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Cops Tried To Arrest A Whole Neighborhood. This Is What Happened When The Community Fought Back.

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Former Baltimore Police Sgt. Ethan Newberg’s disgraceful downfall continues as new body camera footage reveals an incident in which the ex-cop made three illegal arrests, and then threatened to arrest entire block full of witnesses. Although they were initially responding to a neighborhood dispute, Newberg and his partner arrested a local resident who was not involved in the altercation almost immediately. When neighbors began to protest, Newberg escalated to arrest two more residents—and threatened to keep going until the whole neighborhood was in handcuffs. Police Accountability Report returns with exclusive footage of Sgt. Newberg’s outburst, and what it tells us about the state of policing in Baltimore and around the country.

Production: Stephen Janis, Taya Graham
Post-Production: Stephen Janis, Adam Coley


Transcript

The following is a rushed transcript and may contain errors. A proofread version will be made available as soon as possible.

Taya Graham:

Hello, my name is Taya Graham, and welcome to the Police Accountability Report.

As I always make clear, this show has a single purpose: holding the politically powerful institution of policing accountable. And to do so, we don’t just focus on the bad behavior of individual cops, instead, we examine the system that makes bad policing possible.

And today, we will achieve that goal by showing you this video of a cop that made not one, not two, but three illegal arrests, all of which occurred during a dispute between neighbors that was unremarkable, to say the least. But it’s also an example of how bad policing can literally spiral out control to the extent that it changes the psychology of an entire community, which is why we will be showing it to you in exacting detail.

But, before we get started, I want you watching to know that if you have video evidence of police misconduct, please email it to us privately at par@therealnews.com or reach out to me directly on Facebook or Twitter @tayasbaltimore, and we might be able to investigate for you. And please like, share, and comment on our videos. It helps us get the word out and it can even help our guests. And of course, you know I read your comments and appreciate them. You see those hearts down there, I give those hearts out, and I’ve even started doing a PAR comment of the week to show you all how much I appreciate your thoughts and to show what a great community we have. And we have a Patreon called Accountability Reports, so if you feel inspired to donate, please do. We don’t run ads or take corporate dollars, so anything can spare is truly appreciated.All right, we’ve gotten that out of the way.

Now, one of the problems with the advent of body-worn cameras is that even when police are caught making bad or illegal arrests, the video is not always made public. Ironically, police departments, using transparency laws, have been able to hide their questionable behavior and thus circumvent the whole purpose of wearing body cameras in the first place.

And today we have a perfect example of that problem, video that the police did not want you to see, but we are showing you here for the very first time, despite having to battle the government for two and a half years to obtain it.

It depicts Baltimore police officer Sergeant Ethan Newberg, wreaking havoc on the community, an authoritarian style of policing that leads to multiple illegal arrests. It is in fact a stunning example of how easy it is to abuse police powers and the consequence when that abuse is hidden from the public.

Newberg was charged in 2019 with multiple counts of misconduct in office for making nine illegal arrests, 32 counts to be exact. The body camera remains secret until we won an appeal to have it released. And now in a series of shows, we are revealing it to you for the very first time.

This story starts in Baltimore, Maryland when a neighborhood dispute attracted the attention of the police. As you can see, Newberg arrives on the scene, and instead of talking to the residents or trying to understand their concerns, he immediately becomes combative. Notice that one of his fellow officers decides that talking in their own backyard was actually illegal.

Take a look.

Newberg:

What is going on?

Woman in Dispute:

First of all, I live here. I don’t know what the hell’s going on. I just got off work.

Newberg:

So nobody knows what’s going on.

Woman in Dispute:

No. Nobody.

Cop 2:

Who called us here? How about that?

Woman in Dispute:

I don’t know! One of the nosey-ass neighbors called!

Cop 2:

Is everything okay here?

Woman in Dispute:

Yes! Everything’s okay!

Cop 2:

Do you need us here?

Woman in Dispute:

No!

Second Woman in Dispute:

We live here. I live here. I got a son!

Cop 2:

Oh my God. Okay.

Newberg:

Hold on. Hold on. This is what’s not going to happen. We’re not going to have a group of people outside in the block screaming, and shouting, and yelling.

Taya Graham:

But one of the neighbors decided to push back. Take a listen.

Woman in Dispute:

She done left!

Male Neighbor in Dispute:

That’s a public street. I thought we can do what we want.

Newberg:

Hey, let me tell you something, big mouth.

Male Neighbor in Dispute:

Excuse me?!

Newberg:

Leave! Leave! Leave!

Male Neighbor in Dispute:

I am leaving.

Newberg:

That’s a great idea.

Male Neighbor in Dispute:

I know.

Newberg:

Let me see your ID.

Cop 2:

Is this your car right here?

