The Jury Talks Back


Mounted Police Under Fire For Leading Prisoner By A Rope

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 6:39 pm

[guest post by Dana]


This is really ugly. Especially given that it’s 2019 and the prisoner didn’t resist arrest. But what makes the degradation even worse is that, according to the Chief of Police Vernon Haley, “the officers could have waited for a transport unit at the location of the arrest”. But instead they chose to humiliate the prisoner by walking him through the streets on a leash:

The Galveston Police Department has issued an apology after disturbing images of an arrest sparked outrage on social media. The photo, taken by a witness, shows white officers leading a black man through the streets of Galveston, on horseback, tethered to what looked like a leash.


Donald Neely, 43, was arrested by the Galveston Police Department on Saturday, August 3 and charged with criminal trespassing.

Police say Neely went into the Merrill Lynch building on the corner of 22nd and Mechanic Street and refused to leave.

Police say the officers led him around the corner of 21st and Market, where the mounted patrol unit was staging when the photo was taken.

Neely was also arrested at the same building three and a half weeks ago. According to court documents, on July 12, Neely entered the Galveston Park Board office on the second floor “without the consent” of a park board member. He was charged with criminal trespassing that day too.

You can see video here.

According to Neely’s sister, her brother is homeless and mentally ill. Neely has been been charged with criminal trespassing at least six times this year, including an arrest in Galveston.

After the video was released on social media, outrage followed. Galveston Police Chief Vernon Haley offered his apologies to Neely on behalf of the department, and said that the approved technique (the method of handcuffing someone and escorting them between two mounted officers is usually used in volatile situations) would be reviewed:

“First and foremost I must apologize to Mister Neely for this unnecessary embarrassment. Although this is a trained technique and best practice in some scenarios, I believe our officers showed poor judgement in this instance and could have waited for a transport unit at the location of arrest. My officers did not have any malicious intent at the time of the arrest, but we have immediately changed the policy to prevent the use of this technique and will review all mounted training and procedures for more appropriate methods.”

NAACP president James Douglas commented upon seeing a photo of the incident:

When I looked at the picture, I saw utter disrespect for another human being. The first thing that came to my mind was this is 2019 and not 1819.

Douglas said the image is disturbing because it harkens back to the dark days of the antebellum South when black people were forced to walk alongside mounted slave owners. During the Civil Rights Movement, mounted patrol units often evoked fear among peaceful protesters.

According to the police, the two officers were not facing formal disciplinary action. Neely’s family and attorney are asking for the body cams from the two officers. The body cams had been activated.

“If this individual had been white, this never would have happened,” Douglas said.

He’s right.


Heartbreaking: Protesters In Hong Kong Apologize

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 2:37 pm

[guest post by Dana]

This is so sad, and yet so courageous:

Antigovernment demonstrators apologized today after two days of disruptions at the city’s international airport, which said it would limit terminal access to ticketed passengers and airport workers.

“We apologize for our behavior but we are just too scared,” read one post that was widely distributed on social media. “Our police shot us, government betrayed us, social institutions failed us. Please help us.”

A Chinese government spokesman denounced the protests as “conduct close to terrorism.”

Specifically, here is the government spokesman’s full denouncement of the protesters:

“These atrocities, which are lawless, trampling on human rights and inhumane, have completely gone beyond the bottom line of civil society, and is no different to terrorists,” China’s Liaison Office in Hong Kong said in a statement on Wednesday. In a separate statement, the State Council’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office strongly condemned the “almost-terrorism behavior” of the protesters and called on them to be severely punished.

After having been shut down for two days due to being occupied by pro-democracy protesters, Hong Kong International Airport resumed normal operations today.

There are also frightening reports of the Chinese military assembling on the border with Hong Kong:

As sweeping protests persist in Hong Kong, satellite imagery purports to show Chinese military vehicles gathering in Shenzen, near Hong Kong’s border with mainland China.

Recently-arrived vehicles can be seen at the Shenzen Bay Sports Center, just across the harbor from Hong Kong.

Trump unhelpfully raised fears by tweeting about the border activity:

When asked by a reporter whether the Chinese should use moderation against the protesters, Trump responded:

“We’ll see what happens. But I’m sure it’ll work out. I hope it works out for everybody, including China, by the way. I hope it works out for everybody.”

And then there is this:

Our deepest prayers and highest hopes for Hong Kong and their quest for freedom.


Trump Postpones Tariffs To Protect Americans From Having To Pay More…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 12:29 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Oh brother:

The Trump administration said Tuesday that it would wait until Dec. 15 to impose tariffs on Chinese goods that were supposed to go into effect in September. Other items were removed from the tariff list due to health, safety and national security concerns.

Many of the items on the tariff list are popular holiday gifts. That’s a relief to retailers, which would either eat the added costs or pass them onto shoppers – neither a palatable outcome.

It also means Americans won’t see higher, tariff-inflated prices during their holiday shopping. Those who are traditionally last-minute holiday shoppers may want to skip procrastinating this year, though, and wrap up the shopping before the Dec. 15 deadline.

Why does Trump have to protect consumers from paying more money for popular items during the Christmas season if its the Chinese, and not Americans that are paying billions of dollars, as he claims?

This isn’t hard.

Anyway, here’s what the Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics had to say about the decision:

I think the president wanted to avoid being the Grinch who stole Christmas. These delayed tariff hikes would have landed squarely on American consumers.

