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Full text: Chronology of Human Rights Violations of the United States in 2015

Updated: Apr 15,2016 7:54 AM     Xinhua

BEIJING — The State Council Information Office of the People’s Republic of China published a document titled “Chronology of Human Rights Violations of the United States in 2015” on April 14.

Following is the full text of the document:

Chronology of Human Rights Violations of the United States in 2015


Jan 3

The Washington Post website reported that John Paul Quintero, an unarmed 23-year-old Hispanic man, was shot by police in Wichita, Kansas.

Jan 6

The Washington Post website reported that Autumn Steele, an unarmed 34-year-old woman, was shot by police in Burlington, Iowa.

On the same day, the website reported that Leslie Sapp III, a 47-year-old black man, was shot by police in Knoxville, Pennsylvania.

Jan 8

The Washington Post website reported that Artago Damon Howard, an unarmed 36-year-old black man, was shot by police in a parking lot in Strong, Arkansas.

Jan 12

The Atlantic magazine’s website reported that according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, more than a quarter of the teenagers -- 15 years old and up -- who died of injuries in the United States were killed in gun-related incidents.

Jan 13

The Washington Post website reported that Richard McClendon, a 43-year-old mentally-ill man, was shot by police in his mother’s home in Jourdanton, Texas.

Jan 14

The Washington Post website reported that Talbot Schroeder, a 75-year-old man, was shot by police in a house in Old Bridge, New Jersey, for refusing repeated commands from a police officer to drop the knife.

Jan 16

“No Freshness in our 2016 presidential contest,” an article published on the website of The Washington Post said the likely slate of candidates will include the son of a governor and presidential candidate, the son of a congressman and presidential candidate, the wife of a president and the brother of a president, son of a president and grandson of senator. Family pedigree and prestige were dominating factors swaying politics.

Jan 22

The websites of The Huffington Post and The USA Today reported that 10 former McDonald’s workers from Virginia sued their stores for racial discrimination and sexual harassment. They said they suffered racial discrimination from the managers from time to time and alleged they were wrongfully fired last year and replaced with mostly white workers because their managers believed there had been “too many black people [working] in the store.”

Jan 29

The Washington Post website reported that Ralph Willis, an unarmed 42-year-old man, was shot by police in Stillwater, Oklahoma, for making a threatening gesture toward a police officer.

Jan 31

The Washington Post website reported that Edward Donnell Bright, a 54-year-old mentally-ill black man, was shot by police outside a 7-Eleven in Baltimore, Maryland.


Feb 1

The website of Al Jazeera America reported that about 3,800 oil refinery workers at nine oil refineries in California, Texas, Kentucky and Washington states carried out strikes, protesting onerous overtime, unsafe staffing levels and dangerous working conditions that the industry kept ignoring. The strike leaders said the possible occurrence of fires, emissions, leaks and explosions every day had threatened local communities, while the industry did nothing about it.

Feb 2 h The Washington Post website reported that a police officer in Hummelstown, Pennsylvania, shocked David Kassick, an unarmed 59-year-old man, with a Taser and then shot him twice in the back as he lay on the ground.

On the same day, London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism released a study which said at least 2,464 people had been killed by US drone strikes outside the country’s declared war zones since 2009. The research also showed there had been nearly nine times more strikes in the current US administration in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia than there were under his predecessor.

Feb 4

The Washington Post website reported that Jeremy Lett, an unarmed 28-year-old black man, was shot five times by a police officer in Tallahassee, Florida.

Feb 8

The Washington Post website reported that the incumbent US president said in a video aired during the Grammy Awards 2015 that nearly one in five women in the United States had experienced rape or attempted rape.

Feb 10

The Washington Post website reported that Antonio Zambrano-Montes, an unarmed 35-year-old mentally-ill Hispanic man, was shot by three police officers after he threw rocks at vehicles on a street in Pasco, Washington.

On the same day, the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) released a report on lynchings in the United States, which documented 3,959 racial terror lynchings of African Americans between 1877 and 1950. It said racial terror lynchings of African Americans strengthened racial segregation. The geographic, political, economic and social consequences of decades of terror lynchings can still be seen in many communities today, according to the report.

Feb 12

The Chicago Tribune reported that more than 100 cases of miscarriage of justice were done by the court in Cook County, Illinois, over the past 25 years. In 1985, a man in the state was arrested for allegedly raping and murdering a woman. Without sufficient evidence, he was forced to admit to the charges after 40 hours of interrogation and was sentenced to life. In February 2015, the DNA test found the man was innocent.

