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Terrence Crutcher Killer Gets a Walk

Yet another odd one from the courts. This one in my view, definitely falls under “The New Jim Crow”.  I am not familiar with the statutes in the State relative to murder, so this could be an issue of “overcharging” – but I cannot understand why this murderer wasn’t held culpable. At least under a lesser charge.

Tulsa police officer found not guilty in shooting of Terence Crutcher

Officer Shelby was acquitted by a jury in the shooting of unarmed black man Terence Crutcher

Tulsa police officer Betty Jo Shelby was acquitted of first-degree manslaughter after shooting and killing unarmed black man Terence Crutcher last year. The jury of nine white people and three were black people acquitted Shelby after nine hours of deliberation on Wednesday night, according to NPR.

The shooting took place last September and was captured on video which shows Crutcher with his hands above his head as he walks towards his vehicle that is stalled in the middle of the road. Aerial footage of the shooting was also taken by Shelby’s husband, a Tulsa police officer who was operating the department’s helicopter that evening.

Shelby said that she used lethal force because she feared for her life as she believed Crutcher attempted to reach into a car to, presumably, grab a weapon. The officer arrived at the scene where Crutcher’s car was stalled in the middle of the road, and a witness who dialed 911 claimed a man was running away from the vehicle delivering warnings that it may explode, according to CNN. Shelby testified that Crutcher was not complying with her commands to make his hands visible and that she had acted only as she was trained to. Shelby also said Crutcher was sweating and claimed that she had smelled PCP.

“We’re not trained to see what comes out of a car,” she said according to CNN. “We’re trained to stop a threat, and by all indications, he was a threat.” At the same time that Shelby shot Crutcher, another officer next to her deployed his taser.  An autopsy report found that PCP was in Crutcher’s system at the time of the shooting, according to CNN.  However, no weapon was ultimately found on his person or in the vehicle.

When asked if the outcome of the incident was Crutcher’s own fault, Shelby replied, “Yes,” in a “60 Minutes” interview. “I have sorrow that this happened, that this man lost his life. But he caused the situation to occur,” Shelby said “So in the end, he caused his own,” death.

The ruling delivered a devastating blow to the family who believed that Shelby should have faced consequences for her actions. “Let it be known that I believe in my heart that Betty Shelby got away with murder, and I don’t know what was in the mind of that jury,” Crutcher’s father said, according to NPR.

The incident is the latest in a string of shootings of unarmed black men at the hands of law enforcement across the country. Officers have seldom been convicted of crimes. Critics say that Shelby, who is white, overreacted and used unnecessary force. Protesters gathered peacefully outside the courtroom shortly after the verdict, condemning the decision, according to CNN.

“No justice, no peace, no racist police!” the crowd chanted.

Leaders in Tulsa, Oklahoma have urged for peace after the verdict. “This verdict does not alter the course on which we are adamantly set,” Mayor G.T. Bynum said in a news conference, according to the Associated Press.

“It does not change our recognition of the racial disparities that have afflicted Tulsa historically. It does not change our work to institute community policing measures that empower citizens to work side by side with police officers in making our community safer.”

 

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More Massive Corruption at Wells Fargo Bank

I have said here that Wells Fargo is the most corrupt bank in America. They paid $1.2 billion a few years ago, then the largest fine ever levied on a financial institution for their part in the Mortgage scams leading up to the Great Depression of 2009. IN 2013 the Bank was forced to pay $203 million in restitution and penalties for fake overdraft fees in Gutierrez vs. Wells Fargo. In 2012, the Justice Department ( Justice Dept. vs.Wells Fargo) the court reached a verdict based on Discrimination against African-American and Hispanic borrowers who were steered into high-cost, subprime mortgages. $175 million to be paid to the victims – 34,000 black and Hispanic Mortgage holders.

Here they are again paying a record fine for screwing the customers again…

Supposedly the company has terminated 5,300 employees as part of an internal review. How much you want to bet not a single one of them is one of the crooks at the top?

