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« on: September 24, 2021, 09:01:39 pm »
Saturday, 25th September  ~Two Thousand & Twenty One
Former O.C. sheriff’s deputy charged with stealing dead woman’s credit cards
by The Associated Press

A former Orange County sheriff’s deputy stole credit cards from a dead woman’s Yorba Linda home and used them to make purchases from QVC and an automotive parts store, prosecutors said Friday.

The charges come after Steve Hortz was previously indicted on multiple felonies in connection with breaking into the home of a dead man to steal more than $27,000 in guns and other items in July 2020.

He has pleaded not guilty, and that case is ongoing.

The Orange County district attorney’s office announced Hortz’s second case Friday.

His arraignment is scheduled for October 26th.

Hortz’s attorney, Shaheen Manshoory, said prosecutors have not turned over much information in the case.

“At this time, we will let the process play out in court,“ Manshoory said in an email Friday.

Authorities arrested Hortz last year in that first case, alleging that the 12-year veteran had responded to the man’s home in Yorba Linda for a welfare check on July 20th, 2020, and found the homeowner dead of natural causes.

Hortz allegedly returned to the home several times — including once on duty wearing his deputy uniform — to steal the man’s belongings.

The burglaries were captured on home surveillance video, and a probate attorney reported the thefts to the Sheriff’s Department.

Hortz was arrested on September 10th, 2020, and resigned 20 days later instead of being fired.

He was indicted on three felony counts of second-degree burglary and two felony counts of grand theft of a firearm.

Authorities have since discovered that in August 2020 — before Hortz was identified as a suspect in the deceased man’s case — he was called to the home of a dead woman in Yorba Linda, where he allegedly stole three credit cards.

Prosecutors allege that he tried to make thousands of dollars’ worth of unauthorized online purchases — the majority of which were declined — and have some of them sent to his home.

Hortz was charged Friday with one felony count of identity theft, one felony count of grand theft embezzlement, and four felony counts of attempted grand theft.

He faces four years and four months in state prison if convicted in the credit card case.

In The News / Re: The Judge Who Replaced Brett Kavenaugh
« on: September 24, 2021, 03:18:08 pm »
Friday, 24th September  ~Two Thousand & Twenty One
Biden pick Florence Pan confirmed as first Asian American woman on D.C. federal court
by Reuters

The U.S. Senate on Thursday confirmed Florence Pan as the first Asian American woman to serve as a federal district court judge in Washington, D.C., filling a seat vacated by now-U.S. Circuit Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, who was promoted to the D.C. Circuit.

The 68-30 vote came shortly after the U.S. Senate Judiciary voted to advance five of President Joe Biden’s other judicial picks, including Toby Heytens, the Virginia state solicitor general nominated to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Pan, a former federal prosecutor who has served judge on the D.C. Superior Court since 2009, was first nominated to the federal court in 2016 by Democratic President Barack Obama.

But despite a favorable vote from the then-republican controlled Judiciary Committee, she was never confirmed, and when individual-1 took office, he nominated Dabney Freidrich to fill the seat she had been up for.

Biden in March announced he would renominate Pan to fill the seat that would be vacated once Jackson won Senate approval to replace Attorney General Merrick Garland on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, which she did in June.

Jackson, who is Black, has been seen as a potential nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court should a vacancy emerge.

The nomination of Pan furthered Biden’s overall promise to bring greater diversity to the federal judiciary.

“The historic nature of Judge Pan’s nomination will help build a federal bench that reflects full diversity,” U.S. Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois, who chairs the Judiciary Committee, said on the Senate floor on Wednesday.

She is the 14th of Biden’s 43 judicial nominees to win approval, amid a rush by Democrats to shape the judiciary and counter the influence of individual-1’s near-record 234 appointments while they maintain their narrow control of the chamber.

Health / Re: Purple Purse
« on: September 24, 2021, 02:29:23 pm »
Friday, 24th September  ~Two Thousand & Twenty One
Apparently, chris cuomo has a history of sexually harrassing women on the job, too

According to Jessica Valenti on Twitter, "After Chris Cuomo grabbed a woman's ass in 2005, he wrote her an email her husband."


The Real Me

Also telling bc he couldn't place himself in her shoes, as a fellow human, to understand why it was wrong. He could only understand it from the husband's perspective.

See also:
"As the father of daughters..."
"As the son of a mother..."
"As the brother of two sisters..."

Jessica Valenti

The apology to her husband is also really telling because it solidifies how his grabbing her was about power & ownership. He felt bad because she 'belonged' to someone else

mr. biscuits

Gotta love how he tries to separate his ass grabbing as well-intentioned unlike those “bad” ass grabbings.

