Basic first aid 101:
People in respiratory distress are never placed on their stomachs----they never have civil responders sitting on their backs as they try to fight pepper spray effects on respiratory functions.
Who is responsible to assure 99% of WE THE PEOPLE the training our police officers receive is not DEADLY FORCE?
Our public health officials DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH----JOHNS HOPKINS/UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND BALTIMORE MEDICAL---AND OUR STATE MEDICAL EXAMINERS.
Below we see what is becoming that REVOLVING DOOR of insiders from committees to panels all tied to MOVING FORWARD. Wen is today's Baltimore Public Health Commissioner ---was State Postmortem Examiners Commission. If global hedge fund IVY LEAGUE Johns Hopkins is hiring Blackwater to train our police they obviously should not be included in POSTMORTEM COMMISSIONS because they support EXCESSIVE USE OF FORCE.
If you live in a US city or state that does not have public health officials protecting against excessive force police training and testifying against unjustifiable police homicide when cases show death by suffocation----we need to WAKE UP as to why this is critical for ALL 99% OF CITIZENS---black, white, and brown citizens. It is our Baltimore City Council and Mayor Rawlings-Blake/now PUGH who appoints that Baltimore Public Health Department Commissioner failing to protect citizens-----it is Governor O'Malley/now Hogan who appoints that Maryland Department of Health and Hygiene Commissioner who then appoints State Postmortem Examiners Commission----our medical examiners.
'STATE POSTMORTEM EXAMINERS COMMISSION
Chair: Sanford A. Stass, M.D., Dept. of Pathology, University of Maryland School of Medicine
Appointed by Secretary of Health: Dennis R. Schrader
Ex officio: Col. William M. Pallozzi, Secretary of State Police; Leana S. Wen, M.D., Commissioner of Health, Baltimore City; Ralph Hruban, M.D., Dept. of Pathology, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine'.
Today we want to look at another sign of BLACKWATER SHOOT FIRST NO QUESTIONS POLICE TRAINING---we can tell when this transition occurred because we never had cases of street police feeling able to release this kind of response in our communities. Below we see where such an incident killed a fellow officer working undercover----the case we have been following involved a suspect in what was a robbery.
41 Shots Fired In 'Baltimore's Friendly Fire Death
January 11, 2011 |
Five Baltimore Police officers fired 41 rounds during a chaotic scene outside the Select Lounge nightclub on Sunday evening that led to the death of Officer William H. Torbit Jr. in a friendly fire incident'.
This case caught our attention from headlines----POLICE FIRE 40 BULLETS INTO GARAGE WITH NO EXIT.
The idea the US is allowing police training that has officers releasing this number of bullets regardless the circumstance is chilling and needs to stop.
Man shot by Baltimore police acquitted as jury rejects officers' testimony
Unlike Freddie Gray, who died in custody, Keith Davis was shot in the face but survived. A jury cleared him on 14 counts but convicted him of gun possession
Keith Davis was acquitted of 14 charges relating to a robbery that relied on police testimony but found guilty of possessing a weapon.
Photograph: Keith DavisBaynard Woods in Baltimore
Saturday 27 February 2016 08.00 EST Last modified on Friday 14 July 2017 15.55 EDT
For the more than 240 days since Keith Davis was shot in the face by Baltimore police, he has nursed his wounds from a jail cell, facing a barrage of charges on allegations that he robbed an unlicensed cab driver and fled. Davis was the first police-involved shooting since the death of Freddie Gray in police custody set off citywide protests in April.
And while Gray became a household name as representative of the more than 1,000 people who are killed by police each year, activists have held up Davis as an example of how Gray and others like him might have been treated by the law enforcement system if they had lived.
On Thursday, a jury found Davis not guilty on all the charges but one. They acquitted him of 15 charges related to the robbery, chase and standoff that ended in police gunfire at Davis, and found him guilty only of possessing a firearm as a prohibited person, which carries a five-year minimum sentence.
Despite a prison sentence that Davis’s supporters consider unjust, the verdict is viewed as at least a partial victory by Davis and activists.
Davis “feels like this is a win”, said his fiancee Kelly Holsey, who led the activist movement. “He set out to prove his innocence and did that. And the charge he was found guilty for is really a technicality.”
The state’s attorney’s office – headed by Marilyn Mosby, who came to national prominence when she announced charges against officers in connection with the death of Freddie Gray – has faced increasing criticism from campaigners regarding this case. Baltimore Bloc, an activist group, has repeatedly alleged that Mosby’s office was involved in helping the police department cover up the shooting.
On the stand, the officers offered conflicting and contradictory accounts of the incident. The state alleged that Davis got into the car of Charles Holden, who was operating an unlicensed cab, and tried to hold him up. Police testified that they chased Davis after they saw him flee from the car carrying a gun, and followed him into a garage where they saw him point a gun at them from behind a refrigerator. Four different officers opened fire, ultimately discharging more than 40 shots.
Police never offered a clear story about what happened that day as their timelines varied considerably, leaving room for reasonable doubt. For instance, Officer Lane Eskins testified that he never lost sight of the suspect, but Sergeant Alfredo Santiago’s account placed Davis in the garage while Eskins was still a block away.
Keith Davis after being shot in the face by Baltimore police. Photograph: Courtesy of Keith Davis
But a bigger problem with the state’s case came from the civilian witnesses. Holden, the unlicensed cab driver who was held up, gave a description at the time of the event that did not match Davis. During the trial, Davis’s attorney Latoya Francis-Williams walked Holden directly in front of the defense table where Davis sat, wearing a blue blazer, a white sweater, a plaid shirt, and glasses. “To my recollection that don’t look like him to me,” he said.
