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"They rape, ... They rape a 100 white women a day, ... that's FBI statistic from 2005."
-- Dylann Roof, explaining to FBI Agents why he entered Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal church in Charleston, South Carolina, on June 17, 2015 and killed nine members of the black congregation attending a Bible study inside.
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Published 4:39 p.m. ET May 23, 2018 | Updated 5:20 p.m. ET May 23, 2018
St. Patrick's Day!
Detroit, MI -- Detroit police officers Frederick Eugene Person, 53 (pictured above, center-right) and Commander Timothy Leach, 48 (pictured above, center-left) have been charged in connection with the assault of a Washington Township man in Corktown. The assault occurred during the St. Patrick's Day Parade festivities in Detroit in March. The Wayne County Prosecutor's Office says Detroit police and EMT were dispatched about 3:38 p.m. March 11, 2018 to Ottava Via. The establishment is a restaurant on the 1400 block of Michigan Avenue. Police responded to several calls that a patron was unconscious on the dining room floor.
Leach was off duty at the time. He was working as a security guard at the establishment. He did not obtain approval for secondary employment from the police department. He did not have a license to work as a private security guard. Person was also present at the scene and was working security at the restaurant.
Leach is accused of injuring Michael Karpovich, 42 (pictured above, center) of Washington Township. He allegedly removed Karpovich from the restaurant for being unruly. The prosecutor's office says: "It is alleged that Leach forcibly escorted the victim toward the front door," the prosecutor's statement says. "It is further alleged that during this attempted ejection, defendant Leach forcibly pushed the victim, who fell to the floor and sustained a significant head injury causing him to lose consciousness." Karpovich was taken to the hospital and was released but continues to recuperate from his injuries.
Prosecutor allege that Leach "failed to file a report regarding the use of force." The prosecutor's office says it has charged Leach with assault to do great bodily harm: aggravated assault; neglect of duty; no license to work as a security guard; and and tampering with evidence. Person is charged with obstruction of justice: neglect of duty; and tampering with evidence. "It is alleged that when Person was questioned by Detroit police officers, he knowingly provided false information regarding the circumstances of the assault: failed to file a report regarding the use of force; failed to obtain approval to engage in secondary employment; and tampered with evidence." Leach has been demoted from commander to lieutenant. Leach has also been put on suspension. Leach and Person are expected to be arraigned in 36th District Court at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday.
Posted: April 06, 2015 07:17 PM CDT Updated: November 14, 2016 02:25 AM CST
MADISON, WI - Police in Madison have released footage of a fatal shooting in 2007 involving Officer Matt Kenny. Kenny is the same police officer who killed a man last month. Officer Kenny killed Tony Robinson,19, on March 6 after responding to calls that Robinson had attacked two people and was running in traffic. Police say Robinson assaulted Kenny before the officer shot him.
The footage released Monday was squad car video of the 2007 incident in which Kenny fatally shot Ronald Brandon. Kenny was cleared of any wrongdoing. The squad car video was redacted so it doesn't show the actual shooting. However, it does appear to show Brandon pointing a gun at officers before he was shot. His gun turned out to be a pellet gun.
Published: May 13, 2015 • 12:35 AM PDT ~ Updated: May 16, 2015 • 06:35 PM PDT
Madison, WI – Dashcam footage was released on Tuesday evening showing the fatal shooting of Tony Robinson, 19, by Officer Matt Kenny on March 6, 2015. The incident began when three 9-1-1 calls came in reporting Robinson’s erratic behavior. The first call was from his friend. The friend reported that Robinson had taken "shrooms." He said Robinson was acting outrageous and chasing people. The second call was from a caller who claimed that a “light-skinned” man had attacked him at a gas station. The third call was from someone who claimed Robinson tried to choke them.
The police did not treat the call as a mental health crisis. The police officer Kenny showed no care or effort to de-escalate. Police shot Robinson from outside the door of the apartment within 22 seconds of arriving. Robinson was unarmed. Officer Kenny claims that after he announced himself at the top of the steps. He claims he was thrown into a wall by Robinson. He said he was afraid he would be struck again and lose consciousness. He exited the home and fired. Officer Kenny shot the teenager seven times in three seconds. This was the second death at the hands of Kenny. A toxicology report found that Robinson had marijuana, Xanax and mushrooms in his system.
The release of the footage came after a day of protests following the prosecutor announcing no charges will be filed against the officer. Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne said (as he announced his decision): “I am the son of a black woman who still worries about my safety. I am a man who understands the pain of unjustified profiling and I am the first district of attorney of color not only in Dane County but in the state of Wisconsin.”