Taya Graham:

That’s right. He says, “It’s a public street. I can do what I want.” That’s it. He didn’t shout ACAB, or F the police, or any other anti-police type of behavior. No, just an accurate rendering of his Constitutional rights. And what kind of response does the First Amendment right to free speech elicit? Handcuffs.

Newberg:

Illegally parked. Let me see your ID.

Cop 2:

Let’s see your ID.

Newberg:

You want to play these games, big man?

Cop 2:

There you go.

Newberg:

You’re so close to going. Don’t even think of it. Put your hands…

Male Neighbor in Dispute:

What?

Newberg:

Based off your actions right now, you’re going in handcuffs.

Male Neighbor in Dispute:

Record. Record.

Newberg:

Yeah, please do.

Woman in Dispute:

Want me to take [inaudible 00:04:49]?

Cop 2:

No [inaudible 00:04:50] this vehicle.

Woman in Dispute:

Why?

Cop 2:

Why?

Woman in Dispute:

That’s my vehicle.

Newberg:

Okay, well right now it’s illegally parked.

Taya Graham:

So he left. He actually left, even though all he did was express himself, so to speak. His only crime invoking the right to peaceably assemble, but the police were not satisfied. Just watch.

Woman in Dispute:

And we can move it!

Newberg:

And based off your actions, you’re not following orders.

Cop 2:

Put him over here.

Newberg:

I hear nothing.

Cop 2:

Put him on the sidewalk.

Newberg:

Scoot back! Scoot back!

Taya Graham:

Okay, so let’s just review. The officer says, “Based on your actions right now, you have committed a crime.” Really? You mean speaking politely? Leaving when asked? And showing your ID? How and why does this add up to a crime? How is that illegal?

But it gets worse as Newberg decides to bully the rest of the neighborhood.

Cop 2:

You can laugh all you want. I’m giving you a lawful order. Scoot back! It’s off…

Woman in Dispute:

Okay, we’re back!

Male Neighbor in Dispute:

You do what you do!

Woman in Dispute:

Babe!

Male Neighbor in Dispute:

You do what you do. I’m scooting back. Look at that shit.

Newberg:

Y’all think y’all tough, huh?

Cop 2:

Put your hands behind your back. Put your hands behind your back.

Speaker 5:

We have another unit. 2200 Ashton street [inaudible 00:06:06] I don’t know what the problem is.

Taya Graham:

That’s right. Newberg makes another illegal arrest. Cuffing someone who was filming on a public street. We’ve seen some overreach by police, but this might actually just take the cake. What was the crime? What was he doing that justified handcuffs? But Newberg only ups the ante, threatening the remaining residents who are standing on a public street, just observing the police. They aren’t protesting, they aren’t yelling, but even if they were, it wouldn’t matter because that, again, is not illegal.

Just watch.

Cop 2:

Now you threaten me.

Newberg:

Scoot back! I will take everybody! Out the street! Out of the street!

Cop 2:

It’s a felony to threaten me.

Male Neighbor in Dispute:

I don’t fucking threaten you. I said don’t touch her of my baby. My baby…

Cop 2:

You said you ain’t shit without that badge or whatever.

Male Neighbor in Dispute:

It was not a threat. I just said, you ain’t shit without that badge. That’s what the fuck I said. It wasn’t a threat.

Cop 2:

Negative. Hey!

Male Neighbor in Dispute:

You got my hand on twisted up.

Cop 2:

30.

Male Neighbor in Dispute:

You hear me?

Taya Graham:

Okay.

The observation that Newberg is not, you know what, without that badge is that man’s truth. It’s not a felony. But that is what happens when law enforcement is allowed to operate with impunity. Speaking truth to power becomes a crime, and exercising your rights becomes an arrestable offense. And Newberg continues to embrace that form of policing. Take another look.

Cop 2:

Get another cage car up here on Longwood.

Woman in Dispute:

I don’t give a fuck!

Cop 2:

Get this crowd back! Get this crowd back! Hey, your car unlocked? I want this guy separated. Stand up.

Male Neighbor in Dispute:

Hey babe, get this man’s badge number.

Cop 2:

Stop yelling in my ear.

Male Neighbor in Dispute:

I’m not. I can fucking yell if I want.

Newberg:

Scoot back!

Cop 2:

I got to get a search on him.

Newberg:

I got it.

Male Neighbor in Dispute:

You got nothing. I just got money and my ID. Can I give that money to my fiance?

Newberg:

No.

Male Neighbor in Dispute:

Well, y’all better not talk about money, though.

Newberg:

Shut up, dude. You’re getting annoying.

Male Neighbor in Dispute:

I mean, y’all’s annoying.

Newberg:

Just take your charge.

Male Neighbor in Dispute:

I’m taking it.

Newberg:

Yeah.

Taya Graham:

So as you heard there, the infamous Newberg credo, “Take your charge.” In other words, “Forget about your rights or if you’re innocent, just accept the fact that I am the law and you are subject to my whims.” But Newberg is not finished. Not hardly. Just see for yourself.

