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Federal Judge – “Black Lives Matter”

Gaining traction against the intractable…

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Federal Judge Declares “Black Lives Matter” From the Bench

U.S. District Judge James Robart held a dramatic hearing on Monday that began with a fierce rebuke of the Seattle police union’s refusal to address unconstitutional policing and closed with a declaration from the bench that “black lives matter.” Robart’s comment marks the first time a sitting federal judge has explicitly cited the nascent civil rights movement, though Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor hasechoed its calls to end police brutality and validated the demands for police reform.

Robart, a George W. Bush appointee, is presiding over a consent decree—a court-ordered settlement—between the Justice Department and Seattle reached in 2012. That agreement required the city to remedy unconstitutional practices at nearly every level of policing, from illegal stops to unreasonable and deadly use of force. Since then, Seattle’s chief of police Kathleen O’Toole has pushed the police force to adopt innovative and successful trainings on crisis intervention and bias-free policing. But further reforms are necessary to fulfill the consent decree’s requirements—and the police union has tethered its adoption of these reforms to pay raises and benefit increases.

In order to fulfill its legal obligation, Seattle attempted to reach a compromise with the police union this summer, offering a new contract that mixed the requisite reforms with wage hikes. The union overwhelmingly rejected the contract on the grounds that it did not sufficiently reward officers with more money and benefits in exchange for engaging in constitutional policing. According to the Seattle Times, it was this repudiation that pushed Robart to speak out so forcefully. In particular, the union appears resistant to adopt new standards and procedures regarding officer discipline and internal investigations, which Robart insists are vital to any sufficient reform.

“The court and the citizens of Seattle will not be held hostage for increased payments and benefits,” Robart said during Monday’s hearing. “I’m sure the entire city of Seattle would march behind me.”

After scolding the recalcitrant union, Robart noted that, nationwide, blacks represent 41 percent of police shooting victims—but only 20 percent of the overall population. He then said from the bench: “Black lives matter.” The remark drew an audible reaction from the audience.

 
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Posted by on August 16, 2016 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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Another Travesty in Texas – Judge Releases Cop From Murder Charge Quoting 1889 Law

It’s like convicting the Klan in Mississippi and Montgomery all over again…

Citing federal immunity, judge tosses manslaughter charge for Texas detective who shot unarmed black man in 2013

On Thursday night, just four days before the former Austin police officer was set to stand trial, a federal judge in Texas dismissed a manslaughter charge against Charles Kleinert in the 2013 shooting death of Larry Jackson Jr., an unarmed black man.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel cites a little known 1889 case that determined federal agents can be granted immunity from state criminal charges and undoes one of a handful of indictments handed down to police officers out of the thousands of fatal police shootings that have occurred in recent years.

Kleinert was one of 54 officers to be charged in connection with a fatal on-duty shooting from 2005 to 2014, according to a Washington Post analysis published earlier this year. So far in 2015, there have been more than 800 fatal on-duty police shootings that have resulted in charges for just five officers, according to a Post database.

Jackson, 32, was shot to death on July 26, 2013, after he visited his local bank.

The bank was on lockdown after a robbery earlier in the day. Austin Police have said that Jackson returned to the bank a second time, when he was confronted by Kleinert, a detective who was investigating the robbery. After a few minutes, Jackson ran.

Kleinert gave chase, commandeering the vehicle of a woman driving in the area.

“(Kleinert) was breathless and agitated and yelled, ‘Go go go’ and ‘follow him’ multiple times,” the woman, Regina Bethune, told KVUE, a local television station, in February. “He seemed very out of control and highly agitated. I was uncertain if he was really a police officer or not. I realize that either way I needed to remain calm and help him try to calm down. He did not identify himself any further once in the car. He did not tell me his name or offer any explanation as to what was going on.”

Kleinert caught up to Jackson underneath a bridge. The officer said he drew his weapon and that during a violent struggle it accidentally discharged, putting a bullet in the back of Jackson’s neck.

On Thursday night, just four days before the former Austin police officer was set to stand trial, a federal judge in Texas dismissed a manslaughter charge against Charles Kleinert in the 2013 shooting death of Larry Jackson Jr., an unarmed black man.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel cites a little known 1889 case that determined federal agents can be granted immunity from state criminal charges and undoes one of a handful of indictments handed down to police officers out of the thousands of fatal police shootings that have occurred in recent years.

Kleinert was one of 54 officers to be charged in connection with a fatal on-duty shooting from 2005 to 2014, according to a Washington Post analysis published earlier this year. So far in 2015, there have been more than 800 fatal on-duty police shootings that have resulted in charges for just five officers, according to a Post database.

Jackson, 32, was shot to death on July 26, 2013, after he visited his local bank.

The bank was on lockdown after a robbery earlier in the day. Austin Police have said that Jackson returned to the bank a second time, when he was confronted by Kleinert, a detective who was investigating the robbery. After a few minutes, Jackson ran.

