Couple Charged With a Hate Crime for Painting Over BLM Mural (VIDEO)

A couple captured on cellphone video painting over a Black Lives Matter street mural installation has been charged with a hate crime over the incident.

Black Lives Matter supporters recorded a woman using a roller paint brush to paint over the art and her male partner in a very heated viral video. The incident happened in Martinez, California, on the Fourth of July.

. . .On Tuesday Contra Costa County District Attorney Diana Becton announced in a statement that the couple had been charged with a hate crime.

“Today, the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office charged Nichole Anderson (42-years old Martinez resident) and David Nelson (53-years-old Martinez resident) with three misdemeanor counts, including a hate crime, for their alleged actions on Saturday, July 4, when defendant Anderson covered up a Black Lives Matter mural with black paint,” read the statement. (Read more from “Couple Charged With a Hate Crime for Painting Over BLM Mural (VIDEO)” HERE)

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Suspect in Murder of Vanessa Guillen Appears in Court

A suspect accused of assisting in hiding the body of murdered Army Specialist Vanessa Guillen appeared in court on Monday, amid increasing calls for an independent investigation into the disappearance of the solider who went missing more than two months ago. . .

Cecily Aguilar, 22, has been charged with conspiracy to tamper with evidence in connection with Guillen’s death.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Western District of Texas, “20-year-old U.S. Army Specialist Aaron Robinson told Aguilar that he killed a female soldier by striking her in the head with a hammer while on Ft. Hood on April 22, 2020,” and “subsequently, Robinson enlisted the help of Aguilar in disposing of the dead female’s body.” . . .

Guillen’s family has called for a Congressional investigation into her death, claiming the Army has not been forthright in providing details since her disappearance from the base. The soldier’s loved ones also said Guillen had told them she was sexually harassed by a superior prior to her disappearance, and that she refused to report the alleged misconduct out of fear of retaliation. (Read more from “Suspect in Murder of Vanessa Guillen Appears in Court” HERE)

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NYC Councilwoman Freaks Out Over White Man Holding Black Child: ‘It Hurts People’

Members of New York City’s Community Education Council District 2 (CEC D2) behaved like the children they are meant to represent in last week’s meeting, when discussions of a joke from a past meeting devolved into screaming, personal attacks, and slanders.

During the council’s June meeting, the group was tackling school integration. Council member Thomas Wrocklage had brought his toddler daughter and a friend’s nephew. The nephew spent much of the meeting climbing on and off Wrocklage’s lap.

This innocent image of a man holding a child was the target of scorn by his fellow council members. Rachel Broshi told Wrocklage, “It hurts people when they see a white man bouncing a brown baby on their lap and they don’t know the context. That is harmful.”

Broshi, and several other council members, argued that the image of a white man holding a black child was inherently racist. When Wrocklage asked Broshi to explain why holding a friend’s nephew was racist merely due to their differing races, Broshi refused, yelling at Wrocklage, “Read a book. Read Ibram Kendi. Read ‘White Fragility.’ Read ‘How to Talk to White People.’” . . .

In the aftermath of the meeting, Wrocklage faced an onslaught of allegations of racism on social media. Around 100 parents in District 2 signed a letter to Maud Maron, the president of the school board, complaining about Wrocklage, who claims the letter slanders him with false allegations. (Read more from “NYC Councilwoman Freaks Out Over White Man Holding Black Child: ‘It Hurts People’” HERE)

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Cop Charged George Floyd’s Death Released on $750K Bond

A former Minneapolis police officer charged in the killing of George Floyd has been released from jail, according to Hennepin County jail records.

Tou Thao, age 34, is the third former officer accused in Floyd’s death to be released on bond. He posted $750,000 bond on Saturday, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported. All four officers on the scene of Floyd’s death have been fired and face criminal charges.

Floyd, who was Black and handcuffed, died May 25 while being arrested. A white police officer used his knee to pin Floyd’s neck for nearly eight minutes as Floyd begged for air and eventually stopped moving. Besides the charges against the officers, Floyd’s death led to worldwide protests over police brutality and racial injustice. (Read more from “Cop Charged George Floyd’s Death Released on $750K Bond” HERE)

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Missing Soldier Vanessa Guillen Was Killed, Dismembered at Fort Hood, Attorney Says

Authorities on Thursday released the names of two suspects — including a Fort Hood soldier who died Wednesday of a self-inflected gunshot wound — after both were tied to the disappearance of Spc. Vanessa Guillen.

U.S. Army officials at Fort Hood identified the soldier as 20-year-old Spc. Aaron David Robinson of Illinois. Hours later, United States Department of Justice officials identified the second suspect as Cecily Anne Aguilar, a 22-year-old Killeen resident.

