All posts by jasmynecannick

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L.A. District Attorney (Jackie Lacey) Silent on Pressing Charges Against CHP Officer in Video Beating

Marlene Pinnock became a household name when video emerged of a Black woman being repeatedly punched and socked by a white police officer on the side of a freeway.  Her videotaped beating would add to the recent rallying cry by African-Americans nationwide protesting police brutality and the killing of unarmed Black people.

At the time Pinnock was 51-years-old and had been off of her medication to control her bipolar disorder for several months.  She had been walking on the side of a Los Angeles freeway when California Highway Patrol Officer Daniel Andrew came upon her and the rest is history.

In the video you can see Pinnock receive multiple blows to her body and head by Officer Daniel Andrew.

According to court documents made public, Andrew claimed he had pulled a barefoot Pinnock from oncoming traffic and that she resisted by pushing him.  Andrew claimed that he then straddled her on the ground but that she resisted by “kicking her legs, grabbing the officer’s uniform and twisting her body.”

Andrew “struck her in the upper torso and head several times with a closed right fist,” the records say. CHP Commissioner Joseph Farrow and Assistant Commissioner Chris O’Quinnargued that Daniel Andrew’s actions (blows to Pinnock’s face and body) were to “protect her” they said from the slow moving rush hour traffic.

The incident was caught on video by a passing driver and quickly spread on social media and television news receiving millions of views. Once news broke of her beating, the CHP and the County of Los Angeles conspired to hide Pinnock under multiple aliases and hospitals, according to her attorney. While the CHP was less than truthful in the beginning about Ms. Pinnock’s injuries, medical records later revealed that she was hospitalized for a month behind former Officer Andrew’s repeated blows to her head. CHP investigators seized Pinnock’s medical records via a search warrant, according to the Associated Press.

“There was a direct attempt to discredit Ms. Pinnock by the CHP,” said her attorney Caree Harper.  “They wanted to assassinate my client’s character because she had an illness that is suffered by millions of Americans including journalist Jane Pauley.”

It didn’t work.   A federal lawsuit was filed against the CHP in July, 2014, and on September 24, 2014, the case settled. Attorney Caree Harper set precedent by obtaining terms in the actual settlement agreement that dictated the termination of the officers’ employment with the California Highway Patrol. Attorney Harper secured a $1.5 million dollar settlement for her client Marlene Pinnock, most of which was placed in a trust which was in January of this year.   Harper also provided her client with shelter, food, transportation, private medical assistants and basic essentials until the trust was completed.

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LA County DA, Jackie Lacey

Since then attorney Harper along with Black civil rights leaders have been lobbying Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey to charge Officer Andrew with attempted murder or at the very least felony assault under color of authority.

Under California law, DA Lacey has until July 1, 2015 to bring misdemeanor charges against Officer Andrew and until July 1, 2017 to bring felony charges—included attempted murder or assault.

Lacey, who made history as Los Angeles County’s first Black and first female elected district attorney, has been tight lipped on the Pinnock case instead seemingly choosing to focus on her reelection that is scheduled for 2016.

Lacey, Pinnock’s attorney pointed out, refused to press charged against the police officers involved in the 2012 death ofKendrec McDade, also represented at the time by Harper. McDade, 19, was shot to death on Mar. 24, 2012 when Officers Jeffrey Newlen and Mathew Griffin of the Pasadena Police Department responded to a report of armed theft of a man near a food truck.

Lacey deemed that the officers had acted lawfully when they shot McDade because the police officers reasonable believed that he was armed with a gun based on the information from the 911 call—even though that information was later proven to be false.

“This is a DA who did not obtain Michael Gennaco’s report from the Office of Independent Review’s on the McDade shooting that criticized the officer’s tactics and decisions. Because of Lacey’s decision to take no action, as of March 24, 2015 the statute of limitations expired and those officers can no longer be prosecuted” said attorney Caree Harper.

