Four mothers share pain of losing sons Mom: If Garner were white, he'd be alive – CNN

  • The mothers of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice and Eric Garner meet
  • Martin’s mother: All four victims were unarmed and African-American
  • If Garner were white, he would be alive today, his mother says

Watch Anderson Cooper’s full interview with the mothers of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice and Eric Garner on AC360 tonight at 8 p.m. ET.

(CNN) — Their sons — Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice and Eric Garner — have become symbols of a raging national conversation about police brutality and racial injustice.

The mothers of these four unarmed black men and boys felled by bullets or excessive police force have no doubt their sons would still be alive if they were white. No question, they say.

“I think absolutely my son’s race and the color of his skin had a lot to do with why he was shot and killed,” Sybrina Fulton, Martin’s mother, told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Friday. “In all of these cases, these victims were unarmed. These victims were African-American. That needs to be our conversation.”

In their first interview together, Fulton was joined by Brown’s mother, Lesley McSpadden; Tamir’s mother, Samaria Rice; and Garner’s mother, Gwen Carr. They spoke of reliving the horrific final moments of their son’s lives with each controversial death, of gaining strength from protesters and other supporters, of the importance of coming together to effect change.

Carr said she had confidence in a federal investigation into whether her son’s civil rights were violated. A Staten Island grand jury last week refused to indict a white police officer in the death of her son, was put in a fatal chokehold by the officer as he tried to arrest Garner for illegally selling cigarettes.

“If Eric Garner was a white man in Suffolk County doing the same thing that he was doing — even if he would have been caught selling cigarettes that day — they would have given him a summons and he wouldn’t have lost his life that day,” she said. “I believe that 100 percent.”

Fulton’s son was shot and killed in Florida by George Zimmerman, a volunteer neighborhood watch captain. The case quickly drew national attention as weeks went by without formal charges. Demonstrations followed Zimmerman’s acquittal even though some people around the country supported Zimmerman’s actions.

“It’s not happening to them, so they don’t quite get it,” she said. “They don’t quite understand. They think that it’s a small group of African-Americans that’s complaining. …The people say that all the time: ‘What are they complaining about now? What are they protesting about now?'”

To those people, Fulton said: “Until it happens to them and in their family then they’ll understand the walk. They don’t understand what we’re going through. They don’t understand the life and they don’t understand what we’re fighting against. I don’t even think the government quite gets it.”

President Barack Obama publicly addressed the Martin case, as he did last summer’s shooting of Brown — an unarmed teenager shot to death by white police Officer Darren Wilson. A St. Louis County grand jury declined to bring charges against the officer, leading to days of unrest in Ferguson, Missouri.

The death of Rice, a 12-year-old boy shot last month by a Cleveland officer after police allegedly mistook the child’s air gun for a real firearm, has also drawn national attention. The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office said Friday it has ruled the death a homicide.

“I think this is shedding light to what’s going on,” Fulton said of the protest movement that has risen out of the tragedies.”This is not something new. It’s been happening. … But it’s just been bringing light to what’s happening. It’s bringing it to the forefront which is why there’s so much conversations. … Because people are now realizing … it’s not just about African-American rights … it’s about human rights.”

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Rosemary Anderson High School shooting –

Portland Police responded to a shooting Friday afternoon near Rosemary Anderson High School in North Portland. At least three people were taken to Legacy Emanuel Health Center.

Police are searching for suspects in the shooting.

The school is at 717 N. Killingsworth Court. 

3:52 p.m.: Sgt. Pete Simpson said at a 3:30 p.m. briefing that a dispute led up to Friday’s shooting, but it is unknown whether it specifically involved the shooter and the victims is unknown. Simpson said that the shooters may have gang affiliations, but it’s unknown whether that had anything to do with the dispute or the shooting, and it doesn’t follow that the victims had anything to do with gangs. “They are victims,” Simpson said.

Police say they believe there was one shooter accompanied by two others. The suspects fled on foot, Simpson said, heading north on Borthwick and east on Killingsworth. They left the scene quickly and it’s unknown whether they had a car nearby. All are at large.

Simpson said he did not know how many shots were fired. The ATF and FBI have offered their assistance. 

3:41 p.m.: From the Portland Police news conference: Portland police Sgt. Pete Simpson says there are four victims:

  • A 16-year-old female, who is in critical condition.
  • A 17-year-old male, who is in serious condition.
  • A 20-year-old male, who is in serious condition.
  • A 19-year-old female, who was grazed by a bullet and treated at the shooting scene.

