KISSIMMEE Fla Aug 10 2012 – Orange County authorities say that a county guard has been arrested after being caught by local loss prevention agents shoplifting.
Corporal Michael Nikitenko was arrested Monday evening at a Walmart store in Kissimmee after video surveillance filmed him removing merchandise from packages and hiding items in his jail uniform, according to the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office.
Store security agents detained Nikitenko until police arrived.
There was no word on what was taken or if he is still employed at the jail.
NANUET NY Aug 10 2012 — A security guard at the Nanuet Mall was stabbed at least twice Wednesday, prompting police to search the area for a suspect.
The incident happened about 11 p.m. in a parking lot near the Macy’s department store, police said, and by this morning no arrests had been made.
A man started a conversation with the guard, police said. At some point during the encounter, the man became angry at something the guard said, pulled out a knife and stabbed him in the stomach and back, police said.
The man, described only as being in his 20s or 30s and wearing black pants, then ran from the scene toward the Sears store, police said.
The victim was taken to Nyack Hospital, where he was being treated for non-life-threatening injuries. Police did not have an update on his condition this morning.
Police did not identify the guard and had no information regarding his age or residence. Investigators said they did not know whether the guard was armed or able to fight back.
The guard had apparently been working out of a makeshift office in the Macy’s parking lot as a result of construction on the site. Shortly before midnight, several Clarkstown police cars could be seen surrounding a security vehicle parked in the Macy’s lot, in the rear of the property off of Route 59.
Clarkstown officers used flashlights to scour the perimeter of the site and were assisted by a police dog.
No street lights or parking lot lights were on at the mall — a majority of them had been knocked down earlier this year for redevelopment — and officers were forced to conduct their investigation in the extreme dark of the night.
Many of the other parking lots and roadways within the site, owned by Simon Properties, have been closed or repurposed for the construction efforts.
Detectives were said to be interviewing the victim at Nyack Hospital early this morning.
Washington DC Aug 10 2012
D.C. resident Seth Horvitz ordered a flat-panel TV on Amazon last week, he didn’t expect to get a military-grade assault rifle in return.
Horvitz ordered the TV, a Westinghouse 39-inch LCD, for about $320 from a third-party electronics seller on Amazon.
On Tuesday evening, a large, oblong box arrived at his doorstep via UPS Ground.
“When I realized it was an assault rifle, it was pure shock and disbelief,” Horvitz told our affiliate WUSA.
Horvitz then contacted the D.C. police. They immediately confiscated the box, which contained a semi-automatic Sig Sauer 716 patrol rifle. The police informed Horvitz that the gun was illegal in the District of Columbia.
Millersville MD Aug 10 2012 An unidentified, apparently armed man robbed an employee of an armored car company Wednesday at a Millersville convenience store, Anne Arundel County police said.
The employee was servicing an ATM at the 7-Eleven store located in the 400 block of Old Mill Road about 11:45 a.m. The suspect approached from behind, implied he had a weapon and took the employee’s satchel, which contained an undetermined amount of cash, police said.
The suspect was last seen fleeing the store in a gray vehicle, police said. Officers searched the area but were unable to locate the suspect.
Anyone with information on this incident is urged to contact Detective Eric Wills of the Robbery Unit at 410-222-3432(3566).
NORTH CHARLESTON, SC Aug 10 2012- Authorities say they have arrested a man who stole merchandise from a store and was shot at by the owner after attempting to run him over with a car.
The North Charleston Police Department charged 28-year-old Justin Lee Jones of Charleston with shoplifting and assault.
Police say the incident happened at an ABC Store in the Mark IV Plaza on 5131 Dorchester Rd. where Jones was shoplifting items. According to investigators, the owner followed Jones outside and a scuffle started between the two.
The owner said when the suspect drove his vehicle in his direction, the owner pulled out his gun and fired shots at the vehicle.
Authorities say the car was hit and no one inside was injured. Police located and arrested Jones a short distance away from the incident.