Officials during a news conference at Fort Hood Thursday told reporters that Robinson ran away from his post Tuesday evening after reports that partial human remains were found near the Leon River in Bell County.

Local law enforcement later found Robinson in the 4700 block of East Rancier Avenue, east of Fort Hood near North Twin Creek Drive, where he pulled a gun and shot himself when confronted by Killeen police early Wednesday. . .

Special Agent Damon Phelps with the Army Criminal Investigation Command said earlier Thursday that a second suspect also was arrested this week, but he declined to release her name. (Read more from “Missing Soldier Vanessa Guillen Was Killed, Dismembered at Fort Hood, Attorney Says” HERE)

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Christian College Kicks Out Student for Questioning BLM in Viral Video

A Christian university has confirmed that a student is no longer enrolled after a “disciplinary process” resulting from social media posts critical of the Black Lives Matter movement. Now, former Hardin Simmons University student Ashleigh Brock regularly posts political videos on TikTok. Her videos about the Black Lives Matter movement sparked outrage on Twitter.

In one of Brock’s TikTok posts, she pointed out what she characterized as a hypocritical societal reaction between a black person killing a white person, a black person killing another black person, and a white person killing a black person. The video drew harsh criticism after a Twitter account called #blacklivesmatter posted it to Twitter calling for HSU to impose “serious consequences.”

In another TikTok post, while wearing an HSU t-shirt, Brock said that “all lives matter” and asked why people “freak out when a white person kills a black person,” but do not elicit the same reaction when a “black person kills a white person.”

“Do black lives matter? Yes, of course. Do white lives matter? Yes, of course. But I’m not gonna sit here and put each one in a group saying this race matters,” Brock said in the video. (Read more from “Christian College Kicks Out Student for Questioning BLM in Viral Video” HERE)

Editor’s note:

Here’s the university president’s lame explanation for kicking Ashleigh Brock out of the school:

We hope she sues.

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Dean Fired After Saying ‘EVERYONE’S LIFE MATTERS’ in Email

University of Massachusetts-Lowell Dean of Nursing Leslie Neal-Boylan issued an email on June 2 to the Solomont School of Nursing in light of the recent anti-racism demonstrations across the country, sources told Campus Reform. In the message, Neal-Boylan told students that “everyone’s life matters.” Days later, Neal-Boylan was out of a job.

The sources shared with Campus Reform the email over which Neal-Boylan was allegedly fired.

“I am writing to express my concern and condemnation of the recent (and past) acts of violence against people of color,” Neal-Boylan wrote in the email. “Recent events recall a tragic history of racism and bias that continue to thrive in this country. I despair for our future as a nation if we do not stand up against violence against anyone,” she added.

“Dear SSON Community,” the email provided to Campus Reform begins. “I am writing to express my concern and condemnation of the recent (and past) acts of violence against people of color. Recent events recall a tragic history of racism and bias that continue to thrive in this country. I despair for our future as a nation if we do not stand up against violence against anyone. BLACK LIVES MATTER, but also, EVERYONE’S LIFE MATTERS.” . . .

Sources familiar with the situation told Campus Reform that the dean’s employment had been terminated just days after her “everyone’s life matters” email. (Read more from “Dean Fired After Saying ‘EVERYONE’S LIFE MATTERS’ in Email” HERE)

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Father Mourning Loss of Son Killed in CHOP Zone Gets Call of Support From President Trump

On the day he buried his 19-year-old son, who was gunned down in Seattle’s lawless ‘CHOP’ zone, Horace Lorenzo Anderson Sr. got a phone call from President Trump, who had been moved by his heart-wrenching appearance the night before on Fox News Channel’s “Hannity.”

Anderson’s son, Horace Lorenzo Anderson Jr., was killed in the early hours of June 20, when shots rang out near the border of the six-block zone the city had given up for three chaotic weeks. In the emotional interview with Sean Hannity, a tearful Anderson said he hadn’t been able to get answers from the city about his son’s death, and disclosed that he had not even been contacted by Mayor Jenny Durkan.

But, the mayor, a Democrat, did reach out to Anderson later Wednesday, and a call from Trump followed later.

“We just talked to the president of the United States,” Anderson’s friend and family spokesman Andre Taylor, who took part in Wednesday’s interview, told Fox News. “How are you going to top that?”

