Sunday, July 24, 2016

MAN RIPS OFF CEILING PANEL ON CATHAY PACIFIC AIRBUS A350

A passenger caused a three-hour delay of a flight from Hong Kong to Bangkok when he thought he was opening an overhead luggage bin

280 passengers were all set to take off from Hong Kong to Bangkok on a Cathay Pacific Airbus A350 Wednesday when a slight snag occurred.

A man ripped off a ceiling panel on the airliner in the mistaken belief that he was opening an overhead luggage bin.

The airliner was a brand new Airbus A360. Mechanics were able to repair the damage without taking the aircraft out of service. The flight took off after a three-hour delay.

The unidentified passenger who ripped off the ceiling was allowed to stay on the flight.

I strongly suspect his 279 fellow passengers were either laughing at him or royally pissed off at him.

IS KRAPMART ABOUT TO CLOSE DOWN?

By Bob Walsh

It seems that a lot of the store-level employees of K-Mart, a division of Sears Holding, seem to believe that K-Mart is about to go belly-up.

Many of their stores are totally cleaning out their stockrooms. Everything is going out on the floor. Management positions which are vacant are not being filled. About 1/3 of their stores have closed down recently.

Management says that the clearing out of back room stock is merely an inventory control mechanism and is not indicative of a prepared liquidation. Who knows, it might even be true.

STOLEN SMARTPHONE’S ‘FIND MY PHONE’ APP LEADS TO SUSPECTS IN BRUTAL LAS VEGAS HOME INVASION

Suspects Jonathan Mika and Dominic Maratita were arrested after the app signal on the iPhone that had been stolen during an early morning home invasion led to an apartment

By Kiri Blakeley

Daily Mail
July 23, 2016

Police were easily able to trace suspects in a brutal home invasion when an iPhone stolen from the house was tracked through its 'Find My iPhone' software.

Two men identified as Jonathan Mika, 34, and Dominic Maratita, 41, of Las Vegas, were arrested after cops were led to an apartment Maratita was renting by following the signal from the 'Find My iPhone' app from a phone stolen from the residence, which pinpointed the suspects' location, according to Review Journal.

The suspects face six counts of robbery with a deadly weapon and six counts of first-degree kidnapping and charge each of burglary while in possession of a gun and possession of stolen property.

The invasion at the house on East Sierra Stone Lane began around 3am on Monday when one family member was playing video games. When the game mysteriously shut off, the person went to reset the Internet modem but discovered the power was off.

When the male family member went outside to check the power box, police say he was confronted by three people with a gun who forced him back inside the house.

The robbers then proceeded to knock down doors to other six family members' bedrooms and pistol whipping some in the head.

One member was pistol whipped so forcefully that he later needed stitches, reported the outlet.

At least one juvenile was in the home.

The family was then tied up and the premises was robbed of six guns, iPhones, at least one laptop and wallets, credit cards and IDs.

When the stolen iPhone signal led to Maratita's home, Mika was found sitting outside the residence in a car that matched the description of the vehicle seen on the family's neighbor's home surveillance video during the time of the invasion, say police.

All items taken in the home invasion were recovered in the suspect's home, according to cops.

While Maratita denied ever being in the home, Mika reportedly told cops that he 'was homeless and trying to put a roof over his head.'

He also reportedly claimed that his role in the incident was to make sure no one got shot.

A third suspect that police believe acted as a lookout has not yet been found.

The pair are due in court August 8 and are being held without bail.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Smartphone, dumb crooks!

SUSPECTED L.A. GANG MEMBER CHARGED IN THROWING MOLOTOV COCKTAILS AT BLACK FAMILIES DENIED BAIL

Francisco “Bones” Farias and his fellow Latino gang members tried to drive blacks out of a public housing complex area in Boyle Heights

By Stephanie Michaud

City News Service
July 21, 2016

A suspected gang member charged in a federal indictment with throwing Molotov cocktails through the windows of sleeping black families at the Ramona Gardens public housing complex in Boyle Heights two years ago in an alleged effort to drive them out of the area was denied bail Thursday.

Francisco “Bones” Farias, 25, of Whittier was deemed a flight risk and a threat to the community by U.S. Magistrate Judge Karen L. Stevenson, who ordered the defendant detained pending trial in Los Angeles federal court.

Farias and six other men were charged in an indictment unsealed July 7 with planning and carrying out the May 12, 2014, attack, in which no one was physically injured and only minimal damage was reported.

The defendants also were charged for their alleged roles in a racketeering enterprise that used violence and intimidation to control the perceived territory of the Big Hazard street gang.

“Crimes targeting innocent people based on the color of their skin are among the most heinous crimes a community can suffer,” said Eileen M. Decker, the U.S. attorney in Los Angeles. “In this case, the crime was particularly disturbing since the targets of the criminal conduct included children.”

The residents were able to return to their homes the same day.

Farias’ attorney, Gerald Salseda, argued that his client should be set free to await trial because the allegations in the indictment stem from two years ago.

“Why does he suddenly become a danger now?” Salseda said, adding that Farias has been “80 percent complaint” with his probation in a concealed weapons case for which he was arrested a few months after the firebombing.

“There’s no evidence of any kind of violence,” the attorney said, asking that bail be set at $100,000.

However, Assistant U.S. Attorney Doug Miller argued that Farias presented a clear danger to the community since black families still lived at Ramona Gardens.

“He put the lives of four families in direct danger of being incinerated as they slept,” Miller told the court, “simply because of the color of their skin.”

The prosecutor argued that Farias was also a flight risk since he faced a mandatory 20-year prison sentence if convicted.

“He’s very unlikely to comply” with any sort of pretrial release program, Miller said.

Additionally, any witnesses could be in danger since Big Hazard — an Eastside Hispanic gang that dates back to the 1940s — has a reputation for violence and retribution against those who cooperate with prosecutors, Miller said.

According to the indictment, 31-year-old Carlos “Creeper” Hernandez led a meeting of fellow Big Hazard members in early May 2014, when they plotted to hurl Molotov cocktails into units at Ramona Gardens, with the plan aimed at getting “the (N-words) out of the neighborhood.”

Hernandez and the other defendants met again on May 11, 2014 — Mother’s Day — and Hernandez distributed materials to be used during the firebombings, including disguises and gloves, prosecutors said.

The federal indictment also names Jose “Lil’ Moe” Saucedo, 22; Joseue “Malo” Garibay, 23; Edwin “Boogie” Felix, 23; Jonathan “Pelon” Portillo, 21; and Joel Matthew “Gallo” Monarrez, 21. They were all charged with conspiracy to violate civil rights; conspiracy to use fire and carry explosives to commit another federal felony; attempted arson of federal property; using fire and carrying explosives to commit another federal felony; aiding and abetting; and violent crime in aid of racketeering and interference with housing rights.

Hernandez and Farias were also charged with possessing, using and carrying a firearm during a crime of violence. Felix was also charged with making a false statement to the FBI.

Saucedo, Garibay, Portillo and Monarrez are facing up to 110 years in prison if convicted. Hernandez and Farias face between 20 years and up to life in prison, and Felix faces up to 115 years.

All defendants have been ordered detained pending trial.

HILLARY LIES, COPS DIE

By Larry Elder

Creators.com
July 21, 2016

The fascinating thing about Hillary Clinton's lie that "African-Americans" are disproportionately killed by police is that she continues peddling it after the murders of three law enforcement officers in Baton Rouge, which followed the ambush killings of five officers in Dallas. In both cases, the murderers were black men apparently convinced that the cops were out to get black people and who, therefore, sought to exact revenge.

President Barack Obama, too, talks about the "disparity" that blacks, compared to whites, are more likely to be killed by the police. That Obama — in lecturing about this so-called disparity — gets away with ignoring the disproportionate rate at which blacks, especially young blacks, commit violent crime is truly astonishing.

Should blacks, at 13 percent of the population, comprise 13 percent of doctors, 13 percent of lawyers and 13 percent of NBA players? If not, does this mean there is a "disparity" that we must address as a society? According to economist John Lott, teenage black males, compared to teen white males, are nine times more likely to commit murder — and the murder victim is almost always another young black man. What about that disparity, Mr. President?

It's also interesting to watch the reaction of those who believe Clinton and defend her position, even when they are confronted with the facts. Talk about — pardon the pun — shooting the messenger. When I told someone that, according to The Washington Post, of the 965 blacks killed by cops last year, less than 4 percent involved a white cop and unarmed black man, he sniffed, "Why should a cop kill anyone who is unarmed?" Well, take the case for Michael Brown, arguably the white police-black suspect encounter that launched the Black Lives Matter movement and its mantra, "Hands Up, Don't Shoot." Eyewitness testimony and physical evidence show that Brown charged the police officer and attempted to get the cop's gun. Unarmed does not mean non-threatening.

It's hard to believe that two Ivy League-educated lawyers, Obama and Clinton, do not understand things like statistics, ratios and how to properly interpret crime data to incorporate the rate at which crime is committed by young black men versus the rate at which crime is committed by young white men.

As Heather Mac Donald of the Manhattan Institute writes in The Wall Street Journal, "According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, blacks were charged with 62 percent of all robberies, 57 percent of murders and 45 percent of assaults in the 75 largest U.S. counties in 2009, though they made up roughly 15 percent of the population there."

This leads us to but one conclusion: Obama and Clinton are flat-out lying. The goal is obvious — to retain that monolithic black vote, without which Democrats cannot win at the presidential level.

Obama cannot brag about — and Clinton cannot run on — his economic record for blacks. Under his watch, black poverty is up. Net worth is down. The "wealth gap" between blacks and whites is at a 25-year high. And as to the employment of black men, their "labor force participation rate" (the percentage of those 20 years of age and over who are either working or looking for work) hit its lowest rate in December 2013 — well into Obama's second term and his economic "recovery." That low was the worst since 1972, when the Bureau of Labor Statistics began keeping such records. And since December 2010, black men's employment rate every single month to date has seen lower numbers than any month under all other presidents dating back to 1972.

So, what to do? Change the subject, of course. Make the election about "social justice." Prattle on about what Clinton calls the "school-to-prison pipeline." Never mind that this drive to induce paranoia among blacks has real-world consequences. As mentioned, already it has helped inspire murderers to kill officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge. But it also causes police officers to be less proactive, fearing that they, too, will be accused of unfairly "profiling" blacks. Cops pull back. This police passivity means crime increases, the victims of which are disproportionately black, the very people Ms. Clinton claims to care so deeply about.

Lies get votes. But they also get people killed.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

ABU BAKR AL-BAGHDADI DECLARES ISIS WILL SURRENDER THE DAY TRUMP IS SWORN IN AS PRESIDENT

After listening to Trump’s speech at the Republican National Convention in which he promised to destroy Islamic terrorism, the leader of ISIL (ISIS) is convinced he means what he says, and unlike Obama, he will do it

Braking News

Abu Bakr al- Baghdadi, the leader of Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), met with a small group of select journalists at his secret hideout in Syria. The journalists, including Thomas Friedman of The New York Times, were met by al-Baghdadi’s emissaries in Mosul, Iraq, blindfolded and driven to the hideout.

Al-Baghdadi singled out Friedman, saying “Mr. Friedman, I am welcoming you even though you are a Jew because you and your newspaper have consistently favored the oppressed Palestinians over the Zionist swine. May the blessings of Allah be upon you.”

The ISIS leader then said he had listened with great interest to the speech given by Trump on Thursday at the Republican National Convention. He is convinced that Trump means what he said when he promised to destroy Islamic terrorism, and unlike Obama, He will do it.

Whereas al-Baghdadi sees Obama as a sniveling weakling, he sees Trump as a strong resolute man.

“Bit by bit, we have been losing ground, but if and when Trump becomes President, all will be lost in a cloud of dust,” said al-Baghdadi. “I have it from sources withinin the Trump camp that he will use nuclear weapons against us.”

