Poll: 54% Americans favor stricter gun control laws
ABC News: More than half of Americans say the school shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, reflect broader problems in society rather than an isolated act of a troubled person – more than after other recent shooting incidents, suggesting the possibility of a new national dialogue on violent crime.
This ABC News/Washington Post poll also finds that 54 percent of Americans favor stricter gun control laws in general, numerically a five-year high, albeit not significantly different than in recent years. Fifty-nine percent support a ban specifically on high-capacity ammunition clips, a step on which partisan and ideological gaps narrow substantially and “strong” support peaks.
Photo: Supporters of gun control gather on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House in Washington, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012, during a vigil for the victims of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Ct., and to call on President Obama to pass strong gun control laws. (Charles Dharapak/AP Photo)
Protests swell after Anaheim police shootings
July 24, 2012
Several leaders in Anaheim’s Latino community are calling for increased scrutiny — including an FBI investigation — of a police shooting Saturday that left one man dead and has since roiled the Orange County city.
The death of 25-year-old Manuel Angel Diaz was the first of two fatal officer-involved shootings over the weekend. The man killed Sunday was identified as 21-year-old Joel Mathew Acevedo.
Tensions remain high in Diaz’s neighborhood, where many people are critical of officers’ conduct right after the Saturday shooting, when police used pepper balls to disperse an angry crowd of about 100 who threw bottles and rocks at officers. In addition, a police dog was accidentally released into the group.
Two officers have been placed on administrative leave, and Mayor Tom Tait on Monday asked for an independent probe by the state attorney general and the U.S. attorney’s office.
The state’s League of United Latin American Citizens has requested the FBI also look into Diaz’s death and events that followed, the organization announced Tuesday.
“We feel there are unanswered issues,” league director Benny Diaz, who is no relation to the victim, told The Times. “We feel this is very important to conduct a thorough and effective investigation of the whole police force in Anaheim.”
Diaz said the group will also ask the U.S. Department of Justice’s Community Relations Service to facilitate meetings between the community and city officials in an effort to improve what he described as a growing distrust of police — something he said results from incidents like Diaz’s death.“It’s happened so many times already; it’s happening in other cities,” he said. “This would really open an opportunity to find a real, true solution.”
Amin David, past president of the organization Los Amigos of Orange County, said the community is “facing a wall in dialogue with the police department,” which is why his group plans to ask the Orange County district attorney’s office to expedite its own investigation “to release the tensions and frustrations of the community.”
“We don’t know what happened, why he was killed,” he said of Diaz. “They should have these answers. All they know is what the papers have said: He was killed because he ran away.”
Seferino Garcia, executive director of Solevar, an Anaheim community group, said he has met with the mayor about the incidents, but an independent inquiry wasn’t enough.
“I told him we’ve got to take a step further,” he said. “We need to do more than that.”
Garcia suggested town hall meetings with community members and the formation of a civilian police review board as initial steps toward alleviating tensions within the city, which he said was “up in arms.”
“They’ve seen everything on TV — the dogs, the shootings and just a history of brutality,” he said. “Right now, the community is not going to stand idle. We have a job to do.”
“It’s like a powder keg,” he continued. “They’re ready to explode, and it’s going to get worse.”
Video of the incident between police and protester can be seen here. Trigger warning for violence, obviously.
TW: violent heterosexism
Today my hometown was struck by a disgusting hardship.
A woman this afternoon was found by a neighbor, bleeding and naked. She was attacked in her home because she was gay. Two or more men broke into her home through the basement and proceeded to tag her basement. They found the homeowner, who is an open lesbian, and stabbed, assaulted, and carved “dyke” into her chest. They attempted to burn her house to the ground, but the gas only sparked. Somehow, this woman (who remains anonymous until she decides to come out on her own time) was able to escape. She was found naked, bound with zip ties, and bloody. She is still alive and in the hospital. A candle light vigil was held in her name tonight, where more than 500 people from Lincoln and surrounding cities and states joined to talk about the hate and to pay homage to the victim.
A recovery fund has been set up to help her cover medical bills and anything she may need. That link can be found here, along with a link from the original news story.
Notes: Article taken directly from the Lincoln Journal Star website
Pictures are courtesy of Lincoln Journal Star and Steve Andel Photography. I do not own any rights to anything posted.
Comparing national criminal-justice figures with those for an urban sample of mentally ill persons shows that they are more likely to be victims of violent crime than is the general population.
More than one-fourth of persons with severe mental illness are victims of violent crime in the course of a year, a rate 11 times higher than that of the general population, according to a study by researchers at Northwestern University.
They estimated that nearly 3 million severely mentally ill people are crime victims each year in the United States.
This is the first such study to include a large, random sample of community-living, mentally ill persons and to use the same measures of victimization used by the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, said lead author Linda Teplin, Ph.D., Owen L. Coon Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Feinberg School of Medicine of Northwestern University, in the August Archives of General Psychiatry.
Victimization rates vary with the type of violent crime, said the researchers. People with mental illness were eight times more likely to be robbed, 15 times more likely to be assaulted, and 23 times more likely to be raped than was the general population. Theft of property from persons, rare in the general population at 0.2 percent, happens to 21 percent of mentally ill persons, or 140 times as often. Even theft of minor items from victims can increase their anxiety and worsen psychiatric symptoms, the researchers said.
