Say Their Names
Amadou Diallo 1975-1999
On the early morning of February 4TH 1999, Guinean immigrant Diallo was returning to his Bronx Apartment, when 4 plain clothes NYPD officers pulled up. Believing Diallo matched the description of a serial rapist, they pursued him up to his dark doorway ( lightbulb was out). When Diallo reached for his wallet, the dark murky object being pulled of his pocket was perceived as gun. The officers collectively fired 41 times, striking Diallo 19 times. The subsequent investigations determined that Diallo indeed pulled out his wallet and no weapon was on him. The internal NYPD examination concluded that the officers acted within policy , based on what “reasonable police officers would have done”. On March 25th, 1999 all four officers were indicted on charges of second-degree murder. On February 25th, 2000, the officers were acquitted of all charges.
Emmanuel Okutuga 1984-2011
In February 2011, Bowie State University student Emmanuel Okutuga was killed at City Place mall in Silver Spring, MD (outside of Washington D.C.) after he was identified as a suspect that had assaulted a security guard a little while earlier. When an officer caught up to Okutuga , he allegedly asked him to put down a sharp object he had in his hand. When this Okutuga refused to comply, the officer fired two shots killing him immediately. Although Montgomery County Police(MCPD) "mistakenly erased" footage of the shooting, Montgomery County Courts ruled the shooting justifiable.
Alfred Olango 1978-2016
On Tuesday September 27th, 2016, El Cajon Police (right outside of San Diego) responded to a call of a mentally unstable man walking in and out of traffic. After arriving the two officers arrived they saw Olango in front of a strip mall, after allegedly failing to comply with orders to remove his hands from his pants pocket, then pointing at the officers with an unidentified object. To which the officers opened fire. It was later discovered that the mysterious object was a three inch silver vaping device. The 38 year old Ugandan refugee would die on the spot.
Chinedu Okobi 1982-2018
In San Mateo County, Ca, (South of San Francisco) on October 3rd 2018, police received reports of a man weaving in and out of traffic. After a patrol car approached Okobi, he crossed the street to get away from the first responder amidst a red light, only to be tracked run down by several other deputies who used tasers, batons and pepper spray Okobi. He would slip into cardiac arrest and die a short time later. The San Mateo Sheriff's office issued a statement that Okobi punched an officer before the interaction escalated, however, this was later refuted by the subsequently released video.
The footage shows officers had trouble restraining Okodi, the officers resorted to tasers, in which he was tased seven times, He was also seen asking "What'd I do?" , as he is being told to turn over on his stomach. Okobi calls for help and attempts to scoot away and one officer hits him with a baton, in which Okobi hits back at the officer. Okobi was eventually transported to the Mills-Peninsula Medial Center, where he later died.
Despite his death being ruled a homicide with ambiguously-reasoned stop, Okobi, the son of Nigerian immigrants, father of 13 year daughter Christina, brother to Facebook executive Ebele OKobi, Poet and graduate of Morehouse College was the third police related taser death of 2018 in San Mateo.
Despite this fact, in March 2019 the San Mateo County District Attorney ruled not to seek charges against any of the officers involved.
Finan Berhe 1989-2020
On May 9th, a police officer received a call from the White Oak Neighborhood of Silver Spring, MD of someone who was causing a disturbance. When the MCPD officer arrived he encountered Eritrean-born Finan H. Berhe , who was wielding a knife in the parking lot of his townhouse community. The officer exited his vehicle and pointed his gun at Berhe. Berhe runs towards the police cruiser , the officer tells him to put the knife down. Berhe continues to approach as the officer continues t instruct him to drop the knife and stand down. After a few more pleas for Berhe to stop and get down on the ground, the officer claimed he didn't want to shoot him.
Behre lunged towards him and the officer shot five times times and Berhe dropped to the ground. Although the officer tried to perform first aid help on Berhe immediately after shooting, he would later die at a nearby hospital.
The two-month-old incident remains under investigation, as the footage from the involved office's body camera has been submitted to MCPD's internal affairs and the state's Attorney office. The shooting officer has been paced paid administrative leave.
Say their Names!
