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BART Police Respond to Alleged Dancing on Train, Arrest and Assault Young Woman

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When 19-year-old Nubia Bowe was returning home on BART with friends on the evening of March 21, she had no idea that it would be the worst night of her life.

 

The evening ended up with her being accused by police of intimidating a witness and her friends being handcuffed for dancing on a BART train. She was slammed to the ground and struck repeatedly, arrested and sent to the county jail for four days. She now faces now four misdemeanors and was kicked out of school.

That’s what happened when BART police responded to a complaint that young men were dancing and soliciting money on a train at the Lake Merritt station. Bowe and her friends, who had not seen anyone dancing on the train, were picked out as the culprits by one witness, who later recanted.

However, her friends were handcuffed and detained, even though a train full of witnesses repeatedly told police the young people were not the perpetrators.

But the arrest was the only the beginning of the ordeal. Bowe was slammed to the ground, handcuffed and accused of resisting arrest, among other charges.

When she reached the county jail at Santa Rita, she says officers beat her for allegedly attacking one of the guards, and she was put in restraints, similar to a straight jacket. She was placed in a wrap which had handcuffs attached and a belt connecting her upper body to her ankles.

As a result of the arrest, was kicked out of her training program at Treasure Island Job Corps.

When contacted by the Oakland Post, BART spokesperson Alicia Trost forwarded the police log, which stated, “A BART sergeant and officer were flagged down on a complaint of patrons on a train dancing, playing music and creating a disturbance.

“They did not cooperate and became combative. One suspect bit one officer causing a moderate laceration on his left arm. Two suspects were cited and released, one was booked into the Alameda County Jail.”

“If there are any reports of police misconduct, we encourage people to contact our Office of the Independent Police Auditor, who will conduct an investigation,” said Trost.

By press time, the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office had not responded to the Post’s questions.

The March 21 incident began when BART officers responded to a complaint that two young, male dancers were soliciting for money on the train. The two men who were accompanying Bowe were approached by the officers at the Lake Merritt station, with a witness who at first identified the young men as the suspects.

The men were instructed by the officers to get off the train for questioning. During the questioning, train riders told the officers that the three suspects had not engaged in the solicitation of passengers and that young people they were looking for had already left the train at the West Oakland station.

“We were on the train minding our own business when a man entered the train with two BART officers and told them it was us,” said Levi Allen, one of Bowe’s friends. “The guy came from a different car, and we had never seen him before.”

Bowe and her two friends are African American. She was a full-time student at a local security-training program. Repeatedly trying to explain that her friends were innocent, she told the officers that they were violating the young men’s rights.

By this time, BART passengers were loudly calling out to the officers, saying the young people were innocent, and the police forcibly removed Bowe from the train.

The witness who had initially identified Bowe and her friends as the perpetrators later told officers they weren’t the right group.

“Once they pulled me off the train, I was first slammed to the ground and then thrown against the wall,” said Bowe. “The officers pushed me back down and continued to elbow and knee me in my back. My mouth was full of blood by then. The whole time this was happening, I repeatedly said ‘I am not resisting arrest. You are violating my civil rights.’”

When Bowe’s friends protested the young woman’s treatment, they were taken upstairs away from the conflict. Some of the passengers recorded the confrontation on their cell phones showing footage of Bowe pinned down by officers while screaming for help.

Bowe was taken to the Lake Merritt station holding cell in preparation for transport to Santa Rita Jail on one felony and three misdemeanor charges.

When she arrived at Santa Rita, she was taunted, battered and denied medical care, as well as the right to make a phone call for three days. Bowe is 5’1” and weighs 105 pounds.

“Three male guards and one female guard came in my cell and beat me up,” said Bowe. “They hit me and then said that I assaulted one of them. So they chained my wrists to my ankles and tipped me over onto the urine-soaked ground so I couldn’t get up.

“I could tell they were trying to break my spirit.”

