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Juror Stops All White Jury Selection For 2 Black Accused

A common trick in some of the courtrooms in the country is to “whiten” the jury, even though said whitening is illegal. It is all too often met with a wink wink, wave by Judges. In this case a courageous Juror stood up and forced a mistrial.

Juror gets two black men a new trial after calling out elimination of African-Americans from jury pool

A Juror won a new trial for two African-American defendants when he stood up in front of a Nashville courtroom and called out the fact there were no black jurors seated to hear their case, the Tennessean reports.

Police have accused two men, Terance Bradley, and Hurley Brown, of attacking two people during a fight in which gunshots were fired and two men were injured. Both men have pleaded not guilty to charges of burglary, assault with a deadly weapon and possessing weapons while felons. Both men have been held in-custody for 18 months awaiting their trial.

Mary Hamilton and Tiffany Steele, the grandmother and mother of Bradley and Brown, respectively, both expressed outrage after watching prosecutors dismiss every black juror in the pool.

The women said prosecutors dismissed only one white juror. Then they nixed every eligible black juror who was called up from the larger pool.

“It was disgusting. It was irritating,” Steele told the paper. Hamilton agreed it wasn’t fair for the men to face a jury that contained not a single person of their own race.

“There’s still prejudice out there,” Hamilton told the Tennessean. “I don’t care what anyone says.”

While the jury was dismissed on a technicality, the incident has raised the issue of race and juries, the Tennessean reports.

Judge Cheryl Blackburn told the Tennessean she dismissed the jury because they ignored her instructions not to discuss the case before hearing all the evidence. And while the move resulted in further delays for the men’s trial, their family members do not believe they would have gotten a fair trial with that jury.

“There was an angel in the courtroom that day,” Steele told the paper. “Good for him for speaking up.”

 
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Posted by on April 26, 2016 in Domestic terrorism

 

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No Prison for Peter Liang in Akai Gurley KIlling

Not sure if I am 100% certain this is just in light of the mass police shootings of unarmed black men this year. But on the flip side, the evidence is that the shooting was accidental…

No prison for ex-NYPD officer in fatal stairwell shooting

Aformer police officer convicted in the shooting death of an unarmed man in a darkened stairwell was spared prison time Tuesday, and a judge reduced his manslaughter conviction to a lesser charge.

Peter Liang was sentenced to five years’ probation and 800 hours of community service in the 2014 shooting of Akai Gurley, who was walking down a stairway in a public housing complex when the rookie officer fired a bullet into the dark – by accident after being startled, he said. The bullet ricocheted and killed Gurley, 28.

“Given the defendant’s background and how remorseful he is, it would not be necessary to incarcerate the defendant to have a just sentence in this case,” Brooklyn state Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun said in sentencing Liang, also 28.

A jury had convicted him in February of a manslaughter charge carrying up to 15 years in prison. But Chun on Tuesday reduced the offense to criminally negligent homicide, which carries up to four years in prison.

Brooklyn prosecutors recommended Liang serve no time, based on his record and the circumstances of the trial. They suggested five years of probation, six months of home confinement and 500 hours of community service.

Some members of Gurley’s family said they felt betrayed by Thompson’s recommendation and had hoped Chun would sentence Liang to prison anyway.

The shooting happened in a year of debate nationwide about police killings of black men. Activists have looked to Liang’s trial as a counterweight to cases in which grand juries have declined to indict officers, including the cases of Michael Brown in Missouri and Eric Garner in New York. Like Gurley, Brown and Garner were black and unarmed.

 
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Posted by on April 19, 2016 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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Peter Liang, Akai Gurley, and Why Asians Are Still Black in America

Peter Liang about 2 moths ago became the first NYC Law enforcement officer to be convicted of murdering an unarmed citizen in 10 years…Despite numerous egregious cases of police misconduct and outright murder in NYC – was Liang’s prosecution and conviction based on just timing, or race? NYC Police and Fire Unions have a long, long, history of racism. Such racism is even reported by Officers on the force.

