(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.
Updated : Meet the American Pastor Responsible for the Murder, Criminalization and Oppression of Africa’s Gays
Mother Jones has a fantastic article providing the history and consequences of his anti-gay campaigning in Uganda. To say this man is responsible for murder, oppression, hate crimes, and torture, is not a “bridge too far”.
Yes - American Christians are behind both Russia’s and Uganda’s anti-gay persecution and crimes against humanity, and here is the evidence:
In early March 2009, Lively returned to Uganda at Langa’s invitation. Uganda’s High Court had recently found that the government overstepped its authority by detaining two gay activists simply because they were gay. In response, a Langa-run group called the Family Life Network planned a three-day conference to expose what he called the “hidden and dark” gay agenda. On the last day, Lively gave a marathon five-hour presentation, which was broadcast on Ugandan television. He claimed that homosexuals were aggressively recruiting Uganda’s children and argued that human rights protections shouldn’t be extended to these “predatory” figures.
A member of parliament from the Democratic Republic of Congo is pushing for an anti-LGBT bill that mirrors Uganda’s controversial measure that was signed into law last month, All Africa reports.
According to Ynajia, reports say, “sexual moans were heard about 20 minutes after them men had checked into the room they had booked at the hotel.” The hotel attendant, who reportedly heard the men, notified police and the couple was soon arrested.
The New Civil Rights Movement points to reports that several LGBT people from Uganda have been evicted from their homes because of their sexuality. The blog Sebaspace posted two evictions by posting scans of notices. The first letter, dated March 3, reads:
“You have been a wonderful woman as well as a tenant who hasn’t given me any trouble over rent whatsoever. But due to what is going on in the country [regarding the anti-gay law] and your way you and your friends behave, I am sorry but I think you are a depraved person who I can no longer tolerate in my house. I also cannot fight against the government. For that reason, I want you out of my house by March 30, 2014, peacefully.”
The second letter says:
“I am writing to inform you that you have been evicted from the house you live in because of the stories [about your gay lifestyle] that appeared on Bukedde Television and in the print media. We can no longer live with someone like you. Therefore, vacate the premises before the 5th of May 2014”
The NCRM also notes that LGBT activists Scott Long and Kasha Jacqueline posted to the Sebaspace blog as well.
The U.N. Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in North Korea released a 400-page report Monday detailing just how bad things are there; here’s the laundry list:
“These crimes against humanity entail extermination, murder, enslavement, torture, imprisonment, rape, forced abortions and other sexual violence, persecution on political, religious, racial and gender grounds, the forcible transfer of populations, the enforced disappearance of persons and the inhumane act of knowingly causing prolonged starvation.”
Which pretty much says it all, though, as Julie Makinen reported for The Times, the report further noted: “the ‘gravity, scale and nature of the violations’ in the totalitarian state over several decades do not have ‘any parallel in the contemporary world.’ “
The New York Post — New York City’s arbiter of news ethics and breaking stories — wants readers to know that it isn’t sorry about its front page headline today.
The headline, “Slumlord found burned in dumpster: Who didn’t want him dead?” accompanies a story about Menachem Stark, a man who was kidnapped outside of his office on Thursday and found dead and still smoldering Sunday in a dumpster on Long Island.
The story, as one might surmise from the headline, isn’t really about the horrific crime scene, but rather, conjecture loaded with unflattering Jewish references.
“He’s a Hasidic Jew from Williamsburg, and we think he’s a scammer,” the Post quotes an unnamed source as saying.
“His slanted shtreimel on his head gives his crookedness away,” goes another quote from “one commenter… on failedmessiah.com, referring to the victim’s fur hat in a photo.”
The parents of a woman who was shot and killed by a former boyfriend are suing the city and the Tucson Police Department for negligence.
John and Wendy Hicks claim TPD officers didn’t do enough to protect their daughter from the man she had a restraining order against.
They claim officers dragged their feet for over three months to arrest the man for violations of an order of protection.
If police had reacted in time, the Hickses say, their daughter would still be alive.
A TPD officer contacted John Hicks in January 2013 looking for contact information for Ashley because he was following up on the Sept. 12 incident.
John Hicks informed the officer his daughter was murdered a month earlier.
The officer couldn’t tell John Hicks why nothing had been done sooner, court documents show.
The lawsuit contends if officers had arrested Francis, he would have likely received significant jail time and been evaluated, and possibly treated, for mental illness.
Emphasis added. That bit makes the department look totally out of control.
Read the whole article here: Lawsuit: Tucson Police Failed to Protect Slain Woman
The rest of it is all too typical. A judge will grant a restraining order, but a police department fails to take it seriously, and another woman is killed by her ex. I hope the family wins the suit so that police departments change their behavior.
There’s a powerful piece of writing by Tommy Christopher on Mediate about a major US network excusing the murder of a disabled child.
People with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) are routinely slandered in the news media, even by parents of autistic children, but nothing comes remotely close to a CBS News report that sickly excuses the murder of 14 year-old Alex Spourdalakis by his mother and an accomplice. The report has spurred a petition to have CBS News take it down, but they really need to air a complete retraction, and discipline everyone involved in this travesty.
In another powerful piece for ABC Australia Stella Young details harrowing case after harrowing case of:
Disabled people who have died at the hands of family members, and so often the media uses terms like ‘compassionate homicide’ or ‘mercy killing’ to describe the actions. But the killing of a disabled person is not ‘compassionate’. It is not ‘euthanasia’. It is murder.
Like Christopher, Young makes this point:
While the disability support system may indeed be woefully inadequate to support these parents, it cannot possibly be used to justify murder.
Of course not, but I do wonder if there is not a collective responsibility. A community, neighbours, relatives, who let down those disabled people. Professionals who, like is often reported when a child is neglected and murdered, who saw warning signs but failed to take action?
If we can understand racism or homophobia as being something pervasive, as not limited to ‘bad’ and ‘good’ individuals, as not a personalised ‘sin’, then surely disabalism is also a collective and pervasive issue? That disabalism killed these people?
If these parents were killing their kids because they’re gay then we’d understand that the parents are personally responsible but also that the community let them get away with it and allowed that level of hate to fester?
An address originally shared on Twitter more than a year ago by movie director Spike Lee is being re-tweeted hundreds of times as belonging to Zimmerman.
The address is one again making its rounds on the Internet, but authorities said it is not Zimmerman’s address.
The family who lives there said they’re worried that now that their address is on the blogs, someone with an extreme view of the trial will come after them.
It’s amazing how stupid people on “the internet” are. A simple google of the address would show all the old Spike Lee stories about it, without even mentioning how stupid it is to blindly forward a residential address.