Wednesday, August 31

Too Crazy To Kill? What the .........?

Now, I can understand too crazy to stand trial; he has to be able to understand what he is  facing  and what his  rights are.  Once he stood trial though, and was convicted and sentenced to death, how could he be too crazy to be executed? He already knows what's going to happen from when they were in the courtroom, so what else is there he has to know or be able to understand? I don't agree with the death penalty personally, but it's here, people are sentenced to it, and eventually it is done;  go on and do it, get it over with already!

 23 years he's been costing we the taxpayers money, and now you want to say he can't be executed??

Texas Death Row Inmate May Have Faked Mental Illness
by Veronica Graves  August 31, 2016

Gerald Edridge may have faked a mental illness to avoid execution.

Gerald Eldridge, death row inmate

Gerald Eldridge, 52, may have faked having an illness to avoid execution after fatally shooting his ex-girlfriend Cynthia Bogany and her daughter in Houston 23 years ago, the Associated Press reports
Eldridge was convicted in 1993, and in 2009, when he was less than two hours away from being executed by lethal injection, U.S. District Judge Lee Rosenthal stopped the execution because Eldridge's lawyers claimed that he was too mentally ill for the punishment. Rosenthal decided that the claim needed to be further examined. 
However, in a 2013 hearing, it was determined that while Eldridge showed signs of mental illness, there was inconsistency in the extensive evidence claiming that he was incompetent because of that mental illness, raising the possibility that he had faked symptoms.
On Monday the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit upheld a lower court’s ruling and moves Eldridge a step closer to execution.
According to AP, Eldridge’s lawyer, Lee Wilson, has filed a request for a rehearing before the appeals court and will continue to appeal the case.
“Mr. Eldridge is schizophrenic,” he said.
In addition to killing Bogany and her daughter, Eldridge was found guilty of shooting and wounding his son with Bogany, Tyrell, and Bogany’s boyfriend at the time, Wayne Dotson.

Tuesday, August 23

Wonder If They're Embarrassed Because They Couldn't Tell the Difference Between A 10 Year Old Boy and A Grown Man?

And now the whole nation knows  that not only could they not tell the difference between a man and a child,  but they upset that child so traumatically that if the mother sticks to her plan of taking him to the doctor, the child will be in counseling for who knows how long!

One thing really gets me. Here's a statement made in response to the little boy's comment that they were trying to shoot him:
"Newark police acknowledged that officers had their guns drawn, but denied they pointed them at Legend while in the alley."
Now tell me if I'm wrong, but if you are chasing someone into an alley, someone who has allegedly committed a crime while armed (" mistook him for a suspect in an armed robbery") are you really going to run into the alley and then just drop your arms and stand there  and stare at him? I dont' think so!

Newark, NJ, Police Chased 10-Year-Old Boy With Guns Drawn in Mistaken-Identity Case

A Newark, N.J., 10-year-old was left in tears after he was chased down an alley by officers who had their guns drawn after they allegedly mistook him for a suspect in an armed robbery, WABC reports.
“Some police started coming this way with guns pointed at me, and then I ran into the backyard,” Legend Preston, a shy fifth-grader who loves math, told the news station.
10 yr old Legend Preston
chased by police with drawn guns.
According to the report, Legend was playing basketball shortly before the incident when the ball rolled into the street. The 10-year-old dashed after the ball only to find himself being chased by the officers. Legend told the news station that he thought the cops were chasing him because he ran into the street without looking.
“I ran because they thought that I rolled the ball into the street on purpose, and they were just holding shotguns at me trying to shoot me,” he said.
Newark police acknowledged that officers had their guns drawn, but denied they pointed them at Legend while in the alley.
Witnesses at the scene intervened, according to the report, telling the cops that their “suspect” was only a child.
“‘Why are y’all chasing him? Y’all got guns out here drawn, y’all chasing him, he’s only a kid.’ I’m like, ‘That’s messed up,’” one witness, Jackie Kelly, said.
Legend’s mom, Patisha Preston, was in the house when the incident unfolded, and is all too aware that her son’s interaction with police could have ended differently. Patisha Preston uploaded a video to her Facebook page showing the distraught 10-year-old in tears after the terrifying encounter, which occurred earlier this month.
“My son is in counselling [sic] even scared to go play because it happened right at our house.. You despicable cops have no care for our childten [sic].. My fun loving child is forever changed!!!,” she wrote, in part, under the video.

