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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Featured Story" (Page 73)

Man Armed With 100 Rounds of Ammo in a Missouri Walmart Stopped by Armed Former Firefighter

Westlake Legal Group SpringfieldMOgunman2-620x347 Man Armed With 100 Rounds of Ammo in a Missouri Walmart Stopped by Armed Former Firefighter Terrorism Social Media police North Carolina Missouri Heroic Act hero Guns gun control Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post domestic terrorism Culture crime Allow Media Exception

The Springfield, MO Walmart gunman. Screen grab via ABC News.

A man police say was armed with 100 rounds of ammunition walked around inside a Springfield, MO Walmart Thursday afternoon filming himself as he pushed a shopping cart while carrying a rifle. Fortunately, he was stopped by an armed former firefighter.

News channel KY3 reports:

Officers booked Dmitriy N. Andreychenko, 20, on suspicion of first-degree making a terroristic threat. Greene County Prosecutor Dan Patterson has yet to file formal charges in the case.

The Springfield Police Department arrived on scene within three minutes of the call. Police stated Andreychenko pulled up to the Walmart, where he donned body armor and military fatigues. Police say the man had tactical weapons.

Police then say Andreychenko walked into the Walmart Neighborhood Market where he grabbed a cart and began pushing it around the store. Police say the man was recording himself walking through the store via a cell phone.

The store manager at the Neighborhood Market pulled a fire alarm, urging people to escape the store.

Police say Andreychenko then made his way out an emergency exit where a former firefighter held the man at gunpoint. At that moment Springfield Police arrived on scene and detained the man.

Watch a video report on what happened via ABC News:

It’s unclear what the gunman’s motives were, but in a February Facebook post, he commented about how he hated Walmart because of their policy on selling guns:

Westlake Legal Group SpringfieldMOgunmanFB-620x452 Man Armed With 100 Rounds of Ammo in a Missouri Walmart Stopped by Armed Former Firefighter Terrorism Social Media police North Carolina Missouri Heroic Act hero Guns gun control Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post domestic terrorism Culture crime Allow Media Exception

Screen grab via Facebook.

The incident happened just five days after a horrific mass shooting inside an El Paso, TX Walmart that killed 22 people and injured dozens more. In the Springfield incident, thankfully no one was hurt.

Springfield Police Department Lt. Mike Lucas said yesterday that the gunman’s “intent was not to cause comfort or peace to anybody that was in the business here. In fact, he’s lucky to be alive still, to be honest.”

Indeed.

————-
— Based in North Carolina, Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 15+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter. –

The post Man Armed With 100 Rounds of Ammo in a Missouri Walmart Stopped by Armed Former Firefighter appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group SpringfieldMOgunman2-300x168 Man Armed With 100 Rounds of Ammo in a Missouri Walmart Stopped by Armed Former Firefighter Terrorism Social Media police North Carolina Missouri Heroic Act hero Guns gun control Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post domestic terrorism Culture crime Allow Media Exception   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Russia Suffers an Unplanned Nuclear Event at Restricted Naval Base. They Call It Thursday

Westlake Legal Group nuke-620x386 Russia Suffers an Unplanned Nuclear Event at Restricted Naval Base. They Call It Thursday Severodvinsk Russian navy Russia nuclear incident Front Page Stories Featured Story Allow Media Exception

Welp. I hate it when this happens.

Here are some thoughts on this.

If the Russian government is admitting it happened at this level, the actual level of the danger is exponentially higher.

Taking iodine does diddly for radiation exposure per se. Nothing does anything for radiation exposure. But a placebo is great for population management. During the Yom Kippur War, the Israelis captured Egyptian vehicles with USSR issued “anti-radiation pills.” They were essentially Dramamine and other substances that would block the symptoms of radiation poisoning right up until death.

This kind of slipshod management of conventional, chemical, and nuclear weapons is pretty much the day-in-day-out standard in Russia as it was in the USSR.

The explosion took place at a high priority base of the Russian Navy. This is going to impact readiness, though perhaps not so much as alcoholism, nepotism, and general incompetence.

Oh, yeah. Thoughts and prayers, tovarishchi.

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The post Russia Suffers an Unplanned Nuclear Event at Restricted Naval Base. They Call It Thursday appeared first on RedState.

