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Tag Archives: Lawsuit

Cops Tase, Sic Police Dog on Restrained Man – Man Wins Lawsuit

At some point the City Mayors, councils and elected figures have to be held into account for this.

WATCH: Cops hold man down and sic K-9 on him after beating him — for dancing in a parking lot

A Washington man has settled a lawsuit with the city of Tukwila after police officers assaulted him following a complaint that he was dancing in an industrial parking lot, reports the Seattle Times.

The city will pay Linson Tara $100,000 to settle a civil-rights lawsuit filed after the officers used Tasers, their fists and then a police dog on him while he was being restrained.

Tara was facing three counts of fourth-degree assault on police officers, but those charges were dropped when dash cam video showed one of the officers holding Tara on the hood of the police cruiser while his partner used a Taser on him.

Tara can then be seen being thrown to the ground with the two cops piled on him as one punched him repeatedly while the other held him down.

During the entire altercation a police dog is heard frantically barking and appears on screen after being released from the cruiser where it proceeds to attack Tara as he is restrained.

One officer can be heard telling Tara, “Put your hands behind your back and I’ll take the dog off.”

Tara was later transported to a local hospital treated for injuries that included dog bites.

In  the police report, officers Brent Frank and Mike Boehmer stated that they had been called to the parking lot after receiving a report that Tara was “walking around, yelling and dancing.”

According to the lawsuit, the officers used excessive force, noting that by the time Tara was rolled over he appeared to be unconscious.

The lawsuit also challenged the the city’s policy of allowing police dogs to bite suspects as a “pain compliance” technique.

The department previously found the officers’ use of force, including the deployment of the K-9, to be within their guidelines.

 
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Posted by on May 21, 2016 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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Discrimination Lawsuit Against Airbnb

Not sure how this suit ties to Airbnb corporation, at least the way this article explains it, as the provider of rental space is the decision maker. The transaction is between the property owner and the prospective tenant.

Airbnb slapped with suit for alleged discrimination against black guests

An African-American man who claims he was subjected to race-based discrimination while using Airbnb slapped the company with a proposed class action in a Washington D.C. federal court Tuesday, alleging that the company has routinely violated the Fair Housing Act and the civil rights of people of color.

The complaint alleges that 25-year-old Gregory Seldon was denied accommodation in Philadelphia in March 2015 due to his race.

Court documents state that he was looking for housing while planning a weekend getaway with friends, and turned to Airbnb as a cost-friendly option. At the time, his Airbnb profile was linked to his Facebook, so it displayed his profile picture, race, education and age when he requested housing.

He claims an Airbnb host rejected his initial application but subsequently accepted the same application when Seldon re-applied using profiles imitating white men, one under the name “Jessie” and another under the name “Todd.”

The complaint also claims that the company “shamed Selden for speaking out” when he complained about the discriminatory practices.

The host agent balked at his claims and instead told Seldon that “people like [him] were simply victimizing [himself],” according to court documents.

Seldon is seeking injunctive relief and unspecified damages as part of the class action.

This is not the first time Airbnb has been accused of not doing enough on discrimination.

Seldon’s story gained attention earlier this year when it helped inspire the viral hashtag #AirbnbWhileBlack, in which a flood of Twitter users shared stories about negative experiences using the house-sharing app and website.

That conversation also builds on a  2014 Harvard study that found “requests from guests with distinctively African-American names are roughly 16% less likely to be accepted than identical guests with distinctively white names.”

For its part, Airbnb has emphatically denied that it condones racism or discriminatory practices. The company’s anti-discrimination policy states that it prohibits “content that promotes discrimination, bigotry, racism, hatred, harassment or harm against any individual or group, and we require all users to comply with local laws and regulations.”

Airbnb’s director of public affairs reiterated the company’s anti-discrimination policy in an email toMashable. 

 

 
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Posted by on May 19, 2016 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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Loretta Lynch Opens Up With Both Barrels on North Carolina Anti-LGBT Law

If the so called “Bathroom Law” is Constitutional – then the states are legally able to introduce Jim Crow all over again. The goal of the racist Republicans is to give a religious exemption for racism in their states.

Loretta Lynch destroys North Carolina for ‘state-sponsored discrimination’ against trans people

Attorney General Loretta Lynch on Monday accused the state of North Carolina of “state-sponsored discrimination against transgender individuals.”

Lynch said during a press conference the controversial “bathroom” law targeted transgender people who sought “to engage in the most private of functions in a place of safety and security, a right taken for granted by most of us.”

She also warned that the federal government could curtail federal funding for North Carolina if the state continued to enforce the law.

She noted that the Justice Department had sent a letter to North Carolina governor Pat McCrory, warning that the law violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. But “instead of replying, North Carolina and its governor chose to respond by suing, thus we are filing civil rights lawsuit against North Carolina,” Lynch said.

“What we must never do is turn on our neighbors, our family members, and our fellow Americans for something they cannot control and deny what makes them human. This is why none of us can stand by when a state enters the business of legislation identity and insists a person pretend to be something or someone they are not.”

“This is not the first time we’ve seen discriminatory responses to moments of progress,” she remarked. “This law provides no benefit to society. All it does it harm innocent Americans.”

Lynch also chided North Carolina, saying that “this country was founded on equal rights for all.”

The so-called “bathroom law” requires that people use the restroom corresponding to their birth gender. The law also prohibits local governments from banning discrimination against LGBT people.

The Department of Justice sued North Carolina on Monday, seeking a permanent injunction to block the law and a declaration that it is discriminatory.

More than $800 million in federally-backed loans for public universities are at risk if North Carolina refuses to comply with the federal government, according to the Associated Press. The University of North Carolina system could lose more than $1.4 billion in federal funding.

 
 

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Tamir Rice Murder and Cover up Cost Cleveland Taxpayers $6 Million

Despite crooked DA’s running fake Grand Juries, the Civil Courts have become another issue for cities insistent on protecting murderous Cops. While Cleveland hasn’t quite caught up with Chicago on the taxpayer burden for bad policing, there may be no shortage of cases entering the docket.

I am thinking that one of these cities needs to be hit for about $50 million before any serious effort at reform will come about.

Tamir Rice

City of Cleveland to pay $6 million to Tamir Rice’s family to settle lawsuit

The city of Cleveland has agreed to pay Tamir Rice’s family $6 million to settle a federal lawsuit filed over the boy’s November 2014 shooting death by city police.

The settlement, announced Monday, does not resolve all of the lingering legal issues surrounding the 12-year-old’s killing. However, it is a sign that both the city and the boy’s family did not want to endure what could be tension-filled and expensive litigation process that could last years.

The settlement was revealed via a court filing from U.S. District Judge Dan Polster, who presided over settlement talks.

Tamir Rice’s estate will receive $5.5 million, Samaria Rice, the boy’s mother, and his sister Tajai Rice will each receive $250,000. Neither the city, officers Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback nor dispatchers involved will admit to any wrongdoing. The city will pay $3 million this year and $3 million in 2017.

(You can read the court filing here or at the bottom of this story.)

The settlement must be approved by a Cuyahoga County Probate Court judge before it is final.

The amount the family will receive is in line with amounts paid in other high profile police use-of-force cases nationally in the past year. For example, the city of Chicago in 2015 paid $5 million to the family of Laquan McDonald before a lawsuit was even filed over his police shooting death.

And the city of Baltimore agreed to pay $6.4 million to the family of Freddie Gray, whose neck was broken in a police van in April 2015.

Attorneys representing the Rice family say that while the settlement is “historic in financial terms, no amount of money can adequately compensate for the loss of a life.”

The statement continues, “in a situation such as this, there is no such thing as closure or justice. Nothing will bring Tamir back. His unnecessary and premature death leaves a gaping hole for those who  knew and loved him that can never be filled.” …More Here

 
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Posted by on April 25, 2016 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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Bible Thumping School Board Gets Slammed

Had a boss one time that would call his staff together to pray over our business proposals. Never quite figured out how somehow God had any reason to favor us over the other 10 of 15 companies making proposals, because at least some of those companies were made up of some folks who went to church too. Needless to say, it didn’t improve our win percentage.

One of the biggest problems with the far right is not understanding, and trampling all over the basic rules of our Constitution, and the rights of everyone who believes differently than they do. My personal philosophy always has been that if someone feels the need to pray to whatever Deity they believe in, then I owe them the common human decency to let them go about their personal business. That decency doesn’t extend to being forced to pray with them. Respect for other people seems to be the first thing the zealots lose, whether christians or any of the world’s other religions.

