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24 Year Old Man Dies in Jail after Being Held 4 Months for Theft of Candy Bar

A young man, with mental health issues, died after being jailed nearly 4 months for shoplifting $5 worth of candy bars and a Soda – despite being identified as a Mental Health Patient.

Since Raygun shut down all the public Mental Health Hospitals, the jails have increasingly become the sole source of treatment for poor victims. The results have been catastrophic.

Young black man jailed since April for alleged $5 theft found dead in cell

A young black man arrested by police in Portsmouth, Virginia, on the same day that one of the city’s officers fatally shot an unarmed black 18-year-old, has been found dead in jail after spending almost four months behind bars without bail for stealing groceries worth $5.

Jamycheal Mitchell, who had mental health problems, was discovered lying on the floor of his cell by guards early last Wednesday, according to authorities. While his body is still awaiting an autopsy, senior prison officials said his death was not being treated as suspicious.

“As of right now it is deemed ‘natural causes’,” Natasha Perry, the master jail officer at the Hampton Roads regional jail in Portsmouth, said of his death in an interview. Perry said there were no obvious outward signs of injury to the 24-year-old’s body. Portsmouth police are looking into the death.

Mitchell’s family said they believed he starved to death after refusing meals and medication at the jail, where he was being held on misdemeanour charges of petty larceny and trespassing. A clerk at Portsmouth district court said Mitchell was accused of stealing a bottle of Mountain Dew, a Snickers bar and a Zebra Cake worth a total of $5 from a 7-Eleven.

“His body failed,” said Roxanne Adams, Mitchell’s aunt. “It is extraordinary. The person I saw deceased was not even the same person.” Adams, who is a registered nurse, said Mitchell had practically no muscle mass left by the time of his death.

A few hours after Mitchell was arrested on 22 April by Portsmouth police officer L Schaefer for the alleged theft, William Chapman was shot dead by officer Stephen Rankin outside a Walmart superstore about 2.5 miles away in the same city. State prosecutor Stephanie Morales said on Thursday she would pursue criminal charges over Chapman’s death.

Except for a brief item stating that an inmate had been found dead, the story of Mitchell’s death has not been covered by local media in Virginia, and is reported for the first time here.

Adams said in an interview that her nephew had bipolar disorder and schizophrenia for about five years. Nicknamed Weezy, he lived with his mother Sonia and had been unable to hold down work. “He just chain-smoked and made people laugh,” said Adams. “He never did anything serious, never harmed anybody.”

Officials said that after his arrest, Mitchell was taken to Portsmouth city jail, where he stayed for almost three weeks before being transferred across the city to the regional jail on 11 May.

Ten days after that, the court clerk said, Judge Morton Whitlow ruled Mitchell was not competent to stand trial and ordered that he be transferred to Eastern State hospital, a state-run mental health facility in Williamsburg, for treatment.

The clerk said that typically in such cases “we do an order to restore the defendant to competence, send it to the hospital, and when the hospital has a bed, we do a transportation order, and he’s taken to the hospital.” Whitlow reiterated the order on 31 July and was due to review the case again on 4 September, according to the clerk.

But the hospital said it had no vacancy and the 24-year-old was therefore detained in jail until his death on 19 August, according to Adams, Mitchell’s aunt, who said she had tried to assist the hospitalisation process herself but was left frustrated.

“He was just deteriorating so fast,” she said. “I kept calling the jail, but they said they couldn’t transfer him because there were no available beds. So I called Eastern State, too, and people there said they didn’t know anything about the request or not having bed availability.”

When asked which state agency was ultimately responsible for ensuring Mitchell was transferred to the hospital, the court clerk said: “It’s hard to tell who’s responsible for it.”

Officials from the court, the police department and the jail could not explain why Mitchell was not given the opportunity to be released on bail.

Mitchell previously spent four months in the jail from April 2010, also on charges of petty larceny and trespassing, before being ordered released by the courts, according to Perry, the prison official.

She said Mitchell returned to the jail in January 2012, again on a petty larceny charge, before being released in May 2012 having spent a month in a state hospital…More...

 
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Posted by on August 29, 2015 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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Pulled Over for Looking at a Cop

Another over-the-top Police stop of a black man for DWB in Dayton. This comes on top of news of a Harris County, Texas Officer being shot execution style at a gas station – and what seems to be a rise in violence against Police in general. Hard to tell at this point if there is any correlation as the shooters have been both black and white. But as a person who has gone through the DWB routine, living in a high end majority white neighborhood for over 30 years – Once being stopped because the Dealer installed tags on my expensive car had a clear plastic cover (just as the hundreds of other cars sold by the local dealer in that town)…I can certainly agree with John Felton’s frustration

This Black Driver’s Mistake Was Looking a Police Officer in the Eye

John Felton was driving to his brother’s house in Dayton, Ohio, on a recent night when he noticed a police car tailing him. Not wanting to give the officer any excuse to pull him over, Felton, who is black and was visiting Dayton from Michigan, tried to drive extra carefully. But the effort was insufficient: Soon after making a turn, Felton was forced to stop his car and show the officer his driver’s license.

It turned out Felton had not switched on his turn signal at the exact right moment; as you can see from the video Felton made of the encounter and sent to talk show host David Pakman, the white officer told him he had failed to signal within 100 feet of making his turn.

But why, Felton wanted to know, had the officer decided to follow him in the first place? That’s when the stop went from being an ordinary illustration of racial profiling to an extraordinary one.

“You made direct eye contact with me and held onto it when I was passing you,” the officer told Fenton. The implication was that Fenton had marked himself as a suspicious character simply by looking at the officer.

Update, Aug. 28, 5:10 p.m.: The city of Dayton put out a statement about the incident, acknowledging that “making direct eye contact with an officer is not a basis for a traffic stop.” The statement implies—but doesn’t say outright—that in pulling Felton over for not signaling within 100 feet of a turn, the officer was complying with a Dayton police initiative called “Safe Communities Through Aggressive Traffic Enforcement,” aimed at reducing traffic-related fatalities. The statement also says that the police department “is in contact with Mr. Felton,” and that he “has agreed to a conversation with the officer, facilitated by the Dayton Mediation Center” that will “allow Mr. Felton and the Officer to discuss the specifics of the incident.”

For those who have been following the past year in race relations between police officers and black people, that will sound familiar: Making eye contact with cops was also what set off a chase in Baltimore that ended with Freddie Gray sustaining fatal injuries in the back of a van.…More…

 
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Posted by on August 29, 2015 in BlackLivesMatter, Domestic terrorism

 

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The Death of Victor White – Shot While Handcuffed

This one truly stretches all credulity. A man, arrested for a minor infraction – searched twice by two separate officers, shot himself in the chest, while sitting handcuffed with his hands behind him in the back of a Police Car.

But according to the full final report of the Iberia Parish coroner, which was released nearly six months later and obtained exclusively by NBC News, White was shot in the front, not the back. The bullet entered his right chest and exited under his left armpit. White was left-handed, according to family members. According to the report, the forensic pathologist found gunshot residue in the wound, but not the sort of stippling that a close-range shot can sometimes produce. He also found abrasions on White’s face.

And yet, despite the contradictions – and even though White’s hands were never tested for gunpowder residue – the Iberia Parish coroner still supported the central contention of the initial police statement issued back in March. Dr. Carl Ditch ruled that White shot himself, and declared his death a suicide.

Before Sandra Bland, there was Victor White: Why his death in police custody should have you outraged

It’s been 541 days since Victor White, a 22-year old black man from New Iberia, LA, was shot dead while handcuffed in the back of a state police cruiser. It’s been 358 days since the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Lafayette, LA launched its investigation into Mr. White’s death. And we’ve yet to hear an account of what happened to him. No one, it seems, can explain why this young man died with a hole in his chest.

Victor White

The circumstances surrounding White’s death are beyond suspicious. What little we do know raises more questions than answers. On March 2, 2014, White and a friend, Isaiah Lewis, walked to a local convenience store, where they purchased cigars. A fight erupted outside between two unidentified men. When the brawl ended, White and Lewis left on foot and were stopped by Corp. Justin Ortis of the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office.

After discovering a negligible amount of marijuana in White’s pocket, the officer detained him and called for backup. White was handcuffed with his arms behind him and placed in the back seat of the cruiser. What’s crucial to note is that before being detained, White was searched a second time for contraband and weapons – and no weapons were found. When the second officer arrived at the scene, White was transported to the local station for further questioning.

What happened after that remains a mystery.

What we know is that White never saw the inside of that patrol station. He died of a gunshot wound while detained in the squad car. According to the Sheriff’s Office, White became agitated and refused to leave the vehicle. If you believe the original police statement (and you shouldn’t), White then produced a handgun (while handcuffed) and managed to shoot himself in the back before the deputy could find help.

This story can’t be believed without suspending common sense. First, how is it possible that White had a gun on his person after being patted down twice? That isn’t remotely plausible. Even more suspicious are the contradictory reports filed by the police and the coroner’s office. The police claim that White shot himself in the back while the coroner’s report says he died of a gunshot wound to the chest. Adding to the confusion, the coroner, Dr. Carl M. Ditch, failed to address this inconsistency in his report. With no explanation whatsoever, he concluded (along with the Sheriff’s Office) that White’s death was “self-inflicted” – indeed he went so far as to call it a “suicide.”

Everything about this case invites skepticism. The details don’t add up. Local officials are refusing to comment further, hiding behind a pending federal probe, the progress of which remains unclear. This is a disgrace. What happened to Victor White in New Iberia is every bit as egregious as what happened to Freddie Gray in Baltimore or to Michael Brown in Ferguson or to Sandra Bland in Texas or to Samuel Dubose in Cincinnati or to Eric Garner in New York.

If there’s a difference, it’s that White’s death has received comparatively little coverage. New Iberia is a small town in a small state and even an injustice on this scale fails to capture the country’s attention the way others have. Consequently, local and federal officials in Louisiana have yet to feel the pressure and scrutiny of national media – that has to change….More…

. Yeah…And Freddie Gray killed himself…

 
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Posted by on August 27, 2015 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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Twisted – Freddy Gray and MLK

 

Yeah…I got a problem with this. Putting Freddy Gray, a victim of out of control police violence in Baltimore next to Martin Luther King seems a bit of appropriation that just doesn’t belong here. Martin developed a philosophy, moved a nation with his words, and fought against the forces of Jim Crow oppression, and ultimately gave his life. He stood up, knowing exactly the extent to which racist forces in America would go, suffering imprisonment and beatings for the simple act of non-violent resistance, and ultimately being murdered. Gray was a street kid and a drug dealer. Which doesn’t make his murder right at the hands of Baltimore Cops…But he “ain’t no hero” in terms of what he may or may not have accomplished while alive. He is a small part of a black community which suffers in small part due to his illicit acts.

Injustice in this case was a purely personal event.

Seems folks worry more about the racial background of a few folks working to end this type of injustice…Than the fact those folks are working for the betterment of the entire American community.

And no – I am not buying into the black-on-black crime racist meme – because all crime in a largely segregated America is intra-racial. Crime is more a statement of opportunity, than any wall painted large of cultural or racial dysfunction. The most dangerous thing for the BlackLivesMatter movement is an identification with the victim, instead of a disgust and opposition to the crime, and it ever happening again. I don’t think (and I hope) that is any secret to the folks at BlackLivesMatter.

3 year old Mckenzie Elliot, whose murderer has yet to be brought to justice.

 

“He shouldn’t be up there with Martin Luther King”: A mural of Freddie Gray with the civil rights leader provokes disgust, on my ride-along with the Baltimore Police

The streets are quiet tonight in West Baltimore. I’m in the backseat of a car on a ride-along with two Baltimore City police officers in late May, nearly a month after the riots following the death of Freddie Gray. There have been 26 murders this month to date, a number that will leapfrog to 43 before May draws to a close.

The media is calling this a “surge in violence” and touting theories to account for the spike, everything from officer apathy to a plethora of looted prescription drugs flooding the market and causing gang violence, but tonight the streets of West Baltimore are largely deserted. We see one group of young men hanging on a corner and a few kids pedaling around on bikes, but otherwise it’s eerily quiet.

I’ve come on this ride-along because I want to see for myself what’s happening on the streets in the wake of the riots. Many of stories told by the media have sympathized either with the protesters or with the police, thus setting up an “us versus them” dynamic that feels reductive.

I don’t buy into this good guy/bad guy type of narrative. I don’t believe that the majority of the rioters were bad people or that the majority of police officers are bloodthirsty brutes. What I believe is that most of the rioters were good people engaging in bad behavior and that most of the police are good officers doing the best they can while working in deeply flawed system, a system that revolves around the “War on Drugs,” a system that targets poor, black neighborhoods.

We ride by the burned-out CVS and the boarded-up buildings. We slow down next to the huge mural that has been painted on the side of a row house in Sandtown-Winchester, close to the spot where Freddie Gray was first arrested. Two chimney-like structures divide the mural into three panels. In the center is a huge painting of Freddie Gray’s face; on the left Martin Luther King Jr. is depicted marching with a group of protesters, and on the right, Freddie Gray’s family also marches.

We all stare at the mural in silence for a moment. It reminds me of the statue that towers outside of Baltimore’s Penn Station, which features two bisecting body profiles, one male and one female. Baltimoreans either love or hate this polarizing piece of art. Whenever I look at it, I both understand it and question it, which is the same way I felt when the riots occurred.

