Rejoice Georgians: You Don’t Need a Government Permit To Advise Breastfeeding Moms

Georgia’s Supreme Court today struck down a state law that required people who provide lactation consulting to obtain costly and time-consuming state licenses.

In a unanimous ruling, the justices determined that a law passed in 2016 unconstitutionally deprived Mary Jackson of work. Jackson had been providing lactation care consulting services for more than 30 years and started a nonprofit, Reaching Our Sisters Everywhere (ROSE), to provide breastfeeding education.

Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Michael P. Boggs wrote the ruling in Jackson v. Raffensperger, and he was critical of attempts to declare that the state has a “public welfare” interest for every licensing law it passes: “Georgia’s Due Process Clause requires more than a talismanic recitation of an important public interest.” Here the court examined whether the licensing requirement protected the public from unsafe or harmful health practices. They found the state’s evidence wanting:

Certainly, there is nothing inherently harmful in the practice of lactation care, and there is no evidence of harm to the public from the provision of lactation care and services by individuals who lack an [International Board Certified Lactation Consultant] license.

To get this license through a private credentialing body, the court notes, requires 14 different health courses (some college level), 95 hours of training, 300 supervised clinical hours, and up to $700 in costs. Boggs notes in his ruling that only 162 of Georgia’s 470 lactation consultants have gone through the process to get licensing.

The state admitted to the court that they had no evidence that anybody was harmed by unlicensed or incompetent lactation care before or after the law’s passage. An analysis of a version of the law that was considered in 2013 (and not passed) noted that there was no evidence of any harm caused by the state’s failure to license or regulate lactation consultants.

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State troopers capture criminal but shoot his hostage

A federal appeals court has ruled police can shoot hostages — even intentionally — if they fear for their lives or to stop a fleeing felon.

The case is more than just a legal footnote to Don Davis. The Georgia truck driver was shot nine times by troopers and deputies who were trying to stop a murder suspect holding Davis hostage in his truck.

While the shooting occurred in 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court just this week let stand a federal court ruling that police owe the hostage nothing for his medical bills or the lasting effects of the officer-inflicted gunshot wounds.

The roadblock

Oglethorpe County Sheriff’s deputies and Georgia State Patrol troopers were waiting on a dirt road outside a logging camp in August 2015.

Murder suspect Ryan Arnold was terrorizing the loggers and was planning his escape. Arnold had already shot his pregnant girlfriend and left her for dead before leading police on a chase. A trooper exchanged gunfire with the murder suspect before his getaway car ran out of gas at the logging camp.

Don Davis was getting ready to pull out with a full load of lumber when Arnold jumped in his truck with a rifle. “He fired a shot, and blew my side mirror out. I thought that was my head. But look, you know, I got lucky,” Davis said.

Davis picked up his phone and called 911. The kidnapper knew he was calling.

“He’s in my truck and we coming out of the woods now,” Davis calmly told the 911 operator. “He says that I won’t survive if I don’t get him out,” he added.

Dispatch records confirm police were told that the hostage was driving the logging truck with the killer threatening his life. “The subject you all are looking for is in the vehicle with him advising if he does not go where he tells him to he will kill him,” a dispatcher said over the radio minutes before the shooting.

Some officers testified they didn’t hear that message, while others confirmed they knew there was a hostage in the truck.

The 18-wheeler rolled toward the police cars that were blocking the road and started pushing them out of the way. Officers had taken cover behind the cars. The driver’s window of the logging truck was completely missing because the murder suspect had already shot it out while taking Davis hostage.

Two Georgia State Patrol troopers and a pair of Oglethorpe County deputies opened fire on the cab of the truck using shotguns, a pistol and a fully automatic tactical rifle.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation determined the gunfire was concentrated on the driver’s side of the cab, where Davis was driving.

“Shooting the driver, shooting who is driving that truck, will stop that truck,” GBI Special Agent in Charge Jesse Maddox told lawyers in a deposition.

The truck was riddled with more than 35 bullet holes.

Davis stopped the truck and jumped out after he was already hit eight times. “I said, ‘I got to get out of here,’ bailed out and had my hands up, and I still got shot,” Davis recalled.

A police officer shot the hostage again as he jumped out of the truck to get away from the kidnapper. The officer testified he didn’t realize the man jumping out was the hostage until he had already opened fire.

Davis was shot in his shoulder, hip and leg. His right hand was nearly blown off. Doctors were able to reconstruct Davis’ hand, but he lost two fingers.

Arnold had been hiding on the floorboards with a rifle trained at Davis’ head. The kidnapper suffered far-less-serious injuries. “I was placed into an ambulance on the scene and Mr. Davis was lifeflighted,” Arnold testified in a deposition from prison.

Arnold pleaded guilty to murder, kidnapping and other felonies.

