Articles on this Page
- 08/27/17--10:19: _#ReadOnly
- 10/22/17--11:57: _Fellas...You Ever P...
- 05/05/15--11:21: _The Travel Thread
- 10/26/17--13:24: _Judge Says Sexual A...
- 10/26/17--10:46: _Robbed for some chi...
- 12/18/14--16:57: _IC Stop Making Excu...
- 10/26/17--14:50: _Best Hood Movie
- 10/11/17--19:07: _Will Trump allow re...
- 03/26/17--15:47: _Live like no one el...
- 10/24/17--18:05: _Robert Guillaume de...
- 06/06/17--21:01: _How Do You Eat Your...
- 10/26/17--18:39: _Netflix Suggestions...
- 10/26/17--15:54: _Would you be a poli...
- 10/29/16--12:44: _THE MANDELA EFFECT ...
- 10/27/17--08:36: _Woman gets knocked ...
- 10/27/17--08:33: _Mysterious object f...
- 10/06/17--14:55: _August FBI Memo Cal...
- 07/22/14--16:11: _The General Busines...
- 10/19/17--09:33: _White ex-Tulsa poli...
- 10/27/17--13:28: _It's not just Ameri...
- 08/27/17--10:19: #ReadOnly
- 10/22/17--11:57: Fellas...You Ever Put Hands On A Woman?
- 05/05/15--11:21: The Travel Thread
- 10/26/17--10:46: Robbed for some chicken
- 12/18/14--16:57: IC Stop Making Excuses and Let's Get Healthy Thread
- 10/26/17--14:50: Best Hood Movie
- 10/11/17--19:07: Will Trump allow release of final JFK assassination documents?
- 03/26/17--15:47: Live like no one else: The Dave Ramsey Show appreciation thread
- 10/24/17--18:05: Robert Guillaume dead at 89
- 06/06/17--21:01: How Do You Eat Your Steak?
- 10/26/17--18:39: Netflix Suggestions??????
- 10/26/17--15:54: Would you be a police informant?
- 10/29/16--12:44: THE MANDELA EFFECT IS IT REAL ???
- 10/27/17--08:36: Woman gets knocked out cold, bystanders stop to take selfies
- 10/27/17--08:33: Mysterious object from deep space has entered the solar system
- 07/22/14--16:11: The General Business Thread
This week, but yall didnt hear that from me....
I remember when my crazy ex back in 2007 came at me with a knife and I knocked out a tooth in self defense. Took a charge that was later dropped. What a bitch. That was the only time. In self defense. What about y'all?
Post any interesting places that you've been, going or have an interest in visiting.
Ask any travel related question and hopefully someone who has been will answer with useful tips, etc.
A Quebec judge will be subject to an official complaint over comments he made during a sexual assault trial suggesting the teenage complainant was "flattered" by the accuser's attention.
Cab driver Carlo Figaro, 49, was accused of forcibly kissing and licking the face of a 17-year-old girl who was his passenger and touching her breasts and genitals over her clothes. Figaro was found guilty in May and has not yet been sentenced. He is appealing the conviction.
According to Le Journal de Montreal, during the trial Judge Jean-Paul Braun remarked, "It can be said that she is a little overweight, but she has a pretty face huh?" He also suggested the victim may have been "flattered" because "it is perhaps the first time that he is interested in her." He described the non-consensual kiss as an "acceptable gesture."
The CBC reports that Braun also debated "degrees of consent" with the Crown prosecutor, noting that getting consent for a kiss is different than getting consent to touch someone's behind. He said Figaro's good looks combined with the complainant's sheltered upbringing could explain why she may have liked the attention. He even went into detail about how Figaro doesn't look his age and "likes to wear cologne."
Quebec Justice Minister Stephanie Vallee has said she will file a complaint against Braun with Quebec's judicial council.
Other politicians have also condemned the remarks.
Manon Masse of Quebec Solidaire said this is another example of rape culture and "a person in a position of authority making inappropriate remarks toward women," according to the Canadian Press.
Earlier this year, Federal Court Justice Robin Camp resigned after the Canadian Judicial Council ruled that he was unfit to sit on the bench after he told a rape complainant she should have kept her "knees together."
