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Liberal_in_LA's Journal
Liberal_in_LA's Journal
July 16, 2016

Rhode Island Cops Accuse Black Man of Assault—but Video Reveals They Attacked Him First

Last September, two Providence police officers were on duty as patrons spilled out of a Broad Street club at closing time. Fajardo says police tried to make him leave the club.

“I told him I worked there,” Fajardo said. The club belongs to his uncle. The police officer reportedly responded with indifference, ordering Fajardo to “Get the f*ck out of here.”

Accounts differ as to what happened next, but security video from the club showed Fajardo scuffling with an unnamed officer, who later claimed in court that Fajardo assaulted him. The officer punched Fajardo multiple times, hit him with a flashlight and pepper sprayed him.

“I stepped away. You can see it in the video,” said Fajardo to WPRI. “He grabbed me, punched my face, hit me with a flashlight. I was just trying to save my life.”

The officer said that Fajardo punched him with his left arm, but Fajardo pointed out that his left hand has been deformed since birth and cannot even make a fist.

“There was no way for me to make a fist,” Fajardo said. “Especially with my left hand,” which has no movable fingers.

The officer punched Fajardo in the face and head at least three times and repeatedly blasted him with pepper spray. Fajardo said that he was afraid for his life and instinctively tried to defend himself. The video shows him aiming a kick at the officer.

“I just thought I was going to die that moment,” Fajardo said. “I thought I was going to lose my life.”


July 16, 2016

Pence is an extreme question dodger

Covering the Trump-Pence Campaign Will Be a Nightmare
Indiana journalists discuss the deeply frustrating experience of covering their governor

Both Mike Pence and Donald Trump are notorious question-dodgers. Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty
By Shawn McCreesh

They knew what the rest of the U.S. political press corps is about to learn: that Pence is incapable of answering a question he does not like.

"I cannot emphasize enough how frustrating an experience it has been trying to cover Mike Pence," Brandon Smith, the statehouse bureau chief for Indiana Public Broadcasting who has covered Pence since 2011, tells Rolling Stone. "I can remember vividly a press conference in which the big idea that Mike had put forward was that he wanted to reduce, or eliminate, the business personal property tax. We repeatedly asked about the specifics of what he wanted. Did he want to reduce it by some amount? Did he want to eliminate it entirely? And if so, how would he pay for that?" But even simple questions about Pence’s own policy proved fruitless.

"For a press conference that was 45 minutes long, at least 30 minutes were spent asking the same question over and over again," says Smith.

"He'll get a couple of sentences in his head, and he just repeats those," says Chris Sikich, a government watchdog reporter with The Indianapolis Star who's covered Pence since 2012. "It's almost like he's filibustering."

Sikich had one such experience with Pence just last month, the day after the mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. Pence "was doing an economic development announcement in Carmel that I was covering the day after the shootings. He said something [like], 'My thoughts and prayers go to the community down there,' and the follow-up question I had to ask was, 'The [Orlando shooting] wouldn't be a hate crime in Indiana. Should it be?'

"He wouldn't answer. He just kept saying, 'My thoughts and prayers.'"
July 16, 2016

Ivanka Trump’s rabbi pulls out of Republican convention based on congregation's petition

A prominent Orthodox rabbi who was listed as a speaker for the Republican National Convention emailed his community on Friday to say that he will not actually appear at the nominating convention.

Rabbi Haskel Lookstein was set to appear in Cleveland, where Donald Trump, whose daughter Ivanka is a member of his congregation, expects to receive the Republican nomination. But hundreds of members of the Modern Orthodox Jewish community signed petitions asking him not to appear at Trump’s convention, and Lookstein quickly complied.

“The whole matter turned from rabbinic to political, something which was never intended … I have never been involved in politics,” Lookstein wrote in an email to members of his community. “Politics divides people. My life has been devoted to uniting a community.”


July 15, 2016

Clinton trouncing Trump in four swing states, new polls show

Hillary Clinton has solid leads over Donald Trump in four key battleground states, according to new NBC/Wall Street Journal/Marist polling.

The numbers suggest that she retains an edge in the race despite her most recent struggles to move past her email controversy.

Clinton leads Trump among registered voters by 44%-35% in Virginia, 43%-35% in Colorado, 44%-37% in Florida, 44%-38% in North Carolina


July 15, 2016

6 people with last name Trump – the candidate, his wife, and 4 kids – will speak at convention

We can also note that six people with the last name Trump – the candidate, his wife, and four of his kids – will deliver remarks at the convention, which means the number of Trumps will match the number of sitting senators who’ll address the GOP delegates.

It’s also genuinely extraordinary that Republicans have decided the first night of their convention should have a “Benghazi focus,” even after all of the party’s – and Trump’s – ridiculous conspiracy theories about the deadly 2012 attack have been discredited.

