Author Archives: Xena
On July 10, 2015, Texas Department of Public Safety trooper Brian Encinia stopped Sandra Bland for failure to signal a lane change. Sandra was 28-years old. She was in Texas to start a job on August 3, 2015 as a summer program associate with Prairie View A&M University in Waller County, Texas.
Upon returning to Sandra’s car with citations for her to sign, Encinia asked Sandra to put out her cigarette. When Sandra asked Encinia why she would need to put out her cigarette in her own car, Encinia ordered Sandra out of her car, and taking out his stun gun, threatened to “light” her up if she did not comply. Encinia accused Sandra of assaulting him and she was taken to jail.
On July 13, 2015, Sandra was found dead in her jail cell. She was found hung with a plastic trash bag around her neck, from a partition that was shorter or about the same height as Sandra, who was 6 feet tall.
In January 2016, a grand jury indicted Brian Encinia (the arresting officer) for perjury. The grand jury did not believe Encinia’s statement that he wanted Sandra removed from her car so he could conduct a safer traffic investigation. The Texas Department of Public Safety terminated Encinia for violating department standards. Encina was freed on a $2,500 bond. If convicted for perjury, he faced up to a year in jail and a $4,000 fine.
In March 2016, Brian Encinia was formerly fired from his law enforcement job. Read the rest of this entry
People are often unreasonable, illogical and self-centered.
FORGIVE THEM ANYWAY.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish motives.
BE KIND ANYWAY.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies.
If you are honest and sincere, people may deceive you.
BE HONEST AND SINCERE ANYWAY. Read the rest of this entry
Last week, a friend told me a joke about a talking dog. I found it on Youtube. I laughed much longer than the 3 minute video.
Hope you enjoy it.
Ray Tensing, the former University of Cincinnati police officer who fatally shot 43-year-old Sam DuBose in July 15, 2015, first went to trial for voluntary manslaughter and murder in 2016. That jury hung. We followed that trial and you can read it here and here.
Tensing’s retrial began June 8, 2017. The jury deliberated for more than 25 hours. Today, the judge declared a mistrial.
Joe Deters, Hamilton County Prosecutor, said he will not comment until next week.
Jurors had questions during deliberations. I am looking for those questions and if I locate them, I’ll post them in the comment section.
The DuBose family said in a statement through an attorney, “We are outraged that a second jury has now failed to convict Ray Tensing for the murder of our beloved Sam DuBose.” The family is demanding another retrial, the statement said. Read the rest of this entry
Thanks so much to all followers new and old. There has been such an increase in subscribed followers lately that I’ve not had time to keep up visiting their blogs. Please forgive me. Rather than clicking like and moving on, I prefer reading posts and if there is something I would like to say, to leave comments. Time does not always allow me to leave comments. I’m hoping to set aside at least one hour on the weekends to visit and catch-up on the blogs I follow. Here’s hoping that it works.
Now for a couple of things ….
It’s a humbling experience to discover that things you have written have been cited in professional publications.
In October 2016, blogger Supabutterfly wrote a post honoring me. I was already humbled and honored by his handle. For those who might not know, in July 2014, I made a decision to use the option that a Word Press account would be needed to submit comments to this blog. It was because since mid-2013, I was bombarded with harassing comments submitted through proxy IP addresses. For over 6 months, I blacklisted the IP addresses, but one proxy IP address service might have hundreds of proxy IP addresses. It was a never-ending battle.
There were people who had participated on this blog since it opened in August 2012. They opened Word Press accounts and many of them incorporated the word “butterfly” into their new handles. One did not consider himself a butterfly so chose a handle that includes “moth.” What they did was honorable and a blessing to me. None of them had to go through opening a Word Press account to continue posting comments here, but they did and I am forever grateful. Read the rest of this entry
In 2015, Michael Brown Sr. and Lesley McSpadden, the parents of 18-year Michael Brown, filed a suit against the city of Ferguson, MO, the former Police Chief Tom Jackson and former police officer Darren Wilson. Today, the city settled that lawsuit.
Terms of the wrongful death settlement were not disclosed. United States District Court Judge E. Richard Webber approved the settlement and ordered it sealed, writing;
“The gross settlement amount is fair and reasonable compensation for this wrongful death claim and is in the best interests of each plaintiff.”
In 2014, Michael Brown was shot multiple times, with the fatal wound being to the top of his head, spilling his brains onto the street. His body laid in the street for more than 4 hours. A grand jury failed to indict Darren Wilson, and the DOJ began a probe that found systematic racial discrimination in Ferguson that targeted Black residents and created a “toxic environment.” The report said the city overwhelmingly arrested and issued traffic citations to Blacks to boost city income, and used the police as a collection agency. Read the rest of this entry
Dominique Heaggan-Brown (25 years old) is a former Milwaukee police officer. He shot and killed 23-year old Sylville Smith in Milwaukee’s Sherman Park neighborhood on August 13, 2016. On December 15, 2016, Heaggan-Brown was charged with one count of first-degree reckless homicide. If convicted, he can be sentenced to a maximum of 60 years in prison.
