A Bit of Good News; Rikers Island to be Shut Down, FINALLY 

I am going to only post this, and not ruin the good news with depressing facts about America and prisons overall. That’ll be another post. 🙂

After years of abhorrent conditions and abuses, New York City will shut down the notoriously troubled Rikers Island jail.

New York City will close the Rikers Island jail facility,” Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Friday. “It will take many years. It will take many tough decisions along the way. But it will happen.”

The details of what will come to replace Rikers Island are still unclear. As the New York Times reported, a commission previously recommended that the jail be broken up into smaller jails located in each of the city’s five boroughs.

De Blasio was previously skeptical
 of shutting it down, but it seems like public pressure to do something about the jail — and perhaps a looming reelection campaign this year — pushed him to change his mind.

Rikers Island is notoriously awful

Rikers Island has earned a national reputation for its terrible conditions, with horror stories regularly coming out.

One such story was that of Kalief Browder, who killed himself in 2015, after his release. He spent three years in the facility even though he was never convicted of the robbery he was wrongly accused of at the age of 16. He claimed he spent more than 400 days in solitary confinement, and he attempted suicide at least six times while at the jail. “I didn’t get to go to prom, graduation, nothing,” Browder told New York City’s ABC 7. “I’m never going to get those years back. Never.”

A New York Times article headlined “Rikers: Where Mental Illness Meets Brutality in Jail” detailed several other examples of abuse at the jail. In one case, officers reacted to an inmate’s suicide attempt by beating him:

After being arrested on a misdemeanor charge following a family dispute last year, Jose Bautista was unable to post $250 bail and ended up in a jail cell on Rikers Island.

A few days later, he tore his underwear, looped it around his neck and tried to hang himself from the cell’s highest bar. Four correction officers rushed in and cut him down. But instead of notifying medical personnel, they handcuffed Mr. Bautista, forced him to lie face down on the cell floor and began punching him with such force, according to New York City investigators, that he suffered a perforated bowel and needed emergency surgery. “

De Blasio and other city officials had worked to try to fix the jail facility. But the pace of change was slow, and the jail could never shake its reputation as a place of historical brutality. Now Rikers Island is closing down, affecting the roughly 9,000 inmates held there on a daily basis.
Click here for the full article. 

Obama’s Housing Secretary Warns Ben Carson to Support New York City Public Housing — Observer

Something I feel important to post…

“It is communities like New York City that propel our GDP, and it’s the many folks who live in HUD-assisted housing who are a part of that success.”

via Obama’s Housing Secretary Warns Ben Carson to Support New York City Public Housing — Observer

Real ID Act – Taking American Rights Away, One by One.

Introducing the new threat on American citizens, in the name of terrorism! *rolls eyes* Link to original article follows.

To comply with the 2005 Real ID Act, which the U.S. government has been slowly implementing for the past decade, citizens in a number of different U.S. states will now be forced to obtain a passport if they want to board an airplane – even for domestic flights.
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Woman Striving to Make NYC Hero, Maurice Osborne, Dreams a Reality; & You Can Help

Remember the man in the photo, Maurice Osbourne? He is the virtuous, honorable, gentleman, whom selflessly put his safety and life aside to protect a woman he didn’t know from being raped. Afterwards, when no one would assist him in escorting the sick pervert to the police, he did it by himself. He is studying to be a medical assistant, currently lives in a shelter in Brooklyn, and deserves so much love, respect and kindness given back to him. I say this as a female from NYC and as a survivor. Maurice Osbourne is a hero in my eyes. Below you’ll find his story, or you can find it in a previous post, located here.

Thankfully, another woman as thankful to this sweet, brave man as I am, wanted to do something nice for him. So she has started a GoFundMe page to help him get out of the shelter he is staying in and into his own place as well as pay his school debt and complete the rest of his education to be a Medical Assistant, Thus far $20,000 (give or take) has been raised. Every dollar counts, and if there is anyone more deserving of having something kind and heartfelt done for them, it is without a doubt Maurice Osborne. Click here to visit the GoFundMe page. Note: This woman did Maurice Osbourne NYC SUbway Heronot have any knowledge or contact with Maurice until after hearing about his heroic actions.

