Is Shot Dead In New York

25 Mar 19
Camillea Reads

A Sci-Fi retelling of Les Miserables! God bless women’s creativity. I am quite the nerd for classic retellings and have an incredibly soft spot for steampunk settings. If that’s not tempting enough, I also have a chapter excerpt of Sky Without Stars! A thief. An officer. A guardian.  Three strangers, one shared destiny . . […]

25 Mar 19

WARNING! PHYSICAL EXTINCTION! PREPARE!

PHYSICAL EXTINCTION The Other Side Of Existence “I didn’t realize how hungry I was until the provisions appeared.” “Which of the sons have come to be devoured?” “None. The souls of humans have arrived.” “How many humans remain on planet earth?” “Look. Just over 9 billion.” “Has the land been divided?” “It has. The humans […]

25 Mar 19
The River
The story you are about to read has been a moving target. It’s about the pending deportation of Luis Martinez, a New Paltz, New York businessman who was arrested by ICE on January 16 and imprisoned at Orange County Jail in Goshen, New York. The attorneys arguing to prevent the forced exile requested an early draft copy of this story so they could consider submitting it before the federal bench as part of a frantic appeal. The timing could not be more urgent: This past Friday night Martinez was told by an ICE officer that he was about to be deported. He was able to place a call to his wife, Tina, that evening, and a notification went up on Facebook to gather local citizens to demonstrate at the jail on Sunday, March 24. While the following story is what will run in Chronogram’s April 1 print edition, this update provides the most current events, still ongoing. In part that includes legal action. As of last night, attorneys for Martinez, Cheryl David and Paul O’Dwyer, were rushing their last-minute argument that, in part, ICE is ignoring federal law. According to David, neither she nor O’Dwyer were notified by ICE that they were about to deport Martinez. That’s a requirement according to ICE’s own 2009 guidelines. Critically, David said, Martinez has filed for a special form of visa that protects people who come forward to help the police, and the US Citizenship & Immigration Service asked David for evidence to support the claim and gave her office until late May to produce it. Under that visa process, ICE’s guidelines say the department “should also consider favorably…relatives who rely on the alien for support.” Martinez has a wife and three American children. “Martinez has a pending U Visa application,” David said. “But at this point, according to what we’ve been told by Mr. Martinez, though unconfirmed by ICE, they still intend to remove him despite all his equities, and a family to support in the U.S.” The rally Sunday drew well over 100 protestors. And it brought a response from officers of the Orange County Sheriff’s department, who continually tried to shoo the group of adults and their children, and all of Martinez’s family, away from the jail grounds. At one point when the chant of “Bring Luis home!” was loudest and the protestors were closest to the facility, there was a cry coming from within the jail, with the hoots audible on the street outside the prison walls. In turn that led to a warning from officers that the crowd would have to disperse or risk arrest. At that point—speaking through Sharia, her eldest daughter, as her interpreter—Tina Martinez thanked everyone for coming, “Not just for Luis, but in support for all the families who are going through this, because it’s truly really very hard.” Whether such public actions matter is anyone’s guess. However, there’s legal precedent for arguing that Martinez has the right to remain in the US while his visa claim is argued. That 2017 case, successfully won in Illinois, provides a possible pathway for Martinez to be freed. Yet his attorney, David, said he might still be deported to Mexico and have to await a verdict there, possibly for years. Luis Martinez speaking on a panel at a Chronogram Conversations event at Water Street Market in New Paltz, September 2017. Photo by John Garay. On the morning of January 16, businessman Luis Martinez was arrested by agents of the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency outside his office in New Paltz. Martinez’s detention and possible deportation is part of a wave of recent crackdowns by ICE across Upstate New York. His story is both distinctive and typical of undocumented residents, part of a larger narrative caught in the crosshairs of a bitter national debate on immigration. Luis Martinez was born in Mexico in 1979. His mother, Maria Raymundo, was married, and had another younger son, Jesus. When Martinez was eight and Jesus was six, her husband was murdered by the Mexican mafia while the family attended a wedding. Terrified the mafia would come for her next, she took her two boys and fled to the US to claim asylum, which she was granted—but her sons were not. They had to enter the laborious process toward getting green cards. The family was poor and moved first to Florida, and eventually to New Paltz, in the heart of the Hudson Valley. They worked and lived on Dressel Farms, south of town, picking apples and strawberries. Both brothers went to New Paltz High School and Raymundo remarried and gave birth to two more sons. Martinez never got full citizenship, but because he came to the US as a child, didn’t behave like a foreigner. His half-brother, Sergio Raymundo, said “America is his home. We’re New Paltz boys. This is our town.” This story, however, isn’t just about Martinez, who has a wife and three US-born children, ages 11, 12, and 16. It is about how ICE’s actions have put a chill on the Mid-Hudson Valley immigrant population, and how a single arrest has a profound impact on a community. We talked to dozens of people who know Martinez well beyond the bounds of New Paltz, and we kept meeting undocumented, DACA, green card holders, and citizens who had met him, befriended him, and worked with Martinez. While we weren’t able to meet with Martinez in person (ICE doesn’t make it easy for journalists to speak with detainees), we learned he’s more than socially influential. He’s cast an outsize economic shadow for an undocumented immigrant. While New American Economy shows that immigrants nationally are 28 percent more likely to be entrepreneurs than natives and that in New York’s 19th Congressional District they contribute $460 million annually to the local tax base, Martinez is a bigger fish than most. His development firm, Lalo Group, has construction projects in four of the five boroughs of New York City. While staff at his New Paltz office were gun shy about talking to the press in the wake of Martinez’s arrest, the company employs dozens of people at its New York City job sites as well as in projects closer to home, such as at Zero Place, a high-tech geothermal and solar powered multi-use complex in New Paltz. The project faced significant headwinds from some town elders who like the village of 7,000 to stay relatively sleepy. Nonetheless, it eventually passed village planning board approval, and Martinez himself took a minority financial stake. Construction has just begun. So, partly people know Martinez because of his work, and partly because he’s a local guy made good. Three weeks after Martinez was detained, nearly 300 people crowded into yet another one of Martinez’s businesses, La Charla, a Mexican restaurant on Main Street in New Paltz. Well-wishers wrote notes on heart-shaped cutouts while sipping beer and margaritas. With Valentine’s Day looming, hundreds of the cards were packed into banker’s boxes and hauled by a group of Martinez’s friends to the Orange County Correctional Facility, in Goshen, where he’s in detention. The boxes arrived on February 13, just in time for the first Valentine’s Day Martinez has spent apart from his wife, Tina, since they met 19 years ago. A few days later, Tina said she was astonished by the community support. One of her friends, Alex Baer, said Tina is a lot more introverted than her husband. Tina said that before the event for Luis, she never quite felt comfortable in New Paltz, “Like we were invisible.” Their eldest child, 16-year-old Sharia, said the outpouring made her mother feel like she was finally welcome. “With how hard this situation is,” Sharia said, “That night lifted everyone’s spirits.” A Pattern Under Trump ICE’s detention of Martinez follows a pattern of ignoring an immigrant’s legal status. Martinez is pursuing what’s known as a U Visa, a special form of protection—but it didn’t shield him from ICE. In the late 1990s, peak gang violence in the US spurred Congress to pass the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act in 2000. Offering a kind of amnesty, this law created the U Visa, among a few other forms of deportation protection. To be eligible for a U Visa, in exchange for coming forward and giving evidence as well as testifying against criminal gangs, victims would gain some immunity from deportation, including help getting a green card and working toward citizenship. Martinez’s case is especially strong. In 1999, he witnessed the gangland killing of his brother, Jesus, in Newburgh. Jesus wasn’t the target: The leader of a Mexican gang known as La M was being pursued by a rival gang, but Jesus caught the bullet instead. Subsequent to the murder, Martinez helped the police. He would become eligible for the visa a year later, after Congressional passage, but he only learned of it, and applied, in 2016. Nevertheless, since Trump’s January 25, 2017 executive order, ICE is regularly detaining every class of citizenship seeker, including green card holders and other applicants. Sarah Pierce, an analyst at the nonpartisan Migration Policy Institute in Washington, said Trump’s ICE doesn’t seem to care about pending visas. “In the past ICE would give deference, by closing