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NYC Schools Punished Students For Being Victims Of Sexual Assault, Lawsuit Claims

The New York Times | Chloe Angyal | June 8, 2016 | Crime
The New York City Education Department has a pattern of discrediting and punishing victims of sexual assault, particularly if they are black and poor, according to two complaints filed in recent days with the United States Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights.

Pressure Builds On Judge Over California Sexual Assault Case

Reuters | Paul Vale | June 8, 2016 | Crime
U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer on Monday decried a California judge's decision to sentence a college athlete to just six months in jail for sexual assault, and signatures on an online petition calling for the jurist's ouster later passed 400,000. The sentence last...

November Trial Date Set For Charleston Shooter Dylann Roof

Reuters | Chloe Angyal | June 8, 2016 | Crime
A U.S. judge on Tuesday set a Nov. 7 date for the federal trial of the white man accused of killing nine black parishioners in a racially motivated attack at a church in Charleston a year ago. U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel set the federal proceedings, in...

Chief Of New York City Corrections Officers Union Arrested For Fraud

The New York Times | Chloe Angyal | June 8, 2016 | Crime
The powerful leader of the union that represents New York City correction officers, whose alliances with mayors and governors have afforded him broad influence, was arrested on federal fraud charges on Wednesday, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Cops Find Alligator With Human Body In Its Mouth

The Huffington Post | Ron Dicker | June 8, 2016 | Crime
function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); Police responding to a 911 call in Lakeland, Florida, Tuesday discovered an alligator with a human corpse in its jaws, police say. The...

Bicyclists Killed By Truck In Michigan Hit-And-Run

The Huffington Post | Andrew Hart | June 8, 2016 | Crime
At least five bicyclists were killed Tuesday after their group was struck in a hit-and-run near Kalamazoo, Michigan, authorities said.  Hit and run accident likely involving cycling group on N Westnedge Ave. @Kzoo_Gazette— Chelsea Purgahn (@Chelsea_Purgahn) June 7, 2016 Bicycles & casualties over an extended area. Police using a drone to get overhead view. #wzzm13— phildawsontv (@pmdawson) June 8, 2016 A pickup truck plowed into the group of cyclists in Cooper Township, officials told WZZM 13.  Five people were pronounced dead at the scene, Kalamazoo County Prosecutor Jeff Getting said Tuesday night. Four were taken to the hospital with serious injuries. Families of the victims were being notified. Getting also said that all of the people hit by the blue Chevy were adults, contrary to earlier reports. The suspect was described as a 50-year-old male from West Michigan. Police are investigating the incident before announcing any possible charges. Pickup truck with front end damage & bicycle underneath still at scene. #wzzm13— phildawsontv (@pmdawson) June 8, 2016 Bicycles on side of the road. 5500 block of N Westnedge. Sheet covered people on pavement. #wzzm13— phildawsontv (@pmdawson) June 8, 2016 The driver fled the scene on foot, and was later apprehended by police, Kalamazoo County Undersheriff Paul Matyas told local stations, according to The Associated Press. Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder expressed his condolences in a statement Wednesday. My thoughts and prayers are with the people of #Kalamazoo and particularly the cyclists and their families:— Governor Rick Snyder (@onetoughnerd) June 8, 2016 The names of the victims and the driver have not been released. Law enforcement did not immediately respond to The Huffington Post's requests for comment. This article has been updated with Snyder's...

Death Investigation Of Chesapeake Energy's Aubrey McClendon Finds No Suicide Evidence

Reuters | Andrew Hart | June 7, 2016 | Business
HOUSTON (Reuters) - Oklahoma City police said on Tuesday an inquiry found no evidence suggesting oilman Aubrey McClendon committed suicide when he died in a fiery crash in March, but acknowledged his state of mind at the time of the accident was unknowable. McClendon's Chevy...

Ellen DeGeneres Is Being Sued Over A Breast Joke

The Huffington Post | Karli Bendlin | June 7, 2016 | Entertainment
Talk about indecent exposure.  Ellen DeGeneres is facing a lawsuit from a Georgia woman who claims she experienced emotional distress after the talk show host featured her real estate advertisement on a segment called "What's Wrong With These Signs" in February 2016. DeGeneres joked about the...

