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Friday, August 29, 2014

Ferguson and the Modern Debtor’s Prison








How does a stop for jaywalking turn into a homicide and how does that turn into an American town essentially coming under military control with snipers, tear gas, and a no-fly zone? We don’t yet know exactly what happened between the two individuals on the day in question but events like this don’t happen without a deeper context. Part of the context is the return of debtor’s prisons that I wrote about in 2012:

Debtor’s prisons are supposed to be illegal in the United States but today poor people who fail to pay even small criminal justice fees are routinely being imprisoned. The problem has gotten worse recently because strapped states have dramatically increased the number of criminal justice fees….Failure to pay criminal justice fees can result in revocation of an individual’s drivers license, arrest and imprisonment. Individuals with revoked licenses who drive (say to work to earn money to pay their fees) and are apprehended can be further fined and imprisoned. Unpaid criminal justice debt also results in damaged credit reports and reduced housing and employment prospects. Furthermore, failure to pay fees can mean a violation of probation and parole terms which makes an individual ineligible for Federal programs such as food stamps, Temporary Assistance to Needy Family funds and Social Security Income for the elderly and disabled.





A new report from Arch City Defenders, a non-profit legal defense organization, shows that the Ferguson municipal courts are a stunning example of these problems:


Ferguson is a city located in northern St. Louis County with 21,203 residents living in 8,192 households. The majority (67%) of residents are African-American…22% of residents live below the poverty level.

…Despite Ferguson’s relative poverty, fines and court fees comprise the second largest source of revenue for the city, a total of $2,635,400. In 2013, the Ferguson Municipal Court disposed of 24,532 warrants and 12,018 cases, or about 3 warrants and 1.5 cases per household.

You don’t get $321 in fines and fees and 3 warrants per household from an about-average crime rate. You get numbers like this from bullshit arrests for jaywalking and constant “low level harassment involving traffic stops, court appearances, high fines, and the threat of jail for failure to pay.”

If you have money, for example, you can easily get a speeding ticket converted to a non-moving violation. But if you don’t have money it’s often the start of a downward spiral that is hard to pull out of:

For a simple speeding ticket, an attorney is paid $50-$100, the municipality is paid $150-$200 in fines and court costs, and the defendant avoids points on his or her license as well as a possible increase in insurance costs. For simple cases, neither the attorney nor the defendant must appear in court.

However, if you do not have the ability to hire an attorney or pay fines, you do not get the benefit of the amendment, you are assessed points, your license risks suspension and you still owe the municipality money you cannot afford….If you cannot pay the amount in full, you must appear in court on that night to explain why. If you miss court, a warrant will likely be issued for your arrest.

People who are arrested on a warrant for failure to appear in court to pay the fines frequently sit in jail for an extended period. None of the municipalities has court on a daily basis and some courts meet only once per month. If you are arrested on a warrant in one of these jurisdictions and are unable to pay the bond, you may spend as much as three weeks in jail waiting to see a judge.

Of course, if you are arrested and jailed you will probably lose your job and perhaps also your apartment–all because of a speeding ticket.

As a final outrage, consider this story which ties together Ferguson, the courts, and the arrest of parents, often minority parents, for leaving their kids to play in parks (just as my parents did).

According to local judge Frank Vatterott, 37% of the courts responding to his survey unconstitutionally closed the courts to non-defendants. Defendants are then faced with the choice of leaving their kids on the parking lot or going into court. As Antonio Morgan described after being denied entry to the court with his children, the decision to leave his kids with a friend resulted in a charge of child endangerment.








Sunday, August 24, 2014

Tribute Page- James Foley (1973-2014)

TRIBUTE PAGE
James Foley
(1973-2014)

James Foley


James’ mother describes him as an “extraordinary son.” To us, he was an extraordinary journalist, who abhorred violence and  was motivated by the desire to highlight the plight of the victims of war. As an internationally renowned journalist, James’ work took him to Libya and Syria. While being held captive by the Islamic State, he remained impassive in the face of threats, clinging to the hope that he would eventually return home. Courageous and composed, he communicated his hope to his fellow prisoners.