Feb 13

The CNN reported on its website that press freedom deteriorated since 2009 in the United States. Journalists and news supervision authorities had continually slammed the current U.S. administration, which stubbornly hampered the disclosure of government information, as one of the least transparent. At least 15 journalists were arrested in Ferguson protests.

On the same day, The Washington Post website reported that Richard Carlin, an unarmed 35-year-old Hispanic man, was shot by police in a house in Pennsylvania.

Feb 15

The Washington Post website reported that Lavall Hall, an unarmed 25-year-old mentally-ill black man, was shot by police on a street in Miami Gardens, Florida, after he refused to drop a broomstick handle.

Feb 18

According to a report on the CNN website, whites had 12 times the wealth of blacks and nearly 10 times more than Hispanics. Some 42 percent of blacks aged 25 to 55 had college loans, compared to 28 percent of whites. “The American Dream remains out of reach for many African-American and Hispanic families.”

Feb 20

The Washington Post website reported that Ruben Villalpando, an unarmed 31-year-old Hispanic man, was shot by police on a street in Euless, Texas, as he walked toward an officer’s patrol car with his hands up.

Feb 27

The Washington Post website reported that Ernesto Javiar Canepa Diaz, an unarmed 27-year-old Hispanic man, was shot by police in a vehicle in Santa Ana, California.

Feb 28

The Washington Post website reported that Deven Guilford, an unarmed 17-year-old male, was shot seven times by police on a street in Roxand Township, Michigan, during an altercation with a police officer.

On the same day, the website reported that Thomas Allen, an unarmed 34-year-old black man, was shot by police in St Louis, Missouri, during an altercation with a police officer.


March 1

The Washington Post website reported that Charly Leundeu Keunang, an unarmed 43-year-old homeless black man, was shot by police on a street in Los Angeles, California, in an altercation with police officers patrolling Skid Row.

March 4

The USA Today website reported that the US Department of Justice found through review that police in Ferguson, Mississippi, commonly had racial discrimination. They used force against African Americans inappropriately. The record of Ferguson police showed that in 88 percent of cases in which Ferguson documented the use of force, those actions were used against African Americans. A review of 161 such cases by Justice investigators found that none of the incidents resulted in disciplinary action.

March 6

The website of the US News & World Report quoted a researcher of the National Gang Center as saying that in the past five years the United States had seen an 8 percent increase in the number of gangs, an 11 percent increase in members and a 23 percent increase in gang-related homicides.

March 13

The Associated Press reported that it was getting harder and more expensive to use public records to hold government officials accountable. Authorities were undermining the laws that are supposed to guarantee citizens’ right to information, turning the right to know into just plain “no.”

March 16

“The Best ‘Democracy’ Money Can Buy,” an article published on the website of Zerohedge, said that between 2007 and 2012 in the United States, 200 most politically active corporations spent a combined $5.8 billion on federal lobbying and campaign contributions. They got $4.4 trillion in federal business and support in return.

On the same day, a USA Today report said the US government did a bad job in implementing legislation on freedom of information. Though the laws were well written, the public record revealed that it was fairly difficult to obtain information from key departments.

March 19

The Washington Post website reported that Brandon Jones, an unarmed 18-year-old black man, was shot by police on a street in Cleveland, Ohio, as he came out of a grocery store that he had broken into.

March 20

A USA Today report, which was published on its website, said the nation had its lowest midterm-election voter turnout in 2014 since the 1940s. The average turnout across the United States was 37 percent, with a low of 28.8 percent recorded in Indiana. Only seven states saw more than half of their voters cast ballots in the election.

On the same day, The Washington Post said on its website that since 9/11, more than 500 drone strikes had killed nearly 4,000 individuals. Drone operators, called the “stick monkeys,” had trouble distinguishing women and children from the high-value targets they were seeking.

March 26

A report on the Time magazine’s website quoted an investigation by the BBC as saying that tens of thousands of children were sexually exploited each year in the United States. Hundreds of US children were sold into sex, according to the BBC. Poverty and neglect were thought to be some of the main reasons why children were vulnerable to sex trafficking.


April 2

The Washington Post website reported that Eric Harris, an unarmed 44-year-old black man, was shot on a street in Tulsa, Oklahoma, as a police officer inadvertently fired a gun at him.

April 8

A report from USA Today website said the US government started keeping secret records of Americans’ international telephone calls nearly a decade before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, harvesting billions of calls.

April 9

The Fox News reported on its website that as a punishment, a 50-year-old mentally-ill inmate Darren Rainey was taken to the showers for nearly two hours with the water reportedly rigged to a scalding 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Corrections officers even taunted Rainey, asking him how he liked his shower. He was finally scalded to death.

