A woman was arrested yesterday after pulling a gun on another woman and her daughter outside a Detroit-area Chipotle. (Update: she was later charged with felony assault)
The circumstances are unclear and in dispute, but mostly on film. It appears the child, who is black, and the gun owner, who is white, bumped into one another outside the restaurant in Lake Orion, Michigan, and began arguing. By the time the filming begins, mom's demanding an apology from the woman. The gun owner, calm at this point, refuses to do so and demands they step aside to let her get in her car. They do and she gets in on the passenger side, and everyone begins debating racism through the car window, with the mother and the daughter angrily accusing her of "ignorance" while the gun owner insists that "white people aren't racist".
It appears the dispute is ending, but as the vehicle begins backing out — the footage is shaky and incompete beause the person filming has begun to walk away — someone behind the vehicle shouts "you're going to hit me?" and slaps the vehicle's rear window. It isn't clear if the person was about to be bumped inadvertantly by the driver or was deliberately obstructing the vehicle.
In any case, the gun owner exits the vehicle, draws the weapon, and begins screaming and threatening.
Two clips are in circulation. The longer one (below) shows the full dispute, mostly at a distance. Read the rest
Ghislaine Maxwell, the British heiress and longtime confidant of billionaire sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, is in FBI custody. She was arrested in New Hampshire, reports NBC News, and charged with conspiracy to sexually abuse children.
Read the rest
The six-count indictment in Manhattan federal court alleges that Maxwell helped Epstein groom girls as young as 14 years old, going back as far as 1994.
"In some instances, Maxwell was present for and participated in the sexual abuse of minor victims," the indictment says. The daughter of media baron Robert Maxwell, Ghislaine was a one-time girlfriend of Epstein's and was at the high-flying investor's side for decades. But she was also alleged to have helped Epstein groom teen girls for sex with the rich and powerful. One of those teens, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, leveled that charge against Maxwell in a 2015 defamation suit, as have a number of other women.
Porn star Ron Jeremy was charged today with rape and sexual assault, the Los Angeles District Attorney's office announced today. According to the charges, Jeremy, 67, raped three women and assaulted another in incidents dating back to 2014.
Prosecutors allege Jeremy forcibly raped a 25-year-old woman at a home in West Hollywood in May 2014. Jeremy allegedly sexually assaulted two women, ages 33 and 46, on separate occasions at a West Hollywood bar in 2017. He is also accused of forcibly raping a 30-year-old woman at the same bar in July 2019. The D.A.’s office noted it investigated another incident involving Jeremy from 2016 but declined the case due to insufficient evidence.
Jeremy was named in a 2017 Rolling Stone article about similar allegations dating back much further, ending his reputation as a "goofy, almost family-friendly totem of an industry." Read the rest
The United States Internal Revenue Service says it purchased access to a marketing database that offers location data for millions of US cellphones, so the IRS can identify and track persons suspected of tax-related crimes. Read the rest
“What we’re talking about here, it’s not the front page of the New York Times. It’s 'Tucker Carlson Tonight,' which is a commentary show,” Fox News lawyer argued, defending lawsuit from Karen McDougal
Chris Watts killed his pregnant wife and two young children and buried them in a tank. This mini-documentary by Jim Can't Swim (patreon) takes us through the bodycam footage of a cop called to his house after Shannon Watts failed to turn up to a rendezvous with a friend, and subsequent interview with detectives. It's detailed and striking work, pointing out the subtle (and not so subtle) tells in his calm behavior that led the police to suspect he was the culprit. You can tell why no-one knew what he'd done, but can readily see they felt it from the outset.
We are rightfully armed by reason against such feelings as they are often wrong. Nonetheless, there's a moment in the bodycam video where Shanann Watts' friend makes a certain facial expression after Chris arrives home but doesn't call for his wife. You can't say it's realization, but she's sinking fast.
Read the rest
Prosecutors in the U.S. have demanded an interview with Prince Andrew, pal of dead billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein. Andrew, himself accused of raping one of the then-girls Epstein trafficked, has no plans to subject himself to further scrutiny.
