DOJ Has Until Aug 31, 2018 To Announce If Criminal Charges Will Be Filed In The Death Of Eric Garner

July 17th is the four year anniversary of the death of Eric Garner.   Eric Garner was 43-years old and in Staten Island selling untaxed cigarettes when he was approached by officers Justin Damico and Daniel Pantaleo.  Pantaleo placed Eric in a choke hold and in spite of Eric saying “I can’t breathe, Pantaleo continued applying pressure until Eric was unconscious.

Erica Garner, left. Eric Garner, right.

A bystander recorded the confrontation on cell phone, giving viewers an unobstructed view of the choke hold which, along with the compression of his chest by officers, was found to be a cause of Eric’s death.

In December 2014, a grand jury refused to indict Pantaleo.  Like Darren Wilson who killed Mike Brown, Pantaleo was allowed to testify before the grand jury on his own behalf.

Then U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Justice Department will conduct its own investigation into Eric’s death.   Then United States Attorney Loretta Lynch took over the investigation until she became the United States Attorney General, replacing Eric Holder. Local FBI investigators and federal prosecutors determined that charges should not be brought in the case, and Attorney Lynch then removed the local FBI agents and federal prosecutors from the case, and assigned the investigation to agents outside of New York. Read the rest of this entry

Shock as Trump backs Putin on election meddling at summit

Mueller’s Timeline: How the Russian Hacks Unfolded

From Politico;

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s indictment Friday of 12 Russian intelligence officers for hacking the Democratic National Committee and other liberal targets establishes a vivid timeline of how Moscow used a range of digital intrusion techniques to interfere in the 2016 election.

The indictment spells out not only who the hackers were, but what techniques they used to breach and maintain a foothold in the computer systems of the DNC and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. It also details precisely how Russia used cryptocurrencies to fund its operations — underscoring how deeply the U.S. intelligence community has managed to delve after the fact into the 2016 meddling operation.

The charges also lay out the hackers’ interactions with an array of Americans, including journalists, an unnamed congressional candidate and “a person who was in regular contact with senior members” of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

Read the full article: https://www.politico.com/story/2018/07/13/mueller-russia-hacks-timeline-686521

Jeopardy – The Correct Question Is, Who Is Michael Flynn?

The Jeopardy game show is my favorite trivia game program.   There are some categories that I’m good at.   Sports is not one of them.  Others include painters and chemistry. However, I’ve watched Jeopardy for so long that I’m getting pretty familiar with Shakespeare plays.

If you watch Jeopardy, then you know that the host, Alex Trebek, gives answers and three contestants compete to see who rings in first with the correct question.

There are contestants who know about Italian painters from the 1700’s; authors from Poland; what land locked country sits beside another land locked country.   There are contestants who can practically recite all the lines in Shakespeare plays; know all classical composers; the names of rivers throughout the world and all of the kings and queens of England.

My son occasionally watches, and when Jeopardy has Black History or Bible categories, we take bets on whether those will be the last categories selected.  Well, we used to bet.  I got tired of losing. My son always bets that those categories will be chosen last, while I gave contestants the benefit of the doubt.  (Should I add here that Jeopardy seldom has any Black or Latinx contestants?)

Last week, the three contestants worried me.   The answer was not about Black History or the Bible, but about Russia.  Read the rest of this entry

Come Together

“He say, I know you. You know me. One thing I can tell you is you got to be free.”

There are times I feel out of touch; out of touch with new music artists, actors and movies.   There were once neighborhood movie theaters where you could take a walk and see what movies were playing and coming soon.  Now, they are located behind big parking lots.   Some previews are shown during commercial breaks on television, but they cannot be compared to the movie posters of old.

Why am I reminiscing?  Saturday evening, family got together to watch a movie.  It is not the movie that caused me to reminisce but the one song on the soundtrack.

I’m a Marvel Comic movie fan and not much into DC Comic movies.  Superman was once my favorite superhero and remains on the list.  I think I watched the 1978 movie ten times or more; twice at the theater.   I never cared much for Batman.  The movies are dark and dank and without his special gadgets, Bruce Wayne is no superhero.  Read the rest of this entry

Anti-violence protesters block major freeway in Chicago

The Crusader Journal

By Miesha Miller

(Reuters) – Hundreds of protesters calling for an end to gun violence in Chicago partially shut down a major freeway in the city on Saturday, restricting traffic as they demanded lawmakers and members of the community do more to stop the bloodshed.

