NYT: Settlement Reached in Samuel DeBose Shooting

The NY Times reports that  the University of Cincinnati will settle with the family of, yet another unarmed black man killed b y police, Samuel DuBose:

The University of Cincinnati has agreed to pay $4.85 million to the family of an unarmed black man who was shot to death in July by one of its police officers, a settlement that also requires the college to provide an undergraduate education to his 12 children, create a memorial to him on campus and include his family in discussions on police reform.

The family of Samuel DuBose, who was killed by a white officer during a routine traffic stop in what a prosecutor called a “senseless, asinine shooting,” reached the settlement after two days of mediation, the university said Monday in announcing the deal. It estimated the total cost to the university, which is publicly funded, to be $5.3 million.

Mr. DuBose, 43, was shot and killed on July 19 by Officer Ray Tensing, who pulled him over in a Cincinnati neighborhood adjacent to the campus because his car lacked a front license plate. The shooting was captured on a body camera, and Officer Tensing, who was fired from the department, faces trial on a charge of murder….

The university has since created a community advisory council, led by a prominent African-American judge, and the settlement calls for a DuBose family member to participate in the panel. Mr. DuBose’s sister, Terina DuBose Allen, an educational consultant in Columbus, said the provision “brings us peace with the fact that they are going to make some reforms.”

The deal, mediated by Billy Martin, a Washington lawyer whose clients have included basketball stars and other prominent figures, appears in line with other recent settlements of cases involving police officers. The City of Baltimore agreed in September to pay $6.4 million to the family of Freddie Gray, an unarmed black man who suffered a fatal spinal injury in police custody….

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NPR: Judge Tosses Case Against Alabama Officer Accused Of Injuring Indian Man

 

NPR news reported this account of police misconduct, the video which clearly shows someone not resisting in any way….

A federal judge in Alabama has thrown out a civil rights case against a former Madison, Ala., police officer accused of using excessive force on an unarmed Indian man last February. Sureshbhai Patel, who was 57 years old at the time, suffered serious injuries.

Patel had been walking around his son’s neighborhood during a family visit to the United States. Police received a call about a “skinny black man” in the neighborhood. Parker said that Patel, who does not understand English, did not obey his commands. The confrontation, in which Parker is seen slamming Patel to the ground and falling on top of him, was caught on video.

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Wash. Post: Prosecutors will seek murder charges against Georgia officer who shot an unarmed, naked black man

The  Washington Post reported that a Police Officer killed a “Anthony Hill, an Afghanistan war veteran who was naked and unarmed when he was killed.” The article continued on stating that…

Prosecutors in DeKalb County, Ga., will seek a criminal indictment of the police officer who in March 2015 fatally shot Anthony Hill, an Afghanistan war veteran who was naked and unarmed when he was killed.

DeKalb District Attorney Robert James said Thursday that he will recommend a criminal grand jury indict Officer Robert Olsen on two counts of felony murder, two counts of violation of an officer’s oath, aggravated assault and making a false statement.

“Our decision is that we’re going forward on an indictment,” James said. “Ultimately it is going to be up to a grand jury as to whether or not Officer Robert Olsen is charged with felony murder.”….

//www.washingtonpost.com/video/c/embed/7ccb1df6-9c7f-11e5-9ad2-568d814bbf3b

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Chicago Tribune: Family of woman accidentally shot by Chicago police files lawsuit

The  Chicago Tribune recently reported that a lawsuit has been filed by a women who was shot and killed by police fire in Chicago. The article reports that:

The lawsuit says Bettie Jones was inside the building in the 4700 block of West Erie Street when she was fatally struck. The officer’s response to a domestic dispute involving her neighbors, Quintonio LeGrier, 19, and his father, Antonio, was “an excessive use of force,” the lawsuit alleges.

The lawsuit contradicts a law enforcement source who told the Tribune last week that the officer said he had gotten to the second-to-top step of the two-flat’s front porch when LeGrier came running out of the building, swinging a bat, before the officer opened fire. LeGrier also was killed.

Larry Rogers Jr., who is representing the Jones family, said the officer was about 20 feet away when he opened fire.

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Houston Chronicle: Grand jury indicts, DPS to fire trooper who arrested Sandra Bland

Although it often occurs without further scrutiny, police are rarely indicted for giving false testimony under oath.

The state trooper who arrested Sandra Bland, the 28-year-old African-American woman who was found dead three days later in her Waller County jail cell, has been indicted on perjury charges, a special prosecutor said.

Hours after the decision was announced, the Texas Department of Public Safety said it was initiating termination proceedings against Brian Encinia, the 30-year-old trooper who last July stopped Bland for failing to signal a lane change and arrested her.

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NYLJ: Cuomo’s Order to Remove Homeless From Streets Is Challenged

Another Executive Order has been issued based in large part on an “emergency.” What emergency you ask, homeless people on the streets of New York City when the temperature drops below zero. The New York Law Journal Reported:

As bitter winter weather arrived in the Northeast, Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order requiring the homeless to be forcibly removed from the streets in freezing temperatures, an unprecedented government intervention that faced immediate legal questions and backlash….

