Sunday, April 27, 2008

Two men arrested in possible hate crime

Two Oxnard residents were arrested in connection with a beating early Saturday that Ventura police are calling a hate crime.

Lowana Magdaleno, 21, Carlos Mendoza, 22, and two unidentified men allegedly confronted multiple victims about 2 a.m. in the 200 block of East Main Street, according to the Ventura Police Department.

One of the four yelled a racial slur at one of the victims while someone else hit him with a beer bottle, police said.

The assailants continued to beat the victims until someone at a local business intervened by calling 911.

Police said they arrested Magdaleno on suspicion of misdemeanor battery and violation of civil rights by fear or force.

Mendoza was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and was held at the Ventura County Jail Saturday.

The two unidentified men ran away before officers arrived. The victims were treated at the scene for cuts and bruises, police said.

Source: VenturaCountyStar

Police: L.I. Man Charged With Biased Road Rage

OCEANSIDE, N.Y. -- A cement truck driver on Long Island faces bias-classified charges for tailgating, shouting racial slurs and threatening to beat a black driver with a pipe, police said.

Police said the white male suspect was arrested on charges of reckless endangerment, menacing and harassment.

All the charges were classified as bias crimes.

Police said the 44-year-old was driving on Long Beach Road in Oceanside on Wednesday when he began slamming on his horn and shouting racial slurs at a black driver who had passed him.

The white man then tailgated the black driver and forced his vehicle to the side of the road, where police said he threatened to strike him with a pipe.

Police said that the black driver pulled out his cell phone and the other man drove off.

Source: WNBC

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Officials call school attack a hate crime

By Melissa Pinion-Whitt, Wes Woods II and Tania Chatila, Staff Writers
Article Launched: 04/23/2008 11:18:52 PM PDT

SAN DIMAS - An Asian man was stabbed in the face and torso in an attack at Lone Hill Middle School on Tuesday night that sheriff's officials called a hate crime.

Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies said the attackers - a 15-year-old boy and a man in his 20s - shouted racial epithets while stabbing the man with a knife.

"They were shouting out `white power' or something like that," said sheriff's Lt. Roxanne Hart.

A white man who was walking with the 22-year-old victim at the school at 700 S. Lone Hill Ave. about 8:30 p.m. received cuts and bruises from being punched by the pair, Hart said.

Paramedics flew the Asian man to Los Angeles County- USC Medical Center, where he was listed in critical condition Tuesday.

Deputies identified the 15-year-old suspect and arrested him. The second suspect was not in custody as of Wednesday evening, Hart said.

Hart could not confirm whether the attackers were members of a white supremacist group, but did say the sheriff's hate crimes task force is investigating.

"Hate crimes are definitely rare in our area," she said.

On Wednesday, officials from human rights groups also called the incident unusual.

"The stabbing in the face in San Dimas last night is pretty out of the ordinary," said Marshall Wong, spokesman for the Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission.

In regard to violent attacks against Asians in L.A. County, Wong said in 2007 there was just one attempted murder as a hate crime committed against an Asian male.

"The only thing we had reported in San Dimas was an annoying phone call last year," Wong said.

The victim's ethnicity was not available Wednesday.

Lone Hill Principal Ray Arredondo said officials were not on campus when the attack occurred in a grassy area of the school grounds when the facility was closed.

"We will heighten security on campus just to make sure we have a peaceful day on campus," Arredondo said on Wednesday.

Melissa Smith, Bonita Unified School District's student support services director, said called the attack a "community incident, not a school-related incident."

"It's not something we're investigating because it wasn't part of a school event or district event," Smith said. "It's business as usual - the focus is on instruction and we have all the regular staff in place and all the regular kids in place."

Earlier this month, two men were sentenced to double-digit prison sentences for stabbing a black man in Claremont a year and half ago. Ryan Christopher White, 30, of Joshua Tree is to serve 13 years while Anthony Scott Allen, 24, of Big Bear City is to serve 10 years. Joseph Dale McCool, 21, of Redlands is awaiting sentencing.

The three men had planned to attend a white supremacist rally and passed through Claremont when they stabbed the victim in December 2006, officials said.

Mark Potok, director of the Intelligence Project for the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Ala., said academic studies show less than 5percent of hate crimes are committed by hate groups.

"It's much more likely to be an everyday person than a member of a white supremacist group," Potok said Wednesday.

Karin Wang, vice president of programs for the Asian Pacific American Legal Center in Los Angeles, said hate crimes against Asians have "historically spiked" based on current events. She was not familiar with the San Dimas incident.

Wong said after the Virginia Tech shooting committed by a Korean in 2007, there were hate crimes reported against Koreans in Los Angeles within a few days.

"But overall hate crimes targeting Asians tend to be acts of vandalism and criminal threats," Wong said.