Another witness, Martina Washington, who was in the garage when Davis ran in, testified that police had influenced her description of the man who entered the garage. “They keep saying all the stuff to you and telling you what they want you to say,” she said. “They was telling me ‘is the guy light-skinned? Was the guy light-skinned?’… That’s why I said ‘Yeah.’ I’m trying to get out of here.”
Davis did not testify, but in a jailhouse interview in January, he told the Guardian that he was never in Holden’s car and was walking down the street holding his phone when Holden’s car pulled up and police began to run. “They just centered on me. When they ran towards the crowd everybody kind of broke away from the crowd and ran in a direction,” he said. “I wasn’t even the only one that ran in that direction but they ended up chasing me.”
Davis has maintained that he never had a gun. But the police department’s fingerprint expert testified that her report found an irrefutable match between the partial prints left on the gun – found on top of a refrigerator within the garage – and Davis.
In closing arguments, the defense alleged that the entire case was the result of a cover-up. “They’re in damage control,” Francis-Williams said. “Why? Because they shot the wrong person … They double down hoping that no one will notice, that an innocent man will be convicted and we’ll close the books on this.”
“There’s too much crime going on in Baltimore to think this guy is that special to waste time to make up evidence,” LaZette Ringgold-Kirksey, the prosecutor, responded in her rebuttal.
At the same time the trial was going on, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake was at a hearing on police reform at the state capitol advocating that police be held to an even higher standard. Under current policy, police are advised to give a statement within 10 days of an incident, and Rawlings-Blake is asking that the window be reduced to five days. But in the Keith Davis case, four shooting officers – Sgt Santiago, Officer Eskins, Officer Catherine Filippou, and fficer Israel Lopez – all testified that they didn’t give statements for more than 180 days after the shooting.
Police spokesman TJ Smith said that the officers did not give statements because they were under grand jury investigation until November, when the state’s attorney declined to prosecute the officers for shooting Davis.
At the end of Davis’s trial, the jury rejected all of the charges stemming from police testimony. But, evidently, even the clearly contradictory accounts from officers and witnesses could not dispel the fingerprints that said to the jury that Davis had been in possession of the gun at some time. Because he had previously been convicted of a felony, Davis was not allowed to possess a weapon.
Francis-Williams is seeking legal relief. “I am satisfied that the jury saw through the crocodile tears of the officers, but still have to push hard for immediate relief,” she said.
The defense lawyer was able to bring evidence to trial with eye-witness testimony filled with descriptions of robber and the victim stating clearly DAVIS did not fit the description. Eyewitness testimony is more compromised with distance and time----we have a victim in a taxi with the robber in the back seat having a pretty good look at that robber. This is one reason why jurors in DAVIS first trial decided against charge of robbery and all other crimes leaving the gun issue on table no doubt because it was a very complicated issue that left doubt.
Prosecution disregarded eye-witness testimony and descriptions even as DAVIS did not meet physical or clothing description.
We want to make a point of this for two reasons. We understand eye-witness testimony has proven to fail in trial so we do want to guard against such error. At the same time we are watching as DNA evidence is now being taken as a SURE THING. What happens when our police department/forensic checks and balances are compromised as in POLICE STATE? DNA evidence is very, very, very easy to plant as with a gun or drugs.
We must require courts and juries to look BROADLY at cases such as DAVIS.
This was the second problem in the earliest apprehension leading to arrest------DAVIS was not formerly charges in crime of robbery or later homicide until quite a bit of time elapsed. So, police had the photo lineup of victim saying NOT DAVIS----no lawyer present and they did not do a physical lineup no doubt for that reason.
A DEFENDANT CHARGED WITH A CRIME HAS THE RIGHT TO FACE HIS ACCUSER.
This was the BIG issue from the start for DAVIS and his lawyers----not believing this charge and trial was moving forward without DAVIS able to confront his accuser----who did not accuse DAVIS.
'The 6th Amendment's Confrontation Clause
The 6th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution sets out many rights for defendants during a criminal prosecution, including the right of the accused to confront their accusers. The relevant text of the Confrontation Clause of the 6th Amendment reads as follows: In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to be confronted with the witnesses against him'.
''A criminal defendant does not have the right to have an attorney present at a photographic lineup until after he or she is indicted or formally charged (United States v. Ash, 413 U.S. 300, 93 S. Ct. 2568, 37 L. Ed. 2d 619 )'
Even though DAVIS's case does not fit this SUPREME COURT case ---it is more neglectful of this US Constitutional right to KNOW THEIR IS SOMEONE ACCUSING YOU. If the victim of robbery was not accusing DAVIS---who was? At this point the police officers were being allowed to be the only eye-witnesses. This case would not fit into this SUPREME COURT RULING----it is the breakdown in our justice system and suspect rights that creates more doubt towards police officers than DAVIS.
US Supreme Court further weakens right to face one’s accuser
By Michael Stapleton
9 March 2011
On February 28, in the case Michigan v. Bryant, the US Supreme Court issued yet another decision undermining constitutional protections, in this case the Sixth Amendment’s Confrontation Clause. The decision further limits an individual’s right to confront his or her accusers.
The case arises out of an incident that took place in the early morning hours of April 29, 2001, in Detroit, Michigan. Police were dispatched to a gas station parking lot where they found Anthony Covington lying on the ground next to his car with a gunshot wound to his abdomen. In less than 10 minutes, five different Detroit police officers questioned Covington about who had shot him, only stopping when paramedics arrived. Covington told them that Richard Bryant had shot him. He died hours later.
At Bryant's trial, the judge allowed the officers to testify that Covington had implicated Bryant, ruling that the Confrontation Clause did not prevent the admission of Covington’s statements, despite the fact that he was not present and subject to questioning by Bryant’s attorney. The jury found Bryant guilty of second-degree murder, and he appealed. The Supreme Court of Michigan overturned his conviction, deciding that Covington’s statements were barred by the Confrontation Clause, which grants the accused the right to face his accuser. The state of Michigan appealed to the US Supreme Court, which sided with the trial court and reinstated the conviction.
