What is wildlife crime?

Wildlife crime

This picture is part of a governmental publication in Northern Ireland; about what they consider to be wildlife crime.

17-year-old Laquan McDonald killed in Chicago, USA

This video from Chicago in the USA says about itself:

Dashcam Video of Officer Jason Van Dyke Shooting Laquan McDonald

24 November 2015

Police released a dashcam video Tuesday evening that shows a police officer shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times in 2014.

The confrontation begins at approximately 5:00.

By Nick Barrickman and Joseph Kishore in the USA:

Protests erupt in Chicago after release of video showing police murder of 17-year-old

25 November 2015

Protests erupted in Chicago Tuesday night, following the release of video footage from the October 20, 2014 police killing of Laquan McDonald by 14-year veteran cop Jason Van Dyke. Several hundred people demonstrated late into the night, and at least three arrests were made.

The release of the video shatters a year-long attempted cover-up by the Chicago Police Department and the administration of Democratic Party Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the former chief of staff for President Barack Obama. The city worked systematically to prevent the video from being made public, while lying about the circumstances behind the murder of McDonald.

Earlier on Tuesday, Illinois state prosecutors charged Van Dyke with murder in the first degree for the shooting, which occurred “without legal justification and with the intent to kill or do great bodily harm,” according to a one-page court filing.

The release of the video and the decision to charge Van Dyke come nearly a week after Cook County Judge Franklin Valderrama ordered city officials to make public the footage. Charges against Van Dyke were sped up in an effort to assuage public outrage and social unrest that city officials anticipated would follow the forced release of evidence of wanton murder.

The video, which comes from a police cruiser’s dashboard camera, shows McDonald walking in the center lane of a busy thoroughfare. Van Dyke gets out of his car and, unprovoked, fires 16 bullets into the teen, who is walking away from the officers. Gun smoke visibly emanates from McDonald’s body as he is repeatedly shot while lying on the ground.

Autopsy reports show that McDonald was shot twice in the back, while 9 of the 16 bullet wounds he received had a downward trajectory.

Van Dyke, who had been placed on desk duty pending investigations by the FBI, the US attorney’s office in Chicago and the state attorney’s office for Cook County, turned himself in Tuesday. He is being held without bail.

While Emanuel is now claiming that he supports the video’s release—a transparent attempt to deflect attention from his own culpability in the cover-up—the city and Chicago Police Department in fact desperately attempted to prevent public exposure of the crime. In April, the city awarded a nearly $5 million settlement to the family of McDonald in a wrongful death lawsuit, which included a provision that the video would be kept secret.

Chicago police also reportedly deleted 86 minutes of footage from a security camera at a nearby Burger King, which would have shown the events leading up to the killing. Police refrained from interviewing witnesses to the killing, telling them simply to go home. One later described the killing as an “execution.”

As in many similar incidents, police claimed “self defense.” “He is a very serious threat to the officers, and he leaves them no choice at that point to defend themselves,” Fraternal Order of Police spokesman Pat Camden declared on the night of the killing last year. “When police tell you to drop a weapon, all you have to do is drop it.”

The judicial order requiring the video’s release, exposing these lies, came only after an independent journalist sued the police department following an initial decision not to grant his Freedom of Information request. Even the existence of the video came to light only thanks to the actions of a whistleblower.

“The real issue here is, this terrible thing happened, how did our governmental institutions respond?” Jason Kalven, the reporter who first uncovered the story, told the Chicago Reporter. “And from everything we’ve learned, compulsively at every level, from the cops on the scene to the highest levels of government, they responded by circling the wagons and by fabricating a narrative that they knew was completely false.”

Van Dyke was not an unknown quantity. Eighteen complaints had been filed against the cop throughout his 14 year career in the Chicago Police Department, including for the use of excessive force and shouting racial slurs at individuals whom he had detained. Yet he remained on active duty.

The political establishment and the media are now working in overdrive to contain public anger, while also preparing for police repression of protests. In advance of the video’s release, a spokesperson for the Chicago police declared, “The department is prepared to respond to any demonstrations and will hold people accountable if they cross the line. We might use the same tactics that were used during the NATO demonstrations.”

The charging of Van Dyke after a coordinated campaign of cover-up and lies only exposes the fact that the vast majority of police murders go unpunished. The entire political establishment, from the Obama administration on down, works systematically to exonerate killer cops. Only in extraordinary circumstances—when video unambiguously shows criminal activity—are charges filed, and often these result in exoneration.