Funny how only a minority cop can get convicted and go to a speedy trial without the Police Department “analyzing” the data for 2 years.

The case adds another twist to the intense debate about race and policing.

On February 11, Peter Liang became a rare statistic: He was the first New York City police officer in more than a decade to be found guilty of shooting and killing a citizen while on duty. Liang, who is Chinese American, was convicted of second-degree manslaughter and one count of official misconduct for the shooting of Akai Gurley, a 28-year-old black man and father, during an encounter in a Brooklyn housing project. In the post-Ferguson era, the case has added another twist to the intense ongoing debate about race and accountability in policing.

On the night of November 20, 2014, Gurley and a friend had just entered an unlit stairwell on the seventh floor of their building. Liang, a 28-year-old rookie cop, was on the stairwell landing above with his partner, on a “vertical patrol” assignment. Liang had his gun drawn, his attorneys told jurors, because the stairwell was dark and police officers are trained that this can be dangerous—for New York cops on vertical patrol, lack of lighting is commonly perceived as a sign of criminal activity. When Liang heard a noise come from below, he testified, he was startled and pulled the trigger of his gun by accident. The bullet ricocheted off a wall along the landing below where Gurley stood, mortally wounding him. Liang told jurors that he did not realize he had shot anyone until he went down the stairs looking for the bullet. Liang said that when he discovered Gurley bleeding on the ground, “I was panicking. I was in shock, in disbelief that someone was actually hit.”

In the aftermath, New York Police commissioner William Bratton told reporters that the shooting appeared “to be an accidental discharge, with no intention to strike anybody.” But during the trial, prosecutors zeroed in on evidence that Liang failed to administer immediate medical aid as Gurley lay bleeding to death, instead arguing with his partner over whether to call their supervisor. Gurley’s friend attempted to give him CPR after receiving instructions from a 911 dispatcher. Liang testified that he tried to request an ambulance over the radio. Transcripts from radio calls, however, did not show him calling for one.

Liang, whose sentencing is scheduled for April 14, was fired from the department and initially faced up to 15 years in prison. In late March, however, Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson announced that he would not seek prison time for Liang. Thompson instead recommended five years of probation, including six months of home confinement, citing “the unique circumstances” of the case. On Tuesday, Liang’s lawyers asked a judge to throw out Liang’s conviction, alleging jury misconduct.

In the view of his supporters and some former prosecutors, Liang’s conviction is a glaring anomalyamong cops who have killed unarmed civilians, the vast majority of whom don’t face criminal charges. Kenneth Montgomery, a former assistant prosecutor in Brooklyn and now a defense attorney, found the conviction somewhat surprising. “When you look at the spectrum of police shooting cases, this seemed to be—I want to be careful because all of these cases are of public concern—less egregious than Anthony Baez, Amadou Diallo,” he says. “It seemed to me that the defense had a lot to work with.”

Many believe Liang’s race was a factor. On February 20, in the wake of Liang’s guilty verdict, thousands of people—many of them Asian American—gathered in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Washington, DC, to protest. Demonstrators charged that Liang was not afforded the same protections as other officers because of the color of his skin. Former New York City Comptroller John Liu echoed this sentiment in a speech to the crowd: “Shocking! This is not manslaughter…We kind of had a sense in our hearts that this was going to be the result, because for 150 years, there has been a common phrase in America. This phrase is called ‘Not a Chinaman’s chance.'” As the writer Jay Caspian Kang noted in a New York Times essay, the Liang protests marked “the most pivotal moment in the Asian American community since the Rodney King riots.”

