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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.

 

Despite the FBI’s attempt to label and target “Black Identity Extremists,” on Thursday some justice was served in one police brutality case. In April 2015, Michael Slager, then a police officer, shot and killed Walter Scott. Scott, who was unarmed, was hit five times as he ran from Slager. Now, Slager will serve 20 years in jail, as announced Thursday. The judge “ruled that Slager committed second-degree murder and obstruction of justice,” according to ABC News.

It’s been a winding path to this announcement. Slager’s original trial, for which he was charged with murder, resulted in a mistrial. Slager, who at one point said he acted in self-defense, ultimately pled guilty in May to breaching Scott’s civil rights in the use of excessive force.

Members of Scott’s family, including his mother Judy, spoke this week:

The conviction is a rare exception to many cases of police brutality, in which many cops have failed to be indicted, let alone convicted.

Some, however, were critical of the length of the sentence:

The Scott case is one of the clearest cases of police violence against unarmed African Americans. A cell phone video that explicitly shows Scott being shot from behind while defenseless went viral and provided new and essential evidence in the case, negating Slager’s self-defense claims.

The importance of the video, taken by Feidin Santana, was highlighted in reaction to Slager’s sentencing.

Scott’s death led to continued outcry about policing and deadly shootings, protests from the Black Lives Matter movement, and a renewed discussion about police wearing body cameras.

In 2017 thus far there have been 909 deadly shootings by police. Of these, 201 were black men and nine were black women.

Emily C. Bell is a news writer at AlterNet.

 

Header image source.

Actor as Donald Trump in Russia Today video ad

Screenshot from RT's 'Trump is here to make RT Great Again'

Russia Today, the network known in this country as RT, has produced a new "deep fake" video that portrays Donald Trump in post-presidential mode as an anchor for the Kremlin outlet. Using snippets of Trump's own voice and an actor in an outlandish blond wig, the ad suggests broadly that the US president is indeed a wholly owned puppet of Vladimir Putin– as he has so often given us reason to suspect.

"They're very nice. I make a lot of money with them," says the actor in Trump's own voice. "They pay me millions and hundreds of millions."

But when American journalists described the video as "disturbing," RT retorted that their aim wasn't to mock Trump, but his critics and every American who objects to the Russian manipulations that helped bring him to power.

As an ad for RT the video is amusing, but the network's description of it is just another lie. Putin's propagandists are again trolling Trump and America, as they've done many times over the past few years –- and this should be taken as a warning of what they're doing as Election Day approaches.

The Lincoln Project aptly observed that the Russians "said the quiet part out loud" this time, (Which is a bad habit they share with Trump.)