• #JusticeforZadok: Demand Justice For Matthew "Zadok" Williams
    Just eight days before the verdict that convicted Derek Chauvin, unidentified police officer(s) killed my brother, Matthew “Zadok” Williams in his own home moments after he asked the officers to identify themselves as he kneeled behind a piece of furniture. Like so many others, my brother was killed in broad daylight in his home. On April 12th, 2021, DeKalb County, Georgia police officers approached my brother and asked him to leave his own property. According to the police department, officers assumed that Zadok was a trespasser based on two 911 calls from a woman living in the condo behind Zadok’s condo. These calls have yet to be released. The police department has released some body camera footage and the media is only showing excerpts of the incident. We are calling on Chief Ramos to set an example by ending the secrecy that is rampant behind the blue line and promoting transparency. In the footage available, Zadok has a mental health crisis outside in an incident involving a knife after walking down his steps and being asked to leave his property. Zadok subsequently retreats into his home through an upstairs window. The police began to kick his door open. Once the door is breached, Zadok immediately kneels behind a cushioned piece of furniture to protect himself from gunshots as he tells the officers that he is defending his property and asks the officers to back up and speak to him through the doorway. Zadok is not a threat, and police begin talking to him telling him that he doesn’t have to die. The absurdity of the comment by officers at the scene reveals the culture of dehumanization that is deeply embedded in departments across the nation. A 911 call should not be synonymous with death for Black people. Instead of backing up and talking to Zadok from the doorway as he requested and helping him, police officers shot into his home and killed him while he was kneeling behind furniture. The officers and supervisor at the scene left him there for nearly an hour and a half to die. No medical aid was rendered and when SWAT teams and EMS arrived more than an hour after the shooting, my brother was subsequently pronounced dead. My family was notified nearly 24 hours after his death. Such an egregious disregard for my brother’s life speaks to the culture of policing in DeKalb County and across the country. Police officers are rarely held accountable for killing, harassing and assaulting Black people and my family is committed to doing everything in our power to ensure that these officers are held accountable and that other families in DeKalb County don’t have to endure what we have had to go through. It’s been a month since police officer(s) murdered my brother Matthew Zadok Williams, and the police officer(s) responsible still have not been held accountable. We don’t even know their full names. Zadok was a remarkable brother, uncle, and son, and he meant the world to our entire family. I strongly urge Police Chief Mirtha V. Ramos and Chief Executive Officer, Michael L Thurmond to hold the officers responsible for this ruthless action accountable and to provide my family with answers. Both Police Chief Ramos and CEO Thurmond have the authority to release all media related to Zadok’s murder, identify the officers to the public, and terminate the officers employment. We want these police officers to be held accountable. This is the first step towards true criminal justice reform here in DeKalb County. Sign the petition: Tell Police Chief Ramos and CEO Thurmond to terminate the employment of the officer(s) who killed my brother Zadok now! Update as of August 10th, 2021 The family of Matthew Zadok Williams has been made aware that the GBI has completed their investigation of the April 12, 2021 killing of Matthew Zadok Williams by DeKalb County police Sergeant Devon Perry. On what would have been Matthew Zadok Williams’ 36th birthday on August 3rd, the family instead prepared for their weekly “Wednesday Rally for Justice." The family and community rally at Dekalb County District Attorney Sherry Boston's office every Wednesday at 12:00 p.m. to bring awareness about Matthew Zadok Williams being shot by police in his own home. The bodycam footage shows that after Sgt. Devon Perry fired shots into Zadok's home, Sgt. Perry orders the police officers to back off. In the hour and a half that follows, Sgt. Devon Perry can be heard admitting that Zadok did not lunge at him with a knife before he fired shots into Zadok’s home. In fact, the bodycam footage shows that Zadok did nothing to justify shots to be fired into his home. After firing those unlawful shots into Zadok's home, Sgt. Devon Perry walked off and left Zadok to die a slow painful death. Sgt. Devon Perry's superior can be heard instructing Sgt. Perry on the phone that he has a duty to render medical aid to Zadok; no medical aid was rendered. In fact, DCFR EMTs were already on the scene responding to a separate incident and inquired about rendering aid to Zadok. EMTs were denied entry into the home! Police officers are heard laughing about Zadok bleeding out in the condo. Dekalb has released statements indicating that their policy does not allow aid to be rendered until the scene is deemed safe. They say that bunkers were needed to enter Zadok’s condo after he was shot. However, no bunkers were needed when the police kicked his door open and and shot him. The family’s independent preliminary autopsy has revealed that Zadok would have survived if aid would have been rendered. SWAT and EMS arrived nearly an hour and a half later after Zadok was shot, and Zadok was pronounced dead. The family was notified 24 hours later. Zadok’s family is heartbroken! The family now demands that Dekalb District Attorney Sherry Boston indict and prosecute Sgt. Devon Perry immediately and all the police officers involved in Zadok's senseless murder.
