Leon Ford, Left Paralyzed After Being Shot During Traffic Stop, Acquitted on Assault Charges

leon ford 350x202 Leon Ford, Left Paralyzed After Being Shot During Traffic Stop, Acquitted on Assault Charges

Leon Ford, Left Paralyzed After Being Shot During Traffic Stop, Acquitted on Assault Charges

Leon Ford, who was left paralyzed after officers shot him during a November 2012 traffic stop on Pittsburgh’s East End, was found not guilty on two counts of aggravated assault. The jury deadlocked on all the other charges.

Ford was charged after fleeing from officers during a traffic stop. They opened fire after fearing for their lives.

The trial wrapped up last week after days of testimony that included police officers, use of force experts and Ford himself.

Ford took the stand last Monday.

He told the jury he thought he was going to die once gunfire rang out at the end of the traffic stop. He testified he was terrified when police kept insisting he might have been Lamont Ford.

His wheelchair was lifted onto the witness stand before the jury arrived, and he testified the tone was set when the first officer to approach him snatched his license from him. Things went downhill once it took so long to determine who he was.

“I didn’t know if they were going to beat me, shoot me or tax me,” said Ford.

He claimed that the car started moving before he knew it and he had no idea an officer got into the car until he heard gunshots and smelled smoke.

The prosecution contends Ford was trying to push the police officer out of the car, when he was shot. Source:  Pittsburgh CBS Local

“Django Unchained” Actress Daniele Watts Handcuffed by Cops After Kissing White Boyfriend

daniele watts 350x194 Django Unchained Actress Daniele Watts Handcuffed by Cops After Kissing White Boyfriend

Django Unchained Actress Daniele Watts Handcuffed for Kissing White Boyfriend (Photo credit: Facebook)

JESUS TAKE THE WHEEL:  Django Unchained actress Daniele Watts was left in tears after she was handcuffed by cops because they mistook her for a prostitute because she kissed her white boyfriend, Brian James Lucas.

Watts, who played slave CoCo in the Oscar Award-winning film, posted the news of the incident on her Facebook page on Sept. 2. She said her arm was cut when she was handcuffed.

Watts claims she was ‘handcuffed and detained’ by police after being mistaken for a prostitute as she kissed her Lucas. The couple say they were kissing on a Hollywood street when police were called and they were asked to show their identification card but she refused.

Daniele Watts wrote on her Facebook page:  “Today I was handcuffed and detained by 2 police officers from the Studio City Police Department after refusing to agree that I had done something wrong by showing affection, fully clothed, in a public place.”

UPDATE: It seems that Daniele Watts and her boyfriend were making out. Witnesses said the two were having sex with the car door wide open. They beg to differ. It seems that we are getting closer to the truth. Here’s the transcript of Watts’ encounter with police:

Watts: (sobbing) I don’t understand how we live in a free country where I’m at a parking lot making out with my boyfriend and I get arrested just because somebody called the cops. I don’t understand how we live in a free country where cops can put you in handcuffs… for nothing.
Sgt. Parker: (speaking to someone in background) Stay here, I’d be careful… A little emotional.
Sgt. Parker (to Watts): What’s your first name? Why do you think you’re in handcuffs? Do you think we put you in handcuffs or you did?
Watts: I put myself in handcuffs?
Sgt. Parker: Who do you think put yourself in handcuffs? Who do you think put you in handcuffs?
Watts: I think that this officer right here put me handcuffs because…
Sgt. Parker No, I think you did the minute you left the scene.
Watts: Yes, because I was being treated as a criminal before I even did anything.
Sgt. Parker: I’m sorry, do you… do you see the gentleman here in handcuffs? Is the gentleman here in handcuffs before you? No, he’s not.
Watts: Do you think that I’m stupid?
Sgt. Parker: I don’t think you’re stupid at all
Watts: What’s your first name Officer Parker?
Sgt. Parker: My name is Sergeant Parker and that’s all you need to know.
Watts: Why do you need to know my first name but I don’t need to know your first name?
Sgt. Parker Because I need to identify you as a source of a radio call
Watts: So I think I’d like to identify you to my publicist, what’s your first name?
Sgt. Parker: Now you see why you’re in handcuffs?
Watts: Why because you’re afraid of the news getting out about you arresting someone who’s innocent, who was making out with her boyfriend?
Sgt. Parker: I’ve been on the news many times.
Watts: Awesome.
Second officer: Ma’am, I explained to you over there why you’re in handcuffs
Watrts: Because you asked me to turn around and face the wall and I did.
Second officer: When you left my supervisor when he told you stay…
Watts: Did he tell me to stay or did I say I am walking away and I was talking to my dad? Did you hear him tell me to stay here?
Sgt. Parker: You can’t walk away ma’am
Second officer: He didn’t say anything to you as you walked away…
Watts: You didn’t say anything to me as I was walking away.

