civil rights

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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 »

Al Sharpton: I'm Getting Threatening Phone Calls

Civil rights leader says callers blame him for NYPD deaths

(Newser) - Al Sharpton says he's receiving threatening phone calls over the murders of two NYPD officers , but maintains that he opposes violence and never claimed that all police are bad, Staten Island Live reports. "The language [of the calls] is 'Hey N word, stop killing innocent people, I'... More »

No Charges for Seattle Cop Who Broke Woman's Bone

Feds will review officer who punched handcuffed woman

(Newser) - County prosecutors won't charge a Seattle police officer after he punched and seriously hurt a handcuffed woman he says was kicking him. Now federal prosecutors plan to review the incident in a possible civil rights case, the Seattle Times reports. Miyekko Durden-Bosley, 23, was arrested on June 22 after... More »

Inmate Writes 'Chilling' Letter, Ends Up Dead

Latandra Ellington was 7 months from being released

(Newser) - The family of a Florida prison inmate who died after writing a "chilling letter" about life behind bars is seeking a federal investigation into her death, the Miami Herald reports. On Sept. 21, Latandra Ellington wrote her aunt about prison officer "Sgt. Q" who, she says, threatened to... More »

Ferguson Officer Accused of Hog-Tying Boy, 12

Boy's lawyer says trial date expected early 2015

(Newser) - The latest Ferguson, Mo., police officer to come under scrutiny in the wake of Michael Brown's shooting is Justin Cosma, who stands accused of hog-tying a 12-year-old boy in 2010 when Cosma was a sheriff's deputy in a neighboring county, the Huffington Post reports. A civil rights lawsuit... More »

How Eric Cantor Can Turn Around His Legacy

Juan Williams thinks the Majority Leader should try to fix the Voting Rights Act

(Newser) - If Eric Cantor's story ends today, history will remember him only as "the highest-ranking Republican to suffer defeat in a primary," Juan Williams observes at The Hill . But Williams thinks there's a way Cantor can use his final days to rescue his legacy: He can revive... More »

Actress, Civil Rights Agitator Ruby Dee Dead at 91

She and late husband, Ossie Davis, were fixtures on civil rights scene

(Newser) - Ruby Dee, an acclaimed actor and civil rights activist whose versatile career spanned stage, radio television, and film, has died at age 91. Dee, who frequently acted alongside her husband of 56 years, Ossie Davis, was surrounded by family and friends at her home in New Rochelle, NY. Her long... More »

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