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Witnesses tell FBI that George Zimmerman is no racist
A memorial to Trayvon Martin sits outside where Trayvon was shot by George Zimmerman.
July 12th, 2012
06:30 PM ET

Witnesses tell FBI that George Zimmerman is no racist

By Ashley Hayes, CNN

(CNN) – George Zimmerman, charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, had a "little hero complex" but was not a racist, a Sanford, Florida, homicide investigator told federal agents, according to reports released Thursday.

In an interview with FBI agents in March, investigator Chris Serino told authorities he "believed that Zimmerman's actions were not based on Martin's skin color, rather based on his attire, the total circumstances of the encounter and the previous burglary suspects in the community," according to an FBI report.

The reports and other information in the second-degree murder case against Zimmerman were released Thursday by Special Prosecutor Angela Corey to Zimmerman's attorney.

The U.S. Department of Justice took up a civil rights investigation following allegations that race played a part in the killing of Martin, 17, in February in a gated community in Sanford, Florida. The reports released Thursday do not draw conclusions in that investigation.

Read the FBI reports (PDF)

Martin's family and supporters say Zimmerman racially profiled the teen, describing him as "suspicious" during a 911 call and ignoring a police dispatcher's request that he not follow him.

Read the full post

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Filed under: Black in America • Race • Social justice • Where we live
July 12th, 2012
04:06 PM ET

'There is nothing exciting about me or any other black Republican'

By Alicia W. Stewart, CNN

(CNN) - Don Harwell has not spoken to his twin brother in 10 years.

"As I remember it, the discussion was (that) the Book of Mormon was a lie, " Harwell says.

His brother, a born-again Baptist, was speaking about his faith. Harwell finally got tired of trying to defend his own faith to his brother, and they have not spoken since that call. "It hurts, you know," Harwell shares.

But, he adds: "I have real short patience with people who don't have the knowledge of a book they have never read."

He has become accustomed to being misunderstood at times.

He is black. He is conservative. He is Mormon.

And he plans to vote for presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney.

Romney said he "expected boos"

In an election year where one poll currently puts African-American support for Romney at just 5%,  and after a NAACP speech that brought boos to the Republican, conservative blacks have again become a focus.

Is Obama taking the Black vote for granted?

In America spoke to Don Harwell, Jennifer Carroll and James White to learn more.

FULL POST

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Filed under: 2012 Election • Black in America • Politics • Race • Who we are
Wells Fargo in $175M discriminatory lending settlement
July 12th, 2012
02:00 PM ET

Wells Fargo in $175M discriminatory lending settlement

By James O'Toole @CNNMoney

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) - Wells Fargo has agreed to pay $175 million to settle allegations that it discriminated against minority borrowers, the Department of Justice announced Thursday.

The DOJ accused Wells Fargo, the nation's largest residential home mortgage originator, of pushing African-American and Hispanic borrowers into more costly subprime loans or charging them higher fees than comparable white borrowers. More than 30,000 minority borrowers between 2004 and 2009 were affected, the Justice Department said.

"If you were African-American or Latino, you were more likely to be placed in a subprime loan or pay more for your mortgage loan, even though you were qualified and deserved better treatment," Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez said in prepared remarks Thursday.

"This is a case about real people - African-American and Latino - who suffered real harm as a result of Wells Fargo's discriminatory lending practices."

In 2007, for example, a typical African-American wholesale borrower in Chicago seeking a $300,000 loan from Wells Fargo paid nearly $3,000 more in fees than a similarly qualified white applicant, the Justice Department said.

Read the full post 

FBI interviews among evidence to be released in Zimmerman case
Trayvon Martin's family and supporters say George Zimmerman racially-profiled the teen before the shooting.
July 12th, 2012
10:55 AM ET

FBI interviews among evidence to be released in Zimmerman case

By Vivian Kuo, CNN

(CNN) – Florida's state attorney is expected to release FBI reports Thursday that may shed light on whether race played a role the night George Zimmerman shot and killed an unarmed teen.

The investigative reports are amid evidence in the second-degree murder case expected to be released by Special Prosecutor Angela Corey to Zimmerman's attorney, according to court documents filed in June.

The U.S. Department of Justice took up a civil rights investigation following allegations that race played a part in the killing of Trayvon Martin, 17, in February in a gated community in Sanford.

Read the full post

July 12th, 2012
08:01 AM ET

Judge lets Mississippi's only abortion clinic stay open - for now

By Rich Phillips, CNN

Jackson, Mississippi (CNN) – A federal judge in Mississippi on Wednesday ordered an extension of his temporary order to allow the state's only abortion clinic to stay open.

The order will be in place until U.S. District Judge Daniel Jordan can review newly drafted rules on how the Mississippi Department of Health will administer a new abortion law.

He then plans to rule on whether the temporary order will become permanent, or whether the clinic must shut its doors.

The law took effect July 1 and requires all abortion providers in Mississippi to be certified obstetrician/gynecologists with privileges at local hospitals. Doctors at Jackson Women's Health Organization, the only abortion provider in the state, come in from other states, and only one of its doctors is authorized to practice at a nearby hospital.

Read the full post

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Filed under: Politics • Where we live • Women