Sunday, November 18, 2018

Saturday's Suspensions

"Boston schools agree to change policies on suspensions" by James Vaznis Globe Staff  November 17, 2018

The Boston school system has agreed to revamp its school suspension practices as part of a settlement of a case alleging that school employees illegally suspended students and in some cases threatened to notify police or child welfare investigators if parents could not immediately pick up misbehaving children.

Among the changes: The system will end the practice of suspending kindergartners, first-graders, and second-graders, and stop suspending older students for minor offenses.

The lawsuit, which was filed last year in Suffolk Superior Court, centered on three students of color who were allegedly involved in relatively minor discipline incidents that the schools nevertheless treated as urgent crises.

The settlement comes as education and social justice advocates in Massachusetts and across the nation have been raising concerns that over-reliance on suspensions is potentially putting too many students on a path to the criminal justice system.

They are being conditioned for the total surveillance society in so many ways.

Suspensions can cause students to fall behind academically. It also provides them with unsupervised time when they can get in trouble, fueling what advocates contend is a school-to-prison pipeline that disproportionately affects students of color and those with disabilities, who experience higher rates of suspensions than their peers.

Prisons have become an indu$try in the land of the free.

“We need to solve this problem and not just remove kids from school,” said Elizabeth McIntyre, an attorney for Greater Boston Legal Services, which represented the parents as part of its School to Prison Pipeline Intervention Project.....


Just wait until you get to college:

"Newbury College suspends student charged with indecent assault" by Michael Levenson Globe Staff  November 17, 2018

A Newbury College student has been suspended indefinitely after he was charged with groping three female students.

The student, Wesley Peters, 19, pleaded not guilty to three counts of indecent assault and battery on a person over 14 during his arraignment Thursday in Brookline District Court.

He was released on $900 cash bail, and Judge Mary Dacey White ordered Peters to stay away from the alleged victims and from Newbury College, a small liberal arts school with 620 undergraduates in Brookline.

White also ordered that the victims’ names be removed from police reports, which detail allegations that Peters groped the women’s buttocks or breasts on separate occasions over the past month.

“The student has been suspended indefinitely by the college pending the adjudication of the charges,” Newbury College said in a statement. “The safety and well-being of our students is the top priority of Newbury. We encourage all students to report any kind of actions that make them feel uncomfortable.”

Peters’ mother, Taneesa Peters, said she believes the accusations are racially motivated.

Her son is black and has no criminal record, and the three alleged victims are white, she said.

“The only thing I can think of is you don’t like the color of his skin,” she said Friday, adding that eight of her son’s friends came to court to show their support for him during his arraignment. “Everyone that came said he’s nice, polite, he doesn’t bother anyone.”

The Norfolk District Attorney’s office, which is prosecuting the case, declined to comment.

Derrik Jones, Peters’s roommate, said he was present during one of the alleged assaults, in a student dorm, and can attest that it did not happen.

“He would never do that to anyone,” Jones said.

Police say the other two alleged assaults took place while Peters was alone with the victims in their dorm rooms.

In a police report, the officers who interviewed Peters said he denied groping the women’s breasts or buttocks, but admitted touching their thighs and hips.

Presumption of innocence is a cornerstone of American jurisprudence — that’s for all defendants, for every case,” Peters’ attorney, Douglas T. Babcock, said Friday. “It’s a fundamental, core concept of our judicial system, and cannot be thrown away or discarded, no matter what the political climate may be.”


Peters has a pre-trial hearing scheduled for Dec. 17.


You gotta believe the women, right?

"Charges dropped against man accused of killing gas station attendant" by Travis Andersen Globe Staff  November 16, 2018

Suffolk County prosecutors Friday dropped murder and weapons charges against a young man who was arrested last month for allegedly killing a 67-year-old gas station attendant in Dorchester.

I $en$e a law$uit.

District Attorney John Pappas’s office said in a statement that the government “filed paperwork withdrawing the murder case against” Kevin Dante Williams Jr., 21. He was initially held without bail during his Oct. 9 arraignment in connection with the slaying of Jose Luis Phinn Williams.

Jose Williams, who wasn’t related to Kevin Williams, was gunned down shortly after 11:30 p.m. on Oct. 6 during a botched robbery inside Fabian Gas Station at 528 Washington St.

On Friday, Pappas’s office said prosecutors determined on Nov. 9 that “the totality of facts did not require Williams’ pre-trial detention, and they affirmatively filed a motion to release him on his own recognizance. Today, after a week of additional investigation that included analysis of expedited forensic testing, they concluded that the evidence was insufficient to establish guilt or innocence and filed a nolle prosequi — a legal document withdrawing the charges.”

In a statement, Boston Police Commissioner William G. Gross said he agreed with Pappas’s decision to withdraw the charges against Williams.

