The bodycam footage from two police officers has been released, showing a black man in North Carolina being handcuffed and punched by police officers for sitting on the front porch of his own mother’s house, where he continues to stay often.
The incident started when two police officers say they were called to a home because a man was seen walking around with a shovel. When they arrived, Dejuan Yourse was calmly sitting on the porch of his childhood home, waiting for his mother to arrive. He had picked up a shovel out of the yard. Yourse produced an ID for the officers that had his address and even offered to prove he grew up in the home by introducing them to the neighbors.
After the two officers continually questioned him, Yourse eventually attempted to call someone to tell them that the police were harassing him. Officer Travis Cole then grabbed the phone, and punched Yourse. He then handcuffed Yourse and continued to hit him.
Yourse was arrested and charged with several crimes, though they were later dropped.
This week, the local city council voted to permanently suspend officer Travis Cole after viewing the disturbing video. Cole had already resigned so that criminal charges against him would be dropped.
Yesterday, the other officer involved in the arrest also resigned. The incident is still being reviewed, and local activist are calling for more punishment for the two officers, and for the police department to tell the public why it took so long for action to take place.
Cole had actually been promoted two weeks after the incident and after Yourse complained. Discuss
Hillsong United has released a new video from their Of Dirt and Grace live visual album, and it’s pretty stunning. Recorded in the Holy Land, the album and videos take place at different biblical landmarks and socially significant areas, thematically tied to each song (like this version of "Oceans," performed on a boat in the Sea of Galilee.)
This version of “Street Called Mercy” shows the contrasting visuals of two nearby streets, including the Via Dolorosa, the actual street Jesus walked while carrying the cross to the crucifixion
In the video description they explain,
We wanted a place to represent the struggle of life and the Mercy of God - so the contrasting pictures in this one we believe are not only beautiful but define what the song is about. One part is a street heading directly to the Dead Sea—a baron street, with ruins and vandalism around—we believe remnants of British occupied territory in the early 1900's. The Other-The Via Dolorosa from in Jerusalem, the street that is widely accepted as to where Jesus walked carrying his cross on the greatest ever journey of Mercy.
In a devastating report from Amnesty International, Sudan’s government is reported to have used chemical weapons in at least 30 attacks in the Jebel Marra area of Darfur. Over 250 people have died as a result of exposure to the chemical weapon agents.
Sudanese UN Ambassador Omer Dahab Fadl Mohamed has rejected the claims in a statement calling the Amnesty report “utterly unfounded” and insisted Sudan is not in possession of these kinds of weapons.
Amnesty International presented their findings of two independent chemical weapons, both confirmed the evidence found suggested exposure to chemical warfare agents such as sulfur and nitrogen mustard. Victims at the scene of the attacks confirmed the smell of rotten eggs suggesting the use of hydrogen sulfide—another agent used in chemical warfare.
Many of the victims died right away while others fell ill immediately while vomiting, coughing or struggling to breathe.
Sudan is a signing member of the Chemical Weapons Convention which bans chemical weapons under international humanitarian law. If the Amnesty Report is corroborated, this means the Sudanese government has committed a terrible injustice against its own people and broken international law. Discuss
Since his election this summer, Duterte has faced harsh international criticism for advocating violence against individuals suspected of being drug dealers or using drugs—without any sort of trial or due process. Since July, it’s been estimated that at least 3,100 people have been killed as part of his crack down.
Earlier this summer, he called President Obama the "son of a whore" when the U.S. president said that he planned on bringing up the extrajudicial violence in a planned meeting—which was later canceled. Duterte has used the same insult against Pope Francis. Discuss
Nearly 24,000 inmates across the country did not show up to work on September 9, marking the 45th anniversary of the bloody uprising in Attica prison in New York. The strike has now continued into its third week making it the largest prison strike in U.S. history.
Organizations like The Southern Poverty Law Center and The Marshall Project have documented at length the cruel and inhumane conditions that many U.S. prisons foster.
The American Justice System holds more than 2 million people incarcerated and half of that population holds a daily job where they are paid to help run the prison or manufacture everyday items. The average pay for a prisoner working a job in a state prison is 23 cents an hour. In Texas, Georgia and Arkansas, inmates work for no pay.
One may assume this is unconstitutional but a clause in the 13th amendment outlawing slavery “except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted” provides a pipeline of prison labor within our own $4.8 billion prison system.
The Intercept reports organizers have labeled this strike as a "call to action against slavery in America." No major media outlets have picked up the story yet, but their demand is simple—end free prison labor and restore the dignity of 2.4 million incarcerated prisoners. Discuss
Last night, President Obama held a townhall meeting with members of the U.S. military, and was asked about Colin Kaepernick’s national protest. The 49ers quarterback has sparked demonstrations among athletes around the country, who are either kneeling or holding up a fist during the song, to protest police brutality and racial injustice.
While the president emphasized that Kaepernick and others have every right to continue to demonstrate, and create conversations about racial equality, he said,
I believe that us honoring our flag and our anthem is part of what binds us together as a nation.
I want Mr. Kaepernick and others who are on a knee, I want them to listen to the pain that that may cause, somebody, for example had a spouse or a child who was killed in combat, and why it hurts them to see somebody not standing. But, I also want people to think about the pain that he may be expressing about somebody who’s lost a loved one, that they think, was unfairly shot.
His full statement (which you can see below), is a nuanced response to a complicated situation, which has become increasingly polarizing. Discuss