We live in a nation increasingly divided on racial, ethnic, and political lines. Much of the leading media of our day focuses on the agendas that drive these divisions, but little is said about the phenomena itself, or the underlying social justice issues.
Brian Dunn, a leading Civil Rights attorney and the managing partner of The Cochran Firm in California, explores these issues each week with Producer Jim Oates, and various other guests from the legal and business communities. Brian is one of the most successful civil plaintiff attorneys in California in the field of police misconduct and use of deadly force by police. A Nation Divided focuses not only on the reality of the division between law enforcement and the public, but on the deeper divisions in our society. Only on 790 KABC Radio.
A Nation Divided radio welcomes back Connie Rice for another conversation.
Constance L. "Connie" Rice is a prominent American civil rights activist and lawyer. She is also the co-founder and co-director of the Advancement Project in Los Angeles. She has received more than 50 major awards for her work in expanding opportunity and advancing multi-racial democracy. She is a second cousin of former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
On todays episode of A Nation Divided Radio we dive into ground breaking cases headed by our special guest John Sweeney. In 1985, Mr. Sweeney left the Law Offices of Johnnie L. Cochran to establish his own firm in Beverly Hills, California. Since then, Mr. Sweeney has successfully handled some of the most complex tort, civil rights, and criminal cases in California and throughout the United States. Mr. Sweeney has won tens of millions of dollars in civil verdicts and settlements and scores of not guilty verdicts for clients who were falsely accused of crimes.
"A Nation Divided" invited former police officer and current drug activist, Barry Cooper to the show. Mr. Cooper is a world-famous drug expert and humanitarian who was once one of the nation’s top drug-enforcement police officers. He experienced a shift in consciousness after experimenting with psychedelics, which led to his transformation. For over 12 years, Barry has worked as an activist, drug expert witness, drug consultant, life coach and psychedelic healer.
Today on A Nation Divided Radio we speak with Martin Ludlow about music, life, and how his upbringing made him into who he is today. In 1998, Ludlow became chief of staff to state Assembly Member Antonio Villaraigosa, and in 2001 he was named political director of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor under the executive secretary, Miguel Contreras. In 2002 he became a member of the staff of Assembly member Herb Wesson.
On this episode we discuss the foreign topic of torture of prisoners here in America on our soil. Flint Taylor is a graduate of Brown University and Northwestern Law School, is a founding partner of the People’s Law Office in Chicago, an office which has been dedicated to litigating civil rights, police violence, government misconduct, and death penalty cases for 45 years. Among the landmark cases that Mr. Taylor has litigated are the Fred Hampton Black Panther case; the Greensboro, North Carolina case against the Ku Klux Klan and Nazis; the Ford Heights Four case in which four innocent men received a record $36 million settlement for their wrongful conviction and imprisonment.
Darnell Hicks’ life has been thrown into disarray in the days since he was falsely accused of being the gunman behind an ambush attack on two Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies who were shot last weekend while sitting in their patrol vehicle.
As a manhunt for the shooter got underway Saturday evening, the youth football coach and father of two daughters said he began receiving text messages that featured a fake “be on the lookout” (BOLO) alert. They had his name, address, driver’s license photo, and license plate number.
The post said Hicks, 33, was an armed and dangerous, warning, “The suspect has vowed to shoot more law enforcement officers.”
“I didn’t think nothing of it [at first],” he told Fox News on Wednesday. “I thought they were just playing games with me, like a prank.”
The two deputies were assigned to the sheriff department’s Transit Services Bureau and graduated from the academy 14 months ago, officials said. A video of the attack shows them parked at the Compton Metro station around 7 p.m. Saturday when a gunman approaches and fires several shots into the passenger window.
The deputies – identified only as a 31-year-old woman and 24-year-old man – were rushed to a hospital and underwent surgery. The man was released Wednesday, Sheriff Alex Villanueva said. The woman is still hospitalized.
Hicks said he was riding his dirtbike all day Saturday. Worried about the false accusation, he said he called the sheriff’s Compton station.
On Sunday, the sheriff’s department addressed the rumor in a tweet, calling it “ERRONEOUS information.” It said there were “no named or wanted suspects at the time.” Which we feel is not enough to clear his name and we would like to see more from the LA County Sheriff’s Department.
Hicks’ attorney, Brian Dunn of the Cochran Firm, said his client has no connection to the shooting. He criticized the department for not going further to clear Hicks’ name, and for its general description of the suspect as a “dark-skinned male.”
“This is an appeal to what we call ‘belt whistles’ by associating a certain type of violence with a certain race of individuals and it covers millions of people when you just see ‘dark skinned’ Black male,” Dunn told Fox News.
“The sheriff’s department does not appear to be interested in tearing down the walls that have separated them from the community. All we saw was a slight post on social media. They should be doing a press conference to clear this man’s name.”
Hicks said he feared for the safety of himself, his two daughters, and his 93-year-old grandmother, with whom he lives. He said he’s received death threats and is afraid to take his children out. In addition, the rumors have impacted his daily routine, his apparel business, and the way others view him.
“I know for a fact that most people are going to start looking at me differently because they follow trends on social media. They see people saying negative things and a lot of people are going to run with that,” he said.
“I just happened to get food yesterday at night and a guy said a joke like, ‘Oh, you’re the cop killer’ and he was just laughing.”
It is unclear why Hicks was targeted, Dunn said, but he characterized Hicks as a casualty in efforts to sow distrust amid national race and police issues.
“I’ve lived through this for at least a part of this week with this man, and I’ve seen how his life has been turned upside-down,” Dunn said. “He didn’t do anything to anyone. Yet he’s now a casualty in this war of hatred.”
Hicks, who lives in Compton, said he prayed for the officers but also feared the attack could result in over-policing in the community.
“I’m scared for everybody else out there because I know that this could lead to a lot and something else can happen to another Black male,” he said.