Author Topic: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch  (Read 43016 times)

Offline Battle

  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 10499
  • M.A.X. Commander
    • View Profile
Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #120 on: September 09, 2019, 09:54:38 pm »
Monday, 9th September 2019
COPA Report Concludes CPD Officer Patrick Kelly Shot Friend Michael LaPorta, Lied About It For Nearly 10 Years
by CBS Chicago

(CHICAGO, Ill) — An explosive new report accuses a Chicago Police officer of pulling the trigger on a friend – and lying about it for nearly a decade.

It has been a long fight for justice for Michael LaPorta, who was shot in the head almost 10 years ago, in what police say was a suicide attempt.

CBS 2 Investigator Dave Savini has been investigating this case for years, and had an exclusive report Monday morning.

“I can’t understand why it took so long,” said Patti LaPorta.

“I mean, Mikey lost 10 years of life.”

Mikey is Patti LaPorta’s son.

She said he has had to undergo nine surgeries.

Mikey Laporta was shot in the head in 2010.

He says Chicago Police officer and childhood friend Patrick Kelly fired the bullet.

Kelly and LaPorta had been out drinking the night LaPorta suffered the near-fatal wound.

The CBS 2 investigators have learned the Civilian Office of Police Accountability now believes Kelly was the shooter and is recommending he be fired.

“This was a bad cop,” Patti LaPorta said.

CBS 2 obtained a 74-page report, in which COPA says evidence showed Kelly pulled the trigger and then “gave false statements” to detectives investigating the shooting – trying to make it look like a suicide attempt.

The report said on Jan. 12, 2010, police were called to Officer Kelly’s home and found LaPorta – whose name is redacted in the report – with a gunshot wound to the head.

Kelly claimed LaPorta had shot himself with the officer’s gun in a suicide attempt.

LaPorta suffered a traumatic brain injury and spent two months in the hospital and two more at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago – and he was unable to speak and thus could not provide an account of what happened once he regained consciousness, the report said.

The former Independent Police Review Authority – which COPA replaced in 2017 – made seven allegations of misconduct against Kelly.

Five were sustained, but the questions of whether Kelly shot LaPorta and whether he gave false statements about it were not resolved, the report said.

LaPorta’s family also filed a civil lawsuit against Kelly and the city in October 2010.

A jury ruled in LaPorta’s favor, the report said.

After the IPRA investigation closed, LaPorta did regain some ability to communicate and reportedly began having memories of the incident – specifically that he didn’t shoot himself and had not been suicidal, the report said.

COPA launched a new investigation that included some new interviews and depositions with witnesses.

The report related that in a deposition on May 4, 2012, Kelly said sometime after 10 p.m. on Jan. 11, 2010, Kelly and LaPorta were at Kelly’s house following a night of bar-hopping.

Kelly claimed that LaPorta went into Kelly’s bedroom where the officer kept his gun in a nightstand – and Kelly saw him through the door holding the gun in his left hand and aiming it at his left temple.

Kelly claimed he went to grab the gun from LaPorta and it discharged.

LaPorta had different recollections about the same night.

LaPorta told investigators that Kelly had been punching and yelling at his own dog, which led LaPorta first to complain and quarrel with Kelly, then to decide to leave, the report said.

LaPorta was afraid Kelly was going to shoot something, “like a wall or something like that,” and said he flinched as he prepared to leave.

He said he did not see a gun before being shot, but said he knew Kelly had a gun and usually kept it in his waistband, the report said.

In an interview with COPA on Jan. 25, 2018, LaPorta likewise said he got into a quarrel with Kelly because Kelly hit his dog.

LaPorta said Kelly pushed him and he couldn’t remember if he pushed back, but he said he was leaving.

He again said he flinched because he thought Kelly was shooting the wall, then felt Kelly shooting, the report said.

LaPorta told investigators his next memory was of being in the hospital, and said he did not know initially that he had been shot, the report said.

He said before the incident, he was happy and never thought of suicide, the report said.

Others also testified that LaPorta was right-handed, despite Kelly’s claim that LaPorta had held the gun to his own head with his left hand.

“Based on the review of the available evidence, it is more probably true than not that Officer Kelly shot (LaPorta), without justification on January 12, 2010, in violation of the Chicago Police Department’s Rules and Regulations.

A discussed below, while (LaPorta’s) condition post-injury has affected his memory about the moments leading up to the shooting, COPA finds his testimony about not being suicidal to be credible,” the report said.

“Officer Kelly’s multiple objectively false statements about the events of the night coupled with his intoxication make him not credible.”

The report said various objective circumstances discredit Kelly’s account.

Among them was physical evidence that the gunshot wound could not have been self-inflicted, the report said.

When asked about the report, Michael LaPorta Sr. said,

“Finally, somebody’s doing their job."

For years, Kelly repeatedly declined to talk.

One time he even ran when CBS 2 tried to question him about the shooting – or his other misconduct cases while responding to police calls.

In 2014, while on duty, Kelly is accused of wrongfully shooting Hector Hernandez to death.

A year earlier in 2013, he was accused of wrongfully using a Taser on Elaina Turner, who was pregnant.

Turner’s case settled for half a million dollars.

The Hernandez lawsuit is pending.

“A man died,” said Patti LaPorta.

“Turner, she lost her baby”

“One day, they need to name a hurricane after Patrick Kelly and call it Hurricane Kelly, because this officer, since he started in the department, has left, literally, a path of destruction,” said attorney Tony Romanucci.

“The right thing to do we get justice, he gets criminal charges,” Patti LaPorta added.

Ultimately, it is up to the superintendent and Police Board to decide whether Kelly gets fired.

In addition to wanting him terminated, the Laportas want the Cook County State’s Attorney to charge Kelly criminally.

The LaPortas’ lawsuit accused the city of enabling Kelly to remain on the force despite numerous prior misconduct incidents.

A jury awarded LaPorta $44.7 million two years ago.