Male Neighbor in Dispute:

My fucking arm! You got my arm all twisted!

Newberg:

Handcuffs are not made for comfort, sir. Put your feet in the vehicle.

Male Neighbor in Dispute:

You put my hands straight.

Newberg:

Put your feet in the vehicle.

Male Neighbor in Dispute:

Can you switch this cuff, please?

Newberg:

Put your feet…

Male Neighbor in Dispute:

I just need to put my hands straightened and I’m good.

Newberg:

Okay, well the problem is you keep inciting the rest of the crowd. So you need to… No, you are, you’re inciting a riot. Get in the vehicle.

Taya Graham:

So I ask you, is he really inciting a riot? Can’t the police at least accommodate him so he’s not in pain? Apparently, not in this land of law enforcement run amuck. It seems to me that the police are trying to enforce silence, if not obedience. It’s a push for street supremacy that escalated when police tried to make yet another arrest.

Woman in Dispute:

All he said was you ain’t shit without that badge.

Newberg:

Get out of the street! You’ve been warned! I have units in route! Whoever does not live in this block will be going to jail! I’m giving you a lawful order! I don’t care! Until we clear this scene and make it safe! Everybody’s out of here!

Second Woman in Dispute:

Police [inaudible 00:09:41].

Newberg:

You talking to them. When these units get here, people are going to go in handcuffs. I can guarantee it. And, ma’am, you’re going to be the first one to go.

Taya Graham:

Okay. So now Newberg has basically threatened to arrest the entire block. Forget the fact that standing on the sidewalk does not require a residency test. Forget that the right to peaceably assemble prevents police from effectuating just a sort of arrest. Neither Newberg nor his fellow officers seem to care.

Newberg:

Say one word!

Woman in Dispute:

[inaudible 00:10:21]

Newberg:

Let me tell you something. You want to be a show off? You can join the other two that’s going to jail.

Second Woman in Dispute:

She needs to…

Newberg:

No, you need to mind your business! Don’t walk up here and run your mouth!

And if I do?

Try it! Do it! Go ahead. Go ahead. Yell at him. I dare you.

Second Woman in Dispute:

[inaudible 00:10:38]

Cop 2:

Take her.

What are you doing?

Newberg:

You’re making a fool of yourself.

Second Woman in Dispute:

I want to leave. Get up.

Newberg:

No, you’re going to jail.

Second Woman in Dispute:

Y’all are hurting…

Newberg:

You’re going to put your hands behind your back. Let her go. Let her go.

Second Woman in Dispute:

Don’t push me like that.

Newberg:

Then walk away while you still can! Take her out of here!

Speaker 9:

Come on. Come on, come on. Come on. You got your car…

Taya Graham:

Then, after failing to arrest the woman, who again was simply exercising her right to push back against the government, police arrest another woman for reaching into the police car to get her keys. All of this is due to the initial illegal arrest that put her in the predicament of having to retrieve her keys in the first place. A perfect example of the cascading effect of bad policing. Just take another look

Newberg:

Young! Well, hey, Cisco, do me a favor, let’s tow this truck out of here. It’s blocking the whole thing. What are we doing with her? What are we doing with her?

Cop 2:

I don’t know. She decided to reach in the car and not…

Newberg:

Oh, that’s lovely.

Cop 2:

It’s up to you.

Newberg:

No, you cannot! You can walk away!

Cop 2:

[inaudible 00:11:58] multiple times to go to the end of the block.

So you want me to order a tow for that?

Newberg:

Yes.

Cop 2:

Okay. Where are you going if those cuffs come off?

Second Woman in Dispute:

Home.

Newberg:

Where’s home?

Second Woman in Dispute:

Down the street.

Newberg:

So those cuffs come off, you’re walking down the street?

Second Woman in Dispute:

Well I planned on driving down the street.

Newberg:

No, well that’s off the table.

Cop 2:

That’s off the again.

Newberg:

So you have two choices, jail or walk away, which one you want?

Second Woman in Dispute:

I need my truck.

Cop 2:

Okay.

Newberg:

All right. So she needs to be transported then.

Cop 2:

Okay. All right.

Newberg:

To jail.

It’s your call. I mean, I can’t understand what’s happening here. They’re definitely going! Oh, they’re gone! Just few… They came up here to start trouble and now they’re going to jail.

Taya Graham:

And then Newberg decides that as a final insult to injury, he will continue to taunt that victim of his illegal arrest in jail. Just watch.

Newberg:

Okay.

Cop 2:

Hang on.

Newberg:

Search him.

Cop 2:

Hot Spot. Check [inaudible 00:13:19] Avenue.

Newberg:

Is your ID in here?

Male Neighbor in Dispute:

No. You got it.

Newberg:

Got it. All right. Well that’s a charge.

Cop 2:

Oh yeah, felony. It’s you said?

