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Tag Archives: law

Terrence Crutcher Killer Gets a Walk

Yet another odd one from the courts. This one in my view, definitely falls under “The New Jim Crow”.  I am not familiar with the statutes in the State relative to murder, so this could be an issue of “overcharging” – but I cannot understand why this murderer wasn’t held culpable. At least under a lesser charge.

Tulsa police officer found not guilty in shooting of Terence Crutcher

Officer Shelby was acquitted by a jury in the shooting of unarmed black man Terence Crutcher

Tulsa police officer Betty Jo Shelby was acquitted of first-degree manslaughter after shooting and killing unarmed black man Terence Crutcher last year. The jury of nine white people and three were black people acquitted Shelby after nine hours of deliberation on Wednesday night, according to NPR.

The shooting took place last September and was captured on video which shows Crutcher with his hands above his head as he walks towards his vehicle that is stalled in the middle of the road. Aerial footage of the shooting was also taken by Shelby’s husband, a Tulsa police officer who was operating the department’s helicopter that evening.

Shelby said that she used lethal force because she feared for her life as she believed Crutcher attempted to reach into a car to, presumably, grab a weapon. The officer arrived at the scene where Crutcher’s car was stalled in the middle of the road, and a witness who dialed 911 claimed a man was running away from the vehicle delivering warnings that it may explode, according to CNN. Shelby testified that Crutcher was not complying with her commands to make his hands visible and that she had acted only as she was trained to. Shelby also said Crutcher was sweating and claimed that she had smelled PCP.

“We’re not trained to see what comes out of a car,” she said according to CNN. “We’re trained to stop a threat, and by all indications, he was a threat.” At the same time that Shelby shot Crutcher, another officer next to her deployed his taser.  An autopsy report found that PCP was in Crutcher’s system at the time of the shooting, according to CNN.  However, no weapon was ultimately found on his person or in the vehicle.

When asked if the outcome of the incident was Crutcher’s own fault, Shelby replied, “Yes,” in a “60 Minutes” interview. “I have sorrow that this happened, that this man lost his life. But he caused the situation to occur,” Shelby said “So in the end, he caused his own,” death.

The ruling delivered a devastating blow to the family who believed that Shelby should have faced consequences for her actions. “Let it be known that I believe in my heart that Betty Shelby got away with murder, and I don’t know what was in the mind of that jury,” Crutcher’s father said, according to NPR.

The incident is the latest in a string of shootings of unarmed black men at the hands of law enforcement across the country. Officers have seldom been convicted of crimes. Critics say that Shelby, who is white, overreacted and used unnecessary force. Protesters gathered peacefully outside the courtroom shortly after the verdict, condemning the decision, according to CNN.

“No justice, no peace, no racist police!” the crowd chanted.

Leaders in Tulsa, Oklahoma have urged for peace after the verdict. “This verdict does not alter the course on which we are adamantly set,” Mayor G.T. Bynum said in a news conference, according to the Associated Press.

“It does not change our recognition of the racial disparities that have afflicted Tulsa historically. It does not change our work to institute community policing measures that empower citizens to work side by side with police officers in making our community safer.”

 

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FBI Admits Trump’s Call to Putin to Hack Clinton Email Under Investigation

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But Wait! There’s more!

BOOM: FBI admits ‘active, ongoing investigation’ includes Trump’s call for Russia to hack Hillary Clinton

According to recently-revealed court documents, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is looking into a case that includes then-candidate Donald Trump’s public call for Russia to hack then-candidate Hillary Clinton’s emails.

During a 2016 campaign press conference, Trump made a plea directly to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s government.

“I will tell you this, Russia: If you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” Trump said in front of supporters in Florida. “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”

According to court filings obtained by The Sparrow Project, those remarks are now part of an FBI investigation.

Following Trump’s July statement, Buzzfeed News investigator Jason Leopold and researcher Ryan Shapiro sued the FBI to release all documents pertaining to the remarks.

In its response to the lawsuit, the FBI confirmed the existence of an ongoing investigation.

“Because of the existence of an active, ongoing investigation,” the court filing says, the agency has the right to “withhold all records responsive to the Russia Request, because releasing any responsive records (or portions thereof) ‘could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings.’”

