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‘Appalling’ Video Shows the Police Yanking 1-Year-Old From His Mother’s Arms

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A video that shows police officers trying to remove a woman’s 1-year-old son from her grasp as they arrested her in a Brooklyn food stamp office ignited a fury on social media and prompted calls on Sunday for an explanation from the police.

A Facebook user who uploaded the video said the police had been called on Friday after the woman, identified by the police as Jazmine Headley, 23, sat on the floor of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program office in Boerum Hill because there were no available chairs.

After a verbal dispute with a security guard, someone called the police, according to Nyashia Ferguson, who posted the video.

It begins with Ms. Headley lying on the floor, cradling her son and yelling, “They’re hurting my son! They’re hurting my son!”

A female sergeant and three police officers, two of whom appear to be women, surround Ms. Headley and attempt to pull the child away. Then one officer, her back facing the camera, repeatedly yanks the child in an apparent attempt to separate him from his mother.

After more officers join the fray, the officer who yanked the child waves a yellow stun gun at the outraged crowd of onlookers, which includes several children and people filming with their cellphones.

The encounter was the latest in New York to spark outrage over excessive policing against unarmed civilians, despite the Police Department’s implementation of de-escalation training.

Nearly all of the civilians involved in those incidents have been black or Latino. The training followed the death of an unarmed black man, Eric Garner, from a police chokehold in 2014 on Staten Island.

The Patrol Guide, the official police manual, states that stun guns should be used in limited circumstances: against people who are physically resisting being taken into custody; people who indicate verbally that they intend to do so; and people who are acting in a manner that could cause injury to themselves or someone else.

The Police Department called Friday’s incident “troubling” in a statement on Sunday, and said officers had responded to a 911 call for harassment. When the officers arrived, security guards told them that Ms. Headley had refused to leave.

The police officers told Ms. Headley to leave “numerous times,” the police said, and after she refused, the security guards “brought the woman to the floor.” Police officers then tried to arrest her; despite her resistance, she was taken into custody, the police said.

Ms. Headley was charged with resisting arrest, acting in a manner injurious to a child, obstructing governmental administration and trespassing. The police said she refused medical treatment for herself and her son, who was placed in the care of a relative.

She could not be reached for comment on Sunday because she was being held without bail on Rikers Island, according to online corrections records and Brooklyn Defender Services, the public defender organization representing her.

Deputy Commissioner Phillip Walzak, a police spokesman, said the officers involved are all assigned to the 84th Precinct and remained on full-duty status. He declined to give their names or say whether they followed department protocols, citing its investigation.

The department is investigating the incident with the city Human Resources Administration, which administers public benefits. A spokeswoman for Allied Universal, the parent company of the security firm visible on security guards’ patches, FJC Security, did not respond to requests for comment.

“They’re always rude,” Ms. Ferguson said about the guards in an interview. “They think that people that are poor don’t have nothing, so you can treat them any kind of way.”

She disputed the police account of the incident and said the officer who waved the stun gun, not a security guard, had forced Ms. Headley to the ground.

The police “didn’t help at all,” she said. “They made it way worse.”

For the city’s poor, applying for public assistance requires copious amounts of patience, and Friday had been no different for Ms. Headley, Ms. Ferguson said.

Ms. Headley had been waiting for about two hours, sitting on the floor the entire time, in the part of the office that helps families get child care, Ms. Ferguson said. The office was more crowded than usual, she said, and the wait times were agonizing.

A female security guard eventually approached Ms. Headley, and several more guards followed as a verbal dispute escalated. Ms. Ferguson said they taunted Ms. Headley and laughed in her face before leaving.

Ten minutes later, they returned with the police, Ms. Ferguson said. A fearful expression crossed Ms. Headley’s face as they approached, she said.

The police officers asked Ms. Headley to come with them, Ms. Ferguson said. When she tried to explain, they cut her off. The situation quickly devolved into chaos.

“The baby was screaming for his life,” said Ms. Ferguson, who was there with her 7-month-old daughter. “The lady was begging for them to get off of her. I was scared.”

On social media, some people fumed over the police officers’ actions, and wondered what Ms. Headley could possibly have done to warrant their response.

“This is unacceptable, appalling and heart breaking,” Corey Johnson, the City Council speaker, wrote on Twitter. “I’d like to understand what transpired and how these officers or the NYPD justifies this. It’s hard to watch this video.”

