Criminal Justice

SWAT Team Blew Up Old Woman’s House, Sent Her Bill for $50,000 Repairs

In July of last year, Vicki Baker, 75, was excited to move on to the next chapter of her life in Montana by selling her home she owned for 12 years in McKinney, Texas. That sale would never take place on schedule, however, because the day before she was supposed to close, a SWAT team destroyed it.

After destroying her home, Baker was told by local government that she was on the hook for the $50,000 bill to repair it. After fighting for a year, however, she may finally see some justice after a federal court ruled this month that Baker can sue for damages and get back some of the money it took her to undo the destruction caused by the cops.

“The court recognized that the city of McKinney is not exempt from the Constitution,” said Institute for Justice Attorney Jeffrey Redfern. “This is the first step towards Vicki getting her due, but it’s a big one. The government must compensate individuals when it deliberately destroys their property.”

“At the motion to dismiss stage, it would be imprudent to foreclose Baker’s ability to recover based on the shaky reasoning recited in non-binding cases from other circuits—especially when both the Fifth Circuit and the Supreme Court have alluded that a taking could result from destructive police power,” United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Judge Amos Mazzant III wrote in the decision to throw out the city’s motion to dismiss the case.

Baker’s nightmare started when she was out of town on July 25, 2020. Her daughter was home when a distraught construction worker—who had worked on the home before—decided to invade. Wesley Little, 50, had holed up in the home along with a 15-year-old girl he had abducted. When he came in the home, Vicki Baker’s daughter ran out, calling police in the process.

When police were contacted, Vicki asked them not destroy the home as she was closing on it the very next day. But they did not listen.

During the standoff, SWAT officers shot approximately 30 tear gas canisters into Baker’s property, blew up her garage door, and drove an armored vehicle over her fence.

Baker claims, and rightfully so, that cops went overboard on the damage they caused, completely disregarding any measures that could’ve limited the destruction to her home. For example, cops blew up her garage door to gain entry, despite being given a garage door opener.

As the Institute for Justice reports, the incident left Vicki in shock, too. When the smoke cleared, the home—which her daughter was living in and which was under contract to sell—was uninhabitable. The only living thing that survived the raid was her daughter’s dog, which was left deaf and blind from the explosions.

Though, Baker was in shock at the damage inflicted on her property, she took temporary solace in the fact that she didn’t cause the damage, so she wouldn’t be liable for it. Unfortunately, the comfort was short lived.

When she sought out compensation for the damage to her home, the city of McKinney and her homeowner’s insurance company told her that police had “immunity” and wouldn’t pay for a dime of the damage. A few days later, the buyer walked away and the sale fell through, according to IJ.

Vicki would go on to max out her credit cards to repair the damage—which was over $50,000—in order to sell the house in the winter. However, the sale was for far less money than the original contract back in July.

She then partnered with the Institute for Justice in a lawsuit against the city to sue them for damages caused by police to her home.

“In America, ‘if you break it, you buy it,’” said IJ Attorney Jeff Redfern at the time. “The McKinney SWAT team didn’t just break Vicki’s home—they destroyed it. Now it is time for them to pay for the damage they caused.”

“The United States and Texas Constitutions make it clear that when the government takes property, whether it’s for a road or in capturing a suspect on behalf of the public, the government must compensate the owner,” said Suranjan Sen, a Liberty and Law Fellow at the Institute for Justice. “Taking a fugitive off the streets benefits everyone, so the cost of the damages caused by the SWAT team should be borne by everyone, not Vicki alone.”

Citing the pending litigation, neither the McKinney police department nor the city would comment on the destruction of Vicki’s home.

“I appreciate that the police did what they thought was necessary to protect the community,” Baker said in a statement. “But it’s unfair to place the costs—replacing or redoing all of my flooring, the burst pipes, the damaged roof, the blown-out garage door, the broken doors, the toppled fence—on me, just because the guy happened to pick my house and not someone else’s.”

Luckily, for now, Baker may see some semblance of justice though the city will likely appeal this recent ruling.

