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Sasha Johnson: Black equal rights activist in critical condition after being shot in the head in south London

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A black equal rights activist is in a critical condition in hospital after being shot in the head in south London yesterday.

Police are appealing for information after Sasha Johnson, 27, was found with life-threatening injuries in Southwark at about 3am on Sunday morning.

In a statement on its Facebook page, the Taking The Initiative Party, a new political group she was part of, said: “It is with great sadness that we inform you that our own Sasha Johnson has sustained a gunshot wound to her head.

“Sasha has always been actively fighting for black people and the injustices that surround the black community, as well as being both a member of BLM and a member of Taking the Initiative Party’s executive leadership committee.

“Sasha is also a mother of three and a strong, powerful voice for our people and our community.

“Let’s all come together and pray for Sasha, pray for her recovery and show our support to her family and loved ones.”

Ms Johnson has successfully undergone surgery, but she remains in hospital with her parents by her side, a friend told BBC News.

Imarn Ayton said Ms Johnson is believed to have been a party at the time of the incident, and that a “rival gang” might have “heard about someone being in that party that they didn’t feel quite comfortable with or trusted, and so they resorted to driving past and shooting into the garden”.

“One of those shots obviously hit Sasha Johnson,” they said, but that she was likely not “the intended victim”.

Black Lives Matter activist Sasha Johnson at a demonstration in London. Pic: Thabo Jaiyesimi/SOPA Images/Shutterstock

Detectives from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command (Trident) are “pursuing a number of priority lines of enquiry” – but no arrests have been made yet.

Police said the shooting had occurred “in the vicinity of a house where a party was taking place”, and a number of people may have been in the area at the time.

“While the investigation is at an early stage, there is nothing to suggest that the woman who was shot was the subject of a targeted attack or that she had received any credible threats against her prior to this incident,” officers said.

Detective Chief Inspector Jimi Tele said: “This was a shocking incident that has left a young woman with very serious injuries. Our thoughts are with her family who are being provided with support at this terribly difficult time.

“A dedicated team of detectives is working tirelessly to identify the person or persons responsible for this shooting. They are making good progress but they need the public’s help.”

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said his “thoughts and prayers” were with Ms Johnson and her family, and urged anyone with information to come forward.

He told Sky News: “It’s really important that we give the medics the time to treat her, but also the police the time to investigate this very, very serious shooting

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“The police are doing what they can to get to the bottom of this. If anyone knows anything, anything at all, please do contact the police. You can do so anonymously using the Crimestoppers number (at the bottom of this article).

“It’s really important that those responsible are caught and justice happens.”

Last August, Ms Johnson was one of the organisers of the first-ever Million People March to protest against systemic racism in the UK. During the demonstration, hundreds of people took to the streets of west London.

She said she hoped the movement would “empower the community to strive for better”.

“As a people, we’re not going to stop until we have equal rights and justice,” she said.

“Our message is listen to us, hear our words, we want sustainable and tangible change.

“We don’t just want tokenistic promises, we don’t want it to come from a hegemonic standpoint. We want it to be for the people.”

Video grab dated 30/08/2020 of activist Sasha Johnson speaking during the Million People March in London

Black Lives Matter UK said on Twitter: “While Sasha wasn’t part of our organisation, she impressively founded a new black-led political party and was dedicated to resist anti-black racism.

“Any attempt to intimidate or silence her, is an attack on all of us. Touch one, touch all.

“We pray that she will pull through this and those who threatened her life are held accountable.

“Our thoughts are with her children, family, and all impacted by this senseless attack.”

BLM UK says a vigil will be held on Monday.

The Taking the Initiative Party is a political party that was registered with the Electoral Commission nearly four years ago and fielded its first candidates in May’s local elections.

Ms Johnson, who got a first in social care at Oxford university, has “an immense passion for implementing change and justice and has been actively supporting the eradication of injustices in society by attending and leading protests”, according to her page on the TTIP website.

“Although not everyone may agree with her methods, she is not afraid to stand up for what she believes in.

“She is also committed to feeding the homeless and has personally been involved in delivering food and groceries to families that are in need.”

Anybody with information should call police on 101, tweet @MetCC providing the reference CAD1172/23MAY, or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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Black Lives Matter

Breonna Taylor family files another lawsuit alleging Louisville police withheld body camera records

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A new lawsuit filed by Breonna Taylor’s family claims the Louisville Metro Police Department has withheld records that could show there is body-camera footage of the fatal March 2020 raid, dispelling “misinformation” presented to the public.

In the lawsuit filed on Wednesday in Jefferson County Circuit Court, attorney Sam Aguiar is asking a judge to order the department to release information about the body-cameras under Kentucky’s Open Records Act. 

Police officials and state Attorney General Daniel Cameron have previously stated that no body-camera footage exists that captured the aid resulting in Taylor’s death on March 13, 2020. Authorities did release body-camera footage from officers responding to the scene after the shooting.

LMPD officials have maintained that officers were not required to wear body-cameras during the operation, and those involved either were not wearing their cameras or did not manually activate them. But the lawsuit argues there is a second way the department’s Axon-brand cameras can activate.

“The plaintiffs, and the public, have an uncompromised right to know whether undisclosed body-camera footage exists, or otherwise previously existed, from LMPD Axon Cameras which relates to the events surrounding the death of Breonna Taylor,” the lawsuit says, according to a copy of the document obtained by The Washington Post.

Aguiar argues that the Axon Flex 2 camera can transition from a buffering mode to “event mode” automatically under certain circumstances, such as exposure to the light bars on police vehicles within signal range. The attorney claims dozens of marked and undercover LMPD vehicles were at the scene the night Taylor was killed and had their lights at one time or another. 

“Assuming that body cameras were docked following Breonna’s killing, and that there was no tampering of the devices or associated storage prior to the docking, audit trails should assist in verifying whether Metro has been truthful to the public regarding the existence of footage,” the lawsuit says. 

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Aguiar claims it would have been difficult for most officers participating in the criminal investigation at Taylor’s apartment not to have had their Axon cameras activated at one point or another – and even cameras left in vehicles should have activated when within range of a signal. 

“Given that Metro was able to verify that certain LMPD members’ body cameras were specifically assigned on March 13, 2020, there is a reasonable basis to believe that misinformation has been presented to the general public regarding the usage of body cameras by several members of the LMPD CID unit,” the lawsuit states.

No one has been charged directly in connection to Taylor’s death. 

Three officers involved in the drug operation that killed Taylor are no longer employed by the police department. Brett Hankison and Myles Cosgrove were both fired, and Jonathan Mattingly retired last month. Hankison was indicted last September on three felony counts of wanton endangerment for allegedly firing into a neighboring apartment the night of the raid. 

The city of Louisville agreed to pay $12 million to Taylor’s family last September in settling their wrongful death lawsuit. The agreement also included implementing changes at the police department in an effort to prevent future deaths during police raid. 

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Antifa

Minneapolis city council member ‘temporarily’ held hostage by BLM…

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#Minneapolis city council member blocked in and held hostage by #BLM “protestors” until she signed a statement agreeing to their demands.

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Black Lives Matter

Riots in Rock Hill, South Carolina after perp resists arrest yesterday

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 Someone shot a video on Wednesday afternoon that showed two brothers getting arrested during a struggle with police officers at a Rock Hill gas station.

About 100 people took to the streets in protest blocking the intersection of Dave Lyle Blvd and Black Street for several hours. They walked to the police department and at about 11 p.m. lit a fire surrounding a tree in front of the station. A police officer and the fire department arrived after the fire was lit.

Our crews could see objects being thrown at the police officer. Police in riot gear entered the scene after that.

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