An investigation into internal New York City Police Department files show that hundreds of officers have been allowed to keep their jobs and pensions despite having committed an array of offenses. According to hundreds of pages of internal police files, offenses committed from 2011 to 2015 by over 300 NYPD officers include excessive force against civilians, driving under the influence of alcohol, selling drugs, sexually harassing fellow officers, assault, threatening and stealing.
At least fifty officers lied on official reports, under oath, or during an internal affairs investigation. Thirty-eight were found guilty by a police tribunal of excessive force, getting into a fight, or firing their gun unnecessarily. Fifty-seven were guilty of driving under the influence. Seventy-one were guilty of ticket-fixing. One officer threatened to kill someone while some were guilty of lesser offenses, like mouthing off to a supervisor.
In every instance, the police commissioner, who has final authority in disciplinary decisions, assigned these officers to “dismissal probation” which is a penalty with few consequences. The officer continues to do their job at their usual salary but they may get less overtime and won’t be promoted during that period, which usually lasts a year. They continue to patrol the streets, arrest people and testify in criminal prosecutions. When the year is over, their probation period ends.
The probation files covered in the investigation do not include all officers who received dismissal probation during the 2011 to 2015 period. According to the NYPD, of the more than 50,000 people who work for the department, at least 777 officers and an untold number of other employees received the dismissal probation penalty during the five years in question. During that same period, 463 additional officers were forced to leave or resigned while a disciplinary charge was pending. Sources have said that dismissal probation is also used to punish some officers for reporting misconduct or just for getting on their supervisors’ bad sides. Still, many officers continue to patrol the streets making over $100,000 a year while the city has paid millions of dollars in civil settlements for offenses committed between 2011 and 2015, such as excessive force or unlawful arrest. These settlements are reached without the department or officer admitting any wrongdoing.
New York is one of three states, along with Delaware and California that has a law specifically shielding police misconduct records from the public. As police departments around the country face growing pressure to be more transparent about police misconduct, NYPD has doubled down on its stringent legal interpretation of those laws. Civil Rights Law Section 50-a is the law that hides New York police officers’ misconduct from public view and it’s one of the strictest in the nation.
The Department Advocate’s Office determines which officers to charge and prosecute at the NYPD’s internal disciplinary trials. Kevin Richardson, the deputy commissioner said the law prevented him from commenting on specific officers’ cases but that dismissal probation serves a valuable purpose. “The department is not interested in terminating officers that don’t need to be terminated. We’re interested in keeping employees and making our employees obey the rules and do the right thing, but where there are failings that we realize this person should be separated from the department, this police commissioner and the prior police commissioner have shown a willingness to do that.”
Student protests for changes in gun control laws occurred around the country in the days following the Florida school shooting. Many of the protests were ignited by the impassioned pleas of young Parkland survivors in the hours and days after the shooting. Facebook and Twitter have amplified attendance; Snapchat and Instagram have documented the marches, signs and chants.
Under the rallying cry #NeverAgain, students and staff who survived the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have been on a quest for new gun control measures. After attending funerals of the victims, they set aside their grief and boarded three buses to demand better gun control measures and school safety from state lawmakers more than 400 miles away. While they traveled on the buses, Florida lawmakers voted down a motion to even consider a ban during a session that opened with a prayer for the 17 people killed in the shooting. The vote was 36-71.
Disappointed but undeterred, many have given countless interviews pleading with lawmakers on both sides to meet in the middle so that the school shootings stop. Relatives of the Stoneman Douglas victims kept up the pressure in Florida’s capital with emotional testimony during a legislative hearing to discuss passing a bill that would, among other things, raise the age limit to buy long guns from 18 to 21. The bill also would create a program that allows teachers who receive law-enforcement training and are deputized by the local sheriff’s office to carry concealed weapons in the classroom, if also approved by the school district. The school’s superintendent has spoken out firmly against that measure. The House Appropriations Committee’s 23-6 vote in favor of the bill followed more than four hours of emotional discussion with the parents of some of the 17 killed, and nearly two weeks of activism by students on social media and in televised debates.
