Tag Archives: Women’s Rights

Can and How Will Immigrants Get Justice in Abuses Endured By Border Patrol?

Though this devastating reality is a reality for far too many immigrants, sometimes being reminded via things such as the following help keep those not impacted by it reminded that it is not a topic that has gone away and is in need of our attention now more than ever. As obvious as this may be, it is a sad but needed reminder for too many… Please take the time to read and share… Link to original post and more info is in link at bottom.

immigration mexico trimp

HOUSTON — Within hours of being booked at a Border Patrol station in far West Texas, two teenage sisters from Guatemala came forward to allege that an agent conducted an improper strip search.

The agent in question denied the allegations, including the sisters’ claims that he touched their genitals. He insisted he had only fingerprinted the sisters before taking them back to their cell.

Investigating the case came down to the sisters’ word versus the agent’s. And as in dozens of similar cases, government investigators sided with the agent.

Advocates say the case — outlined in a report compiled by internal investigators — shows the kinds of hurdles detained immigrants face when they make claims of misconduct, even when they come forward immediately, as the sisters did.

“These women were actually, for lack of a better word, lucky that their case was investigated,” said Christina Mansfield, co-founder of the advocacy group Freedom for Immigrants. “They are in the extreme minority in that regard.”

The sisters, ages 17 and 19, entered the U.S. without legal permission in July 2016, several days after leaving their home village in Guatemala. They were detained by Border Patrol agents shortly after crossing the border.

The Associated Press received a redacted copy of the investigative report through the Freedom of Information Act. It shows that investigators determined that the sisters’ allegations could not be substantiated due to a lack of physical evidence.

The station where the sisters were detained did not have cameras in the booking area. The room where the sisters say they were taken, later described as a supply room or a closet, wasn’t processed for fingerprints because the sisters said they didn’t touch anything. And the agent in question said he was alone with the sisters due to manpower shortages, the report says.

Immigration advocates say the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General, which reviewed the sisters’ case, rarely recommends action against officers. A study by Freedom for Immigrants found that between January 2010 and July 2016, the inspector general received 84 complaints of coerced sexual contact against U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which includes Border Patrol. The inspector general opened just seven investigations, none of which are known to have led to charges, according to the study, which was conducted by examining government records.

The study found a similarly low number of cases were investigated by the inspector general for detention facilities operated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

CBP would not directly address the sisters’ case or whether it disciplined the agent involved. The agency said it was committed to treating detainees with “professionalism and courtesy.”

Immigration authorities detain and process thousands of people every month who cross the U.S. border without permission. Border Patrol chief Carla Provost said in a recent interview that her agency takes any allegations against any of its 19,000 agents “very, very seriously.” Provost previously led CBP’s internal affairs division, which also investigates allegations of employee wrongdoing and that the agency has taken steps to strengthen in recent years.

“They are very few and far between,” she said, speaking generally about misconduct complaints.

The sisters were taken by agents to the Presidio Border Patrol station and booked into the same holding cell. The agents who detained them went out on another call.

According to the report, a third agent then took the elder sister out of the cell. He told investigators that he processed and fingerprinted each of them before returning them to their cell.

The elder sister told a different story. She said the agent took her into a back room that had a table filled with snacks and drinks. There, she says, the agent told her to lift her sweater and dress. The woman said that after a small photograph fell out of her bra, the agent pulled up her bra. Then, she said, he told her to remove her pants and underwear, then touched her genitals with the outer part of his hand.

The younger sister would accuse the agent of conducting a similar search.

Border Patrol guidelines prohibit male agents to strip-search female detainees “except in exigent circumstances,” and only then with another agent present to observe. Under the guidelines, a vaginal cavity search must be done by a medical professional at a medical facility.

When the agent later heard one of the sisters accusing him of misconduct, the report says, he “became upset and told the girl he didn’t make her do that.”

According to the investigators’ report, one agent said that “this is exactly the reason cameras are needed in the processing area.”

The accused agent would speak to investigators three times. The last time, an investigator noted the agent “appeared to be nervous and removed,” and he “had to constantly review a prepared statement” from his initial interview. But a month after the last interview, investigators took their case to a federal prosecutor, James Miller, who agreed with their conclusion that there was a “lack of evidence.”

