Brutal And Violent Assaults By Los Angeles California Police Officers Under Investigation – One Dead Victim – All On Video And All But Ignored Until Now

August 31, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – Three violent altercations caught on tape involving Los Angeles Police Department officers have rekindled the long-running debate about LAPD use-of-force and are shaping up to be a significant test for Chief Charlie Beck.

All three incidents occurred during seemingly routine calls that inexplicably turned violent. Several weeks ago, a cellphone video showed four police officers tackling a 20-year-old Venice skateboarder whom they said was resisting arrest. One officer struck him in the face.

Then this week, videotape emerged in which two LAPD officers were shown slamming a handcuffed woman to the ground in the San Fernando Valley before appearing to give themselves fist bumps. The woman, a nurse who was pulled over for holding a cellphone while driving, suffered bruises to her face and body.

But the most serious incident came to light late Thursday, when LAPD officials revealed that a woman had died during a confrontation in July outside her South L.A. home. Police said the woman had come to a police station to drop off her children because she said she could not take care of them. Police returned to her house to arrest her on suspicion of child endangerment.

“Each incident is disturbing,” said Police Commission member Richard E. Drooyan on Friday. “In each of these cases, we are talking about different places in the department with different races and genders involved.”

Beck spent Thursday night going across the city and talking to officers about the incidents.

“I was in the field last night and visited half a dozen police stations,” he said. “I looked hundreds of police officers in the eye as I discussed their responsibilities. I have faith in them.”

Beck said all the cases were under investigation but stressed that he does not believe they point to a larger systemic problem within the department.

“I am very concerned about several of these incidents. I am not concerned about the overall quality or character of the Los Angeles Police Department,” he said. “There are 10,000 LAPD officers who do a phenomenal job in very difficult circumstances every day. We have literally over a million enforcement contacts a year. Some of them don’t go that well, and there’s a variety of reasons.”

Accusations of excessive force – particularly those caught on tape – have been a major issue at the LAPD dating back to the 1992 beating of Rodney King and including the 2007 May Day melee at MacArthur Park in which officers used force on protesters as well as some journalists.

Drooyan said he wanted the commission to look at the three new cases to determine whether there were any patterns or “cultural issues” within the department that needed to be addressed.

“We’ve had a relatively calm period since I came on the commission two and half years ago, and I have seen nothing to suggest a cultural issue,” he added.

Connie Rice, a longtime L.A. civil rights attorney and LAPD watchdog, said the key thing to watch now is how the department investigates the cases.

“For me, it’s never that the incidents happen, it’s the response to the incident,” Rice said. “It’s endemic to policing that there are violent confrontations. For the LAPD, the old default was excessive use of force. The question is how far they are in their transformation away from excessive force being the norm: Do I see movement away from that? Yes, at the top they’ve definitely changed. Do we still have a long way to go, oh yeah.”

Rice said she has faith that Beck will take the incidents seriously. “There’s a real investigation…. It would be the opposite 25 years ago. There would be no investigations, there would be exonerations.”

Appeared Here

Advertisements

US Justice Department Targets Sacramento California Public Library e-Book Program Because Blind People Can’t See – Already Broke Library System Now Faces Having To Spend Thousands To Make Lawyers Happy

August 31, 2012

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA – The U.S. Justice Department says it has reached a settlement with the Sacramento (California) Public Library over a trial program the library was conducting that let patrons borrow Barnes and Noble NOOK e-book readers.

DOJ and the National Federation of the Blind objected to the program on grounds that blind people could not use the NOOK e-readers for technological reasons.

The Justice Department said the settlement is aimed at stopping discrimination: “Emerging technologies like e-readers are changing the way we interact with the world around us and we need to ensure that people with disabilities are not excluded from the programs where these devices are used,” said Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez in a news release.

A DOJ official told CNSNews.com it interviewed a woman who could not participate in the library’s e-reader program due to her disability and concluded that the program had violated the ADA.

Amy Calhoun, an Electronic Resources Librarian at the Sacramento Public Library who helped launch the ebook reader project, said she was unaware of any objections from a blind person regarding the program. “I have not heard of a specific complaint directly from a patron,” she told CNSNews.com. “But I do know that patrons who are part of the statewide Braille and talking-book program do get in touch with us for audio books.”

The Sacramento Public Library Authority, which operates 28 libraries, partnered with the book store chain to provide at least one NOOK e-book reader to each of its libraries, pre-loaded with roughly 20 books in all genres.

The library describes the program as a “pilot project,” and it requires patrons to fill out a feedback survey as the program works through its initial stages.

