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Faith Leaders Unite to Ban Chokeholds and No-Knock Warrants

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Mayor Ron Nirenberg and Members of City Council
100 Military Plaza #4
San Antonio, TX 78205

Faith Leaders Unite to Ban Chokeholds and No-Knock Warrants 

COPS/Metro, in partnership with Community Churches for Social Action (CCSA), and the Baptist Ministers’ Union (BMU) calls on the City of San Antonio to take direct and immediate action to completely ban police use of any neck restraint (strangleholds, chokeholds) collectively referred to as lateral vascular neck restraint (LVNR),  along with the use of no-knock warrants in any instance. Although changes have been made to San Antonio policing policy since the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, these changes do not go far enough.

One only needs to look around the country to understand why complete bans on these procedures are needed, both to ensure the safety of citizens and build trust with communities of color. In the past month alone, we have seen the impacts of systemic racism on communities. Jacob Blake was shot seven times in the back by police as his children looked on, while here in our own San Antonio community, a local insurance adjuster, Mathais Ometu, was detained, manhandled, and jailed for the simple offense of jogging while Black. Systemic racism and bias are widespread and deeply rooted, and San Antonio is no exception. We must follow the examples of cities like Dallas, Minneapolis, New York, and Louisville; each of which have enacted policies that aim to take subjectivity and officer discretion out of the equation when it comes to the use of tactics that disproportionately dehumanize Black and Brown people.

Police Chief McManus argues that the city has already made changes to prohibit the use of the chokehold and no-knock warrants, but after reviewing the San Antonio Police General Operating Manual available on the city’s transparency website, Section 501 and  Section 504 both have clear language that allow these dangerous practices. Chokeholds can be used as one of multiple deadly force options if the officer has “reasonable belief” that their life or the lives of others are in danger, while no knock warrants are also permissible if “the officer in charge can articulate particular exigent circumstances” that would require an unannounced entry. After bearing witness to unjust uses of force only compounded by lax police discipline and accountability procedures, how can communities trust in the “reasonable use” of these deadly tactics?

Many of our local conversations about police reform become wrapped up in the intricacies and limitations of the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) between the San Antonio Police Officers Association (SAPOA) and the city. Although there is much in the CBA that needs to be addressed, we don’t need to wait until 2021 to make specific, actionable change on these two policies that threaten the lives of our citizens and further damage and erode trust between Black and Brown communities and police.  The City Council has the power to change these policies today.

If white community members were disproportionately arrested, profiled, assaulted, and killed by the use of these two use of force policies, certainly the policies would be changed immediately. 

Will San Antonio rise to the occasion and put its money where its mouth is in the fight for equal justice and policing? For us to truly live into the “Compassionate SA” ethos, we must make the strides available to us today. Each step pushes us forward in the march toward equity. COPS/Metro, Community Churches for Social Action and the Baptist Ministers’ Union call on City Council to do what is right: take action and immediately ban the use of chokeholds and no-knock warrants.

Sincerely, 

Sr. Gabriella Lohan, Sisters of the Holy Spirit
Leader, COPS/Metro

Pastor Patrick Jones, Pastor, Greater Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church
President, Baptist Minister’s Union

Dr. Jerry Wm Dailey, Pastor, Macedonia Baptist Church
Chairman, Community Churches for Social Action (CCSA) 

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FATAL ATTRACTION

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A BIZARRE OBSESSION TURNS DEADLY ON THE NEXT EPISODE OF FATAL ATTRACTION

An all-new episode of TV One’s True Crime Mondays is back on Monday, September 19. This episode of FATAL ATTRACTION unpacks a deadly obsession. Watch the story unfold on Monday at 9 p.m. ET/8C.

When a young woman arrives at the hospital with gunshot wounds, police attempt to locate the shooter. When the victim succumbs to her injuries, solving the case becomes difficult. Police make a thrilling discovery when a witness reveals information that turns the case on its head. Be sure to catch this compelling story on Monday at 9 p.m. ET/8C.

Driven by powerful, real-life stories, FATAL ATTRACTION offers intimate, first-person accounts, exclusive interrogation footage, and rare archival material. Along the way, viewers get a glimpse into the dark heart of dangerous romances. Tune in as the key players, families of the survivors and those that investigated the horrific crimes reveal the secrets to each sordid tale. Love doesn’t just hurt, it can kill!

