Hearings began today in Baltimore for the six police officers charged for the arrest and death of Freddie Gray.
Gray, a 25-year-old black man, was arrested on April 12, and died one week later in police custody after suffering a fatal spinal injury.
The hearing will be the first verbal argument for a case that has spanned over five months in written motions.
Today’s arguments will focus on three motions: a call for the case to be dismissed, the state’s attorney to be recused, and whether the six officers charged will face trial together or separately.
— Sheryl Gay Stolberg (@SherylNYT) September 2, 2015
Officer Caesar R. Goodson Jr., who drove the police van that Gray suffered injuries in, is charged with second-degree murder. Three other officers are charged with manslaughter: Officer William G. Porter, Sgt. Alicia D. White and Lt. Brian W. Rice. Facing lesser charges are Officers Garrett E. Miller and Edward M. Nero. All officers involved pleaded not guilty and waived their right to attend the hearing.
Attorneys representing the officers called for the dismissal of the case or the recusal of Moseby because they allege that Moseby’s office issued orders to crack down on law enforcement in the location Gray was arrested. “Mrs. Mosby herself is now an integral part of the story and as such is a central witness,” the motion reads. “In the charges relating to the initial arrest and/or detention of Mr. Gray, Mrs. Mosby herself has become essential exculpatory evidence.”
In the weeks following Gray’s death, nationwide protests occurred against police brutality and treatment of black people at the hands of the state. Protestors gathered at the steps of the courthouse in Baltimore at around 8 a.m., along with protests happening throughout cities across the country.
Twitter user @kwamerose was apparently arrested today at a Freddie Gray protest in Baltimore.
Today’s hearing will also see a call to move the hearing to a different location.
Stay with Rise News as we continue to cover this developing story. Send tips to [email protected].
Cover Photo Credit: POLICEDIVER2/Flickr (CC BY 2.0).
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About the AuthorSetareh Baig is a writer and editor. She recently graduated from Florida State University and served as the editor-in-chief of the school's newspaper, the FSView & Florida Flambeau. You can follow her on Twitter at @heysetareh_.
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By Brian D. Johnson, PhD and Laurie Berdahl, MD
Donald Trump’s remarks about women during the presidential campaign and the years preceding it have often been termed sexist, cruel, misogynistic, and degrading.
While many parents are concerned about the negative impacts these comments may have on their daughters’ self-esteem and on equality for women in the workplace, we believe they have even farther-reaching, more deleterious implications for our children and society
As an ob-gyn physician and a child psychologist who raised our kids together, we’ve been increasingly concerned about the trend in sexualization of women and children.
We think that Trump’s behavior promotes this extremely detrimental process, which is linked to many problems including male aggression and violence against women and girls.
As opposed to undergoing healthy sexual development, girls are now pressured to grow up sexualized.
Interpreting the American Psychological Association’s Taskforce Report, any one of the following indicates sexualization of a girl: 1) she or others believe that her value is mainly or solely based on her sexual appeal or behavior; 2) her sexiness equates with a narrowly defined, unrealistic standard of physical attractiveness; 3) she is not a person but an object (a thing) to be evaluated and used by others for sexual purposes; or 4) sexuality is imposed on her (such as child sexual abuse).
Research clearly shows that sexualization imposes dangerous beliefs and behaviors on both girls and boys.
For girls, it’s associated with lower self-esteem, early initiation of sexual activity, depression, and anxiety, risk factors for being victimized by manipulation, and sexual, dating, and domestic violence.
Female sexualization makes both boys and girls more likely to be accepting of stereotypical gender roles and sexual aggression and violence against women, and to have lower empathy for victims.
When boys and young men believe that women are supposed to be sexual objects and men are to be dominant and aggressive, they’re more likely to mistreat women and commit rape.
Essentially, sexualization may function to keep girls “in their place” as objects of sexual use and beauty, while at the same time promoting aggression and violence against them.
Boys can but are less likely to be sexualized.
What does this have to do with Donald Trump?
Raising emotionally healthy and behaviorally smart children who don’t intentionally harm others based on gender or other differences requires that parents and other authority figures demonstrate belief in gender equality and respect for human dignity and work to stop the scourge of bullying.
