Author Topic: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch  (Read 81175 times)

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Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #270 on: October 26, 2020, 04:21:56 pm »
Monday, 26th October 2o2o
by The Associated Press

The New York Police Department said Sunday it has suspended an officer without pay a day after he was seen on video saying “<insert Individual-1>” over a patrol vehicle’s loudspeaker, a violation of department rules.

The suspension is effective immediately and the incident remains under investigation, the police department said.

Commissioner Dermot Shea tweeted that the behavior of the officer, whose name was not immediately made public, was

“One hundred percent unacceptable. Period.”

"Officers must remain apolitical", he said.

Mayor Bill de Blasio promised swift action, tweeting:

“ANY NYPD Officer pushing ANY political agenda while on duty will face consequences.

Videos posted on social media captured the officer bellowing his support of Individual-1 from a marked police department SUV just before 10 p.m. Saturday.

The vehicle was parked in a crosswalk with lights flashing in Brooklyn’s Flatbush neighborhood.

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Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #271 on: October 30, 2020, 09:42:19 pm »
Saturday, 31st October 2o2o
police murders Black man in Washington state
by Joseph Wilkinson

Police fatally shoot Black man in Washington state, leading to protests and fears of violence in nearby Portland

Police officers in southwest Washington fatally shot a 21-year-old Black man, Thursday evening in a bank parking lot.

The county sheriff said Kevin Peterson Jr. was running from police who were working on a drug investigation, the Oregonian reported.

The sheriff, Chuck Atkins, said Peterson fired a gunshot at officers before they returned fire and killed him.

Other witnesses, none of whom had a good view of the shooting, told the Oregonian and the Columbian that they didn’t see Peterson fire a shot, but that he appeared scared and that cops shot quickly upon arrival.

Peterson’s girlfriend, Olivia Selto, was on the phone with him when he died, she told the Oregonian.

Selto said all she knew was that Peterson was running and scared before she heard numerous gunshots.

Peterson was killed in Vancouver, Washington, a suburb of Portland, Oregon, just across the Columbia River that forms the state border.

Clark County Sheriff Atkins said investigators found Peterson’s gun at the scene, the Oregonian reported.

Protesters gathered at the U.S. Bank parking lot where Peterson was killed, according to Oregon Public Broadcasting. Demonstrations continued in Vancouver on Friday.

Community leaders in Portland feared that violence would erupt in the city, the Associated Press reported.

Portland has seen several clashes between Black Lives Matter protesters and domestic terrorist groups since the May killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Washington state law requires a different agency to investigate any fatal police shooting.

The cops who killed Peterson were officers with the Vancouver Police Department and Clark County Sheriff’s Office who were part of an anti-drug task force, according to the AP.

The police department in the city of Camas, Washington, about 13 miles east, will lead the shooting investigation.

Peterson, a Camas resident, and Selto had a baby daughter together, Kailiah Peterson.

“I told him I loved him as many times as I could and he said it back,” Selto told the Oregonian.

“I’m heartbroken."

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« Last Edit: October 30, 2020, 09:48:28 pm by Battle »

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Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #272 on: November 22, 2020, 07:41:42 am »
Sunday, 22nd November 2020
Voters Support More police Oversight
by Andrew Welsh-Huggins & Gillian Flaccus

(COLUMBUS, Ohio) — Voters in communities across the country approved measures on Election Day toughening civilian oversight of law enforcement agencies, including some that took years to reach the ballot but grew in urgency after global protests over racial injustice and police brutality.

The measures take aim at a chronic sore point in many communities, particularly among Black residents: that police departments traditionally have little oversight outside their own internal review systems, which often clear officers of wrongdoing in fatal civilian shootings.

“Recent events opened up people’s eyes more to how much this type of oversight is needed,” said Monica Steppe, a San Diego councilwoman who championed a successful proposal predating the protests that will dissolve the city’s current police review board and replace it with a more independent body with investigative powers.

However, the oversight boards don’t address other points of contention, such as the lack of diversity in many departments, and the perception of a different standard of police for Black residents than white.

In San Jose, California, voters approved an expansion of an independent police auditor’s powers, including the ability to undertake investigations even without a citizen’s complaint.

The proposal was in the works for three years, but the City Council voted to place it on the ballot in the wake of protests that erupted after George Floyd died in May after a police officer pressed a knee against his neck for several minutes while Floyd said he couldn’t breathe.

“It ended up being great timing for us because as the national spotlight shined on police excessive use of force and police brutality and certainly demands for oversight, we already had everything in the works,” said Councilmember Raul Peralez, a former full-time San Jose police officer and now a reserve officer.

And in Los Angeles, voters approved a measure requiring that at least 10% of county general fund revenue be set aside for alternatives to incarceration.

But statewide, voters rejected a measure to replace cash bail with a system based on public safety and flight risk.

Critics of cash bail say it discriminates against poor people, including the disproportionate number of minorities in the criminal justice system.

New Jersey in 2017 essentially eliminated cash bail.

In Portland, Oregon, voters approved a City Council-backed measure that gained momentum after the spring protests to create an independent commission overseeing misconduct investigations of Portland police officers.

The measure already faces a police union grievance trying to stop it.

In Seattle, voters gave the King County Council the ability to specify the sheriff’s public safety powers.

The goal was providing an alternative to some policing practices, such as expanding the use of social workers to respond to emergency calls of people in crisis.

The referendum grew directly out of the reckoning that followed Floyd’s death, said Councilmember Girmay Zahilay.

A successful Philadelphia ballot issue creates a new civilian review commission and places it under the control of the City Council in the hopes of making it more independent.

In Pittsburgh, a charter amendment requiring police officers to cooperate with the city’s civilian police review board passed overwhelmingly.

“If you’re going to have oversight of police actions, then you need the officers who have performed those actions to be transparent, and for other officers who witnessed it to bring their testimony,” said Rev. Ricky Burgess, a Pittsburgh council member who pushed the measure.

“Right now neither is required.”