Indeed, it is exactly one year since St. Louis prosecutors announced that they would not press charges against Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson for the murder of unarmed teenager Michael Brown. Since then, more than 1,000 people have been killed by police in the United States.

A Washington Post report earlier this year found that only 54 police officers have been charged over the past decade, leading to only 11 convictions.

Significantly, it was in Chicago that the Obama administration’s FBI director, James Comey, last month criticized the prevalence of video showing police killings for creating a “chill wind blowing through American law enforcement over the last year.” In other words, the problem is not that cops are murdering unarmed individuals, but that these murders are being documented and exposed.

VIDEO RELEASED OF CHICAGO OFFICER SHOOTING TEEN 16 TIMES “City officials on Tuesday released police dashcam video showing an officer shooting teenager Laquan McDonald 16 times, continuing to fire well after the youth falls to the ground. The court-ordered release of the video came hours after authorities charged Officer Jason Van Dyke with first-degree murder in the teen’s killing.” Demonstrators took to the streets in protest. Here’s a look at Van Dyke’s problematic record, as well as the Chicago Tribune’s editorial on what this means for the city of Chicago. [Kim Bellware, HuffPost]

Laquan McDonald: Video of Chicago police shooting dead black teenager brings protests and echoes of Ferguson: here.

Minneapolis, USA anti-#BlackLives#Matter gun violence update

This video from the USA says about itself:

Black Lives Matter protesters shot in Minneapolis

23 November 2015

Five demonstrators were shot, two with serious injuries and three non-fatally, at a Black Lives Matter protest in Minneapolis, Monday, after three white counter-protesters reportedly disrupted a protest for Jamar Clark.

The shots were reportedly fired outside the Minneapolis 4th Precinct Police Department, where a protest camp is currently being held for 24-year-old Clark after he was shot by police last week.

The activists, who have been stationed at the site for a week, are refusing to leave the Minneapolis police station until their demands are met, which include the release of police video tapes of the Clark killing, and the prosecution of the two police officers, Mark Ringgenberg and Dustin Schwarze, involved in man’s death.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

United States: Five people shot during protest at police killing

Wednesday 25th November 2015

FIVE people protesting against police brutality were shot and wounded in Minneapolis in the small hours of yesterday.

The Black Lives Matter campaign blamed white supremacists for the attack during a demonstration against the police killing of Jamar Clark earlier this month.

Witness Oluchi Omeoga reported seeing three masked strangers among the protesters. Police said they were seeking three white male suspects.

The three strangers left the protest and a handful of protesters who had become suspicious followed them to a street corner, where the masked men pulled out weapons and shots rang out, she said.

Black Lives Matter organiser Micah Grimm said two people were shot in the leg, another in the arm and a fourth in the stomach. None suffered life-threatening injuries.

By Nick Barrickman in the USA:

Masked gunmen open fire, wound five at Black Lives Matter protest in Minneapolis

25 November 2015

Minneapolis police announced Tuesday night that they had detained four individuals connected to the shooting of five Black Lives Matter protesters the previous night. The gunmen opened fire at activists protesting the November 15 shooting of unarmed 24-year old Jamar Clark by Minneapolis police, wounding five. None of the injuries were fatal.

Police reported Tuesday that two individuals; a 23-year old white male and a 32-year old Hispanic male, were apprehended in connection to the shootings, but their names were not made public. Two other white males, aged 21 and the other 26, turned themselves in during the day, though one was later released.

According to witnesses, a group of masked men approached the demonstrations attempting to start fights with protesters before opening fire on a section of the demonstrators as they left.

“These four white guys walked up … They had masks and they had a briefcase. I thought they were there to donate [something],” said Carrie Brown, a protester who had witnessed the attack, to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

Activists from Black Lives Matter Minneapolis released a statement on social media accusing the assailants of being white supremacists.

Miski Noor, a media liaison for Black Lives Matter, told the New York Times that the masked group had been appearing at the protests since last Friday, seeking to provoke protesters and videotaping the event.

On Tuesday, protesters rallied in downtown Minneapolis in response to the shooting. They have been holding vigils outside of the Minneapolis Fourth Precinct police station since Clark encountered officers Mark Ringgenberg and Dustin Schwarze on November 15. At the time of Clark’s shooting, the young man was allegedly interfering with a paramedic team attempting to treat an individual whom Clark had been in a dispute with. Witnesses say that Clark was handcuffed when officers shot him. He died several days later.