“I see no sense in carrying on our struggle against the infidels with Trump as President,” he continued, “so I hereby declare by Allah that on the day Mr. Trump is sworn in as President, my caliphate [ISIL] will surrender.”

When asked what he would do if Clinton were to win the election, the cleric first laughed, then said, “You cannot believe anything that ‘mamhoon sharmuta’ [homosexual bitch] says. If and when she becomes President, I will order my soldiers in America to step up their attacks on the infidels. Allahu Akbar!.”

When asked what made him call Clinton a homosexual, al-Baghdadi replied that his sources have told him that “Hillary Clinton and that Huma [Abedin] woman are engaged in a sinful relationship. Here those two women would be stoned to death, Allah be praised!”

Throughout the interview Al-Baghdadi appeared to be in some pain. When asked about this, he replied that he was still recovering from injuries he suffered in an air strike against him. He added that the attack killed several women and children.

Al-Baghdadi refused to answer any more questions or make any additional comments.

The journalists were blindfolded again and driven back to Mosul. They believe they met with al-Baghdadi in the Syrian city of Ar-Raqqah.

JERRY BROWN SWINGS BOTH WAYS

By Bob Walsh

The ever-unpredictable Governor Moonbeam again demonstrated his unpredictability today with two executive actions.

He vetoed the parole of Leslie Van Houten, one of the infamous Manson Family Girls, who has been doing life for the murder of the La Bianca’s in 1969. She was 19 when she took part in the butchery of Leno and Rosemary La Bianca.

He also signed yet another anti-gun bill. This bill requires that virtually all firearms physically located in the formerly great state of California be serially numbered. A lot of older guns, sold before the Gun Control Act of 1968, were not numbered. I own one such gun, a Winchester single shot 22 rifle. It has no great collector’s value, numbering it would not destroy any collectors value. Nevertheless I resent it.

I wonder how long it will take the DOJ to establish a system for doing this. I am fairly sure to find out.

I CALL ‘BULLSHIT’ ON THIS ONE

By Bob Walsh

The CalGuns Foundation filed a FOIA request with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office on June 14. That request wanted to know the number of CCW permits the LASO had outstanding.

The LASO responded officially, for the record, that they had no such list or records. They are asserting that it will take them several months to go thru several thousand pages of documents to obtain this information.

It should be noted the CA law requires that the issuing agency maintain this information.

Sounds to me like the LASO is shoveling shit in hopes that CalGuns will go away. They won’t go away. Stalling and telling stupid lies only makes you look more stupid.

BE CAREFUL WHO YOU HANG OUT WITH, IT CAN BITE YOU ON THE ASS

By Bob Walsh

You might remember I wrote about Nicholas Batka, the N Y cop who ploughed down four people on a sidewalk in Brooklyn a couple of days back. One of them died.

Batka is now a former police officer, out on $300,000 bail. I guess maybe he was still on probation as it is almost impossible to fire a cop in four days if they are not probationary, at least in most of the U.S.

Turns out Batka was out drinking with two other cops that night. Those two officers were stripped of their guns and badges and are now on “modified duty” pending further investigation. They were not with Batka when he crashed, but……

Batka refused the blood test when he was busted, but I don’t think it is going to matter much. The young man is in deep doodoo, and deserves to be there. If his cop buddies did nothing to discourage him from driving drunk, they may also get bit in the ass.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Batka was indeed a probationary officer. He is facing eight charges, including manslaughter.

GLOBAL WARMING IS A BITCH….OR NOT

By Bob Walsh

The alpaca herds of the mountains of Peru are dying off in considerable number, causing a great deal of distress and hardship for those who raise and tend the herds. The cause, it is too damn cold. The government says 50,000 of the animals have died from the cold. They estimate this cold snap could kill off 300,000 of the critters.

A lot of sheep are also dying from the cold, but since they are not nearly as cute as the alpacas people don’t care so much, unless of course they are your sheep and you need them to keep your family alive.

AND SO AN ERA COMES TO AN END

By Bob Walsh

As I was driving home from the range today I heard an interesting news blurb on the car radio. The last VHS VCR is going to roll off the assembly line in Japan at the end of the month.

There are still any number of people who make VHS-DVD combo units, which come in handy for dubbing your VHS tapes onto DVD. They will also record onto VHS if you feel the need, and I do use mine fairly regularly to catch TV shows without the bother of hunting them down on the On Demand menu.

Nevertheless it is noteworthy IMHO. These things killed off the porno movie house industry. If you want one, you better grab one now. (Or at least check EBAY every now and then.)

FEDERAL APPEALS COURT RULES AGAINST TEXAS VOTER ID LAW

BY Carter Sherman

Houston Press
July 20, 2016

The Texas voter ID law discriminates against minority Texans and violates the Voting Rights Act, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday.

The U.S. Fifth Court of Appeals decision affirmed three previous, lower court rulings which also ruled that the 2011 law does not comply with the Voting Rights Act, which prevents racial discrimination in voting. The decision could be considered surprising for the appellate court, seen as one of the most conservative in the country, as the Houston Press has previously written. (But then again, they also recently ruled that the Second Amendment does not give regular people the right to own machine guns.)

Under the Texas law, the only forms of acceptable ID were a Texas personal ID card, a Texas Election Identification Certificate, a Texas license to carry a handgun, a U.S. military ID, a U.S. citizenship certificate or a U.S. passport. All of those IDs had to include a photo of the potential voter, with some exemptions (such as a religious objection to being photographed).

This list of acceptable IDs is the shortest of any state's.

Gov. Greg Abbott, Attorney General Ken Paxton and other supporters of the law have long maintained that the law merely aims to protect against voter fraud.

In a Wednesday statement, Abbott said that the court “wrongly concluded the law had a discriminatory effect. Voter fraud is real, and it undermines the integrity of the election process.”

However, the case's plaintiffs' – including U.S. Congressman Marc Veasey, whose 33rd Congressional District takes in Dallas and Tarrant counties – argued that the law was really designed to keep black and Hispanic Texans from voting. Experts testified that even among registered voters, Hispanics and blacks were 195 percent and 305 percent – respectively – more likely than whites to lack the ID that the Texas law required.

Abbott also congratulated the court for reversing a lower court's ruling that the law had been passed with actually racist motives – but that's a bit of a simplification. The appellate court did decide that the district court's evidence for that conclusion was weak. Yet its ruling also pointed out, “There remains evidence to support a finding that the cloak of ballot integrity could be hiding a more invidious purpose… The absence of direct evidence such as a 'let's discriminate' email cannot be and is not dispositive,” or conclusive.

That ambiguity is what led the judges to send the decision back to a lower court, to decide whether or not to actually halt the law. However the law now can't be enforced – as currently written – in the upcoming 2016 elections.

“I am elated that after a long battle, Texans will once again be able to exercise one of their fundamental rights as U.S. citizens,” Veasey said in a statement Wednesday. “There is no more sacred right as an American than the right to vote.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: One thing is for sure. This ruling will make it easier for dead people to vote.

Friday, July 22, 2016

IS ‘THE SIEGE’ A PREVIEW OF HOW PRESIDENT TRUMP WILL DEAL WITH ISLAMIC TERRORISM IN THE HOMELAND?

Would a President Donald Trump turn loose the Army to put down a Muslim terrorist threat to the homeland as depicted in the 1998 movie, The Siege

The other night I watched The Siege, a 1998 movie starring Denzel Washington as an FBI Agent.

The movie is about a number of Muslim terrorist bombings in New York City. When the FBI and local authorities are unable to capture the terrorists, the President declares martial law and turns loose the Army under the command of a hotshot general (Bruce Willis). The army rounds up all young Muslim men in New York and detains them in a sports stadium. And the general resorts to torturing a suspect for information before summarily executing him.

Trump has often said he will deal harshly with terrorists and resort to torture if necessary. In his speech to the Republican National Convention last night he promised to stop Islamic terrorism.

So is The Siege a preview of how President Trump will deal with Islamic terrorism in the homeland? Farfetched? Hmmm, I wonder ….. maybe not.

FEDERAL JUDGE TELLS STATE DEPARTMENT TO COUGH UP

By Bob Walsh

A federal judge has directed that the State Department MUST begin to produce emails from Hillary’s top aides in accordance with the FOIA request from the Republican National Committee.

U. S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson said that, since the number of emails in the case has shrunk from about 750,000 to about 76,000 that it was a manageable request. She ordered State to start cranking them out at the rate of at least 500 pages per month. She also directed that the RNC could prioritize what they wanted first. State had earlier asserted that complying with the FOIA request would be “overly burdensome.”

The State Department FOIA guy says the department has the ability to process about 21,000 pages per month total. There are currently a LOT of FOIA requests pending for Hillary’s emails and those of her top aides.

UNBELIEVABLE CLARIFICATION

By Bob Walsh

Some more information has come out from the unfortunate shooting in North Miami that we reported on yesterday.

The P. D. is asserting that the shot in question was fired deliberately. The alleged target was the white guy. The black guy was hit accidentally.

I find this unhelpful because the black guy, a therapist at the group home the autistic white guy wandered away from, was shouting at the cops that there was no weapon there. The white guy was playing with a toy truck in the middle of the street. This was clearly audible on the cell phone video taken at the scene.

The cops are alleging the shot was fired because the cop that fired thought the therapist was in danger from the autistic patient. Of course if the cops hadn’t ordered the guy to lie down on the ground with his hands up he could have easily fled had he been in danger.

I am having a hard time figuring out how a guy sitting on his butt on the ground, facing away, playing with a toy truck on the pavement could be any sort of serious and immediate danger to a strong, healthy man.

Something just does not add up here. It might all be true, but it still doesn’t add up. The black guy, still in the hospital with a bullet wound to his leg, is still unhappy. Can’t say as I blame him.

EDITOR’S NOTE: I don’t have a problem with the explanation. The terrorist trick massacre in Nice was still fresh on the minds of those North Miami cops and they were afraid the black guy was going to be run over by the autistic man’s toy truck. They just need to go back to “How To Hit The Side Of A Barn” police firearms training.

SO, DID TED CRUZ JUST PEE IN THE SOUP?

By Bob Walsh

Pretty much, yes. I can’t say that I really blame him. Trump made some rather petty and nasty personal attacks against him and his wife, with damn little cause. However, Trump did win.

This morning there are reliable news reports that say the Trump people did in fact have an advance copy of Cruz’s remarks and knew exactly what he was going to say. Trump walked into the arena exactly when it became clear that Cruz was not going to endorse Trump, and Cruz was essentially booed off the stage.

So, was this a really smooth play by Trump or a screw-up by Trump and the RNC? Hard to say right now. The only poll that matters will not take place for another 14 weeks.

Do you think the Dems and Hillary will let Bernie speak without knowing exactly what he will say and without demanding that he speak supportively of Hillary? I doubt it very much.

I still really think this election will be mostly decided by people voting AGAINST someone or something rather than the other way around. And we all have a lot riding on it. I personally have $5 riding on the election. And the future of the Republic of course.

Politics can be fun to watch at times. Scary sometimes, but amusing.

EDITOR’S NOTE: I really can’t blame Cruz for not endorsing Trump, his pledge notwithstanding. After all Trump shot his big mouth off, making the outrageous claim that Cruz’s father was involved in the assassination of President Kennedy. Trump also attacked Cruz’s wife and denigrated her looks.

Instead of his “vote your conscience” crap, Cruz would have better served himself by calling on the Republicans to make sure Hillary is not elected president. That would have been sort of a Trump endorsement. Barring that, he should have stayed home like Gov. Kasich and Jeb Bush.

If Trump gets clobbered by the Hildebeast, Cruz might become a phoenix rising out of the GOP ashes in the next couple of years, but I doubt it.