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NRA Stays True to Its Principles and Members and Opposes Enhanced Background Checks and Red Flag Law

Westlake Legal Group wayne-lapierre-donald-trump-nra-620x317 NRA Stays True to Its Principles and Members and Opposes Enhanced Background Checks and Red Flag Law Wayne LaPierre Texas republicans red flag Politics Ohio nra Guns gun control Front Page Stories Featured Story elections El Paso Shooting El Paso donald trump democrats dayton shooting dayton cielo vista mall background checks Allow Media Exception 2A

President Donald Trump shakes hands with NRA executive vice president and CEO Wayne LaPierre, has he arrives to speak to the annual meeting of the National Rifle Association, Friday, April 26, 2019, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

 

As I mentioned a few days ago, the shootings in El Paso and the mostly forgotten shootings in Dayton (which will go down as Antifa’s first but not last mass murder) are stampeding political Washington into doing something. Doing something for the sake of doing something is one of the most natural and stupid reactions to political risk. Usually doing nothing is much less damaging. In this case, the legislative proposals being pimped as the way to prevent mass shootings are expanding background checks for sale of weapons to personal sales and a federal so-called red flag law which gives the police the power to confiscate your weapons until you can prove to a judge that you are not dangerous.

The irony is that neither of these laws would do jack-sh** to prevent either of the shootings last weekend. The weapons were legal. They were legally purchased. Background checks were conducted. Neither of the shooters exhibited any behavior that resulted in them being reported to law enforcement as a danger to themselves or anyone else (despite AP’s deeply dishonest story from yesterday). None had any history of run-ins with law enforcement. As far as I can tell, neither were suspended or expelled from high school for behavioral issues. The Dayton shooter had some strange fixations but that, fortunately, does not give authorities to deprive people of liberty or property. In short, these laws are the epitome of the empty gesture.

Red flag laws, in particular, are pernicious. They not only set up a system where the police are incentivized to act on bullsh** complaints and judges have the incentive to take seriously otherwise bullsh** evidence to confiscate guns. Most troubling, they encourage persons with mental health issues to NOT seek treatment because of the inevitability of ending up in Big Brother’s database. And they are not actually effective at preventing the actions they are being passed to prevent:

This is one of those situations where President Trump’s lack of a firm set of guiding principles is giving a lot of us the jitters. He seems to have gotten a bit spooked by the shootings in a campaign season and is trying to “do something” to convince suburban voters he’s not a wild man.

My gut feeling is that Trump’s campaign will tell him the folly of selling out gun owners and gun rights in hopes of getting positive press…because it is folly and the narrative has already been set that Nancy Pelosi is the driving force behind any legislation.

There are three factors which I think give us a lot of hope that nothing happens here. Four factors if you include an electorate and Congress that has the attention span of a Jack Russell terrier with ADHD.

First, Chuck Schumer is going to sandbag any legislation that doesn’t include enhanced background checks. During the last panic over guns, Schumer realized it was more lucrative to kill gun control bills and fundraise on the failure to pass them than to actually pass a law. I doubt that he’s changed very much.

Mitch McConnell says he’s not going to act on it until the fall…which means never (see my Jack Russell analogy). McConnell is not going to lead the GOP into an election by passing gun control laws.

And the NRA says no.

The NRA is weaker than it has been in years but it is still potent enough that it has to be dealt with by any GOP president.

Ultimately, this will die under its own weight. If it doesn’t, Trump is going to find that he just made his reelection campaign a lot harder.

=========
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The post NRA Stays True to Its Principles and Members and Opposes Enhanced Background Checks and Red Flag Law appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group wayne-lapierre-donald-trump-nra-300x153 NRA Stays True to Its Principles and Members and Opposes Enhanced Background Checks and Red Flag Law Wayne LaPierre Texas republicans red flag Politics Ohio nra Guns gun control Front Page Stories Featured Story elections El Paso Shooting El Paso donald trump democrats dayton shooting dayton cielo vista mall background checks Allow Media Exception 2A   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Baltimore Sun Challenged by Philanthropist After Paper is Shown to Have Reported on the City’s ‘Trash Problem’

Westlake Legal Group BaltimoreTour2-620x358 Baltimore Sun Challenged by Philanthropist After Paper is Shown to Have Reported on the City’s ‘Trash Problem’ Uncategorized Front Page Stories Featured Story

An east Baltimore, MD neighborhood in the summer of 2018. Screen grab via Fox 45 – Baltimore.

After Baltimore’s newspaper condemned a conservative cleanup effort a billionaire will pledge $100K if they rescind their column

In the hysterical furor surrounding President Trump everything affiliated to the man is considered toxic. When a group of conservative community organizers (yes, I called them that) decide to go into Baltimore and help with cleanup efforts in impoverished neighborhoods it is instead considered an act of racism. As Sister Toldja reported, The Baltimore Sun looked at this noble work and instead of being happy that some “white conservatives” were finally doing something, the newspaper instead declared it an act of intolerance.

When conservative activist (yes, there are those) Scott Presler gather a group of 170 volunteers to go into the areas of town and forge cleanup teams the Sun newspaper was full of condemnation and derision, questioning his motives and the sincerity of his actions. That the newspaper received much negative blowback is encouraging, but the best came from Presler himself. In a pith tweet Scott adeptly underscored the problem with Baltimore city officials.

