Board Revokes License Of Psychologist After Alleged Sexual Relationship With Teen Patient

NEWARK, NJ – The Board of Psychological Examiners has revoked the license of a psychologist after finding that he engaged in a sexual relationship with a patient beginning when she was 17 years old.

According to the Administrative Complaint filed by the Attorney General, Daniel Davenport, who maintained a private practice in Sewell, violated multiple rules and regulations governing the practice of psychology, and misled the Board during an investigative inquiry about both the nature and the length of his relationship with the patient.

In a final decision, the Board revoked the license of 53-year-old Davenport. The Board unanimously voted to uphold an Administrative Law Judge’s Initial Decision on the Complaint, which concluded that the sexual relationship between Davenport and his patient began when the patient was a minor and continued for more than a year.

The Board filed against Davenport, which contained the following allegations:

  • The patient began therapy with Davenport in May 2013, when she was a month shy of her 17th birthday.
  • The patient had a history of anorexia and bulimia since age 12.
  • In September 2013, the patient, upset about a fight with a friend, called Davenport, who left a Philadelphia Eagles game he was attending and met the girl in the parking lot of a Philadelphia-area sports bar, where they talked for about an hour inside his car.
  • The patient’s eating disorders worsened despite her weekly sessions with Davenport. Thus, he referred her to an intensive outpatient treatment program (IOP) and advised her he was terminating the therapist-patient relationship because “he wanted to be there for her more than he could as a therapist.”
  • Davenport and the now former patient texted everyday while she was at the IOP and Davenport would see her between breaks with clients.
  • Davenport would talk with the girl about how things were going for her and initiated physical closeness by sitting next to her, having her snuggle up next to him and lie on top of him.
  • Davenport kissed the girl for the first time, on the mouth, in March 2014, when shel was 17.
  • Davenport then invited the girl to his office once a week, during which they would kiss and he would perform oral sex on her.
  • Davenport engaged in sexual intercourse with the girl in early may 2014, several weeks before her 18th birthday.
  • Davenport frequenly provided the girl with alcohol and they smoked marijuana together.
  • Davenport continued to meet with the girl about once a week through the summer and fall of 2014, in motel rooms or his office, and he would bring alcohol.
  • As a result of the relationship, the girl began drinking heavily and contemplating suicide.
  • In October 2014, the girl attended and out-of-state inpatient mental helath and substance abuse program. She flew home in early 2015. Davenport picked her up from airport, obtained alcohol, and took her to a motel room, where they engaged in intercourse. They then resumed seeing eachother once a week, during which they drank alcohol and have sex.
  • In March 2015, the girl attended another inpatient rehabilitation program to address her escalating alcohol problem. During her stay there, she attempted to end her relationship with Davenport via telephone.
  • During a third inpatient rehab, the girl wrote Davenport a letter. He responded by telling her that he could no longer be in a relationship with her anymore because of her drinking problem.

“When a licensee uses their influence over a vulnerable client to commit sexual misconduct, that is a violation of trust and professional standards that carries serious consequences in New Jersey,” said Attorney General Grewal. “I commend the Board for holding this psychologist accountable for his actions, and for its commitment to protecting the public by ensuring that predators cannot hide behind a professional license.”

At oral argument in a virtual disciplinary hearing, the Attorney General’s Office urged the Board to accept the Initial Decision rendered by Administrative Law Judge Susan M. Scarola regarding the conduct of Davenport, noting that he “ceased acting as [a] therapist and had formed an intimate, confidential relationship with [his patient] that evolved from friends to lovers within a matter of months.”

The Board subsequently found that the seriousness of Davenport’s conduct, and the lasting impact it had on his victim, constituted gross negligence and professional misconduct. Moreover, by omitting details and downplaying what had occurred, the psychologist’s failed attempts to thwart the Board’s duty to protect the public were significant aggravating factors that ultimately demonstrated Davenport lacks the good moral character required for licensure by the Board.

“Davenport displayed a flagrant disregard for the emotional and physical well-being of his teenage client who had courageously sought out therapy,” said Acting Director Paul R. Rodríguez. “We take sexual allegations very seriously, and the resolution of this case should send a clear message to all licensed professionals who may be tempted to violate the public trust and duty they owe to their patients.”

Davenport’s revocation comes as the Division, under the direction of the Attorney General, continues a sweeping review of how its 51 professional boards — which oversee approximately 720,000 active licensed professionals, from accountants and doctors to plumbers and veterinarians — address allegations involving sexual misconduct and abuse by licensees and applicants for licenses.

The review, which is currently underway, is evaluating how boards screen applicants for licenses, approach investigations of alleged misconduct and discipline, and engage with complainants who report abuses by a licensee or applicant.

The Board ordered Davenport to pay civil penalties totaling $45,000 and awarded the State its full costs in investigating and prosecuting this matter $55,057.

