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'We absolutely are going to pursue justice': Demands grow for cops to release bodycam footage after fatal shooting of NC Black man
A Black family in North Carolina is demanding that police in Elizabeth City, North Carolina release body camera footage of an encounter that left one of their relatives dead.
The Associated Press, via the Guardian, reports that the family of 42-year-old Andrew Brown is vowing to hold police accountable after he was fatally shot by a police deputy earlier this week.
Police say that the officer who shot Brown was executing a search warrant on Brown's car at the time the shooting occurred. One eyewitness has claimed that Brown started driving away from the deputy when they opened fire on him.
The AP has found that "court records show Brown had a history of criminal charges stretching back into the 1990s, including a misdemeanor drug possession conviction and some pending felony drug charges."
However, police so far have declined to explain the nature of the warrant the deputy was executing, and have given no time table for when they are going to release body camera footage of the incident.
"We're waiting for the bodycam footage because we really just don't know what happened," Brown's cousin, Hampton, told the AP. "But if this is a case where he was killed, running away, unarmed, then we absolutely are going to pursue justice in whatever capacity that can be."
Terrified Fox News viewers sent cops on wild-goose chases against nonexistent antifa threats: report
Police chased down ridiculous tips about Antifa and Black Lives Matter called in by panicky conservatives all over the Pacific Northwest.
Fox News helped inflame fears of leftist protesters last summer, as demonstrators marched all over the country against police brutality and racism, and calls came pouring in about suspicious individuals and implausible plots, reported The Daily Beast.
"There was a young man with very short bleached blond hair who walked around in the street right in front of us and read every one of our signs," said one woman from Anacortes, Washington, notified police via the NextDoor social network. "Paticularly [sic] the Support your Local Police. He had a mean look on his face and looked inside my Jeep where the tail gate was up and he could see more of our signs and American Flags."
"I thought it was odd but one of our group is a retired school principal and very astute," she added. "He, with all confidence said that the young man was an Antifa or BLM scout. When he said that to me it immediately rang true and I was quite sure he was right."
That woman, and many other small-town residents whose tips were revealed through a Freedom of Information request, had been whipped into a state of panic by conservative media about the protests that followed the police murder of George Floyd in May.
"My ex husband is in a group with antifa," another tipster told Anacortes police the following day. "He called me and said do not go anywhere. stay home on Sunday because they are coming to Anacortes to break up a group on Commmercial [sic] street on sunday. I love Anacortes. I left Seattle to live a better life here with my kids. And I do not want anacorte burned up and people hurt and cops hurt."
Anacortes Police Chief John Small shared both tips, which came in mid-June, to five local law enforcement agencies that rely on one another for mutual aid, but neither amounted to anything.
"I received the below e-mail from Undersheriff Clark yesterday which was interesting," Small wrote at the time, according to newly released records. "Today I received the attached anonymous letter alluding to Antifa coming to Anacortes this Sunday to wreak their havoc... We will be increasing our staffing on Sunday, but in reality it's still not many people. If we start to yell for help on the radio I didn't want it to be a surprise."
A tipster in nearby Concrete, Washington, spotted the acronym "ACAB" -- short for "all cops are bastards" -- and an anarchy symbol spray painted the following month in a gravel pit, along with two overturned portable toilets, and immediately suspected an Antifa plot.
"Looks like Antifa has been up to Lake Shannon," the tipster wrote in an email passed along to the Skagit County Sheriff. "That's incredibly worrisome. The anarchy symbol, 'ACAB' (all cops are bastards)... that's an Antifa signature. Too close to town, for sure... but really worrisome when you consider Antifa is now using explosives in cities, organizing with firearms, and... by being at the lake, they were right next to the dam. Just sayin'. Can'tbe [sic] too careful, you know? Not in these times."