And now the newspaper has a bigger challenge. Bill Pulte is a philanthropist with a long history of this very type of direct activist assistance in city areas. After seeing the newspaper take such a negative and entirely biased reaction to community outreach Pulte has thrown a challenge directly at the Sun: if the paper retracts its intolerant editorial he will donate $100,000 to additional cleanup efforts in the city.

It will be interesting to watch this play out. Because not only was the paper noted for being impertinent about positive work, but it has been found that the Baltimore Sun has in fact previously acknowledged there is in fact a problem with the city being in need of serious cleanup. How is it that this news outlet can pretend that Presler’s action were fostering a “tired image of a city that cannot take care of its own neighborhoods”, when it did an investigation into the very issue?!

It was just weeks ago, ahead of the President’s comments about Baltimore being in need of governmental authorities taking care of the city, that the paper looked into the “city’s trash problem” (their words.) So please, explain — how does the newspaper look into a recognized problem in the city, and when activists come in to address that very problem they are called out for fostering a negative stereotype? It cannot be an assumption based on racial profiles, as has been alleged, when the same paper has already recorded there is the problem!

Further, it was just over a year ago when the trash problem in Baltimore was recognized by the Baltimore Sun. When another community worker wanted to inspire people to aid in cleanup efforts the Sun managed to avoid questioning his tactics and motivations — and he was not accused of fostering negative stereotypes about the city and its residents. Huh.

It almost would appear the newspaper bases its interpretation of community assistance based on the political beliefs of those who are undertaking the work. It also appears it will excuse the sloth and corruption of the government officials who have been failing the citizens based on party affiliation. As Presler notes, many of the locations they cleaned were not only due to government inaction but were actually government properties.

Hopefully they will look at the offer by Bill Pulte and not accuse the man of nefarious motivations, and take back its biased and intolerant assessment of the efforts to improve its city.

The post Baltimore Sun Challenged by Philanthropist After Paper is Shown to Have Reported on the City’s ‘Trash Problem’ appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group BaltimoreTour2-300x173 Baltimore Sun Challenged by Philanthropist After Paper is Shown to Have Reported on the City’s ‘Trash Problem’ Uncategorized Front Page Stories Featured Story   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Pro-Doxxing Cyberbully Joaquin Castro Once Praised Passage of a Texas Law Aimed at Preventing… Cyberbulling

Westlake Legal Group JoaquinCastroAPimage-620x317 Pro-Doxxing Cyberbully Joaquin Castro Once Praised Passage of a Texas Law Aimed at Preventing… Cyberbulling Texas Social Media republicans Politics North Carolina mob Julian Castro Joaquin Castro immigration Illegal Immigration Front Page Stories Front Page First Amendment Featured Story Featured Post elections donald trump democrats cyberbullying Culture Congress Campaigns Allow Media Exception 2020 Elections 2020

Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, speaks about a resolution to block President Donald Trump’s emergency border security declaration on Capitol Hill, Monday, Feb. 25, 2019 in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

File this one under “you can’t make this stuff up.”

Earlier this week, Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX-20) sparked outrage and backlash among Republicans after doxxing private citizens in his Congressional district who made the maximum donation to President Trump’s reelection campaign. Castro then proceeded to make the results public on his Twitter feed, which instantly made the people on the list targets for harassment and violence.

A brief recap, via Fox News:

But the Texas congressman’s original tweet included a list of San Antonio residents who had donated large amounts to the Trump campaign, along with the names of their employers. It is unclear who actually compiled the list.

“Sad to see so many San Antonians as 2019 maximum donors to Donald Trump,” Castro tweeted, along with the Twitter handles of several owners of local businesses who apparently donated to Trump. “Their contributions are fueling a campaign of hate that labels Hispanic immigrants as ‘invaders.’”

The list — titled “WHO’S FUNDING TRUMP?” — had 44 names of donors and their employers.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA-1) and many other Congressional Republicans have strongly condemned Castro’s actions, but Castro has defended himself by saying in so many words that the people who are “funding white supremacy” need to be outed.

Castro is the Chairman of the Hispanic Congressional Caucus as well as his brother Julián Castro‘s 2020 presidential campaign. Julián Castro has so far only issued a vague statement of support for his brother, and to date has not specifically been asked by any national media outlet where he stands on Joaquin Castro’s actions.

In an ironic twist, it was revealed earlier this week that Joaquin Castro once expressed praise for a Texas law aimed at preventing the cyberbulling of minors:

David’s Law, which was passed in response to the efforts of a mother who lost her young son to suicide after he was cyberbullied, went into effect in September 2017. Read more about what the law does here.

Earlier this week, it was discovered that several of the donors on Castro’s list once contributed to the past political campaigns of both the Castro brothers, leading some to speculate that Castro published the names of Trump donors with revenge motivations in mind.

Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX-2) slammed Castro in a Fox News Radio interview done with Townhall‘s Guy Benson on Thursday, saying “this is fascism.” Crenshaw also suggested that a Congressional censure be on the table for consideration.

————-
— Based in North Carolina, Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 15+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter. –

The post Pro-Doxxing Cyberbully Joaquin Castro Once Praised Passage of a Texas Law Aimed at Preventing… Cyberbulling appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group JoaquinCastroAPimage-300x153 Pro-Doxxing Cyberbully Joaquin Castro Once Praised Passage of a Texas Law Aimed at Preventing… Cyberbulling Texas Social Media republicans Politics North Carolina mob Julian Castro Joaquin Castro immigration Illegal Immigration Front Page Stories Front Page First Amendment Featured Story Featured Post elections donald trump democrats cyberbullying Culture Congress Campaigns Allow Media Exception 2020 Elections 2020   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Choose Your Alliances: Tarantino Latest Victim Of Woke Police

Westlake Legal Group The_bride_kill_bill-620x494 Choose Your Alliances: Tarantino Latest Victim Of Woke Police Quentin Tarantino Once Upon A Time...In Hollywood Front Page Stories Featured Story Entertainment

Uma Thurman as “The Bride” from Quentin Tarantino’s “Kill Bill” film series. (Image: Wikipedia)

Be careful the approval you seek, Quentin Tarantino.

In the latest dispatch from the annals of “We’re woke and we’re here to shame you,” director Tarantino, who was questioned in May by the New York Times about the lack of lines for his female character in his new film “Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood,” is being “questioned” again, but this time in that very public, career-destroying way the morally superior have chosen.

The online Thunderdome. And they got downright mathematical about it

Whether or not you accept Tarantino’s implicit argument that he had no choice when it came to scripting the character of Sharon Tate, it is certainly the case that, historically, female characters in his films have had fewer lines of dialogue than their male counterparts.

We watched all 10 of his feature-length films and counted how many lines of dialogue were spoken by male and female characters in each. Before watching, we created a set of rules for what exactly would count as a line:

  1. a “line” had to be at least three words long (e.g., “stop!” did not count as a line)
  2. narration voice-overs counted so long as they hit the word cutoff
  3. off-screen dialogue counted so long as it hit the word cutoff

Yikes. It’s pretty hard when your friends turn on you. Especially when their arguments are patently silly (wasn’t one of the coolest things about Rambo: First Blood and pretty much every Clint Eastwood movie that the main characters were able to command the screen without much dialogue?) and it’s clear you’re simply one of the newly designated man-criminals (maybe because of your associations with some other powerful men in Hollywood who have mighty reputations for how they treat women (ahem, Weinstein, ahem)).

And they’re coming for Tarantino for his failure to show appropriate sensitiveness to the other -isms, as well (an issue for which they have a better argument).

She sees Tarantino’s film as another way Hollywood has, historically, tried to diminish her father’s accomplishments as one of its first prominent Asian Americans.

“He was continuously marginalized and treated like kind of a nuisance of a human being by white Hollywood, which is how he’s treated in the film by Quentin Tarantino,” says Lee. “I hope people will take the opportunity to find out more about Bruce Lee because there’s a lot more to find out and a lot more to get excited about. This portrayal in this film is definitely not that.”

Adds Inosanto, who says he received an outpouring of letters from fans all over the world following Lee’s death, “Bruce Lee broke ground for Asian Americans. Breaking in as an Asian was very, very difficult at that time. He paved the way for all the action stars.”

Ironically, they’re behaving like one of Tarantino’s best-known heroes, who, also ironically, happens to be a woman.

You chose your alliances poorly, Q. I’m not sure even The Bride can beat the Social Justice Warriors.

The post Choose Your Alliances: Tarantino Latest Victim Of Woke Police appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group Quentin_Tarantino-278x300 Choose Your Alliances: Tarantino Latest Victim Of Woke Police Quentin Tarantino Once Upon A Time...In Hollywood Front Page Stories Featured Story Entertainment   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Ferguson – Five Years Later

Westlake Legal Group AP_110562575219-620x414 Ferguson – Five Years Later Social Justice Race police brutality police Michael Brown law Front Page Stories Front Page ferguson Featured Story Featured Post darren wilson Criminal Justice Reform black lives matter Allow Media Exception

A protester squirts lighter fluid on a police car as the car windows are shattered near the Ferguson Police Department after the announcement of the grand jury decision not to indict police Officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black 18-year-old, Monday, Nov. 24, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

On August 9, 2014, 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot and killed by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. The effects of that shooting and its aftermath are still being felt today, five years later. I had been hosting the “Q With A View” podcast on FTRRadio since January of that year and, given the proximity of the shooting and the shockwaves it sent through my community, covered the story at length. Eventually, that coverage evolved into a radio documentary/special we aired in December 2014. Following is a (minimally updated) piece I wrote at the time, and the accompanying link to the special which was a labor of love — one which had a profound effect on me. I hope you’ll give it a listen:

“Where were you when….?”  The special we first aired on FTRRadio in December 2014, starts out with that question. Four-and-a-half months prior, when news of the Michael Brown shooting broke, I was returning from a typical Saturday afternoon at the soccer park, with zero realization that this would become one of those moments. It’s always disturbing to hear of a young person’s death, but sadly, not so uncommon as to seem like one of those time-standing-still moments that become fixed in one’s memory like a historical north star. Even the fact that Brown’s death came at the hands of police didn’t immediately signal to me that we’d still be talking about it as 2014 drew to a close — much less, five years later. Nor did I foresee then that the north county neighborhood I’d always thought of as simply an older, blue-collar, racially diverse suburb would soon become a sociological Rorschach with a different meaning to each, and a hashtag with a life of its own.

When a vigil the following day gave way to a protest, and later to looting and rioting, I watched and shook my head in disbelief at the destructive forces I was witnessing. I recognized the tire store whose windows were smashed out; the parking lots from which several local newscasters were reporting. Ferguson isn’t my home town, but it’s an integral part of the St. Louis fabric, and near enough to home that seeing violence and chaos erupt on its streets rattled me in a way most news stories don’t — not in fear for my own safety, but in sadness for my community.

As the days wore on and competing narratives unfurled, it was tempting to choose a “side.” Sometimes, as new evidence came to light, and emotionally persuasive arguments were hashed out, it was hard not to, but I kept reminding myself — I wasn’t there, and I don’t know exactly what happened. Just as people who’ve never been to St. Louis or Ferguson don’t know our community. Early on, I bristled when I saw Ferguson referred to as “Selma.”  But then, I also had to acknowledge that there were problems and tensions present from which I’d previously remained somewhat shielded.  I started looking a little closer, listening a little longer.

When I heard a rapper named Daywalker call into the Allman in the Morning (radio) Show and relate to the host, Jamie Allman, not only his experience as a protestor, but also his hope and vision that somehow Ferguson could become an opportunity for rebuilding, rather than just a tragedy, I was intrigued. On a whim, I contacted Jamie and asked if he’d be willing to put me in touch with Daywalker — I thought it might be interesting to have him on my show as a guest.  Jamie very graciously did so, and soon, what began as a one time interview turned into a regular segment on my show, featuring Daywalker as our “Northside Correspondent.”

I quickly learned that Daywalker was bursting not only with energy but also with ideas. When he suggested that we sit down with his Rabbi, Susan Talve, to interview her regarding her role as a clergy member who’d been part of the protests, I was unsure. I knew it would be interesting to speak with her, but I was uncertain as to how we might incorporate that into the show — doubly so when what I’d expected to be a 15 or 20-minute interview turned into 45 minutes. The thought occurred to me that we might want to go a slightly different direction.

When Daywalker followed that up with the suggestion we speak with St. Louis County Police Department Spokesman Sergeant Brian Schellman, the idea for a stand-alone special on Ferguson began to take shape.  Ultimately, we spoke with Sgt. Schellman and another officer from one of the North County municipal police departments. We also met with Jamie Allman to get his take on the media coverage regarding Ferguson.  Then, too, I took the opportunity to interview Daywalker himself — after all, he lived in the community, and it was his passion that set us on this journey.  I’m not sure what exactly I was expecting, but I was pleasantly surprised by the willingness of all of our guests to speak with us, and so openly. I felt like we ended up with some very frank and fascinating discussions, rather than canned, cautious responses.

What my co-host, Jason Dibler, then did to piece them all together and incorporate some of Daywalker’s music, is nothing short of amazing, in my view. In the end, I believe we’ve managed to put together a very honest and compelling look at Ferguson, and what it’s meant to protestors, police, members of the media, and the community.

For my own part, it’s taught me that each one of us has a story and that if you give them a chance, most people will share theirs with you. Sometimes, all it takes is asking a question or two. Sometimes, all it takes is really looking another in the eye and acknowledging them as an individual, as someone who matters.

Since we completed our interviews, the story of Ferguson — and the larger stories of police and the communities they serve and of race relations as a whole — have continued to unfold.  From the non-indictment in the Eric Garner case to demonstrations turned into riots, to the assassination of Officers Ramos and Liu, it seems like Ferguson has become the pulled thread in an ever unraveling societal fabric. Which is why the question, “Where do we go from here?” seems such a fitting way to close out the special.

Where do we go, indeed? I can’t say that I know for certain, but I feel like I have an idea: It starts, I believe, with remembering our humanity.

Q With A View Special – Ferguson

 

 


Follow me on Twitter @SmoosieQ

Find my RedState archive here.