removal proceedings.” Today, however, she said, “Just because you have that piece of paper doesn’t mean you’re protected.” Lee Wang, staff attorney with the advocacy group, the Immigrant Defense Project, paints Trump’s ICE in clear contrast to Obama’s ICE. “Obama was no saint on deportations, but later in his presidency ICE prioritized arrests of people with a serious criminal history, who posed a threat to public safety,” Wang said, referring to an ICE program known as Priority Enforcement, which focused specifically on higher-level criminals and known gang affiliation. But when Trump came to power, ICE reinstated an earlier Obama program called Secure Communities. The system cross-checks anyone arrested for any form of crime against a national database, and ICE is now attempting to arrest everyone who crops up, regardless of the level of offense. That’s resulted in the highest rates of detention since ICE was created in the wake of 9/11, with an average of roughly 50,000 detainees per month as of early 2019. Last year the total number of arrests hit 159,000, an 11-percent increase compared to 2017 and a 30-percent increase compared to 2016, according to ICE’s 2018 fiscal year report. (A larger percentage of those arrested wound up detained, too, and a study by the New York Times shows that as much as 71 percent of these detainees wound up in private, for profit prisons.) “They’re being purposefully indiscriminate,” Wang continued, characterizing the “dragnet” approach of ICE since Trump took office. “The order said to deport people to the fullest extent practicable. What does that mean for the millions of people who have a green card, who actually have documentation?” In fact IDP’s 2017 data shows that 20 percent of people targeted by ICE in New York had some form of legal status. There’s further confusion around what ICE deems criminal behavior, too. Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) crunches 250 million government documents every month, all in the study of US immigration patterns. A basic sift of one recent posting shows that since 2017, fewer than five percent of the people that courts are issuing orders of deportation to have committed a serious crime, while during Obama’s eight years in office that average was just shy of 15 percent. But what exactly is a “serious” crime? According to TRAC’s co-founder, Susan Long, nobody knows what ICE’s terms mean. Long said, for instance, crossing the border is considered a civil violation. “Under immigration law that’s not criminal activity, but that’s not how ICE defines it.” According to Long, ICE frequently changes its own rules, “And just the suspicion of criminal activity is sometimes the basis for seeking a deportation order. ICE was bad under Obama and they’ve gotten worse during Trump,” she said. A rally in support of Luis Martinez on Main Street in New Paltz on February 16. Photo by Michael Frank The Case Against Martinez We reached out to ICE to find out the nature of Martinez’s detention. We were trying to confirm what we already learned from his wife, Tina. She explained that when Martinez and his brother Jesus were minors, their mother would bring them back to Mexico when she went home to visit her parents. This was illegal, because if you’re in pursuit of a green card, which both her boys were, you cannot leave the country without special permission. To avoid voiding their legal status, Maria Raymundo would smuggle her sons back into the US after these vacations to Mexico. On one such crossing in 1997, Martinez, then 18, was caught and deported for violating the terms of his agreement with the US government. But Tina explains that Mexico wasn’t Martinez’s home, and at the time it cost a mere $25 to hire a “coyote” to smuggle him back into the US. In 2002, Martinez was once again deported. By then, he and Tina already had their first child, Sharia. Martinez had been working with an attorney, trying to clear up his case and get back on track to apply for citizenship, but the lawyer turned out to be unscrupulous and never alerted Martinez that ICE had called him in for an interview. Instead, the lawyer ignored the letter, and by the time Martinez knew about it, ICE’s request had morphed into a final order of deportation. After that deportation Martinez again reentered the US illegally. We asked ICE about Martinez’s case because we wanted to know whether the agency was first checking on his, or other detainees’ U Visa application or green card status before arrest. What exactly is their process or priority? ICE never responded to this request, and Long said that even frequent Freedom of Information requests that seek clarity on who ICE tries to detain at jails—information the agency used to release—have been stonewalled, prompting TRAC’s most recent lawsuit, one of three pending against the agency. Who’s a Target? Daniel Valdez is friends with Luis Martinez and, like him, was smuggled into the US as a child. He said that what happened to Martinez is exactly what he feared would happen to him, but, unlike Martinez, Valdez began his green card process decades ago and didn’t violate it. Still, he is terrified of Trump. “The day of the Muslim ban I was like, ‘Right, they’re coming for us next.’” Valdez’s reaction was to immediately begin the process to transition from having a green card to becoming a citizen, which he’s just achieved. However, he said he still feels afraid. IDP’s Wang said that fear is no accident. “The idea is to impose constant terror,” she said. “And if you’re not yet a citizen, to make you wonder, ‘Is it safe to go to the hospital? Is it safe to take my kids to school?’ It’s very deliberate.” And Valdez’s fear was apparently justified, because while he was still going through the final stages of becoming a US citizen, according to an ACLU lawsuit against ICE in Massachusetts, the agency was going after immigrants who were in his same situation. The suit alleges that ICE conspired with a local office of US Citizenship and Immigration Services. The latter is responsible for processing immigrants who are complying with federal law. Despite the fact that USCIS is not a law enforcement agency, the ACLU claims that in both Rhode Island and Massachusetts, couples who were appearing at offices to establish that they were married (where one half of a couple was an immigrant, the other a US citizen), were instead interrupted by ICE, and the immigrant in the couple was detained. The suit further claims that USCIS was colluding with ICE to help facilitate these arrests. This resulted in 17 detentions, according to the ACLU suit. Besides the crackdown, another aspect of the suit shows that ICE was aware that publicity around this practice looked bad. The ACLU suit includes an email exchange between an ICE official and the USCIS office requesting widely spaced scheduling, since simultaneous arrests “has the potential to be a trigger for negative media interests, as we have seen in the past.” ICE doesn’t like bad PR, but recent arrests of immigrants in the Hudson Valley have put the agency on a collision course with unfavorable media coverage. The Immigrant Defense Project’s recent deep dive into ICE actions at courthouses shines a bright light on these events. IDP’s Wang said ICE actions at courthouses across New York State are up 1,700 percent in 2018 compared to 2016. The local numbers may seem less startling. There were four courthouse arrests in Ulster County in 2018, compared to one in 2017. Eight courthouse arrests in Orange County, up from zero in 2017. And 13 in Westchester in 2018, compared to four in 2017. But each individual arrest sends ripples through the community. In March 2017, shortly after Trump signed his executive order, New Paltz resident Joel Guerrero was detained by ICE during his regular, biannual check-in with the agency in Manhattan. The case drew national media attention in part because Guerrero is a green card holder and is married to an American. ICE said the green card had been rescinded in 2011 because of a felony conviction for marijuana. His lawyer, Daniel Green, successfully argued that there was never any such felony, that the crime had been a misdemeanor. Guerrero was jailed for 10 weeks and was released by ICE. He still has a green card. Joel’s wife, Jessica Guerrero, believes New Paltz residents have made a difference in his case so far. “A hundred people wrote letters and inundated our politicians’ phone lines,” she said. The activism put pressure on then Congressman John Faso as well as Assemblyman Kevin Cahill, and she believes it eventually helped lead to the release of her husband shortly before the birth of their first son. Guerrero is currently awaiting a judge’s decision on whether or not to vacate his final order of deportation and to allow him to pursue full citizenship status. Local activism may only go so far, however. In January 2018, then-acting ICE director Thomas Homan released guidelines for how ICE was supposed to perform its duties in and around courtrooms—and that ICE was taking these actions because, in part, some towns and cities were showing an “unwillingness…to cooperate with ICE in the transfer of custody of aliens from their prisons and jails.” Indeed this past November, in the wake of the Homan memo, Matthew Rojas, a 23-year-old DACA recipient, was arrested by three ICE agents in New Paltz while walking with a friend to town Justice Court to plead not guilty to an October charge of possession of a controlled substance. In the wake of his arrest, Rojas’s charge was quickly reduced by the county attorney general to disorderly conduct. According to Rojas’s attorney, Mariann Connolly, ICE’s action was preemptive, because it precluded adjudication or even the chance for the sentence reduction that came after his arrest. Notably, as in Guerrero’s case and the aforementioned ACLU lawsuit, ICE