Obama nominee Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote the majority opinion. She was joined by Chief John Justice Roberts and Justices Anthony Kennedy, Stephen Breyer, and Samuel Alito. Clarence Thomas filed a brief opinion concurring in the 6-2 decision. Justices Antonin Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsburg filed dissenting opinions. Newly appointed Justice Elena Kagan took no part in the case.
The lineup of Supreme Court justices in this case is unusual. In the majority opinion undermining a fundamental democratic right, Justices Sotomayor and Breyer, the erstwhile liberals, were joined by the “centrist” Kennedy and conservative justices Alito and Roberts. Scalia, a top contender for the title of the most right-wing justice ever to sit on the Supreme Court, appears in dissent as a defender of the Bill of Rights, along with Ginsburg, a liberal.
The decision handed down by the majority enlarges an exception to the Confrontation Clause, of the Sixth Amendment, which states that “in all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right…to be confronted with the witnesses against him.”
When the clause was written, the founding fathers had in mind the political trials of 16th and 17th century England, where justices of the peace and other officials questioned witnesses outside of court and then were allowed to read that testimony in court instead of having the witnesses testify in court subject to questioning. The most famous case was the 1603 trial of Sir Walter Raleigh for treason. Lord Cobham, an alleged accomplice, had provided evidence against Raleigh to the Privy Council and in a letter. Cobham’s statements were read to the jury, but he did not appear. Raleigh demanded, “Let Cobham be here, let him speak it. Call my accuser before my face.” The jury nevertheless convicted him, and he was sentenced to death.
In 2004, in Crawford v. Washington, the US Supreme Court affirmed the core protection of the Sixth Amendment. In that case, a husband, Crawford, stabbed a man who allegedly tried to rape his wife, Sylvia. At his trial, the prosecution played for the jury Sylvia’s tape-recorded statement to the police describing the stabbing, even though Crawford had no opportunity to confront and question her about her statement. The Supreme Court held that this evidence was inadmissible in light of the Sixth Amendment.
Subsequent decisions, including Bryant, have retreated from Crawford. The Supreme Court has decided that the Sixth Amendment only applies where the evidence in question is “testimonial.” If a statement is not testimonial, according to the Supreme Court, the Sixth Amendment does not prevent a jury from hearing it. In 2006, in Davis v. Washington, the court decided that statements made in a 911 call during a domestic assault were non-testimonial because their primary purpose was to resolve an “ongoing emergency” rather than to establish a past fact.
The court’s decision in Bryant expands the “ongoing emergency” loophole to include a consideration of the “potential threat to responding police and the public at large.” Trial judges will also now have to consider not just the intent of the person making the statements, but the intent of the person asking questions, typically the police. The majority in Bryant states that “courts should look to all of the relevant circumstances” in determining whether a statement is testimonial. Thus, according to the Supreme Court, if the police are afraid for their lives while conducting an interrogation, the Sixth Amendment is bypassed.
After advocating such a fact-specific approach, the court went on to analyze the facts in Bryant in the most abstract and false fashion. Justice Scalia exposed this feature of the majority’s opinion in his dissent: “Today’s tale—a story of five officers conducting successive examinations of a dying man with the primary purpose, not of obtaining and preserving his testimony regarding his killer, but of protecting him, them, and others from a murderer somewhere on the loose—is so transparently false that professing to believe it demeans this institution.”
“From Covington’s perspective,” Scalia wrote, “his statements had little value except to ensure the arrest and eventual prosecution of Richard Bryant. He knew the ‘threatening situation,’ had ended six blocks away and 25 minutes earlier when he fled from Bryant’s back porch. [I]t was entirely beyond imagination that Bryant would again open fire while Covington was surrounded by five armed police officers.”
Considering the police officers’ purpose, which Scalia considers irrelevant, he nonetheless writes, “None—absolutely none—of their actions indicated that they perceived an imminent threat. They did not draw their weapons, and indeed did not immediately search the gas station for potential shooters. To the contrary, all five testified that they questioned Covington before conducting any investigation at the scene.” He further comments, “Breathlessly, [the majority] worries that a shooter could leave the scene armed and ready to pull the trigger again. Nothing suggests the five officers in this case shared the Court’s…view.”
Predicting how courts around the country will use the decision in Bryant, Scalia correctly observes, “Where the prosecution cries ‘emergency,’ the admissibility of a statement now turns on a ‘a highly context-dependent inquiry.” If a judge believes that a “defendant ‘deserves’ to go to jail, the court can focus on whatever perspective is necessary to declare damning hearsay non-testimonial. And when all else fails, a court can mix and match perspectives to reach its desired outcome. Unfortunately, under this malleable approach ‘the guarantee of confrontation is no guarantee at all.’”
Justice Scalia is not a principled defender of constitutional rights. A very small sample of his judicial record includes opinions that the constitution does not protect abortion rights or habeas corpus rights for detainees held at Guantánamo Bay, nor place limitations on the death penalty for underage or mentally retarded defendants. He played an instrumental role in the notorious Bush v. Gore decision that stopped the recount in Florida in the 2000 presidential election. He also recently spoke at the House Tea Party Caucus on constitutional limits.
The fact that Justice Scalia can pose as the court’s defender of constitutional protections underscores the failure of liberalism, i.e., of the perspective that democratic rights can be made compatible with capitalism. Not one of the court’s “liberals” has been a consistent defender of constitutional rights. As social inequality has skyrocketed, it has been accompanied by an assault on democratic rights by the political establishment, which is subservient to the interests of the bourgeoisie. The Bryant case serves as one example of how this assault has been facilitated by liberals and conservatives alike on the Supreme Court.
