teleSURtv – 2016-07-12 01:51:06
“Black people don’t feel as if we’re being treated unequally â€” it’s a fact that we’re being treated unequally,” says Dr. Cornell West. It was telling, West said, that Obama could call the shooting of Dallas police “a vicious and despicable act” but he would not use those exact words to describe police-involved killings in general.
Despite Worldwide Outcry,
US Police Kill Another Black Man
(July 10, 2016) — Alva Braziel is the most recent victim of police terror in the US as he was shot 10 times by Houston police.
Despite national and international outcry against the recent police killings of two Black men in the United States, another Black man was shot dead by Houston police Saturday night in a killing that was caught on camera that shows the man with his arms up, surrendering to police officers.
Alva Braziel was shot 10 times by the police near a gas station in what the police say was a justified shooting because the man had a firearm and was pointing it at them.
However, surveillance video, reportedly taken from the nearby gas station and circulated on social media showed Braziel standing in the street as he raised his arms above his head being shot within seconds of the police arriving.
According to police spokeswoman Jodi Silva, Braziel was pointing a firearm at the sky, reported Newsweek.
However, the time frame of the video does not seem to match the police’s claim, as their arrival and the subsequent fatal shooting takes less than 10 seconds. Braziel, who did not fire any shots, died at the scene of the shooting.
The news comes just days after the fatal shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile which refocused national and international attention on police brutality in the US and unleashed fresh protests and unrest in several US cities. The killings of the two men were captured on video, which also showed that they had not posed any threat to police officers.
Notwithstanding the worldwide attention, police departments around the country have yet to put an end to their extrajudicial killings of Black people, who are being targeted by police at much higher rates than whites.
The unrest in the US also prompted at least three countries — the Bahamas, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain — to issued travel warnings to their citizens visiting the US asking them to avoid police and to stay away from large events.
US Tastes Own Medicine as UAE, Bahrain Issue Travel Warnings
The two US allies issued travel warnings for their citizens visiting the US, something Washington uses at times to destabilize governments
Two major United States allies, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, issued travel warnings to their citizens visiting the US following the recent police shootings of two Black men in Louisiana and Minnesota, which have led to major protests, putting the US at the center of international attention over its police killings and targeting of Black and Brown people.
Using similar language to that of the US State Department when it warns its own citizens against traveling to countries hit by unrest, the UAE urged its students and other citizens in the US to also be careful.
“Please be aware of immediate surroundings and avoid crowded places when possible,” the UAE embassy said in a statement Sunday. “Exercise particular caution during large festivals or events, be alert and stay safe.”
Meanwhile the Bahraini embassy in the US urged its citizens via Twitter to “be cautious of protests or crowded areas occurring around the US”
Police Hypocrisy: Black vs. White
These latest travel warnings come just days after the Bahamas, a Caribbean nation where most people identify as being of African heritage, warned its people Friday to be careful when visiting US cities rocked by “shootings of young Black males by police officers.”
The US regularly issues travel warnings: in July alone, the United States issued travel warnings for Bangladesh, Venezuela, Iraq and Mali.
Activists and governments have repeatedly said that Washington’s frequent and abundant travel warnings are used in some cases to target countries that have bad relations with the US in what would aid in exaggerating the extent of the unrest or crisis to target the nations’ governments.
In fact travel warnings and critical statements from the US tend to be less frequent or simply non-existent when the countries suffering unrest and crises are Washington’s allies, as is the case for the UAE and Bahrain.
The UAE, one of the world’s major oil producers and a key Washington ally, has banned protests and demonstrations and social media websites are closely monitored by authorities.
Also several local lawyers and activists who have called for protests and reform have been jailed and had their citizenship revoked over what the UAE government calls links to terrorism.
Meanwhile, the small kingdom of Bahrain faced its own massive protests at the height of the Arab Spring in 2011 in which up to 35 people were killed due to a major government crackdown on the majority Shiite population leading the protests.
At the time, the US expressed its support for the government. Saudi Arabia sent 1,000 troops and the UAE sent 500 troops to aid the government in cracking down on the protests.
Additionally, several human rights organizations and activists accused the government of Bahrain of widespread state torture against its dissident citizens during the arrests and imprisonments.
The US for the most part stayed silent on conditions in those countries and other international allies.
July 4th is Yours Not Mine A Black Man’s Speech
5 Latinos Killed by US Cops This Week — And Media Ignored It
(July 9, 2016) — While international media floods to cover the killing of white people and cops, the deaths of Latinos often go unnoticed.
