June 18, 2018
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The Kansas Human Rights Commission issues "Probable Cause" determinations in 2 Kansas Racial Profiling Cases

100 Years, Speaking Truth to Power  
In This Issue
Racial Profiling
Message from NAACP about Troy Davis
Sotomayor vs. SCOTUS
Reflections on LDS500
CBCF Stimulus Resource Guide

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Special Note:
Yesterday Morning, Dr. George Tiller of Wichita Kansas was murdered while in Church .
This shocking act of violence reminded me of a quote from Dr. King who in response to a tragedy once said, "It shows that our society is still sick to the point that we express dissent through murder, and we have not yet learned to disagree without being violently disagreeable..."

Regardless of which side of the debate we may prefer, we ask that you please join us in prayer for the Tiller family, and the families of those affected, for our fair city and for our Nation as a whole, that we may somehow rise above our differences, come together, and bridge this divide.
The Kansas Human Rights Commission issues "Probable Cause" determinations in 2 Kansas Racial Profiling Cases 


The Kansas Human Rights Commission (KHRC) has issued findings of Probable Cause in two recent Racial Profiling cases. The most recent was a case involving the Kansas Highway Patrol.

In the most recent case, the complainant was driving a late model SUV which had been modified with a tinted cover placed over the headlights. The Officers in the case spotted the driver and turned around to follow. The complainant, after seeing the officers turn around and visually seeing the expression on the face of one of the officers, pulled over to the side of the road voluntarily, without lights, sirens, and without having been ordered to do so. The complainant, who was black, questioned the officer as to why he had been stopped and he was told that he was stopped because he had a film over his headlights which was a violation of Kansas Statute. The driver was then ticketed for the infraction.

The driver asked the Officer for his name and badge number, and was told that it would appear on the citation. The badge number did appear on the  citation, however the Officer's name did not.

Upon investigation from the KHRC, it was learned that less than 35 minutes later, the same Officers were involved with another traffic stop, this time of a white motorist with the same type tinted cover placed over their headlights. And while the two drivers were similarly situated, the officers simply asked the white motorist to remove their headlight covers and allowed him to continue with a verbal warning.

The KHRC's report closes by saying, "The end result is that two similarly situated drivers, one African American and one Caucasian, who violated the same traffic law only minutes apart, received disparate treatment as evidenced by one receiving a ticket and one receiving a warning from the same officer."

The second case involved a driver in Junction City Kansas who was stopped and ticketed for "failure to signal 100 yards before exiting a highway." The driver, who is a Hospice Chaplin, was driving a late model Cadillac with California plates. The car belonged to his Uncle, who was a retired 33-year veteran of the California Sheriff's Department, and the complainant was returning home from his Uncle's funeral.

The Officer followed the complainant for several miles during which time he ran a National Crime Center Information Check (or NCIC) Once the check had come back clear, the Officer continued to follow the vehicle until finally pulling him over for an alleged failure to signal 100 feet prior to exiting.

During the subsequent KHRC investigation, the respondent stated that the real reason for the stop was because the vehicle had California Plates. The Respondent stated that due to the amount of Drug Traffic on Interstate 70, officers had been instructed to pay special attention to out-of-state plates.

As a part of the investigation, the KHRC requested validation of the Police Department's directive to Officers that they should stop or investigate vehicles with out-of-state plates. The Department provided no evidence of any statistical information or training modules that had been compiled or shared with Officers, and produced no documentation of policies or directives for officers to stop or investigate vehicles with out-of-state plates.

The KHRC also requested to view the dash camera recording of the stop. The Department advised that since there was no citation issued, they disposed of the video. In it's place, the Officer wrote a narrative of the stop after the complaint was filed and the narrative was maintained.

When asked during the course of the investigation, the Officer advised the KHRC that he did not follow every vehicle with California plates.

The KHRC's report concludes with the statement: "Lacking tangible evidence or reliable training to base what is a very non-specific practice of stopping some California cars for interdiction, we must consider the contention by the Complainant that his race was a factor in the officer's decision to stop that particular car from California. While "sole factor" is a very high standard to attain, our function  as defined by the KSA 22-4611 and KHRC policy is to determine if there is "Probable Cause" to believe that the officer based his decision to stop this particular car from California based solely on the race of the occupants. We do that in this case."


The Wichita Branch NAACP worked in concert with Citizen's for Equal Law Enforcement and Senator Donald Betts to draft and lobby for passage of the Kansas Racial Profiling act. We currently serve as a point of intake for Racial profiling complaints filed under the statute and we continuously monitor all Racial Profiling cases filed throughout the State. We are currently assisting one of the aforementioned complainants in their efforts to obtain legal counsel. 
Message from NAACP President Ben Jealous on Troy Davis -- Lift the Gag Order, Let Troy Speak 


[Friday 5-29]

 A few hours ago, I met with Troy Davis on death row.

As you know, he is facing the death penalty in Georgia for killing a police officer -- but since his trial, seven out of nine witnesses have recanted or contradicted their testimony. And with no physical evidence to link him to the crime, it is likely he is innocent.

Besides the fact that Troy is facing execution for a crime that he may not have committed, he also told me that he is being denied the right to speak out on his own behalf despite the fact that others in his position are allowed to do so.

