News Releases

“Welfare Reform” Entering 20th Year of Ensuring Poverty?

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Bill Clinton signs welfare “reform” legislation in 1996.

Saturday, August 22 marks the beginning of “welfare reform’s” 20th year, signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1996. See accuracy.org/calendar for a listing of upcoming events.

FELICIA KORNBLUH, fkornbluh at gmail.com, @VTfeminist
Kornbluh is associate professor of history and gender, sexuality, and women’s studies at the University of Vermont. Her books include The Battle for Welfare Rights: Politics and Poverty in Modern America and Ensuring Poverty: Welfare Reform After Twenty Years, (with Gwendolyn Mink), forthcoming.

Kornbluh said today: “Playing to a racist imagination and dealing in sexist double standards, Republicans and Democrats came together 19 years ago to transform income assistance for the poor into a system of regulation, deprivation and punishment. The legislation that established TANF, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, made limiting women’s choices and ending single motherhood its goals. The nation’s chief policy dedicated to impoverished families with children did not include mitigating poverty, enhancing opportunity, or attenuating inequality as its goals. As a result, while welfare rolls have declined, poverty still stalks single mothers and their children — and extreme poverty is at crisis high levels. As we approach the 20th year of this disgraceful program, it is time to overhaul TANF principles and practices to support the family work single mothers do and open real pathways to economic security.

“TANF, which heaps unrealistic expectations about wage-earning upon people whose employers pay them less than enough to survive, and unrealistic expectations about balancing waged work and motherhood upon impoverished women, is not so much public policy as ANTI-public policy. The time for reexamination is long overdue.”

See: “Five Questions with Professor Felicia Kornbluh.”

Chelsea Manning Facing Indefinite Solitary Confinement; Legal Team Cites “Harassment and Abuse”

chelea in color w toothbrush

Chelsea Manning is facing solitary confinement for, among other alleged infractions, possessing expired toothpaste and a copy of the Senate Torture Report. Drawing by Deb Van Poolen.

EVAN GREER, press at fightforthefuture.org, @fightfortheftr
Greer is Campaign Director of Fight for the Future. The group states in a news release today that advocacy groups supporting imprisoned whistleblower Chelsea Manning plan to deliver a petition signed by close to 100,000 people to the Army Liaison office tomorrow morning, Tuesday, August 18th, at 11:00 am at Rayburn House Office Building, Room B325. Supporters are available to speak to media before and after the delivery.

“The petition at FreeChelsea.com was initiated by digital rights group Fight for the Future and supported by RootsAction.org, Demand Progress, and CodePink. It calls for the U.S. military to drop the new charges against Chelsea, and demands that her disciplinary hearing on Tuesday be open to the press and the public.

“Chelsea faces possible indefinite solitary confinement, which is widely recognized as a form of torture, for four ‘charges,’ which include possession of LGBTQ reading material like the Caitlyn Jenner issue of Vanity Fair, and having a tube of expired toothpaste in her cell.”

Greer said: “The U.S. government has a terrifying track record of using imprisonment and torture to silence free speech and dissenting voices. They’ve tortured Chelsea Manning before and now they’re threatening to do it again, without any semblance of due process. Perhaps the military thought that now that Chelsea is behind bars she’s been forgotten, but the tens of thousands who signed this petition are proving them wrong. Chelsea Manning is a hero and the whole world is watching the U.S. government’s deplorable treatment of whistleblowers, transgender people, and prison inmates in general.”

Two of Manning’s attorneys can be contacted via Christina DiPasquale, christina at fitzgibbonmedia.com — also, see @xychelsea

CHASE STRANGIO, Chelsea’s attorney at the ACLU, said: “During the five years she has been incarcerated Chelsea has had to endure horrific and, at times, plainly unconstitutional conditions of confinement. She now faces the threat of further dehumanization because she allegedly disrespected an officer when requesting an attorney and had in her possession various books and magazines that she used to educate herself and inform her public and political voice. I am heartened to see the outpouring of support for her in the face of these new threats to her safety and security. This support can break down the isolation of her incarceration and sends the message to the government that the public is watching and standing by her as she fights for her freedom and her voice.”

