U.S. Government Separating Children From Parents At Border: And One Big Lie/Lyers

U.S. Government Separating Children From Parents At Border: And One Big Lie/Lyers

 

Today most of the news on the Google News site that I use is loaded with different articles about the child separation from parents at the U.S. Southern Border. One of the things I wonder about is why is this policy not being followed that same way at our Northern Border with Canada? Is this because most Canadians are white folks and most folks at our Southern Border are not white folks? Even though this is an issue that seems to be a non issue at this time maybe one of the major News Agencies will decide to look at the ‘why’ of this issue at some point. Even though this is an important issue it is not the issue that my article today is about. My article today is about what is going on at our Nations Southern Border with Mexico right now.

 

Like most all things in life, there are at least two sides to every issue, this disaster at our Southern Border is no exception. Technically any person crossing into our country at a non designated entry point is breaking the law and should be arrested. People wanting to live in a country should enter that country legally so that they do not have to always be worried about being deported. The last I heard the U.S. only allows about 55,000 people to legally migrate through the legal system so that they can become legal citizens.  That policy, that kind of a number, in my opinion should be raised to about 250,000 for all Americans, North Americans and South Americans. If the legal number was a more realistic number hopefully most people coming to the U.S Borders would choose to try to come in legally so that they could truly feel free once they started working and living here without having worry about ICE arresting them everyday.

 

I have spoken with many people from Mexico who are here illegally during my decades as a long haul truck driver (1981-2013). Constantly I heard the same thing from them, that they would rather be at home but there was no way to survive there, meaning that the Mexican economy was/is lousy. They were here trying to find a way to send money back home so that their families could afford to pay rent and to buy groceries. Some U.S. people make fun of the reality of having 10-15 Mexican people living in a two bedroom apartment, it is cruel and ignorant to make such comments even though in many cases it is true. Yet the reason you may have 10 working men living in a two bedroom living quarters is because they are pooling their money together so that they can send more money home to their wife and children. I have just been speaking of Mexican folks so far but the reality reaches to the southern end of the South American Continent. People in Central America and South America face the same issues as the poor people from Mexico face. Example, you don’t see Mexican billionaires trying to sneak across the borders do you? This issue in countries south of the U.S. is not going to change until these southern nations are able to get a good strong working economy so that their people can have livable wage jobs.  If you are living in (for example) Guatemala and you have a good paying job to where you have a nice home, good food, vehicles, clothes and the such are you really going to give it all up to try to sneak into the U.S. so that you can be a criminal under constant threat of arrest and deportation?

 

Now let us get to the point of the children being separated from their parents at the U.S. Southern Border. If you break the laws of a Nation that Nations law enforcement agencies are going to consider you to be a criminal whom they will arrest if they possibly can. Lets get away from the Border for a moment and let us look at another angle. If I am a person who lives in Chicago or New York and I commit a crime to where I am arrested and sent to a prison the law does not allow my minor children to be put into prison with me. If I don’t have someone else here in the States the government will give my children to the (DCS) Department of Children’s Services who are going to take my children and house them until they can find someone to give custody to while I am in prison. Would you want your minor children to be thrown into an adult prison with you? This policy that Donald Trump has put into place is cruel, but, what should our government, any government do in these cases?

 

Do not fall for the Trump Administration lies, this is a Presidential Policy, it is not a Law, and it is not a Law that was instituted during the Obama Administration, this one is all on the habitual liar, Donald Trump. This morning the Chief of the Department of Homeland Security Kristen Nielsen angerally told reporters that the Trump Administration has no policy in place to separate the children form their parents at the Border. Yet many documents from the DOJ and Jeff Sessions state very clearly for the security personal at the Mexican Border to do exactly that. That I know of there is no good answer for the Trump Administration to follow on this issue. They can either do what they are doing which is angering many people and is a death dart for Republicans this November in the Mid Term Elections or they can just say the heck with it and just open up the Borders to anyone who wishes to cross it. Folks, I don’t know how to be the most humane here on this issue unless North and South American Countries all totally open up their borders sort of like what the EU has done. Here is my single biggest issue with Donald Trump and his flunkies who work for him, just be honest, quit lying all the time, quit trying to blame everyone else for what you yourself are doing.

Trump’s legal memo to Robert Mueller is a recipe for tyranny

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF VOX NEWS)

 

Trump’s legal memo to Robert Mueller is a recipe for tyranny

A clear and present danger to the rule of law

Photo by Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images

Essentially all presidents sooner or later end up commissioning lawyers to put forward an expansive view of presidential power, but those lawyers take pains to argue that they are notmaking the case for a totally unchecked executive whose existence would pose a fundamental threat to American values.

Donald Trump, however, is a different kind of president.

In a 20-page memo written by Trump’s legal team and delivered to Robert Mueller, as reported by the New York Time’s this weekend, they make an unusually frank case for a tyrannical interpretation of presidential power.

Trump’s lawyers say he has unlimited power over criminal justice

The key passage in the memo is one in which Trump’s lawyers argue that not only was there nothing shady going on when FBI Director James Comey got fired there isn’t even any potentialshadiness to investigate because the president is allowed to be as shady as he wants to be when it comes to overseeing federal law enforcement. He can fire whoever he wants. Shut down any investigation or open up a new one.

Indeed, the President not only has unfettered statutory and Constitutional authority to terminate the FBI Director, he also has Constitutional authority to direct the Justice Department to open or close an investigation, and, of course, the power to pardon any person before, during, or after an investigation and/or conviction. Put simply, the Constitution leaves no question that the President has exclusive authority over the ultimate conduct and disposition of all criminal investigations and over those executive branch officials responsible for conducting those investigations.

This is a particularly extreme version of the “unitary executive” doctrine that conservative legal scholars sometimes appeal to (especially when there’s a Republican president), drawing on the notion that the executive branch of government — including the federal police agencies and federal prosecutors — are a single entity personified by the president.

