On This Day, May 4, 1970 – National Guard Kills Four at Kent State

In Kent, Ohio, 28 National Guardsmen fire their weapons at a group of antiwar demonstrators on the Kent State University campus, killing four students, wounding eight, and permanently paralyzing another. Two days earlier, the National Guard troops were called to Kent to suppress students rioting in protest of the Vietnam War and the U.S. invasion of Cambodia. The next day, scattered protests were dispersed by tear gas, and on May 4 class resumed at Kent State University. By noon that day, despite a ban on rallies, some 2,000 people had assembled on the campus. National Guard troops arrived and ordered the crowd to disperse, fired tear gas, and advanced against the students with bayonets fixed on their rifles. Some of the protesters, refusing to yield, responded by throwing rocks and verbally taunting the troops. Minutes later, without firing a warning shot, the Guardsmen discharged more than 60 rounds toward...

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Media And Law Enforcement Quickly Call Tenn. Shooter A ‘Terrorist’ — But Dylann Roof Wasn’t?

by SHANNON ARGUETA – On Thursday, a young man pulled his car up to two military installations, fired his weapons and killed five Marines. The media and law enforcement officials immediately labeled the shooting an act of “domestic terrorism.” Last month, a young man walked into a historical black church, fired his weapon and killed nine churchgoers. In the days that followed the word terrorist wasn’t uttered once by any law enforcement officials and neither did the mainstream media. So, why did only one crime become terrorism? I have an idea! In the hours after the shooting that took the lives of five Marines in Tennessee, law enforcement officials named a 24-year-old naturalized citizen from Kuwait, Mohammad Youssuf Abdulazeez, as the shooter. As soon as the media found out that he was a practicing Muslim, the word “terrorist” started flying. Local Chattanooga prosecutors said that they were investigating the shooting as...

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Nine Dead in Texas Biker Gang Shooting

18 people taken to hospitals with injuries that include stab, gunshot wounds A shootout among rival biker gangs at a popular Central Texas restaurant left nine people dead and 18 injured, and sent panicked patrons and bystanders fleeing for safety, a police spokesman said Sunday. The violence erupted shortly after noon at a busy Waco shopping center along Interstate 35 that draws a large lunchtime crowd. Waco police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton said eight people died at the scene of the shooting at Twin Peaks Sports Bar and Grill and another person died at a hospital. The nine killed were all members of biker gangs, he said, as were the 18 people who were taken to hospitals with injuries that include stab and gunshot wounds. Some victims are being treated for both, he said. “In 34 years of law enforcement this is the worst crime scene, the most violent...

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US Officials ‘Probing ISIL Links’ in Texas Shooting (VIDEO)

Two suspected gunmen shot dead outside exhibition depicting the Prophet Muhammad were both known to US authorities US authorities are reportedly investigating links between two gunmen shot dead after opening fire outside a Texas art exhibition featuring cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, and groups such as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). A source told the Reuters news agency that the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other US agencies believed that Sunday’s incident could have been instigated or directed by foreign-based groups, such as ISIL. Al Jazeera’s Jay Gray said there was “a lot of speculation” but police were conducting a “long, intensive and meticulous investigation” as they continued to sift through evidence at the scene of the incident outside a cultural centre in the Dallas suburb of Garland. FBI agents and police on Monday also combed the Phoenix apartment of the two men – named...

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American Tragedy: Staggering Amount of Police Shooting Victims Struggled with Mental Illness

By Shaun King, Daily Kos – On April 30, 2014, Milwaukee Police Officer Christopher Manney broke protocol on how to approach someone clearly struggling with mental illness. At 3:28 PM, Manney confronted Dontre Hamilton, who was sleeping on the ground outside of a local Starbucks, and immediately began treating him like a common criminal by patting him down from behind and asking him if he had any weapons. He didn’t, but one minute later Dontre Hamilton was dead, shot by Manney.What Manney didn’t know was that two officers had already performed a well-check on Hamilton and determined that he was not harming anyone or breaking any laws by being there. He wasn’t panhandling or even speaking to anyone. In Milwaukee, outdoor resting is not illegal. A Starbucks employee recounted what she saw: I never witnessed Dontre attack Chris. Dontre only reacted to Chris’ lunge, in what appeared to be, a...

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3 Muslim Students Were Gunned Down In Possible Hate Crime. How Muslims And Atheists Are Responding

By JACK JENKINS, ThinkProgress – Three young Muslim students were gunned down in their North Carolina family home Tuesday evening in what is being investigated as a hate crime. According to North Carolina news station WRAL, the students were shot dead in their house on Summerwalk Circle in Chapel Hill around 5 pm. Locals reported hearing gunshots before the police arrived. The victims were found dead at the scene, all of them shot in the head. 46-year-old Craig Stephen Hicks has been arrested and charged with three counts of first-degree murder in the case after he turned himself in to police early Wednesday morning. According to postings on his Facebook page, Hicks was a fervent atheist, and posted images of his gun in the past as well as several images decrying both Islam and religion in general. “Our preliminary investigation indicates that the crime was motivated by an ongoing neighbor...

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The Sydney Gunman and Charlie Hebdo

Connection between the two acts puts the perpetrators on different sides of the free speech debate by Andrew Thomas – Parallels have been drawn this week between the massacre in Paris, and the siege in Sydney last month. Both were brutal, appalling attacks on innocent people. But there’s another connection which puts the perpetrators on different sides of a crucial debate. A few cartoons in response to this week’s attacks have played with the idea of the pen versus the sword: that freedom of speech is vital in a free, democratic society. Offence is, often, an inevitable, necessary by-product. ‘I am Charlie’ might be a modern-day paraphrase of Voltaire’s famous line: “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” I was reminded of someone else who used a version of the pen/sword analogy. Before he became gruesomely infamous for his bloody...