You said, “Yeah. Okay?”

Male Neighbor in Dispute:

I didn’t say nothing. I just said okay. [inaudible 00:13:52] Y’all had no reason to lock nobody up. Nobody did nothing.

Cop 2:

Y’all know each other?

Newberg:

Don’t explain anything to him. Just… It’s over.

Male Neighbor in Dispute:

It’s over for your badge. That’s all.

Newberg:

Stay on for the other one.

Taya Graham:

And that final video illustrates a point about a so-called “minor” arrest that I think is worth illuminating. In the end, that minor arrest leads to an innocent person being locked into a dirty, filthy, tiny cage. A moment without dignity that I believe the public must see to understand that there is nothing minor about an arrest, because it always ends up with someone, somewhere, locked in a cage.

So let’s watch that again and keep in mind that no arrest is inconsequential.

Newberg:

You got the ID on him?

Cop 2:

You want his ID, too?

Newberg:

Mm-hm.

Cop 2:

That’s his.

Taya Graham:

But there is more to this story than just the questionable actions of Ethan Newberg and his fellow cops, details that my reporting partner, Stephen Janis has been digging into during our ongoing investigation into what was going on behind the scenes and the possible motive police had for trying to keep this video secret.

Stephen, thank you so much for joining me,

Stephen Janis:

Tay, thanks for having me. I appreciate it.

Taya Graham:

First, Stephen, we have been trying to get this video for over two years, but the state’s ombudsman, the official of last resort when the keeper of records, in this case the police department, refuses to release those records. So this ombudsman gave us some very troubling reasons for not releasing the body camera footage. Can you talk about it?

Stephen Janis:

It was almost like we were talking to the police department, which it turns out we were, because I did a little research. Now this ombudsman is, you said it’s supposed to be the person of last resort, you appeal to when your MPI request is turned down. But she ended up making the argument that releasing this body-worn camera before Newberg was sentenced would prejudice the judge.

Now this is evidence, so this is very strange. So I did a little background check and it turns out the ombudsman is actually under the auspices of our Attorney General. In other words, our ombudsman represents law enforcement, and that’s exactly what went down when we spoke to her.

Taya Graham:

So do you think the release of the video prior to sentencing would’ve affected that outcome that Newberg did not receive jail time?

Stephen Janis:

Okay, Tay, I’m going to be a bit of a skeptic and say the judge wouldn’t have done anything, but the public would’ve seen it, and perhaps that would’ve put pressure on the justice system to do its job in this case, which I think is to hand out a fair sentence based on the crimes committed, which were extensive. S.

O I think the judge had already decided he was not going to give Newberg anytime, which he didn’t. But I think if the public had seen it and there was public pressure, it would have made a big difference.

Taya Graham:

I thought the video was a good example of why there is really no such thing as a minor arrest. What’s your take?

Stephen Janis:

Well, it’s amazing because as you watch the video, and as we just showed it, there’s a young woman who’s trying to retrieve the keys for the truck from one of the young men he arrested, and then Newberg hassles that woman and threatens her with arrest. But the point is that he’s got his keys, they take his possessions, and then they’re going to tow the truck.

So a family, for an illegal arrest, is out of its transportation for who knows how long they have to pay to get it back. So as you can see, one arrest can sow chaos throughout an entire family and the community. I think this is a perfect example.

Taya Graham:

Interestingly, Baltimore has returned to a form of quality of life arrests. How is that working out?

Stephen Janis:

Well, I would call Zero Tolerance life. They’ve been writing summons for people supposedly who commit quality of life arrests like drinking on a sidewalk or spitting on a sidewalk. There haven’t been that many citations written. Almost none, actually. It’s just really performative and I think it shows again that law enforcement can’t solve complex social problems like poverty in Baltimore, or crime, or whatever. You need the community and the people.

Taya Graham:

The Baltimore Police Department has been rocked with a series of scandals, including the Gun Trace Task Force, which was eight officers who robbed residents, dealt drugs, and stole overtime money right out of the taxpayer’s wallets.

How does Newberg’s issues fit into the broader picture of a police department be set with such corruption? Well,

Stephen Janis:

Well, Tay, I think it’s really interesting because we talk about big corruption like dealing drugs by officers and things like that, but it’s like the minor corrupt culture of police that we see in Newberg’s videos that it’s important to recognize. 14 cops standing around and arresting a guy who has a drug problem, five or six cops around arresting a whole community that’s having a minor dispute, that’s the real corruption that we have unleashed policing in these communities that can least afford it and deal with it, and expect it to solve the problems of poverty, low wages, all sorts of other things. The fact that people can go broke when they get sick, all those things can’t be solved by policing, and when you send them in to do that, you get Ethan Newberg style of policing. And I think that’s why these videos are so important to watch and why we will continue to bring them to our viewers.