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  • #Thirst4Justice: Call on MEMA to Validate the Water Crisis For Valuable Recovery Funding!
    For the past five weeks, I have endured the water crisis. Jackson is over 80% Black and we went without vital water access for weeks. While white folks in other counties had running water in their homes, I watched the direct impact that neglect has had on my community. Jackson’s water crisis is not only a health problem and an environmental problem -- it’s undeniably a race problem. Thousands of Black people have caught rain to flush the toilet and stacked cases of water to wash their hands and brush their teeth, while simultaneously trying to survive a global pandemic that disproportionately affects Black people. I’m starting this petition to ensure that my community gets the help they desperately need and deserve. The city of Jackson has a history of being disenfranchised in Mississippi. This isn’t the first time that we’ve been overlooked, and we need action. Join me in telling Stephen McCraney to do right by Jackson. My community demands continuous water testing to assess whether it is safe for consumption, proper damage assessments, and a long term plan in ensuring that water consumption is safe without the threat of a state takeover of the Jackson community. Stephen McCraney is the Executive Director of the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) and he has the power to speed up the process of assessing the damage to Jackson’s water system. Speeding up the process will secure important federal funding for our water systems recovery and help my community heal together. Sign this petition and tell McCraney to prioritize damage assessments in Jackson while providing resources that restore trust for Black Mississippians now!
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  • Demand that Governor Pritzker Sign the Illinois Black Caucus' Racial Justice Omnibus Bill
    On January 13th, the Illinois legislature passed a landmark omnibus bill on justice reform. This momentous policy package, which was championed by the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus (ILBC), would take crucial steps in advancing racial equity in Illinois by enacting sweeping reforms to anti-Black systems of police brutality and mass incarceration. The legislation includes provisions to standardize police use of force, eliminate key mechanisms of officer impunity, abolish prison gerrymandering, and end systems of wealth based pretrial incarceration. We are now mobilizing community members to demand that Governor Pritzker sign the ILBC’s bill on justice reform (HB 3653) in its entirety, without delay. Timely implementation of this omnibus package is vital to the safety, justice, and liberation of the nearly two million Black residents throughout the state. In September of 2020, when the ILBC released its preliminary racial justice policy agenda, Governor Pritzker pledged to support Black leadership in the Illinois General Assembly. Since that time, the ILBC has received an outpouring of public input, held a series of subject matter hearings, heard hours of expert testimony, and rigorously deliberated on a sweeping array of policy proposals to address racialized systems of police abuse and anti-Black sentencing practices. The ambition and strength of this historic racial justice legislation attests to the unequivocal imperative that public policy be led by the constituents and elected officials most impacted by the issues at hand. We now call upon Governor Pritzker to honor his commitment to stand with the ILBC and the millions of constituents its members represent, by signing HB 3653 in its entirety. We also urge the Governor to leverage the platform of his office to counter the dangerous narratives unleashed by White Supremacist groups that seek to undermine the ILBC’s racial equity legislation through divisive dog whistling and fear mongering tactics. As the nation looks on, it is incumbent upon the Pritzker administration to renounce toxic misinformation that equates racial justice with rampant crime and a Trumpian vision of “American carnage.” Join us as we call upon Governor Pritzker to help set a new tone for the nation by promoting an inclusive message of universal safety, justice, and liberation in Illinois, and enacting HB 3653 in its entirety.
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  • BLACK LIVES MATTER IN SMALL TOWNS TOO!
