Stephon Clark shot 20x by cops, killed in his own backyard

Stephon Clark shot 20x by cops, killed in his own backyard

Police say they saw an object in Stephan Clark’s hand before firing 20 bullets that killed him in his own yard Sunday night in Sacramento, with the disturbing moment made public through body camera footage released Wednesday night.

The two officers were responding to a 911 call about a man breaking vehicle windows.

Body camera video released by the Sacramento Police Department depicts a frantic foot pursuit through darkened streets pierced by white slivers of police flashlight. The officers spot Clark approaching a house.

“Show me your hands. Stop! Stop!” He runs. The two officers round the corner of the house and find Clark under a covered patio.

An infrared camera on an overhead helicopter briefly loses the sightline of Clark at this moment.

“Show me your hands! Gun!” an officer shouts, and ducks back behind the wall in a fraction of a second.

The helicopter footage shows one of the officers appearing to grab his partner to pull him to cover.

Clark, who is black, is shown taking a step or two toward the officers. Behind the wall, an officer issues another command. “Show me your hands!” And then instantly: “Gun, gun, gun!”

Both officers engaged in rapid fire. Sparks from the impact of the bullets light up the helicopter’s infrared camera in sharp white pops.

The sequence, from first glimpse of Clark on the patio to the first gunshot, is about six seconds. The officers never identify themselves as police. Clark died at the scene.

Read the rest at the Washington Post

Stephon Clark shot 20x by cops, killed in his own backyard

Killer Cop Charged with Murder of Jordan Edwards

A Texas police officer turned himself in on Friday after he was charged with murder in the shooting death of a 15-year-old.

Roy Durwood Oliver, a patrol officer in the Dallas suburb of Balch Springs since July 2011, was released on $300,000 bail.

While dispatched on complaints about drunk teenagers at a party last weekend, Oliver fired his rifle at a car full of teenagers who were leaving, according to investigators, killing Jordan Edwards.

The police department fired Oliver on Tuesday.

If convicted of the murder charge, he could spend the rest of his life in prison. In a statement released Friday, Jordan’s family said the charge “brings hope that the justice system will bend against the overwhelming weight of our frustration.”

Read the rest at the Washington Post.

Stephon Clark shot 20x by cops, killed in his own backyard

Marijuana raids are more deadly than the drug itself

Since 2010, At least 20 SWAT raids involving suspected marijuana dealers have turned deadly, according to data compiled by the New York Times.

The list of fatalities includes small-time dealers and people who sold the occasional joint to a friend, as well as people suspected of dealing in more serious drugs like crack or meth, but who were found to be in possession of only marijuana after the fact. It also includes four police officers who were killed during the raids, intentionally or otherwise.

The deadly raids are a reminder that an activity that’s legal and celebrated in some states — selling weed — can get you killed in others.

The dead include:

  • 29-year-old Jason Westcott of Tampa, who was shot and killed by policewho stormed his home and observed him with a firearm. Westcott never fired his gun. The police uncovered a total of .2 grams of marijuana at Westcott’s residence, not enough to fill a typical joint.
  • Trevon Cole of Las Vegas, who was targeted for a raid after undercover officers purchased 1.8 ounces of the drug from him. Cole was unarmed, and was shot and killed by an officer as he was trying to flush marijuana down a toilet. His family eventually received a $1.7 million settlement from police.
  • Levonia Riggins, also of Tampa, who became the subject of a raid after undercover agents purchased marijuana from him on three occasions. Riggins was in bed at the time of the raid. He didn’t respond to officers’ demands, and when the officers moved toward him Riggins made a quick movement. He was shot and killed. The raid turned out no firearms and a small amount of marijuana.

Read the rest at the Washington Post.

Stephon Clark shot 20x by cops, killed in his own backyard

Ex-LA County sheriff convicted in prison conspiracy

LOS ANGELES — A federal investigation that targeted violent Los Angeles jail guards took down the longtime former leader of the nation’s largest sheriff’s department.

Lee Baca was convicted Wednesday of obstructing an FBI investigation into guards who savagely beat inmates and took bribes to smuggle contraband into the jails he ran.

The guilty verdicts represented a stunning turnaround for Baca, who less than three months ago walked out of court feeling victorious when his previous trial was declared mistrial. Jurors had been deadlocked 11-1 in favor of his acquittal and it was no certainty the charges against him would even be refiled.

Instead he became the 21st and final person convicted in the wide-ranging corruption investigation that began with rank-and-file deputies and spread to Baca’s inner circle.

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Stephon Clark shot 20x by cops, killed in his own backyard

Marines sent to Syria in fight with Islamic State for Raqqa

By Dan Lamothe and Thomas Gibbons-Neff

Marines from an amphibious task force have left their ships in the Middle East and deployed to Syria, establishing an outpost from which they can fire artillery guns in support of the fight to take back the city of Raqqa from the Islamic State, defense officials said.

The deployment marks a new escalation in the U.S. war in Syria, and puts more conventional U.S. troops in the battle. Several hundred Special Operations troops have advised local forces there for months, but the Pentagon has mostly shied away from using conventional forces in Syria. The new mission comes as the Trump administration weighs a plan to take back Raqqa, the so-called capital of the Islamic State, that also includes more Special Operations troops and attack helicopters.

The force is part of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, which left San Diego on Navy ships in October. The Marines on the ground include part of an artillery battery that can fire powerful 155-millimeter shells from M777 Howitzers, two officials said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the deployment.

The expeditionary unit’s ground force, Battalion Landing Team 1st Battalion, 4th Marines, will man the guns and deliver fire support for U.S.-backed local forces who are preparing an assault on the city. Additional infantrymen from the unit will provide security while resupplies will be handled by part of the expeditionary force’s combat logistics element. For this deployment, the Marines were flown from Dijibouti to Kuwait and then into Syria, said another defense official with direct knowledge of the operation.

Read the rest at the Washington Post.

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