Excerpts from newspapers that may be of use for our readers. Abbreviations: NYT=New York Times, GW=Guardian Weekly, LAT=Los Angeles Times

Big pharma shapes health rules

Health & Healing, 3/2010 — The World Health Organization (WHO) started talking about the “pandemic of the century” last April, when fewer than a thousand cases of H1N1 had been diagnosed….

In any case, WHO pushed the pandemic button and recommended a new, patented, two-dose H1N1 vaccine. Immediately, America’s Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and health agencies around the world jumped on the bandwagon, ordered vaccines to the tune of $7.6 billion, and did their best to scare people into getting vaccinated….

This “pandemic,” like all the other pandemics that never materialized, has been a gold mine for Big Pharma.

According to Wolfgang Wodarg, chairman of the Health Committee of the Council of Europe, an organization… that promotes human rights, there’s a tremendous amount of collusion between pharmaceutical companies and health care decision makers. “These large firms,” he states, “have ‘their people’ in the cogs and then they pull strings so that the right policy decisions are taken — that is to say, the ones that will allow them to pump as much money as possible from taxpayers.”

2015: 23m will still be uninsured

GW, 3/26 — The congressional budget office estimates that five years after the law comes into effect there will still be 23 million people in the US without insurance. One-third of these will be [undocumented] immigrants — many have lived in the US for years and their children are Americans.

Prisons keep US slavery alive today

NYT, 3/28 — With about 1.6 million people in our penitentiaries and an additional 800,000 in our jails, the United States locks up its citizens at a higher rate than any other country in the world.

Race and slavery lie at the heart of Perkinson’s [book on] American penology….

African-Americans are seven times as likely to be locked up as whites, and “African-American men today go to prison at twice the rate they go to college….”

Between 1965 and 2000, the number of prisoners in the country rose by 600 percent….

Defeated in the Civil War, Texas and the Southern confederates were desperate to retain as much dominion as possible over their former slaves, and they found a way through law enforcement. Blacks seized for low-level crimes faced severe punishment… These new black prisoners were rented out to… businesses….

Even when convict [renting] came to an end in the early 20th century… the system was replaced by government-run plantations and chain gangs….

Much as emancipation brought on a penal backlash against Southern blacks, so did the civil rights movement — except that this later reaction was national. Equal protection, desegregation and… war on poverty were quickly followed by tougher drug laws and crackdowns on crime that… made blacks a target. Since the triumphs of the civil rights movement, the disparity between black and white incarceration rates has almost doubled. In the early 21st century, the country, Perkinson suggests, has in a sense become the late-19th-century South.

This is an alarming indictment, built on passionate and exhaustive research.

Don’t make teachers sole problem

NYT, 3/16 — To the editor: ….To hold… underpaid and overworked public school teachers solely responsible for the performance of students in a poor community with a large immigrant population is reprehensible and shortsighted. In virtually all instances school success in the United States is most closely tied to socioeconomic status, and the only thing that trickled down to poor communities and their schools… was hopelessness and devastation.

Book hits racist IQ theories

NYT, 2/7 — INTELLIGENCE AND HOW TO GET IT: Why Schools and Cultures Count, by Richard E. Nisbett. Nisbett, a prominent cognitive psychologist, offers a meticulous critique of the theory so popular in the 1990s that I.Q. is hereditary. Recent research convinces him that… the racial I.Q. gap is “purely environmental.”

Wealthy US won’t help jobless kids

NYT, 3/30 — The administration and Congressional leaders have been touting some recent legislation as “jobs bills,” but they are small-bore initiatives that will accomplish little….

What is happening to young, out-of-work and poorly educated American kids — not just in the big cities, but increasingly in suburban and rural areas, as well — is tragic.

The United States is a rich nation. To say that we cannot afford to do the things necessary to shore up the quality of our lives and establish a brighter future for coming generations is absurd. We always seem to have money for warfare and to bolster the interests of the monied classes.

Big democracy, big in youth suicides

NYT, 3/31 — Suicide has become something of a phenomenon in India….

Suicides by indebted farmers are frequently reported in the news media….

Then there are politics. The number of ideologically motivated suicides in India doubled between 2006 and 2008…. Mental health experts say these deaths illustrate the increasing stress on young people in a nation where, elections notwithstanding, the masses often feel powerless.

“Young people see this as a way to give meaning to what seem like meaningless lives.”


