Judge Clifton Newman has declared a mistrial in the case against Officer Michael Slager accused of the voluntary manslaughter or murder of Walter Scott, an unarmed black man that Slager shot in the back multiple times at a traffic stop on April 4, 2015, in North Charleston. The judge announced the decision after he said that jury members were unable to reach a unanimous verdict over the charges.
A video of the killing caught by a bystander Feidin Santana’s cellphone went viral on social media and in the media sparking national outrage. Slager faces 30 years to life in prison if convicted. The jury also considered a lesser verdict of voluntary manslaughter.
Officer Slager was fired following the shooting according to the Associated Press.
It’s also worth noting that officer Michael Slager laughed about the adrenaline rush he got after shooting and killing the unarmed Walter Scott. Where Michael Slager’s defense argues that he was scared for his life you can clearly see in the video above as Slager unloads his firearm on Scott as the Fifty year old man tried to run away and then Slager dropped an object near Scott appearing to doctor the scene. The video begins moments after Officer Slager fired his Taser as the two men tussle and Mr. Scott turns to run. When the officer fires, Mr. Scott appears to be 15 to 20 feet away and trying to flee. He falls after the last of eight shots. The officer then runs back toward where the initial scuffle occurred and picks something up off the ground. Moments later, he drops an object near Mr. Scott’s body when he notices the witness who then runs away scared for his life.
Earlier in the week it was revealed that the jury was dead locked on it’s decision on whether or not to convict Slager.
Scott family attorney L. Chris Stewart said at a news conference after the mistrial was announced, “If you thought that we were going to come out here crying or weeping or weak, you don’t know the Scott family, who’ve become my family.”
Stewart said that Slager “dodged it by a hair,” adding, “he’s not dodging it again.”
“The fight isn’t over,” he said, “That was round one.”
Additionally, Stewart they will try the case again and the Department of Justice will also be trying the case.
Slager “delayed justice,” he added, but “he did not escape it.”
“That’s the justice system.”
Another family attorney for the Scott’s, Justin Bamberg, said “justice will be had” at the end.
“Thanks to Feidin Santana [who filmed the witness video], we’ve seen the light and there is no way at the end of the day that former officer Michael Slager can escape what’s coming to him,” Bamberg said.
Scott’s mother, Judy Scott, said “she isn’t sad about the mistrial because Jesus is on the inside and I know that justice will be served.”
“Injustice will not prevail,” she added.
Scott’s brother, Anthony Scott, said, “We have to live with his video being played over and over again.”
Anthony Scott said he feels sorry for Slager’s young child, but added, “there’s not pity” for the rest.
He also urged for peaceful protests tonight and for the days following.
BRUSSELS (WeAreChange) — The European Union (EU) has issued an ultimatum to social media giants Twitter, YouTube and Facebook as well as tech giant, Microsoft, to censor “illegal hate speech” within 24 hours or face new laws that are designed to “curb online racist abuse.”
The clampdown includes such content that is considered by the mainstream establishment as so-called “fake news,” a term so broad that it includes perfectly legitimate news content.
The call from the European Commission for swifter action to delete racist posts and content from terrorists to promote online radicalisation follows a backlash against the proliferation of “fake” US election news on sites run by Facebook, Twitter and Google, which owns YouTube.
US social media corporations signed a “code of conduct” with Brussels back in May that required them to “review the majority” of flagged hate speech within 24 hours, remove it if necessary and even develop “counter narratives” to confront the problem.
But after 600 notifications to the companies of suspected hate speech in six months, the commission is not at all happy with progress and that’s why they have threatened to escalate from “non-legislative” action if their demands are not met.
According to a report prepared for V?ra Jourová, the EU justice commissioner, found that 40 per cent of recorded cases were reviewed within 24 hours, but the figure rose above 80 per cent after 48 hours. Twitter was slowest to respond while YouTube was fastest.
“If Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Microsoft want to convince me and the ministers that the non-legislative approach can work, they will have to act quickly and make a strong effort in the coming months,” Mr. Jourová told the Financial Times.
“The last weeks and months have shown that social media companies need to live up to their important role and take up their share of responsibility when it comes to phenomena like online radicalisation, illegal hate speech or fake news.”
