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Topic Summary

Posted by: Baby Farts
« on: May 13, 2016, 09:33:37 AM »

A graphic cell phone video purportedly shows police in Wilmington, Delaware, fatally shooting a 28-year-old disabled man in a wheelchair, whom police say was in possession of a handgun -- a claim the man's family disputes. Whether or not he had a weapon is unclear from the video.

The Wilmington Police Department said that at 3 p.m. Wednesday their officers were dispatched to a parking lot to respond to a 911 call because a man was reportedly suffering from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, and was still armed. The man was later identified by police as Jeremy McDole.

Full article: Huffington Post

It looks like this guy wanted to die.  He'd already shot himself.  Then he refuses to drop the .38 revolver and raise his hands.  Then he reaches for something which prompts the police to shoot. People should know by now that when the police order you to drop your gun and raise your hands, you do it.  I don't think any of these police officers were at fault.

Raw: Delaware Cops Shoot and Kill Man in Wheelchair!

A cops-assisted suicide? Or a swatting victim?
Posted by: Johnnie F.
« on: May 12, 2016, 05:18:11 PM »

Former neighbourhood watch volunteer who was acquitted of murdering unarmed teenager touts firearm as a ‘piece of American history’

George Zimmerman has listed the gun with which he killed Trayvon Martin in 2012 for auction, touting it as “your opportunity to own a piece of American history”.

The former neighbourhood watch volunteer was acquitted two years ago in the death of the young unarmed African American, but the case sparked protests and a national debate about race relations.
#BlackLivesMatter: the birth of a new civil rights movement
Read more

Zimmerman listed “the firearm that was used to defend my life and end the brutal attack from Trayvon Martin” on on Thursday, with bidding scheduled to begin at 11am EDT on Thursday.

He wrote in the item description that it had recently been returned to him by the Department of Justice and was fully functional.

“Many have expressed interest in owning and displaying the firearm including the Smithsonian museum in Washington D.C. This is a piece of American history. It has been featured in several publications and in current university text books. Offers to purchase the firearm have been received; however, the offers were to use the gun in a fashion I did not feel comfortable with.”

The listing was illustrated by photos of the weapon taken during Zimmerman’s trial.

The gun, a Kel-Tec PF-9 9mm, was billed as a “collectible firearm” and had a starting price of US$5,000.

According to an interview with a local Fox affiliate, excerpts of which were shared on Twitter, Zimmerman said it was “time to move past the firearm, and if I sell it and it sells, I move past it”.

The Guardian

I don't want to know what some might  dream of doing with that gun!
Posted by: Johnnie F.
« on: September 28, 2015, 09:00:19 AM »

A graphic cell phone video purportedly shows police in Wilmington, Delaware, fatally shooting a 28-year-old disabled man in a wheelchair, whom police say was in possession of a handgun -- a claim the man's family disputes. Whether or not he had a weapon is unclear from the video.

The Wilmington Police Department said that at 3 p.m. Wednesday their officers were dispatched to a parking lot to respond to a 911 call because a man was reportedly suffering from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, and was still armed. The man was later identified by police as Jeremy McDole.

Full article: Huffington Post

Raw: Delaware Cops Shoot and Kill Man in Wheelchair!

A cops-assisted suicide? Or a swatting victim?
Posted by: Baby Farts
« on: April 08, 2015, 04:43:12 PM »

A South Carolina police officer was arrested and charged with murder Tuesday in the weekend shooting death of a motorist after a traffic stop over a faulty brake light.

City Patrolman Michael Thomas Slager, who is white, was taken into custody after law enforcement officials saw a video of him shooting 50-year-old Walter Scott, who is black, in the back as he ran away. Slager, 33, a five-year veteran of the North Charleston force, was denied bond at a brief first appearance hearing Tuesday. If convicted, he faces 30 years to life in prison.

North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey announced the charges at a hastily called news conference in which he said City Patrolman Michael Thomas Slager made "a bad decision."

"When you're wrong, you're wrong," Summey said. "When you make a bad decision, don't care if you're behind the shield or a citizen on the street, you have to live with that decision."

The video, which was obtained by The Post and Courier of Charleston from a source who asked to remain anonymous, shows the confrontation between the two on Saturday after Scott ran away from a traffic stop. Authorities say Scott, of Charleston, was shot after the officer already hit him with a stun gun.

A video of the shooting released to news media outlets shows the officer firing eight shots at Scott's back as Scott is running away. Scott falls on the eighth shot, fired after a brief pause. The video then shows the officer slowly walking toward him, and ordering him to put his hands behind his back.

When Scott doesn't move, Slager pulls his arms back and cuffs his hands. Then he walks briskly back to where he fired the shots, picks up an object, and returns the 30 feet or so back to Scott before dropping the object by Scott's feet.

Attorney David Aylor said after the video surfaced Tuesday that he was no longer representing Slager. Aylor had released a statement Monday saying the officer felt threatened and that the motorist was trying to grab the officer's stun gun.

"This is a terrible tragedy that has impacted our community," Aylor told the Post and Courier.

Attorney L. Chris Stewart, who came to North Charleston a day after the shooting to represent the family, said the video forced authorities to act quickly and decisively, and he called the person who made the video a hero.

"What happened today doesn't happen all the time," Stewart told a news conference. What if there was no video?" Scott's mother stood nearby, saying, "Thank you, Lord" and "Hallelujah." Stewart said the family plans to file a lawsuit against the police department. Justice Department spokeswoman Dena Iverson said the Federal Bureau of Investigation will also investigate the shooting.

Scott's brother Anthony said Tuesday night that because of the video, "we have received the truth" and "through the process, justice has been served."

According to The Post and Courier, Scott was wanted for arrest on a Family Court warrant and had a history of arrests related to contempt of court charges for failing to pay child support. Stewart said Scott had four children, was engaged and had been honorably discharged from the U.S. Coast Guard. There were no violent offenses on his record, the attorney said.

At the earlier news conference with the mayor, North Charleston Police Chief Eddie Driggers appeared close to tears.

"I have been around this police department a long time and all the officers on this force, the men and women, are like my children," he told reporters. "So you tell me how a father would react seeing his child do something? I'll let you answer that yourself."

The shooting occurred as heightened scrutiny is being placed on police officer shootings, particularly those that involve white officers and unarmed black suspects. A grand jury declined to indict Ferguson, Missouri, officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown last August, leading to nationwide protests.

South Carolina Cop Shoots Unarmed Black Man, Walter Scott, In The Back *Unedited Footage*
Posted by: Johnnie F.
« on: April 08, 2015, 09:16:11 AM »

Video Shows Officer Michael Slager Shooting Unarmed Black Man In The Back In South Carolina

A white South Carolina police officer was arrested and charged with murder Tuesday after video showed him fatally shooting a fleeing, unarmed black man in the back.

North Charleston Police Officer Michael T. Slager, 33, can be seen shooting 50-year-old Walter Scott after a confrontation on Saturday, according to The Post and Courier. Slager chases Scott and shoots at him eight times in the video recorded by a passerby and obtained by The New York Times.

Scott died there, though it wasn't clear if he died immediately.

The graphic video raises questions about Slager's original assertion that he used his gun because he felt endangered.

The confrontation started when Slager had reportedly pulled over Scott because of a broken taillight. It escalated into a foot chase as Scott allegedly fled because there were family court-issued warrants for his arrest. Slager pursued Scott into a grassy lot and claimed that he fired his Taser to subdue him.

Moments later, Slager reported on his radio, “Shots fired and the subject is down. He took my Taser,” according to the Times.

Earlier this week, an attorney for Slager said the cop felt threatened after Scott tried to overpower him and take his Taser. Today that attorney told The Post and Courier that he's "no longer involved" in the case.

But first images in the video are of Slager shooting at Scott as he runs away from him. It also appears that Slager drops the Taser near Scott after he was gunned down, according to The New York Times.

Police reports also say that responding officers performed CPR and delivered medical aid to Scott, but the video shows Scott face down in handcuffs for several minutes after the shooting. Another officer shows up and appears to give Scott aid, but never performs CPR.

Scott had been arrested about 10 times in the past, mostly for failing to pay child support or show up for hearings, according to the paper.

"He has four children, he doesn’t have some type of big violent past or arrest record. He had a job, he was engaged," a lawyer for Scott's family told the Times. "He had back child support and didn’t want to go to jail for back child support."

The shooting in North Charleston comes on the heels of several high-profile cases of police officers using deadly force against unarmed black men in Ferguson, Missouri, Cleveland and New York. This is one of the few times the offending officer has been charged with murder.

"What if there was no video? What if there was no witness? Where would we be without that video," Justin Bamburg said at a presser with the family on Tuesday night. Bamburg represents South Carolina's House District 90.

Family attorney L. Chris Stewart called the witness who recorded the video a "hero," saying that video evidence disproved initial reports that Scott reached for the Slager's Taser. Stewart added that the witness is working with investigators and may eventually come forward.

Stewart also said that they will file a civil lawsuit. The family urged the public to fight for justice legally instead of through violence.

"We can't get my brother back," Scott's brother Anthony said. "I don't think all police officers are bad cops, but there are some bad ones out there."

"I had two brothers, now I have one," he said tearing up. He recalled his brother as an outgoing man who served in the Coast Guard and was a fan of the Dallas Cowboys.

Huffington Post

Posted by: thaiga
« on: March 13, 2015, 01:29:52 PM »

Ferguson police shot during protest

Two US police officers have been shot in Ferguson, a Missouri town hit by riots over the killing of an unarmed black teenager last year.

One officer was shot in the face and one in the shoulder, St Louis County police chief Jon Belmar said.

Ferguson: Two police officers shot during protest
Posted by: thaiga
« on: March 12, 2015, 02:05:18 PM »

The guy was naked, so they knew he was unarmed

                                  Naked, Unarmed Black Man Fatally Shot by White Police Officer in Georgia

Naked, Unarmed Black Man Fatally Shot by White Police Officer in Georgia
Posted by: Johnnie F.
« on: March 11, 2015, 07:05:44 AM »

No end in sight: According to the New York Times another unarmed black man was shot by white cops in Georgia yesterday.
Posted by: Al
« on: March 08, 2015, 09:52:42 AM »

More . . .

When a person is killed, it’s not uncommon for the victim’s family to seek financial relief in civil court by filing a wrongful death lawsuit against those they believe responsible for the victim’s death.

The family of Michael Brown announced that it will file a wrongful death lawsuit against Officer Darren Wilson, as well as the city of Ferguson. The news comes one day after Wilson learned that he will not face civil rights charges in the shooting death of Brown this past summer.

Brown’s family attorney Anthony Gray stated:

“We are officially formulating a civil case that we anticipate will be filed very shortly on behalf of the family. We plan to demonstrate in a court of law that Wilson’s choice to use deadly force was unreasonable and unnecessary.”
The family of Ronald Goldman took similar action against O.J. Simpson in 1995,  despite the former NFL running back’s acquittal of charges in a criminal court for killing Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson.

Goldman’s family was subsequently awarded more than $33.5 million, though he has yet to receive the vast majority of that sum:

As Wilson and the city prepare their defense against the lawsuit, they will undoubtedly ask for Brown’s juvenile criminal records to be unsealed.

While criminal acts committed as a juvenile remain sealed under Missouri law, they can be released after the person’s death since privacy protections afforded by the statute no longer apply. The information gathered from those records may be relevant to Wilson’s defense.

However, no one in the public knows for certain what is in such records and if they would be relevant to the civil suit.

A grand jury report discovered that Brown moved toward Wilson before he was fatally shot, and not killed while standing still with his hands up.

The Brown family’s civil suit will likely take years to adjudicate.

Posted by: Johnnie F.
« on: March 08, 2015, 08:19:55 AM »

Posted by: Johnnie F.
« on: March 07, 2015, 09:14:58 AM »

"Not guilty" and "innocent" are two very different findings: "Innocent" means "proven innocent", while "not guilty" just means "presumed Innocent", could still be guilty, evidence hasn't been enough to use the power of state against an individual. That barrier is set very high to limit abuse. The civil suit for compensation is between two persons or parties. The courts are not bound by that barrier limiting the power of state. They have to decide between the interests of two individuals or parties. And it is about "money only", no exercising power like taking a life or putting one in a cage.
Posted by: Al
« on: March 07, 2015, 05:32:11 AM »

To be honest, this is a part of the American judicial system that I have never completely understood. One can be tried in a criminal court and found not guilty (innocent). Then the aggrieved party can turn around and sue in a civil court.

Although there was no criminal trial, in that both the grand jury and the federal government determined that there was not sufficient grounds to pursue, I would think it would be a tough case.

But then again, to prevail in a civil suit requires a lower bar of evidence than a criminal case. And there will be a jury. I suppose the challenge for the attorneys for the former policeman will be to try to separate his actions from that report.

It will be an interesting case to follow.
Posted by: Johnnie F.
« on: March 06, 2015, 07:24:16 AM »

The Los Angeles Times reports, that Michael Brown's family plans to sue the city of Ferguson and ex-cop Darren Wilson for a compensation for unlawful killing.

I think they got very high chances to win that, now after that report.
Posted by: thaiga
« on: March 04, 2015, 04:59:26 PM »

Officials: US Report Finds Racial Bias in Ferguson Police

 A Justice Department investigation found sweeping patterns of racial bias within the Ferguson, Missouri, police department, with officers routinely discriminating against blacks by using excessive force, issuing petty citations and making baseless traffic stops, according to law enforcement officials familiar with its findings.

The report, which Ferguson city officials said would be released Wednesday, marks the culmination of a months-long investigation into a police department that federal officials have described as troubled and that commanded national attention after one of its officers shot and killed an unarmed black man, 18-year-old Michael Brown, last summer.

FULL STORY: abcnews.go
Posted by: Johnnie F.
« on: February 26, 2015, 11:00:52 AM »

This issue is now completely and totally finished.

The Justice Department said Tuesday its independent investigation found "insufficient evidence" to charge George Zimmerman with federal civil rights violations in the shooting death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin.

Attorney General Eric Holder said the evidence did not meet the "high standard for a federal hate crime prosecution," but the decision should not end efforts to explore racial tensions in the justice system. The decision closes the federal investigation.

Looks like the "high standards" were set by time: "The conclusion of the investigation came as Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. neared the end of his tenure. The shooting was one of several racially fraught cases that Mr. Holder said the department would finish investigating before he stepped down." (NYT)
Posted by: Al
« on: February 25, 2015, 02:29:24 PM »

This issue is now completely and totally finished.

The Justice Department said Tuesday its independent investigation found "insufficient evidence" to charge George Zimmerman with federal civil rights violations in the shooting death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin.

Attorney General Eric Holder said the evidence did not meet the "high standard for a federal hate crime prosecution," but the decision should not end efforts to explore racial tensions in the justice system. The decision closes the federal investigation.

"This young man's premature death necessitates that we continue the dialogue and be unafraid of confronting the issues and tensions his passing brought to the surface," Holder said in a statement. "We, as a nation, must take concrete steps to ensure that such incidents do not occur in the future."

Zimmerman shot Trayvon, 17, on Feb. 26, 2012, as the teen walked back to a relative's home after purchasing snacks at a convenience store in Sanford, Fla.

Federal authorities opened an investigation into the teen's death shortly after the 2012 fatal shooting. They halted the inquiry to allow the local prosecution to proceed and resumed their investigation in July 2013. On July 13, 2013, a Florida jury found Zimmerman not guilty of second-degree murder and manslaughter, sparking protests in several cities.

The federal investigation resumed after Zimmerman's acquittal in state court. Federal investigators reviewed the evidence generated by Florida's investigation and prosecution and independently conducted 75 witness interviews and reviewed other encounters Zimmerman had with law enforcement in Florida, the Justice Department said. Federal authorities also retained an independent biomechanical expert who assessed Zimmerman's descriptions of his struggle with Trayvon and the shooting.