The court documents also state that “virtually all, if not all, of the documents responsive to the Russia Request will be exempt from disclosure in their entirety under Exemption 7(A), which applies to law-enforcement records the disclosure of which ‘could be reasonable expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings.’”

 

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Sally Yates Smackdown of Smarmy Ted Cruz

Bad news Ted Sleazy – the kind of folks who rise to high positions in the DOJ without political appointments during, at least, Democrat Presidencies tend to be both smart and qualified, and real lawyers. Which is why Sally Yates just had your ass for lunch.

 

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Money, Money, Money, Money – Donations Pour In To Progressive Groups After Chumphcare Debacle on Hill

The split between Progressives and Democrats is growing. Money is pouring into Progressive Groups to fight the Chumph and his Republican co-conspirators. But the DNC? Not so much. The throwdown in 2018 to destroy Republican majorities in the House and Senate with Progressives instead of old line Democrats is accelerating.

Hopefully, BLM has gotten a clue from this. There has never been a better time to replace some of those “Do Nothing”, Cabaret spending, black fools misrepresenting their communities on the Hill. And get some folks in with some real fire and ability to stand up for taking apart the New Jim Crow.

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Progressive Activists Raise Record Amount To Defeat Obamacare-Repealing Republicans

And they’re using what could be a revolutionary technique.

Democratic activists, revamping fundraising to support congressional candidates in the Trump era, said Friday they received a flood of grassroots donations in the 24 hours after House Republicans passed legislation to repeal huge parts of Obamacare.

The progressive groups Daily Kos, ActBlue and Swing Left said they raised a total of more than $2 million from over 45,000 donors to help defeat Republicans who voted for the GOP legislation on Thursday. ActBlue, the main online fundraising hub for progressive politics and Democratic candidates, processed a total of $4.2 million ― a huge amount this far out from an election.

The progressive website Daily Kos raised more than $1 million from over 22,000 donors. That money will support Democrats challenging 24 of the most vulnerable Republicans who voted for the Trumpcare bill.

Swing Left, a national progressive group born in the wake of January’s Women’s March, worked with Pod Save America and the Crooked Media team to raise over $800,000 from almost 20,000 donors. Those funds will target 35 vulnerable Republicans who supported the bill. ActBlue raised over $430,000 from more than 6,000 donors to target every Republican who voted for the bill.

The spontaneous flood of donations is the latest sign of increased political engagement by Democrats, shocked by their defeat in the 2016 elections. Campaigns and local Democratic parties have seen a huge jump in volunteers. Democratic candidates in special elections scattered across the country have run well ahead of normal Democratic voting percentages.

But what’s interesting about the new fundraising effort is that none of the money will go to a named candidate ― yet. All of the money raised Thursday and Friday will be plowed into what are essentially escrow funds for each individual race. After the end of the respective Democratic primaries in each congressional district, the winning candidate will get access to the funds for general election efforts against their Republican opponent.

ActBlue has allowed users to create these kinds of funds since 2008, but progressive groups have not used them on such a wide scale until this year.

“I have never seen it used in the way it was used yesterday,” ActBlue Executive Director Erin Hill told HuffPost. She added: “The grassroots are really leading where the party is going right now.”

Large fundraising efforts for declared candidates normally are difficult enough ― and they’re much harder for an unnamed future candidate. That activists are willing to pour money into these accounts to fund a future candidate is a clear demonstration of their frustration and anger at Republicans and their legislative actions.

“Americans are horrified that congressional Republicans just voted to take away their health care, and that’s kindled real anger—anger that the Daily Kos community is channeling with record-breaking donations at unheard-of speed,” David Nir, political director at Daily Kos, said in a statement.

This fundraising model provides a way for activists to make decisions outside of the national Democratic Party.

Indeed, leading Democratic Party figures have been playing catch-up with their own voters since Donald Trump won the presidency. Activists have overwhelmed local Democratic Party offices looking for volunteer opportunities. And they have heavily criticized national party organs for failing to spend money, send help or direct volunteers to special elections.

