Author Topic: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch  (Read 43018 times)

Offline Battle

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Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #150 on: December 04, 2019, 02:52:21 am »
Wednesday, 4th December 2019
Two dozen Baltimore jail officers indicted for allegedly using excessive force
by Regina Garcia Cano & Brian Witte

(BALTIMORE, Maryland) — More than two dozen correctional officers in Baltimore were charged Tuesday with using excessive force on prisoners at state-operated jails in a city plagued by decades of institutional corruption, inside and outside jailhouse walls.

The 25 indicted officers are accused of assaulting and threatening detainees at correctional facilities, tampering with evidence and falsifying documents, said Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby, whose office secured the indictments.

Maryland corrections secretary Robert Green said all the indicted officers have been on administrative leave since 2018, when the state Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services began investigating the allegations.

Governor Larry Hogan said in a statement that his administration has no tolerance for corruption in the state’s correctional system.

“Our correctional officers have one of the most difficult jobs in all of public safety, and we will not let the criminal behavior of the few tarnish the great work of the nearly 5,000 dedicated officers who serve with distinction every single day,” he said.

Hogan, a Republican, said the department’s anti-corruption actions have led to the arrests and convictions of more than 200 officers, inmates and “citizen accomplices.”

In 2015, Maryland closed the men’s section of a state-run Baltimore jail that was notorious for its decrepit conditions, criminal activity and corruption.

In 2013, a federal indictment exposed a sophisticated smuggling ring operating inside the Baltimore City Detention Center, involving dozens of gang members and correctional officers.

The investigation also revealed that a jailhouse gang leader had impregnated four female guards.

Corruption has infected many corners of Baltimore’s city government.

Most recently, disgraced former mayor Catherine Pugh pleaded guilty to federal charges stemming from sales of her self-published children’s books.

Another former mayor, Sheila Dixon, left office in 2010 as part of a plea deal for misappropriating about $500 in gift cards meant for needy families.

The city’s corruption-riddled police department remains under a federal consent following the April 2015 death of a young black man, Freddie Gray, while in police custody.

The department also has been rocked by a string of indictments and guilty pleas by task force officers accused of extortion, robbery, falsifying evidence, reselling seized drugs.

The indicted officers face a combined total 236 counts, including charges of assault and participating in a criminal gang, Mosby said.

Mosby said 21 of the 25 indicted officers were taken into custody Tuesday.

All were members of a tactical unit with a paramilitary command structure operating inside four detention facilities in Baltimore.

Mosby said the officers used violence and intimidation to “maintain its dominance and its operational territory” inside the jails.

“All 25 of these correctional officers have allegedly abused their power and abused our trust,” she added.

The indictment includes alleged offenses against 25 prisoners and incidents that occurred as far back as 2016, authorities said.

“This case represents our strong effort to root out people who don’t belong in the field where public safety and rehabilitation is the mission,” Green, the corrections secretary, told reporters.

“This is a disturbing case, but it does not represent nor should it cast a shadow on the commitment and integrity of the exceptional correctional professionals in this department.”

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Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #151 on: December 05, 2019, 01:45:19 pm »
Thursday, 5th December 2019
2nd officer relieved of duties amid investigation into body-slamming incident
by ABC News

Two Chicago police officers have now been relieved of their duties as officials investigate an arrest that was caught on camera and showed one of them slamming a man to the ground.

The Civilian Office of Police Accountability opened an investigation into the November 28th incident last week and recommended that the officer who was seen throwing the man to the ground be relieved of his police powers until the case is closed.
On Wednesday, the agency recommended the second officer at the scene also be relieved, according to a statement.

Two officers could be seen in the video, which the city's mayor called "very disturbing," but only one was seen picking up the man and throwing him to the curb.

Police say that Bernard Kersh, the 29-year-old man in the video, was under arrest for drinking in public when he became verbally abusive and then spit on, as well as threatened, one of the officers.

"The officer then performed an emergency takedown, taking the offender to the ground," according to a statement from police.

Kersh has since been charged with aggravated battery of a peace officer, assault and resisting arrest.

The young woman who took the now-viral video told ABC News that she did not see Kersh resist arrest.

"That gentleman didn’t do anything wrong," Jovonna Jamison told ABC News in a telephone interview last Friday.

Kersh's attorney told ABC Chicago station WLS that his client has been diagnosed with schizophrenia.

"He's suffered from it for the last six years. He needs some serious help and the fact that the officer reacted the way he did was completely out of control," attorney Sami Azhari told the station.

Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi previously said on Twitter the arrest was under investigation and the "actions depicted on a social media video" are being taken very seriously.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot called the video "very disturbing."
"While a single video does not depict the entirety of the interactions between the police and the individual, this particular video is very disturbing," she wrote on Twitter last Friday.

Kersh was taken to the University of Chicago following the incident and treated.

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Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #152 on: December 07, 2019, 03:48:50 am »
Saturday, 7th December 2019
NYPD cop bites into sandwich, cuts himself on razor blade
by Becca Glasser-Baker

A NYC police officer was hurt when he bit into a Queens bodega sandwich and cut his mouth on a razor blade tucked inside.

The officer bought the sandwich around 4:30 p.m. Thursday from Bon Appetit in Rockaway Park, and upon eating it immediately felt something cut the inside of his mouth.

He soon found the razor blade tucked inside the sandwich.

