Category: Corruption


Silver’s Law Firm Rakes In Millions From Judges He Controls

 

 

 

 

His law firm, Weitz & Luxenberg, gets its asbestos cases — and paydays — moved more quickly than those of other attorneys, and reaps a fortune from favorable rulings by friendly judges, charge lawyers and tort-reform advocates.

  Silver’s East Village firm handles more than half the cases in a special section of Manhattan Supreme Court called NYCAL (New York City Asbestos Litigation). So dominant is the firm, the court’s Web site refers to cases as “Weitz” or “non-Weitz.

  The chief asbestos judge, Sherry Klein Heitler — also Manhattan’s chief civil judge — has handled dozens of Weitz & Luxenberg cases.

They’ve taken over a section of the courthouse, and the people in charge of the courthouse run it for them,” said a disgusted lawyer who files personal-injury cases in Manhattan. “It pours money into the firm.”

The firm told investigators it hired Silver, who has no experience in asbestos cases, in 2002, because it hoped to “increase the firm’s prestige and perceived power,” according to last week’s federal indictment charging Silver raked in about $4 million in bribes and kickbacks.

  That perceived power has paid off, critics say.

  Last year, at Weitz & Luxenberg’s request, Heitler reversed a 20-year rule barring punitive damages in asbestos cases, paving the way for much bigger jury awards and putting pressure on defendants to settle.

  Another judge, Joan Madden, consolidated unrelated asbestos cases. Joining up to seven plaintiffs has resulted in huge increases in NYCAL jury verdicts — from an average of $7 million to $24 million per plaintiff between 2010 and 2014, data collected by Bates White Economic Consulting show.

  Last year, Weitz & Luxenberg won a record $190 million in a consolidated trial for five mesothelioma victims who worked in different jobs for different employers.

  Of 15 mesothelioma verdicts in the last four years, Silver’s firm won $273.5 million of $313.5 million awarded by NYCAL juries. Law firms usually take a third.

  The average award for a NYCAL asbestos case — nearly $16 million per plaintiff between 2010 and 2014 — is two to three times larger than those in other courts nationwide, Bates White reported last month at an asbestos law conference in New York.”

 

NY Post

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’re Gonna Need A Longer Motorcade…

 

 

 

 

 

” The broker America gets, the longer its presidential motorcade gets. If you don’t got it, flaunt it, baby! But President-in-Waiting Hillary Rodham Clinton is already giving out signals that a mere 40-car motorcade may no longer be enough. This week she gave a speech in Saskatoon, which is a town in Saskatchewan, which is a province of Canada. The speech was for the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, which is “under investigation from the United States for helping wealthy Americans offshore money in the bank’s Caribbean accounts to avoid paying federal taxes”. I’m on CIBC’s side on that one: By comparison with other western nations, Americans labor under a regime of ever tighter banking constraints that are a disgrace to a supposedly free people.

  So if she wants to cozy up to foreign banksters (as they say in Britain), you go, girl! Nevertheless:

  Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave a couple paid speeches in Canada yesterday. She was reportedly accompanied by 65 agents of the United States Secret Service to at least one of the events.

  The agents were presumably on hand to help keep the former first lady safe…

  It’s unclear what part, if any, of the security tab was picked up by Clinton — and what part was paid for by U.S. taxpayers. “

 

Read it all 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

—-

Illinois Says Rule-Breaking Students Must Give Teachers Their Facebook Passwords

 

 

 

 

 

” School districts in Illinois are telling parents that a new law may require school officials to demand the social media passwords of students if they are suspected in cyberbullying cases or are otherwise suspected of breaking school rules.

  The law, which went into effect on January 1, defines cyberbullying and makes harassment on Facebook, Twitter, or via other digital means a violation of the state’s school code, even if the bullying happens outside of school hours.

  A letter sent out to parents in the Triad Community Unit School District #2, a district located just over the Missouri-Illinois line near St. Louis, that was obtained by Motherboard says that school officials can demand students give them their passwords. The full letter is embedded below.

