Category Archives: Cases

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

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

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

Former New Hampshire Police Officer Turns Down Plea Offer. Trial Is Scheduled.

Ian Kibbe

Former Claremont, New Hampshire police sergeant Ian Kibbe is charged with counts of conspiracy to commit perjury and attempt perjury, and two counts of falsification and obstructing government administration.  The charges stem from an alleged illegal search and falsifying his report.  Kibbe was offered a plea that was not made public, and he turned it down.   Judge Brian Tucker scheduled jury selection for Kibbe’s trial to start on December 3, 2018.  Trial is anticipated to last two days.

The 30-year old Kibbe was arrested in April after an investigation by the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office. He was released on a $5,000 cash bail.

Kibbe’s partner, Mark Burch, was also investigated.  Burch had been on the force for less than a year.  Their employment with the Claremont police force ended in March.  Claremont Police Captain Brent Wilmont, Chase Police Captain Alex Lee, and New Hampshire State Trooper Eric Fosterling took part in reporting that Kibbe and Burch might have engaged in criminal conduct.   Trooper Fosterling is a former police office in Claremont.  Read the rest of this entry

Manhattan Lawyer David Waldman Charged With Cyberstalking

Stop Cyber Abuse

David Waldman, 50, is an attorney who launched a relentless campaign against his banker ex-girlfriend after she ended their four-month relationship.  He bombarded her with vile text messages, emails, and launched hateful websites. Waldman also went as far as to send a letter to his ex-girlfriend’s boss claiming that she’s a drug addict.  After posting things about her that directly claimed her to have mental illness, and after threatening to appear at her apartment, Waldman told his ex-girlfriend’s employer that he was going to sue her for defamation, illegal trespass, and violating HIPAA.

Some of Waldman’s other communications included;

“I only hope you die of cervical cancer before I can f— up your s—,” Waldman wrote on a website he created in 2014 called eurotrashroyalty.blogspot.com. “No k–e civil attorneys, no car load of your pals, or anything else you have in your arsenal will cause me to even blink.”

“When…

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Former Tulsa Sheriff Found Guilty Of Violating Elliott Williams’ Civil Rights

Does the name Stanley Glanz ring a bell?  What about the names Eric Harris and Robert Bates?

Robert Bates was a Tulsa, Oklahoma reserve deputy when he was part of a sting operation.  Bates fatally shot unarmed Eric Harris, and said that he mistook his gun for his taser. Eric was restrained when Bates shot him.

On April 2, 2015, a jury found Bates guilty of second-degree manslaughter.  He was sentenced to 4 years in prison.  After serving 497 days, the 76-year-old Bates was released from the North Fork Correctional Center.  He will serve probation for the remainder of his sentence.

In March 2018, Tulsa County agreed to pay a $6 million settlement to Eric Harris estate’s excessive force lawsuit. If you would like to read more about that case and Bate’s trial, please click this link.

Former Tulsa, OK Sheriff Stanley Glanz

So, who is Stanley Glanz?  Glanz was Sheriff of Tulsa.  Eric Harris’ death uncovered a law enforcement agency in disarray.  Glanz and Bates were fishing buddies.  In September 2015, Glanz was indicted for failing to release a 2009 internal report that raised serious concerns about Bates’ ability to do his job. Glanz eventually pleaded no contest and was sentenced to a year of jail time, which was suspended.

Glanz was also named as a defendant in a civil suit filed by the family of Elliott Williams.  Elliott Williams, 37 years old and a veteran, was taken to the Tulsa jail in October 2011 after being arrested in Owasso in the lobby of a Marriott hotel for misdemeanor obstruction of a police officer. Rather than going through the jail’s screening process, Elliott was taken directly to a holding cell.

Shortly after being placed in the cell, Elliott rammed his head into the door and fell to the ground.  An inmate seeing what happened called for help, and Elliott told detention officers he had broken his neck and couldn’t move.

Detention officers did nothing.  Elliott died at the Tulsa Jail on Oct. 27, 2011, after living on the floor of his cell for five days with a broken neck. He was unable to reach food or water. The jail did not send him to the hospital or provide treatment because nurses and the psychiatrist said he was faking paralysis.

Elliott’s family filed a civil lawsuit in 2012.  In 2016, a federal court ruled that the case could proceed.  At trial, former Sheriff Stanley Glanz testified that Elliott didn’t undergo a mental health assessment upon his arrival at the Tulsa Jail because he was “acting up.”  He told jurors that because of Elliott Williams’ behavior, he didn’t have a problem with him not being evaluated.