“I’ve lost everything,” Baker told Reason last March. “I’ve lost my chance to sell my house. I’ve lost my chance to retire without fear of how I’m going to make my regular bills.”

While Vicki’s case is certainly shocking, it is not at all isolated. Just last September, Erika Pruiett in Denver had her home destroyed by SWAT. At the end of the raid, she and her baby were left homeless with no compensation.

As TFTP previously reported, a married couple claimed Fresno sheriff’s officers destroyed their house by using it as a training ground for a teargas-wielding SWAT team, 50 vehicles, two helicopters, a K-9 unit and a fire truck—because an unarmed homeless man had been found in their closet. Like Vicki, after attempting to seek compensation for their incredible loss for over 3 years, the Jessens were told last year that they can kick rocks, the government who destroyed their home, owes them jack squat.

This article was originally featured at The Free Thought Project and is republished with permission.

Trial Begins For Female Cop Who Shot Minneosta Man, While Claiming To Reach for Taser

Just miles from where George Floyd took his last breaths on Earth as they were squeezed from his body by officer Derek Chauvin, Daunte Wright was targeted by police over an alleged expired tag. Because the American police state is a violent behemoth which knows no self-restraint, a few moments into the stop and Wright would be killed at the hands of those who claim to protect him. Immediately after killing Wright, the department claimed it was an accident but once video surfaced, all that changed.

The Hennepin County medical examiner concluded in April that Wright “died of a gunshot wound of the chest and manner of death is homicide.” However, police attempted to downplay the homicide by claiming the officer who killed Wright, Kim Potter, thought she grabbed her taser instead of her gun.

Regardless of which weapon she thought she was holding, her actions ended a 20-year-old man’s life. What’s more, according to the video, she had plenty of time—5 seconds—to determine that the gun in her hand was not a taser.

Prosecutors agreed and they charged Potter, who resigned two days after the shooting, with first- and second-degree manslaughter, saying she was an experienced officer who was trained to know better. The most serious charge requires prosecutors to prove recklessness; the lesser only requires them to prove culpable negligence.

Jury selection for Potter’s trial began on Monday and both the defense and prosecution have their work cut out for them. Following Wright’s death, mass protests broke out in the city and affected countless individuals who have all likely solidified their views on this case since it unfolded.

According to Chief Tim Gannon of the Brooklyn Center Police Department where Potter was employed when she killed Wright, officers pulled over Wright on that fateful Sunday afternoon because he had an expired government sticker on his vehicle.

Daunte’s mother, Katie Wright, however, said her son called her during the stop and told her that police pulled him over for an air freshener.

“He said they pulled him over because he had air fresheners hanging from his rearview mirror,” she said.

Katie Wright then listened to her son’s murder on the other end of the phone. She said she heard a scuffle and an officer telling her son not to run and then the call dropped off. When she called his phone back, Wright’s girlfriend, who was in the car with him, told Katie Wright that police just shot her son.

According to police, when they pulled over Wright, after running his information, they realized he had a misdemeanor warrant out for his arrest. When police attempted to arrest Wright over this warrant, Wright tried to sit back down in his car.

As the graphic body camera footage shows, police attempted to pull him out as officer Kim Potter, a 26-year veteran of the department, pulled out her gun and put a bullet in Wright’s chest.

This caused Wright’s car to begin rolling forward as it crashed into another car. Officer Potter then yells out, “f**k, I shot him.”

“It is my belief that the officer had the intention to deploy their Taser but instead shot Mr. Wright with a single bullet,” Chief Gannon said.

As stated above, no matter what she thought, her actions led to the death of an unarmed man who should have never been in police custody to begin with.

According to court records, the warrant was over Wright missing a court appearance. He was arrested for carrying a pistol without a permit—something that is legal in roughly half the country. However, because Minnesota forces citizens to pay the state for a permit to enjoy the right to self-defense, an act which millions do every day legally, it landed Wright in trouble with the law.

What’s more, TFTP conducted a search for the warrant issued and it appears that the notices mailed out to Wright to inform him of the Zoom meeting court appearance, were not making it to him. The last update to his case file is a notice of “returned mail” indicating that he did not receive the notice of a warrant.

