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.

did you hear what happened at LAX airport?


sign the petition by Daily Kos and SEIU (Service Employee International Union) in demanding that Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) hold companies accountable for unsafe working conditions—and prevent such future tragedies.

Cesar Valenzuela was killed at work in February, while driving a baggage tug at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). He was working for airport contractor Menzies Aviation, and got run over after being thrown from the vehicle while driving.

The official safety report was just released, and Menzies had violated basic safety rules. The vehicle didn’t have a working seat belt. Menzies discouraged workers from wearing seat belts. And equipment inspections weren’t done properly.

This death could have been prevented, and Cesar should be alive today. He died leaving a wife, and two children without a father.

Los Angeles World Airports’ Board of Airport Commissioners has the power to remove a company’s license to operate because of serious safety violations. It is time for LAWA to act and hold companies like Menzies accountable for unsafe working conditions at LAX.

Sign the petition by Daily Kos and SEIU demanding that LAX hold companies accountable—and to revoke Menzies’ contract—to prevent such future tragedies.

Keep fighting,
Chris Bowers, Daily Kos

If they’re sent to Iran, they’ll die


John B. Emerson, ,: Save Ali, Shahnaz and Arat’s lives by granting them US visas. This would save them from pending deportation back to Iran where they face certain imprisonment and probable execution for their beliefs.

Darrel Weaver
East Earl, Pennsylvania

change.org ~~ He killed my husband


Scarlett A. Wilson: Charge Alexander Duke with the murder of my husband, Stewart Pelfrey

kayley parrish
north charleston, South Carolina

Weekly Address: The Export – Import Bank


Weekly Address: The Export-Import Bank

In this week’s address, the President highlighted the progress made towards rebuilding our economy, including the creation of nearly 10 million new private sector jobs in the past 53 months and the rise in the number of American exports to an all-time high.

That growth is in part thanks to the actions of the U.S. Export-Import Bank, an organization that creates American jobs by helping to take American businesses global. The charter of the Export-Import Bank is slated to expire next month, unless Members of Congress renew it, as has happened 16 times in the past with support from Democrats and Republicans.

The President asked business owners and employees to reach out to their representatives, who are home this month, and let them know how important it is that the Export-Import Bank continue its work so that American businesses can continue to grow.

Click here to watch this week’s Weekly Address.

Watch: President Obama delivers the weekly address

Attorney General Holder: “The Eyes of the Nation and the World Are Watching Ferguson Right Now”

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder traveled to Ferguson, Missouri yesterday to review the Justice Department’s independent investigation into the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown. While there, the Attorney General met with community leaders, FBI investigators, and federal prosecutors to get detailed briefings on the status of the case.

READ MORE

West Wing Week 08/22/14 or, “The Summer Social Media Mailbag Edition”

Welcome to a special edition of West Wing Week, featuring a Summer Social Media Mailbag Q&A session with White House staffers. But before we get to your questions, here are a couple scenes from the President’s week.

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Chart of the Week: Auto Production at Its Highest Rate Since 2002

The American auto industry remains a cornerstone of our economy — a key source of our ability to export, innovate, and create jobs. During the economic turmoil of the Great Recession, the auto sector shed hundreds of thousands of jobs, and production dropped to the lowest level recorded in data going back to the 1960s. In 2009, President Obama took decisive action to rescue the industry from imminent collapse, saving more than 1 million jobs across the country.

Now, our auto industry is once again a source of economic strength, with more and more of the world’s top-of-the-line, fuel-efficient vehicles being made by American workers in American factories. In fact, the number of cars coming off our assembly lines just reached its highest level in 12 years.

READ MORE