Even as the police killings of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling continue to stir outrage over lethal police brutality and systemic racism, the death of five Latinos this week garnered little media fanfare.
Vinson Ramos, Melissa Ventura, Anthony Nunez, Pedro Villanueva and Raul Saavedra-Vargas were shot and killed by cops since Sunday, but only local media picked up the story.
“We’re being targeted,” Gloria Hernandez, an organizer against police brutality in Fresno, told teleSUR.
She has been compiling her own database of police killings in Fresno — she began with the San Joaquin Valley but the list got unwieldy — and has counted that from 2000 to 2014, over 80 percent of victims were Latino.
One of the police officers killed five people without an indictment; many killed up to four. Hernandez said that she couldn’t rely on media reports or support from nonprofits like the ACLU, so she went straight to the police for her numbers.
Fresno, a hub for migrant farm workers, is about half Latino. While Latino, Black and Asian activists are organizing solidarity events in the aftermath of the Dallas shooting, Hernandez said that international media only came to report on the police killing of two white people.
“The media never focused on Latinos,” she said. “We’re not attractive — Latinos — right?”
After receiving a call for domestic abuse, three officers showed up at a Jack-in-the-Box in Bell, east of Los Angeles, on Thursday. Vinson Ramos was reportedly holding a folding knife, and when he refused to put it down, the officers opened fire. He was with his girlfriend and her son, reported KABC.
Melissa Ventura, a 24-year-old mother of three, was shot and killed by cops on Tuesday in Yuma, Arizona. Official accounts say she was holding a knife when they shot her and that they were called out for a case of domestic violence.
The Racism Behind US Police Killings
“She was the heart and soul of my family,” Ventura’s sister Tiffany told KYMA. “I don’t know what we are going to do without her, the only thing I can say is that her kids will know how much she loved them.”
The day before, police in San Jose, California were called to Anthony Nunez’s house, who the police chief said was then described as suicidal. Nunez reportedly left the house with a gun when police arrived, and after 14 minutes of police trying to convince him not to kill himself, they shot Nunez instead. He was 18 years old.
Local media reported that neighbors denied he was armed and that no one was allowed to approach him to talk him out of suicide.
“Never in a million years would I think he would take his (own) life,” his mother told the press. “There are other methods of taking someone down without shooting to kill … I don’t understand why it always has to be fatal.”
Laurie Valdez, the partner of Antonio Guzman Lopez — shot in the back and killed by San Jose State University police in 2014 — told teleSUR that she met with Nunez’s family, who is outraged at police.
The two shots came “like snipers” from the distance of three houses away, and officers did not attempt to perform CPR, call an ambulence or move Nunez’s body until 10 hours later, they told Valdez. A bullet even pierced their wall, right under the doorbell, as a permanent reminder of the murder.
In the official statement, though, “the police is always the victim,” said Valdez.
Two Latinos were killed by police on Sunday: Pedro Villanueva from Fullerton, California and Raul Saavedra-Vargas from Reno, Nevada.
Villanueva, 19, was reportedly fleeing uniformed police in his car when undercover highway patrol officers shot at his moving vehicle — a tactic banned by major police departments.
Raul Saavedra-Vargas was also fleeing a traffic stop when he almost drove through downtown’s Biggest Little City Wing Fest — a popular chicken-eating festival — and was shot dead. Police said that they opened fire when they saw him driving into the street festival and approaching a cop.
While statistics clearly show that Black people are disproportionately killed by police, few numbers exist for Latinos, who can occupy several demographic categories.
Of the estimates that do exist, Latino deaths are fairly proportional, except in some counties with a high concentration of Latinos: in Los Angeles County, 14 of the 23 people killed by police last year were Latino — who make up roughly half of the population — according to the Los Angeles Times.
In the Guardian’s police shooting database The Counter, Latinos are the third most likely group to be killed by an officer, after Native Americans and Black people. The database only included two of the five Latinos killed this week.
Besides facing harsher police repression, Black people “are putting out their stories” and mobilizing their networks, said Carla Osorio, a community organizer in East Los Angeles. Still, media coverage of groups like Black Lives Matter, she said, has inspired Latinos to join in solidarity and draw attention to the ways they are targetted, too.
4:52 p.m.: teleSUR added the death of Vinson Ramos, who was shot on Thursday.
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