Viewers can also join the conversation by connecting via social media on TV One’s Twitter,Instagram and Facebook (@tvonetv). Be sure to follow FATAL ATTRACTION on Facebook and Instagram using the hashtag #FATALATTRACTION.

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Black Life Texas

Did the Pandemic Increase Young Adult Crimes?

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Ever since the pandemic began, media outlets have been overloaded with news reports and aggressive political commentary highlighting major violent crimes committed by young people. The topic has received a lot of media exposure across the nation, fueling efforts to restore youth justice policies that have already been implemented in several states.
The decade culminating in 2020 saw a considerable decline in crime statistics, but the following years have seen an upsurge in violent crime in numerous US cities. Most recent statistics revealed that there had been a 39% increase in firearm-related attacks and a 23% increase in firearm-related robberies.

Reasons Behind the Rise in Young Adult Crimes
There are several interconnected causes of juvenile crimes like bullying, poverty, lack of accountability, hostile home environments, and social disadvantage, which all increase the likelihood of crimes.

Problems in School
Problems in school are a contributing factor to adolescent delinquency. Numerous factors connected to education can cause a young adult to engage in criminal activities. One of the biggest causes is absenteeism. A child who frequently skips school will neither profit from their education nor develop the discipline of going to school daily.
When a student struggles academically or has a parent who is generally uninterested if they attend school this could lead to circumstances that encourage criminal behavior.

Family Issues
A child’s growth is significantly influenced by the family, particularly the parents. One of the risks can be problems within the family. These problems may be societal, financial, etc.
The number of immigrants in the United States is also rising, and they include kids without parents. An unsuitable environment may encourage a teenager to engage in a crime. Domestic abuse, parental negligence, and unhealthy habits, among other things, can lead to criminal behavior.

Substance Abuse
Children living in homes where family members practice drug abuse increase the probability of criminal offenses by these minors. Even among younger adults, it’s estimated that 2 out of 5 instances of rape and sexual assault against college students were committed by a person believed to be under the influence of drugs.

Poverty
Criminal behavior might also result from a lack of access to food, clothes, or shelter. There is an increased likelihood that many different criminal activities will occur if a minor’s basic requirements are not satisfied.
The COVID-19 pandemic and its resulting economic fallout caused tens of millions of people to lose their jobs. Unemployment remained high throughout 2020 and about 20 million households reported having too little to eat in the past seven days. Another 10 million households reported being behind on rent.

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Crime

10-year-old black girl dies from online TikTok challenge, family warns others.

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Nyla Anderson, a 10-year old girl from Chester, Pennsylvania, has sadly died after reportedly trying the “blackout challenge” that tells participants to hold their breath until they faint. Her grieving family wants to alert others about its dangers.

Nyla was found unconscious in her bedroom of their home on December 7. She was rushed to the hospital where she was admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit for days before she died on December 12.

“She happened to be in her own bedroom of her house, with her family at home,” Elizabeth Wood, a licensed clinical social worker at the local hospital, told ABC 7. “But no one was in the bedroom with her when this happened, so there was no one there to save her.”

Her family describes her as a happy and bright child who spoke 3 languages. They are still in a state of shock after Nylah’s tragic death.

“I’m so hurt,” said her mother Tawainna Anderson. “This is a pain that won’t go away. It’s at the top of my throat. I am so hurt.”

Moreover, Nylah’s family wanted her story to be known, warning other parents to keep a close eye on their children to prevent it from happening.

“Make sure you check your kids’ phones,” Tawainna said. “You never know what you might find on their phones. You wouldn’t think 10-year-olds would try this. They’re trying because they’re kids and they don’t know better.”

The trend, which reportedly traces back to the 1990s, had been recently resurfacing on social media where it spreads faster. A TikTok spokesperson said it is taking measures to stop users from sharing any content that promotes dangerous behavior.

“This disturbing ‘challenge,’ which people seem to learn about from sources other than TikTok, long predates our platform and has never been a TikTok trend,” the spokesperson said, according to Today. “We remain vigilant in our commitment to user safety and would immediately remove related content if found. Our deepest sympathies go out to the family for their tragic loss.”

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