Police Mass Murder Fact
As of May 1, 2015, 387 people have been killed by police since January 1, 2015 (that's a total of 120 days.) That's 3.225 people per day, on average.




Amnesty for all those arrested demanding justice for Freddie Gray!

Amnesty for ALL those arrested
demanding justice for Freddie Gray!

Sign and distribute the petition to drop the charges!
Spread this effort with #Amnesty4Baltimore

"A riot is the language of the unheard"
— Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

An estimated 300 people have been arrested in Baltimore in the last two weeks. Many have been brutalized, beaten and pepper-sprayed by police in the streets, and held for days in inhumane conditions. Those arrested include journalists, medics and legal observers.

One individual arrested for property destruction of a police vehicle is now facing life in prison and is being held on $500,000 bail. That's $150,000 more than the officer charged with the murder of Freddie Gray.  

The legal system has made it clear that they care more about broken windows than broken necks; more about a CVS than the lives of Baltimore's Black residents.

They showed no hesitation in arresting Baltimore's protesters and rebels, and sending in the National Guard, but took 19 days to put a single one of the killer cops in handcuffs. This was the outrageous double standard that led to the Baltimore Uprising.

 Sign the petition to drop the charges on all who have been arrested.

Petition to Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake

Download PDF of Petition 


Amn3.pngMayor Stephanie C. Rawlings-Blake
City Hall, Room 250,
100 North Holliday St.,
Baltimore, MD 21202

Dear Mayor Rawlings-Blake:

I stand in solidarity with those in Baltimore who are demanding that all charges be dropped against those who rose up against racism, police brutality, oppressive social conditions and delay of justice in the case of Freddie Gray. The whole world now recognizes that were it not for this powerful grassroots movement, in all its forms, there would be no indictment.

It is an outrage that peaceful protesters have been brutalized, beaten and pepper-sprayed by police in the streets, and held for days in inhumane conditions. Those arrested include journalists and legal observers.

Even the youth who are charged with property destruction and looting should be given an amnesty. There is no reason a teenager -- provoked by racists and justifiably angry -- should be facing life in prison for breaking the windows of a police car.

The City of Baltimore should work to rectify the conditions that led to this Uprising, rather than criminalizing those who took action in response to those conditions. Drop the charges now!

[add your name below]




Sign the Petition:


Dear President Obama, Senators, and Members of Congress:

Americans now owe $1.3 trillion in student debt. Eighty-six percent of that money is owed to the United States government. This is a crushing burden for more than 40 million Americans and their families.

I urge you to take immediate action to forgive all student debt, public and private.

American Federation of Teachers
Campaign for America's Future
Courage Campaign
Daily Kos
Democracy for America
Project Springboard
RH Reality Check
Student Debt Crisis
The Nation
Working Families



Bay Area United Against War Newsletter

Table of Contents:








Save the Date - UNAC National Conference, May 8 - 10, 2015

UNAC is the major national antiwar coalition in the U.S. today.  The existence of a United National Antiwar Coalition is vital and we need your financial support to continue our work and to expand.

With U.S. wars today accelerating and expanding globally in various forms – from drone attacks on Yemen and Pakistan, never-ending wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, support to neo-fascists in Ukraine, and proliferating Africom forces to threats of war for regime change in Syria – we have an obligation to do whatever is possible to educate the public and to take action to stop the carnage.

The wars abroad are connected to global warming with most wars fought over energy resources with the U.S. war machine as the largest polluter.

At home, we see hugely growing income inequality, a militarized and racist police force, mass incarceration of Blacks and Latinos, and a massive police state apparatus that includes global surveillance and laws to quell dissent.

In spite of the trillions spent by the U.S. corporate war government and its controlled media propaganda machine to keep us in check, the people are fighting back.  We’ve been inspired and strengthened by the hundreds of thousands of new activists taking to the streets of this country to stop police brutality, to build Occupy encampments, to fight for decent wages, to demand full rights for immigrants, to win marriage equality, to end global warming, to demonstrate solidarity with the besieged people of Gaza, and to protest unending U.S. wars.

UNAC has played an active, often leadership role, in all of the antiwar and social justice movements of our time.  While most activists are focused on their particular issues, the most vital role we can play is to connect the issues to their source.  All of the injustices and crimes we protest, stem from the imperialist insatiable drive for expanding profit and control – and the U.S. is the largest imperialist power militarily and economically.  When there should be plenty for all, only the obscenely wealthy benefit while the rest of the 99% struggle just to survive.

Some of our recent major accomplishments:

·       Initiated protest against NATO and 15,000 marched in Chicago in 2012.

·        Called for immediate actions against threats of war and coups directed at Libya, Iran, No. Korea, Africa, Latin America,    Ukraine, and maintaining the U.S. presence in Iraq and Afghanistan.

·        Organized a national tour for Afghan leader Malalai Joya.

·        Sent representatives to international NATO protests and conferences.

·        Serve on the Board of the National Coalition to Protect Civil Freedoms to act against Islamophobia , racist attacks on Muslims, and attacks on our civil liberties.