The post-Trumpcare fundraising model provides a new way for activists to show their party the direction they want to go.

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Not the Only Clowns Who Need to Go!

 

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Yeah…Everybody Hates Them! Republicans and Healthcare

If the Senate fails to substantially improve the Healthcare Bill passed by the Republicans…We could see a “revolution” in this country in 2018 when Red state white America realizes just how badly fucked they are by their hero Chumph and the Republican Party.

Added this one under “The New Jim Crow” as obviously poor minorities will bear a larger burden from this.

 

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Chumph Lackey Alex Jones Looking at Felony Time

Supporting the Chumph won’t keep your ass out of jail. The Chumph’s source of conspiracy theories (by way of Russian spies) is Alex Jones “Infowars” site.

Alex is currently in deep soul searching conversations with the Secret Service over threatening to kill a Congressman.

Suggest the GSA convert the Chumph Hotel in DC into a jail, and keep the gaudy trinkets next to the bars.

Then again, 6 years in GenPop…Does have its “re-education” possibilities.

 

Alex Jones’s threat to Congressman may be a felony

Law enforcement officials are not saying whether they will charge broadcaster Alex Jones, the right-wing conspiracy theorist ally of President Donald Trump, for publicly threatening to “beat” Representative Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and telling Schiff to “fill your hand”—a reference to taking up a pistol.

But, says an attorney with expertise in federal law, Jones’s threats appear to break a federal law, 18 U.S.C. § 115, which states “whoever threatens to assault any a Member of Congress, when s/he is engaged in, or on account of, the performance of official duties, with intent to impede, intimidate, or interfere with such official while engaged in the performance of official duties, or with intent to retaliate against such official, the threat shall be punished by a fine and/or imprisonment of up to 6 years.”  

“I do think that the combination of Jones’s comments would amount to a threat,” says Amanda Berman, director of legal affairs with Lawfare, a consortium of experts on national security law. “It seems to be a clear provocation. Ultimately the question would have to be put to a judge or jury, but I think there is a legal basis for a conviction based on Jones’s threat which was made ‘with intent to impede, intimidate or interfere’ with Congressman Schiff’s exercise of his duties as the ranking member of the committee investigating the connection between the Trump campaign/administration and the Russians.”

Schiff likely became a Jones target because he is the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, which is investigating possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. Schiff has said there is “ more than circumstantial” evidence of collusion between Trump associates and Russia.

Jones is based in Austin, Texas, and Texas state law also forbids threats against public officials.

A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas did not return calls and emailed requests for comment.

Uploaded March 30 under the headline Watch Live Now! Plan to Assassinate Trump Leaked, the video involved an interview with Republican operative Roger Stone, a sometime Trump adviser. Jones launched into his rant against Schiff while talking with Stone, but the canny operative—who has been accused of having Russia ties himself—did not take the bait, remarking: “I’m not going to go there.”

It’s not clear whether the video was broadcast on the air before being posted to YouTube: If so, that would bring it under the purview of the Federal Communication Commission. Jones’s Infowars program is carried by Genesis Communications Network, which produces 75 shows aired on 830 radio stations.

In addition to threatening to “beat” Schiff, the rant was also explicitly anti-gay. Neither Schiff’s office nor the FCC have returned calls for comment. The CEO and founder of Genesis Communications, Ted Anderson, also has not responded to messages.

The video was brought to Newsweek’ s attention by Media Matters, a progressive PAC that monitors Jones’s shows.

Jones’s broadcast style serves up class resentment and paranoia, and he sometimes literally growls with rage about “globalists.” The Southern Poverty Law Center has called him “the most prolific conspiracy theorist in America.” Among the outlandish ideas he frequently discusses are that the 9/11 terrorist attacks were an inside job and that the Sandy Hook elementary school massacre was a faked false flag operation aimed at taking away Americans’ gun rights. Until he publicly recanted recently, he was also a purveyor of “Pizzagate,” the claim that Hillary Clinton and other Democrats engaged in child abuse in the basement of a popular Washington, D.C. pizza parlor. Acting on that theory, a North Carolina man shot up the restaurant with an assault rifle in December after driving to the nation’s capital to “self-investigate.”  