The law enforcement community remains concerned that such oversight boards — which often don’t involve police input — are punitive and automatically assume wrongdoing by officers based on their prejudices, said Jim Pasco, executive director of the National Fraternal Order of Police.

“Because they come from a flawed premise, in many instances they’re going to lead to flawed conclusions and therefore the remedies they would propose are going to be equally flawed,” he said.

In Columbus, voters approved the city’s first-ever police review board.

The measure was strongly supported by Democratic Mayor Andrew Ginther, who made its passage a top priority.

The Columbus police department had already faced criticism after a number of episodes, including the 2016 shooting of Henry Green, a Black man, by two undercover white police officers working in an anti-crime summer initiative.

Later in 2016, a white officer fatally shot a 13-year-old Black teenager during a robbery investigation.

In 2017, a video showed a Columbus officer restraining a prone Black man and preparing to handcuff him when an officer who was also involved in the Green shooting arrives and appears to kick the man in the head.

The city fired that officer, but an arbitrator ordered him reinstated.

Columbus police have a “significant disparity of use of force against minority residents” that the city must address, according to a report by Matrix Consulting Group last year for a city safety advisory commission.

The Columbus review board and an accompanying inspector general’s office will have the ability to pursue parallel investigations of police misconduct alongside the police department’s own internal affairs bureau.

The board wouldn’t have the authority to discipline an officer, but its report would end up on the desk of the city’s safety director, who does.

Details of the Columbus review board will be worked out in upcoming negotiations with the police union representing the department’s 1,800 or so officers.

Many officers want the process to be fair and don’t feel as if they were treated fairly by the city during the months of unrest, said Keith Ferrell, executive director of the union representing Columbus officers.

“Fair to the officers, fair to the citizens, and quite honestly doesn’t put the citizens at risk because officers are afraid to do their jobs,” Ferrell said.

The Columbus review board is not about demonizing the police, but is instead about accountability and restoration of trust, said Nick Bankston, the measure’s campaign manager.

“We heard loud and clear from the community that we currently have a system where it’s the police policing the police,” Bankston said.

“That just doesn’t make sense, and there’s not trust that’s there.”

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Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #273 on: November 30, 2020, 02:26:25 am »
Monday, 30th November 2020
Mother of teen gunned down by Florida deputy is shot at son’s funeral
by Theresa Braine

The mother of a teen who’d been gunned down two weeks ago by a sheriff’s deputy in Florida was herself shot during her son’s burial service Saturday.

Initial reports were that someone had fired into the crowd mourning 18-year-old Sincere Pierce, who along with 16-year-old Angelo Crooms had been killed November 13th by a Brevard County Sheriff’s deputy.

Police later told WKMG-TV that the shot was in fact an accidental discharge from a firearm carried by a 16-year-old at the service.

It penetrated the teen’s leg, then hit Pierce’s leg, deputies told WKMG.

The pastor had just finished his prayers, and mourners were placing flowers on the casket, when there was a loud popping sound, followed by a stunned silence before Pierce’s mother, Quasheda Pierce, screamed that she’d been hit, reported Florida Today.

After freezing for an instant, the attendees started rushing to their cars, bringing the funeral to an abrupt halt.

The 50 panicked funeral goers left the cemetery, while Quasheda’s close friends and family attended to her leg, WKMG reported.

Questions still swirl around the deaths of the two teens earlier this month, when Brevard County Sheriff’s Office deputy Jafet Santiago-Miranda fired repeatedly into the car the teens were traveling in.

Police have said they were defending themselves as the car, driven by Crooms, headed toward them even as officers yelled at him to stop.

However, the dashcam footage indicated to the teens’ families and attorneys that Crooms was trying to evade, not hit, the deputy, Florida Today reported.

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Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #274 on: February 17, 2021, 01:03:58 am »
Wednesday, 17th February Two Thousand and Twenty One

Police Unions Lose Bid to Keep Disciplinary Records a Secret
by Benjamin Weiser and Ashley Southall

A federal appeals court in New York cleared the way on Tuesday for the city to release hundreds of thousands of police disciplinary records, a major milestone in a long and bitter political battle to open the records to public scrutiny.

The ruling by a three-judge panel, which also affects firefighters and corrections officers, dealt a heavy blow to efforts by officers’ unions to block the records’ release.

The decision was hailed as a victory by New York City as well as by civil liberties groups, which have long argued that making the materials public would make it harder for problematic officers to escape significant punishment.

Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat, said his administration would move swiftly to release the records, though he did not give a time frame.

“We look forward to releasing this data,” he said, adding the city would seek “clarity from the court” regarding when that could happen.

For decades, the disciplinary records of police officers in New York were shielded from public disclosure by the state’s civil rights law.

Then, in June, the State Legislature repealed the section of the law, known as 50-a, that had kept such records confidential.

The repeal was part of a package of legislative changes aimed at reducing police misconduct in the wake of the killing of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers, which had ignited nationwide protests against police brutality.

“For the past seven years, we’ve fundamentally changed how we police our city, strengthening the bonds between communities and the officers who serve them,” Mr. de Blasio said in a statement on Tuesday.

“Now, we can go even further to restore accountability and trust to the disciplinary process,” he said.

“Good riddance to 50-a.”

Hank Sheinkopf, a spokesman for the coalition of unions that had sued to block the records’ disclosure, said the group was still considering its options and whether to pursue further appeals.

“Today’s ruling does not end our fight to protect our members’ safety and due process rights,” he said.

The order by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld a lower-court ruling and addressed complaints raised by the unions, including the fear that the disclosures could heighten the risks for police officers.

“We fully and unequivocally respect the dangers and risks police officers face every day,” the panel said.

“But we cannot say that the District Court abused its discretion when it determined that the unions have not sufficiently demonstrated that those dangers and risks are likely to increase because of the city’s planned disclosures.”

The court said many other states had made police misconduct records at least partially available to the public “without any evidence of a resulting increase of danger to police officers.”

The court also rejected the union’s argument that officers’ future job prospects could be harmed if allegations against them that proved to be unfounded or unsubstantiated were disclosed.

