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Thu, 28 Oct 2021
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Black Cat

Infamously abusive cop Sterling Wheaten ordered to pay victim $250,000 but still keeps his job

sterling wheaten

Atlantic City police officer Sterling Wheaten
Notorious Atlantic City police officer Sterling Wheaten may finally face some consequences for his alleged use of excessive force on the job. As we told you in November, Wheaten had an incredible 25 excessive force complaints filed against him between September of 2008 and April of 2012. He was cleared by Atlantic City Police Department internal investigations in all 25 of the cases, a fact that Atlantic City attorney Jennifer Bonjean called "statistically not credible."

In addition to the citizen complaints, Wheaten has also been targeted in at least five lawsuits in the last several years. One of these lawsuits concluded last week, and the jury handed Wheaten a strong serving of (likely overdue) punishment.

Wheaten was ordered to pay victim Michael Troso $250,000 for using excessive force and illegal arrest procedures against him in 2008.

Troso, who at the time was a deputy state attorney general, was arrested by Wheaten in 2008 on the night of his bachelor party. Troso lost his job as the result of the arrest.

"Officer Wheaten was certainly the leader when it came to the vicious attack that was practiced on (Troso)," attorney William Buckman said.

Arrow Down

New York Dad who threw son from roof was on first unsupervised visit


Father threw son off high-rise roof, then jumped himself.
The Brooklyn dad who threw his 3-year-old son off a Midtown high rise and then leapt to his death was on his first unsupervised visit with the boy amid a a vicious divorce battle with his wife, NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly said.

Dmitriy Kanarikov, 35, and his wife Svetlana Karanikov, 32, had split up in August after four years of marriage, and were locked in a rancorous battle over custody of their son, Kirill, Kelly said. Dmitriy had been getting supervised visits with the boy but on Sunday he was allowed to take the boy from the for a brief solo visit for a few hours, Kelly said.

"They separated in August of this year, where the woman moved to New Jersey and obtained an order of protection against the husband. Now, the husband was granted supervised visiting rights, where the father was only able to see the child in some sort of institutional setting. Yesterday was the first day in which that was not the case," Kelly told reporters Monday.

The father, who worked for the financial firm TIAA-CREF, picked up the boy at 10 a.m. and took him into 124 W. 60th St. just before noon on Sunday, Kelly said.


Explosion at police headquarters in Egypt has killed 11 people and injured over 80

© Ahram
The explosion partially damaged Mansoura's security directorate (Photo: Ahram)
An explosion at a police headquarters in Mansoura, Egypt, early Tuesday morning has killed at least 11 people and injured over 80, according to Egyptian state news and a security official.

The Middle East News Agency said the explosion at a security directorate in Mansoura, capital of the Daqahliya province in northern Egypt, caused a partial collapse of the five-floor building. A security official told AP 11 people were dead and over 80 injured as a result. Most of the dead were among police agents inside the security building.

The head of the security directorate was among those injured, Daqahliya governor Omar El-Shawadfy told Egypt state television.

Hisham Masoud, General Manager of Mansoura's hospitals, told Ahram the casualty toll is expected to rise based on eyewitness reports of the condition of those in the badly-damaged Daqahliya security directorate.

Wine n Glass

French Fascism: Pub raided, owners jailed and fined €9,000 after customers returned empties to bar - because it's 'undeclared labour'

© The Independent
French officials have fined a pub in Brittany €9,000 for "undeclared labour" after a customer returned some empty glasses to the bar.

For customers at the Mamm-Kounifl concert-café in Locmiquélic, carrying drinks trays and used glasses back to the bar was a polite tradition.

But for social security agency URSAFF, it was also an infringement of labour laws because customers were acting like waiters, French local newspaper Le Télégramme reported.

"Around half-past midnight, a customer returned a drinks tray. She passed by the bar to go to the toilets. That was when it all kicked off. My husband was pinned against the glass by a man. A woman leapt on me, showing her ID card and that's when I realised it was a URSSAF check. They told me I had been caught using undeclared labour," owner Markya Le Floch told Le Télégramme.

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DA's office wants more info on Luzerne County teacher sex case

Lauren Harrington-Cooper, left, covers her faces as he leaves from her arraignment Thursday in Wilkes-Barre. Harrington-Cooper, a teacher at Wyoming Valley West High School, is accused of having sex with a student.
The case against a Wyoming Valley West High School teacher charged Thursday night with institutional sexual assault is part of "an ongoing investigation," a Luzerne County prosecutor said Friday.

Anyone with information about the case should contact the Luzerne County District Attorney's Office, Assistant District Attorney Jenny Roberts said. The teacher, Lauren Harrington-Cooper, 31, was arrested Thursday for having sex with an 18-year-old student, Roberts said.

The age of the alleged victim, an unidentified male senior, was not included in arrest papers filed Thursday night. His age explains why the teacher was not charged with statutory sexual assault or corruption of minors.

A victim must be under 16 for statutory sexual assault and under 18 for corruption of minors, Roberts explained. The age of consent in Pennsylvania is 16, and a defendant charged with statutory sexual assault must be four or more years older than the victim.

