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"Nothing will radicalize an American citizen more than getting thrown out of their home by a bank that just paid its CEO a bigger raise this year than the year before. Nothing is gonna radicalize you more than not being able to feed your kids, and knowing that one percent of the country has all the money tied up in it. We’re not poor in this country. This is a very, spectacularly rich country, the richest country that has ever existed in human history. Yet all the wealth is tied up into these huge corporations and this tiny cabal of people."
The Zetas have a fearsome reputation, but the real surprise comes not in their ruthless use of violence, but in the origins of where they learned the tricks of their bloody trade.
Some of the cartel's initial members were elite Mexican troops, trained in the early 1990s by America’s 7th Special Forces Group or "snake eaters" at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina.
The US Supreme Court has ruled thermal imaging a private residence unconstitutional without a search warrant, but the eight-year narcotics veteran Cooper says in his experience, "they're using them anyway to spot suspicious houses. Then they set up and look for another reason to get the warrant. They do not put in the search warrant affidavit that they used the FLIR. They'll put in the search warrant affidavit that they saw cars coming in and out of the place, or their power usage was too high, or they got an undisclosed tip."
The indictment claims (former Police Officer Robert) Faulcon shot 40-year-old Ronald Madison, who had severe mental disabilities, in the back as he ran away on the west side of the bridge. (Sgt. Kenneth) Bowen is charged with stomping and kicking Madison while he was lying on the ground, wounded but still alive.
-MICHAEL KUNZELMAN, Associated Press Writer
Stein's case against Mehserle lasted seven days and included 26 witnesses and dozens of pieces of evidence. That evidence included six video recordings of the events that preceded and followed Grant's killing, three of which captured Mehserle pulling his gun from his holster, aiming it at Grant's back and pulling the trigger.
"My friend just got shot. I don't know what I was doing. I was in shock."
"Oscar kept telling them, 'I can't breathe, I can't breathe,' " Bryson said.
All of a sudden, Bryson said, Mehserle "goes, '(Expletive) this.' He stands up and he shoots him."
After the shooting, Bryson said, he was taken to BART police headquarters and put in a small cell with his handcuffs still on. Periodically, he said, Pirone would walk by the cell, pull up a chair, put his feet up and smile at Bryson.
"He comes in, he pulls up a chair, and he kicks his feet up, and he's just laughing," Bryson said. "He just kept smiling and laughing with a smirk."
The first action Rains focused on was a video that, in real time, appeared to show Pirone walking toward Grant and then punching or elbowing him in the head.
Schott said his analysis does not show Pirone doing anything of the sort and instead shows Grant punching Pirone, even though the former officer never testified that Grant had hit him.
The doctor also noted that Grant had evidence of hemorrhage in the central nervous system. Rogers stated that, once he was able to look underneath Grant’s skin, that there was evidence of blunt force trauma to the left side of Grant’s head, just above his ear.
"To me it wasn't that big of a deal," he said.
"They were yelling, you know, '(Expletive) that officer. I'm going to sue him,' " Mehserle said. "I said, 'Are you talking about me?' and they said, 'No, that guy.' I told them, 'I don't know what is going on. Settle down, and we'll figure it out.' "
Mehserle said he had his Taser pointed at the group while he talked with them and thought that he was able to calm them down.
"But that all changed when Pirone came back," Mehserle said.
“I thought that I didn’t want to get shot.”
-SF Bay View
Comparing the circumstances Mehserle faced just before the shooting to tactics taught to police officers about such incidents, Stein had Mehserle admit that many of the actions he took early Jan. 1, 2009, did not follow proper protocol.
Stein said Mehserle's movements just before the shooting were not consistent with the movements an officer should make after deciding to use a Taser on a suspect who is lying on the ground.
Mehserle admitted he never yelled "gun" when he thought Grant was reaching for one as officers are taught to do if they see a weapon. Mehserle said he did not yell "gun" because he never saw one.
Stein also pointed out that Mehserle admitted he did not notice that Grant was being pinned down by then-BART police officer Anthony Pirone even though officers are taught always to be aware of their surroundings.