Police are continuing the investigation.
Meanwhile, some other tenants of the Mark IV Plaza say they’re worried their stores will become the target of violence, as well.
“I feel the need to have a firearm now because it’s not the first, it’s not the second and it’s sure not the third time that I saw this happen in the same area,” a local store owner said. He did not wish to be identified, but said he’s concerned that continued violence could decrease his number of customers.
Police and the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office’s SWAT team served search warrants beginning early Tuesday morning at six homes and two businesses in Sonoma County, Santa Rosa police Lt. Steve Bair said.
The sheriff’s SWAT team arrested Juan Manual Dominguez, 26, of Santa Rosa, at a home at North Jefferson Street in Cloverdale on Tuesday, Bair said.
“Recent developments” led to other search warrants and arrests Tuesday, Bair said.
Monico Dominguez, 39, of Santa Rosa, was arrested in his car on Sonoma Avenue at Yulupa Avenue.
Both men were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy, attempted robbery and attempted kidnapping, Bair said. They will be arraigned Thursday afternoon in Sonoma County Superior Court.
Monico Dominguez is being held under $5 million bail in the Sonoma County jail and Juan Dominguez is being held under no bail on a probation hold.
Shawn Geernaert, 33, of Santa Rosa, was arrested in his car Tuesday at Hearn and Dutton Avenues for conspiracy and possession of an assault weapon. He posted bail and will appear in court Monday morning.
The armed robbery by suspects wearing masks occurred as an armored car arrived at Garda Armored Car Service at 1650 Northpoint Parkway in southwest Santa Rosa around 10:45 p.m. on Aug. 11, 2011.
The suspects left the business with an undisclosed amount of money and closed the steel doors behind them, leaving the victims inside, Santa Rosa police said.
The FBI and a Garda Armored Car Service security representative assisted police with the investigation, Bair said.
The armed robbery remains under investigation.
Source: CBS SF
VIRGINIA BEACH VA Aug 10 2012 -Police say two men stole X-rays from Sentara Va. Beach General Hospital, likely for the silver on the film.
Sentara officials tell WVEC.com the men pulled off the same crime seven hours earlier at a Baltimore hospital.
They went into Sentara Va. Beach General Hospital around 1:00 a.m. on August 1.
“They knew enough about hospital operations to bluff their way in,” Sentara spokesman Dale Gauding said.
They were stopped by security for not having badges and then returned later, through another entrance, and convinced a worker in the radiology department they were with the destruction company.
The men took more than 200 pounds of film from the hospital and left in an old yellow, perhaps a Penske, truck.
Gauding says Sentara is in the process of determining which X-rays were taken and then the hospital will notify patients.
There’s very little patient information on the x-rays – a name and date of birth. He says the X-rays are at least 2.5 years old and are used for comparison when new digital images are taken.
“We believe the men are less interested in the personal information than they are for the silver,” Gauding stressed.
Anyone with concerns can call 1-800-Sentara during business hours (8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.)
Meantime, Gauding says Sentara is tightening its procedures.
One man is Hispanic and the other is white.
If you know the men or where they are, call Crime Solvers at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP.
According to silver recovery websites, all X-ray film contains about 2 percent of its weight in silver after processing, so depending on how many x-rays are taken and the price of silver, thieves could be cashing in..
Leesburg police say Wendell Mansel of Annapolis, Md., approached a man there several weeks ago for help with finding a contract killer.
The Leesburg resident contacted police, who arranged for Mansel to meet with an undercover officer. Police say Mansel spoke about his wish to have his wife killed.
Mansel was arrested on Friday after police say he drove to Leesburg to meet with the officer again, bringing a gun and other valuables as partial payment.
He’s been charged with attempted capital murder, murder-for-hire and soliciting murder-for-hire and is being held without bond. An attorney for him could not immediately be located.
