The central African country of Cameroon is currently experiencing a four-year separatist conflict that has killed over 3,000 people and displaced half a million more with “extrajudicial killings, forced disappearances, arbitrary and unlawful detention and torture.”
But Cameroonians who fled to the U.S. to seek political asylum here as refugees are experiencing torture as well from private prison guards and agents with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in Louisiana and Mississippi.
A new report from the Southern Poverty Law Center and Freedom for Immigrants includes six Cameroonians who say they were physically forced to sign deportation documents that they didn’t understand and threatened with choking, pepper spray, physical pain and prolonged detention if they refused.
One accuser said that ICE agents and private guards stripped him naked from the waist down, exposing his genitals and buttocks to a room of 10 people, while forcing him to sign. Others said they and other refugees were fed substandard food, subject to a humiliating full-body strip search, and housed alongside federal prisoners while waiting for their court proceedings.
If true, the actions would violate Louisiana state and federal law, the international Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment, which the U.S. has ratified, as well as ICE’s own policies within its 2011 Performance Based National Standards, Newsweek reports.
Trump has deported anywhere from 94 or 116 Cameroonians back to their home country since October. The Cameroon government has detained refugees who return to their shore to interrogate them for any separatist ties.
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Bodycam Footage Shows Ohio Cop Killing Unarmed Black Man for Sitting In His Own Car
Twitter users are sharing police bodycam footage taken during the Tuesday police shooting of Andre Hill, an unarmed 47-year-old Black man in Columbus, Ohio who was shot dead just for sitting in a vehicle within his own garage.
The video shows that Officer Adam Coy killed Hill within seconds of encountering him. Hill emerges in an open garage with an illuminated cell phone screen in his left hand, his right hand out of view. After killing Hill, Coy (his gun still aimed) screams at Hill to put his hands up and not to move as Hill lays dying on his garage floor.
Police had been responding to a non-emergency disturbance call within the neighborhood at 1:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning.
WARNING GRAPHIC ⚠️ Police in Columbus, Ohio shoot an unarmed man.
The officer's body camera was OFF at the time of the shooting, but video was recorded through the camera's rollback feature. No audio of what led up to the incident is available.
Andre Hill was only 47 years old. pic.twitter.com/JOqw71MA4K
— Fifty Shades of Whey (@davenewworld_2) December 26, 2020
Thomas Quinlan, Chief of the Columbus Division of Police in Ohio, has announced his intention to fire Coy and file two departmental charges alleging Coy’s critical misconduct. There is also an ongoing investigation into the actions of other officers present during Hill’s slaying.
“I have seen everything I need to see, to reach the conclusion that Officer Coy must be terminated immediately,” Quinlan said. “Some may call this a rush to judgment. It is not. This violation cost an innocent man his life.”
Quinlan said Coy’s actions “at a minimum, demonstrate incompetence, gross neglect of duty, misfeasance, malfeasance, and nonfeasance.”
This is actually the second deadly shooting of a Black man in Columbus, Ohio this month.
The first was Casey Christian Goodson Jr., a 23-year-old Black man who was shot and killed on his doorstep by an Ohio sheriff’s deputy on Friday, December 4. At the time, Goodson was carrying a sandwich and not a gun as legal authorities have previously claimed, Goodson’s family states.
Goodson’s shooting is currently under investigation by U.S. Attorney David M. DeVillers, the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, the FBI in Cincinnati and the Columbus police.
Body Cam Catches Boston Cop Bragging About Running Over Black Lives Matter Protestors
In a video that is quickly going viral, a sergeant with the Boston Police Department bragged to a fellow officer on body camera about “fucking hitting” Black Lives Matter protestors with his car.
“Dude, dude, dude, I fucking, I drove down Tremont. There was an unmarked state police cruiser they were all fucking gathered around,” the sergeant begins. “So then I had a fucker keep coming, fucking running. I’m fucking hitting people with the car. Did you hear me? I was like, ‘Get the fuck—’”
At this point in the video, his recording officer briefly taps the sergeant on the head, turn his body camera away and then informs the sergeant that the camera is on. Though the sergeant quickly replies, “I know,” he begin stammering as he tries to say that he did not in fact hit protestors with his car like he just said.
“What I’m saying is, though, … I didn’t hit anybody, like, just driving…. My windows were closed, the shit was coming in,” the sergeant says before quickly falling silent and shaking his head.
The recording officer then says, as if in apologetic explanation, “This thing just fucking went on automatically,” referring to the body cam.
At one point in the video, the officer behind the camera appears to push the sergeant’s head away to make him stop talking about running down demonstrators with his squad car.
— Eoin Higgins (@EoinHiggins_) December 19, 2020
The Daily Dot explains, “The footage was exclusively obtained and published on December18 by the Appeal. The footage is part of the hours of footage featuring Boston police’s response to the [racial justice protests that occurred during and after June 2020].”
Here’s the Republican Senator Blocking Stimulus Checks for Millions of Americans
Right now an estimated 12.6 million Americans are out of work and many more are struggling as the worsening COVID-19 pandemic has shuttered numerous businesses and industries. The last time Congress provided $1,200 economic stimulus checks to individual Americans was in March. Nine months have passed since then.
But as President Donald Trump, Democratic Congress members and 11 Republican Senators have all signaled their readiness to provide a new round of $1,200 checks to 382 million Americans, one Republican senator has voted down the measure twice: Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin.
On Friday, Johnson voted twice to block a measure that would’ve issue the checks to every U.S. resident.
“I’m not heartless,” Johnson said, defending his votes. “I want to help people. I voted to help people. I voted for the $2.2 trillion CARES Act, but I also am concerned about our children’s future.”
Johnson said he’s concerned that the costs of issuing checks would inflate the national debt, nevermind that alleviating economic worries would help heal the increases in drug use, depression and domestic abuse that have increased during the nearly year-long economic downturn.
On December 10, Republican Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri and Independent Senator and former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders of Vermont pushed colleagues to vote for a second round of stimulus checks. In separate speeches, both senators said the checks should mirror those issued early in the pandemic which gave $1,200 to adults and $500 for each child. The first checks were passed with bipartisan and presidential approval at a point when the pandemic was less severe than it is now.
As of Thursday, however, Politico reported that the latest $908 billion economic stimulus package being negotiated in Congress only allotted for $600 stimulus checks.
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