“The direction of causality is the reverse of common belief: persons who are seriously mentally ill are far more likely to be the victims of violence than its initiators,” said Leon Eisenberg, M.D., professor emeritus of social medicine and health policy at Harvard Medical School, in an accompanying editorial. “The evidence produced by Linda Teplin et al. settles the matter beyond question.”
The Northwestern researchers randomly selected 16 sites from a list of 75 agencies in Chicago that offer outpatient, day, and residential treatment to people with mental illness. Participants were then randomly selected from these sites and stratified by sex, race/ethnicity, and age. To qualify for inclusion, patients had to have taken psychiatric medications for the previous two years or have been hospitalized for psychiatric reasons at some time in their lives.
In all, 936 patients with psychosis or major affective disorder completed the survey; 52 percent were male, and about 35 percent were African American, 29 percent Hispanic, and 34 percent non-Hispanic white.
Participants were interviewed using the Composite International Diagnostic Interview version 2.1, supplemented by diagnosis records. They also answered the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), which is used by the Department of Justice to survey 43,000 U.S. households each year on crime victimization.
“The use of the NCVS makes a great deal of sense,” said Bruce Link, Ph.D., a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University, in an interview withPsychiatric News.
Future research on mentally ill populations should also make use of the NCVS questionnaire to provide findings comparable to national data, said Teplin. Investigators might ask about diagnosis, treatment, and socioeconomic issues, as well, she noted.
While 25 percent of their subjects in this study were victims of violent crime, 28 percent were victims of property crime, which is about four times higher than the national rate. Property crimes include household theft, motor vehicle theft, and property theft.
“These prevalence ratios are lower than the ratios for other crimes because property crimes are common in the general population,” wrote Teplin.
Incidence—the number of crimes per 1,000 persons per year—was also higher among people with serious mental illness.
For every 1,000 people in the overall NCVS survey, there were about 40 crimes. However, among those with mental illness, there were 168 such incidents.
“Prevalence and incidence were high among all racial/ethnic groups, probably because poverty—highly correlated with victimization—is common in our sample, irrespective of race/ethnicity,” wrote Teplin. Prevalence ratios were higher than incidence ratios, indicating that incidence was not driven by a few individuals being victimized repeatedly. The relative difference between the Chicago sample and the NCVS national survey may even be greater, since the latter would include a sample of the mentally ill population.
“Symptoms associated with SMI [serious mental illness], such as impaired reality testing, disorganized thought processes, impulsivity, and poor planning and problem solving, can compromise one’s ability to perceive risks and protect oneself,” she said.
Many severely mentally ill persons also contend with poor social relationships, substance abuse, homelessness, and poverty, which may also contribute to victimization.
“The results clearly say something about where people with mental illnesses end up in our society,” said Link. “Halfway houses and group homes tend to be located in areas without the political clout to keep them out.”
When most people associate crime and mental illness, they usually think of people with mental illness as perpetrators, not victims, said Link. Yet previous research shows that only discharged psychiatric patients who also abuse substances commit violent acts at rates greater than their neighbors.
“More studies like Teplin’s can help, but changing attitudes on the basis of data is difficult,” Eisenberg told Psychiatric News.“ It’s a tough problem and requires everyone’s engagement.”
Palestinian child kicked by Israeli Border Police in Hebron
In the video, released by B’Tselem, two Border Policemen are seen, armed with rifles and in full uniform. The two are seen waiting for the child, 9-year-old Abed a-Rahman, who came out of an alley near his home.
One of the policemen grabbed him, threw him to the ground and held him down, asking him, “Why are you causing trouble?”
The child began crying, and then another Border Policeman arrived at the scene and kicked him, while the first man held the child down.
An openly gay Indianapolis teen who made national headlines last week for bringing a stun gun to school to ward of bullies was attacked at a local mall Friday.
Darnell “Dynasty” Young, 17, says he was expelled because he fired a stun gun in the air to ward off bullies that were physically and emotionally abusive. Young’s mother told Anderson Cooper last week she gave her son the stun gun after school officials repeatedly ignored her request to protect her son.
The teen’s alleged attacker, Khyran R. Delay, 34, has been charged with battery.
IndyStar.com with more details:
According to court documents, Delay told mall security officers that he recognized 17-year-old Darnell “Dynasty” Young from news coverage of his story and tried to talk to Young about it. He said Young got in his face and that he pushed Young.
But Young and Donald Richardson, a janitor who witnessed the incident, told police that when Young walked past Delay’s table in the food court, Delay told Young to get away from him and used homophobic slurs. They said that Delay pushed Young and then hit him in the face, according to court documents. Richardson said he radioed for mall security, and then Delay came toward him because he was mad that Richardson had called security. Security officers arrived and detained Delay.
The IndyStar reports Young’s supporters have organized a rally to raise awareness about bullying Tuesday night before an Indianapolis Public Schools school board meeting.
Afghan Young Women for Change (YWC) activists, holding placards which read ‘where is justice?’, take part in a protest denouncing violence against women in Afghanistan in Kabul on April 14, 2012. Some 30 Afghan women took to the streets of the capital Kabul against the killing of five Afghan women in less than a month in three provinces of the country. Getty