Things That Matter

Trump Supporter Caught On Camera Using Bear Repellent Against Peaceful Anti-Trump Protestors

A Trump supporter was arrested by Santa Monica police Saturday after deploying a canister of bear repellent to a crowd of anti-Trump protesters gathered at the Santa Monica Pier. The event was organized by an anti-Trump grassroots group called Refuse Fascism to show support for Trump’s impending impeachment proceedings. A sister protest, underway in New York City, successfully marched a group of protesters to Trump Towers. 

Around a dozen Trump supporters were already on the pier, donned in red MAGA hats, waving American flags, and chanting “Trump 2020” when the scheduled Refuse Fascism protesters arrived. According to organizer Atlas Winfrey, the Trump supporters were trying “to intimidate and incite a confrontation.”

Footage from the scene shows a short scuffle breaks out when a cloud of pepper spray suddenly overwhelms the crowd.

Credit: ktla5news / Instagram

Bystanders recall seeing a man with a backward MAGA hat circling the crowd when he pulled out the can and started spraying as many people as he could. According to Michelle Xai, at least four anti-Trump protesters sought medical attention for their injuries. Xai herself will be wearing an arm sling at the next rally, after being “dropped to the ground by these fascists and basically assaulted.” 

Most of the crowd starts running away from the toxic chemical, covering their faces and wiping tears from their eyes.

Credit: ktla5news / Instagram

Several people start screaming. The person behind the video can be heard coughing, as they back away from the crowd as well. Reportedly, one woman started vomiting shortly after the attack

David Nicholas Dempsey, 32, was arrested and it was revealed that he is already a convicted felon.

Credit: @kron4news / Twitter

Police arrived on the scene shortly after the incident, and the angry crowd pointed to Dempsey as the culprit. He claimed his innocence but was handcuffed and escorted away to cheers from the anti-Trump protesters. Dempsey was initially charged with the prohibited use of a tear gas weapon, assault with a caustic chemical. After learning that Dempsey carries a prior weapons violation conviction, he’s also facing an additional charge of violating his parole.

The man who bore the brunt of the bear spray is an Iraq war vet.

Credit: @hotchkiss_jon / Twitter

“As an Iraqi war vet who has spoken out against U.S. crimes, I have been repeatedly targeted with violence and death threats,” Refuse Fascism member Bo Login said in a statement. “All this demonstrates so clearly the violence Trump/Pence regime is unleashing and why people should join us to prevent a fascist America.”

Login reportedly poured a gallon of milk over his head to help ease the effects of the bear spray, which is similar to other pepper sprays.

The anti-Trump supporters were pulling off a peaceful demonstration on the beach while Dempsey appeared at the pier with a holster of bear spray.

Credit: @revclub_la / Twitter

Refuse Fascism was simply using large stretches of fabric to spell out “Trump-Pence #OutNow” to launch its #OutNow campaign, which seeks to sustain weekly protests against Trump until “the regime is removed,” according to its statement.  

Meanwhile, co-founder of the New York coalition, Dr. Cornel West was pleased with their march. “I stand with those who are willing to put their bodies on the line and make their voices heard to make sure that there will never ever be fascism in the United States of America,” he said in a statement.

RefuseFascim’s next Los Angeles rally will be in MacArthur Park on October 26 at 2 p.m.

Credit: @RefuseFascismLA / Twitter

After the bear spray attack, RefuseFascism national spokesperson responded, “We face a political crisis of epic dimension: this regime is rapidly advancing a fascist program. Trump’s “America First” is a program of extreme danger–the vicious twitter finger of Trump is also on the nuclear trigger… The attacks on the #OUTNOW! protest in LA by fascist thugs evidence again the fascist movement that is unleashed by the words and deeds of this regime. We have already seen mass murderers inspired by this regime.”

Dempsey’s social media is a laundry list of conspiracy theories.

Credit: David Dempsey / Facebook

Dempsey’s Facebook page includes a long list of conspiracy theories, including one about the white supremacist El Paso Shooter. “El Paso shooter had 1-30 round magazine, kills 20, wounds 30, it’s impossible people,” reads one post. Another read, “SHOOTER IN EL PASO IS HALF MEXICAN AND KILLED FULL WHITE PEOPLE!” 

Dempsey is expected to appear in Los Angeles County Superior Court for his arraignment hearing on Tuesday. He is currently being held without bail until then. Investigators suspect that a second individual deployed tear gas in unison with Dempsey.