Would You Like To Know More?
« Last Edit: September 09, 2019, 11:40:41 pm by Battle »

Offline Battle

  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 10499
  • M.A.X. Commander
    • View Profile
Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #121 on: September 12, 2019, 05:02:56 pm »
Thursday, 12th September 2019
Officers Said They Smelled Pot. The Judge Called Them Liars.
by Joseph Goldstein

Police officers can often justify a search with six words:

“I smelled an odor of marijuana.”

Courts in New York have long ruled if a car smells like marijuana smoke, the police can search it — and, according to some judges, even the occupants — without a warrant.

But in late July, a judge in the Bronx said in a scathing opinion that officers claim to smell marijuana so often that it strains credulity, and she called on judges across the state to stop letting police officers get away with lying about it.

“The time has come to reject the canard of marijuana emanating from nearly every vehicle subject to a traffic stop,”

Judge April Newbauer wrote in a decision in a case involving a gun the police discovered in car they had searched after claiming to have smelled marijuana.

She added, “So ubiquitous has police testimony about odors from cars become that it should be subject to a heightened level of scrutiny if it is to supply the grounds for a search.”

It is exceedingly rare for a New York City judge to accuse police officers of routinely lying to cover up illegal searches, but Judge Newbauer’s decision does exactly that.

Her decision also shows how marijuana’s status as contraband remains deeply embedded in the criminal justice system, even as the police and prosecutors have begun to wind down arrests and prosecutions for marijuana.

At the height of the stop-and-frisk era, nearly a decade ago, the police were arresting some 50,000 New Yorkers a year for low-level marijuana offenses, more than 85 percent of whom were black or Hispanic.

The arrests have since plummeted, but the presence of a marijuana odor — real or purported — still serves as a justification to detain people and search them, sometimes leading to the discovery of more serious contraband, including guns, police officers and lawyers say.

One woman who served on a grand jury in Brooklyn late last year recalled hearing officers in three separate cases claim to have “detected a strong odor of marijuana” and use it as justification for a stop or a search.

“They said it very formulaically,” the woman, Batya Ungar-Sargon, who is the opinion editor at The Forward, recalled.

Such testimony can be the final word on whether a search was lawful or unconstitutional, especially in New York.

Some other states have more stringent rules.

North Carolina, for instance, does not allow the smell of pot to justify a search of the occupants of the vehicle.

In 2016, a federal judge in Rochester concluded that the rule in New York was unconstitutional and that New York judges had been wrong to allow such searches.

But that decision has had little bearing in New York City.

Lawmakers in Albany considered intervening this year:

A marijuana legalization bill under debate specifically forbade officers from relying on the “odor of cannabis” for some searches.

The bill did not pass.

Instead, lawmakers opted to reduce the penalties for possessing or smoking marijuana.

Car stops have become an increasingly important part of the New York City department’s patrol strategy ever since political pressure began forcing the department to back away from stopping and frisking black and Hispanic men in large numbers, police officers say.

Looser enforcement and more lenient penalties have made the open use of marijuana — along with its unmistakable, pungent scent — more common on city streets and elsewhere.

Still, several officers said in interviews that they had doubts their colleagues consistently told the truth about what they had smelled.

“Certain cops will say there is odor of marijuana, and when I get to the scene, I immediately don’t smell anything,” one Bronx officer, Pedro Serrano, said in a 2018 article in The New York Times.

“I can’t tell you what you smelled, but it’s obvious to me there is no smell of marijuana.”

In an interview last month, Officer Serrano said he still believed that to be the case.

Officer Serrano, who currently works a desk job and is not out on patrol, is one of several current and former officers suing the Police Department over what they describe as arrest quotas.

A Manhattan detective, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak for the department, said it would be very difficult to prove what an officer did or did not smell.

But the detective said he had come to believe that some officers, particularly in plainclothes units, lied about having smelled marijuana because of how frequently he heard it used as justification for a search.

In recent years, at least five other judges have concluded in individual cases that officers likely lied about smelling marijuana to justify searches that turned up an unlicensed firearm, according to court documents.

These judges came to doubt the police testimony for a range of reasons, such as discrepancies within an officer’s account or among officers, according to a review of the five decisions.

These judges have generally questioned only the credibility of individual officers in individual cases.

Judge Newbauer’s claim was much broader:

that there is widespread lying.

A Police Department spokesman, Al Baker, rejected that assertion as untrue.

He noted that marijuana “gives off a distinctive and pervasive odor.”

“We recognize that judges arrive at their decisions with their own sets of values and insights informed by life experiences,”

Mr. Baker said in a statement.

“Nonetheless, we categorically reject the judge’s baseless assertion in this case and refute her sweeping assertion that police officers routinely fabricate that the odor of marijuana is present in every vehicle they stop.”

The case that led Judge Newbauer — who was a public defender before ascending to the bench — to make this claim involved a car stop in the Bronx on March 24, 2017.

A plainclothes officer, Daniel Nunez, testified that “he noticed a strong odor of burning marijuana” while approaching the vehicle, according to the decision.

Officer Nunez testified that he observed three small bags of marijuana perched atop the center console — which the police photographed, according to the decision.

While searching the trunk, Officer Nunez discovered a gun.

Judge Newbauer concluded that Officer Nunez’s account was riddled with falsehoods.

She decided the photograph of the bags of marijuana neatly arranged was likely staged.

She noted that one of the two defendants, Jesse Hill, had testified that the marijuana had been discovered when officers searched the pockets of the other man who had been in the car with him.

Gaynor Cunningham, a Legal Aid lawyer who represented Mr. Hill’s co-defendant, said the ruling “recognizes an all-too-common practice of dishonesty that police officers employ to circumvent the law to manufacture a ‘legal search.’”

Mr. Baker, the Police Department spokesman, said Officer Nunez had acted lawfully.

Barry Kamins, a former New York City judge and an authority on search and seizure law in New York, said Judge Newbauer was “the first judge to really express an opinion about this type of scenario.”

