In Time – A Must See Movie For Those Interested In Social Issues

Time is money.

Time is power.

Time is life.

I’m not a professional movie reviewer.  I just love movies and because of a class in college, I like getting into the heads of directors.  Is this a movie just for entertainment purposes, or are they showing us something deeper?  Is the focus on the characters or the message?  What about the script?  Does it tell, or does the director expect for the audience to understand deeper messages by showing rather than telling?

The movie In Time is one I just saw and want to watch again.  Released in 2011, I somehow missed it.  It is now being shown on FXM.

The message is deeper than the characters, although we need to watch the characters to understand the impact of the message.

In Time has taken everything about society and turned it into life expectancy that is issued out by unknown powers.  The movie doesn’t tell us how it started, but at the end it gives us a glimpse of how it loses control and the people take control.

The movie takes place in a dystopian future when humans are bioengineered.  They stop physically aging at 25 years.  When they reach age 25, their clocks come on.  They are given 12 months of time.   Those 12 months however, are reduced or increased because time has replaced money.  In other words, it’s not a matter of living for the next 12 months preparing to die because time is also used to pay for basic living expenses; rent, food, utilities.  Because the clock is always ticking down, getting back 12 months of time is impossible for the working class because whatever they earn, they spend on living expenses.  Then too, they have to sleep.  While sleeping, their clocks tick down. Read the rest of this entry

Cop Sentenced to Prison, Forced to Pay Victim for Savagely Beating Teen on Video

Tales from the Conspiratum

It’s about time that juries start understanding that coppers are mere civil servants, not the powerful Gods they think they are. If the courts start jailing the bad coppers perhaps this police brutality trend will reverse.
thefreethoughtproject.com

Showing exactly how abusive cops should be treated, a bully cop has been sentenced 27 months in prison for savagely beating an innocent teen on video.

bully

Pittsburgh, PA — A belligerent and violent cop was recently convicted of violating the civil rights of a teenager by savagely beating him at a high school football game. The entire incident, which looks like a giant bullying a small child, was captured on video and led to the initial firing of officer Stephen Matakovich, 48, and the subsequent charges.

Matakovich “was an annoyed bully who beat the crap out of a drunk kid,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Gilson told…

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Boynton Beach Officer Mike Brown Found Guilty Of Violating Constitutional Rights of Jeffrey Braswell.

It’s a case of severe beating, then changing reports.

It happened on August 20, 2014 after a 20 mile, high speed chase.  It does not involve the offender/suspect, but a passenger.  Jeffrey Braswell was a passenger in a car that took Boynton Beach police officers on that chase.  When the car was eventually stopped, Mike Brown yelled for the driver and passengers to raise their hands and get out of the car.  However, Jeffrey Braswell had his seat belt fastened and being afraid of lowering his hands, did not exit the car.

Mike Brown decided to take Jeffrey Braswell from the car.  There was nothing wrong with that.  However, after doing so, he beat Jeffrey, including using his gun to strike.

Jeffrey Braswell before he was beaten.

 

Jeffrey Braswell after he was beaten.

Mike Brown was with officers Justin Harris and Ronald Ryan who were federally charged with deprivation of rights.   Jeffrey Braswell, then 25-years old, was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of obstruction or resisting arrest without violence and in their initial reports, filed shortly after the incident, they made no mention of punching or kicking him.  About a week later after they found out that the sheriff’s office turned over video to the Chief of Police, each of the officers made a number of changes to their reports. Read the rest of this entry

Paul Lamar Hunter – Overcoming Overwhelming Odds

When Paul Lamar Hunter contacted me on Twitter, I was unfamiliar with him.  He has a video on his timeline that I watched and I was impressed with his story.  After getting to know more about his life and all the publications and interviews he has had, I must say that I am humbled that he introduced himself to me.

A native of Racine, Wisconsin, Paul has written a book titled, “No Love, No Charity: The Success of the 19th Child“.  The book is an autobiographical account describing how he overcame overwhelming odds.

