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This website is maintained by the Law Offices of Dean Malone, P.C., a Dallas, Texas law firm representing people across Texas for dog bite injury cases. We have attempted to provide useful information for those harmed by animal attacks.

Posts Tagged ‘African Americans’

A Judge Hears a Motion in Death of Dennis Grigsby, who was Allegedly Shot by Police in Texarkana, Texas

Friday, August 11th, 2017

Texarkana, Texas, Police (Photo Labeled for Reuse)

On December 15, 2014, 35-year-old Dennis Grigsby Jr., who was an African American with a history of schizophrenia, was allegedly fatally shot by a Texarkana, Texas, police officer as he stood in a neighbor’s garage holding a spoon. On August 9, 2017, in Texarkana, a federal judge heard a motion in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Grigsby’s family. The family alleges that excessive force was used against Grigsby. A grand jury in Bowie County did not indict the police officer who allegedly fired the single shot in the chest, which was a fatal wound. The motion being considered this week was a request for a dismissal of the case. During the hearing, an audio recording from the officer’s body microphone was played

The family is questioning such things as why he did not inform Grigsby that he was a police officer and why he didn’t park his vehicle in a way that he could illuminate the garage with the headlights. In answer, the officer did not take these actions because he was avoiding endangering himself.

The officer also points out that the neighbors who called the police said they heard moans and said someone was tapping on their window. The officer said he felt that it may not be a burglary but a different type of situation

The judge announced that recommendations and a report about this alleged fatal police shooting should be forthcoming within a few weeks.

As with every post on this website, we are only providing information in this post and do not make any allegation or assertion that anyone acted inappropriately or engaged in misconduct.

–Guest Contributor

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Activists Demand an Independent Investigation of a Waco Police Shooting

Friday, August 11th, 2017

Scott & White Hospital Temple, Texas (Photo labeled for reuse)

In Waco, Texas, on August 1, 2017, Waco police officers allegedly shot and killed Kerry Bradley, an African American. Police say 37-year-old Bradley was evading arrest when he used a GMC Denali to run over Officer William Graeber. Other officers opened fire on Bradley, whose vehicle police say still had Graeber pinned underneath. According to Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton, with the Waco Police Department, multiple officers had to work together to lift the vehicle off of Graeber. The injured officer was transported to Baylor Scott & White Hillcrest Medical Center, where he was said to be in critical but stable condition, following surgery. Bradley was transported to the same hospital, where he later died. A Dallas-based group called the Next Generation Action Network claims that they have witnesses and video footage proving that Bradley was first shot, lost control of the vehicle, and then ran over the officer. The Waco Police Department points out that none of this alleged evidence has been provided as yet.

On Thursday, August 10, members of the activist group marched to the Waco Police Department. They demanded the opportunity to talk face-to-face with Police Chief Ryan Holt. Chief Holt said that discussing the case before it has been presented to the District Attorney in McLennan County is premature. He released a statement expressing condolences to the Bradley Family and Graber and his family. He said the department is cooperating with investigations and has a commitment to ensure that Waco is safe for all residents.

The Special Crimes Unit and the Texas Rangers are both investigating the fatal police shooting of Bradley.

As with every post on this website, we are only providing information in this post and do not make any allegation or assertion that anyone acted inappropriately or engaged in misconduct.

–Guest Contributor

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Jury Awards More Than $15 Million to the Family of an Unarmed Man Shot by a SWAT Sniper

Monday, July 17th, 2017

English: Parker Center, the previous headquart...

English: Parker Center, the previous headquarters of the Los Angeles Police Dept. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On Friday, July 14, 2017, a federal court jury handed down a unanimous verdict, awarding more than $15 million to the parents and son of Leonard Thomas. In 2013, Thomas was allegedly killed by a SWAT officer while on his front porch. This award, to be paid by the cities of Lakewood and Fife, Washington, is among the largest police deadly force verdicts in the state’s history. The jury found that the rights of 30-year-old Thomas were violated when a minor domestic dispute ended in his being shot by a sniper in front of his son, who was 4 years old at the time.

The three-week trial ended with deliberations lasting more than three days. The seven-member jury unanimously rejected claims by police that Thomas had been using his son as a human shield or holding him hostage. They also apparently didn’t believe Thomas posed a threat to himself or the police officers.

On every count being considered in the trial, the jury sided with the Thomas family. The considerations they were charged with included the matters of:  excessive force, unreasonable seizure, using explosives to enter the home, deprivation of family relationship, false arrest, unreasonable killing of the family dog, causing severe emotional distress, and negligent investigation.

On the night of Thomas’ death, Thomas and his mother, Annalesa Thomas, had an argument. His mother called the police after going to his home to pick up his son. As she was on a cellphone calling police dispatch, he slapped the phone out of her hand. In response to the call, a SWAT team was called, which showed up at the home with 29 heavily armed officers and two armored assault vehicles. One of the vehicles drove into Thomas’ front yard.

There was a four-hour standoff, during which Thomas would not exit the home. He was verbally abusive and belligerent toward police officers. However, he allegedly threatened no one and was unarmed.

After negotiators talked Thomas into releasing his son to be with the grandmother, Thomas went onto the front porch with the car seat and backpack for the boy. As he did so, officers used an explosive breach of the home at the back door, with an assault team. Startled by the commotion and officers running toward him, Thomas grabbed for his son and was at that moment allegedly shot in the stomach by a sniper. He allegedly bled to death.

Evidence at the trial included the testimony of a 24-year SWAT supervisor from the Los Angeles Police Department, who claims that the child had never been a hostage and there was no reason for Thomas to be shot.

As with every post on this website, we are only providing information in this post and do not make any allegation or assertion that anyone acted inappropriately or engaged in misconduct.

–Guest Contributor

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Arlington, Texas, Officers are Accused of Alleged Official Oppression and More

Friday, July 14th, 2017

Stocksnap

On Thursday, July 13, 2017, an Arlington mother, Latasha Nelson, accused Arlington police officers of promising to drop charges against her sons in exchange for video she shot from her cellphone during a July 3 incident. The mother claims an officer shoved her oldest son to the ground for no apparent reason. The video has been posted online on the Facebook page of a group out of Dallas that rallies against police violence, the Next Generation Action Network.

The Nelson family has expressed their desire for the officer who arrested her sons to be charged with official oppression and to lose his job. Nelson also demands that charges against her sons be dropped.

Nelson’s telephone was allegedly unlawfully seized. Because her information goes to cloud storage, the video was accessible to the group that posted it.

Nelson says that all the stories of young African American men being shot by police without cause happens repeatedly across the country. She claims that she was terrified when police took her sons.

The woman’s 14-year-old son Trayvon was arrested on suspicion of burglary. The mother allegedly began creating a scene, and that’s when her 16-year-old son walked up and was restrained by an officer. He was arrested on charges of interfering with official police duties.

The Arlington Police Department released a statement acknowledging the existence of the video of the boy who was placed under arrest for allegedly burglarizing a motor vehicle. The department said a thorough investigation appears to be called for, and one will be done. The department said they take accusations regarding possible misconduct very seriously and will remain transparent with the community by conducting a thorough review.

Internal affairs is formally investigating the incident. The arresting officer remains on duty.

As with every post on this website, we are only providing information in this post and do not make any allegation or assertion that anyone acted inappropriately or engaged in misconduct.

–Guest Contributor

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City of St. Anthony to Pay Philando Castile’s Mother $3 million Over Fatal Police Shooting

Monday, June 26th, 2017

Back of Washington County Courthouse (Minnesot...

Back of Washington County Courthouse (Minnesota) in Stillwater, Minnesota (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In July 2016, Philando Castile, a 32-year-old African American cafeteria worker, was allegedly shot to death by a police officer in St. Anthony, Minnesota. Castile’s girlfriend started filming on Facebook live just after the alleged shots were fired; the video went viral. There has been tremendous public outcry over the deadly incident, including massive protests and rallies demanding justice for Castile’s death. Several major milestones in the case have occurred this month. On June 16, 2017, the police officer who allegedly shot Castile was acquitted of a charge of second-degree manslaughter and a charge of endangering safety by discharging a firearm. Today, June 26, a settlement between Castile’s mother and the City of St. Anthony has been reached. According to a statement from the city, through an insurance trust, Valerie Castile will receive $2.995 million as a settlement in the alleged police shooting death of her son.

This nearly $3 million settlement must be approved by a state court. News sources say the agreement will avert a federal wrongful death lawsuit.

St. Anthony city officials said the settlement was intentionally reached as quickly as possible, as a way of allowing the Castile family and the community of St. Anthony Village as well as all people throughout the U.S. who have been impacted by Castile’s death to begin the process of healing and moving forward. The city also expressed the hope that trust between the police department and the communities it serves will be improved.

A police cruiser dashcam video was released in June 2017, also, and it shows that there was a rapid escalation of discussion to shots being fired. The police officer who allegedly shot Castile said that Castile refused to comply with his commands. The officer says he believes Castile was reaching for his gun.

Some of the protestors speaking out about Castile’s death say that the protests aren’t about the issue of compliance. Many claim that the law enforcement system consistently fails black people.

–Guest Contributor

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Dallas Lawyer – Texas Senate Passes a Bill Meant to Improve Race Relations with Police

Saturday, April 29th, 2017

English: The Senate Chamber of the Texas Capit...

English: The Senate Chamber of the Texas Capitol Español: Sala de Senadores, Capitolio de Texas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A controversial bill sponsored by Democrat Senator John Whitmire of Houston passed the Senate in late March 2017. It heads to the House, but many don’t agree the proposed legislation is a good idea. The bill seeks to require all ninth-grade students in Texas to take a course on navigating through interactions with law enforcement. Some members of Black Lives Matter have expressed their belief that the bill isn’t a real solution.

Ashton P. Woods, Houston organizer of Black Lives Matter, says, in his opinion, the problem with the bill is that it shifts responsibility off of police officers and other members of law enforcement and onto citizens. Woods suggested that if this bill passes into law, a new class of people is being created that doesn’t question authority and then doesn’t challenge unfair rulings.

Woods further suggests that, instead of actions in the proposed bill, after-school programs be created that would help children understand their rights. Instead of being told to simply consent for search and seizure, record police while interacting with them. Ask questions, such as, “Why am I being detained?” He further said that there are laws which must be followed, even if unfair, but that police officers also have a responsibility to treat people with dignity and humanity.

Whitmire points out that many clergy members and members of law enforcement support his bill. Following the social unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, regarding the police shooting of Michael Brown, Whitmire attended a town hall meeting in which the words of an elder minister made an impact on him. He basically said, in the face of our belief that we as black people are allegedly profiled by police, young people need to be better prepared for police encounters, to avoid a dangerous escalation of circumstances.

Learn more about this story in this continuing series.

–Guest Contributor

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