The investigation reviewed events from the moment of their first encounter through the fatal shooting to determine whether Zimmerman approached Trayvon in a "threatening manner" or used force against him because of his race, the Justice Department said.

"Our decision not to pursue federal charges does not condone the shooting that resulted in the death of Trayvon Martin and is based solely on the high legal standard applicable to these cases," said acting Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta of the Civil Rights Division.

Prosecutors from the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, officials from the FBI and the Justice Department's Community Relations Service met Tuesday with Travyon's family and their representatives to inform them of the findings of the investigation and the decision, the Justice Department said in a written statement.

Trayvon Martin's family, in a statement released Tuesday afternoon, said it was "disappointed'' by the decision.

"We remain poised to do everything in our power to help eradicate senseless violence in our communities, because we don't want any other parent to experience the un-explainable loss we have endured,'' the statement said referring to work with a foundation named for Trayvon.

"We will never, ever forget what happened to our son, Trayvon, and will honor his memory by working tirelessly to make the world a better place."

Daryl Parks, an attorney for Trayvon Martin's family, said an injustice still exists though neither system could hold Zimmerman accountable.

In the weeks after Trayvon's death, much of the nation was consumed with a racially charged narrative about a unarmed black teen killed while walking home with a bag of Skittles and iced tea. In addition to race, the case focused new attention on the definition of self defense.

George Zimmerman's brother, Robert Zimmerman told USA TODAY his sibling did not act based on any racial notions the night of the shooting but shot in self-defense.

Don West, Zimmerman's attorney, said he relayed the news to his client shortly after being informed by the Justice Department.

"Certainly, there is great relief that the case is closed,'' West said. "This was a tragedy for the Martin family and tragedy for George. For a long time, he (Zimmerman) had a target on his back.
Posted by: Roger
« on: January 14, 2015, 06:52:16 PM »

Relevant to this thread - surprisingly, there is a major developed Country with a worse record of violence generally and police violence, than the USA. Hard to believe but Brazil has terrible problems.
Jotted this down quickly for interest (rightly I hope!) - 50,000 murders every year including 100 Police Officers in Rio alone and 6 yes SIX people are killed by the Police .......... EVERY DAY !!!
Major problems in the massive slum areas in major cities called 'Favellas').
Posted by: Johnnie F.
« on: January 06, 2015, 08:28:05 PM »

Ferguson grand juror sues, seeking right to speak about his reactions to the evidence

Missouri law generally forbids grand jurors from discussing the evidence that they heard, their own votes, or what the state argued, and this is a part of a longstanding tradition of grand jury secrecy. But one of the Ferguson/Darren Wilson/Michael Brown grand jurors is suing, seeking a court decision that he may indeed speak about the evidence and his reactions to it. Here are some excerpts from the just-filed Complaint in here (Grand Juror Doe v. McCulloch (E.D. Mo. Jan. 5, 2015)):

    19. From Plaintiff’s perspective, the presentation of evidence to the grand jury investigating Wilson differed markedly and in significant ways from how evidence was presented in the hundreds of matters presented to the grand jury earlier in its term.

    20. From Plaintiff’s perspective, the State’s counsel to the grand jury investigating Wilson differed markedly and in significant ways from the State’s counsel to the grand jury in the hundreds of matters presented to the grand jury earlier in its term.

    21. From Plaintiff’s perspective, the investigation of Wilson had a stronger focus on the victim than in other cases presented to the grand jury.

    22. From Plaintiff’s perspective, the presentation of the law to which the grand jurors were to apply the facts was made in a muddled and untimely manner compared to the presentation of the law in other cases presented to the grand jury….

    32. From Plaintiff’s perspective, Defendant’s [i.e., the prosecutor's] statement characterizes the views of the grand jurors collectively toward the evidence, witnesses, and the law, in a manner that does not comport with Plaintiff’s own opinions.

    33. From Plaintiff’s perspective, although the release of a large number of records provides an appearance of transparency, with heavy redactions and the absence of context, those records do not fully portray the proceedings before the grand jury.

    34. Plaintiff would like to speak about the experience of being a grand juror, including expressing Plaintiff’s opinions about the evidence and the investigation, and believes Plaintiff’s experience could contribute to the current public dialogue concerning race relations. In Plaintiff’s view, the current information available about the grand jurors’ views is not entirely accurate — especially the implication that all grand jurors believed that there was no support for any charges. Moreover, the public characterization of the grand jurors’ view of witnesses and evidence does not accord with Plaintiff’s own. Plaintiff also wishes to express opinions about: whether the release of records has truly provided transparency; Plaintiff’s impression that evidence was presented differently than in other cases, with the insinuation that Brown, not Wilson, was the wrongdoer; and questions about whether the grand jury was clearly counseled on the law.

The grand juror has a strong, though not ironclad, First Amendment case. Butterworth v. Smith (1990) held unconstitutional a permanent ban on a witness’s disclosing his grand jury testimony, and the Court’s rationale may also apply to grand jurors and not just witnesses, where — as here — much of the testimony had already been disclosed by the prosecutor. From Butterworth:

    Here Florida seeks to punish the publication of information relating to alleged governmental misconduct — speech which has traditionally been recognized as lying at the core of the First Amendment. To justify such punishment, Florida relies on the interests in preserving grand jury secrecy acknowledged by the Court in Douglas Oil Co. of California v. Petrol Stops Northwest, 441 U.S. 211 (1979). But we do not believe those interests warrant a permanent ban on the disclosure by a witness of his own testimony once a grand jury has been discharged. Some of these interests are not served at all by the Florida ban on disclosure, and those that are served are not sufficient to sustain the statute.

    When an investigation ends, there is no longer a need to keep information from the targeted individual in order to prevent his escape — that individual presumably will have been exonerated, on the one hand, or arrested or otherwise informed of the charges against him, on the other. There is also no longer a need to prevent the importuning of grand jurors since their deliberations will be over. Similarly, the concern that some witnesses will be deterred from presenting testimony due to fears of retribution is, we think, not advanced by this prohibition; any witness is free not to divulge his own testimony, and that part of the Florida statute which prohibits the witness from disclosing the testimony of another witness remains enforceable under the ruling of the Court of Appeals.

    Florida’s interest in preventing the subornation of grand jury witnesses who will later testify at trial is served by the prohibition in question to this extent: if the accused is of a mind to suborn potential witnesses against him, he will have an additional opportunity to learn of the existence of such a witness if that witness chooses to make his grand jury testimony public. But with present day criminal procedure generally requiring the disclosure of witnesses on the part of the State, the names of these witnesses will be available to the accused sometime before trial in any event. Florida provides substantial criminal penalties for both perjury and tampering with witnesses, and its courts have subpoena and contempt powers available to bring recalcitrant witnesses to the stand. We think the additional effect of the ban here in question is marginal at best and insufficient to outweigh the First Amendment interest in speech involved.

    Florida undoubtedly retains a substantial interest in seeing that “persons who are accused but exonerated by the grand jury will not be held up to public ridicule.” And the ban in question does serve that interest to some extent, although it would have the opposite effect if applied to a witness who was himself a target of the grand jury probe and desired to publicize this testimony by way of exonerating himself. But even in those situations where the disclosure by the witness of his own testimony could have the effect of revealing the names of persons who had been targeted by the grand jury but exonerated, our decisions establish that absent exceptional circumstances, reputational interests alone cannot justify the proscription of truthful speech.

Likewise, once the grand jury proceeding in the Darren Wilson case is over, and the evidence has been largely released, I think the usual government interests in grand jury secrecy are likely not sufficient to justify a flat ban on grand juror speech. The matter might be different if the ban was limited to disclosure of what other grand jurors said. But the plaintiff’s lawyer told me — in response to an e-mail from me — that the plaintiff seeks only to disclose his or her own thoughts and reactions to the evidence, not the other grand jurors’ reactions.

The prosecution has some counterarguments available:

First, Butterworth stressed that the Florida law banning statements by grand jury witnesses was relatively unusual among states; to the extent the Missouri law is more common, that might affect the analysis.

Second, and relatedly, recent Supreme Court decisions (such as the animal cruelty video case and the Stolen Valor Act case) have taken the view that traditionally accepted speech restrictions may well be constitutional even where more novel restrictions are not — to the extent that Missouri law tracks a tradition of grand jury secrecy, that might cut in its favor (though note that the Court has indeed often sharply narrowed even traditionally accepted restrictions, such as traditional restrictions on libel law and obscenity law).

Third, one factor in Butterworth is that the law limited a grand jury witness’s ability to convey “information he acquired on his own” (i.e., things he knew before he went into the grand jury room and that he then testified about). Here, the law limits grand jurors’ ability to convey information they acquired as a result of the grand jury process; Justice Scalia’s solo concurrence in Butterworth suggests that he, at least, might view this as important.

Washington Post
Posted by: thaiga
« on: December 24, 2014, 06:26:45 PM »

WASHINGTON - Police said Wednesday they shot dead an African American teenager in a town near Ferguson, Missouri, where the police shooting of an unarmed black teen led to weeks of protests across the United States.

Media reports cited a St. Louis County police statement saying that the shooting took place at a gas station at 11:15 pm Tuesday in the town of Berkeley.

Police said an officer opened fire on the teen who was carrying a handgun, hitting him several times and killing him. 


US police shoot dead black teenager near Ferguson
Posted by: Johnnie F.
« on: December 20, 2014, 10:45:43 AM »

Whether one believes or not, the American justice system has reached a verdict. A group of regular people listened to and saw the evidence presented and reached a conclusion to the best of their ability.

I respect their conclusion.

Should their conclusion still be respected?

St. Louis Grand Jury Heard Witnesses Who Lied, Prosecutor Says

Some witnesses were clearly lying when they spoke to a grand jury about the August police killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., according to St. Louis County prosecuting attorney Robert McCulloch. In an interview about the case Friday, the prosecutor says he won't seek perjury charges.

Nearly a month after he announced the grand jury's decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, McCulloch told St. Louis radio station KTRS 550 AM that he hasn't spoken publicly about the Michael Brown case because "I didn't want to fire things up."

In the interview, KTRS host McGraw Milhaven also asked McCulloch to explain why he made the announcement on the night of Nov. 24, the Monday before Thanksgiving.

"There was no good time to announce this," McCulloch answered.

As you'll recall, McCulloch also arranged for hundreds of pages of grand jury documents to be released about the case, bringing an unusual chance for close analysis of the evidence the panel considered.

Here are some excerpts from the interview:

Lying Under Oath And Perjury

"It's a legitimate issue. But in the situation — again, because of the manner in which we did it — we're not going to file perjury charges against anyone. There were people who came in and yes, absolutely lied under oath. Some lied to the FBI — even though they're not under oath, that's another potential offense, a federal offense.

"But I thought it was much more important to present the entire picture and say listen, this is what this witness says he saw — even though there was a building between where the witness says he was and where the events occurred, so they couldn't have seen that. Or the physical evidence didn't support what the witness was saying. And it went both directions. ...

"I thought it was much more important that the grand jury hear everything, what people have to say — and they're in a perfect position to assess the credibility, which is what juries do."

On Releasing The Findings After Dark

"There was no good time to announce this. Whatever was going to happen was going to happen. We knew that very early on. But I did work very closely with law enforcement. ... I decided early on that I would release it as soon as practicable after the grand jury made a decision. ...

"What occurred afterward was unfortunate; there are a variety of reasons that that may have occurred. Some people were bent on destruction, regardless of when this was going to be released. I thought it was more important to get the information out as quickly as possible. I think waiting longer would have aggravated things."


St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch Breaks Silence

If that can be proven, they'll have to declare the decision of that grand jury for invalid and let another one sit through the whole trial again. I think that the DA McCullough came out with that at all and now - so long after dark -, because his own career has been threatened on the basis of him allowing witnesses to lie to the grand jury.   :-[
Posted by: KiwiCanadian
« on: December 06, 2014, 07:53:55 PM »

Got to agree with you J F.

I was in LA in the late summer of 1974, we went to see a house built of Bottles on the edge of the Watts district in LA on a Sunday Morning.
We got lost on the way back and every one was looking at us, its an uncomfortable feeling, 2 white guys in s Jacked up 4x4, while all the local population were in their Sunday best ready for church. We stopped and asked for directions, and they where very helpfull. The guy said we don't see that kind of vehicle here that's why you are being looked at. When he found we were from Canada, he was really helpfull.

How life has changed
Posted by: Johnnie F.
« on: December 06, 2014, 07:42:49 PM »

Hi Johnnie and you've obviously feel strongly.

Actually, when I was traveling the USA several times from coast to coast in the 70s and early 80s, I met only friendly and helpful cops, especially in the South. Well, in Gainesville, Fla, one old cop told me to see the judge at traffic court, when a local farmer's pickup had entered the highway right in front of me without looking for traffic and had me run into his side, denting his door. At court then I met a friendly young black judge, who patiently listened to my side of the story and then told me he wanted to dismiss the case. But I wasn't beaten or shot at.

Now the USA seem very different to me. I think the aftermath of 9/11 and the Iraq war changed my view. Before, almost all of the American guys at my age were condemning the Vietnam war and Watergate etc. But that seems to have been forgotten over the years. I don't think it's only me who got old and cranky!

The poor performance of the economy changed America!
Posted by: KiwiCanadian
« on: December 06, 2014, 06:17:51 PM »

Well my daughter just sent me a the original photo of the one that I posted above,
You just cant trust your friends on the internet these days.
Certainly got to read between the lines and take it with a grain of salt.

Posted by: Roger
« on: December 06, 2014, 06:11:14 PM »

Hi Johnnie and you've obviously feel strongly.
I'd just add that sometimes the Police themselves are under real provocation but even so, it is clear that the USA needs to wise up and calm the Police down - make some real changes.
I think the suggested cameras on caps would help moderate the attitude of the Police in action (even though there are so many phones around taking pictures these days).
The incident that caught my eye was the death of Eric Garner, where guns were not involved at all. He was a really big fella but seemed to be standing quietly with his hands in the air when he was suddenly wrestled to the ground with a neck hold that was continued on the ground despite protestation. It appeared a totally unnecessary, OTT and indisciplined response by the Police.
Posted by: Johnnie F.
« on: December 06, 2014, 03:14:57 PM »

The shooting of black people by irresponsible cops seems to be daily  occurrence in America.

Akai Gurley's funeral: a cry for answers

As another grand jury deliberates on the killing of an unarmed black man by police, a community declares ‘enough is enough’

As another grand jury deliberates on the killing of an unarmed black man by police, a community declares ‘enough is enough’

The rain fell softly on Akai Gurley’s white casket as six men carried it the few metres from the hearse to the doorway of Brown Memorial Baptist Church in Brooklyn.

A few dozen mourners stood under umbrellas, their feet sodden. One held the stars and stripes, another held the red, black and green of the pan-African. Both flags drooped in the cold.

“We can’t take no more,” someone called from the crowd as the casket moved inside for the private wake. Gurley, 28, was another unarmed black man killed by a police officer.

Once the service began around 200 people had assembled inside. The choir sang as people lined up to view the body.

“When you hear laughter, that’s Akai. When you see a smile, that’s Akai,” Gurley’s stepfather, Kenneth Palmer, told the congregation. “Sweet memories, my dear brothers and sisters, is all we have. Let us not forget.”

Gurley was killed by a single shot to the torso in the late evening of 20 November as he descended the darkened stairwell of a public housing block with his girlfriend in one of Brooklyn’s poorest neighbourhoods.

His death is one of a number in recent months that have taken place with perceived police impunity, resulting in thousands of protesters taking to the streets in cities around the United States demanding justice and change.

On Wednesday a Staten Island grand jury decided not to indict a white police officer who in July placed 46 year-old Eric Garner – an African American – in a chokehold before he died of a heart attack. Last week in Ferguson, Missouri, a grand jury declined to indict officer Darren Wilson over the shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in August, prompting rioting in the suburb and protests that spread throughout the country.