'So for example, if a police officer shot somebody in order to arrest them for a misdemeanor, they're not authorized to use lethal force [in that case]. But if the person who they're arresting resists and threatens them with serious bodily injury, then they're not limited to the force that's authorized by the law enforcement authority—they then have the same right to self-defense that any citizen has'.
It is very, very important to remove RACE AND CLASS from these discussions because POLICE STATE will allow police corruption and abuse to creep into all avenues of society.
What we saw in DAVIS's case was police officers chasing a suspect and ILLEGALLY RELEASING bullets in an environment not requiring them to act with such force. The delay in charging DAVIS occurred because no one other than the police officers were identifying DAVIS as the suspect committing the robbery. Now the police need DAVIS to be that robber who had a gun.
DAVIS testified he entered that garage with no exit making his way to back crouching near floor in center of garage talking to AUNT on cell phone---two eye-witnesses inside garage testified to that very stance. Police open fire of 40 bullets without even making sure that garage was empty of civilians---two civilians were caught in 40 bullet release inside a small garage. The point is this: at this point there is not only doubt as to police procedure in handling this scene---there is extreme neglect in decision to open fire into garage. DAVIS said he had only a cell phone in his hand---police stated he held a gun pointed at them. Had they simply staked out that garage---DAVIS would have had to SURRENDER given time.
When Cops Can Legally Shoot People
A law professor explains the sometimes tricky rules that govern when a police officer using lethal force is technically justified under the law.
Jul 11 2016, 1:25pm
Every time the police are filmed killing a black man in America, there's an almost routine explosion of public outrage. People get angry at the specific horrors of the incident—it's sickening to watch Alton Sterling being restrained on the ground outside a convenience store in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, knowing the cops are about to shoot him. We get angry, too, at the way these events seem to reflect the stubborn persistence of racism in society. Maybe worst of all, though, is the anger that stems from knowing cops are very rarely indicted for alleged civil rights violations, and even more rarely convicted—much less sent to prison.
There are certainly circumstances when the use of force by cops—even deadly force—is uncontroversial. Few tend to complain when an active shooter is shot, and thus prevented from carrying out additional slaughter, by responding officers. But even shootings that result in national outrage are often found to be officially "justified." The Cleveland cop who shot Tamir Rice, for instance, never faced charges, even though the family of the 12-year-old was awarded a $6 million settlement by the city. (The feds are reportedly still investigating whether the child's civil rights were violated, but such probes rarely result in prosecution.)
Curious about the legalities of police shootings, and the rules that let most cops walk free after killing suspects, I called up Paul H. Robinson, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School who's an expert in criminal law, as well as a former federal prosecutor. We talked about where cops draw the power to kill, the restrictions the average officer faces on that lethal power, and how to draw a line between these (sometimes abstract) legal theories and recent killings of black men by cops on camera.
VICE: What laws give cops the ability to use force, up to and including deadly force?
Paul H. Robinson: In all of these cases, there are really two different defenses at work. One is what's called the "law enforcement authority," that is, police officers are given a special right to use force that might otherwise be assault in order to make arrests. But the right to self-defense and the right to defense of others apply as well.
So for example, if a police officer shot somebody in order to arrest them for a misdemeanor, they're not authorized to use lethal force [in that case]. But if the person who they're arresting resists and threatens them with serious bodily injury, then they're not limited to the force that's authorized by the law enforcement authority--they then have the same right to self-defense that any citizen has.
In other words, if you're a cop and you move to cuff me because you saw me shoplifting and I pull out a knife, you can shoot me. And police officers don't have any special rights in that situation when they're directly under attack?
When police officers are under direct attack, they have the same right to use force as any citizen would. Now, what force can they use? That's when necessity and proportionality comes in.
Cops can only use force if it's necessary, and they have to use the least amount of force that is necessary. So if you can subdue somebody by grabbing them and throwing them to the ground, then you can't shoot and kill them. If you have a choice, you have to select the least harmful choice. This necessity requirement also has a timing component: You can't anticipate that someone's going to attack you. You have to wait until they do, and it becomes necessary for you in time to defend yourself.
The proportionality requirement says, even if this force is necessary to make an arrest or defend yourself, you still can't use that force if it exceeds a certain amount. This is where the use of lethal force has some special rules attached to it. You can only defend yourself with lethal force if you're threatened with serious bodily injury. If someone is threatening to push you to the ground, that's not serious bodily injury, so even if the only way to keep yourself from being pushed to the ground is to shoot the person, you can't. There are a number of jurisdictions where even if you're threatened with serious bodily injury, you can't use lethal force if you could just walk away. If you're in public and you can walk away safely, even if this creep is threatening you with serious bodily injury, your obligation is to walk away before you shoot him. This is the "stand-your-ground" debate, where [the laws in some states] say, "No, it's his fault, and if he's threatening you, you don't have to retreat." Other states say, "No, let's not have the confrontation." (This rule about retreating does not apply to the cops.)
The US Supreme Court, in the landmark Garner case [in 1985], said police officers can't use deadly force in making arrests unless the person they're arresting has committed a felony and there's some danger that if they're not arrested they will [seriously] hurt somebody. Before then, if you ran from police, the police could shoot you.
When a suspect is shot during an encounter, a lot of times the cop says something like, "I saw him reaching into his pocket, and I thought he had a gun and I fired." Then it turns out that it wasn't a gun. How do courts handle those situations?
The way the law deals with this is, it goes back and tries to figure out what the circumstances were at the time and whether [the officer's] judgement was a reasonable one or not. Is it the kind of mistake that a reasonable person in your position could have made? Or is it the kind of situation where it would have been obvious to the reasonable person that something wasn't a threat?