Image result for wells fargo

Wells Fargo making a get away after a robbery…

 

Wells Fargo Fined $185 Million Over Creation Of Fake Accounts For Bonuses

Wells Fargo Bank has been ordered to pay $185 million in fines and penalties to settle what the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau calls “the widespread illegal practice of secretly opening unauthorized deposit and credit card accounts.”

Thousands of Wells Fargo employees opened the accounts in secret so they would get bonuses for hitting their sales targets, according to investigators. More than 2 million deposit and credit card accounts may have been created without customer authorization.

The bank must pay $100 million to the CFPB — the largest fine ever levied by the federal consumer watchdog. It also will pay $50 million to the City and County of Los Angeles, along with a $35 million penalty to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

It’s also on the hook to pay full restitution to all victims of the scheme.

“Because of the severity of these violations, Wells Fargo is paying the largest penalty the CFPB has ever imposed,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “Today’s action should serve notice to the entire industry that financial incentive programs, if not monitored carefully, carry serious risks that can have serious legal consequences.”

The CFPB’s consent order says the bank has already terminated 5,300 employees as part of an internal review.

Wells Fargo said in a statement that it has fired managers and employees “who acted counter to our values” in carrying out the schemes. It also refunded $2.6 million in fees it collected from customers. The bank said that “accounts refunded represented a fraction of one percent of the accounts reviewed, and refunds averaged $25.”

In addition, the Sioux Falls, S.D.-based bank says it is taking steps to keep this type of scheme from occurring again, noting that it will now send a customer an email confirmation shortly after a deposit account is opened.

“This is a major victory for consumers,” said Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer, whose office sued Wells Fargo in 2015 after a Los Angeles Times investigation into the fake accounts. “Consumers must be able to trust their banks. They should never be taken advantage of by their banks.”

Feuer’s office says that after the suit was filed, the city attorney received “more than 1,000 phone calls and emails from customers and current and former Wells Fargo employees across the nation about the issues raised in the litigation.”

 

 
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Posted by on September 8, 2016 in American Greed

 

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Chinese Americans Protest Conviction of Officer Who Killed Akai Gurley

Guess I am not the only one to notice the only officer getting convicted in NYC is non-white.

How Chinese American protesters are invoking Black Lives Matter

Jam-packed in a Brooklyn plaza Saturday, thousands of New York City’s Chinese American residents gathered to protest the conviction of former police officer Peter Liang, who fatally shot Akai Gurley, an unarmed black man, in 2014.

Mr. Liang was found guilty of second-degree manslaughter two weeks ago and faces up to 15 years in prison. But the roughly 10,000 protesters argue that the police department had unfairly sent Liang, who at the time of the incident was a rookie on the force, into a violence-ridden housing project.

They say that he is victim of prejudice himself, amid a criminal justice system that favors white officers like Daniel Pantaleo, who choked Eric Garner to death and yet eluded indictment.

Bearing signs that read “No Scapegoat!” and “One Tragedy, Two Victims,” the protesters – some of whom travelled from Connecticut and New Jersey – drew a connection between the fate of Liang and some of the recent deaths of unarmed African Americans at the hand of the police.

As reported by Gothamist, former City Comptroller John Liu addressed the thundering crowd, highlighting this link.

We understand the pain among our African-American brothers and sisters, who have witnessed the killing of one unarmed black man after another in continuous succession, with no prosecutions against the officers,” he said.

“So in an incident where an Asian-American officer shoots his gun, not aiming at anybody, shoots it by accident, we were all shocked last Thursday, when the guilty verdict came out,” he went on. “But were we really shocked?”

“For 150 years, there’s been a common phrase in America: ‘Not a Chinaman’s chance,’ which means if you’re Chinese in America, there’s no hope for you.”

But prosecutors characterized Liang’s conduct as reckless when he opened fire inside the Louis H. Pink Houses, arguing that he was also unsympathetic to Mr. Gurley after the shooting.

“While we know that Peter Liang did not intend to kill Akai Gurley, he was convicted because his reckless actions cost an innocent man his life,” Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson told NBC News in an email statement Friday.

“This case is about what happened in Brooklyn, not Ferguson or Staten Island, and the jury convicted on the basis of these unique and tragic facts. My office will continue to pursue equal justice for all of Brooklyn.”

