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Tennessee House kills bill aimed at banning local reparations studies

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee’s Republican-dominated House of Representatives introduced latest laws on Wednesday that may prohibit local governments from paying for tuition or spending money on reparations for slavery.

The move marked a rare defeat for a GOP-backed proposal originally introduced nearly a yr ago. It was easily approved by the Republican-controlled Senate last April, but lawmakers ultimately stalled because the House was engulfed in controversy over the chamber’s expulsion of two Black Democratic lawmakers for participating in a pro-gun control protest. This protest followed the fatal shooting at an elementary school in Nashville.

Interest within the reparations bill resurfaced this yr as lawmakers and GOP Gov. Bill Lee were within the means of finalizing the removal and substitute of all board members of the state’s only historically publicly funded public university for Blacks, Tennessee State University. That has sparked more outrage amongst critics who say white GOP leaders in Tennessee have long distrusted black local leaders.

As the results of TSU intensified, House members appeared hesitant to carry a potentially explosive debate on compensation. The bill was briefly debated within the House of Representatives last week, but support remained unclear.

“The idea of ​​studying reparations doesn’t take anything away from you,” said Larry Miller, a black Memphis resident, during a temporary debate within the House of Representatives. “What’s inside you that lets you say, ‘Listen, we won’t study our history. We cannot even discuss our history, we won’t even study it with money from local taxes. It’s so outdated.

Greek Revival Architecture, Tennessee State Capitol, Nashville. (Photo by David Underwood/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Ultimately, House leaders waited until the last week of the session to revisit this measure. But as Rep. John Ragan, the bill’s sponsor, moved to the front of the House to start his opening remarks, one other Republican demanded that the assembly “table” his proposal – which might effectively shut down the Legislature for the yr.

Nearly 30 Republicans joined House Democrats in filing the bill, including House Speaker Cameron Sexton.

Before the vote, Ragan maintained that the bill was vital, arguing that reparations advocates desired to “take money out of our grandchildren’s pockets as a judgment for the actions of someone else’s great-great-grandfather.”

“Is it correct to say that all Americans today must bear the guilt of a small percentage of generations long past? NO. Punishing an innocent person for an act committed by another person is never appropriate,” Ragan said Wednesday.

Under House rules, no other lawmakers could speak through the vote.

“We decided to move on and do something else,” Sexton later told reporters. “You can always come back.”

Tennessee lawmakers began seriously considering banning reparations consideration only after the state’s most populous county, which incorporates Memphis, announced it will spend $5 million to check the feasibility of reparations for descendants of slaves and find “actionable items.”

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The decision by Shelby County leaders was prompted by the fatal beating of Tire Nichols by officers in January 2023.

However, the concept of ​​banning reparations has emerged in other states.

A Republican lawmaker from Florida proposed a constitutional amendment this yr that may prohibit state and local governments from paying damages, however the measure was not adopted. The Missouri Republican has introduced a bill that may prohibit any state or local government entity from spending money on compensation based on race, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation or economic class. This has not progressed up to now.

Meanwhile, other states, including California, New Jersey and Vermont, have eagerly moved to check reparations.


This article was originally published on : thegrio.com
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Watch: Advocacy group raises alarm over police reform and artificial intelligence racial bias

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Damon Hewitt, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, sits before the Grio’s “Hill with April Ryan.”

In this week’s edition of The Grio Journal, “The Hill with April Ryan,” we tackle the difficulty of police accountability, a top concern for a lot of Black Americans who proceed to call for the passage of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. Damon Hewitt, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, is amongst those calling for federal laws within the wake of the fatal police shooting of U.S. Airman Roger Fortson on May 3 in Florida.

Hewitt tells Grio that any “chance” of passing George Floyd laws would have occurred throughout the last Congress. Republicans, who currently control the U.S. House of Representatives, oppose working with Democrats to pass any bill that may tighten accountability measures for law enforcement officers. Meanwhile, the White House continues to induce Congress to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which was thwarted by Republican Sen. Tim Scott, who led negotiations on behalf of the GOP. Hewitt also spoke with theGrio about one other essential issue regarding racial justice: racial bias in artificial intelligence.

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This article was originally published on : thegrio.com
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NOLA residents unhappy with Mayor LaToya Cantrell’s efforts

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LaToya Cantrell, New Orleans Mayor


A recent survey conducted for the New Orleans Crime Coalition shows continued public dissatisfaction with Mayor LaToya Cantrell’s leadership.

For the second 12 months in a row, a majority of city residents expressed their disapproval of the mayor’s actions: only 31% expressed their support. According to the study, last 12 months only 30 percent approved her administrationwhile a staggering 60% were opposed.