"The only thing that went through my head was that I had to hurry up and tase," Mehserle said.
Stein ended his questioning of Mehserle by asking the former officer why he had not told anyone — during his 10 minutes on Oakland's Fruitvale BART station platform after the shooting or a friend who stayed with him for a week after the killing — that he had made a mistake.
Mehserle said he could not remember talking to anyone on the platform after the killing even though a security camera shows him talking with several people.
The prosecutor asked, “When you watched the video, did you hear yourself say, I’m going to tase him?” Mehserle replied, “No.”
The prosecutor continued, “Why did you fire (what you thought was a taser) when Officer Pirone was in such close proximity (because the tase would shock anyone touching the victim)?” Mehserle answered, “I knew I had to act very fast with the taser.” The prosecutor fired back, “Because you were going against a gun?”
“Yes,” said Mehserle. Then the prosecutor asked him what effect does being tased have on the body. He answered that tasing makes the body tighten up. Stein then unloaded his legal nuclear bomb on Mehserle when he asked him, “Why would you want a hand holding a gun to constrict?” Mehserle answered, “I wasn’t thinking about that.”
-SF Bay View
Stein asked the jury to think about why Mehserle never told fellow officers after the shooting that it was an accident. He also asked the jury to consider why Mehserle would stand up and release his hold of Grant if he truly believed Grant was reaching for a gun.
"The last thing you want to do is to create distance. You want to be on that person like white on rice," Stein said. "You are going to be on that person to make sure that gun is not coming out."
Stein's cross-examination of Meyer also revealed that the expert reached his opinions on the case in March 2009 before a preliminary hearing was conducted and before BART conducted its own internal investigation into the shooting.
Meyer admitted that he had not reviewed all the evidence in the case, even though his website states, "I've learned to not form opinions before reviewing all the evidence."
Stein also informed the jury that Meyer had worked on behalf of one of the Los Angeles police officers who beat Rodney King.
Stein asked if Meyer's opinion would change if he knew that Grant was pushed on top of someone's legs, had 500 pounds of force against his back and was yelling out that he could not breathe.
All three facts have been presented as evidence in the case, but Meyer said they did not change his opinion. Meyer said he rejected the prosecution's belief that Grant was not resisting arrest but rather had his arm trapped beneath him.
"I rejected it. It doesn't wash," Meyer said. "It doesn't matter to me. The evidence, in my view, was that he was intentionally keeping his arm under his body."
Stein also asked Mehserle's friend and fellow Officer Terry Foreman if Mehserle ever spoke about the shooting with him in the days that followed the shooting.
Foreman, who was called by Mehserle for support after the shooting and who drove Mehserle home and days later to his attorney's office in Sacramento, said Mehserle never mentioned that the shooting was an accident.
The political climate that allowed six out of the seven Black males under 40 to be banned from the courtroom is consistent with the track record of this case: The trial was moved out of Alameda County because of defense claims that Blacks in the area could not be unbiased, and no Black people were picked to sit on the Los Angeles jury.
-SF Bay View
At the moment Mehserle stood up and fired, Stein asked, "You felt you had control of Mr. Grant?"
"Yes," (Former BART Cop Anthony) Pirone said.
Pirone said he thought, "Why am I getting up? I don't understand. Why he is telling me that?"
Pirone admitted that he has a hard time separating what is in his memory and what he has seen on the various video recordings of the shooting of the 22-year-old Hayward man and the events that led to it.
"It's like trying to unscramble an egg," Pirone said.
"I saw people on the train and people on the platform," she said.
"I remember people on the train calling me lady cop, and they were singing the lady cop song as I ran by."
Stein then showed a videotape recorded by a platform security camera that showed Domenici running down an empty platform with no passengers exiting the train.
Asked about the 50 people she saw, Domenici said they could not be seen on the video.
Throughout his questioning, as Stein showed videos from different angles, he repeatedly asked Domenici to point out the 50 people she had just described as being on the platform threatening her.