Please contact Commissioner Brian Owens of the Georgia Department of Corrections to demand that he remove the gag order on Troy Davis.
In my meeting with Troy, I discovered that 60 Minutes, Dateline, and the Associated Press have all been denied media access to Troy. When Georgia won't let the media talk to the accused man, it is a flagrant abuse of his First Amendment rights.

In fact, the case of Troy Davis highlights how broken our criminal justice system is... and why we must reform it. Today, more than 60% of the people in prison are people of color. African Americans make up more than 40% of those on death row. This summer, the NAACP will launch a campaign to reform our country's criminal justice system with the goal of making our communities safer, improving police performance, saving money, and keeping more of our young men and women out of prison. But Troy can't wait for this summer.We need your help now. 

An innocent man may be executed. You and I must work together to reform our country's criminal justice system, and we must start by saving the life of one man. Please contact Commissioner Brian Owens of the Georgia Department of Corrections today and demand he give Troy the right to speak.
Sotomayor vs. SCOTUS: Revisiting Race and the Courts

Over the last few days, conservative commentators such as Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck, Gordon Liddy, and former Speaker Newt Gingrich have taken to the airwaves to accuse Judge Sotomayer of being a racist. Representative Tom Tancredo intimated that her membership in the group La Raza was enough to prove that she was in fact a racist. Former Speaker Gingrich and Rush Limbaugh have gone so far as to say that Judge Sotomayer should be forced to withdraw her nomination due to her alleged racism. They each went on to commit the cardinal sin of equivalence

Newt Gingrich tweeted a message to his followers which read: "White man racist would be forced to withdraw. Latina woman racist should also withdraw."

Rush Limbaugh told his listeners, "She brings a form of bigotry or racism to the court," Limbaugh said, later adding: "How can a president nominate such a candidate? And how can a party get behind such a candidate? That's what would be asked if somebody were foolish enough to nominate David Duke or pick somebody even less offensive."

...Oh really?

While I believe the charges against Judge Sotomayer to be preposterous, I won't use this space to offer my limited defense... certainly the confirmation hearings will bear out the truth. But I would like to challenge the false equivalencies suggested by Speaker Gingrich and Limbaugh; particularly the claim that a White male nominee who was a racist would be forced to withdraw from consideration.

The claim itself seems so ridiculous that I can only assume that perhaps Speaker Gingrich and Limbaugh have forgotten what racism from the bench actually looks like; so I've put together this little primer... Consider these pearls from former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice William Rehnquist: 

Reflections on the 5th Annual Leadership 500 Summit


Sunday morning marked the end of our 5th Annual NAACP Leadership 500 summit. This initiative, launched by Roslyn McCallister Brock some years ago, continues to grow and deepen with each passing year. The idea behind the summit is to call together young professionals from around the country who are between the ages of 20 and 50 to discuss the critical issues facing our community and to put together strategies for action. This year, we were joined by 6 of the 7 youth members of the NAACP's National Board of Directors and a host of other 20, 30, and 40 somethings, for a series of workshops and lectures dealing with economic development, political affairs, educations, military and veterans issues, and families.

I was honored to once again serve as a member of the planning committee, and as such I would personally like to commend and honor sister Rosyln, Paula Brown-Edme, Barbara Brown, Sabu, Mike, Tonya, Rose, Faith, Leon, Hilary, Mama Dukes, and EVERYONE else who worked so hard to make this event a sucess... Through your efforts, you are touching thousands of lives, and I feel blessed to have been a witness...

I was able to take down just a few notes from some of the sessions that I'd like to share with you here:

CBCF Releases Resource Guide on Recovery Act for African Americans

WASHINGTON -The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF) has prepared a resource guide - www.cbcfinc.org - for African Americans to highlight some of the major provisions within the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 that are critical to their community.

Commonly called the Economic Stimulus Package, ARRA is the most comprehensive economic recovery legislation in the United States since the New Deal of the 1930s. ARRA provides federal funding to states and local communities for projects and programs that will address budget shortfalls for critical issues, such as employment, housing, and health care.

"CBCF fully supports ARRA because it provides vital resources for improving the circumstances of African Americans and all Americans who have been disproportionately affected by the current economic crisis," said Elsie L. Scott, president and chief executive officer for CBCF. "Our guide allows readers to quickly reference where funding is going for education, health, economic development and social welfare - all areas that can stimulate and boost the economy by creating and saving jobs in the private sector."

A major source of job opportunities will come from training programs and projects. For example, $16.8 billion is allocated for energy efficiency and conservation block grants, including funding for weatherization assistance, $636 million for business loans programs and $50 million for YouthBuild to provide disadvantaged youth with education and employment skills, youth development and training activities.

"One of the most important aspects of the Act is that it is intended to quickly disburse funds to revitalize and improve our most economically vulnerable communities," said Alana Hackshaw, Ph.D., and author of the guide. "This represents a major step forward for many in African-American neighborhoods. With the federal agencies working with those who are responsible for urban policies and the system of transparency and accountability among states and local communities in order to prevent waste, fraud and abuse of funds, we can begin to turn the economy around," she said.

The guide is also available as a PDF. 


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