Cantrell’s current disapproval rating of 59% comes as she has been embroiled in quite a few controversies, including her personal use of a city-owned apartment in Upper Pontalba and frequent taxpayer-funded out-of-town travel.

The New Orleans City Council voted to remove Cantrell this 12 months if she didn’t vacate the Upper Pontalba premises and take away her personal belongings by a certain date. Council Vice President JP Morrell, who sponsored the eviction petition, accused the mayor of “circumventing the law.”

Cantrell was also accused of upgrading her airline tickets to first-class using taxpayer funds. The Louisiana Ethics Commission found that 13 domestic and two international flights underwent upgrades at a price of nearly $30,000 over a two-year period.

Fox 8 also noted the federal investigation into Mayor Cantrell’s relationship with former security officer Jeffrey Vappie. As Dr. Robert Collins, a policy analyst at Dillard University, stated: “Society takes all these issues into account… In addition, they are dissatisfied with the fact that their city services are not provided effectively.”

While a brand new 2024 survey shows Cantrell’s approval rating for dealing with crime increasing from 24% to 29%, her disapproval rating is 62%. Additionally, its approval rating for solving infrastructure problems is just 24%, down one percentage point from the previous 12 months.

The annual survey, conducted May 29-June 4, 2024, is predicated on a representative sample of 800 accomplished interviews with adults (18 years and older) living in New Orleans. The racial composition of the sample is 58% African American, 35% Caucasian, and seven% other.


This article was originally published on : www.blackenterprise.com
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Florida police officers twice kicked down an innocent black woman’s door and forced her naked out of her home in front of multiple officers and her children

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Florida Deputies Bust Down Innocent Black Woman

The same Florida sheriff’s department that got here under fire last month for shooting and killing a black U.S. Air Force senior airman has been sued for twice breaking right into a black woman’s home and dragging her outside naked, where she was handcuffed and left standing in front of his house, in front of his two children.

LaTanya Griffin wasn’t even named on the warrant issued by Okaloosa County sheriff’s deputies after they broke into her home twice in the predawn hours in 2019 and 2020, waking her from sleep and ordering him to depart, in response to the federal lawsuit Griffin filed last month.

The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office can be the identical law enforcement agency whose deputy in November 2023 repeatedly shot at a police automobile containing an unarmed black man in handcuffs after he was startled by an acorn falling from a tree and hitting the police automobile. Deputy Jesse Hernandez resigned.

Florida police officers twice kicked down an innocent black woman's door and forced her naked out of her home in front of multiple officers and her children
Okaloosa County Sheriff Eric Eden (Photo: YouTube screenshot/WKRG)

Griffin’s lawsuit is one other black eye for law enforcement in the Florida Panhandle, which oversees a population of 212,000 people. The family of Airman Roger Fortson, who died last month in a questionable accident, can be prone to file a lawsuit following the arrest of attorney Benjamin Crump. The deputy on the case, Eddie Duran, was fired.

According to the Northwest Florida Daily News, in Griffin’s case, deputies were in search of a person named Tony Streeter, who was wanted on drug trafficking, firearms and arson charges. According to the Department of Justice, Streeter has already been convicted and is serving a 30-year prison sentence US Department of Justice.

It’s not clear from the lawsuit or Justice Department press releases what Streeter’s connection was to Griffin’s residence, however the only charges she ever faced in reference to the 2 raids were two misdemeanors stemming from the second incident: possession of lower than 20 grams of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia drug-related. But those charges were dismissed. Court records available online show Griffin’s only other run-ins with the law in the past were for traffic violations and evictions, but they were mostly civil matters.

In the lawsuit, Griffin names Okaloosa County Sheriff Eric Aden and retired Deputy Grady Carpenter, who oversaw each raids. Spokesman for the sheriff’s office he told McClatchy News that Aden was not sheriff during these two incidents and subsequently cannot comment on the matter.

However, Kevin R. Anderson, an attorney representing Griffin, told McClatchy News that he was being sued “in an official capacity,” not a “personal capacity.”

“Knowing that a person is naked or completely naked, not once, but twice, and then just being taken out of their apartment and into a public place for people to have access to what they look like… it’s just indescribable,” Anderson said . McClatchy News.

According to the lawsuit, the primary incident occurred on Aug. 29, 2019, and the second occurred on May 28, 2020. In each incidents, officers used battering rams to wake her from sleep and ordered her to go outside naked, where she was forced to face in front of multiple officers, including local, state and federal officers, for a “significant amount of time” in front of his 14-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter.

“Okaloosa sheriff’s deputies ultimately placed a sleeveless shirt over plaintiff’s head, providing partial coverage but not coverage of her genitalia,” the lawsuit says.

Griffin is searching for greater than $1 million in damages.

This article was originally published on : atlantablackstar.com
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