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US will not seek civil-rights charges for ex-St. Louis cop

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The U.S. Department of Justice said on Monday it has decided not to pursue federal civil rights charges against the former St. Louis policeman whose acquittal on murder charges in the 2011 shooting death of black man sparked three days of violent protests this weekend.

The decision was disclosed on Monday but was made a year ago, while officer Jason Stockley’s state murder trial was under way in St. Louis, the Department of Justice said in an email.

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“The Civil Rights Division concluded its own internal review and analysis in September 2016, and agreed that the evidence did not support a prosecution under federal criminal civil rights statutes,” Department of Justice spokeswoman Lauren Ehrsam said.

“The Department made no formal statement at that time to avoid having any impact on the state criminal case pending at the time,” she said.

About 75 protesters assembled in downtown St. Louis on Monday morning before the workday began, after a third straight night of sometimes-violent protests in the wake of Stockley’s acquittal on Friday. More than 80 people have been arrested so far.

The violence evoked memories of the riots following the 2014 shooting of a black teenager by a white officer in nearby Ferguson, Missouri.

On Sunday, police in riot gear used pepper spray and arrested the demonstrators who had defied orders to disperse following a larger, peaceful protest.

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On Sunday night, acting police commissioner Lawrence O’Toole said: “We’re in control, this is our city and we’re going to protect it.”

Police officers at one point on Sunday were heard chanting “Whose streets? Our streets,” commandeering a common refrain used by protesters, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

State Representative Bruce Franks, a Ferguson activist who was elected to the state legislature, said the protests will continue daily.

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“We are the system. We make up the system. That’s the new narrative. We will affect your peace. We will make you uncomfortable,” he said.

The protests followed a judge’s ruling finding Stockley, 36, not guilty of first-degree murder in the 2011 shooting death of Anthony Lamar Smith, 24.

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Smith was shot in his car after Stockley and his partner chased him following what authorities said was a drug deal. Prosecutors argued that Stockley planted a weapon in Smith’s car, but the judge believed the gun belonged to Smith.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office declined prosecution of the case in November 2012, and notified Smith’s family of its decision then, Ehrsam said.

(Reporting and writing by Chris Kenning in Chicago; Editing by Matthew Lewis)

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World leaders mocked Trump because they’re tired of his ‘center of attention’ act: MSNBC guest

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During an MSNBC segment on President Donald Trump's abrupt departure from NATO talks in London after video was released of world leaders making fun of him, an MSNBC guest said those same leaders have become tired of his act.

Speaking with host David Gura, the LA Times Eli Stokols said international diplomats have realized there is no dealing with the president who is in his own world and just wants attention..

"Your colleague had a great line: 'This is a president who views norms like a teenager views curfews,'" Gura began.

"Well, he likes going to these things and blowing them up and being the center of attention," Stokols replied.

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CNN

Trump slammed for lawless obstruction of Congress: ‘He’s taken a sledgehammer to the Constitution’

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On CNN Saturday, former Rep. Elizabeth Holtzman (D-NY), who voted for the articles of impeachment against President Richard Nixon, discussed the path forward for impeaching President Donald Trump.

"We know moderate Democrats are a bit frustrated with leadership over potentially expanding the scope of their consideration, maybe the Mueller report findings and drawing up these articles of impeachment," said anchor Victor Blackwell. "Do you think it's a mistake not to include anything beyond the Ukraine matter?"

"Yes," said Holtzman. "I think it would be a mistake, although, you know, I'm still at a distance, and the members of the committee really have to, who have been digging into this deeply have the best feel, but my sense is that the, what the president did is so egregious, not just with regard to Ukraine, but what part of what's bad about his activities in Ukraine, is that he's taken a sledgehammer to the Constitution by saying that Congress has no right to get information, and he's cut off his committee, his administration from, and ordered and directed them not to cooperate with the committee in any way."

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CNN

Giuliani pummeled by ex-press secretary for ‘returning to the scene of the crime’ to create Ukraine chaos

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On CNN Saturday, Rudy Giuliani's former mayoral press secretary Ken Frydman harshly criticized his former boss for his ongoing efforts in the Ukraine scheme.

"As you've watched the former mayor over the last several years, have you identified a point at which things shifted for the man who I guess still is for some known at America's Mayor?" asked anchor Victor Blackwell."

"Well, yeah. I think when he went into business with Donald Trump," said Frydman. "You saw a — a severe change in his personality. He had a zealous need to make money, to be relevant. To be part of the political process. And you know right now he's making, I think, ill-advised decisions, like returning to the scene of the crime, Ukraine, to make a propagandist documentary. Almost as if he's playing, he and the president, are playing, 'catch me if you can.' The president will not participate in the impeachment hearings, and Rudy is off in the Ukraine doubling down."

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