The IRS’ improper disclosure of taxpayer information to the White House was extensively investigated, according to thousands of documents the Department of Justice (DOJ) is currently sitting on and could release within the next two weeks.
The Daily Caller first reported that ex-IRS official Lois Lerner and White House policy adviser Jeanne Lambrew exchanged confidential taxpayer information about a conservative group that was suing to stop Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate in 2012. Now, with 30,000 Lerner emails set to be turned over to Congress, new information is surfacing about the White House-IRS information pipeline.
The legal advocacy firm Cause of Action sued the Treasury Department’s inspector general for information about further IRS coordination with the White House. The long-stonewalled lawsuit has finally borne fruit.
“[T]he Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) informed Cause of Action that there exist nearly 2,500 potentially responsive documents relating to investigations of improper disclosures of confidential taxpayer information by the IRS to the White House,” Cause of Action stated.
The Department of Justice is trying to delay the release of the documents for another two weeks.
“It needs the additional two weeks to deal with the last 500 pages to determine if they are responsive and make any necessary withholdings. We would therefore like to ask the court to permit the agency to issue a response (including production) on December 1 as to any documents it has completed processing by that date, and do the same as to the remaining documents by December 15,” said DOJ lawyer Yonatan Gelblum in an email to Cause of Action.
They say he opposes Reaganism………… ha ha. Massive expansion of Govt? Massive Bond Bubbles, and Fed Debt? Amnesty for Illegals? Perpetual war? Support for Israel? A Growing Police State? Huge benefits for Corporate elites? ….. Nope, PNAC Jeb is JUST like Ronnie. The Rockefeller Republicans do the nominating, and seal the deal. meaning, its a done deal. Bush vs Clinton.
Conservative leaders who had a hand in key Republican victories including Ronald Reagan’s presidency, the Contract with America and the birth of the Tea Party, are ganging up to oppose a Jeb Bush presidential bid, declaring him easier to beat than Bob Dole or John McCain.
“I don’t know of any conservatives who are supporting him,” said Richard Viguerie, chairman of ConservativeHQ.com.
“Jeb is a very good moderate Democrat,” added top-rated talk radio host Mark Levin. “He’s very boring. He doesn’t elicit excitement and energy outside a very small circle of wealthy corporatists and GOP Beltway operatives. Time to move on.”
The criticism of Bush, a media darling and leading centrist GOP potential presidential candidate, took off when Phyllis Schlafly updated her 50-year-old conservative manifesto, A Choice Not an Echo, with a slap at Bush.
In her latest revision, provided to the Washington Examiner, she wrote: “Do you get the message that the media buildup for Jeb Bush has begun and that the 2016 Republican National Convention may nominate another establishment loser, the next one in line? But it doesn’t have to be.”
Many conservatives are critical of Bush’s support for Common Core educational standards and immigration reform.
But his biggest hurdle may be his last name.
“The objection so many Reaganites have to another Bush is because he is another Bush,” said Reagan biographer Craig Shirley. “He, too, has an alarming belief in centralized authority. From the standpoint of history, the Bush family got their start in 1980 opposing Reagan and Reaganism, as they continue to do today.”
“We just don’t trust him,” said Viguerie, who favors Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence and Sens. Rand Paul and Ted Cruz. “Conservatives are going to be very, very critical of Jeb, not only for the sins of the father and brother, but also for his own views.”
President Obama on Monday will announce executive action to bolster oversight of the rapid militarization of local police departments and propose additional spending on body cameras for officers.
However, the president will leave to Congress the broader reforms of the military weapons program demanded in the wake of the police shooting of a black teenager in Ferguson, Mo.
Obama, hosting a trio of meetings at the White House on Monday devoted to the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown, will instruct his staff to draft an executive order improving safeguards of a federal government program that allows local police departments to claim unused military weapons, senior administration officials said.
The images of heavily armed officers in combat gear patrolling the streets in Ferguson invited comparisons to war settings, with some lawmakers suggesting that such equipment should not be used to break up violent protests.
However, the president’s reforms would not halt the practice of supplying police officers with weapons usually reserved for full-blown military conflicts. Congress has been largely silent on the issue.
