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Calls for Investigations Into Shocking Mortgage Discrimination Claims in Class Action Lawsuit by Charlene Crowell

March 11, 2024

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( - A mortgage discrimination case that began with two plaintiffs last December was consolidated in late February with seven others to form a class action lawsuit alleging that Navy Federal Credit Union – the nation’s largest with 13.4 million members and $170.8 billion in assets – “systematically and intentionally discriminates against minority borrowers across the United States.”

The lawsuit alleges that Navy Federal, which serves current and former military members from all service sectors, denied loans for 52 percent of Black borrowers and 44 percent of Latino borrowers, while denying only 23 percent of white applicants for home mortgage purchase or refinance loans and Home Equity Lines of Credit.

Affidavits of affected borrowers told stories of the financial and emotional distressed caused by qualified loan applicants having to find alternative – and often more costly – financing after being denied by their member-owned credit union.

The lawsuit, led by nationally-known attorney Ben Crump and his co-lead counsel Adam Levitt, of DiCello Levitt and Hassan Zavareei, of Tycko & Zavareei, said the lender’s own data show that Navy Federal approved loans for a higher percentage of white borrowers annually earning less than $62,000 a year than for Black loan applicants earning $140,000 or more.  

And when Navy Federal did approve a loan to a Black or Latino applicant, they often were offered worst interest rates and loan terms than those offered to white borrowers with similar financial profiles. These activities are illegal under federal laws, including the Fair Housing Act and Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA).

“The outright discrimination that occurs when Banking While Black continues to reveal itself in the lending practices of many of America’s largest financial institutions,” said Crump. “It is shameful that Navy Federal, an organization that prides itself in helping the families of men and women who served their country, does not give their Black and Latino customers the same opportunities as white customers.”

“We hope this legal action will stop racial lending discrimination in its tracks and require Navy Federal to right their wrongs,” said Adam Levitt. “Home ownership is recognized as the cornerstone of the American Dream. We will not sit by while that dream is denied to hard-working and deserving Americans based on discriminatory practices and algorithms.” 

Navy Federal said in a December 2023 statement that its  more than $3.5 billion in mortgages to Black borrowers in 2022 shows its “longstanding commitment to expanding credit and economic opportunity to Black borrowers.”  

But the number of people calling to hold Navy Federal accountable is growing, and now includes civil rights activist Rev. Al Sharpton, 10 U.S. Senators, over 20 Members of Congress, consumer advocates and others. 

Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Ranking Member of the House Financial Services Committee called for federal agencies to begin investigations.

“Credit unions are owned by their members and while this type of discrimination may be par for the course for a profit-driven megabank, a member-driven credit union should know better,” said Waters.“As a private institution that bears the name of an esteemed branch of the United States military, Navy Federal must explain both to Congress and their members how such practices took place, what immediate steps are being taken to correct the harm done, and who in management will be held responsible,” Waters continued. “These abuses will not be tolerated, and I urge the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, National Credit Union Administration, and other appropriate agencies to promptly investigate this matter.”  

Consumers Union, a nonprofit advocacy group, added its support. “The large racial disparity found between loan approvals for applicants with roughly the same financial profile raises serious concerns that Navy Federal may be unfairly discriminating against Black and Latino applicants,” said Jennifer Chien[, CU’s senior policy counsel for financial fairness..

In a joint letter on January 11,2024, 10 U.S. Senators led by Senate Banking Committee Chair Sherrod Brown urged the CFPB Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Department HUD to investigate the issue.

“As the regulators with primary responsibility for enforcing ECOA and the Fair Housing Act, we ask that you thoroughly review Navy Federal’s mortgage lending practices and outcomes for compliance with all federal fair housing and fair lending laws and regulations. Navy Federal’s members have made countless sacrifices in their service to our country. We must do all we can to ensure illegal barriers are not placed on their path to homeownership.” 

Even more lawmaker support came on February 28 in a joint letter from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and the New Democrat Coalition that called upon six federal agencies to investigate and report on their findings.

