Thursday, April 30, 2015

White Majority - The Party's Almost Over

Watch it HERE

No Humans Involved

Lonnie Franklin Jr., "The Grim Sleeper"

I heard a story yesterday from a friend.  (Not on Instagram, or Facebook.  It wasn’t a Tweet or an e-mail.  It was a live-and-in-person real-time conversation.  Jus’sayin’!) We were in his car, returning from a meal at a great little restaurant in Albany, CA called Christopher’s nothing fancy.  I’m not a news junkie.  I don’t watch TV.  The story was new to me.  But the story inside the story was not new.  It’s been going on for a long time, and it was thrown into sharp relief for me by three little letters. 

NHI.  Police talk for “No Human Involved.”

From: badassdigest
“Over the course of twenty-five years a man in South Los Angeles killed at least twenty, and possibly over a hundred women. The police took little to no action to stop him, and they only caught him because his son happened to get arrested and a standard test matched DNA from a crime scene too old to have involved the son. How did this man - dubbed the Grim Sleeper by the media - manage to kill so many women?

Simple: they were black, they were prostitutes and most of them were drug addicts. While the police knew as far back as 1984 that there was a serial killer targeting women in a shockingly small area, they never bothered alerting the media. NHI is LAPD code, and it stands for “No Human Involved,” and it’s used when a junkie or whore is killed.”

I was shocked by this.  I shouldn’t have been.  No one who hasn’t been in a coma for the last four hundred years or so should know that rampant, vicious discrimination and racism have been a canker in out police departments, our government, our workplaces, our schools, and our entire culture.
And who would fit the “NHI” designation like a black hooker?  Soooo, the police knew since 1984 that someone was targeting (mostly) black prostitutes in a small area since 1984, he was finally arrested and has been in custody since 2010 and he doesn’t go to trial until when?  Jury selection is due to start June 30.  But hey, he just offed a bunch of black prostitutes – maybe they’ll give him a public service award.  

A police spokesman was quoted as saying, "When the majority of those crimes occurred was a different time and place in Los Angeles, and the crime rate was four times what it is now. The Los Angeles police department was a third smaller than it is now. Those were very, very difficult days, and things did not get investigated to the degree that we're able to do them now. I wish we could go back in time and fix all that, but that's not possible to do. But I will say that I'm extremely proud of Robbery-Homicide Division. I think they did a world-class job in that investigation." quote source

Uhhh, yeah.  Right.
Many Humans Involved: 'Tales of the Grim Sleeper' Offers Complex Look at Serial Murders

The Huffington Post |  By Matthew Jacobs   Posted: 10/06/2014 4:39 pm EDT 

There's only one way to look at "Tale of the Grim Sleeper," and that's grimly. The new documentary, which is screening as part of this year's New York Film Festival, tells the harrowing story of a section of South Central Los Angeles haunted by the disappearance of dozens of black women (many of them drug-addled prostitutes) since 1985. Lonnie Franklin Jr., labeled the "Grim Sleeper" because he appeared to take a 14-year hiatus before killing again, was convicted of 10 murders corresponding to those crimes, and most of the residents interviewed in Nick Broomfield's documentary believe he's responsible for the others.

When Broomfield ("Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer," "Biggie & Tupac") arrived in Los Angeles to investigate the crimes, he had little other than news reports with which to launch his film. That is, until he met Pam Brooks, a well-known resident of the neighborhood and self-described former "crack whore." Four years sober when the documentary was filmed, Brooks winningly guides the production from person to person and intersection to intersection as Broomfield and his son, Barney, who serves as director of photography on the project, meet scores of Franklin's associates, including several women familiar with his violent advances. 

"Tales of a Grim Sleeper" is fascinating on a filmmaking level because we watch the documentary process unfold in an organic manner. Brooks hops in the Broomfields' car and recruits acquaintances on the street for interviews by hollering out of the window to ask what they know about Franklin and his whereabouts. 

Moreover, the movie paints a dire portrait of institutional racism. Quickly after the killings began, some of the community formed the Black Coalition Fighting Back Serial Murders, because "had the third victim been a UCLA student with blond hair and blue eyes," the Los Angeles Police Department may have tended to the case properly, one member argues. Instead, the police told the coalition they were waiting for a gun to pass through their offices that happened to match the bullets found in the victims. They also withheld a sketch, a 911 call and other information about the serial killer for 22 years, until a Los Angeles Weekly article from 2008 exposed the limited attention given to the situation. Instead, the documentary alleges, the LAPD used as a crutch the NHI pretense, or "no human involved," which law enforcement uses to describe murders involving sex workers and drug addicts.

