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Missourians are “lesser Americans” under federal law

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Integrity of Justice

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Missourians are “lesser Americans” under federal law

MISSOURIANS ARE “LESSER AMERICANS” UNDER FEDERAL LAW

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The United States Supreme Court confirmed that the citizens of Missouri and six other states under the jurisdiction of the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals are “lesser Americans” in the eyes of federal law when it denied certiorari on Feb. 20, 2018, in the case of Akins v Knight, et al., a First Amendment retaliation civil rights case against Columbia Police officers and prosecutors.

Mr. Akins’ civil rights attorney, Stephen Wyse of Columbia, has long asserted that two of the eleven regional federal circuit courts of appeals refuse to apply U.S. Supreme Court precedents and that since 1988 the High Court has refused to protect the federal rights of citizens in these circuits by hearing only 60-plus cases per year total and refusing to protect its on-point precedents.

U.S. Supreme Court dysfunction since 1988 permits 2d Class Citizens

Judge Richard Posner of the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has asserted that the Supreme Court is not a real court but a quasi-political body.

“It’s very political, Posner told the Daily Beast (11/07/2013). “And they decide which cases to hear, which doesn’t strike me as something judges should do. You should take what comes. When you decide which case to hear it means you’ve decided the cases ahead of time.”

In the article, Judge Posner noted he writes about 90 opinions per year at the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. The U.S. Courts of Appeals are one level before the U.S. Supreme Court in the federal system. The last several years the U.S. Supreme Court has issued about 60 opinions. This means a Supreme Court Justice would on average write fewer than 7 opinions during that year. My research established that prior to Congress changing the law in 1988. A change in the law that granted the U.S. Supreme almost absolute discretion in the cases they hear. That during years prior to the change that an average U.S. Supreme Court year would issue about 200 case written opinions per year (In the typewriter and book research era, a time before wide spread use of word processors and computer assisted legal research). In 1987, the Supreme Court issued 187 opinions on cases.

The discretion granted by Congress to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1988 means that conflicts between the federal U.S. Courts of Appeals may now go unresolved. Permitting the U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals to be the de facto final word on federal law in the states under their jurisdiction. In two rogue circuits this has permitted the establishment of 2d Class American Citizens whose federal rights are not fully protected by our federal courts. So as to permit that Missourians are “lesser Americans” under federal law and lesser than our brethern in Illinois (7th Cir.) or Kansas (10th Cir.) and the majority of the United States.

First Amendment diminished in Missouri

In Akins, the Eighth Circuit had affirmed a District Court ruling, which held that: “Neither the public nor the media has a First Amendment right to videotape, photograph, or make audio recordings of government proceedings that are by law open to the public.”

By making that the law in the Eighth Circuit, the court granted civil rights immunity to police who thereafter arrest or interfere with citizens filming police in public. When the law is not “clearly established” government officials who violate a citizen’s civil rights may not be held accountable in a civil rights action. The Akins ruling runs contrary to six other federal circuit courts that have protected the First Amendment right to film police in public. The Citizens For Justice report was about Marlon Jordan filing a police misconduct complaint (peaceably assembled to petition the government for a redress of greivances) before Mr. Akins was ordered by a police official to stop filming in the CPD Public Lobby. A lobby which was the designated point for filing misconduct complaints, contained media advisories, informational displays and handouts. Further this lobby was the designated memorial location for fallen CPD Officer Molly Bowden where tributes to her service and sacrifice were sometimes made.

JUDICIAL MISCONDUCT PERMITTED

In Akins, the High Court also turned a blind eye to judicial misconduct. Akins had filed two motions to disqualify Judge Nanette Laughrey. One argued that she should be disqualified because her husband, a utility lobbyist, was serving as chair of the Mayor’s Task Force on Infrastructure in Columbia while the case was pending. The other argued she should be disqualified because case evidence included a Citizens For Justice video report that related to Judge Laughrey’s reputation as a judge in Williams v Decker, a case involving the conduct of Columbia police officers who had handcuffed two black men at gun point when they were sitting in a park at noon listening to music. Although they were held for more than a hour before being released after being told by police you are “under arrest.” Judge Laughrey ruled it was not an “arrest” and therefore not a violation of Williams’ civil rights.

Further, the Columbia Heartbeat, a media website, had alleged that Judge Laughrey had a bias in favor of Columbia given her ruling in a contemporaneous case involving Columbia. Columbia Hearbeat reported, “My head is shaking over the Laughrey decision for a simple reason: her husband, Chris Kelly, chairs the Mayor’s Infrastructure Task Force, a job he landed after leading organized efforts to raise utility rates this year. On infrastructure, Kelly has become City Hall’s #1 cheerleader. That his wife is hearing Columbia’s most high-profile infrastructure legal case, maybe in history, seems like appallingly bad judgment. What do husband and wife talk about after work, at home, in private, he after chairing task force meetings about downtown infrastructure; she after hearing motions, pleadings, and other matters about the Opus development agreement with City Hall, which hinged on downtown infrastructure? How can Judge Laughrey be — or at least appear — impartial? Why won’t she recuse herself? The essence of jurisprudence on the bench is impartiality, and even the appearance of bias is so problematic judges routinely recuse themselves from cases that suggest it. But not Judge Laughrey.