He said the opinion brought to mind a court decision from 1970, in which a judge accused New York City police officers of lying in a similar fashion.

That case dealt with “dropsy” testimony, in which officers testified they had seen the defendant throw down a small bag of drugs in an attempt to ditch the evidence as the police approached.

Such testimony spiked after a landmark Supreme Court decision required courts to suppress evidence gained from an illegal search.

Officers no doubt did catch people trying to discard evidence.

But there was widespread suspicion that officers sometimes made up “dropsy” testimony rather than admit they had searched someone unlawfully.

Yet even though officers were likely lying at least some of the time, it was all but impossible to figure out if they were lying “in any particular case,” one judge, Irving Younger, wrote in the 1970 opinion.

“Our refusal to face up to the ‘dropsy’ problem soils the rectitude of the administration of justice,” he concluded.

Would You Like To Know More?

Offline Battle

  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 10499
  • M.A.X. Commander
    • View Profile
Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #122 on: September 22, 2019, 10:25:05 pm »

Dennis Turner, the Orlando cop who arrested a six-year-old girl, has previous complaints for use of excessive force.

He was also once arrested & charged with aggravated child abuse for beating his own 7-year-old-son and investigated for assaulting his ex-wife's boyfriend.

Offline Battle

  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 10499
  • M.A.X. Commander
    • View Profile
Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #123 on: September 23, 2019, 07:06:52 pm »

Monday, 23rd Spetember 2019
Orlando police officer who arrested 6-year-old students fired!
by Grace Toohey & Leslie Portal

Orlando Police Department Officer Dennis Turner, who sparked national outrage after arresting two 6-year-old students at a charter school last week, has been fired, Chief Orlando Rolón said Monday evening.

Rolón said the arrests made him “sick to [his] stomach.”

He apologized to the children and their families.

“I can only imagine how traumatic this was for everyone involved,” he said at a press conference.

Earlier in the day, State Attorney Aramis Ayala confirmed that her office would not prosecute the children and is working to clear their records.

“I refuse to knowingly play any role in the school-to-prison pipeline,”

Ayala said. “... The criminal process ends here today. The children will not be prosecuted.”

News of the kids’ Thursday arrests attracted national headlines after the grandmother of one of the children spoke to WKMG-Channel 6.

Katherine Puzone, an associate professor at Barry University’s law school who runs a juvenile defense clinic in which she and her students represent Orange County children who face criminal charges, said she hasn’t seen a child that young arrested in at least a decade.

“I would wonder what happened at the school that they even let the police get involved with a 6 year old,” she said.

“That was a 6-year old acting out.”

According to Ayala, each of the children faced a misdemeanor battery charge.

Christian Minor, the executive director of the Florida Juvenile Justice Association, which provides pre-delinquent services and juvenile justice advocacy across the state, said outbursts or disciplinary issues are going to happen in schools, but there are de-escalation techniques that officers and educators can use that do not involve the criminal justice system

“The long overarching implications of placing a child in handcuffs in front of their peers can have devastating effects on a child’s development," he said.

“This is a very sad situation that could have been dealt with differently.”

Would You Like To Know More?

Offline Battle

  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 10499
  • M.A.X. Commander
    • View Profile
Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #124 on: September 24, 2019, 04:02:41 am »
Tuesday, 24th September 2019
White officer fired for KKK & Confederate items
by Janelle Griffith

A white Michigan police officer fired after a framed Ku Klux Klan application and Confederate flags were found in his home denied being a racist in an inquiry into the items and said he collected antiques and memorabilia linked to "The Dukes of Hazzard" television series.
Charles Anderson was fired from the Muskegon Police Department on Sept. 13.
The City of Muskegon released a more than 400-page report on Monday that includes transcripts of interviews with Anderson and the man who posted images on social media that spurred the investigation, Robert Mathis.
Mathis took photos of a framed KKK application and Confederate flags in Anderson's Holton Township house while touring it with his wife, Reyna Mathis, and a realtor in early August.
Reyna Mathis, the realtor and Anderson's colleagues were also interviewed for the report.
Anderson, who had been with the department for more than two decades, denied ever being a KKK member or supporter and said that the Confederate items Mathis saw in his home are a "very small part" of an extensive collection of "Dukes of Hazard" memorabilia he has spent decades gathering, according to the report.
Anderson said the unsigned KKK application from the 1920's is a historic item, purchased from a vendor in Indiana and collected as part of his interest in American history and antiques.
Mathis, 52, a U.S. Army veteran, has said he felt morally obligated to report what he had witnessed.
The report includes an executive summary written by Muskegon Police Chief Jeffrey Lewis that concluded that some community leaders indicated that they had lost faith in Anderson and in the entire police department as a result of Anderson's actions.
The City of Muskegon has a population of about 37,000, according to census data.
The executive summary noted two citizen complaints against Anderson that the department was aware of.
One from 2010 alleges Anderson "acted rudely and disrespectfully" during an incident which led to the use of pepper spray and two people being arrested, the report states.
A second citizen complaint from 2016 involved a DUI arrest in which Anderson did not secure a vehicle after the arrest and did not return a person's driver's license, according to the report.
The citizen complaints were investigated by the department and Anderson was exonerated in both cases, the report states.
The inquiry into Anderson unearthed new complaints made against him that Lewis said will be investigated, according to the report.
The report also details a handful of encounters between Reyna and Robert Mathis and Anderson, including a 2008 incident in which he pulled them over for speeding.
The report states they refused to comply with Anderson's commands and Reyna Mathis "struck him in the face and eye with her hand."
Reyna Mathis was sentenced to 60 days in jail for assaulting an officer, the report states, which she disputes.
She told NBC News on Monday that she was defending herself against Anderson in that incident and that when her lawyer asked to enter the dashboard camera from the police vehicle as evidence, the department was unable to locate it so she was placed on probation.
She said she only realized after the report was released Monday that the officer she was accused of assaulting was Anderson.
Reyna and Robert Mathis said they believe the department tried to tarnish their images to make Anderson look good and as if the couple was seeking revenge after 11 years.
"This whole situation is very disheartening," Reyna Mathis said.
"I feel as though we are being punished because of something we saw in a home that we never asked to see."
Still, the couple said, they have no regrets in reporting what they witnessed.
"We would not take back what we've done no matter how we've been treated or portrayed," Reyna Mathis said.
Neither Anderson nor the officer's union, the Police Officers Labor Council, could immediately be reached for comment Monday.

