September 29, 2014

Schedule an Hour of Code, December 8-14, 2014

Join the largest learning event in history, December 8-14. The Hour of Code is a global movement reaching tens of millions of students in 170+ countries. Anyone, anywhere can organize an Hour of Code event.

One-hour tutorials are available in more than 30 languages. No experience needed. Ages 4 to 104.

September 28, 2014

Sunday Inspiration: To Realize...

To realize The value of a brother or sister:
Ask someone Who doesn't have one.

To realize The value of ten years:
Ask a newly Divorced couple.

To realize The value of four years:
Ask a graduate.

To realize The value of one year:
Ask a student who Has failed a final exam.

To realize The value of nine months:
Ask a mother who gave birth to a still born.

To realize The value of one month:
Ask a mother who has Given birth to a premature baby.

To realize The value of one week:
Ask an editor of a weekly newspaper.

To realize The value of one hour:
Ask the lovers who are waiting to Meet.

To realize The value of one minute:
Ask a person
Who has missed the train, bus or plane.

To realize The value of one-second:
Ask a person
Who has survived an accident.

To realize The value of one millisecond:
Ask the person who has
Won a silver medal in the Olympics.

To realize the value of a friend
Lose one.

Hold on tight to the ones you love!!

~ Author Unknown

This blog will continue to seek out Sunday Inspirations, a meme inspired by Sojourner's Place. Sunday Inspirations is just one way to help get us through the week ahead, the trials we may face, and yes, to say 'Thank You Jesus' and testify! I invite you to participate in this weekly meme as your contribution might serve as an inspiration to someone in need.

September 25, 2014

A Letter to My Younger Brother...

The following letter was written by a young Black millennial to his younger brother. Their generation is experiencing life in America quite different than those of past generations. But, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Past generations had Emmett Till (1955) and Medgar Evers (1963). This generation has Trayvon Martin (2013) and Michael Brown (2014).

After reading this letter written to his younger brother my hopes for the current and following generations of Black men and women in this county has been uplifted. He demonstrates in this letter that he has a good understanding of the problems. More importantly, he shows that he has the intellect, determination and desire to help seek equal justice for all Black People in this nation.

We need this young man to continue on his quest to gain equality and justice for all. After all, it will be HIS GENERATION who has the mission to recover all of the progress that we had accomplished, as a race of people, during the last 60+ years. Some would say that the nation is backsliding on those accomplishments and that progress ... but, after reading this letter, I'm encouraged more than discouraged!

NOTE: This letter was written on July 13, 2013 ... just moments after Trayvon Martin's killer was declared 'Not Guilty' in Florida.

Dear Brother,

I have included family on this email. I want them to know that I have done my best to adequately arm you for the war taking place outside our doors on you and young men that look like you.

You are a wonderful, strong Black man, and I love you. I love you so very much. I love us, all of us.

Dear brother, I would fight for you at every opportunity. I would die for you. There is nothing that you could ever do, or that anybody could ever accuse you of, which would change just how much I love you. I am so proud of the young man you are, and the man that I can see you becoming. You are an honor student who loves to solve Rubik’s cubes. Not just the basic Rubik’s cubes, but the 5x5 and 6x6. You are learning both Mandarin and French. You excel in math and science, and have ambitions of attending Stanford University and becoming and neurosurgeon, satisfying your curiosity of the workings of the brain. You are a phenomenal athlete and a physical specimen who works hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle, abstaining from drugs, alcohol, coffee, fast food, and overindulgence of sweets. You love your mom and your family.

You are everything that this country has asked you to be; everything that qualifies as success. But you are Black. You are a young, Black, man. And you are a threat.

Your voice is deep, like your father and your grandfathers, commanding attention and respect. You are tall and will grow taller. You are strong, and will only become stronger because it is in your genes. Your family has tried to protect you from the realities of the world by professing the equality of all men in the United States of America. We have convinced you that despite a history of racism and a plethora of contemporary examples, with hard work and dedication you can achieve anything hear, and you’ve believed us.

However, tonight I am convinced otherwise. It is possible for you to reach the lofty goals you have set for yourself. But it is incredibly likely that the brightness of your star will intimidate others. And if not the brightness of your star, then the complexion of your skin most certainly will. For that, you can be shot dead in the streets. Not just by police. By anybody.

Please believe that you, and I, your cousins ... we are all Trayvon. We are Black men. Anything in your powerful hands can be construed and depicted as a weapon. The concrete beneath your feet for example, is a weapon. Your two Black hands themselves are weapons. The base in your voice is like the vicious bark of a rabid dog to so many who could never imagine that you were an amazing human being. Far too many people out there don’t see you as a human being to begin with, let alone amazing.

Brother, you have asked to get your ears pierced. You feel this is an expression of your identity. To this, I say no. I cannot and will not allow it. I wish I could. You should have the right to express yourself as you see fit. After all, you’ve earned it. You’ve worked hard, and I have no doubt that you will continue. You are incredibly polite and respectful of both elders and peers. If your complexion was lighter, and your hair straighter, and you could pass for something other than the Black young man that you are, then maybe, just maybe, you’d be safe.

But you are a strong Black man in the United States, and I am not willing to lose you, so you can express your right to make a fashion statement. I pray others continue to show that you can’t judge a book by its cover. I hope that men of color, men with tattoos and piercings, men of all backgrounds continue to do amazing things and show the world that their assumptions about people are incredibly ignorant. I hope people of all colors around the country will dawn hoodies as a symbol of solidarity with all those who have been unfairly judged by a court of law, or a court of public or individual opinion. But you will not. Such actions will draw visibility to the issue and eventually bring about a real conversation about race, fear, and the legal system in America.

