Archive for needless deaths

"Suppose an undercover officer 'looks like' a robber and I shoot him...My bad."

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shoot first ask never

Can a "good guy with a gun" shoot a "bad guy with a gun" with 100% accuracy? The answer is obvious, as is pointed out in today's Los Angeles Times letters to the editor... because our voices matter:

Re "Gun madness in Georgia," Editorial, March 27

The National Rifle Assn. flourishes because people believe the big lie that there are good people with guns and bad people with guns.

No. There are only people with guns. When gun-toters get angry, greedy, frightened or psychotic, they shoot other people. Mix dense populations with easy gun access, and innocent people will be maimed and killed by bullets. That's inevitable.

Apparently no body count is high enough to stop the insanity. I just pray that I, and people I care about, can make it to the end of our lives without being shot.

Bonnie Sloane

Los Angeles

***

Suppose I'm legally carrying a concealed gun at a business when armed robbers show up. Fearing for my life, I just want to get out of the store, but the front door is the only way out.

Let's assume I can't tell who is whom by how they're dressed. How will I know which of these gunfighters to shoot as I try to get through the doors to safety? Should I just kill anyone between the door and me? Will any police officers who arrive know that I am not one of the robbers? Suppose an undercover officer "looks like" a robber and I shoot him, thinking I'm a "good guy with a gun" taking care of a "bad guy with a gun." What do I tell their families? "My bad"?

Jan Miller

Orange

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Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in Gulf Justice?

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A bird covered in oil from the BP Deepwater Horizon spill struggles to climb on to a boom in Barataria Bay in the Gulf of Mexico. Photo: theguardian.com

A bird covered in oil from the BP Deepwater Horizon spill struggles to climb on to a boom in Barataria Bay in the Gulf of Mexico. Photo: theguardian.com

Well, maybe there will be some justice for this poor bird and all the other people damaged by flat-out negligence from BP.  Take a look at this story:

From Daily Kos:

The U.S. Department of Justice claims Robert Kaluza's and Donald Vidrine's negligence caused the 11 rig worker deaths in the Deepwater Horizon explosion, which sent nearly 5 million barrels of oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico. The 23 count indictment accuses them of mishandling a crucial safety test and failing to report abnormally high pressure readings that attorneys say were signs of an impending disaster.

Here's the original story:

Now I'd like to know why it took so long.  I certainly hope these people get locked away for a long, long time but they'll probably just get tax-deductible fines.

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VIDEO: Clinton Allen, a young, unarmed African American, was shot, killed by Dallas cop. His parents are suing.

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Clinton Allen new

Collette Flanagan:

"We want justice for Clinton."

Clinton Allen, a 25-year-old African American, was unarmed and "shot 7 times, once in the back" by a policeman. Please read my posts about this case here for the back story and heartbreaking details, including emails, videos, and information sent to me by both Peggy Allen, Clinton Allen's stepmother, as well as Collette Flanagan, Clinton's mother.

I've been in constant touch with Peggy and Collette. Both are smart, kind, lovely women, both are distraught over losing Clinton, both are appalled, devastated, and confused by the senseless killing of their loved one, who again, was not armed and didn't deserve to die.

Sadly, there will be no indictment of the Dallas police officer for this unnecessary, tragic shooting. The Dallas District Attorney has a rather questionable past that is described in that post, and Clinton's parents have always disputed the "official" version of events.

Today Peggy Allen sent me two links to update us on what's been unfolding in the past few days. Clinton's family is now suing Officer Clark Staller and the city of Dallas in federal court for “answers and compensation.”

Via The Dallas News:

On Friday Clinton Allen’s parents, Collette Flanagan and Ronderaline Allen, filed a wrongful death suit in Dallas federal court, claiming that Staller shot their son seven times on March 10 even though he was complying with the officer’s instructions and “not creating an imminent harm.” [...]

“Despite being unarmed and struggling to stay alive, Defendant Staller did not attempt to assist Allen,” says the suit. “In fact, he was observed telling another officer that he had to ‘unload and reload’ another clip. Several bullet holes were found on a vehicle parked at the Rosemont, suggestion that at least 10 or more shots were fired by Defendant Staller. As a result of Defendant Staller’s deadly and unlawful attack on Clinton Allen, Allen sustained multiple injuries, including injuries to his face, head, and extremities, in addition to the fatal gunshot wounds.

