Alabama cop arrested for murder in death of unarmed black man shot 5 times
A police officer from Montgomery, Alabama has been arrested on murder charges over the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man. His lawyer claimed the arrest was politically motivated, while the family says the man was shot because of his skin color.
Officer Aaron Smith, 23, was arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of murder in the death of Gregory Gunn, a 58-year-old African-American man who was walking home around 3 a.m. a week ago when he was stopped. According to the Associated Press, police said Smith, who is white, believed Gunn looked “suspicious,” and left his police vehicle to approach Gunn on foot.
It’s unclear exactly what happened during the confrontation between the two, but Gunn family attorney Tyrone Means told AP that Gunn was shot five times – three times in the chest and two times in the buttocks.
Montgomery County District Attorney Daryl Bailey said Wednesday that Smith’s arrest did not constitute an indictment and that the officer was held on a bail of $150,000,AL.com reported.
Bailey determined, along with the State Bureau of Investigation, that there was “probable cause that a crime had been committed.” He added that he plans to present the case to a grand jury once the investigation is finished.
The news comes as police behavior, particularly in communities of color, continues to be scrutinized across the US. To the Gunn family and police brutality protesters, Smith’s arrest was welcomed.
"All I want is justice," said Gunn's mother, Nellie Ruth Gunn, according to AP.
Gee whiz I hope the cops didn't let this guy work when they had proof he had mental issues and now they want to cut a deal to avoid going public with that
In the John Geer police shooting case, silence returns, officer sits in Fairfax jail
By Tom Jackman March 7
For many months, the defining characteristic of the investigation into the death of John Geer was silence. From August 2013, when the Fairfax County, Va., man was shot in the doorway of his home during a standoff with police, to January 2015, there was no information released about why Geer was shot, whether it was legally justifiable, or even who shot him.
Eventually, thanks to a lawsuit by Geer’s family, a Fairfax judge ordered the information released. And last August, ex-Fairfax police officer Adam Torres was charged with murder. But after a brief flurry of pre-trial motions in the fall, nothing. Not a single document or motion has been filed in more than three months, since Torres’ lawyers received a continuance of the trial from its original December setting. The trial is now just six weeks away, set for April 18.
Meanwhile Torres, 33, remains in the Fairfax jail without bond. Prosecutors had expected that his attorneys, John Carroll and Ed Nuttall, would seek to appeal for bond to the Virginia Court of Appeals, but nothing has been filed. Pretrial motions to exclude evidence, or witnesses, also have not been filed.
Carroll did not return a phone call Friday seeking comment. He has represented Torres since the day of the shooting in 2013, but has not discussed the case publicly.
Both Don Geer, John Geer’s father, and Mike Lieberman, the family’s attorney, said they had not heard anything from the police or prosecutors. Fairfax Commonwealth’s Attorney Raymond F. Morrogh said he had no news to report. Morrogh was prepared to go to trial in December, but shortly before Thanksgiving, Torres’s lawyers asked for a continuance, saying they had a witness who was unavailable for the December trial. Judge Robert J. Smith granted the postponement over Morrogh’s objection.
Many criminal defense lawyers expected that Torres’s attorneys would seek to have the former officer released from jail before the holidays by appealing the original denial of bond. Carroll had argued that Torres had been working in police headquarters for two years after the shooting without incident, and so was neither a flight risk nor a danger to the community. Also, his wife was pregnant with their third child. But no appeal was filed.
Now, defense lawyers wonder if Carroll is angling for a plea bargain for Torres, pleading guilty to manslaughter with an agreement that he would be released with “time served:” roughly eight months since his arrest in August to the trial date in April. Neither side is talking about that. But the answers should be coming soon, as the silence comes to an end.
Tom Jackman has been covering criminal justice for The Post since 1998, and now anchors the new "True Crime" blog.
Buffalo cop suspended after accusations of DWI
BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A Buffalo Police officer has been suspended with pay after allegedly drinking and driving. David Rodriguez — a 22-year veteran of the Buffalo Police. Police say Rodriguez was off duty when he struck another vehicle from behind, and no injuries were reported.
and still more cops go to jail...maybe, as a nation, we need to start looking into who we allow to be cops
Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Ohio
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, February 29, 2016
Former North Randall police officer sentenced to five years in prison for selling firearms to felons
A former police officer was sentenced to more than five years in prison for illegally selling firearms to people he knew were felons, said Carole S. Rendon, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, and Stephen D. Anthony, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Cleveland office.
