Criminal Justice

Cop Who Shot Fleeing 12yo Boy Charged With Murder

In March, a tragedy unfolded in Philadelphia after a 12-year-old boy was shot in the back and killed. The boy was running from several police officers when two of them opened fire. Police have since claimed that even though 12-year-old Thomas Siderio was running away, he was still a threat. Apparently that narrative is now changing, however, as the officer who fired the fatal shot was recommended for firing—and charged with murder on Monday.

On Monday, now-former officer Edsaul Mendoza was charged with first-degree murder, third-degree murder, voluntary manslaughter, and other charges in connection to the fatal shooting of Thomas.

Police admitted that Thomas was unarmed with Mendoza killed him. In a press conference on Monday, district attorney Larry Krasner admitted the gun found on the scene was over 40 feet away from Thomas when he was killed.

“The gun was sitting on the street, below the curb line, nearly 40 feet away. Thus, when officer Mendoza fired the third and fatal shot, he knew the 12-year-old, 5-foot tall, 111-pound Thomas Siderio no longer had a gun and no ability to harm him. But he fired a shot through his back, nonetheless, that killed him,” Krasner said.

“I’m happy. That’s all I can say right now,” Thomas’s great-grandmother, Mary Siderio, said. “I’m so heartbroken, I can’t sleep. None of us can sleep. It’s horrible.”

As we reported at the time, the incident unfolded on March 1, as four plainclothes officers, in an unmarked car, saw the boy and another child standing on the street corner. The officers claimed that one of the children appeared to be holding a handgun.

According to police, as they activated their lights in the undercover vehicle, the officers heard gunfire and a bullet came through the back passenger side of the vehicle. The officers stopped the car at which point two of them exited and shot at Thomas, who they claimed was holding a gun.

Two officers fired at least one round at Thomas, missing him.

After the initial gunfire, Mendoza reportedly chased after Thomas as he fled. That officer fired two times with one of the bullets striking Thomas in his back. Police said the bullet exited out of his chest.

According to police, the bullet fired into their cruiser, shattered the glass which injured one of the officers inside. That officer was taken to the hospital and treated for the glass in his eye.

Thomas, however, was not so lucky. After he was shot in the back by police, he was taken to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead.

After the 12-year-old was killed, police were clear to point out that just because he was running away, does not mean he wasn’t a threat. But they had to know at the time that the gun was nowhere near Thomas when he was killed, meaning this statement was less than accurate at best and a lie at worst.

Naish told reporters that the fact Thomas was running away “doesn’t mean that he wasn’t continuing to be a threat to the officers.”

It’s “unbelievable that [Outlaw] would refuse to provide factual evidence to the press about the details of the shooting that she has in her current possession, and then speculate egregiously as to whether or not my client had a gun in his hands, let alone fired one,” said the family’s lawyer, J. Connor Corcoran at the time of the shooting.

That 17-year-old boy who was with Thomas that night was detained for questioning before being released without charges.

Thomas was a seventh-grader at Sharswood Elementary School, who neighbors described as having a turbulent childhood but “always tried to put a smile on everybody’s face.”

As for Mendoza, he turned himself in on Monday and is currently being held without bail.

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

End No-Knock Raids So Cops Stop Killing Innocent Homeowners

In the land of the free—thousands of times a year—American police officers kick in doors, smash windows, deploy tear gas, and explode flashbang grenades all to serve a single, often unarmed, individual with an arrest warrant. These militarized affronts on the homes and property of often entirely innocent individuals all too frequently end with the suffering of the innocent or loss of innocent life.

Recently, in only a matter of weeks, two different innocent people were killed by police during these raids. Despite the fact that the officers yelled “police” as they broke into the homes of Isaiah Tyree Williams and Amir Locke—both of who were asleep at the time of the raid—Williams and Locke were so startled that they defended themselves by grabbing a gun.

Because they defended themselves against armed agents of the state during a raid by said agents, their deaths were justified, and the officers who killed them, returned to duty—despite the fact that Locke and Williams had committed no crime and were not the subjects of the warrants.

