The NHTRC also released data from 2013 today, which show significant increases in total calls, reported cases of potential human trafficking, and calls directly from survivors compared to 2012.
Total Calls: Call volume increased by 55 percent from 2012. In total, the NHTRC hotline received 31,945 phone calls in 2013, compared to 20,654 calls in 2012. Since its first full year of operation in 2008 when 5,746 calls were received, the hotline has experienced a 456 percent annual increase in phone calls.
Reported Cases: In 2013, multiple cases of human trafficking were reported in each of the 50 states and D.C. There were 5,214 potential cases of human trafficking reported to the hotline in 2013, a 52% increase over the 3,420 cases reported in 2012. Between December 7, 2007, and December 31, 2013, the hotline learned of a total of 14,453 potential human trafficking cases.
Calls from Survivors: Compared to 2012, the NHTRC hotline experienced a 65 percent increase in phone calls directly from survivors in 2013. The hotline received 2,241 calls from potential victims compared to 1,355 calls from victims in 2012. The NHTRC hotline received 5,246 calls from victims between December 2007 and December 31, 2013.
Trafficking Venue or Industry: The three most commonly cited venues for sex trafficking were: Commercial-Front Brothels, Internet-Based/Online Advertising, or Hotel/Motel-Based commercial sex. The three most commonly cited industries for labor trafficking were: Domestic Work, Door-to-Door Sales Crew, or Restaurant/Food Service.
I was disappointed that this article did not mention renowned sculptor Eddie Dixon whose work the statue is. I was privileged to see the nearly complete clay form in Mr. Dixon’s studio a few months ago. It is beautiful, with all the subtlety of expression for which Eddie is so justly known.
Karen Kennard wanted to leave.
As news broke of her brother’s arrest for the rape of a Texas Tech student, Kennard didn’t want to study at the university’s law school anymore. She was going to transfer to SMU, where she got her undergraduate degree.
But her brother, Timothy Cole, told her to stay.
An innocent man behind bars, he sent Kennard a letter from prison. It read: “I still believe in the justice system, even though it doesn’t believe in me.”
“That’s what he wrote. That’s what I want people to get,” said their brother, Cory Session. “Even though an injustice happened to him, he still did not give up on the justice system. We still have the best legal system in the world. It is not perfect; there are flaws, but we still have to remain faithful and trusting.”
While the apparent chokehold fueled much of the initial public outcry, community leaders have begun asking whether focusing police officers so intently on such petty offenses makes sense in a city that is far different and far safer than the one Mr. Bratton left in the mid-1990s.
“I think we need to look at whether we still need these arrests,” said Eric L. Adams, the Brooklyn borough president and a former captain in the Police Department.
“This is a good moment,” he said, “to re-evaluate what comes after ‘broken windows,’ now that the windows are no longer broken.”
And with the number of stop-and-frisk encounters down sharply, the community groups that mobilized against those street stops are turning their attention to the number of low-level arrests, saying they will push for changes.
“It’s the new stop-and-frisk,” Robert Gangi, director of the Police Reform Organizing Project, said of the low-level arrests, which, he added, were eclipsed in recent years by the public debate over the stop-and-frisk tactic.
Jerome Eskeets’s last sight before he fell asleep on a soiled mattress late on Friday, on an empty lot speckled by shards of liquor bottles and discarded syringes, was the stars that glistened up above — “a beautiful thing,” he recalled this week, drunk, already, at 9:30 a.m. A cousin lay next to him that night, their bodies warmed by the cheap vodka they had shared. It had been “a good night,” Mr. Eskeets said, until he felt a dull pain on the bridge of his nose, a punch by one of the masked assailants that surrounded them.
“Cowards,” Mr. Eskeets exclaimed on Tuesday as he stood by the scene of the crime.
The assailants kicked and beat them, Mr. Eskeets said, using their hands and whatever else they could find — a metal pipe, wooden sticks, cinder blocks. Mr. Eskeets eventually broke free and ran away. His cousin, whose name he said was Al Gorman, and another homeless man he knew only as Cowboy, ended up dead. The police said they had both been disfigured beyond recognition by the thrashing, which included having their heads smashed repeatedly with the cinder blocks.
Mr. Eskeets — who said he was Navajo, like the men killed over the weekend — said that the teenagers had set upon him once before, last week or maybe the prior week, but that he had threatened them with an empty beer bottle and they had fled.
“I never told no one because no one cares,” he said flatly.
Since the attack, Mr. Eskeets has struggled to make sense of what happened. “Those boys knew me,” he said, his eyes filling with tears. “They called me Skeets.”
Read the New York Times article here: Violent Attacks on Homeless in Albuquerque Expose City’s Ills
A state senator wants to make the homeless a protected class, and this sort of crime a hate crime.