    This is important to me because I lived a complete near death experience at the hands of a police officer, he tried to kill me. This was so hurtful and traumatizing, I literally begged for my life. Hello, my name is Terry Williams and I have a story that should be told to the public I was shot on December,15th at the motel 6th on Victorian Avenue in Sparks, NV.  I tracked my lost Iwatch to that location. As I approached room (114) I noticed the door was slightly ajar but decided to knock on it anyway as I knocked  the door swung open and I saw several people in the room and one pointed a gun at me and shot me within 30 seconds of me arriving at the motel. I was in shock but my wife was in the car so I didn't want to return to the car for her safety. I looked up, saw surveillance cameras and walked around the building staying under the cameras. As I got to the end of the motel, limping and holding my fingers (I was shot in the stomach and hand) I turned and saw the same people coming in a car, they shot at me four more times. Just as they shoot I look across the street and see a Reno Police Officer.  When I see the officer I am relieved because I know he saw them shoot and would go after them but he did not. That confused me but I see him pull into the metro car wash where I am still relieved because I am going to get help quickly.  When I walk into the car wash the officer looks at me and pulls his truck to the ticket window, so I ask an employee am I hallucinating or dying or is that a police officer? The employee then told the officer, hey he is shot and needs help.  The officer got out of his truck and I sat on the curb now relieved because I could put my life in the officers hands and work on my breathing trying to stay calm because I have severe injuries. The officer asked me my name, date of birth, social security number which I gave to  him.  He returned to his truck and I assume entered my info into his computer (but maybe not) he then shut his truck door and got on his cell phone.  I yelled over to him my wife is still at the motel 6 across the street and the suspects left shooting at me four more times, please send someone over there because she could need medical or worse dead.  He got out of his truck and turned his back to me never saying a word or sending help for my wife.  I was so worried about her at the same time begging this officer to call the paramedics for me, at this point I have lost a lot of blood and realize I won't be able to hold on much longer.  I am now quite aware this officer is racist and going to let me bleed to death.  I ask one of the employees at the carwash do these surveillance cameras that are directly above me work? He said yes, and the officer smacked his lips. I was like omg he is going to let me die and has no intentions on helping me. I then asked one of the kids to call the paramedics but that agitated the officer and he demanded the kids to get against the wall.  Remember, I have no clue if my wife is dead or alive and he isn't sending help for either one of us.  My wife has been waiting for me for enough time that she starts to question where I am and why I haven't returned to the car. She doesn't see me so drives around the motel and spots me at the carwash. When she pulls in she jumps out of the car and asks what is going on because I am sitting on the curb and a police officer is standing over me.  First, I am relieved to see her alive and now I know I will get help because I am sure I am going to die.  I yell, I've been shot in the hand and stomach! Call the paramedics. She went crazy asking where's the ambulance? The officer tells her not to call saying he would.(admitting he hasn't called for help in over 30 minutes). I explain no you call. I've been sitting here with this officer this entire time begging him and asking him to call for help.So about 30 minutes later my wife called 911 after her call 5 minutes later the Sparks police, fire and ambulance arrived. The paramedics rushed over to me, cut my clothes off and transported me to Renown Medical Center. I was rushed to surgery with severe trauma to my hand and stomach.  The bullet shot my middle finger off as well as penetrated my stomach going through my urethra, bladder and prostate.  I woke up from surgery with a colostomy bag, and two urine bags. Two days later I had surgery on my hand. The doctor advised me there was a 90 percent chance he would need to amputate. The surgery went better than expected and they attached my finger with wires and poles but the outcome of the surgery is still unknown. This was a true life nightmare. First I am shot by complete strangers in the middle of the afternoon, then the person I think will help my wife and I tries to kill me. I have tried to obtain the police report, surveillance videos from the motel 6 and car wash to no avail. I was told the police report can't be released to me because the crime is still under investigation. I am the victim and question why I can't get a copy of my own case file.  They say because it's under investigation but if that is the case I will never get a copy because the detectives aren't even trying to solve the case.  I have only heard from them one time since the shooting.  My wife has texted them on many occasions asking the status of the case, she has yet to get a reply.  The car wash and motel 6 both say law enforcement has the video and I need to obtain a copy from them.  I called Reno Police Department and asked for the report number from their department (after all the Reno Officer was first on the scene). I was told that they didn't have a case number because Sparks Police took over.  I was like ok what is the Reno Officers name he said he didn't have that info either but hopefully it is in the Sparks report. So now 30 days after the crime I am unable to get the officer's name, my police report, any video's or help exposing this brutal officer.  He needs to be made accountable for his actions.