This Bible-thumping school board just learned the cost of willfully defying the US Constitution

Members of a California school board who heavily used prayer during public meetings are being ordered to pay more than $200,000 in lawyers fees, theSan Bernardino Sun reports.

On February 18, U.S. District Judge Jesus Bernal ordered the Chino Valley Unified School Board to stop a years-long practice of “reciting prayers, Bible readings and proselytizing at board meetings,” the Sun reports.

On Thursday, the judge ordered board president Andrew Cruz, along with board members James Na and Sylvio Orzco to pay out  $202,971.70 to the Freedom From Religion Foundation in association with their November 2014 lawsuit.

In the suit, the FFRF claimed that Na “often injects religion into his comments” at meeting conclusions while Cruz regularly concluded with a Bible reading. Prayers were also used to open the public meetings. But it didn’t stop there. Regular attendees complained the board members often stopped business to make long professions of their faith, according to the Sun.

Na at one meeting either mentioned or discussed Jesus 10 times.

“Our plaintiffs told us the board proceedings were more like a church service than a school board meeting,” FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor said in February, according to American School and University. “So my reaction to the ruling is, ‘Hallelujah!’”

 
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Posted by on April 7, 2016 in Domestic terrorism

 

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Out of Control Policing in South Carolina

This is incredible. SC Cops stop a couple diving legally…Because the car they are driving has temporary tags. That devolves, based solely on an Officer’s belief that there “is something there” into illegal searches of the vehicle, and ultimately a roadside body cavity search.

Video shows white cops performing roadside cavity search of black man

For the past few weeks, I’ve been working on an investigative series about police abuse in South Carolina. I’ve found a dizzying number of cases, including illegal arrests, botched raids, fatal shootings and serious questions about how all those incidents are investigated. Many of these cases were previously unreported, or if they were reported, the initial reports were a far cry from what actually happened. The series will run at some point in the next week. But in the meantime, I want to share one particularly horrifying incident that I came across this week while researching the series.

According to a federal lawsuit filed by attorney Robert Phillipswhat you see in the video below occurred in the town of Aiken, S.C., starting at about 12:20 p.m. on Oct. 2, 2014. The two occupants of the car are black. All the police officers are white.

See the VIdeo Here.

Here’s what happened: Lakeya Hicks and Elijah Pontoon were in Hicks’s car just a couple of blocks from downtown Aiken when they were pulled over by Officer Chris Medlin of the Aiken Department of Public Safety. Hicks was driving. She had recently purchased the car, so it still had temporary tags.

In the video, Medlin asks Hicks to get out, then tells her that he stopped her because of the “paper tag” on her car. This already is a problem. There’s no law against temporary tags in South Carolina, so long as they haven’t expired.

Medlin then asks Pontoon for identification. Since he was in the passenger seat, Pontoon wouldn’t have been required to provide ID even if the stop had been legitimate. Still, he provides his driver’s license to Medlin. A couple of minutes later, Medlin tells Hicks that her license and tags check out. (You can see the time stamp in the lower left corner of the video.) This should be the end of the stop — which, again, should never have happened in the first place.

Instead, Medlin orders Pontoon out of the vehicle and handcuffs him. He also orders Hicks out of the car. Pontoon then asks Medlin what’s happening. Medlin ignores him. Pontoon asks again. Medlin responds that he’ll “explain it all in a minute.” Several minutes later, a female officers appears. Medlin then tells Pontoon, “Because of your history, I’ve got a dog coming in here. Gonna walk a dog around the car.” About 30 seconds later, he adds, “You gonna pay for this one, boy.”

Moments later, a K9 officer named Clark Smith arrives. He walks around the car with his dog. A fourth police officer then shows up. The four officers then spend the next 15 minutes conducting a thorough search of the car. Early into the search, Medlin exclaims, “Uh-huh!” as if he has found something incriminating. But nothing comes of it.

After the search of the car comes up empty, Medlin tells the female officer to “search her real good,” referring to Hicks. The personal search of Hicks is conducted off camera, but according to the complaint filed by Phillips, it allegedly involved exposing Hicks’s breasts on the side of the road in a populated area. The complaint also alleges that this was all done in direct view of the three male officers. That search, too, produced no contraband.