Former D.C. police commander files whistleblower multimillion-dollar civil suit www.privateofficer.com
D.C. police Capt. Hilton B. Burton sued the District, Mayor Vincent C. Gray, Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier, and assistant chiefs Lamar Greene and Alfred Durham for “infliction of emotional distress.” The lawsuit, filed under the District’s Whistleblower Protection Act, seeks at least $6 million in damages and the reinstatement of Burton’s position
Burton’s former unit, the special operations division, or SOD, approved the use of police lights and sirens to escort Sheen from Dulles International Airport into the District when Sheen was running late for an April 19, 2011, performance at DAR Constitution Hall.
At a June 2011 council hearing on the matter, Burton and Lanier disagreed about standard departmental practices for conducting escorts. Burton also alleged that another officer’s transfer from the special operations division to patrol work was related to the Sheen incident.
Lanier said the department’s policies on providing escorts are explicit and allow escorts for the president, vice president and foreign heads of state, with some “case-by-case” allowances for other requests based on public safety concerns.
Burton was later demoted from commander to captain, a move of two ranks. In his lawsuit, filed late Tuesday, the demotion was characterized as “retaliation” by Lanier and other District officials.
Burton was also transferred from special operations and given an “unfavorable performance review.”
Burton and his attorneys contend that the demotion was a result of Burton’s detailing examples of what he considers “gross mismanagement, abuse of authority, misuse or waste of public resources or funds.”
At the time of his demotion, Lanier said Burton had underperformed in his position. She declined to detail the reasons for her dissatisfaction with Burton’s performance.
The Sheen episode cast an unusual public light on the special operations division. The commander’s job is highly visible within the department because of the responsibility for arranging presidential motorcades, responding to bomb threats, and overseeing specialized motorcycle and helicopter units.
After his demotion, Burton was assigned to the D.C. Police & Fire Clinic, which conducts physicals for new officers and evaluates injured officers. He had commanded the special operations division since May 2010. He was detailed to the fire department’s internal affairs office in May 2012.
Lanier had disciplined Burton before. In 2008, when he was commander of the 4th Police District, she demoted him after he was accused of sending a woman sexual messages from his departmental e-mail account and cellphone. Lanier eventually restored his rank and moved him to special operations.
Burton and his attorneys have requested a jury trial. A hearing in the lawsuit was scheduled for Nov. 9 before D.C. Superior Court Judge Erik P. Christian.
Bethlehem PA Aug 10 2012 Two Lehigh University students broke into a Mountaintop Campus building Tuesday night to steal roughly $868 worth of supplies, according to court records.
Lehigh University police took David A. Colaneglo, 21, of Harrison, N.Y., and Peter Jones Hicks, 22, of the 600 block of Montclair Avenue in Bethlehem, into custody today following a break-in at about 11:50 p.m. Tuesday, court papers say.
Campus police were notified by security guards at Building B at 112 Research Drive near Iacocca Hall that two unknown males were spotted inside the building late at night,, according to court documents. Security was able to detain the students until campus police arrived, court papers say.
Colaneglo and Hicks allegedly took $868 worth of university-owned property from Room 67 in the building after they had climbed through a window. Police say the men took several boxes of mechanical equipment and cutting tools from the building.
Court records indicated both Colaneglo and Hicks were seniors at Lehigh University. Jordan Reese, director of communications with the university, said the students would be dealt with as per the standard disciplinary procedure for students charged with a crime. Reese did not immediately respond to an email seeking elaboration on the policy.
Both men were arraigned today before District Judge Nancy Matos Gonzalez and charged with felony criminal trespassing, theft and receiving stolen property. Bail was set for each at $50,000 with a 10 percent option. A condition of the bail for both men includes a provision that prohibits them from going onto Lehigh University property without permission from campus administration.
Court documents indicate Colaneglo was able to post bail, but that Hicks remained incarcerated as of this afternoon.
Mentor OH Aug 10 2012
Stephanie Stroud — the daughter of Gary and Diane Stroud — began to list all of the milestones her parents would miss because her father killed her mother — her wedding, the birth of her children, grandchildren.
