Dallas Texas Police Officer Matthew Gaines Arrested Near Shooting Scene For Drunk Driving After Nearly Hitting Patrol Car, Driving On Wrong Side Of The Road With No Lights

July 27, 2012

DALLAS, TEXAS – A rookie Dallas police officer was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving early Wednesday morning after he nearly hit two squad cars near the scene of Tuesday’s officer-involved shooting in south Dallas.

Officer Matthew Gaines was off-duty and in his personal car when he was arrested at about 5:30 a.m., according to Dallas police.

Police first noticed Gaines’ vehicle on 2nd Avenue, between Bruton and Dixon, driving on the wrong side of the road with its light off.

A police report says Gaines’ car nearly swerved into a marked DPD squad car near the intersection of Dixon and 2nd avenues.

The report says the officer followed Gaines’ car, which nearly drove off the road twice, then almost collided with a marked Dallas County Sheriff’s vehicle.

Officers pulled Gaines over at a gas station at Dixon and 2nd avenues, and the report says Gaines was “dazed and confused” and “thick-tongued.”

Gaines admitted he’d been drinking beer at a friend’s house in Balch Springs, and he told police he was going home to Forney. The report says he thought he was still in Balch Springs.

Gaines is assigned to the Southeast Patrol Division and has been an officer since September 2010.

He was released from jail on a $500 bond, according to the sheriff’s office.

It is not clear if Gaines was on duty yesterday when scores of police officers were called to the shooting scene on Bourquin Street, just a few blocks from where Gaines was arrested.

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Democrats Try Slipping Gun Control Law Into Cybersecurity Bill – Ineffective Brady Bill All Over Again

July 27, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – Democratic senators have offered an amendment to the cybersecurity bill that would limit the purchase of high capacity gun magazines for some consumers.

Shortly after the Cybersecurity Act gained Senate approval to proceed to filing proposed amendments and a vote next week, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), a sponsor of the gun control amendment, came to the floor to defend the idea of implementing some “reasonable” gun control measures.

The amendment was sponsored by Democratic Sens. Frank Lautenberg (N.J.), Barbara Boxer (Calif.), Jack Reed (R.I.), Bob Menendez (N.J.), Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), Schumer and Dianne Feinstein (Calif.). S.A. 2575 would make it illegal to transfer or possess large capacity feeding devices such as gun magazines, belts, feed stripes and drums of more than 10 rounds of ammunition with the exception of .22 caliber rim fire ammunition.

The amendment is identical to a separate bill sponsored by Lautenberg. Feinstein was the sponsor of the assault weapons ban, which expired in 2004.

The proposed amendment would only affect sales and transfers after the law took effect.

Schumer defended the Brady law and assault weapons ban on the floor Thursday evening, perhaps in preparation for the coming fight with Republicans and gun rights activists.

Schumer suggested that both the left and right find common ground.

“Maybe we could come together on guns if each side gave some,” Schumer said.

He suggested that Democrats make it clear that their goal is not to repeal the Second Amendment.

“The basic complaint is that the Chuck Schumers of the world want to take away your guns,” Schumer said of the argument made by gun lobbies. “I think it would be smart for those of us who want rational gun control to make it know that that’s not true at all.”

Schumer also pointed out that it would be reasonable for the right to recognize that background checks on those buying guns is necessary — as called for in the Brady law. He also said average Americans don’t need an assault weapon to go hunting or protect themselves.

“We can debate where to draw the line of reasonableness, but we might be able to come to an agreement in the middle,” Schumer said. “Maybe, maybe, maybe we can pass some laws that might, might, might stop some of the unnecessary casualties … maybe there’s a way we can some together and try to break through the log jam and make sure the country is a better place.”

Next week the Senate is expected to debate and vote on proposed amendments to the cybersecurity bill.

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Crazed Jackson County Oregon Circuit Judge Sentences Man To 30 Days In Jail And Over $1,500 In Fines For Collecting Rainwater On His Own Property

July 27, 2012

EAGLE POINT, OREGON – A rural Oregon man was sentenced Wednesday to 30 days in jail and over $1,500 in fines because he had three reservoirs on his property to collect and use rainwater.

Gary Harrington of Eagle Point, Ore., says he plans to appeal his conviction in Jackson County (Ore.) Circuit Court on nine misdemeanor charges under a 1925 law for having what state water managers called “three illegal reservoirs” on his property – and for filling the reservoirs with rainwater and snow runoff.

“The government is bullying,” Harrington told CNSNews.com in an interview Thursday.

“They’ve just gotten to be big bullies and if you just lay over and die and give up, that just makes them bigger bullies. So, we as Americans, we need to stand on our constitutional rights, on our rights as citizens and hang tough. This is a good country, we’ll prevail,” he said.

The court has given Harrington two weeks to report to the Jackson County Jail to begin serving his sentence.

Harrington said the case first began in 2002, when state water managers told him there were complaints about the three “reservoirs” – ponds – on his more than 170 acres of land.

According to Oregon water laws, all water is publicly owned. Therefore, anyone who wants to store any type of water on their property must first obtain a permit from state water managers.

Harrington said he applied for three permits to legally house reservoirs for storm and snow water runoff on his property. One of the “reservoirs” had been on his property for 37 years, he said.

Though the state Water Resources Department initially approved his permits in 2003, the state – and a state court — ultimately reversed the decision.

“They issued me my permits. I had my permits in hand and they retracted them just arbitrarily, basically. They took them back and said ‘No, you can’t have them,’ so I’ve been fighting it ever since,” Harrington told CNSNews.com.

The case, he said, is centered on a 1925 law which states that the city of Medford holds exclusive rights to “all core sources of water” in the Big Butte Creek watershed and its tributaries.

“Way back in 1925 the city of Medford got a unique withdrawal that withdrew all — supposedly all — the water out of a single basin and supposedly for the benefit of the city of Medford,” Harrington told CNSNews.com.

Harrington told CNSNews.com, however, that the 1925 law doesn’t mention anything about colleting rainwater or snow melt — and he believes that he has been falsely accused.

“The withdrawal said the stream and its tributaries. It didn’t mention anything about rainwater and it didn’t mention anything about snow melt and it didn’t mention anything about diffused water, but yet now, they’re trying to expand that to include that rain water and they’re using me as the goat to do it,” Harrington

But Tom Paul, administrator of the Oregon Water Resources Department, claims that Harrington has been violating the state’s water use law by diverting water from streams running into the Big Butte River.

“The law that he is actually violating is not the 1925 provision, but it’s Oregon law that says all of the water in the state of Oregon is public water and if you want to use that water, either to divert it or to store it, you have to acquire a water right from the state of Oregon before doing that activity,” Paul told CNSNews.com.

Yet Paul admitted the 1925 law does apply because, he said, Harrington constructed dams to block a tributary to the Big Butte, which Medford uses for its water supply.

“There are dams across channels, water channels where the water would normally flow if it were not for the dam and so those dams are stopping the water from flowing in the channel and storing it- holding it so it cannot flow downstream,” Paul told CNSNews.com.

Harrington, however, argued in court that that he is not diverting water from Big Butte Creek, but the dams capturing the rainwater and snow runoff – or “diffused water” – are on his own property and that therefore the runoff does not fall under the jurisdiction of the state water managers, nor does it not violate the 1925 act.

In 2007, a Jackson County Circuit Court judge denied Harrington’s permits and found that he had illegally “withdrawn the water at issue from appropriation other than for the City of Medford.”

According to Paul, Harrington entered a guilty plea at the time, received three years probation and was ordered to open up the water gates.

“A very short period of time following the expiration of his probation, he once again closed the gates and re-filled the reservoirs,” Paul told CNSNews.com. “So, this has been going on for some time and I think frankly the court felt that Mr. Harrington was not getting the message and decided that they’d already given him probation once and required him to open the gates and he refilled his reservoirs and it was business as usual for him, so I think the court wanted — it felt it needed — to give a stiffer penalty to get Mr. Harrington’s attention.”

In two weeks, if unsuccessful in his appeals, Harrington told CNSNews.com that he will report to the Jackson County Jail to serve his sentence.

“I follow the rules. If I’m mandated to report, I’m going to report. Of course, I’m going to do what it takes in the meantime to prevent that, but if I’m not successful, I’ll be there,” Harrington said.

But Harrington also said that he will never stop fighting the government on this issue.

“When something is wrong, you just, as an American citizen, you have to put your foot down and say, ‘This is wrong; you just can’t take away anymore of my rights and from here on in, I’m going to fight it.”

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Hero Father With Bat Busts Up Watertown New York Head Shop Selling Bath Salts That Put His Son In The Hospital

July 27, 2012

WATERTOWN, NEW YORK – An upstate New York man is facing felony charges after allegedly using a baseball bat to bust up a local head shop that sold bath salts to his son, who was hospitalized after overdosing on the synthetic drug.

Police allege that Daniel Avery, 49, smashed the front door of Tebbs Smokeshop in Watertown, and broke display cases and merchandise inside the shop during yesterday’s 10 AM rampage.

Avery, pictured in the mug shot at right, appeared in court today and had his case adjourned until August 9. He has been charged with criminal possession of a weapon and criminal mischief, both felonies, and menacing, a misdemeanor.

Acording to a Watertown Police Department report, when cops arrived at the head shop, Avery told an officer he “smashed up the place.” “He told me they sold bath salts to his son and he was in the hospital,” reported Officer Dennis Lawlee.

Trevor Harding, a Tebbs employee, told police that Avery entered the shop and said, “You sold my kid bath salts.” Harding, 24, added, “He kept spazzing out saying he was going to kill me, he had a good son that never did crack or cocaine.”

Investigators estimated that Avery caused about $640 in damages with a “small blue Yankees bat” that was recovered from his car.

Before showing up at the head shop, Avery left a message on the store’s answering machine saying, “You fucking sold my kid bath salts and I’ll kill you.”

After wrecking the store, Avery actually dialed 911 and summoned cops to the head shop. While waiting for officers to arrive, Harding recalled, Avery–who has a prior felony burglary conviction–warned him, “You better find a new job or quit because I am going to come back and get you.”

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Broke: New York City Transit Authority To Add “Green Fee” To Pay For Pass Cards – Same Cards On Which They Are Paid To Print Advertising

July 27, 2012

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is considering adding on a ‘green fee’ on each new MetroCard to encourage riders to recycle their cards.

The proposal for the $1 surcharge was contained in the agency’s preliminary budget for next year.

The aim is to reduce the number of cards that are printed and discarded.

The surcharge would produce about $18 million a year for the MTA.

The agency prints and encodes an average of 160 million MetroCards a year at a cost of about $9.5 million. Printing fewer cards will save the MTA about $2 million.

This isn’t the first time the cash-strapped MTA has proposed this fee. In 2010, the mass transit agency considered a $1 surcharge on new MetroCards to help close an $800 million budget shortfall.

The Straphangers Campaign has endorsed the plan.

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Thought Police: New York City Police Investigate And Arrest Department Of Education Employee Who Had Pictures Of Colorado Movie Theater Shooter At Work – Had No Weapons And Had Made No Threats, But They Still Searched His Home

July 27, 2012

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – A Department of Education worker was taken into police custody after he told police he was obsessed with the Colorado movie theater massacre suspect when authorities questioned him about photos of the alleged shooter he had at his office desk, NBC 4 New York has learned

Police responded to DoE’s Brooklyn technology offices Wednesday night after receiving complaints of the employee’s suspicious activity. They found a photo of suspect James Holmes on the employee’s computer screen and photos of the alleged killer “all over his desk,” a source familiar with the investigation said.

The 60-year-old employee was not at work when police arrived at the offices. Police went to his home, where he allegedly told them he was obsessed with Holmes. He told police Holmes reminded him of him when he was younger and that he sympathized with the accused killer because he doesn’t like his co-workers, sources familiar with the investigation said.

Sources say the man seemed dazed and appeared to be drinking. Police found pill bottles and alcohol in his apartment.

The employee lunged at cops while inside his apartment, sources said. He was taken into custody and brought to Bellevue Hospital for a psychiatric evaluation.

It’s not clear why the man lunged, but sources say there doesn’t appear to be any kind of threat. Police searched his home out of an abundance of caution and concern for potential copycat style attacks. No weapons or any other threats were found, and the employee did not make any threats against anyone, sources said.

He is not expected to be charged at this point, according to sources.

The DoE could not immediately be reached for comment.

Holmes is being held in Colorado after he allegedly walked into a midnight showing of “The Dark Knight Rises” in Aurora last week and opened fire, killing 12 people and injuring 58 others.

