Monday, June 26

Supreme Court allows parts of travel ban to take effect

And So It Begins.....

By Ariane de Vogue, CNN Supreme Court Reporter

Washington (CNN)The Supreme Court Monday allowed parts of President Donald Trump's travel ban to go into effect and will hear oral arguments on the case this fall.
The court is allowing the ban to go into effect for foreign nationals who lack any "bona fide relationship with any person or entity in the United States." The court, in an unsigned opinion, left the travel ban against citizens of six majority-Muslim on hold as applied to non-citizens with relationships with persons or entities in the United States, which includes most of the plaintiffs in both cases.
Examples of formal relationships include students accepted to US universities and an employee who has accepted a job with a company in the US, the court said.
    This is the first time the high court has weighed in on the travel ban, and a partial victory for the Trump administration, which has been fighting lower court rulings blocking the ban from taking effect. Justices did not address Trump's tweets which have caused legal problems for his administration previously.
    The ban, which bars people from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering the US for 90 days -- outside of the "bona fide" relationship exception -- could take effect in as little as 72 hours.
    Trump called the decision "a clear victory for our national security."
    "As President, I cannot allow people into our country who want to do us harm," he added in a statement. "I want people who can love the United States and all of its citizens, and who will be hardworking and productive."

    What's next?

    How officials implement the ban could cause chaos at airports, similar to what happened when Trump's first travel ban executive order was written in January (it was later blocked).
    "That's going to be an extreme headache. Think about how the people at the border, at airports are going to make that decision," said Page Pate, CNN legal analyst. "Who is going to make this decision? If we leave it to the folks on the front line, that's just going to lead to more litigation."
    Trump signed a memorandum earlier this month which states that administration officials shall begin implementation of the parts of the order that are allowed to go forward 72 hours after the court rules.
    The Department of Homeland Security said in a statement it will discuss the court's action with the Justice and State departments and said it would implement the ban "professionally, with clear and sufficient public notice, particularly to potentially affected travelers, and in coordination with partners in the travel industry."
    As for refugees, the court held that a person seeking refuge in the US can claim "concrete hardship" -- but in the end, if they "lack any such connection to the United States ... the balance tips in favor of the government's compelling need to provide for the Nation's security."

    Sidesteps Trump's tweets

    Trump himself has repeatedly criticized judges who sided against the travel ban and suggested the judicial system is against him and harming national security interests.
    "The courts are slow and political!" Trump wrote in one of several tweets criticizing rulings from various federal judges this year.
    "That's right, we need a TRAVEL BAN for certain DANGEROUS countries, not some politically correct term that won't help us protect our people," Trump tweeted earlier this month.
    This is Trump's second attempt to install a travel ban.
    The first executive order was issued one week into his term, and sought to bar people from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering the US for 90 days and all refugees for 120 days.
    After it was blocked by the courts, Trump tried again in March with a revised version that didn't include Iraq and was meant to clarify problems of the first order that created uncertainty about the rights of dual citizens and holders of US visas. It had been blocked by courts on both constitutional and statutory grounds.
    Trump has called his second executive order "watered down," and "politically correct."
    But while lower courts used Trump's own words against the White House as a justification to stop the ban from taking effect, the high court did not look at that language.
    Candidate Trump issued a statement calling for the "total and complete shutdown" of Muslims entering the United States until the government could "figure out what is going on," in response to a deadly mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, by ISIS sympathizers in December 2015.
    "The 16 pages did not include any citations to President Trump's campaign rhetoric," said CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin. "And the Supreme Court seems reluctant to get into the business of that, which is why I always thought the President had the best chance of winning at the Supreme Court."
    "This is about the executive order itself. It is not about the campaign or anything else," Toobin added.

    Conservative trio would have allowed full ban

    Justice Clarence Thomas dissented with Justice Samuel Alito and newly-appointed Justice Neil Gorsuch, saying the court didn't go far enough.
    Thomas said he would have stayed the injunctions "in full," adding the government is "likely to succeed on the merits."
    Thomas expressed concern with the "court's remedy" and said he fears it will "prove unworkable."
    "Today's compromise will burden executive officials with the task of deciding -- on peril of contempt -- whether individuals from the six affected nations who wish to enter the United States have a sufficient connection to a person or entity in this country," he said.
    Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Anthony Kennedy -- who has been considering retirement -- both joined the majority opinion that agreed to keep parts of the ban on hold until oral arguments this fall.
    That fact is telling, said Steve Vladeck, CNN legal analyst and professor at the University of Texas School of Law
    "The fact that neither agreed with the dissenters to put the full Executive Order into effect may be an important signal for how they'd be likely to rule on the merits -- and a bad sign for the Trump administration at least with respect to no -- citizens with connections to the United States," Vladeck said.
    Toobin also suggested how the court handled the case means Kennedy will stick around.
    "The fact that Kennedy didn't retire today probably means he won't retire this term," Toobin said. "However, Sandra Day O'Connor did retire two days after the term ended."
    This story has been updated.

    Sunday, June 25

    Our Name Has Changed!

    And I've learned a valuable lesson about taking care of your domain  name. 

    I didn't keep track of its 

    expiration date, so we're no longer bringing you the news 

    From Bikini Bottom. 

    Now, we're 

    Live In Bikini Bottom 

    bringing you the news (and fake news) of the day. 

    So if you're still able to pull up this site, 

    please be aware that in a day or two you won't be able to, 

    and that's why. 

    If I'd been more knowledgeable and aware, 

    I would have fixed this issue when I first found I couldn't log in

     instead of 

    being so quick to blame it on Cox! 

     I let it go a couple of days, and consequently, someone else 

    was able to get it. 

    So, I'm sorry for any confusion, and hope it didn't cause 

    too much of a problem!

    Thank you for your patronage,

    Mgmt @ Live In Bikini Bottom

    Thursday, June 22

    A Black Mother Told Police a White Man Assaulted Her Child

      They Arrested Her Instead!!
    A video showing the arrest of Jacqueline Craig, a Texas mother, has gone viral
     and led to a Fort Worth Police Department internal investigation.
    (Courtesy of Merritt and Crockett Law Offices)
    And then as if that weren't enough, as if they hadn't already added insult to injury, they arrested her two daughters as well! Awfully similar to the pregnant black mother of 4 who called to report a robbery.... Is this the next 'trending' thing?  #Blackmomdontcallpoliceforhelp  This appears to have happened back in December, 2016; does it take this long to 'investigate' (i.e. Make up a story that will back up the officers while at the same time not piss people off too much)? 
     Get this:                        
    Fort Worth’s police chief expressed dismay Friday over a viral video showing a white officer scolding a black mother who was trying to report that her 7-year-old son had been assaulted — then arresting her and her teenage daughters.
    “What we’ve seen in the video disturbed us,” Fort Worth Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald said at a news conference.
    A few minutes later, Rep. Marc Veasey (D-Tex.)  called the officer’s behavior “rude and condescending,” echoing many of the millions of people who have seen the video since it hit Facebook on Wednesday.
    A Texas state representative said she was “outraged,” like much of the public. But at the end of the news conference, the police chief resisted the conclusion many outraged viewers have made about the video.
    “I can’t call it racist,” Fitzgerald said. “The officer was rude. There’s a difference between rude and racism.”
    The unnamed white officer has been placed on “restricted duty status” while the department investigates the incident, in which he arrested the mother, 46-year-old Jacqueline Craig, and her two teenage daughters, as seen in the six-minute video.
    The video — which shows the officer pointing his stun gun at teenagers during the controversial arrests — has been shared nearly 100,000  times and racked up 2.7 million views.
    Craig was charged with resisting arrest, according to jail records obtained by the Star-Telegram.
    Brea Hymond, Craig’s 19-year-old daughter, was also charged with resisting arrest and interfering with public duty, the paper reported.
    A second 15-year-old daughter was also arrested, but charging information was not immediately available.
    Lee Merritt, an attorney for the woman, told the Star-Telegram that he wants the charges against his clients “dropped immediately,” calling them “completely manufactured.”
    “We want to see the officer involved terminated from his position as a peace officer within Fort Worth and would also like to see him prosecuted criminally for his behavior — for his felony assault of my clients,” Merritt added. “We would like to see the individual who all this started from — the neighbor who assaulted a 7-year-old child — prosecuted as well.”

