The Case of Robert Tolan v. Jeffrey Wayne Cotton
Subtitled: How a police officer making a typographical error resulted in a man having a bullet shot through his lung.
Before the civil case could proceed to trial, it went to the Supreme Court of the United States. The Supreme Court decided that it should go to trial. I thought that we would have a trial to follow this week, but trial in this case is not going to happen.
The SCOTUS decision gives us the details.
In Bellaire, Texas, on December 31, 2008, around 2 a.m., Robert Tolan and his cousin, Anthony Cooper, were in a black Nissan sport utility vehicle. Police officer John Edwards entered the license plate number into a computer in his squad car, but he typed a “5” instead of a “6”. That mistake returned a match for a stolen vehicle of the same color and make of the Tolan vehicle. When that happens, the patrol car’s computer sends an automatic message to other police units.
The house where Robert and his cousin parked was where Robert lives with his parents. They were on the front porch when officer Edwards got out of his cruiser, drew his weapon, and ordered Robert and Anthony to get on the ground. Edwards accused them of having a stolen car. Robert told Edwards it was his car, and he complied with Edwards’ demand to lie face-down.
Hearing the commotion, Robert’s parents came out of the front door in their pajamas. Robert’s father encouraged the two young men to stay face down and say nothing. Officer Edwards told Robert’s parents that Robert and Anthony had stolen the vehicle. Robert’s dad told officer Edwards that Robert is his son, Anthony is his nephew, and that the vehicle belonged to the family. Read the rest of this entry
Tamir Rice’s Autopsy Brings Home Life and Death
Tamir Rice is the 12 year old who was shot and killed in Ohio by a cop who fired his gun in less than 2 seconds of arriving on scene.
A man had called 911 and told dispatch that a guy was in the park who might be a juvenile had a gun that might have been fake, but it was making him nervous. Dispatch put out the call without saying it could be a juvenile and could be a toy gun.
Tamir did not die right away. Reports have it that the EMT’s arrived about 4 minutes after Tamir was shot. He was taken to the hospital where he died the next day.
Tamir’s autopsy was released today. It makes the reality of life and death profound. One bullet can end a life. One bullet can cause suffering before ending a life.
One bullet. Read the rest of this entry
‘I’ve Seen The Body And It Is Bad, It’s The Worst Police Shooting Ever,’ Attorney Ben Crump On Michael Brown
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Roland Martin talks to Attorney Ben Crump about the shooting of Michael Brown, the Ferguson teen who was unarmed and shot by police. Attorney Crump is representing Brown’s family and has famously represented Trayvon Martin and many other deaths on social injustice.
“I was so proud of President Obama…that did not look like America the other night,” Crump says. “We cannot have the FBI doing a joint investigation where they’re going to rely on the St. Louis police department to give them evidence.”
Click the link above to hear the entire interview!
Michael Brown’s Parents Speak Out
Michael Brown is the teen who was gunned down in Ferguson, Missouri by a cop. That town has been in an uproar. I don’t believe in violence, but will share the following opinion. Unless we WALK in the shoes of others, we cannot stand in righteous judgment to understand their reactions.
Hypocrisy is running rampant. There are people who kill others purportedly in self-defense. Those who support them, in spite of physical evidence and logic, rely solely on what the killer said about what they felt and what they believed would happen unless they pulled the trigger. At least the killer gets the opportunity to say what they experienced emotionally and/or physically that justified taking the life of another human being. Read the rest of this entry
Kendrick Johnson’s Parents Sue School District
Hat Tip To Yahtzee.
Kenneth and Jacquelyn Johnson have filed suit against a Georgia school district claiming it was negligent in protecting their son from harassment and bullying, which they allege led to his death. The lawsuit, filed in State Superior Court, also alleges that Lowndes County Board of Education violated Kendrick’s constitutional right to equal protection based on race.
Discoveries in this case have been numerous and shocking. The Sheriff’s Office ruled that Kendrick’s death was accidental. They contend that Kendrick climbed into the center of the gym mat to reach for a shoe, got stuck, and (in lay man’s terms), died from inability to breathe while upside down.
Photographs of the scene provide that Kendrick’s shoes were on top of his feet, and not at the bottom of the gym mat. Read the rest of this entry
Second Anniversary of the Shooting Death of Trayvon Martin
“Justice in America: Trayvon Martin, Race, and the Law” is the title of the talk that attorney Benjamin Crump will give at 6 p.m. tonight at the Cooley Law School in Lansing, MI.
According to WKAR, Attorney Crump says he is going to talk to the next generation of lawyers about the future and encourage them to understand their obligation to equal justice.
Tonight, Tracy Martin appeared on Politicsnation with Reverend Al Sharpton on MSNBC, addressing how he misses Trayvon and changes that he seeks in Stand Your Ground law that allowed Trayvon’s killer to go free.
Update On Howard Morgan
On January 17, 2014, we reported on the case of Howard Morgan.
This is a case where the jury acquitted Morgan on counts of firing a firearm and counts of aggravated battery with a firearm, but deadlocked on charges of attempted murder. At the retrial, the judge denied the jury knowledge of the acquitted charges, and the second jury convicted Morgan of attempted murder. His attorneys have argued double-jeopardy because it was only possible for the jury to convict upon finding that Morgan fired a gun — a charge in which he was acquitted.