Officials told NBC  that the officer is part of the department’s Critical Response Command team.

He has not been identified to media at this time.

The officer was taken to the hospital, where he was treated and released.

NYPD told outlets that they are currently working on getting access to the surveillance cameras at the bodega.

It was also reported that a DNA sample was recovered from the blade and is being tested.

No previous issues have been reported at the bodega.

The store's manager told NBC they were unaware of the incident.

NYPD told outlets that the investigation is ongoing.

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Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #153 on: December 07, 2019, 11:28:42 pm »
Sunday, 8th December 2019
Four died in a shootout with police after a UPS truck was hijacked. Could it have been avoided?
by Reis Thebault & Marisa Iati

The violent scene unfolded on live television.

Dozens of police officers, guns drawn, swarmed a hijacked UPS truck hemmed in by rush-hour traffic at a busy intersection.

Inside the vehicle, two men suspected of armed robbery had taken the driver hostage.

Outside, the officers took shots with innocent bystanders trapped in the cars in between.

It was, experts later said, a nightmare scenario.
The Thursday shootout in South Florida left four dead — the two hijackers, the 27-year-old abducted UPS driver and a 70-year-old man who happened to be idling at the light on his way home from work.

It also left a mountain of unanswered questions.

As video of the violence circulated on national news and social media, some, including the UPS driver’s family, criticized police tactics, saying it was irresponsible for officers to exchange fire on a crowded street.

Others saw that the first responders had no other option, that they had no choice but to confront a deadly threat.

In the weeks to come, investigators will have to address some thorny and complex issues about police use of force, researchers and law enforcement officials said.

Who fired the shots that killed UPS driver Frank Ordonez and motorist Richard Cutshaw?

How many bullets were fired and from where?

Did the officers’ actions put innocent lives in danger?

“Just about everything that could go wrong did go wrong,” said David Klinger, a criminal justice professor at the University of Missouri in St. Louis.

The incident “was really, really bad.”

But as chaotic and calamitous as the episode was, it was also “a perfect example” of why police are allowed to use deadly force against dangerous criminals, Klinger said.

Authorities said Lamar Alexander and Ronnie Jerome Hill had left a trail of violence behind them that evening.

Stopping them by any means — even with bullets — was “absolutely the right thing to do,” Klinger said.

“In a situation like this, the police are reactive,” Klinger added.

“This is not a situation they want to be in. Their hand was forced.”

The dramatic exchange of gunfire followed a high-speed chase through two counties that thwarted residents’ commutes at rush hour.

The men had allegedly tried to rob Regent Jewelers in Coral Gables, triggering a silent alarm about 4:15 p.m., police said.

They said a female employee of the store was injured as the robbers and the store owner shot at each other.

The gunmen fled north in a truck, then commandeered a UPS truck while the driver was making a delivery, police said.

Several police cars pursued the UPS truck, with the UPS driver trapped inside, until the vehicle was boxed in by traffic in Miramar and officers surrounded it.

When Heather Taylor, a homicide sergeant in St. Louis, watched the footage, she saw police who refused to retreat and who put innocent lives in jeopardy because of it.

Instead of opening fire in the crowded intersection, she said, officers could have engaged the robbers when they had a clearer shot.

“We don’t always have to be the warrior,” said Taylor, who is also president of the Ethical Society of Police in St. Louis.

“Sometimes we have to understand that retreating is okay. You don’t always have to get the bad guy.”

She acknowledged that the officers were in a difficult situation but said the video was “one of the most tragic” she has seen.

“Yes, the suspects are responsible, absolutely, but we are also responsible for every single round that went toward innocent bystanders,” Taylor said.

“Each one of them had the potential to kill someone.”

On a GoFundMe page that had raised more than $100,000 by Friday evening, Roy Ordonez wrote that his brother, the UPS driver, had been gunned “down like a criminal by the Florida police.”

He asked people to share the fundraising page to “make people aware of trigger-happy police officers.”

“They could have killed many more people, could have been one of your loved ones,” Roy Ordonez wrote.

“Please don’t let my brother’s death be for nothing. Police need to be held accountable.”
Joe Merino, who told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel that he was Frank Ordonez’s stepfather, said his stepson “was murdered.”

“The police are here to serve and protect,” Merino said, “but where was the protection for my son?”

Autopsies may determine who fired the shots that killed Ordonez and Cutshaw.

Tania Rues, a spokesperson for the Miramar Police Department, referred a question about the timeline for the autopsies to the Broward County medical examiner’s office, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating the shootout, Rues said.

“The armed suspects engaged law enforcement in open fire,” said FBI agent George Piro on Thursday.

He said the first shot was fired during the chase but declined to provide more details.

Piro said it would be “completely inappropriate” to discuss whether the UPS driver or the bystander may have been hit by officers’ gunfire.

David Harris, a policing expert and a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh, said the police officers' actions should be judged against their departments' policies about pursuits and deadly force.

Most professional police associations urge officers to engage only in a chase in very serious situations so as not to unnecessarily endanger officers, the criminals or bystanders, Harris said.

He said most police forces, however, would allow officers to chase the vehicle of people connected to a violent felony, like the firing of shots during a jewelry store robbery.
“A situation like this with a hijacked truck, a kidnapping and maybe hundreds of civilians in danger is very unusual,” Harris said.

“And you won’t find but a handful of police officers in the United States who’ve had an experience like this."