Profile of a Leader
by Auburn Mann
Amid the COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic, the respiratory disease which has infected over 4 million people worldwide over the past several months, the World Health Organization(WHO) in Geneva Switzerland has been a global beacon of information and guidance, led by the Ethiopian (currently Eritrea) born Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
Dr. Ghebreyesus is a microbiologist with a background in malaria research. Born in Asmara in 1965, his path was pushed toward healthcare at an early age when his brother was one of the many casualties of mid-20th century, disease-stricken Ethiopia, passing from a preventable ailment like the measles. Ghebreyesus went on to graduate from the University of Asmara with a B.S. in Biology. After college he joined the Ethiopian Government’s Ministry of Health in 1986, where he helped implement system-wide health reforms that drastically improved access to health services in the country. Ghebreyesus would matriculate into the University of London’s London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine where he earned a M.S. in Immunology of Infectious Diseases. Eventually, Ghebreyesus would earn his PhD in Community Health from the University of Nottingham in 2000.
In 2001, he was appointed head of the Tigray Regional Health Bureau, which oversaw significant reduction in AIDs and Meningitis cases in Ethiopia. In 2005, he was appointed Minister of Health by Prime Minister Zenawi. He held this position until 2012, when he transitioned into the role of Minister of Foreign Affairs.
In 2016, Ghebreyesus announced his candidacy for WHO’s Director General. He campaigned on ideas of universal health coverage and the endorsements of the African Union, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Rwanda and Kenya, as well as Algeria’s Minister of Health.
Dr. Ghebreyesus ended up winning in a commanding victory of 133 out of 185 votes. He was not only the first African to attain the position, but also the first non-physician
by Auburn Mann
As China braces for a potential resurgence in COVID-19 presence after more than a month of sustained flattening of infection rates, xenophobia has reared its ugly head.
President Ji Xiping issued a warning looking out for imported cases. In many cities and provinces Chinese officials have warned of a dreaded second wave as early signs have indicated maybe occurring in neighboring Japan.
This collective mood is particularly aimed at the African immigrant community, which already has shared a contentious relationship with the majority demographic of Chinese society even in relatively benign times.
In Guangzhou, where there are large concentrations from places like Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Ghana and Uganda, especially in the Yuexiu and Baiyun areas, this has become especially acute. Many have shared stories through various social media platforms of being evicted from longtime homes, denied entry into shops, bars and restaurants, mistreatment on the streets, constant testing or arbitrarily being ordered to over-quarantine in their homes despite no record of recent travel.
By Auburn Mann
Senegal has taken a unique path in the war against Covid-19, by developing a $1 (N360.50) diagnostic testing kit.
In addition, instead of relying on overpriced imported ventilators, domestic Senegalese engineers manufactured 3D printed ventilators, saving thousands of dollars and allowing them to test every citizen regardless of apparent symptoms.
According to Aljazeera, any person that enters a health center is given a test module originally designed to detect malaria. The test works by patients drawing bodily fluids like blood or saliva onto the device and wait for a blood line to appear. If the person tests positive for the virus, they are given chloroquine that is used to treat Dengue Fever and other malarial illnesses.
Thus, giving the francophone West African nation the third highest rate of recovery in the world, with marginal deaths.
In a interview with Al Jazeera, Dakar Institute Pasteur Dr. Amadou Sall stated:
“The idea is to rapidly produce 2-4 million kits not just
for us(Senegal) but for other African countries detect and isolate patients quickly”.
Africa Year of Return
By Auburn Mann
2019 marks 4 full centuries since the first enslaved Africans were brought to the shores of North America. From the Arrival in Jamestown from what is believed to be modern day Angola this was a just a small chapter in the greater transatlantic slave trade which spanned several centuries and four continents.
This anniversary has inspired Ghana to brand 2019 as the “Year of Return”. Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo said during an event at the National press Club last September. “The time is tight for people of African descent to make the journey back, with Ghana leading the way with open arms,” Said Akufo-Addo.
- By Auburn Mann
At their 55th summit of the regional body, the Economic Community of West African States
(ECOWAS) in Abuja earlier this year, 16 West African states have taken pivotal steps to get
ready to usher in the era of ECO the term of the new shared currency that is anticipated to unify the burgeoning West African economy. At least half of the proposed bloc of countries set to participate are already sharing what is called the French inspired and supported CFA franc.
African Immigrants at Large
The attainment rate among the African immigrant community has always been high.
Recent MPI studies indicate 41 percent have bachelor’s degree compared with only 33 percent of Americans. Over 16 percent have advanced degrees when entering the U.S.
According to Face2Face Africa, 38 percent of African students are undergraduates, while 45 percent are graduates and 42 percent of the graduates are enrolled in doctoral programs.
With the unprecedented success of Black Panther last year (bringing in over $1.344 billion worldwide), we wanted to take a look at the slate of movies dealing with themes of Africa and the African Diaspora in 2019, as well as projections forward into the early part of the approaching decade.