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Who Could Do This? Who Would? PA Cops Chase Down Joint-Smoking 120 MPH Driver, DUI Charges Ensued

Pennsylvania cops charged a man after he led them on a high-speed chase -that is 120 mph in a 45 mph zone - while smoking a joint the entire time. When the Stroud Area Regional Police finally caught the speed demon they charged him with 75 counts of various traffic violations...and more. What Happened read more.....»»

Category: blogSource: benzingaJan 24th, 2023

Who Could Do This? Who Would? PA Cops Chase Down Joint-Smoking 120 MPH Driver, DUI Charges Ensued

Pennsylvania cops charged a man after he led them on a high-speed chase -that is 120 mph in a 45 mph zone - while smoking a joint the entire time. When the Stroud Area Regional Police finally caught the speed demon they charged him with 75 counts of various traffic violations...and more. What Happened read more.....»»

Category: blogSource: benzingaJan 24th, 2023

Tesla just celebrated its 12th year as a public company. Here are the most important moments in its history.

Take a tour through Tesla's history from Silicon Valley startup to the world's most valuable car company. Tesla Model 3.Tesla On June 29, 2022, Tesla celebrated its 12th anniversary as a public company.  Tesla closed out its first day of trading in 2010 with a market cap of $2.22 billion. It's now worth roughly $700 billion.  The company put electric cars on the map.  On June 29, Tesla celebrated its 12 year as a public company. Since its IPO in 2010, Elon Musk's electric-car company has contented with high highs and low lows. And through all the twists and turns, Tesla managed to put electric vehicles on the map and become the most valuable car company on the planet. Tesla's journey from fledgling startup to EV juggernaut hasn't always been smooth sailing. While the company has notched plenty of achievements, it's also experienced its fair share of setbacks. Here's a breakdown of the company's most defining moments since its founding. July 2003: Tesla Motors is founded by a group of Silicon Valley engineers.Martin Eberhard, co-founder of former CEO of Tesla Motors, poses next to an electric motor.Paul Sakuma/ AP PhotoWhile Elon Musk, Tesla's current CEO, has led Tesla for the majority of its existence, he wasn't always at the helm of the company. Tesla, named after the famous physicist Nikola Tesla, was incorporated in 2003 by two engineers, Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning. Later co-founders included JB Straubel, Ian Wright, and Musk. Eberhard served as CEO until August 2007, and left the company shortly thereafter. February 2004: Elon Musk invests.Musk in 2006.Joanne Ho-Young Lee/MediaNews Group/The Mercury News via Getty ImagesMusk led the company's Series A funding round in 2004, contributing $6.5 million and joining Tesla's board as chairman. August 2006: Musk reveals Tesla's Master Plan.Musk.Thomson ReutersIn 2006, Musk published a blog post entitled "The Secret Tesla Motors Master Plan (just between you and me)" in which he laid out Tesla's long-term mission: to help transition the world away from fossil fuels and toward clean energy. "Some readers may not be aware of the fact that our long term plan is to build a wide range of models, including affordably priced family cars. This is because the overarching purpose of Tesla Motors (and the reason I am funding the company) is to help expedite the move from a mine-and-burn hydrocarbon economy towards a solar electric economy, which I believe to be the primary, but not exclusive, sustainable solution." November 2007: Ze'ev Drori named CEO.Ze'ev Drori.Robert Galbraith/ReutersTesla announced Drori would take the helm at Tesla at the end of November. An Israeli engineer and tech veteran, Drori was tasked with bringing Tesla's first car, the Roadster, to market by the first quarter of 2008.  February 2008: Tesla's first Roadster is delivered.The Tesla Roadster.TeslaDrori managed to bring the Roadster into production on time and the first vehicle was delivered to Musk, who was serving as the company's chairman at the time. To celebrate the occasion, Musk jumped in the Roadster and led four other prototype Roadsters packed with engineers down Highway 101 and University Avenue in Palo Alto, California.  March 2008: The company begins regular production of the Roadster.Tesla RoadsterScott Olson/Getty ImagesBy mid-March, the company had met its goal of getting regular production of the Roadster up and running. At the time, Drori referred to the event as a "milestone for the company and a watershed for the new era of electric vehicles." Tesla produced the Roadster, which priced at $109,000, until January 2012 and in total sold 2,450 of them.October 2008: Musk assumes title of CEO.REUTERS/Noah BergerBy October, Tesla was feeling pressure created by the financial crisis. "The global financial system has gone through the worst crisis since the Great Depression, and the effects are only beginning to wind their way through every facet of the economy. It's not an understatement to say that nearly every business will be impacted by what has unfolded in the past weeks, and this is true for Silicon Valley as well," Musk said at the time.Musk announced he would be taking over the company and that there would be layoffs. He also pushed the launch date of the Model S sedan, Tesla's next vehicle, from 2010 to mid-2011.  November 2008: Tesla secures $40 million in financing and avoids bankruptcy.Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors, listens as Governor Brian Sandoval of Nevada speaks during a press conference at the Nevada State Capitol, September 4, 2014 in Carson City, Nevada.Max Whittaker/Getty ImagesBy November 2008, the company's financial situation had worsened and Tesla was on the brink of bankruptcy. To help restore Tesla's coffers and speed up Roadster production, the company's board of directors approved $40 million in convertible debt financing."Even then, we only narrowly survived...We actually closed the financing round on Christmas Eve 2008. It was the last hour of the last day that it was possible," Musk said in 2015.    March 2009: Tesla unveils a prototype of its second car, the Model S sedan.Elon Musk and Tesla designer Franz von Holzhausen at the Tesla Model S media launch in Hawthorne.Fred Prouser/ReutersTesla unveiled its second car, the Model S, in March 2009 in Hawthorne, California at the SpaceX headquarters.  By May 12, 2009, Tesla had already surpassed 1,000 reservations for the Model S.   May 2009: Mercedes-maker Daimler takes a 10% stake in Tesla for $50 million.Elon Musk and Daimler Board Member Thomas Weber talk about the deal on Fox Business news.YouTube/Every Elon Musk VideoThe $40 million in financing helped get Tesla through its darkest hour, but the company needed more resources to further develop its battery technology. Tesla and Daimler had already been in partnership for about a year working on an electric Smartcar. But by May, Daimler made a long-term bet on Tesla by taking a 10 percent stake in the company. The two companies agreed to work together on developing battery and electric drive systems.In June 2009, Tesla also received a $465 million loan from the Department of Energy, which it repaid by May 2013.   June 2010: Tesla goes public.CEO of Tesla Motors Elon Musk waves after ringing the opening bell at the NASDAQ market in celebration of his company's initial public offering in New York June 29, 2010.REUTERS/Brendan McDermidTesla offered 13.3 million shares at $17 per share. The company raised $226.1 million. Shares closed at $23.89, valuing Tesla at $2.2 billion. October 2, 2011: Elon Musk reveals Model S beta.REUTERS/Stephen Lam In late 2011, Tesla showed off a near-production version of the Model S to about 3,000 early reservation holders. Musk revealed that the vehicle would get 320 miles per charge and go from 0 to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds. "The oil companies said electric cars can't work, but the truth is, they don't want them to work. But here it is. They would say this car is the equivalent of a unicorn. Well, tonight you had the opportunity to ride a unicorn," Musk said at the event.February 2012: Tesla reveals the Model X SUV.Alex Davies / Business InsiderJust a few months later, Musk unveiled a prototype of the Model X, the company's first SUV. The vehicle's most novel feature was its falcon-wing doors. By February 2012, the company had amassed advance sales of more than $40 million. At the time of its reveal, Tesla aimed to have the Model X in production by 2014. However, it wouldn't actually enter production until the end of 2015.   June 2012: Tesla begins delivery of Model S.Tesla Chief Executive Office Elon Musk celebrates at his company's factory in Fremont, California, June 22, 2012, as the car company began delivering its Model S electric sedan.ASSOCIATED PRESSIn a major milestone, Tesla started delivering the Model S to customers in June 2012.September 2014: Tesla decides to expand out of California with a second factory in Nevada.Tesla MotorsTesla announced its plans to build its giant battery factory, dubbed the Gigafactory, in February 2014 and ultimately decided to built it in Sparks, Nevada. The original site was 1,000 acres, but in June 2015 the company purchased an additional 1,864 acres of adjacent land.April 2015: Tesla reveals the Powerwall, a giant rechargeable battery for your home, and its Powerpack, a battery for commercial use.Tesla's newest product "Powerwall" is unveiled on stage in Hawthorne, Calif., Thursday, April 30, 2015. Tesla CEO Elon Musk is trying to steer his electric car company's battery technology into homes and businesses as part of an elaborate plan to reshape the power grid with millions of small power plants made of solar panels on roofs and batteries in garages.AP Photo/Ringo H.W. ChiuTesla made a big push into energy when it unveiled the Powerpack and Powerwall at an event in Hawthorne, California in 2015.Musk said that batteries were the "missing piece" of Tesla's business model and claimed that 160 million Powerpacks could power the United States.The company followed up in a statement on its website declaring that "Tesla is not just an automotive company it's an energy innovation company."September 2015: Model X deliveries begin.Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks during an event to launch the new Tesla Model X Crossover SUV on September 29, 2015 in Fremont, California.Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesTesla had originally planned to launch its Model X SUV in late 2013 or early 2014, but production delays forced the company to push back deliveries by almost two years. The vehicle's highly-specialized features, like its signature doors made it complicated to manufacture on a mass scale.     October 14, 2015: Tesla launches Autopilot to customers.YouTube/TeslaTesla began rolling a software update that activated its new advance driver-assistance system, Autopilot. Since late 2014, Tesla had included the necessary radar, camera, and ultrasonic sensors to make Autopilot work. With Autopilot switched on, a Model S could automatically stay centered in its lane and brake and accelerate to keep up with traffic. These remain the basic functions of Autopilot.  March 2016: Tesla unveils the Model 3, its first mass-market car.TeslaMusk unveiled the much-anticipated Model 3 on March 31, 2016. He announced that the car would get 215 miles or more per charge and go from 0-60 mph in less than six seconds. Tesla planed a starting price of $35,000, though that price point was never widely available. May 2016: A man is killed while using Tesla Autopilot in his Model S.National Transportation Safety BoardThe first fatal Autopilot accident occurred in May 2016, but word didn't get out about the incident until more than a month later. On June 30, government regulators revealed they were looking into a tie between the fatal accident and Tesla's Autopilot feature. Tesla issued a statement calling the incident a "tragic loss."According to Tesla's statement, the Model S was driving down a divided highway when a tractor-trailer cut across the highway perpendicular to the vehicle. "Neither Autopilot nor the driver noticed the white side of the tractor-trailer against a brightly lit sky, so the brake was not applied. The high ride height of the trailer combined with its positioning across the road and the extremely rare circumstances of the impact caused the Model S to pass under the trailer, with the bottom of the trailer impacting the windshield of the Model S," Tesla said.   June 2016: Tesla announces plans to purchase Solar City for $2.6 billion.APThe company made a $2.6 billion bid to acquire SolarCity, a solar installation company run by Musk's cousin. Not surprisingly, the deal was controversial from the start, primarily because SolarCity was about $3 billion in debt and the deal was seen as a bailout. Further complicating the matter, Musk was also the chairman of the company.  July 2016: Elon Musk reveals Tesla Masterplan Part Deux.ReutersIn 2016, Musk revealed the second part of his company's "master plan," which outlined four key goals: 1. Develop "stunning" solar roofs that seamlessly integrate with Tesla's battery storage.2. Roll out more affordable vehicles "to address all major segments."3. Advance its self-driving technology so that it is "ten times safer" than manual driving. 4. Roll out a car-sharing program that enables Tesla owners to make money by renting out their autonomous car. Over the years, Musk has repeatedly touted Tesla's plans for self-driving vehicles that can earn their owners passive income. But this robotaxi vision is still a long way off. November 2016: Tesla buys a German engineering company to help it push further into automation.YouTube/iPhone-FanMusk made it clear in early 2016 that automation was the future for Tesla. During a shareholder meeting in June, Musk said that he saw a huge opportunity in "building the machine that makes the machine." So it wasn't all that surprising when Tesla announced it was buying Grohmann Engineering, a German firm that specializes in designing systems for manufacturing automation.  November 2016: Tesla officially gets into the solar business.Elon Musk, Chairman of SolarCity and CEO of Tesla Motors, speaks at SolarCity's Inside Energy Summit in Midtown, New York.Thomson ReutersTesla closed its deal with SolarCity in November 2016.Some Tesla shareholders alleged that the deal amounted to a bailout that unfairly enriched Musk's family, sparking off a lengthy legal battle. Musk won the case in April.     February 2017: Tesla rebrands.APIn 2017, the automaker dropped the "motors" from its name in a move meant to reflect the fact that Tesla no longer just sold cars.  July 2017: Tesla launches the Model 3.Tesla Model 3.TeslaTesla launched the Model 3 in July 2017.  The first cars went to Musk and Tesla employees. Getting the Model 3 — a more affordable, mass-produced vehicle — to market was crucial for Tesla to grow its reach to become profitable. What ensued was months of "production hell," as Tesla ramped up production to thousands of cars per week. November 12017: Tesla unveils the Semi conceptTeslaAt an event at Tesla's Hawthorne, California, facility, the automaker showed off its Semi truck concept. With a center-mounted seat, the Semi promised a range of 500 miles and a 400-mile range after 30 minutes of charging. Musk even claimed it would have self-driving capabilities.The Semi has been delayed multiple times, but Tesla now says it will go into production in 2023. November 2017: Tesla unveils the Roadster conceptTeslaAt the Tesla Semi's unveiling, the company took the opportunity to tease another future product: the Roadster. Tesla claimed the $200,000 sports car would hit 60 mph in just 1.9 seconds. After delays, it's set to go into production in 2023. February 2018: Musk's Tesla Roadster goes to space.SpaceX via Getty ImagesIn February 2018, the rocket company SpaceX, another Musk venture, launched its founder's Tesla Roadster into orbit during a test launch of its Falcon Heavy rocket. A dummy dubbed "Starman," wearing a SpaceX spacesuit, was strapped into the driver's seat.  The car is currently orbiting the Sun.  August 2018: Musk tweets that he is "considering taking Tesla private at $420" a share.AP PhotoHe also said that he'd "secured" funding. The tweet would kick off an SEC investigation into Musk's tweeting habit. September 2018: The SEC charges Musk with making "false and misleading statements" about taking Tesla private.Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty ImagesThe agency accused Musk of misleading the public, claiming that he knew he didn't have a deal to take Tesla private. Eventually, the two settled. Musk had to step down as the chairman of Tesla's board of directors. Both he and Tesla were fined $20 million. The agreement stipulated that, going forward, Tesla lawyers needed to approve any of Musk's tweets containing material information about the company. March 2019: Tesla unveils the Model Y, its fourth vehicle.Tesla's Model Y.Tesla Motors/Handout via ReutersIn March 2019, Tesla revealed its fourth vehicle to date. Tesla said the Model Y would be able to travel 300 miles on a charge and seat seven people. October 2019: Tesla starts production at its new Shanghai factory.A Tesla logo is seen at a groundbreaking ceremony of Tesla Shanghai Gigafactory in ShanghaiReutersTesla became the first western automaker to own a factory in China without a joint venture. The factory, located in Shanghai, would help Tesla better supply the world's largest car market with its most popular vehicle, the Model 3. November 2019: Tesla unveils the Cybertruck pickup.FILE PHOTO: News: Tesla CybertruckReutersMusk unveiled the Cybertruck at an event on November 21, 2019. Tesla said the radically designed truck would be able to tow 14,000 pounds and travel 500 miles on a single charge.All did not go off without a hitch, though, as a demonstration meant to show the strength of the "armored" glass used in the truck left two huge cracks in it. The Cybertruck was supposed to be on sale already. Now Tesla says it'll hit streets in 2023. It's been beat to market by electric pickups from Ford, General Motors, and Rivian Automotive. March 2020: Tesla starts delivering the Model Y.Tesla Model Y/TeslaTesla started delivering the Model Y SUV to customers just as the global pandemic hit the US. June 2020: The Tesla Model S becomes the first EV to get a 400-mile range rating by the EPATeslaThe Tesla Model S Long Range Plus achieved an EPA-rated range of 402 miles, making it the first EV to do so. The company achieved this through cutting down on weight and maximizing regenerative braking.The Model S has since been beat by the Air, a sedan from the California startup Lucid Motors. But the Model S is still one of the longest-range electric cars you can buy today. July 2020: Tesla says it's turned a profit for four quarters in a row for the first time.Elon Musk.Alexi Rosenfeld / Contributor / gettyAfter burning through cash for years, Tesla hit its stride and started turning a consistent profit. The feat teed it up for being added to the S&P 500 index later that year. December 2020: Tesla builds 500,000 cars in a year.Tesla Model Y vehicles.Visual China Group / GettyTesla delivered 499,550 vehicles in 2020, just shy of its goal of half a million units. February 2021: Tesla spends $1.5 billion on bitcoin.Bitcoin tumbled to well below $20,000 over the weekend, before rebounding somewhat on Monday.Anadolu Agency/Getty ImagesAmid a cryptocurrency gold rush, Tesla announced it had bought $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin in January of 2021. It said it planned to accept the currency as a payment for Tesla cars, but that didn't last long. The value of bitcoin has plummeted in recent months, meaning Tesla's crypto bet is likely under water. June 2021: Tesla starts delivering the Model S Plaid, its fastest car ever.Tesla Model S Plaid.TeslaTesla announced the Model S Plaid at an even in September 2020, and started shipping it to customers in June 2021. Tesla's most powerful and fastest vehicle ever, the Plaid has three motors that propel it to 60 mph in a claimed 1.99 seconds. It now costs $135,990. October 2021: Tesla becomes a $1 trillion company.Tesla's share price soared to new heights in 2021.NDZ/Star Max / Contributor via GettyTesla's share price skyrocketed for the better part of 2020 and 2021 as the company proved its profitability and grew sales. In October 2021, as its share price crested $1,000, Tesla's market cap surged past $1 trillion. It joined powerhouses like Apple, Alphabet, Amazon, and Microsoft. December 2021: Tesla moves its headquarters to Texas.Tesla Giga Texas manufacturing facility during the "Cyber Rodeo" grand opening party on April 7, 2022 in Austin, Texas.SUZANNE CORDEIRO/AFP via Getty ImagesAfter announcing the move in October, Tesla officially moved its headquarters out of Silicon Valley to Austin, Texas in December. Musk also moved to Texas, where SpaceX's launch site is. March 2022: Tesla opens its third car factory near Berlin.One of the first Tesla Model Y SUVs leaves the assembly line at Tesla's Berlin factory.picture alliance / ContributorAfter months of bureaucratic delays and environmental protests, Tesla kicked off production at its new factory near Berlin in March. Tesla is building Model Y SUVs there for the European market. April 2022: Tesla opens Austin, Texas, Gigafactory.CEO of Tesla Motors Elon Musk speaks at the Tesla Giga Texas manufacturing "Cyber Rodeo" grand opening party on April 7, 2022 in Austin, Texas.SUZANNE CORDEIRO/AFP via Getty ImagesMere weeks after opening its third vehicle plant in Germany, Tesla opened a fourth, marking the occasion with a "Cyber Rodeo" party. The company makes the Model Y there. It also plans to eventually build the Cybertruck pickup at the sprawling facility. June 2022: Tesla moves to cut 10% of salaried staffA Tesla Model 3.David Zalubowski/APAmid a broader economic downturn, Musk outlined plans to cut 10% of Tesla's salaried staff in June. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJul 11th, 2022