The order, believed to be the only one of its kind in any city or state, would require communities to reach out to their street homeless populations and take those people to shelters, voluntarily or not, once the temperature drops to 32 degrees Fahrenheit or below….

The Department of Justice’s civil rights division has increasingly cracked down on municipalities for enacting laws criminalizing sleeping on public streets even as many U.S. cities are battling a surge of homelessness during the dead of winter.

Advocates are concerned and it seems that this emergency order is without sounds basis when homeless people have been living on the streets of New York for quite sometime…

Read the entire article here: http://www.newyorklawjournal.com/id=1202746298606/Cuomos-Order-to-Remove-Homeless-From-Streets-Is-Challenged#ixzz3wUFneF00

NYT (caught on tape) Prison Brutality at Clinton Correctional: Getting the Story

The New York Times reported on a case where an inmate died at the hands of prison guards; watch the video here:
http://graphics8.nytimes.com/video/players/offsite/index.html?videoId=100000004085887&playerType=embed

From our earliest visits to Clinton Correctional Facility, we heard stories from inmates about a fellow prisoner they claimed had been murdered. They didn’t have a name for him, or even a year, and the details differed in parts. But the central narrative was always the same: An inmate was pushed down a flight of stairs by guards and then so savagely beaten he died.

At first, we weren’t sure whether these accounts were fact or legend, but weeks later, as we were thumbing through a stack of state reports on prison deaths, there it was, just as we’d been told: an account of Leonard Strickland’s death.

For the next four months, we crisscrossed the state, visiting prisons in search of inmates who witnessed what had happened on Sunday morning, Oct. 3, 2010. We knocked on the doors of officers and civilian prison workers and spent two weeks at a civil trial, listening as the guards involved testified to their version of events. Our work culminated in a Page 1 Times story on Dec. 14.

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Wash. Post: Justice Dept. launches investigation into the Chicago Police Department’s use of force

The Justice Department will investigate the Chicago Police Department to see whether the force “has engaged in a pattern or practice of violation of the Constitution or federal law,” Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch announced Monday.

“Our investigation is focused on use of force and the accountability within the police department,” Lynch said.

The probe follows similar federal civil rights investigations that were launched in Ferguson, Mo., and Baltimore, in the wake of unrest in both cities. In Chicago, federal investigators will look at how officers use deadly force and examine any racial or ethnic disparities in how force is employed, as well as how the department handles discipline and allegations of misconduct.

This investigation into the country’s second-largest local police department comes less than two weeks after the Chicago force came under the national spotlight because of recently released video footage showing a white police officer fatally shooting a black teenager. The Washington Postfirst reported Sunday that the Justice Department would open this investigation, putting Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s force under the microscope of his former colleagues in the Obama administration.

Read the rest of the article at the Washington Post; the Wall Street Journal also reported a similar story.

ABC News: Chicago Cops’ Versions of Teen’s Killing at Odds With Video

ABC News recently provided an update to the story of Laquan McDonald:

Police officers who watched a colleague shoot a black Chicago teenager 16 times filed reports depicting a very different version of events than what dashcam footage showed, portraying the teen as far more menacing than he appeared in the video.

The city released hundreds of pages of documents late Friday pertaining to the October 2014 killing of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald by Jason Van Dyke, a white police officer. Van Dyke was charged with first-degree murder last month, only hours before the department released the video under a court order, sparking protests and accusations of a cover-up.

Chicago Sun-Times quoted the Mayor of Chicago, responding then to the investigation by the Federal Government: Continue reading

Boston Globe: Lowell bank to repay borrowers in discrimination settlement

Lowell bank to repay borrowers in discrimination settlement: “Sage Bank, a small community bank in Lowell, will spend $1.2 million to settle allegations by the US Department of Justice that it charged African-American and Hispanic borrowers more for their home loans than their white counterparts.

The bank denied any wrong-doing and said it did not intentionally discriminate against minority borrowers. It is changing its pricing policy.
African-American borrowers on average paid about $2,450 more and Hispanic borrowers $1,440 more than whites under the bank’s pricing structure, which was in place between 2011 to 2014, according to the civil complaint and consent agreement filed Monday in US District Court in Boston.

‘Sage Bank’s loan pricing policies created the risk that borrowers would be treated differently based on impermissible characteristics like race and national origin, and that was in fact the result,’ said Vanita Gupta, the head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, in a statement.

The bank paid loan officers more money for generating loans from borrowers who didn’t have a continuous work history or readily available tax returns, under the belief that these loans required more work, said Peter Conrad, the president of Sage Bank. Many of these borrowers were African-American and Hispanic, Conrad said.

That cost was passed on to these minority borrowers, and was not unusual among mortgage lenders, he said.

The bank will refund more than 500 borrowers affected by the policy, under the agreement. Sage has less than $200 million in assets.”