3:37 p.m.: Another victim was identified as Taylor Zimmers, a 16-year-old junior at Rosemary Anderson High School. Ryan Zimmers, Taylor’s father, said his daughter was in surgery. 

Taylor’s aunt, Shawn Zimmers, 40, said she heard about the shooting in a phone call from the girl’s father and went to Legacy Emanuel Health Center.

“I’m just confused. All of these kids getting shot and killed. It doesn’t make any sense,” Shawn Zimmers said. “It’s not like it was when we were kids.” 

Rosemary Anderson High School student heard shots A Rosemary Anderson High School student talks about hearing shooting sounds and then seeing a victim stumble into the school after three teens were shot outside of the North Portland high school.

Ashley Zimmers, 17, and Octavia Heaton, 15, two of Taylor Zimmers’s cousins, also waited outside the hospital. The girls who do not attend Rosemary Anderson, said they were not allowed to enter the hospital to see their cousin. 

The girls said they had heard that Taylor had been shot in the chest and the side.

“This is crazy, but not surprising” given the recent string of shootings nationally, Ashley Zimmers said. “This hits too close to home.”

3:20 p.m.: All of Portland Public School Connect boys basketball games tonight will have extra security, a spokesman said. It’s “just a precaution.” Rosemary Anderson is a nonprofit school that PPS Connect contracts with. Of 290 Rosemary system students, 216 come from PPS Connect. Students in the program can earn GED or modified diplomas. “These are students who have not found success in our traditional high schools,” says PPS Connect spokesman Jon Isaacs.

3 p.m.: Students from Rosemary Anderson High School form a large prayer circle at Legacy Emanuel.

Oliviann Danley, 16, said she saw a boy run into the school, holding coat open and yell: ‘Oh my god, did I just get shot?’  

Labraye Franklin, center, testified for continued support of the Black Male Initiative. He was joined by his mentor, Val Polk, right, and Kevin Bacon, principal of Boise-Eliot School.Portland Office of Equity and Human Rights 

2:51 p.m.: Tanisha Franklin identified one of the shooting victims as Labraye Franklin. She said the 17-year-old boy is her nephew and a student at Rosemary Anderson High School.

Tanisha Franklin and Karin Williams, another of Labraye’s aunts, both identified the teenager as among the shooting victims. They both had been waiting outside Legacy Emmanuel Medical Center on Friday afternoon for word on his condition.

Amid all the confusion, they both had heard that Labraye suffered wounds in different parts of his body.

“When I first got the phone call,” Tanisha Franklin said, “I just started praying, ‘Please let him be all right.'”

“This is just crazy,” she said. “I work at a school and with all these shootings, I get more and more scared every day.”

2:26 p.m.: Jacal Hill, a 17-year-old senior, said she was among a mass of students lined up waiting for the school doors to unlock for lunch. Once outside, she had just turned the street corner when she said she heard shots behind her. Scared, she hid behind a car. Now safe, she said, her thoughts are of her friends. “I just gotta say, ‘Stop the violence.'”

At Legacy Emanuel, a spokeswoman says the three victims are being treated, but there are no condition updates.  

2:19 p.m.: Parents are waiting as students trickle out of Rosemary Anderson. One boy is telling his dad that he heard a “pow … pow… pow… pow.”

Mayor Charlie Hales on the scene at Rosemary Anderson High School: “It’s a bad day when kids get hurt, so it hurts..Our Police Bureau is in pursuit of the suspects Maxine Bernstein/The Oregonian 

2:11 p.m.: The shooting near Rosemary Anderson High School is the latest in Portland that police believe have ties to gangs

2:10 p.m.: Ralena Gaska, 14, would have attended Reynolds High School this year, but her mom opted against it after the school shooting there in June. Ralena said she was in the cafeteria when she realized something was wrong. At first she thought it was fight, but teachers quickly ushered students into classrooms. “Everyone was scared, she said.

DeNida Gaska, Ralena’s mother, said it is troubling that shootings happen in and around schools. “What happened last year at the end of the school year, I said, ‘No.’ … And it happened again.”

2:09 p.m.: Derrick Foxworth, former Portland police chief and head of security at Portland Community College, said the school was locked down from 12:24 to 1:29 p.m. and classes continued. The lockdown was done as a precaution and, he said, “we’re back to normal operation.”

2:06 p.m.: Sierra Smith, 17, said she was in a government history class when the shooting occurred. Later, Smith said she saw one of the victims inside the school being helped by a teacher.

“There was young boy,” Smith said. “He was laying on the ground. He had blood coming out of his stomach.”