BLM PROTESTER REJECTS INVITATION BY OAKLAND PD TO BBQ TOGETHER

“Barbecue’s aren’t going to stop the brutality that black folks are facing. A barbecue is definitely not going to stop this blockade. And as a radical-black farmer from East Oakland— I eat pigs, I don’t eat with them.”

KTVU
July 21, 2016

OAKLAND, Calif. -- It worked in Wichita, Kansas, but in Oakland it’s a different story. A story has gone viral about Black Lives Matter protesters who joined law enforcement for a community cookout. The barbecue was seen as a way to start dialogue between activists and to help ease the racial tension that has gripped the nation amid high-profile police shootings and the targeted shootings of officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge.

Oakland Police Department invited local Black Lives Matter protesters to partake in a similar-minded barbecue like the one in Wichita.

At Wednesday’s divest from the police demonstration held at Oakland’s Police Union headquarters, where activists U-locked and chained themselves to the building’s doors, KTVU’s Henry Lee spoke with Karissa Lewis, a self-described “black-liberal farmer” and protester with Black Lives Matter. She was asked if she would accept the OPD’s offer.

Her answer: “Barbecue’s aren’t going to stop the brutality that black folks are facing. A barbecue is definitely not going to stop this blockade. And as a radical-black farmer from East Oakland— I eat pigs, I don’t eat with them."

Oakland police said despite that response, their offer still stands.

Lewis used the mic-check call and response technique, popularized at the Occupy protests and many of the activists, at least at this one protest, seemed to be in agreement with her about the offer.

COPS GET NO PRESUMPTION OF INNOCENCE

Facts don't matter. Police are guilty until proven innocent -- or even if proven innocent

BY Debra J. Saunders

Townhall
July 19, 2016

Facts don't matter. Police are guilty until proven innocent -- or even if proven innocent. The Black Lives Matter crusade, born after Florida vigilante George Zimmerman shot unarmed teen Trayvon Martin in 2012, turned to police shootings of black men after the death of Michael Brown, 18, in 2014. It doesn't matter that the U.S. Department of Justice essentially cleared Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson, who said he shot Brown in self-defense. Facts cannot dent the popular narrative of white cops shooting black men because police are racists.

Sunday, African American vigilante Gavin E. Long ambushed and killed three law enforcement officers -- Montrell Jackson, Matthew Gerald and Brad Garafola -- and wounded three more officers. Long apparently wanted to pay back Baton Rouge police for the baffling July 5 police shooting of Alton Sterling, a black man hawking CDs. Watch a video of the shooting and it is hard to figure why police shot Sterling. Yes, he was armed, but the two white officers appeared to have control of the 37-year-old -- although perhaps not, as the videos are short and the view largely obstructed.

The officers certainly had reason to be fearful. Sterling was no unarmed kid. He apparently had a gun and a long criminal record that, according to the New York Times included aggravated battery, domestic abuse battery and carnal knowledge of a juvenile. The officers were responding to a 911 call about a man making a threat with a gun in front of a convenience store. The Department of Justice rightly is investigating the shooting.

Hillary Clinton already seems to have decided the Sterling shooting smacks of police brutality. The day after Long's rampage left six officers down, she came up to the very edge of asserting the cops misused force when she said in a speech to the NAACP that a proper response to what happened in Baton Rouge is investing in police "training on the proper use of force." Presumption of innocence? Police need not apply.

By the way, the Baton Rouge police perfectly understood the proper use of force when Long ambushed them. "They ran to the threat," Sheriff Sid Gautreaux said at a news conference, "not from the threat."

Clinton did say something with which I very much agree: "We white Americans need to do a better job of listening when African Americans talk about the seen and unseen barriers you face every day." I only wish Clinton had departed from your typical liberal conversation. (One side talks; the other listens.) She should have told NAACP members to listen to the reasonable fears of cops in U.S. cities -- especially during supercharged confrontations.

Sure, Clinton suggested that everyone put themselves in the shoes of police "heading off to a dangerous job," but she did not suggest that police deserve the benefit of the doubt. To the contrary, she spoke of the need for black Americans to alert their children on how to behave around cops "because the slightest wrong move could get them hurt or even killed." She also failed to ask anti-police activists to withhold judgment in the statement released after Michael Brown's funeral. First the verdict, then the trial. That's how Hillary Clinton brings America together.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

PONDERING THE USE OF DEADLY FORCE

By Greg ‘The Gadfly’ Doyle

Having been witness to the media circus and our president lecturing law enforcement regarding the use of deadly force, I would like to address the accepted standard established decades ago by our court system and implemented country-wide. What are my qualifications to do so?

Unlike our president, I served in both the military and as a peace officer. I spent four years in the US Army and over 28 years as a cop.

I was trained at age 12 in the use of firearms by my father through an approved NRA course. In 47 years of my familiarity, ownership, handling, and safe storage of firearms no one in my family, neighborhood, or community has ever been assaulted or injured by any of my weapons.

However, as a private citizen armed with a pistol, I have personally taken three suspects into custody by aiming my firearm at them and overwhelmingly convincing them of my willingness to kill them if they did not comply with my instructions. To their credit, all three suspects were not willing to die for their crimes at the point of a gun.

As a peace officer, I had aimed my sidearm countless times at persons I believed were an immediate threat to my life or the lives of other officers or citizens, or engaged in criminal conduct. By the grace of God, the only one I ever had to shoot and kill was a Rottweiler dog whose owner(a parolee)had sicked on me before being unwillingly taken into custody.

Shooting that dog was traumatic. But nothing compares to killing another human being. My best friend and one time neighbor, a fellow cop shot and killed a drug dealer during a narcotics transaction in the early 1990's. I will never forget sitting with my friend and consoling him afterwards.

The suspect was seated next to my friend in a car in Montclair, California. A narcotics team was nearby listening in to the drug buy transaction between my friend (an undercover officer)and the suspect.

Within seconds of the transaction, the suspect decided he wanted to rob my friend of the dope he had just sold to him. The suspect pulled a gun and my friend drew his weapon, fired, and shot the man to death.

It was hours before I could speak to my friend because of the internal affairs and Sheriff's shooting investigation that immediately ensued after the incident.

I am glad to report that my friend was cleared of any wrongdoing. He has since retired from police work a few years ago. But that shooting haunted him his entire career, even though it was completely justified.

And for the grace of God and good police training, I could have spoken at my friend's funeral instead of sitting with him at a Denny's restaurant later that evening.

Identifying a threat is not as easy as one might surmise. There are many factors such as the number of suspects, the ratio of suspects to officers, level of compliance by the suspect(s), presence of weapons, visibility, surroundings, movements of suspects preceding contact, escalation of threat by words, sudden unexpected movements, and non-compliance with commands by officers to name but a few.

All of these aspects have been tried and tested by court trials. Officers train in police academies, at their departments, and in state-mandated college courses throughout their careers on the best tactics in hostile circumstances.

And I would not concur with the president's assessment that police officers need more training. Officers are trained to take control. That is their duty when they are called into action. That is why they run toward gun fire. That is why they chase criminals. And that is why they engage suspects with force.

Police officers are not in the business of loving bad people into better choices. It is their business to neutralize threats. Perhaps our president might be more effective in his role as Commander-in-chief if he took some lessons from cops back to the Oval Office:

1. Deadly force is a last resort unless it is the only resort.

2. The vast majority (millions upon millions) of people who are involved in encounters with police (armed or unarmed) have not been killed, regardless of ethnicity.

3. Cops are not trained to wound suspects. A wounded suspect can still kill you.

4. Cops utilize many non-lethal forms of violence to subdue suspects and gain control (to overpower) over them.

5. The rule of law regarding police conduct and the use of force has been established for years. As a constitutional lawyer, our president knows or should know this.

6. The media's general narrative against White cops claiming prejudice against unarmed Black males is not factually based. The media's biased attempts at race-baiting has had a deleterious effect on the morale of current law enforcement personnel and encouraged agitated militants to assassinate police officers.

7. All citizens who abide by the law need not fear contact with American law enforcement. Unlike Washington bureaucrats and elected officials, bad cops do get fired, arrested, tried, and sent to prison for misusing their authority, violating agency rules, and breaking the law. Policing agencies do effectively police themselves to weed out bad cops.

8. Cops have moments in which all of their knowledge, training, and abilities are tested by people they most often are meeting for the very first time.


Most often, these people are agitated, hostile, fearful, and capable of great violence.

Most often they have already committed one or more crimes before being contacted by a cop.

And occasionally they are armed.

And whatever they face in those moments of great threat, POLICE OFFICERS ARE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR DECISIONS AND ACTIONS--- by the public, by the media, by the government, and the courts.

ALWAYS!!!

If only we had a president, government, and media held to the same standard.

THIS ONE IS GOING TO BE REAL HARD TO CLEAN UP

By Bob Walsh

This is the scenario. The North Miami (FLA) P. D. cops get a call of a possibly suicidal man with a gun. They show up and find two people in the middle of the street. One is a dumpy overweight white man who is autistic. He is playing with a toy truck. The other is a young black man, wearing a t-shirt and shorts.

The autistic white man has just wandered away from a nearby group home. The black guy is a behavior therapist from the group home. There is in fact no weapon, and nothing that even really looks like a weapon on the scene unless that was a really strange toy truck.

The cops start yelling. The black man hits the deck, on his back, with his hands straight up in the air. He is clearly not holding ANYTHING. He is interacting with the cops, telling them what is going on, and also trying to calm down the autistic guy.

So, a cop shoots the black guy. Once in the leg. He is now in the hospital. It is so far not real clear why the cop shot. Only one of the several cops present fired.

The local black community is highly pissed. Based on the very limited information available they might have a reason to be. There were numerous witnesses as this was a residential area. There is even some cell phone video, though the actual shooting was (allegedly) not recorded.

Clearly news reports and spotty cell phone video is not real great evidence. It sounds however like we maybe-probably have either an accidental-negligent discharge of a weapon or a grossly inappropriate discharge of a weapon by the officer.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This shooting looks bad, really bad! The defenders of the Thin Blue Line are going to have a hard time defending this cop,

MOTHER OF THE YEAR IN OHIO ….. NO, NOT REALLY

By Bob Walsh

April Corcoran, 32, of Cincinnati, is an ambulatory turd. She was just sentenced to 51-to-life for pimping her 11-year old daughter out to her drug dealer in exchange for drugs. The drug dealer is also looking at some serious time. She did have the good graces to plead guilty.

The young girl was videotaped while being raped, sodomized and forced to orally copulate the dealer, Shandell Willingham, 42. These incidents occurred four times in early 2014. The mother also gave the girl heroin by force on occasion.

The girl is now living with her father, step-mother and their two children.

Personally I think they should take these two turds and bury them up to their necks on a beach at low tide just above the water line and let them slowly drown, but I admit to not liking subhuman lumps of pond scum, so I could be over-reacting.

ENORMOUS PURGE FOLLOWS FAILED COUP IN TURKEY

By Bob Walsh

President Erdogan has substantially increased his purge of the Turkish military and civil service in response to the failed coup attempt in a move that could have major downstream results to the west. Tens of thousands have been forced out and even jailed.

The modern state of Turkey has only been around about 100 years. It is a Muslim country, but its inhabitants are not Arabs. It has had a largely secular government and a strong, professional military. It has been a solid ally to the U. S. (mostly) and a reliable member of NATO. They don’t much like the “godless communists” and their strategic geography has been invaluable to keeping an eye on the Russians.

The current president has been much more of an Islamist than his predecessors. He has jailed a substantial chunk of his political opposition including many high-ranking military officials. The recent failed coup attempt was (apparently) an attempt by the military to reinforce and maintain a secular government.in Turkey. They failed.

This does not bode well for the west in general. A radical Islamist government in Turkey would be a very bad thing for Europe in particular and in the long run could have serious negative consequences for the west’s ability to control the spread of militant Islam.

