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Judge smacks down cops’ argument that jurors were too scared of black people to acquit them in fatal shooting

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A federal judge this week affirmed a multi-million dollar verdict against police in the city of Lakewood, Washington — while at the same time smacking down their argument that jurors only ruled against them in the killing of an unarmed black man because they feared facing racial backlash if they didn’t.

The Seattle Times reports that U.S. District Judge Barbara Rothstein hammered the city of Lakewood’s appeal of the $15.1 million verdict that was leveled against it and its police officers over the death of Leonard Thomas, an unarmed black man who was killed by police during a SWAT raid in 2013.

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During a December hearing on the case, a lawyer representing Lakewood argued that jurors in the case “weren’t going to go back to their individual communities and tell the people that they associate with, we found in favor of white cops that shot an unarmed black man.”

In her decision upholding the jury’s verdict, Rothstein called this particular argument “insulting” to the United States justice system.

“The suggestion that this jury flouted its charge and colluded to hold government officials liable merely to advance the jurors’ individual reputations is not simply frivolous; it is insulting to our constitutional order,” she wrote. “The notion that the American justice system can be characterized by an illegitimate solicitude for black victims of alleged police misconduct is so painfully ahistorical that one wonders whether Defendants advance this argument seriously.”

For good measure, Rothstein noted that none of the jurors in the case were black.

In the end, writes the Seattle Times, Rothstein affirmed the jury’s finding that police in Lakewood “acted outrageously, unreasonably and with malice and callous indifference to the life of Thomas.”

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Veteran Republican operative shames the GOP — and warns they won’t get rid of Trumpism ‘for at least a generation’

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Stuart Stevens is a veteran Republican campaign operative from five presidential races. When he spoke to PBS's Judy Woodruff Wednesday, he lamented the GOP failed the moral test it was presented with Donald Trump.

"Well, I think there's been two strains in the party. Call it an Eisenhower strain going back to the '50s and a McCarthy strain," Stevens said, recalling when the GOP would talk about expanding their party and bringing in more African-American voters. "Now we don't even hear any talk anymore of a big tent. And we seem to have settled into a very comfortable white grievance identity."

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Seth Meyers mocks Trump’s Axios interview where he ‘couldn’t even remember his own BS — that’s how fried his brain is’

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In his response to President Donald Trump's bizarre interview with Axios reporter Jonathan Swan, "Late Night" comedian Seth Meyers explained the Trump interview in a single photo:

"You know something has gone horribly wrong when a journalist interviewing the president looks like that," said Meyers. "That's the face you make when your dad gets drunk and decides to tell you about the night you were conceived."

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Former Trump ambassador tells Rachel Maddow ‘it’s a big red flag’ that Trump is trying to hide investigation of Turnberry scam

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Former acting ambassador to the U.K., Lewis Lukens, told MSNBC's Rachel Maddow that the inspector general raised questions to him and embassy staff in the U.K. about President Donald Trump's demand for the ambassador to lobby for the British Open to be hosted at Trump's golf course in Scotland.

According to Lukens, he told those questioning how to go about getting the British Open at Trump Turnberry, and Lukens said he was clear that it was "unethical" and "possibly illegal." Still, Trump's cronies persisted.

He explained that when the inspector general did the investigation they went back to Washington to write up the report and that it should have been released by now, but it obviously has not. Today, the acting IG, who took over just three months ago, abruptly resigned.

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