Were the deadly beatings of two homeless men in Albuquerque a hate crime?
Under federal law, the answer is no. That’s true for most states, too.
But one state senator thinks New Mexico should step up and be a leader.
It’s state Sen. Bill O’Neill’s personal story that makes what happened over the weekend so powerful for him.
In New Mexico, crimes targeting the homeless are not considered hate crimes.
“We as a state can make a real strong declaration that our homeless people are not to be targeted,” O’Neill said.
O’Neill says they should be — and it comes from a personal place.
He used to volunteer at St. Martin’s Hospitality Center. That’s where he made a dear friend.
“This is Frank Ellis,” he said, holding a picture of a man he knew decades ago. “Man, he would come into the shelter just all bruised and battered.”
“He was my friend,” he said.
Last year, O’Neill’s homeless hate crime legislation passed two bipartisan committees unanimously, but it never made the floor for a vote.
This year, with Frank and the murders of Thompson and Gorman in mind, he plans to introduce it again.
There’s video at the link too.
The President of the Navajo Nation, Ben Shelly, and other Navajo leaders met with the Mayor of Albuquerque, Richard Berry, to discuss the beating deaths.
Navajo Nation leaders met with Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry on Thursday to discuss the beating deaths of two homeless men last Saturday.
The tribe has confirmed both of the victims, Al Gorman of Shiprock and Kee Thompson of Church Rock, were Navajo.
Ben Shelly, president of the Navajo Nation, calls it a senseless crime.
Prosecutors plan to try the 15 and 16-year-old suspects, Gilbert Tafoya and Nathaniel Carrillo, as adults. The third teen, Alex Rios, is 18.
Here’s a press release from President Shelly.
The teens allegedly attacked more than 50 other homeless people in the Albuquerque area.
BEMIDJI, Minn. - A northern Minnesota man was charged Wednesday with shooting a 17-year-old girl several times after authorities say she told him not to ride his lawn mower through her yard.
Chad Pickering, 40, of Bemidji appeared in Beltrami County court on a felony charge of attempted first-degree murder. Bail was set at $300,000.
Pickering shot the teen three times as she stood on the deck of her home Monday night, the criminal complaint said. The teen was shot in her chest, right thigh and left ankle. She was taken to a Duluth hospital.
I wrote extensively on a notorious incident two years ago where Aurora Co. police arrested over two dozen motorists, including children under the age of 10, and handcuffed them for an extended period at a surface street intersection. This was based on the suspicion that one of them might be a bank robber. A GPS device in a money bag was sending a signal from somewhere nearby, but the local police did not have access to a device that would pinpoint exactly where it was. The FBI had such a device, but their office was closed for the day. The police opted to arrest everybody at the intersection without anthing resembling probable cause. I use the word arrest deliberately, since the people were held for two hours, could not leave and were handcuffed.
Now, a federal civil rights lawsuit has been filed. The lawyers who filed the lawsuit assert this constituted an unlawful arrest, stating that physical detention over 15 minutes constitutes arrest.Two of the victims claim serious physical injury from the expereince, including one woman whose cuffs were so tight that she lost blood flow to her hands and has nerve damage. That isn’t all, by any means:
60. Mr. Olson attempted to explain to Defendant Ray and the other officers nearby that he had had multiple back and knee surgeries and permanent nerve damage, so kneeling was painful for him. Nevertheless, Defendant Ray continued to scream at Mr. Olson to do so while waving his shotgun near Mr. Olson’s face.
61. Mr. Olson complied, and the pain in his lower back caused him to fall face forward onto the pavement.
62. As Mr. Olson attempted to get up, Defendant Ray yanked Mr. Olson’s arm so violently behind his back while cuffing him that he injured Mr. Olson’s shoulder.
63. Mr. Olson continued to try to explain to the officers nearby, including Defendant Ray, that they were hurting him. Although he was complying with all of their demands, Defendant Ray callously responded, “Quit resisting.”
75. Officers informed Ms. Lombardi that they were going to search her vehicle. They stated that if she refused to let them, she would be arrested.
76. Officers then proceeded to search Ms. Lombardi’s vehicle without her consent.
77. When her handcuffs were finally removed, Ms. Lombardi had deep, red marks on her wrists that were visible for days following the incident.
78. Ms. Lombardi works at a financial institution and is required to be bonded. Ms. Lombardi appeared in the extensive media coverage of the incident with her hands in the air while in the presence of law enforcement. Defendants put Ms. Lombardi’s job and professional reputation at risk.
