Showing posts with label Bias. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bias. Show all posts

May 21, 2018

Gay Coupled Kicked Out of Lyft Ride by Driver~~A Kiss~



 Ben Martella and Alec Jansen had no reason to believe their ride from Butler University in Indianapolis was going to be anything out of the ordinary earlier this month. But about a mile into the ride, the Lyft driver ordered the pair to get out of the car at a red light. Why? They had dared to share a brief kiss in the back seat of the car, the couple told the Indianapolis Star.
“We basically pecked, nothing out of the ordinary,” Martella, who is a student at Butler, told the paper. “He looked in his rear view mirror. He was yelling. We were stunned. We didn’t know the reason for it. He said, ‘I’m going to end your ride. I can’t have that in my car. I don’t have that here.’ … I was really upset. It was a big reaction for such a small display of affection between two guys.” Jensen agreed on the entire surreal nature of the sequence of events: “We gave each other a short kiss on the lips. … I was just surprised the whole thing happened. It just didn’t seem like it was real.” Martella tweeted about the incident, saying he felt “unfairly judged by this service.”
Lyft refunded their money and said it took “the appropriate and necessary actions.” It was only after the paper contacted the company that it confirmed the driver had been “deactivated.” Considering the discrimination they suffered while using the company’s service though, the couple seems a bit dissatisfied with the company’s response. Martella said that his communication with the company was all “very impersonal. It’s all been half-way responses to the answer I was looking for.” Now he says he’s considering taking legal action. 


May 20, 2018

NYC Berserk Lawyer Got a Mexican Musical Armada at Home in His Neighborhood to Welcome Him



Dozens of people on Friday protested a New York lawyer who was filmed threatening to call immigration officials on people speaking Spanish in a Manhattan restaurant.
More than 100 people gathered outside the home of Aaron Schlossberg, with a Mariachi band and free tacos featured at the protest, The New York Post reported.
I think after this anti Spanish or anybody but people like him will get some medication to control himself when in the subways, restaurant, bus or the street he decided to open his mouth while on berserk mode. Imagine him getting off in one or two stops on the train to where you have a cluster of Hispanics, Indians, Muslims and start telling them they are not Americans or they can't speak their native language or he will report them to Immigration. I will guarantee you the guy will need plastic surgery or even worse. NYC is a tough city and it is to the temperament of the customers and employees when he went berserk that someone would not have made sure via a punch he did not speak any language while his broken jaw healed. I am very proud nothing of what happened and he was left to uninterrupted said whatever he could not control of saying.








May 19, 2018

The Languages Each Neighborhood in NYC Speaks the Most


 Lawyer went bezerk when he heard restaurant workers speaking to each other in spanish of all places, Manhattan, NYC


This week, a video of a lawyer threatening to call ICE on women speaking Spanish at a restaurant went viral. "This is America," said Aaron Schlossberg, the attorney. "Your staff should be speaking English, OK?"
This guy is obviously a racist, but he's also just wrong. Americans — and New Yorkers in particular — speak all kinds of languages, not just English. And there are many parts of New York where English isn't even the most common language you'll hear on the streets, in businesses and in homes. Business Insider's Andy Kiersz used data from the Minnesota Population Center to map the most common languages spoken in each neighborhood of New York City, and the results speak for themselves:  




 

(That enclave of Russian speakers at the southern tip of Brooklyn? That's where Brighton Beach and Coney Island are.)
Although the map of the most commonly spoken language in each neighborhood is pretty edifying, things get really interesting when you drill down to the second and third most commonly spoken languages in each neighborhood, which include Albanian, Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, Creole, French, Greek, Italian, Kru (a family of languages spoken in the Ivory Coast, Liberia and Burkina Faso), Punjabi, Polish, and Yiddish.

digg.com
 (Check out Business Insider's post to see maps showing where those languages are commonly spoken.) New York really is an amazingly diverse city — and most New Yorkers like it that way.

