oh look a drain just for me


oh look a drain just for me

(via slutgarden)


Anna, a middle class mom from Black Mountain, tells Speaker Tillis about how textbook cuts have left her son without a textbook to bring home, leaving her unable to help him with his homework. | Twitter | Facebook | Contribute | Volunteer | Store

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FERGUSON • The city of Ferguson plans to make changes designed to reduce court fine revenue, reform court procedures, and start a Citizen Review Board that will help keep an eye on and guide the Ferguson police department, the city council announced today.

They will also partner with Dellwood and St. Louis County to get funding for the West Florissant Great Streets Project.

“The overall goal of these changes is to improve trust within the community and increase transparency, particularly within Ferguson’s courts and police department,” council member Mark Byrne said in a statement. “We want to demonstrate to residents that we take their concerns extremely seriously. That’s why we’re initiating new changes within our local police force and in our courts.”

While the city is making these changes, they will hold ward meetings to get input from community members and anyone else who has ideas.

The next city council meeting is Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Greater Grace Church, 3690 Pershall Road.

The Citizen Review Board, which will work with the police department, will include those not involved in local government. The board will work with city administrators and the police chief in reviewing how the police department operates in order to help improve it.

On Tuesday, the council will introduce an ordinance that ensures court fine revenue stays at or below 15 percent of the city’s total revenue, and that extra revenue is used for special community projects instead of general revenue uses. Council members hope that this change “sends a clear message that the fines imposed as punishment in the municipal court are not to be viewed as a source of revenue for the city.” They hope this change will encourage the municipal judge and prosecutor to use alternative sentencing methods, like community service, as punishment. Another new ordinance will repeal the separate offense of “failure to appear” in municipal court. Defendants who don’t show up will no longer be fined for failing to appear.

The City Council will also introduce an ordinance to take away fees which might affect poor people more than others. They’d like to abolish the $25 administrative fee that goes along with towing costs; the city will now pay for that. The council will also take away a $50 warrant recall fee and a $15 notification fee that goes along with a case where a defendant has failed to appear.

The municipal judge has also established a special docket for defendants who are having problems making monthly payments on outstanding fines. This docket will allow those people another chance to talk to the judge or prosecutor to possibly modify a payment plan or seek alternative sentencing. The judge also established a warrant recall program which will run from Sept. 15-Oct. 15. Defendants with outstanding warrants are asked to call the court clerk to get information about having an existing warrant recalled.

The Great Streets Project means that the city will seek federal and state highway funds and other sources to improve the entire corridor of West Florissant.

The announced changes come in the wake of general demands to improve operations in police departments and municipal courts. Last week, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced a Justice Department investigation of Ferguson’s use of force, searches, arrests, and “revenue raising on the basis of traffic stops.”

Also, the ArchCity Defenders, a legal charity for low-income citizens, joined a group from St. Louis University law school in a letter calling for changes to a Missouri Supreme Court rule that would let municipal courts go easier on the poor.

The shooting of an unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown, on Aug. 9 by Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson triggered huge protests and clashes with police, which reflected long-standing racial divide in the region.

Um, they could try having more than three black officers out of 50+, too…

(via reagan-was-a-horrible-president)



I remember when I first found out the truth about “Somali pirates” I got chills because of how horrific the truth was and how insanely creepily well the media had twisted the situation. Every single fucking article making it seem like these “pirates” were just…

BREAKING: September 9th will be officially an entire month since the murder of Ferguson African-American unarmed teenage Michael Brown, at the hands of racist Ferguson PD Officer Darren Wilson. In this entire month, Officer Darren Wilson hasn’t been heard from, he has literally disappeared. He still has not been arrested, charged, or indicted in the murder of Michael Brown.



(via randomactsofchaos)


take care, 2014


take care, 2014

(via terroristbakesale)


Among the claims that ignited the fury over the fatal shooting of Michael Brown were that Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson chased the unarmed teen on foot, shot at him as he ran away, then fired a barrage of fatal shots after Brown had turned around with his hands up.

Almost all of the witnesses who shared these accounts with media either knew Brown; lived at or near the Canfield Green apartments, where the shooting occurred; or were visiting friends or relatives there.

But there were two outsiders who happened to be working outside at the apartment complex on Aug. 9 — two men from a company in Jefferson County — who heard a single gunshot, looked up from their work and witnessed the shooting.

Both have given their statements to the St. Louis County police and the FBI. One of the men agreed to share his account with a Post-Dispatch reporter on the condition that his name and employer not be used.

The worker, who has not previously spoken with reporters, said he did not see what happened at the officer’s car — where Wilson and Brown engaged in an initial struggle and a shot was fired from Wilson’s gun.

His account largely matches those who reported that Wilson chased Brown on foot away from the car after the initial gunshot and fired at least one more shot in the direction of Brown as he was fleeing; that Brown stopped, turned around and put his hands up; and that the officer killed Brown in a barrage of gunfire.

But his account does little to clarify perhaps the most critical moment of the confrontation, on which members of the grand jury in St. Louis County may focus to determine whether the officer was justified in using lethal force: whether Brown moved toward Wilson just before the fatal shots, and if he did, how aggressively.