Naturally, the NRA was silent over Wright’s death but this should come as no surprise given their selective outrage when it comes to the gun rights of those killed by police.

According to KWCH, Minnesota’s sentencing guidelines call for a sentence of just over seven years on Potter’s first-degree manslaughter count, and four years for second-degree. But prosecutors have said they’ll seek a longer sentence.

This article was originally featured at The Free Thought Project and is republished with permission.

Anaheim Cops, ‘Like a Firing Squad,’ Execute Man Holding a Water Bottle

Last September, Brandon Lopez, 33, led police on a chase before crashing his car. He was suspected of driving a stolen vehicle, had several warrants out for his arrest, and was mentally ill. If he actually committed all the crimes of which he was accused, however, Lopez deserved to go to jail. He will not be going to jail anymore though, because police reportedly mistook a water bottle in a bag—for a gun—and killed him.

Lopez is the cousin of Anaheim city Councilman Johnathan Hernandez who says on the night he was killed, Lopez was experiencing a mental health crisis when Anaheim police escalated the situation without reason.

Multiple council members decried the shooting, comparing it to a “firing squad.” Santa Ana Mayor Vicente Sarmiento compared the Anaheim police department to an actual firing squad after saying they made a “provocative decision” to fire flash-bang rounds into Lopez’s car before multiple cops opened fire.

Given that officers Catalin Panov, Kenneth Weber, Paul Delgado and Brett Heitmann all shot Lopez that night, the comparison to a firing squad is indeed accurate.

The incident unfolded on Sept. 28 as Lopez led police on a chase for a half an hour. The chase only stopped when the car Lopez was driving became stuck on tracks being constructed for the O.C. Streetcar.

A standoff ensued.

For several hours police attempted to make Lopez exit the vehicle, but he did not. During the standoff—which wasn’t really a standoff as Lopez was unarmed—Sgt. Jacob Gallacher reported to other officers that Lopez had a gun.

He claimed he saw Lopez reach under the seat and grab that gun and then claimed he was holding it in his right hand.

“417 right hand,” he said. Police code 417 means “gun.”

He had no such gun.

In the video Gallacher explains that officers on the scene decided to shoot tear gas into the car to get him to exit, “with the hopes that it would encourage him to surrender.”

After several hours, tear gas was deployed, and only seconds later Lopez would be dead.

As the body camera footage below shows, Lopez exits the car as police shout “hands up!” and “gun!” There was no gun, and in spite of this fact, all four officers opened fire on Lopez as he ran across the tracks.

Even after he fell to the ground, police pointed out the “black object in his right hand”—which was just a water bottle in a bag — and for good measure they shot him again. This time, they decided to use a less lethal round.

Police were told by the family—during the standoff—that Lopez wanted to die and was trying to commit suicide by cop. They obliged.

“Roughly 30 minutes after both departments were informed by the family that Brandon was experiencing a behavioral health crisis, he was suddenly and violently killed by Anaheim PD,” Jennifer Rojas, policy advocate and organizer with the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California said. “When SAPD and APD respond with armored vehicles and multiple armed agents and chemical agents and flash-bangs, it just once again illustrates that police are not equipped to respond to people experiencing a mental health crisis.”

For the last two months, Lopez’s family has been attempting to hold the officers who killed him accountable, calling for their arrest. For now, the investigation remains underway.

“As with all critical incident investigations, we withhold judgment and do not draw any conclusions about whether or not our officers acted within our policies and in accordance with the law until after all the facts are known and the investigations are complete,” Anaheim Deputy Chief Rick Armendariz says in the video below.

This article was originally featured at The Free Thought Project and is republished with permission.

Cops Kill 8 Year Old Girl, Charge Two Teens With Murder

In Pennsylvania, the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office has charged two individuals with first-degree murder and related offenses in connection with the August 27 police shooting of 8-year-old Fanta Bility.

