Call center workers employed by Maximus went on strike at four locations—in Louisiana, Mississippi, Kentucky, and Virginia—on Tuesday, Nov. 1. Maximus is a federal contractor, and during the open enrollment period, workers there handle a nonstop stream of high-stakes calls from people trying to navigate the Affordable Care Act, Medicare, and Medicaid systems, but they have been pushed to their limit. As stated in a Twitter thread posted by Call Center Workers United, “We’ve been saying for years: during ACA open enrollment, we’re dealing with constant back-to-back calls. Some frustrated callers become abusive and subject us to racist and sexist slurs. We’re paid wages so low it’s nearly impossible to support a family. We’ve had enough.
Louisville, KY - On Saturday, December 11 at 11:00 a.m. EST, Kentuckians for Single Payer Health Care and others will gather outside the headquarters of Humana, 500 W. Main St., Louisville, KY 40202 where they will demand an end to Medicare Direct Contracting, a program that could fully privatize Traditional fee-for-service Medicare without a vote by Congress. The protest with feature Steven Katz in full costume as the Grinch with the reading and performance of "How the Grinch Stole Medicare," an original poem from National Single Payer. Jill Harmer and the Single Payer Singers, Stephen Bartlett and his band, and singer, songwriter John Gage will perform holiday and health care music.
Around 400 union distillery workers in Bardstown, Kentucky, hit the picket line yesterday after rejecting a contract offer from Heaven Hill Distilleries, which included healthcare price hikes that reduce take-home pay, cuts to overtime, and drastic scheduling changes. Heaven Hill produces some of the most popular bourbon brands in the world, including Evan Williams, Elijah Craig, and Old Fitzgerald. According to the website Inc. Fact, the company averages annual profits of over $500 million. In this mini-cast, we talk with Matt Aubrey, president of UFCW Local 23D, to get an update on the strike and workers’ demands.
Hundreds rallied in downtown Louisville, Kentucky and marched through the streets on Saturday to mark the one-year anniversary of the killing of Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old Black woman who was gunned down in her own home by city police officers—none of whom have been charged for her death. "This is not a celebration. This is the anniversary of something that should not have happened," one speaker said at a Louisville event, where Taylor's family, racial justice activists, and ordinary members of the community gathered to mourn the loss of Breonna and demand action from lawmakers and police departments beyond the small-scale reforms that followed the March 2020 killing. While Louisville in June banned no-knock raids of the kind that led to Taylor's death, local activists say far more needs to be done to hold the officers responsible for Taylor's death account
A committee within the Kentucky State Senate has advanced a bill that would make insulting a police officer a misdemeanor crime. The proposal, which is part of a larger bill that includes a number of other provisions related to criminalizing activists’ behavior during uprisings and protest events, comes in the same week as the one-year anniversary of the police-perpetrated killing of Breonna Taylor, which, along with other unjust killings of Black Americans by police, prompted a number of uprisings over the course of the past year. The portion of the bill that would criminalize statements made to police officers would amend the state statute on “disorderly conduct” in public spaces. Any person who “accosts, insults, taunts, or challenges a law enforcement officer with offensive or derisive words, or by gestures or other physical contact, that would have a direct tendency to provoke a violent response” in public would be guilty of disorderly conduct in the second degree, if the bill becomes law.
As much of Louisville remains under a layer of ice and with another winter storm on the way, the city is doing nothing to keep alive its homeless population, several advocates contended Saturday evening. Leaders from local homeless outreach organizations spoke in front of Hotel Louisville Saturday night, demanding city leaders address what they called a humanitarian crisis. Donny Greene, co-founder of Feed Louisville, said the city has given excuses for not helping people left outside in the below-freezing temperatures, contending there is no shelter space available. "The truth of the matter is the city is currently housing homeless people … in hotels in the city, and they have the ability to do that for everyone," Greene said.
Three grand jurors from the investigation into the police raid that killed 26-year-old Breonna Taylor are now calling for Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron (R) to be impeached over allegations that he mishandled the case. The jurors on Friday filed a petition with the state House of Representatives, arguing that Cameron breached the public’s trust and also misrepresented key grand jury findings, according to the Louisville Courier Journal, which first reported the complaint. A press release from the attorney representing the grand jurors, who remained anonymous to protect their identities, said of the jurors, “it is truly a testament to the Kentucky Constitution that they are able to be here today and to expose injustice and demand public accountability.”
A training slideshow used by the Kentucky State Police (KSP) — the second largest police force in the state — urges cadets to be “ruthless killer[s]” and quotes Adolf Hitler advocating violence. The slideshow was included in KSP documents obtained via an open records request by local attorney David Ward of Adams Landenwich Walton during the discovery phase of a lawsuit. Ward requested KSP materials used to train a detective who shot and killed a man in Harlan County, and Ward shared the presentation with Manual RedEye.
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, announcing last month that no police officers would be charged with homicide for killing Breonna Taylor, claimed members of a grand jury agreed with him in finding that cops "were justified" in opening fire. "My job is to present the facts to the grand jury and the grand jury then applies those facts to the law," Cameron explained, suggesting those facts informed the decision to indict only one officer on three counts of first-degree "wanton endangerment."
In a motion filed late Monday afternoon, the juror also asks a judge to allow fellow jurors to give up their confidential status if they wish and speak freely about the controversial case that saw one of three Louisville police officers who fired their weapons at Taylor's apartment indicted on felony charges. "The full story and absolute truth of how this matter was handled from beginning to end is now an issue of great public interest and has become a large part of the discussion of public trust throughout the country," Kevin Glogower, the attorney for the juror, wrote in the filing that comes just five days after the indictment.
A former deputy jailer has been sentenced to four years in federal prison after pleading guilty to violating the civil rights of an inmate at the Shelby County Detention Center. William Anthony Carey, 31, admitted to asking an inmate to assault another inmate that Carey didn’t like, according to his plea agreement. Corey Lynn Hopper, 30, the inmate Carey asked to carry out the assault, pleaded guilty in January to aiding and abetting the violation of an inmate’s civil rights. Hopper admitted to enlisting several other inmates to help him beat and kick the man, leaving him with serious injuries.
Louisville, KY - More than 100 Black Lives Matter protesters were confronted by police after blocking off Market Street in Louisville's Nulu neighborhood on Friday afternoon and setting up an impromptu block party. Police started arresting dozens of protesters shortly before 5 p.m. after declaring that the gathering was an unlawful assembly. In total, 76 were arrested, according to Louisville Metro Police Department spokesman Lamont Washington. The group arrived around 4 p.m., and in less than a half-hour, protesters put up long tables with meal settings, connect four games, a trampoline, artwork and shade tents between Clay and Shelby streets.
Eighty-seven people were arrested and charged with a felony after a Tuesday protest on the lawn of Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, the Louisville Metro Police Department said in a statement. The protesters were demanding that charges be filed against the officers responsible for the March shooting death of Breonna Taylor. The protest began Tuesday evening near Ballard High School in Louisville, Kentucky, CBS affiliate WLKY-TV reports. The protesters marched from the school to Cameron's home, with many of the demonstrators sitting and standing on Cameron's lawn. The protesters, who were chanting slogans demanding justice for Taylor, were asked to leave by the police, but many chose to stay. Those who did were arrested without incident, according to WLKY-TV. "In total, 87 people were arrested," LMPD said in their statement. "Due to their refusal to leave the property and their attempts to influence the decision of the Attorney General with their actions, each person was charged with Intimidating a Participant in a Legal Process
Kentucky—A month before thousands began marching here, day after day, to protest the police killings of George Floyd in Minneapolis and a woman here named Breonna Taylor, a professor at the University of Louisville was a co-author on a study that identified another killer targeting Black lives: toxic pollutants. Along with race, crime and income, the research found that proximity to an industrial neighborhood in the city called Rubbertown had a major effect on life expectancy, accounting for as much as three quarters of a 10- to 12-year reduced life expectancy in poor and mostly Black neighborhoods, compared to richer, white neighborhoods. Among the demonstrators, demands for racial justice in policing and environmental justice quickly merged in Louisville, a city with a history of environmental injustice as striking as any in America.
Louisville, KY - David McAtee, who turned his talent for food into a popular West End eatery, was shot and killed by law enforcement officers early Monday morning, an incident that's now under state, local and federal investigation. McAtee, the owner of YaYa's BBQ in western Louisville, was known as a "community pillar," said his mother, Odessa Riley. "He left a great legend behind. He was a good person. Everybody around him would say that," she said. "My son didn't hurt nobody. He didn't do nothing to nobody." Riley was among the hundreds who had swarmed the corner of 26th and Broadway Monday where Louisville police and National Guard personnel were breaking up a "large crowd" that had gathered in the parking lot outside a Dino's Food Mart, according to law enforcement officials.