Saturday, March 12, 2016

Survey Finds Freddie Gray's Neighborhood Is Rife With Police Brutality

Boys play basketball in the Sandton-Winchester neighborhood of Baltimore. (photo: AP)
Boys play basketball in the Sandton-Winchester neighborhood of Baltimore. (photo: AP)

Survey Finds Freddie Gray's Neighborhood Is Rife With Police Brutality

By Colin Daileda, Mashable

11 March 16

 The Baltimore neighborhood of Sandtown-Winchester consumed the news cycle for a brief period in April 2015, when Freddie Gray, a black resident of the area, died in police custody.

  His death put a spotlight on the police department's relationship with the black residents of Baltimore, and the results of a survey released on March 8 show why the tension therein was bound to boil over.

    According to a survey conducted by Baltimoreans United in Leadership Development and the No Boundaries Coalition, which describes itself as a resident-led advocacy group based in west Baltimore, 453 out of 1,500 survey respondents in Sandtown-Winchester had experienced or witnessed "police misconduct."

   "Rather than describing a few bad officers, witnesses described a prevalence of police misconduct that shaped their perception of all police," the group wrote in its findings.
Yet only 39 of those 453 people who had experienced police misconduct were willing to go on the record about it.

  “I understand we need to speak up on the way the police treat the community," one resident said in the report. "But certain things ain’t nobody going to talk about.”

   The coalition found that police response to crime was not "applied fairly and consistently." Residents said they were often stopped and searched even though they were not suspected of committing a crime, yet other obvious crimes were allowed to go on.
One resident in the report described watching an officer take money from a person dealing drugs, then telling the dealer that "my kids are going to have a good Christmas."

   The coalition's conclusion is similar to the findings of other groups dedicated to police reform. They believe officers need training in anti-racism and community relations, and they want police to meet often with community leaders.

They also want residents to have a say in the police's budget, practices and priorities.

C 2015 Reader Supported News

Published on Portside (

Stephen Hawking Says We Should Really Be Scared Of Capitalism, Not Robots

Alexander C. Kaufman

Tuesday, October 6, 2015
Huffington Post

Machines won't bring about the economic robot apocalypse -- but greedy humans will, according to physicist Stephen Hawking.

In a Reddit Ask Me Anything [1] session on Thursday, the scientist predicted that economic inequality will skyrocket as more jobs become automated and the rich owners of machines refuse to share their fast-proliferating wealth.

If machines produce everything we need, the outcome will depend on how things are distributed. Everyone can enjoy a life of luxurious leisure if the machine-produced wealth is shared, or most people can end up miserably poor if the machine-owners successfully lobby against wealth redistribution. So far, the trend seems to be toward the second option, with technology driving ever-increasing inequality.

Essentially, machine owners will become the bourgeoisie of a new era, in which the corporations they own won't provide jobs to actual human workers.

As it is, the chasm between the super rich and the rest is growing. For starters, capital -- such as stocks or property -- accrues value at a much faster rate than the actual economy grows [2], according to the French economist Thomas Piketty. The wealth of the rich multiplies faster than wages increase, and the working class can never even catch up.

But if Hawking is right, the problem won't be about catching up. It'll be a struggle to even inch past the starting line.

[Alexander C. Kaufman is the Senior Business Editor of The Huffington Post. Previously, he worked as a staff reporter at the International Business Times, The Wrap and The Boston Globe. Reach him at [3] or @AlexCKaufman [4].]


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"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs

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