Ferguson Police Chief Resigns After DOJ Exposes Systemic Racism

Originally published on March 12, 2015, at NationofChange.org

Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson announced his resignation on Wednesday after a scathing Justice Department report revealed systemic racism throughout the government of Ferguson. Accused of racial discrimination and repeatedly violating civil rights, Chief Jackson has decided to step down along with the city manager, a municipal court judge, and two police officers who immediately resigned in the wake of the Justice Department’s investigation. Although the Department of Justice declined to file charges against Darren Wilson, their investigation exposed a culture of unlawfully targeting black people for profit and ridicule.

“It is with profound sadness that I am announcing I am stepping down from my position as chief of police for the city of Ferguson, Missouri. My resignation will be effective March 19, 2015 to provide for an orderly transition of command,” Chief Jackson wrote in his resignation letter. “I will continue to assist the city in any way I can in my capacity as a private citizen.”

According to the Justice Department report, the police in Ferguson disproportionately stopped, arrested, cited, and used force on black residents while exchanging racist emails between officers and court officials. After analyzing the Ferguson Police Department’s data on stops, searches, and arrests between 2012 and 2014, the DOJ discovered that blacks accounted for 85% of all traffic stops, 90% of citations received, and 93% of people arrested were black. 88% of the cases in which officers reported using force had been against black people, and all 15 people bitten by police dogs were black.

In order to generate revenue for the city, police officers engaged in contests to impose the highest number of unfair fines on black residents. According to Attorney General Eric Holder, officers regularly violated the First, Fourth, and 14th Amendments without consequence while charging black residents with unlawful allegations, including “manner of walking along roadway.”

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Senator Expected to Face Federal Corruption Charges

Originally published on March 7, 2015, at NationofChange.org

The Justice Department is preparing to file criminal corruption charges against former Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Sen. Robert “Bob” Menendez of New Jersey. A federal grand jury began investigating the senator two years ago after the FBI and Department of Health and Human Services (HSS) delved into allegations of Menendez exchanging political favors for lavish gifts from campaign contributor and Florida ophthalmologist, Dr. Salomon Melgen. In exchange for vacation trips and political donations, Menendez has allegedly obstructed a program to improve port security and attempted to interfere with Medicare’s reimbursement policies in order to advance Dr. Melgen’s business prospects.

A month after Sen. Menendez assumed office on January 17, 2006, Dr. Melgen began negotiations to purchase ICSSI, a Dominican company contracted to provide cargo screening in the Dominican Republic. In 2002, ICSSI had acquired a contract to provide screening throughout the country, but the government suspended the deal claiming the contract was too expensive and the bidding was too uncompetitive. Intent on purchasing ICSSI, Dr. Melgen fought to reinstate the contract, which was reportedly worth $500 million over 20 years.

During this time, Menendez began pushing legislation to require screening all ship containers headed to the U.S. In 2006, the Department of Homeland Security donated an x-ray scanning device to the Dominican Republic. Inspectors working at the Dominican port at Multimodal Caucedo found 5,000lbs of cocaine in a cargo container of peaches during the first week of operating the device.

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CIA Whistleblower Faces 100 Years in Prison for Talking to NY Times Reporter

Originally published on January 29, 2015, at NationofChange.org

A former CIA case officer has been convicted for telling a New York Times reporter details concerning a reckless CIA operation that potentially sped up Iran’s nuclear advancement. Although the case against the CIA whistleblower was largely circumstantial and lacking evidence, former case officer Jeffrey Sterling faces a maximum sentence of 100 years in prison for speaking to New York Times reporter James Risen. Under threat of arrest, Risen tenaciously refused to reveal his sources to the government.

After joining the CIA on May 14, 1993, Sterling eventually rose to the rank of case officer and began working with the agency’s Iran Task Force. Between November 1998 and May 2000, Sterling had been assigned to a mission conspiring to deliver flawed nuclear blueprints to the Iranian government codenamed Operation Merlin. Unaware of the design flaws, the Iranian government would waste years devising a nuclear weapon that could not detonate.

The CIA planned to use a Russian nuclear engineer codenamed Merlin to transport the nuclear blueprints to the Iranians. In a luxurious hotel room in San Francisco, Sterling and a senior CIA officer gave the blueprints to Merlin, who immediately identified a flaw even though he had not been debriefed. Instead of aborting the mission because the design flaw was too obvious, the senior CIA officer went ahead with the operation.

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Pharmacists Charged with 25 Murders in Meningitis Outbreak

Published on December 20, 2014, at NationofChange.org

Responsible for the deaths of at least 64 people resulting from injections of contaminated medication, the co-owner and supervisory pharmacist of a compounding pharmacy were charged this week with 25 acts of second-degree murder. Sacrificing safety standards for profit, 14 suspects associated with the pharmacy have been charged with 131 counts including conspiracy, mail fraud, racketeering, and violations of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. Although the International Academy of Compounding Pharmacists (IACP) believes this is an isolated incident, sources assert these crimes occur on a daily basis in compounding pharmacies throughout the nation.

In response to the 2012 nationwide fungal meningitis outbreak, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that 751 patients in 20 states were diagnosed with a fungal infection after receiving injections of a contaminated corticosteroid called methylprednisolone acetate. Of those 751 patients, the CDC reported that 64 patients in nine states died. The Justice Department discovered the tainted corticosteroids had been compounded and shipped from the New England Compounding Center (NECC) in Massachusetts.

Co-owner and head pharmacist at NECC, Barry Cadden and his supervisory pharmacist, Glenn Chin, have been charged with 25 counts of second-degree murder for their wanton negligence and complete disregard for safety protocols. Instead of sterilizing their equipment or clean room, the pharmacists allowed bacteria and mold to contaminate the room while falsifying logs claiming they had disinfected the area. Using expired ingredients, Cadden and Chin also failed to test medications for sterility before shipping them to hospitals and pain clinics.

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