NANCY HOLLANDER, one of Chelsea’s criminal defense attorneys, said: “Chelsea is facing serious repercussions and punishment if these charges are upheld, yet the prison has denied her the right to legal counsel, even legal counsel at her own expense. Now we have learned the prison authorities have denied her the use of the prison library to prepare for her hearing. The whole system is rigged against her. She cannot have a lawyer to assist her; she cannot prepare her own defense; and the hearing will be secret. This harassment and abuse must end and we are grateful for the support from the public to demand justice for Chelsea Manning.”

MARCY WHEELER, emptywheel at gmail.com, @emptywheel
Wheeler writes widely about the legal aspects of the “war on terror” and its effects on civil liberties. She is the “Right to Know” investigative journalist for ExposeFacts and blogs at emptywheel.net.

She just wrote the piece: “Declaring Chelsea Manning’s Voice against Torture Contraband,” which states: “As a number of outlets have reported, Chelsea Manning faces a disciplinary board on Tuesday for four alleged violations, including brushing crumbs on the floor, disrespecting an officer, keeping toothpaste past its expiry date, and keeping items deemed contraband, including the Vanity Fair issue on Caitlyn Jenner.

“Manning will not have a lawyer at the hearing, and over the weekend authorities refused her access to the prison law library. She may receive indefinite solitary confinement as punishment for these absurd alleged offenses.

“Along with that list of seemingly trivial items, Leavenworth officials also confiscated an item that goes to the  core of the whistleblowing that landed Manning in prison in the first place: the Senate Torture Report.

“Chelsea Manning faces the threat of solitary confinement, which most countries and many psychologists consider torture, because she was reading the Senate Torture Report.

“Recall that among the events that led Manning to provide information to WikiLeaks was when she was ordered to ‘assist the Baghdad Federal Police in identifying the political opponents of Prime Minister al-Maliki’ — people who Manning discovered were actually criticizing Maliki’s corruption. Manning realized that by helping the Baghdad Police, U.S. forces would be helping put them ‘in the custody of the Special Unit of the Baghdad Federal Police [where they would be] very likely tortured.’ In an effort to thwart U.S. complicity in torture, Manning leaked classified materials to WikiLeaks, including information on Iraq’s Wolf Brigade, a unit that conducted torture the official US policy on which was to ignore.”

Manning has been writing a column for the Guardian.

AT&T WhistleBlower on Company’s Partnership with NSA

Over the weekend, the New York Times and ProPublica published “AT&T Helped U.S. Spy on Internet on a Vast Scale,” which states: “The National Security Agency’s ability to spy on vast quantities of Internet traffic passing through the United States has relied on its extraordinary, decades-long partnership with a single company: the telecom giant AT&T.

“While it has been long known that American telecommunications companies worked closely with the spy agency, newly disclosed N.S.A. documents show that the relationship with AT&T has been considered unique and especially productive. One document described it as ‘highly collaborative,’ while another lauded the company’s ‘extreme willingness to help.’ …

“The documents, provided by the former agency contractor Edward J. Snowden, were jointly reviewed by the New York Times and ProPublica. The N.S.A., AT&T and Verizon declined to discuss the findings from the files. ‘We don’t comment on matters of national security,’ an AT&T spokesman said. …

“After the Times disclosed the Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping program in December 2005, plaintiffs began trying to sue AT&T and the N.S.A. In a 2006 lawsuit, a retired AT&T technician named Mark Klein claimed that three years earlier, he had seen a secret room in a company building in San Francisco where the N.S.A. had installed equipment.”

