Thursday, May 25, 2017

Copping Out: More Dead in Ohio

"Black Child With BB Gun Is Shot by Police in Columbus, Ohio" by RICHARD PÉREZ-PEÑA, SEPT. 15, 2016

Officials in Columbus, Ohio, appealed for calm, patience and investigative help Thursday, hours after a white police officer fatally shot a 13-year-old African-American boy who had apparently brandished a firearm that was later determined to be a BB gun.

Speaking at a news conference, the mayor, the police chief and other officials offered few details about what led to the death Wednesday night of the teenager, Tyre King. They cautioned that the investigation, which will be presented to a grand jury, will not be quick. So far, they said, they do not know of any video recording of the shooting.

“Any loss of life is tragic, but the loss of a young person is particularly difficult,” Mayor Andrew J. Ginther said. “Investigations take time, and I ask for everyone’s patience during this difficult time.”

According to the police, officers responded to a report of an armed robbery in the Olde Towne East neighborhood in central Columbus, and saw three males who matched the suspects’ descriptions. Two fled and officers chased them into an alley, where Tyre pulled what appeared to be a gun from his waistband, the police said, and an officer shot him multiple times.

Tyre’s death is one in a long string of deaths of black people at the hands of the police in recent years that have drawn national attention, particularly when video is made public. They have prompted sharp debates about race and policing, intense criticism of the police and, in some cases, civil unrest. One of the most scrutinized cases, and one of the most similar to the one in Columbus, also took place in Ohio: the 2014 death of Tamir Rice, 12, who was playing with a pellet gun in a park in Cleveland.

Didn't they $ettle that?

Also see: "Cleveland police are still dealing with a backlog of several hundred unresolved citizen complaints against officers as the department prepares to start training on a new policy about how officers use force, the requirements of the consent decree that it reached with the US Department of Justice to reform the Police Department....."

Columbus officials made it clear that they were acutely aware of that history, saying it was too early to make parallels to Tamir’s case, and insisting that they were striving for openness and community outreach that critics have said were lacking in other cities. They also repeatedly stressed Tyre’s conduct, the credible threats officers face and the gun culture.

“Why is it that a 13-year-old would have nearly an exact replica of a police firearm on him in our neighborhoods?” Mr. Ginther asked. “An eighth grader involved in very, very dangerous conduct in one of our neighborhoods.”

The mayor cited “easy access to guns, whether they are firearms or replicas,” as a serious problem, adding, “A 13-year-old is dead in the city of Columbus because of our obsession with guns.”

Kimberley Jacobs, the police chief, repeatedly referred to Tyre as a “young man,” and said: “This is the last thing that a police officer wants to do in their career. Unfortunately, because of the things that are happening out on the streets, it becomes necessary at times to defend themselves.”

She held up a photograph of a BB gun of the kind found in the alley near Tyre to show how similar it looks to the sidearm used by the Columbus police, a Smith & Wesson Military & Police semiautomatic pistol. The Columbus Police posted a similar image on Twitter.

The photographs show a BB gun that does not have an orange tip or other bright colors sometimes used to distinguish them from lethal weapons. “It turns out not to be a firearm, in the sense that it fires real bullets, but as you can see, it looks like a firearm that can kill you,” Chief Jacobs said.

The shooting quickly drew widespread attention on social media, as people took sides to find fault with either the police or the boy.

Chief Jacobs said the police were looking for video from security cameras or bystanders’ smartphones, and were interviewing witnesses, including one of the people who was with Tyre. She said it was not clear whether that person would be charged with a crime.

“There were witnesses, we believe, to the armed robbery and there were people in the vicinity of the shooting, but we don’t know what they were able to discern,” she said.

The Columbus police do not wear body cameras, but they will starting next year, said Mr. Ginther, the mayor, who supports their use....

If any doubt, not now.



