Category Archives: Cases

Curtis Reeves- Stand Your Ground Hearing

Hat tip to Yahtzeebutterfly for keeping up with this case.

Florida’s controversial stand your ground law came upfront when 17-year old, unarmed Trayvon Martin was shot and killed in Sanford, Florida on February 26, 2012.   The law allows people to use deadly force when they fear death or great bodily harm.  Stand your ground, if granted, gives the defendant immunity from being placed on trial for the results of using deadly force.   If the person who used deadly force was the initiator, they might not qualify for immunity under stand your ground.

That is part of the controversy with stand your ground law.  It depends on perception, and when the person is dead, they cannot testify of their perception.

You might have heard of the “popcorn murder.”  It is the Reeves’ case.  In January 2014, 71-year old Curtis Reeves shot Chad Oulson (43) to death in a movie theater over texting.  Reeves also wounded Oulson’s wife. Reeves is charged with second degree murder and he claims self-defense, alleging that Chad hit him with something so hard that it knocked his glasses off his face. Read the rest of this entry

Dylann Roof Wants a New Federal Trial – Argues Lack of Jurisdiction

Victims at AME ChurchABC reports that Dylann Roof, who was convicted for murdering 9 people in Charleston’s Emanuel AME Church in June 2015, has asked for a new federal trial.  Roof was sentenced to death.  Roof’s argument is that federal prosecutors lacked jurisdiction to bring their case against him.

Represented by attorneys, they claim that the federal government failed to prove that Roof’s use of the internet, the highways, and a gun manufactured out of state, were sufficient links to allow religious obstruction charges.  A similar argument was made in July 2016 as a part of Roof’s plea bargain that if the government took the death penalty off the table, that he would plea guilty as charged.  The court denied Roof’s motion.

A federal grand jury found that Roof violated subsections of federal law 18 U.S.C. 247 in that he intentionally obstructed, by force, the enjoyment of free exercise of religious beliefs.  That section requires that the circumstances takes place in or affects interstate or foreign commerce.

Roof is currently in custody in the Charleston County jail awaiting trial in state court.

 

Two Armed and Masked White Men Walked Into a Dearborn Police Station

armed-men-in-dearbornpsWhat I’m writing about clearly shows that we are in a system motivated by racism/white supremacy. This also shows that the true and greatest threat to Law enforcement are white males,, contrary to the false War on Cops propaganda, and contrary to the false narrative that ONLY  black males are targeting cops.

On February 5,2017. Two white males, James V Baker 24 yrs old of Leonard Michigan, and Brandon Vreeland 40 yrs old of Jackson Michigan, were arrested after walking into a Dearborn, Michigan police station carrying firearms, and wearing ski masks and body armor. This began when  shoppers at the Fort Road shopping district called police about two suspicious men wearing ski masks and body armor. When police arrived, the men were gone.

Later a police sergeant spotted the vehicle and conducted and pulled them over for a traffic stop.They matched the description. However, Baker while in his ski mask, refused to talk to police. The sergeant let them go because he didn’t see any guns in the car. This is on video. Read the rest of this entry

Travel Ban Ruling: 9th Circuit upholds stay of Trump’s travel ban in win for opponents

If anyone is interested in reading the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Order, I’ve uploaded it here.

The Fifth Column

Travel Ban Ruling: 9th Circuit upholds stay of Trump's travel ban in win for opponentsImage Credit: AP

POLICY.MIC

A nationwide stay of President Donald Trump‘s travel ban was upheld Thursday by a panel of three federal judges, effectively blocking the enforcement of Trump’s ban on immigrants from seven majority-Muslim countries as well as refugees from all over the world.

The stay does not mean Trump’s travel ban is unconstitutional. Instead, it simply prohibits the ban’s enforcement until the courts determine the legality of Trump’s executive order.

Still, it’s a win for opponents of the travel ban, who claim that the order, in essence, places a religious test on immigrants — which is unconstitutional thanks to the First Amendment.

In the unanimous decision, the court said lawyers for the Trump administration failed to prove that a…

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Trump’s Executive Order – 9th Circuit Court of Appeals To Hear Argument On Temporary Injunction – Live Streamed

Because of public interest, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals plans to live stream oral argument on the temporary injunction order entered by the Washington federal court.  It can be accessed at this link.