PRISONER, CORRECTIONAL OFFICER DIE IN ELEVATOR SHAFT FALL WHILE FIGHTING

BY Bob Walsh

On Monday of this week a freak accident connected to a fight claimed the life of a Correctional Officer and a prisoner at the Luzene County Correctional Facility in Wilkes-Barre, PA.

There was some sort of unpleasant verbal exchange between prisoner Timothy D. Gilliam Jr., 27, and Officer Kristopher Moules, 25. This exchange quickly escalated into a fight.

During the fight on the fifth floor of the facility the two somehow crashed thru the door to the elevator shaft. The two men fell about 70 feet. They both died. Another officer present at the time who was assisting Moules narrowly avoided plunging down the shaft.

The elevator was on its way up from the ground floor at the time. The elevator had recently passed its regular inspection.

Officer Moules had slightly less than one year on the job.

The inmate’s death has been ruled accidental. The official cause of death of the officer has yet to be determined.

The county has hired an engineering firm to carefully examine the elevator to determine how the elevator door failed.

The jail where the two men died is about 120 years old.

13 DEAD IN GUATEMALAN PRISON RIOT

Argentinian model who was visiting the prison is among 13 dead in riot in which four were decapitated after grenade was thrown at gang kingpin

By Gareth Davies

Daily Mail
July 20, 2016

A stunning model was one of 13 people killed in a Guatemalan prison riot in which four people were decapitated.

The free-for-all claimed the life of Argentinian beauty Joanna Birriel, 24, as well as the Pavon jail in Guatemala City's most influential prisoners Bryon Lima, who she is understood to have been meeting.

She was caught up in gang violence when a fellow inmate threw a hand grenade at Lima, imprisoned for the murder of a bishop bludgeoned to death with a concrete block in 1998, and supporters protecting him attacked their rivals with guns leaving 12 inmates dead in total.

It was known an Argentine woman visitor had been killed, but her identity only emerged on Tuesday.

Officials said she used to visit former army captain Bryon Lima once a month.

Prosecutors claim he built a multimillion pound illegal prison empire based on threats and corruption.

Byron's brother Luis Alberto said the model, who moved to Guatemala with an Argentinian boyfriend she later broke up with, had worked for them as an advisor for a bio-health park company.

Joanna, who was born in the north-eastern Argentinian province of Misiones, was initially identified by local press as Bryon Lima's girlfriend in what is thought to have been an error.

Her current boyfriend, an agronomist, is also said to have worked alongside her.

It has not yet been revealed how she was killed, although four of the dead were decapitated.

The riot occurred on Monday at Granja Pavon Prison, 12 miles south east of the Guatemalan capital Guatemala City.

Officials have blamed the violence on feuding between Byron Lima's gang and a rival gang led by drugs trafficker Marvin Montiel Marin, sentenced to 820 years in jail for the 2008 murders of 15 Nicaraguans and a Dutchman on a bus said to be carrying cocaine.

Bryon Lima's lawyer said he had reports from prison inmates that his client had recently forbidden a rival gang from selling drugs in the prison where he was serving his sentence for the bishop's murder.

THE FORMER SANDERS FANS WHO NOW SAY ‘FUCK YOU, BERNIE’

Sanders endorsement of Hillary: “He fucked us. We were used and discarded like rag dolls.”

By Christopher Ketcham

VICE News
July 17, 2016

Last week, I made a bet with three different Sandernistas, each for $25, that Bernie Sanders would take the usual Washington route of cowardice, hypocrisy, and co-option by handing an endorsement to Hillary Clinton. Never bet against politics as usual: After Sanders's capitulation on Tuesday, I am $75 richer and the staunchest of his supporters are stunned, disbelieving, irate.

It would have been an extraordinary move for him not to endorse, given the primary results and the delegate count. But the Sandernistas, bravely idealistic or perhaps merely deluded, thought they had an extraordinary candidate.

Polls generally show most Sanders supporters are willing to back Clinton over Donald Trump—if only to keep the Trump monster out of office—even if they consider Clinton a dishonest agent of elites.

Funny thing is, I can't find these willing Clintonites, certainly not here in Idaho where I've been traveling and living in recent months and where Sanders won the Democratic caucus with nearly 80 percent of the vote.

Instead I find delegates for Sanders like Naomi Johnson, a 35-year-old social worker who at the news of the endorsement climbed to a rooftop in downtown Boise with five other delegates to howl "fuck" like a pack of baying animals. "We flew off the hinges, we cursed, we cried," said Johnson.

Before Tuesday's announcement, the hope among the Sandernistas was that the convention in Philadelphia would be contested, that a rule change could unbind the Clinton-supporting superdelegates, that a revolt could be fomented and spread, that Sanders's rebels in the scrum on the convention floor could secure, with audacious and impassioned argument, the nomination for their man.

"We don't need Clinton, we don't need the establishment," said Johnson. "Fewer people will come to the convention to support the values we fought for because we are now being asked to vote for the establishment. This is 100-percent due to Bernie's endorsement. I wanted the amazing amount of support for Bernie to be seen and recorded and to potentially sway the contested convention. I pictured this convention being crazy. I envisioned us all arguing about the important shit, people's voices being heard, people arguing back and forth. I envisioned it getting crazy in the streets. I wanted that. I wanted my voice to be part of that." What she wanted was the unruliness of democracy in action.

But the convention, she said, "just had the rug pulled out from under it. His endorsement tells me: 'You know how hard you have worked five to seven nights a week for the past so many months you've lost track? Well, you are now being asked to take all that work and direct it toward something we never agreed on.' I do not and will not follow any leader blindly. I refuse to vote for Hillary Clinton, and fuck the establishment. Some people think that going into it and becoming part of the Democratic Party is the thing to do now, but that is not attractive to me." (Johnson, like many other Sandernistas I spoke with, only signed on as a Democrat because Sanders was running on that ticket.)

Another Idaho delegate, Yara Slaton, 33, an ex-Army soldier of Middle Eastern descent, said: "You tell me to vote for her? It's deeply personally insulting. My people's blood is on her hands.

"It's a huge letdown. Earth-shattering and heartbreaking. I'm full of rage. I'm disillusioned. Demoralized. Just... yeah. Lots of feeling," Slaton went on. "I'm not naïve. But we thought he had integrity. He made a promise to millions of Americans and we poured our heart and soul and time and money and effort into his campaign, we sacrificed, because we believed in his vision, we believed he was unwavering in it, and this country, now at the boiling point, needs an honorable leader. We need change, and now. Not in four years, not in eight years. Drastic change, not incremental change."

Other Sandernistas were less measured in their response. "He fucked us. We were used and discarded like rag dolls," said Brian Ertz, a 32-year-old environmental activist in Boise and a Sanders delegate who, a believer to the end, took my bet. "We were used to bring disaffected voters back into the corrupt Democratic Party. Bernie was the sheepdog. Thank you Bernie for bringing so many people into the process to carry Hillary's corporate water. Thank you for reinvigorating a moribund husk of corruption, corruption that had turned so many people off."

When I called him up on Tuesday, a few minutes after the speech in New Hampshire that featured Sanders and Clinton hugging, Ertz was sputtering with rage. "Fuck you too, Bernie," he said. "His whole campaign was, 'Here's the root of the evil, Hillary, the exemplar of a corrupt system.' And now it's, 'Oh by the way, I want you to vote for that root, the one I've been spending the past year condemning.'"

Ertz called Clinton a "pathological liar" and didn't trust her or the party platform, which Sanders has praised. He called the platform a "frivolous proclamation, an exercise to pacify progressives with the illusion of hard-won progress."

Obama had similarly stabbed progressives in the back during his administration, Ertz went on, and lots of lefties had given up hope in the Democrats. "And here comes Bernie, breathing oxygen onto the streets once again, galvanizing the grassroots with condemnation of politics as usual and promises of something different. Then he turns his back and plays the very same game. That kind of move subdues and fractures the grassroots.

"He didn't have to endorse her, dude. By endorsing, he made it about him, because his reputation will be glorified by the powers that be. If he abstained from endorsing, he could have continued to fan the flames of a citizen-led outrage. He opted for reputation, for reprieve from the criticisms and pressures of the establishment. In doing so, he has deflated the movement, which—unless something changes—will be mired in infighting about whether to follow Bernie or build toward a third party. Ultimately what he's saying is, I don't believe in you, Bernie Sanders followers. I don't believe in you one bit. God, Christ, I don't know what to say except fuck you, Bernie. Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you."

Ertz is serving on the Democratic Convention's Rules Committee, a powerful post, and has promised during his upcoming week in Philadelphia to "advance measures aimed at structurally democratizing the Democratic Party, the establishment's greatest fear. Let them shut such efforts down, and do so explicitly." Some Sanders delegates I spoke with said they plan to disrupt the proceedings using all legal means available, under the cover of propriety and process.

But first they have to get there. Delegates often have to pay their own way to the conventions, and many are trying to crowdfund the money for their trips—a task that Sandernistas say is harder now that their candidate isn't going to fight for the nomination.

"We have a delegate with a brain condition," said Johnson. "She can't function without her husband attending to her, and she is struggling. She pulled her kid out of day care to save money to go to the convention. She has a GoFundMe account. She's using $500 in savings in emergency funds."

Slaton, a single mom with a 13-year-old daughter, has borrowed money from friends and family. One wheelchair-bound delegate is trying to auction off handmade wooden bowls to get to Philly.

Johnson herself sold hummus—"120 containers, eight ounces each," a total of 60 pounds. "I made a thousand bucks. And I had my flight donated to me. I'm the lucky one. I don't have kids. I have a good job. Many folks are going into debt."

On the night following the endorsement, Johnson got together for a travel fund-raiser with other delegates in Boise. "But it was just sad," she said. "We were drained. It wasn't the same. Everything has changed."

NOT A REPUBLICAN

At a meeting of feminists, one of the men in attendance stood up and said that women should be beaten and homosexuals should be stoned to death.

The angry chairperson, a lesbian, shouted, “You must be a Republican. What the fuck are you doing here?”

The man calmly replied, “I’m not a Republican, I’m a Muslim.”

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

LET’S ALSO REMEMBER MISSOURI OFFICER MICHAEL FLAMION

Michael Flamion, a white cop, is now paralyzed from the neck down after having been shot by a black man July 8 during a traffic stop

Decent people are all out raged by the killing of five cops in Dallas and three in Baton Rouge. With all the attention brought to the shootings of police in those two cities, it is easy to overlook the deliberate shooting of a white cop in Missouri by a black man.

On July 8, one day after the Dallas shootings, Officer Michael Flamion, 31, was shot after stopping Antonio Taylor for speeding in Ballwin, a well-to-do St. Louis County town. According to the police, Officer Flamion was shot in the neck from behind.

Taylor, 31, is from St. Louis and has a lengthy criminal record. He is jailed on several charges, including first-degree assault of a law enforcement officer. Taylor’s bail is set at $500,000.

On Monday, Ballwin Police Chief Kevin Scott announced that Officer Flamion is paralyzed from the neck down due to “catastrophic damage to his spinal cord.”

While we do not wamt to forget the officers shot in Dallas and Baton Rouge, let’s also remember Officer Michael Flamion! He’s suffering from a fate far worse than death.

PLAGIARIZING SPEECH WRITERS FUCK UP MELAMIA’S MOMENT IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Melania Trump gave a great speech before the Republican National Convention, but it turns out that part of what she said was word-for-word the sane as what Michelle Obama said to the Democrats in 2008

There were two highlights Monday at the Republican National Convention. In the afternoon a raucous Colorado delegation walked out in protest to Trump’s pending nomination for president. Hmmm, isn’t Colorado one of the states that has legalized recreational marijuana?

In the evening, Melania Trump gave a great speech.