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  • #ReimagineChildSafety: Get Cops Out of Child Protective Services
    The child welfare system traumatizes children and rips families apart. Far from helping, law enforcement only makes things worse. Their partnership must end now. Los Angeles County is home to the largest locally-run foster care system in the country, run by the Department of Children & Family Services (DCFS). The system disproportionately targets Black, Brown, and Indigenous children for surveillance and removal, actions that, even when well-intentioned, terrorize and traumatize families of color. While Black children are 10% of LA County’s population, they represent 40% of the young people in the child welfare system. DCFS works in direct partnership with the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) and LA Sheriff’s Department (LASD). Approximately 25% of DCFS referrals come from law enforcement. DCFS and law enforcement agencies work together to enter homes and remove children. Police presence during DCFS investigations further traumatizes children and escalates the situation. Removing law enforcement from the child welfare system is the first step to curb the racist practices that break up families of color. We must demand an end to systems that separate families instead of supporting them. The REIMAGINE CHILD SAFETY campaign is supported by: Black Lives Matter LA; ACLU of Southern California; Alliance for Children’s Rights; Black Los Angeles Young Democrats; Dignity & Power Now; JusticeLA; La Defensa; Los Angeles Dependency Lawyers; Movement for Family Power; National Coalition for Child Protection Reform; Public Counsel; The RightWay Foundation; Trans Lifeline; and White People 4 Black Lives.
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  • STOP DIRTY S.F. CITY ATTORNEY TAKING $25mm from Black Landlord
    in the past, BLACKS could NOT own Property. Then, when the laws appeared to change, the BANKS RED-LINED Ownership. Now - the City Governments are Creating FALSE CASES to take BLACK PROPERTY OWNERS and ILLEGALLY TAKING their Properties. In the case of Ms. Kihagi, the smear campaign that represented her as Black Slumlord is so far from the truth. Yet - knowing most people would NOT get past that PR Machine - the City derailed the Truth. The San Francisco City Attorney made more than 20 misrepresentations to the Court with full knowledge of the actual facts. This is total abuse of power - and should be stopped! In fact, the TRUE MOTIVE for such conduct was to RACIAL DERAIL a successful, black landlord. More than $25million is at stake. It is clear that the 2 major cases in San Francisco have been against successful, BLACK Landlords - is this a Coincidence? They spent over 70% of their resources fighting one lone, black landlord and lied to the public that she was a slumlord. Yet the BUILDINGS are in better condition than 90% of S.F. Condo. EYES DON'T LIE. STOP DIRTY CITY ATTORNEYS - see more articles at annekihagisf.com
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  • Black Veterans' Lives Matter! End Systemic Diagnostic Bias in Military and Veteran Health Systems.
    Implicit, explicit, and diagnostic bias in the Military and Veterans Healthcare Systems ensures limited treatment options and compensatory benefits for Wounded/Ill/Injured Black and Brown Uniformed Service Members relative to non-White Service Members, women relative to men, and Reserve Component (Reserve/ National Guard) Members relative to Active Duty (AD) Members . MILITARY DATA REVEALS DANGEROUS REALITY FOR BLACK SERVICE MEMBERS AND VETERANS by Zachary Cohen and Janie Boschma, CNN UPDATED 11:52 AM ET, SUN JUNE 14, 2020. A CNN review of data provided by the Pentagon and Department of Veterans Affairs reveals the stark reality that black service members are less likely to become officers and, as a result, are MORE LIKELY TO BE SERIOUSLY INJURED SERVING THEIR COUNTRY THAN THEIR WHITE COLLEAGUES. DEFENSE DEPARTMENT REPORT REVEALS MILITARY OCCUPATIONS WITH HIGHEST SUICIDE rates by Seth Robson | STARS AND STRIPES Published: April 28, 2020, The suicide rate for reservists was 22.9 deaths per 100,000 while the rate for the National Guard was 30.6 per 100,000, the report states. That compares with a suicide rates for American adults ages 17-59 of 18.2 per 100,000 in 2017, according to the report. PHYSICIAN BIAS AND RACIAL DISPARITIES IN VETERAN HEALTH: Shari Eli, Trevon Logan, Boriana Miloucheva 20 August 2019 The mortality gap between blacks and whites in the US has been well documented, but there is still considerable debate over why the gap has remained so large and why it has persisted over the last century. This column explores these questions using unique data on black and white Civil War veterans to measure one of the earliest known incidences of PHYSICIAN BIAS AGAINST AFRICAN AMERICANS. It shows that PHYSICIAN BIAS had large effects on INCOME AND LONGEVITY of blacks relative to whites and considers the ways in which doctor attitudes STILL CONTRIBUTE TO THE RACIAL MORTALITY GAP TODAY. The war in Congress