Daniele Watts’ Facebook post:

Biracial Utah Man, Darrien Nathaniel Hunt, Killed by Cops While Carrying Samurai Sword

darrien nathaniel hunt 350x240 Biracial Utah Man, Darrien Nathaniel Hunt, Killed by Cops While Carrying Samurai Sword

Biracial Utah Man, Darrien Nathaniel Hunt, Killed by Cops While Carrying Samurai Sword

Darrien Nathaniel Hunt was gunned down by police in Saratoga Springs, Utah, while he carried a Samurai sword. His mother, Susan Hunt, said he wouldn’t have been shot if he were white. The autopsy shows the 22-year-0ld man was gunned down from behind.

Hunt said, “I’m in Saratoga Springs, cause it’s a safe little community and they killed him.” “They killed my son because he’s black. No white boy with a little sword would they shoot while he’s running away.”

Police said two officers shot Darrien Nathaniel Hunt on Wednesday while he was carrying a Samurai sword after responding to a report of a suspicious person.

Attorney Randall Edwards issued a statement to KSL News Saturday saying the findings of the autopsy are consistent with witness statements that Hunt was running away from police when he was shot multiple times.

“It would appear difficult, if not impossible, to reconcile these facts with the story that Darrien was lunching toward the officers when he was shot,” Edwards’ statement said. Source: KSL News

The Saratoga Springs Police Department issued a statement after three days of silence on what led the officers to kill Darrien Nathaniel Hunt:

“When the officers made contact with Mr. Hunt, he brandished the sword and lunged toward the officers with the sword, at which time Mr. Hunt was shot,” a prepared statement from Utah County Chief Deputy Attorney Tim Taylor said. “There is currently no indication that race played any role in the confrontation between Mr. Hunt and the police officers.”

Where’s the proof Darrien Hunt brandished and lunged towards the officers with the sword? Were they wearing body cameras? Hunt’s mother described the sword as a Katana blade that was purchased at an Asian souvenir shop and said it is unable to cut anything. The officers have been identified as Corporal Matthew Schauerhamer and Officer Nicholas Judson.

This comes a little over a month after unarmed black teen, Michael Brown, was gunned down by a white police officer, Darren Wilson, in Ferguson, Mo.

[Photo credit: Facebook]

Michael Dunn Retrial to Proceed for Jordan Davis’ Murder Over Loud Music

michael dunn 350x236 Michael Dunn Retrial to Proceed for Jordan Davis Murder Over Loud Music

Michael Dunn Retrial to Proceed for Jordan Davis’ Murder Over Loud Rap Music

Michael Dunn’s retrial for the shooting death of unarmed black teen Jordan Davis will commence September 22, despite calls from the defense for a change of venue due to prior widespread media coverage, a Circuit Judge Russell Healy ruled on Thursday.

Dunn, 47, claimed he was acting in self defense when he shot the teen during a dispute over loud rap music.

Judge Healy said at a hearing on Thursday that he would attempt to seat an impartial jury before ruling on the defense’s request for a venue change, according to the prosecutor’s office.

Michael Dunn testified at his original trial that he started shooting after he felt scared for his life, after he thought he saw the barrel of a gun in the back window as the teen started getting out of the car. No gun was ever found in the SUV.

Dunn faces at least 60 years in prison for the attempted murder convictions.

2 White Witnesses to Michael Brown Shooting Say He Had Hands in Air

michael brown shooting 350x196 2 White Witnesses to Michael Brown Shooting Say He Had Hands in Air

2 White Witnesses to Michael Brown Shooting Say He Had Hands Up in Air

Two new witnesses have come forward in the Michael Brown shooting and they corroborate with the other witnesses told investigators and the media. The two men, who are white, can be seen on video reacting to Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson shooting the unarmed teen, CNN reports. The video was shot by a bystander on a cellphone.

One of the men can be heard shouting, “He had his f*cking hands in the air,” in the moments after Darren Wilson gunned down Michael Brown.

Pine Bluff Police Sued for Shooting Death of 107-Year-Old Monroe Isadore

pine bluff police 350x291 Pine Bluff Police Sued for Shooting Death of 107 Year Old Monroe Isadore

Pine Bluff Police Sued for Shooting Death of 107-Year-Old Monroe Isadore

Two Pine Bluff police officers have been sued for violating the civil rights of 107-year-old Monroe Isadore, who was shot to death last year during a SWAT standoff at his home.

Here’s more from Raw Story:

Officers were called Sept. 7, 2013, to the Pine Bluff home of Monroe Isadore, who had allegedly pointed a gun at two people inside.

