Black Lives Matter-Ugliness of Racism.

spaminator

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Mississippi ex-deputy gets 40-year sentence as judge decries brutal attack on 2 Black men
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Michael Goldberg and Emily Wagster Pettus
Published Mar 20, 2024 • Last updated 1 day ago • 5 minute read

Mississippi-Deputies-Sentencing
Two Black men who were tortured for hours by the six Mississippi law enforcement officers in 2023 called Monday, March 18, 2024, for a federal judge to impose the strictest possible penalties at their sentencings this week.
JACKSON, Miss. — Two former Mississippi deputies wept in court Wednesday as a federal judge sentenced them to years in prison and condemned their cruelty for breaking into a home with four other white officers and torturing two Black men.


U.S. District Judge Tom Lee sentenced Christian Dedmon, 29, to 40 years in prison and Daniel Opdyke, 28, to 17.5 years.


Lee said Dedmon carried out the most “shocking, brutal and cruel attacks imaginable” against the two Black men, Michael Corey Jenkins and Eddie Terrell Parker, and against a white man during a traffic stop weeks earlier.

Dedmon did not look at Jenkins and Parker as he apologized Wednesday, saying he’d never forgive himself for the pain he caused.

Jenkins, who has trouble speaking after being shot in the mouth during the January 2023 attack, said in a statement read by his lawyer that Dedmon’s actions were the most depraved of any of those who attacked him.

“Deputy Dedmon is the worst example of a police officer in the United States,” Jenkins’ lawyer read. “Deputy Dedmon was the most aggressive, sickest and the most wicked.”


On Tuesday, Lee sentenced 31-year-old Hunter Elward, who shot Jenkins, to nearly 20 years in prison and Jeffrey Middleton, 46, to 17.5 years. The judge called their actions “egregious and despicable.” They, like Opdyke and Dedmon, worked as Rankin County sheriff’s deputies during the attack.

Another former deputy, Brett McAlpin, 53, and a former Richland police officer, Joshua Hartfield, 32, are set for sentencing Thursday.

All six pleaded guilty last August, admitting that they broke into a home without a warrant and tortured Jenkins and Parker after a neighbor complained the men were staying there with a white woman.

Hours before Dedmon’s sentencing, Opdyke cried profusely as he turned to look at Jenkins and Parker, saying isolation behind bars had given him time to reflect on “how I transformed into the monster I became that night.”


“The weight of my actions and the harm I’ve caused will haunt me every day,” Opdyke said. “I wish I could take away your suffering.”

Parker rested his head in his hands and closed his eyes, then stood and left the courtroom before Opdyke finished speaking. Jenkins said he was “broken” and “ashamed” by the cruelty inflicted on him.

Some of the former officers involved in the attack called themselves the “Goon Squad.” The judge said Opdyke may not have been fully aware of what being a member of the group entailed when Middleton asked him to join, but Opdyke did know it involved using excessive force.

Last March, months before federal prosecutors announced charges in August, an investigation by The Associated Press linked some of the deputies to at least four violent encounters with Black men since 2019 that left two dead and another with lasting injuries.


The former officers stuck to their cover story for months until finally admitting that they tortured Jenkins and Parker. Elward admitted to shoving a gun into Jenkins’ mouth and firing it in a “mock execution” that went awry.

In a statement Tuesday, Attorney General Merrick Garland condemned the “heinous attack on citizens they had sworn an oath to protect.”

The terror began Jan. 24, 2023, with a racist call for extrajudicial violence when a white person in Rankin County complained to McAlpin that two Black men were staying with a white woman at a house in Braxton. McAlpin told Dedmon, who texted a group of white deputies asking if they were “available for a mission.” “No bad mugshots,” he texted — a green light, prosecutors said, to use excessive force on parts of the body that wouldn’t appear in a booking photo.


Once inside, they handcuffed Jenkins and his friend Parker and poured milk, alcohol and chocolate syrup over their faces. They forced them to strip naked and shower together to conceal the mess. They mocked the victims with racial slurs and shocked them with stun guns. Dedmon and Opdyke assaulted them with a sex toy.

After Elward shot Jenkins in the mouth, lacerating his tongue and breaking his jaw, they devised a coverup that included planting drugs and a gun. False charges stood against Jenkins and Parker for months.

The majority-white Rankin County is just east of the state capital, Jackson, home to one of the highest percentages of Black residents of any major U.S. city. The officers shouted at Jenkins and Parker to “stay out of Rankin County and go back to Jackson or ‘their side’ of the Pearl River,” according to court documents.