81. Upon information and belief, Defendants Brandt A. Smith and A. Todd Chanos forced Ms. DeGuzman and her son, Michael Hance, out of their vehicle, patted them down, and handcuffed them, despite having no probable cause or reasonable suspicion that they possessed a weapon or otherwise posed a threat.
82. Defendants Smith and Chanos then marched Ms. DeGuzman and Mr. Hance backwards to the curb and forced them to sit, still handcuffed.
83. Ms. DeGuzman suffered a panic attack. She pleaded with an officer for assistance, but the officer callously told her to simply take a deep breath. As her panic attack continued, the officer did not provide any assistance.
84. Ms. DeGuzman’s hands turned blue due to the tightness of the handcuffs.
85. Defendant Smith demanded that Ms. DeGuzman sign a waiver consenting to a search of her vehicle. She did not want to sign the waiver, but she felt pressured to do so.
86. Officers then proceeded to search her vehicle without her actual consent.
It gets even more interesting.
99. Ms. Strandberg’s son, Ian Strandberg, was seven years old at the time of the incident. He suffered an asthma attack soon after the stop commenced. Prior to being forced out of her vehicle, Ms. Strandberg pleaded with officers to allow her to lower her arms so that she could reach for her son’s inhaler, but the officers callously refused, letting the child continue to suffer through the attack.
100. Ms. Strandberg was diagnosed with Epilepsy in March 2012. She feared that she would suffer a seizure during the stop.
103. Defendants searched Ms. Strandberg’s vehicle without her consent. After the search, Defendants required Ms. Strandberg to sign a form indicating that she consented to the search. She was not permitted to leave the scene until she signed the form.
Notice that police actually threatened the people with continued arrest, and demanded they sign permission statements ex post facto, essentially suborning perjury as well as coercing them to give up a constitutional right that had already been significantly violated. What s especially damning is that much of this occured after the bank robber had already been identified and his car located, since the money was visible in the back seat. At this point, the police are using the mass arrest as a free fishing expedition to look for anything they feel like.
The Fourth Amendment:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
The department and city have already rebuffed efforts to settle out of court, so this is going to go before a judge. This may have the potential to go all they was to the SCOTUS. In any event, I pray that the city and police lose this one. What happened that day had nothing to do with rule of law. It was rule of men with guns who could do as they pleased, Constitution and common decency be damned.
Here we go again…
Tom Greer, an 80-year-old retiree, arrived to his upscale Bixby Knolls neighborhood Tuesday night to find a couple in the middle of a late-night break-in.
“When I went in there, they tackled me,” Greer told NBC4 Wednesday. “Both of them jumped up on top of me.”
The intruders, a man and woman, may have underestimated Greer, he said, as they ransacked his safe and yanked the door open right in front of him.
The intruders threw Greer to the ground, but they didn’t know he’d gotten his .22-caliber Smith and Wesson revolver.
“I come back and they see me with a gun, and they run,” he said.
The man escaped, but the woman fell after being struck by Greer’s gunfire in an alley behind the house.
“She says, ‘Don’t shoot me, I’m pregnant! I’m going to have a baby!’ And I shot her anyway,” Greer said.
Even leaving off the possibility that she was pregnant, which has no bearing on her criminal acts, Greer chased her and the other person off his property and into an alley before shooting her twice in the back as she ran away.
That isn’t self defense. That is murder.
A North Carolina pastor shot himself to death over the weekend as deputies were trying to arrest him on child sex charges.
According to WCOC-TV, Michael Mullis, the former pastor of Near Calvary Baptist Church in Concord, knew that he was being investigated for indecent liberties with a child before Rowan County deputies showed up on Saturday to serve warrants on him.
The sheriff’s office said that when deputies arrived to arrest him, he went to the bathroom to put on his shoes, and shot himself with a pistol.
“I’m sure he knew because our investigators had talked to him about this incident,” Concord Police spokesperson Maj. Gary Hatley told WSOC. “Or attempted to talk to him anyway — he knows we were investigating.”
A timeline provided by the victim indicated that Mullis was still serving as pastor at Near Calvary Baptist during the years of sexual abuse. The abuse allegedly ended in 2004, and Mullis resigned from the church in 2011 after 20 years as pastor.
Berlusconi was in power three times as prime minister, dominating Italian politics. He still heads the right-wing Forza Italia party.
The acquittal may enable him to remain a strong influence in politics and may also help centre-left Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, observers say, as Forza Italia may be less inclined to block the government’s reforms.
“This ruling will bring people together. We will be calmer working in future and be more united between ourselves and with all of the centre-right,” said Lucio Malan, a Forza Italia senator, quoted by AFP news agency.
Prosecutors can still challenge the acquittal at the highest criminal court, the Court of Cassation, the Associated Press reports.