Jacob Blake shooting – arrest and charge police now

24 August 2020, Kenosha, Wisconsin – Three police officers caught on video are alleged to have tased and beaten a man, who moments later they shot in the back – seven times. Their victim is in stable condition; his children who witnesses the attack are obviously traumatized.  The police are facing nothing more serious than suspension at present.

With no arrests, the officers have been at liberty to do as they please, perhaps even ‘get their stories straight’? – as the family and community suffers.

Kenosha police do not have to wear video cams; they go by audio recordings only.  Two of the officers shouted ‘drop the knife’ at Mr  Blake although the witness who filmed the shooting say he did not see a knife.  In the video it looks as if there was no knife but car keys.

There is no need to wait for an investigation before there are arrests: they shot a man in the back seven times at point blank range.

The level of force was wholly disproportionate.

Sadly, this is Wisconsin.

The Kenosha District Attorney is Michael D Graveley, here he is pictured n 2016 after winning an award.

Gina Barton of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel wrote an article in May of this year, highlighting 18 deaths at the hands of Wisconsin police:  many of these deaths saw no charges brought, such as Larry Jenkins, shot while fleeing in 2002.

Let’s demand charges are brought immediately against police who shot Mr Blake.

ACTION:

Please contact Kenosha County District Attorney Michael D Graveley through one of the channels below and give them the following message, personalized to your liking:

 

The police officers who were involved in assaulting and then shooting Jacob Blake in the back – seven times at point blank range – are not under arrest:  why not?

Surely anyone with or without a badge who has acted in such a manner needs to be immediately arrested and charged appropriately.  As it stands, there are three officers who were seen to assault Mr Blake, who allegedly tased him, and then shot him in the back using lethal force when not necessary.  If he was tased, it is also possible he was in great pain and disorientated – the officers seem to have taken no account of this at all.

There is an allegation he had a knife – it looks as if he only had car keys.  With immediate effect I want to see the relevant officers arrested and charged to ensure they do not get a chance more than they have already enjoyed to ‘get their story straight,’ and I call on you to ensure that there is no attempt to in any way intimidate or interfere with the witness who captured the sickening events on tape.

It looks like Mr Blake may just have been trying to break up an argument – which would be even more damning for the police.  In any event, there was never any call to shoot him in the back at point blank range a massive seven times – and the person who did this needs to be behind bars:  not arresting them is an affront to justice.

Support including financial support must be made immediately to ensure the welfare of Mr Blake’s family, and going forward I want to see:  1 only competent, highly-trained police who have been screened to ensure no racists are given badges and guns; 2 immediate roll-out of mandatory body cam for all officers; 3 an independent inquiry into the operations of the Kenosha Police Department’s procedures and past controversial shootings.

Even a brief visit to the Kenosha County DA’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kenosha-County-District-Attorney/168227209859507 paints a very damning picture of how the police and your office operate, and this has to end today.

Phone:  262-653-2400

Email:  (form) https://www.kenoshacounty.org/forms.aspx?fid=73  and/ or Michael.Graveley@da.wi.gov

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kenosha-County-District-Attorney/168227209859507

Twitter:  @KenoshaCounty

 

And if you want to, please copy in the FBI:  they have a remit to investigate police corruption and racism, and sadly Kenosha looks like it would be fertile ground for such investigations:

Phone:  (202) 324-3000

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/FBI/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/FBI 

Once you have made contact, fill out the three fields below and click the orange banner to report taking action!

 

One Pulse for America Ahmaud Arbery letter to FBI

 

11 May 2020

TO: The Federal Bureau of Investigation

CC:  S Lee Merritt (attorney for Ahmaud Arbery’s family), American Civil Liberties Union, Black Lives Matter, Vic Reynolds – Georgia Bureau of Investigation, The Supreme Court of Georgia, Derrick Johnson,  president of the NAACP

Sirs,

Is Georgia institutionally racist?  We believe the evidence speaks for itself and the answer sadly is ‘yes, definitely’.

The murder of Ahmaud Arbery is one of the most outrageous cases that lead to that conclusion; sadly, it is not unique in Georgia’s history.  We are aware the FBI is investigating this case.  We write to ask the FBI to widen its scope and investigate more broadly how racism operates within the State of Georgia’s law enforcement agencies and governor’s office.

How can the execution of an unarmed jogger who is black by two white men not even lead to an immediate arrest?  Institutionalized, entrenched racism seems to be the answer to that question, and the entire state needs to be part of an investigation by an independent external body.  We know the FBI prioritizes hate crime, and as we have no confidence in Georgia to investigate its own corruption, we call upon the FBI to act.