Opdyke was the first to admit what they did, his attorney Jeff Reynolds said Wednesday. On April 12, he showed investigators a WhatsApp text thread where the officers discussed their plan and what happened. Had he thrown his phone in a river, as some of the other officers did, investigators might not have discovered the encrypted messages.

Reynolds also said Opdyke was sexually assaulted as a child and had seen the older deputies as father figures, making him susceptible to the culture of misconduct within the Rankin County Sheriff’s Office.

“When a new officer goes over there, they start indoctrinating people,” Reynolds said. “Where is the true leadership? Why aren’t they in this court?”

Dedmon, who planted drugs on Jenkins to frame him on false charges, said bad behavior did not get in the way of his promotion to narcotics investigator.


“It’s because instead of doing the right thing, I chose to do the wrong thing,” Dedmon said.

Dedmon, like Opdyke and Elward, also pleaded guilty to taking part in an assault on a white man during a traffic stop Dec. 4, 2022. Prosecutors revealed the victim’s identity Tuesday as Alan Schmidt. Reynolds said Opdyke held Schmidt down until Dedmon arrived but didn’t beat him or sexually assault him.

The AP does not typically name people who say they were sexually assaulted unless they consent to being identified or come forward publicly.

According to a statement from Schmidt that prosecutors read in court, Dedmon accused him of possessing stolen property. Schmidt said he was handcuffed, pulled from his vehicle and beaten.


Prosecutors said Elward and Opdyke failed to intervene as Dedmon punched and kicked him, used a Taser on him, fired his gun into the air, then sexually assaulted him.

“What sick individual does this?” Schmidt wrote.

Dedmon admitted to firing a gun into the air to intimidate Schmidt but denied sexually assaulting him. Prosecutors said they read details from the sexual assault into the court record when Dedmon pleaded guilty, and Dedmon said he agreed with the facts presented.

Rankin County Sheriff Bryan Bailey, who took office in 2012, revealed no details about his deputies’ actions when he announced they had been fired last June. After they pleaded guilty, Bailey said the officers had gone rogue and promised changes. Jenkins and Parker called for his resignation and filed a $400 million civil lawsuit against the department.
 

Twin_Moose

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Twin Moose Creek
Reparations to whom?

Assuming we find some worthy beneficiaries (descendants of slaves not freeloading countries they came from), why not just redirect the money otherwise designated to the UN for this purpose?
I think it will be difficult to find the lineage of African chieftain's that captured and Portage's shipping owners that transported them around the world
 
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spaminator

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Dean fired amid co-worker complaints sues Fanshawe College for $950Gs
Nord Mensah 'uffered tremendous damage to his dignity, self-respect, career, reputation and health,' the statement of claim alleges

Author of the article:Jennifer Bieman
Published Apr 01, 2024 • Last updated 2 days ago • 3 minute read

An ex-Fanshawe College dean has launched a $950,000 wrongful dismissal lawsuit against his former employer, alleging the school violated its own policies in investigating co-worker complaints against him.


Nord Mensah was the former top administrator at Fanshawe’s south London campus who was later appointed dean of the faculty of creative industries. He is suing the college for $200,000 in damages, amounting to 15 months pay in lieu of notice over his with-cause termination in April 2022.


He is also seeking $500,000 in aggravated damages and $200,000 in punitive damages, a rare court award designed to punish defendants or deter similar behaviour in future.

“The plaintiff (Mensah) has suffered tremendous damage to his dignity, self-respect, career, reputation and health,” the statement of claim alleges. “The defendant’s (Fanshawe’s) actions were harsh, deliberate, and a marked departure from the ordinary standards of decent behavior.”


In his statement of claim against the college, filed in London court March 22, Mensah is also seeking $50,000 in damages for alleged violations to Ontario’s Human Rights Code and unspecified amounts for lost contributions to his pension plan and tuition program for his family members.

Mensah received a call from Fanshawe’s chief human resources officer on March 31, 2022, putting him on administrative leave effective immediately regarding “a number of very serious allegations,” the statement of claim alleges.


At the April 4, 2022 meeting where he was terminated, the college alleged Mensah had made “unwelcome comments” to a co-worker twice, the statement of claim contends. The college told Mensah one comment about her hair was made in a virtual meeting and, in another, Mensah made an offer to “share an unopened bottle of expensive liquor when he retired,” the lawsuit alleges.


In his statement of claim, Mensah contends the college did not follow its own policies in its investigation of the workplace harassment allegations. He was not provided with any details of the allegations, was not invited to participate in the internal investigation or respond to the accusations against him, the lawsuit contends.

The statement of claim, like statements of defence filed in response, contains allegations not yet tested in court.

Fanshawe College has not yet filed a statement of defence in the lawsuit.