The court noted that although numerous other states also make such records available publicly, “the unions have pointed to no evidence from any jurisdiction that the availability of such records resulted in harm to employment opportunities.”

“Today’s ruling confirms the obvious: The unions’ arguments were inconsistent with the law and the will of New Yorkers,” said Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, which had filed a friend-of-the-court brief supporting the records’ release.

While Mr. de Blasio praised the ruling Tuesday, his administration has drawn criticism in the past for using an expansive interpretation of the 50-a provision to fend off efforts to obtain the disciplinary records of Daniel Pantaleo, the officer who put Eric Garner in a fatal chokehold on Staten Island.

The disciplinary records that are to be released under the court’s ruling would be the second trove made public in six months.

In August, the civil liberties group posted online more than 323,000 accusations of misconduct against current and former New York City police officers, which the organization had obtained from a city watchdog agency, the Civilian Complaint Review Board.

The materials represented civilian complaints filed since 1985 with the review board and fully investigated by it, naming 81,550 officers.

An analysis of those records by The New York Times showed the Police Department regularly ignored the review board’s recommendations, often using its power over the disciplinary process to nullify the determination that serious misconduct had occurred and that the stiffest punishment should be meted out.

The police commissioner has final say over disciplinary decisions.

The materials that are potentially subject to release under Tuesday’s order go far beyond the documents made public last August, according to Christopher Dunn, the legal director of the New York Civil Liberties Union.

He said the materials would also include misconduct allegations that were investigated internally by the police department, such as sexual harassment complaints brought by officers against supervisors.

They would also include misconduct complaints against city correction officers and firefighters, Mr. Dunn added.

The court’s order was issued by Judges Amalya L. Kearse, Pierre N. Leval and Raymond J. Lohier Jr.

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Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #275 on: March 08, 2021, 01:04:15 pm »
Monday 8th March 2021
Pig who admitted to lying about shooting teen got a medal for alleged bogus heroics
by Craig McCarthy

The NYPD officer who was revealed in court docs to have lied for nearly a decade about shooting a teen at “point-blank” range was awarded one of the department’s highest honors for his allegedly bogus heroics.

The department’s new officer database listed Officer danny acosta as receiving the Medal of Valor — as well as an honorable mention — for a 2009 Bronx shooting in which he claimed he’d fired off two shots at a teen as he held a gun to the head of Acosta’s partner.  ::)

Seven years after the shooting, Acosta revealed to a city Law Department attorney, under the false impression his confession was privileged, that he’d straddled the teens back, pulled his firearm and fired at “point-blank” range, according to court documents.

The Post exclusively reported the details of the contested narrative, along with a 16-count criminal indictment and pending internal trial, Sunday after unearthing the court docs.

acosta, 41, remains on the force’s payroll and is negotiating a deal to possibly retire with his pension.

The database lists the cop as on “military and extended leave desk” while he’s out on paid suspension.

He also has four other awards for police work and has a clean disciplinary history, according to the database.   ::)

The NYPD’s database was put online Monday, just days after the Civilian Complaint Review Board published its own database on police misconduct.

The department’s database does not include any complaints that did not result in discipline, unlike the CCRB’s online records.

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Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #276 on: March 08, 2021, 02:46:11 pm »
Monday, 8th March 2021
Danced at a Black Lives Matter Rally. Then They Stormed the Capitol.
by Sabina Tavernise

(ROCKY MOUNT, Virgina) — One sunny day last spring, Bridgette Craighead was dancing the Electric Slide with three police officers in the grass next to the farmers’ market.

It was the first Black Lives Matter protest this rural Virginia county had ever had, and Ms. Craighead, a 29-year-old hairdresser, had organized it.

She had not known what to expect.

But when the officers arrived, they were friendly.

They held her signs high, and stood next to her, smiling.

Later an officer brought pizzas and McDonald’s Happy Meals.

They even politely ignored her cousin’s expired license plate.

This, she thought, was the best of America.

Police officers and Black Lives Matter activists laughing and dancing together.

They were proving that, in some small way, their Southern county with its painful past was changing.

They had gotten beyond the racist ways of older people.

This made her feel proud.

In a photograph from that day, Sgt. Thomas Robertson is smiling, and Ms. Craighead is standing behind him, her face tilted toward the sun and her fist held high.

She did not see the officers around Rocky Mount much after that.

But in early January, someone sent her a photograph.

It showed Officer Jacob Fracker and Sergeant Robertson posing inside the U.S. Capitol on January 6th, the day the building was stormed by individual-1’s most fervent supporters.

At first, she did not believe it.

Not her officers.

But there they were, Officer Fracker giving the camera his middle finger.

She confronted them on fakebook and they did not deny it.

On the contrary, they were proud.

What came next happened fast.

The officers were arrested, their homes searched and their guns confiscated.

Residents yelled at one another outside the municipal building while the Town Council was inside debating the officers’ jobs.

Ms. Craighead and her hair salon received threatening emails and Facebook messages.

The officers did too.

Everybody, it seemed, was angry.

From the best of America to the worst of America.

That was Franklin County over the past year.

But what happens now?

Mr. Fracker, 29, and Mr. Robertson, 48, both veterans, one who served in Afghanistan, the other in Iraq, say they did not participate in any of the violence that happened at the Capitol that day, when scores of people were hurt and five lost their lives.

The charges they face — disorderly conduct and disrupting the proceedings of Congress — are nonviolent, and less serious than those facing people accused of assaulting police officers.

They went to Washington to express their views, and they say they went to war so Ms. Craighead would be able to express hers too.

“I can protest for what I believe in and still support your protest for what you believe in,”

Mr. Fracker wrote on fakebook after the riot, adding,

“After all, I fought for your right to do it.”

The arrests of Mr. Fracker and Mr. Robertson, who both declined to speak for this article, have divided this county at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Their supporters say that the violence of the riot was wrong, but that the sentiment of the rally that day — protesting an election that many here believe, wrongly, was stolen — was honorable.

But others in the county say that the officers’ participation looked a lot like history repeating itself: white people going out of their way to make sure that America was theirs, that it stayed the way they wanted it.

