Archive | Police State

Few answers from police in shooting of unarmed mental health worker

The risk of cops shooting in cases involving the mentally ill or developmentally delayed is much higher than usual. Maybe cops should be trained better.

MIAMI — North Miami Police Chief Gary Eugene addressed the public Thursday morning for the first time since one of his officers shot an unarmed mental healthcare worker while he was caring for a patient. The chief didn’t take any questions. He didn’t name the officer who fired his weapon. And he didn’t say whether the… Continue Reading →

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Cleveland police union chief: Obama has ‘blood on his hands’ after Baton Rouge, Dallas cops killed

Of course, it’s all Obama’s fault. If only he had praised cops for shooting helpless civilians, this would all be okay right now!

The head of the Cleveland police union said Sunday that President Obama has “blood on his hands” after the murders of police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. “It is reprehensible. And the president of the United States has blood on his hands, and it will not be able to become washed off,” said Detective… Continue Reading →

Man who spread police shooting video arrested

Black Lives Matter Protest NYC

Maybe if the “good” cops would stop looking away over stuff like this, we might make some progress:

The man who made the video of the Alton Sterling shooting death go viral, one of two brutal videos from two states that sparked a national outrage and led to the shooting deaths of five Dallas police officers during an anti-police brutality protest Thursday – was arrested 24 hours later.

Chris LeDay believes it was an act of retaliation.

Considering police handcuffed and leg-shackled him after accusing him of assault and battery – only to jail him overnight for unpaid traffic fines – it certainly appears that way.

Especially considering his arrest took place 24 hours after he had posted the video on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram where it instantly went viral.

LeDay, 34, lives in Georgia, but was born and raised in Baton Rouge, Louisiana where the shooting took place early Tuesday morning, so he learned of the video through friends back home but it wasn’t getting much exposure.
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Of course they did

Unarmed Black Man killed by Baton Rouge Police Officers http://bit.ly/29jSd97  To get full details, log on to www.mycelebrityandi.com

I don’t think anyone’s surprised:

BATON ROUGE, Louisiana—Minutes after two cops killed Alton Sterling outside of a convenience store, police confiscated all surveillance video of the incident without a warrant and allegedly without permission.

An attorney for the owner of the Triple S Mart, Abdullah Muflahi, told The Daily Beast a hard drive containing the complete recording of the Sterling’s death at the hands of Baton Rouge Police Department Officers Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake was unlawfully taken by police. Muflahi showed The Daily Beast the barren cabinet where the hard drive had been.

All that’s left of the storage unit is a sole barren wire.

That wire went out to surveillance cameras on the front of the building. One of the cameras would have had a direct line of sight to where Sterling was standing when he was tasered, tackled, shot and killed by police.

[…] When The Daily Beast requested the both the surveillance video and the supposed warrant from the Baton Rouge Police Department, a lawyer from the department first denied the request by saying they could not turn over any documents from a “criminal investigation.” When told that a warrant is a public court document and could not be withheld, the lawyer then outright refused to confirm or deny if a warrant for the surveillance video even existed.

After backtracking on the existence of the warrant, the attorney backtracked on the possession of the surveillance video, saying that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had the hard drive.

“My client has not been informed of that,” said Porter, the attorney for the store owner.

The FBI refused to confirm or deny the police department’s claim.

“This is part of an ongoing investigation and we are unable to comment at this time,” Craig Betbeze, an FBI spokesperson told The Daily Beast.

Police: 10 officers shot, 3 dead in Dallas

Maybe it would be a good idea to stop selling people guns.

Busted

Laboratory Glassware

ProPublica Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Comment Donate Busted Tens of thousands of people every year are sent to jail based on the results of a $2 roadside drug test. Widespread evidence shows that these tests routinely produce false positives. Why are police departments and prosecutors still using them? by Ryan Gabrielson and Topher Sanders,… Continue Reading →

Freddie Gray Police Van Driver Acquitted in Bench Trial

Thursday morning may prove to be a true turning point in the series of trials stemming from the 2015 arrest and subsequent death of Freddie Gray, events which thrust the City of Baltimore into the international spotlight.

As Circuit Judge Barry G. Williams issued a ruling in the case of Officer Caesar Goodson acquitting the officer of murder charges, many observers believe that the fates of the other officers still awaiting trial may be significantly impacted by the outcome.

Closing Arguments Heard Monday

The defense and prosecution teams presented their closing arguments on Monday in the trial of Goodson, the officer charged with the most serious charge of any of the six police defendants. The charge of second-degree depraved heart murder carries with it a possible sentence of 30 years imprisonment, making closing arguments a high-stakes proposition for Goodson’s lawyers.

