October 10, 2017
The Star Tribune calls it a “rare conviction for on-duty use of force”.
On May 30, 2016, Minneapolis police officer Christopher Michael Reiter, 36-years old, responded to a domestic abuse call. When he arrived, he found a woman badly beaten. Other officers arrived and found the suspect, Mohamed Osman, sitting in his SUV. Officers surrounded him and ordered him out of his car.
Surveillance video shows that as Osman was getting on the ground, one officer, Josh Domek, kicked him twice. Reiter then delivered a blow to Mohamed’s head that knocked him unconscious, broke his nose, started bleeding on the brain and caused a traumatic brain injury.
At trial in Hennepin County, state prosecutor Daniel Allard told the jury there was a conspiracy to protect Reiter. Reiter, another officer, and the victim testified that they believed Mohamed had a knife. However, other witnesses, including a security guard and several officers who were at the scene, said they did not see a knife.
Another officer, Luke Eckert, testified that he searched Mohamed and found a knife in his front pocket. However, there was no mention of a knife in the official reports, nor was it taken into police inventory for evidence. MPR News reports that when questioned at trial, Eckert said one could go through any squad car and find a number of items like keys, cellphones or pocket knives that hadn’t been inventoried. Read the rest of this entry
The verdict is unprecedented. Marco Proano has been convicted in federal court on criminal charges from an on-duty shooting. Proano was convicted of two felony counts of using excessive force, violating the victims’ civil rights. He faces up to 10 years in prison on each count. His sentencing is scheduled for November 20, 2017. Proano’s victims survived, and it has taken almost 4 years for this day to arrive.
On December 22, 2013, Proano spotted a stolen car that was filled with teens on Chicago’s Southside. One of the teens exited the vehicle and ran. Another attempted to get out but the door would not open because a cop cruiser had pulled up on the side. Yet another teen in the backseat, reached over to the front driver’s side and with his hands, pressed on the gas.
Proano opened fire, and continued shooting even after the stolen car ran into a light pole and stopped. Two of the teens were wounded.
There is dash cam video, but there was also some controversy to make it public,as reported in the below video by Roland Martin. During a civil case filed by the teens, the court sealed the video. It took a news publication to get the video to make it public. A lawsuit brought by the two wounded teens was settled by the City of Chicago for $360,000.
Proano’s trial began on August 21, 2017 in U.S. District Judge Gary Feinerman’s courtroom. On August 28, 2017, the jury deliberated 4 hours and returned the verdict of guilty on both counts. Read the rest of this entry
A jury convicted suspended state Trooper Ryan Luckenbaugh for simple assault and official oppression. It began when Luckenbaugh kicked a handcuffed Harrisburg man in the face.
Christopher Siennick was riding his skate board on May 16, 2015 when Luckenbaugh and his partner, Trooper Michael Trotta drove past Christopher, who gave them the finger.
Penn Live reports that Luckenbaugh and Trotta chased Christopher, tased, pepper sprayed, and handcuffed him. Christopher’s mouth was running with saliva in reaction to the pepper spray. When spittal fell on Luckenbaugh’s shoes, he responded by saying, “Spit on this” and he kicked Christopher in the face. At Luckenbaugh’s trial, Senior Deputy District Attorney Stephen Zawisky said, “Certainly, Trooper Luckenbaugh knew he couldn’t kick a handcuffed man in the head.”
The incident was caught on dash cam.
It didn’t stop with the kick to Christopher’s head. Luckenbaugh filed an arrest warrant that alleged that Christopher ignored his verbal commands to get off the street, and threw something that hit his cruiser. Christopher spent two weeks in jail in lieu of $250,000 bail.
Harrisburg police officers intervened to stop the abuse and contacted the District Attorney’s office that prompted the investigation into Luckenbaugh’s actions. The dash cam recording shows that both of Luckenbaugh’s claims are not true.
Christopher is known in the area as a local activist. At trial, defense attorney Edward Spreha Jr. called Christopher “the local leftist”. countered.
