best casino bonuses australian online casino au dollars trusted online gambling internet casino download old information online us casinos las vegas best online casino craps flash casino games mac play online vegas

Get Our Newsletter



Site Search

Entire (RSS)
Comments (RSS)

Archive Calendar

March 2018
« Feb    


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Tag: civil rights

That Time the FBI Urged Martin Luther King Jr. to Kill Himself

Martin Luther King Jr.

By Steve Neavling

When Martin Luther King Jr. was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for nonviolent resistance in October 1964, the FBI was furious. 

Under the leadership of the bureau’s notorious director, J. Edgar Hoover, the FBI had spent nearly a decade keeping the civil rights leader under surveillance, convinced he was a Communist – or at least a national security threat. Agents recorded thousands of memos on the minister’s movements and interactions and even bugged his home, office and hotel rooms.

But they found nothing illegal or even dangerous.

Former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover

Infamously obstinate and relentless, Hoover was determined to discredit the 35-year-old leader, especially after he won the Nobel Peace Prize and earned international acclaim.

While King prepared for his trip to Oslo to receive the award, Hoover denounced the Georgia-born minister as “the most notorious liar in the country” during a press conference in Washington D.C. in November 1964.

A few days later, the smear campaign escalated, marking one of the darkest chapter’s in the FBI’s history. One of Hoover’s deputies, William Sullivan, typed an anonymous, harshly worded letter to King that later would come to be known as the “suicide letter.”

Since Sullivan had nothing illegal on King, the letter focused on his extramarital sexual liaisons, which were captured on FBI surveillance. 

The anonymous author calls King a “filthy, abnormal animal”and an “evil, abnormal beast” and pledges to expose the extramarital affairs “with your filthy, dirty, evil companions.”

The letter suggests there are recordings of “all your dirt, filth, evil and moronic talk.”

“You are done,” the letter declares. “Your ‘honorary degrees,’ your Nobel Prize (what a grim farce) and other awards will not save you. King, I repeat you are done.”

The letter is crafted to give the impression it was written by someone within the civil rights movement, making a reference to “us Negroes.”

King quietly told friends that someone wanted him to kill himself.

The letter proceeds in what is an apparent reference to suicide, “King, there is only one thing left for you to do. You know what it is. … There is but only one way out for you. You better take it before your filthy, abnormal fraudulent self is bared to the nation.”

King wasn’t fooled by the misdirected writing. He was certain the FBI had written it, the New York Times reported. 

King’s suspicious were confirmed by the Senate’s Church Committee in 1975.

“Rather than trying to discredit the alleged Communists it believed were attempting to influence Dr. King, the Bureau adopted a curious tactic of trying to discredit the supposed target of Communist Party interest — Dr. King himself,” the committee concluded in a report.

King was killed by a sniper in 1968.

JFK Files Prompt Calls to Publicly Release Files on Civil Rights Killings

Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr.

By Steve Neavling

Tune into 910AM the Superstation at 11 a.m Friday for a discussion on the release of files on civil rights killings. 

The long-awaited release of secret John F. Kennedy assassination files has prompted a push for the FBI to release secret or redacted files on killings during the civil rights era.

Students from Highstown High School in New Jersey lobbied Congress to make the files public.

“This issue is not as prominent within the mainstream media, but it should be,” one of the students, senior Zabir Rahman, told the Clarion Ledger. “The families of the victims of these atrocious crimes deserve justice if they can get it and some measure of closure.” 

The students used the JFK Records Collection Act of 1992 as a model for what they called the “Cold Case Records Collection Act of 2017,” which would create an independent review board to coordinate the release of classified records on civil rights killings.

Many of the killings are detailed in FBI files that remain largely redacted. They include the KKK’s 1964 killing of civil rights workers James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner and the 1959 lynching of Mack Charles Parker.

FBI records on the 1968 assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. also contain redactions.

Activists also are calling on redacted files relating to the 1965 assassination of Malcolm X.