The officers then turn their attention to Pontoon. Medlin asks Pontoon to get out of the car. He cuffs him and begins to pat him down. Toward the end of the first video, at about the 12:46:30 mark, he tells Pontoon: “You’ve got something here right between your legs. There’s something hard right there between your legs.” Medlin says that he’s going to “put some gloves on.”

The anal probe happens out of direct view of the camera, but the audio leaves little doubt about what’s happening. Pontoon at one point says that one of the officers is grabbing his hemorrhoids. Medlin appears to reply, “I’ve had hemorrhoids, and they ain’t that hard.” At about 12:47:15 in the video, the audio actually suggests that two officers may have inserted fingers into Pontoon’s rectum, as one asks, “What are you talking about, right here?” The other replies, “Right straight up in there.”

Pontoon then again tells the officers that they’re pushing on a hemorrhoid. One officer responds, “If that’s a hemorrhoid, that’s a hemorrhoid, all right? But that don’t feel like no hemorrhoid to me.”

The officers apparently continue to search Pontoon’s rectum for another three minutes. They found no contraband. At 12:50:25, Medlin tells Pontoon to turn around and explains that he suspects him because he recognized him from when he worked narcotics. “Now I know you from before, from when I worked dope. I seen you. That’s why I put a dog on the car.”

That was Medlin’s “reasonable suspicion” to call for a drug dog — he thought he recognized Pontoon from a drug case. Medlin could well have been correct about recognizing Pontoon. He has a lengthy criminal history that includes drug charges, although his record appears to be clean since 2006, save for one arrest for “failure to comply.” Of course, even if Medlin did recognize Pontoon, that in itself isn’t cause to even stop him, much less search his car, or to subject him to a roadside cavity search.

With no contraband and no traffic violation to justify the stop in the first place, Medlin concluded the stop by giving Hicks a “courtesy warning,” although according to the complaint, there’s no indication of what the warning was actually for. Perhaps it was to warn to steer clear of police officers in Aiken….Read The Rest Here

 

 
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Posted by on April 1, 2016 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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US Bans Hoverboard Imports – Hoverboards Banned

And not because of them catching fire!

The U.S. Just Banned Hoverboard Imports

And it has nothing to do with their fiery explosions.

The International Trade Commission announced Wednesday that the United States is banning imports of so-called hoverboards.

But while some brands of the auto-balancing scooters are known to spontaneously combust, the U.S.’s decision had nothing to do with safety and everything to do with a request from Segway, the hoverboard’s nerdy uncle.

Hoverboards are often described in media reports as Segways without handlebars, or a cooler Segway. But it turns out the new scooters have more in common with their Paul Blart-endorsed predecessor than meets the eye.

Segway filed a complaint with the ITC in 2014, claiming that hoverboards, the vast majority of which are manufactured in China, infringed on some of their patents and copyrights. The particular patents they listed mostly have to do with technologies that allow Segways to self-balance and read user inputs.

“In recent years, there has been an influx of low quality two-wheel personal transporters built on the intellectual property developed by DEKA and Segway,” the company, which licenses the technology from research firm DEKA, said at the time. “If this influx is allowed to continue, this iconic American product and the U.S. jobs dependent on it will be threatened.”

While Segway is based in New Hampshire and continues to manufacture its products there, it was bought last April by Ninebot, a Chinese company that Segway actually listed as a respondent in its 2014 complaint.

The ITC’s ruling goes on to name several brands that are no longer allowed to be imported into the country, including UPTECH, U.P. Technology, U.P. Robotics, FreeGo China, Ecoboomer and Roboscooters.

Segway said it would work with both U.S. customs and the ITC to help implement the ban, although demand for these products is likely at a new low. Just last month, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced voluntary safety standards for all manufacturers, importers and retailers of self-balancing scooters due to their pesky tendency to catch on fire. Online retailer Amazon even agreed to refund all hoverboard purchases.

All of which means there might be a gaping new hole in the self-balancing scooter market. One that Segway could be poised to fill if it would only get cracking on asmaller, cooler-looking model.

The last isn’t going to happen. Segway will continue to sell vastly overpriced product now that there is no competition.

 
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Posted by on March 17, 2016 in Great American Rip-Off, News

 

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