Saturday, July 12, 2008

Tased To Death While In Restraints

Killing of another black man by taser while he was in restraints. H/T

Octavia Jackson for the information

First cousin to Mychal Bell, of the Jena Six, killed
after being tased nine times over the course of 30 minutes. He was in restraints- in police custody when he died. And the certificate labels the death a homicide.

A News Broadcaster reports, "The two other Winnfield Officers who were involved in the incident: Alan Marsdin and Cargyle Junior Branch-- Both are still on the force. Neither one has been disciplined."

What's up with the News Channel 5. Check out the report they make on the death of of a black man. They start of the report saying, "

It’s been five and a half months since the death of 21 year old Barron Scooter Collins, a convicted drug dealer. News Channel 5 has learned Collins birth name is Barron Pikes. And he was first cousin to Mychal Bell, of the Jena Six. Scooter died after being in police custody and being tased. The incident prompted over 100 blacks in Winnfield to protest downtown.



Tasered While Black says:
Why was it so important to say:

"The 21 year old Barron Scooter Collins, a convicted drug dealer. "

OK, so News Channel 5 says it has learned Collins birth name is Barron Pikes. And he was first cousin to Mychal Bell, of the Jena Six. Scooter died after being in police custody and being tased. The incident prompted over 100 blacks in Winnfield to protest downtown.

The Winn Parish Coroner, Dr. Randolph Williams, actually concluded his report 3 weeks ago and for the past 3 weeks News Channel 5 has been trying to get a copy of the report. Dr. Williams has refused to release anything to the media. But Radio Talk Show Host Tony Brown has provided News Channel 5 a copy of the death certificate. Tony Brown has been in close contact with Scooters relatives. The Pikes gave Brown the death certificate—and permission for him to give it to us.

Tasered While Black: big hat tip to Tony brown for standing in the gap with this family.

That document explains Scooter died after being tased nine times over the course of 30 minutes. He went into cardiac arrest. The certificate also confirms Collins was in restraints- in police custody when he died. And the certificate labels the death a homicide.

This is Scott Nugent, son of former Winnfield Chief of Police Gleason Nugent. Scott Nugent is the officer who tased Scooter after a foot chase. Nugent says Scooter was resisting arrest. But relatives of Scooter told NC5 that Nugent and Scooter went to high school together in Winnfield and had a bumpy personal history that they never liked each other. By the way, Nugent’s record with Winnfield PD also has a major bump. In 2007 Nugent arrested a man for DWI--while the man was in Nugent’s custody he somehow managed to steal Nugent’s police cruiser—he crashed the car and died in the wreck.

Because the coroner was taking such a long time with his investigation, the Winnfield city council held an emergency meeting back in May. Nugent had been on paid suspension since the incident. But under an officer’s bill of rights, there’s only so much time that can pass until the officer is either allowed back to work or fired. The deadline was fast approaching so the city council voted 3 to 2 to terminate Nugent.

Nugent can appeal his termination to the local civil services board to try to get his job back. But job aside, Nugent could be facing criminal charges for the death. State Police Investigators are reviewing the incident and will present a report to the Winn Parish District Attorney. After that the case could go before a grand jury and then possibly a trial. Meanwhile Scooter’s family is consulting with a lawyer about a lawsuit. Scooter had a 4 year old son named Kadarien.

More Here

Now the question is what are black folks going to do, just sit around and allow people to get tased to death - who is next? This is just another in the many cases (like the Deacon Williams case below) of men, women and children of our community being "Tasered While Black."

Friday, July 11, 2008

Another Bush Knife In The Back

Crossposted from Left Toon Lane, Bilerico Project & My Left Wing

click to enlarge
Bush has broken his promise to the G8 Summit and has now rejected the regulation of greenhouse gases.

The Bush administration on Friday rejected regulating greenhouse gases blamed for global warming, saying it would cause too many job losses.

In a 588-page federal notice, the Environmental Protection made no finding on whether global warming poses a threat to people's health, reversing an earlier conclusion at the insistence of the White House and officially kicking any decision on a solution to the next president and Congress.

The White House on Thursday rejected EPA's conclusion three weeks earlier that the 1970 Clean Air Act "can be both workable and effective for addressing global climate change." Instead, EPA said Friday that law is "ill-suited" for dealing with climate change.

This contrasts sharply with the tone of statements President Bush made at the just-concluded G-8 summit of leading industrialized nations in Toyako, Japan. The United States at that meeting joined other summit partners in embracing a policy declaration to seek a 50 percent reduction in global greenhouse gases by 2050.

Sure, let's just wait some more. The North Pole ice cap will always be there. Antarctica's ice shelfs won't float past Australia and Africa.

We have all the time in the world... now, don't you feel more relaxed once you are wrapped in blankets of denial? It is so warm in there.

Submitted for your consideration...

I saw the most recent offering from the McCain Girls yesterday, thanks to a tweet (Twitter posting) from 23/ And I've decided something. The McCain Girls are "supporting" John McCain in much the same way Stephen Colbert supported George Bush at the White House Correspondents' Dinner a few years back.

Some of the lyrics:

Just an Arizona senator
Lookin' for the fight of his life
The Democrats don't see him as strong
They all say he's crazy
Keep in mind now, that "they", presumably the Democrats, "say he's crazy". One would assume that McCain's supporters would beg to differ. Yet they go on to give us this...
Purple Heart and Silver Star
McCain can cut you with his knife
Slice you up and slice and dice
if you challenge his candidacy

...accompanied by this picture

I rest my case.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Note To McCain: Viagra is not a weapons system

Crossposted from Left Toon Lane, Bilerico Project & My Left Wing

click to enlarge
That thing... that thing right there, by your foot, it is my jaw...

