Justice: Town Supports Shiner Texas Hero Who Beat Man To Death After He Caught Him Sexually Assaulting His 5 Year Old Daughter – Sheriff: “You Have A Right To Defend Your Daughter.”

June 14, 2012

SHINER, TEXAS – Shiner is a place you can raise your cattle and chickens under the hot Texas sun, cool off with a bottle from the Lone Star State’s oldest independent brewery, then go to bed knowing all your neighbors and believing that you’ll be safe.

But a few days ago, one of its trademark ranches turned into a crime scene. That’s when a father reportedly spotted a man sexually assaulting his 5-year-old daughter, then beat the alleged abuser to death.

In a community that prides itself as being peaceful, a place where things like this just don’t happen, there is a sweeping consensus that justice was served.

“Any father would have done that,” Michael James Veit, whose son graduated with the father from Shiner High School in 2007 and who now lives across the road from the ranch where the killing took place, said Thursday. “Everybody is saying the father is justified.”

According to the Lavaca County Sheriff’s office, the 23-year-old father and his family were enjoying a barbecue last Saturday at their ranch on Shiner’s outskirts where they keep horses and chickens.

His young daughter had gone off toward the barn, to feed the chickens, the child’s grandfather — who isn’t being named, to protect the identity of his granddaughter — told CNN affiliates KSAT and KPRC.

Then her father heard screaming and ran. He found a 47-year-old man in the act of sexually abusing his daughter, according to Sheriff Mica Harmon.

The father stopped the alleged abuser, then pounded him repeatedly in the head.

“I jumped the fence and saw the man on the ground,” the grandfather said of what he first saw. “At that point, I didn’t know if he was dead or not.”

Authorities did, in fact, pronounce the alleged abuser dead. Lavaca County Precinct Judge Alene Lyons said Monday that a preliminary autopsy report show he “died from blunt-force head and neck injuries,” adding toxicology report results should be back in six weeks.

Sheriff Harmon described the victim as an acquaintance of the family, known for his horse-grooming abilities. He has not yet been publicly identified by authorities.

The father himself called 911, telling them that his daughter’s alleged abuser was lying, beaten, on the ground. Afterward, the sheriff said that the admitted killer appeared “very remorseful” and didn’t know the other man would die at the scene.

Asked whether authorities would press charges against the father, the sheriff responded, “You have a right to defend your daughter. He acted in defense of his third person. Once the investigation is completed we will submit it to the district attorney, who then submits it to the grand jury, who will decide if they will indict him.”

Neighbors portrayed the father as hard-working, friendly and polite, the type of guy who reliably addresses others as “Sir.”

“He’s not a violent guy, he’s never been in any trouble in his life,” said Veit of a man he described as a single father who worked nobly to make ends meet. “He’s a good, honest, hard-working kid.”

Most any violence is unexpected in Shiner, a community between Houston and San Antonio that has about 2,000 people within its city limits and another 1,500 or so on its outskirts, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Billing itself as the “Cleanest Little City in Texas,” Shiner is known for the Spoetzl Brewery, a wire and plastics company, not to mention its acres upon acres of plains and farms. Veit calls it “a small-town community,” filled with folks who may not be wealthy but who work hard and look out for one another.

“Nothing ever happens, there’s never any murders here,” Veit said. “Everybody knows everybody, and gets along with everybody. (This killing) is a real big shock.”

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53,000 Dead People Found On Florida’s Voting Rolls – State Officials Pushing To Remove Thousands Of Foreigners

May 18, 2012

TAMPA, FLORIDA - Florida is calling on county election supervisors to remove more than 53,000 dead people from the state’s voting rolls.

State officials this year checked Social Security files and concluded that people who died were still registered to vote. This was the first time the state checked the files. It was allowed under a controversial election law that passed the GOP-controlled Legislature last year.

An attorney with the Department of State told election supervisors on Wednesday they have seven days to remove a deceased voter from the rolls.

But some supervisors want to know if they will be given more proof that the voter is dead.

The move to remove dead voters comes at the same time when state officials are pushing to remove thousands non U.S.-citizens from the rolls.

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Four South-East New Hampshire Cops Shot And Greenland Police Chief Dead In Botched Raid

April 13, 2012

GREENLAND, NEW HAMPSHIRE – Five police officers in New Hampshire were shot as they tried to serve a search warrant in a drug investigation Thursday night, and local media reported that one of them, the Greenland police chief, had died from a bullet to the head.