2 German volunteers went to Ukraine to fight the Russians. Confusion, chaos, and then COVID-19, defeated them instead.

Ukrainian President Zelenskyy called on foreign fighters to help defend against Russian attacks. Many weren't what the Ministry of Defense had in mind. Lukas and Tobias, two German volunteers, arrive in the western city of Lviv, just over a week after Russia's invasion of Ukraine began.Alan Chin for Insider To help defend against Russian attacks, Ukrainian President Zelenskyy called on foreign fighters.  Volunteers poured in, but many were perhaps not what the Ministry of Defense had in mind. On March 2, two German volunteers arrived in Lviv, ready to become war heroes. Chaos ensued. The two Germans burst into the hostel in Lviv, Ukraine, at 2 a.m., bumping into the door frame and shouting questions about where the beds were and how to find the bathroom. It was March 2, a week into Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and the hostel was mostly filled with shell-shocked women and children escaping war to the east. The Germans were starkly out of place. Marie and Etterem, the Ukrainian-Turkish couple who ran the place, had been sleeping on the kitchen floor down in the basement—now doubling as an air raid bunker—to leave more room for guests. They got up to prepare tea for the newcomers, giving the men a chance to explain themselves."We are volunteer soldiers for the International Legion of the Ukrainian military," Lukas, the younger of the two men, said. His companion, Tobias, twitched with excitement as he interrupted with, "We're here to fight the Russians."Marie and Etterem thanked the men for their bravery and headed back to bed. The Germans stepped out onto the balcony for a smoke, inviting me—a jet-lagged journalist who had been staying at the hostel since the war began—to join their late-night conversation. Sharply dressed in pristine blue-and-white tennis shoes, with a nose piercing and studded ears, Lukas, 33, had been living in Montenegro for the last six months while working at his father's IT company. He had come with a small backpack containing little that might come in handy for a soldier, and just enough money to pay for a few nights at a hostel.As he would tell me later, Lukas was bored with his tech job and was looking for something "real." Ukraine seemed as real as it could get. When he told his family and his girlfriend that he planned to join the International Legion, they tried to hide his passport. He slipped out in the middle of the night. "It was my decision and no one could stop me," Lukas said.Tobias—a decade older, at 44—was a luxury watchmaker by trade and spent weekends DJ-ing at techno clubs. Tall and lanky, with gauged earlobes and an uneven buzz cut, he carried only a small, overstuffed suitcase on two wheels, a well-worn black backpack, and a khaki shoulder bag that he seemed unwilling to part with. A simple black watch hung on his wrist. Tobias had been watching the news from his home in Fulda, outside Frankfurt, and was moved by a striking image of a Ukrainian girl carrying a Kaloshnikov in Kyiv. She looked to be around the same age as his daughter, Luna. "What if that were my Luna?" he remembers thinking. "How could I let her do this fight alone?"  Over the last year, Tobias had fallen out with his father and sister, lost ownership of the business he'd spent years building, and relapsed into binge drinking and drugs. He hadn't seen either of his two kids in more than six months. "My family is everything, and I don't have them anymore," he said. So, why not go to Ukraine, he figured."Were we supposed to just stand by and watch?" Tobias asked, digging into his pocket for his lighter. "We are from Germany," he said, halting his incessant fidgeting to emphasize his words and allude to his country's WWII history. "Not again."Neither man had any military experience or combat training, or even a connection to Ukraine. Lukas, smoking a joint, pulled his jacket more tightly around himself. He had brought rolling papers, but not a scarf or gloves. It was just 26 degrees that night in Lviv, and snowing.'Please come, we will give you weapons'On February 26—two days after the start of the Russian bombardment—Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy invited foreign nationals who considered themselves friends of Ukraine to join the fight, saying, "Please come. We will give you weapons."A day after that, Ukraine's Ministry of Defense provided more details: "Anyone who wants to join the defense of Ukraine, Europe, and the world can come and fight side by side with the Ukrainians against the Russian war criminals." Practically unprecedented in modern times, it brought to mind the call for anti-fascist volunteers to Spain in the 1930s, when over 60,000 volunteers from 50 countries (George Orwell among them) rushed to the Republicans' side in the Spanish civil war.These foreign fighters would be incorporated into the military under a voluntary contract with the same rights and responsibilities as the 100,000 or more Ukrainian militiamen already organized within 25 Territorial Defense Force brigades around the country.The International Legion added to Ukraine's 200,000-plus active-duty troops and 900,000 reservists—Europe's second largest military force, according to the Council on Foreign Relations. Only Russia oversees a bigger military in the region, dwarfing the forces of its neighbors, with over 900,000 active-duty soldiers and two million reservists.Formed at breakneck speed, many of the recruits were perhaps not who the Ministry of Defense had hoped to attract or was prepared to train. And, although legislation already existed to recruit foreigners, the military infrastructure that is needed to prepare inexperienced volunteers for war was still developing.On March 2, Ukraine updated its guidelines, and specified that recruits must sign up at the nearest Ukrainian embassy, complete a background check, and pass a health screening before presenting for service. (By March 7, Ukraine said 20,000 foreign recruits from 52 countries had applied to join the International Legion. Some estimates suggest the number has grown to 40,000.)But by that time, Tobias and Lukas were already in Ukraine—heading to training in their sneakers and jeans. The Georgian LegionTobias and Lukas had met at the train station in Przemysl, a small town on the Polish-Ukrainian border, during the long wait for the next train to Lviv—40 miles to the east. Tobias had overheard Lukas chatting with another man in German and, happy to hear his mother tongue, introduced himself. Lukas had been telling people that he was heading to Ukraine as a humanitarian volunteer. But when Tobias mentioned that he already had a military contact inside Ukraine, Lukas came clean. Tobias (left) and Lukas at the train station in Lviv.Alan Chin for InsiderA few days earlier, back in Germany, Tobias had reached out to the Ukrainian embassy in Frankfurt and learned that Ukraine's borders were open for volunteer fighters from anywhere in the world. No visa was required, so travel wouldn't be a problem. Tobias went on Facebook in search of a contact for the International Legion. He discovered instead the Georgian Legion—a battalion of volunteer soldiers mostly from the ex-Soviet country, many of whom carried anger towards Russia from when President Putin attacked their country in 2008. Tobias was given an email address and instructed to reach out once he crossed into Ukraine. While Tobias might have thought he had nothing to lose, his family saw things differently. "It was like a rollercoaster," Tobias' daughter, Luna, told me when I reached her by phone. "Always waiting for messages to know if he was okay."Lukas had done even less research, jumping on a train without any plans, instructions, or contacts. Once in Ukraine, he figured, it wouldn't be difficult to connect with a recruiter for the Legion. And then, he met Tobias, who seemed to have all the information Lukas needed. The Germans decided to continue the journey together. On that first frigid night in Lviv, they arrived too late to meet their Georgian contact. Instead, they were told they should find a place to sleep, and a car would come for them the next morning to take them to the training center.  The hostel was the only place their taxi driver could find with two open beds in the packed city, which had become a transit hub for hundreds of thousands of people fleeing the bombardments of Kyiv, Kharkiv, and other cities.  Lukas (left) helps Tobias repack his bags as they prepare to meet their Georgian Legion escort at the hostel in Lviv, Ukraine.Katie Livingstone for InsiderThe next morning, after just a few hours of sleep, the Germans showered and repacked their bags. Lukas finished first and watched as Tobias struggled to stuff all his things into his two bags. After a while, Lukas gamely plopped onto Tobias' suitcase so that his companion could more easily zip it up.Sure enough, later that morning a dark blue skoda with two armed soldiers pulled up in front of the hostel. The car was unmarked, but the soldiers wore the telltale yellow armband meant to differentiate Ukrainian troops from Russian soldiers. Making their way to the car, the Germans promised me they would stay in touch. (Over the next three weeks, I would hear from them almost daily, and meet them for several more interviews. They asked that Insider use only their first names.)  Tobias and Lukas climbed into the back seat and off they sped to some unknown location to begin their service to Ukraine. 'Katastrophe'In a hushed phone call that first night, Tobias explained that he and Lukas had been taken to the Georgian Legion's barracks, just outside Lviv. The place was barren and disorganized. They had expected to receive gear and start training right away. Instead, they spent most of that day and night drinking and smoking with their new brothers-in-arms while trying to communicate in whatever lingua-franca passed for the moment. (Most of the soldiers were Georgian, and about a third were from other places.) "Katastrophe," Tobias repeated over and over again. "There's no organization, no organized training. Everyone just wants to kill the Russians." Lukas and Tobias depart the Lviv hostel for training with the Georgian Legion.Katie Livingstone for InsiderThe next morning, Tobias and Lukas were told the Georgians were evacuating the base after getting a report that Russians were heading their way. They should take a train to Kyiv, they were told.But the details were foggy. Still without any military gear, they told me they were instructed to pose as Red Cross volunteers and prepare reports on any suspicious activity that they observed en route. "They want us to spy on the people on the train," Tobias said. Once in the capital, they would meet up with another squadron at a safe-house. After that, they'd go to the front, they were told.When asked why the Legion would make such a request of two foreigners with no experience in the country who couldn't speak the local languages, Lukas said simply: "They asked, so we are going." Out of Lukas' earshot, Tobias offered another explanation. "The Georgian officer asked Lukas to stop smoking in the room twice last night. And he didn't want to. He's not thinking. Then, the officer asked us to go to Kyiv, and Lukas agreed. Katastrophe," Tobias lamented. He had agreed to accompany Lukas because he didn't want the younger man to go alone, he said.Fissures in the brotherhood were already becoming apparent.Meanwhile, since the war began, no Russian troops have been reported in Lviv by any media outlets. Instead, across Lviv, paranoia about Russian saboteurs was palpable. At the hostel where Tobias and Lukas stayed, Marie and Etterem said they received almost nightly calls from an intelligence officer asking if any of their guests seemed dubious. One night, prior to the Germans' arrival, police had burst into the small lodge and interrogated all of the male foreigners staying there, and then left without another word. Hundreds of check-points have gone up around greater Lviv and residents are told to call a hotline to report anything suspicious."I remember two crazy Germans," Mamuka Mamulashvili, the commander of the Georgian Legion, told me when I reached him over Skype. I showed him a picture of Tobias and Lukas, just to be sure, and Mamulashvili burst out laughing, explaining that he tries to personally interview every recruit. "That's them.""My officers told me there were these two guys trying to party in the barracks, and they had to go. They were gone the next day," Mamulashvili said. Mamulashvili said the Georgian Legion is a Special Forces battalion made up of combat-ready fighters, and that it has been repeatedly confused with Ukraine's newly-organized International Legion, which has training capacity for less experienced soldiers."I don't know anything about the 'spy story,' though," he added with a smirk, after I summarized what the Germans had told me.'Ukraine must know its heroes'Unlike the packed trains carrying mostly women and children toward the Polish border, the trains heading east had plenty of seats. Tobias and Lukas' trip to Kyiv was uneventful, even as their excitement grew. "We have gone past some blown-up buildings, and I think I saw an unexploded missile in a field," Tobias texted from the train."This isn't what I signed up for," Lukas admitted in an audio message, adding, "But we are ready." Tobias and Lukas arrived at Kyiv's central train station that evening, still wearing their civilian clothes. As instructed, they called their Georgian commander back in Lviv. The phone rang and rang. No one answered. Now at the war's doorstep, they had no plan and no idea where they would spend the night.By this point in the war—ten days after Kyiv was first hit—Russian missile assaults had driven over a million people to the west and into neighboring countries. That day, Russian troops had occupied the nuclear power plant in Zaporizhzhia, stirring up decades-old fears of nuclear war. Incessant bombing had started in Mariupol, southeast from Kyiv—the start of one of the worst civilian disasters in Ukraine since the war began.Tobias on the train from Lviv to Kyiv, where he and Lukas hoped to finally reach the front line.TobiasBut Ukrainian forces had stalled the 40-mile-long line of Russian troops heading into the capital from Belarus, repelling forces from the capital through a stunningly successful combination of air defense tactics and street combat. Zelenkskyy continued to speak to the Ukrainian people from Kyiv's iconic city squares, proving to the world that the capital was still in Ukrainian hands. Still, shelling was heard nightly and many residents of the capital took refuge in the city's subway stations, which had been built during the Cold War to withstand a nuclear attack. Without a better idea, Tobias and Lukas began approaching uniformed soldiers to ask if they could join their squads. They eventually found two friendly Ukrainian reservists in fatigues and, with the help of a translation app on their phones, introduced themselves. The reservists said their squadron had not yet been mobilized. They invited the Germans back to their makeshift barracks, in the back of a storefront, to sleep for the night. "Only civilians are protecting the train station! There's a ring of Russians around Kyiv! We don't know how to get out!" Tobias exclaimed on the phone that night. I checked the news and, in fact, trains were still leaving daily to the east. With their Georgian commander still not picking up their calls, the Germans passed the hours drinking the reservists' alcohol and smoking the last of the marijuana Lukas had brought—bonding over their united mission against Russia. Tobias (second from left) and Lukas (right) hang out with the Ukrainian reservists they met at the Kyiv train station. The Ukrainians invited them to stay at their makeshift barracks.TobiasThe next morning, the reservists drove Tobias and Lukas around Kyiv to search for a new group to join, the Germans told me. But no one would have them. "They told us to leave because the war is lost and it is too dangerous," Tobias said later. (In fact, the steadfast resolve of Ukrainian soldiers and civilians alike has been well documented. Insider was unable to speak to the reservists by phone to confirm details of the visit.)Their best bet was to return to Lviv and try to reconnect with the International Legion there, Tobias and Lukas decided.  Back at Kyiv's train station, they found, for the first time, they were heading in the same direction as throngs of other people. Children still in their pajamas from hasty escapes, elderly people with blank stares and almost no luggage. When a Lviv-bound train pulled up at the platform, the scene was chaotic, as hundreds of people tried to push their way onto the already crowded train. The Germans noticed a shell-shocked woman standing nearby, who seemed unable to jostle her things onto the train. They sprung into action, securing the woman a seat on the next train out and, as her escorts, finding just enough space to squeeze themselves into the train's corridor. The woman, named Yulia, was 38 and had fled the besieged northeastern city of Kharkiv. She carried just one small suitcase and said she wasn't sure if her apartment had been bombed. She said she thought it had.  On the long ride west, Tobias and Lukas hatched a plan to escort Yulia to Germany. "It's too dangerous for a woman to travel on her own," Tobias told me later that night, with conviction and satisfaction in his voice. But the next morning, after another night spent in the bunk-beds of the Lviv hostel, they changed their minds about leaving Ukraine so quickly. They accompanied Yulia to the bus station, and waved as she headed towards Poland, where she had family waiting for her."I am very grateful to these guys who literally dragged me onto the train to Lviv," she later posted on Facebook. (She also confirmed the details of Tobias and Lukas' story to Insider.) "I can't tell you how I felt at that moment, only tears of joy and gratitude. Ukraine must know its heroes—Sláva Ukrayíni! (Glory to Ukraine!)"Reinvigorated by their brief visit to Kyiv, Tobias and Lukas finally gave up on the Georgians and decided to focus on the International Legion. But it still wasn't clear how they would do that. So, once again, they began approaching men in uniform.Soon, a friendly man in fatigues was leading them to a small building that had just been repurposed into a military post for the International Legion. Inside, they were led past the long line of Ukrainian men presenting for service with the Territorial Defense Forces, to the much shorter line reserved for foreigners.Tobias and Lukas were asked a few questions and then heard the words they had been waiting for: The International Legion of the Ukrainian armed forces would welcome them at its training center. The Yavoriv training center was located at a former NATO base, 15 miles from the Polish border. Tobias and Lukas would spend the night at a way-station in Novoyavorivsk, not far from the base. Finally, it seemed, Tobias and Lukas were on the right course.'Drive as fast as the rockets!'The first day at the Yavoriv training center of the International Legion was a blur of activity. There were recruits from the US, Canada, Israel, and several other countries. Taking pictures at the base was forbidden and the recruits were told to switch their phones to airplane mode to avoid detection.As Tobias and Lukas would later tell me, Ukrainian soldiers took their passport details and had them sign documents, which they said they couldn't understand because they were written in Ukrainian. No copies were provided. Every recruit was given pants with a digital camouflage pattern (too thin for the winter, they said), several button-down shirts, some undershirts and underwear (several sizes too big, they said), boots, and a duffle bag. They were offered a Kalashnikov, but no ammunition since foreign recruits were not allowed to carry loaded weapons on the base.Days on the base started every day at 6 a.m. with breakfast in the mess hall, followed by marches in formation and combat exercises. They were taught about Russian weaponry and field tactics via PowerPoint presentations. Recruits sat shoulder to shoulder in packed rooms, often without enough chairs.Tobias in uniform during training at Yavoriv.LukasTo verify what the men were telling me, I went to one of the International Legion's offices in Lviv and interviewed Col. Anton Myronovych, a public affairs officer for the Ukrainian military.He told me the contracts he's seen are translated into English—it's the same contract as Ukrainian volunteers for the Territorial Defense Forces—and trainees receive copies of everything they sign. Foreign fighters are also entitled to the same pay and benefits as Ukrainians. "There's no difference between Ukrainians and foreigners in this situation," he said. Col. Myronovych said that troops in the International Legion are initially trained in separate groups according to their skill level, and later put into squadrons with skilled soldiers. When international battalions are sent to the front, he said, they are paired with Ukrainian battalions already on the battlefield to face the enemy as a united force. At Yavoriv, Lukas had grown tight-lipped. He said he couldn't talk while on the base. But Tobias was in high spirits. "They're crazy happy I have a license to drive trucks," Tobias said in a WhatsApp message after the first day of training. He imagined they might assign him to transport goods to the front since there were so few available drivers. "But this is also very dangerous," he said. "So I'll have to drive as fast as the rockets!"'Someone watching your back'One of the first people Tobias and Lukas met in Novoyavorivsk was Kevin, a sturdy, 58-year-old Irishman with bright white hair. Unlike most of the other recruits, Kevin had arrived in Ukraine with a bullet-proof vest and a helmet, and seemed well versed in modern weaponry and tactics. As a young man, he had served in the Irish special forces, and had later worked as a security contractor in some of the world's hotspots. (Kevin would later show me dog-eared pictures of from his military days, which he'd brought with him to Ukraine.) With high blood pressure and persistent pain from, he said, a crushed vertebra from a parachuting accident years ago, he was no longer in top form, but he thought he could still be useful in a fight.Like the Germans, Kevin had hoped to join a small squadron and get out to the front line as soon as possible. "When you see the suffering, the killing of women and children and the elderly, it's pretty hard to just sit back and watch it happen," Kevin told me later. Kevin displays two photographs from his younger days as a soldier.Katie Livingstone for InsiderWhen Kevin contacted the Ukrainian embassy in Ireland, they only insisted on recruits having some military experience, according to an email reviewed by Insider. After Kevin crossed the border, he found a military representative, who directed him to the training center at Yavoriv. In Tobias and Lukas, Kevin saw men with "good hearts." "We all agreed that we would help and look out for each other," Kevin told me when I first interviewed him. "In situations like this, it is essential to have someone watching your back and vice versa." Meanwhile, three other recruits had also joined the Germans' unofficial crew. There was William, a moody, 25-year-old Frenchman, who cited his hundreds of hours playing Call of Duty when asked about his military experience; Misha, 42 and Czech, who admitted he didn't know how to handle a gun but said he could survive off the land for months at a time if needed; and Erik, a 20-year-old medic from Germany, had brought along a well-stocked first aid kit and flak jacket from his time training (but not fighting) with the military back home.'I came to fight for Ukraine, not to die for Ukraine'Within about three days, doubt once again had set in. There wasn't any time for questions, or enough equipment for hands-on practice. Many of the recruits weren't taking the training seriously, and were smoking cigarettes during drills. Then, there was the constant clamor of air raid sirens—day and night—and the furious rush to take cover in case they signaled a true threat. And all over the base, the men noticed that fellow recruits were getting sick. On around the third day of training, Tobias started feeling unwell. A high fever kept him up at night. Kevin wouldn't admit it, but others noticed something wrong in him, too. William fainted twice during their morning exercises. The three men started skipping training to rest—which was fine, since no one required them to attend. There was no COVID-19 testing available on the base, but all three suspected they'd come down with the virus. With a hint of hyperbole, the men said that half of the recruits appeared to be sick, and some were giving up on training entirely and leaving the camp. (Col. Myronovych denied any large-scale Covid outbreak, or shortage of medical care.) "I am wondering if I made the right decision to come," Tobias wrote in a WhatsApp message.  "But it is too late to turn back now." At around the same time, Neumann, a German field medic who was helping to lead some of their drills, started showing signs of mounting stress, the men said. He had begun shouting during their lessons, they said, losing his patience more often with both the recruits and the Ukrainian officers. That afternoon, Neumann pulled Tobias, Kevin and a few others aside. He whispered urgently that he had overheard some of the Ukrainian officers talking. Behind their backs, officers were referring to recruits like them—those without combat training but with a will to fight—as "cannon fodder" and "mine meat." They'd be used to open up the battlefield and test their enemy's capabilities before risking more valuable, better-trained troops, he said. With tears streaming down his face, he urged the men to leave. Insider was unable to reach Neumann, and the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine did not respond to requests for comments on these accusations. When I asked Col. Myronovych about this, he said he didn't recognize the name Neumann, and denied that such an attitude existed.Foreign recruits have access to the same training resources and safety measures as Ukrainian members of the Territorial Defense Forces, Col. Myronovych said, adding that the Legion was doing the best they could to quickly and effectively train these rookie troops alongside veteran soldiers. "They cannot only fight and die in the first day. They have to survive. They have to stay safe. It's one of our goals—they have to come back alive." Back at Yavoriv, Neumann's warning terrified Tobias, Lukas, and the others. Erik's tactical first aid vest, which he brought with him from Germany.Used with permission"I came to fight for Ukraine, not to die for Ukraine," Erik told me later. "Being in these legions is like holding a loaded gun to your head and pulling the trigger." The six men decided it was time to leave, and went to their commanding officer to report their decision. After that, things moved quickly. They were immediately separated from the other troops, and forbidden from reentering the barracks or other communal areas unaccompanied. They were ushered back into the registration area to sign more forms and then into the storerooms to return their gear. Within a couple hours of their announcement, they were waiting for a taxi back to Novoyavorivsk, hoping to make it back to Lviv before the 10 p.m. curfew. Thanks to a last-minute cancellation on Booking.com, they ended up lucking out and finding an apartment in downtown Lviv that could house all six of them for the next week. It only had 2 double beds, but seemed warm and safe. At around midnight, the six soldiers arrived at the apartment, and promptly fell asleep on couches, floors, and beds. Close callThe next morning, at about 5:50 am — as the six men slept in their rented apartment in Lviv — 30 high-precision missiles hit the Yavoriv training center.Initial estimates said that 35 people had been killed and another 134 were wounded, making it one of the most devastating attacks on a military facility since Russia's invasion of Ukraine began. A Russian spokesman later said that the strike had targeted "foreign mercenaries" and a large shipment of weapons from the west. The six men, safe in Lviv, only learned of the bombing when they awoke hours later. They had slept through the sirens that had blared across the region to announce the danger. Groggy and still incredulous from the many false alarms they had endured in the last week, they pulled up shaky videos of the base on social media. They saw smoke rising from courtyards they recognized, strewn with debris, and heard victims crying for help in the background. They tried calling a few of the fellow trainees, who's numbers they'd collected. For hours, no one picked up. It seemed that the horrible reality of war had finally started to sink in, and they didn't yet seem to have the words to describe the mix of relief and guilt they were feeling at having narrowly escaped the carnage."If I was there, I could have at least tied a tourniquet," Erik said later. The men spent the rest of the day arguing about what to do next. The three youngest – Lukas, William, and Erik – talked about going to the front to join the unofficial squadrons they'd heard about. But at this point, Tobias and Kevin had been paying everyone's way, and they announced they were tired of it. The next day, Kevin told Lukas, William, and Erik they had to go. "Wake up. This isn't a game and we're not your parents," Kevin told them as his parting words, handing them bus money and a spare iPhone since Erik's had disappeared at the base.  From left to right, Kevin, William, and Eric at the apartment in Lviv.Katie Livingstone for InsiderEleven days after arriving in Ukraine with Tobias, Lukas left without saying goodbye. He was out of the war zone by later that afternoon. "I am dead," Lukas told me later over WhatsApp.Back in Montenegro, Lukas vowed to return to Ukraine soon, better prepared, to finish his mission. Maybe he hadn't understood how easily it would be to die in a war that had already claimed thousands of Ukrainian and Russian lives. William ultimately stayed in Ukraine for a few more weeks to volunteer with the Cross of Malta, and has since returned to his IT job in France. Erik is gone too. Back home, he told me he was having nightmares about the people he didn't help. Misha was the next to left Ukraine. Only Tobias and Kevin remained.They had come to "kill some Russians," as they often said, and still weren't ready to give up on that. They went to the train station to volunteer, but were turned away because, they were told, each group already had enough help. Tobias thought about trying to link up with the reservists in Kyiv, who had been mobilized since their first meeting. In truth, Tobias was too sick to do much of anything. On top of the fever, headaches and racing hearts, Kevin had also run out of his blood pressure medicine, and Tobias was out of the pills he took to manage his anxiety.On Wednesday, March 16, both men tested positive for COVID-19.Tobias' positive COVID-19 test.Tobias On Friday, Tobias sat outside their apartment under the glare of a full moon, whispering because it was after curfew and he didn't want the neighbors to call the police. "I don't want my kids to grow up without a father," he said emotionally, finally realizing he didn't want to die in this war."I am too sick to fight. I am useless, I must go home," Tobias said. He left Ukraine on March 21.A week later, while trying out tricks on a bike he had bought for his son, Tobias fell—breaking his shoulder. He sent me a picture, displaying his wounded body. "Unbelievable," Tobias texted. "Back from Ukraine and totally injured in Germany." Kevin made the same concession and returned to Ireland—though he, like Lukas, plans to return to Ukraine soon. Less than three weeks after valiantly trekking across Europe to join a fight more visceral and complicated than any of them had imagined, Tobias, Lukas, and the others had returned home without ever meeting a Russian soldier. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderApr 29th, 2022

Recap: Americans protested after Memphis released footage showing police officers beating Tyre Nichols

The Memphis Police Department released disturbing footage on Friday showing the brutal beating of Tyre Nichols, and people protested across the US. People in Memphis gather on January 28, 2023, to protest the death of Tyre Nichols, who was fatally beaten by police officers.Haven Orecchio-Egresitz/Insider Memphis police released footage of five officers beating Tyre Nichols, who died three days later. Demonstrators gathered in Memphis on Friday evening, chanting "no justice, no peace." Protests continued through the weekend, and a city councilman urged people not to give up until there is change. Content note: This story describes police brutality and death and contains graphic videos.Parents of Tyre Nichols invited to State of the Union address after public outcry following his deathRowVaughn Wells, mother of Tyre Nichols, who died after being beaten by Memphis police officers, is comforted at a news conference with civil rights Attorney Ben Crump in Memphis, Tenn., Friday, Jan. 27, 2023.AP Photo/Gerald HerbertThe parents of Tyre Nichols, who died earlier this month after being beaten by Memphis police officers, have been invited to next week's State of the Union address.Rep. Steven Horsford of Nevada, the chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, extended the invitation to Nichols' grieving parents. In an appearance PoliticsNation on MSNBC, Horsford said he spoke with the man's family "to first extend our condolences to them, to let them know that we stand with them, to ask them what they want from us in this moment."Read Full StoryGOP Rep. Jim Jordan condemned the death of Tyre Nichols but also said there aren't 'enough good people' seeking to become police officers due to the 'disparagement' of law enforcementPeople protest in Memphis following the release of video showing the deadly encounter between police and Tyre NicholsShameka Wilson for InsiderRep. Jim Jordan of Ohio on Sunday that there aren't "enough good people" seeking to become police officers due to the effects of the "defund the police" movement, which he blames for smearing law enforcement officials across the country.Jordan, the Republican chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, made the comments on NBC's "Meet the Press" while discussing the death of Tyre Nichols, who was brutally beaten by five police officers in Memphis, Tenn., earlier this month."We're not getting enough good people applying because of the disparagement on police officers. They don't get enough people applying, taking the test to enter the academy to be an officer because there's been this defund the police concept out there," he said on the NBC News program."There's been this attack on law enforcement, and you're not getting the best of the best," he added.Read Full StoryThe daughter of Eric Garner, who was fatally choked by an NYPD officer in 2014, says the Tyre Nichols footage was treated like 'a public lynching'Emerald Garner, Eric Garner's daughter.(Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)The daughter of Eric Garner, who an NYPD officer fatally choked in 2014, spoke out about the footage of Tyre Nichols' arrest, and sharply criticized how authorities handled the release. "The fact that we waited for this video to be released like it was an exclusive movie that needed to be premiered on a certain day, it really boils my blood," Emerald Garner told NewsNation on Friday. "It's just heart-wrenching."She told the outlet that it was a grim reminder of the fatal encounter her father had with Daniel Pantaleo, the former NYPD officer who put her father in a chokehold during an attempted arrest caught on cellphone video."It's a replay of what happened eight years ago, almost nine.... to my father," she said. "It's ridiculous."Read Full StoryMemphis Police Department says it will 'permanently deactivate' the SCORPION unit whose officers beat Tyre NicholsMemphis police officers Demetrius Haley, Tadarrius Bean, Justin Smith, Emmitt Martin., and Desmond Mills Jr. are now facing murder charges.Memphis Police DepartmentThe Memphis Police Department will 'permanently deactivate' its SCORPION Unit, the department announced Saturday, as protesters gathered for a second night of demonstrations over the killing of Tyre Nichols by five of the team's officers.The city had already announced it would hire an outside firm to investigate the unit, which was launched in 2021 and stands for Street Crimes Operation to Restore Peace In Our Neighborhoods.Read Full StorySaturday's protest kicked off despite rain.People in Memphis gather on January 28, 2023, to protest the death of Tyre Nichols, who was fatally beaten by police officers.Haven Orecchio-Egresitz/InsiderMEMPHIS, Tennessee — Protesters are back in the streets Saturday evening. It's lightly raining outside city hall."We demand that each and every officer, every sheriffs officer, every EMT, be immediately fired," Memphis city council member JB Smiley Jr. told the crowd.Protesters are angry today that the mayor didn't agree to meet their demands in a call that was made from the bridge last night. They are expressing dismay, after watching the video, that there were eight people in the video and they don't know the names of the other three. Five officers have been charged with second-degree murder.Smiley is opening the protest tonight, urging people to show up to city council meetings and not give up until there's change: "As we say in Memphis, pull up."People on bikes and skateboards cruised down Manhattan streets, protesting against police brutality and celebrating Nichols' love of skating.—Scott Heins (@scottheins) January 28, 2023 Tyre Nichols' mom was mere blocks away when Memphis cops beat her son, and said she felt a pain in her gut when it happenedRowVaughn Wells is comforted at a news conference with civil rights Attorney Ben Crump in Memphis, Tenn., Friday, Jan. 27, 2023.AP Photo/Gerald HerbertMEMPHIS, Tenn — Every Saturday night, RowVaughn Wells would cook dinner for her husband and son. They would eat together.But on the evening of January 7, the Memphis mother had a strange pain in her stomach and didn't know why.It wasn't until hours later that she would learn that that pain coincided with some of what she now believes her son Tyre was experiencing mere blocks away."For me to find out that my son was calling my name, and I was only feet away, and I did not even hear him; you have no clue how I feel right now," Wells said on Friday.READ FULL STORYCivil rights attorney Ben Crump shared a video of Tyre Nichols' parents talking to President Joe BidenCrump tweeted that they "bonded over the love they share for their children."Nichols' mother, RowVaughn Wells, told Biden that her son had her name tattooed on his arm."If I could give you a piece of advice," Biden told them, "if things get really rough, don't be afraid to ask for help. This is like if you were in a battlefield and something happened. It's called post-traumatic stress."—Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) January 28, 2023The Memphis Police Department's original report on Tyre Nichols death is full of discrepancies and outright omissions, newly released bodycam footage showsThe image from video released on Jan. 27, 2023, by the City of Memphis, shows police officers talking after a brutal attack on Tyre Nichols by five Memphis police officers on Jan. 7, 2023.City of Memphis via APOn January 8, the Memphis Police Department released a statement describing a "confrontation" with an alleged reckless driver, later identified as Tyre Nichols. But bodycam footage of the incident, released Friday, revealed a different story of the brutal beating that left the 29-year-old dead."On January 7, 2023, at approximately 8:30pm, officers in the area of Raines Road and Ross Road attempted to make a traffic stop for reckless driving," The original Memphis Police Department statement read. "As officers approached the driver of the vehicle, a confrontation occurred, and the suspect fled the scene on foot."Read Full StoryActivists are spreading carefree videos of Tyre Nichols skateboarding to remember him as someone who 'lived in joy'A woman leaves a flower during a vigil on the day of the release of a video showing the Memphis police beating of Tyre Nichols.Brian Snyder/ReutersTyre Nichols was a gentle skateboarder who loved his family and photography. And his friends, family, and activists protesting his death want to remember him that way. A video compilation of the 29-year-old grinding rails and catching air in Sacramento, California is being shared across social media to commemorate his life.Camara Williams, a podcaster, attorney, and community organizer who advocates for abolishing the police, tweeted the video on Friday, telling Insider the video showed "he was a person who lived in life and lived in joy." Read Full StoryLegal experts agree: The videos show a complete 'breakdown' in police protocolsStill from Memphis Police body cam footage of Tyre Nichols beating.Memphis Police"What I saw was certainly police misconduct," Joshua Ritter, a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney, former prosecutor, and partner with El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers, told Insider of the footage. "What I saw is never the way that five fully trained officers should try to detain a person."Neama Rahmani, president of West Coast Trial Lawyers and a former federal prosecutor, said there was "no question in my mind that murder charges are appropriate.""I've prosecuted police officers. I've seen police officers imprisoned. I've seen a lot," he said. "This is probably one of the worst things I've ever seen."Read Full StoryMemphis councilman breaks down in tears over bodycam footage—Shannonnn sharpes Burner (PARODY Account) (@shannonsharpeee) January 28, 2023In an emotional interview with CNN's Don Lemon, Memphis City Council chairman Martavius Jones broke down in tears over the death of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols, saying "this wasn't supposed to happen.""Don, we have to do something," Jones told Lemon in the clip, which has since gone viral on social media. "Not that we were immune to anything, but this wasn't supposed to happen in our community. This was a traffic stop, it wasn't supposed to end like this."Read Full Story2 Shelby County deputies placed on leave, Sheriff Floyd Bonner, Jr. says after Tyre Nichols footage released—ShelbyTNSheriff (@ShelbyTNSheriff) January 28, 2023 Two deputies with the Shelby County Sheriff's office were relieved of duty pending an investigation, Sheriff Floyd Bonner, Jr. said in a Friday night statement."Having watched the videotape for the first time tonight, I have concerns about two deputies who appeared on the scene following the physical confrontation between police and Tyre Nichols," the statement reads. "I have launched an internal investigation into the conduct of these deputies to determine what occurred and if any policies were violated."On Friday evening, officials in Memphis, Tennessee, released the video footage of Memphis Police Officers beating Nichols after a January 7, 2023, traffic stop. Nichols died several days later of his injuries.Five now-former Memphis Police Officers have been charged with second-degree murder.Protesters in New York gathered in Times Square and other parts of the city to protest the death of Tyre NicholsPeople in New York take part in a protest on January 27, 2023, the day of the release of a video showing police officers beating Tyre Nichols.REUTERS/Andrew KellyProtesters gathered in New York City in Times Square and other locations on Friday night to protest the death of Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old Black man. A handful of arrests were made, per NYPD, but the full number would not be available until the morning.Nichols died several days after being beaten by police in Memphis, Tennessee, during a January 7, 2023, traffic stop. Camera footage of the deadly police beating was released by Memphis on Friday evening at 7 p.m. ET. Protesters say they have demands for Memphis Mayor Jim StricklandProtesters in Memphis, Tennessee calling for reform after police officers beat Tyre Nichols, who died days later.Haven Orecchio/InisderMEMPHIS, Tennessee — Protesters told Insider's Haven Orecchio that they called Mayor Jim Strickland with demands and will not leave the Memphis and Arkansas Bridge, where the protesters have congregated, until he returns their call.The demands include but are not limited to passing the Data Transparency Ordinance at the city and county levels, tracking law enforcement data, ending the use of unmarked cars and plainclothes officers, and dissolving the SCORPION unit along with other task forces.Biden 'outraged' after release of 'horrific' videos showing Memphis police officers beating Tyre NicholsPresident Joe Biden speaks at the White House on January 12, 2023.AP Photo/Andrew HarnikPresident Joe Biden spoke out on Friday moments after the release of several videos showing police officers brutally beating Tyre Nichols.On Friday, The City of Memphis released four separate videos related to events surrounding the arrest and beating of Nichols.Biden said in a statement that he was "outraged" by what he saw. "Like so many, I was outraged and deeply pained to see the horrific video of the beating that resulted in Tyre Nichols' death," Biden said. "It is yet another painful reminder of the profound fear and trauma, the pain, and the exhaustion that Black and Brown Americans experience every single day."Read Full Story'It could have been me' a truck driver tells InsiderMEMPHIS, Tennessee — Speaking from the driver's seat of an 18-wheeler trying to merge onto I-55, truck driver Mark told insider he was running out of fuel.He didn't know that he'd run into the protest. If he did, he said, he would have left later.As a Black man, he said he doesn't fault the protestors and would "possibly" be out with them if he was from here. He's on his way to Oklahoma with 1,400 miles left."It could have been me," he told Insider. "It's not the first and it won't be the last."Tyre Nichols video: Body cam footage showing brutal police beating by 5 Memphis police officers releasedA portrait of Tyre Nichols is displayed at a memorial service for him on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023 in Memphis, Tenn.Adrian Sainz/AP PhotoMEMPHIS, Tennessee — The Memphis Police Department released disturbing footage Friday evening showing the brutal beating of Tyre Nichols.The violent footage, from police body cameras and stationary cameras, was released on the department's Vimeo page."You guys are really doing a lot right now," Nichols is heard saying to the officers at the start of the videos, which were released in four parts. "I'm just trying to go home."The beating occurred during a traffic stop in Memphis' Hickory Hill neighborhood on January 7. Nichols, who was 29, died of his injuries three days later. Authorities said Nichols had been stopped by the officers and accused of reckless driving, but Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn J. Davis has since said the department has not found proof to substantiate the reckless driving allegation.Memphis officials and others with access to the video had warned the public of the gruesome nature of the footage in advance of its release on Friday. READ FULL STORYProtesters gathered in Memphis ahead of the video release saying they didn't need to see the footage because they knew 'it was murder'People in Memphis protest the death of Tyre Nichols, who was fatally beaten by police officers.Haven Orecchio, InsiderMEMPHIS, Tennessee — Protesters gathered at Martyrs Park in Memphis, Tennessee, around 6 p.m. local time on Friday evening as the city braced for the release of graphic body camera footage that shows several police officers fatally beating Tyre Nichols.Demonstrators said they didn't need to wait for the video — they already knew Nichols' death was murder.Five officers have been charged with second-degree murder.Approximately hundreds of protesters blocked a long line of 18-wheelers on Old Bridge, chanting "You take our lives, we'll take your money" and "no justice, no peace.Sherri, a Memphis native, told Insider her 28-year-old Black son moved to Germany, and she's glad he's out of the country and away from cops in Memphis. She said she was pulled over on Thursday night and was nervous.When an officer asked her why she was anxious, she responded: "Not all interactions end this way." Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nyt2 hr. 51 min. ago

Tyre Nichols live updates: Parents of Tyre Nichols invited to State of the Union address after public outcry following his death

