DOJ: Baltimore Police Department is racist
New report details rampant unconstitutional, illegal practices
1:44 PMA new report released Monday by the Department of Justice confirms what many in the black community have said for years: the Baltimore Police Department has been violating people’s constitutional rights for some time, based on race. The 164-page report outlines a pattern of illegal behavior, a culture of discrimination and “systemic deficiencies (that) lead to constitutional violations and erode community trust,” according to the report.
The obvious reaction here is: no shit. One need not look any further than a half-dozen officers receiving no punishment in the death of Freddie Gray Jr., recently to understand how a system built to protect law enforcement first, residents second and more cynically, if you’re a black resident, not at all.
“Public trust is critical to effective policing and public safety,” U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in a statement released shortly after the report went public. “Our investigation found that Baltimore is a city where the bonds of trust have been broken, and that the Baltimore Police Department engaged in a pattern or practice of unlawful and unconstitutional conduct, ranging from the use of excessive force to unjustified stops, seizures and arrests. The results of our investigation raise serious concerns, and in the days ahead, the Department of Justice will continue working tirelessly to ensure that all Baltimoreans enjoy the safety, security and dignity they expect and deserve. I am grateful to all of the community members, local officials, faith leaders and current and former police officers who spoke with us during the course of our inquiry, and whose input will remain critical to our efforts as we move forward. Additionally, I commend the city and BPD for its proactive and collaborative approach to our inquiry and for demonstrating a strong commitment to restoring public confidence by already taking steps to make needed changes. I look forward to continuing our work together to implement urgent and necessary reforms.”
It’ll take us a while to comb through the entirety of the document, but some reporters have already highlighted some extremely disturbing details. Huffington Post‘s Ryan Reilly excerpted one particular passage that appears to indicate an extremely problematic ground rule.
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Man, the table of contents page of the DOJ report on Baltimore police … pic.twitter.com/qJJTc9I1Qf
— CJ Ciaramella (@cjciaramella) August 10, 2016
Of course, there are always people who don’t understand how the concept of institutional injustice works and why the very underpinnings of the system are based on the basic notion of white supremacy. The idea is basic: If you are black and are believed to be doing anything wrong, any punishment up to and including death is not only what you deserve but effectively, also your fate. Hence, #BlackLivesMatter.
"Baltimore Police Department found 'routinely' discriminating; using force against blacks."
…Well who is 'routinely' committing crime?…
— Amanda 🇺🇸 (@FreeMediaUS) August 10, 2016
Which political party has been in charge of the Baltimore Police Department and the city for the last 50+ yrs? Could it be Democrat?
— Puddy (@USAalwaysFirst) August 10, 2016
Baltimore PD had a template for trespass arrests: Officers just add name, date.
"BLACK MALE" was already filled in. pic.twitter.com/Rb3AqQ5kFV
— Brad Heath (@bradheath) August 10, 2016
You never want to call it a victory when the simple fact of being heard and believed that the very people paid by tax dollars to protect you are in fact the ones preying on you is validated. But for anyone who’s grown up black in the United States of America, you know that Baltimore isn’t even close to the only place where this has been going down for decades, at minimum.
Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart
to co-host new dinner party series on VH1
6:11 PMWould you attend a dinner party hosted by two ex-convicts? What if the dinner party was on television and those two hosts were Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart?
As crazy as it sounds, the weirdest pair of
former felons friends is making it happen. On Monday, VH1 announced a new, and unscripted, series set to premiere this fall starring the 44-year-old rapper and 75-year-old businesswoman and TV personality, titled Martha & Snoop’s Dinner Party.
“At our dinner party, we will exemplify America’s fascination with food, entertaining and celebrity,” Stewart said. “Martha & Snoop’s Dinner Party will redesign the traditional food competition shows in a new, different and very funny way.”