Miller declined to comment on why he didn’t pursue a prosecution. The agent did not return phone messages from The Associated Press, nor did his attorney, Raymond Martinez.

The sisters were eventually released and went to live with their mother in California. One of the sisters has since sued the U.S. government. Court filings show both sides are now discussing a settlement.

Lauer reported from Philadelphia. Associated Press writer Colleen Long in Washington contributed to this report.

The Power in a Beautiful, Strong, INSPIRING, Black Woman Accomplishing What Most Only Wish For

I have said before and will forever say, the strongest soul in this world is that of a Black woman. Fighting against the odds of sexism and racism, it’s sad but so obvious the strength a Black woman must have. And little girls need to know this!! So let’s me introduce you to the boss on Wall Street….
suzanne shank wall street
A woman. A strong, beautiful Black woman; doing her thing and making her money… I rarely see much that inspires me, but this woman not only inspires me as a woman, but she inspires me for I know how many other women she can inspire.
Suzanne Shank is TRULY an inspiration; please share her story and let other little girls know they can do ANYTHING!
Article starts-
When most people think of Wall Street titans, they think of rich, white men who garner very little interest from our young people. This may be true, but it isn’t completely accurate because swimming with the sharks is a Queen our young people should know about.

Last year, Suzanne Shank became one of, if not the first, black woman to head a publicly traded financial services institution. Shank was promoted to CEO of Siebert Financial Corporation (a broker/deal institutional investment bank founded by Muriel Seibert). A monumental feat indeed, but no where near defines the career and future of this extraordinary woman.

In addition to holding this post, Shank is also the CEO of Siebert Brandford Shank & Co. LLC. It seems like a lot of work, but Shank splits her time between the two businesses and is doing very well.

As you can imagine, Shank’s resume is power packed, impressive and mind blowing to say the least.

Shank was a Wharton MBA graduate in finance, class of 1987, civil engineering degree from Georgia Institute of Technology, President, Municipal bond trader, CEO of Siebert Brandford Shank & Co, LLC, the largest minority-owned municipal finance firm in the United States.

Since the start of her firm, they have acted as managing underwriter for municipal bond transactions exceeding a whopping $1.2 trillion dollars and ranks among the top 10 in seven key infrastructure categories for underwriting municipal bonds in the world.

This powerful, black woman is one to remember as her trailblazing ways will continue to inspire, develop, nurture and create more and more great minds in our community.

We have to understand as a community, not everyone is going to fight the same fights…or fight in a manner we think they should. I don’t know how this woman gives back to the community, but that is her business. Here we are highlighting her because we believe her drive, success and background might resonate and encourage some of our young people to get off their backsides and put in work!

Source: BlackEnterprise.com

Video: Reading a Short and Relevant Essay by Tupac Shakur, 1992

Looking through some of Tupac’s writings I found this short essay he wrote…sadly I believe it to still be relevant today so I decided I’d read and share…

URGENT:Amazing Black Mother Savagely Beaten, Living in Torment; We Need to Help Her Demand Justice! PLEASE WATCH

UPDATE & URGENT ATTENTION NEEDED FOR ANTWYNETTE HOUSTON! PLEASE VIEW!

Black Female Police Brutality Survivor needs 3rd Surgery Cleveland Black Lives Matter

 

First is my plea to ALL ACTIVISTS. WHAT IF SHE WERE YOUR MOM?! SISTER, WIFE??…. NO ONE IS STEPPING UP; SHE IS SUFFERING AND CARRYING IT ALL; PLEASE LET’S ORGANIZE AND HELP HER OBTAIN WHAT IS RIGHTFULLY HERS SO SHE AND HER SON CAN HEAL AND MOVE ON!

please.
As I say, BLACK LIVES MATTER, and so does Antwynette Houston and her little boy. After suffering brutal assault, after a funeral and as her 9 yr old watches from the car, she is left with her shoulder so shattered (is the best way I know to describe it) and what’s more; she is left to deal with it along with everything else on her own while the abusive, sadistic officer wanders around freely. WE NEED YOUR HELP; IF YOU CAN ORGANIZE CHICAGO PLEASE, PLEASE HEAR ME OUT!

