In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

A judge has struck down as unconstitutional Arkansas' voter ID law. Good.

[Content Note: Racism] Not good: A federal judge in Atlanta has dismissed a lawsuit brought by Teresa Ann Culpepper against Atlanta police and Fulton County officials after she was wrongfully arrested and held in jail for 53 days, "because she had the same first name as another woman wanted by authorities in an aggravated assault case." Even though, at the time of her arrest, Culpepper, a black woman, "provided officers with her driver's license that showed she did not have the same name and was not the same age as the real suspect" and showed that she "did not have a gold tooth that police were told the real suspect had," Culpepper was taken in custody, charged, and was only "cleared of the felony charges weeks later when the victim in the case saw Culpepper in court and said she was not the person who committed the crime—yet Culpepper was returned to jail and remained there for several more days before being released." Just a big misunderstanding, apparently, as a result of which none of the authorities must face consequences. Bullshit.

[CN: Guns; violence; police brutality; racism] Explicitly being called a "misunderstanding" by police is the shooting of Philippe Holland, a 20-year-old black man who was delivering pizzas when he was stopped by plainclothes police. Deputy Police Commissioner Richard Ross says: "As I understand it, they asked the male to stop. The male, in quick fashion, got in his car and he drove at a high rate of speed towards the officers. The officers then discharged out of fear for their lives. ...We are getting information that he is a pizza deliveryman, so it is a possibility he may have thought he was being robbed. We do know the police officers announced themselves as police officers; he may not have heard that. Again, what I stress is this is all preliminary at this point. It may just be an unfortunate set of circumstances all the way around." Holland is in critical condition. You may note that the police version of events sounds a lot like other stories we've discussed in this space, the contentions that Holland "drove at a high rate of speed toward the officers" and that the officers "feared for their lives." What's missing from this account, also familiarly, is any justification for why police were approaching Holland in the first place.

[CN: Police harassment; sex work shaming] In Louisiana, the House is considering legislation that would ban panhandling and solicitation, and the Democratic legislator who introduced it is unapologetic about his intent to empower police to harass sex workers: "New Orleans lawmaker Rep. Austin Badon said his legislation could cut down on the number residents begging motorists for money, but he proposed the bill for another reason. Badon said House Bill 1158, which prohibits solicitation, was answer to a call by law enforcement groups to help them crack down on prostitution. 'They needed something to be able to stop (prostitutes), question them and find out what they're doing,' said Badon... The legislation would allow for prostitutes to be 'hassled by the cops,' he said, likely prompting them to move on to another place or another state." Jesus Jones.

[CN: War on agency] This is what happens when you restrict access to abortion. Spoiler Alert: It doesn't stop abortions.

[CN: Rape culture] Fucking hell: "Penn State removed an iconic statue of late coach Joe Paterno from outside Beaver Stadium in 2012. Now State College residents are planning a new statue to honor the former Nittany Lions coach." Of course they are.

Baby zonkey. I repeat: Baby zonkey.

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