In April, the judge sentencing Queen's University student Chance Macdonald, who was convicted of assaulting a teenage girl, postponed the sentence to avoid interfering with Macdonald's internship. After VICE published a story, Macdonald was fired from Deloitte.
Well the last thread was deleted along with the rest of my content but the show must go on.
I'm proud of what the last thread became and how many posters got involved, you guys helped not only keep me motivated but keep other posters motivated as well so pat yourselves on the back for that.
Let's keep it up in 2015, what are some of your goals?
Vote Or Die!!!
(CNN) More than 50 years after President John F. Kennedy was slain in full view of the world, the final government documents about his death are set for release.
That is, unless President Donald Trump, citing national security, certifies that some unreleased or redacted files be kept from public view.
The documents are among the last of still-secret papers the government amassed on the assassination. Some grand jury and tax documents will remain secret.
The JFK Records Act passed in 1992, following the release of the Oliver Stone movie "JFK" and a surge in interest about the killing. The law mandated the government release the remaining files to the public and gave it 25 years to do so. October 26, 2017, will mark 25 years since then-President George H.W. Bush signed the measure into law and is the deadline for full release.
But concern has abounded from advocates of total disclosure that the Trump administration might block some of the release at the behest of the intelligence community.
The National Archives said government agencies had deemed files covered by the act prior to its passage too sensitive for release, and the Archives would not characterize them outside of noting many are likely only somewhat related to the investigation.
They run the gamut from FBI to CIA materials and all manner of documents said to pertain to investigations into Kennedy's death.
The Archives said the full collection -- much of which is already publicly available -- spans millions of documents.
Many files have been released about the Kennedy assassination over the years, including some in redacted form. Barring a waiver from the President, the obscured text will be revealed, and the Archives posted a tranche of files in July ahead of the October deadline.
CIA spokesperson Nicole de Haay said, "CIA continues to engage in the process to determine the appropriate next steps with respect to any previously-unreleased CIA information."
The FBI and the White House did not respond to requests for comment on the upcoming deadline.
'It's time to let the people know the truth'
Two Republican lawmakers said they intend to push the administration to release the full archives.
Rep. Walter Jones, R-North Carolina, and Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, have unveiled legislation urging full compliance with the spirit of the 1992 law.
In an interview with CNN, Jones said his next step would be to reach out to political consultant Roger Stone -- an ally of the President and co-author of a book that claims President Lyndon Johnson was at the center of a conspiracy to kill JFK -- to lobby Trump personally on full release. Stone is an outspoken advocate for complete disclosure of the Kennedy files.
"I'm going to play that card," Jones said of reaching out to Stone.
Jones said reading a book by Larry Sabato, a leading researcher into the assassination, sparked his interest in the files and led him to take action. He said he will continue working with his colleagues to drum up public demand for the Kennedy papers. He said there was no justification for the government to withhold some files and called it plain "wrong" to keep information from the public.
"For God's sake, it's time to let the people know the truth," Jones said.
Jones said he was unsure if there would be any major revelation in the remaining files and described the process of studying the assassination as "like a puzzle" where different pieces of information could eventually build a complete story.
Grassley took to Twitter following the two Republicans' announcement on their efforts, saying it was an example of over-classification.
The full release of the documents would mark the end of a decades-long struggle for researchers to get a hold of all available information, but will certainly not quell the debate over Kennedy's death.
The US government, via the Warren Commission report, declared Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone and without assistance to kill Kennedy before Jack Ruby murdered him while in custody.
The Warren Commission report did little to put alternate theories to rest.
For his part, Jones said he thought others besides Oswald were involved in the murder but that he could not speak to what degree without access to more information.
"My thinking is that there were other individuals and possibly agencies that were complicit," Jones said.
There has been widespread public speculation and in-depth research about the Kennedy assassination. A Gallup poll in 2013 showed 61% of respondents said more than one person was involved in the shooting and some pointed to the Mafia, the government, the CIA, Cuba and others as playing a role.