The post Ferguson – Five Years Later appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group police-ferguson-300x165 Ferguson – Five Years Later Social Justice Race police brutality police Michael Brown law Front Page Stories Front Page ferguson Featured Story Featured Post darren wilson Criminal Justice Reform black lives matter Allow Media Exception   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Ferguson – Five Years Later

Westlake Legal Group AP_110562575219-620x414 Ferguson – Five Years Later Social Justice Race police brutality police Michael Brown law Front Page Stories Front Page ferguson Featured Story Featured Post darren wilson Criminal Justice Reform black lives matter Allow Media Exception

A protester squirts lighter fluid on a police car as the car windows are shattered near the Ferguson Police Department after the announcement of the grand jury decision not to indict police Officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black 18-year-old, Monday, Nov. 24, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

On August 9, 2014, 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot and killed by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. The effects of that shooting and its aftermath are still being felt today, five years later. I had been hosting the “Q With A View” podcast on FTRRadio since January of that year and, given the proximity of the shooting and the shockwaves it sent through my community, covered the story at length. Eventually, that coverage evolved into a radio documentary/special we aired in December 2014. Following is a (minimally updated) piece I wrote at the time, and the accompanying link to the special which was a labor of love — one which had a profound effect on me. I hope you’ll give it a listen:

“Where were you when….?”  The special we first aired on FTRRadio in December 2014, starts out with that question. Four-and-a-half months prior, when news of the Michael Brown shooting broke, I was returning from a typical Saturday afternoon at the soccer park, with zero realization that this would become one of those moments. It’s always disturbing to hear of a young person’s death, but sadly, not so uncommon as to seem like one of those time-standing-still moments that become fixed in one’s memory like a historical north star. Even the fact that Brown’s death came at the hands of police didn’t immediately signal to me that we’d still be talking about it as 2014 drew to a close — much less, five years later. Nor did I foresee then that the north county neighborhood I’d always thought of as simply an older, blue-collar, racially diverse suburb would soon become a sociological Rorschach with a different meaning to each, and a hashtag with a life of its own.

When a vigil the following day gave way to a protest, and later to looting and rioting, I watched and shook my head in disbelief at the destructive forces I was witnessing. I recognized the tire store whose windows were smashed out; the parking lots from which several local newscasters were reporting. Ferguson isn’t my home town, but it’s an integral part of the St. Louis fabric, and near enough to home that seeing violence and chaos erupt on its streets rattled me in a way most news stories don’t — not in fear for my own safety, but in sadness for my community.

As the days wore on and competing narratives unfurled, it was tempting to choose a “side.” Sometimes, as new evidence came to light, and emotionally persuasive arguments were hashed out, it was hard not to, but I kept reminding myself — I wasn’t there, and I don’t know exactly what happened. Just as people who’ve never been to St. Louis or Ferguson don’t know our community. Early on, I bristled when I saw Ferguson referred to as “Selma.”  But then, I also had to acknowledge that there were problems and tensions present from which I’d previously remained somewhat shielded.  I started looking a little closer, listening a little longer.

When I heard a rapper named Daywalker call into the Allman in the Morning (radio) Show and relate to the host, Jamie Allman, not only his experience as a protestor, but also his hope and vision that somehow Ferguson could become an opportunity for rebuilding, rather than just a tragedy, I was intrigued. On a whim, I contacted Jamie and asked if he’d be willing to put me in touch with Daywalker — I thought it might be interesting to have him on my show as a guest.  Jamie very graciously did so, and soon, what began as a one time interview turned into a regular segment on my show, featuring Daywalker as our “Northside Correspondent.”

I quickly learned that Daywalker was bursting not only with energy but also with ideas. When he suggested that we sit down with his Rabbi, Susan Talve, to interview her regarding her role as a clergy member who’d been part of the protests, I was unsure. I knew it would be interesting to speak with her, but I was uncertain as to how we might incorporate that into the show — doubly so when what I’d expected to be a 15 or 20-minute interview turned into 45 minutes. The thought occurred to me that we might want to go a slightly different direction.

When Daywalker followed that up with the suggestion we speak with St. Louis County Police Department Spokesman Sergeant Brian Schellman, the idea for a stand-alone special on Ferguson began to take shape.  Ultimately, we spoke with Sgt. Schellman and another officer from one of the North County municipal police departments. We also met with Jamie Allman to get his take on the media coverage regarding Ferguson.  Then, too, I took the opportunity to interview Daywalker himself — after all, he lived in the community, and it was his passion that set us on this journey.  I’m not sure what exactly I was expecting, but I was pleasantly surprised by the willingness of all of our guests to speak with us, and so openly. I felt like we ended up with some very frank and fascinating discussions, rather than canned, cautious responses.