In Franklin County, a mountainous corner of southwest Virginia of about 56,000, this took the form of the domestic terrorist group, kkk marching in the 1960s.

individual-1 and the Capitol rioters, they argue, were merely the most recent iterations.

“People are not going to give up their power,” said Penny Blue, an African-American woman who lives in Franklin County, and whose father was also a Franklin County native.

“They’re going to do whatever it takes to keep that power. And that is what is going on right now.”

If you ask Black people in Franklin County, many will tell you that the current chapter really begins with the election of Barack Obama.

The rise to power of the country’s first Black president cracked the foundation of the way things had always been.

David Finney, a retired police officer, remembers a sudden resentfulness.

“For years, I thought people hated Obama because of Obamacare, but at some point, I realized it didn’t have a damned thing to do with no insurance,” said Mr. Finney, who is Black.

“White people hated Obama because he was a Black man who became president and elevated the Black race. Obama leveled the playing field. And that was a problem because before that, most white people truly felt that America belonged to them.”

Larry Darnell Moore II, 42, a teacher in Franklin County, remembers being told by the superintendent that he could not show students a speech by Mr. Obama before the school system vetted it. He was more startled than angry.

“There had always been this veneer in the county that everything is OK,” said Mr. Moore, who is Black,

“and it slowly started to get peeled back.”

The reaction to Mr. Obama was strong, and it made Mr. Moore curious. He went to several Tea Party meetings, where he saw fear — people who were genuinely afraid of losing things.

Members once invited police officers and asked if they would help if the government came to seize guns.

“I wanted to be there to say, ‘Hey, I am here, and I don’t want your guns,’” Mr. Moore said.
“Nobody I know wants your guns.”

Around that time, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were still churning, and Franklin County was helping to bear the burden.

Military service was in Mr. Fracker’s family: His father and a brother had also served, according to a classmate of the brother.

A photograph in the Franklin County High School yearbook from 2008 shows Mr. Fracker, a sophomore, round-faced and serious, standing in a military uniform with other Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps students.

Aaron Hodges was in the military program too.

He remembers Mr. Fracker as someone who smiled a lot and was “goofy most of the time,” but also focused.

They performed marching drills, watched movies and, after school, would do running exercises wearing helmets.

Both knew they were going to go into the military, Mr. Hodges said.

In the fall of 2010, the year they graduated, Mr. Fracker joined the Marines.

Mr. Hodges joined the Army a few months later.

Mr. Fracker went on to serve two tours in Afghanistan, according to the Marine Corps.

He became a corporal and received several medals, including one for good conduct.

He also received a combat ribbon, meaning he personally engaged with the enemy.

Mr. Hodges, according to the Army, saw combat too.

Mr. Hodges now works in construction.

Mr. Fracker joined the police.

But in many ways, the men are the same, Mr. Hodges said.

“He was just like me,” Mr. Hodges said.

Mr. Fracker, he added, should not be put in prison.

“He wanted to serve the country and he did. And now he’s getting eaten up by our country.”

Mr. Hodges was disillusioned by the war.

It seemed more about guarding property than getting bad guys.

He remembers doing patrols in fields of marijuana and a bombing near a checkpoint that left forks scattered on the ground alongside chest compression kits and the body of a child.

The American soldier on duty died, his skull knocked in from the force of the blast.

“What was the whole point of it?” asked Mr. Hodges, who is now 29.

He came back feeling much older, and like he did not belong.

He had a hard time talking to school friends.

But he also felt restless.

In 2019, news of proposed gun restrictions in the State Legislature caught his attention.

Mr. Hodges was sick of people complaining about the government but never doing anything about it.
So, he decided to hold a militia muster, a call for able-bodied men.

Several hundred people showed up in a public park one day last March.

Gun rights were on everybody’s mind.

Two months before, on a frigid January morning, thousands of people converged on the grounds of Virginia’s Statehouse in Richmond, to protest what they said were dangerous proposals by Democrats, who had recently taken control for the first time in decades.

One of those protesters was Sergeant Robertson.

A fakebook photograph that has since been deleted shows him wearing a flak-jacket and a helmet, and carrying a military-style gun.

Mr. Robertson served as a soldier in Iraq and Kuwait starting in 2007, according to the Army, the bloodiest year of the war for American troops, though his military record does not indicate that he saw combat.

Later, he worked as a contractor in Afghanistan.

He was “the alpha male inside the department,” said Justin Smith, who previously worked under Mr. Robertson but has since left the Police Department.

Mr. Smith said Mr. Robertson was good to his officers.

He sometimes bought them lunch.

He was politically conservative, “but not in some big South-will-rise-again way,” Mr. Smith said.
“He’s more like, ‘I’m not going to be told what to do.’”

He said Mr. Robertson refused to wear a body camera, contrary to department policy, and “was big into Second Amendment rights.”

Mr. Finney, the retired police officer who is Black, said he had always liked Mr. Robertson.

“Robertson was one of the nicest guys on the force,” he said.

“He never came off to me as someone who wanted to suppress a Black person because he never treated me that way.”

Mr. Hodges does not know Mr. Robertson, nor has he kept up with Mr. Fracker.

But he thinks he understands why they might have gone to Washington on January 6th.

It was the same reason he started the militia.

“Just stand up for yourself,” he said.

“Say no. Not just to the government taking your rights or property. But to anyone who tries to take advantage of you.”

Mr. Hodges also went to the Capitol on January 6th.

But what was he standing up to?

He talked about a sense of loss.

The old America “that is honor-bound and that had chivalry” is completely gone, he said.

Families have fallen apart — white and Black.

Now the country is just a lot of disconnected people who are bored and lonely and obsessed with being entertained, he said, and the political class, which he saw as one big scheming mass, is profiting from it.

He found that depressing.

Was there election fraud?

Yes, he said.

Was the election stolen?

At this point, he does not think so, but he is not sure.

One thing is clear, he said:

The conflict is not left versus right, or white versus Black, but of the political class versus ordinary Americans.

