What It Means for Jeff Ballabon to Call Ilhan Omar “Filth”

There too, Trump campaign advisor Jeff Ballabon found Representative Ilhan Omar. On Monday, Ballabon called Omar “filthy” during a Fox Business interview while accusing the progressive congresswoman of being an anti-Semite due to her criticisms of Israel and its right-wing leader, Benjamin Netanyahu.

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This is by now an old smear, told again and again about the Democratic congresswoman from Minnesota, but the most recent iteration of the cycle started last week. The New York Times reports that during an event at a Washington, DC bookstore, Omar, responding to accusations of anti-Semitism, “questioned why it was acceptable for her to speak critically about the political influence of the National Rifle Association, fossil fuel industries, and ‘big pharma,’ but not the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.”

via What It Means for Jeff Ballabon to Call Ilhan Omar “Filth”

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Rape Charges Dropped Against NYPD Cops Who Had Sex With Teen

In 2017, two NYPD detectives admitted to having sex with a teen in their custody. The detectives were charged with rape and kidnapping, but on Wednesday, Brooklyn prosecutors dismissed those charges.

According to the New York Daily News, former cops Richard Hall and Eddie Martins now face bribery and official misconduct charges for the September 2017 incident, in which they admitted to having sex with a teen identified as Anna Chambers after arresting her on a minor drug charge in Brooklyn.

Chambers, now 20, alleged the cops raped her, and DNA was found on her. The Brooklyn DA’s office, however, claimed Chambers made a number of “false, misleading and inconsistent statements,” including “false statements under oath,” which may have contributed to the dismissal. And though it is now (at long last) illegal for cops in New York to have sex with people in custody, that law did not exist in 2017. The age of consent in New York is 17.

via Rape Charges Dropped Against NYPD Cops Who Had Sex With Teen

Rikers Rape Victim Wins Settlement After Smuggling out DNA Evidence

Jane Doe, a woman who smuggled out clothing with DNA evidence on it after she was raped by a guard at Rikers won her $500,000 settlement in a civil lawsuit against the city in a rare victory on Monday, the Intercept reported.

According to the Intercept, Jose Cosme, the guard who sexually assaulted Jane Doe, cornered her in an office. Jane Doe accused another officer, Leonard McNeil, of arranging the rape after Cosme found out that McNeil had a sexual relationship with Jane Doe (any sexual relationship is considered non-consensual between a guard and a incarcerated person under New York law). McNeil was neither prosecuted nor disciplined.

via Rikers Rape Victim Wins Settlement After Smuggling out DNA Evidence

Videos Show Southwest Key Staff Dragging, Shoving Migrant Kids

Using state public-records laws, The Arizona Republic has obtained video from surveillance cameras showing staff at a now-shuttered Southwest Key shelter for migrant children in Arizona physically dragging and pushing children in their care. But authorities determined that the physical aggression used against the children last September does not constitute a crime.

This week, Splinter’s Samantha Grasso reported that the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office closed three cases of child abuse reported at the Hacienda Del Sol children’s shelter, operated by Southwest Key in Youngtown, Arizona, after only reviewing security camera footage and without interviewing the Southwest Key employees allegedly involved or the minors reported to have been abused.

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In the videos obtained by the Republic, incidents that occurred on Sept. 14, 17, and 21 involved shelter staff dragging, pulling, and slapping a young boy, and dragging another child against their will. The videos are blurred to protect the identities of the children.

via Videos Show Southwest Key Staff Dragging, Shoving Migrant Kids

Voter Suppression Is Real and It Really Affects Black People

I think we all can agree that the 2018 midterm elections are critical. This means that our votes matter more now than ever. But what happens when you’ve registered and are ready to participate in this good ol’ democracy but can’t?

Let’s talk about voter suppression.

Voter suppression is simple—it’s a set of tactics used to block voters from exercising their right to vote. And there’s a long, long history of voter suppression in the United States.

