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Oklahoma MAGA-man has a plan to save Trump’s border wall

Or one four-thousandth of it, at least.Oklahoma state Rep. Bobby Cleveland (R). CREDIT: AP Photo/Sue OgrockiPresident Donald Trump is struggling to find the money for the border wall he promised voters. One local lawmaker thinks he can help.Oklahoma state Rep. Bobby Cleveland (R) wants to donate his state’s civil asset forfeiture seizures to chip in for Trump’s wall. Cleveland, who is sometimes … [Read more...]

GOP judge in North Carolina resigns to prevent ‘court unpacking’ by legislature

This throws a wrench in the legislature’s plan.Roy Cooper, right, is sworn in as North Carolina governor by North Carolina Supreme Court Justice Mark Martin as Cooper’s wife, Kristin, watches in the historic Capitol Building in Raleigh, N.C., Jan. 1, 2017. CREDIT: AP Photo/Ben McKeown, PoolOn Friday, Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed the latest power grab by the North Carolina legislature: an … [Read more...]

Remake of classic ’90s ad explains: ‘This is your brain on drug policy.’

Rachael Leigh Cook returns to talk about racism in the war on drugs.Rachael Leigh Cook in “This Is Your Brain on Drug Policy.” CREDIT: Screenshot/YouTubeReaders of a certain generation may remember one of the anti-drug awareness movements catchiest PSAs: “This is your brain. This is your brain on drugs.” It’s right up there with “Only you can prevent forest fires!” as one of the more memorable … [Read more...]

Wisconsin Supreme Court rejects request from 56 judges to address judicial campaign cash

The court didn’t even hold a public hearing about it.Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI), second from right, greets Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson after the governor’s State of State address at the State Capitol, Feb. 1, 2011, in Madison, Wis. CREDIT: AP Photo/Andy ManisOn Thursday, the Wisconsin Supreme Court rejected a petition from 56 ex-judges to reform their ethics rules to … [Read more...]

One month on from purge, Sessions and Trump still have no U.S. Attorneys in place

“You would think the law-and-order president would have his replacement U.S. Attorneys lined up in pretty short order.”Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III. CREDIT: AP Photo/Alex BrandonOne month after purging all remaining Obama administration holdovers from federal prosecutors’ offices nationwide, Attorney General Jeff Sessions still has not replaced any of the departed … [Read more...]

Arizona conservatives finalize redundant, disingenuous ‘Blue Lives Matter’ law

Assaulting cops already brings stiff penalties.Gov. Doug Ducey (R-AZ), right. CREDIT: AP Photo/Bob ChristieArizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) signed a bill toughening already-stringent criminal penalties for attacks on law enforcement personnel on Monday, joining a handful of other states in passing redundant measures deeming police a special class of victim.These so-called “Blue Lives Matter” laws … [Read more...]

‘Another round of whack-a-mole’: Decoding the White House’s tough talk on cartels

Homeland Security chief John Kelly isn’t the man to fix the drug war.Retired Gen. John Kelly (USMC), who is serving as Secretary of Homeland Security, has strong views on how to fight the war on drugs. CREDIT: AP Photo/J. Scott ApplewhiteInternational drug cartels are only able to impose violent chaos on the Western hemisphere because Americans’ demand for narcotics is so high, DHS head John Kelly … [Read more...]

Cop who shot unarmed therapist last summer finally charged

It took almost nine months and some leaked audiotape, but a south Florida prosecutor is going after the cop who shot Charles Kinsey.In 24 years in office, State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle had never charged a police officer in an on-duty shooting — until Wednesday. CREDIT: AP Photo/Wilfredo LeeProsecutors charged a Florida police officer with attempted manslaughter on Wednesday, nine … [Read more...]

Judge rebukes killer Oklahoma cop for going on national TV before her trial

The trial may be delayed after a 60 Minutes interview “of particular concern.”Officer Betty Jo Shelby at an initial court appearance in 2016. CREDIT: AP Photo/Sue OgrockiDays after a lengthy 60 Minutes piece on the death of Terence Crutcher aired nationwide, the judge overseeing Tulsa police officer Betty Jo Shelby’s manslaughter trial in the case has ordered Shelby and her lawyers to tighten up … [Read more...]

The company that brought you Tasers is betting big on cheap police reform

Hey, kid — wanna try a body camera? First one’s free.Police officers in Duluth, MN, wearing body cameras. CREDIT: AP Photo/Jim Mone, FileIn recent years, as public officials scrambled to dispel concerns that cops routinely lie to protect fellow officers in misconduct investigations, one policy idea quickly emerged as a would-be cure-all.Body cameras attached to every police officer could almost … [Read more...]

Putting a cop accused of homicide on ‘60 Minutes’ used to be considered crazy. It might be genius.

Betty Jo Shelby found a way to testify without being cross-examined.Officer Betty Jo Shelby appeared on CBS’ 60 Minutes in early April. Her trial for killing unarmed Terence Crutcher doesn’t begin until May. CREDIT: CBS/ScreenshotOn September 16, 2016, Officer Betty Jo Shelby killed 40-year-old Terence Crutcher with a single gunshot to the chest.On September 22, Tulsa District Attorney Steve … [Read more...]

Jeff Sessions moves to freeze Barack Obama’s legacy on police accountability

Accountability for abusive and racist police conduct is now at the whim of Sessions.Attorney General Jeff Sessions CREDIT: AP Photo/Jeff RobersonAfter months of hints, Attorney General Jeff Sessions unveiled the first concrete action to roll back Obama-era oversight of local police forces on Monday.Sessions’ team will review each of the 14 active legal agreements between the federal government and … [Read more...]

Tulsa cop on trial for killing unarmed black man says ‘lynch mob coming after me’

Officer Betty Jo Shelby went on 60 Minutes ahead of her manslaughter trial.A frame from the aerial footage shows Officer Betty Jo Shelby and Terence Crutcher seconds before she shot and killed him last September. CREDIT: Tulsa Police DepartmentThe Tulsa police officer who shot and killed a black motorist who had his hands raised last fall is now turning to prestigious television news programming … [Read more...]

No charges for Florida prison guards who allegedly locked mentally ill black man in scalding shower

Darren Rainey, a schizophrenic man serving time for cocaine possession, died in 2012.Dade Correctional Institution, where Darren Rainey died. CREDIT: AP Photo/Lynne SladkyIn June of 2012, 50-year old Darren Rainey, a schizophrenic man serving time for cocaine possession, died in the Dade Correctional Institution. According to prison witnesses and civil rights groups, Rainey died after guards … [Read more...]

Neil Gorsuch was instrumental in defending George W. Bush’s torture program

What does that mean for the role of the judiciary in reviewing the president’s actions?Judge Neil Gorsuch speaks in the The White House in Washington, Jan. 31, 2017. CREDIT: AP Photo/Carolyn KasterAs reported by the New York Times’ Charlie Savage, Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch was “at the center of both litigation and negotiations with Congress” over the George W. Bush administration’s … [Read more...]

This Florida prosecutor says she will never seek the death penalty

The police chief is “furious.”CREDIT: ScreenshotA central Florida state attorney said on Thursday that she will not seek the death penalty in any case during her tenure, becoming the first elected prosecutor in the state to take a stand against capital punishment.Aramis Ayala, who serves the area around Orlando, said during a news conference Thursday that she has “determined that doing so is not … [Read more...]

Disgraced former Los Angeles sheriff faces 20 years in prison

Massive abuse scandal culminates in federal convictions.Former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca, pictured here with Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) in 2010. CREDIT: AP Photo/Reed SaxonOnce the most powerful sheriff in the United States, Lee Baca is now headed to prison.A jury convicted the former Los Angeles County sheriff Wednesday on conspiracy charges stemming from his role in a cover-up of … [Read more...]

Marijuana ‘only slightly less awful’ than getting hooked on heroin, Sessions says

Reefer madness today, reefer madness tomorrow, reefer madness forever.Attorney General Jeff Sessions addresses reporters in Virginia on Wednesday. CREDIT: AP Photo/Steve HelberMarijuana users and heroin addicts are basically the same, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Wednesday in Richmond, Virginia.“I am astonished to hear people suggest that we can solve our heroin crisis by legalizing … [Read more...]