A few blocks down from Gurley’s wake protesters had organised a demonstration, with other protests also expected in Manhattan on Friday night.

Activists and community leaders have called for an indictment of the officer responsible since the shooting was first reported and hope the grand jury, announced on Friday by the Brooklyn district attorney, will return a decision that bucks the recent trend.

But this immediate history reflects what has been happening for decades. Amongst those in the congregation were other black New Yorkers who had lost relatives at the hands of the city police many years ago.

Cynthia Howell’s 57-year-old aunt Alberta Spruill died of a heart attack in 2003 after the NYPD mistakenly raided her house, knocking down her door and throwing a concussion grenade into her Harlem apartment.

“We are sick and tired,” Howell said. “Enough is enough.”

Nicholas Heyward’s 13-year-old-son Nicholas Jr was shot dead in the stairwell of a Brooklyn housing project as he played cops and robbers with a toy gun.

“I feel her pain deeply,” Heyward said of Gurley’s mother, Sylvia Palmer, who had earlier on Friday made her first media appearance calling – through tears – for justice for her son.

“If there is anything I can do to give her support in any way, she is welcome to give me a call.”

The NYPD maintains Gurley’s shooting was the result of a gun going off accidentally as a rookie officer, Peter Liang, conducted a “vertical patrol” of the building with another rookie officer, Shaun Landau. NYPD commissioner Bill Bratton described Gurley as a “total innocent” and said his death was an “unfortunate tragedy”.

Officer Liang reportedly entered the eighth floor stairwell of the block holding a flashlight in his right hand, with his gun held unholstered in the other. Gurley, on the seventh floor, was hit by a ricochet after the shot was fired and stumbled down two flights of stairs, according to reports.

News broke on Friday morning that neither officer could be reached for six and a half minutes in the immediate aftermath of the shooting, as Liang allegedly texted a police union representative instead of reporting the shot and calling for medical assistance.

The NYPD were instead informed of the shooting from a neighbour’s 911 call, according to the New York Daily News.

“No parent should ever have to bury a child and no child should ever have to bury a father, especially under these circumstances,” New York City public sdvocate Letitia James told the congregation. “Akai did not leave us, Akai was taken from us … Akai was struck by a bullet that should have never met him.”

On Saturday Gurley will be buried in New Jersey. The search for answers will continue.

The Guardian
Posted by: KiwiCanadian
« on: December 06, 2014, 11:04:18 AM »

As I said an interesting perspective, just the messenger.

Also some sorry examples as well.
Posted by: Johnnie F.
« on: December 06, 2014, 09:13:47 AM »

An interesting perspective from an African American no less.

And you believe this to be genuine?  ;D
Posted by: KiwiCanadian
« on: December 05, 2014, 10:19:46 PM »

An interesting perspective from an African American no less.

Interesting and true.  Disregard the Bill Cosby reference though.  This was obviously written long before his downfall.

This was posted in the Ferguson Scanner, and later deleted. I copied it before it disappeared, and emailed it to myself. I am posting it here because I found this man's message to be in keeping with my own thoughts about the events going on in Ferguson. It's lengthy, but worth reading. See if you agree, and let me know your thoughts (I blanked out references to the ’n' word, for FB rules): JA

My Name is William G. Lillas....
I wanted to clear up a few black and white questions and answers. The things I state are facts. They are not downloaded from some media website, not propaganda, just observations from a 83 year old black man, born in America:
"I was told by my parents (yes, a married man and woman with my last name), that I was n*****. We lived in “N***** Town” in a small Texas town, no A/C, grass growing through the floor, no car, no TV. We washed our bodies with lye soap that my mother made, by hand. I thought I was a n*****, until I graduated high school, went to college, did an enlistment in the Army, and got a job. I am now retired, own my own home, have 6 children by ONE WOMAN, and we all have the same last name. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Arts, a Master’s Degree in Sociology. My retirement, VA disability from combat in the Korean War (I only have one leg), and part-time pay in a local college, is about $125,000 a year. From dirt poor n*****, to old, black, proud American.
Yes, I am black, and I can say “n*****”, because I understand the true meaning of the word.
Let’s clear up a few things about the Michael Brown incident.
-Fact: It is not called "shoplifting or stealing", it's called "robbery", which is a felony. Brown stole something and assaulted someone, that means ROBBERY. It’s on video, and it’s a fact. Not shoplifting, not theft, not “lifting” a few cigars, but ROBBERY!
-Michael Brown, like Trayvon, was portrayed by the media as a “little black boy”, cute little headphones, and his cap and gown photo, gunned down by a ruthless police assassin, executed by “whitey”. First, I have never seen a cop drag a person into their car’s driver door to arrest them. So, let us be clear, Michael Brown was a n*****; a sorry assed, criminal, hoodlum, n*****. Nobody wants to say that, but I will. He had a criminal record a mile long, was known for numerous assaults, robberies, including the one you saw with your own eyes, and still refuse to call it a robbery. He was, like so many others, living a life that he thought he was “entitled” to, just for being alive. Gangsta rap, weed, drinking, guns, and those stupid-assed low profile rims, makes him some kind of bad-ass n*****.
-I have fought communist Chinese and North Korean soldiers in the 1950’s with more honor than that n*****. Yep, I peeled potatoes and shot communists. That’s the only job a n***** soldier could get.
Rodney King? Black Riots!
Trayvon? Black Riots!
-Hurricane Katrina? Black Riots! Stealing TV’s, designer clothes, etc.
-O.J. Simpson kills white man and white woman, found NOT GUILTY? Did white folks riot? Nope!
-In fact, when is the last time white people rioted? Civil War, maybe? That’s because they are, relatively, civilized people, much like many black Americans. Protesting is one thing, hell, I’m all for it. Even if you are an ignorant idiot, you have a right to protest.
-Stop only showing the young black "cap and gown" photos of Michael. Charles Manson may have a few of those laying around, as well. Show the n***** "gangsta" photos of the "poor unarmed teenager" (grown man) pics that have been removed from his Facebook page, holding the loaded pistol, smoking weed, with a mouthful of money.
-Militarization? The stupid-assed media that publicizes this has no idea what “militarization” really is. Cops wear helmets and vests, and drive armored vehicle because unemployed n*****s thrown bricks at them, moron! You put on an "Adam 12" uniform and walk down the streets of Ferguson during the criminal riots. I can guarantee that you'll jump into the first armored "military tank" that you see.
-You only "want the police" when you "need the police", otherwise, you mock and fear what you do not understand about the police. And by the way, the police are trained to take your shit, but I wouldn’t around with those Army National Guard, they aren’t as well disciplined “culturally” to take your shit like police do every day. They will ventilate your black asses with M-16s, with military precision and extreme prejudice.
-And finally, the way we protest and demand justice, is run down the streets breaking shit, looting stores, and acting like a bunch of untrained monkeys? Hell, after Rodney King, criminal n*****s were actually killing people, thinking they were entitled to be worse criminals than they already were. For those black criminals that do that, you are a disgrace to your race, inflamed by idiots like Al Sharpton, instead of listening to logic from proud black Americans, like Bill Cosby, Samuel Jackson, Colin Powell, Allen West, me, etc.
-You blame white people for your ignorance, criminal acts, unemployed laziness, etc.
-You blame white people for 89% of the prisons in America being full of blacks. They did nothing wrong, the racists white cops framed them all, right? No chance at school, no chance for college, military, employment?
-More n*****s kill n*****s, than n*****s killing whites, whites killing n*****s, and whites killing whites….COMBINED. I find this astounding.
-It's not white peoples' faults, the Emancipation Proclamation was signed by a white man years ago. You can go to school, get a job, buy a house, and vote, JUST LIKE WHITE FOLKS!!!! You are not a slave, you are not discriminated against! Slavery is abolished, and nobody alive today, was alive when it was popular. Get over it! You are discriminated against because you are a criminal, sorry-assed n*****. Otherwise, black Americans are treated like everyone else.
-If you choose to create "baby daddy and baby mama", and fake disabilities as an excuse for laziness to draw social security disability…… instead of husband, wife, family, job, mortgage, it's YOUR FAULT, not white folks. And there are a lot of proud black Americans that will tell you the same, as I AM ONE OF THEM!!!
-Remember, the way you act on the camera, is remembered by everyone who sees it. They will never forget it. It shows them how you, as the black race, respond to situations that don’t particularly go the way you think they should. It will become a reference standard, something they expect from you when the next media report doesn’t go your way. Stop being stupid n*****s, and be a proud black American. My parents raised me well, but they were wrong about one thing, I am not a n*****.
I will not be around long. While my mind is still sharp, and my aim is still good, my body is eating away with cancer. It started in the prostate, and is spreading rapidly. After I die, I have asked my children to publish my writings, and include my name. Although I am not expecting any miracles, I can only hope that Americans will stop blaming color, start blaming criminals, and see people for what the y really are. We have too many countries that want us dead. We should not be fighting each other.
"William G. Lillas"
Posted by: Johnnie F.
« on: December 05, 2014, 03:13:24 PM »

Phoenix police: Suspect unarmed when killed by officer

The facts surrounding Rumain Brisbon's death — the ones that could be agreed upon as of Wednesday evening — follow a narrative familiar to a nation still reeling from the racially charged police incidents in Ferguson, Mo., New York City and elsewhere.

In Phoenix on Tuesday evening, a White police officer who was feeling threatened used lethal force on an unarmed Black man. The incident left the officer unharmed and Brisbon, 34, with two bullet wounds in his torso at a north Phoenix apartment complex.

Phoenix police quickly released a detailed account of the killing for the media on Wednesday morning in what officials said was an effort to promote transparency, especially in light of the unrest that has played out in Ferguson and New York City following the deaths of unarmed Black men at the hands of White officers. But portions of that account have already been challenged by some witnesses and community activists who say that the officer's use of force was excessive and that Brisbon's death was unwarranted.

Shortly before 6 p.m. on Tuesday, officers were in the area of Interstate 17 and Greenway Road for a burglary investigation when a resident of an apartment complex told them that men inside a black Cadillac SUV were engaged in a drug deal, said Sgt. Trent Crump, a Phoenix police spokesman.

Police checked the license plate that the tipster provided and found it was registered to a resident in the 15,400 block of North 25th Avenue, where there was also a pending report of a "loud music disturbance."

The loud-music call was canceled, so the officer went to the SUV to ask questions of those inside, Crump said.

The officer said the driver, later identified as Brisbon, got out and appeared to be removing something from the rear of the SUV. The officer told Brisbon to show his hands, but Brisbon stuffed his hands into his waistband, Crump said.

The officer drew his weapon and Brisbon ran toward nearby apartments, Crump said. A short foot chase ensued.

"Witnesses indicated to us that the suspect was verbally challenging to the officer," Crump said.

Brisbon refused to comply with the officer's commands to get on the ground, and the two struggled once the officer caught up with him, Crump said.

"During the struggle, Brisbon put his left hand in his pocket and the officer grabbed onto the suspect's hand, while repeatedly telling the suspect to keep his hand in his pocket," he said. "The officer believed he felt the handle of a gun while holding the suspect's hand in his pocket."

A woman inside an apartment opened a door at that moment, and the officer and Brisbon tumbled inside, Crump said. Two children, ages 9 and 2, were in a back bedroom, he said.

The officer could no longer keep a grip on Brisbon's hand and, because he feared that the suspect had a gun in his pocket, fired two shots, Crump said.

The item in Brisbon's pocket turned out to be a bottle of oxycodone pills, he said.

Crump said the officers are aware of the delicate nature of the case and are asking the community to allow investigators to gather all the facts.

"I would like to think that in our officer-involved shootings, that we are transparent as we can be as an organization," Crump said. "We always have been and always will be concerned about what it is that our residents think about our role in this community and the levels of force that we use.

"Let's be very clear: The officer was doing what we expect him to do, which is investigate crimes that neighbors are telling him are occurring in that part of the complex."

Crump said the department was not identifying the officer, a 30-year-old with seven years on the force.

He also acknowledged that, as in most police investigations, witness accounts varied.

Martin Rangel lives upstairs from where the shooting occurred and said he heard some banging and then a gunshot.

"It was so loud, I heard the vibration through the floor," Rangel said. "I ran to the window, and that's when I saw the cop running out, or like, walking out, and he was cussing, you know, he was screaming, 'F--k, f--k,' like upset that he shot the guy."

Brandon Dickerson, who said he was in the car with Brisbon shortly before the shooting and witnessed some of the incident, said Brisbon was dropping off fast food to his children in the apartment. On Wednesday evening, strewn french fries still littered the front porch.

Dickerson said he never saw the officer try to talk with Brisbon. He also said his friend wasn't yelling at the officer.

"Who's gonna argue with police?" Dickerson said. "He had no death wish yesterday."

Marci Kratter, a Phoenix attorney who represented Brisbon in a previous DUI case and is now representing his family, said she is concerned that the story offered by police is not complete.

"There are numerous witnesses that will challenge the police officer's account of what transpired," she said.

Kratter said she dispatched investigators to the scene to determine whether a civil wrongful-death suit is necessary.

"Tonight, four children are missing their father, a woman is missing her husband and a mother is missing her son," she said. "It was a senseless tragedy. He was unarmed and not a threat to anyone. We intend to pursue this to the full extent of the law."

Civil-rights activist Jarrett Maupin was at the scene Wednesday and said he spoke with Brisbon's family members.

"I think the statements given to me by neighbors, friends and family members are in direct contrast to what has been disseminated by the Phoenix Police Department," he said.

Court records show that while Brisbon was serving a five-year probation sentence stemming from a 1998 burglary conviction,he spent several months in the hospital after being shot. Details of the shooting were not immediately available, but court records state that he had been on "a self-destructive path due to his emotional state" after the shooting.

Records show that Brisbon was booked on suspicion of driving under the influence twice in 2009 and once in October. He also had a marijuana conviction.

Officer-involved shootings are not uncommon, but the events that transpired in Ferguson, Mo., in August triggered a national debate about lethal police force and whether it too often crosses the line in minority communities.

The Aug. 9 death of Michael Brown, an unarmed man, sparked riots in Ferguson and protests nationwide. Darren Wilson, the White officer who shot him, was not indicted.

Then, on Wednesday, it was announced that a White officer would not be indicted in the chokehold death of Eric Garner, who was allegedly selling loose cigarettes on Staten Island.

Karl Gentles, a local leader in the Black community and public policy chairman of the Greater Phoenix Black Chamber of Commerce, said there is clearly a concern in Phoenix, as well as nationwide, that justice is not being served in defense of the African-American community.

Gentles encouraged police to address these perceptions and for city officials to get all the facts surrounding the shooting.

"There has to be some additional communication, dialogue, training, about how Black males are perceived," he said. "Because, as you see from other incidents, Black males are feared with unfound reason in many cases, and there is an explicit overreaction in dealing with African-American males that leads to these contentious situations."

Posted by: Johnnie F.
« on: December 05, 2014, 02:57:02 PM »

One more time:

Protesters March After Phoenix Police Kill Unarmed Black Man

Protesters demanded Thursday night that Phoenix police identify the officer who shot and killed Rumain Brisbon, a 34-year-old unarmed black father of four children, in a confrontation that critics and community members likened to the deaths of Michael Brown in Missouri and Eric Garner in New York.

About 100 people marched to police headquarters a day after the department strongly defended the decision by the officer who shot Brisbon, who friends and family said was simply delivering dinner to his children, on Tuesday night.

"This one went bad from the standpoint of how it ended, but the officer was doing exactly what we want him to do," Sgt. Trent Crump, a Phoenix police spokesman, said at a news conference Wednesday.

But Ann Hart, chairwoman of the African American Police Advisory Board for South Phoenix, said the shooting only reinforces "the impression it's open season for killing black men."

"We need to look into that," Hart told NBC station KPNX of Phoenix. "We need to take a deeper dive into why police officers are feeling compelled to shoot and kill as opposed to apprehend and detain, arrest and jail."

Another rally was scheduled for Friday night. With police being questioned about the deaths of unarmed black men not only in Phoenix but also in Ferguson, Missouri, and in New York, a nonprofit police foundation in nearby Tempe, Arizona, canceled a fundraising "Run From the Cops 5K" race scheduled for Saturday, citing "sensitivity, respect, and support for all sides of an important debate taking place all across our great country."

Crump told reporters that the officer and his partner were responding to a burglary call about 6 p.m. Tuesday (8 p.m. ET) when a local resident told them that men in a black sport-utility vehicle were dealing drugs. The license plate number given by the resident matched a vehicle owned by a resident of a block where police were already investigating a report of loud music, Crump said, so the officer approached the SUV, whose driver got out.

When the officer told the driver, later identified as Brisbon, to show his hands, the driver instead put his hands into the waistband of his pants, at which point the officer drew his gun, Crump said. Brisbon began to run away, but the officer chased him down, and they began struggling, Crump said.

"The officer believed he felt the handle of a gun while holding the suspect's hand in his pocket," Crump said. Unable to keep his grip on Brisbon's hand, the officer fired two shots, Crump said. The object in Brisbon's pocket was later discovered to be a bottle of pain pills, but an unspecified weapon and what appeared to be marijuana were found in the SUV, Crump said.

The Rev. Jarrett Maupin, an organizer of Thursday night's march, told KPNX that Brisbon was probably justified in fearing for his life and trying to flee when the Phoenix officer approached him and his friend Tuesday night.

"The Phoenix Police Department does not treat white people this way," Maupin said. "What that officer did was harass and accost them."

Marci A. Kratter, an attorney for Brisbon's family, told The Arizona Republic newspaper of Phoenix that eyewitnesses would dispute the official police account and that "we intend to pursue this to the full extent of the law."

NBC news
Posted by: Johnnie F.
« on: December 05, 2014, 02:33:37 PM »

CLEVELAND, Ohio — The Cleveland police officer who shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice had issues with handling guns during his brief tenure with a suburban police department.

A Nov. 29, 2012 letter contained in Tim Loehmann's personnel file from the Independence Police Department says that during firearms qualification training he was "distracted" and "weepy."

"He could not follow simple directions, could not communicate clear thoughts nor recollections, and his handgun performance was dismal," according to the letter written by Deputy Chief Jim Polak of the Independence police.

The letter recommended that the department part ways with Loehmann, who went on to become a police officer with the Cleveland Division of Police.


In an interview with the Northeast Ohio Media Group, Loehmann's father said that his son left Independence to pursue a job with Cleveland police because he wanted "more action."

excerpts from:

Any more to say than "He's innocent, as he can't be held responsible!" Who hires a guy like that as cop and gives him a gun?
Posted by: Johnnie F.
« on: December 04, 2014, 10:19:54 AM »

Protests After Grand Jury in Eric Garner Chokehold Case Doesn’t Indict Officer

A Staten Island grand jury on Wednesday ended the criminal case against a white New York police officer whose chokehold on an unarmed black man led to the man’s death, a decision that drew condemnation from many elected officials and touched off a wave of angry but generally peaceful protests.

The fatal encounter in July was captured on videos seen around the world. But after viewing the footage and hearing from witnesses, including the officer who used the chokehold, the jurors deliberated for less than day before deciding that there was not enough evidence to go forward with charges against the officer, Daniel Pantaleo, 29, in the death of the man, Eric Garner, 43.

Officer Pantaleo appeared before the grand jury on Nov. 21, testifying that he did not intend to choke Mr. Garner. He described the maneuver as a wrestling move, adding that he never thought Mr. Garner was in mortal danger.
The decision came barely a week after a grand jury found no criminality in the actions of a white police officer, Darren Wilson, who shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old black man in Ferguson, Mo.

Read full article in The New York Times

Concerning a grand jury, unless additional evidence is found there are no options for a second grand jury. In this case the prosecutor stated at the beginning of this grand jury that he would be providing all available evidence.

Grand juries determine whether enough evidence exists for a case to go forward to a criminal trial, either before a jury or a judge. By law, they operate in secret and hear only evidence presented by prosecutors, who also instruct the grand jurors on the law. Defense lawyers are barred from speaking. For a decision, 12 jurors who have heard all the evidence must agree.

I assume, that the victim, his survivors and their lawyers are also barred from speaking. A secret decision-forming in a suspected-murder case?
Posted by: thaiga
« on: December 02, 2014, 01:08:49 PM »

Barack Obama vows to address 'simmering distrust' between police, minorities after Ferguson unrest

Washington: United States President Barack Obama, grappling with how to respond to the racial unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, and a wave of anger at law enforcement officials across the country, said he would tighten standards on the provision of military-style equipment to local police departments and provide funds for police officers to wear cameras.

But Mr Obama stopped short of curtailing the transfer of military-grade gear to local law enforcement authorities and continued to put off a visit to Ferguson. Instead, the White House tried to channel the rage over the fatal police shooting of a black teenager there into a national debate about how to restore trust between the police and the public.

Administration officials said they concluded after a review that the vast majority of transfers of military-style equipment strengthened local policing, even after the police in Ferguson were criticised for heavy-handed use of such gear to quell protests in August.

But the officials said local authorities needed common standards in the types of hardware they request and better training in how to use it.

The changes were modest, and Mr Obama himself was circumspect in remarks about Ferguson after a day of meetings at the White House with civil rights and religious leaders, big-city mayors and law enforcement officials. Mr Obama seemed eager to keep the focus not on what happened in Ferguson but on its broader lessons for the country.

"Ferguson laid bare a problem that is not unique to St Louis," he told reporters, describing a "simmering distrust that exists between too many police departments and too many communities of colour".

He called for a "sustained conversation in which, in each region of the country, people are talking about this honestly".

Also on Monday, US Attorney General Eric Holder said he would release guidelines soon to limit racial profiling by federal law enforcement, a move long awaited by civil rights advocates.

The Ferguson case, with its fiercely disputed facts, has posed a particular dilemma for Mr Obama, forcing him to balance his sympathy for the anger it has aroused among African-Americans with his commitment to the rule of law. He has not spoken about it in the raw, personal tones he brought to other racially charged cases, like the shooting of Trayvon Martin in 2012 or even the arrest of Henry Louis Gates jnr in 2009 for disorderly conduct after the police thought he was breaking and entering his own home.

The limited nature of the White House response also reflects the reality that transferring military-style surplus gear to police departments remains politically popular in Congress and in the municipalities. While Congress held hearings after the initial unrest in Ferguson in August, it has not acted to curb its grants and transfers of such equipment.

The militarisation of police has been part of a broader counterterrorism strategy of fortifying US cities, which took root after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and has become a reliable source of federal largesse for local authorities.

With no legislation likely, Mr Obama has, instead, focused on standardising regulations across the multiple federal agencies that supply this equipment to cities and towns. He would also seek to improve training and require "after action" reports for incidents involving federal equipment.

Criticism of the practices swelled after the police in full body armour, on heavily armed vehicles, confronted protesters in Ferguson with assault rifles.

But administration officials noted that only 4 per cent of the surplus equipment transferred by the Pentagon was combat-ready hardware. Most of it is office equipment.

To bolster local policing, the government has also announced a $US263 million ($310 million) program that will provide up to 50,000 body cameras for police. The video footage from these cameras could clarify disputed incidents like the deadly encounter between the teenager in Ferguson, Michael Brown, and police officer Darren Wilson.

Mr Obama also announced the formation of a taskforce to improve local policing. Leading the panel will be Charles Ramsey, the commissioner of the Philadelphia police department, and Laurie Robison of George Mason University, a leading criminal law scholar.

Those at the event emerged from the talks with Mr Obama saying they believed he was serious about responding in a determined way to Ferguson, that their complaints have not fallen on deaf ears.

"I will gladly be calling the parents of Michael Brown and of Eric Garner in Staten Island to let them know what happened in the meeting, but what happens after the meeting will determine whether we just had a feel-good session or whether we're moving towards change. I believe we're moving towards change," civil rights activist Reverend Al Sharpton said.

Eric Garner, a 43-year-old black man, died in July on New York's Staten Island after being put in a police chokehold.

On Monday, protests triggered by the events in Ferguson stretched into Washington, where a group of protesters snarled morning traffic from Northern Virginia into the city by shutting down a key artery at rush hour.

In New York, a couple hundred protesters gathered in Union Square and made their way to Times Square, with a handful arrested before the group dispersed by nightfall, Lieutenant John Grimple of the New York Police Department said.

New York Times, Reuters
Posted by: Johnnie F.
« on: November 30, 2014, 09:32:22 AM »

Al, Darren Wilson shot an unarmed alleged "attacker". He claimed before the Grand Jury, that he was afraid of his body force. When some part of your body hurts, your 'alarming' nerve system also influences other parts through the control center, called brain, so that you cannot use your body force with as much power and control anymore.The fact remains, that Darren Wilson made excessive use of his gun! If it is true that he was attacked, the use of a taser would have been sufficient for defense.The jury erred! The reasons behind this error are various, and it doesn't appear as purely accidental to me, whatever you might say!
Posted by: Al
« on: November 30, 2014, 09:05:11 AM »

One person's opinion on why professionals do not shoot to wound . . .
Posted by: Al
« on: November 28, 2014, 04:23:27 PM »

In that in the U.S. the accused is guaranteed a right of a jury trial, judges don't make the innocent/guilty determination so I can only assume that you are referring to a different country when you continue to refer to what judges do or do not do. A jury trial guarantees the defendant a jury of his/her peers who are mandated to determine guilt or innocence. The judge cannot offer his/her opinion on guilt or innocence.

In the US, as I pointed out your error in your previous conclusion over the Zimmerman trial verdict, there are no options for further appeal unless the defendant raises legal issues that prevented him/her from a fair trial. The prosecutor is done if the jury finds the defendant innocent.

Concerning a grand jury, unless additional evidence is found there are no options for a second grand jury. In this case the prosecutor stated at the beginning of this grand jury that he would be providing all available evidence.

Concerning the government's case - the problem is significantly harder to prove re: a civil rights violation. A grand jury has already determined that there was no justification for a criminal trial, which makes the government case that much more difficult.

In the U.S. one can always sue another person. However if the person who instigates that suit loses, it could be costly financially. The loser is often saddled with court and legal costs. Additionally, in that I suspect the Brown family has little money for the high cost of attorneys, there would need to be a real fiscal incentive and the distinct possibility of a successful suit in the potential lawyer's eyes before he/she made a decision to take on their case.

I think that this is a good thing in that it, hopefully, prevents frivolous, often expensive lawsuits.

P.S. To be honest, I know little or nothing about the legal systems in other countries. That said, a while back there was a trial in Italy of a young American college student who was accused of killing a roommate in some kind of sex game that went horribly bad, according to the prosector. That trial when on for months and months and months and she was finally found innocent. Then, via some kind of appeal system, the prosecutor was able to get a new trial. Of course she has since left the country with no plans to ever return. Her parents have been pretty much bankrupted over the costs of the trial, and now it could all start again. Anyway, in following that trial I was amazed and very thankful for the U.S. legal system.
Posted by: Johnnie F.
« on: November 27, 2014, 06:30:04 PM »

Sorry that you don't agree with the U.S. legal process.

Critical distance came with my education in law school. The U.S. legal process is known for lots of misjudgements, too many of which kept people for too long in jail or even killed them, and on reversion let many go free, who would have deserved otherwise. Impress me with convincing facts. Haven't seen any for your argumentation in this case yet. You just keep repeating: "you were not there to see and hear all evidence provided". I can read the protocols on the internet to base my opinion on. Were you there? Did you need to be there to form your opinion? Judges usually don't witness a crime, either. They form their opinion and verdict on what they find out from the different testimonials. That doesn't mean they only and fully believe one witness or the defendant. They look for convincing facts, best reported by credible witnesses in unison. Of course they can err; if the defense finds relevant errors, it can appeal. Can somebody appeal against errors of the Grand Jury in their decision about not opening a trial?

For example: in Germany a victim can take steps to force the DA (Staatsanwalt) to prosecute (Klageerzwingungsverfahren). Of course the victim who attempted in vain to force the DA to prosecute will have to pay for that case, if a court with real judges found no reason to prosecute. I'm sure, the NAACP would be willing to support Michael Brown's parents in such a law suit. But things are "shorter" in America.
Posted by: Al
« on: November 27, 2014, 06:06:38 PM »

A jury, whether formed for a trial or a grand jury, is still based on the same pool of people.

Whitewashing - LOL - All evidence was provided. Under still unclear circumstances? - to you maybe, but then you were not there to see and here all evidence provided.

Sorry that you don't agree with the U.S. legal process.
Posted by: Johnnie F.
« on: November 27, 2014, 05:04:20 PM »

Why should it not be respected? It can be criticized though. In a sensitive affair like the taking of the life of an unarmed person under still not fully clear circumstances, there should have been a public investigation in the form of a trial. A "whitewashing" by a jury of people without any legal education and training under the guidance of a biased District Attorney did not serve the importance of this case.

The Grand Jury found there were not enough evidence to prosecute Darren Wilson. Did they find enough evidence for an "innocent of all charges" verdict? It was not their task to decide whether he is guilty of something or completely innocent! That's why Darren Wilson is only "presumed innocent". The Grand Jury decided that the state does not have to go to the trouble finding out, whether he is guilty or innocent, whatever their reasons might have been.
Posted by: Al
« on: November 27, 2014, 11:12:25 AM »

Who in their right mind indeed? Police everywhere face people in the worst of circumstances everyday.

Whether one believes or not, the American justice system has reached a verdict. A group of regular people listened to and saw the evidence presented and reached a conclusion to the best of their ability.

I respect their conclusion.
Posted by: Johnnie F.
« on: November 27, 2014, 09:16:11 AM »

The more I hear about Darren Wilson's testimony in front of the Grand Jury and his assertions in his TV interview the less credible I find them. Who in his right mind would approach a cop, who holds a gun in his hand, in the way described by him?

And then there is the DA McCullough, who obviously has been biased. Lots of thing don't fit together.
Posted by: Roger
« on: November 27, 2014, 08:07:10 AM »

I am surprised to find myself having some sympathy with Darren Wilson the Police Officer.
By most accounts it seems likely that Michael Brown's behavior that night was quite violent and he was 'pushing his luck' to extremes. Was it 12 shots though ? That seems excessive ...
Some of the Demonstrators are no doubt sincere but certainly IMO the event has been used generally by the angry and disenchanted (incl. the KKK?) in an over-excited spirit, to party at expense of truth and democracy.
I thought Pres. Obama made a fair if unsuccessful pre-emptive analysis. 
Posted by: Johnnie F.
« on: November 26, 2014, 06:58:04 PM »

Rumors are that the Ku Klux Klan has been active again last night in Ferguson, setting a church and several black-owned businesses on fire. There are speculations that the Ku Klux Klan infiltrated the police force there. Hacker group "Anonymous" even claims to have evidence for that.

Posted by: thaiga
« on: November 26, 2014, 12:58:04 PM »

Ferguson shooting: Protests spread across US

Crowds have gathered across the US to protest against Monday's decision not to charge a police officer over the killing of black teen Michael Brown.

Demonstrations from New York to Seattle were mostly peaceful, with protesters chanting and waving placards.

In and around the St Louis suburb of Ferguson, scene of major riots on Monday, 2,200 National Guard troops were deployed to stop further unrest.

Meanwhile, the officer who shot Mr Brown said he had a "clean conscience".

Darren Wilson shot Mr Brown, 18, on 9 August in Ferguson, Missouri, sparking weeks of unrest.

Many in Ferguson's predominantly African-American community had called for the officer to be charged with murder, but the grand jury's decision, announced late on Monday, means the police officer will not face state criminal charges over the shooting.

Lawyers for Mr Brown's family have denounced the grand jury's decision as "unfair".

'Black lives matter'

With the number of troops more than trebled, the situation in Ferguson was calm for most of Tuesday, though demonstrators briefly closed a major road in central St Louis and rallies were staged outside the federal court house.

Late in the evening, however, tension began to rise in Ferguson. Protesters set a police vehicle alight after failing to overturn it, and police began to clear streets.

Ferguson shooting: Protests spread across US
Posted by: Al
« on: November 26, 2014, 10:05:49 AM »

"Did they hang him already?" Gotta love those experts from other countries who work to prove the conclusion they have already reached about the US.

Oh, and here is some of the grand jury testimony concerning that "harmless" fellow.
Posted by: Johnnie F.
« on: November 25, 2014, 08:13:50 PM »

Let's hope we also hear about the black cop having shot a white boy in Utah. Why is it so quiet about that? Did they hang him already?
Posted by: Johnnie F.
« on: November 25, 2014, 07:16:39 PM »

Johnnie, I agree that time will tell.

In Ferguson they told you already very violently, in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles thousands went to demonstrate still peacefully on the streets. For how long still? Until the next kid gets shot in a playground etc.

Read the BBC coverage.

Maybe the ongoing justice ministry's investigation into whether Darren Wilson violated Michael Brown's civil rights will come to a wiser conclusion and bring peace back to the streets.
Posted by: Johnnie F.
« on: November 25, 2014, 03:53:16 PM »

The excessive use of deadly weapons without consequences to restrain abuse is something nobody will keep tolerating for long, no matter how wide the range of people and diversity of opinion is: everybody has just one life to loose.
Posted by: Al
« on: November 25, 2014, 02:41:38 PM »

Johnnie, I agree that time will tell. I would, however, be more concerned if the decision as to guilty or innocence was based on the signal that verdict sends out rather than the individual facts of the case.

And the U.S. is one large country with a wide range of peoples and diversity of opinion. I think that one would be making an error in formulating a conclusion on the state of this country based on these fairly isolated incidents.
Posted by: Johnnie F.
« on: November 25, 2014, 02:24:03 PM »

And my opinion is, that this decision, whether right or wrong, will send out the wrong signal to Americans and the whole world. If cops whose job it is to protect people do keep causing harm to a part of the population - I don't say a minority - there will be unrest among citizens. America has some tough times ahead.
Posted by: Al
« on: November 25, 2014, 02:01:27 PM »

Harmless? Hardly.

The article is one person's opinion based on conjecture and more than a little speculation. For every article with one perspective, there is another separate article based on a totally opposite perspective. I guess we read and believe whatever fits our narrative best.

I don't claim to have any special insight, but I do tend to defer to a grand jury who spent months discussing, listening and analyzing and has a heck of a lot more information at hand than I do.

And of course, that is only my opinion.
Posted by: Johnnie F.
« on: November 25, 2014, 01:54:44 PM »

Obviously you haven't read the article I was referring to, Al! It's a fact that the victim was unarmed and harmless. The jury based their decision not to prosecute the shooter on his assumption at the moment of the killing that his target could be harmful to him. It is a sad verdict  given by the jury, that he killed his victim in error, not with the intention of taking a human life without adequate or sufficient reason. They believe he erred about the reason. To err is human, people say. But what about cops armed with guns, when they take peoples' lives "in error"? Poorly selected and even less trained trained cops? Dangerous America!
Posted by: Al
« on: November 25, 2014, 01:21:14 PM »

It must be nice to be sitting here, half the world away, and have all the evidence and testimonies available so that you can make an informed conclusion based on facts rather than emotion and heresay.
Posted by: Johnnie F.
« on: November 25, 2014, 10:49:40 AM »

One more time the killing of an innocent person by a cop goes unpunished in America:

Why Darren Wilson wasn't charged for killing Michael Brown
Posted by: Johnnie F.
« on: October 10, 2014, 09:27:48 AM »

Fatal shooting of 18-year-old by off-duty police officer ignites protests in St. Louis

Protesters took to the streets of south St. Louis Wednesday night following the fatal shooting of an 18-year-old African American man by a 32-year old white police officer in the city’s Shaw neighborhood. In an early Thursday morning briefing, Police Chief Sam Dotson said the man fired three shots at the officer first. The officer, a six-year veteran of the department, returned fire 17 times.

According to police, the officer was off-duty and patrolling the neighborhood as an employee of a private security company when he drove past three men at about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. As the officer drove past the group, one of the males began to run. When the officer made a U-turn, they fled, police said.

“One of them ran in a way that the officer believed that he was armed with a gun – holding his waist band, not running at full stride,” Dotson said, referring to the 18-year old.

The officer, who was wearing a Metropolitan Police Department uniform, drove through the streets after them, then left his car and chased the group on foot. One of the men then turned toward the officer and approached him “in an aggressive manner,” Dotson said. The 18-year-old and the officer got into a physical altercation.

Dotson said the man then ran up a hill and fired three times at the officer before the officer returned fire. Investigators recovered a 9mm Ruger at the scene, which Dotson said was used by the 18-year-old, whom he described as “no stranger to law enforcement.” Police said the weapon was reported stolen on Sept. 26.

“The suspect continued to pull the trigger on the gun … we learned that that gun had malfunctioned and it was jammed,” Dotson said.

The officer returned fire, killing the man. The 18-year old was identified as Vonderrit D. Myers Jr. by police.

The officer involved in the shooting worked for Hi-Tech Security, which employs several St. Louis police officers in secondary, “moonlighting” jobs. He was patrolling the neighborhood on behalf of that company, not the city’s Metropolitan Police Department.

St. Louis police said officers are permitted to be employed as security guards in uniform, while carrying their department issued weapons. Even when they are not on duty, the officer would “still has the same responsibilities and power to affect arrest and the officer operates in the capacity as a St. Louis Police Officer,” the department spokeswoman Schron Jackson said in a statement.

The officer — a six-year veteran of the force — has been placed on administrative leave.

Dotson announced the launch of an internal and criminal investigation.

“When the investigation is complete and during the investigation, in consultation with the circuit attorney’s office, we will present that case to them and ask them to review it to make a decision about the officer’s actions and if they were appropriate in that situation,” Dotson said.

Relatives quoted by local news organizations said the man had only a sandwich, not a weapon.

“He was unarmed,” Myers’ cousin, Teyonna Myers, told the St. Louis Post Dispatch. “He had a sandwich in his hand, and they thought it was a gun.”

Dotson said police were interviewing witnesses to get a firmer picture of what happened. In the police summary of the incident, the department refers to Myers as the “suspect” and the officer as the “victim.”

In the aftermath of the shooting, at least 200 people took to the streets, jeering at police and blocking traffic on Grand Boulevard.

There were no reports of injuries, though some police cars were damaged. Some chanted “hands up, don’t shoot,” the mantra of protesters in neighboring Ferguson, Mo., where and unarmed teen Michael Brown was shot and killed by a Ferguson police officer Aug. 9.

“I pray this is not another Mike Brown situation,” Sharon Norman, 50, told the paper. She was one of many who invoked the events in Ferguson.

St. Louis Alderman Stephen Conway, who represents the Shaw neighborhood, said he was “very concerned” about the activity in the streets, but believed the incident would be handled differently than the shooting in Ferguson.

“Chief Dotson has a fairly good reputation as being a straight shooter, honest, considerate,” Conway said in an interview. “I watched his police officers handling themselves admirably in the face of some serious yelling, screaming, kicking of their cars last night.”

Police reported no significant violence. There was one arrest of an unidentified individual for having a gun.

Myers lives about a block and a half away from where the incident occurred Conway said.

“Everybody has heartfelt sorrow for the family, and we feel bad,” Conway added.

Myers had been scheduled to stand trial in November for unlawful use of a weapon and resisting arrest charges related to an June incident in which he was a passenger in a car involved in a high-speed chase with police, according to the Post-Dispatch. After the car crashed, Myers reportedly exited the car and threw a loaded .380-caliber pistol into the sewer. He was later caught by police, the Post-Dispatch reported.

Washington Post
Posted by: Johnnie F.
« on: September 25, 2014, 10:25:21 AM »

The BBC reports that a memorial for the killing of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown by a white cop was set on fire yesterday, provoking another outburst of unrest in Ferguson. Two cops were injured by stones thrown at them and a shop was looted. Peoples' anger seems to be directed at the state authorities who don't appear to be willing to prosecute the shooter for his deed.

Posted by: Johnnie F.
« on: August 22, 2014, 10:59:45 AM »

Posted by: Johnnie F.
« on: August 21, 2014, 10:36:45 PM »

Posted by: Johnnie F.
« on: August 20, 2014, 09:14:48 AM »

St. Louis police fatally shoot man who brandished knife

ST. LOUIS • An agitated crowd of nearly 200 people gathered at the shooting scene, chanting, “Hands up, don’t shoot.”
Police Chief Sam Dotson walked from a sidewalk press briefing toward the crowd at midday Tuesday. As he was describing the scene, someone scolded the others, “Listen up.” Another added, “Keep quiet.” Dotson said a city alderman had witnessed the shooting.

Afterward, Dotson said, “I want this message to be out as quickly and truthfully as possible.” The tension on the street seemed diminished.

Dotson spoke on the 8700 block of Riverview Boulevard, at McLaran Avenue, north of Calvary Cemetery. About 12:30 p.m., he said, two of his officers had shot and killed a man who, they said, attacked them with a knife.

The intersection is only two miles from West Florissant Avenue and Canfield Drive in the suburb of Ferguson, the scene of repeated protests and nighttime disturbances since the shooting death of Michael Brown, 18, by a Ferguson police officer on Aug. 9.

City police officers and Dotson have been participating in some of the police actions on West Florissant. The “hands up” chant is a common refrain at the Ferguson protests.

Dotson gave this account of the shooting on Riverview:

A man, 23, walked out of the Six Stars Market, at 8701 Riverview, without paying for two energy drinks, and the store owner told him to stop. A few minutes later, the man came back and took a package of muffins or pastries, Dotson said, adding that the store owner walked out with him and asked him to pay for the items.

The man started throwing the items on the street and sidewalk. St. Louis Alderman Dionne Flowers, who works at a nearby beauty shop, witnessed the encounter and told officers the man was acting erratically and was grabbing at his waistband.

Dotson said the store owner and the alderman said the suspect was “armed with a knife, acting erratically, pacing back and forth in the street, talking to himself.”

Employees at the market and the beauty shop called 911. Two arriving officers ordered the man to get down, but he became more agitated and walked toward them, reaching for his waistband. Witnesses told police the man was yelling “Shoot me, kill me now,” during the encounter, Dotson said.

The officers drew their weapons and ordered the man to stop. He did stop, but then pulled out a knife and came at the officers, gripping and holding it high, Dotson said. They ordered him to stop and drop the knife. When he got within two or three feet of the officers, they fired, killing the man.

“This is a lethal range for a knife,” Dotson said.

The officers were not hurt, police said. They were put on administrative duty pending an investigation.

When people gathered on Riverview began getting angrier, several older residents in the area got between those shouting and the police line and tried to calm the crowd. The shouts subsided but escalated again when Dotson appeared to be walking away.

That’s when he went into the midst of the crowd and reiterated all the details. Among the older residents who asked the others to let Dotson speak was Chris Carter Sr., father of Alderman Chris Carter.

Asked why the officers didn’t use Tasers, Dotson said police have the right to defend themselves from a deadly weapon. “Officers have a reasonable expectation to go home at the end of their shift,” he said.

About 50 officers were on the scene.

An employee answering the phone at the Six Stars Market declined to comment. Flowers could not be reached.

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay said in an interview on Tuesday that he will demand transparency.

“We want to make sure this is handled in a transparent way,” Slay said.

Slay said officials have already been in contact with the U.S. Attorney’s office, in addition to clergy leaders.

Slay said the city is “fully prepared” to handle any protests that could come as a result of the shooting, especially in light of the events in Ferguson.

“We are very aware of the high emotion,” Slay said.

A crowd remained at the shooting scene through the afternoon. A worker at Golden Shears Barber & Beauty Shop said she was removing valuables in case someone tried to break in.

St. Louis Today
Posted by: thaiga
« on: August 19, 2014, 01:53:56 PM »

The one thing the racially charged and besieged city of Ferguson, Mo. does not need or want to add to the combustible mix of rubber bullets, snarling police dogs and clouds of tear gas that have filled its streets for three days is the Ku Klux Klan.

But the Klan –– desperate for publicity and any opportunity to spread hate and terror –– is climbing atop the powder keg that Ferguson has become following the police killing of an unarmed college-bound black teenager last Saturday.

The South Carolina-based New Empire Knights of the Ku Klux Klan says its Missouri chapter is raising money for the still unidentified white police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown, 18, who was scheduled to begin college classes this week.

“We are setting up a reward/fund for the police officer who shot this thug,” the Klan group said in an email. “He is a hero! We need more white cops who are anti-Zog and willing to put Jewish controlled black thugs in their place. Most cops are cowards and do nothing while 90% of interracial crime is black (and non-white) on white.”   


Press Release from the Mayor - August 18, 2014

Recently the City of Sullivan elected officials and staff were made aware by citizens and various media sources of a scheduled gathering of the Ku Klux Klan to be held in the Sullivan area.  City elected officials nor City staff is aware of the specific location for the gathering or have any details regarding the event.  Furthermore, City of Sullivan elected officials or City staff cannot confirm if the event being discussed will be held inside or outside the city limits of our community.  On behalf of the City of Sullivan elected officials and City staff  I want to emphasize that we have not, or will not, endorse or condone any activity based on hatred, more specifically any activity based on hatred towards any ethnicity. 

Thomas D. Leasor


City of Sullivan, MO
Posted by: Johnnie F.
« on: August 19, 2014, 10:51:20 AM »

Ezell Ford: The mentally ill black man killed by the LAPD two days after Michael Brown’s death

On Monday night while, 1,800 miles away, Ferguson was rioting over the shooting of Michael Brown, Ezell Ford was walking down a street in Los Angeles.

It wasn’t the nicest street. Florence, where Ford was walking, has one of the highest rates of violence in Los Angeles County.

It’s not clear what Ford was doing. Ford had a history of mental illness and had been convicted of marijuana possession and illegal possession of a loaded firearm. In January, he was put on probation for trespassing in Long Beach. But there’s not yet information about what he was doing wrong, if anything. And it’s not yet clear why he was stopped by police.

What is clear: After he was stopped, Ford was killed, shot by two members of the Los Angeles Police Department.

Even as the LAPD released a detailed account of the incident Wednesday, the Los Angeles Times reported that “residents and community activists are demanding answers” about the shooting.

According to the LAPD’s news release, two veteran gang officers saw Ford walking on a South Los Angeles sidewalk Monday night and stopped their patrol car and attempted to speak to him. But Ford, the statement said, “continued walking and made suspicious movements, including attempting to conceal his hands.

“When the officers got closer and attempted to stop the individual, the individual turned, grabbed one of the officers, and a struggle ensued. During the struggle, they fell to the ground and the individual attempted to remove the officer’s handgun from its holster.” The other officer, police said, “fired his handgun and the officer on the ground fired his backup weapon at the individual.”

Police said Ford was detained, then transported to a hospital where he later died.

Ford’s relatives have offered a vastly different account of what transpired Monday.

The Los Angeles Times reported that Dorene Henderson, a family friend, witnessed part of the incident and “saw no struggle between the officers and Ford.” Henderson said that neighbors began yelling at the officers: “He’s got mental problems.”

Ford’s parents said he was diagnosed with depression and later schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. A man who identified himself as Ford’s cousin told Los Angeles news station KTLA: “They laid him out and for whatever reason, they shot him in the back, knowing mentally, he has complications. Every officer in this area, from the Newton Division, knows that — that this child has mental problems,” the man said. In addition: “The excessive force … there was no purpose for it. The multiple shootings in the back while he’s laying down? No. Then when the mom comes, they don’t try to console her … they pull the billy clubs out.”

KTLA reported that Ford’s mother, Tritobia Ford, said her son “was lying on the ground and complying with the officers’ commands when he was shot three times.”