She was in custody for four nights. Her bail was set at $120,000.

Though the felony charge was eventually dropped, the arrest resulted in Bowe being kicked out of her training program, where she was only two months away from graduating.

“This case represents another example of racial profiling by BART police,” said civil-rights Attorney Dan Siegel, who represents Bowe. “Although the end isn’t as tragic, its similar to the Oscar Grant case. Some person made a complaint about dancing on BART, Nubia and her friends were not the people dancing, and yet, she still faces two sets of charges for allegedly fighting with police and resisting arrest.”

In light of the charges, Bowe’s family and friends have started a group against police brutality called the One Shot Away Coalition. The coalition is saying that people of color are all one shot away from incarceration and/or death.

A trial date on the BART charges has been set for Aug. 5, and the pre-trial hearing on the Santa Rita charges is scheduled for May 19.

“She will forever have to deal with the trauma of her experiences,” said Carroll Fife, Bowe’s godmother. “We want justice for Nubia and those young men who were cuffed, detained, cited and released. They were not read their rights. The district attorney is pressing for jail time, so we have to get prepared for a long fight with help from the community to get the word out.”

Anyone who has information about the case or who wishes to learn more should go to www.facebook.com/oneshotawayba?fref=ts.

Video from the arrest at Lake Merritt BART station can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kO2myBE5Qe0.

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FILM: Top 10 Must-See Black documentaries

NNPA NEWSWIRE — Below you will find a list of documentaries, based on the roots of African American culture, compiled by Word in Black partner, The Houston Defender. From “I Am Not Your Negro” to “High on the Hog,” each film offers up the origin stories of our most important activists, artists, athletes and traditions.
The post FILM: Top 10 Must-See Black documentaries first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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By The Houston Defender | Word in Black

The AFRO’s October Special Edition is all about the roots of our culture, our family lineage and the return to old ways and traditions. Below you will find a list of documentaries, based on the roots of African American culture, compiled by our Word in Black partner, The Houston Defender. From I Am Not Your Negro to High on the Hog, each film offers up the origin stories of our most important activists, artists, athletes and traditions.

#10: Attica (2021) 

In September 1971, Attica Prison became the location of one of the largest prison riots in US history, taking place just weeks after revolutionary activist George Jackson was murdered by prison guards at Rikers Island, an act that initiated the birth of Black August and the prison reform movement. The constant abject cruelty and inhumane treatment doled out to the incarcerated (who were overwhelmingly Black and Latinx) by Attica guards (all White) created the context. The riot itself, and its aftermath, are something all human beings should be required to reckon with.

#9: Quincy (2018) 

If you’re Black, it literally doesn’t matter when you were born, what generation you’re a part of, or where you’re from. You’ve been impacted by the genius of Quincy Jones. We’ve all been influenced by the genius of Quincy Jones. The music he made, the albums he produced, the artists he developed, the movies he scored, and about a gazillion other things Jones did, means, as I’ve already said, if you’re Black, Quincy has had a hand in your life. Don’t believe me. What Black person do you know who isn’t a Michael Jackson fan, who hasn’t seen The Wiz, or who doesn’t have a family member who worships jazz music? Quincy Jones had his hand in all that and so much more. Directed by one of his daughters, actress Rashida Jones, this doc is most definitely a must see.

#8: Four Little Girls (1997) 

On Sept. 15, 1963, just 18 short days after the much-celebrated March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala., was bombed by four members of a Ku Klux Klan-affiliated racist group. Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, and Cynthia Wesley, four African American girls between the ages of 11 and 14 who had been attending the church’s Sunday school, were killed in the blast, an act of White domestic terrorism that served as a horrific and sober reminder that Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech was not enough to end the hold the myth of White supremacy had on so many. Director Spike Lee tells this powerfully compelling and important story as only he can.

