Some African-American youth say they no longer feel safe walking down the street in their neighborhoods, not because of the rampant Black-on-Black violence taking young lives every day, but because of an incident on January 2010 when then CAPA High School student Jordan Miles was severely injured during an arrest by three undercover police officers. POSTERS SHOW FRUSTRATION—Young protestors says they fear and no longer trust Pittsburgh police officers. (Photo by J.L. Martello) “I was in school when this happened and I thought it was unfair. It’s scary. I live about five minutes away in Garfield. I had a friend who was killed by the police,” said Michael Clemm, a Peabody High School graduate close to Miles’ age. “It’s bad enough that people are shooting each other in the streets, but the people who are supposed to protect us, aren’t.” “If we can’t call the police, who are we going to call? They pulled this baby’s hair out by the roots,” said 22-year-old Shannon Williams. “They destroyed this child’s life. And nothing is being done about it.”
Daily Archive: May 11, 2011
Apparently, circumstances that could easily yield a state charge of aggravated assault are insufficient to win a federal civil rights police brutality prosecution in the Jordan Miles case. That was the essence of U.S. Attorney David Hickton’s May 5 press release noting there would be no federal prosecution of Pittsburgh police officers involved: JORDAN MILES “In order to prevail in court on a criminal civil rights charge, the government must prove that the law enforcement officer willfully deprived a person of a federally protected right. I have concluded that the evidence in this case will not support the heavy burden of a criminal charge against the officers.”
The epitome of the garrulous, boisterous Irishman, Rich Fitzgerald is the antithesis of his laid-back opponent in the Democratic primary race for Allegheny County executive, and he lets you know that immediately. “The difference in this race is between a guy who works hard—me—and one who doesn’t,” the Allegheny County Council president told the New Pittsburgh Courier Editorial Board. “All (Allegheny County Controller Mark Patrick Flaherty) is, is a sticker on a gas pump.” RICH FITZGERALD Before running for elected office, Fitzgerald made millions forming his own mechanical engineering firm and capitalizing on a need from improved steam control systems. He said he ran for Allegheny County Council because he was frustrated with young people leaving the area to find employment.
Though as a CPA and attorney he has a similar professional background to outgoing Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato, Mark Patrick Flaherty said he would not govern the same way if elected to succeed his current boss. That, he said, is what his opponent would do. MARK PATRICK FLAHERTY “I decided to run after Dan lost his bid for governor because I think the county needs to move in a different direction,” he told a May 2 New Pittsburgh Courier Editorial Board. “Our budgets haven’t been balanced and we aren’t solving problems. I see a lot of opportunities, but we can’t take advantage of them unless we get our fiscal house in order.”
Candidate forum MAY 11—The Black Political Empowerment Project and A+ Schools will host a 2011 School Board Candidate Forum at 6 p.m. at the Regional Enterprise Tower, 425 Sixth Ave., Downtown. Ten candidates seeking election to four school board positions are invited to share their views and answer questions. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, call 412-697-1298.
Week of May 14-20 May 14 RAMONA AFRICA, JOHN CONYERS JR. 1885—Erskine Henderson, an African-American jockey, wins the Kentucky Derby on “Joe Cotton”—a horse trained by Alex Perry—an African-American trainer. Henderson was the sixth Black jockey to win the coveted race. Indeed, Black jockeys and trainers dominated the Kentucky Derby from 1875 to 1902. However, while some of the reasons are not entirely clear, it appears that as the race became more and more prosperous Black jockeys and trainers were forced out.
by Stacey Patton (NNPA)—Understandably, the killing of Osama bin Laden unleashed strong emotions among Americans—relief, satisfaction, fears of retribution, denial, and even exuberance. But, there was something distasteful about the raucous celebrations that took place outside the White House, in Times Square and at Ground Zero. The late night news coverage gave us a one-night affair of fists pumping in the air, jubilant cries of “USA! USA!,” and demonstrators singing that famous post-game victory song “Na Na Na, Hey, Hey, Hey, Good-bye!” NO BIN?LADEN?PHOTOS—In this image taken from video and released by CBS, President Barack Obama is seen during an interview with “60 Minutes” correspondent Steve Kroft at the White House, May 4. Obama told Kroft that he decided not to release the photos taken of Osama Bin Laden after he was killed by Navy SEALS in Pakistan. (AP Photos/CBS) The next morning, a Muslim Community Center in Portland, Maine reported that it had been attacked by graffiti artists overnight. Scrawled across the base of the building were the words: “Osama Today, Islam Tomorrow” and “Long live the West.” Those hateful words underscore the fact the war on terror is not over. And, neither is the war on ignorance.
(The following is a reprint of a column that was written on Sept. 1, 2010. It was a prediction of the negligible results that perpetuated the necessity to march on the office of Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala. It gives me no satisfaction to say, “I told you so.”) If you have been a reader of my column, you may remember I wrote that there would be no prosecution of the three Pittsburgh police officers involved in the Jordan Miles incident. How did I arrive at that conclusion? There was a time in my life when I was a law enforcement officer in the Allegheny County District Attorney’s office and an investigator in the Pittsburgh O.M.I department (investigating complaints against police). Some of you may recollect when there was so much enthusiasm about the federal government becoming involved that I made the statement: Be very careful because the higher you go in the law enforcement field, the Whiter it becomes.
(NNPA)—“Every American lives in safe, decent, affordable, and energy efficient housing on fair terms.” National Urban League I AM EMPOWERED pledge If there was any doubt that middle- and working- class Americans are paying more than their fair share in the deficit reduction battles, the budget cuts recently enacted to prevent a government shutdown make it absolutely clear. Everything from Pell grants for college tuition to heating assistance for low income citizens suffered serious cuts. One of the most egregious and unconscionable cuts was the elimination of total 2011 funding—$88 million—for the Department of Housing and Urban Development housing counseling initiative. This cut comes in the midst of a housing foreclosure crisis that has hit communities of color especially hard.
(NNPA)—“Boarding that Greyhound bus to travel through the heart of the Deep South, I felt good. I felt happy. I felt liberated. I was like a soldier in a nonviolent army. I was ready.” Today, Congressman John Lewis is serving his 12th term representing Georgia in the U.S. House of Representatives. But, in May 1961 he was a 21-year-old student leader from American Baptist College, in Nashville, who volunteered to join the interracial group traveling through the South by bus to test the recent Supreme Court decision banning segregation in interstate travel. As a result, he was attacked by angry mobs for entering “Whites-only” waiting rooms, left unconscious on a bus station floor in Montgomery, Alabama after being hit in the head with a wooden Coca-Cola crate, arrested in Jackson, Mississippi for trespassing and disturbing the peace, and sentenced to time at Mississippi’s notorious Parchment State Prison Farm.