She never could, and at one point she said, "When I said the platform, to me the train is an extension of the platform."
Each time she was questioned, Domenici gave rambling answers justifying her reactions, sparking several requests by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert Perry for her to limit her answers to the question asked.
"Listen carefully to his questions," Perry said at one point.
"Try to focus on the questions that are asked," the judge said later.
Domenici said she does not remember that Grant ever touched her but said she was told by her attorney that a video shows he did.
When shown the video, Domenici said she could not clearly see Grant touching her.
"I don't remember Grant grabbing my arm," she said.
"My first reaction was to look at the officers' faces because I didn't know who got shot," she said. "I just heard people saying, 'He got shot; he got shot.'"
Asked if that prompted her to take out her gun for safety, Domenici said it did not.
"Nobody had their guns out, none of the other officers," she said.
I can hear my mother call
Late at night I hear her call
Oh lord, lord I hear her call
She said, "Father, father it's for the kids
Each and every thing I did.
Please, please don't judge me too strong.
Lord knows I meant no wrong.
"It was totally instigated by Oakland PD, no doubt in my mind," said Fosum, who was in the ring Friday night. "They chose to be jerks instead of law enforcement. This was not an embarrassment to Badge versus Badge. This was not an embarrassment to law enforcement. This was an embarrassment to Oakland PD."
Dozens of police officers conducting raids in Alameda County
Operation Clean Sweep aims to find crime suspects; parolees
Posted: 04/27/2010 07:51:50 AM PDT
Updated: 04/27/2010 09:55:38 AM PDT
OAKLAND — Oakland police and more than 100 officers from Bay Area law enforcement agencies are conducting raids in cities throughout Alameda County this morning.
In the search, dubbed "Clean Sweep," state parole officers have teamed up with local police agencies to track down for suspects in violation of their parole or wanted for other crimes.
About 26 agencies are involved.
“If we hit the summer and there’s no active process, there’s a very good chance for conflict – and nobody wins when it comes to that.”
“Israel's hardline government is deeply worried that the U.S. will try to impose a Mideast peace deal, that the Palestinians might declare statehood unilaterally and that Washington could be moving to end tensions with Syria. These fears underscore how the current differences between the U.S. and Israel go far beyond a still unresolved diplomatic row over Israeli settlement building. Instead, there is a deepening chasm between the visions of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Barack Obama, raising questions about the strength of the U.S.-Israeli alliance despite mutual pronouncements that the bond is unshakable.”
The Pentagon was ratcheting up pressure for military action against Iran last night as America’s top uniformed official said for the first time that a strike on nuclear targets would “go a long way” towards delaying Tehran’s uranium enrichment programme.
-The Times Online
"We will not allow America to renew its hellish dominance over Iran by using such threats."
“We are not taking any options off the table as we pursue the pressure and engagement tracks,” Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell said. “The president always has at his disposal a full array of options, including use of the military... It is clearly not our preferred course of action but it has never been, nor is it now, off the table.”
-The Jerusalem Post
"The Israeli security establishment is divided over whether it needs Washington's blessing if Israel decides to attack Iran, Israeli officials say, as the U.S. campaign for sanctions drags on and Tehran steadily develops greater nuclear capability."
-The Wall Street Journal
An explosion that derailed a train in Russia's North Caucasus was being investigated as an act of terrorism, Russian media reported.
Kyrgyz opposition leader Roza Otunbayeva said on Thursday she had taken over the government after violent protests forced the president of the Central Asian country to flee the capital.
No sooner had presidents Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev signed an arms reduction pact in Prague as part of an effort to "reset" strained relations than a senior official in Medvedev's delegation urged Kyrgyzstan's new rulers to shut the base.
Russia has said that it will help Venezuela to set up its own space industry and develop nuclear energy, the Latin American country’s President announced yesterday. The two have also signed a new contract to exploit Venezuelan oil and are discussing a raft of further military and energy deals.
