OAKLAND — A security guard who was shot during an attempted robbery while accompanying a news crew has died from injuries, authorities said. The guard, Kevin Nishita, was a former police officer who had been hired by security company Star Protection Agency to protect a KRON-TV Channel 4 news crew as it reported on a recent crime in East Oakland. Nishita died Saturday morning at Highland Hospital and was taken to the Alameda County Coroner’s Office in a motorcade that included police from San Jose, Hayward and Colma, where he had previously worked as an officer, authorities said. He began his c...
A police sergeant in Florida has been placed on desk duty after video showed him assaulting a fellow officer who was trying to de-escalate a Black man's arrest.
The body cam video shows Sunrise police Sgt. Christopher Pullease threatening the suspect with pepper spray, and engaging in a verbal altercation with him, after he'd already been taken into custody and placed in the back of a patrol car.
After a 28-year-old female officer grabs Pullease by the back of his belt and tries to pull him away, he turns around and briefly puts his hand around her throat, before grabbing her by the vest and pushing her against another patrol car.
Pullease then returns to the patrol car where the suspect is detained, opening and closing the door, before pointing his finger at the female officer and walking away.
The 46-year-old Pullease, a 21-year veteran of the force, was assigned to desk duty on Nov. 25 after the department launched an internal affairs investigation of the incident.
In an interview with Miami's Channel 7, Sunrise Police Chief Anthony Rosa said Pullease's behavior was "disgusting," adding that "the video speaks for itself.”
Calling Pullease's actions toward the suspect "inappropriate and unprofessional," Rosa commended the female officer, who has been on the force for only two-and-a-half years, for her efforts to de-escalate.
“I’m very proud of this police officer," Rosa said. "She took some definitive action. I can only imagine what she must be feeling. She’s a newer officer, and he’s a very senior sergeant.”
The department muted the audio and blurred the faces of those shown the video with the exception of Pullease. The officer he assaulted has not been identified.
Asked why Pullease isn't facing criminal charges, Rosa said: “So there’s some details of the investigation that I’ve not disclosed, that I’m unable to disclose right now, and if any of the information that comes up during the investigation rises to a level of criminal behavior or criminal conduct, then we’ll address it appropriately.”
Pullease had been cleared of two previous allegations of excessive force, according to Channel 7.
Vice News notes that most police departments "have a policy that requires officers to intervene if a fellow cop is taking things too far with someone they’re interacting with."
"But the institution is often criticized for not following through," the site reported. "As George Floyd was being murdered, for example, none of the three officers present chose to physically stop officer Derek Chauvin from kneeling on the Black man’s neck for more than nine minutes. This failure to act is the subject of both a federal and state criminal trial scheduled to begin later this year."
Watch the video below.
Oh boy, remember the summer of 2021? That's when we were deluged with spicy hot takes about how the Supreme Court isn't nearly as bad as liberals feared it would be. Well, here we are half a year away and that supposedly reasonable Supreme Court just proved all of its critics right. They are a bunch of partisan hacks who will ignore the plain letter of the law in order to undermine Democratic governance and install Republicans into power.
Thursday's decision to strike down President Joe Biden's COVID-19 vaccine mandate for private employers certainly wasn't the result of a good faith reading of the law. It wasn't even an expression of some ideological opposition to the "administrative state," as Steve Bannon and other authoritarian nuts sneeringly call it. No, the only jurisprudence guiding the Republican-controlled Supreme Court — which has a whopping three appointees by Donald Trump sitting on it — is a belief that the only legitimate presidents are Republicans. We know this not just because of the bad faith of the decision itself, but also by contrasting it with the warm-and-fuzzy feelings that the justices have towards expansive presidential powers when Republicans are in charge.
First of all, the decision itself is a joke. As legal expert Mark Joseph Stern at Slate wrote, the court's "unsigned majority opinion rests on several dubious claims" and, crucially, "is utterly untethered to the plain text of the law." The anti-mandate argument held that because COVID-19 is a general threat to public health, it cannot be considered a discrete workplace safety issue. But, as many folks pointed out, the conservative justices don't believe their own reasoning here, as evidenced by the fact that the Supreme Court building's pandemic precautions are justified as a workplace safety issue.
The hackish nature of this decision — which is so bad that none of the six conservative justices who voted for it was willing to sign it — cannot be overstated.
As Vox's legal expert Ian Millhiser joked on Twitter, the Supreme Court "thinks there's a Let's Go Brandon Clause in the Constitution."