·        Participated in national efforts to organize anti-drone actions.

·        Campaigned to defend victims of government repression who speak out and expose Washington’s crimes, including Rasmea Odeh, Mumia abu Jamal, Lynne Stewart, Chelsea Manning, and the Midwest activists targeted by the FBI.

·        Produced national educational conference calls featuring experts on topics such as U.S. intervention in Africa, the destruction of Libya, the developing wars in Syria, and others.

·        Built an antiwar contingent in the massive New York City Climate Change march and built Climate Change action in other cities around the country.

·        Helped organize protests against Israel’s attack on Gaza

·        Helped organize protests against the murder of Blacks by white police and the militarization of the police forces in the U.S.

UNAC has a history of bringing hundreds of activists together at large national conferences to learn about the issues of the day, to discuss the way forward and to vote on an Action Program for the coming period.

The UNAC conference next May will bring activists from all the movements in motion to cross-fertilize these struggles.  We are particularly dedicated to bringing young activists together to support and learn from each other.  For this, we need your help to offer subsidies to leaders from Ferguson, from the border wars in the southwest, from the Native Americans who are fighting against the pipelines ruining their lands, from the Students for Justice in Palestine, and many others.

Please give generously so that we can continue our work to bring harmony and justice to the peoples of this earth.

You can send a check to UNAC at PO Box 123, Delmar, NY 12054 or click the button below to contribute on-line with your credit or debit card.




Mumia Needs Medical Care

Dateline Wed. May 6th.

On Saturday Pam Africa and Abdul Jon visited Mumia Abu-Jamal at SCI Mahanoy. He was weak, stable, and alert.  The visit ended so that he could get rest.  Mumia is still in the infirmary.  He has been able to call his wife Wadiya Jamal.   After being denied a visit  on Monday 4/27, (the prison is closed for any visits on Tues & Wed) on Thursday April 30, Mumia's Attorney Bret Grote Abolitionist Law Center met with Mumia for 3.5 hrs. This was in the immediate wake of Grote having submitted an expert medical recommendation letter to the Dept. of Corrections. This letter from Mumia's doctor outlined the need for Mumia to undergo immediate and thorough diagnostic tests in search for the cause of his persistent and recently life threatening conditions. Conditions which the prison has allowed to become nearly lethal. 

On Friday, prison medical staff informed Mumia that they were going to proceed with the first diagnostic test recommended in the expert medical letter. This skin biopsy occurred Monday May 4th. Oversight and close monitoring of these tests is crucial.  The prison is preventing Mumia and Mumia's doctors from adequate oversight and input. Because communication is being limited by prison officials Mumia does not have access quickly enough to information he needs to advocate for his own care.   We are clear that Inadequate testing, delays, and any deviation from the medically necessary course of treatment, will be challenged by Grote's legal team, whom are prepared to act.

Obtaining a diagnosis is of paramount importance at this moment.

Mumia remains seriously ill. Public pressure has been key every step of the way, and remains extremely important.  Please keep up the calls, emails and faxes. Demand that (1) Adequate diagnostic testing be done (2) That Mumia's doctor is able to communicate freely and regularly with the prison infirmary physicians who are delivering Mumia's medical care (3) His doctor has meaningful and regular phone access with Mumia. (There are no phones in the infirmary, his calls are limited to 15 mins and and he has limited access to the day room where the phones are). (4) And allow Mumia's chosen doctor to conduct an onsite medical examination.  

Noelle Hanrahan, P.I. Director Prison Radio


Take Action Now!
Demand that the Department of Corrections permit Mumia to have an examination by his doctor! Click here to call and fax the Prison and State officials and state our demands.


Mumia needs his own physician specialists!  Please donate now to help make this possible.  Please got to the web site below and give as generously as you can.

Donate at:

Sign the petition
to help save—and free—Mumia.
Go to:


We need to keep up the pressure
with phone calls:

Let SCI Mahanoy Superintendent John Kerestes and Secretary of Corrections John Wetzel know we insist that Mumia have medical specialists of his own choosing, and that they have daily access rights to examine and treat him. Also let them know that Mumia’s family needs regular and frequent visitation rights.

SCI Mahanoy
Superintendent John Kerestes
(570) 773-2158

SCI Mahanoy
Chief Health Care Administrator Steinhardt
(570) 773-2158

Christopher Oppman
Director, PA Department of Corrections Health Care Services
(717) 728-5309

John Wetzel
Secretary, PA Department of Corrections
(717) 728-4109


Mumia is Innocent! Free Mumia Now!

This message by:
Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal
20 April 2015

Call now to demand freedom and medical care for Mumia:

Often when we call in, prison and state officials have taken their lines off the hook. Know that every action matters, even when they don't pick up. If they don't answer, please leave a voicemail:

John Wetzel, PA Secretary of Corrections: 717-728-4109

Governor Tom Wolf: 717-787-2500

SCI Mahanoy: 570-787-2500

For a full list of addresses and faxes, visit prisonradio.org
Support Prison Radio

$35 to become a member.