It is impossible to really know what happened on that tragic evening. The police have broken the trust of the people for years. Every death must be looked at with extreme scrutiny. The police, prosecutors, and the unions who protect them have proven they will stop at nothing to retain their impunity. There is even more cause to treat this case with skepticism. This was not Kenny’s first time killing someone while on duty.
The only reprimand Kenny has received in his 13 years on the force was for leaving his gun in a public restroom. This would be the same year he killed 48-year-old Ronald Brandon. Kenny was not reprimanded for the 2007 death of Brandon. He was given a Medal of Valor for his kill. Brandon was holding a pellet gun. The police claim it was a suicide by cop. Robinson’s name is criminalized and dragged through the mud. Everyone is supposed to be entitled to their day in court. Robinson never killed anyone. Officer Kenny has, ... twice.
I Can't Breathe!
New York, USA (@Wilabee) -- The New York police officer seen in a video apparently putting a chokehold on a man who later died has had his gun and badge taken away pending the outcome of investigations into what happened. The NYPD announced tonight that Officer Daniel Pantaleo, an 8-year veteran, has been placed on "modified assignment," pending the outcome of the dual probes by the district attorney and Internal Affairs.
Fairfax County, Va. -- The Sheriff’s Office has finally released video of deputies’ ultimately fatal encounter with Natasha McKenna, who later died after being shocked four times with a Taser, even as she was fully restrained.
Los Angeles, CA -- An LAPD officer was found guilty of assaulting a handcuffed woman who later died. Mary O'Callaghan, 50, will be sentenced next month. O'Callaghan, 50, is seen in court. She was convicted Friday of assaulting a handcuffed suspect who later died. A jury found the white female Los Angeles police officer guilty on Friday of assaulting a handcuffed black woman who was in custody and later died after complaining that she could not breathe.
Posted: June 28, 2012 9:32 AM - Updated: Jan 15, 2013 11:31 AM PDT
HOUSTON, TX - Retired Houston firefighter Raul Rodriguez (pictured left) was sentenced Wednesday to 40 years after he claimed that Texas' version of a stand-your-ground law allowed him to fatally shoot a neighbor over an argument about a noisy party. Rodriguez, 46, was convicted of murder on June 13 for the 2010 killing of 36-year-old Kelly Danaher, an elementary school teacher. Angry about the noise coming from a birthday party at his neighbor's home, Rodriguez went over to Danaher's house and got into an argument with her and two other men.
In a 22-minute video he recorded on the night of the shooting, Rodriguez told a police dispatcher "my life is in danger now" and "these people are going to go try and kill me." He then said, "I'm standing my ground here," and fatally shot Danaher and wounded the other two men.
At trial, defense attorneys said Rodriguez, who had a concealed handgun license, was defending himself when one of the men lunged at him and he had less than a second to respond. Prosecutors called Rodriguez the aggressor and said he could have safely left his neighbor's driveway any time before the shooting, and the said Rodriguez had a history of not getting along with Danaher and other neighbors.
One neighbor testified that Rodriguez bragged about his guns and said a person could avoid prosecution in a shooting by telling authorities you were in fear of your life and were standing your ground and defending yourself. During the trial's punishment phase, neighbors, former co-workers and Rodriguez's ex-wife testified that Rodriguez was abusive, a bad neighbor and once shot a dog.
Rodriguez's attorneys also called for more than a dozen witnesses during the punishment phase, including his wife and sons. They and other family members testified that he was not abusive, always stressed the importance of gun safety and was not cavalier with his weapons. One son said Rodriguez shot the dog because it was attacking his family.
Rodriguez's defense was similar to that used by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer who is citing Florida's stand-your-ground law in his defense in the fatal February shooting of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin. Rodriguez's case, however, was decided under a different kind of self-defense doctrine.
Texas' version of a stand-your-ground law is known as the Castle Doctrine. It was revised in 2007 to expand the right to use deadly force. The new version allows people to defend themselves in their homes, workplaces or vehicles. The law also says that a person using force cannot provoke the attacker or be involved in criminal activity at the time.
Posted: Jun 13, 2012 12:07 AM PDT - Updated: Jun 15, 2012 1:25 AM PDT
HOUSTON, TX (WCJB) - A retired Houston-area firefighter was convicted of murder Wednesday for gunning down his unarmed neighbor during a dispute over a noisy house party, with jurors rejecting his argument that he was within his rights under Texas' version of a stand-your-ground law. Raul Rodriguez, 47, faces up to life in prison for the 2010 killing of Kelly Danaher. Jurors deliberated for about five hours after having received the case following closing arguments earlier Wednesday.
