NEW YORK (AP) — A woman who admitted to shoving a Hindu man off a New York City subway platform to his death in an attack motivated by religious animus has been sentenced to 24 years in prison.
Erika Menendez was sentenced Wednesday after pleading guilty to manslaughter for killing Sunando Sen in December 2012 in Queens.
According to the complaint, the 33-year-old Queens woman was seen talking to herself and pacing back and forth on a No. 7 train platform.
As the train entered the station, the complaint says Menendez approached Sen from behind and shoved him onto the tracks. Sen was struck by the train and died of multiple blunt force trauma.
Neither police nor Al-Jumaili’s family are yet claiming a motive, but focus has naturally fallen on the growing trend of violence against Muslims in the United States. Dallas Police Major Jeff Cotner said police considered hate crime a “possibility.” A local Methodist pastor, as well as a representative from the Council on American-Islamic Relations, have both said the local community already fears as much.
And yet Al-Jumaili’s killing has received strikingly little attention, other than a few mostly brief media reports, and the statements of faith leaders in Dallas hinting at a climate of hostility toward Muslims there.
Yes, perhaps the murder will turn out to be unrelated to Al-Jumaili’s faith or background. It could have been a random attack, or even, as police say they are considering, an accident. But it seems odd that Americans, who pride themselves on inclusiveness and tolerance, would be so blithe and so uninterested that, in a time of increasingly overt hatred toward a minority group, yet another member of that group has been murdered for no apparent reason, in his third week in this country, while photographing snow with his wife.
If Islam had been the religion of the shooter rather than the religion of the victim, if police suspected a motivation of Islamic extremism rather than a possible motivation of anti-Muslim extremism, the murder would have been enormous national news. But because the shooter was perhaps instead motivated by extremist Islamophobia (again, at this point an unconfirmed but widespread perception), and because it was the victim rather than the killer who was Muslim, it hardly caused a blip.
Americans have a national responsibility to protect their own. Even if it turns out that Al-Jumaili’s death had nothing to do with his religion, it is at this point a very real possibility that he was another Muslim targeted in the United States for this faith, and the national shrug that has met this possibility — the fact that most Americans have no idea this man was shot to death on Thursday night while photographing his first snow — shows that we, as a country, are not fulfilling that responsibility.
My emphasis added.
LA JUNTA, Colo. - A judge ruled Thursday that there is probable cause for Rocky Ford Police Officer James Ashby to stand trial for second-degree murder in the on-duty shooting death of a 27-year-old man.
Ashby will be arraigned on Feb. 12 at 11:30 a.m. in La Junta. He is currently free on $150,000 bond.
Ashby is accused of killing Jack Jacquez, Jr. on Oct. 12, 2014.
Relatives say Ashby followed Jacquez to his home and shot him in the back after a struggle over a skateboard on Oct. 12.
Authorities had not released the circumstances surrounding the shooting and court documents had been sealed, but information from the autopsy was released in court Thursday.
I’m a big supporter of free speech, anyone’s free speech, and I abhor anyone who would take the life of another person, just because they were offended by them in someway. I condemn the murders, and hope each and everyone of them are brought to trial, and given the harshest penalty available under French law. In no way should those maniacs be allowed to intimate us into silence, because they think they have a right to silence those critical of their religion, in any way. Religion, along with any ideology, needs to be criticized. However, as Katherine Cross points out, the religious fanatics who murdered those in the name of “defending” Islam, and Muhammad, aren’t the only aspect to this story. Although I won’t support anyone who would suggest we give into the demands of those terrorists, many of Charlie Hebdo’s cartoons are nothing if not extremely offensive and racist. Plus, there’s another group of extremists out there that are using the Charlie Hebdo massacre as a rallying cry for their evil cause.
What happened to the staff of Charlie Hebdo yesterday sent a chill down my spine, as I imagine it must have to anyone who makes a living on the world’s opinion pages.
The outpouring of grief over the senseless slaughter of twelve people, gunned down as they worked, seems to have brought a vast, diverse public together, united in condemnation of violence let loose over words and images. These murders are understandably being seen as an attack on free expression; if nothing else, this tragedy is considerably more serious than the last free speech martyr we collectively anointed, in the form of a dreadful Seth Rogen film.