The Memphis Police Department released disturbing footage on Friday showing the brutal beating of Tyre Nichols, and people protested across the US. People in Memphis gather on January 28, 2023, to protest the death of Tyre Nichols, who was fatally beaten by police officers.Haven Orecchio-Egresitz/Insider Memphis police released footage of five officers beating Tyre Nichols, who died three days later. Demonstrators gathered in Memphis on Friday evening, chanting "no justice, no peace." Protests resumed Saturday, and a city councilman urged people not to give up until there's change. Content note: This story describes police brutality and death and contains graphic videos.Parents of Tyre Nichols invited to State of the Union address after public outcry following his deathRowVaughn Wells, mother of Tyre Nichols, who died after being beaten by Memphis police officers, is comforted at a news conference with civil rights Attorney Ben Crump in Memphis, Tenn., Friday, Jan. 27, 2023.AP Photo/Gerald HerbertThe parents of Tyre Nichols, who died earlier this month after being beaten by Memphis police officers, have been invited to next week's State of the Union address.Rep. Steven Horsford of Nevada, the chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, extended the invitation to Nichols' grieving parents. In an appearance PoliticsNation on MSNBC, Horsford said he spoke with the man's family "to first extend our condolences to them, to let them know that we stand with them, to ask them what they want from us in this moment."Read Full StoryGOP Rep. Jim Jordan condemned the death of Tyre Nichols but also said there aren't 'enough good people' seeking to become police officers due to the 'disparagement' of law enforcementPeople protest in Memphis following the release of video showing the deadly encounter between police and Tyre NicholsShameka Wilson for InsiderRep. Jim Jordan of Ohio on Sunday that there aren't "enough good people" seeking to become police officers due to the effects of the "defund the police" movement, which he blames for smearing law enforcement officials across the country.Jordan, the Republican chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, made the comments on NBC's "Meet the Press" while discussing the death of Tyre Nichols, who was brutally beaten by five police officers in Memphis, Tenn., earlier this month."We're not getting enough good people applying because of the disparagement on police officers. They don't get enough people applying, taking the test to enter the academy to be an officer because there's been this defund the police concept out there," he said on the NBC News program."There's been this attack on law enforcement, and you're not getting the best of the best," he added.Read Full StoryThe daughter of Eric Garner, who was fatally choked by an NYPD officer in 2014, says the Tyre Nichols footage was treated like 'a public lynching'Emerald Garner, Eric Garner's daughter.(Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)The daughter of Eric Garner, who an NYPD officer fatally choked in 2014, spoke out about the footage of Tyre Nichols' arrest, and sharply criticized how authorities handled the release. "The fact that we waited for this video to be released like it was an exclusive movie that needed to be premiered on a certain day, it really boils my blood," Emerald Garner told NewsNation on Friday. "It's just heart-wrenching."She told the outlet that it was a grim reminder of the fatal encounter her father had with Daniel Pantaleo, the former NYPD officer who put her father in a chokehold during an attempted arrest caught on cellphone video."It's a replay of what happened eight years ago, almost nine.... to my father," she said. "It's ridiculous."Read Full StoryMemphis Police Department says it will 'permanently deactivate' the SCORPION unit whose officers beat Tyre NicholsMemphis police officers Demetrius Haley, Tadarrius Bean, Justin Smith, Emmitt Martin., and Desmond Mills Jr. are now facing murder charges.Memphis Police DepartmentThe Memphis Police Department will 'permanently deactivate' its SCORPION Unit, the department announced Saturday, as protesters gathered for a second night of demonstrations over the killing of Tyre Nichols by five of the team's officers.The city had already announced it would hire an outside firm to investigate the unit, which was launched in 2021 and stands for Street Crimes Operation to Restore Peace In Our Neighborhoods.Read Full StorySaturday's protest kicked off despite rain.People in Memphis gather on January 28, 2023, to protest the death of Tyre Nichols, who was fatally beaten by police officers.Haven Orecchio-Egresitz/InsiderMEMPHIS, Tennessee — Protesters are back in the streets Saturday evening. It's lightly raining outside city hall."We demand that each and every officer, every sheriffs officer, every EMT, be immediately fired," Memphis city council member JB Smiley Jr. told the crowd.Protesters are angry today that the mayor didn't agree to meet their demands in a call that was made from the bridge last night. They are expressing dismay, after watching the video, that there were eight people in the video and they don't know the names of the other three. Five officers have been charged with second-degree murder.Smiley is opening the protest tonight, urging people to show up to city council meetings and not give up until there's change: "As we say in Memphis, pull up."People on bikes and skateboards cruised down Manhattan streets, protesting against police brutality and celebrating Nichols' love of skating.—Scott Heins (@scottheins) January 28, 2023 Tyre Nichols' mom was mere blocks away when Memphis cops beat her son, and said she felt a pain in her gut when it happenedRowVaughn Wells is comforted at a news conference with civil rights Attorney Ben Crump in Memphis, Tenn., Friday, Jan. 27, 2023.AP Photo/Gerald HerbertMEMPHIS, Tenn — Every Saturday night, RowVaughn Wells would cook dinner for her husband and son. They would eat together.But on the evening of January 7, the Memphis mother had a strange pain in her stomach and didn't know why.It wasn't until hours later that she would learn that that pain coincided with some of what she now believes her son Tyre was experiencing mere blocks away."For me to find out that my son was calling my name, and I was only feet away, and I did not even hear him; you have no clue how I feel right now," Wells said on Friday.READ FULL STORYCivil rights attorney Ben Crump shared a video of Tyre Nichols' parents talking to President Joe BidenCrump tweeted that they "bonded over the love they share for their children."Nichols' mother, RowVaughn Wells, told Biden that her son had her name tattooed on his arm."If I could give you a piece of advice," Biden told them, "if things get really rough, don't be afraid to ask for help. This is like if you were in a battlefield and something happened. It's called post-traumatic stress."—Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) January 28, 2023The Memphis Police Department's original report on Tyre Nichols death is full of discrepancies and outright omissions, newly released bodycam footage showsThe image from video released on Jan. 27, 2023, by the City of Memphis, shows police officers talking after a brutal attack on Tyre Nichols by five Memphis police officers on Jan. 7, 2023.City of Memphis via APOn January 8, the Memphis Police Department released a statement describing a "confrontation" with an alleged reckless driver, later identified as Tyre Nichols. But bodycam footage of the incident, released Friday, revealed a different story of the brutal beating that left the 29-year-old dead."On January 7, 2023, at approximately 8:30pm, officers in the area of Raines Road and Ross Road attempted to make a traffic stop for reckless driving," The original Memphis Police Department statement read. "As officers approached the driver of the vehicle, a confrontation occurred, and the suspect fled the scene on foot."Read Full StoryActivists are spreading carefree videos of Tyre Nichols skateboarding to remember him as someone who 'lived in joy'A woman leaves a flower during a vigil on the day of the release of a video showing the Memphis police beating of Tyre Nichols.Brian Snyder/ReutersTyre Nichols was a gentle skateboarder who loved his family and photography. And his friends, family, and activists protesting his death want to remember him that way. A video compilation of the 29-year-old grinding rails and catching air in Sacramento, California is being shared across social media to commemorate his life.Camara Williams, a podcaster, attorney, and community organizer who advocates for abolishing the police, tweeted the video on Friday, telling Insider the video showed "he was a person who lived in life and lived in joy." Read Full StoryLegal experts agree: The videos show a complete 'breakdown' in police protocolsStill from Memphis Police body cam footage of Tyre Nichols beating.Memphis Police"What I saw was certainly police misconduct," Joshua Ritter, a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney, former prosecutor, and partner with El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers, told Insider of the footage. "What I saw is never the way that five fully trained officers should try to detain a person."Neama Rahmani, president of West Coast Trial Lawyers and a former federal prosecutor, said there was "no question in my mind that murder charges are appropriate.""I've prosecuted police officers. I've seen police officers imprisoned. I've seen a lot," he said. "This is probably one of the worst things I've ever seen."Read Full StoryMemphis councilman breaks down in tears over bodycam footage—Shannonnn sharpes Burner (PARODY Account) (@shannonsharpeee) January 28, 2023In an emotional interview with CNN's Don Lemon, Memphis City Council chairman Martavius Jones broke down in tears over the death of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols, saying "this wasn't supposed to happen.""Don, we have to do something," Jones told Lemon in the clip, which has since gone viral on social media. "Not that we were immune to anything, but this wasn't supposed to happen in our community. This was a traffic stop, it wasn't supposed to end like this."Read Full Story2 Shelby County deputies placed on leave, Sheriff Floyd Bonner, Jr. says after Tyre Nichols footage released—ShelbyTNSheriff (@ShelbyTNSheriff) January 28, 2023 Two deputies with the Shelby County Sheriff's office were relieved of duty pending an investigation, Sheriff Floyd Bonner, Jr. said in a Friday night statement."Having watched the videotape for the first time tonight, I have concerns about two deputies who appeared on the scene following the physical confrontation between police and Tyre Nichols," the statement reads. "I have launched an internal investigation into the conduct of these deputies to determine what occurred and if any policies were violated."On Friday evening, officials in Memphis, Tennessee, released the video footage of Memphis Police Officers beating Nichols after a January 7, 2023, traffic stop. Nichols died several days later of his injuries.Five now-former Memphis Police Officers have been charged with second-degree murder.Protesters in New York gathered in Times Square and other parts of the city to protest the death of Tyre NicholsPeople in New York take part in a protest on January 27, 2023, the day of the release of a video showing police officers beating Tyre Nichols.REUTERS/Andrew KellyProtesters gathered in New York City in Times Square and other locations on Friday night to protest the death of Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old Black man. A handful of arrests were made, per NYPD, but the full number would not be available until the morning.Nichols died several days after being beaten by police in Memphis, Tennessee, during a January 7, 2023, traffic stop. Camera footage of the deadly police beating was released by Memphis on Friday evening at 7 p.m. ET. Protesters say they have demands for Memphis Mayor Jim StricklandProtesters in Memphis, Tennessee calling for reform after police officers beat Tyre Nichols, who died days later.Haven Orecchio/InisderMEMPHIS, Tennessee — Protesters told Insider's Haven Orecchio that they called Mayor Jim Strickland with demands and will not leave the Memphis and Arkansas Bridge, where the protesters have congregated, until he returns their call.The demands include but are not limited to passing the Data Transparency Ordinance at the city and county levels, tracking law enforcement data, ending the use of unmarked cars and plainclothes officers, and dissolving the SCORPION unit along with other task forces.Biden 'outraged' after release of 'horrific' videos showing Memphis police officers beating Tyre NicholsPresident Joe Biden speaks at the White House on January 12, 2023.AP Photo/Andrew HarnikPresident Joe Biden spoke out on Friday moments after the release of several videos showing police officers brutally beating Tyre Nichols.On Friday, The City of Memphis released four separate videos related to events surrounding the arrest and beating of Nichols.Biden said in a statement that he was "outraged" by what he saw. "Like so many, I was outraged and deeply pained to see the horrific video of the beating that resulted in Tyre Nichols' death," Biden said. "It is yet another painful reminder of the profound fear and trauma, the pain, and the exhaustion that Black and Brown Americans experience every single day."Read Full Story'It could have been me' a truck driver tells InsiderMEMPHIS, Tennessee — Speaking from the driver's seat of an 18-wheeler trying to merge onto I-55, truck driver Mark told insider he was running out of fuel.He didn't know that he'd run into the protest. If he did, he said, he would have left later.As a Black man, he said he doesn't fault the protestors and would "possibly" be out with them if he was from here. He's on his way to Oklahoma with 1,400 miles left."It could have been me," he told Insider. "It's not the first and it won't be the last."Tyre Nichols video: Body cam footage showing brutal police beating by 5 Memphis police officers releasedA portrait of Tyre Nichols is displayed at a memorial service for him on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023 in Memphis, Tenn.Adrian Sainz/AP PhotoMEMPHIS, Tennessee — The Memphis Police Department released disturbing footage Friday evening showing the brutal beating of Tyre Nichols.The violent footage, from police body cameras and stationary cameras, was released on the department's Vimeo page."You guys are really doing a lot right now," Nichols is heard saying to the officers at the start of the videos, which were released in four parts. "I'm just trying to go home."The beating occurred during a traffic stop in Memphis' Hickory Hill neighborhood on January 7. Nichols, who was 29, died of his injuries three days later. Authorities said Nichols had been stopped by the officers and accused of reckless driving, but Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn J. Davis has since said the department has not found proof to substantiate the reckless driving allegation.Memphis officials and others with access to the video had warned the public of the gruesome nature of the footage in advance of its release on Friday. READ FULL STORYProtesters gathered in Memphis ahead of the video release saying they didn't need to see the footage because they knew 'it was murder'People in Memphis protest the death of Tyre Nichols, who was fatally beaten by police officers.Haven Orecchio, InsiderMEMPHIS, Tennessee — Protesters gathered at Martyrs Park in Memphis, Tennessee, around 6 p.m. local time on Friday evening as the city braced for the release of graphic body camera footage that shows several police officers fatally beating Tyre Nichols.Demonstrators said they didn't need to wait for the video — they already knew Nichols' death was murder.Five officers have been charged with second-degree murder.Approximately hundreds of protesters blocked a long line of 18-wheelers on Old Bridge, chanting "You take our lives, we'll take your money" and "no justice, no peace.Sherri, a Memphis native, told Insider her 28-year-old Black son moved to Germany, and she's glad he's out of the country and away from cops in Memphis. She said she was pulled over on Thursday night and was nervous.When an officer asked her why she was anxious, she responded: "Not all interactions end this way." Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsider17 hr. 23 min. ago

Tyre Nichols: After his fatal beating ignited rage, Memphis streets remained calm despite warnings

"This is the blueprint going forward for any time any officers, whether they be Black or white, will be held accountable," attorney Ben Crump said. Demonstrators protest in Memphis on Jan. 28, 2023 following the release of video showing the deadly encounter between Tyre Nichols and police.Shameka Wilson for InsiderBracing for chaosMEMPHIS, Tennessee — Everybody knew the footage would be horrible.In the 20 days between five police officers brutalizing 29-year-old Tyre Nichols less than 100 yards from his family's home and the release of police body video on Friday showing the fatal attack, many in Memphis were bracing for violent protests.The police chief pleaded for peace. Some businesses owners boarded up their storefronts and closed. After-school programs were cancelled and hotels hired armed security guards. Some residents told Insider they hunkered down all of Saturday expecting the worst.In the past, protesters in Memphis and around the nation have taken to the streets after police violence, demanding the bare minimum — that they learn the name of the officer or officers responsible. But this time was different.Within a week, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations, Shelby County District Attorney's Office, and the Department of Justice had all launched investigations into the officers' actions. On January 20, all five officers — all of them Black and members of the SCORPION anti-crime unit — were fired. On Thursday— 28 hours before the release of the video — they were charged with second-degree murder.On Saturday, the unit was disbanded.After the first night of peaceful protest in Memphis, more families brought their children out to demand change.Haven Orecchio-Egresitz/"We have never seen swift justice like this," attorney Ben Crump said at a Friday press conference at Memphis' Mount Olive CME Church. "We want to proclaim that this is the blueprint going forward for any time any officers, whether they be Black or white, will be held accountable. No longer can you tell us we got to wait six months to a year."Sitting in a booth at Sugar Grits, a cafe a short walk from the church where Nichols' parents would speak to the community on Friday, Pastor Earle Fisher, a leader in the Memphis social justice sphere, spoke to Insider as the city braced for chaos. The response to Nichols' death was "the baseline of justice," he said. "Historically the intensity of protests matches the level of dismissal or denial or delay in terms of justice," Fisher told Insider — noting that he expected demonstrations to stay largely peaceful this time around. And they did.In the end, the preparations for unrest were largely unnecessary. Apart from the marches over the weekend, which were nonviolent and organized, downtown streets stayed quiet. Friday's demonstration in Memphis — which was largely centered around the "Old Bridge" blocking traffic into the city from Arkansas — was powerful, demanding, and nonviolent.Protests in other cities also remained overwhelmingly peaceful. In New York and Los Angeles — where police stood guard in riot gear — there were some clashes.In New York, an NYPD cruiser windshield was smashed. The NYPD told Insider that police arrested three people at a protest near Union Square. In Los Angeles, protesters tore down a police barricade. A man reportedly tossed a lit firework at a police car.But the scenes were nothing like those after the murder of George Floyd in police custody, which set off protests that at times escalated into looting and arson. The Memphis Police Department said Sunday its cops hadn't arrested a single demonstrator. It's unclear if police strategy for addressing the protests played a role in the lack of clashes. At the protest in Memphis Friday night, a reporter could not spot a single uniformed officer in the area of the rally.The next afternoon, as a crowd moved toward the Walter Bailey Jr. Criminal Justice Center, a protester approached a single police cruiser parked with its lights on and held a middle finger up at the officer inside.The officer quickly retreated, driving away from the area, and the group moved on.The Memphis Police Department would not comment on its protest strategy. A man holds up a sign during a demonstration in Memphis on Jan. 29, 2023 following the release of video showing the deadly encounter between police and Tyre NicholsShameka Wilson for InsiderPleading for peaceOn Friday morning, Nichols' step-father Rodney Wells stood beside his wife and the nation's most prominent living civil rights leaders at the pulpit of Mt. Olive CME Church. Wells told the community that in the days after his son was killed he wanted nothing less than first-degree murder charges for every officer on the scene. After speaking to prosecutors, though, the family said it accepted second-degree murder as appropriate, and Wells said he was "satisfied." He told the crowd at the church — a few dozen activists nestled between reporters from Memphis and around the globe — that he understood the need for protest, but was shocked to learn that people were getting alerts to their phones urging them to avoid the crowds and stay home for their own safety.He pleaded — just as Nichols' mom RowVaughn Wells had done at a city skate park the night before — for peace in the city."We shouldn't have that. We need to do this peacefully," Rodney Wells said in church. "We want peaceful protest."At the "Call to Action" at Martyrs Park on Friday, activist leaders told the crowd they had been in touch with the Nichols family and were acting with their support. —Haven Orecchio (@InsiderHaven) January 28, 2023  People protest in Memphis following the release of video showing the deadly encounter between police and Tyre NicholsShameka Wilson for InsiderProtesters' demandsFor more than two hours Friday night, a group remained on the bridge. Organizers announced they had called Mayor Jim Strickland with a list of demands and would not leave until he called back. The demands included the passing a Data Transparency Ordinance at the city and county levels, tracking law enforcement data, ending the use of unmarked cars and plainclothes officers, and dissolving the SCORPION unit and other task forces.The group was blocks away from the downtown business district that had been bracing for chaos, but the disruption was largely limited to truck drivers being unable to enter the city for several hours.Some told Insider they understood why people were outraged.Speaking from the driver's seat of an 18-wheeler trying to merge onto the the highway, a truck driver named Mark told insider he was running out of fuel.As a Black man, he said he didn't fault the protesters and would "possibly" be out with them if he was from here. He then went on his way back to Oklahoma, with 1,400 miles left to go."It could have been me," he told Insider, asking only to be identified by his first name in fear of his job. "It's not the first and it won't be the last."Demonstrators protest in Memphis on Jan. 28, 2023 following the release of video showing the deadly encounter between Tyre Nichols and police.Shameka Wilson for InsiderThe body-cam footageWhen the videos were released on Friday, the public was met with what they were promised: utter brutality. Nichols' mother said Friday she couldn't bring herself to watch the video of her son's beating. She urged those with children not to let them watch it. Many protesters, too, were not focused on the graphic videos. "We don't need a video to know it was murder," Amber Sherman yelled into a bullhorn during the first rally on Friday. Moments later, when the video was released by the city at 6 p.m., the group began its march toward Interstate 55 instead of stopping to view the footage being simultaneously released by police.Dozens of protesters blocked a long line of 18-wheelers on the "Old Bridge," which has long been a gathering place for protests in the city. They chanted "You take our lives, we'll take your money" and "no justice, no peace" while holding signs in Nichols' honor. They shared tales of police violence in the city. Holding a sign that read "Tyre Nichols" Sherri, a Memphis native, told Insider her 28-year-old Black son moved to Germany, and she's glad he made it out of the city.Meanwhile, much of America was seeing footage of Nichols' beating for the first time.People protest in Memphis following the release of video showing the deadly encounter between police and Tyre NicholsShameka Wilson for InsiderA proud cityBy 9:30 p.m. on Friday, protesters had made their way back to the park. Boxes of pizza were passed out to the crowd.Some later made their way to famous Blues district Beale Street, where they ate out. Live music could be heard from the streets as the International Blues Challenge carried on nearby without a hitch. —Haven Orecchio (@InsiderHaven) January 28, 2023 By Saturday morning, coffee shops and businesses downtown buzzed with conversations about the city's response Nichols' death. Rocky Goodwin, a downtown resident since 1988, told Insider he woke up Saturday full of pride for how the protesters stood up to demand change — with "poise."On Friday night, he and his husband had hunkered down at their apartment building. As the crowd made its way by their building, they waved from their window while watching news of clashes in other cities.Demonstrators protest in Memphis on Jan. 28, 2023 following the release of video showing the deadly encounter between Tyre Nichols and police.Shameka Wilson for InsiderGoodwin said he is proud that in the very city where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, peace prevailed."Our city leaders, the police chief, the religious leaders got ahead of it very quickly. The were arrested and charged and that made for a better night last night," he said, his eyes welling up. "I'm very proud of my city. I could cry," he added. "It was just incredible. We were just so proud. Memphis strong." —Haven Orecchio (@InsiderHaven) January 28, 2023 By 3 p.m.  Saturday, though, another protest was gaining steam. After seeing the video and not hearing back from the mayor or police chief about addressing their list of demands, demonstrators were more distraught.Activist Amber Sherman kicked off the rally with harsh words for the city officials who didn't return their calls the night before.She didn't watch the video, but was angry to learn there were people on scene who have not been charged. JB Smiley, a city councilman, also called for any EMTs and sheriff deputies who were on scene the night of the killing to be disciplined."We demand that each and every officer, every sheriff's officer, every EMT (in the video) be immediately fired," he said outside the fire station. Demonstrators protest in Memphis on Jan. 28, 2023 following the release of video showing the deadly encounter between Tyre Nichols and police.Shameka Wilson for InsiderMoments later, news broke that the city had disbanded the SCORPION unit, an organized crime task force that the five charged officers served on, after listening to concerns from the Nichols' family.—Haven Orecchio (@InsiderHaven) January 28, 2023 The group cheered first, acknowledging the win."The unit that murdered Tyre has been permanently disbanded" someone called into a bullhorn "I'm sure his mother is proud of that."Still, protesters said the work is not done, and demanding the shutdown of every task force under the police department's Organized Crime Unit."The SCORPION unit, that's cool. That means we're doing something right," another organizer, Casio Montez, said. "We want the whole OCU."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsider21 hr. 7 min. ago

Tyre Nichols live updates: Memphis Police Department says it will "permanently deactivate" the SCORPION unit whose officers beat Tyre Nichols

The Memphis Police Department released disturbing footage on Friday showing the brutal beating of Tyre Nichols, and people protested across the US. People in Memphis gather on January 28, 2023, to protest the death of Tyre Nichols, who was fatally beaten by police officers.Haven Orecchio-Egresitz/Insider Memphis police released footage of five officers beating Tyre Nichols, who died three days later. Demonstrators gathered in Memphis on Friday evening, chanting "no justice, no peace." Protests resumed Saturday, and a city councilman urged people not to give up until there's change. Content note: This story describes police brutality and death and contains graphic videos.Memphis Police Department says it will 'permanently deactivate' the SCORPION unit whose officers beat Tyre NicholsMemphis police officers Demetrius Haley, Tadarrius Bean, Justin Smith, Emmitt Martin., and Desmond Mills Jr. are now facing murder charges.Memphis Police DepartmentThe Memphis Police Department will 'permanently deactivate' its SCORPION Unit, the department announced Saturday, as protesters gathered for a second night of demonstrations over the killing of Tyre Nichols by five of the team's officers.The city had already announced it would hire an outside firm to investigate the unit, which was launched in 2021 and stands for Street Crimes Operation to Restore Peace In Our Neighborhoods.Read Full StorySaturday's protest kicked off despite rain.People in Memphis gather on January 28, 2023, to protest the death of Tyre Nichols, who was fatally beaten by police officers.Haven Orecchio-Egresitz/InsiderMEMPHIS, Tennessee — Protesters are back in the streets Saturday evening. It's lightly raining outside city hall."We demand that each and every officer, every sheriffs officer, every EMT, be immediately fired," Memphis city council member JB Smiley Jr. told the crowd.Protesters are angry today that the mayor didn't agree to meet their demands in a call that was made from the bridge last night. They are expressing dismay, after watching the video, that there were eight people in the video and they don't know the names of the other three. Five officers have been charged with second-degree murder.Smiley is opening the protest tonight, urging people to show up to city council meetings and not give up until there's change: "As we say in Memphis, pull up."People on bikes and skateboards cruised down Manhattan streets, protesting against police brutality and celebrating Nichols' love of skating.—Scott Heins (@scottheins) January 28, 2023 Tyre Nichols' mom was mere blocks away when Memphis cops beat her son, and said she felt a pain in her gut when it happenedRowVaughn Wells is comforted at a news conference with civil rights Attorney Ben Crump in Memphis, Tenn., Friday, Jan. 27, 2023.AP Photo/Gerald HerbertMEMPHIS, Tenn — Every Saturday night, RowVaughn Wells would cook dinner for her husband and son. They would eat together.But on the evening of January 7, the Memphis mother had a strange pain in her stomach and didn't know why.It wasn't until hours later that she would learn that that pain coincided with some of what she now believes her son Tyre was experiencing mere blocks away."For me to find out that my son was calling my name, and I was only feet away, and I did not even hear him; you have no clue how I feel right now," Wells said on Friday.READ FULL STORYCivil rights attorney Ben Crump shared a video of Tyre Nichols' parents talking to President Joe BidenCrump tweeted that they "bonded over the love they share for their children."Nichols' mother, RowVaughn Wells, told Biden that her son had her name tattooed on his arm."If I could give you a piece of advice," Biden told them, "if things get really rough, don't be afraid to ask for help. This is like if you were in a battlefield and something happened. It's called post-traumatic stress."—Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) January 28, 2023The Memphis Police Department's original report on Tyre Nichols death is full of discrepancies and outright omissions, newly released bodycam footage showsThe image from video released on Jan. 27, 2023, by the City of Memphis, shows police officers talking after a brutal attack on Tyre Nichols by five Memphis police officers on Jan. 7, 2023.City of Memphis via APOn January 8, the Memphis Police Department released a statement describing a "confrontation" with an alleged reckless driver, later identified as Tyre Nichols. But bodycam footage of the incident, released Friday, revealed a different story of the brutal beating that left the 29-year-old dead."On January 7, 2023, at approximately 8:30pm, officers in the area of Raines Road and Ross Road attempted to make a traffic stop for reckless driving," The original Memphis Police Department statement read. "As officers approached the driver of the vehicle, a confrontation occurred, and the suspect fled the scene on foot."Read Full StoryActivists are spreading carefree videos of Tyre Nichols skateboarding to remember him as someone who 'lived in joy'A woman leaves a flower during a vigil on the day of the release of a video showing the Memphis police beating of Tyre Nichols.Brian Snyder/ReutersTyre Nichols was a gentle skateboarder who loved his family and photography. And his friends, family, and activists protesting his death want to remember him that way. A video compilation of the 29-year-old grinding rails and catching air in Sacramento, California is being shared across social media to commemorate his life.Camara Williams, a podcaster, attorney, and community organizer who advocates for abolishing the police, tweeted the video on Friday, telling Insider the video showed "he was a person who lived in life and lived in joy." Read Full StoryLegal experts agree: The videos show a complete 'breakdown' in police protocolsStill from Memphis Police body cam footage of Tyre Nichols beating.Memphis Police"What I saw was certainly police misconduct," Joshua Ritter, a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney, former prosecutor, and partner with El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers, told Insider of the footage. "What I saw is never the way that five fully trained officers should try to detain a person."Neama Rahmani, president of West Coast Trial Lawyers and a former federal prosecutor, said there was "no question in my mind that murder charges are appropriate.""I've prosecuted police officers. I've seen police officers imprisoned. I've seen a lot," he said. "This is probably one of the worst things I've ever seen."Read Full StoryMemphis councilman breaks down in tears over bodycam footage—Shannonnn sharpes Burner (PARODY Account) (@shannonsharpeee) January 28, 2023In an emotional interview with CNN's Don Lemon, Memphis City Council chairman Martavius Jones broke down in tears over the death of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols, saying "this wasn't supposed to happen.""Don, we have to do something," Jones told Lemon in the clip, which has since gone viral on social media. "Not that we were immune to anything, but this wasn't supposed to happen in our community. This was a traffic stop, it wasn't supposed to end like this."Read Full Story2 Shelby County deputies placed on leave, Sheriff Floyd Bonner, Jr. says after Tyre Nichols footage released—ShelbyTNSheriff (@ShelbyTNSheriff) January 28, 2023 Two deputies with the Shelby County Sheriff's office were relieved of duty pending an investigation, Sheriff Floyd Bonner, Jr. said in a Friday night statement."Having watched the videotape for the first time tonight, I have concerns about two deputies who appeared on the scene following the physical confrontation between police and Tyre Nichols," the statement reads. "I have launched an internal investigation into the conduct of these deputies to determine what occurred and if any policies were violated."On Friday evening, officials in Memphis, Tennessee, released the video footage of Memphis Police Officers beating Nichols after a January 7, 2023, traffic stop. Nichols died several days later of his injuries.Five now-former Memphis Police Officers have been charged with second-degree murder.Protesters in New York gathered in Times Square and other parts of the city to protest the death of Tyre NicholsPeople in New York take part in a protest on January 27, 2023, the day of the release of a video showing police officers beating Tyre Nichols.REUTERS/Andrew KellyProtesters gathered in New York City in Times Square and other locations on Friday night to protest the death of Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old Black man. A handful of arrests were made, per NYPD, but the full number would not be available until the morning.Nichols died several days after being beaten by police in Memphis, Tennessee, during a January 7, 2023, traffic stop. Camera footage of the deadly police beating was released by Memphis on Friday evening at 7 p.m. ET. Protesters say they have demands for Memphis Mayor Jim StricklandProtesters in Memphis, Tennessee calling for reform after police officers beat Tyre Nichols, who died days later.Haven Orecchio/InisderMEMPHIS, Tennessee — Protesters told Insider's Haven Orecchio that they called Mayor Jim Strickland with demands and will not leave the Memphis and Arkansas Bridge, where the protesters have congregated, until he returns their call.The demands include but are not limited to passing the Data Transparency Ordinance at the city and county levels, tracking law enforcement data, ending the use of unmarked cars and plainclothes officers, and dissolving the SCORPION unit along with other task forces.Biden 'outraged' after release of 'horrific' videos showing Memphis police officers beating Tyre NicholsPresident Joe Biden speaks at the White House on January 12, 2023.AP Photo/Andrew HarnikPresident Joe Biden spoke out on Friday moments after the release of several videos showing police officers brutally beating Tyre Nichols.On Friday, The City of Memphis released four separate videos related to events surrounding the arrest and beating of Nichols.Biden said in a statement that he was "outraged" by what he saw. "Like so many, I was outraged and deeply pained to see the horrific video of the beating that resulted in Tyre Nichols' death," Biden said. "It is yet another painful reminder of the profound fear and trauma, the pain, and the exhaustion that Black and Brown Americans experience every single day."Read Full Story'It could have been me' a truck driver tells InsiderMEMPHIS, Tennessee — Speaking from the driver's seat of an 18-wheeler trying to merge onto I-55, truck driver Mark told insider he was running out of fuel.He didn't know that he'd run into the protest. If he did, he said, he would have left later.As a Black man, he said he doesn't fault the protestors and would "possibly" be out with them if he was from here. He's on his way to Oklahoma with 1,400 miles left."It could have been me," he told Insider. "It's not the first and it won't be the last."Tyre Nichols video: Body cam footage showing brutal police beating by 5 Memphis police officers releasedA portrait of Tyre Nichols is displayed at a memorial service for him on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023 in Memphis, Tenn.Adrian Sainz/AP PhotoMEMPHIS, Tennessee — The Memphis Police Department released disturbing footage Friday evening showing the brutal beating of Tyre Nichols.The violent footage, from police body cameras and stationary cameras, was released on the department's Vimeo page."You guys are really doing a lot right now," Nichols is heard saying to the officers at the start of the videos, which were released in four parts. "I'm just trying to go home."The beating occurred during a traffic stop in Memphis' Hickory Hill neighborhood on January 7. Nichols, who was 29, died of his injuries three days later. Authorities said Nichols had been stopped by the officers and accused of reckless driving, but Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn J. Davis has since said the department has not found proof to substantiate the reckless driving allegation.Memphis officials and others with access to the video had warned the public of the gruesome nature of the footage in advance of its release on Friday. READ FULL STORYProtesters gathered in Memphis ahead of the video release saying they didn't need to see the footage because they knew 'it was murder'People in Memphis protest the death of Tyre Nichols, who was fatally beaten by police officers.Haven Orecchio, InsiderMEMPHIS, Tennessee — Protesters gathered at Martyrs Park in Memphis, Tennessee, around 6 p.m. local time on Friday evening as the city braced for the release of graphic body camera footage that shows several police officers fatally beating Tyre Nichols.Demonstrators said they didn't need to wait for the video — they already knew Nichols' death was murder.Five officers have been charged with second-degree murder.Approximately hundreds of protesters blocked a long line of 18-wheelers on Old Bridge, chanting "You take our lives, we'll take your money" and "no justice, no peace.Sherri, a Memphis native, told Insider her 28-year-old Black son moved to Germany, and she's glad he's out of the country and away from cops in Memphis. She said she was pulled over on Thursday night and was nervous.When an officer asked her why she was anxious, she responded: "Not all interactions end this way." Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytJan 29th, 2023