A sergeant ordered deputies to monitor the area, worrying that anti-fascists might be using the gravel pit for training, but government transparency advocates say law enforcement's receptive response to the far-fetched complaints shows how right-wing media whipped up fears about left-wing protesters last summer -- and even now.
"When individuals and law enforcement have been whipped into such a paranoid frenzy that they're primed to see 'antifa' or 'BLM' terrorist conspiracies literally in the toilet, the situation is a powder keg," said Ryan Shapiro, executive director of Property of the People. "There's a direct line from this sort of deliberately induced political hysteria to violent, repressive crackdowns on progressive dissent."
"Conservative and law enforcement panic about antifa and BLM hasn't gone anywhere," Shapiro added. "These documents aren't even a year old, and we've had an attempted coup in the interim. It's not like tensions have cooled. We now have tens of millions of people collectively consumed by manufactured paranoia about social justice movements, who also believe the presidential election was stolen with the aid of antifa and BLM. We're likely to see a new round of mass protests against police violence, and I expect the right-wing response will in some ways be even more ferocious than last year."
The belief that Donald Trump will become the Republican Party's kingmaker since his re-election loss will be put to the test in a key Ohio district in 2022's midterm election reports Politico.
As Republicans flock to Trump Mar-a-Lago resort to court the former president for both his endorsement and support from his cash-flush PAC, Trump is reportedly focused on seeking retribution against any Republican in the House or Senate who voted to impeach him just prior to the 2020 re-election.
In Ohio, Trump's GOP target is Rep. Anthony Gonzalez who has amassed a war chest of his own and will likely face a Trump-anointed primary challenger with a thin resume other than a Trump endorsement and a wealthy family.
"In a normal political world and in a normal political time, a second-generation Cuban-American former NFL player from the Rust Belt with an MBA from Stanford would be considered practically by definition a rising GOP star," Politico's Michael Kruse wrote. "But Gonzalez's impeachment decision made him a traitor in the eyes of the man who is manifestly the unofficial leader of the party. It's the reason Trump wasted no time endorsing Max Miller—a former aide with next to no name ID plus an arrest record—to try to take out Gonzalez. And it's why the 16th District of Ohio is now a singular early battlefield in the former president's intensifying intraparty war."
While one Trump-aligned political consultant stated, "Max is going to beat the hell out of Anthony," others who live in the district say not so fast.
"As battlefields go, Ohio as a whole is more red than purple, and so is the 16th District—but it's replete as well with warning signs for Trump that his quest for retaliation might succeed only in further tearing the party apart," Kruse wrote. " [Miller] is an electoral novice and the scion of a wealthy, politically connected family from the opposite side of Cleveland in a city in which many believe that divide still matters. And since he announced his bid, his critics say, he's been hanging around the Trump stronghold of Southeast Florida more conspicuously than he's been out and about in Northeast Ohio."
According to Gonzalez ally, the incumbent is not going to go down without a fight, saying, "It ain't gonna be pretty. It's just not."
With Kruse writing, "All of this makes Ohio's 16th worth watching as an early, distilled look at the potential limits and pitfalls of Trump's shoot-first, aim-later style, his personality-driven, fealty-fueled, viscerally scattershot politics of retribution," David Pepper, the former chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party, added, "It's a perfect example of how Trump could really hurt not just the near term but the future of the Republican Party. It's all about a loyalty test to him that almost will put targets on the backs of some of their best people."
As for Miller's arrest record, Politico reports, "He was charged with assault and disorderly conduct and resisting arrest in 2007 after a fight in which he punched another man in the back of the head and ran from police. He pleaded no contest to a pair of misdemeanors, and the case was dismissed on account of a program for first offenders. He was charged with underage drinking in 2009, the case dismissed due to the same program. And he was charged with disorderly conduct in 2010 following a fight after leaving a hookah bar in the wee hours in which he bloodied his wrist by punching a glass door," which is sure to become a central theme in Gonzalez's campaign
You can read more about the battle between the two here.
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