Society's Child


After 19 years behind bars, man sues Chicago police for framing him

© AFP Photo / Joshua Lott
Police officers, Chicago, US
After nearly two decades of imprisonment for a murder he didn't commit, a Chicago man says he was framed by a group of policemen who bribed court witnesses to go along with their story and has filed a lawsuit against the perpetrators.

Rodell Sanders, 49, has spent years trying to convince the court of his innocence and was exonerate after 19 years imprisonment. The former prisoner is now taking the Chicago Heights Police Department and several of its officers to court for his wrongful conviction and the bribery that landed him in jail.

Sanders was arrested and charged for a 1993 murder in which a group of men robbed and fatally shot one of two people who they found sleeping in a car.

He was accused of being part of the group, even though he always claimed to have been "nowhere nearby", and was instead playing cards at his friend's apartment.

"There was no physical evidence linking Sanders to the crime. Rather, the only purported evidence against Mr. Sanders were two purchased and patently false witness identifications," states the complaint. "These wrongful misidentifications were procured through manipulation and bribes by members of the City of Chicago Heights's infamously corrupt police department."
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Oxford gang drugged young girls and sold them as prostitutes, court told

© Photograph: Julia Quenzler/Central News
The accused men at the Old Bailey – from left: Kamar Jamil, Akthtar Dogar, Anjum Dogar, Assad Hussain, Mohammed Karrar, Bassam Karrar, Mohammed Hussain, Zeeshan Ahmed and Bilal Ahmed.
Old Bailey hears nine men, facing 51 counts including rape and trafficking, imprisoned girls as young as 11 and subjected them to depravity and extreme sexual violence.

Vulnerable girls as young as 11 were groomed, subjected to acts of "extreme depravity" and trafficked around the UK for sex by a gang of men based in Oxford, a court has heard .

Over a period of eight years the nine men made the girls' lives a "living hell", subjecting them to extreme physical and sexual violence, selling some victims for prostitution in Oxford and trafficking others around the country, an Old Bailey jury was told.

It took more than half an hour to read out the 51 counts against the men, who sat impassively in the dock, accused of crimes including rape, forcing a child into prostitution and trafficking.

The jury of seven men and five women heard that from 2004 to early 2012 six complainants were plied with drugs and drink, and raped, sometimes by several men and sometimes "for days on end".

The men targeted children in care or from chaotic backgrounds, the jury heard. Once groomed, the girls could then be used to recruit other children into the sex ring. Some of the girls, ranging in age from 11 to 15, were groomed to be child prostitutes, for which some men in the gang received payments.

Accused New York subway pusher Naeem Davis describes scene on track

© Photograph: Handout/Reuters
Naeem Davis, right, told police Ki-Suck Han (face blocked) was the instigator of the fight at the 49th Street station near Times Square.
Davis pleads not guilty as NYPD release documents in which he says victim struggled to get back on platform as train neared.

A homeless suspect charged with killing a stranger by pushing him into the path of a New York City subway train told investigators his victim "rolled like a bowling ball" after he landed on the tracks, according to court papers.

In written and videotaped statements, Naeem Davis admitted watching as Ki-Suck Han tried in vain to climb off the tracks before the train hit him, the document prepared by prosecutors says.

Davis, a 30-year-old who told investigators who came to the United States from Sierra Leone, described Han as a drunken instigator of the deadly altercation on a subway platform near Times Square. But he also wrote that he was to blame and "shouldn't have let this happen", the document says.

The papers were made public on Tuesday as Davis pleaded not guilty to murder and manslaughter charges at a Manhattan courthouse. He's been held without bail since his arrest last month.

Another school shooting: Student shoots faculty member, then himself in downtown St. Louis school

© photo via AP
Police say a student in his mid-30s walked into a downtown St. Louis business school and shot an administrator before turning the gun on himself on Tuesday.

The shooting happened at the Stevens Institute of Business and Arts in the 1500 block of Washington near 15th St. around 2 p.m.

According to police, the student entered a fourth-floor office in the school and shot a financial aid member in the chest. He then shot himself.

Police arrived within a minute of the call about the shooting. Students were huddled under desks and in closets. The administrator had made it to an elevator; the gunman was found injured in a stairwell between the third and fourth floor.

High school principal suspended for playing 'The Terminator' in video

A Massachusetts high school principal has been suspended after portraying himself as the movie character "The Terminator" in a video for students.

According to ABC News, Erik Naumann was suspended for two days for the video, which used scenes from the movie Terminator 2: Judgement Day showing empty classrooms and playgrounds burning after an explosion, as well as footage depicting Naumann, as the titular robot stalking Linda Hamilton's character, Sarah Connor.