READ: A Group Of White Supremacist Unwittingly Raised More Than $36,000 To Help Undocumented People

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Street Vendor By The Name Of Lorenzo Pérez Murdered Execution Style — “The person who killed my dad took away a part of me”

Things That Matter

Street Vendor By The Name Of Lorenzo Pérez Murdered Execution Style — “The person who killed my dad took away a part of me”

Like many street vendors, 45-year-old Lorenzo Pérez sold food to support his family.

Married and the father of four children ages 15, 13, 9, and 1, Perez is described by friends and family as being well known amongst neighborhood residents. He was often seen working alongside his daughter who helped him on occasion. Now, the community and family who knew Perez well are in mourning, after he was shot in broad daylight while doing his job.

Perez died after he being shot in the head in southeast Fresno on Sunday afternoon.

Fresno Police were called to the scene of a possible robbery at Alta and Pierce Avenues, near Kings Canyon and Willow around 4:30 p.m. on Sunday. On the way to the scene, the police officers learned that a street vendor had been shot once in the head.

According to reports, Perez was rushed to Community Regional Medical Center where he ultimately died.

Witnesses of the murder told officers that a man had beckoned Perez to come over to him in a way that suggested he was going to purchase something from him.

According to police reports, when Perez walked up to the suspect, the man pulled out a gun and shot the vendor. He then stole a few items, which have not been identified, and flew the scene. Witnesses told police officers that they’d seen the man loitering around the area before the shooting.

A local news station reported that “Officers are now looking into surveillance footage from the area to try and identify the shooter… Through a statement, Fresno City Council President Luis Chavez announced that he will be offering a $5000 reward for information leading to the shooter’s arrest.”

“The coward that murdered our food vendor, turn yourself in and face the consequences. You’ve brought tremendous pain to a family and our city,” Chavez exclaimed in the statement.

To help the Perez family, Councilmember Esmeralda Soria set up a GoFundMe account which has already raised $141,780 out of its $125,000 goal.

Perez’s son, Isai, described his father in a recent interview as a “great man.”

“My father was a great man. He was a great father, a great husband, a great friend,” he said in an interview. “He spread love and kindness. He was about fairness, he wanted to share his happiness. He meant no harm. He didn’t deserve to go like this. The person who killed my dad took away a part of me. My dad went through everything for us. He took away my father. He took away the opportunity of me being with him in his last moments and it’s heartbreaking. I hope they find the murderer soon.”

If you have any information on the shooting please call Valley Crime Stoppers at (559) 498-STOP.

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Turns Out The First Owner Of Beverly Hills Was An Impressive Afro-Mexican Woman

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Turns Out The First Owner Of Beverly Hills Was An Impressive Afro-Mexican Woman

Beverly Hills, one of the most well-known destinations in the country and world has long been a thriving and prime area for real-estate. Long before it was colonized by the Spanish, and was largely populated by rich white elites, the Indigenous people of California known as the Tongva, thrived there.

Hundreds of years later, in the 1830s, when the area was colonized, Maria Rita Valdez Villa, the granddaughter of Spanish colonists Luis and Maria Quintero and the great-granddaughter of an African slave was granted the original 4,500-acre of Beverly Hills, then known as El Rancho Rodeo de las Aguas.

Yes, as it turns out the foremother of Beverly Hills was a Black Latina!

During her ownership, Maria Rita oversaw cattle ranching and farming.

According to LA Magazine, Rita “was well known for holding a yearly celebratory rodeo under a famous eucalyptus tree at what is now Pico and Robertson boulevards.”

Sadly, after working the land for so much time, three Indigenous Californian outlaws attacked the ranch in 1852. The attack led to a shootout amongst “a grove of walnut trees at what is now Benedict Canyon and Chevy Chase drives” and eventually in 1854 Maria Rita decided to sell the area to investors Henry Hancock and Benjamin D. Wilson for $4,000.

Perhaps there’s a chance for justice for Maria Rita in the end.

Recently, Los Angeles County officials revealed that they were contemplating returning a beachfront property that was seized from a Black family nearly a century ago.

According to the Guardian, Manhattan Beach used “eminent domain” in 1924 to force Willa and Charles Bruce, the city’s first Black landowners, of the land where they lived. “The Bruces also ran a resort for Black families during a time when beaches in the strand were segregated,” explained the Guardian in a recent report. “Part of the land was developed into a city park. It is now owned by Los Angeles county and houses lifeguard headquarters and a training center.”

Manhattan Beach county Supervisor Janice Hahn announced that she was looking into ways to restore justice for Bruce family. Options include delivering the land back to the family, paying for losses, or potentially leasing the property from them

“I wanted the county of Los Angeles to be a part of righting this terrible wrong,” Hahn explained in a recent interview with KABC-TV.

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