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Christopher Mathias
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New York Reporter, The Huffington Post.

Entries by Christopher Mathias

Why Ramarley Graham's Parents Just Slept On The DOJ's Steps

(0) Comments | Posted February 3, 2016 | 7:10 AM

NEW YORK -- It was still dark in lower Manhattan, a little before 6 a.m. Wednesday, when the parents of Ramarley Graham shook off their sleeping bags and assembled on the steps outside the Department of Justice office of U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara. 

Dozens of supporters had joined them for...

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Did Binge-Watching Fox News Inspire This Man To Threaten Muslims?

(10) Comments | Posted January 21, 2016 | 2:11 PM

On Jan. 14, 2015, John David Weissinger called the San Diego office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations -- a civil rights group that advocates on behalf of U.S. Muslims -- and left a terrifying voice mail.

“You're gonna be in the news. It's gonna be like Charlie Hebdo,” said Weissinger,...

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Family Of Man Killed By Cops Marches In MLK Parade To Demand Justice

(0) Comments | Posted January 18, 2016 | 9:39 AM

Before Eric Garner and Michael Brown, before Freddie Gray and Walter Scott and Laquan McDonald, there was Cameron Massey.

"The same thing that happened all over the U.S. happened here, but no one came -- no one came to help us," said his mother, Jackie Massey, referring to the mass...

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Central Park Five: Rehire Teacher Allegedly Fired Over Central Park Five Lesson

(3) Comments | Posted January 8, 2016 | 11:24 AM

NEW YORK -- Two of the five men who were wrongfully convicted in the 1989 rape and assault of a woman in Central Park have expressed support for a New York City teacher who says she lost her job after teaching students about the case. 

"We support her 100 percent,"...

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How One Man's Death Shows The Chasm Between Black And White Baltimore

(0) Comments | Posted January 6, 2016 | 12:21 PM

On New Year's Day, Adam Marton, director of interactive design at The Baltimore Sun, published a heartbreaking infographic. It showed that of the record 344 people murdered in Baltimore last year, 93 percent were black, and most of them were young men. 

Journalists regularly traffic in such grim statistics, and...

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Cop Who Gunned Down Ramarley Graham Gets A Raise

(1) Comments | Posted December 18, 2015 | 1:52 PM

NEW YORK -- The New York City police officer who shot and killed unarmed Bronx teen Ramarley Graham has received nearly $25,000 in raises since firing the fatal shot almost four years ago -- all while the NYPD and federal government drag out their investigations of the incident.


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New York Agrees To 'Historic' Reforms Of Solitary Confinement System

(1) Comments | Posted December 16, 2015 | 11:01 AM

Tonja Fenton spent 270 consecutive days in a 6-by-10-foot cell, alone for 23 hours a day. She was there for three infractions of prison rules: purchasing socks and a hair dryer for another inmate, mailing a sample of prison food to court as part of an official complaint, and for...

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Bernie Sanders Says Trump's Immigration Remarks Are 'Xenophobia' And 'Racist'

(0) Comments | Posted December 15, 2015 | 4:03 PM

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) lashed out at Donald Trump on Tuesday, characterizing the Republican presidential candidate's recent remarks on immigration as "racist" and "playing on people's fears." 

"Let me begin right off, by telling you that I intend, as a United States senator and as a candidate for president of...

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Woman's Lawsuit Claims Cop Called Her 'Dyke,' Assaulted Her During False Arrest

(0) Comments | Posted December 15, 2015 | 8:56 AM

NEW YORK -- A Brooklyn woman who alleges a police officer called her a homophobic slur before assaulting and falsely arresting her is suing New York City and the police department. 

Filmmaker and bartender Stephanie Dorceant, 29, and her ex-girlfriend, Nandi Allman, filed the suit in a Brooklyn federal...

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NYC To Pay $280,000 Over Cop Who Exposed City's Quota System

(3) Comments | Posted December 7, 2015 | 1:06 PM

New York City has agreed to pay $280,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by NYPD whistleblower Craig Matthews, who says he faced retaliation after he complained about the police department's use of an illegal quota system. 

“This settlement completely vindicates Officer Matthews, who had the courage to speak...

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One Year After Grand Jury Decision, Eric Garner’s Daughter Is Still Waiting For Justice

(0) Comments | Posted December 3, 2015 | 11:24 AM

NEW YORK -- For the daughter of Eric Garner, the fight to bring her father's killer to justice has proved long and slow. 

"As I contemplate this past year -- a year full of upheaval and struggles for justice -- I'm struck by what has changed: nothing," Erica Garner

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Muslims Weren't Cheering On 9/11, Mr. Trump. They Were Grieving For Their Loved Ones.

(5) Comments | Posted November 23, 2015 | 6:00 PM

NEW YORK -- Early in the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, Mehr Tariq asked her husband, Tariq Amanullah, not to go to work. She was worried about him. He'd barely slept the night before, having come home late after volunteering at a Muslim community event at Six Flags.

But Amanullah told...

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A Running List Of Shameful Islamophobic Acts Since The Paris Attacks

(14) Comments | Posted November 18, 2015 | 4:30 PM

There have been near-daily reports of retaliations against Muslims in the United States and Canada since the self-described Islamic State claimed responsibility for the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks that killed 130 people in Paris.

The Huffington Post will continue to document deplorable, Islamophobic acts. Sadly, it's a list that will...