“It was scary,” she said

2:03 p.m.: A woman who says she’s the aunt of one of the shooting victims says her 17-year-old nephew was shot in the back and his girlfriend was shot in the ankle, reported Everton Bailey Jr. “I’m frustrated. I’m sad. The world today is just out of control,” said Karin Williams. She said she and other family members have not been allowed into Legacy Emanuel. 

The Portland Community College lockdown alarm has stopped and students are walking around the campus again. 

1:54 p.m.: Tracy Mendoza in a nearby business said, “We heard the gunshots. We dove under the desks.” She said she heard five gunshots. She went on to say this of the kids who were shot outside Rosemary Anderson High School, “They were just standing on the corner at lunchtime.” 

1:36 p.m.: Lunch at Rosemary Anderson starts at 12:10 p.m., students said. The first police calls came in at 12:14 p.m. Students who were outside on a warm, sunny day ran into the school. Police Chief Mike Reese is on his way to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center. 

Police are investigating the shooting as gang-related. 


1:32: p.m.: Portland Police Sgt. Pete Simpson said “Obviously were thankful we don’t have any loss of life.” The three shooting victims ran into school conscious, breathing. Also, Portland Fire Lt. Rich Tyler said firefighters from the nearby Station 24 were able to provide medical care to the victims inside the school. 

At North Kerby and Killingsworth Court, parents are being reunited with their students. 

1:18 p.m.: Gresham police said they received a call after the North Portland school shooting of a threat of a shooting at Rosemary Anderson High School East in Gresham, but so far, have not found the threat credible. An investigation is still ongoing.

Portland Police Chief Mike Reese and Mayor Charlie Hales stand on peace mural on North Killingsworth Court and North Borthwick as police investigate shooting outside Rosemary Anderson High School. Maxine Bernstein/The Oregonian 

1:15 p.m.: In July, Maxine Bernstein wrote about a street mural students were painting to promote nonviolence. It is at the corner of Borthwick and Killingsworth Court, the scene of the shooting.

Here is some background on Rosemary Anderson High School, a community-based alternative school, has two campuses that serve at-risk students who’ve been unsuccessful in traditional high schools. The campus on North Killingsworth Court enrolls up to 190 students each year and has been in operation almost 31 years. 

The school serves multiple districts, and typically students attending it have had disciplinary and educational problems at more than one traditional high school, Portland Public Schools spokesperson Jon Isaacs said. The school is not seen overseen by Portland Public Schools. 

Anita Irakoze,17, right, was outside buying snacks. She said, “I heard the gunshots and started running for my life.” She said she heard four shots. On the left, Quennie Hillman said her cousin was one of the boys who were shot. She was inside school and heard four shots.Maxine Bernstein/The Oregonian 

In 2009, Anna Griffin, then a columnist for The Oregonian, wrote about Rosemary Anderson High School and the challenges its students face. 

1:11 p.m.: Lockdown lifted and Jefferson High School and Portland Community College. Portland Police says the victims are teenagers, working to confirm that they are students.

Also at this time, police don’t know how the shooter left the scene. Officers have cleared the school and the area is now safe and secure. 

Here’s what is being said on Twitter: Tweets from

1:05 p.m.: The FBI has put agents at the scene of the shooting as part of its regular task force work, as needed by Portland police, spokeswoman Beth Anne Steele said. The federal agency referred all news information to the police bureau.

1:03 p.m.: Portland police Sgt. Pete Simpson says investigators believe the shooter is affiliated with a Portland gang.

12:58 p.m.: Portland police Sgt. Pete Simpson confirmed that the shooting was outside the school at North Borthwick Avenue and Killingsworth Court. He also said:

  • The victims were two males and one female. They all ran inside the school outside Rosemary Anderson High School immediately after the shooting.
  • There is currently not an active shooter at the scene.
  • Police swept through the school to make sure there were no additional victims.
  • The shooter left the scene. 

12:52 p.m.: Tamara King, who lives near the school with her husband and 4-year-old child, was standing on the corner of North Killingsworth Court when she heard five shots in rapid progression. After hearing the shots, she saw at least four children scatter, diving under a car on North Albina Avenue to avoid gunfire. She called 911 at 12:13 p.m., she said. A short time later she saw two kids being loaded into the back of an ambulance.

12:51 p.m.:

I’m on scene of the shooting in North Portland. Neighbor Tamara King heard 5 shots in rapid succession. Called 912

— Andrew Theen (@andrewtheen) December 12, 2014

12:49 p.m.:

Police found bullet casings outside the school ..near N Killingsworth Court and Forthwick/possibly 3 suspects

— Maxine Bernstein (@maxoregonian) December 12, 2014

12:44 p.m.: Portland police say parents of Rosemary Anderson High School students should respond to North Killingsworth Court and Kerby Avenue. 

