Virginia state prosecutor will seek indictment from grand jury over death of unarmed black 18-year-old, who was shot dead by a white police officer in April
A state prosecutor in Virginia will seek to prosecute a police officer who shot dead an unarmed black 18-year-old outside a supermarket in the city of Portsmouth earlier this year, it was announced on Thursday.
Stephanie Morales, the commonwealth’s attorney for Portsmouth, will request an indictment against the officer who fatally shot William Chapman, a spokeswoman for the prosecutor said in a statement. The officer has been identified by the Guardian as Stephen Rankin.
“The Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office has reviewed all evidence and will seek an indictment before the next grand jury,” the spokeswoman, Tamara Shewmake, said, adding Morales “will provide an update following grand jury presentment”.
Chapman was shot in the head and chest by Rankin outside a Walmart superstore on the morning of 22 April. The pair engaged in a physical struggle after Rankin tried to arrest the 18-year-old on suspicion of shoplifting, according to police. Witnesses said Chapman broke free and then stepped back towards the officer aggressively before being shot twice.
Authorities have declined to say whether Chapman was found to have stolen anything. An autopsy report obtained by the Guardian said Chapman’s body showed no signs of a close-range shot, indicating that he was shot from several feet away.
In April 2011 Rankin fatally shot Kirill Denyakin, a Kazakh cook, less than three miles from the site of Chapman’s death. Denyakin was shot 11 times by Rankin, who was responding to a 911 call about the 26-year-old aggressively banging at the door of a building where he was staying.
Rankin said he shot Denyakin because the cook, who was drunk, charged at him while reaching into the waistband of his jeans. The officer said he feared Denyakin would pull out a weapon. No weapon was found.
Melania Trump scorched by columnist for standing by president’s Thunberg bullying: ‘Indefensible’
In a piece for the Washington Post, columnist Karen Tumulty called out first lady Melania Trump for her statement defending her husband's bullying of 16-year-old environmental activist Greta Thunberg in a fit of jealousy after she was selected Time Magazine's Person of the Year.
Responding to a statement from the White House that stated, “BeBest is the First Lady’s initiative, and she will continue to use it to do all she can to help children. It is no secret that the President and First Lady often communicate differently — as most married couples do. Their son is not an activist who travels the globe giving speeches. He is a 13-year-old who wants and deserves privacy,” Tumulty wasn't having it.
BUSTED: Devin Nunes is hiding how he’s paying for all his frivolous lawsuits — which could land him in more trouble
On Saturday, the Fresno Bee dived into a lingering question: How does Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) pay for all the lawsuits he is filing against journalists, satirists, and political critics?
"Nunes, R-Tulare, has filed lawsuits against Twitter, anonymous social media users known as Devin Nunes' Cow and Devin Nunes' Mom, a Republican political strategist, media companies, journalists, progressive watchdog groups, a political research firm that worked for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign and a retired farmer in Nunes’ own district," noted the Bee.
These lawsuits were mainly filed in Virginia — a state with very loose laws against so-called "SLAPP suits," or meritless lawsuits intended to drown people in legal expenses in retaliation for expressing political opinions. Nunes was assisted in these suits by Steven Biss, a Virginia attorney, and yet except for the suit against the retired farmer, there is no clear record in Nunes' FEC reports of how he paid for the suits.
Trump brings up Brett Kavanaugh in rage tweet at Democrats about coming impeachment trial
On Saturday, President Donald Trump brought up Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in a bizarre rant against the "Radical Left, Do Nothing Dems" and his anger over the direction of the impeachment process:
After watching the disgraceful way that a wonderful man, @BrettKavanaugh, was treated by the Democrats, and now seeing first hand how these same Radical Left, Do Nothing Dems are treating the whole Impeachment Hoax, I understand why so many Dems are voting Republican!