The deal will allow Moscow to entrench its foothold in Latin America through a deepening alliance with America’s main regional foe. As the Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin visited Caracas, Venezuela’s vocal, anti-imperialist leader, President Chávez, said that the allies were building “a new, multipolar world”.
China is a major buyer of Russian weapons, and the two countries say they are trying to forge a strategic partnership, though senior Russian officials are privately concerned about an increasingly assertive China.
An "astonishing" 363 anti-government or "Patriot" groups appeared in 2009, with the totals going from 149 groups to 512, according to a report released by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
"They took over the block like it was the Army. I thought we were being invaded," said Michael Morin, who lives two lots away.
The group's alleged plot appears to have required killing a cop at a traffic stop, or after a faked 911 call. Then, the group planned to attack the funeral of that officer — in order to wreak further havoc by killing even more government and law-enforcement officials who would have gathered to mourn.
… There are no second chances, no time for regrets, and no do-overs. This is not Call of Duty.
Now I ‘d like to disperse a myth here – many of you think that US military would not fight civilians. I can’t speak for all, but in my case – the moment you declare civil war, you’re no longer civilians. The moment you attack the constitution, you’re now enemies of that constitution. And I swore to defend and support and if necessary give my life for that Constitution and utilize every tool, technique, and weapon at my disposal to do so. And trust me, I’m not alone.
-An article I wish I would never have to write
The US Marine’s letter, whether real or not, serves as a warning that the military option will be readily used against American citizens. The Marine is correct that Americans cannot win in a Civil War. But the American people can employ other options.
We already have a pattern for real, peaceful change. That pattern can be found in the words and actions of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi. The power structure is prepared for Civil War and they will win easily. But they will have a harder time fighting the ‘Soul Force’ of the people.
Defense attorneys say an alleged plot to bomb New York synagogues was hatched and directed by a federal informant.
Lawyers for four men from Newburgh have filed a motion to dismiss the terror indictment against them.
They said the informant badgered the defendants until they got involved in the plot.
They said the informant chose the targets, supplied fake bombs for the synagogues and a fake missile to shoot down planes. The motion said he also offered to pay the defendants, who attorneys alleged weren't inclined toward any crime until the informant began recruiting them.
-NBC New York
"On August 16, 1951, the inhabitants were suddenly racked with frightful hallucinations of terrifying beasts and fire."
"One man tried to drown himself, screaming that his belly was being eaten by snakes. An 11-year-old tried to strangle his grandmother. Another man shouted: "I am a plane", before jumping out of a second-floor window, breaking his legs. He then got up and carried on for 50 yards. Another saw his heart escaping through his feet and begged a doctor to put it back. Many were taken to the local asylum in strait jackets."
The autopsy report indicates puncture wounds on Gregan’s right foot, on the left inner part of the leg and on the upper right arm.
Indayla, however, said that the autopsy did not indicate many other things, including Gregan’s enlarged scrotum, the enlarged opening of his anus and injuries on his head.
“They [US soldiers] made him a pet,” Grace said. “They probably played with him.”
"I do not believe all Police are bad, but the ones that are create havoc in the community."
While television cameras and news broadcasters followed police stories about armed thugs roaming the city, it was found later, like the story unfolding today, that many people who were discovered wandering the streets were there to look for the things they needed to survive. It was a time, described by some of the storm's victims, of chaos and great tragedy. Will today's story begin to undo what one writer declares was exaggeration of the news in order to sell stories in a time when the real truth wasn't known?
"It's not fair," said Shirnell Smith, 44, a parking officer for 22 years who has lived in Oakland for 24 years. Smith and the union representing parking officers said the policy has resulted in tickets being issued disproportionately to poor, black and Latino people.
"No matter what anyone's opinion of the case may be, the sad fact remains: this incident has left Tatiana without a father."
-BART board President James Fang
"It allows the Mujahedeen, the Taliban, al Qaeda and the insurrectionists and jihadists to claim they're being shot by Jesus rifles."
-Mikey Weinstein, Military Religious Freedom Foundation
"A department investigation determined that Officer Jimenez acted within our policy."
-Assistant Chief Howard Jordan