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Kelly Thomas verdict: anger grows, police chief urges calm
By Adolfo Flores and Paloma Esquivel
January 13, 2014, 6:12 p.m.
A range of reactions from outrage to measured acceptance poured in Monday after an Orange County jury — after deliberating only hours — found that two former Fullerton police officers were not guilty of beating a homeless man to death.
"I would do the same thing again," Dist. Atty. Tony Rackauckas said. "I think it's a matter that a jury had to see."
Rackauckas, who tried the case himself, said he respected the jury's decision and moved immediately to dismiss charges against a third officer who was indicted in the case but had yet to be tried.
But Kelly Thomas' mother and father, who pushed for charging the officers and sat through the three-week trial, said they were left stunned by the verdict.
"They got away with murdering my son," said Cathy Thomas. "He was so innocent. It just isn't fair at all."
Kelly Thomas' father echoed the sentiment.
"I've never seen such a miscarriage of justice," he said. "It's so blatant. It means none of us are safe."
A case seemed to turn on the interpretation of a surveillance tape that captured the violent encounter in a bus depot in downtown Fullerton in the summer of 2011. Prosecutors said the tape essentially showed a homicide taking place; defense attorneys said it showed officers trying to restrain a violent and alarmingly strong homeless man.
Fullerton Police Chief Dan Hughes urged calm and asked citizens to respect the jury's verdict. He said the department had taken "significant steps" since the incident to make the police force "the best department possible."
Still, some members of Occupy L.A. called for a protest Monday night outside the city police headquarters. Several people protested at the courtroom after the verdict.
The ACLU also issued a statement, calling the verdict "disappointing" and a reminder that Fullerton and other cities in Orange County should adopt a civilian police review board as larger cities have done.
At a homeless encampment behind the courthouse, Cindy Vann and James Calhoun said they had been paying close attention to the case.
"Just because they wear a uniform and a badge doesn't give them the right to beat anybody like that," Vann said.
"It's gonna get worse around us," she added. "If it was us we'd be doing life right now."
The three-week trial ended quickly and decisively Monday with jurors rejecting second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter charges against Manuel Ramos and involuntary manslaughter and excessive force charges against Jay Cicinelli.
Both former officers lowered their heads and Cicinelli's attorney, Mark Schwartz, pounded his fist on the table before hugging his client. Thomas' family wept softly.
Cicinelli was ecstatic, Schwartz said.
“He was relieved, after 21/2 years of having this over your head,” Schwartz said. “We’re just going to have to take a deep breath and enjoy the moment.”
Image via: Charles Johnson
Contrary to initial reports that the shooter was an off-duty NSA agent, subsequent updates have revealed that the LAX shooter, who reportedly is still dead, although unclear if he was killed before or after he was in police custody, as Paul Anthony Ciancia, a 23-year-old who was either a Los Angeles native, or from Pennsville, N.J. Additionally, we have learned that according to a law enforcement official, who was briefed at LAX on the investigation but not authorized to speak publicly, said the gunman was wearing fatigues and carrying a bag containing a hand-written note that said he "wanted to kill TSA and pigs." The official requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly. Considering the accuracy with which this news event has been broken, most of it relying on unsubstantiated and often times fake Twitter sources (some had reported earlier, falsely, that the former NSA chief had been shot as well), we won't be surprised if this story were to change a few more times.
Air Force to fire general in charge of nuclear missiles
October 11, 2013 12:15PM ET
Maj. Gen. Michael Carey is being relieved of his command for personal misbehavior, reports The Associated Press
- Nuclear weapons
Carey is in charge of 450 intercontinental ballistic missiles.Air Force handout
The Air Force plans to fire the two-star general in charge of all of its nuclear missiles in response to an investigation into alleged personal misbehavior, officials told The Associated Press on Friday.
Maj. Gen. Michael Carey is being removed from command of the 20th Air Force, which is responsible for three wings of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) — a total of 450 missiles at three bases across the country, the officials said.
The officials disclosed the matter to the AP on condition of anonymity because it had not been publicly announced.
Undercover Cop Stood By As Bikers Beat SUV Driver During Motorcycle Attack: Report
The Huffington Post | By Sara Gates Posted: 10/05/2013 11:41 am EDT | Updated: 10/05/2013 2:17 pm EDT
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Undercover police officers may have been riding with the pack of bikers that beat up 33-year-old Alexian Lien, the SUV driver who struck a motorcyclist on the West Side Highway Sunday.