He says capitalism leads to doom

GW — Every day the system in which we live tries to persuade us — via news, politicians’ speeches, corporate pronouncements, inducements to consume and so on — that our prosperity is intimately linked to whether or not gross national product is growing and whether stock markets are riding high. These are the main measuring sticks for the version of capitalism on which most countries base their economies today….

So what’s not to like about growth??

Tim Jackson states the challenge starkly: “Questioning growth is deemed to be the act of lunatics, idealists and revolutionaries. But question it we must….

But the typical economist believes… capitalism… can grow our economies and reverse environmental degradation too.

Jackson argues compellingly that….

Capitalism as we know it is torpedoing our prosperity, killing our economies and threatening our children with an unlivable world.


UK cop posed as anti-racist

GW, 3/19 — An officer from a secretive unit of the [London] Metropolitan police has described how he spent years working undercover among anti-racist groups in Britain, during which time he routinely engaged in violence against members of the public and uniformed police officers to maintain his cover….

So convincing was he in his covert role that he quickly rose to become branch secretary of a leading anti-racist organization….

His decision to tell his story to the Observer provides the most detailed account of the shadowy police unit….

Officer A — with a long ponytail, angry persona and willingness to be educated in the finer points of Trotskyist ideology — was never suspected by those he befriended of being a member of… a secret unit within Britain’s Special Branch.


Immigrant felon? Agents don’t know

NYT, 4/3 — Top officials at Immigration and Customs Enforcement have said the program’s priority is to deport immigrants with serious criminal records. But the inspector general found that the program lacked measures to determine whether immigrants detained by local officers were serious offenders….

The protection of immigrants’ civil rights was “not formally included” in the training of local officers, the report found.


Free market no help to biggest ills

GW, 11/20 — To the editor: … “free market work…” “work for what?”….

Free markets can be considered to be working if the global benefits of economic growth outweigh the global costs of market failure — but this is clearly not the case today. Free markets will not help us to end wars… to end the obscene disparities in health and wealth between the developed and developing world, or to live sustainably on our planet….

Worse, market-based capitalism depends on ever-increasing economic growth for its survival and must relentlessly pursue this goal even when the effects are inimical to human wellbeing.


Pope: church critics are plotters

NYT, 3/29 — In a characteristic moment in 2002, a prominent cardinal told a Spanish audience that “I am personally convinced that the constant presence in the press of the sins of Catholic priests, especially in the United States, is a planned campaign… to discredit the church.”

That cardinal was Joseph Ratzinger, now [Pope] Benedict XVI.


Best reform could be: no church

GW, 4/2 — To the editor: ….For decades the Catholic church repressed and covered up the shameful deeds perpetrated by their clergy, refusing to acknowledge the need to change, allow women to become priests and end its tradition of celibacy, which appears to have been a failure. Better still, perhaps the church should cease to exist.


Excerpts from newspapers that may be of use for our readers. Abbreviations: NYT=New York Times, GW=Guardian Weekly, LAT=Los Angeles Times

Red Eye

Cops harass by ‘race’ and class

NYT, 3/13 — New York City....cops are making more than a half-million of these stops every year. A vast majority of the people targeted — close to 90 percent — are completely innocent....

If they’ve shown their identification to the cops or answered any questions,...a permanent record of the promptly entered into the department’s staggeringly huge computerized files. Why the Police Department should be keeping files on innocent people is a question with no legitimate answer. This is Big Brother in Blue....

Blacks and Hispanics, and especially those who are young and those who are poor, are disproportionately singled-out for this peculiar form of police harassment....

The overwhelming majority of the stops yield no law-enforcement benefit whatsoever....

The reasons given by the cops for deciding which unfortunate New Yorkers will be stopped are beyond bogus. A “furtive movement” is the most popular....

The truth — and many cops will tell you this privately — is that the stops are made first and the justification is dreamed up later.

Capitalism kills morality in Poland

NYT, 3/16 — Warsaw — They loiter at the mall for hours, young teenage girls selling their bodies  in return for designer jeans, Nokia cellphones, even a pair of socks.

Katarzyna Roslaniec, a young filmaker....scribbled their secrets in her notepad....

The result is the darkly devastating fictional film, “Galerianki,” or Mall Girls, which premiered in Poland in the autumn and has provoked a national debate about moral decadence in this conservative, predominantly Catholic country, 20 years after the fall of... [the Berlin Wall].