Tyre Nichols live updates: Memphis and other cities enter 2nd night of protest after violent body cam videos were released

The Memphis Police Department released disturbing footage on Friday showing the brutal beating of Tyre Nichols, and people protested across the US. People in Memphis gather on January 28, 2023, to protest the death of Tyre Nichols, who was fatally beaten by police officers.Haven Orecchio-Egresitz/Insider Memphis police released footage of five officers beating Tyre Nichols, who died three days later. Demonstrators gathered in Memphis on Friday evening, chanting "no justice, no peace." Protests resumed Saturday, and a city councilman urged people not to give up until there's change. Content note: This story describes police brutality and death and contains graphic videos.Saturday's protest kicked off despite rain.People in Memphis gather on January 28, 2023, to protest the death of Tyre Nichols, who was fatally beaten by police officers.Haven Orecchio-Egresitz/InsiderMEMPHIS, Tennessee — Protesters are back in the streets Saturday evening. It's lightly raining outside city hall."We demand that each and every officer, every sheriffs officer, every EMT, be immediately fired," Memphis city council member JB Smiley Jr. told the crowd.Protesters are angry today that the mayor didn't agree to meet their demands in a call that was made from the bridge last night. They are expressing dismay, after watching the video, that there were eight people in the video and they don't know the names of the other three. Five officers have been charged with second-degree murder.Smiley is opening the protest tonight, urging people to show up to city council meetings and not give up until there's change: "As we say in Memphis, pull up."People on bikes and skateboards cruised down Manhattan streets, protesting against police brutality and celebrating Nichols' love of skating.—Scott Heins (@scottheins) January 28, 2023 Tyre Nichols' mom was mere blocks away when Memphis cops beat her son, and said she felt a pain in her gut when it happenedRowVaughn Wells is comforted at a news conference with civil rights Attorney Ben Crump in Memphis, Tenn., Friday, Jan. 27, 2023.AP Photo/Gerald HerbertMEMPHIS, Tenn — Every Saturday night, RowVaughn Wells would cook dinner for her husband and son. They would eat together.But on the evening of January 7, the Memphis mother had a strange pain in her stomach and didn't know why.It wasn't until hours later that she would learn that that pain coincided with some of what she now believes her son Tyre was experiencing mere blocks away."For me to find out that my son was calling my name, and I was only feet away, and I did not even hear him; you have no clue how I feel right now," Wells said on Friday.READ FULL STORYCivil rights attorney Ben Crump shared a video of Tyre Nichols' parents talking to President Joe BidenCrump tweeted that they "bonded over the love they share for their children."Nichols' mother, RowVaughn Wells, told Biden that her son had her name tattooed on his arm."If I could give you a piece of advice," Biden told them, "if things get really rough, don't be afraid to ask for help. This is like if you were in a battlefield and something happened. It's called post-traumatic stress."—Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) January 28, 2023The Memphis Police Department's original report on Tyre Nichols death is full of discrepancies and outright omissions, newly released bodycam footage showsThe image from video released on Jan. 27, 2023, by the City of Memphis, shows police officers talking after a brutal attack on Tyre Nichols by five Memphis police officers on Jan. 7, 2023.City of Memphis via APOn January 8, the Memphis Police Department released a statement describing a "confrontation" with an alleged reckless driver, later identified as Tyre Nichols. But bodycam footage of the incident, released Friday, revealed a different story of the brutal beating that left the 29-year-old dead."On January 7, 2023, at approximately 8:30pm, officers in the area of Raines Road and Ross Road attempted to make a traffic stop for reckless driving," The original Memphis Police Department statement read. "As officers approached the driver of the vehicle, a confrontation occurred, and the suspect fled the scene on foot."Read Full StoryActivists are spreading carefree videos of Tyre Nichols skateboarding to remember him as someone who 'lived in joy'A woman leaves a flower during a vigil on the day of the release of a video showing the Memphis police beating of Tyre Nichols.Brian Snyder/ReutersTyre Nichols was a gentle skateboarder who loved his family and photography. And his friends, family, and activists protesting his death want to remember him that way. A video compilation of the 29-year-old grinding rails and catching air in Sacramento, California is being shared across social media to commemorate his life.Camara Williams, a podcaster, attorney, and community organizer who advocates for abolishing the police, tweeted the video on Friday, telling Insider the video showed "he was a person who lived in life and lived in joy." Read Full StoryLegal experts agree: The videos show a complete 'breakdown' in police protocolsStill from Memphis Police body cam footage of Tyre Nichols beating.Memphis Police"What I saw was certainly police misconduct," Joshua Ritter, a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney, former prosecutor, and partner with El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers, told Insider of the footage. "What I saw is never the way that five fully trained officers should try to detain a person."Neama Rahmani, president of West Coast Trial Lawyers and a former federal prosecutor, said there was "no question in my mind that murder charges are appropriate.""I've prosecuted police officers. I've seen police officers imprisoned. I've seen a lot," he said. "This is probably one of the worst things I've ever seen."Read Full StoryMemphis councilman breaks down in tears over bodycam footage—Shannonnn sharpes Burner (PARODY Account) (@shannonsharpeee) January 28, 2023In an emotional interview with CNN's Don Lemon, Memphis City Council chairman Martavius Jones broke down in tears over the death of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols, saying "this wasn't supposed to happen.""Don, we have to do something," Jones told Lemon in the clip, which has since gone viral on social media. "Not that we were immune to anything, but this wasn't supposed to happen in our community. This was a traffic stop, it wasn't supposed to end like this."Read Full Story2 Shelby County deputies placed on leave, Sheriff Floyd Bonner, Jr. says after Tyre Nichols footage released—ShelbyTNSheriff (@ShelbyTNSheriff) January 28, 2023 Two deputies with the Shelby County Sheriff's office were relieved of duty pending an investigation, Sheriff Floyd Bonner, Jr. said in a Friday night statement."Having watched the videotape for the first time tonight, I have concerns about two deputies who appeared on the scene following the physical confrontation between police and Tyre Nichols," the statement reads. "I have launched an internal investigation into the conduct of these deputies to determine what occurred and if any policies were violated."On Friday evening, officials in Memphis, Tennessee, released the video footage of Memphis Police Officers beating Nichols after a January 7, 2023, traffic stop. Nichols died several days later of his injuries.Five now-former Memphis Police Officers have been charged with second-degree murder.Protesters in New York gathered in Times Square and other parts of the city to protest the death of Tyre NicholsPeople in New York take part in a protest on January 27, 2023, the day of the release of a video showing police officers beating Tyre Nichols.REUTERS/Andrew KellyProtesters gathered in New York City in Times Square and other locations on Friday night to protest the death of Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old Black man. A handful of arrests were made, per NYPD, but the full number would not be available until the morning.Nichols died several days after being beaten by police in Memphis, Tennessee, during a January 7, 2023, traffic stop. Camera footage of the deadly police beating was released by Memphis on Friday evening at 7 p.m. ET. Protesters say they have demands for Memphis Mayor Jim StricklandProtesters in Memphis, Tennessee calling for reform after police officers beat Tyre Nichols, who died days later.Haven Orecchio/InisderMEMPHIS, Tennessee — Protesters told Insider's Haven Orecchio that they called Mayor Jim Strickland with demands and will not leave the Memphis and Arkansas Bridge, where the protesters have congregated, until he returns their call.The demands include but are not limited to passing the Data Transparency Ordinance at the city and county levels, tracking law enforcement data, ending the use of unmarked cars and plainclothes officers, and dissolving the SCORPION unit along with other task forces.Biden 'outraged' after release of 'horrific' videos showing Memphis police officers beating Tyre NicholsPresident Joe Biden speaks at the White House on January 12, 2023.AP Photo/Andrew HarnikPresident Joe Biden spoke out on Friday moments after the release of several videos showing police officers brutally beating Tyre Nichols.On Friday, The City of Memphis released four separate videos related to events surrounding the arrest and beating of Nichols.Biden said in a statement that he was "outraged" by what he saw. "Like so many, I was outraged and deeply pained to see the horrific video of the beating that resulted in Tyre Nichols' death," Biden said. "It is yet another painful reminder of the profound fear and trauma, the pain, and the exhaustion that Black and Brown Americans experience every single day."Read Full Story'It could have been me' a truck driver tells InsiderMEMPHIS, Tennessee — Speaking from the driver's seat of an 18-wheeler trying to merge onto I-55, truck driver Mark told insider he was running out of fuel.He didn't know that he'd run into the protest. If he did, he said, he would have left later.As a Black man, he said he doesn't fault the protestors and would "possibly" be out with them if he was from here. He's on his way to Oklahoma with 1,400 miles left."It could have been me," he told Insider. "It's not the first and it won't be the last."Tyre Nichols video: Body cam footage showing brutal police beating by 5 Memphis police officers releasedA portrait of Tyre Nichols is displayed at a memorial service for him on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023 in Memphis, Tenn.Adrian Sainz/AP PhotoMEMPHIS, Tennessee — The Memphis Police Department released disturbing footage Friday evening showing the brutal beating of Tyre Nichols.The violent footage, from police body cameras and stationary cameras, was released on the department's Vimeo page."You guys are really doing a lot right now," Nichols is heard saying to the officers at the start of the videos, which were released in four parts. "I'm just trying to go home."The beating occurred during a traffic stop in Memphis' Hickory Hill neighborhood on January 7. Nichols, who was 29, died of his injuries three days later. Authorities said Nichols had been stopped by the officers and accused of reckless driving, but Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn J. Davis has since said the department has not found proof to substantiate the reckless driving allegation.Memphis officials and others with access to the video had warned the public of the gruesome nature of the footage in advance of its release on Friday. READ FULL STORYProtesters gathered in Memphis ahead of the video release saying they didn't need to see the footage because they knew 'it was murder'People in Memphis protest the death of Tyre Nichols, who was fatally beaten by police officers.Haven Orecchio, InsiderMEMPHIS, Tennessee — Protesters gathered at Martyrs Park in Memphis, Tennessee, around 6 p.m. local time on Friday evening as the city braced for the release of graphic body camera footage that shows several police officers fatally beating Tyre Nichols.Demonstrators said they didn't need to wait for the video — they already knew Nichols' death was murder.Five officers have been charged with second-degree murder.Approximately hundreds of protesters blocked a long line of 18-wheelers on Old Bridge, chanting "You take our lives, we'll take your money" and "no justice, no peace.Sherri, a Memphis native, told Insider her 28-year-old Black son moved to Germany, and she's glad he's out of the country and away from cops in Memphis. She said she was pulled over on Thursday night and was nervous.When an officer asked her why she was anxious, she responded: "Not all interactions end this way." Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytJan 28th, 2023

Tyre Nichols video released: experts cite a "breakdown" in police procedures, activists focus on his life, and we hear more from his mother

The Memphis Police Department released disturbing footage on Friday showing the brutal beating of Tyre Nichols, and people protested across the US. People in Memphis protest the death of Tyre Nichols, who was fatally beaten by police officers.Haven Orecchio, Insider Memphis police released footage of five officers beating Tyre Nichols, who died three days later. Protesters gathered in Memphis on Friday evening, chanting "no justice, no peace." Content note: This story describes police brutality and death and contains graphic videos. Tyre Nichols' mom was mere blocks away when Memphis cops beat her son, and said she felt a pain in her gut when it happenedRowVaughn Wells is comforted at a news conference with civil rights Attorney Ben Crump in Memphis, Tenn., Friday, Jan. 27, 2023.AP Photo/Gerald HerbertMEMPHIS, Tenn — Every Saturday night, RowVaughn Wells would cook dinner for her husband and son. They would eat together.But on the evening of January 7, the Memphis mother had a strange pain in her stomach and didn't know why.It wasn't until hours later that she would learn that that pain coincided with some of what she now believes her son Tyre was experiencing mere blocks away."For me to find out that my son was calling my name, and I was only feet away, and I did not even hear him; you have no clue how I feel right now," Wells said on Friday.READ FULL STORYCivil rights attorney Ben Crump shared a video of Tyre Nichols' parents talking to President Joe BidenCrump tweeted that they "bonded over the love they share for their children."Nichols' mother, RowVaughn Wells, told Biden that her son had her name tattooed on his arm."If I could give you a piece of advice," Biden told them, "if things get really rough, don't be afraid to ask for help. This is like if you were in a battlefield and something happened. It's called post-traumatic stress."—Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) January 28, 2023The Memphis Police Department's original report on Tyre Nichols death is full of discrepancies and outright omissions, newly released bodycam footage showsThe image from video released on Jan. 27, 2023, by the City of Memphis, shows police officers talking after a brutal attack on Tyre Nichols by five Memphis police officers on Jan. 7, 2023.City of Memphis via APOn January 8, the Memphis Police Department released a statement describing a "confrontation" with an alleged reckless driver, later identified as Tyre Nichols. But bodycam footage of the incident, released Friday, revealed a different story of the brutal beating that left the 29-year-old dead."On January 7, 2023, at approximately 8:30pm, officers in the area of Raines Road and Ross Road attempted to make a traffic stop for reckless driving," The original Memphis Police Department statement read. "As officers approached the driver of the vehicle, a confrontation occurred, and the suspect fled the scene on foot."Read Full StoryActivists are spreading carefree videos of Tyre Nichols skateboarding to remember him as someone who 'lived in joy'A woman leaves a flower during a vigil on the day of the release of a video showing the Memphis police beating of Tyre Nichols.Brian Snyder/ReutersTyre Nichols was a gentle skateboarder who loved his family and photography. And his friends, family, and activists protesting his death want to remember him that way. A video compilation of the 29-year-old grinding rails and catching air in Sacramento, California is being shared across social media to commemorate his life.Camara Williams, a podcaster, attorney, and community organizer who advocates for abolishing the police, tweeted the video on Friday, telling Insider the video showed "he was a person who lived in life and lived in joy." Read Full StoryLegal experts agree: The videos show a complete 'breakdown' in police protocolsStill from Memphis Police body cam footage of Tyre Nichols beating.Memphis Police"What I saw was certainly police misconduct," Joshua Ritter, a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney, former prosecutor, and partner with El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers, told Insider of the footage. "What I saw is never the way that five fully trained officers should try to detain a person."Neama Rahmani, president of West Coast Trial Lawyers and a former federal prosecutor, said there was "no question in my mind that murder charges are appropriate.""I've prosecuted police officers. I've seen police officers imprisoned. I've seen a lot," he said. "This is probably one of the worst things I've ever seen."Read Full StoryMemphis councilman breaks down in tears over bodycam footage—Shannonnn sharpes Burner (PARODY Account) (@shannonsharpeee) January 28, 2023In an emotional interview with CNN's Don Lemon, Memphis City Council chairman Martavius Jones broke down in tears over the death of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols, saying "this wasn't supposed to happen.""Don, we have to do something," Jones told Lemon in the clip, which has since gone viral on social media. "Not that we were immune to anything, but this wasn't supposed to happen in our community. This was a traffic stop, it wasn't supposed to end like this."Read Full Story2 Shelby County deputies placed on leave, Sheriff Floyd Bonner, Jr. says after Tyre Nichols footage released—ShelbyTNSheriff (@ShelbyTNSheriff) January 28, 2023 Two deputies with the Shelby County Sheriff's office were relieved of duty pending an investigation, Sheriff Floyd Bonner, Jr. said in a Friday night statement."Having watched the videotape for the first time tonight, I have concerns about two deputies who appeared on the scene following the physical confrontation between police and Tyre Nichols," the statement reads. "I have launched an internal investigation into the conduct of these deputies to determine what occurred and if any policies were violated."On Friday evening, officials in Memphis, Tennessee, released the video footage of Memphis Police Officers beating Nichols after a January 7, 2023, traffic stop. Nichols died several days later of his injuries.Five now-former Memphis Police Officers have been charged with second-degree murder.Protesters in New York gathered in Times Square and other parts of the city to protest the death of Tyre NicholsPeople in New York take part in a protest on January 27, 2023, the day of the release of a video showing police officers beating Tyre Nichols.REUTERS/Andrew KellyProtesters gathered in New York City in Times Square and other locations on Friday night to protest the death of Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old Black man. A handful of arrests were made, per NYPD, but the full number would not be available until the morning.Nichols died several days after being beaten by police in Memphis, Tennessee, during a January 7, 2023, traffic stop. Camera footage of the deadly police beating was released by Memphis on Friday evening at 7 p.m. ET. Protesters say they have demands for Memphis Mayor Jim StricklandProtesters in Memphis, Tennessee calling for reform after police officers beat Tyre Nichols, who died days later.Haven Orecchio/InisderMEMPHIS, Tennessee — Protesters told Insider's Haven Orecchio that they called Mayor Jim Strickland with demands and will not leave the Memphis and Arkansas Bridge, where the protesters have congregated, until he returns their call.The demands include but are not limited to passing the Data Transparency Ordinance at the city and county levels, tracking law enforcement data, ending the use of unmarked cars and plainclothes officers, and dissolving the SCORPION unit along with other task forces.Biden 'outraged' after release of 'horrific' videos showing Memphis police officers beating Tyre NicholsPresident Joe Biden speaks at the White House on January 12, 2023.AP Photo/Andrew HarnikPresident Joe Biden spoke out on Friday moments after the release of several videos showing police officers brutally beating Tyre Nichols.On Friday, The City of Memphis released four separate videos related to events surrounding the arrest and beating of Nichols.Biden said in a statement that he was "outraged" by what he saw. "Like so many, I was outraged and deeply pained to see the horrific video of the beating that resulted in Tyre Nichols' death," Biden said. "It is yet another painful reminder of the profound fear and trauma, the pain, and the exhaustion that Black and Brown Americans experience every single day."Read Full Story'It could have been me' a truck driver tells InsiderMEMPHIS, Tennessee — Speaking from the driver's seat of an 18-wheeler trying to merge onto I-55, truck driver Mark told insider he was running out of fuel.He didn't know that he'd run into the protest. If he did, he said, he would have left later.As a Black man, he said he doesn't fault the protestors and would "possibly" be out with them if he was from here. He's on his way to Oklahoma with 1,400 miles left."It could have been me," he told Insider. "It's not the first and it won't be the last."Tyre Nichols video: Body cam footage showing brutal police beating by 5 Memphis police officers releasedA portrait of Tyre Nichols is displayed at a memorial service for him on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023 in Memphis, Tenn.Adrian Sainz/AP PhotoMEMPHIS, Tennessee — The Memphis Police Department released disturbing footage Friday evening showing the brutal beating of Tyre Nichols.The violent footage, from police body cameras and stationary cameras, was released on the department's Vimeo page."You guys are really doing a lot right now," Nichols is heard saying to the officers at the start of the videos, which were released in four parts. "I'm just trying to go home."The beating occurred during a traffic stop in Memphis' Hickory Hill neighborhood on January 7. Nichols, who was 29, died of his injuries three days later. Authorities said Nichols had been stopped by the officers and accused of reckless driving, but Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn J. Davis has since said the department has not found proof to substantiate the reckless driving allegation.Memphis officials and others with access to the video had warned the public of the gruesome nature of the footage in advance of its release on Friday. READ FULL STORYProtesters gathered in Memphis ahead of the video release saying they didn't need to see the footage because they knew 'it was murder'People in Memphis protest the death of Tyre Nichols, who was fatally beaten by police officers.Haven Orecchio, InsiderMEMPHIS, Tennessee — Protesters gathered at Martyrs Park in Memphis, Tennessee, around 6 p.m. local time on Friday evening as the city braced for the release of graphic body camera footage that shows several police officers fatally beating Tyre Nichols.Demonstrators said they didn't need to wait for the video — they already knew Nichols' death was murder.Five officers have been charged with second-degree murder.Approximately hundreds of protesters blocked a long line of 18-wheelers on Old Bridge, chanting "You take our lives, we'll take your money" and "no justice, no peace.Sherri, a Memphis native, told Insider her 28-year-old Black son moved to Germany, and she's glad he's out of the country and away from cops in Memphis. She said she was pulled over on Thursday night and was nervous.When an officer asked her why she was anxious, she responded: "Not all interactions end this way." Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytJan 28th, 2023

Tyre Nichols video released: experts cite a "breakdown" in police procedures while activists focus on his life

The Memphis Police Department released disturbing footage Friday evening showing the brutal beating of Tyre Nichols. People in Memphis protest the death of Tyre Nichols, who was fatally beaten by police officers.Haven Orecchio, Insider Memphis police released footage of five officers beating Tyre Nichols, who died three days later. Protesters gathered in Memphis on Friday evening, chanting "no justice, no peace." Content note: This story describes police brutality and death and contains graphic videos. The Memphis Police Department's original report on Tyre Nichols death is full of discrepancies and outright omissions, newly released bodycam footage showsThe image from video released on Jan. 27, 2023, by the City of Memphis, shows police officers talking after a brutal attack on Tyre Nichols by five Memphis police officers on Jan. 7, 2023, in Memphis, Tenn. Nichols died on Jan. 10. The five officers have since been fired and charged with second-degree murder and other offenses.City of Memphis via APOn January 8, the Memphis Police Department released a statement describing a "confrontation" with an alleged reckless driver, later identified as Tyre Nichols. But bodycam footage of the incident, released Friday, revealed a different story of the brutal beating that left the 29-year-old dead."On January 7, 2023, at approximately 8:30pm, officers in the area of Raines Road and Ross Road attempted to make a traffic stop for reckless driving," The original Memphis Police Department statement read. "As officers approached the driver of the vehicle, a confrontation occurred, and the suspect fled the scene on foot."Read Full StoryActivists are spreading carefree videos of Tyre Nichols skateboarding to remember him as someone who 'lived in joy'A woman leaves a flower during a vigil on the day of the release of a video showing the Memphis police beating of Tyre Nichols.Brian Snyder/ReutersTyre Nichols was a gentle skateboarder who loved his family and photography. And his friends, family, and activists protesting his death want to remember him that way. A video compilation of the 29-year-old grinding rails and catching air in Sacramento, California is being shared across social media to commemorate his life.Camara Williams, a podcaster, attorney, and community organizer who advocates for abolishing the police, tweeted the video on Friday, telling Insider the video showed "he was a person who lived in life and lived in joy." Read Full StoryLegal experts agree: The videos show a complete 'breakdown' in police protocolsStill from Memphis Police body cam footage of Tyre Nichols beating.Memphis Police"What I saw was certainly police misconduct," Joshua Ritter, a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney, former prosecutor, and partner with El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers, told Insider of the footage. "What I saw is never the way that five fully trained officers should try to detain a person."Neama Rahmani, president of West Coast Trial Lawyers and a former federal prosecutor, said there was "no question in my mind that murder charges are appropriate.""I've prosecuted police officers. I've seen police officers imprisoned. I've seen a lot," he said. "This is probably one of the worst things I've ever seen."Read Full StoryMemphis councilman breaks down in tears over bodycam footage—Shannonnn sharpes Burner (PARODY Account) (@shannonsharpeee) January 28, 2023In an emotional interview with CNN's Don Lemon, Memphis City Council chairman Martavius Jones broke down in tears over the death of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols, saying "this wasn't supposed to happen.""Don, we have to do something," Jones told Lemon in the clip, which has since gone viral on social media. "Not that we were immune to anything, but this wasn't supposed to happen in our community. This was a traffic stop, it wasn't supposed to end like this."Read Full Story2 Shelby County deputies placed on leave, Sheriff Floyd Bonner, Jr. says after Tyre Nichols footage released—ShelbyTNSheriff (@ShelbyTNSheriff) January 28, 2023 Two deputies with the Shelby County Sheriff's office were relieved of duty pending an investigation, Sheriff Floyd Bonner, Jr. said in a Friday night statement."Having watched the videotape for the first time tonight, I have concerns about two deputies who appeared on the scene following the physical confrontation between police and Tyre Nichols," the statement reads. "I have launched an internal investigation into the conduct of these deputies to determine what occurred and if any policies were violated."On Friday evening, officials in Memphis, Tennessee, released the video footage of Memphis Police Officers beating Nichols after a January 7, 2023, traffic stop. Nichols died several days later of his injuries.Five now-former Memphis Police Officers have been charged with second-degree murder.Protesters in New York gathered in Times Square and other parts of the city to protest the death of Tyre NicholsPeople take part in a protest on the day of the release of a video showing police officers beating Tyre Nichols, the young Black man who died three days after he was pulled over while driving during a traffic stop by Memphis police officers, at a protest in New York, U.S., January 27, 2023.REUTERS/Andrew KellyProtesters gathered in New York City in Times Square and other locations on Friday night to protest the death of Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old Black man. A handful of arrests were made, per NYPD, but the full number would not be available until the morning.Nichols died several days after being beaten by police in Memphis, Tennessee, during a January 7, 2023, traffic stop. Camera footage of the deadly police beating was released by Memphis on Friday evening at 7 p.m. ET. Protesters say they have demands for Memphis Mayor Jim StricklandProtesters in Memphis, Tennessee calling for reform after police officers beat Tyre Nichols, who died days later.Haven Orecchio/InisderMEMPHIS, Tennessee — Protesters told Insider's Haven Orecchio that they called Mayor Jim Strickland with demands and will not leave the Memphis and Arkansas Bridge, where the protesters have congregated, until he returns their call.The demands include but are not limited to passing the Data Transparency Ordinance at the city and county levels, tracking law enforcement data, ending the use of unmarked cars and plainclothes officers, and dissolving the SCORPION unit along with other task forces.Biden 'outraged' after release of 'horrific' videos showing Memphis police officers beating Tyre NicholsPresident Joe Biden speaks at the White House on January 12, 2023.AP Photo/Andrew HarnikPresident Joe Biden spoke out on Friday moments after the release of several videos showing police officers brutally beating Tyre Nichols.On Friday, The City of Memphis released four separate videos related to events surrounding the arrest and beating of Nichols.Biden said in a statement that he was "outraged" by what he saw. "Like so many, I was outraged and deeply pained to see the horrific video of the beating that resulted in Tyre Nichols' death," Biden said. "It is yet another painful reminder of the profound fear and trauma, the pain, and the exhaustion that Black and Brown Americans experience every single day."Read Full Story'It could have been me' a truck driver tells InsiderMEMPHIS, Tennessee — Speaking from the driver's seat of an 18-wheeler trying to merge onto I-55, truck driver Mark told insider he was running out of fuel.He didn't know that he'd run into the protest. If he did, he said, he would have left later.As a Black man, he said he doesn't fault the protestors and would "possibly" be out with them if he was from here. He's on his way to Oklahoma with 1,400 miles left."It could have been me," he told Insider. "It's not the first and it won't be the last."Tyre Nichols video: Body cam footage showing brutal police beating by 5 Memphis police officers releasedA portrait of Tyre Nichols is displayed at a memorial service for him on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023 in Memphis, Tenn. Nichols was killed during a traffic stop with Memphis Police on Jan. 7.Adrian Sainz/AP PhotoMEMPHIS, Tennessee — The Memphis Police Department released disturbing footage Friday evening showing the brutal beating of Tyre Nichols.The violent footage, from police body cameras and stationary cameras, was released on the department's Vimeo page."You guys are really doing a lot right now," Nichols is heard saying to the officers at the start of the videos, which were released in four parts. "I'm just trying to go home."The beating occurred during a traffic stop in Memphis' Hickory Hill neighborhood on January 7. Nichols, who was 29, died of his injuries three days later. Authorities said Nichols had been stopped by the officers and accused of reckless driving, but Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn J. Davis has since said the department has not found proof to substantiate the reckless driving allegation.Memphis officials and others with access to the video had warned the public of the gruesome nature of the footage in advance of its release on Friday. READ FULL STORYProtesters gathered in Memphis ahead of the video release saying they didn't need to see the footage because they knew 'it was murder'People in Memphis protest the death of Tyre Nichols, who was fatally beaten by police officers.Haven Orecchio, InsiderMEMPHIS, Tennessee — Protesters gathered at Martyrs Park in Memphis, Tennessee, around 6 p.m. local time on Friday evening as the city braced for the release of graphic body camera footage that shows several police officers fatally beating Tyre Nichols.Demonstrators said they didn't need to wait for the video — they already knew Nichols' death was murder.Five officers have been charged with second-degree murder.Approximately hundreds of protesters blocked a long line of 18-wheelers on Old Bridge, chanting "You take our lives, we'll take your money" and "no justice, no peace.Sherri, a Memphis native, told Insider her 28-year-old Black son moved to Germany, and she's glad he's out of the country and away from cops in Memphis. She said she was pulled over on Thursday night and was nervous.When an officer asked her why she was anxious, she responded: "Not all interactions end this way." Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytJan 28th, 2023

