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Mollie Tibbetts’ Family Wants Donald Trump To Stop Politicizing Her Murder

In the days following news reports that the man who murdered Mollie Tibbetts, a University of Iowa student who was killed in July, was an undocumented immigrant her death has quickly become swept up in the strings of politics. Similar to the story of Kate Steinle, whose 2015 murder was leveraged by Donald Trump’s presidential campaign for the 2016 election to push his platform, Tibbetts’ murder is being wielded by conservatives in an effort to push their own immigration agendas.

In a series of recent posts by members of Tibbett’s family, those close to her are saying the politicizing is enough.

In a recent post to her Facebook page, Tibbett’s aunt, Billie Jo Calderwood, asked followers to stop using her death for political leverage.

Please remember, Evil comes in EVERY color. Our family has been blessed to be surrounded by love, friendship and support…

Posted by Billie Jo Calderwood on Tuesday, August 21, 2018

“Please remember, Evil comes in EVERY color,” Calderwood wrote in a post to her Facebook page. “Our family has been blessed to be surrounded by love, friendship and support throughout this entire ordeal by friends from all different nations and races. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.”

Earlier this week, Tibbetts’ second cousin Samantha Lucas used Twitter to speak out against those who used Tibbetts to speak against undocumented immigrants. “Hey I’m a member of mollie’s family and we are not so fucking small-minded that we generalize a whole population based on some bad individuals,” she replied to a tweet by conservative figurehead Candace Owens. “Now stop being a fucking snake and using my cousins death as political propaganda. take her name out of your mouth.”

On Wednesday, Tibbetts’ brother Jake spoke at a vigil for his sister and reminded the crowd of how people across the country were able to come together to support her family in the days after her death. “Remember this as a time that the country came together for one girl. One girl that loved everyone. One girl that loved everything and wanted the best for everyone. Don’t remember this as the time that someone made a very poor decision and took a girl away,” he said.

Many of those seeking justice for Tibbetts and her family have been quick to point out a significant commonality between the student and recent murder victims

Like Tibbetts, Shanann Watts, a Denver area woman who was murdered along with her children, was killed by a man. Recent studies have shown that toxic masculinity is closely linked to “shows of strength and aggression.” In 2017, the study found that “1,600 women were murdered by men in 2015 and the most common weapon used was a gun.”

Of course, many have also highlighted how quick Trump’s administration has been to pounce on Tibbetts murder.

After meeting with Tibbetts family, Vice President Pence tweeted, “Heartbroken by the news about Mollie Tibbetts. We commend the swift action by local, state, & federal investigators working in Iowa in apprehending an illegal immigrant, who’s now charged with first-degree murder.”


Read: A Recent Survey Just Revealed That A Full Forty-Two Percent Of Women Might Not Vote For The Midterms

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Study: Police In The Dominican Republic Are Abusing Women Sex Workers With Impunity

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Study: Police In The Dominican Republic Are Abusing Women Sex Workers With Impunity

Sex workers in the Dominican Republic, where the profession is illegal, are vulnerable to violence, but many don’t feel safe reporting these crimes to law enforcement because, in many cases, it’s police officers who are responsible for their abuse.

This month, Amnesty International released a report detailing how law enforcement in the Caribbean country rape and torture women sex workers. The study, harrowingly titled “If They Can Have Her, Why Can’t We,” includes interviews with 46 cis and trans sex workers who discuss the abuse they experienced at the hands of local police.

According to the report, of the 24 cis women interviewed, at least 10 had been raped by law enforcement, several at gunpoint. Similarly, many trans women disclosed being violently mistreated, some even tortured, by officers.

“The interviews reveal how a deeply engrained culture of machismo within the National Police, coupled with intense societal stigma and discrimination and conservative religious values, embolden law enforcement officials to unlawfully abuse their powers and punish women who engage in sex work as a form of social control,” reads the report.

One woman shared her account of being gang-raped by three policemen. In October 2017,  the woman was pulled over by an officer who spotted her waiting for clients when he forced her to enter his police van. There, he and two other patrols started groping the woman and ripping off her clothes.