In a statement, the DA’s Office said that Angelo Ford, 16, of Sharon Hill, had been arrested, and that law enforcement was looking for Hasein Strand, 18, of Collingdale. The pair allegedly got into an argument at a football game and fired shots at each other near the stadium.

Neither Angelo “A.J.” Ford, 16, nor Hasein Strand, 18, fired that fatal shot. A police officer did, but the two teens were charged under the concept of transferred intent, which allows the state to prosecute someone for a crime he didn’t technically commit as long as it happened during the commission of a related offense.

On August 27, Ford allegedly threatened Strand and his friends with a handgun at an Academy Park High School football game, prompting Strand to retrieve his own firearm from his vehicle.

It would not be the first time that police have used the legal doctrine to deflect responsibility onto someone else for a tragic accident. As was recently reported by the Libertarian Institute, an Idaho woman was charged with manslaughter after a police officer killed another officer with his vehicle while responding to the woman’s apparent mental health crisis. Though an internal investigation revealed that the officers had failed to follow safety protocols that evening, Jenna Holm spent over a year in jail awaiting trial on that homicide charge. A judge eventually struck the charge down as unconstitutional.

The doctrine of transferred intent is inherent to the contentious felony murder rule. It’s how, for example, prosecutors in Ohio were able to zero in on a teenager for the murder of her boyfriend after a police officer killed him during a botched robbery.

There are serious issues with the way this somewhat esoteric common law doctrine is being manipulated in U.S. criminal law.

Transferred intent is used when a defendant intends to harm one victim, but then unintentionally harms a second victim instead. In this case, the defendant’s intent transfers from the intended victim to the actual victim and can be used to satisfy the mens rea element of the crime that the defendant is being charged with. The transferred intent doctrine is only used for completed crimes, and is not used for attempted crimes.

So, if neither of the two defendants fired the bullet that killed this 8 year old girl, how does charging them with her murder all the same possibly satisfy mens rea? And in what way can this possibly be a completed, rather than an attempted crime?

“I want the focus to remain on the Sharon Hill police officers whose negligent and reckless behavior in reacting as they did is what killed Fanta Bility,” Bruce Castor, an attorney for the family, told The Philadelphia Inquirer. “From the point of view of the Bility family, these officers killed Fanta, and they need to be held accountable for that, and those responsible for their supervision and training need to be held accountable for that.”

But justice for the victim will likely come second to the more important matter: the state protecting its own, first and foremost.

Bility’s family has filed a civil suit against the officers and the police department. It’s questionable that her family members will ever get the opportunity to state their case before a jury, as they will need to overcome qualified immunity. So, too, will they face an uphill battle in suing the department, as the Monell doctrine will require they prove that the government had a specific policy in place that explicitly propagated the behavior that evening.

When the police officer files a pre-trial motion to dismiss, it is unlikely the family will be able to find a sufficiently similar case that has been upheld in the past.

Is the GOP Finally Turning the Corner on Weed?

Both Bloomberg and the cannabis industry publication Marijuana Moment now report that Republican congresswoman Nancy Mace is preparing to introduce new legislation ending the federal prohibition on marijuana.

According to Bloomberg:

A Republican bill to legalize marijuana at the federal level in the U.S., expected to be unveiled soon, would have a lighter regulatory touch [and] lower taxes…“It would largely delegate regulatory powers to the existing state governments,” said Brady Cobb, a board member of Captor Capital, an Irvine, California-based operator of dispensaries, who saw the draft…Mace’s proposed excise tax is 3.75%…Those who’ve seen Mace’s draft say it would regulate cannabis more like alcohol.

Mace’s proposal is the latest effort to finally and formally kill federal prohibition following ongoing efforts to bring federal law into the real world, where nearly 45 percent of Americans now live in states where marijuana has been legalized.

Over the past decade, as more and more states have legalized marijuana, it has become increasingly clear that state nullification of federal marijuana prohibition is winning. Were it not for more than a dozen U.S. states refusing to enforce federal marijuana laws, there is no way that we’d now be seeing realistic bipartisan efforts to overturn the federal ban. This has only happened because state governments have refused to cooperate.

