The following is the WeekenderNJ (WNJ) weekly news roundup, highlighting some vital stories from around the state, nation, and world.
Good Sunday Morning!!
Today, Sunday, April 18 at noon – RASENJ - Justice for Daunte Wright. Ramsey Main Street Train station, north side.
MARTIN SILVER, 63, of New Jersey, pleads guilty to defrauding clients and investors in Over $100 Million Ponzi-like Fraud Scheme. The managing partner and chief operating officer of International Investment Group face up to 45 years in prison. Sentencing before Judge Hellerstein has been scheduled for November 16, 2021, at 11:00 a.m.
NEW JERSEY COVID19 UPDATE
3,474 new positive PCR tests
855,759 total positive PCR tests
717 new positive antigen tests
119,945 total positive antigen tests
40 new confirmed deaths
22,542 total confirmed deaths
2,592 probable deaths
For more information, you can click here.
NJ VACCINE UPDATE
5,934,148 total doses have been administered as of yesterday at 8:00 AM.
2,428,796 New Jerseyans are now fully vaccinated
Learn more here.
Global Covid death toll passes three million.
FROM KEARNY PD. (Please share)
Alyzza Newton was last seen entering a four-door grey sedan in front of her Highland Avenue home on April 12th in the early afternoon, the KPD posted on Facebook this evening.
Newton is about five feet, four inches tall with brown eyes and black hair. She was wearing a red hooded sweatshirt with white lettering, blue jeans, and brown slip-on shoes when she was last seen, authorities said.
Anyone with any information related to her whereabouts is asked to call Police Det. John Fabula at 201-998-1313 ext 2833 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anonymous tips can be left at email@example.com.
THE ATTORNEY GENERAL USE OF FORCE DASHBOARD (BETA) IS NOW ONLINE
Now you can dig into policing data.
"Plug a cop’s name into this extraordinary portal, launched this week – if you’re asked for a username, just click 'guest' – and you can see every time he punched, kicked, or tackled someone. Nowhere else in the country is law enforcement presenting this kind of data for the entire state, including details like the suspect’s race or injuries, policing experts say. You can look up one cop, or a department, and easily compare them."
HOW SAFE IS NEXTDOOR?
You may have seen people in our communities signing up for Nextdoor, and enthusiastically providing their names, family information, and other private information.
Let’s talk about it:
Have you wondered how safe it is to go on a public browser and share information about you that could put you and your family at risk?
Congressman Sires held a hearing on the root causes of migration from Central America this week.
Signed legislation this week providing $15 million in aid to small businesses across New Jersey – “part of a $100 million relief package to help our small businesses keep their doors open as we recover from this pandemic.”
The importance of affordable and accessible child care cannot be overlooked. Signed legislation providing $10 million in aid to child care providers.
New York – Infamous Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff has died
The Federal Bureau of Prisons confirms Madoff’s death in federal prison this week, according to The Associated Press and CNBC. Madoff was behind the largest investment fraud in US history and was serving a 150-year prison sentence. He was 82.
Last year this bat shit crazy bill was introduced in Minnesota (see below). Why we are bringing this up? In light of the events happening in Minnesota since the killing of George Floyd, it's important to understand why Minnesota is continuing to make worldwide news. On April 7, 2021, the same bill was reintroduced with its first reading.
"Anyone protesting, demonstrating, will be stripped of all state assistance
Including but not limited to - college student loans and grants, rent and
mortgage assistance, supplemental nutrition assistance, unemployment benefits, and other employment assistance, Minnesota supplemental aid programs, business grants, medical assistance, general assistance, and energy assistance."
You can read here more about it.
Let's talk about it:
What the hell is going on in Minnesota?
CALIFORNIA PORT TRUCK DRIVERS WENT ON STRIKE THIS WEEK
Port truck drivers in California are on strike against their employer Universal Logistics Holdings (ULH) over retaliatory firings, union-busting, employment misclassification, and lack of COVID-19 protections during a pandemic.
REPRESENTATION IN U.S. CONGRESS FOR **SOME PEOPLE**??
Governor Kristi Noem took to Twitter this week to tell the Biden Administration that ‘South Dakota won’t be taking any illegal immigrants’ and for illegal immigrants to call her when they're American.
Let’s talk about it:
According to Noem millions of immigrants that are here legally, are not allowed to call her till they are naturalized!?!
South Dakota exists because thousands of white undocumented immigrants from Europe used the Homestead Act from 1860-1920 to steal land from Native Americans without compensation or reparations.
What are the requirements to run for Governor of any state?
Should we change the requirements for people who want to run for office?