$50 to become a member and receive a beautiful tote bag. Or call us to special order a yoga mat bag.

$100 to become a member and receive the DVD "Mumia: Long Distance Revolutionary."

$300 to become a member and bring one essay to the airwaves.

$1,000 (or $88 per month) will make you a member of our Prison Radio Freedom Circle. Thank you!



Prison Radio has recorded Mumia and other political prisoners for over 25 years, and we are pulling out all the stops to keep these voices on the air. 

Please donate today to amplify prisoners' voices far and wide beyond the bars:

     Support Prison Radio: prisonradio.org/donate
     Defeat SB 508: bit.ly/defendfreespeech

Copyright © Prison Radio

www,prisonradio.org 415-706-5222

Our mailing address is:

Prison Radio PO Box 411074, SF CA 94141


Donate Now

$35 is the yearly membership.

$50 will get you a beautiful tote bag (you can special order a yoga mat bag, just call us).

$100 will get the DVD "Mumia: Long Distance Revolutionary"

$300 will bring one essay to the airwaves.

$1000 (or $88.83 per month) will make you a member of our Prison Radio Freedom Circle. Take a moment and Support Prison Radio

Luchando por la justicia y la libertad,

Noelle Hanrahan, Director, Prison Radio


P.O. Box 411074 San Francisco, CA 94141

info@prisonradio.org 415-706-5222



Campaign to Free Lorenzo Johnson

Lorenzo Speaks Concerning Prosecution's Brief:

JANUARY 1, 2015—The prosecutor has run away from (almost) every issue raised in my PCRA by begging the Court to dismiss everything as “untimely”. When they don’t do this, they suggest that me and my lawyers were “defamatory” towards either my former prosecutor Christopher Abruzzo or Detective Kevin Duffin, in our claims they withheld, misused or hid evidence of my Innocence, in order to secure an unjust conviction in this case. If I charged, a year ago, that about a dozen AGs (attorneys general) were involved in circulating porno via their office computers, people would’ve laughed at me, and seen me as crazy.

But, guess what? During 2014, we learned that this was the truth. How can it be defamatory to speak the truth? Notice the OAG (Office of Attorney General), never said the obvious: That AG Abruzzo didn’t inform the Defense about the relationship between his Motive Witness and his head detective (Victoria Doubs and Det. Duffin); that Det. Duffin doesn’t deny Doubs was his god-sister, and that she lived in his family home, or that he assisted her whenever she got into trouble.

Why not? Because it is true. How can you defame someone who defames himself? Mr. Christopher Abruzzo, Esq., when a member of the higher ranks of the OAG, sent and/or received copious amounts of porno to other attorneys general and beyond. What does this say about his sense of judgment? He thought enough about his behavior to resign from his post in the Governor’s Cabinet. If he thought that his behavior was okay, he’d still be sitting in the Governor’s cabinet, right? The OAG cannot honestly oppose anything we’ve argued, but they try by seeking to get the Court to do their dirty work, how? By denying an Evidentiary Hearing to prove every point we’ve claimed.

The prosecution is trying desperately to avoid dealing with the substance of my claims in Com. v. Lorenzo Johnson. So, they slander my Legal Team and blame them for defaming the good AG’s and Cops involved with this case. They try to do what is undeniable, to deny that they hid evidence from the Defense for years. They blamed me for daring to protest the hidden evidence of their malfeasance and other acts to sabotage the defense. They claim that they had an “Open File” policy with my trial counsel. But “Open File” is more than letting an attorney read something in their office. If it’s a search for the truth it must include what is turned over to the attorney, for how do we really know what was shown to her?

They say it is inconceivable that an attorney would read a file, beginning on page nine (9), and not ask for the preceding eight (8) pages. Yet, it is conceivable if trial counsel was ineffective for not demanding the record of the first eight pages. Pages that identify the State’s only witness as a “SUSPECT” in the murder for which her client was charged! How could such an attorney fail to recognize the relevance of such an issue, barring their sheer Ineffectiveness and frankly, Incompetence.

By seeking to avoid an evidentiary hearing, the prosecution seeks to avoid evidence of their wrongdoing being made plain, for all to see. If they believe I’m wrong, why not prove it? They can’t. So they shout I filed my appeal untimely, as if there can ever justly be a rule that precludes an innocent from proving his innocence! Not to mention the fact that the prosecution has failed to even mention the positive finger prints that ay my trial they said none existed. Don’t try to hide it with a lame argument about time. When isn’t there a time for truth? The prosecution should be ashamed of itself for taking this road. It is unworthy of an office that claims to seek justice.

After the trial verdict The Patriot-News (March 18, 1997) reported, “Deputy Attorney General Christopher Abruzzo admitted there were some serious concerns about the strength of the evidence against Johnson and praised the jury for doing a thorough job.” I guess he forgot to mention all of the evidence he left out to show Innocence.

Now, more than ever, Lorenzo Johnson needs your support.