Many people have rightfully argued that Locke and Williams were morally justified in grabbing the guns and even shooting and attempting to kill the armed intruders. And, if we remove the state’s ability to self-justify their own actions, those people are right.

Locke and Williams—as they had committed no crime—did not know their intruders were cops. What’s more, as the following example illustrates, even when the intruder is wearing a badge, they may not be a cop.

Last Sunday, police in Philadelphia were called to the home of a 25-year-old man who happened to kill a home invader who happened to be wearing a badge and claiming to be a cop.

As ABC 6 reports, two men forced their way into a young man’s home, pretending to be cops before taking him hostage, claiming to search his residence.

“They tied his hands with zip ties around his back and threatened to kill him if he made any sudden moves. That’s when our victim realized these individuals were not police officers,” said Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small.

Luckily for the victim, he was able to get his hands free, grab his licensed concealed carry pistol, and kill the police impersonator before the impersonator killed him.

Had this 25-year-old man continued to believe his aggressors were cops, it could’ve proven fatal.

Therein lies the problem with no knock raids. Bad actors are essentially granted free reign in home invasions if they are able to acquire some police garb and a shiny badge. If innocent people simply “comply and wait to file a complaint later,” they could be killed.

This is why no knock raids—outside of a hostage situation—must be brought to an end immediately.

Yet still, across the country—largely due to the failed drug war—police conduct tens of thousands of no-knock raids a year.

Breonna Taylor was murdered during one of them. Countless others are beaten, terrorized, and killed as well, and just like Breonna, cops often act on bad information.

“In theory, no-knock raids are supposed to be used in only the most dangerous situations…In reality, though, no-knock raids are a common tactic, even in less-than-dangerous circumstances,” Vox wrote in an revealing investigation in 2015. Case in point, Breonna Taylor.

A whopping 79 percent of these raids—like the one used to murder Dennis and Rhogena Tuttle in Houston, TX in 2019—are for search warrants only, mostly for drugs. Just seven percent of no-knock raids are for crisis situations like hostages, barricaded suspects, or active shooters, according to an investigation by the ACLU.

What’s more, the study by the ACLU found that in 36 percent of SWAT deployments for drug searches, and possibly in as many as 65 percent of such deployments, no contraband of any sort was found.

Not only do these raids appear to be mostly unproductive, but they are often carried out on entirely innocent people based on lies, wrong information, or corruption, laying waste to the rights—and lives—of unsuspecting men, women, children, and their pets.

As we’ve seen in the case of Roderick Talley, drug task forces routinely conspire together to raid the homes of innocent people as a means of justifying themselves.

Cops have been routinely caught planting evidence, lying on warrants, and raiding wrong homes, and when we attempt to question this madness, we’re accused of hating cops.

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

75yo Grandmother With Dementia Shot By Police in Her Home

The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico is calling for an investigation this week after police shot and killed a 75-year-old woman in her home during a dementia-driven episode.

Amelia Baca, 75, was killed by an officer with the Las Cruces Police Department on April 16, according to family members. The department took several days to release her name, however, her family confirmed with the Las Cruces Sun News that it was Baca who was killed.

On Tuesday, three days after killing Baca, the city responded and released the following statement:

“Any loss of life, no matter the circumstances, is tragic and unfortunate,” wrote Ifo Pili, a city manager, in a statement. “On behalf of the City of Las Cruces, we extend our deepest sympathies to Amelia Baca’s family and to those who are mourning her loss.”

According to her family, Baca suffered from dementia and was having an episode that day. When police arrived on the scene, they claimed Baca had a knife and resorted to deadly force.

“On arrival, an LCPD police officer encountered a female who was armed with at least one knife. The incident resulted in the officer firing at least one round at the female,” a  news release stated.

Family members disagree, however, and told reporters that Baca was not holding a knife and only had knives near her when she was shot. Even if she was holding a knife, she is a 75-year-old grandmother going up against an officer with a taser, a baton, pepper spray and a bullet proof vest. The idea of using deadly force against such a person is reprehensible.

