NYC Police Can Continue Stop-and-Frisk During Appeal
Jan 23, 2013, - 0 Comments

Jan. 22, 2013 Bloomberg

A federal judge said the New York City Police Department can continue to make “trespass” stops outside of privately owned buildings in the Bronx after previously ruling that the practice may be unconstitutional.

U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin in Manhattan today agreed to halt immediate enforcement of her Jan. 8 ruling ordering the NYPD to cease its “stop-and-frisk” practices while the city appeals. She also denied a request by the city to postpone the trial of a related case scheduled to begin in March.

“Despite my reservations regarding the likelihood of defendants’ success on appeal, however, I recognize that reversal is always a possibility,” Scheindlin said today.

“The opinion acknowledges at the outset that many of the questions raised by stop-and-frisk are not easily answered and that it may be difficult to say where, precisely, to draw the line between constitutional and unconstitutional police encounters.”

The Jan. 8 ruling followed a hearing held by Scheindlin from Oct. 15 to Nov. 7 in a lawsuit filed last year by a group of black and Latino residents challenging police stops of individuals outside buildings enrolled in the city’s Trespass Affidavit Program, or TAP.

Air Force Sex Scandal Prompts House Committee Hearing On Sexual Assault In Military
Jan 23, 2013, - 0 Comments

Jan 23, 2013 Reuters

SAN ANTONIO - The U.S. House Armed Services Committee will hold a public hearing on Wednesday into sexual assault in the military, prompted by outrage over a sex-with-recruits scandal at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas.

The Washington hearing comes after nearly 60 current and former personnel, including two men, came forward with what the Air Force considered credible reports that they were sexually abused by their drill sergeants at the base in San Antonio.

Six drill sergeants have been convicted and six more Lackland Military Training Instructors are awaiting court martial in the case. The probe also recently expanded to a recruiting sergeant who was charged with sexually assaulting women who were discussing joining the Air Force.

More than 70 members of Congress signed a petition calling for an open hearing into the case and a similar public petition drew more than 10,000 signatures.

Air Force Chief of Staff General Mark Welsh and General Edward Rice, commander of the Air Education and Training Command are both expected to testify on Wednesday.

They are likely to address the completed Air Force internal investigation of Lackland, the Air Force's center for basic training, and the alleged incidents dating back to 2009. The Air Force has extended its inquiry back 10 years.

Arrest made in triple murder of Lockport mother, daughters; suspect named
Jan 23, 2013, - 0 Comments

Jan. 23, 2013 WWLTV

LOCKPORT, La. -- Authorities have made an arrest in the November triple murder of a Lockport mother and her two young daughters.

Lafourche Parish Sheriff's Office announced the identity of the suspect as David Brown at a news conference Wednesday at 9 a.m.

Brown was charged with three counts of first-degree murder, attempted murder, two counts of aggravated rape and aggravated arson.

Jacqueline Nieves, 29, and her two young children, 7-year-old Gabriella and 1-year-old Isabella, were stabbed to death in November. Their bodies were found by firefighters working a fire in the family's apartment.

"Through investigation, detectives learned that during the early morning hours of Sunday, November 4, Brown entered Nieves’ apartment and proceeded upstairs armed with a knife. Detectives believe Brown then allegedly entered a bedroom and sexually assaulted two of the victims before stabbing all three victims several times each. It is believed that he subsequently set the apartment ablaze and fled the scene," said a statement from Sheriff Craig Webre.

According to the sheriff's office, Carlos Nieves Jr., husband and father of the victims, was asleep downstairs in the apartment during the incident. Brown was charged with the attempted murder of Carlos Nieves Jr. because Carlos was asleep when the fire was set. "He eventually awoke and called 9-1-1. Officers and firefighters responded to the scene where they discovered the bodies of the three victims in the upstairs bedroom," said a statement from the sheriff's office.

Brown's DNA was found at the crime scene, according to the sheriff's office. In November, 34-year-old Brown was already in custody as he was initially arrested on separate charges.

Voice of 'Charlie Brown' arrested in San Diego
Jan 23, 2013, - 0 Comments

Jan. 22, 2013 U-T San Diego


— Peter Robbins, an Oceanside resident who as a child actor was the voice of the animated “Charlie Brown” character of “Peanuts” fame, has been arrested and is scheduled to be arraigned in court on Wednesday in San Diego on five felony charges, authorities said.

Robbins, 56, is charged with four felony counts of making a threat to cause death or great bodily injury and one felony count of stalking, according to the San Diego County jail website.

He was booked into jail shortly before 4 a.m. Monday and was being held on $550,000 bail, according to the jail records.

His manager, Danielle Matthews, said Tuesday night that she could not discuss the arrest but would comment later Wednesday.

Robbins was arrested shortly after 8 p.m. Sunday at the San Ysidro Port of Entry, said Angelica de Cima, spokeswoman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection. He was driving a silver 2006 Mercedes-Benz C230 when a border officer referred him to an area for a more thorough examination, she said. He was the only person in the car at the time.

A systems check determined that Robbins was wanted by the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department for a felony warrant for crimes against a person, De Cima said.

Muckraking Journalist & Author David Graham Phillips is Shot - 1911
Jan 23, 2013, - 0 Comments


David Graham Phillips

by Michael Thomas Barry

On January 23, 1911, muckraking journalist and novelist David Graham Phillips is shot outside the Princeton Club at Gramercy Park in New York City. The shooter Fitzhugh Coyle Goldsborough was a Harvard educated musician, a violinist in the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra who came from a prominent Maryland family.

In Mexico, self-defense squads battle violence
Jan 22, 2013, - 0 Comments

Jan. 22, 2013 Associated Press

AYUTLA, Mexico — The young man at the roadside checkpoint wept softly behind the red bandanna that masked his face. At his side was a relic revolver, and his feet were shod in the muddy, broken boots of a farmer.

Haltingly, he told how his cousin's body was found in a mass grave with about 40 other victims of a drug gang. Apparently, the cousin had caught a ride with an off-duty soldier and when gunmen stopped the vehicle, they killed everyone on the car.

"There isn't one of us who hasn't felt the pain ... of seeing them take a family member and not being able to ever get them back," said the young civilian self-defense patrol member, who identified himself as "just another representative of the people of the mountain."

Now he has joined hundreds of other men in the southern Mexico state of Guerrero who have taken up arms to defend their villages against drug gangs, a vigilante movement born of frustration at extortion, killings and kidnappings that local police are unable, or unwilling, to stop.

Vigilantes patrol a dozen or more towns in rural Mexico, the unauthorized but often tolerated edge of a growing movement toward armed citizen self-defense squads across the country.

"The situation Mexico is experiencing, the crime, is what has given the communities the legitimacy to say, 'We will assume the tasks that the government has not been able to fulfill,'" said rights activist Roman Hernandez, whose group Tlachinollan has worked with the community forces.