May 18, 2018

Bias and Bullying in Retirement Homes for LGBT is Another Mountain to Climb




Even before she began searching for senior housing, Marti Smith had heard the horror stories.
Her gay friends told Smith, a lesbian, that when their partners entered assisted living the partners had to hide their homosexuality to avoid bias and bullying. Even Smith's friends had to play along when they visited. 
“Visitors were told not to act gay or dress gay because of fear of harassment when they left,” said Smith, 73. “That’s very common.”
Earlier this month, an Evanston senior living community, the Merion, became the first in the state to achieve the top lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender competency credential from the nonprofit SAGE, a move that reflects a growing awareness of the challenges facing LGBT elders in senior housing. Both locally and nationally, seniors and advocates are calling for more welcoming and supportive housing. “My assessment is we still have a really, really long way to go,” said Britta Larson, senior services director at Chicago’s Center on Halsted, a comprehensive LGBTQ community center.
“Many organizations that serve seniors across Chicago are religiously affiliated, and so right there, out of the gate, you have a huge barrier to overcome. And even if a particular community or denomination is LGBT-friendly from the outside, an LGBT older adult would probably assume that they’re not welcoming.”
The number of LGBT people in the U.S. ages 50 and older is estimated at 2.7 million and is expected to grow dramatically over the next few decades, according to a 2017 report in The Gerontologist.
In senior living communities, LGBT people live side by side with heterosexuals who came of age when homosexuality was considered a mental illness or even a criminal offense. Bullying and discrimination are common, Larson said.
An outspoken older gay Chicagoan told Larson he had ridden the elevator in his senior housing with another resident who objected to the facility’s gay support group, using a gay slur.
“Well, I’m one of them, so you can shut the hell up,” the gay senior shot back. Larson chuckled when she related that response, but she said that for an LGBT person who is less confident, that kind of hostility could be intimidating.
The Merion got involved in LGBT training as an indirect result of a 2016 lawsuit filed by Marsha Wetzel, now 70, against a Niles senior living facility that she said had failed to halt physical and verbal abuse inflicted against her by other residents because she is a lesbian.
Wetzel, whose case against Glen St. Andrew Living Community is now before the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago, said in an interview that she’s received 150 letters of support, some from as far away as Australia, Iceland and Sweden.
Among those who took notice was Mark Zullo, the director of sales and marketing at the Merion.
“I can’t believe this is happening,” he remembers saying to himself when he saw a TV news report about Wetzel, who was attacked from behind, knocked off her scooter and called derogatory names, according to the lawsuit. Zullo set up staff training through SAGE, and he said the response was positive.
“I think the biggest fear was, am I saying the wrong thing?” he said. Training involved case studies and discussions and addressed practical issues. One lesson learned: Asking a senior about his wife signals that you’re assuming he is heterosexual; it’s better to use a neutral term such as partner.
Smith, the senior who heard horror stories about assisted living, is lucky. She landed one of 79 spots at the Town Hall apartments in Boystown, a gay-friendly senior living complex with a 200-person waiting list.
“I cannot tell you how important it is to be a 73-year-old out, card-carrying lesbian where I live,” she said. “I don’t have to worry. We have two social workers who are funded by the center and the residents, and I don’t have to explain things to them.”
Nara SchoenbergChicago Tribune

September 3, 2017

Gay Dad 52,Speaks Out for For Being Accused of Touching His 5yr.Son on United Flgt.

If you are Gay and have a small son, don't touch him  while traveling on United or you will spend an hour or two explaining that you still change his diapers.

Last May, the story of Henry Amador-Batten, a 52-year-old gay man, who was wrongly accused of inappropriately touching his five-year-old son, Ben, on a United Airlines flight went viral. A male flight attendant sounded the alarm on a scene that turned out to be totally innocent: Ben had his arm laced around his father’s arm, whose hand extended onto Ben’s lap. That scenario prompted an attendant to allege that Amador-Batten’s hand was too close to his son’s genitals. 


When the duo deplaned, authorities were waiting for Amador-Batten. They questioned him for 45 minutes in front of Ben and demanded evidence that he was indeed Ben’s father, which Amador-Batten immediately provided. He was released and United has since apologized.
Now, three months later, Amador-Batten tells People Chica that before his experience on United he’d never experienced discrimination on the basis of his sexuality. “I’m a 52-year-old man who has never had to fight because I’m gay. I’ve never been accused of anything, never been fired from a job, or lost a home. You hear all these stories, but I’d never experienced any of that.”