Reporters Without Borders extends its sincere condolences to his family, especially his mother, who came to our headquarters in Paris. As an organization, we had known James ever since he raised funds with other photo journalists and the assistance of Reporters Without Borders to support the education of the three children of his friend Anton Hammerl, killed in Libya in April 2011.

In memory of James Foley, Reporters Without Borders undertakes to wage an unrelenting battle for the safety of all those who, like him, expose the horrors of war. The sickening execution of James has shocked not only our community of journalists, but also the entire world. We are creating this tribute page today so that his fellow reporters, other members of the media community and all citizens who are concerned about freedom may leave messages expressing their feelings and leave notes of condolences. We shall keep alive the spirit of this talented and committed journalist, James Foley (1973–2014).






  • Eija Niskanen 14 h 23 min on 24 August 2014

    In this age of superficial media, we need people like James Foley, dedicated to tell the truth to the world.
  • Neven 13 h 38 min on 24 August 2014

    My deepest sadness and my condolesence to J Foly’s family and all his friends.He faced death to lead in the exercise of freedom of expression to serve the public.May his soul rest in peace.
  • Amanda 12 h 34 min on 24 August 2014

    My deepest sympathy and condolences to the family and friends of James Foley!
    We will remember James Foley as a gifted journalist who was compassionate and brave.
    He gave his life trying to expose the suffering of the Syrian people, documenting the ongoing civil war, even though he knew about the danger of journalism in war zones.
    He was a true hero, may his memory be a blessing!
    My sadness cannot be expressed in words, I can´t imagine what you must be going through right now. I hope you will find the strength, support and courage to go on, my thoughts are with you all the time!
    “Yet, the lessons of kindness and love you taught me,
    And the good things in life you’ve helped me to see;
    Linger as lasting gifts that comfort and will sustain,
    Until I journey to that peaceful shore and see you again.”
    (Belinda Stotler)
  • Mohamed 12 h 28 min on 24 August 2014

    I am sending my condolences to the family, friends and the entire journalist. J foley will remain our hearts for his generous & human dedicstions. As far as death is invetible this will not stop us supporting the voiceless. James your left us good memory.



  • Tuesday, August 19, 2014

    Joyce Elliott: My Letter to Our Mayor, City Directors and City Manager


    Post by Ean Lee Bordeaux.
    Mr. Mayor, Directors and City Manager:
    At tonight's board meeting, I expect that Director Ken Richardson will make a motion to rescind the vote to allow the placement of a 20-pump convenience store at the old Brandon House site. Further, that motion will likely be attended by a proposal to endorse an objective study to help determine the impact of gas stations/convenience stores on neighborhoods all over the city. I am asking for your support of the rescission motion, followed by support of the study--understanding another vote on the gas station may follow.
    I care deeply about what happens south of I-630. I live there on purpose, on Fair Park, where I am seeing positive changes that I desperately want to see continue throughout the entire neighborhood and the rest of South 630. What we place there matters when it comes to attracting family-friendly businesses to our area. We already have enough other "stuff."
    I am also well aware of the zoning, which I think should be reconsidered in deliberate favor of designating this and other agreed on areas as development districts so the city may continue the wonderful, family-friendly development afforded to Midtown. As far as I'm aware, not one convenience store is a part of that thoughtful, new development So, may I respectfully suggest we should take steps to replicate that same thoughtfulness and intentionality South 630.
    Despite my straight ahead objection to more convenience stores and gas pumps, I support an objective study so we will have objective evidence, not just my outrage and your unscientific determination that placement of such outlets is either positive or agnostic. I hope you will support the study too.
    Thank you,
    Joyce Elliott
    Proud Resident of South 630
    Mark Stodola


    Sunday, August 17, 2014

    7 protesters arrested overnight in Ferguson
    The Huffington Post’s Ryan Reilly joins to discuss the overnight events in Ferguson after a curfew ordered by Gov. Jay Nixon went into effect.

