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Dennis Donovan

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Member since: Wed Oct 15, 2008, 06:29 PM
Number of posts: 17,952

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55 Years Ago Today; The Watts Rebellion begins


Burning buildings during the riots

The Watts riots, sometimes referred to as the Watts Rebellion, took place in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles from August 11 to 16, 1965.

On August 11, 1965, Marquette Frye, an African-American motorist on parole for robbery, was pulled over for reckless driving. A minor roadside argument broke out, and then escalated into a fight with police. Community members reported that the police had hurt a pregnant woman, and six days of civil unrest followed. Nearly 4,000 members of the California Army National Guard helped suppress the disturbance, which resulted in 34 deaths and over $40 million in property damage. It was the city's worst unrest until the Rodney King riots of 1992.


Inciting incident
On the evening of Wednesday, August 11, 1965, 21-year-old Marquette Frye, an African-American man driving his mother's 1955 Buick, was pulled over by California Highway Patrol motorcycle officer Lee Minikus for alleged reckless driving . After administering a field sobriety test, Minikus placed Frye under arrest and radioed for his vehicle to be impounded. Marquette's brother, Ronald, a passenger in the vehicle, walked to their house nearby, bringing their mother, Rena Price, back with him to the scene of the arrest.

When Rena Price reached the intersection of Avalon Boulevard and 116th Street that evening, she scolded Frye about drinking and driving, as he recalled in a 1985 interview with the Orlando Sentinel. But the situation quickly escalated: someone shoved Price, Frye was struck, Price jumped an officer, and another officer pulled out a shotgun. Backup police officers attempted to arrest Frye by using physical force to subdue him. After community members reported that police had roughed up Frye and kicked a pregnant woman, angry mobs formed. As the situation intensified, growing crowds of local residents watching the exchange began yelling and throwing objects at the police officers. Frye's mother and brother fought with the officers and were eventually arrested along with Marquette Frye.

After the arrests of Price and her sons the Frye brothers, the crowd continued to grow along Avalon Boulevard. Police came to the scene to break up the crowd several times that night, but were attacked when people threw rocks and chunks of concrete. A 46-square-mile (119 square kilometer) swath of Los Angeles was transformed into a combat zone during the ensuing six days.

Riot begins

Police arrest a man during the riots on August 12

After a night of increasing unrest, police and local black community leaders held a community meeting on Thursday, August 12, to discuss an action plan and to urge calm. The meeting failed. Later that day, Los Angeles police chief William H. Parker called for the assistance of the California Army National Guard. Chief Parker believed the riots resembled an insurgency, compared it to fighting the Viet Cong, and decreed a "paramilitary" response to the disorder. Governor Pat Brown declared that law enforcement was confronting "guerrillas fighting with gangsters".

The rioting intensified, and on Friday, August 13, about 2,300 National Guardsmen joined the police in trying to maintain order on the streets. Sergeant Ben Dunn said: "The streets of Watts resembled an all-out war zone in some far-off foreign country, it bore no resemblance to the United States of America." By nightfall on Saturday, 16,000 law enforcement personnel had been mobilized and patrolled the city. Blockades were established, and warning signs were posted throughout the riot zones threatening the use of deadly force (one sign warned residents to "Turn left or get shot" ). 23 of the 34 people killed during the riots were shot by law enforcement or National Guardsmen. Angered over the police response, residents of Watts engaged in a full-scale battle against the law enforcement personnel. Rioters tore up sidewalks and bricks to hurl at Guardsmen and police, and to smash their vehicles.

Those actively participating in the riots started physical fights with police, blocked Los Angeles Fire Department personnel from using fire hoses on protesters, or stopped and beat white motorists yelling racial slurs in the area. Arson and looting were largely confined to local white-owned stores and businesses that were said to have caused resentment in the neighborhood due to low wages and high prices for local workers.

To quell the riots, Chief Parker initiated a policy of mass arrest. Following the deployment of National Guardsmen, a curfew was declared for a vast region of South Central Los Angeles. In addition to the Guardsmen, 934 Los Angeles police officers and 718 officers from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department were deployed during the rioting. Watts and all black-majority areas in Los Angeles were put under the curfew. All residents outside of their homes in the affected areas after 8:00pm were subject to arrest. Eventually nearly 3,500 people were arrested, primarily for curfew violations. By the morning of Sunday, August 15, the riots had largely been quelled.