Consider the cases where somebody has made a mistake and they honestly believe that their life was immediately threatened and they're wrong and their judgement wasn't completely reasonable. Those cases the jurisdictions are split on. Some jurisdictions have the all-or-nothing rule, where if you didn't make a reasonable mistake, you get no defense at all, it's handled as if you shot someone just to shoot someone. Even if you're acting in complete honesty and good faith, if your mistake is unreasonable, you get treated as a murderer.
The Model Penal Code, which is the basis for the codification of most of the criminal laws in the United States, says, "Well, no, the person who makes an honest but unreasonable mistake is not as blameworthy as a murderer who goes out and intentionally shoots somebody." Under the Model Penal Code rule, if you make a reckless mistake that a reasonable person would have not made, you're not liable for murder, but you are liable for manslaughter.
Why do you think prosecutors so rarely charge cops in cases where they've killed someone?
That depends on the case and the prosecutor—there could be all kind of motivations. On one hand, most jurors probably are aware that police officers are out there in sometimes dangerous circumstances and have some sort of empathy for their situation. However, it's probably true that over the past [few] years, the average person's assessment of whether cops make mistakes because they're doing the best they can or because they're just not acting carefully enough may well have shifted. It may depend on the race or politics of the person you're talking to.
There are cases where a prosecutor knows that he's not going to get a conviction, but there is this public demand that the case be publicly investigated and examined and reported, so it needs to at least go to trial. And if you actually look at the end results, when you get down to it, there are very few cases that actually get convictions. There are very few cases where, with complete hindsight, [a court decides], "Oh, no, that was a bad cop doing bad things."
How helpful are videos in building cases against cops for police shootings?
I think it would be a mistake to think the video would tell you everything you need to know. If the cop was wrong, there's a lot more that goes into that judgement than what you can see on the video. What is the neighborhood like, what is the experience that those cops have had in the last six months on the street? And there's also the issue of what the video is and is not capturing. It won't show, for instance, the fact that this guy just robbed a convenience store four blocks away and pistol-whipped the manager.
I think the videos are good to have. But it would be ridiculous to think they give us all the answers. It's hard to really piece together what the full situation was so we can make a good reliable judgement about whether the cop's mistake is a reasonable one or not.
'On Thursday, Davis was found not guilty on all charges aside from unlawful possession of a gun'.
Anyone sitting through this trial and engaged in defense from start understands why a jury found DAVIS not guilty of robbery or any of the other charges-----this case went from being about a robbery----to simply being police claiming DAVIS had a gun pointed at him inside the garage. Never at any point did city police department, checks and balances agencies ask----WHAT THE HECK CAUSED 40 BULLETS TO FLY?
Justice advocates like our group were not focused on that victim of robbery in this case----the case was EXCESSIVE USE OF FORCE with DAVIS having several guns shot wounds from 40 bullets bouncing off garage walls hitting everywhere. Never was the fact two civilians owning/working inside what is an auto mechanic garage were not cleared from that building before shots were fired----
This is why individual cases like this attain an international media coverage----it is sensational that a police department first has police trained to operate in this fashion and second there is NEVER ANY DISCIPLINE when these individual cases of obvious failure are made public. SHOOT FIRST ASK NO QUESTIONS says global hedge fund IVY LEAGUE Johns Hopkins and global Wall Street Baltimore Development who create these policing partnerships with BLACKWATER and install EXCESSIVE FORCE POLICIES as a NORM.
Now, this jury left the issue of possession of gun on the table because police said there was a gun. DAVIS and his defense attorneys made clear---DAVIS was never near that refrigerator police said gun and wallet was placed. DAVIS was found by ambulance attendants face down in center back of garage just where DAVIS testified he crouched upon entering. People shot multiple times in head and body do not shift around ---they drop where they are. So, DAVIS is proven to be center back by testimony of ambulance attendants on scene---MORE EYEWITNESS TESTIMONY supporting the DEFENDANT.
It was the fact that this case went international----that it was so egregious in how officers fired---that it became critical DAVIS had that gun. This is why people following this case left both trials having MORE DOUBT OF POLICE STANDING OVER THIS GUN than feeling DAVIS had that gun. Now the issue becomes the prints and DNA on the gun.
Baltimore Tried And Failed To Convict A Man Who Was Shot In The Face By Cops
Carimah Townes Feb 25, 2016, 10:21 pm
Keith Davis Jr. has had a bullet lodged in his neck since last June, when Baltimore police fired at him inside a garage. After surviving another shot to the face, he was brought to the local jail and eventually charged with first and second degree assault, attempted armed robbery, and at least 13 other offenses. He sat there for eight months awaiting trial for crimes he swears he didn’t commit, the pain in his neck going untreated all the while.
On Thursday, Davis was found not guilty on all charges aside from unlawful possession of a gun.
Ever since the night of the shooting, officers claimed Davis was involved in an armed robbery attempt during which he threatened them with a firearm. But leading up to the trial, their accounts of what happened varied and police tried to withhold evidence from the defense.
In January, when Davis was still waiting for the trial to begin, his girlfriend, Kelly Holsey, described to ThinkProgress the tragic toll the case was taking on him.
“He knows he hasn’t done anything wrong,” she said, weeping and barely able to talk. Davis was still in pain from the gunshots and the jail wasn’t doing anything to help him. He’d spent time in solitary confinement for an offense that prison guards said he didn’t commit. Holsey also said she miscarried on the day of his indictment — a loss that made the case that much harder to cope with. “He’s trying to get through this and it’s hard.”
Police officers and the prosecutor on the case said Davis tried to rob an unlicensed cab driver at gunpoint. According to their account, he jumped out and ran from police, who happened to be in the vicinity because of a car crash. When Davis was cornered in a garage, he allegedly pointed his gun at the officers who’d chased him. That’s when four officers opened fire.
A fingerprint expert for the state later testified that Davis’ prints were on the gun recovered from the scene.
