An off-duty Dallas cop who killed a man in his own home was convicted today of murder. Amber Guyger, armed with a gun, claimed she thought she was in her own apartment—a floor down—when she shot Botham Jean, armed with a bowl of ice cream. At trial she availed herself of a stand-your-ground defense: that even the mistaken belief he was the intruder justified shooting him dead. Jurors disagreed ... or simply didn't believe her story.
The jury has found former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger guilty of murder in the killing of Botham Jean.
The jury deliberated less than two days on the killing.
The sentencing phase will resume at 1 p.m.
His home was not her castle. Read the rest
British cops have an (unearned?) reputation for restraint. So it's always wild to see them do things that even the rootin'-tootin' murderers of America's thin blue line would balk at. Here's one simply ramming a suspect with his cruiser, on foot: "There's a myth that if they take their helmet off or take to the pavement, we won't pursue them," says officer lawnmower.
Met police use "tactical contact" to take down a moped rider who escaped by riding at speed through a park and down pavements. Officers also sprayed DNA identification spray in the incident in case the offender escaped and then potentially could be identified later. Rider arrested for failing to stop for police, theft of motor vehicle, possession of Class-A drug with intent to supply, failing a road-side drug test, and dangerous driving.
Police have gotten in trouble for 'tactical contact', but the sands are shifting underfoot thanks to Brexit rage, the normalizing effect of documentaries such as this one, and of course to posts like this one, inevitably experienced as facile entertainment irrespective of any sentiment or framing I might apply to it.
"We recovered your stolen scooter, sir! What's that, sir? No, actually you'd best come get it in your car." Read the rest
As Michigan State Police have it, 27-year old Carlos Martinez was at fault when his vehicle and one driven by an officer collided at a Detroit intersection. But security footage from a nearby porch has made a liar of the officer, showing him driving through a stop sign, causing the accident, then treating Martinez like a criminal.
"The police officer say [sic] 'you're 27 years old, you're old enough, you don't need no parents, and plus you don't have no rights right now.'"
Maria Martinez told the channel that her son is a U.S. citizen without any criminal history or involvement with gangs.
Read the rest
MSP says after reviewing both the black box from the officer's undercover vehicle, and security camera from a nearby homeowner, police confirm the officer failed to stop at the stop sign. MSP is currently investigating both the crash and the arrest the officer made.
A year-long investigation of private Facebook hate groups by REVEAL finds close to 400 current and retired law enforcement officers are members, including officers from small towns as well as big cities -- including NYPD. Read the rest
Chicago police are urging people not to use mobile phone cases that look like handguns because, y'know, it's just stupid. Apparently Illinois Conservation Police officers stopped a stolen car and saw a handgun in a passenger's waistband. According to a Facebook post by the agency, the police officer “observed this object and was able to quickly secure the individual in handcuffs and remove it. Only then was it apparent it was a cell phone case and not a real firearm." The people in the car were all minors and while the mobile phone gun cases are illegal in many places, they are not banned on state property where the incident occurred. From the Chicago Tribune:
After the juvenile was released to a parent, the case was returned to the parent “and the parent was reminded of the dangers of carrying a product like that,” Torbert said.
The department’s Facebook post said the incident “serves as a reminder how quickly situations unfold for officers under high-stress conditions, often leaving fractions of a second to make critical decisions.”
Despite such bans, which exist in other states too, the cases — in black, white and pink — appear to be easily available to purchase on eBay and from stores that ship them from overseas.
• Previously: "Man pointing bong shaped like a rifle causes major scare in San Diego"
Read the rest
A warning for the good people of Wyoming! You never know when a trigger-happy Colorado cop might drop by to see the sights.
Emily Mieure, from The Jackson Hole News & Guide:
“Mr. Becerra, a diminutive 17-year-old Hispanic resident, was late one morning and running to catch his bus after leaving the apartment where he lived with his parents,” attorney Alex Freeburg stated in the complaint. “Without any more information, and without investigating any further, [Ms. Schultz, on vacation from Colorado] exited her vehicle, pulled out a pistol, and ordered Mr. Becerra to stop and get on the ground. ... While witnesses urged her to stop, and while Mr. Becerra pleaded with her, Ms. Schultz yelled ‘stay down’ and screamed ‘I have a gun and will shoot,’” the complaint states.
Taxpayer-dinging lawsuits are the remedy here because prosecutors show little interest in taking action. Shultz did nothing illegal, according to Fremont County Attorney Patrick LeBrun, “because it is reasonable to assume a running teen has committed a crime. Read the rest
The "sovereign citizen" movement is a grifty, anti-Semitic/white-nationalist-adjacent cult whose conspiratorial beliefs include a bunch of reasons that neither law enforcement nor courts have jurisdiction over them, and also that the federal government is not allowed to own land (this being the rubric for the Cliven Bundy terrorists' seizure of the Malheur Oregon Wildlife Refuge.