Authorities have been hesitant to label the attacks on the Black Lives Matter demonstrators a hate crime. “I know there’s a lot of speculation as to who these people were,” said US Representative Keith Ellison, an African-American whose district includes most of Minneapolis. “And they well could have been, I’m not trying to say they weren’t white supremacists. But I just haven’t been able to piece together enough information to say with any real clarity.”

Police presence in the area was immediately augmented in the area following the attacks. FBI spokesman Kyle A. Loven released a statement declaring that the FBI was monitoring the situation and would decide “as to whether or not any further federal action is necessary.”

Similarly, officials have seized upon the Monday shootings to bolster the image of the police in the wake of the outrage over Jamar Clark’s killing. Hailing the apprehension of the two suspects, Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau released a statement declaring local law enforcement to be “true professionals” who had “worked nonstop through the night to bring justice in last night’s shooting.”

Immediately prior to the shooting, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton, a Democrat, called for a federal investigation into the killing of Clark.

Donald Trump, Murdoch and anti-#BlackLivesMatter violence in Minnesota, USA

Jamine Robinson points to the name of his brother, Jamar Clark, on an upside-down flag bearing names of people killed at the hands of police. A shooting erupted last night at that Black Lives Matter encampment.(Photo credit: AP)

From Salon.com in the USA:

Tuesday, Nov 24, 2015 08:11 PM +0100

This is on Donald Trump and Fox News’ hands: Now their war on #blacklivesmatter draws real blood

Minneapolis shooting is no surprise. Trump, O’Reilly and others have ratcheted rhetoric toward violence for months

Chauncey DeVega

The Associated Press is reporting that five people at a Black Lives Matter protest in Minneapolis were shot by a group of white supremacists on Monday evening.

This is not a surprise.

The appeal and power of old-fashioned, overt and transparent white racism is growing in the United States. The prime example of this phenomenon is the rise of Donald Trump, but the GOP front-runner is but one data point in a longer trend. Since the election of Barack Obama, white supremacists have increased their enrollment of new members. To that end, they have infiltrated Tea Party organizations to recruit racially resentful and angry white people who are beginning to think about politics in terms of “white group interests.”

While anxiety about ISIS dominates the American news, the FBI has in fact identified domestic terrorism from white, right-wing Christians as the greatest domestic terrorism threat to the United States since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

The right-wing news-entertainment media complex routinely uses eliminationist and violent rhetoric to describe liberals and progressives. There, the implicit (and often explicit) narrative is that those people who are not members of the American right-wing are “traitors,” “un-American” and deserving of whatever violence comes to them. This is not empty talk, hyperbole or “playful” rhetoric designed to cheer on Republicans and build up morale before a presidential election. The right-wing media has actually weaponized its followers. The results are those black folks killed by Dylann Roof in Charleston, the women’s reproductive health doctor George Tiller, and the other victims of right-wing domestic terrorists shot dead at Sikh Temples, Jewish Community Centers, and elsewhere in the United States.

And as I wrote in an earlier essay here at Salon, Republican 2016 presidential primary candidates, as well as Fox News personalities such as Bill O’Reilly, have referred to members of the human rights advocacy group Black Lives Matter as “terrorists” or the new “Ku Klux Klan.”

On Monday, I wrote a piece about how a Black Lives Matter protester was beaten upon by Donald Trump supporters at a Birmingham, Alabama, rally over the weekend. Trump endorsed that thuggery and was proud that his supporters were so spirited. Adding to the grotesqueness of Donald Trump’s embrace of political violence, Robert Kiger, a fundraiser aligned with a group backing Trump, made the bizarre suggestion that he, as a white man, would be beaten up if he went into a black church. Therefore, the violent attack on a Black Lives Matter protester at Trump’s rally was expected, understood and reasonable in Kiger’s twisted, demented and profoundly racist imagination.

Ultimately, when Black Lives Matter’s basic claim for equal human rights and dignity is met by racist slogans such as “All Lives Matter” — what is just a new and more polite version of “White Power!” — the question is no longer “if” white on black and brown racially motivated violence will take place, but rather when, and to what extent?