But Davis adamantly denied he was in the cab, and says he was one of many people who ran away from the cops at the scene. He also says he was holding a cellphone and wasn’t in possession of the gun police reportedly saw. Just before he was shot, he called Holsey to tell her the cops were after him.
His story was backed by the cab driver. During a pre-trial line-up, driver Charles Holden chose another man. The police statement he gave described someone with braids, which Davis doesn’t have, and different facial hair. And when he was called to the witness stand by Ringgold-Kirksey on Monday, Holden doubled down, saying “that don’t look like him.”
Two other witnesses in the garage were unable to ID the man police were chasing. One said she saw a square black gun, but also testified that she was drunk when the incident occurred. She also said investigators fed her answers. Holden noted that the gun he saw in the cab was silver.
Holsey and Davis’ lawyer, Latoya Francis-Williams, accused the state of foul play leading up to the trial.
During the pretrial motion hearings, police tried to withhold key evidence, including witness statements. State Attorney Marilyn Mosby’s office declined charges against the four shooting officers in November without asking for their accounts of what happened.
When the officers were eventually asked for statements in January, months after they were cleared, their stories differed. Some recalled the sounds of gunfire but didn’t actually see him shooting. Some said the only gunfire they heard came from their colleagues. Two officers said that a gun was on top of a refrigerator when they got to the garage.
During the actual trial, officers gave inconsistent claims about who actually had eyes on Davis at the time.
On Thursday, a 12-person jury concluded Davis was guilty only of unlawful possession of a firearm, which carries a five-year mandatory minimum. His lawyers plan to appeal that decision.
According to Holsey, the case is proof that there are two very different sides to Mosby: The side the world saw when she announced charges against six officers for Freddie Gray’s death, and the side that criminalized Davis instead of seeking justice for him.
“She’s the very one who stood in front of all these cameras and said ‘I’m all for justice and I’m all for fairness.’ Come to find out it’s absolutely the opposite,” she said. “She’s not for justice. She’s not for fairness.” When she publicly filed charges against the six officers, according to Holsey, the action was “just a ploy to pad her husband’s political career and aspirations of being mayor. It is extremely frustrating.”
So, now simply possessing that hand gun became the crime for which police chased and fired into garage ---make no mistake---no one takes any of these actions lightly----DAVIS should not have run---DAVIS should not have had that gun in possession IF HE DID---
It is the policy of creating crime to justify police excessive force that is growing----and it is becoming more broad in how police must justify excessive force and citizens guilty of relatively minor infractions are being drawn into serious charges.
'But, evidently, even the clearly contradictory accounts from officers and witnesses could not dispel the fingerprints that said to the jury that Davis had been in possession of the gun at some time. Because he had previously been convicted of a felony, Davis was not allowed to possess a weapon'.
Here now is the problem with the gun found on garage refrigerator. The taxi driver described the gun as very shiny and big. The gun was pointed close range at him ---he should remember what it looked like. SILVER-COLORED GUN.
We all saw that gun at trial-----it was dark-lead colored---no shiny metallic chrome on barrel of gun.
Police testified all the firing into the garage focused on refrigerator because that was where DAVIS was hiding AND it was the top of refrigerator DAVIS was to have left gun. If one were to follow the 40 bullet trajectories supposedly all aimed at the refrigerator where DAVIS was hiding ---you could not account for holes in garage walls. Defense lawyer contended refrigerator was hit by bullets bouncing off walls.
'44 Shots Fired
On the day Davis was shot, an unlicensed cab driver named Charles Holden nearly slammed his car into a group of police officers who were responding to an accident. A man in the passenger seat leaped out and ran off, as Holden frantically told officers the man had pulled a silver-colored gun and tried to rob him'.
THIS IS WHY BULLET, DNA AND FINGERPRINT ANALYSIS BECAME IMPORTANT AND IT IS WHY WE IDENTIFY THE QUALITY OF FORENSIC EQUIPMENT AS A JUSTICE PROBLEM.
This case was so much about giving Baltimore Police Officers a reason for discharging their weapons ---no matter 40 bullets---no matter civilians inside garage---they needed to have a reason and DAVIS had to have that gun. Make no mistake-----the STATE prosecutor created doubt on this gun issue----but the process was SO TAINTED with bias towards police as to CREATE REASONABLE DOUBT.
A Year After Cops Fired 44 Rounds at Keith Davis, His Case Still Raises Questions About Justice in Baltimore
June 9 2016, 10:44 a.m.
One year ago this week, Keith Davis Jr. almost became another rallying cry against police brutality when four Baltimore police officers chased him into a garage and fired off 44 rounds at him, striking him three times, including in the face. Had he died, Davis would have become the first person killed by Baltimore police since Freddie Gray, who died in April 2015 of a severed spine after officers loaded him handcuffed, shackled and unrestrained into a police van.
Instead, Davis survived, a bullet still visibly lodged in his neck serving as a reminder of how narrowly. Davis’ shooting didn’t spark the massive protests that Gray’s death ignited, but his story illustrates what might have happened to Gray had he survived. “He is the second part of Freddie Gray,” Davis’s fiancée, Kelly Holsey, told The Intercept. “Freddie Gray passed away. Had he lived, he would have been arrested, had charges thrown on him, would have had to fight the court system, would have had to fight the State’s Attorney’s Office. And that’s what Keith is going through now.”
Between 2006 and Gray’s death in 2015, 67 people were killed in encounters with Baltimore police, according to the Baltimore Sun. Only two of the police officers involved in those killings were charged with a crime. Following Gray’s death, the Department of Justice opened an investigation into the Baltimore Police Department, focusing on its use of force, including deadly force, and its pattern of discriminatory policing. The police commissioner was fired, the city’s officials engaged in a public exercise of soul searching, and police reform became the talk of the town.
