Progressive Briefing for Thursday, September 20

Lawsuit filed against officers for false arrest, mosquitoes could spread microplastics, Feds pledge more funds to target violence against Native American women, and more.

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New study finds mosquitoes could spread microplastics

Scientists just discovered that mosquitoes, who ingested bits of plastic, is transferred between the insects life stages. The research was published in the journal, Biology Letters, on Wednesday and concluded that “plastic is contaminating almost every corner of the environment and its ecosystems.”

“Much recent attention has been given to the plastics polluting our oceans, but this research reveals it is also in our skies,” Amanda Callaghan, lead researcher at the University of Reading said.

Activists declare #FireZinke and state AGs file suit after Interior Dept guts methane rules for public lands

After the Interior Department on Tuesday gutted Obama-era regulations requiring fossil fuel companies to curb methane emissions and take certain safety precautions to prevent leaks on public lands, a pair of state attorneys general filed suit and protesters gathered outside the department’s Washington, D.C. headquarters to demand the ouster of Secretary Ryan Zinke.

Activists with the advocacy group Friends of the Earth (FOE) marked Public Lands Dayon Wednesday with the D.C. demonstration to remind Zinke and the rest of the Trump administration “that Americans want to protect our public lands and waters, not see them decimated by the fossil fuel industry.” The group warned on Twitter, “If we don’t make our voices heard, oil and gas drilling, fracking, and mining could scar our public lands forever.”

Feds pledge more funds to target violence against Native American women

The U.S. Justice Department will double the funding it grants tribes for public safety programs and crime victims as it seeks to tackle the high-rates of violence against Native American women, a top official said.

In an interview, the Justice Department’s third-highest ranking official told The Associated Press that officials are seeking, in part, to address the issue with more than $113 million in public safety funding for 133 tribes and Alaska Native villages that will be announced Wednesday, and another $133 million that will be awarded in the coming weeks to tribes to help serve Native American crime victims.

The announcement comes amid increased focus on the deaths and disappearances of Native American women and girls in the United States.

Lawsuit filed against former police chief and officers for false arrest 

Framed for a string of burglaries by a corrupt Florida police chief and deported back to his native Haiti after serving five years in prison, an innocent man recently filed a lawsuit against the chief and his officers for false imprisonment and civil rights violations. On the day the lawsuit was filed, former Biscayne Park Police Chief Raimundo Atesiano pleaded guilty in federal court to conspiring with his subordinate officers to violate the civil rights of three black males by making false arrests in order to boast a near-perfect clearance rate for burglaries.

While serving as police chief in 2013 and 2014, Atesiano ordered Officers Charlie Dayoub, Raul Fernandez, and Guillermo Ravelo to falsely arrest three black males, including Clarens Desrouleaux and a 16-year-old juvenile identified only as “T.D.,” in an attempt to claim a perfect record closing burglary cases. After presenting Desrouleaux with false arrest affidavits and threatening him with more time in prison, Dayoub and Ravelo obtained a false confession from Desrouleaux claiming he had burglarized three homes.

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