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lowpayisnotok:

President Barack Obama gives props to fast food workers in the Fight for $15 on Labor Day!!

thepoliticalfreakshow:

upporters of an Oklahoma City police officer who was charged with raping or sexually abusing eight black women have raised more than $7,000 for the 27-year-old cop.

Daniel Holtzclaw was arrested in August on charges of rape, forcible oral sodomy, sexual battery, and indecent exposure for allegedly sexually assaulting women while on patrol. He is being held on $5 million bond.

Friends and family of the three-year veteran of the Oklahoma City Police Department have created a Facebook page called “Justice for Daniel Holtzclaw.” They insist the criminal allegations against him are false, and have been using the page to try to sell shirts that read, “Free the Claw” and “#JusticeForDanielHoltzclaw.”

More than 500 people have “liked” the Facebook page.

Supporters of Holtzclaw have also launched a crowdfunding campaign on the websiteGoFundMe. The page was created by Holtzclaw’s sister, who hopes to raise $100,000 for her brother, according to MLive.com. The crowdfunding campaign has raised $7,390 so far.

“The pursuit of Justice will be lengthy, but with the support of Family, Friends, and the Community, Daniel Holtzclaw will be vindicated and justice will prevail,” the page states. “All funds raised will assist Daniel and his Family as they seek the JUSTICE Daniel Holtzclaw so rightly deserves.”

Prosecutors claim that Holtzclaw stopped women, who were all black and between the ages of 34 and 58, while on patrol and threatened to arrest them or physically harm them unless they exposed themselves, allowed him to fondle them, or had sex with him.

thepoliticalfreakshow:

People protesting the death of Michael Brownstopped traffic on Interstate 270 Monday near St. Louis.

People protesting the death of Michael Brown stopped traffic on Interstate 270 Monday near St. Louis.
Argus Streaming News / Via argusradio.com

The incident was broadcasted online by Argus Streaming News. According toKMOV 4, the blockage happened near W. Florissant, the Ferguson street where most of the protesting has happened.

The protest happened about 4:30 p.m. CDT as a group of people moved onto the freeway with their hands up.

The protest happened about 4:30 p.m. CDT as a group of people moved onto the freeway with their hands up.
Argus Streaming News / Via argusradio.com

The protesters were calling for Prosecutor Robert McCulloch to step down from the case, among other things.

The protesters were calling for Prosecutor Robert McCulloch to step down from the case, among other things.
Argus Streaming News / Via new.livestream.com

McCulloch is investigating Brown’s shooting by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. However, protesters and many community members generally have argued that his background makes it impossible for him to objectively run the case. Getting McCulloch to step aside has been one of the primary demands protesters have made in the weeks following Brown’s death.

Monday’s protest was brief; the freeway was only supposed to be shut for four and a half minutes to represent the four and a half hours Michael Brown’s body reportedly lay in the street.

Monday's protest was brief; the freeway was only supposed to be shut for four and a half minutes to represent the four and a half hours Michael Brown's body reportedly lay in the street.
Argus Streaming News / Via argusradio.com

During the two weeks after Brown’s death, numerous protesters also told BuzzFeed they were particularly upset that Brown’s body was left in the street for hours. Many in the community felt that it was disrespectful both for Brown and passersby, and that if Brown had been white the situation would have been handled differently.

Earlier Monday afternoon, it looked as though the freeway blockade wouldn’t happen.

Earlier Monday afternoon, it looked as though the freeway blockade wouldn't happen.
Argus Streaming News / Via argusradio.com

Protesters had discussed shutting down Interstate 270, but told The St. Louis Post-Dispatch they ultimately opted to postpone the event. “Until our demands are met it’s still on the table — some kind of highway action. When we’re ready we’ll tell everyone about it,” organizer Zaki Baruti told the paper Monday.

The call to postpone the protest came from Michael Brown’s family, the Post-Dispatch reported. The fact that some protesters opted to disregard Brown’s family’s request emphasizes the fact that the protests are populated by a diverse group of people who at times have differing views on what should happen.

Police were on the scene as the protesters blocked the freeway Monday, but members of Argus Streaming News said there were no conflicts and the protest remained orderly.

Police were on the scene as the protesters blocked the freeway Monday, but members of Argus Streaming News said there were no conflicts and the protest remained orderly.
Argus Streaming News / Via argusradio.com

Source: Jim Dalrymple II for Buzzfeed News

thepoliticalfreakshow:

FERGUSON • A planned protest to briefly shut down highways in the St. Louis area Monday has been postponed at the request of Michael Brown’s family, one of the protest organizers said.

"This is a postponement," organizer Zaki Baruti told reporters outside the Ferguson police department Monday afternoon. "Until our demands are met it’s still on the table - some kind of highway action. When we’re ready we’ll tell everyone about it."