“I can never understand how people who love each other so much can do something so terrible,” Stephanie Stroud said to her father on the day he was sentenced to 16 years to life in prison.
It was never in question what punishment former Mentor police officer and Lake County Special Deputy Gary Stroud would receive for beating his wife, Diane Stroud, to death with a hammer and then hiding her body in his garage for weeks.
Under Ohio law, Lake County Common Pleas Judge Joseph Gibson could only give Stroud 15 to life for murder and another year for concealing her body.
However, people crowded the court room Wednesday afternoon to see what, if anything, Gary Stroud would say.
Gary Stroud began by apologizing to his wife, saying that he didn’t plan or want to kill her.
“Your honor, I’m guilty of my crime,” he said. “I caused the death of my wife, Diane Elaine Stroud. I loved her and still love her very much.”
He also apologized to his children, in-laws and to the law-enforcement agencies for which he used to work.
“To the Mentor Police Department and Lake County Sheriff’s Office, I’m sorry if my actions caused you embarrassment,” he said.
Greg Stroud, Gary and Diane Stroud’s son, sobbed as he spoke at the sentencing.
“You were always a good dad. Mom was a good mom. And I miss you both very much and I don’t understand why,” he said.
Charlotte Ross, Diane’s mother, also could not understand what caused Gary Stroud to kill his wife.
“Gary, when you married my daughter, Diane, I took you into my life as a son. I saw you as a good husband and a good father. What happened?” she asked.
“You killed her in a fashion that was brutal and uncalled for,” she continued. “Diane is not perfect. Nobody is. But what you did to her and did to the body is horrible.”
Stroud did not explain what caused him to beat his wife to death with a hammer or why he chose to hide her body in their garage for weeks.
Instead, he alluded to friction because of her “changing lifestyle” and financial stress.
Gibson said he was “incredibly disturbed” by Gary Stroud’s actions.
“I’m struck by your actions — not just the senseless murder of your wife or the macabre behavior you undertook after her murder,” the judge said.
“I’m struck by your attempt to restore these relationships … with your children, with your mother-in-law, with your former coworkers … You can’t restore these relationships, Mr. Stroud. You’ve destroyed them. You’ve killed their mother, their daughter, their sister.”
Gibson then sentenced Gary Stroud to 16 years to life in prison, the longest possible punishment he could give him.
“I can’t judge you — not the sort of judgment you deserve,” Gibson said “That’s going to come from something far beyond me, someone who doesn’t have to run for public office.”
Gary Stroud pleaded guilty to the murder of his wife and the abuse of her corpse July 16, a few days before his trial was set to begin.
He admitted that he repeatedly struck his wife, Diane Stroud, in the head with a hammer and then hid her body in their garage for weeks.
Diane Stroud, a former Mentor-on-the-Lake city council president, had not been seen for six weeks when police were called to their home on Nov. 27, 2011, after a family member smelled an unusual odor coming from the garage.
During that time, Gary Stroud told his family and neighbors that she had left him and joined a cult, according to the affidavit filed by Mentor-on-the-Lake Police.
When the family member asked about the smell, Stroud claimed that one of the chickens he kept in the back yard had died. But the family member was suspicious enough that she called police.
When police searched the garage, they found Diane Stroud’s body. It was encased in a sleeping bag with a garbage bag pulled over her head that was secured with duct tape. Then the sleeping bag was covered with a tarp that was also held down with duct tape, according to the affidavit.
Finally, both a bag of lime and a bottle of bleach were found near the body.
Police immediately arrested Gary Stroud.
Stroud retired from the Mentor Police Department more than six years ago. Since then, he had worked for the Lake County Sheriff’s Office part time as a special deputy.
He provided court security, helped deliver papers, escorted clerical employees to the bank and did other odd jobs.