Institutional sexual assault is a third-degree felony, Roberts said. Certain employees of specific institutions, such as school employees and volunteers, can be charged with the crime if they have sex or indecent contact with wards of the institutions or students at the school. The charge can result in a prison sentence of seven years.

Apple Green

GMO Apples: Easy to spot?

© Unknown

In a few months regulators are poised to approve the first genetically modified apple. The new fruit is expected in grocery stores as early as 2014.

Made by Okanagan Specialty Fruits (OSF), the Arctic Apple comes in Golden and Granny Smith varieties, with Fuji, Gala, and others to follow. Unlike conventional apples, Arctic does not brown when sliced or bruised.

The Arctic Apple differs from other genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in a very important way: consumers will be able to identify it.

All fresh fruit will be labeled with an Arctic sticker, and processed foods containing more than 5 percent of Arctic Apples will bear the Arctic logo. Only pasteurized products such as juice and sauce will not be labeled.


Pussy Riot member Maria Alyokhina released from Russian jail

© Guardian
Alyokhina released early under amnesty from two-year sentence for protest against Vladimir Putin

A member of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot, Maria Alyokhina, walked free from jail on Monday under an amnesty allowing her early release from a two-year sentence for a protest in a church against president Vladimir Putin.

"They've just released her," Pyotr Verzilov, the husband of fellow band member Nadia Tolokonnikova, who is also due to be released under the amnesty, told Reuters.

Alyokhina, 25, and Tolokonnikova, 24, were convicted of hooliganism for performing a "punk prayer" in a cathedral against Putin's ties to the Russian Orthodox church.

Bad Guys

Alabama man again avoids prison for series of rapes

A north Alabama man convicted in a series of rapes has again avoided a prison sentence for the assaults.

Limestone County Circuit Judge James Woodroof suspended a 35-year sentence for Austin Clem and ordered him to spend five years on probation for a series of assaults on a former neighbor.

Woodroof issued a written order Monday. Prosecutors appealed after Woodroof's original sentence didn't require prison time for the 25-year-old Clem. They claimed the sentence violates state law. An appeals court ordered another sentencing, and Woodroof again let Clem stay out of prison. The victim says she is "extremely upset" and feels like she's been punched in the face.

Clem was convicted of sexually assaulting the woman three times. Prosecutors say the assaults began seven years ago when the victim was 13

Comment: More on Austin Clem: Man avoids prison for raping teen, but attorney laments he can't drink beer or go buy lottery tickets


Plane wing clips building at Johannesburg airport

B747 Wing Into Building
© Associated Press
The wing of a British Airways Boeing 747-400 passenger aircraft is seen after it clipped a building, slightly injuring four members of ground staff.
The wing of a British Airways Boeing 747 crashed into a Johannesburg airport building, slightly injuring four ground staff.

The accident at Johannesburg's OR Tambo airport was caused by the plane using the wrong taxi way which was too narrow for the passenger jet, the South African Civil Aviation Authority said.

Air traffic control had instructed the crew of the British Airways Boeing 747-400 departing for London to use a specific taxi way, said SACAA spokeswoman Phindiwe Gwebu in a statement. However, the plane travelled on a different taxi way that was narrower.

This resulted in the plane's wing clipping a building behind the SAA technical hangars, she said.

Arrow Down

Death on the U.S.-Mexican border: The killings America chooses to ignore

CBP officers
© The Independent, UK
Since 2005, patrol agents and CBP officers have killed some 42 people along the US-Mexican border without facing any public consequences – or any large-scale media coverage.

On 28 May 28 2010, 42-year-old Anastacio Hernandez Rojas was detained by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents while attempting to enter California from Mexico, at the San Ysidro border crossing near San Diego. Hernandez Rojas had previously spent 25 years living as an undocumented immigrant north of the border, where he worked as a swimming pool plasterer and fathered five American-born children.

That evening, he was in the process of being deported back into Mexico when he was handcuffed and hog-tied on the tarmac close to the border, and surrounded by more than a dozen CBP agents and Border Patrol officers, who kicked and beat him until several of his ribs were broken.

As he pleaded for help, one officer reportedly yanked down the Mexican's trousers and shocked him with a taser gun at least five times. All told, the attack went on for almost half an hour. Hernandez Rojas was admitted to hospital, where, three days later, he died of his injuries.

San Ysidro is the busiest border crossing on Earth, so there were numerous eyewitnesses to the incident, several of whom recorded the violent scene on their phones.

Their videos undermine the official report, which claimed that Hernandez Rojas was hostile and combative. The San Diego medical examiner ruled his death a homicide, but the US attorney decided that the CBP response had been "appropriate".

When the victim's widow filed a wrongful death suit, her attorney Eugene Iredale asked to view the footage from the CBP's own closed-circuit cameras. "There are video cameras throughout the facility," Iredale recently told the Arizona Republic.

"But somehow, the video cameras weren't turned on, or they were facing the other way. I could say something cynical, but I don't need to."