“The vast majority of the equipment that gets purchased or transferred is not military style,” said a senior administration official, previewing the president’s announcement to reporters. “It’s office-related.”
When asked why the president wasn’t taking a more proactive position on the military weapons program, the official replied, “These are programs that Congress directed the agencies to implement … congressional intent is really at issue here.”
Obama later Monday will call for guidelines that ensure all weapons have a legitimate law enforcement purpose, implement local, civilian reviews of such acquisitions, bolster training for using military equipment, and develop a database that tracks the gear.
The president also will propose a three-year, $263 million package that would supply more body cameras to police departments.
Obama is under growing pressure to issue a more forceful response to a grand jury’s decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in Brown’s killing. The White House on Monday would not say whether the president planned to visit the St. Louis suburb.
Instead, Obama decided to put the spotlight back on the militarization of local police departments.
The Pentagon’s 1033 program has supplied $4.3 billion of weapons, aircraft and tactical vehicles to local law enforcement agencies, including a half-billion dollars just last year.
The president also will create a task force, headed by Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey and Laurie Robinson, professor at George Mason University and former assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Office of Justice Programs, to study best policing methods.
Since the Ferguson grand jury announced its decision, protesters have taken to the streets nationwide to criticize the lack of criminal charges against Wilson, who recently resigned from the police force.
Protesters have shut down streets and stores in major cities but have mostly refrained from type of looting and arson that marked the demonstrations in Ferguson last week.
Obama on Monday is meeting with his Cabinet, civil rights leaders and law enforcement officials to discuss his recommendations.
Bizarre row between news anchor Anderson Cooper and Smashing Pumpkins singer Billy Corgan escalates with rocker unveiling ‘F*** You’ cat-themed T-shirt
Feud started when Cooper ridiculed Corgan’s PAWS Chicago mag cover
Corgan posed with two cats he adopted from organization’s shelter
Cooper said perhaps Corgan is ‘off his alternative rocker’ and the singer responded by calling him a ‘globalist shill’
Beef escalated as it appeared cat t-shirts with a clear message to Cooper were on sale at the band’s show this week
The bizarre celebrity feud between news anchor Anderson Cooper and Smashing Pumpkins singer Billy Corgan just got stranger.
At the band’s show on Wednesday night, a T-shirt on sale featured a picture of his pet cats, but also had a clear message to his unusual nemesis.
The organic cotton shirt, adorned with two cat picture, also said: ‘F*** You Anderson Cooper.’
@ZuZusTeahouse posted a picture of the merchandise on Twitter with the message: ‘Awesome tea and Merch at the @SmashingPumpkins concert tonight!! Limited quantity available so get them early!’
The row started this summer when Corgan appeared on the cover of PAWS Chicago, reports Gawker.
The organizations runs a pet adoption center and neuter clinic and Corgan posed on their magazine with two cats that he adopted called Sammi and Mr Thom.
The headline ‘Billy Corgan’s Siamese Dream’ referred to the alternative band’s second album released in 1993.
He has supported the organization in the past, raising $60,000 after auctioning off a private concert.
But when Cooper discovered the cover last month, he ridiculed it live on air.
He said: ‘So perhaps Billy Corgan is, I don’t know, off his alternative rocker.
‘But I think maybe there’s more to this, maybe he’s being ironic, or maybe when the cool rock stars start doing less rock starry things, it kind of makes us face our own mortality.
‘See I want REM to stay just the way I know and love them, I don’t want ‘Everybody Hurts’ to suddenly be used in an Excedrin commercial.’
He added: ‘Maybe the Internet is the real problem here. There was a time when nobody outside of Chicago would have ever seen the cover of PAWS Chicago magazine.’
Corgan responded with a tweet calling Cooper a ‘globalist shill’ and adding: ‘Sorry to disappoint, but when I’m not raising cain for a great organization like @PAWSchicago, I’m still making REAL music.’
Dr. Farid Fata, a prominent cancer doctor in Michigan, admitted in court to intentionally and wrongfully diagnosing healthy people with cancer. Fata also admitted to giving them chemotherapy drugs for the purpose of making a profit. The cancer doctor’s guilty plea shocked many in the courtroom, according to The Detroit Free Press. Fata owned Michigan Hematology Oncology, which had multiple offices throughout Detroit’s suburbs. Fata’s reach included offices in Clarkston, Bloomfield Hills, Lapeer, Sterling Heights, Troy, and Oak Park, Michigan. The doctor stated his plea in the absence of a plea deal and with tearful eyes, according to CBS News.