Video I just made, or skip below:

Antwynette lives in tremendous pain from being a mother and worrying to physical and trauma and of course, due to the expensive surgery (SHE STILL NEEDS ONE MORE BUT HAS NO FUNDS! I’ve got her gofundme at the bottom along with her paypal) she has the constant threat of being without a home each month. This strong woman is holding up the world and I do wish we as activists against racism and police abuse could help every person in need, I know that’s a lot easier said than done.

I’m not asking for that. I‘m asking, pleading and begging with those who organize protests and accomplish so much via them to please, rally up and help boycott the Kentucky Derby so her state and local government will realize we are NOT going to take racism, hate, police violence and disrespect -to say the least- towards women!

PLEASE SHARE… We *CAN* DO THIS! Imagine if this were your mother or sister or wife??? She is the best mom in the world; she is raising a brilliant little boy and she is doing it all with love and care for him. It’s beyond time something good happens to her, please, help me help her or simply help her; either way… please don’t ignore this…..

It’s sad that we have to ask and engage in protests and boycotts just so this horrible government and the law enforcement ‘officials’ will give the victim the justice and/or health care/financial comp/etc not only deserved but what any human with a good soul would want to happen for her and her 9 year old child without her having to take any more action.

She doesn’t have the money to obtain the surgeries she needs from the horrifically broken shoulder this off duty officer shattered; after her last expensive surgery (off borrowed money) she now is forced to live with homelessness as a possibility every month… Beyond that it gets no better. Antwynette lives in horrible, excruciating pain while longing to get back to living her life as her and her child were… As she struggles with these traumas, she continues raising her brilliant son with the most love any child could need; I wish I could have had a mother like her; he is blessed and I know her strength and love will be the foundation of his healing.

I don’t have kids but I love them; I can only imagine how Antwynette feels as she tries to hold up all that’s going on around her, waiting for the day when perhaps justice of any sort will be given so she can heal physically and emotionally!

So many mothers suffer and worry…and hurt over the pain of their child. He didn’t deserve this; she sure as hell didn’t deserve this- and we as the people, the people who KNOW the truth and KNOW we can make a difference must stand up for victims… ALL victims; and we can! Spread knowledge if nothing else, please…. If we unite and get out and make it so no one can say they haven’t heard about this atrocity, then perhaps things will move along a bit faster.

In Chicago and all over we’ve managed to unite and protest. This strong Black mother along side her precious and intelligent little boy will survive and get through this; I know it- we cannot settle for anything less; we won’t!

But what about the RIGHT NOW? … Do people not know? Do you not care? Feel you can’t contribute or… why are YOU inactive towards this cause?

Antwynette writes:
“For nearly 3 years I’ve endured severe pain, been unable to work and facing potential homelessness on a monthly bases. I continue to wait for the city of Louisville to pay for damages in which they have acknowledged responsibility.

My encounter with the Louisville Metro Police Department revealed several problems for citizens if they are physically harmed or left permanently injured by police personnel. Despite whether you are innocent of any charges or wrong doing, you will be left responsible for the cost of any and all medical bills resulting from your encounter with police until they feel like paying.
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I found out around August 2014, a whole year later, that I needed another surgery and that my injuries were more severe than originally thought. I asked the Commonwealth Attorney Tom Wine to intervene and press charges against the officer, he refused. I’ve since filed a lawsuit against the city and Officer Scott Sturgeon.

Well now I’m upset! I’m broken physically, emotionally, and mentally; and quite frankly, I feel compelled to take action myself and try to use public support to persuade the City of Louisville (or Mayor of Louisville) to do the right thing by making me whole again and charging now retired officer Scott sturgeon with felony assault. I’m asking each and every citizen of the City of Louisville & across the country to stand with me, and tell the City of Louisville, Kentucky; Mayor of Louisville, Kentucky; and the Louisville Metro Police Department to acknowledge the Officer’s excessive use of force against me over a parking violation & charge him, to acknowledge the injuries caused to me by the officer, to publicly apologize to me, and most importantly, pay all of my medical expenses (past, present, and future) that are directly related to the officer’s excessive use of force against me.

Until the City of Louisville corrects this misdeed, I’m also asking each of you to join me in boycott of the 2016 Kentucky Derby horse races being held at Churchill Downs and also all festivities surrounding the Kentucky Derby itself. I ask you to stand united with me, and please sign this petition to help right the injustice heaped on me. I sincerely thank you for any support you are willing to give me.”