Deputy Attorney General David M. Puteska, the Assistant Section Chief of the Professional Boards Prosecution Section in the Division of Law, represented the State in this matter. The matter was investigated by the Enforcement Bureau within the Division of Consumer Affairs.

This investigation was conducted by the Enforcement Bureau of the Division of Consumer Affairs.

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Source: Breaking 911, Board Revokes License Of Psychologist After Alleged Sexual Relationship With Teen Patient

RAW VIDEO: NJ Police Fatally Shoot Armed Man Inside An Apartment

TRENTON, N.J. – (Press Release) — The Attorney General’s Office today released a 911 audio recording and video recordings from officer body-worn cameras and a Taser camera related to the shooting on August 21, 2020 in Asbury Park, N.J., in which a police officer fatally shot Hasani Best, 39, of Asbury Park.

The shooting remains under investigation by the Attorney General’s Office of Public Integrity and Accountability. However, the recordings are being released pursuant to Attorney General Directive 2019-4, the “Independent Prosecutor Directive,” which governs use-of-force investigations in New Jersey and requires that such records, if requested, be released to the public once the initial phase of the investigation is substantially complete.

Today investigators met with relatives of Mr. Best to review the 911 call and the video recordings from the body-worn cameras and Taser camera.

According to the preliminary investigation, multiple officers of the Asbury Park Police Department responded shortly after 9 p.m. on Aug. 21, 2020 to a report of a loud domestic dispute inside a two-family residence in the 900 block of 4th Avenue in Asbury Park. When police arrived, the man and woman involved in the dispute were at the residence.The woman was outside, and the man, later identified as Hasani Best, barricaded himself inside the upstairs apartment.Monmouth County sheriff’s officers arrived to assist the Asbury Park police officers.

Officers tried to negotiate with Mr. Best through the door of the apartment in an effort to end the standoff.During the incident, Mr. Best opened the door at various times, revealing that he was armed with a knife. Mr. Best continued to hold the knife despite repeated requests from the police to drop the knife.Officers attempted to use a Taser, but it was not effective. Mr. Best remained armed with the knife, and at approximately 10:10 p.m., an Asbury Park officer shot and fatally wounded him. Officers and EMS rendered medical aid, and EMS transported Mr. Best to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, N.J., where he was pronounced dead at 10:31 p.m.

The audio and video recordings are contained in 12 files, which have been posted online.The full video footage from the two body-worn cameras has been divided into 10 files— five per camera.They are posted in chronological order. Click here for files.

The identity of the officer who fired at Mr. Best was previously released by the Attorney General’s Office.He is Sgt. Sean DeShader of the Asbury Park Police Department.

The investigation is being conducted pursuant to a state law enacted in January 2019 (P.L.2019, c.1), which requires that the Attorney General’s Office conduct investigations of a person’s death that occurs during an encounter with a law enforcement officer acting in the officer’s official capacity or while the decedent is in custody.

The investigation is ongoing and no further information is being released at this time.Under state law and the Independent Prosecutor Directive, when the entire investigation is complete, the case will be presented to a grand jury, typically consisting of 16 to 23 citizens, to make the ultimate decision regarding whether criminal charges will be filed. At present due to the COVID-19 pandemic, regular grand juries are not sitting and hearing cases.

The post RAW VIDEO: NJ Police Fatally Shoot Armed Man Inside An Apartment appeared first on Breaking911.

Source: Breaking 911, RAW VIDEO: NJ Police Fatally Shoot Armed Man Inside An Apartment

Hey, Gen Z. Let’s talk about 2020.

One-in-10 eligible voters this year are part of Generation Z, which means America’s youngest adults are about to step into their political power.

While young people usually vote at lower rates than older generations and are more distrustful of political institutions, there’s a lot at stake this year. A tumultuous presidential cycle, an unprecedented global pandemic, a mass reckoning over racism — not to mention a nomination fight that could shape the Supreme Court for generations.

If you’re Gen Z and will be at least 18 years old on Election Day, we want to know how 2020 has shaped your views about voting, politics and America’s policy priorities.

Source: Politico, Hey, Gen Z. Let’s talk about 2020.

S.C. Man Gets 2 Years For Threatening Attack on Fla. Abortion Clinic

Rodney Allen, 43, of Beaufort, South Carolina, was sentenced Wednesday in federal court in Jacksonville, Florida, to 24 months in prison. Allen previously pleaded guilty to one count of intimidating and interfering with the employees of an abortion clinic by making a bomb threat and one count of making false statements to a Special Agent with the FBI.

“The Department of Justice will prosecute anyone who threatens to blow up people and places to the fullest extent of the law,” said Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband. “These kinds of ghastly criminal threats unlawfully and unjustly injure innocent people. Violence and threats of violence have no place in this country.”

“Threats of violence to healthcare facilities or their employees are serious matters,” said U.S. Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez for the Middle District of Florida. “Thanks to the quick response and diligence by our local and federal law enforcement partners, this case was investigated thoroughly and brought to a successful conclusion.”

