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Gun-toting black activist blasts FBI after their case against him falls apart: ‘It’s tyranny at its finest’

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The first known “black identity extremist” jailed after making pro-black and anti-police brutality Facebook posts has spoken out following his release from jail.

In an interview with The Guardian, activist Rakem Balogun discussed the ways in which the government’s surveillance of his political activity were a form of “tyranny.”

Balogun, who co-founded the revolutionary black power group Guerilla Mainframe and Huey P. Newtown Gun Club that promotes black gun ownership, was arrested in the middle of the night by the FBI in December 2017 after being surveilled for more than two years for what the government considered anti-police sentiments.

During Balogun’s trial, special agent Aaron Keighley testified that the government first became aware of a March 2015 rally the activist participated in from an Infowars video about it.

“They’re using a conspiracy theorist video as a reason to justify their tyranny?” Balogun said. “That is a big insult.”

In court, the agent cited Facebook posts Balogun made saying murdered police officers “deserve what they got” in justifying the bureau’s middle-of-the-night arrest that left the activist and his 15-year-old son freezing in just pajamas in December, but ultimately admitted they had no evidence he was planning on attacking police.

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“They were really desperate,” Balogun said of his arrest where his guns and books about black self-defense were seized. “This is pretty much like Stalin 1950 – ‘You show me the man. I show you the crime.’”

In his one-count indictment, federal prosecutors alleged Balogun — whose legal name is Christopher Daniels — was not allowed to own firearms “due to a 2007 misdemeanor domestic assault case in Tennessee.” A judge ruled in the beginning of May that the law did not apply, effectively killing the government’s case against Balogun that had uprooted his life and led to him losing his home.

“Since his release one week ago, Balogun has also been forced to confront the harsh reality of life post-incarceration,” the report noted. “He lost his vehicle, job and home; his son was forced to move and transfer schools and Balogun missed much of the first year of his newborn daughter’s life.”

“It’s tyranny at its finest,” the 34-year-old told the Guardian. “I have not been doing anything illegal for them to have surveillance on me. I have not hurt anyone or threatened anyone.”

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Trump’s first term: hits and misses

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"Promises made, promises kept," goes one of President Donald Trump's main 2020 reelection slogans. Is that true?

Here are some of the key policy hits and misses -- comparing his accomplishments to his promises -- from a tumultuous first term.

- HITS -

Economy:

The economy will be Trump's major selling point.

GDP grew 3.1 percent in the first quarter of 2019 and the last recession was a decade ago. Unemployment is at a 50-year low of 3.6 percent.

Trump's frequent claim that the economy is probably "the best" in US history is an exaggeration, though.

Economists see growing dangers, including exploding government debt and growing backlash from Trump's aggressive trade policies, especially with China.

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The racist roots of American policing

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Outrage over racial profiling and the killing of African Americans by police officers and vigilantes in recent years helped give rise to the Black Lives Matter movement.

But tensions between the police and black communities are nothing new.

There are many precedents to the Ferguson, Missouri protests that ushered in the Black Lives Matter movement. Those protests erupted in 2014 after a police officer shot unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown; the officer was subsequently not indicted.

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Ocasio-Cortez: ‘We’re going to fight to repeal the Hyde Amendment’

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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) started a petition Saturday seeking to repeal the Hyde Amendment, which bars the use of federal funds for abortions, arguing the restriction overwhelmingly harms low-income Americans and women of color. AOC emailed her supporters:

“Since 1976, our government has banned federal funding for abortion care — specifically, for Medicaid recipients. Countless studies have shown that due to this amendment, millions of women have been forced to go through with pregnancies that, given the funding, they would have otherwise terminated. "

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