Organizers had called for drivers to block area highways at 4:30 p.m. for 4 1/2 minutes today to protest Brown’s shooting. The time of the protest is meant to symbolize the 4 1/2 hours some say Brown’s body lay in the street after the shooting.

Protester demands include dismissing Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, who fatally shot Brown, and removing St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch from the investigation into the death of Brown, 18, on Aug. 9.

thepoliticalfreakshow:

Michael Sam, the first openly gay player drafted into the NFL, was not claimed by any NFL team after he was cut from the St. Louis Rams Saturday.

Michael Sam, the first openly gay player drafted into the NFL, was not claimed by any NFL team after he was cut from the St. Louis Rams Saturday.
Getty Images / Marc Serota

Once the Rams dropped Sam from their final roster, he was on “waivers,” meaning that other NFL teams had until noon today to take him. Based on last year’s win-loss record, the worst team in the league had the first chance to pick him up, and the best team had the last chance.

Still, Sam can sign to the practice squad for any NFL team — and the Rams are expected to sign him to their 10-man practice unit, according to league sources cited by ESPN.

Michael Sam has not been told of any teams that claimed him on waivers. Appears he went unclaimed. Now free to sign with a practice squad.

Update - Sep. 1, 4:08 p.m., ET: Michael Sam is not a part of the St. Louis Rams’ 10-player practice squad. The club made an announcement this afternoon, naming their practice squad roster. According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, the Montreal Alouettes are interested in signing Sam, potentially sending him to the Canadian Football League.

By the way, the @MTLAlouettes of the #CFL own the rights to DE Michael Sam. They have reached out to him, no word yet though.

We will continue to update this post as the situation develops.

Source: Logan Rhoades for Buzzfeed Sports

cultureunseen:

Charda Gregory abducted, humiliated, violated, restrained, scalped and tortured. 
If this were reversed, with black police officers who were sworn to uphold peace and justice but instead were documented victimizing a white woman (who was already a victim), this news would have trumped the Olympics!

Truncated version: drugged at a party, abducted to a motel, wakes up during unwanted sexual violation in a motel room full of strangers, fights like hell to escape, motel employee calls the authorities, she gets arrested for destroying motel property and it just gets worst from there.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IoBLolqUaNg 

Every officer who participated in it and even those who witnessed it and did nothing should be punished but instead they just fired the woman?
No rape kit, no police report on the people inside the motel room, no investigation of her claims, no accountability for missing motel entry records, no video from the motel but she gets detained for fourteen days?

(Btw, when did your tax dollars begin purchasing Abu Ghraib type water boarding chairs?)

(via iammyfather)

h/t: Edward McClelland at Salon

h/t: Calum MacLeod at USAToday.com

thepoliticalfreakshow:

FERGUSON • Police officers here began wearing body cameras on Saturday as marchers took to the streets in the most recent protest of a shooting two weeks earlier by a city officer that left an unarmed teenager dead.

Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson said his department was given about 50 body cameras by two companies, Safety Visions and Digital Ally, about a week ago. The companies donated the body cameras after the Aug. 9 shooting death of Michael Brown Jr. by Ferguson officer Darren Wilson.

Company representatives were at the police department on Saturday training officers to use the devices that attach touniforms    and record video and audio. Some members of the police department have been specially trained on the devices’ use.

“We are still playing with them,” Jackson said.

The cameras are being assigned to squads and each officer will get one to use, he said.

Jackson said the officers had the devices on during the protest march on Saturday and were able to capture video images of crowd members taunting officers.

“The quality is good,” he said.

The batteries in the cameras that were used on Saturday were drained because of their constant use throughout the day. “Under normal use the battery would last a full shift,” Jackson said.

Officers are receptive to the cameras, the chief said. “They are really enjoying them,” he said. “They are trying to get used to using them.”

The police department bought three dash mount cameras that it does not have the money to install, he said.

Video recordings are seen as a way to allow judges and juries to follow police-involved events as they unfold, helping to shed light through the often-conflicting or hazy recollections of eyewitnesses.

In the wake of Brown’s shooting, other police departments in the St. Louis area are also moving toward the use of wearable cameras. Ellisville approved a $7,500 expenditure shortly after the shooting to buy cameras    for its officers.

They are also catching on elsewhere. Earlier this month, a New York City official championed a $5 million pilot program to outfit 15 percent of the city’s police officers with wearable cameras.

Meanwhile, 152,000 people have signed a petition to create a national “Mike Brown Law” requiring all police to wear cameras.

thepoliticalfreakshow:

Michael Sam’s chances of playing in the NFL got worse today as every team let the window close on a chance to pick him up, reportsESPN.