MARK KLEIN, markk2000 at comcast.net
Klein was an AT&T technician who in 2006 blew the whistle on AT&T’s cooperation with the NSA. In 2009, his book Wiring Up The Big Brother Machine…And Fighting It was published.

He said today: “The documents prove I was right, and if a court had been willing to allow the Electronic Frontier Foundation lawsuit against AT&T to go forward, we would have won. But Congress knowingly put a retroactive pseudo-‘legal’ stamp on the violations of law and the Constitution, and the courts accepted it. Both parties are to blame, all three branches of government are culpable.

“I’d gotten my story out through the New York Times in April 2006 after the Los Angeles Times had killed it. The editor who killed the story was Dean Baquet — who is now executive editor at the New York Times.

“Obama had campaigned against immunizing the telcos, but by the time the vote happened in 2008, he had sewn up the nomination and switched sides. It was a betrayal even before he got to the White House.

“The entire congressional leadership pushed this, especially the ‘gang of eight’ who were the ones who actually knew what the immunity was about. My own senator, Dianne Feinstein, who was on the intelligence committee, wouldn’t even speak with me, she was all about covering up for the NSA.

“Many in congress who voted for the immunity blindly voted to immunize a crime details of which they didn’t know or didn’t want to know.

“It wasn’t just AT&T of course, it was that the Bush administration had brazenly violated FISA and of course the Constitution. They didn’t have a legal leg to stand on, which is why they needed the immunity.”

Clinton State Dept. Emails, Mexico Energy “Reform” and the Revolving Door

ClintonEmail

STEVE HORN, steve at desmogblog.com, @Desmogblog
    Horn is editor of Desmogblog, and recently wrote the piece: “Exclusive: Hillary Clinton State Department Emails, Mexico Energy Reform and the Revolving Door,” which states: “Emails released on July 31 by the U.S. State Department reveal more about the origins of energy reform efforts in Mexico. The State Department released them as part of the once-a-month rolling release schedule for emails generated by former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, now a Democratic presidential candidate.

    “Originally stored on a private server, with Clinton and her closest advisors using the server and private accounts, the emails confirm Clinton’s State Department helped to break state-owned company Pemex’s (Petroleos Mexicanos) oil and gas industry monopoly in Mexico, opening up the country to international oil and gas companies. And two of the coordinators helping to make it happen, both of whom worked for Clinton, now work in the private sector and stand to gain financially from the energy reforms they helped create.

    “The appearance of the emails also offers a chance to tell the deeper story of the role the Clinton-led State Department and other powerful actors played in opening up Mexico for international business in the oil and gas sphere. That story begins with a trio.

    “David Goldwyn, who was the first International Energy Coordinator named by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2009, sits at the center of the story. As revealed by DeSmog, the State Department redacted the entire job description document for the Coordinator role.

    “Goldwyn now runs an oil and gas industry consulting firm called Goldwyn Global Strategies, works as counsel as an industry attorney at the law firm Sutherland Asbill & Brennan, and works as a fellow at the industry-funded think tanks Atlantic Council and Brookings Institution. …

    “Carlos Pascual, Goldwyn’s successor as International Energy Coordinator, who oversaw the creation of the State Department’s Bureau of Energy Resources as mandated by the Department’s 2010 Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, serves as another key character.

    “So too does Neil Brown, a former top-level staffer for Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN) who now works at the private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts. …

    “Goldwyn, Pascual and Brown now stand to gain financially from the Mexico energy reform architecture they helped envision and construct. …

    “To date, [Clinton] has not commented on the energy reform efforts in Mexico her State Department helped spearhead, which will usher in more deepwater offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and onshore fracking in Mexico’s portion of the Eagle Ford Shale basin.”

Chuck Schumer: “Friend Of Wall Street and War”

Last week Sen. Charles Schumer announced that he will oppose the Iran nuclear deal. Schumer’s stance drew the ire of the White House and liberal groups such as MoveOn. Right-wingers such as Sen. Ted Cruz, however, praised Schumer for opposing the deal.