Some of Liang’s supporters compared him to past Asian American victims of police brutality, and even went so far as to suggest that both Liang and Gurley were victims of the same kind of oppression. That rhetoric quickly drew heat from Black Lives Matter activists and supporters—including many Asian Americans—who found it offensive and misguided. “[I don’t care] how many “black lives matter” signs were flying at the Peter Liang protest,” organizer Johnetta Elzie tweeted. “That’s rooted in anti-blackness + supporting white supremacy.” Kang described the reactions from some Asian Americans as “the stunted language of a people who do not yet know how to talk about injustice”:

The protesters who took to the streets on Saturday are trying, in their way, to create a new political language for Asian Americans, but this language comes without any edifying history—no amount of nuance or qualification or appeal to Martin Luther King will change the fact that the first massive, nationwide Asian American protest in years was held in defense of a police officer who shot and killed an innocent black man….And yet it would be catastrophic to ignore the protesters’ concerns altogether.

Liang’s conviction is indeed rare for cops. “Ten years ago, he wouldn’t have been prosecuted,” Stephen Saltzburg, a George Washington University law professor, toldThe Atlantic. “And if he was, they would have acquitted him.”…Read the Rest Here

 
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Posted by on April 10, 2016 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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Found Knife – Nothing to do With OJ

No big surprise here…

Knife linked to former O.J. Simpson property is not connected to homicide case, LAPD concludes

Forensic testing concluded that a knife reportedly found at the former home ofO.J. Simpson is not connected to the 1994 homicide case, Los Angeles policeconfirmed Friday.

The LAPD performed a variety of forensic tests on the knife before making the conclusion.

Sources told The Times recently that a preliminary review suggested that the weapon appeared to be unconnected to the brutal 1994 slayings of Simpson’s ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman.

“That is not the knife,” an LAPD source familiar with the investigation said Friday. “There is no evidence related to the crime.”

The LAPD did extensive forensic examination of the knife for blood, fingerprints and DNA while also comparing the rusty, 5-inch fixed-blade knife with the cuts delivered to Brown Simpson and Goldman during the deadly attack.  During trial testimony , the county coroner testified it was his opinion the weapon that killed the pair was a six-and-half-inch blade at least.

Simpson was tried on murder charges but a jury found him not guilty.

 
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Posted by on April 1, 2016 in News

 

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Chicago Pastor Child Abuse – Still in Pulpit for Easter

This one is strange. Just seems like this guy ought to be sitting in the back row, instead of sitting on the Dias. At least until the accusations can be cleared up (if they can be).

Chicago Pastor Accused of Unholy Abuse Against Underage Girl

A prominent preacher on the South Side has been charged with sexually abusing a minor—but he’s still in the pulpit this Easter.

Prominent pastor Rev. George Waddles Sr. will be preaching Easter Sunday at Zion Hill Missionary Baptist Church on Chicago’s South Side—as he has for the last 29 years—despite evidence that he may have sexually molested a young girl in his office during counseling sessions.

Waddles has pleaded not guilty to aggravated criminal sexual abuse, a felony that carries a potential seven-year prison sentence.

According to Cook County prosecutors, who laid out their case during a bond hearing in September 2015, the 67-year-old Rev. Waddles had known the alleged victim since she was a toddler. The girl—whom The Daily Beast is not naming because she is a minor and an alleged victim of sexual abuse—and her family had dutifully attended services multiple times a week and her mother even taught Sunday school at Zion Hill.

By the time the girl was 13, in 2011, Assistant State’s Attorney Tara Pease-Harkin said, Waddles—who has a master’s degree in social work—was privately counseling her in his office. Within a year, the sessions between the pastor and the teen allegedly became “inappropriate.”

Prosecutors said that from 2012 to 2014, Waddles told the girl that he had been dreaming about her and thinking about her when she wasn’t around. He asked, and she refused, to lift her shirt, and he tried to kiss and hug her at the end of counseling sessions.

On two different occasions, Waddles tried to inappropriately touch the girl and apologized when she refused, Cook County State’s Attorney’s spokesman Steve Campbell told The Daily Beast.

In 2014, Waddles allegedly asked the then-15-year-old girl to sit on his lap. When she did, he put his hand inside her pants, and inside her underwear. She left his office and told her mother a month later.