Wang said her organization often takes calls from people who feel they've been harassed, assaulted or had their homes vandalized because of their race. She said there has been an increase of calls from the Inland Empire.

Wang said Asian families in the Inland Empire can be isolated, living farther away from larger pockets of Asians, which could cause the harassment.

(626) 962-8811, Ext. 2109

Source: PasadenaStarNews

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Many Hispanic students are targets of bullying in state

By Devona Walker
Staff Writer

Mayra Sigala lives in a two-bedroom mobile home on a remote road behind Frontier City. The door to her room is wrapped in red and pink Valentines Day paper. Cupids and hearts encase her name. At times, she seems amazingly mature for her age. At others, she seems more insecure than most 15-year-olds.

"We try to ignore it as much as we can, but it just gets worse and worse,” Mayra said about the racist slurs yelled at her in the crowded hallways of Edmond Memorial High School.

The first incident occurred in early November, within a week of the passage of House Bill 1804, Oklahoma's stringent immigration enforcement statute. A fellow student, a football player, yelled at her in the hallway.

"He kept calling me names,” she said. "He kept telling me to go back to Mexico. I tried to tell him that I was born here, but he didn't believe me.”

Other students laughed.

"I guess they all agreed with him,” she said. Mayra did not tell the principal. She feared he would not believe her. Instead, she told her Spanish teacher. A few other Hispanic students were experiencing the same thing, she said. They were told by the teacher that something would be done. But the behavior continued, Mayra said. School officials say the information was not passed on. They say if they had known, something would have been done. But they conceded there have been issues in the past.

"It's obvious there were some issues we needed to address, otherwise we wouldn't have started native speaker's class,” said Brenda Lyons, associate superintendent with the Edmond School District. "Do we have bullying? Of course we do ... There's not any more than the norm with any other group.”

The native speaker's class started a few years back at Edmond Memorial. It's a class that blends learning the mechanics of the Spanish language with providing social support to Spanish-speakers.

Bullying at other schools
The problem isn't specific to Edmond Memorial High School. Community leaders say this school year has been noticeably difficult for many first-generation students. Many students have to translate and navigate cultural complexities for their parents; the language barrier means their parents are unable to advocate for them at school. Rey Madrid, youth organizer for the League of United Latin American Citizens, says Hispanic youth are reporting these things across the metro area. It's something all the children of the youth council speak freely about when they meet. The head of the youth council told him she has been targeted because of her race at Westmoore High School.

"These children are getting bullied and they are getting angry,” he said. Madrid warned that for some kids bullying pushes them to drop out, join gangs or use drugs.

"Whenever kids at school pick on somebody, that child that gets picked on is going to look for security,” he said. "Kids don't always know how to work things out for themselves, and they turn to gangs for security. They turn to drugs to ease the pain.”

‘Supposed to be here'
Mayra Sigala was born in Oklahoma. Her parents were granted amnesty in 1986, as part of the Immigration Reform and Control Act signed by President Reagan.

The act made it illegal to knowingly hire or recruit undocumented immigrants, required employers to attest to their employees' immigration status, and granted amnesty to undocumented immigrants who entered the United States before 1982 and had resided there continuously.

Contributing: Staff Writer Jesse Oliverez.


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Colo. lawmaker removed from podium over Mexicans remark

Apr 21 04:24 PM US/Eastern
Associated Press Writer

DENVER (AP) - A Colorado legislator known for kicking a photographer was ordered to leave the podium of the state House of Representatives on Monday because he called Mexican workers "illiterate peasants." State Rep. Douglas Bruce, who has a history of provoking controversy, made the comment during debate on a bill that would allow the state to help immigrant workers get temporary federal visas. The measure is intended to ease a shortage of farm workers in the state.

"I would like to have the opportunity to state at the microphone why I don't think we need 5,000 more illiterate peasants in Colorado," Bruce said.

His outburst drew an audible gasp from the House.

"How dare you," said state Rep. Kathleen Curry, a Democrat who was serving as chairwoman during the debate. She told the Republican lawmaker he was no longer recognized to speak.

House Minority Leader Mike May, head of the GOP caucus, said legislative leaders were trying to determine what action to take against Bruce.

Rep. Terrance Carroll, a Democrat, said the remark could result in a formal ethics complaint that would require a hearing and possible suspension, censure or expulsion.
Bruce remained on the House floor Monday afternoon and was unavailable for comment.

He became the first Colorado lawmaker censured by the House after he kicked a newspaper photographer for taking his picture during a prayer.

Republicans later removed him from the powerful State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee because he refused to co-sponsor a resolution honoring military veterans. Bruce said he believed resolutions were a waste of time because they have no legal effect.

