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Tag Archives: Lawsuit

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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Cleveland Sues Tamir Rice Family for Ambulance Bill

The victims get a bill from the city whose police murdered their son!

The Thug in this case is the City of Cleveland

‘Insult to Homicide’: Cleveland Sues Tamir Rice’s Family for Ambulance Fees

The city has filed a suit demanding $500 in payment for emergency treatment for the boy after a police officer fatally shot him.

What’s more outrageous than having a police officer shoot an unarmed 12-year-old, failing to provide medical care, keeping his family forcibly from the scene, and then declining to indict the officer for the death? In most cases, little. But the city of Cleveland has found a way: It is suing Tamir Rice’s family for not paying the ambulance bill after a Cleveland cop shot and killed the boy in November 2014.

As the Scene reports, Cleveland has filed a claim in probate court, seeking $500 from Rice’s estate to pay for emergency medical services rendered after Officer Timothy Loehmann fatally shot the boy. The charge is especially galling because Loehmann and another officer apparently had no training or equipment to provide aid to Rice after they shot him. They did nothing for four minutes until an FBI agent who happened to be nearby took over.

“The callousness, insensitivity, and poor judgment required for the city to send a bill—its own police officers having slain 12-year-old Tamir—is breathtaking,” Subodh Chandra, a Rice family attorney, said in a statement. “This adds insult to homicide.”

 
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Posted by on February 11, 2016 in American Genocide, BlackLivesMatter

 

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DOJ Sues Ferguson After City Tries to Waffle on Consent Decree

No surprise here. The City Council was involved in the corruption in the first place.

Meet sme of those responsible for the racist court and legal system in Ferguson, here.

Feds Drag Ferguson To Court And Throw The Constitution At It

Un-indicted murderer Darren Wilson (center – back), with his arm around Mary Ann Twitty, who was fired for racism, corruption, and misconduct as Ferguson’s Top Court Clerk

 

The deal would have brought positive change to the mostly white police force in Michael Brown’s hometown.

The Justice Department filed a civil rights lawsuit against the city of Ferguson, Missouri, on Wednesday in an effort to end what it described as patterns of constitutional violations by the city’s police department and municipal court.

The decision comes one day after Ferguson rejected a negotiated deal that would have set the St. Louis suburb on a path toward reforming its police department.

The original deal was arranged over 11 months after the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division released a damning report last March chronicling routine patterns of constitutional abuses in the city, where an overwhelmingly white police force preyed on black residents who many officers saw “less as constituents to be protected than as potential offenders and sources of revenue.”

The report depicted a corrupt local government, in which the police department and municipal court “worked in concert to maximize revenue at every stage of the enforcement process” for several years. The Justice Department also released troubling emails from Ferguson officials that referred to President Barack Obama as a “chimpanzee” and African-Americans as having “no frigging clue who their Daddies are.”

The negotiated deal would have required several progressive changes, including pushing police to practice de-escalation tactics without using force, mandating extensive training for officers and making city officials engage with minority groups that have had negative experiences with the police department.

At a Ferguson City Council meeting on Tuesday night, all six council members voted to accept the deal only under “certain conditions,” meaning they were asking for changes. They wanted different deadlines and fees from those set forth in the original bargain. They also asked to remove a key line that would have mandated higher pay for police officers in the city, which officials have maintained the city cannot afford. The council members also wanted a provision removed that would have made the entire deal void if the city decided to contract with another law enforcement agency for policing services.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch said the Ferguson City Council’s vote “leaves us no further choice” but to sue.

Ferguson officials had hoped to negotiate further, but knew a lawsuit was a possibility.

“We do believe these conditions maintain the spirit and integrity of the consent decree and allow the city to move forward,” Councilman Wesley Bell said at a press conference in Ferguson on Wednesday.

Bell, an attorney who helped negotiate the original deal, proposed the conditions that the council adopted unanimously. He suggested the amendments were necessary for Ferguson to continue to function after the enforcement of the consent decree.

