AlterNet.org: David Lee http://wwwff.alternet.org/authors/david-lee en Dallas Commissioners Accidentally Approve Slavery Reparations http://wwwff.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/dallas-commissioners-accidentally-approve-slavery-reparations <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">It appears white commissioners were not paying attention.</div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/slavery.png" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>DALLAS (CN) - The Dallas County Commissioners Court on Tuesday accidentally passed a resolution that African Americans should be paid reparations for slavery - several commissioners appeared to not be paying attention to the details of what they were voting on.<br />     The vote took place Tuesday morning on a nonbinding resolution by Commissioner John Wiley Price - the only black commissioner on the court.<br />     Titled "Juneteenth Resolution," the details of the resolution were not included in the meeting's agenda beforehand, which had no mention of reparations.<br />     Juneteenth commemorates the abolition of slavery in Texas in June 1865, when Union soldiers first enforced the Emancipation Proclamation of two years earlier.<br />     Before the five-member court voted, Price read aloud the resolution in its entirety. Price spoke at length about hardships endured by blacks throughout American history, from slavery to modern day issues such as income inequality and predatory lending. He concluded the resolution by saying, "the descendants of those who have been enslaved Africans who built this country should be satisfied with monetary and substantial reparations to same."<br />     Immediately after Price stopped speaking, the resolution was seconded and unanimously approved by voice vote, with no additional discussion.<br />     About an hour later, the other commissioners realized what they had approved and complained that they had not been given copies of the full resolution beforehand, the Dallas Morning News reported. They said the full resolution was not part of the meeting packet, nor posted on the county website.<br />     Price said he does not know how that happened. He told the newspaper he wrote the resolution after reading an article in The Atlantic making the case for reparations.<br />     "We are the only people who haven't been compensated," he said, noting that other groups - such as Native Americans and Japanese-Americans - have been compensated for mistreatment.<br />     Commissioner Mike Cantrell later changed his vote to abstain, telling the Dallas Observer he does not support reparations and that Price "went too far."<br />     "I had no opportunity to review it, to see what was in the resolution," Cantrell said. "As Commissioner Price was reading this I was trying to find a copy because it sounded like he was going way over what he typically does."<br />     The remaining three commissioners did not change their votes, but County Judge Clay Jenkins urged county staffers to make sure the full commissioners court "have the opportunity to actually read what they are voting on" in the future.</p> Thu, 19 Jun 2014 08:09:00 -0700 David Lee, Courthouse News 1004572 at http://wwwff.alternet.org News & Politics News & Politics slavery reparations dallas racism Emancipation Proclamation juneteenth Unarmed Black Man Shot in the Back by San Antonio Police, Parents Say http://wwwff.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/unarmed-black-man-shot-back-san-antonio-police-parents-say <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">The officer has a history of racial profiling and a short temper.</div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/cop_0.png" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p> </p><div><div id="C1R1_Byline"><div>SAN ANTONIO (CN) - An off-duty San Antonio police officer shot to death an unarmed black man as he walked away from a restaurant drive-through, the man's parents claim in court.</div><div>Cheryl Jones and Black Lamkin sued the city, police Officer Robert Encina, Quinonez Foodservice, Chacho's 8614 Perrin Beitel Ltd. and John Burke, president of Quinonez and Chacho's, in Federal Court.</div><div>Their son, Marquis Jones, 23, was a passenger a car driven by Fabian Garcia on Feb. 28. Jones' sister, Whitney Jones, and her roommate, Dominue Carter, also were passengers. None are parties to the lawsuit.</div><div>Garcia's car struck the car in front of it in the drive-through lane at Chacho's and Chalucci's, a Tex-Mex restaurant in northeast San Antonio. The collision was minor, no damage was done and the unidentified driver of the other car returned to her vehicle to wait on her order "without incident" after Garcia apologized, the parents say in the complaint.</div><div>Encina was in uniform working security at the restaurant.</div><div>"Out of nowhere, defendant Encina approached Garcia's car and demanded that he turn off his vehicle and get out of his car for no lawful reason," the 26-page complaint states. "Defendant Encina searched and handcuffed Garcia and used inappropriate force on him. Jones, witnessing how defendant Encina was treating Garcia, became afraid and decided he would leave so that he would not be attacked by defendant Encina."</div><div>Jones was afraid because he Officer Encina harassed him a few days before, his parents say.</div><div>"Defendant Encina, noticing Jones leaving, pushed Garcia aside and began to pursue Jones," the complaint states. "Not once did defendant Encina identify himself or command Jones to stop. Defendant Encina, for no lawful reason or fear of imminent danger, pulled out his service revolver and shot Jones in the back as he attempted to leave Chacho's. There exist no reasons for Defendant Encina to shoot and kill Jones in cold blood."</div><div>Police told the San Antonio Express-News that Jones displayed a handgun as he left the front passenger seat. They said Jones ran and collapsed after a short distance, dying at the scene. Jones' handgun was found nearby, police claimed.