NYC To Close Notorious Rikers Island Jail

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

New York City Council votes to close notorious Rikers Island jail

New York (CNN)The New York City Council voted overwhelmingly to close Rikers Island jail Thursday and open four new borough-based facilities instead.

“Today is a day that the history books will look back on as a good day for New York City,” Council Speaker Corey Johnson said. “This is a step forward, this is progress, this is the right thing to do.”
The jail, which is on an island in the East River, has become a symbol of the ills of pretrial detention, most famously in the case of Kalief Browder. Browder took his own life after spending three years incarcerated at Rikers Island without being convicted of a crime.
The jail is also notorious for its violence and poor conditions. The US attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York reached a settlement with the city in 2015 after a multi-year investigation found adolescent inmates were not protected from “the rampant use of unnecessary and excessive force by New York City Department of Correction staff and violence inflicted by other inmates.”
The balcony in the city council chamber was cleared prior to the vote after protesters chanted, “No new jails.”
The majority leader claimed that something had been thrown from the balcony, noting “throwing things from the balcony compromises the safety of every member of this body.”
A protester responded “your safety is not in jeopardy, the safety of young black and brown people is in jeopardy.”
“The era of mass incarceration is over. It’s over,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a press conference after the vote.
“This is about valuing our people, no longer condemning people and sending them on a pathway that only made their lives worse and worse.”
According to de Blasio, New York’s jail population has declined by nearly half in the last six years. The jail population has declined from 11,000 in 2014 to about 7,000 today, and is projected to be approximately 3,300 by 2026, de Blasio added in a press release.

5 Cities With the Most Bridges

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRAVEL TRIVIA)

 

5 Cities With the Most Bridges

There is some dispute over which city in the United States can claim the nickname of the City of Bridges. Portland, Oregon, claims the name in honor of the 12 bridges in the city limits that span the Willamette River, according to Open Oregon. While Portland’s bridges are well-traveled, those 12 bridges pale in comparison with fellow contender Pittsburgh. The Pennsylvania city disputes Portland’s claim to be the City of Bridges. They want the nickname for themselves, according to WBUR, because of the 446 bridges crisscrossing the Pittsburgh city limits. But are 446 bridges enough to earn them the claim to fame of having the most bridges in the world? Check out the five cities in the world with the most bridges.

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Venice, Italy

Venice, Italy

Credit: zoom-zoom/ iStock

Number of Bridges: 391

According to Venezia Autentica, there are an incredible 391 bridges in the city of Venice. It’s no wonder Venetians need all those bridges. They’ll need them to cross the more than 150 canals within city limits. Bridges in Venice were originally built from wood and laid flat across the canals, making it easy for horses and carts to traverse the city. But when residents found that boats were a more efficient means of transporting goods in the watery city, it changed the way they built bridges. Builders altered bridge designs to include an archway to allow boats to pass underneath.

The most famous bridge in Venice is the Rialto Bridge. According to Best Venice Guides, the bridge was incredibly expensive to build. But determined wealthy merchants of the time wanted to create a stand-out piece of architecture. It’s been one of the hallmarks of the Grand Canal for more than 400 years since it was completed in 1591.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA

Credit: Konstantin L/ Shutterstock

Number of Bridges: 446

Pittsburgh might want to claim that it has the most bridges in the world, but it only comes in at number four on our list. Still, according to the BBC, it has an impressive 446 bridges. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation spends more than $150 million each year keeping all those bridges in good condition. It’s no surprise that steel makes up those bridges, either, as Pittsburgh is often called “Steel City.” The name doesn’t come from the bridges, though. Rather, it’s due to the area’s history with the steel industry. That’s also why they named the local football team the Steelers.

According to Visit Pittsburgh, the most recognizable bridges in the city are the Three Sisters. Said to be the only trio of identical bridges in the United States, this set of bridges crosses the Allegheny River, connecting the two halves of the city.