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Savage Black Beast Paid Three Slices Of Pizza In Memphis Tennessee Domino’s Pizza Delivery Driver Robbery

July 27, 2012

MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE – A Tennessee man who this week confessed his role in the robbery of a Domino’s delivery man told cops that he served as a lookout man in return for three slices of pizza, according to court records.

During questioning Monday by Memphis Police Department officers, Tony Hamer, 19, admitted that he was “present during the planning” of the July 10 robbery, which was carried out by a cohort.

Domino’s worker Jose Reyes told police that he was delivering a pizza around 9 PM when he was approached by two men, one of whom threatened to shoot Reyes if he did not “give him the money and pizza.” Reyes said he handed over $20, his HTC cell phone, and the pizza.

Hamer, seen in the adjacent mug shot, told investigators that he “participated as a look out and provided protection for the other male during the robbery.” Cops noted, “Hamer received three slices of Pizza for his participation in this robbery.”

In addition to the July 10 crime, Hamer also admitted to robbing a second pizza delivery person. Along with stealing a $54 pizza order, Hamer and an associate took $35 from victim Erica Northcutt (who was also relieved of her ID).

A complaint affidavit does not indicate what Hamer’s cut was from the July 20 robbery.

Hamer is being held in the Shelby County jail in lieu of $35,000 bond on two felony robbery counts. He is next due in court on August 1.

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GM Stock Dives To New Low – Recovery Of Bailout Money Much Less Likely – Current US Taxpayer Losses Apx. $17.25 BILLION For GM And $14.7 BILLION Owed After GM Finance Unit Bailout

July 26, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – General Motors Co. stock fell 1.2 percent Wednesday, closing at $18.80, down $0.22, on worries about Europe — the first time the Detroit automaker’s stock has closed below $19 a share since its initial public offering.

The Detroit automaker has seen its share price tumble by more than 52 percent since it reached a high closing price in January 2011 of $38.90, just after going public in November 2010. The company has shed more than $30 billion in market capitalization over the last 18 months, and now is worth about $29 billion.

The fall came as Ford Motor Co. announced Wednesday that second quarter earnings declined on larger-than-expected losses in Europe.

GM’s low stock price has prevented the Treasury from exiting the automaker. It still holds 500 million shares of stock in the company as part of its $49.5 billion bailout, or a 32 percent stake.

It needs about $53 a share in order to break even on its GM bailout. At current prices, it would lose $17.25 billion on the bailout.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney told The Detroit News last month that the government should exit GM quickly, even if the government incurred a hefty loss on its investment.

But Obama administration officials have said the government has no intention of selling any of its remaining GM shares before the November election.

In a report released Wednesday, the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program’s special inspector general said taxpayers are still owed nearly $27 billion for the GM bailout and $14.7 billion for the $17.2 billion bailout of Detroit lender Ally Financial Inc. The Treasury still holds a 74 percent stake in Ally as part of the bailout of the former GM finance unit.

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Microsoft Makes Skype Chats And Video By Its 600 Million Users Readily Accessable To Law Enforcement

July 26, 2012

REDMOND, WASHINGTON – Skype, the online phone service long favored by political dissidents, criminals and others eager to communicate beyond the reach of governments, has expanded its cooperation with law enforcement authorities to make online chats and other user information available to police, said industry and government officials familiar with the changes.

Surveillance of the audio and video feeds remains impractical — even when courts issue warrants, say industry officials with direct knowledge of the matter. But that barrier could eventually vanish as Skype becomes one of the world’s most popular forms of telecommunication.

The changes have drawn quiet applause in law enforcement circles but hostility from many activists and analysts.

The changes to online chats, which are written messages conveyed almost instantaneously between users, result in part from technical upgrades to Skype that were instituted to address outages and other stability issues since Microsoft bought the company last year. Officials of the United States and other countries have long pushed to expand their access to newer forms of communications to resolve an issue that the FBI calls the “going dark” problem.

Microsoft has approached the issue with “tremendous sensitivity and a canny awareness of what the issues would be,” said an industry official familiar with Microsoft’s plans, who like several people interviewed for this story spoke on the condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss the issue publicly. The company has “a long track record of working successfully with law enforcement here and internationally,” he added.

The changes, which give the authorities access to addresses and credit card numbers, have drawn quiet applause in law enforcement circles but hostility from many activists and analysts.

Authorities had for years complained that Skype’s encryption and other features made tracking drug lords, pedophiles and terrorists more difficult. Jihadis recommended the service on online forums. Police listening to traditional wiretaps occasionally would hear wary suspects say to one another, “Hey, let’s talk on Skype.”

Hacker groups and privacy experts have been speculating for months that Skype had changed its architecture to make it easier for governments to monitor, and many blamed Microsoft, which has an elaborate operation for complying with legal government requests in countries around the world.

“The issue is, to what extent are our communications being purpose-built to make surveillance easy?” said Lauren Weinstein, co-founder of People for Internet Responsibility, a digital privacy group. “When you make it easy to do, law enforcement is going to want to use it more and more. If you build it, they will come.’’

Skype was slow to clarify the situation, issuing a statement recently that said, “As was true before the Microsoft acquisition, Skype cooperates with law enforcement agencies as is legally required and technically feasible.”

But changes allowing police surveillance of online chats had been made since late last year, a knowledgeable industry official said Wednesday.

In the United States, such requests require a court order, though in other nations rules vary. Skype has more than 600 million users, with some in nearly every nation in the world. Political dissidents relied on it extensively during the Arab Spring to communicate with journalists, human rights workers and each other, in part because of its reputation for security.

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Here We Go: Obama Uses Isolated Case Of A Lunatic With A Gun To Justicy Restrictions

July 26, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – Faced with a clamor in his party for stricter gun control in the wake of the Colorado movie-theater massacre, President Obama said Wednesday night he would “leave no stone unturned” in seeking new measures to reduce violence nationwide, including more restrictive background checks on gun purchases.

“A lot of gun owners would agree that AK-47s belong in the hands of soldiers, not in the hands of criminals,” Mr. Obama said at the annual National Urban League convention in New Orleans. “They belong on the battlefield of war, not on the streets of our cities.”

The president blamed “politics and lobbying” for defeating gun-control measures when outcries arise after mass shootings in the U.S. And he said the nation’s attention should not just be focused on mass shootings, such as the one on Friday in Aurora, Colo., but on the daily shooting deaths of youths from gun violence in major cities.

“Every day, the number of young people we lose to violence is about the same as the number of people we lost in that movie theater,” Mr. Obama said. “For every Columbine or Virginia Tech, there are dozens gunned down on the streets of Chicago or Atlanta, here in New Orleans. Violence plagues the biggest cities, but it also plagues the smallest towns.”

It was Mr. Obama’s first comment on gun violence since the shooting in Aurora that killed 12 people and wounded 58. Police said James Holmes, 24, carried out the killings with an assault rifle, a shotgun and two handguns.

Progressives are pushing Mr. Obama, who campaigned four years ago on a platform of stricter gun control, to speak out on the subject and use the tragedy to impose stricter gun regulations. But the White House has been saying since the shooting last week that Mr. Obama has no plans to seek new gun legislation.

The president used the speech to the Urban League to defend his own actions to date on gun control, as much as to call for tougher controls.

“We’ve been able to take some actions on our own, recognizing that it’s not always easy to get things through Congress these days,” Mr. Obama said. “The background checks on those looking to purchase firearms are now more thorough and more complete. Instead of just throwing more money at the problem of violence, the federal government is now in the trenches with communities and schools and law enforcement … we’re partnering with local officials to reduce crime using best practices.”

He added that the administration has been promoting intervention programs to keep young people out of gangs.

But he said those steps have not been effective enough, and blamed “opposition in Congress” for preventing more restrictive gun laws.

“I, like most Americans, believe that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual the right to bear arms,” Mr. Obama said. “But I also believe that the majority of gun owners would agree that we should do everything possible to prevent criminals and fugitives from purchasing weapons, that we should check someone’s criminal record before they can [purchase a gun], that a mentally unbalanced individual should not be able to get his hands on a gun so easily. These steps shouldn’t be controversial, they should be common sense. So I’m going to continue to work with members of both parties and with religious groups and with civic organizations to arrive at a consensus around violence reduction. Not just of gun violence, but violence at every level.”

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100 Million Poor People In The United States – And 39 Poverty Facts

July 26, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – Every single day more Americans fall into poverty. This should deeply alarm you no matter what political party you belong to and no matter what your personal economic philosophy is. Right now, approximately 100 million Americans are either “poor” or “near poor”.

[Disclaimer: Questionable source – http://www.infowars.com.]

For a lot of people “poverty” can be a nebulous concept, so let’s define it. The poverty level as defined by the federal government in 2010 was $11,139 for an individual and $22,314 for a family of four. Could you take care of a family of four on less than $2000 a month? Millions upon millions of families are experiencing a tremendous amount of pain in this economy, and no matter what “solutions” we think are correct, the reality is that we all should have compassion on them. Sadly, things are about to get even worse. The next major economic downturn is rapidly approaching, and when it hits the statistics posted below are going to look even more horrendous.

When it comes to poverty, most Americans immediately want to get into debates about tax rates and wealth redistribution and things like that.

But the truth is that they are missing the main point.

The way we slice up the pie is not going to solve our problems, because the pie is constantly getting smaller.

Our economic infrastructure is being absolutely gutted, the U.S. dollar is slowly losing its status as the reserve currency of the world and we are steadily getting poorer as a nation.
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Obama Campaign Scrambles To Contain His Stupidity After “You Didn’t Build That” Stab At Business Leaders

July 25, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – President Obama’s campaign scrambled to combat Republican efforts to highlight his “you didn’t build that” remark — a sign there are concerns the story could have legs far into the election cycle.

Team Obama released a new television ad late Tuesday with the president himself directly addressing the controversy. And the Democratic National Committee circulated a memo Wednesday detailing how it would respond to the GOP messaging.

The actions indicate Democrats are concerned the remark could haunt the campaign, especially given the persistent GOP strikes at Obama’s handling of the economy. Republicans have repeatedly knocked the president for not understanding the private sector, and their attacks have been amplified by criticism from business leaders, who were unhappy with Obama’s comment.

“Obama did for Romney what Romney couldn’t do for himself, which is to create a clear contrast and unlock emotions on the key issue of the campaign,” said Republican strategist Ford O’Connell. “It helps Romney with independents, with GOPers and with white, working-class Democrats who needed an economic message that they could rally around.”

In fact, Romney supporters have quickly made “I built that” signs a mainstay of campaign rallies. On Wednesday, the presumptive GOP nominee’s campaign held 24 separate events across 12 battleground states featuring small-business owners who say they’re angry over Obama’s economic philosophy.

Republican eagerness to pounce on the perceived gaffe isn’t surprising, considering that the summer doldrums preceding an election are often fraught with such semantic battles. But the Obama campaign’s willingness to engage is an indication that officials in Chicago are concerned about damage control.

On Tuesday night, the president’s campaign team released a new television ad where the president unequivocally dismissed the attacks from Romney.

“Those ads taking my words about small business out of context — they’re flat-out wrong,” Obama says in the commercial. “Of course Americans build their own businesses. Every day, hardworking people sacrifice to meet a payroll, create jobs and make our economy run. And what I said was that we need to stand behind them, as America always has.”

And, in a memo circulated to reporters by DNC communications director Brad Woodhouse, Democrats pledged to “turn the page” on the issue.

One attempt on Wednesday was an effort to turn the conversation back to Romney’s tenure at Bain Capital. Obama campaign officials highlighted a report from The Associated Press that showed the presumptive Republican nominee continued to have regular contact with his partners in the firm after his 1999 departure date.

Speaking to reporters on Air Force One, Obama campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki argued the story shows “a continued pattern of secrecy around his involvement there and his time there” and encouraged reporters to read it.

But the Bain story didn’t gain traction — yet.

The Democratic posturing has also given the Romney campaign something to crow about — given that just last week it was reeling from questions about his tenure at Bain and the release of his tax records.

Republicans are clearly enjoying the Democrats’ discomfort.

“This is something that can keep the base fired up at least until the convention, and maybe longer,” said O’Connell. “We’re in the dog days of summer, and you need something that can harness supporters in a concentrated way. The Obama team is smart, instead of arguing about it, to try to get out there and fight back, but it’s going to carry for awhile.”

“I think there’s definitely a little bit of panic in Chicago right now because they realize this comment has clearly struck a chord with the American people,” Republican National Committee communications director Sean Spicer said Wednesday on CNN.

And Romney aides, in emails, described the Obama campaign as “in panic mode.”