But the Justice Department says a state or local government program that excludes people with disabilities violates the ADA, regardless of whether it is a “pilot” program.
As part of the settlement agreement, the Justice Department directed the library system to purchase at least 18 e-readers that are accessible to the blind, something that comes in the midst of budget cuts that have forced Sacramento libraries to implement one employee furlough day each month for two years.

The library says it will add iPod touch and iPad devices, which read e-books aloud with a computerized voice.

Adding the Apple devices could cost the library anywhere from $3,582 with the purchase of 18 of the most inexpensive iPod Touch models, to $14,922 if they wish to provide the high-end version of the iPad, which cost $829 a piece.

According to an article posted on NFB’s website, while e-books “are an especially exciting development” for blind readers, Nook’s “bookstore, desktop software, mobile software, and dedicated hardware reading devices are all inaccessible to blind users.”

The settlement agreement also directs the library not to buy any additional e-readers that exclude blind or disabled people; and it requires the library system to train its staff on the requirements of the ADA, the DOJ said.

“We are pleased that the Sacramento Public Library Authority worked so cooperatively to adopt measures that will allow patrons with disabilities to avail themselves equally of the library’s programs and services,” said U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of California, Benjamin B. Wagner.

Appeared Here


US Secret Service Pisses Away Tax Dollars Investigating Victoria Texas “Pray For Obama” Sign

August 31, 2012

VICTORIA, TEXAS – The Secret Service is looking into a sign posted in Victoria, Texas.

The sign says “Pray for Obama”, but it’s the scripture quoted below those words that is raising eyebrows: Psalms 109:8.

Psalms 109:8 reads, “Let his days be few, and let another take his office.”

Milton Neitsch Jr., who has lived in Victoria since 1961, says he didn’t intend for people to pick up on the hateful wishes of death and pain surrounding the tiny verse.

But some people say it is hateful and inappropriate. They say it misuses the holy scripture and it must come down.

Neitsch recently received an email from a friend and decided to post it on his advertising billboard along North Navarro Street. He had no idea the firestorm of controversy it would create.

“Pray for the president. He needs it,” said Neitsch.

When asked what the sign means, Neitsch responded, “Exactly what it says. Hope he’s gone soon and somebody different takes his place.”

Reverend Amy Danchik started a petition demanding Neitsch take down the sign. They’ve since met and Neitsch and agreed to replace the billboard.

“He shared with me a little about some of the threats that have come at his family, which is incredibly inappropriate, and in no way helpful and in no way how we’re called to react when we disagree with somebody,” said Danchik. “So I hope that those stop. I hope that people will react with the graciousness that he has reacted with and leave his family alone.”

Neitsch says he is also getting plenty of support. He said he might replace the sign with something like, “Vote for the American”, a sign that would no doubt stir emotion, while leaving the word of God to the experts.

Code enforcement in the City of Victoria says they don’t review the content of signs. They said they would only get involved if the sign affected traffic.

Appeared Here


Savage Black Beasts Killed One Of Their Own In Robbery Attempt While He Was Waiting In Line To Buy Overpriced Sneakers In Gates New York

August 31, 2012

GATES, NEW YORK – A man was shot and killed while waiting in line at a Gates store early Friday morning.

Montre Bradley, 19, was in a crowd waiting for the retail release of a new sneaker when he was shot. He died later at the hospital.

A crowd of people were lined up at the Street Games store on Chili Avenue for the release.

Witnesses say two men robbed people in line waiting for the expensive shoes.

Gates Police Chief David DiCaro said, “Look this was a 19 year-old that was killed because they were trying to steal his money. All he wanted to do was buy a new pair of shoes. It is a tragedy, it really is a tragedy and we’re going to do everything we can to bring him to justice.”

His family told 13WHAM News, Bradley came to Rochester from California at the age of 14 after getting into some trouble while living with his mom.

But once here in Rochester, by every person’s account he turned his life over to God and became a role model to friends and family.

His aunt, Denise Seymour, a mother-figure in his life, remembers that moment five years ago.

Seymour says, “He wanted to change his life, he said I want people to believe in me because nobody believes in me that I could be a good boy and I said you can, right here on this step right here he had some little twisties in his hair, ha, he was growing dreads and I said I believe in you. I believe that you can get anybody to trust you again and all that negativity can become positive it starts today gave him a big hug.”

Montre Bradley graduated from Edison Tech this summer and was working at the University of Rochester. He was set to begin classes at MCC next week.

His cousin, Diontaye Thompson, says “You can see how the world is like changing, people killing over sneakers.”