Civil rights lawyers said the largely secret files make it difficult to solve cold cases.

The measure to release the files was introduced in March by U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush, an Illinois Democrat, and is under consideration by the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee.

So far the bill has received bipartisan support. Also backing the bill is Cynthia Deitle, a former FBI special agent who ran the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Cold Case Division.

“The Civil Rights Cold Case Records Collection Act of 2017 is a crucial piece of legislation that must be passed by Congress and signed by President Trump,” she Deitle in a statement. “We as a society can no longer wait for vital records housed within the FBI to stay within their exclusive control. The federal government needs to release the records to researchers, academics, journalists and others who are devoted to finding the truth as to what happened to thousands of individuals who were murdered as a result of racially-motivated homicides. We have the ability, with passage of this act, to rewrite history and bring justice long delayed.”

FBI Terrorism Unit Warns of Potential Violence from Black Activists

Protest in Detroit. Photo by Steve Neavling.

Protest in Detroit. Photo by Steve Neavling.

By Steve Neavling

A leaked FBI report shows the federal government is worried that “black identity extremists” are a violent threat.

The August 2017 assessment by the FBI’s counter-terrorism division claims that “perceptions of police brutality against African Americans spurred an increase in premeditated, retaliatory lethal violence against law enforcement and will very likely serve as justification for such violence.” 

The assessment has raised concerns among civil rights activists that black activists will be targets of surveillance.

“When we talk about enemies of the state and terrorists, with that comes an automatic stripping of those people’s rights to speak and protest,” Mohammad Tajsar, staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, told the Guardian. “It marginalizes what are legitimate voices within the political debate that are calling for racial and economic justice.” 

In a statement to Foreign Policy, the FBI said it cannot initiate an investigation based solely on an individual’s race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, or the exercise of First Amendment rights.” 

FBI Launches Civil Rights Investigation into Mass Shooting at Tennessee Church

Emanuel Kidega Samson

Emanuel Kidega Samson

By Steve Neavling

The FBI has launched a civil rights investigation into the mass shooting that killed one woman and wounded eight others at a church in Nashville, Tenn., on Sunday.

“The Memphis FBI Field Office’s Nashville Resident Agency, the Civil Rights Division, and the US Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Tennessee have opened a civil rights investigation into the shooting at the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in Antioch, Tennessee,” David Boling, spokesman for the U.S. attorney in Nashville, said in a statement.

“The FBI will collect all available facts and evidence. As this is an ongoing investigation we are not able to comment further at this time.”

Police identified the attacker as Emanuel Kidega Samson, 25, a legal U.S. resident who came to the U.S. from Sudan and lived in Murfreesboro, Tenn.

Authorities were still unsure of a motive Sunday evening, but church members told investigators that Samson attended the church a few times in the past year or two.

Samson first opened fire in the parking lot at the Burnette Chapel Church, fatally shooting a woman who was walking to her car. Samson then walked into the church with two pistols, shooting six people. Samson also was injured from a self-inflicted gunshot to the chest and was hospitalized for several hours before he was taken into police custody.

He is expected to be charged today with murder and other related charges.

Ex-FBI Agent Writes True-Crime Book about Civil Rights Abuses in Small Texas Town

Former FBI agent writes true-crime book.

Former FBI agent writes true-crime book.

By Steve Neavling

A former FBI agent is writing his first true-crime book about corruption, extortion and staged burglaries in the unlikely Texas town of Tenaha.

Former Agent Stewart Fillmore began investigating the case in 2009 and has turned it into a book entitled, “Tenaha: Corruption and Cover-Up in Small Town Texas.”

“You know dirty public officials. I think that’s an intriguing topic to a lot of people,” Fillmore told KTRE.

The case involved a federal civil lawsuit that accused elected officials in the small town of stopping black motorists and seeing their money and property under the threat of arrest.

