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News Roundup

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Carolina Public Press reports that last week three current and former employees of the Cherokee County Department of Social Services were indicted on a range of charges arising from an alleged “yearslong Cherokee County DSS practice that separated children from their parents without the oversight of a judge.” Former Cherokee DSS director Cindy Palmer (who now is the department’s business officer), former Child Protective Unit supervisor David Hughes, and the department’s former attorney, Scott Lindsay, were charged with various felonies and misdemeanors arising from the practice.  Keep reading for more on this story and other news.

Cherokee.  The CPP report says that during Cindy Palmer’s tenure as the director of Cherokee County DSS, the department used so-called “custody and visitation agreements” (CVAs) to separate children from their families outside of the normal child welfare process.  In an interview on WUNC’s The State of Things, CPP investigative reporter Kate Martin said that at times Cherokee DSS would approach a parent with a CVA and explain that the parent could either sign the agreement, which apparently purported to relinquish the parent’s right to custody of their child, or that their child would be placed in foster care in a remote location.  The effect of this alleged practice was to illegally remove the termination of parental rights process from judicial oversight.  Each of the defendants was charged with obstruction of justice, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and willful failure to discharge the duties of their offices.  Palmer also faces a perjury charge. 

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New IDS Executive Director.  The North Carolina Commission on Indigent Defense Services announced this week that is has appointed Mary Pollard as the new Executive Director of the Office of Indigent Defense Services for North Carolina.  As the press release explains, Pollard practiced civil litigation at Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice before joining the Center for Death Penalty Litigation in 2002.  Beginning in 2009, Pollard served as Executive Director of North Carolina Prisoner Legal Services.  Pollard is expected to start at IDS in August and she replaces Thomas Maher, who has served as Executive Director of IDS for the past 11 years.

Minneapolis.  Tension has been building in Minneapolis this week following the death of George Floyd while he was in police custody on Monday.  According to news reports, Minneapolis police were responding to a report of a suspected forgery when they discovered Floyd in a car and ordered him out.  The Minneapolis Police Department said that Floyd physically resisted officers but that they were able to handcuff and restrain him; they also noticed that he “appeared to be suffering medical distress.”  At some point during the encounter, a bystander began capturing cellphone video which shows an officer pressing his knee on Floyd’s neck for five minutes while Floyd clearly pleas that he can’t breathe.  Citizens at the scene repeatedly admonished the officers that Floyd appeared to be in great distress throughout the ordeal.

As the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports, on Tuesday the city’s chief of police fired four officers involved in the arrest, including Derek Chauvin, who pinned Floyd’s neck to the ground with his knee, and Tou Thao, who stood by as it happened.  Soon after the incident the shocking bystander footage had been distributed widely on the internet, sparking outrage and protests.  On Wednesday night, the city suffered looting, burning, and other damage that spread to nearby St. Paul, and on Thursday afternoon Minnesota Governor Tim Walz activated the National Guard to restore order in the city.

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3 comments on “News Roundup

  1. This report fails to mention much about the Minneapolis situation. There is video footage of Floyd completely cooperative as he’s placed in handcuffs. Additionally, the DA has already decided not to prosecute the police, “the evidence does not support a criminal charge.” And despite the polices attempts to stop the protestors and distract them into looting (a cop was confirmed to start the vandalism at advance auto parts) and get the national guard’s help, the people still succeeding in burning the precinct of those officers to the ground. Oh and that precinct was built by shutting down schools to get their funding.

    • Could you please cite your sources for:

      1. There is video footage of Floyd completely cooperative as he’s placed in handcuffs.
      2. DA has already decided not to prosecute the police, “the evidence does not support a criminal charge.”
      3. a cop was confirmed to start the vandalism at advance auto parts.
      4. that precinct was built by shutting down schools to get their funding.

      I’d really like to see/read them. I can’t seem to find any of this information on the internet.

      Thank you.

  2. First you’d have to demonstrate how ANY of these officers acted outside of departmental policy, procedures, rules or regulations and then you’d have to prove that their actions fulfilled the elements of some law that proscribed their actions.

    And you start the investigation AT THE BEGINNING of the incident, not in the middle. What happened BEFORE the surrounding citizens decided to turn their cell cams on? Has the officer’s body cam footage been released? Shouldn’t the arrestee’s criminal acts, demeanor, and resistance to lawful police arrest also be considered in the evaluation of this incident?

    Law enforcement officers are probably the greatest practitioners of “Conservation of Energy” than any other entity in the animal kingdom and are certainly not prone to exerting themselves when not necessary. Exerting yourself causes the two primary results officers hate, paperwork and BS like your seeing in this incident. Trust me, officers DO NOT risk these results lightly.

    Don’t fall for the over-dramatization by the media and race-baiters.

    Some things to think on:

    1. If he really wasn’t able to breathe then he wouldn’t have been able to talk. Talking REQUIRES breathing. ANYONE who has ever uttered the words “I can’t breathe” is simply a liar. That breath you just took is what was pushed over your vocal chords to make the sounds that formed that sentence.

    2. Have you ever sat in the back of a patrol car? If not, then you really don’t know just how uncomfortable it is even with the A/C running. It’s tight, cramped cage that you’re handcuffed and seat-belted in and can’t move much in. I guarantee you that the arrestee was far more comfortable OUTSIDE and prone on the ground while waiting for the ambulance.

    3. The officer was kneeling across the BACK of the man’s neck. This DOES NOT restrict breathing. In fact, officers are taught; control the head, control the body. It’s been a long accepted practice to control non-compliant and resisting arrestees.

    4. NONE of us knows what the arrestee has ingested PRIOR to the arrest and no autopsy has been conducted yet to determine the CAUSE OF DEATH. A pulse check WAS conducted by EMT BEFORE he was placed in the ambulance and he had a pulse then or they would have commenced CPR then. This FACT serves to show that it’s highly possible that the police were not responsible for his death.

    5. What YOU view as “shocking” I see as nothing more than COMMONPLACE. I dealt with such resisting, obstructing and delaying crap every day and can validate that this virtue-signaling supposed “shock” over this video is completely unwarranted. There is truth to the saying that: “We sleep soundly because rough men stand ready to visit violence on those who would do us harm.”

    6. The knee-jerk reaction of the department firing the officers is nothing more than political show and blow for the masses and I warn you now not to be too surprised when these officers are reinstated in the future with seniority intact and back pay.

    7. Yes, it does matter if he’s a criminal or not. This is how criminals are treated when they resist. It only hurts as much as you resist. Decent people are treated decently. And even decent acting criminals are treated decently.

    8. AGAIN: The EMTs checked the arrestee’s pulse and breathing on arrival and both were PRESENT or they would have started CPR right then. They did not. This is on several cell phone videos as well as the officer’s body cams. This is inarguable. The arrestee was alive when he was put into the ambulance. Therefore it’s highly unlikely that the officers are responsible for the arrestee’s death.

    Now with that being said (written), I say (write) again: I think I’ll wait until ALL the facts come out. I’m not one to make knee-jerk responses with only half the story, and that half being designed to be emotionally prodding as well. Might just find it’s another Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown, Ahmuad Arbery bunch of nonsense.

    After all, the mainstream media are losing their grasp on the Chinese Wuhan Coronavirus planeDEMic and are desperate for another “squirrel” to redirect your attention away from their alzheimer’s ridden candidate Biden.

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