Tyre Nichols video released: 2 Shelby County deputies placed on leave, Sheriff Floyd Bonner, Jr. says after Tyre Nichols footage released

The Memphis Police Department released disturbing footage Friday evening showing the brutal beating of Tyre Nichols. People in Memphis protest the death of Tyre Nichols, who was fatally beaten by police officers.Haven Orecchio, Insider Memphis police released footage of five officers beating Tyre Nichols, who died three days later. Protesters gathered in Memphis on Friday evening, chanting "no justice, no peace." Content note: This story describes police brutality and death and contains graphic videos. Legal experts agree: The videos show a complete 'breakdown' in police protocolsStill from Memphis Police body cam footage of Tyre Nichols beating.Memphis Police"What I saw was certainly police misconduct," Joshua Ritter, a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney, former prosecutor, and partner with El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers, told Insider of the footage. "What I saw is never the way that five fully trained officers should try to detain a person."Neama Rahmani, president of West Coast Trial Lawyers and a former federal prosecutor, said there was "no question in my mind that murder charges are appropriate.""I've prosecuted police officers. I've seen police officers imprisoned. I've seen a lot," he said. "This is probably one of the worst things I've ever seen."Read Full StoryMemphis councilman breaks down in tears over bodycam footage—Shannonnn sharpes Burner (PARODY Account) (@shannonsharpeee) January 28, 2023In an emotional interview with CNN's Don Lemon, Memphis City Council chairman Martavius Jones broke down in tears over the death of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols, saying "this wasn't supposed to happen.""Don, we have to do something," Jones told Lemon in the clip, which has since gone viral on social media. "Not that we were immune to anything, but this wasn't supposed to happen in our community. This was a traffic stop, it wasn't supposed to end like this."Read Full Story2 Shelby County deputies placed on leave, Sheriff Floyd Bonner, Jr. says after Tyre Nichols footage released—ShelbyTNSheriff (@ShelbyTNSheriff) January 28, 2023 Two deputies with the Shelby County Sheriff's office were relieved of duty pending an investigation, Sheriff Floyd Bonner, Jr. said in a Friday night statement."Having watched the videotape for the first time tonight, I have concerns about two deputies who appeared on the scene following the physical confrontation between police and Tyre Nichols," the statement reads. "I have launched an internal investigation into the conduct of these deputies to determine what occurred and if any policies were violated."On Friday evening, officials in Memphis, Tennessee, released the video footage of Memphis Police Officers beating Nichols after a January 7, 2023, traffic stop. Nichols died several days later of his injuries.Five now-former Memphis Police Officers have been charged with second-degree murder.Protesters in New York gathered in Times Square and other parts of the city to protest the death of Tyre NicholsPeople take part in a protest on the day of the release of a video showing police officers beating Tyre Nichols, the young Black man who died three days after he was pulled over while driving during a traffic stop by Memphis police officers, at a protest in New York, U.S., January 27, 2023.REUTERS/Andrew KellyProtesters gathered in New York City in Times Square and other locations on Friday night to protest the death of Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old Black man. A handful of arrests were made, per NYPD, but the full number would not be available until the morning.Nichols died several days after being beaten by police in Memphis, Tennessee, during a January 7, 2023, traffic stop. Camera footage of the deadly police beating was released by Memphis on Friday evening at 7 p.m. ET. Protesters say they have demands for Memphis Mayor Jim StricklandProtesters in Memphis, Tennessee calling for reform after police officers beat Tyre Nichols, who died days later.Haven Orecchio/InisderMEMPHIS, Tennessee — Protesters told Insider's Haven Orecchio that they called Mayor Jim Strickland with demands and will not leave the Memphis and Arkansas Bridge, where the protesters have congregated, until he returns their call.The demands include but are not limited to passing the Data Transparency Ordinance at the city and county levels, tracking law enforcement data, ending the use of unmarked cars and plainclothes officers, and dissolving the SCORPION unit along with other task forces.Biden 'outraged' after release of 'horrific' videos showing Memphis police officers beating Tyre NicholsPresident Joe Biden speaks at the White House on January 12, 2023.AP Photo/Andrew HarnikPresident Joe Biden spoke out on Friday moments after the release of several videos showing police officers brutally beating Tyre Nichols.On Friday, The City of Memphis released four separate videos related to events surrounding the arrest and beating of Nichols.Biden said in a statement that he was "outraged" by what he saw. "Like so many, I was outraged and deeply pained to see the horrific video of the beating that resulted in Tyre Nichols' death," Biden said. "It is yet another painful reminder of the profound fear and trauma, the pain, and the exhaustion that Black and Brown Americans experience every single day."Read Full Story'It could have been me' a truck driver tells InsiderMEMPHIS, Tennessee — Speaking from the driver's seat of an 18-wheeler trying to merge onto I-55, truck driver Mark told insider he was running out of fuel.He didn't know that he'd run into the protest. If he did, he said, he would have left later.As a Black man, he said he doesn't fault the protestors and would "possibly" be out with them if he was from here. He's on his way to Oklahoma with 1,400 miles left."It could have been me," he told Insider. "It's not the first and it won't be the last."Tyre Nichols video: Body cam footage showing brutal police beating by 5 Memphis police officers releasedA portrait of Tyre Nichols is displayed at a memorial service for him on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023 in Memphis, Tenn. Nichols was killed during a traffic stop with Memphis Police on Jan. 7.Adrian Sainz/AP PhotoMEMPHIS, Tennessee — The Memphis Police Department released disturbing footage Friday evening showing the brutal beating of Tyre Nichols.The violent footage, from police body cameras and stationary cameras, was released on the department's Vimeo page."You guys are really doing a lot right now," Nichols is heard saying to the officers at the start of the videos, which were released in four parts. "I'm just trying to go home."The beating occurred during a traffic stop in Memphis' Hickory Hill neighborhood on January 7. Nichols, who was 29, died of his injuries three days later. Authorities said Nichols had been stopped by the officers and accused of reckless driving, but Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn J. Davis has since said the department has not found proof to substantiate the reckless driving allegation.Memphis officials and others with access to the video had warned the public of the gruesome nature of the footage in advance of its release on Friday. READ FULL STORYProtesters gathered in Memphis ahead of the video release saying they didn't need to see the footage because they knew 'it was murder'People in Memphis protest the death of Tyre Nichols, who was fatally beaten by police officers.Haven Orecchio, InsiderMEMPHIS, Tennessee — Protesters gathered at Martyrs Park in Memphis, Tennessee, around 6 p.m. local time on Friday evening as the city braced for the release of graphic body camera footage that shows several police officers fatally beating Tyre Nichols.Demonstrators said they didn't need to wait for the video — they already knew Nichols' death was murder.Five officers have been charged with second-degree murder.Approximately hundreds of protesters blocked a long line of 18-wheelers on Old Bridge, chanting "You take our lives, we'll take your money" and "no justice, no peace.Sherri, a Memphis native, told Insider her 28-year-old Black son moved to Germany, and she's glad he's out of the country and away from cops in Memphis. She said she was pulled over on Thursday night and was nervous.When an officer asked her why she was anxious, she responded: "Not all interactions end this way." Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytJan 27th, 2023

Fox News Weatherman "Beaten By Group Of Teens" On NYC Subway Train

Fox News Weatherman 'Beaten By Group Of Teens' On NYC Subway Train Authored by Katabella Roberts via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours), Fox News meteorologist Adam Klotz said on Jan. 22 that he had been badly beaten by teenagers on a subway train in New York while making his way home from a bar. People walk through a Manhattan subway station in New York on May 24, 2022. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images) The 37-year-old, who began working at the network in 2017, took to Instagram to share a video of himself with what appeared to be bruised and battered eyes. “Hear me out, though: You should see the other guy,” Klotz quipped while zooming in to show what looked like red and purple bruising around his eyes and across his cheeks. “My side—oh, don’t laugh—my side is so much worse than my face.” The meteorologist then went on to explain that the “other guy” was not actually a “guy” but “five or six children” before questioning “where are the parents?!” “Don’t let your kids come and beat me up, people, in the middle of the night again, please,” he joked. In a separate post, Klotz cut a more serious tone as he provided further details regarding the incident. “I feel like that last post seems like I wasn’t being serious. Like this wasn’t real. But, yeah, coming home last night from watching the [New York] Giants game at a bar, on the subway, this older gentleman was being hassled by this group of seven or eight teens,” Klotz said. ‘They Got Their Hits In’ “And I was like, ‘Yo, guys, cut that out.’ And they decided, ‘Alright, he’s not gonna get it, then you’re going to get it!’ And boy, did they give it to me. They had me on the ground—my ribs are all kinds of bruised up too. They got their hits in!” Klotz explained that the man who was initially being hassled by the group of teenagers “got out of there fine” and police officers “grabbed a couple of these kids” following the attack. The weatherman added that he has undergone X-rays and was doing OK, and his cuts and bruises were all going to heal. Police told the New York Post that Klotz was on a No. 1 train at around 1:15 a.m. when he confronted the teens, who may have been smoking marijuana on the train at the time of the incident. The teenagers reportedly fled the train soon after the assault before they were picked up by police. An NYPD spokesman told the publication that the teenagers were released without charges owing to their ages​ and the fact that the crime involved an apparent misdemeanor. The Epoch Times has contacted NYPD and Fox News for comment. New York Subway Crime on the Rise New York saw a 30 percent rise in crimes on the subway last year, while general crimes rose 22 percent across the city in 2022, Bloomberg reported. That is despite Mayor Eric Adams, a Democrat, announcing a new plan to combat violence and homelessness on public transit in February last year, which included the deployment of up to 30 joint response teams to “high-need locations” and parts of the transit system across the city. Additionally, Adams and New York Gov. Kathy Hochul in October announced expanded initiatives aimed at keeping New York City subways safe and addressing transit crime, including boosting officer presence on subway platforms by approximately 1,200 additional overtime officer shifts each day. “My number one priority as Governor is keeping New Yorkers safe in the streets, in their homes, in their schools, and on the subway, and we will do whatever it takes to make our subways safer for riders,” Hochul said at the time. “Our expanded subway safety strategy of Cops, Cameras, and Care will crack down on subway crime, help those experiencing homelessness get the support they need to get out of the system, and alleviate concerns of riders to ensure New Yorkers feel safer throughout the subway system.” Read more here... Tyler Durden Tue, 01/24/2023 - 15:50.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJan 24th, 2023

3 active-duty Marines who work in intelligence arrested over alleged participation in the January 6 riot

Investigators confirmed the men's identities by comparing their social-media videos to their driver's licenses and military ID card photos. Rioters at the US Capitol Building on January 6, 2021.Michael Nigro/Pacific Press:LightRocket/Getty Three Marines were arrested Wednesday in relation to the US Capitol riot on January 6, 2021. All three Marines work in jobs connected to the intelligence community. Three Marines were arrested Wednesday for their participation in the riot at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, according to court documents unsealed Thursday.Micah Coomer, Joshua Abate, and Dodge Dale Hellonen — three men identified by investigators as active-duty Marines — were arrested on four charges each stemming from their participation in the mob that stormed the US Capitol in a bid to prevent the certification of Joe Biden's victory in the 2020 presidential election.The three men are the first active-duty military members to be arrested in connection with the siege since Marine Maj. Christopher Warnagiris, who was taken into custody in May 2021 on nine charges. All three Marines, who were arrested more than two years after the attack, work in jobs connected to the intelligence community.Read Next: The Army Forced to Change the Name of Its New RifleThey were each charged with knowingly entering a restricted building, two counts of disorderly conduct, and parading or picketing inside the US Capitol.A Marine Corps spokesman confirmed that the service is "aware of an investigation and the allegations" and added the service "is fully cooperating with appropriate authorities in support of the investigation."According to the complaint filed by federal prosecutors, investigators first learned of the three men when they found photos from inside the Capitol that Coomer had posted on Instagram including "the caption 'Glad to be apart [sic] of history.'" A search warrant was issued for his social media accounts in August 2021.After officials identified Coomer, they used video and images from inside the building that day to identify Abate and Hellonen as well, according to court documents.Later, investigators explained that all three men's identities were confirmed by comparing their images in the videos to their driver's licenses, as well as their military identification card photos.According to court documents, the trio spent just under an hour milling about the Capitol, including the Rotunda, where they put "a red MAGA hat on one of the statues to take photos with it."In a chat with another Instagram user in the weeks after the siege, the court records say Coomer told an unidentified person "that everything in this country is corrupt. We honestly need a fresh restart. I'm waiting for the boogaloo." When the other person asked what a "boogaloo" was, Coomer said "Civil war 2."The Boogaloo movement is broadly anti-government in nature but favors violence with the use of the term "boogaloo" typically slang for a future race war. However, some experts, like the Anti-Defamation League, have noted that "most boogalooers are not white supremacists, though one can find white supremacists within the movement."Trump supporters clash with police and security forces at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP via Getty ImagesAccording to records provided to Military.com by the Marine Corps, all three men have been enlisted in the Marines for more than four years, with Hellonen, who enlisted in August 2017, being the most senior. On paper, the three Marines hold demanding jobs tied to the intelligence community, are stationed at major commands, and have personal commendations and awards to their name. At least one held a significant security clearance. All three had been awarded good conduct medals.Abate, a sergeant, is assigned to the Marine Corps' Cryptologic Support Battalion at Fort Meade, Maryland — also home to the National Security Agency headquarters — as a signals intelligence operator and analyst. Records provided by the Marine Corps show that among his awards was a Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, an unusual and prestigious medal for a junior Marine.Court documents say that Abate admitted to being in the Capitol in a June 2022 interview that was part of his security clearance process."During the interview, Abate discussed entering the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6, 2021 with two 'buddies,'" the documents say, before adding that they "walked around and tried not to get hit with tear gas.""Abate also admitted he heard how the event was being portrayed negatively and decided that he should not tell anybody about going into the U.S. Capitol Building," the court document said.Hellonen, a sergeant, is assigned to the 3rd Marine Raider Support Battalion — a unit that supports Marine Corps Special Operations Command — also as a signals intelligence operator and analyst. He is stationed at Camp Lejeune, and his warrant shows he was arrested in Jacksonville, North Carolina.Earlier in his career in the Marine Corps, Hellonen was highlighted by the Air Force as a "student of the month" while attending a joint school on an Air Force base.Coomer, a corporal and the man whose social media posting was credited by investigators as leading them to the trio, is assigned to 1st Radio Battalion, I Marine Expeditionary Force Information Group, at Camp Pendleton as a system engineer for intelligence and reconnaissance systems. His arrest warrant shows he was arrested in nearby Oceanside, California.The careers of the three men stand in contrast to the other enlisted service members who were arrested for allegedly taking part in the riot. Most were lower ranking than the three Marines, and some were struggling to find success in the military. For example, Pfc. Abram Markofski, a Wisconsin National Guardsman who pleaded guilty to charges related to his role in the assault on the Capitol, was removed from Special Forces Selection for failing the Army's physical fitness test.However, the men are not the only members of the intelligence community to be arrested for their alleged part in the siege. In the summer of 2022, federal authorities arrested Petty Officer 1st Class Hatchet Speed, a sailor assigned to the Naval Warfare Space Field Activity at the National Reconnaissance Office, an agency that says it is responsible for developing, launching and operating America's spy satellites.The three Marines now join the other nine service members — active, reserve and National Guard — who have been arrested for alleged crimes stemming from January 6. Two other men were booted from basic training as their investigations unfolded.According to the George Washington University's Project on Extremism, out of the 940 defendants charged with crimes stemming from January 6, 118, or 12%, have some form of military background.Editor's Note: This story has been updated with further details about the charges brought against the three Marines.— Konstantin Toropin can be reached at konstantin.toropin@military.com. Follow him on Twitter @ktoropin.Related: Reservist Inspired by the Unabomber Gets Felony Gun Crimes Added to His Jan. 6 ChargesRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 20th, 2023

The most ridiculous ways accused Capitol rioters got caught, from bad Bumble matches to an unbelievable Uber ride

In the two years since the Capitol riot, the US government has arrested nearly 1,000 people and handed out hundreds of jail sentences and fines. US Capitol siege in Washington DC on January 6, 2021.Samuel Corum/Getty Images Hundreds of Jan. 6 rioters have been arrested and charged in the two years since a mob stormed the Capitol. Many were easy to identify thanks to their brazen behavior inside and outside of the building that day. Here are some of the least shocking ways Jan. 6 rioters got caught. A mob of Trump supporters laid siege to the US Capitol almost exactly two years ago. In the months since the US government has arrested and charged nearly 1,000 people in connection with the attack and handed out hundreds of jail sentences and fines to those who pleaded and were found guilty. The insurrection launched an unprecedented federal investigation that has seen prosecutors scour hotel and phone records, countless hours of surveillance footage, and scores of social media posts to track down the thousands of people inside and outside the Capitol that day.In some respects, identifying the rioters, while a massive endeavor in scope, hasn't been a particularly difficult task: A majority of rioters seemingly had little to hide about their behavior on January 6, 2021. Several gave interviews to the media in the immediate aftermath, outwardly identifying themselves on camera; others were photographed in bizarre mid-riot activities — who could forget lectern guy or the man who posed with his feet atop Speaker Nancy Pelosi's desk? — that made them easily trackable targets.But there are some accused rioters who were so brazen in their riot and post-riot conduct, that Insider believed they deserved their own special list.Without further adieu: The least surprising ways Capitol rioters got caught.2 accused rioters made big Bumble blundersThese accused rioters' reach for romance landed them in trouble with the law. In an apparent attempt to impress a Bumble match, Andrew Quentin Taake boasted about his apparent role in the siege, telling an anonymous woman on the dating app that he was among the insurrectionists from "the very beginning," prosecutors said.After the pair's online conversation fizzled, the unnamed woman contacted the FBI on January 9, 2021, sharing screenshots of Taake's own admissions via messages between the two, according to a July 2021 criminal complaint. In one exchange, the Texas man told his potential paramour about being pepper-sprayed outside the Capitol: "I was the very first person to be sprayed that day, all while just standing there," he claimed. But federal prosecutors ultimately accused him of doing much more than "just standing there," arresting him in July 2021 on several charges related to the attack, including assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers, and obstruction of law enforcement during civil disorder. Taake pleaded not guilty to all charges in late 2021 and is awaiting trial, according to court records. In a strikingly similar story, Robert Chapman, of New York, found himself charged with four counts related to the Capitol riot after a Bumble user tipped off the FBI, sharing a screenshot of an incriminating exchange between the two non-love-birds.The anonymous woman contacted the FBI on January 13, 2021, with photos of her conversation with Chapman in which he blatantly admitted: "I did storm the Capitol" and "I made it all the way to Statuary Hall," referencing a room inside the Capitol. Chapman went on to tell his match that he had already spoken with reporters at both The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal."We are not a match," the woman responded."I suppose not," Chapman said.A judge sentenced Chapman to three months of home detention earlier this year after he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor picketing charge. A composite image of Robert Chapman and messages he sent on Bumble. Both images are from a federal criminal complaint against Chapman.FBIFamilial fumings have led to weighty consequences  Several accused rioters at the Capitol on January 6 were brought down by members of their own families. There was Guy Reffitt, the notorious militia man who was sentenced to seven years in prison on five felony charges earlier this year after his teenage son turned him in to the FBI, in defiance of his dad's own direct threats to keep his mouth shut.Or take the case of Zachary Alam, a Pennsylvania man who prosecutors say was filmed shattering a window in the Speaker's Lobby and subsequently arrested after an unnamed relative sent a tip to the FBI. Officials charged Alam with several counts last year and he pleaded guilty to all charges in December 2021, according to the Justice Department. But there is perhaps no case more baffling than that of Thomas Fee, a retired New York City firefighter who texted his girlfriend's brother — who also happened to be a federal agent with the US Diplomatic Security Service — a selfie showing him inside the Capitol rotunda during the riot. According to charging documents, Fee also sent his girlfriend's brother a video of himself inside the building where other rioters could be heard screaming "Pelosi" and "tyranny." The unnamed special agent initially deleted the messages but was later able to retrieve them, after which he sent them to DSS. The agency then sent the evidence to the Joint Terrorism Task Force.Fee turned himself in soon after and was sentenced to 24 months of probation earlier this year.This rioter's ex-girlfriend got payback for his put-downRichard Michetti learned the hard way the inevitable consequences of scorning an ex-lover.A judge sentenced the Pennsylvania man to nine months in prison earlier this year after his ex-girlfriend turned him in to the FBI, according to court documents. The unnamed woman blew Michetti's cover after he called her a "moron" for not supporting former President Donald Trump, prosecutors said."If you can't see the election was stolen, you're a moron," Michetti texted his ex-girlfriend, according to the criminal complaint. "This is our country do you think we live like kings because no one sacrificed anything?"After Michetti's insults, his ex-girlfriend provided the FBI with text messages and videos a day after the siege. She even identified him in other images that appeared to show him inside the building, prosecutors said. WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 6: Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as people try to storm the US Capitol on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC. - Demonstrators breeched security and entered the Capitol as Congress debated the 2020 presidential election Electoral Vote Certification.Brent Stirton/Getty ImagesThis accused rioter faced religious repercussions thanks to a fellow worshipperThe FBI arrested Glenn Allen Brooks in August 2021 on two January 6-related charges after a member of his church prayer group turned him in, according to court documents. Prosecutors said Brooks "boasted of his active participation" in the attack and "sent photos of his attendance" to a text chat group full of other prayer group members. Brooks sent the digital evidence to his fellow worshippers on the day of the riot, according to prosecutors, but the unnamed prayer group member who tipped off investigators did so weeks after the insurrection. The California man pleaded not guilty to the charges against him in August 2021, according to court records.An unbelievable Uber ride was this accused rioter's downfallAlleged defendant Jerry Daniel Braun was turned in by his get-away car driver, according to court documents.Authorities arrested the California man in April 2022 after the Uber driver who took Braun away from the January 6 attack tipped off the FBI, according to court documents.Braun faces three charges related to his alleged role in the insurrection after a Washington, DC-area Uber driver contacted the FBI in January 2021 to share information about an apparent rioter. The driver told investigators that one of his passengers acknowledged tearing down a barricade at the US Capitol immediately following the siege. Braun has yet to enter a plea in the case, according to court records. A portion of Braun's ride was captured on video by a dash cam in the Uber, according to court documents, during which the driver engaged Braun in conversation about the siege. "So, has it been violent all day?" the driver asked, according to prosecutors."Well, it started around right when I got there," Braun responded, per prosecutors. "I tore down the barricades.""You did?" the driver asked. "Why?""Well, because, so we could get to the Capitol," Braun replied."Well, how'd that work out for ya?" the driver responded."Well, it looks like, uh, Biden's gonna be our president," Braun said.An Uber dash cam video captured Jerry Daniel Braun immediately after the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021.The Department of Justice.Self-promoters helped investigators by identifying themselvesSome industrious rioters couldn't help but use an unprecedented American insurrection as an opportunity to drum up business.Texas real estate agent Jenna Ryan, who has continually made headlines for her post-riot behavior and commentary, seemed to be in hustle mode on January 6, posting a since-deleted video from the Capitol in which she promoted herself."We're gonna…go in there, life of death! It doesn't matter!" she said in the video, according to The Washington Post. "Y'all know who to hire for your realtor: Jenna Ryan."In another video from inside the building, Ryan continued to sell herself: "You guys, can you believe this? I'm not messing around. When I come to sell your house, this is what I'll do."Ryan completed a 60-day prison sentence earlier this year after pleading guilty to a single federal misdemeanor charge of parading. Among the entrepreneurial insurrectionists that day was also Troy Faulkner, who was sentenced to five months in prison earlier this year after pleading guilty. According to an FBI affidavit, Faulkner stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021, while wearing a jacket advertising his Ohio painting company. The promotional outerwear helped FBI agents identify him, according to investigators. On the back of his jacket, Faulkner advertised his namesake painting business and the telephone number for the company.Memorable fashion choices made some rioters instantly recognizableAdorned with a headdress, horns, and red, white, and blue face paint, Jacob Chansley — alternatively known as the QAnon Shaman — dressed his way into becoming the unofficial mascot for the January 6 insurrection. Chansley is undoubtedly one of the most recognizable faces of the Capitol riot. Thanks to his larger-than-life get-up, he was photographed several times throughout the day walking with his bullhorn and flagpole. Authorities arrested him just three days later in his hometown of Phoenix, Arizona, where he was charged with two felonies and four misdemeanors. "He made himself the image of the riot, didn't he?" Judge Royce Lamberth said in November 2021 before sentencing Chansley to 41 months in prison following his guilty plea to obstruction.A protester screams "Freedom" inside the Senate chamber after the U.S. Capitol was breached by a mob during a joint session of Congress on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC.Win McNamee/Getty ImagesSeveral other bizarrely-dressed rioters have since been arrested and sentenced, including Aaron Mostofsky, who donned fur pelts while inside the Capitol; Kevin Seefried, who carried a giant Confederate Flag throughout the Capitol's hall; and Robert Keith Packer, who was photographed wearing a "Camp Auschwitz" sweatshirt.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 2nd, 2023

The divorce lawyer who"s represented Johnny Depp, Kim K, and Angelina Jolie charges $1,000 an hour and says tough love is how she gets things done