“There was nothing that we found to be illegal that would rise to the level of putting someone in jail,” Fillmore said.

Fillmore got a break int he case after receiving a letter by then-Constable Fred Walker.

“It was an extortion letter and it was from someone calling themselves Jack Frost,” Fillmore said. “Jack Frost claimed that Fred Walker and another individual named Rod McClure were stealing narcotics out of the Tenaha City Marshal’s evidence room and that Jack Frost, in this extortion letter, wanted $70,000 from both of them for his silence.”

Trump’s Pick to Head DOJ Civil Rights Division Spurs Criticism

Eric Dreiband was nominated to

Eric Dreiband was nominated to head DOJ Civil Rights Division.

By Steve Neavling

President Trump’s nomination to head the Justice Department’s civil rights division has drawn criticism because he previously defended major corporations and others against discrimination lawsuits.

Eric Dreiband, who served as general counsel of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission under George W. Bush, defended companies accused of discrimination based on age, pregnancy and religion, CNN reports. 

The labor attorney for Jones Day would undermine “fundamental civil rights priorities,” the NAACP Legal Defense Fund said last week.

“Dreiband has devoted most of his career to defending corporations in employment discrimination cases and advocating for weaker antidiscrimination protections in the workplace,” the statement said. “He also has a troubling lack of experience, having done no significant work in other issue areas central to the Division’s mission, including urgent priorities like voting rights and policing reform.”

Danita Gupta, who held the same position under President Barack Obama, wrote in a statement: “Whoever leads the ‘crown jewel’ of the Justice Department must have deep relationships with stakeholders and marginalized communities, and have a deep, abiding faith in our nation’s civil rights laws. They must respect the laws that touch everyone, rights that people have literally died for. They must respect the role of what has been called the conscience of the federal government. In all those regards, Eric Dreiband is woefully unqualified to lead the Civil Rights Division.”

The White House fought back Friday.

“The White House judges nominees on the merits of their character and not on the clients they once represented as counsel,” White House spokeswoman Kelly Love told CNN. “Mr. Dreiband is highly qualified to run the civil rights division, and we are privileged to have his service.”

Other Stories of Interest

FBI Raids Pennsylvania Home of Suspected White Supremacists

FBI file photo of KKK items.

FBI file photo of KKK items.

By Steve Neavling

The FBI raided a Pennsylvania home as part of an investigation into white supremacists.

About 50 agents from the FBI and other federal agencies raided the home in Phillipsburg near Penn State University in central Pennsylvania.

Federal authorities declined to provide more specifics about the investigation or raid.

“It’s more than just a guy in his basement. That’s for sure,” Southern Poverty Law Center senior investigative reporter Ryan Lenz told

Neighbors said the they often saw white supremacists at the home that was raided.

Justice Department May Reopen Investigation into 1955 Killing of Emmett Till

Emmett Till

Emmett Till

By Steve Neavling

The Justice Department is considering reopening its investigation into the brutal 1955 killing of Emmett Till.

The infamous case took a new turn recently when a witness, Carolyn Bryant Donham, admitted she lied during the murder trial when she testified that the black teenager touched her.

Till’s killers were not convicted.

“Nothing that boy did could ever justify what happened to him,” Donham was quoted as saying in a new book, “The Blood of Emmett Till.”

“The Department is currently assessing whether the newly revealed statement could warrant additional investigation,” Acting Assistant Attorney General T.E. Wheeler II wrote U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson in a letter, the Clarion-Ledger reports. 

But Wheeler warned that historic cases such as this are difficult to prosecute.

“We caution, however, that even with our best efforts, investigations into historic cases are exceptionally difficult, and there may be insurmountable legal and evidentiary barriers to bringing federal charges against any remaining living persons,” he wrote.

Till was only 14 when two brothers abducted him on false claims that he wolf-whistled at Donham. Till was brutally beaten and shot in the head.

His death was a major impetus for the civil rights movement.

Other Stories of Interest