There was only one little problem with Melania’ speech. It didn’t take more than a New York minute for some guy with a laptop in Los Angeles to recall he heard those words before and to discover that part of the speech was plagiarized. It was word-for-word the same as what Michelle Obama told the Democratic National Convention in 2008. And once that went out over the internet, it was history.

From Melania Trump’s speech:

From a young age, my parents impressed on me the values that you work hard for what you want in life, that your word is your bond and you do what you say and keep your promise, that you treat people with respect. They taught and showed me values and morals in their daily life.

That is a lesson I continue to pass along to our son, and we need to pass those lessons on to the many generations to follow. Because we want our children in this nation to know is the only limits to your achievements is the strength of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.


From Michelle Obama’s 2008 speech:

And Barack and I were raised with so many of the same values: that you work hard for what you want in life; that your word is your bond and you do what you say you’re going to do; that you treat people with dignity and respect, even if you don’t know them, and even if you don’t agree with them.

And Barack and I set out to build lives guided by these values, and pass them on to the next generation. Because we want our children — and all children in this nation — to know that the only limit to the height of your achievements is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.


Earlier that day, Melania had told NBC’s Matt Lauer, “I wrote it…with as little help as possible.” Wow, that little help really fucked up poor Melania!

It is quite common for high ranking politicians like the President, Cabinet members, Senators and presidential candidates to have speech writers on their staff. In some cases the speech is completely written by the speech writers. In most cases though, the politician will write out a speech, or what he thinks are the highlights, and turn it over to his speech writers for them to refine. In some cases they will tweak the speeches, in others they will completely rewrite them.

As for Trimp’s speech writers, what were they thinking when they fucked up Melamia’s moment in the spotlight by using Michelle Obama’s words? They had to know that sooner or later, in this case sooner, someone would discover the plagiarism. And of all the people out there, they copied Michelle Obama’s words. It’s almost as if they set out to sabotage the Trump campaign.

Trump’s speech writers ought to be fired, … no, they ought to be shot!

DRUNK NY COP PLOWS DOWN PEDESTRIANS

By Bob Walsh

A drunken New York City police officer plowed into a group of four pedestrians on a sidewalk in Brooklyn early Saturday (07-16) leaving one the them dead and the other three badly injured. He then allegedly tried to flee the scene.

Officer Nicholas Batka, 28, has been arrested and charged with a host of offenses including manslaughter and assault in the incident. He has been on the force for 17 months and was pretty much instantaneously suspended from duty.

The officer was due to report for work four hours after the incident. Offhand I would say the young man is in deep trouble. Deservedly so. If you are going to get drunk you should not drive and you should not get hammered four hours before your shift starts.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Batka? Hmmm, sounds Middle Eastern to me.

Did anyone hear him hollow “Allahu Akbar”? Is the FBI going to investigate whether he had any communications with Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, the Nice truck driving terrorist? Are NYPD and the FBI going to question his family and friends to see if he had any Islamic connections? Are they going to seize his computer and other belongings as possible evidence?

JUDGE REJECTS FORMER L.A. SHERIFF BACA’S PLEA DEAL

By Bob Walsh

A federal judge today (07-18) rejected a plea deal that would have given former L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca (who was a close personal friend of our editor) at most a paltry six months in custody for various degrees of nastiness, including lying to the feds.

Federal Judge Percy Anderson rejected the plea which would have given Baca a maximum of six months in custody and would have very possibly resulted in him doing no actual in-custody time at all. The judge said such a light sentence would “trivialize” the rule of law.

Baca copped to ordering his staff to impede an FBI investigation into jail operations. He did, however, refer to his actions as “mistakes” in his statement to the court before he got the bomb dropped on him.

The defense must now decide if they will accept a greater sentence or will go ahead for a trial. Baca has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, though the effects are “mild” at this stage.

A total of 21 staff at the jail have been nailed by the feds on some level of official misconduct.

He has to appear in court again August 1 to announce which way he will jump.

EDITOR’S NOTE: “Close personal friend of our editor.” Ouch, Bob, you sure know how to hurt a guy. I never met the asshole, but it didn’t take long for me to detect the foul odor emitted by that phony ass-sucking ‘Sheriff to the Stars.’ That’s why I have long referred to him as Pepe LePew Baca.

Peter Pitchess and Sherman Block, his predecessors must be turning over in their graves.

Good for Judge Anderson! Alzheimer’s notwithstanding, I hope he throws the book at Pepe LePew Baca!

TEXAS GOVERNOR GREG ABBOTT ANNOUNCES POLICE PROTECTION ACT

“At a time when law enforcement officers increasingly come under assault simply because of the job they hold, Texas must send a resolute message that the State will stand by the men and women who serve and protect our communities.”

Fox 7
July 18, 2016

Texas Governor Greg Abbott today announced an effort to strengthen penalties for crimes committed against law enforcement officers – the Police Protection Act.

“At a time when law enforcement officers increasingly come under assault simply because of the job they hold, Texas must send a resolute message that the State will stand by the men and women who serve and protect our communities,” said Governor Abbott.

The proposal is punctuated by making it a hate crime for anyone to commit a crime against a law enforcement officer out of bias against the police. The Governor will request the Texas legislature to pass the Police Protection Act in the 2017 legislative session.

“While our state and the nation continue to mourn the heroes lost in Dallas, it is time for us to unite as Texans to say no more,” Governor Abbott continued. “The men and women in uniform risk their lives every day to protect the public, and it is time we show them the State of Texas has their back. Texas will no longer tolerate disrespect for those who serve, and it must be made to clear to anyone targeting our law enforcement officials that their actions will be met with severe justice.”

Governor Abbott’s Police Protection Act includes the following proposals:

__ Extend hate crime protections to law enforcement officers;
__ Increase criminal penalties for any crime in which the victim is a law enforcement officer, whether or not the crime qualifies as a hate crime;
__ Create a culture of respect for law enforcement by organizing a campaign to educate young Texans on the value law enforcement officers bring to their communities.

For example, under current law, assault with bodily injury is generally punishable as a Class A misdemeanor, while assault on a public servant, including a law enforcement officer, is a 3rd degree felony. Under Governor Abbott’s proposal, in cases where the assault is on a law enforcement officer, the penalty would increase to a 2nd degree felony.

“The recent shooting in Dallas is not the first time law enforcement officers in Texas have been targeted. Our goal is to do everything possible to make it the last,” added Governor Abbott.

Law enforcement organizations in Texas offered the following statements in response to Governor Abbott’s Police Protection Act:

"As a 26-plus year police officer in Houston, I’m extremely encouraged by Governor Greg Abbott’s legislative priority to make the State of Texas a national leader in protecting the lives of law enforcement officers. The attacks on law enforcement in Texas and the rest of our nation are unprecedented. Governor Abbott’s solution is the right approach for Texas law enforcement officers and the people of Texas who support them.” – Ray Hunt, President, Houston Police Officers Association

"We applaud Governor Abbott for recognizing the importance of protecting law enforcement officers in the state of Texas. False narratives and irresponsible anti-police rhetoric have put our officers in greater danger than ever before. This is an important step toward protecting those who protect the citizens of this great state." – Kevin Lawrence, Executive Director, Texas Municipal Police Association

“The Dallas Police Association applauds Governor Abbott’s bold plan in response to the recent wave of attacks on police officers. Now is the time for our elected leaders across our state and country to do the right thing and join our Governor in his call to better protect police officers.” – Ron Pinkston, President, Dallas Police Association

"The Sheriff's Association of Texas is very pleased to hear our Governor is behind an effort to protect peace officers across our state. Every Texas Sheriff feels this should be a precedent for the leadership in other states to follow, and we support our Governor. We look forward to working with the Governor during the 2017 legislative session to pass these important protections." – Grimes County Sheriff Donald Sowell, President, The Sheriff's Association of Texas

POLICE TACKLE RISE OF GAMBLING IN VIETNAMESE ‘SLAPHOUSES’

Gambling is accessible and culturally acceptable in many immigrant communities, especially among Asians where risk-taking is encouraged and betting seen as a way of testing fate

By Amy Taxin

Associated Press
July 17, 2016

WESTMINSTER, Calif. -- On a quiet suburban California cul-de-sac where neighbors hang wind chimes and grow rose bushes, one three-bedroom house stood out. At night, dozens of cars swarmed outside. Groups of young women headed inside the fenced-off home dotted with security cameras. The next morning, the street was littered with syringes.

What looked like a typical single-family home in a suburban neighborhood on the edge of Orange County's Little Saigon had been turned into an illegal gambling house where betters plunked down thousands in cash and stolen credit cards during all-night binges fueled by drinking and drugs.

Over the past three years, police in the largely Vietnamese area said they've found more than a dozen of these homes run by gangs. In some cases, police were tipped off by neighbors tired of the noise and traffic; in others, they were led there after a fight landed one of the gamblers in the hospital.

Inside the homes, players try their hand at video poker or blackjack. But one of the biggest draws is a six-seater table featuring a video game that gamblers play for money. The game earned the homes the name "slaphouses" as the sound of players pounding their hands on the game controls can be heard outside.

"They don't just go there for an hour, they'll be there for hours on end," said Westminster police Sgt. Darin Upstill, adding that the objective of the game is to shoot out fire and kill a dragon. "Now, who is financing it is another story. That's what we're trying to figure out."

Gambling has long been popular in the Vietnamese community that settled in Orange County after the fall of Saigon in 1975 and has since grown to 200,000.

For years, authorities said, Vietnamese coffeehouses featured machines rigged for poker, blackjack and other games where owners could flip a switch and turn the screens back to run-of-the-mill video games when police walked in the door.

Authorities said the coffeehouses were drawing drug dealing, fraud and gang activity along with the gamblers. In 2011, police in the Orange County city of Garden Grove raided more than a dozen coffeehouses, seizing 186 machines and $150,000 in cash.

Weeks later, the city passed a law banning arcade games from coffee houses. Since then, Garden Grove police have detected at least 15 illegal gambling houses in residential areas, said police Lt. Tom DaRé.

Moving gambling into residential neighborhoods makes it tougher for police to detect, since they need a warrant to get in. Neighbors are often afraid to report the homes to police even when they draw drug use and other crime.

Bac Duong, an Orange County inmate who escaped from jail earlier this year and led California authorities on a weeklong manhunt, was charged with shooting a man outside one such house in nearby Santa Ana, authorities said.

"It's a hub for organized crime," DaRé said. "Off a slaphouse, you're probably making $100,000 a month — easy."

Gambling is lucrative for gangs because the profits are high and the risk is low compared with drug dealing and fraud, which carry higher penalties.

Police in largely suburban Orange County are trying to dig deeper into the slaphouses, which are usually set up in rental homes. At least one person lives in the house and provides security. Cash is regularly moved out to reduce the risk of theft, and gamblers need a trusted contact to get in.

Underground gambling has roots in diverse communities and is hardly unique to the Vietnamese. But gambling is popular in Little Saigon, where large billboards beckon players to legitimate casinos in Southern California.

Dr. Timothy Fong, co-director of the Gambling Studies Program at University of California, Los Angeles, said gambling is accessible and culturally acceptable in many immigrant communities, especially among Asians where risk-taking is encouraged and betting seen as a way of testing fate.

"It is very steeped in tradition," Fong said. "You are supposed to take huge risks and you are supposed to 'go big.'"

Most gamblers frequent legitimate casinos, but a few are drawn underground, he said.

Gambling aside, Dan Nguyen, manager of Cafe Di Vang 2, said customers often played arcade games for fun at his Garden Grove coffeehouse until police banned them during the gambling crackdown. He said he's since lost customers and revenue to venues in neighboring cities that don't face the same restrictions.

"I wish I could have five or six games for my customers, so they could come here, and play a little bit," Nguyen said as scantily-clad waitresses served coffee to patrons watching soccer matches on flat-screen TVs.