This Nazi-style blitz comes amid alarm in countries such as Socialist Germany at the spread of online “hate speech” against Muslim refugees. This has already led Heiko Maas, Germany’s justice minister, to threaten legal action for social media giants failing to delete racist posts.
The worrying part is that the EU is putting “fake news” in the same category as Islamic jihadist propaganda. Former UKIP leader Diane James previously told Breitbart News that the EU’s definition of hate speech, “Is so vague that it is the thin end of the wedge not just to curb hate speech but free speech as well,” adding that the issue should be decided by parliaments, not by the unelected EU Commission.
As of late, the whole “fake news” epidemic is being exploited by the mainstream media establishment to characterize completely legitimate alternative news sources, including even left-wing news outlets critical of Hillary Clinton, as fake news or “Russian propaganda.”
The first “fake news” list that was circulated by mainstream media outlets shortly after the US election, turned out to be created by a radical leftist social justice warrior feminist who had a clear political bias, while the second list was struck down by The Intercept‘s Glenn Greenwald who called it a “McCarthyite blacklist”. Greenwald levelled fire at the Washington Post for “obviously reckless and unproven allegations” in using the list.
In a recent related development, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Microsoft have vowed to “step up” efforts to fight “extremism” by creating a “common database.”
The database, which will see the companies share the “unique digital fingerprints” of content deemed “extremist,” will enable such material to be removed far more quickly.
As InfoWars’ Paul Joseph Watson said: “Given that the EU, which is set to meet with the internet companies later this week, now characterizes anti-EU sentiment as extremist content, it’s probably only a matter of time before legitimate dissent is targeted.”
This Nazi-style censorship crackdown is a creepy fulfilment of George Orwell’s 1984 and it’s only set to get worse.
LOS ANGELES (WeAreChange) — Federal and Los Angeles officials warned of a “specific” and “imminent” terrorist threat to the city’s Red Line commuter rail system, prompting an FBI investigation and the immediate and swift beef-up of security on the sprawling transit system.
“This threat is imminent, … it is very specific,” Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck told an evening news conference. “But the credibility still needs to be vetted.”
BREAKING: FBI investigating ‘imminent threat’ against Los Angeles Metro rail station https://t.co/yGSroAXk2D
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) December 6, 2016
Law enforcement officials at the press conference Monday night stated the threat had been relayed to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Joint Terrorism Taskforce by a law enforcement agency in an unnamed foreign country, where the threat had originated.
Beck said the male caller, speaking in English, had warned authorities in that country of an attack against a Red Line station across the street from the Universal Studios theme park on Tuesday.
The anonymous caller did not threaten to carry out the attack but said he was alerting law enforcement.
The Red Line runs between downtown Los Angeles and northern neighborhoods, including Hollywood and North Hollywood, and carries about 145,000 passengers a day as part of the city’s larger transit system. It does not operate between the hours of 2 a.m. and 4 a.m.
A McDonald’s employee in Topeka, Kansas, has been charged with two counts of battery on a law enforcement officer after putting mustard in their drinks.
Last weekend, an image of a Topeka Police Officer’s Dr. Pepper went viral after it was posted to the Facebook page “Kansas GOING BLUE” as an “officer safety alert.” The post stated, “a McDonald’s here in Kansas just served a Law Enforcement Officer on duty a Dr. Pepper with Mustard in a drive thru order. This is extremely unacceptable!!”
It turned out that he wasn’t the first law enforcement officer to receive an unwanted condiment in his drink, a Kansas Highway Patrol Trooper had the same service two weeks ago.
As the incident went viral, Jonathan Gill, 26, was fired from the fast food giant.
“All customers, including local law enforcement officers who protect and serve our communities, are always welcome at our restaurants,” Tom and Marilyn Dobski, McDonald’s franchisees in Topeka said in a statement. “Immediately upon learning of this complaint, we began our own internal investigation to gather the facts. We are shocked by the isolated actions of a single employee. This employee no longer works for our organization. We proudly support police officers and all divisions of first responders at our restaurants across northeast Kansas.”
The punishment didn’t just stop with him losing his job, however.
On Friday, Gill was arrested and charged with two counts of battery on a law enforcement officer.
A local attorney, Charley O’Hara, told Eyewitness News that it is possible that Gill could also be charged with a food and drug violation.