Police said Isadore fired a gun through a bedroom door after they approached him, and he fired again after SWAT officers slipped gas into the room.

An officer who knew Isadore had hearing difficulties attempted to negotiate with the older man, who fired two more gunshots after SWAT officers threw a gas canister into the room.

SWAT officers were ordered to storm the bedroom before Isadore could reload, and police threw a flash grenade into the room.

Officer Brad Vilches shot and killed Isadore with his rifle.

An autopsy showed he had been shot seven times.

A federal lawsuit filed Wednesday accuses Vilches and Pine Bluff Police Chief Jeff Hubanks of violating Isadore’s civil rights.

The suit seeks damages for pain, suffering, and mental anguish, medical and funeral expenses, in addition to punitive damages and attorney fees and costs.

The lawsuit accuses Hubanks for ordering the SWAT team raid and for his alleged  failure to train Vilches and the other officers involved.

DOJ to Launch Civil Rights Investigation Into Ferguson Police Department

Ferguson missouri 350x282 DOJ to Launch Civil Rights Investigation Into Ferguson Police Department

Justice Dept. to Launch Probe of Ferguson, St. Louis County Police Departments

The Justice Department will launch a “broad civil rights investigation” into the Ferguson and St. Louis County police departments, the Washington Post reports. The investigation comes after unarmed black teen Michael Brown was gunned down by a white officer, Darren Wilson, as he and a friend walked in the middle of the street in Ferguson, Mo., on Aug. 9.

More from the Washington Post:

Holder’s decision will represent the Obama administration’s most aggressive step to address the Ferguson shooting, which set off days of often-violent clashes between police and demonstrators in the streets of the St. Louis suburb.

The federal officials said the probe will look at not only Ferguson, but other police departments in St. Louis County. Some, like Ferguson, are predominantly white departments serving majority African-American communities and at least one department invited the Justice Department to look at its practices. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss a pending investigation.

[...]

The new probe will look more broadly at whether the department employed policies and practices that resulted in a pattern of civil rights violations.

The Washington Post reported Sunday that five current and one former member of the police force face pending federal lawsuits claiming they used excessive force. The lawsuits, as well as more than a half-dozen internal investigations, include claims that individual officers separately hog-tied a 12-year-old boy who was checking his family mailbox, pistol-whipped children, and used a Taser on a mentally-ill man who died as a result.

Theodore Wafer Sentenced to Minimum of 17 Years for Renisha McBride Murder

theodore wafer 350x221 Theodore Wafer Sentenced to Minimum of 17 Years for Renisha McBride Murder

Theodore Wafer Sentenced to Minimum of 17 Years for Renisha McBride Murder

Theodore Wafer was sentenced to a minimum of 17 years for the porch shooting death of Renisha McBride. His attorney Cheryl Carpenter said the sentence wasn’t “fair or right.” Um, Renisha McBride being shot in the face through the screen door of his Dearborn Heights, Mich., home wasn’t either.

Hundreds March in Ferguson to Remember Michael Brown 3 Weeks After Shooting

michael brown mother marches 350x214 Hundreds March in Ferguson to Remember Michael Brown 3 Weeks After Shooting

Hundreds March in Ferguson to Remember Michael Brown 3 Weeks After Shooting (Photo Credit: Twitter via @ryanjreilly)

Hundreds march in Ferguson to remember slain teen Michael Brown, three weeks after he was gunned down by white officer Darren Wilson. Marchers include his mother, Lesley McSpadden. Signs called for an end to racial profiling.

The march, a protest “against police killings, brutality, profiling and legal cover-ups,” was made up of a diverse crowd including children and adults. Some people shouted “Justice for Michael Brown,” while many carried signs.

The protesters gathered at 10 a.m. in the parking lot of Red’s B-B-Q on West Florissant Avenue, and then marched down Canfield toward the spot where Michael Brown was fatally shot by Darren Wilson.

 

Officers Involved in Ezell Ford Shooting ID’d as Sharlton Wampler, Antonio Villegas

ezell ford1 350x319 Officers Involved in Ezell Ford Shooting IDd as Sharlton Wampler, Antonio Villegas

Officers Involved in Ezell Ford Shooting ID’d as Sharlton Wampler, Antonio Villegas

The officers involved in the Ezell Ford shooting have been identified as Sharlton Wampler and Antonio Villegas, both assigned to the Newton Area Gang Enforcement Detail, the police said in a statement on Thursday.

Ezell Ford, who was mentally ill, was killed in South Los Angeles on Aug. 11. The shooting came two days after unarmed teen, Michael Brown, was gunned down in Ferguson by police officer Darren Wilson.

Ezell Ford will be laid to rest on Saturday.

Ezell Ford shooting: