It’s leap day; good morning to you. This post is far too long (and it ain’t my fault!), but only a partial list of items in the news. I’ve tried to bold things that might be of extra interest to you, or what you might skip by; some headlines are obvious as to content.
‘Sandra Bland Family’s Suspicions Mount Amid Fight To Expose Death Evidence’; Reports contradict each other and a promised video never materialized’ huffpo.com. Too many discrepancies to choose among.
”Oregon lawmakers are advancing a measure that would allow law enforcement officers involved in fatal shootings to ask a court to shield their name for 90 days.
The bill is designed to protect the Oregon State trooper who killed LaVoy Finicum. The Arizona rancher was fatally shot as officers attempted to arrest him along a rural highway in eastern Oregon Jan. 26. He was part of the armed group that occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.”
NBCLosangeles.com: ‘Man and Woman Killed in Police Shooting Were Unconscious When Police Arrived: Mayor’ (video)
“Both the man and woman who were mortally wounded during an officer involved shooting were unconscious when Inglewood police first responded to where they were sitting in a car, said Inglewood Mayor James Butts Tuesday in response to questions about the incident.
For at least 45 minutes, police attempted “to rouse” them in an effort “to de-escalate the situation,” said Butts. It is the first public explanation for what transpired early Sunday morning during the time between the initial call and the shooting. Police previously had stated responding officers saw the woman had a gun, retreated to behind cover, and then gave orders for the couple to exit the vehicle.
“Obviously at some point they were conscious because somebody felt threatened,” said Butts, a retired law enforcement officer who previously had served as police chief in other cities. He said it is important for police to finish their investigation, and verify facts, before commenting further.”
‘Rikers Guard Who Let Inmate “Bake To Death” And Lied About It Won’t Get Any Prison Time’ gothamist.com, Feb 18, 2016
Feb. 17: ‘Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel Backs New Policy To Release Police Shooting Videos Within 60 Days’
“Restoring trust between our police and the communities they’re sworn to serve is an essential part of our City’s public safety efforts, and this is an important step as we continue that work. Simply put, the longstanding policy the City followed for decades is out of date and this new policy strikes a better balance of ensuring transparency for the public while also ensuring any criminal or disciplinary investigations are not compromised,” Emanuel said, in a statement.”
Rahm apparently had meant ‘sworn to serve carved up’, according to some inside sources.
“A coalition filed a petition asking the Cook County Circuit Court to appoint a special prosecutor, arguing Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez has a “political alliance with the police union” that creates a conflict of interest in the case, according to the group. The coalition also wants a special prosecutor used in other potential police misconduct cases related to McDonald’s death.
“Anita Alvarez is beholden to the police union,” said Sheila Bedi of the MacArthur Justice Center. “Her failure, over and over again, in many other cases, to appropriately and timely charge police officers … makes it clear that she has helped to facilitate the code of silence that so pervades the Chicago Police Department.”
‘Second autopsy affirms Guatemalan immigrant was shot in the back by police’, SFExaminer.com
“A second autopsy of a young Guatemalan immigrant who was shot dead one year ago today by San Francisco police appears to contradict Police Chief Greg Suhr’s initial claims about the shooting.
The autopsy, conducted by the Medical Examiner’s Office and obtained Thursday by the San Francisco Examiner, mirrors the findings of an independent autopsy conducted after Amilcar Perez Lopez, 20, was fatally shot by officers in the Mission district on Feb. 26, 2015.
The shooting of Perez Lopez opened old wounds for community members who say they were traumatized by police in the past, but seemed to quickly fade from the spotlight unlike the fatal police shooting of Mario Woods by police last December. Following Woods’ death, city officials announced sweeping reforms to the Police Department.”
Feb 18: “Maryland’s highest court on Thursday postponed the trials of the Baltimore police officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray last year, to consider whether one officer can be compelled to testify against the others.”
Dec. 16, 2015: “The trial of the first Baltimore police officer in the death of Freddie Gray ended in a hung jury on Wednesday, an unexpected twist that complicates the cases against five other officers facing charges in a fatal police encounter that prompted violent unrest here last spring.”
‘Seattle Police Release Video of Che Taylor Shooting’ by Ansel Herz • Feb 22, 2016
“It bears repeating: A criminal record alone—no matter how long or heinous—does not give the police license to kill a person.” (the link goes to the original story, and the po-po’s indictment of his past felony record.)
‘Two Former Police Officers Say Che Taylor Complied with Police Commands Before His Death’ by Ansel Herz • Feb 26, 2016
just for the sheer absurd funnuvvit... ;-)
‘Female NY Prison Inmates Say Sexual Abuse Is Rampant’, the gothamist
‘Police clash with protesters after teen shot by cop in Salt Lake City’, RT, 28 Feb, 2016
“Witness says officers shot a 16yo kid. He says the teen had a metal pipe. He heard 4 gunshots,” Yi said on her Twitter account. But the young man’s friend says he was armed only with part of a broom stick.
Of the two officers who arrived to deal with the initial incident, at least one fired shots, it is being reported.
Witnesses felt the police did not give the teen a chance to surrender, and used excessive force, leading to public outrage. The friend, Mohammad, told the Salt Lake Tribune, “They told him to put it down, once,” – referring to the broom – and “started shooting him as soon as he turned around.”
He added that his friend was hit in the chest and stomach.”
Sunday noon-ish; Abdi’s still in a coma.