During a listening session held by President Trump a week after the shooting, Andrew Pollack, a parent whose daughter Meadow was killed in the shooting, brought up a valid point as he was also overwhelmed with emotion and anger as he stood next to his sons to address the president. “We need to come together as a country and work on what’s important, and that’s protecting our children in the schools. That’s the only thing that matters right now,” he said. “We protect airports, we protect concerts, stadiums, embassies, the Department of Education that I walked in today, that has a security guard in the elevator. How do you think that makes me feel?” “I’m very angry that this happened because it keeps happening. 9/11 happened once and they fixed everything. How many schools, how many children have to get shot? It stops here with this administration and me. I’m not going to sleep until it’s fixed. And Mr. President, we’re going to fix it.” “It’s enough! Let’s get together, work with the president and fix the schools. That’s it. No other discussions. Security, whatever we have to do.”
From South Florida to Bellingham, Wash., local walkouts were proliferating. A national event has been planned for March 14, the one-month anniversary of the Parkland shooting, when students and teachers plan to leave class for 17 minutes, one minute for each victim. On March 24, students will protest in Washington at an event organized by March for Our Lives, the group formed by Parkland survivors, which has received hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations from celebrities. Another mass walkout is scheduled for April 20, when students will commemorate the 19th year since the Columbine High School shooting in 1999.
In Dalton, Georgia, students and faculty were plunged into a lockdown and subsequent evacuation after a well-liked social studies teacher barricaded himself in a classroom and fired a handgun at Dalton High School. Police arrested 53-year-old social studies teacher Jesse Randall Davidson after he barricaded himself alone inside a classroom and fired shots from a pistol as a principal tried to enter. The incident began at about 11:30 a.m. when Davidson refused to let students into his classroom while he was in his planning period. When the principal put a key in the door in an attempt to enter, Davidson fired a shot from a handgun through an exterior window of the classroom. The school went into lockdown and police quickly arrived and evacuated the immediate area around his classroom. After about 30 to 45 minutes, Davidson agreed to surrender and was taken into custody without further incident. Dalton police spokesman Bruce Frazier said there is no evidence Davidson was trying to fire at anyone.
Dalton police said the school resource officer, who has a close relationship with school staff, was at the junior high school when the incident began and then came to Davidson’s classroom. The officer was able to speak to the teacher and persuade him to leave his room without harming anyone. “We’re very, very proud of this officer and everything that he did to render this horrible situation safe as quick as what he did,” Dalton police Assistant Chief Cliff Cason said.
No students were in the classroom and the only injury was to a student who hurt her ankle while running away. Police confirmed that the teacher was Jesse Randal Davidson, 53. He taught social studies, and served as play-by-play voice of the school’s football team. Davidson had been at the school since 2004 and was recognized as the school’s “top teacher” in 2012. Davidson has been charged with “aggravated assault, carrying weapon on school grounds, terroristic threats, reckless conduct, possession of gun during commission of a crime, and disrupting public school,” according to Dalton Police. Police did not release any explanation for what motivated the incident. Principal Steve Bartoo said Davidson was an “excellent teacher” who was “well thought of in our building.”
According to a sheriff’s report obtained by The Associated Press, deputies in Dade County-where Davidson lives, had three rifles taken away after setting the family car ablaze at his home two years ago. Authorities seized the rifles for safe-keeping and took him to a hospital for a mental evaluation after he torched the Mitsubishi Outlander on Aug. 13, 2016. In that incident, a deputy arrived to find heavy smoke and flames pouring from the Mitsubishi. The deputy told Davidson’s wife Lisa and their daughter Megan to seek safety in his patrol car. Davidson’s adult son, Johnny, told the deputy that his father “was not acting like himself and was sitting down with a rifle in the back yard watching the vehicle on fire.” Johnny Davidson was eventually able to talk his father into giving up the gun. Davidson’s wife told the deputy they had argued about financial troubles that morning and had filed for bankruptcy in late 2015.
Two other reports from Dalton Police in Whitfield County show Davidson has been hospitalized at least three times in recent years as people worried about his state of mind. In March 2016, Davidson walked into the Dalton Police headquarters lobby and told a wild story including his suspicions that someone had been murdered. Detectives couldn’t verify any truth to the story and Davidson was taken to the hospital after expressing thoughts of hurting himself. In January 2017, school employees and a police officer began searching for Davidson after he went missing. He was later found sitting on a curb a few blocks from campus, being propped up by two school staff members.
