Police in Washington D.C. wearing white power symbols over their uniforms

Law4BlackLives-DC just started a petition to

Kick Racist Cops Out Our Community! Tell MPD To Fire Officer Altiere!

We just started a petition titled “Kick Racist Cops Out Our Community! Tell MPD To Fire Officer Altiere!”There is no room for racist cops in Black neighborhoods


On June 2, 5, and 13, 2017, Officer Vincent Altiere, Badge #4440, of the Washington, DC Metropolitan Police Department, was seen in the DC community and at the DC Superior Court (where he was present to testify in a criminal case), wearing an offensive, racist, and threatening shirt. The shirt displays symbols of police harassment, hate, and death while prominently displaying the symbols and emblems of the Metropolitan Police Department. We’re asking that you join us, together we can voice our extreme concern about this offensive shirt and demand that Mayor Bowser’s administration, Metropolitan Police Department and the Office of Police Complaints take immediate disciplinary action against Officer Altiere and any other Officers who have worn this or similar shirts. Our effort is already having an effect, the Metropolitan Police Department has already stated that they’re taking Officer Altiere off the street for the time being. We are also demanding that officials take proactive measures to address a department culture that allowed this type of misconduct to go unchecked.

The Seventh District is a Black community being policed by an officer openly displaying white supremacist symbols!

The shirt displays a “sun cross,” replacing the letter “O” of “PowerShift” with a notorious white supremacist symbol adopted by the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacist hate groups. Immediately below is the image of the Grim Reaper, a personification of death in the form of a hooded skeleton, holding an assault rifle and a Metropolitan Police Department badge. Below, the shirt reads “Let me see that waistband jo,” referring to “jump outs” and the routine practice of demanding to see the waistbands of individuals, who are disproportionately young Black and Brown men, often for no legitimate reason.

Given the prominent placement of MPD logos and a badge number, the shirt does not appear to be attributed to Officer Altiere alone, but instead, appears to have been designed for a group of officers associated with the MPD Seventh District. Ninety-five percent of the residents in MPD’s Seventh District are black and too many Seventh District residents have experienced harassment and abuse at the hands of the police. It is time for the leadership of this city to acknowledge and address the systemic violation of rights, and threat of violence to Black people here in Washington D.C.

This shirt is offensive and indicates systemic bias in the policing of people of color. Join us to fight back.

White supremacy and insinuated threats of death should never be associated with or tolerated in police departments who are sworn to protect and serve. Such ideologies are dangerous and demonstrate a blatant disregard for Black and Brown life. They are at the root of rampant police abuse and result in the unconstitutional terrorizing of Black and Brown communities and the callous murder of Black and Brown men and women at the hands of the police, both in Washington, DC and across the country.

On behalf of a number of community organizations and community members, Law4BlackLives-DC has formally filed complaints with both the  Internal Affairs Division of the Metropolitan Police Department and the Office of Police Complaints regarding this shirt and the message it propagates. The shirt stands alone as an affront to the community. It also embraces ongoing patterns of constitutional violations and constitutes a blatant disregard of MPD’s own general orders, including MPD General Orders 110.11, 201.26, 304.10, and 304.15. We are also asking concerned community members to let Mayor Bowser know that she must step in to check this culture for the people of Washington D.C. 

Such Officers are a threat to public safety and erode public trust in the police. Inaction by the Metropolitan Police Department, Office of Police Complaints, and the Mayor’s office would be an endorsement of this shirt’s hateful message and an acceptance of a policing culture infected by racism and violence. We’re going to keep pushing until we win substantive change, we won’t rest until he is fired and everyone who has taken part in this disgraceful conduct is gone.

Will you pledge to join the fight against racist policing?

Thank you,


What Are The Protected Classes Under Discrimination Laws?

Discrimination is not as easily defined as a person may believe at first glance. Even if a boss dislikes someone for his or her personality and treats the person in an unfair manner as a result, this may not be enough evidence for a discrimination claim. To file a valid discrimination claim, the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) requires that a person’s discrimination fall within one of eleven categories.

Determining Your Protected Class

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 has heavily influenced the way that courts determine the protected groups under discrimination laws. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prevents discrimination in educational facilities and public workplaces. Under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a person may not be discriminated against due to the following:

  • Age
  • Pregnancy
  • National Origin
  • Race
  • Ethnic Background
  • Religious Beliefs
  • Sexual Orientation

Specific Examples Of Discrimination

In each particular protected class under discrimination laws, people tend to face common forms of discrimination. For example:

  • People who are discriminated against for their national origin tend to be treated unfavorably due to their heritage or country of original citizenship.
  • A person may face discrimination if an employer requires him or her to speak English in the workplace.An employer may only enforce this requirement if speaking English is required for effectively performing job tasks in the workplace.
  • Also, an employer may not fire an employee due to the foreign accent that he or she has.
  • A person of a particular sexual orientation may experience discrimination if the workplace environment becomes hostile as a result of teasing or offensive comments.
  • If a victim is fired or demoted due to his or her sexual orientation, then this is another example of discrimination.