At the time of the shooting, Sylville was armed with a semi-automatic pistol. Heaggan-Brown and his partner wore body cameras which show that Sylville threw the gun over a fence into a yard. Heaggan-Brown shot Sylville, who fell to the ground on his back and had his hands near his head. Heaggan-Brown then shot Syville again, center mass. At the time he fired the second and fatal shot, Sylville was unarmed.
In his interview, Heaggan-Brown said that he fired once at which time he observed the pistol fly out of Smith’s hands and over the fence into the backyard of the residence. Smith then fell to the ground and Heaggan-Brown believed he was reaching for his waist so he discharged his weapon a second time. At no time after the shooting did Heaggan-Brown or any other officer search Smith for a second firearm. Read the rest of this entry
After approximately 29 hours of deliberations, the jury in the manslaughter case of St. Anthony, Minnesota police officer Jeronimo Yanez has returned a verdict of not guilty. Yanez was also charged with two felony counts of intentional discharge of a firearm that endangers safety for firing his weapon. When he shot and killed Philando Castile, Castile’s girlfriend and her 4-year old daughter were passengers in the car. Bullets barely missed both of them.
During deliberations, the jury requested to review the transcript of Yanez’s interview with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. Judge William H. Leery III denied their request. By Wednesday, the jury was deadlocked, but the judge sent them back to keep deliberating.
Kare11 reports that this morning, the jury handed a note to Judge Leary III requesting to have the transcript of Yanez’s testimony while on the stand and the cross examination read aloud in court. The judge denied their request.
We followed the trial at this link.
If there are press conferences filmed later where the videos are on Youtube so they can be embedded here, I will post them in the comment section.
Thanks for this post. We should never, ever, forget history.
Two anniversaries make this a bitter-sweet day.
Fifty years ago, the Supreme Court made interracial marriage the law of the United States in its ruling in Loving v. Virginia. The 1967 unanimous decision came nine years after Mildred Jeter, a black woman who later identified as Native American, married Richard Loving, a white man, and the couple was threatened with prison if they didn’t leave Virginia. Justice Anthony Kennedy cited Loving v. Virginia in the Supreme Court ruling that legalized marriage equality, a case in which four of the nine justices—John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia, and Clarence Thomas—supported bigotry.
On the 40th anniversary of Loving v. Virginia, one year before Mildred Loving died in 2008, she talked about her support for marriage equality:
“I believe all Americans, no matter their race, no matter their sex, no matter their sexual orientation, should have that same freedom to marry. Government…
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Ray Tensing is a former University of Cincinnati officer who shot and killed Samuel Dubose during a traffic stop in 2015. A mistrial was declared on November 12, 2016. The straw poll by jurors was unanimous for murder. After 25 hours of deliberation however, four jurors were ready to convict Tensing of murder, four were ready to convict him of voluntary manslaughter and four were ready to find him not guilty. The jury consisted of 2 Black women, 4 White women and 6 White men.
The trial was covered on this blog.
Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters said that how jurors went from unanimously agreeing on a murder conviction in their straw poll to being unable to reach a verdict on any charge is unclear. He talked to the jurors and said that he learned a lot.
On November 28, 2016, Deter announced that he was retrying Tensing on the charges of murder and involuntary manslaughter.
The jury for Tensing’s retrial has now been seated. It consists of 7 White women, 2 White men, 1 Black man and 2 Black women.
Opening statements are anticipated for this morning. The trial is being live streamed at this link. I’ll update in the comment section below.
On May 14, 2017 at about 1 a.m., 40-year old Tashii Brown (also known by the last name Farmer) approached police offficer Kenneth Lopera of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. Lopera and another officer were in a coffee shop in the Venetian which is located in the heart of the Las Vegas Strip.
According to police, Tashii asked them if they knew where a drinking fountain was located and said that people were chasing him. He then abruptly ran through an employee-only area. Lopera gave chase. When he caught up with Tashii, he was trying to unlatch the tailgate of an occupied pickup truck. Lopera believed that Tashii was trying to carjack the truck, and he tased Tashii. The driver later told investigators that he did not think he was being carjacked.
Lopera shocked Tashii 7 times. Body cam video from the incident shows Tashii writhing on his back in pain with his hands in the air as Lopera commanded him to roll onto his stomach. Lopera hit Tashii with a closed fist several times in the head and face. He then put Tashii in a chokehold and held him in that chokehold until other officers arrived. Body cam video shows that another officer told Lopera to release his chokehold on Tashii, but Lopera continued the hold for another 46 seconds. Read the rest of this entry
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.
Yanez’s attorney, Thomas Kelly, said Yanez stopped Castile because he matched the description of a suspect in a robbery a few days earlier. (Castile was found to not be connected to the robbery.)
Today, prosecutor Dusterhoft told the jury;
“What he could see were dreadlocks, eyeglasses and the fact that Mr. Castile was a black man,” Dusterhoft said. “Based on that glimpse” he stopped the car in Falcon Heights.”