While opponents of this strategy claimed that the federal government would never tolerate states ignoring federal drug laws, the opposite has happened. Rather than renew federal efforts to crack down on states that don’t play along with the cannabis drug war, the federal government has instead retreated and grown increasingly permissive, moving closer toward formal legalization.

There’s an important lesson here: true reform of federal laws may often have to begin at the state level to make any difference or create any actual change. “Electing the right people” in Washington, DC, is a pipe dream. State-level nullification is the far more pragmatic and effective solution.

Slow Progress on Ending the Federal Prohibition

If and when the federal prohibition is finally overturned, it will mark the end of an expensive and failed fifty-year experiment.

The federal intervention in the realm of recreational drugs did not begin until the twentieth century. A comprehensive federal prohibition was not a reality until the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. Historically, of course, it was widely accepted—correctly—that the federal government possessed no powers to prohibit the personal use of certain substances. This is why alcohol prohibition required a constitutional amendment. The Tenth Amendment makes it clear federal efforts to “control substances” like marijuana are not lawful.

But, of course, the text of the Bill of Rights has never prevented the federal government from doing what it wants so long as it can hoodwink enough of the population into believing federal meddling is a matter of “public health” or “public safety.”

States Begin to Nullify

Although numerous states had already begun to chip away at the federal prohibition with “medical marijuana” laws, a far larger change came in 2012 when Colorado and Washington voters adopted new measures legalizing possession and sale of marijuana for most adults.

This was followed two years later by similar changes in Alaska, Oregon, and Washington, DC. In 2020, Montana, Arizona, and New Jersey all legalized the recreational use of marijuana, bringing the total number of states to eighteen. (Another thirteen states have decriminalized marijuana—a measure also in conflict with federal law.)

In total, more than 143 million Americans—out of 330 million—now live in states with legal recreational marijuana.

None of this has “nullified” federal law in the strict sense. The federal prohibition still exists on the books, and the federal government can—and does—still selectively enforce these laws under a variety of circumstances. But political reality and legal reality are two different things and the fact is that the de facto state nullification taking place since 2012 has put the federal government back on its heels.

The Federal Government Retreats

Indeed, it was not long after Colorado and Washington legalized marijuana that federal representatives of both these states—both Republicans and Democrats—began pursuing ways to ensure federal officials did not attempt to renew the federal war on drugs within these states’ borders. Perhaps the best example is the STATES Act, designed “to ensure that each State has the right to determine for itself the best approach to marijuana within its borders.”

Efforts by drug war enthusiasts—like Donald Trump’s attorney general Jeff Sessions—ultimately failed after federal efforts to crack down on states met with furious opposition from Congress and state-level officials.

In 2021, the issue of enforcing federal marijuana prohibitions within these states has all but disappeared. Yet lingering federal financial regulations remain an obstacle to the normalization of the cannabis industries in these states. But it now appears it is only a matter of time until drug war zealots like Mitch McConnell will be unable to block reform in Congress.

The Failure of “Just Change the Law”

Perhaps most importantly, the ongoing success of the cannabis nullification effort has illustrated the impotence of those who repeatedly chant slogans about “federal supremacy” and insist, “If you don’t like the law, change it.” Even among those who claim to oppose the drug war, one can often hear these “strategies” which consistently amount to nothing.

We’ve all heard plenty from these defenders of the status quo for decades, and we’ve heard it in many different contexts—perhaps most importantly in the area of private gun ownership. “Why, you can’t refuse to enforce federal law,” they’ll say. Federal law is the “the law of the land,” they angrily insist while declaring “federal supremacy means states can’t just do their own thing.” Contained within these claims, of course, is the notion that the federal government can do whatever it wants. The fact that federal intervention in drug use and gun possession are in clear violation of the Bill of Rights means nothing to these people, who simply buckle to federal power and say nothing can be done but to “elect the right people.”

In some cases, these central government–loving “legal experts” will actively try to undermine federalism and the Bill of Rights. In the case of marijuana legalization, for instance, Republican attorneys general sued the State of Colorado in an effort to get the federal courts to force federal prohibitions on states that had nullified. Fortunately, the suits were thrown out.