” If your child has an account on a social networking website, e.g., Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, ask.fm, etc., please be aware that State law requires school authorities to notify you that your child may be asked to provide his or her password for these accounts to school officials in certain circumstances,” the letter says.”

 

Story continues

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UK Decision To Lower Flags After Death Of Saudi King Stirs Debate

 

 

 

 

 

” The government’s decision on Friday to lower British flags following the death of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah has stirred controversy, with critics pointing to the kingdom’s poor human rights record.

  Tributes from world leaders have poured in for the late monarch, seen by some as a cautious moderniser in a turbulent region, but criticised by others as not having done enough to reform an absolute monarchy adhering to a severe form of Islam.

  Saudi law, which forbids women from driving and punishes apostasy with death, is derived from Wahhabi Islam, an ultraconservative sect whose clergy have provided Saudi rulers with religious legitimacy.

” Your flag flying insults every woman in the United Kingdom, HOW DARE YOU,” tweeted former Conservative lawmaker Louise Mensch.

  Lawyer and journalist Glenn Greenwald tweeted: “UK orders flags flown at half-mast for King Abdullah. Will return to lecturing the world about democracy tomorrow.” “

 

Yahoo News

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Footage Of Cop Shooting Man With Raised Hands Stirs Anger In South Jersey

 

 

 

” A police officer shooting a man with raised hands is stirring anger in South Jersey.

  The video from a police dashboard camera shows Bridgeton officers Braheme Days and Roger Worley in a Dec. 30 stop that goes awry, with Days yelling at the passenger, Jerame Reid, “Show me your hands!”

“ If you reach for something, you’re going to be f—- dead!” he yells in the video, as reported by the New York Post. Reid then gets shot.”

 

 

    Decide for yourself , but what we see here in the above video is an “amped up” cop screaming and cursing who immediately shoots the alleged suspect as he steps out of the car with his hands in the air . Another man dead at the hands of the State over a failure to stop at a stop sign . 

Read on

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cop Records Himself Shooting Man For Running Away

 

 

 

 

 

 

” The Muskogee, Oklahoma Police Department just released the video from a fatal on-duty police shooting Friday. The whole thing was captured by an officer’s body camera, and what it shows is horrifying.

  Officer Chansey McMillin can be seen shooting and killing 21-year-old Terence D. Walker back on January 17th. The only observable reason why he as shot was for running from police who confronted him.

  The video documents what otherwise might have been in dispute, that Officer McMillin fired five shots at Walker when the suspect stopped to pick up an item he dropped while running away.”

 

    While the object that Walker dropped may or may not have been a gun , what we saw in the video was a fleeing suspect stop , bend down to retrieve something , and then continue running away . We did not see the suspect turn towards the officer or make any threatening moves .

 

Read more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

U-M fraternity Suspended; University Names 5 Other Greek Orgs Involved In Ski Resort Vandalism

 

Well here's the damage http://t.co/iMqyw0nQ12

 

 

 

” Sigma Alpha Mu’s national office has ordered its University of Michigan chapter to suspend all activities for an indefinite period of time following a weekend of vandalism at a northern Michigan ski resort on Jan. 17-18.

  The university released a statement Thursday evening saying that the SAM national office’s suspension includes all meetings, chapter events, philanthropy, recruitment, candidate education, social activities and other Greek life activities on the Ann Arbor campus.

  The suspension comes after the group caused extensive damage to about 40 rooms at Treetops Resorts in Gaylord. Damages included broken doors, furniture and fixtures, trashing of carpet and other facilities, and broken electronics, and an initial guess estimated damages at about $50,000.”

 

MLive.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

N.Y. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver Accused Of $4 Million Bribery And Kickback Scheme, Dems Continue To Support Him

 

 

 

 

 

” Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver declared his innocence Thursday after facing bombshell federal corruption charges of soliciting $4 million in dirty money over the last 15 years.

“ I am confident that after a full hearing and due process, I will be vindicated of these charges,” a relaxed Silver announced after his release on $200,000 bond following a Manhattan Federal Court hearing.

  Silver, spied earlier taking an uncomfortable ride to the courthouse alongside an FBI agent, made his brief appearance after U.S. Attorney Preet Bhahara blasted him as the epitome of a corrupt politician.