Lindsey Boylan

“Whether he understood it at the time or not, his form of sexual harassment was a hostile act meant to diminish and belittle his female former boss in front of the staff.”

Sexual harassment is about power.

Lindsey Boylan

“It’s not just inappropriate touching, pressure to consent or drunken overtures…It may be someone “accidentally” brushing up against you, or engaging in uncomfortable sexual innuendo with you, or asking you to spin around so they can look at your rear end. It’s all got to stop.”

Lindsey Boylan

“You can’t have a sliding scale in which asking permission for a kiss is OK and a hand on the back is harmless. Who gets to draw the boundaries?”

Lindsey Boylan

“We must continue to hold the enablers accountable, both men and women. Time’s Up has already presented one remedy: the clean sweep.   

But I see another way forward.
I’m not asking for
 to become the next casualty in this continuing terrible story.”

Lindsey Boylan

“ I would, however, like to see
 journalistically repent:

…He could host a series of live town hall meetings, with documentary footage, produced by women with expert consultants. Call it “The Continuing Education of Chris Cuomo” and make this a watershed moment…”


She doesn't owe him sh!t.  Just because he apologized doesn't mean she's required to protect HIS reputation.  And do you really think this is the only incident, the only woman he's been inappropriate with?  That was some brazen sh!t.  I hope more come forward.

Vox Populi / Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« on: September 23, 2021, 01:53:39 pm »
Thursday, 23rd September  ~Two Thousand & Twenty One
Louisiana state stupor charged in pummeling of Black man

A former Louisiana State Police trooper has been charged with a civil rights violation for pummeling a Black motorist 18 times with a flashlight — the first criminal case to emerge from federal investigations into troopers’ beatings of at least three Black men.

A grand jury on Thursday indicted Jacob Brown for the 2019 beating following a traffic stop that left Aaron Larry Bowman with a broken jaw, broken ribs and a gash to his head.

Brown was charged with one count of deprivation of rights under color of law, federal prosecutors said.

Brown’s attorney, Scott Wolleson, declined to comment

Bowman’s attorney, Donecia Banks-Miley, called the indictment “a sigh of relief.”

“We’re just trying to remain hopeful and trust the process of justice,” she told The Associated Press.

“Aaron is extremely happy, and he just wants full justice.”

Brown’s indictment comes as the federal prosecutors on the case are scrutinizing other troopers who punched, stunned and dragged another Black motorist, Ronald Greene, before he died in their custody on a rural roadside.

The probe of Greene’s 2019 death has grown to examine whether police brass obstructed justice to protect the troopers who beat the Black motorist after a high-speed chase.

Body camera video of both beatings, which took place less than three weeks and 20 miles (32 kilometers) apart, remained under wraps before the AP obtained and published them this year.

They are among a dozen cases over the past decade in which an AP investigation found troopers or their bosses ignored or concealed evidence of beatings, deflected blame and impeded efforts to root out misconduct.

“The department has previously acknowledged that it has open and ongoing criminal investigations into incidents involving the Louisiana State Police that resulted in death or bodily injury to arrestees,” the DOJ said in a statement.

“Those investigations remain ongoing.”

On the May night Bowman was pulled over for a traffic violation, Brown came upon the scene after deputies had forcibly removed Bowman from his vehicle and taken him to the ground.

The trooper later told investigators he “was in the area and was trying to get involved.”

Video and police records show he beat Bowman 18 times with a flashlight in 24 seconds after deputies pulled him over for a traffic violation near his Monroe home.

Brown later said Bowman had struck a deputy and the blows were “pain compliance” intended to get Bowman into handcuffs.

Bowman, 46, denied hitting anyone and is not seen on the video being violent with officers.

He still faces a list of charges, including battery of a police officer, resisting an officer and the traffic violation for which he was initially stopped, improper lane usage.

Brown, 31, failed to report his use of force and mislabeled his body-camera footage in what investigators described in internal records as “an intentional attempt to hide the video.”

State police didn’t investigate the attack until 536 days later, and only did so after a lawsuit from Bowman.

Brown was perhaps the Louisiana State Police’s most prolifically violent trooper in recent years.

Records show he tallied 23 uses of force dating to 2015 — 19 on Black people — and he faces state charges in Bowman’s case and two other violent arrests of Black motorists.

The Louisiana State Police’s own tally shows that in recent years 67% of its uses of force were against Black people.

That figure has fueled mounting calls from civil rights groups and Black leaders for the U.S. Justice Department to go beyond individual prosecutions and launch a “pattern and practice” probe into potential racial profiling by the agency.

Col. Lamar Davis, the head of the state police, said earlier this month that he would welcome such a probe if the department deems it necessary but that he wants the opportunity to correct the department’s issues and is already working to do so.