Stroud was laid off by the department in September 2011 — not because he was remiss in his work but because of financial necessities, the sheriff said.
Additionally, Stroud’s house was foreclosed on in October, according to Lake County Court of Common Pleas records.
Nashville pastor to serve 22 years in prison for sexually assaulting teenage girl www.privateofficer.com
Nashville TN Aug 10 2012 John T. Vine, a former South Nashville pastor, will serve 22 years in prison for sexually assaulting a teenage girl who attended his church.
In May, a jury found Vine, 68, former pastor at Lake Providence Missionary Baptist Church, guilty of two counts of aggravated sexual battery and one count of solicitation of a minor.
Davidson County Criminal Court Judge Seth Norman delivered the sentence on Wednesday.
Vine met the victim at the Baptist church when the victim was a small child. He was an associate pastor at the church, according to a Metro police report.
For years she attended the church with her mom, a single mother of five.
According to the police report, Vine used to buy the mother clothes and food for her kids and helped her out with bills. The family used to affectionately refer to Vine as “Granddad.”
When the victim was 11, about six years ago, her mother was attending a women’s retreat and left her daughter with Vine at his home, which is when the sexual abuse began. Several other instances followed.
The report described how he, on various occasions, rubbed the victim with lotion against her will and spoke to her about sexual topics. In one incident, he purchased a bathing suit for her and tried to cajole her to try it on, but she refused.
According to the report, Vine stepped down after other allegations against him emerged. He then became a pastor at Faith United Church in North Nashville.
When he was approached about the sexual abuse, he said, “I was foolish. I’m human, and I make mistakes. I’m alone and lonely,” according to the report.
Before his conviction, he said he was in sex offender treatment.
Vine was sentenced to 11 years for each of the aggravated sexual battery charges, which will be served consecutively. He was sentenced to five years for the solicitation charge, which will be served alongside the other convictions.
The Tennessean does not identify victims of sex crimes.
Philadelphia PA Aug 10 2012 With budget cuts hitting law-enforcement agencies across the country, residents increasingly are taking matters into their own hands by joining town watches or hiring private security firms to help keep their neighborhoods safe.
“Municipal services are on the lean because of financial and economic problems,” said Robert Stokes, an associate professor at Drexel University who has studied private security in public places. “These neighborhoods feel like they have no other choice.”
Stokes said 20 neighborhoods in Atlanta and at least four in Detroit have hired private guards. News reports show that many other cities including Chicago and Boston also have hired private security forces. Some of the guards are off-duty police officers.
Stockton, Calif., recently filed for bankruptcy and laid off 25 percent of its police force. As burglaries spiked last year, residents in the Stockton neighborhood of Bours Park hired an armed guard to patrol the neighborhood and it led to a decline in break-ins.
In some cases public dollars were used to pay for private security. The Oakland, Calif., City Council hired several private guards in 2009 to patrol crime-ridden neighborhoods.
The demand for public security has been growing since the 1970s. Today there are three times more private security guards as there are federal, state and local law-enforcement agents, said Dr. Simon Hakim, director of Temple University’s Center for Competitive Government, adding that the estimate does not include corporate security.
Private guards are cheaper than public police. On average, private security guards earn 47 percent less than sworn officers, Hakim said. Former military or police officers who serve as private guards earn 30 percent less.
“It’s common and the rise of private security is spreading,” Hakim said.
Besides hiring professional private security, residents are volunteering for town watches to help local police combat crime.
There are about 20,000 town watches in the country and 5 million volunteers, said Matt Peskin, executive director of the National Association of Town Watch, adding that this is a “time when communities play a bigger role with the cutbacks … Crime prevention is always first to get hit.”
“There’s two things that we’re taught: You don’t get physically involved and weapons should never be involved,” said Peskin. “Generally, the outcome is not good when you carry a gun.”
Town Watch groups across the country share Peskin’s sentiments after neighborhood volunteer George Zimmerman allegedly took things a step further when he pursued, shot and killed Trayvon Martin, an unarmed 17-year-old who was passing through a gated community in Sanford, Fla., in February.
