Local members of NALACC Rally in Boston in support of the Massive National Mobilization in Phoenix on May 29, 2010

Local members of NALACC Rally in Boston in support of the Massive National Mobilization in Phoenix on May 29, 2010

When: Saturday, 29th May, 12:00 p.m.

Where: Park Street Station, Boston Common

Boston, MA- Local members of The National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities (NALACC) will hold a rally in Boston in support of the Massive National Mobilization in Phoenix on the same day. In the last month, local, national, and international pressure has grown with vigils, fasts, protests, high school walkouts, boycotts, and civil disobedience-all in repudiation of SB1070, a law that would provide legal cover for racial profiling. "We hope that all those who are in favor of more humane policies and a true immigration reform will stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Arizona," declared Gladys Vega, Executive Director of the Chelsea Collaborative.

On May 29, 2010 people of conscience from throughout the United States and Phoenix will march in the tens of thousands to the Arizona State Capitol to demand justice in the face of state-sanctioned discrimination and hate. They will demand that President Obama stand on the right side of history and take immediate and concrete action to stop SB1070.

"In a spirit of solidarity with those in Arizona, we condemn this inhumane, anti-immigrant law. We are also concerned about the Obama administration dedicating an additional five hundred million dollars for border security and sending twelve hundred national guard troops to the border, which will not resolve anything outside of political posturing" said, Patricia Montes, Executive Director of Centro Presente and board member of NALACC.

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7-year-old girl, Aiyana Jones, Killed in Detroit Police Raid

Aiyana Stanley Jones, 7 years old, was shot while she was sleeping on a couch when a Detroit police officer’s weapon went off as he was searching for a homicide suspect. Assistant Police Chief Ralph Godbee stated that the little girl was hit in the neck by a bullet and died at the hospital. “This is any parent’s worst nightmare. It also is any police officer’s worst nightmare. And today, it is all too real.” Krystal Sanders, aunt of Aiyana, said, “I heard boom! Detroit police! Pop! It happened so fast.”

Mertilla Jones, Aiyana’s grandmother, who was in the front room of the house said “I (saw) the light go out of her eyes. They killed my grandbaby.” Godbee said officers with the department’s Special Response Team set off a flash grenade as they entered the apartment with their guns drawn. The lead officer encountered Aiyana’s grandmother, who tussled with the officer when the officer’s gun went off.

Charles Jones, father of Aiyana, said “They came into my house with a flash grenade and a bullet. They say my mother resisted them, that she tried to take an officer’s gun. My mother had never been in handcuffs in her life. They killed my baby, and I want someone to tell the truth”

The officers had a search warrant and were looking for a 34-year-old man who was the suspect for the death of a 17-year-old boy named Jarean Blake. The suspect was arrested at the house.

“We have executed countless high-risk warrants where children have been present. This was a perfect storm for tragedy,” Godbee said. “This is a tragedy of unspeakable magnitude to Aiyana’s parents, family and all those who loved her. It is a tragedy we also feel very deeply throughout the ranks of the Detroit Police Department.”


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7-year-old girl killed in Detroit police raid

Police in Detroit, Michigan, on Sunday expressed "profound sorrow" at the fatal shooting of a 7-year-old girl in a police raid.

Aiyana Jones was shot and killed by police executing a search warrant as part of a homicide investigation, Assistant Chief Ralph Godbee said in a statement.

"This is any parent's worst nightmare," Godbee said. "It also is any police officer's worst nightmare. And today, it is all too real."

The warrant was executed about 12:40 a.m. ET Sunday at a home on the city's east side, Godbee said. Authorities believed the suspect in the Friday shooting death of 17-year-old high school student Jarean Blake was hiding out at the home. Blake was gunned down in front of a store as his girlfriend watched, Godbee said.

Preliminary information indicates that members of the Detroit Police Special Response Team approached the house and announced themselves as police, Godbee said, citing the officers and at least one independent witness.

"As is common in these types of situations, the officers deployed a distractionary device commonly known as a flash bang," he said in the statement. "The purpose of the device is to temporarily disorient occupants of the house to make it easier for officers to safely gain control of anyone inside and secure the premise."
Upon entering the home, the officer encountered a 46-year-old female inside the front room, Godbee said. "Exactly what happened next is a matter still under investigation, but it appears the officer and the woman had some level of physical contact.

"At about this time, the officer's weapon discharged one round which, tragically, struck 7-year-old Aiyana Stanley Jones in the neck/head area."

The girl was immediately transported to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead. Godbee said he and other officers went to the hospital while others stayed at the home to execute the warrant.

Aiyana's father, Charles Jones, told CNN affiliate WDIV, "She was sleeping and they came in the door shooting and throwing flash grenades ... burned my baby up and shot her, killed her."

