WelcomeTo My World

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Denzel Washington's Top 10 Rules For Success

He's an American actor and filmmaker.

He has received two Golden Globe awards, a Tony Award, and two Academy Awards.

In 2015 he was selected as the recipient for the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award at the 73rd Golden Globe Awards.

He's Denzel Washington and here are his Top 10 Rules for Success.

* Join my BELIEVE newsletter: http://www.evancarmichael.com/newslet...

1. Dreams need goals
He earned a B.A. in Drama and Journalism from Fordham University in 1977.

2. Aspire to make a difference
After dropping out of school for a semester, he worked as creative arts director at an overnight summer camp.

3. Ignore the opinions of others
He participated in a staff talent show for the campers and a colleague suggested he try acting.

4. Stick to your guns
He attended graduate school at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco, where he stayed for one year.

5. Bring your dreams to life
made his screen acting debut in the 1977 made-for-television film
Wilma, and his first Hollywood appearance in the 1981 film Carbon Copy.

6. Share your gift
A major career break came when he starred as Dr. Phillip Chandler in NBC's television hospital drama St. Elsewhere.

7. Work hard
His performance as the black nationalist leader in Malcolm X earned him another nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actor.

8. Fall forward
During the early and mid-1990s, he starred in several successful thrillers, including The Pelican Brief and Crimson Tide.

9. Take what's useful
In 2000, he appeared in the Disney film Remember the Titans which grossed over $100 million in the U.S.

10. Tell great stories
He won an Academy Award for Best Actor for the 2001 cop thriller Training Day, where he played a corrupt Los Angeles cop.


change your name lol its your own thing any chance for denzel
washington 10 rules of success? or something that he said about acting?

* Find out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BsY8b...

A Change Is Gonna Come | Live in Brazil | Playing For Change Band

Playing For Change is a movement created to inspire and connect the world through music. Join the movement at http://www.playingforchange.com.

are proud to share with all of you this special performance of the PFC
Band Live in Curitiba, Brazil. This one night of music created our first
PFC music school in Brazil that will give the gift of music education
for generations. As Grandpa Elliott and Clarence Bekker sing, "It's
been a long time coming but I know a change is gonna come..." Enjoy the
music and share this positive energy with everyone you meet!

See the PFC Band live: http://playingforchange.com/band
To learn more about the work of the PFC Foundation, visit http://www.playingforchange.org

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

#BlackLivesMatter: A New Generation Of US Civil Rights Activists

#BlackLivesMatter: A new generation of civil rights activists emerging from racism and violence in the USA

Gospel And Guns: How Religion And Gun Law Intertwine In America
Evolution Of A Criminal - Trailer
The Mexicans Tackling Trump Over Migrant Rights Row

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Barack Obama's inauguration in 2009, many Americans predicted the end
of racial inequality in the United States. But as black communities
continue to be torn apart by violence, America remains a country
divided. Taking cues from their forefathers in the 1950s, a new
generation of civil rights activists has emerged from the bloodshed,
determined to have their voices heard in the fight for racial equality.

"Witnesses say he was beaten from this side of the street all the way to
that side. He was screaming for help, but none of those animals
stopped"​,​ explains Tawanda Jones tearfully. Her brother Tyrone was
killed by police, in what she says was a ​​"brutal murder". Tawanda
believes her brother fell victim to a police force that routinely
discriminates against black lives: ​​"There's no justice, it's just us.
We need to stick together and dismantle this corrupt system"​​

movement however is not just about changing policing: it is pursuing
real reform in gang-tormented neighbourhoods, as often the most
dangerous violence comes from within these communities. For example in
the South Side of Chicago, brutal gang violence is a part of daily life:
it is easier for many young black men to get a gun than a job, and on
average someone is shot every three hours. Campaigners are fighting to
provide an alternative to the epidemic of gang warfare, determined to
stop the violence from within. ​​"They want to close down schools, they
don't want kids to read, don't want them to learn...but that's what's
going to curb the violence"​,​ explains one woman.

​​"I think what we're seeing is the birth of a mass movement."​

ABC Australia - Ref. 6654

Pictures is your independent source for the world's most powerful
films, exploring the burning issues of today. We represent stories from
the world's top producers, with brand new content coming in all the
time. On our channel you'll find outstanding and controversial
journalism covering any global subject you can imagine wanting to know

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Jesse Perez prevails

Jesse Perez prevails: Prison guards found liable for retaliatory abuse of California’s solitary confinement policies

by Jesse Perez

San Francisco, Dec. 13, 2015
– In what amounts to an improbable plaintiff victory, a federal jury unanimously found several Pelican Bay State Prison guards liable for retaliating against a prisoner in solitary confinement for successfully exercising his first amendment right to file a prior lawsuit against other guards. In the case, I was the prisoner plaintiff alleging that after favorably litigating a near decade‐long federal suit challenging my placement in Pelican Bay’s harsh isolation unit as a “gang associate,” the guard defendants conspired to retaliate and did retaliate against me.

The guards’ unlawful conduct, I claimed, was also spurred by my participation in peaceful civil disobedience actions that included the 2011 and 2013 California prisoners’ hunger strikes as well as my authoring articles critical of the department’s solitary housing policies and advocating for the scaling up of prisoners’ engagement in the public political process.
The retaliation at issue in the case was exacted in various forms. Specifically, I accused the guards of stripping me naked, trashing my cell, improperly taking legal documents relevant to my prior lawsuit (ongoing at the time), vocalizing threats about pursuing lawsuits against department employees and falsifying a disciplinary report with a gang nexus intended to keep me in solitary longer.
In defending against the lawsuit, the defendants – all guards assigned to the gang squad at Pelican Bay – denied the retaliatory accusations and argued that they were merely “following orders” and “standard procedures.”
On the stand, however, the factual testimony, spurious safety issues, ignorance asserted of the regulations governing their acts and rationalizations trotted in support of their defense contained gripping inconsistencies, inherent incredibility and were ultimately unpersuasive – at best.

I accused the guards of stripping me naked, trashing my cell, improperly taking legal documents relevant to my prior lawsuit (ongoing at the time), vocalizing threats about pursuing lawsuits against department employees and falsifying a disciplinary report with a gang nexus intended to keep me in solitary longer.