"The messages that are in that video are kind of disturbing," Everett Public Schools Superintendent Frederick Foresteire told WCVB-TV on Monday. "A woman terrorized in the hallway. They show four empty classrooms. Where have the students gone?"

Source of Pennsylvania Walmart illnesses still a mystery

© Lucy Schaly of The Times
Shoppers enter the Walmart in Center Township Sunday evening. An unknown smell sickened some customers Saturday around 7 p.m.
Things seemed to be back to normal at the Center Township Walmart store on Sunday, one day after the store was evacuated and closed for several hours, after customers and employees became ill inside.

But while the problem that caused the illnesses seemed to have cleared up, its cause remained a mystery.

"Our readings didn't come up with anything, (Beaver County Hazardous Materials Team) didn't come up with anything," said Center's fire Chief Bill Brucker on Sunday. "I don't know if we'll ever find out the cause."

Center firefighters were sent to the store around 7 p.m. Saturday, after both customers and store employees became ill inside the store, Brucker said.

"There was nausea, some vomiting, and several cases of upper respiratory issues," Brucker said. "The decision was made to evacuate the store while we tried to figure out what was going on."

Brucker said the cause seemed to be centered near the back of the sprawling store, on the grocery side; Walmart workers had roped off several aisles in that area.
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Kenyan officials impound two tonnes of ivory: police

Officials in the Kenyan port city of Mombasa have impounded more than 600 pieces of ivory, weighing two tonnes, they said Tuesday, the latest in a series of seizures by Kenyan authorities.

"They were labelled as decorating stones and were headed to Indonesia from Tanzania," a police source based at the port told AFP on condition of anonymity.

The head of operations at the port, Gitau Gitau, confirmed the seizure, but said no arrests had been made. Gitau said the documents used to ship the cargo would be used to track its owners, and added that the seized ivory is valued at more than $1 million (750,000 euros).

Two weeks ago, officials in Hong Kong seized more than a tonne of ivory worth about $1.4 million in a shipment from Kenya.

The international trade in elephant ivory, with rare exceptions, has been outlawed since 1989 after elephant populations in Africa dropped from millions in the mid-20th century to some 600,000 by the end of the 1980s.

Military suicides in 2012 hit yet another record high

Sgt. Mark Fayloga
Surely, one of the more depressing ledes to run this week:
Suicides in the U.S. military surged to a record 349 last year, far exceeding American combat deaths in Afghanistan, and some private experts are predicting the dark trend will worsen this year.
The figures are tentative, pending the completion of full reports on each case later this year. The number of US military suicides surpassed the number of combat deaths for the third time in four years. (For 2012, the Associated Press recorded 295 American combat deaths in Afghanistan.) The previous record high was 310 suicides in 2009, after the rate began a disturbing upward trend starting in 2006.
Eye 2

Man let pit bull attack mom three times, cops say

© Credit Lorraine Swanson
Jeremy Rusin, 21, faces felony charges after allowing his pit bull to attack his mom three times, Oak Lawn police said.
Mother thought she was going to die, police said. Twenty-one-year-old son being held in Cook County Jail on $20,000 bail.

A 21-year-old man faces felony charges after police said he let his pet pit bull attack his mother multiple times, reports said.

Jeremy Rusin, 21, of the 4900 block of West 91st St. was charged with battery, domestic battery and assault. He is being held on $20,000 bail at the Cook County Jail.

Oak Lawn police responded to a report of a pit bull attacking a female as two people stood by and watched in the 4900 block of West 91st Street around 9:42 p.m. Jan. 4.

The caller told police that he was driving past the house when he slowed his car to see what was happening. Rusin allegedly yelled, "what the f--- are you looking it. Mind your business and get the f--- out of here," the report said.

Mental health experts fear proposed New York gun law might hinder therapy

Mental health experts say a new tougher New York state gun control law might interfere with treatment of potentially dangerous people and even discourage them from seeking help.

The law would require therapists, doctors, nurses and social workers to tell government authorities if they believe a patient is likely to harm himself or others. That could lead to revoking the patient's gun permit and seizing any guns.

In interviews Tuesday, one expert called the new law meaningless and said he expects mental health providers to ignore it, while others said they worry about its impact on patients.

Dr. Paul Appelbaum at Columbia University said the prospect of being reported to local mental health authorities and maybe the police might discourage people from revealing thoughts of harm to a therapist, or even from seeking treatment at all.