“It is my choice,” Fata said on Tuesday of his guilty plea.
In the Detroit courtroom, the cancer doctor named numerous, dangerous drugs that he prescribed to his patients. With each admittance he stated, “I knew that it was medically unnecessary.”
U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade will seek life in prison for what she called “the most egregious” health care fraud case she has ever seen. McQuade said that in addition to insurance fraud, which involved a $35-million Medicare fraud scheme from 2009 until the present, Fata also harmed, and in some cased subsequently killed, his patients with dangerous chemotherapy drugs they did not need. According to government records, Fata’s medical practice included 1,200 patients. The formerly prominent cancer doctor will be sentenced in February before U.S. District Judge Paul Borman. The doctor’s bond was set at $9 million.
“In this case, we had Dr. Fata administering chemotherapy to people who didn’t need it, essentially putting putting poison into their bodies and telling them that they had cancer when they didn’t have cancer,” the prosecutor told the Detroit Free Press. “The idea that a doctor would lie to a patient just to make money is shocking… Dr. Fata was unique in that he saw patients not as people to heal, but as commodities to exploit.”
The cancer doctor, 49, is a married father of three who resided in Oakland Township. Hoping it would help his case, Fata’s lawyers attempted to get the case moved from the Detroit area, according to CBS News this summer. Fata became a naturalized citizen of the U.S. in 2009 and is a native to Lebanon. Court documents from also 2013 allege a charge of “Unlawful Procurement of Naturalization” for stating that he had not committed a crime in the U.S. that he was not found guilty of yet. In all, he pleaded guilty to two counts of money laundering, 13 counts of health care fraud, and one count of conspiracy to pay and receive kickbacks.
“I’m numb,” Angela Swantek, a chemotherapy nurse and a whistleblower of the cancer-treatment doctor, told reporters. “I’m not surprised though; I wondered how his team was going to defend him. The charts don’t lie.”
“I left after an hour and half. I thought this is insane,” Swantek said about her short time in Fata’s office in 2010 where she noticed patients receiving chemotherapy incorrectly. She wrote a letter to the state suggesting an investigation that day. In 2011, the state informed her they found no proof of wrongdoing at Fata’s office.
“I handed them Dr. Fata on a platter in 2010 and they did absolutely nothing,” Swantek said, adding she was relieved when he was charged two years later. “I started crying. I thought about all of the patients he took care of and harmed.”
“At a time when they are most vulnerable and fearful, cancer patients put their lives in the hands of doctors and endure risky treatments at their recommendation,” Assistant Attorney General Caldwell stated. “Dr. Fata today admitted he put greed before the health and safety of his patients, putting them through unnecessary chemotherapy and other treatments just so that he could collect additional millions from Medicare. The mere thought of what he did is chilling.”
Some of Fata’s victims are disappointed that they didn’t get the opportunity to speak at a trial, according to Click On Detroit. Others are glad to hear him admit to his fraud.
“I don’t think there’s any justice. I lost my sister and her children lost a mother,” said Cindy Burt. “There’s just no justice for that.”
White Lake resident Karen Baldwin said her husband, Harrison, was treated for a diagnosis of brain cancer. She is unsatisfied with the guilty plea.
“To me true justice would be that Fata drops dead,” Baldwin said, adding, “And I go home and my husband’s at the table saying, ‘What’s for dinner? I’m hungry.’”
Dave Kroff was also put through years of unnecessary chemotherapy by Fata. Kroff says that the chemo suppressed his immune system so badly that he lost both of his legs.
“He’s one of several civil suits against Fata,” Donna MacKenzie, Kroff’s attorney, stated. “The feds have seized millions in Dr. Fata’s assets. Will any of these victims see any of it?”
Multiple civil suits have already been filed, according to Click On Detroit. For example, Donna Virkus, the daughter of one of Fata’s patients, says that her 78-year-old father, Donald, was referred to Fata by a concerned physician to rule out esophageal cancer.