We write to demand justice for Ahmaud Arbery, his family, friends and community.   We are disgusted that months elapsed with no arrests, and we are only too aware of the opportunities the suspects have had to synchronize their stories, alter or destroy evidence, and/or influence the outcome of legal action.  We will be watching intently, and we expect to see justice done and expect long custodial sentences for anyone found guilty of executing an unarmed person, especially as race has clearly played a part throughout this situation.  We also feel such an outcome is unlikely unless the investigation we ask for is held.

We want to see Georgia implement hate crime legislation; it is one of the few states that do not have any such provisions.  We demand Georgia upholds Federal hate crime legislation.  USA Today quotes Georgia Bureau of Investigations Director Vic Reynolds as saying: “There’s no hate crime (law) in Georgia.”  I would remind Mr Reynolds, one of the parties on copy of this letter, and the GBI that there are federal hate crime laws and these should be applied here, eg The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009.  No stone, no piece of relevant legislation can be ignored in this case.

S Lee Merritt, attorney for the deceased’s family, said and we agree: “Prosecutors will need a grand jury in order to formally indict these men, but that has nothing to do with actually going out and arresting the men seen on camera murdering a 25-year-old unarmed black man…  The prosecutors actually have the option, if they so choose to, to directly indictment [sic] and skip the entire grand jury process…It’s something that happens all the time in our legal system, and this would certainly be an appropriate moment.”  We demand an explanation as to how the grand jury route was chosen, who was involved, and this too should be part of the broader, essential investigation.

It speaks volumes that shooter Gregory McMichael is a retired Glynn County police officer and investigator with Brunswick’s district attorney’s office.  We demand a re-examination of every case he was involved in, however long that may take.  If this retired ‘professional’ thinks he is at liberty to execute suspects, then the public needs to know what other wrongs he may have committed, and whether they were racially-motivated.

We need to find out what hate groups the McMichaels may be involved in:  are they Klan members, neo-Nazis, far-right violence advocates?  We demand that no one involved in a hate group be permitted to work in any aspect of law enforcement or indeed the entire public sector.

We write as members of gun law reform group One Pulse for America, and normally we would write to a state governor to appeal for intervention in such a situation.  However, we have seen photos of Governor Kemp posing happily with a white man wearing an anti-Islam t-shirt.  We are aware of black community leaders’ feelings about Mr Kemp re-opening the state during Covid19 situation, and how this is very likely to particularly harm black citizens.  Kemp is tied to voter suppression, and is linked to cancelling 1.4 million voter registrations.  Kemp is also an endorsed supporter of the discredited National Rifle Association, linked forever with Russian agents, Russian money and Russian tampering in our 2016 elections.  We don’t want to appeal for his help:  we want to appeal for your investigation to examine him too.

Georgia’s gun laws are some of the loosest in the country; it is no wonder its shooting and gun death statistics are so appalling https://www.gunviolencearchive.org/congress/ga .  This must be challenged.

More lives will be lost, more injustices done and an independent, sweeping, thorough investigation into racism in Georgia’s law enforcement system must be conducted to try to correct this unacceptable status quo.

We demand this investigation be convened as soon as possible.  We also demand full transparency on the murder of Mr Arbery and want everyone culpable in mismanagement of the case investigated.

To Mr Arbery’s family, friends, and community we send our condolences, and One Pulse for America will be happy to take actions to demonstrate our support alongside you.  Please let us know how to help.

We want the FBI to respond to our letter.  We invite those on copy, whether they are part of the problem or the community organizations we are reaching out to, to send us their thoughts.  We will be only too happy to take other relevant actions to fight against Georgia’s out-of-control gun culture and racism.

Signed

The One Pulse for America team www.onepulseforamerica.com

And signed by c 630

One Pulse for America members (list available to addressee on request)