Source: Susanne Posel, Occupy Corporatism
Senator Harry Reid called House Speaker John Boehner to discuss negotiations on the federal budget if Boehner would facilitate dialogue concerning the national debt and the real prospect of US default to the Federal Reserve Bank (FRB) and Obamacare. Reid wrote: “I hated the Iraq war. I think I hated it as much as you hate the Affordable Care Act. I could have taken the steps that you are taking now to block government funding in order to gain leverage to end the war… But I did not do that.”
Michael Steel, spokesman for Boehner said : “The entire government is shut down right now because Washington Democrats refuse to even talk about fairness for all Americans under ObamaCare. Offering to negotiate only after Democrats get everything they want is not much of an offer.”
Source: Huffington Post
The United States Capitol went on lockdown Thursday afternoon after shots were fired outside the building. According to the Associated Press, Capitol police said one officer had been injured. A law enforcement official told Luke Johnson of The Huffington Post that a suspect struck a ballard at 15th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW just outside the White House before fleeing towards the U.S. Capitol. The suspect was "pulled over" at 2nd Street and Constitution Avenue NE. Both NBC and ABC reported that the suspect was a woman.
The Weekly Standard – by Jeryl Bier
Even as President Obama and his administration are making a last minute push to encourage enrollment in Obamacare, a quiet change was made on the Healthcare.gov website regarding those who will still not be able to afford coverage after the program kicks in. From at least June 26, 2013 to as recently as September 15, under the topic, “Where can I get free or low-cost care in my community?” the following statement appeared: “If you can’t afford any health plan, you can get free or low-cost health and dental care at a nearby community health center.” Here is how the page in question appeared: Continue reading →
MKS Supply is a 2a Mob Backer of the 2A Flashmob
AmmoLand Gun News
Manasquan, NJ --(Ammoland.com)- MKS Supply, the U.S. distributor of Hi-Point and Chiappa firearms arms, has made a donation in support of the 2A Flashmob, and is now a corporate 2A MOB BACKER.
“Charlie and the patriots at MKS Supply understand the value of grass roots gun rights supporters and it is to their credit that they are concerned enough to step up and support the 2A FlashMob, our program that rewards and motivates individual gun rights activists”, says Fredy Riehl, editor of AmmoLand Shooting Sports News, home of the 2A FlashMob.
“I ask that all our readers and current 2A Mob members to support MKS Supply as there are few companies left like this that are willing to helping to protect our rights in today’s politically correct world.”
6:19 PM 09/16/2013
California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein is renewing her call for new gun-control laws because of Monday’s deadly Navy Yard shooting.
“When will enough be enough?” Feinstein said in a statement Monday evening.
“Congress must stop shirking its responsibility and resume a thoughtful debate on gun violence in this country,” she said. “We must do more to stop this endless loss of life.”
The FBI confirmed Monday afternoon that 34-year-old Aaron Alexis is the suspect in Monday’s massacre at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C. Alexis died at the scene. Authorities are still looking for other potential gunmen in the rampage that has killed at least a dozen people.
“I mourn those killed today at the Navy Yard in Washington and send my thoughts and prayers to those families grieving the loss of loved ones,” Feinstein said.
“There are reports the killer was armed with an AR-15, a shotgun and a semiautomatic pistol when he stormed an American military installation in the nation’s capital and took at least 12 innocent lives,” she said.
Feinstein has long been an anti-gun rights activist. After last year’s Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, she unsuccessfully pushed to ban more than 150 types of firearms, including rifles, pistols and shotguns.
On Monday, she reiterated a call for new legislation in light of the Navy Yard shootings.
“This is one more event to add to the litany of massacres that occur when a deranged person or grievance killer is able to obtain multiple weapons — including a military-style assault rifle — and kill many people in a short amount of time,” Feinstein said.
2 hours ago | Politics, US | Posted by Ben Swann
The story is a long way from coming into focus. The little we do know about Monday’s tragic mass shooting at a Navy Yard in Washington, D.C. is stirring a national debate.
First, here’s the back-story. It was September 16th, around 8:20 A.M. when 34 year-old Aaron Alexis opened fire inside a Navy facility. According to the FBI, he was a contract employee who had legitimate access to the Navy Yard and used a valid pass.
