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Ferguson Settles Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed By Michael Brown’s Parents

Michael Brown

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

Missouri Governor Vetoes Stand Your Ground Bill

Stand Your Ground should be titled “Shoot first and claim self-defense later.”

End Stand Your Ground

SB656, a bill designed to change Missouri’s laws on self-defense laws, and make Missouri the first state since the Trayvon Martin incident to pass a stand your ground law, was vetoed by Governor Jay Nixon today (June 27). After sailing through the state’s Senate and the House, the bill had been awaiting approval or veto by Nixon since May 13.

SEE: Missouri (Almost) Becomes A Stand Your Ground State

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon Missouri Governor Jay Nixon (official state portrait)

Nixon, a Democrat, faced enormous pressure from the Republican-led Missouri legislature to enact the law. The bill has been widely considered “veto-proof”; however, a bill which faces opposition by the Governor after passing through the legislature can be challenged with a veto override in the next legislative session, and still become law in the future.

Missouri’s current self-defense laws state that only the property owner or someone leasing it are allowed to use deadly force against an intruder.

SB656…

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Man Claims Self-Defense In Killing Neighbor Over Imaginary Loud Music

End Stand Your Ground

Is loud music a tipping point for some people who may not like noise and have a gun? In a pre-Christmas shooting, a Missouri man is claiming self-defense after he reportedly put on a bullet-proof vest and murdered a neighbor who he thought was playing loud music no one else could hear.

Police in Maryland Heights, Missouri reported that 26 year-old James C. Blanton shot and killed 35 year-old Yi-Ping “Peter” Chang on the afternoon of December 13, when he knocked on Chang’s door complaining about “loud bass music”.

The 35-year-old Chang, a computer support specialist for an agrochemical company, was home watching a movie with his girlfriend at an apartment complex in the St. Louis suburb when Blanton knocked on the door complaining about loud music. There was an argument, then Blanton shot and killed Chang. He then sat outside Chang’s apartment and waited for police to arrive.

Blanton reportedly had a cooperative, justifying demeanor with police on the scene…

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Former Independence MO Police Officer Timothy Runnels Pleads Guilty

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

Missouri City Elects Its First Black Woman Mayor – Cops and Civil Servants Resigned Without Notice

ParmaParma, Missouri is a small town located in Southeast Missouri. The 2010 census reports that it had a population of 713 people in 283 households. The racial makeup was 67.46 White, 29.45% Black, and 2.81% Latino.

Parma’s mayor, Randall Ramsey, had served for 37 years.   This year, he was defeated by Tyus Byrd, a Republican. Byrd was sworn into office on April 14th. Last year, residents were concerned with increases to their water and electric bills. Then Mayor Ramsey said he had an open office, but residents said that their voices went unheard by city officials. Ramsey encouraged residents to attend city council meetings, but one said that when she went, it was cancelled. Ramsey stated it was because there weren’t enough board members available to attend.

Five of the city’s six cops quit after Byrd was elected. Two were Tyrus Byrd, Parma's new mayorfull-time and three were part-time officers. Outgoing Mayor Randall Ramsey told the media that the cops gave no notice and were joined by the city attorney, clerk and water treatment supervisor. They all cited “safety concerns” in their letters of resignation. The letters of resignation have not been released to the new mayor and there are reports that they cannot be found and that the computers were cleared.

Residents who were interviewed say they are not concerned about their safety, and they are relieved about the situation because Parma doesn’t have many problems in town. Read the rest of this entry

Gun violence in America

This is so very sad. Guns were invented to kill. Once that bullet is fired, it can’t be called back.

idealisticrebel

5-year-old boy finds gun, shoots baby brother in head

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Grand Jury Does Not Indict Darren Wilson

michael-brown-police-shootingOn August 9, 2014, Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson shot and killed Michael Brown in broad daylight. The most that the public has received by way of verified evidence is that Michael was shot at least 6 times, with the kill shot fired in the top of his head.

Eyewitnesses are consistent, reporting that Michael had his hands up as Darren Wilson fired and continued firing.

A grand jury began seeing and hearing evidence and when their session expired, the judge extended their time until January 2015.  Strangely, Darren Wilson was invited to testify before the grand jury and it was reported that he testified 4 hours. Read the rest of this entry

Michael Brown’s Parents Speak Out

michael-brownMichael 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

Ferguson Police Shoot and Kill Another Unarmed Black Teenager in Cold Blood, Refuse to Identify Name of Shooter

I’m speechless.

United States Hypocrisy

Michael Brown's stepfather holds a sign which reads, "Ferguson Police Just Executed My Unarmed Son!!!" Michael Brown’s stepfather holds a sign which reads, “Ferguson Police Just Executed My Unarmed Son!!!”

As she was driving home to her apartment Saturday afternoon, Desiree Harris of Ferguson, Missouri passed by her grandson who was nearing her place for a visit. As was parking her car, however, she was suddenly alarmed at what appeared to be the sound of several gunshot ringing out. She quickly ran to see what was going on, but nothing could have prepared her for what she was about to see: her 18 year-old grandson’s body lying in a pool of blood in the middle of the street. “What happened?!,” Harris demanded to know of a nearby police officer. But he would give her no answer. It was approximately 2:15 P.M. Saturday, August 9 when Michael Brown’s life was tragically ended by multiple bullet wounds in his body, and as of 2:15 A.M. there remained…

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Five Years, But Couple Pleaded Guilty To Violating Civil Rights

On August 28, 2013, the U.S. Department of Justice for the Western District of Missouri announced that an Independence, MO man and woman pleaded guilty in federal court to violating the civil rights of an African-American family by setting fire to their residence.

Missouri Couple

Logan J. Smith, and Victoria A. Cheek-Herrera

Logan J. Smith, 25, and Victoria A. Cheek-Herrera, 34, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Brian C. Wimes to one court of conspiring to threaten and intimidate a family from exercising their constitutional right to reside in their home because of their race or color, and one count of civil rights violation for committing a racially motivated arson.

Smith waived his right to a grand jury indictment and pleaded guilty to a two-count information.   Cheek-Herrera pleaded guilty to two of three counts charged in an indictment returned by the grand jury on May 23, 2013. Read the rest of this entry

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