Ex-Astronaut Charged With Murder For Car Wreck That Killed 2 Girls

Reuters | Andrew Hart | June 7, 2016 | Crime
function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); By Rich McKay (Reuters) - A retired NASA astronaut was free on bail on Tuesday after being charged with two counts of murder in connection with a traffic crash...

Feds Release Sickening Video Of Cop Tasering Innocent Teen, Leaving Him Brain Damaged

The Huffington Post | Matt Ferner | June 7, 2016 | Politics
Police dashcam video unsealed Monday by a federal judge in Missouri shows a deeply disturbing encounter between a former Missouri cop who, during a routine traffic stop, tasered, dragged and callously dropped a teenage driver face first onto the pavement. The officer's actions during the arrest caused the teen to suffer brain damage. Former Officer Timothy Runnels was sentenced last week to four years in prison over the September 2014 incident. The video above shows Runnels approaching a pulled-over vehicle being driven by Bryce Masters, then 17, who was on his way to play video games with a friend. "I haven't done anything, officer," Masters says as Runnels attempts to forcibly remove the teen from his car. Masters is heard refusing multiple orders to exit his vehicle. Runnels tells Masters he’s under arrest, but doesn't explain why. Eventually, Runnels says, “F**k it,” and discharges his stun gun on Masters, striking the teen near his heart. As Masters slowly slumps out of the driver's seat, Runnels grabs the teen's cellphone -- which he was using to record the incident -- and flings it away. The teen then lies facedown on the ground, where Runnels eventually places him in handcuffs. According to court records, Runnels had his Taser deployed for about 20 seconds during the incident — the equivalent of four discharges of the nonlethal weapon. Runnels then drags Masters' limp body to the side of the road, where he drops Masters face first onto the ground. With his hands cuffed behind his back and unable to break his fall, Masters lands on the pavement with a horrifying thud. Police originally said that Runnels stopped the car because he believed the license plate was linked to an outstanding arrest warrant. Masters' parents argued that neither their son, nor their car, which was properly registered to the parents, had any warrants connected to them. Later Runnels said that he also smelled marijuana coming from the vehicle as part of his justification for placing Masters under arrest. He did find a small amount of pot on Masters when he searched his pockets.  Shortly after the incident took place, Independence Police Maj. Paul Thurman said the officer’s use of his stun gun was within department policy. But contradicting witness and police accounts of the incident surfaced and the FBI and U.S. Department of Justice launched investigations into the case. The DOJ then took the case before a federal grand jury last year and the panel indicted Runnels on counts of excessive force and obstruction of justice, over allegations that he'd made a false report and provided false statements to investigators.  There were no charges against Runnels for his stun gun use -- although it was the effects of the Taser that caused Masters to go into cardiac arrest, depriving his brain of oxygen for up to eight minutes and resulting in brain damage, The Intercept reported. Instead, feds argued that it was Runnels' deliberate drop of the teen while he was restrained and not posing a threat to others that violated his constitutional rights. In September, Runnels pleaded guilty to violating Masters' rights, and last week, a federal judge sentenced him to four years in prison. Runnels, who remains free on bond, must surrender to federal prison by August. “The defendant abused his authority as a law enforcement officer by depriving a minor of his constitutional rights and causing bodily harm,” said DOJ Civil Rights Division acting deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta in a statement last week when Runnels was sentenced. “While the majority of law enforcement safeguards our communities with fidelity, the department will continue to vigorously investigate and prosecute officers who violate their oath by using excessive force.” The dangers of electronic control weapons, like Tasers and other stun guns, have been widely studied by law enforcement oversight groups. In 2011, the Police Executive Research Forum, a nonprofit ­policy and research organization, partnered with the Justice Department to craft new guidelines on their use. Their report specifically cautions against discharging stun guns for extended periods of time. “Officers must be trained to understand that repeated applications and continuous cycling of ECWs may increase the risk of death or serious injury and should be avoided,” the report reads. During a hearing last month, Masters described how the brain damage he suffered continues to affect his sleep and memory. “People tell me I’m different,” Masters said. “I feel different. I get in the car to go somewhere and then I’ll forget where I was going. I’ve missed job interviews because I forgot them.” Runnels apologized to Masters' family during that same hearing, saying he was "deeply remorseful." “At no point did I intend to hurt him," Runnels said. "But I...

