In response to racist violence, more African Americans look to bear arms

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The National African American Gun Association, known as NAAG, has tripled its chapters from 14 to 42 since President Donald Trump’s inauguration, as more people of color join gun clubs and refute the NRA. Some say they are defending themselves against racism and supporting a call to arms amid a civil rights struggle. News Hour Weekend Special Correspondent Simon Ostrovsky reports.

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  • JOHN BRADFORD:

    High ready. Fire.

     

  • SIMON OSTROVSKY:

    This gun range is similar to others across America, where firearms enthusiasts, proud and protective of their Second Amendment Rights, can practice becoming a better shot.

     

  • JOHN BRADFORD:

    Whenever you’re ready. How you like it?

     

  • YOUNG MAN:

    I like it a lot.

     

  • JOHN BRADFORD:

    Move, move, move, move!

     

  • SIMON OSTROVSKY:

    But this isn’t a gathering of the National Rifle Association.

     

  • MIGUEL VASQUEZ:

    Usually the clubs that I see is mostly caucasians and so I saw this club, it was pretty unique and so I gave it a shot.

     

  • DOMINIC HOLLEMAN:

    In August of 2017 is when I became a member of this chapter of the National African American Gun Association.

     

  • SIMON OSTROVSKY:

    We’re with the Denver branch of the National African American Gun Association and chapters like it are opening up all across the country because for an increasing number of people of color the Trump-era has been a call to arms.

     

  • JOHN BRADFORD:

    High ready. Fire.

     

  • DOMINIC HOLLEMAN:

    You know, some of the things that we were seeing in the news a lot of the things that the President was saying and the reactions that we saw from a lot of members of the white community — not everyone but more white supremacists — it seemed like having some form of protection was a good thing for us to have.

     

  • DAVID FANNINGS:

    The incident in Charlottesville when you had the White Supremacists, the Neo-Nazis, and the White Nationalists. And they came to that protest armed to the teeth, they had all types of weapons. And when a person got run over by one of their supporters his answer was well there are good people on both sides. My theory is if you’re marching under the Confederate flag or you’re marching under the Nazi flag which America fought two wars to get rid of you’re not a good person.

     

  • JOHN BRADFORD:

    Fire.

     

  • SIMON OSTROVSKY:

    David Fannings is an Army veteran who believes the President’s rhetoric has made the country less safe for minorities.

     

  • DAVID FANNINGS:

    He’s saying what they have thought and felt for a long time, and him being the leader of the country, it’s like giving them a green light.

     

  • DAVID FANNINGS:

    This is a 12 gauge shotgun. This one operates very much like an AR type rifle. For home defense a shotgun is real good. When I heard about NAAG, to be able to be a member of an organization that was run by us, for us, that appealed to me.

     

  • SIMON OSTROVSKY:

    With just under 25 thousand members, this gun group is tiny compared to the NRA, which claims around 5 million. But In the last 14 months, the National African American Gun Association, also know as NAAG, has grown from just 14 chapters to 52. Based in Atlanta, the group’s leadership doesn’t sound so different from its NRA counterpart.

     

  • DOUGLAS JEFFERSON:

    The Second Amendment is an important right just like any other right that we have. And it’s one that our community has a complicated history with. But it’s a right nonetheless that without that right, it’s very hard to assume a position of a fully-fledged citizen in these United States.

     

  • SIMON OSTROVSKY:

    But at NAAG, exercising your Second Amendment rights isn’t just a way to defend yourself and your family. It’s seen as an extension of something much larger: The Civil Rights struggle.

     

  • DOUGLAS JEFFERSON:

    So some of the first gun control laws that came about in this country were related to race. They were related to keeping guns out of the hands of African American people.

     

  • NARRATOR:

    To contain the misery and violence of the ghetto Oakland’s all-white police department earned a reputation for head knocking brutality that has left a well remembered legacy of bitterness in the minds and hearts of many who lived in that time and place.

     

  • SIMON OSTROVSKY:

    Back in the 1960s some young African Americans in Oakland, California responded to police overreach by following the police and observing arrests. They called themselves the Black Panthers. And they were armed to the teeth legally. Their armed patrols and an open carry protest at the state capital alarmed the authorities so much that in 1967 the state instituted an open-carry ban. Ironically, It was signed into law by then Governor Ronald Reagan

     

  • RONALD REAGAN:

    There’s absolutely no reason why out on the street today civilians should be carrying a loaded weapon.

     

  • SIMON OSTROVSKY:

    But as President, he strongly supported the NRA and vocally defended the Second Amendment. As does the current President.

     

  • DONALD TRUMP:

    I am also proud to be the first sitting President to address the NRA Leadership Forum since our wonderful Ronald Reagan in 1983.

     

  • PHILIP SMITH:

    I’d be lying to you if I said the political arena has not affected our membership. People look at what’s going on politically and see some of the comments that are made by certain folks in high places and it makes them a little unnerving. That has definitely been a part of our growth.