“[T]he federal financial regulators have a duty to ‘affirmatively further fair housing,’ which means they must take meaningful actions that overcome and do not further entrench patterns of segregation and systemic disinvestment, such as through redlining, based on protected classes under the law,” wrote the lawmakers.


 Charlene Crowell is a senior fellow with the Center for Responsible Lending. She can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Judge Sentences Former Paramedic to Prison for the Death of Elijah McCain

March 5, 2024

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Elijah McCain

Paramedic Peter Cichuniec

Paramedic Peter Cichuniec is sentenced to five years in the death of Elijah McCain.

Special to the Trice Edney News Wire from BlackMansStreet.Today

( - A judge sentenced a former Colorado paramedic to five years in prison for contributing to the 2019 death of Elijah McCain.

Peter Cichuniec, 51, a former lieutenant in Aurora Fire and Rescue was convicted Friday of criminally negligent homicide and second degree assault for the unlawful administer of drugs that eventually killed McCain.

Jeremy Cooper, the paramedic working with Cichuniec, is scheduled to be sentenced in April.

Supporters of Cichuniec packed the courtroom to tell Judge Judge Marck Douglas Warner that Cichuniec was a caring person.

Speaking to supporters, Cichuniec said that he wished McCain was alive and that he wished that he had done things differently. He was dressed in a striped prison uniform.

Shenee McClain, Elijah McCain's mother, said the paramedics murdered her son. She raised one of her hands in a closed fist in the air as she left the court.

McClain's mother told the court that everyone who was involved in the death of her son on that night back in August of 2019 didn't show any remorse.

"Our communities cannot know peace until we see the justice departments hold their enforcers accountable," she said. "My son will never be a dad, an uncle, or a grandfather. Randy Roedema stole my son's life. All the belated apologies in the world cannot remove my son's blood from Randy's hands."

A judge sentenced Roedema to 14 months in the Adams County Jail and four years probation.

Elijah McCain, a 23-year-old massage therapist, was walking from a convenience store after buying a soft drink and something to eat, when someone called police and telling cops he looked "sketchy" because he wore a mask to cover his face.

He wore a ski mask, which his mother said he wore because he was anemic and often cold. He was not suspected of committing a crime. “He wasn’t fighting,” his mother insists. “He was handcuffed and on the ground for fifteen minutes. He was begging for his life. The only moving he’s doing is vomiting, trying to breathe," she said.

Paramedics injected McCain with 500 milligrams of ketamine. It was too much for McClain, who was 5' 7" tall and weighed 140 pounds. He died later in a local hospital.

Interim Chief of Police Vanessa Wilson fired Randy Roedema, a lieutenant of the Aurora police department and three others officers for mocking McClain's speaking pattern. A judge sentenced Roedema to 14 months in the county jail.

The City of Aurora paid McCain's family $15 million dollars for the murder of their son.

Haiti is on Fire: The Montana Accord Movement to the Rescue By Dr. Ron Daniels

March 5, 2024


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( - Haiti, our first Black Republic, is a virtual failed state where vicious gangs tied to the parasitical elite, and gangs with their own wannabe leaders or criminal kingpins control most of the Capital of Port Au Prince and much of the country. Ariel Henry, an unelected, illegitimate, and inept “Prime Minister” has a tenuous hold over what passes for a “government.”
The well-armed rampaging gangs are terrorizing the country, utilizing kidnapping for ransom, extortion, trafficking in drugs and assaulting and raping women unchecked. They are attacking police stations and killing members of the National Police, attacking prisons, and releasing prisoners and attacking and killing each other over turf. They are also in deadly competition with each other to take over the government or at least emerge as the dominant force that will be the de facto government.
Haiti is on fire and as the people suffer and demand the resignation of an illegitimate Prime Minister, what is the posture of the U.S. government and the Core Group of nations and multilateral bodies? Unfortunately, tragically the U.S. is propping up a recalcitrant, illegitimate, shaky Henry regime despite massive opposition from the people. Rather than insisting that Henry relinquish the reins of power, the U.S. and its allies are negotiating with him and preparing to finance a Kenyan-led military force to “restore order.”  The U.S. and its allies are arrogantly and blatantly ignoring rather than respecting and supporting the wishes of the Haitian people. We’ve seen this movie before. Unfortunately, even heads of state in the Caribbean, who should be good-faith facilitators, have recently acquiesced to negotiating with Henry rather than demanding his immediate departure from office.
Haiti is on fire. That’s the bad news.  But the good news is that there is a remarkable, broad-based civil society movement involving hundreds of organizations and leaders from across the political spectrum who have boldly and courageously come forward to devise a plan, process and strategy to put out the fire, to extinguish the raging conflagration; firefighting freedom fighters committed to advancing a “Haitian Solution” to rescue the first Black Republic from what one leader has termed the “criminal enterprise” which is spreading death and destruction across the land. This powerful, people-based effort is called the Montana Accord Movement (MAM). These courageous leaders are determined to raise Haiti from the ashes to create a sustainable, people-based democracy.
The challenge is, our challenge as allies and friends of the First Black Republic is to persuade, demand, compel the U.S. government, the Core Group and our sisters and brothers from CARICOM to insist that Henry relinquish power immediately. Equally important, the U.S. and all external international players should immediately acknowledge and support the Montana Accord Movement plan, process and strategy as the way forward toward sustainable democracy and development in Haiti. To achieve this righteous outcome, we the people must rise-up to support the Montana Accord Movement to save Haiti. Let’s do it. #SaveHaiti, SupportMAM 

Review the Montana Accord Plan Here — URL:

Dr. Ron Daniels is President of the Institute of the Black World 21st Century, Founder of the Haiti Support Project and Distinguished Lecturer Emeritus, York College City University of New York. 

Vandals Desecrate Monuments Honoring Blacks

March 5, 2024




Mother Bethel Desecrated

A vandal was arrested for desecrating Mother Bethel AME Church in Philadelphia.

King Monument Desecrated

Monument honoring Dr. Martin Luther Jr. has been vandalized.

Special to the Trice Edney News Wire from BlackMansStreet.Today

( - The recent vandalism of a statue of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and other Black luminaries involved in the civil rights movement, is part of of nationwide pattern of destroying monuments that honor Black leaders.

A Martin Luther King Jr. statue in Denver, Colorado's City Park was found damaged Wednesday morning after a gaping hole was cut out of the bronze plaque affixed to the statue.

The memorial is one of several Black monuments recently reported stolen or vandalized in the United States.

One of the largest targets is the Lincoln Memorial Park Cemetery in Carson-Compton, California.

More than 100 bronze nameplates and a 1944 bronze plaque honoring African American veterans were stolen from the cemeteries. Police have not arrested anyone.

In February, Ricky Alderete,45, was arrested by Wichita Police for allegedly stealing Jackie Robinson's statue and planning to sell it as scrap metal.

Police took Alderete into custody, and he is being held on a $150,000 bond.

Robinson's statue was stolen from McAdams Park in Wichita, Kansas. On January 25, police received reports that the statue was cut off at the ankles. Days later, the statue was found burning in a trash can.

Alderete was charged with four counts, including felony theft and aggravated criminal damage to property, according to police.

Also in February, Laneisha Shantrice Henderson was arrested for attempting to burn down Martin Luther King Jr.’s childhood home in Atlanta.

Henderson poured gasoline over the home’s front porch and accent bushes before being stopped and detained by two off-duty New York police officers who were visiting the home as tourists. 

“That action saved an important part of American history tonight,” Atlanta Police Chief Darin Schierbaum said. Henderson was arrested by police officers and charged with attempted arson.

Black churches are not immune to vandalism.

Mother Bethel Affrican Methosit Church, a Black Philadelphia church, designated a National Historic Landmark in 1974, recently had several windows broken, including three of the church’s historic stained-glass windows.

Philadephia police arrested Haneef Cooper, 39. He was charged with criminal mischief for vandalizing Mother Bethel in the Society Hill neighborhood.