The ACLU said a crisis intervention team should have responded to the incident. Senior Policy Strategist Barron Jones said LCPD has a crisis intervention team meant to prevent these types of incidents, according to Sun News, but unfortunately, they were not deployed.

“If this team had been deployed to de-escalate the situation, (Baca) may still be alive today and receiving the help she needed,” Jones said.

According to the Sun, the officer who killed Baca was wearing a body camera and they have requested the footage.

Jones told the Sun that police in New Mexico have been on a seeming killing spree and demanded a “comprehensive statewide use of force policy reform and increased oversight to ensure the public can rely on police following protective protocols already in place.

“Our communities will not be safe until police officers are held accountable to a clear and uniform standard,” he said.

“It’s like we lost a leader,” said her grandson, Michael Gutierrez. “She was the top of everybody and now we just have to carry on and stay strong.”

“I always imagined it was going to be old age,” he said. “She lived this long. She went through so many things and survived, so what happened was not even in our minds.”

Because police officers have a tendency of attacking and abusing those with mental disabilities, including the elderly, the Alzheimer’s Association of America puts out a guide, specifically designed for law enforcement on how to deal with people suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia.

According to the guide, those suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia will not respond like mentally healthy individuals. “Confronting the person is not recommended.”

Frail, non-violent elderly women with dementia would likely be the easiest folks to deal with in these situations and it would be very easy to follow the above recommendations to the letter. Unfortunately, that doesn’t appear to be the case in Las Cruces.

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

Cop Enters Family’s Backyard, Shoots Innocent Father, ‘Sentenced’ to Firearms Training

As frequent readers of the Free Thought Project understand, police officers mistake innocent individuals for criminals all the time. Often times, their fear gets the best of them and these folks who have committed no crime and harmed no one, are beaten or arrested only to be exonerated down the road. One man in Idaho Falls, however, will not have a chance to be exonerated because the police who mistook him for a suspect—executed him.

On February 8, 2021, Elias Aurelio Cerdas, a 26-year-old officer who graduated from training less than a year before the shooting, entered the backyard of Joseph “Joe” Johnson, a father of four, mistook him for a criminal, and executed him.

For nearly six month, Cerdas remained on paid vacation without charges but all that changed in August of last year when he was indicted for manslaughter.

While Johnson’s family thought they were going to see justice, all that came to a screeching halt this week when during the trial, 7th District Judge Darren Simpson announced that the case against Elias Cerdas was dismissed on the condition that Cerdas complete 100 hours of firearm, use-of-force and supervised patrol training in the next year.

“During that time, he will be on modified duty, which he is currently on,” Simpson said. “At the time it is completed, the case would be dismissed with prejudice, meaning it cannot be refiled.”

Not only will this cop face no consequences for executing an innocent father on his own property but he’ll also remain a cop!

As we reported last year, shortly after midnight early that morning, a Bonneville County Sheriff’s Deputy attempted to make a traffic stop at which point the vehicle came to a stop and the driver of the vehicle fled into a residential neighborhood. The deputy involved in the pursuit told fellow officers they were looking for a man in a black shirt.

During the search, police identified the man and found that he had multiple warrants for his arrest including Felony Battery on an Officer, and two Failure to Appear Warrants with original charges of Resisting/Obstructing Arrest, and Providing False Information to Law Enforcement.

Police claim the suspect, Tanner Shoesmith, 22, had a history of violent altercations with law enforcement which appears to be a cover for the way they acted when they found and then killed Johnson.

According to police, the passenger in the vehicle that was originally pulled over never fled and stayed behind to talk to police. Police claim this passenger had received a message from the suspect, who—while on the run from the cops—took the time to message the passenger and send him his GPS coordinates.

According to police, these GPS coordinates—sent by the suspect who was running from cops, to the passenger he knew was still with the cop—showed him in the backyard of a residence on the corner of Tendoy Drive and Syringa Drive—Johnson’s backyard.

Police then surrounded this house and killed the father of four in his backyard after claiming he had on a black t-shirt and was holding a gun.

“Sometimes everyone does what they think is right and tragedies happen,” the chief said at the time.