“ For many years, New Yorkers have asked the question, ‘How could Speaker Silver, one of the most powerful men in New York, earn millions of dollars in outside income without deeply compromising his ability to honestly serve his constituents?’” said Bharara.

“ Today we provide the answer: He didn’t.” “

 

Be sure to read it all at The Daily News … this moment has been a long time coming …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 01.21.15

 

National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

 

 

” Here are the nine reports of police misconduct tracked for Wednesday, January 21, 2015:

  • Moundsville, West Virginia: An officer was arrested for sex with a minor. He allegedly contacted the then-15-year-old girl on a social media site and met her at his residence. ow.ly/HGNy4
  • Stamford, Connecticut: An officer was arrested for breach of the peace after he allegedly put his wife in a headlock. Following his arrest, he checked-in to an alcohol abuse treatment facility. ow.ly/HGO0n
  • New York, New York: An officer was nabbed in a prostitution sting.ow.ly/HHtzc
  • Michigan State Police: A trooper was arrested on DUI and open container charges. The 15-year MSP veteran was placed on leave.  ow.ly/HHzsd
  • Update: Aledo, Illinois (First reported 12-17-14): A now-former officer pled not guilty to aggravated sexual assault with a weapon. He was forced to resign from the department earlier this month. His is alleged to have touched the breast of a minor who was between the ages of 13 and 17 at the time of the incident. ow.ly/HHEvG
  • Jefferson County, Ohio: A deputy was arrested for firing a gun in city limits. He is suspended without pay. ow.ly/HHQgG
  • Knox County, Tennessee: A deputy was arrested for domestic violence and drugged driving. He allegedly got in an argument with his wife over his prescription drug use, broke her cell phone and the house phone when she tried to call 911, and pushed their 15-year-old son down some stairs.  ow.ly/HHSK7
  • Bibb County, Georgia: A deputy was arrested for battery after altercation with his wife. He is suspended pending investigation into the incident.  ow.ly/HHUFY
  • Danbury, Connecticut: An officer was fired for violating professional standards after unnecessary force used during arrest. The deputy mayor wrote in the letter of termination, “I expect that all police officers act professionally, treat all persons with dignity and respect, (and) refrain from threatening persons with arrest or use of force simply because they appear to disrespect an officer.”  ow.ly/HI4NZ
 
 

Creative Commons License
This work by Cato Institute is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Center For American Progress, Poised To Wield Influence Over 2016, Reveals Its Top Donors

 

 

 

 

” The Center for American Progress, the preeminent liberal think tank in Washington, is poised to exert outsized influence over the 2016 president race and — should Hillary Clinton win it — the policies and agenda of the 45th President of the United States. CAP founder John Podesta is set to run Clinton’s presidential campaign, and current CAP president Neera Tanden is a longtime Clinton confidante and adviser. CAP recently rolled out a major blueprint for combat wage stagnation and inequality that many view as a template for a Clinton economic agenda, and there are surely more major policy statements to come.

  So interest in CAP’s funding sources — and its internal workings in general — is likely to intensify and take on a political cast.

  Today, CAP is revealing its major 2014 donors, after taking some criticism for lack of transparency. The organization provided me two lists of its donors, which you can read right here and right here. The first is for the C (3), the nonpartisan think tank arm; the second is for the more political, issue-advocacy-oriented c (4).

  Perhaps most notably, given CAP’s advocacy for an economically progressive agenda, is that CAP’s top donors include Walmart and Citigroup, each of which have given between $100,000 and $499,000. Other donors to CAP — a leading advocate of health care reform — include the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, which represents leading biotech and bio-pharma firms, and Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, both of which have given up to $49,000.”

 

 

Here is the list of “evil corporations” that are supporting CAP and by extension , Hillary Clinton …

 

 

” $1,000,000 or more

Anonymous (3)
Ford Foundation
The Hutchins Family Foundation
Sandler Foundation
TomKat Charitable Trust

 
$500,000 to $999,999

Anonymous (2)
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Joyce Foundation
Not On Our Watch
Open Square Charitable Gift Fund
Embassy of United Arab Emirates
Walton Family Foundation
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

 
$100,000 to $499,999

Anonymous (10)
A.L. Mailman Family Foundation
Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, or AFSCME
American Iron and Steel Institute
Annie E. Casey Foundation
Apple Inc.