Hundreds sign One Pulse for America Ahmaud Arbery letter to FBI

11 May 2020-  for immediate release
Over 600 members of gun law reform group One Pulse for America sent a letter to the Federal Bureau of Investigation today, demanding the agency widens its investigation on the murder of Ahmaud Arbery.
The case of Mr. Arbery, who was shot and killed while jogging near Brunswick, Georgia in February, went without any arrests for over two months, sparking protests and outrage across the country.
The FBI is investigating the case, but the One Pulse for America letter demands the investigation scope be widened. The letter asks for scrutiny of everyone who should have arrested and charged the suspects, any ties the suspects may have to racist and/or far right groups, the extent racism played in the crime and its handling, and consideration of applying federal hate crime law.
Suzanne Kelly, a spokeswoman for One Pulse for America, said, “There are many shootings in Georgia we attribute to its lax gun laws, and the state sadly lacks hate crime laws most other states have. The murder of Mr. Arbery and the failure to immediately arrest those involved suggests cronyism and institutionalized racism. Nothing short of a wide-ranging, independent investigation leading to meaningful, concrete outcomes is remotely acceptable.”
A grand jury is to examine the case. Father and son suspects Gregory and Travis McMichael have now been arrested following the release of a damning video on social media. Gregory McMichael had a lengthy career as an investigator in the Brunswick district attorney’s office before recently retiring.
Kelly said, “The FBI should, as it prioritizes hate crime investigation, look into every case McMichael handled.  It needs to investigate every single person who should have acted to arrest, to gather evidence, to prepare a case and examine how and why they failed. Do these people have ties to McMichael, to extreme pro-gun, far right and/or racist groups? There is no room for such people in law enforcement, or anywhere in a democracy.”
One Pulse for America, the gun law reform activist group founded by George Takei, collected over 600 signatures from its members on this letter in two days; over one hundred members also sent emails, tweets and messages to the FBI and other agencies in support of Mr. Arbery’s relatives and community.
One Pulse for America was founded after the horrific Pulse nightclub massacre in which 48 people lost their lives. The members take actions on a range of gun-related incidents, contacting relevant officials and agencies to demand justice and change.ENDSAbout One Pulse for AmericaOne Pulse for America was founded by actor/LGBTQ rights activist George Takei in response to the mass shooting at The Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida on June 12, 2016.
The One Pulse for America Facebook group has been part of a successful effort to close the “passion gap” with pro-gun activists. Our members take daily action to bring strategic pressure on legislators and other decision-makers by amplifying support for gun violence prevention efforts at the national, state and local level. Our ultimate goal is to change social norms surrounding guns and obtain life-saving reforms that will end America’s epidemic of gun violence.
Related
Further information: Suzanne Kelly
sgvk27@aol.com
+44 (0) 7752 356 455

Condemn Donald Trump Jr for Clinton Assault Rifle posts

5 January 2020 – Donald Trump Jr took to Instagram and Twitter to pose with an assault rifle bearing an image of Hillary Clinton behind bars as well as crusader imagery, used by the far right and xenophobic groups.

Some news outlets are rightly calling the post incitement to violence.  Trump Jr is well aware he has many followers (4 million on Twitter) and that there are cases of people who follow his family being incited to violence (William Celli for instance).

The behavior of the president’s son in this case endorses assault rifles, targets Hillary Clinton – almost literally – and adds crusader imagery associated with the far right.  It is not a dog whistle, it is a clear message to his supporters endorsing shooting, violence, and arguably racism.

According to many experts and publications such as Voz Wire, “The Crusader Cross’ has often been used by far-right groups. The symbol is used to represent the anti-Muslim ideology. Both the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center have identified the symbol as one used by hate groups.

“On Monday, a spokesperson for Trump Jr. denied that symbol carried any white supremacist meaning.

“Symbols on firearms depicting various historical warriors are extremely common within the 2nd Amendment community. Don’s Instagram post was strictly about him using a famous meme to mock Hillary Clinton, as he and many others have done on numerous occasions and will surely do again in the future, so long as it continues triggering humorless liberals,” Trump Jr’s spokesperson Andy Surabian told CNN.”

ACTION:

Join in the condemnation of Donald Trump Jr’s post by please engaging via one of the channels below and using the following message, personalized to your liking:

It is a disgrace that Trump’s son should be  behaving so irresponsibly.  The image of Hillary  Clinton behind bars mixed with glamorizing an assault rifle may well incite violence:  his father’s words against groups from Muslims and Mexicans through journalists and Democrats has resulted in violent incidents, including at Trump rallies.  Trump Jr’s  glib photo is insulting the 41,000 Americans shot last year including those massacred with assault rifles and their loved ones.

 

Here are some of the best places to call out Trump jr’s vile post:

 

Instagram – DJT :  Instagram https://www.instagram.com/p/B67J4TTlnDn/ 

Facebook:  You can either post a message about this to your own page, or choose one of the many places this is being discussed, and add a comment.  Do your own search or use this one:  https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=donald%20trump%20jr%20assault%20rifle%20and%20Hillary&epa=SEARCH_BOX

 

Twitter Fred Guttenberg (see image of his tweet below:  https://twitter.com/fred_guttenberg/status/1214624687340343297

 

Once you have made contact, fill out the three fields below and click the orange banner to report taking action!  And remember, you can do this more than once.