Taya Graham:

Okay, now I think there is quite a bit to unpack about the video we just watched. Truisms about American policing that are often overlooked during the debates over the role of police and the broader powers of law enforcement, which is a topic of our show today.

Generally speaking, when political parties spout tough on crime narratives, they miss a salient point, a hidden consequence of unleashing law enforcement on vulnerable communities that rarely sees the light of day. When law enforcers become lawbreakers, it undermines not just our belief in our rights, but the idea that we are entitled to equal protection elsewhere. In other words, what we often miss when we confront the examples of police abuse we witnessed is how the malfeasance affects our minds. And, to a certain extent, I feel like that oversight is intentional. That is the psychological effect of over policing is simply dismissed as a byproduct of law enforcement obsessed political establishment, but it’s also something that needs to be addressed because caging our minds can be just as bad as caging our bodies. So I’m going to address this idea right here, right now.

Let me start with a story. It’s about a Mississippi sheriff’s drug unit who, believe it or not, called themselves the Goon Squad. Now this particular unit was quite adept at something far field from policing. They were, in fact, practitioners of terrorism. How can I make this claim?

Well, consider some of the facts that have been recently exposed regarding how this unit operated. And I have to warn you, this is graphic. In their efforts to allegedly make drug arrests, this unit of sheriff’s deputies committed acts that would be more akin to a fascist’s torture. They choked an innocent man with a lamp cord and then waterboarded him. They tasered another man while he was stuck in a ditch full of water. They conducted illegal raids in the middle of the night, often handcuffed and interrogated innocent people, accusing them of holding or dealing drugs without evidence. Sometimes all of this unconstitutional intimidation was done while the victims were staring down the barrel of a gun.

Oh, and the man they tasered while he was submerged in a ditch full of water, eventually they shoved a stick down his throat until he coughed up blood. But here’s the kicker, this type of unacceptable behavior continued unabated for nearly 20 years. That’s right, for more than two decades, this group of so-called law enforcement officers pretty much acted like an extra judicial tribunal, meting out punishment and intimidation in violation of every precept of our legal system.

In fact, as the New York Times reported, this behavior would’ve gone on unchecked if not for a grizzly incident that occurred in 2019. And I do need to give you a warning that I will describe graphic violence.

2019, roughly five deputies stormed into the home of Michael Jenkins and Eddie Parker, falsely accusing them of dealing drugs. Deputy Hunter Elward then proceeded to unholster his gun and shove it into the mouth of Mr. Jenkins. He then inexplicably pulled the trigger, seriously wounding him. This all occurred after they were both forced to strip naked and were abused with sex toys. I’m serious. But, believe it or not, it actually gets worse.

That’s because the sheriff in charge of the so-called Goon Squad expressed disbelief that this type of abuse behavior was happening at all. Rankin County Sheriff Brian Bailey said, and I’m quoting, “Never in my life did I think this would happen in this department.” Never? In a department that has less than 50 employees, you had no idea? Turns out that this particular sheriff must have been managing a different department, because an investigation by the Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting, along with the New York, Times found allegations of similar brutality going back to 2004. That’s right. For almost 20 years, the Goon Squad had been terrorizing the community while committing crimes all in the name of law and order.

Allegations that the so-called law enforcement community apparently knew nothing about. And I say “apparently” because this excuse that the people who are charged with administering justice simply did not know about a large unit of cops regularly committing crimes strains, not just credulity, but logic itself.

And you know what? That’s also because it’s so familiar. I’ve heard this line almost every time a scandal like this comes to light. And what I think this excuse reveals comes straight from the How To Use Law Enforcement to Sow Chaos in Communities playbook, a few pages from the operating manual they use to keep the engine humming for the American law enforcement mayhem machine.

So let me try to explain why this is an outright lie, and it’s more than just camouflaging the truth, and share what it says about the actual imperative that drives these units to commit crimes with often unfettered impunity.

First, we have to understand one aspect of the structure of law enforcement that often goes unexamined. A police department is essentially a military organization operating, technically, at the behest of a civilian hierarchy. That is, all police departments are structured around the command and control of a military style hierarchy with oversight by civilians.

That’s why officers are often designated for military ranks like sergeant, lieutenant, captain, et cetera. And that’s why civilian control of the police is considered such an important element of reform. It’s also how police departments are managed, by ranking officers who give orders which the rank and file are expected to obey, no questions asked. This means that regardless of circumstance, those same rank and file officers are acting under the orders of supervisors regardless of what the top brass says when things go awry.

So all of this begs the question, why would a top-down command structure be unaware of the actions of officers who are subject to direct orders? Why would an organization, allegedly under the auspices of military style management, be able to run amuck without anyone knowing?

Well, aside from the fact that often the people in charge are simply lying, I think there’s another factor that makes a continued drumbeat of specialized unit in scandal after scandal emerge from the apparent shroud of mystery that surrounds law enforcement leadership. It’s a factor that’s routinely underestimated with the mainstream media and political elites hand wringing over, “How could this have happened?” fairytale, they tell themselves, not us, when the news breaks about a veritable torture unit masquerading as police.