“It’s unbelievable. I can’t believe we put our trust into a doctor that was supposed to take care of him and ended up killing him,” Virkus said.
Donna’s father never had the cancer, a review of Donald’s medical files showed. Yet, the prestigious cancer doctor ordered two years of chemo. The civil suit alleges that Donald developed a blood-related cancer as an effect of the chemotherapy treatments. Donald later died.
Civil suits filed against the Michigan doctor over fraudulent cancer treatments include other doctors and oncology nurses as well.
Read more at Inquisitor
Health workers administer a vaccine to a baby in Nairobi’s Mlango Kubwa area. Religion News Service photo by Fredrick Nzwili | Fredrick Nzwili
NAIROBI, Kenya (RNS / Huffington Post) A row between the Catholic Church and the government over a tetanus vaccine aimed at women in their childbearing years has clergy urging people to shun the injection, saying it’s a stealth population-control ploy.
On Tuesday (Nov.11), the bishops appearing before the parliamentary health committee said they had tested the vaccine privately and were shocked to find it was laced with a birth control hormone called beta human chorionic gonadotropin.
“We are calling on all Kenyans to avoid the tetanus vaccination campaign because we are convinced it is indeed a disguised population control program,” said Bishop Paul Kariuki, chairman of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops’ health committee.
The tangle began in March, when bishops became suspicious about the vaccine, which was targeted at women in the reproductive ages of 14 to 49, and excluded boys and men.
An ordinary tetanus shot can protect a person for 10 years, with a booster available for those who have suffered an injury.
The bishops also wondered why the campaign was being rolled out in phases and in secrecy.
“To our surprise, the Ministry of Health confirmed it had not tested the vaccine, having trusted it, since it originated from WHO (World Health Organization), a credible organization in matters of health,” said Kariuki.
The government insists the vaccine is safe. So too does the World Health Organization and UNICEF. The two groups issued a statement saying the vaccine, which has been used by 130 million women in 52 countries, is safe.
“These allegations are not backed up by evidence, and risk negatively impacting national immunizations programs for children and women,” the WHO and UNICEF statement said.
The government began providing the shots in October 2013.
“We have explained the science behind targeting the women,” said James Macharia, health ministry Cabinet secretary. “We have embarked on the campaign to speed up the elimination of the disease among women in the reproductive age.”
According to the bishops, when the ordinary tetanus vaccine is combined with b-HCG and given in five doses every six months, the women develop immunity for both tetanus and HCG, a hormone necessary for pregnancy. Subsequently, the body rejects any pregnancy, causing repeated miscarriages and eventually sterility.
In 1995, the World Health Organization proposed a similar campaign in Kenya, but the bishops protested, demanding that the vaccine be tested independently. Instead of submitting a sample for testing, WHO stopped the campaign, said Kariuki.
WHO carried out similar vaccination campaigns in Mexico in 1993 and in Nicaragua and the Philippines in 1994.
“What is immoral and evil is that the tetanus laced with HCG was given as a fertility regulating vaccine without disclosing its contraceptive effect to the girls and mothers,” said Dr. Wahome Ngare, a member of the Kenya Catholic Doctors Association.
Even the Washington Post is reporting this (we posted earlier via Lew Rockwell)
When Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson left the scene of the shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown, the officer returned to the police station unescorted, washed blood off his hands and placed his recently fired pistol into an evidence bag himself.
Such seemingly unorthodox forensic practices emerged from the voluminous testimony released in the aftermath of a grand jury decision Monday night not to indict Wilson.
The transcript showed that local officers who interviewed Wilson immediately after the shooting did not tape the conversations and sometimes conducted them with other police personnel present. An investigator with the St. Louis County Medical Examiner’s office testified that he opted not to take measurements at the crime scene.
“I got there, it was self-explanatory what happened,” said the investigator, whose name was not released, in his grand jury testimony. “Somebody shot somebody. There was no question as to any distances or anything of that nature at the time I was there.”
The investigator, described as a 25-year veteran, did not take his own photographs at the scene of the shooting because his camera battery was dead, he said. Instead, he relied on photographs shot by the St. Louis County Police Department.