Officers may have interrupted a drug deal at the house, the Union Leader of Manchester reported.

Early Friday, state Atty. Gen. Michael Delaney confirmed that Chief Michael Maloney had been killed, the Associated Press reported.

The incident began around 6 p.m. in the quiet seaside town of 3,500 residents. At 11 p.m., police said, a man and a woman remained barricaded inside.

“We are working with federal, state and local law enforcement to try to obtain a peaceful resolution,” Delaney said late Thursday. “I do want to extend my thoughts and prayers to families and relatives and loved ones of the police officer that has been killed and the four police officers that have been injured.”

Maloney was to have retired in less than two weeks.

The violence shocked the community.

“It’s a blow to all of us,” John Penacho, chairman of the Board of Selectmen, told the Associated Press. “You’re stunned. It’s New Hampshire, it’s a small town.… It’s an unbelievable situation.”

Tammy Sullivan, who lives across the street from the house, told the Union Leader she saw three police officers felled when she looked out her window after hearing several gunshots.

“I saw the officers shot from the house and I saw them go down,” she said. “They were running from the house and the guy started shooting like crazy. All of a sudden cops came flying from everywhere.”

Officers told her to take cover in her basement and stay there, she said.

About 11 p.m., she told the newspaper that police were urging the man to talk to them on his cellphone. “They’re telling him they don’t want anybody else hurt and they want this to be a safe night,” she said.

The resident of the home was Cullen Mutrie, 29, the Union Leader said.

Gov. John Lynch rushed to Portsmouth Regional Hospital, where the officers were being treated.

“This is a tragic incident, and my thoughts and prayers are with the officers involved and their families,” the Democratic governor told the Associated Press.

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Stanislaus County California Sheriff’s Department Torched Residence After Deputy And Accompanying Civilian Die Trying To Evict Tenant

April 13, 2012

MODESTO, CALIFORNIA – A California sheriff’s deputy serving an eviction notice was shot and killed Thursday along with a civilian who was helping in the eviction, authorities said.

The incident, that occurred in Modesto California, continued late Thursday evening as the alleged shooter barricaded himself into the home and did not leave despite a large blaze erupting there.

The incident started Thursday morning when Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department Robert Paris tried to serve an eviction notice at an apartment. Paris was shot along with the civilian.

“This is a tragic day for law enforcement and public safety,” said Sheriff Adam Christianson. “Deputy Paris paid the ultimate price, sacrificing his life, while protecting and serving the citizens of Stanislaus County.”

Paris, 53, was a 16-year veteran of the department. The name and information on the civilian was not released.

After the shooting, the suspect locked himself into the home, starting a stand off that lasted more than 10 hours.

After 10 p.m local time, a fire erupted from the apartment and flames could be seen shooting from the roof.

The fire ignited after authorities threw flash grenades and tear gas into the apartment to try and flush the shooter out, Christianson told reporters.

The fire was still burning close to midnight and authorities had not located the shooter, Christianson said.

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Cops Keep Getting Killed – Highest Rate Since 2008

April 10, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC — As violent crime has decreased across the country, a disturbing trend has emerged: rising numbers of police officers are being killed.

According to statistics compiled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, 72 officers were killed by perpetrators in 2011, a 25 percent increase from the previous year and a 75 percent increase from 2008.

The 2011 deaths were the first time that more officers were killed by suspects than car accidents, according to data compiled by the International Association of Chiefs of Police. The number was the highest in nearly two decades, excluding those who died in the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001 and the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995.

While a majority of officers were killed in smaller cities, 13 were killed in cities of 250,000 or more. New York City lost two officers last year. On Sunday, four were wounded by a gunman in Brooklyn, bringing to eight the number of officers shot in the city since December.

“We haven’t seen a period of this type of violence in a long time,” said Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly of the New York Police Department.

While the F.B.I. and other law enforcement officials cannot fully explain the reasons for the rise in officer homicides, they are clear about the devastating consequences.

“In this law enforcement job, when you pin this badge on and go out on calls, when you leave home, you ain’t got a promise that you will come back,” said Sheriff Ray Foster of Buchanan County, Va. Two of his deputies were killed in March 2011 and two wounded — one of them paralyzed — by a man with a high-powered rifle.

“That was 80 percent of my day shift,” he said.

