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San Jose cop followed black family home and held them at gunpoint for no reason: lawsuit

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A lawsuit filed in federal court on Wednesday accused the San Jose police department of racially profiling a black family and then holding them at gunpoint in front of their 7-year-old child for no reason.

According to a lawsuit obtained by The San Jose Mercury News, Emmanuel Stephens and his wife, Jasmine Whitley, had just picked up their 7-year-old daughter from school when Officer Alexander Keller began following them.

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The lawsuit said that Keller followed the family to their home where he jumped out of his patrol car and drew his weapon on them. Keller allegedly placed Stephens in handcuffs and threatened to send their 14-year-old child to Juvenile Hall if she tried to record the incident with a cell phone.

According to the lawsuit, officers searched the family’s vehicle without probable cause. Whitley was cited for a small amount of medical marijuana even though she produced proof of a prescription.

The couple was later told by another officer that police had received calls about “suspicious black man with a purple backpack.” The suit, however, asserted that Stephens did not have a purple backpack and that it would have been impossible for Keller to see one inside the car even if he did.

Attorney Paul B. Justi, who is representing the family, pointed out that this case could have turned deadly like so many other recent tragic encounters between police and minorities.

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“What happened to my clients happens all the time and is a real problem,” Justi explained. “This type of police misconduct only gets attention when someone ends up dead, but this type of non-lethal harassment is much more widespread and also need to be brought to light and stopped.”

Earlier this year, the San Jose Police Department was sued by a black man who said he was stopped repeatedly for minor traffic violations because of his skin color.

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2020 Election

‘I don’t care’: Watch Kamala Harris shut down Chris Hayes for asking a dumb question about Trump

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Sen. Kamala Harris shut down MSNBC anchor Chris Hayes during a post-debate interview on Tuesday evening.

Hayes questioned Harris about her call for Twitter to follow their terms of service and kick President Donald Trump off of the platform.

"Do you think he puts people’s lives in danger when he targets them in tweets?" Hayes asked.

"Absolutely," Harris replied.

"Do you think he knows that?" Hayes asked.

"Does it matter?" Harris replied.

"The fact is he did it. The fact is that he is irresponsible, he is erratic," she explained. "He is like a 2-year-old with a machine gun."

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2020 Election

Democrats blast Trump and demand his impeachment at CNN debate

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Democratic White House hopefuls united in searing condemnation of Donald Trump during their fourth debate Tuesday, saying the president has broken the law, abused his power, and deserves to be impeached.

From the opening moments, most of the dozen candidates on stage launched fierce broadsides against Trump over the Ukrainian scandal at the heart of the impeachment inquiry.

"The impeachment must go forward," said Senator Elizabeth Warren, who is neck and neck with former vice president Joe Biden at the head of the 2020 nominations race.

"Impeachment is the way that we establish that this man will not be permitted to break the law over and over without consequences," she thundered.

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2020 Election

Here are 3 winners and 4 losers from the CNN/NYT Democratic presidential primary debate

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Twelve Democrats took to the stage Tuesday night for yet another debate in the party's 2020 president primary hosted by CNN and the New York Times.

After only ten candidates qualified for the previous debate, an additional two — Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and wealthy donor and former hedge fund manager Tom Steyer — made it to the stage this round for an even more crowded event.

The candidates discussed a range of important policy issues, but since the format was a debate, and they're all competing for the same nomination, it is ultimately most critical who won and who lost the night. Here are three winners and four losers — necessarily a subjective assessment, of course — from the debate:

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