According to court documents, on Aug. 29, 2019, Allen called the clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, and said that someone was coming to blow it up. Allen made several other calls to the clinic that day in an attempt to interfere with its ability to provide services. Employees recognized Allen’s voice and were concerned that he would do something desperate, so they enlisted the help of a Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office officer to search the property. The FBI obtained toll records and subscriber information for the number used to make the bomb threat to the clinic and positively identified Allen as the caller. In a voluntary and surreptitiously recorded interview with the FBI, Allen falsely denied calling the clinic and stating that someone was coming to blow it up.

This case was investigated by the FBI’s Columbia and Jacksonville Divisions. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ashley Washington of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida and Trial Attorneys Sanjay Patel and Anna Gotfryd of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division prosecuted the case.

The post S.C. Man Gets 2 Years For Threatening Attack on Fla. Abortion Clinic appeared first on Breaking911.

Source: Breaking 911, S.C. Man Gets 2 Years For Threatening Attack on Fla. Abortion Clinic

Man Admits He Threatened To Kill Black Family If They Attended Church

MICHIGAN — Ronald Wyatt, 22, pleaded guilty to intentionally threatening physical harm to a woman, identified in court papers as “T.P.,” to obstruct her free exercise of religion. As part of his plea agreement, Wyatt admitted that he targeted T.P., who is African-American, because of her race.

At the plea hearing, Wyatt admitted that, on July 23, 2019, he used Facebook to send T.P. a written message that threatened: “See you at church on Wednesday night with my AK to put you and your [expletive] family down [expletive].” T.P. regularly attends a church located in Taylor, Michigan. Wyatt admitted that, by sending the threatening message, he acted intentionally to obstruct T.P.’s free exercise of her religious beliefs. Wyatt further admitted that he threatened T.P. because she is African-American, and that he intended for T.P. to understand his message as a threat.

“No American should face threats towards their life or the lives of their loved ones based on their race or religion” said Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband. “These actions are reprehensible. The Justice Department takes these matters very seriously and works to ensure that those who perpetrate these actions see justice under the law.”

“The defendant’s actions in this case are truly reprehensible,” said U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider of the Eastern District of Michigan. “Although the First Amendment protects free speech, it doesn’t give anyone the right to obstruct the free exercise of religious beliefs by threatening violence or bodily harm. Prosecuting those who violate the civil rights of Michigan citizens is some of the most important work we do. This plea today is the first step towards justice for this innocent victim.”

“Mr. Wyatt used threats of violence to terrorize an innocent woman and as a result hindered the victim’s ability to freely practice her religion,” said Special Agent in Charge Steven M. D’Antuono, of the FBI’s Detroit Field Office. “Hate crimes like this one have profound effects not only on the victims, but also on their families and communities, making them feel vulnerable and unsafe. No arrest or conviction can undo the harm, but will hopefully provide a measure of justice for the victim, her family and her community.”

Pursuant to the plea agreement, sentencing will take place in one year. He faces a maximum sentence of one year in prison.

The post Man Admits He Threatened To Kill Black Family If They Attended Church appeared first on Breaking911.

Source: Breaking 911, Man Admits He Threatened To Kill Black Family If They Attended Church

SEC Charges BMW for Disclosing Inaccurate and Misleading Retail Sales Information to Bond Investors

The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced settled charges against Germany-based automaker BMW AG and two of its U.S. subsidiaries for disclosing inaccurate and misleading information about BMW’s retail sales volume in the U.S. while raising…

Source: SEC Press Releases, SEC Charges BMW for Disclosing Inaccurate and Misleading Retail Sales Information to Bond Investors

Engine Manufacturing Company to Pay Penalty, Take Remedial Measures to Settle Charges of Accounting Fraud

The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Chicago-area engine manufacturing company Power Solutions International Inc., has agreed to settle accounting fraud charges related to the company’s overstatement of revenues by almost $25…

Source: SEC Press Releases, Engine Manufacturing Company to Pay Penalty, Take Remedial Measures to Settle Charges of Accounting Fraud

Judicial Watch Opposes State/Justice Department Request to End Remaining Discovery in Clinton Email/Benghazi Lawsuit

State/DOJ Seek to Stop to Clinton Aide from Testifying

Judicial Watch to Appeal Decision on Clinton Email Testimony 

(Washington, DC) Judicial Watch announced today that it has filed an opposition to the U.S. Department of State’s motion to overturn a court order authorizing additional discovery in the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit that led directly to the 2015 disclosure of former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton personal email system.

The State Department’s motion seeks to avoid the depositions of Clinton’s former Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills as well as current and former State Department Information Technology Officials Brett Gittleson and Yvette Jacks.

Judicial Watch argues in its opposition that the State Department is wrong to try to expand an August 2020 appellate court ruling blocking Clinton’s deposition. The ruling did not bar the deposition of Mills or any other witness. Judicial Watch intends to seek further review of the ruling.     

The lawsuit seeks records about the Obama administration’s public statements regarding the 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. In addition to exposing the Clinton email system, the lawsuit uncovered “talking points” drafted by Obama administration officials demonstrating that then-National Security Advisor Susan Rice’s statements on the eve of the 2012 presidential election were false (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:14-cv-01242)).

On December 6, 2018, U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth ordered that Rice and senior Obama State Department officials, lawyers and Clinton aides be deposed or answer written questions under oath in the lawsuit. Judge Lamberth called Clinton’s email system “one of the gravest modern offenses to government transparency.”

In May 2019, Rice admitted under oath that she emailed Clinton on Clinton’s personal email account and “in rare instances” received emails related to U.S. government business on her own personal email account. Rice claimed she “took steps” to ensure that official emails were “also on her government email account” but did not identify those steps. Rice’s 2019 sworn answers are available here.

On March 2, 2020, Judge Lamberth ordered Judicial Watch to depose Clinton and Mills, under oath, regarding Clinton’s email system and the existence of records about the Benghazi attack. Clinton and Mills filed an emergency mandamus appeal to avoid testifying.

“It is shameful that Judicial Watch still must battle Hillary Clinton, the DOJ, and the State Department in court over the Clinton email scandal,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “President Trump should demand answers about these efforts to avoid accountability and the truth.”


The post Judicial Watch Opposes State/Justice Department Request to End Remaining Discovery in Clinton Email/Benghazi Lawsuit appeared first on Judicial Watch.

Source: Judicial Watch, Judicial Watch Opposes State/Justice Department Request to End Remaining Discovery in Clinton Email/Benghazi Lawsuit

25 temporary hacks for sprucing up a rental apartment

Settling into a brand-new apartment? Congratulations! Your first job is to make it feel less…well, like every other apartment, and more like home. Your home. “You found the perfect apartment and location. Only downside is that it lacks personality and style,” says Michelle Harrison-McAllister, an interior designer based in San Diego. “There are easy and affordable temporary solutions to add your vibe.”

Source: CNN, 25 temporary hacks for sprucing up a rental apartment

Bernie Sanders rips Trump over comments about election integrity

Sen. Bernie Sanders tore into President Donald Trump on Thursday, delivering an indictment of the president’s recent comments that doubted the integrity of the November election and portraying him as an imminent threat to democracy.

“It is terribly important that we actually listen to and take seriously what Donald Trump is saying,” Sanders said in an address at George Washington University in Washington.

The Vermont independent then went on to catalog all of Trump’s recent public statements about the election, including several weeks ago when the president claimed that “the only way they can take this election away from us is if this is a rigged election” and his repeated jibes about serving more than the two terms allowed by the Constitution.

Despite Trump’s constant complaints about supposed mass voter fraud in elections, Sanders pointed to several studies — including the conclusion of Trump’s own White House commission on the matter — that have found voter fraud to be exceedingly rare.

He also assailed Trump’s efforts to cast doubt on the legitimacy of mail-in voting ahead of an election that is expected to see unprecedented levels of votes cast by mail because of the coronavirus pandemic. Sanders pointed to an interview in which the president appeared to admit that his opposition to including funding for the U.S. Postal Service in a coronavirus relief bill stemmed from his desire to thwart Democratic efforts to expand mail-in voting, and to Trump’s floating a delay in the election over mail-in voting.

He also noted that Trump himself appeared to encourage voter fraud earlier this month when he urged North Carolina voters to attempt to vote twice as a test of mail-in voting systems.

But Sanders pegged a large portion of his speech to more recent events.

“Just last night Donald Trump went even further down the path of authoritarianism,” he said, referring to the president’s refusal on Wednesday to commit to a peaceful transfer of power should he lose reelection.

“Trump’s strategy to delegitimize this election and to stay in office if he loses is not complicated,” Sanders contended. “Finding himself behind in many polls, he is attempting massive voter suppression.”

Sanders began his speech by lamenting “grotesque levels of income inequality,” a lack of guaranteed health care for all and the threat of climate change.

“All of these issues and others are enormously important and should be the issues that are being debated in this campaign. But today, I am not going to talk about any of them,” he said, instead saying he would focus on “something in my wildest dreams I never thought I would be discussing.”

“This is not just an election between Donald Trump and Joe Biden,” Sanders said, referring to the Democratic presidential nominee. “This is an election between Donald Trump and democracy, and democracy must win.”

The senator outlined a number of action items that he argued might help alleviate chaos surrounding the election.

First and foremost, he pushed for voters to hand Biden a decisive, landslide victory on Election Day, saying it would “make it virtually impossible for Trump to deny the results” and calling it “our best means for defending democracy.”

He urged state legislatures to allow the counting or processing of mail-in ballots prior to Election Day, arguing that “the faster all ballots are counted, the less window there is for chaos and conspiracy theories.”

Sanders also called on the news media to begin preparing the American electorate for the virtual certainty that because of increased mail-in voting, the winner of the election will not be decided on Nov. 3, and he encouraged social media companies to take further action to stop the spread of disinformation on their platforms.

The senator also argued for hearings in Congress and statehouses alike to provide transparency on the election process — including how the days following the election will be handled — suggesting that he sees the possibility for violence in some places.

Sanders pleaded that “every elected official in America, whether they be Republican, Democrat or independent … vigorously oppose voter suppression and voter intimidation, to make sure that every vote is counted, and that no one is declared the winner until those votes are counted.”

And he issued a call to action in particular for Republicans in Congress.

“Please do not continue to tell the American people how much you love America if, at this critical moment, you are not prepared to stand up to defend American democracy and our way of life,” Sanders said. “Stop the hypocrisy.”

Source: Politico, Bernie Sanders rips Trump over comments about election integrity

DOJ: More than 300 charged with crimes committed ‘under the guise’ of peaceful protests since late-May

The Department of Justice announced today that more than 300 individuals in 29 states and Washington, D.C., have been charged for crimes committed adjacent to or under the guise of peaceful demonstrations since the end of May.

To date, of the 94 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices (USAOs), more than 40 USAOs have filed federal charges alleging crimes ranging from attempted murder, assaulting a law enforcement officer, arson, burglary of a federally-licensed firearms dealer, damaging federal property, malicious destruction of property using fire or explosives, felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, unlawful possession of a destructive device, inciting a riot, felony civil disorder, and others.  Violent opportunists have exploited these demonstrations in various ways. 

Approximately 80 individuals have been charged with offenses relating to arson and explosives.  Approximately 15 individuals have been charged with damaging federal property. In some instances, these individuals are alleged to have set fires to local businesses as well as city and federal property, which will regrettably incur millions of taxpayer dollars to repair damages to the Portland CourthouseNashville CourthouseMinneapolis Police Third PrecinctSeattle Police East Precinct, and local high school in Minnesota; and, to replace police cruisers in South CarolinaWashingtonRhode Island, GeorgiaUtah, and other states.

Corporate and local businesses were also targeted, including a Target Corporate headquarters in MinneapolisBoost Mobile Store in MilwaukeeChamp Sports Store in Tampa, and local restaurants including a pizza parlor in Los Angeles and a sushi bar in Santa Monica.  Through these acts, these individuals have shown minimal regard to their communities and for the safety of others and themselves.

In Washington, D.C., outside of the U.S. Supreme Court, a man was engulfed in flames after he poured a liquid from a gas can onto three U.S. Supreme Court Police vehicles; he suffered severe burns. In Virginia Beach, authorities identified a man who is alleged to have threatened to burn down an African American church 

Approximately 35 individuals have been charged with assaulting a law enforcement officer and related offenses.  One of these cases was charged in Massachusetts; the rest of these individuals were charged in Oregon.  The assaults have targeted local and federal law enforcement officers.  In Portland, a man is alleged to have approached a U.S. Marshals Deputy from behind and struck the deputy in the upper back, neck, and shoulder with a wooden baseball bat; another man, allegedly assaulted a Deputy U.S. Marshal with an explosive device.  In Boston, a man allegedly shot at least 11 times toward officers, including a deputized federal officer.

Approximately 30 individuals have been charged with offenses related to civil disorder.  In several instances, these individuals leveraged social media platforms to incite destruction and assaults against law enforcement officers.  In Cleveland, two Pennsylvania men are charged with driving to the city with the intent to participate in a riot and commit acts of violence.  In their possession, authorities found a black backpack containing a hammer, two containers of Sterno Firestarter Instant Flame Gel, a can of spray paint, a glass bottle of liquor with a bar-style pour top, a Glock semi-automatic firearm and two magazines loaded with ammunition.  In Knoxville, one individual allegedly instructed his social media followers to, “bring hammers bricks whatever you want.” The same defendant allegedly used a trashcan lid filled with an unknown liquid to strike a law enforcement officer in the head while the officer was seated in a police vehicle.

Charges have also been filed against individuals accused of committing burglary and carjacking.  In Pittsburgh, two individuals allegedly attempted to burglarize a Dollar Bank.  In Louisville, two individuals were charged with conspiracy to commit burglary involving controlled substances at a local WalgreensAnother Louisville individual was charged with carjacking; at the time of the carjacking, the individual was on a felony diversion as a result of a February 2020 conviction for charges that were initially filed as complicity to murder and complicity to robbery. 

Several of these charges carry significant maximum prison sentences. For example, felony assault of a federal officer with a dangerous weapon is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.  Arson is punishable by up to 20 years in prison with a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison.