Bell is a seasoned operator in local Missouri politics. He serves as prosecutor in Riverview, judge in Velda City and city attorney in Wellston. He was central to Wellston contracting for police services with the newly formed North County Police Cooperative, which is unaccredited.

 

 
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Posted by on February 10, 2016 in The New Jim Crow

 

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The New Jim Crow on Trial in North Carolina

Wherever Republicans have a majority in state legislatures, they have decided to implement New Jim Crow Voting laws to prevent minorities from voting. In some states like Texas and Alabama, this has including closing State DMV offices in minority areas to make it even more difficult to get “Voter ID”. The Old Jim Crow – Poll Tax…The New Jim Crow …Voter ID…

North Carolina GOP Accused Of Intentionally Suppressing Black Votes To Preserve Their Majority

On Monday, residents of North Carolina are taking the state to court, arguing that North Carolina legislators designed a new voter ID law to stifle growing minority turnout that threatened the Republican majority in Raleigh.

The state is claiming that the law was passed to prevent voter fraud, though there is no evidence of widespread fraud at the ballot box. Attorney Denise Lieberman with the Advancement Project, which is representing the North Carolina NAACP in this case, told ThinkProgress that the state lawmakers who debated and passed the ID law knew it would place a disproportionate burden on African American and Latino voters.

“This is illuminated by the fact that there’s no legitimate basis for having this law,” she said. “We have expert witnesses who will testify that the state’s rationale for the law is unsupported, that there is absolutely no evidence of in-person voter impersonation that would justify this law. Furthermore, these laws don’t advance or expand people’s confidence in the voting process, as the state is arguing. They actually reduce it. So the conclusion we must draw is that lawmakers knew what they were doing.”

Lieberman and her colleagues plan to argue that this 2013 law was in part a backlash against the“increased political power” of voters of color in the state. Over the past few decades, both the number of residents of color and the percentage of them who showed up to vote have increased exponentially, thanks in large part to a series of laws making it easier to vote.

“To remedy past suppression of voters of color, the state implemented same-day registration, out of precinct voting, the pre-registration of 17-year-olds, and an extra week of early voting,” Lieberman told ThinkProgress. “These are the very measures the legislature sought to repeal — the ones most important for opening the doors of access.”

That access and increased turnout, the NAACP argues, threatened the Republican majority in the state legislature, since residents of color generally vote for Democrats. The legislators had an “interest in burdening those voters,” their brief states, due to this “racially polarized voting pattern.”

The NAACP is also arguing that the legislature intentionally waited until the Supreme Court struck down key protections in the Voting Rights Act before going forward with the ID law and other provisions. Before that controversial ruling, North Carolina was one of several states with a history of race-based voter suppression that had to ask for federal pre-clearance before changing any of its voting laws.

“The lawmakers sat on this bill, waiting until the Shelby ruling came down, then passed this monster legislation,” Lieberman said.

The NAACP’s legal brief goes on to say that while lawmakers were debating the ID provision, they specifically requested and received data indicating that it would disproportionately burden voters of color, who are twice as likely as white residents to lack an official form of identification. The state proceeded to pass the bill “despite these warning signs.”

Though the legislators rushed to tweak the voter ID law just as civil rights groups were preparing to file a lawsuit, a court ruled that the case could still go forward. Under the version currently on the books, residents who don’t have one of the proper forms of ID can still cast a provisional ballot, but only if they fill out a form explaining why they faced a “reasonable impediment” to obtaining an ID.

Lieberman explained that to qualify for an exemption, voters who don’t have an ID have to stand in a separate line and write down their explanation under penalty of perjury. If their reason is accepted, they will be given a provisional ballot, which won’t be counted until after Election Day, and could be thrown out entirely if the county Board of Elections rejects their explanation. “All of this could intimidate or humiliate voters, especially those who have limited reading skills or English skills, and deter them from trying to vote,” she said….Read More Here

 
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Posted by on January 26, 2016 in The New Jim Crow

 

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