All 6 Police Officers Indicted by Grand Jury in Death of Freddie Gray

US News • Views: 8,779

Some big news in the police-custody death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore: all six police officers charged in the case have now been indicted by a grand jury.

This is vindication for State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby, who came in for some heavy criticism for deciding to charge the officers.

Amtrak Trainer: Outside Force Likely Cause of Crash - UPDATE: Asst. Conductor: Engineer Said Train Had Been Struck

A possible explanation?
US News • Views: 30,005

The Amtrak conductor who trained the engineer of Amtrak 188 has told the Tampa Bay affiliate of ABC News he thinks it’s likely the derailment was caused by a projectile of some kind striking the engineer’s compartment window. (Video at the link.)

“My take on the whole thing is there must have been impact on the window to get that kind of damage,” Callanan tells ABC Action News in an interview recorded overnight in Tampa. “The whole train, including the engine, has what we call “FRA Type II glazing,” which is essentially bullet-proof glass, throughout the whole train. So it takes a lot of force to even crack the window,” Callanan said. “And when I saw that on the right-hand side of the engine, it looks like it struck something and I don’t think it was the guy hitting his head.”

Callanan says he’s been talking with colleagues along the East Coast, who describe the engineer, who operates the train, as “a very good engineer.”

What’s more, Callanan says he doesn’t think an engineer would speed, let along double the speed limit to above 100 miles per hour, just to make up 10 or 20 minutes.

“It’s not worth it,” says Callanan.

So what happened? Callanan and his colleagues have a theory they don’t think is all that far-fetched.

“We have had our trains stoned before. All kinds of stuff happens on the Northeast corridor. If you name it, I’ve seen it. Baltimore, we’ve had children stoning the train, throwing rocks at the train. That particular area, North Philly, is a bad area,” says Callanan.

Here’s a closeup of the front of the train after the crash, and the window does appear to be damaged right in front of where the engineer sits.

It’s an interesting theory, and in fact, two other trains were indeed hit by projectiles on the same evening, shortly before Amtrak 188 crashed, and conductor Brandon Bostian reportedly suffered a concussion and needed 14 stitches for a head wound.

Please note that I’m not endorsing this theory. It’s probably just coincidence, but the fact that two other trains in the same area were hit and damaged by projectiles on the same night takes it out of “crazy fantasy” territory.

UPDATE at 5/15/15 12:43:10 pm by Charles Johnson

A Reuters report has more details that could support this theory: Burst of Speed Before Amtrak Train Crash at Heart of Investigation.

Charles Culver, a certified conductor and engineer based in Texas who is not connected to the investigation, said the throttle of the locomotive that Bostian was operating has eight settings, with each click forward accelerating the train. The eighth setting is the highest.

Culver, who runs a rail consulting firm, said it does not take much force to move the throttle forward and it was possible the engineer could have fallen and moved the throttle. Passenger trains, unlike freight trains, can increase speed rapidly, he said.

“In order to increase the speed as much as it was increased in this case, you would have had to really, really move the throttle,” Culver said. “Frankly, I am puzzled about the whole thing. It’s not like it was a few miles per hour over the speed limit.”

Culver said it was possible the engineer lost awareness of the train’s location due to some medical condition, such as a stroke.

UPDATE at 5/15/15 3:28:51 pm by Charles Johnson

Latest on Amtrak Crash: Engineer Applied Emergency Brake Seconds Before Derailment

Engineer hit the brake in the last seconds
US News • Views: 22,593


The National Transportation Safety Board’s Robert Sumwalt said today at a press conference that the engineer of the Amtrak train that derailed last night in Philadelphia applied the emergency braking system approximately 3 seconds before the crash.

He also said that when the data recorder stopped working, the train was traveling at 106 miles per hour, more than twice the speed limit in that section of track.

Sources: Train Reportedly Speeding When It Derailed - UPDATE: @ChuckCJohnson Spews Racism, Tries to Dox Engineer

Not good
US News • Views: 23,409

The news of the day is the terrible Amtrak derailment in Philadelphia; and now reports are emerging that the train was traveling at more than twice the speed limit as it entered a sharp S-curve.

An automatic train control system designed to prevent speeding was not in place where Amtrak Train 188 crashed, killing seven people and injuring more than 200.

The train’s engineer, who has not been identified, declined to give a statement to police investigators and left the East Detectives Division with an attorney, police commissioner Charles H. Ramsey said Wednesday.

UPDATE at 5/13/15 11:15:55 am by Charles Johnson

Presented without comment:

Attackers at Pamela Geller’s Cartoon Event Were Actually Killed by a SWAT Team

US News • Views: 19,088

You may recall that the two would-be mass murderers who attacked Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer’s “Draw Mohammed” event in Garland, Texas, were reportedly killed by a lone traffic officer armed only with a pistol.

Well, that story wasn’t true: Gunmen at Muhammad Cartoon Contest Were Killed by SWAT Team.

The new details stem from an investigation by Garland police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation into the May 3 attack in which Elton Simpson, 31, and Nadir Soofi, 34, attempted to storm the contest with assault rifles.

Almost immediately after the suspects arrived, they started shooting at a traffic officer and a security officer, who were standing by a police car near a barricade set up around the event, according to Garland Police Chief Mitch Bates.

The traffic officer responded with his service revolver, wounding the two men, but they continued to fire. Four SWAT team officers arrived within seconds and engaged in a shootout with the attackers, who retrieved more weapons and ammunition. Dozens of rounds were shot before the two men were killed, Chief Bates said.