Trump himself touted an alternate theory to the Kennedy assassination on the campaign trail last year, when he alleged Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz's father could have been a part of a plot to kill Kennedy. Trump's comments were widely criticized.
Actor Robert Guillaume, best known for his title role in the TV series "Benson," died Tuesday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 89.
His wife Donna Guillaume told CNN he had battled prostate cancer in recent years.
"He kinda went the way everyone wishes they could, surrounded by love and in his sleep," Guillaume said.
She added that her husband really loved making music, entertaining and making people laugh. He treasured his role as Rafiki in Disney's 1994 animated film "The Lion King," she said.
Robert Guillaume (L) in 'Benson.'
Guillaume starred as the level-headed butler Benson DuBois on the sitcom "Benson" from 1979 - 1986. He won the Emmy for outstanding lead actor in a comedy for his performance in the role in 1985. Dozens of TV roles followed, including turns on "A Different World" and "Sports Night."
Guillaume is survived by four children, all of whom had spent time visiting with their father in his final weeks, Donna Guillaume said.
"He was a good father and a good husband. He was a great, great person," she said.
Don't have time to binge watch as much no more but what's some good shits to watch on there
In Hip Hop and films we hear a word thrown around a lot and that word is snitch, being labelled as a snitch is nothing any self respecting gangster would like and in some cases they could even be smoked in a drive-by shootout like in Menace II Society, however most of us posters on here are not gangsters we are just ordinary people...So I was wondering what's it gonna take for you guys to transform you into a rat? could you be paid to snitch if so what's your price? have you snitched before or maybe you enjoy snitching? I would never snitch on a drug dealer put a guy who just mugged an old person would have me singing like Mariah fucking Carey.
Shocking surveillance video shows the moment a Pittsburgh woman was knocked out cold by a man on a busy sidewalk — but that’s not the worst of it.
The footage also shows the woman being beaten and robbed by bystanders — who proceed to take pictures of her, including selfies — as she lies unconscious on the ground.
“They don’t treat animals like that. They wouldn’t treat a dog that way,” the victim’s mother told KDKA on Thursday. “It’s disgusting. My daughter needs help.”
The disturbing incident was caught on camera in Pittsburgh’s Beechview neighborhood. The footage was captured more than a month ago, but wasn’t released until this week.
“She’s lying there like somebody just hit a deer,” said Dr. Neil Capretto, a local physician at the Gateway Rehab center who has agreed to treat the victim for an apparent drug addiction.
“It’s like a sideshow in a circus,” he added. “This is a human being.”
In the clip, the woman appears to approach her attacker for a brief second right before he throws his haymaker. A group of men can then be seen walking over to her — cellphones in hand, snapping pictures and video — as she lies unconscious on the sidewalk.
“Nobody called 911 to help her,” a police source told KDKA. “They took what looks like her phone while she’s out cold.”
Shortly after leaving, the men reportedly returned and began taking even more photos.
“They actually come back,” the source said. “A kid lays beside her and takes a selfie.”
According to KDKA, the victim is a known drug addict who has been arrested several times, mostly for illegal substances.
“They deserve to be helped,” Capretto said of residents with drug problems.
“This is my oath, to help people who are sick,” he added. “I, as a physician, this is my oath, to help people who are sick. She’s sick and she needs help.”
It was first seen just a month ago. A tiny blip of light was seen to be moving through the sky by the PanSTARRS1 telescope in Hawaii.
The number-crunching which followed was automatic. The results were unusual.
This object is in an odd position. It’s moving very fast. And it’s in what appears to be a somewhat extreme orbit. Extreme enough not to actually be an orbit, in fact.
Observations published by the by the International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Center (MPC) suggest it could have come from deep space.
Specifically, it could be a comet that has escaped another star.
“If further observations confirm the unusual nature of this orbit, this object may be the first clear case of an interstellar comet,” the MPC declares.
WHAT IS C/2017 U1?
The PanSTARRS telescope spotted the object only after it was flung back out towards the stars by our Sun.
It’s not likely to ever return. It flashed past Earth at 24 million kilometres on October 14.
Many eyes watched it closely, keen to determine exactly what it was. Their curiosity was piqued by where it had come from.