On the other hand, more and more decentralist state officials are starting to figure out that meekly begging Washington, DC, to repeal some of its own powers will probably go nowhere. Rather, refusing to do Washington’s bidding is likely to be a more promising strategy. In Missouri, for example, the Second Amendment Protection Act is designed to “invalidate all federal gun control laws and prohibits state and local cooperation with enforcement of those laws.”

Whether or not this strategy in the area of gun ownership can meet the same level of success as the marijuana effort will depend in part on the public’s ideology and the willingness of local officials to refuse to buy into the old federal “law of the land” canard. But this localist strategy is unlikely to fail any worse than fifty years of doing nothing in Washington.

This article was originally featured at the Ludwig von Mises Institute and is republished with permission.

‘Trooper of the Year’ Sentenced to 17.5 Years for Producing, Distributing Child Porn

In 2018, Louisiana State Police Trooper of 18 years, Jason Boyet received one of the department’s highest honors—Trooper of the Year. Fast forward two years, and this hero cop was thrown in a jail cell after being arrested on charges of production and distribution of child pornography. His crimes were apparently so depraved and sickening that his blue privilege ran out and he was sentenced this month to 17.5 years in prison.

This Trooper of the Year was alleged to have been running his own child porn network. Not only was he allegedly distributing the horrifying images and videos, he was producing them! Earlier this year, he pleaded guilty to horrifying crimes against children as young as three years old.

Even more disturbing is the fact that Boyet is reportedly married and has three children. According to details in the DOJ report, some of the children in the images could have been his own kids.

According to the FBI, an undercover agent accessed a chat room which was known to appeal to “purveyors of digital files depicting the sexual victimization of children.” Boyet frequented the chat room where he would distribute the images of children being sexually assaulted. Indicating that they may have been his own children, Boyet claimed to have custody and control of at least one of the victims in the photos.

When Boyet was arrested, FBI determined that many of the photos being distributed of young children were taken with this monster’s own iPhone between December 19, 2019, and February 11, 2020.

When a search warrant was originally executed, the FBI accessed an online storage account where Boyet received at least 151 images and 195 videos depicting child sexual abuse as young as 1 year old.

As part of his sentence, Boyet must also serve 5 years of supervised release and register as a sex offender. A restitution hearing is scheduled for February 2, 2022.

In a Facebook post from 2018, LSP Troop L issued the following praise about their star trooper of they year.

Senior Trooper Jason Boyet was recognized as the Louisiana State Police Troop L Trooper of the Year at the annual Slidell Elks Law and Order Night. When considering candidates, S/T Boyet’s supervisors highlighted his job performance, initiative, professionalism, and most of all leadership.

We wonder if they still feel this way about this alleged child predator.

Peppering the Louisiana State Police Facebook page are dozens of images of mugshots from people accused of petty theft, drug possession and other small crimes. Absent from their page, however, is Boyet’s mug shot and any mention that their Trooper of the Year was accused and arrested for allegedly producing and distributing child pornography. Seems legit.

Over the years, TFTP has reported on a lot of bad cops—thousands of them. And, over the years, apologists claim that these bad cops are the exception and somehow slipped through the filter into their jobs. While that statement may pacify some, it is simply not reality. In fact, TFTP has reported on dozens of officers who are the cream of the crop getting caught in the most disturbing crimes.

“Officers of the Year” are repeatedly caught raping, murdering, and preying on children thereby destroying this notion of slipping through the cracks.

A we previously reported, in an unprecedented sentence for a police officer, a former cop with the Fort Pierce and Port St. Lucie police departments, was sentenced to life in prison after being convicted of child exploitation. Micheal Edwin Harding was named Officer of the Year in 2011, when he was an officer at the Fort Pierce Police Department.

Despite being accused of sexual assault back in 2007, Champaign Police Officer Jerad Gale was given his department’s highest honor in March. On March 30, Gale was named Champaign’s Officer of the Year.

Just three months later he would be arrested for strangling and raping two more women.

