Monthly Archives: October 2019

Parents upset over potential school re-zoning in PGCPS as disarray sets in.

7e06cda9-9dd6-42cc-b66f-c23e20c00eb5_360x203BOWIE, Md. — Whitehall Elementary school is overcrowded, according to Prince George’s County Public Schools.

The district’s solution? Re-zone that area to funnel students into one of the four other nearby elementary schools starting in 2020.

Some parents, however, are not happy about the potential change.

“The way that they rolled out this proposal is just in poor taste,” Emebet Booker, parent of three, said. “People made a big investment. I mean, we’re paying a premium to live in the school zone that we’re in.”

Booker has children in fourth and first grade at Whitehall, and one in pre-school. She said if the changes go through, she’ll have to take her kids to three different schools.

Another parent, Ericka Moten, said she and her husband closed on their new house last Thursday because of it feeding into Whitehall.

She has a four-year-old child, who would be starting kindergarten there in 2020.

“We were strategic in our decisions in fact-finding for our house,” she said. “We picked the house—we love the house—but also because it’s zoned for Whitehall.”

Parents said Whitehall Elementary consistently outperforms other schools in the district. It earned five out of five stars on the Maryland State Department of Education’s 2018 report card.

The proposal would redirect students to one of four other elementary schools:

  • Northview Elementary
  • Rockledge Elementary
  • Tulip Grove Elementary
  • Yorktown Elementary

Parents said they agree that overcrowding is a problem that needs to be addressed, but some are unhappy with the pace at which the district is addressing it.

“I’m for addressing that issue, but there needs to be a task force,” Booker said.

The school board representative for her district, Raaheela Ahmed, said she plans to suggest a task force to the superintendent in a letter she’ll be sending this week.

“I think there’s a sense of urgency around this, because it’s such a permanent decision that needs to be made,” said Ahmed. “And, at the end of the day, it lies with all of us that are in education, that are in public service.”

The next discussion session will be held on October 24.

The first reading of the proposal to the Board will be on November 7.

Via WUSA 9

Later PGCPS School Board Member Raaheela Ahmed later issued a statement decrying the lack of due process in Prince George’s County School district. Her request for a committee comprising of parents, students, teachers and community members to help address the issues is attached below.

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Prince George’s County Corruption and predictions

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Dr. Monica Goldson current CEO for Prince George’s County advanced corruption for years. #DespotsMustFall

LARGO, Md. (Reform Sasscer) As a long suffering resident of Maryland focusing on Prince George’s County who has seen numerous superintendents promising reform, here are my predictions:

  1. The scandals in PG County schools will continue and Wapo will write about them (regularly) as time goes.
  2. At the end of her contract, PG schools will be performing no better than they are today. If the past is any guide, they will be worse. Reforms in PG County usually make things worse.
  3. The new superintendent will leave her job under a cloud of corruption/incompetence. Mega corruption is already underway and no newspaper or blog has published anything because of fear.
  4. More corrupt elected officials will either resign on their own or be arrested for ongoing mega corruption involving the school system or other county agencies.
  5. “pay-to-play” culture at Prince George’s County will continue at higher rate with political donations from real estate developers seeking county approval for their building plans.
  6. Bribery, kickbacks and extortion schemes involving elected officials and others tied to the Prince George’s County development will continue flowing like water.
  7. Union Executives will continue to facilitate organized schemes to derail justice while paying off attorneys but this time will be arrested.
  8. Well connected politicians will continue to give bribes as charitable or political contributions.
  9. Developers will continue to seek opportunities to make the country more corrupt so they could cash in. But in the right circumstances, they’ll either decide to jump ship or simply have no choice but to tell the truth. It’s already happening, and there’s nothing county Executive Angela Alsobrooks can do to stop it.
  10. Board members who have embraced public corruption and have been compromised will not win another term. Eventually they might be arrested for accepting bribes and jailed for being in bed with corrupt executives.
  11. At the end of the day, PG schools will still be the worst in the state of Maryland (with the possible exception of the city of Baltimore.)
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Delegate Dereck Davis – Chair, Economic Matters Committee Maryland General Assembly advanced corruption in the Maryland and used PGCPS as an ATM Machine to advance his shenanigans which are well known. #DespotsMustFall

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County-Executive-Angela-Alsobrooks covered up public corruption and promoted Dr. Goldson to be PGCPS CEO when she knew about the corruption she was engaged in. #DespotsMustFall

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Ardra O’Neal of the O’Neal Law Firm helped facilitate public corruption at the beckoning of the Maryland and county officials and the corrupt union executives.  #DespotsMustFall

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Push PG NAACP to do right thing at its meeting Thursday, 7 pm in Hyattsville

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Bob Ross ~ PG NAACP President is under fire and accused of  facilitating cover ups.