does this often, detaining people and denying due process based on the premise that being in the US under tenuous legal status gives them that right. New Paltz rallied behind Rojas, with his friends promoting twice-weekly street protests and raves at town bars Snug’s Tavern and Bacchus—the latter as fundraisers for Rojas’s legal fees. His detention was short lived, but his future legal status is tenuous. Whether he can reapply for DACA in the wake of this arrest is an open question. As for Martinez’s arrest, reaction among those in citizenship limbo has been swift. One local DACA recipient, an 18-year old who is friends with Sharia (and who, for obvious reasons already laid out in this piece, fears any form of attribution) said she knows the situation is “heartbreaking. Especially for Sharia’s younger siblings. They’re so dependent and used to being with both parents. This isn’t an easy separation to ease into. It’s an abrupt world-flipper.” Her mother, who is undocumented, said she didn’t even want her daughter to know about Martinez’s arrest; she said she’s been trying to keep her daughter calm after she found out about her friend’s father. She focuses on the pragmatic rather than dwelling on the constant threats to her own family. “We are immigrants,” she said. “I work. My husband works. Our kids go to school. It’s all we can do.” Another undocumented community member went to the February event for Martinez. He said he’s never driven to his job in Newburgh because he fears getting pulled over. He knows how to drive but can’t get a license because of his status. And while he was happy to see so many people rallying for Martinez, he said, “Every day I’m very afraid.” The Case for the U Visa Jesus Martinez, Luis’s kid brother, was 18 when he was murdered. It was May 9, 1999. Mother’s Day. Tina Martinez said that according to her husband, Luis, Jesus, and another man named Hector Lima had been out at a party and Luis offered to give Lima a ride home to his apartment in Newburgh. Tina said when they arrived, the three men all piled out of Luis’s car to say their goodbyes at the apartment when Jesus spotted a car racing by with a gunman leaning out of the passenger side. On impulse, Jesus shoved both his brother and Lima to the ground. “When they got up Luis looked at Jesus and realized he’d been shot through the skull,” Tina said, still profoundly shaken by what her husband witnessed. Detective Rolando Zapata had only recently risen to working with the gang unit for the Newburgh Police in 1999. Zapata is 61 now and retired, but he described the events of the murder very clearly. He said this case “sticks in the back of [his] head,” and that he wants it solved. It’s why, though he rarely talks to the media, he agreed to discuss Jesus Martinez’s murder. Zapata said Luis and Jesus had been out the night before the murder at the invitation of Lima. “As far as they knew this guy was just someone cool. They’d met him at a party a few weeks before,” Zapata said. But Lima wasn’t just another guy. He was the leader of a Mexican crew called La M, and the brothers, naive to mob culture, were clueless about how much danger that meant for them. Jesus and Luis eventually realized that the party was full of mobsters. They wanted to leave and offered to give Lima a lift home to his apartment in Newburgh. “That apartment had already been the scene of numerous attempts on Lima’s life. The rival gang wanted him dead,” Detective Zapata said. Detective Zapata said one of the hardest moments of his career was having to visit Maria Raymundo on the Mother’s Day that her son was murdered. “I went to his house, to speak to his mother. She showed me a little gift that was still wrapped, that he was going to give her that day,” he said. “It just tore my heartstrings.” Zapata, who has since written a letter to ICE at the request of Martinez’s attorney, said no witness to a crime ever worked harder for him during his 28-year career. In 2000, a tip to Zapata about Jesus’s murder led to the arrest and eventual deportation of La M gang leader Lima for unlawful criminal possession of a handgun and a 12-gauge shotgun. Zapata is careful not to confirm that this tip came directly from Martinez. Zapata can’t. Jesus’s murder is still an open case—in the life of Martinez and his mother, it’s more like an open wound. And there’s a deep irony for the family that Martinez’s cooperation with Zapata helped deport the leader of a gang, and now he faces the same fate despite his help. Sharia Martinez said her father’s detention 20 years later is a ghostly echo for her grandmother, Maria Raymundo. “First my uncle, now my dad. It’s really hard for my grandma.” Sharia said. “It’s like she’s reliving the death of Jesus all over again.” A Hole in the Community New Paltz’s citizens have in part rallied around one of their own because he’s built an outsized reputation. Martinez has given broadly. He’s had an active financial and personal presence in the Chamber of Commerce, in St. Joseph’s Church, in working the Taste of New Paltz, in helping the youth basketball and soccer leagues, and in financial support of the Phillies Bridge Project, which in part donates more than four tons of food each year to Healthy Ulster to provide fresh produce to poorer community members in need. Treasurer Terence Ward said, “He told me he was quite familiar with the project and the food justice work. One year when the budget was tight he donated $1,000 on the spot.” In ICE’s eyes, however, Martinez is typical. He got a misdemeanor DUI in July of 2014 in New York City. He didn’t post bail, which would have triggered a court date, which in turn might have raised a flag to ICE about that date, giving them the chance to detain and deport him a third time. A pending New York State law may make it harder for ICE to arrest people at court, but such a law cannot restrict community arrests; and any civil arrest by local or state police will still include fingerprinting and, likely, running those prints will ping ICE’s system. Recently elected Ulster County Sheriff Juan Figueroa said when an entire community is afraid to testify about a crime, every town and city is at risk. “Organized crime in our country—any form of the mob—whether they were Irish or Italian, had power to scare their own people, to prevent them from talking to their own government,” he said, drawing a parallel to ICE’s intimidation tactics. “If they don’t want to talk to me and they’re a witness to a homicide, that puts us all in danger.” Figueroa said forcing people into hiding “is the lifeblood of organized crime.” Cecelia Friedman Levin, senior policy counsel at Asista, an organization that advises immigration attorneys, seconded that assessment, saying, “The Trump Administration’s focus on increased enforcement has caused a chilling effect on survivors’ willingness to come forward and seek protection.” The Cost You don’t have to be an expert on immigration law, like Levin, to see what’s happening. One immigrant who has a work visa and is trying to get a green card said he is afraid for himself and his community. He lives about 20 miles from New Paltz but heard about Martinez’s arrest. “People are trying to be more quiet. They’re getting more tight. You can feel it. They won’t talk to strangers, you can tell,” he said, refusing to offer his name for the record. He thought that would be unwise, but he offered that he has a master’s degree in business administration, and so he doesn’t just look at the emotion of the situation. “This man has actually been employing people,” he said, referring to Martinez’s Lalo Group. “He has been an active member of his community. They’ve decided to cost taxpayers money by filling jails with people rather than collecting taxes from them. Now that person isn’t paying his mortgage, isn’t funding the schools that are teaching his American kids, so now we can’t pay the teachers.” He continued, laughing ruefully, “Is this really what MAGA is all about? Economically, if you’ve been trained like me, you have to scratch your head because it’s the stupidest idea. It’s not just mean. It’s absurd.” What’s Your Status? Green Card: Technically a Permanent Legal Resident, with the right to work, some benefits, and to obtain full citizenship. Violating the terms of a green card, such as breaking some laws, can void your rights. Working Papers: There are multiple levels of work visas in the United States, and they vary widely in what jobs they are meant for, who can obtain them, and how long they last. As with all other levels of documentation, violating the law, and/or travel outside the US without special permission, can void your visa. DACA: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival was an executive order established by President Obama in 2012. It allowed some people who were under 31 on June 15 of that year to apply. Additionally, you would have had to arrive in the US before the age of 16 and had continuously resided in the US since June 15, 2007. There are further rules around education, military status, and other factors. Committing certain misdemeanors or a felony can cause a DACA recipient to lose those protections, including the right to work and having a driver’s license, and such a crime would also put them at risk of deportation. While Trump rescinded DACA September 5, 2017, barring new applicants, that order has stalled in federal court, so current DACA recipients can still renew every two years. Undocumented: Anyone who is not legally residing in the US. Although the recent surge at the US-Mexico border may eventually change the makeup of who is in the US without some form of documentation, according to the Center for Migration Studies, the vast majority of undocumented residents in the US arrived by plane and overstayed their tourist, work, or education visas.
25 Mar 19
Hollywood Life

