Former San Francisco California Transit Police Officer Johannes Mehserle, Who Still Claims He Didn’t Know The Difference Between His Taser Weapon And Pistol, Files Appeal To Overturn Manslaughter Conviction After Tiny Slap On The Wrist For Killing Unarmed Man

May 12, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – Johannes Mehserle, a former San Francisco Bay Area transit police officer, is appealing his involuntary manslaughter conviction for the killing of 22-year-old Oscar Grant in Oakland.

The move has deeply angered Grant’s family, who say the appeal is an attempt for Mehserle to clear his name so that he can become a police officer again.

“I’m here to denounce his attempt to clear his record. He committed such gross negligence that he should not be allowed back on the streets to protect and serve again,” said Grant’s mother Wanda Johnson at a news conference Friday in Oakland.

The appeal to overturn the conviction was filed this week and argued during a court hearing on Wednesday, according to Michael Rains, Mehserle’s defense attorney. The appeal questioned some of the evidence and instructions that were given to the jury at Mehserle’s 2010 trial.

The three-judge panel of the First District Court of Appeal in San Francisco could make a decision on the appeal in 90 days.

Mehserle was accused of fatally shooting Grant on New Year’s Day 2009 on a platform of a Bay Area Rapid Transit station. Mehserle said at the trial that he intended to draw and fire his Taser rather than his gun.

He was sentenced to two years in prison for the involuntary manslaughter conviction, but was released last year because of a California law that allowed him to reduce his sentence to nearly a year.

Grant’s family members said they were also angry that they were not informed about the court hearing.

“We’re angered. We are hurt,” said Cephus Johnson, Grant’s uncle. “We were denied our right to be at this hearing. We applied to be informed about any hearing that pertained to Johannes Mehserle. This proceeding is an example of shutting victims out of the process. The family is outraged.”

This case has been controversial in California’s Bay Area community for years. The 2009 shooting was captured on a bystander’s cellphone video camera. The video showed Mehserle pulling his gun and fatally shooting Grant in the back as another officer knelt on the unarmed man. The video was widely circulated on the Internet and on news broadcasts, and it spurred several protests in and around Oakland.

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US Gun Sales Jump Since Beginning Of Current Recession – Accounts For 98,750 Additional Jobs – $31 Billion In Sales Last Year

April 19, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – Gun sales are up 66 percent since the beginning of the Great Recession, providing an unexpected shot in the arm for the economy, according to a new study.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation claims that firearm sales hit $31 billion in 2011, up from $19 billion in 2008.

The increase in sales accounted for a 30 percent increase in jobs to 98,750 last year.

It also led to $2.5 billion in federal taxes in 2011, an 66 percent increase.

“Ours is an industry with a rich history and heritage that remains vital and important to the American economy today,” NSSF Senior Vice President Lawrence G. Keane said in a statement. “To millions of Americans our industry’s products represent liberty, security and recreation.”

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3 Park County Colorado Deputy Sheriffs Suspended After Shooting Beer Keg At Party In Woods

April 12, 2012

PARK COUNTY, COLORADO – The Park County undersheriff says he has suspended two deputies after accusations they shot at a beer keg while breaking up an underage party in the woods.

A third deputy, a reserve, was going to be suspended on Friday, Undersheriff Monte Gore said.Two full-time deputies were suspended on Tuesday.

“I’m deeply disappointed,” Gore told 7NEWS reporter Russell Haythorn.

“Let me just say, as a husband and a father, I’ve got a 5 year old and an 8 year old, and I’m sure at sometime those kids are going to be at a party,” Gore said. “And if I had reports that a deputy discharged a firearm at that party, I would be furious. I would be steaming.”

“It was one, one two. It was consecutive. It wasn’t spread out,” said one student who didn’t want to be identified.

The investigation began after parents complained that deputies shot at a keg after catching the teens drinking last weekend in a remote area of the Pike National Forest.

One parent told 7NEWS more than one deputy fired shots in an effort to break a chain the teens had used to secure the keg to a tree or a fence.

“There was no reason to try and try to take down a keg with a gun. Chain cutters, wire cutters maybe,” said the student.