In an emailed statement, college officials declined to comment on Mensah’s allegations, citing human resources privacy concerns.

“We also wouldn’t comment on any matter currently before the courts,” Fanshawe College officials said.


Mensah’s lawsuit also alleges that, months after his termination, the college informed him that two additional unnamed employees had brought forward complaints about his conduct.

Fanshawe alleged one of the complainants said Mensah’s “friendliness crossed the line” but the college didn’t provide specific details, the statement of claim contends. The college alleged a second unidentified complainant felt Mensah “looked at her inappropriately” and used “unprofessional language” at work, the lawsuit contends.

Mensah had been with Fanshawe College since 2016 until his April 2022 termination. His 2019 promotion to associate dean of Fanshawe College’s south London campus, at the site formerly occupied by Westervelt College, attracted public criticism.


Mensah, a former Canadian Armed Forces officer at a base in Victoria B.C., pleaded guilty in a military court in December 2017 to conduct to the prejudice of good order and discipline. The charge stemmed from a month-long sexual relationship Mensah had in 2015 with a woman directly under his supervision.

He received a reprimand and $2,500 fine.

At the time he was appointed to the associate dean post, Fanshawe College defended the promotion, saying it was aware of Mensah’s prior military conviction and considered the matter to be “complete and not reflective of his position at the college.”

jbieman@postmedia.com
 

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Cop acquitted in 2020 death of Manuel Ellis hired by nearby sheriff’s office
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Gene Johnson
Published Apr 02, 2024 • 3 minute read

SEATTLE — One of the three Tacoma police officers cleared of criminal charges in the 2020 death of Manuel Ellis — a Black man who was shocked, beaten and restrained facedown on a sidewalk as he pleaded for breath — has been hired by a neighboring sheriff’s office.


The Thurston County Sheriff’s Office, based in Olympia, Washington, announced on its Facebook page Monday that it had hired former Tacoma officer Christopher Burbank as a patrol deputy.

Burbank and two other officers — Timothy Rankine and Matthew Collins — were each cleared of criminal charges by a Pierce County jury last December. Rankine was charged with manslaughter, while Collins and Burbank were charged with manslaughter and second-degree murder.

Their attorneys argued that Ellis died from a lethal amount of methamphetamine as well as a heart condition, not from the officers’ actions. The Pierce County Medical Examiner ruled the death a homicide and said it was caused by a lack of oxygen during the physical restraint.


Ellis’ family was shocked and saddened by the hire, said attorney Matthew Ericksen. The U.S. attorney’s office in Seattle is still reviewing the case, which could bring prosecutions for federal civil rights violations, and a wrongful death lawsuit is pending.

“There is strong evidence in the Ellis case, including but not limited to the cell phone videos, that should be very concerning to any reasonable person,” Ericksen said in an email Tuesday. “It is not in dispute that Mr. Burbank tased an unarmed person 3 times. Mr. Burbank even used his taser while Manny was being choked out by another officer.”

Like many law enforcement agencies nationwide, the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office has struggled with understaffing; the Facebook post announcing the hire noted that Burbank would “provide immediate relief in our patrol division.”


Sheriff Derek Sanders said in an emailed statement Tuesday that Burbank underwent a two-month background check, including a polygraph. Sanders stressed that his office has strived to improve its crisis response by incorporating mental health co-responders, adding that dashboard and body-worn cameras help provide transparency.

“While acknowledging the distressing nature of the events in Tacoma four years ago, we want to emphasize that Deputy Burbank has been cleared of any wrongdoing both by Tacoma PD, Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office and a jury trial,” Sanders said.

Ellis, 33, was walking home with doughnuts from a 7-Eleven in Tacoma, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) south of Seattle, on March 3, 2020, when he passed a patrol car stopped at a red light, with Collins and Burbank inside.


The officers claimed they saw Ellis try to open the door of a passing car at the intersection and he became aggressive when they tried to question him about it. Collins testified that Ellis demonstrated “superhuman strength” by lifting Collins off the ground and throwing him through the air.

But three witnesses testified they saw no such thing. After what appeared to be a brief conversation between Ellis and the officers _ who are both white — Burbank, in the passenger seat, threw open his door, knocking Ellis down, they said. Rankine, who arrived after Ellis was already handcuffed face-down, knelt on his upper back.

The witnesses — one of whom yelled for the officers to stop attacking Ellis — and a doorbell surveillance camera captured video of parts of the encounter. The video showed Ellis with his hands up in a surrender position as Burbank shot a Taser at his chest and Collins wrapped an arm around his neck from behind.


His death came nearly three months before George Floyd’s murder at the hands of Minneapolis police would spark an international outcry against police brutality.