Greetings activists,

PG NAACP and  MD NAACP, Which side are you on?

Neither organization — NAACP PG, nor NAACP MD issued any strong statement of protest about ten police officers who killed Mr Shand.

This is the question to ask the PG NAACP at its annual meeting Thursday 7-9, in Hyattsville.

So far PG NAACP has put out only a mild statement (and this was done as a reaction to being misquoted by WTOP).

I urge members and others to bring up our issues at PG NAACP’s meeting this Thursday, October 17, 7 pm in Hyattsville.  Invite at bottom of this email.

Attend the meeting to encourage PG NAACP to demand or even favor:

*  Repeal MD’s Officers’ Bill Of Rights LEBOR

*  Insist that Police Use Body Cameras

*  Police departments use milder ways to corral suspects.

*  Effective training of police.

*  Question trusting the Prince George’s Police Dept.’s investigation unit to do a rigorous and fair investigation.

Supporting info:

*  Repeal MD’s Officers’ Bill Of Rights LEBOR

Here is the 2015 Baltimore Sun article on LEBOR by the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland.

Reform Maryland’s Officers’ Bill Of Rights

https://www.baltimoresun.com/opinion/bs-ed-aclu-leobr-20150117-story.html

*  Insist that Police Use Body Cameras

The PG police and the first Hyattsville policeman at the killing were not using body cameras.  The use of body cameras by Hyattsville policemen is discussed in “Police story of Leonard Shand’s death called into question by [Hyattsville City Councilor Joseph Solomon]” at 

https://route1reporter.com/2019/10/02/police-story-of-leonard-shands-death-called-into-question-by-city-offial/

I recommend reading entire article.

Prince George’s County says there’s no money for body cameras because the cost is 2 million dollars.   But:

The Prince George’s County Government spent just over $2 million Tax Dollars from December 2018 thru July 31, 2019 defending Racial Discrimination and Retaliation under County Executive Alsobrooks.

Dr. Rashawn Ray, Associate Professor of Sociology, Executive Director, Lab for Applied Social Science Research, University of Maryland, also Brookings Institutionposted:

“I just want to note that my colleagues and me at the Lab for Applied Social Science Research (LASSR) at the University of Maryland conducted a study on body-worn cameras in Prince George’s County. We found that residents across race/ethnicity and social class overwhelmingly support the county having body-worn cameras.  …

The link to the published study is below. ”

http://rashawnray.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Can-Cameras-Stop-the-Killings.pdf

*  Police Departments Use Milder Ways To Corral Suspects.

Like An Argentinean Cowboy Roping A Cow With A Bola:

The BolaWrap has an eight-foot kevlar tether which can wraps itself around a man’s chest and arms or around his legs.  If deployed correctly, it can de-escalate a situation between police and a dangerous offender.  See video on TV news at

https://wtkr.com/2019/10/11/edenton-police-department-becomes-first-in-north-carolina-to-carry-new-pain-free-compliance-device/

Also, see video in this BolaWrap advertisement on the web:

Wrap Technologies, Inc. [NASDAQ: WRTC] | BolaWrap® | Policing Today

https://wraptechnologies.com/policing-today/

“The Problem

American police are rethinking their training, procedures and non-lethal tools, specifically to handle encounters with the mentally ill.

The Police Executive Research Forum, an independent research organization devoted to improving policing, reports that handling encounters with the mentally ill is a national crisis.

A Washington Post investigation [of]fatal shootings by the police in 2015 [found that] nearly a quarter of the incidents involve a person who was mentally unstable.”  (Emphasis added.)

Cheryl Fellenz posted:

An intervention of officers coming up behind an individual with protective gear and enveloping him is called by officers ” a wrap”.

Anyone who watched the video could see with their own eyes that the officers did not look like they knew what to do.

*  Effective Training Of Police.

