Chicago groups take child refugee issue to inter-American human rights commission

Two Chicago-based organizations are asking an international human rights commission to examine the U.S. government’s treatment of thousands of unaccompanied minors who’ve entered this country from Mexico and Central America.Last week, a petition was filed with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on behalf of the National Immigrant Justice Center and the National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities. The commission is under the auspices of the Organization of American States, a regional group of which the U.S. and all the countries in the Americas are members. The Chicago groups are asking the commission to urge the U.S. to take precautions in how it treats the children and their families in this country. They also request that the commission order the U.S. to stop deporting the children and their families without due consideration of their rights to protection and asylum, said Susan Gzesh, the executive director of the Pozen Family Center of Human Rights at the University of Chicago and one of the lawyers who helped write the petition. Since October 2013, close to 60,000 unaccompanied children from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico have been apprehended by U.S. authorities at or near the U.S.-Mexico border, according to the Pew Research Center.The children are fleeing kidnapping, mutilation, rape and murder in their countries.

‘Another senseless killing of a young black man’

Calls for an independent probe of the shooting death of an unarmed, African-American teenager in suburban St. Louis have been heard. The FBI is launching an investigation into why a police officer pulled a gun on Michael Brown, an 18-year-old who was supposed to start college today. Brown’s death has sparked anger and frustration in Ferguson–a working class, largely African American suburb–which erupted with rioting over the weekend. As one witness put it, “Police shot this man for no good reason.” NBC News spoke with an eyewitness.

City drops appeal, will release police misconduct complaints

The City of Chicago is finally giving up – police misconduct complaints and the fight to keep them under wraps. An Illinois appeals court ruled in March that police misconduct complaints — both the original records and the Chicago Police Department’s electronic log of them — are subject to the Illinois Freedom of Information Act. The city was set to petition the state supreme court, but instead issued a press release on Sunday reversing its stance. “The City of Chicago had the option to continue to litigate this matter, but ultimately we concluded that – with proper safeguards in place – it will serve a greater public good to allow these investigations to be subject to open records laws,” said Chicago Corporation Counsel Steve Patton in the release. Standard FOIA exemptions will apply, including those pertaining to burdensomeness.

Civil rights veterans discuss legacy of the 1964 Civil Rights Act

When the Rev. Otis Moss Jr. registered to vote in Georgia at age 18, he had to take a literacy test that was administered by a man who “could hardly read,” Moss recalled.His father walked 18 miles one day to try to vote in LaGrange, Ga., only to be turned away.  “Every time he reached the voting station, they told him, ’You have the wrong place,’” Moss said. “When he finally reached a station, they told him, ‘Boy, you are a little bit late. Poll just closed.’”Moss was among the veterans of the civil rights movement who spoke Tuesday at a panel discussion on the legacy of the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act, which helped end America’s version of apartheid. They spoke at the annual conference of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition. The Rev. Jesse Jackson, founder and president of Rainbow PUSH, opened the conversation.