over rape in the military, explained By Emily [email protected]@vox.com Jun 8, 2016, 11:10am. Sexual assault is a huge problem in the US military. And for many victims, the process of reporting their crime and seeking justice can be as traumatic as their assault. The US Senate is expected to vote this week on the Military Justice Improvement Act (MJIA). Advocates, who have been pushing for the MJIA since 2013, say the reform would make the process of prosecuting sex crimes a lot easier and smoother for victims and help victims feel more empowered to come forward and report the crimes against them. On or about October 28, I spoke with yet another Black Woman Veteran that was not only the victim of Military Sexual Trauma (MST) while serving her country, but the victim of systemic retaliation after reporting her rape. She was involuntarily separated from the military and forced to repay all enlistment bonuses. Homeless female veterans: Out of sight, out of mind Angela M. Rogers, November 18, 2019 UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Female veterans are the fastest growing demographic among the homeless population in the United States and face a double hurdle of distance and invisibility in getting the health services they need from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, according to research conducted by Penn State graduate student and U.S. Air Force veteran Elizabeth Elsea. Physician implicit, explicit, and diagnostic bias in the Military and Veterans Healthcare Systems ensures limited treatment options and compensatory benefits for Black and Brown Wounded/Ill/Injured Uniformed Service Members relative to non-White Service Members, women relative to men,; and Reserve and National Guard Members relative to Active Duty (AD) Members . Black Veterans' Lives Matter! Women Veterans' Lives Matter SUPPORT ALL of THE TROOPS!
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  • I could lose my scholarship
    On September 25th, I, Ashanti Scott, along with my mother, Representative Attica Scott, Shameka Parrish-Wright, and other protestors and students were wrongfully arrested. We were arrested while seeking refuge in a nearby church after protesting the immense injustice served in Breonna Taylor’s case. Not only were we grossly overcharged, but we were inexcusably and wrongfully arrested. My mother, a fierce advocate who so believed in justice for Breonna Taylor that she wrote and introduced Breonna’s Law to curb unlawful entry and criminalization. As a result, she was targeted by the Louisville Police Department and so was I in a retributive attempt for justice. As a result, we have been facing a Class D felony among other misdemeanors - charges that have threatened my scholarship and financial aid. As a University of Louisville student, I am so appreciative of fellow students and the student government association standing by me, my family, and the other advocates. Because of their support, yesterday, we received news that the Class D felony charges were dropped -- but the misdemeanor charges were not. More still needs to be done and I need your support in ensuring I don’t lose my ability to continue my studies. Therefore, I not only demand all charges against my fellow students, elected representatives, and other protestors are dropped immediately; but that the University of Louisville understands the bogus nature of these charges and allows me to retain my higher education funding. As you stand with me in this fight to honor Breonna Taylor’s life and achieve racial equity in our community, please know that I appreciate not having to carry this burden of wrongful felony charges alone. Please let the University of Louisville know that it has the opportunity to stand on the right side of this moment by allowing me to continue my studies.
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  • Stop Shackling Incarcerated Pregnant People in Michigan
    We are demanding the rights of pregnant women and people incarcerated in Women's Huron Valley Facility, Michigan’s only women’s prison as well as all jails and lock up facilities in Michigan. Senate bills 830, 831 and 1152 prevent pregnant women and people from being shackled during transport while laboring, and allow them to provide breastmilk for their babies. We are fighting for the prevention of further harm and trauma to people already experiencing inhumane conditions of incarceration, as well as outside oversight of Women’s Huron Valley, which has been chronically overcrowded for years. These bills would require the use of medical and psychological best practices to improve the standards of care for incarcerated pregnant and postpartum women and people in Michigan prisons and jails. MI Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee Members: Peter J. Lucido (R) Chair Curtis S. VanderWall (R) Majority Vice Chair Tom Barrett Ruth Johnson Jim Runestad Stephanie Chang (D) Minority Vice Chair Jeff Irwin (D)
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  • Tell Governor Gavin Newsom to make racist 911 calls a hate crime: Sign AB1775 Today!