After two Parkland shooting survivors took their own lives, Jeremy Richman – the father of a 6-year-old girl killed in the Sandy Hook massacre – was found dead from an apparent suicide. Here’s what we know about him.

25 Mar 19
Welcome to Newton's World

Everyone love movies , some movies are even awesome that one find repeating them once again, or even again and again. Movies give us memorable feelings, ideas, tricks and sometimes they can actually change your day to day behavior, well that’s a story of another day. But have you ever actually memorized or remembered some […]

25 Mar 19
Maga One News

Two men – including one who reportedly once applied to be a Chicago police officer – were arrested overnight Monday for allegedly shooting and killing an off-duty cop and critically injuring another man.

Alleged gunman Menelik Jackson, 24, had once applied to be a Chicago cop before he was arrested at the police academy a few years ago in connection with a home invasion. On Monday, he was charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of 23-year-old Officer John P. Rivera, the Chicago Tribune reported.

The other man charged, Jovan Battle, is accused of being a “co-conspirator” who was with Jackson at the time of the shooting. Police are still seeking a third person of interest, police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said Monday morning.

Jovan Battle, left, and Menelik Jackson, right, were charged with first-degree murder in off-duty Officer John P. Rivera’s death.

Jovan Battle, left, and Menelik Jackson, right, were charged with first-degree murder in off-duty Officer John P. Rivera’s death. (Chicago Police Department)

OFF-DUTY CHICAGO COP SHOT DEAD WHILE SITTING IN PARKED VEHICLE, ANOTHER MAN CRITICALLY INJURED

Police previously said at least two individuals approached a parked vehicle where Rivera and the other man were sitting, produced a gun and opened fire before running off.

At the time of the attack, four people were sitting in the parked car after having gone to Stout Barrel House & Pizza, the Tribune reported.

Rivera, a two-year veteran and patrol officer who had finished his shift hours earlier, was shot in the chest, arm and mouth. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.

His friend, also 23, was taken to the hospital in critical condition and is expected to survive. Another off-duty Chicago cop and a female civilian were in the car, too, but they were not injured, police said.

Guglielmi said video obtained during the investigation did not indicate carjacking as a motive.

CHICAGO REDUCES MURDER RATE IN 2018 BUT LEVEL STILL OUTSTRIPS LA AND NY COMBINED

Jackson was previously arrested July 2, 2017, after allegedly breaking into his ex-girlfriend’s apartment and pointing a gun at her head, the Tribune reported.

In that case, the victim told police Jackson told her he was going to the Chicago police academy on the Near West Side before fleeing.

Officers called the academy and Jackson was arrested on home invasion and weapon charges. Court records show he later pleaded guilty to a felony charge of attempted burglary and was sentenced to probation, the Tribune reported.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Chicago, the nation’s third-largest city, has been reeling from widespread homicides and gun crime, becoming the crime capital of the country.

Although the city managed to reduce the number of homicides in 2018 — compared to the two prior years — more people were killed in the city than in Los Angeles and New York City combined.

Chicago police reported 561 homicides were committed between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2018, compared to 660 homicides in 2017 and more than 770 in 2016, which marked a 19-year high and put a national spotlight on Chicago’s persistently high rates of gun violence.

