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Westlake Legal Group > News Releases (Page 59)

Opinion: Russell Westbrook-James Harden pairing probably won't work, but Rockets had no other choice but to try

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close Opinion: Russell Westbrook-James Harden pairing probably won't work, but Rockets had no other choice but to try

SportsPulse: Houston couldn’t stay idle and watch everyone else improve. USA TODAY Sports’ Jeff Zillgitt breaks down the blockbuster trade that sends Russell Westbrook to the Rockets where he will reunite with former teammate James Harden. USA TODAY

It says something about the state of professional basketball when two All-NBA point guards get traded for each other and it only registers fourth among the balance-of-power shifting transactions that have taken place in the last month alone.

Mostly, it says that the NBA has changed from a league where you need three superstars to win a title to a league dominated by power couples. And it says that the Houston Rockets, who a few weeks ago seemed to be contractually handcuffed to a point guard in decline alongside James Harden, were desperate to find a way out.

The Rockets sent a boatload of future draft assets to Oklahoma City on Thursday to swap the bad contract of Chris Paul for the less-bad contract of Russell Westbrook, throwing a different look at a Western Conference that seems to be wide open.

From a basketball standpoint, pairing a ball-dominant guard in Harden with a ball-dominant guard in Westbrook doesn’t make a lot of sense on the surface. From a chemistry standpoint, it would seem to hold the potential for disaster. And yet, what other choice did the Rockets have?

In a sense, this trade fits both the ethos of general manager Daryl Morey, who has relentlessly chased superstars with little regard for their personality fit, and an owner in Tilman Fertitta whose promises of major change for the Rockets after last season’s second-round playoff meltdown made a lot more sense when you remember that his first big foray into sports came as a blustery college football booster at the University of Houston.

With Harden’s window still wide open at age 29, this was the time to go for it. This was the time to dump the 34-year old Paul off on someone else before 2021 and 2022 when he’ll make a combined $85.5 million as his physical decline accelerates. This was the time to use whatever assets the Rockets had to add a second superstar whose prime lined up more closely with Harden’s.

But ultimately, we still have this major question about Houston: Does swapping Paul for Westbrook solve the Rockets’ fundamental problem?

Beyond the bet on pure talent, of which Westbrook has plenty, Houston is doubling down on the idea that two guards who primarily create shots for themselves will be better than one.

Given reasonable health, Houston is a lock to win 50 games, even in the rugged West where there won’t be many gimme putts. But it’s undeniable at this point that they have a playoff problem with Harden, whose shooting percentages have dipped from between 44% and 45% in each of the last four regular seasons to 41% in each of the last four postseasons.

When so much of Houston’s offense relies on Harden to score one-on-one, make ridiculous stepback jumpers and draw fouls, it seems obvious he’s being forced to do too much.

The issue going forward, however, is whether Westbrook helps solve that problem or makes it worse. Because we’ve already seen one iteration of a team where Westbrook routinely took a sledgehammer to the hierarchy of who was supposed to do what when the stakes were highest, and it wasn’t particularly flattering to him in Oklahoma City.

If Westbrook didn’t defer enough to Kevin Durant in the big moments, why would we expect he’ll do it with Harden? If Westbrook wasn’t particularly efficient in playoff games for Oklahoma City — his career 3-point percentage in the postseason is 30.2% — why would we expect it will change now?

Though reports have indicated that Westbrook pushed to be traded to Houston and that he and Harden wanted to reunite, they are in much different places now than they were as younger players with the Thunder.

Both of them have won league MVP awards. Both of them have spent the last few years as the clear-cut alpha dog of their teams having to share very little of the credit or blame. Both of them have been empowered to take whatever shot they wanted.

Can Houston still be Harden’s team if he doesn’t have the ball in his hands for the majority of nearly every possession? Can Westbrook be as effective if he’s playing off the ball while knowing he won’t get it back? Will two stars with tunnel vision to score be able to coexist peacefully when their desires overlap?

The answer is probably not. But for Houston, which clearly felt it wasn’t going anywhere with a diminished, banged-up Paul, there was no other choice but to try.

Follow Dan Wolken on Twitter @DanWolken.

