With the Long Island Marathon quickly approaching, we’ve begun to hear from runners getting ready to honor others while running in the May 5th event. Countless charities are always represented at these events, as well as personal, and often touching tributes.
We want to hear about yours!
We’re inviting Long Islanders who plan to run in this year’s Long Island Marathon to record a video telling us, and fellow Long Islanders, who you are running for, and why. We think it’s a great way to help spread these heartwarming stories of support and tribute. Video shy? We’ll also accept photos with a brief write up about the person or cause you plan to represent. Simply fill out the form below and we’ll put your photo/video proudly on display!
Submit your videos or pictures telling us, and the world, who you're running for in this year's Long Island Marathon!
Massachusetts State Police Saturday released several thermal imaging photos that helped authorities confirm that the second Boston Marathon bombing suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was hiding under a tarp in a boat behind a Watertown, Mass. resident’s house.
“Our helicopter had actually detected the subject in the boat,” said Col. Timothy Alben of the Massachusetts State Police, according to NBC News. “We have what’s called a FLIR — a forward-looking infrared device — on that helicopter. It picked up the heat signature of the individual, even though he was underneath what appeared to be the ‘shrink wrap’ or cover on the boat itself. There was movement from that point on. The helicopter was able to direct the tactical teams over to that area.”
Superstorm Sandy left much of Long Island without power and with limited communication. The Long Island Press’ headquarters lost electricity early into the storm, preventing us from publishing our weekly edition, not to mention cutting off our ability to update our website with the rapidly changing information Long Islanders so desperately needed.
Luckily, our website is hosted with Garden City Internet technology firm Webair, whose state-of-the-art facilities never even blinked during Mother Nature’s furious onslaught. For the next couple of days, occasionally sitting in their offices, we were able to provide the free, accurate and important information that the L.I. public has come to know and trust us for. Our coverage was live and uninterrupted, which ended up being a priceless resource for hundreds of thousands of our friends, family and neighbors.
Our coverage during the storm recently won us a few journalism awards, but that’s not why we worked so hard during those crazy days.
We understood the importance of delivering information to our audience during this unprecedented event.
We needed to be able to communicate with the public.
We wanted to help. And we did.
But we couldn’t have done it without Webair, and as a result, we wholeheartedly endorse them, and urge business owners on Long Island to consider them for their internet hosting needs.
“The Press has a posse of great writers/reporters,” wrote NYPA board members regarding the Press’ Stuart C. Dorman Award for Editorial Excellence win. “The writing in this newspaper ranges from excellent to vivid description. The stories are well-researched and thorough. The newspaper demonstrates clarity and understanding of local issues.
“The contest judges raved about this newspaper’s coverage of Hurricane Sandy,” they continued. “New York’s community newspapers overall did an amazing job covering the superstorm in hellish conditions. Many newspapers and their employers lived and worked without power, running water, gasoline or heat, and we salute all of them. The judges said the coverage provided by the Long Island Press was not only clear, timely and comprehensive; it was also beautifully designed, included lists of places to get help, and was amazing in its depth and breadth.”
In addition to the top prize, the Long Island Press earned First Place honors in 11 categories including editorial, design and advertising. Among those were top honors for Best News Story, Best Spot News Coverage, Best Feature Photo, Best Sports Coverage, Best Sports Feature, Coverage of the Environment, and First- and Second-Place nods for Coverage of Local Government, and Coverage of Education. The Press also won First- and Second-Place awards for Best Use of Video.
“This is a tremendous honor,” said Long Island Press Editor In Chief Christopher Twarowski. “The caliber of writers, editors and designers among the participating publications throughout New York State makes this recognition even that much more exceptional. We are extremely proud and genuinely humbled.”
The entire staff of the Long Island Press were recognized with the First Place award in the Spot News Coverage category for their “well-reported stories and complete photo package” and “the excellent presentation of all the content and the numerous add-ons with numbers and other pertinent information in easy-to-follow organization” during and after Hurricane Sandy, wrote the judges.
Twarowski took home Best News Story for his expose “Ripple Effect” on the ever-creeping toxic plume of chemicals emanating from the former Grumman Aerospace Corp. and U.S. Naval Weapons site in Bethpage, which has been contaminating drinking water supplies throughout Nassau County and now threatens that of the Massapequa Water District.