Check out the promotional video the duo released on Good Morning America on Monday:
For some, the pairing of these two celebrities for a series that each week will produce “a half-baked evening of cocktails, cooking, conversation and fun where nothing is off-limits” might seem random. Those people, however, clearly don’t know Martha and Snoop. Oddly enough, these two celebrities are very close. And perhaps their most apparent commonality is the fact that both have had run-ins with the law over the years.
Snoop Dogg has a long criminal history dating back to shortly after his high school days in the ’90s when he was arrested for drug possession, forcing him to spend the three years in and out of prison. In 2004, Stewart was sentenced to serve five months in federal prison surrounding an insider trading scandal.
When the media mogul was released and made her comeback in 2005, her pal Snoop Dogg was there for her — especially when the cameras were rolling. Snoop appeared on Stewart’s cooking show in 2008 to make mashed potatoes. The two were also guests on Comedy Central’s Roast of Justin Bieber in 2015 and recently went on ABC’s game show $100,000 Pyramid together.
They even made brownies on her cooking show once, too.
Maybe those brownies will reappear at these dinner parties. And maybe they’ll include Uncle Snoop’s secret “ingredients.”
“Martha is smoking in the kitchen,” Snoop says in the promotional video, ” … and she can cook, too.”
Good thing those “ingredients” are legal now. Don’t want to risk any more jail time!
On this day: The Dream Team wins Olympic gold in 1992
The iconic squad made the world fall in love with hoops
2:45 PMLong before guys were accidentally walking into Brazilian brothels and inadvertently posting pictures of their anatomy to social media, there was a group of 12 basketball players that tore through the Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain, with a vengeance we’d never seen before. On Aug. 8, 1992, the U.S. Olympic men’s basketball team, known as “The Dream Team,” won gold. They smashed Croatia, 117-85, capping off the tournament run.
These days, anything less that a beatdown from the Americans is considered an embarrassment. Watching them play is borderline not fun, because there’s really no competition. But back in the ’90s, we were really here to watch the Chuck Daly-coached team run roughshod all over the world. And their uniforms are still some of the most fire this country has ever seen.
The most important thing about that tournament is that it definitely redefined the concept of success for a program that had quite a few ups and down in its history. In 1988, the team had won only the bronze medal in Seoul, South Korea, under head coach John Thompson. It would be the last time the United States did not field a team with NBA players.
In 2004, under Larry Brown — a squad featuring Allen Iverson, Stephon Marbury, Tim Duncan and a young LeBron James — the Americans finished third again. Then, USA Basketball decided it was time to rethink things altogether. Duke University men’s basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski took over, and after a rocky start in the 2006 FIBA World Championship (bronze), the team got things back on track with two straight gold medals at the Olympics.
Despite stories of late-night gambling and all-night parties from the ’90s in Spain — in an era when that kind of info wasn’t going to be leaked nor get anyone in trouble — it was a time when playing for your country meant a lot to everyone on the team. Losing was not an option, and the players who were famously left off the team (Isiah Thomas and Shaquille O’Neal) still don’t like talking about it much, because of the bitterness.
Perhaps most importantly, though, this team jump-started the globalization of the game on another level. Everyone saw the likes of Michael Jordan in his prime alongside Earvin “Magic” Johnson and an aging Larry Bird, all doing their thing. By the time the next Olympics came around, it was clear what happened.
The 1992 Dream Team was iconic not just for Americans, but the entire world, too.
Daily Dose: 8/8/16
The Williams sisters bow out of Olympic doubles
10:11 AMHappy Monday, gang. I got to do some radio Sunday night. ESPN’s Aaron Boone and Raul Ibanez joined me to talk about the legacies of both Ichiro Suzuki and Alex Rodriguez. If you want to listen, here you go.
What is the NFL doing with all that money it has? Because game-day operations don’t appear to be getting any cash funneled their way. In a bizarre sequence of events, the league canceled Sunday’s Hall Of Fame Game, because of poor field conditions. I’ve pretty much never heard of that happening, but apparently there were problems with the paint for the midfield crest, that just made things too unsafe. It seems that, depending on the issue, player safety really is a concern for the NFL. The Associated Press’ Barry Wilner reports.
