Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke Convicted of Second-Degree Murder for Killing Laquan McDonald

Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke Convicted of Second-Degree Murder for Killing Laquan McDonald

Chicago cop Jason Van Dyke was found guilty this afternoon of second-degree murder in the shooting death of Laquan McDonald in 2014. McDonald's death was an abrupt encounter that tore at open wounds between Chicago's government and its community. At the time of the deadly encounter, McDonald, then 17, was high on PCP and armed with a small knife. Police had been called out on the evening of October 20, 2014, because a suspect (later identified as McDonald) was allegedly breaking into vehicles parked in a lot. Van Dyke was a late arrival to the confrontation. Before he got there, McDonald had...

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The Justice Department Didn’t Charge Him With a Crime. It’s Going to Take $39,000 from Him Anyway.

The Justice Department Didn’t Charge Him With a Crime. It’s Going to Take $39,000 from Him Anyway.

In order to get back any of the money that the New Hampshire State Police took from him, Edward Phipps has agreed to let federal prosecutors keep most of it, even though he has not been charged with any crimes. The cops took the cash during a traffic stop in 2016. Phipps wasn't even in the car at the time. The police pulled the driver over for tailgating and for going one whole mile per hour over the speed limit. A search turned up a bag full of $46,000 cash in the trunk. Police then brought in a drug-sniffing dog, which came up empty. Though they have presented no evidence of any criminal...

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Congress Approves 'Right to Try' Bill for Critically Ill

People with life-threatening illnesses may eventually see improved access to experimental drugs at an earlier stage of the federal approval process, thanks to a bill that passed the House today. By a vote of 250-169, the House passed federal "Right to Try" legislation, pushed by the Arizona-based libertarian Goldwater Foundation. This bill allows patients with what the government classifies as a "life-threatening" illness or condition to get access to drugs that have completed the first stage of clinical trial but are not yet fully approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Most states...

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St. Louis Town Agrees to Stop Bankrolling Itself by Fining Its Residents into the Poorhouse

A small St. Louis suburb has agreed to stop trying bankroll its government with a vicious regime of petty fines so excessive that the town has cited more than a third of its population. Credit goes to the Institute for Justice, which sued the tiny town of Pagedale (population: 3,300) on behalf of a handful of residents in 2015. Amid the outrage over Michael Brown's death in nearby Ferguson, citizens of these small fiefdoms drew attention to these governments' propensity to bankroll themselves via exorbitant traffic and code enforcement fines. Pagedale was one of those communities. In the...

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Dentist Threatens to Report Parents for Neglect Unless They Bring in Their Kids (and Wallets)

A dental practice in Pennsylvania has a novel method for guaranteeing return business: Threaten to turn parents in for neglect if they stop bringing in their kids. Smiles 4 Keeps, which has three offices in the state, insists that its threats are being misinterpreted. But the letter it sent out is pretty clear: Get your kids back in here. Mom Trey Hoyumpa did not like the treatment she and her kids got at the Smiles 4 Keeps location in Bartonsville, Pennsylvania. In a Facebook post she claims that the practice wouldn't let her go into the patient area with her children, wouldn't let her meet...

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One Final Expansion of the Surveillance State as Obama Heads for the Door

President Barack Obama's administration ending its eight-year rule by expanding the sharing of intercepted communications and data between federal agencies may feel a little bit like a final giant middle finger to the many critics of the massive, secretive surveillance state. Attorney General Loretta Lynch just signed off on changes that will increase the ability of the National Security Agency (NSA) to share some raw intercepted data with other agencies before the process of filtering out private information from people unconnected to actual targets. The snooping itself is not changing, but...

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Last Rights: The Death of American Liberty

Last Rights: The Death of American Liberty

Americans today have “freedom” to be fleeced, groped, injected, harassed, surveilled, vilified, disarmed, beaten, detained, and maybe shot by federal agents. From hapless homeowners hit by SWAT raids to pandemic lockdowns pointlessly paralyzing lives, government...

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