sedan broken down on the side of the road. Assuming the car was abandoned, they stopped. Parker got out and shone a flashlight into the car. Upon recognizing a white woman in the car, Parker returned to his brother’s Chevy sedan and left.[6] As they left the scene, Parker allegedly turned to his friends and said, “Why don’t we stop and get some o’ that white stuff?”[3] Telling him he was crazy, the four men told Parker to take them home. According to local law enforcement officials, before the woman’s husband could return to the disabled car, Parker allegedly returned, kidnapped June Walters and her four year-old daughter, Debbie, at gunpoint and took them to Black Creek Ford Road, where he raped Walters.[4] Curt Underwood, Parker’s brother-in-law, who was there that night, disputed the version of events.[3]

The woman did not identify her alleged attacker by name or detailed description beyond sex, race and approximate age. After an intensive manhunt, Lumberton police were informed by David Alfred’s father, a local Baptist minister, that Parker was the perpetrator. Parker was arrested at approximately 10 a.m. on February 24 at his Lumberton home by Lumberton City Marshal Ham Slade. Parker was beaten by Slade and his deputies, to the horror of his mother, Mrs. Eliza Parker. Parker’s screams could be heard several houses away.

Parker vehemently denied having raped anyone. In a line-up at the Lumberton City Jail, the victim identified Parker. A check of the tire tracks left by the perpetrator’s car indicated they were similar to those of Parker’s Chevrolet, but a positive identification could not be made. A check of fingerprints failed to implicate Parker. Soon after his arrest, and for his own protection, Lumberton Police had the Mississippi Highway Patrol transfer Parker to the Hinds County Jail in Jackson.[4] While in the Hinds County Jail, Parker was subjected to several lie detector tests. All of the lie detector tests given Parker proved to be inconclusive or that he was telling the truth.[3] In addition, no handgun was ever found by police, nor was one ever connected to Mack Charles Parker.

On April 13, Parker was indicted by a Pearl River County grand jury, on one count of rape and two counts of kidnapping. Two days later, Parker was returned to Pearl River County to appear before Judge Sebe Dale, Sr., on April 17. Being represented by attorney and civil rights activist, R. Jess Brown of Vicksburg, Parker pled not guilty to each charge. Judge Dale set the trial date for April 27, and Parker was returned to his cell at the Pearl River County Courthouse.

The Murder & Death of Mack Charles Parker

According to the FBI report on the case, sometime around 12.15 a.m. on April 25, a vigilante mob of eight to ten hooded and masked men, wearing gloves, entered the courthouse.

Supposedly, they were let into the locked jail area by a deputy sheriff, Jewell Alford, who was with them. As Alford unlocked the door, eight to ten from the mob entered Parker’s cell.[4] He begged for help from other prisoners, but the mob threatened them with guns. A life and death struggle soon ensued as Parker tried to escape and he was beaten with clubs by the mob.[3] As the mob dragged Parker out of the courthouse, and down its concrete steps, he was bleeding profusely. He pleaded to be able to walk instead of being dragged.[3] Blood spurted from his wounds, leaving bloody hand prints and pools of blood along the route out of the courthouse.

The mob had two cars waiting outside for their escape. Parker was stuffed into the back seat of one and the two cars sped off west toward Bogalusa, Louisiana on Mississippi Highway 26. The car with Parker inside continued west on Mississippi Highway 26 until it reached the Mississippi-Louisiana border at the Pearl River Bridge, approximately 20 miles west of Poplarville.

According to the FBI, the mob with Parker in the car drove into Louisiana, where they waited to make sure the road was traffic-free. Once they were assured they were in the clear, Parker was driven to the center of the bridge. He was then pulled from the car and shot twice in the chest from a range of approximately six inches. Parker died within seconds.

The original plan had been to castrate Parker and hang him from the superstructure of the Pearl River Bridge; however, with Parker now dead, the mob decided to abandon its plan in fear of being discovered. They proceeded to weight his body down with logging chains which were produced from the trunk of one of the cars. Once the chains were secured around Parker’s body, it was tossed over the concrete railings of the bridge into the rain-swollen waters of the Pearl River below.

Upon learning of the events in the early morning hours of April 25, Pearl River County Sheriff, Osborn Moody, informed the Mississippi Highway Patrol, who then urged him to contact the FBI. That same morning, Moody obtained a “John Doe” warrant for the kidnapping of Mack Charles Parker.

