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Christopher Furlong

Body Of Veteran Who Died In Police Custody Returned To Family Missing Organs

On April 7, 2018, Everette Palmer Jr told his family he was on his way to New York to visit, but would first stop in Pennsylvania to settle an outstanding warrant stemming from a 2016 DUI. According to CNN, that was the last time anyone spoke to Palmer.

Two days later, the Palmer family was notified Everett died in police custody at the York County Prison. Their suspicions were only heightened when the 41-year-old's body was returned to them sans his throat, heart, and brain.

Now the family is demanding answers after being given the run around by officials. Civil Rights attorney Lee Meritt said Palmer's death "smacks of a cover-up."

While speaking with the outlet, Meritt said prison and county officials haven't provided any answers. However, York County Coroner Pam Grier alleges the family is well aware of what happened to the U.S. Veteran's organs.

"There were never any missing organs," Gay said. "The lab that does our autopsies has the organs. Coroner's offices don't always have a morgue or a forensic pathologist. We contract those services out. We utilize a team in Allentown. That's who retains the specimens. They don't always tell us what they retain. We made that clear to the family from the beginning."

Grier also said it's common to remove a person's throat "to make sure there wasn't any kind of component that caused asphyxia."

Merritt countered Grier's statement. "It's not unusual to take organs out of a body during an autopsy, especially if you believe they were subject to trauma. The highly unusual part is to misplace them."

An initial autopsy said Palmer died "following an excited state" in which "he began hitting his head against the inside of his cell door" and was restrained by law enforcement. The report later states he became irritated due to "methamphetamine toxicity" and a  "probably sickling red cell disorder"

Palmer's family tells CNN he didn't have any health issues leading up to his death, and the report of him harming himself is completely out of character for the father of two. Palmer's brother Dwayne said Everette may have been a big guy, but he was a gentle giant.

"He joked around a lot. He was the life of the family," Dwayne Palmer said. "He wasn't a perfect person, but certainly not somebody that's a rabble-rouser, fighting, starting trouble or anything like that. He was a loving person."

Speaking on behalf of the family, Dwayne said he wants to know what happened because the information doesn't add up.

"We don't believe anything (officials) are telling us at this point," he said. "It's a tremendous loss for our family. We are devastated."

On the morning of Palmer's death, he was taken to a clinic where it was determined he was unresponsive. He was then transferred to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead. Dwayne said his brother was trying to rectify a legal matter nothing more.

Dwayne continued: "If he was being processed for something that he did wrong in terms of the DUI -- he should be held accountable for that -- but it shouldn't be a death sentence, certainly inside of a jail," his brother added. "We know that there are good people in that prison system. We appeal to them to come forward and share what they know."

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Father And Son Who Brutally Murdered Ahmaud Arbery Denied Bail

Travis and Gregory McMichael, the father-son duo charged for the brutal murder of Ahmaud Arbery, were denied bail and must remain behind bars, a judge ruled on Friday (Nov. 13). Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, urged the judge to keep Travis, 34, and Gregory, 64, in custody.

“These men are proud of what they've done,” she said according to NBC News. “In their selfish minds, they think they're good guys.”

William “Roddie” Bryan, a neighbor to the McMichales', was denied bail over the summer.

Bryan recorded Arbery’s murder. All three men have been indicted on suspicion of malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, false imprisonment and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment.

Investigators found racist text messages and social media posts from Travis McMichael,  Cobb County prosecutors noted in court on Thursday. Bryan also told authorities that he heard Travis use the n-word after fatally shooting Arbery.

Arbery, 25, was out for a jog in late February when the men, approached, cornered, and shot him to death. The incident was recorded on Bryan’s cell phone.

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Activist Cori Bush Becomes Missouri’s First Black Congresswoman

Ferguson activist Cori Bush is making history as the first Black woman to represent Missouri in Congress. Bush, a Democrat, beat out Republican Anthony Rogers and Libertarian Alex Furman in Tuesday’s (Nov. 3) election.

“Mike Brown was murdered 2,278 days ago. We took to the streets for more than 400 days in protest,” Bush tweeted on election night. “Today, we take this fight for Black Lives from the streets of Ferguson to the halls of Congress. We will get justice.”

The historic victory came 52 years after Shirley Chisholm became the first Black woman elected to Congress. “I shouldn’t be the first,” noted Bush in another tweet. “But I am honored to carry this responsibility.”

The First. pic.twitter.com/h3o0GxeFLR

— Cori Bush (@CoriBush) November 4, 2020

A nurse, pastor, single mother and “lifelong St. Louisan,” 44-year-old Bush, who will be sworn in at the top of the year, previously ran for a Senate seat in 2016 and 2018. Her Congressional journey was chronicled in the Netflix documentary Knock Down the House.

And she's not alone in making political history during this year's election. Aside from Baltimore electing its youngest mayor ever, a record 298 women ran for seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. Of the nearly 300 candidates, 115 identified as Black, Latina, or Native American.

Other pioneering political wins included Ritchie Torres and Mondaire Jones becoming the first openly gay and openly gay Afro-Latino members of Congress, and Sarah McBride, who became the first trans U.S. Senator.

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Former Minneapolis Officers Who Killed George Floyd Will Be Tried Together, Judge Rules

Four former Minneapolis officers on trial for killing George Floyd, will not be allowed to move the case out of state and will be tried together, a judge ruled on Thursday (Nov. 5).

Attorneys for the officers argued that their safety would be jeopardized and they would not receive a fair trial if the case moved forward in Minneapolis, but Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill rejected the notion citing that all four of the former officers will be tried together to “allow this community, this State, and the nation to absorb the verdicts for the four defendants at once.”

Floyd, 46, was killed in May after being arrested outside of a Minneapolis grocery store over an alleged fraudulent $20 bill. The fatal arrest was captured on cell phone footage and showed former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin with his knee in Floyd’s neck while three other cops held him down.

Chauvin is charged with unintentional second-degree murder, and second-degree murder. Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and J. Kueng are charged with aiding an abetting intentional homicide, and second-degree murder. All four men were fired from the Minneapolis Police Department, and are currently free on bail.

In his decision, Judge Cahill ruled that the trial can be televised and live streamed online. He agreed to revisit the idea of moving the trial if necessary but noted, “No corner of the State of Minnesota has been shielded from pretrial publicity regarding the death of George Floyd. Because of that pervasive media coverage, a change of venue is unlikely to cure the taint of potential prejudicial pretrial publicity.”

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