But I will not sacrifice my brother to this battle. The cards are already stacked against you. They have been since birth. Tonight, we were reminded the degree to which this is true. One move too quickly or one glance too long is all it takes. To lose you would be more than I could bear. But to lose you and to watch your killer walk free from punishment ... that would absolutely break me. You will not willingly provide another reason for them to take you out. You and your powerful blackness have provided enough already. I am sorry that I cannot always be there to protect you.

This letter brought to mind a video of famous Black actors that was shared during the height of the Trayvon Martin tragedy. I think it is appropriate to share it with you now:

September 23, 2014

Taser Death: Daniel Satre (Ballston Spa, NY)

Daniel Satre
It happened again! This time an unarmed man was electrocuted by 50,000 volts from each of the taser guns used on him by some or all of the six unidentified Ballston Spa (NY) police officers called to his home on Saturday, September 20, 2014.

The police officers were coming to arrest 43-old Daniel Satre for 'disorderly conduct'. I'm not a lawyer ... but, I'm fairly certain that the death penalty is not the legal penalty for 'disorderly conduct'. Again, we see a case of overzealous police officers using their not-quite-lethal taser guns when they feel the slightest bit of disrespect from a citizen.

This time the taser torture was caught on video by a neighbor.

A total of six officers were at the scene. They couldn't be patient or strategic enough to take Mr. Satre into custody without taser-torture. As a result, another unarmed human being is dead.

At a news conference the next day, Village Police Chief Charles Koenig said Satre was warned several times that officers were preparing to tase him. Koenig said criminal and internal investigations are being conducted, and that no disciplinary action had been taken against the officers who used the taser guns on Satre. Officers from both Ballston Spa and the State Police electrocuted Satre, officials confirmed.

OURstory: Mary Church Terrell (1863-1954)

Black History is something that should be shared 24/7/365 ... not just in the month of February. We should glorify OURstory whenever we have the chance to do so.

Villagers, it turns out that a remarkable nubian woman was born on this day (September 23) in 1863. Her name was Mary Church Terrell and she lived for 90 years and had a remarkable influence for African Americans ... particularly women.

You can click here to read her full bio. Here are some excerpts that I found uplifting:
She was a popular speaker and lecturer and wrote many articles denouncing segregation. Her appointment to the District of Columbia Board of Education in 1895 was a first in America for a woman of color. She resigned in 1901, was reappointed in 1906, and held the post until 1911. In 1909, she was one of two Black women (Ida B. Wells-Barnett was the other) invited to sign the "Call" and be present at the organizational meeting of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, thus becoming a charter member of the national organization. She assisted in the formation of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority at Howard University in 1914, accepted honorary membership, and wrote the Delta Creed, which outlined a code of conduct for young women.

Mary Church Terrell was involved in the international women's movement on three occasions. She represented Black women on the American delegation to the International Congress of Women at Berlin in 1904 and was the only women to deliver her address in English, German, and French. Her theme was equal rights for women and people of African descent wherever they may be found. In 1919, she received international recognition as a speaker on the program at the Quinquennial International Peace Conference in Zurich, and in 1937 she delivered an address before the International Assembly of the World Fellowship of Faith in London. In 1940, she wrote her autobiography, A Colored Woman In A White World.
This is an example of a powerful African American who may not be known well enough in our community. Villagers, did you know of this sister before today?

September 21, 2014

Sunday Inspiration: And Then It Is Winter

You know. . . time has a way of moving quickly and catching you unaware of the passing years.

It seems just yesterday that I was young, just married and embarking on my new life with my mate. Yet in a way, it seems like eons ago, and I wonder where all the years went. I know that I lived them all. I have glimpses of how it was back then and of all my hopes and dreams. But, here it is... the winter of my life and it catches me by surprise...How did I get here so fast? Where did the years go and where did my youth go?

I remember well seeing older people through the years and thinking that those older people were years away from me and that winter was so far off that I could not fathom it or imagine fully what it would be like. But, here it friends are retired and getting grey...they move slower and I see an older person now. Some are in better and some worse shape than me...but, I see the great change....Not like the ones that I remember who were young and vibrant...but, like me, their age is beginning to show and we are now those older folks that we used to see and never thought we'd be.

Each day now, I find that just getting a shower is a real target for the day! And taking a nap is not a treat anymore... it's mandatory! Cause if I don't on my own free will... I just fall asleep where I sit!

And I enter into this new season of my life unprepared for all the aches and pains and the loss of strength and ability to go and do things that I wish I had done but never did!

But, at least I know, that though the winter has come, and I'm not sure how long it will last...this I know, that when it's over on this's NOT over. A new adventure will begin!

Yes, I have regrets. There are things I wish I hadn't done...things I should have done, but indeed, there are many things I'm happy to have done. It's all in a lifetime.

So, if you're not in your winter yet...let me remind you, that it will be here faster than you think. So, whatever you would like to accomplish in your life please do it quickly! Don't put things off too long!

Life goes by quickly. So, do what you can today, as you can never be sure whether this is your winter or not! You have no promise that you will see all the seasons of your, live for today and say all the things that you want your loved ones to remember...and hope that they appreciate and love you for all the things that you have done for them in all the years past!

~ Author Unknown

It's Not What You Gather,
But What You Scatter That Tells What Kind Of Life You Have Lived.

This blog will continue to seek out Sunday Inspirations, a meme inspired by Sojourner's Place. Sunday Inspirations is just one way to help get us through the week ahead, the trials we may face, and yes, to say 'Thank You Jesus' and testify! I invite you to participate in this weekly meme as your contribution might serve as an inspiration to someone in need.

Rest in Peace: Troy Davis (1968-2011)

The state of Georgia carried out the death penalty on Troy Davis on this date in 2011.   He was declared dead at 11:08 pm ET on September 21, 2011.  Not much else to say at this point.

May God have mercy on his soul.