Soldiers of the California's 40th Armored Division direct traffic away from an area of South Central Los Angeles burning during the Watts riot

Over the course of six days, between 31,000 and 35,000 adults participated in the riots. Around 70,000 people were "sympathetic, but not active." Over the six days, there were 34 deaths, 1,032 injuries, 3,438 arrests, and over $40 million in property damage. Many white Americans were fearful of the breakdown of social order in Watts, especially since white motorists were being pulled over by rioters in nearby areas and assaulted. Many in the black community, however, believed the rioters were taking part in an "uprising against an oppressive system." In a 1966 essay, black civil rights activist Bayard Rustin wrote:

The whole point of the outbreak in Watts was that it marked the first major rebellion of Negroes against their own masochism and was carried on with the express purpose of asserting that they would no longer quietly submit to the deprivation of slum life.

Despite allegations that "criminal elements" were responsible for the riots, the vast majority of those arrested had no prior criminal record.

Parker publicly said that the people he saw rioting were acting like "monkeys in the zoo." Overall, an estimated $40 million in damage was caused ($320,000,000 in 2019 dollars), with almost 1,000 buildings damaged or destroyed. Homes were not attacked, although some caught fire due to proximity to other fires.


Posted by Dennis Donovan | Tue Aug 11, 2020, 08:07 AM (0 replies)

Major explosions reported in Baltimore, with possible casualties


By Tim Darnell, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Several houses exploded Monday morning in Baltimore, with people reportedly trapped in some of the impacted areas.


Some of those people trapped reportedly are children.



ABC 7 News - WJLA @ABC7News

The explosion involved several houses in the area of the 6500 block of Reisterstown Road.


ABC 7 News - WJLA @ABC7News

Aerial images of the reported explosion in Baltimore.


10:35 AM · Aug 10, 2020

Posted by Dennis Donovan | Mon Aug 10, 2020, 10:37 AM (22 replies)

Rachael Ray and husband safe after Sunday night fire at home in Lake Luzerne


Post-Star staff report 10 hrs ago

LAKE LUZERNE — Multiple fire departments fought a fire Sunday evening into Monday that heavily damaged a residence belonging to TV celebrity chef Rachael Ray.

A spokesperson for Ray released a statement saying that Ray, her husband and their dog are safe following the fire: "Rachael, her husband John and their dog Bella are safe. The house is unfortunately damaged and we don't yet know to what extent."

The home, located at 22 Chuckwagon Drive in a residential area in Lake Luzerne, is owned by Ray, according to Warren County property records.

Firefighters and emergency personnel were called to the scene at 7:27 p.m. for a structure fire. Fire departments from across the region were called to the scene to assist with tankers to provide water and manpower.


Very glad everyone's safe!
Posted by Dennis Donovan | Mon Aug 10, 2020, 09:01 AM (4 replies)

Jimmy Carter says, "that's ok, I've got 'em. Thanks, though."

Jimmy Carter Library @CarterLibrary

Happy #NationalLazyDay! #OTD in 1977 President Carter proved that no one could ever call him lazy by carrying his own luggage to Marine One, as he returned to Washington after a 5-day trip home to Plains. NAID 175875 #NeverLazy #BuildsHousesInHis90s

7:01 AM · Aug 10, 2020

Posted by Dennis Donovan | Mon Aug 10, 2020, 07:11 AM (43 replies)

NBC Head Reportedly Floated Nicolle Wallace to Replace Chuck Todd on 'Meet the Press'


NBC Head Reportedly Floated Nicolle Wallace to Replace Chuck Todd on ‘Meet the Press’

Matt Wilstein
Senior Writer

Updated Aug. 09, 2020 10:46PM ET /
Published Aug. 09, 2020 10:36PM ET

According to a new report from The New York Times’ Ben Smith, Nicolle Wallace was proposed as a replacement for her MSNBC colleague Chuck Todd as moderator of the Sunday morning news show Meet the Press. Two sources told Smith that NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell had “floated the notion of elevating” George W. Bush’s former White House communications director to take over the long-running Sunday show, but an NBC executive said in a statement that Todd “has led the Sunday news-making and ratings battles for five years at the helm of Meet the Press and will continue to do so.”

Earlier this month, MSNBC expanded Wallace’s afternoon show Deadline: White House to two hours, taking over the 5 p.m. time slot currently held by Todd’s MTP Daily. That show will move to the less-coveted 1 p.m. slot as of Aug. 17, the first day of the Democratic National Convention. The Daily Beast first reported that the network was looking to move Todd out of his afternoon time slot back in January.


