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RIP: Rubin “the Hurricane” Carter, dead at 76. Framed for a murder he never committed, imprisoned and finally exonerated after years in prison in New Jersey. For the story, Wikipedia:
The power of a song: Bob Dylan’s “The Hurricane” which helped free him–
Pistols shots ring out in the barroom night
Enter Patty Valentine from the upper hall
She sees the bartender in a pool of blood
Cries out “My God they killed them all”
Here comes the story of the Hurricane
The man the authorities came to blame
For something that he never done
Put him in a prison cell but one time he could-a been
The champion of the world.
Three bodies lying there does Patty see
And another man named Bello moving around mysteriously
“I didn’t do it” he says and he throws up his hands
“I was only robbing the register I hope you understand
I saw them leaving” he says and he stops
“One of us had better call up the cops”
And so Patty calls the cops
And they arrive on the scene with their red lights flashing
In the hot New Jersey night.
Meanwhile far away in another part of town
Rubin Carter and a couple of friends are driving around
Number one contender for the middleweight crown
Had no idea what kinda shit was about to go down
When a cop pulled him over to the side of the road
Just like the time before and the time before that
In Patterson that’s just the way things go
If you’re black you might as well not shown up on the street
‘Less you wanna draw the heat.
Alfred Bello had a partner and he had a rap for the corps
Him and Arthur Dexter Bradley were just out prowling around
He said “I saw two men running out they looked like middleweights
They jumped into a white car with out-of-state plates”
And Miss Patty Valentine just nodded her head
Cop said “Wait a minute boys this one’s not dead”
So they took him to the infirmary
And though this man could hardly see
They told him that he could identify the guilty men.
Four in the morning and they haul Rubin in
Take him to the hospital and they bring him upstairs
The wounded man looks up through his one dying eye
Says “Wha’d you bring him in here for ? He ain’t the guy !”
Yes here comes the story of the Hurricane
The man the authorities came to blame
For something that he never done
Put in a prison cell but one time he could-a been
The champion of the world.
Four months later the ghettos are in flame
Rubin’s in South America fighting for his name
While Arthur Dexter Bradley’s still in the robbery game
And the cops are putting the screws to him looking for somebody to blame
“Remember that murder that happened in a bar ?”
“Remember you said you saw the getaway car?”
“You think you’d like to play ball with the law ?”
“Think it might-a been that fighter you saw running that night ?”
“Don’t forget that you are white”.
Arthur Dexter Bradley said “I’m really not sure”
Cops said “A boy like you could use a break
We got you for the motel job and we’re talking to your friend Bello
Now you don’t wanta have to go back to jail be a nice fellow
You’ll be doing society a favor
That sonofabitch is brave and getting braver
We want to put his ass in stir
We want to pin this triple murder on him
He ain’t no Gentleman Jim”.
Rubin could take a man out with just one punch
But he never did like to talk about it all that much
It’s my work he’d say and I do it for pay
And when it’s over I’d just as soon go on my way
Up to some paradise
Where the trout streams flow and the air is nice
And ride a horse along a trail
But then they took him to the jailhouse
Where they try to turn a man into a mouse.
All of Rubin’s cards were marked in advance
The trial was a pig-circus he never had a chance
The judge made Rubin’s witnesses drunkards from the slums
To the white folks who watched he was a revolutionary bum
And to the black folks he was just a crazy nigger
No one doubted that he pulled the trigger
And though they could not produce the gun
The DA said he was the one who did the deed
And the all-white jury agreed.
Rubin Carter was falsely tried
The crime was murder ‘one’ guess who testified
Bello and Bradley and they both baldly lied
And the newspapers they all went along for the ride
How can the life of such a man
Be in the palm of some fool’s hand ?
To see him obviously framed
Couldn’t help but make me feel ashamed to live in a land
Where justice is a game.