Just a few miles away, half a dozen men sipped iced drinks at a similar coffeehouse in Westminster while playing on game machines.

Upstill said he expects his city will also eventually move to strip arcade games from coffeehouses to prevent gambling there, but for now they're focused on dealing with slaphouses.

"You shut them down enough times, they'll be out," he said.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

SLAIN OFFOCER’S POIGNANT MESSAGE ON FACEBOOK

10 days before he was assassinated, Baton Rouge police officer Montrell Jackson wrote: “I swear to God I love this city but I wonder if this city loves me.”

I’m tired physically and emotionally. Disappointed in some family, friends, and officers for some reckless comments but hey what’s in your heart is in your heart. I still love you all because hate takes too much energy but I definitely won’t be looking at you the same. Thank you to everyone who has reached out to me or my wife it was needed and much appreciated.

I swear to God I love this city but I wonder if this city loves me. In uniform I get nasty hateful looks and out of uniform some consider me a threat. I’ve experienced so much in my short life and these last 3 days have tested me to the core. When people you know begin to question your integrity you realize they don’t really know you at all. Look at my actions they speak LOUD and CLEAR.

Finally I personally want to send prayers out to everyone directly affected by this tragedy. These are trying times. Please don’t let hate infect your heart. This city MUST and WILL get better. I’m working in these streets, so any protesters, officers, friends, family, or whoever, if you see me and need a hug or want to say a prayer. I got you.


Thus wrote Baton Rouge police officer Montrell Jackson on Facebook just 10 days before he and two other officers were assassinated on Sunday.

The hatred spewed forth by members of BLM and the loudmouths on social media is not just against white cops, but against all cops. Officer Jackson was an African-American.

Jackson, 32, a 10-year veteran of the BRPD, leaves behind a wife and 4-month-old son. I think his poignant words speak for themselves.

MURDER SUSPECT ESCAPES FROM COURT IN FLORIDA

By Bob Walsh

A murder suspect undergoing a court procedure to see if he would be charged as a death penalty case managed to beat feet from the Broward County courthouse and, so far, successfully disappear.

Dayonte Resiles somehow managed to slip from both his handcuffs and leg shackles in the courtroom without being noticed, then simply bolted for the door. He managed to shed his prison jumpsuit in the hallway (how long did it take to launch a pursuit of this guy?) and run to an underpass near the courthouse where his girlfriend and another man were waiting for him. The cops believe that two 17-year-olds in the courtroom gave a signal to the car via cell phone letting them know Resiles was on his way.

His buddies had civies and a “generic police uniform” waiting for him in the car.

The girlfriend, her male accomplice and the two teenagers are now in custody.

Resiles is awaiting charges in the home invasion death of Jill Halliburton Su (yes, one of those Halliburtons) in a home invasion robbery. She was trussed up, dumped in a bathtub and stabbed multiple times.

There is a $20,000 reward for Resiles capture.

FEMALE CORRECTIONAL OFFICER MURDERED IN TEXAS PRISON

By Bob Walsh

Correctional Officer Mari Johnson, 55, was found dead near the kitchen of the Robertson prison in Abilene around 0500 Saturday (07-17) morning.

The investigation is ongoing and there are no named suspects in her death.

Ms. Johnson went to work for the Texas prison system in 2009. She is the second correctional officer murdered in the Texas system in the last twelve months.

Robertson holds about 3,000 male prisoners, most of them for crimes of violence.

TACO BELL TELLS COPS TO PISS OFF

By Bob Walsh

On Saturday night a cashier at the Taco Bell in Buttcrack, Alabama (actually it was Phenix City) told to cops that they wouldn’t be served and directed them to leave. The specific reason given was their status as law enforcement officers.

I wonder what Taco Bell corporate headquarters will have to say about that?

Well, I didn’t have to wonder long. They reacted quickly, both corporate and the franchise holder. The cashier is no longer employed. Both corporate and the franchise holder were said to be deeply apologetic when they contacted the sheriff’s office.

MARILYN MOSBY SCHLONGED AGAIN

By Bob Walsh

Marilyn Mosby, state’s attorney (local prosecutor) in Baltimore got reamed up the tailpipe again today (07-18). Lt. Brian Rice was found not guilty on all charges by Judge Williams in a bench (judge only) trial.

That means so far in four trials the prosecution has gotten zero convictions in the death of Freddie Gray. The best they have done is one mistrial.

If Ms. Mosby, who was an insurance lawyer before being elected State’s Attorney, had any brains, or any class, she would drop the remaining prosecutions. I doubt that she will, but I might be surprised.

ANOTHER ACQUITTAL IN THE FREDDIE GRAY CASE

Judge Barry Williams acquits Baltimore PD Lt. Brian Rice of all charges related to the death of Freddie Gray

On Monday, Judge Barry Williams acquitted Baltimore PD Lt. Brian Rice of all charges in the Freddie Gray case. Lt. Rice, who put Gray into a paddy wagon without seat-belting him, had been charged with manslaughter, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office. Two additional charges, one of which the judge dismissed and the other one which the prosecution dropped, had been filed against him.

Rice, who opted for a bench trial by Judge Williams, received the judge’s verdict after a week-long trial. The judge noted that the prosecution simply failed to prove its case.

Lt. Rice was the third defendant acquitted by Judge Williams. A fourth defendant had his trial end with a hung jury. I suspect he will ask for a bench trial if the prosecution is stupid enough to retry him. Two other Baltimore officers in the Freddie Gray case have yet to be tried.

The two cops awaiting trial have filed a federal lawsuit against Mosby charging her with defamation, invasion of privacy, malicious prosecution, false arrest, false imprisonment and violation of the Maryland declaration of rights. Lt. Rice is suing Mosby for defamation of character, false imprisonment and violation of rights.

It is now crystal clear that State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby rushed to judgement and offered up the six officers as sacrificial lambs to appease the BLM mobs. Mosby should be ashamed of herself, but I doubt she has any shame.

Mosby and the BLM mob cannot accuse Judge Williams of racial bias because he happens to be an African-American.

BECAUSE OF ANGUISH, ‘EL CHAPO’ IS GOING BALD: LAWYER; HE’S NOT IN A SPA: AUTHORITIES

Jose Refugio, lawyer of El Chapo Guzman affirms that the capo told him that he doesn't fear prison, but he bids that the no longer isolate him because “they are going to send me mad.”

Milenio.com
July 14, 2016

MEXICO CITY -- Joaquin Guzman Loera is going bald because of anguish at the conditions of his isolation in the Ciudad Juarez prison in Chihuahua, assures Jose Refugio, Laywer of the leader of the Sinaloa cartel.

He confirms that in the recent visit he made to El Chapo, he said this to him" all that is happening with the treatment I am receiving, I feel very bad", he said, a doctor had already seen him and told him that he has anguish.

"He said that he always has three police within one meter of him, who write down everything that he does, and that is the cause of his anguish", said his lawyer in an interview with Ciro Gomez Leyva of Grupo Formula.

He signalled that he saw El Chapo Guzman in a state of anguish and desperation.

He added that his client said to him, " I don't have fear of being in prison, but they have me isolated, and in my condition, they will send me mad, this is form of psychological torture". (Otis: not sure how he claims isolation when there are 3 police always within a meter of him).

"I would prefer that they beat my physically, that the torture was physical beatings whose pain would pass and leave me, but no they have chosen to kill me slowly", asserts that the capo said this to me said his Laywer.

“El Chapo is not being tortured, but this is not a spa”: Commissioner of Federal Penitentiaries

Eduardo Guerrero, Commissioner of Federal Penitentiaries, said that the treatment that Joaquin Guzman Loera receives, conforms with the protocols of security and guarantees of the National Commission for Human Rights.

He negated that the leader of the Sinaloa cartel is being tortured in Cefereso #9 of Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, where he was transferred to on the 7th of May.

"He is subject to protocols of security of the CNDH. He is not being tortured, if he feels that way because he is inside prison, this is not a spa, its a Federal prison", he said in an interview with Ciro Gomez Leyva.

He assures that they are respecting the human rights of the capo, and that at no time has he been physically beaten.

"If he feels that way, he is inside a Federal prison, this is not a field day", and he said that if he is losing his hair, " its a condition of his age".

He said that the only recommendation the CNDH has made is for his hours of sleep, and he assures that El Chapo Guzman sleeps seven hours per day. (Otis: how about all the widows of the men he's killed who have to work 3 jobs to support their single parent families, I bet they don't get seven hours sleep a day).

"He sleeps from eleven pm to six am" he said.

He assured that the state of health of El Chapo is perfect and that they don't know if he is on dope.

Monday, July 18, 2016

SHOOTINGS LIKE THOSE OF COPS IN DALLAS AND BATON ROUGE NOT LIKELY TO REDUCE POLICE SHOOTINGS LIKE THE ONE IN MINNESOTA

On July 6, a white (Latino) cop in the St. Paul suburb of Falcon Heights shot Philando Castile, 32, multiple times after a traffic stop for a broken tail light. He died because the cop apparently panicked when Castile reached for his registration.

Immediately after the shooting, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton shot his mouth off with this inflammatory remark:

“Would this have happened if the driver and passenger were white? I don’t think it would have. So I’m forced to confront, and I think all of Minnesota is forced to confront, that this kind of racism exists.”

To the police it must seem like there is a war on cops. The Minnesota shooting was soon followed by the assassination of five cops in Dallas. And now we have three more cops shot to death in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Let’s look at some unpleasant facts that civil libertarians and President Obama will not mention. Over the last decade, 40 percent of all cop killers have been black even though blacks make up only 15 percent of the population. And cops face an 18.5 times greater chance of being killed by a black male than an unarmed black male has of being killed by a police officer.

All the sermonizing about uniting a nation divided between whites and blacks is not likely to reduce the high number of violent crimes committed by blacks. And all that sermonizing will not reduce the confrontations between white cops and black men, some of which will turn deadly.

Keeping those facts in mind, is it any wonder that cops will continue to have a nervous trigger finger when confronting blacks? One wrong move could panic a cop into pulling that trigger. That’s not racism, that’s known as officer survival!

CALIFORNIA AWASH IN A SEA OF RAINBOW FLAGS AND BANNERS

Texas politics and values do not reflect those of uber-liberal California

By Harry Dunne

My family and I just returned from San Diego. Ca. We left just in time. Yesterday was the Gay Pride Parade and Celebration in San Diego. Our flight left early so we missed it. Most of the businesses proudly displayed rainbow flags and even the outside rotunda of the famous Hotel Del Coronado was circled on rainbow banners.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not a Homophobe, but I don't like it when businesses remove their US Flag and replace with another flag for profit.

While I'm on my soap box, I also want to point out that Southern California must be a major resettlement state for Middle East refugees. I live near the 4th largest city in the US. I have never seen the number of Muslim regalia wearing people in the Houston area that I saw in California. If I'm profiling then so be it. We are in a war against Radical Islam and we will lose if we don't use the proven tool of profiling.

Once again, I'm not an isolationist. I'm for legal immigration that demands a path to US citizenship. I want the current immigration laws enforced. That includes expired student visas and the deportation of criminal aliens.

I will probably not return to California. I have enjoyed its climate and beauty many times. My politics and values do not reflect those of California. I will miss it.

EDITOR’S NOTE: I can attest to the fact that Harry Dunne is not homophobic.

Harry Dunne is the pen name of a veteran Texas law enforcement official.

MEXICO SEIZES HOT HOT SAUCE SHIPMENT FROM ECUADOR

Mexican marines seized 217 barrels of salsa picante spiced up with 13 tons of cocaine

It was reported Wednesday by Blog del Narco that Mexican marines intercepted and seized 13 tons of cocaine from a container ship in the port of Manzanillo. The coke was bound from Ecuador to Mazatlan. It was shipped in a container that held 217 barrels of salsa picante. The coke was concealed inside the barrels, with each barrel of the hot sauce containing one package of cocaine.