After a spate of killings in early 2011, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. asked federal authorities to work with local police departments to try to come up with solutions to the problem.

The F.B.I., which has tracked officer deaths since 1937, paid for a study conducted by John Jay College that found that in many cases the officers were trying to arrest or stop a suspect who had previously been arrested for a violent crime.

That prompted the F.B.I. to change what information it will provide to local police departments, the officials said. Starting this year, when police officers stop a car and call its license plate into the F.B.I.’s database, they will be told whether the owner of the vehicle has a violent history. Through the first three months of this year, the number of police fatalities has dropped, though it is unclear why.

Some law enforcement officials believe that techniques pioneered by the New York Police Department over the past two decades and adopted by other departments may have put officers at greater risk by encouraging them to conduct more street stops and to seek out and confront suspects who seem likely to be armed. In New York and elsewhere, police officials moved more officers into crime-ridden areas.

“This technique has become more popular across the country as smaller departments have followed the larger cities and tried to prevent crime,” said Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum. “Unlike several decades ago, there is this expectation that police matter and that police can make a difference.”

Commissioner Kelly said, “We try to put those officers where there is the most potential for violence.” However, he pointed out that most of the officers who have been shot in New York since December were not part of a proactive police deployment but were responding to emergencies.

Some argue that the rise in violence is linked to the tough economy. With less money, some states are releasing prisoners earlier; police departments, after years of staffing increases, have been forced to make cutbacks.

“A lot of these killings aren’t happening in major urban areas,” said James W. McMahon, chief of staff for the International Association of Chiefs of Police. “One of the concerns we are looking at is that a number of officers are being laid off or furloughed or not replaced.”

The police chief in Camden, N.J., J. Scott Thomson, whose force of 400 was cut by nearly half last year because of financing issues, said that having fewer officers on the street “makes it that much more difficult to create an environment in which criminals do not feel as emboldened to assault another person, let alone a law enforcement officer.”

The murder of a veteran officer last April in Chattanooga, Tenn., was typical of many of the 2011 episodes.

Sgt. Tim Chapin, a veteran nearing retirement, rushed to provide backup to officers who had responded to reports of a robbery outside a pawnshop and were under fire. Sergeant Chapin got out of his car and chased the fleeing suspect, who had been convicted of armed robbery. During the pursuit, the sergeant was fatally shot in the head.

As part of the F.B.I.’s efforts to prevent officer deaths, the bureau trains thousands of officers each year, highlighting shootings like the one in Chattanooga to teach officers about situations in which they are most vulnerable. Those situations are typically pursuits, traffic stops and arrests, said Michelle S. Klimt, a top F.B.I. official at its Criminal Justice Information Services Center in Clarksburg, W.Va., who oversees officer training.

“Every stop can be potentially fatal, so we are trying to make sure the officers are ready and prepared every single day they go out,” Ms. Klimt said. “We try and teach that every day you go out, you are going to be encountered with deadly force by someone trying to kill you.”

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Miami NBC Producer Fired After Altering 911 Audio Tape That Made Zimmerman Sound Like He Was Racially Profiling Dead Druggie Trayvon Martin

April 7, 2012

NEW YORK – The controversy erupted after “Today” aired a segment that made shooter George Zimmerman sound as though he was racially profiling the 17-year-old black youth.

NBC News has fired the producer it deemed most responsible for the airing of a selectively edited 911 call placed by George Zimmerman the night he killed Trayvon Martin.
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Sources at NBC who asked not to be identified confirmed a New York Times story saying that a Miami-based producer was fired Thursday, though the sources refused to identify the former employee.

The offending segment aired on NBC’s Today show March 27 but went widely unnoticed until it was highlighted by conservative outlets such as the Media Research Center and Breitbart.com.

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Two days after the Today gaffe, Sean Hannity ran a segment about NBC’s manipulation of the 911 call on his Fox News Channel show. The story went viral when the Drudge Report linked to a Hollywood Reporter story about the growing controversy last week.

In the original 911 call, Zimmerman is heard describing Martin as such: “This guy looks like he’s up to no good. Or he’s on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around, looking about.”

The dispatcher then asks: “OK, and this guy – is he white, black or Hispanic?”

“He looks black,” Zimmerman responds.

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The version NBC ran, though, was much shorter and did not include the question posed by the 911 operator.

