News Roundup

Officer-involved shootings have been a frequent topic of national news in recent months.  This week, there have been notable developments in two North Carolina cases.  First, the News and Observer reports that a Harnett County grand jury declined to indict a sheriff’s deputy, Nicholas Kehagias, who shot and killed John Livingston in November.  The report indicates that the decision comes “after months of unease in Harnett County” that included protests in front of the courthouse by Livingston’s friends and family.  The jury reportedly was asked to consider second-degree murder charges.  Though Kehagias will not face criminal charges, the News and Observer reports that Livingston’s family will pursue a civil case against him.

The other North Carolina case in the news involves a February incident in which Raleigh police officer D.C. Twiddy shot and killed Akiel Denkins.  WRAL reports that Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman announced Wednesday that no criminal charges will be filed against Twiddy.  The announcement follows an SBI investigation into the incident.  The report says that community leaders “appeal[ed] for calm in the community” at a prayer vigil on Wednesday night, and notes that local officials praised the community for maintaining calm throughout the investigation.  Keep reading for more news:

FBI Paid Hackers for iPhone Exploit.  The Washington Post reports that the FBI paid professional hackers a one-time fee for an exploit that took advantage of a previously unknown software flaw and allowed the FBI to access the iPhone belonging to one of the San Bernardino terror attack shooters.  According to the report, at least one person involved in the hack is a so-called “gray hat” hacker – a researcher who sells information about software flaws to governments and other organizations.  Use of such hackers is “often considered ethically murky” according to the report.

Judge Orders Release of Defendants Charged With Serious Felonies.  The New Orleans Advocate reports that a Louisiana judge has “ordered seven indigent inmates released from jail because of a lack of state money for attorneys to represent them amid a squeeze on public defense funding in New Orleans and across Louisiana.”  The defendants each face serious charges including robbery, rape, and second-degree murder.  Many of them have been incarcerated pre-trial for more than a year.  The judge ruled that the lack of defense funding constituted a Sixth Amendment violation, but stayed the release order pending an appeal.

Textalyzer & Implied Consent.  An article from Above the Law reports that New York State is considering authorizing police to use a device called a “Textalyzer” to determine whether a driver’s cellphone was active immediately prior to an accident in order to uncover cases of distracted driving.  The article also notes that next week the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Bernard v. Minnesota, a case which presents the question of whether, in the absence of a warrant, a state may make it a crime for a person to refuse to take a chemical test to detect the presence of alcohol in the person’s blood.  Shea claims that she has the SOG’s implied consent to host a listening party when the oral argument recording is released next Friday; I’m suspicious of that after reading her implied consent posts.

Love Crimes.  It’s no crime to fall in love, but it remains a crime in Utah for a married person to “purport to marry another person or cohabit[] with another person.”  As the Wall Street Journal Law Blog reports, earlier this week the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed a challenge to a Utah statute that criminalizes polygamy.  The stars of the television show “Sister Wives” challenged the law on constitutional grounds, but the 10th Circuit concluded that the matter was moot because the Utah County Attorney General adopted a policy that limited bigamy prosecutions.  Under the policy, the challengers did not face a credible threat of prosecution.

Email Notification Improvements. Lately, we’ve had some problems with email notifications regarding new blog posts not reaching some subscribers. We’ve looked into it and have decided to change to a different email notification tool, starting next week. The format may be slightly different but don’t be put off – it should work pretty much the same way. We hope for a seamless transition!


4 thoughts on “News Roundup”

  1. The decisions of a Grand Jury is based on the FACTS of the case and NOT the mood of the few political activists trying to gin up attention for their various venomous causes.

    Ahh the liberals whimpering and whining of “Why didn’t / don’t you… [insert nonsense here]?

    The more LOGICAL question is why didn’t the criminal simply just submit to the lawful arrest? He’d be alive today if he had you know. Play stupid games…win stupid prizes.

    Because “They chose not to” is the the only answer that you need hear. Attacking an officer with DEADLY FORCE or the OR IMMINENT USE OF DEADLY FORCE means it is appropriate to meet that deadly force with deadly force.

    The suspect dictates how the confrontation or arrest will go. Their actions determine what force, if any is necessary. It could be just talking to the suspect, to placing handcuffs on them, to taser, to mace, to deadly force… It’s in the hands of the suspect…

    The REAL victim in this incident is not the dead suspect who tried to shoot the officer and certainly not the parent(s) of the dead suspect who clearly FAILED to raise their son or daughter with respect for others or authorities who were legally justified in their actions.

    The REAL victim in these incidents is the officer because of what these parent(s), through their parental failures, and their child, because of their actions forced the Officer to do so that he may go home to HIS family at the end of his shift.

    The use of force is defined in state law. I use North Carolina’s because that is what I’m familiar with but I seriously doubt that there is any difference between any state’s laws on this matter.

    § 15A‑401. Arrest by law‑enforcement officer. Use of Force in Arrest. – b. To defend himself or a third person from what he reasonably believes to be the use OR IMMINENT USE of physical force while effecting or attempting to effect an arrest or while preventing or attempting to prevent an escape.

    The emphasis is on “OR IMMINENT USE”. Definition: im·mi·nent /ˈimənənt/ Adjective: About to happen: “imminent danger”. Synonyms: impending – impendent – forthcoming.

    An officer in possession of common sense will certainly use deadly force and has the right to take a deadly shot when faced with the IMMINENT threat of serious bodily injury or death.