Taylor said Trump told Anderson he saw his interview with Hannity Wednesday night and was moved by the grieving father’s grace in the face of tragedy. In what Taylor said was a seven-minute call, Trump offered his condolences and support. (Read more from “Father Mourning Loss of Son Killed in CHOP Zone Gets Call of Support From President Trump” HERE)

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Supreme Court Hands Huge Victory to Families on School Choice

In a 5-4 decision Tuesday, the Supreme Court held that families have a right to seek the best educational opportunities for their children, by preventing states from blocking the participation of religiously affiliated schools in state school choice programs.

In Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, the court ruled that the application of a “no-aid” provision in Montana’s Constitution violated the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, since it barred state tax credit scholarships from being used at private religious schools.

In a huge win for families, the high court held that states cannot apply the no-aid provision to discriminate against religious schools by excluding them from private school choice programs.

In 2002, the court’s ruling in Zelman v. Simmons-Harris held that the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution did not block parents from choosing schools that are the best fit for their children, including religious schools.

Tuesday’s decision in Espinoza removed the largest state constitutional obstacle by holding that so-called Blaine Amendments cannot be used to deny choice to parents.

Under the U.S. Constitution, states no longer may prevent parents from choosing religious schools if they are participating in a school choice program.

“A state need not subsidize private education. But once a State decides to do so, it cannot disqualify some private schools simply because they are religious,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the opinion of the court in Espinoza.

This decision struck a blow to the notoriously anti-Catholic Blaine Amendment in Montana’s Constitution that sanctioned explicit discrimination against religious schools in funding. Montana’s discrimination hurt families who have a wide variety of values and preferences when it comes to their children’s education.

As the Supreme Court had previously noted, Blaine Amendments have an “ignoble” history. The amendments are named after Sen. James G. Blaine of Maine, who in 1875 sought a federal constitutional prohibition of aid to “sectarian” schools.

“Consideration of the amendment arose at a time of pervasive hostility to the Catholic Church and to Catholics in general, and it was an open secret that sectarian was code for Catholic,” Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in the court’s Mitchell v. Helms decision in 2000.

As Jarrett Stepman and one of us, Lindsey Burke, wrote previously in the Journal of School Choice:

Catholics sought to establish their own schools, and proposed that funding should follow, as it had to the common school (proto-public schools).

Supporters of the common school movement perceived a threat to its mission in such proposals. … Against this backdrop, Blaine [Amendments] sought to prevent aid to Catholic schooling as part of a wider reaction to increased Catholic immigration.

Blaine’s effort to amend the U.S. Constitution failed in 1875, but his effort still served as a major impediment to school choice, continuing to thwart modern-day school choice programs in the 21st century.

That’s because 37 states went on to adopt similar amendments, sometimes referred to as “baby Blaine Amendments.” Prior to today’s ruling, in states such as Montana, many of these state Blaine Amendments and similar “compelled support” clauses restricted or outright prohibited the use of taxpayer funds at private religious schools.

This timeline shows when states adopted Blaine Amendments and similar “compelled support” clauses.

The Supreme Court made it clear Tuesday that the Free Exercise Clause of the Constitution prohibits discrimination against religious schools on the basis of their religious status—a status that provides families with more education options that best meet the needs of their children.

The high court said that if states create a publicly available benefit, such as a scholarship program, they must allow religious schools to participate. The states that have Blaine Amendments in place are now prohibited from excluding religious school options.

In Mitchell v. Helms, Thomas wrote of Blaine Amendments: “This doctrine, born of bigotry, should be buried now.” On Tuesday, the Supreme Court’s decision in Espinoza took us one step closer to achieving that goal.

Now is the time for states to cast aside these 19th-century rules rooted in prejudice that unfairly punish religious families, students, and schools. The Constitution requires states to provide a level playing field for religious and secular education.

The legal impediment to school choice programs is now gone, and it’s up to state legislatures to move forward advancing education choice.

The court made it clear that policymakers across the country now have the power to enact robust school choice programs. They should do just that. (For more from the author of “Supreme Court Hands Huge Victory to Families on School Choice” please click HERE)

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Arizona Goes After Gym That Refused to Shutdown

A luxury gym in Phoenix, Arizona, lost two liquor licenses after defying the order to shut down in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Life Time Fitness had two liquor licenses suspended by local officials after keeping their gym doors open.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey issued an executive order shutting down movie theaters, gyms, bars and other businesses for 30 days on Monday. . .

“The Department took action against the liquor licenses of the two businesses as each presented one of a number of enticements to continue regular operations at Life Time Biltmore,” said John Cocca, the director of the Arizona Dept. of Liquor Licenses and Control.

A spokesman for the governor’s office said that a business could face up to a $2,500 fine for non-compliance with the executive order. (Read more from “Arizona Goes After Gym That Refused to Shutdown” HERE)

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