    Monday, August 11, 2014

    VICE: Anti-Corruption Blogger Recounts Multiple Murder Attempts By Corrupt Little Rock Cop

    Title 42, U.S.C., Section 14141 makes it unlawful for state or local law enforcement agencies to allow officers to engage in a pattern or practice of conduct that deprives persons of rights protected by the Constitution or U.S. laws. This law, commonly referred to as the Police Misconduct Statute, gives the Department of Justice authority to seek civil remedies in cases where law enforcement agencies have policies or practices that foster a pattern of misconduct by employees. This action is directed against an agency, not against individual officers. The types of issues which may initiate a pattern and practice investigation include:
    --Lack of supervision/monitoring of officers’ actions;
    --Lack of justification or reporting by officers on incidents involving the use of force;
    --Lack of, or improper training of, officers; and
    **Citizen complaint processes that treat complainants as adversaries.**

    A HOT-DOG-SELLING BLOGGER TOLD US ABOUT THE ALLEGED CORRUPT COP HE SAYS TRIED TO KILL HIM AND DIED TRYING

    By James Williamson Aug 11 2014
    Ean Bordeaux. Photo by Mike Poe
    When Ean Bordeaux isn't selling hot dogs at the River Market in Little Rock, Arkansas, he’s writing about racketeering and police misconduct (cops doing racist shit) on his blog, which allegedly motivated Todd Payne, a former cop, to try to kill him. “There are members of the Little Rock Police Department actively and unceasingly engaging in such illegal activities as racketeering, complainant and witness intimidation,” Bordeaux posted. “MOST of these mercenary police officers reside OUTSIDE of Little Rock City Limits. This only adds insult to injury as they are not even citizens of our great city, but are unwisely and irresponsibly allowed to SHOOT and KILL its citizens.”

    According to Bordeaux, he had known Payne since 2004, when the cop started hanging out around Bordeaux’s hot dog stand. Bordeaux says Payne began leaking him internal information about cops. At the same time, Bordeaux claims, Payne passed information about his hot dog business to a small group of rogue police officers to sabotage the blogger’s finances. 

    These activities eventually caught up with Payne. In 2010 he lost his job because he allegedly used an illness as an excuse to refuse to break up a bar fight, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. But Payne’s departure from the police force didn't stop Bordeaux from blogging about him. In the past four years, the hot dog vendor has targeted both Payne and a River Market cop who was his partner. “This corrupt piece of work was besties and rookie school partners with dog murdering hate crime arsonist Joel 'Creepy Todd' Payne,” Ean wrote

    In retaliation, Payne allegedly tried to kill Bordeaux and ruin his hot dog business. In January 2014, Payne allegedly shot up Bordeaux’s house. Five bullets struck six inches above the hot dog vendor’s head, two hit the downstairs neighbor’s window, and another killed his dog, Dixie. 



    Dixie. Photo by Ean Bordeaux

    Payne messaged Bordeaux on Facebook on March 1 to ask him bizarre questions. “I’m reading your shooting report. Was the dog outside or inside when it was shot?” he wrote. He also asked, “Why were you untruthful with the police dept? They are laughing their asses off at you. That’s why the report was sent to me.” 

    In April, Arkansas Online reported on an even more dramatic incident. Payne allegedly returned to Bordeaux’s home—this time to allegedly light the blogger’s hot dog cart on fire. Bordeaux spotted him. Payne bolted from the house and then returned to try to wreck the hot dog cart again. 

    Lieutenant Sidney Allen told Arkansas Online that, “The suspect fled on foot and was caught by Bordeaux within a short distance.” The official police version of the story then has a big jump forward in time: “Details are limited, but while Bordeaux was engaged with the suspect, the suspect sustained injuries that later led to his death at a local hospital.”

    I called Bordeaux to find out more, and to discuss his hot dog vending business, Payne’s alleged attempt on his life, and police brutality. 

    VICE: Before Payne tried to kill you, how did he or other cops try to ruin your hot dog business? 