“When you go into any establishment, you’re supposed to get what you ordered. You’re not supposed to have it tampered with and do other things to you And I think that’s a crime if someone intentionally does that,” O’Hara stated.
According to O’Hara, Gill could face up to 12 months in jail and a $2,500 fine if convicted of a Class A misdemeanor.
While O’Hara’s employment termination is unarguably warranted, many online have asserted that they believe the charges to be extreme, possibly even hypocritical.
“If a citizen went to a police department or called 9-1-1 to report mustard in their drink they would most likely be met with laughter or ridicule. They might even be charged with abuse of an emergency hotline,” Matt Agorist noted at The Free Thought Project.
In this video Luke Rudkowski covers the latest incident at comet ping pong pizza shop in the center of the pizza gate scandel and how it is being used to attack free speech and independent media. We go over the latest house bill criminalising fake news and other actions that are meant to for disinformation. Don’t forget the only thing keeping us reporting for you is your support on https://www.patreon.com/WeAreChange and thats why we are able to do the job that we do.
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On Monday, President-elect Donald Trump met with Al Gore to discuss climate change at Trump Tower in New York.
“I had a lengthy and very productive session with the President-elect,” Gore told reporters following the meeting. “It was a sincere search for areas of common ground. I had a meeting beforehand with Ivanka Trump. The bulk of the time was with the President-elect, Donald Trump. I found it an extremely interesting conversation, and to be continued, and I’m just going to leave it at that.”
Gore was originally set to meet only with the president-elect’s daughter Ivanka, 35, who is set to serve as climate czar in the Trump administration. The soon-to-be First Daughter is planning to move from New York City to Washington, DC.
“Ivanka wants to make climate change — which her father has called a hoax perpetuated by the Chinese — one of her signature issues,” Politico reported on Monday.
Donald Trump has long been critical of climate change, publically calling it a hoax on multiple occasions, but sources close to the family have revealed that they hope her efforts will give an olive branch of sorts to the left.
“The issues she’s talking about are ones she’s always talked about,” a source close to Ivanka told Politico. “These are totally consistent with what she’s developed with her brand. She is playing a critical role in being able to have issues that moderate and liberal women care about — and creating a bridge to the other side.”
Recently, the president-elect told the New York Times that he does believe that there is “some connectivity” when asked about carbon dioxide produced by humans having an effect on climate change.
Gore, the 45th Vice President of the United States, is an environmental activist who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. His documentary “An Inconvenient Truth,” focuses on global warming and calls for immediate action to curb its destructive effects on the environment.
Republicans, for the most part, have not been warmly receptive of Gore’s stances.
The family of Abdul Razak Ali Artan, the terrorist who injured 11 people at Ohio State University, is claiming they feel “silenced” by Donald Trump’s tweet about the violent incident.
On Wednesday, the president-elect tweeted, “ISIS is taking credit for the terrible stabbing attack at Ohio State University by a Somali refugee who should not have been in our country.”
Now, the family who raised the man who would go on to become a terrorist is “shocked and traumatized.”
“They [the family] are very afraid, and they expected to be attacked when they go to school or in the community. There is a great fear up there. With the statement of the President-elect Trump, to some extent I am not sure they want their faces on camera,” the family’s attorney, Robert Fitrakis told Voice of America.
“Me I do not care, I believe in the American values. I don’t believe in corruption of the blood and guilty by association,” he added. “This family is innocent, shocked and traumatized. They really want an answer.”
Artan’s family has lived in the United States since 2014 after fleeing Somalia and subsequently spending two years in Pakistan.
On November 28, 18-year-old Artan posted to Facebook praising al-Qaida cleric Anwar al-Awlaki and ranting about the US killing Muslims abroad. Minutes later, he drove his car through a crowd of students, exited his vehicle, and then began stabbing people before being fatally shot by a campus police officer.
Fitrakis claims that a relative had become alarmed by his post and responded to it — though he did not mention if they reported it to authorities.
“One of the family members saw his original post and responded him. In 45 minutes law enforcement agencies and police raided their house, telling them that their brother did an attack,” Fitrakis said.
The lawyer also stated that the terrorist had traveled to Washington, DC, days before the attack.
“The fact [was] that he never went out of central Ohio or Columbus area since the family came here, and his trip to Washington DC left the family very suspicious,” Fitrakis said. “He used an old car that had 200,000 miles on it to drive to D.C.”