The former commander of the Milwaukee County Jail along with two jail staffers were charged in connection with the April 2016 dehydration death of Terrill Thomas. Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Maj. Nancy Evans, 48, is charged with felony misconduct in office and obstructing an officer. Jail Lt. Kashka Meadors, 40, and correctional officer James Ramsey-Guy, 38, are each charged with neglecting an inmate, a felony offense.
Thomas, a 38-year-old prisoner with bipolar disorder, died of extreme dehydration after he spent a week without access to water in a solitary confinement jail cell. The medical examiner declared his death a homicide. He lost 34 pounds during his eight days in jail and was abandoned by the guards to die, according to the complaint. The complaint details that Meadors gave the order to shut off the water, Ramsey-Guy physically cut all water to Thomas’ cell and Evans lied about the subsequent investigation.
The practice of cutting off water to an inmate is against the jail’s written regulations but according to Ramsey-Guy, it was common practice. Within weeks of Thomas’ death, water was cut off to two other inmates’ cells. The complaint states that the incidents demonstrate an institutional practice of punitively shutting off water to unruly inmates.
Evan’s is accused of misleading investigators during the initial inquest into the death, repeatedly lying to her supervisors, withholding information from her superiors, repeatedly lying to investigators and failing to preserve key evidence. The complaint alleges that within 48 hours of the death, Evans directed her subordinate, Capt. George Gold to watch video footage of Thomas’ cell area. Gold told Evans that the video showed a corrections officer turning the water off and never turned back on. Prosecutors say Evans took no steps in preserving the video evidence and it was overwritten and permanently lost.
During the inquest, Meadors testified that she ordered Ramsey-Guy to cut off the water only to Thomas’ toilet after he flooded a previous cell. She said she meant for the shutoff order to stay in effect until Thomas settled down. Ramsey-Guy testified that he only shut off the cold water and left the hot water on but investigators found the entire water system off immediately after the death.
Thomas was arrested after he ran into the Potawatomi casino yelling at patrons to “get out.” He fired two rounds and stuffed poker chips into his pockets. When confronted by police, he dropped the Glock 9mm handgun into a trash can and was arrested. His family believes he was having a psychotic episode.
On February 11, 2018, a Russian commercial plane crashed near Moscow, killing all 71 people on board. Among the victims of the crash were 65 passengers including 3 children and 6 crew members. The cause of the crash is unknown. The Saratov Airlines flight 703, crashed shortly after take-off from Moscow’s Domodedovo airport. The plane was headed to the city of Orsk on the Kazakhstan border and officials have said most of the passengers were from the eastern part of the Orenburg region which is on the southern end of the Ural Mountains.
Officials say the aircraft’s speed and altitude started to fluctuate soon after take-off. A preliminary analysis of the on-board flight recorder indicated the plane had problems two-and-a-half minutes after it took off, at an altitude of around 4,265ft. Moments before the crash, Flight 703 had gained an altitude of 5,900 feet. The 7 year old passenger jet then went into a steep decent until it disappeared from the radar at an altitude of around 3,000 feet.
The Russian Interstate Aviation Committee is investigating the crash. They said that faulty instruments could have given the pilots wrong speed data. The instruments began displaying different speed readings, probably because of iced speed sensors while their heating systems were shut off, the committee said. When the crew detected the issue, they switched off the plane’s autopilot. They eventually took the plane into a dive at 30-35 degrees.
Witnesses say the plane, an Antonov An-148 aircraft, was in flames as it fell from the sky. The crash was caught by a surveillance camera in a nearby house. The footage showed that the aircraft slammed into the ground and immediately burst into flames. The plane crashed near the village of Argunovo, about 50 miles south-east of Moscow. Wreckage and body parts are strewn over a large area of about 74 acres. More than 1,400 body parts and hundreds of plane fragments have been recovered from the crash site.