NO INTERNAL PUNISHMENT ISSUED FOR KENOSHA OFFICER WHO SHOT JACOB BLAKE
The Kenosha, Wisconsin, police officer who shot Jacob Blake, leaving him paralyzed, will not face any internal discipline.
Lt. Caron Nazario’s wife Raquel is a cousin to Eric Garner, who died on a Staten Island sidewalk in 2014 after an officer wrapped him in a chokehold.
CAPITOL POLICE OFFICER WILLIAM EVANS HONORED THIS WEEK IN US CAPITOL ROTUNDA – Leaders of the United States government spoke Tuesday, April 13 in honor of U.S. Capitol Police Officer William "Billy" Evans, a Berkshire County native, who was killed while defending the Capitol on Good Friday.
WHAT WE ALL SUSPECTED IS TRUE
Capitol Police were ordered to go easy on Jan. 6 terrorists at the US Capitol.
Founding member of Oath Keepers, Jon Schaffer enters first guilty plea in Jan. 6 Capitol breach. He pleaded guilty to multiple felonies, including breaching the U.S. Capitol while wearing a tactical vest and armed with bear spray, with the intent to interfere with Congress' certification of the Electoral College results.
Let's talk about it:
It's been over 100 years since the insurrection and the FBI has yet to come up with an explanation about what led to the moments to the U.S. Capitol being stormed.
How were insurrectionists able to loot the U.S. Capitol, yet innocent American communities are turned into a war zone over the police killing civilians?
What public officials were involved in the insurrection - directly and indirectly?
Where do we go from here as a nation?
FEMA – launches funeral assistance program
Starting this week people can apply for up to $9k per funeral and a maximum of $35,500 per application in COVID funeral reimbursements. Universal program.
The applicant must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or a qualified alien who incurred funeral expenses after Jan. 20, 2020, for a death attributed to COVID-19.
The hotline # is (844) 684-6333.
Let's talk about this:
Based on the US stimulus issued to some people during a global pandemic, does the funeral assistance program sounds like you're worth more dead to the US gov?
ORLANDO GOES FULL ‘NORTH KOREA’ ON FLORIDIANS THIS WEEK
The Florida Senate on Thursday approved an “anti-riot” bill championed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, sending it to him for signature into law over the objections of Democrats and civil rights groups who say the measure infringes on the fundamental First Amendment right to protest.
Parts of the bill (HB 1) grant civil legal immunity to people who drive through protesters blocking a road; prevent people arrested for rioting or offenses committed during a riot from bailing out of jail until their first court appearance, and impose a six-month mandatory sentence for battery on a police officer during a riot.
A data breach has revealed that public officials and on-duty police officers have donated money to fundraisers for accused vigilante murderers, far-right activists, and fellow officers accused of shooting black Americans, including Kyle Rittenhouse.
INDIANAPOLIS FEDEX SHOOTING
A mass shooting occurred at a FedEx Ground facility in Indianapolis, Indiana, this week. Nine people were killed, including the gunman, 19-year-old former employee Brandon Scott Hole, who died by suicide. Seven others were injured, including four by gunfire.
FBI says it interviewed the FedEx mass shooter last year, with a motive still under investigation.
IN POLICE BRUTALITY
BROOKLYN CENTER, Minn. – A 20-year-old Black man died after a police officer shot him during a traffic stop in a Minneapolis suburb, on Monday, April 12. This killing by police fueled tension in a US City and Nation already on edge because of George Floyd’s murder trial.
Hundreds of people took to the streets to protest. The protests continued to this very day to call for justice for Wright. Other Cities from East Coast to West Coast have joined the calls to end police brutality. You read more about it here.
Police fired tear gas and rubber bullets as protests erupted in Minneapolis suburb after 20-year-old Black man Daunte Wright was shot dead during a traffic stop on Sunday night.
Wright's cause of death is a gunshot wound to the chest, according to the medical examiner. Manner of death is “homicide.”
GoFundMe confirmed the verified account set to support the family of Daunte Wright—the 20-year-old father who was shot & killed by police during a traffic stop in Minnesota.
LET’S TALK ABOUT IT:
How can this be reformed?
Where is the plan?
Where is the initiative?
Are public servants going to lead?
Are taxpayers OK with paying salaries and pensions for an unconstitutional organization?
Where do we go from here?
Chicago released a video showing the fatal police shooting of 13-year-old Adam Toledo this week. Toledo was shot and killed by a Chicago police officer in Little Village late last month. He had his hands up at the time of being fatally shot by officer Eric Stillman.
The video is graphic and may be hard to watch.
The prosecutor who gave the court a misleading description about Toledo - he was holding a gun at the time of the fatal shooting - was placed on leave.