It was only after intense national public pressure, protests and outrage that Zimmerman, 28, was arrested more than a month later. He has since pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder, claiming he shot Martin in self-defense under Florida’s “stand-your-ground” law. Zimmerman is out on bail until trial.
Peskin said that at most a 9-1-1 call should be made if a volunteer witnesses a crime or sees something or someone suspicious. Peskin added that he once sent home a volunteer who arrived with a legally owned gun.
“No weaponry whatsoever,” said Chris Tutko, director of Neighborhood Watch for the National Sheriffs’ Association. “If you have a cellphone, that’s your weapon.”
Philadelphia’s own Town Watch Integrated Services Office has a $619,222 budget and provides training and supplies to more than 700 Town Watch groups operating in the city, said Anthony Murphy, the executive director. He said those groups include 20,000 volunteers, none of whom is armed, They all work hand-in-hand with the Police Department.
“Philadelphia is a city of neighborhoods. Neighborhoods need you to be a good neighbor,” Murphy said. “Town Watch helps you to be a good neighbor.”
The city has had a jump in murders this year, with 215 homicides compared to 196 at the same time last year.
“Police can’t do it by themselves,” Murphy said. “We as neighbors have to do it. We have to participate.”
Source:Philadelphia Daily News
Muskogee OK ug 10 2012 A Muskogee High School campus police officer was arrested after leading Muskogee police on a brief chase.
Douglas Ragsdale, 44, was arrested on complaints of eluding police and possession of a firearm during commission of a felony.
Muskogee police Lt. Bobby Lee said officers responded to a disturbance call at the Kum & Go at North Country Club Road and Shawnee Bypass just after 9 p.m. Tuesday.
Police were notified the drivers of a red pickup and silver pickup had been in an argument, Lee said. When officers arrived at the gas station, the silver pickup was gone, and Ragsdale was entering the red pickup.
Lee said Ragsdale then drove west on Shawnee Bypass, and did not stop when officers turned on their emergency lights. Ragsdale ran through a red light before pulling over into the Bacone Inn parking lot, where the silver pickup was stopped.
Lee said Ragsdale exited the vehicle and officers noticed he was holding a handgun. Ragsdale then entered his pickup and holstered the handgun.
Lee said Ragsdale told police he was campus security, and officers believed Ragsdale meant he was Bacone campus security.
“They later learned he was not Bacone campus security,” Lee said. “But that he was Muskogee High School campus security.”
Lee said the patrol officer’s report stated the driver of the silver pickup had not been arrested. The report did not indicate what the alleged disturbance had been about, Lee said.
A Muskogee County/City Detention Facility employee said Ragsdale was in the facility, but no bond had been set on Ragsdale as of Wednesday afternoon.
Muskogee school district police chief Dan Hall confirmed Ragsdale is a campus officer. Hall said the matter is a personnel issue.
That simple mouse click, Carter says, caused the sheriff to fire him from his job as a deputy and put him at the center of an emerging First Amendment debate over the ubiquitous digital seal of approval: Is liking something on Facebook protected free speech?
Carter filed a lawsuit claiming that his First Amendment rights had been violated, and his case has reached the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit. This week, Facebook and the American Civil Liberties Union filed briefs supporting what they say is Carter’s constitutional right to express his opinion, signaling the case’s potentially precedent-setting nature.
The interest was sparked by a lower court’s ruling that “liking” a page does not warrant protection because it does not involve “actual statements.” If the ruling is upheld, the ACLU and others worry, a host of Web-based, mouse-click actions, such as re-tweeting (hitting a button to post someone else’s tweet on your Twitter account), won’t be protected as free speech.
“We think it’s important as new technologies emerge . . . that the First Amendment is interpreted to protect those new ways of communicating,” said Rebecca K. Glenberg, legal director of the ACLU of Virginia. “Pressing a ‘like’ button is analogous to other forms of speech, such as putting a button on your shirt with a candidate’s name on it.”