Ms. Roslaniec called mall girls the daughters of capitalism. “Parents have lost themselves in the race after a new washing machine or car and are rarely home,” she said. “A 14-year-old girl needs a system of values.... these girls live in a world where there are no feelings....

“....All this would have been unimaginable during Communism.”

Iran nukes? Criminal!
Israel? Hmm...

GW, 3/12 — Droning on about the dangers of a nuclear Iran, Clinton in Qater appeared to treat her Arab interlocutors as though they were children, but most children above a certain age in the Middle East know about the blatant contradiction in US policy of punishing Iran while mollycoddling the only country with undeclared nuclear weapons in the region [Israel].

‘The Making of African America’

NYT, 3/21 — What sets the African-American story apart is the terrible strain of oppression that runs áthrough it. Other groups suffered from discrimination, of course. But nothing comes close to matching the ferocity of racism....

Mr. Berlin brilliantly evokes the horrors of....the rise of systematic segregation in the late-
19th-century South as it stangled the promise of independence and equality that Emancipation had created. He traces...the creation of a segregated North in...the way that employers pushed African-American workers into the lowest-paying, most dangerous jobs they had to offer; the way that real estate agents, bankers, insurance agents and white homeowners restricted black migrants to the most dilapidated neighborhods, hemming them into the ghettos many of them would never escape....Profound inequalities..continue to plague African-American communities — poverty, segregation, incarceration — despite the obvious triumphs of the last 40 years....

Not that Berlin sees victimization as the main theme of black history. “The Making of African America” is primarily a story of the resilience, creativity, and courage African-Americans drew upon as they engaged in the difficult process of piecing together their new lives....

Recession will hurt a generation

NYT, 3/20 — A story that is not getting nearly enough attention is the ruinous fiscal meltdown occurring in state after state, all across the country.

Taxes are being raised. Draconian cuts in services are being made. Public employees are being fired....The sick, the elderly, the young and the poor — are getting badly hurt....

For all the happy talk about “no child left behind,” the truth is that in Arizona and New Jersey and dozens of other states trying to cope with the fiscal disaster brought on by the Great Recession, millions of children are being left far behind, and many millions of adults as well....

California has cut billions of dollars from its education system....

In the first few months of this year, state and local governments across the U.S. cut 45,000 jobs. Additional layoffs are expected....

“What we’re seeing now in Arizona and New Jersey and other states spells long-term trouble for the nation’s children....

“We are seeing the emergence of what amounts to a ‘recession generation....’”

Those that rely...heavily on cuts are making guaranteed investments in human misery.

Detained immigrants protest

NYT, 3/17 — Federal authorities shut downNew York City’s only immigration detention center last month and sent most of its detainees to a county jail in New Jersey....

In protest, the detainees have sent appeals for help to the American Bar Association, signe by more than 180 detainees, and have threatened a hunger strike. They cite exorbitant telephone costs...but also complain of poor health care, confiscation of legal documents and mistreatment by guards at the jail....

For detainees shifted from the New York jail...the possibilities for communiction with the outside world have shrunk....

Legal access, inlcuding phone calls at competitive rates, was part of the national detention standards adopted by the federal government in 2000. The Obama administration, however,...has declined to make the standards enforceable....

Detainees said they were not even allowed to read newspapers or watch the news. “They stop us from knowing what is going on with our own family and around us,” one letter said.

 Living in capitalism’s garbage

 GW, 3/19 — Siswando is 14 years old. He doesn’t go to school and every day he can be found up to his ankles in rubbish, covered in flies and swarming insects.

“I like to do this. It’s a way to make money,” he said, sitting in front of several mounds of rubbish at the landfill in Salatiga, a mid-sized town of about 150,000 in Indonesia....

Every day about 40 trucks arrive....The scavengers sift through for items that can be sold....

“In the future I will still do this,” said Siswando. He’s at the landfill every day from dawn....

In Jakarta there are up to 400,000 scavengers....

“They are some of poorest people on the planet. That money is supporting entire families....”

Children usually follow their parents into scavenging and miss out on school....

Greenpeace was quoted...saying that Indonesia’s scavengers were “poisoning themselves to death” by handling electronic waste.

Medical aid doesn’t end problems

 NYT, 3/24 — Doctors and social workers have long said that medical care alone is not enough to address the health woes of the poor, which are often related to diet, living conditions and stress....