On May 4, Parker’s bloated and decomposing body was found floating in the waters of the Pearl River two and one-half miles south of the Pearl River Bridge at Bogalusa.[3]

Investigation Into The Case & Why His Lynching & Murder Will Likely Remain Unsolved

Almost immediately, 60 agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation descended upon the town of Poplarville.[3] In the two weeks following Parker’s death, the FBI questioned hundreds of potential witnesses and suspects. Several local Poplarville men, Jewel Alford, Christopher Columbus “Crip” Reyer, L. C. Davis, “Preacher” James Floren Lee, his son James Floren “Jeff” Lee, Herman Schultz, Arthur Smith and J.P. Walker, a former Pearl River County Sheriff’s deputy, who would be elected sheriff of Pearl River County in November 1963, quickly became the focus of the FBI’s intensive probe into the abduction and death of Mack Charles Parker.

In a three hour interrogation session FBI agents browbeat Crip Reyer. Reyer finally admitted that his red and white 1956 Oldsmobile 88 had been used by the mob, but denied having anything to do with the abduction or killing of Parker.

On May 13, under intense pressure from FBI agents, Arthur Smith confirmed the role of each of the participants and supplied the names of Walker, Preacher Lee, L.C. Davis and the names of others who were in the two cars. Smith told agents that Lee, Reyer, Davis, and Walker were in the lead car that carried Parker from the jail.

The judge and prosecutor would not co-operate with the FBI investigation and refused to hand over evidence, even though several of the mob members had confessed to the lynching.[3] Judge Dale, who praised Theodore Bilbo’s racial beliefs, and was a member of the White Citizens’ Council;[7] refused to indict the suspects. Dale encouraged the jury to “have the backbone to stand against any tyranny,” stating “you are now engaged in battle for our laws and courts for the preservation of our freedom and our way of life.”[3] He urged them to “keep their mouths shut.” Dale also refused Sheriff Moody’s request to move Parker outside the county or have members of the Mississippi National Guard protect Parker.[8] The federal grand jury then oversaw the case and failed to indict some of the mob by a single vote.[3]

A May 11 article in the Chicago Defender, a popular black newspaper circulated throughout the South, recounted an interview with an anonymous white male from Poplarville, claiming to have personal knowledge that the charges against Parker were fabricated. The alleged witness claimed that the alleged victim, June Walters was in fact having an affair with a local white man, and she went with him while her husband, Jimmy, was gone to get help to fix the car.[4] When her absence was discovered before she returned, she concocted a rape and kidnapping story to shield her infidelity. The witness also indicated that the alleged victim fainted upon learning of Parker’s kidnapping from the jail, and stated that he deserved a trial.[5]

Unlike the article in the Chicago Defender, biographer Howard Smead, who wrote the book Blood Justice: The Lynching of Mack Charles Parker, believes that Parker was most likely not innocent, but said he was “not 100 percent sure.” Smead believes that Parker should have been given a fair trial and states that he never had a chance to prove his innocence.[3][9] Smead writes that the local black community, many of whom knew Parker, were divided in opinion of his guilt. Many who held him, at the time of the crime, to be guilty, never wavered their view thereafter.[10]

Despite an extensive investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the presentation of evidence before both county and federal grand juries, no indictment or conviction was ever obtained against any of the men who murdered Mack Charles Parker. The main suspects identified by the FBI have all since died due to old age.[3]

In 2009 the FBI announced they were re-opening the Mack Charles Parker case.[11]

Source: Wikipedia

The Murder of Octavius Catto: One of the Earliest Instances of An African-American Being Murdered In America, And Why His Murder Still Matters & Becomes More Relevant Today

Who Was Octavius Catto?

Octavius Valentine Catto (February 22, 1839 – October 10, 1871) was a black educator, intellectual, and civil rights activist in Philadelphia. He became principal of male students at the Institute for Colored Youth, where he had also been educated. Born free inCharleston, South Carolina, in a prominent mixed-race family, he moved north as a boy with his family. He became educated and served as a teacher, becoming active in civil rights. As a man, he also became known as a top cricket and baseball player in 19th-century Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Catto became a martyr to racism, as he was shot and killed in election-day violence in Philadelphia, where ethnic Irish of theDemocratic Party, which was anti-Reconstruction and had opposed black suffrage, attacked black men to prevent their voting for Republican candidates.

