Photos by James Petrozzello
Photos by James Petrozzello
6 Philadelphia Cops Arrested In Corruption Probe
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Six Philadelphia police officers who served in the narcotics squad were taken into custody by FBI agents early this morning as part of a federal corruption probe.
All of those officers are current or former narcotics officers: John Speiser, Brian Reynolds, Michael Spicer, Perry Betts, Thomas Liciardello, and Linwood Norman. All are facing multiple charges including extortion, robbery, kidnapping, and drug-dealing.
Sources previously confirmed that a federal grand jury has been investigating allegations that Philadelphia narcotics officers stole drugs and money and committed robberies of drug dealers, in some cases allegedly using their guns to do it.
In one incident, officials say, the accused held one of the drug suspects for days in a hotel while threatening him and making threats against his family.
In another alleged incident, one victim was reportedly dangled over the edge of an 18th-floor balcony in order to get information.
The joint investigation by the Philadelphia Police Department and the FBI also revealed the officers would play a “game” in which they scored points by coming up with different ways of abusing suspects.
The accused are also said to have robbed drug dealers, taking items including cash and expensive watches.
The incidents reportedly took place between 2006 and 2012. One of those charged, Liciardello, is said to have been the main culprit in falsifying records after the incidents.
"These officers don’t represent the majority of this department,” Commissioner Ramsey said today. “The majority of our department was represented in the dedicated police work displayed during the past few days, working endlessly with the community and getting wanted criminals off the street,” he added, referring to the arrest of two men now charged with a hit-and-run car crash that killed three children. “We will continue to be transparent; we will continue to pursue those involved in corruption, and remove those who don’t belong in this department. We will continue to make strong efforts in developing trusting relationships with every community as we build a safer Philadelphia for our citizens.”
“Ninety-nine to infinity percent of our officers are hard-working, dedicated, and honest,” Nutter said. “Unfortunately, there are a few who tarnish their badge.”
Look at them lies at the end..
This past Saturday, Al Sharpton’s National Action Network headquarters in Harlem had an address and broadcast on behalf of Eric Garner. Family and friends of Eric Garner, in addition to other victims of police brutality and injustice came to offer their support. The community stands with the family of Eric Garner.
It was also the first time Eric Garner’s mother spoke to the press after the NYPD murdered her son.
Pictures in sequence
Picture 1: Rev. Al Sharpton.
Picture 2: Esaw Garner (Eric Garner’s widow) and Gwen Carr (Eric Garner’s mother).
Picture 3: Rashida Rahim breaks down and is consoled by Rev. Al Sharpton as she speaks out about her brother Jahmil-El Cuffee who was stomped on the head by an NYPD officer while he was on the ground and already in handcuffs. The incident was over Cuffee smoking a joint in front of his house.
Picture 4: Nicole Paultre Bell, the fiance of Sean Bell who was gunned down by the NYPD following his bachelor party in 2006. Sean Bell and two of his friends were shot at 50 times. Bell didn’t survive.
Pictures 5: Gwen Carr (Eric Garner’s mother) is consoled by her daughter Ellisha Flagg (Eric Garner’s sister). Next to Flagg are Garner’s daughters.
Picture 6: Korey Wise and Rev. Al Sharpton. Wise then known as Kharey was one of the Central Park 5. He spent 13 years in prison before DNA evidence exonerated him.
More photos here.
“Four years until retirement, then I’m going to teach railroad engineering at community college. I’ve already got my lesson plans mapped out.”
Immigration is a revealing topic to talk about with people because many tend to view immigration as something that is an ‘us vs them’ battle. I know what kind of person you are based on your views on immigration. People often get so comfortable around me, they say really awful things about immigrants, completely forgetting that I am the product of immigrants. 1 in 3 New Yorkers is an immigrant. It usually dawns on them when they see that I’m not laughing along with their jokes. These people don’t view immigrants as equals. They don’t value their full humanity. They talk about them like they’re talking about an infestation of roaches and not human beings. They tend to view immigrants solely as asylum seekers, impoverished, escaping war etc. In the US, the face of immigration is always non-white. White immigrants tend to skate on by. Word to Justin Bieber.