"I certainly do not want to discuss that issue," the Arizona senator said aboard his "Straight Talk Express" bus in Ohio when asked about his views on health insurance covering the medication.

But the off-message topic was raised from a member of McCain’s own team: national co-chairwoman Carly Fiorina, who had said earlier women often express frustration over the fact many health insurance plans cover Viagra but not birth control medication.

"Let me give you a real, live example, which I've been hearing a lot about from women. There are many health insurance plans that will cover Viagra but won't cover birth control medication. Those women would like a choice," she said Monday.

McCain shows his ignorance on the topic and from the video, he squirms and winces his way through the questioning and sums up that he does not know enough about the issue to give an informed answer. The list of things McCain admittedly doesn't know anything about is becoming impressively long - economics, computers, the internet and now health insurance.

Evidently the Straight Talk Express bus is shorter than the others.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Why Fox News canceled my interview about Netroots & the Troops - KO-worthy

Crossposted from Left Toon Lane, Bilerico Project & My Left Wing

click to enlarge
At 3:44pm Eastern, Fox News Channel employee (I am guessing a segment producer) Eldad Yaron called me to arrange an interview for me to talk about, our fundraising problems and how I am using the netroots to solve the problem. is a website run by a 501(c)(3) federally recognized tax-exempt charity. Any deployed US solider can go to the website, fill out their contact info and tell us what they want - books, DVDs, video games, tube socks, almost anything - we will then send the item to the soldier for free. Plus we typically toss in snacks, chapstick, playing cards, and a brief note.

I started sending books to deployed soldiers during the first Gulf War. A bunch of my college friends were in the National Guard and they suddenly found themselves in Saudi Arabia setting up their Army hospital. When I heard of the extreme boredom of the troops after the shooting was over, I got all my friends I knew back in the states to give me their old novels and I sent them to the Army hospital in Riyadh. When Bush started his war, I knew I wanted to do the same thing, but on a larger scale, so I put together

I originally though for this new war, the troops would be back home in 6 weeks - I never thought Books For Soldiers would still be going 5 years later. I was totally unprepared for that. What started as a six week project has become a 5 year plus journey.

As with all journeys, there are bumps along the way.

Books For Soldiers is having financial problems due to corporate funding drying up. (You can donate here!) We had no corporate donations for the first quarter of this year. BFS is not a special case, other charities are in the same boat. Women's shelters are having to shut down and food banks have been hit very hard this year. In short, the economy sucks. The Board of Directors gave us a second chance at fund raising and assigned us a deadline of November 1st to raise the $70,000 goal or we would have to shut down at the end of the year. We would have the last Holiday Package Drive and that would be it.

I followed up the phone call with Fox News' Eldad Yaron with 8 emails - arranging for a driver to pick me up and drive me to San Francisco, sending them the BFS story, just putting the segment together for 10:20am Eastern today. I would arrive at their San Francisco location at no later than 10am and I would be on-air at exactly 10:20 - that was when they booked the sat time.

Yaron's last email to me read:

I'll brief you more in the morning but we're good to go.

This morning, 45 minutes before the car was supposed to pick me up, another Fox News employee, Kelly, called me to tell me the segment had been canceled. "Something came up."

Well, Hell. I used the last of my shave gel, got all dolled up and had no place to go!

I smelled a rat, hard to avoid with Fox News, and I wondered what story I got bumped for, so I switched on Fox News. Here is their line-up for the 10am hour of America's Newsroom With Bill Hemmer and Megyn Kelly. Keep in mind, I was slated for 10:20am.

10:08 Running of the Bulls

10:13 Video of a car chase in Portland, Oregon

10:13 Oregon man flies in a lawn chair from oregon to idaho


10:22 Obama and McCain layout out economic plans

10:25 Baseball player, A-Rod might be involved with Madonna according to tabloids.

Books For Soldiers got bumped for a snakebite story! A bite where no one died! Here is a link to the wire story.

I understand how cable news works and big stories could break at anytime. If Mugabe called for new elections or it started to rain in Big Sur, that I can understand being bumped. But a guy gets bit by a pygmy rattlesnake at the local Walmart and the soldiers get bumped?

WTF, indeed.

My theory is BFS represents yet another inconvenient truth or maybe several:

Soldiers need to turn to the charities for things the military cannot provide.

BFS is run by a flaming liberal and had Michael Moore as a supporter.

A soldier's charity run out of corporate funding because the economy is in the toilet.

Yes, those bring up a whole host of issues, the Neo-cons, and I suspect their puppets at Fox News would rather not dwell about. You cannot ask me the second question, "Why is BFS in financial trouble?" without hitting an idealogical snag.

This story is what I call "Keith-worthy" - a story that would fit well as a "Worst Person" segment. Don't you think?

Here is a job for all you NetRooters out there, email Keith and anyone you might know at Countdown and pass this story along. My goal is to find funding for BFS, not the cartoon or anything else.

This is netroots for the troops.

YOU are the netroots for the troops.

And here is a small note for Keith,
Here is another opportunity to apply your sharpened stick to the eye of Fox News. I can supply you the emails and let you listen to Kelly's voice mail! Here is my contact info:
stormbear [at]


Get it before Fox News sends out the lawyers with a cease and desist!

Lastly, thank-you for your support of our troops.