His Life Before His Murder

In Philadelphia, Catto began his education at Vaux Primary School and then Lombard Grammar School, both segregated institutions. In 1853, he entered the all-white Allentown Academy in Allentown, New Jersey, located east of the Delaware River. In 1854, when his family returned to Philadelphia, he became a student at that city's Institute for Colored Youth (ICY).[1] Managed by the Society of Friends(Quakers), ICY’s curriculum included classical study of Latin, Greek, geometry, and trigonometry.[6]

While a student at ICY, Catto presented papers and took part in scholarly discussions at “a young men’s instruction society”. Led by fellow ICY student Jacob C. White, Jr., they met weekly at the ICY (which eventually was renamed as the Banneker Institute, in honor of Benjamin Banneker).[1][4] Catto graduated from ICY in 1858, winning praise from principal Ebenezer Bassett for “outstanding scholarly work, great energy, and perseverance in school matters.”[1] Catto did a year of post-graduate study, including private tutoring in both Greek and Latin, in Washington, D. C. In 1859, he returned to Philadelphia, where he was elected full member and Recording Secretary of the Banneker Institute. He also was hired as teacher of English and mathematics at the ICY.[1][4][7]

On May 10, 1864, Catto delivered ICY’s commencement address, which gave a historical synopsis of the school.[6] In addition, Catto’s address touched on the issue of the potential insensitivity of white teachers toward the needs and interests of African-American students:

It is at least unjust to allow a blind and ignorant prejudice to so far disregard the choice of parents and the will of the colored tax-payers, as to appoint over colored children white teachers, whose intelligence and success, measured by the fruits of their labors, could neither obtain nor secure for them positions which we know would be more congenial to their tastes.[6]

Catto also spoke of the Civil War, then in progress. He believed that the United States government had to evolve several times in order to change. He understood that the change must come not necessarily for the benefit of African Americans, but more for America’s political and industrial welfare. This would be a mutual benefit for all Americans.

“[…] It is for the purpose of promoting, as far as possible, the preparation of the colored man for the assumption of these new relations with intelligence and with the knowledge which promises success, that the Institute feels called upon at this time to act with more energy and on a broader scale than has heretofore been required”.[6]

On January 2, 1865, at a gathering at the National Hall in Philadelphia to celebrate the second anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, Catto “delivered a very able address, and one that was a credit to the mind and heart of the speaker.” (Christian Recorder, January 7, 1865).

In 1869, Bassett left ICY when he was appointed ambassador to Haiti. Catto lobbied to replace him as principal; however, the ICY board chose Catto’s fellow teacher, Fanny Jackson Coppin, as head of school. Catto was elected as the principal of the ICY’s male department.[1][8] In 1870, Catto joined the Franklin Institute, a center for science and education whose white leaders supported his membership in the face of racial opposition.[1] Catto taught at ICY until his death in 1871.

The Civil War increased Catto’s activism for abolition and equal rights. He joined with Frederick Douglass and other black leaders to form a Recruitment Committee to sign up black men to fight for the Union and emancipation. After the Confederate invasion of Pennsylvania in 1863, Catto helped raise a company of black volunteers for the state’s defense; their help, however, was refused by the staff of Major General Darius N. Couch on the grounds that the men were not authorized to fight. (Couch was later corrected byUS Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton, but not until the aspiring soldiers had returned to Philadelphia.) Acting with Douglass and the Union League, Catto helped raise eleven regiments of United States Colored Troops in the Philadelphia area. These men were sent to the front and many saw action. Catto was commissioned as a Major, but did not fight.[1]

On Friday, April 21, 1865, at the State House in Philadelphia, Catto presented the regimental flag to Lieutenant Colonel Trippe, commander of the 24th United States Colored Troops. An account of Catto’s presentation speech was reported the following day in the Christian Recorder:

The speaker then paid a tribute to the two hundred thousand blacks, who, in spite of obloquy and the old bane of prejudice, have been nobly fighting our battles, trusting to a redeemed country for the full recognition of their manhood in the future. He thought that in the plan of reconstruction, the votes of the blacks could not be lightly dispensed with. They were the only unqualified friends of the Union in the South. In the impressive language written on this flag, “Let Soldiers in War be Citizens in Peace,” the Banks policy may plant the seed of another revolution. Our statesmen will have to take care lest they prove neither so good nor wise under the seductions of mild-eyed peace, as heretofore, amidst the tumults of grim-visaged war. Merit should also be recognised in the black soldier, and the way opened to his promotion. De Tocqueville prophesied that if ever America underwent Revolution, it would be brought about by the presence of the black race, and that it would result from the inequality of their condition. This has been verified. But there is another side to the picture; and while he thought it his duty to keep these things before the public, there are motives of interest founded on our faith in the nation’s honor, to act in this strife. Freedom has rapidly advanced since the firing on Sumter; and since the Genius of Liberty has directed the war, we have gone from victory to victory. Soldiers! Accept this flag on behalf of the citizens of Philadelphia. I know too well the mettle of your pasture, that you will not dishonor it. Keep before your eyes the noble deeds of your fellows at Port HudsonFort Wagner, and on other historic fields. Desert them not. Accept, Colonel, this flag on behalf of the regiment, and may God bless you and them. (Christian Recorder, April 22, 1865)

In November 1864, Catto was elected to be the Corresponding Secretary of the Pennsylvania Equal Rights League.[1] He also served as Vice President of the State Convention of Colored People held in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania in February 1865. (Liberator March 3, 1865: 35).

Catto fought fearlessly for the desegregation of Philadelphia’s trolley car system. The May 18, 1865 issue of the New York Times ran a story discussing the civil disobediencetactics employed by Catto as he fought for civil rights:

Philadelphia, Wednesday, May 17—2 P. M.
Last evening a colored man got into a Pine-street passenger car, and refused all entreaties to leave the car, where his presence appeared to be not desired.

The conductor of the car, fearful of being fined for ejecting him, as was done by the Judges of one of our courts in a similar case, ran the car off the track, detached the horses, and left the colored man to occupy the car all by himself. The colored man still firmly maintains his position in the car, having spent the whole of the night there.

The conductor looks upon the part he enacted in the affair as a splendid piece of strategy.

The matter creates quite a sensation in the neighborhood where the car is standing, and crowds of sympathizers flock around the colored man.

(New York Times, May 18, 1865, p. 5)

A meeting of the Union League of Philadelphia was held in Sansom Street Hall on Thursday, June 21, 1866, to protest and denounce the forcible ejection of several black women from Philadelphia’s street cars. At this meeting, Catto presented the following resolutions:

ResolvedThat we earnestly and unitedly protest against the proscription which excludes us from the city cars, as an outrage against the enlightened civilization of the age.

ResolvedThat we cannot discover any reason based upon good sense or common justice for the continuance of a practice which has long ceased to disgrace democratic New York, Washington, St. LouisHarrisburg and other cities, whose pledges of fidelity to the principles of freedom and civil liberty have not been so frequent as have been those of our own city.

ResolvedThat, with feelings of sorrow rather than pride, we remind our white fellow-citizens of the glaring inconsistency and palpable injustice of forcing delicate women and innocent children, by the ruthless hands of ungentlemanly and unprincipled conductors and drivers, to places on the front platform, subjecting to storm and rain, cold and heat, relatives of twelve thousand colored soldiers, whose services these very citizens gladly accepted when the nation was in her hour of trouble, and they seriously entreated, under the chances of IMPARTIAL DRAFTS, to fill the depleted ranks of the Union army.

ResolvedThat while men and women of a Christian community can sit unmoved and in silence, and see women barbarously thrown from the cars, — and while our courts of justice fail to grant us redress for acts committed in violation of the chartered privileges of these railroad companies, — we shall never rest at ease, but will agitate and work, by our means and by our influence, in court and out of court, asking aid of the press, calling upon Christians to vindicate their Christianity, and the members of the law to assert the principles of the profession by granting us justice and right, until these invidious and unjust usages shall have ceased.