The witch hunt for “fake news” and “Russian propaganda” has been kicked up a notch, after the House passed a bill quietly tucked inside the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017, designed to crack down on free speech and independent media.
Under “Title V—Matters relating to foreign countries,” the bill seeks to “counter active measures by Russia to exert covert influence … carried out in coordination with, or at the behest of, political leaders or the security services of the Russian Federation and the role of the Russian Federation has been hidden or not acknowledged publicly.”
It lists media manipulation as:
- Establishment or funding of a front group.
- Covert broadcasting.
- Media manipulation.
- Disinformation and forgeries.
- Funding agents of influence.
- Incitement and offensive counterintelligence.
- Terrorist acts.
“It is easy to see how this law, if passed by the Senate and signed by the president, could be used to target, threaten, or eliminate so-called ‘fake news’ websites, a list which has been used to arbitrarily define any website, or blog, that does not share the mainstream media’s proclivity to serve as the Public Relations arm of a given administration,” Global Research reported.
The frightening attack on speech and independent media was opposed by only 30 members of the House, including Tulsi Gabbard, Thomas Massie, and Justin Amash — who stated that he fought against it.
@CassandraRules I persuaded anyone I could on short notice. That's why 30 people voted no instead of just a few.
— Justin Amash (@justinamash) December 5, 2016
“As long as the government engages in intelligence activities that violate our rights secured by our Constitution, any Intel Authorization bill should be opposed,” Justin Amash told Sputnik News.
The bill must now pass through Senate, though a senior Rand Paul aide has told Sputnik News that the Senator is currently holding the intelligence bill for several reasons — and that they are looking at this specific issue very closely.
“Curiously, the bill which was passed on November 30, was introduced on November 22, two days before the Washington Post published its Nov. 24 article citing ‘experts’ who claim Russian propaganda helped Donald Trump get elected,” Zero Hedge noted.
The ‘experts’ the newspaper cited was a group called “PropOrNot,” although it have refused to name the experts behind the operation. The organization has promoted a Ukrainian hacker group on their Twitter feed.
— Mark Ames (@MarkAmesExiled) November 26, 2016
Not only is it disgusting how they smear these sites w/no evidence; worse is that they do it while hiding their identity. Great job, WPost: https://t.co/RmcKTsiqeX
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) November 25, 2016
PropOrNot also listed over 200 websites that they accuse of peddling Russian propaganda, including extremely popular news websites on all sides of the political spectrum, including The Drudge Report, Zero Hedge, TruthOut, Sputnik News, and even WikiLeaks.
Former presidential candidate Ron Paul’s website is also mentioned in many of the articles on so-called fake news, an issue that should be concerning to those who believe in free speech, including his son, Senator Rand Paul. The elder Paul has long been a vocal supporter of freedom of speech, as it is enshrined in the Constitution of the United States, and he and his supporters have repeatedly been the target of finger pointing and demonization.
In 2012, a risk-assessment report from a Missouri-based fusion center stated that support for Ron Paul’s presidential bid was a sign of membership in a “domestic terrorist group.”
“For purposes of this definition it does not matter whether the sites listed here are being knowingly directed and paid by Russian intelligence officers, or whether they even knew they were echoing Russian propaganda at any particular point: If they meet these criteria, they are at the very least acting as bona-fide ‘useful idiots’ of the Russian intelligence services, and are worthy of further scrutiny,” the so-called experts cited by PropOrNot state.
Many of those listed on censorship hit lists are speaking out against the attempt to stop independent media.
“Information is dangerous and with this new reactionary shift of people making ban lists of so called ‘fake news,’ it shows us how afraid they are of knowledge and differences of opinion that spur people to have an open mind,” Luke Rudkowski, the owner of We Are Change, one of the sites on the blacklist, previously told Sputnik News. “Information is very dangerous for the establishment status quo that tried to keep things the way they are.”
The bill, Zero Hedge notes, will soon proclaim much of the internet to be “criminal Russian propaganda if it is allowed to pass.
I originally published this piece on Sputnik News
In the video above, Rachel Blevins covers the latest WikiLeaks release, which features nearly 60,000 emails from the account of Turkish President Erdogan’s son-in-law Berat Albayrak. These emails reveal the ways Erdogan’s family is involved in the Isamic State’s illegal oil trade.