In the suit, a witness says, “Officer Staller arrived at the apartment complex, and before the caller had a chance to give him any information, saw someone walking towards the parking lot, and initiated a foot pursuit. Allen was only 10 yards from his car and was trying to leave... Allen was attempting to leave because he did not want to cause any problems.”

I will continue to cover this as long as Peggy and Collette continue their fight. They won't stop looking for justice, and they deserve a chance to be heard, because Clinton can no longer defend himself.

(Video via CBS)

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Biz as usual: No indictment of Dallas police officer for fatal shooting of unarmed African American man

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clinton allen FB page

For the back story on this post, I urge you to read two previous posts that I wrote about the shooting of an unarmed African American man, Clinton Allen:

I continue to be in touch with both Peggy Allen, Clinton Allen's stepmother, as well as Collette Flanagan, Clinton's mother. Both are distraught over losing Clinton, but also appalled, devastated, and confused by the senseless killing of their loved one, who again, was not armed and didn't deserve to die.

Now the Dallas News is reporting this:

A Dallas County grand jury has cleared Dallas police Officer Clark Staller in the fatal shooting of an unarmed man.

Authorities have said 25-year-old Clinton Allen was choking the officer and had PCP in his system at the time of the March confrontation. The grand jury’s decision means that Staller will not face criminal charges for killing Allen at an East Oak Cliff apartment complex.

Per Collette, Clinton Allen did not have PCP in his system. District Attorney Craig Watkins said prosecutors conducted an independent investigation in the Allen case.

Daryl Washington, a civil rights attorney representing Allen’s family, said the family is disappointed by the grand jury’s decision and has lost confidence in the district attorney’s office. [...]

They are particularly upset that a witness, who said that Allen was not fighting the officer, was not allowed to testify before the grand jury. That witness, who was subpoenaed by prosecutors, swore in an affidavit that she heard Staller tell Allen to put up his hands several times and that Staller just began shooting.

“There was clearly excessive and deadly force,” Washington said. “This police officer shot an unarmed man seven times. Somebody has to look at that and say this doesn’t make any sense.”

Along with that link from Peggy Allen, I got the following email from Collette last night, which she has graciously allowed me to share:

This is the video that my camera captured unknowingly [see below].  If you listen to the very end of the tape, I ask him if I could have just 5mins of his time…he chuckles and says, “No.” [...]

5 days later, the DA office calls at 4:00 pm and says that the grand jury was meeting the next day.  We had been promised previously that we would get a 2 week notice before the grand jury met (until the DA confrontation with me.)

Of course, the all-White over 65 yrs old men on the grand jury (ex-cops) no doubt, issued a “no bill”

We saw so many horrible things (criminally while at the hearing, waiting):

1. Three Detectives was inside speaking with the grand jury the entire time they were in process.  Basically, “pitching” for Clark Staller.

2. James Bagnall- remember, I told you about him?  Dallas PD secret weapon.   He went to my Facebook and downloaded pictures of Clinton with a black do rag (most guys wear them his age after a fresh haircut) and showed it to the grand jury.

3. James Bagnall downloaded pictures of Clinton twins holding signs “Convict killer cops”  “Chief Brown is no friend to our community” and showed it to the grand jury.

4. James Bagnall subpoena our ‘star’ witnesses and did not let her testify, informed us that the grand jury “did not want to hear her testimony.” While in fact, everyone knows that a grand jury cannot dictate to the DA who they want to hear from and who they do not want to hear from. That is crazy!

5. We overheard some comprising statements that are being put into a complaint to the US attorney, FBI and DOJ.

 Here is the short video that Collette referred to at the beginning of her email:

Collette also sent me some articles to share, saying:

This is the DA of Dallas.  Look up current articles on him, he is known for ...using his office to be vindictive. ... Dallas Observer:  "Craig the Dick." 2.  Article last week in Dallas Morning News accusing him of getting all of his Black law clerks to run for judges.

Here are the links:

And this Dallas Observer link, which includes the "Dick" quote: "Maybe there are two Craig Watkins — twin brothers, Craig the Good and Craig the Dick." More:

That’s the only explanation we can come up with for Watkins’ recent misadventure, in which he sicced a grand jury on Criminal Court Judge Julia Hayes, who dared to insist that Watkins’ prosecutors obey the law.

Craig the Dick must be in town. Either that or there’s only one Craig Watkins, and he’s a hypocrite and bully of the first order.

You can see what they're up against.

[Edited to correct an error]

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