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87 People Arrested on Felony Charges in Peaceful Protest Demanding Justice for Breonna Taylor

“0 of Breonna Taylor’s killers arrested. 0 charged. How is this justice?”

Elias Marat

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(TMU) – Nearly 90 people were arrested and now face felony charges after refusing to disperse in a protest demanding justice for Breonna Taylor – a 26-year-old Black woman who was shot to death in her home by Louisville police – that ended on the lawn of Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron.

Demonstrators now face one to five years in prison if they are convicted on felony charges under Kentucky law.

By all accounts, the protest was peaceful as over 100 community members gathered near Ballard High School in Louisville, Kentucky, and began marching to the conservative attorney general’s home, reports WLKY. Community members were marching to demand that officials charge the three Louisville officers who shot Taylor to death in March while executing a no-knock search warrant at her home.

Participants in the march organized by advocacy group Until Freedom included NFL wide receiver Kenny Stills, Minneapolis NAACP President Leslie Redmond, and “Real Housewives of Atlanta” actress Porsha Williams, reports the Louisville Courier Journal.

As protesters began arriving in Cameron’s neighborhood, some began sitting and standing on Cameron’s lawn, prompting him to call the police and demand that they be removed from his front yard.

When protesters were told to leave by police, many peacefully disobeyed and were arrested without incident. 87 demonstrators, including Stills and Redmond, were all charged with felonies and two misdemeanors.

“Due to their refusal to leave the property and their attempts to influence the decision of the Attorney General with their actions, each person was charged with Intimidating a Participant in a Legal Process,” the spokesperson said. “They also face disorderly conduct and trespassing charges, both misdemeanors.”

While one might assume that the act of protesting a public official is a right granted to citizens under the U.S. Constitution, the state of Kentucky considers intimidating a participant in a legal process to be a Class D felony that carries a sentence of up to five years.

In a tweet, the local chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) blasted the arrests as an “overblown, outrageous, and inappropriate reaction to a community that is rightfully upset with [government] delay in holding the police accountable.”

“The only purpose these charges serve is to potentially chill the free speech rights of protesters,” the Kentucky ACLU added.

However, in a statement to WAVE 3 Cameron accused demonstrators of trying to “escalate” the situation and “further division and tension within our community” by demanding that the police who killed Breonna Taylor be held accountable for their crimes.

“Justice is not achieved by trespassing on private property, and it’s not achieved through escalation,” he said. “It’s achieved by examining the facts in an impartial and unbiased manner. That is exactly what we are doing and will continue to do in this investigation.”

Taylor, a certified emergency medical technician, was killed in her home on March 13 when three plainclothes cops broke into her home with a no-knock warrant while she was asleep.

Police claim that they knocked and announced their presence before forcefully entering her apartment, and only began firing into  the home when they were “immediately met by gunfire” from Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker.

However, Walker maintains that he only fired his weapon at the officers when they broke into the home without identifying themselves.

The undercover officers fired over 20 shots into the apartment, eight of which struck Taylor.

Protesters have been demanding justice from authorities in the Southern state since Taylor’s death. The killing of Breonna Taylor has also come under renewed scrutiny and become the focus of intensified community mobilizations since the shocking May 25 killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, which set in motion a nationwide movement against racial injustice and police brutality.

Since Taylor’s death at police hands, Louisville has banned no-knock warrants in a bill named “Breonna’s Law,” WLKY reports.

Brett Hankison of the Louisville police was terminated June 23, over three months after the killing of Taylor, following a review of the deadly incident. According to Interim Police Chief Robert Schroeder, Hankison violated deadly force protocols when he blindly unloaded his gun into Taylor’s apartment without prior knowledge or evidence that the situation required it.

Two other officers involved in the killing, Myles Cosgrove and Jonathan Mattingly, remain on the force but have been placed on administrative leave.

Corruption

Scientists Horrified as Over 27,000 Leaking Barrels of Toxic DDT Discovered on Seafloor Near LA

Elias Marat

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Over 27,000 barrels of the toxic insecticide DDT have been found so far on the seafloor about 12 miles off the coast of Los Angeles, in what could be one of the greatest examples of industrial pollution uncovered in recent memory.

The barrels have been leaking, and researchers fear that there could be up to a few hundred thousand barrels of DDT waste in total. Over 100,000 total objects have been found in the area by researchers at the University of California San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

The barrels cover an area roughly spanning double the size of Manhattan and lie off the coast of Santa Catalina Island, which is home to dozens of endemic species that exist nowhere else in the world.