13WHAM cameras were rolling when Friday afternoon’s police chase came to an end.

The Gates Police Chief tells us the search for the suspects led them to a home in Gates.

Two men fled from that home in a white Mercedes. A pursuit picked up in the city of Rochester.  It ended on North Clinton Avenue in Rochester, between Scrantom and Sullivan Streets.

Police took the driver into custody.

During the chase, police said one of the suspects bailed from the car.

He has not been found.

Appeared Here


US Taxpayers Money Spent On “Green Jobs” Advertising On MSNBC As Part Of Obama’s So-Called Stimulus” Program”

August 31, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – A House panel is calling on the U.S. Department of Labor to turn over all records involving a half-million dollar contract funded through President Obama’s $831 billion stimulus program that paid for more than 100 commercials on MSNBC touting a “green jobs” initiative.

The contract with McNeely Pigott & Fox Public Relations LLC in 2009 resulted in more than 100 commercials on cable shows hosted by Rachel Maddow and Keith Olberman to raise awareness about the Job Corps program’s training in environmentally-friendly career areas.

But spending reports showed that no jobs were created through the contract. The Washington Times first reported on the contract earlier this month, quoting one taxpayer watchdog who questioned not only the lack of jobs but why the commercials aired only on MSNBC, considered the most liberal of the major cable news outlets.

Republican leaders on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, which oversees the Labor Department, are raising similar questions in a recent letter they sent to Labor Secretary Hilda Solis.

The letter, signed by Reps. John Kline of Minnesota, chairman of the committee, and Phil Roe of Tennessee, who chairs the panel’s subcommittee on health, employment, labor and pension issues, seeks all documents and communications concerning the public relations contract, as well as a list of dates, attendees and topics for any meetings between Labor officials and the public relations firm concerning the “public relations strategy.”

“We understand this contract used taxpayer dollars purchase advertisements on MSNBC during ‘Countdown with Keith Olbermann’ and ‘The Rachel Maddow Show,’” the lawmakers wrote.

“Despite the fact that these funds were made available as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act — legislation President Obama said was critical for immediate job creation — an examination of public records show that the contract that resulted in the advertisements on MSNBC created no jobs.”

A spokesman for the Labor Department, Stephen Barr, said officials have received the committee’s letter and will be responding.

In an earlier statement to The Times, Labor Department officials said there was nothing political about the placement of the ads. They said research showed the advertisements would reach the target demographic of business owners and managers interested in hiring “green-trained” employees through a programming list that initially also included shows hosted by CNN’s Larry King and public television’s Jim Lehrer.

Public television was eliminated because advertising rates were too high, officials said, and Mr. King’s show was dropped because MSNBC, since renamed NBCNews.com, held the potential to reach more viewers.

The use of tax dollars on media and advertising services also came under scrutiny from Democratic lawmakers during the George W. Bush administration. In 2006, a Government Accountability Office (GAO) study requested by Democrats found more than $1.6 billion in public relations and media spending by the Bush administration during a two-year span.

Appeared Here


ID Theft: Savage Black Beast Assumed Doctor Friend’s ID And Saw 500 Patients

August 31, 2012

COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA — A man stole a physician’s identity and pretended to be a doctor for a year in South Carolina, and now investigators are combing through medical records to see whether he harmed any of the hundreds of patients he treated, authorities said.

Ernest Addo of Austell, Ga., is charged with unlawful practice of medicine and obtaining goods under false pretense, authorities said.

Addo doesn’t have a medical license in the U.S. But he assumed a doctor friend’s identity, getting a driver’s license and presenting the massive amount of paperwork needed to prove he was a doctor. The documents were given to him by the friend in hopes they could open a medical clinic together when the real doctor returned from a yearlong trip to Ghana, Lexington County Sheriff James Metts said.

The real doctor, Arthur Kennedy, said he is embarrassed and devastated by what his friend did.

Addo did have some medical training, and acted enough like a doctor not to raise any serious suspicion beyond one nurse – interviewed after Addo’s Aug. 24, arrest – who wondered why he consulted ask.com when she questioned his treatment plan, Metts said.

The motive appears to be greed, the sheriff said. Court documents show Addo has a history of financial trouble.

Records obtained by The Associated Press show in the past 20 years, at least two dozen liens have been filed against Addo for around $200,000, including unpaid rent, credit card bills, student loans and taxes. Addo has declared bankruptcy twice.

After Addo’s arrest last week at his Georgia home, officers found fake IDs and other documents, and Metts said it appears Addo might have tried to fake his way through other lucrative careers, too. The sheriff wouldn’t specify which ones.