Letitia James, the city’s public advocate, called in a statement for the officers to be placed on desk duty and the results of the investigation to be made public.

“Being poor is not a crime,” said Ms. James, who is also the state’s attorney general-elect. She added, “No mother should have to experience the trauma and humiliation we all witnessed in this video.”

Alex S. Vitale, a sociology professor at Brooklyn College who coordinates its Policing and Social Justice Project, said that rather than defusing tensions, the officers appear to be needlessly using force against someone who refused to comply with their requests. He said the officers deserved to be suspended.

“It’s just hard to imagine what possibly could have transpired before the video starts that would have warranted that level of force in those circumstances,” he said.

Professor Vitale added that he was baffled that no one in the food stamp office, which has security guards and social workers, could figure out how to handle the situation without calling the police.

A police officer who waved a stun gun at teenagers near Midwood High School in Brooklyn in March 2017 is facing disciplinary charges after Professor Vitale recorded the incident. “You want to ride the lightning?” the officer asked one of the teenagers, after pushing her with his baton.

In an era when New York City’s police commissioner has pushed for stronger ties between neighborhoods and the police who patrol them, Professor Vitale said incidents like these only harden mistrust of the police among poor people of color.

“This just reinforces their sense that police are a source of violence and injustice,” he said.

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A college kid running for 13th Ward alderman gets a lesson in the Chicago Way

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The history of the little guy being squashed by massive Chicago political clout at election time is just too long to print without weeping.

But the story for today is so amazing that some Chicago election officials have never seen the like.

“No one can remember anything approaching this,” said an election official.


It’s overkill of epic proportions, like using a sledgehammer to kill a gnat, or firing off a nuclear weapon to kill a sparrow. A Southwest Side David vs. Goliath story.

The David is David Krupa, 19, a freshman at DePaul University who drives a forklift part time. He’s not a political powerhouse. He’s just a conservative Southwest Side teenager studying political science and economics who got it in his head to run for alderman in a race that pits him against the most powerful ward organization in Chicago.

The Goliath is the 13th Ward Democratic Organization run by House Speaker Michael J. Madigan, aka Boss Madigan, the most powerful politician in the state. Boss Madigan has long hand-picked his aldermen. He likes them loyal and quiet. The current silent alderman of the 13th Ward is Marty Quinn.

“I’m from Clearing,” Krupa told me. “All I want to do is get on the ballot to address the serious issues we have, from public safety to taxes. People don’t want to say things out loud here. People who’ve challenged the 13th Ward get intimidated. You know the neighborhood.”

READ MORE: Is Chuy Garcia still a movement progressive, or boss of a new machine? »

Yes, I do know the neighborhood. For decades, my father and uncle ran a family supermarket in the 13th Ward, at 58th and Pulaski. We’d cash paychecks without charging a check-cashing fee. On government paycheck days, the line of city, county and state workers would ring around the store, for hours upon hours, thousands of them.

Even then I knew the power of Boss Madigan.

To get on the ballot, Krupa was required to file 473 valid signatures of ward residents with the Chicago Board of Elections. Krupa filed 1,703 signatures.

But before he filed his signatures with the elections board, an amazing thing happened along the Chicago Way.

An organized crew of political workers — or maybe just civic-minded individuals who care about reform — went door to door with official legal papers. They asked residents to sign an affadavit revoking their signature on Krupa’s petition.

READ MORE: Do the feds want Ald. Ed Burke wrapped up like a roast? »

Revocations are serious legal documents, signed and notarized. Lying on a legal document is a felony and can lead to a charge of perjury. If you’re convicted of perjury, you may not work for a government agency. And I know that there are many in the 13th Ward on the government payroll.

More than 2,700 revocations were turned over to the elections board to cancel the signatures on Krupa’s petitions. Chicago Board of Elections officials had never seen such a massive pile of revocations.

“The board has received a few revocations here and there in very rare electoral board cases over the years,” said election board spokesman Jim Allen.

But more than 2,700? Impossible, no?

“They're pretty rare, and no one can remember anything approaching this volume of filings in past cases,” Allen said. “For the board, the next step is to begin the hearings on all of the objections that have been filed against any candidates' nominating petitions. We can't speculate, though, on the legitimacy or any other legal questions about any of the objections or the corresponding petitions.”

