Thursday, October 30, 2014

LAPD officer was flashing more than his badge

On October 29, 2014, Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) announced that one of its officers was arrested as the Huntington Beach flasher. Off-duty LAPD Officer Ryan Galliher, 33, was caught in a police sting by the Huntington Beach Police Department, which was set up in response to victim complaints.

Female joggers were startled by a man exposing himself, prompting Huntington Beach Police to start closely watching the area near the wetlands at Bolsa Chica Street, south of Los Patos Avenue. Police caught Galliher red-handed, as they witnessed him exposing his genitals to an unsuspecting female jogger. He was arrested shortly thereafter. The long arm of the law grabbed the immodest flasher in the early morning hours on October 23, 2014. The LAPD officer was booked on suspicion of a lewd act in public.

NATO intercepts 19 Russian military aircraft, fighter jets scrambled in response

NATO intercepts 19 Russian military aircraft, fighter jets scrambled in response

NATO detected and monitored four groups of Russian military aircraft, conducting significant military maneuvers in European airspace on October 28 and 29, 2014. These sizable Russian flights took place over the Baltic Sea, North Sea/Atlantic Ocean and Black Sea. These activities represent an unusual level of air activity over European airspace. Fighter aircraft from Norway, Britain, Portugal, Germany and Turkey were scrambled in response.

Tensions between Russia and NATO countries have soared over the Ukraine crisis. Russia initially denied that its military played a part in the unlawful annexation of Crimea. Putin later admitted that the Russian military did indeed participate in the incursion. Similar denials are now being uttered with respect to Russia’s Hamas-like activities in Ukraine, while the deaths of Russian soldiers are being willfully concealed. As the West continues to press on with sanctions against Russia, the wounded bear is attempting to assert its might with military maneuvers.

California imposes Ebola quarantine policy

California imposes Ebola quarantine policy

On October 29, 2014, State Health Officer and California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Director Dr. Ron Chapman issued a quarantine order and associated guidelines to help prevent any potential spread of Ebola.

“Today we’re establishing a statewide, standard protocol requiring some level of quarantine for those at highest risk of contracting and spreading Ebola,” said Dr. Chapman. “This order will protect the health and safety of Californians and support the state’s local health officers’ existing authority to develop protections against disease spread.”

The order applies to anyone traveling to California from an Ebola affected area, who has had contact with someone with a confirmed case of Ebola. The new guidelines require that persons meeting these criteria are to be quarantined for 21 days. Anyone who traveled to the region, but has not come into contact with a person with Ebola will not be subject to quarantine. An Ebola affected area, determined by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), currently includes Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Former Department of Homeland Security officer sentenced for bribery, fraud

On October 20, 2014, Billy Louis Nelms Sr., 54, of Los Angeles, California, was sentenced to 51 months in federal prison. Nelms worked as an immigration officer in the Fraud Detection and National Security unit, which is part of the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). One of his duties involved investigating marriage fraud on applications for an immigration benefit.

Nelms was taking bribes from Cambodian immigrants, who were present in the United States without legal status, in exchange for immigration benefits. He managed to defraud not only the government, but also the immigrants who bribed him. Nelms promised them permanent legal status, in exchange for a bribe of $5,000 in cash. Instead, the stamps he used on the immigration documents in question provided their bearers with only a temporary legal status in the United States.

Nelms attempted to cover up his crimes by using stamps that belonged to other government officials, or using altered stamp numbers. After learning of a possible criminal investigation, Nelms removed at least 12 files from the immigration office. He sent his wife, Sokhon Nelms, to threaten and intimidate potential witnesses.

Taser-happy cops plead guilty to using excessive force against a woman

On October 27, 2014, two former police officers pleaded guilty in federal court in Florence, South Carolina to using excessive force against a woman with mental disabilities. Eric Walters, 39, and Franklin Brown, 35, formerly police officers with the City of Marion Police Department in South Carolina, each pleaded guilty to one count of deprivation of rights under color of law for using unreasonable force. Walters and Brown repeatedly tased the female victim, in spite of the fact that she posed no threat to either officer.

In the course of detaining the woman, Walters tased her. This caused the victim to fall to the ground and injure her head. Once on the ground, Walters continued to tase the woman multiple times.

The woman was then restrained in handcuffs and seated on the curb, surrounded by law enforcement officers. Brown arrived on scene and decided that it was a great idea to tase a sitting, handcuffed woman yet again. In court, Walters and Brown admitted there was no legitimate law enforcement purpose for repeatedly tasing the victim, since she did not pose a threat to the officers and wasn’t resisting. Both police officers were fired for their misconduct in using excessive force.

California cop gets 25 years for sex crimes against prostitutes

California cop gets 25 years for sex crimes against prostitutes

On October 27, 2014, a former San Bernardino police officer Jose Jesus Perez, 47, was sentenced to 25 years in federal prison for forcing prostitutes to have sex with him, while he was on duty. In May of this year, he was convicted of two felony counts and one misdemeanor count of deprivation of rights under color of law for sexual assaults.

In 2011, San Bernardino Police Department’s Vice unit conducted “a citywide anti-prostitution program targeting those seeking to solicit females in violation of PC 647(b).” Perez served in the Vice unit, investigating prostitution. He was charged for assaulting the women during the same year.

Perez blamed his crimes on being a sex addict. In a handwritten letter to U.S. District Judge Virginia A. Phillips, Perez said that he began attending weekly Sex Addicts Anonymous meetings after the investigation began.