July 15, 2016

Nuremberg museum horrified after woman fills in artwork resembling crossword puzzle

The Neues Museum in Nuremberg has filed a criminal complaint after the elderly woman wrote on the artwork with a ballpoint pen.

The 1965 piece by Arthur Koepcke, titled "Reading-work-piece," includes the phrase "Insert Words" and features a partially filled-in crossword puzzle. After it became known that she had added letters to the puzzle, the woman explained to the museum that she was simply following directions.

Museum spokesperson Eva Martin confirmed the story to the press on Thursday. "The artist had already filled in some of the boxes," Martin said, before adding that the elderly woman had taken the opportunity to fill in some of those he had left blank.

The spokesperson went on to say that it should be clear to all museum patrons that under no circumstances could people write on the artwork. "We can't put corresponding labels on every piece of artwork," Martin said.
No malicious intent

July 15, 2016

4 Reasons Mike Pence Is the Absolute Worst

4 Reasons Mike Pence Is the Absolute Worst

Here's why Mike Pence is a threat to progressives everywhere.

1. He signed one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country.
In April, Gov. Pence signed into law a bill that forbids abortion on the basis of fetal chromosomal abnormalities, including Down syndrome, among other factors. The law further bans fetal-tissue donation — requiring any aborted or miscarried fetus to be cremated or buried. And it placed onerous restrictions on abortion providers nearly identical to those that the Supreme Court recently found unconstitutional in Texas.

2. He signed a bill that made it OK for Indiana businesses to discriminate against LGBT customers.
In 2015, Pence signed a "religious freedom" law, whose sweeping language permitted Indiana businesses to refuse to serve LGBT Americans, much like Southern businesses used to discriminate against African-Americans during the days of segregation.
Backlash against the law was swift and intense. Pence was forced to quickly sign a bill amending the legislation, which the governor claimed had been subject to "mischaracterizations."

3. He blocked the resettlement of Syrian refugees in Indiana — and illegally tried to cut off federal aid to existing refugees.
In the wake of the massacre in Paris last fall, Pence issued an executive order to block the resettlement of Syrian war refugees in Indiana. Not content to keep new war widows and orphans out of the state, Pence upped the xenophobic ante by also trying to cut off federal aid to those already in the state. A federal judge blocked Pence's action, writing that the governor's order "clearly constitutes national origin discrimination" and "in no way directly, or even indirectly, promotes the safety of Indiana citizens."

4. He's an unreconstructed drug warrior.
At a time when lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are tackling the nation's drug problems with less focus on incarceration, Pence signed a bill to reinstating a mandatory minimum drug sentence. Many drug users sell drugs on the side to support their addictions. Thanks to Pence, any Indiana resident convicted twice for selling meth or heroin is now sentence to a full decade in prison. Expressing his pleasure at signing a law stripping judges of discretion in drug sentencing, Pence declared, "We need to make it clear that Indiana will not tolerate the actions of criminals."

July 15, 2016

Santa Ana Police Department Fires Officers In Pot Video Case

Three Santa Ana police officers caught on tape last year destroying cameras, throwing darts, eating what look like pot edibles and insulting a disabled cannabis patient, have been fired, a Santa Ana Police Department (SAPD) spokesperson has confirmed. Brandon Matthew Sontag, Nicole Lynn Quijas and Jorge Arroyo are no longer employed by SAPD, according to Cpl. Anthony Bertagna, an SAPD spokesperson, who declined further comment, saying he was unable to discuss "personnel matters."


After raiding Sky High, arresting several individuals and dismantling all the video surveillance equipment they could find inside the dispensary, the officers apparently thought they had found all the cameras. But a backup surveillance system with cameras inside each room showed officers joking about kicking pot activist Marla James, an amputee confined to a wheelchair who has since sued Santa Ana, in her "nub." Then, after retrieving what appear to be pot edibles from a back room, the officers begin snacking on the treats, including one officer who joked that he felt "kinda light headed."

The three officers who no longer work for SAPD were never drug-tested however. But after a lengthy internal affairs investigation, prosecutors charged them with with misdemeanor counts of petty theft and vandalism. If convicted, they face between six months and a year in prison.



July 14, 2016

California couple arrested for leaving shoeless kids in desert on 104-degree day w/o shoes or water


California mom dumped her three kids in the desert on a scorching summer day as a sick form of punishment, deputies said.

Mary Bell, 34, and her boyfriend, 29-year-old Gary Cassle, were arrested Wednesday after police found her children — a 7-year-old girl and two boys, ages 6 and 5 — wandering around San Bernardino County without shoes or water, the Sherriff’s Department said in a statement.

Officers found the children near the city of Twentynine Palms, where the temperature reached a sweltering 104 degrees Wednesday.

The couple told investigators they left the kids as a form of discipline.

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