Put simply this unit targeted impoverished areas just like Sergeant Newberg, just like the notorious Gun Trace task force that robbed residents and dealt drugs in Baltimore, just like most of these cases, they all occur in places struggling or suffering from poverty. Whether it be the big city cases I just mentioned, or the rural community subject to the Goon Squad, bad policing is focused primarily on poor and working class neighborhoods. This is as true for Mississippi as it is for Baltimore. Meaning when it comes to unleashing the power of bad policing, the worst of it tends to trickle down.

Now that’s perhaps not such a surprising revelation. The idea that our political elites would seek to unjustly punish the working class is hardly breaking news. What’s perhaps less understood is why, and that’s what I’m going to break down for you here, and I’m going to do so by making a point about something that may seem tangential, but is actually part of the reasons cops like to cause chaos in communities that can least afford it. The topic is social security, the trust that is supposed to, in part, fund retirement for working people that is apparently on a path to run out of money? The meager benefit for people who work their whole lives that apparently over promises to workers and needs to be curtailed, or otherwise altered, to ensure that it has enough money to cover the benefits that were earned by hard, backbreaking work.

Well, guess what? One big reason social security is underwater is due to this, generous benefits to the rich. That’s right. Unlike other countries, like the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe, which limit what the top earners can take from the system to keep it sustainable, the US grants benefits that, in some cases, exceed $117,000 per year for the highest earning couples. That’s three times what the same couple will receive in Britain, the contrast is so extreme that the Cato Institute, that’s right, the Cato Institute, which incidentally is no bastion of liberalism, called our Social security system, a “golden parachute for the rich.”

The point they make in the report is that the richest Americans, just like their counterparts in the UK, don’t need the extra money, which is why the cap exists in England. The point of this pension system, and supposedly ours, is to make sure every American who retires does not become impoverished. But our system actually does the opposite, it enriches the already rich.

And before you start saying, “Oh, Taya the rich pay more so they deserve more.” Just stop. It’s not true. That’s because our social security system has a cap, meaning you only pay into social security tax on a maximum of $168,000 in annual earnings. So a person who earns $50,000 a year pays multiple times more on social security tax on a person who makes $500,000 a year. Let me say this another way. The richer you are, the less you put in the system. Every dollar you make over $170,000 a year is not taxed. This also means that if the cap were lifted, and everyone was taxed at the same rate, rich or poor, the entire system would not just be solvent, but might even be overfunded.

But the reason I bring this up in a rant about law enforcement is simple, the elites are ripping us off and they don’t want us to know. They’re literally burdening us to pay welfare for the rich and they don’t want us to focus on just how bad a deal it is. Instead, they want us to focus on crime, how bad it is, how out of control it is, how many new punitive laws we need, how we need to pay cops more and more, and spend more money on law enforcement.

It’s a nice compact misdirection play. “Don’t look over here while we’re writing bills that tax you more than the filthy rich so they can retire in luxury while you go broke buying insulin or trying to afford an EpiPen. Don’t stop fixating on that crime because if you do, you might realize we’re being fleeced and call for change and more fairness in this system.” Now we wouldn’t want that, would we?

The point is, the powers that be want to keep us confused, off balance, and fighting for our rights instead of demanding more. They want us to be pleading for mercy from the militarized units that terrorize our communities rather than saying, “Wait a second, you want me to pay more taxes than a millionaire?”

I find it hard to believe they just didn’t know that deputy sheriffs were breaking the law on a daily basis. I think it was purposeful, willful ignorance, because that was the point, to have our rights degraded, and to make our minds pliable, and worn down and ultimately make us psychologically unable to demand better. In sum, they simply want to imprison our minds. That’s why videos like the ones you just watched need to be revealed. That’s what the so-called scandal in Mississippi, portends. That our ability to imagine something better is imperiled. That’s why we need to fight back for it because freedom, our freedoms, started with a thought, an idea, and we need our minds clear and our imaginations free to define these freedoms. We, the people, need to be the ones to define it, not a bunch of rogue cops.

I’d like to thank the Baltimore City Police Department for giving us the body camera footage that gave us such powerful insights into the culture of policing. And of course, I want to thank Intrepid reporter Stephen Janis for his writing, research, and editing on this piece. Thank you, Stephen.

Stephen Janis:

Taya, thanks for having me. I appreciate it.

Taya Graham:

And I want to thank mods and Friends of the show, Noli D. and Lacey R. for their support. Thanks to you. And a very special thanks to our accountability report, Patreons, we appreciate you, and I look forward to thanking each and every one of you personally in our next live stream, particularly Patreon Associate Producers; John E.R., David K., Louis P., Lucy Garcia, and super-friends Shane B., Kenneth K., Pineapple Girl, Matter of Rights, and Chris R.