In The News / Re: Jurors in Bill Cosby's trial say they are deadlocked
« on: September 23, 2021, 01:24:31 pm »
Thursday, 23rd September  ~Two Thousand & Twenty One
Phylicia Rashad Claims Bill Cosby Trial Was About Destroying His Legacy
by DailyReports71

Ever since Bill Cosby began facing legal issues, Phylicia Rashad has supported her TV husband through thick and thin.

In many cases, the actress risked the chances of being canceled by a culture of individuals who believed Bill Cosby was indeed guilty.

Phylicia Rashad played Bill Cosby’s wife, Claire Huxtable, on the Bill Cosby show, which lasted for eight seasons and became a cultural phenomenon and ideal representation of black families on television.

Rashad’s role as Claire Huxtable led the actress to become known as “Mother of the Black Community” at the 2010 NAACP Image Awards.

Following the end of the show, Rashad and Cosby went on to work on various projects individually.

Still, they continued building their friendship which has lasted nearly forty years at this point.

While the world seemed to turn its back on Cosby, Rashad’s support remained consistent.

In 2015, Rashad claimed she was misquoted during an interview with Showbiz 411 which quoted the ‘This Is Us’ actress saying,
“Forget these Women.”

The publication also alleged the actress became dismissive when Beverly Johnson and Janice Dickinson’s claims were brought to her attention.

Rashad vehemently denied making those assertions.

Following Showbiz’s misquote, Rashad, clarified her statement during an interview with ABC when the actress insisted her response described Cosby’s trial as an attempt to destroy his legacy.

“What I said is that this is not about the women. This is about something else. This is about the obliteration of legacy,” Rashad clarified.

Also, claiming Bill Cosby’s legacy is important to the culture, and that’s why they’re attempting to destroy it.

As years went by, Rashad continued to provide her two cents on Cosby’s legal woes regardless of public opinion.

Most recently, Rashad faced backlash again for celebrating and supporting her dear friend, Bill Cosby, following his release.

“FINALLY!!! A terrible wrong is being righted — a miscarriage of justice is corrected,” the actress tweeted in a now-deleted viral tweet.

Angry fans even attempted to get the actress fired from her job as Dean of the Chadwick Boseman College of Fine Arts at Howard University before she had a chance to begin her post.

Phylicia Rashad eventually released a statement apologizing, claiming her tweet was in no way directed towards the women.

Many celebrities, including Stephanie Mills and Bill Cosby, came to her defense.

Vox Populi / Re: Crushing Haiti, Now as Always
« on: September 23, 2021, 01:04:25 pm »
Thursday, 23rd September   ~Two Thousand & Twenty One
Psaki Announces Del Rio Border Patrol Will No Longer Use Horses

Press Secretary Jen Psaki announced Thursday that Border Patrol agents will no longer be permitted to use horses to guard the border in Del Rio, Texas, after “horrific” photos emerged of agents swinging long reins while interacting with Haitian migrants.

The press secretary said Biden has asked outreach team members of his national security team and homeland security team to “explain clearly what our policy is and what our policy is not.”

“We could not see it as any more different from the policy of the prior administration, which the president feels — we all feel — was inhumane, immoral, ineffective, wasn’t operationally working and, because of the dysfunction of it, we have led to a very broken system that we’re dealing with today.”

She said the president would like to convey there is an investigation being done into the “horrific” pictures.

“I can also convey to you that the secretary also conveyed to civil rights leaders earlier this morning that we will no longer be using horses in Del Rio so that is something, a policy change that has been made in response,” she said.

Vox Populi / Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« on: September 23, 2021, 06:44:22 am »
Thursday, 23rd September  ~Two Thousand & Twenty One
2 Pigs Charged With Assaulting Black Motorist Being Sued for Damages in Federal Court
by Mary Ellen Cagnassola

A man in Georgia who was kicked and punched in the head by police four years ago during a traffic stop is suing the officers in federal court, claiming the stop and force used against him were unfounded, the Associated Press reported.

Demetrius Hollins was was pulled over by Gwinnett County Police Sergeant Michael Bongiovanni near Atlanta in 2017, when Hollins was 22.

He told reporters Wednesday that he still has "some kind of PTSD from this situation."

In video footage filmed by a witness, Bongiovanni appears to punch Hollins while Hollins is standing with his hands up as he steps out of his car.

Another video shows the police sergeant screaming at Hollins as he's handcuffed.

Hollins lies face-down on a busy intersection, and another officer, Robert McDonald, runs up and appears to kick Hollins' head.

Hollins filed the federal lawsuit earlier in September against Bongiovanni, McDonald, former Gwinnett County Police Chief Butch Ayers and the county.

The lawsuit alleges that Bongiovanni pulled Hollins over without justification and then retaliated with excessive force after Hollins began using his cellphone to record video of the encounter.

