BLACK JUDGE CONDEMNS POLICE RACISM ON THE JOB IN THE USA
Law Professor James Duane gives viewers startling reasons why they should always exercise their 5th Amendment rights when questioned by government officials.
Law Professor James Duane gives a video presentation as to why you should not talk to the police
Three WA policemen who Tasered a couple during an arrest and were ordered to pay damages have had an appeal setback, with their union not paying security on a crucial court costs bill.
Robert Cunningham and Catherine Atoms were outside the Esplanade Hotel in the early hours of November 2, 2008 when they saw a group of men falling into a garden bed and tried to help.
But police believed they were causing a disturbance and the couple were Tasered during a scuffle.
The University of WA associate professor of law and Ms Atoms sued the state and the three officers involved, Peter Clark, Simon Traynor and Glenn Caldwell, and were awarded $1.1 million in damages.
The 2015 trial judge found the officers were liable for battery, misfeasance in public office, false imprisonment and malicious prosecution.
She also found the conduct caused the couple to suffer post-traumatic stress disorder and a back injury to Ms Atoms.
The officers challenged, arguing on 24 grounds, but were ordered by Justice Robert Mitchell last month to pay $90,000 security on a court costs bill – already estimated to have reached at least $900,000 – by August 23 or the appeal would be dismissed.
On Wednesday, the full bench of the Court of Appeal dismissed an application to review Justice Mitchell’s order.
The court heard the union decided not to provide the security payment, and the judges said “the appeal is arguable, but we … would not put it any higher than that”.
But the officers have applied for a 48-hour extension to make the payment and will find out later on Wednesday if it has been allowed.
In his recent provisional assessment of the appeal, Justice Mitchell said the arguments advanced in support of grounds one to 19 were “far from strong”.
He also noted the officers’ liability for damages and trial costs already exceeded their assets.
Traynor’s wages have been suspended as he is on continued sick leave while Caldwell is unemployed and receives a disability pension but Clark continues to work in the police force.
Former police officer Daniel Holtzclaw cries after being found guilty of sexually assaulting 13 women, as lawyers representing the victims say they’re not pleased about the several counts that weren’t received.
Oklahoma City: Two of the women sexually assaulted by a former Oklahoma City policeman said on Friday they feared for their lives after the officer threatened them with arrest and violence if they did not perform sexual acts on him.
Daniel Holtzclaw, 29, was found guilty by a jury on Thursday of 18 of the 36 counts against him that included rape and sexual assaults of 13 women.
He broke down in tears as the verdict was read and said, “I didn’t do it,” as he was led out of the courtroom in handcuffs. He faces life in prison.
Jannie Ligons, left, one of the victims of sexual assault by former Oklahoma City police officer Daniel Holtzclaw, smiles as attorney Benjamin Crump holds up her arm during a news conference. Photo: AP
“All I could think of was he was going to shoot me, he was going to kill me,” Janie Liggons, one of the victims, told a news conference. She was pulled over by Holtzclaw and threatened.
“I kept pleading, ‘Don’t make me do this, sir. Are you going to shoot me?’ I was so afraid, so helpless.”
Five of the victims plan to sue the city over the incidents, an attorney told the news conference on Friday.
Daniel Holtzclaw, right, was convicted of raping eight women on his police beat in a minority, low-income neighbourhood. Photo: AP
Liggons was the first to report Holtzclaw to authorities, who then launched an investigation and found a dozen other women, all African-American, who said they were sexually assaulted by Holtzclaw, who is mixed race Asian and white.
Holtzclaw was fired by the police over the accusations in January 2015 after approximately three years on the job.
Liggons said she was different from other victims in that she did not have any outstanding warrants or convictions against her. Prosecutors said Holtzclaw preyed on women who had trouble with the law, thinking that their word would not stand up against his, adding he became more brazen with each attack.
Ex-police officer Daniel Holtzclaw puts his head on the table and cries as the guilty verdicts are read in his trial in Oklahoma City. Photo: AP
“He just picked the wrong lady to stop that night,” she said.
Another victim, Shardarion Hill, said she went into survival mode with Holtzclaw and was forced into doing what the man with the badge and gun wanted.
The defence attacked the credibility of the women who testified against Holtzclaw, saying they were dishonest.
Supporters of the victims of former Oklahoma City police officer Daniel Holtzclaw pray after the verdicts were read for the charges against him at the Oklahoma County Courthouse. Photo: AP
“Society tends not to believe black women or value them as other women are,” said Artist for Justice founder Grace Franklin, who stood in support of the 13 women.
The Oklahoma City Police Department backed the detectives who investigated Holtzclaw and the jury that convicted him.
“We are satisfied with the jury’s decision and firmly believe justice was served,” it said in a statement.
Holtzclaw faces a sentencing hearing on January 21.
Police will be permitted to carry guns in court. Photo: Joe Armao
Police will be allowed to take their guns into courthouses under changes announced by the state government on Tuesday.
Officers were previously prohibited from wearing or carrying their firearms into court buildings under a directive from NSW’s Chief Magistrate.
But under the current terror threat, officers will be able to arm themselves with their full appointment at all times.
Deputy Premier and police minister Troy Grant said the change in protocol will come into effect next Monday, August 10.
“The change recognises Australia’s heightened terrorism alert and the risk posed to the police, judicial officers and the community,” Mr Grant said.
“This is a common-sense approach at a time our nation faces a high terror alert and when we’ve seen police overseas become terror targets themselves,” Mr Grant said.
The Police Association of NSW has been fighting for the changes for their members to be able to wear and carry their firearms in court since September last year.
In May this year, the association’s president, Scott Weber, argued many members were concerned for their safety following a number of terror-related threats and incidents in Sydney and Melbourne.
“We have seen terrorism related offences in Sydney, current heightened security warnings and subsequent direction for police to carry their appointments due to escalating threats,” Mr Weber said.
“Recent events in Victoria involving a direct threat against police officers have meant the risk for police is at the highest levels and all reasonable steps must be taken to alleviate risk.”
He said judges, magistrates and court officials could not always control what happened in the “pressure cooker” environment of court houses.
“Some members of the judiciary must be stuck in the past,” he said. “Tradition does not dictate no weapons in the Local Court. It is an archaic system from higher courts and times have changed. When these traditions developed, there were no credit card knives, no ceramic edged weapons, no 3D printed edged weapons or firearms.”
The protocol was signed by the NSW Sheriff and NSW Police Commissioner and was developed in consultation with the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, the Chief Judge of the District Court and the Chief Magistrate of the Local Court.