10/19/2005 Newsletter

Contents:

  • O22 Protest Against Police Brutality
  • Know Your Rights Training
  • CUAPB Litigating "False Reporting" Law
  • Community Forum on "False Reporting" Law
  • Dontay St. James Not Guilty, Now Suing
  • Fed Med About to Crash and Burn
  • Latino Cop Sues for Discrimination
  • Applying the Bennett Rule

O22: NATIONAL DAY OF PROTEST AGAINST POLICE BRUTALITY EVENTS
This Saturday, October 22 is the 10th Annual National Day of Protest Against Police Brutality.  Here in the Twin Cities, we've marked this day every year since it started.  This year, we'll be gathering for a rally and march in an area that has been marked by numerous incidents, including deaths at the hands of police.  You'll want to be there to hear the authentic voices of people whose lives have been affected by police brutality, misconduct or abuse of authority.

O22 PROTEST AGAINST POLICE BRUTALITY
Saturday, October 22 at 2:00 p.m.
Peavey Park
Corner of Chicago and Franklin Avenues, Minneapolis

Knowing your rights and knowing how to safely exercise them during encounters with police is one of the most important ways you can avoid police brutality.  After viewing a short film and participating in a discussion with a legal expert, you'll know what to do (and not do) during a police encounter and you'll learn how to preserve your rights if the encounter turns negative.  Free and open to the public.

COMMUNITY KNOW YOUR RIGHTS TRAINING
Friday, October 28 at 6:30 p.m.
Walker Church
3104 16th Ave S, Minneapolis

For more info on either of these activities, call our hotline at 612-874-7867.


CUAPB TAKING ON POLICE BRUTALITY "FALSE" REPORTING LAW
In a previous edition of this newsletter, we reported that the MN legislature passed a new law during the last session that criminalizes so-called "false" reporting of police brutality incidents.  If you want to get a look at it, go to http://www.revisor.leg.state.mn.us/bin/bldbill.php?bill=H0001.5&session=ls84 and scroll down to line 323.28 (Article 17, Section 30). 

This law is so vague and poorly worded that even a journalist who reports on a police brutality case that isn't later proven could be subject to prosecution.  Moreover, there is no indication of who decides what's a "false" report--is it the very cops the person complained about?  Considering that in Minneapolis alone, the Internal Affairs department upheld exactly TWO complaints from community members in a 10-year period means that agency doesn't exactly have a stellar record for finding merit in community member complaints.  Are we to believe all the rest of the folks who complained were liars?

Bottom line: Complaining about police conduct is First Amendment protected speech.  The cops are a branch of the government and we get to criticize the government and even petition the government for redress.  Why are the cops so darned special that no one can complain about them?

CUAPB is taking on this terrible law.  We'll be getting out flyers to the community at our O22 events.  We have an online petition you can sign at http://www.petitiononline.com/cuapb02/petition.html  We'll also be holding a community forum on this new law and what it means to you.  Speakers will include representatives of the Civilian Review Authority and others.

Community Forum on "False Reporting" Law
Thursday, November 3rd, 7:00 p.m.
Walker Church
3104 16th Ave S, Minneapolis

We're looking for people who would report police brutality or misconduct but are afraid to because of this new law.  If you fit this description, please call our hotline at 612-874-7867.


POLICE BRUTALITY SURVIVOR FOUND NOT GUILTY ON BOGUS CHARGES--NOW SUING FOR MALICIOUS PROSECUTION
Dontay St. James, the young man who was shot four times THROUGH his apartment door by MPD cop Mark Suchta and then charged with assault on a police officer was found NOT GUILTY after about 15 minutes' deliberation by the jury.  Folks who attended the trial got a fascinating glimpse into some of the mechanisms used to cover cop crimes.  One of these included having all the community member witnesses in one room with a police interviewer, while the cops on the scene were in a room down the hall.  Another cop went back and forth between the two rooms, reporting what the community members were saying so police reports to could be tailored to match.

Now that he has been cleared of criminal charges, St. James has filed a one-of-a-kind lawsuit against the Hennepin County prosecutor's office for malicious prosecution to cover for the police.  If successful, this lawsuit could have a significant impact on the current practice of prosecuting police brutality victims with false charges--and we say, about time!  This practice is designed to "dirty up" the victim so they can't sue the cops and has cost community members untold grief and funds for legal fees and other expenses trying to defend their names against bogus charges.  Here's the Strib article:

Man shot by Minneapolis cop files suit
Star Tribune
Anthony Lonetree
Published October 8, 2005
http://www.startribune.com/stories/462/5656847.html

A man who was shot last year by a Minneapolis police officer, and who then fended off assault charges in connection with the incident, has alleged that he was wrongly prosecuted in a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court.