Oral argument begins at 3 p.m. P.T.  That’s 5 p.m. CST and 6 p.m. on the East Coast.  Some sources are reporting that the live stream will be audio only because the attorneys are appearing by phone.

The 9th Circuit has also opened a website for documents filed in and proceedings held in the State of Washington and State of Minnesota v. Trump.

It began on January 27, 2017 when Trump signed an Executive Order barring citizens from 7 predominately Muslim countries from entering the United States for 90 days; refugees for 120 days, and indefinitely halts refugees from Syria.

The ACLU filed a petition that resulted in a temporary injunction of Trump’s Executive Order that the court granted. Petitions were filed in other federal circuits as well.

U.S. District Judge Nathaniel Gorton in Boston granted a temporary injunction, but refused to extend it.  It was filed by the ACLU on behalf of 2 University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth professors who returned from an academic conference and were retained at Logan Airport.  The professors are Iranian Muslims and lawful permanent U.S. residents.  They were eventually allowed to re-enter.

It is the order entered by U.S. District Judge James Robart of the US District Court for the Western District of Washington that sprung the Trump administration into action.  That order places a temporary injunction on Trump’s Executive Order nationwide.  Attorneys for the DOJ filed a notice of appeal and motion to stay the temporary injunction.  The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals denied the stay.  It’s the appeal to the temporary order that is scheduled for hearing today.

Follow-up reports will be posted in the comment section.

 

Hung Jury In Trial of Former Garland Texas Officer

In December 2016, we followed the trials of Michael Slager and Dylann Roof.  There was also another trial.

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Patrick Tuter, left. Michael Allen, right.

In August 2012, Officer Patrick Tuter of Garland, Texas led a vehicle chase of unarmed 25 year old Michael Allen.  Tuter fired at Michael 41 times, reloading several times and hitting Michael 3 times.   The Dallas County Medical Examiner’s Officer performed the autopsy and determined that Michael suffered gunshot wounds to his upper back, side, and left elbow.

Tuter’s official report was that he opened fired after Michael rammed a patrol car.  The dashboard video however, showed that it was Tuter’s patrol car that rammed into Michael’s truck.  Tuter fired his gun from the back, left-side of Michael’s truck.

Michael Allen’s body was pulled out of the cab of his truck by a K9 who chewed his face.

In March 2013, Tuter was fired for violating department policies on pursuits and use of force.  He had been on the force 7 years.

In November, 2013, a grand jury indicted Tuter on a manslaughter charge which if convicted, is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.  Read the rest of this entry

SAN FRANCISCO SUES TRUMP’S ADMINISTRATION

As I understand it, each state has rights to legislate their own laws, and each of the states give municipalities the right to pass their own ordinances. This is going to be a most interesting case. May our constitution prevail.

THE LEON KWASI CHRONICLES

By:Leon Kwasi Kuntuo-Asare

On Tuesday, the city of San Francisco became the first so-called “Sanctuary City”, to sue the Trump Administration, after his executive order to defund cities that he claims protects illegal immigrants.

Ed Lee, the mayor of San Francisco, said : ” the misguided executive order makes our cities less safe, and we believe is unconstitutional.”

Mayors from other major cities like New York and Chicago, promised to defy the president’s executive order, the ACLU, also plans to file a lawsuit against Trump’s administration.

For additional information use link below:

https://newsone.com/3655967/san-francisco-sues-trump-over-unconstitutional-sanctuary-cities-executive-order/

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Breaking News: Brooklyn Judge Stops Trump’s Immigration Ban

A cheer and toast to the ACLU! When it comes to the constitution, they know their stuff. I read the petition and among their arguments is that Trump is in violation of the Immigration and Naturalization Act which does not allow for discrimination based on country of origin. If Trump is going to ban the entry of non-citizens, he has to ban all and not just citizens of 7 countries.

Gronda Morin

donald-trump-signing-orders1485289256441On Friday, Mr. Trump issued an executive order banning immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim countries from being able to enter the USA (including even green card holders) under the auspices of national security. On Saturday, Mr. Trump was hit with a class-action lawsuit by the ACLU, which argued that this executive order was unconstitutional.

About an hour ago, Judge Ann Donnelly from the Eastern District of New York (federal court in Brooklyn) agreed with the ACLU, and issued a national injunction staying enforcement of Trump’s unconstitutional order anywhere in the country. Under this injunction, no one can be removed from the United States solely by virtue of President Trump’s Executive Order, and the Government must even provide the ACLU with a list of names of people who have been affected.