The number of revocations far exceeds the number of signatures Krupa collected. That means false affidavits were filed with the elections board.

READ MORE: If Boss Madigan and Rahm Emanuel conceived a daughter, she’d be Susana Mendoza »

Why would thousands of people lie on a legal document of revocation, and say they’d signed Krupa’s petitions, when they didn’t sign Krupa’s petitions? Were they just being nice?

Mike Kasper, the elections lawyer for the 13th Ward, said his side has filed objections to Krupa’s petitions of candidacy and “we’ll wait for the elections board to take it up when it does.”

Pressed about the large number of revocation petitions, Kasper said he's aware of the issue, but that “it is my practice to decline comment on any pending litigation.”

There is no litigation, yet, but election attorney Michael Dorf, who is representing Krupa, says this case is a “clown car of felonies.”

“You know the 13th Ward better than I do,” Dorf said. “This is clown school and election fraud. This is going way, way beyond the line. David is a huge underdog. Go ahead and beat him on Election Day, or do subtle fraud, like taking away yard signs, but when this number of false affidavits are filed, you’re talking fundamental fraud, epic fraud.

“We turned in 1,703 signatures. We compared them to the 2,796 revocations, and found only 187 matches, meaning only 187 people who signed David’s petitions filed revocations,” Dorf said. “So, what about the 2,609 people who didn’t sign for David but who filed revocations? That’s fraud. That’s perjury. That’s felony.”

Dorf said that he will ask the elections board next week to refer the matter to Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx.

But Foxx, a Democrat, won’t want to anger the Boss.

Neither will incoming Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul, who famously said he would not “go fishing” for corruption, and who also received a million dollars in Madigan political money.

And current Illinois Attorney General, Lisa Madigan, is the Boss’ daughter.

This is Chicago, where the Davids get crushed by the Goliaths. And where the boss is the boss.

Listen to "The Chicago Way" podcast with John Kass and Jeff Carlin — at

Twitter @John_Kass

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Goodbye, 'Daredevil'


Last week, Deadline reported Daredevil has been canceled, officially ending its three-season run in the Marvel Netflix Universe, joining other previously canceled shows Iron Fist and Luke Cage. The proverbial Iron Man of this universe, the show to start it all now rests under the depths of Hell’s Kitchen as the Man Without Fear’s story solemnly comes to an end.

I’ve always had a difficult relationship with the Marvel Netflix Universe. When these shows launched, I immediately fell in love with Daredevil’s striking combination of entertainment and depth, but I’ve always found the rest of the shows arduous and difficult to navigate. When Iron Fist was canceled in October, I challenged Netflix to cancel more of these shows because most of these characters weren’t worth investing time in. Alas, Luke Cage was subsequently canceled, propelling further doubt that these shows had any more sustainability.

Later that month, Daredevil’s third season was released, inviting viewers into what may have been the show’s most intimate and visceral run. As the titular superhero, Matt Murdock’s (Charlie Cox) lines of morality have been shaken, Kingpin (Vincent D’Onofrio) is playing the world for a fool, and we were finally introduced to fan-favorite villain Bullseye (Wilson Bethel).

By all means, this new season was absolutely terrific and opened up great opportunities for an exciting follow-up, so its ending was certainly puzzling. The series wasn’t even struggling with viewership because, according to Deadline, a Parrot Analytics report revealed the show reached over 30 million demand expressions during the final week in November. Furthermore, many are upset with the show’s cancellation. IGN remarks that many fans and stars of the show took to Twitter to express their displeasure and anguish over the show’s cancellation and an io9 interview with a writer of the show, Tamara Becher-Wilkinson, reveals the writers weren’t even expecting the cancellation, canning their plans for a fourth season.

While I’m certainly fine with the cancellation of both Iron Fist and Luke Cage, I’m very struck by Daredevil’s cancellation and will certainly miss how the show brilliantly presented thoughtful characters who excited with engaging action, all while delving deep into the complex themes of morality and faith. This show’s all-encompassing drama and action was the perfect response to other mindless superhero shows out there. All this to say, here’s what I’ll miss most about Daredevil:

The characters in Daredevil were absolutely phenomenal. Throughout the show, we journey through Daredevil’s core moral crisis because he has to drop his angel wings and don the devil’s horns in order to save his city. However, every time he dons those horns to face men like Wilson Fisk, aka Kingpin, or Frank Castle, aka The Punisher (Jon Bernthal), or Dexter Poindexter, they force him to pull closer or push further from his central values, ultimately forcing Murdock to unleash the real devil within.