I'd be good with that.
Posted by Dennis Donovan | Mon Aug 10, 2020, 06:43 AM (18 replies)

6 Years Ago Today; Michael Brown is murdered in Ferguson, MO


On August 9, 2014, Michael Brown Jr., an 18-year-old black man, was fatally shot by 28-year-old white Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the city of Ferguson, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis. Brown was accompanied by his 22-year-old friend Dorian Johnson. Wilson said that an altercation ensued when Brown attacked Wilson in his police vehicle for control of Wilson's gun until it was fired. Johnson claimed that Wilson initiated a confrontation by grabbing Brown by the neck through his car window, threatening him and then shooting at him. At this point, both Wilson and Johnson state that Brown and Johnson fled, with Wilson pursuing Brown shortly thereafter. Wilson stated that Brown stopped and charged him after a short pursuit. Johnson contradicted this account, stating that Brown turned around with his hands raised after Wilson shot at his back. According to Johnson, Wilson then shot Brown multiple times until Brown fell to the ground. In the entire altercation, Wilson fired a total of twelve bullets, including twice during the struggle in the car; the last was probably the fatal shot. Brown was struck six times, all in the front of his body.

This event ignited unrest in Ferguson. A subsequent FBI investigation found that there was no evidence that Brown had his hands up in surrender or said "don't shoot" before he was shot. However, protesters claimed that he had done so, and later used the slogan "Hands up, don't shoot". Protests, both peaceful and violent, continued for more than a week in Ferguson; police later establishing a nightly curfew. The response of area police agencies in dealing with the protests was strongly criticized by both the media and politicians. Concerns were raised over insensitivity, tactics, and a militarized response. Missouri governor Jay Nixon ordered local police organizations to cede much of their authority to the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

A grand jury was called and given extensive evidence from Robert McCulloch, the St. Louis County Prosecutor. On November 24, 2014, McCulloch announced the St. Louis County grand jury had decided not to indict Wilson. In March 2015, the U.S. Department of Justice reported the conclusion of its own investigation and cleared Wilson of civil rights violations in the shooting. It found forensic evidence supported Wilson's account, and that witnesses who corroborated the officer's account were credible. Witnesses who had incriminated him were found to be not credible, with some admitting they had not directly seen the events. The U.S. Department of Justice concluded that Wilson shot Brown in self-defense.

A new St. Louis prosecutor, Wesley Bell, spent five months in 2020 reviewing the case with an eye to charging Wilson with either manslaughter or murder. In July, Bell announced he would not charge Wilson with any crime.


Brown in a photo posted to Facebook in May 2013

Michael O.D. Brown Jr. (May 20, 1996 – August 9, 2014) graduated from Normandy High School in St. Louis County eight days before his death, completing an alternative education program. At the time of his death, he was 18 years old, 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) tall, and weighed 292 lb (132 kg). He was an amateur rap musician who posted his songs on the popular music-sharing site SoundCloud under the handle "Big'Mike." He was two days from starting a training program for heating and air conditioning repair at Vatterott College technical school.

Surveillance video which was publicly released in the 2017 documentary film Stranger Fruit shows Michael Brown walking into Ferguson Market and Liquor at 1:13 a.m., ten and a half hours before he entered the store for the final time. The footage shows Brown handing a young clerk a brown package, believed by the filmmaker to be marijuana, and then receiving an unpurchased package of cigarillos from the store. After the video was rediscovered and made public in 2017, some, including Brown's family, said they believed Brown had left the package there for safekeeping and later returned to retrieve it. The store owner disputed this through an attorney who dismissed claims that the store traded him "cigarillos for pot." The lawyer claimed "[t]he reason he [Brown] gave it back is he was walking out the door with unpaid merchandise and they [the staff] wanted it back." The store's attorney said the video had been in the hands of Brown's family and law enforcement since the initial investigation, and said the video had been edited to remove the portion where the store clerk returned Brown's package to him. Following this, on March 13, 2017, unedited footage from the store was released by the St. Louis County prosecutor to try to settle questions.

At 11:47 a.m., Wilson responded to a call about a baby with breathing problems and drove to Glenark Drive, east of Canfield Drive.[30] About three minutes later and several blocks away, Brown was recorded on camera stealing a box of Swisher Sweets cigars and forcefully shoving a Ferguson Market clerk. Brown and his friend, Dorian Johnson, left the market at about 11:54 a.m. At 11:53, a police dispatcher reported "stealing in progress" at the Ferguson Market and described the suspect as a black male wearing a white T-shirt running toward QuikTrip. The suspect was reported as having stolen a box of Swisher cigars. At 11:57, the dispatch described the suspect as wearing a red St. Louis Cardinals hat, a white T-shirt, yellow socks, and khaki shorts, and that he was accompanied by another male. At 12:00 p.m., Wilson reported he was back in service and radioed units 25 and 22 to ask if they needed his assistance in searching for the suspects. Seven seconds later, an unidentified officer said the suspects had disappeared. Wilson called for backup at 12:02, saying "[Unit] 21. Put me on Canfield with two. And send me another car."

