(Obama says Treyvon Martin Could have been him, 35 years ago… I Don’t Think So!
<<<<<<< NOTE: Comment Is NOT Endorsed by the story below! >>>>>>>
Obama reflects on race, says ‘Trayvon Martin could have been me’
Los Angeles Times By Kathleen Hennessey July 19, 2013
“Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago,” President Obama said Friday, discussing the death of a black teenager and the acquittal of his shooter as he offered some of his most personal and extensive remarks on race since he became president.
Making a surprise appearance in the White House briefing room, Obama reflected on his own experience with bias and racial profiling, and sought to explain why the African American community was outraged over the case.
“There are very few African American men in this country who haven’t had the experience of being followed when they were shopping in a department store. That includes me,” Obama said. “And there are very few African American men who haven’t had the experience of walking across the street and hearing the locks click on the doors of cars. That happens to me, at least before I was a senator.”
African Americans see the country’s history of violence and discrimination against blacks as being ignored, he said, “and that all contributes, I think, to a sense that if a white male teen was involved in the same kind of scenario, that, from top to bottom, both the outcome and the aftermath might have been different.”
The president said he accepted the Florida jury’s verdict acquitting George Zimmerman on murder and manslaughter charges. “The juries were properly instructed that, in a case such as this, reasonable doubt was relevant, and they rendered a verdict. And once the jury’s spoken, that’s how our system works,” Obama said, adding that he sought only to add context to the conversation about the case.
The president, however dismissed politicians who try to lead national conversations on race. Obama said the White House was considering several federal responses, including a review of so-called “stand your ground” laws and initiatives aimed at supporting young, black men.
“And for those who resist that idea that we should think about something like these ‘stand your ground’ laws, I just ask people to consider if Trayvon Martin was of age and armed, could he have stood his ground on that sidewalk? And do we actually think that he would have been justified in shooting Mr. Zimmerman, who had followed him in a car, because he felt threatened?”
NRA blasts Holder for attacking ‘stand-your-ground’ laws after Zimmerman verdict
FOX News July 17, 2013
The National Rifle Association blasted Eric Holder for using the George Zimmerman case to attack “stand-your-ground” laws, accusing the attorney general of exploiting Trayvon Martin’s shooting death for political gain.
Holder weighed in on the controversial self-defense laws for the first time on Tuesday during a speech to the annual NAACP convention, calling for a national review of the statutes.
“Separate and apart from the case that has drawn the nation’s attention, it’s time to question laws that senselessly expand the concept of self-defense and sow dangerous conflict in our neighborhoods,” Holder said.
Holder has already confirmed that his Justice Department continues to investigate Zimmerman, in the wake of his acquittal, for possible federal civil rights crimes. But Chris W. Cox, executive director NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, claimed Holder went too far in extending the debate to “stand-your-ground” laws.
“The attorney general fails to understand that self-defense is not a concept, it’s a fundamental human right,” he said in a statement. “To send a message that legitimate self-defense is to blame is unconscionable, and demonstrates once again that this administration will exploit tragedies to push their political agenda.”
The laws are in place in more than two dozen states, including Florida. They allow people to use deadly force if they think their life is being threatened. The role that law played in the shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin is a matter of dispute — Zimmerman’s defense team technically did not use the law as the basis for their arguments.
But Holder, in his speech to the NAACP, suggested that the laws encourage gun owners to seek confrontation rather than avoid it.
“But we must examine laws that take this further by eliminating the common sense and age-old requirement that people who feel threatened have a duty to retreat, outside their home, if they can do so safely,” Holder said. “By allowing — and perhaps encouraging — violent situations to escalate in public, such laws undermine public safety.”
He called for a “hard look” at the laws. The crowd applauded as he said “we must stand our ground.”
The “stand-your-ground” laws have been a popular target ever since the Martin shooting, and the pressure has intensified after Zimmerman was acquitted on Saturday.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott, though, told Fox News that officials should not politicize the case.