New York City, New York, USA

New York City, New York, USA

Credit: FilippoBacci/ iStock

Number of Bridges: 789

The New York City Department of Transportation says they manage 789 bridges within the city. The actual number of bridges in NYC could be higher, though. There are many bridges in the city that aren’t under the department’s control. But 789 bridges is still an impressive number. Possibly the most famous bridge in the city is the Brooklyn Bridge. The bridge opened in 1883, according to History.com, and cost more than $320 million to build (in today’s dollars).

While crossing the Brooklyn Bridge is a rite of passage for most visitors to the city, it isn’t the busiest bridge in the city. That honor goes to the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge, according to the NYC Department of Transportation. Also known as the 59th Street Bridge, it spans the East River and carries more than 170,000 vehicles each day. The bridge originally opened in 1909 and was renamed in honor of former mayor Ed Koch in 2010. Whether you call it the Queensboro Bridge, the 59th Street Bridge, or the Ed Koch Bridge, it’s an impressive cantilevered bridge that’s served the city for more than one hundred years.

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Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Credit: Veronika Galkina/ Shutterstock

Number of Bridges: 1281

Venice isn’t the only city with an impressive network of canals and bridges. The Venice of the North, Amsterdam, surpasses it in number of bridges. According to Amsterdam for Visitors, the city has 165 canals and an amazing 1281 bridges. That network developed because Amsterdam sits on what was originally swampland. As people moved into the city, they drained sections of the swamp to create dry land on which to build. The canals surrounded the new areas, allowing the residents to get around via small boats. They were also handy for defensive reasons, making it harder to attack the city.

There are a lot of beautiful bridges in Amsterdam, and the pedestrian-friendly city makes it easy to get around to see them all. Hopping on one of the canal tours may be the best way to see the bridges, though, as you can glide under them while a guide tells you about the history. If you are lucky, you’ll see a few of the most famous bridges, including the Torensluis Bridge. According to I Am Amsterdam, this bridge was built in 1648, making it the oldest bridge still standing in the city.

Hamburg, Germany

Hamburg, Germany

Credit: nilsz/ iStock

Number of Bridges: More than 2300

Hamburg takes the number one spot on this list. The Telegraph reports that the German city has more than 2300 bridges. The bridges of both cities were born from a similar issue: too much water. Practically surrounded by water, Hamburg sits at a marshy fork in the Elbe. It’s thanks to that location that Hamburg is the second busiest port in Europe, according to Amusing Planet. Large container ships come in and out of the city every day. So while all that water helped to build a strong economy in Hamburg, it also meant those bridge builders had to get busy creating ways for vehicles and pedestrians to get around. And get busy they did, as the city has more bridges than all the other cities on our list combined.

Not only is the number impressive, but the architecture of the bridges themselves is pretty incredible, too. One of the most famous bridges in Hamburg is the Kolbrand Bridge, which was completed in 1974. The bridge carries more than 38,000 vehicles each day, according to Hamburg Port Authority. The bridge was never intended to handle that much traffic, though. So if you want to see this beautiful bridge, you’ll want to book your tickets to Hamburg soon. Authorities are in talks to start replacing the bridge in the next few years.

U.S. citizen accused of becoming ISIS sniper and training fighters in Syria

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF NBC NEWS)

 

U.S. citizen accused of becoming ISIS sniper and training fighters in Syria

Ruslan Maratovich Asainov is accused of trying to recruit someone he didn’t know was a confidential informant for the New York City Police Department.

3 New York City Islands That You Probably Don’t Know About

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRAVEL TRIVIA)

 

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3 NYC Islands You Didn’t Know About

When it comes to islands in the U.S. you are more likely to think of Hawaii and the Florida Keys than New York City. Yet, owing to its location at the mouth of a harbor and being flanked by East and Hudson rivers, the Big Apple is home to dozens of accessible islands. Some, such as Ellis Island and Liberty Island, are deeply ingrained into the city’s tourist scene while others remain off the radar. So once you’ve exhausted the sights and attractions of Brooklyn and Manhattan, consider these three islands for an alternative NYC day out.

Governors Island

Credit: Roman Babakin/Shutterstock

Often overlooked by tourists in favor of Liberty Island, Governors Island is the largest island in New York Harbor and one that presents a treasure trove of activities. The island only opened to the public in 2005, prior to which it lay abandoned after being used for several centuries as a military outpost. Today, numerous places, including Castle Williams, Fort Jay and Perishers Hall, take you on a journey back to the military days while The Hills affords unprecedented views of the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline. There are children’s playgrounds, sports courts and picnic areas to enjoy. Or perhaps you want to delve into the island’s program of art exhibitions, concerts and outdoor cinema. Whatever you decide upon, the island is only 800 yards from Lower Manhattan and even closer to Brooklyn Heights, so there really is no excuse for not visiting.

Getting to Governor Island is easy visa the daily ferry service from the Battery Maritime Building and the weekend crossings from Pier 6, Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Randall’s Island Park

Credit: Melpomenem/iStockphoto

Nestled between Astoria, East Harlem and Mott Haven, Randall’s Island Park is a 273-acre outdoor playground that occupies the northern section of Randalls and Wards Islands. There are miles of riverfront pathways, over 90 athletics and sports fields, a miniature golf course and free yoga classes. You can take part in other free events such as art and cooking workshops, fishing clinics and history and wetland tours. Music is key to the island’s heritage and Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix and Sly and The Family Stone performed here in 1970. Big-name artists continue to top the bill at June’s Governors Ball, July’s Panorama and September’s Electric Zoo festivals.

Reach Randall’s Island by car from Astoria and Mott Haven via the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge. From East Harlem you can cross the river on foot via the Ward’s Island Bridge.

Roosevelt Island

Credit: amriphoto/iStockphoto

Roosevelt Island is the long slither of land squeezed between Queens and the Upper East Side. This was once the site of hospitals, an asylum and prison; both Billie Holiday and Mae West served sentences here. Nowadays the island houses a small, upmarket community and is a true hidden gem without actually being hidden. For history buffs, Renwick Ruin and The Octagon serve as reminders of the island’s past. But if you are just in search of a lazy day hanging out at peaceful riverfront parks, then this is the place to do it. At the northern and southern tip of the island are Lighthouse Park and Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park, both of which boast spectacular views. On Saturdays you can stop at the Roosevelt Island Farmers Market to pick up supplies for a picnic.

Roosevelt Island is accessible by subway, metro and car via the Roosevelt Island Bridge. The best way to arrive, though, is to take the aerial Roosevelt Island Tramway from Tramway Place, in the Upper East Side.

America The Lost

America The Lost

When I write something via free thought I am a person who for the most part needs a title first so that I can write to it. I settled on this title because it is unfortunately true in so many ways. By no means am I anti-American, I am not anti any country. As most people in our country probably know, our country is very sick and I do believe it is now to the point where it is terminal. I completely believe that the only chance our country has of survival is if the vast majority of our population (and our leaders) turns back to God our creator with all our hearts, minds, and souls. To be totally honest with you I just don’t see that happening. I believe that the three biggest pieces of cancer in our country are where the three main media centers are located, Hollywood, NYC, and DC. The pretty Lady with the Torch and all of Her land to Her west is crumbling all around Her and us. Also, these so-called Political Parties who always sell themselves to the highest bidders is destroying all of the fiber which our Country was created on and either it stops very soon or our country will not be in existence for our kids and grand-kids.

There are people in our country who want to get rid of the second amendment (the people’s right to have the means to protect ourselves and our families) all together. I believe that most of the people who wish this to happen are filled with good intentions, it is my contention that these folks are a good bit unrealistic in their thoughts though. Even to this date with all of the revelations shown to us by Mr. Snowden along with the IRS flaws and the so-called Patriot Act which burnt the Constitution, some people still think that our government is only filled with good intentions. Many people do not realize that our Country’s founding Fathers had seen first hand how a country where it’s people could not defend themselves were treated by the government. The Founding Fathers very much intended for it to be where We The People could defend ourselves from a government that oppresses its own people. They plainly wanted the people to be able to revolt if necessary. Do you remember your history classes about how the governments of Europe made it illegal for the people to possess arms and then how the Governments oppressed it’s people, where the people with no means to defend themselves simply became servants to the ruling class? How many lessons did you learn from what happened at Ruby Ridge where the government agents orders were “if it breathes, kill it”. Or do you remember the mass murdering of almost all of the men women and children at Waco? Do you honestly think that your best interest is what our government has on its daily agenda?

Now before you get to thinking that I am some right-wing gun-toting Militia member grand-pappy whose agenda is chaos you could not be further from the truth. I am not an anti gun person at all, and I do own a couple myself. I do believe that everyone has the God-given right to be able to protect themselves and their family. Just like I am not a hunter yet I believe people have the right to hunt if they want to. I am not a vegetarian, I do buy and eat meat from the grocery store, one can not say they are anti hunting if they are not a vegetarian, they would be what is  called a hypocrite. O by the way in case you wanted to pigeon-hole my political association  as being a Republican or as a Democrat, I am neither, I am a long time registered Independent.

Enough now about weapons and people’s concerns of them. I would now like to turn my attention on the economics problems as they are many. If my education was in economics I and many of you could probably write a book on our countries economic issues. I am just an old guy who is speaking from the school of lessons learned from a lifetime of paying attention. O in case you wondered about it, my degrees are in Sociology and in Anthropology but I did study some economics classes while in school. A few months ago I wrote an article in this blog called “It’s Called Trickle Up Economics”, if you would, please spend a few moments reading it. In it I discussed my irritation on how the so-called Stimulus Package money was used. What I wrote (in my opinion) in that blog post spells out my anger without me basically rewriting it here today.

Folks, I love this Country and I love the people who make up the fiber of this Country, for a country is it’s people, not their government. I don’t like the governments of several countries on this Globe but disliking a country’s government doesn’t mean I dislike the people. It is like in our country, I do not like the direction our Country is being led into but I would still give my life to protect our people. It really bothers me when I see how crooked and inept our Government has become and it is only we the people who can change it before we all are led straight into the belly of Hell by this inept evil leadership. I am not mad at how things are, I am just very sad at how blind our country has become and how evil our leaders are.

New York Explosion Empties Port Authority and Subway Stations

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES)

 

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Firefighters arrived on Eighth Avenue near the scene of a reported explosion on Monday morning in Manhattan. CreditDavid Scull/The New York Times

An explosion Monday morning caused the authorities to evacuate one of the busiest transit hubs in New York City as the workweek was set to begin.

The Police Department said in a tweet that it was responding to reports of an explosion of unknown origin at 42nd Street and 8th Avenue, where two subway stations, Times Square and Port Authority, are connected by a tunnel. The Port Authority bus station was also evacuated.

One person was in custody, the Police Department said. He may have been carrying a device that could have been a pipe bomb, which exploded.

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Port AuthorityBus Terminal
NEW YORK
TimesSquare
Times Squaresubway station
Map data ©2017 Google

The official emphasized that the information was preliminary and investigators were still arriving at the scene. The explosion occurred in the passageway between the two subway stations.

A senior city official who declined to be identified because of the continuing investigation said that the suspect had been wearing an explosive device strapped to his person and that the police had stripped him naked to remove it.

Continue reading the main story

The suspect was alone and the device went off prematurely. The explosion was recorded on surveillance video, the city official said. The man who was in custody was in serious condition at Bellevue Hospital.

The police said that no other injuries had been reported and advised people to avoid the area.

Soon after the explosion was reported, the commutes of New Yorkers miles away from the blast became chaotic. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority reported that 1, 2, 3, A, C, E, N, Q, R, W and 7 trains were skipping 42nd Street.

Commuters underground near 40th Street and 8th Avenue began to flee after a loud, muffled sound was heard in the Port Authority subway station. Police officers, firefighters and Port Authority counterterrorism officials tried to clear commuters from the bus station and the west side of 8th Avenue as sirens blared.

Andre Rodriguez, 62, a caseworker at one of the city’s shelters, said he heard an explosion shortly before 7:30.

“I was going through the turnstile,” he said. “It sounded like an explosion, and everybody started running.”

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Alicja Wlodkowski, 51, said that she had been in a restaurant inside the Port Authority when she suddenly saw a crowd of people running.

“A woman fell, and nobody even stopped to help her because it was so crazy,” she said. Then it all slowed down. I was standing and watching and scared.”

(Humor Poem) Donald ‘Jailhouse’ Trump

DONALD ‘JAILHOUSE’ TRUMP

 

Pennsylvania Avenue is used to being paved with lies

But it ain’t seen nothing like this frauds Turkey Jive

He’s got a Pinocchio nose and those tiny little hands

Couldn’t find the truth if he was grabbing with both hands

Got that Turkey Gobble neck and that big wide behind

 

Molestual Congress and the Clinton’s ain’t got nothing on him

Coward refused to wear the Uniform, now he’s in charge of them

Was his Daddy a Goose stepper or only the head of the NYC Klan

He’s just a ‘robbing hood’ except all the stolen money goes to him

Career of stealing from Charity’s and investors, all the same to him

 

Presidents Putin and Jinping playing this clucking Moron like a clown

Maybe he can teach Russian to the Guards when he’s Leavenworth bound

Alphabet Soup is getting tired of his mouth and his little Tweety brain

Will habitual lying and destruction of justice be where he will gain his fame

Deserving end, Donald, Hillary and Sessions doing life in the same jail cell

 

Fact, Not Fake News: Donald Trump’s Dad Was A KKK Leader In New York City

Donald Trump’s Views On Race Should Be No Surprise

 

A child is not guilty of their fathers sins nor is the father guilty of their children’s sins. Yet most of us know from life’s experiences that way to often a child will follow in many, if not all, of their parents ways of living and of their thoughts and flaws. Way to many children who grew up in a family where the parents are present, or even step parents, the children very often tend to emulate their examples. Way to many boys who lived in a home where the Dad physically beat their Mom grow up to beat their wives and girlfriends. Way to many girls grow up to look for a ‘dangerous’ man, like their Dad. Way to many children who are sexually abused as a child grow up to do the same thing to their kids. A lot of kids who grow up in a home with an alcoholic parent become one themselves just as they do if drugs are in the home, they end up being users themselves. When a child grows up in a home where they see that their parent or parents are liars and thieves the child tends to think that same way of life is okay, after all, Dad does it. When you grow up in a home where the parent teaches a child to crave power over other people through any means necessary, many kids do follow the lead they are given. When you are taught to ‘never, ever’ apologize to anyone for any thing, you tend to grow up aloof and cold to other people’s feelings. When you grow up in a home where your Dad was at least at one time a leader in the local (in this case, New York City) KKK, should anyone be surprised that a child would garner a twisted sense of morals and ideas? Donald Trump’s Dad was arrested at least twice in NYC for leading violent KKK marches. So, should it be a shock that our President acts and believes the way that he does?

DONALD TRUMP “IS FAKE NEWS”!!!

 

I have no doubt that Hillary Clinton is crooked and an habitual liar but damn, she ain’t got nothing on this pathetic egomaniac idiot that we Americans unfortunately have to call our President. I am not a fan of anyone who could break both their arms patting themselves on the back for the things that they have done but this blabbering idiot setting in the Oval Office to me is far worse than even those pathetic egomaniacs. The reason I say this is that this piece of trash setting in the Oval Office lies about and brags about things that never even happened like him bragging to the Wall Street Journal about his speech last week at the Boy Scout Jamboree. He was supposed to not discuss politics in this speech to these kids but of course he lied, the whole speech was pretty much just bragging himself up and tearing down, and slandering Hillary Clinton and former President Obama. He was bragging to the WSJ that he had gotten a call after the speech telling him that it was “the greatest speech they had ever had” at one of their events. The truth is that after Mr. FAKE NEWS Trump got done making an ass out of himself in that speech, the Leaders of the Boy Scouts were calling their members apologizing for the horrible speech that was given to their kids. The director of the Scouts said that they did not call and tell Mr. FAKE NEWS Trump anything at all.

