Sandra Bland arrest cover-up, Texas policeman says


This video from the USA says about itself:

31 December 2015

Scores of protesters held a vigil in commemoration of Sandra Bland in downtown New York on Wednesday evening. 28-year-old Bland’s death in police custody in Texas earlier this year sparked widespread protests across the United States, with protesters blaming the authorities for her passing.

By Michael McLaughlin, Reporter, The Huffington Post in the USA:

Police Officer In Sandra Bland Case Describes Alleged Cover-Up

He claims that facts in her favor were omitted from the final report.

07/26/2016 08:38 pm ET

A Texas police officer on Tuesday accused law enforcement officials of covering up what he saw during Sandra Bland’s controversial arrest last summer.

Prairie View police officer Michael Kelley told The Huffington Post that portions of his original incident report, which reflected poorly on the state trooper who arrested Bland, were removed. He also alleged that he was threatened by a Waller County prosecutor for speaking out about what he’d witnessed on that July 2015 day.

The Waller County district attorney denied the latter claim, while the Prairie View Police Department did not respond to a request for comment.

Bland, who was accused of assaulting trooper Brian Encinia, died in a Waller County jail three days after her arrest from an apparent suicide. The 28-year-old’s death sparked a national outcry as activists said she never should have been arrested and her family argued that she wouldn’t have taken her own life.

By the time Kelley arrived on the scene of what began as a traffic stop, he said that Bland was already handcuffed in the back of a squad car. He said he overheard Encinia, who had turned off his own body camera, admitting that he didn’t know what charge to lodge against Bland, but declaring that he’d come up with something. That’s one key part of Kelley’s incident report that he claims has been removed.

“My opinion is that he messed up,” Kelley told HuffPost. “He did not have probable cause to detain her after he pulled her out of the car.”

Another detail missing from the incident report, the officer said, is his observation that it looked like Bland had been struck in the head.

“She had a large mark on her head. Maybe she fell when she was in handcuffs. Maybe she got kicked,” Kelley told HuffPost. She complained about head pain but didn’t cooperate with emergency medical workers, he said.

In all, Kelley said that officials whittled his two-page rough draft down to less than a page and entered it into the official record without his approval. He said he also wanted to testify before the grand jury investigating Bland’s arrest, but that Assistant District Attorney Warren Diepraam threatened him.

“He told me it wouldn’t be good for my career,” Kelley said. “Then I told him I was going to talk to Sandra Bland’s mother’s attorney, and he told me I was going to be beneath the jail.”

Diepraam did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s inquiries.

Encinia was still indicted for perjury for alleged false statements about the arrest. The trooper was also fired.

How many hummingbird species in Texas, USA?


This video from the USA says about itself:

Guess How Many Hummingbird Species Visit in 30 Seconds

12 July 2016

This 30s clip from our West Texas Hummingbird cam features a variety of male and female hummingbirds visiting the feeder. How many species could you distinguish between? Can you name the species? Answers are at the end. Thanks for watching!

You can watch live anytime here.

The West Texas Hummingbird Feeder Cam is nestled in the mountains outside Fort Davis, Texas, at an elevation of over 6200 feet. This site hosts a total of 24 Perky-Pet® Grand Master hummingbird feeders, and during peak migration can attract hundreds of hummingbirds from a dozen species that are migrating through the arid mountains.

For the past 10 years, researchers from West Texas Avian Research have been banding hummingbirds at this site and others throughout the Trans-Pecos region of Texas to study the status and distribution of hummingbirds throughout the poorly known region.

The active banding of hummingbirds continues (off camera) at this site in the Davis Mountains, and from time to time you may hear researchers working in the background. Some common species in you may hear vocalizing include Western Scrub Jays, Acorn Woodpeckers, and Canyon Wrens (among others).

Thanks to West Texas Avian Research for their enthusiasm and support for hosting the camera at this remote research site, and to cam sponsor Perky-Pet®.

Hummingbird webcam in Texas, USA


This video from the USA says about itself:

A male and female Black-chinned Hummingbird visit the feeder in early July [2016].

The West Texas Hummingbird Feeder Cam is nestled in the mountains outside Fort Davis, Texas, at an elevation of over 6200 feet.

After the sad news of people killed and injured in Texas, some good news.