Ms. Pinnock is currently living in Los Angeles and working with her attorney and community activists to lobby District Attorney Jackie Lacey to press charges against Officer Daniel Andrew before the statute of limitations runs out. Her attorney, Caree Harper, a champion of civil rights and the underserved, continues to be involved in several high profile police misconduct cases including the beating of Clinton Alford by the LAPD, the takedown of a pregnant woman by Barstow police and the recent tragic shooting of Walter DeLeon also by the LAPD on June 19, 2015.

Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey can be reached by calling (213) 974-3512.

Attorney Caree Harper can be reached at www.careeharper.com.

 

Jasmyne A. Cannick is based in Los Angeles and can be reached at jasmyneonline.com or on Twitter @Jasmyne.

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LA Mayor Garcetti Finally Agrees to Meet with Black Lives Matter Activists (Dramatic Video)

*Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti  offered Tuesday to meet with members of Black Lives Matter Los Angeles, a group that has been calling for the firing of police Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck and two officers who fatally shot an unarmed black man last summer, a mayoral spokesman confirmed Tuesday.

The mayor hopes to meet with the group’s members soon, Garcetti
spokesman Jeff Millman said. The group’s members had been trying to secure a meeting with Garcetti ever since the Los Angeles Police Commission determined June 9 that one of the officers involved in the shooting of 25-year-old Ezell Ford last summer acted improperly, siding against Beck’s assessment that the officer acted correctly.

Black Lives Matter activists earlier this month camped for several days outside Garcetti’s home and attended many of his public appearances, but were unable to obtain a meeting with him. One of those encounters led to a scuffle between activists and police officers, with two members of Black Lives Matter getting arrested.

Garcetti’s offer to meet with members of the group today comes after city attorneys Friday tried unsuccessfully to obtain court orders to prevent the two arrested Black Lives Matter protesters — Evan Bunch and Luz Flores — from coming near Garcetti and Beck.
A second attempt Tuesday to request a stay away order by the City Attorney’s Office — this time to keep Bunch away from Beck — also failed.

Black Lives Matter Los Angeles released a statement saying that while they feel they should not have been forced to chase after the mayor, they “are relieved that (Garcetti) has finally decided to meet with us to discuss police brutality, the killing of Ezell Ford and Los Angeles police Chief Charlie Beck.”

“While Black Lives Matter Los Angeles feels that they should not have had to engage in the type of civic engagement that involved following Mayor Garcetti to various public events including camping out around the clock for 48 hours in front of his home just to get his attention, we are relieved that he has finally decided to meet with us to discuss police brutality, the killing of Ezell Ford and Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck. 

It is unfortunate that before we could get to this point, several members of Black Lives Matter Los Angeles were arrested just for trying to seek a meeting with their Mayor.  It is even more disheartening that the the Mayor choose to use City Attorney Mike Feuer to try and obtain protective orders against members of our group who were merely participating in civic engagement—the very thing the Mayor encouraged Angelenos to do during his campaign for office.

But in the spirit of moving forward, Black Lives Matter Los Angeles will overlook the Mayor sneaking out of the back door of his house and being less than truthful with his reasons for leaving town on the eve of the Board of Police Commissioners Ezell Ford policy ruling in an effort to come to the table to have a real discussion about solutions to police brutality in Los Angeles. 

We look forward to this first conversation with the Mayor. We are optimistic that this is the opening of the front door for the Mayor to engage in greater and more meaningful dialogue with Black Los Angeles on issues relevant to our community.”

Garcetti had assured the public earlier this month that Beck would “enact the appropriate discipline based on what the Police Commission” decided in the fatal police shooting of Ford, but Black Lives Matter activists expressed doubts at the time.

Melina Abdullah, an activist with Black Lives Matter, told City News Service after the commission decision that she does not trust a process that allows Beck — who had determined the officers acted properly — to be the one who metes out discipline against the officers.

“What we want is for Chief Beck to fire Antonio Villegas and Sharlton Wampler,” Abdullah said. “If he refused to do that, we also want Beck gone. We want him fired.”

Compton Mayor Aja Brown

Compton Mayor Invites Submissions for ‘Compton Champions’ Awards

Compton, CA – Ahead of the State of the City Address on July 10, Compton Mayor Aja Brown today released a video on social media inviting the public to submit nominations for the first annual Compton Champions Awards.