The Tacoma Police Department found that the officers did not violate its use-of-force policy as it was then written — it had been subsequently updated — and the three officers were each paid $500,000 to resign.

Pierce County, which is home to Tacoma, settled its portion of a federal wrongful death lawsuit brought by the family for $4 million. The case is still pending against the city.

The trial was the first under a 5-year-old state law designed to make it easier to prosecute police accused of wrongfully using deadly force.
 

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Passenger compares herself to George Floyd as she’s dragged off flight
Author of the article:Denette Wilford
Published Apr 05, 2024 • Last updated 1 day ago • 2 minute read

Screenshot of woman having meltdown on plane as police try to arrest her.
Screenshot of woman having meltdown on plane as police try to arrest her. PHOTO BY KINGJON /TikTok
A woman had to be forcibly removed from a Spirit Airlines flight after she had a wild meltdown.


Naturally, it was all caught on camera by fellow passengers on the flight trying to leave Las Vegas.


The video, that was posted on TikTok on March 23 by user KingJon and has more than two million views, begins with the woman in her seat as officers stand next to her, calmly telling her she was under arrest and asking her to leave the plane.

It is unknown why the cops were called to take her into custody but as soon as the clip begins, it quickly becomes apparent that the woman was behaving erratically.

“Why did you do that to me?” she can be heard crying as the officers continue to ask her to leave.

“Stop! I will walk out on my own,” she tells them as they try to remove her. “Why are you acting like I’m a rascal?”

Other passengers can be heard laughing before she demands the cops let go of her wrist.


“Can I do that with freedom? All I care about is freedom,” she says, as she becomes increasingly animated.

When the officers tell her she is under arrest, she replies to them and to the people around her, “I’ve been there before, I’m not scared. I’ve f***ing been there before.”

Once she notices people are filming her, she becomes more theatrical, seen on another video.

“This s*** hurts my elbow, it’s hurting my wrist,” she screams while contorting her body.

“You’re hurting me, sheriff! You’re hurting me, sheriff,” she bellows, before releasing a bunch of screams.


“I can’t breathe. Why are you touching my leg?” she asks, prompting the officers to smirk as laughter is heard all around them.

She references George Floyd by repeatedly screaming, “I can’t breathe,” before crew members inform everyone they would need to disembark because of the woman’s shenanigans, causing the entire flight to let out a unanimous groan.

Commenters compared it to a skit from Saturday Night Live and Key and Peele, while another noted she’s “giving Jim Carrey,” referring to all her cartoonish histrionics.

However, others shamed those mocking the woman who was clearly suffering.

“People laughing and filming when another human is having a mental health crisis,” one person wrote. “This isn’t funny, it’s sad.”
1712431169884.png
 
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spaminator

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Passenger compares herself to George Floyd as she’s dragged off flight
Author of the article:Denette Wilford
Published Apr 05, 2024 • Last updated 1 day ago • 2 minute read

Screenshot of woman having meltdown on plane as police try to arrest her.
Screenshot of woman having meltdown on plane as police try to arrest her. PHOTO BY KINGJON /TikTok
A woman had to be forcibly removed from a Spirit Airlines flight after she had a wild meltdown.


Naturally, it was all caught on camera by fellow passengers on the flight trying to leave Las Vegas.


The video, that was posted on TikTok on March 23 by user KingJon and has more than two million views, begins with the woman in her seat as officers stand next to her, calmly telling her she was under arrest and asking her to leave the plane.

It is unknown why the cops were called to take her into custody but as soon as the clip begins, it quickly becomes apparent that the woman was behaving erratically.

“Why did you do that to me?” she can be heard crying as the officers continue to ask her to leave.

“Stop! I will walk out on my own,” she tells them as they try to remove her. “Why are you acting like I’m a rascal?”

Other passengers can be heard laughing before she demands the cops let go of her wrist.


“Can I do that with freedom? All I care about is freedom,” she says, as she becomes increasingly animated.

When the officers tell her she is under arrest, she replies to them and to the people around her, “I’ve been there before, I’m not scared. I’ve f***ing been there before.”

Once she notices people are filming her, she becomes more theatrical, seen on another video.

“This s*** hurts my elbow, it’s hurting my wrist,” she screams while contorting her body.

“You’re hurting me, sheriff! You’re hurting me, sheriff,” she bellows, before releasing a bunch of screams.


“I can’t breathe. Why are you touching my leg?” she asks, prompting the officers to smirk as laughter is heard all around them.

She references George Floyd by repeatedly screaming, “I can’t breathe,” before crew members inform everyone they would need to disembark because of the woman’s shenanigans, causing the entire flight to let out a unanimous groan.