LAX flight cancelled because of a WiFi network named after terror group

On October 27, 2014, American Airlines Flight 136 to London is set to depart at 7:50 p.m., after Sunday’s flight out of Los Angeles International Airport was cancelled. A passenger's phone picked up a WiFinetwork named "Al-Quida Free Terror," prompting massive overreaction. After the passenger informed the flight crew, the plane was returned to the terminal at a remote part of the airport. LAX police officers boarded the plane and investigated the incident, telling passengers to turn off their electronic devices. Passengers were initially told that it was a maintenance issue. An hour later, they were informed that “there was a security threat” and the plane didn’t have clearance to take off. Passengers were kept onboard for several hours, only to find out that the flight was being delayed until the next day.

Officials determined that no crime had been committed and no further action will be taken, LAX Police Sgt. Karla Ortiz said. "Passengers were interviewed and cleared to continue with their travel plans," she reported. Nonetheless, the delay stranded many passengers in Los Angeles for an entire day.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Ukraine elections force Communist party out of Parliament

According to the exit poll data and the first results unveiled by Ukraine’s Central Electoral Commission, as of October 27, 2014, the Communist party has been expelled from the Ukrainian Parliament. The outcome of the elections is in line with the democratic values, for which Ukrainians fought and died during the popular revolution on the Maidan. The nation’s heroes did not die in vain.

Ukrainians have voted for a Parliament that significantly limits President Poroshenko’s block in its influence and includes previously underrepresented groups into the Verkhovna Rada. Pro-European parties are likely to take up to two-thirds of seats in Parliament. Poroshenko’s Bloc, People’s Front and Self-Help are newly-established pro-reformist parties, headed by young leaders (Klytchko, Yatseniuk and Sadovy respectively). They include civil-society activists, military men and volunteers. These are the people brought into the fold of Ukrainian politics by the Maidan and the conflict stirred up by Russia in Eastern Ukraine.

In spite of hysteria, whipped up by Putin’s Russia and its mainstream propaganda outlets, right-wing parties in Ukraine did not rise to power in parliamentary election. A political bloc uniting some former governing Party of Regions delegates and other pro-Russia politicians received 7.6% of the vote, securing seats in the Supreme Council. The Communist Party failed to get enough votes in the proportional balloting and for the first time in Ukraine's modern history will not be represented in Ukrainian Parliament.

Cops swap nude photos of female arrestees and dead victims as a ‘game’

Cops swap nude photos of female arrestees and dead victims as a ‘game’

On October 23, 2014, Contra Costa, CA prosecutors held a meeting to discuss possible felony computer theft charges against 35-year-old California Highway Patrol (CHP) Officer Sean Harrington, who admitted accessing nude photos of a DUI suspect and covertly sending them from her cellphone to his own.

In additional court documents, obtained by San Jose Mercury News on October 24, 2014, Martinez confessed to stealing explicit photos from the cellphone of another Contra Costa County DUI suspect in August 2014. He forwarded those images to at least two CHP colleagues and called it a "game" among officers.

Harrington told investigators he had done the same thing to female arrestees a "half dozen times in the last several years." He sent bikini shots of a 19-year-old female DUI crash victim to another CHP Officer, Robert Hazelwood, while the woman was at a hospital to have X-rays taken after the crash. Accompanying text message said: "Taken from the phone of my 10-15x while she's in X-rays. Enjoy buddy!!!" Disappointed recipient texted: "No f------ nudes?"

Shortly thereafter, Harrington sent the same photos to another CHP officer, Dion Simmons. Simmons texted back "Nice" and "Hahahaaaa." In response, Harrington asked that Simmons return a “favor down the road.”

The Big Ebolowski: patronizing the public with Ebola photo-ops

On October 25, 2014 Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams decided to comfort the public by bowling at The Gutter, a Williamsburg bowling alley Ebola-stricken Dr. Spencer visited on Wednesday evening. “If I can put my fingers in the holes, everyone can feel comfortable about putting their fingers in the holes,” said Adams.

Later the same day, Mayor di Blasio ate lunch at The Meatball Shop in Manhattan's Greenwich Village, which Dr. Spencer visited on Tuesday. De Blasio was joined by his wife, Chirlane McCray, as well as the New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett.

Dr. Spencer experienced fatigue, one of the symptoms of Ebola, two days before he went to the hospital. By the time he self-reported to seek medical care, Dr. Spencer developed additional symptoms, such as high fever and diarrhea.

A health care worker at the Bellevue Hospital told the New York Times that Dr. Spencer seemed very sick and it was unclear to the medical staff why he had not gone to the hospital earlier. Doctors believed that he was most likely infected, even before the results came in.

Government officials continue to patronize the public with Ebola-related photo ops. Their posturing is based on the premise that without it, people will fall into the state of “panic.” To the contrary, the public is not panicking. People are not terrified by Ebola. Instead, they’re angered and disgusted by the government’s repeated failures in dealing with the deadly virus.

LAPD officer videotaped kicking restrained suspect's head like a football

LAPD officer videotaped kicking restrained suspect in the head

A Los Angeles police (LAPD) officer is under investigation for allegedly beating and kicking a suspect, who was being held down by other officers. On October 24, 2014, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck released a statement that he was “extremely concerned about this particular use of force.”

The victim, Clinton Alford, 22, was taken to a hospital for stitches and a head scan. In an interview with the LA Times, he reported being in fear for his life during the encounter. “I was just praying that they wouldn’t kill me. I just closed my eyes and tried to hold on,” Alford said.

Alford was riding his bicycle on the sidewalk, when a car pulled up behind him. He heard a man shouting a command to stop, without first identifying himself as a police officer. When someone grabbed the back of his bike, Alford jumped off and ran. After a short foot pursuit, two LAPD officers caught up to him. Footage from the security camera on an industrial building nearby captured Alford voluntarily lying down and placing his hands behind his back.

Several police officials who viewed the recording said that the officers were able to restrain Alford, who made no movements and did not resist. Two law enforcement officials who viewed the video said it was clear to them Alford was handcuffed as soon as he got on the ground.