    There were eight police cars surrounding my house, guns drawn on September 11, 2020. They had come faster than thought. Faster than a white man’s tight pursed lips could put a period to his lie. This man with his posse of 4 had called 911 and said I had pulled a gun on him. Within minutes, sirens were blazing and a police officer called, ordering me to step outside. I do not own a gun. I have never even held a gun. I was teaching a writing class on Zoom. Bringing armed people to anyone’s doorstep will escalate a situation exponentially. But in a society where law enforcement has a long-standing history of violence towards Black people, calling 911 to settle a vendetta becomes more than a spectacle- it’s a recklessly aggressive act of endangerment. One that should hold consequences. Like millions of people in America I have been impacted financially by the pandemic. I’m a professional writer, and like artists and arts organizations, I’ve taken a major hit and was grateful for the rent moratorium offered in Los Angeles. He attempted to enter my home without proper notification. When I said no he decided to take my life into his hands. Governor Gavin Newsom has not yet signed AB1775, similar to the (Caution Against Racially Exploitative Non-Emergencies CAREN Act.) AB1775 would make it unlawful to make false emergency claims that are RACIALLY BIASED. That day, three beautiful black women saved my life. Tchaiko Omawale, an electric filmmaker and writer, hair black and neon cloud blue—a new mama to Flame, to whom we are all Zoom Aunties. Tonya Pinkins, in Seoul, Korea editing a film, a renaissance warrioress, Tony award-winning actress, writer, firebrand activist and Franki Cox my sister-friend, Godmother to my daughter, mama, writer with a vibrant soaring talent. They all watched on Zoom as I explained these men had come to my door. I considered calling the police. I heard a siren. They were watching…witnessing as the police officer called to tell me my home was surrounded. He told me my landlord had told them I had pulled a gun on him and the police “took that sort of thing seriously.” When they ordered me to go outside, all of my sisters on Zoom, a quilted patchwork of brown and tan women, terror in their eyes, mouths opens, heads shaking screamed at me, “Noooo! Noooo! Do not go outside!” The policeman asked sharply, “How many people are in there with you?” “Just me…and my class on Zoom.” Did that stop them? The idea of killing me with a screen filled with people watching. Was it being recorded they may have wondered? Walking back and forth, afraid any moment they would burst in the door. They asked to come in. I said, with the help of my sisters…NO! A black woman said no. I kept saying no. Guns around my house. I said no. They stayed. They stayed outside. They took a false police report as my girlfriend La Tina Jackson walked to my door and bravely entered. She walks with authority and grace. Their eyes on her. She was afraid I was dead. She was afraid I'd be shot. 5 black women against an ocean of blue and 4 white accusers. Eventually they left. In California as is true in the US as a whole, black people are more likely to have an encounter with police officers and are more likely to have firearms pointed at us by the police. We’re more likely to be detained, handcuffed and searched even though the police are less likely to find illegal drugs, weapons, or contraband on Black, Latinx and Indigenous people than when they search white people. We are only 9% of the population here, and yet we account for nearly a third of all police stops in Los Angeles, where I live. At any given moment someone could be calling 911 as an act of aggressive patrolling of Black lives and bodies. No one should ever have to be afraid in their own home. We shouldn’t have to be afraid to go birdwatching, sit out in the sun, play golf, go for a jog, teaching a writing class or any number of things that we may do to find joy or merely live everyday life. Why has Gavin Newsom not signed this Act that was already passed by the House and the Senate? Why has he not signed a piece of legislation that could curb the weaponizing of 911 community services? HE HAS UNTIL SEPTEMBER 30TH TO SIGN. DEMAND HE DO SO TODAY!
