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Newslinks for 4/25/2011

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NY: Even DWI tix fixed
Submitted by: Anonymous

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It's not just tickets for double-parking and expired meters that cops have been fixing for connected motorists, Mayor Bloomberg said yesterday.
Addressing the widening NYPD ticket-fixing scandal, Bloomberg raised the possibility that speed demons and boozed-up drivers may have also been able to pull strings to make their summonses and violations disappear.
"These are all not parking tickets," the mayor said on his weekly WOR radio show. "These are moving-violation tickets that we're talking about, which you could argue [are] a lot more serious; maybe you were drunk-driving, or maybe you were speeding."


 

AK: Anchorage officer charged with passport fraud
Submitted by: Anonymous

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An Anchorage police officer who took on a false identity that masked his Mexican citizenship has been arrested and charged with passport fraud, federal officials said Friday.
At a news conference Friday, U.S. Attorney Karen Loeffler said that patrolman Rafael Espinoza, on the Anchorage police force for about six years, was really Rafael Mora-Lopez, a Mexican national working in the United States illegally.
The man known as Officer Espinoza -- Mora-Lopez, in reality -- was an excellent employee, Police Chief Mark Mew said. The investigation has so far not turned up any information that Mora-Lopez was involved in any other criminal activity outside the case announced Friday, Mew said.
 

DC: Charlie Sheen's High-Speed Police Escort Under Investigation
Submitted by: Anonymous

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D.C. police are investigating why actor Charlie Sheen received a police escort from an area airport to his show in downtown Washington this week.
Police spokeswoman Gwendolyn Crump said late Thursday that the police department's internal affairs unit is investigating the incident.
On Tuesday, D.C. police used lights and sirens as they escorted the former "Two and a Half Men" star from Dulles International Airport to his stage show, "Violent Torpedo of Truth: Defeat Is Not an Option." At the time, Sheen was running nearly an hour late for the show.
Sheen tweeted about the ride and included a picture of a speedometer reaching about 80 mph.

 

Past statements and actions show Donald Trump wrong choice for gun owners
Submitted by: David Codrea
Website: http://www.davidcodrea.com

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"[W]ithout a major (and most importantly, credible) turnaround, there are only two words gun owners can presently say to this aspiring political apprentice:

“'You’re fired.'”

Submitter's Note: Please make sure politically-involved gun owners are aware of this documentation of Donald Trump's 2A history by sharing the link.
 

NY: Arrested Seaford Gun Store Owner Fundraising for Legal Defense
Submitted by: New York State Rifle & Pistol Association
Website: http://www.nysrpa.org

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The Tretola family of Bellmore held a fundraiser on Thursday evening to raise money for the defense of Martin Tretola and his son Thomas Tretola, who were arrested in February during an undercover investigation for allegedly illegally selling assault weapons to District Attorney investigators and members of the New York State police. Tretola, 55, owner of T&T Gunnery in Seaford and T&T Tactical in New Hyde Park and his son, Thomas, 24, one of his father's employees, were among nine people arrested in February during the undercover investigation.
 

NY: 'Evidence' in Ticket Fixing
Submitted by: Anonymous

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Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Friday said investigators have uncovered "a lot of evidence" in a burgeoning probe that members of the New York Police Department helped friends and family get tickets dismissed.
"There seems to be a lot of evidence that there was a practice that should not have taken place," Mr. Bloomberg said on his weekly radio show. ...
The Bronx District Attorney is investigating accusations of widespread ticket fixing, and the NYPD is moving forward with an internal probe. Hundreds of officers are believed to be under investigation. Mr. Bloomberg said the allegations involve tickets for moving violations, which he said is "a lot more serious."
Calls to police unions for comment weren't returned.
 

NY: With Computerized System, Preventing the Police From Fixing Traffic Tickets
Submitted by: Anonymous

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To prevent police officers from fixing traffic tickets, the Police Department has come up with a system that would be familiar to any grocery store checkout clerk doing inventory.
New tickets are electronically scanned at each stage of their journey -- once, twice, three times, and then once more.
The system has been in place since last summer, but was not publicized until a far-ranging investigation of ticket-fixing emerged in the Bronx. The system involves a new summons form complete with electronic bar codes intended to detect diversions.
 

AK: Five women file lawsuits against former officer, city
Submitted by: Anonymous

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Two months after a jury convicted former Anchorage police officer Anthony Rollins on multiple counts of sexual assault, Rollins and his city employers now face five separate lawsuits seeking a total of more than $2.5 million, according to documents filed in court.
Earlier court filings indicate Rollins, 43, is broke. But deeper pockets could be ordered to pay up: Four of the lawsuits name the Anchorage Police Department and the Municipality of Anchorage as defendants.
The allegations laid out in civil court papers by four of the alleged victims follow a familiar pattern that emerged in Rollins' criminal trial -- that he sexually assaulted or had inappropriate contact with them during drunken driving arrests.
 