Commenters compared it to a skit from Saturday Night Live and Key and Peele, while another noted she’s “giving Jim Carrey,” referring to all her cartoonish histrionics.

However, others shamed those mocking the woman who was clearly suffering.

“People laughing and filming when another human is having a mental health crisis,” one person wrote. “This isn’t funny, it’s sad.”
View attachment 21667
jackie brown has seen better days. ;)
 

spaminator

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6 former Mississippi law officers sentenced in state court for torture of 2 Black men
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Michael Goldberg
Published Apr 10, 2024 • Last updated 4 days ago • 4 minute read

Mississippi-Deputies-Sentencing
The six former Mississippi law enforcement officers who pleaded guilty to a long list of state and federal charges for torturing two Black men will be sentenced by a state judge Wednesday, April 10, 2024.
BRANDON, Miss. (AP) — Already sentenced to many years in federal prison, six white former Mississippi law enforcement officers who pleaded guilty to a long list of state and federal charges for torturing two Black men were sentenced Wednesday in state court.


The state sentences did not add time to the federal prison terms the defendants had already received, but the victims’ supporters hailed the yearslong sentences, saying they took on unique importance in Mississippi, where local residents saw echoes of the state’s history of racist atrocities by people in authority.

The six former officers who attacked Michael Corey Jenkins and Eddie Terrell Parker in January 2023 were sentenced last month to federal prison terms ranging from about 10 to 40 years. U.S. District Judge Tom Lee called their actions “egregious and despicable” as he gave sentences near the top of the federal guidelines to five of the six men.

Rankin County Circuit Judge Steve Ratcliff on Wednesday gave the men yearslong state sentences that were shorter than the amount of time in federal prison they had already received, but longer than what state prosecutors had recommended. Time served for the state convictions will run concurrently, or at the same time, as the federal sentences, and the men will serve their time in federal penitentiaries.


After the hearing, Malik Shabazz, an attorney representing Jenkins and Parker, celebrated that the former law officers were held accountable in the same courthouse where they had testified against people.

“They all had to come and appear in a courtroom where they have created much mischief,” Shabazz said. “In this courtroom and in this courthouse, they have been given credibility to their statements. But today was dramatically different. Today, the judge in this circuit country court has given out justice.”

Shabazz had said the state criminal sentencing is important because “historically, the state of Mississippi has lagged behind or ignored racial crimes and police brutality against Blacks.” He applauded Ratcliff’s decision to reject state prosecutors’ recommendations for shorter sentences on the state charges.


Michelle Williams, a spokesperson for the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office, said the sentences handed down Wednesday were consistent with the plea agreement reached with federal prosecutors.

In a written statement, Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch said the former officers’ crimes did grave harm to the victims and violated the trust of citizens they were supposed to protect.

“These criminal acts make a difficult job even harder and far more dangerous,” Fitch said. “And it is left to us all to commit ourselves to repairing that damage.”

Mississippi-Deputies-Sentencing
The six former Mississippi law enforcement officers who pleaded guilty to a long list of state and federal charges for torturing two Black men will be sentenced by a state judge Wednesday, April 10, 2024.The defendants include five former Rankin County sheriff’s deputies — Brett McAlpin, 53; Hunter Elward, 31; Christian Dedmon, 29; Jeffrey Middleton, 46; and Daniel Opdyke, 28 — and a former police officer from the city of Richland, Joshua Hartfield, 32, who was off duty during the assault.


All six of the former officers pleaded guilty to state charges of conspiracy to hinder prosecution. They were sentenced on multiple counts ranging from five to 20 years. Elward admitted to aggravated assault, and was sentenced to 20 years alongside punishments for burglary and conspiracy.

The charges followed an Associated Press investigation in March that linked some of the officers to at least four violent encounters since 2019 that left two Black men dead.

The terror began on Jan. 24, 2023, with a racist call for extrajudicial violence, according to federal prosecutors.

A white person phoned McAlpin and complained that two Black men were staying with a white woman at a house in Braxton, Mississippi. McAlpin told Dedmon, who texted a group of white deputies so willing to use excessive force they called themselves “The Goon Squad.”


Once inside, they handcuffed Jenkins and his friend Parker and poured milk, alcohol and chocolate syrup over their faces while mocking them with racial slurs. They forced them to strip naked and shower together to conceal the mess. They mocked the victims with racial slurs and assaulted them with sex objects.

In a mock execution gone awry, Elward shot Jenkins in the mouth, lacerating his tongue and breaking his jaw. The officers devised a coverup and agreed to plant drugs on Jenkins and Parker. False charges stood against the men for months.

