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Cleveland police dispatcher in Tamir Rice shooting suspended 8 days

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A Cleveland police dispatcher was suspended for eight days for failing to warn officers in the 2014 shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice that a 911 caller had described the scene as probably a child with a fake gun, the boy’s family lawyer said on Wednesday.

Reports of the suspension published in Cleveland on Tuesday led to criticism of authorities on social media under the Twitter hashtag #TamirRice, including “8 days suspension? How pathetic” and “the 911 dispatcher whose words lead to the terrible death of tamir rice, an INNOCENT 12 year old, should be FIRED, not simply suspended.”

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The shooting of the black child, who was playing with a replica gun that fired plastic pellets, by two white police officers was one of several that fueled scrutiny of police use of deadly force across the United States, particularly against minorities.

The family’s lawyer Subodh Chandra said the dispatcher, Constance Hollinger, also received a disciplinary letter after a 10-month investigation that ended in February. An off-duty officer at the scene, William Cunningham II, was suspended for two days without pay.

Samaria Rice, Tamir’s mother, has urged that anyone involved in the shooting be fired and Chandra said the mother considered Hollinger’s eight day suspension without pay “unacceptable.”

Chandra publicly released a March 6 letter about the city’s decision on Tuesday evening.

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City and police union officials confirmed the letter’s legitimacy.

The attorney for Hollinger, Keith Wolgamuth, could not be reached to comment.

Hollinger received a 911 call on Nov. 22, 2014 reporting that a man was waving a gun outside a Cleveland Recreation center. Two officers responded and one fatally shot Rice within seconds of arriving.

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The letter from Public Safety Director Michael McGrath said Hollinger was disciplined because she neglected to tell responding officers that the 911 caller said Rice was “probably a juvenile” and the gun was “probably fake.”

Officer Frank Garmback had his disciplinary hearing Monday and a decision in his case is pending, police union president Steve Loomis said. The hearing for Timothy Loehmann, who fired the fatal shot, has not been scheduled.

A Cuyahoga County grand jury declined to bring criminal charges against the officers in 2015.

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A lawyer for the off-duty officer Cunningham, Henry Hilow, said he had not spoken to his client since the decision, so it was not yet known whether he would appeal. However, Hilow called it an “administrative violation.”

Last year, the city settled a civil lawsuit the family filed for $6 million.

(Reporting by Kim Palmer, Editing by Ben Klayman and Grant McCool)

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Here’s what it would really take to impeach Brett Kavanaugh

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President Donald Trump isn’t the only Republican who some Democrats in Congress are talking about impeaching: Rep. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts is among the Democrats who is calling for the impeachment of Justice Brett Kavanaugh. But Sen. Dick Durban isn’t one of them. The Illinois Democrat has forcefully stated that trying to impeach Kavanaugh would be a waste of time for his party, and he’s right. The bar for impeaching a U.S. Supreme Court justice is incredibly high  — especially when far-right Republicans, led by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a.k.a. Moscow Mitch, still have a majority in the U.S. Senate.

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Naomi Klein: The climate crisis demands radical change — and paper straws are just a distraction

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Renowned climate activist and author Naomi Klein says responses to the climate crisis have for too long focused on individual consumer choices rather than the collective action needed to save the planet. In a new video for The Intercept, Klein argues, “So many environmental responses have just been minor tweaks to an economy based on endless consumption — take your electric car to the drive-through for an Impossible Burger and a Coke with a paper straw. Of course it’s better than the alternative. But it’s nowhere close to the depth of change required if we hope to actually pull our planet back from the brink.” Klein joins us for the hour to discuss her new book, “On Fire: The (Burning) Case for a Green New Deal.”

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Millennials are moving to Trump-backing states — and the GOP should be terrified: columnist

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Millennial voters are substantively more progressive than older generations of voters, but their political power has been diluted by the fact that many of them have been concentrated in cities in deep-blue states.

However, The Atlantic's Derek Thompson argues that this is about to change because more millennials are leaving the big blue-state cities to move out to metro areas in key states such as Arizona, Georgia and Texas.

"The five fastest-growing metros of the past few years -- Dallas, Phoenix, Houston, Atlanta, and Orlando, Florida -- are in states won by Trump," he writes. "The other metro areas with a population of at least 1 million that grew by at least 1.5 percent last year were Las Vegas; Austin, Texas; Orlando, Florida; Raleigh, North Carolina; Jacksonville, Florida; Charlotte, North Carolina; San Antonio; Tampa, Florida; and Nashville, Tennessee. All of those metros are in red or purple states."

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