April 12

Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old African-American man, was arrested in Baltimore on April 12. He died later while in police custody. His death, reportedly a result of inappropriate behavior by police, sparked large-scale “Justice for Freddie” protests. A curfew was instituted, and the National Guard was brought in.

April 15

Reuters reported that Walter Scott, an unarmed African-American man, was fatally shot in the back by a white police officer in North Charleston, South Carolina, on April 4. In March, an unarmed black teen Tony Robinson Jr. was shot by a white police officer in Wisconsin, triggering a series of demonstrations. The demonstrators protested against the use of lethal weapons against minorities.

On the same day, Think Progress reported on its website that fast food workers walked off the job in 230 cities on April 15, staging the largest-ever strike in their movement aimed at a 15 dollar minimum wage and the right to form a union.

April 21

The Washington Post website reported that Daniel Covarrubias, an unarmed 37-year-old man, was shot by police in Lakewood, Washington.

April 25

The Washington Post website reported that David Felix, an unarmed 24-year-old black man, was shot by police in an apartment building in New York.


May 4

A poll jointly released by the CBS News and the New York Times showed that 61 percent of Americans characterized race relations in the United States as “bad.” The figure was the highest since 1992.

May 5

The Washington Post website reported that Brendon Glenn, an unarmed and homeless 29-year-old black man, was shot by police outside a bar in Venice, California.

May 6

According to a report by the ABC News, figures released by the International Labor Organization showed that the United States is only one of three countries in the world that don’t offer paid maternity leave.

May 7

According to a survey released by the Public Religion Research Institute, 51 percent of Americans disagreed that blacks and other minorities receive equal treatment as whites in the criminal justice system, and 78 percent of black Americans disagreed that blacks and other minorities receive equal treatment to whites in the criminal justice system.

May 11

The United States was reviewed for the second time on its human rights records through the Universal Periodic Review of the UN Human Rights Council on May 11. Several reports produced as part of the review revealed that more problems concerning torture, death penalty and other fields existed in the United States, which was a sharp contrast with the country’s claim of improved human rights. Many nations criticized the US reluctance to sign the human rights treaties. The UN has set up nine core human rights conventions, six of them are still awaiting the country’s ratification. The United States portrays itself as the global leader in human rights, but fails to safeguard the economic, social and cultural rights listed in international human rights instruments.

May 13

The Washington Post website reported that a mentally-ill female prisoner, Natasha McKenna, died after she was shot four times with a Taser stun gun by a guard in the Fairfax County jail three months ago. Her hands and feet were shackled when she was shot.

May 19

The Washington Post website reported that Alfredo Rials-Torres, an unarmed 54-year-old Hispanic man, was shot by police in an apartment in Arlington, Virginia.

May 22

The CNN website reported that in a complaint filed with the US Departments of Education and Justice, a coalition of more than 60 Asian-American organizations claimed that Harvard unfairly held Asian-American applicants to a higher standard.

May 26

The BBC website reported that the Mapping Police Violence project showed that black people are three times more likely to be killed by police in the United States than white people.

May 28

A New York Times article cited a report as saying that racial residential segregation has become a way of life in the United States. About one third of African-Americans live in severe segregation, with Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York City among the cities suffering the most severe racial segregation.

May 29

A report released by the Pew Research Center shows that a majority of Americansopposed the government collecting bulk data on its citizens. Sixty-one percent of those aware of the US government’s surveillance programs said they had become less confident that the programs were serving the public interest.


June 1

According to US Census Bureau, about 17.4 million children under the age of 18 are being raised without a father as of June 2015 and 45 percent of them live below the poverty line.

June 2

According to a report posted on the website of the Guardian, the CIA used sexual abuses and other forms of torture more extensively than had been disclosed by the Senate report in 2014. Majid Khan, a Guantanamo Bay detainee-turned government cooperating witness, said interrogators poured ice water on his genitals, videotaped him naked, placed his feet and lower legs in tall boot-like metal cuffs that immobilized his legs, hung him naked from a wooden beam for three days and provided him with water but no food. All the above torture details that Khan had undergone were not included in the Senate report.

June 10

According to a report released by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), the United States is one of the world’s worst countries that systematically infringed on workers’ rights.

On the same day, CNN Money reported on its website that a video showing a white officer with the Police Department in McKinney, Texas, using violence against a 14-year-old African American girl went viral online. A white witness who shot the video said there was no doubt race was a factor in how police responded.

June 11

A Pew Research Center survey showed multiracial American children were discriminated in the United States. Fifty-five percent of multiracial Americans said they had been subjected to racial slurs or jokes.