Here is the government’s list of items that will be facing tariffs on December 15, which includes cellphones, laptops, video game consoles, toys, shoes and clothing.

Note: Estimates are that an Apple iPhone would be $75 to $100 higher with the tariffs.


Tulsi Gabbard Leaves Campaign Trail For National Guard Training

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 9:30 am

[guest post by Dana]

[Ed. I thought JVW might post about his Little Aloha Sweetie but maybe the thoughts of her going to such a far away place makes him too sad to post…]

Tulsi Gabbard announced that she was leaving the campaign trail for two weeks to participate in National Guard training in Indonesia:

“While some people are telling me, ‘Gosh, this is a terrible time to leave the campaign. Can’t you find a way out of it?’ That’s not what this is about,” the Hawaii Democrat said in a news release. “I look forward to joining my fellow soldiers for a joint-training exercise with the Indonesian military, focused on counterterrorism and disaster response.”

“I love our country,” Gabbard said Monday. “I am grateful to be able to serve our country and the American people in many ways, including as a soldier.”

Gabbard has demonstrated her love of country and a willingness to serve wherever, whenever. While politics certainly played a part in her decision-making, I think ultimately she is honoring a commitment that she takes very seriously, in spite of her political campaign. And yet, a huge part of what draws supporters to her is her military service and experience. And she makes no bones that it is what anchors her in the quest for the presidency:

…her military experience has become a central selling point to her campaign. During the second night of July’s debates — wherein Gabbard finished the night as Google’s most-searched candidate — she wielded her credentials as an Iraq War veteran to speak about foreign policy decisions with a personal tone.

“For too long, we had leaders who have been arbitrating foreign policy from ivory towers in Washington without any idea about the cost and the consequence, the toll it takes on our service members, on their families,” Gabbard said. “We have to do the right thing. End the wasteful regime change wars and bring our troops home.

“The leadership I will bring to do the right thing, to bring our troops home within the first year in office, because they shouldn’t have been there this long.”


“It’s impossible to separate the experience that I have serving on the Foreign Affairs Committee, on the Armed Services Committee, as we’re going through these exercises and I think it’s an added value in bringing these two different perspectives together — those of the policymakers in Washington and that of a soldier.”

Gabbard is clearly in an uphill battle on the campaign trail. While she has met the threshold of 130,000 contributions from individual donors, she still hovers at 1% support in the polls, which makes her short of the “two percent in four surveys” polling criteria. She is also rightfully facing scrutiny for her meeting with Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. Here she is being interviewed by (ironically) Chris Cuomo on CNN, where he demanded she denounce Assad (at the 1:23 mark):

Anyway, Assad aside, Gabbard clearly loves America, and I’m grateful for her willingness to serve our country.



San Antonio: Shots Fired At ICE Offices

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 6:45 am

[guest post by Dana]

There were people in the office when the shots were fired:

Police in San Antonio arrested a man early Tuesday morning in connection with gunshots fired through the windows of an Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in the city, according to the agency.

Local law enforcement responded around 3 a.m. CT Tuesday to shots fired at the ICE field office located north of Interstate 410 near Brookhaven Drive, the FBI confirmed in a statement provided to the Washington Examiner.

“Shortly before or after, shots were also fired at a nearby building. Both buildings also house businesses completely unrelated to ICE operations. No injuries were reported. The FBI has opened an investigation into the shootings and is currently processing the crime scenes and reviewing surveillance footage,” the FBI continued.


Police told News 4 the man is believed to have fired the shots from across the highway into the windows of the building. The building does not have bulletproof windows, and at least one shot penetrated a window.

FBI Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs told reporters that the federal offices were specifically targeted:

“All the shots that we have found are on the floors where ICE had offices,” said Combs, adding that there’s no question it was “a targeted attack.”

Combs said federal employees were there when shots shattered the windows, and “by the Grace of God, had the bullets gone two inches in another direction, we would be here today talking about the murder of a federal official.”

The FBI is handling cases involving threats against ICE facilities in other parts of the country. Combs said to fire at a federal building is not a protest, it’s an act of violence.

“In this case, it’s an act of violence against the federal government that could have resulted in the assassination of a federal employee,” said Combs.

Political rhetoric is being blamed for encouraging violent acts against ICE:

“This attack at the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Field Office in San Antonio is completely without justification,” said Bible. “Political rhetoric and misinformation that various politicians, media outlets and activist groups recklessly disseminate to the American people regarding the ICE mission only serve to further encourage these violent acts. ICE officers put their lives on the line each and every day to keep our communities safe. This disturbing public discourse shrouds our critical law enforcement function and unnecessarily puts our officers’ safety at risk.”

Note: This is the fourth incident that has taken place at an ICE facility/office (Washington, DC-July 16, Tacoma, WA – July 14, and Aurora, CO -July 12).

I was unable to locate any condemnation of the incident from San Antonians Joaquin or Julian Castro, which is surprising given Joaquin adamantly claiming after outing Trump donors that he (nor his brother) want anyone on the left or the right to be a target of any crazy person or any person that means them harm at all. But perhaps they’ve been, um, busy focusing on more pressing matters:

The ad will speak to Trump directly — linking his rhetoric toward immigrants and people of color to that of the shooter in El Paso who killed 22 and left more than two dozen wounded. A spokesman for Castro’s campaign told The Texas Tribune that the ad — a small buy of $2,775 — will air throughout the day on Fox News in Bedminster, N.J. That is where Trump is spending the week at his private golf club, according to The Washington Post.


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