Geoff Alpert, a criminology professor at the University of South Carolina, said that other than having a SWAT truck with heavily armed tactical police officers, he did not know of alternative ways that police could have safely ended the pursuit.

The gunmen had proved that they were willing to resort to violence to escape and could have endangered other people in the area, such as by hijacking other cars, Alpert said.

"This is why the police are trained to do what they do,” he said.

Every shot that police fired has to be accounted for, Alpert added.

He said investigators need to ask each officer on the scene, while their memories are fresh, why they shot and what their target was.

“Every one of them could be justified,” Alpert said,

“or there may be some that aren’t.”
« Last Edit: December 08, 2019, 06:41:55 pm by Battle »

Offline Battle

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Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #154 on: December 13, 2019, 04:14:52 pm »
Friday, 13th December 2019
Brooklyn woman whose baby was ripped from her arms at benefits office receives $625,000 settlement
by Stephen Rex Brown

(NEW YORK) — A mother whose 1-year-old son was ripped from her arms at a Brooklyn benefits office has received a $625,000 settlement from New York City.

Jazmine Headley’s confrontation on Dec. 7, 2018, with Human Resources Administration peace officers and NYPD cops was captured in a video that went viral and prompted apologies from Mayor Bill de Blasio and other prominent officials.

“Ms. Headley came to the City seeking help, and we failed to treat her with the dignity and respect she deserved,” said Olivia Lapeyrolerie, a spokeswoman for de Blasio.

“While this injustice should have never happened, it forced a reckoning with how we treat our most vulnerable and prompted us to make reforms at HRA Centers across the City. We hope this settlement brings Ms. Headley and her family a degree of closure.”

Headley sued the city in August. Her suit recounted the episode and her ensuing trauma in disturbing detail.

The lawsuit filed in Brooklyn Federal Court recounts the ordeal — and its ongoing consequences.

“Ms. Headley had been humiliated, assaulted, physically injured, threatened with a taser, brutally separated from her son, handcuffed, arrested, and jailed,” the suit read.

“What unleashed this torrent of violence and abuse against a young mother and her son? Ms. Headley had dared to sit on the floor of the crowded HRA waiting room next to her son’s stroller, her back against a wall. She was tired after waiting for almost three hours to see a caseworker.”

She spent two days at Rikers Island on charges of obstruction, resisting arrest, endangered the welfare of a child, and trespassing.

Those were the first days she’d even been apart from her son, the suit notes.

The charges were later dismissed.

Her son “displayed changed behaviors after the events, including a diminished appetite, separation anxiety, and difficulty sleeping, and he became more withdrawn,” the suit says.

Headley previously said she hoped her suit would prompt reforms that address an unfair stigma associated with people receiving public assistance.

City Hall pointed to an array of changes at the city’s Department of Social Services, including de-escalation training and a plan to equip every peace officer with body cameras by the end of the year.

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Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #155 on: December 14, 2019, 01:49:27 pm »
Saturday, 14th December 2019
Oregon officers can no longer ask random questions during traffic stops. An attorney hopes more states will follow
by Christina Maxouris

When Mario Arreola-Botello was pulled over, he didn't understand much of what the Oregon police officer was telling him.

Botello, a Latino, non-native English speaker, was stopped for failing to signal a turn and a lane change, his attorney, Josh Crowther told CNN.

What happened next sparked a years-long court battle that landed at the state's supreme court.

In a November ruling, the court decided officers in the state were no longer allowed to ask questions that were irrelevant to the reason of the traffic stop.

It's an issue that's often been tackled in courts across the country, but a University of North Carolina professor says there's never been a decision as "wide-reaching" as this one.

And that's a problem because he says young black and Latino men are often targeted disproportionally when it comes to random car searches.

"It really convinces people that they're not full citizens, that police are viewing them as suspects,"
UNC-Chapel Hill professor Frank Baumgartner says.

"And that's a challenge to our democracy."

While the ruling addresses a nationwide issue, it only applies to one state.
Drivers are being racially profiled but have to depend on their states to expand protections against racial bias and searches, ACLU attorney Carl Takei told CNN.

"When the legal regime permits perpetual stops and searches," he says,

"It enables widespread practices and harms to the people of color that are involved."

In the ruling, Beaverton Police Department officer Erik Faulkner said he asked Arreola-Botello the same questions he usually asks during his traffic stops.

"Do you have anything illegal in the car? Would you consent to a search for guns, drugs, knives, bombs, illegal documents or anything else that you're not allowed to possess?" Faulkner said, according to the ruling.
By asking these questions, Baumgartner says, officers are often able to get what are known as "consent searches."

They're allowed to search a resident's car, not because they have probable cause to do so -- if the driver seems under the influence, or the officer can smell alcohol, for example --- but because the driver has agreed to a search.

"Young minority males are much more likely to have their car searched," he told CNN. But not more likely to have contraband, he says.

In North Carolina, black drivers were 115% more likely to be searched if they were stopped, according to a study by Baumgartner, University of Texas at Austin professor Derek Epp and then-UNC-Chapel Hill graduate student Kelsey Shoub.

The study looked at 20 million traffic stops across the state.

These kinds of random searches targeting a certain profile have been standard police practice for decades, Baumgartner says.

"It's succeeded in one thing and that's alienating the black community. And it's alienated individuals who happen to be young men, who live in communities with very aggressive policing strategies," he said.