The rise of Trump has not soothed Jones’s excitable tendencies. On the contrary: He has dialed it up a few notches, going so far as urging Trump to use violence against his opponents.

In February the online advertiser AdRoll suspended its relationship with Infowars. Kellogg has also stopped its advertising, citing hate speech. Jones is still supported by Google via its Youtube Partners Program, which helps users connect with advertisers, and other advertisers include Playstation and Trivago.

The full transcript of Jones’s rant against Schiff is below, and the video clip is here.

Warning: persistent profanity.

“I’m not against gay people. OK. I love them, they’re great folks. But Schiff looks like the archetypal cocksucker with those little deer-in-the-headlight eyes and all his stuff. And there’s something about this fairy, hopping around, bossing everybody around, trying to intimidate people like me and you, I want to tell Congressman Schiff and all the rest of them, “Hey listen asshole, quit saying Roger and I’—and I’ve never used cussing in 22 years but the gloves are off—’listen you son of a bitch, what the fuck’s your problem? You want to sit here and say that I’m a goddamn, fucking Russian. You get in my face with that I’ll beat your goddamn ass, you son of a bitch. You piece of shit. You fucking goddamn fucker. Listen fuckhead, you have fucking crossed a line. Get that through your goddamn fucking head. Stop pushing your shit. You’re the people that have fucked this country over and gangraped the shit out of it and lost an election. So stop shooting your mouth off claiming I’m the enemy. You got that you goddamn son of a bitch? Fill your hand.’ I’m sorry, but I’m done. You start calling me a foreign agent, those are fucking fighting words. Excuse me.”

After reviewing the transcript, attorney Berman said it’s clear Jones indicated an intent to harm, under the law. “Regardless of the qualifying language ‘get in my face with that,’ Jones challenges the congressman to arm himself for a physical altercation (‘fill your hand’), and suggests that if the two ever ‘faced off’—which could mean that they were simply in the same room together—the congressman would be assaulted. Jones says that ‘the gloves are off’ and that he [Jones] was the victim of the congressman’s ‘fighting words.’”

Jones has not responded to a request for comment.

 

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The Republican Reich Legalizes Murder of Native Americans in North Dakota

If you have any question as to what the racist right stands for…Here is a proposed bill by a Republican scumbag legalizing murder of minorities.

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North Dakota Bill Would Protect Drivers Who ‘Accidentally’ Hit And Kill Protesters

It’s aimed at Dakota Access protesters, and it doesn’t bode well.

Republican lawmakers in North Dakota are taking aim at protesters with a handful of bills that would make another pipeline protest far more dangerous.

The oil-friendly legislature argues that its constituents are frustrated over the protests, which led federal authorities to halt construction of the $3.8-billion Dakota Access Pipeline as thousands of protesters braved cold weather and violence for months.

A bill that state GOP Rep. Keith Kempenich introduced would exempt drivers from liability if they accidentally hit a pedestrian, according to the Bismarck Tribune. House Bill 1203 was written up in direct response to groups of protesters blocking roadways, Kempenich told the paper. He claims protesters were seen jumping out in front of vehicles.

“It’s shifting the burden of proof from the motor vehicle driver to the pedestrian,” Kempenich said. “They’re intentionally putting themselves in danger.”

He admits that the law might be used in cases that don’t involve protests. But a few casualties of justice are apparently worth it; his bill would mitigate instances when panicked drivers might have accidentally “punched the accelerator rather than the brakes” as protesters blocked the roads.

Other new bills would be a thorn in the side of protesters and the federal government. One measure would make it a crime for adults to wear masks nearly across the board, while another would allow the state to sue the federal government over millions in extra police costs, according to ABC News.

At this point, it’s unclear whether any of these measures stand a chance, and there’s no committee hearing set for HB1203. It might be crazy to think they’re anything more than posturing, dissenters say.

“Knee-jerk legislation often is poor legislation,” Democratic state Rep. Marvin Nelson told ABC News.

The Dakota Access protests have cost the state more than $22 million and locals are reportedly upset over the rise in crime in the area ― police have arrested nearly 600 people in the region since August.

 

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