A ‘tragic story’

Davis and wife Kathy sued the officers in federal court. Oglethorpe County and two sheriff’s deputies settled with the couple for $195,000 as part of a court-ordered mediation, according to a document obtained through a records request.

The rest of the case was thrown out by the U.S. District Court.

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Entire Warner Robins Narcotics Unit placed on leave over misconduct investigation

The Warner Robins Police Department has put its entire drug unit on administrative leave over an investigation into allegations of misconduct.

In a press release sent shortly before noon on Monday, the Houston County District Attorney said on the evening of April 11, they were notified of allegations involving members of the department’s Narcotics Investigation Unit.

The next day, the DA’s office began an investigation and notified Warner Robins Police Chief Roy Whitehead.

According to officials, Whitehead placed the department on administrative leave “out of caution” and no charges have been filed at this point in the investigation.

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Police Lied About Death of ‘Cop City’ Protester They Shot 57 Times

Medical examiner rules police shooting a homicide. Police say they were forced to shoot Manuel Esteban Paez Terán after the 26-year-old environmental protester—who went by the nickname Tortugita—shot at them first. But no gunpowder residue was found on Terán’s hands, Georgia’s DeKalb County Medical Examiner reported.

The office has ruled the death of Terán (who used they/them pronouns) a homicide.

Terán was part of a group protesting the building of the Atlanta Public Safety Training Center, a 265-acre property that opponents have nicknamed “Cop City.” The protesters were camped out on the property in January when state troopers showed up.

According to law enforcement officials, Terán shot at a state trooper, prompting police to respond with a barrage of gunfire.

“The individual who fired upon law enforcement and shot the trooper was killed in an exchange of gunfire,” Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) Director Mike Register told the media in January. A GBI press release said officers “located a man inside a tent in the woods” and “gave verbal commands to the man who did not comply and shot a Georgia State Patrol Trooper. Other law enforcement officers returned fire, hitting the man.” The GBI also said that a handgun and shell casings had been found.

But an official autopsy report viewed by ABC News said there was no gunpowder on Terán’s hands. The report also revealed that they had been shot at least 57 times, suffering gunshot wounds to the head, chest, arms, hands, pelvis, thigh, buttocks, and abdomen.

“Collectively, the gunshots resulted in [Terán’s] death and therefore the cause of death is designated as multiple gunshot wounds,” states the report. “However, the gunshot wound to the head would have been fatal by itself as would have some of the other gunshots.”

An independent autopsy ordered by Terán’s family found they had their hands up when they were shot. The Dekalb County report said “there are too many variables with respect to movement of the decedent and the shooters to draw definitive conclusions concerning Mr. Teran’s body position.”

At the time of Terán’s killing, the media largely ran with the narrative supplied by the GBI.

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THE GEORGIA ARMY NATIONAL GUARD plans to combine two deeply controversial practices — military recruiting at schools and location-based phone surveillance — to persuade teens to enlist, according to contract documents reviewed by The Intercept.

The federal contract materials outline plans by the Georgia Army National Guard to geofence 67 different public high schools throughout the state, targeting phones found within a one-mile boundary of their campuses with recruiting advertisements “with the intent of generating qualified leads of potential applicants for enlistment while also raising awareness of the Georgia Army National Guard.” Geofencing refers generally to the practice of drawing a virtual border around a real-world area and is often used in the context of surveillance-based advertising as well as more traditional law enforcement and intelligence surveillance. The Department of Defense expects interested vendors to deliver a minimum of 3.5 million ad views and 250,000 clicks, according to the contract paperwork.

While the deadline for vendors attempting to win the contract was the end of this past February, no public winner has been announced.

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Family wants answers after man ‘eaten alive’ by bed bugs in county jail, attorney says

A family attorney in Georgia says a man died at a county jail after being “eaten alive by insects and bed bugs.”

According to attorney Michael D. Harper, LaShawn Thompson was at the Fulton County Jail for three months before he was found dead in a jail cell.

“What Mr. Thompson was housed in was not fit for a diseased animal,” Harper said. “He did not deserve this.”

Thompson was arrested on a misdemeanor battery charge in Atlanta in June 2022. He was taken to the Fulton County Jail and placed in the psychiatric wing after officials determined he had mental issues.

Thompson’s family said they obtained records that stated detention officers and medical staff noticed his health deteriorating but did nothing to administer aid to him or help him.

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Former NFL Player Eric Johnson Among 8 People Arrested For Human Trafficking & Gang Charges

Former NFL defensive back Eric Johnson and seven others were charged with human trafficking and other gang-related charges last Friday.

Johnson, 46, played in The League from 2000-2005 with the Oakland Raiders, Atlanta Falcons, and Arizona Cardinals. He’s now part of an apparent trafficking ring that stands accused of multiple acts involving four adult women and one female minor.

Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr says the LOTTO Gang members – including Johnson – are facing charges of trafficking of persons for sexual servitude, violation of the street gang terrorism and prevention act, conspiracy to violate the RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) Act, aggravated assault and kidnapping.

Eric Johnson and the other seven suspects were indicted by the grand jury on Feb 8.

“Throughout our state, gangs are actively engaged in human trafficking as a primary means to make money, and we are using all available resources to fight back and protect our most vulnerable,” Carr told FOX 5 Atlanta. “By combining the strengths of our Human Trafficking and Gang Prosecution Units, we are working to ensure that those who lead, promote and encourage this unlawful activity are vigorously pursued and held accountable for their actions.”

“This indictment is just the latest outcome in our ongoing efforts to keep our children and our families safe, as we seek to root out violent crime wherever it occurs.”

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Cop Arrested After He Was Caught Dumping Naked Body of 16yo Girl in the Woods

The residents of Norcross have been searching for 16-year-old Susana Morales since she went missing on July 26, 2022. She was last seen walking home on surveillance footage but tragically would never arrive. Her disappearance had been a mystery until last week when her body was discovered 20 miles away. According to an arrest warrant, she was dumped there by disgraced Doraville police officer Miles Bryant.

“It’s unbelievable honestly, there is no words that I can say to explain it,” said Jasmine Morales, Susana’s sister. “It sucks that it took so long but I guess with him being an officer has something to do with that.”

On Monday, Bryant was charged with concealing Susana’s death — her body was discovered five days earlier. Bryant has only been charged with one count of concealing the death of another and one count of falsely reporting a crime.

According to the arrest warrant, police say Bryant dumped Susana’s naked body in a patch of woods in Dacula. Medical examiners are still trying to determine the teen’s cause of death. The warrant states that police suspect Bryant of rape, murder, and other offenses, although he’s yet to be charged with those crimes.

According to court records, Bryant lived near Susana. Local news, 11 Alive interviewed neighbors who said Bryant was normal.

One of those neighbors shared cell phone videos, showing what they described as investigators collecting a bed sheet from Bryant’s personal car. In one of the videos, his police car was being towed away.

“It’s hard to put my mind around it right now, that’s this person who lived in this complex did that,” said another resident who asked not to disclose her identity out of fear of retaliation. That neighbor says while she didn’t know Bryant personally he has introduced himself several times as a police officer who also moonlights as security at the complex.

Neighbors said Byrant’s demeanor during the past six months wasn’t alarming.

“He was very normal, just smiling laughing, living his life,” the neighbor said. “Poor baby laid out in a field somewhere. Are you serious, how can you be that cold-hearted? How is somebody that cold-hearted?”

Though much of the media is referring to Bryant as a “former officer,” he was a cop until Monday. He was only fired after being charged with dumping the naked body of a teenager in the woods.

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Georgia ‘witch doctor’ accused of raping woman who paid for ‘cleansing’ ritual, police believe he targeted illegal aliens

A man calling himself a “witch doctor” is accused of raping a woman who had paid him for a cleansing ritual, and police believe that he targeted illegal aliens because he could threaten to report them to immigration officials.

Police say that 44-year-old Hassan Shalgheen took an appointment from a woman seeking a cleansing ritual and invited her to his apartment in Duluth, a small suburban town near Atlanta, Georgia, on Sunday evening.

She said she found out about Shalgheen through WhatsApp, a social media platform.

Police said that Shalgheen took her clothes off for the ritual and then forced himself on her and sexually assaulted her.

She called police from his apartment at about 11 p.m.

Shalgheen was arrested and charged with two counts of rape. He was also charged with false imprisonment, theft, and sexual battery.

Video of the arrest was obtained by WANF-TV and showed police telling Shalgheen that they had a warrant for his DNA.

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‘Right-wing shooter?’ Suspect accused of shooting Warnock canvasser revealed to be Democrat activist

The man who allegedly shot a 15-year-old in the leg while campaigning for Georgia Democrat Senator Raphael Warnock has a social media history that points to him being a left-wing activist who believes the GOP wants to kill Americans, despite claims by left-wing activists that falsely assert that he is a Republican. 

Tweets from Jimmy Arturo Paiz’s Twitter account show that he is against Republican candidate for Senate Herschel Walker. A tweet from November reads, “Listening to Herschel Walker speak is the same as listening to Mushmouth speak. It’s so embarrassing to live in a state with people that actually support this garbage-ass person. But let’s be real, the GOP loves whitewashed brothers, always have.”

Another tweet quotes a Vice News article about the Myanmarese coup d’etat of 2021, where he tweeted: “This is an example of what authoritarian, right-wing, republican, GOP, ideology wishes it could get away with, and in many instances, it has to a lesser degree. Make no mistake, this is the ideology of the right.”

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