Petition to end police brutality and racism in the Quad Cities (Iowa and Illinois)

Police in the Quad Cities area – to include Davenport, IA, Bettedorf, IA Rock Island, IL, Moline, IL, East Moline, IL – engage in brutality and racism towards the communities that they are supposed to be protecting and serving. This needs to stop, and by speaking up we can make it stop. View and sign the Petition here: https://www.change.org/p/mayors-end-police-brutality-and-racism-in-the-quad-cities

Police in America are so violent and trigger-happy that they are accidentally killing each other

We have a problem with the police in the United States being much too willing to use violence. A pair of recent cases where police officers shot and killed other police officers, incorrectly thinking that their own colleagues were dangerous civilians, highlight that issue. In Texas, a deputy constable was fatally shot by a sheriff’s deputy as the two of them investigated a report that some “suspicious” person had run down the street, leading those police officers to look around … Continued

My speech at the peaceful protest against police brutality and racism in Davenport, IA on July 11, 2020

Below is video of a speech I gave at the peaceful protest against police brutality and racism in Davenport, Iowa on July 11, 2020. WQAD Channel 8 news covered the protest. https://www.wqad.com/article/news/protestors-push-for-end-to-police-brutality-outside-davenport-police-department/526-224441f3-a1f9-4d90-9540-5b63526441d5 So did the Quad City Times: https://qctimes.com/news/local/q-c-protest-looks-at-against-police-brutality/article_33d41c58-c273-568b-b66f-74d51f82bc5f.html?utm_campaign=snd-autopilot&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook_Quad-City_Times

Police brutality in Davenport, Iowa

My office is in Davenport, Iowa and I have had multiple clients mistreated by the Davenport police.  Due to attorney-client privilege and confidentiality, I am prohibited from discussing those client’s cases here. So, I will instead only discuss cases from the news that do not relate to my clients.  Even with the limitation of not being able to talk about the majority of what I know about police brutality in Davenport, there is still information I can share using only … Continued

Our criminal courts are inherently racist

Our legal system has a serious problem with racism, and I say that as an attorney and a Black man. As discussed below, this is not just some idea of mine; the history, statistics, and peer-reviewed studies make this conclusion sadly inescapable. Starting with my own personal experiences as an attorney who handles criminal defense work in Illinois and Iowa, I see a difference in how my Black or Brown clients are treated by the court system, compared to how … Continued

Concrete steps to fix the problem of police brutality in America

The murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Atatiana Jefferson, Botham Jean, Elijah McClain, and so many others at the hands of the police have sparked a civil rights movement in the US and around the world. In particular, watching a police officer crush the life out of George Floyd was just too much for the consciences of many decent people. Hearing George Floyd call out for his mother as his life was being extinguished was something that touched the hearts of … Continued

When Protesting, the Perfect is the Enemy of the Good

A gentleman who opposes police brutality and racism publicly stated that he would not attend a protest against police brutality and racism because that protest didn’t also address the problems of inner-city violence and the related social woes. I respectfully disagree and am sharing my response to him here:

Record Interactions with the Police

In both Illinois and Iowa it is your legal right to record the police during a traffic stop (or when the police stop you on foot). You do not need the permission from the police to record. You do not need to inform the police that you are recording. Recording the police, whether they are stopping you, someone you know, or a stranger, helps deter the police from engaging in brutality and helps ensure that justice can be had if … Continued

Protest Against Police Brutality and Racism in Davenport, Iowa on July 11, 2020 at 4:00pm

Some friends and I have organized a peaceful protest against police brutality and racism in Davenport, Iowa. The protest will take place at the Davenport, Iowa police station on July 11, 2020 at 4:00pm. The address is 416 Harrison Street, Davenport, IA 52801. More information can be seen on the Facebook event page here: https://www.facebook.com/events/565306157705631/

The problem with “All Lives Matter”

The “All Lives Matter” response to “Black Lives Matter” is a disingenuous attempt to downplay the fact that the lives of black (and brown) people are undervalued and often ended by the police in the United States. The point of “Black Lives Matter” is not to say that *only* black lives matter, or that black lives matter more, but rather to bring attention to the fact that many police officers and other people routinely act as though the lives of … Continued

White Supremacists falsely Accuse Black Lives Matters protesters of violence

People who are opposed to civil rights progress have a long history of trying to smear civil rights groups and their organizers. That was true for Dr. Martin Luther King and it remains true today with Black Lives Matter. The following examples illustrate that point, and show how BLM is being falsely blamed, and how many attacks on people and police are simply made up stories. So, when you see a news article or facebook post blaming protesters for violence … Continued

For the people who are tired of protests and activism surrounding police brutality and racism

I am entirely unconcerned about people who are inconvenienced by seeing a protest, or seeing activism on Facebook. If you think that seeing a protest or having Black Lives Matters show up in your facebook newsfeed is tiring, let me assure you that actually experiencing racism and abuse from the police is a lot more upsetting and exhausting. If you want to see Black Lives Matters protests go away, then take action to solve the problem that causes the protests. … Continued

