Leaked: damning Scott Walker dark money docs that judge ordered destroyed

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Again and again, Wisconsin governor Scott Walker flouted election laws to raise millions from some of the richest executives and biggest corporations in America, illegally laundering the money through the nominally independent, nonprofit Wisconsin Club for Growth -- and now we have all the details, thanks to an enormous leak of documents that a Wisconsin judge ordered destroyed. Read the rest

California's "gang" database is a sick joke; today, you can do something about it

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Dave Maass from Electronic Frontier Foundation writes, "A coalition of social justice and digital rights groups are tweeting at Gov. Jerry Brown today to demand he sign A.B. 2298, a bill that would bring new accountability measures to CalGang, the state's troubled gang database. Read the rest

Wells Fargo fires 5,300 employees for opening 2M fake accounts in customers' names

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5,300 Wells Fargo employees created 2 million phony bank accounts and racked up huge fees, raking in commissions from their employer for being such great salespeople for the bank's services; meanwhile, the fees associated with the 2 million fake accounts created the appearance of much greater earnings for the bank, which it trumpeted to its investors. Read the rest

Funeral fundraising scam jars feature face of woman who is not dead

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Over the weekend, the mother of Lupita Gonzalez heard from a family member in Shafter, California who was concerned that Lupita had died. Apparently, the person had spotted a donation jar emblazoned with Lupita's photo and a request to help send the woman's remains back to Mexico for burial. Lupita is just fine and lives in the next town over.

The photo had been grabbed from Gonzalez's Facebook page and taped to at least three jars placed on store countertops.

"It's a scary feeling," Gonzalez said.

Bakersfield Now reports that the "jars had a sob story about a girl named 'Enriquetta Nunez' who had died and whose family needed money to bring her remains back to Mexico."

Police are investigating. Read the rest

Escaped convict requests police post a different "wanted photo" of her on social media

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Last Wednesday, Amy Sharp, 18, on the run after escaping a Sydney, Australia correction center, requested on Facebook that police replace a posted photo of her with a different one that she preferred (below). They nabbed her on Friday.

(The Guardian)

Read the rest

Florida prosecutor who bumbled George Zimmerman trial is really good at putting children in adult prisons for life

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Angela Corey is state attorney for Florida's 4th Circuit, where she's put children as young as 12 on trial as adults, facing life in prison -- in solitary, because children can't be mixed with adult populations -- without counseling, education, or any access to family. Read the rest

Chicago reporter's three grim years of covering overnight crime

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What happens to a journalist assigned to cover Chicago's overnight violent crime? Chicago Tribune reporter Peter Nickeas describes in harrowing detail how three years of covering endless violence and misery changed him: Read the rest

Gentleman attempts to hide from police using senior citizen makeup

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Police in Hyannis, Massachusetts were on the lookout for 31 year old Shaun Miller, who was wanted for drug trafficking. Officers went to a house were he was believed to be staying, and when they encountered an "elderly man" there, the "officers determined that the ‘elderly man’ was in fact Miller, and at that point, officers pulled off Miller’s realistic disguise and placed him under arrest," according to a statement issued by the US Attorney’s Office.

[via] Read the rest

Boulder rapist Austin James Wilkerson receives no prison time

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Austin James Wilkerson, a 22-year-old University of Colorado student, was convicted of raping a drunk woman. But he'll be released on probation after District Judge Patrick Butler said he "struggled, to be quite frank, with the idea" of imprisoning him.

Supporters of Wilkerson, as in the California case of Turner, appealed for leniency. Wilkerson’s friends and family said the crime was a “traumatic incident” for him.

Prosecutors had sought a custodial sentence for the felony sexual assault charge, but Butler worried about "the kind of treatment" Wilkerson would receive in the prison system. Instead, Wilkerson will spend two years in Boulder County Jail on a program that allows him to leave during the day, and 20 years on probation.

"I don't know that there is any great result for anybody," Butler said. "Mr. Wilkerson deserves to be punished, but I think we all need to find out whether he truly can or cannot be rehabilitated."

The victim, who was present at the hearing but left before the defense addressed the court, asked Butler to send Wilkerson to prison.

"Have as much mercy for the rapist as he did for me that night," she told the judge.

The victim consumed alcohol on March 15, 2014; Wilkerson told her friends he would "make sure she was safe," then "isolated" and raped her, according to prosecutors.

