Protests Break Out In Charlotte After Police Shooting
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California Police Chiefs Reject Proposed Legislation That Would Limit Use Of Deadly Force

Assembly Bill 931 would restrict officers from using deadly force unless "absolultely necessary."

California legislators have announced a new bill that could change that could "prevent unnecessary loss of life." Assembly Bill 931, which is proposed by Democratic State Assembly members Kevin McCarty and Shirley Weber, and backed by the American Civil Liberties Union, would restrict officers from using deadly force unless there is “no other reasonable alternative.”

The bill, which was formally introduced by Weber an McCarty last week alongside the family of Stephon Clark the 22-year-old unarmed father gunned down by Sacramento Police officers in his grandmother's backyard, is being met with swift backlash from law enforcement.

In a statement to Bay Area news station KTVU, Webber revealed that an analysis of nearly 100 of the “largest police departments found that departments that used restricted use of force and de-escalation and other less-lethal tactics, save not only civilian lives, but also saves the lives of police officers."

During a meeting at the Fairfield Police training facility on Tuesday (April 10), Morgan Hill Police Chief David Swing joined other police chiefs in lambasting the bill.

"This legislation as proposed puts communities at risk,” said Swing, who is also president of the California Police Chief Association. “Evaluating the use of deadly force from the perspective of hindsight and narrowly justifiable homicide defense would lead to officers pulling back on proactive policing.”

Watsonville Police Chief David Honda said that the bill attempts to hold officers to an “unreasonable standard that measures in hindsight” and could “only hurt the communities we serve.”

The current standard allows for officers to use "reasonable force," but as the ACLU point out that a number of white suspects, including domestic terrorists,  no matter how harsh the crime, are met with a different fate.  The glaring racial discrepancy shows a disproportionate targeting of people of color,  specifically black men and women, many of whom were weaponless and did not commit a crime upon being gunned down by police.

“The killings of people like Stephon Clark in Sacramento, and far too many others, have laid bare a painful truth: our laws protect the police, not the people — and especially not people of color,” writes the ACLU.

“What’s more, California is one of the most secretive states in the country when it comes to releasing basic information about how departments investigate these killings and confirmed police misconduct.”

According to a running tally by the Washington Post, there have been just over 300 fatal police involved shootings in 2018. California also boasts some of the nation’s largest rates of police killings in the nation. Lawmakers said that half of the 162 people who were shot and killed by cops last year did not have guns, with Kern County officers holding the record for killing “more people per capita than in any other county in the U.S.”

Last Monday (April 9), the Kern County Detention Officers Association brought attention to what it says is a  "sheriff's office in desperate need of positive changes" by releasing a 12-year-old video of current Kern County Sheriff Danny Youngblood recorded during the year  that he was elected. In the footage, Youngblood can be heard answering a question about whether he thinks it’s more cost-effective for the sheriff’s department to “kill” or wound suspects. Youngblood chose the latter explaining, "Because if you cripple them you gotta' take care of them for life, and that cost goes way up."

Reacting to the video release, Youngblood said that he wishes that he would’ve used different wording, but that his comments were taken out of context, according to CNN. “When you listen to the verbiage, it doesn't sound good. But I think the people of this county know that's not what I mean,” he said.

In a message on Facebook posted alongside the 2006 video of Youngblood, the KCDA noted that it's time to elect a new sheriff who will bring a  "fresh approach and new ideas to tackle long standing issues facing department administration."

See footage of the interview below.

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WNBA Player Maya Moore Marries Wrongfully Convicted Man She Helped Get Out Of Prison

When WNBA star Maya Moore first met her now husband, Jonathan Irons, their relationship was strictly platonic. Things changed after she helped to get his wrongful conviction overturned, and the happy couple recently tied the knot.

“We wanted to announce today that we are super excited to continue the work that we are doing together, but doing it as a married couple,” Moore told Good Morning America on Wednesday (Sept. 16). “We got married a couple months ago and we're excited to just continue this new chapter of life together.”

Catch us tomorrow on @GMA with @RobinRoberts! #winwithjustice pic.twitter.com/0z1B1RRS2b

— Maya Moore (@MooreMaya) July 2, 2020

Irons was 16 years old when he was tried as an adult and falsely convicted by an all white jury and sentenced to 50 years for a burglary and shooting. He maintained his innocence throughout, but he would have never been convicted had the case been handled properly. Aside from being wrongfully identified in a lineup, fingerprint evidence that could have proved his innocence was withheld from his lawyers. After serving 23 years for a crime he did not commit, Irons' conviction was overturned in March.

Moore, 31, has known Irons, 40, since she was 18 years old. The two met through a prison ministry program and their relationship slowly transitioned from a friendship to romance. Irons confessed his love for Moore while incarcerated at Missouri's Jefferson City Correctional Center. “I wanted to marry her but at the same time protect her because being in a relationship with a man in prison, it's extremely difficult and painful. And I didn't want her to feel trapped and I wanted her to feel open and have the ability any time if this is too much for you, go and find somebody. Live your life. Because this is hard.”

He popped the question in their hotel room following his prison release. “It was just me and her in the room and I got down on my knees and I looked up at her and she kind of knew what was going on and I said, ‘will you marry me,’ she said, ‘yes.’”