A survey of patients in Dr. Kahn’s [Cincinnati] clinic, where nearly all are on Medicaid, found that 28 percent of families had their gas or electricity cut off in the previous year and that 23 percent had doubled up in housing of had to move to a cheaper residence. One in seven mothers with infants said they had diluted their formula to make it last, andonein three said they had sometimes run out of formula without money to buy more.





Excerpts from newspapers that may be of use for our readers. Abbreviations: NYT=New York Times, GW=Guardian Weekly, LAT=Los Angeles Times

Obama endorsed whole-school firing


NYT, 3/7 — A Rhode Island school board's decision to fire the entire faculty of a poorly performing school, and President Obama's endorsement of the action, has stirred a storm of reaction nationwide....


“I ripped the Obama sticker off my truck,” said Zeph Capo...who trains classroom teachers. “We worked hard for this man, we talked to our neighbors and our fellow teachers about why we should support him, and we're having to dig the knife out of our back.”


....Anthony J. Mullen, an instructor at the Arch School in Greenwich, Conn., who is the national teacher of the year, said he supported the notion of establishing more accountability in schools, “But what kind of accountability are we talking about?”


“This 'off with their heads' mentality,” he said, “it's a bloodthirsty mentality.”




Antibiotics = farm profit; people die




NYT, 3/7 — Now we're seeing increasing numbers of superbugs that survive antibiotics. One of the best-known — MRSA, a kind of staph infection — kills about 18,000 Americans annually. That's more than die of AIDS....Routine use of antibiotics to raise livestock is widely seen as a major reason for the rise of superbugs. But Congress and the Obama administration have refused to curb agriculture's addiction to antibiotics, apparently because of the power of the agribusiness lobby....


...70 percent of antibiotics are used to feed healthy healthy livestock....agricultural use of antibiotics produces meat cheaper. But...the price may be an enormous toll in human health.




Big biz gets loopholes in 'good' laws




NYT, 3/1 — ...More than 1,500 major pollution investigations have been discontinued or shelved in the last four years....


...117 million Americans get their drinking water from sources fed by waters that are vulnerable to...Clean Water Act [loopholes]....


"Cases now are lost because the company is discharging into a stream that flows into a river rather than the river itself..."




Very tough time for older women




GW, 2/26 — Since 2007 the unemployment rate among [U.S.] women over 55 has almost doubled and their chances of finding new jobs are as minimalist as the social security checks that await them....


...17% of all single women over the age of 60 have incomes below the federal poverty level (which stands at a ridiculously low figure of $10,830 per year)....All told, approximately 37% of single women over 60 are poor.


It's no surprise rally that women do so badly in retirement as the odds are neatly stacked against us. We work fewer years than men due to caregiving duties and get paid less for our troubles.


On the flip side we tend to live longer, though it would be nice to be able to afford toilet paper and whatnot in those bonus years.




2009 grads: 80% didn't land jobs




NYT, 3/6 — Everyone seems to know someone whose child graduated dean's list and can't find work fetching coffee. But if you want official numbers, here they are....Under 20% of graduating seniors looking for jobs were lucky enough to land one...."If, at the end of [college education] your kid's sitting on the sofa playing video games, what was the point?"




Murder by Katrina Kops revealed




NYT, 2/25 — NEW ORLEANS — On Sept. 4, 2005, with floodwaters of Hurricane Katrina still standing in much of the city, Lt. Michael J. Lohman of the New Orleans police department....found that six civilians had been shot by police officers, two fatally. None of them had weapons....


...He and other officers began to plot a cover-up, planting a gun near the site to make the shootings seem justified....


He pleaded guilty [in February]....


...The officers who were involve made up a claim that one victim had reached for a "shiny object" in his waistband....


It is also not the only [case of]...civilian deaths caused by the police force in the days after the hurricane.


Excerpts from newspapers that may be of use for our readers. Abbreviations: NYT=New York Times, GW=Guardian Weekly, LAT=Los Angeles Times

Best choice: revolutionary action

NYT, 2/18 — To the editor: Our elected representatives serve only themselves and the…lobbyists who have bought their votes with campaign cash.

As more and more of us lose our jobs, our homes, our savings and our hope because of this systematic corruption, we will see…that the people we have sent to Washington have sold us out. When enough of us realize this, we will have a choice to make: we can address the corruption through public financing of election campaigns, or we can address it through violence. It is sure to be one or the other….