Would You Like To Know More?

Offline Battle

  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 10499
  • M.A.X. Commander
    • View Profile
Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #125 on: September 25, 2019, 05:51:36 am »
Wednesday, 25th September 2019
South Carolina Deputy in Video of Violent Arrest Is Fired
by Christine Hauser

Mechanics at an auto repair shop in Greenville, S.C., were toiling on a busy summer afternoon last month when they heard a commotion outside.

According to Nick Simmons, the shop manager, someone was shouting,

“Stop resisting!” while another voice asked,

“What did I do?”

The workers were overhearing the arrest of Zebbie Hudgens, a 56-year-old Greenville man, by five deputies from the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office.

On Tuesday, Mr. Simmons described how a violent encounter on Aug. 1 that began with a few witnesses in a parking lot had been thrust before an ever-widening audience, leading to an investigation and the firing of one of the deputies.

“We ran to the door to see what was going on,” Mr. Simmons said in an interview, describing how he and about nine co-workers at Simuns Tire watched from the bays.

“Within 15 seconds, he was being held down by five officers. He kept saying: ‘What did I do? What did I do?’ They were really not answering him at that point in time.”

As Mr. Simmons and his co-workers looked on, the shop’s surveillance cameras were trained on the lot.

The recordings show Mr. Hudgens with his arms outstretched, backing away as a deputy charged him and then threw him to the ground.

Later posted on social media, the videos document the moment a deputy banged Mr. Hudgens’s head into the ground, and when he was repeatedly punched by several deputies while pinned down on his stomach with his hands behind his back.

Activists who work with local law enforcement on accountability shared the footage, which has been watched and forwarded hundreds of thousands of times.

On Sept. 11, after an internal investigation, one of the deputies, James Pregel, was terminated for “conduct unbecoming,” a sheriff’s department spokesman, Lt. Ryan Flood, said in an email.

Mr. Pregel has the right to appeal, Lieutenant Flood said.

He did not immediately provide information about whether there was other disciplinary action.

The Greenville News and other local media in the city, which is tucked into the northwest corner of the state and has a population of more than 68,000, reported last week on the arrest of Mr. Hudgens and the firing of the deputy.

Mr. Simmons’s Facebook page included the videos of the arrest and a cellphone recording of a conversation between the deputies and a worker at Simuns Tire, after the deputies went inside the shop to watch the surveillance video.

In response to being challenged inside the tire shop about whether they had the right to punch a man under arrest, one of the deputies said that Mr. Hudgens was not “complying” and that “we can punch him.”
Mr. Hudgens, who had just parked a car in the lot, was cited for driving under suspension, interfering with the police and defective equipment, traffic tickets show.

An affidavit says he was resisting arrest.

He took “a fighting stance” and tried to “push away the deputy,” the affidavit said.

It said he was “actively trying to flee.” 

Jake Erwin, Mr. Hudgens’s lawyer, said on Tuesday that no date had been set for a court appearance.

“As of today, all of the charges are still pending and I have not received any communication from the solicitor, nor have I seen anything that indicates that Zebbie did anything wrong,” he said in an email.

He said he was considering civil action on Mr. Hudgens’s behalf.

Traci Fant, a community activist with Freedom Fighters Upstate who has worked on law enforcement accountability, said she had spoken with the Greenville County sheriff, Johnny Mack Brown, after the family of Mr. Hudgens reached out to her, and was told Mr. Hudgens had been followed by members of a drug task force “because he was suspicious.”

Ms. Fant said she was told that the other deputies had been “heavily reprimanded.”

Lieutenant Flood declined to provide further details about whether the other officers would face any discipline.

Mr. Hudgens, who is unemployed and lives with family members, was treated in the hospital for bruising and a cut near his eye, Ms. Fant said.

Mr. Simmons, who grew up in Greenville, described the neighborhood as a struggling, low-income area.

He said he believed Mr. Hudgens became confused because the deputies were from a special unit whose members wear uniforms of drab army green, rather than the typical navy blue.

“It is not the greatest neighborhood. If someone starts running toward you from your back…,” Mr. Simmons said, then trailed off.

He noted that Mr. Hudgens had already parked his car when he was tackled.

“He didn’t know he was being pulled over.”

Offline Battle

  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 10499
  • M.A.X. Commander
    • View Profile
Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #126 on: September 25, 2019, 06:44:16 pm »
Wednesday, 25th September 2019
How Mandatory Minimums Enable Police Misconduct
by Scott Hechinger

Last year, Jacob, a young man I represented, made an exceedingly rare choice.

He rejected a favorable plea offer because he wanted to hold the police accountable in a hearing to challenge his illegal stop, search and arrest.

To those who do not work in criminal court, Jacob's decision may not seem particularly momentous.

Yet everyday across the country, police officers willfully violate people's rights, in large part because of their certainty of never having to take the stand to answer for their actions.

Police departments rightfully get blamed for the crisis in violent and corrupt policing.

The recent firing of Daniel Pantaleo, the New York Police Department officer who strangled Eric Garner to death, lied about it, kept his job for five years and got terminated only after international pressure and the recommendation of a Police Department judge, underscores why.

But the near impossibility of getting fired is only part of the crisis of impunity.

An overlooked but significant culprit is mandatory sentencing.

In criminal courts throughout this country, victims of police abuse - illegal stops and frisks, car stops and searches, home raids, manufactured charges and excessive force - routinely forego their constitutional right to challenge police abuse in a pretrial hearing in exchange for plea deals.

