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Grand Jury: No Indictment of Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson in the Shooting Death of Michael Brown

Wilson

A grand jury has decided not to indict Darren Wilson, the Ferguson police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown back on August 9. 

Earlier today, CNN reported on what would happen to Wilson should the jury not move forward with indictment charges:

If the grand jury clears him of wrongdoing and Wilson wants to remain on the job, he could put up a fight. The police union would back him, said Paul Callan, a CNN legal analyst and former New York prosecutor.

"In the end, he has certain due process rights under Missouri law, and they can't just summarily fire him because he's unpopular," Callan said. "They will have to prove that he violated some aspect of his employment contract as a police officer, or civil service regulations. Otherwise, he will have a very good lawsuit."

Still, most people believe Wilson will never again wear a badge.

"If I'm the mayor of Ferguson, believe me, you would want that cop out because you know that he will be controversial," Callan said. "He will be distrusted by the citizenry and maybe subjected to abuse when he's out on the street. It's just going to be nothing but trouble. They're going to find a way to get him out. They may try to buy him out."

Watch live feed of MSNBC's coverage of the news, AFTER THE JUMP...

UPDATE I: Lambda Legal reacts -

"While there will be debate and disagreement about the facts that led to the grand jury decision announced today in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown by Police Officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, MO, there is no debate about the facts that a terrible tragedy took place and that another unarmed young black man lost his life at the hands of a police officer. Around the country, we continue to witness similar tragedies and loss of life that have resulted from the deadly combination of racism, police profiling, excessive use of lethal force and a general disregard for the lives of black and brown people.

"We mourn Michael Brown and every victim of police violence by continuing to work for justice -- for better policing and fairer laws. As an organization fighting for the rights of LGBT people and people living with HIV, we know that bias and prejudice can lead to injustice. We believe that these issues must be addressed in a systemic way and that regardless of one decision, all of us must be active participants in holding law enforcement agencies accountable for ending the unchecked assault on the lives of all of our communities that are marginalized and criminalized -- whether on the basis of race, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression or economic status.

Update II: NCLR reacts -

“We vacillate between heartbreak and outrage at the decision from the grand jury. Injustice is too tame a word for what today’s decision represents. The fact that an unarmed black youth can be fatally shot by a police officer with no accountability or consequence is a chilling commentary on the worth afforded to young, black lives and the sorry state of racial justice in this country,” said Kate Kendell, Executive Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

“We stand with our colleagues in the broader civil rights community in condemning the grand jury decision, and send our strength and support to the family and friends of Michael Brown and the entire Ferguson community as they continue to grieve their tragic loss. We also urge the Department of Justice to take action to address the longstanding history of racialized intimidation and discrimination by the Ferguson police,” Kendell concluded.  

Update III: HRC reacts - 

"Michael Brown's family and the American people deserve to have this case fully adjudicated in a public trial. Today's deeply disappointing decision by the grand jury denies them that opportunity. Until we as a nation make a meaningful commitment to ending police profiling--and to fully prosecuting individual cases of brutality--the kind of violence that ended Michael Brown's life will only continue. As advocates for equality, it's our job to show solidarity with a growing national movement to break this cycle of police violence."

"While we cannot begin to imagine the pain that the Brown family is facing at this moment, we send our thoughts, prayers and condolences to them during this heartbreaking and difficult time. We also stand in solidarity with the family's encouragement of peaceful protests and reflection following this decision."

Continue reading "Grand Jury: No Indictment of Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson in the Shooting Death of Michael Brown" »


'Homophobic Attack' in Manchester's Gay Village Leaves Rugby Player With Broken Jaw

Attack

Manchester police are searching for a man (pictured above) in connection with a homophobic attack on Canal Street over the weekend that left a gay ruby player with a broken jaw.

Tom, 24, whose last name is being withheld, was promoting his LGBT rugby team, the Manchester Village Spartans, when the attack took place, Manchester Evening News reports:

Gareth Longley, spokesman for the Village Spartans, said: "We had been out on a recruitment drive that Saturday, and most of us were wearing Halloween outfits and had painted faces. We were just telling people what the club is about and trying to get new players and more support.

"When they walked into the Village a group of guys were making homophobic remarks at passers by. Our players walked up to them and everything calmed down and (the player) started chatting to them about the Spartans. One of the other group took offence and punched him in the face."

Det Con Louise Kelly, of GMP’s North Manchester division, said: “We believe this to be a homophobic attack and I want to make it clear that this kind of behaviour will not be tolerated on our streets.