A former Houston Police Department ‘Officer of the Year’ award winner, Noe Juarez, was arrested and was indicted on federal charges of conspiracy to possess firearms connected with a drug trafficking offense and conspiracy to distribute five or more kilos of cocaine.

Jonathan Bleiweiss, 34, pleaded guilty to an array of charges, admitting to 14 counts of armed false imprisonment, 15 counts of battery and four counts of stalking. However, he avoided all of the charges with “sex” in them.

Most likely due to his police officer status, this former Broward Sheriff’s deputy was given an insultingly lenient plea deal. As part of that deal, Bleiweiss did not face charges of sexual battery, and as such will not be required by the state of Florida to register as a sex offender.

A group of approximately 20 undocumented immigrants alleged that Bleiweiss, harassed them, molested them during pat-downs, and threatened them with deportation if they refused to perform sex acts. Bleiweiss was named officer of the year just prior to being exposed as a sexual predator.

This article was originally featured at The Free Thought Project and is republished with permission.

Cops Charged With Burglary, Murder After Breaking Into Man’s Home, Shooting Him 76 Times

The family of a 26-year-old Atlanta man who was killed after police shot him 76 times, thought for years that their only course of action was a civil rights lawsuit against the officers involved. However, this month, five years after Jamarion Robinson was gunned down in his own home, the officers who killed him are being held to account.

Eric Heinze, an assistant chief inspector with the US Marshal’s Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force, and Kristopher Hutchens, a Clayton County police officer working with the task force, have now been charged with felony murder.

In addition to the two counts of murder, both officers were charged with aggravated assault, burglary, making false statements and violation of oath by a public officer.

Though no body camera footage exists, the sheer number of bullet holes in Robinson’s body is enough to dispel any myth of appropriate and necessary force.

“Over 90 rounds were fired at my son, flash-bang grenades were thrown at him, landed on him, burning him. Somebody walked up the stairs, stood over him, and shot down into his body two more times. After that he was handcuffed and drug down a flight of stairs,” his mother, Monteria Robinson, said. “My son’s body is all the bodycam you need. I wake up every day with anxiety. I’ve been in fight mode ever since my son was killed. I want closure.”

Before police killed him, Robinson had never been arrested or convicted of a crime. He was merely in a mental health crisis and it ended in his brutal execution.

In August of 2016, police broke down the door of Jamarion Robinson’s girlfriend’s home in Parkside Camp Creek Luxury Apartments and began spraying the interior of the apartment with bullets. Robinson was killed by multiple police task force officers from several different departments, including the U.S. Marshal Service.

On that fateful day in August, police were serving a warrant for Robinson’s arrest. Police claimed that during a previous confrontation, Robinson had pointed a gun at officers. However, according to multiple accounts, at the time of the shooting, Robinson presented no threat to police. What’s more, he was only “believed” to have been the man who pointed a gun at officers before fleeing.

“At the time of the shooting, Jamarion Robinson presented no threat to the defendant officers or anyone else,” according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit claims that Robinson had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and that the responding officers were never trained in dealing with the mentally ill.

A private detective hired by Robinson’s mother uncovered evidence of gunshots fired straight into the ground where her son’s body was lying—indicating that an officer or officers walked up to his body, stood over it, and fired at point blank range just to finish him off. Cellphone video from a nearby apartment recorded gunfire from police for nearly three minutes and backs up these claims.

As the AJC reported:

The complaint accuses officers of knocking at the apartment door, but then immediately breaking the door down and “spraying” the interior with 9 mm and .40 mm submachine guns and .40 mm Glock pistols.

It also accuses the U.S. Marshals involved with the task force of tampering with evidence by handcuffing Robinson at the apartment, after he was dead from his gunshot wounds, and throwing a flash grenade into the apartment.

The lawsuit was filed against eight named law enforcement officers from a number of different law enforcement agencies, as well as 11 unidentified officers. It alleges that the officers used excessive force, manipulated evidence falsified reports.