Interviewed in national magazines including Black Enterprise and Ebony, Paul is currently seeking opportunities to be interviewed on major television programs and would like to see his book turned into a movie.

Amazon’s introduction of the book says; Read the rest of this entry

Pending Matters and Open Discussion

Dear friends and visitors,

Here’s heartfelt appreciation to all followers and participants.  Words cannot express my appreciation.

Here are some things happening;

Mesa Police Department officer Philip Brailsford is on trial for the killing of Daniel Shaver.   I’ll post on it when the jury hands in a verdict.

The jury is deliberating in the federal trial of three Boynton Beach police officers accused of violating the civil rights of a passenger in a vehicle.   If they reach a verdict tomorrow, I’ll blog it on Monday.

Charleston, West Virginia officer Stephen Doss plead guilty to failing to use his lights and sirens in a crash that killed 80-year old Dora Clarke.  Doss initially faced a charge of negligent homicide which carries a one year prison sentence and $100 fine.  His plea carries a maximum sentence of 10 days in jail.  Sentencing is scheduled for December 7, 2017.  Last week, the Charleston City Council approved a $675,000 settlement for a wrongful death claim that followed Doss’ accident. Read the rest of this entry

Air Force didn’t log Texas church gunman conviction in U.S. database

The Crusader Journal

A recently hung Texas state flag flies near the site of the shooting at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland A recently hung Texas state flag flies near the site of the shooting at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland, Texas, U.S., November 6, 2017. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

By Jon Herskovitz and Lisa Maria Garza

SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas (Reuters) – The man who carried out one of the deadliest U.S. mass shootings was able to buy guns legally from a sporting goods store because a prior domestic violence conviction was never put into an FBI database used in background checks, officials said.

Devin Kelley, the gunman in Sunday’s massacre at a church in rural southeastern Texas, was convicted by court-martial of assaulting his first wife and stepson while serving in the U.S. Air Force in 2012, according to the Pentagon.

Authorities put the death toll at 26, including the unborn child of a pregnant woman who was killed. The attack ranks as the fifth-deadliest by a single gunman in U.S. history.

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NY Cop Wayne Isaacs Found Not Guilty For Killing Delrawn Small

We followed the trial, where you can also read the background of the case at this link.   Wayne Isaacs was not on duty when he shot and killed Delrawn Small.  However, his defense during trial was that he acted according to his training and killed Delrawn in self-defense.  Within seconds of Delrawn approaching the driver’s side window of Isaacs car, Isaacs shot him three times.

Isaacs was charged with murder and the alternative charge of manslaughter.

The jury began deliberating on Thursday and today, the jury of seven women, five men, consisting of five Whites, five Blacks, one Hispanic and one Asian, handed in the verdict of not guilty.  Read the rest of this entry

Officer Federally Charged For Planting Evidence. Re: Willie Bingham, Jr.

After two trials for manslaughter where juries hung, now retired deputy Walter Grant is not being tried by the state for killing Willie Bingham, Jr. but rather, by the federal government for planting evidence as an excuse for killing him.

It happened in Bolivar County, Mississippi, in 2013.

Deputy Walter Grant shot 20-year-old Willie Bingham Jr. in the back of the head.

Willie Bingham, Jr.

Willie was suspected of breaking into cars parked outside of an auto parts plant.  Grant and other officers pursued a car carrying Willie and others.  The car stopped, and Willie allegedly jumped out and ran into a cotton field.  Grant caught up with Willie and shot him in the back of the head.

Grant told investigators that he thought Willie had a gun.  No gun was found.  What was found was a baton, and allegations that Grant planted it.

In 2015, Grant was indicted on state manslaughter charges.  His first trial ended with a hung jury.  He was retried, and that jury also hung.  After the trials, Grant retired.

State court records show that in 2016, the judge remanded the case to Jim Hood, the State Attorney General.

