WASHINGTON —The National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty announced on Tuesday the launch of a new coalition uniting human rights organizations, religious groups, and pro-liberty advocacy groups to pressure state governments to put an end to capital punishment.
The coalition, which has up to 15 national partnering organizations, is named the "90 Million Strong" campaign, which signifies the 33 percent of Americans, according to Gallup polls, who say they oppose the death penalty.
With only 28 states and the District of Columbia not currently using the death penalty, and seven states carrying out the death penalty in 2014, the coalition aims to fully mobilize the "90 million" Americans to lobby state-by-state to get the other states that still actively use the death penalty to halt what they claim are "unfair" and immoral practices. more >>
The mother of Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old Cleveland boy who was shot dead by a police officer while holding a toy gun, revealed that her 14-year-old daughter was also tackled to the ground by police in the incident, handcuffed and put in the back seat of a police car.
"I asked the police to let my daughter go and they wouldn't at that time and I asked them, 'What's going on?' But they wasn't telling me anything, just saying, 'Calm down, calm down,'" Samaria Rice said at a news conference on Monday, according to ABC News.
"I knew she was crying for me but I couldn't see her hands," Rice said of her daughter, who was inside the recreational center at the time of the shooting. The mother noted that she had to decide whether to stay with her injured son or arrested daughter, but decided to go with Tamir. more >>
A second video showing the immediate aftermath of the choking of Staten Island, New York father of six, Eric Garner, by NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo, shortly before he was pronounced dead over the summer, has been drawing renewed interest in the wake of last week's grand jury decision to not criminally indict the officer for Garner's death.
The video, first posted to Facebook on July 18 by Taisha Allen and later added to YouTube, has been viewed more than 2 million times and shared nearly 57,000 times on Facebook.
In hindsight, some critics, like New York Daily News writer Harry Siegel, believe this second video is more disturbing than the first in which Garner is heard begging for his life saying repeatedly, "I can't breathe. I can't breathe." more >>
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio revealed in an interview on Sunday that he has taught his biracial son to not "move suddenly" or "reach for [his] cell phone" when near police officers, adding that the reality is different for white children. A police union chief responded by slamming the comments as "moronic," and said that they do not help ease the racial tensions in the city.
When asked by ABC News on Sunday whether he believes his son, Dante, is at risk from the police department, de Blasio, who is married to an African-American woman, said:
"It's different for a white child. That's just the reality in this country." more >>
Christian rapper Lecrae Moore, popularly known as Lecrae, suggested Thursday that the shooting death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice by Cleveland police officer Timothy Loehmann for playing around with a pellet gun on Nov. 22 was a "foolish" decision.
Recalling a similar incident which happened in his life as a 13-year-old, the now 35-year-old rapper praised God for the starkly different response of the officers who accosted him back then in a Facebook post that as of Saturday evening had been shared nearly 7,000 times and liked more than 43,000 times.
"Part of my testimony is how I was harassing people with a pellet gun as a 13yr old and was apprehended by police. But I'm still ALIVE! I wasn't shot down. Those cops did a good job," said Moore. more >>
In a time of intense racial tension in the U.S., a megachurch congregation of predominately black members at a thriving Shiloh Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida, is making a powerful statement by merging with a struggling predominately white church to launch a second church 22 miles away from its current downtown location.
Shiloh Baptist, led by Pastor H.B. Charles Jr., is merging with Ridgewood Baptist Church in Orange Park, pastored by Michael Clifford. Charles told The Christian Post that it was in "the providence of God" that the merger took place during such a racially charged moment in the nation's history.
"Just a few weeks ago, we were wrestling with the fact that no one really knew what was taking place," Charles, 41, said. "In the providence of God, He's the kind of a God that knew that for us. We are excited that our actions are making their own independent statement for Christ in the midst of all of the racial tension that's in the news these days." more >>