Mall cop ignores racist harassing Seattle protesters and pepper sprays black bystander instead


By David Edwards
Thursday, August 14, 2014 8:53 EDT

An African-American Seattle man who happened to be walking by a pro-Palestinian protest said that he is still confused as to why a security guard would have pepper sprayed him instead of a white man who was harassing demonstrators and yelling racial slurs.

Freelance photographer Alex Garland, who photographed and videotaped the incident, told The Stranger that a white shirtless man had been trying to start fights with activists at a pro-Palestinian rally on Saturday.

Garland said that the man had been shouting epithets like “towelhead” and “sand n*gger.”

As 26-year-old Raymond Wilford was walking to a friend’s house, the shirtless man apparently confused him for a protester.

“I was trying to avoid him because I heard him say a bunch of racial stuff,” Wilford told The Stranger.

In photos taken by Garland, the two men can be seen squaring off in a fighting stance, but Wilford said he never actually threw a punch.

That’s when a Westlake Center security guard arrived on the scene.

“The security guard was like, ‘Stop,’” Wilford recalled. “The white guy was still yelling and walking towards the security guard. I was like, ‘Why are you pointing your mace at me? He’s the one being aggressive.’ And then he pepper-sprayed me.”

Photos show the security guard walking past the shirtless white man to pepper spray Wilford, who is black.

“The guy that was the aggressor was closer to the security guard,” Garland said, according to MyNorthwest.com. “The other individual, the person of color, was further away but he was the one who got pepper sprayed.”

Video taken by Garland shows protesters pleading with the security guard, saying, “You Maced the wrong guy.” A Seattle police officer arrived on the scene, and the security guard took Wilford away to be detained. Meanwhile, the photos show the shirtless man casually walking away.

The security guard later told Seattle officers that Wilford “took an aggressive step towards him” so he was forced to deploy his pepper spray, a police reported indicated.

Valor Security Services, which employs the security guard, told KING that the guard gave multiple warnings.

“Please know these actions are never done without warning and careful consideration,” Valor spokesperson Scott Born insisted in a statement. “It is always our goal to try to resolve all situations as peacefully as possible.”

Valor declined to tell KING if the guard was still working for the company. The Seattle Police Department was investigating the incident.

For his part, Wilford said that he would like to speak with management at Westlake, and he has not ruled out legal action.

“I’ve been treated like that all my life, so it kinda brushes off,” Wilford explained to The Stranger. “I’m from the South, I’m from New Orleans. I’ve seen the worst of it.”

“People here seem to be more secretive about their not liking black people, or their racism,” he added. “I’m so used to it I don’t know what’s wrong and what’s right half the time.”

Watch the video below from KING, broadcast Aug. 12, 2014.

Staci Appel for Iowa


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With Staci’s potential opponents headed to a convention this week, we can only expect their extreme positions to get even worse as they try to appeal to the same Tea Party base that endorsed Rick Santorum just two years ago.

Nothing is more shocking, though, than Brad Zaun’s and Matt Schultz’s shared views on women. They’ve both signaled support for a proposal which would severely limit a woman’s ability to make her own medical decisions.

This is precisely the reason that it is time for Iowa to Staci Appel Congress. For too long we’ve let men decide questions of women’s health – it’s time to give women a voice. Add your name today to stand with Staci against our opponents’ reckless proposal.

These so called “personhood amendments” are the latest far-right ploy to set women’s rights back nearly 50 years.

Staci is ready to take on whomever their nominee is this fall, but if it is one of these guys, this fight is going to be especially important to women across the country. This backward-looking regulation of women’s bodies needs to stop!

Join us today and stand against their reckless and outdated attempts to take away a woman’s right to make decisions regarding her body. They’re too extreme for Iowa, and that is exactly why it’s time for Iowa to send a woman to Washington.

Thanks for standing with us today.

Sarah Shepson
Appel for Iowa

CBO ~~ August 2014


The Ice Bucket Challenge ~~ In Memory of Corey Griffin


By CAP Action War Room

Here’s A Story To Brighten Your Day After A Tough News Week

A challenge that started among a group of friends to raise money and awareness for Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease, has taken social media by storm and now includes among its participants the likes of Martha Stewart, Mark Zuckerberg, and Senator Cory Booker.

The rules of the Ice Bucket Challenge are simple: Players have 24 hours to either pour a bucket of ice cold water over their head on camera or contribute money to an organization working to fight ALS. After they’ve made their decision, they appoint three more people to do the same.

The videos have taken Facebook by storm. And according to the Wall Street Journal, there have been 118,000 tweets using the hashtag #IceBucketChallenge.

Some have pushed back on the challenge, saying there “must be a better way to accomplish the same thing without encouraging people to do a little pretend suffering.” But this is not just another example of “clicktivism” that doesn’t amount to much substantial. As of yesterday, the ALS Association had raised $7.6 million in donations in two weeks. That’s over five times more than the $1.4 million they raised dring the same two week period last year, and includes an astonishing 145,918 new donors.

ALS causes muscle spasms, decrease in muscle mass, difficulty in speaking, swallowing, and breathing, and eventually paralysis. Most people who suffer from ALS — more than 12,000 people of various racial and ethnic backgrounds in the United States — usually succumb to respiratory problems within three to five years of showing symptoms. There is no cure.

“It’s very difficult to fundraise because most people have never heard of ALS and it’s a very complex disease to discuss and explain,” said Lance Slaughter, head of fundraising for the ALS Association. “We don’t have survivors of this disease.”

“Who knew all it would take was a bag of ice and a bucket?” said John Frates, father of Pete Frates, a former Boston College baseball captain who developed ALS two years ago and helped start to start the challenge in July. “This is a little bit of discomfort for a second, but it’s a lifetime of challenges for people with ALS.”

So if you haven’t been challenged yet, stay on the lookout.

Social Security ACT turns 79


Seventy-nine years ago, on August 14, 1935, President Franklin Roosevelt said, “We can never insure 100 percent of the population against 100 percent of the hazards and vicissitudes of life, but we have tried to frame a law which will give some measure of protection to the average citizen and to his family against the loss of a job and against poverty-stricken old age.”

With that, he signed the Social Security Act into law, ushering in an era of economic prosperity for middle-class families. The first American to get Social Security received 17 cents in benefits. Today, 79 years later, Social Security stands as a major source of income for 54 million Americans who have paid into the system for their entire working lives.

President Obama understands that many seniors rely on Social Security, and believes that every one of them should be able to retire with dignity, which is why he’s acted to strengthen the Social Security system and ensure it remains solvent for years to come.