It says McDonald knew Hollins was not a threat when he arrived at the scene but still kicked Hollins in the head and held him down with a gun pressed to his head.

Both officers were fired the next day after video of the traffic stop surfaced.

They were subsequently charged with multiple crimes related to the stop.

Working phone numbers for the two could not immediately be found Wednesday, and online court records did not list a lawyer for either man who could comment on the charges.

The lawsuit also says Ayers, now the executive director of the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police, was aware that officers in his department routinely used "unnecessary physical force when making arrests and searches" and that he signed off on use-of-force reports even though supervisors had decided to close the cases without further investigation or inquiry.

It also says the county's use-of-force procedure was unconstitutional because it "expressly authorized officers to use unnecessary, gratuitous, and disproportionate non-deadly physical force against citizens as a matter of routine procedure when making arrests and searches."

The county allowed unconstitutional policies and practices in use-of-force investigations, discipline, training and supervision to continue unchecked for nearly 20 years, the lawsuit says.

Ayers did not immediately respond Wednesday to an email seeking comment.

County attorney Mike Ludwiczak said the county does not comment on pending litigation.

As so often is the case in instances of police brutality, the officers were untruthful in their reports and the truth came out because video existed, said L. Chris Stewart, an attorney for Hollins.

After this incident, he said, Gwinnett County prosecutors had to throw out dozens of cases because they could not rely on the reports filed by these officers.

"The people of Gwinnett County suffered because of these officers," Stewart said.

Hollins was driving a red Acura Integra with no license plate and a brake light that did not work, and switched lanes three times without signaling, according to an incident report filed by Bongiovanni.

The lawsuit says Hollins obeyed traffic laws, had two functioning brake lights and his vehicle tag was visible through the rear window.

The lawsuit says the original stop "was not supported by actual or arguable reasonable suspicion or probable cause" to believe he had committed a traffic offense or violated any other law.

Even if the traffic stop had been justified, Bongiovanni acted "in an objectively unreasonable manner" in violation of Hollins' rights, it says.

In nearly 20 years with the department, Bongiovanni had previously reported 67 use-of-force incidents.

Only four were investigated and only because of formal citizen complaints, the lawsuit says.

He was ultimately exonerated in all four.

Officers must file a report whenever they use physical force against a person, and supervisors are supposed to investigate that use of force to make sure it is justified and complies with department policy.

But supervisors in the Gwinnett County Police Department routinely approved officers' reports and closed the cases without any investigation, the lawsuit says.

Almost all of Bongiovanni's prior use-of-force reports lacked sufficient information to determine whether they were justified, the lawsuit says. Additionally, Bongiovanni and McDonald had a history of using excessive force when responding to calls together, the lawsuit says.

Bongiovanni pleaded no contest in June 2019 to aggravated assault and battery and was sentenced to six months in a work-release program and 10 years' probation.

A jury in February 2020 found McDonald guilty of aggravated assault, battery and violating his oath of office, and he was sentenced to 10 years' probation.

The lawsuit, which was filed September 10th, asks for a jury trial and seeks compensatory and punitive damages, as well as attorneys' fees and legal expenses.

Hard Choices / Re: Real male or Real female?
« on: September 23, 2021, 06:26:40 am »
Thursday, 23rd September  ~Two Thousand & Twenty One
LGBTQ Vets Discharged Have New Chance For Full Benefits
by Jonathan Franklin

Thousands of LGBTQ veterans who were discharged from the military under the "don't ask, don't tell" policy have gained new access to full government benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The announcement, issued Monday on the 10th anniversary of the repeal of don't ask, don't tell, will apply to veterans who were forced from service under the policy and given "other than honorable discharges" due to their sexual orientation, gender identity or HIV status.

The guidance was detailed in a blog post on the VA's website by Kayla Williams, assistant secretary for public affairs in the department's Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs.

It provides LGBTQ veterans the opportunity to receive assistance, ranging from mental health care and disability benefits to college money and home loans.

The announcement clarifies the existing rules in place but does not represent a specific legal change, officials said.

"At VA, we continuously work not only to meet the needs of LGBTQ+ Veterans, but also to address ongoing issues that LGBTQ+ Veterans face as a result of the military's decades-long official policy of homophobia and transphobia," Williams wrote.

The VA will begin to review case files and start to reinstate benefits to those eligible unless there were issues such as a criminal record, Williams said.

Don't ask, don't tell, which was put into place by then-President Bill Clinton on February 28th, 1994, prevented openly lesbian, gay and bisexual service members from serving in the military.

In 2010, then-President Barack Obama signed the repeal of the policy into law, which went into effect on September 20th, 2011.