Facebook’s like button appears next to many different types of content on the site, from photos of a friend’s kids to an organization’s page to news articles. When someone clicks the button, an announcement is posted on his or her profile saying that the user likes that piece of content. The like is usually displayed to the user’s Facebook friends as well. Facebook says there are more than 3 billion likes and comments registered every day.
The like controversy is just one of many thorny issues surrounding social media in the workplace.
In April, the Marine Corps said it would discharge a sergeant who criticized President Barack Obama on his Facebook page — including allegedly putting the president’s face on a poster for the movie “Jackass.” And last fall, the National Labor Relations Board ruled that a New York nonprofit illegally fired five workers who criticized a colleague on the site.
The board, a federal agency that brings labor-related complaints on behalf of workers, said it had seen the number of cases involving social media skyrocket from zero to more than 100 over five years.
Carter’s troubles began in the summer of 2009, when longtime Hampton Sheriff B.J. Roberts was running for reelection, according to the lawsuit, filed in federal court in Newport News, Va. in March 2011. Roberts learned that some of his employees, including Carter, were actively supporting another high-ranking Sheriff’s Office official, Jim Adams, in the election.
Carter liked Adams’s election page on Facebook, according to court records. When Roberts learned of the campaigning on the site, he became “incensed” and called a meeting of employees, according to the lawsuit. He allegedly told them that he would be sheriff for “as long as I want it.”
After the meeting, the lawsuit says, Roberts approached Carter and told him: “You made your bed, now you’re going to lie in it — after the election you’re gone.”
About a month after Roberts was reelected, Carter and five other employees who supported Adams or did not actively campaign for Roberts were fired, according to the lawsuit. The other employees are also parties in the lawsuit. Carter and his attorneys did not return calls for comment.
In filings in response to the suit, Roberts’s attorney disputes Carter’s version of events and says the firings were not politically motivated. The attorney did not return a call for comment, and Roberts could not be reached.
“All employment decisions involving plaintiffs were constitutional, lawful, not the result of any improper purpose or motive, and not in retaliation for political expression,” the sheriff’s attorney wrote in the filings.
Roberts said that some of the fired deputies had unsatisfactory work performance and that the campaigning had disrupted the workplace.
U.S. District Judge Raymond A. Jackson issued a summary judgement against Carter and the other plaintiffs in January. In his explanation of the ruling on Carter’s claims, he dismissed the argument that a Facebook like is constitutionally protected speech.
“Merely ‘liking’ a Facebook page is insufficient speech to merit constitutional protection,” Jackson wrote. “In cases where courts have found that constitutional protections extended to Facebook posts, actual statements existed within the record.”
Facebook took issue with the decision, saying in its filings that likes are the “21st-century equivalent of a front-yard campaign sign.” (Washington Post Co. chairman and chief executive Donald E. Graham is a member of Facebook’s board of directors.)
Jackson’s decision has also drawn criticism from some legal experts. Eugene Volokh, a law professor at the University of California at Los Angeles, said firing government employees for speaking out about matters of public concern is generally unconstitutional.
He said there are some exceptions, such as when a high-ranking employee’s political affiliations are relevant to the job, or if the speech greatly disrupts the workplace or diminishes public confidence in the government agency.
In the Sheriff’s Office case, Volokh said, Jackson upset a precedent with deep roots in U.S. law.
“The judge’s rationale that a like on Facebook is insufficient speech is not right,” Volokh said. “The First Amendment protects very brief statements as much as very long ones. It even protects symbolic speech, like burning a flag.”
Volokh, like the ACLU, says liking is similar to putting a bumper sticker on a car, so it should be protected. He said he thinks the 4th Circuit will probably overturn the district judge’s ruling — but if it does not, it would be a significant moment.