Schumer voted for the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002. In his speech, he repeatedly invoked 9/11 and voiced some of the same fabrications that the Bush administration became famous for: “While this behavior is reprehensible, it is Hussein’s vigorous pursuit of biological, chemical and nuclear weapons, and his present and potential future support for terrorist acts and organizations, that make him a terrible danger to the people of the United States.” See video at C-Span (which includes transcript) and here. In 2005, Schumer said he didn’t regret his war vote.

According to OpenSecrets.org, his biggest funders are from the following sectors:

Securities & Investment: $3,877,905
Lawyers/Law Firms: $2,632,447
Real Estate: $1,583,089
Lobbyists: $717,513
Misc. Finance: $682,200

ZAID JILANI, Areo64 at gmail.com, @ZaidJilani
In March Jilani wrote the piece for Alternet: “Chuck Schumer — Friend Of Wall Street and War — Ready to Be Anointed Head of the Senate Democrats.”

The piece states: “It’s not surprising that Schumer would be able to collect so much support in such a short period of time. Recall that he was head of the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee, and helped recruit as many as one-third of the current Senate Democratic caucus — and that he was the one who set about raising the funds necessary to bring them to power in the first place. …

“‘Wall Street Welcomes Expected Chuck Schumer Promotion,’ read a CNN headline on Friday. ‘It’ll be a big plus to have somebody like that if he ends up being Democratic leader,’ said former Republican Senator Judd Gregg, who until recently was head of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association.

“When Senators Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Ted Kaufman (D-Del.) introduced an amendment to break up the largest banks, they were able to recruit the support of a handful of GOP senators, but Schumer worked alongside the Obama administration to kill it. He insists that capital gains tax rates stay lower than those of other income, a direct gift to fund managers. And he has kept alive the idea of granting corporations that store cash overseas to bring funds back to the United States if they are granted a large tax cut.”

See this news release for more on Schumer’s attempted disruption of the Iran deal.

Netanyahu’s “Disastrous” Appeal and “Obsession with Jewish Identity”

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz just published the piece “Netanyahu’s Anti-Iran Campaign Doesn’t Consider Disastrous Effects on U.S. Jews.” The paper reports: “Netanyahu will be reaching out to the American Jewish community in a live webcast… Tuesday, reports said, addressing the [recent U.S.-Iran] agreement and its implications for Israel, the Middle East and the world. … The webcast is hosted by American Friends of Likud, the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish American Organizations together with Jewish Federations across the nation.”

REBECCA VILKOMERSON, via Cecilie Surasky, cecilie at jewishvoiceforpeace.org, @jvplive                         Vilkomerson is the executive director of Jewish Voice for Peace, a leading national organization “inspired by Jewish tradition to work for a just peace for all the people of Israel and Palestine. Jewish Voice for Peace has over 200,000 online supporters, over 60 chapters, a youth wing, a Rabbinic Council, an Artist Council, an Academic Advisory Council, and an Advisory Board made up of leading U.S. intellectuals and artists.”

ABBA SOLOMON, abbasolomon at gmail.com, @Abba_A_Solomon
Solomon is author of The Speech, and Its Context: Jacob Blaustein’s Speech ‘The Meaning of Palestine Partition to American Jews. He said today: “As with valorizing American naval intelligence spy for Israel Jonathan Pollard, this decision shows the Israeli government’s chronic confusion about the status of Jewish Americans. It’s the end result of Zionism’s 100-plus year assertion of Jews as a nationality.

“Prime Minister Netanyahu’s reckless plan for an address to American Jews highlights the Israeli government’s obsession with Jewish identity that has proved historically dangerous to gentile residents of Palestine, and is alien to the American ideal of shared citizenship regardless of race or creed.

“Together with his March address to the U.S. Congress on an unprecedented mission to destroy President Obama’s Iran negotiations, Netanyahu is forcing re-examination by American Jews of the sympathy they’ve maintained for Israel because Israeli Jews are co-religionists.