Most objects orbiting our Sun do so along a common plane: the planets, dwarf planets and asteroids mostly swing around in roughly the same way.
This one appears to have come down on the plane from 122 degrees, from the direction of the star Vega, in the constellation Lyra. And its path did not indicate the curved ellipse typical of clockwork-like returning comets.
Best guesstimates make it a comet of about 160m diameter, with a surface reflectivity (albedo) of about 10 per cent.
The object has just been through a close call (in Solar System terms): it came within 38 million km of our star before its momentum and the Sun’s gravity hurled it back outward.
Normally such a close pass would be fatal. But C/2017U1 was travelling too fast for the Sun’s heat to consume it.
It was moving at 26km per second when first observed.
Astronomers are now attempting to refine their observations and data to pinpoint exactly where it came from. If it truly is of interstellar origin, the next task is to find which star it is likely to have come from.
At the moment, it appears to have been somewhere in the direction of the star Vega.
It’s also likely to have been wandering, alone, in deep space for a very, very long time.
Vega is a relatively close neighbour of our Sun at 25 light years distance. At the speed it’s travelling, it would take about 1.7 million years to cross the interstellar divide.
Report: August FBI Memo Called ‘Black Identity Extremists’ New Terror Threat
In August, the FBI’s counterterrorism division published a report warning law enforcement across the country of a new threat. It called the threat “Black Identity Extremism.”
In reality, there is no “Black Identity Extremist” movement, at least not one that goes by that name. It appears to be an invented label, Foreign Policy reported. The publication revealed the existence of the counterterrorism memo Friday and briefly posted the actual document on its website before removing it.
According to the FBI, “it is very likely some BIEs are influenced by a mix of anti-authoritarian, Moorish sovereign citizen ideology, and BIE ideology.”
The report found it “very likely” that the police killing of Ferguson, Missouri teenager Michael Brown — and the subsequent decision by a grand jury not to indict the officer responsible for his death — “spurred an increase in premeditated, retaliatory lethal violence against law enforcement and will very likely serve as justification for such violence.”
“ncidents of alleged police abuse against African Americans since then have continued to feed the resurgence in ideologically motivated, violent criminal activity within the BIE movement,” the report said, referring to Michael Brown’s death.
Running 12 pages — including end notes and citations — the report included six examples of premeditated violence against police officers by black people judged to have been motivated by identity extremism.
“In all six targeted attacks since 2014,” the report said, “the FBI assesses it is very likely the BIE suspects acted in retaliation for perceived past police brutality.”
It noted: “Even though five of these attacks occurred following controversial police shooting of African Americans by white police officers, BIE targeting of officers was not, in every incident, based on their specific race.”
One individual profiled was Micah Johnson, who killed five police officers in a rampage in Dallas in July 2016, firing his first shots during a Black Lives Matter march. “ased on Johnson’s journal writings and statements to police, he appeared to have been influenced by BIE ideology,” the report said.
The term “black identity extremists” doesn’t appear to have been used by counterterrorism officials before the FBI’s August report. The Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services appears to have been one of the first organizations to employ the new term, in a course description flagged by Foreign Policy for the upcoming training event “Introduction to Domestic Extremism and Hate Groups.”
“Domestic extremist movements covered will include white supremacists/white nationalists, black identity extremists, anarchists, animal rights and eco-terrorists, anti-government and other radical separatists groups,” the course description read.
Counterterrorism and homeland security experts interviewed by Foreign Policy expressed skepticism at the new label.
Michael German, a former FBI agent turned Brennan Center fellow, said: “Basically, it’s black people who scare them.”
Alright yall this is a spinoff from the Tax Implications thread that was started by @JonnyRoccIT . I made this thread to help out anybody who has general questions about getting started or going forward, legal matters in business, financing/banks/credit, how to find information, building websites, structure, taxation, business plans/proposals, investing, motivation - anything that has to do with running a business please ask the question here and me or @pralims will answer you promptly.
Anything that has to do with even supplying apps or anything for that matter that can help someone, anybody, somewhere do something easier or better will be greatly appreciated.