Initial reports of what happened next differed widely among sources and witnesses, particularly with regard to whether Brown was moving towards Wilson when the shots were fired. At noon on August 9, Wilson drove up to Brown and Johnson as they were walking in the middle of Canfield Drive and ordered them to move off the street. Wilson continued driving past the two men, but then backed up and stopped close to them. A struggle took place between Brown and Wilson after Brown reached through the window of the police SUV, a Chevrolet Tahoe. Wilson was armed with a SIG Sauer P229 pistol, which was fired twice during the struggle from inside the vehicle, with one bullet hitting Brown's right hand. Brown and Johnson fled and Johnson hid behind a car. Wilson got out of the vehicle and pursued Brown. At some point, Wilson fired his gun again, while facing Brown, and hit him with at least 6 shots, all in the front of his body. Brown was unarmed and died on the street. Less than 90 seconds passed from the time Wilson encountered Brown to the time of Brown's death.

An unidentified officer arrived on the scene and, 73 seconds after Wilson's call, asked where the second suspect was. Thirty-one seconds later, a supervisor was requested by Unit 25. At 12:07 p.m., an officer on scene radioed to dispatch for more units.[30] Also at 12:07, the St. Louis County police were notified and county officers began arriving on scene at around 12:15 p.m. The St. Louis County detectives were notified at 12:43 p.m. and arrived about 1:30 p.m., with the forensic investigator arriving at about 2:30 p.m.

Police dispatched a dozen units to the scene by 1:00 p.m. with another dozen, including two canine units, by 2:00 p.m. Gunshots were recorded in Ferguson police logs at 2:11 p.m., and by the ambulance dispatch again at 2:14 p.m., which led to the response of 20 units from eight different municipal forces in the next 20 minutes. As the situation deteriorated, the police commanders had investigators seek cover and detectives assisted in crowd control. At 2:45, four canine units arrived on scene, and the SWAT team arrived at 3:20 p.m. The medical examiner began his examination at around 3:30 p.m. and concluded about half an hour later, with the body being cleared to be taken to the morgue. At 4:37 p.m., Brown's body was signed in by workers at the morgue.


By September 24, Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson publicly apologized to the family of Michael Brown. By March 12, five months later, Thomas Jackson resigned from the Ferguson Police Department. On November 29, Wilson resigned from the Ferguson police force with no severance, citing security concerns. Wilson's lawyer said Wilson "will never be a police officer again" as he does not want to put other officers at risk due to his presence. The National Bar Association, an organization of African American lawyers and judges, made a complaint to the Missouri Department of Public Safety demanding Wilson's police officer license be revoked. Wilson's attempts to obtain employment as a police officer have been unsuccessful.

President Barack Obama announced the federal government would spend $75 million on body cameras for law enforcement officers, as one of the measures taken in response to the shooting.

According to the Associated Press' annual poll of United States news directors and editors, the top news story of 2014 was police killings of unarmed black people—including the shooting of Brown—as well as their investigations and the protests in their aftermath.

Roger Goldman, emeritus professor at Saint Louis University Law School, Flanders, a Saint Louis University law professor, and Senator Jamilah Nasheed seek the updating of Missouri state law to comply with the 1985 U.S. Supreme Court decision, Tennessee v. Garner.

Bronze plaque in memory of Michael Brown on sidewalk where shooting incident occurred

The cover of The New Yorker's January 26, 2015, issue depicted Martin Luther King Jr. linking arms with Eric Garner and Wenjian Liu, and joined by Trayvon Martin and Brown.

Funds for the Brown family and for Wilson were solicited on the internet, each accumulating hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations.

Brown's death has been cited as one of several police killings of African Americans protested by the Black Lives Matter movement.

"Hands up, don't shoot"

"Hands up!" sign displayed at a Ferguson protest

"Hands up, don't shoot", or simply "hands up", is a slogan and gesture originating from the incident and was seen in demonstrations in Ferguson and throughout the United States. The gesture became a rallying cry against police violence.

