Archive for Front Page News

Police Officer Who Shot And Killed Unarmed Texas Teen Is Fired

shootingBALCH SPRINGS, Texas
(AP) — Police in suburban Dallas fired the officer Tuesday, May 2, who shot and killed a black 15-year-old boy riding in a vehicle leaving a chaotic house party, taking the swift action sought by the teenager’s family and protesters who link the case to other deaths of African-Americans at the hands of law enforcement.

The Balch Springs, Texas, officer, identified as Roy Oliver, was terminated for violating department policies in the shooting death of Jordan Edwards, police chief Jonathan Haber said.

Edwards, a high school freshman, was leaving the party with his two brothers and two other teenagers Saturday night. Police arrived at the scene to investigate an underage drinking complaint and spotted the vehicle leaving. Oliver opened fire as the teenagers were driving away.

Shots from his rifle pierced the front side passenger window, hitting Edwards in the front seat, according to Edwards’ family attorneys, Lee Merritt and Jasmine Crockett. His 16-year-old brother was driving.

Haber said Oliver, who joined the department in 2011, had committed “several” violations of policy, but wouldn’t say what they were because Oliver is entitled to appeal his firing. The Dallas County district attorney and the Dallas County sheriff’s office are investigating the case. The race of the fired officer was not revealed.

Police originally said the teenagers’ vehicle was reversing “in an aggressive manner” toward officers, but Haber said Monday that video taken at the scene proved the vehicle was actually driving away.

The police department’s latest statement, released Tuesday night, says officers entering the house heard gunshots ring out during a “chaotic scene with numerous people running away from the location.” As officers exited the house, they encountered the vehicle backing out onto a main road and driving away despite their attempts to tell the driver to stop, the new statement said.

The Dallas County medical examiner ruled Edwards’ death a homicide.

Haber said Monday that his department wrongly described

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Anti-Violence Group Releases Final Recommendations

MayorThe Citizens’ Task Force on Violence recently rendered its findings after a 12-month study which included comments from various groups from around the City and 12 public meetings.

According to the report, several subcommittees were formed that also met within their committee to address specific issues within their subcommittees such as gun violence and domestic violence one of the City’s ever growing problems.

The Task Force received formal presentations from:
• The Academy for Integrated Arts
• Aim4Peace
• Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms
• Kansas City Health department
• Kansas City Law Department
• KC NoVA
• Kansas City Police department
• Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence.

The Task Force also heard from individuals and organizations gave presentations as well as email recommendations and written recommendations and online recommendations through the portal that was set up for the Task Force.

The Task Force reviewed all of the material submitted as well as materials recommended by previous Kansas City, Missouri Commission on Violent Crime groups in 2006 and 2013.

One of the areas of focus centered around guns.

There were 127 homicides in the Kansas City area during 2016 when the Task Force met. Of those, an alarming number of homicides, 116 were committed with a firearm either a rifle or handgun.

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Arkansas Executions: State Kills One Inmate And Then Two Death Row Inmates In One Night

CUMMINS UNIT, Ark. —

The state of Arkansas executed death row inmate Ledell Lee late Thursday, April 20, its first death sentence in more than a decade and the first of four inmates scheduled to die before the end of the month when a crucial lethal injection drug is set to expire.

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear five last-minute appeals by Lee’s attorneys to stay his execution, which began at 11:44 p.m. Lee was pronounced dead at 11:56 p.m., Arkansas Department of Correction Director Wendy Kelly said.

Lee, 51, was sentenced to death in October 1995 in Pulaski County, Arkansas, for the murder of 26-year-old Debra Reese. He declined to make a final statement, officials said. Three media witnesses reported that Lee remained under sedation during the procedure.

“His last meal request was that he receive communion, and he was given communion this afternoon,” Department of Correction spokesman Solomon Graves told reporters.

Because communion — a bread wafer and a small amount of wine representing the body and blood of Jesus Christ — was not a full meal, the Department of Correction offered to provide a meal on his behalf to the rest of the prison population. Lee declined.

The execution caps days of legal jostling by Lee’s defense lawyers and attorneys for the state of Arkansas over the state’s right to use a paralytic as part of its lethal injection cocktail. A court OKd the drug earlier Thursday.

Also part of the lethal injection drugs used on Lee was the controversial sedative midazolam. Arkansas’s store of the drug is set to expire at the end of the month and is what triggered the Department of Correction to plan an unprecedented string of eight executions in 10 days this month.

Midazolam has also come under fire for its reported lack of effectiveness in some instances. The sedative is supposed to render death penalty inmates unconscious and unable to feel pain during their executions, but in cases in Oklahoma, Alabama, Arizona and Ohio in recent years, inmates were reportedly conscious and showed signs of extreme pain.

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