• Demand UN Intervention Now: Stop the War on Black People!
    Trayvon Martin. Mike Brown. Aiyana Jones. Eric Garner. Tanisha Anderson. John Crawford. Tarika Wilson. Tamir Rice. And now Tony Robinson. Law enforcement and racist vigilantes are killing unarmed Black youth at an alarming rate--one every 28 hours (1)--and are getting away with it. Not only are officials in cities such as Ferguson, New York, Cleveland, and Beavercreek refusing to hold discriminatory and violent police accountable, the United States Department of Justice has failed to issue indictments for killer cops who take innocent lives (2). With nowhere else to turn, it is now up to us to take matters to the next level in order to stop the brutal killings of our families and loved ones. On March 6, 2015, 19-year-old Tony Robinson was shot five times and killed by Officer Matt Kenny in a stairwell at a friend’s apartment. Tony’s friend called the police seeking help for his friend, who was allegedly jumping in and out of traffic. However, instead of helping him, Officer Kenny broke into the apartment and fatally shot him five times (3). It was not the first time Kenny had killed (4). This was not just the fault of a single ‘bad apple,’ it is part of a systemic problem in the greater Madison area, where Black people confront some of the highest rates of structural racism and inequity in the United States. According to the ground breaking Race to Equity report, the Black unemployment rate in Dane County, Wisconsin is 25.2%, compared to 4.8% for Whites and the median income for Blacks is less than ⅓ that of Whites (5). Most alarming is the excessive policing of Black youth in the area, which fuels racially motivated incarceration in jails and prison. Black youth are 10% of the youth in Dane county, but almost 80% of all imprisoned adolescents. In addition, Black people are just 4.8% of adults in the County, but 44% of new jail inmates, the greatest racial incarceration disparity in the entire country (6). Madison is America. Over the last year, a series of police killings of unarmed Black youth has been met by a series of non-indictments by local officials (7). And while some are calling for a federal investigation, the harsh reality is that we cannot rely on the feds to deliver justice. Justice Department investigations are led by the FBI, an organization with it’s own deep history of racial profiling and abuses of power that virtually never result in murder indictments(8). Law enforcement kill Black Americans at nearly the same rate as Jim Crow Era lynchings and the justice system is unable to keep our communities safe from state-sanctioned violence(9). That’s why we are calling on the United Nations and the Organization of American States (OAS) to launch an independent investigation into the murder of Tony Robinson and racial disparities in Madison, WI, particularly the way police are used as an occupying force in Black communities. However, because they only go where they are wanted, the UN and OAS will only investigate if there is significant support for their intervention. We need your help to show the UN and OAS that we want and need an independent investigation into the death of Tony Robinson and the gross racial disparities in Madison, WI. In the final campaign of his life, Malcolm X argued that “we need to expand the civil-rights struggle to a higher level — to the level of human rights,” and urged people to take the issue of oppression, exploitation, discrimination and police brutality to the United Nations. The Young, Gifted and Black Coalition, Freedom, Inc. and want to pick up where Malcolm X left off. Join the fight for human rights by calling for an independent UN investigation. REFERENCES 1. “Operation Ghetto Storm” report by the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, 11-2014, http://www.operationghettostorm.org/uploads/1/9/1/1/19110795/new_all_14_11_04.pdf 2. “Why it's Impossible to Indict a Cop,” The Nation magazine, 11-24-2014, http://www.thenation.com/article/190937/why-its-impossible-indict-cop# 3- 4. “Will Wisc. stay peaceful after cop kills unarmed teen?” CBS News 03-08-2015, http://www.cbsnews.com/news/tony-robinson-shooting-protests-unarmed-black-teen-wisconsin/ 5-6. “Race to Equity Plenary Report,” Race to Equity 02-06-2015, http://racetoequity.net/dev/wp-content/uploads/Race-to-Equity-Plenary-Session-PDF.pdf 7. “Garner, Brown Decision Spark Calls for Grand Jury Reform,” U.S. News & World Report 12-12-2014, http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2014/12/12/after-eric-garner-michael-brown-decisions-calls-for-grand-jury-reform 8. “The FBI COINTELPRO Program and The Fred Hampton Assassination,” The Huffington Post 12-03-2013, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/g-flint-taylor/the-fbi-cointelpro-progra_b_4375527.html 9. “Mike Brown’s shooting and Jim Crow lynchings have too much in common. It’s time for America to own up” The Guardian 08-25-2014, http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/aug/25/mike-brown-shooting-jim-crow-lynchings-in-common
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  • Justice for Dontre Hamilton: Hold the Milwaukee Police Department accountable!