The riots made no sense to me and yet, they made perfect sense. For years, I’ve heard stories from young, black men about their experiences with the cops — young men who have been pulled over without cause, who have been illegally searched, who have been spoken to disrespectfully. Some have been physically assaulted.

I have also been witness to some of these acts on a handful of ride-alongs that I went on several years ago with the Baltimore Police Department (BPD). I went with the goal of writing about the fraying relationship between the BPD and the black community, but every time I tried to put pen to paper, the task felt impossibly complex.

On one of the ride-alongs, I watched a car full of young black men dressed in bright polo shirts and cocked ball caps get pulled over for a minor traffic infraction. The driver of the vehicle handed over his license and explained that he was a college student, and that he and his friends were on their way to meet some friends.

The young man was polite and respectful, but it was easy to see that getting pulled over like this was not a new experience for him. There was a lilting impatience in his voice, the slightest tinge of angry exasperation that he attempted to keep tucked away. After the young man answered a few questions, the officers let him off without issuing any sort of traffic citation.

I remember watching him drive off and wondering what he would do with the remnants of that anger that he’d kept so neatly tucked beneath those polite answers. I have long wondered where that young man and all the others like him put their anger over this kind of degradation.

But I stopped wondering on the day of the riots; when I saw the images of young people lobbing bricks, stomping on cars and looting stores. There, I thought, the anger is right there.

The riot was a release. A giant exhale on a long held breath that has been waiting for the proverbial arc of justice to bend toward it.

“He shouldn’t be up there with Martin Luther King,” one of the officers finally says of the Freddie Gray mural, a note of disgust in his voice.

These officers, one Caucasian, one Hispanic, knew Freddie Gray long before the media ever uttered his name. At the station where we started the night, there were photographs of Gray hanging on the wall. In the photos, he was surrounded by a posse of baby-faced young men who mugged for the camera. In one picture, Gray held up his middle finger. There were handwritten numbers above the head of each of the young men and below a list of names that corresponded with the numbers.

When these officers look at this larger-than-life mural with Gray in the center, they see a drug dealer next to the greatest civil rights leader of all time and they can’t seem to make sense of that.

“Put that little girl up there. McKenzie. Not him,” the officer says.

He is referring to 3-year-old McKenzie Elliot, who was killed in a drive-by shooting last August. “Why weren’t there riots for her? That, I would understand.”

McKenzie Elliot and Freddie Gray — the former was presumably killed by drug dealers (although nobody has been arrested despite the fact that the crime occurred in front of multiple witnesses), the latter indisputably died in police custody….More

 

 
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Posted by on August 22, 2015 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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St Louis Police Shooting…Police Version Falls Apart

Somebody lied. St Louis Police also claimed to have found drugs and 4 guns in the apartment…

Makes you wonder if all that was planted, too.

Mansur Ball-Bey

 

St Louis teenager killed by police was shot in the back, autopsy finds

A black 18-year-old killed by police in St Louis earlier this week was shot in the back, authorities said on Friday, adding weight to protests that have challenged the official account of his death.

A preliminary autopsy by the city medical examiner determined that Mansur Ball-Bey “sustained a single fatal gunshot wound to his back”, according to a statement released by the St Louis metropolitan police department.

Police chief Sam Dotson acknowledged to the St Louis Post-Dispatch, which first reported the autopsy finding earlier on Friday, that it may mean Ball-Bey was shot while running away. He said, however, “I just don’t know yet.” The shooting is being investigated by the department itself.

Renewed protests broke out in St Louis on Wednesday evening after Ball-Bey was killed as officers executed a search warrant at his aunt’s home that morning. Police deployed teargas and smoke canisters to sweep demonstrators from the streets and nine people were arrested, as some threw rocks and bottles at police lines.

Police swiftly said Ball-Bey “turned and pointed a gun” at officers after fleeing the home raid through the back door with another teenager. “Fearing for their safety, two officers fired their weapons,” they said on Wednesday. Some witnesses have insisted, however, that the 18-year-old was not carrying a weapon and was shot as he ran away.

Two white male police officers shot at Ball-Bey, police said. The pair, 33 and 29, have both worked at the department for seven years. Their names have not been released and it is not clear which officer’s shot struck Ball-Bey. The officers have been placed on leave.

The shooting took place about nine miles south-west from where Michael Brown, an unarmed black 18-year-old, was shot dead in August last year by a white police officer in the St Louis suburb of Ferguson. Ball-Bey’s death also fell on the anniversary of the fatal police shooting of Kajieme Powell, a black 25-year-old who had a knife, nine miles to the east.