Happy Birthday: Kwame Nkrumah (1909-1972)

On this date we mark the birth of Kwame Nkrumah in 1909. Kwame Nkrumah became the first prime minister and later president of Ghana. He was born at Nkroful in what was then the British-ruled Gold Coast, the son of a goldsmith.

In 1930, at Achimota College in Accra, the capital of the Gold Coast Nkrumah earned a teacher's certificate and taught at several Catholic elementary schools. In 1939 he graduated from Lincoln University with B. A. degrees in economics and sociology, earned a theology degree from the Lincoln Theological Seminary in 1942, and received M. A. degrees in education and philosophy from the University of Pennsylvania in 1942 and 1943.

He also promoted Pan-Africanism, a movement for cooperation between all people of African descent and for the political union of an independent Africa. In 1945 he went to London, to study economics and law. That year he helped organize the fifth Pan-African Congress, in Manchester; with Black American sociologist and writer W.E.B. Du Bois, future president of Kenya Jomo Kenyatta, and American actor and civil rights activist Paul Robeson. In 1946 Nkrumah left his academic studies to become secretary general of the West African National Secretariat. That same year, Nkrumah became vice president of the West African Students Union, a pro-independence organization of younger, more politically aggressive African students studying in Britain.

He returned to Ghana in 1947 and became general secretary of the newly founded United Gold Coast Convention but split from it in 1949 to form the Convention People's party (CPP).

However, the strikes had convinced the British authorities to move the colony toward independence. In 1951 Nkrumah, while still in prison, won the central Accra seat by a landslide. The British governor of the Gold Coast released Nkrumah from prison and appointed him leader of government business. The following year he named him Prime Minister. Reelected in 1954 and 1956, Nkrumah guided the Gold Coast to independence in 1957 under the name Ghana, after an ancient West African empire. Nkrumah built a strong central government and attempted to unify the country politically and to muster all its resources for rapid economic development.

As a proponent of Pan-Africanism, he sought the liberation of the entire continent from colonial rule, offered generous assistance to other African nationalists, and initially pursued a policy of nonalignment with the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). His goal was never realized, but his efforts helped bring about the Organization of African Unity in 1963, which promotes peace and cooperation between African nations. In 1960 Ghana became a republic and Nkrumah was elected president. Between 1961 and 1966 Nkrumah put together an ambitious and very expensive hydroelectric project on the Volta River that though highly successful, was laced with economic mismanagement along with several other developmental schemes over the period.

As time passed he was accused of forming a dictatorship. In 1964 he formed a one-party state, with himself as president for life, and was accused of actively promoting a cult of his own personality.

Nkrumah did not hesitate to use strong-arm methods in implementing his domestic programs. He remained popular with the masses, yet his tactics made enemies among civil servants, judges, intellectuals, and army officers. While Nkrumah was visiting China in 1966, his government was overthrown in an army coup. He spent his last years in exile, dying in Bucharest, Romania, on April 27, 1972, while receiving treatment for throat cancer. Kwame Nkrumah's remains were returned to Ghana for burial in his hometown.

His legacy and dream of a "United States of Africa" still remains a goal among many.

610 Taser-Related Deaths in the United States Since 2001

Today we added 43-year old Daniel Satre (Ballston Spa, NY) as the 259th taser-related death in America since 2009. [NOTE: the full list is shown below].

According to Amnesty International, between 2001 and 2008, 351 people in the United States died after being shocked by police Tasers. Our blog has documented another 259 taser-related deaths in the United States in 2009-2014. That means there have been 610 documented taser-related deaths in America.

This blog has been pointing out incidents of police taser torture for quite awhile. The work done over the past few years by Patti Gillman and Cameron Ward continue to be the inspiration for our work. Gillman and Ward documented over 863 taser-related deaths in North America on their blog.

I wonder if anyone cares about the rising use of the taser as a lethal weapon?  At least we know that the Department of Justice cares.  They issued a report about the pattern of abuse against the mentally ill in Portland that included the frequent, unnecessary use of Tasers.   Recent deaths have begun to reignite the debate on taser torture.

On the other hand, I think that something is wrong in America when the police electrocute folks on a WEEKLY basis with their taser arsenal ... and the public is mute in its response. Cops are so liberal with their use of the taser that a blind man isn't safe! Sometimes it takes a lawsuit ... like the one recently settled in Ohio ... to get the police to cool it.  The police in Cincinnati, Ohio took the hint ... they changed their taser policy!  The top cop in Georgia thinks it is time to get more training.   The police chief in Dallas purchased taser guns that he thinks will be safer.

I encourage you to use our COMMENTS ('Post a Comment') option at the bottom of this blog post to let us know what you think about these weekly taser-related killings.

  1. Jan 9, 2009: Derrick Jones, 17, Black, Martinsville, Virginia
  2. Jan 11, 2009: Rodolfo Lepe, 31, Hispanic, Bakersfield, California
  3. Jan 22, 2009: Roger Redden, 52, Caucasian, Soddy Daisy, Tennessee-
  4. Feb 2, 2009: Garrett Jones, 45, Caucasian, Stockton, California
  5. Feb 11, 2009: Richard Lua, 28, Hispanic, San Jose, California
  6. Feb 13, 2009: Rudolph Byrd, 37, Black, Thomasville, Georgia
  7. Feb 13, 2009: Michael Jones, 43, Black, Iberia, Louisiana
  8. Feb 14, 2009: Chenard Kierre Winfield, 32, Black, Los Angeles, California
  9. Feb 28, 2009: Robert Lee Welch, 40, Caucasian, Conroe, Texas
  10. Mar 22, 2009: Brett Elder, 15, Caucasian, Bay City, Michigan
  11. Mar 26, 2009: Marcus D. Moore, 40, Black, Freeport, Illinois
  12. Apr 1, 2009: John J. Meier Jr., 48, Caucasian, Tamarac, Florida
  13. Apr 6, 2009: Ricardo Varela, 41, Hispanic, Fresno, California
  14. Apr 10, 2009: Robert Mitchell, 16, Black, Detroit, Michigan
  15. Apr 13, 2009: Craig Prescott, 38, Black, Modesto, California
  16. Apr 16, 2009: Gary A. Decker, 50, Black, Tuscon, Arizona
  17. Apr 18, 2009: Michael Jacobs Jr., 24, Black, Fort Worth, Texas
  18. Apr 30, 2009: Kevin LaDay, 35, Black, Lumberton, Texas
  19. May 4, 2009: Gilbert Tafoya, 53, Caucasian, Holbrook, Arizona
  20. May 17, 2009: Jamaal Valentine, 27, Black, La Marque, Texas
  21. May 23, 2009: Gregory Rold, 37, Black, Salem, Oregon
  22. Jun 9, 2009: Brian Cardall, 32, Caucasian, Hurricane, Utah
  23. Jun 13, 2009: Dwight Madison, 48, Black, Bel Air, Maryland
  24. Jun 20, 2009 Derrek Kairney, 36, Caucasian, South Windsor, Connecticut
  25. Jun 30, 2009, Shawn Iinuma, 37, Asian, Fontana, California
  26. Jul 2, 2009, Rory McKenzie, 25, Black, Bakersfield, California
  27. Jul 20, 2009, Charles Anthony Torrence, 35, Caucasian, Simi Valley, California
  28. Jul 30, 2009, Johnathan Michael Nelson, 27, Caucasian, Riverside County, California
  29. Aug 9, 2009, Terrace Clifton Smith, 52, Black, Moreno Valley, California
  30. Aug 12, 2009, Ernest Ridlehuber, 53, Race: Unknown, Greenville, South Carolina
  31. Aug 14, 2009, Hakim Jackson, 31, Black, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  32. Aug 18, 2009, Ronald Eugene Cobbs, 38, Black, Greensboro, North Carolina
  33. Aug 20, 2009, Francisco Sesate, 36, Hispanic, Mesa, Arizona
  34. Aug 22, 2009, T.J. Nance, 37, Race: Unknown, Arizona City, Arizona
  35. Aug 26, 2009, Miguel Molina, 27, Hispanic, Los Angeles, California
  36. Aug 27, 2009, Manuel Dante Dent, 27, Hispanic, Modesto, California
  37. Sep 3, 2009, Shane Ledbetter, 38, Caucasian, Aurora, Colorado
  38. Sep 16, 2009, Alton Warren Ham, 45, Caucasian, Modesto, California
  39. Sep 19, 2009, Yuceff W. Young II, 21, Black, Brooklyn, Ohio
  40. Sep 21, 2009, Richard Battistata, 44, Hispanic, Laredo, Texas
  41. Sep 28, 2009, Derrick Humbert, 38, Black, Bradenton, Florida
  42. Oct 2, 2009, Rickey Massey, 38, Black, Panama City, Florida
  43. Oct 12, 2009, Christopher John Belknap, 36, Race: Unknown, Ukiah, California
  44. Oct 16, 2009, Frank Cleo Sutphin, 19, Caucasian, San Bernadino, California
  45. Oct 27, 2009, Jeffrey Woodward, 33, Caucasian, Gallatin, Tennessee
  46. Nov 13, 2009, Herman George Knabe, 58, Caucasian, Corpus Christi, Texas
  47. Nov 14, 2009, Darryl Bain, 43, Black, Coram, New York
  48. Nov 16, 2009, Matthew Bolick, 30, Caucasian, East Grand Rapids, Michigan
  49. Nov 19, 2009, Jesus Gillard, 61, Black, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
  50. Nov 21, 2009, Ronald Petruney, 49, Caucasian, Washington, Pennsylvania
  51. Nov 27, 2009, Eddie Buckner, 53, Caucasian, Chattanooga, Tennessee
  52. Dec 11, 2009, Andrew Grande, 33, Caucasian, Oak County, Florida
  53. Dec 11, 2009, Hatchel Pate Adams III, 36, Black, Hampton, Virginia
  54. Dec 11, 2009, Paul Martin Martinez, 36, Hispanic, Roseville, California
  55. Dec 13, 2009, Douglas Boucher, 39, Caucasian, Mason, Ohio
  56. Dec 14, 2009, Linda Hicks, 62, Black, Toledo, Ohio
  57. Dec 19, 2009, Preston Bussey III, 41, Black, Rockledge, Florida
  58. Dec 20, 2009, Michael Hawkins, 39, Caucasian, Springfield, Missouri
  59. Dec 30, 2009, Stephen Palmer, 47, Race: Unknown, Stamford, Connecticut
  60. Jan 6, 2010, Delano Smith, 21, Black, Elkhart, Indiana
  61. Jan 17, 2010, William Bumbrey III, 36, Black, Arlington, Virginia
  62. Jan 20, 2010, Kelly Brinson, 45, Black, Cincinnati, Ohio
  63. Jan 27, 2010, Joe Spruill, Jr., Black, Goldsboro, North Carolina
  64. Jan 28, 2010, Patrick Burns, 50, Caucasian, Sangamon County, Illinois
  65. Jan 28, 2010, Daniel Mingo, 25, Black, Mobile, Alabama
  66. Feb 4, 2010, Mark Morse, 36, Caucasian, Phoenix, Arizona
  67. Mar 4, 2010, Roberto Olivo, 33, Hispanic, Tulare, California
