Central American Mother Suing Trump Says ‘I Had Seen Officers Grab Little Children by Their Hair and Throw Them into Cells’
A Guatemalan mother says that she witnessed immigrant child abuse from officers and wants her daughter returned unharmed.
Perla Karlili Alemengor Miranda De Velasquez is an asylum-seeking mother from Guatemala who is suing the Trump administration for the return of her daughter.
The mother explained through a translator that she willingly let her 12-year-old daughter leave with border agents at 3 am because "she had seen officers physically abuse small children who resisted," according to the Daily Mail.
"I didn't want her to go, but I had seen officers grab little children who were three or four years old by their hair and throw them into cells when they tried to get back to their mothers," Miranda said in the interview. "I didn't want them to hurt my daughter."
Miranda's attorney told the Daily Mail that the translation is correct and that "his client would stand by that statement."
The lawsuit names Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III and Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen as two of the six defendants whom Miranda is holding responsible for the safe return of her child.
After crossing the border on May 19, the lawsuit says that Miranda had her government-issued IDs and her daughter's birth certificate despite her daughter being "mischaracterized" as an "unaccompanied child" — an important distinction that can otherwise mislabel a child as a trafficking victim.
The Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) is "an act of congress designed to ensure actual unaccompanied alien minors are 'protected from traffickers and other persons seeking to victimize or otherwise engage children in criminal activity,'" the lawsuit says.
According to Miranda's attorney, the act is there to protect children, but mislabeling them "wrongly puts the burden on the parents to prove that they are not traffickers or doing something to endanger or victimize the child."
Aside from mislabeling, the living conditions in detention centers has been a major topic of concern since the Trump administration's "zero-policy" resulted in the separation of 2,300 children from their families in just one month.
Less than a week ago, CNN released a story detailing the poor living conditions and alleged abuse of children in detention facilities that took place last year.
After riding in the car with friends, a ninth grader was pulled over in McAllen, Texas, and taken into custody after unable to show identification.
The high schooler was then separated from his mother, who illegally brought him into the country as a baby, and ultimately endured "grave abuse" at a shelter for unaccompanied immigrant children.
"They will grab my hands and put them behind my back so I can't move. Sometimes they will use pens to poke me in the ribs, sometimes they grab my jaw with their hands," CNN reported of the boy, named John Doe 2, in the legal filings of his detainment.
According to CNN, the same punishment was described by five other children who detailed being placed in handcuffs and restraint chairs, including a statement from another child who said, "he was left naked, strapped to the chair for more than two days."
While some immigration attorneys handling these cases told the news outlet that "some of these facilities provide the best care they can give given the circumstances," Miranda's account seems to fall in line with that of John Doe 2's.
According to the lawsuit, Miranda described how her daughter said she was kept "in a small room" and "fed cold food" in poor sleeping conditions with only an aluminum blanket and no pillow, the Daily Mail reported.
Miranda has been freed on bond and is adamant that her daughter not only be freed as well, but released unharmed.
Louis Klemp pointed to the gap in his teeth as proof. Kansas governor wants him to resign.
Jemel Roberson family's attorney says the task force has a habit of not disciplining, firing, or criminally charging officers in police shootings.
The Illinois State Police Public Integrity Task Force released a preliminary report less than three days after the shooting of Jemel Roberson, Black security guard in Robbins, Ill, which contradicted what witnesses and Roberson's family attorney have said.
"If we don't swear in a new governor until January, what is the rush for you?" Gillum said, referring to Florida Gov. Rick Scott and President Trump.
Florida Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis' lead over Democratic candidate Andrew Gillum narrowed to just 33,000 votes on Saturday, resulting in a mandated machine recount of ballots. The results are due in Tallahassee on Thursday, and if Gillum gains about 15,000 votes, a hand recount will take place.
Not only was he clearly identifiable, but officers on the scene knew Jemel Roberson. A civil rights lawsuit has been filed against "Officer John Doe" and Midloathian Village.
Jemel Roberson, age 26, shot and killed on Sunday by a white cop in a Chicago suburb, was wearing a hat that said "SECURITY" on it, clearly identifying himself as an ally to the police.
Officers circled his body in video footage, after telling the unnamed officer, who is a four-year veteran of the force, that Roberson was "one of us."
A Midlothian officer used excessive force when he killed an on-duty armed guard while responding to a shots fired call at a bar in Robbins, IL, a lawsuit was filed against the cop and village. “Other officers knew him and screamed out he's one of us," says witness.#JemelRoberson pic.twitter.com/RySvFK7kYw
— Tia A. Ewing (@TIA_EWING) November 13, 2018
The medical examiner in Cook County ruled Roberson's death a homicide by multiple gunshot wounds.
Beatrice Roberson, Jemel's mother, retained attorney Gregory Kulis who filed a civil rights lawsuit against "Officer John Doe" and the Village of Midloathian on Monday claiming the officer's actions were "intentional, willful and wanton" and that the shooting was "unprovoked," "unjustified" and "unreasonable."
"Jemel was trying to save people's lives," said Kulis. "He was working security. A shooting had just taken place inside the establishment. So he was doing his job and holding onto somebody until somebody arrived. And a police officer, it's our feeling didn't make the proper assessment and fired and killed Jemel."
Midloathian police expressed "heartfelt condolences" in a statement to the family.
Sherriff's office spokeswoman Sophia Ansari said the man shot by police, "turned out to be a guy working security for the bar."
Roberson was the father of a nine-month-old son with Avontea Boose, and was planning on getting an apartment for his family with his earnings from the job, according to Rev. Marvin Hunter, who also said Roberson was a promising keyboard player at several churches including his, and "an upstanding man."