Check out her written story as well as sign and share the mentioned petition by clicking HERE. Please, please be sure to share.

As in my video I say, the petition is simply to say you will join the rest of us in boycotting the Kentucky Derby, which brings in tons of money to the corrupt town. If they see their numbers go down, that people want the government to treat ALL of us with care, concern, respect and medical attention that is deserved beyond a doubt to victims, this is the most basic and mandatory of actions; give medical care to those in need!

Please spread the word; please let us find a way to give her relief from all the burdens she has had to hold up, not only as a mother, but ALL of it; from the mental and emotional to the financial stress and pain, she has suffered! And let no one forget, the extreme and very painful injury she received by an off duty officer.

She lives in pain, every, day. She’s a kind and good woman and mother; shouldn’t we do all we can to give her the kindness she deserves? Shouldn’t we be fighting hard as we can to demand her suffering to stop?!

How can we NOT do something??

The following is the previous article I wrote, for the interested. Old article begins:

In Kentucky, one early morning, Antwynette Houston pulled into a shop with her 9 year old son. Imagine if this were you. Imagine the trauma both her and her child endure both mentally and she also was severely physically wounded.

An off duty police officer approached her over something as insane as how her car was parked….
This guy for all she knew could have been anyone, he just stated he was a cop, and refused, refused, to call the police or show his badge; in any way identify himself as an actual cop.  After verbally harassing her for awhile, she was dragged out of her car and brutally attacked by an off duty police officer. 
Turns out he wasn’t even an officer, he’s a Sergent- doesn’t work the streets – but felt the need to harass this Black woman over ‘how she was parked.’ For that, she winds up being yanked out of her car -after she told him she had just had surgery a year prior,- breaks her shoulder & causing other serious injuries.

I feel her telling you is so much more powerful than anything I can say, so I beg you to please watch her video. She is in need of a 3rd surgery; in need of attention and justice. Let’s do all we can to help her get her life back on track- lord knows what this has done to her traumatically… This is exactly why we -anyone who cares for human rights in general but especially Black Lives Matter- need to help and bring attention to her traumatic case…
Here is her story;

Please donate to help her obtain the surgery she needs; the justice she deserves. If the media and the world is going to ignore the majority of police brutality cases, it is our job to help and expose in any way we can. If you can’t afford to donate, please, please share.
GoFundMe Surgery Account – Please donate what you can OR share; please!
Or if you prefer you can donate via PayPal by using/sending to the email address: wynetthouston@yahoo.com
Thank you so much… Please, please share…

Natasha McKenna Shackled & Handcuffed When Police Murdered Her, Report Admits

Okay. This is sickening and infuriating and sadly not the first time I’ve heard of things like this as when i worked for the national organization I’ve heard from women abused by
natasha mckennapolice or families who had a loved one murdered under similar situation. People, I hope, realize that just because it isn’t on the news does not mean it is a rare thing.

I also hope people understand that though it may seem like every abuse or death case would be online, even if it is just locally based, some victims of police brutality just as some families of murdered victims are often embarassed by the sort of abuse, or afraid to speak out thus it only is heard of if they decide to reach out for counselling or something similar, sadly.

Below is the heartbreaking and repulsive actions of police officers whom admit Natasha McKenna was handcuffed and had her legs shackled when the police murdered her. What the hell are the people doing; our previous method isn’t working so … my god how can people not be viciously outraged??

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Natasha McKenna was murdered by the police, plain and simple. There is really no other way to put it, or any other thing to call it when a woman is killed after being handcuffed and shackled.

Any attempt at justifying the taking of someone’s life who has been restrained to that degree is really just evidence that – to the apologist – there is nothing any member of law enforcement can ever do that will be condemned, no matter how abusive, brutal or grotesque.

Bettie Jones, Black Female, Opens Door & Chicago Police Fatally Shoot Her

Below is a petition regaring Bettie Jones, a Black woman, age 55, and Quintonio LeGrier , both murdered by ONE Chicago Police “accidently” when she opened her door.  Though caught on camera, despite us seeing Black men, women and children being slaughtered left and right (for hundreds of years), and despite the fact that even the Chicago Police Department admits they did indeed shoot her… BUT THEY SAY IT WAS ACCIDENTAL…

So accidental makes it acceptable? No, of course not! But that doesn’t stop them from somehow managing to give us the same results as we always get: the police were not wrong.