Related to Abdi above: ‘Police refuse to release video showing shooting of Salt Lake City teenager’ wsws.org, Feb. 29 Also see at the site: ‘New York police used military-grade cellphone surveillance equipment over 1,000 times’
‘Angry family, friends and supporters demand justice for Edwin Rodriguez’,
February 21, 2016, fightbacknews
“Los Angeles, CA – Family, friends and supporters of Edwin Rodriguez united to protest his murder by Sheriff’s Deputies of East Los Angeles, Feb. 20. Rodriguez was pulled over by East Los Angeles (ELA) Sheriffs, beaten and shot to death on Feb. 14th. He was shot over ten times. The sheriffs claimed that Rodriguez was in a stolen car. However, the car was not stolen; it belonged to the driver’s mother. Antonio Rodriguez, the family’s attorney said, “There was no reason to pull them over.
In 2013 Carlos Oliva, a college student, was shot in the back by Deputy Sheriff Nicolas Castellanos and Deputy Sheriff Anthony Forlano. Juan Mendez, father of Jose Mendez also joined the protest. Jose Mendez was the Boyle Heights teenager who was gunned down by LAPD on Feb.6. Mendez said, “My 16-year-old son was murdered by two LAPD officers. To this day I have not seen his body or know how many times he was shot. It’s not right what they’re doing to our children and our youth.”
The Guardian: ‘Racial bias evident in South Carolina criminal sentences, study reveals’; Researchers identify ‘troubling’ patterns in court decisions as black South Carolinians receive harsher criminal sentences than their white counterparts.
“We know that in the criminal justice system African Americans are disproportionately affected and we’ve seen it in respect to shootings by police officers but we wanted to look at something further along in the process.
“It’s astonishing to find that the likelihood that someone will go to prison for a minor crime can be almost 50% increased for a black offender.”
There seem to be a number of versions of this tragic story, but the PostandCourier says it’s theirs, even though the journalist soft-soaps it, imo. The ‘Paper of Record’s’ version is even worse. ‘For son of Joyce Curnell, who died in jail, a 911 call meant to save mom’s life somehow went wrong’
Ms Currell was apparently an alcoholic, and had started drinking heavily again, according to her son. Believing that she needed sobriety help, he ‘saw a golden opportunity’ when she went to an ER in Ashley, SC with a stomach bug. He phoned police and told the there was a warrant out for her for failing to finish paying fines for her theft of $20 worth of candy and beer four years earlier.
In short, she was arrested, put in a cell without the meds she’d been prescribed earlier, given a barf bag which she used liberally, and died of dehydration for lack of water or other fluids.
“Citing a coroner’s ruling last year that Curnell’s death was natural, the State Law Enforcement Division has closed its investigation into the case. But statements contained in the agency’s final report, obtained Thursday through a S.C. Freedom of Information Act request, showed how the jail’s medical staffers may have underestimated the extent of Curnell’s sickness in accounts that varied widely from ones given by officers and inmates. Most witnesses, except for the nurses and doctors, described her as constantly vomiting and weak. At one point, she asked for her medication and didn’t get it.”
“They left her in a cage like a dog,” her nephew, Joseph Singleton, said Thursday, recalling the family’s experience that week.”
Lawsuit: Elderly man dies month after being shot by BCSO with pepper balls, tackled by K9’ kob.com
“BCSO’s reports indicate they tried for 90 minutes to get Duran to put the knife down. But he was partially blind, deaf and distraught over the recent loss of wife.
Deputies devised a plan to get Duran to comply with their orders. At 10 a.m., they deployed the plan. They fired pepper balls at Duran and released a muzzled K9 to knock him over.
Medical records show that fall caused Duran’s femur and hip to shatter. Since Duran’s skin was old and thin, some of the pepper balls penetrated, leaving fragments of plastic inside. A medical report shows it took doctors days to remove all of the plastic.
One month later, Duran died. The Office of the Medical Investigator ruled the death a homicide.
“When he was surrounded by deputies, he had committed no crime,” civil rights attorney Shannon Kennedy said. “They are supposed to be serving, but instead they set in motion the kind of violence that sets a very painful death. The fact that the sheriff hasn’t come forward to apologize to this family is as equally shocking.”
Fidencio Duran was 88 years old; RIP.
Via Azfamily.com: ‘Autistic woman behind viral video shot, killed by Mesa police’
“Mesa, AZ: A young woman killed during an officer-involved shooting Thursday morning was behind a viral video she posted that made headlines over the summer. The woman has been identified Danielle Jacobs, 24.
Detective Esteban Flores with the Mesa Police Department said around 11 a.m., police received multiple calls about a suicidal woman.
When officers made contact with her, she stated she had a knife and was going to hurt herself. Flores said she came at both officers with the knife, and they fired their duty weapons.”
The officers felt threatened. Abc15 reported: “One of the officers responding to the call was retrieving a bean bag gun when the shooting occurred, Flores said. Two officers stayed in the apartment, including one who had training in crisis intervention to deal with such situations.”
“In June, Jacobs posted a video that went viral on YouTube. In it, Jacobs is having what she described as a self-harm meltdown while her Rottweiler, Samson, attempted to help her out of it. The 24-year-old said those meltdowns were due to Asperger’s syndrome. She was diagnosed with it in 2013. It is a disorder on the high-functioning end of the autism spectrum.
In a post along with the video, Jacobs said she shared the raw moment to show what it is like to live with Asperger’s and raise awareness about the disorder.”
This is the touching video that went viral. As it turns out, the murdered woman was transgender, and in other venues called her/himself Kayden Clarke. The trans community on Twitter is vexed at his misidentification, but it’s provided another crucial spotlight on the intersections of ableness, autism, skin color, gender and police state issues; cold comfort, yes.
KilledByPolice on Facebook has 3089 corporate media accounts of people killed by police since May 1, 2013. So many, too many…when will it slow down, much less stop?