“My heart is so heavy,” she told the station. “My son was a good kid. He didn’t deserve to die the way he did.”

Police took another view.

“There is a lot of misinformation out there,” LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith said, according to the Times.

Ford, Smith said, “didn’t comply with any of the officers’ instructions. He was grabbing the officer’s gun with the officer underneath him.”

The LAPD said it is still investigating the shooting “in coordination with investigators from the Office of the Inspector General and the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office.”

“The LAPD views any loss of human life as a great tragedy,” the news release said.

The Times reported that Ford had prior convictions for marijuana possession and illegal possession of a loaded firearm.

A rally is scheduled to take place Sunday at the LAPD headquarters, The Times reported.

Ford’s family has hired the former attorney for Rodney King, according to the Times. LAPD officers accused of beating King in 1991 were acquitted the following year, prompting riots during which 54 people died.

Washington Post
Posted by: Johnnie F.
« on: August 18, 2014, 05:39:32 PM »

Things are escalating there. Now the National Guard has been deployed to Ferguson by Missouri Governor Jay Nixon:
Posted by: thaiga
« on: August 18, 2014, 03:34:41 PM »

Unarmed black teen killed by police was shot six times: NYT

Lesley McSpadden (R) and Michael Brown Sr. (L), parents of 18-year-old Michael Brown, listen to speakers during a rally convened in reaction to the shooting of their son, in Ferguson, Missouri August 17, 2014. Picture: REUTERS/Mark Kauzlarich

MISSOURI - A preliminary private autopsy report found that Michael Brown, the black teen killed by a police officer in the suburban St. Louis city of Ferguson, was shot at least six times, the New York Times reported on Sunday night.

Citing Dr. Michael M. Baden, former chief medical examiner for the City of New York who was hired to perform the autopsy by Brown's family, the newspaper reported that Brown, 18, was shot twice in the head, and that the bullets that hit him did not appear to have been fired from very close range.

Four shots hit Brown in his right arm and one entered the top of his skull, the Times said, citing findings by Baden, who it said flew to Missouri on Sunday at the family's behest.

The bullets, some of which left as many as five wounds, did not appear to have been fired from very close range, the Times reported, because no gunpowder was detected on his body. That conclusion could change, however, if gunshot residue is found on Brown's clothing, the newspaper said.

The autopsy was in addition to one performed by Missouri officials, as well as one that Attorney General Eric Holder said the Department of Justice would perform.

A spokesman for the Ferguson police said the department had not seen a report of the autopsy and had no comment on it.

Brown was shot by white police officer Darren Wilson. The police department in the St. Louis suburb has come under strong criticism for both the death of an unarmed man and its handling of the aftermath. Unrest has gripped the area for days, including the past two nights despite a midnight curfew.

"People have been asking: How many times was he shot? This information could have been released on Day 1," Baden told the Times in an interview after performing the autopsy.

"They don't do that, even as feelings built up among the citizenry that there was a cover-up. We are hoping to alleviate that," the newspaper quoted him as saying.

Baden said his autopsy was not intended to determine whether the shooting was justified.

"In my capacity as the forensic examiner for the New York State Police, I would say, 'You're not supposed to shoot so many times'," he told the Times. "Right now there is too little information to forensically reconstruct the shooting."

Baden also said only three bullets were recovered from Brown's body, but that he had not yet seen the X-rays showing where the bullets were found which would help clarify the autopsy results.

Posted by: thaiga
« on: August 17, 2014, 05:42:42 PM »

A crowd of some 200 demonstrators defied a curfew that came into effect in Ferguson, Missouri early Sunday, days after police shot dead an unarmed black teen, triggering a wave of rioting.

A demonstrator stands near a cloud of tear gas after police fired the gas at demonstrators after a midnight curfew on Sunday in Ferguson, Missouri.//Joe Raedle/Getty Images/AFP

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency and a curfew starting at midnight Saturday (0500 GMT Sunday) until 5:00 am for the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, where 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot dead by police on August 9.

Ferguson was mostly peaceful when the curfew began on Sunday, local media reported. But a crowd of about 200 protesters gathered in the area where Brown was shot and defied orders to disperse.

Heavily armed riot police, backed up by reinforcements in armored vehicles, hurled smoke canisters and slowly moved in to break up the crowd. While the media images were dramatic, there were no reported incidents of violence.

Nixon said he ordered the measures "to protect the people and property of Ferguson" after looters raided town stores and scuffled with police overnight Friday to Saturday.

The goal is "to contain those who are drowning out the voice of the people with their actions," said Nixon, speaking at a press conference Saturday held at a local church.

Nixon was repeatedly interrupted by locals angered by an apparent lack of accountability for the largely white police force responsible for Brown’s death in the majority black area.

"Excuse me, governor, you need to charge that police officer with murder," said a heckler, referring to the white officer who shot Brown. "Yeah!" cried out supporters.

"Call for an investigation," said another heckler, as palpable anger and frustration simmered in the church hall. "Where’s the indictment?"

Others demanded that police guard their homes and businesses.

Missouri Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson, the African-American officer that governor Nixon put in charge of restoring peace, stepped forward to speak.

"Yelling at each other is not going to solve that," Johnson said.

"I don’t care who you are, how old you are, and I don’t care if you were peaceful protesters last night or a rioter rioting, you’ll still get the same answers. Tonight we will enforce it with curfew. We won’t enforce it with trucks and tear gas. We’ll communicate and tell you... it’s time to go home."

Nixon also said 40 more FBI agents arrived in Ferguson to advance the investigation into Brown’s death. Many went door to door in the community seeking additional witnesses.

- Renewed unrest -


Riot police fired tear gas and clashed with looters overnight Friday to Saturday, hours after police named Brown as a suspect in the robbery of a Ferguson convenience store.

Gangs of thieves targeted several stores, including the one that Brown allegedly robbed just before he was shot dead on August 9.

Protesters also hurled Molotov cocktails and bricks at police, who responded with tear gas, smoke bombs and rubber bullets but they mostly stayed at a distance in armored vehicles and riot gear.

In some cases locals locked arms outside stores to keep looters out, and in others store owners showed up carrying rifles and sidearms to protect their property.

On Saturday afternoon, hundreds of people gathered peacefully near the scene of Brown’s shooting, marking the exact moment he was shot a week ago.

- ’Execution-style murder’ -


Brown’s death has renewed a national debate about relations between law enforcement and African Americans.

His family appealed for calm, but accused authorities of a "devious" attempt to smear their son’s character after police released surveillance video of the store robbery.

The video shows a young black man carrying cigars out of a convenience store, and pushing another man who tries to stop him.

The robbery occurred just minutes before the policeman shot Brown dead, but police said the officer stopped the teen for walking in the middle of the street and did not know of the robbery.

In Harlem, New York, African American civil rights activist Al Sharpton criticised the video’s release, accusing the police of sullying Brown’s image in the public eye.

"Have we lost our decency when you don’t even let people mourn their loved ones without you trying to smear them with things that have nothing to do with the situation?" he asked.

"Are you telling me that you have the right to run down somebody and kill him over three or four cigars?"

Police identified the officer who shot Brown as Darren Wilson, 28, a white, four-year veteran of the force with no disciplinary record.

Separately, Twitter co-founder and St. Louis native Jack Dorsey was in Ferguson over the weekend sending tweets about the protests.

"Feels good to be home. I’ll be standing with everyone in Ferguson all weekend #HandsUpDontShoot" the billionaire posted late Friday, before unleashing dozens of Tweets and Vine video posts from protests in the Missouri town.

The hashtag refers to the shooting death of Brown. Some witnesses said the young African American had his hands in the air when he was shot multiple times.   The nation

Curfew Imposed On U.S. Town As Looters Smash Shops
Posted by: Al
« on: August 15, 2014, 11:05:55 PM »

Posted by: thaiga
« on: August 13, 2014, 09:18:00 PM »

US President Barack Obama has appealed for calm in Ferguson, Missouri, after the shooting of a black teenager by police sparked two nights of violence.

He described the death on Saturday of Michael Brown as heartbreaking and added: "Remember this young man through reflection and understanding."

In two nights of unrest in the St Louis suburb, dozens were arrested, shops looted and tear gas fired by police.

On Tuesday night, anger had turned to reflection at a community forum.

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon told a packed crowd at Christ the King United Church of Christ that the shooting felt "like an old wound torn fresh".

Ferguson's mayor and police chief also attended the meeting and were greeted with applause.

Earlier, the Reverend Al Sharpton, the civil rights activist, appealed for peace.

"To become violent in Michael Brown's name is to betray the gentle giant he was," he said, flanked by Mr Brown's parents.

He said no-one had the right to take Michael Brown's name and "drag it through the mud".

Police say Brown was shot several times after a struggle in a police car, but witnesses have said the unarmed Brown was shot when he had his arms raised.

Speaking after around 50 demonstrators marched on the police headquarters, Mr Sharpton joined others in demanding police reveal the name of the officer who shot and killed Mr Brown.

"The local authorities have put themselves in a position, hiding names, not being transparent, where people will not trust anything but an objective investigation," Mr Sharpton said.

Police say death threats on social media have prevented them naming the officer, who has been placed on paid administrative leave.

Protests during the day on Tuesday were peaceful if tense, but they came after police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse a large crowd in Ferguson the night before.

Police said the crowd threw rocks at officers and there was gunfire coming from the crowd.

Thirty-two people were arrested on Sunday night after people looted shops, vandalised cars and stores, and set a building alight.

The FBI is investigating the shooting and US Attorney General Eric Holder said the case deserved a "fulsome review".

The justice department has also sent its community relations team to the area.

Riots, looting in Ferguson, Missouri after police kill unarmed man

Ferguson, Missouri Riots Looting Weave Shop (Fox 2 St. Louis)
Posted by: thaiga
« on: August 12, 2014, 02:51:20 PM »

THE MOTHER of a black teenager from suburban St. Louis who was shot to death by police over the weekend begged for non-violence on Monday in the wake of riots, as the FBI opened a probe into the racially charged case.

A convenience store burns during a night of rioting in Ferguson, Missouri on Aug 10. Police arrested 32 people after rioting and looting erupted in protests that turned violent over the killing of a black teenager by a police officer.


Michael Brown, 18, was shot to death in the mostly black suburb of Ferguson, Missouri on Saturday afternoon after what police said was a struggle with a gun in a police car.

A witness in the case told local media that Brown had raised his arms to police to show that he was unarmed before being killed.

"He just graduated and was on his way to college," said Brown's mother, Lesley McSpadden, speaking through tears at a news conference. She said her first-born son's first day back at school would have been Monday.

"We can't even celebrate," she said.

Brown's family has hired Benjamin Crump, the attorney who represented the family of Trayvon Martin, a black teenager who was shot to death by a community watch volunteer in 2012.

The FBI opened a concurrent federal inquiry into the case intended to supplement the main investigation by St. Louis County police, according to the US Department of Justice.

It was not immediately clear from police why Brown was in the police car. At least one shot was fired during the struggle, and then the officer fired more shots before leaving the car, police said.


The officer, who was not identified, is a six-year veteran and has been put on administrative leave, police said.

The officer's race has not been disclosed.

Dorian Johnson told television station KMOV that he and Brown had been walking when an officer confronted them, drew a weapon and shot.

Johnson said that Brown put his hands in the air and started to get down, but the officer kept shooting.

Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson said there was plenty of physical evidence and eyewitness testimony. "I really believe we can get to the truth of what happened here," he said.

Demonstrations to call for justice for Brown turned violent Sunday night, with crowds breaking the windows of cars and stores, setting a building on fire and looting shops.

At least two dozen businesses were damaged, 32 people were arrested, and two police officers were injured.

Hundreds of demonstrators gathered at the town's police station on Monday to demand murder charges against the officer responsible for the shooting.

Police arrested up to 15 people on Monday during the mostly peaceful demonstration in which protesters put their hands in the air as if surrendering and chanted "Stop the killer cops."

Brown's mother said her son had been planning to study heating and air conditioning repair at a technical college.

Michael Brown, Sr., the teen's father, told reporters his son was "silly" and "could make you laugh."

"We need justice for our son," he said.

Three of the Ferguson Police Department's 53 members are black, Jackson said.

About two-thirds of Ferguson's population of about 21,000 are black, according to US Census figures.

Ferguson's median household income is US$37,517 (S$46,900), less than the Missouri average of $47,333.

Most of the communities around Ferguson have gone from white to mostly black in the last 40 years, said Terry Jones, political science professor at University of Missouri-St. Louis.

"There's a long history of racial injustice," said Jones.

"Slowly and not so surely, the St. Louis metropolitan area has been trying to figure out a way forward. As the Michael Brown shooting indicates, there are often setbacks."

FBI opens civil rights probe after Mo. police shoot unarmed teen

Posted by: Johnnie F.
« on: August 12, 2014, 09:39:19 AM »

Killing of unarmed Missouri man draws criticism

FERGUSON, Mo. — An 18-year-old black man shot multiple times by a suburban St. Louis police officer was unarmed when he died, police said Sunday, as hundreds of local residents protested and a civil rights leader expressed outrage at the killing.

Michael Brown had graduated from high school and was about to enter a local college, said his mother, Lesley McSpadden.

St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said the shooting occurred after an officer encountered two people — one of whom was Brown — on the street near an apartment complex Saturday afternoon in Ferguson, a predominantly black suburb a few miles north of downtown St. Louis.

Belmar said one of the men pushed the officer back into his squad car and a struggle began. Belmar said at least one shot was fired from the officer’s gun inside the police car. Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson said authorities were still sorting out what happened inside the police car. It was not clear if Brown was the man who struggled with the officer.

The struggle spilled out into the street, where Brown was shot multiple times. Belmar said the exact number of shots wasn’t known, but “it was more than just a couple.” He also said all shell casings found at the scene matched the officer’s gun. Police are still investigating why the officer shot Brown, who police have confirmed was unarmed.

Jackson said the second person has not been arrested or charged and was expected to be interviewed later Sunday. Authorities aren’t sure if that person was unarmed, Jackson said.

McSpadden said she doesn’t understand why police didn’t subdue her son with a club or Taser instead of shooting him, and she said the officer involved should be fired and prosecuted.

“I would like to see him go to jail with the death penalty,” she said Sunday at the site of the shooting, fighting back tears.

The killing drew criticism from some civil rights leaders, and they referred to the 2012 racially charged shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin by a Florida neighborhood watch organizer who was acquitted of murder charges, as well as the New York City man who died from a police chokehold.

“We’re outraged because yet again a young African-American man has been killed by law enforcement,” said John Gaskin, who serves on both the St. Louis County and national boards of directors for the NAACP.

The Rev. Al Sharpton called the shooting death “very disturbing” and the New York-based civil rights leader said he planned to go to Ferguson to meet with the family Monday night or Tuesday.

A few hundred protesters gathered outside Ferguson Police headquarters about the time the news conference was to begin. At one point, many of them marched into an adjacent police building, some chanting “Don’t shoot me” while holding their hands in the air. Officers stood at the top of a staircase, but didn’t use force; the crowd eventually left.

Protesters outside chanted slogans — “No justice, no peace” and “We want answers” — and some carried signs that read “Stop police terrorism” and “Disarm the police.”

Critics have contended that police in the St. Louis area too often target young black men. Statistics on police-involved shootings in the region were not immediately available.

St. Louis County Police Department is in charge of the investigation. County Executive Charlie Dooley, who showed up at the protest Sunday to urge calm, said he will request an FBI investigation. U.S. Justice Department spokeswoman Dena Iverson said Sunday that Attorney General Eric Holder had instructed attorneys in the department’s civil rights division to monitor developments.

The race of the police officer involved in the shooting has not been disclosed. He has been with the Ferguson Police Department for six years, Belmar said, noting he wasn’t aware of other issues involving the officer. He has been placed on paid administrative leave, which is a common procedure after police shootings.

