Saturday, June 17, 2017

Trials And Tribulations

Not one, not two, but three cases (well, a bad verdict, a mistrial, and a non-verdict) in the past 24 hours in three high-profile jury cases.  First, another murderous police officer is acquitted on the sole reason his victim, Philando Castle, was black, and therefore not deserving of human rights.

A jury found St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez not guilty Friday in the fatal shooting of Philando Castile, whose livestreamed death during a traffic stop stunned a nation.

Castile’s family called the decision proof of a dysfunctional criminal justice system, while prosecutors cautioned the public to respect the jury’s verdict “because that is the fundamental premise of the rule of law.”

“I am so disappointed in the state of Minnesota,” Castile’s mother, Valerie Castile, said at a news conference shortly after the verdict was read in court about 2:45 p.m. “My son loved this state. He had one tattoo on his body and it was of the Twin Cities — the state of Minnesota with TC on it. My son loved this city and this city killed my son. And the murderer gets away.”

Hours later, at the tail end of a protest march through the streets of St. Paul, hundreds of people headed out on Interstate 94 at Dale, shutting down the freeway. Over the course of about an hour, the crowd thinned out and was moved to a ramp near Marion before State Patrol officers moved in after 12:30 a.m. Saturday and began making 18 arrests. Among those arrested were reporters Susan Du of City Pages and David Clarey of the Minnesota Daily, who were covering the protest.

The decision came on the last day of a three-week trial in a case that had been closely watched ever since Castile’s girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, livestreamed the brutal aftermath on Facebook.

The jury of five women and seven men reached its verdict after about 30 hours of deliberations over five days. They appeared stalled Wednesday, and were called into the courtroom and asked to continue deliberations. Juror Dennis Ploussard said the jury was deadlocked 10 for acquittal, two for conviction until Friday afternoon.

It didn't matter that Castle's death was effectively broadcast to the nation, he was pulled over by a cop, the cop "felt his life was in danger" and Castle's life was ended.  That's all it takes to die as a criminal if you're black in America, the gut feeling of a cop and your life is forfeit without due process or recompense.  You die.  That's it.  The end.

If you're however a famous black celebrity who preyed on women for decades, you're fine.  Jurors were unable to come to a decision on the guilt of actor Bill Cosby.

The judge in the Bill Cosby trial declared a mistrial Saturday after the jury failed to reach a verdict in the case. The jurors -- five women and seven men -- were unable to come to a unanimous decision in a courtroom battle closely watched by the public as well as dozens of women who have accused Cosby of similar misconduct in the past. Cosby faced three charges of aggravated indecent assault.

Prosecutors announced they will retry the case.

Again, the Defense team was able to get a mistrial and rested their case after six minutes and it was enough to force a mistrial after six days.

That brings us to here in Cincy, where the trial of Sam DuBose's killer continues as Ray Tensing himself took the stand at the end of his retrial.

As Ray Tensing tried to open the car door, Sam DuBose pulled it shut with his left hand and restarted the car with his right.

Then came Tensing's decision to reach inside and try to remove the key from the ignition. His attorney called it a mistake. A prosecution witness said it was “tactically unsound.”

“He was so fast putting the car into drive," Tensing testified Friday. "He just mashed the accelerator to the floor.”

The former University of Cincinnati police officer said his left arm became “trapped,” pinned against the steering wheel by one of DuBose’s arms. He said he lost his balance and fell backwards as DuBose accelerated.

Tensing, who was 25 at the time, felt his body “moving with the car.”

“Instinctively, I reached for my gun,” he said. “I didn’t want to get sucked under his car and run over."

Tensing fired one shot to DuBose’s head, killing him instantly. The 1998 Honda Accord drove up the Mount Auburn street and crashed about 300 feet away through a guardrail into a utility pole.

Jurors heard Tensing explain the July 2015 incident, as he took the stand in his own defense and testified for more than two hours. He was the last witness called by his attorney, Stew Mathews.

Closing arguments in the retrial are set to begin Monday in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court. Before jurors left for the day, Judge Leslie Ghiz told them to pack enough clothes for a two-night stay. The 12 jurors and four alternates will be sequestered if necessary during deliberations.

I have little to no hope for Tensing to be convicted.   Black people are simply vermin to be shot at the will of cops in America.  I'm only alive because my time hasn't come yet, I guess.

We Don't Need No Education, Con't

The slow death of the civil rights era under the Trump regime continues as Education Secretary Betsy DeVos will proceed with handcuffing the department's civil rights office, because systemic racism and sexism in education is embarrassing to Dear Leader, so in order to Make America Great Again™ it will no longer be exposed or even acknowledged.

The Department of Education is scaling back investigations into civil rights violations at the nation’s public schools and universities, easing off mandates imposed by the Obama administration that the new leadership says have bogged down the agency.

According to an internal memo issued by Candice E. Jackson, the acting head of the department’s office for civil rights, requirements that investigators broaden their inquiries to identify systemic issues and whole classes of victims will be scaled back. Also, regional offices will no longer be required to alert department officials in Washington of all highly sensitive complaints on issues such as the disproportionate disciplining of minority students and the mishandling of sexual assaults on college campuses.

The new directives are the first steps taken under Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to reshape her agency’s approach to civil rights enforcement, which was bolstered while President Barack Obama was in office. The efforts during Mr. Obama’s administration resulted in far-reaching investigations and resolutions that required schools and colleges to overhaul policies addressing a number of civil rights concerns.

That approach sent complaints soaring, and the civil rights office found itself understaffed and struggling to meet the department’s stated goal of closing cases within 180 days.

The office’s processing times have “skyrocketed,” the Education Department spokeswoman, Liz Hill, said, adding that its backlog of cases has “exploded.” The new guidelines were to ensure that “every individual complainant gets the care and attention they deserve,” she said.

In the memo, which was first published by ProPublica, Ms. Jackson emphasized that the new protocols were aimed at resolving cases quickly.

“Justice delayed is justice denied, and justice for many complainants has been denied for too long,” Ms. Hill said in a statement.

But civil rights leaders believe that the new directives will have the opposite effect. They say that Education Department staff members would be discouraged from opening cases and that investigations could be weakened because efficiency would take priority over thoroughness.

“If we want to have assembly-line justice, and I say ‘justice’ in quotes, then that’s the direction that we should go,” said Catherine Lhamon, who was the assistant secretary of the Education Department’s civil rights office under Mr. Obama, and who now heads the United States Commission on Civil Rights.

It's so funny, these assholes see that Obama demanded action and accountablility, and then under Trump they say "Well we can't possibly close civil rights cases in six months, so why bother opening them?"

Oh well, black and brown people with inferior schools, you're on your own. As long as Taylor and Hunter and Cameryn are OK in their school in the suburbs, well why would their parents need to worry about the rest of those kids in school district?

They don't need no education if it's going to come at the expense of the zero-sum game of education funding in America, right?
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