     

  • SIMON OSTROVSKY:

    While the new political climate is contributing to the interest in personal protection among African Americans.

     

  • POLICEMAN:

    The reason I pulled you over, your brake lights are out.

     

  • SIMON OSTROVSKY:

    Part of the reason NAAG members aren’t flocking to the NRA is a policing culture that predates Trump.

     

  • PHILANDO CASTILE:

    Sir I do have to tell you.

     

  • POLICEMAN:

    Okay.

     

  • PHILANDO CASTILE:

    I do have a firearm on me.

     

  • POLICEMAN:

    Don’t reach for it then. Don’t pull it out.

     

  • PHILANDO CASTILE:

    I’m not pulling it out.

     

  • POLICEMAN:

    Don’t pull it out.

     

  • SIMON OSTROVSKY:

    The 2016 shooting of Philando Castile, a black gun owner with a concealed carry permit outraged the African American community. But in this instance the nation’s most established gun advocacy group didn’t jump to publicly defend Castile’s Second Amendment right.

     

  • VALERIE CASTILE:

    As far as the NRA is concerned I’m a lay it out there because I don’t sugar coat it. I’m a give it to you in the raw you take it anyway you want to. But you didn’t defend my son the way you would have defended a white person. They should have stood up for my son and gave him the due respect that they do anyone else that’s killed in that manner.

     

  • ALTON CLARK:

    I used to be a member of the NRA, but I don’t feel supported by the NRA towards my needs in my community. So, it’s just, they are not there.

     

  • SIMON OSTROVSKY:

    Are you talking about incidents like Philando Castile?

     

  • ALTON CLARK:

    Yes. He announced that he does have a concealed carry and it is lawful and he got shot immediately. The NRA did not come forward and condemn the deadly use of force on a person that was legally carrying.

     

  • DOMINIC HOLLEMAN:

    Anytime there was an issue with someone who look like me or who I felt could be a part of my family, I don’t believe the NRA had their back or had their best interest.

     

  • SHARICE HOLLEMAN:

    Our oldest son is 27, he has a concealed weapon permit. He’s allowed to carry. That worries me because if he’s pulled over he’s going to be treated differently. And he’s often targeted and pulled over. It has happened to him more times than I’d like to admit.

     

  • SIMON OSTROVSKY:

    The NRA did not agree to an interview with Newshour Weekend. While African American interest in personal protection appears to be rising gun sales nationally are trending in the opposite direction. FBI figures show that background checks made by gun sellers dropped off during Trump’s first year in office. The store in Aurora, Colorado, where the Denver chapter of NAAG trains is no exception.

     

  • RICHARD TAYLOR:

    For eight years when President Obama was in office gun sales were incredibly brisk so probably you know 15 to 18 percent drop overall in business since President Trump’s been elected.

     

  • SIMON OSTROVSKY:

    What do you attribute that to?

     

  • RICHARD TAYLOR:

    I think basically nobody is really too concerned about any new gun legislation so people are taking a big sigh and they figure that they can buy whatever they want fairly easily certainly up till maybe the midterm elections.

     

  • SIMON OSTROVSKY:

    For now, members of NAAG will keep sharpening their shooting skills and standing up for what they see as an essential civil right.

     

  • MIGUEL VASQUEZ:

    One of the things that’s always affected me personally is that I’ve had people say “Hey, you’re a person of color, you shouldn’t have guns, right? Because you can be a target, it’s dangerous.” And my answer to that is I should have the right to have a gun like anybody else because I’m not a second class American, I’m an American.

     

     

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Man Shot Off His Own Testicle With A Sawed-Off Shotgun!

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An ex-cage fighter was caught in possession of a shotgun after he blasted himself in the groin – and had to have a testicle removed, a court heard.

Scott Benjamin, 30, was rushed to hospital for surgery after he suffered the ‘self-inflicted’ wound in the bedroom of a house on January 4 last year.

A court heard police were called to an address in Walsall, West Midlands, after reports of a disturbance and found Benjamin trying to smash a window with a bed.

Officers had to break down the door to the upstairs bedroom where he had ‘barricaded’ himself in, jurors were told. Benjamin was discovered under a mattress in a pool of blood with two sawn-off shotguns nearby. He claimed he suffered the injury – which led to him losing a testicle – at the hands of a gang of eight masked men who burst into the property. But prosecutors have dismissed his version of events as ‘complete nonsense.’

