Charleston Shooting Suspect To Stand Trial Next Year

Charleston, S.C., shooting suspect Dylann Roof, last month. His trial date has been set for July 11, 2016.

Circuit Judge J.C. Nicholson set a trial date for Dylann Roof, 21, who faces multiple charges stemming from the June 17th shootings at an African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.

The trial date is July 11th, 2016.

Roof reportedly sat quietly during the proceedings in a courtroom crowded with about 100 people.

Mr. Roof was presented copies of the indictments, and his public defender Ashley Pennington told the judge he would not seek bond at this time “based on the totality of the circumstances,” writes The Salt Lake Tribune.

The judge allegedly called Roof a flight risk, noting he was arrested in Shelby, N.C., about 250 miles away, on the day after the parishioners were shot to death during a Bible study at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.

Unarmed Man Shot In Baltimore Suburb

Baltimore County police officers shot and killed an unarmed man in Baltimore suburb of Owings Mills early Thursday, writes the Baltimore Sun. The Herald-Standard claimed that the man was going to commit suicide.

The police were responding to a report of domestic violence at a home they had visited more than a dozen times over the past three years.

Spencer Lee McCain, 41, died about 8 a.m. at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore, police said.

The Herald-Standard:

“An unarmed black man killed by Baltimore County police told his girlfriend’s mother that he was going to commit suicide as officers were on their way to his home after reports of domestic violence, the mother said Thursday.”

Baltimore County Police Chief Jim Johnson said officers believed McCain was armed. However, they did not find a weapon on him, writes the Baltimore Sun.

Police received a 911 call about a possible domestic disturbance at the condominium in the 3000 block of Hunting Ridge Drive in Owings Mills shortly after 1 a.m., Johnson said. He said a 10-year-old child who lived at the home called a grandmother, who dialed 911.

Baltimore homicides map [Interactive]

He said the first officer to arrive knew of a history of domestic violence calls at the home. Since 2012, police said, officers responded to 911 calls for the address 17 times, including several reports of fighting.

(Updated title)

Security Guard Fired; Comes Back, Shoots Employee In Back

TYT Network

According to Raw Story, an Iowa security guard – with a Facebook account loaded with open-carry and right-wing memes and photos of multiple weapons – is under arrest for shooting and killing a fellow mall worker after she filed sexual harassment complaints against him. A later report stated that the man was fired from his job before the shooting took place.

According to The Gazette newspaper, the man, Alex Kozak, was taken into custody after shooting 20-year-old Andrea Farrington three times in the back while she was at work at the Iowa Children’s Museum in the Coral Ridge Mall in Coralville, Iowa.

Police say that the 22-year-old Kozak left the mall, retrieved a 9mm Glock handgun from his home, and then returned to shoot Farrington late Friday night, writes Raw Story.

Police Reportedly Shoot, Kill Oklahoma Man After Saving Him

There is a questionable story coming out of Oklahoma having to do with the recent floods there.  An Oklahoma state trooper fatally shot a man after he and another man were rescued from floodwaters, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.  The two men were brothers.

Two state troopers responded to a report of a stranded vehicle in Okmulgee County, OK, about 20 miles south of Tulsa, at about 9:30 p.m. Friday, writes The Huffington Post.  The two policemen found the two men trying to remove a vehicle from a roadway over which water was rising and moving quickly, according to Captain Paul Timmons.

“They were trying to get them to come out of the water. They were worried about them getting swept away,” Timmons said.  “(The men), for whatever reason, were just really upset about having to leave the vehicle there.”

The man who was shot was 35-year-old Nehemiah Fischer, according to Timmons.  They arrested the other man, Fischer’s older brother, Brandon, who was uninjured.

At least one man – Nehemiah Fischer – reportedly attacked a trooper after reaching dry land and was shot and killed, according to The Huffington Post.  It wasn’t immediately known how many shots were fired or whether one or both state troopers did the shooting.

“It’s not real clear how it all transpired,” according to Timmons.  The two men were reportedly brothers.

Timmons said a weapon was recovered from one of the suspects, but it wasn’t immediately known which man had the weapon or whether shots were fired at the troopers.

The second man was arrested for assault and public intoxication, Timmons said.

The shooting is under investigation.

Timmons said Nehemiah Fischer, 35, was armed, according to WHNT News.