Publicize his case; bring it to your friends, clubs, religious

and social organizations.





Write: Lorenzo Johnson, DF 1036

            SCI Mahanoy

            301 Morea Rd.

            Frackville, PA 17932

 Email: Lorenzo Johnson through JPAY.com code:

              Lorenzo Johnson DF 1036 PA DOC



Join the Fight to Free Rev. Pinkney!

Click HERE to view in browser


On December 15, 2014 the Rev. Edward Pinkney of Benton Harbor, Michigan was thrown into prison for 2.5 to 10 years. This 66-year-old leading African American activist was tried and convicted in front of an all-white jury and racist white judge and prosecutor for supposedly altering 5 dates on a recall petition against the mayor of Benton Harbor.

The prosecutor, with the judge’s approval, repeatedly told the jury “you don’t need evidence to convict Mr. Pinkney.” And ABSOLUTELY NO EVIDENCE WAS EVER PRESENTED THAT TIED REV. PINKNEY TO THE ‘ALTERED’ PETITIONS. Rev. Pinkney was immediately led away in handcuffs and thrown into Jackson Prison.

This is an outrageous charge. It is an outrageous conviction. It is an even more outrageous sentence! It must be appealed.

With your help supporters need to raise $20,000 for Rev. Pinkney’s appeal.

Checks can be made out to BANCO (Black Autonomy Network Community Organization). This is the organization founded by Rev. Pinkney.  Mail them to: Mrs. Dorothy Pinkney, 1940 Union Street, Benton Harbor, MI 49022.

Donations can be accepted on-line at bhbanco.org – press the donate button.

For information on the decade long campaign to destroy Rev. Pinkney go to bhbanco.org and workers.org(search “Pinkney”).

We urge your support to the efforts to Free Rev. Pinkney!Ramsey Clark – Former U.S. attorney general,
Cynthia McKinney – Former member of U.S. Congress,
Lynne Stewart – Former political prisoner and human rights attorney
Ralph Poynter – New Abolitionist Movement,
Abayomi Azikiwe – Editor, Pan-African News Wire<
Larry Holmes – Peoples Power Assembly,
David Sole – Michigan Emergency Committee Against War & Injustice
Sara Flounders – International Action Center


I am now in Marquette prison over 15 hours from wife and family, sitting in prison for a crime that was never committed. Judge Schrock and Mike Sepic both admitted there was no evidence against me but now I sit in prison facing 30 months. Schrock actually stated that he wanted to make an example out of me. (to scare Benton Harbor residents even more...) ONLY IN AMERICA. I now have an army to help fight Berrien County. When I arrived at Jackson state prison on Dec. 15, I met several hundred people from Detroit, Flint, Kalamazoo, and Grand Rapids. Some people recognized me. There was an outstanding amount of support given by the prison inmates. When I was transported to Marquette Prison it took 2 days. The prisoners knew who I was. One of the guards looked me up on the internet and said, "who would believe Berrien County is this racist." 

Background to Campaign to free Rev. Pinkney

Michigan political prisoner the Rev. Edward Pinkney is a victim of racist injustice. He was sentenced to 30 months to 10 years for supposedly changing the dates on 5 signatures on a petition to recall Benton Harbor Mayor James Hightower.

No material or circumstantial evidence was presented at the trial that would implicate Pinkney in the purported5 felonies. Many believe that Pinkney, a Berrien County activist and leader of the Black Autonomy Network Community Organization (BANCO), is being punished by local authorities for opposing the corporate plans of Whirlpool Corp, headquartered in Benton Harbor, Michigan.

In 2012, Pinkney and BANCO led an “Occupy the PGA [Professional Golfers’ Association of America]” demonstration against a world-renowned golf tournament held at the newly created Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course on the shoreline of Lake Michigan. The course was carved out of Jean Klock Park, which had been donated to the city of Benton Harbor decades ago.

Berrien County officials were determined to defeat the recall campaign against Mayor Hightower, who opposed a program that would have taxed local corporations in order to create jobs and improve conditions in Benton Harbor, a majority African-American municipality. Like other Michigan cities, it has been devastated by widespread poverty and unemployment.

The Benton Harbor corporate power structure has used similar fraudulent charges to stop past efforts to recall or vote out of office the racist white officials, from mayor, judges, prosecutors in a majority Black city. Rev Pinkney who always quotes scripture, as many Christian ministers do, was even convicted for quoting scripture in a newspaper column. This outrageous conviction was overturned on appeal. We must do this again!

To sign the petition in support of the Rev. Edward Pinkney, log on to: tinyurl.com/ps4lwyn.

Contributions for Rev. Pinkney’s defense can be sent to BANCO at Mrs Dorothy Pinkney, 1940 Union St., Benton Harbor, MI 49022

Or you can donate on-line at bhbanco.org.





New Action- write letters to DoD officials requesting clemency for Chelsea!

November 24, 2014 by the Chelsea Manning Support Network

Secretary of the Army John McHugh

President Obama has delegated review of Chelsea Manning’s clemency appeal to individuals within the Department of Defense.