The 2016 presidential primary season has seen Republican candidates endorse internment camps for Syrian refugees, an enemies list for Muslims, making Christianity the official state religion of the United States, establishing a Gestapo-like force to eject “illegal immigrants” from the United States, and other actions that are unworthy of what is supposed to be the world’s greatest democracy.

Those men and women who seek the office of the president of the United States should be responsible, reflective, and intelligent individuals. While they are members of a political party, these individuals should also be ambassadors of the Common Good who first and foremost want to advance and protect the General Welfare of the United States and its citizens. To this point in the campaign, the Republican 2016 primary presidential candidates, as a group, have not shown that they are capable of honoring that obligation.

The presidential primary season is not over. There is still time for the Republican Party to rise to the occasion.

To that end, will the 2016 Republican primary presidential candidates denounce Donald Trump’s rhetoric and the violence of his supporters or condemn last evening’s shootings of the Black Lives Matter protesters by white supremacists?

Will this crop of potential GOP presidential nominees demand that their peers, as well as the right-wing Fox News propaganda machine, tone down their collective racist, nativist, xenophobic and violence-inducing rhetoric?

The answer is likely to be “no.” Instead, the Republican 2016 presidential candidates will ignore the violence and bigotry they have encouraged or instead play the “victim” of the “liberal media.” The right-wing Fox News echo chamber will also likely spin fictions of “liberal infiltrators” or “agent provocateurs” that are actually committing violence at Donald Trump rallies or shooting Black Lives Matter activists in Minneapolis.

As they have repeatedly done in recent American history, movement conservatives and their media will continue to strike a match in a room full of gasoline vapor and act surprised when it explodes.

This is their version of the American Way. It is an agenda that retreats from normal politics, consensus-building, and an embrace of conservatism not as a reasonable respect for traditions and standing norms, but, rather as an embrace of a radical, destructive, and reactionary behavior that leaves the United States less safe, less secure, less prosperous and weaker than it was before.

City Releases ‘Chilling’ Video Of Cop Shooting Chicago Teen 16 Times. The Cook County state’s attorney said the officer “was on the scene less than 30 seconds before shooting”: here.

‘Police involved in racist gun attack on Minnesota #BlackLivesMatter’

This CNN video from Minnesota in the USA says about itself:

Raeisha Williams: Police are ‘behind’ the shooting of BLM protesters

24 November 2015

Jamar Clark: Witnesses tell how ‘white supremacists’ opened fire on Black Lives Matter protesters. Five people were taken to hospital after being hit in a flurry of gunfire: here.

By David Edwards in the USA:

Minnesota NAACP leader shocks CNN: Police are ‘behind’ the Black Lives Matter shooting

24 Nov 2015 at 15:52 ET

Raeisha Williams, communications chair of the Minneapolis NAACP, told CNN that members of law enforcement were “behind” the Monday night shooting of Black Lives Matter protesters.

During an interview on Tuesday, CNN host Brooke Baldwin asked Williams to react to breaking news that two men had been arrested in connection to shootings that injured at least five people who were protesting the killing of Jamar Clark.

“We’re hearing two [arrests] at this time,” Williams explained. “But we don’t necessarily trust that. We know that the police department is behind this, this is our personal belief after receiving witness accounts.”

“Wait, wait, wait,” Baldwin interrupted. “You said you believe the police department is behind what?”

“We believe the police department is facilitating the injustice, bullying the protesters,” Williams replied. “And we also believe that they’re involved in this shooting. We know from blackboards and chat rooms and also videos that we have posted on our website that police that are from different counties, police from different districts have come down to entice the protesters, have come down to bully the protesters.”

Baldwin, who was broadcasting from Paris, noted that Williams had made “serious allegations” on national television.

“And we are standing behind it, we do not back down from these allegations,” Williams insisted.

“Where is your evidence that they were involved in the shooting?” Baldwin pressed.

According to Williams, police were “lurking” near the shooting and then refused to provide help to the injured protesters.

“This is what you’ve been wanting,” she recalled one of the officers saying.

“It took 15 minutes for the police to even arrive and shortly after that, they began to Mace the crowd,” Williams said. “So if you’re not part of the problem, if this is not something you’re trying to cover up, why would you not attend to victims who paid for your salaries?”

Williams said that her group had “video evidence of an undercover cop getting into an unmarked car.”

“We believe — and we stand behind our belief — that the Minneapolis Police Department is not protecting us and therefore they stand with racist white supremacists who want to destroy a peaceful movement,” she concluded.