In May 2015, standing on the steps of Baltimore’s War Memorial as protests raged in the streets, the city’s state’s attorney, Marilyn Mosby, charged six police officers with Gray’s death. “I have heard your calls for ‘no justice, no peace,’” she said from the podium, addressing Baltimore’s youth, but also, it seemed, the nationwide movement for police accountability that had been rocking the country over the previous year. Months earlier, as she was sworn in as the youngest prosecutor of a major U.S. city, Mosby had spoken of the “diminishing trust” between the city’s citizens and law enforcement. “The time to repair that trust, to come together … is now,” she said.
Today, more than a year since Gray’s death, Davis’ story is sobering evidence of the failure to repair that trust.
Unlike Gray, Davis survived his encounter with officers, but the handling of his case raises serious questions about the credibility of police and prosecutors. Many in Baltimore wonder if the public’s confidence in the city’s law enforcement institutions is beyond repair. “The mistrust is something we have to deal with on a daily basis,” Todd Oppenheim, a Baltimore public defender who has been critical of the city’s justice system, told The Intercept. Prosecutors chasing convictions at all costs, often with weak cases, have only contributed to the animosity against the city’s justice apparatus, he said, and the greater scrutiny Gray’s death supposedly brought to officer-involved cases in Baltimore has made little difference.
44 Shots Fired
On the day Davis was shot, an unlicensed cab driver named Charles Holden nearly slammed his car into a group of police officers who were responding to an accident. A man in the passenger seat leaped out and ran off, as Holden frantically told officers the man had pulled a silver-colored gun and tried to rob him.
What happened next varies wildly depending on whom you ask. Police claim that Davis was the man who fled the car. Davis says he just happened to be at that street intersection and they went after the wrong guy. Police chased him into a dimly lit garage, where they say they told him to drop his gun. Davis claims police just started shooting at him. In the garage, police later found a gun — green and multicolor, not silver — sitting on top of a refrigerator behind which Davis had taken cover. Davis, who called his fiancée as the officers started chasing him, said he was just holding a phone.
“Baby I’ma die,” Holsey remembered him saying — and then, to the officers, “Why y’all tryin’ to kill me?”
Keith Davis Jr. in the hospital after being shot three times, including in the face, by Baltimore police officers in June 2015.
Photo: Courtesy of Kelly Holsey
Had he died, Davis’s case likely would have been quickly closed as another justified police shooting. There might have been a few rallies in his name, maybe a hashtag on social media. Instead, Davis was charged with 16 criminal counts, including attempted robbery, assault, gun possession, and discharge of a firearm. He always maintained he was innocent and refused to take plea deals that were offered to him.
Then things got murkier.
The discharge of a firearm charge was dropped. Upon investigation, it turned out the gun had been unloaded at the time of the incident and that all shots had been fired by police. In December, months after the shooting and weeks before trial, prosecutors tacked on a new charge: firearm possession with a felony conviction. Because of his prior criminal history, Davis was not permitted to own a gun or be in close proximity to one. After a trial riddled with inconsistent and contradictory testimony, a jury acquitted Davis of all charges except the one that had been added last minute: Somewhat incongruously, Davis was acquitted of carrying or wearing a gun, but convicted of possessing a gun as a prohibited person, and sentenced to the required five-year minimum.
But Davis’s ordeal was not over. Days after his trial ended — in a conviction for him, but also a rejection of the prosecution’s broader case — he was charged with first-degree murder, because the gun found on the scene had been linked to a homicide that had occurred earlier that day.
Davis is appealing the first conviction and preparing to fight the murder charge — that trial is scheduled to start July 27, his 25th birthday. He and his supporters, who held a rally Tuesday on the anniversary of his shooting, have maintained from day one that the charges brought against him were an attempt to cover up a wrongful police shooting.
“What actually happened is they went after the wrong guy. And they are not willing to admit it,” Holsey told me in April, standing outside Baltimore’s jail. “They are coming at him with everything they have because they have made a mistake, and instead of apologizing, they just continue to systematically ruin his life.”
“He still believes he didn’t do anything, and the evidence will show it,” she added, as her children and a small group of supporters climbed walls, banged on drums, and wrote “Free Keith Davis Jr.” in spray paint over a giant banner. “I’m a nervous wreck because I understand that they will do anything, lying, conniving, being deceitful.”
Across the street, two rows down from the top of the building, Davis started banging on the windows in response to their drums, soon joined by other inmates.
We will finish discussion on this DAVIS trial tomorrow moving next week to PUBLIC POLICY ON ROBOTICS----we posted that video of CITIZEN SOPHIA-----she is the prototype of what will be replacing that global 2% and our dastardly 5% to the 1% ROBBER BARON POLS AND PLAYERS as they are thrown under the bus.
'A week after his court case, the BPD announced that they had connected the gun found in the garage to a murder that had happened in the Park Heights neighborhood five hours before Davis was shot. A young man named Kevin Jones was shot 11 times in the parking lot of the Pimlico Race Course, where he worked as a security guard, in the early hours of the morning on June 7th. Keith Davis Jr. was charged with first and second degree murder, and use of a firearm to commit a violent crime or felony'.
So, now a gun found in that garage on top of a refrigerator which DAVIS denies was his ----having DNA/print evidence tying him to that gun all of a sudden becomes tied to a gruesome murder -----now the victim has become a security guard murdered the early morning of that taxi robbery.
Below we get words from DAVIS family side of events---below we see a reasonable why DAVIS was running and why he may have been afraid when the object of the running became himself.
'This is when he heard someone shout, “Gun!”'
Keith Davis Jr.: "Survivor" of Baltimore Police Shooting Faces Third Trial
An interview with wife and advocate Kelly Davis.What were you doing the morning of June 7th, 2015?
Keith Davis Jr. was walking to work, he maintains in court. After spending the night at a friend’s house, he walked the route to his family’s business, stopping briefly at a corner store to buy a pack of cigarettes.