</div><div>Jones' parents disagree. They say Garcia and his passengers were leaving to go home and that they "did not want any problems, nor were they causing any problems."</div><div>"Upon information made available to the plaintiffs by a number of witnesses, Jones did not have a gun in his hand nor was he attempting to cause bodily harm to defendant Encina," the complaint states." Defendant Encina fatally shot Jones in the back for no lawful reason as he attempted to leave Chacho's."</div><div>The parents claim Encina has a "short fuse" and a bad history of dealing with minorities, particularly blacks. They claim Encina was suspended from the police department for 45 days after an incident in 2010 at Mama Margie's Restaurant in San Antonio involving black males.</div><div>"Defendant Encina was found to be highly intoxicated, used profanity, insulted customers and employees of Mama Margie's, assaulted an employee and identified himself as 'a baller' and 'from the East side' as he initiated a confrontation with several African American males and employees of Mama Margie's," the complaint states.</div><div>Encina has been known to harass customers at Chacho's as well, the parents claim.</div><div>They blame the city for having "a longstanding record" of not providing officers with adequate training and of not stopping excessive force and extrajudicial killings. They claim police officials know its internal affairs section is a "real problem."</div><div>"As a result of the lack of training and the official custom or policies of the SPD, San Antonio remains at the top of the list in the state of Texas for police misconduct," the complaint states. "The internal affairs section of the SPD has received hundreds of complaints involving the use of excessive force by police officers without ever having taken disciplinary action. This has resulted in a failure to supervise, discipline, counsel, or otherwise control police officers who are known or should be known to engage in the use of excessive force."</div><div>The parents also claim that Chacho's is an unsafe establishment - that police have been called there 220 times since 2012.</div><div>"During the same period of time, SPD officers responded to a restaurant across the street from Chacho's 13 times and a liquor store two blocks north of Chacho's 17 times since the start of 2012," the complaint states.</div><div>City officials did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday afternoon.</div><div>The parents seek actual and punitive damages for wrongful death, excessive force, racial profiling, negligence, assault, battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress. They are represented by Daryl Washington of Dallas.</div></div></div><p> </p> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 07:55:00 -0700 David Lee, Courthouse News 982240 at http://wwwff.alternet.org News & Politics Civil Liberties News & Politics San Antonio racial profiling police brutality Rick Perry: Let the Prison Rape Continue http://wwwff.alternet.org/civil-liberties/rick-perry-let-prison-rape-continue <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Texas Gov. says his state won&#039;t comply with prison rape law.</div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/rick_perry.png" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p> AUSTIN (CN) - Texas will not abide by parts of a federal law aimed at reducing prison rape, Gov. Rick Perry told U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in a letter.<br />     The Prison Rape Elimination Act was enacted in 2003 under President George W. Bush, a former governor of Texas.<br />     In his March 28 letter, Perry said the law has "good intentions" but that recently adopted rules by the Department of Justice make it impossible for many states to comply with the act.<br />     "The rules appear to have been created in a vacuum with little regard for input from those who daily operate state prisons and local jails," Perry wrote. "They are inconsistent with other federal laws, such as labor laws and the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act, mandate staff ratios that impose substantial financial burden on communities and impose compliance dates impossible to meet."<br />     The rules give states until May 15 to certify that all facilities under their control comply with the PREA, a deadline Perry says cannot be met.<br />     "PREA requires one-third of these facilities to be audited each year, yet no audit tool for lock-ups has even been developed," Perry wrote. "There is no way that I will certify compliance for facilities that have not even been audited."<br />     Texas will refuse to raise its age of criminal responsibility from 17 to 18. To do so would require separating 17-year-old adult inmates from 18-year old adult inmates "at substantial cost with no discernible benefit," Perry said.<br />     Perry disputed the law's "ill-conceived" standards on opposite-gender viewing of inmates, which he claims will cause violations of state and federal labor laws against gender discrimination.<br />     "Approximately 40 percent of [Texas Department of Criminal Justice] correctional officers at male units are female," Perry wrote. "Because PREA standards prohibit most cross-gender viewing, TDCJ would be compelled to deny female officers job assignments and promotion opportunities, simply based on their gender. A consultant referred to TDCJ by the PREA Resource Center absurdly suggested that TDCJ solve this problem by removing security cameras and obstructing lines of sight. That is ridiculous. Doing so would not only be a security risk for both prisoners and staff but also increase the likelihood of assaults taking place, defeating the intent of the law."