June 15

The Washington Post website reported that Kris Jackson, an unarmed 22-year-old black man, was shot by police as he tried to climb through a motel room window in South Lake Tahoe, California.

June 17

According to the website of CBS News, Dylann Roof, a 21-year-old white man, opened fire and killed nine people, including a pastor, at an African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina.

June 18

Citing a Gallup survey, the USA Today website reported that a drastically greater number of African-Americans now rank race relations as the most important issue facing the country, following the killing of unarmed African-American Michael Brown by law enforcement officers in Ferguson. Sixty-eight percent of African-Americans believe the American criminal justice system is racially biased.

June 24

The website of the US News and World Report said in an article that the US education spending as a percentage of all government spending had consistently decreased over the last five years, down to just one percent in 2015 from 1.27 percent in 2011, resulted in an overall 19.8 percent decrease.

On the same day, the British newspaper Independent reported that the United States had bugged the phones of three French presidents and many other senior French officials for a long time. A French government spokesman said this was “unacceptable.”

June 25

The Washington Post website reported that Spencer McCain, an unarmed 41-year-old black man, was shot by police in Owings Mills, Maryland.


July 2

The Washington Post website reported that Victor Emanuel Larosa, an unarmed 23-year-old African-American man, was shot by police in a yard in Jacksonville, Florida.

July 7

The Washington Post website cited the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights as saying that the US-led coalition is responsible for the deaths of 162 civilians, including 51 children and 35 women.

July 10

The USA Today website reported that some top psychologists had helped CIA and Pentagon bolster torture. Two former presidents of the American Psychological Association served as members of a CIA advisory panel. The association’s ethics office, led by Stephen Behnke, also obtained a contract to train Pentagon interrogators.

July 12

A BBC website report cited Wikileaks as saying that the United States had been spying on Japanese cabinet officials, banks and companies since at least eight years ago. Wikileaks says the United States was aware of Japan’s internal discussions on issues such as trade talks, climate change policy and nuclear and energy policy - as well as the contents of a confidential briefing in Prime Minister’s Shinzo Abe’s residence. Wikileaks had previously released files showing the United States spied on Germany, France and Brazil - like Japan, all allies.

July 14

A Pew Research Center analysis found that children make up a larger share of the United States’ impoverished than of the population as a whole - those younger than 18 make up about a quarter of the total population, but make up about a third of all Americans in poverty. African-American and Hispanic-American children in particular are overrepresented.

July 17

The Washington Post website reported that the US civil rights organizations accused North Carolina of limiting the time for early voting, ending same-day registration and banning voters from casting ballots in places other than their home constituencies through legislation. The report said the conduct seriously damaged the electoral rights of the African-American voters.

July 19

The Washington Post website reported that Samuel Debase, an unarmed 43-year-old African-American man, was shot by police in Mt. Auburn, Ohio.

July 28

The Huffington Post reported on its website that former US President Jimmy Carter said in an interview that “Now it’s just an oligarchy with unlimited political bribery being the essence of getting the nominations for president or being elected president. And the same thing applies to governors, and US Senators and Congress members. So, now we’ve just seen a subversion of our political system as a payoff to major contributors, who want and expect, and sometimes get, favors for themselves after the election is over.” The preferences of the average American appeared to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.

July 31

The Financial Times reported on its website that the US law allows unlimited contributions to super PACs by individuals and corporations, which changed the political landscape of the nation and enabled billionaires and millionaires to donate a huge amount of fund to presidential candidates more effectively. Some affluent families hoped that they can influence the election results via their wealth. The number of donors who contributed more than one million US dollars to presidential candidates would swamp the 2016 presidential race like never before.

On the same day, the USA Today website reported that according to a March report by the National Association of Realtors, the gap between rental costs and household income had been widening to unsustainable levels in the United States.

According to a report to the United Nations by Maud de Boer-Buquicchio, the UN Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, in the United States, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex youth are disproportionately represented in runaway and homeless youth programs and child welfare systems and 42 percent of them have been sexually exploited.


Aug 3

In the document on the Effective promotion of the Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities, a report of the United Nations Secretary-General submitted to the seventieth session of the General Assembly, the Human Rights Committee remained concerned about the practice of racial profiling and surveillance by law enforcement officials targeting certain ethnic minorities, notably Muslims. In December 2014, the Special Rapporteur expressed concerns over the decision not to bring to trial the cases of Michael Brown and Eric Garner in the United States.