Fox 23 local network said that Nehemiah was an assistant pastor at Faith Bible Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The highway patrol’s practice is to place any patrolman involved in a fatal shooting on administrative leave. Timmons couldn’t confirm whether that had been done yet for the two troopers in this case, states WHNT News.

However, The Huffington Post claims that neither trooper was injured, and neither had been placed on leave as of Saturday afternoon.

(Updated article)

Drug War Backfire? Jalisco Cartel Shoots Down Mexican Gov’t Helicopter

Secular Talk

Six soldiers were killed when gunmen from the New Generation Jalisco Cartel used a rocket-propelled grenade to bring down an army helicopter that was pursuing a cartel convoy on Friday, the national security commissioner, Monte Alejandro Rubido, told Televisa.

At least 15 other people were killed and 19 injured in a coordinated show of strength by the cartel which included several shootouts with soldiers and police, and involved hundreds of low-level operatives who set up roadblocks with burning cars, buses and trucks in Jalisco and three neighbouring states. Eleven banks and five petrol stations were also set ablaze.

Areas of drug cartel influence are located in red.  Jalisco is a “state” in southern Mexico, the capital of which is is Guadalajara.

(Updated article)

Milwaukee Cop Suspected Of Shooting Unarmed Man Wants Reinstated

Dontre Hamilton and Christopher Manney

The policeman who shot unarmed Dontre Hamilton in Milwaukee, Wisconsin last year appealed the decision of the Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission to uphold his firing from the Milwaukee Police Department.

Police Chief Edward Flynn fired Christopher Manney after the fatal on-duty shooting of Hamilton, 31, at Red Arrow Park on April 30, 2014.  A panel of commissioners – Sarah Morgan, Kathryn Hein and Steven M. DeVougas – announced their decision to uphold the chief’s discipline in March after five days of testimony.

Once the commission released its explanation of the decision on April 28th, it opened a 10-day window for Manney to appeal in Milwaukee County Circuit Court, writes the Milwaukee, Wisconsin Journal-Sentinel.

Manney filed a notice for review of the decision with the Fire and Police Commission last Tuesday.  The commission filed relevant documents in court on Friday, asking for a judge to be assigned to the case.

Is the Dontre Hamilton case getting enough attention?  In a separate article, the Journal Sentinel writes that state agents took a more hands-on role in the case of Tony Robinson than with Dontre Hamilton.  More than two dozen agents from the state Department of Justice investigated the shooting death of Tony Robinson by Madison police officer Matt Kenny.

However, in the Dontre Hamilton investigation, 10 Justice Department agents went to the scene and three were sent away “shortly after responding when it was determined (their) assistance was no longer needed,” according to the Journal Sentinel.

2 Police Fatally Shot In Mississippi, Suspects Arrested

Two police officers were fatally shot and a police cruiser stolen during a traffic stop in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, on Saturday night.

Authorities said they had arrested three suspects and charged two of them with capital murder, according to the New York Times.

NBC states that three suspects, including two brothers, were arrested in different locations after a manhunt that lasted into the early hours of Sunday morning, said spokesman Strain.

The Mississippi Department of Public Safety announced that Marvin Banks, 29, and Joanie Calloway, 22, have each been charged with two counts of capital murder, and Mr. Banks’ brother, Curtis Banks, 26, has been charged with two counts of accessory after the fact of capital murder.

The suspects fled after the incident, according to The New York Times.  Marvin Banks reportedly drove off in a police car that was later found abandoned about a quarter mile from the shooting incident, according to the Wall Street Journal.

A spokesman for the Hattiesburg Police Department, Lt. Jon Traxler, said that both brothers are residents of Hattiesburg. The suspects are being held in a county jail until a court appearance scheduled for Monday.

The officers were taken to Forrest General Hospital, according to The Clarion-Ledger, a newspaper in Jackson, Mississippi.

The county coroner identified the slain men as Benjamin Deen, 34, a canine officer; and Liquori Tate, 25, a recent graduate of the police academy.

Was The Shooting In Garland, Texas, Truly Affilliated With ISIS?


Was the shooting in Garland Texas done by radical Isalamic fundamentalists affiliated with ISIS or were they “lone wolf” terrorists? One of the shooters was named Elton Simpson. Were they from a Muslim country or from the U.S.? “Morning Joe” discusses it with reporter Ayman Mohyeldin.