What my co-host, Jason Dibler, then did to piece them all together and incorporate some of Daywalker’s music, is nothing short of amazing, in my view. In the end, I believe we’ve managed to put together a very honest and compelling look at Ferguson, and what it’s meant to protestors, police, members of the media, and the community.

For my own part, it’s taught me that each one of us has a story and that if you give them a chance, most people will share theirs with you. Sometimes, all it takes is asking a question or two. Sometimes, all it takes is really looking another in the eye and acknowledging them as an individual, as someone who matters.

Since we completed our interviews, the story of Ferguson — and the larger stories of police and the communities they serve and of race relations as a whole — have continued to unfold.  From the non-indictment in the Eric Garner case to demonstrations turned into riots, to the assassination of Officers Ramos and Liu, it seems like Ferguson has become the pulled thread in an ever unraveling societal fabric. Which is why the question, “Where do we go from here?” seems such a fitting way to close out the special.

Where do we go, indeed? I can’t say that I know for certain, but I feel like I have an idea: It starts, I believe, with remembering our humanity.

Q With A View Special – Ferguson

 

 


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Twitter Experts Proven Idiots Yet Again As Deputy DNI Sue Gordon Resigns Allow Trump To Choose An Acting Director

On Sunday, President Trump took to Twitter to announce the departure of Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats. As I said at the time, this is a good thing. Coats has, in my view, shielded the intelligence community from experiencing the consequences of their illegal meddling in the 2016 election in a failed attempt to elect Hillary Clinton and their subsequent involvement is what can only be described as a soft coup attempt. Now that the special prosecutor looking into how this nonsense started is closing in on a lot of people, Coats will be required to assist in providing access to people and documents. He really couldn’t be relied upon to do so as he’s made it very clear that he does not believe he’s actually part of the administration.

His departure set up a quandry. By law, the designated successor is the deputy director. This makes the ODNI different from basically every other federal agency where the Federal Vacancies Reform Act applies. The problem was that the deputy, Sue Gordon, was an acolyte of John Brennan and a close friend of CIA director Gina Haspel. Brennan, in any other country, would have been imprisoned for treason by now. Haspel was chief of CIA’s London Station as some American agency made numerous runs at members of the Trump campaign team in that city to try to compromise them. Her personal relationships and her quarter century at CIA all combined to not give a warm fuzzy feeling that she would cooperate with John Durham’s investigation. I advocated dismissing her, along with Coats, using the FVRA to select her successor and then allowing that person to succeed Coats.

When my post hit twitter I was inundated by idiots claiming this could not happen because, apparently, Sue Gordon is mentioned in the Constitution or something. Amazingly, a lot of Twitter morons believe that Executive Branch agencies do not respond to directives from the White House because they “serve the people.” In this bizarro world, the agencies do whatever the hell they want…so long as they are doing what the left wants. You don’t find the same argument used now that Education and HHS are eradicating much of the progressive agenda. And, trust me, these goofs don’t want a lot of armed men deciding they’ve had all the Antifa bullsh** they are going to stand for and rolling into Portland to stand that odoriferous crew up against an wall because they are “serving the people.”

Anyway, yesterday Gordon did the right thing. She resigned.

Does this mean I had some inside knowledge or special gift? No. It only means that I could read the law and that TDS hadn’t caused a chronic crainio-rectal infarction that prevented me from seeing what was obviously going to happen. And it continues:

I have to say I was somewhat shocked to find anyone in the federal bureaucracy that still had a sense of honor, much less within the upper reaches of the intelligence community and law enforcement, but perhaps I’ve become too jaded at the antics of Comey and McCabe and Strzok and Mueller and Weissmann and Clapper and Morrell and Brennan to accurately appraise those agencies. She knew the President didn’t have a lot of confidence in her and rather than become another Sally Yates, she accepted that and allowed the President to create his own team without drama.

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Newly Released FBI 302s Show Abuse Of Power By Top Obama Administration Officials

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After numerous delays, Judicial Watch (JW) received partially redacted copies of DOJ official Bruce Ohr’s FBI 302 reports (interview summaries) on Thursday evening. Ohr, who was serving as the associate deputy attorney general at the time, had acted as a backchannel between dossier author Christopher Steele and the FBI. When his involvement (his conflict of interest and role as conduit for Fusion GPS material) became known by top DOJ officials, Ohr was demoted in December 2017.

JW received 34 pages of documents, consisting of twelve 302s, which can be viewed on Scribd here. The first interview was conducted on November 22, 2016 and the final one occurred on May 15, 2017, days before Robert Mueller was appointed to the special counsel.

Background

The DNC and the Hillary Clinton campaign, through the Perkins Coie law firm, commissioned Glen Simpson’s opposition research firm, Fusion GPS, to investigate candidate Donald Trump. Simpson hired former British spy Christopher Steele for the job. Steele compiled an incriminating, unverified and unverifiable dossier which alleged ties between Trump and the Russian government.