It took the jury 45 minutes to decide the verdict. Christopher Siennick had a one-word reaction to the verdict. “Cowabunga!” he said.
Luckenbaugh’s sentencing is scheduled for April. Senior Deputy District Attorney Stephen Zawisky said he’ll probably seek jail time.
Luckenbaug’s partner, Trooper Michael Trotta, was terminated for misconduct.
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.
On 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
It began on April 22, 2015 in a Walmart parking lot in Portsmouth, Virginia. Police received a call of a shoplifter. Portsmouth police officer Stephen Rankin came to the scene and saw 18-year old William Chapman walking in the parking lot. William was wearing a backpack. Rankin stopped Chapman on suspicion of shoplifting. William denied that he shoplifted anything.
The situation ended with Rankin shooting William twice, once in the chest, and once in the face. The coroner found that William was handcuffed when he was shot. No stolen property was found on William. An autopsy report found that the shots were not fired at close range, which contradicted Rankin’s story that William was close to him, failed to comply with his demands, and lunged at him. A video of Rankin’s taser was examined.
An investigation was held that was completed on August 21, 2015. A grand jury indicted Rankin. He was charged with first-degree murder and using a firearm to commit a felony. Read the rest of this entry
People were concerned when the jury took more than three days to deliberate. Our own Mindyme commented about that earlier. I half-jokingly said that Daniel Holtzclaw was charged with 36 felonies, so it might take the jury 36 days to reach a verdict. Holtzclaw was charged with 36 counts of rape, forcible oral sodomy, burglary and other charges.
Shortly after 9 p.m. ET this evening, the jury returned guilty verdicts. It was their fourth day of deliberations. Holtzclaw was not found guilty on some counts, but he was found guilty of enough counts to spend the rest of his life in prison. Holtzclaw is 28 years old.
Daniel Holtzclaw was an Oklahoma City police officer who was charged with sexually assaulting 13 women over a 7 month period. The women ranged in age from 17 to 57. It was after the eldest victim came forward that others did also, saying that they had remained silent out of fear of retribution. Holtzclaw was placed on administrative leave in January 2015 when GPS tracking devices were used to corroborate the victims’ stories.
There was some racial controversy. Of the 13 victims, 12 are Black. Oklahoma City is reported to have a 40 percent minority population, but the chose jurors, 8 men and 4 women, were all White.
Victims gave testimony describing Holtzclaw’s acts which I will not repeat here. They were deplorable and you can read about their testimonies on News 9.
Holtzclaw hung his head and began sobbing and rocking back and forth as the verdicts were read. His formal sentencing is set for January 21, 2016.
This case brings me a level of trust in the Department of Justice, while at the same time, causes me to question their impartiality.
In March 2015, a federal grand jury returned a four-count indictment against former Independence, Missouri, police officer Timothy Runnels for violating the constitutional rights of a minor who was in his custody and obstructing the subsequent investigation into the incident.
Per the Department of Justice:
“According to the indictment, Runnels continuously deployed a Taser against the minor while the minor was on the ground and not posing a threat to Runnels or others. The indictment also charges that Runnels deliberately dropped the minor headfirst onto the ground while the minor was restrained and not posing a threat to Runnels or others. The indictment alleges that the minor sustained bodily injury as a result of Runnels’ actions and, with respect to the first count, that the offense involved the use of a dangerous weapon. The indictment also charges Runnels with two counts of obstruction of justice for filing a false police report concerning the incident and for making a false statement to Independence Police Department investigators regarding the amount of force that he used against the minor.”
Runnels had been on the Independence, MO police force for 2 years. Read the rest of this entry
It’s been almost 3 years since Alesia Thomas died while in custody of the Los Angeles police. On July 22, 2012, Los Angeles police officer Mary O’Callaghan kicked Alesia in the groin, and jabbed her in the throat. Alesia, the mother of 2, died in the police vehicle. (Note: some sources report that the incident occurred in 2013. I am reporting the date given by the LA Times.)