But to push that logic into this terrain would not only give the president carte blanche to persecute his enemies but essentially vitiate the idea that there are any enforceable laws at all.

Donald Trump’s impunity store

Consider that if the memo is correct, there would be nothing wrong with Trump setting up a booth somewhere in Washington, DC where wealthy individuals could hand checks to Trump, and in exchange Trump would make whatever federal legal trouble they are in go it away. You could call it “The Trump Hotel” or maybe bundle a room to stay in along with the legal impunity.

Having cut your check, you’d then have carte blanche to commit bank fraud or dump toxic waste in violation of the Clean Water Act or whatever else you want to do. Tony Soprano could get the feds off his case, and so could the perpetrators of the next Enron fraud or whatever else.

Perhaps most egregiously, since Washington DC isn’t a state all criminal law here is federal criminal law, so the president could have his staff murder opposition party senators or inconvenient judges and then block any investigation into what’s happening.

Of course, as the memo notes, to an extent this kind of power to undermine the rule of law already exists in the form of the essentially unlimited pardon power. This power has never been a good idea and it has been abused in the past by George H.W. Bush to kill the Iran-Contra investigation and by Bill Clinton to win his wife votes in a New York Senate race. Trump has started using the power abusively and capriciously early in his tenure in office in a disturbing way, but has not yet tried to pardon his way out of the Russia investigation in part because there is one important limit on the pardon power — you have to do it in public. The only check on pardons is political, but the political check is quite real (which is why both Bush and Clinton did their mischievous pardons as lame ducks) and the new theory that Trump can simply make whole investigations vanish would eliminate it.

This issue is bigger than Comey or Mueller

Much of the argument about Trump and the rule of law has focused rather narrowly on the particular case of Comey’s firing and the potential future dismissal of Robert Mueller.

These are important questions, in the sense that an FBI Director is an important person and a special counsel investigation is an important matter, but the memo is a reminder that they offer much too narrow a view of what the real extent of the problem is here.

One of the main purposes of the government is to protect the weak from exploitation at the hands of the strong by making certain forms of misconduct illegal. Trump’s assertion that he can simply waive-away investigations into misconduct because he is worried that the investigation might end badly for his friends or family members is toxic to that entire scheme. Trump, like most presidents, has plenty of rich and powerful friends and a much longer list of rich and powerful people who would like to be his friends.

If he really does have the power to just make anyone’s legal trouble go away because he happens to feel like it, then we’re all in a world of trouble.

The West is ill-prepared for the wave of “deep fakes” From AI

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE BROOKINGS INSTITUTE)

 

ORDER FROM CHAOS

The West is ill-prepared for the wave of “deep fakes” that artificial intelligence could unleash

Chris Meserole and Alina Polyakova

Editor’s Note:To get ahead of new problems related to disinformation and technology, policymakers in Europe and the United States should focus on the coming wave of disruptive technologies, write Chris Meserole and Alina Polyakova. Fueled by advances in artificial intelligence and decentralized computing, the next generation of disinformation promises to be even more sophisticated and difficult to detect. This piece originally appeared on ForeignPolicy.com.

Russian disinformation has become a problem for European governments. In the last two years, Kremlin-backed campaigns have spread false stories alleging that French President Emmanuel Macron was backed by the “gay lobby,” fabricated a story of a Russian-German girl raped by Arab migrants, and spread a litany of conspiracy theories about the Catalan independence referendum, among other efforts.

Europe is finally taking action. In January, Germany’s Network Enforcement Act came into effect. Designed to limit hate speech and fake news online, the law prompted both France and Spain to consider counterdisinformation legislation of their own. More important, in April the European Union unveiled a new strategy for tackling online disinformation. The EU plan focuses on several sensible responses: promoting media literacy, funding a third-party fact-checking service, and pushing Facebook and others to highlight news from credible media outlets, among others. Although the plan itself stops short of regulation, EU officials have not been shy about hinting that regulation may be forthcoming. Indeed, when Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg appeared at an EU hearing this week, lawmakers reminded him of their regulatory power after he appeared to dodge their questions on fake news and extremist content.

The problem is that technology advances far more quickly than government policies.

The recent European actions are important first steps. Ultimately, none of the laws or strategies that have been unveiled so far will be enough. The problem is that technology advances far more quickly than government policies. The EU’s measures are still designed to target the disinformation of yesterday rather than that of tomorrow.

To get ahead of the problem, policymakers in Europe and the United States should focus on the coming wave of disruptive technologies. Fueled by advances in artificial intelligence and decentralized computing, the next generation of disinformation promises to be even more sophisticated and difficult to detect.

To craft effective strategies for the near term, lawmakers should focus on four emerging threats in particular: the democratization of artificial intelligence, the evolution of social networks, the rise of decentralized applications, and the “back end” of disinformation.

Thanks to bigger data, better algorithms, and custom hardware, in the coming years, individuals around the world will increasingly have access to cutting-edge artificial intelligence. From health care to transportation, the democratization of AI holds enormous promise.

Yet as with any dual-use technology, the proliferation of AI also poses significant risks. Among other concerns, it promises to democratize the creation of fake print, audio, and video stories. Although computers have long allowed for the manipulation of digital content, in the past that manipulation has almost always been detectable: A fake image would fail to account for subtle shifts in lighting, or a doctored speech would fail to adequately capture cadence and tone. However, deep learning and generative adversarial networks have made it possible to doctor imagesand video so well that it’s difficult to distinguish manipulated files from authentic ones. And thanks to apps like FakeApp and Lyrebird, these so-called “deep fakes” can now be produced by anyone with a computer or smartphone. Earlier this year, a tool that allowed users to easily swap faces in video produced fake celebrity porn, which went viral on Twitter and Pornhub.

Deep fakes and the democratization of disinformation will prove challenging for governments and civil society to counter effectively. Because the algorithms that generate the fakes continuously learn how to more effectively replicate the appearance of reality, deep fakes cannot easily be detected by other algorithms—indeed, in the case of generative adversarial networks, the algorithm works by getting really good at fooling itself. To address the democratization of disinformation, governments, civil society, and the technology sector therefore cannot rely on algorithms alone, but will instead need to invest in new models of social verification, too.