ResolvedThat we do solemnly pledge ourselves to assist by our means any suit brought against the perpetrators of outrages such as those, the occurrence of which has convened this meeting; and we respectfully call upon our liberal-minded and friendly white fellow-citizens to cease to remain silent witnesses of the grievance of which we complain, and to demonstrate the sincerity of their professions by an interference in our behalf. (Brown 1866)

Later enlisting the help of US Senators Thaddeus Stevens and William D. Kelley, Catto was instrumental in the passage of a Pennsylvania bill that prohibited segregation on transit systems in the state. Publicity about a conductor’s being fined who refused to admit Catto’s fiancée to a Philadelphia streetcar helped establish the new law in practice.[1]

Catto’s crusade for equal rights was capped in March 1869, when Pennsylvania voted to ratify the 15th Amendment, which prohibited discrimination against citizens in registration and voting based on race, color or prior condition; effectively, it provided suffrage to black men. (No women then had the vote.) It was fully ratified in 1870.

His Murder On A Philadelphia Street

On Election Day, October 10, 1871, Catto was teaching in Philadelphia. Fights broke out in the city between black and white voters, as the elections were high in tension and parties reflected racial opposition. Black voters, who were mostly Republican, faced intimidation and violence from white voters, especially ethnic Irish, who were partisans of the city's Democratic machine. Irish immigrants had entered the city in great numbers during and after the Great Famine of the 1840s; they competed with free blacks for jobs and housing. City police were called on to quell the violence. Instead, often ethnic Irish themselves, they exacerbated the problems, using their power to prevent black citizens from voting. A Lieutenant Haggerty was later arrested for having encouraged police under his command to keep African Americans from voting.[1]

On his way to vote, Catto was intermittently harassed by whites. Police reports indicate that he had purchased a revolver for protection. At the intersection of Ninth and South streets, Catto was accosted by Frank Kelly, an ethnic Irish man, who shot him three times. Catto died of his wounds. The city inquest was not able to determine if Catto had pulled his own gun. Kelly was not convicted of assault or murder.[1]

Catto’s military funeral at Lebanon Cemetery in Passyunk, Philadelphia was well-attended. The murder of Catto, an important leader, and violence throughout the election, coupled with the resurgence of the anti-Reconstruction Democratic Party in the city, marked the beginning of a decline in black militancy in 19th-century Philadelphia.[1] Later, after the cemetery was closed down, Catto’s remains were reinterred at Eden Cemetery, in Collingdale, Pennsylvania.

Octavius Catto’s life matters, so much. More people need to know his story.

Source: Wikipedia

BREAKING: Days Without Justice In Case of Police Brutality & Police Murder Against African-Americans

Remembering LGBT Hispanic Victims of Murder/Police Brutality

Lawrence “Larry” Fobes King, 15 (California) - Transgender Student Murdered By Their 14-Year-Old Classmate After Giving The Classmate A Valentine, The Murderer Used The So-Called “Gay Panic” Defense To Justify His Killing, The Killer Was Sentenced To 21 Years in Prison

Larry King of Oxnard, California, was a gay or bisexual[9] 15-year-old eighth-grade student who was shot to death at his school on 12 February 2008. He wore gender variantclothes, jewelry and make-up[10] and had come out as gay at school.[10] King was bullied and teased by his fellow students due to his effeminacy and openness about being gay, having come out at ten-years-old and while in the third grade.[9] On the morning of 12 February, Lawrence was in the school’s computer lab with 24 other students. Fellow student, fourteen-year-old Brandon McInerney was witnessed repeatedly looking at King during the class. At 8:15 a.m, McInerney shot King twice in the head using a handgun.[11] King was declared brain dead the next day but kept on a ventilator to preserve his organs for donation.[10] Prosecutors charged McInerney as an adult with murder as a premeditated hate crime and gun possession.[10] The crime was reputed to be the most high-profile hate crime case of 2008. Newsweek described it as “the most prominent gay-bias crime since the 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard”, bringing attention to issues of gun violence as well as gender expression and sexual identity of teenagers. On 21 November 2011 McInerney pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, voluntary manslaughter and use of a firearm. He will receive 21 years behind bars, with no credit given for time served prior to the trial and no credit will be given for good behavior. He will initially serve his sentence in a juvenile facility and then be transferred to prison upon turning 18.[9] [Wikipedia]

Remembering African-American Victims of Murder/Police Brutality

Aiyana Stanley Jones, 7: Killed By Police While She Slept On The Couch Of Her Parent’s Home in 2010

DETROIT (AP) — A judge won’t delay the trial of a Detroit police officer who accidentally killed a 7-year-old girl during a raid, despite his attorney’s concerns that a “media frenzy” following a police shooting in Missouri could harm his client’s right to an impartial jury.