The Arcus Foundation
Avatar Alliance Foundation
The Barkley Fund
Blackstone
Blue Moon Fund
Citigroup
The Crimson Lion Lavine Family Foundation
Quinn Delaney and Wayne Jordan
Deloitte Consulting
David desJardins
Blair Effron
Joanne and Paul Egerman
Embrey Family Foundation
Gill Foundation
Google
The Henry Luce Foundation
Irving Harris Foundation
Joan and Irwin Jacobs
Tony James
Embassy of Japan
John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
The Kresge Foundation
Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust
Linden Trust for Conservation
Mars Incorporated
Microsoft Corporation
Constance J. Milstein
The Murphy Family Foundation
National Education Association, or NEA
New Venture Fund
New York Community Trust—BDEK Fund
The Nick and Leslie Hanauer Foundation
Open Society Foundations
Peter G. Peterson Foundation
Robert W. Roche
The Rockefeller Foundation
Sixteen Thirty Fund
Steve Silberstein
Jay T. Snyder
Stoneman Family Foundation
W.K. Kellogg Foundation
Walmart 

 

$50,000 to $99,999

Anonymous (3)
Altman Kazickas Foundation
American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO
Fomento Social Banamex
Bank of America
Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller Fund
CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield
Daimler
Mark Gallogly
Goldman Sachs
Sanjay Govil
Agnes Gund
Hagedorn Foundation
Hunt Alternatives
Israel Institute
Johnson Family Foundation
Fred Khosravi
Orin S. Kramer
LaSalle Adams Fund
McGraw Hill Financial
Rebecca and Nathan Milikowsky
National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation
National Collegiate Athletic Association
Nordic Council of Ministers
Palantir
PepsiCo
Steven Rattner and Maureen White
Rockefeller Family Fund
Robert E. Rubin
Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States, or TECRO
Time Warner Inc.
Henry van Ameringen
Visa Inc.
Waitt Foundation
WhyNot Initiative “

 

    Take note of the foreign donors as well as all the “evil corporate” money gathered by these hypocritical liberals .The list goes on as does the story at the Washington Post

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Journalism School Dean: The First Amendment Ends At Insulting Mohammed

 

 

 

” Unusual, not because it’s rare to see an American journalist bowing to Islamic sensibilities on depictions of Mohammed but because typically they don’t go so far as to demand legal limits on their own profession. When the New York Times refuses to run a cartoon goofing on Islam, they don’t want the reason to be government censorship. They prefer to be censored by more sympathetic agents, like violent Muslim radicals.

  To be precise here, though, DeWayne Hickham, the dean of Morgan State’s J-school, isn’t demanding a “Mohammed exception” to the First Amendment. He’s demanding an exception for all speech that would make the audience so angry that they might react violently — exactly the sort of slippery slope on censorship that people like you and me worry about when images of Mohammed are suppressed. Actual line from this op-ed, regarding the new cover of Charlie Hebdo: “The once little-known French satirical news weekly crossed the line that separates free speech from toxic talk.”

  The most current issue of Charlie Hebdo again has Mohammed on its cover. This time, he appears crying under a headline that reads: “All is forgiven.” Well, apparently not. Ten people have been killed during protests in Niger, a former French colony. Other anti-French riots have erupted from North Africa to Asia. In reaction to all of this, Pope Francis has said of the magazine, “You cannot make fun of the faith of others.”… “

 

Read it all at Hot Air

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sheldon Silver, New York Assembly Speaker, Faces Arrest On Corruption Charges

 

 

 

 

” Federal authorities are expected to arrest Sheldon Silver, the powerful speaker of the New York State Assembly, on corruption charges on Thursday, people with knowledge of the matter said. The case is likely to throw Albany into disarray at the beginning of a new session.