“The goal of the awards is to honor everyday Compton Champions,” says Mayor Brown. “The Compton Champions Awards gives us the opportunity to highlight, recognize and express appreciation for everyday leaders and heroes. Compton Champions will honor parents, neighbors, employees, teachers, students and others for their commitment to the service to others in the great city of Compton.”

Nominations are being accepted in the form of 15-second videos on social media tagged with #ComptonChampions or #ComptonSOTC.

The winners of the awards will be highlighted first during the State of the City set for July 10 at the Douglas F. Dollarhide Community Center and throughout the year.

The Mayor’s video invitation can be accessed and viewed here: https://vimeo.com/131742667.

Known as the “Hub City” for its unique position in almost the exact geographical center of Los Angeles County, Compton is a city of just under 100,000 that covers approximately 10.2 square miles. Compton is strategically located along the Alameda Corridor, a passageway of 25 percent of all U.S. waterborne international trade. The City is known for being home to several booming industries, among them transit and distribution, high technology, home and lifestyle products, metals, financial services, and textile manufacturing.

For more information, please visit www.ComptonCity.org. Follow the City of Compton on Twitter at @ComptonCityHall, Instagram at @ComptonCityHall and on Facebook at Facebook.com/ComptonCityCA. Now trending at #myCompton.

Compton Mayor Aja Brown

Compton Mayor Aja Brown Set to Deliver First State of the City Address

‘Compton Champion’ Awards to Highlight Local Residents, Employees, Businesses 

Compton Mayor Aja Brown

Compton Mayor Aja Brown

*Compton, California Mayor Aja Brown will deliver her first State of the City Address to residents, local business owners, elected officials, community leaders, and others devoted to and interested in the future success of Compton on Friday, July 10 at 6 p.m. The event will take place at the Douglas F. Dollarhide Community Center (301 North Tamarind Ave.). Mayor Brown is expected to share accomplishments from the past two years and plans for the future of Compton. Tickets are on sale at http://bit.ly/1fygb3A.

Mayor Aja Brown made history as the City’s youngest elected Mayor at the age of 31, since then she’s become a national trailblazer. Mayor Brown has begun implementation of her ‘New Vision for Compton’ revitalization strategy that is centered on 12 key principles that focus on family values, quality of life, economic development and infrastructural growth.

New this year are the ‘Compton Champion’ Awards, which will highlight local residents, students, community leaders and business owners for their positive contributions to the City of Compton.

To ensure access to all interested and maximum community engagement Mayor Brown has also announced that there will be free community watch party for the general public that will be held simultaneously at the El Camino Compton Center (1111 East Artesia Blvd.) in the gymnasium. Members of the public can R.S.V.P. at http://bit.ly/1RulRaI.

The 2015 State of the City Address will be livestreamed online via the City’s website www.ComptonCity.org.

For more information and the latest developments including special guests, follow hashtags #myCompton and #ComptonSOTC on social media.

Known as the “Hub City” for its unique position in almost the exact geographical center of Los Angeles County, Compton is a city of just under 100,000 that covers approximately 10.2 square miles. Compton is strategically located along the Alameda Corridor, a passageway of 25 percent of all U.S. waterborne international trade. The City is known for being home to several booming industries, among them transit and distribution, high technology, home and lifestyle products, metals, financial services, and textile manufacturing.

For more information, please visit www.ComptonCity.org. Follow the City of Compton on Twitter at @ComptonCityHall, Instagram at @ComptonCityHall and on Facebook at Facebook.com/ComptonCityCA.

Dylan Storm Roof

Jasmyne Cannick: When Racist, Uneducated, Mentally Ill Rednecks Have Guns

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The shooting in Charleston, South Carolina at Emanuel A.M.E. Church is just another example in a long line of examples that proves Americans are still plagued by issues of race, mental illness and a fundamental misunderstanding of history and current events.  When you have someone like 21-year-old Dylann Storm Roof who suffers from all three it can turn into a deadly situation.

Roof allegedly told the victims before the shooting, “You rape our women and you’re taking over our country. And you have to go,” said Sylvia Johnson, a cousin of the church’s slain pastor.