 

Okay, we have a scumbag who makes a totally out of line speech to a bunch of kids then totally and completely fabricates praise for himself which never happened. Do you remember how Donald FAKE NEWS Trump had fake covers of Time Magazine made up with his name and face on the cover and displayed them in prime locations in his Golf Clubs? Do you remember the story that has been in the news lately about Donald FAKE NEWS Junior meeting with all of those Russian folks at Trump Tower in New York City last June? It seems that the latest story that has been confirmed even from the White House staffers is that Poppa FAKE NEWS Trump dictated a line of BS for his son to give to the news papers as a way to get ahead of the story they were getting ready to print about that meeting. But of course the habitual liar Poppa FAKE NEWS Trump did nothing but lie about what really happened in that meeting. This does make this idiot complicit in ‘obstructing justice’ being he directly got involved in this sham. Think about it for a moment folks, what did Poppa FAKE NEWS Trump use as his first story/lie about this meeting? He sank so low as to use the cover of saying that his son, Donald FAKE NEWS Junior, his son-in-law Jarred FAKE NEWS Kushner and his now former heavily Russian connected Campaign Manager who met with all of these Russian folks who are directly connected to the Kremlin, met with them to discuss the freeze on the adoption of Russian children by Americans. This man (and I am using that term very lightly) has no problem at all using children to hide behind in his lies. So, do you see why I believe that we the American people are stuck with a total scumbag for a President and without a doubt in my mind he should forever more be known as DONALD ‘FAKE NEWS’ TRUMP.

NYC Police Sergeant Shoots 66 Yr Old Woman With Bat At Point Blank Range Kills Her

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN NEWS AGENCY)

New York police officer fatally shoots 66-year-old woman

(CNN)A New York City police officer shot and killed a 66-year-old woman while responding to a call at a Bronx apartment, police officials said Wednesday.

Officers went to the Pugsley Avenue apartment around 6 p.m. Tuesday after a neighbor called 911 about an “emotionally disturbed person,” Assistant Chief Larry W. Nikunen said.
A sergeant entered the seventh-floor apartment and encountered the woman, who was armed with scissors, but he persuaded her to put them down, Nikunen said.
The woman grabbed a baseball bat and attempted to strike the sergeant, Nikunen said. The officer fired two shots, striking the woman in the torso, he said. She died of her injuries after being taken to Jacobi Medical Center.

Officer carried a stun gun

The officer was armed with a Taser, but it was not deployed, Nikunen said.
The reason it was not deployed and whether it was necessary for the sergeant to open fire will be a part of the investigation by the New York police’s Force Investigation Division, Nikunen said.
The woman was identified as Deborah Danner, said Thomas Antonetti of the Office of the Deputy Commissioner of Public Information. She was a 66-year-old black female who lived alone, Nikunen said.
The officer has not been named, but Nikunen said he is a white male and an eight-year veteran of the police department. Antonetti said the officer is on “modified assignment” that requires he be stripped of his gun and badge pending the investigation.
Nikunen said that the New York police has a history of responding to this apartment for similar disturbances.
“There have been several instances with this individual with similar types of calls,” Nikunen said, adding he did not have the details on those earlier incidents.

Shooting called ‘an outrage’

New York officials quickly responded.
Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted: “We’re determined to get to the bottom of what happened and won’t rest until we do.”
“While I certainly understand the hard work that our police officers undertake to keep the streets of our city safe every single day, I also know what excessive force looks like.”
Diaz called on New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark to investigate.
New York City Public Advocate Letitia James tweeted, “Police-involved shooting of woman in Bronx is concerning. We need a swift, thorough, transparent (investigation).”
Eugene O’Donnell, professor of law and police studies at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, told CNN that these situations are “all too common and all too predictable.”
But the shooting appeared to be legally justified, he said.
O’Donnell said that ideally, mentally unstable individuals should be protected and overseen to make sure they stay on their medications.
He said the New York Police Department has specially trained officers for these types of incidents, but the officers who initially respond usually don’t have that training.
“Anyone who says this was a Taser situation doesn’t understand what the police do,” he said. “A baseball bat can cause death or serious physical injury, and a Taser is not appropriate in a deadly force situation.”
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