Glanz also defended his use of racial slurs, saying that they were used by the FBI in written reports in the 1960’s.

Asked how often inmates fail to go through the booking process and lay in their own feces for 10 hours while yelling for help, Glanz responded that it happens “two to three times a week in that facility.” He stated that many are intoxicated and some of the jail staff believed that Elliott was intoxicated.

Joshua Lanter, who oversees the Tulsa branch of the state Medical Examiner’s Office, also testified at the civil trial.  He told jurors that no one at the Sheriff’s Office informed him of Elliott’s complaints of a broken neck and paralysis before his initial autopsy. Read the rest of this entry

Jury Awards $4 To Family Of Florida Man Killed By Cop

It was January 2014, in St. Lucie County, Florida. A mother picking up her child at Frances K. Sweet Elementary School heard loud music, the lyrics of which she found offensive. She called the police.

Deputy Christopher Newman and his partner, Deputy Edward Lopez, came to the garage of the house of 30-year old Gregory Hill Jr.  Gregory worked at a Coca-Cola warehouse.

Newman knocked on the garage door, but no one responded.  He then knocked on the front door, and said that he heard the music get louder.  The garage door opened.   Gregory stood facing out of the garage with his left hand on the door and his right hand down.  He then began closing the garage door.  Newman alleged that Gregory brandished a hand gun. Read the rest of this entry

Two Men Federally Indicted Along With Swatter Tyler Barris

Stop Cyber Abuse

Imagine this …

Two guys are playing an online computer game.  They get angry with each other.  One guy threatens to have the other swatted, that is, he will make a false report to the police so they will show up ready to kill.  The other guy dares him to and gives him a fake address.

The guy who threatened the swatting contacts another guy in California who is ruthless, has a history of making false police reports and bomb threats, and takes pride in doing it.  The swatter who is in California, makes a false police report to Wichita, Kansas.

It ends with an innocent 28-year old father being killed.  His children no longer have a father.

Now, don’t imagine it.  It is true.

Tyler Barris in Court

Tyler Barris was the swatter.  On December 28, 2017, he made a false police report that he was in the house…

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Assortment of Information and Open Discussion

Butterflies, moths, caterpillars, a certain roach, visitors and friends,

First, a million thanks to all followers and participants.

 

I’ve not written many blog posts lately because my eye doctor has instructed me to decrease the amount of time I spend looking at the computer screen.  This open discussion will probably be the most current post until the end of next week, and then I might reblog as I return to being able to read more online.

I did see a fantastic movie and when I’m back writing, I want to share it with you.

There have been some cases and other news that I’ve been following.  Here are summaries:

Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt has offered to pay funeral expenses for the 10 victims killed in the Sante Fe High School shooting in Texas, CBS affiliate KHOU-TV reports. The family of one victim, Shana Fisher, said they accepted his offer.  CBS News has the story. Autopsies are to reveal whether any of the victims were killed by law enforcement or resource officers in the crossfire between them and Dimitrios Pagourtzis, the identified shooter.  More on USA Today.

Read the rest of this entry

Chicago Cop Faces 10 Years To Life For Paying Minor Girls For Sex

William Whitley acknowledged Tuesday he paid young girls for sex. The longtime veteran of the Chicago Police Department admitted he would order them up before he’d go to work — leaving his uniform hanging on the bedroom door and his gun under his pillow while they were in bed.

But even as he prepared to admit his guilt to a federal judge Tuesday, Whitley insisted that braces on the teeth of one young girl “don’t dictate a person’s age.” He still thought she was older…

CPD has previously said Whitley was stripped of his powers in September 2015. He must register within days as a sex offender. Court personnel said his current residence is problematic, but Kendall gave him until Friday to find a new place to live.

A grand jury accused Whitley last year of trafficking four teenage girls for sex, as well as producing child pornography. That followed a 2015 FBI investigation that authorities said led them to Whitley.

via CPD veteran admits to paying young girls for sex, faces life in prison — Chicago Sun-Times

How Oppression Shows Its Face In The Business Of Hair Braiding

Peaches, before Bo Derek

When I watched the video below, it reminded me of when I was a little girl.  In the summer, people sat on their front porches.  One of the pastimes that girls did was braid hair. It ranged from hanging braided styles to corn rows.

Back then before hair relaxers, I suspect that almost any Black woman or girl will tell us that after their hair was washed, it was braided, in small portions, to allow it to dry and not tangle.   After it dried, it could be combed out into another braided style, or straightened with a “straightening comb.”