Meanwhile, other Republican candidates were looking to draft off the success of Romney’s attacks. In Massachusetts’s pivotal Senate race, Sen. Scott Brown (R) looked to tag Democratic rival Elizabeth Warren with the president’s remarks.

“Even as Obama starts to walk back his ‘you didn’t build that’ comment with his new TV ad, Warren is doubling down — she is, after all, the originator of this idea,” said Brown campaign spokesman Colin Reed.

But while Obama’s phrase — and the Romney attacks — have been dominating the storyline, there are some indications the stumble won’t be a game-changer that substantially undermines the president’s reelection chances.

First of all, the news cycle, which is notoriously fickle, could change easily. The Summer Olympics are starting. And Romney’s overseas trip threatens to draw the candidate substantially off-message just as the attack is reaching a fevered pitch.

Plus, any news out of Romney’s trip could drown out his campaign’s attack.

There were already signs of that Wednesday, when Romney landed in London and was besieged by questions over an anonymous comment in the British press, attributed to a campaign adviser, suggesting Romney was better able to navigate the “special relationship” between the United States and England because of his understanding of “Anglo-Saxon heritage.”

His campaign spent the day denying the remark.

And Romney’s stops, including meetings with British, Israeli, Palestinian and Polish leaders, offer few opportunities to score political points by attacking the president.

It’s also unclear whether the story will have a tangible effect on the polls. While Obama seemed to dominate early July with his attacks on Bain Capital, national polling showed little change. The two men are still running neck and neck.

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FBI To “Review” Shooting And Killing Of Unarmed Innocent Man By Anaheim California Police – Cops Blaming Everyone But Themselves For Shooting And Riots

July 25, 2012

ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – The FBI has agreed to review a controversial fatal officer-involved shooting that sparked days of unrest and violence in Anaheim.

Anaheim officials said they have also asked state officials to launch a review of the Saturday incident, which is already being probed by the Orange County district attorney. The district attorney has asked the public to share any photos or video of the shooting and its aftermath.

During unrest Tuesday night, people grabbed rocks from a construction site at Santa Ana Street and Anaheim Boulevard and hurled them at officers. Others in the area ignited a fire in the weeds and in trash bins as they were chased by police.

Officials said they will continue to crack down on unlawful protests and vandalism if there are more protests in the coming days.

“Anaheim is a strong community and a community that works together to solve its problems,” Mayor Tom Tait said at a news conference Wednesday morning. “I think it’s important for city officials to hear from people we serve … but violence and vandalism have no part in the conversation.”

Tait said he was disturbed by the Tuesday night protesters — about two-thirds of whom city officials believe are not from Anaheim — who took “advantage of this evening of dialogue to try to create chaos in our downtown neighborhoods.”

“They chose violence and vandalism over respectful communications,” Tait said.

Anaheim Police Chief John Welter said the crowd grew to more than 1,000 at times. Protests were allowed to continue, he said, until the violence escalated and became threatening to police and others in the area.

After an unlawful assembly was declared, Welter said a smaller group of 50 to 100 protesters continued roaming the streets of downtown Anaheim, damaging public property and throwing rocks and bottles. Police employed nonlethal tactics, including batons, pepper balls and bean bags. Two Orange County Register reporters were injured — one hit in the head with a rock, another with a projectile to the foot — while covering the melee. Police said four others were also injured.

“We will not allow riotous, dangerous violations of the law by anyone,” Welter said.
Welter said more than 20 businesses were damaged, mostly with broken windows. A total of 24 people were arrested, including four juveniles. In addition to businesses, the Police Department and City Hall also sustained damaged, Welter said.

The arrests included offenses such as assault with a deadly weapon, possession of a handgun, failure to disperse and resisting arrest.

Police said they will be reviewing video footage from Tuesday night’s protests to arrest those who engaged in illegal activity.

Anaheim police were still assessing the fallout from the unrest, which took place amid growing outrage over a pair of fatal officer-involved shootings over the weekend.

“I think that given the totality of the circumstances, actually things turned out very good,” said Sgt. Robert Dunn, a spokesman for the Anaheim Police Department.

At the northeast corner of Water Street and Anaheim Boulevard, the lights of Don Leonardo’s Taqueria were on. The owners, Francisco Hernandez and his wife, Alma, were returning from church when they discovered a mob of people had damaged their building. Expletives about the police were written on the side of their business, much like in other parts of the neighborhood.

“We’re very upset about this,” Hernandez said. “We had nothing to do with what has happened in the city.”

Hernandez also discovered that trash cans from their corner house had been moved to the intersection and had been set on fire. At least one of them had been melted down to its wheels.

After a few minutes of sweeping glass, a friend of the couple discovered that a second window had been broken. Hernandez said replacing the windows would cost about $700.

“At least they weren’t throwing rocks at some of the windows of the nearby homes,” he said.

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Maricopa Arizona Police Officer Victor Valenzuela Fired After On Duty Sex With Another Man’s Wife

July 25, 2012

MARICOPA, ARIZONA – A city of Maricopa police officer is out of a job for something he did on the job in December.

“I don’t think any officer should be able to stay on the force if they’ve been caught having an affair with somebody else’s wife while they’re on duty,” Perry Edwards said.

Back in March, Edwards showed 3TV sex texts between his wife and a city of Maricopa police officer.

Edwards suspected his wife was having sex with an officer while the cop was on duty.

Edwards’ sister, Roberta Schneider, was so disgusted she asked the police department to investigate.

“He is supposed to be serving our community, not making booty calls in the back of his car,” Schneider said.

3TV got a hold of the department’s investigative report.

Edwards got his wish.

Officer Victor Valenzuela was fired from the department in March.

“He showed remorse, he was embarrassed and he wishes to go on with life and hopes that this goes away,” said police Chief Steve Stahl.

Stahl said Valenzuela admitted to having sex with a married woman while he was working.

“It’s sad. There’s no doubt about it,” Stahl said. “I want to ensure the residents as soon as we found out about the conduct it was investigated very quickly and it was handled very quickly.”

According to the report, Valenzuela also admitted to wearing his uniform and driving his patrol car to the Edwards’ home.

Valenzuela also told the investigator the sexual encounter happened just once, for a half-hour, and afterward he signed up for a 12-step sex addiction program.

The officer didn’t have to repay the department for the half-hour spent at the Edwards’ home.

“He risked his career in this behavior and the behavior in and of itself and the penalty in and of itself of losing your career as a law enforcement officer is a pretty heavy penalty to pay,” Stahl said.

According to the state, Valenzuela’s certification is suspended until September.

As for the Edwards, they’re in the middle of divorce proceedings.

3TV tried getting in contact with Valenzuela but was unable to locate the former police officer.

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See Something, Say Something – Alert Building Superintendent Finds And Reports Apartment In New Jersey That New York City Police Officers Use For Spying

July 25, 2012

NEW BRUNSWICK, NEW JERSEY – It’s an audiotape the New York Police Department hoped you would never hear.

A building superintendent at an apartment complex just off the Rutgers University campus called the New Brunswick Police 911 line in June 2009. He said his staff had been conducting a routine inspection and came across something suspicious.

“What’s suspicious?” the dispatcher asked.

“Suspicious in the sense that the apartment has about — has no furniture except two beds, has no clothing, has New York City Police Department radios.”

“Really?” the dispatcher asked, her voice rising with surprise.

The caller, Salil Sheth, had stumbled upon one of the NYPD’s biggest secrets: a safe house, a place where undercover officers working well outside the department’s jurisdiction could lie low and coordinate surveillance. Since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, the NYPD, with training and guidance from the CIA, has monitored the activities of Muslims in New York and far beyond. Detectives infiltrated mosques, eavesdropped in cafes and kept tabs on Muslim student groups, including at Rutgers.

The NYPD kept files on innocent sermons, recorded the names of political organizers in police documents and built databases of where Muslims lived and shopped, even where they were likely to gather to watch sports. Out-of-state operations, like the one in New Brunswick, were one aspect of this larger intelligence-gathering effort. The Associated Press previously described the discovery of the NYPD inside the New Jersey apartment, but police now have released the tape of the 911 call and other materials after a legal fight.

“There’s computer hardware, software, you know, just laying around,” the caller continued. “There’s pictures of terrorists. There’s pictures of our neighboring building that they have.”

“In New Brunswick?” the dispatcher asked, sounding as confused as the caller.

Police refused to hand over tape

The AP requested a copy of the 911 tape last year. Under pressure from the NYPD, the New Brunswick Police Department refused. After the AP sued, the city this week turned over the tape and emails that described the NYPD’s efforts to keep the recording a secret.

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The call sent New Brunswick police and the FBI rushing to the apartment complex. Officers and agents were surprised at what they found. None had been told that the NYPD was in town.

At the NYPD, the bungled operation was an embarrassment. It made the department look amateurish and forced it to ask the FBI to return the department’s materials.

The emails highlight the sometimes convoluted arguments the NYPD has used to justify its out-of-state activities, which have been criticized by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and some members of Congress. The NYPD has infiltrated and photographed Muslim businesses and mosques in New Jersey, monitored the Internet postings of Muslim college students across the Northeast and traveled as far away as New Orleans to infiltrate and build files on liberal advocacy groups.

In February, NYPD’s deputy commissioner for legal matters, Andrew Schaffer, told reporters that detectives can operate outside New York because they aren’t conducting official police duties.

“They’re not acting as police officers in other jurisdictions,” Schaffer said.

In trying to keep the 911 tape under wraps, however, the NYPD made no mention of the fact that its officers were not acting as police. In fact, Lt. Cmdr. William McGroarty and Assistant Chief Thomas Galati argued that releasing the recording would jeopardize investigations and endanger the people and buildings.

Renting under a false name

Further, the apartment, No. 1076, was rented by an undercover NYPD officer using a fake name that he was still using, New Brunswick attorneys told the AP.

“Such identification will place the safety of any officers identified, as well as the undercover operatives with whom they work, at risk,” Galati wrote in a letter to New Brunswick.

The city deleted that name from the copy of the tape that it released.

Reached by phone Tuesday, McGroarty declined to discuss the New Brunswick operation. But the recording offers a glimpse inside the safe house: a small apartment with two computers, dozens of black plastic boxes and no furniture or clothes except one suit.

“And pictures of our neighboring buildings?” the dispatcher asked.

“Yes, the Matrix building,” Sheth replied, referring to a local developer. “There’s pictures of terrorists. There’s literature on the Muslim religion.”

New York authorities have encouraged people like Sheth to call 911. In its “Eight Signs of Terrorism,” people are encouraged to call the police if they see evidence of surveillance, information gathering, suspicious activities or anything that looks out of place.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has defended the police department’s right to go anywhere in the country in search of terrorists without telling local police. And New Jersey Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa has said he’s seen no evidence that the NYPD’s efforts violated his state’s laws.

Muslim groups, however, have sued to shut down the NYPD programs. Civil rights lawyers have asked a federal judge to decide whether the spying violates federal rules that were set up to prevent a repeat of NYPD abuses of the 1950s, when police Red Squads spied on student groups and activists in search of communists.

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TSA Now Harassing And Terrorizing California Bus And Train Passengers

July 25, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – Footage shot at the Oceanside Transit Center in Southern California documents how the rollout of TSA workers is expanding out of the airports and into train stations and bus terminals.

The clip shows TSA inspectors standing with police and drug-sniffing dogs. The TSA agents told the film maker that he was still allowed to take video and photos at the train station but may get “questioned” for doing so.

There were about six or seven TSA agents patrolling the station according to the uploader of the video.

The Transportation Security Administration was embarrassed earlier this year when Houstonians revolted over a program that would have seen TSA workers routinely ride city buses in the name of spotting terrorists and criminals.

During a trial of the program, bus passengers were harassed and interrogated by TSA workers, prompting a backlash and an anger-filled public meeting during which residents expressed resentment about being asked questions about their journey and having their bags searched.

“The good citizens of Houston are not stupid enough to believe Metro was actually expecting to find terrorists at a bus stop here. Instead, it was used as a pretext to harass people,” said Robert Fickman, past president of the Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association, adding that the exercise was clearly unconstitutional.

Although Police Chief Victor Rodriguez hinted that the program may return, the furious reaction of travelers has thus far prevented TSA workers from riding Houston buses since the exercise.

However, the agency itself is expanding, with Congress recently giving the green light for extra funding that has increased the number of unannounced TSA checkpoints beyond the 9300 that took place last year.

This $25 million dollar injection has helped fund the expansion of the VIPR program which has TSA agents patrolling highways, train stations, bus terminals and other transport hubs.

As a whistleblower recently revealed to Infowars, more TSA workers are also being used in airports at locations besides security lanes.