From the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in the USA:

We’re excited to bring you a second action-packed season of the West Texas Hummingbird Feeder Cam, sponsored by Perky-Pet®. This site is nestled in the mountains outside Fort Davis, Texas, at an elevation of over 6,200 feet. During peak hummingbird migration, this site hosts 24 Perky-Pet® Grand Master hummingbird feeders, attracting hundreds of hummingbirds from a dozen species that are migrating through the arid mountains.

For the past 10 years, researchers from West Texas Avian Research have been banding hummingbirds at this site and others throughout the Trans-Pecos region of Texas to study the status and distribution of hummingbirds throughout the poorly known region. Last year we started broadcasting during the height of the fall migration in September (check out the highlights); this year, you’ll get the opportunity to watch the diversity and abundance of these agile fliers grow throughout the summer, and get to know them one-by-one. Right now, the most common species on cam are Broad-tailed Hummingbirds, along with Black-throated, Magnificent, and soon, Rufous hummingbirds.

You may also hear or glimpse other common species of the arid mountain forests, including Western Scrub-Jays, Acorn Woodpeckers, and Canyon Wrens. From time to time you may hear researchers working in the background as they band hummingbirds nearby.

Thanks to West Texas Avian Research for their enthusiasm and support for hosting the camera at this remote research site, and to cam sponsor Perky-Pet®. Watch the camnow.

Lethal attack on peaceful Black Lives Matter demonstration in Texas


This video from the USA says about itself:

5 People Are Shot At Site Of Black Lives Matter Protest in Minneapolis

24 November 2015

Police were hunting three white suspects early Tuesday after five people were shot near a protest in Minneapolis over the fatal police shooting of an unarmed black man. All five victims were transported to local hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries after the incident late Monday, the Minneapolis Police Department said in a statement.

The shooting happened around a block away from the Minneapolis Police Department 4th Precinct, where Black Lives Matter demonstrators and local activists have camped for more than a week after 24-year-old Jamar Clark was shot dead by a police officer during a scuffle on November 15.

That was then. And today …

By Nick Visser, Reporter, The Huffington Post in the USA:

At Least 4 Police Officers Killed By Snipers During Dallas Protest

Seven other officers and one civilian were also shot and injured.

07/07/2016 10:26 pm ET | Updated 1 minute ago

At least 11 police officers and 1 civilian have been shot in Dallas.

Officials said two snipers carried out an “ambush-style” attack.

Police are negotiating with one “uncooperative” suspect who is still exchanging gunfire with them.

Gunfire first broke out during a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest.

Snipers shot and killed four police officers “ambush-style” after a Black Lives Matter protest in Dallas Thursday night, according to Dallas police. At least seven other police officers and one civilian were also shot and injured. …

Dallas Police Chief David Brown said three suspects were in custody and police were still in negotiations with another suspect who was being uncooperative, at times exchanging gunfire with officers in a parking garage.

“He told negotiators that the end is coming, and he is going to hurt and kill more of us,” Brown said at the press conference early Friday morning …

‘The end is coming’ sounds like some ultra religious person expecting the Last Judgment.

All signs pointed to the demonstration having been peaceful throughout the evening. The DPD Twitter account included posts about “men, women, boys and girls” gathered in solidarity, while other photos show officers posing with marchers, including a state senator. …

Rev. Jeff Hood, an organizer of the rally, told the Dallas Morning News he was at the front of the protest with an officer before he heard “what sounded like six to eight shots.”

“I saw people scramble,” Hood said. “The officer ran towards the shots, I ran away from the shots trying to get people off the streets, and I was grabbing myself to see if I was shot.” …

Earlier Thursday, hundreds had gathered in cities across the country to protest the recent police shootings of Alton Sterling, a 37-year-old killed outside a convenience store in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Philando Castile, who was shot during a traffic stop in Minnesota.

Demonstrators were carrying signs and chanting “no justice no peace” and “hands up, don’t shoot” ― common refrains of the Black Lives Matter movement against police brutality.

From daily The Independent about this:

Richard Adams, a witness to [the] shooting in Dallas, said the protests were “peaceful and lovely” until he heard what sounded like “a bunch of firecrackers going off.”

