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Charges being investigated in Las Vegas Shooting

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Charges being investigated in Las Vegas Shooting

As noted on the January 12th article We still want answers Las Vegas Shooting investigation, a hearing was set to take place on January 16th to possibly unseal the exercised search warrants in connection to the Stephen Paddock, the only identified Las Vegas Shooting participant. This followup is being conducted as part of getting the Las Vegas Shooting back into the front page as the public awaits answers. People  want answers and it’s good that some members of the media are fighting for them. The hearing was part of a legal action brought fourth by members of the media, most notably the Las Vegas Review Journal. Also covering the hearing was Craig Fiegener, a reporter who has closely followed this story.

To briefly summarize the hearing, the media attorney said that we have a right see the unsealed search warrants. The LVMPD ended up resorting to revealing that because additional charges are being considered, the hearing should be done behind closed doors. So no decision was rendered as Judge Cadish will give the police time to file a brief. For now we wait another week and then some for answers. But until then we can speculate. At the mention of charges being investigated, all eyes are on the shooter’s girlfriend.

Perspectives

Criminal charges possible in Las Vegas shooting, lawyers say

https://www.reviewjournal.com/crime/shootings/criminal-charges-possible-in-las-vegas-shooting-lawyers-say/The hearing, before Clark County District Judge Elissa Cadish, related to local police search warrant records.

Metro’s initial argument was that Cadish did not have the authority to unseal the records because that authority should remain with the individual judges who initially ordered the records sealed. Cadish rejected that argument.

The only other evidence Metro submitted in support of keeping the records sealed was an FBI affidavit. Review-Journal attorney Maggie McLetchie argued that Metro could not make assertions on behalf of the FBI, then noted that federal authorities did not oppose the release of federal search warrants last week.

“The press has an important role in being able to get access to this warrant information and help the public understand what occurred in regard to what warrants law enforcement got, what came back and what the actual facts are,” McLetchie said in court. “The horrific incidents of 1 October were over three months ago. The public still has many, many questions.”

That’s when Metro attorneys suddenly asserted that the sealed documents were pertinent to possible charges.

Cadish said she wanted to read through the sealed documents and compare them with information that already has been made public. She indicated she would make a decision by Jan. 26.

Court claim puts attention on Las Vegas shooter’s girlfriend

https://www.reviewjournal.com/crime/shootings/court-claim-puts-attention-on-las-vegas-shooters-girlfriend/“It’s a very bold statement to say that criminal charges are going to be filed in this case when the only person whose name or inference has been put in the news is his girlfriend,” Las Vegas attorney Craig Drummond said. “I would hope they’re going to back it up. If they don’t, it will incite all of these conspiracy theorists even more.”

Drummond said it is possible authorities are looking at other people who may have not followed proper procedures when selling firearms to Stephen Paddock or others who may have helped him modify some of the weapons.

Defense lawyer Robert Langford speculated that if Danley knew of Paddock’s plans and somehow aided or abetted his actions, she would already have been charged.

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Guns and Crime

Why isn’t Katie Brennan’s #MeToo accusation getting national attention?

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It’s the type of story that should have received national attention immediately. It was sourced by a respected major news outlet, the Wall Street Journal. Both the accuser and the accused are high-ranking public official in New Jersey’s government. The accused stepped down two weeks ago when approached by WSJ for comment. Katie Brennan’s story is a major newsworthy scandal.

As of Monday morning, a day after the story officially broke and four days after it was leaked to other major news outlets, both mainstream media and the #MeToo movement are essentially silent.

That will change soon, possibly today. Brennan, a prominent volunteer for Phil Murphy’s gubernatorial campaign and current Chief of Staff at the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, released this statement:

On April 8th, 2017, Al Alvarez raped me. On April 9th, 2017 I learned that the system is broken.

I have pursued every form of justice available. But it has become clear that this system is not built for survivors.

The details of the assault portrayed in reporter Kate King’s Wall Street Journal report published today are accurate. But to date, I have received no justice.

I decided to come forward because I know that Al Alvarez, and all perpetrators, must be held accountable, must never rape again, and the justice system needs a complete change with regard to sexual violence.

New Jersey residents are only given a two-year window to file a civil suit. After spending an entire year pursuing a criminal case before hitting a dead end, I am left with less than one year to pursue civil action.

It is clear that leadership from the Murphy administration is needed to create meaningful policy change on several levels to make sure future victims do not have to endure what I have. I urge Gov. Murphy and the Attorney General’s Office to eliminate the statute of limitations on civil action related to sexual assault, and to direct prosecutors to be more aggressive in taking on these criminal cases. Further, the Murphy administration and the General Assembly should pursue legislation to ensure New Jersey’s police and other first responders are better trained to handle sexual assault victims.