  68. Mar 5, 2010, Christopher Wright, 48, Black, Seattle, Washington
  69. Mar 10, 2010, Jaesun Ingles, 31, Black, Midlothian, Illinois
  70. Mar 10, 2010, James Healy Jr., 44, Race: Unknown, Rhinebeck, New York
  71. Mar 20, 2010, Albert Valencia, 31, Hispanic, Downey, California
  72. Apr 10, 2010, Daniel Joseph Barga, 24, Caucasian, Cornelius, Oregon
  73. Apr 30, 2010, Adil Jouamai, 32, Moroccan, Arlington, Virginia
  74. May 9, 2010, Audreacus Davis, 29, Black, Atlanta, Georgia
  75. May 14, 2010, Sukeba Olawunmi, 39, Black, Atlanta, Georgia
  76. May 24, 2010, Efrain Carrion, 35, Hispanic, Middletown, Connecticut
  77. May 27, 2010, Carl Johnson, 48, Caucasian, Baltimore, Maryland
  78. May 29, 2010, Jose Martinez, 53, Hispanic, Waukegan, Illinois
  79. May 31, 2010, Anastasio Hernández Rojas, 42, Hispanic, San Ysidro, California
  80. Jun 8, 2010, Terrelle Houston, 22, Black, Hempstead, Texas
  81. Jun 12, 2010, Curtis Robinson, 34, Black, Albuquerque, New Mexico
  82. Jun 13, 2010, William Owens, 17, Black, Homewood, Alabama
  83. Jun 14, 2010, Jose Alfredo Jimenez, 42, Hispanic, Harris County, Texas
  84. Jun 15, 2010, Michael White, 47, Black, Vallejo, California
  85. Jun 22, 2010, Daniel Sylvester, 35, Caucasian, Crescent City, California
  86. July 5, 2010, Damon Falls, 31, Black, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  87. July 5, 2010, Edmund Gutierrez, 22, Hispanic, Imperial, California
  88. July 8, 2010, Phyllis Owens, 87, Caucasian, Clackamas County, Oregon
  89. July 9, 2010, Marvin Booker, 56, Black, Denver, Colorado
  90. July 12, 2010, Anibal Rosario-Rodriguez, 61, Hispanic, New Britain, Connecticut
  91. July 15, 2010, Jerome Gill, Race: Unknown, Chicago, Illinois
  92. July 18, 2010, Edward Stephenson, 46, Caucasian, Leavenworth, Kansas
  93. July 23, 2010, Jermaine Williams, 30, Black, Cleveland, Mississippi
  94. Aug 1, 2010, Dennis Sandras, 49, Caucasian, Houma, Louisiana
  95. Aug 9, 2010, Andrew Torres, 39, Hispanic, Greenville, South Carolina
  96. Aug 18, 2010, Martin Harrison, 50, Caucasian, Dublin, California
  97. Aug 19, 2010, Adam Disalvo, 30, Caucasian, Daytona Beach, Florida
  98. Aug 20, 2010, Stanley Jackson, 31, Black, Washtenaw County, Michigan
  99. Aug 24, 2010, Michael Ford, 50, Black, Livonia, Michigan
  100. Aug 25, 2010, Eduardo Hernandez-Lopez, 21, Hispanic, Las Vegas, Nevada
  101. Aug 31, 2010, King Hoover, 27, Black, Spanaway, Washington
  102. Sep 4, 2010, Adam Colliers, 25, Caucasian, Gold Bar, Washington
  103. Sep 10, 2010, Larry Rubio, 20, Caucasian, Leemore, California
  104. Sep 12, 2010, Freddie Lockett, 30, Black, Dallas, Texas
  105. Sep 16, 2010, Gary L. Grossenbacher, 48, Caucasian, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  106. Sep 18, 2010, David Cornelius Smith, 28, Black, Minneapolis, Minnesota
  107. Sep 18, 2010, Joseph Frank Kennedy, 48, Caucasian, La Mirada, California
  108. Oct 4, 2010, Javon Rakestrau, 28, Black, Lafayette Parish, Louisiana
  109. Oct 7, 2010, Patrick Johnson, 18, Caucasian, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  110. Oct 12, 2010, Ryan Bain, 31, Caucasian, Billings, Montana
  111. Oct 14, 2010, Karreem Ali, 65, Black, Silver Spring, Maryland
  112. Oct 19, 2010, Troy Hooftallen, 36, Caucasian, Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania
  113. Nov 4, 2010, Eugene Lamott Allen, 40, Race: Unknown, Wilmington, Delaware
  114. Nov 6, 2010, Robert Neill, Jr., 61, Caucasian, Mount Joy, Pennsylvania
  115. Nov 7, 2010, Mark Shaver, 32, Caucasian, Brimfield, Ohio
  116. Nov 23, 2010, Denevious Thomas, 36, Black, Albany, Georgia
  117. Nov 26, 2010, Rodney Green, 36, Black, Waco, Texas
  118. Nov 27, 2010, Blaine McElroy, 37, Race: Unknown, Jackson County, Mississippi
  119. Dec 2, 2010, Clayton Early James, Age: Unknown, Black, Elizabeth City, North Carolina
  120. Dec 11, 2010, Anthony Jones, 44, Black, Las Vegas, Nevada
  121. Dec 12, 2010, Linel Lormeus, 26, Black, Naples, Florida
  122. Dec 20, 2010, Christopher Knight, 35, Black, Brunswick, Georgia 
  123. Dec 31, 2010, Rodney Brown, 40, Black, Cleveland, Ohio 
  124. Jan 5, 2011, Kelly Sinclair, 41, Caucasian, Amarillo, Texas
  125. Feb 5, 2011, Robert Ricks, 23, Black, Alexandria, Louisiana
  126. Feb 24, 2011, Jermaine Sanford, 36, Race: Unknown, Los Angeles, California
  127. March 15, 2011, Brandon Bethea, 24, Black, Harnett County, North Carolina
  128. March 21, 2011, Jerry Perea, 38, Hispanic, Albuquerque, New Mexico
  129. Apr 3, 2011, Jairious McGhee, 23, Black, Tampa, Florida
  130. Apr 22, 2011, Adam Spencer Johnson, 33, Caucasian, Orlando, Florida
  131. Apr 23, 2011, Ronald Armstrong, 43, Caucasian, Pinehurst, North Carolina
