Earlier this morning on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” television program, former New York police chief Ray Kelly said that New York City was in danger of slipping back to a period of high crime and that police officers were scared of properly doing their jobs because of a “Ferguson effect”.
The comments came during a conversation with Kelly over Mayor Bill DeBlasio’s policies.
Joe Scarborough, a former republican Congressman and host of the show asked Kelly if he believed there to be a “Ferguson effect”, referencing the fallout from the killing of an unarmed black teenager in a St. Louis suburb.
“Absolutely,” Kelly said in response to Scarborough’s question. “Ironically of course, Daryl Wilson was totally exonerated by the Justice Department. We talk about Ferguson but a lot of people forget that fact.”
Kelly went on to explain his reasoning.
“The Ferguson effect is that police officers… are thinking twice before they engage. And with the advent of [body] cameras, which I ultimately support cameras are going to make officers hesitate somewhat. In some people’s minds that’s good, in some people’s minds that’s bad. But I think you’re experiencing now reluctance for police to do what they’ve done in the last 20 years. Crime is down dramatically in other parts of the country, I attribute it to smarter policing proactive policing. You’re seeing a backing off from that for a variety of reasons.
“I think everybody has to be concerned of that possibility,” Kelly said when asked if he feared if the city would slide back to a period of high crime associated with the late 1980’s. “Bill Bratton is a top flight professional but the mayor sets the tone.”
Kelly refused to slam the door on a possible mayoral run when asked by show host.
“I’m happy right now with what I’m doing,” Kelly said.
Cover Photo Credit: Vincent/Flickr (CC By 2.0)
Body Photo Credit: MarineCorps NewYork/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)
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By Nick Hickman
Los Angeles, the home of Hollywood, Universal Studios and Chaz Bono, now has its own professional football team once again.
A vote last week among NFL owners rendered the final nail in the coffin for St. Louis fans; their Rams will relocate to Los Angeles for the immediate 2016 season.
For owner Stan Kroenke, the 30-2 decision serves as a victory to return his team to their previous home. It’s been 21 years since the Rams played their last game in Los Angeles, in which time Kroenke has repeatedly criticized the economic and fan support put forward by St. Louis and will now cough up $550 million in order to leave the city.
Waiting for him, however, is one of the largest entertainment markets in the country and enticing plans for an alluring new $1.8 billion dollar stadium located in Inglewood, 10 miles from downtown L.A. Until the completion of the stadium in 2019, the Rams will make their home in the L.A. Coliseum.
The narrative is thrilling and nostalgic for former Los Angeles Rams fans—who claimed the team for the majority of its existence—but is far more somber for St. Louis fans, victims of yet another NFL team to jumped ship on the city.
In 1988, the St. Louis Cardinals (yes there was an NFL team called that too) left and relocated in Arizona. Now, despite the city’s proposal for a new $1.1 billion dollar stadium along the Mississippi River, St. Louis fans are left in the same position as they were almost thirty-years ago.
The city has long been at odds with Kroenke and the NFL. Last Wednesday, Mayor Francis Slay spoke out saying, “At this point I’m so frustrated and disappointed with the NFL.”
Slay went on to call the league “dishonest” and added that he has no desires to re-involve himself with the NFL.
Kroenke’s feud with the city and its fans has continued despite the team’s departure. In an interview with the LA Times Kroenke stated that he wasn’t going to, “sit there and be a victim.”
However the move is not unlike many before it, leaving fans and taxpayers as the true victims.
The city and county will be forced to pay off bonds used to fund the stadium until 2021, but will do so without a team to cheer for. Instead, they’re left only with the memory of four winning seasons and one Super Bowl in the team’s tenure in St. Louis.
Fans in San Diego and Oakland may have reason to fear the same fate. Although the state of California will undoubtedly welcome its fourth NFL franchise in the near future, Commissioner Roger Goodell also gave the San Diego Chargers the option to jointly join the Rams in L.A.
The team has one year to accept the offer, which would then be passed to the Raiders should San Diego decline. Both teams were additionally granted a $100 million dollar incentive to build new stadiums in their current locations.
Only the coming months however, will prove whether or not the incentive money is enough to draw owner’s eyes away from the glamorous Los Angeles market. The league is about dollars and cents, and they will do anything to further their product.
The near future will also indicate whether the Rams’ move is a good one. Los Angeles undeniably offers economic opportunities, but it also carries its fair share of baggage. The results had in St. Louis will far from satisfy Los Angeles fans who have been spoiled over the years with the success of teams like the Lakers and Kings.
The fans, after all, they are the true life-blood of the league (whether they be in the seats or on the couch).
It’s time now for Stan Kroenke to deliver his new fans with a product that will succeed beyond the balance sheet.
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Adapt or Die: The GOP Should Embrace Gay Marriage So They Can Stay Politically Relevant To Young PeopleBy Kyle Jones
In June, same sex marriage advocates won a major victory when the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples had a right to marry in all 50 states. The ruling was a major step forward for the LGBT community and has become a massive political powder keg for the Republican Party.