Ex-Boyfriend Of Missing Mom Loses Eye During Police Confrontation

The Huffington Post | David Lohr | June 7, 2016 | Crime
Miami-Dade Police want to question a man who is in the hospital after he lost an eye in an altercation with officers last week. They say that Gustavo Castano was the last person to see his ex-girlfriend Liliana Moreno and their daughter alive. The 43-year-old mother and Daniela Moreno, 9, have been missing since late May, in a case that has generated much local media coverage. Authorities were still searching for the missing mom and child Friday, when they found Gustavo inside a vehicle parked at a Hialeah Gardens shopping center. He threatened to harm himself with a knife, police said.  "Once the detectives observed Mr. Castano begin to cut his neck, they immediately broke the passenger window and utilized an electronic control device to take control of him and cease his attempts to commit suicide," said a Miami-Dade police spokesperson. Suspect in vanishing of Liliana Moreno, daughter has lawyered up, hiring Michael Greico (also Beach commissioner)— David Ovalle (@DavidOvalle305) June 6, 2016 One of the Taser’s prongs ejected from the device and penetrated his right eye, consequently causing him to permanently lose vision in that eye, officers said. "I can't believe the circumstances where tasing someone in the eyeball is appropriate," Castano's attorney, Michael Grieco, told Miami's WTSP News. "It is excessive and something we will deal with at a later point." Miami-Dade police said in a statement to The Huffington Post that Castano had attempted to use the box cutter as a shield to deflect the prongs from the Taser. "As a result, one of the prongs struck Mr. Castano in the eye," the statement reads. Castano has been hospitalized since the incident. He is expected to remain there for about a week. Authorities said they have not ruled out foul play in the disappearance of Moreno and her daughter. Castano reportedly told police he dropped them near the shopping center where police confronted him at on May 30 Moreno's sister, who lives in Colombia, reported her missing on May 31. Police found no sign of Moreno or her daughter when they went to conduct a welfare check at her apartment in the Miami suburb of Doral. However, investigators did find her wallet and purse inside the home. Her cellphone, which has not been located, has not been powered on since before her disappearance. "At this time, investigators have reached out to family members and friends," Doral Police Captain Carlos Arango, whose agency is assisting in the investigation, told Miami's WFOR‑TV. "None of them have been able to give us an exact count of where she may be and that raises our concern significantly." Police have searched for the mother and daughter across the region, including at lakes, wooded areas and a warehouse that Castano reportedly used. South Florida's WTVJ News reported authorities recently confiscated a dumpster from the warehouse. What, if anything, they found in it is not yet known.   Authorities have not named Castano a suspect or person of interest in the case and Grieco insists his client is innocent. "He had nothing to do with it," the attorney told WTSP News. "My client wants to see Daniela and Liliana home safe." Anyone with any information on Moreno and her daughter's whereabouts is asked to contact Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a...

ESPN Host Says What You've Been Thinking About The Brock Turner Sentence

The Huffington Post | Kim Bellware | June 7, 2016 | Sports
There's no shortage of reasons to be disgusted by the case of Brock Turner, the former Stanford swimmer who received just six months in jail after he sexually assaulted an unconscious woman on the school's campus.  During his ESPN podcast Tuesday morning, co-host Mike Golic funneled much of the...

Elderly Hindu Priest Hacked To Death In Bangladesh

Reuters | Jesselyn Cook | June 7, 2016 | World
DHAKA (Reuters) - Suspected militants in Bangladesh hacked an elderly Hindu priest to death on Tuesday, in what police suspected was the latest in a spate of attacks by Islamists on minority groups in the majority-Muslim country. Three motorcycle-borne...