But the ever lingering threat, already rapidly swelling up in commentary online around the world, is that of an equally violent reactionary backlash that — unlike Islamic extremists — cloaks itself in the lofty rhetoric of democracy and liberty. #KillAllMuslims trended on Twitter as people clamored to spread and defend Charlie Hebdo’s many inarguably racist caricatures of Muslims, as well as its often puerile humor — in one case depicting the schoolgirls captured by Boko Haram as welfare queens (see below) — while braying for the death, deportation, and bombing of anyone perceived to be Muslim; as we go to press, mosques in France have been attacked, likely in retaliation. All this screaming beneath a banner of “Free Speech.”
Great article in gawker about the NYPD. As a native New Yorker currently living in Scotland, I found the bolded paragraph especially pertinent:
[…] the apparent slippage in enforcement is addressed in a pair of New York Post articles published this week. According to the emphatically pro-cop tabloid, since December 22, tickets and minor summonses are down 94 percent and overall arrests down 66 percent compared to the same period last year. But instead of framing the lack of action in terms of Lynch’s raging ego, the Post and its sources posit that the recent unrest and the Liu-Ramos murder have left cops feeling afraid of being hurt on the job.
In truth, it’s probably a little bit of both. Whether you’re a good cop or a bad cop, waking up and starting your patrol in a city where two of your colleagues were killed on the job and where throngs of people express their displeasure with you every single night is surely a source of enormous anxiety and discomfort, and rightfully so.
But fearful as it may be, this is the job the cops signed up for: to protect and serve, as the motto on the side of every squad car in New York says, with courtesy, professionalism, and respect. This is why the angle that Lynch’s vituperative rhetoric is really about a union contract dispute is so unconvincing. Despite what the NYPD would have you believe, a police officer is not an oppressed minority, but a special, protected class of person—just look at what happened to Daniel Pantaleo after he killed a man on video for clear evidence of that. And if the pressures of being a police officer ever become too great, cops are welcome to relieve themselves of that special status by turning in their guns and badges and quitting the force.
Eric Garner wasn’t so privileged. When the pressures of being a black man in a racist police state became too great for him to bear, he didn’t have the luxury of quitting. The greatest tool at his disposal in the moments before his death was his voice, and he used it. “I’m tired of it! This stops today,” he pled with officers as they questioned him about allegedly selling a single loose cigarette. “Please, just leave me alone.” For that simple request, he was executed in public without a trial.
So much for the common claim by Islamophobes that mainstream or moderate Muslims never protest the extremists. Here is yet another example of that occurring, which the anti Muslim wingnuts expects us to believe never occurs. David O’leary reports.
Refugees cross into Turkey from Syria to escape fighting in the border town of Kobani. Picture: Getty
SCOTTISH Muslims are to stage an anti-Islamic State protest rally in Edinburgh condemning the group’s “heinous activities”, with thousands expected to attend.
The demonstration will take place on 2 November at The Mound in Edinburgh and is organised by the city’s Muslim community, who say it will be “open to members of all communities” who wish to voice their opposition to the barbaric acts of IS and condemn the murders of David Haines and Alan Henning.
Organised by award- winning restaurateur Matin Khan, speakers confirmed for the day include Labour MPs Sheila Gilmore and David Hamilton, with more to be announced.
Khan is the owner of Itihaas restaurant in Dalkeith and the current Scottish Curry Chef of the Year, and says he was moved to organise the peace rally in an attempt to show that IS “do not in any way represent Islam”. He said: “The IS beheading of David Haines and Alan Henning and the posting of their actions on the internet is barbaric.
(Reuters) - Police in Miami investigating the killing of a 60-year-old Orthodox rabbi over the weekend said on Monday they haven’t yet decided whether the shooting was a hate crime.
While investigators at a news conference called for witnesses to come forward, Jewish groups have issued conflicting interpretations of Rabbi Joseph Raksin’s murder.