The family has filed a civil lawsuit accusing Grant of planting the baton. A response by the Bolivar County sheriff’s office later said the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation and the attorney general’s office, while investigating the shooting,  concluded Grant planted the baton. Read the rest of this entry

Some Civil War Reading for those Who Dare Question Trump, Kelly, and Sanders

Padre Steve, you are a living encyclopedia. Thanks so much for the history.

Padre Steve's World...Musings of a Progressive Realist in Wonderland

Friends of Padre Steve’s World,

I am still appalled at the remarks made by President Trump’s Chief of Staff on Laura Ingraham’s Fox News propaganda broadcast the other night. In my view a man whose military career was marked by honorable service has destroyed his reputation over the past month in defending the indefensible words and actions of President Trump. In doing that he also went to where no knowledgeable person should go in his remarks about the Civil War and the traitorous Confederate General Robert E. Lee. According to Kelly the war was simply due to an inability to compromise, disregarding decades of compromise by slavery opponents beginning with the 3/5ths rule which allowed Slave States which had far fewer white citizens than Free States to count their slaves as 3/5ths of a person to increase their representation in the House of Representatives and many other compromises, all of…

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Utah Nurse Alex Wubbels Agrees To Half Million Dollar Settlement. She Is Paying It Forward.

University Hospital nurse Alex Wubbels has agreed to a $500,000 payment to settle a dispute over her arrest by a Salt Lake City police officer after she refused to draw blood from an unconscious patient who was a victim in a traffic accident.

Alex’s attorney, Karra Porter, said at a news conference that the agreement with Salt Lake City and the University of Utah covers all parties and takes the possibility of legal action off the table.

The video of Alex being arrested, and Jeff Payne, the arresting officer’s disrespect that Alex was complying with hospital policy, was reported on this blog.

Alex plans to use a portion of the money to help others get body camera footage at no cost.  Her attorney’s law firm, Christensen & Jensen, will provide free legal services necessary to obtain the video.

“We all deserve to know the truth and the truth comes when you see the actual raw footage and that’s what happened in my case,” Wubbels said. “No matter how truthful I was in telling my story, it was nothing compared to what people saw and the visceral reaction people experienced when watching the footage of the experience that I went through.”

Porter noted that body camera footage also protects law enforcement officers.

Alex will make a donation to the Utah Nurses Association and will help spearhead the #EndNurseAbuse campaign by the American Nurses Association. Read the rest of this entry

Trump Campaign Adviser Pleads Guilty; Manafort Indicted on conspiracy – ABC News

Pubished Using Press This

Source: Trump campaign adviser pleads guilty to misleading investigators about Russia contacts; Manafort indicted on conspiracy – ABC News

George Papadopoulos, a foreign policy adviser to President Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, pleaded guilty earlier this month to making false statements to FBI agents about his correspondence with Russian nationals and attempts to arrange a meeting between the campaign and Russian officials.

News of the plea came Monday morning, shortly after Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, and Manafort’s longtime business associate Rick Gates were indicted on charges including conspiracy against the United States, money laundering and working as unregistered foreign agents.

New details emerge

Papadopoulos admitted to making false statements and making material omissions to investigators in January probing interference in the 2016 presidential election in relation to his contacts with a Russian professor with ties to the Russian government.

As outlined in the statement of Papadopoulos’ offense, the foreign policy adviser met with an individual who put him in contact with a woman whom he believed to a relative of Russian President Vladimir Putin. He later told Trump that he might be able to arrange a meeting between the candidate and the president. One of Papadopoulos’ contacts told him in April 2016 that the Russians “have dirt on” Hillary Clinton, after which he told campaign associates he had “interesting messages coming in from Moscow.”

In an FBI affidavit dated in July — when Papadopoulos was arrested — an agent noted that Papadopoulos’ contact tied to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs sent the adviser an email saying he had “just talked to my colleagues from the MFA.[They are] open for cooperating.” Papadopoulos responded and said he was “glad the MFA is interested” and forwarded the email to three senior Trump campaign officials.