  The investigation that led to the expected charges against Mr. Silver, a Democrat from the Lower East Side of Manhattan who has served as speaker for more than two decades, began after Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in March abruptly shut down an anticorruption commission he had created in 2013.

  Details of the specific charges to be brought against Mr. Silver were unclear on Wednesday night, but one of the people with knowledge of the matter said they stemmed from payments that Mr. Silver received from a small law firm that specializes in seeking reductions of New York City real estate taxes. The total amount of the payments was unclear, but another person has said they were substantial and were made over several years.

  Mr. Silver failed to list the payments from the firm, Goldberg & Iryami, on his annual financial disclosure filings with the state, as required.”

     God bless Preet Bharara and the Federal prosecutor’s office . It looks like Gov Cuomo’s shutdown of the Moreland commission was not enough to save one of the Dem’s favorite sons . Heres hoping Silver finishes his days in an 8×8 cell . Wishful thinking , I know , but one can hope .

Read more at the NY Times

Supreme Court Backs Former Air Marshal In Whistleblower Case

 

 

 

 

” The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that a former air marshal can seek whistleblower protections for disclosing sensitive information to the news media about the absence of security officers on certain flights.

  On a 7-2 vote, the court rejected arguments made by President Barack Obama’s administration, which was seeking to reverse an appeals court ruling favoring whistleblower Robert MacLean, who was fired for the 2003 leak.

” I believe the ruling will give other federal employees more confidence to expose wrongdoing,” MacLean, who was fired in 2006 and now works in residential construction management in California, said in an interview.

  The legal question was whether MacLean’s actions may be protected by the U.S. Whistleblower Protection Act, a law that protects employees if a disclosure exposes unlawful conduct, gross mismanagement or threats to public safety.

  In an opinion by Chief Justice John Roberts, the court concluded that U.S. Transportation Security Administration regulations that prohibited MacLean’s disclosures did not have sufficient legal force to bar him from receiving protections under the Whistleblower Protection Act.”

 

Reuters has the whole story

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 01.17.15 to 01.19.15

 

National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

 

 

” Here are the nine reports of police misconduct tracked for Saturday, January 17 through Monday, January 19, 2015:

  • Columbia, South Carolina: An officer was suspended without pay after a use-of-force incident was caught on video and made public. He is shown in the video repeatedly striking a suspect who appears to be  subdued. The internal investigation is ongoing. http://ow.ly/HBrGp
  • Holly Springs, Georgia: A now-former officer was indicted on false statement and theft by deception charges. He is alleged to have lied about receiving the Purple Heart on several official documents which allowed him to receive tax benefits to which he was not entitled. http://ow.ly/HEpjM
  • Washington, Pennsylvania: An officer’s plea deal was rejected by a judge. He’s accused of tipping-off a prostitute to a police sting. He is alleged to have had an ongoing sexual relationship with the woman. ow.ly/HBodm
  • West Monroe, Louisiana: An officer was arrested and charged with negligent homicide in shooting of a homeless man.ow.ly/HBs9T
  • Prescott Valley, Arizona: A police commander has resigned after he was caught stealing prescription drugs that had been turned-in by the public to be destroyed. ow.ly/HDpBe
  • New York, New York: The city and police department settled a lawsuit for $75,000. The suit alleged two officers used a chokehold against a driver during a traffic stop. Chokeholds have been banned by the NYPD since 1993. ow.ly/HDtw8
  • Pine Beach, New Jersey: An officer was charged with DUI after accidentally shooting a friend in his car in an off-duty incident. The wound was not life-threatening.  ow.ly/HDB3m
  • North Miami Beach, Florida: An officer faces disciplinary action for ‘conduct unbecoming’ after his arrest at a protest. He allegedly refused to remove his mask or provide identification until he was found to be carrying a firearm.  ow.ly/HEhf2
  • UPDATE: Wichita Falls, Texas (First reported 03-24-12): A now-former officer was convicted on three manslaughter counts in fatal crash and was sentenced to eight years in prison. He was driving his patrol car at approximately 75 miles per hour while on prescription medication. He was not responding to an emergency call at the time of the accident that killed a 13-year-old girl and her pregnant 17-year-old cousin. Wichita Falls settled a lawsuit brought by the surviving family in 2012 for $500,000.  ow.ly/HEyAz
 
 

Creative Commons License
This work by Cato Institute is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. “

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘Sociopathic’ Robots Could Overrun The Human Race Within A Generation

 

 

 

 

” We are all doomed to a dystopian future run and controlled by smart machines of our own making – or perhaps not.