The following agencies and U.S. Attorney’s offices have investigated these cases along with multiple federal, state and local law enforcement agencies: The FBI; U.S. Marshals Service; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); and United States Attorneys’ Offices (including the District of Arizona, the Central District of California, the Northern District of California, the Southern District of California, the District of Colorado, the District of Columbia, the District of Delaware, the Middle District of Florida, the Northern District of Georgia, the Central District of Illinois, the Northern District of Illinois, the Southern District of Indiana, the Western District of Kentucky, the Middle District of Louisiana, the District of Maine, the District of Massachusetts, the District of Minnesota, the Eastern District of Missouri, the Western District of Missouri, the District of Nevada, the District of New Jersey, the Eastern District of New York, the Northern District of New York, the Southern District of New York, the Western District of New York, the Eastern District of North Carolina, the District of North Dakota, the Northern District of Ohio, the Southern District of Ohio, the District of Oregon, the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the Western District of Pennsylvania, the District of Rhode Island, the District of South Carolina, the Eastern District of Tennessee, the Middle District of Tennessee, the Northern District of Texas, the Western District of Texas, the District of Utah, the Eastern District of Virginia, the Western District of Washington, the Eastern District of Wisconsin, and the Western District of Wisconsin).

The ATF and FBI continue to urge the public to report suspected arson, use of explosive devices, or violent, destructive acts associated with the recent unrest.  Anyone with information can call 1-888-ATF-TIPS (1-888-283-8477), email, or submit information anonymously via

In addition to those who commit fires, the FBI is looking for people who may have incited or promoted violence of any kind.  Anyone with digital material or tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or submit images or videos at

The post DOJ: More than 300 charged with crimes committed ‘under the guise’ of peaceful protests since late-May appeared first on Breaking911.

Source: Breaking 911, DOJ: More than 300 charged with crimes committed ‘under the guise’ of peaceful protests since late-May

Can Rochester's mayor survive the storm?

ALBANY — If Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren thought that firing her city’s police chief in the aftermath of the killing of Daniel Prude might ease the pressure on her office and her tenure, she was mistaken.

Even with the chief dismissed two weeks before his announced retirement date, there are at least five separate investigations into how officials handled Prude’s death, with a new trove of documents showing that Warren’s office had been aware of police involvement from the beginning. Some wonder if the 43-year-old Warren, Rochester’s first woman mayor, can survive the mounting pressure — protesters and the police union alike are calling for Warren’s resignation — and a deadly shooting Saturday has now piled more anguish onto the city.

Part of the tension can be traced to Warren’s promise during her 2013 mayoral campaign to bring the city together after years of economic dislocation and racial inequities. Critics argue that the promise remains painfully unfulfilled.

“If from day one, police accountability and oversight and transparency had been undertaken by this administration, you don’t get this kind of a moment,” said Adrian Hale, a native of Rochester and a senior manager of talent strategy, workforce development and education initiatives at the city’s Chamber of Commerce.

“So I think just her failure to take on the issue of police transformation seven or six years ago is what created this issue and has led us to this crisis: a crisis of the destruction of trust in leadership. It’s a crisis of deep adversarial skepticism of the policing institution and the questioning of the social organization within Rochester right now.”

Despite incremental steps Warren and the community have taken — during her reelection campaign she touted her first-term push for neighborhood-based community policing and the implementation of police body cameras — the secrecy involved in City Hall’s response Prude’s death has dashed what little trust had been restored.

“We don’t disregard all the good work has been done, but we have to say, ‘OK, you know, we’re almost back to square one, we’ve actually regressed, we have to change,’” said Bob Duffy, who was Rochester’s police chief and later mayor before becoming lieutenant governor for Andrew Cuomo’s first term.

“How do you prevent these things from happening?” Duffy added. “They happen and it’s not just this administration; every administration has these. I always say this: No chief or no mayor can stop what happens at 3 o’clock in the morning. But what they do control is what happens afterwards.”

Adding to the city’s plight is a rift between local Democratic Party factions, which has historically prevented Rochester’s elected leaders from presenting a unified front in the face of fiscal, racial and social challenges.

That leaves an embattled Warren without some key political support as the crisis deepens.

“It seems pretty clear that she’s fighting for her political life and is taking actions that are a little bit otherwise hard to understand,” said Larry Rothenberg, the director of the W. Allen Wallis Institute of Political Economy at the University of Rochester. “The fact that she fired the police chief with two weeks to go, after he already announced his resignation: She’s trying to differentiate herself from the rest of the people involved in this.”

Prude, 41, died in March after police pinned him to the ground and covered his head while he was handcuffed, naked and under mental distress. The incident was not made public until several weeks ago, when the Prude family released body cam footage it had obtained as part of its lawsuit against the city.

Last Monday, 323 pages of documents were released as part of an internal review. They showed a slew of actions officials took to minimize and conceal police responsibility in Prude’s death.

Amid the uproar, Warren not only fired police Chief La’Ron Singletary but also announced new initiatives to change the policing culture and invited the U.S. Department of Justice and the city’s Office of Public Integrity to look into the city’s response. That’s on top of state Attorney General Tish James’ criminal investigation, the police department’s internal investigation and the City Council’s upcoming investigation.

Warren has said she did not know the details of the encounter with Prude until Aug. 4, and has apologized for not making the public aware when she did see the video.