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Two men dead after being pulled from manhole in Pennsylvania, reports say

Two men in Pennsylvania were pronounced dead Thursday afternoon after crews pulled them out of a manhole where they’d been working, according to reports.

Police had responded Thursday morning to an intersection in Aldan, Pa., which is about a half-hour drive from Philadelphia, after reports that the men were unconscious inside the manhole, officials told Fox 29.

They said the cause of death remained under investigation. “Gases and lack of oxygen are suspected,” Fox 29’s Chris O’Connell reported.

Westlake Legal Group Men-died-in-sewer-3 Two men dead after being pulled from manhole in Pennsylvania, reports say Talia Kaplan fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/pennsylvania fox-news/us/disasters fox news fnc/us fnc article 88719dbb-7912-5f6b-acac-1585683dc9af

Two workers in Pennsylvania have died after they were pulled out of a manhole on Thursday afternoon, according to reports.  (Fox 29)

DRAMATIC VIDEO SHOWS DOZENS LOOTING PHILADELPHIA WALGREENS, POLICE SAY

Four contractors were working in the area at the time of the incident; two contractors were at one intersection, while the other two were at a nearby intersection, officials told the station.

The team at the second location reportedly lost contact with the other team, which “prompted concern.”

PHILADELPHIA FLYERS MASCOT SURPRISES 7-YEAR-OLD SUPERFAN WHO REQUESTED CUSTOM GRITTY-THEMED PROSTHETIC 

Fire rescue teams and other emergency crews responded and pulled the men from the manhole but they were both pronounced dead, the station reported.

O’Connell tweeted Thursday that Aldan Borough Police identified the co-workers as Daniel Cleaver and Matthew DiSands, both in their 20s.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

O’Connell reported that Cleaver had a 5-year-old son and was about to get married. He said DiSands just graduated from the police academy and got a job as a police officer, following in his father’s footsteps.

“We’re quite shocked that this has happened,” Aldan Mayor Carmen Maniaci told the station. “We’re going to do our best to recover and move forward.”

Westlake Legal Group Men-died-in-sewer-3 Two men dead after being pulled from manhole in Pennsylvania, reports say Talia Kaplan fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/pennsylvania fox-news/us/disasters fox news fnc/us fnc article 88719dbb-7912-5f6b-acac-1585683dc9af   Westlake Legal Group Men-died-in-sewer-3 Two men dead after being pulled from manhole in Pennsylvania, reports say Talia Kaplan fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/pennsylvania fox-news/us/disasters fox news fnc/us fnc article 88719dbb-7912-5f6b-acac-1585683dc9af

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Oklahoma City Thunder agree to trade Russell Westbrook to Houston Rockets for Chris Paul, reports say

The Oklahoma City Thunder have traded Russell Westbrook to the Houston Rockets for Chris Paul in an exchange of star point guards that reunites Westbrook with former teammate James Harden in Houston, according to multiple reports.

In addition to Paul, the Thunder also are getting first-round picks in 2024 and 2026, plus the right to swap first-rounders in two other seasons. The trade was first reported by ESPN.

Neither team had officially announced the trade as of Thursday night, but Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta told Fox 26 Houston that the deal had been agreed to.

“We’re so excited to have Russell Westbrook,” Fertitta said. “I would watch him play for Oklahoma City and he’s so athletic. At the same time this franchise just had the two years with the most wins it’s ever had in consecutive years and we wouldn’t have accomplished that without Chris Paul. Chris Paul is unbelievable and he’s gonna be sadly missed.

“I said at the end of the year we’re never gonna stand pat,” Fertitta went on. “We’re always gonna try to get better. I think this makes us a better team. I hate to lose Chris Paul, but we felt like we did what we had to do to become a better team.

“I think it’ll be very interesting and fun,” the Rockets owner added. “James [Harden] and Russell wanted to play together. It oughta be fun this year.”

KAWHI LEONARD, PAUL GEORGE OFFICIALLY JOIN LA CLIPPERS

The 34-year-old Paul is owed roughly $125 million over the final three years of his contract, including a $44.2 million player option for 2021-22. Westbrook, who turns 31 early next season, is owed $171 million over the final four years of his existing deal.