Mexican authorities believe the seized hot sauce coke was being smuggled by the Sinaloa Cartel.

During my trips in Ecuador I found their salsa picante to be real hot, but not as hot as the hot hot sauce seized in Manzanillo.

ALLAHU AKBAR, HE CRIED, AS BODIES FELL

Minute by minute, how the outrage by the beach in Nice unfolded

By Chris Greenwood, Mario Ledwith and Christian Gysin

Daily Mail
July 16, 2016

Minutes after the last fireworks rang out above the Promenade des Anglais, thousands of people were enjoying Nice's balmy evening air.

Families had travelled to the resort from around the world to celebrate Bastille Day, France's biggest public holiday.

Revellers, many still in beachwear, teemed across the walkway and boulevard.

Amid the hubbub of jazz music, drinking and gentle conversation, few noticed an anonymous white lorry entering the pedestrianised zone...

A sea of people

The 19-tonne lorry had been parked in a suburban street in eastern Nice, within the cordon set up for the evening celebrations.

The driver was caught on camera as he cycled up to the vehicle at 9.04pm, before tossing his bicycle in the back and driving towards the coast. Witnesses described the streets as filled with children, a 'sea of people – families, straightforward people,' watching the 'spectacular' display of fireworks.

At about 10.45pm local time, the driver revved the lorry's powerful engine and pointed it towards unsuspecting bystanders in a street that had been cleared of traffic.

Some later told how although they could hear something moving, they could not see the lorry approach at first, as its lights were off.

Richard Gutjahr, a German TV journalist, said: 'All of a sudden, with all the people, all the families celebrating, this truck was approaching.

'It was approaching very slowly, it didn't rush, but you could ask yourself: 'What is a truck doing in the heart of this?'

Lorry ploughs through

Slowly the lorry picked up speed, before mounting the pavement and careering directly towards a large group of people.

Kartik Bhanot, 26, from Essex, said at first he thought it was a drunk driver.

But then he saw the lorry 'flipping' people in the air as it went, leaving 'swathes' of bodies lying by the road.

'Suddenly as we crossed the junction, we heard screams and loud bangs. I looked for my mum and she was sprinting away.

'I looked back and saw on my left this huge lorry, travelling at least 60mph, about five to ten yards from me. It was ploughing through people. I saw bodies flipped.'

The lorry swerved violently from side to side, zigzagging across the boulevard as the driver bore down on those trying to flee for their lives.

Witnesses said that bodies of victims began to combine with other debris in the lorry's wheel arches, slowing its progress.

American Tony Molina said: 'You just see this big white panel truck, I couldn't see the driver, but it just kept going at different angles from left to right at 25 to 30 miles and hour. People were screaming and running. I work in homicide and I've never seen anything like this. It's unbelievable.'

Journalist Damien Allemand, who works for newspaper Nice Matin, said: 'I saw bodies flying like bowling pins along its route. Heard noises, cries I will never forget.' Dozens of desperate people, including families with young children, threw themselves into the sea in a bid to escape the bloodshed.

Robert Greene, from Coolock in Dubin, told how bodies were strewn across the street in the wake of the lorry. 'A woman dropped to her knees, someone in her family had been killed,' he said. 'There was not even a thing anyone could do.'

Dozens of people were injured in the stampede as terrified people ran screaming for their lives.

Many people shouted 'shooting' –leading others to run down side streets or barricade themselves inside restaurants and businesses.

Sally Gardiner was badly injured, suffering a suspected broken shoulder, after being flattened by others rushing to safety. 'I got knocked down in the road with everyone running away from the truck and gunfire,' she said.

Esther Serwah, 59, who was on her way to dinner, added: 'People were screaming at me in French but I didn't understand. Some people were lying on the streets dead and people were running over bodies.'

Briton Will Shore, who was drinking in a nearby bar, said: 'I had to help a couple of people up who were in distress on the floor because everyone was in such a panic.'

'Allahu Akbar'

The driver, now known to be drug-fuelled jihadist Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, screamed 'Allahu Akbar' as he mowed down his victims.

The deranged mass killer was also shooting from the vehicle – and is feared to have left dozens dead and maimed with gunshot wounds. Some bodies lay in an area enclosed by bollards and street lamps where the lorry did not travel – suggesting the victims were shot.

One English café owner who witnessed the attack from 20 metres away, insisted many had died from gunshot wounds. The man, known only as Andy, told LBC Radio that the driver fired a gun into the crowd as he sped past. 'He was firing into the sea side of the promenade, and people just dropped like nine pins, it was just unbelievable,' he said. 'The people who were killed in front of us were killed by gunfire.'

Meanwhile in an astonishing act of heroism, a motorcyclist pulled alongside the lorry and leapt from his machine in a bid to end the bloodshed. It was not clear last night if he survived.

Others said they had seen brave pedestrians trying to cling on to the doors of the lorry.

Final Shootout

In the final stages of the atrocity, Bouhlel opened fire at three police officers outside L'Hotel Negresco.

They fired back, pursuing the lorry for another 300 yards, shooting repeatedly at the cab before it finally came to a halt outside the Palais de la Mediterranee. By this stage it had travelled just over a mile, swinging back and forth between the road and promenade beside the sea.

Police, including a woman officer, fired more than 60 shots through the windscreen and doors before carefully approaching the vehicle.

After the shootout, Bouhlel's head was seen dangling from the window of the lorry cab. When the door was opened, his dead body fell to the ground.

In the cabin they found a 7.65mm automatic pistol, a second automatic pistol, two replica assault rifles – a Kalashnikov and an M16, a grenade and ammunition. In common with other Islamist attacks, Bouhlel had brought some documentation to prove his identity – in this case his driving licence and a bank card.

Chaotic aftermath

As hundreds of terrified people ran for their lives, 84 victims were left dead or dying on the abandoned street.

Many families were separated in the chaos, leaving the heart breaking sight of children's pushchairs scattered across the road. A little girl lay dead, covered only by an emergency blanket, with her doll lying alongside her.

Survivors grabbed beach towels and sheets to cover the dead, only leaving the killer's body exposed beside the lorry. Damien Allemand, a journalist with the Nice Matin newspaper, said: 'People from the beach were the first on the scene. They brought water for the injured and towels which they placed where there was no hope.'

Meanwhile emergency workers launched a desperate operation to tend to the 202 injured, including 52 people who were still fighting for their lives last night.

Prosecutors later said the lives of 25 people were saved at the scene by paramedics and passers-by.

Many shell-shocked survivors were left searching for their loved ones or clinging to their bodies.

Simon Coates, a solicitor from Leeds, said he scoured piles of disfigured and lifeless bodies as he tried to find his wife. 'I had to check every body and they were so disfigured the only reliable way I could check was to look for her bike and her shoes as most people were not recognisable. I saw one woman lying on the ground, talking to her dead child.

'Other people did what they could to save loved ones.'

Lock down

As the shooting stopped, officers remained alert over fears an accomplice had fled the lorry.

Weapons drawn, they took up positions behind cars and around restaurants as armed checkpoints were set up across the city.

Within the hour, soldiers were on the streets as a fire near the Eiffel Tower in Paris sparked a second security alert.

FUCK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE

After twenty years of service, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office discarded Deputy Donald Robertson “like yesterday’s trash” as he was recovering from serious injuries he suffered while on duty

By Leif Reigstad

Houston Press
July 12, 2016

Donald Robertson was blindsided. He was stopped at a red light on the North Sam Houston Parkway East frontage road on June 24, 2006, his patrol car next to a big white van sitting in the inside lane. The light turned green. As Robertson entered the intersection, a blue 2006 Pontiac Grand Prix sped through the stoplight — then brakes squealed and screeched as the Pontiac slammed into the patrol car’s front passenger side, throwing Robertson and his white Chevrolet Impala into a concrete barrier 15 yards away.

It was the worst jolt Robertson had ever felt in his life, and the first accident he’d ever had while on patrol in his 17 years working as a Harris County Sheriff’s deputy. His neck hurt like hell; his right leg was pinned by a toppled computer console. A plume of smoke rose from his battered car. He wanted to turn his head, but his body wasn’t responding to what his brain was telling it to do. He tried to lift himself, gripping the steering wheel and hoisting himself up using his upper-body strength, but every time he tried, he could feel his torso separating from his head, causing him to lose his breath and slip in and out of consciousness. It didn’t take him long to realize his neck was badly broken.

The crash gave Robertson a type II Odontoid fracture, left a four-inch laceration on his right knee and temporarily blurred his vision with floaters. Doctors at the hospital told him he needed emergency surgery to realign his neck with the rest of his body. It was a dangerous procedure. Paraplegia or quadriplegia: Those were two possible outcomes. A third was death. Robertson had no choice. Miraculously, he survived the surgery. But he was hardly made whole again.

Hurt and unable to work, Robertson was immediately placed on worker’s compensation. His supervisors repeatedly assured him he would have a place one day again with the sheriff’s office. His time working as a patrol deputy — his dream job — was almost certainly over, but many injured deputies return to work simple desk jobs. Whenever Robertson would call the county or the sheriff’s office, worried he would lose his job while he recovered, he was always told not to worry, to just focus on getting better. Law enforcement takes care of its own.

In 2012, Robertson was blindsided again. Two weeks before Christmas, he received a letter from the sheriff’s office in the mail. “An administrative review reveals you have been absent from duty since June 24, 2006, after having been placed on Worker’s Compensation due to an injury,” the letter said. “As of the date of this letter, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office has not received any correspondence from you or Worker’s Compensation concerning your ability to return to active duty at this time. Unfortunately, the Sheriff’s Office is left with no other recourse but to grant you an administrative dismissal, effective the date of this letter.” The letter instructed Robertson to turn in his badge. After more than two decades of serving in the Harris County Sheriff’s Office and nearly losing his life on the job, Robertson was suddenly kicked to the curb.

He quickly appealed the dismissal, which prompted a serpentine and ferociously fought legal battle that has snaked its way from the civil service commission to county court to, now, the federal level, with long delays and appeals marring the case’s stay in each jurisdiction. “This ended my life,” Robertson said in an interview in his modest Spring home. “I had always wanted to be a police officer. It was who I was. I got up every morning wanting to go to work. I still want to go back on patrol, but I know that’ll never happen. I just want to be reinstated. I’m tired of being treated like this.”

Robertson’s attorney, Nathan Beedle, claims decision-makers at the sheriff’s office under Adrian Garcia, sheriff at the time of Robertson’s dismissal, acted without oversight and violated the office’s policies and procedures in an effort to shed Robertson’s dead weight after a budget crisis that Garcia encountered soon after he came into office in 2008.

Harris County is vigorously defending those allegations in court, contending that Robertson’s dismissal was justified simply because he didn’t notify the office that he planned to return to work, and pointing to a note from Robertson’s former pain management doctor that the county says shows Robertson would not have been able to return to work in any capacity.

Meanwhile, Robertson continues to struggle. He says he needs surgery on his knee, but since being stripped of his salary and benefits, he can no longer afford treatment. He says his injuries have left him $140,000 in debt. Bill collectors harass him daily. His physical injuries have left him a shell of the man he once was, and he struggles to find a new identity. The long ordeal has shattered his once-idyllic life at home.

“It’s been a long, never-ending nightmare,” Robertson’s wife, Rose, said. “They discarded him like yesterday’s trash.”

*****

Robertson was born and raised in Aldine. His mother died when he was two months old, so he was raised by his father and, later, his stepmother. They taught him right from wrong, good from bad. Robertson always wanted to be one of the good guys, so he always wanted to be a police officer. As he got older, he met a few people in law enforcement who encouraged him to pursue it as a career. In 1987, Robertson applied for a job in the Harris County Sheriff’s Office. Two years later, he was offered a position. “It took off from there,” Robertson said. “It became my life.”