Initially, hundreds of demonstrators marched along two of the freeway’s four northbound lanes watched by lines of police. Some carried crosses and others banged drums as they marched, chanting slogans including “Black Lives Matter!” Later, the protesters blocked traffic on all four lanes.

Illinois State Police said agreement was reached with organizers of the protest to allow the demonstrators restricted access to Interstate 94, known as the Dan Ryan Expressway, “to march peacefully for their cause.”

By mid-afternoon there were no arrests, police said.

Chicago leaders have long struggled to bring down its high murder rate. Even though homicides fell 16 percent last year, the…

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North Korea slams ‘gangster-like’ U.S. demands after satisfied Pompeo leaves

Donald Trump Betrays A Promise Made By President G.W. Bush To Give Expedited Citizenship To Legal Immigrants Joining The U.S. Army

A special recruitment program by the U.S. Army promising legal immigrants a path to citizenship turns out to be a pipe dream.

The program offers naturalization with an honorable service designation that can be given after a few days of boot camp.  Enlistment contracts were signed, and the Army oath taken.  Now, Army reservist are being discharged or not sent to boot camp. Those legally in the United States might be deported when their VISA expires.

In 2002, President George W. Bush expedited the naturalization process for immigrant soldiers.  In 2007, the program known as MAVNI (Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest) became an official recruiting program.  President Barack Obama added DACA recipients to the eligibility list.  That is when an official introduced extensive background checks, creating a severe backlog.

Paul Chelimo, a Kenyan-born American athlete who won Silver in the 5,000 meters at the 2016 Rio Olympics, secured US citizenship in 2014 after entering the US Army through the MAVNI progam.

In June 2017, an internal memo sent to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis cited that 1,000 recruits were awaiting active-duty training and were at risk for deportation.   Although the special program was by Executive Order of President G.W. Bush, the Trump Administration suspended MAVNI in September 2017 saying it was not properly authorized by Congress.

This is not exactly factual.  While Trump believes his cancellation of MAVNI is right because Congress passed no Bill approving it, an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act was proposed to continue MAVNI. Read the rest of this entry

Trump lawyer Cohen vows to defend himself, puts family first: ABC News

The Crusader Journal

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen arrives at his hotel in New York FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen arrives at his hotel in New York City, U.S., June 20, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump’s longtime personal lawyer Michael Cohen vowed to defend himself and protect his family and country first if Trump or the president’s legal team tried to discredit him, ABC News reported on Monday.

Cohen, in an interview with ABC, indicated he would be cooperative with prosecutors investigating his business dealings and probes into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election.

“I will not be a punching bag as part of anyone’s defense strategy,” ABC quoted Cohen as saying in the interview on Saturday and published on Monday. “I am not a villain of this story and I will not allow others to try to depict me that way.”

Cohen, who has not been charged with any crimes, and his…

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Oh What A Night

It’s been tiring and time consuming keeping up with all of the news.  Some comfort I’ve found is putting time aside to watch at least 2 movies a week — movies I’ve not watched previously.  (I’m a stickler for re-watching movies I like.)

When I saw the movie “Jersey Boys” was on, I watched it.  Jersey Boys is a movie released in 2014.   It’s based on a Tony Award winning musical by the same title.  Jersey Boys is a biography about 4 boys leading a life of crime, going in and out of jail, and how they later became the singing group the Four Seasons.  The movie is a bit long at 2 hours, 4 minutes, but I enjoyed the story, the actors, and the music.  Read the rest of this entry

Michael Eric Dyson: What Truth Sounds Like

Michael Eric Dyson put it in plain and powerful words;
“Whites expect Black public figures to help less fortunate Blacks (the social service model), but not to call out Whites (the social conscience model). That is why President Trump called Colin Kaepernick a “son of a bitch”.”

Abagond

“What Truth Sounds Like” (2018) by Michael Eric Dyson uses the meeting between Robert Kennedy and James Baldwin in 1963 as a springboard to talk about 2018.

Subtitle: RFK, James Baldwin and Our Unfinished Conversation About Race in America

In 1963 Robert Kennedy met James Baldwin to talk about race in the US. Baldwin brought along Lorraine Hansberry, Lena Horne, Harry Belafonte, Kenneth Clark, and others. There is only one chapter on the meeting!

Dyson spends most of the book comparing the 1960s to the 2010s:

  • Robert Kennedy and Hillary Clinton,
  • James Baldwin and Ta-Nehisi Coates,
  • Harry Belafonte and Jay-Z,
  • Muhammad Ali and Colin Kaepernick,
  • The Civil Rights Movement and Black Lives Matter,
  • etc.