Read Darren Wilson’s full grand jury testimony
The medical examiner and Ferguson Police Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
When Wilson returned to the police department after the shooting, he was permitted to drive by himself. No one photographed his bloodied hands before he washed up at the station because “there was no photographer available.”
Later, injuries to Wilson’s head caused by punches he said were thrown by Brown were photographed by a local detective at the Fraternal Order of Police building, not at police headquarters.
An FBI agent interviewed by the grand jury said he did tape his interview with Wilson. The agent, who was not identified, said Wilson washed up immediately after the shooting because he was worried about the danger presented by some one else’s blood, not about preserving evidence.
“His concern was not of evidence, but as a biohazard or what possible blood hazards it might attract,” said the agent, who like other witnesses was not identified by name.
At the crime scene, the medical examiner did not see stippling, the residue of gunpowder on clothing that can indicate shots fired at close range. Eventually an autopsy found evidence of stippling.
In the extended interviews, prosecutors do not come across as particularly aggressive or curious. But they do question police procedures on a couple of occasions, including the failure by Ferguson and St. Louis County investigators to tape their interviews with the officer after the shooting.
Prosecutors released a flood of documents and evidence Monday related to the August shooting of Michael Brown by Ferguson officer Darren Wilson. (AP)
Why not tape these answers? a detective with St. Louis County was asked. “It is just common practice that we do not,” the detective said.
Prosecutors also asked why Wilson was permitted to handle evidence in the case himself. “He had informed me that after he responded to the police station, he had packaged his weapon and then he directed my attention to an evidence envelope,’’ said the St. Louis County detective. Is it customary for the person who was involved in such an incident “to handle and package their own gun as evidence?” the detective was asked.
Not according to the rules of the St. Louis County Police Department, the detective said. But Ferguson may have had its own rules, the detective said. He was not aware of “any policies or procedures they have in place” on the topic.
“Darren Wilson had told me that he had packaged the weapon and it was currently in that evidence bag,” the detective told the grand jury. “Now, at that point in time I never checked to verify that; it was done later,” the detective said.
The accounts occasionally revealed inconsistencies. For example, two investigators who interviewed Wilson immediately after the incident said Wilson told them only one shot was fired by Wilson from inside the Chevy Tahoe police cruiser.
But in his testimony, Wilson said two shots were fired inside the car, among several misfires.
The shots and misfires preceded the fatal shooting of Brown on the street a few moments later. The shots were fired from the car after Wilson said Brown had reached in to the vehicle, swinging at the officer and grabbing for his pistol.
Wilson described Brown as having the intimidating size of “Hulk Hogan.” At one point, he said, Brown pushed his pistol down toward the floor, eventually forcing the firearm into the officer’s thigh. Wilson said Brown appeared to be trying to squeeze the trigger. Eventually, Wilson described getting free of Brown’s grip and raising his weapon toward his attacker. The first attempts by Wilson to get off a round at his attacker failed, he said, as the gun only clicked without firing a bullet.
Wilson ultimately said he fired two shots inside the vehicle. After one shot fired he noticed shattered glass and saw blood on his hand, an indication, he said, that Brown had been hit.
However, a Ferguson police officer and a detective with the St. Louis County Police said that Wilson told them only one shot was fired inside the car. The two officers — one a 38-year veteran of the Ferguson police force and the other a county detective — were among the first to talk with Wilson after the fatal shooting. Wilson and the other officers said the weapon failed to fire multiple times inside the vehicle.
Unfortunately, this is as expected as the Missouri grand jury decided not to indict a white police officer over the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager in August. I have explained that this need not even be racist because the grand jury system has become a joke. The government only needs to present whatever evidence they want. There is no obligation to present all the evidence because the Supreme Court has ruled that the Grand Jury is NOT entitled to all the evidence, since the trial jury will correct any deficiencies. The problem – indictments are not rendered against government people and handed out like candy for their enemies.
Angry crowds took to the streets around the Ferguson police department after the grand jury determined there was no probable cause to charge officer Darren Wilson with any crime for the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown. This stupid decision is very serious. There should have been an indictment and then let the PUBLIC see all the evidence. Hiding this incident in such a manner will NEVER satisfy not merely the black community, but the entire world. This was a very stupid decision and this decision will only now feed into the war cycle on the civil unrest side. Ferguson is a spark that ignites a new trend that will be national. To save one officer, they will set in motion the deaths of so many others. This should have gone to trial and let the people decide.