And I want you watching to know that if you have video evidence of police misconduct or brutality, please share it with us, and we might be able to investigate for you. Please reach out to us. You can email us tips privately at par@therealnews.com and share your evidence of police misconduct. You can also message us at Police Accountability Report on Facebook or Instagram, or at Eyes on Police on Twitter. And of course you can always message me directly @tayasbaltimore on Twitter or Facebook. And please like and comment, I do read your comments and appreciate them. And we will have a Patreon link pinned in the comments below, so if you feel inspired to donate, please do, because anything you can spare will truly appreciated.

My name is Taya Graham and I’m your host of the Police Accountability Report. Please, be safe out there.

Speaker 5:

Thank you so much for watching The Real News Network, where we lift up the voices, stories and struggles that you care about most and we need your help to keep doing this work. So please, tap your screen now, subscribe and donate to the Real News Network. Solidarity forever.

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Australian National Review – North Korea Releases New Song Celebrating ‘friendly Father’ Kim Jong-Un

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Key Points
  • A song celebrating Kim Jong-un and his leadership was performed at a ceremony in Pyongyang on Tuesday.
  • Titled Friendly Father, the song declares that North Korean people believe in Kim and will follow him “united”.
  • The song and its accompanying music video follow recent attempts to promote Kim’s cult of personality.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has been celebrated as the nation’s “friendly father” in a new song broadcast on state television this week.
The song was first performed live to celebrate the opening of a new 10,000-home development in Pyongyang on Tuesday, which Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said was finished “at the highest level” within a 14-month period.
The housing completion ceremony featured a large-scale concert with jet flyovers and a live performance by some of the nation’s top singers, who unveiled the new song in tribute to North Korea’s supreme leader.

Titled Friendly Father, the track praises Kim for delivering a “brighter future” for North Korea and declares that “the people believe and will follow united”. An accompanying music video released on Wednesday shows workers, defence personnel and everyday citizens cheering, dancing and punching the air as they proclaim their love for Kim.

A man in a black leather jacket and dark trousers salutes as he walks down a red carpet past saluting soldiers in uniform

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un visiting the Kim Jong-il University of Military and Politics in Pyongyang, North Korea last week in a photo released by the official North Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). Credit: KCNA/EPA

The song is the latest in a string of recent attempts to bolster Kim’s cult of personality. Between 2022 and 2023, Kim approved a series of large-scale murals showing him shovelling dirt, visiting a medical factory and surrounded by plants in a greenhouse.

In July 2023, a series of paintings showing Kim engaged in activities such as riding a horse, meeting with school children and standing atop North Korea’s “holy” Mount Paektu were unveiled at an art exhibition. Months later, in November, reports claimed that a song titled the Hymn of General Kim Jong-un had become the official song at state events.

“Our general is the wisest of 10 million,” the hymn proclaims. “Our general cultivates the best paradise with the power of love for our everlasting happiness. His name is General Kim Jong-un!”

Kim arrived at the housing completion ceremony on Tuesday in an armoured limousine gifted to him by Russian leader Vladimir Putin. He and his entourage of top officials sat atop a building during the ceremony, while the singers performed for him on an opposite rooftop.

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Australian National Review – Gympie Region People Set To Fight Massive Wind Farm Project At Curra Meeting – Www.cairnsnews.org

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PEOPLE in the Burnett, Bundaberg and Fraser Coast council areas are urged to attend a meeting at Curra this Saturday (April 20) to protest and plan a strategy against the Forest Wind Project which proposes to install 226 wind turbines between Maryborough and Gympie.

Meeting organisers say the turbines will run right through Australia’s largest exotic pine plantation.

The meeting is at the Curra Community Hall at 3pm. Guest speakers are Katy McCallum from the Kilkivan Action Group and Jim Willmott, chairman of Property Rights Australia.

“If you live in South Burnett, North Burnett, Bundy & Fraser Coast Regional Council areas it’s time to get informed and stand up,” organisers said. They are encouraged by the recent successful community opposition to a wind farm near Allora on the Southern Downs, plans for which have been dropped.

Wind Prospect Pty Ltd had been looking into the possible creation of a wind farm in the Goomburra district, east of Allora, but abandoned further action on the matter following a public meeting in Allora attended by about 300 people.

The Curra meeting organisers said the Forest Wind Project was just one of thousands of unreliable and environmentally unfriendly “renewable energy” projects bound for Queensland and Australia.

They say the Queensland Government, through their Wide Bay Burnett Regional Plan 2023, have conspired with Powerlink to compulsorily acquire, whether voluntarily or involuntarily, many acres of prime productive land in South and North Burnett.

“The majority of our regions are to be dedicated as Green Zones and will be littered with millions of solar panels, thousands of wind turbines, thousands of kilometres of transmission lines and battery storage facilities right through the guts of our region,” they said.

