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Vanita Gupta to lead the efforts for the campaign against police brutality

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WASHINGTON DC (Diya TV) — Vanita Gupta, who serves as the head of the Federal Civil Rights division of the Obama administration, is spearheading the president’s campaign against police brutality and mistreatment of minorities, and has issued a scathing indictment of the city of Baltimore, accusing its police force of violating the Constitution and federal anti-discrimination laws.

She also serves as the Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General, and is the most prominent of several Indian Americans working in the civil liberties arena.

Gupta, who oversaw an inquiry into police brutality in the city, said Tuesday that Baltimore’s African American community “bore the brunt” from local police.

Speaking during an official press conference with the Department of Justice, Gupta said her agency had entered into an agreement with Baltimore to reform the police department.

The inquiry was launched after riots rung out in Baltimore last year during the protests agains the death of an African American man, Freddy Gray, who died while in police custody. All the six police officers charged in the case were either acquitted or had the charges withdrawn leading to outrage among African Americans and civil liberties activists.

The Baltimore incident immediately followed the shooting of an unarmed teenager in Fergusson, Mo., an event which also sparked massive protest and turned national attention to cases of police shootings and brutality, specifically against African Americans.

The U.S. have made a regular occurrence of being accusatory toward other nations and their mishandling of human rights violations and brutality against minorities, however, the Baltimore report and Gupta’s actions against multiple cities have marked a rare moment when the government has turned the spotlight on themselves.

Baltimore police, she said, engaged in a pattern of making unconstitutional stops, searches and arrests; using excessive force; muzzling constitutionally-protected expressions, and using strategies that disproportionately targeted African Americans.

She added that the inquiry found that 44 percent of people stopped by police in Baltimore were in two small African American neighborhoods that only represented 11 percent of the city’s total population.

Complaints of misconduct were not handled appropriately, investigated by the proper officials, and were in some instances covered up, the report said. Additionally, besides improper use of violence, the report said police coerced sex from people.

Vanita Gupta spoke at the annual South Asian Bar Association of North America’s gala in Orlando in 2015 speaking of working towards a more perfect union and reminiscing her childhood and the discriminations faced by minorities.

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Missing Hindu woman found mutilated in Pakistan

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SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) – The mutilated body of a Hindu woman was found in a field in southeastern Pakistan. Police say 40 year old Daya Bheel was murdered in the latest suspected attack against minorities in the Muslim-majority country. Authorities say they have arrested some suspects but have not determined a motive.

The Khosla family has donated nearly 2 million dollars to the Nudge Institute to help fight poverty. The philanthropists have donated millions of dollars for many other causes.

And disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-fried pleaded not guilty to eight different counts of wire fraud, securities fraud, and conspiracy before a U.S. federal court in the Southern District of New York. U.S. prosecutors allege that under Bankman-Fried’s direction, FTX, once considered one of the largest and most-trusted cryptocurrency exchanges, transferred billions in customer assets to his trading firm, Alameda Research. If convicted of these charges, Bankman-Fried faces up to 115 years in prison.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Christmas crash kills Indian American toddler

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Tragic news out of Nevada. Authorities say an Indian American toddler has died in a devastating Christmas day car crash and his mother is in critical condition fighting for her life. Authorities say the accident happened on a busy Las Vegas boulevard and they were returning home from a trip in California.

Anil Beephan is now the first Indian American Republican ever to be elected to the New York State Assembly in Albany. So far only Indian American Democrats have been elected to the state legislature. Beephan will also become the first minority to represent Dutchess County and at 29 years old, he’s the youngest GOP rep in the state legislature. He’s currently in the tech industry and has also worked as a volunteer firefighter.

Vice President Kamala Harris has named Indian American Rajeev Badyal to a key national advisory group, responsible for strategy and recommendations to improve and maintain space policy. Badyal already works for Amazon, helping launch satellites into orbit. 

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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EXCLUSIVE: Warriors host first-ever Bhangra Night

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SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) – The Golden State Warriors first-ever Bhangra Night made its debut during the Warriors-Jazz game at the Chase Center in San Francisco. The Warriors say it’s a chance for the team to connect with the Bay Area’s rapidly growing South Asian community and fan base. Only Diya TV was on hand to capture the festivities. This change from the annual Bollywood night was supposed to take place in 2020 but was postponed because of the pandemic.

A federal jury in San Francisco has convicted Sivannarayana Barama of insider trading. Authorities say he used the quarterly financial performance of Palo Alto Networks before that information was released to the public and then traded in that company’s stock while that information was still confidential. Barama worked in IT for several Silicon Valley companies.

U.S. Border Patrol caught more than 4000 Indians illegally crossing the Mexico border in October and November. That’s more than double compared to the same time frame last year. An Indian man recently died climbing a border wall in Texas. The Biden administration is struggling to contain a surge of illegal immigration at the southern border.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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