“Women with children and babies and everybody was chaotically running,” Adams told. “And then, maybe I was a half-a-block away, calming down a little bit when we heard it again. […] There must have been five times tonight — whenever we thought we were safe, people said: “Run, people were shot!”

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

The Minnesota governor thinks that the black motorist [Philando Castile] who this Wednesday in a suburb of St. Paul was killed by police brutality, would not have been shot if he would have been white. “This kind of racism exists and it is the duty of us all to ensure that it stops,” said Governor Mark Dayton, a Democrat.

See also here.

Update, 9 July 2016:

Micah Johnson, Lone Gunman In Dallas Attack, Had Bomb-Making Materials In His Home

The attack killed five police officers and injured seven others as well as two civilians. …

Johnson was killed after police detonated a bomb strapped to a robot. He had no known criminal history, officials said Friday, but cops found material to make bombs, rifles and ammunition in his home.

Johnson had been a private first class in the Army Reserves, a military spokeswoman confirmed. He enlisted in 2009, was deployed to Afghanistan in November 2013 and returned in July 2014, receiving several awards for his service. He left the military in April 2015.

Micah Xavier Johnson, an Afghan War veteran who spent six years in the Army Reserves, opened fire Thursday night on Dallas police who were escorting a demonstration of hundreds of people protesting the police killings of unarmed black men. He killed five police and wounded seven. Two protesters were also wounded as gunfire erupted between police and Johnson, who was heavily armed and wearing military-style body armor. Despite initial police and media reports describing as many as half a dozen snipers “triangulated at elevated positions in different points in the downtown area” and shooting in a coordinated crossfire, all the damage was inflicted by a single gunman armed with an SKS semi-automatic rifle using .223 caliber ammunition, the civilian equivalent of the bullets with which Johnson was equipped while in Afghanistan: here.

Parents Of Dallas Shooter Say Son Became ‘Hermit’ After Military Service: here.

Dallas civil rights activists plan new police brutality protest in the wake of shootings. As protests against police killings proliferated across the US this weekend, Dominique Alexander, president of the Next Generation Action Network, said he and other campaigners were ‘putting in a lot of hours to make sure that tensions don’t rise’: here.

Update: Baton Rouge Cop Points Assault Weapon At HuffPost Reporter, Protesters. “An officer just pointed a machine gun at me,” a HuffPost reporter said as he captured the moment on camera: here.

Texas child-abusing policeman Eric Casebolt not indicted


This video from the USA says about itself:

Grand Jury Clears Child-Abusing Cop Eric Casebolt

24 June 2016

A grand jury in Texas has decided not to indict former cop Eric Casebolt. He had stormed a pool party, pulled his gun, and attacked a teenage girl. Ben Mankiewicz (What The Flick?), Ana Kasparian, and Francis Maxwell (TYT Sports), hosts of The Young Turks, break it down. Tell us what you think in the comment section below.

“A grand jury decided Thursday not to indict a former Texas police officer who was seen on video throwing a bikini-clad teenage girl to the ground and pointing his gun at others at a pool party last summer.

The decision not to charge Eric Casebolt ends the investigation into his handling of the pool party melee, CBS Dallas/Fort Worth station KTVT reported.

Casebolt, who is white, was widely criticized for his treatment of the young, black teenager, with teens and parents saying he was overzealous and too aggressive. The incident was captured on cellphone video.

He pushed the girl to the ground following a party last June at a community pool in suburban Dallas that drew a crowd of teenagers. …

However, the Collin County grand jury determined there wasn’t enough evidence to bring criminal charges against him. An attorney for Casebolt did not return a call for comment.

Casebolt resigned days after the incident after being placed on administrative leave by the police chief.”

Read more here.

Here’s How Often Cops Are Arrested For Breaking The Laws They’re Paid To Uphold. “Police crimes are not uncommon,” researchers found: here.

Texas ocelots get life-saving passages at last


This video from the USA says about itself:

12 April 2013

A phantom cat secretively stalks the remnants of thick, thorny brush in southernmost Texas. Biologists estimate there are less than 50 rare ocelots clinging to a precarious existence in deep South Texas

The last foothold of this strikingly beautiful cat in the United States are two small breeding populations on remote ranchlands and Laguna Atarscosa National Wildlife Refuge where private landowners are working with state and federal agencies to save the endangered ocelot.