Let’s talk about it:
Why do public employees get placed on ‘leave’ for such horrific mistakes?
What’s officer Sillman's involvement in the events after the fatal shooting?
What initiative is being taken to stop the fatal shootings of civilians?
What initiative is being taken to stop police riots?
Why are public employees only being held accountable after a video goes viral?
A federal lawsuit has been filed against Loveland PD and two of its officers after a 73-year-old woman with dementia was slammed to the ground and hog-tied during an arrest.
Her crime? Walking out of Wallmark without paying $13.88 worth in items due to dementia.
On Monday 17-year-old Anthony J. Thompson Jr. was shot and killed by Knoxville police in a high school bathroom. Initially, it was reported that Thompson had a gun. In yet another turn of events looks like authorities allegedly covered up another police killing.
Protests call for the release of body camera footage, while Knoxville PD is not helping the situation by their refusal to comply.
Let's talk about it:
Should children be safe in school?
Do you feel safe sending your kids to school?
How do you reform this?
Portland PD veteran and former U.S. Army Ranger Zachary DeLong shot and killed a man in the back at Lents Park, on Friday. The man is now known as Zachary Delong, 46 years old. He died on the scene.
DeLong is on paid administrative leave, authorities said.
As reported by OPB, authorities clarified today that the person fatally shot by police was not a person experiencing mental distress whose behavior prompted calls to police, as was previously reported. That man, who witnesses say was walking shirtless in traffic, was taken to a hospital for treatment of a possible drug overdose, according to police.
Warning, this may be graphic for some - video of the actual shooting. Video Credit/Clarissa Dez, Dez Media.
One witness called out the lies from public officials. You can see it here.
What followed was public mourning turned into a cop riot.
At least one person had enough on Friday.
Let's look at the things you don't get to see on corporate news outlets:
Here is a clip of people marching in Portland only last night.
Here's a video of citizens in Portland who have had enough of cop killings.
Let's talk about it:
Why was DeLong shot and killed?
Why is this Police Officer on paid leave?
Why is no leader serving the people who have been asking for change?
Where is the accountability to continuing killing of civilians and cover-ups?
Where the hell is Biden?
What the hell is going on in Portland?
POLICE BRUTALITY II
PRESS FREEDOM (Minn.) – Authorities in the State of Minnesota decided to go against the US Constitution this week over and over and over again.
Although a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order barring Minnesota state law enforcement from arresting or using force against journalists covering protests (journalists do not have to disperse), authorities turned into full Gestapo mode.
Journalists have been targeted and kettled towards checkpoints, harassed, mugshot along with having their ID’s photographed, maced, (also using CS gas banned in warfare by international treaty to ‘gas our own people.’ (See Saddam Hussein for more info.)), tackled, at least one press pass has been ripped, one journalist was told that his bulletproof vest was illegal, another journalist punched in the face and processed although voicing ‘I’m press’ over and over again, another journalist had his finger broken, and many others had to seek medical attention.
This week SPJ President Matthew Hall, ACLU-Minn., Mickey Osterreicher, NPPA Lawyer Mickey Osterreicher, CPJ, and Jamie Becker-Finn, Assistant Hennepin County Attorney, took to Twitter to remind authorities in Minnesota that Journalists are protected by the First Amendment:
Mickey Osterreicher, NPPA Lawyer – Just as police cannot request ID from a person
who they have no probable cause or reasonable suspicion of having committed a crime,
they should not be allowed to do this either since it appears their only purpose is
to chill First Amendment-protected activity.
Matthew Hall, President SPJ – "I shudder when I hear authorities in Minnesota saying, "Media and press, leave the area."Journalists, protected by the First Amendment, go where stories take us. We will cover protests. Don't arrest us. Let us do our jobs because we, like law enforcement, work for the public.
Freedom of the press (who represent the public) is a constitutional right that doesn’t depend on having to show a photo ID and then having to have your photo taken AGAIN by police. What the hell is happening in Minnesota this week?"
CPJ called on law enforcement in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, and around the United States to ensure that journalists can freely and safely cover demonstrations against police violence.
Jamie Becker-Finn, Assistant Hennepin County Attorney –
The First Amendment:
Freedom of the press
Freedom to assemble
Freedom of speech
This is unacceptable. Black folks are being killed over petty misdemeanors
while our own government actors can’t even follow the Constitution.
