Yesterday, a nearly all-white jury in the Walter Scott case was unable to come to a unanimous decision, leading the judge to declare a mistrial. This means that former police officer, Michael Slager, was able to walk free from his murder charges, even though there is video evidence of Slager shooting Walter Scott 5 times in the back while Scott was running away. The video evidence also showed Slager placing a taser next to Scott’s body after he was killed.
Cases like Walter Scott’s are unfortunately not unique. Just a couple of weeks ago in Ohio, another case with a police officer facing murder charges with video evidence ended in a mistrial. And in 2016, 192 black men have been killed by police, yet there have been very few convictions. However, officers are rarely charged for deadly on-duty shootings and far more rarely convicted. Since 2005, there have been thousands of police shootings and only 78 officers have been charged.
Unarmed black Americans are five times more likely to be killed by a police officer than white Americans. And, due to bias and systemic problems, African-Americans are disproportionately impacted by the criminal justice system. Cases like Walter Scott’s and the many others who have died from police brutality show that we must have a conversation about race and policing in America. Read more here.
“Can you pay my bills?” Destiny’s Child once asked. And under the Affordable Care Act, the federal government said “we can help” by offering tax credits to help make health insurance affordable for millions of people. New data from Kaiser shows 9.4 million Americans who bought health plans through ACA marketplaces will receive about $32.8 billion in tax credits in 2016. Let this also be a reminder that ACA repeal would eliminate these subsidies and make insurance unaffordable for millions.
Bills, bills, bills. The City of New York has been working ‘round the clock and incurring great costs to protect President-elect Trump and his family in the Trump Tower, which is turning out to be pretty pricey. And now, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio is sending the bill to the White House—a $35 million bill to be exact.
An Inconvenient Truth. Yesterday, Donald and Ivanka Trump met with former Vice President and current climate activist, Al Gore and it got people talking. Last week, Politico reported that Ivanka wanted to make climate change “one of her signature issues” and she was reportedly the one to arrange the meeting with Gore. But the inconvenient truth is Ivanka Trump isn’t president-elect, Donald Trump is. In fact, Ivanka isn’t even allowed to have any kind of policy-making or advisory role in her dad’s administration. That means, instead of paying attention to Ivanka’s new interest in climate action, we should still be paying attention to Trump’s belief that climate change is a Chinese hoax.
Trump Train. Today’s stop: Fayetteville, N.C. McCrory may be gone, but a Trump presidency could still do a whole lot of damage to the state. Think: $571 billion lost in funds to public education, or $10 billion lost in GDP from a policy of mass deportation. The Trump Train will also be rolling into Iowa and Michigan later this week. You can learn more here.
Betsy DeVos. Remember her? She’s Trump’s pick for education secretary. And with her nomination Trump made his plans for public education crystal clear—defund, devalue, and privatize our public schools. More details here.
UNDER THE RADAR
The Real Story Behind the Latino Electorate. Don’t let exit polls fool you. Latino voters actually turned out in record numbers this year to reject Donald Trump. CAP Action’s got the inside scoop – if you tune into this event today at noon.
Puns. Even politicians like them! At least, New York State Senator Brad Hoylman does. Trump still hasn’t released his tax returns—which means we can’t know beyond the tip of the iceberg of his giant web of conflicts of interest. But now, a state senator in New York is trying to change that, using the law. Sen. Brad Hoylman is introducing the T.R.U.M.P. (Tax Returns Uniformly Made Public) Act, which could force Trump to release his tax returns before 2020.