July 31, 2013

Charles Oliver: List of gun victims was criminal

Charles Oliver

— • Mayors Against Illegal Guns, an anti-gun group headed by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, has apologized for including the names of criminals in a list of victims of gun violence. Problems with the list first surfaced during a gun control rally in New Hampshire, where activists read the names of those killed with guns since the mass killings at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Many people in the audience began to boo when the name of Tamerlan Tsarnaez, one of the men accused in the Boston marathon bombing, was read. Critics later went through the list and found it was full of criminals, including people guilty of multiple homicides and of killing police officers.

• Mecklenburg County, N.C., commissioner Kim Ratliff said she does not want commissioners there to choose a white male to be the next county manager. Ratliff, a Democrat, says the county needs a “nonwhite male who can have good working relations with all people.” Ratliff later said that all she meant is that she wants “all types of people to apply” for the job.

• The U.S. Department of Justice has released a “roll call” of federal marshals killed and posse members killed in the line of duty. At least two of those individuals, in fact the second and third names on the list, are men killed by free blacks and abolitionist whites while trying to capture escaped slaves.

• Milwaukee police officer Carl V. Howell has been sentenced to one year probation and fired from the department after pleading guilty to taking money from a convenience store. Howell took about $200 from a drawer filled with cash after responding to a report of a burglary at the store. He said he did it because he was behind on his rent.

• A federal judge has ruled that Cape Girardeau police officer Matthew Peters violated the constitutional rights of Frank L. Snider III when he arrested Snider for flag desecration. The judge awarded Snider $7,000, declared Missouri’s flag desecration law unconstitutional and ordered that it not be enforced, and ordered Peters and the state to pay Snider $62,000 in attorneys fees and other costs.

• The mayor of Ecorse, Mich., has had the central air conditioning unit stolen from his house twice in the last seven months. Police recovered the unit after the latest theft but are holding it as evidence.

• The Texas Department of Public Safety has fired state trooper Jennie Bui for performing roadside body cavity searches on two women. Another state trooper had stopped the women, who were returning from the beach and dressed in swimsuits, for speeding and claimed to have smelled marijuana smoke. A search of their car allegedly turned up a small amount of marijuana, so the trooper called in Bui for a cavity search. The incident took place just a week after the state paid $185,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by two other women who were subjected to roadside body cavity searches by state troopers. In both cases, the women say the troopers did not change gloves between searches.

Charles Oliver is a staff writer for The Daily Citizen.