COURTESY OF HENRY AMADOR-BATTEN

The same can’t be said for his existence in the world as a Latino man. Half-Puerto Rican and half-Spanish, Amador-Batten recalls chilling incidents of racial profiling in the 80s and 90s. “I was nearly always targeted by security both in the U.S. and in the countries I was entering. I’m assuming,” he says, “that a well-dressed Hispanic man flying out of Miami was easily suspected of being in the drug business. I missed flights, had luggage basically torn apart. I had tubes of toothpaste squeezed out and even hems on my jacket and pants ripped open.”
When asked if he thinks his ethnicity played any part in the flight attendant’s allegations on United, he says: “We can’t know what the flight attendant’s motives, perceptions or intentions were. Although both Ben and I are Hispanic, he is lighter than I. Did the attendant see an older Hispanic man traveling with a little white boy? I can’t imagine he could have but who knows?”



On that note, he adds that when the story first came out several publications inaccurately asserted that Amador-Batten was white and Ben was black. “Even when photos were provided,” he says, “the black and white assumption hung around. I think creating a wider difference between my son and I made the story a bit more sensational and may have even made the flight attendant’s accusation more believable.”


COURTESY OF HENRY AMADOR-BATTEN

Amador-Batten read a recent report about a passenger on a United flight who wrongly accused a Mexican father of sex trafficking. The father, traveling alone with his half-Irish daughter, was detained and questioned by the authorities. Is it possible the attendant who targeted Amador-Batten was thinking along similar lines?
“The similarities in our stories,” Amador-Batten says, “are uncanny.”

BY 
People

September 6, 2016

Fox News is On Top But It Only Has 10 yrs(tops) of Mainstay Left









If Hillary Clinton wins in November and is given a second term the democratic candidates fighting to replace her then,  wont have Fox to kick them around anymore.  Let us explain;  But to do this we will need help from (based on scientific polling) an article on what is keeping Fox where it is and what will happen to melt the ice they are standing on in the frozen cold lake of network television. The help comes from Derek Thompson in an *article he wrote on the Atlantic. The article was edited and condensed by adamfoxie*blog.

*With Ailes out, the future of the network is in the hands of the younger Murdochs, who take the helm of a network that seems to be both drowning and soaring, at a time when television audiences are fleeing the big screen of the living room for other devices. The dilemma: Does Fox change course to attract a broader audience in a period of fragmented viewership, or rededicate itself to the formula of hyperpartisan infotainment that made it the reigning emperor of cable?

Fox News’ situation is reminiscent of another television behemoth. Several years ago, ESPN enjoyed a similar dominion in the cable kingdom, as the self-anointed worldwide leader in sports. Just as there is no remotely equal challenger to Fox News on cable, there had been no real rival for ESPN in cable sports.
  
But today, ESPN is the victim of a broader turn away from pay TV. After peaking in 2011, the number of households that pay for ESPN declined from 100 million to about 92 million in 2015, as younger families cut the cord, or bought cable bundles without ESPN, or never got pay TV in the first place. (For any product to receive $8 a month from 90 million households, as ESPN does today, is a remarkable achievement; however, in business, as in sports and politics, all narratives are present-biased, and the trend line has not been kind to ESPN.)


Like ESPN, Fox News’s present-day strength is its future weakness: Its success is concentrated among men well into their retirement.There is no polite way to say this, so one might as well be explicit: People don’t live forever. If the future of your business relies on a dramatic and sudden extension of average human lifespans, your ten-year outlook is murky.


The lesson to take from the worldwide leader’s slip is that star broadcasters, brilliant programming, and sparkling production value are nothing compared to the sheer force of demographics and the evolution of media technology. 

Television is particularly popular among men, people who didn’t go to college, and people over the age of 70, which is a great description of a predictable conservative. (Retired seniors watch more than 50 hours of television a week.) Indeed, this older male group is not only ready-made for cable-television-viewing; it comes prepackaged with extremely conservative views. Over the last three general-election cycles, the 65-and-up group voted for the GOP presidential candidate by an average of 9 percentage points.

The press critic and columnist Jack Shafer suggests a respectable future for Fox News, in which the merchant of right-wing outrage and conspiracy politics sees the light of civic journalism and goes straight. Shafer encourages the Murdochs to broaden Fox News’s appeal and "tilt the network harder in the direction of conscientious journalists like Megyn Kelly and Chris Wallace, and away from its honey badgers—notably Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity and the Fox & Friends crew.”