They do so because the alternative is to risk the steep mandatory minimum sentence they would face if they went to trial and lost.

Prosecutors use the fear of these mandatory minimums to their advantage by offering comparatively less harsh plea deals before pretrial hearings.

Offline Battle

  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 10499
  • M.A.X. Commander
    • View Profile
Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #127 on: September 25, 2019, 07:26:28 pm »
Wednesday, 25th September 2019
No charges against ex-officers who mocked Black woman and made her walk home
by Associated Press

Charges will not be filed against two white ex-Detroit police officers who were fired amid an investigation into racist comments and social media posts about a traffic stop.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said Tuesday there is “insufficient evidence to criminally charge” Gary Steele or Michael Garrison.

Steele was fired in February after a video on his Snapchat account showed him saying “priceless” and “bye Felicia” as a black woman walked home.

Her car was stopped for speeding and had an expired license plate.

The video’s captions read “what black girl magic looks like” and “celebrating Black History Month.”

Police announced in March that Garrison, Steele’s partner, was fired after investigators found he had made disturbing comments about blacks and other minorities.

Would You Like To Know More?

Offline Battle

  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 10499
  • M.A.X. Commander
    • View Profile
Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #128 on: September 25, 2019, 09:27:15 pm »
Thursday, 26th September 2019
Guilty Plea in Case of Man Forced by Police to Lick Urinal

(HONOLULU, Hi) — A Honolulu homeless man fearing he would be arrested, reluctantly obeyed a police officer's orders to lick a urinal, according to a court document made public Wednesday after a former officer pleaded guilty to failing to report the incident.

And it wasn't the first time.

Officer John Rabago had previously threatened another man he was questioning that he wouldn't be arrested only if he stuck his head in a toilet, the document said.

Rabago, who remains on restricted duty, and Reginald Ramones, who left the department in August, were arrested and charged earlier this year with depriving a man of his civil rights.

Rabago has pleaded not guilty.

As part of a deal with prosecutors, Ramones on Wednesday pleaded guilty to a lesser charge that he knew Rabago committed a civil rights violation but didn't inform authorities about it.

Ramones said in court that Rabago persuaded him not to tell authorities what happened in the public bathroom and to delete their text messages about it.

Rabago told him to say he was joking when he talked about making the man lick the urinal, Ramones said.

Ramones has maintained both men were innocent during meetings with their lawyers, said Rabago's defense attorney, Megan Kau.

Ramones never mentioned either bathroom incident during those meetings, she said.

"I think he got scared and he's now saying things he wouldn't necessarily have said before," Kau said.  :)

Rabago still intends to go to trial in March, she added.

Ramones faces up to three years in prison when he's sentenced in February.

After the man, identified in court documents as S.I., "knelt down before the urinal and licked the urinal,"

Ramones' plea agreement said, Rabago "laughed as he told other officers that S.I. had just licked the urinal."

Rabago said the January 2018 incident was "just like what happened at Cartwright Field," the plea agreement said, describing a previous incident when Ramones saw a man place his head in a toilet after Rabago's threat.

"It makes no difference whether you're a prince or a pauper, policeman, prosecutor or the president of the United States. Everyone is accountable and no one is above the law," said Myles Breiner, an attorney representing the homeless man.

Breiner said his client is currently incarcerated for a parole violation in a drug case.

There was physical force involved in getting him to lick the urinal pad, Breiner said.

"He submitted to the coercion and the duress of a bunch of officers who found it amusing to force him to place his face in a urinal," Breiner said.

Acting Honolulu Police Chief Jonathon Grems, who is filling in while Police Chief Susan Ballard is out of town, said in a statement that the department wasn't aware of any earlier incidents involving Rabago.

He asked anyone with information to contact the police commission or the department's professional standards office so an investigation may be opened.

Two other officers were also placed on restricted duty when Ballard turned the case over to the FBI last year.

They have since returned to full duty, police spokeswoman Michelle Yu said, adding that an administrative investigation is ongoing.

Would You Like To Know More?

Offline Battle

  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 10499
  • M.A.X. Commander
    • View Profile
Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #129 on: September 25, 2019, 10:59:35 pm »
Thursday, 26th September 2019
Louisville Police Department accused of 'racially biased' traffic stops in at least 3 lawsuits

by Hollie Silverman and Madeline Holcombe

The Louisville Metro Police Department in Kentucky is facing at least three lawsuits alleging that police used the pretext of a traffic stop to pull over African American drivers and conduct "racially biased" unconstitutional searches and seizures, according to the suits.

The traffic stops were part of a department program intended to reduce violent crime but resulted in police officers targeting African Americans in specific neighborhoods, according to two of the suits.

The lawsuits say that police Chief Steve Conrad does not have policies or training in place to protect people of color from discriminatory actions by his officers.

"Louisville has a crisis right now, and I don't think it's the officers' fault," said Sam Aguiar, an attorney representing the plaintiffs in two of the cases, who pointed to understaffing, overwork and high turnover in the department.

"I think it comes from up top."

The Louisville Police Department told CNN it does not comment on pending litigation and did not respond when asked for copies of police reports, body cameras and other footage from the incidents.


In August 2018, an African-American family returning from church was pulled over by police, according to court documents.

Anthony Parker was driving his fiancée Demetria Firman's vehicle when the car was boxed in by multiple police vehicles, the suit says.

Parker's then 9-year-old son was in the backseat.

Police said they pulled the family over because Parker failed to use his left turn signal, but body cameras worn by police showed he did, according to court documents.

According to the lawsuit, Officer Kevin Crawford twice asked Parker if there were any drugs or weapons in the car.

At one point, Crawford allegedly reaches into the vehicle and opens the door with the inside door handle.

Crawford then removes Parker's phone from his lap before he removes Parker from the vehicle and frisks him, according to the lawsuit.

While this is happening, Firman is told to exit her vehicle by Officer Josh Doerr, who frisks her.

