Activist DeRay Mckesson has filed suit against the city of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, following his arrest during a protest last month after the police-involved shooting of Alton Sterling. Mckesson filed a class-action lawsuit against police officials and the city of Baton Rouge, claiming they used aggressive force during the arrests. The suit, which he filed along with two other demonstrators, claims law enforcement officers “employed unconstitutional tactics to disturb, disrupt, infringe upon and criminalize.” It also states “defendants used excessive force in attacking, battering, beating and assaulting plaintiffs and class members without provocation or the need for defense.” During the night of the protest, Mckesson and scores of other protestors were arrested for “simple obstruction of a highway of commerce.” Shortly after the arrests, a Baton Rouge prosecutor dropped charges against Mckesson and about 185 other protestors. The other two plaintiffs in the lawsuit are Kira Marrero and Gloria La Riva. They are demanding the arrests be removed from their criminal records, and that they are reimbursed for legal fees. The defendants in the case include Baton Rouge Mayor Kip Holden, police chief Carl Dabadie Jr., and other local leaders. Read more.


President Obama Pens Poignant Essay for Glamour

President Obama penned a moving essay for Glamour that recounted what it was like growing up with a single mother and how that experience influenced the way he raises his daughters, Malia and Sasha. “One thing that makes me optimistic for them is that this is an extraordinary time to be a woman,” wrote President Obama. “The progress we’ve made in the past 100 years, 50 years, and, yes, even the past eight years has made life significantly better for my daughters than it was for my grandmothers. And I say that not just as President but also as a feminist.” In the piece, he also addressed changing the perspective of women of color. “We need to keep changing a culture that shines a particularly unforgiving light on women and girls of color. Michelle has often spoken about this. Even after achieving success in her own right, she still held doubts; she had to worry about whether she looked the right way or was acting the right way — whether she was being too assertive or too ‘angry,’” he said. He praised the choice of putting abolitionist Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill. “I want all of our daughters and sons to see that this, too, is their inheritance. I want them to know that it’s never been just about the Benjamins; it’s about the Tubmans too.” Read more.


Obama: ISIL is “Going to be Defeated”

During a press conference at the Pentagon on Thursday, President Obama was confronted with questions about the Islamic State — better known as ISIS or ISIL. He said the group is “inevitably going to be defeated.” He also shared there is a possibility that terrorist networks will continue to carry out attacks when the Islamic State loses its grip in both Syria and Iraq. “As we’ve seen, it is still very difficult to detect and prevent lone actors or small cells of terrorists who are determined to kill the innocent and are willing to die,” said the president. “And that’s why . . . we’re going to keep going after ISIL aggressively across every front of this campaign.” He also shared that our country is moving in the right direction in regards to overcoming ISIL. “ISIL has not been able to reclaim any significant territory that they have lost,” he said. “I want to repeat, ISIL has not had a major successful offensive operation in either Syria or Iraq in a full year. Even ISIL’s leaders know they’re going to keep losing.” Read more.


Netflix Film Explores Death of Mark Duggan

Netflix is streaming a new film that focuses on the story of Mark Duggan, an African-American man killed by police in London in 2011. According to police, Duggan was carrying a handgun, but there were several versions of the story, sparking skepticism from the victim’s family, residents in the Tottenham area, and activists. They believed his death wasn’t substantially examined. Duggan’s murder resulted in several riots. The film, titled The Hard Stop, explores all of the events that transpired after his death. The documentary was created by George Amponsah and Dionne Walker. Read more.

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty

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Have Race Relations & Community Police Relations Worsened Since Obama Took Office?

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