Where to donate to fight racism and bigotry

I had a friend who couldn’t make it to the protest today ask me where he could donate to help fight racism. I thought about it for a while as there are so many great organizations, and in the end I concluded that the Southern Poverty Law Center is the best option. They have been at the forefront of the legal fight against racism and police brutality for decades. You can donate to the Southern Poverty Law Center here: https://donate.splcenter.org/

All opinions are not of equal value

In recent weeks I’ve seen a significant uptick in debates where people seem to take the view that their uninformed opinion on racism, civil rights, and police brutality are of equal weight to an informed opinion. That just isn’t the case. This is a somewhat long post, but I’ll try to be as brief as I can without skipping anything important. A couple of years ago I hurt my shoulder in a martial arts accident. I could tell something was … Continued

Confederate statues and “destroying history”

Confederate statues are not “history” but rather efforts to give a giant middle finger to civil rights progress. The article below makes that point clear, explaining the timing, location, and motivations of the people who put up those statues. In a nutshell, those statues were put up by white supremacists in response to civil rights progress that they didn’t like. Beyond that, the confederates are losers who took up arms against their country, and slaughtered good American soldiers to try … Continued

Systematic racism is real

Although the existence and effects of systematic racism are well studied, there are still some people who try to deny its existence.  The following links should help clear up any confusion. Definition of Systemic Racism in Sociology: https://www.thoughtco.com/systemic-racism-3026565 Finally, an explanation of systemic racism that won’t put you to sleep: https://www.vox.com/2015/4/23/8482799/systemic-racism-explained-examples Fourteen examples of systemic racism in the US criminal justice system: https://www.commondreams.org/views/2010/07/26/fourteen-examples-systemic-racism-us-criminal-justice-system A DEA agent speaks out about how he was directed to enforce drug laws in poor minority … Continued

Communication security for protesters (and everyone really)

I wanted to throw out a suggestion as to communication security. I believe (and hope!) that we are in a pivotal moment in civil rights history that may prove to be just as important as the work done in the 1960’s. While that is great, it also causes to me worry about governmental interference. Whether that is local police with those Stingray cell tower simulators that allow them to capture and spoof messages, or some more concerted effort at the … Continued

A Public Service Announcement

PSA: Just because you can dig up a Youtube video of a black guy saying racism doesn’t exist, or a Jewish person who says Hitler was right, or a woman who opposes the ability of other women to vote, it is not evidence that any of those things are true. But, it may be compelling evidence that you are a bigot who is grasping at straws to justify your bigotry. To be sure that doesn’t apply to everyone sharing videos/posts … Continued

Why I don’t focus on “black on black” crime instead of police brutality

In response to the question of why I don’t focus on “black on black” crime and do focus on police brutality, I would offer the following. “Black on Black crime isn’t a thing As The Root correctly points out, according to the FBI’s uniform crime-reporting data for 2016, 90.1 percent of black victims of homicide were killed by other blacks, while 83.5 percent of whites were killed by other whites. While no life is inconsequential, the statistical evidence shows that—just … Continued

Trump, Race, and Police Brutality

I’ve spent a fair amount of time debating President Trump and his actions as to race and police brutality.   I’ve put together this page to have my links and information I would provide in those debates conveniently available.   Trump undid Department of Justice reforms that were putting a stop to police brutality and holding the police accountable: https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2020/05/trumps-george-floyd-obama-protest-police-violence-kneeling.html Trump pardoned former Sheriff Joe Arpaio, preventing Arpaio from facing the criminal consequences of his repeated violations of civil rights: https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/08/a-flagrant-assault-on-latino-civil-rights/538119/ … Continued

My response to the “Believe it or not, its OK to be all three” meme on Facebook

I’ve seen the following picture floating around today, and would like to take a moment to explain the problems with it. Starting in the top left circle, almost all of the people I’ve seen sharing that picture have never said a single word against police brutality or racially-motivated violence. Instead, they ignored the issue for years, and only now post the above picture. That strikes me as disingenuous in the extreme. It is also worth noting that this is not … Continued

My response to the “those who hate us will still call us when they need us” pro-police meme

The above image is total garbage. When the police involuntarily take my money through taxes and have a monopoly on law enforcement, of course there are some things for which I have to call them. I also use the electricity from the electric company no matter how displeased I may be with that company, since they are my only option for electricity. I also make a point of being well armed, as I will not trust my safety to the … Continued

To my friends and “family” who turn a blind eye to racism and police violence

There is something that I don’t understand, and which I’m hoping someone can help me understand. I know people (on facebook and in real life) who don’t seem to care about the police violence that has led to civil unrest. I have people that I call friends and even family who have not said a single word when it comes to the ongoing, well documented, and pervasive problem of police brutality. Even more confusing to me are the ones who … Continued

Grouping people together by Race versus Grouping people together by Occupation

I think it is worth exploring the difference between having distrust or even hatred of “all cops” versus having distrust or hatred of “all black people.” The two just aren’t equivalent. Forming an opinion about someone based upon an immutable characteristic (such as race or sex) is wrong. The color of my skin is not something that I can control, and so it tell you nothing about my thoughts, beliefs, dreams, hopes, etc. Just knowing that I’m black doesn’t tell … Continued