“We shouldn’t turn this into politics. This was a tragedy,” he told Fox News on Monday.
Scott noted that he already put together a bipartisan commission to examine Florida’s “stand-your-ground” law.
“Their recommendation is we not make any changes, that it is working the way it was intended,” Scott said.
Accused officer allegedly facilitated drug dealing on same days she busted people with drugs
City Paper (Baltimore) by Van Smith June 12, 2013
Since the mid-2000s, when Baltimore police officers William King and Antonio Murray were busted for robbing drug dealers and received combined sentences totaling hundreds of years, the string of corruption scandals involving the Baltimore Police Department (BPD) has been notable for its persistence.
Since 2005, prosecutors have brought cases against BPD law enforcers for rape, murder, theft, gambling, fraud, stalking, lying, obstructing justice, extortion, drug dealing, assault, and prostitution. And the cases keep coming—the latest was unsealed on May 31 against Ashley Roane, a BPD officer accused in a gun, drugs, and fraud case investigated by the FBI (the News Hole, May 31).
Sometimes the crimes were committed while on duty, other times not, but all point to a powerfully intriguing characteristic of corrupt cops: their split personalities, manifesting the human capacity for both good and evil that all people share yet few exhibit to such a trust-busting extreme. Though sworn to uphold the law—which they did on a daily basis—they also broke it, sometimes in shockingly egregious ways, perhaps due to a sense of impunity borne of being an armed badge-holder.
In Roane’s case, her alleged criminal conduct, the evidence of which spanned several months, occurred on two days when she also busted alleged lawbreakers. The proximity in time of her law-enforcing and alleged lawbreaking activities brings the duplicitous nature of police corruption into stark contrast.
Though the accusations against Roane are fresh and unproven, the evidence is weighty, based on the FBI’s observations of her conduct and interactions with what court documents call a “Confidential Human Source” (CHS) who she first approached, but who thereafter conspired with her under the FBI’s watchful eye. She thought the CHS was a high-level drug dealer with a job as a tax preparer and she allegedly offered to provide protection for his supply-side drug transactions while also getting him names, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers from law enforcement databases which she thought he would use to file fraudulent tax returns.
On the afternoon of April 24, Roane was on the job, patrolling the 500 block of South Catherine Street—an area of the Mill Hill neighborhood known for drug activity—with another officer, Richard Pinheiro, when she noticed a woman, 33-year-old Sariah Parker, enter the yard of a vacant house that had previously been the target of burglaries.
When the two officers got out of their patrol car and entered the yard, court documents say, they heard voices coming from inside the house, so Pinheiro knocked on the back door. A man—48-year-old John Toomer—opened the door and said he lived there, and while the officers waited for him to produce verification, they saw Parker and another man, 24-year-old Ricky Warren, standing around the kitchen table. After admitting he couldn’t prove he lived there, Toomer took two gelatin capsules out of his pocket and put them on the kitchen table, and all three people were placed in custody.
In a subsequent search, Roane and Pinheiro recovered from the suspects two sandwich bags of pot, a pill container with six ziplock bags of crack, 10 gelatin capsules of heroin, and a folded-up piece of paper containing heroin, according to court records. All three have criminal convictions in their past—including an armed-robbery conspiracy for Parker—and Warren has since been charged in two separate Baltimore City circuit court cases involving drugs and weapons charges. On the day before the federal charges against Roane were made public, though, state prosecutors declined to proceed with the case against Parker, Toomer, and Warren.
The same day Roane and Pinheiro arrested the three drug suspects, the FBI says Roane called and texted the CHS to arrange payment for having previously provided the CHS with the identification information of 10 people so that fraudulent tax returns could be prepared in their names. The payment occurred later that day, in front of Roane’s Pikesville house while Roane wore a tan bandana and a white T-shirt, according to court documents.