Pastor Rev. Mark Kelly Tyler estimated the damage at $30,000 because of the specialized craftsmanship needed to repair the historic stained glass.
Ed Dwight created the memorial in Colorado in 2002, honoring Dr. King and smaller statues of Mahatma Gandhi, Rosa Parks, Sojourner Truth, and Frederick Douglass.

The statue stands where the annual parade begins every year on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

The Denver police department’s bias-motivated crime unit is investigating.

Battle for Black Voter Turnout Heats Up as the Trump Train Picks Up Steam By Hamil R. Harris

Feb. 27, 2024



( - The Donald Trump political train is picking up steam since it ran through South Carolina and defeated Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley by a 20 percent margin.

But Democratic lawmakers and Civil Rights groups are mobilizing to slow Trump down before his rematch with President Biden on November 5th.

Trump received 60 percent or 451,905 votes cast Feb 24th to defeat Haley to pick 47 delegates. But Haley, who lost big in a state she won twice for governor, is refusing to get out of the race even though she only won 40 percent or 298, 674 votes to pick up 3 delegates to the Republican Convention in Milwaukee in July.

While Trump needs half of 2,430 delegates to win the nomination the map is looking bleak for Haley and anyone else as Trump’s operatives are picking up endorsements to make Trump appear unstoppable by the November 5 Presidential Election.

Even though the Presidential primary season will last for nearly six months, more than 70 percent of all delegates will be doled out by the end of March and voters in 15 states will go to the polls March 5 which is called Super Tuesday. On Super Tuesday voters will go to the polls in: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Vermont. Virginia is expected to hold its presidential primary on March 5, and Iowa's Democratic mail-in caucus will also conclude Super Tuesday.

On the eve of the South Carolina primary Trump spoke at the Black Conservative Federation Gala in Columbia, S.C., where he said that Blacks would support him because they see how he has been treated by the justice system.

 "I got indicted a second time and a third time and a fourth time, and a lot of people said that that's why the Black people like me because they have been hurt so badly and discriminated against,” Trump told the audience at the Gala.

While Trump was reportedly applauded during his speech, Cedric Richmond, a co-chair of President Biden's reelection campaign, said in a statement that Trump’s comments are, “Just plain racist…. He thinks Black voters are so uninformed that we won't see through his shameless pandering," Richmond said.

The Democratic National Committee also said in a statement that Trump is "showing Black voters exactly what he thinks of them - and his ideas to win them over are as corny and racist as he is."

The Rev. Al Sharpton, during a news conference on Feb 24th, said "if any Black Republicans had any dignity, they would denounce this characterization of Black folk by Donald Trump…It goes past politics, “Sharpton said. “The nerve to act like we relate to mugshots -- we all know 'em mug shots because the criminal justice system, in many cases, wasn't fair to us.”

Going forward, the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation has partnered with the National Action Network, the A. Philip Randolph Institute, and more than 20 other partners to unveil the Power of the Ballot: We Won't Be Erased,” national campaign. Melanie Campbell, President & CEO of the National Coalition of Black Civic Participation, a non-partisan organization, said, “The 2024 Presidential Election will determine what kind of nation our children will inherit and if we will have the ability to leverage the power of the Black vote to win our fight for voting rights, reproductive rights, LGBTQ+ rights, workers rights, affirmative action, teach Black history, protect public education and the environment, build Black businesses and more!”

Campbell added, “While we are a nonpartisan group, our primary focus is to own the ballot because our Democracy is at stake and the issues that Black voters are concerned about where they are,” Cambell said. “What do you want to do with your vote in terms of the President, Congress, the State legislature?”

Says Clayola Brown, National president of the A. Philip Randolph Institute, “We have lost voting rights, reproductive rights, affirmative action and that is all based on who sits on the court,”Campbell said.

Clayola Brown, National President of the A. Philip Randolph Institute, stated, “This election is critical for the labor and civil rights movements and this pivotal phase of our collective campaign aims to send a message that Black voters are engaged and to highlight the collective POWER we have when Black voices speak at the ballot box.”