Please write them to express your support for heroic WikiLeaks’ whistle-blower former US Army intelligence analyst PFC Chelsea Manning’s release from military prison.

It is important that each of these authorities realize the wide support that Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning enjoys worldwide. They need to be reminded that millions understand that Manning is a political prisoner, imprisoned for following her conscience. While it is highly unlikely that any of these individuals would independently move to release Manning, a reduction in Manning’s outrageous 35-year prison sentence is a possibility at this stage.

Take action TODAY – Write letters supporting Chelsea’s clemency petition to the following DoD authorities:

Secretary of the Army John McHugh

101 Army Pentagon

Washington, DC 20310-0101

The Judge Advocate General

2200 Army Pentagon

Washington, DC 20310-2200

Army Clemency and Parole Board

251 18th St, Suite 385

Arlington, VA 22202-3532

Directorate of Inmate Administration

Attn: Boards Branch

U.S. Disciplinary Barracks

1301 N. Warehouse Road

Fort Leavenworth, KS 66027-2304

Suggestions for letters send to DoD officials:

The letter should focus on your support for Chelsea Manning, and especially why you believe justice will be served if Chelsea Manning’s sentence is reduced.  The letter should NOT be anti-military as this will be unlikely to help.

A suggested message: “Chelsea Manning has been punished enough for violating military regulations in the course of being true to her conscience.  I urge you to use your authorityto reduce Pvt. Manning’s sentence to time served.”  Beyond that general message, feel free to personalize the details as to why you believe Chelsea deserves clemency.

Consider composing your letter on personalized letterhead -you can create this yourself (here are templates and some tips for doing that).

A comment on this post will NOT be seen by DoD authorities–please send your letters to the addresses above

This clemency petition is separate from Chelsea Manning’s upcoming appeal before the US Army Court of Criminal Appeals next year, where Manning’s new attorney Nancy Hollander will have an opportunity to highlight the prosecution’s—and the trial judge’s—misconduct during last year’s trial at Ft. Meade, Maryland.

Help us continue to cover 100% of Chelsea’s legal fees at this critical stage!

Courage to Resist
484 Lake Park Ave. #41
Oakland, CA 94610










1) Mayor de Blasio Defends Police Response to Freddie Gray Protests in New York
APRIL 30, 2015

2) Baltimore Prosecutor Faces National History of Police Acquittals
MAY 2, 2015

3) Baltimore Braces for More Protests Over Freddie Gray Death
MAY 2, 2015

4) Hundreds Protest in Manhattan Against Police Brutality and Income Inequality
MAY 1, 2015

5)  Thug’s the New ‘N’-Word
By Michal Ortner
Your Black World
May 3, 2015

6) Restoring Faith in Justice
By Charles M. Blow
7) Stand Your Ground Makes No Sense



1) Mayor de Blasio Defends Police Response to Freddie Gray Protests in New York
APRIL 30, 2015

Mayor Bill de Blasio, facing an uproar over arrests at a Manhattan rally to protest strong-armed policing, offered a spirited defense of law enforcement on Thursday, brushing off concerns that demonstrators had been mistreated even as he insisted on his own commitment to reform.

Invoking his own past as a liberal organizer, Mr. de Blasio urged reporters “not to exaggerate what happened” at the Union Square rally on Wednesday night, saying the Police Department had acted appropriately in arresting 143 people marching to protest the death of a Baltimore black man, Freddie Gray, in police custody.

Two of those protesters were arrested after assaulting officers, one of whom was struck on the chin with a stick and injured, police officials said.

Police Commissioner William J. Bratton acknowledged that his department had staged an “assertive” response to keep demonstrators from blocking traffic in busy parts of Manhattan.

Mr. de Blasio, a Democrat, convened a news conference after hearing complaints about the police response from allies like the Rev. Al Sharpton. “I’ve participated in plenty of protests, on plenty of issues,” the mayor said. “I believe deeply in how nonviolent protest has achieved social change.”

But, he added: “When the police give you instruction, you follow the instruction. It’s not debatable.”

The arrests on Wednesday, which prompted a protest from liberal groups outside Police Headquarters in Lower Manhattan, came amid a renewed debate in New York over aggressive police tactics, including an effort by the City Council to decriminalize low-level offenses, like public urination.

But Mr. de Blasio’s attitude was a far cry from late last year, when he allowed similar demonstrations to spill into the city’s highways and avenues. That episode, after a Staten Island grand jury declined to indict an officer in the death of a Eric Garner, an unarmed black man, contributed to an open law enforcement rebellion against the mayor.

On Thursday, as in the past on police issues, Mr. de Blasio seemed to struggle to walk a tightrope. Even as Mr. Bratton, in a separate news conference, acknowledged a “much more assertive” approach to handling street protests, the mayor insisted that “the strategic approach is exactly the same.”

But the mayor eventually allowed that some “tactical adjustments” had been made in response to past cases in which officers had been injured, including a march across the Brooklyn Bridge.