Shortly before Robertson joined the sheriff’s office, he met Rose at a country-and-western club. Rose was struck by his beau-tiful blue eyes and his physically strong build. He seemed to her so full of life. They married and had three children together; Robertson was always proud to support his family. They were careful planners and responsible spenders.

In 1995, Robertson was transferred to the Patrol Bureau, where he thrived in the field. “Donnie was an above-average patrolman,” Robertson’s former bureau major, Captain Ronnie Silvio, said. “He always took care of his business, never had problems. He was a hard worker, a real go-getter. He probably worked in one of the roughest districts in Harris County. He had to have a good understanding of the community and a high level of tolerance. He was a good patrolman.”

In his first two years on patrol, Robertson said, he attended the funerals of three fellow officers who died in the line of duty, including one he was particularly close with. Their deaths at first left him hollow, then inspired him to become a training officer. He hoped to teach young deputies not to make the same mistakes his friends had fallen victim to.

Robertson loved his job, loved waking up every day to put on his uniform and badge and provide for his wife and children. “It was his passion,” Rose, who also worked full-time, said. “Sometimes it felt like the sheriff’s office was his mistress. We were busy, but we were happy. We were looking forward to the future. Sometimes I wonder how it got all messed up.”

When Robertson applied for a job with the sheriff’s office, Rose was initially worried. The wives orientation mentioned the high divorce rate and hammered home the stressors of being married to a deputy. The orientation lesson did not include what might happen should her husband get into a car accident. It never taught her how to stick a needle attached to an intravenous bag into her husband’s forearm. It never said she might have to quit her job to teach him how to talk again, never prepared her for the indignity of bathing Robertson and helping him use the restroom, never prepared her for the moment when a car pulls up in front of her home and a man steps out to tell her that her husband is severely injured, or worse.

On the day of Robertson’s accident, Rose was at her neighbor’s house when a black car slowed down and parked outside. She watched as one of Robertson’s friends at the sheriff’s office stepped out of the car. Her stomach dropped. She didn’t know whether to scream or cry, so she just stood there, frozen. She expected to hear that her husband was dead.

Rose, Don’s been in an accident, the man said. It felt like an eternity before the next words came from the man’s mouth. But he’s okay.

When she arrived at the hospital, the doctors advised Rose to get her husband’s affairs in order before he underwent surgery to reattach his broken neck, because he might not wake up. The next morning, surgeons took a piece of Robertson’s hip, sliced open the back of his neck, inserted the hip fragment against his first and second vertebrae and strapped it together using titanium bands.

Two days later, Robertson went home in a soft neck collar. He couldn’t turn his neck and had trouble sleeping. Not long after he left the hospital, Robertson awoke in the middle of the night and felt something dripping down the back of his neck — his surgery incision was oozing blood. X-rays showed the surgery had failed. The hardware in his vertebrae had slipped out of place, and Robertson now had a staph infection.

When Robertson was in the hospital receiving treatment for the staph infection, he suffered a stroke and lost his motor skills. Again, the doctors told Rose to prepare for her husband’s death. Robertson underwent surgery for a second time so his doctors could remove the hardware and clean out the infection. After another surgery to clean out more of the infection, they placed Robertson in a halo brace, with screws attaching his skull to a metal frame, in order to keep his neck still.

The doctors hoped the halo would help align his neck so it could graft together on its own, and opted to keep him in that contraption rather than put him under the knife again. But it didn’t work, and Robertson was soon back to square one. Back in the intensive care unit, he missed his son’s 18th birthday. “There was a time in the hospital when I just hoped it would all end,” Robertson said later.

Meanwhile, his medical expenses were adding up. Robertson’s worker’s compensation expired a few years after the accident because he won a large settlement for an undisclosed amount against the driver who struck him. After paying his attorneys and medical liens, Robertson said, the amount of money left in the settlement was hardly enough to cover the cost of his surgeries. But when his worker’s compensation ran out, the sheriff’s office continued to pay Robertson his full salary and benefits until he could return to work.

Robertson sought out a different doctor and again underwent the same procedure that he had undergone after the accident; another hip fragment to secure his vertebra — another set of titanium bands to keep it all together. Within a week, Robertson was out of the hospital. He still had to wear a halo, required a wheelchair and stayed in a hospital bed at home. Rose quit her job to take care of him. He could still barely walk or talk, and couldn’t feed himself. But the surgery was a success, allowing Robertson to finally focus on recovering.

While Robertson worked to relearn the most basic human functions during the years after his surgeries, he said, he did everything he was supposed to do to keep his job. His wife drove him to sign payroll every two weeks until Robertson was well enough to drive himself. Around January 2007, when the halo finally came off and he could speak clearly again, Robertson said, he began calling his supervisors at the sheriff’s department — everyone from his bureau majors to the human resources department — and the county attorney’s office.

“I’d tell them I’m coming back as soon as I can, and I asked them if there was anything else I needed to do,” Robertson said. “Everything they told me was the same. ‘Don’t worry about coming back; just worry about getting well. The guys are going to take care of you.’ I was assured I wasn’t going to lose my job.”

In February 2009, Robertson’s primary care doctor wrote in a progress report that Robertson would likely never be able to work as a patrol deputy again, but said, “He should be able to work at some level certainly,” adding that “retraining would be appropriate.”

Robertson had four more surgeries, on his leg and both hips. He battled through an addiction to painkillers. Unable to provide for his family, Robertson felt useless. His relationship with his wife withered, and his once tight-knit family slowly unwound. Still, by 2012, Robertson was doing okay, all things considered. Then he got the letter.

*****

When Adrian Garcia was elected Harris County sheriff in 2008, the whole country was in the worst of an economic downturn, and the sheriff’s office was no exception. In a retrospective 2012 press release, the sheriff’s office said Garcia “inherited spending that was $56 million” over budget. In 2010, the Harris County Commissioners Court had enacted a hiring freeze.

In 2011, Garcia testified before the U.S. House Homeland Security Committee in an effort to get more federal funding. “I have lost several hundred employees as a result [of financial problems] since October 2009, with more than 125 just from our Patrol Bureau,” Garcia testified. “All of my crime-fighting programs are strained; I have had to pay an exorbitant amount of overtime just to staff my jail at required state standards.”

As Garcia explained in a March 2012 press conference, upon coming into office he had sought out business professionals and given them key positions in the sheriff’s office — positions that had historically been held by law enforcement officers. Among these “executives from the business world” were Mottie Cato, who was given the office’s top human resources position, and Garcia’s second-in-command, chief administrative officer John Dyess. Garcia challenged these new additions to correct the budget crisis.

In 2011, Cato began searching for deputies who had been out of work and receiving worker’s compensation for long periods of time. She later testified that she did this with the intent to bring them back to work. Robertson was included on the list of deputies. A year later, he was fired.

Robertson said no one from the sheriff’s office, including Cato or Dyess, who signed off on the dismissal letter, contacted him before he received the letter. Robertson’s own bureau major, Ronnie Silvio, wasn’t even aware Robertson had been terminated until Robertson called and told him. Silvio, who has since moved to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office (he said he left Harris County on good terms), said the county’s dismissal of Robertson violated department policies and procedures.

According to Silvio, when the sheriff’s office either suspended or terminated an employee, the action was investigated by a review committee made up of bureau majors who would then determine what action would be taken. The sheriff would approve the decision and send it to the county attorney’s office. A bureau major would ultimately issue the order to the employee, either terminating or suspending him. Silvio said that in Robertson’s case, as well as with others who had been on worker’s compensation and were terminated by Cato and Dyess, that process was ignored.

“This whole system was bypassed,” Silvio said. “Bureau majors had no say on who was being let go. The employees just received a letter in the mail saying that they were terminated.”

Silvio was one of the supervisors Robertson continually kept in touch with throughout his recovery, and he said Robertson made it clear to him that he wanted to come back to work. “He wasn’t one of those people who used his injury just to get worker’s compensation,” Silvio said, adding that it was common for people who were injured to come back and work transitional duty positions, such as answering phones, until they were fit enough to go back on patrol. If they couldn’t go back on patrol, he said, they’d usually get a conditional job offer to come back to work in another capacity as a civilian.

Silvio said he remembered one officer who was shot in the head and lost his eye, but who still came back and worked in the records division for years. “There were always opportunities to create jobs to take care of our people,” Silvio said. “A deputy lays his life on the line; they should be taken care of. It’s like family.”

Cato testified in Robertson’s court case that she didn’t talk to a single sergeant, lieutenant, captain or major in charge of Robertson about whether he was fulfilling his requirements to return to work. She also testified that she didn’t talk to Robertson’s primary care physician, and admitted that the department violated its own policy because it was not checking in on Robertson every 60 days since the date of his injury to fill out a supplemental injury report. Cato did contact worker’s compensation, which she testified was her only burden in deciding Robertson’s fate.

Nestled in the nearly 3,000 documents that made up Robertson’s worker’s compensation file was a May 2011 letter from Robertson’s pain management doctor, whom Robertson stopped seeing after he weened himself off of the addictive painkillers the doctor had been prescribing. The letter said Robertson “cannot work.” Cato apparently interpreted that as meaning Robertson would never be able to return to work.

However, in the same file, there were also progress reports from Robertson’s primary care physician stating Robertson could eventually return to work. During her deposition in June of this year, Cato was asked whether she reviewed the letters saying Robertson could return to work. She said she couldn’t remember.

Garcia resigned from the sheriff’s position in 2015 in favor of an ill-fated attempt to run for mayor. After the defeat, he ran for Congress, and lost again. Garcia declined to comment to us, instead directing our inquiries to the sheriff’s office’s media relations department. John Dyess also left the office, in May 2015. He did not respond to requests for comment. Cato remains employed in the human resources department. We called her office daily for nearly a week — each day, we were told she was absent from work.

Whatever methods Garcia and Co. used to correct the budget deficit, they must have worked. In his March 2012 press conference, Garcia proudly announced that the hiring freeze was over, and that his department was actually under its budget for the first time in years. “The budget was out of control,” Garcia said at the conference. “I brought in executives from the business world and told them it was irresponsible to allow this to happen. I challenged them to fix it, and they did.”

At the time Garcia made those comments, the department had $2.8 million available in the budget. Robertson’s dismissal letter arrived in the mail nearly nine months later.

*****

Robertson doesn’t do much these days. His kids are grown and have families of their own, giving Robertson grandchildren and even a great-grandchild. Robertson is healthy enough to be on his own during the day, so Rose is working again, as an administrative assistant. She doesn’t make much money. His Social Security pension helps a little.

Robertson has a list of ten pills he’s supposed to take. Twice a day, once a day, once a day, every two days, every six hours. He can only afford to fill seven of his prescriptions. He has no life insurance. He worries what will happen to Rose if he dies.

Rose worries what will happen to Robertson the longer he lives. At 53, Robertson is physically and mentally broken. The strong, vivacious man he once was is now nothing but a shadow. “I just want him to be happy again,” Rose said. “He was a dedicated officer, and he didn’t ask for this. I want the county to stand by their officer, by the men who run to danger, not away, who sacrifice their lives every day. He deserves to be treated with the same respect and dedication that he gave them.”

Robertson said the best-case scenario is that he is reinstated with no time lost, so he can return to work and retire soon. Whether he wins his court case or not, he won’t get back everything the accident took from him. “The life we had, we’ll never have again,” Robertson said. “We’ll never be the same. The way we’ve been treated by the sheriff’s department has just made it ten times worse.” For Robertson, his fight is not about making himself whole again. It’s about what he’s known since he was just a kid, dreaming of being a police officer: the difference between good and bad, right and wrong. “I just want them to do what’s right.”