One suspects that an erudite press critic at a coastal news publication who urges Fox News to metamorph into a conservative version of PBS is thinking of his own audience rather than that of Fox News. Ailes built a media empire by broadcasting conservative septuagenarian catnip and forcing infrastructure companies to pay it billions of dollars in fees, lest old retired men use their copious free time to call Comcast and complain that they can’t get their favorite show.

There is not much precedent for expensive investigative journalism finding a dependably large audience on cable. Instead, the formula for driving profitable viewership on cable news is one that Hollywood learned several decades ago: Find your hero or antihero, and churn out as many sequels as viewers can take. On CNN, which has transformed rather deliberately into an all-day buffet of Trump banter, viewership rose 38 percent in 2015, more than Fox News or MSNBC, to reach its highest viewership in seven years. In the first quarter of 2016, its primetime ratings grew 159 percent annually.

But when it comes to building blockbusters around heroes and villains, CNN is the Padawan and Fox News is the Jedi Master. Its genius was in recognizing the appeal of simple recognizable demons, like Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, politically correct teenagers, and the remainder of America’s occult army of radical socialist secularists. The wealth of Fox News and the rise of Trump-obsessed CNN suggests that most cable-news devotees probably don’t watch television to challenge their incoming assumptions and to learn that the world is complex. 

A smart case for Fox News’ sustainability—and that of the cable industry—is the overall aging of the country. The share of Americans over the age of 75 is projected to grow by more than 40 percent this decade. But it’s not altogether clear from current viewing patterns that today’s middle-aged conservatives are destined to become tomorrow's Fox News devotees. (In other words, conservatism may be an age effect, but cable news devotion is more of a cohort effect.)* It is also not clear that younger generations of conservatives are eager to pick up where their parents and grandparents left off. Today’s young people are less likely to be Republicans than their parents, less likely to watch cable news, and even less likely to pay for cable in the first place. Those who gravitate to conservative views seem more likely to align themselves with digital platforms, like Breitbart.

Fox News’ chief rival isn’t CNN, The New York Times, or even Facebook. It’s time. The average age of a Fox News viewer is about 70. The average life expectancy of a white American male is about 80. Fox News may continue to trounce CNN and MSNBC, but mortality will provide awfully stiff competition.

January 9, 2015

Judge in Ireland Rules the gay men blood plan, is gay biased and Irrational


 

Ruling strengthens October 2013 finding that ban on gay men donating blood is irrational 

Edwin Poots:  the former health minister has launched an appeal against the irrationality finding against him. Photograph: Kevin Boyes
Edwin Poots: the former health minister has launched an appeal against the irrationality finding against him. Photograph: Kevin Boyes
Former Stormont health minister Edwin Poots’ ban on gay men giving blood in Northern Ireland was infected by apparent bias, a High Court judge ruled yesterday. Mr Justice Treacy also held there had been a “very troubling lack of candour” and attempt by the Democratic Unionist MLA to conceal the fact he had taken a decision to maintain the lifetime prohibition. 
He also backed claims by lawyers for a homosexual man that Assembly comments showed Mr Poots stance was influenced by his Christian beliefs. 
The verdict strengthens a previous finding in October 2013 that the ban is irrational. At that time the judge had reached no conclusion on allegations that the decision was prejudiced by religious views. 
Before leaving office Mr Poots launched an appeal against the irrationality finding against him. British health secretary Jeremy Hunt is also contesting the ruling. With the appeal hearing due to get under way later this month, Mr Justice Treacy was asked to make a further determination on the claims of apparent bias. 
The gay blood ban, put in place during the 1980s AIDS threat, was lifted in EnglandScotland and Wales in November 2011. It was replaced by new rules which allow blood from men whose last sexual contact with another man was more than a year ago. Mr Poots however maintained the prohibition in Northern Ireland on the basis of ensuring public safety. 
In his earlier verdict Mr Justice Treacy found the decision was irrational and declared Mr Poots in breach of the ministerial code by failing to take the issue before the Stormont Executive. 
Counsel for the former minister has consistently rejected claims that his position may have been influenced by religious views, but lawyers for the gay man who brought the challenge, identified only as JR65, introduced remarks Mr Poots made in the Assembly while allegedly talking about the case to support their claims of suspected bias. 
The DUP MLA was recorded as saying: “There is a continual battering of Christian principles, and I have to say this – shame on the courts, for going down the route of constantly attacking Christian principles, Christian ethics and Christian morals, on which this society was based and which have given us a very good foundation.” 
Mr Justice Treacy questioned why he would be making such comments if his decision was based only on health grounds. 
“If health was, as the minister claimed, the sole basis underpinning the impugned decision, no question of any assault on Christian principles or morals could conceivably arise,” he said. “Such a criticism could only make any sense if the minister regarded his challenged decision as a manifestation of expression of his religious beliefs.” 
The judge also cited Mr Poots previous opposition to gay rights legislation and a news article from 2001 where he spoke of the rights of those receiving donations to know they are getting “clean blood” uncontaminated by the HIV virus. 
Setting out further reasons for his finding, Mr Justice Treacy pointed out how the minister took his decision against the advice of senior officials and without consulting the Assembly health committee or other interested parties. Mr Poots’s initial denial that he had taken a decision on the issue was rejected. 
The judge said: “The Minister’s very troubling lack of candor and his attempt to conceal the fact that he had made a decision are plainly circumstances that are material to whether a fair-minded and informed observer would conclude that there was a real possibility of bias.”
Alan Erwin