On Thursday Benjamin went on trial accused of two charges of possessing a sawed-off shotgun and two of possessing a firearm when prohibited to do so. Wolverhampton Crown Court was told officers forced entry to the house armed with Tasers and protective shields. Laura Culley, prosecuting, said Benjamin was found trying unsuccessfully to manhandle the base of a bed through a smashed upstairs window. Used cartridges were also recovered and a fingerprint of the defendant was uncovered on one of the weapons Giving evidence, Pc Martin Fraser, the first officer at the scene, said: ‘As I went in I immediately heard a colleague shout ‘gun.’ I could see a mattress with somebody underneath. ‘I looked down and could see a sawn-off shotgun as well as a man under the mattress. ‘He looked very confused as if under the influence of drugs or it might have been shock.’ The defendant claims hooded armed men had forced him to touch their guns and ammunition and wounded him while shooting out windows at the address He claimed to have known ‘one or two’ of the intruders from their build and the sound of their voices, but refused to name them. Following hospital treatment, he told a police officer: ‘I don’t know why they say I shot myself. I didn’t. Somebody shot me. I was set up.’ During a formal police interview, he added: ‘They started firing at the windows and I asked to be hit in the body and not the face if I was going to be shot. ‘The gun was nearly touching me. ‘He started poking my head. Then he let it off and I just remember the pain..’ Following the shooting, the wounded man barricaded himself into his room and began throwing things out his window in a bid to attract passersby. The court heard how Benjamin had been on a cocaine and alcohol binge the day before the shooting. When asked in interview if this had altered his perception of the incident, he allegedly said: ‘It could seem like that but why is somebody going to start popping off shots and then shoot themself for no reason?’ He also suggested that the motive for the ‘attack’ was an ‘issue’ with another man that he refused to name. Benjamin claimed the housemate Andrew Fellows, who lived at the address with Tina Richards, had owed the same man money and set him to up settle the debts. Giving evidence from the witness stand, Mr Fellows said: ‘Why would I set him up? He is a friend of mine. Have you seen the size of him? I didn’t stitch anyone up.’ He also said he was at a ‘complete loss’ to explain why the shooting had happened. Benjamin, of Chelmsley Wood, Birmingham, denies the charges. The trial continues.

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Video Captures University Of Chicago Police Officer Shooting Student Near Campus!

Warning: Video contains graphic content and language. Video provided by the University of Chicago shows the shooting of a 21-year-old student by a campus police officer on April 3, 2018, in the Hyde Park neighborhood. The video was edited by the university to obscure certain visual details.

A University of Chicago police officer shot and seriously wounded a 21-year-old student who charged an officer with a metal pipe near the South Side campus late Tuesday, authorities said.

Body camera footage showing the shooting, which happened off campus just before 10:15 p.m. in the Hyde Park neighborhood, was released by the school on Wednesday night.

Three U. of C. police officers responding to a call of a burglary in the 5300 block of South Kimbark Avenue encountered a man — later identified as a student — breaking car and apartment windows with a long metal pipe, university officials said in an email to students.

The officers ordered the student to drop the pipe, but he refused and charged at the officer in an alley, university President Robert Zimmer and Provost Daniel Diermeier said in the email.

One of the officers fired his weapon, hitting the student in the shoulder, according to the university. The student was initially taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in serious condition, authorities said.

The video shows, at one point before the shooting, the officer stepping back. The officer was executing a “tactical retreat,” a practice he learned during crisis intervention training, the university said. The approach is intended to create a safe distance for the officer to call out commands rather than immediately subdue the subject.

The university also confirmed the officer, who has been on the force for two years, fired once, which is consistent with his training to shoot to end the threat. The officer involved has had 40 hours of crisis intervention training and eight hours of mental health first aid training.

In the video, an officer can be heard saying, “Twenty-one, mental. He’s a mental.”

Warning: Video contains graphic content and language. Video provided by the University of Chicago shows the shooting of a 21-year-old student by a campus police officer on April 3, 2018, in the Hyde Park neighborhood. The video was edited by the university to obscure certain visual details.

The university was not commenting on the mental state of the student who was shot.

The area where the shooting happened is patrolled by both U. of C. and Chicago policeofficers.

After learning the injured man was a student, U. of C. police contacted his parents, the university said. It is the first shooting involving a U. of C. police officer in the agency’s 40-year history, said university spokeswoman Marielle Sainvilus.

“This is a difficult incident for our community, and our concern is with all of the individuals involved and their families,” Zimmer and Diermeier said in the email issued by the university. “Maintaining our community’s safety, security and well-being is of paramount importance. Support services and resources for students will be provided by the college and Campus and Student Life.”

The officer involved was placed on mandatory administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation, in accordance with department policy.

Chicago police are investigating the incident, said Anthony Guglielmi, chief spokesman for the Chicago Police Department. CPD is in charge of investigating campus police shootings.

The University Department of Safety and Security, which oversees the campus police department, is also reviewing the shooting, according to the university.

With a force of about 100 officers, the U. of C. police serve as the primary law enforcement agency on campus and, beyond the university’s borders, offer backup patrol to Chicago police in an area bounded by 37th Street, 64th Street, Lake Shore Drive and Cottage Grove Avenue, according to the university. That off-campus patrol agreement was cemented in city ordinance back in 2011, city records show.

State law grants campus police officers on private universities the same arrest powers as city and state law enforcement officers. Campus police officers are required to complete mandatory state training, including firearms training.

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