“We have a pervasive problem in the Rochester Police Department, one that views everything through the eyes of the badge,” Warren said Monday. “The culture of policing in Rochester must change.”

Some would argue that the culture of Rochester’s divisive politics needs to change as well if the city is to recover from the summer of 2020.

The divides didn’t start with Warren. But the bitterness among local factions was laid bare in her upset mayoral victory in 2013. Warren, who was City Council president and legal counsel to the late Assemblymember David Gantt, beat incumbent mayor Tom Richards in the Democratic primary. Richards was the favorite of Rep. Joe Morelle, who was then the state Assembly majority leader and chair of the Monroe County Democratic Party.

Richards had money, strong polling and party backing. But Warren defeated Richards 57 to 42 percent, thanks, in part, to the strength of Gantt’s political organization in Rochester’s poorest neighborhoods.

“I think much of Black Rochester elected Mayor Warren as a home-grown daughter of the city, as someone who has shared their interests and priorities,” Hale said. “And so police reform is a given: There’s no Black community in the country where police reform is not at the top of the issues that need to be taken. Whether it was explicitly said, ‘I’m going to do this or not,’ there’s an assumption that you will address the disparities and the system bias that plagues our belief system.”

Warren went on to win the general election with 55 percent of the vote, but not with a unified Democratic Party behind her. Even after Richards and Morelle both endorsed her, some City Hall staff and political organizers launched an unsuccessful effort to elect Richards on the Independence and Working Families party lines.

Gantt, who was described in the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle in 2002 as “highly principled to some, blatantly dictatorial to others,” died in July, a blow for the mayor, who lost an ally and a friend. His likely successor, Demond Meeks, bested Gantt’s pick for the spot in the June primary.

Warren wasn’t dealt an easy hand as the city’s second Black mayor. Roughly one-third of the population lives in poverty. The congressional district that houses Rochester was ranked last year as the second worst in the country for Black people. Black people are almost three times as likely to be unemployed and three times as likely to live in poverty. They earn incomes that are less than half of white people’s incomes in the region.

The city’s schools record some of New York’s most dismal performance rates and its school board is so mismanaged that it found itself in a financial hole of as much as $60 million earlier this year. Warren hasn’t been shy about asking Albany for help, but lawmakers have been wary to fund systems which they say lack oversight or clear plans to remedy the situations.

Even before Prude’s death, Warren’s position has been a balancing act of enormous proportions. As a Democrat and Black female mayor, she has faced calls from young liberal activists to be the voice of their movements, even as she must partner with the police department and the city’s power establishment to make the city safer and more prosperous.

She is sometimes laden with responsibility that might not be entirely hers, noted Adam Urbanski, president of the Rochester Teachers Association. Urbanski said Warren has always garnered both “fervent support” and “fervent opposition” but has been a supportive partner with the teachers union.

“Could she have done more? Probably. All of us could do more. The reality is — and I think she understands — that schools cannot be an oasis of excellence in an environment of discord and disorder,” Urbanski said.

That environment may become even more disorderly in the weeks to come, for reasons that have nothing to do with demonstrations related to Prude’s death. Monroe County prosecutors are presenting criminal allegations against Warren to a grand jury after the state Board of Elections concluded there was “considerable evidence” that members of her 2017 reelection campaign intentionally evaded limits on campaign donations. A former Warren ally, lobbyist Robert Scott Gaddy, pleaded guilty to different misdemeanor theft charges Wednesday while pledging to cooperate with campaign finance inquiries, a signal that he could be involved in the ongoing investigation of Warren’s campaign.

But that investigation, which the mayor has dismissed as a “political witch hunt,” could be overshadowed by continued reverberations from the Prude case, said former television journalist and Monroe County Legislator Rachel Barnhart, one of Warren’s two primary challengers in 2017.

“After seven years of being mayor, if you don’t know that you have problems in your police department, who’s fault is that?” Barnhart said. “People are willing to forgive Lovely Warren for all kinds of sins, but they’re not going to forgive her for Daniel Prude.”

Warren’s reelection campaign in 2017 had offered three promises: “better educational opportunities,” “safer streets and neighborhoods,” and “more jobs for Rochester residents.” And after her 2017 primary win she called for unity within her party. “Four years ago we stood up to the power brokers,” she said at the time. “Now we need everyone’s support to help our city and to heal our party.”

But Warren’s critics say she hasn’t forgotten the challenges mounted against her or the battles she was forced to fight to ward them off. Barnhart says that Warren’s office has instilled a culture of “fear and intimidation and retaliation.”

Other Rochester political observers who declined to speak on the record said that in an environment in which political vendettas aren’t easily forgiven, factions have struggled to unite around common goals proportionate to the scale of the problems in the city.

For instance, when Rochester Assemblymember Harry Bronson, a Democrat, pushed back against Warren’s plea for a temporary state takeover of the city school board — which he said “abdicates our responsibility to lead,” — he found himself with an (ultimately unsuccessful) primary challenger: Warren’s chief of staff, Alex Yudelson.