The first family is officially on vacation. The Obamas are in Martha’s Vineyard for the next two weeks, for their final break while in the White House. If you recall, Sasha recently got a job there at a local restaurant. You know how when you used to work someplace and your parents or your friends would come in and eat or order something? Mainly to show support but most to embarrass you, to a certain extent? Imagine that scene with the president waltzing in to pick up a fish sandwich. Alas, we won’t get that pleasure, but hopefully they all find a way to relax.
Bernie Sanders’ supporters are really not giving in. The people who support the senator from Vermont are doing everything they can to make sure that Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has major issues. Many of them have no plan to show solidarity with the Democratic Party, even though Sanders himself has implored them to. Whether or not this will have a significant impact on the general election, we don’t know. But according to FiveThirtyEight’s Harry Enten, it appears that a least a third of Sanders’ supporters are not switching allegiance.
Something really wild happened in Rio on Sunday. The Williams sisters lost a tennis match. That’s something that had never happened before in Olympic history. Not only did they lose, but it happened in the first round. They fell to the Czech Republic’s Lucie Safarova and Barbora Strycova, not a particularly noteworthy pair. Venus also lost in the first round on the singles side. That means that Serena in singles is the only one in her family left. You’ve got to wonder if this is the beginning of the end, to some degree for their doubles career.
Coffee Break: If you’ve ever seen The Eric Andre Show, you know that it’s basically a completely ridiculous, marginally scripted cacophony of jokes and destruction. So when the notoriously serious rapper T.I. showed up for the season four premiere, my man wasn’t ready for the foolishness.
Snack Time: Reading letters to the editor is a great way to understand an audience. Every once in a while you get one that’s so on point that it needs to be shared. Such is the case with this writer, who completely nailed it.
Dessert: Hope your summer workout plans are going well. This guy’s are always on point.
Hillary Clinton gets covered up
Australian artist then has to remove image entirely after legal threats
The nature of street art is temporary, by design. You paint something on a wall. Eventually, someone paints over it. The time of its existence is part and parcel with the satisfaction of the experience of creating it and looking at it. So when a provocative piece goes up, there’s the chance that someone either complains or buffs it entirely. In the case of Lushsux, an Australian artist, both ended up happening.
Earlier this week, a mural of Hillary Clinton in a bikini that was designed after an American flag made a lot of noise. On the surface, the so-called shock value was obvious. Of course, local government complained, so the artist made an adjustment. He covered her in a niqab. Smart, no? Makes a good point about how ridiculous not only censorship is, but particularly in the case of allowing women to be themselves. A provocative mural doubled down.
Oh boy! Street artist faced with council fine for provocative mural of Hillary Clinton covers her up with a niqab! pic.twitter.com/4lIemepMdz
— Fifi Haroon (@fifiharoon) August 2, 2016
Then, guess what? He had to cover it up altogether. The council deemed it sexist. According to the National Post, he answered back on social media. “This is no longer a wall of a supposed ‘offensive and near naked’ Hillary Clinton, it is now a depiction of a beautiful Muslim woman. No reasonable person would consider this offensive,” the artist wrote in a post.
Looks like the council wins. GG pic.twitter.com/oHtynW8v2Q
— LUSHSUX (@lushsux) August 2, 2016
The Brujas are about that life
Meet the all-female skate crew from New York City everyone’s talking about
Skateboarding attempts to be inclusive. The notion that your board and your skills are all that matter are major tenets of the philosophy of the genre, but it doesn’t always work that way in practice. So, what you get is, per usual, girls being excluded because a bunch of dudes just can’t handle the basic concept of say, equality.
No matter for the Brujas, though. They’re a skate crew mainly from the Bronx, New York, that is not here for the nonsense and uses its collective genius to empower sisterhood. That’s what’s up. And they’re getting a lot of love these days. Vogue, The New York Times and Dazed, to name a few.
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These girls are dope.