“Netanyahu’s behavior, the 48-year military occupation ruling over non-Israelis, and increasingly reported instances of Jewish extremist violence, are bringing the majority of American Jews — if not major Jewish institutions yet — to a wary relationship with the volatile, nuclear-armed State of Israel.”

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif recently wrote the piece “Iran has signed a historic nuclear deal — now it’s Israel’s turn.” See Institute for Public Accuracy news release: “Israel Silently Lapping Field in ‘Mideast Nuclear Arms Race’.”

Obama Climate Change Action Goes “Nowhere Near Far Enough”

President Obama unveiled the latest piece of his plan to combat climate change on Monday. However, in “Obama Wants You to Think His Climate Plan Is Bold. It’s Not,” Slate notes: “Last week, former NASA climate scientist James Hansen, fresh off a dire new warning about global sea levels, had harsh words for the slow, incremental progress that’s formed essentially the entirety of American’s climate ambition to date. ‘We have two political parties, neither one of which is willing to face reality,’ Hansen told the Guardian. ‘Conservatives pretend it’s all a hoax, and liberals propose solutions that are non-solutions.’”

DAPHNE WYSHAM, daphne.wysham at gmail.com, @daphnewysham
Wysham is director of the Climate and Energy Program at the Center for Sustainable Economy. Her writings, commentary and analysis have appeared in national news publications including the New York TimesWall Street JournalWashington Postand The Nation.

Wysham said of Obama’s plan: “If Obama truly wants to leave behind an impressive climate change legacy, he needs to 1) withdraw Shell’s permit to drill in the Arctic; 2) end all new fossil fuel infrastructure projects across the U.S.; 3) ensure that all targets and timetables for greenhouse gas emissions reductions are in sync with what the climate science requires, which would get the U.S. to zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050; 4) begin a World War II-type mobilization toward a 100 percent renewable energy economy; and 5) make the polluters, not the American people, pay for the significant costs of climate change adaptation and mitigation.”

EVAN WEBER, evan at usclimateplan.org, @evanlweber
Weber is the co-founder of U.S. Climate Plan. He said today: “With the release of the final Clean Power Plan — this administration’s landmark climate action — it’s abundantly clear that President Obama’s climate policies won’t be enough to protect us from the threat of a radically warmed world. It’s time to create our own power plan: a plan to build the political power in every community to show the demand for strong government action to transition us away from all fossil fuels once and for all. That includes moving us away from climate-warming natural gas, which we’re afraid the President’s policies still unduly favor. We, the people, are our only hope for climate justice. It’s up to us to our generation to build power from the bottom up in every state across the country to win back our governments — and our future — from the fossil fuel industry.”

MIA REBACK, mia at 350pdx.org, @miareback 
Reback is a climate justice activist and 350PDX community organizer. Today she talked with Portland Mayor Charlie Hales just before Hales met with President Obama to discuss his Clean Power Plan. Reback said she asked the Mayor to convey to Obama that the plan was a step in the right direction. She also wanted Hales to discuss with the President his decision to let Shell drill in the Arctic.

“I appealed to Hales to ask the president to reverse his stance on Arctic drilling. Approving a new large-scale fossil fuel development, like Shell’s proposed Arctic drilling, is reckless and puts American people at risk. Obama should rescind Shell’s permit to drill in the Arctic.”

Urging Bernie Sanders to “Speak Out” on Foreign Policy, Petition Gathers More Than 8,000 Signers in First Day

A petition to Sen. Bernie Sanders — urging him to tackle foreign policy issues in his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination — gained 8,000 signers on Sunday (Aug. 2).

While praising the Sanders campaign’s “strong challenge to corporate power and oligarchy,” the petition urges him “to speak out about how they are intertwined with militarism and ongoing war.”