Friday, August 19

And So Many Don't Understand Why 'Black Lives Matter'.....

     Personally, I can't see why they won't understand/admit exactly what that phrase means, and even more, admit why it is so  timely. Anyone with a set of eyes and common sense can see  that there is a problem in this country when it comes to the disparity between the value of  white lives and the value of black ones... his daughter stated that "It sort of says that we don’t matter because we don’t have the badge backing us,and They matter more than we do. It’s more important for them to go home to their families instead of the people they come in contact with to return to their families as well.


The Video LAPD Never Wanted to See Released

Unfortunately for the LAPD, some folks didn't get  the memo...

ProPublica Releases Video Showing in-Custody Death of Vachel Howard 

ProPublica has released the video of the in-custody death of Vachel Howard that, it says, the Los Angeles Police Department didn’t want released.
Howard died June 4, 2012, while in the custody of the LAPD’s 77th Street Station jail. The 56-year-old grandfather of seven had been taken into custody for driving while intoxicated and had been strip-searched.
Howard told officers that he was schizophrenic, and officers suspected that he was under the influence of cocaine. However, hours later, Howard was pronounced dead.
According to police, Howard had become “violent and combative,” and about half a dozen officers moved in to subdue him. The coroner attributed his death to cocaine intoxication, heart disease and the choke hold that one of the officers employed.
The footage from the jail had never been made available to the public. According to ProPublica, when the organization requested the footage, the clerk of the judge in the case said that he was not sure if the judge still had it and that it was not in the judge’s practice to make “such material available to the news media.”
Similarly, the Police Department declined a request for footage, and the city attorney’s office said it didn’t have it.
ProPublica managed to obtain the copies of the tapes nonetheless, saying that it was publishing them “in the interest of establishing a more complete public record of a controversial and costly death.”
The video shows Howard, visibly agitated, sitting on a bench in a station. Shortly afterward, an altercation ensues, and officers are seen deploying a Taser to use on the 56-year-old while tackling him to the ground. Six officers can be seen surrounding Howard for about four minutes, handcuffing his hands and feet. One officer is directly on top of him with a knee in his back, and another can be seen briefly with his arm around Howard’s neck and shoulders.

As Howard lies motionless on the ground after the scuffle, officers can be seen laughing. According to ProPublica, almost four minutes went by with Howard lying still on the ground before resuscitation efforts began.
Some four people performed CPR on Howard for over nine minutes before emergency medical personnel arrived and continued the efforts for another eight minutes before Howard was transported away.
“Mr. Howard posed no threat whatsoever,” V. James DeSimone, the lawyer for Howard’s daughter, Tushana Howard, told ProPublica. “He was down on the ground, six officers on top of him, no guns in the nearby vicinity, executing a choke hold where there was no threat to the officers or to anybody else. It’s out of policy, it’s unlawful and in this case it’s murder.”
Howard Vachel; grandfather of 7,
victim of in-custody death
The family had sued the city in a wrongful death claim, which was settled in October 2015 for $2.85 million. However, neither the LAPD nor the city attorney’s office acknowledged wrongdoing as part of the settlement.  The officer that used the choke hold, Juan Romero, was suspended after the incident for a mere 22 days. A criminal case against him was never pursued. Police, defending the use of force, claimed that Howard tried to bite Romero. Howard’s family had issues with how the case was handled, as well as with the lack of transparency in the case. 

Saturday, August 13

The 'Grim Sleeper' is Sentenced To Death For String of Murders

     Well , well, well, I cannot believe that we have finally had a case like this... at least we've finally been told about  the existence of a case like this. Not only a black killer, not only a black serial killer, but a prolific black serial killer of some longevity! One who eluded being identified for quite a few years, and in my opinion, if it were not for the discovery of DNA and the ability of labs to pinpoint with such accuracy who it belongs to, Lonnie Walker might have never been caught Seems like as long as it was us targeting us the police displayed indifference to the case; they didn't see any point in telling the public that it was happening, although in many cases it's the public who supplies the clues which can lead to the arrest.  (Look at John Walsh.)
Lonnie David Walker Jr.
The Grim Sleeper
August 10, 2016 by
Marisa Gerber and James Queally
A man approached Laura Moore at a bus stop in the spring of 1984 and offered a warning: You shouldn’t be out here alone.
“Bad guys will pick you up,” he told her. “Let me take you where you have to go.”
Moore, then 21, agreed, reluctantly. As the man drove off, he told her to put on her seat belt. When she refused, she said, he reached under his seat, grabbed a gun and shot her six times. Wounded, she managed to escape, but turned back to study his face. That man, Moore said, was Lonnie David Franklin Jr., now better-known as the “Grim Sleeper” serial killer.
She recounted the story in court Wednesday at a hearing where Franklin was sentenced to death, capping a lengthy legal saga that centered on the gruesome killings of more than a dozen women in South L.A.
“This is not a sentence of vengeance,” Superior Court Judge Kathleen Kennedy told Franklin as relatives of his victims looked on, some of them in tears. “It’s justice.”
Franklin, 63, was convicted earlier this year of killing nine women and a teenage girl from 1985 to 2007. During the penalty phase of his trial, prosecutors connected him to several additional slayings. Detectives believe he may have killed at least 25 women.
The judge read the names of the 10 victims Franklin was found guilty of killing. In each case, Kennedy told him, “You shall suffer the death penalty.”
As she spoke, some of the victims’ relatives cried, others sighed. One man repeated: “Amen, amen, amen.”
The sentence came toward the end of an emotional hearing where more than a dozen family members and friends of victims read statements, many of them repeatedly asking why Franklin chose to attack members of his own community.
“The defendant took my daughter, murdered her, put her in a plastic bag — a trash bag — like she was trash,” Laverne Peters, whose 25-year-old daughter was found in a garbage bin in 2007, told the court before Franklin was sentenced. “My hope is that he spends the rest of his glory days in his jail cell, which will become his trash bag.”
“Amen,” other family members in the audience said.
Five of the jurors who convicted Franklin attended, occasionally nodding. Before the hearing, one of the victim’s sisters thanked a juror and said, “God bless you.” The juror winked at her.
During the hearing, a woman spoke of losing her best friend, but said she still hears her voice in dreams. A victim’s uncle said he remembered how loudly she used to cry when he babysat her as a child — a reminder, he said, of how she did everything in her life passionately. At one point, the nephew of Henrietta Wright, whose body was found under a mattress in an alleyway in 1986, addressed Franklin directly, saying, “You’re a cold-hearted dude.” Franklin nodded slightly.
When Moore, the surviving victim, addressed Franklin, her body began to shake.
“Why, why, why?” she asked. “Really, why?”
Moore wasn’t listed in the criminal complaint against Franklin, but Los Angeles police Det. Daryn Dupree — the last remaining detective who worked on the task force that investigated the Grim Sleeper killings — said he is “very confident” that she is one of his victims.
Franklin sat stoically as Kennedy sentenced him — just as he had throughout the trial. But earlier in the morning, he did react to statements delivered by some of the victims’ relatives. 
Mary Alexander, whose 18-year-old daughter was murdered, spoke directly to Franklin.
