Federal District Judge William Rea ruled yesterday that anti-racketeering laws can be used in a current case against the Los Angeles Police Department and officers accused of corrupt acts in the continually unfolding Rampart Division police scandal. The court’s ruling will allow the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) law to be used in a case in which plaintiffs are accusing LAPD officers of beating and false arrests, and arguing that the LAPD knew of and condoned these actions. Applying this statute to the case would treat the LAPD as a “criminal enterprise” that conspired to bring false drug charges, plant false evidence and brutalize citizens. Since the scandal erupted, over 100 criminal cases have been overturned. The LAPD has also been previously accused of systematically covering up brutality by officers toward their wives and girlfriends.
Chief Penny Harrington, Director of the Feminist Majority Foundation’s National Center for Women and Policing, urged that, as this case moves forward, the courts examine the role of gender in police brutality. The Center’s research shows that women officers are involved in excessive force and brutality at rates substantially below male officers. In its 1992 examination of the LAPD, the Christopher Commission found that ongoing sexism and discrimination against women in the LAPD contributed to the climate of excessive use of force among officers.
Media Resources: New York Times, A14 – August 30, 2000 and Feminist Majority Foundation
10/31/2014 Federal Judge Exempts Another Catholic University from Birth Control Coverage - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in Florida, does not have to comply with federal rules meant to ensure that covered employees can exercise their right to obtain birth control at no cost.
The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives - such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs - without charging co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. . . .
10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot.
SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy."
"We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event.
SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .