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'Criminal meeting' of bikers in Waco was actually organized political gathering


Despite the characterization by police that the afternoon gathering at a Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco, Texas that led to Sunday's bloody shooting incident was a gathering of criminal biker gangs with violent intent, the meeting appears to have been a legitimate, organized gathering of motorcycle riders meeting to discuss political issues.

The group that met was the Texas Confederation of Clubs and Independents (CoC&I) and a look at that group's website and history gives a very different impression of the group's purpose and goals than what has been said repeatedly by Waco police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton.

Swanton has been a central media figure, conducting several press conferences since shootings that left nine dead and dozens injured happened on Sunday. Swanton's statements have been echoed by the media, creating an image of a get together of thugs converging on Twin Peaks in an event obviously fraught with danger that authorities tried desperately to stop until they were foiled by the uncooperative restaurant owner.

An AP report on Tuesday gives what has been the now-standard media narrative:
Five gangs had gathered at the restaurant as part of a meeting to settle differences over turf and recruitment. Prior meetings had been held at the restaurant, and managers there had dismissed police concerns over the gatherings, he said.

"They were not here to drink and eat barbecue," Swanton said. "They came here with violence in mind."
The "gathering of criminal bikers" story was even used to justify the $1 million bail that the 170 arrested bikers were each handed. From the same AP report:
McLennan County Justice of the Peace W.H. Peterson set bond at $1 million for each suspect. He defended the high amount, citing the violence that quickly unfolded in a shopping market busy with a lunchtime crowd.

"We have nine people dead, because these people wanted to come down and what? Drink? Party?" Peterson said. "I thought it was appropriate."
Despite those claims by Texas officials of drinking, partying and violence in mind, the Texas Confederation of Clubs and Independents website and other information give every impression that the group's meeting on that Sunday was legitimate.

Handcuffs

Grand jury indicts 6 officers in the death of Freddie Gray

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A grand jury in Baltimore has indicted six officers in the death of Freddie Gray, the city's top prosecutor said Thursday.

In a hasty early-evening news conference, State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby reeled off the charges handed down by the grand jury against the officers: Garrett Miller, Alicia White, Edward Nero, Caesar Goodson Jr., Brian Rice and William Porter.

The grand jury's charges differed slightly from those filed by Mosby May 1, when she announced the results of her office's independent investigation of Gray's death. Some of the original charges, including false imprisonment, were dropped, and new charges, including reckless endangerment, were added.

Mosby did not explain why that had happened, other than to say that "additional information was discovered, and, as is often the case during an ongoing investigation, charges can and should be revised based on the evidence."


Bad Guys

Lawsuit: Guards at Rikers allowed to rape inmates with consent from city officials

© The Free Thought Project
New York, New York - According to a lawsuit filed this week, the city of New York has helped enable the ongoing abuse and rape of several female inmates at the all-female Rose M. Singer Center at Rikers prison. Two women behind the lawsuit, who wish to remain anonymous, say they were both raped on multiple occasions by the same corrections officer, Benny Santiago.

The lawsuit also says that eight other corrections officers were involved in raping women at the prison on a regular basis, and in one case one of the inmates even got pregnant.

According to CNN,
The plaintiffs, represented by the Legal Aid Society, seek damages from Santiago as well as an overhaul of Department of Corrections policy in order to break what they call a "culture of systemic rape."

Santiago abused the two women in unrestricted areas that were not monitored by security cameras and would wait until after center captains had made their supervisory rounds, which were made at the same time every day, the complaint says.
After reporting the assaults to the staff at the prison, one of the plaintiffs were told that nothing could be done about the attacks.

"This abuse is only possible because, in the face of repeated warnings, the City of New York has enabled a culture of complacency to perpetuate at Rikers Island and thereby consented to the abuse of women in its custody," the lawsuit said.

The Rose M. Singer Center at Rikers was listed as one of the worst prisons for sexual assault in a 2012 Department of Justice survey. According to the survey, 5.9% of the female inmates at Rikers reported that they were sexually assaulted by the prison staff.

"Sexual violence is at record proportions in DOC, and rape and other sexual abuse of women are endemic at the Rose M. Singer Center," Seymour W. James, the attorney-in-chief of The Legal Aid Society told CNN.

Rikers is one of the most notorious prisons in the country, a few months ago we reported that many prisoners at Rikers found pellets in their food which were later revealed as rat poison.

Quenelle

Moscow tells Facebook, Google, and Twitter to block extremist content, or else

© Desconocido
The head of Russia's media watchdog has threatened Google, Facebook and Twitter with fines and bans unless the companies comply with Moscow's demands to block content it deems extremist and to share information about online traffic on individual pages, a news report said.

In letters to senior executives of the three social networks, head of the Roskomnadzor watchdog, Alexander Zharov, accused the companies of committing "lawless actions" by ignoring Russia's demands, and threatened sanctions, pro-government daily Izvestia reported Tuesday.

Roskomnadzor spokesman Vadim Ampelonsky confirmed that the letters had been sent out, the report said.

Comment: "Opposition leaders' more than often means traitors paid by foreign citizens. And of course there are the neo-Nazis in Ukraine who use Facebook to incite violence against the Russian population. Check out:


Eye 2

Dentist sued by over 50 patients for performing unnecessary surgery and abusing children

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© WJAX-TV
Dr. Howard Schneider
It's a sound no parent likes to hear: a child screaming out of fear and possibly pain from the dentist's chair. Going to the dentist is a rite of passage, of sorts, but what's alleged to have happened at the hands of 78-year-old Dr. Howard Schneider was not.

For the past three weeks, there have been daily protests outside his practice. One parent was so angry, she attacked him outside his office. Schneider said he's done nothing wrong.

The firestorm started after Brandi Motley wrote about the day she took to her 6-year-old daughter, Bri'el, to Schneider to have one tooth pulled. On the day of surgery in December 2014, Motley said she was not allowed to sit with her daughter.

"The nurse suggested that it's best - that kids act better when parents aren't in the room. So they said we don't like parents back here for the procedures," she said.

Motley said she sat in the waiting room for three hours until the waiting turned to worrying.

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© CNN

Comment: Another local Jacksonville media outlet is reporting that Dr. Schneider has let go of his treatment staff, is not accepting new clients, and that his wife, who served as office manager and handled all Medicaid billing, is filing for divorce. The roaches sure do scurry when the lights are turned on.


Arrow Down

NOAA study confirms BP oil spill caused unprecedented fatalities in Gulf of Mexico dolphins

© Reuters
The 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico caused an unprecedented number of fatal diseases in roughly 1,300 dolphins over the course of five years, according to a new study by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Up to now, the link between oil spill exposure and dolphin deaths has been inconclusive, but this study changes that. The results are from a forensic investigation that was part of NOAA's long-term ecological analysis of the Deepwater incident that began in 2013. The spill itself leaked 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf over five months in 2010.

"No feasible alternatives remain that can reasonably explain the timing, location and nature of this increase in death," co-author Stephanie Venn-Watson of the National Marine Mammal Foundation in San Diego said in a Wednesday press conference.

Comment: It's unsurprising that BP would deny culpability - it's just what psychopathic corporations do. Profit is their god and anything that gets in the way is discounted or ignored whenever possible. The damages inflicted on the citizens living along the coast, to the environment and to marine animals have been catastrophic, yet the psychopaths in control of this greedy and arrogant corporation have attempted to circumvent responsibility at every turn.


Heart - Black

Psychopathic pediatric dentist accused of torture, abuse, fraud


© WTLV-TV/WJXX-TV
Jacksonville, Florida — A Jacksonville pediatric dentist under investigation by the state of Florida is now the target of a class-action lawsuit alleging his practice is a front for a "sadistic and systematic scheme of physical and psychological torture and abuse" of "utterly defenseless" children.

In a lawsuit filed this week in the 4th Judicial Circuit Court in Duval County, Fla., four plaintiffs accuse Dr. Howard Schneider of assault, battery, false imprisonment and intentionally inflicting "severe emotional distress" spanning decades from his office.