After killing the innocent father, a brief investigation revealed that he was not the suspect and, in fact, lived in the home and had committed no crime. Moments later, down the road, a deputy reported seeing a man running and the suspect was located in the back yard of a completely different house, hiding in a shed. The suspect, who police claim has a history of violent interactions with police, was taken into custody without incident.

In a post on a GoFundMe page set up for Johnson, his wife Bree expressed how devastated the death of their husband and father has left them.

Joe was the sole income earner for our family. He worked hard every day as a mechanic to support our family while I took care of the kids and our home. He was so proud to buy us this house a few years ago and make a nice life for us. Everything he did was for his family. Not only have our lives been destroyed by the unimaginable grief of his life being taken from us, but our safe space and family home was violated in the most traumatic way possible.

Now, they are violated again as the man who left their family in shambles will face no consequences for his actions.

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

Charges Dropped Against Father Who Shot at SWAT Team Who Injured His Baby During Raid

As TFTP reported in February, Corey Marioneaux Jr., 24, is a father of two, church-going community member with no criminal record who defended his family from armed intruders. Because the intruders were cops, however, Marioneaux was charged with attempted murder of a law enforcement officer. He was completely innocent.

Thankfully, however, justice has prevailed and the State Attorney’s Office announced its decision not to criminally prosecute Marioneaux as he acted in self-defense and they could not prove that he knew the intruders were cops.

“State Attorney Ginger Bowden Madden announces that after diligent investigation and review no criminal prosecution will be commenced against Corey Marioneaux Jr. for a shooting incident that occurred during the lawful execution of a search warrant at his residence on February 3rd, 2022,” the release stated.

“We are pleased that prosecutors have opted to drop all charges against Corey Marioneaux, Jr. today,” Marioneaux’s attorneys said in a statement. “If officers with the Pensacola Police Dept. had simply taken a moment to fully evaluate the situation, he wouldn’t have been arrested in the first place. Mr. Marioneaux is completely innocent and deserves to have his record cleared and good name restored.”

Luckily, during the early morning raid in which police used a battering ram to break through Marioneaux’s front door and storm into his living room, no one was killed. Had this father of two actually killed one of the intruders, however, he would have been justified in doing so as Marioneaux had his two children—ages 1 and 3—asleep in his room.

As we reported, police claimed they “knocked” for ten seconds at his front door but most people are still asleep at this hour, so it is quite easy not to hear them.

Though the knocking didn’t wake him, when his door was smashed in with a ram, Marioneaux immediately jumped up, grabbed his pistol and defended his family. He would fire one shot at the armed intruders breaking into his home and luckily, his shot was deflected by one of the officer’s shields.

“Careful review of the case has determined that there is insufficient proof to establish beyond a reasonable doubt that Marioneaux knew that he was firing at a police officer. Knowledge is an essential element of the offense,” the State Attorney’s Office release stated.

Police fired back and luckily they missed as well. As soon as Marioneaux realized the intruders were cops, he put the pistol down, put his hands up, surrendered, and immediately apologized, profusely. No one was hurt and the police report proved the statement above.

“While being taken into custody, Marioneaux made spontaneous statements in the presence of [the detective] that he was sorry,” the police report stated. “Marioneaux also made spontaneous statements in front of [the sergeant] that he was sorry for shooting at officers.”

As it was clearly a mistake to fire on the officers and due to the fact that he was not the subject of the warrant, Marioneaux should have been released immediately. Yet he wasn’t. Instead, he was booked for 3 counts of Attempted Murder of a Law Enforcement Officer.

During the raid, Marioneaux’s 1-year-old son was injured and an internal investigation is underway.

While arresting Marioneaux for the non-crime of defending his children, police then took those children. While the children were in police custody, they called Moiya Dixon, who shares custody of the children with Marioneaux, to come get the kids. Before Dixon arrived, however an officer dropped the 1-year-old on his face, causing severe trauma, according to the family.

“I get out my car like, ‘Where’s my baby? Where’s my baby?’” Dixon said. “And I get my baby and I see his face—and it’s almost unrecognizable compared to how he looked when I left him last.”

After the baby was dropped, EMS was called out to the scene but, in what appears to be a cover up, police told EMS to leave.

According to police, the toddler was leaning up against the door of the cruiser when an officer opened it, causing the child to fall out. After Dixon got her children back from the police, she brought the 1-year-old to the hospital herself where he was treated for his injuries.

“We are now focused on getting to the bottom of exactly how Mr. Marioneaux’s one-year-old baby boy was dropped on his head and seriously injured during this botched raid, Marioneaux’s attorney’s said after the decision to drop the charges was made.

“Our hope is that the Pensacola Police Dept. will quickly provide accurate information regarding how and why this occurred. We will not stop until this information has been made public and those responsible for this horrific series of events are held accountable.”

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

Its Not Getting Better: Cops in the U.S. Still Kill Someone Every 8 Hours

It has been nearly two years since Derek Chauvin murdered George Floyd. At the time, Floyd’s death would set off massive protests across the country as politicians and political pundits played lip service to Black Lives Matter and others, as they offered up their hollow support. Illustrating the extremely hollow nature of their “support” is the fact that despite all the appeals to emotion, the toothless “reform” bills, and incessant gaslighting—absolutely nothing has changed.

As the fourth month of 2022 begins, American cops are keeping to their deadly numbers like clockwork. One quarter of the year is over and cops have killed more than 250 people—right on track with previous years. This number is set to increase by one, on average, every 8 hours, every single day, of every single week, of every single month, of every single year.

The Biden administration promised change but since he’s been in office, it’s been more of the same, and, in fact, has gotten worse. Last year’s budget (FY 2021) for the hiring program, approved under Trump, was set at $156.5 million. Biden more than doubled the funding for it in FY 2022.

The “defund the police” movement has since morphed into a “fund the police” more movement, spearheaded by the very people who promised to do the opposite. Biden just released a “fund the police” budget proposal in March for $30bn more in law enforcement and crime prevention efforts, including funding to put “more police officers on the beat.”

America spends more on policing than every other country in the world spends on their entire militaries, except for China. But if we remove China from the picture, U.S. law enforcement would be the largest military in the world—and it’s deployed right here in the land of the free.

Despite all this spending, crime in many areas is on the rise, corruption in police is rampant, and police in America are still killing unarmed and even innocent people. And what do the politicians do to fix it? Increase spending.

Since 2018, cops in America have killed 4,761 citizens. And politicians want to give them more money, as if that is the solution.

“To invest more into a system that we all know is broken is really a slap in the face to everyone who marched in summer 2020,” said Chris Harris, director of policy at the Austin Justice Coalition in Texas. “It reflects just a real lack of solutions to the problems that we face. It’s just more of the same – even if it’s exactly the thing that we know continues to hurt and kill people.”

These shocking numbers highlight a major problem when it comes to how police are policing. For starters, police have proven their incompetence in dealing with mental health issues. Since 2015 alone, police in America have over a thousand people during a mental health crisis. Many of these folks were never accused of a crime prior to police arriving on the scene.

This inability to resolve mental health issues without using deadly force is the impetus behind programs like the Support Team Assistance Response (STAR) program in Denver. You know, actual solutions that don’t require billions more in tax money.

As TFTP has pointed out, even cops who voluntarily attend Crisis Intervention Training (CIT), have shown that they are quick to the trigger when dealing with the mentally ill.

The list of unarmed and often completely innocent mentally ill people killed by police is immense. TFTP archives are full of tragic stories in which police were called to help someone in a crisis and end up murdering them. People are killed even when they aren’t in a crisis and simply act differently like Elijah McClain, who was on his way home from buying groceries and was murdered by police because he was an introvert and wore a ski mask.

This is why some municipalities have begun removing cops from the situation entirely.

On June 1, 2020, Denver began the Support Team Assistance Response (STAR) program, which sends a mental health professional and a paramedic to some 911 calls instead of cops. When we first reported on the program in October 2020, their results were fantastic. Now, it seems that departments who continue the old way are doing a disservice to the mentally ill.

According to their latest data, STAR has responded to more than 2,200 calls to 911 in which police would have normally been sent out. The STAR team—armed only with experience and compassion—has never once called police to back them up and no one was ever arrested.