Rescue workers reached the site 2.5 hours after the crash. More than 700 people are involved in the search operation, struggling through deep snow. The emergencies ministry is collecting DNA samples from victims’ relatives as part of the identification process of the 65 passengers and 6 crew members. The wreckage of Flight 703 was scattered over a half mile wide area.
News outlets have reported that the pilot had declined to have the aircraft de-iced before the departure even though the weather at the time of departure included snow showers and −5°C temperature at Domodedovo Airport. The procedure is optional and the crew’s decision is based mainly on the weather conditions.
In just under seven minutes, 17 people were killed and 15 others wounded in Parkland, Florida in one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history. The massacre at the Stoneman Douglas High School in Broward County started as students anxiously waited for the end of the school day. The shooter, 19 year old Nicholas Cruz, was a former student at the school who had been kicked out of school several times for bringing weapons to school and finally expelled last year for fighting.
Cruz entered the school armed with an AR15 rifle and pulled the fire alarm at 2:21pm, confusing many students and faculty because they had already had a fire drill earlier that morning. Police said the 19-year-old also had multiple magazines, smoke grenades and a gas mask. As students began to leave the building because of the fire alarm, Cruz begins shooting into rooms 1215, 1216 and 1214. Hearing the gunshots, students and teachers run back into the classrooms. Some of them had enough time to lock the doors and hide in closets while others were not as lucky.
Many students and faculty were still in the hallways, confused as to where the shooter was while many brave staff ushered stragglers into classrooms or away from the shooter. Cruz returned to rooms 1216, 1215 and 1213, firing into them again. He then took the west stairwell to the second floor and shot a person in room 1234. Three minutes into the shooting, Cruz headed to the third floor of Building 12 and tried to bust out a window on the third floor to shoot at students as they fled the building. The windows in that part of the building are shatterproof so he was unsuccessful. A little after 2:27pm, Cruz discarded his rifle and ammunition and fled the school blending in with students fleeing the building. He was apprehended at 3:41pm after an officer spotted him walking down a street.
In those terrifying minutes, many lives were lost, families shattered and an entire school was traumatized. The victims killed in the horrific shooting have been identified as Scott Beigel 35; Peter Wang, 15; Carmen Schentrup, 16; Alex Schachter, 14; Helena Ramsay, 17; Meadow Pollack, 18; Alaina Petty, 14; Joaquin Oliver, 17; Gina Montalto, 14; Cara Loughran, 14; Luke Hoyer, 15; Christopher Hixon, 49; Jaime Guttenberg, 14; Aaron Feis, 37; Nicholas Dworet, 17; Martin Duque Anguiano, 14 and Alyssa Alhadeff, 14.
There were many heroes during those terrifying minutes that saved countless lives by helping get others out of the line of fire. Peter Wang, a student and active member of the ROTC program, was last seen alive holding the door open for students who were fleeing the shooter. Colton Haab, another ROTC member, ushered over 60 people into a room. He grabbed Kevlar sheets he and others used for the marksmanship program to shield the students from gunfire. Fifteen year old Anthony Borges helped 20 of his classmates scramble into a classroom as the shooter headed their way and was shot five times as he was locking the door. Borges, is currently in stable condition after hours of surgery with more surgeries to come and a long road to recovery.
Scott Beigel was a geography teacher who unlocked his classroom door to usher a group of students to safety only to be shot and killed while trying to relock the door. Aaron Feis, a popular football coach and school security guard was killed while shielding several students from the shooter’s gunfire.
An unidentified janitor redirected a mass of students who were unknowingly running toward the shooter to another hallway and into the culinary room. Ashley Kurth, a 34-year-old culinary teacher, spotted the mass of terrified children running as she went to lock her door. She ushered the students and two faculty members (including the janitor) into her classroom and locked the door, saving 65 people. Teacher Melissa Falkowski locked her door and hid 19 students in the classroom closet. Countless other faculty and students, remembering their training from drills for active shooter situations, bravely helped save lives yet they are devastated to have lost so many lives.
