For Immediate Distribution
March 2, 2015
Lauren Jow, email@example.com, 310-206-0314310-206-0314
LOS ANGELES — A new report released today by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law documents ongoing and pervasive discrimination and harassment by law enforcement in the LGBT community, especially among LGBT people of color and transgender individuals.
To address such discrimination and to improve effective policing more generally in the United States, President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing issued recommendations today to build stronger and more collaborative relationships between law enforcement and the communities they serve.
Key findings from the Williams Institute report based on several national surveys include:
• More than one-fifth (21%) of LGBT people who interacted with police reported encountering hostile attitudes from officers and 14% reported verbal assault by the police.
• Nearly half (48%) of the LGBT violence survivors who interacted with police reported that they had experienced police misconduct, including unjustified arrest, use of excessive force and entrapment.
• Two-thirds of Latina transgender women in Los Angeles County who interacted with police reported that they were verbally harassed by law enforcement, 21% report that they were physically assaulted by law enforcement, and 24% report that they were sexually assaulted by law enforcement.
• Nearly half (46%) of transgender respondents in a national survey reported being uncomfortable seeking police assistance, 22% reported that they had been harassed by law enforcement because of bias, and 6% reported having been physically assaulted by an officer.
• Williams Institute researchers also documented widespread and frequent incidents of misconduct toward LGBT people by law enforcement in all regions of the country, including many instances of severe physical and sexual abuse.
Such discrimination, harassment and abuse undermine effective policing by weakening community trust, reducing reporting of crimes by victims in the LGBT community, and challenging law enforcement’s ability to effectively meet the needs of members of their communities.
The President’s Task Force recommends that local law enforcement agencies (1) adopt and enforce policies prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity/expression; (2) implement training for officers to improve interactions with the LGBT population; and (3) improve data collection on misconduct by officers against LGBT people. These recommendations are in line with the specific steps the Williams Institute report recommends to reduce such discrimination and improve effective policing.
Click here for the full report.
Benjamin Netanyahu. (photo: Reuters)
Jonathan Cook | Middle East Eye | Reader Supported News | March 2, 2015
A group of Israeli generals have launched an unprecedented attack on the prime minister as he prepares to address the US Congress
n an unprecedented move, 200 veterans of the Israeli security services accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday of being a “danger” to Israel.
The new group, called Commanders for Israel’s Security, warned that Netanyahu was doing irreparable harm to the country’s relationship with Washington, just two days before he is due to address the US Congress.
The Israeli prime minister is expected to use the speech to try to undermine negotiations currently taking place between major world powers and Iran. He has claimed that any agreement reached at the talks’ conclusion, later this month, will leave Iran a “nuclear threshold state” hellbent on destroying Israel.
Tengri News | February 23, 2015
Photo courtesy pravmir.ru
The Senate of Kazakhstan has approved a draft law aimed at protecting children from information harmful to their health and development, Tengrinews reports.
The draft law took four years to prepare after the initiative was put forward by Kazakh MPs.
In August 2013 Aldan Smayil said that Kazakhstan needed a legislation that would enable it to close down gay clubs and bringing their owners to justice. He also declared that the idea of gay pride parades in Kazakhstan was unacceptable and that representatives of sexual minorities needed help of psychologists.
“The draft provides a ban on information products depicting cruelty and violence, provoking children to life-threatening acts, including suicide, containing scenes of pornographic, sexual and erotic nature, promoting non-traditional sexual orientation,” said Aldan Smayil, a member of the Majilis, the lower chamber of the Kazakh Parliament, presenting the draft law at the plenary session of the Senate, the upper chamber, on February 19.
Ari Berman | Huffington Post | February 28, 2015
Martin Luther King Jr., Coretta Scott King and others march from Selma to Montgomery, 1965. (James “Spider” Martin Photographic Archive/Briscoe Center, University of Texas at Austin)
Congress can’t agree on much these days, but on February 11, the House unanimously passed a resolution awarding the Congressional Gold Medal—the body’s highest honor—to the foot soldiers of the 1965 voting-rights movement in Selma, Alabama.
The resolution was sponsored by Representative Terri Sewell, Alabama’s first black Congresswoman, who grew up in Selma. Sewell was born on January 1, 1965, a day before Martin Luther King Jr. arrived in Selma to kick off the demonstrations that would result in passage of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) eight months later. On February 15, 2015, Sewell returned to Selma, which she now represents, to honor the “unsung heroes” of the voting-rights movement at Brown Chapel A.M.E. Church, the red brick headquarters for Selma’s civil-rights activists in 1965, taking the pulpit where King once preached.
The film Selma has brought renewed attention to the dramatic protests of 1965. Tens of thousands of people, including President Obama, will converge on the city on March 7, the fiftieth anniversary of “Bloody Sunday,” when 600 marchers, including John Lewis, now a Congressman, were brutally beaten by Alabama state troopers.
Leonard Nimoy in 2013. (photo: Fred Prouser/Reuters)
Juan Cole | Informed Comment | Reader Supported News | February 28, 2015
eonard Nimoy, who played Mr. Spock on Star Trek, speaks out as a Jewish American in favor of a two-state solution and a divided Jerusalem.
‘ “I reach out to you as someone who is troubled to see the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians continue apparently without an end in sight.
“In fact, there is an end in sight. It’s known as the two-state solution–a secure, democratic Israel as the Jewish State alongside an independent Palestinian state. Even Israel’s nationalist Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, has come to see this as the shape of the future. The problem is how to reach that end point. It’s something we should be concerned about–not only as world citizens, but as Americans.