The FBI used the bogus dossier as the basis for its application to the FISA Court to obtain a warrant to spy on Trump campaign advisor Carter Page. The FBI had been warned by Ohr in September 2016 that the dossier was both unverified and that Steele was “desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being the U.S. President.”

The FBI had also received an email from State Department official Kathleen Kavalec, which included documentation, reiterating Ohr’s warnings.

Still the FBI presented the dossier to the FISA Court as “verified” on October 30, 2016.  They received the warrant and renewed it three more times.

In the meantime, James Comey, who signed off on the first application, presented a summary of the dossier to President-elect Trump in early January 2017 as “salacious” and “unverified,” and continued to present it to the FISA Court as “verified.”

New Information

The 302s provided new information and corroborated previously known information.

For example, the State Department played a larger role than had been thought. In the first interview Ohr told agents that “reporting on Trump’s ties to Russia were going to the Clinton Campaign, Jon Winer at the U.S. State Department and the FBI…Ohr knew that [Fusion GPS’s] Glen Simpson and others [were] talking to Victoria Nuland at the U.S. State Department.”

Bruce Ohr’s wife, Nellie Ohr, worked as a contractor for Fusion through September 2016. Nellie was hired to conduct research on members of Trump’s family. Bruce provided his wife’s research to the FBI.

In late September 2016, Ohr describes a person (likely Christopher Steele) as “desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being the U.S. President.”

Highlights (via Judicial Watch)

“Ohr knew that [Fusion GPS’s] Glen Simpson and others talking to Victoria Nuland at the U.S. State Department.”

Glenn Simpson directed a person whose is redacted to speak to the press. It appears as if the press that person went to was the far left leaning Mother Jones.

On December 5, 2016, Ohr promised to “voluntarily” give his wife Nellie Ohr’s Fusion GPS research to the FBI. He also provided the FBI with a report on Paul Manafort titled, “Manafort Chronology.”

On December 12, 2016 Simpson gave Ohr a thumb drive with Fusion GPS research on it. Ohr claims to not know what is on that drive. During the meeting Simpson, based evidently on a meeting with Glenn Simpson, identified Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former personal lawyer as having “many Russian clients.” Simpson also told Ohr that Cohen, “may have” attended a meeting in Prague.

Ohr describes Simpson directing someone to talk to the Mother Jones reporter “as it was Simpson’s Hail Mary attempt.”

On December 20, 2016, Ohr provided the FBI with his wife’s Nellie Ohr’s Fusion GPS research, “which contained the totality” of her work “but the Fusion GPS header was stripped.”

On January 23, 2017, Ohr tells the FBI that Steele told him that Steele “spoke with a staff member of Senator John McCain’s office sometime prior to October 2016.”

The FBI interviews show that Ohr texted and talked to Christopher Steele using the WhatsApp application.

On February 2, 2014, the FBI tells Ohr to see if Steele would be “comfortable getting the name of an FBI agent” as a contact. Ohr tells the agents that State Department official Katheen Kavalec spoke with “Steele several times prior to the U.S. Presidential election and believed Steele’s reporting to have [been] generated mainly from [REDACTED].

On Feb. 14, 2017, Ohr tells the FBI that Steele communicated with him via Facetime that Steele was “beginning to worry about his business.” Steele discussed brokering new business with the FBI and told Ohr, ‘You may see me re-emerge in a couple of weeks.”

On May 3, 2017, Steele called Ohr to tell him that he “had been worried about Director Comey’s upcoming testimony to Congress, especially his response to questions that would be raised by (Senator) Grassley.”

Although what he was specifically worried about is redacted, Steele was “happy with Director Comey’s response.”

Steele also stated that he was limited in “his ability to testify before Congress” because of disclosure laws in the UK being more narrow than the United States.

On May 12, 2017, Steele called Ohr to discuss a letter the Senate Intelligence Committee sent him. According to Ohr, “The letter requested answers to the following questions:

Had Steele provided information to the US Government?
What was the scope of Steele’s investigation?
Did Steele have any additional information to provide?”

In May, 2017, Ohr was asked by the FBI to ask “Steele if he would be willing to have a conversation with FBI agents in the UK.” Steele responded that he would, but he would need to check with a redacted name.

“This new Bruce Ohr FBI 302s show an unprecedented and irregular effort by the FBI, DOJ, and State Department to dig up dirt on President Trump using the conflicted Bruce Ohr, his wife, and the Clinton/DNC spies at Fusion GPS,” stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The FISA courts weren’t informed of this corrupted process when they were asked to approve and reapprove extraordinary spy warrants targeting President Trump.”

I will be digging into these documents more thoroughly and will post on this story later today.

The post Newly Released FBI 302s Show Abuse Of Power By Top Obama Administration Officials appeared first on RedState.

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