Fox News’ Lukas Mikelionis contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News National

25 Mar 19
Archy Worldys

15:15 mean Greenwich time15:15 Chairman of the Judiciary Committee of the Senate Lindsey Graham He said he will speak to Attorney General Barr, this afternoon, and hopes to have him testify before the committee via CNN and McClatchy. Manu Raju (@Mkraju) Lindsey Graham has a noon call with Barr. He expects Barr to come before […]

25 Mar 19
Ed B on Sports

Scott Walker (singer) From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia British-American singer-songwriter, composer and record producer For other people named Scott Walker, see Scott Walker  Scott Walker Walker on Dutch TV, 1968 Background information Birth name Noel Scott Engel Born (1943-01-09)January 9, 1943 Hamilton, Ohio, US Died March 25, 2019(2019-03-25) (aged 76) Genres Pop rock avant-garde experimental Occupation(s) […]

25 Mar 19
Pallet & Plate

Plus, Egg Boy speaks for the first time, and other news to start your day The same company also owns Panera Bread and Pret A Manger The German family that effectively owns Krispy Kreme and Panera is set to donate around $11 million to charity, following media revelations about the family’s historic Nazi ties. Albert […]

25 Mar 19
SCNG
#gallery-1716427-1 { margin: auto; } #gallery-1716427-1 .gallery-item { float: left; margin-top: 10px; text-align: center; width: 33%; } #gallery-1716427-1 img { border: 2px solid #cfcfcf; } #gallery-1716427-1 .gallery-caption { margin-left: 0; } /* see gallery_shortcode() in wp-includes/media.php */ On March 25, 1911, Fannie Lansner — an immigrant from Lithuania and a supervisor at the Triangle Waist Co. — directed co-workers out of the burning building, but her actions prevented her own timely exit. She was just 21. Apr. 1, 2011 – BROWN BROTHERS On March 25, 1911, a fire broke out in the Triangle Waist Factory in New York’s Greenwich Village. Workers tried to make their way downstairs, but the doors on their floor were always locked and the fire escape soon crumpled. Pictured: Women sitting at sewing machines in a factory, with piles of white fabric in front of them. A sign attached to the ceiling at the back says ”Fire Escape” and has a hand pointing to a window. (Credit Image: Minneapolis Star Tribune/ZUMAPRESS.com) FILE – In this March 25, 1911 file photo, firefighters work to put out the fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Company in New York’s Greenwich Village neighborhood. The fire that raced through a garment factory on Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012 in Bangladesh and killed 112 workers bore eerie echoes of another inferno that burned more than a century ago: the Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire in New York City. (AP Photo/File) FILE – In this 1911 file photo provided by the National Archives, labor union members gather to protest and mourn the loss of life in the March 25, 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York. The fire that raced through a garment factory on Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012 in Bangladesh and killed 112 workers bore eerie echoes of another inferno that burned more than a century ago: the Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire in New York City. (AP Photo/National Archives, File) These women, all survivors of tragic fire at Triangle Waist co., in New York City, March 25, 1911, attend ceremonies in New York March 25, 1961 on the 50th Anniversary of the event. About 350 persons escaped death in the fire that day which took the lives of 146 garment workers, mostly girls and women. From left at the commemorative ceremonies planned joint by New York City and the International ladies garment workers union are Anna Gullo Pidone, Yetta Kreisel, Josephine Nicolosi and Flo Coannides. (AP Photo) FILE – This 1911 file photo shows the burned out remains of the Triangle Shirtwaist Company in New York’s Greenwich Village neighborhood. One hundred years ago, horrified onlookers watched as workers leapt to their deaths from the raging fire in the garment factory. The fire killed 146 workers, mainly young immigrant women and girls, and became a touchstone for the organized labor movement, spurred fire-safety laws and shed light on the lives of immigrant workers. (AP Photo/File) Fannie Lansner, sister of columnist Jonathan Lansner’s paternal grandfather, was among 123 women and 23 men who died in what’s known as the Triangle Fire. It was a preventable tragedy at a ninth-floor garment factory in New York City. The fire sparked the American labor movement as well as modernized building safety codes. Triangle Fire victim Fannie Lansner is honored on March 23, 2018 with a chalk memorial in front of the apartment building she lived in. (Courtesy: Lansner family) March 25, 1911 started off like any other Saturday at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory. It was the final day of the six-day standard work week in the New York City sweatshops where mentally exhausting sewing work was done largely by young, immigrant women getting limited pay in harsh conditions. A strike two years earlier resulted in many of the factory’s workers getting fired. When the fateful workday was finished, 146 workers were killed — some as young as 13 — in a horrific factory fire that helped change American economic history. The dead included my Great Aunt Fannie, a 20-year-old recent immigrant from Lithuania. Those seamstresses toiled in a blouse-making facility loaded with flammable material, making it impossible for firefighters to help. Smoldering rags turned into a blaze that lasted just a half-hour. It forced my grandfather’s little sister to plunge roughly 100 feet to her death to escape the killer flames and smoke. So 108 years later, on this grim day, a big political debate swirls around the value of the capitalism that powers the U.S. economy. I must note that worshipping economic profit is a two-edged sword. Yes, a shot at wealth drives many folks to hustle and innovate, to advance themselves, family, friends and co-workers. Yes, that monetizing spirit can enrichen the broad economy. But at what cost? It sadly takes a tragedy such as the Triangle Fire to awaken enough folks to see that capitalism is by no means perfect. And cutting corners, often putting workers or customers at risk, is a time-tested profit booster. Much is made of the Triangle Fire’s impact on the American labor movement. The ensuing outrage gave momentum to the emerging strength of unions, with garment workers at the forefront of workplace organizing efforts. Without this spark, who knows how much longer it would have taken to establish many modern workplace norms — such as shorter work weeks, paid vacation and leave, child labor limits and even the minimum wage. Less discussed are the equally tangible workplace improvements that followed Great Aunt Fannie’s sad demise: building-safety codes. The Asch Building that housed the Triangle Factory — at the time one of the boss-friendly city’s largest garment makers — was a disaster waiting to happen. More Aunt Fannie thoughts: 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018 The 10-story tower didn’t have enough exits to handle any emergency situation. It had no alarm system. It had no sprinklers. While its exterior was fire-proof terra cotta and steel, floors and window frames were made of flammable wood. The workplace itself was overfilled with easily combustible fabrics. Oh, and the top three stories of the Asch Building — where Triangle’s blouses were made — were above the six-story limits of the firefighting equipment of that era. In the fire’s aftermath, workplace safety issues that were once decried as cost-prohibitive measures soon became codified. National building codes evolved with an emphasis on standards for emergency exits, fire suppression and even the habit of practicing escapes with drills. In fact, the post-fire repair of the Asch Building — today it’s known as the Brown building on the New York University campus — included adding a water tower and sprinklers. All the legal changes did not punish the Triangle Factory owners. Not only were the factory owners cleared of criminal wrongdoing, they also got a handsome insurance payout for business damages. Families of the dead got settlements approximating $75 per worker. Sadly, that’s how capitalism too often works. The much-heralded free market often requires dead bodies to fix things. Great Aunt Fannie Lansner learned that lesson the hard way.[related_articles location=”left” show_article_date=”false” article_type=”automatic-primary-tag”]