“Who keeps America together?” he said.

“Lower-class Americans. We are trying to make a future and keep our home stuff together. The elites, they have nothing better to do. So, they want to rip it apart.”

The killing of George Floyd, a Black man, by the police far away in Minnesota was something many people in Franklin County could agree should be protested.

But when Black activists’ demands moved closer to home last summer, to a confederate statue in Rocky Mount, the county seat, a hostility took hold among the county’s white residents.

First erected in the early 20th century, the monument to the confederate dead looked over residents from its perch in front of the courthouse.

The county was so attached to it that when a driver accidentally plowed into it in 2007, smashing its body to bits, the Jubal Early Chapter of the united daughters of the confederacy scrambled to erect a new one.

It was dedicated in 2010, with people dressed as sonfederate soldiers and Southern belles.

Mr. Early, whose name is on the statue, was a lawyer, a Civil War general and a Franklin County native who became one of the foremost proponents of the Lost Cause ideology that the war was not about slavery, but a noble fight for states’ rights.

Ms. Blue watched in wonder as the fight unfolded.

A history buff with a master’s degree who had a career outside the state for 25 years, Ms. Blue returned and began volunteering at the National Park Service monument to the county’s most famous son, Booker T. Washington.

A Black woman who is 61, she has spent hours dressed as Mr. Washington’s mother talking to people about the Civil War.

“If you ask the average white person in Franklin County what the Civil War was about, they would not tell you it’s about slavery,” she said.

Ms. Blue found history cleansing. Learning it was the only way to make America better.

But few knew it.

She remembers her colleagues objecting when a historian came to train them in how to portray slavery.

“They were upset because he had a whip,” she said.

“They said they didn’t whip the slaves with whips, they whipped them with switches here.”

When Ms. Blue hears people say that those who went to Washington on January 6th had been radicalized, she scoffs.

“They learn this from birth,” she said.

The way she sees it, the basic struggle has always been about power, and for generations, the majority-white county, helped by a twisted version of history, has been extremely successful in preserving it.


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Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #277 on: March 08, 2021, 02:46:34 pm »
Black people make up about 8 percent of the county and 20 percent of the town of Rocky Mount, yet very few Black residents have ever been elected to public office.

The Rocky Mount Police Department has never had a Black chief.

“They all say, ‘You know, Franklin County is different,’” she said.

“‘We got good families here, everybody likes everybody.’ Well, the people in power are satisfied. The rest of us are not satisfied. They’re just not used to anybody speaking up and saying anything.”

But after the killing of Mr. Floyd, they spoke up, and Ms. Blue, who had led her own fight, as the only Black member of the school board, against confederate flag symbols in the schools, was no longer alone.

People from all over the county began to ask for the confederate statue to come down.

The debate was heated.

At meeting after meeting, residents on both sides lined up to speak before the county board of supervisors.

Some Black people could not understand why white people insisted on protecting a statue that represented such a painful part of their past.

But Ms. Blue knew.

She likes to point out that the two police officers were not the first from Franklin County to try to storm the Capitol:

In July 1864, General Early attacked Washington, rattling federal defenses at Fort Stevens, near modern-day Rock Creek Park.

It was the closest any confederate force ever came during the war and even drew Abraham Lincoln out to observe.

Ms. Blue does not see much difference between those soldiers and the officers on January 6th.

They went.

They scared people.

They came back.

And they did not see anything wrong with it.

In fact, they believed they were doing their patriotic duty.

Mr. Hodges was among the people who testified in favor of the confederate statue.

The statue is part of the past, he argued, and giving in to demands to take it down will only lead to more demands.

He simply did not see how Black people could be bothered by it.

“I mean, it’s just a statue,” he said.

“Who cares?”

The board members could have voted to take the statue off the square.

But they did not.

Instead, they put it on the ballot in November, a move that all but doomed the measure.

Five other rural Virginia counties with their own confederate statues did the same.

The statues stayed up in all six.

In the weeks after the election, a quiet anger descended like snow.

The county had overwhelmingly chosen individual-1, and the fact that he was not the one about to be inaugurated put people in a bad mood.

Cyrus Taylor, a logger and Baptist minister who is African-American and supported President Biden, said a grocery checkout clerk exploded at him when he remarked that it must be nice for individual-1 in Florida.

Some of his neighbors turn their back when they see him in the yard.

“They are not speaking to us because individual-1 lost, and that’s just the way it is,” Mr. Taylor said.

One person who was angry was Sergeant Robertson.

On November 7th, he stood by individual-1’s false claims that the election had been stolen, writing on fakebook, according to a screenshot:

“Being disenfranchised by fraud is my hard line. I’ve spent most of my adult life fighting a counterinsurgency. I’m about to become part of one, and a very effective one.”

By mid-December, he was posting about armed rebellion.

“Civility has left me,” he wrote on fakebook on December 19th, according to an F.B.I. document.

“I’m tired of always taking the high road and being beat by those who cheat, lie, and steal to win and then allow their media to paint me as the bad guy. I won’t be disenfranchised. I’ll follow the path our founders gave us. Redress of grievances (already done) civil disobedience (here now) and then open armed rebellion.”

He added that he had spent years fighting insurgencies abroad, and that he now was “prepared to start one here and know a bunch of like-minded and trained individuals.”

On January 4th, he wrote:

“I’ll be in DC Wednesday to peacefully protest, the day after … we shall see.”

For days, Mr. Robertson and Mr. Fracker insisted on social media and to reporters that they had done nothing wrong.

They said they saw no violence from where they had been in the Capitol, and had been ushered in by the police.

Mr. Fracker even gave an interview to a British television station.

When Ms. Craighead, the activist, confronted them on fakebook with the photograph showing them inside the Capitol, Mr. Robertson reposted it, writing that he was “proud of it. It shows 2 men willing to actually put skin in the game and stand up for their rights.”

When someone called Ms. Craighead an ugly name, Mr. Fracker pushed back.

“She’s not,” he wrote, according to a screenshot of his now-deleted Facebook page.

