Cleveland to Overhaul Police Department


I saw this at TheRoot.com, and felt that I should share, as this is my town at least for now. This problem is everywhere and must be fixed. Protests have been peaceful so far and I hope that continues but the investigation into Tamir Rice’s death is ongoing. He was twelve and playing with a toy gun and the police shot and killed him.

Cleveland to Overhaul Police Department in Agreement With Justice Department

An 18-month investigation by the Justice Department concluded that the Cleveland Police Department exhibited a pattern of “unconstitutional policing and excessive use of force.”

Posted: May 26 2015 7:18 AM
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People march in protest May 23, 2015, to the Cuddell Recreation Center in Cleveland, where 12-year-old Tamir Rice was killed by police. The march was in reaction to Cleveland Police Officer Michael Brelo’s acquittal on manslaughter charges in a separate case in which he shot two people in a fatal 2012 incident during which police officers fired some 137 shots at the pair.RICKY RHODES/GETTY IMAGES

Updated Tuesday, May 26, 5:45 p.m. EDT: Specifics of the agreement between the Department of Justice and the city of Cleveland over abusive and excessive use of force by police have been released, according to Yahoo News, and they include a substantial overhaul of police procedures and policies.

An independent monitor will oversee changes in the Cleveland Police Department, which include community policing and getting officers more involved in their neighborhoods; modernizing technology; training to avoid racial stereotyping; and implementing new procedures to investigate misconduct allegations.

According to the website, Mayor Frank Johnson says that he hopes the agreement will be a model for other cities. Groups, including the NAACP and the police union, are still reviewing its details.

Earlier:

The Justice Department has reached a settlement with the city of Cleveland after an 18-month investigation into the city’s Police Department found “a pattern of unconstitutional policing and excessive use of force,” the New York Times reports.

According to the Times, specifics of the settlement have not been disclosed, but the investigation, which ended in December 2013, was prompted after a 2012 shooting involving several officers who fired more than 130 shots at two unarmed people—Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams—inside a vehicle.

News of the settlement comes just days after Cleveland Police Officer Michael Brelo was acquitted for his role in the 2012 shooting. The Times notes that while several officers fired some 137 shots into the vehicle after a high-speed car chase, Brelo was charged with manslaughter for reportedly waiting until the car came to a stop and then jumping onto the hood and firing another 15 shots into the car’s windshield. Both Russell and Williams died from gunshot wounds.

Some 71 demonstrators were arrested after hundreds of people gathered Saturday to protest the officer’s acquittal.

According to the Times, the most damning portion of the Justice Department’s investigation cited several incidents during which officers used excessive or deadly force.

“Investigators said officers unnecessarily used deadly force; used excessive force against mentally ill people; and inappropriately resorted to stun guns, chemical sprays and punches,” the Times reports.

The investigation was concluded before the death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice, who was fatally shot by police while he played with a toy gun in a Cleveland park near his home.

The Times notes, “The Justice Department has opened nearly two dozen investigations into police departments under the Obama administration. Federal investigators found patterns of unconstitutional policing in cities including Seattle, Newark, Albuquerque and Ferguson.” An investigation has been launched in Baltimore in the wake of the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, who died from injuries suffered while in police custody.

A Brief Hiatus


I will not be doing a blog for the next month or so.
My sister & I are relocating to North Carolina.  We are sorting and packing and saying our good-byes   There will be out of town company coming to say good-bye to us, and generally it is a very hectic, slightly insane time, in the middle of which  have another back treatment.

When I have time, I will try to read some of your blogs, to keep up with everyone.

I will miss our conversations and I know I will be very glad to be back writing again when the move is finished.

I will be back with you all towards the end of June.

Namaste,

Barbara

Creed for Optimists


Years ago, I received a wonderful book For This One Hour, from my father.  It’s a first edition, published in 1969, and has separate sections for being Grateful, Cheerful, Optimistic, Unselfish, Forgiving, and Generous; for spending Time in Prayer, looking for the Best in Others, helping to Make Someone Happy, and living in the Present.

 

It’s a wonderful source of inspiration to me, and has been for many years.

 

Today, with so much negativity in the world, I thought I would share one of my favorite passages, the Creed for Optimists:  10 simple things we can all strive to do for ourselves and our world to make both better.