His articles about the ongoing battle raging between the North Oyster Bay Baymen’s Association and commercial shellfishing company Frank M. Flower & Sons and the Town of Oyster Bay (“Clam Wars”) and Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano’s plan to privatize the county’s sewer system (“Hell or High Water”) earned First Place for Coverage of Local Government.
Twarowski, News/Web Editor Timothy Bolger and Senior Editor Spencer Rumsey clinched First Place in the Coverage of the Environment category for their stories documenting the ongoing contamination of Suffolk County’s underground aquifers and drinking water supply by antiquated cesspool systems (“Septic County”) and the pollution of the Carmens River not just from contaminants, but also dirty politics (“River Keepers”). Bolger and Rumsey also won Second Place in the Coverage of Local Government category for their articles about political, economic and environmental issues facing Long Island’s bay constables (“Baywatch”) and the budgetary woes crippling the City of Long Beach (“Sinking City”).
Managing Editor Jaclyn Gallucci, Bolger and contributing writer Lea Weatherby brought home First Place for Coverage of Health, Health Care & Science for their stories of sleep deprivation among students (“Up All Night”) and the controversy regarding junk food vending machines in schools (“Snackdown”).
Multimedia Reporter Rashed Mian and Twarowski brought home First Place in the Best Use Of Video category for their documentation of communities devastated by Hurricane Sandy and the daily struggles of their residents (“Long Island Endures”), and along with Senior Graphic Designer Scott Kearney and Multimedia Designer Sal Calvi, Second Place for their video exposing the subterranean toxic plume from the former Grumman Aerospace Corp. and U.S. Naval Weapons site in Bethpage that’s contaminating drinking water supplies and threatening several more (“Ripple Effect”).
Press contributing photographer Matthew Clark won First Place Feature Photo. Art Director Jon Sasala earned Third Place and Honorable Mention in the Graphic Illustration category. Kearney earned accolades for Best Advertising Campaign—Large Space and Best Color Ad Created by the Newspaper.
Bolger, Staff Writer Lindsay Christ and contributing writer Kevin Ryan won First Place in the Coverage of Education category for their articles on recent LI college graduates entering a downturned economy (“Major Concern”) and budget woes facing school districts across Long Island (“School House Lock!”).
Contributing writer Alyssa Melillo won First Place in the Sports Feature category for her cover story about Long Island’s surfing subculture (“Groundswell”). Mian, Melillo and contributing writer Jackie Salo won First Place in the Sports Coverage category for their cover story profiling Long Island Olympians (“Local Olympians”). Bolger and Salo also won Third Place in the Coverage of Education category for their articles about junk food in schools (“Snackdown”) and suicide among teenagers (“Teen Suicide”).
The Press’ Hurricane Sandy coverage earned Third Place for the contest’s Sharon R. Fulmer Award for Community Leadership; an award the newspaper brought home in 2009 for its groundbreaking coverage of Long Island’s ongoing heroin epidemic. It also earned an Honorable Mention in the Best News or Feature Series category.
Bolger, Twarowski and contributing writer Shelly Feuer Domash earned an Honorable Mention in the In-Depth Reporting and Coverage of Crime/Police/Courts categories for stories about Suffolk County’s controversial withdrawal from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s LI Gang Task Force (“Turf War”) and suicides within the Nassau County Jail (“Death Sentence”).
We know that Dennis Rodman could dribble and talk at the same time, at least on the basketball court. Nicknamed “The Worm,” he is an NBA Hall of Famer after all. But when this cross-dressing, tattooed and body-pierced bizarro dude recently showed up in North Korea’s capital Pyongyang alongside dictator Kim Jon Un (both men in black), he drew a foul call heard ’round the world. The North Korean strongman is test-firing missiles, aiming at us, and threatening to start nuclear war while his own people literally starve. Yet Rodman tells Kim: “You have a friend for life.” So that proves the age-old adage: with friends like that, who needs enemies? Look, we know the Knicks need a power forward to boost their defense, but maybe even Jimmy Dolan would agree that this Worm has turned.
What’s going on in North Dakota? State Sen. Margaret Sitte, a Republican, sponsored a bill to amend the state’s constitution by giving human embryos legal protection—and it will be on the ballot in 2014. By her thinking, the zygotes have constitutional rights. What’s next for them? Driver’s licenses? Voter registration? Jury duty? It’s amazing that conservative zealots like her and her colleagues in Fargo don’t mind messing with women’s wombs but turn a deaf ear to making life better for those who are actually born, perhaps providing improved public safety, increased infrastructure investment, more affordable health care, etc., etc. The “Roughrider State” has only one abortion clinic, and according to Huffington Post, it’s the worst state in the country for women. Sitte must be a misogynist—she’s taking power away from a mother and giving it to a fetus.
