Thursday, October 26

It's Obvious We've Learned Nothing From the Past...

In the last 10 years the police departments have learned nothing, at least about what not to do. If anything, instead of learning how to make things better, smoother between themselves and the citizenry, they've actually made things worse, as much worse as they can. How much worse can they get than this incident though? This happened more than 10 years ago.

This is a long post, but please read to the end, and then let me know in the comments if you agree or not; have relations between the police and the citizenry gotten better or worse?

             Cops Beat & Kidnap 12-yo Girl in Front of Her Home,                                                      Claiming She Was a Prostitute

When her mother and father came outside after hearing her cries for help she was desperately holding a tree with one arm while plainclothes officers were beating her in the head, neck and throat.

Dymond Milburn, now 20-years-old, was an honor student attending advanced classes at Austin Middle School, when her life would be forever scarred by Galveston police.
On the night of August 22, 2006 at 7:45 PM, Emily Milburn was preparing her children for school the next day, when a breaker broke, cutting off electricity to the family’s home. Emily asked her daughter, Dymond, to go outside and hit the switch, located downstairs and outside the house.
When Dymond went outside the house toward the breaker box, a blue van drove up to the house and three men jumped out and start attacking her. One of the men grabbed Dymond and said “You’re a prostitute. You’re coming with me.”
Like anyone in their right mind would, Dymond resisted being pulled into a van with complete strangers. Dymond grabbed a tree and started yelling “Daddy, Daddy, Daddy.” 
Officer David Roark had his hand over the mouth of Milburn when her father came out on the balcony after hearing his daughter’s cries for help. The other officers, Justin Popovich and Sean Stewart, beat Dymond’s face, head and throat while their supervisor, Sgt. Gilbert Gomez, watched on in approval.
Dymond’s parents approached the cops and said “That’s our daughter. She’s twelve.” Roark responded “I don’t care if she’s twenty-two, thirty-two, or forty-six.”

The cops dragged Dymond into the van. Obviously they were now well aware that the kidnapping they had intended had gone wrong, so they decided to drop Dymond off at a hospital.
The examining physician found that the girl had injuries from multiple blows to the head, face, neck, lower back, left shoulder, and left hip/waist area. She suffered a contusion to the back of the head (where she was struck with a flashlight). There were abrasions on her arm and wrist. Dymond’s throat was swollen; she had difficulty swallowing, nausea and vomiting, and hoarseness of voice due to being struck in the throat. She had black eyes, scalp lacerations, tenderness of the vertebrae. She was experiencing double vision and loss of hearing. Dymond’s ear drum and nose were also injured (blood in ear, bruised nasal septum, and nose bleed).
After the attack, Dymond suffered from PTSD, nightmares, and an inability to concentrate in school.
When she finally healed enough (physically) to return to school a horrible surprise was waiting for her. Police showed up to Austin Middle School and arrested Dymond for resisting and assaulting a peace officer. A twelve year old girl!
In a blatant disregard of logic and common sense, the court system in Galveston felt these charges were justified and Milburn was actually charged with assault on an officer and tried, twice! After three years and two mistrials, the DA finally dropped her case.
Immediately after her criminal trials, the family filed a civil suit, naming the four officers as plaintiffs. After multiple appeals by officers, including asking the court to dismiss the case based upon qualified immunity, meaning that the officers were just doing their job and are thereby shielded from civil liability, a settlement has yet to have been reached.
None of the officers were fired. In fact Gomez went on to work for the department up until 2012 when he started his own private detective services. 2 years after he beat a 12 year-old girl to the point of hospitalization, Officer Sean Stewart was named Galveston “Officer of the year”!
This story is one of the most brutal examples of a failed justice system. Unfortunately, the state has learned nothing from it.
Just this past Thursday, Danièle Watts, star of Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, wrote on her Facebook page that she was handcuffed and thrown into the back of a police cruiser after failing to provide officers with ID.
The reason for the kidnapping….cops assumed she was a prostitute. She had done absolutely nothing wrong.
Even though it is as old as it is, I posted this because it brought back a very old memory for me, one I had thought long buried.
I don't even remember how old I was, it's been that long ago; had to be somewhere between 18 and 22. I was walking down a short street on my way to a specific destination when I saw a friend of mine drive by in his van. I called his name and waved my arms vigorously, hoping he'd look in his side mirror and see me. Fortunately he did, but I've never been much of a runner so it took me a minute to get to where he was sitting at the stop sign. We chatted for a moment, and I asked him for a ride home (I didn't want him to know where I was going, but home was close) and he said yes. I got in, we went to the light at the end of the next block which was red. When it turned green we made a right, then went 6 or 7 blocks, and he dropped me off. I went and did what I'd planned, then went in the house. About 6 hours later (this had happened around noon) I caught the bus down to People's Drugstore (yes, it was that long ago!! LOL) made a purchase and came out. I saw a very close friend of mine, and we were walking up the street joking and laughing and playfully holding hands. We went two blocks to the bus stop that would take me home, and I sat on his lap on the bench, continuing to play around. When the bus pulled up I rose and was moving toward it when suddenly two men in plain clothes ran up and grabbed me. I of course started screaming and fighting, as I had no idea who these men were. They forcibly shoved my friend away when he tried to help me, and at the same time the bus driver was standing and about to come down the steps toward us. That was when one of them fished in his pocket and pulled out his wallet, and began flashing his badge! I calmed down, and asked what the heck was going on, and they told me that I was under arrest for prostitution! That they had seen me that afternoon (6 hours earlier) but when I got in the van I had "managed to lose" them during the straight up the street 6 block ride!! (What a crock, right?) The guy I was with and I both told them I had just come from the store, but when they threatened him with arrest for obstruction (trying to help me when they grabbed me) he left. They took me in, and I was in jail for a few hours then released on personal bond. Fast forward to my court date. I had gotten the gentleman who'd given me the ride to be a witness for me, and he was someone who knew the court well, as he was the head of several juvenile homes where delinquents were usually sent from court. When one of the cops got on the stand and testified, my lawyer got him to admit the span of time between them seeing me and them picking me up, along with the fact that they didn't know where I was coming from, couldn't I have been coming from the drugstore? They were furious!! Then my friend got on the stand, and told them yes he picked me up and took me home! It ended with me being acquitted, which I'd be willing to bet was a first in these guys record!! LOL They were so furious that when it was over, and I was leaving, one of them muttered that they "better not catch me out there again"!! I knew what that meant, they'd get me for something if they had to stick it on me themselves!! I found another drug store to shop in!! LOL
It's really not funny that I had to do that, but it goes to show how long this stuff has been going on, and all it's done is gotten worse.

Thursday, October 19

Trump Offered the Father of a Fallen Soldier $25,000, Then Reneged: Report

It wasn't enough for Trump to tell a pregnant widow with three (3) children that her husband "knew what he was getting into'  (I guess he meant when the soldier joined the military) but he guessed "it still hurt"; now he's calling the father of a killed soldier and promising to give him $25,000 out of  his own account, and that his staff would begin an online fundraiser. (for what, I wonder?)  The problem with that is, he didn't do it! He does these grandiose gestures and then after he's lauded for how great a thing that was, he just forgets all about it!! Or did he...

When a U.S. Army sergeant was killed recently, Donald Trump reportedly made a personal phone call to his grieving father, offered him $25,000 and told him that his staff would start an online fundraiser for the family. The father is now saying that neither the money nor the fundraiser ever came through.
Army Sgt. Dillon Baldridge, 22, and two of his fellow soldiers were killed by an Afghan police officer June 10. The Washington Post reports that Trump called his father, Chris Baldridge, a few weeks after he died. The two men spoke for about 15 minutes, mostly focused on the elder Baldridge’s concerns that his son was shot and killed by someone he was training.
“I said, ‘Me and my wife would rather our son died in trench warfare,’” Baldridge told the Post. “I feel like he got murdered over there.”
The Baldridges’ experience with Trump adds to mounting and disturbing concerns about how the president deals with families and spouses of fallen soldiers.
Chris Baldridge and his son Dillon Baldridge. (Family Photo)
 from the Washington Post
When the Post reached out to the White House on Wednesday morning, officials there declined to discuss the Baldridges situation.
On Wednesday afternoon, however, White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said in a statement: “The check has been sent. It’s disgusting that the media is taking something that should be recognized as a generous and sincere gesture, made privately by the president, and using it to advance the media’s biased agenda.”
No, Lindsay, that’s not what’s happening here. The media simply recognizes that your boss has a troublesome relationship with the truth, and we want to make sure he’s not making empty promises to the families of soldiers who have died in service to this country. The same soldiers, by the way, your boss wants to invoke any time he decides to rail on players in the NFL kneeling during the national anthem. 
As the Post notes, it took President Barack Obama 18 months to fulfill a similar promise to the family of Kayla Mueller, who died while being held captive by the Islamic State group in Syria. Obama had promised an undisclosed amount to be used to set up a charity in Mueller’s name, and when ABC News brought attention to it, the money was finally delivered—and Obama called the situation an oversight.
Trump claimed this week that he has “called every family of somebody that’s died, and it’s the hardest call to make.” The Post interviewed 13 of the at least 20 families that have had family members killed in action since Trump became president in January, and at least half of those families said they had not received a phone call from Trump.
In Baldridge’s father’s case, when he expressed his frustration that the $100,000 death gratuity was going to go to his ex-wife—who was his son’s beneficiary—he said the president made him a promise that shocked him.
“He said, ‘I’m going to write you a check out of my personal account for $25,000,’ and I was just floored,” the elder Baldridge told the Post. “I could not believe he was saying that, and I wish I had it recorded because the man did say this. He said, ‘No other president has ever done something like this,’ but he said, ‘I’m going to do it.’ ”
Baldridge told the Post that he has only received a letter of condolence from Trump.
“I opened it up and read it, and I was hoping to see a check in there, to be honest,” the father said. “I know it was kind of farfetched thinking. But I was like, ‘Damn, no check.’ Just a letter saying ‘I’m sorry.’”
A letter saying I"m sorry? As much as he talks about how great the servicemen defending our country are, you'd think he could do more than say I'm sorry! He could at least keep his word...
DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed in this blog are strictly those of the blog author, and in no way express the views of The Root, WordPress, Blogger, Google or any other entity (i.e. news services) whose content and/or services may have been accessed for use in this blog. 