Jones claimed the officers had the wrong house, but Godbee said in the statement the 34-year-old suspect in Blake's death was found and arrested at the home. In addition, a vehicle and a moped matching the descriptions of those involved in Blake's shooting were also found, he said.

The suspect's name was not released.

Godbee said he wished to "express to the family of Aiyana Jones the profound sorrow that we feel within the Detroit Police Department and throughout this community. We know that no words can do anything to take away the pain you are feeling at this time."

Police obtained the "high-risk search warrant" based on intelligence, and it was approved by the prosecutor and a magistrate, Godbee said. "Because of the ruthless and violent nature of the suspect in this case, it was determined that it would be in the best interest of public safety to execute the search warrant as soon as possible and detain the suspect ... while we sought a murder warrant," he said.

The police statement said Chief Warren Evans is out of town and could not be present "to personally address this tragedy," but "his thoughts and prayers are with the family and loved ones of Aiyana Jones."
The officer's weapon was secured, and an investigation is under way, Godbee said, emphasizing the information gained so far is preliminary.

"This is a tragedy of unspeakable magnitude to Aiyana's parents, family and all those who loved her," Godbee said. "... It is a tragedy we also feel very deeply throughout the ranks of the Detroit Police Department.
"We cannot undo what occurred this morning," he said. "All we can do is pledge an open and full investigation and to support Aiyana's family in whatever way they may be willing to accept from us at this time. I understand that they may not be open to such a gesture at this time, but we do stand ready to do anything we can to support them."


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Task Force studies chill between teens and MBTA

When Waldy Nova sees an MBTA cop approaching, he says, several scenarios run through his head.

“I automatically assume I’m going to get talked down to, searched, arrested or kicked out of the station,” he says.

Nova knows his experience is not unique. He knows because he has witnessed numerous altercations between MBTA officers and students. He also knows this because he and his fellow youth organizers at the Hyde Square Task Force have conducted surveys with more than 700 Boston teenagers to assess the relations between the cops and the students.

 The Task Force youths are now compiling their data and expect to release their report next week. While they wouldn’t comment on the data, the teens working on the project said most of the teens they interviewed spoke about harassment, illegal searches and being kicked out of stations.

“Most of us have experienced most of these problems or witnessed them,” said Pamela Pauling, who worked on the survey. “A lot of people get searched for no reason. They get grabbed and thrown up against the wall.”

Each of the four youths interviewed at the Task Force office also shared their own personal stories of instances where they said they either experienced or witnessed police harassment. None of them has ever been arrested.

Deli Tejeda tells of being illegally searched by police officers who said they suspected he was selling drugs. Sheila Reyes was kicked out of Forest Hills Station by a surly officer who accused the group of teens she was with of littering.

“The youth that we work with are always complaining about problems with transit police,” Reyes said.

The Task Force teens say youth relations with the MBTA police are particularly important because most of the high school students in Boston use the public transit system and come into contact with transit police.The experience youth have with MBTA officers is markedly different than what adults experience, according to Nova.

“I’ve never seen an adult being kicked out of a station,” he says.

“Or searched,” adds Pauling.

“Or kicked out of a station,” adds Reyes.

MBTA police officers have jurisdiction over MBTA property and have the full right to arrest anyone engaged in illegal activity on MBTA property.

In the 1990s, the MBTA police engaged in a “zero tolerance” policy against youth on the system, logging as many as 680 arrests a year.

After a series of Banner articles detailing allegations of MBTA police abuse against teens, including numerous arrests of teenagers for trespassing, the agency brought in a new chief, Joseph Carter, who re-assigned many of the officers who were responsible for the arrests and dismantled the Anti Crime Unit — a plainclothes unit that targeted teens.

Under current Chief Paul MacMillan, MBTA police are now making fewer arrests, according to youth advocate Lisa Thurau Gray, who says the agency arrested 84 youth last year.

“I think things have improved tremendously,” she said.

MBTA spokeswoman Lydia Rivera said MacMillan was not available for comment. The chief is scheduled to meet with the Task Force youth this week, she said.

The complaints the youth are making are not unique to the MBTA police. Like most black and Latino teens in Boston, the boys at the Task Force each say they are often stopped and searched by Boston Police.

“Wherever I’m at, whenever I see any kind of authority, because of my skin tone I’m going to get searched,” says Tejeda, who is dark-skinned.

The teens say they know the police are not supposed to search them without probable cause.

“Most kids are intimidated into revealing the contents of their bags and pockets,” Tejeda says. “They’re forced to do so illegally. The cops break the rules and don’t get called out on it.”

