District Of Columbia Returns Soldier’s Guns – Took 2 Years, High Power Lawyer, 2 US Senators, Congressman, And National Publicity To Force Police To Return Seized Property

May 24, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – The active duty soldier who had his guns confiscated by the District of Columbia two years ago will have his property returned by Memorial Day. It took the help of a high-powered lawyer, two U.S. Senators, a member of Congress and national publicity to force the obstinate District to show some respect for the Constitution. It should never happen again.

On Friday, D.C. property clerk Derek Gray determined the city would finally return 1st Lt. Augustine Kim’s “dangerous articles” because the Army national guardsman fulfilled the plea agreement arranged with the U.S. attorney’s office a year earlier. The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) arrested Lt. Kim on four felony charges of carrying firearms in the District after he was pulled over with the items securely stored in his trunk, as is allowed under federal law.

Lt. Kim pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of possessing an unregistered gun, and that charge was dismissed in May 2011. Since then, Lt. Kim’s lawyer, Richard Gadiner, had failed to get the attention of Mr. Gray, who refused to respond to his repeated requests for a hearing.

That changed after The Washington Times published a story about the case last Monday. The long-time firearms lawyer had never known the city to set up a hearing within a matter of days. Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican, spoke with Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier on Thursday. Fellow Palmetto State Republican Sen. Jim DeMint and Rep. Tim Scott have also been engaged. “When you get two senior U.S. senators and a member of Congress calling the chief of police, it makes a difference,” Mr. Gardiner explained.

Friday’s hearing was held in a tiny, windowless room in the massive MPD evidence building in Southwest. Mr. Gray (photo, above left) spent 17 minutes going through the papers in Mr. Kim’s file with the attorney before arriving announcing the decision. MPD would transfer the guns to a police department near Lt. Kim’s home in Charleston, S.C. next week. After the hearing, Mr. Gardiner called his client. “Auggie is so laconic,” said his smiling defense attorney. “All he said was, ‘That’s good news.’”

Asked how such situations could be avoided in the future, Mr. Gardiner suggested the District be held to the same standard as the federal government. The Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act says the federal government has 60 days from the date of seizure to send out notices to possible claimants. Then if someone files a claim, the feds have 90 days to file a forfeiture case or return the property.

In Lt. Kim’s case, it would have meant getting his guns back 8 months earlier, saving considerable hassle and expense. Lt. Kim was lawfully transporting his firearms through the District and should never have been arrested in the first place.

A soldier who served two tours in Afghanistan and was injured so severely that he spent three months in surgeries and recovery at Walter Reed Army Medical Center deserves gratitude for his service to the country, not a drawn-out legal ordeal. The South Carolina congressional delegation ought to introduce legislation to make sure this never happens again.

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US Army Soldier Brutally Beaten And Robbed By Savage Black Beasts In Tampa Florida

May 15, 2012

RAMPA, FLORIDA — Police want your help finding four men who teamed up to beat a young U.S. Army soldier in a South Tampa street.

It was an awful welcome to Tampa Bay for a young soldier. Police say the victim of a violent beating caught on camera is 24 years old and has lived in Tampa for less than a month.

Photo Gallery: Soldier beaten and robbed in South Tampa

He’s a U.S. Army soldier assigned to MacDill Air Force Base and lives not far from the base at Dale Mabry Hwy. and Interbay Blvd.

Police say Sunday morning, at around 3 a.m., the soldier’s car broke down a few miles from home along Westshore Blvd.

The attack came when he was walking home and using Iowa St. to get from Westshore to Dale Mabry. At the intersection of Iowa and Renellie Dr., the man came into the view of a neighbor’s motion-activated security camera.

A group of three young men is seen walking ahead of the soldier. Police say one of the men in the group doubled back and asked to soldier to borrow a dollar. When the soldier reached for his wallet, the first punch flew.

The first, tremendous sucker punch laid the victim onto the ground. The other two men joined in, punching and kicking the soldier.

A fourth man comes sprinting into view from the left edge of the video. The new attacker — a man the soldier said he had walked past earlier — joined in the beating.

Tampa Police officers say the crooks stole the soldier’s wallet and cell phone, then took off south on Renellie Dr. When he eventually got to his feet, the victim had to knock on doors to find someone to help him call 911.

See Also: Video shows young soldier severely beaten

The soldier was taken to Tampa General Hospital with cuts and bruises on his face and head. Police say he is expected to make a full recovery.

Police say they haven’t gotten many useful details about the suspects from the video.

The victim was not able to tell police much more: they’re all in their late teens to early 20’s. Two were black men with an average build, police said. One attacker was possibly Hispanic, also with an average build. The fourth man was also black, but with a heavier build.

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Los Angeles County California Deputy Sheriff Brutally Beat Special Needs Woman On Bus – Threatened Soldier Who Caught It On Video

January 11, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – When Jermaine Green and his fiancee Violet Roberts got on a Metro bus in Bellflower Monday night, they took notice of another passenger.

“The lady got on the bus with a stroller full of pillows, she was very polite, said hello to everyone and sat down,” Green said.

At the next stop, two LA County sheriff’s deputies, one male and one female, boarded the bus and called the passenger by name.

“They said get off the bus. She then started cursing at (the female deputy). You could tell she had special needs. After that they grab her, she curses him out, calls him a big shot, next thing you know he gives her a big shot,” Green said.

“It was like they were tired of dealing with her so they didn’t try to talk to her or anything,” Roberts said.

“I couldn’t believe it. He seen me taping. He looked up at the camera a few times, and he still hit her like that, and I can’t believe he didn’t try to diffuse the situation at all,” Green said.

Green recently returned home from serving six years in the Army, including tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“In the Army, they gave us extensive training for rules of engagement. There’s proper protocols and steps you take. This lady didn’t do anything, she wasn’t combative and he actually turned combative on her,” Green said.

Green claims the deputies then tried to intimidate him when he refused to hand over his cell phone.

“He comes to me and says you can be under arrest if you don’t give me that video,” Green said.

Green said the deputy then asked if he had any warrants.

“I said no, I’m a veteran, I just came back, I have six years, I have no record, and he said ‘We’ll see about that.'”

Why didn’t Green want to hand over this video to the deputies involved?

“I think they would try to cover it up. I think a lot of things get covered up and people need to come forward if they see something, report it because it can’t be fixed unless it’s brought to the public’s attention,” Green said.

A sheriff’s department spokesman told NBCLA over the phone the department would not comment on this case and would not look at the videotape, but the spokesman said the department does investigate all use of force claims.

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