Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke was found guilty Friday of second-degree murder in the 2014 fatal shooting of Black, 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. You can click here to read more background on this case.
Van Dyke was also found guilty of 16 counts of aggravated battery; one for each bullet he sent into the 17-year old’s body. He was found not guilty of official misconduct. Second-degree murder usually carries a sentence of less than 20 years. In Illinois, aggravated battery with a firearm carries a minimum sentence of 6 years, and a maximum penalty of 30 to 60 years.
While probation is allowed for second-degree murder, it is not allowed for the Class X felony of aggravated battery using a firearm.
Van Dyke took the witness stand on Tuesday, and on cross-examination was asked about a statement he made to his partner as they approached the shooting scene: “Oh my…
17-year old Laquan McDonald was killed by Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke on October 20, 2014. Van Dyke was not arrested until a judge set a date for the release of dash cam video. That was in November 2015.
Van Dyke’s murder trial began the first week of September 2018 with jury selection. Twelve jurors and 5 alternatives have been selected. The jury consists of one Black woman, and two Blacks as alternatives.
On Thursday, September 20, 2018, the prosecution rested its case. Van Dyke’s defense will now be presented to the jury.
Following the trial has been difficult for me due to personal matters, but I do plan on blogging the verdict. Meanwhile, I have copied the post originally published in November 2015 because it contains background on what happened, including that without the intervention of Brandon Smith, an independent journalist, Van Dyke might not have been charged.
Today, a Maryland Court of Special Appeals (“COSP”), affirmed the conviction of Former Police Officer Keith Washington (the “Defendant”), who, according to court records, was convicted for the senseless murder of Marlo Furniture worker Brandon Clark and for shooting Clark’s co-worker, Robert White. Defendant Washington purchased a bed from Marlo Furniture which was delivered to his Maryland residence in December, 2006. The bed rails, however, were defective and either Defendant or Mrs. spouse requested replacements. Marlo agreed to do so and arrangements were made to deliver the new bed rails on January 24, 2007, between 2:30 and 5:30 pm. Defendant took off from work to be at home when the delivery arrived.
When the bed rails were not delivered during the specified time frame, defendant called Marlo to inquire about the delivery. After several phone calls, defendant was notified that the rails would be arriving around 7:30 p.m. At about that time, Brandon Clark (the “decedent”) and Mr. White, two furniture deliverymen, arrived at the Defendant’s residence with the bed rails. Defendant met Clark at the door. Unbeknownst to Clark or White, defendant had a handgun tucked into his waistband. White and the decedent, accompanied by defendant, carried the bed rails to the master bedroom on the second floor. A few minutes later, defendant shot both the decedent and White. White was severely injured and Clark died nine days later from complications related to his wounds. Defendant was found guilty of murdering Clark because of an unprovoked argument. Defendant, also refused to call for medical assistance after shooting Clark and White. The Defendant argued at trial that he was being physically accosted by Clark and White and that he shot them in self-defense. At trial, the State presented evidence that, on the night of the murder, the Defendant had no bruises or fractures, which is interesting, because the Defendant argued that Clark and White almost beat him to death. The Defendant’s wife also testified at trial that she witnessed Clark and White beating her husband.
The jury did not find credible the Defendant’s version of events and on February 13, 2008, they convicted him of involuntary manslaughter, among others. In this appeal, the Court found that Defendant’s attorney represented his interest and that there was no basis for an argument of ineffective assistance of counsel.
The Defendant is presently serving 45 years in prison for the murder.
Okay. I admit. When I first became aware of Mark Ruffalo was in The Avengers. I fell in love with how he played Dr. Banner/The Hulk character. That movie was released in 2012, and I suspected that Ruffalo had to have started his career long before then. Since then, I search for movies On Demand that he appears in.
On my channel line-up is the Indie movie channel. It is showing a movie titled “Blindness” starring Mark Ruffalo and Julianne Moore. It was released in 2008 and is categorized as a mystery, drama, and sci-fi movie.
Imagine a city where everyone goes blind – citizens, emergency response personnel, police, military, doctors, scientists, politicians, criminals, etc., and you are the only person with eyesight. Because everyone else is blind, they believe that you are too and you don’t tell them otherwise.
July 17th is the four year anniversary of the death of Eric Garner. Eric Garner was 43-years old and in Staten Island selling untaxed cigarettes when he was approached by officers Justin Damico and Daniel Pantaleo. Pantaleo placed Eric in a choke hold and in spite of Eric saying “I can’t breathe, Pantaleo continued applying pressure until Eric was unconscious.
Erica Garner, left. Eric Garner, right.
A bystander recorded the confrontation on cell phone, giving viewers an unobstructed view of the choke hold which, along with the compression of his chest by officers, was found to be a cause of Eric’s death.
In December 2014, a grand jury refused to indict Pantaleo. Like Darren Wilson who killed Mike Brown, Pantaleo was allowed to testify before the grand jury on his own behalf.
Then U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Justice Department will conduct its own investigation into Eric’s…
On July 24, 2017, I blogged about the strangling death of John Hernandez. Two persons were charged; Terry Thompson and his wife, Harris County Deputy Sheriff Chauna Thompson.