“I’d like for Mr. Franklin to turn around and face me,” she said.
Franklin turned his head slowly, locking eyes with Alexander.
“I’d like to know, why?” Alexander asked, gripping the lectern.
Franklin whispered something in response.
She repeated her question, louder: “Why?”
Again, he whispered. (Dupree told reporters after the hearing that he saw Franklin mutter, “I didn’t do it.”)
“I know she didn’t do anything to hurt you,” Alexander told Franklin, “I know that.”
Franklin’s face softened and he nodded.
Alexander told Franklin that she had thought a lot about forgiveness but said she was finding the concept extremely difficult.
“I’m still battling that,” Alexander said.
Franklin nodded once more and turned back toward the judge.
When another victim’s sister told Franklin that she recognized him, he got angry, shouting, “That’s a bald-faced lie.”
In imposing the sentence, Kennedy said she had struggled throughout the case to understand what motivated Franklin.
“It doesn’t matter why,” she said. “There could never be a justification for what you have done.”
The killer, one of California’s most prolific, targeted victims who were generally young, vulnerable and, at times, ignored. The attacks failed to raise alarms the way other famous serial slayings by killers such as the “Hillside Strangler” or the “Night Stalker” did.
The deaths in the mid- to late ’80s coincided with a surge in slayings linked to the crack cocaine epidemic. In addition, several other serial killers were operating in the same area in those years. Michael Hughes was convicted of killing seven women; Chester Turner of 14 women and a fetus. Both are on California's death row.
But the Grim Sleeper proved to be the most persistent. He targeted women who were drug addicts or prostitutes and often dumped their naked bodies alongside roads or in the trash. Many of the women were initially listed as Jane Does. The deaths drew little, if any, media attention.
Police kept the slayings quiet despite suspicions that a serial killer was stalking black women — a decision that led to outrage and condemnation from many who attribute Franklin's longevity as a killer to police indifference.
Authorities were able to link the slayings through ballistic and genetic evidence at the crime scenes that pointed to a single killer. But identifying the DNA proved difficult.
A break finally came in the case in 2010, when a search of state offender records turned up a partial match. The person wasn’t the suspected serial killer, but a close relative was.
Before long, investigators focused on the convict’s father, Franklin. After tailing him to a pizza joint in Buena Park during the summer of 2010, police collected a slice of partially eaten pizza. They tested it for DNA and, finally, had a match.
A search of Franklin’s home on 81st Street — not far from the South L.A. corridor where many of the victims’ bodies were found — turned up a .25-caliber semiautomatic handgun. Two  criminalists  testified at trial that it was the same weapon that killed one of the victims.
Franklin’s attorney, Seymour Amster, told jurors that DNA from other men was found at some crime scenes — a sign, he said, that someone else could have played a role in the slayings.
In May, a jury convicted Franklin of 10 counts of murder. His victims, in order of death, were: Debra Jackson, 29; Henrietta Wright, 35; Barbara Ware, 23; Bernita Sparks, 25; Mary Lowe, 26; Lachrica Jefferson, 22; Alicia Alexander, 18; Princess Berthomieux,15; Valerie McCorvey, 35; and Janecia Peters, 25.
Most of the women were shot to death. Berthomieux was strangled.
Franklin was also convicted of attempted murder in connection with an attack on Enietra Washington, who survived and testified against him.
“You’re truly a piece of evil,” Washington told Franklin Wednesday. “You’re a Satan representative… You’re right up there with Manson.”
After the initial conviction, prosecutors presented more evidence against Franklin during the penalty phase of the trial. A woman testified that Franklin, as a U.S. Army private stationed abroad, was one of three assailants who gang-raped her in Germany in 1974.Franklin initially earned the “Grim Sleeper” nickname because a gap in the killings between 1988 and 2002 suggested he had gone dormant. But detectives believe Franklin never really “slept.” 