Following the parties’ decision to rest their respective cases, a gender‐balanced jury of eight – acting in their fact‐finding role – retreated to deliberate for two days. After considering the evidence and counsels’ arguments, the unanimous verdict returned was against several of the guard defendants.
The jury saw plenty of evidence to convince them that the guards’ actions were not the bumbling creature of ignorance and error – but, rather, the well‐designed and malicious strategy to retaliate against me for pursuing constitutionally protected legal action in court contesting my placement in isolation.
While prisons are ultimately about public safety, this case lifts the cloak of secrecy to provide a rare window for the public to see how the department’s Institutional Gang Investigators (IGI) violate the public’s trust and abuse the practice of solitary confinement in which the state continues to engage.
The large number of prisoners released from isolation since the class action Ashker v. Brown was settled also reflects the IGI’s heavy handed influence in placing and retaining prisoners there under the now discredited and empty rhetoric of safety and security.
There is also a compelling underlying truth here, I believe. What was proven at trial is necessarily emblematic of a deeper pathology existing within the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, one pointing unerringly to the sheer inefficiency of the “leadership” of the agency’s administration, and the public frankly deserves better.
This is particularly so when prison officials willingly violate the constitution and refuse to remedy those violations, instead choosing to engage in protracted litigation – which only results in greater cost for taxpayers.
This alone is basis to ratchet up the tempo in the growing drum‐beat calling for substantive reforms to the state’s correctional system.

The large number of prisoners released from isolation since the class action Ashker v. Brown was settled also reflects the IGI’s heavy handed influence in placing and retaining prisoners there under the now discredited and empty rhetoric of safety and security.

The plaintiff’s prevailing case was presented at trial by the outstanding team from the WilmerHale law firm, attorneys Randall Lee, Matt Benedetto and Katie Moran. They were assisted in its preparation by Jessica Lewis and Tiffany Tejada‐Rodriguez as well as other incredible support staff that contributed to the favorable outcome.
Send our brother some love and light: Jesse Perez, K‐42186, PBSP A5-106, P.O. Box 7500, Crescent City CA 95532.
Freedom Archives 

Free All Political Prisoners!

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

When Cops Rape: Daniel Holtzclaw & the Vulnerability of Black Women to Police Abuse

former Oklahoma City police officer is facing life in prison for the
serial rapes of African-American women. An all-white jury convicted
Daniel Holtzclaw last week of rape and other crimes against eight of the
13 women who accused him. All 13 victims testified during the trial,
each with similar stories of rape, sexual assault, and threats if they
did not comply with Holtzclaw’s demands. Holtzclaw targeted them during
traffic stops and interrogations, forcing them into sexual acts in his
police car or in their homes. Prosecutors say he deliberately preyed on
vulnerable black women from low-income neighborhoods. He was reportedly
under investigation by the Oklahoma City police sex crimes unit six
weeks before his final crime. That means Holtzclaw assaulted half of the
women he was convicted of attacking while under investigation. While
Holtzclaw’s conviction may bring his victims some relief, the case has
raised questions about whether it’s part of a wider problem of devaluing
African-American lives, in this case African-American women. Despite
the charges and ultimate convictions of serial rape, the Holtzclaw
prosecution got far less corporate media attention than other criminal
trials. We hear from some of his victims and speak with three guests:
Kimberlé Crenshaw, law professor at UCLA and Columbia University and the
founder of the African American Policy Forum; and Candace Liger and
Grace Franklin, co-founders of OKC Artists for Justice, an Oklahoma
City-based advocacy group founded around the Holtzclaw case.

A Tragic Bloody Mess (important Message)


A Lesson For All of Us 

A couple had been married for several years without a child. For the purpose of companionship, they bought a Rottweiler puppy, named it Hatchi and loved her like a child.
The dog had access to all the rooms in the house. The puppy grew to become a large, beautiful dog and had on several occasions saved d couples from robbery.
Hatchi was always faithful, loyal and defended its owners against any danger.
Seven years later, the couple was blessed to have the long awaited son. They were very happy with their new son and decreased the attention they had been giving the dog. Hatchi felt neglected and began to get jealous of the baby.
One day the couple left the baby sleeping peacefully in his cradle and went to the terrace to prepare a roast. They were shocked as they were heading to the nursery and saw Hatchi in the hallway with a bloody mouth, wagging its tail.
The dog's owner thought the worst, pulled out a weapon and immediately killed the dog. Rushed to the baby's room and found a beheaded snake close to the baby. The owner begins to mourn and exclaims I killed my faithful dog!
How often have You misjudged people without finding out facts.
The next time You are tempted to judge and condemn anyone remember the
story of a faithful dog Hatchi

Visit Us Today ====> Black Power Productions

0:02 / 3:54 DECEMBER 18th Demand Medical Treatment for Mumia Abu-Jamal and 10,000 Prisoners with Hepatitis C

DECEMBER 18th Demand Medical Treatment for Mumia Abu-Jamal and 10,000 Prisoners with Hepatitis C in a landmark court hearing.

WHERE: William J. Nealon Federal Building, U.S. Court House, 235 N. Washington Ave., Scranton, PA 18501.

WHEN: 9:30am December 18, 2015

March 2015, Abu-Jamal was rushed to a hospital after collapsing from
near lethal blood sugar levels and renal failure. Even after treatment
for diabetes, he continued to suffer severe skin rashes and lesions over
much of his body as well as swelling of his arms and legs. His skin
developed a leatherlike appearance, and he had difficulty standing and

In August he was finally diagnosed with the hepatitis C virus, which impacts nearly 10,000 prisoners in Pennsylvania.

the diagnosis, prison officials refused to give Abu-Jamal a new
direct-acting anti-viral drug with a 90-95 percent cure rate for HCV.
The medication, manufactured by Gilead Sciences, comes with a hefty
price tag. At about $1,000 per pill, it costs $95,000 for a 12-week
course of treatment. Prison officials decided to hold off on treatment
until the final stages of the condition — in other words, when it would
be too late to save Mumia.

Speaking at a November meeting in
Philadelphia, Abu-Jamal’s attorney Robert Boyle noted that the cost of
the hospital care Mumia needed because the HCV went untreated was easily
double that expense.

For transportation from Philadelphia, call 215-724-1618 or email HepCcure4Mumiaallprisoners@gmx.com.

In New York call 212-330-8029.

If you are unable to get to Scranton, you can still show your support on Dec. 18 by calling:

PA Department of Corrections at 717-728-2573
PA Gov. Tom Wolf at 717-787-2500

Demand immediate hep C treatment for Mumia and 10,000 other prisoners.

