Sunday, May 28

The 'Nice Guys' Really Do Finish Last... Unfortunately For These Two Samaritans!

This is the era that we live in now, the era that we've ushered in by putting Trump and his 'clan' into the White House. People have begun to believe that it's okay to spit any kind of hate-filled vitriolic rhetoric at anyone they choose! It's as if they're thinking "Trump is the president, and he hates Muslims and says so, so why can't I?"

The really sad part is that, that is exactly the picture that the White House is showing to the public.

2 Fatally Stabbed On Oregon Train After Trying to Stop Man's Anti-Muslim Rants, Police Say


Two men were stabbed to death Friday on a light-rail train in Portland, Ore., after they tried to intervene when another passenger began “ranting and raving” and shouting anti-Muslim hate speech at two young women, police said.

According to witnesses, a white male passenger riding an eastbound MAX train early Friday afternoon began yelling what “would best be characterized as hate speech toward a variety of ethnicities and religions,” police said. Some of the slurs were directed at two female passengers, one of whom was wearing a hijab, according to police.
“This suspect was on the train and he was yelling and ranting and raving a lot of different things, including what we characterized at hate speech or biased language,” Portland police spokesman Pete Simpson said at a news conference Friday evening.
At least two men tried to calm the ranting passenger down, but “they were attacked viciously by the suspect” when they did, Simpson said.
“It appears preliminarily that the victims — at least a couple of them — were trying to intervene in his behavior, deescalate him and protect some other people on the train when [the suspect] viciously attacked them,” Simpson said.
About 4:30 p.m. Friday, police responded to calls of a disturbance at the Hollywood Transit Station in east Portland. There, they found three stabbing victims, all adult men. Despite attempted lifesaving measures, one died at the scene, and another was pronounced dead at a hospital, police said.
The third victim is being treated for non-life-threatening injuries and is expected to survive, Simpson said Friday.
Based on witnesses’ statements, officers on Friday were able to locate and arrest the suspect, who had fled the train on foot.
Police identified the suspect early Saturday morning as 35-year-old Jeremy Joseph Christian, of north Portland. Christian is being held without bail on two counts of aggravated murder, one count of attempted murder, two counts of intimidation in the second degree and one count of possession of a restricted weapon as a felon.
The deceased victims’ identities have not yet been released, pending an autopsy by the Oregon State Medical Examiner in Portland late Saturday morning, police said.
The stabbing attack shocked the city.
“It’s horrific. There’s no other word to describe what happened today,” Simpson said Friday. “It is simply horrible.”
The attack shut down the Hollywood Transit Station and Portland MAX trains in both directions for several hours Friday evening.
Simpson noted then that several passengers, including the two young women thought to be the target of the man’s anti-Muslim slurs, had left the train after the stabbings. He urged any witnesses to come forward to give statements to police. Simpson added that it did not appear that the suspect or the victims had any relationship with one another.
“We don’t know if (the suspect) has mental-health issues or was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or all of the above,” Simpson said. “With this incident, we’re obviously in early stages of the investigation.”
The attacks occurred just as Ramadan, the Muslim holy month, was set to commence at sunset Friday. Simpson said that Portland police had already reached out to Muslim organizations, mosques and imams in the community to talk about extra patrols during Ramadan — and that those extra patrols would continue.
“Our thoughts are with the Muslim community,” Simpson said Friday. “As something like this happens, this only instills fear in that community.”
The attack prompted a slew of outraged responses Friday from Oregon residents and lawmakers, as well as nationally.
Portland City Commissioner Chloe Eudaly called the incident “especially sad and disturbing” in a statement on behalf of Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, who was traveling Friday night, and the City Council, according to KGW News.
“People lost their lives or were injured because they stood up to hate,” Eudaly said in the statement. “We need to offer our heartfelt support to the women and others who were targeted. The courage of the people who stood up for them is a reminder that we as a city need to stand together to denounce the hate.”
Multnomah County officials announced that its mental-health call center would be available 24 hours a day for those affected by the MAX train stabbing.

For the complete story from The Washington Post, click HERE.

Saturday, May 27

They "Scared Him To Death"... LITERALLY!!

Article should have been posted May 24, but due to a technical glitch it was not. Sorry!

This is a long article, if you want to read it in its entirety, you can do so here.

It's my personal belief that training for police officers has pretty much not kept up with the changing times, except in the matters of what weapons to use, and quicker tactics to bring a perp down. (My own words.) Their training needs to be updated. In days gone by, back when police officers walked the beat and knew everyone by name, officers knew how to talk to a child; they knew which to threaten and which to coddle to get the results they wanted. We need to go back to that, train officers (if there's a way to get them to understand) to recognize which children are strong enough for you to bluster and browbeat, and which are not. I'm not saying it would work 100% of the time, mistakes can be made, they're human. I think though that if the training saves one Corey Walgren, it will be worth it. These are our children, our future, and we can't afford to make but so many mistakes.

Corey Walgren, age 16, no police record, never been in trouble before, dead from suicide. If the police and school officials had handled it a little differently, perhaps kept someone with him while they waited for his mother, or perhaps contacted her before they 'interviewed' (interrogated) him, as the law says they have to do, could there have perhaps been a different, better outcome to this story?  Perhaps.... See what you think.

School disciplinary incident ends with a Naperville teen's suicide: 'They scared him to death'

 - to Contact ReporterChicago Tribune

On the last night of his life, Corey Walgren sat with his parents in the kitchen and talked about the colleges they would visit over spring break. At 16, Corey didn't know what he wanted to study — maybe business, maybe astronomy — but he liked the idea of attending a Big Ten school. He wanted a big, bustling campus with different kinds of people, a place that could match his energy and varied interests. His parents, Doug and Maureen Walgren, described it as an exciting but bittersweet discussion with their eldest child, a rite-of-passage conversation that occurs in kitchens all across the country. It ended with the family deciding to visit the University of Iowa and the University of Minnesota, both of which seemed realistic options given Corey's solid grade point average and extra-curricular activities.

With his future before him and a high school hockey tournament that weekend, Corey went to bed that night as he had for much of his life: Happy. Healthy. Home.
"There was no concern for anything," Maureen Walgren said. "Everything was fine. Everything was normal."
Life for the Walgren family would never be normal again, at least as they knew it on that January evening.

Corey Walgren, a 16-year-old Naperville North High School junior, committed suicide;
mother says "they scared him to death."  (Family photo)

The following day, Naperville police suspected that Corey — who had no criminal history and had never been in serious trouble at school — had video on his phone of a consensual sexual encounter with a 16-year-old classmate and possibly played it for friends.
At lunchtime, he was called into the dean's office.
There, with a police officer and campus dean, Corey was questioned about possessing and possibly sharing "child pornography," allegedly threatened that he'd be put on the state's sex offender registry, then was left alone to wait for his mother.
It does not appear any pornographic images were found on the teen's phone, but it did contain a file with audio of the sexual encounter. Police did not intend to pursue charges, records show, and they indicated they wanted to handle the matter in a way that ensured Corey understood the seriousness of his actions and how it affected his classmate.
Yet Corey left school after the confrontation, walked nearly a mile to downtown Naperville and committed suicide by falling from the top of a parking deck.
"I think they wanted to scare him straight," Maureen Walgren said. "Instead, they scared him to death."
Paralyzing grief
A young man whose life seemed so full of promise to those who knew him, Corey Walgren now serves as the subject of a cautionary tale in Naperville, the affluent west suburban community where many have whispered about his final day but few talk about it openly. In many ways, Corey's story represents a dangerous melding of teenage sex, modern technology, a 16-year-old boy's poor judgment and a response from school officials and local police that legal experts say may have violated the law.
And with its many uncomfortable and heartbreaking turns, it's a difficult story for his parents to share publicly. They still struggle with an often paralyzing grief, and they have two other children they want to protect. But Corey's parents also believe their son's death could have been prevented. They say they feel an obligation to speak out.
"This could happen to anyone's child," Maureen Walgren said.
A junior at Naperville North High School, Corey Walgren had caused his parents little worry growing up. He was the oldest of three children, a lanky teen with strawberry-blond hair that leaned toward red and a background that would make a strong foundation for a college application: He routinely made the honor roll, earned a varsity letter in hockey his freshman year and worked part time busing tables at a local Italian restaurant.
He had a tight-knit group of friends and was the one who made sure everyone in their circle knew the weekend's social plans. Though only an occasional fisherman as a child, he surprised his parents by joining the high school's competitive fishing team his freshman year; he later persuaded several of his hockey teammates to do the same.
There was nothing that made him happier than his dog, a Chihuahua-dachshund mix he called Buppy, and McChicken sandwiches from McDonald's dollar menu — in that order, friends say.
"He wasn't afraid to branch out and be friends with everyone," said Zach Rang, a hockey and fishing teammate. "He was a hilarious kid who always made sure that everyone felt included."
Like many boys and girls in his neighborhood, Corey started playing hockey after the Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup in 2010. He quickly mastered skating, which led to a club team and a childhood filled with predawn practices and weekend tournaments. In a sport where most young players want to be forwards, he agreed to be a defenseman because he was one of the few who could skate well backward.
"He was the kid who did whatever you told him to do and never complained," said Chris Hall, the parent who serves as president of the Naperville North Hockey Club. "He was a dependable kid from an involved family. You could count on him to be at every practice and every game."
During his final season, Corey was the only player on the Naperville North team who didn't earn a single penalty. It's an unusual statistic for someone playing his rough-and-tumble position, and one made even more surprising given that Naperville North led the conference in penalties at one point.
"It says everything about Corey," Hall said. "He wasn't taking runs at people or throwing elbows. He played the game his way and was very good at it."
Child pornography
The Tribune pieced together what happened to Corey through documents from police and the DuPage County coroner, obtained under the state Freedom of Information Act, as well as interviews with his parents, friends and others.
The police reports were heavily redacted and withheld all information about the confrontation at the high school less than two hours before Corey killed himself. The Tribune, though, obtained from other sources a less redacted copy of the police reports, including the report written by the officer who questioned the teen.
The DuPage County coroner released its report, which shows police described the case as a "child pornography" investigation.
The DuPage County coroner released its report, which shows police described the case as a "child pornography" investigation.
Article continued here.

Wednesday, May 3

This Is Why Everyone Should Film Police Confrontations When You See Them!! Walter Scott Shooting Death By Police Officer - UPDATE!

The person involved in the confrontation may not always be able to record what happens, and the officer's body cam might not be working, IF he's even wearing one. There has to be accountability for all the people who are killed by police officers, regardless of their skin color, their sexual/gender identity, or their country of origin.

50 year old Walter Scott was shot to death by a police officer on April 4, 2015, in North Charleston, South Carolina, after he was stopped for a non-functioning brake light. (The third brake light, usually on top of the trunk, not one of the ones that most people look at to see if the car has brake lights!). Scott, a black man who was unarmed, was fatally shot by Michael Slager, a white North Charleston police officer.

Initially, Slager claimed that Scott had grabbed his Taser and he was in fear for his life, and that was why he fired at him 8 times, hitting him with 5 out of the 8 bullets. For two days everyone defended Slager's actions, until a video surfaced that had been filmed by an unseen, anonymous, bystander <applause>. The video showed Walter Scott running away from Slager with nothing in his hands (no Taser), running at top speed in an attempt to get away, NOT threatening the life of the officer.

Slager was arrested and charged with murder by the state of South Carolina, and fired from the police department. His trial in October of 2016 ended in a hung jury, with 11 voting guilty, and 1 holdout voting not guilty. His federal trial is set to start May 15, 2017.

Michael Slager, officer who shot Walter Scott in South Carolina, to plead guilty in federal case

A former South Carolina police officer, charged in the 2015 videotaped fatal shooting of a fleeing man pleaded guilty Tuesday on the eve of his federal civil rights trial.
Michael Slager, 35, who was charged last year in a three-count indictment in connection with the shooting of Walter Scott, 50, entered a guilty plea in a Charleston federal court to one count of using excessive force.
"The Department of Justice will hold accountable any law enforcement officer who violates the civil rights of our citizens by using excessive force,'' Attorney General Jeff Sessions said. "Such failures of duty not only harm the individual victims of these crimes, they harm our country by eroding trust in law enforcement and undermining the good work of the vast majority of honorable and honest police officers.''
Slager's attorney, Andrew Savage III, issued a brief statement, expressing "hope that Michael’s acceptance of responsibility will help the Scott family as they continue to grieve their loss.
"As a sentencing date has not yet been determined, we will refrain from further comment at this time,'' Savage continued.
Slager, a former North Charleston officer, faces a maximum punishment of life in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The April 4, 2015 incident, which began with a simple traffic stop for a faulty brake light, was captured on video and ultimately showed Slager, a white officer, shooting Scott, a black man, as he attempted to flee from the scene on foot. Five of the eight shots fired by Slager struck Scott from behind.
Images of the shooting immediately went viral, escalating already-simmering tensions between minority communities and local law enforcement agencies around the country following a succession of fatal incidents involving police and black suspects.
In the days after the shooting, federal prosecutors alleged that Slager "knowingly and intentionally misled'' state investigators in his account of the shooting.
The state's murder case against the officer ended in a mistrial last December. Jury selection in the federal case was scheduled to begin next week.
South Carolina Solicitor Scarlett Wilson said the federal plea agreement, which includes Slager's waiver of an appeal, effectively ends the federal and state prosecutions of the officer.
"Now that Slager has pleaded guilty to a willful violation, admitted the facts we set out to prove and waived the right to appeal his conviction, a successive prosecution by the state is not necessary,'' Wilson said. "Soon, a federal judge will decide what name and label to give the killing of Walter Scott.''