Senate Democrats Block SR1 Again

Yesterday, Senate Democrats blocked SR1 for the second time, which contains the controversial Combating BDS Act, and which infringes on First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and peaceful protest, including boycotts.

Only four Senate Democrats voted to pass the bill, including Doug Jones, Kyrsten Sinema, Bob Menéndez, and Joe Manchin. If you live in Alabama, Arizona, New Jersey or West Virginia, please consider calling your senators and asking them to stand up for your First Amendment rights and focus on reopening the government rather than penalizing peaceful protesters.

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Autopsy Confirms EJ Bradford Shot From Behind

Emantic Bradford was shot dead by police in an Alabama mall on Thanksgiving in what police claim was a case of mistaken identity.

Initially police claimed that they’d killed an active shooter in the mall. Then they admitted that the man they had killed wasn’t the shooter.

This week an autopsy confirmed the worst fears of the Bradford family — that EJ died for absolutely no reason and was shot from behind.

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“Good Guy With a Gun” Still Gets Killed

A shooting on Thanksgiving night at a mall in Alabama left one teenager dead and two injured, and police can’t get their story straight.

The incident occurred at 9:30 p.m. at the Riverchase Galleria in a suburb of Birmingham, Alabama, leaving 21-year-old Emantic Bradford Jr. dead, and two injured, including a 12-year-old girl.

Initially, Hoover police said that Bradford had shot and wounded two people, then changed their story to say that he hand brandished a gun but had not fired.

Turns out, Bradford never did any of those things.

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Abortion Hot Topic in Midterms

Abortion was on the ballot in a number of states in this year’s midterms, and the outcomes varied widely.

In Alabama and West Virginia, women’s rights and access to reproductive healthcare services were severely curtailed as religion seeped into the Alabama state constitution with the approval of a drastic amendment.

On the other end of the spectrum, Oregon voters managed to reject similar attempts at implementing so-called “trigger laws” that will go into effect if and when the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade as many conservatives hope.

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Bear Witness to the Past to Improve the Future

A long-overdue memorial and museum dedicated to the history and lives lost to slavery has opened in Montgomery, Alabama.

The project is the brainchild of Bryan Stevenson, founder of the nonprofit Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), and features hanging columns naming U.S. counties in which black Americans were lynched.

The visual impact of the memorial is to make it appear from the outside as though the columns are supporting the overarching structure, when in reality, they are hanging from it.

This is a hauntingly beautiful and stunningly accurate representation of the history of black Americans, as well as the societal devaluing of black contributions to American history.

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When at First You Don’t Succeed, Sue

Seven states including Texas have filed a joint lawsuit against the current presidential administration in an attempt to force the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, the proposed repeal of which has been repeatedly denied by the courts.

The lawsuit requests that the program be phased out within the next two years and could set the stage for Supreme Court intervention.

The full list of states suing the administration also include Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, South Carolina, and West Virginia.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed the lawsuit in response to a third court decision that ruled against the immediate repeal of the DACA program.

“Texas has argued for years that the federal executive branch lacks the power to unilaterally grant unlawfully present aliens lawful presence and work authorization. Left intact, DACA sets a dangerous precedent by giving the executive branch sweeping authority to ignore the laws enacted by Congress and change our nation’s immigration laws to suit a president’s own policy preferences.”  – Paxton

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When a Victim is Charged with the Crime

In yet another incident of police violence, discrimination, and racial injustice, 18-year-old Lakeith Smith has been convicted of a felony murder that the court knows he did not commit.

Smith stands to serve 65 years in prison for three consecutive sentences, including the felony murder conviction of his then 16-year-old friend A’Donte Washington, who was fatally shot four times by Alabama police after engaging in a shoot-out.

Smith was offered a plea deal that would have given him 25 years in prison, but he instead opted to go to trial.

But because of Alabama’s Accomplice Law, Smith was — in the eyes of the court — legally responsible for the criminal activities that subsequently led to Washington’s death, and therefore legally responsible for that death, despite never having possessed or fired a weapon during the entirety of the incident.

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