“The Boston Police Department continues to work closely with the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office to solve this case and hold those responsible accountable for their actions,” said Gross.

Police are encouraging anyone with information related to the slaying to call the department’s homicide detectives.

Earlier Friday, Kevin Williams’s mother, Regina Hunter, in a statement sharply criticized the investigation that ensnared her son. “There is an extreme injustice when the city has rushed to judgment in identifying my son as the suspect, and he has been forced to spend the last five weeks of his life in jail,” Hunter said, but prosecutors maintained that police had good reason to initially take Kevin Williams into custody.

Then they are off the hook, according to the Supreme Court.

The arrest, Pappas’s office said, “was supported by a detailed description of the assailant by an independent percipient witness at the scene; a positive identification of Williams as the gunman; and corroborating video footage — circumstances that clearly supported probable cause for the initial charges.”

Prosecutors said that in the weeks that followed, detectives continued gathering evidence and prosecutors “fought in court to obtain potentially exculpatory evidence from Williams’ attorney and were forced to send grand jury subpoenas in order to obtain alibi testimony.”

Kevin Williams’s lawyer, Aviva Jeruchim, scoffed at the notion that she obstructed the government’s efforts to locate evidence beneficial to her client.

“I did have the cell phone and access to its contents,” Jeruchim said in an e-mail. “The contents were completely exculpatory. Since the prosecution has no right to troll my client’s cell phone just because they want to, I offered to preview the cell phone data from 10/6 in exchange for a bail concession with terms at the pleasure of the Commonwealth so that my client could be released, particularly since the case was incredibly weak.”

Instead, Jeruchim wrote, “the Commonwealth rejected this reasonable offer and decided to force the issue with the court. They got the same information that I would have given them with more delay. They didn’t need the contents of my client’s cell phone to confirm that they had no case against my client.”

Oh, the heavy hand of the law again. 

In deep-blue Ma$$achu$etts of all places!

Last month, Jeruchim said during the arraignment that Kevin Williams, who had no prior record, and his family were preparing to move at the time of the murder, and that he had “absolutely no incentive to commit these offenses, and in fact did not.”

In other words, no motive.

A police report filed in the case said Kevin Williams was “observed on Homeland Security cameras coming from the area of Washington Street after the shooting prior to his stop by police,” and prosecutors said a witness later identified him as the killer.

The report said that in addition to the eyewitness identification, investigators reviewed video footage from the crime scene, and “the clothing was compared and matched to the suspect even depicting ‘Hilfiger’ underwear worn by [Kevin] Williams and consistent with the video,” but Kevin Williams’s family pushed back against the identification process in the statement released earlier Friday.

“Although accounts seem to indicate that the suspect wore a mask and the witness identification was based on clothing commonly wore by many young men in the community, as well as the suspect’s height, shape and complexion, the Boston Police profiled Kevin as their suspect,” the statement said. “Kevin did not have a mask, was not armed, and was totally surprised when the unmarked car stopped him.”

I hate to say it, but it's the Boston Police version of they all look the same! 

Coming from the very same people who are screaming racism and diversity at you!

In a court filing Friday requesting that the charges be dropped, Assistant Suffolk District Attorney Jennifer J. Hickman wrote that the initial probe was thorough.

“The Commonwealth through the Grand Jury has conducted an extensive investigation, including a review of electronic data, phone records, witness interviews, grand jury testimony and review of numerous surveillance videos,” Hickman wrote. “Upon a thorough review of the evidence, at this time the Commonwealth asserts that it is unable to meet its burden to prove the pending charges beyond a reasonable doubt and therefore files a Nolle Prosequi at this time.”

They aren't really admitting to any wrongdoing, are they?

Of course, if they do, it's $ettlement time!

Authorities are continuing to investigate the murder, according to Pappas.

“We don’t force the evidence to fit the case,” Pappas said in a statement. “We follow the facts wherever they lead, and today they led us to this decision. The investigation remains open, it remains active, and it remains a priority for us.”

Do they ever get tired of shoveling sh**?

Jeruchim, meanwhile, said Kevin Williams was devastated by his time in custody.

“My client, a twenty-one-year-old young man with no record, a job and life filled with promises was labeled a murderer and incarcerated for five weeks, the Jose Williams family was let down and betrayed, and a killer is still at large in our community,” Jeruchim wrote. “I don’t call that justice. As a community, we deserve better.”

He is at least owed some money.


Just don't let him back out on the street:

"Sharon parents, 3 kids terrorized by armed man inside their home" by Emily Sweeney and John R. Ellement Globe Staff  November 16, 2018

SHARON — A Sharon family was subjected to a bizarre, violent attack inside their home late Thursday night by a man who, at one point, rammed a knife into the door of a closet where some family members had taken refuge, Sharon police said.