“We’re doing patrols in the parking lot with dogs, we’re even going as far out to the train station because the train station is connected to the airport here and we have guys walking around the train station, walking around the rental cars, we’re inspecting cars coming into the parking garage, I mean we’ve fully expanded – we’re no longer just at the gate and just at the security checkpoint,” said the whistleblower, a TSA supervisor.

The use of TSA workers to search train passengers has proved highly controversial in the past. In one instance TSA agents were used to conduct pat downs of passengers, including children, who had already completed their journey when arriving in Savannah.

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CIA Stumbles Upon 4-5″ Stack Of Documents Detailing Agency’s Cooperation With Filmmakers Of Bin Laden Raid – Previously Overlooked In Response To Freedom Of Information Request

July 25, 2012

LANGLEY, VIRGINIA – The Central Intelligence Agency recently discovered a “4 to 5 inch stack” of documents that relate to the spy agency’s cooperation with the makers of a forthcoming Hollywood film on the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, according to a new court filing.

The documents about CIA dealings with the film now titled “Zero Dark Thirty” were “inadvertently overlooked” in response to a Freedom of Information Act request and lawsuit filed by the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch, Justice Department attorneys said in a motion filed in federal court in Washington Tuesday afternoon (posted here).

“The CIA discovered a 4 to 5 inch stack of records potentially responsive to plaintiff’s FOIA request that had been inadvertently overlooked during the CIA’s search,” Civil Division attorney Marcia Berman wrote. “The CIA is continuing to look into the circumstances of the discovery of the new documents to ensure the adequacy of its search.”

A CIA spokesman said the agency does not comment on matters in litigation.

The discovery of the additional records, which are being processed but were not immediately released, could fuel Republicans’ attacks on what they say is the Obama Administration’s pattern of using national-security information to burnish President Barack Obama’s reputation and his re-election standing. Likely GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney hit that theme hard on Tuesday in a speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

“This conduct is contemptible. It betrays our national interest. It compromises our men and women in the field,” Romney said. “Whoever provided classified information to the media, seeking political advantage for the administration, must be exposed, dismissed, and punished. The time for stonewalling is over.”

Obama has forcefully denied that White House officials deliberately leaked classified national security information, though the administration did declassify some information related to ot obtained in the May 2011 raid.

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said he was deeply suspicious about the revelation.

“These documents were supposed to be turned over to us two months ago under a federal court order,” Fitton said. “This new ‘discovery’ and resulting delay stinks to high heaven – maybe an independent criminal leak investigation can look into this issue, too.”

A political firestorm over leaks broke out in May of this year in part due to documents the CIA and Pentagon released about their contacts with “Zero Dark Thirty” filmmakers Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal.

The records, obtained through the Judicial Watch suit, showed that even as top Pentagon officials were complaining that too much information was being disclosed about the raid that killed bin Laden, a senior DoD official promised the filmmakers a Navy SEAL team contact who could offers details about the raid.

Boal called the offer “dynamite,” but the Pentagon said later that the promised liaison effort never took place.

CIA documents showed that Boal was given a tour of a mock-up used to plan the raid on the compound in Pakistan, but a CIA spokeswoman said in an internal e-mail that the agency’s contacts with the filmmakers should be kept “a bit quiet” due to “sensitivities” about the selective nature of such access.

Bigelow and Boal are best known for “The Hurt Locker,” a 2008 film about a US military team that defused bombs during the Iraq War.

The bin Laden raid movie, “Zero Dark Thirty,” had originally been due out from Sony in October. However, after critics complained that it was a thinly-disguised effort to boost Obama’s re-election chances, the studio moved the release date to December 19.

While Berman initially described the newly-discovered stack of documents as “potentially responsive,” she later says CIA determined that the records “are responsive…but contain some duplicates of previously-processed records.” About 30 new documents are in the stack, she said.

The government has asked U.S. District Court Judge Rudolph Contreras to give it until August 24 to turn over releasable documents to Judicial Watch. The CIA may well determine that some of the documents or portions thereof are exempt from disclosure under FOIA—a decision Contreras is likely to ultimately rule upon.

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Deception: 3 Veterans Who Lunched With Obama Were Plants, Chosen For Political Reasons, And Didn’t Just “Happen To Wander Into” Breakfast House

July 25, 2012

PORTLAND, OREGON – The three veterans who had lunch with President Barack Obama Tuesday in outer Northeast Portland didn’t just happen to wander into the Gateway Breakfast House.

All have connections to the Obama reelection campaign and were presumably chosen for good political reasons.

After all, Obama had given a speech Monday at a convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Reno, so the Portland lunch reinforced the message that president cares about vets. In addition, the local vets — Thomas Foeller of Oak Grove and Mark Peterson and Dean Dilley, both of Portland — are retired white males, a demographic the Obama campaign would certainly like to do better with.

Whatever the politics behind the luncheon, however, Foeller, Peterson and Diller said it was an experience they’ll always remember.

“I can’t emphasize how easy the president is to talk to,” said Foeller, 65, a former Navy officer who later spent most of his career at the Bonneville Power Administration.

Foeller said Obama listened sympathetically as he talked about the problems rural veterans have getting access to health care and was quick to knock down a rumor Foeller had heard from his son-in-law — an Iraq War veteran — that members of the National Guard would get a pay cut.

There won’t be any reduction, Obama told them.

“So we can clear that one up right away,” Obama added, in a remark picked up by the press pool before it was ushered out. “You’re hearing that from your commander in chief.”

Peterson, 69, who spent 27 years in the Air Force and served in the Vietnam War, said Obama also talked about how he’s worked to help veterans more easily apply their military training to certifications they need for civilian employment, whether as a welder or nurse.

More
The Oregonian’s continuing coverage of President Obama’s July 2012 visit to Portland
None of the three vets knew each other before being chosen by the Obama campaign to meet with the president.

Dilley, 60, who served in the Army for three years and worked for Honda until retiring in 2009, said he has done a little voter registration work for the campaign. But he said he thinks he came to the campaign’s attention when he called a couple of months ago asking if he could talk to the president about veterans issues.

“I never expected it to happen,” Dilley added with a laugh.

Foeller, who said he’s mostly active in a group fighting colorectal cancer, said he’s also done some volunteer work for the Obama campaign. And Peterson said his wife volunteers for the campaign.

On Tuesday morning, all three met with a staffer and were driven to the restaurant and arrived shortly before Obama. The three said the restaurant workers and other patrons received notice only a few minutes before the president arrived.

Foeller and Dilley said Obama ate half of a cheese sandwich and skipped the ham in his split pea soup. “He’s a pretty tall and slender guy,” said Dilley. “Maybe that’s why.”

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9/11 Hysteria Prompts US Government To Spy On Every Single American “To Keep America Safe” – NSA Whistleblowers Suggest Spy Program Is Much More Dangerous Than It Seems

July 25, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – The TSA, DHS and countless other security agencies have been established to keep America safe from terrorist attacks in post-9/11 America. How far beyond that does the feds’ reach really go, though?

The attacks September 11, 2001, were instrumental in enabling the US government to establish counterterrorism agencies to prevent future tragedies. Some officials say that they haven’t stopped there, though, and are spying on everyone in America — all in the name of national security.

Testimonies delivered in recent weeks by former employees of the National Security Agency suggest that the US government is granting itself surveillance powers far beyond what most Americans consider the proper role of the federal government.

In an interview broadcast on Current TV’s “Viewpoint” program on Monday, former NSA Technical Director William Binney commented on the government’s policy of blanket surveillance, alongside colleagues Thomas Drake and Kirk Wiebe, the agency’s respective former Senior Official and Senior Analyst.

The interview comes on the heels of a series of speeches given by Binney, who has quickly become better known for his whistleblowing than his work with the NSA. In their latest appearance this week, though, the three former staffers suggested that America’s spy program is much more dangerous than it seems.

In an interview with “Viewpoint” host Eliot Spitzer, Drake said there was a “key decision made shortly after 9/11, which began to rapidly turn the United States of America into the equivalent of a foreign nation for dragnet blanket electronic surveillance.”

These powers have previously defended by claims of national security necessity, but Drake says that it doesn’t stop there. He warns that the government is giving itself the power to gather intel on every American that could be used in future prosecutions unrelated to terrorism.

“When you open up the Pandora’s Box of just getting access to incredible amounts of data, for people that have no reason to be put under suspicion, no reason to have done anything wrong, and just collect all that for potential future use or even current use, it opens up a real danger — and to what else what they could use that data for, particularly when it’s all being hidden behind the mantle of national security,” Drake said.

Although Drake’s accusations seem astounding, they corroborate allegations made by Binney only a week earlier. Speaking at the Hackers On Planet Earth conference in New York City earlier this month, Binney addressed a room of thousands about the NSA’s domestic spying efforts. But in a candid interview with journalist Geoff Shively during HOPE, the ex-NSA official candidly revealed the full extent of the surveillance program.

“Domestically, they’re pulling together all the data about virtually every U.S. citizen in the country and assembling that information, building communities that you have relationships with, and knowledge about you; what your activities are; what you’re doing. So the government is accumulating that kind of information about every individual person and it’s a very dangerous process,” Binney said.

Drake and Binney’s statements follow the revelation that law enforcement officers collected cell phone records on 1.3 million Americans in 2011. More news articles are emerging every day suggesting that the surveillance of Americans — off-the-radar and under wraps — is growing at an exponential rate.

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Chicago Illinois Mayor Rahm Emanuel Kissing Racist Terrorist Louis Farrakhan’s Ass And “Welcomes” His Vigilante Army Who Now Patrol City Streets

July 25, 2012

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – Ignoring Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan’s history of anti-Semitic remarks, Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Wednesday welcomed the army of men dispatched to the streets by Farrakhan to stop the violence in Chicago neighborhoods. Vigilantes

Ald. Debra Silverstein (50th), an Orthodox Jew, has said it’s good that Farrakhan is “helping” in the fight against crime, “but it doesn’t eradicate the comments that he’s made about the Jewish community.”

Emanuel offered no such caveat. Although Farrakhan has a history of making anti-Semitic statements, Chicago’s first Jewish mayor has no interest in revisiting that controversy.

He’s more concerned about reducing a 40 percent surge in Chicago homicides that’s become a media obsession and threatens to undermine his efforts to market Chicago to international tourists.

“People of faith have a role to play and community leaders have a role to play in helping to protect our neighborhoods and our citizens. You cannot get there on just one piece of an anti-crime strategy,” the mayor said.

“The police have a role to play. Tearing down abandoned buildings has a role to play. Shutting liquor stores that are a cancer in the community have a role to play. Community leaders have a role to play. Pastors have a role to play. Principals have a role to play. And most importantly, parents have roles to play. They have decided, the Nation of Islam, to help protect the community. And that’s an important ingredient, like all the other aspects of protecting a neighborhood.”

For the last two Mondays, black men in dress suits and bow ties fanned out across violence-plagued Chicago neighborhoods — first Auburn-Gresham, then South Shore — to form a human wall of protection against any sudden outbreak of gunfire.

The army of men, know as the Fruit of Islam, were led by Farrakhan, who ordered the show of force in response to last month’s brutal murder of seven-year-old Heaven Sutton.

Emanuel’s decision to steer clear of Farrakhan’s history of anti-Semitic remarks is a far cry from the 1994 controversy that followed former Mayor Richard M. Daley’s private meeting with Farrkakhan.

During the meeting, Daley prodded Farrakhan to work out his differences with Jewish leaders in talks arranged by the Commission on Human Relations. Daley even hinted that if those conversations did not take place, the Nation of Islam would have trouble winning the city approval needed for its planned development along the 79th Street commercial strip.

Jewish leaders refused to engage in the dialogue. They were so concerned about the mayor’s private meeting with Farrakhan they demanded an audience of their own to clear the air. Daley used that meeting to deny ever suggesting the give-and-take.

“There’s been a rather longstanding pattern where Minister Farrakhan has talked about wanting dialogue. There have even been a couple of instances where members of the Jewish community have met with him,” Michael Kotzin, director of the Jewish Community Relations Council, said at the time.

“Invariably, he’s been unchanged after that. They have felt betrayed by things he said to them. Been there. Don’t want to be there again and be put in that kind of box. All that happens is that he gains from those kinds of meetings a kind of credibility, legitimacy and stature. That’s all that would come of it.”

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San Francisco California Police Officer Lt. Vincent Calvarese Arrested For Domestic Violence And False Imprisonment

July 25, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – A San Francisco sheriff’s lieutenant was arrested on domestic violence allegations at a city business in the Upper Market neighborhood last week, a police spokesman said.