PA: TSA agent charged in distributing child pornography
Submitted by: none

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A passenger screener at Philadelphia International Airport is facing charges that he distributed more than 100 images of child pornography via Facebook, records show.

Federal agents also allege that Transportation Safety Administration Officer Thomas Gordon Jr. of Philadelphia, who routinely searched airline passengers, uploaded explicit pictures of young girls to an Internet site on which he also posted a photograph of himself in his TSA uniform.

Homeland Security agents arrested the TSA officer March 24, and he is being held without bail.

Although the case was unsealed Thursday, neither the indictment nor the news release mentioned Gordon's job searching airline passengers for TSA.
 

MI: Koran-burning pastor jailed in Dearborn
Submitted by: none

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A constitutional law professor says a trial and the brief jailing of two FL pastors who wanted to demonstrate outside a MI mosque is "bizarre."

Terry Jones and Wayne Sapp were briefly jailed Friday in Dearborn after refusing to pay a $1 peace bond following a trial that found they would breach the peace if allowed to hold a rally outside the Islamic Center of America

"The judge should have thrown out the case,"

Sedler said the entire process was "bizarre" and that "the whole thing is unconstitutional." He cited SCOTUS cases backing up Jones' right to protest. The MI ACLU also criticized the case.
 

Canada: Canadian Comic Fined for Standing Up to Obnoxious Lesbian
Submitted by: none

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Pardy was heckling Earle and threw a drink at him, but that hardly excuses his politically incorrect crime against her, which consists of attacking her “identity and dignity as a woman and a lesbian.” Consequently he will be compelled to compensate her for “lost wages and for injury to dignity, feelings and self respect.”

She received this generous verdict by dragging Earle before an Orwellian “human rights commission.” These outfits have been set up in Canada for the express purpose of denying the human right of free speech that is not to the liking of privileged groups held as sacred by the liberal ruling class.
 

AK: Alaska cop found to be illegal immigrant: prosecutors
Submitted by: none

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An Anchorage police officer accused of being an illegal immigrant using a fake identity has been arrested and charged with passport fraud, federal prosecutors said on Friday.

The Anchorage Police Department patrolman known as Rafael Espinoza is in truth a Mexican citizen named Rafael Mora-Lopez, said Karen Loeffler, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Alaska.

The false identity was discovered after Mora-Lopez, 47, sought renewal of his passport, Loeffler said, and used suspicious information that triggered an investigation by the State Department and other federal agencies.

"We discovered that there were two people using all of the same identifiers," she said.
 

WA: Fired Puyallup cop wants his job back
Submitted by: none

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A Puyallup police officer fired after an off-duty road-rage incident last year wants his job back and is appealing his termination for a second time.

Puyallup Police Chief Jim Collyer fired officer Mark Delight in December after an internal investigation into the May 31 road-rage incident.

Delight, 30, appealed the decision to the city’s Civil Service Commission, which upheld the termination in a ruling issued last month.

Now, Delight wants a King County Superior Court judge to review his termination. He filed a notice of appeal in King County earlier this month, arguing that his firing was “not made in good faith for just cause,” according to court documents.

"He's not seeking damages, just reinstatement to his pos
 

Restricting firearms makes us less safe
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Several states are passing Stand Your Ground laws and loosening their concealed carry laws, making it easier for people to defend themselves … and that’s a good thing.

Consider what happens when decent people can’t protect themselves.

Amanda Collins was a student at University of Nevada’s Reno campus in 2007. Even though she had a concealed carry permit, she was unarmed the night she was brutally raped by James Biela. She had left her gun at home because she was scared of what could happen to her if she was caught disobeying the laws prohibiting firearms on campus.

Amanda feels certain she could have used her gun successfully that night. “I would have at some point during my rape been able to stop James Biela,” she said.
 

PA: Pink pistols, fitted gear: NRA event will court women
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Dyanna Auston is the kind of woman the National Rifle Association looks for.

The single mom browsed Anthony Arms & Accessories in West Mifflin last week and bought a .38-caliber, pink-gripped Taurus pistol for personal protection. It's the first gun for Auston of Duquesne, and though she's not a member of the NRA, she said she'd consider joining and checking out this weekend's 2011 Annual Meetings & Exhibits in the David L. Lawrence Convention Center for gun accessories geared toward women.