According to the lawsuit, she asks him if something is wrong and he responds,

"This is how we get conduct (sic) all our stops. It's a type of unit that works a little bit different than a traditional one."

Crawford removes Parker's son from the car before officers begin searching the vehicle.

Firman's car and purse were "torn apart without consent," the suit said.

Police found nothing.

The lawsuit alleges Parker and Firman's Fourth and 14th Amendment rights were violated by the chief and the head of the Ninth Mobile Division, which pulled the family over.

The suit says that the chief is responsible for the policies and customs of the department -- like the "People, Places and Narcotics" initiative, the "Violent Crimes" initiative and the "Traffic Stop" policy -- that led to the stop.

But Aguiar said everyone involved should be held accountable.

"It's blatant injustice. Step one is getting some sort of reform, which has taken place, but step two is actually getting justice for these individuals and holding these officers, the ninth mobile division especially, accountable," Aguair said, adding that the department's new traffic stop policy went into effect in August 2019.

Those changes, announced by Conrad in a May YouTube video, included specifying that officers' interactions must be conducted without bias, and that a driver being nervous in an area with high crime is not justification for officers to act.


Another lawsuit was filed in June after a teen was stopped August 9, 2018 -- three days before the incident with Parker and Firman -- and had his car searched because police said a drug dog had alerted for drugs during an initial search, according to the suit.

Tae-Ahn Lea, 18, was getting a slushie at a gas station and noticed that police were watching him.

After leaving the station in his mom's "fairly new vehicle" and making a right turn at a light, he was pulled over by police for making a "wide" turn and searched without his consent, according to the lawsuit.

He was also patted down and handcuffed as K9 officers were let into his vehicle in an attempt to find drugs, the suit alleges.

In a similar fashion to the stop described in the other lawsuit, Officer Crawford takes Lea's phone from his lap before physically removing him from the car without explanation.

Lea told Crawford and the other officers on multiple occasions that he did not consent to a pat down or to his vehicle being searched, according to the lawsuit.

After an officer claimed that the drug dog received a "hit," Lea was placed in handcuffs for approximately 20 minutes while the search of his vehicle was completed, despite his objection, the lawsuit alleges.

"He was just a teenager, and he was homecoming king of his high school," Aguair said.

"He was working a full-time job already."

Nothing was found in the vehicle during the extensive search, and the teen was issued a ticket for a wide turn which was later dismissed.

Lea is also seeking damages for being deprived of his Fourth and 14th Amendment rights, the lawsuit said.


A month after the other two incidents, a man and his primary caregiver were pulled over and forced out of the vehicle by officers, according to a federal lawsuit filed September 17.

They were told to take their shoes off while they stood on "dirty asphalt" and watched a K9 officer and police search the vehicle, trunk and items within it.
The plaintiff in that case, Tyrone Daugherty, was given two citations for an obstructed windshield and for failing to signal following the search.

Daugherty is suing for damages after being deprived of his constitutional rights and humiliated, the lawsuit said.

Daugherty pleaded guilty to the citations, but they were dismissed without trial.

The Louisville Metro Police "are targeting African American drivers even if they have never committed a crime.

And it's based on their race," Shaun Wimberly, the attorney for Tyrone Daugherty said to CNN.

"It's not just one officer, this was a practice and a custom of the police department," Wimberly said.

"The constitutional rights of our citizens and our people need to be upheld at all costs, or our community will lose trust of our legal system," Wimberly said.

Would You Like To Know More?

Offline Battle

  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 10499
  • M.A.X. Commander
    • View Profile
Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #130 on: September 26, 2019, 04:43:53 pm »

Thursday, 26th September 2019
Broward police officer arrested on drug charges
by Eliot Kleinberg

(LANTANA, Fl) - An undercover drug buy in Lantana on Wednesday night ended with a Broward County police officer under arrest and on leave without pay, according to authorities.

Christopher J. Kanan, a road patrol officer in Margate, was booked Wednesday at the Palm Beach County Jail. He left Thursday after posting a $19,500 bond, records show.

Kanan, 31, is charged with attempted possession of methamphetamine, attempted possession of GHB and possession of GHB, a party drug similar to Ecstasy.

His girlfriend, Zamantha Kluger, also will be charged with drug possession, town police said.

A telephone number for Kanan could not be found; court records did not show an attorney for him.

A lawyer for the Margate police union didn't return a call.

A call to Kluger's number was not returned.

A town police report said a man police had arrested with methamphetamine at an apartment near Lantana Road and Federal Highway said he had a customer in Coral Springs who is a police officer.

The man sent texts and Kanan arrived.

Officers had set up items that looked like GHB and methamphetamine.

Kanan said he wanted to talk to his contact.

The officer said the man would soon return.

Kanan walked out, saying he was taking his girlfriend some water, and officers arrested him, the report said.

On Kanan were $500 and $350 rolls of money and a container of GHB.

Police also found a 9mm handgun in Kanan's truck.

It was not his service weapon.

Kanan said he was on leave in Margate, his employer since June 2016, after testing positive for methamphetamine.

He said he was moving to a new apartment and was in Lantana to get bins from a friend.

Kluger, 29, told police she and Kanan were addicted to methamphetamine and GHB and they had bought drugs from the contact at that location.

The woman took a Lyft to the police station to get the keys to Kanan's truck, but passed out in the car.

She admitted she was on GHB and handed the officer a 3-ounce bottle, prompting the town to file a warrant for her arrest.

She took another Lyft home, the report said.

Margate police would not comment on Kanan's arrest, saying he's the subject of two internal-affairs investigations.

He was placed on administrative leave with pay July 16.

Police modified Kanan's leave to one without pay when the second probe started Thursday.

Would You Like To Know More?

Offline Battle

  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 10499
  • M.A.X. Commander
    • View Profile
Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #131 on: September 28, 2019, 10:29:18 am »
Saturday, 28th September 2019
New Jersey Police Chief Who Called Puppetine 'Last Hope For White People' on Trial For Hate Crime
by Daniel Avery

A police chief in New Jersey who allegedly said he wanted to "mow down" African Americans and claimed Donald Trump was "the last hope for white people" is currently being tried on hate-crime charges.

