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NY cop caught lying about permits to harass busker for ‘aggressive panhandling’

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A police officer in Albany, New York is under investigation after he was caught on video accosting a busker and misleading him about local statutes in order to shoo him off the street, the local Times-Union reported.

The footage shows Officer Glenn Szelest telling the artist, Leif Solem, “Go down to City Hall, go see the clerk they’ll explain everything to you. First Amendment or nothing.”

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However, the department told the Times-Union that buskers are not required to have permits to perform, nor is there a law against busking in the city.

“I’ve done it in Albany for 20 years,” Solem says in the footage, only for Szelest to reply, “Well, you haven’t done it down here, and you’re blocking the sidewalk, OK?”

Contrary to the officer’s statement, though, the footage clearly shows Solem standing in front of an empty building. Szelest then points to a t-shirt and calls it “debris,” claiming that it does not allow pedestrians to walk through the area.

Szelest then contacts dispatchers, saying he’s dealing with “aggressive panhandlers,” before telling Solem’s girlfriend Cat Jones, “Now you’re being confrontational” and asking them for identification. As she asks for the officer’s identification, Szelest grabs her phone, ending the video.

Solem then posted the video online, saying Szelest never identified what statute he was supposedly violating.

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“We went to city hall as soon as he let me go,” he wrote. “No one at city hall knew anything about any ordinance authorizing an officer to chase away a busker, nor is there any need for a permit of any kind, according to the City Clerk’s office. And yet, somehow, I have a court date for this and am facing jail.”

A department spokesperson confirmed that Szelest was placed on administrative duty after the video came to light. Solem is reportedly organizing a protest event with other artists, slated for Sept. 21.

Watch the encounter, as posted online, below.

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Mitch McConnell’s effort to sabotage Trump impeachment could hit this brick wall

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and his GOP allies have signaled that they might pass a highly partisan set of rules designed to sabotage an impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, which might include everything from time limits on Democrats trying to submit evidence, to a parallel public investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden to make Trump's Ukraine behavior look legitimate.

But on MSNBC's "AM Joy," justice and security analyst Matthew Miller walked host Joy Reid through how difficult such a package of rules could be to pass — and how even a small defection of senators from his caucus could block it.

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World leaders mocked Trump because they’re tired of his ‘center of attention’ act: MSNBC guest

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During an MSNBC segment on President Donald Trump's abrupt departure from NATO talks in London after video was released of world leaders making fun of him, an MSNBC guest said those same leaders have become tired of his act.

Speaking with host David Gura, the LA Times Eli Stokols said international diplomats have realized there is no dealing with the president who is in his own world and just wants attention..

"Your colleague had a great line: 'This is a president who views norms like a teenager views curfews,'" Gura began.

"Well, he likes going to these things and blowing them up and being the center of attention," Stokols replied.

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Trump slammed for lawless obstruction of Congress: ‘He’s taken a sledgehammer to the Constitution’

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On CNN Saturday, former Rep. Elizabeth Holtzman (D-NY), who voted for the articles of impeachment against President Richard Nixon, discussed the path forward for impeaching President Donald Trump.

"We know moderate Democrats are a bit frustrated with leadership over potentially expanding the scope of their consideration, maybe the Mueller report findings and drawing up these articles of impeachment," said anchor Victor Blackwell. "Do you think it's a mistake not to include anything beyond the Ukraine matter?"

"Yes," said Holtzman. "I think it would be a mistake, although, you know, I'm still at a distance, and the members of the committee really have to, who have been digging into this deeply have the best feel, but my sense is that the, what the president did is so egregious, not just with regard to Ukraine, but what part of what's bad about his activities in Ukraine, is that he's taken a sledgehammer to the Constitution by saying that Congress has no right to get information, and he's cut off his committee, his administration from, and ordered and directed them not to cooperate with the committee in any way."

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