Interesting coincidence that John Pistole, the head of the Transportation Security Administration, has a name that sounds like a gun, considering his agency’s fixation on weapons. But his decisions about what to confiscate seem rather illogical. The 9/11 terrorists used box-cutters. The TSA has collected passengers’ pocketknives, corkscrews and even snow globes. The TSA permits scissors, knitting needles and screwdrivers. Now Pistole wants to let people board with knives less than 2.36 inches long, hockey sticks and golf clubs. Yet still no soda cans or shampoos. Chalk up a small victory for the Swiss Army Knife and a defeat for common sense. Who says a putter can’t kill?
NBC’s “Today Show” hasn’t been the same since J. Fred Muggs was their mascot. The chimpanzee made morning television must-see TV. But these days, should we decide to tune in, we have to endure that boring Matt Lauer, who is as appealing as a used banana peel. Last year he signed a contract reportedly worth $25 million a year. That’s not chimp change. Is he worth it? Certainly Ann Curry, his co-host that he allegedly threw under the bus because the “chemistry” wasn’t right, would beg to differ—if she could get a word in edgewise. The only network people benefitting from his hogging the airwaves are the rival producers of “Good Morning America.” Lauer should quit monkeying around.
Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell
The nation is looking for Congressional leadership on gun control in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., massacre. But instead of doing the right thing for the country, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, the Democrat, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, the Republican, both bow to the NRA juggernaut. Reid pulls the assault weapons ban from the basic bill, saying he didn’t have the votes to ensure its passage. McConnell hopes he can exploit the issue to take over the Senate in November. Both Senators can do the math—if they don’t count the 20 murdered children and six adults gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary School, let alone the other innocent people who’ve lost their lives to gun violence since December—seven Senators are retiring, and 35 Senate seats are up for grabs. Both leaders know that public opinion has swung behind the ban and in favor of expanded background checks of gun buyers. After all, the ban was the law of the land from 1994-2004. But rather than take on the unpopular gun industry, Reid has cowardly ceded the debate to Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his group, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, whose $12 million ad blitz will target Democratic Senators in rural states with gun-owners who are vulnerable to NRA propaganda. If Reid frames the issue properly so law-abiding gun owners are reassured, he has a chance to stop the rampage and make America a safer place. McConnell should remember the children who were shot to death. It’s a good thing these two spineless cowards weren’t in Congress when our country was fighting slavery.
Hugh Hefner and Crystal Harris
The 86-year-old “playboy” really does give a new dimension to the term “dirty old man.” Hugh Hefner just got married for the third time to Crystal Harris, who is 26. With their nuptials, the couple makes a mockery of marriage equality. That the media give them any notice at all for their nutty nuptials is pathetic. Why can’t Hef find a cave in the Himalayas to meditate in? If anybody should know something about the mind-body duality, it should be him, but the only wisdom he’s acquired is that of pubescence, not transcendence. He tells the April issue of Esquire magazine that he’s slept with thousands of women but he never cheated on his wife “when I was married.” Does he want a medal on his satin bathrobe? We don’t envy Harris her career move—in or out of the honeymoon bed. The sooner we forget Hef and her, the better.
The Biebs still has his hordes of girls behind him, but now that this white-bread teenage heartthrob has turned 19, his act is getting a little old. Since he broke up with singer-actress Selena Gomez, he’s been acting out in public. Maybe he’s miffed because she appeared in a video for Dustin Tavella’s “Everybody Knows (Your Boyfriend Is a Douchebag!”) and had a little too much fun with the chorus line. Hey, celebrity love sucks. We get that. But the Biebs is losing it big time. He got into a spat with the management of a London club and had to exit immediately. He took to strutting around chilly London without a shirt on while his purple pants were at half-assed. He began a concert two hours late, collapsed at another show and was hospitalized, and told paparazzi that he would “fucking beat the fuck out of you, man!” What a potty mouth! Perhaps, to overcompensate, he later went out on the town wearing a gasmask and a Brooklyn Nets cap under a pullover. We’ve wasted too many words on this has-been already. Enuff already.