Chief Deputy State’s Attorney Michael Schatzow and Deputy State’s Attorney Janice Bledsoe focused on the argument that Goodson, as the police transport van driver, placed Gray in the vehicle while shackled, but failed to restrain him in a seat belt during an intentional “rough ride.” These actions, they assert, caused him to suffer severe and indeed fatal spinal cord injuries for which Goodson declined to seek medical attention.

Defense lawyer Matthew Fraling countered the state’s position by arguing the Freddie Gray was the cause of his own injury and death by engaging in erratic, volatile movement while in the transport van, rather than remaining on the floor of the vehicle, where he was originally placed by officers. Defense attorneys further asserted that no outward sign of Gray’s injuries existed which would have alerted Goodson to the serious distress he was actually suffering.

Questioning By Judge Williams May Offer Key Insights

Judge Williams engaged in active questioning of both sides during closing arguments, particularly during Schatzow’s rebuttal to the defense team’s presentation. In particular, Williams seemed to focus on the state’s assertion that Goodson deliberately harmed Gray by taking him on what is known as a “rough ride” while leaving him unrestrained in the van.

Williams wanted the state to explain what actions taken by Goodson constituted a high level of risk for Gray and precisely what evidence had been given to demonstrate that a rough ride truly did occur. Schatzow was also asked to further explicate the prosecution’s position that Goodson committed criminal negligence by not seeking the aid of a medic.

How Acquittal Could Impact Remaining Defendants

Legal observers have suggested that the outcome of this case may have a significant effect on the defendants still waiting for their day in court. With two previous prosecution efforts failing to produce a single conviction, if Goodson is found not guilty, the state will likely face an uphill battle going forward.

Baltimore Defense Attorney Oleg Fastovsky commented, “The fact that Goodson was found not guilty not only affected the strategies of both sides in the upcoming trials of the remaining officers, but it will also add fuel to the lawsuits filed by the officers against Mosby, and could very well lead to more lawsuits and claims.”

Slated for trial later this summer are Lt. Brian Rice, Officer Garrett Miller and Sgt. Alicia White. Officer William Porter, whose first trial ended in a declared mistrial, is scheduled for retrial in September.

High Speed Police Pursuits: Law Enforcement Liability and Public Safety

12 Speeding Supercar Club Driver’s Named In I-394 Chase

I have been writing about this for more than 20 years. Few police departments regulate high-speed chases, and even fewer actually enforce those rules. Yet every year, we see innocent bystanders killed in these chases:

On April 29, 2016, Louise Donner, 66, of Linthicum was killed when she was involved in a head on collision. Ms. Donner was an innocent victim of a high speed police pursuit. Law enforcement officers were involved in a high speed pursuit of Johnathon Simms, 31, of Baltimore.

According to a CBS Baltimore article regarding the accident; law enforcement officers had attempted to pull over Johnathon Simms for speeding.  Instead of pulling over, the suspect sped away and the police initiated a high speed pursuit with speeds reaching nearly 90 miles an hour.

After only a few minutes the law enforcement officers decided to back off when Simms turned onto Aviation Boulevard. Once on Aviation Boulevard, Simms sped down the wrong side of the road and crashed head on into Ms. Donner’s vehicle, killing her instantly.

This unfortunate incident is a perfect illustration of innocent victims dying or being seriously injured because of high speed police pursuits.

Although the NHTSA does not have a mandatory reporting system, there are some reports that the actual number of annual fatalities is between 400 and 500. The causes of high speed pursuits can be broken down as follows:

  • 42.3% Traffic violation
  • 18.2% Vehicle was believed to be stolen
  • 14.9% Driver believed to be intoxicated (DWI)
  • 8.6% Violent felony
  • 7.5% Non-violent felony
  • 5.9% Other misdemeanor
  • 2.6% Assisting other department

100.0% Total — The IACP Police Pursuit Database, 2008, page 56 (pdf)

Baltimore car accident lawyer John Yannone commented, “Often, it seems that officers engage in high speed pursuits when there is no need, e.g. a traffic violation, and put the public at risk. High speed police pursuits can present a significant public safety concern, especially with suspects who are determined to evade capture.”

Unfortunately, there seems to be a lack of training, liability, and reporting in relation to high speed police pursuits. There are no standard training or policies regarding high speed pursuits across law enforcement agencies. As evidenced by the above percentages, it seems that many high speed pursuits are unnecessary.

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