He compares how Blacks speak out – or do not – and how Whites listen – or do not.

Burden of representation: Black public figures have the right and the duty to speak out and take…

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Shot In The Back: When can police fire on fleeing suspects? – Chicago Sun Times

CHICAGO — In decades past, police officers who shot suspects as they ran away were more likely to expect praise than criminal charges. And while the legal landscape and public opinion have shifted in recent years, it’s never a certainty that such shootings will result in officer indictments.

Prosecutors moved quickly to charge a white officer with criminal homicide Wednesday in last week’s death of an unarmed black teenager who was shot in the back while fleeing a traffic stop near Pittsburgh. In Georgia, another white police officer accused of fatally shooting a black man who was running away was fired and jailed.

In two other fatal police shootings — on Monday in Galveston, Texas, and on Saturday in Minneapolis — it remains to be seen whether charges will come. Those shootings also involved people who were running away.

A look at some of the history and legal principles behind such cases:

via Shot in the back: When can police fire on fleeing suspects? — Chicago Sun-Times

Gunman Who Previously Sued Maryland Newspaper Kills Five In Targeted Attack

Stranger Fruit – A Must See Documentary That Unravels What Happened To Mike Brown

On August 9th, 2014 an unarmed 18-year-old named Michael Brown was killed by Ferguson, MO Officer Darren Wilson. Michael’s death became viral news and sparked protests for him worldwide.   Mike’s death also sparked a great deal of division and controversy.   Ferguson looked like a police state with the presence of the National Guard.

Sometime ago, I remember seeing on Twitter about the discovery of another video of Mike Brown in the convenience store.  I also remember various criticisms of the video and of the person who released it, even one that said the man who released the video was trying to promote his “book”.

As a blogger who has followed cases, I will tell anyone that it’s very difficult to convey in writing what is on video.  It is more difficult when what the video shows is being disputed.  Videos need to be presented in order for eyes to see.  As a journalism professor once told our class, “Show.  Don’t tell.”

The documentary Stranger Fruit, shows.  That doesn’t only apply to an additional video not released to the public during investigations into Mike’s death.  It also applies throughout the various interviews. It shows what is being discussed. Read the rest of this entry

Judge Orders Trump Administration To Reunite Migrant Families

“A federal judge has ordered the federal government to reunite migrant parents with children taken from them under the Trump  administration’s family separation policy.”

“U.S. District Court Judge Dana Sabraw, based in San Diego, issued a preliminary injunction on Tuesday night requiring that nearly all children younger than 5 be returned to their parents within 14 days and that older children be returned within 30 days.”

The Order can be read at this link.

 

via Judge orders Trump administration to reunite migrant families — Politics, Policy, Political News Top Stories

 

 

 

Former Officer Who Killed Corey Jones Denied Stand Your Ground Immunity

Corey Jones

Corey Jones was a musician and housing inspector.  He also owned and carried a gun legally.  Corey was 31-years old on the night of October 18, 2015 when Palm Beach Gardens police officer Nouman K. Raja was on duty in plain clothes and an unmarked car.  Corey had performed with his band and was on his way home when his car broke-down near a highway exit ramp.

Officer Nouman K. Raja, now 40-year olds, had been on the job for 6 months.  He stopped to investigate what he thought was an abandoned vehicle on the darkened ramp. Raja claimed that when he stepped out of his vehicle, “he was suddenly confronted by an armed subject.”

When Raja approached Corey, Corey was on the phone with AT&T Roadside Assistance. The call was recording as Raja and Corey had a verbal exchange. Raja fired 6-shots, hitting Corey 3 times killing him.

A month later, Raja was fired from the Palm Beach Gardens Police Department.  In June 2016, Raja was charged with manslaughter by culpable negligence and attempted first-degree murder with a firearm.  Raja posted a $250,000 bail and was place on house arrest.

Nouman K. Raja

On April 19, 2018, Raja filed a motion to dismiss the charges under Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law.  The hearing was held in May 2018.

On June 1, 2018, Judge Samantha Schosberg Feuer of Florida’s 15th Judicial Circuit Court, denied Raja Stand Your Ground.  Much of the judge’s 27 page decision addresses Stand Your Ground Law, and the change that the Florida legislature made for the party carrying the burden of proof.

