civil rights

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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 »

Judge to Baker: You Must Serve Gay Weddings

Colorado cake-maker refused to contribute to same-sex ceremony

(Newser) - A baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex ceremony must serve gay couples despite his religious beliefs or face fines, a judge said today. The order from administrative law judge Robert N. Spencer said Masterpiece Cakeshop in suburban Denver discriminated against a couple "because of... More »

Feds to Review Teen's Mysterious Gym Death

Kendrick Johnson was found rolled up in a gym mat, but death was ruled an accident

(Newser) - Federal investigators will take their own look at the death of Kendrick Johnson , the Georgia teen who was found dead in a rolled-up gym mat. "My goal, and my oath, requires me to follow the facts," US Attorney Michael Moore said today, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution . "... More »

NAACP President Ben Jealous Resigns

Wants to teach, spend more time with family

(Newser) - Benjamin Jealous, the president and CEO of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, announced today that he plans to step down by the end of the year. The Baltimore-based NAACP is the largest US civil rights organization. When Jealous was hired as its president in 2008 at... More »

Little Civil Rights Pioneer Reunites With US Marshal

Ruby Bridges meets with one of her school escorts, now 91

(Newser) - Civil rights icon Ruby Bridges, who as a 6-year-old helped end public school segregation in the South, was reunited today with one of the federal marshals who escorted her past angry crowds so she could attend a previously all-white school. Bridges, who in 1960 became the first black child to... More »

Obama: King's Words 'Belong to the Ages'

Thousands honor MLK at Lincoln Memorial

(Newser) - Some excerpts from today's speeches at the Lincoln Memorial honoring the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech, from CNN , the AP , and NBC News .
  • President Obama: "His words belong to the ages, possessing a power and prophecy unmatched in
... More »

Martin Luther King's Work Not Yet Done

But we should remember MLK as modern-day founding father: opinions

(Newser) - Fifty years later, tributes to Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech—and reflections on the speech and the man—abound. A sampling:
  • King was a modern-day founding father, "equal to Jefferson, Adams, Madison, and Hamilton," writes Nicholas Burns in the Boston Globe
... More »

Marchers Honor MLK in DC

Rally at Lincoln Memorial marks 50th anniversary of speech

(Newser) - Tens of thousands of marchers kicked off the 50th anniversary commemorations of the March on Washington today, honoring the civil rights progress made since Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech. But they also lamented what they called new attacks on racial and social equality.... More »

Washington Post: 'We Blew It' on MLK's Dream Speech

An editor laments scant coverage 50 years ago

(Newser) - Martin Luther King Jr. gave one of the most famous speeches in the nation's history 50 years ago, but you'd never have known it by picking up the Washington Post the next day. In all its coverage of the civil rights march of Aug. 28, 1963, the words... More »

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