  At a session at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Stuart Russell, a leading expert on artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics, made the bold prediction that AI would overtake that of humans “within my children’s lifetime”.

  The chief challenge was to control these advances by making sure that computers continue to serve human needs, rather than become a threat to them, the Berkeley professor argued.

  To do so, it was imperative that robots were endowed with the same values as humans.

  Professor Russell defined the ideal relationship as similar to that of Bertie Wooster and Jeeves where the long-suffering butler understands perfectly what his master wants without needing to be told.

  However, it was possible to envisage a much more dangerous future where “sociopathic” robots become a threat to humans. “

 

The Telegraph

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pew: Americans Say Obama Is A “Good Man” Who Is “Incompetent”

 

 

 

 

” As President Obama finishes the touches on his seventh State of the Union Address, to be delivered tonight at 9 P.M. Eastern Time (come to Reason.com for live blogging and tweeting), here’s something he can chew on: Pew Research asked Americans to sum him up in one word.

  The most popular choices? “Good/Good man” and “Incompetent.” Intelligent is well represented as is “idiot/dumb/stupid,” honest, dictator, liar,awesome, and arrogant.

  In the interest of #realkeeping, George W. Bush was viewed similarly at this point in his presidency:

  At a comparable point in his presidency, incompetent, arrogant and honest were frequently used descriptions of George W. Bush. Bush’s approval rating was lower than Obama’s (33% for Bush then, 47% for Obama today) and negative terms were used more frequently to describe him.”

 

 

Shifting Impressions of Barack Obama

 

 

Read more from Reason and view the poll results here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1,700 Private Jets Descend On Davos For World Economic Forum

 

 

 

 

” Billionaires, world leaders and pop stars are clogging up the skies with their private jets as they descend on the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland to liaise over issues such as terrorism, the central banks and growing economic inequality.

  Over the course of this week, approximately 1,700 private jets are expected to fly into the region, resulting airport traffic increasing by 10% which means that landing spots are in short supply.

  The Swiss Armed Forces have even opened up one of their military air bases for the first time to try and accommodate the increase in traffic. For private jet companies like PrivateFly, Netkets and VistaJet, this is by far their busiest time of year. “

 

Read more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why Police Are Maiming, Killing With ‘Grenades’

 

 

 

 

” Following a drug tip, nearly 20 cops stormed a small apartment outside Atlanta in 2010. Invading officers found only a little weed, but managed to seriously injure resident Treneshia Dukes with a flashbang grenade—a police device that’s drawing increasing attention and controversy, Pro Publica reports. Cops often toss the flash-and-bang devices to disorient suspects during drug raids, but critics note that the grenades’ flash is more hot than lava.At least 50 Americans, including children and cops, have been killed, maimed, or injured by flashbangs that landed near them or went off too soon. Even Bill Nixon, an Arkansas man who used to make flashbangs for police (before an officer lost a hand demonstrating one to Boy Scouts) doesn’t get why cops use them regularly. “It boggles my mind,” he says.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

” Police in Little Rock, Ark., used them on 84% of raids from 2011 to 2013, although the raids usually just turned up minor drug paraphernalia. But a police rep defends flashbang use, saying that “what we see is a large service of warrants without gunfire.” Still, horror stories include a 19-month-old Georgia baby who suffered severe facial injuries during a drug raid when a flashbang landed in her crib, WOKV reports. A grand jury didn’t indict the officers involved but suggested two ideas that are going around: better police training (there are no national flashbang training standards) and fewer “no-knock” warrants that permit police raids. Meanwhile, Dukes—who suffered second-degree burns over her body—has filed a civil suit alleging excessive police force. “My skin is ugly, and I feel like I’m ugly,” she says. “When I talk about it, I just get angry.” “

 

Thanks to Newser

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of More Than 3,000 U.S. Counties, Just 65 Have Recovered From Recession, NACo Says

 

 

NACo 4 indicators

 

 

” Seven years after the recession began, only one in 50 U.S. counties has fully bounced back, according to a study the National Association of Counties released Monday.

