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Security guard who shot himself and falsely blamed a black man may avoid jail – but there’s a catch

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A white former security guard who concocted a false report of being shot by a black man to cover-up a self-inflicted gun wound may avoid jail time, the Twin Cities Pioneer Press reports.

Ramsey County District Judge Nicole Starr sentenced Brent Ahlers, 35, to one-year probation and $4,500 restitution.

Judge Starr additionally sentenced Ahlers to six sessions of a group led by Judge George Stephenson for men with lives impacted by the criminal justice system.

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The group is primarily African-American.

“I’ll expect you’ll have something to say that’s a little bit more than ‘I’m sorry,’” Judge Starr said.

If Ahlers doesn’t meet the conditions, Starr said she will send him to jail for 60 days.

On September 12, Ahlers called 911 to report he’d been shot by a black male with “a short Afro” whom he’d confronted for smoking marijuana on the St. Catherine University.

Ahlers false report resulted in the university temporarily shutting down during in a manhunt involving 55 police officers, four dogs and air support.

“I am sorry for the event in general and the fear and pain I caused,” Ahlers said at his sentencing.

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The president of the African American Leadership Council, Tyrone Terrill, criticized Judge Starr for going to easy on Ahlers.

“He should have gotten the maximum on everything,” Terrill said. “When you say you have an active shooter in the community … it’s only by the grace of God that nobody got hurt.”

Terrill, who attends Judge Stephenson’s men’s group, intends to ask Ahlers tough questions.

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“It’s not going to change him … But I think he will feel the wrath of our community,” Terrill said.


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Donald Trump’s lurch toward fascism is backfiring spectacularly

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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.

During the 2016 campaign, as Donald Trump railed against "Mexican rapists" and other "criminal aliens," pollsters found that the share of Americans who said that immigrants worked hard and made a positive contribution to our society increased significantly, and noticed a similar decline in the share who said they take citizens' jobs and burden our social safety net. After Trump was elected and began pursuing his Muslim ban, the share of respondents who held a positive view of Islam also increased pretty dramatically. I'm not aware of any polling of the general public about transgender troops serving in the military before Trump decided to discharge them, but Gallup found that 71 percent of respondents opposed his position after he did.

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Judge blocking release of Jeffrey Epstein records has ties to officials linked to Epstein: report

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On Saturday, the Miami Herald reported that a judge who blocked the release of grand jury material in the Jeffrey Epstein child sex abuse case has ties to three officials with a vested interest in the outcome of the lawsuits surrounding the scandal.

"Krista Marx, the Palm Beach chief judge who also heads a panel that polices judicial conduct, has potential conflicts of interest involving three prominent players embroiled in the Epstein sex-trafficking saga: State Attorney Dave Aronberg, who has been sued by the Palm Beach Post to release the grand jury records; Sheriff Ric Bradshaw, whose department’s favored treatment of Epstein while he was in the Palm Beach County jail is part of an ongoing state criminal investigation; and ex-State Attorney Barry Krischer, part of the same investigation in connection with his decision not to prosecute Epstein on child-sex charges," wrote Julie Brown, a reporter who has extensively covered the Epstein case.

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WATCH: Buffalo cops and firefighters cheer officers charged with assault as they leave the courthouse

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According to a report from both CNN and MSNBC, the two Buffalo police officers who were charged with second-degree assault after shoving a 75-year-old anti-police brutality protester to the ground where he sustained head injuries were greeted with applause after they were arraigned on Saturday morning.

MSNBC's Alex Witt noted that both officers were released without having to post bail.

According to ABC News, "Officers Aaron Torglaski and Robert McCabe were charged with second-degree assault during their video arraignments on Saturday and were released on their own recognizance. They both entered no guilty pleas and are expected back in court on July 20."

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