"It has not succeeded in reducing crime rates because they're not catching very many criminals."

But there's no way to track that kind of data nationally because many states don't require a database for routine traffic stops, Baumgartner says.

That data is "critically important evidence in deciding whether police are engaging in illegal racial profiling," Takei with the ACLU says.

From now on in Oregon, police can ask more questions if they have good reason to do so, Washington County Sheriff's Office spokesman Danny DiPietro told CNN.

Beaverton police is within Washington County.

"If we see the individual and they have bloodshot watery eyes, flushed looks ... and we believe that they're under the influence of alcohol then we establish what's called reasonable suspicion," he said.

The ruling, DiPietro says, comes at a challenging time where police are striving for better communication with the community.

"We want to be able to communicate with people and show them that ... we're just here for one reason, we're here to promote safety," he said.

But the problem with the ruling, he says, is it doesn't specify what they are and aren't allowed to say.

"We haven't gotten complete clarification on that and that's what's frustrating," he said.

"We don't want to be robotic."

One thing is for sure:

Officers in Oregon can't use an awkward silence for justification of asking questions -- which a previous United States Supreme Court case hadn't clarified.
In 2015, the US Supreme Court ruled that a "seizure justified only by a police-observed traffic violation ... 'becomes unlawful if it is prolonged beyond the time reasonably required to complete the mission.'"

In Arreola-Botell's case, the Oregon Court of Appeals said an officer was free to question a driver during an "unavoidable lull" in the traffic stop, "such as while awaiting the results of a records check."

The state's Supreme Court disagreed.

"That's what the importance of this decision is," Crowther says.

That "unavoidable lull" is no longer justification for random questions in Oregon, he says.

But what about the other states?

Rulings like this one are vital, Takei says.
They add on protections that federal courts have stayed away from.

In the 1996 Supreme Court case Whren v. United States, the justices unanimously decided officers could detain a driver if they had "probable cause to believe that he has violated the traffic laws."

That wouldn't violate the driver's Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable seizures, the court said,

"even if a reasonable officer would not have stopped the motorist absent some additional law enforcement objective."

In other words, police officers can be patrolling a high-drug area -- as was the case in Whren v. US -- and stop a car only if they're suspicious it might contain contraband.

"The Whren decision has been heavily criticized because of the way it allows widespread racial profiling throughout this mechanism of pretextual traffic stops," Takei said.

Or, as Takei said, fishing expeditions.

But authorities shouldn't be using traffic stops to launch into criminal investigations, Crowther says.

And at least in Oregon, they won't be able to.
"A decision like this will level the playing field and remove those biases," Crowther said.

He hopes it's just the beginning.
"I'm hoping this is the groundwork or a stepping stone," Crowther said, for more decisions like this across the country.

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Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #156 on: December 17, 2019, 06:21:03 am »
Tuesday, 17th December 2019
Deputy fired after caught on video body-slamming child

by ABC News

A sheriff's deputy caught on security video twice body-slamming a child under the age of 12 at a North Carolina middle school was fired on Monday morning and state investigators are deciding whether to file criminal charges against him, officials said.

The deputy's termination is "effective immediately," Vance County, North Carolina, Sheriff Curtis Brame told ABC station WTVD in Durham, North Carolina.

The disturbing incident occurred on Thursday at the Vance County Middle School in Henderson, about 40 miles northeast of Durham.

"When we first saw the video ... we were shocked," Brame told ABC News.

"I don't expect my deputy or any deputy, or law enforcement in North Carolina to carry out their duties in that way."

The deputy's name has not been released.

In the school surveillance video, the deputy, a school resource officer, is seen walking with the child down a hallway when suddenly he lunges at the boy, lifts him off the ground and slams him to the floor on his back.

Without checking the child for injuries, the deputy picks the student up again and throws him to the floor a second time and drags him down the hall and out of the view of the camera, according to the footage.

Brame said that after viewing the video, he placed the deputy on paid leave of absence and called in the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation to launch a use-of-force probe.

Vance County District Attorney Mike Waters said the boy, whose name was not released, suffered minor injuries.

"This is just a stunning kind of incident. I don't see any justification at this point for that officer's behavior and action," Waters said.

Waters said he expects to make a decision early this week on whether to charge the now-fired deputy or take the case to a grand jury.

The video does not include audio and Brame said the former deputy has yet to explain what prompted his violent reaction.

"I don't know what was said," Waters told ABC News.

"I don't think anything that was said or anything like that could justify his action. I don't think that will be relevant to any determination."

The incident comes less than a week after a Florida sheriff's deputy was caught on video slamming a 15-year-old student face-first into the pavement was fired.

Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony announced on Wednesday that Christopher Krickovich was terminated for excessive force despite the state's Professional Standards/Human Rights Committee's (PSHRC) recommendation to exonerate him of any wrongdoing for the incident that occurred on April 18.

Krickovich is seen on video allegedly pepper-spraying and slamming the teenager's face into the ground outside of a McDonald's in Tamarac, Florida, after responding to quell an afterschool fight, officials said.

Sheriff's Sgt. Gregory LaCerra was also present and allegedly involved in the violent arrest.

Afterward, prosecutors alleged the two officers filed false charges against the teen in an attempt to cover up the attack.

LaCerra and Krickovich were both charged with battery and falsifying records.

Both have pleaded not guilty to the charges.