It is clear from that statement alone that Roof is delusional and delusional people with guns don’t mix well.

First, African-Americans didn’t ask to be here. While America likes to call herself a nation of immigrants, one thing African-Americans aren’t is immigrants.  Immigrants don’t arrive looking for a better life shackled and in chains.

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Second, the last thing Blacks are doing is taking over anything. While I wish that were true, it simply isn’t the case. Our numbers are getting lower with each census.

Third, on the subject of rape. Who was raping whose women first? Yes—that part. I seriously doubt there’s a contingency of Black men in South Carolina walking around hunting for white women to rape. That’s the mental illness I spoke of earlier.

Fourth, I think it’s fair to say Rachel Dolezal just got bumped as being the nation’s most hated white person. In a weeks’ time, there are now two completely crazy and delusional white people who are bringing national and international shame to their race and who are an embarrassment to the good white people of America who get it.

But still, Black folks everywhere need to be on alert. It’s clear we are still very much hated in every part of this country and that there are mentally ill people with guns willing to commit domestic terrorism to act on that hate.

Jasmyne CannickJasmyne A. Cannick is a native of Los Angeles and writes about the intersection of race, pop culture, class, and politics.  She was chosen as one of Essence Magazine’s 25 Women Shaping the World and One of the Most Influential African-Americans in Los Angeles Under 40. She can be found online at jasmyneonline.com. Follow her on Twitter @jasmyne and on Facebook at facebook.com/jasmynecannick.

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Black Lives Matter Los Angeles Takes Protest to LA Mayor’s Home

Tritobia Ford, mother of Ezell Ford killed by LAPD in August 2014, joins Black Lives Matter protesters in front LA Mayor Eric Garcetti's home on Sun. Jun 7.

Tritobia Ford, mother of Ezell Ford killed by LAPD in August 2014, joins Black Lives Matter protesters in front LA Mayor Eric Garcetti’s home on Sun. Jun 7.

Los Angeles, CA – Black Lives Matter Los Angeles will begin day two of Occupy LA Mayor with a 6 a.m. wake up call for Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti in front of his Hancock Park home Monday morning.  The activists plan to stay in front of Garcetti’s home until Tuesday morning when the L.A. police commission meets to decide the fate of the officers involved in the August 2014 South L.A. shooting of Ezell Ford.  Sunday, Tritobia Ford, the mother of Ezell Ford joined the protesters outside of the mayor’s home.

Occupy LA Mayor is in response to Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck and Inspector General Alex Bustamate’s determination that the two officers involved in the shooting of Ford were justified.

BLMLA has called on Mayor Garcetti to fire Chief Beck or else suffer the same fate of former mayor James Hahn who lost his re-election after Black support waned in the wake of his decision to not re-appoint then Chief Bernard Parks.  In addition the activists are calling on Garcetti to make sure that the police commission does not take up the decision of the two officers involved in killing Ford in closed session but instead in public and for Garcetti to craft a policy around providing reparations to the families of victims of police abuse and killings.

Citing what they say has been a dismal record of support for African-Americans in Los Angeles since taking office, BLMLA pointed to numerous issues with Garcetti’s representation of and relationship with Blacks in Los Angeles. Those issues include:

  • Garcetti’s failure in securing any federal aid Promise Zone funds for South L.A. but instead opting for affluent areas like Koreatown, Hollywood and Los Feliz, where the needs aren’t as great.
  • Garcetti’s silence and often times disappearing act whenever the issue of police brutality and protests pop up in Los Angeles conveniently leaving Council President and African-American Herb Wesson as the acting mayor to deal with the issue.
  • Garcetti’s lack of a real agenda for South L.A.
  • Garcetti’s support for redistricting maps that tore apart South L.A. and took away precious resources.
  • Garcetti’s firing of Black L.A. fire chief Brian Cummings just three months after he became mayor.
  • Garcetti’s seemingly non-existent presence in Black Los Angeles after stumping for the African-American vote to get into office.

 

Follow @BLMLA and @Jasmyne as well as the hashtags #OccupyLAMayor and #LAWakeUpCall on social media for the latest news regarding Black Lives Matter Los Angeles.