After he was interviewed, Papadopoulos deactivated a Facebook account which contained information about his communications with the Russian contacts and stopped using his then-current cell phone number. Since his arrest, he has “met with the Government on numerous occasions to provide information and answer questions” since then, according to the plea documentation.

In a statement, attorneys for Papadopoulos declined to comment on the matter Monday, but said they “look forward to telling all of the details of George’s story” when called upon by the court. Read the rest of this entry

UPDATE: Alton Sterling’s Family Seeks Videos Not Made Public

Alton Sterling being stunned and shot at close range

Alton Sterling was 37-years old when he was killed on July 5, 2016, in Baton Rouge, LA.  Alton was selling homemade CD’s and DVD’s outside the Triple S Food Mart when Officer Blane Salamoni fired six shots into Alton at close range. Officer Howie Lake II, shocked Alton with a stun gun and helped wrestle Sterling to the ground but did not fire his gun.

In May of this year, the U.S. Department of Justice announced it would not bring federal criminal charges against the officers.  The Louisiana Attorney General’s Office is now investigating the case.

Alton’s children and their mothers have filed a civil suit.  Attorneys representing them have requested a private viewing of videos that include police body cams and surveillance video that captured the moments before Alton was fatally shot.  The Attorney General’s office has those videos, but as of October 5, 2017, have not complied with the request.

Two cellphone videos taken by bystanders captured the violent end of the encounter and were made public, but body cam and surveillance videos are in possession of the Attorney General’s office and have not been made public.

In May, the DOJ told lawyers and family members about the audio and video from the shooting, and at times described it.  According to a source who spoke with The Advocate, Officer Salamoni is seen pointing his gun at Alton’s head, yelling profanities, and a threat to kill him. Read the rest of this entry

Have A Joyous Sunday

Jury Awards $44.7 Million To Victim of Chicago Cop

Michael D. LaPorta, | James Foster/For the Sun-Times

Michael LaPorta is now 37-years old.  He has been unable to walk and read since January 2010 and for a period of time, had been unable to talk.  That’s because on January 12, 2010 Chicago police officer Patrick Kelly shot Michael in the back of the head.

Chicago Police Officer Patrick Kelly, 36-years old, was twice, formally found mentally unfit for duty.  He had also been arrested twice, and accused of beating a girlfriend.  Kelly had been treated for alcohol addiction.  Along with this, Kelly was sued 6 times and was subject of more than two dozen investigations into his on and off-duty conduct.  One investigation found that Kelly assaulted a woman sergeant. In another investigation, Kelly was accused of repeatedly using a Taser on a pregnant woman who later suffered a miscarriage.  The Chicago City Council approved a $500,000 settlement with the woman, Elaina Turner, and her fiance, Ulysses Green.

In total, Kelly related lawsuits resulted in nearly $1.2 million in settlement pay-outs and jury awards.

Even with this record, Michael LaPorta was Patrick Kelly’s friend.  They had been friends since childhood and were roommates in college.  One evening, Michael and Patrick spent the night drinking at two Chicago South Side bars.  The morning of January 10, 2010, they went to Kelly’s house.  Michael said that Kelly began hitting his dog, so he told Kelly that he was leaving.  He then heard a clicking sound.  Read the rest of this entry

Wordless Wednesday – October 25, 2017

 

New York Cop Goes On Trial For Killing Delrawn Small

Delrawn Small

Delrawn Small, 37-years old, worked as a maintenance engineer at a Chelsea supermarket.  He was raising three children and two stepchildren.

On July 4, 2016, Delrawn was in his car with his family when he was allegedly cut-off in traffic by Wayne Isaacs, who had just left his shift as a New York police officer.  Isaacs was out of uniform, but was carrying his service weapon.

At a red light, Delrawn approached Isaacs’ car.  Isaacs fired three times, hitting Delrawn in the arm, chest and abdomen, killing him.

Officer Wayne Isaacs, who joined the department in 2013, stayed at the scene and told investigators that he acted in self-defense after Mr. Small punched him through an open window.