"I have a tattoo. I'm not going to judge them if they say, 'I was out smoking my bong and the nanny caught me,'" Laura Wasser, 54, said. Laura Wasser.Joanna DeGeneres Laura Wasser is a divorce lawyer whose clients have included Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie. Wasser said being a woman in a male-dominated field helped her get clients and gain their trust. She's rumored to be the inspiration for Laura Dern's character in "Marriage Story." Ask one of the most high-profile celebrity-divorce attorneys in Los Angeles about her career choice, and she will shrug and say it's a role she was born to fill."I'm Laura Allison Wasser, so my initials are LAW, and both my parents are attorneys," she told Insider. "But when they asked, 'Are you going to be a lawyer?' I said, 'Never.' But I went to clerk for my daddy for the summer because I needed the money, and frankly, I fell in love with it."Since that fateful stint after college, Wasser, now 54, has been tapped by a who's who of A-list celebrities to handle their uncouplings via her Century City firm, Wasser, Cooperman & Mandles.She brokered Kelly Clarkson's contentious divorce and worked with Angelina Jolie (at least for a while) and Johnny Depp in cases against Brad Pitt and Amber Heard, respectively. Wasser also helped Kim Kardashian cut ties with a husband not once but twice: first Kris Humphries and then Ye, formerly known as Kanye West.Other past clients include Christina Aguilera, Patricia Arquette, Maria Shriver, and Dr. Dre. She said her client base was about 50% male and 50% female but that she usually represented the financial engine of any uncoupling — it's no wonder TMZ dubbed her "the disso queen" for her deft dissolution of headline-grabbing marriages.Her hourly rate is $1,000. Many celebrity-adjacent providers will offer discounts to boldface names to land their business — but not Wasser."I get it. I understand. But it doesn't really help my brand to have represented a celebrity," she said.She still lives in LA, where she grew up, with her two sons — from separate former boyfriends, neither of whom she married. She was married once, though."Very briefly, when I was 25 and in my second year of law school," she said. "I keep in touch more with his family than I do with him. It lasted about 14 months, and when we split up, we didn't have anything except debt and a pit bull named Raul."She shared how she got started and what it's like working for unhappy A-listers.She was the ideal divorce lawyer, even if she didn't know it at firstWasser was brought up in Beverly Hills, California, where she graduated from the school that served as inspiration for West Beverly Hills High School on "90210." Divorces among her elite peers' parents were commonplace, she said, and often handled by her father, Dennis (Wasser's own parents split amicably when she was 16; her mother died in 2019)."You'd go to someone's bar mitzvah and say, 'You're Dennis Wasser's daughter,' and they'd say, 'You're at that table,' according to whether my dad had represented the mom or the dad," she said.She pinballed around the world for high school and college — a stint at a boarding school in Switzerland, a year out working in Australia — before returning home for the clerking gig with her father. She'd majored in rhetoric at the University of California, Berkeley, and realized quickly that what she'd loved most about those studies was vital in divorce cases, as was her age and gender."It's about listening to people's problems and figuring out the narrative to solve them," she said. "And I was 25 when not a lot of younger people were doing this kind of law. It was just older men, so I got into it representing young people who were able to relate to a younger female, not some old guy in a suit."I have a tattoo. I'm not going to judge them if they say, 'I was out smoking my bong and the nanny caught me.'"She added that her temperament was well suited to episodic legal work, rather than ongoing cases."I have a bit of ADD, so I deal with clients for six to 18 months, and then it's, 'Bye!'" she said. "I guess that's why I'm doing this. One of my exes is an entertainment lawyer, and they're on a commission, negotiating how many air tickets are included in a contract. It just sounds dreadful. I'm in, out, and move on to meeting new people." She says her fame was forged by the rise of 24/7 celebrity-news cyclesIt was two almost simultaneous cases that propelled Wasser to the status of A-list lawyer: a palimony case involving her client Stevie Wonder and, more notably, the divorce of Kevin Federline and Britney Spears, which was filed in November 2006. Spears' then-entertainment lawyer connected Wasser with his client before the wedding."He said, 'We need someone to go in and speak to her almost like a big sister because she doesn't think she needs a prenup because she's in love,'" she said. "It was, 'You're young. You can relate. Can you talk to her?'"Naturally, when the marriage unraveled, it was Wasser to whom Spears and her team turned (though the singer later opted to work with a different divorce lawyer, TMZ reported).These two cases coincided, Wasser said, with the rise of the 24-hour celebrity-news cycle: TMZ's TV incarnation debuted in September 2007 and was an instant hit as the highest-rated new show in syndication within a month. In summer that year, Perez Hilton said his celebrity-trolling site hit almost 9 million views a day.Family cases like these are in the public domain in California, she added, so they were catnip for traffic-chasing celeb sites — and Wasser's fame grew in the backwash of her clients. Amid this torrent of interest, her policy of never discussing the details of any case helped shore up her reputation with well-known prospective clients."For the record, we at the firm have a policy that we will not discuss cases or give quotes — even if the clients ask us to," she said, adding that she wouldn't hesitate to ditch even an A-lister if they tried to embroil her in the media battle around their split.Wasser also turns down clients who won't listen to her counsel, a new experience for many wealthy celebrities."They are used to being told, 'Yes — yes, we will make that happen,'" she said. "That's because they're feeding a lot of mouths: Their agent gets 10%, their manager 15%, their attorneys 5% of what they earn. I bill by the hour, so I am happy to say no if I feel like they're not hearing the reality of their situation."Straight-talking tough love like that is refreshing in contentious battles, she added."We don't do unrealistic expectations. We don't do crazy," she said. "I don't need to make money out of people who are bananas, just get in and out with reasonableness."Her business has a slightly different rhythm to that of many divorce lawyers, whose peak season is typically January and February, often as a result of unhappy holiday seasons."When we are getting near Oscar season, we may have clients or their reps say, 'Let's hold on to this until after we walk the red carpet,'" she said.Drugs used to be the worst accusation leveled against a soon-to-be ex-spouse. Now there's a new tactic.Wasser said celebrities could avoid publicity around their splits, should they so choose. There's a discreet entrance at Los Angeles Superior Court, for example, where they can avoid paparazzi stampedes — a problem, she said, "whenever there's a Kardashian." The COVID-19-era practice of remote hearings has helped, too, since celebrities don't need to appear in-person.Wasser is particularly proud of the splits she's handled that became public only when they concluded. It's easier to be discreet, she said, if the parties are truly amicable or if they have a lifestyle that includes bases beyond California's boundaries."As long as you meet residency requirements, you can get divorced there, and a lot of it goes under the radar," she said, citing states like Montana and Wyoming, which have more stringent privacy laws around such splits.Sometimes a case can be resolved only in court, and it falls to Wasser to prep performers for their time on the stand. Perhaps surprisingly, it isn't actors who stand out in this forum."Some of my best clients are athletes because they take direction the best — they say, 'OK, coach,' and do exactly what they're supposed to do," she said. "And the most emotional and all over the place? That's the musicians, especially the male ones, who will always be in tears on the stands. That rock 'n' roll guy who will go off on a 10-minute guitar riff, on the stand, he'll go through an entire box of Kleenex."Drugs used to be the nuclear option wielded against a well-known figure by a dissatisfied spouse — a threat to reveal pictures or stories involving them could emerge in contentious cases."Now if it's legal, like marijuana, and he or she is smoking, and the kids aren't with them, most judicial officers don't really care," she said. "A picture of a rolled joint? It's OK, whatever." Instead, allegations of abuse have become the most toxic tactic in terms of damaging reputations."That's a huge source of extortion," she said. "If you're representing the famous, or the more famous, person, and the other is accusing you of domestic violence, you have to get on top of that in the court of public opinion. They'll try you long before a judicial officer ever does." Wasser added: "It was right around 2016, the first famous case of that. Now you get a lot of other copycats." (Notably, Jolie filed for divorce from Pitt that year, and her claims included abusive behavior on his part.)Wasser's happy to remain out of the spotlight, despite her fameWasser's A-list clientele has turned her into a minor celebrity herself. She's a spokesperson for Divorce.com, the do-it-yourself split site, as its chief of divorce evolution and has hosted several podcasts, including "All's Fair with Laura Wasser" and "Divorce Sucks! With Laura Wasser," where one guest was the Kardashian momager and matriarch Kris Jenner.Rumor has it that Wasser also provided the real-life inspiration for Laura Dern's character in the 2019 Netflix movie "Marriage Story," and the watertight "Massey prenup" in "Intolerable Cruelty," the Coen brothers' 2003 rom-com, was apparently based on one drafted by Wasser on clients' behalf, The New Yorker reported.But she's glad her profile is much lower than those of many of the people she represents."I don't socialize with most of my clients. I'm with them going into and leaving court," she said. "I'm not crazy about the celebrity because I grew up here in LA. If I had wanted to be famous, I would have taken a different path."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 1st, 2022

Tesla Under Criminal Investigation For Claims That Its Cars Can Drive Themselves

Tesla Under Criminal Investigation For Claims That Its Cars Can Drive Themselves While it has been widely known that Tesla was facing scrutiny by the NHTSA regarding its Autopilot and Full Self Driving features, it is now being reported that other Federal agencies are looking into the automaker for the same issues. Namely, the Department of Justice. It broke on Wednesday that Tesla is under criminal investigation "over claims that the company’s electric vehicles can drive themselves", according to an exclusive by Reuters.  The DOJ reportedly launched an investigation into the company last year after more than a dozen crashes took place involving Autopilot, the report says.  According to Reuters, the DOJ investigation "potentially represents a more serious level of scrutiny because of the possibility of criminal charges against the company or individual executives, the people familiar with the inquiry said." Washington and San Francisco DOJ prosecutors are looking at whether or not the company misled consumers with its claims of Autopilot and Full Self-Driving's capabilities. All options are still on the table with regard to the investigation, Reuters noted: "Officials conducting their inquiry could ultimately pursue criminal charges, seek civil sanctions or close the probe without taking any action, they said." And the DOJ investigation in Autopilot appears to be yielding to additional DOJ investigations into the company, the report says: The Justice Department’s Autopilot probe is far from recommending any action partly because it is competing with two other DOJ investigations involving Tesla, one of the sources said. Investigators still have much work to do and no decision on charges is imminent, this source said. The investigation may need "smoking gun" style evidence to proceed, one U.S. attorney told Reuters: Barbara McQuade, a former U.S. attorney in Detroit who prosecuted automotive companies and employees in fraud cases and is not involved in the current probe, said investigators likely would need to uncover evidence such as emails or other internal communications showing that Tesla and Musk made misleading statements about Autopilot’s capabilities on purpose. Recall, about a week ago we wrote that there had been yet another grim development involving Tesla's Autopilot and motorcycles - a disturbing trend we first started pointing out months ago when we talked about two accidents that occurred this summer.  Driver crash assist data that automakers are forced to report in such incidents was made available about a week ago and confirmed that Autopilot was engaged during a third incident.  The incident involved Ingrid Eva Noon, the report says, who was riding her motorcycle in Palm Beach County, Florida at 2:11 a.m. on August 26. An impaired driver who had Tesla's Autopilot engaged hit the back of the motorcycle, throwing her "onto the Tesla’s windshield and killing her", according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s office. Motorcycle advocates have claimed that "recent crashes suggest the Tesla system is insufficient", according to the CNN report. They are concerned that "the software fails to see motorcycles and lulls Tesla drivers into a sense of complacency and inattentiveness" and that "the government’s vehicle safety regulations do not adequately protect motorcycle riders".  Tyler Durden Wed, 10/26/2022 - 17:05.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeOct 26th, 2022

A Florida cop advised one of the people arrested in DeSantis" voter fraud crackdown how to defend himself against the charges, body camera footage shows

Video obtained by the Tampa Bay Times show confused citizens and sympathetic police during the string of arrests. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks to supporters at a campaign stop on the Keep Florida Free Tour at the Horsepower Ranch in Geneva. DeSantis faces former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist for the general election for Florida Governor in November.Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images A Florida cop gave advice to a man he arrested in Gov. Ron DeSantis' voter fraud crackdown. Police body cam footage obtained by the Tampa Bay Times shows cops appearing sympathetic toward those they were arresting. All 20 people arrested on August 18 were given voter registration cards to vote in the 2020 election, the Times reported. Florida police officers appeared sympathetic while arresting several people during Florida Governor Ron DeSantis' voter fraud crackdown and even advised one man on how to defend himself against charges, according to police body camera footage obtained by the Tampa Bay Times. The Tampa Bay Times published the August 18 footage on Tuesday, showing police arresting three people accused of voter fraud in connection to investigations from DeSantis' new Office of Election Crimes and Security.The arrests tie back to a 2018 state constitutional amendment that gave felons — except anyone convicted of murder or a felony sex offense — the right to vote. The 2018 law caused widespread confusion over who can vote, and there's a lack of clarity on voter registration forms, the Tampa Bay Times reported.The August 18 arrests happened just hours before DeSantis held a press conference announcing that 20 people had been charged with voter fraud connected to the 2020 presidential election. Those arrested, who had all received voter registration cards, are now facing up to five years in prison, the Tampa Bay Times reported.Footage from the arrests shows confusion among the cops and the people being arrested.At one point in the video footage, a police officer can be seen advising Nathan Hart on how he could defend himself against charges. Hart, who appeared confused, was told by cops that he couldn't vote and that, "unfortunately," there was a warrant out for his arrest."I guess you're not allowed to vote," the officer told Hart."Well, no. But no one ever really explained all that much to me," Hart said as police put him in handcuffs.Hart told police that when he went to get a new driver's license, a Department of Motor Vehicles employee said that even though he was a convicted felon, he was allowed to vote again because he was no longer on probation.He said a DMV worker prompted him to fill out a voter registration form and told him that if he's allowed to vote, they'll give him a voter card. If he's not, he wouldn't receive one."There's your defense," the cop responded. "Sounds like a loophole to me." The cop told Hart that despite receiving a voter registration card, he's not allowed to vote because he's a convicted sex offender.The video showed police arresting two others — one man, identified by the Times as Tony Patterson, and one woman, identified as Romona Oliver — who both appeared confused about why they were being placed in handcuffs.Oliver told the officers that when she got out of jail, she was told she was eligible to vote again because "I had done my time."Patterson asked the cops, "why are you all doing this now and this happened years ago?"The cops told all three people featured in the video that the warrants had come in the day before though they were unsure why it was happening now. "This here is crazy," Patterson said. "Why would you all let me vote if I wasn't able to vote?" DeSantis did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 18th, 2022

Durham Prosecutes FBI Informants, While Protecting Their Handlers: Sperry

Durham Prosecutes FBI Informants, While Protecting Their Handlers: Sperry Authored by Paul Sperry via RealClear Investigations, Since being named special counsel in October 2020, John Durham has investigated or indicted several unscrupulous anti-Trump informants. But he has spared the FBI agents who handled them, raising suspicions he's letting investigators off the hook in his waning investigation of misconduct in the Russiagate probe. In recent court filings, Durham has portrayed the G-men as naive recipients of bad information, tricked into opening improper investigations targeting Donald Trump and obtaining invalid warrants to spy on one of his advisers. But as the cases against the informants have gone to trial, defense lawyers have revealed evidence that cuts against that narrative. FBI investigators look less like guileless victims and more like willing partners in the fraudulent schemes Durham has brought to light. Notwithstanding his reputation as a tough, intrepid prosecutor, Durham has made excuses for the misconduct of FBI agents, providing them a ready-made defense against any possible future prosecution, according to legal experts.  "Durham was supposed to clean up the FBI cesspool, but it doesn't look like he's going to be doing that," said Paul Kamenar, counsel to the National Legal and Policy Center, a Washington watchdog group. "He started with a bang and is ending with a whimper." In the latest example, critics point to a flurry of pretrial motions in Durham's case against former FBI informant Igor Danchenko, the primary source for the false claims regarding Trump and Russia advanced by the opposition research paid for by Hillary Clinton's campaign known as the Steele dossier. Next month, Danchenko faces charges he lied to FBI investigators multiple times about the sourcing of the information in the dossier, which the bureau used to secure wiretap warrants to spy on a former Trump campaign adviser. Relying on Danchenko's reporting, the FBI claimed that the adviser, Carter Page, was a Russian agent at the center of "a well-developed conspiracy of cooperation" between Trump and the Kremlin to steal the 2016 presidential election. Igor Danchenko, dossier fabulist: Trial upcoming. "The defendant was providing them with false information" as part of "a concerted effort to deceive the FBI," Durham alleged in a recent filing with the U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va., where the trial is scheduled to be held Oct. 11. Had agents known Danchenko made up the allegations, Durham asserted, they might have asked more questions about the dossier and not relied on it to swear out the ultra-invasive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants to electronically monitor Page, a U.S. citizen who was never charged with a crime. But Danchenko's legal team points out that he turned over an email to the FBI during a January 2017 meeting with agents and analysts that indicated a key dossier subsource may have been fictionalized. Stuart Sears, one of Danchenko's attorneys, argued earlier this month in a motion to dismiss the charges that investigators "essentially ignored" any concerns they may have had about Danchenko's sourcing, because they continued to renew the FISA warrants based upon it. Therefore, he argued, any lies his client allegedly told them were inconsequential, making them un-prosecutable under federal statutes requiring such false statements to have a "material" impact on a federal proceeding. While Durham did not dispute the FBI's apparent complicity in the fraud, he waved it aside as immaterial to the case at hand. "The fact that the FBI apparently did not identify or address these inconsistencies is of no moment," he said in his filing. At the same time, Durham acknowledged agents allowed the fabrications to contaminate their wiretap warrants – noting they were "an important part of the FISA applications targeting Carter Page." But he stopped short of blaming the FBI, even for incompetence. According to Durham, the nation's premiere law enforcement agency was misled by a serial liar and con man. "He's painting it as though the FBI was duped when the FBI was more than willing to take the initiative and go after Trump," Kamenar said, adding that though Danchenko may have been a liar, he was a useful liar to FBI officials and others in the Justice Department who were pursuing Trump. The special prosecutor's indifference to the FBI's role in the scandal is more remarkable in light of what Danchenko admitted in his January 2017 interviews with the FBI. He told investigators that much of what he reported to Steele was "word-of-mouth and hearsay," while some was cooked up from "conversation that [he] had with friends over beers," according to a declassified FBI summary of the interviews, which took place over three days. He confessed the most salacious allegations were made in "jest." Still, the FBI continued to use Danchenko's claims of a "well-developed conspiracy of cooperation" between Russia and Trump to convince the FISA court to allow investigators to continue to surveil Page, whom the FBI accused of masterminding the conspiracy based on Danchenko's bogus rumors. Agents even swore in FISA court documents reviewed by RealClearInvestigations that Danchenko was "truthful and cooperative." Carter Page, junior Trump campaign aide: Spied on without justification. The combination of Danchenko reporting a "conspiracy" and the FBI vouching for his credibility persuaded the powerful FISA court to continue to authorize wiretapping Page as a suspected Russian agent for almost a year. In addition to collecting his emails and text messages in 2017, agents were able to sweep up all his prior communications with Trump officials from 2016. If the FBI were skeptical of Danchenko, it didn't show it. The next month, the bureau put him on its payroll as a confidential human source, or CHS, making him part of the bureau's untouchable "sources and methods" sanctum and thereby protecting him and any documents referencing him from congressional and other outside scrutiny. It made him a paid informant in spite of knowing Danchenko was a potential Russian spy threat who could be feeding federal agents disinformation. The FBI had previously opened a counterespionage probe of Danchenko from 2009 to 2011, and as his lawyers pointed out in a recent court filing, agents who were part of the case probing Trump/Russia ties, codenamed Crossfire Hurricane, "were well aware of the prior counterintelligence investigation" when they were supposedly conned by their informant. "It stretches credibility to suggest that anything else would have caused the FBI to be more suspicious of Mr. Danchenko's statements and his potential role in spreading disinformation than the very fact that he was previously investigated for possibly engaging in espionage on behalf of Russia," Sears said. "Armed with that knowledge, however, the FBI nevertheless persisted" in using him as a source – while never informing the FISA court of the prior investigation. The FBI didn't terminate Danchenko until October 2020, the month after the Senate declassified documents revealing the FBI had investigated him as a Russian agent. It also happened to be the same month Durham was appointed special counsel. On Oct. 19, 2020, then-Attorney General Bill Barr tapped Durham "to investigate whether any federal official, employee, or any other person or entity violated the law in connection with the intelligence, counter-intelligence, or law-enforcement activities directed at the 2016 presidential campaigns, individuals associated with those campaigns, and individuals associated with the administration of President Donald J. Trump, including but not limited to Crossfire Hurricane and the investigation of Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller, III."  So far, Durham has focused on the "any other person" part of his mandate. Federal officials and employees appear to be getting a pass. Kevin Clinesmith, FBI lawyer: Doctored exculpatory evidence. Though Durham prosecuted former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith in August 2020, when he was acting as a U.S. attorney, he did not initiate the case. Rather, it was referred to him by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz, who first exposed how Clinesmith had doctored exculpatory evidence in the Page warrant process. Even though Clinesmith admitted forging a CIA email to make it look like Page never helped the agency monitor Russia, when in fact he did and clearly wasn't acting as a Russian agent, Durham failed to put him behind bars. Clinesmith was sentenced to 12 months' probation and 400 hours of community service, which as RCI first reported, the registered Democrat satisfied by researching and editing articles for his favorite liberal weekly newspaper in Washington.  Kamenar said the Clinesmith case was a "bad omen" for how Durham would handle dirty FBI agents. He pointed out that the prosecutor could have charged Clinesmith with the more serious crime of altering a CIA document, but instead negotiated a deal letting him plead to the lesser offense of lying to a government agency, which Kamenar called "a garden variety process crime." And "now he's got his law license back." Clinesmith worked closely on the case with FBI Supervisory Intelligence Analyst Brian Auten, who was singled out by Horowitz in a 2019 report for cutting a number of corners in the dossier verification process and even allowing information he knew to be incorrect slip into the FISA affidavits and mislead the court. Auten met with Danchenko at the bureau's Washington field office and helped debrief him about the dossier in January 2017. And he wrote the official FBI summary of those meetings, which noted Danchenko "contradicted" himself several times. Auten learned firsthand that the information Danchenko passed to Steele was nothing more than bar gossip, and that his "network of subsources" was really just a circle of drinking buddies. Also at those meetings, the analyst received an Aug. 24, 2016, email revealing that Danchenko never actually communicated with Sergei Millian, the Belarusian-born American businessman whom he had identified as his main source of Trump/Russia connections – the all-important, albeit apocryphal, "Source E" and "Source D" of the dossier. It turns out Danchenko attributed the critical "conspiracy of cooperation" allegation the FBI cited as probable cause for all four FISA warrants to this made-up source, meaning the cornerstone evidence of suspected Trump-Russia espionage was also made up. What's more, Auten learned that though Danchenko was born in Russia, he was not based there and had no access to Kremlin insiders. On the contrary, he confirmed that Danchenko had been living in Washington and had previously worked for the Brookings Institution, a Democratic Party think tank whose president at the time was tied to Clinton. Yet Auten and his Crossfire team led the FISA court to believe Danchenko was "Russian-based" – and therefore presumably more credible. They used this same description in all four FISA affidavits, including the two renewals that followed the January 2017 meetings with Danchenko. Internal FBI emails from two months later revealed that Auten knew that using the term "Russian-based" was deceptive. While tasked with helping review Crossfire documents requested by Congress, including FISA applications, he worried about the description and whether it should be corrected. He discussed the matter with Clinesmith. But the falsehood reappeared in subsequent FISA applications. It was also in January 2017 that Danchenko revealed to Auten and his FBI handlers that one of his subsources was his childhood friend Olga Galkina, whom he said supplied him the rumor that former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen traveled to Prague during the campaign to hatch a plot with Kremlin officials to hack Clinton campaign emails.  Michael Cohen, Trump lawyer: Baseless rumor victim. The FBI already knew from intelligence reports that Cohen had not, as the dossier claimed, traveled to Prague to conspire in the alleged Russian hacking of Democrats, or for any other reason. On Jan. 12, 2017, Auten and his Crossfire teammates received a CIA report that warned the Cohen rumor was likely part of a Russian disinformation campaign. The agency had discovered no such Prague meeting took place after querying foreign intelligence services, shooting a major hole in the dossier. The CIA report should have led the Crossfire team to treat any allegations sourced to Galkina with caution. But on the same day, the FBI got its FISA wiretap on Page renewed based on another groundless claim by Galkina – this one alleging the Trump aide secretly met with top Kremlin officials in Moscow to discuss removing U.S. sanctions. The falsehood showed up in two more FISA applications, which alleged "Russia's efforts to influence U.S. policy were likely being coordinated between the RIS [Russian Intelligence Services] and Page, and possibly others." Galkina also had a relationship with Charles Dolan, a Clinton adviser who figures prominently in the Danchenko case Durham is prosecuting. It turns out Dolan was one of the sources for the infamous "pee-tape" allegation about the Kremlin supposedly having blackmail evidence of Trump consorting with prostitutes at the Ritz-Carlton in Moscow, which has been debunked as another dossier hoax. But according to Durham, Danchenko tried to conceal Dolan's role in the dossier from the FBI. The special prosecutor argued that the deception deprived FBI agents and analysts information that would have helped them evaluate "the credibility, reliability and veracity" of the dossier. He said if they had known Dolan was a source, they might have, among other things, sought emails Dolan and Danchenko exchanged exposing their Ritz-Carlton hoax.  "Had the defendant truthfully told the FBI that Dolan played a role in providing certain information for the Steele reports the FBI might well have interviewed and/or collected such emails from Dolan," Durham speculated. In addition, the prosecutor said, investigators might have learned of Dolan's "involvement in Democratic politics" and "potential bias as a source for the Steele reports." Except that they already knew about Dolan and his politics – as well as his involvement in the dossier. It's also likely they already had his emails. In another interview with Danchenko about his dossier sources, which took place June 15, 2017, FBI agents asked Danchenko if he knew Dolan and whether he was "contributing" to the Steele reports. Though Danchenko acknowledged he knew Dolan, he denied he was a source. Agents didn't ask any follow-up questions. (They also never sought to charge him with making false statements to federal agents.) How did the FBI know to ask about Dolan? Because he was well-known to the bureau's Russia counterintelligence agents as a businessman who frequently traveled to Moscow and met with Kremlin insiders. But more importantly, his friend Galkina was under FISA surveillance as a suspected Russian spy at the time, according to declassified records. The FBI was collecting not only Galkina's emails, but also those of Dolan and Danchenko, all of whom regularly communicated in 2016 – which suggests that at the time the FBI asked Danchenko about Dolan, it had access to those emails and was reviewing them. This may explain why, as defense lawyer Sears noted, "the FBI never asked Mr. Danchenko about emails or any other written communications with Dolan" – and why it never interviewed Dolan. While Durham acknowledged that the FBI knew about Dolan's troubling ties at the time and neglected to dig deeper, he said he's not bothered by the oversight. "The fact that the FBI was aware that Dolan maintained some of these relationships and failed to interview Dolan is of no moment," he maintained dismissively in a court filing. All that matters, he suggested, is that the FBI was lied to. One of those emails was particularly alarming. In an Aug. 19, 2016, email to Dolan, Danchenko made it clear he was compiling dirt on Trump and his advisers and sought any rumor, no matter how baseless and scurrilous. He solicited Dolan, specifically, for "any thought, rumor, allegation" on former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort. Such emails called into question the veracity of the whole dossier and further tainted the credibility of Danchenko's "network of subsources." But on June 29, 2017 – two weeks after the FBI asked about Dolan – the FBI renewed the FISA wiretap on Trump adviser Page based on, once again, the dubious dossier. From its wiretapping of Galkina, moreover, Auten and others at the FBI who sorted through such FISA collections would have seen communications showing her strong support for Hillary Clinton, and how Galkina was expecting political favors in exchange for spreading dirt on Trump. In an August 2016 email to a friend, Galkina expressed hopes that Dolan would help her score a State Department job if Clinton won election. It was a major red flag. But like all the others, the FBI blew right past it. Agents continued to vouch for Danchenko as "truthful" and his subsources as reliable, and continued to cite Galkina's fabrications in FISA renewals. Under FISA rules, the FBI had a duty to "immediately inform" the secret court of any misstatements or omissions, along with any "necessary corrections" of material facts sworn in affidavits for warrants. But the FBI failed to correct the record, even after it became obvious it had told the court falsehoods and hid exculpatory evidence. In August 2017, agents finally got around to interviewing Galkina, who confessed the dossier allegations attributed to her were "exaggerated," according to the Horowitz report.  Scammed by the Alfa Bank Scam? Last year, Durham also painted the FBI as a victim of the 2016 political machinations of two other anti-Trump informants – Michael Sussmann and Rodney Joffe, who conveyed to investigators false rumors about Trump allegedly setting up a secret hotline with the Kremlin through Russia-based Alfa Bank. Michael Sussmann, Clinton lawyer: Acquitted. Durham charged Sussmann, a Washington lawyer who represented the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign, with lying to the FBI's top lawyer James Baker when he told him he was coming in with the tip – outlined in white papers and thumb drives – all on his own and not on behalf of Democrats and Clinton, whom he was billing for the Trump-Alfa "confidential project." "Sussmann's false statement misled the FBI general counsel and other FBI personnel concerning the political nature of his work and deprived the FBI of information that might have permitted it more fully to access and uncover the origins of the relevant data and technical analysis, including the identities and motivations of Sussmann's clients," Durham maintained in the indictment. But evidence emerged at the trial of Sussmann, who was acquitted, that bureau officials already knew the "political nature" of the tip and where the data came from, but withheld the information from field agents so they would continue investigating Trump through the election. For example, in a Sept. 22, 2016, email describing the "special project," an FBI official in Washington stated that "Counsel Baker provided [Supervisory Special Agent] Joe Pientka with 2 thumb drives and identified they were given to him by the DNC." "Everybody at the FBI actually thought the data came from a political party," Sussmann lawyer Sean Berkowitz argued, according to the trial transcript. "The (case) file is littered with references to the DNC." But Durham kept offering explanations for why FBI brass bit on the politically tainted tip, opening a full field investigation based on it.  "Had Sussmann truthfully disclosed that he was representing specific clients [the Clinton campaign], it might have prompted the FBI general counsel to ask Sussmann for the identity of such clients, which, in turn, might have prompted further questions," Durham argued. James Baker, top FBI lawyer: Close friend of Sussmann. "In addition, absent Sussmann's false statement, the FBI might have taken additional or more incremental steps before opening an investigation," he added. "The FBI also might have allocated its resources differently, or more efficiently, and uncovered more complete information about the reliability and provenance of the purported data at issue." Headquarters, however, did know the identity of the clients. Problem was, they blinded agents in Chicago, where a cyber unit was assigned to the case, to the fact that the source for the information was Sussmann and Joffe – a federal cyber-security contractor who was angling for a job in a Clinton administration. (A longtime FBI informant, Joffe was terminated last year after he was exposed as the ringleader of the Alfa Bank scam.) "You were not allowed to speak to either the source of the information, the author of the white paper, or the person who provided the source of the information and the data?" Berkowitz asked Chicago-based FBI agent Curtis Heide during the trial, according to transcripts. "Correct," Heide replied. Another Chicago investigator was led to believe the tip came into the bureau as a referral from the "U.S. Department of Justice." Rodney Joffe, cybersecurity contractor: "Remains a subject." Still, field agents were able to debunk it within two weeks. The FBI was not fooled by the hoax, yet nonetheless went along with it for the next four months. The case wasn't formally closed until Jan. 18, 2017, just two days before Trump was inaugurated. But then it was soon reopened after Clinton operatives again approached the FBI – as well as the CIA – with supposedly new evidence, which also proved false. "Comey and crew kept the hoax alive," former FBI counterintelligence lawyer Mark Wauck said, referring to then-FBI Director James Comey. They welcomed any predication that allowed them to open investigations on Trump, he added. Pientka testified that Comey was "fired up" about the tip, despite the fact nothing had been corroborated. Comey even held senior-level meetings on the Alfa investigation in his 7th floor office. (Pientka, who led the "close-hold" investigation from headquarters, also helped supervise the Crossfire Hurricane probe.) Ironically, no one knew better that Sussmann was a Democratic operative with an agenda than Baker – the official Durham claimed was the direct victim of the scam. Baker, a fellow Democrat, was a close friend of Sussmann, who had his own badge to get past security at the Hoover Building. Sussmann had Baker's personal cell number and Baker cleared his busy schedule to meet with him within hours of Sussmann calling to discuss his tip. Baker was well aware that Sussmann was representing the DNC, because Sussmann entered the building numerous times during the 2016 campaign to talk with top FBI officials about the alleged DNC hack by Russia. In fact, Sussmann had just visited headquarters with a delegation from the DNC on Aug. 12, 2016 – several weeks before he approached Baker with the bogus Alfa tip. They were there to pressure the FBI into concluding Russian intelligence was behind the "hacking" of DNC emails. "I understood he had been affiliated with the Democratic Party, but that he had come representing himself," Baker testified during the trial. Why didn't he tell investigators about Sussmann? "I didn't want to share his name because I didn't want to color the investigation," he said. "I didn't want to color it with politics." In his closing argument, Durham prosecutor Andrew DeFilippis told jurors the FBI's conduct was "not relevant." "Ladies and gentlemen, you've seen that the FBI didn't necessarily do everything right here. They missed opportunities. They made mistakes. They even kept information from themselves," he said. "That is not relevant to your evaluation of the defendant's lie." Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton complained Durham and his team have been acting more like apologists for the FBI than potential prosecutors of the FBI. "The FBI leadership knew full well the Clinton gang was behind the Alfa Bank-Russia smears of Trump," he said. "Durham tried to pretend (the) FBI was a victim (when) it was a co-conspirator." Wauck agreed. "The FBI-as-victim narrative was a bit of a legal fiction that Durham deployed for the purposes of the trial," he said. "The reality that emerged is that the FBI's top management was complicit in the Russia hoax that Sussmann was purveying." Folding Up His Tent Durham was first tasked with looking into the origins of the Russiagate probe in May 2019, before his formal appointment as special counsel in 2020. Trump and Republicans have expressed disappointment that after a total of more than three years of investigation, he has not prosecuted any top former FBI officials, including Comey and Andrew McCabe, who signed some of the FISA affidavits, or Peter Strzok, the biased leader of the Crossfire Hurricane probe who assured McCabe's lawyer in an August 2016 text that "we'll stop" Trump from becoming president. None has received a target letter. In recent months, McCabe and Strzok have gone on CNN, where they work as paid contributors, and smugly bashed Durham for running a "partisan" investigation, while at the same time gloating he's held the FBI up to be more of a victim than a culprit. "Comey and Strzok and McCabe have gotten a free ride out of all this," Kamenar said. James Comey, FBI director: Not prosecuted. Also, Durham went easy on Baker, another top FBI official, even after he held back key evidence from the special prosecutor before the Sussmann trial, a blatant lack of cooperation that may have cost Durham a conviction in the case. Comey's general counsel has received "favorable treatment," Wauck observed. Baker, who reviewed and OK'd the FISA applications, never told Durham about a damning text message he received from Sussmann on his cellphone. Durham had already indicted Sussmann for lying to Baker, and he could not use Sussmann's smoking-gun message – "I'm coming on my own – not on behalf of a client or company" – during the trial to convince jurors he was guilty of lying about representing the Clinton campaign. Legal analysts said it was slam-dunk evidence that would have sealed his case. Baker testified he didn't turn over the text to Durham because no one asked for it. He proved a reluctant witness on the stand against his old pal Sussmann.  Andrew McCabe, deputy director: Not prosecuted "I'm not out to get Michael and this is not my investigation. This is your investigation," he told DeFilippis during questioning. DeFilippis has since stepped down to take a job in the private sector. (Demonstrating the incestuous nature of the Beltway, Baker also happens to be an old friend of Bill Barr, who hired Durham. Barr hired Baker as his deputy when he ran Verizon's legal shop in 2008.) In another sign Durham has not lived up to his billing as an aggressive prosecutor, FBI Director Christopher Wray suggested in recent Senate testimony that Durham's team has not interviewed all of the Crossfire members still employed at the bureau. In lieu of face-to-face interviews, he said Durham's investigators have reviewed transcripts of interviews of the agents previously conducted by the Office of Professional Responsibility, the FBI's in-house disciplinary arm. Recent published reports say Durham is in the process of closing up shop and completing a final report on his findings by the end of the year. Republicans have promised to seize on the report if they win control of the House in November and take back the gavel to key oversight committees on the Hill, along with subpoena power. Peter Strzok, Crossfire Hurricane leader: Not prosecuted. Some former colleagues who have worked with Durham and are familiar with his inquiry blame COVID-19 for his relatively few prosecutions and lackluster record. They say pandemic-related shutdowns in 2020 and 2021 set back his investigation by limiting travel, interviews, and grand jury hearings. As a result, they say, the clock ran out on prosecuting a number of potential crimes. The last FISA warrant, which according to the court was illegally obtained, was approved June 29, 2017, which means the five-year federal statute of limitations for that crime expired months ago. Though Durham hinted in the Sussmann case about investigating a broader "conspiracy" or "joint venture," there are few signs pointing to such a massive undertaking. Bringing a "conspiracy to defraud the government" charge, naming multiple defendants, would require Durham adding staff and office space and beefing up his budget by millions of dollars, the former colleagues said. According to expenditure statements, Durham continues to operate on a shoestring budget with a skeletal staff compared with his predecessor Mueller's robust operation, which indicted 34 people. And one of the two grand juries Durham used to hear evidence has expired. It recently wrapped up work, apparently without handing down new indictments (though some could be under seal). "If Durham were building toward an overarching indictment alleging a corrupt conspiracy between the Clinton campaign and the FBI to deceive the court, he would not be charging people with lying to the FBI," former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy said. If there are any investigations still open after Durham retires, they could be handled by U.S. attorneys, the sources said. At least one of Durham's prosecutors works as a trial lawyer in the U.S. Attorney's Office in D.C. According to a court exhibit, Joffe "remains a subject" in the Sussmann-related investigation into alleged attempts by federal contractors to defraud the government with false claims about Trump and Russia. Joffe invoked his Fifth Amendment right not to testify after receiving a grand jury subpoena and has not cooperated with requests for documents. His lawyer did not return phone calls and emails. The Special Counsel's Office did not respond to requests for comment. The FBI declined comment for this article, but issued a statement last year saying it "has cooperated fully with Special Counsel Durham's review."  Tyler Durden Fri, 09/30/2022 - 21:15.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeSep 30th, 2022