At least one witness has said Brown was not moving. Others didn’t mention him moving, while still others have said he was heading toward Wilson.

There is no way to determine how many witnesses have spoken to law enforcement without making public statements. The worker acknowledged that his account could be valuable to the case because he did not know either Brown or Wilson and had no ties to Ferguson.

The worker said he saw Brown on Aug. 9 about 11 a.m. as Brown was walking west on Canfield Drive, toward West Florissant Avenue.

He said Brown struck up a rambling, half-hour conversation with his co-worker.

The co-worker could not be reached for comment through his employer. He previously told KTVI (Channel 2) that he had uttered a profanity in frustration after hitting a tree root while digging. Brown heard him and stopped to talk.

Brown “told me he was feeling some bad vibes,” the co-worker told KTVI in a video that aired Aug. 12. “That the Lord Jesus Christ would help me through that as long as I didn’t get all angry at what I was doing.”

The worker interviewed by the Post-Dispatch said he paid attention to little of the conversation. He said he heard Brown tell his co-worker that he had a picture of Jesus on his wall; and the co-worker joked that the devil had a picture of him on the wall.

The co-worker told KTVI that Brown promised to come back and resume their conversation; Brown walked away, and the workers returned to their job.

About a half-hour later, the worker heard a gunshot. Then he saw Brown running away from a police car. Wilson trailed about 10 to 15 feet behind, gun in hand. About 90 feet away from the car, the worker said, Wilson fired another shot at Brown, whose back was turned.

The worker said Brown stumbled and then stopped, put his hands up, turned around and said, “OK, OK, OK, OK, OK.” He said he told investigators from the St. Louis County police and the FBI that because of the stumble, it seemed to him that Brown had been wounded.

A private autopsy showed that all but one of his gunshot wounds came while Brown was facing Wilson. Shawn L. Parcells, who participated in the autopsy, said one of the wounds to the arm could have occurred when Brown was facing away from Wilson. “It’s inconclusive,” he said. St. Louis County and federal autopsy results have not been released.

Wilson, gun drawn, also stopped about 10 feet in front of Brown, the worker said.

Then Brown moved, the worker said. “He’s kind of walking back toward the cop.” He said Brown’s hands were still up.

Wilson began backing up as he fired, the worker said.

After the third shot, Brown’s hands started going down, and he moved about 25 feet toward Wilson, who kept backing away and firing. The worker said he could not tell from where he watched — about 50 feet away — if Brown’s motion toward Wilson after the shots was “a stumble to the ground” or “OK, I’m going to get you, you’re already shooting me.”

Among people who have spoken to the media, there hasn’t been a clear consensus on what happened after Brown turned around.

Dorian Johnson — a friend of Brown’s who said he was walking with him when Wilson approached them on Canfield and told them to get off the street — told CNN that Brown was “beginning to tell the officer he was unarmed and to tell him to stop shooting.” Johnson, 22, told KTVI Brown was starting to get down when he was shot.

Johnson also told MSNBC that Wilson began shooting before Brown “could get his last words out.”

Another witness who lives nearby, Michael T. Brady, 32, told CNN that Brown turned with his hands under his stomach. He also said Brown took one or two steps toward Wilson as he was going down when Wilson fired three or four more times.

Piaget Crenshaw, who lives in the Canfield apartments, and Tiffany Mitchell, her boss, were in different places in the complex. Crenshaw told CNN that Brown didn’t move toward Wilson. In several statements to reporters, neither has mentioned Brown moving toward Wilson.

The New York Times quoted James McKnight as saying Brown stumbled toward Wilson, who was 6 to 7 feet away.

Phillip Walker, 40, another Canfield Green resident, told the Post-Dispatch on Tuesday that Brown was walking at a steady pace toward Wilson, with his hands up. “Not quickly,” Walker said. “He did not rush the officer.” Walker, who is distantly related to a Post-Dispatch reporter not involved in this report, said the last shot, into the top of Brown’s head, was from about 4 feet away.

“It wasn’t justified because he didn’t pose no threat to the officer. I don’t understand why he didn’t Tase him if he deemed him to be hostile. He didn’t have no weapon on him. I was confused on why he was shooting his rounds off like that into this individual,” Walker said.

The co-worker in the KTVI interview said he “starting hearing pops and when I look over … I seen somebody staggering and running. And when he finally caught himself he threw his hands up and started screaming, ‘OK, OK, OK, OK, OK, OK.’”

He said the officer “didn’t say, ‘Get on the ground.’ He didn’t say anything. At first his gun was down and then he … got about 8 to 10 feet away from him … I heard six, seven shots … it seemed like seven. Then he put his gun down. That’s when Michael stumbled forward. I’d say about 25 feet or so and then fell right on his face.”

No witness has ever publicly claimed that Brown charged at Wilson. The worker interviewed by the Post-Dispatch disputed claims by Wilson’s defenders that Brown was running full speed at the officer.

“I don’t know if he was going after him or if he was falling down to die,” he said. “It wasn’t a bull rush.”

(via reagan-was-a-horrible-president)