The Mexican Consulate in Denver did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Source: Yahoo

Sunday, April 13, 2008

MALDEF, ACLU and Otero County Sheriff's Department Resolve Civil Rights Suit

Sheriff’s Department Agrees to Revise Operational Procedures Concerning Immigrants

April 9, 2008

LAS CRUCES, NM— The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of New Mexico today announced a landmark settlement with the Otero County Sheriff’s Department that addresses what plaintiffs alleged were civil rights violations committed by county deputies during immigration sweeps last September in the southern New Mexico town of Chaparral. Civil rights advocates say the agreement will help restore community trust in local law enforcement and greatly improve the safety of all people living in the County.

The case settled after the Sheriff's Department agreed to revise Operational Procedures that are intended to ensure that the rights of all Latinos living in the County would be protected and that they would not become the targets of immigration-related investigations and detentions without justification. Otero County also agreed to pay the families who brought the case monetary damages and an amount to cover their attorney's fees and the costs of the suit.

ACLU Executive Director Peter Simonson said, “The sheriff’s department worked with us to draft a policy that draws clear boundaries around what are and what are not the responsibilities of local law enforcement officers when they encounter immigrants. It was drafted with one thing in mind: maximizing public safety. This is a smart policy that stands as an example to all other law enforcement agencies around the state.”

On behalf of five Latino families, MALDEF and the ACLU of New Mexico alleged in the lawsuit that sheriff’s deputies raided homes in Chaparral without search warrants, interrogated families without evidence of criminal activity, and targeted households on the basis of race and ethnicity.

The Sheriff's Department denied any wrongdoing, but agreed to revise policies in order to provide more effective law enforcement to its constituents and to focus its attention on persons suspected of committing crimes.

David Urias, MALDEF Staff Attorney and counsel in the case, said, “The agreement by the Sheriffs Department to revise their procedures means that Latinos in Otero County will be protected by local police from crimes, not randomly targeted for immigration enforcement.”

The Otero County Sheriff’s Department operational procedure regarding the legal complaint and other relevant documents can be found online.

For more information contact:
Whitney Potter, ACLU of New Mexico: (505) 507-9898
Laura Rodriguez, MALDEF: (310) 956-2425

Source: MALDEF

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Athens School 'Attack' Proven To Be False, Girl To Be Charged

There are major new developments today in the case of a supposed beating of a student from Athens Middle School.

Charges are being filed against 13 year old Melanie Bowers by Athens ISD through the Henderson County District Attorney's office for filing a false report, said AISD officials today.

Bowers claimed earlier this week that she was beaten and threatened - with killing and rape, no less - by a group of students at Athens ISD last Friday, for creating a protest sign saying, "If you love our nation, stop illegal immigration."

After Melanie's accusations, administrators reviewed school survellience videotape of the incident - which, instead of showing students beating or attacking her, showed Bowers scratching herself on her arms, face, and neck, and walking through the halls of the school calmly long after she claimed the incident happened.

After Melanie's parents were presented with that information and the video, the school confronted Melanie, and she admitted that she made the story up.

The poster was indeed taken from Melanie, but she reported the incident to a teacher and was sent back to class. 3 students involved in taking Melanie's project were in 'in school suspension' for today only.

Bowers' parents have apologized to school administrators for their daughter, and Bowers' father, Gary Bower Jr., is agreeing with the charges against her. "I have reviewed the recording and agree with the charges that will need to be filed," he has said today.

Melanie's mother, Shera Bowers, released a statement which reads, "I see my daughter was not assaulted, and put the marks on her body. No gang violence as witnessed. She filed a false report."

KLTV 7 News will have video of the tape from Athens ISD tonight on KLTV 7 News at 5:00, 6:00, and 10:00 pm.

Cathryn Khalil, reporting.

Source: KLTV

Original story: KLTV
Video: BreitBart

Saturday, April 05, 2008

White supremacist gets life for killing 7-Eleven Clerk

(04-03) 10:05 PDT Santa Ana, CA (AP) --

A self-described white supremacist who plunged a hunting knife into the heart of a 7-Eleven clerk during a botched robbery has been sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole.

Spencer William Fox and Travis Justin Frazier were seen attacking clerk Shurest Dass on surveillance tape in the convenience store. Frazier clubbed the clerk repeatedly before Fox pierced the man's heart with a knife.

Besides first-degree murder convictions last month, Fox and Frazier were convicted of using deadly weapons and carrying out the act during the commission of another crime.

Frazier will be sentenced May 9.

Source: SFGate

KKK plan has townsfolk worried

Bell County, KY

April 04, 2008

Residents of Pineville, a southeastern Kentucky town of 2,100, are upset that the Appalachian Knights of the Ku Klux Klan is saying it will hold a three-day rally there.

'The biggest question is why are they coming to Bell County?' Mayor Bob Madon said.

The Appalachian Knights printed on its blog that it is hosting the three-day event called Aryan Bash 2008, starting April 11, with a half-dozen other white-supremacist groups. 'The event is open to all whites wanting to attend,' the KKK said.

