SB 1070: California Is Not Arizona

hector villagra

Hector Villagra: Monday’s decision shows that Arizona is a failed experiment. Most of this law – most of it has been struck down. And the piece that remains is obviously on life support. And it’s just a matter of time before that dies the death that it deserves.

The Feds vs. The States: Supreme Court Must Decide Death Penalty Fight

death penalty vigil

Bruce Reilly: This legal battle will cost the taxpayers about a million dollars, just to see what will happen to Jason Pleau, a man that none of them likely care an iota about.

20 Years After the LA Riots: What Have We Learned?

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Dick Price & Sharon Kyle: What has changed in South LA — then South Central — where the flames shot to the sky 20 years ago, after an all-white jury exonerated the gang of police officers who had beaten a black motorist half to death, captured on video for all to see?

6 Rules for Becoming a Prosecutor

criminal prosecutor

Bruce Reilly: Hardly any new prosecutor will get a made-for-TV movie case, write a book, and get on the speaking circuit. The real job is very repetetive, threatening to jade and bleed your soul.

Activist Kwazi Nkrumah Arrested at Long Beach Port (updated)

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Sharon Kyle: Kwazi Nkrumah, a long-time civil rights activist, has been arrested in Long Beach where the Occupy Movement was gathering as part of “Occupy the Ports”, a coordinated West Coast port shutdown.

Bull Connor 2.0: The Police Response to #OccupyWallStreet

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David Love: The police response to the Occupy Movement flies in the face of the reputed tenets of American constitutional democracy, and contravenes the precepts of international human rights law.

Violence Goes to College

cal berkeley violence

Vijay Prashad: The priorities of the campus are clear. An Assistant Professor earns an annual salary in the low $60,000 range; a Lieutenant in the campus safety department (the man who fired the pepper gas, for instance) brings home $110,000.

Can Civilians Arrest Cops?

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Jeff Norman: Maybe the top cops and mayors of other American cities should visit Los Angeles, enjoy a few bong hits with Chief Beck and discuss how to treat peaceful demonstrators humanely.

Occupy the Bill of Rights

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Stephen Box: The students who witnessed the pepper spray assault began to chant “Shame on you!” while maintaining their distance.

Los Angeles Occupy Encampment Still Stands

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Sharon Kyle: Occupy encampments across the country have had bad encounters with police. Many Occupy encampments are being cleared out. But so far, Occupy LA stands – for now.

Tech Tip Tuesday: Brown OK’s Search of Cell Phones

Jerry Brown

Tech Tip Tuesday: Today’s Tech Tip: Don’t leave anything on your cell that you wouldn’t want to see in court. Until the law changes, erase questionable texts as soon as you have read them.

The Death Penalty as Ritualized Mob Violence

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David Love: When a white conservative audience cheered presidential candidate and Texas Governor Rick Perry over his execution record at a recent debate, it underscored what is wrong with the death penalty.

Let’s Stop Blaming Immigrants

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Alvaro Huerta: Whether it’s Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., blaming the wildfires in the Southwest on immigrants coming across the border or whether it’s the state of Alabama passing the harshest anti-immigrant law in the country, it’s clear that brown-skinned immigrants have become the targets of the day.

“So This Is America?”

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Tom Degan: Please, if you’re looking for an authentic American hero, you need search no further than Ray McGovern. He is holding up a mirror for all to see.

Police Have More, Better Rights than You

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Wendy McElroy: Even as the Illinois police defend their “right” to surveil everyone on the grounds that those being watched are in public, they deny the public the right to record them in the line of duty.

Cops Are Missing the Bad Guys While Profiling the Black Guys

Joe Morgan

David Love: Reading 12 Angry Men: True Stories of Being a Black Man in America Today made me angry, not because the subject matter was brand new to me, but because it was far too familiar – not only as a black man, but also as a human rights advocate who worked with police brutality victims and their families back in the 1990s, and decided to go to law school as a result.

The Stimulus, Koch Meeting Attendees Guarded By Police Saved By Stimulus

rancho mirage koch brothers protest

Lee Fang: Koch Industries takes advantage of government money for the same reason it funds climate change-denying journalists, academics, front groups, and think tanks: its goal is to maximize profit, even if it comes at the expense of the American public.

Egypt: Classic Failure of American Foreign Policy

Ben Ali and Hosni Mubarak

H. Scott Prosterman: The reign of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt has been a 30-year run of corruption and brutal repression, with tacit American approval, and a LOT of financial support.

Obama’s First Stand

Robert Reich: The President says a Republican proposal to extend the Bush tax cuts to everyone for two years is a “basis for conversation.” I hope this doesn’t mean another Obama cave-in.

In Defense of Public School Teachers

Mark Naison: In a country with one of the highest rates of poverty in the industrialized world, with almost no social safety net to help struggling families, our teachers have to create a positive learning atmosphere in classrooms filled with young people under stress.

NAACP President Ben Jealous Should Resign for Assisting in the Sherrod Assault

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Jonathan David Farley: His normally sluggish organization, which took three months even to discuss what to do, if anything, when a Life Member was receiving death threats from Klan supporters, reacted in one day when racist liars, who wanted a black woman’s head, ordered the heir of W. E. B. Du Bois to step and fetch it.

Marco Rubio Flipped Wrong on Arizona

Marco Rubio (R-Florida)

Andrea Christina Nill: Perhaps the most damning evidence that the law hasn’t really changed is the fact that its main sponsor, state Sen. Russell Pearce (R) admitted himself that the new wording won’t alter how the law is enforced. The changes also do not address the fact that the new law is likely unconstitutional on the grounds that it allows the state to regulate immigration — a power which the Constitution explicitly assigns to the federal government.

Arizona Law Author Kris Kobach Wants to Cast a Wide Net Against Latinos

kris kobach

Andrea Christina Nill: Wonk Room recently obtained an email written by Kris Kobach, a lawyer at the Immigration Reform Law Institute — the group which credits itself with writing the bill — to Arizona state Sen. Russell Pierce (R), urging him to include language that will allow police to use city ordinance violations such as “cars on blocks in the yard” as an excuse to “initiate quieries” in light of the “lawful contact” deletion

Van Jones, Man on a Mission

Van Jones is one of the founders of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, a non-profit organization based in Oakland, CA. Before Van Jones joined the Obama Administration, he was one of the founders of The Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, an organization that started as a vehicle for the fight for fair treatment by the police but broadened its reach to human rights for all.

Between the Lines: The Los Angeles Police Department Deputy Chief Who Made the Hard Sell of Trust

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The passing of Los Angeles Deputy Chief of Police, Kenny Garner, has left a stunned community pondering the question, “Who do we call now, when we want answers from LAPD?” Kenny Garner was a friend to me, the community, and most he met, and he had the hardest job of anyone in the community; convincing [...]

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