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Missouri cop charged with manslaughter in handcuffed prisoner’s drowning

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A Missouri state trooper has been charged with involuntary manslaughter in the drowning death of a handcuffed man in his custody, KMBC reports.

Trooper Anthony Piercy was charged with the 2014 death of Brandon Ellingson, who drowned in the Lake of Ozarks. Ellingson was a college student on break. Piercy stopped him for driving a boat while intoxicated. He placed the man in his own boat, handcuffed, with a life vest plopped over his head. When Ellingson fell into the water, the unsecured vest quickly fell off.

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Ellingson’s body was found at the bottom of the lake the next day.

“I have reviewed boxes and boxes of reports and records in regard to Mr. Piercy’s training and experience and everything that was done in the investigation,” special prosecutor William Camm Seay told the Kansas City Star. “I have charged him (Piercy) with recklessly causing the death. … It relates to an unjustifiable risk being taken.”

Piercy could spend up to seven years in prison, a year in county jail or a fine of $5,000 as punishment, or any combination of those, if convicted.

Craig Ellingson, Brandon’s father, accused authorities of trying to cover his son’s death up, though he said he was happy the trooper was finally charged with a crime.

“But it should have been a lot earlier,” he told the Star. “I think it has been a cover-up from the beginning. They had everything. They knew what Piercy did to my son.”

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The death was ruled accidental, and special prosecutor Amanda Grellner had declined to file charges. But pressure continued to mount, with the assistance of retired patrol Sgt. Randy Henry. After blowing the whistle on what he called the “litany” of things that went wrong after Piercy pulled Ellingswood over, Henry was demoted and reassigned.

Henry said authorities wanted to “paper over” the problem to shield Gov. Jay Nixon from criticism after he had pushed for a merger between the state’s water and highway patrol agencies.

“There’s been a cover-up from the beginning,” Henry told the Star. “They wanted to protect the governor and the merger and protect Piercy from criminal charges because criminal charges would be a black eye for the patrol.”

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Piercy did jump in the water to try and save Ellingson, but not immediately. Henry criticized that as cowardice.

“If I threw somebody out and he was handcuffed and I see the life vest come off, you jump in now,” he said. “You go in immediately.”

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Three right-wing ‘boogaloo’ militants arrested on terrorism charges in Las Vegas: report

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On Wednesday, federal prosecutors announced that three far-right militants with ties to the "boogaloo" movement have been arrested on terrorism-related charges in Las Vegas, according to The Seattle Times.

"Federal prosecutors say the three white men with U.S. military experience are accused of conspiring to carry out a plan that began in April in conjunction with protests to reopen businesses closed because of the coronavirus and later sought to capitalize on protests over the death of a Minneapolis man in police custody," reported Michelle Price and Scott Sonner.

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‘Trump became what we feared’: New Lincoln Project ad accuses Trump of using the Bible as a prop to boost his polls

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A brutal new ad from the GOP group The Lincoln Project called "War Zone" is attacking President Donald Trump for becoming what Americans have feared he would.

He didn't come out of hiding this week to help calm the nation or to bring Americans together.

"He wasn't there to offer words of calm and comfort," the ad said. "Instead, he became what we all feared. Evoked the worst of our past. Threatened our governors and states. He ordered our own soldiers who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan to flood the streets, instructing them to turn against Americans. Used churches and the Holy Bible as political props. He didn't invoke the Lord to give us wisdom, but to boost his polls."

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James Mattis takes swipe at Trump: We have gone ‘three years without mature leadership’

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On Wednesday, The Atlantic reported that President Donald Trump's former Defense Secretary James Mattis has written a furious condemnation of the president, saying he is incapable of "mature leadership" and accusing him of deliberately trying to turn Americans against one another.

“I have watched this week’s unfolding events, angry and appalled,” wrote Mattis, according to the article. “The words ‘Equal Justice Under Law’ are carved in the pediment of the United States Supreme Court. This is precisely what protesters are rightly demanding. It is a wholesome and unifying demand — one that all of us should be able to get behind. We must not be distracted by a small number of lawbreakers. The protests are defined by tens of thousands of people of conscience who are insisting that we live up to our values — our values as people and our values as a nation ... We must reject and hold accountable those in office who would make a mockery of our Constitution.”

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