Approximately 400 protesters marched past the White House, Justice Department, and U.S. Capital on Monday to protest the February 4 shooting of Amadou Diallo by a New York City police officer.
Diallo, a recent immigrant from the West African nation of Guinea, was shot 19 times by four police officers while standing in the entrance of his apartment building. The police officers were searching for a rape suspect at the time and say that they believed Diallo was armed, an assumption that was later found to be untrue.
The protesters chanted "enough is enough" and charged that violence and use of excessive force against black citizens is a pervasive problem among police officers throughout the U.S. NAACP criminal justice committee chair Mark Thompson declared, "We want to see to it that an end is brought to this police violence against people of African-American ancestry." Thompson and others demanded that federal laws be strengthened to better identify and punish police officers who have been found to mistreat citizens based on their race or ethnicity.
The Bronx district attorney's office and U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White are both conducting investigations into the shooting. The FBI will assist White in her investigation. The accused officers have been placed on administrative duties pending these investigations.
7/27/2015 Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Blocked Efforts to Defund Planned Parenthood - An attempt in the Senate to defund Planned Parenthood by Mike Lee (R-UT) was blocked this weekend by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Lee tried to attach the elimination of federal funds for Planned Parenthood to a vote for highway legislation, a move which was rejected by McConnell as out of order.
Republican legislators have redoubled their efforts to block funding for Planned Parenthood since the release of two heavily edited clandestine videos of different PPFA employees taken without their knowledge. . . .
7/24/2015 Katherine Spillar Urges Cleveland to Dramatically Increase Hiring of Women Police to Mitigate Police Violence - In a well-received speech at the City Club of Cleveland today, Katherine Spillar, Executive Director of the Feminist Majority Foundation urged Cleveland city officials to dramatically increase the hiring of women police officers as a way to decrease police brutality incidents.
Following a number of high profile police killings in Cleveland of African Americans, and an eight-month investigation by the US Attorney's office of the Northern District of Ohio, the City of Cleveland has now entered into a Consent Decree that requires numerous reforms in how the city oversees and investigates police operations, including training in use of force.
"Among the most important reforms mandated by the consent decree - and the most easily overlooked - are the changes the Cleveland Division of Police must make in its recruitment and hiring practices,
said Spillar. . . .