Trump’s consistent, overt valuation of women such as former Miss Universe Alicia Machado, news anchors and reporters, celebrities, and political opponents based on body features like weight, buttocks, and breast size cannot be misconstrued—it clearly indicates belief that females are not equal to males but are objects to be rated by body type, demeaned, dominated, and used.
The double standard for male Trump surrogates, for whom physical characteristics like weight appear inconsequential, and hiring campaign associates accused of sexual harassment and domestic violence support this.
Donald even minimized and accepted sexual violence in the military as an expected consequence of having female and male soldiers working together.
This demonstrated his probable belief in a common rape myth: that rape is an impulsive, uncontrollable act of sexual gratification for men when they’re around women.
Yet he also benefits from women who may not fit his mold of acceptable, sexualized female “looks,” but who excuse his reprehensible remarks as silliness or blame victims for being too sensitive.
These remarks aren’t silly, but deadly serious.
Trump has even shown sexualized attitudes toward children including his own daughters. When asked about one-year-old Tiffany, he remarked that she was a really beautiful baby who has her mother’s legs and then making a gesture indicating breasts, commented that time will tell if she got her mother’s breasts.
Who says that about their baby girl?
A believer and promoter of sexualization of girls would.
Inappropriate statements about daughter Ivanka’s beautiful body and desire to date her (if he weren’t her father) have also emerged.
Upon meeting his good friends’ daughter, Paris Hilton when she was 12 years old, he reportedly said, “Who the hell is that?” and recounting the story said, “At 12, I wasn’t interested. . . but she was beautiful, ” reflecting attitudes that can result in abusing children sexually.
He later claimed to watch Hilton’s teenage sex tape that was leaked against her will.
In addition, Trump bullies women, as he tries to humiliate and dominate by using taunts, threats, sexual comments, rumors, lies, and name-calling, including referring to them as animals like pigs or dogs to dehumanize and reduce empathy for them.
Dehumanization and reduced empathy are common elements of an aggressive or violent perpetrator’s psyche allowing him or her to intentionally harm others for personal gain, free from a pesky conscience.
Bullies often manipulate people.
We believe that when Donald says, “I love women,” it reflects his love for what they can do for him rather than any interest in their well-being.
After all, he verbally attacks women who disagree with him.
Likely narcissism doesn’t afford him the ability to consider opinions different from his self-serving ones, making it difficult to nonaggressively react to other people’s perspectives, or to perceived challenges to his ego.
He instead uses classic modes of male dominance: interrupting women when they’re talking, and dismissing concerns or questions as indicating mental instability, “neuroticism,” or even—yes, really—menstruation!
By the way, when adults in children’s lives promote bullying or sexualization, or don’t speak up against others who do, it condones these behaviors.
So you can really help your kids by recognizing and expressing your disapproval of these practices, and by expecting kind and respectful treatment of men and women as whole people with thoughts and feelings.
Presidents are prominent authority figures who influence the behavior of others, including youth, and who should represent a nation’s overarching values—at least in a democracy.
As the leader of the free world, our next president will be in a position to either help reduce violence and aggression and promote gender equality shown to be vital underpinnings of good childhood outcomes for both boys and girls, or, alternatively, to usher in new heights of degradation of our daughters, harming their health and safety.
Words matter, and parents need to speak out to protect their children.
For practical methods to squelch sexualization, bullying, and sexual violence, see the authors’ new book, WARNING SIGNS: How to Protect Your Kids from Becoming Victims or Perpetrators of Violence and Aggression and website warningsignsforparents.com.
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.
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-Bianca Pratorius has helped usher in a backyard beekeeper movement in South Florida by training a clutch of local amateurs in the art of the bee.
-She has turned part of her northeast Miami-Dade backyard and her roof into a beekeeping paradise. (And her neighbors are totally cool with it too.)
-While Bianca only views beekeeping as a hobby, she is able to generate enough honey to sell at local farmers markets.
-Bianca has mentored Danielle Bender in how to be a beekeeper. Danielle took that knowledge and won a grant from the Miami Foundation for a project called Public Hives.