Ghostinthedark Satania Blaze
For a career in the nursing profession, the choices that Ghostinthedark Satania Blaze has made don’t inspire much confidence that she’ll ever provide patients with the same level of care that Florence Nightingale would have expected. “I’m the soul thief,” says this woman, whose real name Swiss authorities haven’t released. Clearly, she is a very naughty nurse who should have left her S&M playbook at home before going to work at the nursing home. On her Facebook page, she praises “Satan,” posts photos of herself posing with a corpse and asks her fiends, we mean, friends, to guess “if she is asleep or is she dead?,” we assume Blaze means the elderly patient who is an unwitting prop in this sick person’s self-promotion.
Mark Burnett and Roma Downey
Apparently there isn’t a commandment against turning the Old and New Testaments into low-budget fodder for basic cable, but if there were, then Mark Burnett (“Survivor”) and Roma Downey (“touched by an Angel”) would have some serious atoning to do. As producers of the History Channel’s series, “The Bible,” they cast Mehdi Ouazanni as Satan. The resemblance to President Barack Obama is, as the tabloids say, “uncanny.” The husband-and-wife team claims it’s just a coincidence. Ouazanni is “a highly acclaimed Moroccan actor,” they say. Our beleaguered president has enough problems dealing with conservative Christians and Congressional Republicans who probably do think he’s the Prince of Darkness. Considering that all the other major actors in this misguided mini-series are either white Europeans or Americans, let’s just say that this pair’s casting call was a sin of commission.
Authorities across Long Island are taking precautionary measures in preparation for expected drunk drivers during the St. Patrick’s Day holiday weekend.
Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano and Police Commissioner Thomas Dale said this week that additional officers will be searching for DWI violators as part of the police department’s “STOP-DWI” program, which will run through the holiday weekend.
Suffolk police is also cracking down on drunk drivers. The department will disperse officers from all seven precincts and the Highway Patrol Bureau to county roads.
“Drivers should expect to see increased enforcement on the roadways throughout the weekend,” Suffolk police said in a news release.
New York State police said it will increase patrols beginning Friday and will add sobriety checkpoints throughout the Island. Police will also be keeping a close eye on anyone selling alcohol to minors.
“We are starting our enforcement St. Patrick’s Day weekend with full knowledge there will be numerous parties and events where alcohol may be consumed, and we are asking everyone who drinks to designate a driver or arrange safe transportation in advance,” said New York State Police Superintendent Joseph D’Amico.
Last year, troopers made 504 DWI arrest and issued 11,663 tickets.
While it is common for people to drink in celebration of a holiday weekend, officials urge everyone not to be careless, and rather have an alternate plan in case of intoxication.
“We want you to have a good time,” Mangano said. “However we ask that you make responsible and smart decisions during your celebrations, and plan accordingly so everyone can return home safely to their loved ones.”
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 31 percent of traffic deaths in the year 2010 were alcohol related. While drunk driving continues to be a national epidemic, Mangano and Dale said they are committed to bringing down that statistic.
“There will be additional police patrols all around Nassau County,” Mangano said, “and chances are if you drive drunk you will be arrested.”
Journalists and citizens across the country this week are celebrating Sunshine Week, an initiative that started seven years ago to promote open government.
The Freedom of Information Act gives any citizen the right to access information from the federal government. Participating in the initiative are journalists, civic groups, libraries, nonprofits, schools and other people and organizations promoting a more open democracy. The week-long celebration started Sunday, March 10 and ends Saturday. The motto: “Open government is good government.”
Here are some facts about Sunshine Week:
1. When was the FOIA created?
President Lyndon Johnson signed this act in 1966.
2. What exactly is Sunshine Week?
Sunshine Week promotes the importance of open government and freedom of information. Sunshine Week was created by the Florida Society of Newspaper Editors and takes place one week in March every year.
3. Who can participate in Sunshine Week?
Participants include news media, civic groups, libraries, nonprofits, schools and others interested in the public’s right to know.
4. There are many ways to celebrate Sunshine Week.
A journalist can talk about the importance of The Freedom of Information Act by stories, editorials or cartoons. An educator can use sunshine week to teach the importance of government transparency. And a citizen can spread the meaning of sunshine week to social media sites.
5. Share your thoughts
Sunshine week has both a Facebook page and a twitter page so staying connected during this week is easier.
6. There are events all over the United States dedicated to Sunshine Week.
Many Colleges across The US and government and political office buildings are holding seminars stating the importance of FOIA. For information on places located please visit The National Freedom of Information Coalition website.