Monday, 7 December 2015

My 98 days in detention – Illegally framed in a criminal case.#SaeedKhanFalahi

In recent years, Intolerance & religious, lingual & regional extremism has been rising so fast in all corners of India. The movement of peace, harmony & human rights is being weakened as an strategy of communal forces, opportunist political leaders & selfish clerics.
In December, 1992 after demolition of Babri Masjid when communal forces, opportunist political leaders & selfish clerics were playing their dirty game to spread hate among Hindus and Muslims to fulfill their own political and monetary interests. India was burning,
At that time, I was a young & devoted students leader in Aligarh Muslim University, India. I was really very shocked to see the massive declining of religious harmony & brotherhood. So I started a reformist movement “Haiya Alal Falah Movement” on 12 December, 1992 just after 6 days of Babri Masjid demolition in Ayodhya, Faizabad district in Uttar Pradesh. “Haiya Alal Falah” is an Arabic slogan which means “Come towards success & betterment” and for me in that burning time, to strengthen communal harmony & social fabric was prime duty hence I devoted myself in this noble cause.
My efforts to foster peace, harmony, brotherhood & understanding were highly appreciated by the common people of all religions who were poor & educationally backward. Those poor & backward people of all religions were being misguided, betrayed and misused by the traders of hate. Naturally my efforts were highly criticized and attacked by the extremists of all religions.
Now, I have many unknown enemies. Every religious extremist and trader of hate is my enemy and my life & dignity is at stake.
Social activists are soft targets in India. Everyone is living in fear. Rising of religious, lingual & regional intolerance is a great sign of danger for humanity & democracy of Indian republic. Peace & rights activists are being killed, threatened and framed in false criminal cases.
A big conspiracy has been taken place against me to assassinate my character and to stop my voice. In 2012 a fake, false & fabricated F.I.R. Crime Number 1-218/2012 was lodged in Wagle Estate police station at Thane city in Maharashtra under section 465, 468, 471, 420 0f I.P.C. & 66(K) of I.T. Act. All the facts & contents of this F.I.R. are bogus like a false story. This F.I.R. is a dirty attempt to malign my image and to spoil my social and family life.
The role of police is always seen as an ally of political leaders, mafias and capitalist. It is a big threat to the human rights of all common people and activists. Moreover the criminal justice system in India is not so effective. The Indian government must think and act over this issue keeping in view that the police is often use its powers so unfairly & dishonestly. All police actions, complaints & complainants are not always right similarly all accused are not also always wrong. Accused should not be treated as a criminal by the police & lower courts. Human rights violations, torture must be checked in police custody & in prison as well.
On 13th of August, 2015, I was arrested by the police ignoring all my pleas & clarifications from my home at Shahjahanpur, Uttar Pradesh, India and produced me before the Thane court in Maharashtra on 15th of August, 2015 about 2000 kilometer far away from my home town. 15th August is celebrated as Independence day in India. The court sent me in police custody for 6 days where I experienced severe human rights violations, humiliations and insults. On 21st August I was sent to the central prison, Thane as an accused of the crime of cheating & forgery which I never committed. As a prisoner, I experienced that all prisoners are not treated as human being. Jail manual and other relating laws are only seen in the book shelves but on the ground, they are not applied. On 18th of November, 2015, I was released on bail by the court. During this period of 98 days, I have been harassed mentally & physically. Not only me but my family members, supporters & friends faced too much pain and grief. Now, I have to prove my innocence in the Thane city court in Maharashtra during trial. Crime Number 1-218/2012. Government of Maharashtra State versus Mohd. Abdul Saeed Khan. God help me!

Friday, 4 December 2015

ICAN in Nevada 2015

Nevada was one of three states that abolished life without parole for children during the 2015 legislative session.

Incarcerated Children’s Advocacy Network (ICAN), which is an initiative
of the Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth, puts a human face

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Woodfox wants U.S. Supreme Court to weigh in on his request to be freed and block a third trial in 1972 killing

Inmate seeks to block third trial in guard’s 1972 death

Albert Woodfox, the high-profile accused murderer from New Orleans who’s fueled a national debate over solitary confinement, is taking his case to the U.S. Supreme Court.
One of Woodfox’s attorneys, George Kendall, said Tuesday he plans to file a request to the nation’s high court to hear the case, nearly a month after a federal appeals court ruled the inmate can be tried a third time in the slaying of a prison guard. Woodfox’s request will join the 10,000 petitions the Supreme Court receives each year, some 80 of which are heard.
Also Tuesday, the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals filed the necessary paperwork to finalize its Nov. 9 decision that overturned a lower court judge’s sweeping ruling in June that sought to free Woodfox and bar him from being retried.
Woodfox, 68, was twice convicted in the 1972 stabbing death of Brent Miller, a guard at the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola. Both convictions, in 1973 and 1998, were thrown out, first due to Woodfox’s ineffective counsel and the next time, because of racial disparities in the grand jury.
Woodfox has become a lightning rod in the controversy surrounding solitary confinement, a practice opponents say is a form of unconstitutional imprisonment generally defined as being held alone in a cell for at least 23 hours a day. Having served four decades, Woodfox is believed to be the longest-jailed inmate in solitary in the U.S.
State officials have previously challenged the description of Woodfox’s imprisonment as solitary confinement, citing his access to television and ability to converse with other inmates despite only being allowed to leave his cell one hour a day.
Aaron Sadler, a spokesman for State Attorney General James “Buddy” Caldwell, who is prosecuting Woodfox, said Tuesday he can’t discuss the issue of solitary confinement because it’s the subject of ongoing litigation.
In Woodfox’s petition to the U.S. Supreme Court, attorneys are expected to argue that U.S. Middle District Court Judge James J. Brady had appropriate authority when he ruled in June that the inmate’s situation was so exceptional that a fair trial would be impossible.
The unusual elements to Woodfox’s case include his advanced age, faltering health, and the fact that many of the witnesses to the killing for which he’s accused are dead, Brady found.
“The American trial assumes that a certain number of critical witnesses are going to show up at the courthouse, raise their right hands, testify and be subject to cross examination. There’s no dispute anymore. That can’t happen in this case,” Kendall said.
“The central, important role the jury plays is to look at the witnesses ... and say, ‘Who do we believe and who do we not believe?’ ” he said, adding that critical testimony should not be delivered by actors reading a script in court.
Sadler said the state agrees with the 5th Circuit’s ruling last month, which found the problem of dead witnesses would be best addressed at retrial by a state court.
“This case,” wrote 5th Circuit Judge Carolyn King in the 2-1 decision with Judge Priscilla Owen, “does not present a constitutional defect that cannot be cured at retrial.”
Fifth Circuit Judge James L. Dennis dissented, aligning himself with Brady.
Woodfox is the last remaining member of the “Angola 3,” a group so named for the members’ long terms in what they’ve argued is solitary confinement.
Freedom Archives 
Free All Political Prisoners!