Tom, who had to have a metal plate inserted into his face to repair his jaw, says the attack has left him shaken:

“It’s affected how I feel about going out in the Village and the gay scene in general. I was attacked on Canal Street, which is supposed to be a safe environment. I’m also not able to play rugby for three months while the plates in my jaw heal.”


NYPD Looking for Man Who Attacked Three Women in Alleged Anti-gay Hate Crime: VIDEO

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Police are investigating a possible anti-gay hate crime against three women that occurred last week in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn last week, Gothamist reports:

According to police, the incident occurred on October 26th at around 2:15 a.m. on Franklin Avenue near Greene Avenue. Cops say the suspect approached three women, ages 29, 34, and 36. He allegedly made anti-gay statements towards them before assaulting them.

The women all sustained minor lacerations to their faces, and were treated at Kings County Hospital. 

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call 800-577-TIPS, submit tips at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM, or text tips to 274637(CRIMES), then enter TIP577.

Watch surveillance footage of the suspect, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "NYPD Looking for Man Who Attacked Three Women in Alleged Anti-gay Hate Crime: VIDEO" »


Prominent LGBT Attorney From D.C. Killed In Dominican Republic: VIDEO

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The Washington Blade is reporting the shocking story of the Halloween-eve murder of a well-known and highly respected D.C. defense lawyer. Van Teasley, 55, headed to the Dominican Republic last Thursday for a long weekend and was found dead in his own apartment on October 30th, bound and gagged with no sign of forced entry. There have been no arrests or suspects in the case but local police in Santo Domingo are still investigating.

Back at home, Teasley often represented low-income and LGBT clients and was a regular presence at Washigton's Superior Court building. Local affiliate NBC 4 did a piece on Teasley's murder, saying that he visited his second home in Santo Domingo regularly, sometimes as often as once a month. His cousin speculated that Teasley may have grown "too comfortable" in a country known for religious intolerance when it comes to gay issues.

You can watch the full NBC 4 video AFTER THE JUMP...

(photo via Instagram)

Continue reading "Prominent LGBT Attorney From D.C. Killed In Dominican Republic: VIDEO" »


Activists Push For Hate Crime Designation in Brutal Knoxville Beating

Hatecrime

The Tennessee Equality Project is pushing law enforcement in Knoxville, Tennessee to prosecute the brutal attack of a local gay man, David Keck, as a hate crime. Keck was savagely beaten by suspect Dennis Wilder after Keck allegedly made sexual advances towards Wilder. The report of the night's events is according to Wilder who turned himself into police after beating Keck unconscious and stealing $100 in cash from him along with his car. WVLT reports:

According to witnesses, two men, identified as Wilder and David Keck, left Bullfeathers Bar and headed to Keck's place at the Brendon Park apartments off Cedar Bluff.

Wilder is quoted in a police report telling officers he had hit Keck "several times" after David came on to him sexually at the apartments.

When police showed up, they found David Keck "beaten unconscious," and say Wilder told them he was afraid he'd killed Keck.

Keck is currently suffering from short term memory loss due to the heinous attack. Wilder does not currently face any hate crimes charges, only aggravated robbery chargers, a fact the Tennessee Equality Project is looking to change:

"Thankfully because Tennessee does have sexual orientation under hate crime law the D.A. can ask for enhancement, which would be a stricter penalty as well," [said Gwen Schablik, the Tennessee Equality Project Committee Chair for Anderson, Knox and Blount Counties.]

The Knoxville Police Department says it is unlikely the district attorney's office will bring hate crime charges against Wilder.

Wilder is scheduled to be in court on Friday.

Keck shared the images above with WVLT "because he wants us to show and tell his story."


Seattle Teen Assaulted By Robbers At Bus Stop, 'Outed' To Mother By Text

Southwest Barton Bus Stop

A 16-year-old in Seattle was waiting for a bus on October 7th at around 4pm when a random group of thugs approached him, beat him up, and stole his phone and backpack that he dropped while trying to defend himself. To make life even more complicated, the teen found once he got home that his mother had received a text from his phone:

I'm gay, you know that

Which...is a weird prank for thieves to pull, but people un-evolved enough to be muggers tend to be the kinds of people that find calling other people "gay" to be both an insult and funny. The teen evidently had a past connection with at least one of the alleged attackers who was a former classmate of the victim. The teen didn't recognize and was unable to describe the other assailants, just that the group of four were all male.


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