Chicago police release shooting video
Officers fire into moving vehicle during incident
Just after a minute into this video, you can watch Chicago police shooting into a moving vehicle. You then see an officer cursing at and chasing a suspect, and then pushing his head into the ground during an arrest. We’re not experts on police policy here, but this appears to be rather reckless, to say the least. The teenager died.
Policing is hard, scary work. This video shows you what it’s like when the guys with the badges decide that guns are the best answer. This video is courtesy of the Independent Police Review Authority of Chicago. The incident occurred last week. WARNING: Footage and language is graphic.
Paul O’Neal is his name. He was 18 years old.
2 Chainz delivers more heat
New Music? 2 Chainz drops 10-track mixtape
12:00 PMKendrick Lamar, Kanye West, Chance The Rapper and Drake.
This year in the hip-hop world, those four rappers have been dominating the conversation. However, while those artists have been the center of attention, Atlanta rapper 2 Chainz has quietly been having a strong year.
2 Chainz has had a busy 2016, to say the least. In January, the Atlanta rapper released a short, six-song project titled Felt Like Cappin. Then in March, he followed it up with COLLEGROVE, a more commercial collab album with Lil Wayne.
On Thursday night, fans were anxiously waiting for Frank Ocean and Travis Scott to release their projects (which they didn’t). While they were waiting, 2 Chainz decided to bless the internet with a 10-track mixtape titled Daniel Son; Necklace Don.
Frank Ocean:You drop first
Travis Scott: No you drop first!
Frank Ocean: No you!
Travis Scott: No you!
Frank Ocean: No you!
— Kaelen (@Kaelennnnnn) August 5, 2016
According to his Twitter account, the new project was released early by 2 Chainz to beat the bootleggers to the punch.
The drop came to the joy of 2 Chainz fans everywhere.
Not even worried about this Frank Ocean album because I got some new 2 Chainz to distract me
— Dragonfly Jones (@Swellificent) August 5, 2016
While people have been waiting a long time for this new Frank Ocean project (sorry Rhiannon), this is the third 2 Chainz project in just this year alone. Say what you want about El Chapo Jr., but the man delivers.
Frank Ocean ❌
Travis Scott ❌
2 Chainz ✅
Believe in the heroes that actually come through pic.twitter.com/n2tnpEV6Id
— Tyler Conway (@jtylerconway) August 5, 2016
no frank ocean album but 2 chainz got a mixtape out so I ain't mad
— March21 (@_PrinceMohamed) August 5, 2016
Yes, 2 Chainz songs haven’t been dominating the radio like he did in 2011-2012. But the man is still putting out bangers for the whip and has one of the funniest Youtube video series of all time.
Will we get a Frank Ocean or Travis Scott project soon? Only time will tell. But for now, 2 Chainz got us.
Daily Dose: 8/5/16
All right, Rio — Let’s get this thing started
10:11 AMWilliam Rhoden is great, and Thursday night at the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) convention I was more than honored to moderate a panel for a great film, Olympic Pride, American Injustice, with him and director Deborah Riley Draper. Most fun I’ve had in a long while.
You want a real hardcore look at what our justice system is? Go no further than Dylann Roof. The white supremacist kid that walked into a Charleston, South Carolina, church and opened fire after a prayer meeting, then got to eat fast food courtesy of the police. Yeah, well, he’s trying to get off from the death penalty by arguing that it’s unconstitutional, as cruel and unusual punishment. You don’t say. Also, some guy assaulted Roof in jail Thursday and people are giving him money for it.
The Donald Trump circus continues into the weekend. For his latest trick, the Republican presidential nominee is now describing things he’s never seen to wide audiences, claiming to have a firm grasp on their belongings. If you weren’t aware, the United States of America occasionally drops straight-up cash payments on people to settle scores. It’s kind of obnoxious but also respectable at the same time, lest you divest yourself from the reasons why it’s happening, which is near impossible. Anyway, the last time it happened, Trump didn’t see a video of the transaction. But, he says he did. Or something.