President Trump’s unconstitutional move was meant to please his followers despite the fact that there have been no refugees from any of…

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Dylann Roof Sentenced to Death

dylann-roof

Dylann Roof, found guilty of the murder of nine people, and sentenced to death.

The jury began their deliberations early this afternoon.   It did not take them long to decide that Dylann Roof, the murderer of nine people, receive the death penalty.

At closing argument, Roof reminded the jury that its decision must be unanimous.  Apparently, he was looking to impress upon just one juror not to sentence him to death.

Also during his closing argument, Roof told the jury,  “I still feel like I had to do it.”

It is reported that every member of the jury looked directly at Roof as he spoke for about 5 minutes.

The prosecutor’s closing argument included;

“They welcomed a 13th person that night … with a kind word, a Bible, a handout and a chair,” Richardson said during his closing argument. “He had come with a hateful heart and a Glock .45.”

 

Fourteen Year Old Charged With Cyber-harassment and Ethnic Intimidation

(Cross posted from Flightattendantfailures)

After an approximate 3-month investigation, a 14-year-old Northampton, PA student has been charged with cyber harassment and ethnic intimidation.  The 14-year old took a video of a 16-year old student eating lunch and posted it on Snapchat.  The 14-year old is White.  The 16-year old is Black.

Northampton County District Attorney, John Morganelli, said of the video;

“I reviewed the video today and I find it to be highly offensive and reprehensible. It depicts the 16-year-old minding his own business eating chicken wings while the 14-year-old records him and narrates it by describing the scene as ‘a N-word eating chicken.’

“The video demeans the 16-year-old with numerous uses of the N-word and references to being broke and on welfare. As bad as that is, the 14-year-old published the offensive video on social media including Snapchat that was viewed by numerous students as well as the 16-year-old male, …”

john-morganelli

Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli at a news conference on Jan. 3, 2017. (Rudy Miller)

However, the District Attorney did not know of the video until after the 16-year old Black student was arrested and charged with simple assault, harassment and disorderly conduct.  That’s because while at a football game attended by both student, the Black student retaliated by opening a can of whoop-ass on the 14-year old.

Neither teen has been publicly identified by authorities.

D.A. Morganelli will allow the 14-year-old to seek an “informal adjustment” in juvenile court. If he completes the probationary requirements, he will not be charged with the crimes.

The 16-year old Black student will also be allowed an “informal adjustment.”  Morganelli said the black student had previously been the subject of discrimination from a group of students calling themselves “the rednecks.” He said he had a confederate flag thrown on him when he transferred to the school from out of state. Read the rest of this entry

Florida Settles Lawsuit With Prison Guard Whistle Blowers

This is a report on what happened to three Florida Department of Corrections staff members after they testified under oath before a Florida State Senate committee about murdering, brutal, dishonest guards in Florida’s prisons.

Florida is the nation’s third largest prison system.  The Miami Herald began an investigative project into reports of alleged brutality and corruption in the prison system. Only then did prison officials begin to acknowledge the complaints.    In September 2014, I reported on the firing of 32 guards from the Florida Department of Corrections.

Randall Jordan-Aparo

Randall Jordan Aparo

One of the correction officers that was terminated is Rollin Austin.  Records show that Austin ordered the gassing of Randall Jordan-Aparo, a 27-year-old check forger who died at Franklin Correctional in September 2010.

Randall Jordan-Aparo begged to be taken to the hospital for a blood disorder that had flared up. Instead, Austin ordered the gassing in close quarters cell. Three years after Randall Jordan-Aparo’s death, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement visited the Franklin prison to look into an unrelated wrongdoing and stumbled onto the circumstances behind Jordan-Aparo’s death. Florida Department of Law Enforcement inspectors now call what happened a case of “sadistic retaliatory” behavior by guards.

The cover-ups, corruption and other wrong-doing did not end in 2014.  On November 29, 2016,  Tampa Bay news reported that Florida agreed to settle a case for $800,000.  That case was filed by whistle blowers who alleged retaliation.

Read the rest of this entry

“News: There Will Be A Second Murder Trial For Michael Slager In 2017, As Well As A Federal Trial” 

I have a bit more confidence of the federal trial because they are going to argue the charge of lying to investigators. Once Slager’s lie is proven, the verdict of guilty should come easy. But, we know that all jurors don’t “see” the same. The month of May cannot come soon enough.