Before the repeal, openly gay service members who were given an "other than honorable" discharge from the military were effectively blocked from the many services and benefits provided to veterans in the U.S., including access to medical care, financial compensation, pensions or a debt-free college education.

Additionally, those discharged were not allowed to reenlist in the military.

Williams, who is openly bisexual, said she chose to "present as straight" during the push to repeal don't ask, don't tell.

"It made sense at the time that there was a more pressing need for me as a woman married to a man to say, 'No one in my unit cared if anyone was gay while we were in Iraq,' " she said.

Williams said it took many years for her to let go of the "toxic legacy" of having served under the policy to "come back out of the closet."

Over the last 70 years, an estimated 100,000 military veterans either left or were kicked out of the service for their sexual orientation, and under don't ask, don't tell, many ultimately lost out on the opportunity for full VA benefits.

Lindsay Church, a Navy veteran who co-founded Minority Veterans of America, a nonprofit designed to focus on belonging and equity for underrepresented veterans, was involved when it came to pushing for service members discharged because of their sexuality to receive VA benefits.

"Even to overturn the policy wasn't enough to undo the harm and the damage that was done," Church said in an interview on NPR's All Things Considered.

"And so this moment is life-changing for so many people."

Williams says that while the trauma caused by the military's policy of discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community can't be erased, elected officials are taking appropriate steps to begin "addressing the pain" the policies built.

"LGBTQ+ Veterans are not any less worthy of the care and services that all Veterans earn through their service, and VA is committed to making sure that they have equal access to those services," she said.

Directing / Re: Melvin Van Peebles tribute concert/screening
« on: September 22, 2021, 03:08:44 pm »
Wednesday, 22nd  September  ~Two Thousand & Twenty One
Melvin Van Peebles, Godfather of Black Cinema Passes Away at 89
by Mike Barnes & Duane Byrge

Melvin Van Peebles, the pioneering African-American auteur behind the 1970s films 'Watermelon Man' and 'Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song', has passed.

He was 89.

Van Peebles, the father of actor-director Mario Van Peebles, passed away Tuesday night at his home in Manhattan.

His family, The Criterion Collection and Janus Films announced his passing in a statement.

“In an unparalleled career distinguished by relentless innovation, boundless curiosity and spiritual empathy, Melvin Van Peebles made an indelible mark on the international cultural landscape through his films, novels, plays and music,” the statement read.

“His work continues to be essential and is being celebrated at the New York Film Festival this weekend with a 50th anniversary screening of his landmark film Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song; a Criterion Collection box set, Melvin Van Peebles: Essential Films, next week; and a revival of his play Ain’t Supposed to Die a Natural Death, slated for a return to Broadway next year.”

Considered by many to be the godfather of modern Black cinema, Van Peebles was an influential link to a younger generation of African-American filmmakers that includes Spike Lee and John Singleton.

The Chicago native also was a novelist, theater impresario, songwriter, musician and painter.

Van Peebles was living in Paris when the first feature he wrote and directed, The Story of a Three-Day Pass, attracted attention and put him on the radar at Columbia Pictures.

The studio selected him to direct Watermelon Man (1970), a racial satire that starred Godfrey Cambridge as Jeff Gerber, a bigoted white insurance salesman who goes to the bathroom in his suburban home in the middle of the night and discovers he’s Black.

Very few African-Americans were directing in Hollywood at the time.

On the strength of that movie’s success, Columbia offered Van Peebles a three-picture deal but wanted no part of his next project, Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song (1971).

Helped by a $50,000 loan from Bill Cosby, he wrote, directed, produced, scored and edited the renegade film while starring as its anti-hero, a ladies man with superhero lovemaking abilities who battles the corrupt white establishment in Los Angeles.

Van Peebles made Sweetback in 19 days for a reported $500,000.

It opened in only two venues, in Atlanta and Detroit, but fueled by strong word-of-mouth from working-class African-Americans and a soundtrack of music performed by Earth, Wind & Fire, the picture raked in more than $10 million, making it the highest-grossing independent film in history at the time.

(The opening credits note that the star of the film is “The Black Community.”)

In a 1997 book about the movie, Mario notes in the introduction that his father

“was forced to self-finance, constantly on the brink of ruin, his crew got arrested and jailed, death threats, and yet [at first] he refused to submit his film to the all-white MPAA ratings board for approval. The film then received an X rating. My dad, true to form, printed T-shirts that read, ‘Rated X … By an All-White Jury,’ and made it part of his marketing campaign.”

The New York Times called Van Peebles “the first Black man in show business to beat the white man at his own game,” and Sweetback ushered in the blaxploitation era in Hollywood.

(Before his film, 'Shaft' was going to be about a white detective, he said.)