Several protesters were angry that Brown’s body remained on the street for hours after the killing. Belmar said that officers “had to practice our due diligence and that’s why it took as long as it did.”

Washington Post
Posted by: sicho
« on: February 17, 2014, 10:49:20 AM »

Point taken Al. I had in mind the several other Florida cases where a white killed a black but was cleared of charges.
Posted by: Al
« on: February 17, 2014, 10:26:19 AM »

The headline is a bit misleading - he was found guilty of a total of four charges which will put him in prison for a long, long time.  Additionally the murder charge was declared a mistrial, which means they could re-try him again on that single charge.

I tend to put some faith in the jury and believe that the prosecutors could not, based on the evidence, make a case for the murder charge.  Justice was served.

As far as Florida being "the sickest US state" I think our opinions over here, half way around the world and based on second, third and fourth hand information can be skewed.  Much like the rest of America, and the world for that matter, there are good and bad people. 

Stand your ground has, IMO, a strong basis and can be a good thing when thugs pose a danger.  Can it be misused - yes, like most anything else, of course.

I think that we may error when we lump an entire state, country, race or culture together and form an overarching conclusion.
Posted by: sicho
« on: February 17, 2014, 08:19:30 AM »

Florida is becoming the sickest US State when it comes to the rights of black youths. I'm sure they're not all angels but a defence that succeeds on the premise that it's OK for a white man to kill a black man because he just might be dangerous is ludicrous.
Posted by: Johnnie F.
« on: February 16, 2014, 05:51:44 PM »

Florida loud music trial: jury fails to reach principal murder verdict

Michael Dunn guilty of second-degree murder over shooting of black teenager Jordan Davis in dispute about rap at gas station

A jury has declared that it could not reach a decision on whether a Florida man, who shot dead a teenager in a dispute over loud music, was guilty of murder or had acted in self defence.

The judge in Jacksonville declared a mistrial on the first-degree murder charge on Saturday, although the jury convicted Michael Dunn on three lesser counts of second-degree murder, and shooting into an occupied vehicle. Dunn could face a sentence of between 20 and 60 years.

Dunn, 47, shot Jordan Davis, 17, during the altercation at a Jacksonville gas station in November 2012, sparked by the youth’s refusal to turn off the thumping music blaring from the vehicle he was in with a group of friends.

The case re-ignited the debate over Florida’s self-defence and gun control laws seven months after neighbourhood watch leader George Zimmerman was acquitted of murdering another unarmed black teenager, Trayvon Martin, in a fight at a Sanford housing estate.

The failure of the jury to convict Dunn on the principal murder charge was a blow for the prosecution team led by state attorney Angela Corey, which was heavily criticised for its failure to secure a conviction against Zimmerman.

The prosecution must decide whether to order a new trial on the first-degree murder charge.

Dunn said he feared for his life after seeing Davis point a shotgun at him and was then forced to fire when the teenager charged at him, swearing and threatening to kill him.

But although police never found a weapon, and a medical examiner said she believed the youth was lying on the back seat of the vehicle when he was shot, not outside it, the jury of seven women and five men, who
deliberated for four days, could not agree whether Dunn was guilty of first-degree murder.

State attorney Erin Wolfson had outlined a scenario in which Dunn simply “lost it” because he was “disrespected by a mouthy teenager”, fired 10 shots into the SUV then fled to a nearby hotel with his
girlfriend where they ordered pizza and spent the night watching movies.

During his own testimony, Dunn said he was “crazy with grief” when he learned of Davis’s death and spent the night vomiting in his hotel bathroom.

Key evidence included a medical examiner testifying that Davis was probably lying on the back seat of the SUV when he was shot, not outside the vehicle and charging towards Dunn as the defendant claimed.

Prosecutors also rounded on several inconsistencies in Dunn’s testimony, particularly that his fiancée Rhonda Rouer told the court that he never told her he had seen Davis brandishing a gun. And they
pointed out that Dunn and Rouer drove two and a half hours to their home in Satellite Beach, Florida, the morning after the shooting without calling the police, even though he knew by then that Davis was dead.

Dunn’s lawyer, Cory Strolla, said during closing arguments that his client had no duty to retreat under Florida’s Stand Your Ground laws and instead had every right to use deadly force to defend himself.

The confrontation took place on the evening of 23 November 2012, at a Gate gas station in Jacksonville when Dunn and Rouer, who had attended the nearby wedding of his son, were on their way back to their hotel three miles away and decided to stop for wine and snacks.

Dunn pulled his car into a space to the right of the teenagers’ red Dodge Durango, and according to Rouer’s testimony, complained that he “hated that thug music” when they heard the loud thumping bass of the rap coming from the vehicle.

Dunn, during his testimony, said he thought the music was “ridiculously loud” but denied calling it thug music. “I’d call it rap-crap,” he said.

He said he asked the boys “respectfully” to turn the music down, which he said they did at first. Then, he said, the volume went back up again, with Davis shouting profanities at him and pointing what he
thought was a shotgun at him.

“I saw sticking above the window sill about four inches of a barrel. It was thick enough to my eye to be 12 gauge, maybe 20,” he said. “I’m looking at the guy in the rear passenger seat. I saw two young men with menacing expressions.”

Dunn insisted that he remained calm and polite throughout the confrontation, retrieving his 9mm pistol from his glove box and firing only when Davis emerged from the SUV’s rear door, swearing and telling him he was going to kill him.

His arrest the following day came because an eyewitness took note of his car’s tag number although Dunn said he was on his way to inform a friend, a federal agent, when detectives in Jacksonville called.

John Phillips, the Davis family attorney, rejected that. “He killed Jordan Davis and never cared to call the police. If we were waiting on the time it took for Mr Dunn to return to the scene or call the police, the clock would now be ticking 447 days,” he said.

Davis’s family settled a civil lawsuit against Dunn and his insurance company last year for undisclosed sum.

Since her son’s death, Davis’s mother Lucia McBath has worked as a spokeswoman for the anti-gun violence group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and has spoken before the US Senate. His father Ronald Davis has addressed Florida’s House of Representatives.

Barry Slotnick, a lawyer who defended so-called subway vigilante Bernie Goetz after he shot and wounded four would-be muggers in New York in 1984, told the Guardian before the verdict that despite the verdict prosecutors had learned from mistakes made in the Zimmerman case.

“Regardless, they did a much better job of presenting the case to the jury,” he said. “There are mixed opinions about Stand Your Ground but nobody has the absolute right to shoot and kill or injure somebody
without a reasonable belief that their own life or safety is in danger.”

The Guardian

Can only hope that he'll be put in jail with lots of tough guys who'll teach him to respect others regardless of the color of their skin.
Posted by: Johnnie F.
« on: December 23, 2013, 08:06:47 AM »

George Zimmerman painting fetches $100,000 on eBay

  An artwork created by George Zimmerman - the neighborhood watch volunteer who was acquitted in July in the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin - has fetched more than US$100,000 on eBay.

The winning bid was US$100,099.99 (NZ$121,865) for the painting that depicts a US flag in shades of blue with the words "God, One Nation, with Liberty and Justice for All."

The item received 96 bids on the online auction website. A picture shows Zimmerman holding the artwork.

Several people posted messages of support for Zimmerman in the form of questions on the auction, with one apologising that the "government run liberal media and justice department persecuted you they way they did".
Zimmerman responded: "God Bless you. You have nothing to apologize to me for. The system is broken, an innocent man should not spend one second without his God given liberty, solely because a small sect of uneducated loud mouths.

"We must fix it. If we can't fix it together, then we owe many people a sincere apology."

Zimmerman's attorney, Jayne Weintraub, told The Associated Press that her client created the artwork himself and posted it for sale.

Ms Weintraub says that, "unfairly, he has not been gainfully employed of late and he's utilising his talent to make some money."

Prosecutors recently declined to file domestic violence charges against Zimmerman for an incident involving his girlfriend.

"The system is broken, an innocent man should not spend one second without his God given liberty, solely because a small sect of uneducated loud mouths"

Yes, George Zimmerman, I agree, the system is broken, but because harmless teenagers can be shot without the shooter being held responsible! Hopefully there is a growing "sect of uneducated loud mouths" feeling that the inability of justice shouldn't be poked fun at on top!
Posted by: sicho
« on: November 19, 2013, 03:02:51 PM »

He shouldn't be allowed near the public, let alone a gun. His behaviour since his acquittal by the Martin jury further supports the common belief that he should have been locked up then.
Posted by: Johnnie F.
« on: November 19, 2013, 02:59:01 PM »

George Zimmerman 'pointed a shotgun at his girlfriend'

A Florida man acquitted of murder in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager has been arrested on charges he pointed a shotgun at his girlfriend.

George Zimmerman, 30, has been jailed in Seminole County, Florida.

Mr Zimmerman was charged with felony aggravated assault, battery, domestic violence and criminal mischief, a sheriff's office spokesman said.

In July, a jury cleared Mr Zimmerman of the February 2012 killing of Trayvon Martin, 17.

Since then, Mr Zimmerman has had other brushes with police, including an incident in October when he was briefly detained following a domestic disturbance at the home of his estranged wife, Shellie.

On Monday, a spokesman for the Seminole County sheriff's department said Mr Zimmerman was arrested on Monday morning and confined to a single-person 64 sq ft (6 sq metre) cell - standard treatment for "high-profile" defendants.

About 12:30 local time (17:30 GMT), sheriff's deputies responded to an emergency call at a house in Apopka, Florida.

Mr Zimmerman's girlfriend said they had argued, and he had broken a glass table in the living room, then retrieved a shotgun and pointed it at her. He then pushed her out the front door and barricaded himself inside, police said.

She was not injured, police said.

The sheriff's office spokesman said investigators believed Mr Zimmerman and his girlfriend had lived together since August and had been arguing about breaking up.

He said Mr Zimmerman was not armed when police arrived and did not resist arrest.

Mr Zimmerman's acquittal of second-degree murder over the killing of Martin sparked a fierce debate about racial profiling and gun culture in the US.

Mr Zimmerman shot dead the teenager, who was unarmed and walking at night toward his father's house. He said the boy had attacked him.

Following the verdict, protest marches were staged across the US including San Francisco, Philadelphia, Chicago, Washington and Atlanta.

US President Barack Obama said the incident was a "tragedy" which should prompt national soul-searching.

BBC news

Glad he didn't shoot her! Why do they let this guy near a weapon again?
Posted by: sicho
« on: July 28, 2013, 01:25:47 PM »

Well, something isn't 'comfortable' judging by the latest massacre!

Yer know, England once had open gun laws and lack of licensing too but the country has developed way beyond that. Pity the US can't do the same.
Posted by: Al
« on: July 28, 2013, 01:04:44 PM »

The more I hear about the case

The verdict was legally correct

The verdict was morally correct

The laws are fine as written.

Yes we are all comfortable in our opinions.
Posted by: sicho
« on: July 28, 2013, 12:58:52 PM »

Al, please state your exact source for that piece.

The more we hear about this case, the instructions to the jury and the deliberations of the jury, the more it becomes clear that:

1. The verdict was legally wrong or

2. The verdict was morally wrong and/or

3. The law needs to be reviewed.
Posted by: Al
« on: July 28, 2013, 12:37:27 PM »

This comes from the conservative perspective:

One of the George Zimmerman jurors, identified as Juror B29, gave an interview to ABC News on Thursday that some news outlets treated as a blockbuster. The juror, whose first name is Maddy, was quoted as saying that Zimmerman “got away with murder.” (Some observers said that if you watch the unedited footage of the interview, which is available online, the suggestion that Zimmerman got away with murder was offered by one of the ABC interviewers and repeated by the former juror.) She also said that “in our hearts we felt he was guilty.” At the same time, Juror B29 said that the evidence just wasn’t there to convict, and she believed the prosecution never should have been brought. Then again, despite that admitted lack of evidence, Maddy told the interviewers that she was the one who held out for a second degree murder conviction–despite the lack of substantial evidence, apparently.

How important were these revelations? In my opinion, not important at all. Juror remorse is very common. When a jury begins to deliberate, there are nearly always some jurors on both sides. The jurors deliberate, review the evidence, and argue about what it means. Over time, the majority usually wears down the minority to produce a unanimous verdict; sometimes, however, the minority ultimately wins over the majority. It isn’t just a matter of numbers: the jurors who make the better case, based on the evidence, are the most persuasive. And the most intelligent jurors, who have paid the most attention and have the best command of the facts, become leaders in the deliberation. Typically in a hard-fought case, it takes a day or two, sometimes longer, for the initially warring parties to be reconciled and for a verdict to be reached.

Often, the story doesn’t end there. State laws vary, but in many states, not only can jurors give interviews to the press, but the lawyers can interview the jurors after the verdict has been returned. In major cases, it is common for lawyers on the losing side to contact jurors who they think were on their side, and ask them what happened. This is where we get to juror remorse: often, the juror will revert to his or her original view of the case, and say that he or she was never really convinced that the other side was right. Jurors will sometimes give lawyers ammunition to try to impeach a verdict in which, just days if not hours before, they joined. I have seen this in my own cases.

But the backsliding juror is one who failed to carry the day. His or her arguments were insufficient; the evidence didn’t provide him or her with enough ammunition to prevail. This is what we see with Juror B29. She admits that the evidence didn’t support a conviction; that being the case, we can only wonder why she held out for a conviction as long as she did. She says that the jurors thought Zimmerman was guilty “in their hearts.” No doubt she was speaking only for her own heart, but the salient point is that when you feel something in your heart, despite a lack of evidence, you are indulging a bias or prejudice. That is nothing to be proud of.

Listening to the contradictory and not very intelligent musings of Juror B29, we are reminded of the virtues of the jury system. There is a reason why we empanel a group of individuals, ranging in size from six to twelve, to decide a civil or criminal case. There is wisdom in the group: jurors bring different experiences and perspectives to bear; biases and preconceptions tend to cancel each other out; a vital evidentiary point that was missed by one juror likely was caught by others; the process of debate and deliberation sifts the facts and, much more often than not, leads to a just result. When you see a single juror being interviewed after a trial (or when you interview one yourself, as I have done) you often wonder how he or she could have been part of a group that rendered (usually) such a sensible verdict. The answer is, there is far more wisdom in most juries than resides in any one of its members.

All of which explains why, in my opinion, Juror B29′s partial recantation is neither unusual nor of any significance. It is a typical case of juror remorse. It will, of course, be woven into the revisionist Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman narrative. As usual, liberals will not accept defeat in their persecution of Zimmerman, but will continue to insist on an alternate reality, divorced from the evidence that was presented in the courtroom, until their fiction becomes the new truth. We are seeing this effort on a daily basis. Whether it can ultimately succeed, only time will tell.

This is precisely what happened on a case where I was a member of the jury.  Even though all agreed that the evidence did not support the person  who generated the lawsuit one jury member would not budge from demanding that the defendant be forced to pay.  Luckily, since this was not a criminal case, only a majority of the jury was needed for a decision.
Posted by: Johnnie F.
« on: July 27, 2013, 07:03:16 AM »

"Thank God." How many people who do something wrong, lie about it and are told it's on tape react that way?

Most of them! Especially those who had some training in criminal law. That radio host simply has no idea! He spreads naive thinking.
Posted by: Al
« on: July 27, 2013, 04:54:30 AM »

This comes from The Wall Street Journal -

It's not at all clear that Zimmerman has reason to fear adverse divine judgment for his actions on the night of Feb. 26, 2012. Seattle radio host John Carlson--who, like B29, initially thought Zimmerman guilty--notes:

One of the most important, and remarkably under-publicized facts that came out at trial is that one of the detectives, while interrogating Zimmerman at the police station that night, told him that the entire incident had been caught on surveillance video. The detective was bluffing, but Zimmerman didn't know that. His reaction: "Thank God."
"Thank God." How many people who do something wrong, lie about it and are told it's on tape react that way?
Whether or not an omniscient God exists, we can say with certainty that no omniscient man does. Zimmerman knows what happened that night better than any living person, but even his knowledge is imperfect, not to mention susceptible to self-serving bias.