THE LEON KWASI CHRONICLES

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Two Former Police Officers Found Guilty For The Murder Of Handcuffed Man

On August 18, 2015, East Point, Georgia police officers Cpl. Howard Weems and Sgt. Marcus Eberhart were indicted on charges related to the April 11, 2014 death of 24-year old Gregory Towns.  Eberhart resigned and Weems was terminated after the incident.  Their trial began on December 5, 2016.

howard-weems-marcus-eberhart_20161206154840990_6765271_ver1-0_640_360On April 11, 2014, Weems and Eberhart responded to a domestic violence call in the Atlanta suburb.  Another officer was also present. Gregory Towns ran and was apprehended.  According to Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard, after apprehending Gregory,the officers handcuffed him.  They demanded him to stand and walk to a waiting patrol car.  Gregory indicated that he was out of breath and could not stand.  Both officers used their tasers on Gregory, and even after attempting to walk but collapsing, the officers continued to tase him.

Gregory was tased 13-14 times. Read the rest of this entry

Dylann Roof Convicted

The jury in Dylann Roof’s federal trial deliberated less than 2 hours, and convicted him on all counts of hate crimes, obstruction of religion and weapons charges.

The panel of nine Whites people and three Blacks  will reconvene on January 3, 2017 to decide whether Roof is sentenced to death or life in prison without parole.

Minutes after the verdict was read, Roof told U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel he wanted to represent himself during the penalty phase.

Fox news reports; Read the rest of this entry

Dylann Roof’s Federal Trial Begins

Victims at AME Church

On June 17, 2015, Dylann Roof went to the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina where they were holding Bible Study.  He shot and killed 9 people.  A manhunt resulted, and Roof was found and arrested in North Carolina.  He confessed to the killings.

Roof is an avowed White supremacist who perceived that he had to save the White race from Blacks.  He wanted to start a race war.  Roof waited until parishioners closed their eyes to pray  before firing his Glock .45-caliber pistol.  When it was over, Roof had fired more than 70 shots, striking his victims 60 times.

The 22-year old is charged with 12 federal counts of hate crimes, 12 counts of obstructing the exercise of religion, and 9 counts of firearm violations.   Federal prosecutors seek the death penalty.

Discarding empty magazines and reloading his weapon, Roof found survivor Polly Sheppard hiding as she prayed. Roof told her to shut up, before asking if she had been shot. Sheppard was then told that she would be left alive so that she could tell others what had occurred. She will likely serve as the final witness for the prosecution in the guilt phase of the trial.

Since he was arrested, there have been numerous pleadings and hearings in the case.  To report on each one would be tedious.  The most recent included a motion to find Roof mentally incompetent to stand trial.  The court denied that motion.  The LA Times reports that Judge Gergel found Roof capable of standing trial on the basis that he completed the 9th grade and had an “extremely high IQ” and was able to understand courtroom proceedings.  A legal expert however, stated that there is a clear difference between intellectual ability and judgment.

It is not known what type of mental illness or emotional disturbance Roof may or may not have because the hearings were closed to the public.

Roof’s attorneys offered to change Roof’s plea to guilty in exchange for a sentence of life in prison without parole.   Federal prosecutors turned down the offer.

Just before jury selection, Roof motioned the judge to release his attorneys.  He wanted to represent himself.  The judge granted Roof’s motion.  After jury selection, Roof asked the judge to rehire his attorneys, but he wants to represent himself during the penalty phase.   The judge granted his motion. Read the rest of this entry

Hung Jury in Michael Slager’s Trial

walter-scott

Walter Scott. RIP

Former North Charleston police officer Michael Slager was charged with murder or voluntary manslaughter in the killing of Walter Scott, an unarmed black man.  Walter Scott was shot in the back 5 times.

Trial began on November 3, 2016, with closing arguments on November 30, 2016.  We followed the trial on this blog with part 1; part 2; and part 3.

A by-stander’s video was released shortly after the deadly encounter that shows Slager unholstered his weapon and fire as Walter ran away.  Slager’s attorney then withdrew his representation and Slager was terminated from his job and charged with murder.

On Friday, the jury told judge Judge Newman that one juror was holding out for a not-guilty verdict.  Subsequently, the jury told Judge Newman that with further instructions on the law, they might be able to come to a unanimous decision.