McAlpin and Middleton, the oldest in the group, threatened to kill other officers if they spoke up, prosecutors said.

The only defendant who didn’t receive a federal prison term at the top of the sentencing guidelines was Hartfield, who did not work in a sheriff’s department with the others and was not a member of the “Goon Squad.”


In federal court, the deputies expressed remorse for their behavior and apologized to Jenkins and Parker. Several of their attorneys said their clients became ensnared in a culture of corruption that was encouraged by leaders in the sheriff’s office.

Rankin County Sheriff Bryan Bailey revealed no details about his deputies’ actions when he announced they had been fired last June. After they pleaded guilty in August, Bailey said the officers had gone rogue and promised changes. Jenkins and Parker have called for his resignation and filed a $400 million civil lawsuit against the department.

In statements read by their attorneys in court Wednesday, Jenkins and Parker said their ordeal had been ingrained in their bodies and minds.

“Your honor, they killed me. I just didn’t die,” Jenkins said.
 

spaminator

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Self-described BLM leader and 'world's sexiest albino' convicted of fraud, money laundering
Author of the article:postmedia News
Published Apr 18, 2024 • Last updated 2 days ago • 2 minute read

Sir Maejor Page was found guilty of wire fraud and money laundering last week in Ohio.
Sir Maejor Page was found guilty of wire fraud and money laundering last week in Ohio.
An Ohio man who claims to be the “world’s sexiest albino” was convicted of fraud last week for accepting donations to a Black Lives Matter social media page and spending the money on himself.


Sir Maejor Page, 35, of Toledo, was found guilty of one count of wire fraud and three counts of money laundering in federal court on April 12, reports CBS affiliate WTOL.


Page, an actor and model, is famous for appearing in the third season of FX’s American Horror Story: Coven as an albino guard and henchman. He has also posed for the covers of various publications.

“The donors to BLMGA thought they were giving their hard-earned money to a cause they believed in,” U.S. Attorney Rebecca C. Lutzko said in a U.S. Justice Department news release.

“But instead of using it to support that cause, Page used it for himself. The jury’s verdict is a warning to every fraudster that when you misrepresent how donations or other money given to you in trust will be used, you will be prosecuted and punished.”



During the trial, court heard that Page — a self-described BLM activist and leader — set up a “Black Lives Matter of Greater Atlanta” (BLMGA) Facebook page in 2016 and registered it as a domestic non-profit organization.

The Internal Revenue Service granted the group tax-exempt status in 2017. A bank account named “Black Lives Matter of Greater Atlanta, Inc.” was then opened in 2018.

However, the charity’s tax-exempt status was dissolved in 2019 by the IRS.

According to the FBI, between April 2018 and May 2020, the bank balance never exceeded $5,000.


But Page continued to accept donations from the public, collecting $467,342.18 between June 2020 and August 2020 while claiming to be a legitimate charity engaged in social justice work.

Money collected by Page was not used on social justice causes but to purchase items for his own personal use, such as a house and furniture. Investigators were unable to identify any money spent on social or racial injustice.

“Preying on the generosity of the public for personal gain is cold and calculated,” said FBI Cleveland Special Agent Greg Nelsen. “The FBI and it’s white-collar crime division along with our federal, state, and local partners will continue to aggressively find and investigate criminals who believe they can deceive others through shady business practices.”
 

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Athletics director used AI-generated racist rant to frame school principal
Author of the article:Denette Wilford
Published Apr 26, 2024 • Last updated 2 days ago • 2 minute read

A Black athletics director at a Baltimore-area high school has been accused of using artificial intelligence to create a racist rant that he then allegedly used to set up the white principal.


Dazhon “DJ” Darien, 31, a former employee at Pikesville High School in Pikesville, Maryland was arrested Thursday for allegedly using AI to impersonate Eric Eiswert’s voice in a recording that included racist and anti-Semitic comments about individuals at the school.

Darien allegedly created the recording as retaliation against Eiswert, who had launched a probe into the potential mishandling of school funds, the Baltimore County Police Department said in a news release.

Forensic analysis determined the voice on the recording, which was circulated on social media in January, was not Eiswert’s and was in fact generated through AI technology.

The audio clip shared on Instagram included statements about how “ungrateful” Black students “can’t test their way out of a paper bag,” as well as Jewish individuals and two teachers who “should never have been hired at the school,” WBFF reported.


At the time, Eiswert was temporarily removed from the school, hate-filled messages circulated on social media, and the school was inundated with phone calls.

Eiswert told police he suspected Darien was responsible for the phony audio, calling the athletics director “technologically savvy” and “familiar with AI.”

The principal also shared that the two had discussed Darien’s contract not being renewed due to work performance challenges.