Paul is a nine-time All-Star, Westbrook an eight-time selection. Paul has 9,181 career assists, the most among active players. Westbrook has 138 triple-doubles, tied with Magic Johnson for second-most in NBA history behind only Oscar Robertson’s 181.

Westlake Legal Group Russell-Westbrook-split Oklahoma City Thunder agree to trade Russell Westbrook to Houston Rockets for Chris Paul, reports say Frank Miles fox-news/sports/nba/oklahoma-city-thunder fox-news/sports/nba/houston-rockets fox-news/sports/nba fox news fnc/sports fnc article 65b410d0-6724-5151-9595-b1b76afe4974

The Oklahoma City Thunder have traded Russell Westbrook, right, to the Houston Rockets for Chris Paul in an exchange of star point guards, according to reports.

Westbrook and Harden were Thunder teammates for three seasons, the last of those in 2011-12 when that duo and Kevin Durant took Oklahoma City to the NBA Finals. They lost in five games to LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat, and Harden was traded that summer to Houston — where he’s been a perennial All-Star ever since.

But when the Thunder agreed last week to trade Paul George to the Los Angeles Clippers, it became clear quickly that Westbrook would be on the move as well. And this trade, when completed, will mean that Thunder general manager Sam Presti has added seven first-round picks to the team’s stockpile in the last week or so.

Oklahoma City got five first-round future selections as part of the George trade. The Thunder are getting two more in this trade.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APP

Paul and Harden were teammates for two seasons in Houston. The Rockets had a 3-2 lead over Golden State in the 2018 Western Conference finals when Paul injured a hamstring, and the Warriors rallied to win that series in seven games on the way to the NBA title. This past season, Houston was ousted by the Warriors in a six-game second-round series.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Russell-Westbrook-split Oklahoma City Thunder agree to trade Russell Westbrook to Houston Rockets for Chris Paul, reports say Frank Miles fox-news/sports/nba/oklahoma-city-thunder fox-news/sports/nba/houston-rockets fox-news/sports/nba fox news fnc/sports fnc article 65b410d0-6724-5151-9595-b1b76afe4974   Westlake Legal Group Russell-Westbrook-split Oklahoma City Thunder agree to trade Russell Westbrook to Houston Rockets for Chris Paul, reports say Frank Miles fox-news/sports/nba/oklahoma-city-thunder fox-news/sports/nba/houston-rockets fox-news/sports/nba fox news fnc/sports fnc article 65b410d0-6724-5151-9595-b1b76afe4974

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Skydiving company behind deadly Hawaii plane crash lacked proper permits, documents show

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close Skydiving company behind deadly Hawaii plane crash lacked proper permits, documents show

A skydiving plane that crashed Friday in Hawaii, killing 11 people, was involved in a terrifying midair incident three years ago in California. The 2016 sky diving incident was captured on camera by one of the skydivers aboard. (June 24) AP, AP

The company operating a skydiving plane that crashed and killed 11 people last month in Hawaii did not have proper permits for skydiving, according to documents released by the state on Wednesday.

Oahu Parachute Center was “not in good standing” with Hawaii’s Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs two months prior to the nation’s deadliest civil aviation accident since 2011, the documents show.

Officials sent the company a permit application for skydiving operations in April and requested the plane’s airworthiness documents along with nearly $30,000 in fees. 

The company was not a registered tenant for the state land it occupied, either. The owner had a 2010 permit that allowed parachute repairs and rigging, but it was for a company under a different name.

‘Accidents continue to happen’: Fatal Hawaii skydiving plane crash renews NTSB’s call for stricter rules

Also this week, the National Transportation Safety Board released a preliminary accident report of the crash that killed all 11 people aboard.

The aircraft collided with the ground after takeoff from Dillingham Airfield in Mokuleia on June 21. The evening flight was the fourth of five parachute jump flights scheduled for the day, according to the report. Two solo jumpers reportedly joined the flight at the last minute. 

Safety board records show the aircraft was involved in a midair accident in northern California in 2016. It stalled three times and spun another three during a skydiving flight, forcing 14 skydivers to jump to safety.