The Department of Defense has revealed a new strategy for American nuclear policy focused on building up smaller nuclear weapons that are easier to use. The Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) is an effort to “look reality in the eye,” said Defense Secretary James Mattis, and “see the world as it is, not as we wish it to be.” The new strategy involves spending at least $1.2 trillion to upgrade the United States’ nuclear arsenal, including developing a new nuclear-armed, sea-launched cruise missile. The policy update calls for the introduction of “low-yield nukes” on submarine-launched ballistic missiles, and the resumption of the nuclear-submarine-launched cruise missile (SLC-M) whose production stopped during the George W. Bush era and which Obama removed from the nuclear arsenal.
The “low yield” bombs the NPR focuses on can do damage similar to that of the U.S. nuclear strikes on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. The two bombings killed 140,000 people in the initial blast, most of whom were civilians. Thousands more died from the effects of burns, radiation sickness, and other injuries in the two to four months following the bombings. The bombings remain the only use of nuclear weapons in the history of warfare because of the devastating effects.
Russia, the only country whose nuclear arsenal rivals the United States’ stockpile, already has a large arsenal of weapons this size. U.S. and Russian strategies of nuclear development have differed, with the US favoring larger, longer-lasting weapons and Russia focusing on constantly updating a collection of smaller, more mobile bombs.
The new low-yield nukes are intended to answer any potential overseas attack by Russia. The Pentagon worries that Putin’s army could take control of a U.S. ally and detonate a small nuclear weapon to prevent U.S. troops from responding. Low-yield nukes would provide a proportionate method of response, forestalling a larger nuclear conflict or one with weaker weapons.
Anti-nuclear advocates have accused the Pentagon of lowering the bar for nuclear warfare. The new policy “calls for more usable nuclear weapons with low yields, and for their first use in response to cyber and conventional strikes on civilian infrastructure such as financial, transportation, energy and communications networks,” said Bruce Blair, co-founder of the anti-nuclear-weapons group Global Zero. “It makes nuclear war more likely, not less.” The new nuclear policy has alarmed arms control experts around the globe and been openly criticized by Iran, Russia and China.
1 month ago ·
by HealthInsurance4Everyone ·
Comments Off on Daily HI4E.org Trivia Contest Winners For The Week Ending: Sunday, February 4th, 2018.
In an effort to broaden the company’s “social interaction” with our clients and FaceBook fans, Daily Trivia Questions are posted on both of our business pages. Here are the weekly standings for this past week, and the winner of the Sunday night Weekly Drawing for an AmEx gift card!
Congratulations – To this past week’s Trivia Contest Winner!! Our latest contest winner for the weekly FaceBook HealthInsurance4Everyone/Health & Life Solutions, LLC Trivia Contest, drawn randomly by computer late Sunday evening, February 4th, 2018 was:
Winner Of A $25.00 AmEx Gift Card
Each day, fans who have “liked” either of our company FaceBook pages (HealthInsurance4Everyone or Health & Life Solutions LLC) are able to test their skills with our Daily TRIVIA QUESTION. The first 20 winners who post the correct answer to the TRIVIA QUESTION, will then get entered into the weekly drawing held late on Sunday evenings for a $25.00 Am Ex Gift Card.
Weekly Gift Card winners will be posted in our blog at this site. Remember to become a FaceBook “fan” on either of our company pages to enter and post your answers.
Here are the daily contestants from last week’s Trivia Contest that were entered into the Sunday drawing:
Melissa Ann Stura-Bassett
Amy Marie Wilkinson
Jean Simmons Homfeld
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Brandi K Chaney
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Brandi K Chaney
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Sarah Bellestri Shih
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A school shooting in Kentucky at Marshall County High School on Tuesday morning, left 18 students injured and two dead. Prosecutors say the suspect, a 15 year old student at the school, opened fire in the common area. The victims are Bailey Nicole Holt and Preston Ryan Cope, both 15 years old. Another 14 victims were shot, while four others were injured as they tried to flee the chaotic scene. Five students are still hospitalized in critical condition. All of the victims were aged between 14 and 18.
The suspected shooter barged into the school’s common area around 8 a.m., unleashing a hail of bullets that killed Bailey Nicole Holt and Preston Ryan Cope. Secret Holt, who received a phone call from her daughter before she died, said, “All I could hear was voices and chaos in the background and she couldn’t say anything.” “I called her name over and over and she never responded, so we rushed to the high school.” After the shooting, buses took surviving students to another school, where parents waited. Secret and Jasen Holt waited for their daughter Bailey to walk off one of the buses but she never did. They were later told Bailey Holt died at the scene.
Brian Cope said he knew his son Preston was shot when he arrived at the school. He peered into an ambulance and saw the socks he laid out for his son the night before. Preston Cope, who was shot in the head and hand was airlifted to Nashville’s Vanderbilt University Medical Center, died during the flight en route to the hospital.
Gage Smock, Bailey’s boyfriend- was also shot in the head but is in stable condition. His father, Gary Wayne Smock, fought back tears as he told reporters that he’s been able to speak with his son but there’s no word from doctors on when the boy will be released from Vanderbilt University Medical Center. No other victims have been identified to the media so far.
The suspect appeared to fire his handgun at random, prosecutors said. Students tried to break down fences and gates to escape the building as shots rang out. Authorities have not identified the shooter because he is a juvenile but he has been identified as Gabe Parker, the son of an online newspaper editor. When Parker’s mother, Mary Garrison Minyard, heard gunfire had broken out at school, she rushed to the scene only to learn the suspected shooter was her own son. The suspect appeared in front of a judge at the Marshall County Judicial Center in Benton, less than five miles from the crime scene. He has been charged with two counts of murder and 12 counts of first-degree assault, according to Marshall County assistant attorney Jason Darnall, who is prosecuting the case. Darnall told reporters that his office would move to have the 15-year-old tried as an adult.
A joint visitation for Preston Ryan Cope, 15 and Bailey Nicole Holt, also 15, will be held 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday at the Reed Conder Memorial Gymnasium at Marshall County High School.
Facing mounting evidence that Puerto Rico has vastly undercounted the number of people who died because of Hurricane Maria, Gov. Ricardo A. Rosselló ordered that every death on the island since the devastating storm be reviewed. Officials will look review all deaths attributed to natural causes after the hurricane, which made landfall Sept. 20 and knocked out power to 3.4 million Puerto Ricans and to their hospitals and clinics.
Roselló made the order to the Puerto Rico Demographic Registry, which is the island’s vital statistics bureau, and to the Department of Public Safety following the investigative media reports on the death toll and after residents claiming deaths of their loved ones were caused by Maria. The governor also said he’d create an expert panel to review the island’s death certification process.
The Puerto Rican government has put the official death toll at 64 but several investigations have revealed that nearly 1,000 more people died. The prolonged blackout hampered critical medical treatment for some of the island’s most vulnerable patients, including many who were bedridden or dependent on dialysis or respirators. But if they died as a result, the storm’s role in their deaths may have gone officially unrecorded.
Several news organizations, including The New York Times, conducted independent analyses and found that the number of deaths traceable to the storm was far higher than the official count. The Times’s review, based on daily mortality data from Puerto Rico’s vital statistics bureau, found that 1,052 more people than usual had died across the island in the 42 days after Maria struck. The analysis compared daily figures for 2017 with an average of figures for the corresponding days in 2015 and 2016.
The leading causes of death on the island in September were diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease, Puerto Rican government data show. There was a sharp 50 percent spike in the number of recorded deaths from sepsis, a complication of severe infection that can be tied to delayed medical care or poor living conditions. Reports emerged of people being unable to use oxygen and dialysis equipment, unable to refrigerate insulin, evacuated from hospitals that lost emergency power and other problems.
Reviewing the circumstances surrounding each death will require interviewing family members and doctors who signed death certificates to find out if, for example, a heart attack might have been brought on by stress from the hurricane, or might have been fatal because an ambulance could not get through debris-blocked streets in time to help.
The governor’s announcement comes as the Center for Investigative Journalism in Puerto Rico reported that nearly three months since the storm, 45 people are still listed as missing and efforts by Puerto Rico’s police to locate them have been minimal or almost nonexistent. Parts of the island are still without power leaving many to celebrate Christmas in the dark. The power grid is only operating at 70 percent of capacity and officials say power won’t be fully restored until the end of May.