#7: The Two Killings of Sam Cooke (2019) 

For generations that came after the Baby Boomers, it’s hard for us to fully fathom how big a star Sam Cooke was. Think of the biggest singer of any generation. That was Sam Cooke in his heyday. And not only was he hyper-talented, but not only did he call some of the biggest names in Black history his personal friends (Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X just to name a few), Cooke was a man of the people. And he was heavily invested in the Civil Rights Movement and an advocate for Black self-determination and Black ownership. Cooke even pulled a “Prince” long before Prince—gaining ownership of his own music, something that was as rare then as it is today. This documentary chronicles Cooke’s life, rise to fame, and eventual end, though his influence never died.

#6: Thunder Soul (2010) 

Here’s a hometown entry. Thunder Soul spotlights the extraordinary alumni from Houston’s storied Kashmere High School Stage Band which the iconic Conrad Johnson led. These alums return home after 35 years to play a tribute concert for the 92-year-old ‘Prof’, their beloved band leader who transformed the schools struggling jazz band into a world-class funk powerhouse in the early 1970s. This one will have you out of your seat and dancing in the streets. Check it out.

#5: Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America (2021)  

In this documentary, criminal defense/civil rights lawyer Jeffery Robinson “draws a stark timeline of anti-Black racism in the United States, from slavery to the modern myth of a post-racial America.” It’s that simple, and yet that complex. And it goes without saying; it’s a must see.

#4: Jeen-Yuhs (2022) 

No matter where you score on the Love Ye / Hate Ye scale, this 2022 documentary about his rise to superstardom is beyond compelling. I mean, who thinks to chronicle their every move from the moment they start pursuing their dream until they either give up on it or see it to fruition and beyond? Who does that? No one but this negro Kanye. He may be the only human being with an ego big enough to conceive of such a project. And believe me, the scope and scale of this documentary match that galaxy-sized self-obsession brahman has that make him both insanely talented and just plain insane at the same time.

#3: I Am Not Your Negro (2016) 

This documentary by Raoul Peck, director of Exterminate All the Brutes (2021) which made the first list of must-see documentaries, introduced the brilliance and unabashed Black of James Baldwin to a whole new generation. Described as a work that imagines the completion of Baldwin’s unfinished manuscript, Remember This House (about Baldwin’s personal reflections on and recollections of three of his personal friends who were killed during the Civil Rights and Black Power movements—Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.), I Am Not Your Negro is about so much more.

#2: The Last Dance (2020) 

You don’t have to be a basketball fan to get caught up in the chronicling of the last run at an NBA championship by the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls who had been told before the season began that the team would be broken up. The doc not only takes you on that 1996 Bulls’ championship ride, but it also digs deep into the past of players, coaches, and family members, spotlighting triumphs and tragedies that are part of the human story, not just the story of professional athletes.

#1: High on the Hog 

How African American Cuisine Transformed America (2021)

If you know me, you know I’m a sucker for anything that celebrates our history, especially those things that connect us to our African roots and our Pan-African family. This documentary does all that and more. Because the main character is food. Our food. The stuff we grew up on. The meals many of us are eating right now, and never stopped eating since our youth. This beautifully filmed, beautifully narrated piece of art is full of both the familiar and the foreign; or rather, things we’ve come to believe are foreign to us, but are really part of our story and our heritage. And the okra on top? High on the Hog has a powerful H-Town connection. A few, in fact.

This list of documentaries based on the roots of African American culture was compiled by Word In Black.

This article originally appeared in The Afro.

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Lawsuit Alleges U.S. Government Discriminated Against Black Veterans for Decades

NNPA NEWSWIRE — According to internal VA data obtained by the Washington Post, Black applicants seeking disability benefits were denied 30 percent of the time from 2002 to 2020. White applicants were denied 24 percent of the time.
The post Lawsuit Alleges U.S. Government Discriminated Against Black Veterans for Decades first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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Black Information Network | Atlanta Daily World

A new lawsuit against the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) alleges that the U.S. government discriminated against Black veterans for decades.