    Ean Bordeaux: His rookie school buddy was happy to manipulate behind the scenes. If it was a private location, [his rookie school buddy] would find out who the landlord was and defame my business. [He would also] look for vendors sympathetic to his cause and get them to “complain” about my affairs or me. For city locations, he tried to get some official to go along with him—he went as far as to go into the code office to push his weight around, looking for a way to get me “cased up.”


    Payne left your house and then came back in April. How long did it take for the police to arrive?

    When I contacted 911 for the first time, it was at 4:22 AM. My next call was at 4:45 AM. So between 4:22 and 4:45, there was nothing. It was in this time that the masked man returned. I was in my bathrobe, practically naked. [My dogs] were barking—I was lying down and waiting for the invasion bark. [The dogs have barks] like I’ve-never-seen-this-motherfucker-before bark and the you-ain’t-doin’-shit-around-here bark. These are smart fucking dogs, trust me. 

    I was getting the alarm barks, which mean, “Daddy, that’s the same person who did the last shit.” I looked at the monitors on the security surveillance system that I just put in two days prior because my girl, thankfully,  just kept bitching at me about it. I caught that bark, and I screamed, “HE’S BACK!” I could barely see the figure coming across the bridge. I was seeing what the figure was going to do. He’s crossing the street, heading directly to the cart. When I was about 10 feet away, he was already at the cart, dumping lighter fluid on it. And I said, “HEY! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!” He looked up and started dumping more, and tried to light it more quickly. 



    Damaged Willy Dog Cart. Photo by Ean Bordeaux

    Is it true Payne wore a mask that night?

    Yes, he was wearing a mask. He was moving a little bit faster than a fat crackhead would move. In the process, I saw a hand swinging out with something dark and long in it. Every crackhead I know at least has a steak knife on him, so I was thinking, Oh God, I just fucked up. My fucking Crocs were off. I was in pursuit of a man who may have something far more than what I have. 

    You claim you eventually tackled him. What did he do after you tackled him?

    I saw him down, and I knew I had to get up first. I said, “Stay the fuck down. Don’t fucking move.” I watched for his hands that were underneath him. At this point, I was thinking, This is fucking Todd. He may be trying to act like he’s out or something and shoot the shit out of me. I was still freaking out. I don’t know if he’s going to get up—and then I heard him snore. 

    He started snoring? 

    Yeah, and to me, this was sweet fucking relief. He’s twitching a little. (I couldn't tell what it was, but I wasn't going to be taking no fucking chances.) I called 911 again. All I could get out was, “I need you now. I need you now. He came back. Where are you?” I sat down on the curb and waited on the police. Man, it was surreal as shit. 

    How would you label Payne’s crime? 

    It’s a hate crime. He’s an admitted racist trying to burn a nigger up; I gotta fucking hate crime on my lawn. That’s the bottom line here—just having to stand my ground.


    It’s a hate crime. He’s an admitted racist trying to burn a nigger up; I gotta fucking hate crime on my lawn. That’s the bottom line here—just having to stand my ground.



    Khulubuse Zuma’s R100bn oil deal

    Khulubuse Zuma’s R100bn oil deal

    http://www.citypress.co.za/news/khulubuse-zumas-r100bn-oil-deal/
    President Jacob Zuma apparently played a crucial role in ensuring that his nephew Khulubuse Zuma was allocated two DRC oilfields. Picture: Daniel Born / The Times