Somebody Took a Shot at George Zimmerman Today in a “Road Rage” Incident

Florida man dodges bullet
US News • Views: 20,096
Credit: Sam McKinney, News 13 Staff

In Florida’s Lake Mary district today, somebody took a shot at George Zimmerman in what police are calling a road rage incident, but he was not hit.

Police said shots were fired sometime around the 1 p.m. hour along Lake Mary Boulevard, near Rinehart Road.

Lake Mary police said it would give an update at 4 p.m.

Attorney Don West told The Associated Press a bullet missed Zimmerman’s head, and Zimmerman was sprayed with glass from his windshield. Bullet holes were seen in his truck as it was towed away from the scene.

Zimmerman was taken by ambulance with minor injuries to Central Florida Regional Hospital in Sanford. He was released a short time later, according to West, who represented Zimmerman during his 2013 trial in which he was acquitted of murder in the shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

At Least 2 Shot Outside Muhammad Cartoon Exhibit

Jobin Panicker, WFAA-TV, Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas
US News • Views: 34,972

48 hour rule applies here, we don’t have real details on who or why, although we all probably want to speculate.

At least two people were shot Sunday afternoon in the parking lot outside the Curtis Culwell Center, where the American Freedom Defense Initiative was hosting its inaugural Muhammad Cartoon Exhibit and $10,000 Cartoon Contest.

The cartoon exhibit featured “images of Islam’s prophet, both historic and contemporary, and speeches by leading voices of freedom and internationally renowned free speech advocates,” according to an AFDI release

More: At Least 2 Shot Outside Muhammad Cartoon Exhibit

UPDATE at 5/4/15 4:28:05 am by Thanos

The gunmen or their motives are not yet identified, and I’m still not going to speculate on that. What I will say is that the press is being remiss in their duty to report all of the facts.

So I will detail the history, not because I think the gunmen are somehow justified, (they are not, whatever their motive,) but rather that the public needs to be fully informed before shaping opinions.

In this country you have the right to hate, to be a bigot, and everyone else has the right to point that out.

Pam Geller, Robert Spencer, and their foreign allies have used their Free Speech rights in the US to persistently smear, hate, and defame all Muslims worldwide for over a decade. The history is long, and includes all of the standard theocratic hateful lies & libels traded in tit for tat manner by the six major branches of Abrahamic religions circling the Mid East since the time of Alexander. It also includes newly minted modern conspiracy theories cooked up by Spencer and Geller (creeping sharia anyone?)

You could write a book debunking the insane bigotry of these two and their allies, but I’m not going to - instead I will link the many pages here at this site that detail the long history of bigoted insanity and the alliance with the new Far Right movement in Europe in the hopes that real reporters will delve into this and make sure the U.S. Public at least understands the background.

I will finish by saying this: if you sling shit at a group of people long enough eventually you will find the mean, the crazed, and the extreme among them, and that’s been Geller’s plan all along. There is free speech, and there is provocative free speech designed to make you think, and then further on the edges is free speech designed to provoke, I will let you decide where in this spectrum that Geller lies.

LGF history on Pamela Geller:
LGF history on Robert Spencer:
Southern Poverty Law Center on Pamela Geller:
Southern Poverty Law Center on Robert Spencer:

UPDATE at 5/4/15 5:02:43 am by Thanos

Lindsey Bever at The Washington Post does a good job of painting the full picture:

UPDATE at 5/4/15 5:23:50 am by Thanos

One of the suspects, his prior terror indictment from the FBI, and his possible motives has been identified in this ABC story:

Simpson was well known to the FBI. Five years ago he was convicted for lying to federal agents about his plans to travel to Africa, but a judge ruled the government did not adequately prove he was going to join a terror group there.

Also see

Criminal Charges Filed Against 6 Baltimore Cops in Death of Freddie Gray

One officer charged with murder, 5 others charged with assault and manslaughter
US News • Views: 26,576

Huge news from Baltimore today, where the state’s attorney has announced criminal charges against six police officers in connection with the killing of Freddie Gray.

A Baltimore prosecutor announced criminal charges on Friday against six police officers in the arrest of Freddie Gray, whose death after suffering a spinal cord injury in police custody touched off riots.

One officer, the driver of the van that carted Gray away after his arrest, was charged with a count known as second-degree depraved heart murder. Other charges against the six officers included manslaughter, assault and misconduct. Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said five of the six officers are in custody.

Marilyn Mosby, the state’s attorney for Baltimore, said that Gray’s arrest on April 12 was illegal and had been ruled a homicide.

She said officers failed to get medical help for him even though he repeatedly asked for it. She also said a switchblade that officers accused Gray of carrying illegally was a legal pocket knife.

Video: President Obama’s Statement on Baltimore Violence

“We, as a country, need to do some soul-searching”
US News • Views: 21,324


Here’s the statement President Obama gave earlier today on the violence in Baltimore; he appropriately called out the rioters and looters as criminals, but also made the very serious point that the violence distracted from “multiple days of peaceful protests” focused on “entirely legitimate concerns of these communities in Baltimore” that “frankly, didn’t get that much attention.”

LIVE VIDEO: Baltimore Police Press Conference and Continuing Coverage

US News • Views: 18,576


News: a state of emergency has been declared, and a 10 pm to 5 am curfew will be in effect again tonight in Baltimore. So far police have arrested 34 juveniles and 205 adults.

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 Frank says:

Yes, Ladies and gentleman, even in this agricultural enviroment, We're gonna' play a love song -- This was about 1974 in Harrisburg Pa. at the Farm Show Arena, a week after the Farm show had left town... Frank never admitted to playing there, and I can't say as I blame him. But, I will never forget what a magical night that was.