Investigators allegedly discovered Darien had accessed the school’s network multiple times in December and January, performing online searches for OpenAI tools — which authorities linked to paid OpenAI accounts.

Darien faces charges that include theft, stalking, disruption of school operations and retaliation against a witness.

Baltimore County Schools Superintendent Dr. Myriam Rogers said they are taking “appropriate action” following Darien’s arrest, “up to and including a recommendation for termination.”
 

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Paramedic who injected Elijah McClain with ketamine before his death avoids prison
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Colleen Slevin And Matthew Brown
Published Apr 26, 2024 • 4 minute read

BRIGHTON, Colo. (AP) — A former paramedic who injected Elijah McClain with ketamine avoided prison and was sentenced to probation Friday after his homicide conviction in the Black man’s death, which helped fuel the 2020 racial injustice protests.


Jeremy Cooper faced up to three years in prison. He administered a dose of the sedative ketamine to McClain, 23, who had been forcibly restrained after police stopped him as he was walking home in a Denver suburb in 2019.

The sentencing caps a series of trials that stretched over seven months and resulted in the convictions of a police officer and two paramedics. Criminal charges against paramedics and emergency medical technicians involved in police custody cases are rare.

Experts say the convictions would have been unheard of before 2020, when George Floyd’s murder sparked a nationwide reckoning over racist policing and deaths in police custody.

McClain’s mother, Sheneen McClain, said justice has not yet been served. She said the two acquitted Aurora police officers, as well as other firefighters and police on the scene, were complicit in her son’s killing and that they escaped justice.


“I’m waiting on heaven to hand down everybody’s judgment. Because I know heaven ain’t gonna miss the mark,” she told The Associated Press.

At least 94 people died after they were given sedatives and restrained by police from 2012 through 2021, according to findings by the AP in collaboration with FRONTLINE (PBS) and the Howard Centers for Investigative Journalism.

McClain’s name became a rallying cry in protests over racial injustice in policing that swept the U.S. in 2020.

“Without the reckoning over criminal justice and how people of color suffer at much higher rates from police use of force and violence, it’s very unlikely that anything would have come of this, that there would have been any charges, let alone convictions,” said David Harris, a University of Pittsburgh law professor and expert on racial profiling.


Harris added that the two officers’ acquittals of the two officers following weekslong trials were unsurprising, since juries are often reluctant to second guess the actions of police and other first responders.

“It’s still very hard to convict,” he said.

The judge who presided over the hearing Friday sentenced ex-paramedic Peter Cichuniec in March to five years in prison for criminally negligent homicide and second-degree assault, the most serious of the charges faced by any of the responders. It was the shortest sentence allowed under the law.

Previously, Judge Mark Warner sentenced officer Randy Roedema to 14 months in jail for criminally negligent homicide and misdemeanor assault.

Prosecutors initially declined to pursue charges related to McClain’s death when an autopsy did not determine how he died. Democratic Gov. Jared Polis ordered the investigation reopened following the 2020 protests against police brutality.


The second autopsy said McClain died because he was injected with ketamine after being forcibly restrained.

To Sheneen McClain, it doesn’t make sense that officer Nathan Woodyard, who stopped her son and put him in a neck hold, was acquitted, while officer Roedema received a lighter sentence than the paramedic Cichuniec. She thinks the paramedics’ role was to cover up what the police had done to her son.

“I raised him by myself and I will continue to stand there for my son, regardless of whether anybody listens to me,” she said.

Since the killings of Floyd, McClain and others put a spotlight on police custody deaths, many departments, paramedic units and those that train them have reexamined how they treat suspects. It could take years though to collect enough evidence to show if those efforts are working, said Candace McCoy, a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York.


Cooper injected McClain with ketamine after police stopped him as he was walking home. Officers later referenced a suspicious person report. McClain was not armed, nor accused of breaking any laws.

Medical experts said by the time he received the sedative, McClain already was in a weakened state from forcible restraint that rendered him temporarily unconscious.

He went into cardiac arrest on the way to the hospital and died three days later.

Cooper’s attorneys did not immediately respond to telephone messages and emails seeking comment on the sentencing.

Since McClain’s death, the Colorado health department has told paramedics not to give ketamine to people suspected of having excited delirium, which had been described in a since-withdrawn emergency physicians’ report as manifesting symptoms including increased strength. A doctors group has called it an unscientific definition rooted in racism.

The protests over McClain and Floyd also ushered in a wave of state legislation to curb the use of neck holds known as carotid restraints, which cut off circulation, and chokeholds, which cut off breathing. At least 27 states including Colorado have passed some limit on the practices. Only two had bans in place before Floyd was killed.