Gore said he’s doing an internal affairs investigation in possible misconduct by the deputies, and he has asked the Teller County Sheriff’s Office to conduct an independent investigation into potential criminal actions during the shooting incident.

“We don’t investigate our own people because that would be a conflict of interest,” Gore said. “We take this very seriously, and I can assure everyone we are going to do the right thing.”

Gore said the teens attend Woodland Park High School. Several of the partygoers were ticketed for being minors in possession of alcohol, he added.

“I mean we were just going to have fun. The cops had to take their job a little seriously. But in the end they got suspended. So an even situation I’d say,” said another student.

Parents of teenagers who attended the party told 7NEWS they thought the deputies’ actions were reckless.

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90 Shots Fired By Los Angeles California Police Officers At Unarmed Motorist

April 12, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – Eight Los Angeles police officers fired more than 90 rounds at an unarmed 19-year-old man who had led them on a high speed freeway pursuit and called 911 to threaten them with a gun, authorities said.

The shooting played out on live television after Abdul Arian refused to pull over when police tried to stop him for erratic driving. He led police on a chase onto the 101 Freeway, where he stopped in dramatic fashion — turning his car and stopping across eastbound lanes.

He jumped out of the car and ran. Then he turned and appeared to run backwards. Police said he assumed a “shooting stance” and appeared to raise his arms and appear to point a weapon, prompting them to open fire.

No gun was found at the scene, but police released statements Arian made to a 911 dispatcher in which he claims he has a weapon and makes it clear that he’s not afraid to use it.

“I have a gun,” Arian said.

“I’ve been arrested before for possession of destructive devices; I’m not afraid of the cops.”

He also said: “If they pull their guns, I’m going to have to pull my gun out on them.”

According to a news release, the dispatcher pleaded with Arian to surrender peacefully, saying, “I don’t want you to hurt yourself.”

Arian responded with expletives and a threat: “… these police, they’re going to get hurt.”

The department’s force investigation division kept the freeway closed all night as they collected evidence and conducted interviews. Department officials will review several factors related to the incident, including communication tactics and whether the large number of rounds fired endangered other freeway motorists.

No breakdowns were available about how many shots each officer fired.

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Sanford Florida Police Car Shot Up Overnight

April 10, 2012

SANFORD, FLORIDA – A Sanford police car parked near the Trayvon Martin shooting scene was found Tuesday morning with several bullet holes in it, according to authorities.

The cruiser was parked across the street from the Retreat at Twin Lakes apartment complex in the parking lot of Bentley Elementary School. Sanford police said the marked vehicle was shot around 4:30 a.m. by “unknown persons.”

Police said no one was inside the cruiser, but gunfire shattered a passenger window and at least two bullets pierced the front windshield. Witnesses said they heard six shots.

Police released pictures of the cop car Tuesday afternoon, showing the bullet holes in the windshield and passenger window, along with the left side fender of the car riddled with bullet holes.

Sanford police said the cruiser had been parked in front of the school as a visible deterrent because tour buses park during there day and night.

Police removed the cruiser from the scene, and no one was injured. An investigation is ongoing. The cruiser has been brought to the processing center at the police department.

Sgt. David Morgenstern said police don’t know if the shooting was in retaliation for not arresting Martin’s gunman, George Zimmerman.

“I don’t know what this is,” Morgenstern said when asked what the shooting was in response to. “It’s stupid and dangerous.”

Morgenstern said he couldn’t say if there were any cameras at the gates or outside of the school to capture who the shooter was. At this time, police don’t know who is responsible for the shooting.

Martin, 17, was shot and killed in late February by neighborhood watchman Zimmerman, who claims he acted in self-defense.

Zimmerman, 28, has not been charged with a crime in Martin’s death, a fact that has provoked demonstrations and calls that he be prosecuted for killing the teen.

On Monday, a group of students calling themselves the Dream Defenders marched to the Sanford police station. Six of the demonstrators wore hooded sweatshirts, as Martin did the night he was shot, as they blocked the department’s main entrance; others linked arms, sang and chanted as they stood facing the building.