Vincent Calvarese, 48, was arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor domestic violence, assault and false imprisonment in the 2300 block of Market Street last Thursday at 10:40 p.m., San Francisco police Officer Michael Andraychak said.

He was booked following the incident, Andraychak said.

Andraychak did not immediately know if the sheriff’s deputy had since been released from police custody.

Calvarese was profiled in a 2009 documentary “The Butch Factor” as a sheriff’s deputy in the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department. In a clip from “The Butch Factor,” Calvarese spoke about being an openly gay law enforcement officer who works with prison inmates.

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Covington Tennessee Police Officer Jack Hall Out On Bond And Still On The Job After Arrest For Buying Firearm From A Convicted Felon

July 25, 2012

COVINGTON, TENNESSEE – A Covington police officer is at the center of a Tennessee Bureau of Investigation probe for allegedly conducting police business while he was supposed to be on medical leave.

Covington police officer Jack Hall is out of jail on bond after being arrested last week and charged with buying a gun from a convicted felon.

“Jack is a local guy,” said Covington Police Chief Tim Glass. “His family has roots in the city. His grandparents and all have lived here all their lives and we tend to hire local people.”

Glass wasn’t the chief when Hall was hired, but says the sergeant worked at the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office before coming to Covington and was highly recommended by his previous employer.

Hall worked for the Shelby County Sheriff’s office for 6 years, but was fired for personal conduct issues.

“Jack had a few issues but we worked around them, nothing serious,” Glass said.

Hall used his position as a police officer to try and figure out whether the gun he purchased was stolen, according to court records.

Glass says Hall called Tipton County Central Dispatch to get information about the gun.

According to tapes of Hall’s conversation with dispatchers, he claimed he was buying the gun from his father, but didn’t trust that the gun wasn’t stolen, Glass said.

Hall allegedly had dispatchers check on the gun on July 13. That’s the same day Glass was made aware of another problem.

“He contacted some of my officers here. There was a threat made that was brought to my attention during a supervisor’s meeting,” said Glass.

Glass also said Jack Hall was facing some disciplinary action prior to being put on medical leave in June.

Covington police continue to work with the TBI, and officials say there will likely be more arrests, including the man who gave the gun to Hall.

Hall’s next day in court is August 24.

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Former Anson Texas Police Officer Josh Coffee Arrested For Theft Of A Firearm By A Public Servant – Third Arrest In 1 Year

July 25, 2012

ANSON, TEXAS — Former Anson Police Department officer Josh Coffee last week was arrested for theft of a firearm by a public servant — his third arrest in less than a year.

Coffee was arrested in February for the same offense and possession of marijuana. He previously worked for the Hamlin Police Department but was fired in August 2011 after a video surfaced of him using his stun gun on a friend while off duty at a party and for not obeying a direct order, according to former Hamlin Mayor Jack Shields. The Hamlin City Council unanimously voted to fire him.

Coffee also was arrested in August 2011 on harassment charges.

He was indicted last week on his first charge of firearm theft.

He worked for Anson as an animal control officer and then a police officer under the supervision of former Chief of Police Patrick Hawthorne.

He was released from jail Friday afternoon on a $5,000 bond.

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Former New Albany Indiana Police Officer Charles Bowman Arrested And Charged With Child Abuse And Neglect – Girlfriend’s 2 Year Old Had Skull Fracture, Bruises Everywhere, And A Black Eye

July 25, 2012

LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY – A former New Albany, Ind. police officer has been arrested and charged with child abuse in Bullitt County, Ky.

Earlier this month, police arrested Charles Bowman. Police say he physically abused his girlfriend’s 2-year-old son.

“He was charged with child neglect and abuse. The mother was also charged with the same thing,” said Lt. Scotty McGaha, with the Bullitt County Sheriff’s Office.

Lt. McGaha described some of the child’s injuries. McGaha said, “The child had a skull fracture, had bruising, had a black eye, had bruising throughout the body.”

And police got involved after an employee at the child’s daycare noticed bruises and contacted child protective services.

“We have a check system in place for every child that enters our center,” said Lettisha Coleman, Director of Today’s Kids in Shephardsville. Coleman made the call to child protective services. She can’t comment on the case, but said they keep a daily journal for every child and that helps spot signs of abuse.

“We are trained to spot the abuse and know where things and places that aren’t suppose to be bruised,” said Coleman.

Meanwhile, police say medical experts have confirmed this was no accident.

The 2-year-old child is expected to make a full recovery. He has also been removed from the home and placed with relatives.

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Former Los Angeles California Police Officer Enrique Chavez Wants Glock To Pay For His Own Stupidity – Dumbass Left Pistol Where His 3 Year Old Could Get It, And Got Shot

July 25, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – A state appeals court on Tuesday reinstated a lawsuit against gun manufacturer Glock Inc. by a Los Angeles policeman who was paralyzed from the waist down when his 3-year-old son shot him with his service pistol.

Enrique Chavez claimed in his lawsuit that the Glock 21 lacked adequate safeguards against an accidental discharge because it had a light trigger pull and did not have a grip safety, a device attached to the pistol grip that the shooter must deactivate before firing.

A Los Angeles judge dismissed the suit two years ago, saying the Police Department had reviewed the gun’s design, including the amount of force needed to pull the trigger, and had found that its advantages outweighed any inherent risks. Judge Kevin Brazile also said Chavez had failed to show that an alternative design would have prevented the shooting.

But the Second District Court of Appeal said a jury could conclude, based on evidence offered by Chavez’s lawyers, that a grip safety strong enough to withstand a 3-year-old child’s grasp “would minimize the risk of accidental discharge without undermining performance.”

The evidence came from a proposed expert witness whose findings and qualifications were disputed by Glock’s own experts. But the court, in a 3-0 ruling, said the factual dispute was substantial enough to send the case to trial.

While off duty in July 2006, Chavez got a call to testify in court, and put his son, Collin, in the back seat of his pickup truck to drop the boy off at his grandfather’s house.

Chavez had removed the child’s car seat from the truck and had forgotten that he had left his Glock, which he always kept loaded, beneath the front seat, the court said. Less than 10 minutes into the drive, Collin picked up the pistol and, while the truck was stopped at a red light, shot his father in the back.

The Police Department later took unspecified disciplinary action against Chavez for failing to control his firearm, the court said.

Christopher Renzulli, a lawyer for the manufacturer, said similar Glock pistols are used by 60 to 70 percent of the nation’s police departments.

“Guns are not designed or manufactured for children,” Renzulli said. If the case goes to trial, he said, the company believes a jury will conclude that the fault lies with Chavez, who “left a loaded firearm within the reach of his young son.”

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Crowd Gathers To Protest Shooting Death Of Unarmed Man By Dallas Texas Police Officer Brian Rowden – Police Can’t Find Gun They Claim Their Victim Possessed

July 25, 2012

DALLAS, TEXAS – Police shot and killed a man in south Dallas on Tuesday, prompting a tense situation with hundreds of angry, emotional neighbors.

The shooting happened at about 5:30 p.m. at a known drug house in the 5300 block of Bourquin Street while, according to Dallas Police Chief David Brown, police were responding to a kidnapping call.

Brown said four suspects fled the house via various means, including by breaking windows. He said officers saw a gun on a table in the house and that crack cocaine was also present.

According to Brown, eight-year DPD veteran Officer Brian Rowden chased James Harper, fighting the suspect three times. Rowden was losing fight and was exhausted when, according to Brown, Harper said, “You’re going to have to kill me.”

Rowden feared for his life and fatally shot Harper, Brown said.

Word of the shooting quickly spread through the neighborhood as family members and the curious rushed to the scene, eventually amassing in the hundreds and prompting police to call for additional crowd control, including SWAT. In fact, officers armed with pepper ball guns and shields forced the crowd back amid reports of people trying to cut through fences to gain access to the shooting scene.

The slain man’s inconsolable mother and enraged father confronted police and media at the scene. Both said their 31-year-old son was unarmed and fleeing police when he was shot in the back.

“No reason for him to be shot like a dog. If he’s running away from them, ain’t no reason,” James White said.

However, Brown downplayed that possibility. “We don’t believe any of the family members witnessed anything,” Brown said, adding that family members make similar claims “on almost every shooting.”

He said he thought Harper might have been shot in the abdomen and hand.

Still, the chief admitted that several questions remained and that Harper might not have been armed when he was killed.

“We’re also not able to find a gun that Mr. Harper possessed,” Brown said. “We do not have a gun.”

The chief also said he was not certain that any of the responding officers, including Rowden, were ever fired upon.

According to Brown, Harper has a lengthy criminal record that includes multiple charges of drug possession and manufacturing, assault, evading arrest, and more.

A second, unidentified suspect was also arrested, Brown said.

No officers were injured.

Immediately following the shooting and throughout most of the evening, a chaotic crowd swelled, diminished and regrouped. At one point, a fight seemed to break out.

Brown said much of the drama could be due to a family feud in the neighborhood. In fact, he said, a 911 call that initially drew police to the scene was likely bogus and an intentional, retaliatory act.

Despite the explosive situation, there were no reports of arrests or injuries.

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Crowds Roam Streets After Protesting Shooting Of Unarmed Man By Anaheim California Police – Being California And That Protesters Are Hispanic, They Of Course Broke Windows, Sprayed Graffiti, And Set Fire To Random Businesses

July 25, 2012

ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – Scattered crowds of protesters in Anaheim continued to roam the streets late Tuesday after violence erupted earlier around City Hall even as officials voted to ask federal authorities to investigate two deadly police shootings that have rocked the community.

The situation appeared to be calming down hours after police faced off with protesters as the City Council met before a packed audience.

Earlier, mobs smashed windows of stores and broke the window of a car belonging to a KNBC-TV Channel 4 reporter.

PHOTOS: Protests against Anaheim police shootings

A mob set fire to Reel Lumber Service, a lumber yard, at Claudina and Santa Ana streets. The fire was knocked down by crews on two Anaheim Fire Department engines.

Earlier, just north of the intersection, a dumpster was set on fire. Paint cans on Claudina were also set ablaze.

As another crowd moved south of the intersection, some of the business’ walls were spray-painted with expletives about the police.

Farther south, around 10:30 p.m., officers arrested two men at Water and Claudina streets. At Water and Anaheim Boulevard, police fired several rounds of less-than-lethal projectiles that sent a group of about a dozen people, including reporters, running. Police were shouting at remaining protesters to go home.

Anaheim Police Sgt. Robert Dunn said that at least five people were arrested after the violence broke out Tuesday afternoon.

Joel Mathew Acevedo was shot after he fired at an officer Sunday night. A day earlier, Manuel Angel Diaz was killed after running from police on Anaheim’s east side.

The killings have sparked outrage among members of Anaheim’s Latino community. So far this year, five people have been shot to death by police in the city.

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UK Government Screws Hero SAS Veteran Who Survived Afghanistan And Iraq – For Having A Pistol And Ammo Hidden In His Garage At Home

July 25, 2012

UK – An SAS veteran has been locked up for two years after a gun and ammo was found in his garage at home.

The hero sergeant was pulled from secret operations in Helmand when armed police discovered the semi-automatic Glock pistol following a tip-off.

They also found 300 rounds of ammunition.

A specially convened court martial heard he had a distinguished record of bravery in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The soldier had been at the heart of some of the most fierce firefights against the Taliban and Saddam Hussein’s forces.

But last night he was behind bars in Colchester Military Correction Centre after admitting illegally keeping a gun at his Hereford home.

A source said: “This is a terrible thing to happen to a normally very good soldier’s career but justice has to be seen to be done.

“You can be sure he was not the first to take equipment home. It’s a pity it was a pistol and ammunition as this cannot be tolerated.”

The soldier may still be allowed to continue his service once released.

The Mirror has his name but has been asked not to identify him for ­security reasons.

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said yesterday: “We do not comment on matters relating to special forces.”

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11 Year Old Runaway With No Passport, Ticket, Or Boarding Pass Hitches Ride From Manchester England To Rome On Commercial Flight – Passed Through Airport “Security” With No Problem

July 25, 2012

MANCHESTER, UK – An 11-year-old boy boarded a plane from Manchester to Rome on his own without a passport, tickets or boarding pass.

The boy got through a security screen by mingling with families going through Terminal 1 on Tuesday afternoon.

He was discovered while the Jet2 plane was in mid-air after passengers became suspicious.

A Manchester Airport spokesman said a number of airline staff had been suspended. The transport secretary said it was “incredibly concerning”.

The youngster had been shopping with his mother at Wythenshawe Civic Centre when he went missing.

Staff at the centre were alerted and checked CCTV which showed the boy leaving the complex before he made his way to the airport.