12:36 p.m.: Rosemary Anderson High School serves at-risk students who have been expelled or dropped out of public high school. Rosemary Anderson is an alternative high school with a student body of approximately 130 students, most of whom have struggled to succeed at other Portland high schools.  The school is renown for its commitment to attend to these students until they reach the age of 25. “We pretty much force the kids to go to college,” said Joe McFerrin, the school’s president.

12:30 p.m.: Both Portland Community College’s Cascade campus and Jefferson High School are on lockdown. 

— The Oregonian

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House buys Senate some time on budget bill; approves second stopgap measure – Fox News

WASHINGTON –  The U.S. House passed a second stopgap measure Friday afternoon, buying the Senate additional time to discuss and vote on a $1.1 trillion government-wide spending bill. 

The House vote provides a pad to make certain the government doesn’t shut down at midnight Saturday when current funding authority runs out.



It’s still unknown whether the House measure, passed by a voice vote while the chamber was virtually empty, will be needed. Senate leaders say they hope to wrap up action on the omnibus budget bill by Friday night but say that goal is looking less attainable.

Washington woke up to “Fallout Friday,” with liberal Democrats openly outraged at President Obama and conservative Republicans disgusted with House Speaker John Boehner after both did enough wheeling, dealing and arm twisting to push through a spending bill three hours shy of the midnight deadline.

The surprise beneficiary in this latest political conundrum could be Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., a relative newcomer to the Senate but looking more and more like the liberal Democratic answer to who might challenge Hillary Clinton for the party’s 2016 presidential nomination.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Friday morning that he hopes to take up and finish the omnibus bill as soon as possible but said getting it done would require cooperation from both sides of the aisle. Reid, speaking from the Senate floor, acknowledged there were some provisions he was not happy with but pitched it as a compromise nonetheless.

“We’re going to consider this legislation to keep our government open and funded and we’re going to do it today – I hope,” he said. He later warned, “There isn’t much time… government funding runs out on Saturday at midnight.”

The House narrowly approved a sweeping spending bill Thursday night despite deep misgivings among liberals and conservatives alike, sending the measure to the Senate as lawmakers averted a partial government shutdown.

The bill passed on a 219-206 vote, following an intense lobbying effort by House Republican leaders and the White House.

Current government funding technically runs out at midnight Thursday, but lawmakers late Thursday approved a stopgap measure to keep the government running through midnight Saturday as the Senate considers the main $1.1 trillion spending package. That debate could last through the weekend and potentially into Monday.

“We will not have a government shutdown,” Senate Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., pledged.

Passage in the House followed hours of urgent appeals from an unlikely alliance: President Obama and House GOP leadership.

Obama and Vice President Biden worked the phones to sway Democratic lawmakers. White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough also met on the Hill with the Democratic caucus. Despite sources inside the meeting initially saying he did little to persuade lawmakers, a rift emerged in the Democratic leadership late Thursday. As House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi continued to oppose the bill, her deputy, Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., urged passage.

Meanwhile, House GOP leaders did what they could to sway conservative members who, for different reasons, were opposed to the package.

In the end, 67 Republicans defected, but 57 Democrats voted for it.

Many conservatives opposed the bill because it does not address Obama’s executive actions on illegal immigration, while liberal Democrats were angry over provisions dealing with campaign spending and financial regulation.

The debate saw Pelosi flexing her clout, recognizing that House Speaker John Boehner needed Democrats to pass the bill.

She pushed back not only against GOP leaders but Obama’s lobbying effort.

In a rare public rebuke of the president, Pelosi said she was “enormously disappointed” he had decided to embrace the bill, which she described as an attempt at legislative blackmail by House Republicans.

Pelosi, D-Calif., sent an email note to colleagues in the afternoon saying they had “leverage” to make demands — namely, to remove two provisions her party doesn’t like. They are: a provision rolling back one of the regulations imposed on the financial industry in the wake of the economic collapse of 2008, and one that permits wealthy contributors to increase the size of their donations to political parties for national conventions, election recounts or the construction of a headquarters building.

Right before the vote, according to a source in the room, Pelosi told lawmakers: “We have enough votes to show them never to do this again.”

But perhaps an overriding desire on both sides not to risk another government shutdown prevailed.

The current plan would fund the government through September 2015, but immigration services only through late February, teeing up a battle over immigration for early 2015.

