Howdy Poliblerds! Here is your quick and blerdy from the last week in politics, policy and current events.

#M4BL, #BlackLivesMatter, This weekend marked the first ever national convening of the Movement Black Lives. The convening took place in Cleveland, Ohio and was attended by over 1000 black and brown advocates, activists and organizers from around the country at Cleveland State University.

Cleveland has continuously made headlines for excessive force used by police. Recently it has been the subject of a Department of Justice investigation for police brutality. The city made headlines November 22, 2014 when a Cleveland Police officer shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice.

In May, Cleveland has reached a settlement with the Department of Justice over a pattern of excessive force and civil rights violations by its police department.

 

cleveland_pd

 

Throughout the weekend organizers attended plenaries, panels and strategy sessions aimed at training, educating and connecting.

Unfortunately, as the event closed on Sunday attendees were moved to take action. Based on reports from Twitter and attendees, people outside of the closing event saw a 14-year-old boy being arrested for not having a ticket on the bus. Protesters then “held” the street because the Cleveland PD were holding that boy, who was reportedly slammed against a police car and placed in custody.

The 14-year- old was eventually released from custody but not after several protestors were sprayed with pepper spray.

These events come one week after protestors successful demonstrated during the Presidential Townhall at Netroots Nation in Phoenix, AZ.

#SandraBland, #JusticeSandra Also this weekend hundreds attended the funeral of Sandra Bland in Illinois. Bland was found dead on July 13, 2015 three days after she taken into custody in Texas.

Shocking video surfaced showing Bland being dragged out of her car after being pulled over for failing to use a turn signal.  Bland was taken into custody and charged with assaulting a policeman.

An investigation is still on-going in regards to the circumstances of Bland’s arrest and subsequent death while in custody.

Obama Visits #Kenya: President Barack Obama visited Kenya last week for the first time since becoming President. President Obama, who’s father is Kenyan, met with country leaders and his extended family while in Kenya.

In addition, the President addressed a number of issues dealing with Kenyan public policy, including economic development, counter-terrorism and human rights.

The President trip also comes two years after the 2013 attack on Westgate Mall in downtown Nairobi leaving 67 dead and the April 2015 shooting at Garissa University leaving 148 students dead. Both shootings were tied to an al Qaeda affiliated terrorist group.

As usual, tf there is something you’d like us to cover in the next PoliBlerd, investigate for a solo post or follow for future wrap-ups leave us a note in the comments or shoot me a Tweet or email. Till then… stay Blerdy!

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A. Angélique Roché is an attorney, consultant, policy wonk and communications professional. Angelique has previously served as a legislative aide for the United States Senate and has held various positions on local, state and national campaigns. Most importantly she is a Doctor Who loving nerd who loves finding the intersections of activism, policy, politics and current events, aka, a PoliBlerd. In addition to being a contributor to Black Girls Nerds, she is a freelance writer and poet. Roché is a board member of the Women’s Campaign School at Yale University, where she also serves on its faculty and is part of the founders circle for Higher Heights for America.