“This threatens the existence of every person and property (both rural and residential) plus our remarkable landscape and unique wildlife. We ask everyone from Gympie to Maryborough, Tin Can Bay, Cooloola Cove, Poona, Bauple, Gunalda and Glenwood to attend this very important meeting.”

Organisers said people would learn what the state government’s so-called “vision for our future” really looks like and the consequences it holds for towns, farms, families, businesses, local economy, environment and wildlife.

Attendees are asked to bring their own chair and tea, coffee and cake will be available for purchase with all proceeds going towards helping to pay the guest speakers’ travel costs. A gold coin donation will be taken at the door to cover hall hire costs. Curra is on the Bruce Highway 15 minutes north of Gympie.

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Australian National Review – Congressman Introduces Bill To Stop Cobalt Mined By Child Exploitation And Forced Labor From Entering US Market

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Cobalt is a key natural resource used to power electric vehicles, solar panels, and other purportedly “green” products. Around 90 percent of it originates from

New legislation has been introduced to stop cobalt, which is extracted or processed with the use of child or forced labor in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), from entering the U.S. market.

The legislation, HR 7891, was introduced on April 16 by Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ), who is also the Chair of the House Global Human Rights Subcommittee.

Cobalt is a key natural resource used to power electric vehicles, solar panels, and other purportedly “green” products. Around 90 percent of it originates from CCP-owned mines in the DRC.

“The Communist Chinese government—which has gained almost full dominance of every single step of the cobalt supply chain—profits from child and forced labor used to extract cobalt in the Democratic Republic of Congo and power our so-called ‘green economy,’” according to an April 16 press release by Mr. Smith’s office.

Mr. Smith, who also serves as Chair of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China and Co-Chair of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, said that the United States must end child exploitation in mines and vastly reduce its dependency on the Chinese regime.

“The United States must stop aiding and abetting Communist China’s egregious exploitation of children—some as young as six years old—and start becoming less dependent on Xi Jinping’s brutal dictatorship,” said Mr. Smith.

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HR 7891—also known as the “Stop China’s Exploitation of Congolese Children and Adult Forced Labor through Cobalt Mining Act”—is specifically aimed at establishing the extent to which forced and child labor is utilized in the cobalt mining industry of the DRC, via a comprehensive investigation by the U.S. Forced Labor Enforcement Task Force.

Furthermore, it serves to implement new strategies to ensure that cobalt mined by forced labor does not enter the U.S. market.

Chairman Rep. Jason Smith (R-Mo.) of the House Ways and Means Committee has offered extensive input on the proposed legislation. His committee, which has jurisdiction over it, is seeking to fast-track a vote on April 17.

“America has long fought to end child and adult forced labor, yet the cobalt vital to the batteries in our technology is unethically mined with the use of forced labor under Chinese control,” he said.

“This legislation is a critical step to blocking material tainted by these inhumane labor practices from entering this country. I am thankful to Rep. Chris Smith for introducing this legislation to stop these dangerous practices.”

The legislation was conceived partly from testimony provided at a congressional hearing in November last year, which Mr. Smith chaired. The hearing “exposed the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) egregious exploitation of Congolese children and forced laborers, who toil in hazardous conditions to extract cobalt from unsafe mines including artisanal mines in the DRC,” according to the April 16 press release.
Previous testimony provided at a hearing by Fr. Rigobert Minani Bihuzo, a Catholic priest from the DRC, provided a basis for November’s hearing.

“The number of artisanal and small-scale mining sites from the Ituri region to Lake Tanganyika is estimated to be 1,000 and the number of artisanal miners to be 200,000 people, among them thousands of children and pregnant women,” stated Mr. Bihuzo.

“The artisanal mines “are often no more than narrow shafts dug into the ground, which is why children are recruited—and in many cases forced—to descend into them, using only their hands or rudimentary tools without any protective equipment, to extract cobalt and other minerals,” according to Mr. Smith.

The congressman went on to state that those benefiting most from cobalt mining are also those who choose to remain silent on the issue and are unwilling to face the inconvenient truth that the entire cobalt industry is built on a system of extortion, cruelty, and corruption.

Mr. Smith has been an outspoken critic of the CCP’s inhumane approach to global trade, having previously authored the China Trade Relations Act (HR638), which stipulates that China must end its abominable human rights violations if it wishes to enjoy normal trade relations with the United States.

The CCP has been utilizing slave and forced labor not only abroad but also within its own boundaries.

For decades, the CCP has been imprisoning ethnic minority groups such as Uyghur Muslims, as well as persecuting House Christians and Falun Gong practitioners for their faiths. Many of the imprisoned end up in labor camps, where they are forced to work under dire conditions in excess of 15 hours a day.

Many adherents of Falun Gong, a peaceful spiritual practice that promotes Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance, have also been subjected to torture and live organ harvesting for the purposes of profit by the CCP.

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