civil rights

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A 1941 Army Base Lynching Remains Unsolved

Pvt. Felix Hall was found hanging from a tree at Fort Benning

(Newser) - On the morning of Feb. 12, 1941, Army Pvt. Felix Hall went to his job at a sawmill near Fort Benning where he was stationed. After his shift ended, he told friends he was going to the Post Exchange, the only place on the segregated Georgia base where a black... More »

Family Seeks Pardon for 'Back to Africa' Founder

Marcus Garvey was convicted of mail fraud

(Newser) - The family of Marcus Garvey is asking President Obama to pardon the black nationalist, founder of the early 20th century “Back to Africa” movement, NBC News reports. Dr. Julius Garvey, 82, used what would have been his father’s 129th birthday on Wednesday to launch a campaign to clear... More »

Family Sues Middle School Over Boy's 'Terrorist' Confession

$25M suit alleges East Islip forced Muslim boy into it

(Newser) - A 12-year-old Pakistani-American Muslim boy with special needs confessed earlier this year to being a member of ISIS and plotting to blow up the school fence, and now his family is suing the school district in East Islip, NY, alleging that officials there forced a false confession and violated his... More »

Klansman Behind 1963 Bombing to Stay in Prison

Thomas Edwin Blanton Jr., 78, denied parole

(Newser) - The lone surviving Ku Klux Klansman imprisoned for killing four black girls in a church bombing in 1963 will remain behind bars after Alabama's parole board heeded the victims' families Wednesday and refused an early release. The board rejected parole for Thomas Edwin Blanton Jr., 78, who has served... More »

All 'Mississippi Burning' Leads Exhausted

State AG closes case after 52 years

(Newser) - Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood closed the book on one of the most explosive murder cases in American history Monday, saying all leads have been exhausted and there is "nothing else that can be done" in the 1964 "Mississippi Burning" killings. "The FBI, my office, and other... More »

$30M Lawsuit: My Murder Confession at 14 Was Coerced

Lawrence Montoya says his civil rights were violated

(Newser) - Lawrence Rubin Montoya was 14 years old when a jury found him guilty of killing a Denver schoolteacher in the early hours of Jan. 1, 2000. Sentenced to life in prison, Montoya served more than 13 years before his conviction was overturned and he was released in 2014. Now Montoya,... More »

It's Deadline Day for NC Response on Bathroom Law

DOJ had warned Gov. McCrory to come up with a way to 'remedy the situation'

(Newser) - Monday's the day that the Justice Department has demanded to hear back from North Carolina on whether the state is going to enforce its contentious public restroom law , Reuters reports. The feds had warned the state via a trio of letters last week that the law—which requires transgender... More »

SD Needlessly Dumps Thousands Into Nursing Homes: DOJ

Feds may sue the state

(Newser) - The Justice Department may be gearing up to sue the state of South Dakota after a report released Monday found thousands of people with disabilities that could potentially be managed at home are being relegated to nursing homes or other long-term-care facilities instead, the New York Times reports. This most... More »

DoJ Investigating Long Lines 'Fiasco' in Ariz. Primary

Complaints allege unacceptable waiting times in minority-heavy areas

(Newser) - Long lines at polling sites in Arizona's March 22 primary led Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton to call the night a "fiasco"—and the Justice Department to now investigate whether there were civil rights violations regarding what Stanton called "unacceptably disparate distribution of polling locations," Reuters... More »

Bernie Sanders' Arrest at Civil Rights Protest Caught on Film

He was a 21-year-old University of Chicago student at the time

(Newser) - Bernie Sanders was arrested. Well, he was arrested 53 years ago, anyway. The Chicago Tribune discovered photographic evidence of Sanders' involvement in the fight for racial equality this week in the form of a negative from its archives showing a bespectacled Sanders being hauled away by police during a 1963... More »

Government Sues Ferguson After It Tries to Revise Policing Deal

Ferguson leaders 'have chosen to step backward'

(Newser) - The federal government sued Ferguson on Wednesday, one day after the city council voted to revise an agreement aimed at improving the way police and courts treat poor people and minorities in the St. Louis suburb, the AP reports. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said Ferguson's decision to reject the... More »

Attorney Won't Stop Probing This Man's 1940 Murder

'We should do everything we can do to see who killed' Elbert Williams

(Newser) - An old black-and-white photo on Jim Emison's desk haunts him and goads him to right a long-buried wrong. In the photo, a man named Elbert Williams peers into the camera, along with other charter members of the NAACP's Brownsville branch, an audacious group of men and women who... More »

Historic Church Has Risen From Other Tragedies

Emanuel AME has long 'represented black freedom'

(Newser) - Wednesday night's massacre was just the latest tragedy for one of the most historic black churches in America—and members of Charleston's Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal church say they will once again emerge stronger, CNN reports. The first AME church in the South was founded in 1816, and... More »

How Scott's Family Learned of Shooting Video

Before its release came a 'gentleman's agreement'

(Newser) - The family of Walter Scott plans to file a federal civil rights lawsuit against the police department in North Charleston, South Carolina, reports the Post and Courier . The details of the wrongful death suit haven't been ironed out, however, including whether it will include a racial component. The New ... More »

Thousands Jam 'Bloody Sunday' Bridge

Huge crowd marks 50th anniversary

(Newser) - Thousands of people crowded an Alabama bridge on Sunday, many jammed shoulder to shoulder and unable to move, to commemorate a bloody confrontation 50 years ago between police and peaceful protesters that helped bring about the 1965 Voting Rights Act. A day after President Obama walked atop the Edmund Pettus... More »

Petition: Selma Bridge Shouldn't Honor KKK Leader

Student group says Edmund Pettus Bridge must be renamed

(Newser) - The Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., occupies a huge place in civil rights history—site of the "Bloody Sunday" beatings 50 years ago as protesters walked to Montgomery. Now a student group is calling attention to a less-well-known fact about the bridge: It's named for a man... More »

Ferguson Traffic Stops Target Blacks: DoJ Report

Findings expected to show rampant discrimination that fomented tension

(Newser) - Black drivers in Ferguson, Mo., are pulled over much more for traffic stops than white drivers—and this imbalance is the crux of a forthcoming and damning Justice Department report, the New York Times reports. The nearly finished findings, according to law enforcement officials who say they've been briefed... More »

Holder: My Race May Play Role in Lousy Relations With Congress

To Politico: 'There have been times when I thought that’s at least a piece of it'

(Newser) - Eric Holder's relations with Congress over his six years as attorney general have generally ranged from bad to awful—remember when the House held him in contempt? —and he tells Mike Allen of Politico that he thinks his race played some role in that. “There have been... More »

No Civil Rights Charges for Zimmerman in Trayvon Case

Justice Department concludes there isn't enough evidence

(Newser) - George Zimmerman continues to get into minor scrapes with the law, but he's going to avoid a major one: The Justice Department has decided not to bring civil rights charges against him in the death of Trayvon Martin, reports AP . It's not a huge surprise given that the... More »

Ferguson Sued Over 'Debtors Prisons'

Suit says city routinely locks up people too poor to pay fines

(Newser) - Debtors prisons vanished from most of the US in the 1830s, but Ferguson, Mo., is still routinely locking up people who can't afford to pay fines, according to a group of civil rights lawyers suing the city. A pair of lawsuits accuses Ferguson and Jennings, another St. Louis suburb,... More »

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