Still wondering why the Dems did a soft pedal on Uncle Ben’s confirmation…
Booker at least, let the committee know how he feels on Sessions
Still wondering why the Dems did a soft pedal on Uncle Ben’s confirmation…
Booker at least, let the committee know how he feels on Sessions
What the black Democrats should be doing is turning the entire confirmation process for all Trump appointments into an absolute free for all zoo. Delay, disrupt, destroy!
These cowards chickened out on confirming the Chumph’s election. Now they are trying to convince us they really care.
What needs to be done is to declare compete and total war on the Chumph administration, using any non-violent means necessary from blocking the Congress doors with demonstrators, to disrupting the hearings with protesters, and parliamentary calls. Surround every Republican’s home with black demonstrators. Walk out if necessary and any Democrat without the spine to join you – is your enemy henceforth.
Utterly and completely, by any means necessary – Break the system.
No Democrat should show up at the Coronation – including Obama.
They need to recognize that America is at war with itself, because of Putin’s bitch, Trump. Until you bring the entire fraud to its knees, there is no room to compromise.
If Booker wants to be President at any time in the future – now is the time “to make his bones”.
His testimony will make history.
Throughout his four years in the Senate, Cory Booker has remained relatively uncontroversial. On Wednesday, that will change when the New Jersey Democrat testifies against the nomination of Sen. Jeff Sessions to be attorney general.
It’s an unprecedented move ― marking the first time in Senate history that a sitting senator will testify in a confirmation hearing against another sitting senator for a Cabinet position.
“I do not take lightly the decision to testify against a Senate colleague,” Booker said in a statement. “But the immense powers of the attorney general combined with the deeply troubling views of this nominee is a call to conscience.”
The confirmation hearing for the Alabama Republican is expected to bring up a past riddled with allegations of racism. In 1986 he was nominated to be a federal judge but was rejected over assertions that he called a black attorney “boy” and once suggested a white lawyer was a race traitor for working for black clients. Sessions has apparently withheld decades’ worth of records, including documents pertaining to that 1986 nomination.
“Senator Sessions’ decades-long record is concerning in a number of ways, from his opposition to bipartisan criminal justice reform to his views on bipartisan drug policy reform, from his efforts earlier in his career to deny citizens voting rights to his criticism of the Voting Rights Act, from his failure to defend the civil rights of women, minorities and LGBT Americans to his opposition to common-sense, bipartisan immigration reform,” Booker said. “The attorney general is responsible for ensuring the fair administration of justice, and based on his record, I lack confidence that Senator Sessions can honor this duty.”
Last week, Booker, along with civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) and Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.) asked Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee, if they could testify in the confirmation hearing.
“I was pleased when Chairman [Chuck] Grassley (R-Iowa) agreed to make this possible, however I regret that they will have to wait until after a nine-member panel speaks,” Feinstein said in a statement. “Asking three members of Congress to sit and wait until the end of the hearing to testify — likely at the same time the Senate will be holding important budget votes — is deeply unfair.”
Three more of President-elect Donald Trump’s Cabinet picks are set to receive confirmation hearings on Wednesday as well.
Sen. Sessions’ office did not respond to a request for comment by publication time.
This guy, a particularly nasty piece of work was the founder of a Militia called the Minutemen, whose stated objective was to patrol the US Border, while armed. They were quite the stir in conservative circles for a while…Seems that a lot of these “macho”, “hard core” right wing types have a problem keeping their hands off of children. In this case, the scumbag’s own daughters are testifying against him.
Three of former border militiaman Chris Simcox’s daughters testified against him in the former Republican candidate’s sexual molestation trial.
Simcox is representing himself in his trial on six counts of child molestation and furnishing pornography to minors, although he’s not allowed to question the children he’s accused of abusing, reported the Phoenix New-Times.
However, the border vigilante cross-examined his adult daughter — who accused him of molesting her decades ago, when she was a child.
Linsey Randich, now 33, testified that she spent summers with her father in California, as part of a custody agreement after her parents divorced when she was 2 years old.
She told jurors that Simcox, who was then a kindergarten teacher at the private Wildwood School in Los Angeles, had fondled her genitals while hosing her off after swimming at the beach — even though she was 10 years old and old enough to clean herself.
Randich said her father again fondled her genitals four years later, while she was sleeping, and she told her mother she did not want to go back to California to see her father, but her mother said she couldn’t do anything to change the custody agreement.
She told jurors her father had molested her the final time a year or two later, when she was 15, as he massaged her after hiking with her brother.
Randich said she fled to a neighbor’s house and reported the abuse.
Los Angeles police investigated her claims, and Randich was placed in a foster home and then returned to her mother, and she eventually decided not to cooperate in the investigation because she did not want to testify at the time.
Simox, who co-founded the anti-immigration Minuteman Project, grilled his adult daughter about whether she’d undergone counseling, and she testified that she had, but only after the incident she reported to police.
Randich also denied that she accused a man at church of molesting her, and she told her father that he had never caught her with a boy at his apartment.
“I felt scared and uneasy around him most of the time,” Randich testified, saying she was frequently grounded by her father, who she remembers as an angry and volatile person.
She said she hadn’t seen or spoken to her father in 18 or 19 years, and she didn’t know she had two half-sisters until about three years ago, when Phoenix police questioned her about the California case.
Randich said she decided to testify after learning Simcox was accused of molesting one of her half-sisters — who also testified.
One of his daughters told jurors that Simcox had touched her crotch as she showered, and she said he penetrated her with stick on another occasion.
She also testified about a third incident at a swimming pool, but the newspaper reported her memory was vague, and she told jurors that her father had shown her explicit videos.
The girl’s sister testified that she didn’t recall their father touch her sister inappropriately, but she said he was mean to the girl.
Simcox, who frequently appeared as a guest on Fox News, questioned the daughter who was not classified as a victim, and he questioned another girl who accused him of bribing her into removing her clothes.
That girl, who lived in the same apartment complex as Simcox and played with his daughters, said the former U.S. Senate candidate gave her candy in exchange for removing her pants and underwear.
Charges involving that girl, who is now 9, were later dropped, so she was not classified as a victim.
Simcox, who has been held without bail since his arrest three years ago, faces a potential life sentence if he’s convicted on all counts.
This one is going the usual way – the Police and DA get “experts” to declare that there was absolutely nothing wrong with the actions of the Police in the Tamir Rice murder. The Family hires actual experts in the specific area of “use of force” who find there are some very seriously wrong things with the actions of the Police. The experts hired by the family think that the officers are guilty, for the same reason I believe Officer Darren Wilson is guilty of killing MIchael Brown.
Attorneys for the family of Tamir Rice released reports Saturday from two use-of-force experts who determined the shooting of the 12-year-old boy by a Cleveland police officer was “objectively unreasonable.”
The reviews stand in direct contrast to three expert reports commissioned and released by Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty, who Tamir’s family, activists and religious leaders have repeatedly called to remove himself from the case.
Cleveland attorney Subodh Chandra and the New York law firm of Emery, Celli, Brinckerhoff & Abady have called McGinty’s expert reports “utterly biased and deeply flawed.” The attorneys represent Tamir’s mother in a pending civil lawsuit filed against the city, the two officers involved in the shooting and the Cleveland police department.
At the legal team’s request, police procedures consultant Roger Clark and former deputy police chief of the Irvine Police Department Jeffrey J. Noble, both California-based nationally renowned experts in police use-of-force issues, pored over investigative material and determined the shooting was not justified.
Clark and Noble, in a combined 31 pages of documents, reasoned that officers Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback placed themselves in harm’s way by driving within feet of Tamir and shooting him Nov. 22, 2014 outside the Cudell Recreation Center on Cleveland’s West Side.
They pointed to a 2008 U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in the case of Kirby v. Duva that determined: “Where a police officer unreasonably places himself in harm’s way, his use of deadly force may be deemed excessive.”
The experts also partially blamed the shooting on a culture of corruption in the Cleveland police department that tolerates misconduct. They condemned the department for hiring Timothy Loehmann, the officer who shot Tamir, without examining his file from a former job that described him as an inept officer.
The officers’ poor tactical decision-making and systemic failures within the department resulted in a death of a child that was “completely avoidable…and should never have occurred,” Clark wrote.
The attorneys sent a letter to McGinty Saturday asking him to present their findings to the grand jury. The prosecutor invited the attorneys in June to offer input and evidence while a case for the grand jury is prepared.
McGinty after receiving the letter told cleveland.com that he would include the reports in the grand jury presentation.
“Our stated policy in all use of deadly force cases is to welcome all relevant evidence and let the grand jury evaluate and make the decision,” McGinty said. “This process is a wide open search for the truth.”
Clark’s and Noble’s analysis examined the officers’ tactics from the moment they were dispatched to the park.
The partners failed to follow police procedure that requires officers to develop a plan and call for backup before approaching a person who may be armed, the experts wrote.
“Reasonable police officers responding to a man-with-a-gun call would have stopped their vehicle prior to entering the park to visually survey the area to avoid driving upon a subject who may be armed,” Noble wrote.
Clark also noted that the officers couldn’t have known for sure whether Tamir was the subject being described by the 911 caller. The caller said the person was on the swings, but Tamir was seated at a table in the gazebo when police arrived.
“In my opinion there was nothing in the dispatch information that would positively identify Tamir as the certain target of the call to the responding officers,” Clark wrote.
Further, if the officers determined that Tamir was the suspect in question, the park surveillance video makes it clear that Tamir was not a threat, Clark wrote. The man who called 911 told a dispatcher that the person was pointing a gun at people and scaring them.
But the video shows that Tamir didn’t appear threatening as Loehmann and Garmback arrived, the experts said, and despite this, Garmback pulled the cruiser next to the gazebo.
The position of the car placed Loehmann, who was in the passenger’s seat, in a difficult position, Noble wrote. Loehmann was forced to make a split-second decision about whether to use deadly force because he had no cover.
The experts bolstered this opinion with a statement from Judge Ronald Adrine of the Cleveland Municipal Court, who in June announced that he found probable cause to charge Loehmann with murder and other counts.
“The video in question is notorious and hard to watch,” Adrine wrote. “After viewing it several times, this court is still thunderstruck by how quickly this event turned deadly.”
But the fault was not just Garmback’s, the experts wrote. Loehmann also acted too quickly when he drew his gun and fired twice without warning.
While Loehmann has not provided an official statement in the investigation, a report from the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department shows that Loehmann says that he yelled commands to Tamir before he shot him.
But the fact that Loehmann shot the boy within 1.7 seconds of exiting the car proves that he did not give any verbal commands to Tamir, much less give him time to act on them, Noble wrote. The video makes it clear that there was no time for a “meaningful exchange” between the two, he said.
All of this, they wrote, goes against a basic tenet of policing that deadly force should be used only as a last resort and when someone is in danger of dying or being seriously hurt…. Read Further Detail Here…
Kind of amazing how Law enforcement can suddenly police itself when the wrong sort of person is killed. This article makes a few novice assumptions, It really isn’t surprising that the level of scrutiny is extraordinarily different in this case – than say the case of the man tasered to death while in handcuffs and shackles in Virginia, I wrote about in a previous post. The difference, quite simply…Is the race of the victim.
The officers who shot and killed a 6-year-old in Louisiana had been sued multiple times, and officials have now accused them of lying about every relevant detail of the incident.
Any time police shoot and kill a 6-year-old, there are bound to be tough questions. And officers in Louisiana had answers about the death of Jeremy Mardis on November 3.
They said that Mardis’s death was a tragic accident that occurred when police tried to serve a warrant on the boy’s father, Chris Few. They said Few had resisted that warrant. When he’d been cornered on a dead-end road after a chase, they said, he had tried to reverse and hit the officers. Then there was an exchange of gunshots, and Jeremy—buckled into the front seat—was tragically caught in the crossfire.
Yet almost none of that turned out to be true.
There appear to have been no outstanding warrants for Few. No gun was found in his truck. Officials said while two of the officers had claimed Few reversed his SUV and tried to ram them, that wasn’t actually true. When officials reviewed body-cam footage of the incident, they found Few actually had his arms in the air when the officers unloaded the barrage on the car. (Few survived the shooting that killed his son.)
“This was not a threatening situation for the police,”said Mark Jeansonne, Few’s attorney. Colonel Mike Edmonson, the superintendent of the Louisiana State Police, affirmed that after watching the footage.
“I’m not gonna talk about it, but I’m gonna tell you this,” he said. “It is the most disturbing thing I’ve seen and I will leave it at that …. As a father, much less the head of the State Police, [it was] extremely disturbing.”
That’s part of the reason, he said, they were charging the officers involved. Derrick Stafford and Norris Greenhouse Jr., who have been charged with second-degree murder and attempted second-degree, were working as city marshals; Stafford is also a Marksville police officer, while Greenhouse is a reserve officer. Two other marshals were also involved in the chase, and one of them was wearing the body camera that captured the shooting. That footage has not been released to the public.
The district attorney’s decision to charge them, and Edmonson’s comments, are an encouraging sign. Police are seldom charged in fatal shootings, and when they are, they are seldom convicted. There’s been a slight increase in the number of police charged this year, though experts say it’s too soon to tell whether that’s a result of closer scrutiny of police or simply a statistical blip.