Expert blames Katrina havoc on US

NYT, 2/11 — Dr. van Heerden…rose to prominence as an expert on storms….

In the years before Hurricane Katrina, in 2005, he sounded alarms about the potentially devastating impact of a major storm in New Orleans despite 40 years of hurricane protection efforts.

After the storm, he vehemently criticized the Army Corps of Engineers on television and in print, arguing that engineering mistakes …had led to most of the death and destruction in New Orleans….

He said he was told by [university] administrators that his verbal barbs against the federal government would lead to cuts in aid for L.S.U.

Potential good teachers left behind

NYT, 2/11 — To the Editor: I was intrigued by your phrase “placing a qualified teacher in every classroom,” seemingly mandated by No Child Left Behind. Does anybody really believe that there is an untapped magic pool of “qualified teachers” out there waiting to be placed in the classrooms of the disadvantaged?

The way to guarantee qualified teachers is to train and nurture those who have already chosen teaching as a career....

I taught for more than 20 years in the New York City school system, all of them in disadvantaged areas. I watched earnest, hard-working, mostly new teachers succumb and ultimately fail in a system that featured little or no support, thoughtless supervisors, sub-par physical plants and a general feeling that they were disdained by the central board and the public in general.

I submit that for No Child Left Behind ever to succeed, we must first incorporate a module entitled “No Teacher Left Behind.”

To fix health, give profits the axe

NYT, 2/24 — To the Editor: Re: “How the G.O.P Can Fix Health Care” (Op-Ed, Feb. 22):….

Having read the “fixes” that the Op-Ed contributors offered, I find it almost laughable to read their dialogue of “how to.”

Free enterprise, the primary platform of their arguments, is the primary reason we are in the fix we are in….

The only way to resolve our health care dilemma is to take the primary motive of profit out of the equation….

Profit is biggest cause of hunger

NYT, 2/14 — To the Editor:…. In the United States, one in eight people is hungry, and the number of hungry people worldwide recently surpassed one billion….

“Feeding people” through charity is merely a Band-Aid.

Food is a human right, yet we allow those in power to treat it as a commodity to be bought and sold by profiteers interested in a quick buck….

US uses fascist Israel to bully Iran

NYT, 2/11 — To overcome China’s traditional allergy to sanctions [on Iran], Mr. Obama has sent aides to Beijing to convince Chinese officials that there is something worse than sanctioning Iran: letting war break out between Israel and Iran.

They have described the prospect of oil cutoffs in the Persian Gulf, and instability that would threaten China’s daily shipments if Israel believed Iran was nearing nuclear weapons capability and attacked.

Working class frozen out again

NYT, 2/14 — Washington — President Obama’s plan to create jobs and rein in energy costs through a steep increase in money for weatherizing homes of low-income Americans has so far borne little fruit, with many of the bigger states meeting less than 2 percent of their three-year goals to date….

Far into the nation’s winter heating season, the program for the most part has neither saved energy nor put people to work….

Many states either furloughed the state employees who would administer such programs or instituted hiring freezes….

Wall St. helps Europe crash


NYT, 2/14 — Wall Street tactics akin to the ones that fostered subprime mortgages in America have worsened the financial crisis shaking Greece and undermining the euro by enabling European governments to hide their mounting debts….

Wall Street…engaged in a decade-long effort to skirt European debt limits. One deal created by Goldman Sachs helped obscure billions in debt …far into the future, much as when strapped homeowners take out second mortgages to pay off their credit cards….

Greece shocked its European Union partners and stirred up financial markets in late December when it revealed that its 2009 deficit would be 12.7 percent of gross domestic product, not the 3.7 percent the previous government had forecast.

The discovery that the statistics could not be relied upon has undermined efforts to convince jittery markets of the credibility of the Greek government’s deficit-cutting plans.


Mentally ill kids suffer in prisons


NYT, 2/11 — The problem of ineffective psychiatric care in juvenile prisons stretches back decades…..

Lawyers for the Legal Aid Society said that they had many examples of mentally ill children who had been mistreated while in prisons.

One 16-year-old boy received a diagnosis of moderate mental retardation….

However, he was not placed in a mental health unit until five months later, after being harassed, taunted and restrained….

Surveys of youth prisons indicate that about two-thirds of the nation’s juvenile inmates — about 92,800 in 2006 — have at least one mental illness.