To kick things off I have put the topics in spoilers to make the O/P organized and easier to browse for mobile users.
Business Entity/Legal Structures
The simplest structure is the sole proprietorship, which usually involves just one individual who owns and operates the enterprise. If you intend to work alone, this structure may be the way to go. The tax aspects of a sole proprietorship are appealing because the expenses and your income from the business are included on your personal income tax return, Form 1040. Your profits and losses are recorded on a form called Schedule C, which is filed with your 1040. The "bottom-line amount" from Schedule C is then transferred to your personal tax return. This is especially attractive because business losses you suffer may offset the income you have earned from your other sources.
As a sole proprietor, you must also file a Schedule SE with Form 1040. You use Schedule SE to calculate how much self-employment tax you owe. In addition to paying annual self-employment taxes, you must make estimated tax payments if you expect to owe at least $1,000 in federal taxes for the year after deducting your withholding and credits, and your withholding will be less than the smaller of:
1) 90 percent of the tax to be shown on your current year tax return or
2) 100 percent of your previous year's tax liability.
The federal government permits you to pay estimated taxes in four equal amounts throughout the year on the 15th of April, June, September and January. With a sole proprietorship, your business earnings are taxed only once, unlike other business structures. Another big plus is that you will have complete control over your business--you make all the decisions. There are a few disadvantages to consider, however. Selecting the sole proprietorship business structure means you are personally responsible for your company's liabilities. As a result, you are placing your assets at risk, and they could be seized to satisfy a business debt or a legal claim filed against you.Raising money for a sole proprietorship can also be difficult. Banks and other financing sources may be reluctant to make business loans to sole proprietorships. In most cases, you will have to depend on your financing sources, such as savings,
home equity or family loans.
If your business will be owned and operated by several individuals, you'll want to take a look at structuring your business as a partnership. Partnerships come in two varieties: general partnerships and limited partnerships. In a general partnership, the partners manage the company and assume responsibility for the partnership's debts and other obligations. A limited partnership has both general and limited partners. The general partners own and operate the business and assume liability for the partnership, while the limited partners serve as investors only; they have no control over the company and are not subject to the same liabilities as the general partners.
Unless you expect to have many passive investors, limited partnerships are generally not the best choice for a new business because of all the required filings and administrative complexities. If you have two or more partners who want to be actively involved, a general partnership would be much easier to form.
One of the major advantages of a partnership is the tax treatment it enjoys. A partnership does not pay tax on its income but "passes through" any profits or losses to the individual partners. At tax time, the partnership must file a tax return (Form 1065) that reports its income and loss to the IRS. In addition, each partner reports his or her share of income and loss on Schedule K-1 of Form 1065.
Personal liability is a major concern if you use a general partnership to structure your business. Like sole proprietors, general partners are personally liable for the partnership's obligations and debts. Each general partner can act on behalf of the partnership, take out loans and make decisions that will affect and be binding on all the partners (if the partnership agreement permits). Keep in mind that partnerships are also more expensive to establish than sole proprietorships because they require more legal and accounting services.
The other portion is in the next post
As for what state is best to incorporate in, it really depends on what type of business you're trying to build. Please PM me and I may be able to assist you.
For motivation give these books a read:
Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
Think & Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
Feel free to post if yall can contribute, anything is plenty.
A jury convicted a former Oklahoma police officer of first-degree manslaughter late Wednesday in connection with the fatal shooting of his daughter’s 19-year-old boyfriend.
Shannon Kepler, 57, who is white, was found guilty in his fourth trial on a first-degree murder charge for the August 2014 shooting of Jeremey Lake, who was black.
A jury recommended Kepler serve 15 years in prison for the lesser charge of manslaughter, according to his defense attorney, Richard O’Carroll. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for Nov. 20.
Kepler, who was an off-duty police officer at the time of the incident, said he was acting in self-defense when he fatally shot Lake. He said he thought Lake was armed with a gun, the Associated Press reported, but no weapon was found on or near Lake’s body.