Snyder: What In The World Is Wrong With This Country?

Snyder: What In The World Is Wrong With This Country? Authored by Michael Snyder via The End of The American Dream blog, Just when it seems like we can’t possibly go any lower, we always manage to top ourselves.  In the old days, every once in a while I would come across a story that would make me shake my head in disbelief because it was just so absurd.  Now it is happening on a daily basis.  In this article I am going to share some examples with you.  I realize that some of these things are difficult to believe, but all of them are true.  Our country really is coming apart at the seams right in front of our eyes, and the pace of our national decline only seems to be accelerating.  If we are not able to turn our cultural decay around, eventually we will not have a country at all. Let me start with a new law which will go into effect in Illinois on January 1st. From that point forward, those guilty of second-degree murder, kidnapping, burglary and arson will always be released without having to post any bail at all… When a new Illinois law takes effect next year, it will do away with the cash bail system in the state, meaning suspects charged with felonies, including second-degree murder, aggravated battery, and arson, will be released without bail. The Counter Signal reports the Safety, Accountability, Fairness and Equity-Today Act, also called the SAFE-T Act, would end cash bail and includes 12 non-detainable offenses, second-degree murder, aggravated battery, and arson without bail, as well as drug-induced homicide, kidnapping, burglary, robbery, intimidation, aggravated DUI, aggravated fleeing and eluding, drug offenses and threatening a public official. When the law takes effect on Jan. 1, 2023, criminals charged with the crimes mentioned above will be released without bail. How many hardened criminals do you think will actually show up for their trials? I am sure that there will be a few. Of course many of our “woke judges” are doing their very best to make sure that many violent criminals never pay the price for their crimes even if they do stand trial. In California, a judge recently granted a mistrial to one defendant just because he didn’t get a good night of sleep the night before… A California judge, who hails from a powerful Democrat family who endorsed LA DA George Gascon, granted a mistrial for a man facing life in prison because he was sleepy. The alleged criminal apparently did not get a good night’s rest before the trial after spending the night in a cell without a bed or blanket. Seriously? So now this violent criminal is back on the streets even though he pointed a gun in the face of a female fast food worker and threatened to blow her brains out… Vamazae Elgin Banks, 24, appeared in court after threatening a McDonald’s worker with a gun before stealing less than $100. Court records accused Banks of telling the cashier at the fast food joint that he would kill her if she didn’t produce the cash quickly enough, allegedly telling her ‘hurry up or I’ll blow your brains out!’ Our system of justice is systematically being destroyed. But many Americans simply don’t care because they are drugged out of their minds. The United States has the biggest problem with legal drugs on the entire planet, and it also has the biggest problem with illegal drugs on the entire planet. When I saw the following story, I thought that it perfectly summed up where we are as a nation today… A speeding woman is accused of driving under the influence of cocaine and alcohol when she crashed into another car, killing its driver who was under the influence of methamphetamine, police said. Summer Butler, 37, faces charges of DUI resulting in death, reckless driving and being in possession of a controlled substance in connection with the fatal crash in January, court documents obtained by the 8 News Now I-Team said. At this point, it seems like almost everyone is an addict, and that includes many of our government officials.  Here is just one example… A Louisiana state official was arrested for allegedly buying drugs from a drug dealer outside of a fast food chain on Tuesday. Bridgette Hull, 37, serves as the executive secretary for the Louisiana State Board of Private Security Examiners. She was purchasing drugs from dealer Steven McCarthy, who was under surveillance, when a Louisiana Attorney General Office employee recognized him at a Livingston Parish restaurant. Hull was arrested onsite, but McCarthy fled the scene after back up was called – resulting in a pursuit. He later crashed into another car and was arrested. If we would secure our borders, we could at least reduce the flow of illegal drugs into this country. But the Biden administration refuses to do that. And so the worst drug crisis in all of U.S. history will continue to escalate, and substances that are laced with fentanyl will continue to kill countless numbers of our young people… San Diego and Imperial County comprise the epicenter of fentanyl drug trafficking in the United States, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ), which reported that seizures of fentanyl in San Diego were up 323% in FY2019-FY2021 and that fentanyl overdose deaths increased 2,375% in San Diego County between 2016 and 2021. “A decade ago, we didn’t even know about fentanyl, and now it’s a national crisis,” said U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California Randy Grossman. “The amount of fentanyl we are seizing at the border is staggering. The number of fentanyl seizures and fentanyl-related deaths in our district are unprecedented.” If you are waiting for our national leaders to fix our growing problems, you are going to be waiting for a really, really long time. Every major decision they make seems to make things even worse, and the Biden administration keeps appointing extremely alarming individuals to top positions of power. In fact, Biden just appointed a “doctor” that is absolutely obsessed with pentagrams to be the National Monkeypox Response Deputy Coordinator. Meet Demetre Daskalakis. Demetre was just appointed by Joe Biden to be the official White House National Monkeypox Response Deputy Coordinator. Demetre proudly wears the official symbol of the Church of Satan: The Pentagram. Joe Biden appointed a Satanist to the White House. pic.twitter.com/TiMPY29AtC — Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) September 8, 2022 Not cherry picking here. The Pentagram is proudly displayed in his *promotional* photos for a CDC appointment. It’s ubiquitous on his social media. Demetre has Pentagram tattoos. So it’s a fair question: Did Joe Biden appoint a Satanist? pic.twitter.com/471Fp3uKss — Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) September 8, 2022 So far, only a very small handful of conservatives are objecting to his appointment to such an important position. What in the world is wrong with this country? Have we gone completely and totally nuts? Perhaps we have.  At this point, close to one-fourth of all Democratic voters actually believe that men can get pregnant… A poll conducted by WPA Intelligence has found that almost one quarter of Democratic voters believe that “some men can become pregnant.” Twenty-two percent of Democrats overall agreed with the statement. The poll also found that more women agreed with the statement, and an incredible 36 percent of white, college-educated female Democrats agreed. We aren’t just in a state of decline. The truth is that we are in a very advanced state of decline and the clock is ticking. If you love this nation, what has happened to us should deeply sadden you. We were once the greatest country on the entire planet, but now we are rapidly being destroyed from within. Please wake up America, because time to do anything about all of this is quickly running out. *  *  * It is finally here! Michael’s new book entitled “7 Year Apocalypse” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon. Tyler Durden Fri, 09/09/2022 - 21:00.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytSep 9th, 2022