The agency previously said it planned to review the plane’s repair and inspection records from the accident. The preliminary report did not discuss such a review, noting most of the plane was destroyed by flames. 

Hawaii evicted the company from state land five days after the crash, citing law violations. It also revoked the 2010 permit. 

Oahu Parachute Center expressed its condolences to the crash victims on its website. 

“There are no words to describe the overwhelming heart break that we are all enduring,” the website reads. “We are in full cooperation with HPD, the FAA, and the NTSB in hopes that we discover what led to this terrible event.”

Contributing: The Associated Press 

Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/07/11/hawaii-skydiving-plane-crash-company-lacked-permits/1710019001/

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Skydiving company behind deadly Hawaii plane crash lacked proper permits, documents show

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close Skydiving company behind deadly Hawaii plane crash lacked proper permits, documents show

A skydiving plane that crashed Friday in Hawaii, killing 11 people, was involved in a terrifying midair incident three years ago in California. The 2016 sky diving incident was captured on camera by one of the skydivers aboard. (June 24) AP, AP

The company operating a skydiving plane that crashed and killed 11 people last month in Hawaii did not have proper permits for skydiving, according to documents released by the state on Wednesday.

Oahu Parachute Center was “not in good standing” with Hawaii’s Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs two months prior to the nation’s deadliest civil aviation accident since 2011, the documents show.

Officials sent the company a permit application for skydiving operations in April and requested the plane’s airworthiness documents along with nearly $30,000 in fees. 

The company was not a registered tenant for the state land it occupied, either. The owner had a 2010 permit that allowed parachute repairs and rigging, but it was for a company under a different name.

‘Accidents continue to happen’: Fatal Hawaii skydiving plane crash renews NTSB’s call for stricter rules

Also this week, the National Transportation Safety Board released a preliminary accident report of the crash that killed all 11 people aboard.

The aircraft collided with the ground after takeoff from Dillingham Airfield in Mokuleia on June 21. The evening flight was the fourth of five parachute jump flights scheduled for the day, according to the report. Two solo jumpers reportedly joined the flight at the last minute. 

Safety board records show the aircraft was involved in a midair accident in northern California in 2016. It stalled three times and spun another three during a skydiving flight, forcing 14 skydivers to jump to safety.

The agency previously said it planned to review the plane’s repair and inspection records from the accident. The preliminary report did not discuss such a review, noting most of the plane was destroyed by flames. 

Hawaii evicted the company from state land five days after the crash, citing law violations. It also revoked the 2010 permit. 

Oahu Parachute Center expressed its condolences to the crash victims on its website. 

“There are no words to describe the overwhelming heart break that we are all enduring,” the website reads. “We are in full cooperation with HPD, the FAA, and the NTSB in hopes that we discover what led to this terrible event.”

Contributing: The Associated Press 

Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/07/11/hawaii-skydiving-plane-crash-company-lacked-permits/1710019001/

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A California school board has voted to paint over a mural of George Washington. Educators want to save it

A California school board has voted on the fate of an expansive mural dedicated to the life of George Washington: It’s demeaning, destroy it.

Hundreds of educators from the Golden State and beyond are urging them to change their mind.

Stretching 1,600-square feet, the 83-year-old mural at a public high school shows white colonists stepping over a dead Native American and slaves laboring at Washington’s Mount Vernon estate. The artwork is suddenly a flash point as national debates continue on reparations and controversial names — even in mostly liberal California.

In voting unanimously on June 25 to paint over the 13-panel mural, the San Francisco Board of Education sided with students who say the depictions of slaves and Native Americans are degrading. But more than 500 academics have signed an open letter asking the district to reconsider, and they liken destroying the artwork to censoring ugly realities.  

‘A disservice to history’

Teachers can help build an understanding of the mural by putting it into context, said Stanford University art professor Enrique Chagoya. When Russian-American artist Victor Arnautoff created the mural in 1936, Chagoya said, critiques of Washington were uncommon.

The communist artist challenged the legacy of the first president by showing him as a slave owner and linking him to attacks against indigenous people for westward expansion, he said.

Beyond Washington, the mural criticizes the society built on land stolen from Native Americans and through the labor of slaves taken from the African continent.