“I was afraid. I was alone. I couldn’t defend myself. I had to let them do what they wanted with me,” she told Amnesty International. “They threatened me, that if I wasn’t with them they would kill me. They (said) that I was a whore, and so why not with them?”

The woman, whose shocking account influenced the title of the report, said that the officers called her a “bitch,” among other expletives, adding: “They saw me, I guess, and they thought ‘Well, if they (clients) can have her, why can’t we?’”

This mentality isn’t uncommon. The report notes that the government, and society at large, often views sex workers as less than human and are thus “deserving” of the violence they experience.

“The harrowing testimonies that Amnesty International has gathered from the Dominican Republic reveal that police routinely target and inflict sexual abuse and humiliation on women who sell sex with the purpose of punishing and discriminating against them,” Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International, said. “Under international law, such treatment can amount to gender-based torture and other ill-treatment.”

While this particular study looked at the problem in the Dominican Republic, Guevara-Rosas says police violence against sex workers isn’t unique to the region but rather follows a pattern of gender-based violence across Latin America and the Caribbean. She calls it an “epidemic” and notes that marginalized women, like sex workers, are at increased risk because of fear arrest.

Read: Mothers, Students And Teachers Protested — And Were Attacked By Police — At Puerto Rico’s May Day March

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A 9-Year-Old Girl Was Detained By Border Patrol On Her Way To School

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A 9-Year-Old Girl Was Detained By Border Patrol On Her Way To School

A 9-year-old U.S. citizen was separated from her mother for 36 hours after agents at the border accused her of lying about her citizenship.

Like thousands of students in our country, Julia Isabel Amparo Medina’s daily commute requires her to cross the U.S. border.

The fourth-grade student attends Nicoloff Elementary School in San Ysidro, California and was in a carpool to school from her home in Tijuana when she ran into traffic. Medina, was commuting to school in a car driven by her mother’s friend Michelle Cardena, Cardena’s two children and her own older 14-year-old brother, Oscar. When the long line to get into the U.S. seemed to be jampacked upon their 4 a.m arrival, Cardenas instructed the kids in her car to walk to the border. She assured them that when they reached it, she would call them an Uber to get them the rest of the way to their school.

But Medina and her never made it across the border or to school that day.

According to the New York Times who talked to a Customs and Border Protection spokesman, two Amparo and her brother arrived at one of the San Ysidro port of entry facilities for pedestrians at 10:15 a.m. last Monday.

Upon their arrival, Amparo and her brother presented their U.S. passports to a CBP officer who soon accused her of being someone else. Note: Amparo’s passport image which was taken years before so she did not look exactly like herself. They also accused her brother of smuggling.

A CBP spokesperson has said that Amparo “provided inconsistent information during her inspection, and CBP officers took the 9-year-old into custody to perform due diligence in confirming her identity and citizenship.”

After CBP officers the confirmed that her brother was a U.S. citizen, he was permitted to enter the U.S while his sister stayed behind. It wasn’t until 6:30 pm on Tuesday, that Amparo was confirmed to be a U.S. citizen as well and was released and admitted to the U.S. to her mother.

Speaking to NBC7, Amparo said she was “scared” of her detention and that she was “sad because I didn’t have my mom or my brother. I was completely by myself.”

According to Amparo’s mother Thelma Galaxia, her daughter claims that she was told by an officer that she and her brother would be released if she admitted to being her cousin. Galaxia claims that officers also convinced her son Oscar to sign a document that Amparo was his cousin and not his sister.

When Galaxia was alerted that her children had been detained she contacted the Mexican consulate.

After being notified by the consulate that her daughter would be released at the San Ysidro Port of Entry. While the family felt relieved to be grateful to be reunited with their daughter, Galaxia says the separation should never have happened.

Over the weekend, Twitter was swift to express their outrage over the incident.

Some even expressed their dismay of having a similar situation happen to them.

Many are using the incident as an example of the racial issues plaguing so many U.S. citizens like Amparo.

So many of the comments included outside opinions from those who have yet to experience the direct targetting of ICE.

Over all, nearly everyone was quick to point out the saddest aspect of Amparo’s experience.

Read: Preschool Students Are Doing Active Shooter Drills And I Guess This Is The New Normal Now

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