25 Mar 19
Orange County Register
#gallery-6735095-2 { margin: auto; } #gallery-6735095-2 .gallery-item { float: left; margin-top: 10px; text-align: center; width: 33%; } #gallery-6735095-2 img { border: 2px solid #cfcfcf; } #gallery-6735095-2 .gallery-caption { margin-left: 0; } /* see gallery_shortcode() in wp-includes/media.php */ On March 25, 1911, Fannie Lansner — an immigrant from Lithuania and a supervisor at the Triangle Waist Co. — directed co-workers out of the burning building, but her actions prevented her own timely exit. She was just 21. Apr. 1, 2011 – BROWN BROTHERS On March 25, 1911, a fire broke out in the Triangle Waist Factory in New York’s Greenwich Village. Workers tried to make their way downstairs, but the doors on their floor were always locked and the fire escape soon crumpled. Pictured: Women sitting at sewing machines in a factory, with piles of white fabric in front of them. A sign attached to the ceiling at the back says ”Fire Escape” and has a hand pointing to a window. (Credit Image: Minneapolis Star Tribune/ZUMAPRESS.com) FILE – In this March 25, 1911 file photo, firefighters work to put out the fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Company in New York’s Greenwich Village neighborhood. The fire that raced through a garment factory on Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012 in Bangladesh and killed 112 workers bore eerie echoes of another inferno that burned more than a century ago: the Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire in New York City. (AP Photo/File) FILE – In this 1911 file photo provided by the National Archives, labor union members gather to protest and mourn the loss of life in the March 25, 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York. The fire that raced through a garment factory on Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012 in Bangladesh and killed 112 workers bore eerie echoes of another inferno that burned more than a century ago: the Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire in New York City. (AP Photo/National Archives, File) These women, all survivors of tragic fire at Triangle Waist co., in New York City, March 25, 1911, attend ceremonies in New York March 25, 1961 on the 50th Anniversary of the event. About 350 persons escaped death in the fire that day which took the lives of 146 garment workers, mostly girls and women. From left at the commemorative ceremonies planned joint by New York City and the International ladies garment workers union are Anna Gullo Pidone, Yetta Kreisel, Josephine Nicolosi and Flo Coannides. (AP Photo) FILE – This 1911 file photo shows the burned out remains of the Triangle Shirtwaist Company in New York’s Greenwich Village neighborhood. One hundred years ago, horrified onlookers watched as workers leapt to their deaths from the raging fire in the garment factory. The fire killed 146 workers, mainly young immigrant women and girls, and became a touchstone for the organized labor movement, spurred fire-safety laws and shed light on the lives of immigrant workers. (AP Photo/File) Fannie Lansner, sister of columnist Jonathan Lansner’s paternal grandfather, was among 123 women and 23 men who died in what’s known as the Triangle Fire. It was a preventable tragedy at a ninth-floor garment factory in New York City. The fire sparked the American labor movement as well as modernized building safety codes. Triangle Fire victim Fannie Lansner is honored on March 23, 2018 with a chalk memorial in front of the apartment building she lived in. (Courtesy: Lansner family) March 25, 1911 started off like any other Saturday at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory. It was the final day of the six-day standard work week in the New York City sweatshops where mentally exhausting sewing work was done largely by young, immigrant women getting limited pay in harsh conditions. A strike two years earlier resulted in many of the factory’s workers getting fired. When the fateful workday was finished, 146 workers were killed — some as young as 13 — in a horrific factory fire that helped change American economic history. The dead included my Great Aunt Fannie, a 20-year-old recent immigrant from Lithuania. Those seamstresses toiled in a blouse-making facility loaded with flammable material, making it impossible for firefighters to help. Smoldering rags turned into a blaze that lasted just a half-hour. It forced my grandfather’s little sister to plunge roughly 100 feet to her death to escape the killer flames and smoke. So 108 years later, on this grim day, a big political debate swirls around the value of the capitalism that powers the U.S. economy. I must note that worshipping economic profit is a two-edged sword. Yes, a shot at wealth drives many folks to hustle and innovate, to advance themselves, family, friends and co-workers. Yes, that monetizing spirit can enrichen the broad economy. But at what cost? It sadly takes a tragedy such as the Triangle Fire to awaken enough folks to see that capitalism is by no means perfect. And cutting corners, often putting workers or customers at risk, is a time-tested profit booster. Much is made of the Triangle Fire’s impact on the American labor movement. The ensuing outrage gave momentum to the emerging strength of unions, with garment workers at the forefront of workplace organizing efforts. Without this spark, who knows how much longer it would have taken to establish many modern workplace norms — such as shorter work weeks, paid vacation and leave, child labor limits and even the minimum wage. Less discussed are the equally tangible workplace improvements that followed Great Aunt Fannie’s sad demise: building-safety codes. The Asch Building that housed the Triangle Factory — at the time one of the boss-friendly city’s largest garment makers — was a disaster waiting to happen. The 10-story tower didn’t have enough exits to handle any emergency situation. It had no alarm system. It had no sprinklers. While its exterior was fire-proof terra cotta and steel, floors and window frames were made of flammable wood. The workplace itself was overfilled with easily combustible fabrics. Oh, and the top three stories of the Asch Building — where Triangle’s blouses were made — were above the six-story limits of the firefighting equipment of that era. In the fire’s aftermath, workplace safety issues that were once decried as cost-prohibitive measures soon became codified. National building codes evolved with an emphasis on standards for emergency exits, fire suppression and even the habit of practicing escapes with drills. In fact, the post-fire repair of the Asch Building — today it’s known as the Brown building on the New York University campus — included adding a water tower and sprinklers. All the legal changes did not punish the Triangle Factory owners. Not only were the factory owners cleared of criminal wrongdoing, they also got a handsome insurance payout for business damages. Families of the dead got settlements approximating $75 per worker. Sadly, that’s how capitalism too often works. The much-heralded free market often requires dead bodies to fix things. Great Aunt Fannie Lansner learned that lesson the hard way.[related_articles location=”left” show_article_date=”false” article_type=”automatic-primary-tag”]
25 Mar 19
Cyberian

[ad_1] WENN – Mar 25, 2019 / 6:49 am | Story: 252341 Photo: All rights reserved. Pamela Anderson Pamela Anderson has called for the end of reality TV shows, labeling the concept “desperate and exploitative.” The 51-year-old actress and model expressed her feelings about the programs in a series of tweets on Sunday. “Did I […]