During testimony this week in U.S. District Court in Camden, a South Jersey police officer testified that retired Bordentown Police Chief Frank Nucera Jr. routinely used racial slurs and said black people should be shot.

Sgt. Nathan Roohr, a K-9 officer in the Burlington County department, testified Monday that, during an arrest in 2016, Nucera grabbed the head of an African American suspect "like a basketball" and slammed it into a metal door jam.

"[It] made a loud thud," Roohr said.

"I immediately knew it was wrong. I knew I had an obligation to report it," he added.

"This was an obvious excessive force."

The suspect, 18-year-old Timothy Stroye, was handcuffed at the time.

Stroye and his 16-year-old girlfriend were accused of sneaking into a hotel and using the pool.

Nucera, who retired abruptly in 2017, has been charged with hate-crime assault, as well as civil rights violations and lying to the FBI.

Prosecutors maintain he had a "significant history" of making racial remarks.

Roohr and other officers provided dozens of tapes of their former commanding officer spewing racist threats:

In one, Nucera can be heard saying:

"It's gonna get to the point where I could shoot one of these [N-words]."

After tires on a squad car were slashed, Nucera reportedly claimed,

"These [N-word] are like ISIS, they have no value. They should line them all up and mow 'em down. I'd like to be on the firing line, I could do it."

Roohr also said Nucera directed K-9 officers to use police dogs to intimidate black people.

"Let these [expletives] see him. Let 'em see him. I don't care," Nucera can be heard saying in a recording.

Nucera's attorney, however, maintains the accusations were drummed up by officers dissatisfied with his disciplinary and overtime policies.

When charges were originally filed, U.S. Attorney William Fitzpatrick said the accusations against Nucera painted a picture of "intense racial animosity toward African Americans."

"The conduct alleged is a shocking breach of the duty of every police officer to provide equal justice under the law and never to mistreat a person in custody," Fitzpatrick added.

"As a result, the former chief of police is now a charged federal criminal defendant."

If convicted, Nucera could face up to 20 years in prison and forfeit his $8,800 a month pension.

Would You Like To Know More?

Offline Battle

  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 10499
  • M.A.X. Commander
    • View Profile
Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #132 on: September 29, 2019, 10:10:47 am »
Sunday, 29th September 2019
Arizona state trooper arrested on 61 sex related, kidnapping and fraud counts

by Madeline Holcombe and Chris Boyette

Arizona Department of Public Safety detectives arrested one of their own troopers Tuesday on charges of sexual abuse, extortion, kidnapping, harassment and fraud, AZDPS Col. Frank Milstead said at a news conference.

Tremaine Jackson, 43, an AZDPS trooper for about 13 years, used his position of authority to "bargain leniency for favor," Milstead said.

"The Arizona Department of Public Safety is a proud and venerable organization with a storied past," Milstead said.

"Most of the employees serve Arizona with pride and integrity. ... When one of our own betrays public trust or breaks the law, we respond swiftly and without regret."

Jackson most recently worked in the department's Metro Motors District.

Officers began an investigation on May 19 after a woman complained that Jackson made inappropriate comments to her, Milstead said.

A second complaint from a different motorist came June 11, alleging that Jackson sexually assaulted a woman during a traffic stop, Milstead said.

He was placed on administrative leave that day, Milstead said.

Jackson has since been terminated, Sgt. Kameron Lee, public information office supervisor for the department said Tuesday.

It is unclear if Jackson has retained a lawyer.

So far, investigators said they have identified eight victims.

They believe there are more and have set up a hotline and website for other victims to come forward.

Authorities said Tuesday that Jackson would be booked into the Maricopa County Fourth Avenue Jail on charges including sexual abuse, sexual extortion, unlawful sexual conduct, unlawful imprisonment, kidnapping, fraudulent schemes and practices and tampering with a public record.

"The temerity of Trooper Jackson is horrifying," Milstead said.

"Our job now is to respond appropriately."

Would You Like To Know More?

Offline Battle

  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 10499
  • M.A.X. Commander
    • View Profile
Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #133 on: October 01, 2019, 09:18:14 am »
Tuesday, 1st October 2019
by Bobby Allyn

A Dallas jury has unanimously found former police Officer Amber Guyger guilty of murder for fatally shooting her neighbor who lived in the apartment above hers.

She had testified that she entered Botham Jean's unit, thinking it was her own home after a long day at work, and thinking he was an intruder.

She faces a possible penalty of up to 99 years in prison.

Prosecutors maintained that Guyger committed murder when she overlooked indications that the apartment was not her own — the wrong floor, the smell of marijuana coming from the apartment, a bright red doormat — and shot Jean, a 26-year-old accountant who was sitting in his living room eating ice cream when Guyger killed him last September.

"There was no other floor mat like this is the entire building.

This sticks out, literally, like a red thumb," lead prosecutor Jason Hermus said in court on Monday, holding up the doormat to the jury.

"And she walked up to it and stood on top of it."

But in tearful testimony to the jury, Guyger said she was "scared to death" when she opened what she thought was her own apartment door and saw the silhouette of a man she mistook him for an intruder.

"I was scared whoever was inside my apartment was going to kill me," she told the jury.

"No police officer would want to hurt an innocent person."
Guyger lived on the third floor of an apartment complex just south of downtown Dallas.

Her lawyers have said that she was winding down a 13-hour work day when she opened Jean's door.

"What was going through Amber's mind was just, 'I'm going home,' " defense lawyer Robert Rogers said. " 'I'm exhausted, and I'm going home.' "

Guyger said she put her key in the door and realized it was unlocked. Thinking someone had broken in, she drew her gun and entered the apartment.

Then Guyger said she told Jean, "Let me see your hands," and that he instead started to move toward her.

Prosecutors counter that nobody in her apartment complex heard her instruct Jean to raise his hands.