Wilkerson admitted to investigators he’d made advances to the victim that night, “but that she rebuffed him each time, and that he felt ‘pissed off’ and called her a ‘fucking bitch,’” according to court documents.
Read the rest

NYPD's illegal frisk program did not prevent crime

Image: Flickr/Michael Fleshman

In past years the New York Daily News has supported the police department's use of "stop-and-frisks." Three years ago a federal judge ruled that they were unconstitutional. The number of stop-and-frisks fell 97%, from 685,700 in 2011 to 22,900 in 2015. Yet, crime did not rise as the paper and police department predicted. In fact, it fell to "record lows."

The murder count stood at 536 in 2010 and at 352 last year — and seems sure to drop further this year. There were 1,471 shooting incidents in 2010 (1,773 victims). By 2015, shootings had dropped to 1,130 (1, 339 victims).

The Daily News said, "We are delighted to say that we were wrong," adding " there can be little doubt that the NYPD’s increasing reliance on so-called precision policing — knowing whom to target, when and where — has played a key role." Read the rest

How racist traffic stops criminalize black people, and what to do about it

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When Philando Castile was killed by a Minneapolis cop after a traffic stop, we learned that he had been stopped 46 times before and had been fined for driving without a license. Read the rest

Researchers learn about wire-fraud scam after Nigerian scammers infect themselves with their own malware

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In Wire Wire: A West African Cyber Threat, researchers from Secureworks reveal their findings from monitoring a Nigerian bank-fraud ring whose members had unwittingly infected themselves with their own malware, which captured their keystrokes and files and uploaded them to a file-server from which the researchers were able to monitor their activities and methodologies. Read the rest

Ireland (finally) jails three bankers for role in 2008 crisis

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The three senior bankers who were sentenced on Friday are among the first to go to jail for illegal actions that contributed to the global economic crisis of 2008, which triggered waves of global instability, which contributed to the ongoing refugee crises and wars, mass unemployment, crippling austerity, the near-collapse of the Eurozone, Brexit, and soaring inequality. Read the rest

John Hinckley, who attempted to assassinate Ronald Reagan, will go free

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On March 30, 1981 in Washington DC, John Hinckley fired six bullets at President Ronald Reagan in an effort to impress the actress Jodie Foster. Reagan fully recovered but his press secretary, James Brady, who was also hit, lived the rest of his life in a wheelchair. The courts found Hinckley not guilty by reason of insanity. As soon as next week, Hinckley will be released from the mental hospital where relives to stay with his elderly mother in Williamsburg, Virgina. From NPR:

Under the terms of the order, Hinckley is not allowed to contact his victims, their relatives or actress Jodie Foster, with whom he was obsessed. Hinckley also will not be permitted to "knowingly travel" to areas where the current president or members of Congress are present. The judge said Hinckley could be allowed to live on his own or in a group home after one year.

"Mr. Hinckley shall abide by all laws, shall not consume alcohol, illegal drugs... shall not possess any firearm, weapon, or ammunition and shall not be arrested for cause," Senior U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman ordered...

In a prepared statement, the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute said, "Contrary to the judge's decision, we believe John Hinckley is still a threat to others and we strongly oppose his release."

"John Hinckley, Who Tried To Kill A President, Wins His Freedom" Read the rest

What if all drugs were totally legal?

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Flash Forward: RSS | iTunes | Twitter | Facebook | Web | Patreon | Reddit

In this episode we discuss the history of drug laws, why some drugs are legal and others aren’t, and what would happen if we just let everybody lose to do whatever they want.

▹▹ Full show notes Read the rest

Elderly woman beats mugger with bacon

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Police in Greater Manchester, UK report that an 86-year-old woman withdrew cash from an ATM before entering a supermarket where she was confronted by a mugger.

"The lady then defended herself by repeatedly hitting the female offender over the head with a packet of bacon," according to a GMP Trafford South post on Facebook. "The offender then retreated and made off from the supermarket." Read the rest

Preteen robbers throw dummy through window

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On Monday, five kids, around the age of 10, reportedly used a CPR dummy to bash in the window of a convenience store in Peoria, Illinois. They were foiled by bars that prevented them from entering. From the Peoria Journal Star:

According to Peoria police reports, the children, three girls and two boys, all about the age of 10, were at the Jackpot Supermarket, 200 N. MacArthur Highway, about 11:30 p.m. When officers arrived, the children weren't there but the CPR dummy was.

Read the rest

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