After Sweetback, Van Peebles brought Ain’t Supposed to Die a Natural Death, his musical about Black urban life, to Broadway and received Tony nominations for best book and best original score in 1972.

A year later, he received another book nom for Don’t Play Us Cheap!, centering on a devil who attempts to break up a party in Harlem.

The two musicals garnered nine Tony noms in all.

Van Peebles also directed a 1973 film version of Don’t Play Us Cheap! as well as the action comedy Identity Crisis (1989), which starred his son.

He helmed and appeared with Mario in Posse (1993), a Western about African-American soldiers who mutiny against their racist white officer, and contributed a song,

“Cruel Jim Crow,” to that movie.

Van Peebles had a writing credit on the stock-car biopic 'Greased Lightning' (1977), starring Richard Pryor, and adapted his novel about the growth of the Black Panther Party into a 1995 movie, Panther, that was directed by his son.

In 2003, he was portrayed by Mario in Baadasssss (2003), a son’s homage to his dad.

And two years later, Van Peebles was the subject of a documentary, How to Eat Your Watermelon in White Company (and Enjoy It).

The son of a tailor, Melvin Peebles was born on August 21st, 1932.

He graduated from Ohio Wesleyan in 1953 with a degree in literature, served for nearly four years in the U.S. Air Force and married a German woman.

After his discharge, he worked as a portrait painter in Mexico, then moved to San Francisco, where he ran cable cars.

Van Peebles also made three short films, beginning with the slice-of-life Three Pickup Men for Herrick (1957), which he hoped would serve as his calling card into the motion-picture industry.

But when he was unable to find directorial work in L.A., he, his wife and their children, Megan and Mario, moved to Europe.

In Holland, he studied with the Dutch National Theatre, did some acting and added the “Van” to his last name.

After his marriage dissolved, Van Peebles headed to Paris, where he authored five novels and wrote and directed his first feature, La permission, an adaptation of his novel about a love affair between an African-American soldier and a French woman.

It won acclaim in Europe, was retitled The Story of a Three-Day Pass for U.S. audiences and chosen as the French entry for the San Francisco Film Festival in 1967.

It was well-received by critics and festivalgoers, but few knew that the filmmaker behind Three-Day Pass was American and Black.

In a wonderful 2014 interview, Van Peebles said he insisted that the star of Watermelon Man be a Black actor (the character is only white in the first 20 minutes of the movie).

“You think a white guy can play Black but a Black guy can’t play white?” he asked Columbia execs.

He also changed the ending of Herman Raucher’s original script, which has the bigot waking up from a nightmare and back as a white guy.

“Being Black is not going to be a bad dream,” he said.

Van Peebles did promise the producers that he would film the original ending as well, giving them a choice but then “forgot” to do that.

A close-up of Cambridge’s butt is the first sign that informs the audience that something crazy has happened to Jeff Gerber overnight.

Van Peebles also did the music for the movie and appears in a cameo as a sign painter when Gerber opens his own business.

To get the owners — twin brothers — of the Detroit theater to open Sweetback, Van Peebles bet them a new suit, certain that his film would bring in more money than the movie they had at the time.

(He won.)

Before a screening of the film in April 2018 at the TCM Classic Film Festival, Van Peebles said,

“I haven’t had this much fun with clothes on in many years.”

Van Peebles also was in such films as Robert Atman’s O.C. and Stiggs (1985), Jaws: The Revenge (1987), Reginald Hudlin’s Boomerang (1992), Last Action Hero (1993), The Hebrew Hammer (2003) and Peeples (2013).

On television, he starred with Mario on the short-lived Stephen J. Cannell NBC comedy Sonny Spoon and appeared on All My Children, In the Heat of the Night, Living Single and Girlfriends.

Van Peebles won a Daytime Emmy and a Humanitas Prize in 1987 for writing an episode of a CBS Schoolbreak Special, “The Day They Came to Arrest the Books.”

He also was the author of Bold Money, a 1986 primer on how to trade stock options.

“Dad knew that Black images matter,” Mario said in a statement.

“If a picture is worth a thousand words, what was a movie worth? We want to be the success we see, thus we need to see ourselves being free. True liberation did not mean imitating the colonizer’s mentality. It meant appreciating the power, beauty and interconnectivity of all people.”

Wednesday, 22nd September   ~Two Thousand & Twenty One
Representative Tlaib Bill to Remove Medically Necessary Debt from Credit Reports Passes House


(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Comprehensive Debt Collection Improvement Act which includes Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib’s (MI-13) bill that will provide much needed relief for consumers struggling medical debt.

The Consumer Protection for Medical Debt Collections Act (H.R. 2537) would prohibit the collection of medical debt for two years and prohibit debt from “medically necessary” procedures from being included on one’s credit report.