"I wanted a gun, and I wanted it to be girlie, so I went straight for the pink one," Auston, 21, said as she shopped with her sister Dawntaya Auston, 27, who owns a black 9 mm pistol. "I want to be able to protect myself."
 

MI: Judge rules against stun gun law
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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In an opinion Thursday, Bay County Circuit Judge Joseph K. Sheeran dismissed weapons charges against a 41-year-old Bay City man arrested for carrying a stun gun. Sheeran said the ban violates the Second Amendment, which guarantees the right to keep and bear arms.

"Because the court finds that a stun gun is an arm under the Second Amendment, it likewise follows that states may regulate the ownership and possession in the same manner as any other arm," the judge wrote. "However, this court holds that a total ban of stun guns ... is unconstitutional."
 

MO: Nixa shooting case tests Castle Doctrine
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The incident report stated that when authorities arrived, the neighbor came outside and "made a spontaneous statement that he had 'shot him' and he had to 'protect his family.'"

That statement could be a reason why he's not been charged.

The Castle Doctrine, signed into Missouri law in 2007, allows people to use force to protect themselves while in their home, vehicle and --since a change to the law last year --on their property.
 

On This Easter, Guns Don't Belong in Church
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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During these holiest of days for Christians and Jews, several church members at Immanuel Bible Church in Springfield, Va., attended services not only with bibles in hand, but also with guns in tow.

They told The Washington Post reporter guns make it safer to worship. A much-criticized opinion issued recently by Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli says its OK to bring guns to church for self defense. But studies consistently show that more guns lead to accidental shootings and turn disagreements into deadly confrontations. A gun is not a peacemaker. But peaceful is what places of worship ought to be. We applaud congregational members and editorial writers who are trying to keep guns out of sanctuaries.
 

Operation Fast and Furious Threatens Scandal
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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A secret operation to run guns across the border to Mexican drug cartels—overseen by U.S. government agents—threatens to become a major scandal for the Obama administration.

The operation, called Fast and Furious, was run out of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) office in Phoenix, Ariz. ATF sanctioned the purchase of weapons in U.S. gun shops and tracked the smuggling route to the Mexican border. Reportedly, more than 2,500 firearms were sold to straw buyers who then handed off the weapons to gunrunners under the nose of ATF.
 

ME: Gun bills among the most bizarre submitted
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Just when I thought things couldn't get anymore bizarre in Augusta, two Republicans introduced gun bills, supported by the National Rifle Association.

The bills would allow a person to carry a concealed weapon without a permit and carry a concealed weapon in the State House and state parks, historic places, premises licensed for consumption of alcohol, and on state property.

These people often quote the Second Amendment, which gives us the right to bear arms. What they do not mention is that when this amendment was approved, people were using muzzle-loaded flintlocks.
 

WI: Wisconsinites denied right to concealed carry
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states, "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a Free State the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." It does not say "only if your weapon is visible" or "only with a permit given from the government."

The Constitution allows you to keep and bear arms for your protection and that right may not be infringed. Right now, the people of Wisconsin are being denied their constitutional rights because it is illegal to carry a concealed firearm.
 

IN: Indiana's legislature acting more like a city council
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Marion Mayor Wayne Seybold, who is president of IACT, cringes when it comes to SB292 sponsored by freshmen Sen. Jim Tomes and Rep. Mike Speedy. It takes away the ability for cities and towns to regulate where individuals may carry and fire a gun.

The bill was amended in the House to allow certain local regulation of gun discharge. However, some are working to reverse the amendment.

...


Tomes, R-Wadesville, authored SB292 to eliminate what he calls a "patchwork of rules across Indiana that can land law-abiding, licensed gun carriers in trouble."
 

NH: Expanded and Expanding Self-Defense Rights in NH
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The law which justifies the use of force to defend yourself or a third person was amended to read as follows:

II-a. A person who responds to a threat which would be considered by a reasonable person as likely to cause serious bodily injury or death to the person or to another by displaying a firearm or other means of self-defense with the intent to warn away the person making the threat shall not have committed a criminal act.

This particular law change took effect five months ago. It is a shame that the legislature had to specifically codify this to make sure another person is not made a criminal for simply trying to protect their safety from what could easily be perceived as an imminent threat.
 

Gun laws are taking a radical turn
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The states, however, are another matter. Gun rights activists have taken their national victories not as a reason to pat themselves on the back, but as reason to push forward with an agenda that ranges from radical to idiotic.

Last month, for instance, Wyoming removed most of the exceptions to its concealed weapons law, allowing people to take guns to sporting events, and into bars, churches, schools and colleges, among other places. Just this month, North Dakota joined more than a dozen other states that have said an employer cannot ban an employee from bringing a weapon to work, so long as it is kept in the worker’s vehicle.
 

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