According to the lawsuit, somewhere between 59 and 76 bullets or more were found to enter the body of Robinson, killing him. The officers involved were named in the suit and are from the Atlanta Police, East Point Police, Fulton County Police, Clayton County Fire and Police departments, the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Marshals Service.

“I want to know why 76 bullets entered my son’s body,” said Monteria Robinson at the time of the lawsuit.

The lawsuit claims the officers “conspired among and between themselves to unreasonably stop, seize, shoot and injure Jamarion Robinson in violation of his Constitutional rights, to destroy and fabricate evidence, to complete false, inaccurate and misleading reports, and to make false statements to superior officers in order to conceal their wrongdoing.”

Now, the charges appear to reflect everything they said in the lawsuit.

This article was originally featured at The Free Thought Project and is republished with permission.

Cops Fire 25 Rounds Into Crowd at High School Football Game, Kill 8 Year Old Girl

When 8-year-old Fanta Bility and her family attended a high school football game back in August, they never imagined that their worst nightmare would come true that night. Sadly, however, according to a lawsuit filed this week, thanks to a group of trigger happy police officers using excessive force, that is exactly what happened.

As Fanta and her family walked out of the game that night, police opened fire into their group, killing Fanta and wounding several others, including her older sister. It has been two months since little Fanta took her last breath and no one has been charged. Now, the family is not wasting any more time and has decided to take civil action.

On Tuesday, attorney Bruce L. Castor presented the borough of Sharon Hill and the police officers who opened fire, with a lawsuit alleging excessive force and improper training.

According to Castor, the girl’s family “seeks answers and damages for the tragic and unnecessary death…and the injury and trauma inflicted on others as a result of the misconduct of Sharon Hill Police officers.”

On that fateful night on August 27, Fanta and her family were leaving a football game at Academy Park High when a shooting took place about a block away during an argument between two individuals. The firing had stopped and the fans of the football game were calmly walking out when a vehicle drove in front of stadium exit.

For some reason, police outside of the stadium opened fire on that vehicle with a crowd of people behind them—firing 25 rounds. One of those bullets hit Fanta in her back. Tenneh Kromah, Fanta’s mother, “attempted to comfort the terror-stricken little girl before she died” in her mother’s arms right there on the ground that night, according to the lawsuit.

Castor alleges in the lawsuit that police were “deliberately indifferent and reckless” and that the borough and its police chief had given the officers “tacit approval” to behave in that manner.

According to the complaint, as reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer, officers Devon Smith, John Scanlan III, and a third unnamed officer all fired their weapons that night, although the third officer is not named in the lawsuit.

“The main thrust of the suit is Sharon Hill Borough’s inadequate training and supervision of its police officers, and the police officers acting grossly negligent or recklessly, leading to Fanta being killed and her sister being wounded,” said Castor according to WHYY Philly.

Aside from Fanta and her sister Mawatta, two other women were shot with police bullets that night. Those two women were recent graduates from Academy Park High School and were inside the vehicle at which police opened fire. A law enforcement source told the Inquirer that the occupants of the vehicle were there to watch the football game that night and had nothing to do with the initial gunfire.

The Delaware County Black Caucus has called for all three of the officers who opened fire that night to be fired. The lawsuit joins the caucus in that call.

Castor, who, according to WHYY, worked in law enforcement for three decades, has said he knows what an acceptable level of force is and though he does not believe the officers acted with malice or intent to kill, he does believe they acted recklessly and are to blame for the child’s death.

Indeed, opening fire toward a crowd of people, including small children, to shoot at a vehicle that had nothing to do with the original shooting, is reckless, to say the least.

“There isn’t a police department in the entire country that teaches it’s okay to shoot at a moving vehicle under the circumstances,” Castor said. “And there isn’t a police department in the whole country that teaches it’s okay to fire your weapon, in this case 25 times, into a crowd of people. So I’m pretty sure that Sharon Hills is liable here.”

According to Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer, the shooting is being investigated by a grand jury to determine if criminal charges are warranted against the officers.

No charges have been filed in relation to the shooting that night. Three people were initially detained and later released from custody.

This article was originally featured at The Free Thought Project and is republished with permission.

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