7. It is actually very easy to file for a FOIA request.
A request can be done electronically but there is a fee for requests. The search fee is based on the salary level of the people who conducts the search.
8. Not all FOIA requests come from the media.
Many requests come from lawyers and private investigators seeking accidents reports and political parties’ research their own candidates and opponents.
9. It doesn’t take long for requests to be granted.
Under FOIA, agencies have 20 working days to answer a request.
10. FOIA requests are being denied more in the past ten years.
It is noted in many articles that since President Barack Obama have been in office many requests have been denied due to security reasons.
In 2008, CNN broadcast a photo of President-elect Barack Obama with his arm outstretched to the public, and asked viewers to write its caption. I remember the winning submission almost verbatim because it spoke to my heart.
“Even after winning the presidency, President-elect Barack Obama could not get a cab in Washington, D.C.,” it read. The truth is, even now in the beginning of his second term, the president will still struggle to hail a cab in the nation’s capital past 10 p.m.
If you are a black male, or Latino, you know what I am talking about. Some D.C. cabbies immediately profile you as robbers and criminals. So they either deny you service or boss you around once you are in their cab.
On February 27, the day President Obama inaugurated the statue of Rosa Parks, I was out with my friends at a bar called 18th Street Lounge, ESL for short. Not to be mistaken for English as a Second Language—though in many ways true, since the majority of the clients are foreign nationals, the expats of D.C., if you will.
Wednesday is reggae night. Meet my friends: Cher the tall Senegalese; Kata from Serbia; Sean the American, who always looks high but does not smoke. Who else? Jakewon from Sri Lanka, who we tease is from Bangladesh and joke that his real name is Wikum with a W; his new girlfriend, half-Finnish half-African American…you get the picture. And I am Ethiopian.
We are bound by love and mutual respect. We always learn from each other, help one another and accept each other’s differences while recognizing our unity and celebrating life together. We laugh, giggle, drink a bit, chase after the opposite sex or the same sex, whatever makes us happy. That is our little family of serious and passionate individuals having a goofy time together. This bar, we the “regulars” tell new guests, with no facts checked of course, used to be the home of FDR. Now it has become our home.
I finished two bottles of Belgian beer that I shared with friends, left ESL around 12:40 a.m., hailed a cab, told the cabbie to take me to “4th & G, SW.” The cabbie started his meter, made a U-turn on Connecticut, and stopped at a traffic light a block away.
The middle-aged driver of Pakistani or Indian origin, judging from his accent, turned his head and asked me to move to the opposite side of the backseat. I was sitting behind the driver. He was not polite in his request. I told him calmly that I was comfortable where I was.
The cabbie insisted, saying he would like to talk to me and watch me through his rearview mirror while I am in his cab. I told him I have no intention of having a conversation with him and all I ask is to be taken home, assuring him that as long as I am in the cab and I have the money to pay for his services, I have every right to sit where I feel comfortable.
At this point the cab driver stopped his vehicle and asked me to get out. I refused and asked him to take me home.
The easiest thing to do under these circumstances would have been to agree to switch seats, accept his racial and age bias and go home, or leave the cab. I did not choose the above two options because, firstly, they are against the principles of humanity that all people deserve equal treatment, and secondly, the law requires him to do so as a commercial vehicle operator. Again, I asked the cab driver to please drive me home.
Let me be clear here: The problem I have with racial profiling is a fallacy of hasty generalization, so I will not conclude or in anyway generalize that D.C. cab drivers are racist. I have family and friends who drive cabs for a living; they are hard-working, honest people. Shout out to my cabbie Moody, who is always 15 minutes away from my rescue, Berhe, the Accountant Cabbie, who does my taxes in his free time. This piece is for those who discriminate against their clients; those who look down on their own race and profile complete strangers as criminals, Hispanic and black alike.
I spotted a police car nearby and told the cab driver to call the police and ask them to take my address and check my ID if it makes him feel more comfortable.
Officer W. Belton inquired about the situation from his police car. I told him what I described above. The cab driver told him his version, that he wants me to sit on the other side. I repeated my refusal, reiterating that I have every right to sit anywhere in the cab. The officer initially concurred that the driver cannot tell me where to sit.
Officer W. Belton of the 2nd Metropolitan Police Department couldn’t decide what to do. The officer, a middle-aged white male with a mustache, kept repeating the same questions to the two of us. I repeatedly told him, I will compensate the cab driver for his services, I can show the police my driver’s license to make the cabbie feel comfortable, but I will sit where I like and be taken home, as is required by the law.