I’m a New Yorker, so I speak from that POV. Considering that 1 in 3 New Yorkers is an immigrant, to be anti-immigrant here is to be anti-New York City. There is a strong probability that when you’re speaking to a New Yorker, you’re speaking to an immigrant, or the child or grandchild of immigrants. And while indeed many immigrants left their country to escape hardship, that isn’t the single narrative at all, even though it’s often depicted that way. Many immigrants came here for school. They weren’t escaping war and they aren’t seeking asylum. Maybe they got accepted into a school program that isn’t available where they live. Maybe they have family here and are reuniting. Maybe they received a job offer. Maybe they are moving to be with their spouse. There are so many different scenarios, the possibilities and reasons are endless.
What is telling about the immigrant perceptions that many have in the US is that whiteness is never seen as something that encroaches, despite the fact that this country as it exists today is because of white encroachment. The perception of encroachment is reserved for immigrants of color only. A white Australian or Canadian immigrant will not be treated the same as a brown Mexican immigrant. Their whiteness will afford them the luxury of not being viewed as nefarious or a drain on society. They won’t even be seen as immigrants. They will be seen as foreigners with charming accents. In the minds of many, immigrants are those colored people that take their jobs and mooch off the system.
The reality is that America would crumble without immigrants, both documented and undocumented. When 1 in 3 people in NYC are immigrants, complaining about immigrants is extremely short sighted. People tend to forget that immigrants do things beyond menial jobs. Many of the things you enjoy today came at the hands of immigrants or from the children of immigrants. From cuisines, entertainment and the arts, to companies like youtube, apple, google and yahoo. An immigrant or the child of an immigrant started those. How easy we forget.
What would the US medical landscape look like without foreign doctors and nurses? In the US, immigrants and their children are filling large voids in many occupations that would have otherwise eroded. From the fruit picker, to the waitstaff serving you, to the street vendor making your coffee, to the nanny looking after and raising your bratty kids, to the construction worker, to the medical professional, to the academic scholar and many others, immigrants are making society better. They are the grease that keeps the machine running. Immigrant haters should look at who is graduating from medical and law school in droves these days. Chances are, their doctor or legal counsel will be an immigrant or the child of an immigrant.
I know that the root of the problem isn’t simply xenophobia, it’s racism. At the heart of this all is racism. White people aren’t going to take to the streets if Benedict Cumberbatch types moved into their neighborhood. They’d be delighted. That’s how white supremacy plays out in the US. With the exception of German, most western accents are seen as charming, while non-western accents offer comic relief or are mocked. It’s why Apu from the Simpsons is seen as funny. Every other character on the show does something funny, or has a quirk, or behaves in a manner that is will elicit a laugh or two. Apu merely talks. His Indian accent is the punchline.
Even when it’s the same language, the white people speaking it are elevated. Let’s take French for instance. No one asks why French accents are seen as “sexy” and “sophisticated”. With regards to the sexiness and sophistication of the accent, please note that the accent has to be from France, spoken by a white person preferably. French accents from Haiti or Francophone Africa need not apply, even though because of colonialism, more people speak French in Africa than in France itself. Try to come up with a reason as to why French spoken by white people in France is seen as sexy and sophisticated, independent of what you’ve been taught to believe and what you’ve been taught to hold in high regard. After that, try to find a reason why that perception of sexiness and sophistication isn’t afforded to the majority of French speakers who are not white. Many Americans will laugh at a Haitian’s accent, but will melt like butter when a white Parisian utters a phrase.
That’s a snapshot of the racial dynamics and hierarchies put in place by white supremacy. No one ever asks why accents like Apu from The Simpsons sounds funny, we just accept that it is without even looking at it critically. Looking beyond the fact that Apu is voiced by Hank Azaria, there are many more people like Apu than the white citizens of western nations. White supremacy has us laughing and devaluing the majority of earth’s population. It’s also sad to see black and brown people follow suit and adopt this white supremacist ideology when it comes to accents and immigrants. It’s really infuriating when I see black and brown people laughing at the way other black and brown people talk. They don’t even realize that they are imbibing white supremacy.
Friendly reminder for the anti-immigrant posts making the rounds.
coming out to your parents
If you try for one second to tell me the X-Men isn’t an allegory for the gay rights movement, I will smack you. They weren’t even remotely subtle about this.
The mutants have always been an allegory for anyone that didn’t fit in to society. The folks who drew the comics made a point of that early on.
It’s not just the gay rights movement, its not just kids trying to “come out” to their parents. Its people being mistreated by the government, put away, forced to pretend to be “normal”, systematically oppressed, even killed for who they are because the powers that be cant control it. It’s an allegory for blacks, gays, the disabled (mentally and physically), women, and anyone really who isnt a white man at the top of the food chain.