The lawsuit filed Wednesday follows days of protests outside Schneider's office and a wave of complaints from parents alleging he physically abused their children, botched their dental work, and stonewalled parents and investigators when his methods were questioned.

It also comes just days after the Florida Attorney General's Office confirmed Schneider's practice was under active investigation for alleged Medicaid fraud.

Eye 2

Undercover cops on trial shown on video terrorizing couple in SUV attack

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As the nation turns its attention to the biker gang attacks in Waco, another violent biker gang episode from 2013, this one in New York, is making headlines again as the trial of two of its assailants, former undercover NYPD police officer Wojciech Braszczok and Robert Sims, gets underway in Manhattan.

The testimony of one of the victims, Rosalyn Ng, was backed up in court by a new video obtained by the Daily News showing the brutality of the attack that left her husband hospitalized for months. The video depicts the men (one of whom it was later revealed infiltrated Occupy Wall Street on behalf of the NYPD) dragging Alexian Lien out of his SUV in broad daylight in Washington Heights. They proceed to severely beat him as his wife, Rosalyn Ng, cries for help. The couple had an infant child in the back seat, a fact Ng claims she yelled out repeatedly as the men continued to stomp and kick Lien. The footage was taken from one of the bikers' GoPro helmets.

Braszczok's lawyer alleges his client went along with the attack because he didn't want to break what he called "deep cover." The former NYPD officer is also accused of being responsible for breaking the couple's windshield, a charge he denies. If convicted, both men face up to 25 years in prison.

Sheriff

Police in Germany investigated over accusations of torturing migrants

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© Reuters / Kai Pfaffenbach
Prosecutors in the German city of Hanover are looking into accusations that federal police are involved in torturing migrants and documenting the incidents of violence in mobile phone photos and text messages.

The mistreatment first reported by the public radio and television network Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR) which described two incidents at a police station in Lower Saxony, included beating the men and force-feeding one with rotten pork - a forbidden food in Islam, even if fresh.

"We received a complaint last week that referred to assaults in a police department of the federal police," Attorney-General Thomas Klinge told NDR. Police has been sent to search the home and workstation of at least one accused officer, he said.

In March 2014, one of the officers allegedly tried to choke a refugee from Afghanistan after dragging him through the police station by his feet shackles.

He shared the details of his assault with his colleagues via mobile messenger WhatsApp, sending "I knocked him away. An Afghan. With prohibited entry [to Germany]. I stuck my finger in his nose. And he choked. It was funny. And I dragged him by the foot shackles through the station. It was great. He squealed like a pig. It was a gift from Allah," according to NDR exclusive report aired on Sunday.

Comment: As this article shows, it's not just the police in the U.S. that act psychopathically. Looks like the Germans are learning a thing or two from their American partners on how to treat minorities.


Phoenix

Innocent man who spent 39 years in jail sues cops who framed him for murder

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© Reuters / Kim Palmer
Ricky Jackson
Ricky Jackson, who spent 39 years in jail for a murder he did not commit, is suing the police officers who allegedly helped frame him. Jackson was convicted on the testimony of a 12-year-old boy who didn't see the crime and later retracted his statement.

The lawsuit, which was filed on Tuesday against the city of Cleveland, alleges that eight officers, including detectives and their superiors, were involved in framing Jackson and brothers Wiley and Ronnie Bridgeman for the killing of salesman Harold Franks, which occurred in the Cleveland area in 1975. Three of the officers involved in the case have since passed away.

"This lawsuit seeks compensation for that grievous injustice," attorney Jon Loevy said in the statement. "We now know substantially more about the fallibility of eyewitness identifications. Too many people have been sent to prison wrongfully based on bogus identifications."

Jackson, now 58 years old, was exonerated of the murder in November and was awarded just over $1 million in March as compensation for the decades he spent in prison. The case was overturned after Eddie Vernon, who was 12 at the time, retracted his statement four decades on. He said he did not even see the murder being committed, as he had been riding on a school bus at the time.