Things That Matter

The One Instance Where Discrimination Didn’t Win

It’s time for the city of Los Angeles to pay up for setting illegal curfews on its residents…and it’s going to pay BIG money.

As much as $30 million will settle the class-action lawsuit that blames the LAPD for setting curfews on residents as part of gang injunctions that were previously deemed unconstitutional as reported by the Los Angeles Times. Most of the money will go towards job training of former gang members and those who felt they had been illegally stripped of their freedom by the LAPD.

“This is taking an injustice that never should have happened and turning it into an opportunity to start over,” attorney Anne Richardson told the newspaper.

The 2011 lawsuit was filed after Christian Rodriguez was arrested while living in the Mar Vista Gardens housing projects, within the territory of the Culver City Gang Boys. Here’s the thing, Rodriguez is not a gang member and does not associate with any gangs. Yet, he was still arrested for violating the 10 p.m. curfew in 2009, two years after these types of curfews were said to be illegal.

“Because I was wrongly labeled as a gang member, I couldn’t even be outside helping my mom with the groceries at night,” Rodriguez stated. “I got involved in this case to help others who like me,  did nothing wrong but unjustly live in constant fear of doing something that might be perceived by a member of LAPD as a violation. I want my 2-year-old daughter to grow up without that fear.”

READ: This Ex-Gang Member Used To Run The Streets Of L.A., Now He’s An Emmy-Nominated Actor

Read more from the Los Angeles Times.

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Texas Is Leading The Charge To Overturn DACA And This Man Is Behind The Fight

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Texas Is Leading The Charge To Overturn DACA And This Man Is Behind The Fight

texasattorneygeneral / Instagram

The state of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is currently in limbo, as it has been since Donald Trump became president. The Democrats are fighting to keep the program that protects young undocumented people from being deported, while the Republicans are putting up their own fight to end it. In the end, however, it’s not going to be up to either party. The U.S. Supreme Court will ultimately decide in October the fate of the program and the estimated 800,000 people that are currently enrolled. There is one man that is fighting DACA tooth and nail and has been doing so for years. 

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is one of the fiercest critics of DACA and he just filed an amicus brief on behalf of Texas, and 12 other states. 

Credit: @TXAG / Twitter

An amicus brief is a legal document that is “filed in appellate court cases by non-litigants with a strong interest in the subject matter,” and Paxton has a robust interest in the matter. The other heads of state that signed the legal document include Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, South Carolina, South Dakota, West Virginia, and Mississippi.

“The DACA program was a lawless exercise of executive power, and the Trump administration’s decision to rescind DACA was absolutely necessary to uphold the rule of law,” Paxton said in a statement. “By creating DACA and DAPA, the Obama administration attempted to bypass Congress and unilaterally amend our immigration laws. The president’s duty is to ensure that the law is faithfully executed, not to unilaterally re-write the law anytime the president disagrees with Congress’ decision.”

The fight against DACA has been Paxton’s most significant battle since 2017.

Credit: @SenatorDurbin / Twitter

He alleges that that DACA “puts undue financial strain on states. Under DACA, states bear the cost of providing social services including healthcare, education, and law enforcement, to non-citizens. Texas alone incurs more than $250,000,000 in total direct costs from DACA recipients each year.”

He’s actually wrong about that. DACA recipients, many of which that are highly paid professionals, contribute billions to the United States, which is why most Americans want the program to remain as is

Several appeals courts have already ruled that DACA must remain in place. They stated that the president can make some changes but cannot end it altogether. 

Credit: @statesman / Twitter

In November 2018, a Court of Appeals in the Ninth Circuit ruled “the cruelty and wastefulness of deporting productive young people to countries with which they have no ties.”

That is why the case has been turned over the Supreme Court. The highest court can also hear from both advocates and opponents, and try to settle this matter out of court. However, because the House and Senate are so divided, no conclusion has been met. 

“We will continue to fight tirelessly to protect these outstanding young men and women as we work to ensure America remains a nation of hope, freedom, and opportunity for all,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement after the court’s announcement this summer, according to the New York Times

Paxton is eager to win this fight, despite not hearing from his own party, including people that voted for him.  

Credit: @TheToddSchulte / Twitter

Republican voters have told him to end this battle because it’s not worth it. In 2017, Norman E. Adams, Co-founder of the Texans for Sensible Immigration Policy, and a conservative voter sent Paxton an open letter, in which he stated: 

Dear Mr. Paxton, 

First of all, I want you to know that my wife and I contributed to your campaign and voted for you. We did the same for President Trump, and we are proud of what he has done. We are not as happy with what you are doing. General Paxton, your threat of a lawsuit to overturn DACA is a big mistake. Instead of opposing DACA, Texas should follow President Trump’s lead on the 800,000 so-called “dreamers.” Evidently, you have been convinced that opposing DACA is good for you politically. We did not elect you to practice politics. We elected you to use good judgment and to make sound decisions that benefit Texans.