“The system just isn’t equipped to deal with children with serious mental issue,”….


Euro workers showing their anger


GW, 2/19 — …16 countries using [euro]…currency met to…aim at warding off the threat of Greek insolvency and reducing market pressures on the euro….

Greece, Spain, Italy and Portugal all experienced zero or negative growth in the final quarter of 2009….

But as [their]…centre-left governments attempt to inflict pain on the very people who voted them in, there is a real danger….

On the streets or Madrid, Lisbon and Rome, as in Athens, the mood of anger is growing and the fight to hold on to entitlements is already beginning.

Greek unions, among the strongest on the continent, have vowed to fight the “tsunami of attacks on workers.” Spanish unions have called for mass demonstrations against a plan to raise the retirement age — on average, 61.

Mass demonstrations in Lisbon have already begun. On 5 of February, more than 50,000 civil servants protested against a pay freeze. A general strike is planned in Italy on 12 March to protest against the growing number of job losses….


3-year visa stall; dad takes poison


NYT, 2/12 — West Babylon, N.Y. — Elizabeth Drummond was a single mother from a hardscrabble family whose roots go back to the Mayflower and an American Indian tribe. The man she married, Segundo Encalada, was a relative newcomer to the United States, sent illegally by his parents from Ecuador when he was 17.

He soon became “Daddy Segundo” to her little boy, coached her through the Caesarean births of two daughters and worked construction and landscaping jobs here on Long Island to support them all….

In July 2006, when Mrs. Encalada was pregnant with their third daughter and immigration crackdowns were sweeping the country, her husband was ordered by immigration authorities to take “voluntary departure” back to Ecuador….

After April 2001, foreign spouses who entered without a visa must leave and seek one from a United States Consulate in their native land.

Their lawyer said that would take two months to a year. Instead, one year turned into three….

A new lawyer started over. But her husband, 28, apparently lost hope. On Dec. 15, facing another Christmas far from his family, he drank poison….

“Immigration policy in the United States is dysfunctional no matter which side…you stand on.”


Clever leaders, still ruled by profits


NYT, 2/19 — Sixty years ago, the upper echelons were dominated by what...C. Wright Mills called The Power Elite. If your father went to Harvard, you had a 90 percent chance of getting in yourself....

Since then, we have opened up opportunities....It is less necessary to be clubbable. It is more important to be smart and hard-working.

Yet here’s the funny thing....Would we say that banks are performing more ably than they were a half-century ago?

Government used to be staffed by party hacks. Today, it is staffed by people from public policy schools. But does government work better than it did before?

Journalism used to be...working-class stiffs who filed stories and hit the bars. Now it is...cultured analysts who file stories and hit the water bottles. Is the media overall more more reputable now than it was then?

The promise of the meritocracy has not been fulfilled....

This is not to say that we should return to the days of the WASP ascendancy....Rather, our system...has some pretty serious problems, which are more evident with each passing day.


Gov’t begs banks to be nice!


NYT, 2/24 — WASHINGTON — The Obama administration...[said] it would not back down from its efforts to restrict the trading activities of banks and to create a consumer agency to regulate financial products.

In an attempt to thwart fierce lobbying against those measures,...the Treasury secretary, Timothy F. Geithner, summoned leaders of the United States Chamber of Commerce, the American Bankers Association, the Financial Services Forum and other groups to a urge them not to obstruct the legislative effort.


Not guilty? Another cop saw it!


NYT, 2/23 — A Brooklyn jury found three police officers not guilty on Monday of abusing a suspect in the Prospect Park subway station during a 2008 arrest, in a case that recalled some of the city’s most notorious brutality episodes....

Acquitting all three men on all counts, the jurors rejected Michael Mineo’s claims that Officer Richard Kern had attacked him and repeatedly rammed a baton between his buttocks, thereby making the charges against the two other officers — that they had helped cover up the abuse — irrelevant....

During two hours on the witness stand, Officer Maloney said he had come forward to quiet false allegations that officer Cruz had sodomized Mr. Mineo. He said he saw Officer Kern press his baton into Mr. Mineo’s buttocks, but also that he did not think it amounted to abuse....

During occasionally tense deliberations, one juror, a young woman, told the group that Officer Kern had been convicted of police brutality twice before.... (Officer Kern was cleared...but one of those cases, in 2007, led to two lawsuits the city settled for $50,000.)

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