July 21, 2014

No Hearsay: ATF Stings Targets Minorities




WASHINGTON — The nation's top gun-enforcement agency overwhelmingly targeted racial and ethnic minorities as it expanded its use of controversial drug sting operations, a USA TODAY investigation shows.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has more than quadrupled its use of those stings during the past decade, quietly making them a central part of its attempts to combat gun crime. The operations are designed to produce long prison sentences for suspects enticed by the promise of pocketing as much as $100,000 for robbing a drug stash house that does not actually exist.
At least 91% of the people agents have locked up using those stings were racial or ethnic minorities, USA TODAY found after reviewing court files and prison records from across the United States. Nearly all were either black or Hispanic. That rate is far higher than among people arrested for big-city violent crimes, or for other federal robbery, drug and gun offenses.
The ATF operations raise particular concerns because they seek to enlist suspected criminals in new crimes rather than merely solving old ones, giving agents and their underworld informants unusually wide latitude to select who will be targeted. In some cases, informants said they identified targets for the stings after simply meeting them on the street.
"There's something very wrong going on here," said University of Chicago law professor Alison Siegler, part of a team of lawyers challenging the ATF's tactics in an Illinois federal court. "The government is creating these crimes and then choosing who it's going to target."
Current and former ATF officials insist that race plays no part in the operations. Instead, they said, agents seek to identify people already committing violent robberies in crime-ridden areas, usually focusing on those who have amassed long and violent rap sheets.
"There is no profiling going on here," said Melvin King, ATF's deputy assistant director for field operations, who has supervised some of the investigations. "We're targeting the worst of the worst, and we're looking for violent criminals that are using firearms in furtherance of other illegal activities."
STINGS RUN INTO A LEGAL BACKLASH
The ATF's stash-house investigations already face a legal backlash. Two federal judges in California ruled this year that agents violated the Constitution by setting people up for "fictitious crime" they wouldn't otherwise commit; a federal appeals court in Chicago is weighing whether an operation there amounted to entrapment. Even some of the judges who have signed off on the operations have expressed misgivings about them.
On top of that, defense lawyers in three states have charged that ATF is profiling minority suspects. They asked judges to force the Justice Department to turn over records they hope will prove those claims. Last year, the chief federal judge in Chicago, U.S. District Court Judge Ruben Castillo, agreed and ordered government lawyers to produce a trove of information, saying there was a "strong showing of potential bias."
Justice Department lawyers fought to block the disclosures. In one case in Chicago, the department refused to comply with another judge's order that it produce information about the stings. The records it has so far produced in other cases remain sealed.
Because of that secrecy, the data compiled by USA TODAY offer the broadest evidence yet that ATF's operations have overwhelmingly had minority suspects in their cross hairs. The newspaper identified a sample of 635 defendants arrested in stash-house stings during the past decade, and found 579, or 91%, were minorities.
The ATF said it could not confirm those figures because the agency does not track the demographics of the people it arrests in stash-house cases.
That alone is troubling, said Emma Andersson, a staff attorney for the ACLU's Criminal Law Reform Project. "Management is simply putting its head in the sand," she said.
Other police agencies routinely collect that type of information to monitor racial profiling, and Attorney General Eric Holder said in April that the Justice Department would attempt to do so, as well. "To be successful in reducing both the experience and the perception of bias, we must have verifiable data about the problem," Holder said at the time.
"It's not enough to say we're not purposely targeting young men of color," said Katharine Tinto, a professor at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law who has studied the ATF's tactics. "When you have a possibly discriminatory effect, it should still require you to go back and look at the structure of the operation," including where and how agents choose to conduct the operations.
HOW ATF CHOOSES ITS TARGETS
ATF guidelines require that field supervisors and officials in Washington approve each stash-house sting. The reviews focus mostly on ensuring that suspects have a sufficiently serious record to justify such a costly, and at times dangerous, undercover investigation; officials said they do not include any consideration of the suspect's race.
The ATF declined to explain how it selects the stings' targets, other than to say its agents rely on criminal records, police intelligence files and confidential informants to identify people already responsible for violent robberies. Still, court records raise questions about how and where those informants go about finding suspects.
