Civil Rights

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Wednesday Must Reads: Oakland Council Panel Rejects Curfew Plan; Radioactive Shards Found on Treasure Island

by Robert Gammon
Wed, Nov 13, 2013 at 9:34 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. The Oakland City Council’s Public Safety Committee shot down a proposal from Councilmember Noel Gallo to institute a youth curfew in the city, the Chron reports. Three of the four members on the committee said they would not vote for Gallo’s plan, noting that the understaffed police department does not have the capacity to enforce a curfew. This is at least the third time in the past few years that the Oakland council has rejected a proposed curfew in the city. Previously, the council rejected similar plans from Gallo’s predecessor, Councilmember Ignacio De La Fuente.

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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Tuesday Must Reads: At Least Two People Injured in Oakland Protests; Feds Are Unlikely to Go After Zimmerman

by Robert Gammon
Tue, Jul 16, 2013 at 7:09 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. At least two people were injured last night during the third night of protests in downtown Oakland, including a waiter at the restaurant Flora, who was struck in the face by a protester wielding a hammer, the Trib reports. "Protesters with black masks approached the window and tried to bang at it," bartender Phillip Ricafort told the Trib. "(The waiter) said, 'Don't do that!' and the guy turned around and smacked him in the face with a hammer" or another metal object. A demonstrator was injured when hit by a police-fired projectile. Protesters clashed with riot-gear-wearing police at about 11 p.m. Earlier in the evening, a group of demonstrators shut down 880. Police arrested at least nine people last night.

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Monday, June 10, 2013

Trayvon Martin Remembered in Oakland

by Madeleine Thomas
Mon, Jun 10, 2013 at 4:07 PM

A march in remembrance of Trayvon Martin began at 3:30 today in the Fruitvale district as part of National Hoodie Day. Today marks the start of the Florida trial of George Zimmerman, the man charged with shooting Martin, 17, last February.

The rally started at the Fruitvale BART station — the same location where Oscar Grant was fatally shot in the back by BART police officer Johannes Mehserle in 2009. Like Martin, Grant was also unarmed at the time he was shot. Although Mehserle argued that he meant to fire his Taser at Grant instead of his gun, he was convicted of involuntary manslaughter. Zimmerman has admitted to shooting Martin, but he claims it was in self-defense. He is currently charged with second-degree murder.

D’Andre Teeter of the Bay Area chapter of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network said the cases have significant parallels.
“The Oscar Grant case is particularly important, because just like Trayvon Martin, Mehserle would not have been arrested or charged if not for the tremendous outpouring of anger around the country."

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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Tuesday Must Reads: Blacks Singled Out in Marijuana Arrests; Bill Lockyer to Retire from Office

by Robert Gammon
Tue, Jun 4, 2013 at 6:58 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Black people nationwide are four times more likely to be arrested on marijuana charges than whites even though they use pot at similar rates, The New York Times reports, citing new federal data. In some states, African Americans are singled out for cannabis arrests at even higher rates; in Illinois, Iowa, and Minnesota, blacks are eight times more likely to be arrested than whites. Some experts blame federal funding formulas for spurring racial profiling in marijuana cases, because they provide financial incentives for police agencies to boost their drug arrests by focusing enforcement efforts on low-income neighborhoods.

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Saturday, April 13, 2013

Are California Prisons Punishing Inmates Based on Race?

by Christie Thompson of ProPublica
Sat, Apr 13, 2013 at 7:00 AM

In several men’s prisons across California, colored signs hang above cell doors: blue for black inmates, white for white, red, green or pink for Hispanic, yellow for everyone else. Though it’s not an official policy, at least five California state prisons have a color-coding system.

On any given day, the color of a sign could mean the difference between an inmate exercising in the prison yard or being confined to their cell. When prisoners attack guards or other inmates, California allows its corrections officers to restrict all prisoners of that same race or ethnicity to prevent further violence.

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