Within seconds of opening the door, she fired two shots at Jean.

One of the bullets struck him in the chest, killing him.

Guyger then called 911 and told the operator over and over:

"I thought it was my apartment."

The case became transfixing to observers around the country for the delicate questions it presented.

Was the shooting a noncriminal accident equal to a "tragic mistake," as Guyger's lawyers argued?

Or were the mistakes of Guyger so reckless that they constituted manslaughter, or so intentionally negligent that it amounted to murder?

In deciding that she was guilty, the jury, about half of whom were African American, sided with the prosecution, meaning Guyger now faces decades of possible prison time.

Others have described the facts of the case as the latest example of a white police officer killing an unarmed black man.

Civil rights groups rallied behind Jean, a native of the Caribbean island of St. Lucia.

And police officers came to the defense of Guyger.

Guyger attempted to cast aside race as being a factor by saying during her testimony that the encounter was "not about hate," she said. "It's about being scared."

To prosecutors, Guyger's distraction led to a crime.

Just before she entered Jean's apartment, Guyger had a 16-minute conversation with a fellow officer, Martin Rivera, whom authorities say was a romantic partner of Guyger's and the two had been swapping sexually explicit messages.

Prosecutors argued that Guyger was so absorbed with those communications that she was too preoccupied to realize she was heading toward the wrong apartment.

Prosecutors, in cross-examining Guyger, emphasized that her training as a police officer should have informed her to back away from the door, hide and call for backup.

Guyger had her police radio on her, and she lives just two blocks away from police headquarters, so she could have had other officers arrive quickly, prosecutors pointed out.

Had she done that, Guyger was asked, might Jean be alive today?

"Yes, sir," she said.

In the state's closing arguments on Monday, prosecutor Hermus said the only way a defendant can claim self-defense to murder is when there is no other reasonable alternatives.
Hermus said that was not the case when Guyger shot Jean.
"Self-defense means you're acting defensively," Hermus said.

"She became the aggressor. That's not self-defense."

Would You Like To Know More?

Offline Battle

  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 10499
  • M.A.X. Commander
    • View Profile
Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #134 on: October 02, 2019, 03:14:08 pm »
Wednesday, 2nd October 2019
Amber Guyger, Ex-Officer Who Killed Man In His Apartment, Awarded 10 Years In Prison
by Bobby Allyn

Amber Guyger, a former Dallas police officer who killed her unarmed black neighbor after stepping into his apartment mistaking it for her own, has been sentenced to 10 years in state prison by the same jury that convicted her of murder.

"Your sentence will begin today," Judge Tammy Kemp told Guyger.

She faced between five and 99 years behind bars.

Guyger, who is white, fatally shot 26-year-old Botham Jean, an accountant from the Caribbean island of St. Lucia who was watching television and eating a bowl of ice cream last year when Guyger fired two shots, striking him once in the chest.

The punishment phase of the murder trial began immediately after the jury delivered the unanimous guilty verdict on Tuesday.

Allison Jean, Botham's mother, testified that her son, the middle child, was "the glue" that united her three children.

He excelled at math, was a dedicated Christian and loved rugby and choir singing.

Friends and family called him "Bo."

He was killed a few days before his 27th birthday.

"My life has not been the same. It's just been a roller coaster. I cannot sleep. I cannot eat," Jean told the jury.

"It's just been the most terrible time for me."

Between sobs, Bertrum Jean, Botham's father, told jurors on Wednesday that the killing of his son has left his family shattered.

"It hurts me every day," Jean said.

"How could we have lost Botham, such a sweet boy? He tried his best to live a good, honest life. He loved God. He loved everyone. How could this happen to him? Hindsight, what could we have done? My family is brokenhearted."

When Allisa Findley, Botham Jean's sister, took the stand and watched a video of Botham's singing at church, prosecutors asked what hearing her brother's voice elicited in her.

"That I want my bother back," Findley said.

"If I could just continue our last conversation and just not hang up the phone."

Her younger brother has not been the same since Jean died.

"It's like the light behind his eyes is off," Findley said.

Guyger testified in the trial that after parking her pickup truck on the fourth floor, one level above her apartment, she approached what she says she thought was her own unit.

She noticed the door was ajar and drew her service weapon.

When she opened the door and saw Jean, she told the jury she shot to kill, fearing for her life after seeing the silhouette of a man she mistook for an intruder.

Prosecutors have underscored the various cues Guyger missed on her way to Jean's apartment, including a bright red doormat that sat outside Jean's apartment.

Prosecutors have said that Guyger's police training should have guided her to seek cover and call for backup if she thought she was in danger, but her legal team said a series of "innocent mistakes" led to an "awful and tragic" outcome.

During the punishment phase, prosecutors showed the jury a series of incendiary text messages Guyger had sent disparaging marchers at a Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade while she was working the event as a police officer.

"Just push them...or spray with your pepper spray in that general area," she texted.

The prosecution also displayed to the jury posts that Guyger made on the social media platform Pinterest, including one she saved featuring a Navy SEAL sniper with the words:

"Kill first, die last. One shot, one kill. No luck, all skill"

In another social media post made by Guyger, she discussed owning a gun with an image that contained the message:

"I wear all black to remind you not [to] mess with me because I'm already dressed for your funeral."

A trove of phone records was also introduced in the trial showing that, after coming off a long day of work, Guyger had been conversing by text and phone with someone with whom she was having an affair.

Those exchanges demonstrated, prosecutors said, that she was so preoccupied that she walked to the wrong apartment.

The guilty verdict was announced after just five hours of deliberations.

Tim Power, a former prosecutor and judge in the Dallas area, told NPR that the panel did not find Guyger's self-defense argument persuasive.

"The jurors had to believe that what she did was reasonable, and the actions of the jurors were pretty clear with their message and the speed at which it was delivered," he said.

"They believed the zone of reasonableness had been violated and that she was way outside that zone."

Would You Like To Know More?