This is about one thing and one thing only: Republicans believe prolonging the COVID-19 pandemic helps them politically. They are willing to sacrifice hundreds of thousands of lives — mostly the lives of their own voters — to serve this strategy. The Republicans who control the Supreme Court are, feeble protestations aside, partisan hacks who shape their decisions based on what will help Republicans gain power.
To that end, the motives of the conservative justices are no different than the QAnon shaman and the other jackasses who stormed the Capitol last year in an attempt to overturn the election. They all flat-out reject that right of duly elected Democrats to govern. The justices may hide this anti-democratic sentiment behind faux-legalese and the enrobed pretenses of the Supreme Court, while the QAnoners hide it behind lurid talk of cannibalistic pedophiles and stolen elections. Underneath it all, however, is the same idea: Only Republicans have a legitimate claim to power.
As Osita Nwanevu wrote in the New York Times earlier this month, Republicans view the Constitution "as an eternal compact that keeps power in their rightful hands" and don't care much about the actual text of it that says differently. It's why they are fighting to keep actual history out of schools and peddle fake histories that recast the U.S. as a theocratic Christian state instead of a secular democracy. It's why Trump's descriptions of voters of color as "frauds" make so much sense to them — not because they think those voters are actually casting illegal votes, but because they don't view the right to vote for nonwhites as legitimate to begin with.
And to disagree a bit with Salon's Heather "Digby" Parton, this ruling isn't even about anything as lofty as ideological opposition to the "administrative state." Somehow the Supreme Court had no real problem with Trump's actual overreach when it came to his use of executive power. They repeatedly bent over backward to protect Trump's decisions that violated the Constitution or the limits put on his power, even as they are eager to strike down Biden's mundane use of power that sticks closely to the letter of the law. Mark Joseph Stern pointed this out on Twitter:
SCOTUS when the Trump administration unilaterally rewrites immigration law to keep out refugees: cool cool cool \n\nSCOTUS when the Biden administration relies on a textual delegation of authority to protect workers from the deadliest pandemic in American history:pic.twitter.com/Qq36EwHZka— Mark Joseph Stern (@Mark Joseph Stern) 1641766880
The court either blessed or at least declined to curtail a large number of Trump's actual overreaches of executive power. In violation of the First Amendment's freedom of religion clause, the court upheld Trump's travel ban that was quite clearly designed to block Muslims from entering the country. Not only did they uphold Trump's "remain in Mexico" policy that runs counter to international law regarding the rights of political refugees, they, with typically sloppy reasoning, forced the Biden administration to keep following Trump's rules. They approved Trump's clearly illegal reappropriation of defense spending money to start construction on his border wall.
Even in cases where they knew there was no way they could legally justify Trump's abuse of executive power, they backed him anyway by slow-walking cases asking them to overrule his illegal actions. For instance, Trump's "gag rule" barring clinics that receive federal funds from even mentioning abortion to patients clearly violated the First Amendment. But rather than throwing it out, the court dragged their feet on issuing any ruling, forcing clinics like Planned Parenthood to drastically reduce services until Biden came in and ended the policy.
Nor is this naked partisanship just about Trump. As CNN legal contributor Steve Vladeck pointed out, Republicans were more than fine with George W. Bush's power grab when it came to his desire to avoid constitutional limits on his presidential right to wage war.
There's no detectable consistency in jurisprudence or legal ideology in any of this. It's all just about one apparent belief guiding the court's decisions: Only Republicans are legitimate leaders.
This partisan agenda is why the Supreme Court has also thrown out perfectly good laws like the Voting Rights Act or transparency legislation regarding campaign finance. Bush v. Gore, for that matter, showed this partisan hackery pre-dates even the appointment of the current slate of Republican hacks on the highest bench in the country. It all circles back to this idea that the rights and will of the voters are illegitimate — if those voters choose Democrats instead of Republicans as their leaders. Don't let the fancy robes fool you. When it comes to their views on law and power, the Republicans who control the Supreme Court might as well pop on some antlers and face paint while they run through the halls of the Capitol building screaming nonsense about "Stop the steal!"
Former pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli, also knows as the "Pharma Bro," has been ordered to return $64.6 million in profits from the inflated price of the life-saving drug Daraprim.
The judge also barred him from the pharmaceutical industry, Axios reports.
Shkreli is currently serving a 7-year prison sentence for wire and securities fraud.
“Shkreli does not dispute that it was his intention to impede generic pharmaceutical companies from launching competitive products that would threaten the price of Daraprim,” U.S. District Judge Denise Cote wrote. “The plaintiffs have shown that the restraints Vyera implemented succeeded in doing just that.”
Read the judge's order over at Axios.