Kevin R. Lumpkin, 29, of North Olmsted, was convicted last year of selling a Hi-Point .45-caliber rifle and a Ruger .380-caliber pistol on different occasions to people he knew were convicted of felonies and therefore forbidden from possessing a firearm. These sales took place between 2011 and 2013, when Lumpkin was a North Randall police officer, according to trial testimony.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys M. Kendra Klump and Edward Feran following an investigation by the FBI.
Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Florida
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, March 1, 2016
Former Longwood Police Chief Sentenced To Four Years In Federal Prison
Orlando, Florida – Senior U.S. District Judge Gregory A. Presnell has sentenced Thomas S. Jackson to four years in federal prison for conspiracy and bribery of an agent of a local government receiving federal funds. A federal jury found him guilty on October 27, 2015.
According to the evidence presented at trial, Jackson was the Chief of Police of the Longwood Police Department (LPD) from 1997 until his retirement on May 28, 2010. Between October 2007 and the date of his retirement, Samer Majzoub, a convicted felon, paid Jackson more than $30,000 in bribes. In return, Jackson appointed Majzoub as an officer with the LPD. Jackson gave Majzoub the supervisory titles of commander, lieutenant, and sergeant, and provided him with badges and credentials that represented Majzoub as an officer of LPD. Jackson also assisted Majzoub in possessing firearms and ammunition. As a previously convicted felon, Majzoub was prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition under federal law.
Majzoub has been charged by indictment with one count of conspiracy and three counts of bribery of an agent of a local government receiving federal funds. He has not been arrested and is a fugitive.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Roger B. Handberg and James D. Mandolfo.
Ghost car my ass, somebody fucked up and that's the cover story...besides how much money do the cops have that they can afford ghost cars?
McLEAN, Va. - Fairfax County police say vandals spray-painted one of their marked police cruisers parked in a neighborhood over the weekend.
The cruiser was tagged in red and green spray paint Saturday night on Westmoreland Street in McLean.
Police say the cruiser is a "ghost car" that police leave parked in certain areas to get cars to slow down and increase visibility in the community.
This cop is an idiot and that's his right. Firing him for having the wrong opinion is dangerous and it should not have been done.
Ohio police officer fired after calling Black Lives Matter activist’s suicide a ‘happy ending’
By Yanan Wang March 8
23-year-old Black Lives Matter activist commits suicide
MarShawn M. McCarrel II, a young Ohio activist involved with the Black Lives Matter movement committed suicide on the steps of the Statehouse in Columbus. (WBNS-10TV http://www.10tv.com/)
Like many activists, MarShawn M. McCarrel II was vocal on social media, but not just about his causes. While political commentary certainly had a place in his Facebook status updates, the platform was more often dominated by emotional and philosophical musings.
“Pride will make you miss out on so much,” the 23-year-old Columbus, Ohio, native wrote in January.
“Lost is the man who has more answers than questions,” he reflected a few days later.
And on Feb. 8, a heart-rending Facebook post foretold his fate: “My demons won today. I’m sorry.”
That night, McCarrel stood on the steps of the Ohio statehouse and shot himself dead.
No one — not friends, family or police — could say why he did it. McCarrel was a prominent local activist, having coordinated Black Lives Matter protests following the 2014 police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. He founded a nonprofit called Pursuing Our Dreams, which provided monthly homemade lunches to the homeless.
Days before his apparent suicide, McCarrel had smiled for pictures taken on the red carpet of the NAACP Image Awards.
Just as he shared much of his life on social media, on social media too was he mourned, with condolences and tributes flooding into the Black Lives Matter Cincinnati Facebook page.
Not all the responses, however, were kind.
While off duty, Fairborn, Ohio, police officer Lee Cyr reacted to the news of McCarrel’s death with the comment “Love a happy ending.”
According to Dayton Daily News, it appeared alongside unsympathetic responses from others — comments reading “What a hypocrite” and “One less to worry about.”
Cyr was placed on administrative leave after an internal complaint alerted the Fairborn Police Department to the comment last month. He has now been fired, WDTN-TV reported on Monday.
The department said in a statement that Cyr’s action violated its social media policy.
[‘My demons won today': Ohio activist’s suicide spotlights depression among Black Lives Matter leaders]
For local activists, the comment highlighted some of the very issues that the Black Lives Matter movement is trying to combat.
“We have received a lot of negative responses,” Tristina Allen, a fellow organizer who knew McCarrel told Dayton Daily News in February. “I think it is completely unacceptable for someone who is supposed to protect and serve to have that comment towards someone who is dead.”
Yanan Wang is a reporter on the Morning Mix team.