Since we originally reported on STAR last year, they have gotten a fleet of vehicles and are expanding their services.

They have settled every single call without killing someone, beating them, ruining their lives, or using violence. Imagine that.

Another type of encounter which turns deadly all too often is the traffic stop.

While most everyone in America commits these same traffic infractions designed for revenue collection instead of safety, most of the people targeted by police for these crimes are the poor and minorities. Often times, officers treat these stops as gateways to fish for drug activity or other victimless crimes. While ending the drug war would have a much more profound effect, some municipalities have kicked around the idea of removing traffic stops from the mission of police officers.

Traffic stops in the land of the free, are a means of bolstering the prison industrial complex by extracting revenue from those who can pay and incarcerating others who cannot.

For those too poor to pay their tickets, routine traffic stops end up in repeated imprisonment due to mounting fines. Cities across the country are running a de facto debtors’ prison this way.

When cops aren’t routinely extorting and locking people up for petty traffic offenses, they are killing them.

This is why moves like we reported on in October, are important. As we reported, lawmakers in Philadelphia have passed legislation banning cops from making minor traffic stops. The law went into effect in February of this year.

By a 14-2 majority vote, the city council approved the Driving Equality measure which they say will deter and reduce disparate, unequal police practices in how minority motorists are stopped by police for minor offenses like broken tail lights and expired inspection stickers.

According to the Councilmember Isaiah Thomas, who worked with the Defenders Association, and the city Law Department to draft the bill, it is designed to “significantly reduce car stops by police for minor infractions that advocates believe discriminate disproportionately against Black and Brown motorists.”

In reality, police don’t stop crimes. They simply show up after a crime has been committed and attempt to solve it—and they are not that good at this aspect either.

The research shows that 70% of robberies, 66% of rapes, 47% of aggravated assaults, and 38% of murders go unsolved each year.

The majority of the “crimes” police stop in the act, are for victimless infractions like jay walking, seatbelt violations, license plate lights, window tint, and other laws designed for the generation of revenue. It is extremely rare that a cop will stop an assault, robbery, murder or rape.

Some cities across the country have started to figure out that extorting, kidnapping, caging, or killing people over crimes which have no victim, only serves to widen the gap between police and the citizens as well as increase recidivism. Experts have been pointing this out for years, yet the political class’s only answer is more money.

Imagine offering addiction support and mental health counseling instead of arresting people for drugs or their mental illness. It would be far cheaper. Imagine what that would do to the crime rates, the violent police interactions, and the relationship between the police and the policed.

Imagine not preying on the poor through traffic laws and victimless crimes. It would be far cheaper to help someone change a tail light than to incarcerate them for weeks for not being able to pay the fine for it.

Imagine cycling cops on and off duty to help them cope with the rampant PTSD from which so many cops suffer. In the military, soldiers are sent on tours of duty because constant deployment is far too stressful yet we send cops into situations every day in which they see dead bodies and humanity’s worst. And we expect them to just keep on going like everything is fine. This has to stop.

Imagine the immediate cessation of the war on drugs and using the money spent on kicking in doors, kidnapping, caging, and killing people, for community resources to teach people about addiction and responsible substance use.

None of these solutions require an increase in funding, yet all of them would have a profound effect. If we want cops to stop killing so many people, these are the things we need to start talking about. Until we do, every 8 hours, of every single day, of every single week, of every single month, of every single year—we can expect more of the same.

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

Cop Avoids Jail Following Sex Abuse Conviction, But Arrested Again for Creating Child Porn

In August of 2020, former New Mexico State Police officer, Ricky Romero, was granted a plea deal after admitting to soliciting and receiving sexually explicit images from an underage girl on social media. Instead of jail time for this child predator, Romero’s badge granted him blue privilege and he was given probation.

Because he pleaded guilty before the trial, Romero was given an 18-month probation on each of the two counts he faced: child solicitation by electronic device, child 13-18; and contributing to the delinquency of a minor, according to court documents.