Earlier in the day, the bill narrowly cleared an important procedural hurdle, on a 214-212 test vote. But the tight vote, which almost failed, exposed serious problems. GOP leaders then delayed a final vote and spent hours trying to round up support, as the White House did the same with Democrats.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said earlier that Obama supports the bill and would sign it — despite having reservations about certain provisions.

Hoyer ultimately took a similar position.

The bill’s fate in the Senate remains unclear.

Warren, now a member of leadership, has fought the bill in an effort to preserve the financial regulatory policy known as Dodd-Frank. Debate in the Senate on the main spending bill could easily last several more days.

Fox News’ Chad Pergram, Kara Rowland and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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3 shot near high school in Portland, Oregon, police say – CNN

  • NEW: Portland police say gang task force is investigating
  • The shooting happened near the school campus
  • The three wounded victims ran into a building at the school
  • Police say the shooter left the scene

(CNN) — Three student-aged people were shot Friday afternoon near a high school in Portland, Oregon, the Portland Police Department said.

Two males and a female were shot near the Rosemary Anderson High School campus, police spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson said.

The victims ran inside a school building after being shot, reported CNN affiliate KOIN. Simpson didn’t say if the victims were students at the school.

The victims were breathing, conscious and talking as they were transported to Legacy Emanuel Hospital, Simpson told CNN. Their condition was not immediately available.

Simpson said police are searching for the shooter, who fled the scene and who might have been accompanied by other people.

The shooter may be affiliated with a gang, Simpson said, but it’s not known if the shooting was gang-related or “a personal beef.”

He said the police department’s gang task force was investigating. Agents from the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives also arrived to assist in the investigation.

The shooting happened about a quarter past noon (3:15 p.m. ET) outside the alternative high school, which is designed to help students who don’t thrive in a traditional school setting, Simpson said.

Simpson said the campus is safe now. “This is not an active shooter situation,” he said.

Nearby Jefferson High School and Portland Community College were put on lockdown as police sought the shooter, authorities said.

Another school shooting occurred June 10 at Reynolds High School in Troutdale, about 12 miles east of Portland. One person was killed.

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What's in that State House time capsule? –

Original contents of unearthed State House time capsule first placed in 1795

‘€” The Boston Globe (@BostonGlobe) December 12, 2014

The Boston GlobeAfter a full day spent lying on her back on a muddy wooden plank, chipping with painstaking care at the underside of a stone block to free the time capsule hidden within, Museum of Fine Arts conservator Pam Hatchfield sat up in front of the State House to a round of applause, a green box held delicately in her hands. …

The original contents of the time capsule were first placed in 1795 by Governor Samuel Adams, Paul Revere, and William Scollay in a ceremony that started in downtown Boston and proceeded to the State House, according to historical accounts. It was unearthed during emergency repairs to the foundation in 1855 and then buried again, and had not seen daylight until it emerged on Thursday.

“Hopefully there will be no damage and we will be able to observe the artifacts that trace us back to the history not only just of this building, but of our Commonwealth and our country,” said Secretary of State William Galvin, who was on hand for the capsule’€™s first appearance in more than 150 years.

The capsule is believed to include a collection of silver and copper coins dating from between 1652 and 1855; an engraved silver plate; newspapers; the seal of the Commonwealth; cards; and a title page from the Massachusetts Colony Records.

What a great day to be a fan of history in general, and a fan of Boston history in particular. I love stuff like this. It’s like the greats of our past somehow inventing a time machine and beaming stuff to us. And I have to confess I’m jealous of Pam Hatchfield and anyone else who’ll get to be there when that thing gets opened. (Unless all the artifacts in there turn out to be sand and then ghosts come out and melt everybody’s faces; then they’re welcome to it.)

With all due respect to fans of coins and plates and the rest, the thing that fascinates me most will be what’s in those newspapers they uncovered. Nothing could tell us more about the early history of our great city like those will.  And here’s my predictions for what will be in there:

  • A story about plans for a new Fenway Park.
  • An editorial in Ye Globe complaining about the ungentlemanly behavior of our Founding Fathers, from Samuel Adams offering only a quick handshake to the British commander to Paul Revere’s language.
  • A piece about Big Papi asking for a contract extension.
  • A bunch of articles bashing the Patriots and saying their dynasty peaked when Cornwallis surrendered and it’s pretty much over now.
  • A column saying it’s good the Revolution is over so we don’t have to keep hearing people talking about it because it wasn’t a real war, by Daniel Shaughnessy.

You heard it here first.


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