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“If we cover it up and we whitewash it, not only are we doing a disservice to history, but we’re also doing a disservice to those who suffered at the hands of European-descended Americans: slaves and Native Americans who were traumatized and killed,” said Rachael Z. DeLue, a Princeton University professor of art history and American studies. “It’s also the case that this isn’t simply of the past. The legacies of slavery and federal policy about Native Americans live on in the present.”

‘Art should never be censored’ 

Chants of “bring it down” filled the district meeting room two weeks ago as people spoke in favor of removing the mural. Several mentioned it was about time, as student protests have dated to the 1960s.

Paloma Flores, program coordinator for the district’s Indian Education Program, told the board Native American children continue to face trauma in their daily lives, as the community faces issues including disproportionate rates of suicide

A member of the Pit River Nation, Flores echoed other feelings that the mural evokes pain for African American and Native American students who must walk by it every day to get to class.

“It’s not a matter of censorship, it’s a matter of human right: the right to learn without hostile environments,” Flores said. “Even the best intentions do harm.”

‘Genocide’: California governor apologizes to Native Americans for past violence

Responding to requests for a welcoming school without the mural won’t be cheap. Painting over it will cost at least $600,000, which includes an environmental impact assessment, officials said during the district meeting.

Ultimately, the board called its decision a form of reparations for the communities offended by the mural.

Academics disagree — including Paul Von Blum, senior lecturer in African American studies and communications studies at University of California, Los Angeles. He said high school students should confront the harsh realities in the mural. 

“I know it causes students to cringe, but that’s the function of art,” Von Blum said. “And art should never be censored.”

Confederate differences

While slavery is accurately depicted in the mural, Von Blum said some people today are hypersensitive about portrayals of African slaves. 

Chagoya also pointed to increased polarization as a contributor to discussions about destroying the mural. He sad people are more quick to judge things as black or white. 

Both said the mural controversy differs from debates about Confederate monuments. Statues of Confederate generals glorify a racist history, Von Blum said, while the mural critiques it.

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Plus, DeLue said, most confederate monuments aren’t significant works of art discussed in art history lectures. Meanwhile, the artwork at George Washington High School was created by the most prominent muralist in the San Francisco Bay Area at the time.

The federal government also sponsored the mural’s creation, DeLue said, as part of the New Deal’s historic Federal Art Project — adding another layer of value. 

A ‘more inclusive’ learning environment

Instead of painting over the mural, some academics who signed the petition suggest the district add detailed descriptions about the mural and Arnautoff’s intentions. Providing context can support understanding, Chagoya said, as teachers try to transform student’s painful reactions into visions for change. 

Possibilities also include constructing blinds that can be dropped down over the mural, DeLue said. When teachers bring students to parts of the mural for history lessons and constructive critical dialogue, they could then raise the blinds. 

‘Acknowledging the full humanity’: Notre Dame to cover Christopher Columbus murals

“One cannot teach history, American history or world history, without confronting violence and trauma,” DeLue said. “But that doesn’t mean that students have to be bombarded with it. So the solution, I think, would involve acknowledging the right of a Native American or African American student to be upset by it.”

In an email, District Board President Stevon Cook directed USA TODAY to an editorial he wrote on the vote to paint over the mural. 

The decision made two weeks ago is the end of the conversation, Cook wrote. Noting the enslavement of his ancestors and the young people of color who urged the board to take it down, he refuted comparisons of destroying the mural to whitewashing the past. 

‘It’s not good for our culture’: Blocked from taking Confederate statues down, Atlanta, Birmingham, Memphis try other ideas

“To somehow think painting over this mural is an attempt to disengage in teaching the truths of America’s history across our schools is completely outrageous,” he wrote. “Our students should learn about the evolution of the country, how in our founding documents blacks were considered only three-fifths human, how Jim Crow laws rolled back the progress of the reconstruction era, and how the federal housing policy of redlining locked blacks families out of building wealth across generations.”

“I don’t see any reason why we can’t tell the truth about America’s history after we cover up these murals in response to student-led demands for a more inclusive and safe learning environment,” Cook continued. 

