Florida Ironman competitors before the start of the race
Fun with numbers and charts. You may have to look at the chart a few times to see what it’s actually saying.
Earl Sampson has been stopped and questioned by Miami Gardens police 258 times in four years.
He’s been searched more than 100 times. And arrested and jailed 56 times.
Despite his long rap sheet, Sampson, 28, has never been convicted of anything more serious than possession of marijuana.
Miami Gardens police have arrested Sampson 62 times for one offense: trespassing.
Almost every citation was issued at the same place: the 207 Quickstop, a convenience store on 207th Street in Miami Gardens.
But Sampson isn’t loitering. He works as a clerk at the Quickstop.
So how can he be trespassing when he works there? It’s a question the store’s owner, Alex Saleh, 36, has been asking for more than a year as he watched Sampson, his other employees and his customers, day after day, being stopped and frisked by Miami Gardens police. Most of them, like Sampson, are poor and black.
And, like Sampson, many of them have been cited for minor infractions, sometimes as often as three times in the same day.
Saleh was so troubled by what he saw that he decided to install video cameras in his store. Not to protect himself from criminals, because he says he has never been robbed. He installed the cameras — 15 of them — he said, to protect him and his customers from police.
Since he installed the cameras in June 2012 he has collected more than two dozen videos, some of which have been obtained by the Miami Herald. Those tapes, and Sampson’s 38-page criminal history — including charges never even pursued by prosecutors — raise some troubling questions about the conduct of the city’s police officers.
The videos show, among other things, cops stopping citizens, questioning them, aggressively searching them and arresting them for trespassing when they have permission to be on the premises; officers conducting searches of Saleh’s business without search warrants or permission; using what appears to be excessive force on subjects who are clearly not resisting arrest and filing inaccurate police reports in connection with the arrests.
Ta-Nehisi Coates, on the killing of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman. (via theatlantic)
In the full post, which you should read, Coates also recommends reading New Yorker posts by Jelani Cobb. Some or all of those might be behind a paywall, so I’m posting an excerpt here. And remember that, increasingly, newsrooms and periodicals have fewer voices of color (is that a thing?) at a time when they’re needed more and more.
We can take from this verdict the understanding that it means validation for the idea that the actions George Zimmerman took that night are those of a reasonable man, that the conclusions he drew are sound, and that a black teenager can be considered armed any time he is walking down a paved street. We can take from this trial the knowledge that a grieving family was capable of displaying inestimable reserves of grace. Following the verdict Sybrina Fulton posted a benediction to Twitter: “Lord during my darkest hour I lean on you. You are all that I have. At the end of the day, GOD is still in control.” The Twitter account of Tracy Martin, Trayvon’s father, features an image of him holding Trayvon as a toddler, a birthday hat perched on the boy’s head. At trial, they sat through a grim procession of autopsy photos and audio of the gunshot that ended their son’s life. No matter what the verdict, their simple pursuit of justice meant amplifying the trauma of their loss by some unknowable exponent.
There’s fear that the verdict will embolden vigilantes but that need not be the concern: History has already done that. You need not recall specifics of everything that has transpired in Florida over the past two hundred years to recognize this. The details of Rosewood, the black town terrorized and burned to the ground in 1923, and of Groveland and the black men falsely accused of rape and murdered there in 1949, can remain obscure and retain sway over our present concerns. Names—like Claude Neal, lynched in 1934, and Harry and Harriette Moore, N.A.A.C.P. organizers in Mims County, killed by a firebomb in 1951—can be overlooked. What cannot be forgotten, however, is that there were no consequences for those actions.
Perhaps history does not repeat itself exactly, but it is certainly prone to extended paraphrases. Long before the jury announced its decision, many people had seen what the outcome would be, had known it would be a strange echo of the words Zimmerman uttered that rainy night in central Florida: they always get away.
Republican volunteer scaring old people in Clay County, FL, claiming they can ‘kiss Medicare goodbye’ if the President is re-elected, and that Obama is ‘a Muslim’ with ‘a socialistic view’ of America. Captured on answering machine tape and given to St. Augustine, FL newspaper. Listen to it; it’s only 1 minute long.
Birdhouse, baby bluebird’s open mouth, waiting for dinner. Food was delivered by email shortly after this shot was taken. Didn’t want to get any closer than this. July 2012
Lance Armstrong transitioning from swimming to biking at Florida Ironman 70.3, May 2012. He ended up winning the event, his first triathlon win since something like 1990, before he took up biking full-time.