At another point in the attack, one of the family’s three terrified children asked her mother, “Am I going to be OK?” The mother, her voice quavering, said, “Yes, you’re going to be totally OK,” according to a wrenching audio of the 911 call that officials released Friday.

“We are not sure why this guy entered the house,’’ Sharon Deputy Police Chief Donald Brewer said. “It was a very violent encounter, and the kids are traumatized. ... He was just ranting and raving. It doesn’t make sense.”

I figure mental illness or drug abuse.

According to Brewer and a statement from the department, the mother and three children were inside the Billings Road home around 11:25 p.m. Thursday. The father had left to drive someone home. He returned to find the terrifying home invasion in progress, Brewer said.

The suspect, later identified as 39-year-old Ricardo Francis of Hyde Park, had been involved in a minor two-car crash near the driveway of the victims’ home. Francis allegedly made his way to the house and went inside, where he immediately started acting in a bizarre fashion, police said.

Francis was ordered held without bail at his arraignment Friday in Stoughton District Court and sent to Bridgewater State Hospital for a mental health evaluation. A not-guilty plea was entered on his behalf.

You don't want to get sent there.

Psychologist Karin Towers told the judge that during her brief meeting with Francis he appeared “bewildered” and did not seem to understand the charges that he is facing.

“He reported having no memory of what happened that led up to his arrest,” she said.

Towers said Francis did indicate several times during their brief meeting that “he just wanted to go home.”

“He doesn’t, in my opinion, seem to have an appreciation of the seriousness of this current situation,” she said.

She said Francis had been hospitalized briefly at McLean Hospital in June or July, but she did not know what diagnosis was made or treatment he received.

Police were still trying to develop some information about the chronology of events, Brewer said, but at one point, the mother tried to coax Francis into leaving with her, and she walked first out of the house, hoping he would follow. Francis instead locked the door behind her, leaving the mother outside and the children inside by themselves with Francis, Brewer said.

The mother ran away and left the children undefended?

At another point, Francis allegedly hit the mother in the head with a picture frame, a blow that required her to receive stitches at an area hospital. Brewer said the mother has returned home, and the family has asked for privacy as they try to cope with their ordeal.

The children and their father were not physically harmed, Brewer said.

Once outside the house, the mother apparently went to her car, where she called 911, according to Brewer and a recording of police dispatch by

The mother frantically told the dispatcher, “There’s a man in the house,” according to the audio. “He started throwing things.”

The father returned from his trip and went inside the house, where he made contact with the three children. All four made their way to a closet in a second-floor bedroom, possibly a closet in the master suite, Brewer said.

“He was stabbing the door with a knife when the father barricaded himself and the kids in a closet,’’ Brewer said, adding that the knife was “really just a long pocket knife.”

Sharon Police Officer Richard Derry happened to be nearby and was at the house about 30 seconds after being dispatched, Brewer said. “He showed some determination,” Brewer said of Derry, who entered the house, gun drawn, by himself. “He went right in. His backup was probably 10 minutes away.”

At that point, Francis was in an upstairs bedroom and did not have the knife in his hands when Derry confronted him at gunpoint and took him into custody without further incident, Brewer said.

“He did a great job,’’ Brewer said of Derry. “I’m very proud of him.”

Francis is lucky he still alive.

Brewer said the violent incident was highly unusual for Sharon, a suburb where a large portion of the town is given over to conservation land. He said Francis lives in Hyde Park and it’s not clear why he would be on Billings Street at 11:30 p.m. during a snowstorm.

“It doesn’t make GPS sense,’’ he said, if Francis was trying to get back to Hyde Park. “This is a very odd and troubling story.”

Like everything else I read in the Globe.


At least the family was rescued from the building.

Get you checked out at hospital:

"Man charged with killing mother in N.H. hospital poised to change his plea" by Travis Andersen Globe Staff  November 16, 2018

A former Rhode Island man charged with fatally shooting his 70-year-old mother last year in a New Hampshire hospital is about to change his plea, officials said.

Travis M. Frink, 50, who previously pleaded not guilty to murder charges for the September 2017 slaying of his mother, Pamela Ferriere, has a plea hearing scheduled for Tuesday in Grafton County Superior Court in Lancaster, N.H., according to court officials.

It wasn’t immediately clear what type of plea he’ll enter, or whether there’s a plea deal in place.

Frink allegedly shot his mother multiple times while she was laying in bed in the intensive care unit at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H., on Sept. 12, 2017, prompting a lockdown at the facility that lasted for several hours.

Police converged on the hospital soon after the shooting and arrested Frink, who waived his Miranda rights and confessed to the killing during an interview with investigators, according to the filing.....

He tried to escape on a bike, and being left out of her will was his motive.


Also see:

Son accused in fatal shooting of mother in N.H. intensive care unit

He asked for some time alone and then went nuts.