 
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Posted by on August 21, 2015 in BlackLivesMatter, Domestic terrorism

 

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Not Just Black Victims of Police Violence

This one comes straight out of the “Handbook” on the murder of unarmed black civilians for minor infractions…

Except the victim in this case wasn’t black…or Hispanic.

Witness saw cops stand over Zachary Hammond’s dead body and ‘high five’ his limp hand: attorney

In a letter sent to the U.S. Attorney General and the FBI Director asking for a federal civil rights investigation into the shooting death of Zachary Hammond, the attorney for the slain teen’s family claims he has a witness who saw Seneca Police Department officers celebrate the shooting by “high-fiving” the teen’s lifeless body.

According to Fox Carolina, the letter details other accusations against officers involved in the shooting including a witness saying an officer pulled the teen’s body from his car and then placed something beneath it.

The 19-year-old Taylor was killed in a Hardee’s parking lot in late July after being shot twice by Lt. Mark Tiller who claimed the teen drove his car directly at him while he was  attempting to make a drug bust.

“The driver accelerated and came toward the officer. He fired two shots in self-defense, which unfortunately were fatal for the suspect,” explained Chief John Covington.

A private pathologists’ report found that Hammond was shot twice, once in the left shoulder from behind and once in the left side of his chest.

According to the letter sent by Taylor family attorney Eric Bland, a witness states “… the officer who opened Zachary’s door and pulled his dead body from the vehicle then went ‘to the trunk of his police car and pulled (SIC) something out. The officer walked back over to the man on the ground rolled him over to his side, put something underneath his body, and then rolled him back.’”

The letter goes on to state, “…a police officer with a neighboring police force has confirmed to SLED that the Seneca Police Department celebrated the killing of Zachary by desecrating his corpse. After Zachary had been shot and killed, member(s) of the Seneca Police Department lifted his dead hand and ‘high fived’ Zachary Hammond.”

The case is currently under consideration for a federal civil rights probe, with the State Law Enforcement Division agents denying a formal request to turn over body cam footage of the incident to the media prior to finishing their investigation.

Officer Tiller is currently on administrative leave.

Makes you wonder if the conservatives who attack every black victim of an illicit Police shooting will try and “dirty up” Hammonds reputation, and accuse him of being a “thug” who was rightfully shot by “heroic” Police…

Makes you wonder is the same conservatives will be spamming the Internet with “Don’t resist” as they have in every case where the victim was black, no matter how egregious the Officer’s actions were.

Perhaps when enough of those white conservative’s children run into that very small portion of “Bad Cops” who shoot first, then lie about what happened…

A few of those still lucid enough after Faux News indoctrination…Will wake up.

 

 
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Posted by on August 16, 2015 in Domestic terrorism

 

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California Drops Grand Juries in the Case of Police Shootings

Progress!

After a string of questionable decision by Grand Juries leading to non-indictments of Policemen being tried for Murder, at least one state has said “Enough” to a corrupt system which illegitimately favors the Police over finding truth.

The Ferguson Grand Jury leading to the release of Officer Wilson even drew the ire of Arch-conservative Supreme Court Judge Antonin Scalia.

The System needs to be re-evaluated for accountability…And in at leat one State that has happened.

Former Patrolman 1st Class Michael T. Slager shooting a fleeing Walter L. Scott in he back

 

California Bans Use Of Grand Juries In Police Shooting Cases

California will no longer use grand juries in cases involving police shootings of civilians after Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed a bill Tuesday banning the secret deliberations.

SB 227, authored by state Sen. Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles), makes California the first state to ban the use of grand juries to decide whether law enforcement should face criminal charges in use-of-force cases. The ban, which will go into effect next year, comes after grand juries failed to indict police officers who killed unarmed black men in Ferguson, Missouri, and Staten Island, New York, last year, heightening scrutiny of the process.

Mitchell argues that the grand jury process, during which evidence is presented to a panel of civilians in secret, fosters a lack of trust in the system.

“One doesn’t have to be a lawyer to understand why SB227 makes sense,”  Mitchell said in a statement, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. “The use of the criminal grand jury process, and the refusal to indict as occurred in Ferguson and other communities of color, has fostered an atmosphere of suspicion that threatens to compromise our justice system.”

Under the new rules, prosecutors must decide whether police officers should face criminal charges for killing someone in the line of duty.

Brown also signed the Right to Record Act Tuesday, which clarifies civilians’ right to record police officers.

 

 
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Posted by on August 13, 2015 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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