Seriously guys… Malcom X and Martin Luther King Jr are Professor X and Magneto. Legacy virus is HIV. X-men is a flawless comic.
Flawless commentary is flawless
Meh. Not this again.
People never get tired of reminding us of the allegories of the X-men and civil rights. I personally don’t care for allegories that consists of 2 powerful white men leading an ensemble of mostly powerful white people. I’m a comic lover and I understand the point Stan Lee and Jack Kirby were making. I enjoy X-men for what it is, a fantasy. I’m not going to use it for deep social commentary, despite the idealistic intentions of the creators.
I can see and listen to actual marginalized people. I’m on the margins myself and so is everyone around me and in my community. Allegories like this are for people who aren’t paying attention or listening to communities on the margins. I can’t imagine a Black lesbian for instance being excited about the X-men as an allegory for her life. I’ll make an educated guess and say that the only people who view allegorical narratives like the X-men as profound are probably white. I’m definitely not impressed by all powerful white characters used in place as allegories of systems put in place by real life powerful white people i.e. white supremacy.
The day when a white man shooting lasers from his eyes and an angry, furry dudebro with retractable adamantium claws start shedding light on my experiences as someone on the margins is the day when pigs fly.
Also, the allegory of Professor X as MLK Jr and Magneto as Malcolm X feeds into the dichotomy of one guy being respectable and the other being violent and ruthless. It is deeply flawed. People continue to promulgate this simplistic narrative of MLK Jr and Malcolm X and it’s dangerous. Magneto is a mutant who wants to destroy humankind (allegory for white people?) because he thinks mutants are superior. He is filled with hatred and contempt for humankind. He leads the “Brotherhood of Evil Mutants” (allegory for the Nation of Islam?).
Magneto’s sole purpose is ridding the world of humankind. That’s a horrible allegory of Malcolm X. That isn’t Malcolm X. That’s a white man’s interpretation of Malcolm X misrepresented as Magneto and his followers.
If Stan Lee and Jack Kirby wanted to really make a statement, they should have made the five original X-men Black since Black resistance to white supremacy was the preeminent struggle that inspired them. Forgive me for not giving a shit about their allegories when their inaugural champions of justice and vanguards of truth were white people. Even when inspired by Black resistance and Black suffering, the end result was still whiteness.
“I came back into the south when I came out of service. People started demonstrations and there was a Black sister sitting on a stool trying to buy a sandwich, and they would put cigarettes burning to their necks, to their backs. They would beat them with chains. In the city where I lived, in one month the whites rode through and they struck 18 Black women in the streets. But we did something about it, we rose up.”
Robert F. Williams
Taken from the documentary CD “Self-Defense, Self-Respect & Self-Determination.”
I never could understand why a Black man could be sent around the world, to terrorize everybody in the world, that he didn’t hate, didn’t even know, and to wipe out cities, but then he would allow his own mother and his own sister to be oppressed in his own country and he didn’t resist.
Later I figured it out. It was a matter of being conditioned like dogs. As long as they had white officers to lead then they were ready and willing to fight and reign destruction on other people. But when they got home, they didn’t have those white officers leading them in the battle anymore. They didn’t have the leadership. I could understand more.”
Robert F. Williams.
Comment on Afro-Americans fighting America’s wars.
Just how Malcolm X said:
“If violence is wrong in America, violence is wrong abroad. If it’s wrong to be violent defending black women and black children and black babies and black men, then it’s wrong for America to draft us and make us violent abroad in defense of her. And if it is right for America to draft us, and teach us how to be violent in defense of her, then it is right for you and me to do whatever is necessary to defend our own people right here in this country.”
“I believe, and at lot of other Negroes do too, that we must Create a black militancy of our own. We must direct our own struggle. achieve our own destiny. We must realize that many Afro-Americans have become skeptical and extremely suspicious of the so-called white liberals who have dominated “Negro” freedom movements. They just feel that no white person can understand what it is like to be a suppressed Negro. The traditional white liberal leadership in civil rights organizations, and even white radicals, generally cannot understand what our struggle is and how we feel about it. They have always made our struggle secondary and after all these years we really never got any place.”
Robert F. Williams
Taken from his book “Negroes With Guns” (page 78)
We are living in an age of great upheaval. We are living in an age of violence and revolution. We are living in an age where the angry cry of ‘freedom’ rises from every corner as the slave rises to challenge the enslaver. Yes, we see mighty racist America quiver from the impact of a terrifying shockwave of freedom.