Fisk was Daredevil’s perfect antithesis. He brought Murdock to a darkness unexplored and stood on the exact opposite plane of our Man Without Fear. He was ferocious, troubled, and complex. To explain Fisk’s nature would only trivialize his personality, but it takes a character with a similarly troubled backstory to challenge Murdock’s moral values. As Fisk pushed Murdock deeper into hatred and relativism, this actually saved Murdock from crossing the breaking point.

The Punisher and Bullseye were both birthed from trauma. As such, they were also perfect characters to push Daredevil’s growth. Castle ultimately served as an extreme version of Murdock, showing him what he could eventually have become. However, Dex was the absolute opposite of Murdock, presenting him with the ultimate physical challenge. While both of these characters presented incredible action sequences with Daredevil, they were ultimately more than just fun action scenes. It’s easy to shortchange a villain’s background, but Daredevil excellently introduced complex characters that rivaled the depth of our main hero, which doesn’t only test him physically, but also mentally and emotionally.

Moreover, Daredevil may have the best action on television. Many action sequences in film and television are hardly comprehensible because filmmakers hyper-edit these scenes with too many close-ups and too much shaky camera movement. Daredevil, however, subverts our modern expectations for superhero action with all-encompassing cinematography and intelligent choreography. The action here isn’t cut up all to hell, rather, it lets you watch the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen cycle through the myriad bad guys he pounds down. With the cancellation of Daredevil, I’m really going to miss the action that’s actually entertaining and actually viewable. Here’s that famous stairway scene to hold us all over.

Lastly, I’ll miss how Daredevil took a thoughtful approach to religion. Murdock’s faith has always been central to his character. He constantly has a dialogue with his priest about the moral shakiness he walks on and as the show progresses, it’s certainly obvious to see how Murdock falls further and further from his faith. Eventually, he experiences a crisis of faith, which was handled with beautiful class and certainly felt like it came from a place of truth. I have personally felt the same hopelessness Murdock felt through my own crisis of faith, so watching him experience the same apathy, anger, and abandonment that I felt was very special to me. I’m glad this show approached this issue with rich contemplation, presenting a real opportunity for thought-provoking analysis and reflection.

At the end of the day, I appreciate how Daredevil bravely balanced all the things I loved about the series. Some television shows have great characters but lackluster action. Some have great action but paper-thin plots. So I’m grateful we got three fully comprehensive seasons of Daredevil, but I wish we could have more.

What’s next? Jessica Jones and The Punisher have yet to be canceled, so are they next on the chopping block? Will the Disney+ streaming service pick up these shows and continue their stories? They certainly could bring all these shows back, but I only have hopes that Daredevil resurrects from the dead.

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Hands-On With the ECG Feature for Apple Watch Series 4

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Apple today

released the watchOS 5.1.2 update

to the public, and the update implements a much-anticipated ECG feature for all Apple Watch Series 4 users in the United States.

Following the launch of the new update, we installed the software and went hands-on with the ECG function to see just how it works.

Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos.

An ECG, or electrocardiogram, is designed to measure the electrical activity of the heart to detect abnormal rhythms and diagnose serious heart conditions.

The Apple Watch Series 4 allows users to take a single-lead electrocardiogram to keep an eye on heart health. This isn't as informative or as sensitive as the multi-lead ECGs you might get in a doctor's office or hospital, which use several points of contact, but it provides valuable information for those who might not even be aware of a heart condition.

The ECG feature in the Apple Watch uses electrodes built into the sapphire crystal of the Apple Watch (where the heart rate sensor is located) and the Digital Crown that work together to detect the electrical impulses from your heartbeat and route the data to the S4 processor in the device, where it is converted into a signal for Apple's algorithms.

You can take an ECG using the built-in ECG app on the Apple Watch, which walks you through the steps. You'll need to place a finger on the Digital Crown of the Apple Watch and wait for approximately 30 seconds while the measurement is taken.

You'll see a countdown on your wrist, which is designed to let you know just how long your finger needs to stay in place before you can move it.