Alesia had asked for an ambulance, but Officer Warner Carias, one of the first responding officers, testified that he thought Alesia was on drugs and faking medical distress. An ambulance was not called until 30 minutes later, after Alesia fell unconscious.
In October 2013, O’Callaghan was charged with a felony count of assault by a public officer.
Tommy Rodella and his son, Tommy Rodella, Jr., were indicted on federal charges of conspiracy to violate civil rights, deprivation of rights, brandishing a firearm, and falsifying police documents. Tommy Rodella is Sheriff for Rio Arriba County in New Mexico.
FBI agents arrested the Rodella’s for their role in a March 11th confrontation that left the driver injured.
In August 2014, they pled not guilty.
The four count indictment alleges that Rodella was driving his personal vehicle when he engaged in a high-speed pursuit and unreasonable seizure of the driver who is identified in documents as “M.T.” Rodella was accused of dragging the driver from his car, and throwing him down in the dirt. Rodella’s son told the driver that his father is the sheriff. M.T. asked to see his badge. Documents state that Rodella then pulled the driver’s head from the dirt by his hair, then slammed his badge into M.T.’s right cheek and eye. Read the rest of this entry
Wanted to get this posted ASAP. Plus, there are tears in my eyes and I can barely hold them back to see to type. Today, truth found its way into justice and refused to budge.
Will post details below in comments and any videos. A press conference is pending.
Wow! I was just putting together information to report on the Julie Schenecker trial, suspecting for it to last at least another week. Just a few moments ago, I learned that the trial closed, the jury went into deliberations, and less than two hours later, returned a verdict of guilty of two counts of first-degree murder.
Julie killed her two children, Calyx, 16, and Beau, 13. She shot them first in the head, and then in their mouths.
After the verdict was read, Julie made a statement to the court, including;
“I understand that there are people who are affected by this who may have just read about it in the paper or maybe had a child looked at her mommy and said, “Mommy, are you going to shoot me?’ …
I’m one of those affected by her actions. She killed children; and not just children, but her own children. Read the rest of this entry
2dogsonly has requested that we start a new thread to continue discussion about Frank Taaffe’s latest revelations.
Frank Taaffe, who came into the spotlight early defending George Zimmerman, now wants to clear his conscience. He interviewed withJohn W. Davis, Seminole County Reporter of My News 13. Taaffe now says that Zimmerman should have been found guilty in the shooting death of unarmed, 17-year old Trayvon Martin.
Clearing the conscience is not the same as changing the mind. In other words, Taaffe is now admitting what he always knew was true. Read the rest of this entry
Twelve jurors have found Michael Dunn guilty of 2nd degree attempted murder upon the lives of Tevin Thompson, Leland Brunson, and Tommie Stornes. Each count carries a minimum sentence of 20 years to a maximum of 30 years. Sentencing can run concurrently or consecutively. Some familiar with Judge Healey are of the opinion that he is unlikely to enter concurrent sentences. That means that Dunn is looking at a minimum of 60 years in prison on the 2nd degree attempted murder convictions.
The jury also found Dunn guilty of shooting a firearm into the vehicle, the sentence of which is a minimum of 15 years.
Dunn’s sentencing is scheduled for March 24, 2014. Read the rest of this entry
40,000 individuals had their fate decided by Annie Dookhan’s tampering with lab tests.
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Annie Dookhan, a Massachusetts state chemist pled guilty Friday to fabricating her results that lead to her tainting as many as 40,000 prosecutions that she was involved in.
Dookhan declared drug samples positive that she had not bothered to test, tampered with evidence, forged signatures and lied about her credentials to enhance her standing in court as an expert witness.
It took more than a year-and-a-half for Dookhan to admit that she had fabricated case results and since then 300 people have falsely been released, including Donta Hood, who was accused of murdering someone after the chemist’s tainted evidence got him released. Hood is now back behind bars on first-degree murder charges.
At least 50 of those 300 released have been rearrested. One, Jamell Spurill told the police arresting him, “I just got out thanks to Annie Dookhan. I love that lady.”
Dookhan was sentenced to…
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