Federal State Of Emergency Declared In Flint, Michigan Over Contaminated Water Supply
Brett Carlsen

Prosecutors Drop Flint Water Charges, Plan To Start New Case

Nearly four years since Flint, Michigan declared a state of emergency over the state of its water, prosecutors have decided to drop all criminal charges brought against eight government officials who were believed to responsible for the crisis, CNN reports.

Prosecutors said on Thursday (June 13) they had concerns about the investigation and legal theories suggested by the former Office of Special Counsel (OSC) who oversaw the investigation, according to a press release issued by the Michigan Department of Attorney General.

"We cannot provide the citizens of Flint the investigation they rightly deserve by continuing to build on a flawed foundation," Solicitor General Fadwa Hammoud and Wayne County Prosecutor Kym L. Worthy, said.
Prosecutors also noted that "the voluntary dismissal is not a determination of any defendant's criminal responsibility."

The Flint community reportedly feels blindsided by the decision, but the Mayor of Flint, Karen Weaver said the dismissal gives her "hope." "I am happy to see that this case is being handled with the seriousness and dogged determination that it should have been handled with from the beginning," Weaver told CNN.

Weaver also claimed the prosecution's mishandling of the case was  "an entire administration's clear lack of respect for human life and common decency, another attempt to cover up what should have never happened to begin with."

The prosecution team promises to open a new probe into the Flint Water Crisis at a later date.

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Chung Sung-Jun

A South Carolina Transgender Woman Was Found Dead On The Side Of The Road

The transgender community is mourning the loss of 29-year-old Denali Berries Stuckey whose body was found on the side of the road in South Carolina Saturday.

Stuckey's death, which has been ruled a homicide by the coroner's office, is now the 12th murder of a black trans woman this year, and the third trans woman to be killed in the state since 2008.

Chase Glenn, the Executive Director of South Carolina's LGBTQ  group Full Acceptance, said in a statement to NBC that the deaths of trans women is now an "epidemic."

“While the greater community may be either unaware or disinterested in this news, it is important to understand the epidemic of violence against trans women of color and the crisis point at which we are now and have been for years,” Glenn said. “We refuse to become numb. We will continue to say the names of these women and remember them how they would have wanted to be remembered.”

Per a Human Rights Campaign Report, more than 2,300 transgender women have been killed internationally, with a majority of the deaths affecting women of color.

"The "intersections of racism, sexism, homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia conspire to deprive them of employment, housing, health care, and other necessities, barriers that make them vulnerable."

Earlier in July Brooklyn Lindsey, a black trans woman was found on a porch of an abandoned Kansas City, Missouri home shot to death. The 32-year-old's body was discovered and her death was also ruled a homicide.

A motive for Stuckey's murder has not been determined, however, police say the killing and the suspect's vehicle were caught on surveillance camera.

Gerardo Thomas, 33, faces first-degree murder charges. Police have not been able to identify why the Baltimore resident was in South Carolina. However, he will appear before a judge on August 9.

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Reuters

Man Caught With $34,000 Worth Of Cocaine Under His Toupee

A Colombian man thought outside of the box when he taped $34,000 worth of cocaine to his head and hid it under his wig. The man, who authorities have not yet identified, almost pulled a fast one until authorities at Barcelona Internation Airport noticed something...off.

Dubbed "Operation Toupee." officers reportedly found "a perfectly sealed package taped to his head” because the hairpiece was "disproportionate size.”

"There is no limit to the inventiveness of drug traffickers trying to mock controls,” police said in a statement.

While attempting to smuggle cocaine under a wig may be a first, men and women acting on behalf of a larger drug trafficking ring is as old as time. According to The New York Post, cops in Barcelona stopped a man who had cocaine taped to his stomach, and it was then he confessed to swallowing 35 condoms filled with the drug.

Other bizarre drug smuggling hideaways have included a woman's breast implants, a hollowed-out pineapple, a wheelchair cushion and a plaster cast on a man’s leg.

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Justice Department Will Not Charge Officer Who Killed Eric Garner

The day before the five year anniversary of Eric Garner’s death, it was reported by multiple outlets that a federal prosecutor would not charge the police officer responsible for his death.

Per USA Today, The Justice Department will not bring federal charges against Daniel Pantaleo, the NYPD officer who held Garner in a chokehold outside of a store in Staten Island in an attempt to arrest him for allegedly selling cigarettes. Garner’s last words “I can’t breathe” became a rallying cry for the Black Lives Matter movement.

“In 2017, the city's Civilian Complaints Review Board determined that Pantaleo used excessive force,” USA Today reports. “Federal authorities have been conducting a separate, years-long civil rights inquiry into Garner's death. Pantaleo also is awaiting a verdict in a NYPD disciplinary proceeding.”

During Pantaleo’s trial this past May, Stuart London– the police union lawyer who represented the officer– argued that Mr. Garner died from being “morbidly obese.”

“Those who have been able to not come to a rushed judgment, but have looked at the video in explicit detail, see Pantaleo’s intent and objective was to take him down pursuant to how he was taught by NYPD, control him when they got on the ground, and then have him cuffed,”  London said in an interview with the New York Times. “There was never any intent for him to exert pressure on his neck and choke him out the way the case has been portrayed.”

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