    On April 30, 2014, my brother Dontre Hamilton was shot 14 times and killed by Milwaukee Police Officer Christopher Manney. Six months have passed and my family is still waiting for the investigation into his murder to be done and for legal action to be taken. The police department and District Attorney's office have failed to release any evidence supporting the officer’s claims that my brother was a threat. We the family, along with our attorneys, have seen pictures of Christopher Manney that show no indication of injury. It only proves to us that Dontre’s death was unjustified and totally preventable. This unbearable situation has led me to fight for justice for Dontre, who deserves to rest in peace with the truth being revealed. No officer should be above the law, especially when he violates policy and procedures over and over again. Christopher Manney had a history of complaints against him for excessive force before he killed Dontre Hamilton. [1] We cannot stand for injustice. The time for unity has come. Police violence doesn't just hurt one individual or family. When the community lives in fear of the police, good police work is impossible. The Coalition for Justice is organized to end this pattern of injustice in Milwaukee. Our mission is to inspire courage and build a movement to transform the city of Milwaukee. We support the empowerment of marginalized communities and dismantling of systems of oppression that erode community trust, dignity, and agency. By focusing on racial and social justice we hope to create innovative and sustained solutions that make our communities safer and equitable places to live. It is our goal to build alliances among community organizations and mobilize people dedicated toward the fight for justice. Join us in changing Milwaukee. Let's empower ourselves by having a voice. Help support the cause against police brutality and laws that protect the Police when they take a life unjustly. We seek donations in any form to move ahead in getting justice for Dontre and other families that lost someone to an unlawful hand and creating change throughout our community. One Love in One Nation is the goal. Lets reach this together. References 1. "Officer Manney: Six citizen complaints filed against him in his 13 years," Fox6 News, 10-22-14, http://fox6now.com/2014/10/22/officer-manney-six-citizen-complaints-filed-against-him-in-his-13-years/ Stay in Touch with the Coalition for Justice! Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/justicefordontre Follow us on Twitter @justice4dontre and Instagram @thecoalition4justicemke
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  • Enough! Justice for John Crawford, Tamir Rice, Tanisha Anderson & an end to OH police violence
    Ohio elected officials need to send a message that they believe #BlackLivesMatter. After the tragic deaths of John Crawford III, Tanisha Anderson, and Tamir Rice here in our state, Attorney General Mike Dewine's silence has sent a message that police officers can kill black people with impunity in Ohio. John Crawford III was killed by Officer Sean Williams .36 seconds after seeing him with a toy gun that he picked up from the shelf at a Walmart in Beavercreek, Ohio. His last words were "it's not real."1 Not only was Sean Williams not indicted, Ohio Attorney General Mike Dewine failed to act and change this brutal shoot-first protocol and just a few months later, a 12 year old boy named Tamir Rice was killed by Cleveland Police in a similar situation. Will you join us to help build power behind structural changes to Ohio's political system to help end militarized, discriminatory police violence? In a harrowing video, with haunting similarities to the killing of John Crawford, Cleveland police officer Timothy Loehmann fatally shot 12-year-old Tamir as he played in the playground in front of his house with a BB gun and then told his mother to "calm down" as she tried to reach her son. (2) It was also the Cleveland Police who killed Ms. Anderson who suffered from schizophrenia. She was threatened with a taser and slammed into the pavement as her brother looked on in horror. (3) Just this week her death was ruled a homicide. (4) If Attorney General Mike DeWine had listened to Black Ohio youth and taken action after John Crawford was killed he could have prevented these tragic deaths at the hands of law enforcement. Justice for John Crawford, Tamir Rice, and Tanisha Anderson means accountability for their deaths and a fundamental change in the relationship of power between law enforcement and communities. Secret grand juries are held and produce the same outcome time and time again — prosecutors systematically do not prosecute to the full extent of the law when it comes to white officers taking Black lives. We need increased oversight, fair and equal justice for Black and brown communities, and systemic reforms to end discriminatory and abusive policing practices across the state. Join me in turning up the pressure on Attorney General DeWine and US Attorney Stewart to take immediate action to secure Justice for John Crawford, Tamir Rice, Tanisha Anderson and an end to the policies and police culture that led to these tragic killings. Enough is enough. The challenges we face are deep seated and we need widespread public pressure to hold our politicians accountable for protecting our communities and taking concrete action to end Ohio’s discriminatory policing crisis. Gov. Kasich recently announced a policing task force; but we need more than commissions. We need systemic change to end the killing of Black and brown youth, and justice for those who we have lost. Outraged and devastated by John Crawford’s death, I and countless others led by the Ohio Student Association joined together to stand up proclaim that Black lives matter. We stood vigil, led a 12-mile pilgrimage, and a three-day occupation of the Beavercreek Police station. Since, we have organized ongoing actions to build power and catapult the growing national movement to end anti-Black policing and systemic police brutality; we met with President Obama in December. (5) It will take nothing short of a massive, people-powered movement to transform the role of police in today's society. Our power in the past few months has been in our perseverance. We refuse to stop, or to go away quietly, as politicians hope we will. Please join us to move our state leaders to action. Together, we have the power to create the transformative change we need to end racist, police brutality. 1. "No Charges in Ohio Police Killing of John Crawford as Wal-Mart Video Contradicts 911 Caller Account," Democracy Now, 09-25-14 http://www.democracynow.org/2014/9/25/no_charges_in_ohio_police_killing 2. "Tamir Rice's mom: "I'm looking for a conviction," CBS News 12-08-14 http://www.cbsnews.com/news/tamir-rice-shooting-mom-of-boy-shot-dead-by-cleveland-cop-looking-for-a-conviction/ 3. "Daughter of mentally ill Cleveland woman who died in police custody hopes for change," Cleveland.com 11-18-14 http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2014/11/daughter_of_mentally_ill_cleve.html 4. Tanisha Anderson Death Ruled Homicide; Cleveland Woman Died In Police Custody," Huffington Post 1-02-2015 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/02/tanisha-anderson-homicide_n_6407416.html 5. "Breaking: Ferguson activists meet with President Obama to demand an end to police brutality nationwide," Ferguson Action 12-01-2014 http://fergusonaction.com/white-house-meeting/
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