Kill a dog, go to jail, kill a black boy and nothing happens



Hat Tip: Court TV 

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (Court TV) — A Florida jury found eight former boot camp employees not guilty of causing the death of a juvenile offender in their care.

The panel of four women and two men deliberated just 90 minutes before reaching their verdict in the trial of seven drill instructors and a nurse accused in the death of 14-year-old Martin Lee Anderson.

Former drill instructors Henry Dickens, Patrick Garrett, Raymond Hauck, Charles Helms Jr., Henry McFadden Jr., Charles Enfinger, Joseph Walsh and nurse Kristin Schmidt could have faced up to 30 years in prison if they had been convicted of aggravated manslaughter.

The jury was also given the option of considering lesser charges of manslaughter, child neglect and misdemeanor culpable negligence — convictions that would have carried lighter sentences.

“We were innocent all along,” McFadden said. “We knew this truth would come out. As Circuit Judge Michael Overstreet read the verdicts for each of the defendants, sobs from defendants’ families grew louder.

On the other side of the courtroom, Anderson’s mother, Gina Jones, shook her head, and his father, Robert Anderson, covered his face in his hands.

The case has polarized Panama City, and throughout the week-long trial demonstrators gathered outside the courthouse, chanting and carrying signs. After the verdict was read Friday, as the defendants and their lawywers spoke with the media, people drove by shouting “Murderers,” and “They know they’re guilty.”

The Anderson family’s lawyer, Benjamin Crump, implied that race was the deciding issue in the case, in which a black teenager died after being manhandled by a group of guards that included whites, blacks and one Asian American.

“You kill a dog, you go to jail. You kill a little black boy and nothing happens,” Crump said.

In their testimony, all eight of the defendants said they were shocked and saddened by Anderson’s death. Dickens, one of the two black drill instructors involved in the incident, said he was hurt by the insults that have been leveled at him.

“They’ve been calling me an Uncle Tom, but this was never about race,” he said. “We cared about this kid. The kids are our future. I’m not going to be around for ever. We really cared about that kid.”

Defense attorneys bristled at idea that the verdict from the jury of six whites should be written off to racism.

“Two of the defendants were African-American,” said Robert Sombathy, the attorney for Garrett. “I don’t hear the NAACP trying to make an issue out of them. Race is not an issue in this case.”

Anderson, a ninth-grader who was sent to the Bay County Sheriff’s Department Juvenile Boot Camp for stealing his grandmother’s car, was only a few hours into his stay when he allegedly participated in a mandatory run for 10 minutes, then stopped and refused to continue.

During the 30-minute altercation that ensued — captured on surveillance video that attorneys for both sides repeatedly dissected during the trial — seven guards took turns restraining Anderson against a pole, pinning him to the ground and occasionally kneeing and hitting him to gain compliance.

In the melee, Schmidt stood outside the group as guards wrestled Anderson to the ground and then attempted to rouse him by waving ammonia caps under his nose.

The camp was closed a few months after the teen’s death.

I’m still pickin pieces of my brain outta the carpet because my head exploded when I read this.

Pregnant sistah sues police after loosing baby


The video is sickening, have you ever heard of this happening to a white woman?

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A woman whose premature baby died the day after she was arrested has sued the Kansas City Police Department and two officers who repeatedly ignored her pleas for medical help while they were arresting her.

A police videotape released Tuesday shows Sofia Salva telling police officers numerous times on Feb. 5, 2006, that she was pregnant, bleeding and needed to go to a hospital. After the ninth request, a female officer asked: “How is that my problem?”

Salva, a Sudanese native, was held overnight on traffic violations and outstanding city warrants. After being released the next morning, she delivered a premature baby boy who died after one minute, according to a lawsuit Salva filed Friday in Jackson County Circuit Court.

Salva sued officers Melody Spencer and Kevin Schnell and the Police Department for wrongful death, personal injuries and failure to provide medical assistance. Salva is seeking actual damages exceeding $25,000 and punitive damages to punish and deter such conduct in the future. “The officers went into this with a preconceived idea of who and what they were dealing with, and they were wrong,” said Salva’s attorney, Andrew Protzman.

“It’s tragic.” The videotape was released to the media after The Kansas City Star requested it under Missouri’s open records law. Police have opened an internal investigation to determine exactly what happened, department spokesman Capt. Rich Lockhart said. “It’s a matter of trust. … We want to make sure the community trusts us to get to the bottom of this regardless of the way it reflects on the police department,” Lockhart said.

The officers stopped Salva after they saw her affixing a fake temporary tag on the back windshield of her car. After the officers tell her why she was arrested, Salva is seen telling the officers she is having a miscarriage and is bleeding. “Do you want to check me?” Salva asks on the tape. “I’m bleeding. I have a 3-month baby inside.”

Schnell, who has worked for the department for less than two years, walks away from the car and tells his partner: “She just gave me a line of excuses. She said she’s bleeding. She said you can check her.” Salva said: “I’m three months pregnant and I’m bleeding.” Spencer, a four-year veteran, replied: “OK. Why are you driving to the store and then putting a fake temporary tag in your car?” “I took it because I want to go to the hospital,” Salva said.

The officers made Salva sit on the curb as they searched her car, purse and grocery sacks. Salva again tells the officers that she is bleeding and asks them to check her underwear and says she wants to go to the hospital. “Well,” Spencer said, “that will be something you can take care of when we get done with you.” After a drawn-out process to get Salva’s identifying information, Salva is clearly upset. “I have a baby in my stomach and I’m bleeding and I open my underwear for you to see.” “Stay seated!” Schnell yelled. “If I die here, will you take care of me?” Salva said. “If I die here?” “Fair enough,” Schnell said.

Officers are then told Salva has outstanding city warrants for mistreatment of children, trespassing and several traffic violations, with bonds totaling $4,600. After Salva is handcuffed, she again tells Schnell she is bleeding. “I don’t doubt that you’re possibly bleeding, but you got a lot more problems with us,” Schnell said.