The worst of the worst is that the Grand Jury proceedings are secret. No judge is present at the proceedings which are led by a prosecutor who is routinely pro-government. The target “defendant” has no right to even be present his case or to be informed of the proceedings secretly being conducted behind the scenes. There is no right to a lawyer in the Grand Jury. Among the legal community, Grand Jury indictments are considered a JOKE and the typical phase one hears among lawyers concern the rules are so one sided, the government could indict a “ham sandwich”.
The argument for such secrecy was unanimously upheld by the Supreme Court in Douglas Oil Co. of Cal. v. Petrol Stops Northwest, 441 US 211 (1979). The dissenting opinion was joined by Justices Burger and Stewart still concurred with the Court’s opinion as to the importance and rationale of grand jury secrecy. The gist of that secrecy was people would be afraid to appear and rat out others the government wanted to indict if they were not protected. That was the same reasoning behind the Venetian Mouth of Truth and the other side is that fake evidence enters because there is no check and balance against witnesses who can then say anything to sway the Grand Jury to whatever direction the government desires. Very, very bad decision. There is no accountability whatsoever.
The history of the grand jury is rooted in the common and civil law, extending back to Athens, pre-Norman England, and the Assize of Clarendon promulgated by Henry II. The right seems to have been first mentioned in the colonies in the Charter of Liberties and Privileges of 1683, which was passed by the first assembly permitted to be elected in the colony of New York. Included from the first in Madison’s introduced draft of the Bill of Rights, the provision elicited no recorded debate and no opposition. “The grand jury is an English institution, brought to this country by the early colonists and incorporated in the Constitution by the Founders. There is every reason to believe that our constitutional grand jury was intended to operate substantially like its English progenitor.
The basic purpose of the English grand jury was to provide a fair method for instituting criminal proceedings against persons believed to have committed crimes. Grand jurors were selected from the body of the people and their work was not hampered by rigid procedural or evidential rules. In fact, grand jurors could act on their own knowledge and were free to make their presentments or indictments on such information as they deemed satisfactory. Despite its broad power to institute criminal proceedings the grand jury grew in popular favor with the years. It acquired an independence in England free from control by the Crown or judges. Its adoption in our Constitution as the sole method for preferring charges in serious criminal cases shows the high place it held as an instrument of justice. And in the USA as in England of old the grand jury has convened as a body of laymen, free from technical rules, acting in secret, pledged to indict no one because of prejudice and to free no one because of special favor.
The idea that only the people can indict is very nice. But as Stalin said about elections, it does not matter how people vote, it is those who count the votes who decide elections. Well this is the same nonsense. The rules have been inverted so ONLY the government has a right to indict anyone and they ALWAYS protect their own. This type of corruption should be expected. The Grand Jury is a joke when there is secret proceedings and no right to present both sides so the Grand Jury can be deaf, dumb, and blind. The Grand Jury was originally the people standing between the people and the government. To protect government, they simply changed the rule to ensure the government need not tell the Grand Jury the truth. What Stalin said about elections applies to Grand Juries. The Government can indeed indict a ham sandwich. They mean nothing if not even less.
Here comes the civil unrest because indeed we need major political reform in virtually every branch of government. Sorry – but he should have been indicted and he should have been given a full and fair PUBLIC TRIAL to show the world what is the truth. Now there will always be a debate as to the evidence submitted in secret.
The mother of Michael Brown could be charged with felony armed robbery for allegedly attacking people in a Ferguson, Mo., parking lot because they were selling T-shirts honoring the late teenager.
The Ferguson Police Department is currently investigating claims that Lesley McSpadden brought a group of people — including her own mother — to beat vendors and rob them of their “Justice for Mike Brown” merchandise Oct. 18, The Smoking Gun has learned.
One person was hospitalized in the reported attack and another unidentified alleged victim was reportedly beaten with a pipe.
McSpadden’s former mother-in-law, Pearlie Gordon, was among those beaten by “a large group of about 20-30 subjects” who had “jumped out of vehicles and rushed” the group of sellers, according to the police report.