The airport spokesman said the boy passed through security checks but was not asked to show any documentation.

The boy went straight to the nearest aircraft that was boarding – the flight to Rome – where he was also missed during a head-count on board the plane.
‘Urgent review’

The spokesman said: “It is clear that documentation has not been checked correctly at security and the boarding gate.

“The boy went through full security screening, so the safety of passengers and the aircraft was never compromised.”

Transport Secretary Justine Greening said: “I treat security breaches very, very seriously indeed, so we are now reviewing urgently with Manchester Airport, and indeed the airline, exactly what happened.”

A spokesperson for Jet2.com said: “On Tuesday an 11-year-old boy cleared security at Manchester Airport, without the necessary paperwork but had been through a full security search.

“The boy then boarded our flight bound for Rome.

“We have launched a full investigation into what is a serious incident, and the staff involved have been suspended pending the outcome.

“The boy has been returned safely to his family.”

He stayed on board the plane when it landed at Rome Fiumicino Airport and was flown back to Manchester when the plane returned on Tuesday evening.

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Veteran London UK Police Officer Andrew Michalski Arrested, Suspended, And Charged With 3 Counts Of Sexual Assault Against 2 Women

July 25, 2012

LONDON, UK – A London police officer has been arrested and charged with three counts of sexual assault against two women dating back to June of 2011.

Const. Andrew Michalski, 31, an 11-year veteran of London Police Services, was arrested and taken into custody early Wednesday morning. He was released on a promise to appear and has since been suspended from active duty.

A police source said investigators received a complaint that a 27-year-old woman had been sexually assaulted on two occasions by Michalski, who was an acquaintance. The assaults were alleged to have occurred in June and November of 2011 while the officer was off duty. Further investigation identified a 25-year-old woman, who claims she was sexually assaulted by Michalski, whom she was also acquainted with, in June 2012, again while Michalski was off duty.

That woman told the Free Press that she was with a group of friends at a Richmond St. bar late at night last June when one member of her party saw Michalski and waved him over to their table.

The woman said Michalski was noticeably intoxicated.

She said the alleged assault occurred at the table in front of friends.

Both women said they’re relieved charges have been laid and that they’ll get the opportunity to present their side of the story in court.

“Today was very important to me,” one said, “but I’ll be happy when it’s all over and I can move on.”

Assistant Crown attorney David Foulds, who’s based in Windsor, is expected to lead the case for the prosecution. It’s not known yet who will represent Michalski.

Foulds said he was aware of the file, but declined to comment further at this time.

Michalski is scheduled to appear in court Sept. 6.

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Broke-Ass And Pathetic Middletown New Jersey Sold $140 Delinquent Sewer Bill Lien To Investor – Costing Homeowner $50,000

July 24, 2012

For Dominick Vulpis, a $140 sewer bill has become a $50,000 nightmare. delinquent

Vulpis didn’t know he had a big problem with the four-year-old bill until last December, he said, when he was served with papers notifying him that he had lost his Middletown, N.J., home to foreclosure. Neither he nor his wife were notified of the foreclosure process until the final judgment was granted last December, he said.

“It was never brought to my attention until it was too late and we were served with papers saying we had to move out of our house,” said Vulpis, a 60-year-old plumber. “I may pay a bill late, but I pay them. I’m not trying to beat anyone for $140.”

Incredibly, that $140 debt snowballed to the loss of his home after the town sold the lien on his property to an investor, an increasingly common practice as cash-strapped cities and towns try to raise badly needed revenues to close widening budget gaps.

Vulpis eventually got the foreclosure overturned and didn’t have to move out of his house, but not before his attorney negotiated a settlement with the investor. His mortgage company put up $37,500, which was paid to the investor and will be added to Vulpis’ mortgage balance, according to his attorney, who is now negotiating a loan modification with the lender. Combined with attorney fees and added interest for the higher mortgage balance, Vulpis’ total tab could top $50,000.

Though situations like the one that ensnared Vulpis are still relatively rare, such tax lien sales are landing more people in foreclosure proceedings as the weak economy batters local government budgets and homeowners’ finances. A recent report by the National Consumer Law Center estimated that local governments raised some $15 billion with tax lien sales in 2010, the latest data available.

Until recently, the bulk of tax liens sales were for unpaid assessments on failed or unfinished commercial developments, according to Anthony Mercantante, the administrator for Middletown Township, which sold Vulpis’ tax bill.

“Now you’re seeing more and more single-family homes pop up on the tax lien list,” he said. “They’re owner-occupied homes with people who are having trouble keeping up with their tax payments.”

Local governments have long used tax lien sales to offload the burden of collecting unpaid taxes and recoup cash from homeowners who missed payments. The rules governing such sales vary from state to state, but typically involve auctioning off past-due property tax bills.

Investors bid for the right to collect the debt plus interest that can run as high as 18 percent, attorney fees and other expenses that are not capped in some states. The rules typically give the homeowner a grace period to pay off the investor and reclaim their property. But the tough economy has made that harder to do.

“People who used to be able to rely on their kids can’t really do it anymore,” said Laura Newland, an AARP attorney in Washington, D.C., who helps defend homeowners in tax lien foreclosures. “The kids are unemployed and struggling themselves and don’t have the money to help out.”

If the homeowner can’t come up with the money, the investor can foreclose on the home and negotiate a larger settlement. Once the foreclosure is granted, they can claim the entire equity in the property — a payoff of hundreds of thousands of dollars for buying a tax lien worth just a few hundred dollars.

“Investors will say to the grave, ‘We’re in it just for the interest: We don’t want to deal with someone’s house,’” said Newland. “For some of them I think that’s true. For others, based on their litigation tactics, that can’t be true.”

John Makely / NBC News

Dominick Vulpis and his wife LindaRose Vulpis stand in the kitchen of their house which they almost lost over a $140 water bill from their town.

Does it help fill tax coffers?
Critics of the practice argue that such outsized profits for third-party investors produce no added benefit to municipal tax coffers, despite the potentially devastating consequences for homeowners.

“Property tax collection procedures should encourage repayment rather than property loss,” said NCLC attorney John Rao, who prepared the recent report. “And they should not provide an opportunity for speculators to earn huge profits off of homeowner distress.”

For the investor who bought Vulpis’ water bill, the settlement represents a payoff of more than 260 times the original bill.

Vulpis said the investor, Approved Realty Group, doesn’t deserve such an outsized return.

“I think he stuck me up without a gun, this guy,” said Vulpis. “If he was a nice guy he could have said, ‘OK, I understand what happened, give me $5,000 for my troubles.’ But he wanted a lot of money.”

Approved Realty Group did not respond to phone calls requesting comment.

Attorneys who defend homeowners in these cases say they can be costly to fight.

“I have represented people for years,” said Newland. “Part of that is because the calendar is so full.”

Housing advocates note that among the hardest hit are elderly and unemployed homeowners who are most at risk of foreclosure. Subprime borrowers are also disproportionately vulnerable. During the housing boom, many subprime lenders wrote loans to low-income borrowers without including the cost of tax payments to entice them with artificially low estimated monthly payments. Most prime loans require that a mortgage servicing company set up and manage an escrow account to accumulate property taxes and insurance premiums monthly and then pay those bills on the homeowner’s behalf.

Defenders of the practice selling tax liens argue that late payments are more than just an inconvenience for local tax collectors: They raise costs that will eventually have to be borne by homeowners who pay on time.

“If we have to make a quarterly tax payment to the board of education of $10 million but we’ve only collected $7 million because people are slow in making their tax payments, we would have to bridge that gap by financing it and paying interest on that,” said Mercante. “So all the other taxpayers are paying a penalty because someone else is paying their taxes. (Selling tax liens) seems a little bit cold, but taxes by their nature are a cold process.”

Moreover, they say, the vast majority of tax liens sold to investors are settled before a foreclosure judgment is granted.

“All of the protections that exist for the homeowners in foreclosure law continue to exist,” said James Brooks, program director at the National League of Cities. So selling a tax lien is not selling a deed to a property. The homeowner whose lien has been sold is still protected by all the relevant aspects of law.

But attorneys say homeowners often aren’t given proper notice to defend their home from seizure before it’s too late.

Two years ago, the District of Columbia sold a tax lien on the home Stanley Stefan lived in for nearly 40 years. The problem started six years ago, after district tax officials erroneously revoked a homestead exemption, which has since been restored, he said. But Stefan, a 68-year-old retired chauffeur, said he didn’t learn until this year that there’s still an unpaid balance on his tax bill, which an investor is now trying to collect, with interest. Stefan has hired an attorney to try to reverse the tax sale.

“I want my property and no payment: I don’t think I’ve done anything wrong,” he said. “I paid what I owed. I shouldn’t be held accountable for a mistake the district made.”

Some states and local governments have moved to protect homeowners from the harshest outcomes. Last year, New York City passed an ordinance that allows homeowners to work out payment plans when they fall behind, caps the rate investors can charge on uncollected tax bills and banned tax lien sales for debts of less than $2,000. The law also made it easier for homeowners to apply for an exemption that prevents their liens from being sold. As a result, the number of tax lien sales has dropped 24 percent so far this year, according to the New York City Comptroller’s office

“It helps to strike a balance between those two imperatives: the need for cities to raise more revenues and to make sure that actions the city takes are not creating further harm for lower income families that are already feeling the pinch,” said Josh Zinner, co-director of the Neighborhood Economic Development Advocacy Project, a New York group that lobbied for the changes.

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Obamacare: Business Owners On The Hook For $4 BILLION More In Taxes Than Previously Stated And Their Employees Will Pay $1 BILLION More…

July 24, 2012

Business owners will pay $4 billion more in taxes under President Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA) than the Congressional Budget Office had previously expected.

“According to the updated estimates, the amount of deficit reduction from penalty payments and other effects on tax revenues under the ACA will be $5 billion more than previously estimated,” the CBO reported today. “That change primarily effects a $4 billion increase in collections from such payments by employers, a $1 billion increase in such payments by individuals, and an increase of less than $500 million in tax revenues stemming from a small reduction in employment-based coverage, which will lead to a larger share of total compensation taking the form of taxable wages and salaries and a smaller share taking the form of nontaxable health benefits.”

In short, CBO revised the Obamacare tax burden upward by $4 billion for businesses and $1 billion to $1.5 billion for individual workers.

CBO couldn’t help but bump into Chief Justice John Roberts controversial decision uphold the individual mandate as a constitutional exercise of Congress’s taxing power. The report dubs the individual mandate a “penalty tax” — that is, “a penalty paid to the Treasury by taxpayers when they file their tax returns and enforced by the Internal Revenue Service.”

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Amnesty: Obama’s New Plan To Reward Illegal Immigrants Who Broke Law In Coming/Staying Here Will Cost US Taxpayers Over A Half BILLION Dollars And Require Hundreds More Federal Employees To Process 1+ Million Wetbacks

July 24, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC — The Obama administration’s new plan to grant temporary work permits to many young, illegal immigrants who otherwise could be deported may cost more than $585 million and require hiring hundreds of new federal employees to process more than 1 million anticipated requests, according to internal documents obtained by The Associated Press.

The Homeland Security Department plans, marked “not for distribution,” describe steps that immigrants will need to take — including a $465 paperwork fee designed to offset the program’s cost — and how the government will manage it. Illegal immigrants can request permission to stay in the country under the plan by filing a document, “Request for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals,” and simultaneously apply for a work permit starting Aug. 15.

Under the new program, which President Barack Obama announced last month, eligible immigrants must have arrived in the U.S. before their 16th birthday, are 30 or younger, have been living here at least five years, are in school or graduated or served in the military.

They also must not have a criminal record or otherwise pose a safety threat. They can apply to stay in the country and be granted a work permit for two years, but they would not be granted citizenship.

The internal government plans obtained by the AP provide the first estimates of costs, how many immigrants were expected to participate and how long it might take for them. It was not immediately clear whether or under which circumstances any immigrants would not be required to pay the $465 paperwork fee. The plans said there would be no waivers, but Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told Congress last week that the government would grant waivers “in very deserving cases.” She said details were still being worked out.

“We anticipate that this will be a fee-driven process,” Napolitano said.

A spokesman for the Homeland Security Department, Peter Boogaard, said the plans obtained by the AP were “preliminary documents” and the process is still being worked out. Boogaard said processing immigrant applications under the program “will not use taxpayer dollars” because of the fees that will be collected.

Fee waivers could dramatically affect the government’s share of the cost. The plans said that, depending on how many applicants don’t pay, the government could lose between $19 million and $121 million. Republican critics pounced on that.