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Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #157 on: December 20, 2019, 03:02:19 pm »
Friday, 20th December 2019
Forth Worth Officer Indicted on Murder Charge for Fatal Shooting of Atatiana Jefferson
by Joe Jurado

On Friday, a grand jury in Texas indicted a former Fort Worth police officer on a murder charge in the fatal shooting of Atatiana Jefferson.

NBC News reports that the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office confirmed that Aaron Dean, the 35-year-old former officer responsible for the shooting had been indicted.

Jefferson was a 28-year-old pre-med graduate student.

Lee Merrit, an attorney for Jefferson’s family tweeted this evening that the family is relieved at the indictment but remain cautious that a conviction and proper sentencing is still well away.

On Oct. 12, Dean and a fellow officer were responding to a welfare check after a neighbor saw that the door to the home, which belonged to Jefferson’s mother, was left ajar.

At the time, Jefferson was inside babysitting her nephew and playing video games.

Publicly released bodycam footage shows an officer outside the home, peering through a window with a flashlight and his gun drawn.

The officer yells “Put your hands up-show me your hands,” before a single shot is fired shortly after.

Dean failed to identify himself as a police officer before firing his weapon.

Jefferson’s nephew told police that she had taken her handgun out of her purse when she heard noises outside.

Police have said that she was within her rights to protect herself.

Police Chief Ed Kraus was quoted as saying

“Had the officer not resigned, I would have fired him for violations for several polices, including our use of force policy, our de-escalation policy and unprofessional conduct.”

Coming after the shooting death of Botham Jean by an officer who broke into his home, the death of Jefferson has continued calls for better police accountability.

While it remains to be seen if those calls will ever be answered, one hopes Jefferson’s family is given the justice they’re owed.

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Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #158 on: December 22, 2019, 03:00:03 pm »
Sunday, 22nd December 2019
Black man set to be exonerated after new arrest made in 2010 stabbing
by CBS News

A Texas man who was recently released from prison on bond will likely be exonerated following a new arrest in the 2010 stabbing he was found guilty of in 2010.

Jermarico Carter, 41, was arrested and charged on Thursday after DNA evidence suggested he was responsible for the killings that landed Lydell Grant a life sentence.

Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said Carter, who was apprehended in Georgia, confessed to the killing shortly after being arrested.

"We look forward to presenting this new evidence in court and obtaining justice for Scheerhoorn's family," Ogg said.

"We will begin the exoneration process for Lydell Grant immediately." 

Grant, 42, was convicted in 2012 of murdering 28-year-old Aaron Scheerhoorn in 2010.

Grant always maintained his innocence and was released from prison in Houston on November 26 after being granted a $100,000 bond while prosecutors reexamined his case.

Newly tested DNA from the victim showed no trace of Grant but did result in a hit on the FBI's Combined DNA Index System which implicated Carter.

"We are relieved that Lydell's wrongful conviction has had this important breakthrough," Grant's lawyer and executive director of the Innocence Project of Texas Mike Ware said in a statement.

"We look forward to his full exoneration at the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals."

"On behalf of the Houston Police Department, I want to extend an apology to Mr. Grant and his family as they have waited for justice all these years," Houston Chief of Police Art Acevedo said Friday in a statement.

"Furthermore, we would like to thank the Innocence Project and the Harris County District Attorney's Office for their diligence and relentless pursuit of justice. We firmly believe the charges being filed on this second suspect, now linked by DNA and additional testing, will help bring closure to the families of Mr. Grant and Mr. Scheerhorn."

Scheerhorn was killed in 2010 after being stabbed in the parking lot outside a Houston night club.
Police say Scheerhoorn ran to the club looking for help, but was turned away by the bouncer and stabbed several more times in front of dozens of witnesses.

Grant was arrested five days later during a traffic stop when police discovered he was driving with a suspended license.

After receiving a Crime Stoppers tip, police labeled him as a suspect in the stabbing, and six witnesses from outside the nightclub identified Grant's picture in a photo lineup.

Grant had been serving a life sentence when he was granted bail in November.

Until officially exonerated, Grant is still technically out on bond, and must continue to comply with the conditions of his release, which include wearing an electronic ankle monitor.

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Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #159 on: January 13, 2020, 12:04:53 am »
Monday, 13th January 2020
Texas Police Officer Fired For Giving A Sandwich Full Of Feces To A Homeless Man Wins His Job Back
by Jazzi Johnson

A Texas officer who lost his job in 2016 for feeding dog feces to a homeless man has had his termination overturned following an appeal.

Officer Matthew Luckhurst, who appealed his suspension from October 28th, 2016, argued his termination from the San Antonio Police Department was unlawful as it did not take place within the first 180 days after the incident, reports KSAT.

Luckhurst, a bike patrol officer, initially stated that the incident occurred when he was on-duty on May 6th, 2016.

Luckhurst admitted to placing discarded pieces of dog feces between two bread slices in a food container.

The officer then left the disguised faux meal next to a homeless man.

Lockhurst said he found the bread and feces along his patrolling route with another officer.

In an attempt to clear the "no trespassing" area, the patrolman said he placed it nearby a non-complying transient man.

Luckurst said the unsuspecting man picked up the food container, smelled it and threw it on the ground.

Following his fellow patrol officer's disapproval, the San Antonio officer then picked up the feces sandwich and disposed of it.

