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Mother of Slain Youth, Michael Brown, Running for Ferguson City Council

Lezley McSpadden said her son's death left her devastated, but ultimately inspired her to run for office.

REUTERS

(Reuters) — The mother of Michael Brown, the unarmed black teenager shot to death by a white policeman in Ferguson, Missouri, igniting months of protest and a national debate over race and law enforcement, said on Friday she is running for City Council.

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Trump Sides with Putin, Indictment Against Russians Mentions Social Media Targeting Blacks

Russian intelligence officers saw opportunity in racial tensions within the U.S.

REUTERS

President Donald Trump met with Vladimir Putin at a summit in Helsinki, Finland on Monday and did not hold Putin accountable for Russia's role in interfering in the 2016 presidential election, despite the fact that the Department of Justice indicted 12 Russian intelligence officers on Friday. The indictment paperwork also indicated the exploitation of the Black Lives Matter movement.

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Senate Bill 43 Has Been Signed, NAACP's Missouri Travel Warning in Motion: Now What?

The president of the Missouri chapter of the NAACP spoke with DiversityInc about the organization's next steps after issuing its first ever statewide travel advisory — and what it means.

REUTERS

He was driving on his way out of town and hopeful of positive news after his rallying efforts when Rod Chapel, president of the Missouri chapter of the NAACP, received a less-than-optimistic phone call from Gov. Eric Greitens.

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Ex-Ferguson Cop Darren Wilson Admits to Using N-Word

Wilson, who fatally shot Michael Brown, said he only repeated racist remarks used by other people.

A court filing reveals that Darren Wilson, the former Ferguson, Mo., police officer who fatally shot Black teen Michael Brown, used the N-word in reference to Black people. In a sworn admission, Wilson said he and other city officers have all used the word.

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New Michael Brown Video Sparks Protests in Ferguson

Previously unseen footage questions whether Brown robbed a convenience store before his fatal shooting, resulting in protests and gunfire at the store over the weekend.

New Michael Brown Video Sparks Protests

A newly released video of Michael Brown on the day he was shot has called into question the facts surrounding his shooting, a revelation that sparked protests over the weekend.

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Police Tracked BLM Protesters Through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: ACLU Report

Police received real time special access from Geofeedia, a social media surveillance vendor, to social media feeds during the periods of unrest.

Protesters in Ferguson, Missouri, in August 2014 following the shooting of Michael Brown. REUTERS

Law enforcement used social media to track activists and protesters during the riots in Ferguson and Baltimore, according to a new report released by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

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Implicit Bias Training for Police Gaining Attention

The subject has come up during the presidential campaign following slew of police-related shootings.

During the first presidential debate late last month, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton was asked whether she felt implicit bias was present among police. Her response: "I think implicit bias is a problem for everyone, not just police."

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Two Years After Ferguson: Has Reform Happened?

The city has seen a Justice Department lawsuit, two new police chiefs and a significant drop in revenue since Michael Brown's death. But are the changes lasting?

Security forces detain a demonstrator during a protest against the shooting of unarmed black teen Michael Brown in Ferguson. REUTERS

This week marks the two-year anniversary of the fatal shooting of Michael Brown by former police officer Darren Wilson, who resigned from his position but was not charged. Twenty-four months, periods of unrest and a Justice Department investigation later, the city remains in the early stages of transition.

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Editorial: FBI Director Blows It in Race Speech

FBI Director James Comey gave an unprecedented speech on racial profiling and tensions amongst law enforcement, but then seemingly excused it all.

Originally published Feb. 17, 2015

In an unprecedented move, FBI Director James Comey addressed a crowd at Georgetown University on the racial tensions and culture of racial profiling amongst the law-enforcement community.

But that's where Comey made his mistake: He never acknowledged racial profiling as a cultural issue.

Instead of directly approaching the issues, Comey seemed to make excuses for them. Instead of admitting that racial profiling—and, more importantly, what lies behind it—is a cultural issue, he chose to quote a Broadway musical (Avenue Q) and note that "everyone's a little bit racist."

"I worry that this incredibly important and difficult conversation about race and policing has become focused entirely on the nature and character of law-enforcement officers when it should also be about something much harder to discuss," Comey said. "Debating the nature of policing is very important but I worry that it has become an excuse at times to avoid doing something harder."

But then he began to provide the excuses.

  • "Police officers on patrol in our nation's cities often work in environments where a hugely disproportionate percentage of street crime is committed by young men of color. Something happens to people of good will working in that environment";
  • "The two young Black men on one side of the street look like so many others the officer has locked up. Two young white men on the other side of the street, even in the same clothes, do not. The officer does not make the same sinister association about the two white guys, whether that officer is white or black";
  • :A tragedy of American life—one that most citizens are able to drive around because it doesn't touch them—is that young people in 'those neighborhoods' too often inherit from that dysfunction a legacy of crime and prison. And with that inheritance, they become part of a police officer's life, and shape the way that officer—whether white or Black—sees the world."

And this is where Comey's excuses begin to ignore the underlying cultural problems that lead to the rampant racial profiling that he sorta-kinda admits exists.

America is segregated. It is. In nearly every major city, the population is segregated.

Even in Ferguson, the police station is located in a wealthier, mostly white neighborhood. Michael Brown was shot to death—and police presence was almost nonexistent on the night Darren Wilson's lack of indictment was announced—in an almost entirely Black neighborhood.

In many cities, that police officer walking down the street won't see two Black guys on one side and two white guys on the other.

As a result, crime is segregated. Yes, somewhere in the neighborhood of 90 percent of the Black Americans who are murdered are killed by other Blacks.

And 83 percent of white murder victims are killed by other whites.

But somehow, on that mysterious street where segregation doesn't exist, the officer only sees the two Black men as resembling criminals the officer has arrested before.

Maybe it's because policing policy in his city unfairly targets Blacks and Latinos, e.g., Stop and Frisk (which has been declared unconstitutional) or Broken Windows policing in New York City.

Or maybe it's because almost every coworker this officer sees on a daily basis is white.

The U.S. Census Bureau has demographic data on police officers in 755 cities nationwide. In three-quarters of them, the percentage of white police officers is higher than the percentage of whites living in the city.

In 23 cities, the percentage of white police officers is three times the percentage of whites in the community.

In 29 cities, there are FIVE times as many.

So, yes, Comey was right in sorta-kinda acknowledging—something the FBI doesn't do very often—that there are racial disparities and issues that need to be addressed.

He just chose to address the symptoms instead of the cause.

Mothers of Black Victims of Violence Lead Movement for Change

The deaths of their children sparked a national debate about police reform and race relations, and they say the conversation must continue for change to occur.

When Trayvon Martin was killed four years ago, his mother became part of a cause she had no intention of joining: a movement to bring attention to the senseless deaths of Black Americans in suspiciously racial circumstances.

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New Black Ferguson Police Chief Vows to Clean House of Bad Cops

"It's our task to bring nobility back to this work and to make sure that we honor our badges, and we serve our communities with respect," said Delrish Moss upon being sworn in.

Police Chief Delrish Moss | Photo: Miami PD Twitter

Ferguson swore in its new police chief, Delrish Moss, this week.

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Cop Fired for Rejoicing Over Suicide of Black Lives Matter Activist

An Ohio officer used Facebook to express that a Black life lost is a good thing.

By Sheryl Estrada

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