John Hernandez was at a Denny’s restaurant on May 28, 2017 in a town not far from Houston. Wait staff said he was celebrating his soccer team winning and was drunk, but he was not behaving belligerently. Terry Thompson engaged John outside of the restaurant, who Thompson accused of urinating in public. Thompson’s daughter called her mom, Chauna Thompson, who was off-duty.
Terry beat John who landed on the ground and then Terry proceeded to place John in a choke hold and got on John’s back. Chauna arrived and pinned down one of John’s arms. His other armed was underneath him. On her knees, Chauna yelled at Hernandez to “stay the f— down.” Her husband said to Hernandez:…
The video has gone viral, 779,000 views, as of this writing. John Holt, along with his fiancee, were shopping in a Baltimore County Kohl’s Department Store, when Officer Persuhn (according to The Maven”), stopped him a checked for warrants. Officer Persuhn indicated that Mr. Holt did not show up for court, therefore, he had the right, according to Persuhn to detain him. Mr. Holt, who was visibly upset, informed the Officer that he was being harassed.
The docket reveals that Mr. Holt did in fact have a Warrant issued on March 3, 2018, but, that it had been recalled on March 8, 2018. He is scheduled for trial on July 19, 2018 and is represented by the Office of The Public Defender. A rudimentary review of Court records would have revealed this same information to Officer Persuhn. But, even with the aforementioned information readily available to him, Officer Persuhn, in his bravado, decided to antagonize and harass Mr. Holt, who, according to our constitution, is presume innocent until found guilty by a Court of Law.
The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, made applicable to the States by the Fourteenth Amendment in Mapp v. Ohio, 367 U.S. 643 (1961), includes “two separate clauses, the first protecting the basic right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures and the second requiring that warrants be particular and supported by probable cause.” Payton v. New York, 445 U.S. 573, 584 (1980). It reads as follows:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
“The touchstone of the Fourth Amendment is reasonableness[.]” United States v. Knights, 534 U.S. 112, 118 (2001). With this in mind, the Supreme Court has consistently affirmed that searches and seizures “conducted outside the judicial process,” Katz v. United States, 389 U.S. 347, 357 (1967), i.e., without “a judicial warrant ․ issued by a neutral magistrate after finding probable cause,” United Stats v. Place, 462 U.S. 696, 701 (1983), are both “presumptively unreasonable,” Payton, 445 U.S. at 586, or “per se unreasonable under the Fourth Amendment[.]” Katz, 389 U.S. at 357.2.
A police officer without a warrant may arrest a person if the police officer has probable cause to believe that a felony has been committed or attempted and the person has committed or attempted to commit the felony whether or not in the presence or within the view of the police officer.
It is without question, that the Officer did not believe that Mr. Holt had committed a felony, only that he had a purported warrant for his arrest, yet he detained him unreasonably; Mr. Holt was clearly not free to leave.
Officer Harry Ray Persuhn, according to the Baltimore Sun, has been a Police Officer since April 15, 2002 and earns $76,963.00, per year, not including overtime.
This is another example of a Police Officer using his authority to harass an African American male, but like so many others before him;
The police were called one evening around the 18th of March 2018 from a Sacramento, California neighborhood regarding a young man vandalizing residents’ cars. This was not a young man committing crimes of violence which required a swarm of police officers to arrive in the vicinity of the complaint with guns drawn and a helicopter circling above.
But that is what happened. A 22 year old Black man, Stephon Clark was outside his Grandma’s home with only a cell phone, which means no other implement used in committing acts of vandalism were on his person, when he was confronted by a swarm of law enforcement officers who shouted at him but who then proceeded to fire at least 20 gun shots at him. As soon as this happened, the police muted the sound from their recording machines.
Of course the community of Sacramento is up in arms over…
Martin Shkreli (k/n/a Prisoner “87850-053”) was sentenced to 7 Years in Federal Prison. As he wept, he stated:
“This is my fault. I am no victim here,” Shkreli said, before breaking down into tears as he promised not to let his lawyer Benjamin Brafman down in his efforts to contribute to society.
Justice has been served on all the citizens who suffered when he surreptitiously raised the amount of an HIV Medication from $13.50 a pill to $750.00 a pill. He exhibited no remorse. Prisoner 87850-053 even had the unmitigated gall to smirk and laugh at Congress when they attempted to question him regarding his decision. In my opinion, he is Evil. Hopefully jail will turn his life around in prison.
Be always humble, gentle, and patient. Show your love by being tolerant with one another. Do your best to preserve the unity which the Spirit gives by means of the peace that binds you together. (Ephesians 4:2-3)
I think that mostly everyone has read or heard about the teens of Parkland High School being denigrated for wanting gun control. Here’s a bit from an article published in The Guardian.
“And as of this weekend, this group of idealistic young people have officially become the right’s leading hate figures.
The first and most repugnant strategy was to directly attack high-profile campaigners, especially students David Hogg and Emma Gonzalez.
Running short of reasoned arguments, many attempted to push conservative buttons with high impact visuals. Alt-right social media company Gab was one of many that disseminated a doctored animation of Gonzalez in which she falsely appeared to be tearing up the US constitution. Cartoonist and Trump sycophant Ben Garrison depicted Hogg as an assault rifle, wielded by CNN, and loaded with Marxism. Breitbart re-published a round of tweets accusing Hogg of throwing a Nazi salute.”