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Black Crime & Incarceration

28/10/14 Black Crime & Incarceration , Black News , ybw #

In Police Beating Settlement, $459,000 Goes to Attorneys and $1,000 to Victim

In Police Beating Settlement, $459,000 Goes to Attorneys and $1,000 to Victim

Anthony Warren

BreakingBrown previously reported the case of Anthony Warren, who was beaten by the Birmingham police after a car crash had already rendered him unconscious. The city of Birmingham settled the lawsuit for $460,000, but $459,000 will go to Warren’s attorneys for expenses and fees while only $1,000 will be paid to Warren, AL.com reports.

A video of Warren being kicked and punched while unconscious after leading police on a high speed chase in 2008 made national headlines. Warren was attempting to escape narcotics officers when he led police on the chase and eventually ran into a bus and a squad car in an effort to escape capture.

Video of the incident showed officers beating Warren as he lay on the ground motionless after his vehicle flipped over. Chief A. C. Roper of the Birmingham Police Department called the actions of the officers “shameful”and five officers were relieved of duty after the video was made public.

Officers claimed that Warren put dozens of lives in danger during the chase.

“During the chase Mr. Warren endangered the lives of numerous innocent civilians and police officers,” Birmingham officials said in a written statement obtained by Al.com. “The chase ended shortly after Mr. Warren struck a Hoover police officer with his vehicle on Highway 31. Although deadly force was warranted at various points during the chase, the officers testified that their goal was to preserve Mr. Warren’s life and the lives of innocent bystanders.”

Warren is currently in prison serving time on an attempted murder conviction.

 

 

 

 

 

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23/10/14 Black Crime & Incarceration , Black News , featured , ybw #

Forensic Expert: Paper Took My Michael Brown Autopsy Report “Out of Context”

Forensic Expert: Paper Took My Michael Brown Autopsy Report “Out of Context”

Michael Brown2

If you’ve been paying close attention to the Michael Brown case, then you know that the St. Louis Dispatch‘s coverage has been tilted in favor of Officer Darren Wilson. As the grand jury continues to hear evidence relating to the slaying of unarmed teen Michael Brown by Wilson, the Dispatch has been slowly leaking tid-bits of information that point to Wilson’s innocence.

The paper leaked witness testimony last week and most recently, Michael Brown’s autopsy analysis. A forensic expert quoted by the paper has come out to say that the paper took her comments out of context and misrepresented her.

According to the Post-Dispatch, the autopsy “supports the fact that this guy is reaching for the gun, if he has gunpowder particulate material in the wound. If he has his hand near the gun when it goes off, he’s going for the officer’s gun.”

Appearing on MSNBC‘s Lawrence O’Donnell on Wednesday evening, however, forensic expert Judy Melinek, who was quoted by the paper, says she was “taken out of context.”

“What happens sometimes is when you get interviewed and you have a long conversation with a journalist, they’re going to take things out of context,” she said. “I made it very clear that we only have partial information here. We don’t have the scene information. We don’t have the police investigation. We don’t have all the witness statements. And you can’t interpret autopsy findings in a vacuum.”

Melinek continued:  “I’m not saying that Brown going for the gun is the only explanation. I’m saying the officer said he was going for the gun and the right thumb wound supports that….I have limited information. It could also be consistent with other scenarios. That’s the important thing. That’s why the witnesses need to speak to the grand jury and the grand jury needs to hear all the unbiased testimony and compare those statements to the physical evidence.”

The St. Louis Dispatch also released other damaging information from a witness who supposedly testified before the grand jury.

According to the St. Louis Dispatch, one witness testified that Michael Brown never raised his hands high, giving plausibility to the idea that Wilson may’ve been well within his rights to use lethal force.

From the Post-Dispatch:

Among the recollections of the witness, who agreed to an interview on the condition that his name not be used, were:

 

• After an initial scuffle in the car, the officer did not fire until Brown turned back toward him.

 

• Brown put his arms out to his sides but never raised his hands high.

 

• Brown staggered toward Wilson despite commands to stop.

 

• The two were about 20 to 25 feet apart when the last shots were fired.

 

He would not detail what he had told the grand jury but said the members seemed fair and asked a lot of questions.

The Justice Department condemned the leaks as “irresponsible and highly troubling” and said, “There seems to be an inappropriate effort to influence public opinion about this case,” reports the Los Angeles Times.

h/t: Talking Points Memo

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17/10/14 Black Crime & Incarceration , Black News , featured #

Milwaukee Cop Who Shot Mentally Ill Man 14 Times is Finally Fired

Milwaukee Cop Who Shot Mentally Ill Man 14 Times is Finally Fired

After months of protests by citizens, Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn has finally fired the officer whoMJS Dontre Hamilton_1 gunned down a mentally ill man. The police union decried the move as cowardice, while the family of the slain man awaits a criminal prosecution.