“By lowering the fee or waiving it altogether for illegal immigrants, those who play by the rules will face delays and large backlogs as attention is diverted to illegal immigrants,” said House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith, R-Texas. “American taxpayers should not be forced to bail out illegal immigrants and President Obama’s fiscally irresponsible policies.”

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services estimated it could receive more than 1 million applications during the first year of the program, or more than 3,000 per day. It would cost between $467 million and $585 million to process applications in the first two years of the program, with revenues from fees paid by immigrants estimated at $484 million, according to the plans. That means the cost to the government could range from a gain of $16 million to a loss of more than $101 million.

The government estimated that as many as 890,000 immigrants in the first year would be immediately eligible to avoid deportation. The remaining 151,000 immigrants would likely be rejected as ineligible.

The plans estimated that the Homeland Security Department could need to hire more than 1,400 full-time employees, as well as contractors, to process the applications. Salaries were included in the agency’s estimates of total program costs.

Once immigrants submit their applications, it could take between two and 10 days for the Homeland Security Department to scan and file it. It could take up to four weeks longer to make an appointment for immigrants to submit their fingerprints and take photographs. A subsequent background check could take six more weeks, then three more months for the government to make its final decision before a work permit would be issued.

Napolitano said new information about the program should be made available by Aug. 1. She has said immigrants would generally not be detained by immigration authorities while their application is pending.

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600+ Gather To Protest Shooting Of Unarmed Man By Anaheim California Police

July 24, 2012

ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – Protesters broke windows of least a half-dozen storefronts in Anaheim on Tuesday and five people were arrested in the second major clash between police and demonstrators since an officer shot dead an apparently unarmed man.

Tom Tait, mayor of the southern California city, had called on Monday for a state and federal review of the shooting of the man, a suspected gang member.

Over 600 demonstrators gathered at City Hall on Tuesday, where officials were holding a regular meeting, police said.

Some threw patio chairs through the windows of a Starbucks, according to a Reuters witness. No one in the restaurant was injured, said Anaheim police spokesman Sergeant Bob Dunn.

In the same block-long strip mall, at least five other businesses also had windows smashed, according to a Reuters witness. Afterward, officers toting shotguns stood guard in front of the storefronts.

Five people were arrested in the protest and ensuing melee, and one person was injured and taken to hospital, Dunn said. Dozens of officers wielding night sticks faced off against the demonstrators, who at one point threw water bottles and rocks toward the line.

The tensions flared after police shot and killed a man on Saturday afternoon.

Two officers had tried to approach three men in an alley, who fled, Dunn said earlier this week. The officers followed on foot and one caught up to one suspect, police said.

The officer shot the man, who police said they later identified as Manuel Diaz, a known gang member. Diaz was not found to have been carrying a gun, police said.

Police fired pepper pellets at angry residents near the scene of the shooting on Saturday.

Late on Sunday Anaheim officers tried to stop a car and killed a man who police said fled and opened fire on them during a foot chase.

He was the fifth person to die in an officer-involved shooting in Anaheim this year.

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10% Employers Plan To Drop Health Care For Employees As Obamacare Kicks In, 33% To Drop Coverage If Law Requires More Generous Benefits Than They Now Provide

July 24, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – About one in 10 employers plan to drop health coverage when key provisions of the new health care law kick in less than two years from now, according to a survey to be released Tuesday by the consulting company Deloitte.

Nine percent of companies said they expect to stop offering coverage to their workers in the next one to three years, the Wall Street Journal reported. Around 81 percent said they would continue providing benefits and 10 percent said they weren’t sure.

The companies, though, said a lot will depend on how future provisions of the law unfold, since most of the key parts are scheduled to take effect in 2014. One in three respondents said they could stop offering coverage if the law requires them to provide more generous benefits than they do now, if a tax on high-cost plans takes effect in 2018 as scheduled or if they decide it would be cheaper for them to pay the penalty for not providing insurance.

While small business don’t face fines for failing to offer coverage, companies with 50 or more full time employees face a penalty starting at $2,000 per worker.

Deloitte conducted the study between February and April — before the Supreme Court upheld most of the law — and surveyed corporate and human-resources executives from 560 companies currently offering benefits.

In contrast, the Congressional Budget Office has estimated that around seven percent of workers could lose coverage under the law by 2019.

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Colorado Gun Sales Jump 41% In Three Days After Sideshow Sam Shot Up Movie Theater – Classes For Concealed Carry Permits Suddenly Booked Solid For Weeks

July 24, 2012

COLORADO – Background checks for people wanting to buy guns in Colorado jumped more than 41 percent after Friday morning’s shooting at an Aurora movie theater, and firearms instructors say they’re also seeing increased interest in the training required for a concealed-carry permit.

“It’s been insane,” Jake Meyers, an employee at Rocky Mountain Guns and Ammo in Parker, said Monday.

When he arrived at work Friday morning — just hours after a gunman killed 12 and injured 58 others at the Century Aurora 16 theater — there already were 15 to 20 people waiting outside the store, Meyers said.

He called Monday “probably the busiest Monday all year” and said the basic firearms classes that he and the store’s owner teach are booked solid for the next three weeks, something that hadn’t happened all year.

“A lot of it is people saying, ‘I didn’t think I needed a gun, but now I do,’ ” Meyers said. “When it happens in your backyard, people start reassessing — ‘Hey, I go to the movies.’ “

Between Friday and Sunday, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation approved background checks for 2,887 people who wanted to purchase a firearm — a 43 percent increase over the previous Friday through Sunday and a 39 percent jump over those same days on the first weekend of July.

The biggest spike was on Friday, when there were 1,216 checks, a 43 percent increase over the average number for the previous two Fridays.

The checks are required before anyone may legally purchase a gun in Colorado. Because some purchasers may have bought more than one gun or decided against their purchase, the actual number bought may have been different from 2,887.

Such increases aren’t unusual in the wake of mass shootings.

After a gunman in Tucson killed six people and injured others, including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, in 2010, background checks in Arizona jumped 60 percent over the same date one year earlier, according to the FBI.

A similar increase occurred in Virginia after the shootings at Virginia Tech University in 2007.

Dion Studinski, who teaches a course required for people to apply for a concealed-carry permit, said his class for Saturday at Firing-Line gun store and indoor shooting range in Aurora is overbooked.

“We’ve definitely had an increase,” he said.

Tom Mauser, a gun-control advocate whose son Daniel was killed at Columbine High School in 1999, said he wasn’t surprised by the numbers.

“To me that’s just symbolic of the fear that drives (people),” he said.

State Rep. Rhonda Fields, D-Aurora, said she understands what people are thinking when they walk into a gun shop. But she hopes buying a gun isn’t the only response people have.

She would also like to see Congress reinstate an assault-weapons ban, and she said Colorado should look into other measures that could prevent tragedies like Friday’s shooting.

“I think that’s what the conversation needs to be,” she said. “I don’t think that to be preventative, we need to provide or have more guns.”

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Hero Father And Sons Find Missing Port St. Lucie Florida 13 Year Old Girl In Car With Man At 3:45am, Proceed To Kick His Ass

July 24, 2012

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY, FLORIDA — A father and his two sons found a Port St. Lucie man literally with his pants down in a car with the father’s teenage daughter early Monday, according to the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office.

The sons roughed up Christopher Torres, 18, of the 800 block of Southwest Java Avenue, Port St. Lucie, and held him until deputies arrived. The girl is 13 years old and told a detective she and Torres had met just hours earlier and had sex, his affidavit states.

Torres, who was charged with lewd and lascivious battery, told a detective he contacted the girl on Facebook about noon Sunday. They made plans to meet about 2 a.m. Monday, according to his affidavit. The girl told a detective she lied about her age and told Torres she was 16, the affidavit states.

Torres picked up the girl and they parked off an unspecified roadway, the affidavit states. The girl’s father and her brothers found the pair about 3:45 a.m.

Torres remained at the Indian River County Jail in lieu of $5,000 bail Tuesday.

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San Antonio Texas Bad Cop Lee Rakun Suspened For 15th Time After Racial Slurs And Threatening Another Law Officer – Previously Arrested After Harassing Phone Calls And Beating His Wife

July 24, 2012

SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS – News 4 WOAI has confirmed that a veteran San Antonio police officer has been suspended indefinitely.

According to the San Antonio Express-News, this isn’t the first time – or even the tenth. According to the paper, Lee Rakun is now suspended indefinitely following allegations he made racial slurs and threatened to fire an off-duty constable working in Alamo Heights. The paper goes on to say Rakun has been suspended 14 times before this most recent suspension.

Our archives show Rakun was arrested in Kendall County back in 2004 and 2005 for allegedly making harassing phone calls and beating up his wife.

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Dumbass Voorhees New Jersey Police Officer Jeffrey Tyther Suspended And Charged After Using Motor Vehicle Database And Facebook To Stalk Woman Motorist

July 24, 2012

VOORHEES, NEW JERSEY – Authorities say a police officer in New Jersey misused his powers and computer in a bid to friend a woman on Facebook.

Camden County Prosecutor Warren Faulk says 44-year-old Voorhees Patrolman Jeffrey Tyther used the motor vehicle database to gather personal information after the woman drove pass him in his police car.

Authorities say the 14-year veteran of the police force used the information to find the woman on Facebook and attempted to “friend” her.

Authorities say Tyther emailed the woman when she didn’t respond and identified himself as the police officer who had waved at her.

The woman told a co-worker, who contacted police.

Tyther is suspended without pay, charged with computer theft and violating the motor vehicle record law.

It’s not known whether he has an attorney.

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Nutcase New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg Suggests Police Officers Go On Strike Nationwide

July 24, 2012

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg suggested cops across the country go on strike to protest gun control laws.

Appearing on the Piers Morgan show on Monday night, he said, “I don’t understand why police officers across this country don’t stand up collectively and say we’re going to go on strike, we’re not going to protect you unless you, the public, through your legislature, do what’s required to keep us safe.”

He went on to say, “Police officers want to go home to their families. And we’re doing everything we can to make their job more difficult, but more importantly, more dangerous, by leaving guns in the hands of people who shouldn’t have them and letting people who have those guns buy things like armor piercing bullets.”

Bloomberg made the statements in response to a question about why Americans don’t demand more gun control after shootings like the Colorado movie theater massacre.

City Council speaker Christine Quinn says she doesn’t think the mayor was being literal.

On Tuesday’s Good Day New York, Quinn said, “I don’t think anyone actually thinks police departments should strike. I think that was more of a rhetorical, angry statement by the mayor.”

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Murder Trial Of Former Bolingbrook Illinois Police Officer Drew Peterson To Begin – Defense Thinks Case Will Be Tossed Due To Lack Of Evidence

July 24, 2012

BOLINGBROOK, ILLINOIS – Jury selection in the trial of Drew Peterson for the alleged murder of his third wife began today in Joliet, Ill., but the former cop’s attorney predicted that the judge will throw out the case after the prosecution concludes its case.

“We have always said, and this has never changed: They simply don’t have any evidence. They have conjecture, rumor, speculation, hearsay, but they don’t have any evidence. Even a predispositioned jury is going to want to hear evidence, and they don’t have any,” Peterson’s attorney Joel Brodsky told ABC News.

Brodsky acknowledged that the jury may be “predispositioned” because of Peterson’s notoriety.

Peterson, a former sergeant in the Bolingbrook, Ill., police department, became the focus of national attention when his fourth wife Stacy Peterson disappeared in 2007. Rob Lowe even starred as Peterson in a Lifetime original movie.

He was never charged in Stacy Peterson’s disappearance, but the search for Stacy prompted investigators to exhume the body of his third wife, Kathleen Savio, who died in 2003. She had originally been ruled to have slipped and fallen in her bathtub before drowning. That finding was changed to murder.

Prosecutors, Brodsky insisted, have no case.

“First, they are not going to be able to say that (the death investigation was botched) because it wasn’t,” Brodsky said. “By saying that if they had done a better job in the investigation, then they would have been able to prosecute Drew Peterson, that lowers the burden of proof. Where you don’t have evidence, you presume innocence.”

Brodsky said he was so confident that the state had no case that he was convinced a judge would throw out the case as soon as the prosecution rests.

“I don’t know why they are prosecuting this. I am serious. This case should never have been brought,” Brodsky said. “If they can prosecute Drew Peterson on this garbage, rumor, back fence gossip, then nobody’s safe.”

At the time of Savio’s death, she was separated from her husband who was already seeing Stacy, who would become his fourth wife.

Savio was found in a dry bathtub, with her hair soaked in blood. She was discovered after Drew Peterson arrived that morning to drop off their children after a weekend in his custody.