At the same time as artificial technology and other emerging technologies mature, legacy platforms will continue to play an outsized role in the production and dissemination of information online. For instance, consider the current proliferation of disinformation on Google, Facebook, and Twitter.

A growing cottage industry of search engine optimization (SEO) manipulation provides services to clients looking to rise in the Google rankings. And while for the most part, Google is able to stay ahead of attempts to manipulate its algorithms through continuous tweaks, SEO manipulators are also becoming increasingly savvy at gaming the system so that the desired content, including disinformation, appears at the top of search results.

For example, stories from RT and Sputnik—the Russian government’s propaganda outlets—appeared on the first page of Google searches after the March nerve agent attack in the United Kingdom and the April chemical weapons attack in Syria. Similarly, YouTube (which is owned by Google) has an algorithm that prioritizes the amount of time users spend watching content as the key metric for determining which content appears first in search results. This algorithmic preference results in false, extremist, and unreliable information appearing at the top, which in turn means that this content is viewed more often and is perceived as more reliable by users. Revenue for the SEO manipulation industry is estimated to be in the billions of dollars.

On Facebook, disinformation appears in one of two ways: through shared content and through paid advertising. The company has tried to curtail disinformation across each vector, but thus far to no avail. Most famously, Facebook introduced a “Disputed Flag” to signify possible false news—only to discover that the flag made users more likely to engage with the content, rather than less. Less conspicuously, in Canada, the company is experimenting with increasing the transparency of its paid advertisements by making all ads available for review, including those micro-targeted to a small set of users. Yet, the effort is limited: The sponsors of ads are often buried, requiring users to do time-consuming research, and the archive Facebook set up for the ads is not a permanent database but only shows active ads. Facebook’s early efforts do not augur well for a future in which foreign actors can continue to exploit its news feed and ad products to deliver disinformation—including deep fakes produced and targeted at specific individuals or groups.

Although Twitter has taken steps to combat the proliferation of trolls and bots on its platform, it remains deeply vulnerable to disinformation campaigns, since accounts are not verified and its application programming interface, or API, still makes it possible to easily generate and spread false content on the platform. Even if Twitter takes further steps to crack down on abuse, its detection algorithms can be reverse-engineered in much the same way Google’s search algorithm is. Without fundamental changes to its API and interaction design, Twitter will remain rife with disinformation. It’s telling, for example, that when the U.S. military struck Syrian chemical weapons facilities in April—well after Twitter’s latest reforms were put in place—the Pentagon reported a massive surge in Russian disinformation in the hours immediately following the attack. The tweets appeared to come from legitimate accounts, and there was no way to report them as misinformation.

Blockchain technologies and other distributed ledgers are best known for powering cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and ethereum. Yet their biggest impact may lie in transforming how the internet works. As more and more decentralized applications come online, the web will increasingly be powered by services and protocols that are designed from the ground up to resist the kind of centralized control that Facebook and others enjoy. For instance, users can already browse videos on DTube rather than YouTube, surf the web on the Blockstack browser rather than Safari, and store files using IPFS, a peer-to-peer file system, rather than Dropbox or Google Docs. To be sure, the decentralized application ecosystem is still a niche area that will take time to mature and work out the glitches. But as security improves over time with fixes to the underlying network architecture, distributed ledger technologies promise to make for a web that is both more secure and outside the control of major corporations and states.

If and when online activity migrates onto decentralized applications, the security and decentralization they provide will be a boon for privacy advocates and human rights dissidents. But it will also be a godsend for malicious actors. Most of these services have anonymity and public-key cryptography baked in, making accounts difficult to track back to real-life individuals or organizations. Moreover, once information is submitted to a decentralized application, it can be nearly impossible to take down. For instance, the IPFS protocol has no method for deletion—users can only add content, they cannot remove it.

For governments, civil society, and private actors, decentralized applications will thus pose an unprecedented challenge, as the current methods for responding to and disrupting disinformation campaigns will no longer apply. Whereas governments and civil society can ultimately appeal to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey if they want to block or remove a malicious user or problematic content on Twitter, with decentralized applications, there won’t always be someone to turn to. If the Manchester bomber had viewed bomb-making instructions on a decentralized app rather than on YouTube, it’s not clear who authorities should or could approach about blocking the content.

Over the last three years, renewed attention to Russian disinformation efforts has sparked research and activities among a growing number of nonprofit organizations, governments, journalists, and activists. So far, these efforts have focused on documenting the mechanisms and actors involved in disinformation campaigns—tracking bot networks, identifying troll accounts, monitoring media narratives, and tracing the diffusion of disinformation content. They’ve also included governmental efforts to implement data protection and privacy policies, such as the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, and legislative proposals to introduce more transparency and accountability into the online advertising space.

While these efforts are certainly valuable for raising awareness among the public and policymakers, by focusing on the end product (the content), they rarely delve into the underlying infrastructure and advertising marketsdriving disinformation campaigns. Doing so requires a deeper examination and assessment of the “back end” of disinformation. In other words, the algorithms and industries—the online advertising market, the SEO manipulation market, and data brokers—behind the end product. Increased automation paired with machine learning will transform this space as well.

To get ahead of these emerging threats, Europe and the United States should consider several policy responses.

First, the EU and the United States should commit significant funding to research and development at the intersection of AI and information warfare. In April, the European Commission called for at least 20 billion euros (about $23 billion) to be spent on research on AI by 2020, prioritizing the health, agriculture, and transportation sectors. None of the funds are earmarked for research and development specifically on disinformation. At the same time, current European initiatives to counter disinformation prioritize education and fact-checking while leaving out AI and other new technologies.

As long as tech research and counterdisinformation efforts run on parallel, disconnected tracks, little progress will be made in getting ahead of emerging threats.