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The request, made under a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty, or MLAT, is similar to a subpoena in this case for Prince Andrew's testimony. It's a rare move to seek an interview like this through MLAT, officials say, and it's focused on making sure the investigation is as thorough as possible. U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman foreshadowed the move in March when he said he would consider legal action after Prince Andrew's representatives had closed the door to an interview. "Contrary to Prince Andrew's very public offer to cooperate with our investigation into Epstein's co-conspirators, an offer that was conveyed via press release, Prince Andrew has now completely shut the door on voluntary cooperation," Berman said, adding that his office is "considering its options."
Miramar, Florida police arrested Matthew Crandall, 21, for allegedly breaking into Miramar High School and smashing up the place. He wore only a hat and headphones as he destroyed computers and TVs and apparently caused major flooding. The total wreckage is estimated at $100,000.
Crandall was identified from surveillance footage. According to the Associated Press, "it’s not known whether he has ties to the school."
(Thanks to our Florida bureau chief, Charles Pescovitz!) Read the rest
William “Roddie” Bryan Jr. charged with Felony Murder & Criminal Attempt to Commit False Imprisonment.
Ankle bracelet time for Manafort
Gregory and Travis McMichael, videotaped chasing down jogger Ahmaud Arbery and killing him in the street, were today arrested and charged with his murder and with aggravated assault.
The killing, of an unarmed black man in broad daylight, occured months ago, but shot into the news after the shocking footage was leaked to the media. Evidence of such a blatant public lynching, in the deep south, immediately resulted in a barrage of criticism and condemnation aimed at local authorities' contempt for the victim and favoritism toward his killers.
As Thom wrote:
The shooters, George and Travis McMichael, had connections with the local police and district attorneys office, and, according to their lawyer, were acting within their rights to carry firearms and perform a citizens' arrest in the state of Georgia, thanks in part to Stand-Your-Ground laws that state, "A private person may arrest an offender if the offense is committed in his presence or within his immediate knowledge." The McMichaels claimed that Arbery attacked them after they chased him with guns, which, technically, made it self-defense; Arbery was not alive to refute this statement.
The District Attorney recused himself from the case over personal conflicts of interest with the McMichaels family, but not before publishing a letter that smeared the late Arbery as a violent, mentally ill criminal.
The sudden attention from the press and politicians has somehow changed hearts and minds in the state of Georgia.
In a press release, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said investigations are "all active and ongoing." Read the rest
Donald Trump's thoroughly corrupt Justice Department today dropped its criminal case against Michael T. Flynn, President Trump’s first national security adviser, who pleaded guilty previously to lying to F.B.I. agents about his conversations with a Russian diplomat.
The Justice Department said it had concluded that Flynn’s interview by the FBI was “untethered to, and unjustified by, the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation into Mr. Flynn.” Read the rest
His threatening social media posts attracted the attention of federal investigators
A hacker is accused of bribing an employee of the game Roblox and gaining access that allowed the hacker to see user account info, reset passwords, and grant virtual in-game currency, by way of the back end customer support panel of the massively popular online video game. Read the rest
Parents who brought kids to playground for staged event were told to move on before arrest for breaking public health order
• Dr. Rick Bright, head of the agency responsible for vaccines in the Trump administration, released a statement Wednesday that blames political motives for his abrupt reassignment.
• "I am speaking out because to combat this deadly virus, science – not politics or cronyism – has to lead the way."
WASHINGTON: Dr. Rick Bright, a leading official at the United States Department of Health and Human Services, says he was demoted for fighting efforts to “fund potentially dangerous drugs promoted by those with political connections,” and for opposing hydroxychloroquine, the anti-malarial drug touted by Trump as a coronavirus treatment. Read the rest
• In a first, by teleconference
• Court will provide live audio feed of arguments to news media
Today the United States Supreme Court announced that on May 12, it will hear a dispute over whether Trump's tax and financial records should be publicly disclosed. Read the rest