In the future, he suggested the board may consider commissioning artwork that shows empowering stories of African Americans and Native Americans instead of the the mural which “relegate[s] our people as a dehumanized subplot in the life of a wartime general.”

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Hannity: The Dems are finally starting to listen to me

Westlake Legal Group Hannity-Mueller_FOX-AP Hannity: The Dems are finally starting to listen to me fox-news/topic/fox-news-flash fox-news/shows/hannity fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives fox-news/person/robert-mueller fox-news/person/adam-schiff fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox-news/entertainment/media fox news fnc/politics fnc Charles Creitz article 48dace96-2d61-58bd-9e7f-ffddaf4fb65e

Fox News’ Sean Hannity spoke Thursday about what he saw as top Democrats’ apparently shifting feelings about former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s scheduled testimony next week.

According to the AP, Democrats are now beginning to listen to Hannity,” he said.

“They’re worried about next Wednesday’s hearing — I’m excited about it.

“Those questions have all been thoroughly answered in the exhaustive, frankly political, poorly written… 448-page report.”

The “Hannity” host added that no matter their sudden concerns, some Democrats still wanted to beat the drum of collusion between President Trump and Russia, using Mueller’s testimony to advance their cause.

HANNITY: DEMS ABUSING THEIR POWER, GUILTY OF ‘PRESIDENTIAL HARASSMENT’

“In their desperate effort to keep their Russia collusion hoax, their conspiracy theories alive for as long as possible, Chairman Jerry Nadler of the Judiciary Committee, and Intel Chair Adam ‘The Cowardly’ Schiff, are forcing Bob Mueller to testify in public on Capitol Hill.”

Hannity claimed Rep. Schiff, D-Calif., in his capacity as House Intelligence Committee chairman, has been overseeing yet another investigation that was needlessly badgering Trump.

“The cowardly Schiff is conducting a separate sixth investigation,” he said, labeling the work of the California lawmaker’s colleague, “Jerry’s subpoena party.”

He continued: “This is harassment. They should be caring about what is a desperate situation at the border.

“They’re not doing anything to help the American people. They don’t have any agenda that’s going to solve our problems.”

In light of that allegation, Hannity said Democrats have been content instead to point to Trump and accuse him of collusion despite the Russia investigation’s conclusions.

“It’s a card that they keep playing over and over again — Russia, Russia, Russia,” he said.

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While Mueller is at the Capitol, Republicans should take the opportunity to grill him themselves, Hannity advised.

“Republicans should focus on the litany of what are unanswered questions that we have previewed on this program last night,” he said. “The political bias, the prosecutorial misconduct, politics, conflicts of interest.”

Westlake Legal Group Hannity-Mueller_FOX-AP Hannity: The Dems are finally starting to listen to me fox-news/topic/fox-news-flash fox-news/shows/hannity fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives fox-news/person/robert-mueller fox-news/person/adam-schiff fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox-news/entertainment/media fox news fnc/politics fnc Charles Creitz article 48dace96-2d61-58bd-9e7f-ffddaf4fb65e   Westlake Legal Group Hannity-Mueller_FOX-AP Hannity: The Dems are finally starting to listen to me fox-news/topic/fox-news-flash fox-news/shows/hannity fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives fox-news/person/robert-mueller fox-news/person/adam-schiff fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox-news/entertainment/media fox news fnc/politics fnc Charles Creitz article 48dace96-2d61-58bd-9e7f-ffddaf4fb65e

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Obama sends letter to prisoner he freed, who made the dean's list: 'I am so proud of you'

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close Obama sends letter to prisoner he freed, who made the dean's list: 'I am so proud of you'

Former prisoners are going back to work and school with the help of both Democrats and Republicans. USA TODAY

President Barack Obama granted Danielle Metz clemency in 2016. Out of prison, she made the dean’s list in college. She wished she could thank Obama for his help.

In a story published Monday in USA TODAY, Metz expressed her gratitude toward the former president

“You don’t know what you did for me,” she imagined herself telling him. “I’m finally coming into my own. I made the honor roll.”  

This week, Obama wrote her a letter, wishing Metz all the best going forward. 

