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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.”

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.

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.”

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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.

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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Progressive reformer claims victory in fiercely-contested Queens DA race

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Progressive reformer Tiffany Cabán has declared victory in her campaign versus Melinda Katz in the Queens District Attorney race.

With 99% of precincts reporting, Cabán held a lead of 1,090 votes, The New York Times reports.

Cabán was backed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).

Katz was backed by Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY), who chairs the Queens Democratic Party, and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY)

https://twitter.com/CabanForQueens/status/1143721257353076737

https://twitter.com/CabanForQueens/status/1143721448168710151

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2020 Election

New 2020 poll shows Trump trailing all Democrats — some by double-digits

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President Donald Trump trails all of his Democratic rivals in hypothetical matchups of the 2020 presidential race, according to the result of a new poll released Tuesday.

This article originally appeared on Salon.

The survey, conducted by Emerson Polling, found that the president lags behind former vice president Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., by 10 points nationally — 45 percent to 55 percent. He also trails Sen. Elizabeth Warren by six points — 47 percent to 53 percent —and Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg by four points — 48 percent to 52 percent.

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Beto O’Rourke’s ‘war tax’ policy proposal is straight out of ‘Starship Troopers’

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Amid an overcrowded Democratic presidential candidate field, it's hard to distinguish yourself from the pack if you don't slot easily into the scale that runs from "pro-corporate centrist" to "left-populist." If you're former Texas congressman Beto O'Rourke —  who falls somewhere in the middle, politically, and somewhere towards the top, looks-wise — you pull a militaristic policy proposal out of your hat that recalls some of the most campy pseudo-fascist sci-fi ever written.

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Trump endorses killing journalists, like Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. Online ad networks are now targeting sites that cover acts of violence against dissidents, LGBTQ people and people of color.

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