Officer W. Belton did not seem to like the fact I knew my rights. No big deal, it is just text printed on a single piece of paper, right? It seemed, and later became evident, that Officer W. Belton thought it was a big deal and very smart to know a few D.C. Taxicab Commission passenger rights.
As I was looking for the number to call the D.C. Taxicab Commission to report the cabbie, Officer W. Belton asked me to pay the fare, step out of the cab and take another vehicle. I told him he can not ask me to do that. I have the right to be taken home by this cab driver.
At 1:05 a.m. I called 202-645-6018, the D.C. Taxicab Commission. As I was trying to get the cab driver’s ID number while listening to the machine operator, Officer W. Belton loudly blasted, “It is over!” Suddenly he was grabbing me by the neck and dragging me out of the cab, head-first, legs following as I staggered to find my balance and avoid falling face-first on the asphalt.
I was rushed to the back of the cab, keeping my phone in hand, which I dropped on top of its trunk where there was a cup of coffee in a golden cup.
“Bend over!” demanded an officer whose face I could not see. “Spread them! Step away from the cab!” shouted the officer after I was cuffed.
These were short and humiliating orders given to me for refusing to move over to another seat in the back of a cab. Several other police cars converged on the scene. Their flashing lights were blinding.
After I was cuffed, Officer W. Belton got in my face.
“You think you are smart?” he asked. “You are ignorant.”
I was ordered to further step away from the back of the cab by another officer, whose face I also did not see, while they searched me.
“And your ignorance got you arrested,” said Officer W. Belton.
He humiliated me, knowing I could not respond to him. I didn’t want to give him the excuse of charging me for resisting arrest, so I kept quiet.
I am a journalist and I speak my mind. I refrained from telling Officer W. Belton that, yes, I actually think I am smart, and that his job is not arresting “ignorant people” if he can identify one by looking at their face or color.
At the time, his power seemed so boundless and abusive, I chose to keep silent. Instead of telling me my rights, he insulted and humiliated me.
The police did not cause me physical harm. But I have suffered psychologically. I could not sleep, eat or drink. Flashbacks of the trauma of my arrest still go through my head just like the flash of the police lights.
I was taken to the 2nd MPD, where my arresting officers could not even convince their colleagues why they arrested me. I spent two hours and 10 minutes in a cell.
At the time of my booking, I told the officers my only crime was choosing to sit where I wished and fitting into a profile. It is ironic and extremely disheartening that this happened to me after doing a story earlier in the day on the historic inauguration of Rosa Park’s statue.
I was later released without being charged. Officer W. Belton’s bogus “Theft of Services/ Unlawful Entry” arrest charges did not convince his supervisors, who came and spoke to me later in the jail cell.
I asked them: “Have you ever heard of illegal entry into a public transportation?”
The lieutenant, a female veteran, responded: “It is like walking into a grocery store.”
Then she signed my release papers as she promised.
After I was freed, the person listed as my arresting officer, R. Tran, a young Asian officer who was being trained, said to me: “I am sorry this happened to you. I could not do anything because I am a rookie and he (referring to W. Belton) is my senior.”
Officer Belton never apologized. Not that it mattered, after what he did to me.
I had no criminal record. I knew my rights. I did not break the law. So I am walking free. But what about those who made mistakes at some point in their lives and are trying to do the right thing? Those who would not have walked out of the 2nd District Police Station free?
That is why I am speaking out and taking action.
I am suing D.C. police for police misconduct and racial profiling and collaborating with a cab driver who broke the law. Wish me luck. I’ll need it, because for some of the D.C. lawyers, this case is a lot of work for too little money. They ask me if I sustained any physical injury, when I say no, they do not want to touch it. I am sure I will find a lawyer in this town who believes there is a bigger bonus in taking up civil rights for all, someone who believes black, white, green, yellow—whatever color, age, gender—we all matter and that we are all equal.
President Obama, please speak up. Take action about this. Or you may have trouble hailing a cab in D.C. after 2016.
Henok Fente is an international affairs reporter. A 2007 graduate of Columbia University School of Journalism, he has won numerous accolades including the New York Press Association’s scholarship award. Fente hosts a news magazine show and reports on politics, business, human rights and social life in Africa for a radio show with 6 million weekly listeners. He currently resides in Washington, D.C.