Just minutes ago Baltimore Circuit Court Judge Barry Williams denied the defense motion brought on behalf of the six police officers charged int the death of Freddie Gray to have their trials held outside the city of Baltimore, reports CBS Baltimore and other news sources.
The officers’ lawyers had argued that it would be impossible to select an unbiased jury in the city, because jurors would be very much aware that anything but a guilty verdict could lead to a resurgence of the riots and looting that occurred last April following Gray’s serious injury while in police custody.
Yesterday Judge Barry Williams made several important rulings on the Freddie Gray case, in which six Baltimore police officers have been charged with various felonies in the death of the arrested drug suspect, reports the Baltimore Sun.
Key among these are that each of the officers will receive a separate trial, and that Prosecutor Marilyn Mosby will not be forced to recuse herself from the proceedings.
Left unanswered until a successive hearing next week is whether the trials will be held in Baltimore, where the alleged crimes occurred, or outside the city where defense lawyers argue a less tainted jury pool is available.
These rulings strike me as being consistent with reasonable due process as well as political decision-making.
On July 19, just 10 days ago, UC police officer Ray Tensing shot and killed motorist Sam DuBose in the course of a traffic stop, according to reports by CNN and others. Today, prosecutor Joe Deters announced that Officer Tensing had been indicted for murder in the killing.
The silver lining for bloggers everywhere is that much of the event was captured by Officer Tensing’s body-cam. You can watch the full video here, but I have relevant portions reproduced in slow-motion and relevant screen captures below, as well.
Officer Tensing claims that he shot DuBose because the driver began dragging the officer with his car. Certainly, dragging someone with your car is conduct likely to cause death or grave bodily harm, and thus warrants the use of deadly force in self-defense.
There’s not much I can add to the content of the video below of this awesome Deputy Sheriff from Louisiana making a Crime Stoppers clip following the robbery of a beloved local eatery/market, Stelly’s Supermarket, so dive right in:
So there’s another notable arrest in the news, that of black woman Sandra Bland by white Texas patrol officer, and thus we have yet another “teachable moment” in non-compliance to lawful police orders. (Note that I address here only Bland’s arrest–I’ve no particular insight into her death three days later while in custody. Also, I limit my points to the issue of legality, as opposed to procedure or policy.)
Thanks to the officer’s dash-cam, almost all of the interaction between him and Bland is captured on video. If you haven’t seen it, here it is:
Now that is a free lesson in how not to act during a traffic stop if you don’t want to get yourself arrested.
Dr. John R. Lott Jr., who runs the Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC), today released yet another of the Center’s outstanding reports, entitled: “Concealed Carry Permit Holders Across the US”. (The full report is embedded at the bottom of this post.)
The report’s biggest takeaway was the continued acceleration of concealed carry licensing across the country. Those familiar with Dr. Lott’s seminal book “More Guns Less Crime” will not be surprised to learn that murder rates in the United States continue to plummet even as concealed carry continues to skyrocket:
No one was more surprised than me when two days ago, on the second anniversary of the George Zimmerman acquittal, I was contacted out of the blue by Zimmerman’s co-counsel, Don West.
Don had contacted me because he was primarily interested in some of the initiatives we have in the works here at Law of Self Defense, particularly our LOSD Certified Instructor and LOSD Lawyer Referral programs, and I was more than happy to discuss those with him.
He prefaced our 45-minute discussion, however, with very complementary remarks on my coverage of the George Zimmerman trial itself, of which coverage he had only recently become aware.
It was, of course, gratifying to hear such praise from a man who co-led perhaps the most perfect self-defense trial I’ve observed in my career.
When I mentioned my conversation with Don to Professor Jacobson over at Legal Insurrection, where I blogged the bulk of my coverage of the Zimmerman trial, the Professor brilliantly suggested we follow-up with Don and ask if he’d record a brief testimonial about our coverage, such that we could use the recording in a blog post on the anniversary of the acquittal.
Within seconds Don had been kind enough to do so:
Professor Jacobson promptly incorporated that audio in a larger post over at Legal Insurrection:
It seems there may be some prospect of Don and I doing some modest work together in the future, which is naturally of great interest to me personally. Assuming it’s not a matter constrained by confidentiality obligations, should that come to pass you’ll hear about it here first.
That’s it for now, folks. Stay safe!
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