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Daily News Compares NRA To Jihadists On Front Page

(3) Comments | Posted November 18, 2015 | 2:01 PM

The New York Daily News used its front page Wednesday to lash out at the National Rifle Association in a big way, comparing the powerful pro-gun group's lobbying efforts to a "SICK JIHAD."

"Over 2,000 suspects on terror watch list have legally bought firearms in the U.S. because gun nuts...

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Uber Driver Says Passenger Mistook Him For A Muslim, Threatened To Kill Him

(0) Comments | Posted November 17, 2015 | 3:26 PM

Samson Woldemichael is a Christian. But the 40-year-old Ethiopian immigrant and father of two, who works as an Uber driver in North Carolina, says he was the victim of Islamophobia this weekend when a passenger threatened his life before violently attacking him during a late-night fare.

Woldemichael says he picked...

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Woman Says Cops 'Murdered' Brother In Tussle After Breaking Into Home Without Warrant

(4) Comments | Posted November 16, 2015 | 2:39 PM

The sister of a North Carolina man fatally gunned down by sheriff's deputies Sunday says her brother was "murdered," and that the deputies should've obtained a search warrant before entering her brother's home. 

John Livingston, a 33-year-old father, was "an innocent man" whom officers "didn't have to shoot," his 21-year-old sister, Brittany, told The Huffington Post on Monday.

Two deputies from the Harnett County Sheriff’s Office arrived at Livingston's Spring Lake trailer home at 3:45 a.m. Sunday to follow up on an assault investigation, a spokesperson for the department told local news outlets. 

One of Livingston's roommates, Clayton Carroll, told WNCN that the deputies asked Livingston if they could look inside the trailer for a man who no longer lived there.

"Not without a search warrant," Livingston said, according to Carroll. Livingston then shut the door to the trailer.  

There was no reason for this to happen."

“The cop kicked in the door, got on top of him, started slinging him around, beating him,” Carroll said.

According to Carroll, the deputies then pepper-sprayed Livingston multiple times before Tasering him. The altercation then spilled outside the trailer onto the porch. 

Carroll and another roommate, Bristol Edge, said Livingston was neither armed nor fighting back, but at one point, while lying facedown on the porch, he did have his hand on one of the cops' Tasers. 

Carroll re-enacted the scene for WNCN, lying down next to fresh blood stains from his friend's body.

“[Livingston] barely had the Taser in his hand but he had it where it was constantly going off and the officer -- I guess it spooked him -- he rolled over there, and said, 'He's got the Taser,' and shot him in this position,” Carroll said. 

Carroll said the deputy shot Livingston six times, while Edge said she saw four gunshot wounds.

"There was no reason for this to happen," Edge -- who said she put a blanket over her friend as he died -- told WNCN. "They could've subdued John or called backup." 

The Harnett County Sheriff's Office did not reply to repeated HuffPost requests for comment, but Maj. Jeff Hubert told WNCN that Sheriff’s Deputy Nicholas Kehagias was involved in the shooting incident. 

As is protocol, both Kehagias and the other, unidentified deputy have been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation. The sheriff's department requested the help of the North Carolina Special Bureau of Investigation, a common practice for investigating officer-involved shootings in the state. 

Shannon O'Toole, a spokesperson for the North Carolina SBI, confirmed to HuffPost that the agency was investigating Livingston's death. SBI investigators were present during Livingston's autopsy Monday. 

The SBI investigation, O'Toole said, could last two to three months, after which a case file will be delivered to the local district attorney. At any time during or after the investigation, the DA could elect to file criminal charges against the deputies. 

In the meantime, Livingston's sister, Brittany, says her family is raising money to bury her brother. They've set up a GoFundMe page, which as of Tuesday morning had raised $545 towards a $10,000 goal. 

Brittany described her brother as a "hardworking man" and a talented carpenter with "three beautiful children." Two of the children, she noted, were not biologically his, but he raised them as if they were his own. 

She said her family is devastated. 

"My mom didn't think she would have to bury her son," Brittany said. "It's supposed to be the other way...

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University Faculty: Don't Let Undercover NYPD Officers Spy On Our Muslim Students

(1) Comments | Posted October 30, 2015 | 3:52 PM

Over 100 faculty members of the City University of New York have signed a petition calling on the school's chancellor to oppose surveillance of Muslim students by undercover New York City police officers. 

"Such surveillance chills the atmosphere of free speech and open dialogue that educational institutions...

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Deaf Woman To Get $750,000 For Hellish Ordeal With NYPD

(3) Comments | Posted October 28, 2015 | 11:23 AM

NEW YORK -- A New York City woman, who is deaf and says NYPD officers wrongfully arrested her and then ignored her pleas for an American Sign Language interpreter, has settled her lawsuit against the city for $750,000, a sum her lawyers say is the largest ever deaf discrimination settlement...

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There's A Good Reason New York's Homeless Often Sleep In The Subway

(1) Comments | Posted October 22, 2015 | 2:25 PM

NEW YORK -- Ten years ago, William Burnett often spent his nights sleeping on the New York City subway. It was better than his other option: a shelter on Wards Island where he said two rival gangs, the Bloods and the Latin Kings, were "trying to outdo each other...

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'A Tour Of Burned Churches' Explores Race, Religion And Resilience In America

(1) Comments | Posted October 22, 2015 | 12:19 PM

In the 10 days following the June massacre of nine people at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, six other predominantly black churches across the South burned. 

The causes of the fires differed. Electrical wiring is believed to have started one of the...

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