In one case in San Diego, a government informant, identified in court records only by the pseudonym "Tony," testified that he sometimes approached people on the street to see if they wanted to commit a drug robbery. Which streets, defense attorney John Kirby asked.
"Different neighborhoods. I have targeted all kinds of areas," the informant replied.
"Do you do it in La Jolla?" Kirby asked, referring to the well-to-do seaside section of San Diego.
"I'm not familiar with La Jolla," he replied.
"Scripps Ranch?" Kirby asked, referring to another.
"No."
Kirby, a former federal prosecutor, said it was clear to him ATF informants were "trolling what was almost exclusively an African-American neighborhood, and there aren't a lot of those in San Diego."
The ATF offers a suspected robber the chance to steal 40 kilograms of cocaine.
In another case, a federal appeals court judge said the ATF dispatched an informant "to randomly recruit 'bad guys' in a 'bad part of town.' " The judge, Stephen Reinhardt,went on to express doubts about "whether the government may target poor, minority neighborhoods and seek to tempt their residents to commit crimes that might well result in their escape from poverty," calling that approach an "open invitation to racial discrimination."
A California federal judge similarly accused ATF agents this year of "trolling poor neighborhoods" for suspects before he dismissed criminal charges against three men. The government has appealed that decision.
The stings are engineered to produce prison sentences of a decade or more, mostly by capitalizing on federal laws that impose tough mandatory penalties for people who conspire to possess large quantities of drugs — even if those drugs don't actually exist.
Another USA TODAY investigation last year found that although the ATF stash-house operations have succeeded in locking up some well-armed suspects with long records of violence, they have also swept up scores of low-level crooks who jumped at the potential payday for a few hours of work. One investigation targeted off-duty Army Rangers; in another, agents had to supply their would-be armed robbers with a gun.
The ATF cut its use of stash-house stings by more than half this year, in part because "you've advertised this technique," King said.
King, who is black, said he had approved some stings and rejected others, looking only at the suspect's criminal record and never at his race. "When I hear that argument that ATF is targeting minorities or, in particular, African Americans, I find it offensive because that means I would be a party to such an unfair thing," King said. "It's the furthest thing from the truth."
MINORITY ARRESTS, BUT IS IT PROFILING?
To prove that the ATF has engaged in profiling, suspects must go beyond showing that the ATF's tactics have led to a large percentage of minority arrests. Instead, they also must find similarly situated white people who were not prosecuted, then show that the government was discriminating on purpose — a legal barrier few overcome.
Even getting judges to order the government to release records in pursuit of such a claim is uncommon, Siegler said. The judges who ordered disclosure based their decisions mostly on records showing that nearly all of people arrested in ATF stings in Chicago were minorities. "The numbers are troubling. Judges see these numbers, and they feel like there's something going on here that's not quite right," she said.
USA TODAY identified suspects' races using federal prison data and other records. It identified Hispanic suspects by comparing their names to a U.S. Census Bureau list of "heavily Hispanic" surnames, an approach widely used for identifying trends based on ethnicity. (The U.S. Bureau of Prisons, which lists inmates' races on its website, said it would violate a federal privacy law to also disclose whether they are Hispanic.) Where possible, USA TODAY verified that information with other police records or the suspects' lawyers.
More than 55% of the suspects USA TODAY identified were black; more than 33% were Hispanic.
Those numbers appear unusual even in the context of a criminal justice system that already is made up mostly of blacks and Hispanics. Minorities are about a third of the nation's population, but are nearly three-quarters of federal prison inmates.
By comparison, about 76% of the people charged with violent crimes in the nation's major cities are minorities. Minorities make up about 72% of the people serving prison sentences for murder, and about 71% of people convicted of federal gun and drug offenses.
Beyond that, the demographics of ATF's stings appear lopsided even after accounting for suspects' criminal records, USA TODAY found after reviewing data from the U.S. Sentencing Commission. Every person sentenced to federal prison is assigned a numerical "criminal history" score based on his or her prior convictions. Among defendants with the very worst criminal records, minorities made up less than 72% of defendants in other federal drug, gun and robbery cases
Justice Department officials reject most such comparisons. In a court filing this year, government lawyers said the only way suspects could show they had been targeted because of their race would be to find another person "who told a confidential informant or an undercover agent about a desire to commit an armed robbery and then was either not approached during a proactive investigation or who was approached and then not prosecuted, solely because of his race."
Contributing: Mark Hannan