Tomorrow, February 26, 2014, a rally recognizing 9 Years of injustice against Officer Howard Morgan is being held in Chicago.
Time: 12pm – 1pm
Location: James R. Thompson Center, 100 W. Randolph, Chicago, IL
Hosted by: Attorney Benjamin Crump
The Free Howard Morgan Campaign has a website where it also provides a petition.
The Worst Shot Came From The Justice System
The case of Howard Morgan
Imagine being put on trial for four counts of attempted murder, four counts of aggravated battery with a firearm against a police officer, and two counts of discharging a firearm.
The jury acquits you of the two counts of firing a firearm and four counts of aggravated battery with a firearm. Logically, you would think that a finding of not guilty would also be entered on the charges of attempted murder, but the jury deadlocks on those charges.
According to your defense attorneys, ten jurors considered you not guilty of attempted murder, and two others would not agree. The judge declares a mistrial.
Then imagine being put on trial again and the court orders that the second jury cannot know that the first jury acquitted you on the charges of discharging a firearm and aggravated battery. The second jury enters a conviction for attempted murder, aggravated battery, and discharging a firearm. You are sentenced to 100 years in total, but since one sentence is 40 years, the judge orders that your sentences run concurrent meaning, you will serve 40 years in prison. At the age of 61, does it really make much difference?
Protesters and your family say that the second trial violated double jeopardy.
Okay, that started at what is now the present. Let’s go to the beginning. Read the rest of this entry
Sybrina, Tracy, and Attorney Crump Met With Federal Investigators
August 1, 2013
The Miami Herald reports that the parents of Trayvon Martin and lawyer Benjamin Crump met with Justice Department prosecutors and FBI agents at the U.S. attorney’s office in Miami Wednesday to discuss the status of a criminal civil-rights investigation into the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin last year. Prosecutors with the Justice Department’s criminal civil-rights section and FBI agents met with Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin to bring the family up to speed.
“The federal investigation, which was opened while George Zimmerman faced prosecution for the death of the 17-year-old, gained renewed interest last month after Zimmerman was acquitted in state court of Martin’s killing in a Sanford gated community.”
Racial profiling was not an issue in the charging affidavit, nor was it an issue in George Zimmerman’s trial.
“Fu’king Punks” – Open Thread For Trial
Assistant State’s Attorney John Guy started his opening statement with how George Zimmerman referred to Trayvon Martin — an unarmed 17-year-old who was walking home from the 7-Eleven. “Fucking punks.” “These assholes. They always get away.” Clearly, Zimmerman saw one person as a “group.” The State’s opening statement was based on solid evidence without any misleading.
Watch live stream at: http://www.wftv.com/s/zimmerman-livestream/
Videos of today’s trial hearing are below;
June 10, 2013 A Prayer For Trayvon Martin’s Family
June 10, 2013 marks the start of jury selection in the murder trial of George Michael Zimmerman for the killing of unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
In March 2012, a prayer was said and filmed at the Million Hoody March in Union Square. No matter your religious beliefs or non-religious beliefs, let us continue lifting up strength for Trayvon’s parents and family, and righteous judgment for justice.
January 2013 – Encouragement for Trayvon’s Family and Friends
Written by Kindheart101
Posted by permission
Both far and wide, the word was spread,
for all to hear, TRAYVON IS DEAD!
A hush broke out, the angels knew,
exactly what, they had to do.
They turned their tears, to gentle rain,
that fell to earth, and took his pain.
Their wings they spread, and held him tight,
he now was theirs, as of that night.
They parted clouds, the thunder roared,
MAKE WAY! TRAYVON WILL MEET HIS LORD!
All heads were bowed, all knees were bent,
TO HEAVEN, TRAYVONS SOUL WAS SENT!
In memory of: Trayvon Benjamin Martin (February 5, 1995 – February 26, 2012)
Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
Nov.- Encouragement for Sybrina and Tracy
It’s time to send some love out to Sybrina Fulton, Tracy Martin, and the rest of Trayvon’s family and friends. We have not forgotten you. Trayvon loved you, and we do too. This is also for the encouragement of Attorneys Crump and Jackson, and all those working on your team.
We lift you up.
To see previous encouragement in the month of October, click here.
The following song was written and is sung by Zorenzo and is his tribute to Trayvon Martin.
Written By: @ZorenzoVsZo
Produced By: @Tracksionz
Directed By: @Abai_Abeast
Encouragement for Sybrina and Tracy
It’s time to take a break from discussing the Zimmermans and the George Zimmerman case, and send some love out to Sybrina Fulton, Tracy Martin, and the rest of Trayvon’s family and friends. We have not forgotten you. Trayvon loved you, and we do too. This is also for the encouragement of Attorneys Crump and Jackson, and all those working on your team.
We lift you up.
Videos shall be added to or changed on this page from time to time for your encouragement.
The following song was written and produced by Hail Ceasar. The first 26 seconds might be difficult to listen to, but it’s those sounds that awoke a sleeping world and placed Trayvon in our hearts.