Saturday, 28 November 2015


short documentary about juveniles sentenced to life in prison without
parole. Original short documentary made by Josh Sahib and Sydney
Prather. We Share

JUVENILE LIFE – Anthony's Redemption

Williams, a member of the Incarcerated Children’s Advocacy Network
(ICAN), was wrongfully convicted of first degree murder when he was a
child. Listen to his heart gripping and inspirational story, and why no
child should be sentenced to life without parole.

ICAN is an
initiative of the Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth. This
interview took place on KOPN 89.5 FM with radio host Steve Spellman.

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Amazing Recovery Of Gito The Baby Orangutan After Being Rescued From Car...

baby orangutan left in a filthy cardboard box in the sun in Borneo is
showing further strong signs of recovery two months after being saved by

Rescuers said the baby ape's appearance is now 'beyond recognition' after he was found.

baby, who officials named Gito, was found in the village of Hamlet Giet
in Simpang Hulu district, 105 miles from the orangutan rehabilitation
base in West Borneo.

Dehydrated and malnourished after being fed
entirely on condensed milk, Gito was taken to the International Animal
Rescue (IAR) clinic by motorbike in an arduous nine-hour journey.

a medical check, Gito was feverish, with stiff hands and feet. He was
unable to sit up on his own, suffering from diarrhoea and from sarcoptic
mange - a highly contagious skin disease.

To help relieve him,
coconut oil was massaged into Gito to soothe and soften his itchy skin.
And he was placed on a drip to help rehydrate him.

Less than two
months later, East Sussex-based IAR said Gito is looking 'healthy, happy
and alert' - and is even sporting two front teeth.

Alan Knight, chief executive at IAR, said:
'Considering the condition little Gito was in when he was rescued, his recovery has been remarkable.'

the team at our centre in Ketapang are experts at caring for sick and
injured orangutans and have been hugely successful at saving a number of
seemingly hopeless cases.'

Although Gito is not as hairy as he
should be, his skin is smooth and supple and there are good signs that
his coat is growing, IAR rescuers said.

Vets and carers are
working round the clock to save other orphaned orangutans who have
become victims of deforestation and recent devastating forest fires.

Mr Knight added:
weeks now our rescue team have been risking their lives to save
orangutans caught up in the fires in Borneo and there are likely to be
more babies orphaned and captured in the weeks ahead.

'During the
past two months the team has rescued 20 orangutans, some of them
mothers with babies or pregnant females, and they have all been
successfully moved and released into safe areas of forest.'

Now that his health is improving, IAR has added Gito to a list of orangutans available for 'virtual adoption' via its website.

raised through the adoption scheme will help cover the cost of caring
and rehabilitating all the orang-utans at IAR's clinic in Ketapang.

You can help here: http://www.internationalanimalrescue....

Music by Kevin MacLeod /Continue Life, Easy Lemon/

Blog: http://amazingworldnewsnow.blogspot.com

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Another sad story about the Omaha Two case

Omaha woman reveals Omaha Two defense lawyer was impaired by alcohol

November 24, 2015 2:44 PM MST

Ed Poindexter has been in prison 45 years for a crime he says he did not commit.
Ed Poindexter has been in prison 45 years for a crime he says he did not commit.
Ed Poindexter/Michael Richardson
An Omaha woman, Bonnie Cosentino-Welsch, has broken years of silence to speak out on excessive drinking by Edward Poindexter's defense lawyer, Thomas Kenney, now deceased. Poindexter and Mondo we Langa, then David Rice, were targets of the illegal COINTELPRO operation of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1970 when they were charged with the bombing murder of Omaha Patrolman Larry Minard, Sr. Kenney had been assigned to defend Poindexter.
The clandestine COINTELPRO counterintelligence operation of the FBI under Director J. Edgar Hoover made Poindexter and Mondo, now known as the Omaha Two, targets to be neutralized. The pair were leaders of the National Committee to Combat Fascism, a Black Panther affiliate group. A FBI Laboratory report on the identity of an anonymous 911 caller that lured Minard to his ambush death in a vacant house was ordered withheld by Hoover to make a case against the two men.
Bonnie had dated Kenney for several months in 1970, and soon learned of excessive drinking by the young Assistant Public Defender. Bonnie was recently shown deposition testimony by Kenney, given in 2004, which revealed his inexperience in defending a capital murder case. Douglas County Attorney Donald Knowles sought the death penalty for Poindexter and Mondo.
In a written statement Bonnie said, “Around the second month of dating Tom, I received some rambling late night phone calls from him, and it was very obvious to me that he had a drinking problem.”
“Tom Kenney told me in one of these late night, inebriated conversations that he either "didn't believe Ed", or "didn't know if he believed Ed." I don't remember his exact wording, but I remember the emotion I had about his statement at the time. I felt like Ed didn't have good or even adequate counsel in Tom Kenney, and there was too much at stake for Ed to have a public defender who was an alcoholic, by my estimation, coupled with being a person who doubted him.”
“It's impossible to say how much Tom's drinking affected his work during that time, or how severe his drinking problem was, but I thought, how could this man be up late at night, be this drunk, and not be hung over the next day when he was working on this important case?” Bonnie continued, “I have always felt that Ed was very crippled by the quality of his legal representation. Tom Kenney was obviously drunk consistently on week nights, rambling, slurring words at 1 and 2 a.m. I wouldn't want an attorney handling my case, especially one this serious, who was up drinking to this degree the night before.”
“Even though I was very concerned about Tom Kenney and his ability to represent Ed, I didn't know what to do about it at the time, or who to talk to about it. I did not go to any of Tom Kenney's superiors with my concerns. I was in my early twenties then and didn't ever get to know Tom Kenney long enough, or well enough to make any claims about his ability to do his job. I had no idea about his effectiveness in the courtroom, or the ability to assess that, even if I had seen him at work,” explained Bonnie.
Kenney had two supervisors during the time he worked on Ed Poindexter's case. Public Defender A.Q. Wolf assigned Kenney to Poindexter's case, along with his regular “heavy” caseload. Kenney was out of the office at court or visiting prisoners at the jail most of the time. With no office investigator and limited clerical staff, Kenney was forced to work on the case in his off hours. Besides law school, the only training Kenney had was a one-week course at Northwestern Law School. This was Kenney's first murder case.
Three months before Poindexter's trial, Wolf resigned to become a judge and former Governor Frank Morrison was appointed Public Defender. Although Morrison was well liked and an excellent orator, he had no criminal defense experience. Morrison handled civil matters when he wasn't holding political office. Morrison told Kenney he would co-counsel the case.
To the public it seemed like Poindexter had a strong defense team led by a former governor, in reality, Poindexter was stuck with two inexperienced novices. The two lawyers failed to raise an objection to a “unified” trial, where the jury was tasked with determining guilt or innocence and determining a penalty if guilty based on the same testimony. Unified trials were later detemined unconsitutional and other defendants obtained new trials. Poindexter did not get a new trial because of the lack of objection by his lawyers. Kenney commented on his failure to object.
“No, we didn't object to it. It was a thing—it was how things were done, and it never occurred to us to enter an objection. There's—there's so many issues in this case, and that's one that we missed,” said Kenney.
Morrison did realize that Kenney needed more time to work on the rapidly approaching trial and reduced his caseload. Kenney was tasked with finding expert witnesses, an assignment he failed. Unable to locate a laboratory or forensic expert, Kenney unwisely decided to become his own expert. Kenney told of his efforts in the 2004 deposition. Kenney said gave himself a crash-course on forensic technology by “reading books, and manuals, and things” to make up for no scientific expert.
“I did all the footwork and stuff, that investigators would have done.” Kenney said, “I went back to DC and went in their laboratory, and they showed me how they conducted the experiments, and I looked through the microscope of the tool mark comparisons....and it was a perfect match.”
“What I saw matched, but I had no way of knowing what the sources of the two surfaces of what they were comparing, what they were,” said Kenney, unaware that the “perfect match” had twenty-five points of dissimilarity. As a result of Kenney's trip to the ATF Laboratory, he did not conduct a rigorous cross-examination of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Division witnesses at the trial. The dissimilarities were only brought to light because Mondo we Langa insisted his attorney ask about the test that Kenney had witnessed.
Frank Morrison issued a public apology to Ed Poindexter in 1997 and urged his release from prison.
“In my opinion, it is just as important for the state to protect the innocent as to prosecute the guilty. As Public Defender of Douglas County, it was my official duty to represent Ed Poindexter. He told me then that he was innocent of this crime, and I still believe him. We did not have the resources in the Public Defender’s office to get all of the facts in this case.”
Morrison wrote, “I feel both I and the system failed Ed Poindexter.”
Bonnie Cosentino-Welsch remains haunted by the case. “Like many people, I will always wonder if I could have done anything to help this situation of horrible injustice.”