“Roane expressed her displeasure at only receiving $1,500,” court documents state, since “she thought she would have received $3,000,” but she stated that “she was preparing for next tax season and wanted to provide CHS with the names earlier in the tax season.” The money, she said, would be used “to pay her traffic tickets.” When the CHS said he would soon need her protection during a drug meeting in the upcoming week, Roane said “she was still working evenings next week and would be able to assist CHS during the meeting.”
On the day of the meeting, April 30, the CHS called Roane to explain the details—to look for a certain brown Ford Explorer in the parking lot of the Westside Shopping Center and that the CHS “would pay her for her assistance,” according to court documents. Roane texted back: “Ok sound good.”
When the time came, Roane called the CHS to say she saw the Explorer—in which agents had placed “a blue backpack containing a brick-shaped package of white powder wrapped in tan tape which resembled a kilogram of heroin,” according to court documents—and then she drove a patrol car, with another woman in plain clothes and a yellow baseball cap in the passenger seat, and parked behind the Explorer. The CHS then drove up, took the backpack out of the Explorer, and drove away, as did Roane and her passenger.
Minutes later, Roane, now alone and in a different patrol car but still in uniform and carrying her holstered service firearm, met the CHS in the 400 block of South Longwood Street. There, according to court records, she “hugged” the CHS, “acknowledged that she saw CHS retrieve the bag,” and received $500 in payment for her services.
Later, according to court records, the CHS texted Roane: “Wassup lady dat my bag was real good it’s was a fucking whole boy for 60K thanks boo the time hope u can start helping me more and I will bless ur pocket So we cool.” Roane texted back: “awesome…. Yup.”
Also on April 30, Roane and Pinheiro were again patrolling the 500 block of South Catherine Street, which is right next to the Westside Shopping Center parking lot where she’d provided protection for the CHS. As they were driving in the patrol car, they noticed a man who, when he noticed them, quickly stepped out of their view into the yard of a vacant property.
Roane and Pinheiro got out of their patrol car, approached the man, 61-year-old Richard Floyd, and eventually found he had a baggy of suspected crack and a gelatin capsule of suspected heroin in a small container attached to his key ring. Floyd—whose record of petty, drug-related criminal charges in Baltimore City stretches back nearly 20 years and suggests he has long struggled with substance-abuse problems—was once again charged with drug possession. He’s scheduled for trial in August.
Thus, if the charges Roane is facing are proven true, on April 30 she thought she was using her police powers to facilitate the distribution of addictive drugs in Baltimore. And on that very day—and in nearly the same location—Roane’s routine policing handed Floyd yet another entry on his ever-growing rap sheet that appears to have resulted largely from the distribution of addictive drugs in Baltimore. That would be a perverse and cynical twist on the “good cop/bad cop” routine.
FIRST ON 5 NEWS UPDATE: Attorney And Private Investigator In Charged Shinnston Officer Case Arraigned
CBS 5 News / WDTV by Kristin Keeling May 20, 2013
Franklin Streets and Paul Harris were arraigned Monday. There bond’s staying at $50,000 and their trial is set for October.
The attorney and private investigator representing a former Shinnston police officer who is accused of stealing drugs and money from the Shinnston Police Department were arrested, Friday night.
Paul Harris, an attorney out of Wheeling, and Franklin Streets, a private investigator out of Barbour County, are facing a slew of charges including intimidation of a witness and obstructing an officer.
Kevin Junkins is the former police officer who was arrested and charged in 2011. He’s accused of stealing a man’s prescription of Hydrocodone during an investigation. He’s also accused of stealing money and drugs from the police department’s evidence locker.
Harris and Streets are accused of paying and threatening a potential witness in Junkins’ case in order to prevent him from giving true testimony.
Harris was hired to represent Junkins. He faces charges of felony conspiracy to commit threats in official and political matters, conspiracy to commit intimidation of a witness, obstructing a law enforcement officer and conspiracy to commit obstructing a law enforcement officer.
Streets faces the same charges including intimidation of a witness and threats in official and political matters.