“Nearly 1 in 5 adults have one or more medical debt collections listed on their credit report,” said Representative Tlaib.

“That means one in five Americans may be denied housing, transportation, or other necessities because of a sudden health crisis or visit to the emergency room. That hits particularly hard in communities like mine, where residents already face challenges with access to credit. This bill will help increase opportunities for residents and is a major step in fixing our broken credit system.”


Tlaib’s bill will provide protections and safeguards to our residents to no fault of their own got sick and could not afford the medical care due to the broken health care system.


“Treating medical debt the same as other debt is not right and leads to irreparable harm to residents who simply just needed health and medical care,” Representative Tlaib continued.

“Medical debt is a leading cause of personal bankruptcy in our country and the pandemic has only made the medical debt crisis worse. No one chooses to get sick. Undergoing a medically necessary procedure should never haunt someone financially. It has no place on a credit report.”

The full text of the Comprehensive Debt Collection Improvement Act can be found here.

The bill will now head to the U.S. Senate for consideration.

Vox Populi / Re: Crushing Haiti, Now as Always
« on: September 22, 2021, 09:12:19 am »
Wednesday, 22nd September  ~Two Thousand & Twenty One
LDF Issues Statement on Treatment of Haitian Asylum Seekers at U.S. Border

Over the last few days, Haitian migrants near the southern border of Texas have faced heightened and shocking abuse from U.S. Border Patrol agents while attempting to seek asylum in the United States.

Photos show agents on horses chasing and whipping Haitian migrants.

In addition, the Biden administration has started deporting the migrants to Haiti, a country facing serious political and humanitarian crises.

This government action occurring under the purview of public health ordinance Title 42, which was first adopted during the COVID-19 pandemic by individiual-1, allows for the rapid expulsions of migrants—without granting them an opportunity to apply for asylum.

President Biden has continued to enforce the order, despite pushback from civil rights groups and Haitian-American community organizations.

In response to the migrant crisis, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) President and Director-Counsel Sherrilyn Ifill issued the following statement:

“The ongoing treatment of Haitian migrants by agents of the United States government—as seen most dramatically this week in photos of brutality at the border and the mass deportations of desperate Haitians—must be addressed directly and quickly by this administration. Haitian migrants who arrive in our country seeking safety and security are fleeing a country ravaged by a devastating earthquake and violence following the assassination of the country’s leader this summer. They deserve to be treated with humanity and compassion. LDF is calling on the Biden administration to halt deportations of Haitians, and to provide the support and resources needed to create humane conditions in Haitian migrant camps in Texas. In addition, any agent of the U.S. government engaged in the brutality we saw yesterday perpetrated by officials on horseback menacing and corralling Black migrants must be immediately suspended, and their conduct investigated. This includes investigating the orders and policies that resulted in such conduct.

“When individual-1 removed Temporary Protected Status for Haitian immigrants, LDF challenged the now-rescinded decision in court, arguing that the Department of Homeland Security intended to discriminate against Haitian immigrants living in the United States because of their race and national origin. Now, the Biden administration is using Title 42 as a mechanism to facilitate the rapid deportation of migrants at the U.S. border to Haiti. Let’s be clear, Title 42 deportations are illegal and a violation of human rights.

“In 1985, LDF founder and Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall condemned this country’s unwillingness to welcome Haitian migrants in his groundbreaking dissent in Jean v. Nelson. He called for equal protection to apply to Haitian immigrants and highlighted the United States’ frequent use of policy to discriminate against Black immigrants. This repetition of an enduring historical wrong must end. We urge President Biden to cease all Title 42 expulsions, take the necessary steps to ensure safe passage for all asylum seekers, and bring this horrific violation of civil rights to an end.”

Vox Populi / Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« on: September 22, 2021, 08:33:45 am »
Wednesday, 22nd September   ~Two Thousand & Twenty One
Black women file class action against Metropolitan poLICE Department
by Jessica Floyd

Black women who currently and previously worked for the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, D.C. are calling out the racism and sexism they’ve experienced at the hands of fellow officers and retaliation by internal affairs when they sought to file complaints.

Attorney Pam Keith, who is representing 10 plaintiffs in a class action against MPD, contends this lawsuit is centered on a challenge that police departments across the country are facing — cleaning house when officers’ actions require accountability.

“If you are not looking out for your own people and taking care of your officers, how are you treating the citizens on the street in the District of Columbia,” questions Leslie Clark, a senior police officer in the helicopter unit of the Special Operations Division and one of Keith’s plaintiffs.

“It’s like you don’t care.”

Clark told theGrio her woes with the Metropolitan Police Department began in 2012 when she tried to sound the alarm on an officer in the Special Operations Division who threatened to kill then-First Lady Michelle Obama.

