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Massachusetts court finds that it’s ‘reasonable’ for black men to run from police to avoid racial profiling

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The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court found that it’s entirely reasonable for black men to run from police to “avoid the recurring indignity of being racially profiled.”

The court tossed out a Boston man’s gun conviction Tuesday after reviewing studies by the American Civil Liberties Union and the city’s police department that showed black men were far more likely to be stopped and frisked between 2007 and 2010, reported WBUR-FM.

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Jimmy Warren was arrested Dec. 18, 2011, while police were investigating a burglary in the Roxbury neighborhood.

Officers were given a vague description of three black suspects wearing hooded sweatshirts, and they approached Warren and another black man in dark clothing.

The pair fled as officers approached, and Warren was later arrested and searched.

Police didn’t find any illegal items on him, but they found an unlicensed .22-caliber handgun in a nearby yard and charged Warren with unlawful possession of a firearm.

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He was later convicted on the weapons charge, but the Supreme Court overturned that conviction after finding that police had no right to stop Warren based on the “vague” and “ubiquitous” description provided by dispatchers.

“Lacking any information about facial features, hairstyles, skin tone, height, weight, or other physical characteristics, the victim’s description ‘contribute[d] nothing to the officers’ ability to distinguish the defendant from any other black male’ wearing dark clothes and a ‘hoodie’ in Roxbury,” the court found.

The court also found that police should not have considered Warren’s decision to flee as suspicious.

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Individuals have the right to walk away from police if they haven’t been charged with anything, and the court also found that it’s not unreasonable for black men to flee police to avoid harassment.

The court found that police may consider flight as suspicious, even when the subject is a black man, but they said it should not be considered evidence of guilt.

“We do not eliminate flight as a factor in the reasonable suspicion analysis whenever a black male is the subject of an investigatory stop,” the court ruled. “However, in such circumstances, flight is not necessarily probative of a suspect’s state of mind or consciousness of guilt.”

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The majority found that black men were so frequently targeted for harassment by police that it was reasonable for them to run away from officers to avoid those humiliating confrontations.

“Rather, the finding that black males in Boston are disproportionately and repeatedly targeted for FIO [Field Interrogation and Observation] encounters suggests a reason for flight totally unrelated to consciousness of guilt,” the court found. “Such an individual, when approached by the police, might just as easily be motivated by the desire to avoid the recurring indignity of being racially profiled as by the desire to hide criminal activity.”

The court ruled that judges should consider racist law enforcement policies before holding a black man’s decision to flee against him in criminal cases.

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“Given this reality for black males in the city of Boston, a judge should, in appropriate cases, consider the report’s findings in weighing flight as a factor in the reasonable suspicion calculus,” the court ruled.


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Former George W. Bush aide reveals why Republican talking points on Syria are complete crap

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During the weekend news shows, President Donald Trump's aides and allies took to televisions to justify the United States allowing Turkey to kill U.S. Kurdish allies.

"New Trumpist talking point," former George W. Bush speechwriter David Frum began. "The only way to stop Turkey['s] massacre of Kurds is to go to war against Turkey."

That's an inaccurate framing, Frum explained.

"Turkey never believed that: that's why they asked Trump's permission to invade," he said. "All he had to do was say No. He said, Yes. Why? All the plausible answers are corrupt."

https://twitter.com/davidfrum/status/1183446682492637184

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John Dean laments Trump probably should be registered as a foreign agent

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While many of President Donald Trump's campaign staffers, advisers or friends have been outed for doing foreign work while being an unregistered foreign agent, one former White House counsel thinks Trump should also probably register.

"In addition to other impeachable offenses, Trump should be charged with failing to register as a foreign agent under FARA," said Twitter user Connie Gruen.

Dean noticed the tweet and retweeted with his own note that it's "sadly" probably true.

"Sadly, this is probably true," agreed Dean. "Mueller did not investigate if Trump is, in fact, a Russian agent. Barr does not believe a POTUS can be investigated for anything, so the FBI is not. Because he acts like a RU agent Congress should be investigating his consistently pro-RU behavior!"

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Kanye ripped for latest Trump defense: Always someone willing to write a check to ‘a black person defending white supremacy’

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Kanye West hugging Trump

A panel discussion on recent concerts put on by Kanye West in Salt Lake City and Howard University turned to his new recent comments he made defending his support for Donald Trump -- with one panelist saying the rapper is getting paid on the side for siding with the president.

Speaking with host Kendis Gibson, guests Danielle Moodie-Mills and Clay Cane were harshly critical of West trying to drum up black support for the president as well as his recent comments on slavery.

"What is going on here?" Gibson began. "So you saw the pictures of Kanye West in the middle of Salt Lake City. He drew about 10,000 people here at Howard University, it was a smaller crowd because they didn't get the e-mail about it until 6:00 a.m. on homecoming weekend. Largely, a lot of people who are going to these shows are black folks. These are some of the scenes in Salt Lake City, so people are wondering: is he sort of like Trump's secret weapon, a secret outreach to the black community? "

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