Aug 4

According to an article on the website of the US News and World Report, since 2010, a total of 21 states had adopted new laws to limit the exercise of suffrage. Some states shortened the time for early voting, while others limited the number of documents identifying one as a lawful voter. A total of 14 states will carry out fresh measures to limit the exercise of suffrage for first time in 2016 presidential election. The voting rights were hit by the vicious competition between the two parties.

On the same day, CNBC Finance said data from the 2015 Trustees of the Social Security and Medicare trust funds report showed that the US social security system was $25.8 trillion in the red.

On the same day, in a document provided to the UN General Assembly by the UN General Secretary, the UN Human Rights Council expressed concern in relation to systematic practices of torture, ill-treatment or excessive use of force by members of the police or the security forces during arrest and/or interrogation of terroristic suspects. The Committee specifically raised the issue of the lack of a timeline for closure of the Guantanamo Bay facility and called for the transfer, as soon as possible, of detainees designated for transfer.

Aug 5

Figures released by Pew Research Center showed 53 percent of whites say more needs to be done to achieve racial equality, up 14 percentage points from 2014. Eighty-six percent of African Americans said that changes must continue to be made to achieve racial equality.

Aug 7

The report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, submitted by Juan E. Mendez to the UN General Assembly said the US Central Intelligence Agency conducted an extraordinary rendition and secret detention program after 11 September 2001, which saw the United States collaborate with some other countries and assist one another in abducting, transferring, extrajudicially detaining and subjecting individuals to torture.

Aug 12

According to a report submitted by the UN Secretary-General to the Assembly at its seventieth session on the status of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the United States has yet to ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The United States is so far the only country that is yet to ratify the convention.

Aug 15

The USA Today website reported that 47 percent of rural Hispanic-American babies are born poor. The report quoted a Cornell University researcher as saying that “These babies are starting behind the starting line... And their opportunities as they move into adulthood are jeopardized.”

Aug 18

According to a Pew Research Center report, the revenue-expenditure gap in Social Security fund in the United States was projected to be around $84 billion. It was forecast that Social Security’s combined reserves likely would be fully depleted by 2034. The disability-insurance trust fund could run dry as soon as the end of 2016, while the old-age and survivors’ fund was expected to be depleted in 2035.

Aug 23

The United States was reported to have the worst medical care system and the highest number of infant mortalities out of 11 developed countries and it ranked second to last in preventable deaths, said a report published on the Borgen Project website.

Aug 24

The ABC news website reported that a survey said that one in five drug abusers in some treatment programs in the United States received their first taste of these illegal substances from their parents, usually before the age of 18, and of these 6 percent even used heroin with them.

Aug. 26

A reporter and a photographer of the local CBS television station in Virginia were shot and killed while filming a morning live television report. A manifesto sent to ABC News by the killer revealed that he was motivated by an African-American church shooting happened in June, 2015 in South Carolina that was conducted by a white man.


Sept 1

According to a report, titled “Crime in the United States 2014,” released by the FBI, an estimated 1,165,383 violent crimes occurred nationwide in 2014, of which 63.6 percent were aggravated assaults, 28 percent were robberies, 7.2 percent rapes and 1.2 percent murders. Firearms were used in 67.9 percent of the nation’s murders, 40.3 percent of robberies, and 22.5 percent of aggravated assaults in 2014. Nationwide, there were an estimated 8,277,829 property crimes, with the victims of such crimes suffering losses calculated at an estimated $14.3 billion.

Sept 9

The USA Today website reported that according to a poll released by the National Bar Association in the United States, 88 percent of African Americans believed African Americans are treated unfairly by police, and 59 percent of whites shared that view.

Sept 10

The US government had blocked the release of documents detailing the alleged torture of a suspected top Al Qaeda operative held in Guantanamo Bay, said the Daily Mail of Britain on its website. Abu Zubaydah, a 44-year-old Saudi national, was captured in 2002 and has been held in Guantanamo since 2006. According to documents released last year, he lost an eye and was waterboarded 83 times in a single month while in the custody of the CIA at Guantanamo Bay. Joe Margulies, Zubaydah’s lead defense lawyer, said the CIA declared all the 116 pages of testimony by Zubaydah classified.

Sept 16

The USA Today website reported that a former employee is suing Microsoft, alleging the technology giant discriminates against women in technical roles. Microsoft policies and practices “systematically violate female technical employees’ rights and result in the unchecked gender bias that pervades its corporate culture,” charges the lawsuit, which is seeking class action status.

Sept 18

According to a report released on the Institute for Policy Innovation website, there were still 33 million people in the US uninsured in 2014, although the incumbent US president promised to sign a universal health care bill into law by the end of his first term.