Many current elected officials declined to weigh in specifically on Warren’s long-term future as mayor, but most expressed confusion and disbelief that the city failed to disclose Prude’s death in any form over a number of months.

Bronson said he does not believe Warren has handled the situation appropriately, but did not comment on her motives.

“We don’t know all of the timeline and there’s some disagreement, but there’s no disagreement on when this was sent to the attorney general’s office,” Bronson said. “And it should have been disclosed, at the very least, that a person of color with mental illnesses died in connection with law enforcement, and it’s going to be investigated. I frankly believe it should have been disclosed long before that.”

One thing is clear: If Warren does survive, she’ll be tasked with a massive job of overhauling a number of local systems, and she won’t be able to do that alone.

“Maybe elected officials should listen,” Duffy said. “And maybe citizens and people, relatives on streets and police officers and other people, should give their perspectives … as opposed to shouting at each other, fighting with each other, trying to one up each other, or trying to give excuses. And you know, leaders take responsibility, leaders don’t blame others. And then behind the scenes, they fix those problems and fix them quickly. And in this particular case, we’re not going to change anything through press conferences.”

Warren’s office declined to provide comment.

Source: Politico, Can Rochester’s mayor survive the storm?

SEE IT: Seattle cop caught on video rolling bike over protester’s head; police ‘aware’ of incident

SEATTLE — (SPD) — Police began monitoring a protest that formed in Cal Anderson Park at 7 PM Wednesday night. The group began marching around Capitol Hill and First Hill causing occasional property damage along the way. The group reformed at the intersection of 11 Avenue and Pine Street. Around 10:45 PM a protestor approached the East Precinct and threw an explosive that went through a roll-up gate and exploded near waiting bike officers. A few minutes later additional people cut wires powering the security cameras to the precinct.

Officers identified the individual who threw the explosive and attempted to arrest the person. As a group off bike officers attempted to make the arrest they were then assaulted with bottles and rocks. Police deployed pepper spray and blast balls in an attempt to create space between the officers and the protestors.

The group of protestors again moved through the streets setting dumpsters on fire and throwing explosives at officers.

In total, officers arrested 13 individuals for charges ranging from property destruction, resisting arrest and failure to disperse as well as assault on an officer.

Multiple officers were injured to include one who was struck in the head with a baseball bat cracking his helmet.

In addition to this, the Seattle Police Department is aware of a video circulating on the internet that apparently shows an SPD bike officer’s bike rolling over the head of an individual laying in the street. This matter will be referred to the Office of Police Accountability for further investigation.

The post SEE IT: Seattle cop caught on video rolling bike over protester’s head; police ‘aware’ of incident appeared first on Breaking911.

Source: Breaking 911, SEE IT: Seattle cop caught on video rolling bike over protester’s head; police ‘aware’ of incident

De Blasio calls Trump's funding threat 'insulting,' but empty

The Trump administration designated New York City as an “anarchist jurisdiction” that could be stripped of its federal funding Monday, a move that Mayor Bill de Blasio dismissed as a toothless campaign tactic by a “racist” president.

“This is just another one of President Trump’s games. It’s thoroughly political. It’s part of his campaign strategy. It makes no sense,” de Blasio said at a press briefing. “It’s insulting to the people of New York City.”

The Department of Justice said that New York City, Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington “have permitted violence and destruction of property to persist,” and could be subject to a threat to hold back their federal funds.

De Blasio said the city will fight the move in court if it comes to that, but he predicted the threat would fizzle, similar to Trump’s vow to yank federal funding from sanctuary cities with immigrant-friendly policies.

“It’s all about race, and it’s all about attempts to divide and to enthrall his base by attacking the other. This is what this guy does. It’s the only trick in his book,” de Blasio said.

“There’s just no president in history whose been this irresponsible and divisive,” he added.

In its announcement, DOJ cited the spike in shootings in the city this year and a budget agreement to cut $1 billion from the NYPD, although the scope of the cuts turned out to be much smaller when full details of the budget emerged.

The department also cited decisions by the Brooklyn and Manhattan district attorneys not to prosecute low-level charges against protesters and the New York’s rejection of federal agents to patrol the city.

“We cannot allow federal tax dollars to be wasted when the safety of the citizenry hangs in the balance,” U.S. Attorney General William Barr said in a statement.

Jim Johnson, the city’s corporation counsel, said there was no legal basis for the Trump administration to withhold federal funds, which are controlled by Congress.

“The designation of anarchy doesn’t even pass a common sense test. And if need be, we can send in addition to our legal filings a dictionary,” Johnson said. “Essentially this would be a high-tech heist.”

The mayor joined other New Yorkers in mocking the claim that the city’s streets had devolved into anarchy, saying he saw a different scene when greeting four-year-olds reporting for their first day of pre-K in Queens.

“I saw anything but anarchy,” he said.

Source: Politico, De Blasio calls Trump’s funding threat ‘insulting,’ but empty