The nationwide petition adds: “Martin Luther King Jr. denounced what he called ‘the madness of militarism,’ and you should do the same. As you said in your speech to the SCLC, ‘Now is not the time for thinking small.’ Unwillingness to challenge the madness of militarism is thinking small.”

In a lengthy speech to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference on July 25, Sanders lauded King as a visionary leader — but made no mention of King’s antiwar leadership. From the speech, “you wouldn’t have a clue that King explicitly and emphatically linked the issues of economic injustice at home with war abroad,” says RootsAction.org, the group that launched the petition.

“So far,” RootsAction says, “Bernie’s stump speech hardly mentions the huge military budget — and does not talk about how it is a massive roadblock for the scale of public investment in education, infrastructure and jobs that he is advocating.”

The petition is headlined, “Bernie Sanders, Speak Up: Militarism and Corporate Power Are Fueling Each Other.”

When it launched the petition yesterday, RootsAction pointed out that “on his campaign’s official website, the page headlined ‘Bernie Sanders: On the Issues’ says nothing at all about foreign policy, war or any other such topics.”

Available for interviews:

NORMAN SOLOMON, solomonprogressive at gmail.com, @roots_action
Solomon is executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy and co-founder of RootsAction.org. He is the author of War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.

RootsAction said in a statement when launching the petition yesterday: “With a strong grassroots campaign, Bernie is eloquent as he denounces corporate power, economic inequality and ‘oligarchy.’ But he’s saying very little about crucial issues of war, militarism and foreign policy….

“Ongoing war and huge military spending continue to be deeply enmeshed with basic economic ills from upside-down priorities. As the National Priorities Project has documented, 54 percent of the U.S. government’s discretionary spending now goes to military purposes.”

Afghanistan’s “Most Formidable Warlord”

Reuters reports: “The Taliban have chosen late supreme leader Mullah Omar’s longtime deputy to replace him, two militant commanders said on Thursday, as Pakistan announced that peace talks between the insurgents and the Afghan government had been postponed.”

KATHY KELLY, BUDDY BELL, kathy at vcnv.org, buddy at vcnv.org, @voiceinwild
Kelly and Bell are co-coordinators of Voices for Creative Nonviolence. They just wrote the piece “No Warlords Need Apply — A Call for Credible Peacemaking in Afghanistan.” Kelly was released from prison in April for protesting outside U.S. military bases operating killer drones. She was in Afghanistan last month.

Kelly appeared today on NPR affiliate WBEZ’s “Worldview” program. She stated that the U.S. has enacted various policies, including killer drone strikes, that “have exacerbated” the problems in Afghanistan, adding that the structure of current “peace talks” has “left ordinary Afghans out of the equation.” She also drew a parallel between African Americans being killed by police in the U.S. because of profiling and the U.S. military killing people in Afghanistan and other countries based on profiling. See “Get the data: Drone wars” from the Bureau for Investigative Journalism.

Kelly and Bell’s recent piece states: “In the short time since the first round [of peace talks] on July 7th, fighting has intensified. The Taliban, the Afghan government forces, various militias and the U.S. have ramped up attacks across Afghanistan.

“Some analysts say the Taliban may be trying to gain territory and clout to give them leverage in ‘peace talks.’ Taliban forces, apparently beginning to splinter since the supposed death of Mullah Omar, are now competing with a new Islamic State presence in Afghanistan as various armed groups try to recruit new fighters from among ultra-conservative sectors of the regional population. Spectacular and frightening suicide bombings, hostage taking and a demonstrated capacity to force Afghan government soldiers into retreat or surrender might bolster a group’s claim to be effectively ejecting foreigners from Afghanistan.

“However, the U.S., with its history of waging aerial attacks, using helicopters and weaponized drones, and engaging in constant aerial surveillance, along with its continued night raids and detention of civilians, effectively carries itself as the most formidable warlord in the region.