Sept 21

The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times reported on their websites that a survey released by the Association of American Universities that covered more than 150,000 students at 27 universities showed that more than one in four female undergraduate students say they have been victimized by nonconsensual sexual contact. In California, 29.7 percent of female undergraduates at the University of Southern California reported the most serious sexual misconduct. Nationally, the rate of such misconduct ranged from 13 percent to 30 percent across campuses.

Sept 22

The Washington Post reported that those who were not Christians found it difficult to run for a post in public office in the United States. And it was more difficult for those who did not have a religious belief. A Pew poll found that of all religion-related groups, atheists and Muslims were viewed the most negatively by Americans.

Sept. 23

The Washington Post website reported that Keith Harrison McLeod, an unarmed 19-year-old African-American man, was shot by police in Reisterstown, Maryland, after they were called to a pharmacy after the man attempted to fill a prescription that had been forged. After a short chase, officers confronted the man.


Oct 1

The Guardian reported on its website that observing the current American politics was like watching a game of money. The 2016 presidential election was almost going to be the most expensive one in history.

Oct 2

The Chicago Tribune and the Huffington Post reported on their websites that on October 1, Christopher Sean Harper-Mercer, a student at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, entered a classroom in the college with a bullet proof vest on and six guns. He opened fire, killing nine people and wounding nine others, before killing himself. It was the 45th shooting at a school in 2015. There have been 142 shootings at schools since December 14, 2012, the date of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary.

Oct 3

According to the CNN and Sputnik News, a hospital run by aid group “Doctors Without Borders” in the city of Kunduz in Afghanistan was bombed by the US military on October 3, causing 42 deaths, including 12 medical staff and three children. The aid group accused the air strike a “war crime” instead of an “error.”

Oct 5

The Washington Post website reported that Omar Ali, an unarmed 27-year-old man, was shot by police in a bar in Akron, Ohio.

Oct 8

A report by the Al Jazeera America said that approximately one-fifth of all US children live in food-insecure households, according to data from the US Department of Agriculture. As of 2014, 15.4 percent of Americans overall reside in food-insecure households-a total of more than 48 million people.

Oct 10

The USA Today website reported that in the United States, the gap between the rich and poor jumped dramatically in the 1980s, making upward mobility increasingly difficult for low-income Americans. In the United States, 3.1 percent of income earned annually went to the poorest 20 percent of people, while 51.4 percent was earned by the richest 20 percent. Statistics showed that over half of all wealth in the United States belonged to the top 3 percent of earners.

On the same day, the BBC and the RT America reported that gunfire broke out on October 9 on the Northern Arizona University and Texas Southern University campuses. With the two shootings on college campuses, the number of US school shootings in 2015 has climbed to 52, with 30 people killed and 53 others injured.

Oct 14

An AFP report showed that New York was a city of extreme inequality, where people in the poor neighborhood of Brooklyn died 11 years earlier than those living around Wall Street, according to data released on October 14.

Oct 15

According to a report run by Daily Mail website, when carrying out drone assassinations, the US military used “phone data alone” -- a limited way of guaranteeing a kill. During Operation Haymaker, a campaign in northeastern Afghanistan which ran between January 2012 and February 2013, some 219 people were killed by drones but just 35, 15 percent, were the intended targets. During another five-month stretch of the operation, a staggering 90 percent of those killed were not the intended target. Despite this all the deaths were labeled EKIA, or “enemy killed in action.”

Oct 22

The AOL website reported that protests were held in many major cities and towns across the United States on October 22 to stop police brutality. The event’s organizer posted 5 shocking facts about police brutality in the United States on its website: 1. More than 920 people have been killed by the police in 2015; 2. Black Americans are more than twice likely to be unarmed when killed during police encounters than whites; 3. Native Americans are the group just as likely as blacks to be killed by law enforcement officers; 4. Excessive force is one of the most common forms of police misconduct; 5. For every 1,000 people killed by police, only one officer is convicted of a crime.

Oct 23

The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that Amir Meshal couldn’t sue the FBI for illegally detaining, interrogating and torturing him abroad for four months. Meshal claimed FBI agents held him without process or access to counsel, put him in solitary confinement, and threatened him with torture and death, and returned him to the United States after multiple transfers to squalid jails in several countries.

On the same day, the Christian Science Monitor reported on its website that the American Chamber of Commerce, the biggest commercial lobbying group in the nation, planned to play an active role in the 2016 presidential election. The chamber said it would spend 100 million US dollars in 2016 presidential election, compared with 70 million in 2014.