Monday, October 16

Colin Kaepernick Has Filed a Grievance Against NFL for Collusion

There's not much to be said about this one except, do you think he's right? Post a comment below.

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has filed a grievance against the NFL, alleging the owners colluded to keep him out of the league because of his protests during the playing of the national anthem before games.

The grievance alleges the league's owners "colluded to deprive Mr. Kaepernick of employment rights in retaliation for Mr. Kaepernick's leadership and advocacy for equality and social justice."

The NFL did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Instead of filing the grievance through the NFL Players Association, Kaepernick has hired attorney Mark Geragos, who has represented several high-profile clients, including Michael Jackson, former NASCAR driver Jeremy Mayfield and musician Chris Brown.

Geragos said in a statement given first to ABC News Sunday night that the grievance was filed "only after pursuing every possible avenue with all NFL teams and their executives."

Kaepernick's goal, he said, was just to be treated fairly and to return to playing football in the NFL, "the league he performed at the highest level for."

The NFL Players Association said in a statement that it had been in contact with Kaepernick for the past year about his options, but only today learned he had decided to file the grievance, through media reports.

"Our union has a duty to assist Mr. Kaepernick as we do all players and we will support him," the statement said, adding that the union is scheduling a call with his advisers for early this week.

Kaepernick, who has not been with an NFL team since he severed his contract with the 49ers in March, began his silent protest of kneeling during the anthem in the 2016 preseason. He told the media he was protesting against the treatment of blacks in the United States.

Some other NFL players followed his lead during the 2016 season, drawing a mixed response from football fans and the general public, with some supporting the protest and others not.

But Kaepernick's most visible impact seemed to come at the start of this season, even though he himself had not been signed to a team, after President Trump at a campaign-style rally in Alabama slammed NFL players who participate in the protest.

from Business Insider

The president told the crowd at the rally on Sept. 22 that teams should fire players who kneel during the anthem.

from USA  Today
In response at NFL games over the next few days, many more players kneeled during the anthem or locked arms with teammates and in some cases also with their team's owners.

In his statement, Geragos did not name the president, but referred to Trump's call for protesting players to be fired, saying: "Athletes should not be denied employment based on partisan political provocation by the executive branch of our government. Such a precedent threatens all patriotic Americans and harkens back to our darkest days as a nation."

ABC News' Sunny Hostin and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed in this blog are strictly those of the blog author, and in no way express the views of ABC, USA Today, Business Insider, Blogger, Google or any other entity (i.e. news services) whose content and/or services may have been accessed for use in this blog. 

Tuesday, October 10

Is This What They Consider Getting Even?

Black Man Beaten During Charlottesville Rally Charged With Felony

In August, two men were charged in the beating of a black man during a rally of white nationalists in Charlottesville, Va., in an assault that was captured on video and widely shared.

DeAndre Harris was assaulted in a parking garage during
a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., on Aug. 12.
 CreditZach D. Roberts, via Associated Press

On Monday, a local magistrate in Charlottesville issued an arrest warrant for the man who was beaten, accusing him of the same felony offense.
DeAndre Harris, 20, was beaten with a metal pipe and wooden boards by at least six men inside a parking garage on Aug. 12, and efforts to identify his assailants became a rallying cry on social media in the days after the “Unite the Right” rally. At least two men were identified, and they were charged with malicious wounding:Alex Michael Ramos, 33; and Daniel P. Borden, 18.
But right-wing critics portrayed Mr. Harris as the instigator, a claim he and his lawyer have strongly denied. The warrant issued on Monday stems from a statement given by one of Mr. Harris’s unnamed assailants, referred to in a police statement as “the victim,” to the authorities.
“The victim went to the Magistrate’s office, presented the facts of what occurred and attempted to obtain the warrant,” the police in Charlottesville said in the statement. “The magistrate requested that a detective respond and verify these facts. A Charlottesville Police Department detective did respond, verified the facts and a warrant for Unlawful Wounding (Va Code 18.2-51) was issued.”
The charge of malicious wounding is a felony punishable by one to five years in prison. Mr. Harris will turn himself in to the authorities in the coming days, his lawyer, S. Lee Merritt, said on Tuesday.
Mr. Merritt said that the person who brought the complaint had been injured in a separate confrontation, and that the charge had no merit. Mr. Harris, who was holding a flashlight, had been pursued and surrounded, he said.
Continue reading the main story
“While he participated in some of the jeering of the white supremacists in his city, letting them know they were not welcome there, he did not instigate any physical assault,” Mr. Merritt said. “That was done by the men carrying blunt objects and weapons.”
The attack in the parking garage was among the most high-profile instances of violence during the Charlottesville rally, a flash point moment in American race relations. Hundreds of white nationalists gathered to protest the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee, and a 32-year-old woman, Heather D. Heyer, was killed when a man drove a car into a crowd of counterprotesters. The suspected driver, James Alex Fields Jr., was charged with second-degree murder.
Mr. Harris, an instructional aide for children in special education classes, sustained a broken wrist and a head wound that required 10 staples. Moments before the attack in the parking garage, Mr. Harris had intervened in a scuffle after a friend tried to yank a Confederate flag away from a marcher, Mr. Merritt said.
“He’s trying to get away,” Mr. Merritt said of Mr. Harris in August. “They are surrounding him and beating him over the head with blunt objects. Their only defense is going to be self-defense, but under no one’s legal standard is it self-defense to chase after someone wielding a flashlight when one of his friends is being speared with a pole, and then beating him maliciously.”
After the attack, Mr. Harris quit his job and moved away from Charlottesville, Mr. Merritt said. Mr. Harris was fearful he would be attacked if he returned to Charlottesville, Mr. Merritt said.
One group of men was photographed beating a lone person who was carrying a flashlight. Out of the group, two men were charged with  the beating. That was in August. TWO MONTHS LATER (Monday, Oct. 9), someone goes to the magistrate and claims that the earlier victim had beat HIM??? Come on! So instead of laughing hysterically at such a transparent attempt to get even, they send a cop out to 'investigate' who comes back and lo and behold! earlier victim is now assailant! I don't understand how it happens....

DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed in this blog are strictly those of the blog author, and in no way express the views of WordPress, Blogger, Google or any other entity (i.e. news services) whose content and/or services may have been accessed for use in this blog. 

Tuesday, October 3

Pat Robertson blames the Vegas mass shooting on Democrats & the NFL

What kind of Christian blames people for an act of God? God does not punish a group of people who've done nothing because of the acts of another group of people. If God felt that the people protesting the injustice and inequality in this country were doing something so wrong that it deserved Him stepping in, He'd punish them, not a group of people who had nothing to do with it. Pat Robertson, have  you still not learned??
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, accompanied by Rev. Pat Robertson, gives a thumbs up to the crowd after speaking at Regent University in Virginia Beach, Va., Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016. AP Photo/Steve Helber

Televangelist Pat Robertson is known for his kooky statements. He ran for President in 1991 and lost, but in the days of Trump he might have had a shot.
Best known for blaming LGBT people for natural disasters, this time Robertson stooped to a new low. He blamed the worst mass shooting in American history – with over 58 dead and 500 wounded – on democrats and the NFL according to Right Wing Watch.
“Violence in the streets, ladies and gentlemen. Why is it happening?” he asked. “The fact that we have disrespect for authority; there is profound disrespect for our president, all across this nation they say terrible things about him. It’s in the news, it’s in other places. There is disrespect now for our national anthem, disrespect for our veterans, disrespect for the institutions of our government, disrespect for the court system. All the way up and down the line, disrespect.”
“Until there is biblical authority,” Robertson continued, “there has to be some controlling authority in our society and there is none. And when there is no vision of God, the people run amok … and we have taken from the American people the vision of God, the whole idea of reward and punishment, an ultimate judge of all our actions, we’ve taken that away. When there is no vision of God, the people run amok.”