Following the conclusion of the ECG, Apple will provide a heart rhythm classification that can be shared with your doctor. If your heart is beating in a normal rhythm, Apple will let you know that a standard sinus rhythm has been detected. If your heart is not beating normally, however, the app will let you know that atrial fibrillation has been detected.

If atrial fibrillation is detected, Apple will suggest that you get in touch with your doctor for further testing.

All ECG results captured with the Apple Watch Series 4 are stored in the Health app in a format that's easy to export and share with your doctor.

Apple has received de novo FDA clearance for the ECG feature in the Apple Watch Series 4, but FDA clearance is not the same as full FDA approval. The FDA does not recommend that the ECG feature be used by those under 22 or those who have already been diagnosed with atrial fibrillation.

The Apple Watch Series 4's ECG function is not designed to replace traditional methods of diagnosis or treatment, and Apple intends for it to be used for informational purposes.

At the current time, Apple Watch Series 4 owners in the United States are the only Apple Watch customers who can take an ECG because the feature needs regulatory approval to be made available in other countries. Apple is working to expand the feature to additional countries.

While the ability to take an ECG is limited to Apple Watch Series 4 users, Apple is implementing a secondary feature designed to send Apple Watch Series 1, 2, 3, and 4 users a notification if an irregular heartbeat is detected via the normal heart rate sensor in the device.

What do you think of the ECG option in the Apple Watch? Let us know in the comments.

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2 days ago
It's no 12 lead ECG... but that's also one more lead than was previously available for many many people...
New York, NY
2 days ago
many many people who have apple watches?
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2 New Yorkers Erased $1.5 Million in Medical Debt for Hundreds of Strangers


After realizing the crushing impact medical debts were having on millions of Americans, the men decided to flip their mind-set. They began purchasing portfolios of old debts to clear them as a public service, rather than try to hound the debtors.

“I like doing this much more than I liked doing collecting,” Mr. Antico said.

R.I.P. Medical Debt had its first star turn in 2016, when John Oliver did a segment on his HBO show “Last Week Tonight,” in which he paid $60,000 to forgive $14.9 million in medical debts through the charity. About 9,000 people received the yellow forgiveness envelopes as a result.

Since then, other high-profile efforts to forgive debts through the charity include fund-raisers sponsored by NBC and Telemundo affiliates.

In all, the organization says its donations have forgiven $434 million in medical debt so far, assisting some 250,000 people. That remains only a fraction, though, of the more than $750 billion in past-due medical debt that it says Americans owe.

“It is a drop in the bucket,” Mr. Antico said.

R.I.P. Medical Debt specifically seeks to buy the debts of people who earn less than two times the federal poverty level, those in financial hardship and people facing insolvency.

It purchases the portfolios at a steep discount, a penny or less on the dollar. These bills have typically passed through several collection agencies and months or years of collections. The people, who do not know they have been selected, receive the debt relief as a tax-free gift, and it comes off their credit reports.

Mr. Antico said he thought of his charity as a “resolutionary, not a revolutionary” effort, one that offers people relief, but that cannot solve underlying issues like high medical costs. Through personal data associated with the debt accounts, they are able to target specific classes of people, such as veterans, to relieve their debts.

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2 days ago
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Those violent 'yellow jacket' protests in France? Facebook's behind that, too.

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Facebook's changes to content display algorithms met with “the fierce devotion in France to local and regional identity,” and the so-called yellow jacket protests in France exploded.

“What’s happening right now in France isn’t happening in a vacuum,” reports Buzzfeed.


The Yellow Jackets movement — named for the protesters’ brightly colored safety vests — is a beast born almost entirely from Facebook. And it’s only getting more popular. Recent polls indicate the majority of France now supports the protesters. The Yellow Jackets communicate almost entirely on small, decentralized Facebook pages. They coordinate via memes and viral videos. Whatever gets shared the most becomes part of their platform.

Due to the way algorithm changes made earlier this year interacted with the fierce devotion in France to local and regional identity, the country is now facing some of the worst riots in many years — and in Paris, the worst in half a century.

This isn’t the first time real-life violence has followed a viral Facebook storm and it certainly won’t be the last. Much has already been written about the anti-Muslim Facebook riots in Myanmar and Sri Lanka and the WhatsApp lynchings in Brazil and India. Well, the same process is happening in Europe now, on a massive scale. Here’s how Facebook tore France apart.

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3 days ago
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