Yes, Los Angeles is a warning to oppressive racist beasts that they can no longer enjoy immunity from retribution for their brutal crimes of violence and oppression of our people. Let them be apprised of the fact that we are going to have justice or set the torch to racist America. The masses of people want relief from their misery. They want freedom and justice and they want it now.
Unemployment is greater than before. The Afro-American is still the last to be hired and the first to be fired. The Afro-American’s head is still the number 1 target of the brutal thug cop’s billy club. The Afro-American is still the number 1 victim of racist kangaroo court frame-ups. Our homes and churches are still being bombed and burned to the ground.
We must protect ourselves. We must defend ourselves. We must meet violence with violence. Racist and imperialist America has extended herself too much on the world front. She cannot fight imperialist wars throughout the world and put down a colonial war at home simultaneously.
My brothers and sisters, the only justice we are going to get is the justice we take. Times are critical. We are facing a future where endless streets shall become like rivers of blood. Let us be prepared to fight to the death. Let it be known to the world that we shall meet their sophisticated weapons of violence with the crude and simple flame of a match. Let us resist tyranny to the death.
Resist! Resist! Resist! Burn! Burn! Burn!
Death to the oppressor! Down with the thug cops!
To the streets, and let our battle cry be heard around the world:
Freedom! Freedom! Freedom now-or death!”
Robert F. Williams
“The Age Of Revolution And Urban Rebellion” speech is taken from one of his broadcasts on his radio show ”Radio Free Dixie”. At the time it was 1965 and he was in political exile in Cuba.
This was a reaction to certain events from 1965 such as the assassination of Malcolm X, increasing poverty, police brutality, the Los Angeles, Watts Rebellion, and the disproportionate number of soldiers of color dying in Vietnam.
What - you thought we only had the Black Panthers? Think again.
The man with the cigarette in his mouth in the 3rd picture is Robert F. Williams. His book titled Negroes with Guns is absolutely necessary reading. Williams and armed Blacks in the south were able to do what other Blacks couldn’t do, they repelled attacks from the KKK and instilled fear in them. He was the president of his local NAACP chapter. He also had his own group called the ‘Black Armed Guard’ and they had shootouts with the KKK. The klan wasn’t expecting to get shot when they came into town.
Williams eventually fled to Cuba when the FBI under J. Edgar Hoover put him on a most wanted list. Williams then later went to China. The US government made him a fugitive for standing up for Black people and he had to go into exile. I think more people should know his story.
His book was the inspiration behind the formation of the Black Panthers btw. Huey Newton read ‘Negroes with Guns’ and the rest as they say is history.
A female suicide bomber killed six people at a college campus in Nigeria’s Kano city on Wednesday, the fourth time Boko Haram Islamists were suspected of using a female attacker in as many days.
At about 2:30 pm (1330 GMT) on Wednesday, an assailant blew herself up at a noticeboard on the campus of the Kano Polytechnic College, where students had crammed to check their assignments for a mandatory youth civil service programme. It was the fourth attack by a female bomber in Nigeria’s second city since the weekend.
The latest violence came as the government announced the arrest of a 10-year-old girl with explosives strapped to her chest in a neighbouring area.
“What is disaster pornography? Africans define it as the Western media’s habit of blacking out Africa’s stock markets, cell phones, heart surgeries, soaring literacy and increasing democratization, while gleefully parading its genocides, armed conflicts, child soldiers, foreign debts, hunger, disease and backwardness.”
– Gbemisola Olujobi, Nigerian journalist (Via the December 2007 issue of Ebony magazine) (via the-cat-inside)
i am ashamed to say that when i was steeped in evangelicalism, i was one of these people. it took me stepping away to see what was really good. but “good” christians aren’t supposed to be “worldly” or question anything so this is what you get
Don’t feel ashamed. You’re awesome!
Here’s to hoping more people follow your example. The one thing I’ve noticed about these people is that they are pretty insular and for the most part like it that way. They are definitely not “worldly” as you put it. It’s a personal journey and you can’t drag someone into enlightenment. Perhaps other people who have been indoctrinated with these beliefs but are questioning might see this and follow suit.
This I know; if your preacher is teaching you that mass murder, occupation and colonial settling is a sign of the return of jesus, you need to leave that church immediately.