“Throughout June, according to the New York Times, ‘American drones and warplanes fired against militants in Afghanistan more than twice as much as they had in any previous month this year, according to military statistics.’ On July 19th, 2015, U.S. helicopters even fired on an Afghan army facility in the Logar province, killing seven troops and wounding five others. …

“Meanwhile, top U.S. military officials have met with president Ashraf Ghani to talk about extending the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan, beyond 2016, in light of a possible threat from Islamic State fighters. On July 19th, the Los Angeles Times reported that Gen. John Campbell, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, and Gen. Martin Dempsey, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, met with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. Following the meeting, General Dempsey said he agreed that the U.S. needed to have a transnational strategy against the Islamic State. He said he would raise Ghani’s idea that Afghanistan ‘could serve as a hub from which the U.S., its allies and Afghanistan itself could work to prevent Islamic State from gaining followers in South Asia the way it has in the Middle East.'”

Shooting of Sam DuBose: Are Cams on Police the Answer?

CARLOS MILLER, carlosmiller at pinac.org                                                                                                         Miller is author of The Citizen Journalist Photography Handbook. He founded the website PhotographyIsNotACrime.com and just wrote the piece “Ohio Cop Charged with Murder for Shooting Sam DuBose to Death During Traffic Stop Caught on Body Cam,” which states: “A University of Cincinnati police officer who claimed he shot and killed a man after he was dragged by the man’s car, causing him to fear for his life, was charged with murder today in what a prosecutor called a ‘senseless, asinine’ shooting.

“‘He purposely killed him.’ Prosecutor Joe Deters said during a news conference today. ‘He should never have been a police officer.’ …

“Deters’ decision was based on Tensing’s body cam footage which is said to be so appalling that he was reluctant to release it, fearing riots.

“But he ended up releasing the video, which is posted below. The video goes black towards the end. We are working on obtaining the full video as well as video from the other officers on the scene. …

“Tensing can be heard telling another cop, ‘I thought he was going to run me over.’”

Miller said today: “Cams on cops are a good thing but that does not mean citizens need to stop recording because when the footage is in the hands of police, there is never a guarantee it will not be manipulated, destroyed or simply never released.

“There have been numerous examples, but one that sticks out is the recent video from Gardena, California that took two years to release, and dashcam footage from the killing of a teenager by Chicago police that still has not been released even though the city settled for $5 million.

“Albuquerque cops have had numerous issues with the cameras not being turned on when they kill.

“It’s not that rare.

“Granted, it’s still a new technology, which is why citizens should always record when confronted by cops or when being witnesses to cops.”

Also see by Shahid Buttar: “Police Violence? Body Cams Are No Solution.” The piece states: “Cameras captured video of Eric Garner’s death, which millions of people watched on YouTube. But video neither saved Eric Garner nor helped hold his murderers accountable. Moreover, even when everything does work as their proponents suggest, body cameras offer transparency only into particular incidents, not into patterns or practices. … By extending surveillance, cameras could also fuel mass incarceration. Cameras could capture footage used against defendants in criminal trials — either where the footage depicts criminal acts, like jaywalking or selling loose cigarettes, or where it merely supports suspicion of potential crime, justifying subsequent stops and searches that would otherwise be illegal.”

Other recent pieces on PhotographyIsNotACrime.com include: “Southern California Paramedics Routinely Harass Citizens Recording in Public, Falsely Accusing Them of HIPAA Violations,” “Ohio Woman Mysteriously Dies In Cleveland Jail After Fight with Husband,” “NYPD Cops Pull Man Out of Car and Beat Him for Double-Parking,” “Alabama Police Officer Breaks Down on Stand, Admits to Repeatedly Lying to Cover Up for Fellow Cop Beating Handcuffed Man,” “Idaho Cop Caught on Camera Elbowing Man Charged with Assault,” and “New Jersey State Trooper Fires Gun at Teens for Mistakenly Knocking on his Door.”

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