Wyse had previously filed a judicial misconduct complaint against Judge Laughrey in the Coates matter. In Coates, Judge Laughrey denied a motion to continue due to toxic publicity related to attorney Wyse’s representation, as a special public defender, in a child murder case concluded that week and sua sponte moved the trial, then set in ten days, up four days when none of Coates witnesses were under subpoena. Judge Laughrey went on to endorse the Highway Patrol’s settlement offer calling it “excellent” and disparging the injured Miss Coates for “issues” coercing an unfavorable settlement for Miss Coates for her broken arm due to asking a question of the Trooper about a seatbelt ticket.

Wyse noted that the dysfunction and lack of integrity in the federal courts has caused him to refuse to accept any new civil rights clients, effective March 1.

“Justice may still be found in state court before juries of Missourians,” he said, “but I have no such confidence in federal courts.”

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WATCH: Copwatch | Gang Unit Vehicle Stop Foot Bail | Tossed Gun | Man Tasered

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San Diego Copwatch April 10, 2018

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POLICE claim Man said ‘shoot me’ twice before he was shot to death by police, Audio Experts Heard Different

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Las Vegas Metro police shot and killed a 22-year-old man early Friday morning after he reached for a weapon and defied commands repeatedly, police said.

 

Officers Francisco Rivera, 28, and Padilla Mills, 23, were involved in the shooting in the 200 block of Madge Lane, near Charleston Boulevard and Sloan Lane.

Assistant Sheriff Brett Zimmerman on Monday said officers were on their way to another call when they spotted Junior David Lopez driving recklessly with two women in a blue Chrysler 300.

“Hey, what are you doing? Stay in the car man,” one of the officers yelled. “Stay in the ****ing car! Don’t move! Do not ****ing move!”

When officers stopped the vehicle, Lopez got out of the vehicle with a Smith and Wesson Bodyguard .380 firearm in his hand then tossed it on the ground, police said.

Zimmerman said Lopez defied officers’ commands to put his hands up and step away from the weapon. Instead Lopez grabbed the firearm and raised it, he said.

“Hey, get away from the gun!” officers yelled. “Do not move! Don’t reach for the gun, man. Do not reach the gun.”

Officers believe the body camera footage shows Lopez twice saying the words “shoot me.”

“I don’t know what was going through his head, but he was given ample opportunity to be taken into custody and he wasn’t,” Zimmerman said.

Officers Rivera and Mills both fired their weapons. Lopez fell to the ground and rolled over. Police say he reached for the guns once more. Officer Mills fired one more round, striking Lopez.

“We’re going to need medical for the subject,” one of the officers said, over his radio. “He’s reaching. Don’t reach for it! … His 4-13 is about one foot from his left hand. Don’t!”

Lopez was taken to Sunrise Hospital where he later died at 5:15 a.m.

The two women in the car were not injured. One was Lopez’ girlfriend and the owner of the vehicle. The other was a friend.

Both women on Monday night.

“I remember when we got pulled over they told us to get the **** out of the car, for him to get the **** out of the car. Why don’t I hear that in the video?” said Lopez’s girlfriend, Amber. “He was the best thing in my life… He said, ‘Don’t shoot me. Don’t shoot me. Don’t shoot me.’ You can’t hear the don’t, but you can hear him. ‘Don’t shoot me. Don’t shoot me.'”

Assistant Sheriff Brett Zimmerman said 22-year-old Junior Lopez told officers to shoot him, twice.

“I don’t know what was going through his head but he was given ample opportunity to be taken into custody and he wasn’t.”

Lopez’s girlfriend said he was yelling, “Don’t shoot me!”

Lopez’s girlfriend also says officers told him to get out of the car… before they yelled at him to get back in the car. She argues that the first portion was conveniently cut out of the video released today.

“Everything they said is not true,” said Jorge Luis Martinez, Lopez’s father. “The video is not complete. ”

Lopez had one prior charge for false statement to a police officer in North Las Vegas in 2016

Both officers have been employed with Metro since May 2016. They are both assigned to the Community Policing Division Northeast Area Command. They were both placed on routine paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

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Freedom of Speech Everywhere except a Courthouse so Says the US Attorney General

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How an anti-illegal immigration YouTuber turned a $280 fine into a federal criminal trial

How an anti-illegal immigration YouTuber turned a $280 fine into a federal criminal trial

Gary Gileno

Gary Gileno is shown outside the federal courthouse on Friday before his trial. Gileno was fighting a $280 citation for failing to comply with orders while trying to bring a video camera into a L.A. County Sheriff oversight meeting in 2017. (Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

 

It began as a $280 citation for using a video camera in a courthouse.