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Black men were allowed to vote after the Civil War thanks to the 15th Amendment, which was ratified in 1870. Because of Jim Crow laws, black folks were forced to take literacy tests and pay poll taxes, among other barriers to voting.

via Voter Suppression Is Real and It Really Affects Black People

‘Norms Are Being Challenged All the Time’: Joanne Freeman on Civility and the History of Congressional Brawls

A famous act of political violence is often used to illustrate the utter collapse of civic norms in the run-up to the Civil War: the caning of Charles Sumner by his fellow congressman, Preston Brooks of South Carolina, on the floor of the Senate.

It turns out, though, that this was just one of dozens of incidents of violence in Congress in the period between 1930 and the first shots fired at Fort Sumter, ranging from physical menacing to threats to brawls to duels—including one that killed an elected representative. This phenomenon, which has been little-understood thanks in no small part to the euphemism-laden legislative records of the era, has been rediscovered in The Field of Blood, a fascinating and upsettingly timely new book by Joanne B. Freeman. A professor of history at Yale, one of the world’s leading experts on Alexander Hamilton, and co-host of the podcast Backstory, she’s studied political violence for decades.

via ‘Norms Are Being Challenged All the Time’: Joanne Freeman on Civility and the History of Congressional Brawls

Federal inspectors find nooses, “serious violations” at ICE facility

Federal inspectors conducted an unannounced visit of an immigration detention center in southern California and found “serious violations” throughout the facility, where guards improperly placed adult inmates in disciplinary segregation and ignored more than a dozen “nooses” fashioned out of bedsheets.

The report, conducted by the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General, also showed that medical staff at the Adelanto, Calif., facility disregarded federal regulations governing the treatment of inmates by doing only cursory checks of inmates and making them wait months, sometimes years, to receive basic dental care, leading to tooth loss and “unnecessary extractions.”

via Federal inspectors find nooses, “serious violations” at ICE facility

Brett Kavanaugh, Sexual Assault, the Threat to ‘Every Man’

“I am willing to talk to the Senate Judiciary Committee in any way the Committee deems appropriate to refute this false allegation, from 36 years ago, and defend my integrity,” Supreme Court justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh said on Monday in what has now been his second statement denying sexual assault allegations made by Christine Blasey Ford.

Ford has agreed to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee but senators remain divided over whether to postpone voting on Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee or let Thursday’s vote carry on as scheduled. Trump himself seems committed to Kavanaugh’s nomination. When asked on Monday if Kavanaugh offered to resign, Trump responded: “What a ridiculous question.”

via Brett Kavanaugh, Sexual Assault, the Threat to ‘Every Man’

Brett Kavanaugh: The supreme showdown for Trump’s America – BBC News

A California professor and President Donald Trump’s pick to become the next Supreme Court justice will appear before senators to tell conflicting stories about a high school party 36 years ago.
The accuser and the accused, in the glare of the spotlight, with a lifetime seat to the most powerful court in the US at stake.
While the drama will be intensely personal, as she alleges he assaulted her and he strongly rejects the accusation, this is more than a clash of two individuals and their recollection of past events.
It also represents the confluence of two movements – one decades in the making, the other a recent, powerful groundswell.

via Brett Kavanaugh: The supreme showdown for Trump’s America – BBC News

London Cop Cleared After Ordering Strip Search of Woman Who Refused to Give Him Her Name

In a bizarre-sounding story, a police sergeant in London was cleared of misconduct this week for ordering his officers to strip search a philosophy lecturer who was detained after reportedly trying to give a 15-year-old a legal contact during a search. There’s a lot here, so bear with me.

The Guardian reports that Konstancja Duff, a lecturer at Nottingham University, was arrested in May 2013 during a stop-and-search sweep at an East London estate. Duff had reportedly been trying to hand a 15-year-old a card with legal services contacts and advice, when she was arrested by Metropolitan police. The card was given to her by a police watchdog organization, and at a recent Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC) panel, Duff testified that she’d been trying to help the teen.

via London Cop Cleared After Ordering Strip Search of Woman Who Refused to Give Him Her Name