“She just doesn’t understand why I fight.”

“Tyranny,” he wrote, “is where my fight lies.”

Mr. Robertson wrote that he and Mr. Fracker were the same as Ms. Craighead because the government mistreated all of them.

“If you think for one second that congress cares about Black Lives, you aren’t watching the news or paying attention to what they are doing for the black community,” he wrote.

“Congress and government are BOTH of our enemies.”

He brought up the summer, too:

“Both of the men in your post have stood with you when most people wanted to deal with you with tear gas and shields,” he wrote.

“Both of them have shed more blood for you and sustained more wounds for you than the ENTIRE US CONGRESS.”

Ms. Craighead was done.

Their protest, she thought, was fundamentally incompatible with her protest because it was forcing their version of America on her.

What is more, they seemed to revel in the violence.

Mr. Fracker said to a friend on fakebook, according to the F.B.I. document, that he had been the eighth person inside the Capitol, and that he had not been “that hyped up” since Now Zad, an area in Afghanistan.

Mr. Robertson wrote on January 8th:

“The picture of Senators cowering on the floor with genuine fear on their faces is the most American thing I have seen in my life. Once …. for real …. you people ACTUALLY realized who you work for.”

A few days after the riot, flags appeared on the railing outside Jeff’s Car Care, the business across the parking lot from Ms. Craighead’s salon.

There was a individual-1 flag, and a blue lives matter flag, and two others that she did not understand.
The owner wrote angry posts on fakebook, calling her a “troublemaker,” and saying “she’s wanting to hang police officers and military veterans.” (He declined to be interviewed.)

On a cold January afternoon, she sat, tear-streaked in a purple sweatshirt, in one of the hair dryer chairs in her salon.

This was not how she thought things would turn out.

She keeps looking back at the video in the sunshine of that spring day.

“I really felt that we were changing the world for real,” she said, crying.

Her son, 4, threw his arms around her neck, trying to soothe her.

“I feel like the world got it, but not Rocky Mount.”

Mr. Hodges does not agree that race was at the root of what happened in Washington on January 6th, He believes that the fight in Franklin County is about activists from other places trying to change his town.

Ms. Craighead, for her part, kept trying to tell people that Black Lives Matter in Franklin County was her, the Rocky Mount hairdresser, not some strangers they saw on TV.

But she did not think people were listening.

Mr. Hodges no longer leads the Franklin County Militia.

Since the insurrection, its website has been deactivated, and along with it a calendar of events.

But beneath the quiet, Mr. Hodges believes that the country has moved to a new stage of division in which anything — even war — is possible. Americans “are really choosing sides now,” he said.

Mr. Fracker and Mr. Robertson have been fired.

They were released on bail pending trial.

On February 25th, they pleaded not guilty to federal charges of obstruction of an official proceeding, and violent entry and disorderly conduct on video before a federal judge.

Mr. Fracker’s lawyer asked that his client get his guns back.

The judge said he was “disinclined” to grant the request.

If convicted, the men could face more than 10 years in prison.

In January, Ms. Blue bought a gun.

She believes that the country is at the beginning of something.

The old order is starting to crack.

Demographics are shifting.

Young people are marching.

Franklin County has made progress too:

In December, it got its first Black school superintendent.

In February, a departing member of the Town Council was replaced by an African-American man.

This month, Ms. Craighead, now 30, announced a run for a seat in Virginia’s Statehouse.

But many in the county fervently believe that the election was stolen.

Ms. Blue sees that as another Lost Cause narrative.

White people, she said, are mourning more than just an election.

They believe they are losing the right to determine what version of America is out there in the world.

And that, she said, has never gone well for Black people in Franklin County.

David L. Phillips and Alan Feuer contributed reporting.

Kitty Bennett, Alain Delaquérière and Susan C. Beachy contributed research.

Sabrina Tavernise is a national correspondent covering demographics and is the lead writer for The Times on the Census.

She started at The Times in 2000, spending her first 10 years as a foreign correspondent.


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Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #278 on: March 10, 2021, 03:32:22 pm »
Wednesday, 10th March 2021
Five Oklahoma pigs charged with manslaughter in shooting of 15-year-old boy
by Doha Madani

Five Oklahoma City police officers were charged with first-degree manslaughter in connection to the death of a 15-year-old boy who was a suspect in an armed robbery last year.

Stavian Rodriguez died on November 23rd after officers were called to a robbery at an Okie Gas Express, Oklahoma City police said at the time.

A clerk managed to flee the store and leave Rodriguez locked inside as officers arrived to surround the scene, according to police.

Rodriguez, who police say was armed, exited the store through a window where officers were waiting outside.

According to the police account, Rodriguez did not comply with officer commands and officers shot at him.

The teenager died at a nearby medical center.

Rodriguez's family does not dispute he was armed, but say he complied with officer commands to drop the gun and was not armed when he was fatally shot.

Six officers were placed on administrative leave, the department said in November.

The Oklahoma City District Attorney filed manslaughter charges against the five officers who fired their guns at Rodriguez, Oklahoma City Police said in a statement Wednesday.

The sixth officer, who fired a less lethal weapon, is not facing a criminal charge.

Rodriguez died after suffering 13 gunshot wounds, according to a probable cause affidavit from the Oklahoma County District Attorney.

The affidavit alleges that the officers unnecessarily shot Rodriguez after officers were "simultaneously giving him varying commands."

"Stavian Rodriguez had no weapons other than the firearm, which he dropped prior to being shot," the affidavit said.

"A cellphone was recovered from the left rear pocket he had his hand in at the time he was shot."

Surveillance video provided by the district attorney's office shows Rodriguez exiting through the window and placing what appears to be a gun on the ground.

He then appears to reach for his pants before officers open fire.

Rodriguez’s mother, Cameo Holland, filed a lawsuit against the city last month demanding access to the recordings after her open records request went unanswered.

Holland’s filing alleges that bystander video, which has not been viewed by NBC News, disputed police statements that her son did not comply with officers.

The filing said that eyewitnesses observed Stavin complying with demands and being shot unarmed.