“If the 4th Circuit agrees with the judge — that liking is not protected speech — that would suggest an overturning of precedents,” Volokh said. “It would be interesting to see what the Supreme Court would do with that decision.”
Detectives apprehended the youth and took him to police headquarters Thursday morning, according to an statement from Providence Police. The suspect has since been remanded to the Rhode Island Training School for an arraignment in Family Court Friday on a murder charge.
A young mother, her boyfriend, and another young man were shot to death, while the woman’s two daughters and a young brother were also at home.
Police said their investigation is active and ongoing at this time. Two persons were seen going into the residence, said a witness who later heard gunfire.
The pedestrian was identified as Craig Vann, a 45-year-old man from Atwater Village in Los Angeles.
The Wednesday night crash is under investigation, but authorities believe Vann was crossing Moulton Parkway, near El Toro Road, when the crash occurred.
Vann is not believed to have been crossing at a crosswalk, said Jim Amormino, spokesman for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.
Vann crossed one side of the road before 9 p.m., and stopped in the median, he said.
“He then darted across the street,” Amormino said.
Vann was hit in the right lane as he was nearing the curb, he said.
Nobody was cited and the incident is being investigated by the Major Accident Reconstruction Team with the Sheriff’s Department.
The name of the driver was not immediately released
Leonard C. Williams, 45, of Kansas City, was charged in a two-count criminal complaint that was filed in the U.S. District Court in Kansas City, MO, on Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2012. Williams had his initial court appearance today and remains in federal custody.
According to an affidavit filed in support of the federal criminal complaint, Williams entered the Social Security Administration office at 2021 Independence Ave., Kansas City, at about 1 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012. Williams was upset about a letter he had received and repeatedly told an employee that he would return with a gun, the affidavit says, at which time the employee motioned to the FPS officers.
FPS officers attempted to handcuff Williams and he became extremely combative, the affidavit says. Williams allegedly shoved one of the officers toward the wall then intentionally struck him with a closed fist, causing a cut and bleeding from his face. Williams then wrestled with the officer and two more security officers, according to the affidavit, violently kicking at the officers until one of them deployed pepper spray and they were able to subdue Williams until Kansas City police officers and additional FPS officers arrived.
As a result of Williams’ actions, the Social Security office was shut down for the remainder of the afternoon of Aug. 1, 2012, and was closed the entire next day.
David M. Ketchmark, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, cautioned that the charges contained in this complaint are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.
Jacksonville Fla Aug 10 2012 A woman was raped on the Jacksonville University campus Tuesday night after she was ordered into a car at gunpoint and threatened with death multiple times, police said.
The Sheriff’s Office is looking for the attacker while the university has warned staff and students to be careful, even though the victim was not a student, campus security director Gordon Bass said.
“Jacksonville University maintains a safe campus community for its students, faculty, staff and visitors, though no institution can be fully immune from random acts of crime,” Bass said.
He said the campus is patrolled 24/7 by the JU security force, and patrols have been stepped up in the aftermath of this incident.
The woman had just left an area motel about 8:30 p.m. and was walking to a gas station at Cesery Boulevard and Arlington Expressway when a man in a dark-colored car drove up and asked her for the time, according to the police report. Police said the driver pointed a revolver at her, ordered her into the car and told her that “if she screamed, he would kill her.”
The woman was told that as long as she did what he told her and didn’t look at him, he would let her go. Then the gunman drove her to JU’s Marine Science Research Center on the St. Johns River side of the campus at 2800 University Blvd. N., according to the police report. Raped in the car, she was told she had 15 seconds to walk away, threatening her again before saying he should kill her anyway.
The woman flagged down a student on campus just after 9 p.m. and was treated at Shands Jacksonville hospital.
The campus safety alert describes the gunman as a black male between 25 and 30, 5-foot-7 to 5-foot-9, wearing dark-colored shorts and a light blue shirt. He had tattoos on his left arm, according to the police report. The campus security report said a partial license plate of “BHN” was seen on his car.