Now all the criminals in their coats and their ties
Are free to drink martinis and watch the sun rise
While Rubin sits like Buddha in a ten-foot cell
An innocent man in a living hell
That’s the story of the Hurricane
But it won’t be over till they clear his name
And give him back the time he’s done
Put him in a prison cell but one time he could-a been
The champion of the world.
Songwriters: SMITH, MINDY
Nevada Rancher Cliven D. Bundy and his family are no strangers to the court system of the United States or the State of Nevada. He was sued by the Nevada Department of Transportation in 1992 [Case No. A304188] and his civil court problems with the U.S. government started in 1998 [Case No. 98-17293]. Bundy had his day in court and appealed that case up to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals where he lost.
As far as I can tell from a cursory search anyway, aside from a couple of tickets in the State of Arizona, Cliven D. Bundy doesn’t have any record of criminal actions or infractions prior to his current problems with the United States government….but his son, Cliven Lance Bundy sure as hell does. He’s currently on probation on felony convictions for Burglary and Grand Larceny of a Firearm and still owes the government money and at one point was arrested for violating probation, but this was his original sentence:
01/02/2013 9:00 AM
- SENTENCING Deft. present in custody. DEFT BUNDY ADJUDGED GUILTY of CT 1 – BURGLARY (F) and CT 2 – GRAND LARCENY OF FIREARM (F). Statement by Ms. Ballou. COURT advised Deft. he will give him probation, but ADMONISHED Deft. this is his ONLY chance and if he messes up, he will be revoked. COURT ORDERED, in addition to the $25.00 Administrative Assessment Fee, and the $150.00 DNA Analysis Fee WAIVED as previously taken, and $1,615 RESTITUTION, $715 payable to EZ Pawn at 3050 E. Desert Inn, ; $850 payable to Bargain Pawn at 1902 E. Las Vegas Blvd; and $50 payable to $50 to Gold and Silver Supply at 1300 E Sahara Blvd; Deft. SENTENCED to: CT 1 – a MAXIMUM of NINETY SIX (96) MONTHS and a MINIMUM of TWENTY FOUR (24) MONTHS in the Nevada Department of Corrections (NDC); CT 2 – a MAXIMUM of NINETY SIX (96) MONTHS and a MINIMUM of TWENTY FOUR (24) MONTHS in the Nevada Department of Corrections (NDC) to run CONCURRENT to CT 1 and CR01719012; SENTENCE SUSPENDED; Deft. placed on probation for indeterminate period NOT to exceed FIVE (5) YEARS under the following SPECIAL CONDITIONS: 1. Abide by any curfew imposed by the Division of Parole and Probation. 2. Enter and complete the Drug Court Program in Clark County unless P&P determines that Lincoln County is acceptable. 3. Submit to any evaluation deemed appropriate and complete any recommended counseling. 4. Pay restitution during term of probation. 5. Have no contact with witnesses whatsoever. 6. Have no contact with any listed pawn shops whatsoever. 7. Pursuant to NRS 176A.400, Defendant to be supervised in P & P’s Intensive Supervision Program to include Electronic Monitoring for a period deemed appropriate. FURTHER, matter SET for hearing in Drug Court, Deft. to remain in custody until that date. 1/17/13 10:15 AM FIRST APPEARANCE: DRUG COURT
In the current court case that sparked Bundy’s confrontation with the federal Bureau of Land Management began in 2012, U.S. District Court Case No. 12-cv-00804-LDG-GWF. Bundy had his day in court. He defended himself. He lost on “summary judgment” meaning that as a matter of law and undisputed facts he didn’t have a leg to stand on. He appealed to the Ninth Circuit and then never bothered to file his Appellant’s Opening Brief (AOB) and so the appeal was dismissed. His “appeal” became his call for violent armed resistance to the government.
