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Newsflash: Cin. Cop Indicted for Murder, GOP’s Attack on Planned Parenthood, Private Companies Hired for Drone Targeting

Uprising’s guest expert Chenjerai Kumanyika, Assistant Professor of Communications Studies at Clemson University, analyzes to day’s news headlines:

Cincinnati officials have finally made progress in the case of an unarmed African American man named Samuel Dubose who was killed on July 19th by Officer Ray Tensing. Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters released body cam video footage of the encounter yesterday and announced a murder charge against Tensing, who is due to make his first court appearance today. Mr. Deters did not mince words, saying, the killing was “totally unwarranted.” He added, “It’s an absolute tragedy in the year 2015 that anyone would behave in this manner. It was senseless.” Tensing, who was an officer with the University of Cincinnati when the incident took place, initially asserted that he felt his life was in danger as Dubose began to drive away. The footage, which clearly undermines that claim, was withheld for days while Dubose’s family demanded its release. Ahead of the release Cincinnati city officials said they were bracing themselves for riots. Click here for an NBC News article, and here for a CNN.com article about the story.

The GOP attacks against Planned Parenthood continue as two new videos by a right-wing organization are released. Republicans are lobbing a multi-pronged attack at the women’s reproductive health organization. Florida Gov. Rick Scott yesterday called for an investigation of his state’s Planned Parenthood clinics. What is being targeted at the federal level is the $500 million in federal funding that the organization gets, which does not even fund abortion – a crucial service for women who cannot afford such healthcare. It instead covers routine health screenings that are also aimed at women in underserved communities. The Washington Post this morning identified the three women that the Republican Party has pushed to the forefront of attacks on Planned Parenthood: Senators Joni Ernst of Iowa and Deb Fischer of Nebraska, and Representative Diane Black of Tennessee. The vast majority of the opposition to Planned Parenthood is still vastly male (and white). Meanwhile, supporters of Planned Parenthood are mobilizing support by organizing a series of rallies. Click here for a Miami Herald article about Rick Scott, here for a Washington Post article about the GOP women behind the attacks, and here for a Commondreams article.

Finally, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism has released an explosive new report today on the US’s drone wars. Based on a six-month investigation, the report explored what it called, “an intersection of corporate interests and global surveillance systems,” and found that “a cluster of companies … have made money supplying imagery analysts to the US military’s war on terror.” The Bureau identified ten private contractors to which the US government outsources the processing of footage obtained from surveillance drones deployed around the world. One source told reporters, “when you mess up, people die.” The report was released at the same time as Afghan officials announced that US drones had killed 20 suspected members of the Islamic State in Nangahar Province, and Yemen declared that US drone strikes killed 5 suspected Al Qaeda militants on its soil. Click here to read the Bureau of Investigative Journalism’s report.