As part of the agreement, five other charges: four counts of causing or permitting a child to engage in sexual exploitation, child 13-18; and one count of possession of a visual medium of sexual exploitation, child 13-18, were dismissed or reduced.

Despite the details of the case which were documented using text messages from Facebook messenger, involving a young child, Romero didn’t have to register as a sex offender and was simply allowed to go free on the premise that he wouldn’t do it again.

Like so many other child predators, Romero had multiple victims, another of whom was recently discovered while the officer was out on probation for his other crimes against children. As a result, Romero was once again arrested for preying on children.

According to the United States Attorney’s office for the District of New Mexico, Romero appeared in federal court on March 23 where he is charged with coercion and enticement of a minor and receiving child pornography — again.

According to the indictment and other court records, from March 4 to March 6, 2019, in Chaves County, New Mexico, Romero allegedly coerced a minor to produce child pornography and received videos and images of child pornography on his iPhone. Romero was a New Mexico State Police officer at the time the offenses were committed.

The DoJ states that if convicted, Romero faces a minimum of 10 years and up to life in prison.

If he is indeed guilty of these crimes, hopefully he is not given another sweetheart deal like he was in 2020. Unfortunately, however, if history is any indicator, it is not only possible but likely.

As we reported earlier this month, Brian O. Beck, 47, formerly of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office in Tennessee was suspended without pay in June 2018 after allegations came to light that he repeatedly raped a 14-year-old child beginning in 2016 and lasting for over 20 months. He was subsequently charged with two counts of rape by force or coercion and two counts of sexual battery by an authority figure.

Beck would have been facing up to 90 years in prison had he been convicted of the four counts upon which he was initially indicted by the grand jury. Instead, he was allowed to plea down to a single misdemeanor assault charge and was sentenced to four years in prison, all of which were suspended — and he will not have to register as a sex offender.

And these cases are a dime a dozen.

In December, we reported on a similar case involving Byrnes Mill officer Ryan Shomaker.

Shomaker, 48, admitted to the abuse and pleaded guilty to second-degree sodomy, not once, but twice. On Dec 2 in Jefferson County, and on Nov. 22 in St. Louis County, Shomaker admitted to the crimes against this boy.

In Jefferson County, Shomaker was charged with first-degree statutory sodomy, an unclassified felony punishable by five years to life in prison, and in St. Louis County he was charged with two counts of sodomy. However, he was allowed to plea down to one count each of second-degree sodomy.

As the Leader reports, on Dec. 2, Jefferson County Div. 5 Circuit Judge Victor Melenbrink sentenced Shomaker to seven years in prison in the Jefferson County case, and St. Louis County Circuit Judge Joseph Dueker sentenced Shomaker to seven years in the St. Louis County case.

Despite these sentences, after the fact, Shomaker’s sentences were both suspended and this child rapist was given just 5 years probation.

Shomaker’s attorney called the lack of jail for the child rapist, “a fair outcome.”

Also, last September, TFTP reported on a similar travesty of justice when Benjamin Reinhart, a disgraced officer with Genesee County was “sentenced” as part of a plea deal, to just five years of probation. The Genesee Human Oppression Strike Team, or GHOST, caught the officer in April attempting to lure a child for sex. He was on duty at the time. He didn’t even have to register as a public sex offender.

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

Cop Convicted of Killing Unarmed Kid, But Will Remain on the Police Force

As we have been reporting since last year, the officer who shot and killed an innocent teen, 17-year-old Hunter Brittain, was given blue privilege since the start of this case. The former sergeant with the Lonoke County Sheriff’s Office, 31-year-old Michael Davis killed Brittain within a few moments of pulling him over. Family and friends have been fighting for justice for Hunter since that fateful day, and this week, they found out that it is not coming.

Davis was fired over the incident in July—not for murdering an unarmed teenage boy—but failing to film it when he did. In September, he was finally charged. Unfortunately, the charge was weak and has led to an even lesser charge—a misdemeanor—that will allow Davis to remain a cop.

On Tuesday, March 15, 2022, the trial for Michael Davis began. In November 2021, Davis pleaded not guilty to the felony manslaughter charge as the trial was moved to another area to avoid tainting the jury.