As the GOP primaries continue, many conservative leaders and presidential hopefuls have come out strongly against the Supreme Court decision in the hope of striking a chord with the religious right.
Mike Huckabee has repeatedly denounced the Supreme Court decision, going as far as to compare the Supreme Court to King George III. Huckabee was also present when Kim Davis, a Kentucky clerk imprisoned for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, was released from prison and has vowed to protect Davis’ constitutional rights.
Although Huckabee has been one of the most vocal in his outrage against the Supreme Court’s decision, he is far from the only opponent.
Gov. Bobby Jindal has said that the ruling “tramples states rights” and that “no earthly court” can alter God’s will. Sen. Ted Cruz also came out against the ruling, going as far as proposing a constitutional amendment that would make justices subject to “periodic judicial retention elections”.
Although statements such as these may prove to resonate amongst the conservative base of the party, the statistics prove that they are out of touch with the viewpoint held by the majority of Americans. According to research done by the Pew Research Center, 57% of Americans now favor making same-sex marriage legal. Among millennials this number increases to nearly 73%.
So why do so many Republicans still come out so staunchly against or apathetical to same sex marriage? To understand this political paradox, one need only remember that we are in the middle of the Republican primaries.
The party finds itself at the same crossroad that the Democrats were at during the 1960’s. The party was torn between the traditional Southern Democrats who stood opposed to Civil Rights, and New Deal Progressives who were adapting to meet the demands of the American people.
In politics as in nature, the side that most often wins is the side that is most capable of adapting to the new political environment. The more inclusive any political movement is and the more receptive it is to change, the more likely that political movement is to grow in size and strength. Those who oppose this change in favor of exclusive and absolutist politics more often than not will find themselves facing extinction, and relegation to the waste bin of history.
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Some time has passed since my season as an adult kickball player has come to a close and I’ve had a week to reflect on my experiences.
Kickball, a game that is supposed to be fun and played amongst school age children has become a phenomenon of sorts for the 20-something crowd who pine for the nostalgia of their own childhood.
I decided to join a team in a league with some friends to see what the hype was about and to stay active, if even once a week (there are only so many hours a day one can binge watch tv).
I had zero expectations going in to the season and I was only hoping to have some fun, be goofy and enjoy my time.
Little did I know that the random strangers who were on my team with my friends and I took this game way too seriously.
We are all grown adults with big boy and big girl jobs that we clock in and out of each and every day, yet the idea of kicking a ball and winning turned them back in to the school yard children they once were.
I realized in that first game, when a teammate and team captain who had placed me in right field (because he took one look and me and assumed I had no athletic skill without any prior conversation) screamed across the field asking if “I was awake out there.”
It was in that moment that I was brought back to my childhood when I first experienced being teased for lack of athletic prowess or skill.
It was in that moment that I once again felt my manhood had been called in to question, being treated as if I was like one of the many girls on the team who they also assumed had no physical skill on the field.
I flash backed to those times in the school yard when I chose to sit out from playing with the other boys who played the recreational games at recess because I didn’t want to be shamed or made to feel lesser as a male because I was not as athletically inclined as they were.
My interest and desire to “be the best” in sports never existed.
It was meant to be fun, to be spectated on, and because of my views I often times found myself on the outs with those who I shared the same genetic makeup as.
My frame, my build and my stature have always indicated to others merely from my perception alone at first that I am not to be taken seriously, that I am not into sports and that I am just a joke.
As the years have gone by I have more than come to terms with not being the sporting type but that little bit of insecurity always existed, even if it was so far buried.
The five weeks I played on the kickball team I was subjected to those same insecurities I had as a young boy, a teenage male, and an adult male by the other males on the team who didn’t value me as an equal because I had not played kickball bi-weekly since the incarnation of these adult leagues.
I was told to “bunt like the girls” because they thought I couldn’t kick.
Week by week I attempted to try to prove them wrong.
There were weeks where it just wasn’t my week and I was okay with that but it was those five weeks when I realized how idiotic the whole thing was.
I was letting people who take kickball seriously get under my skin when I realized that it was so minute and unimportant in the grander scheme of life.
The idea of what a man is has changed drastically over the years and it’s because of these new roles and non-conforming ideas of what “men” and “women” are that I felt okay that I wasn’t an athletic specimen.
It’s okay to not be physically inclined to kick a ball far out in the outfield that won’t be a pop up fly.
It is because of my experience on this Co-Ed adult kickball league that made me think about my future children and who they will become.
No longer does gender conforming roles guide how children are raised and no longer are stereotypes acceptable.
Our value as a person should not be based on how much or how less we equal up to our gender identity.
Next time you think about putting someone down because they’re not performing by what society’s standards expect of them because of their gender, remember that they have insecurities just like you and that their interests vary from yours and they should be respected.
There is a fine line between a joke and an insult.
Think before you speak and before you pass judgement on those who you don’t know.
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.
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