Shorter Question Everything
• Video shows white Milwaukee man shooting black teen as mother watches. Surveillance video submitted to a court on Tuesday showed a 76-year-old white Milwaukee man fatally shooting his 13-year-old black neighbor in the chest as the teen’s mother watched. During opening statements in the trial for John Spooner, jurors saw video of 13-year-old Darius Simmons taking the trash bin in from the street on May 31, 2012. Spooner then confronts the teen on a sidewalk between their homes. He points a pistol at the teen, and then at the boy’s mother as she watches from the porch. Seconds later, he points the gun back at Simmons’ chest and fires. The boy runs away and a second shot misses.
• Darius Simmons: Opening statements for the trial of a seventy-six-year-old white man accused of murdering his thirteen-year-old Black neighbor began Tuesday, unveiling the heartbreaking details of the May 2010 shooting that occurred in broad day light in Milkwaukee. In a video the prosecution showed to jurors, sixth-grader Darius Simmons drags his trash can inside before stepping outside, at which point his nextdoor neighbor John Spooner approaches him with a handgun. Simmons backs up fearfully, and Spooner briefly points the pistol at the young boy’s mother, Patricia Larry, who was sitting on the steps of her home. Spooner fires and shoots the child in the chest as his mother watches. The wounded youth stumbles away, and Spooner fires again, missing. Moments later, Simmons was dead.
• Sanford, Florida is a ‘Sundown Town’: In the “post-racial” era, signs that say “Nigger Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on You in This Town” are no longer posted. However, the mindset of juror B37, who asserts “I think the situation where Trayvon got into him being late at night, dark at night” to help justify his murder, suggests that no sign is required. The message is still clear. It translates to something like “Us white folks are afraid of you black folks because there have been a lot of burglaries around here, and well, we are not racist, but do not let the sun go down on you in our neighborhood or we will shoot you dead because we do not recognize you. You might be up to something and therefore you do not belong here after dark.” That sentiment is a form of racism that is subjective and hard to prove, because unlike a century ago, almost nobody will express it in explicitly racial terms. However, denial that it exists is not the same thing as it not actually existing.
• Right Wing Blogs Spread False Story About Shooting Over Free Zimmerman Bumper Sticker. A Jacksonville, Florida double homicide that was committed in a Golden Corral Parking lot Sunday night during an armed robbery, is being framed as a retaliation crime by black shooters against white victims for a “Free Zimmerman” bumper sticker. The false narrative that the white boys were killed because their truck sported a “Free Zimmerman” bumper sticker is being pushed by a number of right-wing web sites including InfoWars, Top Conservative News, beforeitsnews, American Crisis, and the Daily Paul. The earliest mention of the false story appears to be from a forum on the white supremacist web site Stormfront. This of course begs the question as to whether the other conservative news sites are now taking their news stories directly from a Neo-Nazi propaganda mill like Stormfront? Much like the bogus footage of supposed riots in Miami that turned out to be old coverage of hockey riots in Canada, the new narrative seeks desperately to find a case of monstrous black criminality versus white innocence to highlight, but alas unable to find one, the right-wing must again simply make something up and try to spread it as real.
• The U.S. Department of Justice on Monday afternoon appealed to civil rights groups and community leaders, nationally and in Sanford, for help investigating whether a federal criminal case might be brought against George Zimmerman for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, one advocate said. The DOJ has also set up a public email address to take in tips on its civil rights investigation. That email address, which is now in operation, is [email protected].
In other news
• Florida highway closed after drone crashes with still-active ‘small self-destruct charge’. An unmanned drone aircraft fell from the sky and exploded by a Florida highway on Wednesday morning, snarling traffic and closing the road for the next 24 hours. According to a statement from Florida’s Tyndall Air Force Base, State Highway 98 is closed “as a precautionary measure due to fires resulting from the crash and a small self-destruct charge carried on board the drone.” “An unmanned Air Force QF-4 drone, assigned here to the 53rd Weapons Evaluation Group, crashed on the drone runway during take-off at 8:25 a.m. today. No personnel were injured during the incident,” the report said. “Base and local police and safety officials have closed Highway 98 and are anticipating that it will remain closed for up to 24 hours.”
• A proposal to ban the sale of firearms to individuals on the FBI’s terrorist watch list was defeated by House Republicans on Wednesday.
• IRS: Treasury Inspector General J. Russell George prevented the release of documents proving the IRS treated left-leaning groups the same way it treated tea party groups, acting IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel testified on Wednesday.
• Healthcare: New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that rates for New Yorkers who buy their own insurance are poised to fall by an average of 50 percent with the implementation of the new law.
• Obama to announce health insurance rebates for 8.5 million Americans. One day after House Republicans passed legislation to delay enforcement of the health care law’s individual mandate, President Obama will take to the airwaves to announce that checks are in the mail for 8.5 million Americans who’ll split more than $504 million in rebates from their heath insurance company, thanks to a provision of the health law that penalizes insurers for wasteful spending.
• 5 more victims identified in Lac-Mégantic. Investigators have confirmed the identities of five more victims of the Lac-Mégantic, Que., train disaster, bringing to 17 the number of people whose remains have been identified.