Read the rest
Police in Boulder, Colorado, drew their guns on a black man who was picking up trash on his own lawn. The first responder suggests that the man's trash grabber is a weapon; more cops soon arrive to escalate the confrontation, with eight eventually surrounding him in his own yard. The victim's housemate, Vanardo Merchant, took video and made sure the officers knew they were being filmed.
“You’re on my property with a gun in your hand, threatening to shoot me, because I’m picking up trash,” the man says. “I don’t have a weapon! This is a bucket, this is a clamp.”
“I’m not sitting down and you can’t make me,” the man says as additional officers arrive. “This is my property, this is my house — I live here.”
Check out officer cool dude here, relaxing with his shades and very eager to tase a man.
Another circled him while holding a shotgun the way Prince Charles holds a newspaper.
Read the rest
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra told two Berkeley-based reporters that it is against the law to even possess a copy of this never-before-publicly-released list of convicted cops.
“Overkill is an understatement,” the family’s lawyer said.
USA Today reports that a police station christmas tree garlanded with stereotypically black items and posted to social media resulted in demotions and suspensions.
Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo noted that it was "racially insensitive" in a post on the department's Facebook page.
"As soon as it was realized what the display was, it was removed," Arradondo said. "I am ashamed and appalled by the behavior of those who would feel comfortable to act in such a manner that goes against our core department values of Trust, Accountability and Professional Service."
Menthol ciggies and Old English, very clever. This seems to be a thing in Minnesota.
Minneapolis mayor Jacob Frey promised to fire the officer responsible by the end of the day but backed down within hours. Funny how that happens. Read the rest
For framing innocent black men, a police chief in Florida will go to prison for three years. Impunity is the norm in America for cases like this, so the conviction is a big deal. Read the rest
You're wheeling your haul out of Costco only to be accosted by the receipt-checker at the exit. You're fine, though, because you're not shoplifting anything. That slightly annoying feeling that the store assumes you're a criminal, it turns out, is tragically unwarranted, because those guys don't even care if you're shoplifting. In fact, the receipt-checkers are some kind of internal store Gestapo keeping tabs on the checkout cashiers.
Writes one former employee: “Trust me, we’re not loss prevention, we have loss prevention in the store and that’s not us. We’re literally just trying to make sure our cashiers do the job right, and when we DO catch it, all the information gets stored. Who did it, what time, etc...and those cashiers get spoken to. This is not to benefit anyone but the member to improve the experience overall.”
It's useful to remember that everything is not only worse than you think it is, but in ways you haven't yet considered. Read the rest
A cop working for the Direction Générale de la Sécurité Intérieure (the French national domestic surveillance agency) used the darknet marketplace Black Hand to sell access to France's prodigious national surveillance apparatus to criminals: give him a phone number and he'd track its location; give him a name and he'd tell you whether that person was under police investigation and disclose the contents of the associated files; he'd also sell you everything you needed to forge papers and other official documents (he took payment in Bitcoin).
Read the rest
Thwarting Darwinism, or, more likely, a pair of earbuds, a cop from the Perth Amboy Police Department in New Jersey, hauled ass to save a man from being smooshed by a train--and it was all caught on the officer's body camera. Why anyone, unless they were in some emotional distress, would decide that walking down a set of train tracks oblivious to an oncoming locomotive was a good idea is beyond me. Fortunate for the fella in the video, the police officer that came to his rescue was in good enough physical shape that he was able to sprint with the 20 pounds of gear that most cops wear, without slowing him down. Read the rest
Tim McCormick, a cop in Fort Myers, publicly accused a local Burger King of serving him dirt on a burger. But after an investigation, the "dirt" was found to be the burger seasoning.
Fitzpatrick said that after the officers watched the video they determined that nothing inappropriate had happened to the food cooked for McCormick.
So what was it?
As part of the prep process for cooking the meat, Fitzpatrick said, there is a salt and pepper blend applied to the food. He said it is possible that the spice mixture, as well as the flame-broiled grilling process itself, may have left particles the officer thought was dirt.
McCormick, posting under the Facebook name of Mac O'Durham, added that he noticed that his receipt had block letters with the word POLICE on it, something he said he had never noticed in previous visits.
But the restaurant has more receipts:
"Every one of our guests we ask 'May we have your name to better serve you?'," he said.
In this instance when the server asked McCormick for his name he simply said "officer." When the clerk didn't understand and asked him to repeat his name, McCormick said "police officer."
Christ, what an asshole. Read the rest
Here's yet another reason to install a dashcam. Joshua was rolling through Brooklyn around midnight when an undercover cop car ran a red light as he was turning left from the opposite direction. He's then treated to a lot of lip by the officers as he protests his innocence while pulled over. Read the rest