25 Mar 19
The Mercury News
#gallery-5953012-3 { margin: auto; } #gallery-5953012-3 .gallery-item { float: left; margin-top: 10px; text-align: center; width: 33%; } #gallery-5953012-3 img { border: 2px solid #cfcfcf; } #gallery-5953012-3 .gallery-caption { margin-left: 0; } /* see gallery_shortcode() in wp-includes/media.php */ Fire hoses spray water on the upper floors of the Asch Building (housing the Triangle Shirtwaist Company) on Washington and Greene Streets, during the fire in New York City, March 25, 1911. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images) Apr. 1, 2011 – BROWN BROTHERS On March 25, 1911, a fire broke out in the Triangle Waist Factory in New York’s Greenwich Village. Workers tried to make their way downstairs, but the doors on their floor were always locked and the fire escape soon crumpled. Pictured: Women sitting at sewing machines in a factory, with piles of white fabric in front of them. A sign attached to the ceiling at the back says ”Fire Escape” and has a hand pointing to a window. (Credit Image: Minneapolis Star Tribune/ZUMAPRESS.com) A policeman stands in the street, observing charred rubble and corpses of workers following the Triangle Shirtwaist Company fire in New York City, March 25, 1911. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images) Fannie Lansner, sister of columnist Jonathan Lansner’s paternal grandfather, was among 123 women and 23 men who died in what’s known as the Triangle Fire. It was a preventable tragedy at a ninth-floor garment factory in New York City. The fire sparked the American labor movement as well as modernized building safety codes. On March 25, 1911, Fannie Lansner — an immigrant from Lithuania and a supervisor at the Triangle Waist Co. — directed co-workers out of the burning building, but her actions prevented her own timely exit. She was just 21. Crowds of people stand in the street, waiting to identify bodies of immigrant workers following the Triangle Shirtwaist Company fire in New York City, March 25, 1911. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images) (LEFT PHOTO) NEW YORK, NY- MARCH 25, 1911: Firefighters worked to douse the flames at the Triangle Shirtwaist Company in the Asch building at the corner of Greene Street and Washington Place, March 25, 1911 in New York City. Workers were locked into the factory during their shifts, preventing escape. New Yorkers watched in horror from below as workers leapt to their deaths from the windows above. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)(RIGHT PHOTO) NEW YORK, NY – MARCH 24: People walk past the Asch building the day before the 100th anniversary of the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire which killed 146 immigrant workers, most of them young women, on March 24, 2011 in New York City. Public outcry over the tragedy led to nationwide debate on workers rights and safety regulations and helped pave the way for strong workers unions. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images) Triangle Fire victim Fannie Lansner is honored on March 23, 2018 with a chalk memorial in front of the apartment building she lived in. (Courtesy: Lansner family) NEW YORK – MARCH 24: School children lay white flowers near a wreath during the commemoration of the 95th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire March 24, 2006 in New York City. On March 25, 1911, a fire broke out in the Triangle Shirtwaist Company on the eighth floor of the Asch Building and 146 employees perished. (Photo by Stephen Chernin/Getty Images) NEW YORK – MARCH 24: A man looks up at the Asch building as photos of the tragedy rest on the ground during the commemoration of the 95th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire March 24, 2006 in New York City. On March 25, 1911, a fire broke out in the Triangle Shirtwaist Company on the eighth floor of the Asch Building and 146 employees perished. (Photo by Stephen Chernin/Getty Images) NEW YORK – MARCH 24: A fire truck ladder is raised to the height that ladders of the early 20th century fire trucks could go during the commemoration of the 95th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire March 24, 2006 in New York City. On March 25, 1911, a fire broke out in the Triangle Shirtwaist Company on the eighth floor of the Asch Building and 146 employees perished. (Photo by Stephen Chernin/Getty Images) Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) students write the name of 146 factory workers who died in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in chalk in front of a exhibition at FIT March 23 2011. The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City on March 25, 1911, was the deadliest industrial disaster in the history of the city of New York and resulted in the fourth highest loss of life from an industrial accident in US history. AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images) NEW YORK, NY – MARCH 24: People walk past the Asch building the day before the 100th anniversary of the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire which killed 146 immigrant workers, most of them young women, on March 24, 2011 in New York City. Workers were locked into the factory during their shifts, preventing escape. New Yorkers watched in horror from below as workers leapt to their deaths from the windows above. Public outcry over the tragedy led to nationwide debate on workers rights and safety regulations and helped pave the way for strong workers unions. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images) NEW YORK, NY – MARCH 24: A man walks past the Asch building the day before the 100th anniversary of the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire which killed 146 immigrant workers, most of them young women, on March 24, 2011 in New York City. Workers were locked into the factory during their shifts, preventing escape. New Yorkers watched in horror from below as workers leapt to their deaths from the windows above. Public outcry over the tragedy led to nationwide debate on workers rights and safety regulations and helped pave the way for strong workers unions. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images) March 25, 1911 started off like any other Saturday at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory. It was the final day of the six-day standard work week in the New York City sweatshops where mentally exhausting sewing work was done largely by young, immigrant women getting limited pay in harsh conditions. A strike two years earlier resulted in many of the factory’s workers getting fired. When the fateful workday was finished, 146 workers were killed — some as young as 13 — in a horrific factory fire that helped change American economic history. The dead included my Great Aunt Fannie, a 20-year-old recent immigrant from Lithuania. Those seamstresses toiled in a blouse-making facility loaded with flammable material, making it impossible for firefighters to help. Smoldering rags turned into a blaze that lasted just a half-hour. It forced my grandfather’s little sister to plunge roughly 100 feet to her death to escape the killer flames and smoke. [dfm_iframe src=”https://apps.mercurynews.com/newsletters-signup/?campaign=gmsv” width=”100%” height=”220px” allowfullscreen=”yes” scrolling=”yes” /] So 108 years later, on this grim day, a big political debate swirls around the value of the capitalism that powers the U.S. economy. I must note that worshipping economic profit is a two-edged sword. Yes, a shot at wealth drives many folks to hustle and innovate, to advance themselves, family, friends and co-workers. Yes, that monetizing spirit can enrichen the broad economy. But at what cost? It sadly takes a tragedy such as the Triangle Fire to awaken enough folks to see that capitalism is by no means perfect. And cutting corners, often putting workers or customers at risk, is a time-tested profit booster. Much is made of the Triangle Fire’s impact on the American labor movement. The ensuing outrage gave momentum to the emerging strength of unions, with garment workers at the forefront of workplace organizing efforts. Without this spark, who knows how much longer it would have taken to establish many modern workplace norms — such as shorter work weeks, paid vacation and leave, child labor limits and even the minimum wage. Less discussed are the equally tangible workplace improvements that followed Great Aunt Fannie’s sad demise: building-safety codes. The Asch Building that housed the Triangle Factory — at the time one of the boss-friendly city’s largest garment makers — was a disaster waiting to happen. More Aunt Fannie thoughts: 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018 The 10-story tower didn’t have enough