Raksin, a New York City resident who was in Miami visiting relatives, was shot Saturday morning allegedly by one of two black men who approached him as he walked toward a temple in a heavily Jewish enclave of North Miami Beach, according to police. No arrests have been made in the case.
Local representatives of the American Jewish Committee told the Miami Herald that recent acts of vandalism, including the July 28 discovery of what appeared to be a swastika and the name of the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas written on the temple where Raksin was headed, point to the possibility of a hate crime.
The Miami branch of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) in a statement over the weekend said Raksin’s death appeared to have stemmed from a robbery gone awry.
“While our community is on high alert due to recent anti-Semitic incidents that have coincided with hostilities in the Middle East, we must be careful not to assume this was a hate-motivated crime,” ADL Florida Regional Director Hava Holzhauer wrote.
However some Jewish activists working with Miami-Dade police to investigate Raksin’s death disagreed with the ADL.
“There is one witness who wants to stay anonymous and he watched two guys go up with a gun, kill a guy, and walk away smiling,” said Yona Lunger, a member of North Miami Beach’s Shmira Patrol, which is akin to a neighborhood watch.
Lunger said a woman who attended Raksin’s funeral on Sunday returned home and found what appeared to be a swastika scratched into the family’s car. Miami-Dade police spokeswoman Robin Pinkard confirmed the incident.
The body of an independent Russian journalist was found in a wood the day after he had gone missing following threats from law enforcement authorities.
Timur Kuashev worked for the magazine Dosh (or Dosch) as its correspondent in Nalchik, the capital of the autonomous Kabardino-Balkar republic in the Russian Caucasus.
His body was found on Friday (1 August) in a wood near the Nalchik suburb of Khasania after he went missing the previous evening. There were no visible signs of violence. At the time of his burial on Saturday, the results of an autopsy to determine the cause of his death were unknown.
An article in Dosh said: “We believe that Timur was kidnapped from his home.” It pointed out that his mobile phone, which he always carried, was found in his apartment.
Kuashev had written about alleged human rights abuses by the security forces in the course of anti-terrorism operations. He also criticised Russian policy in Ukraine.
What Calgary police chief Rick Hanson called the “worst mass murder” in the city’s history didn’t end at the barrel of a gun.
Instead, the 22-year-old suspect identified on Tuesday as Matthew de Grood is accused of entering the kitchen at a house party, taking “a large knife” and using it to fatally stab four men and one woman, all of whom were students in their 20s.
The scene was “horrific,” Hanson told reporters.
Matthew de Grood, the suspect in the killings of five people, graduated from the University of Calgary and was admitted to attend law school in the fall. (Facebook)
But as police continue to investigate, the tragedy was also a grave reminder that stabbings top the list when it comes to violent crime in the country, with Statistics Canada reporting in 2008 that one-third of homicides or attempted murders involved knives — more than any other type of weapon, including firearms.
The attack at the house party came the same day that four shoppers in Regina were stabbed at a mall, a 17-year-old student was stabbed at a Brampton, Ont., high school and a week after a 47-year-old man was charged in the stabbings of four ex-coworkers at a Toronto office.
As details emerged about the Calgary slayings, social media users anticipated swift legislative action.
“About time to ban assault knives!” one person tweeted, linking to the Calgary story.
Another Twitter user questioned whether a “ban all the knives campaign” was forthcoming.
Criminologists say neither scenario is likely.
“I call it moral panic,” said Janne Holmgren, director for the Centre for Criminology and Justice Research at Mount Royal University. “Sometimes fear drives a lot of legislation, unfortunately.”
A Houston man arrested in the murder of his daughter and her girlfriend was “not happy” about the couple’s lesbian relationship, according to a spokesman for the Galveston County Sheriff’s Office.
James Larry Cosby, 46, was arrested Wednesday night and charged with two counts of tampering with evidence in the deaths of his daughter, Britney Cosby, and her girlfriend of two years, Crystal Jackson. Authorities say the charges against James Cosby could be upgraded to capital murder. The bodies of Britney Cosby and Jackson, both 24, were found beside a Dumpster in Port Bolivar, near Galveston, last Friday.