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Baltimore officer convicted of shooting unarmed suspect

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Officer Wesley Cagle (Mugshot)

A Maryland jury convicted a Baltimore police officer on Thursday of first-degree assault in the 2014 shooting of an unarmed and already subdued burglary suspect, a court spokeswoman said.

The Baltimore City Circuit Court jury acquitted Officer Wesley Cagle of charges of attempted first- and second-degree murder in the shooting of Michael Johansen, the spokeswoman said.

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Cagle, 46, was also found guilty of a weapons charge. The conviction comes as the United States is roiled by a debate on police use of force, especially against African-Americans.

Attempts to reach Cagle’s lawyers for comment were unsuccessful.

Cagle was among four officers who responded to a report of a burglary at a store in December 2014. Two officers came upon Johansen, the suspected burglar, as he was leaving the building, according to a charging document.

They ordered Johansen, who is white, to show his hands, and shot him when he reached toward his waist.

As Johansen was lying on the ground and the other officers were covering him with their pistols, Cagle approached him and shot him in the groin after an exchange of words, the document said.

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The Baltimore Sun newspaper said Johansen testified that he spent five weeks in the hospital and had his spleen and a kidney removed.

According to the Sun, Cagle was the first city officer to be charged in an on-duty shooting since 2008. Sentencing is set for Nov. 18.

Police tactics are a heightened issue in Baltimore because of the death of black detainee Freddie Gray last year. Prosecutors failed to get convictions against four officers accused in his death, and the remaining charges were dropped last week.

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(Reporting by Ian Simpson in Washington; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)


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‘Putin’s favorite congressman’ offered Julian Assange a pardon if he covered up Russian meddling: lawyers

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American prosecutors said this week that former Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) offered WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange a pardon from President Donald Trump if he agreed to help cover up Russia's role in interfering in the 2016 presidential election.

The Daily Beast reports that witness Jennifer Robinson has testified that she attended a meeting between Rohrabacher and Assange in 2017 in which he made a direct quid-pro-quo offer.

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A Republican witness gets humiliated when the author of a study he cited refutes him

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During a hearing on Thursday, September 17, Bharat Ramamurti of the Congressional Oversight Commission questioned Republican Chris Edwards on the benefits of federal aid to states. Edwards, during the hearing, questioned the benefits of that type of aid. But Ramamurti skillfully used a study that Edwards cited to make a case in favor of federal aid to states — not against it.

Ramamurti, a Democrat who was appointed to the Congressional Oversight Commission by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer earlier this year, noted that Edwards has claimed that a 2019 study by economics professor Valerie Rainey of the University of California shows that a dollar of federal aid to states results in less than a dollar of economic growth. And Edwards responded that yes, Rainey’s study did show that.

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2020 Election

Black voters in North Carolina are seeing their mail-in ballots rejected 4 times more than white voters

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Early voting has started in North Carolina, and many Black voters in the state are already seeing their mail-in ballots getting rejected at a higher rate than white voters.

FiveThirtyEight's Kaleigh Rogers reports that "Black voters’ ballots are being rejected at more than four times the rate of white voters" in North Carolina as of September 17th.

In total, Black voters have seen 642 of the 13,747 ballots cast rejected, a rejection rate of 4.7 percent. White voters, in contrast, have seen 681 out of 60,954 ballots cast rejected, which is a rejection rate of 1.1 percent.

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