“He seems to be a professional con guy,” Metts said.

Authorities have said Addo received more than $10,000 for his services but declined to elaborate. One of the jobs also gave him the use of a Mercedes.

Addo, 48, has been jailed in Cobb County, Ga., since his arrest, and neither the sheriff nor jail officials knew if he had an attorney. Addo is refusing to talk to authorities, and both his home phone and cellphone have been disconnected.

Addo faces more than a decade in prison for his current charges, but he could end up in even more trouble. Metts said his investigators are reviewing the medical records of more than 500 patients Addo saw while at four Columbia-area senior centers and a rehabilitation center owned by Agape Senior Primary Care.

Metts said some of those patients died. He said more charges could follow if any of those deaths were linked to Addo’s actions.

Addo was hired as a general practitioner and provided the kind of exams patients would receive during a visit to the family doctor. Authorities said he also wrote prescriptions, including some for himself.

Officials at Agape are doing their own review of the care patients received from Addo. They said he never had sole clinical oversight of any patient.

“We have found no inappropriate diagnosis or plan of treatment. We are convinced that all of our patients are safe and receiving proper care,” Agape CEO Scott Middleton said in a statement.

Addo also worked as a contract doctor for the South Carolina Department of Mental Health, filling in for a doctor on medical leave. Officials there said they also are reviewing Addo’s care and have not found any serious issues.

Patients treated by Addo could not be located by The Associated Press for comment.

Authorities started investigating Addo after he made a small mistake on a death certificate. South Carolina health officials trying to fix the error contacted the doctor Addo was impersonating. He told them he hadn’t practiced medicine for a year in the state because he was teaching at a medical school in Ghana.

Officials have refused to release that doctor’s name, but Kennedy confirmed his identity was stolen.

Kennedy said he was betrayed by his friend. Addo also obtained credit cards in Kennedy’s name, creating an even bigger mess to clean up, the doctor said Wednesday outside his home in Orangeburg.

He said he didn’t want to answer detailed questions about what happened until he spoke to a lawyer.

Both Kennedy and Addo are from Ghana. Kennedy ran unsuccessfully for president of the west African nation in 2008. He had a family practice in Orangeburg and spent plenty of time in his homeland, pushing for public health improvements. The two men resemble each other, and Addo used Kennedy’s reputation to help get him the doctor jobs. Agape said in a statement it hired him in part because he came highly recommended.

Both Agape and Jackson & Coker, the Alpharetta, Ga., physician recruitment firm that placed Addo with the Department of Mental Health, have promised to help authorities. Metts said it could take months for investigators to go through all the medical records.

Jackson & Coker also is exploring any legal action it could take against Addo and is shocked he was able to obtain all the documents someone would need to prove he was a doctor in the United States, spokeswoman Susan Meyers said.

“He was hired the same way in several different places,” Meyers said. “There were no red flags.”

Appeared Here


War Zone: Second Shooting Within A Week Just A Couple Of Blocks Of Obama’s Heavily Guarded Street In Chicago Illinois

August 31, 2012

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – A teenage boy was shot about a block from President Obama’s home, in the second such incident in the past week.

The 17-year-old boy was shot in the leg and buttock in the 5000 block of South Woodlawn Avenue about 4:20 a.m., police said.

The shooting scene is about a block east of the heavily guarded street where the Obamas have a home in the Kenwood neighborhood.

He was taken in “stable” condition to an unidentified hospital, according to police.

Last weekend, another shooting a few blocks from President Barack Obama’s Chicago home turned out to be fatal.

“Three blocks over, that’s it. Three blocks. He’s right there,” said Freeman Richmond, who lives on the next block on Drexel Boulevard.

Stephin Williams and his girlfriend were in their car around 2:30 a.m. in the 4900 block of South Drexel Boulevard, in the Kenwood neighborhood about three blocks northwest of Obama’s Chicago home on Greenwood Avenue. Two men walked up with a handgun and announced a robbery, police said.

When Williams attempted to fight, one of the males shot him multiple times.

Williams, 23, of the 4000 block of South Lake Park Avenue, was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 3:10 a.m., according to Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.

Richmond was driving home when he saw police swarming to the scene.

“When I came around the block, the kid was laying face down right there. He wasn’t moving,” Richmond told CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli. “I paused for a minute and looked at him, and they finally picked him up and put him in the ambulance, and I drove on away.”

Even with the proximity to the heavily-guarded presidential residence, violence is not new to the area, Richmond said.

Appeared Here