On March 4, 2015, the U.S. Department of Justice issued a report on the shooting, which said, "There is no witness who has stated that Brown had his hands up in surrender whose statement is otherwise consistent with the physical evidence" and "our investigation did not reveal any eyewitness who stated that Brown said 'don't shoot'."


Task force on policing
In December 2014, president Barack Obama created a commission to make recommendations for broad police reform in the United States. The commission created by Obama released an interim report on March 2, 2015, with numerous recommendations, including the recommendation that policy be created mandating "external and independent criminal investigations in cases of police use of force resulting in death, officer-involved shootings resulting in injury or death, or in-custody deaths".

DOJ investigation into the Ferguson Police Department
On September 5, 2014, the U.S. Department of Justice began an investigation of the Ferguson, Missouri police force to examine whether officers routinely engaged in racial profiling or showed a pattern of excessive force. The investigation was separate from the Department's other investigation of the shooting of Brown. The results of the investigation were released in a March 4, 2015, report, which concluded officers in Ferguson routinely violated the constitutional rights of the city's residents, by discriminating against African Americans and applying racial stereotypes, in a "pattern or practice of unlawful conduct within the Ferguson Police Department that violates the First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, and federal statutory law" .

The Report focused on the problem of issuing warrants for sometimes minor offenses. In many states, a chief cause for warrants is unpaid traffic tickets.

Brown family lawsuit
On April 23, 2015, the Brown family filed a wrongful death lawsuit in state court against Wilson, Jackson, and the City of Ferguson, asking for damages in excess of $75,000 as well as attorney's fees. On May 27, 2015, the lawsuit was moved from state court to federal court.

On July 14, 2015, U.S. District Judge E. Richard Webber responded to defense motions by dismissing four of the seven counts of the lawsuit and declining to dismiss two other counts. On June 20, 2017, Webber approved a settlement between Brown's parents and the city of Ferguson. Terms of the agreement, including the settlement amount, were sealed from the public. A Ferguson city attorney revealed the city's insurance company paid $1.5 million.

Dorian Johnson lawsuit
On April 29, 2015, Johnson filed a lawsuit in state court against Wilson, Jackson, and the City of Ferguson for being stopped by Wilson without probable cause, reasonable suspicion or legal justification to detain him. The lawsuit claimed that, according to the findings of the § DOJ investigation into the Ferguson Police Department, law enforcement efforts focused on generating revenue rather than protecting the town's citizens. Johnson seeks US$25,000 in damages. On May 27, 2015, the lawsuit was moved from state court to federal court. The court denied the defendants' motion to dismiss the case; they appealed, and a three-judge panel of the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the district court on July 25, 2017, allowing the lawsuit to go forward. The en banc Eighth Circuit reviewed and reversed the panel's decision on June 17, 2019, directing the district court to dismiss the case.

Appointment of Delrish Moss as police chief
On May 9, 2016, Delrish Moss, a Miami law enforcement veteran and expert in community relations, was sworn in as the first permanent African American chief in Ferguson. He said his challenges would include diversifying the police force and dramatically improving community relations.

Lezley McSpadden announces run for Ferguson City Council
On April 25, 2018, Brown's mother, Lezley McSpadden, announced to a Harvard University forum on police violence that she will run for City Council of Ferguson. She did not win.


Posted by Dennis Donovan | Sun Aug 9, 2020, 11:16 AM (0 replies)

They're chartered in New York State and they broke NYS laws

She's the New York State Attorney General.

So, rule of law is something you're adverse to?
Posted by Dennis Donovan | Sun Aug 9, 2020, 09:34 AM (1 replies)

Trumpzilla in the midst of destroying DC

🎵...They say he's got to go...
Posted by Dennis Donovan | Sun Aug 9, 2020, 09:10 AM (5 replies)

CNN fact-checks Trump's claims of the Veteran's Choice program. *Boom*

Ted Corcoran (Red T Raccoon) @RedTRaccoon

CNN uses video to bust Trump for lying and stealing credit for veterans choice program signed by Obama

Embedded video

8:50 AM · Aug 9, 2020

Posted by Dennis Donovan | Sun Aug 9, 2020, 08:56 AM (0 replies)

5.1 (Prelim) Earthquake in northwest North Carolina (Sparta)


Moe Davis @ColMorrisDavis

US House candidate, NC-11

Did we just have an earthquake? Things rattled and there was a brief tremor.


8:10 AM · Aug 9, 2020 from Swannanoa, NC

Posted by Dennis Donovan | Sun Aug 9, 2020, 08:24 AM (6 replies)
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