On Friday March 18, after the jury deliberated for just two hours, Davis was found guilty — but of a much lesser charge of negligent homicide. For killing an innocent child in cold blood, Davis was only sentenced one year in prison and pay a $1,000 fine. What’s more, his attorney Robert Newcomb filed an appeal immediately after sentencing and an appeal bond that allows Davis to return home without going directly to jail. Davis will be allowed to remain out of jail throughout the appeal process, which could take a couple of years.

“What the jury said is that a law enforcement officer in uniform committed a crime, and the jury has said that Hunter Brittain was unlawfully killed by Michael Davis. That’s what this jury says…that’s a strong finding,” prosecuting attorney Devon Jacob said after the verdict according to 5 News.

Adding insult to the incredibly light sentence is the fact that because Davis wasn’t charged with manslaughter, he will be able to maintain his police officer certification after serving his sentence.

“Now what’s going to happen? Are people gonna have to fear for their life again? Once he gets back, you know, he’ll go back to the force,” Brittain’s grandmother, Rebecca Payne said.

Given the facts of the case, it is indeed likely that Davis could do this again to another child.

The report from the Pulaski County coroner, as the Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette reported last year, said the initial 911 call came in at 3:08 a.m. on June 23 and Brittain was pronounced dead around 3:58 a.m. by an attending physician at Baptist Health Medical Center in North Little Rock—his death ruled a homicide.

The report said that Davis conducted a traffic stop when “the decedent” [Brittain] got out of the vehicle and “got something out of the back” before moving toward the sergeant, after which the sergeant fired his weapon.

That object Hunter grabbed from the truck was a jug to put under the tire to keep his truck from rolling.

Though the autopsy was not released, the coroner’s report negated any speculation as to whether Hunter was on drugs or alcohol and nothing was found in his system. His cause of death was listed as two bullet holes, one to his neck and one to his arm.

“This is the latest example of law enforcement shooting first and asking questions later,” a statement from the family’s attorneys said.

Though the authorities have lacked all transparency from the beginning, as we reported, Brittain’s friend, described a blatant act of murder—a testimony he repeated at Davis’ trial last week.

On the morning he was killed, Brittain and his friend Jordan King, 16, were working on his truck’s transmission so Brittain could drive to work later that morning. Brittain’s boss, Scott Hundley, who owns Hundley Construction, confirmed to KATV that he spoke with Brittain the night before to line up a ride to work if Brittain couldn’t get his truck fixed.

“I was checking with him on his truck,” Hundley said. “[He was] sending me pictures of his truck at the shop. He says he’s been working on this truck but he’s trying to make it.”

But thanks to Davis, Brittain would not make it to work the next morning. And, according to King, it’s because Davis murdered him.

King spoke to KATV off camera and detailed how the situation unfolded. He told reporters that he and Brittain had worked through the night to fix Brittain’s truck and after they finally got it running they took it on a test drive around 3:00 a.m.

According to King, while on their test drive, Davis pulled them over about a mile from the shop where Brittain was working on his truck. Davis claimed the smoke from Brittain’s vehicle was probable cause for the stop.

King said Davis pulled them over on Arkansas Highway 89 and within just a few minutes, Brittain would be killed.

As KATV reports, King said Brittain’s truck wouldn’t go into park, so Brittain got out to grab a blue oil jug to put behind his truck’s tires and stop it from hitting Davis’ car. According to King, Davis then fired without telling Brittain to stop or get on the ground.

“They didn’t say one word that I know of. I didn’t hear it and it happened so fast,” King said.

King said after other deputies showed up, he was then handcuffed and forced into the back of a police cruiser for hours as he watched his friend bleed out on the pavement in front of him.

“[He] told me get out with my hands up and pull my shirt up and stuff, and then took me to the ground, put me in handcuffs and was dragging me around and stuff,” King said. “And then I sat in the back of the cop car for about three hours.”

King said he told deputies that he had no idea why Davis killed Brittain as he had no weapon and wasn’t doing anything wrong. In a year, the cop who killed him will likely be a cop again.

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


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