The action came a week after a Hennepin County District Court jury found Dontay St. James not guilty of first-degree assault on a police officer and second-degree assault, said his attorney, Jill Clark.

St. James, 34, of Brooklyn Center, was shot in September 2004 in an apartment building in the 3500 block of 11th Avenue South in Minneapolis. According to his lawsuit, he had a gun and was defending people who had stepped outside from a party there. He fled into the building after police were called to the scene.

At the time of the shooting, police said that St. James was shot by officer Mark Suchta after he allegedly turned and pointed his handgun at the officer.

St. James denied pointing the gun, and in his lawsuit alleges that "police reports were fabricated to make police look good, and to make [him] look bad."

Police spokesman Ron Reier said Thursday that the department cannot comment on civil cases against it. He said he was unaware of the lawsuit.

St. James is seeking damages in excess of $50,000.


FED MED ABOUT TO CRASH AND BURN
The Minneapolis city council's public safety and regulatory services committee held a hearing on the federal mediation agreement signed in December 2003.  The main discussion was around why so little progress had been made over the last two years.

Police department reps Don Harris and others put on one hell of a dog and pony show.  Harris' main position is that the community side of the team should continue to work with selected cops on the "relationship" but that police leadership should take over all matters related to compliance.  In other words, the community would be carved out of any interest in compliance issues.  This is no small matter, as one of the main points of contention is the proposed hiring of 72 new cops and whether diversity initiatives specified in the fed med agreement would be followed.  So far, they haven't been.

Harris introduced Lt. Doyle, who he said would be the new compliance officer for the agreement.  Doyle, who was not involved in the original mediation, prattled on about reporting formats, giving the impression that the main thing he cared about was looking good without actually doing anything.  This was further confirmed by repeated statements by Harris and Doyle that the city didn't have to comply with the agreement if there were no funds to do so.  So, seems the new tactic will be that there will just never be funds for anything.

The presentation did not go unchallenged.  Natalie Johnson Lee played a very good role by challenging Harris after he blamed "inefficiencies" in the police department for the lack of progress in diversity hiring.  She nailed him on this, saying something like, "aren't you the one in charge of this?"--since Harris is in charge of hiring.  Dan Nizolek challenged Harris on why, after two years, they are just now appointing a compliance officer.  He pointed out that the city council had funded the position in two different budgets.  Nizolek instructed the PCRC (mediation team) to write a work plan and submit it by November 9th.  It will be interesting to see what comes out on that report.

This hearing is yet another show of how weak and uninforceable the mediation agreement actually is.  For this reason and many others, CUAPB does not support the mediation agreement.  Our analysis of the agreement can be found at http://www.charityadvantage.com/CUAPB/AnalysisofFedMedAgree.asp


ON THE HEELS OF THE FEDERAL MEDIATION MEETING...
Latino Minneapolis police officer sues Minneapolis police department for discrimination
Marco Fernandez
10/18/05
http://www.gentedeminnesota.com/news.php?nid=1705

Sergeant Giovanni Veliz, a Minneapolis Police officer, has sued the Minneapolis Police department for discrimination. According to confidential information we've received, the case goes back to October 2004, when Sergeant Veliz was relieved of his administrative duties, and assigned to night time patrol. According to a copy of the lawsuit that was provided to us, the Minneapolis Police department submitted Sergeant Veliz to harassment, disparate treatment, a hostile work environment, and retaliation from that date.

The lawsuit establishes that the actions were taken against sergeant Veliz because of his insistence in raising the issue that the department had not complied with a federal mediation agreement that was entered between the police department and members of Minneapolis minority organizations . The mediation agreement established that the police department would diversify the police department, establish partnerships with community based organizations, and foster cultural awareness and sensitivity for Minneapolis citizens. This agreement included 82 action items that force the police department not only to incorporate Spanish speaking officers to the police force that know Latino culture, but also covers specific situations in which orders and notifications to Spanish speaking people included a Spanish translation.

This agreement was reached thanks to mediation from the United States Department of Justice, Community relations office, and was supposed to have been implemented a year ago. The lawsuit also alleges that on more than one occasion Sergeant Veliz was denied the opportunity to receive executive training in retaliation for his position in favor of implementing points of the federal mediation agreement. Veliz alleges that he was denied a promotion to police lieutenant, after having applied to the position and being qualified for the position.

The lawsuit accuses lieutenant Doyle, who became Veliz's supervisor in October 4th of 2005, of harassing actions and threats against Veliz. The lawsuit establishes a direct relationship between Veliz's work on behalf of the Hispanic community and a number of consistent threats, harassment and comments against Veliz. It goes even further accusing the Minneapolis police department of refusing to implement the federal mediation agreement and ignoring the federal recommendations on diversifying the police department. Sergeant Veliz has received support for his lawsuit from members of the African American community and the committee that negotiated the mediation agreement in 2003.