Hunter is the great uncle of Laquan McDonald who was also killed by police in Chicago in 2014.
A vigil held outside Manny's on Monday was wrought with expressions of frustration, grief, and demands for action:
"Why? Why did you kill him?" Roberson's cousin, Candace Ousley asked. "It doesn't make sense. The police officer just saw a black man. I believe if he was indeed white, he'd be alive."
Another man at the vigil said, "This was not reckless policing, this was homicidal policing. They saw a black man with a gun. If he did not have a gun, his black skin made him a weapon.
"As a community, we demand respectful engagement. We want the police to treat our people with just a certain amount of dignity and respect. They patrol the Black community like some . . . Gestapo being judge, jury and executioner."
Another vigil attendee, Harvey Alderman Keith Price, called on State's Attorney Kim Foxx to open an investigation into the shooting.
"This could have been my son. This could have been any one of our sons," Price said. "So Kim Foxx, do the right thing, open up a full out investigation. That's what you got elected for."
Lane Tech College Prep, where Roberson graduated from, tweeted a remembrance of Roberson:
It is with great sadness that we inform you of the tragic passing of 2010 Lane Tech graduate and Lane Tech Basketball alumn, Jemel Roberson. We pass along our deepest condolences to the friends and family of Jemel. Jemel had a big smile and a bigger heart. You will be missed. pic.twitter.com/gpdrI6qQtc
— Lane Tech Basketball (@LaneTechHoops) November 12, 2018
Jemel Roberson Remembered By Friends www.youtube.com
Bigotry continues to thrive in a state that has no diversity.
A high school in Baraboo, Wisc., is currently under investigation after a picture of dozens white male students throwing up the Nazi salute at their junior prom was recently shared on Twitter.
Police officers saw, Jemel Roberson, "a Black man with a gun, and basically killed him," said a witness.
Jemel Roberson, age 26, was working as a security guard at Manny's Blue Room bar in Robbins, Ill., when a drunken patron who he had been asked to leave earlier, returned with a gun. The patron shot four people.
Roberson, who was armed at the time, returned fire, grabbed one of the men, held him down and waited for police to arrive, according to witnesses.
"He had somebody on the ground with his knee in back, with his gun in his back like, 'Don't move,'" Adam Harris told WGN-TV.
An unnamed Midloathian police officer, according to other officers in that department who were called to assist Robbins' police, opened fire on Roberson, killing him.
A routine trip to Costco turned into a case of racial profiling.
Barbara and Bahri Wallace loved to shop at Costco. And this trip to the megastore should have been like every other trip. However, while the couple were shopping at the Costco in Anne Arundel County in Maryland in May, the husband and wife reported they were being watched by management.
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"Black people have always been underestimated. The Black college experience is still an exceptional way to train young people," said Senator Art Haywood, a Morehouse Graduate.
What Kamala Harris, Alma Adams, Andrew Gillum and Stacey Abrams all have in common, in addition to being influential in U.S. politics, is they're graduates of Historically Black Colleges and Universities ( HBCUs) — Howard University, North Carolina A&T, Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University, and Spelman College.
Approximately 40 percent of the members of Congress are HBCU graduates, according to the Network Journal, a Black professional and small business magazine. And recipients of The United Negro College Fund and Thurgood Marshall Foundation scholarships graduate from college at rates well above the national average.
"We're producing outstanding leaders in all of the major professions," said Harry L. Williams, president and CEO of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and former Delaware State president.
"Anytime you can look at (HBCU) success stories, it just enhances their relevancy and continues to move them forward in a positive way."
This year, a record 38 women of color were elected to Congress. Many of them are HBCU graduates.
The prospect of so many Black-college graduates being elected to statewide office in the same year is unprecedented, Keneshia Grant, an assistant professor of political science at Howard University, said.
And they are touting their HBCU training. Abrams expressed her disapproval of legislation plans for education that did not include those institutions.
As a Spelman alumna, I share the concern raised by @RepRichmond. HBCUs are vital for economic independence. https://t.co/C5DtYKPukP
— Stacey Abrams (@staceyabrams) February 16, 2016
Gillum responded to President Trump's tweet attacking him about his lack of Ivy League education:
Mr. @realDonaldTrump, I am a graduate of THE Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University (FAMU) — an HBCU founded on October 3, 1887. Google it. 🐍 https://t.co/I8uOokptJA
— Andrew Gillum (@AndrewGillum) October 30, 2018
Art Haywood is one of four Black state senators in Pennsylvania, and one of two from Morehouse.
"If the two Black state senators had come from Harvard or Yale, then those schools would get all the credit," Haywood said.
"Black people have always been underestimated," Haywood said. "I don't think there's any more validation required. The Black college experience is still an exceptional way to train young people."
Of politicians like Abrams and Gillum, the president of HBCU Dillard University Walter Kimbrough said they are sending a message: "It's a reaffirmation, not only for students but for families, that you can go to an HBCU and compete with anyone."
Approximately 13 percent of HBCU graduates are CEOS, 40 percent are engineers and 50 percent are professors at non-HBCUs, according to the Network Journal.
The HBCUs Make America Strong: The Positive Economic Impact of Historically Black Colleges and Universities study shows how the United States economy benefits from HBCUs: $14.8 billion in economic impact. In addition, graduates predominantly come from low-income areas, giving them and the communities the opportunity to break cycles of poverty and open doors to successful and lucrative careers. Individual graduates can earn $927,000 within their lifetime, $130 billion collectively over their lifetime.