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Georgia former policeman sentenced to life in Taser death

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A Georgia former policeman was sentenced to life in prison on Wednesday after he was found guilty of murder earlier this month in the death of a suspect shocked repeatedly with a Taser while handcuffed.

Marcus Eberhart, who was a sergeant in the Atlanta suburb of East Point, and another former officer, Howard Weems, in April 2014 shocked Gregory Towns, 24, with Tasers more than a dozen times when he refused to walk to a patrol car as he was being taken into custody, prosecutors said.

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Eberhart was given the life sentence and Weems, convicted of lesser offenses, including involuntary manslaughter and reckless conduct, received a five-year sentence.

A grand jury indicted the two officers in August 2015 amid a heightened national debate over the use of lethal force by police, especially in confrontations with racial minorities. Towns and the two policemen charged in his death were all black.

After collapsing several times and repeated stun gun jolts, Towns lapsed into unconsciousness and was pronounced dead a short time later, prosecutors said.

(Writing by by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by David Gregorio)

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You’re a frog in a pot and Donald Trump is turning up the heat

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Welcome to another edition of What Fresh Hell?, Raw Story’s roundup of news items that might have become controversies under another regime, but got buried – or were at least under-appreciated – due to the daily firehose of political pratfalls, unhinged tweet storms and other sundry embarrassments coming out of the current White House.

"Trump has instructed his White House to identify and force out officials across his administration who are not seen as sufficiently loyal," reported The Washington Post this week. It's one element in "a post-impeachment escalation that administration officials say reflects a new phase of a campaign of retribution and restructuring ahead of the November election." It's unclear what criteria they are using to define loyalty to this president*, but it's important to understand a few things about this story.

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Justice Dept officials worry Bill Barr will fall quietly in line behind Trump after Stone interference: report

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According to a report from CNN, longtime Justice Department officials are concerned that Attorney General Bill Barr will do all he can to stay out of Donald Trump's sight and not interfere now that he was caught up in a squabble with the president over the sentencing of Trump associate Roger Stone.

CNN notes that Barr had previously watched Secretary of State Mike Pompeo be swept up in the president's Ukraine scandal -- damaging the State Department official's reputation -- and hoped to keep a low profile in the president's public disputes.

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Trump’s India visit expected to boost exposure of his struggling properties in the country: report

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President Donald Trump heads off to India next Monday where his high profile visit may give a boost to his sagging fortunes at some of his properties in a country that happens to be the Trump Organization’s largest foreign market featuring the Trump name.

According to a report from Politico, "President Donald Trump arrives Monday in a country featuring the most Trump properties outside the U.S.The White House hopes the visit will advance trade talks and bolster the president’s standing with Indian-Americans ahead of the 2020 election," adding, "But it’s also a trip that will create attention that could help Trump-branded properties amid a slumping real estate market and slowing economy in India."

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