exits to handle any emergency situation. It had no alarm system. It had no sprinklers. While its exterior was fire-proof terra cotta and steel, floors and window frames were made of flammable wood. The workplace itself was overfilled with easily combustible fabrics. Oh, and the top three stories of the Asch Building — where Triangle’s blouses were made — were above the six-story limits of the firefighting equipment of that era. In the fire’s aftermath, workplace safety issues that were once decried as cost-prohibitive measures soon became codified. National building codes evolved with an emphasis on standards for emergency exits, fire suppression and even the habit of practicing escapes with drills. In fact, the post-fire repair of the Asch Building — today it’s known as the Brown building on the New York University campus — included adding a water tower and sprinklers. All the legal changes did not punish the Triangle Factory owners. Not only were the factory owners cleared of criminal wrongdoing, they also got a handsome insurance payout for business damages. Families of the dead got settlements approximating $75 per worker. Sadly, that’s how capitalism too often works. The much-heralded free market often requires dead bodies to fix things. Great Aunt Fannie Lansner learned that lesson the hard way.
25 Mar 19
San Gabriel Valley Tribune
#gallery-1894065-4 { margin: auto; } #gallery-1894065-4 .gallery-item { float: left; margin-top: 10px; text-align: center; width: 33%; } #gallery-1894065-4 img { border: 2px solid #cfcfcf; } #gallery-1894065-4 .gallery-caption { margin-left: 0; } /* see gallery_shortcode() in wp-includes/media.php */ On March 25, 1911, Fannie Lansner — an immigrant from Lithuania and a supervisor at the Triangle Waist Co. — directed co-workers out of the burning building, but her actions prevented her own timely exit. She was just 21. Apr. 1, 2011 – BROWN BROTHERS On March 25, 1911, a fire broke out in the Triangle Waist Factory in New York’s Greenwich Village. Workers tried to make their way downstairs, but the doors on their floor were always locked and the fire escape soon crumpled. Pictured: Women sitting at sewing machines in a factory, with piles of white fabric in front of them. A sign attached to the ceiling at the back says ”Fire Escape” and has a hand pointing to a window. (Credit Image: Minneapolis Star Tribune/ZUMAPRESS.com) FILE – In this March 25, 1911 file photo, firefighters work to put out the fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Company in New York’s Greenwich Village neighborhood. The fire that raced through a garment factory on Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012 in Bangladesh and killed 112 workers bore eerie echoes of another inferno that burned more than a century ago: the Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire in New York City. (AP Photo/File) FILE – In this 1911 file photo provided by the National Archives, labor union members gather to protest and mourn the loss of life in the March 25, 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York. The fire that raced through a garment factory on Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012 in Bangladesh and killed 112 workers bore eerie echoes of another inferno that burned more than a century ago: the Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire in New York City. (AP Photo/National Archives, File) These women, all survivors of tragic fire at Triangle Waist co., in New York City, March 25, 1911, attend ceremonies in New York March 25, 1961 on the 50th Anniversary of the event. About 350 persons escaped death in the fire that day which took the lives of 146 garment workers, mostly girls and women. From left at the commemorative ceremonies planned joint by New York City and the International ladies garment workers union are Anna Gullo Pidone, Yetta Kreisel, Josephine Nicolosi and Flo Coannides. (AP Photo) FILE – This 1911 file photo shows the burned out remains of the Triangle Shirtwaist Company in New York’s Greenwich Village neighborhood. One hundred years ago, horrified onlookers watched as workers leapt to their deaths from the raging fire in the garment factory. The fire killed 146 workers, mainly young immigrant women and girls, and became a touchstone for the organized labor movement, spurred fire-safety laws and shed light on the lives of immigrant workers. (AP Photo/File) Fannie Lansner, sister of columnist Jonathan Lansner’s paternal grandfather, was among 123 women and 23 men who died in what’s known as the Triangle Fire. It was a preventable tragedy at a ninth-floor garment factory in New York City. The fire sparked the American labor movement as well as modernized building safety codes. Triangle Fire victim Fannie Lansner is honored on March 23, 2018 with a chalk memorial in front of the apartment building she lived in. (Courtesy: Lansner family) March 25, 1911 started off like any other Saturday at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory. It was the final day of the six-day standard work week in the New York City sweatshops where mentally exhausting sewing work was done largely by young, immigrant women getting limited pay in harsh conditions. A strike two years earlier resulted in many of the factory’s workers getting fired. When the fateful workday was finished, 146 workers were killed — some as young as 13 — in a horrific factory fire that helped change American economic history. The dead included my Great Aunt Fannie, a 20-year-old recent immigrant from Lithuania. Those seamstresses toiled in a blouse-making facility loaded with flammable material, making it impossible for firefighters to help. Smoldering rags turned into a blaze that lasted just a half-hour. It forced my grandfather’s little sister to plunge roughly 100 feet to her death to escape the killer flames and smoke. So 108 years later, on this grim day, a big political debate swirls around the value of the capitalism that powers the U.S. economy. I must note that worshipping economic profit is a two-edged sword. Yes, a shot at wealth drives many folks to hustle and innovate, to advance themselves, family, friends and co-workers. Yes, that monetizing spirit can enrichen the broad economy. But at what cost? It sadly takes a tragedy such as the Triangle Fire to awaken enough folks to see that capitalism is by no means perfect. And cutting corners, often putting workers or customers at risk, is a time-tested profit booster. Much is made of the Triangle Fire’s impact on the American labor movement. The ensuing outrage gave momentum to the emerging strength of unions, with garment workers at the forefront of workplace organizing efforts. Without this spark, who knows how much longer it would have taken to establish many modern workplace norms — such as shorter work weeks, paid vacation and leave, child labor limits and even the minimum wage. Less discussed are the equally tangible workplace improvements that followed Great Aunt Fannie’s sad demise: building-safety codes. The Asch Building that housed the Triangle Factory — at the time one of the boss-friendly city’s largest garment makers — was a disaster waiting to happen. The 10-story tower didn’t have enough exits to handle any emergency situation. It had no alarm system. It had no sprinklers. While its exterior was fire-proof terra cotta and steel, floors and window frames were made of flammable wood. The workplace itself was overfilled with easily combustible fabrics. Oh, and the top three stories of the Asch Building — where Triangle’s blouses were made — were above the six-story limits of the firefighting equipment of that era. In the fire’s aftermath, workplace safety issues that were once decried as cost-prohibitive measures soon became codified. National building codes evolved with an emphasis on standards for emergency exits, fire suppression and even the habit of practicing escapes with drills. In fact, the post-fire repair of the Asch Building — today it’s known as the Brown building on the New York University campus — included adding a water tower and sprinklers. All the legal changes did not punish the Triangle Factory owners. Not only were the factory owners cleared of criminal wrongdoing, they also got a handsome insurance payout for business damages. Families of the dead got settlements approximating $75 per worker. Sadly, that’s how capitalism too often works. The much-heralded free market often requires dead bodies to fix things. Great Aunt Fannie Lansner learned that lesson the hard way.[related_articles location=”left” show_article_date=”false” article_type=”automatic-primary-tag”]
25 Mar 19
Foreign Policy

An inspector general investigation further tarnishes the former Boeing executive.