(Updated article)

Was The Muhammad Cartoon Contest A Tit-For-Tat Response To An Earlier Rally In The Same Building?

According to USA Today, The Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest at the Curtis Culwell Center, outside Dallas, was coming to a close Sunday night when two suspects drove up to a parking lot entrance blocked by a patrol car.

A man named Elton Simpson and a man named Nadir Hamid Soofi shot an unarmed security guard outside the “drawing contest” at the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland Texas, a suburb of Dallas.

The drawing contest was held to draw cartoons of the prophet Muhammad. The two men were then shot dead themselves.

The contest was the brainchild of the “virulently anti-Muslim Pamela Geller,” writes the Daily Beast. She is the co-founder of a group called the American Freedom Defense Initiative.

Garland is just outside of Irving, Texas, which endorsed Texas House Bill 562 – an anti Sharia Law bill to prohibit Sharia law from coming to Texas.

So it seems that in Garland there was a meeting of extremes. Was the cartoon contest a tit-for-tat response to another meeting?

Last January there were demonstrations outside the Curtis Culwell Center as Muslims met inside for a “Stand With The Prophet” conference.

It was just a few weeks after the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris, and Muslims in Texas were holding a conference there on “Islamophobia” amid concerns that rising anti-Islamic sentiment would affect them in their adopted home.

Pamela Geller and several thousand protesters were there to meet them, peacefully and loudly, with a clear statement: Muslims were not welcome in Garland, the Dallas suburb.

Signs reading “Proud Texas Infidel,” “Americans Against Islam,” “Jesus is Lord,” “Not Here! Not Now! Not In My Backyard!” were just a few of the homemade signs that greeted Muslim attendees by the “gatekeepers” protesting.

For good measure, one sign read “#ARRESTOBAMANOW,” writes the Daily Beast.  (Why? What does he have to do with it?)

Demonstrators told The Daily Beast that this wasn’t personal against Muslim people but that the Muslim faith itself was incompatible with American values.

At the contest, the Texas and American flags “ran rampant across t-shirts, hats, and in tight fists, as if each attendee were a modern-day Neil Armstrong claiming the convention center for Texas, for America, for Jesus,” writes The Daily Beast.

“I’m here at this event in protest of what Islam, the Quran, and sharia law do to Muslims and non-Muslims alike,” said an attendee.

“Oh you should see my car…,” a woman named Donna Williams told The Daily Beast. “you haven’t seen my car out there? Oh, if you walk by my car, you’ll see it. It’s covered in eagles on the front, an American eagle on both sides, and a Texas flag and an American flag and the Israeli flag and a ‘we the people’ on the bumper.”

The Daily Beast writes that one cartoon featured a minimalist cartoon desert and, in the foreground, Muhammad suspended in the fetal position on a pencil skewering his entire body; another had “Islam, religion of peace” written across a man juggling severed heads; another featured Muhammad wearing a green turban with eyes that look bewitched, open-jawed snakes coming out of his neck; another had a grumpy Muhammad in black turban holding a bloody, serrated knife, captioned: “when it comes to religion…I’ve got the edge.”

The Curtis Culwell Center was reportedly teeming with police, SWAT teams, and security. The Dallas Morning News states there was a SWAT team at the convention center. People also had to pass through “multiple checkpoints and metal detectors” to get inside, writes The Daily Beast.

The inside was like a “cruise in the Caribbean—older men and women in t-shirts, baseball caps, Hawaiian shirts, shorts, and flip-flops buying books at the book table, talking in hushed voices near the windows…”

The cartoons of the prophet lined the halls; many of them violent, most of them amateur, “like a middle school cartoon contest but for grownups,” writes The Daily Beast.


CNN: Grand Jury Won’t Indict Officers In Dallas Shooting

Secular Talk

Two Dallas officers who shot a schizophrenic, bipolar man holding a screwdriver within 20 seconds of arriving at his family’s doorstep last June will not be indicted, according to CNN and ThinkProgress.

Officers John Rogers and Andrew Hutchins shot Jason Harrison, 38, who suffered from bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, after they ordered him to drop the screwdriver, states Al-Jazeera.

“The family is obviously severely disappointed,” said attorney Geoff Henley.  Henley is representing Harrison’s family in a federal civil-rights lawsuit that was filed last October, states Al-Jazeera.  Henley also said,  “…(T)his isn’t going to affect our case. We’ll continue to move forward.”