The result was a strained, and at times testy display by a mayor trying to balance liberal sympathies with the burdens of overseeing a police force whose tactics he once criticized.

Mr. de Blasio grew visibly frustrated at the notion that the police in Union Square had been too aggressive with protesters, telling reporters, “If you guys want to sensationalize, if you think that’s your contribution to society, feel free.”

He lamented that the news media did not focus on what he cited as his accomplishments in police reform, like a drop in civilian complaints against the Police Department.

In a telling shift, Mr. de Blasio rebuked his interlocutors for suggesting that some of the protesters arrested on Wednesday had done little to provoke a tough police response. In December, after the Garner protests, he lashed out at a journalist who suggested that some protesters had acted violently.

To the city’s liberal advocates — some of whom had marched alongside Mr. de Blasio during his candidate days — the mayor’s response was disappointing.

“All I heard was, ‘Listen to the police, do what the police say,’ ” said Gideon Oliver, a civil rights lawyer who represents a group that organized the rally. “If the mayor’s answer to problems of abuse of police discretion is ‘just listen to what police say,’ that’s obviously a very big problem.”

Still, Mr. Bratton and police officials were adamant that they had acted appropriately to rein in a demonstration that was threatening to become unruly and disrupt the city’s evening rush.

“Throughout the night we were extremely flexible,” Chief James P. O’Neill said at the Police Academy in Queens. “If the protests continue, we will continue to be flexible. It’s not just one strategy.”

Chief O’Neill added that one precinct captain, the commander of the 13th Precinct in Manhattan, had been struck in the head with a stick. “He’s got a nice cut on his jaw,” he said.

One veteran city supervisor, who was at Union Square on Wednesday, said he had been told at the onset that the police might take a more assertive approach than in past protests.

“They were free to protest on the sidewalk, and follow the law, and we would certainly let them express their rights,” said the supervisor, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to detail department policies. “But if they broke the law, went into the street and stuff like that, we weren’t going to give them much and were going to start locking people up.”

Aside from the arrests, the supervisor said, the night went smoothly. “No major fights,” he said. “No major assaults on cops, or cops doing anything crazy to anyone else.”

Mr. de Blasio said on Thursday that the city would not take an “ironclad” approach to future protests, and would consider each demonstration case by case.

“It’s a big, complicated city,” the mayor said. “I have confidence, having been a public servant, having been a protester, that the N.Y.P.D. knows how to work out every situation.”

A reporter pointed out that Mr. de Blasio himself had been arrested during his run for mayor, as a show of civil disobedience to protest the closing of a public hospital in Brooklyn.

The mayor scoffed and said there was no comparison to what transpired on Wednesday night.

His own arrest, Mr. de Blasio said, “was the most choreographed thing on earth.”



2) Baltimore Prosecutor Faces National History of Police Acquittals
MAY 2, 2015

With an unexpectedly speedy and sweeping announcement on Friday of homicide and abuse-of-power charges against six police officers in the death of Freddie Gray, Baltimore’s chief prosecutor sent an unmistakable signal that the days when police misconduct drew a wrist slap are over.

It was a bold gesture, experts say — and a risky one. For the pledge may be an empty gesture unless prosecutors secure convictions in Mr. Gray’s death.

Both history and the circumstances of the case unveiled on Friday hint that it will be anything but easy. Brutality cases against police officers are notoriously difficult to win, and much about the case, including the evidence against the officers and their defense, remains unknown.

The state’s attorney for Baltimore City, Marilyn J. Mosby, is expected to seek an indictment, the next step toward a trial. Her chronology of Mr. Gray’s arrest on April 12 argued that he had been wrongly arrested, was placed inside a police van without being properly restrained by a seatbelt and, after suffering a severe spinal injury during transport, was repeatedly ignored despite pleading for medical help.

The six Baltimore Police Department officers face charges ranging from second-degree murder to manslaughter, assault, false imprisonment and misconduct in office. Ms. Mosby’s inquiry — “comprehensive, thorough and independent,” she said Friday — was completed in 18 days, less than a fourth of the time that Missouri prosecutors spent investigating the death of Michael Brown, which triggered riots and protests in Ferguson, Mo., last year.

That speed and confidence belie the difficulty that prosecutors may encounter in convincing a jury or juries that the six officers broke the law.

The bar for a manslaughter conviction is comparatively low; a jury must find that a defendant knew his or her actions could lead to a death, but recklessly disregarded that risk.

“The prosecution would simply have to demonstrate that the police were aware that someone might die because they didn’t properly transport him,” said Jens D. Ohlin, a criminal law professor at Cornell Law School. “They don’t have to show that they wanted him to die.”

Second-degree murder is more serious, implying that a defendant either wanted to cause a death or intentionally caused an injury that he or she knew could lead to death. Only one officer — the driver of the van, Officer Caesar Goodson — was accused of murder. While Ms. Mosby has not explained the charge, some have speculated that prosecutors will say Mr. Gray was deliberately given a so-called rough ride that slammed him against the van’s metal walls.