Thursday, 19 November 2015

What if the Drug War Never Occurred?

The War on Drugs has consumed a much larger part of our society then many think.
decades the US has attempted to combat the sale and use of drugs at
home and abroad. Now with greater pressure to legalize marijuana and
take profits away from cartels, we ask what would it be like had the War
never occurred? Here is one scenario.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alternatehis...
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AltHistoryHub
Blogger: http://thealternatehistoryhub.blogspo...

Music by Soundbar: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLVW...

Los Zetas The Mexican Drug War

Drug War Los Zetas New Documentary & Life Discovery 2014
documentaries, documentaries online, documentary films,, inside job
documentary, .

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reportage..abonnez vous. Reportage, documentaire, doc, film, entier,
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Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Davontae Sanford's Birthday November 26

Davontae Sanford's Birthday November 26  Let's all give a gift to Davontae . There are many things we can do which would make a nice birthday gift for him. Here are some ideas.- Send a letter to Davontae telling him we haven't forgotten him and we continue to fight to get the truth out about his case.- Tell a friend about the details of Davontae's caseDavontae Sanford-684070Ionia Maxmium Correctional Fac.1576 W.Bluewater Highway Ionia,Mi 48446

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Gitmo’s last Briton freed, but questions remain over 14-year detention

Analysis: Shaker Aamer was never charged or put on trial; supporters say his torture claims demand an inquiry