External image

ABOVE: Officer Joseph Weekley, the person who murdered Aiyana Stanley-Jones

Defense lawyer Steven Fishman said police in general have been vilified in news coverage of the fatal shooting of a black 18-year-old by a white officer in Ferguson, Missouri. He fears it could rub off on the jury in the trial of Detroit Officer Joseph Weekley, who is charged with involuntary manslaughter.

Wayne County Judge Cynthia Hathaway said Weekley’s trial will start Monday as planned. She turned down a request last week to postpone it until 2015.

There is no dispute that Weekley killed Aiyana Stanley-Jones while she slept on a couch during a search for a murder suspect in 2010. But he says the shooting happened when the girl’s grandmother grabbed his gun in the chaotic moments following the use of a stun grenade. Mertilla Jones denies any interference.

This is Weekley’s second trial. The first ended without a verdict in June 2013.

In a court filing, Fishman said references to Aiyana’s death have popped up in local news stories about the Ferguson shooting and the use of military gear by police departments.

Fishman referred to a case from the 1990s in which a higher court said “inflammatory publicity,” among other factors, could spoil a jury pool.

In Weekley’s case, “all of those factors are present, particularly the media frenzy that has occurred since the incident in Ferguson,” Fishman wrote.

Prosecutors didn’t oppose or support a delay in the trial.

Moments before Aiyana was killed, police threw a stun grenade through a window, emitting smoke, bright light and vibrations to confuse people inside. The raid was recorded for a police reality TV show, “The First 48,” and some video was used at the first trial.

When The Media Treats White Suspects And Killers Better Than Black Victims

On the afternoon of Aug. 9, a police officer fatally shot an unarmed, black teenager, Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Missouri. Details remain in dispute.Eyewitnesses have said that Brown was compliant with police and was shot while he had his hands up. Police maintain that the 18-year-old had assaulted an officer and was reaching for the officer’s gun. One thing clear, however, is that Brown’s death follows a disturbingly common trend of black men being killed, often while unarmed and at the hands of police officers, security guards and vigilantes.

After news of Brown’s death broke, media-watchers carefully followed the narratives that news outlets began crafting about the teenager and the incident that claimed his life. Wary of the controversy surrounding the media’s depiction of Trayvon Martin – the Florida teen killed in a high-profile case that led to the acquittal of neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman – people on Twitter wondered, “If they gunned me down, which picture would they use?” Using thehashtag #IfTheyGunnedMeDown, users posted side-by-side photos, demonstrating the power that news outlets wield in portraying victims based on images they select….

Read On

Yikes @ the people on my FB feed who are showing their true colors in the midst of the recent shootings

The reason we have that phrase is many of us aren’t allowed to vote and our opinions are literally considered worthless BECAUSE we’re disabled but doctors, who study us without consulting us, are considered experts. We are incarcerated at the highest rates, 80% of our women have been raped (half more than 10 times), 60% of them have been abused, 50% of police murder victims are disabled, and the only media coverage we get is about locking us all up and throwing away the key or eradicating us through eugenics. Please don’t steal our phrase. It’s basically all we have.

Hi anon, thank you for submitting your concerns.

I respectfully disagree that we’re stealing the phrase “nothing about us without us.”

The English version of the slogan was popularized in the U.S. by the disability rights movement, but it was not invented at that time, nor is the sentiment exclusive to disability rights advocates. Many people with disabilities (including me) are okay with other groups using it, because it’s such an important concept across the board for all marginalized people.

Edited to add, since it maybe looked like I was ignoring them: You’re totally right to highlight these statistics, though. People with disabilities—especially those with “visible” disabilities—are especially likely to be raped, abused, disenfranchised, and in general stripped of basic human rights, often “for our own good” and with the full cooperation of the law. And where legal protections do exist, they’re very hard to enforce in practice (even for people with the financial means to attempt it).

change.org
SIGNAL BOOST: U.S. Attorney Carter M. Stewart: Justice for our son, John Crawford