Gordon, 54, was allegedly knocked to the ground and repeatedly struck in the head. She detailed the brief exchange she had with McSpadden at the time of the attack.
“You can’t sell this s**t,” McSpadden allegedly said, according to the report.
Gordon responded that “unless McSpadden could produce documentation stating that she had a patent on her son’s name (Gordon) was going to continue to sell her merchandise,” according to the report.
More than $1500 in merchandise and $400 in cash was allegedly stolen by the attackers.
Once the investigation is finished, Ferguson police will decide whether to charge McSpadden and the others with felony armed robbery.
Michael Hanline was convicted to life without parole for a 1978 Ventura County murder. On Monday, the 69-year-old was released after new DNA evidence didn’t match his. ‘It feels like I’m on the front of a missile going through space and stuff is just flying by. I mean it’s just incredible,’ he told reporters.
After spending more than half of his life behind bars, California’s longest-serving wrongfully convicted inmate is heading home.
Michael Hanline was released Monday from the Ventura County jail, where he served 36 years in prison for a 1978 murder.
“It feels like I’m on the front of a missile going through space and stuff is just flying by. I mean it’s just incredible,” he told reporters outside of the jail.
The white-haired 69-year-old walked away with the help of a cane and left the facility hand-in-hand with his wife, Sandee.
Hanline was convicted to life in prison without parole in 1980, the L.A. Times reported. Prosecutors said he shot and killed J.T. McGarry two years before. They claimed he murdered the biker and dumped his body off the side of the road for money McGarry owed Hanline’s then-girlfriend
Hanline maintained his innocence from the start. The California Innocence Project began working on the case 15 years ago — 20 years after he was first convicted.
But the group’s big break came this year, when DNA evidence didn’t match Hanline’s. Instead, the DNA of another person was found on the evidence, Ventura County Deputy D.A. Michael Lief said.
The mismatched DNA prompted a judge to order his release Monday — his 36 years behind bars is the longest a wrongfully convicted California inmate has ever served.
“Through the miracle of DNA, we’ve added an extra piece to the puzzle here that showed that the evidence he was convicted on was false and we now have this DNA evidence to show that he did not commit this crime,” California Innocence Project spokesman Justin Brooks said at a Monday press conference.
Hanline was released with a GPS ankle bracelet, which he’ll wear while the District Attorney decides weather or not a lunch a retrial.
For now, he’ll head home, to a brand new world.
“I can’t really express the feelings that I got inside me because it’s just like a whirlwind. It’s a whole new ball game,” Hanline said. “I mean, you know, it’s an age of cellphones and technology and all that stuff is new. I’m a dinosaur.”
Police are reinvestigating the 1978 murder, including the new DNA evidence.
The most important details in Darren Wilson’s grand jury testimony come on pages 77-78 of the transcript. Asked if he had filled out an incident report on the shooting, Wilson explained that the “protocol” in such cases is to “contact your FOP [Fraternal Order of Police] representative and he will advise you of what to do step by step.”
When asked if he had committed his recollections to paper in a diary or journal, Wilson replied: “My statement has been written for my attorney.”
“And that’s between you and your attorney, then?” asked the exceptionally helpful prosecutor, who received an affirmative reply.
“So no one has asked you to write out a statement?” the assistant DA persisted.
“No, they haven’t,” Wilson acknowledged.
Like anybody else suspected of a crime, Wilson was presumed innocent and could not be forced to incriminate himself. Unlike a Mundane suspected of homicide, however, Wilson was given the luxury of crafting his story to fit subsequent disclosures, in consultation with a police union attorney who added the necessary melodramatic flourishes.
Thus we are told that when Wilson grabbed Brown’s forearm through the window of his SUV, “the only way I can describe it is I felt like a five-year-old holding on to Hulk Hogan.”
Although the 18-year-old Brown possessed nearly 300 pounds of unathletic girth, Wilson was no nebbish: Like Brown, he stands 6’4″ and weighs 210 pounds.
After being shot during the altercation in the SUV, Brown displayed the face of a “demon,” Wilson claims. After fleeing from the officer, who continued to shoot at him, Brown could be seen “almost bulking up to run through the shots,” Wilson continued, a line that doubtless reflects the verbal artistry of a well-paid police union attorney.