“In response to his brave act of heroism and on behalf of all women everywhere this fundraiser is to aid Mr. Osborne in paying for his school tuition and all expenses related. All proceeds raised through this page will go Mr. Osborne. Pay it forward and reward his good deed.
About the campaign:
I am a volunteer on behalf of a group of New York women who read Mr. Osborne’s story and wanted to personally thank him for his courageous actions. We are all locally based and wanted to show our appreciation for keeping our commutes safer. Continue reading

Amtrak is One of Many to Start Conducting TSA Searches

With the Pope visiting next month the government has found a new reason to violate citizens by imposing airport style security on any and everyone. Don’t worry, though! Of course it is for your safety, and my safety alike.

*Laughter begins.*

First, let me refresh everyone’s memory on what the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

I realize those who invaded America and claimed it as their own; and those whom wrote everything from the Bill of Rights, the ConstitutiTSAon and the Declaration of Independence were not perfect by any means. However, there are a lot of laws that make sense which most American’s ignore; including our own legal system. They get away with ignoring these governing laws because we, the vast majority of citizens in America, allow them to get away with it.

About 5 years ago the DHS started the “Blue Campaign” to combat human trafficking. In return American citizens were all suspects; anyone could be questioned or searched. Men  A quote from their site states:

“The Blue Campaign is the unified voice for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) efforts to combat human trafficking. Working in collaboration with law enforcement, government, non-governmental and private organizations, the Blue Campaign strives to protect the basic right of freedom and to bring those who exploit human lives to justice.”

Through the Blue Campaign, DHS raises public awareness about human trafficking, leveraging partnerships to educate the public to recognize human trafficking and report suspected instances. The Blue Campaign also offers training to law enforcement and others to increase detection and investigation of human trafficking, and to protect victims and bring suspected traffickers to justice.”

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Undercover NYPD, MTA, Metro, Documents Kept on BlackLivesMatter Activists

Repost! I’ll write my response to this insanity, or, make a YouTube video in response sometime this weekend. For now…Read this insanity; insanity that we were warned was happening, anyhow.~Eve
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Documents obtained by The Intercept confirm that undercover police officers attended numerous Black Lives Matter protests in New York City between December 2014 and February 2015. The documents also show that police in New York have monitored activists, tracking their movements and keeping individual photos of them on file.

The nearly 300 documents, released by the Metropolitan Transit Authority and the Metro-North Railroad, reveal more on-the-ground surveillance of Black Lives Matter activists than previous reports have shown, conducted by a coalition of MTA counterterrorism agents and undercover police in conjunction with NYPD intelligence officers.

This appears to be the first documented proof of the frequent presence of undercover police at Black Lives Matter protests in the city of New York, though many activists have suspected their presence since mass protests erupted there last year over a grand jury’s decision not to indict Daniel Pantaleo, a police officer involved in the death of Eric Garner.

The protest surveillance and use of undercover officers raises questions over whether New York-area law enforcement agencies are potentially criminalizing the exercise of free speech and treating activists like terrorist threats. Critics say the police files seem to document a response vastly disproportionate to the level of law breaking associated with the protests. Continue reading

Original & Creative Piece of NYC Street Art From Inspiring Photographer

First of all…Yes, I am going to make a separate site for random bits such as this, but until then, I think this post belongs here.

Not only as a photographer and artist, but simply as a person who appreciates art- this is inspiring. If you are wondering why this is on this page…ponder no more! Years ago, I learned the hard way… balance is needed in order to stay sane when working and dealing with issues of life, death, human rights, etc. For me, at least. I won’t ramble about what art and photography mean to me, I will save that for another blog. For now I just want to say… given the issues I deal with daily and the content on this blog, I think any form of positivity available should be embraced. So… Continue reading