In 1979, the movie “10” was released, and suddenly Caucasians who were unfamiliar with African cultur, thought that Bo Derek’s cornrows was an original style.  At least a year before Bo Derek appeared on screen with cornrows, Linda Greene appeared as “Peaches” of the duo, Peaches and Herb, with decorated cornrows.

Bo Derek

Hair braiding has been practiced for centuries in African communities, and by African-Americans. It doesn’t require any chemicals, hair dyes or cutting.

Along with American Blacks, some sisters from Africa came to America and started home businesses cornrowing.  They also braid with extensions.  Depending on the style, (and if the customer brought their own “ponytails” with them to use for extensions), the price could range anywhere from $50 to a $150.00 dollars – at least, in my neck of the woods.  It’s a style that lasts 2 to 3 months, depending on how fast the customer’s hair grows.

Now, there are 13 states that have laws forbidding the braiding of hair for money without a cosmetology license.  There are hefty fines if anyone is caught charging money for braiding hair without a cosmetology license. Read the rest of this entry

Store Clerk Chases and Kills Dorian Harris But Did Not Call Police

Hat tip to Black Lives Matter Memphis.

Dorian Harris

On March 29, 2018, 17-year old Dorian Harris walked into the Top Stop Shop in Memphis, Tennessee, snatched a bottled drink, and ran out of the store.  Some news sources say that he stole a beer while others say it was a wine cooler.

The store clerk, 28-year old Anwar Ghazali, left the store with a gun in his hand. He chased Dorian and fired about three times.  Ghazali returned to the store and told a customer that he thought he shot Ghazali.  He did not call the police to report the theft, neither the shooting.

Another customer went through the neighborhood looking for the kid, thinking that if he had been shot, he might need help.  She did not see him and thinking he escaped, neither did she call the police.

It was Good Friday, and Dorian was expected to spend the night a cousin’s house.

Two days later, Dorian’s body was discovered about a block from the store.  He died from a gunshot to the left thigh. Read the rest of this entry

George Zimmerman Charged With Stalking Private Investigator

George Zimmerman, the Florida man acquitted in the death of Trayvon Martin, has been charged with misdemeanor stalking after allegedly threatening and harassing a private investigator last year, according to Seminole County officials.

He’s accused of stalking the private investigator, Dennis Warren, in December 2017.

According to a Seminole County Sheriff’s report, Warren was hired by production company Cinemart Productions, which was producing a documentary about Martin’s 2012 death, to track down people to participate in the documentary.

Warren said he left a voicemail for Zimmerman in September 2017 asking him to participate. He told police that was his only attempt to contact Zimmerman.

According to the report, Zimmerman also allegedly texted, “Dennis is a [expletive] who bothered my uncle in his home….local or former law enforcement officer he’s well on his way to the inside of a gator as well. 10-4?”

Warren said Zimmerman began contacting him on Dec. 17, saying he received 21 phone calls, 38 text messages, and seven voicemails in a span of just over two hours. One of the voicemails allegedly said, “Answer your phone, [expletive]” and “I’ll see you before you realize it.”

 

Read the rest at;

via George Zimmerman Charged With Threatening Private Investigator — CBS Miami

Two Black Men Arrested At Starbucks Agree To Settlement To Pay It Forward

PHILADELPHIA — Two black men arrested for sitting at a Philadelphia Starbucks without ordering anything settled with the city Wednesday for a symbolic $1 each and a promise from officials to set up a $200,000 program for young entrepreneurs. The men’s lawyer and Mayor Jim Kenney outlined the agreement to The Associated Press.

“We thought long and hard about it and we feel like this is the best way to see that change that we want to see,” Robinson said. “It’s not a right-now thing that’s good for right now, but I feel like we will see the true change over time.”

via 2 black men arrested at Starbucks settle with Philadelphia — Chicago Sun-Times

A Long Road Seeking Justice For Ethan Saylor Finally Ends

It’s been a long time. I first blogged about this case in August 2013, and have been following it.  Now, four years later, Ethan Saylor’s family has received some closure.

Ethan Saylor

On January 12, 2013 in Frederick, Maryland, 26-year-old Robert Ethan Saylor went to see the movie “Zero Dark Thirty” in a theater inside a mall.  He went by his middle name “Ethan.”  Ethan was accompanied by a caretaker who, after the movie, went to get the car while Ethan waited at the door.  Ethan however, wanted to see the movie again and walked back inside.  He was approached by staff and told that he needed to by another ticket.