But to Gary Gileno, at stake was much more than the couple hundred bucks he was told to pay.

An attorney for the anti-illegal immigration activist and prolific YouTuber told a judge Friday that the four-hour trial over the fine was really about preventing government abuse of power, protecting the rights of journalists and ensuring that citizens can hold public officials accountable.

“If he is convicted … it’ll chill speech, it’ll chill journalism, it’ll say the federal government has a superpower to do whatever it wants,” attorney William Becker said. “This is unprecedented. This is what we expect to see in a police state.”

A federal prosecutor dismissed the rhetoric, arguing the Class C misdemeanor charge was simply about Gileno’s refusal to follow a security officer’s orders.

The unusual legal battle came after Gileno, 32, tried to bring a video camera into a meeting of the Los Angeles County Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission last year. California law specifically allows the public to use recording devices at such meetings, but the commission’s meeting in August was held at a federal appellate court building where filming is prohibited.

Someone just detained at federal courthouse, where public Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission meeting takin place, 4 trying 2 take pic

The commission, a civilian panel set up to monitor the Sheriff’s Department and listen to public concerns about the agency, had been gathering in different locations around the county since it began meeting in January 2017. This was the first time commissioners had met at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals building in Pasadena.

As Gileno entered the courthouse, deputy U.S. marshals told him he had to leave his camera in his car. Gileno insisted he had a right to record the meeting under the First Amendment and the state’s open meetings law, known as the Brown Act, and began filming the officers.

They responded by handcuffing and detaining him for about an hour.

After Gileno was cited, Robert C. Bonner, a former federal judge who chairs the commission, told The Times he wasn’t aware of certain provisions of the state’s open meetings law and relied on the county’s lawyers for legal advice.

Rather than pay the fine, Gileno opted to take his case to trial, facing a penalty of up to a $10,000 fine and 30 days in jail if found guilty.

Gileno, who began his YouTube career after showing up at his local council meeting in West Covina, said he has made a living off of his channel in recent years. His copious videos — 3,237 and counting — focus primarily on denouncing illegal immigration and promoting supporters of President Trump. His criminal case may have been a boon for his channel — a recent screed on his own prosecution was viewed more than 10,000 times.

On Friday, two court security officers who clashed with Gileno took the stand and testified that there were signs clearly posted saying photography wasn’t allowed in the courthouse. They said Gileno grew belligerent and disruptive, turning on his camera after being warned several times that it was not allowed.

Testifying in his own defense, Gileno said he was a freelance citizen journalist who has attended and filmed local government meetings and legislative town halls for about five years.

“I believe in the United States of America, you should be able to keep tabs on the government,” he said.

In more than 250 other public meetings he attended, he said, he never had an issue with bringing in his video camera. He said the security officer all of a sudden “exploded” at him, so he turned on his camera “to document what I felt was a violation of my rights at the time.”

Assistant U.S. Atty. Benedetto Lee Balding said Gileno’s disruption of security officers working at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals was no small matter. It was Gileno who escalated the encounter by refusing to go along with the officers’ orders, he said.

“He decided unilaterally he didn’t have to follow the rules,” the prosecutor said.

Becker, who primarily represents conservatives and Christians in free-speech cases, worked for free on Gileno’s case. He argued that the federal courthouse essentially became a “limited public forum” when it hosted the commission meeting, which Gileno should have been allowed to film under the state law.

Magistrate Judge Jean P. Rosenbluth said she could understand why Gileno was angry and frustrated given his past experience filming the meetings, but she said that didn’t excuse his failure to follow orders. Security at the appellate courthouse, where justices could be filmed without their knowledge, was a serious concern, the judge said.

“Even if these seem arbitrary or don’t make any sense to Mr. Gileno or anybody else, clearly they serve this very important purpose,” Rosenbluth said, finding Gileno guilty.

Acknowledging that a “misunderstanding” had led to the kerfuffle, the prosecutor recommended a sentence of no fine, which would leave Gileno having to pay just $35 in court fees. Rosenbluth said she felt the need for “some consequences” and ordered Gileno to pay a $50 fine, bringing his total penalty to $85 with the fees.

Gileno said he was “outraged” and “astounded.” After the verdict, he turned to nine supporters in the audience, including a man in a red “Make California Great Again” hat, and exclaimed, “I was never read my rights!”

His attorney said they would seriously consider an appeal and possibly a civil lawsuit against the government.

“What the judge just said is if a city council can move to a federal building, they can keep the meeting secret,” Gileno said. “That’s grossly illegal.”

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