Oct 31

According to information provided by the Coalition for the Homeless, in recent years, homelessness in New York City had reached the highest levels since the Great Depression of the 1930s. In October 2015, there were 59,568 homeless people, including 14,361 homeless families with 23,858 homeless children, sleeping each night in the New York City municipal shelter system. The number of homeless New Yorkers sleeping each night in municipal shelters was 86 percent higher than it was ten years ago. Each night thousands of unsheltered homeless people slept on New York City streets, in the subway system, and in other public spaces.


Nov 3

The Washington Post website reported that Jeremy Mardis, an unarmed 6-year-old male, was shot by police in Marksville, Las Vegas.

A study released by the Economic Policy Institute on the same day found that in the third quarter of 2015, African American unemployment in the United States is about double the white unemployment rate. The largest racial gap was in the District of Columbia, where African American joblessness is 5.7 times more than whites.

Nov 10

The USA Today website reported that fast food workers in the United States walked off the job in hundreds of cities on Nov 10, staging strikes aimed at a minimum wage of $15.

Nov 11

The CNN website reported that a Republican presidential candidate said he would build a “deportation force” to remove 11 million undocumented immigrants from the country. He has also proposed ending birthright citizenship.

On the same day, the Pew Charitable Trusts website reported that since September, Los Angeles, Seattle, Portland, Oregon and the state of Hawaii had all declared states of emergency to tackle a worsening homeless crisis. Los Angeles had about 25,000 homeless people.

Nov 12

The Washington Post website said that a report released by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that rate of newborns with syphilis jumped 38 percent between 2012 and 2014. The disease was found in 11.6 of every 100,000 births in 2014.

Nov 15

According to a report on the CNN website, African-American Jamar Clark was shot dead by police early morning. According to witnesses, Clark was handcuffed when one of the cops had his knee in his back and the other cop was straddling him. It is said that Clark was unable to move and he didn’ t resist.

Nov 16

According to an FBI’ s report on 2014 hate crime statistics, the country reported 5,479 hate crime incidents involving 6,418 offenses. There were 5,462 single-bias incidents involving 6,681 victims. A percent distribution of victims by bias type showed that 48.3 percent were targeted because of the offenders’ racial bias, and 17.1 percent were targeted because of the offenders’ religious bias.

Nov 17

The Washington Post website reported that, as of the morning of November 17, the governors of 27 states have said that they are opposed to letting Syrian refugees resettle in their states. Some Republican Party lawmakers and presidential contenders have even called for a ban on letting any Syrian Muslim refugees into the United States.

On the same day, a survey by the Public Religion Research Institute revealed that 63 percent of respondents say blacks face a lot of discrimination in the United States, and 56 percent say Hispanics face a lot of discrimination in the country. Also, 70 percent of Americans say there is a lot of discrimination against Muslims and 45 percent say there is a lot of discrimination against women.

Nov 18

The US News and World Report website reported that researchers found 18 percent of students said they’d been raped while incapacitated before college, and 41 percent of those young women were raped again while incapacitated during their freshman year. The US CDC revealed that one in five women have been raped in their lifetimes, and a majority of victims personally knew their perpetrators.

Nov 19

The USA Today website reported that about 2,000 airport workers struck overnight from Nov. 18 to Nov 19 at seven major airports in the United States to protest low wages, demanding a minimum wage of $15.

On the same day, the Guardian website reported that a Republican presidential candidate said that he would consider warrantless searches of Muslims and increased surveillance of mosques, and that he would not rule out tracking Muslim Americans in a database or giving them a special form of identification that noted their religion.

Nov 23

The Chicago Tribune reported that nearly 17,000 immigration cases are pending in Chicago’ s immigration court. The typical case here is already two and a half years old and, on average. So clogged is the Chicago court that some cases aren’ t being scheduled for hearings until 2020. Among these cases, about 600 cases of children immigration are still pending, leaving families in limbo.

Nov 24

The CNN website reported that a Chicago police officer, who was charged in African-American Laquan MacDonald’ s shooting death, had a history of 20 complaints before he gunned down the 17-year-old, but none resulted in discipline. Outraged that it took as long as 13 months to charge the police officer in MacDonald’ s death, demonstrators took to the street to demand justice in his death.

Nov 26

According a report published on the Guardian website, government statistics suggested that between 2008 and 2014 at least 48.1 million people a year, including 19.2 percent of all households with children, could not always afford to eat balanced meals.

Nov 30

The Washington Post website reported that a court filing released on Nov 30 disclosed details of so-called national security letters, which showed that the FBI used special authority to compel Internet firms to hand over user information, including full browsing histories. These letters are used by the FBI to conduct electronic surveillance without the need for court approval.