Kleinert gave chase, commandeering the vehicle of a woman driving in the area.

“(Kleinert) was breathless and agitated and yelled, ‘Go go go’ and ‘follow him’ multiple times,” the woman, Regina Bethune, told KVUE, a local television station, in February. “He seemed very out of control and highly agitated. I was uncertain if he was really a police officer or not. I realize that either way I needed to remain calm and help him try to calm down. He did not identify himself any further once in the car. He did not tell me his name or offer any explanation as to what was going on.”

Kleinert caught up to Jackson underneath a bridge. The officer said he drew his weapon and that during a violent struggle it accidentally discharged, putting a bullet in the back of Jackson’s neck.

Kleinert was indicted on manslaughter charges, with a grand jury concluding that Kleinert “did then and there recklessly cause the death of Larry Jackson by striking and by attempting to strike Larry Jackson with [his] hand while holding a loaded firearm.” But Kleinert’s legal team argued that the shooting was accidental and that, because he was a member of an FBI task force that he was entitled to ‘Supremacy Clause immunity’ — a defense that argues that because the Constitution is the supreme law of the land, a federal officer who at the time reasonably believes his actions were necessary to the performance of his federal duties is immune from state criminal prosecution.

Judge Yeakel agreed, ruling that Kleinert was acting in his federal capacity while investigating the bank robbery and therefore has federal immunity.

The federal immunity defense dates back to an 1889 shooting, in which a U.S. marshal assigned to protect Supreme Court Justice Stephen J. Field shot and killed a man who had attacked the judge. The Supreme Court ruled that because the officer was acting in his capacity as a federal agent he could not be tried or found guilty of murder.

Kleinert’s attorney argued that while he was an Austin detective, he was also deputized as an FBI agent, and therefore immune from prosecution.

“The court concludes that from the time Kleinert began his conversations with Jackson until the time Jackson died, Kleinert was acting in his capacity as a federal officer,” Yeakel wrote. “At all times, Kleinert was attempting to detain and arrest Jackson for committing federal offenses in Kleinert’s presence — actions that Kleinert was authorized by federal law to perform.”…The rest of this travesty here

 

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Judge Who Ruled Against Healthcare…On the Payroll

Dirty Money...Indeed!

Turns out the Judge who ruled against Obamacare was on the payroll…

Literally!

In a stunning case of courtroom malfeasance, turns out the Judge owns part of a company lobbying against Healthcare…

And which received money from Cuccinelli!

Hat Tip to HuffPo for spotting this one!

Henry Hudson, Judge In Health Care Lawsuit, Has Financial Ties To Attorney General Bringing The Case

The federal judge set to issue one of the first decisions on the Obama administration’s health care law has financial ties to both the attorney general who is challenging the law and to a powerhouse conservative law firm whose clients include prominent Republican officials and critics of reform.

This week, District Court Judge Henry E. Hudson is likely to render a procedural verdict on the Virginia Attorney General’s lawsuit which contends that the federal health care overhaul is unconstitutional. The Bush appointee has been hearing oral arguments in his Richmond courtroom dating back to March. His verdict could serve as an important template for more than a dozen other states following Virginia’s lead.

But with power comes scrutiny. And as judgment day approaches, a Democratic source sends over judicial disclosure forms Hudson filed that could raise questions about his impartiality. From2003 through 2008, Hudson has been receiving “dividends” from Campaign Solutions Inc., among other investments. In 2008, he reported income of between $5,000 and $15,000 from the firm. (Data from 2009 was not available at the Judicial Watch database.)

A powerhouse Republican online communications firm, Campaign Solutions, has done work for a host of prominent Republican clients and health care reform critics, including the RNC and NRCC (both of which have called, to varying degrees, for health care reform’s repeal). The president of the firm, Becki Donatelli, is the wife of longtime GOP hand Frank Donatelli, and is an adviser toformer Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, among others.

Another firm client is Ken Cuccinelli, the Attorney General of Virginia and the man who is bringing the lawsuit in front of Hudson’s court. In 2010, records show, Cuccinelli spent nearly $9,000 for Campaign Solutions services.

Campaign Solutions did not immediately return a request for information on the judge’s relationship with the company.

The nexus between the chief lawyer and the judge spurs questions about judicial objectivity. At the very least, it shows how tightly connected the legal and political worlds can be and how difficult it is to remove the partisan threads from the heath care related lawsuits.

Gawker goes further – and exposes that the Judge was paid between $32,000 and $108,000 for the firm’s work on behalf of anti-healthcare Republicans!

Dirty money? You bet!

The Virginia Congress should be investigating, and looking at impeaching the Kook.

The US Congress should be investigating and looking at impeaching Hudson.

The FBI should be investigating both these guys for fraud and money laundering.

 

 
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Posted by on December 13, 2010 in Stupid Republican Tricks

 

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