And the protest wasn’t met with unequivocal support. A simultaneous counter-protest emphasized the injustice of Gurley’s death and the importance of punishment. Members of an Asian American organization known as CAAAV were among those supporting Black Lives Matter activists in backing Liang’s conviction.

Soraya Sui Free, a nurse from the Bronx, was one of the participants in the counter-protest. She stood with a group donning signs that said, “Jail Killer Cops.”

Where is the empathy?” she said to The New York Times. “Peter Liang made a decision for Akai Gurley, and that decision was to die.”…More

 
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Posted by on February 21, 2016 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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Tamir Rice Would Be Alive If He Were White

This is one of the most scathing editorials I have ever seen. From the Editorial Board at the New York Times…

No it ain’t real. It has an extra “safety” on the slide which doesn’t exist on the real model, the attachment rail on the bottom is a dead giveaway, and it’s plastic, not blued steel

This is one of hundreds of variations of the real deal. I own several of these in various calibers, including two set up for competition. They are big, heavy, and not designed for “concealed carry” as they were designed for the Military.

 

Cleveland’s Terrible Stain

Tamir Rice of Cleveland would be alive today had he been a white 12-year-old playing with a toy gun in just about any middle-class neighborhood in the country on the afternoon of Nov. 22, 2014.

But Tamir, who was shot to death by a white police officer that day, had the misfortune of being black in a poor area of Cleveland, where the police have historically behaved as an occupying force that shoots first and asks questions later. To grow up black and male in such a place is to live a highly circumscribed life, hemmed in by forces that deny your humanity and conspire to kill you.

Those forces hovered over the proceedings on Monday when a grand jury declined to indict Officer Timothy Loehmann in the killing and Timothy McGinty, the Cuyahoga County prosecutor, explained why he had asked the grand jurors to not bring charges. Mr. McGinty described the events leading up to Tamir’s death as tragic series of errors and “miscommunications” that began when a 911 caller said a male who was “probably a juvenile” was waving a “probably fake” gun at people in a park.

The fact that those caveats never reached Officer Loehmann — who shot the child within seconds of arriving on the scene — was more than just an administrative misstep. It reflects an utter disregard for the lives of the city’s black residents. That disregard pervades every aspect of this case and begins with the fact that the department failed to even review Officer Loehmann’s work history before giving him the power of life and death over the citizens of Cleveland. Had the department done so, it would have found that Officer Loehmann had quit a suburban police department where he had showed a “dangerous loss of composure” during firearms training and was found to be emotionally unfit for the stress of the job.

Officer Loehmann joined a police department that itself had acquired a well-documented reputation for wanton violence and for shooting at people who posed no threat to the police or others. In a particularly striking event, documented by the Justice Department last year, officers mistook the sound of a car backfiring for a gunshot. They chased down and fired at the vehicle 137 times, killing two occupants who turned out to be unarmed.

The lengthy Justice Department report shows clearly why the black community viewed the Cleveland police as dangerous and profoundly out of control. In May, the Police Department entered an agreement with the Justice Department, enforceable by the courts, under which it is to adopt sweeping reforms.

The Police Department’s disregard for life was fully evident in the way the officers behaved after shooting Tamir. A surveillance video shows them standing by the child for four minutes without giving medical assistance, which was finally provided by an F.B.I. agent who happened to be in the neighborhood. Officer Frank Garmback, Officer Loehmann’s partner, nonetheless tackled the wounded boy’s 14-year-old sister as she tried to rush to his side. One can only imagine her suffering as she watched in handcuffs from the back seat of the squad car while her brother lay bleeding on the ground.

In addition to portraying the killing as a result of a tragic misunderstanding, prosecutors have also suggested the officer’s decision to kill Tamir was shaped by the fact that the surrounding neighborhood had a history of violence and that the boy appeared to be older than 12 because he was big for his age.

These arguments sidestep the history of violent, discriminatory police actions that led up to this boy’s death. They also have the reprehensible effect of shifting the responsibility for this death onto the shoulders of this very young victim.

 
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Posted by on December 30, 2015 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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