The news has been the talk of the town. On the Middlesboro Daily News Web site, a story about the event had 131 comments, which were overwhelmingly negative. Commenters feared bad publicity for the town and violence.

No violence will be tolerated, Madon said. City police, Bell County sheriff's deputies and the Kentucky State Police will be on hand to maintain order if the rally does indeed occur. And the Kentucky National Guard is only a phone call away, the mayor said.

The courthouse is a public place and the KKK has a constitutional right to demonstrate there, Madon said. But it will not be allowed to hold a three-day rally.

'One hour for one day is fair,' said Madon, citing the cost of having police on guard for 72 consecutive hours.

The Appalachian Knights does not list contact information on its blog. It said in a post that it does not grant news media interviews.

Madon said the Klan will not be allowed to incite violence or disrupt businesses.

Pineville does not require permits for holding demonstrations, and the Klan has not inquired about one. Madon doesn't think the Klan will actually show up. He said they never appeared for a recent event they were scheduled to hold in Pikeville.

The Klan held rallies in Middlesboro and Pineville six years ago. Madon said there were no arrests or violence.

Counterdemonstrators would be kept away to avoid violence.

Madon said his phone has constantly been ringing since he wrote a column in the Daily News on Thursday.

Despite the concerns, Madon said he does not think the rally should reflect poorly on Pineville residents, who are about 93 percent white, according to the U.S. Census Bureau Web site.

'We've been so fortunate to have wonderful black people,' Madon said.

Source: Topix

White Supremacist Held On $2.5 Million Bail

A former wanted fugitive of Ventura County, was served with an indictment on Wednesday by Senior Deputy District Attorney Karen Wold. According to the Ventura County Star, Wold slid the Grand Jury's Indictment through the bars of Ian Eugene Morrow's holding cell during his Wednesday court appearance.

Morrow has been accused of attacking an employee at a Ventura County bar during August of 2005. He was charged with a felony and with a hate crime enhancement because of the racial slurs he allegedly yelled out while attacking the Hispanic man.

Morrow has also been accused of making criminal threats against a Simi Valley resident while he was out on bail in 2007.

A Jan. 11th, 2008 court appearance had been scheduled for Morrow, he did not appear. Once he failed to make his court appointment, Ventura County authorities issued a warrant for his arrest and labeled him a dangerous fugitive on the run.

In February, Morrow's luck spoiled when authorities in Nevada arrested him and he was transported back to California. Currently Morrow is being held on $2.5 million bail and if convicted of all the charges against him, he will face over 40 years in prison.

Source: KEYT

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Lou Dobbs - Racist Remark "Cotton Picking"

Lou Dobbs makes a racist Freudian slip remark while talking about the remarks Condoleezza Rice made about race on "The Situation Room" - March 28, 2008.

Lou Dobbs began to utter the phrase Cotton-Picking mind(s) when talking about Condoleeza Rice but caught himself after saying "Cotton". He fumbled for words and switch to "politicians".

Lou Dobbs has not commented on his remarks as of yet.

Peter Lynch guilty of destroying Mexican flag

A man who admitted lowering and tearing up a Mexican flag that was flying by itself on the UNM campus last September has been found guilty by a jury of criminal damage to property.

Peter Lynch received a deferred six-month sentence on supervised probation. He also must perform 48 hours of community service, attend anger management, replace the flag and pay court and probation fees.

In closing arguments Wednesday morning, the defense argued that Peter Lynch's action should be protected under the first amendment.

The prosecution noted that the flag was not Lynch's to damage. It said the fact that Lynch admitted to taking the flag down and then destroying it required the jury to return a guilty verdict.

On Tuesday, Lieutenant Pat Davis of the UNM Police Department testified that when Lynch saw the Mexican flag flying without an American flag, he first reported it to the office of UNM’s Dean of Students, then to the Officer of Veteran Affairs, but wasn’t satisfied with the response.

Davis says Lynch, a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, then began to take the flag down as others gathered nearby.

“At least one person encouraged him by saying, ‘Yeah, brother, go ahead,’ and ‘Thank you,’ and some other things he heard in the background,” Davis says Lynch explained.

Davis says that Lynch told him he then became emotional and “took the flag in his hands and ripped it in half.”

UNM ROTC students admit that they had neglected to lower the Mexican banner when they lowered the U.S. flag at sunset last September because they thought a Mexican student organization would do that.

Davis said that Lynch told officers that the lone Mexican flag flying without an U.S. flag “could be perceived as a sign of war or that the territory had been taken over by another country and he felt it was his obligation to remove the flag and enforce that code.”

Davis says that, in the end, Lynch told police that his emotions got the better of him.

“He knew it was wrong,” Davis testified, “he shouldn’t have done it, but he just got caught up in the emotion of the moment and thought [what he did] was appropriate at the time.”

Source: KOB