Much of the attention given to Mardis’s death has been on the role of body cameras. Because the incident was caught on film, the officers’ accounts were debunked, and it’s clear from Edmonson’s comments that reviewing the footage had a strong effect on his own decision. There’s much that’s still unknown about how body cameras will effect policing and justice, and while this case is a single incident, the fact real footage can take the place of unreliable witness testimony is positive.
That’s an appropriate and important way to think about the story, but it’s not the only one. Another is about the honesty and trustworthiness of the police. Since the nation grants the police a near-monopoly on the use of deadly force, it’s important that officers be honest, reliable, and trustworthy. In the Mardis case, all signs so far suggest officers did not meet that standard.
Consider all the discrepancies in the case: the apparently nonexistent warrant, the story of Few resisting and trying to ram the marshals, the supposed threat to the officers, the suggestion that Few had hired a gun. The officers involved are alleged to have lied about the incident, and Edmonson also expressed concern about two of the officers’ refusal to speak to police. “It’s more concerning the longer it takes to talk to us,” he said. “All we want to know is what happened.” When The Guardian asked why they hadn’t been interviewed, Edmonson replied: “You’d have to ask them. We are trying to talk with them.” (It appears the shooting occurred amid a turf war between the city marshal and the police department, complicating matters.)
Both Stafford and Greenhouse had been subject to multiple prior complaints—what the Associated Press characterized as “a string of civil lawsuits.” Stafford was sued for two incidents in 2012, one in which he allegedly shocked a woman with a stun gun while she was handcuffed and another in which he was accused of breaking a girl’s arm while breaking up a fight on a school bus. In 2014, a jury awarded $50,000 to a man who said Stafford had arrested him as payback for filing a complaint against him. Stafford was indicted twice for rape in 2011. In one of those cases, he was charged with raping a 15-year-old in 2004. Both charges were dismissed, but it’s not clear why…Read More Here…
Kind of hard to escape the last few days evisceration of the first prosecution witness in the Trayvon Martin murder case by the media. And the role race has played in that.
Rachel Jeantel can’t read cursive. That’s the main takeaway from the fourth day of the George Zimmerman trial: Jeantel, the heavyset, snappy prosecution witness who was on the phone with her friend Trayvon Martin minutes before he died, cannot read script handwriting. Defense attorney Don West underlined that fact for the benefit of the jury, the general public, and everyone else looking for an excuse to dismiss her testimony.
Given the extent to which Jeantel’s demeanor was covered on television and in news articles, you’d be excused for thinking—as Jezebel’s Callie Beusman put it—that she was the one on trial. Over the past couple of days, Jeantel has recounted that Martin told her he was being followed by a “creepy-ass cracker” who, it seems, then proceeded to attack him. Pundits, meanwhile, have made snickering observations that have had little to do with the substance of her testimony. They’ve criticized Jeantel’s weight, her attitude, her manner of dress, and her mumbling, inarticulate answers to West’s questions. These observations are generally framed as discussions of her credibility and how she’ll be received by the jury. But they’re also an excuse to point and laugh at a poor, black teenager who comes from an America that we’d rather not acknowledge exists.
The media has consistently treated Jeantel as if she were some sassy alien life-form. TheNew York Daily News story about yesterday’s proceedings focused on Jeantel-as-sideshow, calling the cursive story an “especially cringe-worthy moment,” and noting that, “[a]t one point, the key prosecution witness blurted out, ‘That’s retarded, Sir’ in response to West’s suggestion that Martin attacked Zimmerman.” On Piers Morgan Tonight, Morgan repeated the phrase “creepy-ass cracker” as if it were some inscrutable bit of baby talk. The day before, panelist Jayne Weintraub disdainfully asserted that “it’s really not about this young woman’s … credibility, because her credibility, it’s a wash whatever her testimony is. Yes, she was a difficult witness. She was impossible.”…
Racial and socioeconomic stereotypes play differently in different contexts. The statements and mannerisms that make Jeantel a laughingstock now might have made her a viral video star outside the courtroom. As I was watching Jeantel’s testimony and the subsequent reaction, I couldn’t help thinking about Aisha Harris’ Slate piece from Mayabout the “fairly recent trend of ‘hilarious’ black neighbors, unwitting Internet celebrities whose appeal seems rooted in a ‘colorful’ style that is always immediately recognizable as poor or working-class.” Charles Ramsey, Antoine Dodson, Sweet Brown—these people caught white America’s attention in part because they so blatantly violated normative behavior. If Jeantel would’ve been filmed saying “That’s retarded, sir” to some reporter on the streets outside her house, the Internet might well be singing her praises. Black people are celebrated when they play the fool in the proper setting.