Ethan had Down syndrome, a genetic condition that impairs physical growth and intelligence.  Ethan didn’t carry cash.  Ethan’s IQ was 40. He had an IPhone.  Because his mom later saw four, 411 calls on his IPhone, she believes that he was using it to try to get information on how to purchase another movie ticket.

The manager called security.  Working security that evening were three off-duty deputies.  They would not allow Ethan’s caretaker to come back inside the theater. She called Ethan’s mother.

In spite of the caretaker’s pleas that they wait because his mom was coming, the three off-duty deputies decided to physically remove Ethan from the theater.  As he cried out “Help” and “I need help, Mommy,” the deputies placed him in handcuffs and a choke hold.

Ethan’s mom was 5 minutes away from the theater when she received a call diverting her to the hospital. An autopsy showed that Ethan’s larynx had been crushed and he died by suffocation.  The medical examiner ruled Ethan’s death a homicide. Read the rest of this entry

Fourteen Year Old Asking For Directions To School Shot At By Neighbor

Jeffery Zeigler

Jeffery Zeigler is a White man of 53 years-old.  He lives in the Christian Hills subdivision of Rochester Hills, Oakland County, Michigan.  He is a retired Detroit firefighter.  Because of his actions on Thursday, he has been arraigned on charges including assault with intent to murder and felony firearms.

On Thursday, April 12, 2018, Zeigler’s wife called 911 and reported that her husband had chased a Black male who tried breaking into their house.  Oakland County Sheriff deputies learned that a shot had been fired and found the 14-year old Brennan Walker down the street, unarmed.

Brennan told deputies that he missed his school bus.  His mother had taken away his phone so he didn’t have that to use to get directions.  He tried walking the bus route, but got lost.  He knocked on the door to Zeigler’s house.  A woman inside began yelling “why are you trying to break into my house?”  Brennan said he tried to explain to her that he was trying to get directions to Rochester High, but she continued yelling.

Jeffrey Zeigler came downstairs and grabbed a gun.  When Brennan saw the gun, he started to run.  While he was running away, Zeigler fired a shotgun.  Brennan ran further, hid, and broke down crying.

The Zeigler’s have home security video, and their story is contrary to what the video shows. Read the rest of this entry

‘The N-word Started It,’ Lawyer Says Of Fatal Shooting By Chicago Cops

On a sunny weekend in 2016, racial tensions flared when two white off-duty cops fatally shot an armed black man in Mount Greenwood.

Joshua Beal, 25, of Indianapolis, had been in a funeral procession in the predominantly white neighborhood on the Far Southwest Side. The death of Beal, who was serving as a pallbearer for his cousin, prompted African-Americans to march in the neighborhood, yelling, “CPD, KKK!”

In response, Mount Greenwood residents took to the streets to show their support for the police and their neighborhood, a stronghold of white city workers. A white off-duty firefighter who was attacked during the incident posted the message “Mount Greenwood Strong” on his Facebook page.

Now, nearly a year and a half later, three city agencies reviewing the chaotic circumstances leading to Beal’s death say they’re continuing to investigate and won’t talk about the case.

But, according to dozens of pages of detectives’ reports and photos that the Chicago Sun-Times obtained only after suing the city to get them:

• A woman taking a smoking break from her bartender’s job said she heard a white driver shout the N-word to African-Americans in the funeral procession. That prompted them to stop, and she said she saw a black man then punch the unidentified white driver.

via ‘The N-word started it,’ lawyer says of fatal shooting by cops on Far SW Side — Chicago Sun-Times

It was always my understanding that funeral processions have the right-of-way, and even upon vehicles leaving a cemetery, that respect should be shown because the people just said their last good-bye to someone they will never see again. 

Police Officers Indicted For Assaulting Demetrius Hollins And Fabricating Story

He didn’t have a license plate.

He didn’t comply with verbal commands

He tried to push the officer away.

He reached for a firearm under his car seat.

The car smelled like marijuana.

He was pulled over before and a gun was found.

He resisted arrested which forced the tasing.

Demetrius Hollins

Those were all reason that Sgt. Michael Bongiovanni, 42, and Officer Robert McDonald 25, of suburban Atlanta, Georgia gave to justify their use of excessive force on April 12, 2017 upon  21-year old Demetrius Hollins.

Then bystander video was released showing what happened after Demetrius was placed in handcuffs and laying on the ground. The video shows McDonald running up to a handcuffed Demetrius, stomping on his head as if he was stomping an insect.

Another bystander video was released showing the traffic stop.  In it, Bongiovanni is shown punching Demetrius in the face as he gets out of the car with his hands up.    Read the rest of this entry

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