Why An Arkansas State Senator Pushed To Legislate Fatigued Driving

The Huffington Post | Krithika Varagur | June 8, 2016 | Healthy Living
When Arkansas became one of only two states in America to criminalize drowsy driving, it was partly thanks to the efforts of one man: state Sen. Jason Rapert (R).  More than three years ago, Rapert was frustrated by the incidence of traffic fatalities in which no...

Amber Heard Arrested In 2009 For Domestic Violence Against Then-Girlfriend Tasya Van Ree

The Huffington Post | Julia Brucculieri | June 7, 2016 | Entertainment
Amid the divorce drama surrounding Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, TMZ is reporting that Heard was arrested for domestic violence in 2009 against her then-girlfriend, Tasya van Ree. According to court documents obtained by TMZ, Heard and van Ree got into a heated argument on...

Jury Recommends Death For 'Grim Sleeper' Serial Killer

Nina Golgowski | June 7, 2016 | Crime
A Los Angeles jury recommended the death penalty on Monday for the former sanitation worker they convicted of carrying out a string of murders dating back three decades as the so-called "Grim Sleeper" serial killer. The recommendation, which must be formally upheld and imposed by a...

Twin Accused Of Purposely Driving Off Cliff And Killing Sister

Ron Dicker | June 7, 2016 | Crime
A woman behind the wheel of a car that plummeted 200 feet off a Maui cliff,  killing her twin sister in the passenger seat, was charged with second-degree murder, the Associated Press reported. Alexandria Duval, aka Alison (or Allison in some reports) Dadow, intentionally set out to take the life of her sibling, Anastasia Duval, aka Ann Dadow, prosecutors assert after witnesses allegedly saw the 37-year-old women arguing, AP wrote. Witnesses say they then saw the Ford Explorer turn and accelerate off the cliff. Anastasia Duval died at the scene while Alexandria Duval was rushed to the hospital, AP noted. Able to walk but with her arm in a sling, Alexandria Duval appeared in court Monday to face charges, KHON2 reported. Court documents reveal witness accounts saying "the passenger was pulling at the driver’s hair and the steering wheel," the station noted. Investigators allege that the vehicle showed no signs of braking during the May 29 incident on the Hana Highway. The twins once co-owned a yoga franchise under their Dadow name in Palm Beach and Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, and were "known for their once glamorous lifestyle," the Palm Beach Post wrote. The two later opened a yoga studio in Park City, Utah, and were dogged by financial problems and run-ins with police, the Honolulu Advertiser wrote. They had been living on Maui since December, a private investigator told the Advertiser. Alexandria Duval was arrested after prosecutors say she attempted to fly to the mainland, AP reported in citing court papers. According to KHON2, her attorney said in court she was merely attempting to return home for her sister's funeral. As for the women's aliases, attorney Todd Eddins reportedly said, "People have reasons for having a different...

This Judge Sentenced Brock Turner To 6 Months In Jail. Now 200,000 People Want Him Recalled.

Dominique Mosbergen | June 7, 2016 | Politics
Brock Allen Turner, the ex-Stanford University swimmer who was convicted in March of three felony sex abuse charges, was sentenced last week to just six months in county jail. With good behavior, he could be released in three months or less.  In the aftermath of Turner's...

This Is Brock Turner's Mugshot

Tyler Kingkade | June 6, 2016 | Crime
Following the widespread coverage of last week's sentencing of Brock Turner, a former Stanford University student convicted of sexual assault, some readers have asked where his mugshot is -- given that coverage of other criminals generally includes photos alluding to their crime.  On Monday, The Huffington...

Brock Turner’s Friend Blames Everything But Him For Sexual Assault Conviction

Alanna Vagianos | June 6, 2016 | Women
Last Thursday, former Stanford University student Brock Turner was sentenced to six months in county jail after being convicted of three felony sexual assault charges for attacking a young woman in January 2015.  Some are pointing to letters from Turner's family and friends...
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