See more information on Bettie Jones below and please sign the petition and share… Thank you….

Bettie Jones Black Lives Matter

The morning after Christmas my wife’s aunt, Bettie Jones, was shot and killed by a Chicago police officer. She was 55,  a mother of five with many grandkids, and in good spirits. She was active in her community and in church every Sunday. The Chicago Police Department admitted she was shot on accident as she answered her door.

We’ve seen nationwide the same repeating story. A police officer uses excessive deadly force with ample video evidence. Prosecutors send the case to grand jury instead of charging the officer. This grand jury process is postponed months or years to quell public outrage. Ultimately, a grand jury does not indict any officer of wrongdoing.

A grand jury “meets in secret, behind closed doors. Its proceedings are usually one-sided, and are very different from a trial. Unlike a public trial, the accused person is not present (unless he or she is called as a witness), nor is his/her counsel present (even if he is called as a witness). Also, witnesses are not cross-examined.”

On December 28, a grand jury decided that the officers who killed Tamir Rice RIP, a 12 year old playing with a toy gun in a park and shot within “2 seconds” of  officers arriving, would face no charges. A grand jury decided that 2 seconds is enough time to evaluate a situation and use deadly force against a child. This process continues to fail our society.

Police arrived after being called by Antonio LeGrier, who lived in the apartment above Bettie, when his son Quintonio LeGrier, “who was suffering mental problems” and, according to his parents, became aggressive against his father, threatening him with a baseball bat.” His father called the police expecting they would help him.

Bettie and Quintonio were both fatally shot by one police officer, who opened fire on Quintonio from a distance (shell casings were found 20 feet away). My aunt Bettie was struck in the chest by the officer’s multiple shots. That officer was called to diffuse the situation, not to shoot on sight, not to kill, but to protect human life.

This isn’t new for the Chicago Police Department. They are currently under investigation by the Department of Justice. But while that investigation takes place, I want to see uncompromising justice for my family and the LeGriers. That will not happen if this case is sent to a grand jury.

The grand jury process should not be used in the killings of Bettie Jones & Quintonio LeGrier and the process should be banned for police shootings, just as states like California have done.

Quintonio LeGrier was a very smart kid studying electrical engineering at NIU. He developed emotional problems after spending most of his childhood in foster care. Not a criminal, but a hardworking student and beloved son going through a hard time. My aunt was loved and did not deserve to be killed in her own home.

Please sign my petition calling on State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez to not send this case to a grand jury and for the Illinois legislature to ban the grand jury process in Illinois police shootings.  

Black Female, Ralkina Jones, “I don’t Wanna Die in Your Cell”-Caugh on Video

Ralkina Jones was 1 of 5 women to die in just the month of July 2015 alone. Now we have a 16 year old Black female by the name of Gynnya McMillen – click here to learn the information that we do know.

This originally happened last year, but no story needs to go forgotten or untold. SAY HER NAME! Article Begins:

The death of Ralkina Jones, the 37-year-old woman who was found dead in her Cleveland Heights Police Department jail cell back in July after being arrested two days before, has been ruled accidental by the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office.

The official report lists Jones’ cause of death as sudden cardiac death in association with “postural tachycardia syndrome and obesity with amphetamine therapy.”

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Excerpt from Ralkina Jones’ autopsy reportCuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office

Jones, who was arrested July 24 following a dispute with her ex-husband, did mention that she had several medical conditions, including postural tachycardia syndrome, which were documented by officers, and she was reportedy treated. When officers saw that she seemed lethargic the following day, she was taken to a hospital, where she was evaluated and treated, before being returned to the jail. By July 26, however, she was found unresponsive in her cell bed.

Jones was one of at least five black women who died in police custody in July. Her death came a little over a week after Sandra Bland’s jail-cell death in Texas, which prompted questions and suspicions about Bland’s treatment and the treatment of black inmates in general.

While Jones was being booked, she was seen on video telling officers, “I don’t want to die in your cell.”

Click here for original article.