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Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #160 on: January 13, 2020, 05:07:21 pm »
Monday, 13th January 2020
She was a prosecutor seeking police reform, was subjected to a racist conspiracy

by Aaron Katersky & Samara Lynn

St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner is about to file a federal civil rights lawsuit against the city and the St. Louis police union that alleges a coordinated, racist conspiracy that she says is meant to drive her from office.

The complaint alleges racist and illegal efforts of Gardner’s opponents to block reforms meant to benefit minorities.

The lawsuit filed by Gardner, the first black woman elected as the chief prosecutor in St. Louis, appears to mark the first time an elected local prosecutor has brought a federal case against the police union for racially-motivated civil rights violations.

"As a reformer and black woman, I represent a clear threat to the police union and political establishment that are determined to preserve the status quo in St. Louis -- a status quo that benefits the few in power at the expense of the many," Gardner said in a statement accompanying the lawsuit.

"This lawsuit is a signal that the voice and will of the people of St. Louis, who have fought tirelessly to change a broken criminal justice system, will not be stifled."

The lawsuit cites data from the Missouri State Attorney General showing that African Americans in the state are subjected to more traffic stops and arrests (nearly twice as many) than whites in Missouri.
Several racist social media posts allegedly made by Missouri police officers are also listed in the complaint.

In one, a former police division officer allegedly, "posted a photograph on Facebook of an African American police officer standing with two African American demonstrators, calling the officer 'Captain ‘Hug a Thug' and a disgrace to the uniform.'"

In another, a lieutenant is alleged to have posted,

"I’m not sure what the hell is going on in our country these days. I just drove by an authentic Mexican restaurant in town; and there were white guys putting on a new roof, cutting the grass and doing landscaping."

Another Facebook post allegedly made by another Missouri officer,

"offered to sell a t-shirt emblazoned with the words, 'Black Lives Splatter, because Blue lives matter.'"

The lawsuit also alleges that the Saint Louis Police Officers Association "has gone out of its way to support white officers accused of perpetrating acts of violence and excessive force against African American citizens," including the August 2014 shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown by Missouri police officer Darren Wilson.

Additionally, the SLPOA paid the bail of Jason Stockley, a white officer who shot and killed an African American motorist named Anthony Lamar Smith in December 2011, according to the court complaint.

Gardner, who sought to launch several police reforms, including improving investigations of police misconduct in St. Louis, received threatening letters sent to her office that were "filled with racial invective," the lawsuit alleges.

In the letters, Gardner was called n_____r, and also various sexist expletives, according to the lawsuit.

While Gardner’s lawsuit portrays her as a victim of a racist police force and entrenched power structure she dared to challenge, she has also faced substantive accusations of incompetence after her office’s indictment of Missouri Governor Eric Greitens.

Her dispute with the police union reflects broader tensions in the country between police and progressive prosecutors elected as a check on the system.

Attorney General William Barr has denounced prosecutors like Gardner as "[George] Soros-backed" crusaders who represent a danger to law enforcement.

The lawsuit, filed in the Eastern District of Missouri claims to take aim at "entrenched interests" that Gardner says have tried to thwart her reforms through a "broad range of collusive conduct," including the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate her office.

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Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #161 on: January 15, 2020, 01:38:49 pm »
Wednesday, 15th January 2020
Former LAPD officer charged after accusations of sex assault and blackmail made by fellow detective

by James Queally

A former Los Angeles police officer will face criminal charges related to allegations that he sexually abused and beat another LAPD detective, according to a law enforcement official and the victim's attorney.

Daniel Reedy, a veteran officer who retired last year, will face up to nine criminal charges related to accusations that he used blackmail to coerce Detective Ysabel Villegas into sex and later threatened to leak sexually explicit photos of her to her family, according to a law enforcement official familiar with the investigation.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they did not have authority to discuss the case, was unable to describe the exact criminal charges against Reedy.

Villegas' attorney, Lisa Bloom, also said Reedy would face criminal charges in a statement Tuesday.

"We are pleased that Mr. Reedy will at last face criminal accountability," Bloom said.

"It has been a long and painful process, but Ms. Villegas will continue to fully cooperate so that justice will be done."

The Los Angeles County district attorney's office declined to discuss the case.

A spokesman for Bloom did not respond to questions seeking details about the charges.

A spokeswoman for the LAPD confirmed Reedy retired in 2019, but declined to comment further.

The Times normally does not name victims of alleged sexual assaults, but Villegas has spoken out publicly about her case on numerous occasions.

Reedy has not responded to The Times' previous attempts to contact him.

He does not have an attorney, according to the law enforcement official.

Reedy and Villegas had been involved in an extramarital affair since 2013, according to an application for a restraining order the detective filed in November 2018.

Villegas said Reedy first became violent toward her in 2016 and began threatening to leak sexually explicit photos of her to other police officers and her family if she did not continue the relationship, court records show.

In a lawsuit she filed against the LAPD in March of last year, Villegas accused Reedy of using the threat of blackmail to coerce her into sex in a Pomona motel in 2017.

"With these photos, he emotionally terrorized me. He controlled and manipulated me," Villegas said during a March 2019 news conference.

Glendora police also investigated an allegation that Reedy physically attacked Villegas at a diner there in summer 2018.

A case was presented to the district attorney's office, but it remains unclear if prosecutors filed charges in that matter.

The status of Villegas' civil suit against the department was not immediately clear.