APPLYING THE BILL BENNETT RULE
The Bennett Rule: Abort Every White Baby!
By JUSTIN FELUX
CounterPunch
October 1 / 2, 2005

Bill Bennett, a prominent right-wing blowhard, has recently come under intense fire for remarks made on his radio show, in which he stated, "I do know that it's true that if you wanted to reduce crime, you could ... abort every black baby in this country." He quickly backed away from the proposition, saying "That would be an impossible, ridiculous, and morally reprehensible thing to do, but your crime rate would go down." It's unfortunate that Bennett chose to be so politically correct, because I think he may be onto something here. He's just wrong about the target. If we really wanna get tough on crime, it's the white babies who should start getting the coat hanger treatment.

Consider the fact that whites commit three times as many violent crimes as blacks every year, just in raw numbers. This is just for ordinary "street crimes" such as assault. The numbers become skewed out of this world when you consider "white-collar" crimes (typically, the collar isn't the only thing that's white).

For instance, job-related accidents and illnesses claimed the lives of 70,000 Americans in 1992, a significant portion of which can be chalked up to white employers neglecting to comply with occupational health and safety laws. According to studies, up to 64,000 die every year due to pollution and other environmental hazards produced by industry. Another 21,700 die due to consumer product deaths, costing the nation $200 billion a year. Another $200 billion is lost annually due to white-collar embezzlement. These two statistics alone add up to over 26 times the amount of all the robberies and petty thefts committed every year combined!

We should also not forget the ravages of the white-owned health care system and insurance industry. Around 18,000 adults are killed every year as a result of a lack of medical coverage. Over 25 thousand die as a result of unnecessary prescriptions and surgeries performed by mostly white doctors. All in all, corporate criminals take about ten times as many lives as street criminals. And I haven't even mentioned the white men who control the apparatus of state, which through war, sanctions, and other means kills hundreds of thousands, if not millions more. Over 100,000 civilians have died in Iraq alone, for example.

I don't know about you, but every time I see a white man in a suit I find a place to hide. Once I feel safe, I call the Department of Homeland Security to report his suspicious activity. I simply don't feel safe knowing that all these savage, white thugs are out walking the streets. After all, from Bob Chambliss to Timothy McVeigh to Eric Rudolph, by far most of the terrorist attacks in America have been committed by whites.

Which brings me to my next point: even if a white guy isn't wearing a suit, you still shouldn't assume that he isn't dangerous. One can find a plethora of deadly and pathological behaviors uniquely prevalent among whites who look just as ordinary as you and me. Most notable among them are spree killing, serial murder, and cannibalism. About 90% of all serial killers are white men.  White men engage in child sexual abuse at twice the rate of black men. By aborting all the white babies, we will be protecting a great many children from the horror of enduring abuse at the hands of white male sex perverts (pardon the redundancy), in addition to preventing the creation of new white molesters in the future.

Alas, even if we allowed white fetuses to continue living, and they manage to avoid the pitfalls of vampirism, corporate employment, and serial murder, the odds are still pretty good that they will turn out to be hopeless drunks. Whites are 74% more likely than blacks to binge drink regularly. In fact, there are more binge drinking whites than there are blacks in the entire population of the country! Naturally, whites are twice as likely as blacks to drive drunk, resulting in over ten thousand deaths every year. The same trend can be seen when considering drug use in general, contrary to popular belief. Whites make up 74% of illegal drug users, whereas only 14% are black. Whites make up a majority of drug dealers as well.

Given all of these facts, can there be any doubt that aborting every white baby would not only reduce the crime rate, but would also result in a much safer, cleaner, and happier existence for all Americans? I can already hear some of you sissy liberals whining about "human rights" or some other nonsense. In reality, you are soft on crime and lack the rugged individualism necessary to get things done. At the very least, we should start forcibly sterilizing white males, much in the same way we did to Latinas and black women up until the 1970s.

I think the most interesting debate will be over the question of what to do with mixed race babies. Should we apply the "one drop" rule, whereby one drop of white blood marks the fetus for termination? I doubt we'll need to take it to that extreme. If the baby is say, 1/8 white, then its more destructive tendencies should be sufficiently diluted. Nevertheless, police and homeland security should still apply increased scrutiny to individuals whose skin looks suspiciously pale. I'm sure Bill Bennett wouldn't mind taking a little harassment from the cops if it results in a safer America for everyone.

Justin Felux is a writer and activist based in San Antonio, Texas. He can be contacted at justins@alacrityisp.net.


Communities United Against Police Brutality
3100 16th Avenue S
Minneapolis, MN 55407
Hotline 612-874-STOP (7867)


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