During Shaker Aamer’s near decade-and-a-half of incarceration at Guantanamo Bay — which has finally ended, some eight years after he was originally recommended for release — the British resident was never put on trial for any crime, nor was he ever charged.
As such, the 46-year-old — who arrived in the U.K. on Friday after being flown from the controversial detention center — should not feel compelled to clear his name; no evidence has even been presented against him in any court and experts Al Jazeera spoke to believe no such evidence ever existed to warrant his lengthy detention.
Instead, the daunting task in front of him will be to rebuild a life snatched away from him in 2001, and re-familiarize himself with his wife, and children who have had to grow up without him — including one he has never met.
But his release is unlikely to provide a final full stop to his case. Serious questions remain over the circumstances of his detention and why he was for so long denied repatriation to the U.K. despite — if taken at face value — the long protestations of the British government of his imprisonment.
Supporters of Aamer want an inquiry into his case and his release may throw a fresh spotlight on conditions at Guantanamo and CIA torture, in particular claims by Aamer that its use against a Libyan national — in the presence of U.K. secret service agents — resulted in the since discredited information linking Saddam Hussein with Al-Qaeda, used as justification for the Iraq war.
The U.K.’s Metropolitan Police told Al Jazeera that an investigation into allegations of torture is still open, but declined to give details. “There are ongoing inquiries,” a Scotland Yard spokesperson said, adding: “We are not going to confirm who we may or may not be speaking to as part of those inquiries.”
Lawyers for Aamer told Al Jazeera that police officers had visited Guantanamo and met with their client prior to his release. “He complied with a Met [Metropolitan Police] inquiry in Guantanamo and talked about British complicity in torture and he thinks that those involved were low down the chain — Shaker very much doesn’t want to see people go to jail,” said Clive Stafford Smith, Aamer’s lawyer and director of legal rights charity Reprieve.
“He does, however, want a truth and reconciliation inquiry and will push for that,” Stafford Smith added.
To date, successive British governments have appeared reluctant to see such public scrutiny of the role of its intelligence services in Guantanamo detentions. An inquiry launched by Prime Minister David Cameron in 2010 to investigate claims that the British MI5 and MI6 intelligence agencies aided CIA renditions was shelved two years later amid criticism that it lacked transparency. The previous government of Prime Minister Gordon Brown tried unsuccessfully to censor claims of British complicity in torture made by former Guantanamo detainee Binyam Mohammad.
When asked about Aamer’s situation, a spokesperson for the British Foreign Office said that they could not comment on “any individual case of repatriation.” Procedures involving former Guantanamo detainees are made on a case-by-case basis, and it isn’t known if the U.K. authorities will hold Aamer on his return.
But a spokesman for Prime Minister David Cameron told reporters Friday that there was no plans to further detain the Saudi-born U.K. resident on his return.
For Aamer, his immediate concerns will include adapting to life outside a cell after so long.
“When I do get back the first thing I want is a cup of coffee,” he recently told the BBC in a letter sent from Guantanamo.
But for many of Aamer’s supporters the first priority will be getting him much-needed medical care. His years behind bars and involvement in lengthy periods of hunger striking have left him physically and mentally frail. “Shaker really isn’t very well. We have set up a private clinic to check him out. He fears he has prostate cancer and has mental health issues he would like to deal with,” Stafford Smith said.
Then will come the challenge of rebuilding relationships with family members he has had no contact with for 14 years. “It is going to be hard on him. We are talking about four children the youngest of which wasn’t born until after he was incarcerated. He hasn’t had anyone call him ‘daddy’ for 14 years,” Stafford Smith said.
Moazzam Begg understands some of what Aamer will have to go through, having himself been held at Guantanamo for three years before being repatriated to the U.K. in 2005.
“The challenges he faces are going to be very difficult and very different from my own experiences. I was there for three years, he has been there for 14,” said Begg. “He will need immediate medical care and lots and lots of time to rebuild his life. It will be almost impossible for him.”
Aamer was transferred to Guantanamo Bay in early 2002 after the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, having been picked up months earlier by the Afghan Northern Alliance and handed over to the U.S.
Supporters have always maintained that he was volunteering for a charity at the time of his abduction. But leaked files show that the U.S., initially at least and based on testimony by tortured prisoners, believed that he was a “close associate” of Osama bin Laden, with “connections to several other senior extremist members” of Al-Qaeda.
Aamer’s supporters say the alleged confession came after he was tortured at the Bagram air base by U.S. agents and in the presence of British intelligence.
“He has so much to say that will rock governments and make accountable both the American and British government,” Begg said.
Potentially the most damaging of Aamer’s claims is that he was present during the interrogation of Libyan Ibn Al Sheikh Al-Libi in late 2001. Libi gave testimony linking the Iraq government of Saddam Hussein to Al-Qaeda. He was later rendered to Egypt and tortured into giving a fuller account of how Iraq had been training Al-Qaeda to use chemical weapons. It was those details that went on to form part of the justification of the war in Iraq and if true, Aamer’s account could be deeply embarrassing for the U.S. and British intelligence services.
Stafford Smith described Libi as the “elephant in the room” when talking about Aamer’s 14-year detention. “If that was the reason why he wasn’t released for so long, then that is a big deal.”
Some experts have even suggested that members of the U.K. intelligence services lobbied against Aamer’s release, possibly for this reason. The British government denies this claim.
But even so, the official line from Downing Street — that it has long demanded Aamer’s repatriation and raised the issue at regular intervals with high-level U.S officials — has been questioned.
In 2013, New Mexico Sen. Tom Udall inquired into Aamer’s status with the U.S. Department of Defense. An email seen by Al Jazeera sent from Udall’s chief of staff Michael Collins to Medea Benjamin — co-founder of the advocacy group Code Pink — stated that Pentagon officials told the senator that the “U.K. is not exactly in a rush to get him.”
Richard Barrett, who led the U.N.’s Al-Qaeda monitoring team and is a former British secret service officer, said the hold-up seemed to be from the U.S. side.
“If you look at the U.K. government’s position, it has been consistent throughout: They want him home.”
Barrett said he did not believe that British intelligence officers were involved in torture, but that Aamer’s allegations should nonetheless be investigated.
He added that there appeared to be “no evidence” on Aamer to warrant his detention, especially for so long.
Instead, he attributed Aamer’s years at Guantanamo to “extremely bad luck.”
“He was in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Barrett said.
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NYPD Undercover "Converted" To Islam To Spy On Brooklyn College Students


