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Battling Experts – Tamir Rice Murder

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.

 

Expert reports ordered by Tamir Rice family attorneys call shooting ‘objectively unreasonable’

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

 
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Posted by on November 30, 2015 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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Cops Who KIlled 6 YO in Louisiana Caught In a Web of Lies

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 Death of Jeremy Mardis and the Honesty of the Police

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

 
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Posted by on November 12, 2015 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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For The George Zimmerman Defense…Race

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.

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Posted by on June 29, 2013 in The New Jim Crow

 

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George Zimmerman Complaint Filed About Racial Harassment From Coworker

Zimmerman’s record of racial harassment was also release as part of the evidence package yesterday –

AUDIO: Witness Says George Zimmerman Repeatedly Bullied Him At Work, Targeted Him With Racist Jokes

Among the evidence in the Trayvon Martin case released by the Florida state prosecutor yesterday was a 15-minute interview with a former work collegue of George Zimmerman. The man, who is not identified by name, says that Zimmerman relentlessly bullied him at work.

Zimmerman, according to the witness, targeted him because he was Middle Eastern. He repeatedly called the man a “fucking moron” and mocked him using the voice of “Achmed the terrorist.” Zimmerman’s stories about the man would involve “bombing,” “I’ll kill your family” and other “jokes” about “Middle Eastern stuff.” According to the man, this went on “for days and days.”

http://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F46758175&auto_play=false&show_artwork=false&color=ff7700

 

 
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Posted by on May 18, 2012 in Domestic terrorism

 

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Hilarious Description of an Auto Accident – “Boom!”

“Reality really hits you hard, Bro!”

The Most Dramatic Car Accident Ever Told

After George Lindell got rear-ended by a free-wheeling SUV that ultimately crashed into a telephone poll, he recounted the highway saga for KSAZ-TV–onomatopoeia and all.

 
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Posted by on September 16, 2011 in Nawwwwww!

 

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Naomi Campbell ‘Fesses Up

Naomi has steadfastly denied that she got blood diamonds from Liberian Dictator Charles Taylor for years, despite Mia Farrow’s testimony that indeed Naomi had shown the uncut diamonds to her.

Confronted with the full weight of the court – she confesses –

 
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Posted by on August 5, 2010 in Africa

 

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Louisiana Rep Breaks Down Discussing Oil Disaster

This spill hurts real people –

Things got emotional in the House today, when Louisiana Rep. Charlie Melancon broke down during his testimony about the Louisiana oil spill. He began by rattling off a string of disasters that has befallen his state, like Hurricanes Katrina, Gustav, and Ike. “It’s not been fun,” he said. Then, as his voice began to shake, he spoke of the impact of the “slow-motion tragedy” on the state’s people. “Our culture is threatened, our coastal economy is threatened, and everything that I know and love is at risk,” he said. Then, choked with emotion and unable to hide his tears, he continued, “Even though this marsh lies along coastal Louisiana, these are America’s wetlands.” Unable to finish, he asked that the rest of his written comments be submitted to the official record. Melancon, a Democrat, is running for David Vitters’ Senate seat this fall, according to Politics Daily.

 
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Posted by on May 28, 2010 in News

 

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