    He noted on Twitter that police didn’t take Craig’s original report about her son allegedly being assaulted.
    After her release Wednesday afternoon, at a news conference on Thursday, Craig told reporters that she thought she was protecting her child when she called police, according to the Dallas Morning News.
    “I’m distraught,” she said, before breaking into tears. “It made me feel less of a parent that I couldn’t protect him when he needed it.”
    Merritt told reporters that video of the incident “gets worse by the minute.”
    “Instead of being able to protect her or her child, she was assaulted,” he said. “Two of her children were arrested and terrorized.”
    “It sent a signal to the 7-year-old, who was just assaulted by a neighbor, that he could never rely on police officers for protection,” Merritt continued, calling the incident “an attack on this family” and “an attack on the African American community.”
    The police statement said investigators “worked throughout the night” interviewing witnesses and reviewing video evidence, including footage from the officer’s body camera.
    The statement asked the public to remain calm Thursday as their investigation into the troubling continues.
    “We acknowledge that the initial appearance of the video may raise serious questions,” the police statement said. “We ask that our investigators are given the time and opportunity to thoroughly examine the incident and to submit their findings.”
    “The process may take time, but the integrity of the investigation rests upon the ability of our investigators to document facts and to accurately evaluate the size and scope of what transpired.”
    The video begins with Craig explaining to the officer that her children told her that a man in her Fort Worth neighborhood grabbed her son by the neck after the child refused to pick up litter.
    “You could’ve came to me,” Craig tells the accused man, who stands nearby. “Don’t put your hands on my son.”
    “Well why don’t you teach your son not to litter,” the officer responded.
    Craig then replied, “He can’t prove to me that my son littered, but it doesn’t matter if he did or didn’t, it doesn’t give him the right to put his hands on him.”
    “Why not?” the officer responded.
    The comment prompts someone outside the shot to remind the officer that he’s being recorded.
    Craig, appearing to grow pained, tells the officer that he doesn’t know what she teaches her son and that children don’t always follow their parent’s rules when adults are out of sight.
    The officer replies that if she keeps yelling it’s going to “piss me off and I’m going to take you to jail.”
    As tensions rise, the video shows Hymond, 19, step in front of Craig and begin to push her away from the officer. At that point, the officer grabs the teenager from behind before aggressively pushing her to the side, knocking Craig to the ground and shoving a Taser into her back and then pointing the weapon at others at the scene.
    Merritt told KXAS-TV that Craig’s teenage daughter stepped in between the officer and her mother to de-escalate the situation.
    As the officer grabs the teen’s shoulder from behind a voice screams, “Don’t grab her! Don’t grab her!”
    As the incident unfolds a woman can be heard telling the officer that he is “on live.”
    The video shows the officer arresting Hymond while the person filming follows him with her phone yelling profanities and telling the officer that he’s “arresting a 15-year-old.”
    The video appears to jump ahead at several points, leaving gaps in the footage. Merritt told the Morning News the breaks in recording stemmed from Hymond receiving phone calls that interrupted the recording.
    He said an original recording exists that captured events before police were at the scene.
    This incident comes six months after a black man killed five officers in Dallas, which shares a metropolitan area with Fort Worth.
    It’s the second viral video in less than two years to show a police encounter with black teens in the Dallas area — after a McKinney officer was recorded pinning a 15-year-old girl to the ground at a pool party last year.
    “This is an issue at an epidemic state,” said Emmanuel Obi, president of Dallas’ black bar association, the J.L. Turner Legal Association. “Folks have affirmatively reached out to law enforcement for help, and are then having the tables turned on them.”
    Obi represents the African American organizer of the McKinney pool party, and said he is still trying to get access to a state investigation of the incident.
    He said he’s also handling a 2013 lawsuit in which a black woman alleges she called Dallas police to her home to remove a trespasser — only for the officers to arrest her and her father instead.
    Obi said a “pattern of officer misconduct,” including the Fort Worth incident, has outraged the black community around Dallas.
    “When you can’t seek redress, there’s a certain desperation that is born,” he said.
    Terri Burke, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, said that when the officer arrived at the scene of the conflict between Craig and her neighbor, he had a responsibility to de-escalate the confrontation, but instead he did the opposite. In the process, she said, the officer “ignored basic community policing standards.”
    “When the mother of a seven-year-old boy calls the police to report an assault on her son, the responding officer should expect to find her distraught,” she said.
    “This incident and countless others like them demonstrate that for people of color, showing anything less than absolute deference to police officers — regardless of the circumstances — can have unjust and often tragic consequences,” she added. “This fundamental injustice is also a threat to public safety. If a black woman in Fort Worth can’t call the cops after her son is allegedly choked by a neighbor without getting arrested, why would she ever call the cops again?”
    At Friday’s news conference, the police chief promised his department would “get to the bottom” of the incident.
    But Fitzgerald also cautioned that the public had only seen part of the altercation — and that his department couldn’t release the officer’s body camera footage under state law.
    “As much as the public would like to see every nook and cranny of what we have, it’s impossible to do while respecting the rights of others,” he said.

    Tuesday, June 20

    She Was Pregnant, Her Kids Were There, and She Had Called Police About a Burglary - And They Killed Her

    This is so disgusting that I can't even comment on it. Two grown man up against a pregnant woman who had, according to some reports, a scissors/knife, and they had to kill her? One yells "Get Back" and 11 seconds later they kill her. I don't give a damn what anybody says, if the two men did not have the badge, they could, and would have bragged about being able to take her down with nothing but their fists, but since they have their "license to kill" pinned to their shirts they do so with impunity!! And The Root is right, NOTHING is going to happen!! Nothing, while children are left motherless, wives are left husbandless, mothers left childless. It's crazy, this world has gotten simply ridiculous!!!

    Updated Monday, June 19, 2017, 12:47 p.m. EDT: Seattle police have released audio of the police shooting that ended with Charleena Lyles dead in front of her children. The audio, linked to dashboard cameras in the two patrol cars responding to the initial call, is redacted in certain areas, according to the Seattle Times. 

    The officers can be heard discussing Lyles’ previous calls to police and her mental-health issues. One officer says that Lyles began “talking all crazy about how the officers weren’t gonna leave,” while another asks if she had a “mental precaution on her.” The officer responds that she has an officer-safety precaution on file.
    The recording reveals that officers were aware of Lyles’ mental-health issues and the fact that children might be in the home before they opened fire in the apartment. One officer asks, “Wait, is this the one with, like, the three kids?”
    “Yeah,” the other officer responds. “Yeah, so this gal is the one who was making all the [inaudible] statements about how her and her daughter were gonna turn into wolves.”
    The woman, presumably Lyles, allows officers to enter, and she explains the break-in to the cops. The children can be heard in the background as she answers questions. The conversation seems civil as she lists the items missing, and then the officers yell “Get back!” approximately 11 seconds before gunshots are heard.
    According to the Seattle Times, one of the officers mentioned scissors in an unreleased portion of the audio.
    Two white Seattle law-enforcement officers opened fire on a pregnant, black mother of four Sunday morning, killing the 30-year-old in front of her children after she called police to report a burglary.
    Charleena Lyles was living in transitional housing for homeless families in Seattle, according to the Seattle Patch, when she dialed 911 to report an attempted burglary. In a statement, Police Detective Mark Lyles wrote, “Although this was a typical burglary report, two officers were required due to information pertaining to this address that presented an increased risk to officers.”
    KIRO7 News reports that the police officers knew Lyles, so they sent two police officers because they were “concerned for their safety”—which is understandable, considering the threat of the undersized, petite woman whom family members called “tiny” and said “weighs, like, nothing, soaking wet.”
    However, police officers said that when they arrived at the fourth-floor apartment, Lyles confronted them with a knife, causing them to open fire on her, even though there were several children in the apartment with her.
    The police have issued few details, but using The Root’s proprietary algorithm for police shootings of black people, we can predict exactly what will happen next:
    1. Seattle police officers will smear the victim with menacing photographs and release her criminal history.
    2. The officers will be placed on paid leave, meaning that taxpayers will continue to give them full pay even though they are not working (referred to by many, including some dictionaries, as “vacation”).
    3. The officers will meet with police-union officials and create a story that revolves around how they “feared for their life.”
    4. There will be a march, a community vigil and a hashtag.
    5. The police who shot her will never serve a day in jail.

    Family members say that the victim was receiving counseling for mental-health issues. Lyles was also the subject of a 2008 news story about how she had entered a program for at-risk youths, using it to get off welfare and get a full-time job.
    Seattle Mayor Ed Murray has promised a full investigation, and Lyles’ family is demanding answers to questions such as:

    1. Is it standard procedure to open fire in a home filled with children?
    2. What was the relationship between Lyles and police that made police think two cops needed to be sent to her home?
    3. How is a cop surprised that a woman reporting a burglary, at home alone with her children, would answer the door with a weapon or some form of protection?
    4. Why did two officers feel that pepper spray, a baton or even a Taser wouldn’t be enough to subdue a 30-year-old pregnant mother of four?
    The Seattle Police Department has remained mum, but again, our algorithm has already deduced the answer to all of these questions:
    Because they can.
    The two officers—an 11-year veteran and a “newer” officer—have been placed on paid leave. The Seattle Times, the Seattle Patch and KIRO7 News have all reported on Lyles’ criminal record.

    Michael Harriot is a staff writer at The Root, host of "The Black One" podcast and editor-in-chief of the daily digital magazine NegusWhoRead.