In the suit, Villegas said she reported Reedy's behavior to several "senior LAPD officers" — including her supervisor in the Robbery-Homicide Division as well as her husband, former Assistant Chief Jorge Villegas — who failed to take action.

An LAPD spokesman previously said the department launched an investigation into Reedy in November 2018, after Ysabel Villegas first filed for a restraining order.

Jorge Villegas retired from the LAPD in October 2018 amid allegations he was having an improper sexual relationship with a female subordinate officer, sources previously told The Times.

An LAPD surveillance unit later caught Villegas and the subordinate apparently engaged in a sex act in a parking lot, the sources said at the time.

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Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #162 on: January 24, 2020, 01:52:54 pm »
Friday, 24th January 2020
4 police officers disciplined for 'improper' Stormy Daniels arrest at strip club
by ABC News

Two veteran Columbus, Ohio, police officers were fired and another pair were temporarily removed from their positions after investigators found that their arrest of Stormy Daniels at a local strip club was "improper," authorities said.

Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, was performing at Sirens Gentleman's Club on Cleveland Avenue in July 2018 when vice officers raided the bar.

The officers charged Daniels and two other fellow exotic dancers with inappropriately touching and inappropriate acts with customers -- some undercover officers -- from the stage.

An internal affairs investigation was launched and found that the arrest was improper.

The 40-year-old's celebrity status arose during the 2016 presidential election when Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump was accused of paying Daniels $130,000 in hush money about their purported affair from 2006.

The charges against Daniels and the other women were dropped.

Internal affairs investigators recommended the firing of Officers Steven Rosser and Whitney Lancaster as well as the suspension of Sgt. Scott Soha and Lt. Ron Kemmering.

The Director of the Department of Public Safety Ned Pettus Jr. upheld the suggestions and implemented them on Thursday.

"Because of pending litigation as well as a concurrent federal criminal investigation, there will not be further information released at this time," said Sgt. James Fugua, a spokesman for the Columbus Police Department.

Rosser, the arresting officer, failed to file proper paperwork to justify the arrest of Daniels and lied to internal affairs investigators of his intention to go to the strip club that day.

The 19-year veteran made up "elements of human trafficking involving a specific underage dancer names 'Pearl,'" according to Pettus' decision.

Lancaster was terminated after the investigation found she not only participated in arresting Daniels, but she also failed to record her working hours correctly and did not report allegedly witnessing a bathroom attendant sell the manager cocaine, according to the report.

Lancaster was on the job for 32 years.

Kemmering was suspended for 10 days for his "ineffective supervision" that lead to the "improper" arrest of Daniels.

Kemmering has been on the Columbus police force for 24 years.

Soha, who has served for 17 years, was found to have "engaged in malfeasance and gross neglect of duty" when he allowed officers to "improperly arrest" Daniels, according to the report.

The director agreed to suspend Soha for five days.

Daniels filed a federal civil lawsuit against the city and the officers claiming the arrest was politically motivated by pro-Trump supporters.

She was represented by the now troubled lawyer Michael Avenatti.

The suit was settled for $450,000.

The other women also settled their civil lawsuits against the city of Columbus for $150,000, according to ABC local affiliate ABC6.
The vice unit has since been dismantled.

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Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #163 on: January 28, 2020, 08:40:45 pm »
Tuesday, 28th January 2020
A Cop Was Just Charged With Murder Less Than 24 Hours After He Shot and Killed a Black Man Handcuffed in a Police Cruiser
by Tess Owen

The Maryland police officer who killed a handcuffed black man Monday night has been taken into custody and charged with second degree murder — less than 24 hours after the incident.

The police chief of Prince George’s County made the stunning announcement Tuesday evening.
“Here are the facts: I am unable to come to our community this evening and provide you with a reasonable explanation for the events that occurred last night,” Chief Henry P. Stawinski III said at a press conference, and then repeated himself.

“I am unable to come to our community this evening and provide you with a reasonable explanation for the events that occurred last night.”

“I have concluded that what happened last night is a crime. There are no circumstances under which this outcome is acceptable.”

Stawinski identified the victim as 49-year-old William Green.

Police responded to reports of a driver who had rammed his vehicle into several other cars at around 8 p.m. Monday.

They told reporters later that night that they suspected Green was high, and smelled PCP coming from his car.

Stawinski no longer thinks that’s the case.
“We do not believe PCP was involved," Stawinski said.

An officer then cuffed Green with his arms behind his back and strapped him into the passenger seat of the police cruiser.

About 20 minutes later, Officer Michael Owen then got into the driver’s seat and shot him.

According to ABC, Green had asked the officer if he could use the bathroom — then the officer shot him seven times.

Officers at the scene attempted lifesaving measures on him before transporting him to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Stawinski said that his office worked through the night to conduct a “thorough and exhaustive review” of the shooting.

He called in a special investigations consult team, forensic scientists, and use-of-force experts.

The chief appeared Tuesday evening alongside the Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks and state’s attorney Aisha Braveboy to announce the charges.
“Less than 24 hours ago, we had a critical incident. I have been briefed around the clock,” Alsobrooks said.

“There is nothing that is acceptable about this incident.”

It’s extremely unusual for police departments to announce criminal charges against one of their own so soon after an officer-involved killing.

Charges, if they come at all, can take weeks, if not months, to be filed — and often come after intense community pressure.

