Patterico's Pontifications

5/1/2015

Six Officers Charged In The Death Of Freddie Gray

Filed under: General — Dana @ 5:10 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Six police officers have been charged in the death of Freddie Gray:

Officer Caesar Goodson Jr., 45, who was the driver of a police van that carried Gray through the streets of Baltimore, was charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter, second-degree assault, two vehicular manslaughter charges and misconduct in office.

Officer William Porter, 25, was charged with involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault and misconduct in office.

Lt. Brian Rice, 41, was charged with involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault and misconduct in office.

Sgt. Alicia White, 30, was charged with involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault and misconduct in office.

Officer Edward Nero, 29, was charged with second-degree assault and misconduct in office.

Officer Garrett Miller, 26, was charged with second-degree assault, misconduct in office and false imprisonment.

If convicted of all charges, Goodson would face up to 63 years in prison, Rice would face up to 30 years and Porter, Nero, Miller and White would face up to 20 years.

During her announcement of the charges being levied against the six officers, State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby added:

To the people of Baltimore and the demonstrators across America, I heard your call for ‘no justice, no peace.’ Your peace is sincerely needed as I work to deliver justice on behalf of this young man, those that are angry or hurt or have their own experience of injustice.

Upon receiving news of the charges against the officers, President Obama stated it is “absolutely vital that the truth comes out”.

Further:

“[I] think the people of Baltimore want more than anything else is the truth,” he said. “That’s what people around the country expect.”

He also called for protests to be peaceful. Baltimore has been relatively calm since riots on Monday.

“I hope that approach to non-violent protest and community engagement continues,” Obama said.

In addition to the president’s reaction, the police union claimed that the officers did nothing wrong and charges brought against six police officers in the death of Freddie Gray are driven by “the publicity in this case” and “politics” :

“we are disappointed in the apparent rush to judgement, given the fact the investigation into this matter has not been concluded. Our officers, like every other American citizen, are entitled to due process. We will continue to support them throughout this judicial process, which we believe will result in a finding of innocence. We also promise all active duty officers that we will continue to work diligently to ensure that you will receive the necessary support from the FOP to enable you to complete your mission safely.” He also argued that “this decision to charge [these] officers is going to make our job even harder.”

Michael Davey, an Attorney with the Fraternal Order of Police stated,

“in my 20 years — career as a law enforcement officer, and 16 years as an attorney, I have never seen such a hurried rush to file criminal charges, which I believe are driven by forces which are separate and apart from the application of law, and the facts of this case as we know them. No one condones police misconduct. This is especially true of the entire FOP membership, including my client, who was a 17-year veteran of this department, who has dedicated his life to serving the public. Let me state in no uncertain terms that Lt. Rice and all of the officers involved at all times acted reasonably, and in accordance with their training as Baltimore police officers. No officer injured Mr. Gray, caused harm to Mr. Gray, and they are truly saddened by his death. These officers did nothing wrong. As all of the facts surrounding this case come out in the appropriate forum, the officers’ lack of wrongdoing will be made abundantly clear. We believe that the actions taken today by the state’s attorney are an egregious rush to judgment, and we have grave concerns about the fairness [and] integrity of the prosecution of our officers. Let me reiterate two things, Lt. Rice and all of the officers are deeply affected by Mr. Gray’s passing, and that his injuries did not occur as a result of any action or inaction on the part of these officers. It is our intention to try this case in the courtroom, and not the media. These statements have been made in an effort to protect all of the officers from undue prejudicial effective publicity surrounding this case. We believe that these officers will be vindicated, as they have done nothing wrong.” Later, he said, “I can’t speculate as to what they did or didn’t do. I just find it very difficult that it’s not a rush to judgement when conducting a case in which someone has been charged with second degree murder they can wrap it up in two weeks.”

And finally, State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby is being called on by Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #3 to recuse herself due to a conflict of interest: she has a personal connection to the Gray family’s attorney and she is married to a Baltimore councilman.

The lodge is also requesting a Special Independent Prosecutor be assigned to the case.

–Dana

ADDED: Some reactions to the charges:

@VanJones68
GOT EM!! SIX OFFICERS CHARGED IN #BALTIMORE @cnnbrk #BlackLivesMatter #cut50

@sallykohn
Take a moment to realize that media/national attention wouldn’t be on #Baltimore and #FreddieGray were it NOT for riots. Shame on us.