  132. Apr 25, 2011, Kevin Darius Campbell, 39, Race: Unknown, Tallahassee, Florida 
  133. May 1, 2011, Marcus Brown, 26, Black, Waterbury, Connecticut
  134. May 6, 2011, Matthew Mittelstadt, 56, Caucasian, Boundary County, Idaho
  135. May 11, 2011, Allen Kephart, 43, Caucasian, San Bernadino County, California 
  136. June 13, 2011, Howard Hammon, 41, Caucasian, Middleburg, Ohio 
  137. June 22, 2011, Otto Kolberg, 55, Caucasian, Waycross, Georgia 
  138. June 28, 2011, Dalric East, 40, Black, Montgomery County, Maryland
  139. July 5, 2011, Kelly Thomas, 37, Caucasian, Fullerton, California
  140. July 10, 2011, Joshua Nossoughi, 32, Caucasian, Springfield, Missouri
  141. July 19, 2011, Alonzo Ashley, 29, Black, Denver, Colorado 
  142. July 21, 2011, La'Reko Williams, 21, Black, Charlotte, North Carolina 
  143. July 30, 2011, Donald Murray, 39, Caucasian, Westland, Michigan
  144. August 4, 2011, Pierre Abernathy, 30, Black, San Antonio, Texas
  145. August 6, 2011, Everette Howard, 18, Black, Cincinnati, Ohio
  146. August 6, 2011, Debro Wilkerson, 29, Black, Prince William County, Maryland
  147. August 6, 2011, Gregory Kralovetz, 50, Caucasian, Kaukauna, Wisconsin 
  148. August 12, 2011, Joseph Lopez, 49, Hispanic, Santa Barbara, California
  149. August 17, 2011, Roger Chandler, 41, Caucasian, Helena, Montana 
  150. August 21, 2011, Montalito McKissick, 37, Black, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  151. August 24, 2011, Michael Evans, 56, Race: Unknown, Fayetteville, North Carolina
  152. August 30, 2011, Nicholas Koscielniak, 27, Caucasian, Lancaster, New York
  153. September 11, 2011, Tyree Sinclair, 31, Black, Corpus Christi, Texas
  154. September 13, 2011, Damon Barnett, 44, Caucasian, Fresno, California 
  155. September 17, 2011, Richard Kokenos, 27, Caucasian, Warren, Michigan
  156. September 24, 2011, Bradford Gibson, 35, Black, Mt. Pleasant, Michigan
  157. September 24, 2011, Donacio Rendon, 43, Hispanic, Lubbock, Texas
  158. September 29, 2011, Howard Cook, 35, Black, York, Pennsylvania
  159. October 4, 2011, Glenn Norman, 46, Caucasian, Camden County, Missouri
  160. October 9, 2011, Darnell Hutchinson, 32, Black, San Leandro, California
  161. October 31, 2011, Chad Brothers, 32, Caucasian, Colonie, New York
  162. November 6, 2011, Darrin Hanna, 43, Black, North Chicago, Illinois
  163. November 13, 2011, Ronald Cristiano, 51, Caucasian, Bridgeport, Connecticut
  164. November 15, 2011, Jonathan White, 29, Black, San Bernardino, California
  165. November 22, 2011, Roger Anthony, 61, Black, Scotland Neck, North Carolina
  166. December 16, 2011, Marty Atencio, 44, Hispanic, Phoenix, Arizona
  167. December 22, 2011, Wayne Williams, 27, Black, Houma, Louisiana
  168. January 2, 2012, Mario Marin, 53, Caucasian, Santa Ana, California
  169. January 15, 2012, Daniel Guerra, 24, Hispanic, Ft. Worth, Texas
  170. January 15, 2012, Hutalio Serrano, 43, Hispanic, Colton, California
  171. January 24, 2012, Thomas Lumpkin, 57, Black, Alamance County, North Carolina 
  172. January 29, 2012, Camilo Guzman, 28, Hispanic, North Miami, Florida
  173. February 29, 2012, Raymond Allen, 34, Black, Galveston, Texas
  174. March 5, 2012, Nehemiah Dillard, 29, Black, Gainesville, Florida
  175. March 12, 2012, Jersey Green, 37, Black, Aurora, Illinois 
  176. March 19, 2012, James Barnes, 38, Caucasian, Pinellas County, Florida
  177. April 10, 2012, Bobby Merrill, 38, Black, Saginaw, Michigan
  178. April 21, 2012, Angel Hiraldo, 41, Hispanic, Meriden, Connecticut 
  179. April 22, 2012, Bruce Chrestensen, 52, Caucasian, Grass Valley, California
  180. May 10, 2012, Damon Abraham, 34, Black, Baldwin, Louisiana
  181. May 31, 2012, Randulph Rodas, 35, Hispanic, Merced, California
  182. June 9, 2012, Randolph Bonvillian, 41, Caucasian, Houma, Louisiana
  183. June 20, 2012, Macadam Mason, 39, Caucasian, Thetford, Vermont 
  184. June 30, 2012, Victor Duffy, 25, Black, Tukwila, Washington
  185. July 1, 2012, Corey McGinnis, 35, Black, Cincinnati, Ohio
  186. July 5, 2012, Sampson Castellane, 29, Native American, Fife, Washington 
  187. July 6, 2012, Joshua Salvato, 21, Hispanic, Ocala, Florida 
  188. August 21, 2012, Jerry Nichols, 64, Caucasian, Bend, Oregon
  189. September 1, 2012, Denis Chabot, 38, Caucasian, Houston, Texas 
  190. September 14, 2012, Bill Williams, 60, Caucasian, Everett, Washington
  191. September 17, 2012, Phillip McCue, 28, Caucasian, Bangor, Maine 
  192. October 21, 2012, Anthony Lawson, 27, Black, Corona, California
  193. November 29, 2012, Robert Maurina, 46, Caucasian, West Allis, Wisconsin
  194. December 13, 2012, Philip Coleman, 38, Black, Chicago, Illinois
  195. December 15, 2012, Darryll Briston, 49, Black, Washington, Pennsylvania