“I think that’s why some youth act out,” Nova cuts in. “How would you feel if you were in that situation? If it happened to you constantly? Everyone has their breaking point.”

The Task Force teens say their ultimate aim is to improve relations between youths and the MBTA police.

“We want to establish a good relationship,” Nova says. “We want there to be harmony between the police and the people they’re supposed to protect and serve. Youth are as much a part of the community as adults, just as the T officers are a part of the community and have to be treated with respect.”

Yawu Miller

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Is Crime Down? It Doesn’t Feel That Way on the Streets

I recently heard the crime rate is down in the the East Bay city of Oakland. It doesn't feel that way on the streets. My 21-year-old brother who stays in Oakland just got shot at last week. I stay in Hunter's Point, and someone in the neighborhood just got shot at yesterday.

The last few weeks haven't been good for me. I made the local news twice because of violence.

On March 22, I was standing at the T-stop on 3rd Street in San Francisco when some young dudes choked a 57-year-old Asian lady and threw her off the platform. Her mouth was bleeding. It was shady for them to attack an old lady. The cold part was when my cousin called me the next day to say she saw me on the news. I got interviewed because I was standing right there when the assault occurred. I was at the wrong spot at the wrong time. It was bad because first off, I got on the news for an old lady being thrown off the platform, and there's nothing good about that. It was also bad because they asked me all these questions on camera that I didn't have answers to.

The second time I made the news was even worse. It was because I was getting shot at on the freeway last Sunday. Me and three other people left the city around midnight, trying to get to Hayward to see some females. I was driving.

We were in San Leandro when we happened to pass a car. We looked at the people in the car, and my friend said, “What’s up?” in a head motion, and we thought everything was fine. The car slowed down a little, moved to the other side of me, and that's when my cousin mugged them. Since I was driving, I didn't even know my cousin mugged them. I smack past their car, but I guess they thought we were on them. I heard the first gunshot hit my window, and the bullet ended up hitting my cousin in the back. He was damn near crying like he got shot hella times, but luckily the bullet just clipped him and popped out.

I was mad my cousin got shot, but then again, if he hadn't mugged those folks, none of this would have happened He was the only one who got shot. I'm glad the bullet wasn't in his head because that would have been crazy.

While we were getting shot at, I managed to get off the freeway, but not before hitting the island that separates traffic. Then I hit the off-ramp and landed in the island. Everybody hopped out of the car and went different ways. I left my phone in the car, so I had to go back to get it. I got into my car and drove it around the corner to where everybody gathered waiting for me. It was damn near 1 a.m. People started coming out of their houses to see what was going on. This one dude who we didn't even know gave us a tire. But when we turned around to fix our car, this white dude was trying to take a tire off my car.

Three different highway policemen kept coming back to ask us if we had seen anything. We all said, “no,” because we knew for sure they were going to take the car since there were three bullets holes and my window was shot out. I wish they had let me drive off with my car, but because of the bullet holes, they had to take it.

The police handcuffed us all, even the guy who was just trying to help us put a new tire on the car. While being handcuffed, I told the guy who helped us, "I know you're not helping no more black people out." He started laughing and said, "I'm not helping nobody else out." I think they handcuffed us because we're black and they thought we had something in the car, which we didn't.

We were taken to the police station and asked hella questions. By the time it was all over, it was 4 a.m. It was lightweight shady because one of the people who rode in my car was only 17 years old, so he had to wait for his mom and dad to get him. I wasn't really trippin' about being at the police station because I knew they couldn't take me to jail for being shot at. I couldn't wait to leave and get home. It was hella late.

Since we didn't have a ride, my cousin called somebody he knew to pick us up. I had to take BART and get back to the city to see my parole officer at 10 that morning. Then I had to go straight to work even though I only got two hours of sleep. I was so tired I didn't even want to get up, but I made it to work.

They took my car, and now I'm real mad because I only had that car for one day. Now I'm back to the bus and I know not to hang with those people who got me mixed up with being shot at.

Jaquan Rushing

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Violence on the Rise in LA, NY

LOS ANGELES -- Twenty-two killings in just 13 days have put the LAPD on alert and brought a surprising end to the low crime trend of recent years, reports La Opinión. The unusual surge in homicides, which has been a lingering fear for several months as a result of the early release of prisoners and the budget cuts to law enforcement agencies, coincides with an AP report this week that found the early release included a percentage of violent offenders. Until two weeks ago, the police had recorded a double digit drop in the homicide rate, which has been consistently declining in the last few years. However, as of March 31, there had been 73 killings in the city Los Angeles, compared with 74 in the same period of 2009.

An even steeper increase in violent crime has taken place in New York, where crime is up 20 percent. There have been at least 103 murders in New York as of Monday, compared with 86 killings at this time in 2009.