"Attorneys for the family of a 13-year-old Ohio boy fatally shot by a policeman said Friday they want to hear from witnesses, because the police version of events ‘‘might not be true.’’ Meanwhile, a 19-year-old who said he was the boy’s friend told a newspaper that Tyre King had a real-looking BB gun, was out to rob someone, and ran from police. Police said an officer who believed the gun was real shot the boy Wednesday night after witnesses reported a group of people had robbed a man of $10...."

Also see:

Prosecution, defense both cite video in traffic stop killing

"The trial was interrupted Friday over jury concerns that 25-page questionnaires they filled out on a variety of topics could be made public due to news media public records requests. Hamilton County Judge Megan Shanahan said Monday she has reversed her order that would have allowed partially redacted questionnaires released during the trial. The trial will continue Tuesday, on Election Day. Both Judge Shanahan and lead Prosecutor Joe Deters are Republicans seeking re-election against Democratic challengers....."

Jury deadlocks in trial of ex-officer in killing of unarmed black driver in Cincinnati

Ohio prosecutor to try police officer again for murder

Hearing set on rare request for new venue

Now that I have disposed of that....

"An Ohio man accused of trying to travel to Libya to join the Islamic State group has been formally indicted. A federal prosecutor in Columbus said Aaron Daniels, 20, wired $250 to an Islamic State group operative in January and told an undercover informant about his interest in traveling overseas to commit jihad. Daniels was taken into custody Monday at John Glenn Columbus International Airport after a monthslong investigation. An indictment Thursday charged Daniels with providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization and attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization. Daniels remains in jail while his lawyers and prosecutors file arguments over holding him without bond or putting him on home arrest with electronic monitoring."

"An Ohio man who plotted to attack the US Capitol during President Obama’s 2015 State of the Union address kept trying from behind bars to urge others to violence in support of the Islamic State group, federal authorities say. Prosecutors described Christopher Cornell’s jail activities in a sentencing memorandum filed this week ahead of a Dec. 5 sentencing hearing. They want a judge to sentence him to 30 years in prison after he pleaded guilty earlier this year to three charges. ‘‘This case is unusual in the amount of post-arrest conduct and misconduct by the defendant . . . his persistence in trying to incite violence and his efforts to obstruct justice through witness intimidation,’’ said the filing by US Attorney Benjamin C. Glassman’s office."

That puts him on death row:

"Condemned man kills himself on Ohio death row" Associated Press  March 06, 2017

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A man who had no criminal record before he fatally shot his former girlfriend has killed himself on death row, the state prisons agency said Monday.

Patrick Leonard died Sunday night of an apparent suicide at Chillicothe Correctional Institution, the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction said.

Leonard was sentenced to death for the 2000 killing of 23-year-old Dawn Flick in Hamilton County.

The 47-year-old Leonard was angry at Flick for ending their relationship and refusing to reconcile, according to court records. Records say Leonard handcuffed Flick, tried to rape her, and shot her three times.

Leonard came from a good family and didn’t smoke, drink, or do drugs, the Ohio Supreme Court noted in a 2004 decision upholding his death sentence....


He was also a suspect in Indiana girls’ deaths.

"An Ohio man says he was trying to set a good example for his children when he turned in $14,000 he found on the side of the road. WBNS-TV reported that Jake Bowers found the money April 8 as he drove his family to a park in Worthington, a Columbus suburb. Bowers said when he initially saw the bag on the roadside, he thought it might contain someone’s laptop. Instead, it was filled with $100 bills. Bowers took the bag to the Worthington police station, and it was returned to its owner. A police report says the owner had taken the cash to a car dealer but left without buying a vehicle. He told police he must have left it on top of his car and driven off....."

Or he was drunk:

"An Ohio woman, Andrea Mucciarone, 30, has been charged with child endangerment after she sneaked a sippy cup of vodka into a high school football game and her toddler son drank from it and became ill....."

They only noticed when he took his first steps.

Was to keep him warm and from crying, right?