Illinois State Rep. Kam Buckner, who is black, says he was stopped by a police officer after he left a store while wearing a face-covering, according to ABC 7 Eyewitness News.
The Democratic representative says he was dressed casually when approached by a police officer who asked to see his receipt and ID. Buckner detailed the incident from his Twitter account last week.
“I went to a store to purchase some items. I wore what I think many people would wear to the store on a Sun. (when there is no church): a hoodie, sweatpants & gym shoes. I also had on my facemask & gloves per the Order (I was dressed like many of the other shoppers I saw).”
As Buckner talked about the rest of the incident on Twitter, he described the exchange with the police officer.
“When I asked why he approached me in the 1st place, his response was: “People are using the coronavirus to do bad things. I couldn’t see your face, man. You looked like you were up to something.
“As scores of masked people walked in and out without encumbrance I was reminded of the reality that I have been programmed to show as much of my face as possible and use certain cues to disarm anyone who might have a learned inclination to be suspicious of my very presence.”
The Chicago Police Department has issued a statement that says, “Based on the limited information supplied to the Chicago Police Department, we are currently unable to authenticate that this incident involved a CPD member.
“All investigatory stops must be predicated on reasonable suspicion that a crime has occurred, is occurring, or is about to occur. Anyone who believes that they may have been treated unfairly can submit a complaint to a CPD supervisor, CPD’s Office of Internal Affairs, and/or the Civilian Office of Police Accountability.”
Gov. JB Pritzker said, “It’s something that we’re looking into. We obviously believe that there is discriminatory behavior taking place here so we are going to try to make sure that we try to address it.”
The death of unarmed 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery, who was shot and killed while jogging in a Georgia neighborhood, has caused a social media firestorm and a public outcry for justice. The public firestorm eventually forced local authorities to investigate the case further, which led to the police department to charge the father and son duo, Gregory and Travis McMichael, two months after the incident. Now the NAACP is holding a call-to-action against police brutality with a platform dedicated to shedding light on current issues plaguing the African American community.
According to data collected by the Giffords Law Center, more than 36,000 people die from gun violence each year. Of this number, black men make 52% of those deaths. Unarmed black civilians are five times more likely to be shot and killed by police.
The “We Are Done Dying” Campaign launched last week with the mission to expose the inequities embedded into the American healthcare system and the country at large ranging from COVID-19 to running to the various violent encounters from law enforcement and white civilians.
“We have to be upfront and honest about these issues and speak to them, because these are experiences African-Americans are experiencing,” said Corey Wiggins, executive director of NAACP Mississippi State Conference to WJTV 12. “This trauma each and every day.”
The campaign will also highlight the NAACP’s policy interests and supported legislation for African Americans and people of color, a large demographic that is often left out of recovery effort conversations. The new digital content will include actionable steps for people to feel empowered by demanding action from their state’s elected officials on issues such as healthcare, education, criminal justice, economic justice, and voting rights.
“With crumbling economic infrastructure, our community members face tough choices as access to food, good jobs, and a quality education slips further away,” said Derrick Johnson, NAACP president and CEO, in a press statement. “These issues are compounded by the lack of strong leadership from the White House. In the absence of adequate guidance, Black lives are adversely affected. We will no longer stand idle as our people suffer discrimination, marginalization, and are offered as disposable for poor decisions by this Administration.”
A North Carolina sheriff’s deputy has been fired and charged after leading an armed mob to an African American teenager’s home.
According to The Grio, Jordan Kita, a detention officer in the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office, was the leader of an armed group of about 16 men with guns on Sunday, May 3, that confronted Dameon Shepard at his home. Kita organized the mob to locate a missing girl.
Pender County District Attorney Ben David announced Kita was fired Friday and charged with forcible trespassing, misdemeanor breaking or entering, and willful failure to discharge duties.
David added that Kita is accused of going to Shepard’s home “while armed and in uniform in a county where he was not duly sworn in and in furtherance of personal—not law enforcement—purposes.”
The Shepard’s are preparing to file a civil suit due to the incident.
“We obviously cannot have armed groups of citizens patrolling the streets of Pender County or New Hanover County terrorizing innocent families,” said Shepard’s attorney, James W. Lea.
The missing girl, 15-year-old Lekayda Kempisty, has since been found safe. Not only did Shepard not know the girl, but it turned out the mob went to the wrong house. The group was looking for someone named Josiah when they knocked on Shepard’s door.
Shepard was playing video games late Sunday night when the mob showed up at his home, answered the door and was met by Kita and his mob. When Shepard tried to close the door, Kita, armed with an assault rifle, put his foot in the doorway.
Shepard told the mob that the man they were looking for previously lived next door. The commotion woke up Shepard’s mother, Monica Shepard, who told the group to leave.
“What if he was the person they were looking for or what if I was not home? What would’ve happened,” Monica Shepard told local TV station WECT. “I don’t want to have that conversation. I don’t want him to be a statistic. It’s scary.”
The police arrived at Shepard’s home Sunday, but none of the men were arrested.
There has been a litany of racially motivated incidents in recent weeks in the U.S. Two men were charged with killing Ahmaud Arbery last week after the story gained national attention.
Anthony Trifiletti, a Minnesota resident was charged with murder after killing Doug Lewis, a 39-year-old African American man. Trifiletti shot Lewis four times following a minor car accident.
New York Attorney General Letitia James has announced that New York State has reached an agreement with Zoom last week based on her office’s recent inquiry into the videoconferencing platform’s privacy issues.
James contacted Zoom in March to inquire about what they were doing to protect the security of users who are utilizing its service after concerns that Zoom was slow to address complaints about security flaws and trolls hijacking Zoom meetings, according to Digital Trends.
James had written that her office was “concerned that Zoom’s existing security practices might not be sufficient to adapt to the recent and sudden surge in both the volume and sensitivity of data being passed through its network.
“While Zoom has remediated specific reported security vulnerabilities, we would like to understand whether Zoom has undertaken a broader review of its security practices,” the letter went on.
After James sent that letter to Zoom in March, the two parties then worked out an agreement that James just recently announced.
“Our lives have inexorably changed over the past two months, and while Zoom has provided an invaluable service, it unacceptably did so without critical security protections,” said Attorney General James in a written statement. “This agreement puts protections in place so that Zoom users have control over their privacy and security, and so that workplaces, schools, religious institutions, and consumers don’t have to worry while participating in a video call. As the coronavirus continues to spread across New York State and this nation and we come more accustomed to our new normal, my office will continue to do everything in its power to help our state’s residents and give them every tool to continue living their lives.”
The agreement will protect New Yorkers and users nationwide by ensuring Zoom’s compliance with New York State and federal laws; and will ensure Zoom provides services that are more secure, that provide users with enhanced privacy controls, and that protect users from abuse.