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Violence Up in LA Among Latino, Black Youth

LOS ANGELES -- La Opinión reported last month that 22 killings in 13 days brought a surprising end to Los Angeles' low crime trend of recent years. In a follow-up story Monday, the Spanish-language daily reports that the majority of those killed were black and Latino youth. In Los Angeles County, 32 percent of murder victims were African American, 11 percent were white, and only 3 percent were Asian. Latinos in Los Angeles County are five times more likely to be victims than whites, and nearly twice as likely as African Americans, La Opinión reports.

Experts say the high rate of murders of black and Latino youth may be linked to access to weapons and gang affiliation. They also cite poverty and social conditions, as well as lack of parental supervision, as factors that may contribute to the violence.


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Yesterday, Boston City Councilors Felix G. Arroyo and Councilor Michael P. Ross filed a resolution stating:

"the City of Boston should do a thorough review of all investments and business practices engaged in by the City to determine what activities, if any, it conducts with the state of Arizona, municipalities in Arizona, and other business entities in Arizona or conducting substantial business in Arizona. Also the City of Boston should, to the extent reasonable, with due consideration for, among other things, return on investment, on behalf of itself and its investment beneficiaries, not to participate in any business activities substantially connected with the State of Arizona, municipalities in Arizona, and other business entities in Arizona or conducting substantial business in Arizona."

Right Wing Radio is bombarding Boston City Councilors with their negative message against the resolution.

Your Boston City Councilors need to hear from you!!

We need to make sure our voices our heard!!

1. Call and e-mail your Boston City Councilor NOW and tell them YOU SUPPORT the Resolution and oppose racial profiling.

2. Attend the Boston City Council meeting TODAY AT 12:00 P.M. (Wednesday, May 5th) at Boston City Hall.

Stephen.murphy@cityofboston.gov - 617 635-4376 - Citywide
Ayanna.pressley@cityofboston.gov - 617 635-4217 - Citywide
John.connolly@cityofboston.gov - 617 635-3115 - Citywide
Felix.arroyo@cityofboston.gov - 617 635-4205 - Citywide
Mark.ciommo@cityofboston.gov - 617 635-3113 - Allston and Brighton
Rob.consalvo@cityofboston.gov - 617 635-4210 - Hyde Park and Roslindale
Maureen.Feeney@cityofboston.gov - 617 635-3455 - Dorchester
Salvatore.lamattina@cityofboston.gov - 617 635-3200 - East Boston, North End, Charlestown
Bill.linehan@cityofboston.gov - 617 635-3203 - South Boston, South End, Chinatown
John.tobin@cityofboston.gov - 617 635-4220 - West Roxbury and Jamaica Plain
Chuck.turner@cityofboston.gov - 617 635-3510 - Roxbury, South End, Fenway
Charles.yancey@cityofboston.gov - 617 635-3131 - Mattapan and Dorchester
Michael.ross@cityofboston.gov - 617 635-4225 - Back Bay, Beacon Hill, Fenway, Mission Hill, West End

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Rally & Lobby Day
May 6 - 12:00 PM
Massachusetts State House

The Commonwealth CORI Coalition (a statewide coalition of over 110 organizations, dedicated to passing comprehensive CORI reform in 2010) is calling on all supporters of CORI reform to join us at the State House for a Rally and Lobby Day. Speaker DeLeo has made commitments to bring CORI to a vote this session. Now that the House is done with the budget, we have a window of opportunity to pass CORI reform in May.

12 PM - Rally on State House Steps
1 PM   - Visit Legislative Offices
2 PM   - Debrief and Next Steps - Room B1

Click here for a downloadable outreach flyer.

The CORI, the state's criminal background check system, keeps residents from accessing jobs and housing. CORI Reform was passed last November by the Senate, but is still awaiting a vote in the House. CORI reform will increase taxpaying residents, reduce joblessness and help reduce crime. Demand CORI reform now!

The CORI reform movement is picking up steam! Please call your State Representative TODAY.

To find who your Rep is, go to www.wheredoivotema.com or call 1-800-462-VOTE (8683) and enter your address.

Step 1:  Call the State House operator at 617-722-2000 and ask to be connected to your Representative
Step 2:  Ask to leave a message for your Representative
Step 3: "Hello, my name is _________.  I'm a resident in your district. My address is ________. I'm calling to ask Representative _________ to help pass CORI reform. I would like Representative _________ to write a letter or talk to Speaker DeLeo to ensure that CORI reform receives a vote in the month of May."
Step 4: Thank the aide for their time.  Email info@bostonworkersalliance.org to let them know you called. Spread the word to your friends and family!

Thank you for helping to advance CORI reform!

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All Power to the People