Discrimination Lawyers For Your Case

Discrimination lawyers will advocate for you in your discrimination case. When you feel like your workplace has become hostile as a result of teasing or inappropriate comments aimed at your sexual orientation, then you may have a valid discrimination claim against your employer.

This is incredibly unfair.

Thank you for reading my last email about our new criminal justice reform project changejustice.

There’s an important petition you can help with right now.

When Dwayne Betts was 16 years old, he committed a carjacking. He went to prison for 8 years and decided to turn his life around — eventually becoming an award winning poet, graduating from Yale Law School, and recently passing the Connecticut State Bar exam.

But because of that mistake he made twenty years ago, the Connecticut Bar is denying him admission — meaning he can’t become a lawyer. That’s not fair. Dwayne has paid his debt to society and gone above and beyond to become not only an accomplished poet, and student, but also a husband and father.

It’s simply outrageous that after working so hard for so long, a past conviction would prevent a Yale Law graduate from becoming a lawyer.

Sign this petition started by Leif Dautch, a San Francisco lawyer who also graduated from Yale, and tell the Connecticut State Bar to admit Dwayne Betts. 

Jonathan Perri
Director, Campaigns & Partnerships

on this day 8/12

1676 – “King Phillip’s War” came to an end with the killing of Indian chief King Phillip. The war between the Indians and the Europeans lasted for two years.

1851 – Isaac Singer was issued a patent on the double-headed sewing machine.

1865 – Disinfectant was used for the first time during surgery by Joseph Lister.

1867 – U.S. President Andrew Johnson sparked a move to impeach him when he defied Congress by suspending Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton.

1877 – Thomas Edison invented the phonograph and made the first sound recording.

1879 – The first National Archery Association tournament took place in Chicago, IL.

1898 – The Spanish-American War was ended with the signing of the peace protocol. The U.S. acquired Guam, Puerto Rico and the Philippines. Hawaii was also annexed.

1915 – “Of Human Bondage” by William Somerset Maugham was first published.

1918 – Regular airmail service began between Washington, DC, and New York City.

1939 – “The Wizard of Oz” premiered in Oconomowoc, WI. Judy Garland became famous for the movie’s song “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” The movie premiered in Hollywood on August 15th.

1953 – The Soviet Union secretly tested its first hydrogen bomb.

1960 – The balloon satellite Echo One was launched by the U.S. from Cape Canaveral, FL. It was the first communications satellite.

1962 – The Soviet Union launched Pavel Popovich into orbit. Popovich and Andrian Nikolayev, who was launch a day before, both landed on August 15.

1964 – Mickey Mantle set a major league baseball record when he hit home runs from both the left and ride sides of the plate in the same game.

1969 – The Boston Celtics were sold for $6 million. At the time it was the highest price paid for a pro basketball team.

1977 – The space shuttle Enterprise passed its first solo flight test.

1981 – IBM unveiled its first PC.

1986 – It was announced by NASA that they had selected a new rocket design for the space shuttle. The move was made in an effort at correcting the flaws that were believed to have been responsible for the Challenger disaster.

1986 – Rod Carew became the first player in the history of the California Angels franchise to have his uniform (#29) retired.

1992 – The U.S., Canada, and Mexico announced that the North American Free Trade Agreement had been created after 14 months of negotiations. 

1993 – U.S. President Clinton lifted the ban on rehiring air traffic controllers that had been fired for going on strike in 1981. 

1994 – Major league baseball players went on strike rather than allow team owners to limit their salaries. The strike lasted for 232 days. As a result, the World Series was wiped out for the first time in 90 years.

1998 – Swiss banks agreed to pay $1.25 billion as restitution to World War II Holocaust victims.

1999 – Hang Thu Thi Ngyuen shot an arrow from a bow with her feet on “Guinness World Records: Primetime” and hit a target that was 16 feet and 5 inches away.

2000 – The Russian nuclear submarine Kursk sank and its 118-man crew died during naval exercises in the Barents Sea.

2004 – The California Supreme Court voided the nearly 4,000 same-sex marriages that had been sanctioned in San Francisco earlier in the year.

2008 – Russia halted its five-day assault on Georgia.

Urge Brazil’s Supreme Court To Uphold Indigenous Land Rights!

Map of Brazil

Brazil’s Supreme Court is poised to rule next week on the legality of a government proposal that, if approved, would set back land rights for indigenous peoples by decades and threaten their very survival.

Next week, the Court will rule on the legality of an opinion issued by Brazil’s Attorney General and endorsed by President Temer which would refuse to recognize the land claims of indigenous peoples unless they have occupied their territories continuously since Brazil’s 1988 Constitution was written. This deliberately ignores the fact that countless communities were brutally driven off their ancestral lands during the decades of military dictatorship that preceded this constitution, and many were only able to return to their homes in the years that followed.

If the Supreme Court approves this opinion, it will spell doom for many of Brazil’s indigenous peoples. The theft of tribal land utterly destroys self-sufficient peoples and their diverse ways of life. By negating native territorial rights, this proposal would green-light industrial development on indigenous lands, putting their survival at risk and threatening the forests that stabilize our global climate.

Send a message to Brazil’s Supreme Court urging it to vote against this dangerous proposal!