Alexis reportedly killed 12 people ranging in age from 46 to 73. Alexis was killed by police in a gun battle. He reportedly entered the facility with a shotgun purchased legally at a local gun shop.
This shooting is the worst at a U.S. military installation since the 2009 shooting at Fort Hood, Texas in which Major Nadal Hasan opened fire, killing 13 people and wounding 39 others. The shooting in the Ft. Hood case was religiously motivated.
Religion, however, does not seem to be a motivating factor in the Navy Yard shooting. As we are learning more about Alexis, reports indicate that he was a Buddhist and according to Bloomberg News, had been discharged from the Navy Reserves.
“Alexis was discharged from the Navy Reserves because of a ‘pattern of misconduct’ during his service years that included the 2010 Texas arrest, even though the charges were later dropped, according to a Navy official who asked not to be identified discussing personnel matters.”
Almost predictably, the national debate has turned to gun control once again. But are the media and the public missing something crucial here? Story after story being written about Aaron Alexis indicate there were mental issues.
According to the Associated Press: “(Alexis) had been suffering a host of serious mental issues, including paranoia and a sleep disorder. He also had been hearing voices in his head, the officials said.”
In addition, CBS in Washington D.C. is reporting that since August, Alexis had been treated by the Veterans Administration for his mental problems.
Source: Lee Rogers, Blacklisted News
The on-going events involving Syria shouldn’t have been difficult to predict for anyone who has been closely following the world of geopolitics. Shortly after the 2003 invasion of Iraq, pro-Israeli propagandists were all over the media claiming that no chemical weapons were found because Saddam Hussein shipped them to Syria. This conspiracy theory which was based upon nothing but hypotheticals and falsehoods was planted to cover up the intelligence lies surrounding Iraqi WMDs and setup the proper back story justification for a future American military strike against Syria. With this said, it is really no surprise that alleged chemical weapons usage by the Syrian government is now being used as the primary rationale for an attack. Despite the fact that Syria does not have the military means of striking U.S. soil the Obama regime is claiming that it is in America’s national security interests to wage war against them. This reasoning is so absurdly ridiculous that it defies all comprehension. Even worse is the fact that American military action would be aiding a myriad of Al-Qaeda linked organizations that represent a large portion of Syrian rebel forces. The only national security interests at stake are those of Israel which once again will directly benefit off of another American military misadventure in the Middle East.
Like the evidence used to justify the Iraq invasion nearly a decade ago, the evidence suggesting that Syrian leader Bashar Al-Assad used chemical weapons against his own people is highly questionable. Most of the evidence cited by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry during his recent press conference appears to have been derived from American intelligence sources which should have little to no credibility considering their previous track record of lies and deception.
As expected, the official U.S. government report on this matter places direct blame on the Syrian government for ordering a variety of chemical weapons attacks. The report specifically focuses on the alleged chemical weapons attack that took place on August 21st 2013 in the Damascus suburbs. There are however several questions about the content contained in the report.
To start off, it is awfully strange that American intelligence sources could accurately make concrete determinations about what happened and who was responsible in roughly one week’s worth of time. The separate investigation being conducted by the United Nations is going to take longer for its conclusions to be made available and they are only investigating if chemical weapons were used and not who may have been responsible. This makes it impossible to believe that the U.S. was able to determine what happened and who was responsible as quickly as they claim. Truth be told, the U.S. report reeks of manufactured propaganda.
One bizarre piece of evidence cited by the report is the alleged discovery of one hundred videos showing victims of chemical weapons usage. The report actually states that they believe Syrian rebel factions could not have faked all of the videos. To say that this doesn’t inspire a whole lot of confidence in the report’s conclusion would be an understatement.
“Mr. President, in the case of military operations in Libya you stated that authorization from Congress was not required because our military was not engaged in “hostilities.” In addition, an April 1, 2011, memorandum to you from your Office of Legal Counsel concluded:…”President Obama could rely on his constitutional power to safeguard the national interest by directing the anticipated military operations in Libya—which were limited in their nature, scope, and duration—without prior congressional authorization.’”
“We view the precedent this opinion sets, where “national interest” is enough to engage in hostilities without congressional authorization, as unconstitutional.”
August 31, 2013