Alternate Juror on Chauvin Trial Says She Feared Riots, People Turning Up At Her Home

A woman who sat as an alternate juror on the Derek Chauvin trial told a local news station that she was concerned about “rioting and destruction” as well as people turning up at her house if they were angry at the verdict.

Lisa Christensen also revealed to KARE 11 how the riots that preceded the verdict were close to her house and that she routinely witnessed them after the trial had concluded for the day.

“When I came home, I could hear the helicopters flying over my house… I could hear the flash bangs going off,” Christensen said. “If I stepped outside, I could see the smoke from the grenades. One day, the trial ran a little late, and I had trouble getting to my house, because the protesters were blocking the interstate, so I had to go way around.”

Christensen said she had no idea she would be dismissed by the judge and not be a part of deliberations, something that happened “right before the 12 jurors were sequestered.”

Keep reading

If Derek Chauvin Can Be Found Guilty, These Cops Should Be Prosecuted as Well

On Tuesday former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin found guilty of unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Chauvin was seen on video kneeling on the neck of George Floyd — who was handcuffed and not resisting — for over 8 minutes, until he died. Had video of the incident not existed, the chances of Chauvin even being charged would have been non-existent. Even with the video, Chauvin’s case is extremely rare as cops who kill are almost never held accountable.

Finding a police officer facing a murder charge for an on-duty shooting is like finding a unicorn in your front yard. As TFTP has reported, despite horrifying police killings, many of which were captured on video and rocked the nation, the arrest rate for cops who kill people on-duty remains as low as ever. According to reports, since 2005, just 126 police officers have been arrested for murder or manslaughter in relation to an on-duty killing.

Of those 126, just 44 have been convicted, with 31 of their cases still pending, and just eight cops total, including Chauvin, have been convicted of murder. The other 37 cops were convicted on charges ranging from manslaughter to official misconduct, with many of them receiving no jail time.

Chauvin’s case proves, however, that it is indeed possible to charge cops who unnecessarily kill people. If he can be convicted of murder, others should be as well. The Free Thought Project has composed a list of killer cops whose crimes were just as, or more horrific as Chauvin’s but who were never charged.

Keep reading

As Chauvin Verdict Draws Near, Facebook Clamps Down With Heavy Moderation

As the National Guard takes up positions across Minneapolis ahead of the Derek Chauvin verdict, Facebook has announced that it will be heavily moderating its platform to remove posts promoting civil unrest or violence in Minneapolis, according to Bloomberg.

The social media giant will remove posts that celebrate or praise the death of George Floyd – however there’s no indication from the report that Facebook will be removing posts used to coordinate protests – some of which will undoubtedly become riots. The company considers Derek Chauvin a public figure, and George Floyd an ‘involuntary public figure.’

Facebook will allow users to discuss the trial and attorneys, but will remove content which violates their policies on ‘hate speech, bullying, graphic violence and incitement.’ No word on whether they’ll remove clips of Rep. Maxine Waters inciting a mob before members of the National Guard were injured in a weekend shooting.

Keep reading

Biden’s Plan to Create Police Oversight Agency Put On Hold, White House Says

A police oversight commission promised by US President Joe Biden during his election campaign has been put on hold, as the move was considered “not the most effective” against police brutality, Domestic Policy Council Director Susan Rice told Politico.

Biden pledged to establish a police watchdog within the first 100 days of his presidency last June, in the wake of the death of African-American citizen George Floyd while being arrested by a white police officer. The incident sparked mass protests against racially-motivated police brutality.

“Based on close, respectful consultation with partners in the civil rights community, the administration made the considered judgement that a police commission, at this time, would not be the most effective way to deliver on our top priority in this area, which is to sign the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act into law,” Rice said in a statement late on Sunday.

The authorities held consultations with police unions as well and concluded that an oversight commission would likely be redundant.

Keep reading

NO JAIL for Cop Who Admitted He Raped Woman in Patrol Car to Avoid Arrest

In October of 2018, Tyneka Cephas had driven down to Wilmington to visit the grave of her daughter Tynesia who had tragically been killed at age 16 in a random shooting in 2017. Her pilgrimage of grief morphed into a nightmare of sexual abuse, however, when Wilmington Police Cpl. Thomas R. Oliver Jr. pulled her into his car and proceeded to sexually violate her.

Now, after fighting for her abuser to be held accountable for the last 2 years, Cephas found out that Oliver will not be going to jail. Instead, he was given a year of probation, despite admitting to the entire situation.

“It was a horrid thing,“ Cephas said of the incident. “He treated me as if I was a prostitute.”

“I had just come up here from Georgetown, Delaware, because it was my daughter’s 18th birthday. She was a victim of gun violence and we were celebrating her birthday at the gravesite,” she explained to reporters in a press conference.

That day, Oliver, an 11-year veteran of the force, decided to drive up to Cephas as she walked down the 700 block of East Ninth Street on the way to her daughter’s gravesite. When Oliver pulled up, he told Cephas to sit in the front seat of his car. He then told Cephas she had a warrant for her arrest, while simultaneously exposing himself to her.

He then issued the ultimatum; perform oral sex, or face arrest. He then grabbed her by the head and forced her onto his exposed penis. These facts are undisputed by both parties.

Cephas would then file a complaint and an investigation was launched into the allegations.

Months after the incident, Oliver would be arrested and charged with second-degree rape, sexual extortion, and having sex with a person in police custody. He was ordered held on $66,000 cash bail following the nearly five-month investigation.

At the time, Police Chief Robert J. Tracy called the charges “deeply troubling and disheartening. The charge that one of our officers abused his authority to victimize a member of the public in this manner is sickening.”

Fast-forward to this month, however, and the deeply troubling and disheartening act by one of their officers, has been swept under the rug. Oliver beat all charges except official misconduct and was sentenced to just one year of probation — this, in spite of the fact that he admitted to the entire ordeal.

“It’s all undisputed,” Cephas’ lawyer Emeka Igwe said. “The officer does not dispute that this horrible incident took place while he was in uniform in his patrol car and he’s even admitted that it was wrong and he’s apologized to Ms. Cephas in court, but yet, the mayor of Wilmington and the police chief have yet to reach out to Ms. Cephas.”

The defense likely claimed that Cephas somehow consented to the act, which is as asinine as it is insidious.

Oliver had a gun, handcuffs, and threatened to throw her in jail when he demanded oral sex.

Keep reading

‘Bad Apple Act’ to End Qualified Immunity for Corrupt Cops Who Violate Rights

Over the past few years, the residents of Illinois — especially those who live in Chicago — have been subjected to a militarized police state occupation. Innocent family after innocent family each waking up in the middle of the night as heavily armed storm troopers throw flash bangs into their homes, haul them outside in the cold, point guns at their heads, and even handcuff small children. These families are being terrorized in their own homes, many of them left with PTSD, and no one is being held accountable — because the state is the one behind the terror — and the doctrine of qualified immunity protects them all.

House Bill 1727, introduced by Rep. Curtis Tarver sets out to change this paradigm. The aptly titled Bad Apples in Law Enforcement Accountability Act aims to end qualified immunity for cops who violate the rights of citizens.

For those who may be unaware, the Supreme Court created qualified immunity in 1982. With that novel invention, the court granted all government officials immunity for violating constitutional and civil rights unless the victims of those violations can show that the rights were “clearly established.”

The court held in Harlow v. Fitzgerald that government actors are entitled to this immunity due to the “need to protect officials who are required to exercise discretion and the related public interest in encouraging the vigorous exercise of official authority.”

Keep reading