And of course since Zimmerman is an innocent man, none of these opinions/discussions matter for much.
Posted by: Johnnie F.
« on: July 26, 2013, 06:17:52 PM »

George Zimmerman Juror Says He 'Got Away With Murder'

 The only minority on the all-female jury that voted to acquit George Zimmerman said today that Zimmerman "got away with murder" for killing Trayvon Martin and feels she owes an apology Martin's parents.

"You can't put the man in jail even though in our hearts we felt he was guilty," said the woman who was identified only as Juror B29 during the trial. "But we had to grab our hearts and put it aside and look at the evidence."

She said the jury was following Florida law and the evidence, she said, did not prove murder.

 The court had sealed the jurors' identities during the trial and still hasn't lifted the order, but Juror B29 edged out of the shadows in an exclusive interview with "Good Morning America" anchor Robin Roberts. She allowed her face to be shown, but -- concerned for her safety -- used only a first name of Maddy.

The nursing assistant and mother of eight children was selected as a juror five months after she had moved to Seminole County, Fla., from Chicago.

All six of the jurors were women and Maddy, 36, who is Puerto Rican, was the only minority to deliberate in the racially charged case. Zimmerman, 29, was a white Hispanic and Martin, 17, was black.

 Despite the prosecution's claim the Zimmerman profiled Martin because he was black, Maddy said the case was never about race to her, although she didn't want to speak for her fellow jurors.

But her feelings about Zimmerman's actions are clear.

"George Zimmerman got away with murder, but you can't get away from God. And at the end of the day, he's going to have a lot of questions and answers he has to deal with," Maddy said. "[But] the law couldn't prove it."

 Despite the prosecution's claim the Zimmerman profiled Martin because he was black, Maddy said the case was never about race to her, although she didn't want to speak for her fellow jurors.

But her feelings about Zimmerman's actions are clear.

When the jury of six women—five of them mothers—began deliberations, Maddy said she favored convicting Zimmerman of second degree murder, which could have put him in prison for the rest of his life. The jury was also allowed to consider manslaughter, a lesser charge.

"I was the juror that was going to give them the hung jury. I fought to the end," she said.

However, on the second day of deliberations, after spending nine hours discussing the evidence, Maddy said she realized there wasn't enough proof to convict Zimmerman of murder or manslaughter under Florida law.

Zimmerman concedes he shot and killed Martin in Sanford on Feb. 26, 2012, but maintains he fired in self-defense.

"That's where I felt confused, where if a person kills someone, then you get charged for it," Maddy said. "But as the law was read to me, if you have no proof that he killed him intentionally, you can't say he's guilty."

 When asked by Roberts whether the case should have gone to trial, Maddy said, "I don't think so."

"I felt like this was a publicity stunt. This whole court service thing to me was publicity," she said.

Ben Crump, a lawyer for the Martin family, told ABC News, "We and the parents of Trayvon Martin do agree that the killer of their child got away with murder."

Trayvon Martin's mother Sybrina Fulton said in a statement that it was "devastating for my family to hear the comments from juror B29, comments which we already knew in our hearts to be true. That George Zimmerman literally got away with murder."

"This new information challenges our nation once again to do everything we can to make sure that this never happens to another child. That's why Tracy and I have launched The Trayvon Martin Foundation to try and take something very painful and negative and turn it into something positive as a legacy to our son," Fulton said.

Zimmerman's lawyer, Mark O'Mara, said he wants to see the interview before commenting.

As a mother, Maddy said she has had trouble adjusting to life after the verdict, and has wrestled with whether she made the right decision.

"I felt like I let a lot of people down, and I'm thinking to myself, 'Did I go the right way? Did I go the wrong way?'" she said.

"As much as we were trying to find this man guilty…they give you a booklet that basically tells you the truth, and the truth is that there was nothing that we could do about it," she said. "I feel the verdict was already told."

Maddy said she has sympathy for Martin's parents and believes she, too, would continue the crusade for justice if this had happened to her son.

 She said she believes she owes Trayvon Martin's parents an apology because she feels "like I let them down."

"It's hard for me to sleep, it's hard for me to eat because I feel I was forcefully included in Trayvon Martin's death. And as I carry him on my back, I'm hurting as much [as] Trayvon's Martin's mother because there's no way that any mother should feel that pain," she said.

Maddy is the second juror to speak in a televised interview, and the first to show her face.

Juror B37, whose face and body were hidden, appeared last week on Anderson Cooper's CNN show, and said that she believes Zimmerman's "heart was in the right place" when he became suspicious of Martin and that the teenager probably threw the first punch.

Since then, four other jurors distanced themselves from B37's remarks and released a statement saying B37's opinions were "not in any way representative" of their own.

Posted by: Baby Farts
« on: July 24, 2013, 10:31:04 AM »

Loved Obama's speech.  When you go to an ATM in the states, who are you looking for over your shoulder? 

"According to the US Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) non-Hispanic blacks accounted for 39.4% of the total prison and jail population in 2009"

In 2010 black non-Hispanic males were incarcerated at the rate of 4,347 inmates per 100,000 U.S. residents of the same race and gender. White males were incarcerated at the rate of 678 inmates per 100,000 U.S. residents. Hispanic males were incarcerated at the rate of 1,755 inmates per 100,000 U.S. residents

Good reading too.
Posted by: Baby Farts
« on: July 24, 2013, 10:24:20 AM »

Racism needs to keep itself alive.  Blacks will notoriously and undoubtedly always look for an opportunity to play the racists trump card whenever it suits them.  How many whites did you see pillaging, burning buildings, rioting, etc, when O.J was set free?????   That's what separates men from uneducated monkeys.
Posted by: thaiga
« on: July 20, 2013, 01:39:57 PM »

President Barack Obama has said that "Trayvon Martin could have been me, 35 years ago", in his first comments on the case since last week's verdict.

The unarmed black 17-year-old was shot and killed in Florida in February 2012.

George Zimmerman, 29, said he opened fire on the teenager in self-defence and was acquitted of murder by a Florida court last week.
In an unexpected press call, Mr Obama said very few black men in the US had not experienced racial profiling.

Mr Obama said the pain that African-Americans felt around the case came from the fact that they viewed it through "a set of experiences and a history that doesn't go away".

He said African Americans were also keenly aware of racial disparities in the application of criminal laws.

"That all contributes to a sense that if a white male teen was involved in the same kind of scenario, both the outcome and the aftermath might have been different," Mr Obama said.

He shared his experiences of being racially profiled in the past, such as being followed while out shopping.

"There are very few African-American men who haven't had the experience of walking across the street and hearing the locks click on the doors of cars.

"There are very few African-Americans who haven't had the experience of getting on an elevator and a woman clutching her purse nervously and holding her breath until she has a chance to get off," he said.

Mr Obama also hailed the "incredible grace and dignity" of Trayvon Martin's parents - Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton - in the way they reacted to the verdict.

Calling for "soul-searching" from Americans on issues of race, he also sounded a hopeful note, saying that race relations were improving with each generation.

Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton later issued a statement saying they were "deeply honoured and moved" by President Obama's comments.

"President Obama sees himself in Trayvon and identifies with him. This is a beautiful tribute to our boy," they said.

"We seek a future when a child can walk down the street and not worry that others see him as dangerous because of the colour of his skin or the clothes on his back."

Saturday's not guilty verdict for George Zimmerman from the all-female jury of six prompted nationwide protests, with further demonstrations planned for this weekend.

Mr Obama called for the protests to remain peaceful, saying any violence "dishonours what happened to Trayvon Martin".

He said that although criminal matters and law enforcement were traditionally dealt with on a state and not a federal level, it would be useful to examine some state and local laws to see if they encourage confrontation in certain situations.

On Wednesday, US Attorney General Eric Holder cited the case as he urged a nationwide review of "stand your ground" laws, such as those in place in Florida, which permit the use of deadly force if a person feels seriously threatened.

The issue was never raised during the trial, though the judge included a provision about the law in her instructions to the jury, allowing it to be considered as a legitimate defence.

FULL SPEECH - Barack Obama Addresses George Zimmerman Verdict: 'Trayvon Could've Been Me'

Posted by: sicho
« on: July 19, 2013, 08:09:45 AM »

Today's interview with Martin's parents on the Anderson Cooper show doesn't seem to be on You Tube yet. However, I watched it live and saw again some clips from Cooper's interview of juror B37

The more I listen to what she said, the more I'm convinced that there was a miscarriage of justice.
Posted by: sicho
« on: July 18, 2013, 02:35:21 PM »

An unarmed youth who obviously had no qualms about straddling Zimmerman and beating his head on the pavement.

Who can blame him? There's probably no point in attempting to run from a nutter with a gun.
Posted by: Baby Farts
« on: July 18, 2013, 02:10:39 PM »

An unarmed youth who obviously had no qualms about straddling Zimmerman and beating his head on the pavement.
Posted by: sicho
« on: July 18, 2013, 12:59:19 PM »

People keep bringing up the issue of Martin being "unarmed."  You don't have to be "armed" to maim or kill someone.

I don't think that anyone would dispute that. However, the fact is that a wannabe hero with a cheap gun out for glory killed an unarmed youth.
Posted by: Johnnie F.
« on: July 18, 2013, 12:09:58 PM »

I remember having read somewhere that the bullet entered Martin's chest in an angle that could have been from front below. What I wonder is, how can somebody, who is lying on the ground with another person sitting on him and holding shoulders or head, move his arm from the waist, where his gun was supposed to be, and where Martin was allegedly sitting on, all the way to shoot at Martin from the front, not the side? Have I missed or misunderstood something? It would seem more likely that he'd already shoot into the side instead of waiting and struggling to get the gun directly in front of the person sitting on him...
Posted by: Baby Farts
« on: July 18, 2013, 11:55:48 AM »

People keep bringing up the issue of Martin being "unarmed."  You don't have to be "armed" to maim or kill someone.
Posted by: sicho
« on: July 18, 2013, 11:07:40 AM »

Bye, Al, and enjoy your wishful thinking until next time.  ;)
Posted by: Al
« on: July 18, 2013, 10:54:37 AM »

We all have strong opinions on this subject, and none will change the fact that the trial is over.

I do appreciate the give and take over the past few days but do believe this thread had run its course, for me at least.

I hope our next encounter on this forum is on a subject that is a bit more positive.

Take care and thanks for putting up with me.
Posted by: Al
« on: July 18, 2013, 10:37:09 AM »

Johnny, because a claim has been previously made in this forum does not make it correct nor refuted.  Much of the arguments on this subject have been flat wrong, or based on opinion, wishful thinking and/or conjecture, which is a long way from fact.

And yes the case is over, Zimmerman has been found not guilty.

Will the justice dept bring charges involving civil rights violations by Zimmerman?  Good luck with that.  Will the Martin family bring a civil suit against Zimmerman?  Again, good luck with that because if they lose, according to Florida law, they will be liable for all court expenses, including the defense's expenses.

Six people who heard a great deal more than any of us rendered a verdict.  That is how the US system of justice works.  Is it better or worse than other systems?  Don't know and don't care.
Posted by: sicho
« on: July 18, 2013, 10:28:51 AM »

It's clear from the interview given by juror B57 that 'stand your ground' indeed was included in their deliberations, despite what might have been said in the open Court.

Al, my opinion regarding what happened is as valid as yours. There is no clear and objective evidence as to what happened in some of the detail other than Zimmerman acted against the advice of the police and shot an unarmed kid. Zimmerman is also shown, in a recording made by the police, that he had profiled Martin as a 'punk' of the type that 'always got away with it'. This and other similar evidence was dismissed as irrelevant by a jury that had fallen in love with the killer.

If an unarmed kid manages to get to the ground an armed adult who has been following him the dark, then good luck to him if he manages to bang the man's head against concrete. He was 'standing his ground'. If he was holding down Zimmerman, it's amazing that the latter managed to pull the little gun out of his arse crack that was said to have been pressed against concrete and take a horizontal shot at several inches distance straight through Martin's heart.

Zimmerman was advised not to follow Martin but he did. As far as I know, he did have a right to be in the area but the point you continue to ignore, Al, is that he was following Martin who knew it and was troubled by it.

Was Zimmerman 'hired' or did he volunteer? What is clear is that, having failed in his attempt to be recruited to the police force, he was keen to seek glory as a vigilante who could deal with a crime faster than could the police. He had mentally prepared himself for an opportunity to be recognised and finally did so in circumstances that will make him fear for his life for years to come. Perhaps that, at least, is some form of justice.
Posted by: Johnnie F.
« on: July 18, 2013, 10:12:58 AM »

You are in error.  Stand your ground was never a part of the defense nor a consideration of the jury.

Just repeating claims that have been refuted by good arguments already doesn't make a discussion, Al!

If you read the thread again from the beginning with all the references given, you'll find, that all that has been discussed and refuted already. :-[

Johnny, disagree.  The US legal system worked exactly as it should.

Maybe we should wait for it to actually work. The case is long from over! It definitely were a shame, if it were over with that failure of a court! Zimmerman is not proven innocent, the court just failed to convict him. Zimmerman is presumed innocent only. Let the competent authorities etc. do their job to finish the case.
Posted by: Al
« on: July 18, 2013, 10:01:54 AM »

You are in error.  Stand your ground was never a part of the defense nor a consideration of the jury.

Johnny, disagree.  The US legal system worked exactly as it should, rather than being influenced by opinion or political desire.  And concerning Saf's opinion, and yes it is merely a speculative opinion that ". . . an unarmed black kid who, at the most, was attempting to defend himself from an aggressor" when that unarmed "kid" ends up straddling Zimmerman and banging Zimmerman's head off the concrete, it becomes a self defense issue, and nothing but.

And you guys make it sound like Zimmerman was in an area he had no business being in. Zimmerman was hired as a kind of a block watch guy by a gated community that had experienced a number of crimes.  Yes, if he had not pursued none of this would have happened.  But he did, and that in itself is not a crime.
Posted by: sicho
« on: July 18, 2013, 09:34:20 AM »

"She was prepared to dismiss all of the mistakes made by Zimmerman from the moment he got out of his car, even excusing them."

As the juror should have done because they were irrelevant to the case at hand.  Anyone can follow anyone and that, in itself, is not against the law.  The only, absolutely only, issue for the jury to decide was what was happening at the moment Zimmerman shot Martin.  Did he fear for his life?  If yes, not guilty.  Everything else leading up to that point is a subject for another discussion.

Zimmerman's actions and words to the police before he confronted Martin are relevant in that they indicated what was in his mind. He made it clear that he profiled a kid he had never seen previously as a criminal. He wanted the glory of being the one who apprehended him. He scared the kid who 'stood his ground' within Florida's laws and needlessly lost his life. The claim that 'stand your ground' and race were not factors in this case is false.

Compare two cases:

1. Zimmerman killed an unarmed black kid who, at the most, was attempting to defend himself from an aggressor. Zimmerman - 'Not Guilty'.

2. Alexander fired a warning shot at a wall to deter her violent husband who had her cornered and threatened to kill her. She claimed 'stand your ground' and, in fact had no choice but either to do so or be beaten again. Alexander -  twenty years without parole.

One could be forgiven for believing that black people in Florida are judged by different standards than those of other ethnic groups.
Posted by: Johnnie F.
« on: July 18, 2013, 08:07:12 AM »

Whether or not he reclaims his gun is entirely up to him.  He has been found not guilty and as a result all evidence must be returned.  As it should be.

Maybe the gun as his property has to be returned, but his gun license can be easily revoked by a competent authority. And that's what they should do on the grounds of his "questionable use of a gun" before. The jury might have found him not guilty for various reasons like the misunderstanding or ignoring of evidence, or the misleading instructions by the court. But he isn't proven innocent, just presumed. Authorities and courts can do lots of things with justification to fulfill their tasks - if the people in charge want to.