Amid demonstrations from the black community, Flynn admitted that Officer Christopher Manney instigated a dispute with 31 year old Dontre Hamilton that ended with Manney firing 14 shots into the unarmed man.

Hamilton was sleeping at a park when Manney began a patdown of the man. When Hamilton resisted, that led to a physical altercation that ended with Manney fatally shooting Hamilton. Manney claims that Hamilton struck him with his own police baton, an assertion which the man’s family strongly doubts.

“You don’t go hands-on and start frisking somebody only because they appear to be mentally ill,” Flynn said during a news conference, according to Wisconsin Gazette.

Officers are trained specifically on how to deal with emotionally disturbed people, but Manney did not follow those procedures when he encountered Hamilton.

“In taking those actions, Manney instigated — certainly not on purpose, certainly not with malice or forethought — bad tactics and bad decisions (that) resulted in this escalation that necessitated a use of deadly force,” Flynn said.

Manney said in a statement that he believed Hamilton was emotionally disturbed and saw a bulge in Hamilton’s pockets.

 

“I would say that any officer who didn’t conduct a pat-down search of Hamilton in these exact circumstances would be acting irresponsibly as it relates to their own safety,” Manney wrote.

Hamilton’s family says the slain man was schizophrenic but was never violent. They question Manney’s claim that he struck the officer.

h/t: the Journal Sentinel

 

 

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17/10/14 Black Crime & Incarceration , Black News , featured , ybw #

Michael Dunn Sentenced to Life in Prison for Gunning Down Teen Over Loud Music

Michael Dunn Sentenced to Life in Prison for Gunning Down Teen Over Loud Music

dunn_davis

Michael Dunn was sentenced to life in prison on Friday morning for gunning down an unarmed Florida teen over loud music.

Dunn, 47, apologized in court for gunning down 17 year old Jordan Davis during a confrontation at a convenience store.

“I want the Davis family to know I truly regret what happened. I’m sorry for their loss,” Dunn said. “If I could roll back time and do things differently, I would.”

He continued: “I was in fear for my life and I did what I thought I had to do. Still, I am mortified I took a life, whether it was justified or not.”

Davis’ mother offered a tearful victim impact statement on what it meant to lose her son.

“I miss his big, wide, toothy smile,” McBath said. “For me, there will be no college graduation. There will be no daughter-in-law. For me, there will be no future generation.”

The slain teen’s father also offered a statement.

“My life as I had known it was shattered on Nov. 23, 2012. I now call it Black Friday for a completely different reason,” Ron Davis said. “After the longest hour of my life, the hospital confirmed that Jordan Russell Davis was deceased in the emergency room.”

Dunn fired 10 times into an SUV with four teens inside when an argument broke out over loud music.

“Our justice system works. This case demonstrates that our justice system does work,” said Judge Russell Healey at the sentencing.

Dunn was sentenced to life without parole and, according to News4Jax, the “sentence also carries an additional 90 years for three convictions of attempted murder — 30 years for each count to run consecutively — and firing a gun into an occupied vehicle — 15 years to run concurrently.”

Dunn previously expressed to his son doubt that he’d ever be convicted.

“There’s no way that a jury will convict me, but somehow they trumped it up to first degree,” Dunn said to his son. “I can’t get into particulars, but… they’re calling this a first-degree murder like I had somehow pre-meditated this whole thing. It’s absurd, everything is absurd.”

 

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14/10/14 Black Crime & Incarceration , Black News , ybw #

This Is a Police Chief’s Booking Photo

This Is a Police Chief’s Booking Photo

Stitts booking photo

Most ordinary citizens don’t get booked into jail with a cigar hanging out of their mouth while holding, not wearing, the standard issue orange jumpsuit. For one Tennessee police chief, however, that’s exactly how it went down when he was arrested for assault, harassment and stalking.

The unorthodox booking photo caused Maury Mayor Rayce Castellaw to suspend part-time Chief Richard Stitts without pay, The Tennessean reports.

Stitts, 66, who was arrested last week, seemed in good spirits as he held up the prison uniform, not the usual reaction of sober inmates.

“Some of you have seen the results of bad judgment by a couple of my correctional officers,” Sheriff Troy Klyce wrote. “I make no excuses. I can tell you I was not in town at the time and I do not approve of this in the least. A proper booking photo has been taken and I will fully investigate the actions of my staff members.

“Rest assured, once our internal affairs investigation is complete — disciplinary action will be taken,” Klyce continued. “This behavior is not consistent with the professional culture we have created within the Sheriff’s Department. Thank you for your understanding and support.”

According to WBBJ 7, Stitts has worked as chief for 18 years.

“We just want to know the rest of the story, because it’s like I said, we just, since we found out, we put him on the leave,” Castellaw said.

Stitts posted $2,500 bond on Friday night. He is accused of assaulting the mother of his child.

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