In Mr. Gray’s case, a Police Department general order required officers to restrain prisoners with seatbelts during transport to prevent injuries. But that order, in effect at least since 1997 and updated nine days before Mr. Gray’s death, appears to have been loosely followed by Baltimore officers.

While Ms. Mosby offered a detailed timeline of the events surrounding Mr. Gray’s death, she did not reveal any of the evidence supporting it. Nor did she say any of the officers personally caused the spinal injury that killed him.

But whatever case prosecutors make will have to overcome the inherent deference to police officers that most jurors take with them to the courtroom, experts said.

“It’s always difficult to get a guilty verdict against a police officer except in the worst and strongest cases,” said David A. Harris, a University of Pittsburgh professor who is a leading expert on racial profiling in law enforcement. “A police officer comes into a courtroom not just presumed to be innocent, but presumed to be the good guy.”

Behavior that might land some defendants in jail, such as beating or even shooting another person, are not just permitted for police officers but are assumed to be part of their work. Jurors are inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt, Mr. Harris and others said, particularly if officers can show that they were merely doing their jobs as they always had.

The prosecutors face other hurdles. The witnesses and cellphone videos that have clarified a number of recent police-brutality incidents are absent in Mr. Gray’s case. Much of what happened to Mr. Gray occurred either in the presence of the officers who have been charged, or while he was alone in the back of the police wagon.

The prosecutors’ case would be strengthened should one or more of the six defendants decide to cooperate, or should they try to shift blame for the death. In practice, that happens only infrequently. Mr. Harris said it was even less likely with the police because of the loyalty among fellow police officers.

And even prosecutors with seemingly strong cases frequently lose. In 2010, jurors acquitted a Baltimore officer who had stopped a man he thought looked suspicious, searched him, then shot him twice in the back after he broke way and fled. The officer’s lawyer argued, and jurors agreed, that he had feared for his life because he thought the man was reaching for a gun as he ran away.

A year later a Baltimore judge acquitted three officers charged with kidnapping and false imprisonment after they picked up two teenagers, drove them miles from their homes and abandoned them, leaving one in another county after taking his shoes and socks. The judge, who convicted two officers on lesser misconduct charges, said that even legal police work involves detaining and threatening suspects.

Both the swiftness and the scope of the charges brought on Friday carry weight in a city where, critics say, poor, mostly black neighborhoods have boiled for years with resentment over police officers’ tactics.

“The larger message, if there is one, is that ‘we’re moving on these things,’ ” Mr. Harris said. “ ‘We’re taking them seriously, and there’s no longer going to be any kind of slowing down and taking it to the point where people wonder, whatever happened to that?’ ”



3) Baltimore Braces for More Protests Over Freddie Gray Death
MAY 2, 2015

BALTIMORE — The city is bracing for more protests this weekend, following a tumultuous week that included looting and arson, the arrival of National Guard troops and the filing of criminal charges against six police officers in the case of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man whose death in police custody set off the unrest.

Thousands of people are expected here Saturday for a march organized by Malik Shabazz, president of the Washington-based Black Lawyers for Justice and a former chairman of the New Black Panther Party. For nearly two weeks, ever since Mr. Gray died, city leaders have been warning against “outside agitators,” an oblique reference to Mr. Shabazz, who is clearly making them nervous.

“They should be nervous,” Mr. Shabazz said in an interview Friday night. “The youth went off and had a rebellion because the established leadership has not represented them well.”

Protesters are expected to gather late Saturday morning in two spots: at the Gilmor Homes in northwest Baltimore where Mr. Gray was arrested, and also at City Hall, where Mr. Shabazz said he would give a “keynote address” at 3 p.m., as part of a mass rally that will begin at 2 p.m. and is scheduled to end at 6 p.m.

Mr. Shabazz, 46, who has led similar protests in cities like Ferguson, Mo., and Charleston, S.C., has been labeled “an extremist” by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which calls him a “racist black nationalist” with a “well-documented history of violently anti-Semitic remarks and accusations about the inherent evil of white people” who is “particularly skilled at orchestrating provocative protests.”

A march he led here last Saturday turned briefly violent after he urged protesters at a City Hall rally to “shut it down!” Mr. Shabazz said afterward that he was calling only for civil disobedience, not violence, but added that he was not surprised by the riots that tore through Baltimore earlier this week.

“The rebellion was brewing before I got here, and the rebellion was going to happen whether I got here or not,” he said.

Community activists and black religious leaders, including the Rev. Jamal Bryant, pastor of the Empowerment Temple, have said they will stay away from Saturday’s march; Mr. Bryant is planning his own rally at City Hall on Sunday. Melech Thomas, a divinity student and youth pastor, also said he would not attend.

Mr. Thomas said he had no objection to Mr. Shabazz, though he added, “It would be nice to actually see him at some of the community meetings we’ve had this week, and I can’t say that I have.”