To MiDian Holmes, a racial justice advocate who attended the trials against the first responders, change isn’t coming fast enough.

“It’s the message that the life of Elijah mattered but it didn’t matter enough,” Holmes said.
 

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Family of Missouri teen shot after ringing wrong doorbell sues homeowner, HOA
Author of the article:Washington Post
Washington Post
Anumita Kaur, The Washington Post
Published Apr 30, 2024 • 2 minute read

The family of Ralph Yarl, a teenager who was shot in April 2023 after approaching the wrong home in Kansas City, Mo., is suing the man charged in the shooting for what they argue was “careless and negligent conduct,” a year after the incident stoked national outrage over self-defense laws.


The seven-page lawsuit, filed Monday in Clay County Circuit Court by Yarl’s mother, alleges that Andrew Lester, 85, “carelessly and negligently discharged a loaded firearm at an unarmed minor.” Lester, who is White, was charged with first-degree assault and armed criminal action in the shooting that injured Yarl, who is Black. He pleaded not guilty in September.

Yarl’s family is also suing Lester’s homeowners association, Highland Acres Homes Association, claiming the organization had a duty to exercise reasonable care “regarding the use of a firearm in and on the properties making up the Association.”

Lester’s attorney, Steven Salmon, said in an email Monday afternoon that he’s aware of the lawsuit and is in the process of evaluating and discussing it with his client. The Highland Acres Homes Association did not immediately respond to The Washington Post’s request for comment.


Yarl, who was 16 at the time of the shooting, has injuries that have interfered with normal life activities, according to the lawsuit. His family filed the lawsuit about two weeks after the anniversary of the shooting.

On April 13, 2023, Yarl rang Lester’s doorbell in Kansas City, mistaking it for a friend’s home. Yarl was sent to pick up his younger siblings, but he approached a home about a block away.

Lester opened the door and allegedly shot the high-schooler twice — once in the head and once in the arm. Yarl screamed and ran to nearby homes asking for help, ultimately collapsing at the end of a driveway, witnesses said at the time.

Police arrived after receiving a 911 call, and Lester told officers that he fired his Smith & Wesson .32-caliber revolver because he feared someone was trying to break into his home, according to a criminal complaint. He told police that he was “scared to death” after Yarl appeared at the door.


The shooting drew national attention, igniting protests for multiple days, with lawmakers and celebrities expressing support for Yarl.

President Biden called Yarl and invited him to the White House; Vice President Harris said on social media that “no child should ever live in fear of being shot for ringing the wrong doorbell.” The shooting came as the United States reckoned with its long history of violence against Black people — and revived a debate on self-defense statutes.

Missouri’s “stand your ground” and “castle doctrine” laws say homeowners may use deadly force for self-defense if he or she reasonably believes that deadly force is necessary. Experts have told The Post that homeowners must be able to prove that an active threat existed.

In the criminal case pending against Lester, his attorney has argued that the homeowner was acting in self-defense and that there has not been “a shred of evidence” that suggests race was a factor.

Lester faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment for the first-degree assault charge and up to 15 years for the armed criminal action charge. That trial is scheduled to begin Oct. 7.
 

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Court approves new Louisiana city that critics have slammed as 'white enclave'
Author of the article:postmedia News
Published Apr 30, 2024 • Last updated 1 day ago • 1 minute read

Well-to-do Baton Rouge, La., residents have won a long court battle to split from poorer neighbourhoods and create their own city with plans for better schools and less crime.


The Louisiana Supreme Court ruled on Friday that the new city of St. George could go ahead with incorporation and split from the rest of Baton Rouge. St. George will have 86,000 residents in the southeast of East Baton Rouge Parish and will have its own mayor and council.

Those in support of the new city said the existing city-parish government is poorly run, resulting in high crime rates and a lousy school system.

Critics, however, are calling the move “racist” and said it will create a “white enclave” because it separates a wealthy area from the rest of the city and school district, which has a predominantly Black population.


Plans for St. George started about 15 years ago as residents decided to push for their own school district. Those plans grew more ambitious in 2015, when a proposal was drawn up to create their own city.

The initial proposal didn’t receive enough votes, but in 2019 a second ballot to incorporate St. George passed with 54% of residents voting in favour of separation.

A decade-long court battle followed. Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome and Mayor Pro Tem Lamont Cole sued St. George organizers soon after the election, arguing that St. George would take away $48 million in annual tax revenue from the city-parish government and lead to job cuts.

Lower courts supported Baton Rouge’s arguments and denied the proposal; however, the state’s Supreme Court overruled their decisions, saying the internal budget is balanced and can provide public services, meaning St. George can incorporate.