    Controversial business tycoon Khulubuse Zuma is sitting on a R100 billion oil fortune in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which he allegedly obtained with the help of his uncle, President Jacob Zuma.
    A City Press investigation has discovered that President Zuma played a crucial role in a 2010 decision by DRC President Joseph Kabila to allocate two oilfields in the northeast of the country to his nephew.
    Eight months before Kabila issued a decree for Khulubuse Zuma to bag two of the most prized oil licences in sub-Saharan Africa, Jacob Zuma met his DRC counterpart in Kinshasa, where they allegedly discussed the oilfields.
    A top-level intelligence source with inside knowledge of the relationship between the two men said the meeting took place in September 2009 during Zuma’s state visit to the DRC.
    According to the source, Kabila told Zuma the untapped DRC oilfields should also be of benefit to “South Africa, the ruling party and even the [Zuma] family”.
    The source said although Zuma did not accept Kabila’s invitation to personally profit from the oilfields, it was “no coincidence” that his nephew appeared on the DRC’s “oil horizon”.
    He said the message to Zuma was clear: We want to do business with you or your proxy. Let us help each other.
    The source said: “This is how Kabila does business. It’s all about what can benefit him and his cronies.
    “Kabila needs South Africa to bring about security in the areas around the oilfields so that he can reap the tax and production agreements benefits.”
    The source said Kabila also needed South Africa’s support, expertise and patronage for the development of the world’s largest hydroelectrical power scheme.
    Six months after the Zuma/Kabila summit, Khulubuse Zuma set up two companies in the British Virgin Islands.
    A month later, the companies – Caprikat and Foxwhelp – signed a production-sharing contract for oil blocks with the DRC government.
    The oil contract between Khulubuse Zuma and the DRC government was rapidly confirmed by Kabila’s “smash-and-grab” presidential decree in June 2010.
    In that process, Kabila appropriated the oilfields from Irish oil giant Tullow Oil and allocated them to Khulubuse Zuma.
    “The allocation [of the concessions] to Khulubuse Zuma reinforced the friendship between the two men,” said the City Press source.
    Another source said Kabila had intended for the DRC oilfields to benefit the ANC. But he said, instead, that Khulubuse Zuma registered their ownership in the Virgin Islands – a haven of corporate anonymity.
    A Panamanian law firm registered the two companies and a Swiss lawyer specialising in “business crime defence” was listed as the sole director of the two companies.
    Khulubuse Zuma said this week that he was not the one to comment on an alleged discussion between his uncle and Kabila about the oilfields.
    Neither Kabila’s office nor the presidency responded to any requests for comment.
    Khulubuse Zuma said through his media relations adviser, Vuyo Mkhize, that as a rule, he did not discuss details of his business dealings with the president.
    City Press asked Mkhize what the DRC oil blocks were worth and what stake or shareholding Khulubuse Zuma held in them.
    Mkhize said that over Khulubuse Zuma’s lifetime, and based on current oil prices, the value was R100 billion.
    But he said he was not at liberty to discuss his client’s stake in the blocks.
    The DRC oilfields are the largest in sub-Saharan Africa and have been found in the Lake Albert Rift Basin, which straddles the DRC-Uganda border. The field contains an estimated 2 billion barrels of oil.
    London-listed Tullow Oil was awarded licences for blocks 1 and 2 in 2006. Tullow has interests in more than 150 oil licences across 25 countries with 67 producing fields. In 2012, they produced an average of 79 200 barrels of oil a day.
    The campaign group, Platform, which focuses on the social, economic and environmental impacts of the global oil industry, calculated that the DRC state lost $10 billion (R103 billion) in revenue as a result of dumping Tullow in favour of Caprikat/Foxwhelp.
    At the time, Tullow declared it was absurd to give exploration licences in a sensitive environment to a company with no oil experience.
    Khulubuse Zuma said this week it was not true he had no experience in oil exploration. The Caprikat/Foxwhelp production share agreement accords the companies 60% of net revenues for the first 12 million barrels – this will later drop to 55%.