With the National Guard still patrolling the streets, and a 10 p.m. citywide curfew in place, officials expect that this Saturday will be more peaceful than last. And the city’s mood shifted dramatically on Friday after Marilyn J. Mosby, the prosecutor for the city of Baltimore, announced that six police officers would face charges, including murder and manslaughter.

Ms. Mosby’s announcement set off a wave of jubilation in some black neighborhoods, prompting some to predict that Saturday’s events would be more celebration than protest. “She probably saved the city from a lot of stress that it didn’t need to go through,” said A. Dwight Pettit, a lawyer, who represents people accusing the police of misconduct.



4) Hundreds Protest in Manhattan Against Police Brutality and Income Inequality
MAY 1, 2015

Protesters marched in the streets of New York City on Friday night to bring attention to police brutality and income inequality, two days after dozens of demonstrators were arrested.

Hundreds of protesters assembled in Union Square in Manhattan, planning to march east and then south to Foley Square; another group marched along the southern edge of Central Park. The protests came the same day that prosecutors in Baltimore charged six police officers in the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who died after being injured while in police custody.

On Wednesday night, the police arrested 143 people in Manhattan during protests over Mr. Gray’s death. Some criticized the aggressive police response, but Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner William J. Bratton defended the arrests.Mr. Bratton said on Friday that the police would work with demonstrators at the two permitted marches in the city and give them space to rally. But he cautioned that protesters had to follow the rules.

“It’s when they seek to create their own rules,” he said. “Then I’m sorry, they’re breaking the law. And we will deal with that appropriately and authoritatively.”

The protests were organized as part of May Day, an international workers’ holiday. One rally by union groups against income inequality began outside the home of Alice Walton, an heir to the Walmart fortune, near 60th Street and Park Avenue. Another group planned to march from Union Square to Foley Square, near City Hall.

Earlier in the day, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in Manhattan closed for the day after protesters dropped thousands of leaflets from the museum’s spiral rotunda.

Edna Ishayik and Al Baker contributed reporting.



5)  Thug’s the New ‘N’-Word
By Michal Ortner
Your Black World
May 3, 2015

Following the protests and riots in Baltimore, the use of the word “thug” seemed to find its way into the mouths of leadership across the country. This has left many African-Americans angry and offended, believing that the employment of the word was degrading and racist.

The death of Freddie Gray that involved Baltimore policemen led hundreds into the streets for peaceful protesting. But along with these came rioters who began to loot and vandalize the city.

On April 25, in a press conference, Mayor Stefanie Rawlings-Blake labeled the rioters “thugs, who only want to incite violence and destroy our city.” She also Tweeted, “Too many people have invested in building up this city to allow thugs to tear it down.”

After the outcry over her use of the word “thug,” the mayor recanted in another Tweet, “I want to clarify my comment on ‘thugs.’ When you speak out of frustration and anger, one can say things in a way that you don’t mean.”

Larry Hogan, governor of Maryland, also incited the word, calling those involved “a lawless gangs of thugs roaming the streets, causing damage to property and injuring innocent people.”

The following day, during President Barack Obama’s address concerning the riots, he called the rioters “a handful of criminals and thugs who tore up the place.”

On April 28, The Roots bandmate Questlove tweeted, “Thugs= N*ggers #KnowTheCode.”

Historically, the earliest record of the word “thug” was when it was a 19th century Hindi word used to describe a cheater or a swindler. Some documented “thugs,” or those who practiced “thuggee,” as being murderous bandits who would steal from travelers.

An 1852 article written in The New York Times called the thugs of India “a terrible sect of religionists, whose worship is the most hideous in the whole record of false ideologies.”

According to Kim Wagner, a lecturer at Queen Mary University, the British use of the word “thug” in the 19th century “allowed them to criminalize any kind of indigenous activity as being something that was inherently irrational and politically illegitimate, not different from the way it’s used today. You’re effectively describing them as having no legitimate grievances and just being hoodlums.”

Michael Jeffries, author of Thug Life: Race, Gender, and the Meaning of Hip-Hop, refers to the popularization of the word after it was used in lyrics by rapper Tupac.

“The label was attached to Black and Brown people, impoverished people, living in urban communities, regardless of their behavior,” Jeffries said. “They adopted the word for subversive and oppositional reasons, and it found its way into the music.”

“It’s not a coincidence that the rise of this word in the public sphere coincided with the uptick in the punishment and hyper-incarceration of Black and Brown people living in late 20th century urban America,” Jeffries added.



6) Restoring Faith in Justice
By Charles M. Blow



7) Stand Your Ground Makes No Sense



8) An Atlas of Upward Mobility Shows Paths Out of Poverty



9) The Uphill Battle to Better Regulate Formaldehyde



10) Runaway Drug Prices



11) Lawsuit Leads to New Limits on Solitary Confinement at Juvenile Prisons in Illinois



12) Tamir Rice’s Mother Asks Ohio Authorities to Finish Inquiry



13) Negative View of U.S. Race Relations Grows, Poll Finds



14) For Top 25 Hedge Fund Managers, a Difficult 2014 Still Paid Well