As long as tech research and counterdisinformation efforts run on parallel, disconnected tracks, little progress will be made in getting ahead of emerging threats. In the United States, the government has been reluctant to step in to push forward tech research as Silicon Valley drives innovation with little oversight. The 2016 Obama administration report on the future of AI did not allocate funding, and the Trump administration has yet to release its own strategy. As revelations of Russian manipulation of digital platforms continue, it is becoming increasingly clear that governments will need to work together with private sector firms to identify vulnerabilities and national security threats.

Furthermore, the EU and the U.S. government should also move quickly to prevent the rise of misinformation on decentralized applications. The emergence of decentralized applications presents policymakers with a rare second chance: When social networks were being built a decade ago, lawmakers failed to anticipate the way in which they could be exploited by malicious actors. With such applications still a niche market, policymakers can respond before the decentralized web reaches global scale. Governments should form new public-private partnerships to help developers ensure that the next generation of the web isn’t as ripe for misinformation campaigns. A model could be the United Nations’ Tech Against Terrorism project, which works closely with small tech companies to help them design their platforms from the ground up to guard against terrorist exploitation.

Finally, legislators should continue to push for reforms in the digital advertising industry. As AI continues to transform the industry, disinformation content will become more precise and micro-targeted to specific audiences. AI will make it far easier for malicious actors and legitimate advertisers alike to track user behavior online, identify potential new users to target, and collect information about users’ attitudes, beliefs, and preferences.

In 2014, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission released a report calling for transparency and accountability in the data broker industry. The report called on Congress to consider legislation that would shine light on these firms’ activities by giving individuals access and information about how their data is collected and used online. The EU’s protection regulation goes a long way in giving users control over their data and limits how social media platforms process users’ data for ad-targeting purposes. Facebook is also experimenting with blocking foreign ad sales ahead of contentious votes. Still, the digital ads industry as a whole remains a black box to policymakers, and much more can still be done to limit data mining and regulate political ads online.

Effectively tracking and targeting each of the areas above won’t be easy. Yet policymakers need to start focusing on them now. If the EU’s new anti-disinformation effort and other related policies fail to track evolving technologies, they risk being antiquated before they’re even introduced.

A how-to guide for managing the end of the post-Cold War era. Read all the Order from Chaos content »

Woman slips note to veterinarian saying boyfriend holding her captive

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF ABC NEWS)

 

Woman slips note to veterinarian saying boyfriend holding her captive, police say

A woman managed to slip her dogs veterinarian a note saying she was being held captive by her armed boyfriend on Friday, May 25, 2018. Police arrested the man at the animal hospital.Volusia County Sheriff’s Office
A woman managed to slip her dog’s veterinarian a note saying she was being held captive by her armed boyfriend on Friday, May 25, 2018. Police arrested the man at the animal hospital.more +

A Florida woman has her dog’s veterinarian to thank for escaping the clutches of her armed boyfriend.

The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office said Saturday a woman who was held captive by her boyfriend for two days

managed to slip a note to her vet reading, “Call the cops, my boyfriend is threatening me. He has a gun. Please don’t let him know.”

The note worked, and officers from the DeLand Police Department came and arrested the man, identified as 39-year-old Jeremy Floyd. Floyd is a convicted felon, according to the sheriff’s office.

Jeremy Floyd, 39, was arrested by DeLand, Florida, police after he allegedly held his girlfriend captive in her home.Volusia County Sheriffs Office
Jeremy Floyd, 39, was arrested by DeLand, Florida, police after he allegedly held his girlfriend captive in her home.

The woman told police Floyd had allegedly held her captive for two days and “repeatedly battered her on Wednesday night, threatened her at gunpoint, and physically prevented her from leaving their home.” Finally, the woman managed to convince Floyd she needed to take their dog to the veterinarian, though he only did so while accompanying her with a gun, sheriffs said.

On the way to DeLand Animal Hospital, the sheriff’s office said Floyd pointed the gun at her and threatened to kill her and her family. She was only able to slip an employee the note once she arrived at the veterinarian’s office.

A woman managed to slip her dogs veterinarian a note saying she was being held captive by her armed boyfriend on Friday, May 25, 2018. Police arrested the man at the animal hospital.Volusia County Sheriffs Office
A woman managed to slip her dog’s veterinarian a note saying she was being held captive by her armed boyfriend on Friday, May 25, 2018. Police arrested the man at the animal hospital.more +

Volusia sheriffs responded to the couple’s home, where the domestic violence incidents occurred.

Floyd is charged with domestic violence, aggravated assault with a firearm, false imprisonment, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of ammunition by a convicted felon and simple battery.

He is being held at Volusia County Branch Jail without bail.

Teenager Charged in Killing of Baltimore County Officer With Jeep

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE WASHINGTON TIMES)

 

Teenager Charged in Killing of Baltimore County Officer With Jeep

Image
Amy Caprio, a police officer with the Baltimore County Police Department, was killed on Monday on a residential street in the Perry Hall neighborhood.Creditvia Baltimore County Public Safety

A teenager was charged with murder on Tuesday in the death of a Baltimore County police officer who was killed while she was trying to stop a group of people who had broken into a home, the authorities said.

The suspect, Dawnta Anthony Harris Jr., 16, was arrested shortly after the officer, Amy Caprio, was gravely injured around 2 p.m. on Monday, the police said. Officer Caprio, 29, was responding to 911 calls of a suspicious vehicle in a residential cul-de-sac. Mr. Harris told detectives that he ran over Officer Caprio in a Jeep after she ordered the group out of the car, according to court records.

The authorities did not announce Mr. Harris’s arrest until Tuesday morning, when he was charged with first-degree murder as an adult.

The police said they also took three other teenagers into custody on Tuesday who were believed to have been with Mr. Harris. Detectives have linked the group to a string of burglaries in Baltimore County, the police said, but the three other teenagers had not yet been charged in Officer Caprio’s death.

BACO Public Safety@BACOPoliceFire

Police confirm 16yr old male was arrested yesterday shortly after death of officer. Suspect awaiting bail hearing. Name and charges will be released after hearing. More details to follow throughout the day. Three suspects continue to be sought.^SV

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Police officers blocked off a neighborhood in Baltimore County, Md., on Monday while they searched for four people after a police officer was killed.CreditJerry Jackson/The Baltimore Sun, via Associated Press

For nearly 12 hours on Monday, the Baltimore County Police Department locked down the residential neighborhood of Perry Hall as officers methodically combed the area, searching wooded fields and behind homes for the suspects. The search continued past nightfall and picked up in the morning.

Officer Caprio was a four-year veteran with the department. Her death drew a fiery response from the police chief, Terrence B. Sheridan, who said it was a dangerous time for officers in the United States.

“It’s terrible,” Chief Sheridan said on Monday afternoon. “We are seeing something in this country that we have never seen before.”

Fifty-five law enforcement officers have been killed nationwide so far in 2018, a slight increase from the same period last year, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, which tracks officer fatalities. In all of 2017, 129 officers were killed on duty, the second-lowest yearly total in the past six decades, according to the same group.

Residents on Linwen Way in Perry Hall said the episode started when a neighbor spotted four men walking behind a home on the block. That neighbor called 911 to report suspicious activity and then called again when she spotted the men carrying items out of the house and into a dark-colored Jeep on the street, said Tony Kurek, who lives on Linwen Way.

While three people were inside the house, Mr. Harris waited in the driver’s seat of the Jeep, according to court records. As they started to pull out of the cul-de-sac, Officer Caprio, who was on patrol, pulled up and parked her car to block the Jeep, according to Mr. Kurek, whose son Dakota was in the front yard and saw the confrontation unfold.

Her gun drawn, the officer stepped out of her car and ordered the men to exit the Jeep, Mr. Kurek said.

“They hit the throttle and went at her,” Mr. Kurek said in an interview on Tuesday. “The path that they took was right through her and they drove right over and out of the neighborhood.”

Dakota ran to the officer, who was lying motionless on the street, her gun next to her. He then sprinted back to his house to alert his father and older brother, Logan, who is a volunteer firefighter. The three of them ran back to her side.

Logan picked up her radio and screamed, “Officer down! Officer down! Officer down!” He then started CPR.

“She was showing no signs of life,” Mr. Kurek said.

While his oldest son continued the chest compressions, Mr. Kurek ran toward the end of the street to help direct the responding officers and paramedics. By that time, he said, the four men had ditched the Jeep on a nearby street and fled on foot.

Officers stopped Mr. Harris about a block from where they abandoned the Jeep.

Next to the officer’s body was a single bullet casing, according to Mr. Kurek. “She got one shot off,” he said.

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He Took His Family To Lunch Then Rammed Them With His Car, Killing Two

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE WASHINGTON POST)

 

He took his family to lunch, left the table and rammed them with his car, killing two, police say

 May 21 at 4:09 AM 
 1:32
Father accused of crashing his car into a restaurant, killing his daughter

According to police, Roger Self intentionally rammed his car into a restaurant in Bessemer City, N.C., May 20, killing his daughter and daughter-in-law. 

The Sunday lunch rush was underway at the Surf and Turf Lodge in Bessemer City, N.C., a restaurant about 30 miles west of Charlotte. Inside the rustic eatery with wooden plank walls, Roger Self, a former police officer turned private investigator, was eating appetizers with his family. Around noon, the 62-year-old got up from the table. The family thought he was going to the restroom, the Gaston Gazette later reported.
Moments later, waiter Brandon Wilson was heading to check on the table when a sound shattered the dining room.
“I saw a white Jeep just fly past my face,” Wilson told the Gazette. “It was so unreal. I saw chairs and tables and cups just flying everywhere. It just sounded like a tornado.”
With Self behind the wheel, the car blasted through the restaurant’s log cabin facade, punching into the heart of the building and colliding with the table where Self’s family was sitting, police said. Through curtains of dust, patrons and employees saw some people still pinned beneath the wreckage. “I helped paramedics move tables off this dude, and I moved debris out of the way so they could get to him,” a busboy told WSOC.
On Sunday afternoon, police confirmed that two people were killed in the crash. But the deaths were not the result of an accident, police said. They allege that Self intentionally drove his car into the building.
Self was taken into custody and charged with two counts of first-degree murder. According to WSOC, one of those killed was Self’s daughter, Katelyn Self, 26, a deputy with the Gaston County Sheriff’s Office. The other victim has been identified as Amanda Self, Roger Self’s daughter-in-law, who was an emergency room nurse and the mother of two, the station reported. Three others were injured, including Amanda Self’s 13-year-old daughter, according to the Gazette.
Roger Self has not filed a plea. No lawyer representing him could be located.
“He drove his car into the building, killing people, so that’s why we took him into custody immediately,” Bessemer City Police Chief Thomas Ellis Jr. told reporters at a brief news conference on Sunday afternoon. But authorities have offered little insight into why a father would run down his family members.
“This is a hard time,” Gaston County Sheriff Alan Cloninger said at the news conference. “All I would ask is for people to keep the family in your prayers, and also the sheriff’s office. Because we’re suffering a little bit right now.”
According to the Gaston Gazette, Roger Self arrived at the restaurant with his family, including Katelyn Self; Amanda Self; Amanda’s husband, Josh, a Gaston County police officer; Josh and Amanda’s 13-year-old daughter; and Roger Self’s wife, Diane. The group was beginning to eat when Roger Self left the table.
Self, however, allegedly returned behind the wheel of his Jeep.

Roger Self. (Gaston County Sheriff’s Office/AP)

“It was chaotic, dust everywhere,” a waiter recounted to the Gazette. “The woman died in my manager’s arms.”
Self joined the Gastonia Police Department in the 1970s, according to a 2017 profile in the Gazette. Eventually, he jumped into private investigations, specializing in loss prevention for stores and corporate clients. “My skill is learning how to gather information, getting someone to talk with me,” Self told the paper.
But in recent months, Self had been wrestling with mental illness, Austin Rammell, a pastor at Venture Church, told WSOC. A family friend for 16 years, he told the station that Self was beset by anxiety, depression and mental breakdowns. Sometimes he would go days without leaving his bed, Rammell said.
“He’s been taking precautions. He had all the guns removed from his house, so he was making steps that were rational steps.”
The family was aware of Self’s battles, Rammell said.
“Family has been loving him through this,” the pastor said. “This was not a conscious act by their father, and they know that.”

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Border Patrol agent detained two U.S. citizens after hearing them speak Spanish

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE WASHINGTON POST)

 

A Border Patrol agent detained two U.S. citizens at a gas station after hearing them speak Spanish

 May 20 at 5:45 PM 
 1:50
Border Patrol agent in Montana stops two U.S. citizens for speaking Spanish

Ana Suda recorded an interaction she had with a border patrol agent who stopped her for speaking Spanish in Havre, Mont., on May 16. 

A Montana woman said she plans to take legal action after a Border Patrol agent detained and questioned her and a friend — both U.S. citizens — when he overheard them speaking Spanish at a gas station.
The incident occurred early Wednesday morning at a convenience store in Havre, Mont., a town in the northern part of the state, near the border with Canada.
Ana Suda said she and her friend, Mimi Hernandez, were making a midnight run to the store to pick up eggs and milk. Both are Mexican American and speak fluent Spanish, and they had exchanged some words in Spanish while waiting in line to pay when a uniformed Border Patrol agent interrupted them, Suda said.
“We were just talking, and then I was going to pay,” Suda told The Washington Post. “I looked up [and saw the agent], and then after that, he just requested my ID. I looked at him like, ‘Are you serious?’ He’s like, ‘Yeah, very serious.’ ”
Suda said she felt uncomfortable and began recording the encounter with her cellphone after they had moved into the parking lot. In the video Suda recorded, she asks the agent why he is detaining them, and he says it is specifically because he heard them speaking Spanish.
“Ma’am, the reason I asked you for your ID is because I came in here, and I saw that you guys are speaking Spanish, which is very unheard of up here,” the agent can be heard saying in the video.
Suda asks whether they are being racially profiled; the agent says no.
“It has nothing to do with that,” the agent tells her. “It’s the fact that it has to do with you guys speaking Spanish in the store, in a state where it’s predominantly English-speaking.”

Suda, 37, was born in El Paso and raised across the border in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, but has spent much of her adult life moving around the United States with her husband and young daughter. Hernandez is originally from central California, Suda said.
Despite explaining this to the agent and showing him their IDs, Suda said, he kept them in the parking lot for 35 to 40 minutes. Though no one raised their voices in the video, Suda said she and Hernandez were left shaken and upset by the encounter, which ended around 1 a.m.
“I was so embarrassed … being outside in the gas station, and everybody’s looking at you like you’re doing something wrong. I don’t think speaking Spanish is something criminal, you know?” Suda said. “My friend, she started crying. She didn’t stop crying in the truck. And I told her, we are not doing anything wrong.”
When she got home, Suda posted on Facebook about what had taken place at the gas station. She said her shock began to give way to sadness in the following days, after some local news outlets reported the incident, and her 7-year-old daughter asked whether the video meant they should no longer speak Spanish in public.
“She speaks Spanish, and she speaks English,” Suda said. “When she saw the video, she was like, ‘Mom, we can’t speak Spanish anymore?’ I said ‘No. You be proud. You are smart. You speak two languages.’ This is more for her.”

A representative from U.S. Customs and Border Protection told The Post the agency is reviewing the incident to ensure all appropriate policies were followed. Border Patrol agents are trained to decide to question individuals based on a variety of factors, the agency added.
“U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents and officers are committed to treating everyone with professionalism, dignity and respect while enforcing the laws of the United States,” the agency said. “Although most Border Patrol work is conducted in the immediate border area, agents have broad law enforcement authorities and are not limited to a specific geography within the United States. They have the authority to question individuals, make arrests, and take and consider evidence.”
Havre is a rural town with a population of about 10,000, about 35 miles south of the U.S.-Canada border. Border Patrol agents have broad authority to operate within 100 miles of any U.S. border, though they cannot initiate stops without reasonable suspicion of an immigration violation or crime.
Suda said she is used to seeing Border Patrol agents in Havre because it’s so close to Canada, especially at gas stations, but had never been stopped before.
“It’s a nice town. I don’t think it’s a confrontational [population] here,” Suda said. “But now I feel like if I speak Spanish, somebody is going to say something to me. It’s different after something like this because you start thinking and thinking.”
Suda said she plans to contact the American Civil Liberties Union to seek legal guidance. ACLU representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment Sunday.
“I just don’t want this to happen anymore,” Suda said. “I want people to know they have the right to speak whatever language they want. I think that’s the most important part, to help somebody else.”

Do You Actually Own Anything: Or Does The U.S.Federal Government Own It/You?

(This article is courtesy of OPB TV and Radio of eastern Oregon)

News | Nation | Local | An Occupation In Eastern Oregon

‘This Land Is Our Land’: The Movement Bigger Than The Bundys

The Pacific Patriots Network surrounded the Harney County Courthouse in January, where they met with Sheriff Dave Ward.

The Pacific Patriots Network surrounded the Harney County Courthouse in January, where they met with Sheriff Dave Ward.

Dave Blanchard/OPB

OPB’s Conrad Wilson and the Oregonian/OregonLive’s Maxine Bernstein update us on the last full week of the government’s case against the Malheur refuge occupiers.

Then, we take a look at the so-called Patriot Movement — a loosely connected network of organizations that are united in the belief the federal government has overstepped its authority.

Mark Potok is a senior fellow with the Southern Poverty Law Center. His job is to monitor groups that are a part of what he calls the “extreme right.” That includes everything from racist groups like the KKK and to groups like the Bundys, whose concerns revolve around severe distrust of the federal government.

Potok says many people in the groups he tracks believe there is “a secret plan to impose draconian gun control on all Americans” and “those who resist the coming seizure will be thrown into concentration camps that have been secretly built by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.”

SPLC has identified nearly 1,000 groups across the country with these kinds of beliefs and connects the groups to the philosophies that motivated the Ruby Ridge standoff in Idaho; the Waco, Texas, siege; and the Oklahoma City bombing.

Potok says there is a way to curb the movement.

“In the late ‘90s, the FBI made quite an effort … to meet with militiamen, to go out to have coffee to talk to these people about their concerns and fears, and in fact I think there’s a fair amount of evidence to suggest that was quite effective,” Potok said. “You realize the person you’re having coffee with is an actual human being just like you are.”uge

 

Joseph Rice is the head of the Josephine County chapter of the Oath Keepers — a group that Potok sees as central to so-called patriot groups. But Rice thinks SPLC is uninformed about his group.

“I’ve never spoken to those folks,” he said.

Rice was in Harney County when Ammon Bundy led a group to occupy the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, but Rice and his group didn’t join the occupation. Instead, he and a group of like-minded organizations known as the “Pacific Patriots Network” stuck around to provide security in town. The group said it was there to prevent another Waco or Ruby Ridge-like incident.

Those incidents, he says, were “lessons in history.” The individuals involved in those incidents “were living their life as they chose to live freely, without impact to others. It was only when the federal government came in they had impact, and that resulted in loss of life.”

Though he didn’t endorse it, Rice insists that the takeover of the refuge was an act of civil disobedience. And while he disagrees with the charges against Ammon Bundy and the other defendants, he does think the incident has drawn attention to issues around the federal control of land, which could be good for the aims of his group.

Subscribe To ‘This Land Is Our Land’

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Share your thoughts on the trial with us on Facebook and Twitter, or by emailing us directly at [email protected].

Do Black Lives Or Any Lives Really Matter In Today’s Society

Do Black Lives Or Any Lives Really Matter In Today’s Society

(I wrote this on September 26th of 2016)

Here in the States we see and hear of evil everyday on the different news feeds we have at our fingertips. Just this morning I heard of an active shooter in SW Houston Texas where a disgruntled lawyer went on a shooting spree wounding 9 people before the Police shot and killed him. As of the time of this report I do not know if the color of ones skin had anything to do with who was shot this morning or not. Just a couple of days ago an idiot shot and killed 5 people at a mall in Washington State. In that instance it appears to me that gender and the religious beliefs of the shooter had a huge role in those murders. Yet even when there are mass shootings here in the U.S. the mass media focuses most of its airtime whenever a Black person is killed by a Police Officer than on any other of these events. It seems that in our American Media there is always the effort to divide and take sides when this happens. I guess because hatred, racism, ignorance and criminal activities sell more papers and airtime.

 

Do I think that some Police Officers are racist and or just plain punks? Yes of course I do, I have lived 60 years here in the States and I have been eye-witness to such type of events several times. Do I believe that all Police Officers are racist or punks, no, not at all, that would be bias and quite stupid of me to think that. Yet it is my belief that some people do believe that about all Police Officers and if they do then I believe that they have become exactly what they hate, racist, hate filled punks themselves. Do I believe that the young Black man who was shot and killed by a Black plain clothed Police Officer in Charlotte North Carolina this past week was a racist act? No I don’t unless the Black Officer was a person who is bias against his own race. Also earlier this week there was another case of a young Black man being shot and killed by a White lady Police Officer in Tulsa Oklahoma. Do I believe that race had anything to do with this shooting? Yes I do. Each case of a Police shooting has to be analyzed separately. Every human case is different because the humans involved are different. The lady Officer in Tulsa has been charged with first degree manslaughter but the Officer in Charlotte has not been charged with anything, at least not yet. Personally I believed and still believe that the Officer in Tulsa should have been charged with second degree murder. I have known a lot of Officers in my life and I know that some do always carry a ‘throw down’ gun or a knife just in case they mess up and shoot an unarmed person they can throw down that weapon so that they don’t get charged with shooting an unarmed person. Is this what happened in Charlotte? By what I have seen on tapes and pictures, it looks to me like this might well be one of those throw down situations.

 

Race is a big issue on these shootings because of the media trying to sell airtime and news papers. There are far more people in this Country that are shot by Police Officers that are not black folks than the cases where they are Black folks. Yet we hear very little in the Nations media unless it is a Black person who got shot. The media and those ignorant enough to believe their bias hype could believe that Police Officers only shoot black people. There are plenty of cases though where I do believe the person’s skin color got them executed by a Police Officer like where that young Black kid was shot 16 or 17 times as he lay on the street in Chicago. In my opinion this is a case of first degree murder and the Cop should be charged with first degree murder and nothing less.

 

How much ruckus do you hear in the media when any other race of person is shot by an Officer when the one shot wasn’t Black? How about when a White person is shot by an Officer? Now, when was the last time there were any riots when a Hispanic, Indian or Asian person was shot by an Officer? America’s media play’s the race card mostly/only when it is a Black person who has been shot. Our society has been groomed to treat Black folks different in almost all issues. Some of these issues are good but many are toward the negative. Before the 1960’s all non White people were treated horribly not just the Black folks. It is true that the only ‘legal’ slaves in this Country were Black people but slavery ended more than 150 years ago. Most likely no one in our Country today has ever even known someone who was a ‘legal’ slave nor has anyone ever been one. Slavery of any kind is a sickening thing to even think about and it is nothing to ever joke about. Have you ever watched the movies Roots or Django? How about the TV program on WGN out of Chicago called Underground? If these situations don’t make you sick at your stomach, have you no morality?

 

This ‘movement’ here in America called ‘Black Lives Matter’ in my opinion is not much more than a racist movement of hate. Do Black lives matter? Absolutely they do, but so does every life, equally. Should it be okay for people in this Country to protest peacefully against the Government or against a Police Department’s? Yes, of course it should be okay for everyone in this Country to peacefully protest yet the word Peacefully is the key word. In Charlotte we have seen once again where folks, mostly Black folks have protested with violence and the Nations media has remained very quiet about it because if they spoke the truth they would be accused of being racist towards Black people. Think about it, people riot, burning vehicles, breaking into store and tractor trailers on the interstate and blocking off a major interstate and it is said by some that these rioters were simply ‘street cleaners’, how sickening! The media have created their own monster. The Black Race in this Country has been allowed to be racist in almost all venues. Think about these issues for a moment please. Here in this Country there are such things as the NAACP, the Black Miss America Pageant, the Negro College Fund, Black Colleges, Black Churches, Black Congressional Caucuses, Black Businessmen Associations, Black Lives Matter Movement and the list goes on and on. Now think about it, if there were such things as the National Association of White People, the White Miss America Pageant, the White Peoples College Fund, White Colleges and White Churches, White Congressional Caucuses, White Businessmen Associations, or the White Lives Matter Movements a huge amount of America’s Black folks would be livid, ranting and raving about how racist these groups are and how they had to be stopped from existing? The same thing would happen if there were Associations like this for Asian, Hispanic or Indian folks. There is a group of white folks that most everyone knows of called the KKK and rightfully so, most Americans have no use for their hatred. My question to everyone is, shouldn’t every single thing is this Country that is in any way race based be made illegal? Are they not all hate groups? Are they not all bias?

 

Racism is a huge problem in this country and racism does exist in some people in every race on the planet. Racism is simply another term for hatred of those who aren’t like us. I am a white guy by birth, I like everyone else ever born had no say so concerning my skin color when I came out of the womb. Skin color does not make me a good person or a bad person. My skin color had nothing to do with me being or not being a racist hate filled person, nor did it you. I have first hand experienced hate because of my white skin. This has happened many times from Black folks, Hispanic folks and from Indian folks. I have also experienced hatred from White people who were mad at me because I was daring to speak with a non-White. Now the question is, do Black Lives Matter? I think you know my answer by now so the question is to you, do Black Lives Matter, to you? The question is also to all of the Black folks reading this article today, are you a racist, do you hate any other race of people, or all the other people who are not Black? Hatred like racism is a disease of the mind and of the Soul. Everyone on this planet are brothers and Jesus made it plain that if we hate our brother without a cause (something they can’t help or do anything about, like skin color) then we are condemning our own selves to Hell. I’m just saying, racism is an individual personal thing, we choose to be or not to be. So now my last question to you is, what have you chosen to be?

Stray Bullet Kills Arkansas Police Officer In His Home

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE WASHINGTON POST)

Stray Bullet Kills Arkansas Police Officer In His Home

An off-duty police officer was killed by a stray bullet while inside his house in east Arkansas, authorities said.

Officer Oliver Johnson was in his game room playing video games with his family when a bullet struck and killed him Saturday, said Lt. Eric Varner, a spokesman for the police department in Forrest City, Ark., where Johnson worked. The 25-year-old officer, who was with the department for three years, left behind a fiancee and two young daughters, Varner said.

“We’re at a loss for words. We’re deeply saddened by this,” he said.

The shooting occurred Saturday afternoon at an apartment complex in West Memphis, Ark., where Johnson lived, Capt. Joe Baker of the West Memphis Police Department told reporters. The Washington Post was not immediately able to reach Baker on Sunday, but Varner said a fight between several people outside the apartment escalated into a shooting. Johnson was not a target, Baker told reporters.

Neighbors told local media that they had heard as many as 40 gunshots. Photos and videos showed the windows of Johnson’s apartment riddled with bullets.

Tony Atkins

@TonyAtkinsFOX13

Officer Oliver Johnson, (25) shot and killed playing with kids inside when bullets came flying through.

I had to walk straight past those kids to get to the unit.. Seeing their faces is perhaps the most heartbreaking thing I’ve done in a while. pic.twitter.com/Ouaum2q6LY

View image on Twitter

Portia Weatherspoon, Johnson’s neighbor, told ABC affiliate WATN that she stepped outside after hearing one of Johnson’s nephews yell that his uncle had been shot.

“When I went in the house, I found him shot,” Weatherspoon said. “Me and my husband tried to do CPR.”

It’s unclear whether police have made an arrest. It’s also unclear how many other people were in the apartment, but no one else has been injured.

Johnson’s death was a blow to the small, tightknit agency of 35 officers. Varner said Johnson worked in the Forrest City Police Department’s patrol division and had always been willing to take on more tasks, whether it was helping serve a search warrant or providing security at special events.

Leslie Rutledge

@AGRutledge

My deepest thoughts and prayers are with the fallen officer, his family and the entire Forrest City police department. Arkansas lost a hero and we must all stand with our men and women in blue.

Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin

@LtGovTimGriffin

Heartbroken to hear about the senseless killing of Forrest City Police Officer Oliver Johnson Jr. in eastern AR. May God’s grace and comfort be with his family & loved ones. http://m.arkansasonline.com/news/2018/apr/28/police-officer-fatally-shot-inside-east-arkansas-a/ 

Police officer fatally shot inside east Arkansas apartment, authorities say

A Forrest City police officer was fatally shot inside his home Saturday afternoon, a police department spokesman said.

m.arkansasonline.com

Varner said the agency have set up a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds to help the Johnson family.

Several friends, many of whom have changed their profile pictures into an image of a police badge with a band over it, have posted on Johnson’s Facebook page, on which he described himself as a “father of 2 wonderful girls and a man of God.” A picture on the page shows the uniformed officer standing in front of a patrol car next to Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse mascots.

“I just talked to you the other day. Letting you know trouble don’t last always. You will always be my little brother in BLUE,” one friend wrote.

A few hours after Johnson was killed, the Forrest City Police Department announced on Facebook that the department is canceling events “due to unforeseen circumstances.”

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