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A Must Listen: Conservative Radio Host Hugh Hewitt’s Epic Take-Down Of Catholic League’s Donohue (AUDIO)

by T. STEELMAN – It’s not often that a conservative of Hugh Hewitt’s stature goes after one of his own. Okay, it’s pretty much never. Conservative radio hosts usually toss softball question at their conservative guests. Witness someone like Sarah Palin or Lindsey Graham or their ilk on Fox. The hardest question conservatives who are being “interviewed” in friendly territory get is, “What did Obama do to offend you today?” Then, along comes the exception that proves the rule. On Thursday, Hugh Hewitt had as his guest the Chairman of the Catholic League, Bill Donohue. Hewitt is a devout Catholic and a law professor and very, very conservative. Appearing on his show — if you are conservative — is usually an easy gig, as Hewitt goes pretty easy on those of his own tribe. But Hewitt had other plans for Donohue. Donohue, in case you didn’t know, came out with...

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[White] Woman Goes on Shooting Spree, Yet Somehow Isn’t Automatically Killed By Police

By Frank Vyan Walton, Daily Kos – We’ve been told repeatedly that if only Eric Garner hadn’t resisted, or been so fat, the medical examiner wouldn’t have found that his death was a homicide due to asphyxiation.   We’ve been told that if only Michael Brown hadn’t been a vicious cigarillo thug he wouldn’t have received a bullet wound in his arm that either came from the back while he was running away, or from the front while he hands were up as he traveled forward at the stunningly rapid speed of 2.59 mph.  We’ve been told that if only Jonathan Crawford had dropped the toy air-rifle he picked up from the shelves at Walmart within two seconds, that if only Tamir Rice had dropped his BB Gun within one second, and if only...

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Despite recent shootings, Chicago nowhere near U.S. ‘murder capital’

By Drew DeSilver – The spate of 82 shootings in Chicago over the July 4th holiday weekend, in which at least 16 people were killed, drew national attention to gun violence in the nation’s third-largest city. But that focus risks missing the bigger picture: When adjusted by population, murder rates are far higher in smaller cities than in larger ones, such as Chicago, New York and Los Angeles. In terms of raw number of murders, Chicago has long been at or near the top of U.S. cities, according to FBI crime statistics. In 2012, it had 500 murders, the most of any city in the country; Chicago has been among the top three cities with the most murders since 1985. (Fair warning: The FBI stats are compiled from reports by local police agencies that serve populations of at least 100,000, and for various reasons — including the fact that not all agencies...

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In Calif. city, shootings reignite tensions between citizens, police

“We’re really looking for answers on both sides.” By Timothy Bella, Al Jazeera – SALINAS, Calif. – On May 20, Carlos Mejia was walking toward a bakery. A gardener and day laborer at construction jobs, Mejia was carrying two-foot garden shears.  And he was trailed by two police officers. A woman reported that he’d tried to break into her house with the shears, exposed himself and attacked her dog.  When officers arrived, they told him to stop and drop the shears but instead he continued down the sidewalk, headed toward a busy intersection. Seconds later, they fired at least five shots at Mejia at point-blank range. The shooting death was caught on a cell phone and quickly went viral, getting more than 200,000 YouTube views within a week. Shocked onlookers can be heard rebuking the officers. The community was already reeling from a police shooting in March and another one just 11...

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California Supreme Court Rules for Police Transparency

Names of officers involved in shootings aren’t confidential under state law By Peter Bibring, ACLU – You’ve seen police uniforms on TV. Some have medals, some have stripes, some are blue and some are tan, but they always have a badge and a little nameplate on the chest bearing the officer’s name. In California, officers are required by state law to wear that nameplate identifying them. Why? Accountability. A strong democracy requires transparency. And yesterday, the California Supreme Court gave a boost to transparent policing by ruling that the names of officers involved in shootings aren’t confidential under state law. At issue in this case are officers from the Long Beach Police Department who shot and killed 35 year-old Douglas Zerby in December 2010, when they mistakenly believed the garden hose nozzle he was holding was a gun. In response to the concerns that the shooting might indicate deeper problems within...

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Hollywood director’s son ‘shoots six dead’

Hunger Games assistant director says he believes his son killed six people in California before dying of gunshot wound The son of a Hollywood director is believed to have shot dead six people in a drive-by attack in California, after posting an internet video about his plan to kill women. The 22-year-old man launched his attack on Saturday in Isla Vista, Santa Barbara, after revealing his plan in a YouTube video, saying he wanted revenge for being rejected. He was later found dead after an exchange of fire with police. A lawyer for Peter Rodger, an assistant director on The Hunger Games film, said that his client believed the attacker was his son, Elliot. Rodger’s mother contacted police after a video was posted a few weeks ago, the lawyer added. The attack happened near the campus of the University of Santa Barbara. Witnesses reported seeing the attacker firing indiscriminately...

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Former KKK Leader Charged for Murders at Kansas Jewish Centers

Jon Queally, staff writer, Common Dreams, Three people were killed at two separate locations on Sunday in Kansas City, Missouri Police have arrested a man with a long history of involvement in racist and neo-Nazi groups for the shooting deaths of three people outside two separate Jewish community centers near Kansas City, Missouri on Sunday. According to reports, authorities have charged Frazier Glenn Cross, 73, with first degree murder after he opened fire at a Jewish Community Center in the town of Overland Park, where he killed a man and his grandson in the parking lot. Following that shooting, it appears Cross drove a short distance to a retirement home, also with ties to the Jewish community, and again open fired where he killed a woman. After being taken into custody by police, numerous witnesses said Cross could be seen and heard shouting, “Heil Hitler!” from the back of...

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