Kepler’s three previous trials, in November, February and July, were all declared mistrials after they ended with hung juries. Each trial was tinged with racial overtones and civil rights activists accused Kepler’s lawyers of trying to minimize the number of black jurors, CBS reported. Each of the three hung juries had only one African American juror.
Lake’s death took place during a particularly tense time in the country, just four days before Michael Brown, an unarmed black teen, was shot and killed by Darren Wilson, a white Ferguson, Mo., police officer. Brown’s death spurred unrest in the city, led to protests across the country and set off a nationwide debate about the way black people are treated by law enforcement.
In another Tulsa case that drew national attention, an Oklahoma jury in May acquitted Betty Shelby, a white police officer, in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man, Terence Crutcher. A prosecutor had charged Shelby with first-degree manslaughter, saying she became “emotionally involved to the point that she overreacted.” She was one of only a few female officers to be charged in a fatal shooting in the past decade.
Civil rights activists lauded Wednesday’s verdict as a rare conviction involving a fatal shooting of a black person at the hands of law enforcement, though he wasn’t on duty at the time of the killing. Police officers rarely face charges for fatal shootings, and most of those who do are cleared or acquitted, The Washington Post has reported.
Kepler’s daughter, Lisa Kepler, had just started dating Lake when he was fatally shot. She had been living in a homeless shelter on and off, after being kicked out of her parents’ home. Kepler said he learned through his daughter’s Facebook profile that she had begun dating Lake, the Tulsa World reported. Kepler testified that his daughter’s relationships and interactions with boys had created major conflict at home.
Kepler testified to the jury that he went to the home where Lake lived with his aunt because he was concerned for his daughter’s safety. Kepler, a 24-year-veteran of the force, had uncovered information about Lake using tools available through the Tulsa Police Department.
Investigators later recovered a copy of a police report from an incident that took place when Lake was a minor. Lake’s address and presumed race — black — were written on the back, homicide detective Mark Kennedy testified last week, according to the Tulsa Police Department.
Lisa Kepler was walking with her boyfriend near his home when she saw her father’s black Chevrolet Suburban drive toward them. When he asked her what she was doing there, she walked away, according to police records. Lake then walked toward the SUV and told Kepler he was his daughter’s boyfriend. Kepler then shot Lake, he later admitted, claiming that he thought he saw him reach for a gun.
“He’s bringing it, I’m bringing it,” Kepler told the courtroom on Wednesday, according to the AP. “It was either him or me. I’m not going to stand there and get shot.”
But Lake’s aunt testified that her nephew was actually reaching out to shake Kepler’s hand and introduce himself when he fired, CBS News reported.
Prosecutors alleged in their closing arguments that Kepler “hunted” Lake down and initiated the altercation with him because he was “the boy” his daughter had chosen to date, the Tulsa World reported.
Assistant District Attorney Kevin Gray noted in court that Kepler left the scene without calling 911 or attempting to giving medical attention to Lake, the Tulsa World reported. Kepler turned himself in about 2½ hours after the shooting, and retired from the force after being charged.
O’Carroll, Kepler’s lawyer, told The Washington Post his client’s fourth trial was “not a level playing field by any stretch of the imagination.”
“If the government is going to prosecute you four times in a row,” he said. “The odds of you being convicted go up.”
“They argued racism without a shred of evidence,” O’Carroll added, arguing the judge “was biased from the beginning. I know that sounds like sour grapes, but it’s the truth.”
The NAACP, the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights group, announced a travel warning Tuesday. Specifically, the NAACP warned African Americans about traveling on American Airlines, where “a pattern of disturbing incidents reported by African American passengers” has emerged.
In keeping with the way that any allegation of discrimination or biased decision-making is met today, American Airlines chief executive Doug Parker then issued a public letter to staff restating the company’s core commitment to equity, decency and facilitating unity. The statement also expressed “disappointment” that the NAACP had issued such a warning about the airline, and the company’s eagerness to discuss the matter.
What Parker’s letter did not say is that the airline is one of eight that received a letter dated Oct. 12 from the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund (an independent civil rights litigation and advocacy organization) and Muslim Advocates, another civil rights group. That letter — addressed to executives at American, Delta, Hawaiian, JetBlue, Spirit, Southwest, Virgin and United Airlines — outlined what lawyers with the two organizations have described as a serious and possibly growing problem on the nation’s airlines.