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Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #164 on: February 10, 2020, 01:28:47 pm »
Monday, 1oth February 2o2o
Video shows school resource officer threatening student leaving campus with excused absence
by Katie Shepard

(PASCO COUNTY, Florida) - As William Miller tried to drive out of the high school parking lot, two adults stopped him, blocking the exit lane with a golf cart.

A school resource officer employed by the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office and a school discipline assistant told him he couldn’t leave the campus in New Port Richey, Florida, on the morning of December 17th or he’d be classified as truant and suspended.

William, 17, had just dropped off a friend at River Ridge High School before heading to a morning orthodontist appointment.

The boy told the adults he had an excused absence and would return later in the day with a note.

After arguing for several minutes, he tried to pull his gray Ford F-150 around the golf cart to leave.

“You’re going to get shot, you come another f______ foot closer to me,” the deputy said.

“You run into me, you’ll get f______ shot.”

The tense interaction played out on a body camera video that William’s mother, Nedra Miller, shared on fakebook last month.

Miller told the Tampa Bay Times on Friday that she had called the school to excuse her son’s absence in advance and that he didn’t want to interrupt her at work.

The school suspended William from December 17th to January 9th, his mother said.

Then, River Ridge High School expelled him permanently.

Despite the dire consequences for William, the two adults involved in the interaction have faced few repercussions.

The school district told the Times it is not investigating the incident.

The sheriff’s office opened an internal review to determine whether the deputy, who has not been named, violated any policies.

However, a spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office told the newspaper the deputy has not been suspended and continues to work at the high school.

“All three were acting like children and all three are wrong,” Miller told the Times.

“But the cop more so. He’s just flat out not okay to be around children. I was shocked that an officer of the law working with children would speak to my son that way.”

The Pasco County school district and sheriff’s office did not immediately return requests for comment early Monday.

Armed police officers have become common fixtures on school grounds nationwide in recent years, as mass shootings have grown more frequent and deadlier.

In Florida, where William goes to school, lawmakers voted last year to allow teachers to carry guns at school in the wake of the 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, that killed 17 people.

The tolerance of guns on campus has not been universally welcomed by students, parents or teachers.

Supporters, including the trump administration, say armed guards would prevent mass shootings.

Critics argue the presence of guns would actually lead to an increased risk of violence at schools.
When lawmakers first allowed school employees to be armed in Florida in 2018, the Times reported the legislation did nothing to bar school employees who had been disciplined for threats or violence from bringing guns to class.

At least 19 times, employees had been formally disciplined by the state for making threats, illegally using firearms or harming people at school.
In Florida and across the United States, legally carried guns have been involved in many headline-making incidents on school campuses.

A school resource officer in a Chicago suburb threatened to kill a student while grabbing his neck in November 2018, then drew his gun and pointed it at several students after breaking up a fight, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
In William’s western Florida school district, a school resource officer accidentally fired his service weapon while it was holstered inside a middle school cafeteria last April.

Two students were shot by police officers at Wisconsin high schools in two days in December.

One refused to drop a gun he had brought to school and the standoff ended when a police officer shot him.

The other student stabbed a school resource officer, who then fired one shot.

On January 31st, a school resource officer threatened students and cussed at them after breaking up a fight near a North Miami high school campus.

On a cellphone video recorded by students nearby, the officer is shown placing her hand on her gun. "See below"

“I’ll shoot all your asses,” she said.

The officer was placed on administrative leave last week, pending an internal investigation.

“The behavior portrayed in this video is inappropriate for any person associated with Miami-Dade County Public Schools,” school district spokeswoman Daisy Gonzalez-Diego told The Washington Post in a statement.

“The District takes great pride in promoting core values, such as respect and restraint, to students and we expect employees to lead by example.”
Tense interactions between armed officers and students aren’t always clear-cut.

Kids can be combative, rude and even violent.

William’s mother admits that her son could have handled the disagreement in the parking lot differently.

On fakebook, she wrote that she disciplined her son for his behavior, but she still believes the officer and school employee acted inappropriately.

“They are the ones cursing and threatening,” she said.

“My son did nothing to provoke such behavior from the ‘adult’ in this situation.”

When William was stopped on his way out of the high school parking lot, he refused to call his mother at work or tell the sheriff’s deputy where he was going.

He repeatedly told the authority figures he had permission to leave the campus.

They consistently pushed back, telling him he could leave if he called his parents and had them excuse his absence over the phone.

William eventually gave up his argument with the unnamed school resource officer and the school’s discipline assistant, Cindy Bond.

By then, Bond had already decided to give William a four-day suspension for truancy, defiance and profanity.

William cannot be heard using profanity at any point during the body camera footage of the argument, though the deputy curses at the boy several times.

At one point, when William asked why he was being suspended, Bond, who is white, told him he would be suspended for calling her n_______.

William, who is also white, appeared surprised by the allegation.

The video does not show the student saying any profane words or slurs.

“I didn’t say that,” the teen said.

“You’re being, like, hella racist by saying that.”

When William finally parked in the lot and went into the school office, Bond told the officer,

“He cracks me up.”

William’s mother said on fakebook he had been suspended until January 9th.

Then, the school decided to permanently expel him.

Miller said both the threat to shoot her son and the punishment he received were out of proportion for an alleged attendance violation.

“We can all see this could have been a disaster,” Miller wrote on fakebook.

“Someone could have actually been hit or shot. No one in this situation is in the right.”

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“I’ll shoot all your asses!”