Moore, a small forward for the Minnesota Lynx, is taking a break from basketball and has been working alongside her husband to encourage people to vote. The newlyweds also plant to advocate for others who have been wrongfully convicted.

See more on their love story in the video below.

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Louisville Reaches $12 Million Settlement With Family Of Breonna Taylor

It’s been six months since Breonna Taylor was killed by Louisville police officers while sleeping in her own home. The officers involved in her death, Jonathon Mattingly, Brett Hankison and Myles Cosgrove, have yet to be arrested, but a monetary agreement has been reached to settle a civil lawsuit filed by Taylor’s family.

The city will pay Taylor’s family $12 million in addition to implementing policy reform measures, Mayor Greg Fischer announced on Tuesday (Sept. 15).

“I cannot begin to imagine Ms. Palmer’s pain,” Fischer said of Taylor’s mother, Tameka Palmer. “And I am deeply, deeply sorry for Breonna’s death. Although these steps, including policy changes, do not change the past, I hope this brings some measure of peace.”

Fischer noted that Taylor’s death “ignited” a local and national movement “for racial justice sending thousands into our streets and in cities all across the country and the world — all crying for justice for Breonna.” Taylor’s death has “triggered a renewed commitment to addressing structural and systematic racism” in Louisville and around the country, said Fischer.

“Justice for Breonna means that we will continue to save lives in her honor,” said Taylor’s mother, Tameka Palmer. “No amount of money accomplishes that, but the police reform measures that we were able to get passed as a part of this settlement mean so much more to my family, our community, and to Breonna’s legacy. We know that there is much work still to be done and we look forward to continuing to work with community leaders, the mayor’s office, and other elected leaders to implement long-term sustainable change to fight systemic racism that is plaguing our communities.”

The multi-million dollar settlement is the latest step that Louisville has taken in wake of Taylor being killed by police. In June, the Louisville city council passed “Breonna’s Law” banning no-knock warrants, like the one used to violently raid Taylor’s home on March 13. Police claim that the raid stemmed from a drug investigation that reportedly involved Taylor’s ex-boyfriend who did not live at the residence and had already been arrested.

Benjamin Crump, an attorney representing Taylor’s family, called the $12 million settlement a step in the right direction. “This will bring progress and reform out of this tragedy to protect other Black lives,” he tweeted.

Today, we got some #JusticeForBreonnaTaylor! Along with a $12 million civil settlement, we secured comprehensive police reform in Louisville. This will bring progress and reform out of this tragedy to protect other Black lives. pic.twitter.com/DyilAkmWag

— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) September 15, 2020

As part of the settlement, Louisville Metro Government agreed to a list of changes including community related policy programs, search warrant reforms, and police accountability reforms.

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Jacob Blake Handcuffed To Hospital Bed While Paralyzed, Father Says

Jacob Blake, who was left paralyzed from the waist down after being shot in the back by a Wisconsin police officer, is handcuffed to his hospital bed while recovering from shooting injuries.

“I hate it that he was laying in that bed with the handcuff onto the bed,” his father, Jacob Blake Sr., told the Chicago-Sun Times on Thursday (Aug. 27). “He can’t go anywhere. Why do you have him cuffed to the bed? What was he arrested for?”

The Kenosha Police Department has yet to reveal why they handcuffed Blake to his hospital bed. The 29-year-old father of three was shot at close range by Kanoga police officer, Rusten Sheskey, last week. Blake has been celebrating his son's birthday and was “breaking up a fight between two women” when police confronted him, attorney Benjamin Crump said.

The Wisconsin Department of Justice claims that officers were  responding to a call from a woman who reported that her boyfriend “was present and was not supposed to be on the premises.”

Officers attempted to arrest Blake during the incident. “Law enforcement deployed a taser to attempt to stop Mr. Blake, however the taser was not successful in stopping Mr. Blake,” the Wisconsin DOJ said in an updated statement. “Mr. Blake walked around his vehicle, opened the driver’s side door, and leaned forward. While holding onto Mr. Blake’s shirt, Officer Rusten Sheskey fired his service weapon 7 times. Officer Sheskey fired the weapon into Mr. Blake’s back. No other officer fired their weapon. Kenosha Police Department does not have body cameras therefore the officers were not wearing body cameras.”

Blake’s children were in the car as Sheskey continued to shoot him. Although police didn't have body cameras, a witness captured the shooting on cell phone video.

Protests have continued throughout Kenosha in response to the shooting.

Kenosha County has since declared a state of emerged and announced a mandatory curfew.

⚠️CIVIL UNREST ADVISORY⚠️

Kenosha County has declared a State of Emergency curfew for 7PM tonight, August 26th. Citizens need to be off the streets for their safety. Curfew will be enforced.

— Kenosha Police Dept. (@KenoshaPolice) August 26, 2020

Two people were shot to death, and another injured, at a protest on Tuesday (Aug. 25). The shooter, 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse, was arrested and charged with felony counts of first-degree reckless endangerment, first degree intentional homicide, first-degree reckless homicide, and first-degree attempted homicide.

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