Finally, sexual predators like Al Alvarez are only able to stay in power when those around them do nothing. Several senior level members of the Murphy administration were aware of my assault and failed to take meaningful action. Al Alvarez remained employed at a senior level in the Murphy administration until just a few weeks ago, when he knew the Wall Street Journal article was coming out and opted to resign. The failure of members of Gov. Murphy’s staff to respond in an aggressive, proactive fashion is unacceptable.

To other sexual assault survivors in New Jersey, I urge you to join me in coming forward if you are able. I will stand with you, because when we stand together, we are safer and stronger. Our voice is our power. Together, we can finally receive the justice we all deserve.

Murphy has not commented other than saying Alvarez should not have been hired. He was made aware of a “sensitive matter” that needed to be discussed by Brennan in June and claimed his staff would set up a meeting. That was the last Brennan heard from Murphy.

Gov. Phil Murphy’s handling of aide sex assault allegation questioned

https://www.northjersey.com/story/news/new-jersey/governor/2018/10/14/murphys-handling-sexual-assault-allegation-called-into-question/1642517002/His accuser, Katie Brennan, was a Murphy campaign volunteer who said she spent more than a year seeking action against Alvarez for the alleged sexual assault before directly emailing Phil and Tammy Murphy in June. Phil Murphy responded within the hour, according to the Journal.

“Hang in,” he wrote. “We are on it.”

But Alvarez remained in his $140,000-a-year position until October. The alleged assault happened in April 2017.

Standards set by the #MeToo movement dictate that credible accusations should be believed. Brennan appears to be extremely credible, having reported her rape immediately after it allegedly occurred. Alvarez offered a $15,000 settlement that would have been attached to a non-disclosure agreement, which Brennan refused.

Where is MSNBC? Where is CNN? Where is Alyssa Milano?

Social media is starting to take notice. In particular, they’re going after Murphy and his wife for speaking out in support of Christine Blasey Ford’s accusations against Brett Kavanaugh.

Katie Brennan

My Take

I am a strong proponent for what the #MeToo movement once promoted and how it started. The original intent was to embolden women who had experienced sexual misconduct at the hands of men in power over them. The goal was to give courage to those who were in very tough situations.

Recently, the #MeToo movement has been weaponized. I’m not going to draw comparisons between accusations against Kavanaugh and Alvarez. That would be unfair to Ford since Brennan’s accusations against Alvarez are much more recent and have the benefit of an immediate report to the authorities. Nevertheless, it’s worth noting that as of now, either the story hasn’t reached the right people or the right people have chosen to ignore it.

We can’t let them.

It’s not as if this is a political hit job against Democrats. Brennan’s image was used in Murphy’s campaign handouts and she was outspoken as a “Young Democrat of the Week” in New Jersey as a result.

Katie Brennan NJ Democrat

I don’t like when something as heinous as rape gets politicized, but silence from mainstream media and the #MeToo movement is deafening. Would they be avoiding the story if Brennan had accused a Republican?

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Guns and Crime

Infographic: Opioid overdose deaths in the United States

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Infographic Opioid overdose deaths in the United States

The use of opioids in the United States has dramatically risen in recent years, prompting calls for action from both sides of the political aisle. It’s not like the old drug wars on the streets of New York or the suburbs of Dallas. This drug epidemic is affecting all races, economic conditions, and ages.

In this infographic from Visual Capitalist, they examine the death rates county by county. Of note is West Virginia, where in some areas the opioid death rate is approaching the cancer death rates.

Courtesy of: Visual Capitalist

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Guns and Crime

Inmates on death row in Washington state given life sentences after capital punishment struck down by Supreme Court

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Inmates on death row in Washington state given life sentences after capital punishment struck down b

The Washington state Supreme Court has ruled the death penalty is unconstitutional based on racial bias. This move affirms Governor Jay Inslee’s moratorium in 2014.

“We are confident that the association between race and the death penalty is not attributed to random chance,” the justices wrote in a majority opinion.

Racial bias was cited following a study commissioned by Allen Eugene Gregory, a death row inmate convicted of aggravated first-degree murder. The study found that black convicts were 4.5 times more likely to receive the death penalty than white inmates with similar charges.

The bias was attributed to juries rather than prosecutor recommendations. There was no evidence that prosecutors were more likely to pursue the death penalty based upon race but juries were more likely to sentence with racial bias.

Source: NPR

Washington State Strikes Down Death Penalty, Citing Racial Bias

https://www.npr.org/2018/10/11/656570464/washington-state-strikes-down-death-penalty-citing-racial-biasThursday’s ruling makes Washington the 20th state to abolish capital punishment. According to the ACLU, this state supreme court is the third to do so citing concerns about racial disparities, along with Massachusetts and Connecticut.

The court decided to convert Washington’s current death sentences to life imprisonment. The state’s corrections division says that there are eight people currently on death row.

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