One of the main reasons Clark spoke out was because the division this officer served in daily was tasked with running the operations for the police who are part of the presidential and vice presidential details, which meant he would be in close proximity to security information and possibly FLOTUS any given day.

“You don’t play about threatening the first lady of the United States and I don’t care what first lady it is whether it’s laura bush, Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama, melania. I don’t care. You don’t do that,” Clark emphasized.

“And my whole thing is, if I had been a Black officer making that comment, I would have reported him also. And it’s just you take an oath to protect the citizens of the District of Columbia and the president and any other dignitary.”

The plaintiffs of this suit range in career experience and seniority with MPD.

But each have common threads tying this case together — race, gender and retaliation that went on their records.

Some also encountered sexual misconduct while on duty.

Vox Populi / Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« on: September 21, 2021, 03:32:24 pm »
Tuesday, 21st  September   ~Two Thousand & Twenty One
George Holliday, The Man Who Shot The Video Of Pigs Beating Rodney King, Has Passed
by The Associated Press

(LOS ANGELES, California) — George Holliday, the Los Angeles plumber who shot grainy video of four white pigs beating Black motorist Rodney King in 1991, has died of complications of COVID-19, a friend said Monday.

Holliday, 61, died Sunday at a Los Angeles hospital, where he had been for more than a month, according to Robert Wollenweber, a longtime friend and former coworker.

Holliday was not vaccinated and was on a ventilator in recent days after contracting pneumonia, Wollenweber said.

Holliday was awakened by a traffic stop outside his San Fernando Valley home on the night of March 3rd, 1991.

He went outside to film it with his new video camera, catching the Los Angeles officers punching, kicking and using a stun gun on King, even after he was on the ground.

A year later, Holliday's out-of-focus footage — about 9 minutes worth — was a key piece of evidence at the four officers' criminal trial for assault and excessive use of force.

When a jury acquitted all the officers on April 29th, 1992, the city erupted in widespread violence.

Hundreds of businesses were looted and destroyed over several days.

Entire blocks of homes and stores went up in flames.
More than 60 people died by shootings or other violence, mostly in South Los Angeles.

The uprising seemed to catch the rest of the nation by surprise, but longtime residents said tensions were building in South LA for years and the King verdict was just the tipping point.

On the third day of the riots, King went on TV to plead for calm, asking in a trembling voice,

"Can we all get along?"

King sued Los Angeles over the beating and was awarded $3.8 million in 1994.

King drowned in his backyard swimming pool on June 17, 2012, at age 47.

Holliday put the Sony camcorder he used to record the beating up for auction last July, with bidding starting at $225,000.

Holliday told the New York Times last year that he was still working as a plumber and never profited from the video.

He said he had purchased the camera about a month earlier and he grabbed it instinctively when he was awakened by noise outside his window.

"You know how it is when you have a new piece of technology," he told the Times.

"You film anything and everything."

Holliday said in 2017 that he was working on a documentary about his role in the King case.

Born in Canada, to a British father and German mother, his family moved around the world due to his father’s job with Shell Oil.

He spent time in Indonesia and from the age of five was raised in Argentina.

In search of work, he moved to the U.S. in 1980 at the age of 18.

He worked as a plumber for 43 years and lived at the San Fernando Valley apartment, which was 100 feet from the site of the incident with his first wife.

Would You Like To Know More?

Tuesday, 21st  September    ~Two Thousand & Twenty One

>>>George Holliday

Thanks for everything, Mr. Holliday, you saved the world.  :'(

Rest easy.

Tuesday, 21st  September  ~Two Thousand & Twenty One
Governor Hochul signs ‘Less is More’ Jails Reform Act Into Law
by Nicholas Reimann

Advocates for criminal justice reform scored a major win Friday when New York Governor Kathy Hochul, a Democrat,  signed a bill into law that will largely keep people out of jail for actions like minor parole violations—a move many hope will help relieve the deplorable conditions at New York City’s Rikers Island jail complex.

The bill, called The Less Is More Act, was widely supported by Democratic lawmakers and will keep many parole violators—like those who have violated a set curfew—out of jail.

Parole violators, who in the past have been automatically incarcerated for simple infractions, will instead have to show a pattern of violations before they are put in jail.

The legislation also gives judges the ability to release parolees who are facing new criminal charges.

The bill doesn't take effect until next year, but Hochul said she's immediately ordering the release of 191 inmates at Rikers Island—many of whom are in jail for parole violations—and will transfer another 200 to state facilities.

Rikers, which primarily houses defendants awaiting trial and people convicted to sentences of under a year, has been plagued by overcrowding, staffing shortages and rising violence during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Today is about protecting human life—the lives of the people who are incarcerated, as well as correctional officers,” Hochul said.

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