<br />     Lance Lowry, president of a local union representing corrections officers in Huntsville, disagreed. He told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram the state already bans male officers from patting down female inmates, while female officers can search male inmates.<br />     "Perry's argument on that is very shortsighted and from our stance, he is opening the agency and the agency staff to a tremendous amount of liability," Lowry told the newspaper Wednesday.<br />     He said most issues could be resolved easily if staffing levels were corrected.<br />     "The lack of staff is something the politicians need to address," Lowry said. "They have run these facilities short of staff for years."</p> Thu, 03 Apr 2014 10:37:00 -0700 David Lee, Courthouse News 978195 at http://wwwff.alternet.org Civil Liberties Civil Liberties News & Politics rick perry prison rape texas Prison Rape Elimination Act "Ten Commandments" Judge Calls For Constitutional Convention to Ban Gay Marriage http://wwwff.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/judge-calls-constitutional-convention-ban-gay-marriage <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Alabama Justice Ray Moore calls on all 50 states to pass a federal ban on same-sex nuptuals. </div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/gavel_flag_constitution.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>(CN) - Alabama's "Ten Commandments" chief justice wants the governors of all 50 states to pass a federal ban on gay marriage ban via constitutional convention.</p><p>Such a convention under Article V of the Constitution has never been held, but Justice Ray Moore believes the time is right. He sent letters to the governors Wednesday.</p><p>"The moral foundation of our country is under attack," Moore told the Associated Press. "Government has become oppressive and judges are warping the law."</p><p>Moore said he did not believe Congress would offer an amendment to ban gay marriage this year, so the only alternative is an Article V convention that requires the support of at least 34 states.</p><p>"I think the time is ripe for that to happen with the political atmosphere in Congress," Moore told the AP. "They can't get along or agree on anything."</p><p>This is Moore's second stint on the Alabama Supreme Court. He was removed from his post as chief justice in 2003 when he refused to comply with a federal judge's order to remove a monument of the Ten Commandments from the Alabama Judicial Building in Montgomery.</p><p>He was later re-elected and returned to office in January 2013.</p><p>Susan Watson, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama, said Thursday that Moore is "chronically imposing his beliefs on others."</p><p>"Chief Justice Roy Moore said that government has become oppressive and this is yet another perfect example of his contributions to the matter," Watson said. "This isn't the first time Justice Moore has been in this spotlight. You'd think he'd learn by now. Times are changing and he needs to get with it."</p> Tue, 11 Feb 2014 04:46:00 -0800 David Lee, Courthouse News 957165 at http://wwwff.alternet.org News & Politics News & Politics Sex & Relationships The Right Wing lgbt gay marriage same-sex marriage Judge Forbids Lesbian Woman From Living with Partner http://wwwff.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/judge-forbids-lesbian-woman-living-partner <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">In Texas, a judge is enforcing a morality clause in one of the women&#039;s divorce papers to prevent the lesbians from living together. </div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/texasflag.jpeg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p> </p><div>A Texas judge has ordered a lesbian couple to stop living together due a morality clause in one of the women's divorce papers.
    </div><div> </div><div>Judge John Roach of the 296th District Court in Collin County enforced the clause from Carolyn Compton's 2011 divorce decree on May 7, the Dallas Voice reported.
     Compton has lived for three years with Page Price, who was ordered by Roach to move out within 30 days because Compton's children live with the couple. The clause states that a person who has a "dating or intimate relationship" or is not related "by blood or marriage" must leave after 9 p.m. when the children are present.
    </div><div> </div><div>Shortly after the ruling, Price posted on her Facebook profile that Roach was a "bigot hiding behind a robe."
    </div><div> </div><div>"By his enforcement, being that we cannot marry in this state, I have been ordered to move out of my home," Price said. "Said judge offered further information to our attorneys that if he could throw her in jail for being gay he would. The only reason he didn't incarcerate her was because of a technicality our attorneys found in the original wording."
     Price accused Compton's ex-husband of hiring a private investigator to bring the matter before the court.
    </div><div> </div><div>"This is the same man who lives just a few miles away yet has taken his children a total of 12 times in three years and not attended ONE school or athletic event," Price said in another Facebook posting. "This request for enforcement was filed 'in the interest and welfare of the children.' If he is so worried about their welfare where is he every 1st, 3rd and 5th weekend?"
     </div><div> </div><div>Price said children that live with the couple are "happy and well adjusted."
     </div><div> </div><div>"We didn't want to be the face for this movement, but it looks like God has bigger plans for us," she added. "We will stand up and fight this for our family and hope that it helps pave the way for marriage equality in Texas."
    </div><div> </div><div>Texas voters approved a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage in 2005.</div><div> </div> Fri, 24 May 2013 06:07:00 -0700 David Lee, Courthouse News 845219 at http://wwwff.alternet.org News & Politics News & Politics The Right Wing lesbian gay rights lgbt texas