From Takepart.com in the USA:

Texas Builds a Wildlife Highway to Help Endangered Ocelots Survive

As deaths of the rare cats mount, the Lone Star state finally builds safe passage around dangerous roads.

May 27, 2016

Richard Conniff is the author of House of Lost Worlds: Dinosaurs, Dynasties, and the Story of Life on Earth, and other books.

Back in the fall of 2014, I took a whack at the Texas Department of Transportation for treating the nation’s only viable population of endangered ocelots—beautiful spotted cats about twice the size of a house cat—as fodder for roadkill. The department had flagrantly disregarded recommendations from wildlife experts on the critical need for safe road crossings, instead installing an impassable concrete barrier down the center of a busy highway bordering a national wildlife refuge.

TxDot, as it’s known, responded with a note suggesting that it was hurt, deeply hurt, by my suggestion that it was anything less than acutely sensitive to the needs of wildlife. But it would cost $1 million apiece for crossings in the area of that concrete barrier. Not that anyone was counting. They had only asked whether it was worth spending that kind of money on a species nearing extinction in this country so they could “learn and understand the historical dynamics of wildlife survival.” This was at a time when the relevant dynamic was that highway accidents were causing 40 percent of all ocelot deaths.

But occasionally good things happen, even in the unlikeliest places. So I am delighted to report that TxDot is now doing something to protect ocelots in their last remaining patch of habitat. (It may have helped that you and readers of other articles about the plight of the ocelots let your feelings be known, so thank you for that.) The state last month began installation of a dozen wildlife underpasses in and around the Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge, a 98,000-acre coastal habitat near Brownsville, at the mouth of the Rio Grande.

Four of them, spaced at half-mile intervals, will help ocelots get around (or under) that concrete divider on Highway 100, which runs south of Laguna Atascosa and carries heavy vacation traffic to South Padre Island. Another eight are already being put into place on FM106, which may sound like a radio station but is actually a farm-to-market road that borders and runs through Laguna Atascosa. The work there will cost just $1 million, because the tunnels are part of an overall upgrading of the road; the retrofit on Highway 100 will cost $5 million.

The work is happening at a critical moment for the ocelots. Fewer than 100 of them survive in and around the refuge, and seven have died in road accidents since last June. “We were devastated, since almost a year had passed with no reports of ocelots hit by cars,” said Hilary Swarts, a wildlife biologist who monitors the ocelots for the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. That first death took out an adult female, a major loss because females are the limiting factor in population growth. “Males can go impregnate multiple females in a relatively short time, but females have to gestate and lactate,” said Swarts. “Basically a female, from the second she gets pregnant, you’re talking about two years before she’s ready to have another offspring.”

Each gender has its little hell. The other six highway victims were males, not surprisingly, said Swarts, “since they have such a rough time of it once the older males start to see the younger males as competition for mates and territory.” The younger males typically get pushed out of the dense, brushy habitat where they grew up and into the increasingly developed outside world with its deadly highways.

While the progress on wildlife crossings is good news, it may not be enough to protect the ocelots adequately. Three of the recent deaths took place on a road called Highway 186, about five miles north of the refuge, where wildlife crossings are under discussion but are not actually being built. Last fall TxDot posted signs saying “Wildlife Crossing—Next Two Miles,” but it doesn’t appear to have helped: Another male died there just last month.

In addition to the new wildlife crossings, the refuge is working with neighboring landowners to establish permanent wildlife corridors for ocelots and other species in the area. Private landowners already have more of the ocelots than does the refuge itself, said Laguna Atascosa manager Boyd Blihovde. “Many times ranchers that are interested in hunting, even though they have crops or cattle on the property, will want to preserve native vegetation,” he said, including the thorn scrub vegetation that ocelots require. “My goal as a refuge manager is to help ranchers continue doing what they’re doing, owning and protecting the land, and maintaining a working ranch so they don’t feel the need to sell it off to developers.”

Subdivisions are almost as deadly as highways for the ocelots. Blihovde said the recent settlement in the BP Deepwater Horizon case will help that cause, with new funding available for ranchers to enter into conservation easements that will keep them on the land while protecting the conservation value of the property in perpetuity.