I’m concerned about the recent lowering of standards for new police hires noted in

“Having Eight On-Leave [Hyattsville Police] Officers Adds To Staffing Shortage (Updated 10/3)”

https://hyattsvillelife.com/eight-on-leave-hcpd-officers-adds-to-staffing-shortage/

Excerpt:

“Over the last year or two, according to [Public Information Officer and Acting Lt. Zachary Nemser], the HCPD has had to adjust their hiring standards to address the shortage. Successful officer applicants were required to score 70% or above on each section of the National Police Officer Selection Test(Standard & Associates, Inc.). Officer applicants now need just a 70% average on the whole test.Physical agility requirements have also been relaxed. And if an officer makes a lateral transfer, they no longer need to pass either the written or agility tests,”

How much less do the new hires, who did not meet the 2015 requirements, know and how much less can they do than the police hired in 2015.  Were they provided with additional training to bring them up to the 2015 standards?

A score of 70% indicates mediocre knowledge; this is low-level tolerable for high school and college courses.  Policemen should be required to have serious knowledge of policing.   (I do not know how rigorous the police exams are.)

 *  Question Trusting The Prince George’s Police Dept.’s Investigation Unit To Do A Rigorous And Fair Investigation.

Prince George’s County,  “Washington’s Ferguson Next Door”

“…the intervention of the U.S. Justice Department has been most responsible for bringing any meaningful change [to Prince George’s County’s Police].”
http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/09/washingtons-ferguson-next-door-110707.html#.VWafakLvZUR

Much more change still needed:         

“County Police Officer, Guilty of Second Degree Assault for Assaulting a Citizen Who Was Handcuffed  //  Officer Repeatedly Punches Man In The Face While Handcuffed Behind His Back [And Secured With A Seat Belt In The Front Seat Of Police Car].”                            August 8, 2019                    More info at https://www.princegeorgescountymd.gov/CivicAlerts.aspx?aid=1510&utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery
Prince George’s Officers of Color File Federal Lawsuit Challenging Widespread Race Discrimination, Retaliation by PGPD            December 12, 2018

https://www.washlaw.org/news/795-prince-george-s-officers-of-color-file-federal-lawsuit-challenging-widespread-race-discrimination-retaliation-by-pgpd

“Racial Discrimination In The Prince George’s Police Department”

“Racial discrimination in the Prince George’s Police Department is discouraging the reporting of abuse committed by PGPD officers because Latinx and Black officers in the department experience retaliation for speaking out about it, spurring a lawsuit. New leadership in the county must take firm steps to enable full compliance and accountability in the department in order to end abuse of citizens by police.”

From the blog posted Jan 3, 2019 on the Progressive Maryland website at:

https://www.progressivemaryland.org/racial_discrimination_in_the_prince_george_s_police_department

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Other notes: 

“ACLU: Hyattsville Police Shooting Part Of Troubling Pattern”

https://route1reporter.com/2019/10/06/aclu-hyattsville-police-shooting-part-of-troubling-pattern/

Excerpt: Jay Jimenez, a Legal Program Associate for the ACLU of Maryland, What we’ve seen is that most of these police deaths in Maryland, especially involving people of color with disabilities could could have been avoided.”

According to Jimenez, preventing these deaths requires a reevaluation of the validity of current police de-escalation training and the use of less-than-lethal tools, such as tazers, pepper spray and beanbag shotguns.

“I’ll just be clear: The use of tasers, OC sprays, flashbang grenades, or other methods of less-than-lethal force are not the same as de-escalation,” said Jimenez. “Based on the video footage that we’ve seen, this actually had the opposite effect in the shooting of Leonard Shand.”

More from“Police story of Leonard Shand’s death called into question by [Hyattsville City Councilor Joseph Solomon]” at 

https://route1reporter.com/2019/10/02/police-story-of-leonard-shands-death-called-into-question-by-city-offial/

“Hyattsville City Councilor Joseph Solomon has called into question major aspects of the police narrative surrounding last week’s fatal police shooting of Leonard Shand by 10 officers from Hyattsville, Prince George’s County and Mount Rainier police departments.”

“Solomon’s recollection of this aspect of the video footage he has reviewed was backed-up by a participant in the Oct. 1 meeting who told city officials she was present when police first encountered Shand, and who said she did not see knives in his hands during those first moments of Shand’s police encounter.”

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June White Dillard foreground and members of pg county chapter of Naacp must rise up to the occasion and do what is right. They must avoid being seen as facilitators of corruption in the county affairs and address issues in a fair manner.

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