The Stand Your Ground hearing involved lots of forensic testimony.  For example, the distance from where Corey’s body was found from his vehicle; the distance where his gun was found from his body; that Corey’s gun had not been fired; the syncing of the call to AT&T recording the shots, with Raja’s 911 call 33 seconds later where he was yelling “Drop the gun” but no shots were heard.   Raja also said that he had lost sight of Corey.

Read the rest of this entry

What’s the Deal with Family Separation?

Thanks for your excellent, well-informed post.

“Kids who are separated from their parents at a young age – those Romanian kids, the Aboriginal kids in Australia – have lower IQs, suffer the long term effects of PTSD, and their fight or flight response can be permanently broken.”

In other words, the Trump administration is setting up a generation of Brown people for failure, to add to arguments made by White Supremacists that having a lower IQ makes them inferior. It will be yet another people running from law enforcement who are shot and killed, while some ask why they ran rather than comply.

Practical Parenting Blog

Why Pediatricians Worry about Family Separation:IMMIGRANT-CHILD-CRIES-06-18

Sadly, we have lots of data about the damage done to children when they are separated from their families.

  • In Romania during his tenure as communist leader Nicolae Ceaușescu felt that the Romanian economy would improve if there were simply more Romanians, and so he pushed people to have children that they did not have the resources to care for. As a result, there were many Romanian children who grew up in orphanages.
  • In Australia, about 1 in 10 Aboriginal children were removed from their families to be raised by white Christians between 1910 and 1970.
  • In China right now many children, known as “the left behind,” live in outlying villages while their parents move away to work.

When children are separated from their families, their bodies suffer a stress response and secrete cortisol and adrenaline. These molecules initially damage and in the end can…

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U.S. Judge Dismisses Charleston Shooting Lawsuits, Criticizes FBI — The Crusader Journal

(Reuters) –

A federal judge has dismissed 16 lawsuits filed by survivors of a 2015 mass shooting at a South Carolina church who sued the government over the failure of an FBI-run background check system to prevent the purchase of the murder weapon. U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel also criticized what he called “abysmally poor” Federal Bureau of Investigation policies for the system that allowed Dylann Roof buy the gun he used to kill nine people, all African-Americans, at a historic black church in Charleston.

 
In his ruling released late Monday, Gergel said that the government had immunity from being sued for its policies, “even really bad policy choices.”Wrongful death lawsuits filed by survivors and family members of victims of the shooting alleged that at least one of the background check databases maintained by the federal government had information that should have prevented the firearm sale.

 

Gergel criticized the FBI’s policy to deny background check examiners access to the database, known as N-DEx.If the examiner assigned to Roof’s purchase request had been able to access N-DEx, he would have seen Roof’s 2015 drug arrest and would have barred him from buying the gun, Gergel wrote in his decision.

 

Read the full article: via U.S. judge dismisses Charleston shooting lawsuits, criticizes FBI — The Crusader Journal

Trump’s Executive Order on Separation of Migrant Families

In my opinion, an Executive Order was unnecessary.  Attorney General Jeff Sessions initiated the policy to separate migrant children from parents, and that policy could have been revoked without an Executive Order.  The Executive Order, titled “Affording Congress an Opportunity to Address Family Separation”,  gave Trump opportunity to place blame and point fingers.  There is verbiage in it that still allows for the separation of families.  It says;

“It is also the policy of this Administration to maintain family unity, including by detaining alien families together where appropriate and consistent with law and available resources.”

It sounds almost like a restaurant’s seating policy.  Some in media are already saying that available resources will be exhausted in a week.

Here’s the full text, or you can read it at Whitehouse.govRead the rest of this entry

Temporarily Disengaging Likes For Blog Comments – Spam “Likers”

There are things that happen with Word Press that the public does not know unless they visit the forums or read blog posts about certain issues.  Earlier this year, some Word Press bloggers were attacked by email followers with weird email addresses, all from the same domain.  Word press does give blog administrators ability to disconnect followers, and they also worked to prevent the fakers from following. That issue seems to have been resolved.

Now, me and others find loads of comments in the spam folder.  The only content is “what ?” and they seem to come in bunches of 20 to 25 at a time.  Since they never make it to the public board, people are not bothered by them.

The most recent game played by whomever it is, does expose their activity to the public.  The spammers are using “likes” to comments to make themselves publicly known.  They are taking time to actually open Gravatar accounts in order to perpetrate this nuisance.  I noticed that on some blogs that I recently commented on, “likes” were clicked to my comments by the same nonsensical and in some cases, obscene handles. Read the rest of this entry

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