The demonstration closed the Police Department headquarters, and City Manager Norton Bonaparte Jr. and Acting Police Chief Darren Scott met with leaders of the student group and community leaders.

Although details of the Feb. 26 incident remain murky, what is known is that Martin, who was African-American, ventured out from his father’s fiancee’s home in Sanford to get a snack at a nearby convenience store. As he walked home with a bag of Skittles and an Arizona iced tea, he was shot and killed by Zimmerman, who is Hispanic, and who had called 911 to complain about a suspicious person in the neighborhood.

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New Haven Connecticut Police Officer Lawrence Burns, Charles Kim, And Krzystof Ruszczyk Arrested After Firing Guns Outside Bar And Interfering With A Police Officer

April 6, 2012

NEW HAVEN, CONNECTICUT – Three police officers were arrested on charges of interfering with a police officer, and two of them were charged with unlawfully discharging their guns.

The arrests followed an investigation into a claim that one or more off-duty officers illegally fired guns early Sunday outside a bar. No injuries were reported.

Police said Friday that Officers Lawrence Burns and Charles Kim were charged with interfering with a police officer, unlawful discharge of a firearm and reckless endangerment, while Officer Krzystof Ruszczyk was charged with interfering with a police officer. They were placed on administrative leave and were ordered to surrender their weapons.

The interfering charge was because the officers left the scene after they were told by a responding officer to remain, police spokesman Officer David Hartman said. The officers were not firing their guns at anyone, he said.

Police say they voluntarily surrendered and are due in court April 20 for arraignment.

It was unclear if the officers had attorneys. A message was left with the police union.

Mayor John DeStefano called the officers’ behavior “unacceptable.”

“It is not representative of the hard work and commitment of the men and women of the police department,” he said. “The police department’s action is appropriate.”

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More Informaiton Emerges With Respect To Dead Druggie Trayvon Martin – Wannabe Gangster Asked Others On Twitter To Shoot Someone

March 29, 2012

FLORIDA – The Daily Caller has identified a second Twitter handle that was used by the late Trayvon Martin during the last weeks of 2011. Tweeting in December under the name “T33ZY TAUGHT M3,” Martin sent a message that read, “Plzz shoot da #mf dat lied 2 u!”

This tweet, retrieved via the social analytics website PeopleBrowsr.com, shows the late Trayvon Martin tweeting a message that read, “Plzz shoot da #mf dat lied 2 u!” He was using the handle “T33ZY TAUGHT M3” near the end of 2011. (PeopleBrowsr/Twitter)

It’s unclear who Martin intended the message for, or whether he intended it to be taken literally.

The photo Martin chose to represent himself on Twitter as “T33ZY TAUGHT M3″ depicts him in a black Polo cap, looking into the camera and extending his middle finger. The photo’s file name on Twitter’s server indicates that it was taken on the afternoon of June 17, 2010.

At least one website issued a retraction this week after mistakenly linking Martin to a middle-finger-salute image on a Facebook account corresponding to a Georgia teenager who shares Martin’s name. This image, however, was uploaded to Twitter by the teen himself.

On Tuesday TheDC published 152 pages of Martin’s Twitter activity that were retrieved using the social analytics product PeopleBrowsr.

Additional searches via the same website yielded the Twitter handle “T33ZY TAUGHT M3,” whose activity spanned just one month and ended shortly before Martin began tweeting as “NO_LIMIT_NIGGA.” His Twitter activity under that newer screen name began with the tweet: “NEW NAME, NEW BACKGROUND, NEW TWEETCON, I MAKE CHANGS B4 NEW YEARS!”

Although The Daily Caller has not confirmed with Martin’s family that the earlier Twitter handle belonged to the 17-year-old, there is significant evidence for the conclusion.

A basic Google search for “@T33ZY_TAUGHT_M3″ on Wednesday indicated that corresponds to a defunct Twitter account once used by someone named “Tray.” The same name, entered into the Google Images search engine, generated the photo of Martin flipping off the camera.

Upper-arm tattoos visible in that photo match those depicted in the Trayvon Martin’s MySpace page, which TheDC has also identified. That account includes numerous features, including photos of family members, indicating that it belonged to the slain teen.

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