  196. December 25, 2012, Kevin Culp, 29, Black, Richmond, Washington
  197. January 1, 2013, Andrew Layton, 26, Caucasian, Mankato, Minnesota
  198. January 4, 2013, Marcus Slade, 32, Black, Marshall, Texas 
  199. January 17, 2013, Bruce Thomson, 49, Caucasian, Logan, Utah
  200. February 4, 2013, Cody Towler, 34, Caucasian, Roswell, New Mexico 
  201. February 8, 2013, Stephen MacKenzie, 54, Caucasian, Flint, Michigan 
  202. February 16, 2013, Charles Baker, Jr., 30, Black, Jamestown, New York
  203. February 23, 2013, Christopher Parker, 33, Caucasian, Spokane, Washington 
  204. March 3, 2013, Ray McKelvey, 26, Caucasian, Canyonville, Oregon
  205. March 21, 2013, Bobby Madewell, 51, Caucasian, Longview, Texas
  206. March 24, 2013, Khari Illidge, 25, Black, Phenix City, Alabama
  207. March 30, 2013, Lawrence Baumann, 51, Caucasian, Santa Barbara, California
  208. April 5, 2013, Mark Couturier, 50, Caucasian, Los Angeles, California
  209. April 10, 2013,Thomas Sadler, 45, Caucasian, Raleigh, North Carolina
  210. April 19, 2013, Anthony Howard, 51, Black, Gaithersburg, Maryland
  211. April 19, 2013, Anthony Firkins, 33, Caucasian,  Nampa, Idaho
  212. May 16, 2013, Jermaine Darden, 34, Black, Ft. Worth, Texas 
  213. May 17, 2013, Guillermo Cedano, 44, Hispanic, Montibello, California 
  214. June 2, 2013, Guy Guthrie, 55, Unknown, Conifer, Colorado
  215. June 7, 2013, Will Berger, 34, Caucasian, Spokane, Washington
  216. June 9, 2013, Mark Koves, 28, Caucasian, Thornton, Illinois 
  217. June 9, 2013, Noel Mendoza, 43, Hispanic, Meriden, Connecticut
  218. June 22, 2013, Gregory Price, 56, Caucasian, Roseburg, Oregon 
  219. June 29, 2013, George Harvey, 39, Black, Augusta, Georgia
  220. July 10, 2013, Gerald Altomare, 30, Caucasian, St. Cloud, Florida
  221. July 11, 2013, Antonio Johnson, 40, Black, Bridgeton, Missouri
  222. July 21, 2013, Deomain Hayman, 28, Black, Wilmington, Delaware 
  223. July 22, 2013, Thomas Martinez, 40, Caucasian, Coralville, Iowa 
  224. July 23, 2013, Jason Nalls, 40, Black, Wenatchee, Washington
  225. July 24, 2013, Dainell Simmons, 29, Black, Middle Island, New York 
  226. July 26, 2013, John Wrana, 95, Caucasian, Forest Park, Illinois 
  227. July 29, 2013, Zheng Diao, 76, Asian, St. Louis Park, Minnesota
  228. August 6, 2013, Israel Hernandez, 18, Hispanic, Miami, Florida 
  229. August 21, 2013, Michael Ruiz, 44, Hispanic, Phoenix, Arizona 
  230. August 21, 2013, Lawrence Owens, 55, Black, Farrell, Pennsylvania
  231. September 2, 2013, Norman Oosterbroek, 43, Caucasian, Miami, Florida 
  232. September 3, 2013, Gary Beto, 52, Caucasian, East Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  233. September 14, 2013, Jonathan Ferrell, 24, Black, Charlotte, North Carolina
  234. September 22, 2013, Michael Zubrod, 39, Caucasian, Northwood, Iowa
  235. October 11, 2013, Raymond Johnson, 41, Black, Moreno Valley, California
  236. October 13, 2013, Fernando Gomez, 36, Hispanic, El Paso, Texas
  237. February 4, 2014, Randall Hatori, 39, Asian Pacific Islander, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
  238. February 5, 2014, Willie Sams, 21, Black, Liberty City, Florida
  239. February 27, 2014, Treon 'Tree' Johnson, 27, Unknown, Hialeah, Florida 
  240. February 27, 2014, Maykel Barrera, 37, Hispanic, Miami, Florida
  241. April 11, 2014, Gregory Towns, 24, Black, East Point, Georgia 
  242. April 13, 2014, Edward Caruth, 38, Caucasian, Phoenix, Arizona 
  243. April 13, 2014, Jose Maldonado, 22, Hispanic, East Hartford, Connecticut
  244. May 11, 2014, Ron Hillstrom, 44, Caucasian, University Place, Washington
  245. May 14, 2014, George King, 18, Black, Baltimore, Maryland 
  246. May 24, 2014, Carlos Ocana, 54, Hispanic, Los Angeles, California
  247. June 7, 2014, Daniel Best, 34, Caucasian, Gilbert, Arizona
  248. June 21, 2014, Dominic Graffeo, 56, Caucasian, Chelsea, Massachusetts
  249. July 7, 2014, Ennis Labaux, 37, Black, LaPlace, Louisiana 
  250. July 12, 2014, Ronald Hewett, 50, Caucasian, Wilmington, North Carolina
  251. July 19, 2014, Francisco Rocha, 41, Hispanic, Chicago, Illinois
  252. August 8,  2014, Jose Paulino, 38, Hispanic, Tamaqua, Pennsylvania
  253. August 12, 2014, Dante Parker, 36, Black, Victorville, California 
  254. August 20, 2014, Arvel Williams, 30, Black, Perry Hall, Maryland
  255. August 24, 2014, Timothy Griffis, 35, Caucasian, Lake City, Florida 
  256. August 25, 2014, Timothy Rice, 33, Caucasian, Austin, Texas 
  257. August 29, 2014, Michael O'Connell, 44, Caucasian, Littlefield, Arizona 
  258. September 13, 2014, Ricky Hinkle, 47, Black, Birmingham, Alabama
  259. September 21, 2014, Daniel Satre, 43, Caucasian, Ballston Spa, New York