If two or more persons in any State or Territory, or in any place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, conspire to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, or to oppose by force the authority thereof, or by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States, or by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States contrary to the authority thereof, they shall each be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both. [Emphasis added]
That the United States government has not sent in the full force necessary to arrest everybody involved with this crime which was perpetrated in the full view of the national press corps is another example of “Justice in America means ‘Just Us’ White Folk” (H. Rap Brown). If this had been the Black Panthers, Brown Berets, or the American Indian Movement…..well, do I have to paint you a picture?
BTW, that brings up another weird point in the curious history of the Bundy family: either Cliven D. Bundy has an alias of Scott Lillie and has lived in South Central Los Angeles (South Hoover in Los Angeles 90044) or else somebody did an identity theft on him or some other weird glitch in computerized records systems…..either that or the Bundy family isn’t quite as white as it looks on television…..My black friends will relate–you know the old saying about them “drops” of blood?
What are the merits of Bundy’s and the government’s arguments. Read the following documents and make up your own mind because they speak for themselves, but before you do consider this. One of Bundy’s arguments in his answer to the federal civil complaint is that he relied on the State of Nevada’s NRS (Nevada Revised Statutes) Section 321.596-599. One of these provisions, NRS 321.596(2)(c) alleges that:
(c) The Northwest Ordinance of 1787, adopted into the Constitution of the United States by the reference of Article VI to prior engagements of the Confederation, first proclaimed the “equal footing” doctrine, and the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, by which the territory including Nevada was acquired from Mexico and which is “the supreme law of the land” by virtue of Article VI, affirms it expressly as to the new states to be organized therein.
The State of Nevada has bit off just a little more than it intended to chew with this argument. It’s in essence contending that the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo has never been complied with….which by the way is the argument that I’ve been making for years as to why the cession of Mexican territory under the treaty is invalid and should be re-addressed under Article XXI of that treaty by Commission or third-nation neutral arbitration. Ya’ll think that Bundy and his militia type supporters ever thought about those implications?
The former Soviet states of Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus are very much my motherland and the motherland of so many American Jews who fled those regions to get the hell out of Czarist persecution. One of my grandfathers was from Tereshki in Belarus near the Polish border, West of Minsk. My other grandfather was from Nizhni Novgorod near Moscow. One grandmother was from St Petersburg (formerly Leningrad) while the other was from Gorodiesche in the Ukraine.
From having my DNA studied I learned that I’m a 61 out of 67 point Y chromosome match to a John Wolins (whose family name was shortened from Wolinsky). His most distant ancestor known by conventional genealogy was Yoina Wolinsky who lived in Boguslav, Ukraine, circa 1760. So as it turns out, my great friend Bruce Boguslav whose family originated in Boguslav Ukraine and who has a bunch of Wolinsky’s in his family is a distant cousin from around 250 years ago.
When Bruce and I met it was uncanny how much we resemble each other. We look more alike than we do to our own biological brothers. Bruce’s Cambridge (UK) educated daughter Arielle is now living in Moscow and is writing her excellent account of life there, entitled Journey to the Motherland.
In these tense days diplomatically in the former Soviet Union, it’s an interesting perspective of the daily goings on in her travels and travails around the country. Check it out.
Historically, Passover is one of those times of year when for centuries Jews have been subject to attack and murder. For more about why, check out the Wikipedia article on the “ritual blood libel” — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blood_libel
Yesterday’s killings in Kansas City of three Christians who were at the wrong place at the wrong time, e.g., a Jewish Community Center and a Jewish retirement village, by Frazier Glenn Cross, a white supremacist and former KKK leader, are all the more insane. Two of those killed, Dr. William Lewis Corporon and his 14-year-old grandson, Reat Griffin Underwood, were going to the Jewish Community Center so Reat could try out to sing in a production of the play To Kill a Mockingbird.
For around the last 20 years, Cross has been using a P.O. Box in Sioux City, Iowa, while also bouncing around from South Sioux City, Nebraska; Angier, North Carolina; and finally in Aurora, Missouri. In 2003 a woman reportedly used his social security number in Henderson, Nevada, but it might simply be attributable to a typographical error.