This is when he heard someone shout, “Gun!”
Everyone by the corner store fled, and Davis ran across the street into an open garage to take cover. Police officers chased after him to the garage, and shot 44 bullets at him, hitting him three times. All this happened while he was on the phone with the woman who would become his wife: Kelly.
Keith Davis Jr. was shot in the face, arm, and back. He was sent to the hospital, where his family was initially denied the ability to see him, and then sent to jail in the middle of the night. He was charged on 15 different accounts, including robbing a hack driver.
The police report that a hack driver in the Park Heights neighborhood was being robbed, and motioned for them to approach. When the driver lowered his window to speak to the officers, the alleged armed robber hopped out of the passenger side of the car and began running, ensuing a chase. The officers maintain that Davis was this robber, despite the fact that the suspect was described as sporting braids. Davis had a shaved head.
In 2016 Davis was acquitted of 14 out of 15 charges, including robbing the hack driver. The driver himself testified, expressing that he did not believe Davis was the man who attempted to rob him. The only charge Davis was convicted of was Illegal Possession of a Firearm. On top of a refrigerator in the garage where Davis took shelter, a handgun was found. Davis is still considered a felon from a low level drug charge six years previous to the incident, and so is not allowed to be within a certain proximity to firearms, regardless of whom they are registered under. Davis was convicted for being near this weapon. The minimum mandatory sentencing for this conviction is five years in prison, which he is serving now.
A week after his court case, the BPD announced that they had connected the gun found in the garage to a murder that had happened in the Park Heights neighborhood five hours before Davis was shot. A young man named Kevin Jones was shot 11 times in the parking lot of the Pimlico Race Course, where he worked as a security guard, in the early hours of the morning on June 7th. Keith Davis Jr. was charged with first and second degree murder, and use of a firearm to commit a violent crime or felony.
The trial for these murder charges happened last month, and resulted in a hung jury. The state prosecutor tried to link the gun in question to the murder of Kevin Jones, pointing out that Keith Davis Jr.’s fingerprints were found on the gun. Keith Davis Jr. testified that he believes police officers planted the gun on him once they realized they had shot an innocent man. The state prosecutor also brought in a BPD weapons expert, who said that the gun found in the garage was the same used in the killing of Kevin Jones. However, in cross examination, this witness revealed that he had not followed protocol when analyzing this particular gun, and had merely “eyeballed” it. The only eyewitness to Jones’s killing, since deceased, had also described the suspect as being in his late 30s or early 40s, while Keith Davis Jr. was only 23 at the time. The state prosecutor said that this witness was simply “mistaken.” The state prosecutor’s entire argument was contingent upon Keith Davis Jr. having robbed the hack driver that morning, despite the fact that he had already been acquitted of said crime. The jury was not informed of any of his previous charges, trials, or acquittals. After over two days of deliberation, the jury expressed that they had irreconcilable disagreements. Jury members later told spectators that 11 jurors believed he was innocent, and one juror was convinced that he was guilty.
I had the opportunity to sit down with Keith Davis Jr.’s wife, Kelly Davis, and learn more about her perspective.
Despite the personal pain the murder charges have brought her and her husband, Mrs. Davis expressed sympathy for the family of Kevin Jones, as she believes that the murder of their loved one is being used to cover up an incident of police brutality. “[Jones’s family is] dealing with their grieving process, and now they have to go through it over and over again, thrown into another trial,” she said. “No one is looking for the person who did this to them. In fact, they are misrepresenting facts to this person’s family.”
The Office of the State’s Attorney has already scheduled a retrial for October. Mrs. Davis points out that, after an 11-1 mistrial in the case of Officer William Porter, who was charged with killing Freddie Gray, all charges were dropped. She believes that there is a double standard for how police officers and everyday citizens are treated in the justice system, especially those who could put the police department’s reputation on the line.
Mrs. Davis believes that, while the Baltimore Police Department is a rightful target of criticism, the Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby should receive the same amount of scrutiny, as she is the city’s top prosecutor. “The State’s Attorney’s Office is up for re-election next year -- November 2018, the primaries are June 2018. Keep that in mind,” she said. “For so long people have been in support of this State’s Attorney’s administration based on a sound bite here, or a media interview there…Go beyond the surface and…pay attention as to what’s really going on.”
While Kelly Davis is adamant in her fight against Mosby’s reelection, she insists that she means no harm personally. “If at any moment [Mosby] thought that I disrespected her or I set out to harm her in any way, I apologize. That was never my intention to embarrass her or be rude. My intention was to get answers,” she said. “[Mosby] is a spouse, I’m a spouse. Her family’s important to her, and my family is important to me. And the facts from the police and the facts from her office…they were not adding up.”
She says of Mosby: “I don’t dislike you, because I don’t know you. I only know you in your professional capacity, and in my opinion this is not what you should be doing as the Baltimore City State’s Attorney.”
Kelly Davis is a mother of four children, is a human resources administrator, owns her own cupcake business, is a full-time student, and spends her free time advocating on behalf of her husband and other victims of police brutality. She often attends West Wednesdays, which Tawanda Jones leads to demand justice for her brother, Tyrone West, who was killed by Baltimore police officers in 2013. Mrs. Davis also attended a demonstration last Saturday morning to support the family members of Dante Smith, who are experiencing something very similar to what she has gone through. Smith was shot by ATF officers just a few weeks ago, and then was immediately charged with nearly two dozen crimes, while the family has been told multiple contradictory versions of what happened. Dante Smith’s wife, who is due to give birth to their third child any day, had been denied the ability to visit her husband in the hospital until Mrs. Davis arrived at the University of Maryland Medical Center and advocated on her behalf. Mrs. Davis spoke to the family at the demonstration, saying: “I am sorry to welcome you to a club that shouldn’t have this many members.”