    That IMMINENT threat of serious bodily injury or death does NOT have to be coming from a gun, knife or other weapon. It can be coming from hands, feet or even from the use of a car. It’s NOT the tool used that counts…it’s the ABILITY to bring about serious injury or death BY ANY MEANS that can be defended against with deadly force.

    UNLIKE the military, law enforcement operates under a completely different ROE (Rules Of Engagement). Law enforcement is NOT the military and does NOT have to be fired upon first to be authorized the use of deadly force. Again, the emphasis is on “imminent”. Stop getting the two confused. They, law enforcement and military, were never the same to begin with.

    By it being imbedded state law no law enforcement supervisor [chief of police or sheriff] or city administrator [mayor, city/county manager] can order otherwise.

    A person running at an officer with a knife – deadly force authorized.

    An unarmed 240 pound violator on top of a 120 pound officer beating the officer in the head – deadly force authorized.

    A 6’4″, 17 year old behemoth under the influence of a mind altering narcotic who has already assaulted and injured an officer by a strike in the head bringing about a loss of strength and possible concussive problems charging that officer again with the apparent intent to cause bodily injury or death – DEADLY FORCE AUTHORIZED!

    Assaulting you with a vehicle – deadly force authorized.

    A person running at an officer with their hands hidden from view so as to potentially be holding a weapon (gun, knife or bludgeon) – deadly force authorized.

    A person swinging a crowbar, flag pole, etc at the officer’s upper body and head – deadly force authorized.

    A person moving a gun in a manner that appears to the officer that they are “about” to be targeted – deadly force authorized. Getting out of a car with a gun in hand certainly qualifies.

    ALSO: I don’t give a damn what color of the barrel/gun is; Functioning dangerous weapons come in all color schemes and the criminals have been caught painting the tips of the barrels of their guns orange just to fool cops and get an edge on shooting first. If you point ANYTHING at me that can be construed as a projectile weapon I’m going to put two or more rounds into you center mass and let God decide if you live or die.

    If you’re running for cover with a gun in hand you certainly can be shot in the back or anywhere else for that matter. Police don’t have to let you reach cover thus allowing you to shoot at them from a position of safety. So for you people that are planning on a “Police can’t shoot them in the back.” argument….know from the start you are wrong…yes the police can and are perfectly authorized to do so. As stated, this is real life….not some movie or TV show.

    Also, not being a TV drama,the officer doesn’t have to yell “Stop police” or even warn you first to “Drop the gun”. If there is no time for a warning then so be it. The violator doesn’t get to shoot first if the officer can help it. It’s not a color thing, it’s a law thing, and unlike Burger King you don’t get to have it your way after the words “you are under arrest” are uttered.

    When an officer determines the armed violator has broken the law the armed violator’s decisions are narrowed down to these, and only these, options;.

    1. You go to jail.
    2. You go to the hospital and then you go to jail.
    3. You go to the morgue.

    The officer has already made their own decision….that they’re going home alive to their family.

    There is a point of no return. When the line is crossed there is no shoot to wound, no shoot in the leg, no shoot below the waist, no second chances. You should have paid attention to the first chance given you….to comply with the orders of the police. It is shoot center mass to stop and it is then up to God to decide your fate with regard to live or die. And make no mistake…when you cross that line you know you shouldn’t have crossed the officer could care less if you live or die. All they care about is that you are stopped and that they make it home to their wife and children.

    What does the officer feel when the bad guy dies? You mean besides the recoil?

    ✔ Aggravation that the bad guy caused them to have killed for the good of society.
    ✔ Anger that the bad guy’s parents failed in their job of raising the bad guy.
    ✔ Aggravation that they have to endure being on administrative leave doing boring jobs around the department for a long time.
    ✔ Amusement at the “low informed” citizenry that make comments like “Why not below waist.” or something equally ignorant.
    ✔ Disgust at the absolute morons that come out with the all too expected wild police conspiracy theories based on conjecture, a lack of any real knowledge of police methodology and a distinct lack of knowledge of the legal mandates under which the officer will be judged.
    ✔ Relief that their training served them well and allowed them to be the one that walked away from the encounter alive, unharmed, and the victor….the consequence…..not the victim.

    Much like the soldier feels no remorse for defending their country…it would be just as ignorant to expect the officer to feel remorse for defending the citizenry of their city against its enemies…the violent criminal.

    The parents should have raised their child to be a better person, a person respectful of others, of others’ property and of legitimate authority. Their son or daughter died because THE PARENTS failed. Their son or daughter threatened an officer of the law with with serious injury or death and have died, or been injured, as a result of their actions and their parent(s) failure in raising them.

    • this pig^ ^^^ is itching to bag his first “civilian” I can hear him now—- “it was offiFer safety! offiFer safety!” yea! The man in a suit said i could!”

  2. You do not know any of the facts. The cop had no warrant and was told to leave, got mad and then started beating John Livingston. The grand jury is done in secret in NC. The DA told the family that he had probable cause to charge with second degree murder. SOG could you please remove his comment–the liberal comments are not what this blog is about. I could make all kinds of comments about him-just go to his facebook page.

    • Wow Mr. Jones…what ‘tolerance’ you are showing for the opinions of others. I was with the understanding that the ability to make these comments are for the purpose of having an intelligent and informative discourse that is inclusive of everyone’s opinions…NOT just the ones that YOU happen to approve of.

      And I am certainly glad that my web site affected you enough to make you comment about it…it shows that I made you think.

      I’m good with that.


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