Rand Eddy, an attorney for Holland, called the pending charges a step toward justice and referenced department shooting statistics from the website

“The Oklahoma City Police Department has been perpetuating the murder of innocent and unarmed people for decades,” Eddy said.

“It has the second-highest per capita rate of killings in the nation. Of the many forms of justice Stavian and his family deserve, we hope to see an end to this senseless violence and tragedy in our community.”

The police released body camera video, seen by NBC News, from the five different officers who fired their weapons.

It is unclear what happened prior to the recording of the video and none of the angles offer a clear visual of Rodriguez before shots are fired.

The video shows the store clerk speaking with officers, letting them know Rodriguez was locked inside and had a gun.

Officers waited outside by gas pumps with their guns drawn and ask Rodriguez to exit with his hands up.

One officer notes that Rodriguez appeared to be “messing with something.”

“He might be calling his mom,” one officer said.

“Like, oops.” “I messed up,” another officer laughed.

Someone asks Rodriguez over a loudspeaker to put his weapon down and move face down on the ground.

Police can be heard discussing whether they can get inside the store, but learn that the keys are locked inside.

They also discuss calling the store’s phone in an effort to speak to Rodriguez.

Several minutes pass before Rodriguez begins to exit from a store window.

“Nobody has to get hurt, just show us your hands,” police said over the loudspeaker.

Later the voice repeats, “Face down, on the ground.”

Shots can be heard on the footage, but the body cameras are obstructed by cars or the officers' forearms.

One officer is moving as the shots are being fired, and Rodriguez is only seen briefly falling to the ground.

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Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #279 on: March 11, 2021, 09:48:55 am »
Thursday, 11th March 2021
Judge Reinstates 3rd-degree Murder Charge
by Christal Hayes, Grace Hauck and Clairissa Baker

(MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota) – A judge in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin granted prosecutors' request to add a third-degree murder charge Thursday, giving the jury more options as it considers Chauvin's culpability in the death of George Floyd.

Chauvin is also charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter in the death of Floyd in May.

Prosecutors contend Floyd, 46, was killed by Chauvin's knee, compressed against Floyd’s neck for more than 9 minutes while he was handcuffed and pinned to the pavement.

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Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #280 on: March 15, 2021, 11:28:38 am »
Monday, 15th March 2021
Ex-deputies in South Carolina sentenced to prison after being caught up in drug sting
by WLTX (a CBS news affiliate)

Three former deputies in the Orangeburg County Sheriff's Office have been sentenced to federal prison after being caught in an FBI sting investigation involving narcotics and a Mexican drug cartel.

Carolyn Colter Franklin, 64; Allan Hunter, 52; and Nathaniel Miller Shazier, III, 29 -- all from Orangeburg County -- were sentenced to multi-year sentences in federal prison for using their positions as law enforcement officers to conspire with who they believed to be members of a Mexican drug cartel.

In addition, Franklin and Hunter were sentenced on federal charges of conspiring to obtain fraudulent U-visas for non-immigrants in exchange for bribes.

According to evidence presented in court, during an undercover operation conducted by the FBI between December 2018 and March 2019, Franklin, Hunter, and Shazier agreed to help protect trucks containing what they believed were drug proceeds derived from narcotics distribution by members of a Mexican drug cartel drug ring.

The members were actually undercover FBI agents.

Additionally, the three agreed to help protect trucks containing kilogram quantities of methamphetamine and cocaine in the future.

Additionally, between February 2018 and March 2019, in exchange for bribes, Franklin and Hunter created fraudulent documents for non-immigrants.

Specifically, the documents were designed to help the immigrants achieve U non-immigrant status, which, by statute, is reserved for victims of certain crimes who have suffered mental or physical abuse and are helpful to law enforcement in the investigation or prosecution of criminal activity.

Senior United States District Judge Joseph F. Anderson, Jr. sentenced Franklin to 61 months in federal prison, Hunter to 63 months in federal prison, and Shazier to 46 months in federal prison.

Each defendant’s sentence will be followed by 36 months of supervised release.

There is no parole in the federal system.

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Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #281 on: March 17, 2021, 05:00:17 pm »
Wednesday, 17th March Twenty One
by Joe Jurado

California is one of only four states that doesn’t have a process to decertify cops.

New legislation introduced by state lawmakers would allow the state to finally have an avenue to weed out cops who commit misconduct.

According to the Associated Press, state Senator Steven Bradford, head of the Senate Public Safety Committee, has introduced a series of sweeping proposals that would see the state’s Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training issue proof of eligibility licenses to police officers.

Of the over 200 professions that require a license in California, law enforcement isn’t one of them.

As such, it’s harder to punish cops for misconduct since qualified immunity makes it a struggle for cops to be tried under the law for misconduct.

From the Associated Press:

Bradford’s bill would give the commission the power to investigate officers and revoke their eligibility for wrongs including using excessive force, sexual assault, making a false arrest or report, or participating in a law enforcement gang.

Some of those investigations could be retroactive under his revised proposal.

Police could also lose their badges for “acts demonstrating bias” based on race, religion, sexual orientation or mental disability, among other criteria.

Bradford said in his bill that three of every four unarmed persons killed by police were people of color.

“These are officers who have abused their authority and violated the public trust, and we all agree they must be held accountable,” Bradford told the AP.

“We (in California) claim to be a leader in all things — we shouldn’t be an outlier when it comes to police reform.”

Bradford’s proposal isn’t the only one being considered in the state legislature, as a bill introduced by Republican Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham would require law enforcement agencies to complete investigations on officer misconduct even if they resign or are fired.

Incomplete investigations often lead to officers accused of misconduct simply moving to new departments with little to no recourse.

Bills introduced by Assemblyman Jim Cooper and Assemblyman Rudy Salas would have stronger law enforcement ties on a panel intended to consider decertifying officers, with no mention of the delicensing or lawsuit provisions in Bradford’s bill.

Law enforcement unions in California have said they are in favor of a process to permanently remove bad cops from the force but are against Bradford’s bill because there wouldn’t be enough law enforcement representatives on the proposed panel that would consider decertification.