@JoyAnnReid
Marilyn Mosby just shook up the world. #FreddieGray

@TalibKweli
#FreddieGray death officially ruled a homicide. Meaning police murdered him. Stay awake

GoFundMe Changes Policy to Exclude Defense of Christians

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:45 am

That’s not how they put it, of course, but that’s what’s going on here. Having eliminated funding campaigns in favor of florists and bakers who refuse to violate their religious beliefs, using the thin excuse that these people were facing “charges,” the company has decided to expand the policy to justify their decision:

GoFundMe’s old policy on crowdfunding may not have been enough to justify its decision last weekend to kill campaigns on behalf of a Christian-owned florist and bakery — but its new policy is.

The website quietly expanded its list of banned crowdfunding activities this week shortly after The Washington Times questioned GoFundMe’s reliance on its policy against campaigns in defense of “formal charges of heinous crimes” to pull fundraisers for Arlene’s Flowers and for Sweet Cakes by Melissa.

The new policy, which includes a ban on campaigns in defense of “claims of discriminatory acts,” would appear to make it more difficult to raise money on behalf of businesses facing crippling civil damages awards after refusing to provide services for gay weddings for religious reasons.

Travis Weber, a lawyer and director of the Center for Religious Liberty at the Family Research Council, said GoFundMe’s revised policy “could exclude and discriminate against all types of fundraising.”

“Who will determine what a ‘discriminatory act’ is? Will the term be decided according to legal standards? If so, which standards?” Mr. Weber said. “Or will it be subject to the same arbitrary decision-making we’ve seen from GoFundMe so far?”

The previous policy barred “Campaigns in defense of formal charges of heinous crimes, including violent, hateful, or sexual acts.” The new policy bans “Campaigns in defense of formal charges or claims of heinous crimes, violent, hateful, sexual or discriminatory acts.”

To restate my position: for me, this is about basic freedom. We have the right to associate or not associate with anyone we choose. It could be for religious reasons or other reasons; good reasons or bad reasons. Maybe you don’t want to sell to people with nose rings, or people who wear ties you consider to be in poor taste. The law does not support me on this, but classical liberal philosophy does.

And so, I don’t plan to use GoFundMe for anything in the future, although I may still contribute to campaigns being handled by the service that I think are worthy (like Mandy Nagy’s).

Note something inherent in the preceding paragraph, though: unlike decisions by government, handling this one is easy. Just use another service.

It’s when government starts bigfooting all the services and making them all bend to its will that we have a real problem.

See the difference between the government and the market?

When things are handled by the market, you have freedom to choose. Don’t like funding companies that you think support “homophobic” causes? Use another company. Don’t like funding companies that stomp on the rights of Christians? Use another company.

When things are handled by the government, you can a) comply, b) force a different result through voting (yes, I’m kidding, you can’t really do that; you just have an illusion that you can), or c) leave.

The difference can be summed up in one word: freedom.

George Soros Does Not Want To Pay Taxes, But He Wants You To Pay Yours!

Filed under: General — Dana @ 7:04 am

[guest post by Dana]

George Soros in 2012:

ZAKARIA: What about taxes? Do you support President Obama’s proposal to increase taxes on the wealthy?

SOROS: Yes, I very much do so, because it’s the big boom, the super-bubble that resulted in a great increase in inequality. Not only do we have the after effect where we have slow growth one way or the other, but if you have better distribution of income, the average American will be better off.

Oh, really???? Funny Soros would make that claim considering how hard he works to avoid paying taxes:

George Soros likes to say the rich should pay more taxes. A substantial part of his wealth, though, comes from delaying them. While building a record as one of the world’s greatest investors, the 84-year-old billionaire used a loophole that allowed him to defer taxes on fees paid by clients and reinvest them in his fund, where they continued to grow tax-free. At the end of 2013, Soros—through Soros Fund Management—had amassed $13.3 billion through the use of deferrals, according to Irish regulatory filings by Soros.

Congress closed the loophole in 2008 and ordered hedge fund managers who used it to pay the accumulated taxes by 2017. A New York-based money manager such as Soros would be subject to a federal rate of 39.6 percent, combined state and city levies totaling 12 percent, and an additional 3.8 percent tax on investment income to pay for Obamacare, according to Andrew Needham, a tax partner at Cravath, Swaine & Moore. Applying those rates to Soros’s deferred income would create a tax bill of $6.7 billion.

This is just so MSNBC of him!

–Dana


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