Thursday, August 4

I Don't Know Whether To Cheer Or Cry...

     Browsing through the headlines and short blurbs of stories I came across a story which made me feel like maybe, just maybe, there is a shot at stopping this road we're (the country, this society) going down. That perhaps someone is listening  and realizes that we need some healing; that we need  some reactions to some actions to occur that will give people a glimmer of hope of the world  getting better. This is the story:

Va. Officer Guilty of Voluntary Manslaughter in Shooting Death of 18-Year-Old William Chapman

On Thursday, a jury convicted the now-former Portsmouth, Va., Police Officer Stephen Rankin of voluntary manslaughter in the death of 18-year-old William Chapman.

Stephen   Rankin                         William Chapman III
A Virginia jury found a white former police officer guilty of voluntary manslaughter in the April 2015 shooting death of an unarmed black teen who was accused of shoplifting, ABC News reports.

Former Portsmouth, Va. Police Officer Stephen Rankin, who was fired from the police force as he awaited trial, fatally shot 18-year-old William Chapman II in the face and chest outside a Wal-Mart after a security guard accused the teen of shoplifting. Rankin claimed that Chapman had resisted arrest. There was no video recording of the shooting, and testimony conflicted on the details, ABC reports.Prosecutors had argued that Rankin could have used non-deadly force, underlining that every witness, with the exception of Rankin himself, had testified that the teen had his hands up.However, Rankin’s defense claimed that the then-police officer had had to shoot after a stun gun failed to stop Chapman.ABC reports that the jurors—eight black and four white—began their deliberations Tuesday. Rankin, The Guardian reports, had been charged with first-degree murder and using a firearm to commit a felony, however, the judge had given jurors the option to convict on lesser charges.According to The Guardian, Chapman’s mother, Sallie, cried as the verdict was read. Rankin claimed that he had walked up to Chapman to discuss the shoplifting accusation and was preparing to handcuff him when the teen refused to obey orders and started to struggle. Rankin said he used his stun gun, but that Chapman knocked it away.Rankin acknowledged that he drew his weapon and ordered Chapman to “get to the ground.” He claimed that the teen started screaming, “Shoot me,” before charging him from about 6 feet away, ABC reports. Rankin said he experienced “tunnel vision” and, fearing for his life, fired his weapon twice.“I had no reason to think he was going to stop attacking me,” Rankin said. “I was scared.”Some witnesses did back up Rankin’s story, saying that it looked as if Chapman “went after the officer with throwing fists, and it looked like he knocked a Taser out of the officer’s hands.”However, others testified that Chapman never charged the officer.Regardless, prosecutor Stephanie Morales said Rankin could have used nonlethal force to subdue the teen.      Posted by Breanna Edwards - August 4, 2016                         

And then on the heels of that joy comes this story. Warning: The violence in the video is upsetting enough, but the cries of Earledreka White after he drags her out of camera view are full of such utter pain and anguish, it brought tears to my eyes.
Video Shows Houston Officer Attack Woman at Traffic Stop Who Called 911 Because She Feared Him
Newly released video footage may support the story of a black woman in Houston who called 911 because she was afraid of the officer who pulled her over.
 In March a black woman by the name of Earledreka White was pulled over by a Houston police officer for crossing the double white line. Soon afterward she called 911 because she was afraid of the cop. She said to the dispatcher, “I would like another officer to come out here. My heart is racing. I’m really afraid,” according to Raw Story.
White, 28, ended up being charged with resisting arrest and was jailed for two days. She reportedly feared for her life there, concerned that she might end up like Sandra Bland, who mysteriously died in Texas a few days after she was arrested for a routine traffic stop.
Raw Story reports that after an investigation in April, the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County concluded that the officer had done nothing wrong, despite White’s claims of harassment and that he threatened to use a Taser on her.
Now, however, a newly released surveillance video could back up her case. The footage shows White on the phone with a dispatcher, with the officer in front of her, until the situation escalates and the cop begins to grab for her and get aggressive.
“This is obviously a police officer who needs some training on how to de-escalate a situation, and I would think it would be especially important in today’s climate,” said Houston NAACP President James Douglas.
White’s attorney, Zack Feriettea, thinks that charges against his client should be dropped, saying, “I’m as pro law enforcement as they come, but that’s not good police conduct.
“You can’t escalate a situation and then claim someone is ‘resisting arrest.’ That’s ridiculous,” Feriettea added.