Passengers filed 95 civil rights complaints against U.S. airlines and foreign carriers flying into the country in 2016, according to federal data. That’s a 45 percent uptick from 2015. As of Oct. 16 this year, passengers have filed 70 civil rights complaints against airlines, including at least 13 against American Airlines, according to the Department of Transportation.
Even with the increase, these figures probably underrepresent the problem, civil rights organizations say. Many passengers aren’t aware that complaints can be filed with the Department of Transportation. Some only take concerns to the airline or keep quiet about their experiences out of fear of future travel problems or exhaustion with the experience.
In 2016, the NAACP LDF, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and Muslim Advocates asked the federal agency to begin investigating stories in the news of passengers who had been kicked off planes but hadn’t filed formal complaints. The Department of Transportation declined that request.
That same year, agency investigators found that there had been no violation of the nation’s civil rights and transit laws in 93 of 95 civil rights complaints filed by passengers. The Department of Transportation’s Office of the General Counsel found evidence of one civil rights violation and issued a warning to the airline. One case remains under investigation. Between Jan. 1 and Oct. 16 this year, the agency has found no violation in 31 of 70 complaints. Another 39 civil rights investigations are pending.
“That’s troubling,” said Ajmel Quereshi, a lawyer with the NAACP LDF, about the large proportion of dismissed cases. “We don’t know the basis of each one of the agency’s decisions. But the incidents we reported to the DOT and the additional incidents we cite in our [Oct. 12] letter — where individuals were removed from planes because they were asking to change seats or speaking a language other than English or reading flash cards that are in Arabic — those all seem like discriminatory situations to me.”
When an investigation uncovers evidence that the law has been violated, the Department of Transportation can charge an airline up to $32,140 per violation.
Civil rights organizations say they began receiving a surge in calls from airline passengers in late 2015. Passengers reported being removed from scheduled flights after their mundane behavior was perceived as threatening: praying or speaking in a language other than English, calculating numbers on a cocktail napkin, or just plain looking “Arabic and scary.”
In one incident in 2016, the Rev. William Barber — a black pastor and, at the time, an NAACP state conference president — was booted from a flight after asking an American Airlines flight attendant for help with passengers who were speaking loudly nearby and who went on to ridicule his disability and weight. Barber was wearing his clerical collar at the time. The other passengers, who were white, were allowed to fly. Barber was removed by law enforcement officers, then booked on the next flight, which left the following day.
By 2016, the reports of questionable plane removals made to civil rights organizations surged to a level unseen since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and the period approaching their 10-year anniversary.
The groups think the trend in 2016 had two prompts. A spate of terrorist attacks around the world set many passengers on edge, prompting some to mistake their conscious or unconscious biases with actual danger or risk. The other: Officials with the civil rights groups think that the campaign-trail rhetoric of then-presidential candidate Donald Trump had emboldened other Americans and heightened racial, ethnic and religious tensions across the country. Even a flight attendant’s union pointed to growing incivility and political tension — along with increasingly tight and crowded spaces on most airplanes — as a contributing factor.
“The national conversation on race and difference is playing out on our planes sometimes before we close the door,” said Sara Nelson, international president of the Association of Flight Attendants, an AFL-CIO union, last week. “The results are not always ideal.”
The NAACP LDF, CAIR and Muslim Advocates worked with the Association of Flight Attendants and the Department of Transportation during much of 2016. And in the last weeks of President Barack Obama’s administration, the federal agency issued the first update to the passenger bill of rights in 21 years. The agency also issued a guidance document to all airlines about discrimination and passenger removals, and earlier in 2016 began reporting more detailed information about civil rights complaints in its public monthly reports.
Still, civil rights complaints filed by passengers thus far this year match the number filed during the first 9½ months of 2016.
The alert is already working, said NAACP spokesman Malik Russell, because “it’s bringing attention to the situation.” American reached out to the NAACP on Wednesday, Russell said, through back channels he was unwilling to describe.