Transcript: Eric Balchunas

      Transcript: The transcript from this week’s, MiB: Eric Balchunas on the Vanguard Effect, is below. You can stream and download our full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google, Bloomberg, and Acast. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here. ~~~ ANNOUNCER: This is… Read More The post Transcript: Eric Balchunas appeared first on The Big Picture.       Transcript: The transcript from this week’s, MiB: Eric Balchunas on the Vanguard Effect, is below. You can stream and download our full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google, Bloomberg, and Acast. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here. ~~~ ANNOUNCER: This is Masters in Business with Barry Ritholtz on Bloomberg Radio. BARRY RITHOLTZ, HOST, MASTERS IN BUSINESS: This week on the podcast, hey, guess what? I have an extra special guest. Eric Balchunas is someone I’ve known from both the ETF industry and Bloomberg for, I don’t know, a decade or two, and we hang out in a lot of the same circles. There are a few people in the world who know as much about ETFs indexing, Vanguard, Jack Bogle. I mean, I could count them on one hand the number of people who have his depth of knowledge in this space. And that’s why he is really a — a fascinating character. You could tell when you listen to this conversation that it’s two guys who know each other just BS-ing and schmoozing. But I find those to be some of the best conversations because there’s no pretense, there’s no marketing, it’s just people talking about things that genuinely interest them. And when I basically don’t get to have my questions because we’re just, what about this, tell me about that. Hey, isn’t this wrong, or it just leads to all sorts of fun and interesting places. I thought this was a fascinating conversation, and I think you will also. So, if you are remotely interested in passive investing, ETFs, indexing, or Vanguard and Jack Bogle, you will find this to be an absolutely fascinating conversation. With no further ado, my interview of Eric Balchunas of Bloomberg Intelligence. He is the Senior ETF Analyst for Bloomberg News. He is also co-host of ETF IQ on Bloomberg Television. And he hosts a podcast called Trillions with Joel Webber, Editor-in-Chief of Businessweek. He is the author of several books, most recently, “The Bogle Effect,” how John Bogle and Vanguard turned Wall Street inside out and saved investors trillions. Eric Balchunas, welcome to Masters in Business. ERIC BALCHUNAS, SENIOR ETF ANALYST AT BLOOMBERG INTELLIGENCE: It is a pleasure to be here, Barry. RITHOLTZ: Always (inaudible) … BALCHUNAS: Like a home game for me. (Inaudible) walk like 10 feet here. RITHOLTZ: Right, I texted you and said, “Come down to five. Time to start.” So — so let’s talk a little bit about the home field advantage and your career. You’ve — you’ve been reporting on finance pretty much your entire career. What — what led to an interest in money and markets? BALCHUNAS: While I was in college at Rutgers, and I was — wrote for the school paper, and I decided to major in journalism and communications because I liked it. And — but I was at the Cook college, which is the ag school. And in order to graduate from Cook you had to have at least a minor that was related, and I thought — I took an econ class and I kind of liked it, so I minored in environmental economics. RITHOLTZ: Interesting. BALCHUNAS: That got me through Cook because I was with a bunch of biology people. And so I — my — I immediately applied at Bloomberg, right? But I — I got rejected. RITHOLTZ: This was your first job … BALCHUNAS: Yeah. No, no, it wasn’t. I got rejected. I only got in my third time. I — because obviously, I’m like journalism, economics, I’m in Rutgers. Bloomberg makes perfect sense, and they were hiring, but I just wasn’t qualified, I guess. RITHOLTZ: Balchunas, hard pass. BALCHUNAS: Yeah, hard pass. RITHOLTZ: So where did you start? BALCHUNAS: I went to the Institutional Investor Magazine Newsletter division. RITHOLTZ: Oh, sure. Their — their website is a regular in my morning reading list. BALCHUNAS: Yeah. RITHOLTZ: It’s always solid. BALCHUNAS: Yeah. I mean, the name turned me off at — coming out of college, I was like institutional investor just sounds so boring like who would ever read this, but money was pretty (inaudible). RITHOLTZ: It’s … BALCHUNAS: Yeah, institutions, which came in handy later in my — when I wrote my first book. But I covered derivatives at first, and then I cover mutual funds. I worked for a (inaudible) called Fund Action and did that for a little while, and then went — I met a guy named Duff Ferguson at AllianceBernstein. He was the P.R. guy. And I just thought then that I want to go behind the keyhole. And so, I went and took a job in P.R. because I kind of like this guy’s whole deal. And so I got a job in P.R. at a crisis communication firm named Abernathy MacGregor and got to work with several clients and, you know, took them to Bloomberg, took them to Reuters, took them to there. And (inaudible) Bloomberg, I was like, “Man, this place is different,” right? RITHOLTZ: Yeah, yeah. BALCHUNAS: And so, I always had an eye on Bloomberg for my early career. And then in ’99-ish — no, no. Yeah, ’99-ish, early 2000, I got headhunted. That’s how good the economy was. You could be 25 and you get headhunted for like all these jobs. And she comes and she goes, I — I got two jobs that are really good. One is at Bear Stearns … RITHOLTZ: A lot of money. BALCHUNAS: … doing P.R. RITHOLTZ: Right. BALCHUNAS: And the other one is at Bloomberg. And I was, yeah, it’s easy choice. So I basically put all my chips on Bloomberg, apply them and interviewed here to have a job in P.R., went through many interviews. It took a while, but I finally got it. RITHOLTZ: In P.R. BALCHUNAS: Yeah. RITHOLTZ: Really? BALCHUNAS: Yeah, so I started here … RITHOLTZ: So — wow. BALCHUNAS: … in Public Relations. RITHOLTZ: So — so first, the first question is, if you weren’t rejected by Bloomberg right out of the gate when you were right out of school, might you have ended up at Bear Stearns. Was — was Bloomberg … BALCHUNAS: Yes. RITHOLTZ: … the one … BALCHUNAS: Yeah, it’s a great point because … RITHOLTZ: We chase the things that recede from us … BALCHUNAS: Yes. RITHOLTZ: … to quote The Tao of Steve. BALCHUNAS: But having had like — I had like three jobs, maybe four, I worked at — I worked with a third-party marketer for about six months … RITHOLTZ: Yeah. BALCHUNAS: … where you had to call pensions and tried to pitch them on hedge funds … RITHOLTZ: Cold (inaudible). BALCHUNAS: … oh, it was really tough. Those jobs, when I finally got to Bloomberg, always helped me stay here because I know what is out there, at least to a degree. This is my first job, I may have had such a — I don’t know … RITHOLTZ: Right. BALCHUNAS: … curiosity. I — I probably would’ve left. So maybe it’s a blessing in disguise. RITHOLTZ: So you were covering derivatives in the 90’s, but not the 2000’s leading up to the ’08-’09 crisis. BALCHUNAS: No, I only covered them for a little while there. RITHOLTZ: So you missed … BALCHUNAS: I’m hardly an expert. RITHOLTZ: … you missed the fun derivative era. BALCHUNAS: Yeah, I know. That’s right, that’s right. I cover them with … RITHOLTZ: You’re like I did that in the 90’s, who needs that? BALCHUNAS: The — the — the idea was you just try to call these traders and just get them to give you information on why, what went up and down in the futures market. It was a really — I mean, honestly, very unglamorous manual labor-type job. RITHOLTZ: Right. BALCHUNAS: Journalists need a — journalists need to get a reason for everything. Can’t you see the market went up or the futures? I said what happened, and you need someone for that. RITHOLTZ: Who, what, where, when, why. BALCHUNAS: Yeah. So … RITHOLTZ: It just what makes financial news coverage either really good or really bad because some people must impose a narrative when it’s sometimes it’s just random. BALCHUNAS: That was my first thought two months in my first job. I was like, I don’t know if there — there’s a reason for this. Maybe it went up like, I don’t know, half a point today. Maybe that just — maybe there is no reason, there’s no clear reason. It’s OKAY. Can we just say that? And they’re like (inaudible) like no. RITHOLTZ: They hate that, no. BALCHUNAS: You cannot say we don’t know or who knows. RITHOLTZ: We — I think we’ve talked about this. My favorite thing in the world to do on TV is they ask you a question and say, “I have no idea.” Well, what — what about — I don’t know, nobody does, but I’m telling you the truth. I don’t know the rest of them are lying to you when they answer and people hate that. BALCHUNAS: I agree. “I don’t know” is a underrated phrase and mindset whether it’s religion, politics. Sometimes you don’t know. And I think … RITHOLTZ: Was it? BALCHUNAS: … I don’t know is a very (inaudible). RITHOLTZ: Most of the time. BALCHUNAS: Yeah. And most people can relate because a few of us are experts in anything or know anything absolutely. And so I’m a big fan of “I don’t know” in general, but it doesn’t really play well in the media. RITHOLTZ: All right, so let’s get serious now. You’re the go-to reporter for ETFs and passive indexes. BALCHUNAS: Well, hold on. Can I stop you? RITHOLTZ: Sure. BALCHUNAS: So some people do think of me as a reporter and I started my career that way, but I’m in research, so what I do is I write notes that aren’t — I don’t report on something. I’m more — our team gives takes on things, so … RITHOLTZ: Your — your title is technically senior ETF analyst. But when I think of everybody in the media who covers ETFs, passive investing, Vanguard, et cetera — BlackRock, et cetera, you’re the first name that pops into — oh, you have a question or you want to speak to a journalist in the ETF space … BALCHUNAS: Yeah. RITHOLTZ: … get a hold of Eric. BALCHUNAS: So — so — so well … RITHOLTZ: Let’s … BALCHUNAS: … I — I — I would say, you know some of these guys who work for ESPN who are like experts in the NBA or … RITHOLTZ: Sure. BALCHUNAS: … I kind of model myself (inaudible). RITHOLTZ: Your colored commentary. You’re not (inaudible). BALCHUNAS: Yeah. And — where they just get the latest news, like … RITHOLTZ: Yeah. BALCHUNAS: … Woj for the NBA or Adam Schefter for — I believe that’s his name — for NFL. I’m — I’m that for ETFs, and so there is an element of trying to get on top of the latest things. But more so, I just see research is having to get out there more. I think if you’re in research, you sort of need to put on a pundit head (ph) sometimes and have a reaction on Twitter quickly because if you wait and wait, then you’re late to it. RITHOLTZ: (Inaudible), right. BALCHUNAS: And I think it’s good to just be — add a little punditry. So I would understand why you would think that. Plus, I was a journalist, so I have maybe some vibes that are (inaudible). RITHOLTZ: So let’s call you the go-to guy. We will … BALCHUNAS: Sure. RITHOLTZ: … call you the go-to reporter. How did the expertise in ETFs and passive investing come about? BALCHUNAS: Remember the Fund Action newsletter I wrote for? So when I was a Bloomberg P.R. around 911, I had a near miss and I moved back to South Jersey. RITHOLTZ: Define near miss. BALCHUNAS: Well, I was supposed to be in the top windows of the world that day. RITHOLTZ: Really? BALCHUNAS: Yeah. There was a … RITHOLTZ: By the way, there are thousands of these stories. BALCHUNAS: I know. RITHOLTZ: I’ve had … BALCHUNAS: I know, and I don’t — I do not look — I — sometimes people overindulge themselves in these stories and — but fate indeed intervened, but there is a badge. There was a conference up there. WatersTechnology had a … RITHOLTZ: A badge with your name on it, sure. BALCHUNAS: There’s a badge with my name on it that was at the top. RITHOLTZ: Wow. BALCHUNAS: Isn’t that crazy? RITHOLTZ: What time did the event start? BALCHUNAS: Oh, it started at like seven in the morning so … RITHOLTZ: Oh, so you absolutely would’ve been there. BALCHUNAS: Yeah, there were three people from this company who were there. RITHOLTZ: No kidding. BALCHUNAS: Yeah, sad. And one of them is actually my friend from South Jersey knows him, and they still have a — you know, I think a walk for him every year. You know, it — it — it really hit home, but I also was looking to take a step, like I was looking to change gears in life anyway. I was about 27. So I moved back to South Jersey and I transferred to the Princeton office of Bloomberg. And when you do that — I still think I’m the first person ever in the history in this company to go from P.R. to data because … RITHOLTZ: Right. BALCHUNAS: … that’s all they do in Princeton is data and engineering. But I was like, well, I don’t want to commute to New York every day from South Jersey, so I’ll take a job here. So they looked at my background and said, “Why don’t you go work for funds data?” So I got to work where they make the terminals, like the Keebler elves. So I — I’ve — I’ve seen how the terminal is made, where all the data comes from. And they … RITHOLTZ: Right. BALCHUNAS: … I basically had to work on getting fund information from the prospectuses. This is before technology was really that great. RITHOLTZ: Right. BALCHUNAS: Put them into fields and then that’s what … RITHOLTZ: (Inaudible) 00a manual process. BALCHUNAS: Yes. We — we automated it as we went. RITHOLTZ: Sure. BALCHUNAS: We always (inaudible) and automate. And so, when you pulled Bloomberg and you type in like the Fidelity Magellan Fund and then you type DES, all that information … RITHOLTZ: (Inaudible), right. BALCHUNAS: … is really what we — we did. And so, I was doing that in 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004. And in 2006, I got a hand at ETFs. They’re like, “You work on ETFs now.” And I was like I had heard of them, but I — you know, I was still … RITHOLTZ: And let me just jump in. So the SPDRs had been around at that point in time, the S&P 500 SPDRs by State Street. They had been around at … BALCHUNAS: Since ’93. RITHOLTZ: Yeah, a couple of decades. BALCHUNAS: Oh, yeah. RITHOLTZ: And other companies had moved into the space, and I — I just was having this conversation with someone the other day. They said, “Who are you — who are you interviewing.” Oh, Eric Balchunas. Oh. And the — the question they asked was, was Bloomberg late to ETFs? I’m like, “I thought they were there pre-financial crisis. They were fairly — they weren’t the first one, but they certainly didn’t lag. BALCHUNAS: It’s a great question. So Bloomberg covers everything … RITHOLTZ: Right. BALCHUNAS: … and the ticker is on the exchange, it’s on the terminal, so we had ETFs from day one. RITHOLTZ: Right. BALCHUNAS: But did we care about them? Did we put a lot of resources into them? Not really. They were still small back then. And I think that’s maybe part of my legacy if there is one here is to — I was — in 2005’-‘07, I was like, oh, my god, I was like kicking the tires on ETFs, and I’m like, “These things are going to take over.” They’re too good. RITHOLTZ: Right. BALCHUNAS: And to value is too strong, so I just was like became — I’m like dove head first into ETFs. And I went to index universe conferences, started to listen to their podcast with your friend Dave Nadig, Matt Hogan. And I looked at some of the stuff they — how they talked the day that they looked at, and it was very inspirational. I said, “We have to cover things like index weighting methodology,” the criteria, the rebalancing. There’s all these ETF-specific fields we have to get on. So part of what I did was to make the DES page one for ETFs that had all of — fields that were prevalent for ETFs because, at the time, they are putting ETFs into mutual funds, and they’re … RITHOLTZ: You were a driver. You … BALCHUNAS: Yeah. RITHOLTZ: … you help separate it … BALCHUNAS: Yeah. RITHOLTZ: … that’s why people think of you as the ETF guy. By the way, the folks you mentioned, I group you in with them because when I befriended folks like David Nadig, I had no idea that this was the ETF mafia, and these were the people running — you know, really driving the — the mindshare and the perception of ETFs both in the industry and amongst the investment community. I’m like, oh, what do you guys do, kind of we’re hanging out and having some fun. And it’s like, we’ve messed around with ETFs. Oh, that — we own ETFs. We can hang with you not realizing, oh, no, no, you don’t understand who this got, Jim and go down the list of people. These are the folks that really drove the entire expansion of the ETF industry quietly in the nineties. But as you mentioned, in the 2000’s, it was just starting to ramp up. So how did you drive this company into putting a greater emphasis on ETFs and treating them as distinct from mutual funds? BALCHUNAS: Yeah, I tried all kinds of ways, which is sort of — I could relate to Bogle trying to sell index funds in the 70’s and 80’s when no one was really interested. I think everybody has these plates in their life where they’re trying to tell people about something, and it just takes a long time to break through. So I would get — I would — I would basically use my communication skills. I would talk to people internally. I would go to sales meetings. I would present — the chart I really like to show was people think of ETFs, at the — at the time, of having, say, like two percent market share of all funds. But I’m like, but they make up 20 percent of all equity trading. So I would show them the volume and be like, “And we’re a — a service that does a lot with trading.” We should have 20 percent of the equity programmers, if you think about it … RITHOLTZ: Sure. BALCHUNAS: … that — people would nod other heads, but I would never get 20 percent of the equity programmers. But over — over time we — we made some headway, we started doing events. And honestly, I — I just really was like a one-man army for a little while, but then the asset started come in. And then someone like it, at a higher level, would be told by somebody ETFs are big, and that would help a little. And ultimately, it was like a wave that just finally broke. And now, we have a lot of resources into ETFs. But I also think that Bloomberg and what I would tell people back in the days, we might have been a little late to sort of ETFIs or DES pages and — and give you some functions, but … RITHOLTZ: But it was always on the terminal. BALCHUNAS: But once you do that, that’s just the frosting on the cake. You click on an ETF, then you got to look at the holdings. (Inaudible) you want to analyze one stock, you click on that. You could just keep clicking on a terminal. RITHOLTZ: Right. BALCHUNAS: Other services, you — your clicking had to stop somewhere. So I’m like all the stuff they did here in the 80’s and 90’s to connected exchanges, to get all the stocks and the bonds, we — when the ETF came out, all we had to do was put some like, you know, sort of frosting on the cake. RITHOLTZ: I was right, yeah. BALCHUNAS: But now, your analysis could go anywhere. And so, the terminal and the infrastructure there was really a huge tailwind for my efforts. RITHOLTZ: So — so let me ask you a question that’ll tee up the rest of our conversation. You started in the ETF space in the mid 2000’s and, you know, following the financial crisis, they exploded. Imagine, you know, just banging away at this for 40 years with some limited success, but mostly being looked at as that Jack Bogle guy in Pennsylvania. What — what is this stuff? He’s — well, he’s just hitting his head against the wall. That is just going nowhere. Could you — could you picture decades of this with just moderate, at best, acceptance to the whole idea? BALCHUNAS: Yeah. I mean, this is part of the story. I — I couldn’t believe the numbers. Here’s two — two examples of how long it took. It took Vanguard 25 years to get 10 percent market share and funds. Ninetry-seven, 98 percent of Vanguard’s assets came after Jack Bogle stepped down as CEO. RITHOLTZ: Amazing. BALCHUNAS: That’s even … RITHOLTZ: Amazing. BALCHUNAS: … that’s amazing, right? So he built a foundation largely in oblivion, right? RITHOLTZ: Yeah. BALCHUNAS: But once it got built, then it became that gradually then suddenly thing, but he toiled around a long time. Although he was a very loud prominent voice, but the assets really weren’t there until … RITHOLTZ: Right. BALCHUNAS: … I would say the financial crisis of 2008 is when they really kicked in. But up until then they had less than one trillion, I believe. And, you know, they were always out there. I remember when I covered for Fund Action in the — in the 90’s — in the late 90’s, I would cover all the fund companies. I looked at Vanguard as maybe the fourth or fifth company. I was like Fidelity — I got it from Fidelity, T. Rowe … RITHOLTZ: Sure. BALCHUNAS: … Legg Mason. Vanguard was like fourth or fifth. Now, when I think of the universe, it’s like Vanguard, BlackRock and then … RITHOLTZ: Everybody else. BALCHUNAS: … (inaudible) binoculars to see somebody else. RITHOLTZ: Right. That — that’s amazing and — and appreciate the Hemingway reference. That’s always a — that’s always really interesting. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) BALCHUNAS: So the Vanguard effect is, you know, if Vanguard comes out, they’re a mutually-owned company, right? The investors — the funds on the company, the investors on the fund, that is really the heart of the matter here. RITHOLTZ: Very different, more akin to an insurance company … BALCHUNAS: Yes. RITHOLTZ: … than a typically publicly-traded … BALCHUNAS: Or a coop almost, yeah, or a nonprofit. It’s not — they’re not exactly those things, but it’s something like that. It’s unique. And this is part of the story I was so fascinated with was why would someone set-up a company where they deliberately turn over all the future profits to the — to the people? It just — it makes no sense. And so … RITHOLTZ: It’s Marxist. BALCHUNAS: It — it’s crazy. And I asked everybody, (inaudible) people for this book. I asked them all that question. How come nobody’s copied Vanguard structure? And the answer was all the same. Well … RITHOLTZ: No incentive. BALCHUNAS: … there’s no incentive, too. No one — and as Jason Swikes (ph) said, “No one goes to Wall Street to drive a Volvo.” And so … RITHOLTZ: Man, can I tell you that is the most one percent thing I’ve ever heard from you because, in normal middle class households, a Volvo is considered a higher-end car. BALCHUNAS: Sure. But I guess … RITHOLTZ: Well … BALCHUNAS: … but it’s also very accurate. But it’s also Bogle worked hard. If you are going to go to Wall Street and you were going to put in those hours, I think most people want a big payoff. So I’m really going to put this much of myself in there. RITHOLTZ: And intensity. It’s more than just the hours. BALCHUNAS: And they got that (inaudible) in the belly thing. RITHOLTZ: Right. BALCHUNAS: It’s just the way the story goes on Wall Street. You make a ton of money. Usually, there’s some fall, you know, where maybe you get into fight with people, like the — the Bill Gross story, I thought, was probably more traditional Wall Street story … RITHOLTZ: Yes. BALCHUNAS: … the rise and the fall, right? So it’s unusual though to have that much work ethic, that much drive and say, yeah, I want all the investors to have the money. I — I mean, they got paid well, but he was never going to get Jeff Bezos rich or, you know, the — the Johnson family rich if he turned over the profits. RITHOLTZ: Right. BALCHUNAS: That decision was their biggest — I think the single biggest decision in the — in the last 50 years. Indexing is just a lucky byproduct of that decision. If indexing was expensive, it wouldn’t really catch hold. And I think it was Vanguard’s mutual ownership structure that is the key ingredient, as well as Bogle’s unique structure. So most of my book is exploring those two things. I think those two things were the — created the explosion. And then when they were looking for something to apply this to, indexing was out there and they said, “Let’s do that.” And that, I think, in a — in a weird way, I think, indexing got lucky that Vanguard and Bogle existed. RITHOLTZ: So — so let me push back a little bit on that. BALCHUNAS: Sure. RITHOLTZ: If Vanguard had this — see, I think they’re — they’re very complimentary, the mutual ownership structure … BALCHUNAS: Of course. RITHOLTZ: … and — and … BALCHUNAS: Hand in glove. RITHOLTZ: … because, hypothetically in the alternative universe, Vanguard never gets into passive and indexing and instead just does low-cost active … BALCHUNAS: Which would destroy though. They’d get all the money. RITHOLTZ: I don’t think so. BALCHUNAS: Yes, they would, yeah … RITHOLTZ: I don’t think so. BALCHUNAS: … because if you look at any study, the lowest cost active funds beat their benchmarks way more. And Vanguard’s active funds … RITHOLTZ: Relatively speaking, the — the … BALCHUNAS: Yeah, Vanguard’s … RITHOLTZ: … amongst — amongst the active funds … BALCHUNAS: Yes, yes. RITHOLTZ: … the lowest cost wins. But if your low-cost active versus someone else doing low-cost passive, you’re going to lose … BALCHUNAS: Yeah, I … RITHOLTZ: … over the fullness of time, maybe not (inaudible). BALCHUNAS: … this is part of my theory on low-cost passive. I don’t think it would happen without Vanguard because it’s just that … RITHOLTZ: That could be true, yeah. BALCHUNAS: Because I — it’s possible, you know, because the Wells Fargo Index Fund, which was the second one to ever come out … RITHOLTZ: In the early 70’s, right? BALCHUNAS: Yes, still charges 44 basis points and with a load. And that’s with Vanguard at the picture. RITHOLTZ: And — and how much has the Wells Fargo Index amassed in assets. BALCHUNAS: Oh, nothing. It’s like — no, it’s very little. RITHOLTZ: So that’s why these two were — so here’s successful low-cost … BALCHUNAS: Yeah. RITHOLTZ: … successful indexing, not attracting assets. BALCHUNAS: But it’s — it’s the low-cost. This — this whole thing that we’re experiencing with — with what I call the Bogle effect, it’s — it’s low-cost. That’s the thing. I call it the “great cost migration.” It is much more powerful than indexing. Indexing is really just taking a group of stocks and market cap weighted (ph) them, right, or — and each index company does it a different way, like there is no like (inaudible) … RITHOLTZ: Right, DFA is different from Vanguard … BALCHUNAS: Yeah … RITHOLTZ: … is different from (inaudible). BALCHUNAS: … or how about the Russell 1000 is different than the S&P 500. RITHOLTZ: Right. BALCHUNAS: The S&P 500 is literally active. I mean, it’s really because it’s cheap. And if you were to have — let’s say indexing wasn’t even a concept. We don’t even know what it is. RITHOLTZ: Right. BALCHUNAS: If you had made active mutual funds and got them down to those low fees that Vanguard’s active funds currently are at, they would utterly destroy. They’d be the biggest active mutual fund to shop times over. That’s my opinion. RITHOLTZ: Yeah, I just feel like active is sold by performance. And if you’re low-cost, it’ll help your performance. But depending on your model, there — there are active funds that have great years and then have terrible years. And if they were low-cost, I think you would have inflows and outflows. BALCHUNAS: Over time, Vanguard’s active funds would rise to the top in the 10 and 20-year timeframe. RITHOLTZ: Right, but it would take decades to get there. BALCHUNAS: All right. It still would’ve taken a while. It would have been the graduate, then suddenly it just would’ve all happened with active instead of passive. It would happen though because I think low-cost … RITHOLTZ: I don’t know (inaudible) I think … BALCHUNAS: … is really what he pushed forward and what is here to stay. RITHOLTZ: So — so the … BALCHUNAS: Indexing is such a — you know, there are active funds that are very, very passive-ish. They basically — they’re closet indexers. RITHOLTZ: Well, let’s — there are closet indexers, we’ll come back … BALCHUNAS: Yeah. RITHOLTZ: … hold that thought because we’re going to come … BALCHUNAS: And there’s index funds that are pretty active. So indexing is a very nuanced conversation. What isn’t nuanced and what is the mother of all trends is high-cost to low-cost. RITHOLTZ: All right. So — so let’s put some flesh on those bones. BALCHUNAS: Right. RITHOLTZ: In 2016 … BALCHUNAS: I — I think I totally didn’t even answer your question, but … RITHOLTZ: Well, I’m — I’m going to pin you down. BALCHUNAS: OK, OK. RITHOLTZ: Don’t worry. We — we got lots of time to make you answer the questions. Your — your honor … BALCHUNAS: Oh. RITHOLTZ: … would you please direct the witness to … BALCHUNAS: Oh, wait, you asked what the Vanguard effect was. RITHOLTZ: In dollars, let’s talk about dollars. BALCHUNAS: Yeah. So that mutual ownership company that he created, and once it got really popular and they gradually then suddenly kicked in in 2008, and they started getting trillions, once the trillions start to kick in, a couple of things happened. A, you could start to calculate the savings that Vanguard saved investors if you take the money they would have had and say a 60, 70 basis point active fund versus a 10 basis point X fund. And the turnover, the trading cost is like another one percent for active funds that you don’t even see. You add that up, you know, arguably, it’s $500 billion to $1 trillion. There’s ways it could be more. Bogle wanted to reinvest the savings and that grows it more, but let’s say it’s a lot of money. Now, the Vanguard effect is everybody is saying, oh, they’re getting all these flows. We’re going to have to copy their low-cost index funds. RITHOLTZ: To cut off fees, we have to cut off fees to compete. BALCHUNAS: They — and so in my book, a lot of people were like nobody wanted to do this. Only Bogle wanted this. RITHOLTZ: Right. BALCHUNAS: Everybody else did it because they had to. And that mattered to some people, but ultimately, that’s how everybody saw it, and I agree. And that’s the Vanguard effect. And that’s why I was so attracted to this topic because as somebody who looks at the flows every day, I’m like, damn, man, every — every year we look at the flows and I’m like, if you pull the thread on, basically 90 percent of this money — you end up in 1974, and it is all traced back to this guy in this decision to set this company up like this. And that is interesting that nobody copied Vanguard’s mutual ownership structure, but it’s the governing force of the whole enchilada now. Basically, people are — they have to copy it. Even if they don’t structurally copy it, they have to copy the products, which leads me to a — a statement that Bogle made that blew my mind. I — I didn’t know he said this. I had noted some of these quotes, but not all of them. In one of his books, “Character Counts,” where he goes over his speeches that he’s given the crew, he talks about … RITHOLTZ: Have fun with the crew is what they call … BALCHUNAS: The employees. RITHOLTZ: … Vanguard employees. BALCHUNAS: Yeah. He talks about Vanguard’s mission will be — will start — Vanguard’s — we’ll know Vanguard’s mission is beginning to be successful when our market share our roads. RITHOLTZ: Meaning, everybody else has. And that’s happened in specific spaces, but not overall. BALCHUNAS: Not overall. So he — I — I wrote a note saying Bogle’s dream on hold still despite passive revolution. RITHOLTZ: So — so they, at one point in time, were the number one fund in a lot of specific categories. And in many areas, that is no longer the case because other companies, as a loss leader and to be able to market, hey, we’re the number one, and this have either cut their fees below Vanguard. I run it at a loss. BALCHUNAS: Yeah. RITHOLTZ: And so they’re still two, three, four in everything and much more assets under management. But when you look at the fund tables and look at specific things, it used to be Vanguard, Vanguard, Vanguard, Vanguard. And that’s no longer the case. Is that the market share loss Jack was talking about? BALCHUNAS: That’s exactly. He would — he would — like that’s what so interesting about this guy is that’s a completely different trip to actually root for your market share to erode to — to think that that’s — that’s like saying, I want to actually change the whole … RITHOLTZ: The whole industry. BALCHUNAS: … the whole industry, and it is happening. The problem is, overall, Vanguard still leads in flows every year … RITHOLTZ: Right. BALCHUNAS: … like clockwork. BlackRock, typically in any given year, Vanguard, let’s say, takes in 10, BlackRock will take in seven and then, you know, (inaudible) maybe a three or two was the next one. RITHOLTZ: And then after that, it’s a fraction. BALCHUNAS: Yeah. And then there are a lot of people who see outflows. So net-wise, you know, Vanguard and BlackRock are really King Kong and Godzilla at this point, and then there’s just this huge gap. But if Vanguard still takes in more than BlackRock though, and we know how big they are, so ultimately, Vanguard will pass BlackRock in assets … RITHOLTZ: Eventually, if this continues. BALCHUNAS: … especially in a bear market. Bear markets are where Vanguard’s market share really starts to grow because there’s no asset appreciation asset growth or market appreciation asset growth. The only thing that can actually grow your assets or stop the asset loss is flows. So once flows are the only variable, the market share percentage that Vanguard has start to go — it doubles the rate of growth. So bear markets are — because I would always with over the years here, I’ll just weigh it to a bear market. That’s when the — all this Vanguard stuff (inaudible). RITHOLTZ: We’ve heard that (inaudible) … BALCHUNAS: I’m like, dude … RITHOLTZ: … laughable (inaudible). BALCHUNAS: … I’m like if you’re active, you should root for Fed liquidity forever … RITHOLTZ: Right. BALCHUNAS: … market appreciation forever … RITHOLTZ: Q.E. forever, right. BALCHUNAS: … and just live with your outflows because the market appreciation will totally overwhelm that. You’ll get — you’ll still stay rich. RITHOLTZ: Right. BALCHUNAS: A bear market is when you’re probably going to really find — you’re going to start to see real erosion because you’re going to have the assets come down from the market … RITHOLTZ: Right. BALCHUNAS: … the outflows, and they’re still arguably … RITHOLTZ: And the inflows triple, right. BALCHUNAS: … a couple trillion stuck in there because of taxes. RITHOLTZ: Yeah. BALCHUNAS: So it — I would say a bear market, in — in my opinion, I — oh — we have a phrase on the team is that bull markets are good for passive, bear markets are great. RITHOLTZ: That — that makes a lot of sense. Bill McNabb, the previous Vanguard CEO, told a fascinating story on that topic. So what they do — what some of the senior management does is they call — they log into the call center to see what clients are saying, to see how people are dealing with it. And in ’08, McNabb logs in and he hears not just nervous clients, but nervous customer service reps. No one knows middle of ’08, no one knows what the hell is going to happen. Am I going to lose my job? And he came to realize, hey, our folks have to sound like they’re comfortable, they’re confident. They can’t reflect the fear from clients, so he does an all-hands on deck. It doesn’t matter how low the market goes. There will be no layoffs. Everybody’s job is secured, and we’re going to continue to pick up money in ’08-’09 where our inflows are strong. You guys just have to communicate that to — to our clients. And at that point forward, the — there was a fire hose. Everybody was — all the things that were being sold was flowing straight to Vanguard. BALCHUNAS: 2008 was the year that made Vanguard and ETFs. It was one of those years where a lot of active managers did worse in the market, and so it was one of those, oh, you couldn’t even save me from the 35 percent (inaudible). RITHOLTZ: The whole reason for existing. BALCHUNAS: Yeah, so that was one. The liquidity and ETF … RITHOLTZ: Thirty-eight percent, 54 percent peak to trough. BALCHUNAS: Yeah. And — and Vanguard astonishingly took inflows every month in 2008 which, even in October, where we were already weary of going down, in October 2008, the market was down 17 percent in a month, and they took in money. And that’s when I really — I look back at this. This is — I might have been starting to look at this in 2014-’15. That’s when I really got on this whole notion that bear markets are actually going to speed this thing up … RITHOLTZ: Yeah. BALCHUNAS: … and we’ve been banging that drum internally, and we’ve been proven right so far. And this year is no exception. Vanguard is leading flows. I think I — I did a — I forget the exact flow. It’s something like Vanguard’s taken in, I don’t know, $80 billion, $90 billion. The rest of the industry combined is like negative 250. RITHOLTZ: It’s — it’s almost as if people are selling under — other funds and sending the money to Vanguard. I mean, it’s just … BALCHUNAS: Or … RITHOLTZ: … coincidental. BALCHUNAS: There’s also this — see the Vanguard flows are so good and persistent because — and I asked Bogle why are — why are Vanguard investors so disciplined. And he said because they had defied us. These are people who — who weren’t stuck in it because they got a kickback from a fund company through a broker. RITHOLTZ: Right. BALCHUNAS: They found us and they’re usually pretty with it. And I also think this is it — and I put this on the book — behavior of Vanguard investors is off the charts good. RITHOLTZ: Yeah. BALCHUNAS: But I — and I think advisors like you who are — are specialized in behavior, I think your job is made a little easier by just introducing a cheap index fund. I think it’s easier to behave when you have a cheap index fund as a tool because you’re like — I call it the — like a resignation. You’re like what am I going to do. Hop on to … RITHOLTZ: Right. BALCHUNAS: … some high flying … RITHOLTZ: Right. BALCHUNAS: … who has a good year (inaudible). RITHOLTZ: At least they’re underperforming, but at least they’re expensive. BALCHUNAS: Yeah. RITHOLTZ: Right? BALCHUNAS: Yeah. And I think that — that resignation is made behavior. There’s all this stuff on psychology and behavior that seems to be like written about. But I’m like I try to imagine, try writing all that stuff if all you have is active mutual funds that charge one percent. It’s much harder. It’s easier to reflect on behavior and how important it is when you have a cheap index fund. So I think Bogle’s contribution to behavior was monumental just by introducing the index fund. And also think Bogle is interesting and that he wasn’t really into the efficient market hypothesis. He wasn’t really an academic. A lot of what he did though impacted those worlds, I think, but — and people might see him as like thinking that way, but he — I think he was just a very practical guy who kind of just saw it makes no sense to charge all this money because when stuff — when you start to compound, much of that compound then goes to the intermediary not you. RITHOLTZ: Right. So it’s interesting about the flows to Vanguard. My partner, Josh Brown, calls this the “relentless bid.” And what he means by that is everybody who has Vanguard in their 401(k), everybody who has Vanguard in their IRA, their accountant says, hey, it’s time to make your contribution. It goes to Vanguard twice a month or every other week, depending on when you get paid. In Wall Street, it seems to be twice a month, you know. That — there’s a percentage. And — and in my firm, I watch these like $50,000 checks go out every month to — to the 401(k) company, and a huge percentage of that is captured by Vanguard. So even when the — the tide goes out in the market, like the first half of the year, you’re still sending money to Vanguard automagically. It just happens. BALCHUNAS: The other thing is underrated word is trust. You look at Bogle and I — you had a quote in my book about this, which is … RITHOLTZ: Must you have used only quotes with curses for me? BALCHUNAS: But it was hard to avoid them, man. I got — but I — if — I think when you curse, you’re saying your best stuff. That’s why … RITHOLTZ: OK. BALCHUNAS: … you curse because you’re so into it, so it happens to be your best points. When I listen back to your audio … RITHOLTZ: Right. BALCHUNAS: … it happened to contain curses, and I — maybe there’s a correlation there. But … RITHOLTZ: It’s — it’s — it’s good to know, but … BALCHUNAS: … you need … RITHOLTZ: … then take the ball and go home, that quote? BALCHUNAS: Yeah. Basically, over time, it was really — other people shoot at themselves in the foot, active funds … RITHOLTZ: Huge. BALCHUNAS: … showing that they — you know, people’s experience, over time, that added up. And then you see Vanguard over here, and they just look boy scout … RITHOLTZ: Right. BALCHUNAS: … in comparison. RITHOLTZ: That’s a great phrase. BALCHUNAS: And so — so their … RITHOLTZ: (Inaudible) in the … BALCHUNAS: … that trust, it gets built over 30, 40 years because people ask me all the time, how can — how isn’t Vanguard’s market share eroding when everybody has cheap index funds now. Even J.P. Morgan/Goldman who have armies of advisors, they could just move them all in. And I’m like, well, you have 44 — 45 years of trust built up, goodwill banked and the low-cost, so it doesn’t matter if somebody is zero on Vanguard’s three basis points. It’s not enough because the trust and the branding is so strong, and it will be for a while. It could erode eventually, but right now, that trust is so underrated. It’s not just the fees. RITHOLTZ: Nobody’s ever accused Vanguard of being a vampire squid jamming its funnel into the vein of money flows as — as we heard about some large companies during the financial crisis. And there was no accounting scandal at Vanguard. There was no IPO spending. There was no go down the list of all the scandals, the analyst scandals, scandal after scandal after the derivative scandal with … BALCHUNAS: Enron. RITHOLTZ: … (inaudible) County. It was one after another after another, and they’re like that’s — we’re owned by our … BALCHUNAS: How about the … RITHOLTZ: … investors (inaudible). BALCHUNAS: … the mutual fund overnight trading scandal … RITHOLTZ: Yeah. BALCHUNAS: … that Eliot Spitzer (ph) investigated. Here’s the thing that I feel for the rest of the world is that the structure of a publicly-traded asset manager is such that you are — you — your … RITHOLTZ: Oh. BALCHUNAS: … you have to serve the — the shareholders who want more money. And where — where is the money going to come from? The investors or your clients. And that is a vicious tension to live in. And — and people try their best and some companies, like you take BlackRock. Good people work there. They like to serve their clients. I think they like what Bogle pushed onto them, but they are still having to live with that in her intention. And there’s probably going to be times where they have to make a decision. Well, we should — we should try to get them into the higher cost one because we have to meet our revenue goals. And this is the sort of thing that Bogle would talk about any time he had a chance, which is the two masters that — speaking of Masters in Business — the two masters. It’s hard to serve two masters. And his structure was such that there was only one master, which was the owner of the company was the investor. So — and I know the story gets told all the time. People kind of know of it, but it — again, when you dive into it and trace it, the amount of money this guy commandeered and the idea that no one’s copied it just makes this such a fascinating story. I heard your interview with Spencer Jakab and the meme stocks. And you said you couldn’t make this fiction because you could never invent it. It has … RITHOLTZ: No one would believe it, right. BALCHUNAS: I would say the same thing about Bogle. RITHOLTZ: Right. BALCHUNAS: You could never dream this guy up in like the 60. You just couldn’t — you couldn’t dream this, maybe possibly, but — and I know the story isn’t that interesting. But if you — again, the more you think about it and pondering, you’re like wow. RITHOLTZ: You know, that’s the — the old joke. I don’t know who I’m stealing the line from, but the difference between fiction and nonfiction is fiction has to be plausible. Nonfiction can be utterly insane because it’s real, but you tell some of these. Listen, the — I — I have coming up Bill — Bill Browder and “Red Notice” would have — will have broadcast. And that has to be a work in non-fiction because if it was fiction, you would look in and say this is just too ridiculous to have ever occurred. It can’t be real. And — and so the story loses effect, but you find out that all this stuff happened. It’s — it’s insane. I — I totally agree with you. We’ll talk a little bit more about Jack and how completely contradictory his background is and how — how interesting it is. The thing with the other ETF companies, you — what you’re essentially saying is that there are fiduciaries and then there are really fiduciaries. Is that what I’m hearing from you? BALCHUNAS: Yeah, Bogle wasn’t necessarily against high cost or active. With the word he focused in on was stewardship. He thought there are good stewards and bad stewards because he says, “If you were a small company asset manager, you probably need to charge one percent because you got to keep the lights on.” One percent of a million isn’t a lot of money. RITHOLTZ: Right. BALCHUNAS: One percent on $30 billion is a ton of money. And so what he thought was they broke their stewardship by not sharing any of those economies of scale, the dollar fees were enormous. So I think that’s ultimately where he was trying to separate what they did from others because again, I found in a lot of his books he was proud of some of the active funds. So I thought stewardship was the main word, and you can be active and be a good steward. You could be even moderate cost and be a good steward. I think the idea is are you, you know, sort of totally abusing the relationship you have as the controller of somebody’s money. And I think that’s where he really had problems. And he wrote many books that are just all one big rant. Especially, he wrote a rant about the 2008 crisis, and he wrote a rant about 2001 in Enron. And these books are where he just is like (inaudible) … RITHOLTZ: Unvarnished (ph). BALCHUNAS: … he’s unvarnished (ph). And other books he’s just a little softer, but he found that that was what pissed him off the most is when people broke their fiduciary and stewardship bonds, not necessarily active or even high cost. It was about is the high cost warranted. And in the case of asset managers, I think I have a chapter called the “Fall and Rise of Active” because active is evolving in different ways. But the fall is a missed opportunity. I think these companies in the 80’s and 90’s, when they got enormous, they got into 401(k) plans, that 70, 80, 90 basis points they charge even more was once you got $10 billion, $30 billion, $50 billion in that fund, they — they never shared any of that. And I think it was a missed opportunity. Had they shared a little bit of it, they still would’ve made tons of money and they would’ve been able to bank goodwill, lower the fees, and increase their beat rates against the benchmark because their fees are now lower. It was a missed opportunity. And I find it interesting that they were so disrupted when their whole job is to analyze companies and stocks and try to figure out who’s going to get disrupted and why. And they’ve seen Amazon’s come along in these other industries, but they — it’s like they never applied it to themselves. And I find that kind of interesting that they were so disrupted. And they’re students of disruption. RITHOLTZ: Well, first, very few people have an accurate self-perception, and that includes companies. But second more important, how often do companies cannibalize themselves, compete against themselves, cut fees if competition doesn’t force them? And so I can think — you know, my favorite example is Apple. Remember the first Apple is like a deck of cards. It was 500 bucks, the first — the first iPod, 1,000 songs in your pocket, 1,000 songs, laughable. And it was, I think $399. It was big and heavy. So they come out next year with another one now, it’s 10,000 songs and it’s 100 bucks less. And the next one is 40,000 songs, and now it’s 199 until eventually you get the little iPod Touch. And the reason the Apple story is so instructive is it’s an outlier. People don’t cut — cut costs unless they have to. People won’t cannibalize themselves and — and then they said, “Oh, we’re going to build that into a phone and give it away for free.” And you know someone had to say, “What are you crazy? This is a billion dollar business.” Well, if we don’t do it, someone else will, so we have to. BALCHUNAS: Yeah. RITHOLTZ: Wall Street isn’t that self-reflective. BALCHUNAS: Yeah, they all love Steve Jobs and that mindset, but they didn’t apply it. And I have a section called “The Steve Jobs Rule,” which is if you don’t cannibalize yourself, somebody else will. RITHOLTZ: Right. BALCHUNAS: And I think you either have to cannibalize yourself or create enormous value and keep just throwing value and value and value to keep that price steady. But … RITHOLTZ: Or do both and become the biggest company … BALCHUNAS: Yeah. RITHOLTZ: … in the world. BALCHUNAS: Exactly. And so I — I do think there was — there are these outliers of people who are that hardcore. But you’re right, and again this is what made the Vanguard story interesting. And I also think what — what made it interesting was lowering fees in the 70’s, 80’s, and even the 90’s, nobody really cared, like there wasn’t a demand. RITHOLTZ: During the bull market, you don’t notice it. BALCHUNAS: Nobody cared. So he was doing this at times when Wall Street was not — it was decades before the world figured out this actually makes sense. And that vision is — is pretty rare, and I have a — well, this sort of comparison in the book where I look at 1987 and the movie Wall Street comes out. Gordon Gekko is giving his greatest good speech. Bogle’s in Valley Forge giving the Christmas, you know, speech to all the employees. And they’re side by side … RITHOLTZ: Right. BALCHUNAS: … of all these young people watching Gordon Gekko wanting to go to Wall Street, make a ton of money. And then Vanguard, Bogle is sitting there talking about like, oh, we shaved one basis point off the fund this year if we keep doing good fiduciary. And like, in ’87, and I say this in the book multiple times, A, if I — if I was an active manager I would’ve shared economies of scale. I would have bought this. RITHOLTZ: Of course, they did. BALCHUNAS: I know. And so I — they did what most of us would have done. Same thing in the 80’s, I would have gone crazy in the 80’s culture. I would’ve just got carried away. So I … RITHOLTZ: (Inaudible) and — and Ferraris (inaudible). BALCHUNAS: It’s not — that’s the … RITHOLTZ: You know … BALCHUNAS: In — in the 90’s in the bull market, that was the … RITHOLTZ: Yeah. BALCHUNAS: … whole thing. It was — Bogle is just weird. So … RITHOLTZ: He’s an outlier, there’s no doubt. BALCHUNAS: Right. And that’s why the book is on him, but I — I make points to say that I would have done the same thing as them. I don’t — I don’t think I would’ve shared it. I would’ve thought, well, we earned this money, let’s spend it. Let’s buy — hire new people, give us ourselves raises. RITHOLTZ: So — so let’s — let’s imagine that you’re — you’re working at Fidelity or you’re working at Templeton or you’re working wherever. And in 1994, you just had your best year in history. And you walk in and say, “I have a great idea. We should cut our fees 25 percent because think about how great that’ll be for investors, how it will improve fund performance, and how sticky clients will become. And you wouldn’t have been laughed at. They would’ve thrown you out of the room … BALCHUNAS: Yeah. RITHOLTZ: … and fired you. BALCHUNAS: Isn’t that crazy? And so you have a guy who did nothing but that for 45 years. But now, you — he changed the whole world. I mean, he changed the whole investing world with that concept, but you’re right. Again, I — and, you know, the 12b-1 fee, which is to say — which is … RITHOLTZ: The marketing fee for mutual funds. BALCHUNAS: Yeah, it’s — it’s to say like, hey, look, we — we have — we’re going to take your money and we’re going to go spend it on marketing, that way we get bigger so we can share economies of scale with you and lower the fee. Well, they — they forgot the second part. That’s right. And Bogle was all about the second part constantly. And so I try to tell people there is a great business case study in this story. And I also told my crypto friends, you guys should read this heavily. Bogle was more EFI (ph) … RITHOLTZ: Oh, yeah, they’re — they’re all about saving fees. BALCHUNAS: Yeah, that’s the thing, like crypto almost sells themselves as Vanguard … RITHOLTZ: Right. BALCHUNAS: … but they’re really old school Wall Street. RITHOLTZ: Right. BALCHUNAS: And I’m like you need to get more Vanguard in your life because all we see is these billionaires hiring movie stars to do commercials. And I’m like — and you sell yourselves though as populist and for the people. Read the story. This guy was the real deal. I call him the O.G. (ph) of DeFi. RITHOLTZ: Absolutely. So — so let’s talk a little bit about Bogle, Bogle. Everybody gets his name wrong, Jack Bogle. BALCHUNAS: I know — I’ve had people internally call it the Bogle effect, and that’s where I do … RITHOLTZ: With two Gs. BALCHUNAS: Yeah, that’s where I knew, man. Some people know about him, but some people don’t know about him … RITHOLTZ: Clearly. BALCHUNAS: … I mean, inside the bubble. RITHOLTZ: So — so let’s start with Jack Bogle’s early career. He writes a senior thesis. He went to Princeton undergrad? BALCHUNAS: He did. RITHOLTZ: That — that thesis seemed to have sealed his fate. BALCHUNAS: Yeah, it did. It was a thesis about, you know, how the asset management industry should be better stewards. It was just basically … RITHOLTZ: These are dragging on returns and … BALCHUNAS: Yeah, it was — it was very much — again, the seed was planted. Quick side note, I interviewed Michael Lewis for this book. And when I told him that, he said he keeps a file of Princeton thesis that have chan.....»»

Category: blogSource: TheBigPictureAug 29th, 2022