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Black Agenda Radio – 7.25.16

This is Black Agenda Radio, the radio magazine that brings you news, commentary and analysis from a Black Left perspective. Your hosts are Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey, here they are with a weekly hour of African American political thought and action.

– Black activists took the fight against police terror to the cops’ doorstep, last week. Black Youth Project 100 and Black Lives Matter DC occupied the grounds of the Fraternal Order of Police union headquarters, in Washington. At about the same time, BYP100, Black Lives Matter and the Million Hoodies Movement for Justice staged a sit-in at the New York City offices of another police union, the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association. Samantha Masters is a spokesperson for the activists in the nation’s capital.

– There’s been yet another acquittal in Baltimore of a police officer in the death of Freddie Gray. We spoke with Jill Carter, a member of the Maryland state legislature, who’s also a defense attorney who hails from an activist, civil rights family. Carter says, given that cops are so seldom charged with crimes against Black civilians, and hardly ever convicted, lots of folks were not surprised that it looks like no one will pay for the fatal injuries to Freddie Gray’s spine while in police custody.

– What does the rise of Donald Trump say about the United States? The nation’s best known political prisoner, Mumia Abu Jamal, files this report on The Trump Triumph.

– The grassroots rebellion in both the Democratic and Republican parties may bode well for the growth prospects of the Green Party and Jill Stein, their anticipated presidential candidate. Dr. Margaret Flowers is an honorary co-chair of the Green’s national convention, coming up in August, and one of the authors of a series of open letters the Greens have sent to various political constituencies, urging them to break with the two-party, duopoly system.

– Bruce Carter used to be an organizer with Black Men for Bernie, before Sanders capitulated to Hillary Clinton. Carter says he’s through with the Democrats, but he will be in Philadelphia this week when Clinton accepts her presidential nomination.

– The Olympic Games kick off next month in Rio De Janeiro, but Brazil is in political turmoil. The impeachment trial of the country’s elected President, Dilma Rousseff, of the Workers Party, is set to begin in mid-August. The corporate media in Brazil and the United States act as if Rousseff’s removal is a done deal. However, a federal prosecutor has ruled that the charges against Rousseff do not constitute a crime, and it is believed that there may be a large enough bloc in the Brazilian Senate to prevent her ouster. Maria Luisa Mendonca is director of Brazil’s Network for Social Justice and Human Rights and a professor of international relations at the University of Rio De Jenairo, which has been closed down since the so-called “soft coup”

Visit the BlackAgendaReport.com, where you’ll find a new and provocative issue, each Wednesday

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Black Agenda Radio – 6.27.16

This is Black Agenda Radio, the radio magazine that brings you news, commentary and analysis from a Black Left perspective. Your hosts are Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey, here they are with a weekly hour of African American political thought and action.

– The Great Britain will begin the process of leaving the European Union, after an historic referendum, last week. Capitalists all over the planet are upset. We spoke with Dr. Anthony Monteiro, the Duboisian scholar with the Black Radical Organizing Committee, and asked: “Why are rich people on both sides of the Atlantic so worried about BREXIT.

– In what looked like well-organized political theater, 51 diplomats in the U.S. State Department acted more like employees of the Pentagon, this month. They sent an orchestrated message through the departments complaint channels, calling on the U.S. to launch a bombing campaign against the government of Syria. Meanwhile, U.S. war planes came to the defense of al Qaida terrorists who are under attack by Russian air forces. Sara Flounders, of UNAC, the United National Anti-War Coalition, says the State Department letter-signers are risking war with Russia to save U.S.-backed jihadists in Syria.

– The prosecution against the cops involved in the killing of Freddie Gray, in Baltimore, is batting zero. A judge last week acquitted a police officer of depraved heart murder charges in Grays death. Carl Dix, of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network, spoke to us outside the courtroom.

– Bernie Sanders has conceded that he won’t be the Democratic presidential candidate – and, lots of his supporters are in mourning. But Mumia Abu Jamal, the nation’s best-known political prisoner, says activists must look “Beyond Bernie.”

– Some temporary employment agencies exclude Black job applicants. Instead, they send Latino workers to fill jobs for their clients. Alva Ayala is an attorney for the Workers Law Office, in Chicago. His firm has sued six temporary employment agencies and many of their clients for refusing to hire Blacks. Ayala says temp agencies do the employers’ dirty work, providing companies with the most insecure and easily exploitable workers.

Visit the BlackAgendaReport.com, where you’ll find a new and provocative issue, each Wednesday.

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Leid Stories – Third Cop Walks in Freddie Gray Case; The Orlando Massacre: Was It Terrorism? – 06.23.16

Caesar Goodson, the third officer, and “star” defendant, tried in connection with the brutal death of Freddie Gray today was cleared of all charges—including second-degree depraved-heart murder; three counts of manslaughter; assault; reckless endangerment; and misconduct in office.

Noted attorney Alton H. Maddox Jr., who predicted the outcome of the case, deciphers the verdict.

In the immediate aftermath of the June 12 massacre of 49 people and the wounding of 53 others at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., President Barack Obama told the nation that the alleged lone gunman, Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old security guard, had committed “an act of terror” and “an act of hate.”

Various other officials in his administration—including Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, FBI Director James Comey and their boss U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch—have echoed the president’s characterization of the tragedy, and it appears to be the legal definition that is informing the government’s ongoing investigations.

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Leid Stories – 0 for 2, Baltimore Prosecutor Tries Third Time for A Conviction in Freddie Gray Case; Remembering Muhammad Ali – 06.06.16

Lawyers for Caesar Goodson, the Baltimore police officer facing the most serious charges in the death of Freddie Gray on April 12 last year, are in court today challenging the admissibility of key evidence. Goodson goes on trial tomorrow on charges of depraved-heart murder, three counts of manslaughter, misconduct in office and reckless endangerment. While in Goodson’s custody, the indictment says, Gray suffered irreparable—and, eventually, fatal—injuries to his spine.

Attorney Alton H. Maddox Jr. disassembles State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Moseby’s handling of the case, which yielded an acquittal for Officer Edward Nero two weeks ago in a nonjury trial, and a mistrial last December in the case of Officer William Porter.

Leid Stories pays tribute to the world-renowned boxer and humanitarian Muhammad Ali, who died June 3 at a Phoenix-area hospital, where he was being treated for respiratory complications associated with his 32-year battle with Parkinson’s disease. He was 74 years old.

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Leid Stories – 05.04.15

Baltimore: A Legal Primer on Cop Indictments in Freddie Gray Case

Baltimoreans rejoiced last Friday after State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby announced the indictment and arrest of six police officers allegedly connected to the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old local man, while in their custody after an illegal arrest April 12.
Gray, who suffered a severed spinal cord and crushed voice box among other injuries, died a week later. His death touched off a series of protests locally and nationally, including a rebellion in Baltimore that was quashed by martial law.
Indictment of the police officers, however, is no guarantee of convictions in the case, says our guest, “Attorney at War” Alton H. Maddox Jr. There are major legal obstacles to overcome, he says, noting that the Baltimore Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 3, the officers’ union, has already asserted that the officers did nothing wrong.
Maddox, an expert on police-brutality and wrongful-death litigation, provides a legal primer on the case.