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  • Tell Chrysler: Detroit Residents Need Environmental Health Protections Now
    It’s happening again. Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is expanding in Detroit and has only agreed to commit $8.8 million in “community benefits” for a plant they are receiving a whopping $420 million in public tax abatements to expand. The worst part? This multi-billion-dollar company has failed to follow through on even the smallest commitments it has made thus far to the majority-Black community it claims to want to support. As part of the community benefits agreement it signed in April 2019 in order to receive the tax abatements, Chrysler agreed to renovate nearly 60 homes on Beniteau, the street closest to the project. Most of these homes are owned by Black, elderly, long-time residents. To date, they have renovated fewer than 5 of those houses. We must be clear about what this means. Not only does Chrysler think it’s acceptable to set aside less than 3% of the public funding it is receiving from the government for the benefit of the community, but it is refusing to be accountable to even the paltry promises its leadership has made to our people. Now, it is time for Chrysler to step up and work in cooperation with the people of Detroit to negotiate community protections that reflect the real health and environmental risks to Black Detroiters that Chrysler’s expansion has brought with it. We’ve long known that pollution takes its greatest toll on the health of Black communities, who are often left with few resources or recourse. That has never felt clearer than in the middle of a global pandemic, as politicians, corporations, and the healthcare system alike continue to make decisions that mean that Black people are contracting and dying of COVID-19 at higher rates than almost every other group in the country. Chrysler’s leadership, which has managed to find a way to offset increased emissions in its suburban plant, but has failed to provide a clear plan for how it will handle the increase in emissions in a neighborhood that is majority Black, is no exception. A national study links long-term exposure to air pollution and COVID-19 mortality. In the U.S., Black children suffer disproportionately from asthma, and are seven to eight times more likely to die of asthma than white children. Communities of color face nearly 40% more exposure to toxic air pollution than white communities. From Louisiana’s ‘Cancer Alley’ to the recently discovered cancer cluster in Houston’s Fifth Ward, we know why mega-companies like Chrysler feel comfortable making decisions that place Black people in close proximity to pollution and other environmental hazards. Chrysler is counting on environmental racism to avoid taking responsibility for their actions. We can’t let them. After George Floyd was murdered, Chrysler CEO, Michael Manley, sent an email to employees claiming that he “emphatically rejects the prejudice and hatred” Black Americans still face in this country. But the fact is, Chrysler bears a huge responsibility for the environmental violence, harm, and discrimination against Black people in Detroit, and is still actively profiting from that violence to this day. We deserve more than lip service from a company that has relied on us as both workers and funders for generations. We, the people, say NO to corporations and CEOs that claim Black lives matter in one breath while supporting our destruction in the next. Residents closest to the plant on Beniteau Street and others across the Eastside of the city, along with Detroit People's Platform have worked hard to bring these critical issues to the attention of local officials and Chrysler leadership with no success. Now, we need your voices to make sure Chrysler knows they must deal with the community in order to benefit from our public tax dollars. Sign our petition today and make sure Chrysler knows they must deal with the real Detroit if they want to keep building in our community.
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  • PETITION: Green Bay Alderman Chris Wery Should Resign for Inviting Extremists to the City
    The same day a 17-year-old white extremist killed two Black Lives Matter protestors and injured another in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Green Bay Alderman Chris Wery called upon “all our patriots to defend our great city” of Green Bay. Alderman Wery’s words were a blatant invitation to bring domestic terrorists into our community. Wery’s Facebook post was disturbingly similar to the language used in a Facebook post by the Kenosha Guard, the white extremist group who invited 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse to Kenosha. The Kenosha Guard’s post called for: “Any patriots willing to take up arms and defend our city…?” Facebook has since removed the Kenosha Guard’s page for inciting violence—after Rittenhouse killed two people and injured a third. Alderman Wery’s dangerous and irresponsible rhetoric puts at risk the lives of Green Bay community members, especially Black, Indigenous, and people of color. As an elected official, we look to Alderman Wery to protect and represent all of us, no matter our race, color, creed, religion, or where we live. Wery’s dangerous and insensitive comments are the final straw in his long career of using his elected position to fan racism in Green Bay. Enough is enough. Language has consequences. We need to hold people accountable for the racist violence they promote. Language that incites violence has no place in our community. Please join the Greater Green Bay community in demanding Alderman Wery’s resignation. Contact: Green Bay Alderman Chris Wery 920-490-9282 [email protected]
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