 

 

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The Creed for Optimists 

  1. Promise yourself to be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind
  2. Promise yourself to talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet.
  3. Promise yourself to make all your friends feel that there is something in them.
  4. Promise yourself to look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.
  5. Promise yourself to think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best.
  6. Promise yourself to be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.
  7. Promise yourself to forget the mistakes of the past and to press on to the greater achievements of the future.
  8. Promise yourself to wear a friendly countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.
  9. Promise yourself to spend so much time improving yourself that you have no time left to criticize others.
  10. Promise yourself to be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble

–Christian D. Larsen, from For This One Hour, compiled by William Arthur Ward, copyright 1969, Droke House publishers

 

 

 

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Coast of North Carolina Copyright Barbara Mattio 2012

 

 

Mother’s Day Proclamation of 1870


Another year has come and gone, and in the last year, so many mothers have lost their sons in senseless violence.  Some of these losses have made the national news, and have become losses for the entire nation, as our cities are rocked with violence and unrest protesting the deaths, but this doesn’t help the mother who buries her son in the ground and faces what may be her first Mother’s Day without that card or flowers or just a hug from her baby.

Women — mothers, sisters, grandmothers, aunts — have lost beloved women in their lives — mothers, sisters, grandmothers, aunts, cousins, friends too dear to be merely ‘friends’ — to breast cancer and other forms of cancer, and still no cures to be found.

Mothers  have lost brave sons and daughters in the military, heroes who have given their lives for their country.  And Mothers have sons and daughters who have blessedly returned alive from combat, but who are damaged in ways visible and invisible.  To these mothers, we send our love and thank you for the gift you have given to your country.  We don’t want you to feel as if you’ve been forgotten, for we know that it is not only your child who made a sacrifice, but you as well.

To all who have lost beloved women in their lives, I share a tradition I cherish when I think of those I have lost:  As long as one person lives who remembers their name, they are never truly gone nor forgotten.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the women of the world.  May your light shine everyday and may you always know how much are loved and respected by those around you.

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Mother’s Day Proclamation of 1870 – Julia Ward Howe

“Arise, the women of this day!
Arise all women who have hearts,
Whether your baptism be that of water or of tears!
Say firmly
“We will not have questions decided by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands shall not come to us, reeking of carnage,
for caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We women of one country
will be too tender of those of another country
to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.”
From the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes with
our own, it says ‘disarm! disarm!’
The sword of murder is not the balance of justice.
Blood does not wipe out dishonor
Nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plow and the anvil at the summons of war,
Let women now leave all that may be left of home
For a great and earnest day of counsel.
Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them then solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
whereby the great human family can live in peace,
each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Ceasar,
But of God.
In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
that a general congress of women without limit of nationality,
be appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient
and at the earliest period consistent with its objects,
to promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
the amicable settlement of international questions,
the great and general interests of peace.”

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Copyright 2014 Barbara Mattio

Copyright 2014 Barbara Mattio

Premio Dardos Award


I want to say thank you to Wilson Agaba, who was kind enough to nominate me for the Premio Dardos Award.

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His blog is definitely worth checking out.

The Premio Dardos Award exists to acknowledge the values that every blogger shows in their effort to transmit cultural, ethical, literary, and personal values every day. These stamps were created with the intention of promoting fraternization between bloggers, a way of showing affection and gratitude for work that adds value to the Web.

The rules are simple: You can accept the award by posting it on your blog along with the name of the person that has granted the award and a link to his or her blog. Include the image of the “Premios Dardos” in the post. Pass the award to another 15 blogs that are worthy of this acknowledgement!

My nominees are:

  1.  Dr. Rex
  2. Inavukic
  3. Xena
  4. Rellick
  5. Willowdot21
  6. BusyMindThinking
  7. lobotero
  8. Petrel41
  9. Ivon Prefontaine
  10. Maverick
  11. Wandering Professor
  12. Moorbey
  13. Petchary
  14. ProfessionsForPeace
  15. LucidGypsy
  16. NewsFerret
  17. Return of the Modern Philosopher

Science and Spirituality


I wanted to share another TED Talk with you — Jeff Lieberman, an MIT-trained artist, scientist and engineer, makes a scientific argument for mystical experience. He asks us to challenge our perception of what we are, our relationship to the universe, and our relationship to one another. Our minds are “thought-generating machines.” What we would happen if we could turn off the machine? If we could transcend our individual experience of the world?

Most of you know that I am a very spiritual person, but I believe in science as well, and I do not believe that the two are mutually exclusive.  Do you?