-Public Hives places beehives in public spaces in order to increase the local bee population. They also train local residents on how to tend to bees.
RISE NEWS is South Florida’s digital news magazine. Follow us on Facebook to make sure you never miss a story!
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By Alex Austin
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines terrorism thusly:
“The use of violent acts to frighten the people in an area as a way of achieving a political goal.”
Seems pretty simple, doesn’t it? However, in the wake of the shooting which occurred at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic, another term is being thrown around: domestic terrorism.
Domestic terrorism is an act of terrorism which is committed by a citizen of the country in which the attack takes place. Note the wording of that definition.
You cannot explain “domestic terrorism” without including “terrorism”. Quite frankly, there should not be two different definitions, as there should not be multiple terms to define what is expressly terrorism.
By allowing multiple terms and definitions to come into play, it has reached a point where people can no longer agree on what is and what is not terrorism. This is particularly poignant when looking at the opinions of the topic by two people who under normal circumstances have very similar viewpoints.
Mike Huckabee, former governor of Arkansas and current Republican presidential contender, said on CNN’s State of the Union when speaking about the alleged gunman:
“What he did is domestic terrorism, and what he did is absolutely abominable”
Now one could (and should) rip the former governor to shreds for the incendiary and blatantly false things he said later in that same interview. But the fact is that he called the murder of three people “domestic terrorism”. Considering that he would like all Planned Parenthood clinics to be shuttered, that says a lot about what he considers an act of terror.
On the other side of this coin is Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), the chair of the House Homeland Security Committee.
On ABC’s This Week, the congressman pointed to the mental health of the alleged shooter:
“It’s a tragedy. It’s, I think, a mental health crisis…I don’t think it would fall under quite the definition of domestic terrorism, although I’ll leave that to the Justice Department to make that determination.”
Now usually, Rep. McCaul and Huckabee would be of the same mind when it came to political mindset. However, it seems that the head of the congressional committee on Homeland Security does not seem to know what terrorism is, either.
It is simple; mass murder carried out for political reasons is terrorism. It does not matter if it is in Colorado or Paris or Nigeria or Iraq.
And if you are in agreement with Rep. McCaul about the alleged gunman’s mental state, remember that he outright said, “No more baby parts” when police questioned his motives. This was not a random attack which killed three random people.
This was a hostile shooting carried out to harm people who dared use their rights to safe and legal healthcare for whatever reason they happened to be there. That is terrorism, plain and simple.
However, there is another reason why people are hesitant to label this an act of terrorism, and that reason is almost more dangerous than the continued politically and racially motivated acts of violence we see all across the country.
The fact is that because the alleged shooter is white, he is being defended.
You may recall last June when Dylann Roof killed nine people at the Charleston AME Church. President Obama immediately labeled the massacre an act of terror.
However, the mainstream media, GOP leaders, and even the FBI would not use the word “terrorist” or “terrorism” to describe Roof or his actions.
FBI Director James Comey stated at the time:
“Terrorism is an act done or threatened to in order to try to influence a public body or the citizenry, so it’s more of a political act and then, again, based on what I know so far, I don’t see it as a political act.”
This, of course, is in blatant disregard to Roof’s admission that the attack was racially motivated. If a Muslim shot up a Catholic church, it would be terrorism. Apparently if a white man shoots up a black church, it isn’t.
Who is called a terrorist is so blatantly based on racist and xenophobic attitudes that a study led by University of Illinois communications professor Travis Dixon found that while, according to the FBI, about six percent of domestic terrorism suspects were Muslim, a whopping 81 percent of the domestic terrorism suspects described on national cable and network TV news programs were Muslim.
Regardless of who commits the act or what the mainstream media or politicians want to call it, terrorism should be outed as terrorism.
For years, America has fought a phony “War on Terror” without knowing or accepting that terrorism happens in our own backyard, and by people who may have turned out to be your neighbors.
It is time to stop segmenting terrorism by where it happens, who it affects, and who perpetrates it. It is time to step up and call terrorism what it is: terrorism, plain and simple.
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