Jeronimo Yanez has been charged with three felony counts; second-degree manslaughter and two counts of dangerous discharge of a firearm.
On June 5, 2017, a jury was seated and opening statements were made. The jury consists of 9 men and 6 women which includes 3 alternates. There is one Black man and one Black woman on the jury.
Friends, visitors, caterpillars, moths, butterflies, and a certain roach,
Sunday evening, a bug hit my household. Even the dog vomited. Although I’m feeling better now, my appetite has not returned and I’m still weak. This open discussion is because there are two trials currently taking place, and I’m not sure if I can keep up with separate posts about other news.
- I knew jury selection was taking place for two trials; that of Jeronimo Yanez for the shooting death of Philando Castile. Yanez is charged with second-degree manslaugher. Jury selection is underway for Ray Tensing’s retrial, who is charged with the shooting death of Samuel Dubose. The jury deadlocked at Tensing’s first trial, which we followed at this link.
Yanez’s trial is not livestreamed. Tensing’s trial is scheduled to be livestreamed. I will publish separate posts to follow each trial. Read the rest of this entry
Lezley McSpadden, Michael Brown’s Mother, Earns High School Diploma Alongside College-Bound Daughter Daysa Brown
Lezley McSpadden, the mother of Michael Brown, recently walked across the stage in Missouri to receive her high school diploma.What’s also interesting is that McSpadden earned her diploma alongside her daughter, Daysa Brown, thanks to the local school district’s adult high school education program, which allowed her to attend classes on weekday afternoons.
McSpadden dropped out of Ladue Horton Watkins High School after giving birth to her son Michael in her junior year. After creating the We Love Our Sons & Daughters Foundation, she decided to go back and get her diploma. The initiative, made in her late son’s honor, focuses on advocating for justice and advancing education.
Specifically, McSpadden got encouragement to go back and finish high school from Art McCoy…
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Michael Tyree was 31-years old when he died on August 26, 2015. He was bi-polar and was arrested for misdemeanor theft and drug possession. Tyree was jailed in a section of the Santa Clara County Correctional facility that is reserved for inmates with special needs. There, he was beaten with the coroner finding the cause of death as internal bleeding due to blunt force trauma. There were lacerations to Michael’s liver and spleen, which was nearly severed in half. Michael was found in his cell naked and covered in vomit and feces.
Three guards, Matthew Farris, Jereh Lubrin and Rafael Rodriguez, were charged with second degree murder. Jereh Lubrin was also charged with assault under color of authority and the three guards were charged with assault under color of authority for allegedly beating inmate Juan Villa. Read the rest of this entry
Deborah Danner was a 66-year old senior citizen with schizophrenia. On October 18, 2016, Deborah was in her Bronx apartment when a neighbor called the police and reported that Deborah was screaming. New York City Police Sergeant Hugh Barry arrived on the scene.
Initially, the police said that Sergeant Barry persuaded Ms. Danner to drop a pair of scissors, but that she picked up a bat and tried to swing at him. Several other officers were at the scene, in the building at 630 Pugsley Avenue, but only Sergeant Barry was in the bedroom with Ms. Danner.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and the police commissioner, James P. O’Neill, said Sergeant Barry failed to follow police protocol for dealing with people with mental illness. Specifically, he did not use his stun gun to try to subdue Ms. Danner, and he did not wait for a specialized Emergency Service Unit to arrive. Read the rest of this entry
Hat tip to Crustyolemothman
On Nov. 22, 2014, 12-year old Tamir Rice was in a park in Cleveland, Ohio with a toy gun. A person called 911 and told the dispatcher that the person was “probably a juvenile” and the gun was “probably fake.” The dispatcher did not relay that information over the radio.
Officers Frank Garmback and Rookie Timothy Loehmann arrived and Loehmann shot Tamir Rice, who later died from the gunshot wound.
The Cleveland police dispatcher who failed to relay all of the information was suspended for eight days.
There were filings in court where a judge found probable cause to arrest Garmback and Loehmann, however, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty did not charge the officers and a grand jury did not indict.
Tamir’s estate filed a federal lawsuit and the City of Cleveland settled for $6 million.
The Cleveland Police Union has filed suit against manufacturers of toy guns seeking to have them redesigned.
Today, May 30, 2017, Timothy Loehmann was fired from the Cleveland Police Department. His termination was for violations he committed in the course of his hiring process. Read the rest of this entry
On Friday, 35-year-old Jeremy Joseph Christian, of north Portland, Oregon, boarded a light rail MAX train in Northeast Portland. He apparently had a chip on his shoulder and, for no discernable reason, began berating two women, one of whom was wearing a hijab. He began ranting and shouting, telling them to “Get off the bus, and get out of the country because you don’t pay taxes here”. Fearing that his rants were escalating, at least three other passengers acted to try to calm Mr. Christian and protect the two women. Two of the three men are now dead, the third is in the hospital being treated for non-life-threatening injuries, and Mr. Christian is being held without bond in police custody on two counts of aggravated murder, one count of attempted murder, two counts of intimidation in the second degree and one count of possession of a restricted weapon…
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