Civil rights lawsuit underway against Chicago Police, city

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Eight Chicago police officers and the City of Chicago are named in a civil rights lawsuit filed Wednesday accusing the officers of conducting multiple illegal open-air strip searches and planting evidence.

Caprice Halley, Tevin Ford and the estate of Robert Douglas say they were pulled over on the 9000 block of South Laflin by undercover officers last May. 

Graduation Part IV: Building Up Youth

“I fear death, I’m young I have a whole life ahead of me, I don’t want to start gang-banging and then people are killing people for no reason now. So it’s like I don’t want to gang-bang and walk down the street and get killed,  that takes away my life…but It’s going to hurt the people I leave behind like my mom and dad…if I die I feel like it will hit my family worse, and I don’t want to see that happen to them ” – Nate, age 16. 

When I first discovered BUILD, I was ecstatic to learn about this wonderful organization and honored to be welcomed into the lives of some of their youth. This summer I spent several days with Rik Vazquez, Youth Development Specialist at Build and Dope Poet,  visiting the youth he worked with. These young men greatly impressed me and strongly touched my heart. It’s so easy for people to negatively label young men of color without understanding their goals, fears, obstacles, and life story.  I was impressed by their knowledge, wisdom and honesty. The audio clip posted it long, I admit it, but that is because we covered just about every topic that should be addressed when discussing youth violence. These young men share their goals and obstacles, discuss violence in their personal lives, race and poverty, drugs, education, family support and ways to build up youth and stop violence. 

Eric Holder Unveils Major Drug Sentencing Reforms

Attorney General Eric Holder will announce major drug sentencing reforms today.

The Justice Department will avoid charging low-level and nonviolent drug offenders with crimes that carry mandatory minimum sentences, as long as they’re not connected with criminal organizations.

U.S. attorneys across the country will also be afforded with greater prosecutorial discretion.

STUDY: Blacks Are Nearly 4 Times As Likely As Whites of Being Arrested for Pot Possession

According to the ACLU, authorities are targeting African Americans for marijuana-related offenses. The racial disparity is astounding.

According to their study, whites and blacks use marijuana at the same rate.

Yet, African Americans are nearly four times as likely to be arrested for marijuana possession. On a state-by-state basis, this disparity is even higher.

Kendrick Lamar Blasts Hip Hop’s Obsession with “Molly”

In a recent interview with MTV News, critically-acclaimed emcee Kendrick Lamar took today’s Hip Hop to task for its infatuation with the drug “molly.”

In case you don’t know, “Molly” is a form of MDMA, known for its purity.

According to Lamar, “molly rap” is not only celebrating something negative (i.e. drug use); its also a played out gimmick that is watering down the genre.

Mississippi Could Soon Jail Women for Stillbirths, Miscarriages

The case of Nina Buckhalter could set a terrible precedent in Mississippi.

Buckhalter is currently on trial for charges of manslaughter.

Why? Because in 2009 she gave birth to a stillborn child, and doctors found traces of drugs in her system.

In Mississippi, the law is so vague that it allows prosecutors to charge women for stillbirths and miscarriages, and they seem to be using the law in just that way: