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Overwhelming racism still prominent in today’s world

When you work for a publication, or just pay attention to the news, it’s hard to miss the racism constantly popping up in headlines.

Of the more popular stories to hit newsfeeds are people like BBQ Becky, Permit Patty, and then the woman who called the police on a little boy mowing a lawn. As for Becky and Patty, what were the devastating crimes they needed to end with their vigilantism? Well, BBQ Becky called the police on a black family for using a charcoal barbecue in a park (gasp!) and Permit Patty called the police on an 8-year-old black girl for selling water bottles to try and help her family raise money for a Disneyland trip. The nerve, right?

Though, stories like this didn’t stop there. Naturally, these stories just kept coming into the news and it was hard to keep up with all of them. I recently saw a video of a man named Adam Bloom (now known as ‘ID Adam’) who called the police on a black woman, Jasmine Abhulimen, for swimming in a neighbourhood pool with her son. She filmed the entire altercation. Police confirmed what Abhulimen was saying the whole time: it doesn’t say anywhere at the pool that you need to have identification to get in. She obviously had her own key card to get in, which the police tested to shut Bloom up, and that was it. The police apologized for Bloom nonsensically calling the police, and Abhulimen then asked him if he would apologize. He didn’t.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. When minorities aren’t being singled out, police are doing their fair share in contributing to the violence and discrimination often shown from those in the community.

If you look at the collection of deaths that have taken place at the hands of police, the number is staggering. Oftentimes, the crimes are non-violent and police use excessive force to apprehend the suspects.

My boyfriend and I were talking about this over the weekend. Neither of us is sure how to fix this issue and to be honest, I don’t know if the problem will ever be fixed. Why? Simple. Racism has existed for hundreds of years and it doesn’t look like it’s on the path to stopping anytime soon. Why would it when the police who gun down innocent minorities aren’t indicted or former cops say they don’t think about the victims they kill because “it doesn’t matter at this point.” Or maybe all you need to do is cry on the stand like Jeronimo Yanez after he shot Philando Castile dead in front of his girlfriend and a 4-year-old girl. Yanez pulled Castile over, and Castile disclosed there was a legal, licensed weapon in the car. When Yanez asked for ID, Castile reached for his wallet and was shot five times. Yanez told jurors that “I had no choice” because he thought Castile was going to shoot him when he was reaching for his wallet.

Again, this isn’t the first time that this kind of thing has happened. Look at Charles Kinsey. Kinsey was a mental health therapist who was shot with his hands up as he tried to talk to a patient with autism. The patient, who wandered from the group home, was playing with a toy truck and police thought it was a gun because… of course they did. So, Kinsey tried to defuse the situation by telling the patient to lay on his stomach. Kinsey then put his hands up and laid on his back, telling police what was going on. Officer Jonathon Aledda approached and still shot him. When Kinsey asked him why he did, Aledda literally told him, “I don’t know.”

Though, it would be unfair to say that justice isn’t served on occasion. Blake Salamoni was fired from the police force after shooting Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge. Christ, Dylann Roof received the death sentence for his mass murder in Charleston, wherein he walked into a church and murdered nine black people. He also laughed when he confirmed that that committed the hate crime.

Even so, these instances of justice don’t make certain neighbourhoods or countries any safer. Sure, sometimes justice is served, but nine times out of ten it’s not. Are people okay with taking that gamble? These are human lives and they’re treated as the inferior. Many don’t need to worry about what it’s like to walk down the street and fear for your life when a cop walks by. Many don’t know what it’s like to teach your children rules about how to stay safe lest you get assaulted by police. What kind of a world is that?

At this time, I’m reminded of a quote from Heather Heyer. Heyer was a 32-year-old murdered in Charlottesville during counter-protests against “Unite the Right,” which was a rally of white nationalists and right-wing groups. She was on the opposing side, instead fighting for justice and peace. Naturally, someone needed to drive a car through the opposing side and murder Heyer while injuring 19 others.

The last tweet that she ever sent out read: “If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention.” Look at the world around you. There are still plenty of reasons to be outraged.

Brampton assault suspect turns himself in

A Brampton man turned himself in to Peel Regional Police after video surveillance showed him assaulting a young woman in front of a building complex.

Peel Regional Police said that the assault happened on June 1 at approximately 7:45 p.m. A woman was approached by a man at a convenience store close to Kings Cross Road and Knightsbridge Road, which is near Central Park Drive and Queen Street East. The suspect attempted to make conversation with the woman but she left, which prompted the suspect to follow her to an apartment complex in a silver car.

Once he approached, the video shows the suspect running up to the woman and grabbing her hand away from the child. He then spins her around and an altercation takes place before she wriggles free. The suspect attempts to run off but swiftly returns, pulling her hair and slapping her. The woman threw a drink in his face before he grabbed her. The suspect then ran off back to his silver car.

Toward the end of the 0:50 second video, the woman pulls out her phone and stops a passerby in the complex to presumably tell them about the altercation.

Police released the video footage in an attempt to identify the suspect. They added that the suspect sexually assaulted the woman. The man was described as being a South Asian male in his early 20s to early 30s who was last seen in a grey t-shirt, dark pants, and glasses. He was also described as having a medium build.

Since the video footage was released, a 24-year-old man turned himself into police. CBC reported that the suspect has several charges against him including sexual assault and criminal harassment.

In an interview with CP24, Constable Sarah Patten called the altercation “disgraceful.”

“I’m just glad that there were no injuries or anything to the child,” she told CP24. “I believe at this time that she (the victim) is alright, there are no serious injuries at this point.” She added that there is no evidence the two people knew one another prior to the attack.

Sexual assault rate in Canada remains unchanged after 13 years

A new report was released Tuesday by Statistics Canada that showed the rate of self-reported sexual assault in 2014 was about the same as it was in 2004 — a disturbing fact, but not very surprising.

Considering the trauma of a police questioning and court hearings, in addition to the circus of high-profile sexual assault cases in the media, it’s not a shock to see that women still feel uncomfortable reporting an attack. These women are often judged for what they were wearing and what they were drinking. More often than not, it is assumed the woman “wanted it” or “led them on”. Not to mention 1 in 5 cases are determined baseless by the police.

Why would anyone go through all of that willingly?

According to Statistics Canada, in 2014 there were 22 incidents of sexual assault for every 1,000 Canadians over the age of 15. This equates to 636,000 self-reported incidents, which is similar to statistics collected in 2004. Just when you think society is starting to evolve, it goes backwards.

“Sexual assault is one of the most underreported crimes,” the report reads. “Research has attributed this to a wide range of reasons, including the shame, guilt and stigma of sexual victimization, the normalization of inappropriate or unwanted sexual behaviour, and the perception that sexual violence does not warrant reporting.”

Of these sexual assaults, 87 per cent were committed against women.

This report is proof that Canada still has a long way to go towards supporting women after they have reported a claim of sexual assault. The majority of these women are between the ages of 15 and 24, meaning they were students. While many Canadian campuses have changed (or are in the midst of changing) their sexual assault policies, it isn’t happening fast enough.

And then there are the moments in which a sexual assault case is actually taken in front of a judge who doesn’t understand the difference between consent and an unconscious woman. Women are constantly being forced to explain and define the term “consent” — something that is probably dissuading a lot of women from actually reporting these horrific assaults.

The Canadian government has made changes to laws and encouraged college campuses to update their policies, but obviously there hasn’t been enough done to reduce the stigma of sexual violence or support victims of assault. My only hope is that somebody, anybody, steps up to help change the stigma of sexual assault. Police, government, and university agencies need to step up and take an active role in altering not just policies, but also cultural norms surrounding crimes of a sexual nature.

In another decade, let’s hope Canada doesn’t see a report similar to this one.

 

Note about survey: About 33, 127 people across 10 provinces responded to the General Social Survey for which this report was based.

Breaking news – another man waving pocket knife shot by police in L.A.

It’s hard not to think that violence has escalated beyond reason. With more and more reports of white police officers killing innocent black men – this latest in L.A. – just hours ago.

Witnesses say the man was waving a Swiss army knife and the police officer panicked, it’s a story we are hearing far too often — and it is due to a lack of proper police training.

North American police forces need to take a lesson from their Japanese counterparts who are trained in taiho-jutsu, which translates to “arrest technique.” Using a gun has incredible consequences for police officers in Japan and it should here too. Why shouldn’t each and every police officer be required to have extensive training in martial arts so that they know how to disarm and find calm in a hostile situation? What is stopping us?

or here: http://facebook.com/theperfectURL

While many in the media are defining this a “racial tension,” the issue has much more to do with a lack of training, with a lack of respect for human life, and with a culture that puts the police above those they have sworn to protect. There are serious changes needed in our system of policing and to blame the police for their lack of training, or the victims (many with severe psychotic issues) is the wrong approach. Let’s fix the problem before it gives rise to more riots and unrest. The same conditions that create civil unrest are growing and it’s time to address the fact that North America has a very poor record when it comes to policing.

In August of this year in Ferguson, Missouri, a white policeman killed an unarmed black teenager and a grand jury refused to indict the police officer.
On Wednesday a New York grand jury cleared a white police officer for his July choke-hold of 43 year old black father of six.

Tonight another man was shot by police in L.A. why am I numb?