    Commentators suggest that neighbouring Uganda offers companies only 20% to 31.5% on similar deals.
    According to Platform, “nothing in this contract looks like a long-term plan – we’ve never seen the state share of ‘profit oil’ so low”.
    The DRC official website said Caprikat/Foxwhelp had paid a $6 million “management fee” for the concessions.
    According to newspaper reports, several big multinational oil companies were, at the time, scouring Kinshasa for concessions and were prepared to pay 10 times that amount.
    Khulubuse Zuma had signed the contracts with the DRC authorities on behalf of Caprikat, while Jacob Zuma’s legal adviser, Michael Hulley, had signed for Foxwhelp.
    Khulubuse Zuma said afterwards Hulley was also his legal adviser and had signed on behalf of the one company because he couldn’t sign for both. It was a “technical” thing.
    Monitor Global Outlook, a global intelligence and research service of The Christian Science Monitor, has just reported that Caprikat/Foxwhelp has established a company, Oil of DRCongo, as an operator of the concessions.
    Oil of DRCongo is owned by Fleurette, a company held by controversial Israeli billionaire Dan Gertler.
    He is also a DRC citizen, is close to Kabila and is one of the most powerful men in the country.
    A Fleurette spokesperson said two months ago that Oil of DRCongo has so far invested more than $70 million in the exploration of the concessions. It now plans to sink four wells.
    The senior intelligence source said the oil concessions were the cherries on the top of Khulubuse Zuma’s business interests in the DRC and that he also had vast mining and construction investments in that country.
    Mkhize said Khulubuse Zuma first visited the DRC in or about 1998 to explore business opportunities.
    “As a private citizen who is almost exclusively invested in private companies, he has no duty to publicly disclose details of his business dealings,” said Mkhize.
    SA’s military role in spotlight
    The involvement of South African troops is crucial to stabilising the volatile eastern DRC to allow for oil exploration and drilling, according to Andre Roux, a senior researcher at the Institute for Security Studies.
    South Africa has sent 1 300 troops to the DRC as part of an intervention brigade that works with the UN peacekeeping mission.
    The intervention brigade’s unorthodox mandate allows it to take offensive measures. The
    3 069-strong brigade consists of Malawian, Tanzanian and South African troops.
    Some intervention brigade soldiers are based in the unstable Ituri region in northwestern DRC – near the untapped oilfields in and around Lake Albert.
    Roux says much of the DRC’s wealth is situated in eastern Congo, but that President Joseph Kabila and his government receive no income from the mining and exploration because much of the area is controlled by rebel groups.
    Roux says there are at least 34 such groups operating in the area and they exploit the resources in  the region to finance their activities.
    He says South Africa’s best troops and equipment are with the intervention brigade.
    “Kabila owes South Africa a debt of gratitude for its loyal military support.”
    The Grand Inga Project
    It promises to be one of the world’s biggest construction projects, is destined to solve many of the subcontinent’s energy and water problems, and will cost more than the income of a small country.
    It has been named the Grand IngaProject and will be a hydroelectric power complex situated on the DRC’s mighty Congo River, the world’s second-largest waterway.
    It will cost a staggering $80 billion-$100 billion (R828 billion-R1 trillion) and in October last year, President Jacob Zuma and his DRC counterpart, Joseph Kabila, signed an agreement to jointly develop the project.
    South Africa does not have the money to develop Inga alone, but our involvement is vital as the primary energy recipient and an underwriter to investors.
    A senior intelligence source says Khulubuse Zuma is eyeing aspects of the project and talking to the “right” people.
    He will “definitely” be involved in the construction of the project, according to Roux.
    Khulubuse’s media adviser, Vuyo Mkhize, will neither confirm nor deny claims of his client’s interests in Inga or any other project in the DRC or elsewhere.