On Monday (November 28), the suit was filed by Yale Law School’s Veterans Legal Services Clinic (VLSC) on behalf of Vietnam War veteran Conley Monk Jr, whose applications for education, housing, and disability benefits have been denied since he returned home from the war, per The Hill.

According to the suit, discrimination by the VA has left Black veterans without benefits more frequently than their white counterparts.

Yale’s VLSC said the lawsuit could “provide a legal pathway for Black veterans to seek reparations from the VA.”

“This lawsuit seeks to hold the VA accountable for years of discriminatory conduct,” Adam Henderson, a law student working with the VLSC on the case, said in a statement, per the Hill.

“VA leaders knew, or should have known, that they were administering benefits in a discriminatory manner, yet they failed to address this unlawful bias,” Henderson added. “Mr. Monk — and thousands of Black veterans like him — deserve redress for the harms caused by these negligently administered programs.”

According to internal VA data obtained by the Washington Post, Black applicants seeking disability benefits were denied 30 percent of the time from 2002 to 2020. White applicants were denied 24 percent of the time.

VA press secretary Terrence Hayes said the agency is working to combat “institutional racism.”

“Throughout history, there have been unacceptable disparities in both VA benefits decisions and military discharge status due to racism, which have wrongly left Black veterans without access to VA care and benefits,” Hayes said. “We are actively working to right these wrongs.”

The post U.S. Government Discriminated Against Black Veterans For Decades: Lawsuit appeared first on Atlanta Daily World.

The post Lawsuit Alleges U.S. Government Discriminated Against Black Veterans for Decades first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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BOOKS: Jerald LeVon Hoover Blends a Love of Sport & Friendship into New Children’s Book

NNPA NEWSWIRE — Through colorful pictures with vibrant imagery, young readers will easily get drawn into the exciting adventures of Bennett Mayco Wilson’s fictional yet exciting world and learn valuable childhood lessons together, when Bennet gets a basketball as a present from his father on his fourth birthday.
The post BOOKS: Jerald LeVon Hoover Blends a Love of Sport & Friendship into New Children’s Book first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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‘A Basketball Hero is Born’ is a part of The Hero Book Series by Jerald LeVon Hoover, which aims to inspire youth to make a positive change in their communities and the world in general

Widely celebrated African American author, Jerald LeVon Hoover, is once again inspiring young people to make a positive change in their communities with the launch of a new children’s book. Titled A Basketball Hero is Born, the new children’s reading book contains colorful pictures that warm the heart and keep young readers glued to its pages.

The plot follows the exciting adventures of Bennett Mayco Wilson who gets a basketball as a present from his father on his fourth birthday. Affectionately naming the new basketball “Lucky,” the story unfolds as young Bennett tries to take his new best friend everywhere, including the dinner table, to school, and to bed when it is time for sleep.

Jerald L. Hoover

Jerald L. Hoover

Through colorful pictures with vibrant imagery, young readers will easily get drawn into Bennett’s fictional yet exciting world and learn valuable childhood lessons together. Currently available for purchase on Amazon, A Basketball Hero is Born is a part of The Hero Book Series by Jerald LeVon Hoover, which emphasizes instilling a love of sports and friendship in young readers.

About The Author

Jerald L. Hoover is a multi-talented individual with countless accomplishments in the creative, literary, and entertainment worlds. After winning an award for “The Best New Male Writer of the Year” for his fictional novel, My Friend, My Hero Jerald went on to be listed from 1994 – 1996 as a best-selling author among young Black writers in various African American publications. In 1995, he was awarded the Writers Corp Award by then-President Bill Clinton. In 1998, Jerald was inducted into the Mount Vernon Boy’s and Girl’s Club Hall of Fame. Since then, Jerald has won several other awards and is also an in-demand motivational speaker who overcame a childhood speech impediment.

The post BOOKS: Jerald LeVon Hoover Blends a Love of Sport & Friendship into New Children’s Book first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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