  The 2014 County Economic Tracker shows that 65 of the nation’s 3,069 counties have met or surpassed prerecession levels in four measured categories: jobs, unemployment rate, economic output and home prices.

  Those places range from Anderson County, S.C., to McKenzie County, N.D., to Kodiak Island, Alaska.

  National employment surpassed 2007 levels during 2014 and the U.S. gross domestic product had fully recovered from the recession by 2011. But the national unemployment rate was 5.6% in December compared with 5% when the recession began seven years earlier. And housing values in much of the country have yet to fully return.

  The recovered counties are largely located in energy-rich areas and have small populations. Of the 65 recovered counties, 24 are in Texas and 16 are in North Dakota. The others are generally in the middle of the country, including nine in Minnesota and eight in Kansas.

  None of the recovered counties has more than 500,000 residents.”

 

     This article , more than any other demonstrates that the nearly $3 Trillion in government stimulus spending was nothing more than wasteful cronyism handed out to favored unions , interest groups and corporations . Little or none trickled down to benefit the taxpayers actually footing the bill .

Wall Street Journal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two California High School Teachers Arrested For Hosting Boozy Beach Sex Parties With Students

 

 

 

 

” Two California teachers have been arrested on suspicion of having sex with students during two beach trips.

  Melody Lippert and Michelle Ghirelli, both teachers at South Hills High School in West Covina, California, were arrested on Saturday after allegedly hosting trips to an Orange County beach where they plied students from the school with alcohol and had sex with them, NBC Los Angeles reports.

  The first of these trips occurred in November and was allegedly organized by Lippert, investigators from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department said.

  A group of male students purportedly accompanied Lippert, 38, to San Clemente State Beach, where she gave them alcohol and “engaged in a sexual relationship with one of them,” according to the Los Angeles Times.

  A few weeks later, Lippert allegedly set up a second overnight trip and invited Ghirelli, 30, along as well. Both teachers are accused of having sex with students on that trip.”

 

Read more at People.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Police Radars Can ‘See’ Inside Homes

 

 

 

 

” At least 50 U.S. law enforcement agencies have secretly equipped their officers with radar devices that allow them to effectively peer through the walls of houses to see whether anyone is inside, a practice raising new concerns about the extent of government surveillance.

  Those agencies, including the FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service, began deploying the radar systems more than two years ago with little notice to the courts and no public disclosure of when or how they would be used. The technology raises legal and privacy issues because the U.S. Supreme Court has said officers generally cannot use high-tech sensors to tell them about the inside of a person’s house without first obtaining a search warrant.

  The radars work like finely tuned motion detectors, using radio waves to zero in on movements as slight as human breathing from a distance of more than 50 feet. They can detect whether anyone is inside of a house, where they are and whether they are moving.

  Current and former federal officials say the information is critical for keeping officers safe if they need to storm buildings or rescue hostages. But privacy advocates and judges have nonetheless expressed concern about the circumstances in which law enforcement agencies may be using the radars — and the fact that they have so far done so without public scrutiny.

” The idea that the government can send signals through the wall of your house to figure out what’s inside is problematic,” said Christopher Soghoian, the American Civil Liberties Union’s principal technologist. “Technologies that allow the police to look inside of a home are among the intrusive tools that police have.”

  Agents’ use of the radars was largely unknown until December, when a federal appeals court in Denver said officers had used one before they entered a house to arrest a man wanted for violating his parole. The judges expressed alarm that agents had used the new technology without a search warrant, warning that “the government’s warrantless use of such a powerful tool to search inside homes poses grave Fourth Amendment questions.”

By then, however, the technology was hardly new. Federal contract records show the Marshals Service began buying the radars in 2012, and has so far spent at least $180,000 on them.