    Saturday, August 9, 2014

    Black Man police shot in Walmart killed over fake gun, family says

    http://www.daytondailynews.com/news/news/man-police-shot-in-walmart-killed-over-fake-gun-fa/ngw77/

    By Steve Bennish and Eric Robinette Staff Writer

    Relatives of John Crawford, the man shot dead by police at a Beavercreek Walmart, say they’ve contacted civil rights organizations because they believe the shooting was not justified.
    They believe he was killed possibly after he picked up a toy gun in the store.
    John H. Crawford III.
    Crawford, 22, of Ridge Drive in Fairfield, was identified as the man Beavercreek police shot and killed Tuesday night.
    LeeCee Johnson, who said she is the mother of Crawford’s children, said she was on a cell phone call with Crawford when he was shot by officers. She said Crawford went to the area to visit family members.
    “We was just talking. He said he was at the video games playing videos and he went over there by the toy section where the toy guns were. And the next thing I know, he said ‘It’s not real,’ and the police start shooting and they said ‘Get on the ground,’ but he was already on the ground because they had shot him,” she said, adding: “And I could hear him just crying and screaming. I feel like they shot him down like he was not even human.”
    Beavercreek Police Chief Dennis Evers did not answer questions Wednesday but said officers acted appropriately.
    Johnson said she has two children with Crawford: John Crawford IV, who is 1, and Jayden Crawford, who is 4 months old. She just found out she is pregnant with a third child, but never got the chance to tell Crawford.
    “He had a lot of family members that cared about him, and his kids. They’re not going to be able to know their dad. They’re too young — only 4 months and a year old — to even know how wonderful he was to them,” she said.
    Johnson said police did not talk to her at the time of the shooting. She believes the police did not do their job properly and wants to see justice done. Once the case is reviewed, they will find everything she said is consistent with what camera footage and phone records will show.
    “I hope the police get fired and sent to jail, because (the officer who fired) didn’t do his job. He didn’t treat him like a human being. He didn’t treat him someone at Walmart looking at toy guns,” she said.
    Beavercreek Police and the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, when contacted Wednesday, refused to say whether Crawford was armed with a toy or a real weapon.
    “I can’t comment – that’s part of the open investigation,” Attorney General’s Office spokeswoman Jill Del Greco said.
    Lamon Brown, Crawford’s cousin, spoke on behalf of the family. The family has contacted the NAACP and National Action Network, he said.
    “He does not own (a rifle-like weapon). We think it was a toy,” Brown said. “We actually think it was a toy. After these things happen they usually report what kind of gun it was, but they’re not saying what kind of gun it was.”
    Tasha Thomas, who identified herself as Crawford’s girlfriend and appeared in the audience with his family members at Wednesday’s police news conference, said that Crawford has two children and that she has known him for four months.
    She said she drove him to the Walmart after picking him up at an outlet mall in Cincinnati. He was not armed when he entered the Walmart, she said. She said she was with him in the store, but was in another aisle when he was shot.
    “He did not have any type of gun on him,” she said. “It’s not fair.”
    WHIO-TV reporter Kate Bartley contributed to this report.

    Thursday, August 7, 2014

    Wife sets husband on fire for molesting 7-year-old daughter


    http://wtvr.com/2014/08/07/wife-sets-husband-on-fire/
    RENTON, Wash. – The video shows a man running into a Washington state convenience store screaming “I’m on fire!” and “Help me!”
    The video was recorded minutes after Vincent Phillips’ wife dosed him with gasoline and set him on fire while he slept, according to a report onKOMONews.com.
    She told police she set Philips, 52, on fire because he hurt her seven-year-old daughter. The child is his step daughter. Police recommended Philips be charged with first-degree child molestation once he recovers from the July 17 incident.
    Phillips suffered severe burns.
    When asked why she did it, his wife said shooting him “was too nice.”
    His wife, 40-year-old Tatanysha Hedman, was jailed on assault and arson charges.

    Tuesday, August 5, 2014

    TRIAL: Bull Shoals Police Chief Daniel Sutterfield

    UPDATEDBULL SHOALS — An Arkansas police chief has agreed to resign and never serve in law enforcement again in exchange for federal prosecutors dropping a charge against him.
    The Baxter Bulletin reported that Bull Shoals Police Chief Daniel Sutterfield took the deal Monday. Federal prosecutors have dropped an excessive force charge stemming from a July 2013 arrest.
    A federal jury in Harrison found Sutterfield innocent of conspiracy and filing a false report in July. The jury was deadlocked on the excessive force charge. A retrial had been set for August in Fayetteville. He faced up to 10 years in prison.
    The prosecutors can initiate the criminal case against Sutterfield if the conditions of the agreement aren't met.
    Read Wednesday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for more.


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