Paxton can fight all he wants but he should know that DACA supporters (both Democrat and Republican) will fight for DREAMers as well. And, since he is DACA’s loudest critic he doesn’t have much a chance to win anyway. 

READ: Experts Are Warning The U.S. Supreme Court About The Economic Impacts Of Rescinding DACA Protections

A 23-Year-Old Latina And Her Baby Died During Labor, Now Her Parents Are Suing Her OBGYN

Things That Matter

A 23-Year-Old Latina And Her Baby Died During Labor, Now Her Parents Are Suing Her OBGYN

In 2018, a startling report published by Obstetrics & Gynecology showed that minorities have a higher risk of dying during childbirth or experience complications during labor. The study concluded that black women, Latinas, and Native American women have a 70 percent chance of experiencing life-threatening complications.

 While the factors for these results may vary, including health issues, some speculate that minority women aren’t properly cared for by medical personal. 

A 23-year-old woman and her infant son died just hours after she had given birth. 

Credit: Facebook/@tracy.dominguez

The story of Demi Dominguez, of Bakersfield, California is a tragic one because it could have been prevented. Dominguez first went to see her doctor on April 16 because she was experiencing swelling and high blood pressure. The doctor gave her medication for the high blood pressure and sent her home. She then returned a couple of days later and was told to go home after they checked her blood pressure. On April 19, Dominguez’s family found her seizing and unresponsive. She was rushed to the hospital, and medical officials were able to deliver the baby boy. Unfortunately, the baby died soon after, and so did his mom. 

Now her family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against two OBGYN’s at Mercy Hospital in Bakersfield. 

One of the most disturbing parts about this story is that one of the doctors named in the lawsuit, who the family alleges contributed to the death of this young woman, is also part of other litigations. The doctor in question, Dr. Arthur M. Park is also facing charges of malpractice in the death of another one of his patients. A mother of three died in 2016 during childbirth under his care. The Medical Board of California suing him for negligence and are attempting to take his medical license away. 

According to court documents, obtained by a local NBC News affiliate, the suit says the “doctors were negligent in that they failed to do the following: timely or appropriately evaluate the seriousness of Dominguez’s condition; order appropriate studies to properly diagnose and treat her; timely administer appropriate medications to her; schedule appropriate followup care for her; and otherwise treat the condition of Dominguez and her son in an appropriate manner.”

If this story could not get more unfortunate, the family allege that the baby was healthy and could have survived.

Credit: Facebook/@tracy.dominguez

 However, because the doctor rushed to take out her placenta, he caused further damage, which led to both deaths.

Her family said that because Dr. Park too out her placenta so quickly, this resulted in a lot of blood loss. They also allege that Dr. Park failed to call a proper response team to tend to Dominguez. 

In the 2018 Obstetrics & Gynecology study, blood pressure is a huge factor as to why minority women experience complications during childbirth. Doctors say to avoid complications while pregnant women should attempt to get in the best shape they can be. However, even the most healthy women experience issues, especially if their minorities. 

Celebrity tennis champ, Serena Williams shared her frightening ordeal during the delivery of her baby girl, which brought so much awareness to this relatable issue. 

Credit: Instagram/@serenawilliams

Williams understood the state of her body and health better than anyone, so when she began having shortness of breath, she knew it could lead to a pulmonary embolism. When she informed the nurses to get a CT scan and a heparin drip, they at first didn’t take her seriously. Once they finally did, they realized Williams was correct. In other words, if Williams hadn’t advocated for herself, she could have died right there and then. 

“In twenty-first-century America, in the most powerful nation on Earth, no woman should ever die from pregnancy and childbirth. Yet every year in the United States, more than 700 women die from pregnancy-related causes, and more than 50,000 women suffer a life-threatening complication,” Michael Lu, senior associate dean at George Washington University School of Public Health and former director of federal Maternal and Child Health Bureau, told People magazine

Unfortunately for Dominguez, it wasn’t just that she had high blood pressure, it’s that her doctors didn’t do anything to help her.
 Credit: Facebook/@tracy.dominguez

Her life was just beginning. The 23-year-old was just a month away from graduating college at Cal State University, Bakersfield. Her mom ended up going to graduation and accepting the diploma on behalf of her daughter. She left behind her husband and a huge family. 

“People gravitated to Demi’s outgoing personality,” her obit states. “She was admired for her big beautiful smile, larger than life personality, and fierce independence. She had an incredible ability to always be present, to listen, to cry with you, and wanted to have a hand in changing your life. She was a passionate follower of Christ, always ready to pray, so full of joy, and unconditional love. She had an incredible sense of humor, loved to dance, and she was so much FUN!” 

READ: She Dropped Out Of High School When She Got Pregnant And Her Farm Working Parents Gave Her All The Advice She Needed To Get A Master’s