Dec 1

According to the Guardian website, 37-year-old Mustafa al-Aziz al-Shamiri had been held without charge indefinitely at Guantanamo since 2002 for 13 years.

Dec 2

The USA Today website reported that two gunmen opened fire on a festive staff holiday party at a social services center in San Bernardino on this day, killing 14 and injuring 17 others.

Dec 10

A new Pew Research Center analysis revealed that the American middle class is shrinking due to slow income growth, and the middle class made up 49.9 percent of the US adult population in 2015, down from 61 percent in 1971. This is the first time for the proportion to drop below 50 percent.

Dec 11

An article at the USA Today website reported that Daniel Holtzclaw, a former Oklahoma City police officer, was convicted of sexually assaulting women he preyed upon in a low-income neighborhood he patrolled. He was convicted of 18 counts -- four charges of first-degree rape and 14 other counts -- connected to eight women, all of whom were black. A probe revealed about 1,000 officers had lost their licenses for sex crimes or other sexual misconduct in a six-year period.

At the end of a 10-day mission to the United States, a UN Working Group on the issue of discrimination against women in law and in practice noted that in 2010 and 2015, in the framework of its Universal Periodic Review, the US government committed to ratify the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women but this commitment has not yet been implemented. In the United States, women fall behind international standards as regards their right protections.

Dec 12

The BBC website reported that a survey of more than 6,000 hosts in five US cities concluded that names that sounded African-American were about 16 percent less likely to get a positive response to a request for a room when compared against white-sounding names like Brad or Kristen.

Dec 13

The website of the Miami Herald reported that Lowell Correctional Institution, the nation’ s largest women’ s prison, was haunted by corruption and sex scandals. Women alleged in complaints, filed between 2011 and May 2015, that the officers pressure inmates to have sex which happens in bathrooms, closets, the laundry and officers’ stations.

Dec 15

According to the website of Christian Science Monitor, the US president first promised to close Guantanamo Bay detention camp in 2007. But until December 15, 2015, 107 prisoners still remained in custody. The UN said indefinite imprisonment of detainees without charge or trial violated international law, calling on the United States to close the military prison camp.

Dec 16

A report carried by the website of the Miami Herald disclosed corruption and brutality of Patrick Quercioli, a corrections officer at Lowell Correctional Institution for women. Though he’ d been arrested twice, Quercioli managed to persuade the Florida Department of Corrections to hire him in 2004. He was known among prisoners as one of the most menacing officers at the correctional institution. In the past 10 years 57 inmates died in the prison, not accounting those who make it to hospital.

On the same day, a Wall Street Journal-NBC News poll in December 2015 showed that only 34 percent of Americans believe race relations in the United States were fairly good or very good, down 43 percentage points from 2009.

On the same day, Airwars reported on its website that between August 8, 2014 and December 16, 2015, 123 air strikes launched by US-led coalition forces caused a number of civilian deaths between 757 and 1,073.

Dec 17

According to the, intelligence agencies in the United States resort to high technology to spy on civilians. A dozens of cellphone surveillance devices such as Stingray and “dirt boxes” were used by intelligence agencies, such as the NSA and the CIA, to eavesdrop on calls and spying on SMS messages. Two systems are touted as having the ability to extract media files, address books and retrieve deleted text messages.

Dec 18

Drug (mostly prescription painkillers and heroin) overdose deaths hit record numbers, according to a report released by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than 47,000 people died from drug overdoses in 2014, an increase of 6 percent from 2013.

Dec 24

According to, former Pentagon official and missile expert Theodore Postol said the targeting of civilian populations for annihilation by US nuclear forces in the 1950s continues to this day. “The fact of the matter is that we have targeted populations from the very beginning and do so to this day,” he said.

Dec 27

The Washington Post website reported that 55-year-old black woman Bettie Jones and her 19-year-old neighbor Quintonio LeGrier were “accidentally” shot dead on December 26 by a police officer in an apartment in Chicago when he was responding to a report of a domestic disturbance.

Dec 28

According to a toll report by the website of the Gun Violence Archive, there were a total of 51,675 gun violence incidents in the United States in 2015, including 329 mass shootings. Altogether 13,136 were killed and 26,493 injured, including 682 children aged zero to 11 and 2,640 teens aged 12 to 17.

Dec 31

According to data posted on the Washington Post website, 990 people were fatally shot by police in the United States in 2015. On a monthly basis, police shot dead 76 people in January, 77 in February, 92 in March, 84 in April, 71 in May, 65 in June, 104 in July, 94 in August, 80 in September, 82 in October, 76 in November and 89 in December.