  Justice Department spokesman Patrick Rodenbush said officials are reviewing the court’s decision. He said the Marshals Service “routinely pursues and arrests violent offenders based on pre-established probable cause in arrest warrants” for serious crimes.

  The device the Marshals Service and others are using, known as the Range-R, looks like a sophisticated stud-finder. Its display shows whether it has detected movement on the other side of a wall and, if so, how far away it is — but it does not show a picture of what’s happening inside. The Range-R’s maker, L-3 Communications, estimates it has sold about 200 devices to 50 law enforcement agencies at a cost of about $6,000 each.”

 

 

 

Read more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

California’s Secretive Policies

 

National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

 

 

 

” From the Sacramento Bee:

  California has one of the nation’s most restrictive laws for public access to information about police officer misconduct. State law bars disclosure of all police personnel records – a restriction that prevents the public from finding out which officers have engaged in serious misconduct. What’s more, courts and police agencies have interpreted that confidentiality broadly to cut off public access to nearly all information that might be used in personnel decisions, including internal affairs investigations and hearings on civilian complaints.

  Under California law, civilians who file complaints against officers find out little about what happens next. To avoid violating state law, departments often don’t disclose even whether the officer was found to have violated policy, much less exactly what policy the officer violated, what kind of discipline resulted, or any explanation of why the department reached the result it did.

 
 

Creative Commons License
  This work by Cato Institute is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. ”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 01-15-15

 

National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

 

 

 

 

” These are the nine reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, January 15, 2015:

  • Update: Buffalo, New York (First reported 08-12-14): A now-former police officer was sentenced to five years in prison and ordered to pay $300,000 for his role in a large marijuana grow operation. http://1.usa.gov/1C8RtOH
  • Titusville, Florida (First reported 03-07-14): A now-former officer was found guilty on drug conspiracy charges. He accepted $500 to guard what he believed to be a cocaine deal while he was in uniform. He also accessed police database in furtherance of his illicit activities. http://ow.ly/HkYe5
  • Los Angeles County, California: Three deputies have been suspended while they are investigated for bribery involving a towing scheme. No criminal charges have been filed yet so their names and other details have not been released. ow.ly/HnRnU 
  • Update: Baltimore, Maryland (First reported 06-18-14): One of the two officers charged with animal cruelty for slitting a dog’s throat had his case dismissed. Charges against the other officer are still pending. ow.ly/HnIDY 
  • Shelby County, Tennessee: A deputy has been suspended while he is investigated for assaulting his girlfriend’s two-year-old child. He allegedly disciplined the child for having a dirty diaper. ow.ly/HnB07 
  • Durham, North Carolina: An officer was suspended because he is being investigated for domestic assault against his wife. ow.ly/Hn5ya 
  • Update: Bridgeport, Connecticut (First reported 08-08-14): One of the three police officers caught on video “stomping” a suspect in a park was acquitted for civil rights violations after a three day federal trial. The other two now-former officers previously pled guilty and did not testify in this trial. http://ow.ly/Hn7tQ 
  • Update: Tuckerton, New Jersey (First reported 04-15-14): An officer was indicted on falsification charges stemming from an incident where he sicced a K9 on a 57-year-old woman in custody. The prosecutor alleged the officer lied on official documents to cover-up his conduct. ow.ly/HnDEn 
  • Coraopolis, Pennsylvania: The police chief was charged for his role in a vehicular accident that left a woman seriously injured. ly/HnOXX 
 

Creative Commons License
This work by Cato Institute is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. “

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mother Charged With Burning Newborn Baby To Death In Burlington County

 

 

 

 

 

 

” A young South Jersey mother is in jail, charged with the burning death of her newborn baby Friday night.

  Authorities say 22-year-old Hyphernkemberly Dorvilier of Pemberton Township, Burlington County doused her newborn baby with a flammable liquid then set the child on fire in the middle of a road.

It happened around 11 p.m. along Simontown Road. Police arrived and quickly extinguished the flames.”

 

CBS Philly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 7,041 other followers