The Rams cut the out defensive end from its roster on Saturday in favor of another rookie, Ethan Westbrooks, who had been undrafted. After putting Sam on waiver, teams had 24 hours to sign him, but none did. 

Now ESPN reports that Sam must focus on making a practice squad. Even there, the Rams won’t say if they will take Sam.

Sam reacted to Saturday’s news in a statement shared on social media, seeming hopeful about eventually making a team. 

"The most worthwhile things in life rarely come easy, this is a lesson I’ve always known," he said. "The journey continues."

Whether Sam deserved a spot on the Rams or another NFL team is hotly debated. Outsports described the Rams’ decision as solely based on which positions were available but said homophobia did “play a role” in his being passed over by the other 31 teams.

"Sam has proven he can play in the NFL," wrote the site’s co-founders, Jim Buzinski and Cyd Zeigler, in a joint editorial. “Only a couple other players have more sacks this preseason than his three. In a league that places a high value on pass rushers, and continues to develop rules that help passing offenses, guys like Sam are coveted. Sacks aside, he’s played well or very well in each of his three preseason games.”

Super Bowl-winning coach Tony Dungy made headlines for saying in Juy that he wouldn’t have taken Sam if he still led a team. Dungy said Sam “should have a chance to play, but I wouldn’t want to deal with all of it.”

Sam’s preseason has obviously not been devoid of homophobia. In one of the clearest incidents, happening in the week before Sam was cut, ESPN reported on whether fellow Rams players were showering with their openly gay teammate. The network apologized afterward and some on the team publicly voiced disappointment with the coverage, which included anonymous worries by Rams players about showering together. 

When Sam was drafted at number 249 of 256 players, the first uproar started because he kissed his boyfriend to celebrate while ESPN was broadcasting live. An online kiss-in started over the aggressively homophobic reaction that the kiss sparked across social media.

Almost immediately, Sam’s jersey for the Rams was a top-seller, showing his huge support. Even One Direction member Harry Styles sported a jersey during a concert in St. Louis. It was ranked second among rookies in sales only to star Johnny Manziel — who Sam sacked during the preseason. And Outmagazine put Sam on the cover of its sports issue.

Sam has been the target of the usual antigay voices. When the antigay Westboro Church picketed a basketball game that Sam was attending, thousands of supporters lined up outside to counter. Peter LaBarbera, president of the antigay organization Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, wrote an open letter encouraging Sam to get so-called reparative therapy and warned against his influence on black youth. A right-wing lobbyist named Jack Burkman pushed for national legislation that would ban any professional sports team from employing a player who “has openly declared himself to be a homosexual.” 

But even with all of that, Rams coach Jeff Fisher told reporters yet again on Saturday, according to The New York Times, that Sam wasn’t a distraction. “He’s not about drawing attention to himself,” he said. “He kept his head down and worked and you can’t ask anything more out of any player for that matter.”

A conservative group in Olympia, Washington has vowed to boycott Labor Day because of the holiday’s association with labor unions.

According to the Seattle Times, business backed conservative think tank the Freedom Foundation plans to protest the national holiday by refusing to take Monday off and having a “work-in” all day instead.

“I can’t think of a problem in society that can’t be traced in some way back to the abuses of organized labor, so it would be hypocritical of us to take a day off on its behalf,” said the Freedom Foundation’s CEO Tom McCabe.

Times columnist Danny Westneat pointed out that if McCabe really wants to protest union-led reforms in the workplace, then he should work every Saturday, as well.

“What’s odd about it, though,” Westneat wrote, “is that only 12 percent of American workers even belong to unions anymore. Yet we — I say ‘we’ because I’m in that 12 percent — somehow retain an almost supernatural mind-meld authority over the oppressed and hapless other 88 percent.”

Freedom Foundation materials call public labor unions a “disease” that is “running rampant” in Washington state.

Westneat pointed to Seattle-based company Boeing’s fiasco with the 787 Dreamliner jet-building program, in which Boeing management ran rough-shod over union protests about how the massive jetliners were being built.

“The 787 is now being called ‘a case study in how not to build an airplane,’” Westneat said. The jets were grounded all over the world after serious problems were found in their electrical systems and fuel lines, costing the company billions.

“It was the workers who warned that the program wasn’t going to fly, and management who ignored them,” Westneat wrote. “Yet it was management who were handsomely rewarded, while the workers — when they weren’t saving the Dreamliner debacle from imploding — who had their retirements slashed.”

“But let’s all protest against this and stagnant wages and outsourced jobs and all the other realities of work in America by…working on Labor Day!” the columnist concluded, saying that he isn’t just taking Monday off, “I’m boycotting Tuesday, too!”

h/t: David Ferguson at The Raw Story

h/t: Jack Jenkins at Think Progress Election

H/T: Bryce Covert at Think Progress Economy