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Tag: civil rights

FBI Passes Up Another Opportunity to Re-Open Civil Rights Cold Case

Lloyd Gaines/Wikipedia

Lloyd Gaines/Wikipedia

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Soon after winning a landmark legal battle to become the first black student in the University of Missouri’s law school, Lloyd Gaines vanished in 1939.

The FBI declined to investigate in 1940 and 1970.

Records obtained by the Associated Press show that the bureau again declined to investigate the case between 2006 and 2013, despite reviewing more than 100 others as part of the Department of Justice initiative and Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Act.

“They should have done more way back when,” said nephew George Gaines, a retiree who lives in San Diego. “I don’t believe there would have been much uncovered more recently. People die, memories fade, records are destroyed. And some people choose not to remember.”

In 1938, the Supreme Court ruled that Gaines, who grew up in St. Louis, must be allowed into the law school or the university must establish a separate law school for black people.

What happened to Gaines remains unclear. Some believe he was killed; others believe he moved to Mexico.

Other Stories of Interest

FBI Opens Investigation into Fatal Shooting of Man Carrying Air Rifle

broward countyBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Jermaine McBean was listening to music through earbuds and carrying an air rifle when a sheriff’s deputy fatally shot him in 2013.

The FBI has opened the an investigation into the shooting to determine whether McBean’s civil rights were violated when he was shot by Broward Sheriff’s Deputy Peter Peraza, the Associated Press reports. Authorities said he may not have heard the commands to drop the gun because of the music.

Deputy Peraza was responding to a 911 call about a man openly carrying what appeared to be a rifle down the street.

The FBI investigation will focus on whether the deputy used excessive force in a “willful” or “unreasonable” manner.

A separate state investigation is ongoing.

Baltimore Mayor Asks for Full-Scale Civil Rights Investigation of Police Department

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

In an unusual move for a city, Baltimore’s mayor is asking for a full-scale civil rights investigation into alleged abuse within the police department following a riot over the police-involved death of Freddie Gray and other black suspects.

“We all know that Baltimore continues to have a fractured relationship between the police and the community,” Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said, reports the Baltimore Sun. “I’m willing to do what it takes to reform my department.”

Spokeswoman Dena Iverson said Attorney General Loretta Lynch “is actively considering that option in light of what she heard from law enforcement, city officials and community, faith and youth leaders in Baltimore.”

The Justice Department has conducted investigations of police departments in 20 cities, including Cleveland and New Orleans.

The investigations typically take 18 to 24 months.

Los Angeles County Reaches Civil Rights Agreement with Justice Department

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Less than two years after prosecutors discovered a pattern of racial discrimination, the nation’s largest sheriff’s department reached a sweeping agreement Tuesday with the Justice Department to restore civil rights.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved the deal 4-1 after patterns of abuse were found, including unlawful stops and seizures and excessive force, The Christian Science Monitor reports.

In addition, the Justice Department claims that Los Angeles sheriff’ deputies harassed and intimidated minorities in public housing.

The agreement means the sheriff’s department admitted no wrongdoing but will be overseen by three outside experts.

 

AG Loretta Lynch Tested with Baltimore Riot, Releases Plan of Action

Loretta Lynch

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

New Attorney General Loretta Lynch received her first big test after riots broke out in Baltimore this week.

Lynch, the first black female attorney general, released a statement soon after violence broke out, examining what happened and “going beyond the criminal civil right investigations” launched last week by her predecessor Eric Holder into the death of Freddie Gray, The National Journal reports.

Read Lynch’s statement:

“I condemn the senseless acts of violence by some individuals in Baltimore that have resulted in harm to law enforcement officers, destruction of property and a shattering of the peace in the city of Baltimore.  Those who commit violent actions, ostensibly in protest of the death of Freddie Gray, do a disservice to his family, to his loved ones, and to legitimate peaceful protestors who are working to improve their community for all its residents.

“The Department of Justice stands ready to provide any assistance that might be helpful.  The Civil Rights Division and the FBI have an ongoing, independent criminal civil rights investigation into the tragic death of Mr. Gray.  We will continue our careful and deliberate examination of the facts in the coming days and weeks.  The department’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services has also been fully engaged in a collaborative review of the Baltimore City Police Department.  The department’s Community Relations Service has already been on the ground, and they are sending additional resources as they continue to work with all parties to reduce tensions and promote the safety of the community.  And in the coming days, Vanita Gupta, head of the Civil Rights Division, and Ronald Davis, Director of Community Oriented Policing Services, will be traveling to Baltimore to meet with faith and community leaders, as well as city officials.

“As our investigative process continues, I strongly urge every member of the Baltimore community to adhere to the principles of nonviolence.  In the days ahead, I intend to work with leaders throughout Baltimore to ensure that we can protect the security and civil rights of all residents.  And I will bring the full resources of the Department of Justice to bear in protecting those under threat, investigating wrongdoing, and securing an end to violence.”

New AG Loretta Lynch to Work on Improving Relations Between Police, DOJ

Attorney General Loretta Lynch

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

New Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch, the first black woman to take the helm, plans to improve the Justice Department’s reputation with police after her predecessor was criticized for too quickly and harshly criticizing officers over lethal force.

Aides to Lynch told the New York Times that Lynch hopes to boost police morale and improve relations between officers and minority communities.

“Loretta’s confirmation ensures that we are better positioned to keep our communities safe, keep our nation secure, and ensure that every American experiences justice under the law,” Mr. Obama said.

The Justice Department said Lynch is expected to be sworn in Monday.

 

 

Justice Department Opens Civil Rights Investigation over Baltimore Death

 
By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Freddie Gray was seen walking and talking when he was placed into a Baltimore police van.

But when he emerged, Gray “could not talk, he could not breathe,” Deputy Police Commissioner Jerry Rodriguez said in a story in the Washington Post.

Gray died after suffering a severe spinal cord injury.

Six Baltimore police officers were suspended while there is an investigation.

The Justice Department plans to turn over results of the investigation to prosecutors by May 1.

Protests have broken out over the death.

FBI Finds No Civil Rights Violations in Deputy Shooting of Black Man in Texas

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A white sheriff’s reserve deputy who killed a black man in Tulsa, Okla., did not commit civil rights violations, the FBI has found following an investigation.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the Tulsa County sheriff’s office held a news conference to announce the FBI findings.

“They found no wrongdoing,” Sheriff Stanley Glanz said at a news conference.

The FBI said it is open to “re-evaluating the matter should new information or evidence come to the surface.”

The shooting was captured by a camera worn by a deputy. After a shot rings out, the reserve deputy, 73-year-old Robert Bates, is heard saying, “I shot him. I’m sorry.”

Bates is already charged with second-degree manslaughter.