You can see that we don't know the race or national origin (RNO) for Kevin Darius Campbell, Michael Evans, Jerome Gill, Guy Gutherie, James Healy Jr.,  Treon 'Tree' Johnson, T.J. Nance, Stephen Palmer, Earnest Ridlehuber or Jermaine Lynnard Sanford.  We can use some research assistance from villagers to help us identify the RNO for these folks who died after being electrocuted by police taser guns.

We track the RNO information because we sense that these taser-related deaths are happening at a disproportionate level to people of color.

For example, we see that at least 108 (107 men and a 62-year old woman) of these taser-torture killings occurred against African Americans. Black people are only 13.6% of the total population, yet 42% of the 2009-2014 taser-related deaths in America are Black people.

At last count, there are more than 514,000 Tasers among law enforcers and the military nationwide. Tasers are now deployed in law enforcement agencies in 29 of the 33 largest U.S. cities. Some states, such as New Jersey, are loosening up their rules for taser use.  Other states, like Delaware, seek to justify taser use in spite of rising death toll.

However, the tide may be turning. As taser-related deaths and injuries have continued to rise (as well as the amount of Taser litigation), many departments are starting to abandon the weapon in favor of other means of suspect control. Currently, Memphis and San Francisco have opted to ban the use of tasers by law enforcement. Charlotte (NC) pulled all the tasers off the street.  Nevada revised their taser policy so that it would be more aligned to proposal from the ACLU.

South Carolina is beginning to question its use of tasers. Additionally, a federal court has ruled that the pain inflicted by the taser gun constitutes excessive force by law enforcement. The courts don't want police to electrocute people with their tasers unless they pose an immediate threat.

Perhaps the idea of an electric rifle made sense when it was first invented. "Taser" refers to an electrical weapon trademarked by the Scottsdale, Arizona-based company known as Taser International. The word Taser stands for "Tom A. Swift Electrical Rifle."

The Taser was developed by Jack Cover, a contract scientist on NASA's Apollo moon program in the 1960s. Inspired by his favorite childhood book series - Victor Appleton's Tom Swift - Cover drew up plans for a non-lethal weapon like the one the series' main character used.

In 1993, Rick and Tim Smith, who launched Taser International, worked with Cover to improve his design and introduced the device the next year. Since then, use of the word Taser has became part of the common American language.

However, we now see too much taser abuse. First available to law enforcement in February 1998, now used by more than 14,200 law enforcement agencies in more than 40 countries. More than 406,000 taser guns have been sold since the product hit the market. It may be time for congressional hearings.

Some tell us that tasers are making America safer. Police kill about 600 people per year in shootings. So what?! Should we be we be happy that they are ONLY killing people once-a-week with taser guns?

How Do Tasers Work? When a Taser’s trigger is pulled, two wires shoot out of the device at the suspect from up to 35 feet away. At the ends of the wires are probes that either embed in a person's skin or cling to clothing.
  • When the probes hit, an electrical pulse is delivered for five seconds, causing involuntary muscular contractions in the subject.
  • At the end of the first pulse, police tell the person to roll onto their abdomen, so they can be handcuffed. If they do not comply, they may be shocked again.
  • Once a person is arrested, police remove the barbs and call EMTs to the scene.
  • The person is taken to the hospital to be checked out. If the barbs remain in the person after police try to remove them, they are removed at the hospital.
  • The Taser is equipped with a chip that records information on each use, which can be used in court if someone alleges they were shocked multiple times.
Personally, I think that the 'Use of Force Continuum' needs to show tasers as 'near-lethal' ... definitely an error to claim that they are 'non-lethal'.

Many of us think that that immediate problem with Taser use is the lack of state and federal training standards for Taser certification. There are too many police officers with a taser on their hip and insufficient training on how ... or when ... to use it. Without set training standards (which includes a block on the liabilities of the weapons use in the event of bodily injury or death), officers are not fully aware of the ramifications of Taser use.

What say u?What would you suggest we do to deal with these weekly taser-related deaths?
Enhanced by Zemanta

September 20, 2014

Never a Good Idea to Refer to Shonda Rimes as an 'Angry Black Woman'

The Black Twitterverse exploded when Alessandra Stanley published her New York Times op-ed re: media mogul Shonda Rhimes earlier this week. I suspect that Alessandra didn't understand the blow-back that would be unleashed about the story referring to the 'Grey's Anatomy' and 'Scandal' powerhouse as "an angry black woman".

Shonda Rhimes went to Twitter to let folks know she wasn't happy with the description.

Shonda's star in 'Scandal', Kerry Washington, also had a short and sweet retort to the NY Times article:

There was a fury of Twitter posts using the #IWasAnAngryBlackWoman hashtag after the article was published.   And there is an online petition seeking to have an apology and retraction of the article.

Moral of the story? Don't use the phrase 'Angry Black Woman' unless you can back it up!