Meanwhile, two-and-a-half cheers for TxDot for getting the highway ocelot crossings started. And three cheers for those rare sensible people among us who drive a little bit slower than they might like, not just around Laguna Atascosa but anywhere with enough room for wildlife to thrive. I was driving on the coast of Maine the other day—yes, a little over the speed limit—and I had a sick feeling when a chipmunk bolted out in front and went thump under the left rear wheel. And that was just a lousy chipmunk. You don’t want to know what it must feel like to kill an endangered ocelot.

Another problem for the survival of ocelots in Texas is the difficulty in connecting with larger ocelot populations south of the US-Mexican border. George W Bush’s wall along the border already has done much damage to wildlife; and a still bigger Donald Trump wall would do still more damage.

Texas white supremacists want massacre of Muslims


This video from Texas in the USA says about itself:

5 April 2016

The Bureau of American Islamic Relations (BAIR) enjoys showing up at Muslim prayer centers armed with firearms in an effort to intimidate people trying to worship.

The hate group expected an average day of bigotry and aggression at the Nation of Islam mosque on Martin Luther King Boulevard in South Dallas, only to find themselves outnumbered by the armed self-defense group waiting for them.

Members of the community, along with the New Black Panther Party for Self-Defense and the Huey P Newton Gun Club, were there to protect the Muslims from the BAIR demonstrators.

Both groups made the most of open carry laws in Texas that allow residents to carry AK-47s and rifles on the streets.

There was a heavy police presence at the scene.

BAIR didn’t stay long, after being encouraged to leave by the police, Fox 4 reports.

“The community here in South Dallas, on Martin Luther King and Malcolm X spoke out, and you should see today, it wasn’t the Huey P Newton Gun Club that ran BAIR out of the community, it was the residents, and the people who live here who got BAIR out of here,” Balogun said.

From RT.com:

Extremist group in Texas trains to shoot Muslims with bullets dipped in pig blood

Published time: 29 May, 2016 11:43

Edited time: 29 May, 2016 11:52

An extremist group of white men in Texas are training against a Muslim “uprising” by dipping their bullets in pig’s blood and bacon grease to target victims.

The so-called “Bureau of American Islamic Relations” (BAIR) said using pig products to line the bullets would ensure victims would “go straight to hell,” according to a video released by AJ+.

This BAIR, this ‘Christian’ ISIS, reminds me of the ‘Muslim’ ISIS; who are afraid of death by the Kurdish women’s militia, as being killed by a woman supposedly leads to going to hell.

“A lot of us here are using either pig’s blood or bacon grease on our bullets, packing it in the middle so that when you shoot a Muslim, they go straight to hell,” says one man in the video, while another insists, “Don’t f*ck with white people.”

READ MORE: Florida gun-maker designs ‘ISIS-proof’ assault rifle

David Wright, spokesperson for the radical group, said he was “going to start doing something” about Muslims “now.”

READ MORE: ‘Islamophobia: New face of racism for the 21st century‘ — RT Op-Edge

“The next step in jihad does not involve random, sporadic attacks,” he told the news outlet. “They started killing people. Do you really expect me to stand here and wait until we get to that point?”

BAIR, which is based in the city of Irving, home of Ahmed Mohamed, the “clock boy”, fears of a takeover by thousands of Muslim refugees. The concern, however, appears to be short lived. From 2012 till 2015, the US accepted approximately 2,174 Syrian refugees, the Guardian reports. Despite that, the group already staged protests against accepting any asylum seekers.

“If you get to the point where there’s an Arab Spring, where there’s a lot of radical Muslims here and they all decide to hit the streets at one time… that’s going to be more of a battlefield type situation,” Wright adds.

Dressed in army overalls, several men from the group fire bullets from various locations as part of their training.

BAIR members have also staged armed protests outside mosques in Texas against the “Islamization of America.”

READ MORE: Massive ‘Islamophobia industry’ flourishes in US — RT Op-Edge

Islamophobic attitudes have been increasing in the US. In 2015, a YouGov poll showed that 55 percent of Americans have an “unfavorable” opinion of Islam.

Beth Van Duyne, the mayor of Irving, fuelled further tension by recently leading the city’s council to support a state bill with the purpose of blocking Muslim influence in US courts.

An “anti-Bair” Facebook group page was started by people from various religious backgrounds as a counter protest against the group.