April 24, 2014

5 Hasidic Jews Arrested on Beating of Gay Black Man in Brooklyn


Story appeared Wed eve on NY Daily News
Taj Patterson was assaulted last December in Williamsburg as he headed home following a night out.Taj Patterson was assaulted last December in Williamsburg as he headed home following a night out.
Five Hasidic men were arrested Wednesday for a disturbing attack against a gay black man in a case initially investigated as a bias attack, police sources said.
Fashion student Taj Patterson, 22, has said he was headed to his Fort Greene home after a night of partying last December when over a dozen ultra-Orthodox men assaulted him on Flushing Ave. in Williamsburg while shouting anti-gay epithets.
Aharon Hollender, 28, Abraham Winkler, 39, Mayer Herskovic, 21, Pinchas Braver, 19, and Joseph Fried, 25, were charged with gang assault and other counts, but not with any hate crimes, authorities said Wednesday.
“We simply cannot allow anyone walking on the streets of Brooklyn to be knocked to the ground, stomped and brutally beaten,” said Brooklyn district attorney Kenneth Thompson.
The group, at least two of whom belonged to a volunteer patrol called Shomrim, were looking for someone who vandalized cars in the area and stopped Patterson, prosecutors said.

Even though the vandalism report was unfounded, they allegedly started pummeling the victim, authorities said.
“These indictments send a clear message that acts of vigilantism are unacceptable and cannot be condoned by the NYPD,” Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said in a statement.
Patterson said over a dozen Hasidic men attacked him.Patterson said over a dozen Hasidic men attacked him.
Patterson suffered a broken eye socket, a torn retina, blood clotting, and cuts and bruises to his knee and ankles.
The main instigator kicked him in the face, yelling “stay down, f----t, stay the f--- down,” as others cheered, Patterson recalled.
“And that’s really all I can remember of that,” he had told the Daily News.
The victim couldn’t be reached Wednesday.
“This is news to us,” said a man who answered the phone at Patterson’s home when asked about the arrests.
All five suspects were arraigned in Brooklyn Supreme Court Wednesday afternoon and released on bails ranging from $50,000 and $25,000. They face up to 25 years in prison if convicted.
Joseph Fried, 25, was among the four men arrested for allegedly beating Patterson last December.JESSE WARD/FOR NEW YORK DAILY NEWSJoseph Fried, 25, was among the four men arrested for allegedly beating Patterson last December.
Prosecutor Charles Guria identified Herskovic as the main attacker and sources said Winkler and Hollander are Shomrim members while the others are mere “wannabes.”
“This was a media frenzy and a community frenzy so some of the facts have been skewed,” said defense lawyer George Farkas, who represents Winkler.
This isn’t the first brush with the law for at least one of those in custody: Fried was busted in November 2012 for snapping a photo of a sex abuse victim testifying during a high-profile trial.
While charges against a co-defendant weirdly named Lemon Juice were recently dismissed, the case against Fried, who works for the official newspaper of the Satmar sect, is still pending..


 http://www.nydailynews.com 

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