ACLU - Minnesota Legal Director Teresa Nelson issued the following statement to WeekenderNJ/Alie Pierce on April 15, 2021:
“We’re disappointed and troubled that rather than ending the assaults and arrests of protesters and journalists at the Daunte Wright protests, “Operation Safety Net” appears to be doubling down. Our request in federal court for a TRO to end the targeting of journalists is pending, and we’ll keep pursuing that motion: It’s crucial to keep journalists safe to cover the protests, hold police accountable and preserve the right to freedom of the press. We also join in calling for the immediate end to this hyper-militarized response to a grieving community. We’re very concerned that the massive law enforcement response to protests over another killing by police is a chilling preview of what’s to come in response to the Chauvin trial verdict.”
You can read more about this week's events in Brooklyn Center here.
Yesterday, ACLU-MN went back to the judge over State Patrol's harassment and attacks against journalists:
"Last night, hours after the TRO took effect, the State Defendants escalated the level of assault and harassment of journalists to an intolerable degree."
The ACLU of Minnesota wrote a letter to U.S. District Court Judge Wilhelmina M. Wright yesterday afternoon, who issued the restraining order barring state law enforcement from interfering with the press while covering protests.
(Source Tony Webster) – Three photojournalists wrote court declarations describing their experiences covering Friday's protests in Brooklyn Center, while corporate journalists were banned from their employers to speak up:
Gov. Walz and law enforcement held a closed bullshit meeting to 'stop' their unconstitutional Gestapo tactics. Here's a legal letter sent to Gov. Walz to remind him of the police-press relations covering protests on US soil.
Who was not part of this meeting:
Who continued to spill propaganda after the meeting? - Minn. officials.
Let's talk about it:
How can the authorities who turned a Minnesota grieving neighborhood into a war zone be reformed?
How can the authorities who ignored the US Constitution over and over again be reformed?
What kind of leadership does this State have?
What's going to happen to Journalists and their loved ones (their driver's licenses were photographed), should they report anything, not in favor to Gov. Walz?
What the hell is going on in Minneapolis?
The Biden administration is approaching 100 days in office — This week he spent his time concentrating on foreign policy instead of the human rights violations happening right under his nose.
Let's talk about it:
How can you dictate to the world what to do, when you ignore the people in your own country that you’re set to serve?
Where are the unity and healing?
How long can America remain in a constant 'fight and flight' mode without leadership from the WH?
Is Biden pro or against the National Guard turning American communities into a war zone?
If you’re confused about what the hell is happening on emigration, you’re not alone. On Friday morning, the administration announced it would keep the Trump-era cap in place, then backtracked….it’s a total mess that continues to traumatize kids in cages and yet another human rights violation on US soil.
How is Biden different from Trump?
Japan will release over one million metric tonnes of treated radioactive water from the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant into the ocean, in two years, the government said this week.
Just a reminder that Japan is still set to hold the Olympics during an ongoing global pandemic - Under 100 days to the Olympics are set to take place in Tokyo and there is still no reconsideration to cancel. At least not officially.
Meanwhile, the head of the Japan medical association gave a statement a few days ago stating that "The medical system in greater Tokyo is in danger of collapsing."
OUT OF SPACE
It’s happening stargazers – NASA is targeting no earlier than Monday, April 19, for the first flight of its Ingenuity Mars Helicopter at approximately 3:30 a.m. EDT (12:30 a.m. PDT). You can watch it here.
TO THE MOON AND BEYOND
NASA Picks SpaceX Human Lunar Lander - Elon Musk’s SpaceX wins contract to develop spacecraft to land astronauts on the moon,” beating out Jeff Bezo’s Blue Origin, who has been pitching its landing system, known Blue Moon, since 2017.
Trump is still pretending to be President
He has moved his presidency from DC to Mar-a-Lago.
GOOGLE Docs were down again this week.
Chauvin’s closing arguments are set to begin Monday.
Minneapolis and other US cities are preparing for protests and possible civil unrest.
Earth day, April 22
WEEKLY QUOTE ––
“You may have heard the talk of diversity, sensitivity training, and body cameras. These are all fine and applicable, but they understate the task and allow the citizens of this country to pretend that there is real distance between their own attitudes and those of the ones appointed to protect them. The truth is that the police reflect America in all of its will and fear, and whatever we might make of this country’s criminal justice policy, it cannot be said that it was imposed by a repressive minority. The abuses that have followed from these policies—the sprawling carceral state, the random detention of black people, the torture of suspects—are the product of democratic will. And so to challenge the police is to challenge the American people who send them into the ghettos armed with the same self-generated fears that compelled the people who think they are white to flee the cities and into the Dream. The problem with the police is not that they are fascist pigs but that our country is ruled by majoritarian pigs.” ― Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me
This article has been updated to include a new proposed bill and the new information that came in today from Portland PD where they clarified that they shoot and killed another man, not the person who experienced a mental health crisis that prompted the call to police.
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