DDT waste has been linked to cancer and widespread disease among humans as well as mass die-off events in the natural world. It is likely that the vast trove of illegally dumped DDT could be linked to the widespread cancer faced by sea lions along the West Coast.

“Unfortunately, the basin offshore Los Angeles has been a dumping ground for industrial waste for several decades, beginning in the 1930s. We found an extensive debris field in the wide area survey,” said Eric Terrill, chief scientist of the expedition and director of the Marine Physical Laboratory at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, said in a statement.

Los Angeles Times reports that shipping logs from a disposal company implicate Montrose Chemical Corp. of California, a company that produced DDT, in likely dumping some 2,000 barrels of DDT-laced sludge each month from 1947 to 1961 into a designated dumpsite.

Additionally, logs from other entities show that several other industrial concerns in Southern California used the basin as a dumping ground until 1972, when the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act was enacted.

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Corruption

Rep. Matt Gaetz’s “Wingman” Wrote Letter Admitting Both Men Paid for Sex With Teen

Elias Marat

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Joel Greenberg, the former Florida county tax collector and longtime “wingman” of embattled Rep. Matt Gaetz, admitted in a letter that both he and the disgraced GOP congressman paid for sex with a number of women – including a minor.

The confession letter was written during the waning day of the Trump presidency, long before the scandalous conduct of the Florida congressman gripped national headlines, in a bid to win a pardon from President Donald Trump, reports the Daily Beast.

In the letter, which was handwritten, Greenberg reveals that both he and Gaetz allegedly were “involved in sexual activities” with a girl who was 17 at the time.

“On more than one occasion, this individual was involved in sexual activities with several of the other girls, the congressman from Florida’s 1st Congressional District and myself,” Greenberg wrote in reference to the minor.

Continuing, he noted that various forms of payment were made to the teen to secure sexual favors.

“From time to time, gas money or gifts, rent or partial tuition payments were made to several of these girls, including the individual who was not yet 18,” Greenberg wrote.

“I did see the acts occur firsthand and Venmo transactions, Cash App or other payments were made to these girls on behalf of the Congressman.”

Greenberg alleges that the teen had deceived the pair over her age, and that he and Gaetz were under the false impression that she was 19 when they paid her for sex.

“There was no further contact with this individual until after her 18th birthday,” he claimed.

The letter was written after notorious Trump ally and “fixer” Roger Stone was asked for a pardon by Greenberg.

Gaetz, 38, has been facing an investigation over whether he paid a 17-year-old for sex and facilitated her travel, which would violate sex trafficking laws.

It is also believed that the investigation encompasses the possibility that the congressman paid a number of women recruited online for sex.

Gaetz has denied ever paying for sex or having sex with a 17-year-old, and he hasn’t yet been changed.

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Corruption

Video Shows Officers Stop Fellow Cop Who Was Punching Handcuffed Woman

Elias Marat

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The conviction of former Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd has drawn mixed reactions from law enforcement officers across the country. While many police departments and associations have responded positively, some officers have also reacted with quiet resentment – and even the fear that they, too, may one day be held accountable for excessive use of force.

This may have also been the case in an altercation caught on video where two police officers in Orange County, California, could be seen stepping in and preventing a fellow officer from continuing to punch a handcuffed woman during an arrest.

In dramatic video from Wednesday captured via mobile phone in Westminster, the handcuffed woman – Ciomara Garcia, 34 – can be seen between two officers sitting on the curb. As one officer stands up, the woman does too before an officer pushes her down to the ground. The woman then attempts to kick the officer in the crotch before the officer begins punching her.

The two other officers then quickly intervene to restrain the officer and shove him away, preventing him from further beating Garcia as neighbors reminded the police in Spanish that they are filming the arrest.

The officers were initially dispatched to the neighborhood by a call over an alleged assault with battery claiming Garcia assaulted an Asian woman who was trying to fetch her dog running loose in the street.

A witness, however, told KTTV that Garcia was walking her dog when a bicyclist approached closely, causing Garcia to fear that her dog would be harmed. An altercation between the residents soon unfolded. Five minutes later, the bicyclist returned with the officers, alleging that Garcia struck her. The witness claims no such attack occurred.

Garcia has been booked into Orange County Jail on a bench warrant, while the officer was promptly placed on administrative leave pending an internal investigation.

One wonders whether some officers are changing tack in their relations with the community, and with the so-called “bad apples” in their own ranks, following Chauvin’s conviction on all counts for the murder of George Floyd.

Meanwhile, the three other former officers who took part in last May’s fatal arrest – Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao – could face serious jail time for aiding and abetting Chauvin in the slaying of the Floyd.

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