“I am so proud of you, and am confident that your example will have a positive impact for others who are looking for a second chance,” Obama wrote to Metz. “Tell your children I say hello, and know that I’m rooting for all of you.”

Metz was arrested in 1993 for drug offenses related to her husband’s cocaine trafficking ring. At 26, she was sentenced to three life sentences plus another 20 years.

In federal prison, Metz earned her GED. She began writing letters and making appeals for her freedom. In 2016, Obama commuted her sentence, and Metz enrolled in Southern University in New Orleans the following year. At 50 years old, she was a college freshman.

What about college in prison? Bipartisan push to remove ban on prison Pell Grants

In her second semester at Southern, she earned a 3.75 grade point average and made the dean’s list.

In a heartwarming twist, Obama came across the USA TODAY story and sent a personal note to the woman whose life he dramatically changed.

The story about Danielle Metz was produced by The Hechinger Report, a nonprofit, independent news organization focused on inequality and innovation in education. Sign up for the Hechinger newsletter.  

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Chicago Mayor Permanently Bans ICE From Accessing Police Database Ahead Of Raids

Westlake Legal Group 9efbFRoN6DQAwhGnncx0UwYLZLJN3VBSZjGaS2JiReM Chicago Mayor Permanently Bans ICE From Accessing Police Database Ahead Of Raids r/politics

ICE Raids, this Sunday.

Know Your Rights Against ICE/CBP

Law enforcement asks about my immigration status

How to reduce risk to yourself

  • Stay calm. Don’t run, argue, resist, or obstruct the officer, even if you believe your rights are being violated. Keep your hands where police can see them

  • Don’t lie about your status or provide false documents.

Your rights

  • You have the right to remain silent and do not have to discuss your immigration or citizenship status with police, immigration agents, or other officials. Anything you tell an officer can later be used against you in immigration court.

  • If you are not a U.S. citizen and an immigration agent requests your immigration papers, you must show them if you have them with you.

  • If an immigration agent asks if they can search you, you have the right to say no. Agents do not have the right to search you or your belongings without your consent or probable cause.

  • If you’re over 18, carry your papers with you at all times. If you don’t have them, tell the officer that you want to remain silent, or that you want to consult a lawyer before answering any questions.

What to do in such an encounter

  • In some states, you must provide your name to law enforcement if you are stopped and told to identify yourself. But even if you give your name, you don’t have to answer other questions.

  • If you are driving and are pulled over, the officer can require you to show your license, vehicle registration and proof of insurance, but you don’t have to answer questions about your immigration status.

  • Customs officers can ask about your immigration status when entering or leaving the country. If you are a lawful permanent resident (LPR) who has maintained your status, you only have to answer questions establishing your identity and permanent residency. Refusal to answer other questions will likely cause delay, but officials may not deny you entry into the United States for failure to answer other questions. If you are a non-citizen visa holder, you may be denied entry into the U.S. if you refuse to answer officers’ questions.

Police or ICE are at my home

How to stay reduce risk to yourself

Your rights

  • You have the right to remain silent, even if officer has a warrant.

  • You do not have to let police or immigration agents into your home unless they have certain kinds of warrants.

  • If police have an arrest warrant, they are legally allowed to enter the home of the person on the warrant if they believe that person is inside. But a warrant of removal/deportation (Form I-205) does not allow officers to enter a home without consent.

What to do when the police or ICE arrive

  • Ask if they are immigration agents and what they are there for.

  • Ask the agent or officer to show you a badge or identification through the window or peephole.

  • Ask if they have a warrant signed by a judge. If they say they do, ask them to slide it under the door or hold it up to a window so you can inspect it.

  • Don’t lie or produce any false documents. Don’t sign anything without speaking with a lawyer first

  • Do not open your door unless ICE shows you a judicial search or arrest warrant naming a person in your residence and/or areas to be searched at your address. If they don’t produce a warrant, keep the door closed. State: “I do not consent to your entry.

  • If agents force their way in, do not resist. If you wish to exercise your rights, state: “I do not consent to your entry or to your search of these premises. I am exercising my right to remain silent. I wish to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible.”

  • If you are on probation with a search condition, law enforcement is allowed to enter your home.