“This guy looks like he’s up to no good. He looks black,” Zimmerman is heard saying in NBC’s edited version.

The difference is significant, since activists have been claiming that Zimmerman had racially profiled Martin. Critics have argued that NBC set out to purposely advance that narrative by condensing the 911 tape to make it appear that Zimmerman’s motivation for assuming Martin was “up to no good” was based on his skin color.

NBC announced Saturday that it had launched an investigation into the matter, and on Tuesday it apologized for its “error” and said it had completed its inquiry.

“We will be taking the necessary steps to prevent this from happening in the future and apologize to our viewers,” NBC said Tuesday.

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Sanford Florida Police And Prosecutors Resisted Release Of 911 Tapes Concerning Dead Druggie Trayvon Martin

March 30, 2012

SANFORD, FLORIDA — The mayor of the city where Trayvon Martin was killed says he overruled police and prosecutors who opposed the release of tapes of 911 calls, telling them: “We’re not here to hide anything.”

Jeff Triplett, who is a senior vice president at United Legacy Bank and part-time mayor of Sanford, said he took the decision after Martin’s family asked for the release of recordings of a call that shooter George Zimmerman made to police and 911 calls from neighbors who heard the confrontation.

Police, prosecutors and the city attorney opposed releasing the calls because of the ongoing investigation, Triplett told Reuters.

“Everyone was saying to me, no, no, no, don’t turn them over,” he said. “I just continually asked, ‘Why wouldn’t we do this?'”

“I made that call to try to settle everything down a little bit, to let the family hear what transpired. We were being accused of a lot of things, or the police department was, so we can take the step to say, ‘We’re not here to hide anything,'” Triplett added.

World is ‘watching’
Triplett was governs a population of about 54,000, 30 percent of whom are black and have long complained bitterly about police mistreatment.

“I ran for office to make a better Sanford. And this comes on your plate, and it’s just amazing,” 43-year-old Triplett told Reuters in an interview.

“The decisions I’m trying to make, I could be not only held accountable for them from the city side but from the nation and the world that’s watching right now,” he added.

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Martin’s death has drawn international attention, spurred protests in American cities and prompted a federal review.

George Zimmerman’s brother said late on Thursday that medical records will prove that his brother was attacked and his nose was broken by Trayvon Martin before he fatally shot the teen.

Robert Zimmerman Jr. told CNN’s Piers Morgan: “We’re confident the medical records are going to explain all of George’s medical history,” he said.

Controversy surrounding the case deepened Thursday when surveillance video footage of George Zimmerman being led from a police car shortly after he fatally shot Martin appeared not to show any obvious signs of injuries or bloodstains.

The footage, obtained by ABC News, shows a handcuffed Zimmerman getting out of the police car unaided and walking into the police station.

In the video, there are no readily visible signs of injuries to Zimmerman’s head or blood on his clothes. However, he is wearing a red jacket, which could obscure blood stains. Also, at one point, an officer pauses to look at the back of Zimmerman’s head, which he claims was injured by Martin.

Triplett has had a mixed reaction: he has been booed off a stage, defended by black community leaders, and lectured on racial justice by civil rights activists.

He described how, on March 16, he invited Martin’s family and lawyers to his office at City Hall to listen to the 911 calls prior to the public release. Natalie Jackson, an Orlando civil rights lawyer, was also present.

Martin’s mother weeps
Triplett played the calls on his office computer. Someone was heard crying for help. Martin’s mother wept and ran from the room, convinced it was her son, Jackson said. Everyone was moved to tears.

“It was very emotional,” Triplett recalled. “Obviously when you hear something like that, there couldn’t be anything worse for a family member or a parent … and to hear your own son, what transpired at the last second.”

Police video shows George Zimmerman shortly after Trayvon Martin shooting

Not everyone approves of Triplett’s actions. Sanford City Commissioner Patty Mahany said she thought he meant well, but that he had drawn more attention to the case and the calls could influence jurors in any trial.

“I think it stirred up a lot of anger in very well-meaning people who still don’t have the whole story,” Mahany said.

Meanwhile, a college newspaper has apologized for publishing a cartoon about the Martin case after it received complaints, according to a report in the LA Times.

The editorial board of the University of Texas at Austin’s Daily Texan said its decision to publish the cartoon “showed a failure in judgment on the part of the editorial board”, adding that the cartoonist responsible, Stephanie Eisner, had left the paper.

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