Based on a preliminary investigation, police initially said they believed Isaacs opened fire after Delrawn reached through the officer’s open window and repeatedly hit him on the head as he sat behind the wheel.  Isaacs’ claimed that he shot Delrawn in self-defense.

Then surveillance video surfaced. Read the rest of this entry

Update: Philando Castile’s Mom Reaches Settlement Close to $3 Million

Philando Castile

On July 6, 2016, Philando Castile was in Falcon Heights, a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota, when he was fatally shot by Jeronimo Yanez, a St. Anthony, Minnesota police officer.  Diamond Reynolds and her 4-year-old daughter were passengers.  Diamond live-streamed Philando’s dying moments and the aftermath on Facebook.  The officer shot 7 times, hitting Philando Castile 5 times, twice in the heart. Philando was 32-years old.

Yanez was charged and went to trial.  He testified in court that he believed Philando matched the physical description of a robbery suspect, and that Philando was disobeying his commands and reaching for a gun.  We followed the trial here and here.

Philando, who was licensed to carry a gun, had advised Officer Yanez that he had a firearm in the car. Prosecutors said he had done so to put the officer at ease, not to cause alarm.

The jury was deadlocked for almost a week, but ended up acquitting Yanzez. A juror gave an interview to MPR News on the condition of remaining anonymous.

“Jurors were quick to decide Yanez’s acquittal on felony weapons charges. The juror said photos of Castile’s body showed that Yanez was aiming away from the two passengers, Diamond Reynolds and her 4-year-old daughter.”

“What we were looking at was some pretty obscure things to a lot of people, like culpable negligence. You think you might know what it means: It’s negligent, but maybe pretty bad negligence. Well, it’s gross negligence with an element of recklessness … We had the law in front of us so we could break it down.”

“It just came down to us not being able to see what was going on in the car. Some of us were saying that there was some recklessness there, but that didn’t stick because we didn’t know what escalated the situation: was he really seeing a gun? We felt [Yanez] was an honest guy … and in the end, we had to go on his word, and that’s what it came down to.”

Read the rest of this entry

I Had To Laugh – Black Jeopardy

At first, I was somewhat offended with the stereotypes, but then Tom Hanks really made me laugh.  I don’t know how Tom Hanks kept a straight face.

 

Trump Tells Widow of Fallen Soldier ‘he knew what he signed up for’

Source: Trump finally calls widow of fallen Army soldier — only to tell her ‘he knew what he signed up for’

Sgt. La David Johnson

Donald Trump on Tuesday finally called the families of four U.S. soldiers who were killed during an ambush in Niger earlier this month, only to tell the widow of U.S. Army Sgt. La David Johnson, “he knew what he signed up for.”

“Yes, he said it,” Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Miami Gardens) told ABC. “It’s so insensitive. He should have not have said that. He shouldn’t have said it.”

Read the rest of this entry

Update: Second Deputy Charged In The Death of Jeremy Mardis Pleads Guilty

On November 2, 2015, 6-year old Jeremy Mardis was in the car with his dad, Christopher Few, when Derrick Stafford and Norris Greenhouse, Jr. opened fire, seriously wounding Christopher and killing Jeremy.

Stafford and Greenhouse, Jr. were charged with attempted second-degree murder and second-degree murder.

Stafford’s trial was in March 2017, in Marksville, Louisiana.  We followed the trial here.

The officers, admitting that they did not see a weapon, alleged that Christopher backed up his vehicle and tried running them over.  A ballistic expert at trial testified that all shots were fired to the side of the vehicle, and cars do not run sideways.  Additionally, body cam footage showed that before the shooting, Christopher had both hands raised outside of his car window.

Derrick Stafford, 33, was found guilty of attempted manslaughter and manslaughter.  He was sentenced to 40 years in prison with credit for time served since 11/3/2015.  20 years of his sentence has to be served without parole, probation, or suspension of sentence.  Read the rest of this entry

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