Full disclosure: Watching bears eat fish is a favorite pastime of mine. Seriously, I’ve got these live cams on deck of these ursine creatures standing in moving water and trying to snag these salmon. It’s one of the most bizarrely therapeutic, circle of life type things you can do. (If you’re counting, this is day two of bear news on this blog.) ANYWAY, here’s a question for you, in the form of a riddle from FiveThirtyEight’s Oliver Roeder. Should the grizzly bear eat the salmon?
By the way, the Olympics “start” Friday. I say that in such a way because multiple events have already gotten underway, but the opening ceremonies aren’t until Friday night. This is the part where I remind you that the person who popularized the Olympic march is a guy who also thought that genocide made sense. Yes, it was Adolf Hitler and the Nazis who created this tradition, so just think about that when you’re watching your favorite athletes parade through Rio de Janeiro. Also, here’s a great story about what athletes do with their medals after winning.
Coffee Break: This isn’t “news” in the truest sense of the word, but it’s worth noting that rapper Snoop Dogg is producing a new television series about two women who run a weed delivery service in California. Snoop, please never stop being you.
Snack Time: I’ve got a buddy who lives in Hong Kong. He’s the one who got married in Italy, which is why I was there. When I finally go visit him, I’ll stop at his place first. Then, I’m immediately going to this joint. Obviously.
Dessert: It’s the weekend. And Miguel’s got a new track out. You’re welcome.
Daily Dose: 8/4/16
Tiger Woods’ career is waning, and Nike Golf is suffering
I played spades Wednesday night. I just need you to know that, because it’s the most fun card game on Earth. That is all.
When the headline reads “Family of Bears Enjoys Outing at California Lake,” then it leads. Let’s take this to its logical conclusion: A family of bears woke up in the morning, deciding that day, they were going to take a dip in the glorious waters of Tahoe, as you do. Mama Bear said, “Cubs, we’re going for a swim. Don’t forget your trunks.” Then, when they arrived they bathed graciously, unlike many of the rude humans around gawking and talking. Just kidding, this is quasi terrifying but also mega cute and why we shouldn’t encroach habitats, folks.
Ikea, for all its greatness, brings out the worst in people. The absolute worst. If you’ve ever been there with a significant other, never mind your parents, you know what I’m talking about. And because it’s all open plan and public, when you disagree with bae about which side table fits better in the guest room: everybody knows. My god, it’s awkward, but it’s part of the deal. You will watch people fight when you go to Ikea. VICE‘s Yasmin Jeffery asked a psychologist to break down what we’re looking at when we see these pre-Swedish meatball disagreements.
Have you ever seen the movie Minority Report? It’s a sci-fi “tech noir” movie about people who can see the future and thus predict crimes before they happen. Crazy, right? We wouldn’t want a society in which people were assumed to be committing crimes and thus throwing them in jail or killing them, as a result, would we? Oh wait, we have that. The next step to that is giving people longer sentences for one crime, based on another that they *might* commit. Check out FiveThirtyEight’s investigation into what Pennsylvania is trying to do next.
So, Tiger Woods just sunk Nike Golf. This is mind boggling. Back when he was at the height of his powers, every new school kid on the course was rocking whatever Eldrick had on. This was proverbial par. If he was the one that got you into the game, you were about this swoosh life. His influence was wide enough to hold up an entire golf equipment business. I’d like to think that Elin smashed that truck with a Nike 5-iron, too. Anyway, ESPN’s Darren Rovell reports that the Beaverton, Oregon, retail behemoth is now out of that business. Wow.
Coffee Break: Old guy entry alert. Back in the day, I had a friend who was a subscriber to Nintendo Power. It was somehow better than him having an actual NES game system. It was the first magazine I remember genuinely being excited to read every time I saw it. And someone digitized an archive of it. Yessssssss.
Snack Time: The internet is telling me that Eminem has a beef with Drake over something said on a terrestrial radio station that may end up in a battle on Apple Music. Old guy rap sucks.
Dessert: This should be a fun show.