The world's oldest and possibly most dangerous profession.
What's most resilient about Broomfield's work here is that the movie seems to take on new life as it unfolds. It's clear the director didn't know what, if anything, he'd glean upon first planting himself in South Central. At the start, residents hurl racial slurs and urge him to leave. But he persists, and what unfolds over 105 minutes is an increasingly troubling look at vicious murders and the complicated backstory that informs how they're treated. There's no fancy camerawork and the editing has a stripped-down feel that may be mistaken for cheapness, but it's apt for a guerrilla-style documentary that grows increasingly grizzly. 

Franklin has been behind bars since 2010 and has yet to have a trial. But this section of South Central has been imprisoned since at least 1985, and if the LAPD's purported negligence is to be believed, so has the grander state of racism in America.

Watch Trailer HERE

"Tales of the Grim Sleeper" screens at the New York Film Festival on Oct. 6 and 7. It will air on HBO in 2015.

This is the all-too-common fate of sex workers around the globe.  Killed, and dumped on a roadside, like this woman in Mexico.

Think You Know What's Happening in Baltimore?

Everyone knows that there is trouble in Baltimore.  There is violence.  There is discrimination.  There is destruction.  But there are also people marching peacefully.  And there are gang members working together, yes, working with rival gang members to stop violence.

But the media - TV especially - wants you to see destruction and violence.  They want you to see black people angry, violent and destructive.  They want you to be afraid.  They don't want to bother explaining why there is so much anger in the black community.  They don't tell you that African Americans in Baltimore are in a struggle for their rights.  For their freedom.  For their very lives.

Rival gang member, Bloods (in red) and Crips (in blue) stood united alongside the Nation of Islam (right) and called for an end to the violence and rioting in the streets of Baltimore on Monday.  source

In extraordinary scenes in Baltimore, gang members from rivals the Crips and Bloods, accompanied by the Nation of Islam united to stop the violence on Monday.

While Baltimore rioted, these gang members did what no one expected — tried to keep the peace.

Watch the video HERE

Upworthy  Adam Mordecai Curator: Adam Mordecai

"We did not make that truce to harm cops. We did not come together against cops. We will not allow you to paint this picture of us."

The Baltimore riots didn't start because of one specific thing.

You've might have heard that the riots in Baltimore started when a young man named Freddie Grey who was arrested by police died after his spine was severed and his larynx crushed while he was in police custody.

Or because of a "purge."

Or because of something to do with gangs teaming up to hurt cops.
But you may not have heard the version of events according to some of the people on the ground — the gang members themselves.

WBAL reporter Deborah Weiner was at the scene of a community meeting with clergy and gang members when the gang members spoke with her to tell their side of the story.

Like This Post On Facebook

They had just left a meeting with clergy and explained that they're coming together to do what the cops are having a hard time doing on their own.

They spoke of the exhaustion the community feels at being portrayed in such a negative light.

And the message they want people to hear:

"They won't tell you the good side of what we're really doing in these communities," he said.
Most importantly, they spoke up about why they are speaking out.

While we can't confirm the events on the ground are all true, we do know that the police version doesn't seem to be entirely accurate.

Why are so many people questioning the police's response?

The Baltimore police have a history of aggression and overreach. Which includes, and I'm not making this up, beating up an 87-year-old grandmother with two college degrees after she called for help when her grandson was shot in the street. They've paid out over $5.7 million to victims of police misconduct in just the last four years.

Monday, a teacher on the scene reported that the violence may have partially been instigated by police.

Things escalated further. Videos of a police officer throwing rocks back at protestors and of multiple police officers attacking a press photographer were released.

Tuesday, some gang members stood up with city officials to ask for an end to the violence.
Reality is never simple. Nobody speaks for everybody.

The vast majority of the people in the street protesting aren't trying to burn Baltimore down. They're trying to piece it together and change things for the better. They are risking their lives to speak out against injustice wherever it comes from.

If you are thinking, "What about black-on-black crime?" then you should probably read this. If you are thinking, "Why are black people the only ones who riot?" then you should still read this. If you are saying: "Violence isn't the answer. Why would they do this?" then you should read this.

Remember, reports should never be taken at face value. The world isn't black and white. There is always more to the story. Or as these guys put it: Stop believing everything you’re hearing in the media.