When Savio did not answer the door, he had neighbors check on her, and then rushed up the stairs to take her pulse when she was found unresponsive. Prosecutors argue that Peterson’s behavior was that of an experienced police officer purposefully contaminating the crime scene.

Peterson’s son, who was with him during the weekend in question, may be called to testify on his father’s behalf.

The trial will likely include statements both women made to friends and acquaintances, including Stacy Peterson’s statements that she saw Drew arrive home with women’s clothing around the time of Savio’s death.

Savio’s sister may also take the stand to describe Savio’s statements that Peterson threatened her with a knife and said he could make her death look like an accident.

Other witnesses could include Savio’s neighbor, a then-14-year-old boy who was among the neighbors who found Savio in the dry bathtub.

“That doesn’t concern us,” Brodsky said. “Anybody that knows anybody that has been through a divorce knows that people say things and do things that is totally out of character, and clearly Kathy was trying to build a case to try and get as much money as she could.”

Prosecutors will also likely call on experts to argue that Savio did not die of an accidental fall, and that her injuries show some sort of assault that the coroner missed at the time of her death.

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Batman Movie Shooting Hysteria Sucks In Moviegoers And Law Enforcement From Coast To Coast

July 24, 2012

US – At least 3 men accused of making threats during or after watching the new Batman movie have been arrested in separate incidents, underscoring moviegoers’ anxieties and heightened security in the wake of a deadly mass shooting at a Colorado theater showing the film.

A Maine man was arrested when he told authorities that he was on his way to shoot a former employer a day after watching “The Dark Knight Rises,” Maine state police said Monday.

Timothy Courtois of Biddeford, Maine, had been stopped for speeding, and a police search of his car found an AK-47 assault weapon, four handguns, ammunition and news clippings about the mass shooting that left 12 people dead early Friday, authorities said.

Former graduate student James Holmes, 24, is accused of opening fire in a theater in a Denver suburb. The shooting also injured 58 people.

Courtois said he had attended the Batman movie on Saturday, although police have not confirmed whether he actually saw the film.

“I guess we’re taking everything at face value,” State Police Lt. Kevin Donovan said. “It’s very scary.”

Police searched Courtois’ home later Sunday and found a machine gun, several other guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition.

“We don’t know what his true intentions were,” said Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Department of Public Safety. “Based on the arsenal that was confiscated, we brought in our counterparts from the FBI and ATF to assist with the investigation.”

Courtois was charged with speeding and possession of a concealed weapon.

In Southern California, a man at a Sunday afternoon showing of the film was arrested after witnesses said he made threats and alluded to the Aurora shooting when the movie didn’t start.

Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies were called to a cinema complex in Norwalk after moviegoers said 52-year-old Clark Tabor shouted: “I should go off like in Colorado.” They said he then asked: “Does anybody have a gun?”

A security guard saw Tabor with a backpack on his knees in the second row, but deputies who searched the bag, the theater and its surrounding area did not find any weapon.

Separately, moviegoers in Sierra Visa, Ariz., panicked when a man who appeared intoxicated was confronted during a showing of the movie. The Cochise County Sheriff’s office said it caused “mass hysteria” and about 50 people fled the theater.

Off-duty Border Patrol agents tackled Michael William Borboa, 27, who had a backpack with him, according to The Arizona Daily Star. Authorities said it contained an empty alcohol container and a half-empty moonshine bottle.

Borboa was arrested on suspicion of disorderly conduct, and threatening and intimidating.

Despite some jitters over the horrific shooting, moviegoers around the country still flocked to theaters to see the film, which was the final installment of the phenomenally successful Batman trilogy. Warner Bros. reported that it brought in $160.9 million over the weekend, making it the third highest opening weekend ever, after “The Avengers” and “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2.”

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Dallas Texas Police Officer Rafael Mendoza, Previously Suspended After Violent Attack On His Girlfriend, Now Arrested And Suspended For Shooting At A Vehicle

July 24, 2012

DALLAS, TEXAS – A Dallas police officer, arrested over the weekend for allegedly firing a gun at another vehicle, received a five-day suspension last month over a prior family violence case after the alleged victim decision not to prosecute, police officials said Monday.

In July 2011, Officer Rafael Mendoza was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence and unlawful restraint after his girlfriend alleged he knocked her to the ground, handcuffed her and threatened to send her to prison.
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Former Veteran Anniston Alabama Police Officer Frederick Boyd Arrested In Mississippi After Murdering His Wife, Shooting A Family Member

July 24, 2012

ANNISTON, ALABAMA – A former warrants officer for the Anniston Police Department was in custody in Mississippi Monday in connection with two Calhoun County shootings that led to a manhunt and security lockdowns at the police department and City Hall.

Frederick Boyd, 43, surrendered to officials in Meridian, Miss., before noon Monday, hours after the Anniston Police Department and the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office issued warrants for his arrest in two early morning crimes. Boyd faces a murder charge in the Monday morning shooting death of his wife and an attempted murder charge from an incident in Hobson City the same morning.

Calhoun County Chief Deputy Matthew Wade said deputies responded to a call on Martin Luther King Drive in Hobson City around 7 a.m. Monday. A man, identified as a family member of Boyd, said the suspect knocked on his door and opened fire on him. After the man said he shot back, Boyd left the scene in a black GMC Yukon sports utility vehicle, Wade said.

Wade said deputies were going to Boyd’s residence on Chatwood Drive in Saks to question him when they learned of a second shooting that morning at the home already under investigation by the Anniston Police Department.

Anniston police Lt. Fred Forsythe said Boyd was the suspect in the death of his wife, Carmella Boyd, 41. Police said the shooting took place around 8 a.m.
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“Federal Police Officer” Not Arrested After Modesto California Bar Brawl And Shooting

July 24, 2012

MODESTO, CALIFORNIA – Modesto police officers are trying to piece together a very complex and large crime in a strip mall at Standiford Avenue and Prescott Road early Sunday morning that left one man dead and another injured.

What began as a large fight around 1:30 in the morning, ended with gunshots and a running to the door of O’Malley’s Bar and Grill.

“He came running up to my door and told my bouncer he was an off-duty officer,” says owner John Boyatt.

The crime scene is extensive, with trails of blood drops snaking through the parking lot behind Burger King.

Modesto police have identified the shooter only as a federal police officer at the Defense Logistics Agency in Tracy, better known as Sharpe Depot.

“We are not treating this as an officer involved shooting, we’re dealing with this as a shooting that happens to involve a federal employee,” Lt. Rick Armendariz told FOX40.

The shooter’s name is not being revealed by Modesto police officers, nor is he under arrest.

“We have not made any formal arrest on this case, mainly because we don’t have enough information to move forward on any criminal arrests,” Armendariz said.

The lack of an arrest is due to a lack of witness statements. In spite of the large crowd near the crime scene, many left before Modesto detectives could confirm the shooter’s story that he opened fire in self-defense.

“We’re hoping that there were witnesses on the scene that could either corroborate this information or disspell this information,” Armendariz said.

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Santa Paula California Police Officer Christopher Blankenship Arrested And Suspended After Drunken Wreck That Killed Another Police Officer And Injured Two Other Passengers

July 24, 2012

SANTA PAULA, CALIFORNIA – A Santa Paula volunteer reserve police officer has been arrested on suspicion of felony DUI and vehicular manslaughter after an off-duty car crash Sunday night killed another officer.

Christopher Blankenship, 44, of Santa Paula, was driving a 1984 Jeep Wrangler east on South Mountain Lookout Road when he apparently lost control and crashed. He was later booked into Ventura County jail, authorities said.

Kimberley Hemminger, 33, a five-year veteran of the Santa Paula Police Department, was partially ejected and pinned under the Jeep. Hemminger, of Oxnard, was pronounced dead at the scene.
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Veteran Massachusetts State Police Trooper Daniel Sheehan Arrested For OUI In Connecticut And Suspended

July 24, 2012

ENFIELD, CONNECTICUT – A Massachusetts state trooper was relieved of duty this weekend after he was charged with operating under the influence in Connecticut early Saturday morning, a department spokesman said.

Police in Enfield, Conn., found Daniel Sheehan, 46, “passed out or sleeping” in the driver’s seat of a Cadillac Escalade that was pulled to the side of the road at 12:51 a.m. Saturday, said the spokesman, David Procopio. Sheehan is assigned to the Russell Barracks and graduated from the State Police Academy in 2002, Procopio said in a statement. He was off-duty at the time of the incident.

He said there was no damage to the vehicle, no signs of a crash, and Sheehan was uninjured. Enfield police officers administered field sobriety tests to Sheehan, Procopio said, and they arrested the trooper after determining he was impaired. He is also charged with a marked lanes violation.

Procopio said Sheehan posted $500 cash bail at the Enfield police station. State Police will hold a duty status hearing for Sheehan this week to determine his future assignment, he said.

Sheehan is scheduled to appear for arraignment in a Connecticut courtroom on the charges on July 30, according to Procopio

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Former Veteran Phoenix Arizona Police Officer Justin Griffith Arrested By US Marshals And Charged With Prescription Forgery – Quit Before Department Could Fire Him

July 24, 2012

PHOENIX, ARIZONA – U.S. Marshals have taken a former Phoenix police officer into custody after an arrest warrant was issued on prescription forgery charges.

Authorities said Justin Griffith did not respond to a court summons Friday. He was suspected of prescription forgery in January. The warrant listed one count of conspiracy to possess a narcotic drug and six counts of using wire communication in drug-related transactions.

CBS 5 News learned in January that Griffith was placed on administrative and suspected of forging prescriptions.

He allegedly had a blank prescription pad and gave the blank scripts to a partner who allegedly filled them out for OxyContin. Once the dealer sold them on the street, Griffith reportedly received a cut.

Sgt. Trent Crump told CBS 5 News that Officer Griffith resigned during the investigation before he could be terminated.

Griffith was with the force for nine years and had been assigned to code enforcement.

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Lawsuit Filed After Point Marion Pennsylvania Police Arrested Man For Recording Officer Harassing His Quadriplegic Friend – Charges Were Dropped And Cellphone Returned, Minus His Recording

July 24, 2012

POINT MARION, PENNSYLVANIA – The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit on behalf of Pennsylvania resident Gregory Rizer, who was arrested in January for recording a police officer aggressively questioning his quadriplegic friend. The officer also confiscated Rizer’s cell phone.

When Rizer complained to the mayor’s office about the arrest, the Point Marion Police Department arrested him at home and charged him with violating Pennsylvania’s wiretap law, which bans audio recording unless all parties consent. The district attorney has since removed the charges and returned Rizer’s cell phone – without the recording. The ACLU argues that Rizer was within his rights to record the officer because “the state’s Wiretap Act does not apply if the person being recorded does not have a reasonable ‘expectation of privacy.’” ACLU cooperating lawyer Glen Downey explained,

“The explosion of technology that allows almost every citizen to document and record the interactions between police and civilians makes it incumbent that both the officers and those seeking to record them understand that officers cannot shield themselves from public scrutiny by invoking wiretap laws. Police officers performing their official duties do not possess the requisite reasonable expectation of privacy necessary to be covered by the statute.”

There have been reports from across the country of police officers interfering with cell phone recording of their actions. Earlier this month, the New York City Police Department put out a flyer warning against a couple who record “stop-and-frisk” searches in the city. New York’s ACLU chapter released a phone app, “Stop-and-Frisk Watch,” to help New Yorkers hold police officers executing these controversial searches accountable.

Last week, New Jersey’s ACLU chapter released a similar app, “Police Tape,” an Android phone app that allows users to discreetly videotape and record police officers. The app also explains American civil rights and allows users to send recordings to ACLU databases for backup storage.

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Hero To Zero: Memphis Tennessee Police Officer David Royal Arrested And Suspended After Drunken Wreck

July 24, 2012

MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE – A Memphis Police officer was charged with DUI Sunday morning after a traffic accident, officials said Monday.

David Royal, 43, was arrested about 9:45 a.m. after being involved in a crash at Ramill and Yale in the Raleigh area. Royal was also charged with public intoxication, reckless driving, and refusing to submit to a Breathalyzer test, authorities said.

According to police, Royal’s 2004 Saab ran into the rear of a 2008 Nissan Maxima, causing minor injuries to the driver of that car. Police investigating the crash suspected Royal was drunk after smelling his breath and seeing him unsteady on his feet.

Royal, who has been with MPD since 1995, is assigned to the Organized Crime Unit. He has been relieved of duty with pay pending the outcome of the investigation.

Royal received an MPD lifesaving medal in 2002 for saving fellow officer William Poteet, who was choking on food.

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