NYPD Undercover "Converted" To Islam To Spy On Brooklyn College Students

by Aviva Stahl in News on Oct 29, 2015 2:58 pm
On the leafy Midwood campus of Brooklyn College, a lecture at the school’s Islamic Society had just ended when a woman stood up and asked to take the Shahada, the Muslim testimony of faith.
Nobody knew the woman with light skin and dark hair, who appeared to be in her twenties. In a voice that lilted up at the end of each sentence, she began professing her new beliefs. “Melike Ser” or “Mel,” was not a student and had no apparent connections to the school, but the students embraced her anyway, excited about her conversion.
This past April, four years after Mel’s public act of faith, two Queens residents, Noelle Velentzas and Asia Siddiqui, were arrested and charged with allegedly planning to build a bomb. The US Justice Department issued a release stating that the women were linked to members of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and the Islamic State, and revealed that a Detective from the NYPD’s Intelligence Bureau was heavily involved in bringing the women to justice.
Among the ISO members, some of whom ran in the same social circles as Velentzas and Siddiqui, the arrests set off a chain of frantic text messages, phone calls, and Facebook posts: “Mel” wasn’t “Mel.” She was an undercover cop.
Three Brooklyn College graduates who had been close to the undercover officer told Gothamist of the intimate ties she developed with Muslim students, her presence during some of the most private moments of their lives, and the fear they endured when they learned her true identity.
“I felt violated,” said Jehan, 30, who met Mel years ago in the Brooklyn College ISO prayer room. (At their request, Gothamist has used pseudonyms for all the women interviewed.)
“You trust someone, you talk to them. And they were just gathering information about your community.”
While little is known about the case against Velentzas and Siddiqui, including how and why the NYPD came to involve an undercover officer in the alleged plot, it appears that Mel made an aggressive effort to befriend and surveil law-abiding Muslims years before she ever met her alleged targets, and did so at least up until December of 2014, eight months after the de Blasio administration pledged to stop the NYPD’s blanket surveillance of innocent Muslims.
“Muslim New Yorkers are still fighting for basic human rights,” the Mayor said at a Ramadan dinner at Gracie Mansion in July of last year. “We recently shut down the Demographics Unit at NYPD, which conducted surveillance on Muslim New Yorkers. Because it’s unfair to single out people on the sole basis of their religion.”
Two individuals with close knowledge of Velentzas and Siddiqui’s case confirmed that Mel is the undercover officer identified in the criminal complaint.
Ramzi Kassem is a professor at CUNY School of Law and also directs the school’s Creating Law Enforcement Accountability & Responsibility (CLEAR) project, which provides legal advice to New Yorkers affected by counterterrorism practices.
“For an undercover to be seeded in a community for that long without a specific target raises some deeply troubling questions about the direction of policing in our city,” he said. “Casting blanket suspicion on entire communities does not square with most New Yorkers’ understanding of the police’s role in our democratic and open society.”
Jehan has lived in New York City for 25 years. “I grew up here. To have this happen because of your religion, or your political views, it's scary. You feel alienated. And you don’t feel like this is your home.”
At first, Mel seemed warm and friendly, if a bit eager. “She was very nice, very charming,” said Shereen, who studied psychology at Brooklyn College and now works as a psychotherapist. “She wanted to do everything with us.”
Mel told the ISO women that she was a recent Rutgers College graduate who had grown up in Queens. She said that she was of Turkish descent and had been born into a Muslim but non-practicing family.
The women active in Brooklyn College’s Islamic Society were diverse. They majored in women’s studies, psychology, pre-med and political science, hung out with friends, crushed on boys, and nurtured their newfound political consciousness. They were coming of age in a city scarred by 9/11, and although their Muslim identity did not define them, it shaped their everyday lives.
But they knew their behavior was being scrutinized by the authorities. After 9/11, both the NYPD and the FBI revamped their approach to terrorism investigations and began operating under a policy of preventive prosecution [PDF]. In an internal document from 2007 [PDF], the NYPD identified particular indicators of radicalization—“wearing traditional Islamic clothing,” giving up drinking or smoking, and “becoming involved in social activism.” In the NYPD’s model of measuring threats, which have since been broadly criticized, young people were a key target.
Shereen, then 25, and a close friend, Faizah, were responsible for introducing new converts like Mel to the basic tenets of Islam. One day in early April 2011, Mel asked Faizah to meet her on campus. “Faizah told me afterward that Mel asked her some strange questions, like, ‘What is all this about jihad?’” Shereen recalled. “And asking about people who do suicide bombing.”
For Shereen and Faizah, Mel’s questions were a red flag. They suspected she was digging for information on the political beliefs of ISO members, possibly even pressing them to make incriminating statements.
At the time, Brooklyn College’s ISO was known for adhering to a particularly conservative interpretation of Islam. The group was segregated on the basis of gender, and the men and women did not spend time together socially. Mel was surrounding herself with women who covered their faces and wore long robes, but she did not even wear a hijab. Her religious practices did not seem to change, at least in the initial years the women knew her, and Mel never mentioned struggling with her new dual identity, a common experience for converts of any faith.
It was as though Mel’s decision to take the shahada, and the time she spent amongst much more observant Muslim women, had no affect on her or her religious practice. Soon some ISO members began to doubt that her conversion was genuine.
Mel was also always available to attend events and social gatherings, regardless of the time of day or the day of the week. “She would mention how she works full time,” said Rumaysa, 24, “and so then it got me thinking, is she working at these events?”
In August 2011, about half a year after Mel appeared at Brooklyn College, the AP began publishing a series of Pulitzer Prize-winning articles documenting the NYPD’s spying in Muslim communities.
One month later, NYPD Confidential reported that an undercover cop had been sent to spy on Muslim students at Brooklyn College, despite a 1992 memorandum of understanding [PDF] that barred New York City police from entering CUNY campuses without permission.
After the NYPD Confidential story broke, Brooklyn College President Karen Gould denied that the administration had known about the undercover officer [PDF], and condemned “the alleged intrusion of the NYPD into campus life.”
Muslim students continued to believe they were being watched. They decided to seek legal advice to discuss their concerns about Mel. In October, Shereen and another student approached Diala Shamas, who at the time was a lawyer at the CLEAR project at CUNY Law. The organization had recently facilitated a workshop for the Brooklyn College Muslim group about informants.
  "Women at Brooklyn College shared their suspicions with us," Shamas recalled. "Unfortunately, this happens a lot. CLEAR receives concerns about potential informants or undercovers, and we can rarely help definitively confirm their suspicions. We do advise people to stay away from someone who makes them feel uncomfortable."
The students also tried to do their own digging. In February 2012, Rumaysa searched online to try to find out if Melike Ser was who she said she was.
“I tried Googling any combination [of her name] that could possibly bring up even a picture of her,” she said. “But nothing showed up, absolutely nothing.”
Without a way to corroborate their suspicions, the women decided to stay silent. “We just said, no, maybe that’s just how [Mel] is,” recalled Shereen. “Maybe we’re just too paranoid.”
It was also a question of faith. Backbiting without proof is strongly frowned upon in Islam, as is shunning a convert.
Mel continued to immerse herself in the student community, attending Islamic education classes, social gatherings, and trips to museums and the aquarium.
Shereen says Mel attending at least two bridal showers for ISO women, one of which was held in a Brooklyn College event space: "Mel shows up with this huge cake that she carried on the train."
In time, she was privy to some of the most intimate moments of the women’s lives, once even attending a wedding as a bridesmaid of a fellow ISO member.
By 2014, the Brooklyn College women had graduated, but the former students still encountered Mel around the city— at NYU, John Jay College, the MAS Youth Center, the Muslim Community Center in Sunset Park, Masjid Al-Farooq on Atlantic Avenue, and the Brooklyn Islamic Center in Mapleton, where Mel was last seen on December 30 of last year. When the women saw Mel, they generally tried to avoid her.