“Unfortunately Senator Bradford is intent on making a political point instead of creating good policy,” the unions said in a joint statement.

The proposed panel would consist of two current or former members of law enforcement, a decrease from Bradford’s prior proposal.

Bradford explained the change, saying that the panel “should be a reflection of the community.”

That makes sense to me.

After all the f*ckery and racism we’ve seen cops capable of over the last, uh, forever, I don’t quite trust the blue lives crew to be fair and unbiased when it comes to discipline.

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Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #282 on: March 17, 2021, 05:05:14 pm »
Wednesday, 17th March Twenty One
white Sheriff Spokesman Posted Racist COVID Shirts Online
by Pilar Melendez, Maxwell Tani, Blake Montgomery & William Bredderman

A Cherokee County, Georgia, Sheriff’s Office spokesperson came under fire Wednesday afternoon for pinning the deadly Tuesday shooting rampage that left eight dead—including six Asian women—on a 21-year-old white man’s “very bad day.”

“Yesterday was a really bad day for him and this is what he did,” Jay Baker said during the joint news conference with the Atlanta Police Department about 21-year-old Robert Aaron Long.

But it seems the same spokesperson shared racist content online, including pointing the finger at China for the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic—the same vitriol advocates say has fueled a horrific surge in violence against Asian Americans.

In a fakebook page associated with Captain Jay Baker of the Cherokee Sheriff’s Office, several photos show the law enforcer was promoting T-shirts with the slogan:

“COVID-19 imported virus from CHY-NA.”

“Place your order while they last,” Baker wrote with a smiley face on another March 30th photograph that included the racist T-shirts.

“Love my shirt,” Baker wrote in another post in April 2020.

“Get yours while they last.'”

The shirts appear to be printed by Deadline Appeal, owned by a former deputy sheriff from Cherokee County, and sold for $22.

The store, which promotes fully customizable gear, also appears to print shirts for the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office Honor Guard, a “ceremonial unit, all volunteers, who represent not only the Sheriff's Office but also the county when participating in a variety of events,” according to a March 10th Instagram post.

The photographs on Baker’s account were first spotted by a Twitter user.

Multiple photos on the fakebook page show Baker in his uniform and attending sheriff’s department functions, including one with his name tag clearly visible.

Baker did not immediately respond to requests for comment on his personal cell phone and to the Cherokee County Sheriff’s office.

When contacted by The Daily Beast, Sheriff Frank Reynolds, who appears to be friends with Baker on fakebook, said he was not aware of the racist photos.

“I am not aware of that. I will have to contact him but thank you for bringing that to my attention,” Reynolds said.

The massacre at three Asian massage parlors comes amid a shocking wave of anti-Asian violence in the United States.

Authorities say the suspect in the Tuesday violence, Long, insisted he was not intentionally targeting people of Asian descent.

Still, police—including Baker—said the investigation is ongoing and the murders could still be categorized as a hate crime.

The fact that Long allegedly targeted Asian massage parlors and killed a half-dozen Asian women has spurred uproar online and among community leaders.

Nearly 3,800 incidents of anti-Asian hate incidents were reported between March 2020 and last month, according to Stop AAPI Hate, a national coalition documenting discrimination during the pandemic

During a Wednesday news conference, Baker seemed to downplay Long’s actions in the deadly rampage, telling reporters the 21-year-old attributed the crimes to his “sexual addiction” issues.

Baker said Long targeted the spas to “take out that temptation.”  ::)

Baker’s adopted brother, Anthony Baker, is a Georgia Superior Court judge—and, according to a profile published in January, was born in Vietnam to a woman there who had married an American soldier.

« Last Edit: March 18, 2021, 01:02:05 pm by Battle »

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Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #283 on: March 19, 2021, 02:29:18 pm »
Friday, 19th March Twenty One
Former Pickens County detention officer accused of stealing Mexican pesos from jail
by Mike Ellis

A former Pickens County Detention Center officer is charged with the theft of around $4,400 American dollars worth of Mexican pesos from an inmate.

A warrant alleges that Gabriel Lee Ramy, 23, took 90,000 pesos from a victim last year, between April and July.

The money was kept in a property room at the detention center, according to a statement from the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, which investigated the case at the request of the Pickens County Sheriff's Office.

That is about $4,400 in dollars, although the value would vary based on the exchange rate.

Ramey is charged with grand larceny, misconduct and misconduct in office.

After his arrest, he was processed at the detention center.

Current records do not show him in custody, it is not clear when he was arrested nor under what conditions was he released.

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Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #284 on: March 23, 2021, 04:41:27 pm »
Tuesday, 23rd March Twenty One
Ex-New York cop Sara Carpenter arrested!
by Don Mangan

A retired New York Police officer seen on surveillance video shaking a tambourine while walking around inside the U.S. Capitol on January 6th with a mob of individual-1 supporters was arrested Tuesday morning.

Sara Carpenter, 51, is the latest in a number of former or current members of law enforcement to be charged in connection with the riot, which began with protests against the election of President Joe Biden.

Carpenter, who voluntarily surrendered Tuesday, told FBI agents in January that she went to the Capitol with others after hearing individual-1 instruct them to "march to the Capitol," according to a court filing.

The riot left five people dead, including Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick.

Two other police officers who defended the Capitol that day killed themselves on the heels of the riot, which injured nearly 140 other cops.

Carpenter retired from the New York Police Department in 2004 after about 10 years of service.

During the 1990s, she worked as a spokeswoman for the NYPD.

Detective Sophia Mason, a current spokeswoman for the Police Department, said in an email,

"The NYPD worked closely with the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force culminating with the arrest of Sara Carpenter."

Carpenter was ordered released by a judge on a personal recognizance bond after appearing via videoconference Tuesday in Brooklyn, New York, federal court.

She faces misdemeanor charges of knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, disorderly or disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds, and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.

"Any involvement in the January 6 [riot] is serious conduct," said assistant U.S. Attorney Josh Hafetz at that hearing.