On August 5, 2014, our lives changed forever. Our unarmed son John Crawford III was killed by police while shopping at a Walmart in Beavercreek, Ohio. On this tragic day, John was shopping like any other customer in the store. He was looking at a few items on the shelf, holding a toy BB gun he might buy and talking on his phone with the mother of his two children. Other customers shopped near our son, showing no sign that John was any kind of threat while he shopped. Everything was normal until Officer Sean Williams suddenly began shooting him without any warning. In the video above, you can see this was a heinous and unjustifiable killing.  We fought for months to get Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine to release that surveillance footage to the public. And while the video shows our unarmed son being ruthlessly killed, Mr. DeWine’s office delayed the grand jury and then presented a half-hearted case against Officer Williams. So we were not surprised that the grand jury declined to bring charges against Williams, the reckless and dangerous officer who was also involved in a 2010 fatal shooting for which he was never prosecuted.  We may be delayed, but we won’t be denied. We won’t stop until we receive justice for our son. The US Justice Department is currently conducting a civil rights investigation into John’s case. We believe that the video footage clearly demonstrates that it is time for the federal prosecutor to bring charges against Officer Williams.  This may be our last chance to do so, and we need your help as we seek justice for our son.   Please sign our new petition demanding that U.S. Attorney Carter M. Stewart bring justice to John and our family. We are grateful for your continued support.

On August 5, 2014, our lives changed forever. Our unarmed son John Crawford III was killed by police while shopping at a Walmart in Beavercreek, Ohio. On this tragic day, John was shopping like any other customer in the store. He was looking at a few items on the shelf, holding a toy BB gun he might buy and talking on his phone with the mother of his two children. Other customers shopped near our son, showing no sign that John was any kind of threat while he shopped. Everything was normal until Officer Sean Williams suddenly began shooting him without any warning. In the video above, you can see this was a heinous and unjustifiable killing. 

We fought for months to get Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine to release that surveillance footage to the public. And while the video shows our unarmed son being ruthlessly killed, Mr. DeWine’s office delayed the grand jury and then presented a half-hearted case against Officer Williams. So we were not surprised that the grand jury declined to bring charges against Williams, the reckless and dangerous officer who was also involved in a 2010 fatal shooting for which he was never prosecuted. 

We may be delayed, but we won’t be denied. We won’t stop until we receive justice for our son. The US Justice Department is currently conducting a civil rights investigation into John’s case. We believe that the video footage clearly demonstrates that it is time for the federal prosecutor to bring charges against Officer Williams. 

This may be our last chance to do so, and we need your help as we seek justice for our son. Please sign our new petition demanding that U.S. Attorney Carter M. Stewart bring justice to John and our family. We are grateful for your continued support.

Sign the Crawford family’s petition at Change.org at the link above.

JUSTICE DENIED: BREAKING: Officer's Name In Berkeley, Missouri Shooting of Antonio Martin Won't Be Released, Unnamed Officer Not Likely To Be Charged

Buzzfeed News: The City of Berkeley, Missouri concluded its investigation into the Dec. 24 police shooting of Antonio Martin at a local gas station, and Mayor Ted Hoskins said at a news conference Tuesday that officials have no plans to release the name of the officer involved.

Speaking to the media for the first time in several days, Hoskins and Berkeley Police Chief Frank McCall laid out the timeline of what they believe happened that night based on several witness’s accounts.

According to the officials, at 11 p.m. on Dec. 23, police received a report of a shoplifting incident at the gas station. According to the call, the suspect fit the description of 18-year-old Martin.

By 11:15 p.m. the officer arrived at the scene. One minute later, shots were fired. Chief McCall said that the officer initially retreated after Martin pulled a gun on him, then the officer fired three shots.

The person with Martin, who can be seen on video running away after the shots, confirmed that Martin pulled his gun first, McCall said.

Other witnesses confirmed the sequence of events seen in the surveillance video.

By 11:24 p.m., paramedics were at the gas station and began treatment on Martin. They pronounced him dead four minutes later at 11:28.

Officials had no information on the reported theft. Hoskins referred questions of Martin’s involvement in the alleged robbery to St. Louis County police.

A St. Louis County Police spokesperson told BuzzFeed News, “the entire incident is under investigation. We don’t have any updates to release.”

During the news conference, Hoskins repeatedly asked the media to respect the privacy of the officer involved. He confirmed that the officer would remain on paid administrative leave at this time.

“He needs professional help,” Hoskins said.