Just a few months later, Velentzas and Siddiqui were arrested. The NYPD and FBI were broadly praised for their apparent success in foiling a homegrown terrorist plot. In an interview on FOX's “The Kelly File,” New York Congressman Peter King called on Americans to “wake up and realize that we have to put political correctness aside … there are … too many people like this across the country.”
“These were two very, very dangerous individuals, these two women,” King said.
Four propane gas tanks, as well as instructions for how to turn them into explosive devices, are said to have been found in Siddiqui’s home, and according to the criminal complaint, the two women had in-depth conversations with the undercover officer about their violent aspirations.
The complaint details how the women read up on and took notes on various different ways to build bombs, and browsed Home Depot for potential ingredients. Velentzas allegedly openly praised the 9/11 attacks and had a photograph of Bin Laden as the background on her phone; Asia Siddiqui, meanwhile, was supposedly “close” with Samir Khan, the Pakistani-American editor of al-Qaeda's English-language Inspire magazine.
“The way to read an indictment like the one in this case, is with a great deal of skepticism,” says attorney Gideon Orion Oliver.
Oliver was co-counsel for Ahmed Ferhani, who was also prosecuted for terrorism after an NYPD undercover sting. In December 2012, Ferhani pled guilty to five-terrorism related offenses and one hate crime charge, and is currently serving ten years in prison.
According to Oliver, in the Ferhani case and many others, the undercover officers develop “really profound and predatory” relationships with their targets, building emotionally intimate and even familial ties over the course of many months or years.
“The government and the undercover officers have significant roles in manufacturing what they then characterize as the defendants’ plots,” he said.
The case of the Newburgh Four—one of the most commonly cited examples of "entrapment" in the War on Terror—underscores the manipulative tactics sometimes used by informants and undercover cops to secure arrests. David Williams, one of the Newburgh Four co-defendants, said the FBI informant promised him the money he needed to pay for his younger brother’s liver transplant if Williams participated in the plot.
Jose Pimentel was accused to trying to build a pipe bomb in 2011, and repeatedly smoked marijuana with his government informant, who was with him “virtually every step of the plot.” The federal government, citing Pimentel's mental state (he had allegedly tried to circumcise himself) and the NYPD undercover's involvement declined to pursue charges against Pimentel.
According to a 2014 Human Rights Watch report that documented patterns of rights violations in terrorism prosecutions, “the government—often acting through informants—is actively involved in developing [terrorism plots], persuading and sometimes pressuring the target to participate, and providing the resources to carry it out.”
In Velentzas and Siddiqui’s case, the undercover officer established a friendship with at least one of the women as early as 2013, according to the criminal complaint.
The two women are not alleged to have been in the process of planning a specific attack, and according to the criminal complaint, Velentzas repeatedly stated she would not want to harm any “regular” people, instead targeting police or military personnel.
The NYPD undercover allegedly observed Velentzas pull a knife from her bra to demonstrate to Siddiqui how to stab people, then remarked, “Why can’t be [sic] some real bad bitches?”
Velentzas later said, according to the complaint, “if [the government] was to put all the information about the three of us together, we legitimately, to these people, look like a cell.”
At one point, the complaint states that the undercover officer downloaded and printed out The Anarchist Cookbook for the two women, even bookmarking the section that outlined how to build fertilizer bombs.
Within a few days of the arrests, Shereen and other Brooklyn College graduates—who said they ran the same social circles as Velentzas and Siddiqui but did not know them personally—learned the name of the officer in the case and realized their longstanding suspicions about Mel were correct.
Neither Velentzas nor Siddiqui attended Brooklyn College. None of the women interviewed knew how or when the pair had met Mel.
A protective order in place since July prohibits the defendants’ legal team from releasing the officer's assumed name. The protective order also covers any discovery in the case, which may leave the public in the dark about the undercover’s role in the alleged offenses and her apparent infiltration of Muslim communities.
Lawyers for Velentzas and Siddiqui declined to comment for this story, citing "the existing protective order and other constraints."
For Shereen, finding out induced a kind of trauma, and it changed her. “For three days I couldn’t eat, sleep,” Shereen told Gothamist. “I covered all the cameras on my phone.”
Assistant Vice President Jason Carey said that Brooklyn College had not been notified of any undercover activity on campus.
“Our number one priority is the security of our campus and we do not condone any activity that could harm our students and faculty,” he said in an email. According to the communications office, however, Brooklyn College has never asked the NYPD for more details on the alleged placement of cops on campus or demanded an end to the practice.
A set of rules called the Handschu Guidelines prohibit the NYPD from spying on political or religious organizations without specific information linking the group to a crime.
“There is no doubt that the NYPD’s Intelligence Division, Counterterrorism Bureau, and other aspects are engaging in sweeping investigations at unprecedented levels of communities ‘demographically’ targeted by the NYPD through its ‘Muslim Surveillance’ and other similar programs,” Oliver said.
He added, “What practical constraints Handschu imposes on the NYPD in any of those investigations is a very big open question given the NYPD’s total lack of transparency about the lengths its agents go to in these cases.”
Martin Stolar is one of the original plaintiffs’ attorneys in the ongoing Handschu v. Special Services Division lawsuit, which challenges the city’s surveillance of and investigations into political and religious groups.
Stolar says that the NYPD’s spying on Brooklyn College students was only legal under Handschu if there was reasonable suspicion that a member had intent to commit a crime. If a participant in the ISO had sent an email expressing their desires to plan an attack, for example, and infiltrating the ISO was the best way to investigate the individual’s potential criminal behavior, Handschu would permit the placement of an undercover inside the group. 
“If there was no criminal predicate but just curiosity or a desire to scout out Muslim students, there is a violation,” he said.
In addition to facing ongoing lawsuits for violating Handschu during counter-terrorism investigations, the NYPD was also questioned for its potentially illegal surveillance of Black Lives Matters protesters.
The NYPD’s press office did not respond to repeated requests for comment.
Mel appeared at Brooklyn College before the extent of the NYPD’s surveillance of Muslims was revealed, and remained a constant presence at least until the beginning of this year—so the revelations about her identity also suggest that little has changed on the ground when it comes to the policing of Muslim communities, despite promises by the new administration to the contrary.
Karen Hinton, a spokesperson for the Mayor's Office, wrote in an email that "The NYPD only carries out terrorism investigations into specific individuals or suspected terrorist organization—not communities, not religions.
"These investigations into specific individuals are carried out under a layered oversight regimen. Investigations by the NYPD Intelligence Bureau follow the Handschu guidelines in accordance with a federal court ruling. Both the Mayor and Commissioner Bratton are committed to keeping crime low, preventing terrorism and hate crimes. With that comes the obligation to police fairly and constitutionally. We will never waiver from that commitment."
A 2011 Mother Jones investigation established that in addition to the undercover police or FBI officers assigned to infiltrate Muslim communities, there are about 15,000 FBI informants planted around the US, many of whom have the same task. In some sense, what makes the experiences of the Brooklyn College students most unusual is not that they were spied on, but that they found out about it—that their paranoia was warranted.
“There are a few of us who trust each other, and that’s good that we have each other—some don’t even have that,” said Shereen. “But in the back of all our minds, there’s always that suspicion, that either, you are [a spy], or you think I’m one.
“We’re acting like criminals, even though we haven’t done anything.”
Aviva Stahl is a Brooklyn-based journalist who primarily writes about prisons, especially the experiences of terrorism suspects and LGBTQ people behind bars. Follow her @stahlidarity.
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