Like others accused of a crime, Wilson had the right to counsel of his choice. In his case, however, a defense attorney was redundant.
The grand jury transcript from September 26 listed the case as “State of Missouri vs. Darren Wilson,” but the assistant St. Louis County District Attorneys who examined the suspect behaved more like defense attorneys than prosecutors. Their advertised task was to determine if probable cause existed to justify criminal charges against Wilson for the shooting of tardily identified robbery suspect Michael Brown. The actual function they performed was to rationalize the killing in a way that would bring about Robert McCullouch’s intended result, the no-billing of the former police officer.
When a prosecutor actually seeks an indictment, he will not go to the trouble of presenting potentially exculpatory evidence. In fact, as former federal prosecutor Sidney Powell documents in her infuriating new book Licensed to Lie, prosecutors generally go through heroic contortions to withhold, disguise, misplace, or exclude “Brady” material. McCullouch, a prosecutor not known for his solicitude toward the accused unless they are swaddled in the vestments of the State’s coercive caste, made a point of making the case for the defense, which is a function usually carried out during a criminal trial by counsel for the defendant.
At various points in the 92-page transcript, we can see how McCullough’s carefully guided Wilson through his testimony, prompting him to follow the script provided by his police union attorney, and either ignoring or gently correcting him when caught in the kind of contradictions upon which a motivated prosecutor would triumphantly seize. For example: Wilson claimed that at one point, Brown had “complete control” over the officer’s firearm. Under the kind prompting from one of the unusually solicitous assistant DAs, Wilson admitted that the gun never left his hand, and that his was the finger on the trigger.
Wilson states that after he confronted Brown and Johnson (whom he did not identify as robbery suspects until after the initial contact) for jaywalking, Brown’s hostile attitude prompted him to call for backup and then cut them off with his police vehicle. When he tried to leave the vehicle, Brown allegedly shoved the car door shut and glared at the officer with an “intense face” as if intending to “overpower” him. At some point — Wilson isn’t clear on the details — Brown supposedly slugged the officer through the window.
Reciting a well-rehearsed script, Wilson told the jurors that he scrolled through non-lethal options before pulling his gun.
“Get back or I’m going to shoot you,” Wilson says he told Brown. At this point “He immediately grabs my gun and says, `You are too much of a pussy to shoot me,’” the officer claimed. Later in his testimony, Wilson elaborated: “He didn’t pull it from my holster, but whenever it was visible to him, he then took complete control of it.”
Wilson threatened to kill Brown; Brown refused to be shot. This complicates the self-defense claim, which rests on Wilson’s assertion that by this time he had been struck twice by the behemoth, and was afraid that “the third one could be fatal if he hit me right.” Yet despite being repeatedly pummeled by a man-mountain of preternatural strength — a veritable Hulk Hogan, if not an Incredible Hulk — Wilson’s face displayed no visible injuries.
The alleged blows were sufficient to justify lethal force, even against a fleeing, unarmed suspect, Wilson insists.
“My gun was already being presented as a deadly force option while he was hitting me in the face,” he told the jurors, later saying that hurling lead down a residential street was justified in order to “protect” the public from an unarmed suspect who had assaulted an armed police officer.
Michael Brown was apparently a shoplifter and a bully. If this was the case, he should have been compelled to make restitution to the victims. (Interestingly, although Wilson claimed to have seen stolen cigarillos in Brown’s hands during the “assault,” they were never found.) While there’s no clear evidence that Brown ever assaulted Wilson, it is indisputable from Wilson’s testimony that he was the one who escalated the encounter by threatening lethal force. This is problematic even under positivist legal precedents: Per Bad Elk vs. US, Brown — even as a criminal suspect — didn’t have a duty to die simply because Wilson had the means to kill him, and according Tennessee vs. Garner Wilson didn’t have the legal authority to kill Brown simply because he tried to evade arrest.
One needn’t consider Michael Brown to be a winsome innocent in order to believe that Wilson’s conduct in this incident was, at best, thoroughly suspect — and suitable for examination in a genuinely adversarial process of the kind Robert McCullouch was determined to avoid.