The mother and daughter confronted Waddles at a meeting in his office, and later with Waddles’s wife, Karen Waddles, present, Pease-Harkin said. (In an unrelated Facebook post a few months earlier, Karen Waddles wrote that she was “concerned about what’s happening with our young girls. They’re becoming sexualized at an early age and it’s hard to know how to protect them…I think the church must speak up—we need to set standards, live by those standards ourselves, and hold each other accountable.”)

From that meeting allegedly came an admission from Waddles that he had inappropriately touched the girl as well as a request that the pair not go to police—all secretly recorded by the girl’s mother on her cellphone, prosecutors say.

Such an admission, if it is allowed in court and it indeed shows what Pease-Harkin suggests, could be a particularly damning piece of evidence. Though Illinois has strict privacy laws which regulate the recording of public conversations, Waddles’s taped confession might meet the criteria for an exception to the law, according to Eric Johnson, a professor at University of Illinois College of Law.

Ticking off the statutory exceptions to state law, Johnson noted that since the alleged victim’s mother wasn’t recording at the behest of police, was participating in the conversation, and suspected Waddles had committed a crime against her daughter, “it’s my guess that the recording will be admissible,” Johnson told The Daily Beast in an email.

At the September hearing, Pease-Harkin also said that two other women had come forward claiming to be victims of Waddles’s abuse. One who reported unwanted hugs and kisses in 1996 when she was 11 also claimed Waddles made her touch his penis. Another said he tried to hug and kiss her during office counseling session in 2006, and wouldn’t allow her to leave his office. No criminal charges were ever filed in these cases….The Rest Here

Hmmmmm….This Oldie seems apropos…

 

 

 
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Posted by on March 28, 2016 in Domestic terrorism

 

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Just In Time for the Miniseries – Cops Claim Knife Found Buried at OJ House

One of the never ending racial dramas in America seems to be whether “OJ is Guilty”, disavowing the long American legal tradition of being “Guilty” in a court of law, and having actually committed a crime are two entirely different things. This one is a bit fishy because of the evidence trail, supposedly being hidden by a Police Officer for at least 10 years. The knife has now been contaminated by who knows how many people handling it. In any event…It is good for the ratings.

Cast from the Miniseries with Cuba Gooding as OJ, and John Travolta as Attorney Robert Shapiro

O.J. SIMPSON BURIED KNIFE FOUND AT O.J.’S ESTATE

A construction worker found a knife buried on the perimeter of the former O.J. Simpson estate … and it’s currently being tested by the LAPD in a top secret investigation … law enforcement sources tell TMZ.

The story is incredible. We’re told a construction worker found the knife years ago — we have heard several different stories, ranging from “several years ago” to 1998, when the house was demolished.

The weapon is a folding buck knife.

Our law enforcement sources say the construction worker took the knife to the street, where he saw an LAPD cop. He told the officer where he found the knife and the cop took it.

Turns out the cop — who worked in the traffic division — was off duty at the time, working security for a movie shoot at a house across the street on Rockingham. Our sources say the officer took the knife home and kept it … kept it for years.

In late January of this year, after the cop retired from the LAPD, he contacted a friend who worked in LAPD’s Robbery Homicide Division (RHD). The cop told the friend about the knife and said he was getting it framed to put on his wall. He wanted his friend to get the DR (Departmental Record) number for the Nicole Brown Simpson/Ronald Goldman murder case, which he planned on engraving in the frame.

We’re told the friend was indignant, and told his superiors. The brass was outraged and demanded that the retired cop turn the knife over, which he did.

Our sources say the knife is currently being tested for hair and fingerprints. It will be moved to the Serology Unit next week, where it will be tested for DNA and other biological evidence.

One source familiar with the investigation tells us, cops who eyeballed the knife think it could have blood residue on it, but it’s hard to know without testing because it’s extremely rusted and stained.

The investigation is top secret. It’s been logged into the LAPD’s computer system outside the official case file to maintain security. Our sources say, since O.J. was found not guilty, it’s still an open case. That means cops can continue investigating, but O.J. cannot be prosecuted again — double jeopardy.