I was stopped by police, ICE, or Border Patrol while in transit

How to reduce risk to yourself

  • Stay calm. Don’t run, argue, or obstruct the officer or agent. Keep your hands raised where they can see them.

  • If you are in a car, pull over in a safe place as quickly as possible. Turn off the engine, turn on the internal light, open the window part way and place your hands on the wheel. Upon request, show police your driver’s license, registration, and proof of insurance.

  • If you are not a U.S. citizen and an immigration agent requests your papers, you must show them if you have them with you. If you are over 18, carry your immigration documents with you at all times. If you do not have immigration papers, say you want to remain silent.

Your rights

In a car:

  • Drivers and passengers have the right to remain silent. If you are a passenger, you can ask if you are free to leave. If the officer says yes, calmly leave.

  • If an officer or immigration agent asks to look inside your car, you can refuse to consent to the search. But if police generally believe that your car contains evidence of a crime, your car can be searched without your consent

  • In addition to police, Border Patrol conduct “roving patrols” around the interior of the U.S., pulling over motorists. Border Patrol must have reasonable suspicion that the driver or passengers in the car committed an immigration violation or a federal crime.

  • Any arrest or prolonged stop by Border Patrol requires probable cause. You may ask the agents about the basis for probable cause, and they should tell you. In this situation, both the driver and any passengers have the right to remain silent and not answer questions about their immigration status.

On an airplane:

  • A pilot may refuse to fly a passenger if he or she reasonably believes that the passenger is a threat to flight safety. A pilot may not, however, question you or refuse to allow you on a flight because of bias based on your religion, race, national origin, gender, ethnicity, or political beliefs.

  • If you believe you are mistakenly on a “no-fly” list, you should review our guidance on No-Fly lists here.

On buses and trains:

  • Border Patrol agents may board buses and trains in the 100-mile border region either at the station or while the bus is on its journey. More than one officer usually boards the bus, and they will ask passengers questions about their immigration status, ask passengers to show them immigration documents, or both

  • These questions should be brief and related to verifying one’s lawful presence in the U.S. You are not required to answer and can simply say you do not wish to do so. As always, you have the right to remain silent.

If you believe your rights were violated

  • Write down everything you remember, including officers’ badges and patrol car numbers, which agency the officers were from, and any other details. Get contact information from witnesses.

  • If you’re injured, seek medical attention immediately and take photographs of your injuries.

  • File a written complaint with the agency’s internal affairs division or civilian complaint board. In most cases, you can file a complaint anonymously.

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Obama sends letter to prisoner he freed, who made the dean's list: 'I am so proud of you'

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close Obama sends letter to prisoner he freed, who made the dean's list: 'I am so proud of you'

Former prisoners are going back to work and school with the help of both Democrats and Republicans. USA TODAY

President Barack Obama granted Danielle Metz clemency in 2016. Out of prison, she made the dean’s list in college. She wished she could thank Obama for his help.

In a story published Monday in USA TODAY, Metz expressed her gratitude toward the former president

“You don’t know what you did for me,” she imagined herself telling him. “I’m finally coming into my own. I made the honor roll.”  

This week, Obama wrote her a letter, wishing Metz all the best going forward. 

“I am so proud of you, and am confident that your example will have a positive impact for others who are looking for a second chance,” Obama wrote to Metz. “Tell your children I say hello, and know that I’m rooting for all of you.”

Metz was arrested in 1993 for drug offenses related to her husband’s cocaine trafficking ring. At 26, she was sentenced to three life sentences plus another 20 years.

In federal prison, Metz earned her GED. She began writing letters and making appeals for her freedom. In 2016, Obama commuted her sentence, and Metz enrolled in Southern University in New Orleans the following year. At 50 years old, she was a college freshman.

What about college in prison? Bipartisan push to remove ban on prison Pell Grants

In her second semester at Southern, she earned a 3.75 grade point average and made the dean’s list.

In a heartwarming twist, Obama came across the USA TODAY story and sent a personal note to the woman whose life he dramatically changed.

The story about Danielle Metz was produced by The Hechinger Report, a nonprofit, independent news organization focused on inequality and innovation in education. Sign up for the Hechinger newsletter.  

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