After sending questions to the court this morning, and receiving answers to those questions, the jury sent a note saying they were deadlocked.

Judge Newman declared a mistrial.

Michael Slager also faces federal charges, including violation of Walter Scott’s civil rights.  That trial is scheduled for next year.

Source: CBS

 

Keith Lamont Scott killing: No charges against officer, DA says

If carrying a concealed weapon makes one a threat, then America is geared for slaughter on the streets.

MB3-org.com

Charlotte, North Carolina (CNN)The officer who fatally shot Keith Lamont Scott won’t face charges, a prosecutor said Wednesday, closing a two-month investigation into the killing that led to heated protests and divided the city of Charlotte.

Mecklenburg County District Attorney Andrew Murray said he didn’t reach the decision alone; a total of 15 prosecutors unanimously agreed that Charlotte-Mecklenburg police Officer Brentley Vinson was justified in shooting Scott on September 20 in an apartment complex parking lot.
In his hour-long announcement, Murray refuted a series of “erroneous claims” made shortly after the shooting. He said those narratives fueled widespread misconceptions about what actually happened.
Among them:
— Scott’s relatives said he didn’t have a gun, but “all the credible evidence” led to the conclusion that Scott was armed, Murray said. He said Scott’s DNA was on the grip of a gun found at the scene.
Murray also said at least…

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Michael Slager Testifies In His Defense – Part 3

161129-slager-trial-1143_db93a13264a21b3e431c4e31283b7bf2-nbcnews-ux-600-480Michael Slager took the witness stand at his murder trial today.  Following him were defense witnesses who tried to explain how Slager has selective memory.

Before watching Slager’s testimony, and if you have not yet watched it, here is the video captured by a bystander.  It shows when Slager fired his gun at Walter Scott as Scott was running away.

 

Here is Slager’s testimony, giving his non-video version.

 

 

Read the rest of this entry

Ray Tensing To Be Retried For Murder, Voluntary Manslaughter – CNN.com

Hat Tip to Pat/Ohio

CNN Reports

(Published using Press This)

samuel-dubose-large-169

Samuel Dubose. Ray Tensing is being retried for murder.

Ray Tensing, a former University of Cincinnati officer who shot and killed a black man during a traffic stop in 2015, will be retried on murder and voluntary manslaughter charges, prosecutors in Ohio announced Tuesday.

A mistrial was declared November 12, after jurors spent more than 25 hours deliberating but could not come to a decision.

Tensing, who is white, shot Sam DuBose in the head in July 2015 after pulling him over for a missing front license plate and asking for his license, an incident that was largely captured on body camera video.”

After careful consideration, I have decided that the Tensing case will be retried,” Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters said in a statement Tuesday.

“This decision was made after review of the trial transcript, discussion with some of the jurors, and consultation with my staff,” Deters said.”I am hopeful that a second jury will be able to reach a decision to bring justice in this case for the victim’s family and our community.” Read the rest of this entry

Michael Slager On Trial for Killing Walter Scott – Trial Continues Part 2

2015-04-08t23-05-56-033z-1280x720-nbcnews-ux-1080-600The murder trial of ex-cop Michael Slager began on November 3rd, and you can find the videos of the trial at the following link up to Thursday, November 10th.  There was no trial on Veteran’s Day.

Post and Courier reports that the trial has been contentious.  Judge Clifton Newman has cautioned defense attorneys to not testify themselves, but the defense continues using that tactic.

During trial, you hear “SLED” allot.  That is the acronym for South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.

Here are some highlights of the trial;

  • The bystander who filmed the killing, Feidin Santana, has testified.  He stood strong against the defense trying to get him to agree that there was a “fight,” and Santana continued correcting the defense that he saw no fight.
  • Slager’s former colleagues have testified that he told them that Walter Scott managed to wrestle his taser away from him and pointed it at him, prompting him to fire his service weapon.
  • On Tuesday, Almon Brown, a state crime scene investigator, testified that he was concerned when he examined Scott’s body because what he saw didn’t match what he had been told about how Scott died.
  • Levi Miles, a private investigator for Michael Slager’s former defense lawyer, testified that Slager showed him during a re-enactment that Walter Scott was coming toward the officer before the gunfire. When he compared that with what he saw in a video of the shooting, Miles said, “That part of it seemed to be a lot different.”

Read the rest of this entry

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