 
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Posted by on March 4, 2016 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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Praying While Black

Ferguson, Mo again…Apparently it is against the law to get down on your knees and pay to God…While black.

Why is a city which supposedly is too poor to raise the salaries to attract qualified Police spending tens of thousands of dollars on made-up offenses?

Ferguson Tries And Fails To Convict Pastor For ‘Praying While Black’

Rev. Osagyefo Sekou has been arrested at more than one protest, including this Aug. 10, 2015, demonstration outside the federal courthouse in St. Louis.

It took less than 20 minutes on Tuesday morning for a jury in St. Louis County, Missouri, to find a clergyman not guilty of a charge stemming from his arrest outside the Ferguson Police Department nearly a year and a half ago.

Rev. Osagyefo Sekou, arrested while he knelt in prayer outside the police department the month after an officer shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown, was found not guilty of failing to obey police orders.

The two-day trial was a “serious waste of resources” for the city of Ferguson, said Sekou’s lawyer, Jerryl Christmas.

“In order to put on this trial for this ordinance violation, [Ferguson] probably spent several thousand dollars, which could have been used much more creatively on needed issues centered around Ferguson,” Christmas told HuffPost.

Ferguson, which has long abused its law enforcement system to generate revenue from ticketing mostly black and poor residents, is nearing an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice that could significantly reform the city’s predatory practices. But St. Louis County Circuit Judge Joseph Dueker ruled there could be no mention of the consent decree during Sekou’s trial.

Part-time Ferguson assistant prosecutor J. Patrick Chassaing, who works for a law firm whose attorneys hold a variety of roles in local governments within St. Louis County’s broken municipal system, called former Ferguson police officer Justin Cosma as a witness on Monday. Cosma, who processed the arrest in Sekou’s case, had previously settled a lawsuit filed by the family of a 12-year-old boy whom Cosma had arrested and was involved in the arrest of two journalists during the Ferguson protests (including one from The Huffington Post) in August 2014. Judge Dueker also did not allow references to Cosma’s background.

Like his law firm colleague Stephanie Karr when she prosecuted another protester case last year, Chassaing seemed determined to put the Ferguson protests on trial rather than focus on Sekou’s individual conduct.

“Did you see the burning and the looting and the riots?” Chassaing asked one witness. “You are aware of the violent protests, right?” he asked another.

At other times, the judge chose to steer Chassaing away from broader references to the actions of protesters.

“The Ferguson prosecutor tried to put the Ferguson movement on trial and failed as he attempted to portray me as violent and supporting violence,” Sekou told HuffPost after the verdict.

In his closing argument, Christmas said that Ferguson officials wanted to “make an example of Rev. Sekou” and that he shouldn’t be held responsible for the actions of other demonstrators.

“The First Amendment is not on trial,” the defense lawyer said. “The city wants you to get sidetracked on all these other issues and has failed to provide evidence of Sekou failing to obey.”

Chassaing told the jury during his closing argument that “the case is based on limits” and that it wasn’t about disrespecting a “man of the cloth.”

“There must be limits, and we’ll have an awful situation if there are not,” he said.

On the jury of 12, there appeared to be just two black jurors. According to one of the white jurors, 34-year-old Drew Wilcoxen, the limits on what the prosecutor and defense lawyer could say about the Ferguson protests “made it difficult for everyone to do their job.” Wilcoxen didn’t seem to mind that he had been called to judge nothing more than an alleged ordinance violation, declaring it “a great thing” for citizens to be involved.

Chassaing did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Christmas said he would be interested to learn how much the law firm bills Ferguson for the part-time prosecutor’s work.

“That’s why the protesters say the whole system is messed up, because everyone is profiting off of this and the people are suffering and that’s what needs to stop,” he said.

“This is not over. The movement is not over,” Sekou said. “We will continue to resist in various facets.”

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

 

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