My Passover Seder on the other hand was the opposite of the weird little white supremacist world that Cross wants to live in:
On television detective stories, drama imitating life, you usually have a situation where the police and the private investigator may have some friendly friction and rivalry – because that makes a good story line – but while pursuing a cold-case murder the police are generally cooperative with the private investigator who’s got more time and zeal to pursue the case to the finish. In real life, nothing could be further from the truth.
Section 6254(f) of the California Government Code, a provision of the California Public Records Act (the state equivalent of the federal Freedom of Information Act), says in pertinent part:
Records of complaints to, or investigations conducted by, or records of intelligence information or security procedures of, the office of the Attorney General and the Department of Justice, the Office of Emergency Services and any state or local police agency, or any investigatory or security files compiled by any other state or local police agency, or any investigatory or security files compiled by any other state or local agency for correctional, law enforcement, or licensing purposes. However, state and local law enforcement agencies shall disclose the names and addresses of persons involved in, or witnesses other than confidential informants to, the incident, the description of any property involved, the date, time, and location of the incident, all diagrams, statements of the parties involved in the incident, the statements of all witnesses, other than confidential informants, to the victims of an incident, or an authorized representative thereof, an insurance carrier against which a claim has been or might be made, and any person suffering bodily injury or property damage or loss, as the result of the incident caused by arson, burglary, fire, explosion, larceny, robbery, carjacking, vandalism, vehicle theft, or a crime as defined by subdivision (b) of Section 13951, unless the disclosure would endanger the safety of a witness or other person involved in the investigation, or unless disclosure would endanger the successful completion of the investigation or a related investigation. However, nothing in this division shall require the disclosure of that portion of those investigative files that reflects the analysis or conclusions of the investigating officer. [Emphasis added]
What this means is that the government doesn’t have to give you squat about any ongoing investigation and that is usually perfectly reasonable. Even if you’re the family of a murder victim, a lawyer representing the family, or a private investigator, for all the police know, somebody in the family could be a suspect and the reason for the request for information is to help the perpetrator escape justice.
California should amend this law because even when there is no suspicion whatsoever that the victim’s family was involved in a murder police use this provision as a loophole to refuse to provide information about a case. Maybe it happens but if it does, it’s rare that you can get a police report on a cold case, no matter how cold it is.
Obediah R. Elliot was murdered November 17, 1992. From the LAPD’s perspective, it’s still an open case so they won’t release the death report, the autopsy report, or anything else to me on behalf of his mother, Harriet Elliot. Young African American Obediah – Obie to his mother – was a political activist like his parents and his parents were active in organizations that were targets of federal and local police surveillance and infiltration during the dark days of “COINTELPRO” and the now thoroughly discredited “Public Disorder Intelligence Division,” LAPD’s former infamous “red squad.” So it’s natural for Harriet to wonder whether the LAPD’s refusal to release any information about the murder of her son has something to do with that history of police misconduct.
Now, imagine that your child died; it’s 22 years later and the LAPD won’t tell you anything about the case and won’t let your private investigator have the report (what’s called the “Murder Book” in law enforcement lingo) so that he/she can investigate the case now that it’s ice cold. Whether intended or not, the collateral damage of that police policy is extremely cruel and callous towards the family of the victim.
California needs to amend Section 6254(f) of the Government Code to provide that when a case has been “cold” for say, an arbitrary ten years, that in order to justify refusal to provide the Murder Book to a victim’s family or their legal/investigative representatives that the police show good cause for withholding it. The legitimate basis for withholding should be evidence that reasonably points to a family member or family friend as a suspect or that significant investigative efforts are in fact continuing and that the file isn’t just sitting in some filing cabinet.
As an “oh by the way,” if you know anything about the murder of Obediah R. Elliot, please contact me at email@example.com, on the record, off the record, or even anonymously or call me at 213.787.5476.