During closing arguments, prosecutor Kelli Johnson said Rodriguez (pictured left) started the confrontation when instead of calmly asking Danaher to turn down the music he armed himself with a handgun and a camera and proceeded to harass people at the party. Johnson said Rodriguez lured and provoked Danaher and two other men to come out onto the street and threatened them by brandishing his gun. Rodriguez did have a concealed handgun license. She said Danaher and the two other men were unarmed and that Rodriguez's life was never in any danger. Danaher's widow had told jurors her husband was not a confrontational person. "This is not what stand your ground is," Johnson said. "Stand your ground is something the law takes very seriously. The law makes it very clear" when the law can be used.
Rodriguez was angry about the noise coming from Danaher's home, where the family was having a birthday party for Danaher's wife and young daughter. Rodriguez went to the home and got into an argument with Danaher, a 36-year-old elementary school teacher, and two other men who were at the party. In a 22-minute video he recorded the night of the shooting, Rodriguez can be heard telling a police dispatcher "my life is in danger now" and "these people are going to go try and kill me." He then said "I'm standing my ground here," and shot Danaher after somebody appeared to grab his camera. The two other men were wounded.
Rodriguez's reference to standing his ground is similar to the claim made by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer who is citing Florida's stand-your-ground law in his defense in the fatal February shooting of an unarmed teenager, Trayvon Martin. Rodriguez's case, however, was decided under a different kind of self-defense doctrine.
Texas' version of the law, which is known as the Castle Doctrine, was revised in 2007 to expand the right to use deadly force. It allows people to defend themselves not only in their homes but also in their workplaces or vehicles. Legal experts say the expansion also gave people wider latitude on the use of deadly force. The law also says a person using force can't provoke the attacker or be involved in criminal activity at the time. Johnson said Rodriguez can't hide behind the stand-your-ground law because he provoked the confrontation and then brandished his weapon against an unarmed individual, which is a crime. Johnson told jurors prosecutors don't have any problems with guns in Texas. "But with that comes a lot of responsibility. It has to be used as a last resort," she said.
However, his defense attorney said he doesn't believe Rodriguez did anything illegal. He said Rodriguez went to complain and was confronted by Danaher and the two other partygoers, and that he didn't pull out his gun until he was standing in the street and Danaher approached him in a threatening manner. "He had a right to be (in) the street. He was not provoking anybody. He was not engaged in any criminal activity. The (stand-your-ground) law is not only for home invasions. That's why the law was changed," Davis said. An acquittal of Rodriguez would not "say everyone in the city of Houston is going to turn into the wild, wild west," the attorney said.
Danaher's wife, Mindy, said she cried tears of joy and sadness after the verdict was read. "I'm just glad that he can't hurt anybody else. That's my main thing," she said outside the courtroom. "I love my husband and I miss him so much."
Rodriguez's attorneys left the courtroom without speaking to reporters. His family, who sobbed after hearing the verdict, declined to comment. His attorneys did not present any witnesses in his defense. The trial's punishment phase, which will include further testimony, was scheduled to begin Thursday. A Houston criminal defense attorney who was not involved in the case but who followed it, said a conviction in a case like Rodriguez's might prompt some clarification of Texas' stand-your-ground law that would more clearly define what it means to provoke someone. But he said the outcome of the case, conviction or acquittal, would not lead to major changes in the law.
“Another Nigger fried. No big deal.”
-- April 16, 2011, Statement by New York City Police Officer Michael Daragjati, boasting of his false arrest of another African-American male.
Updated: Tuesday, 27 Jul 2011, 4:04 PM PDT Published : Tuesday, 26 Jul 2011, 7:28 AM EDT
(The DeKalb County sheriff's office says three detention officers have been charged in relation to a scuffle involving an inmate. The sheriff's office says officers Nelson Seals, Jean Bruno and Deborah Grier were arrested Monday.) DECATUR, Ga. - The DeKalb County sheriff's office says three detention officers have been charged in relation to a scuffle involving an inmate. The sheriff's office says officers Nelson Seals, Jean Bruno and Deborah Grier were arrested Monday. Officials say an argument on May 15 between Seals and the unidentified inmate over restroom use became physical. The inmate was being held in the DeKalb County Jail on a disorderly conduct charge. Sheriff Thomas Brown says all three officers, along with an unidentified officer, have been suspended without pay.
Posted: 03/29/2011 10:52:14 PM PDT ~ Updated: 03/30/2011 02:14:55 PM PDT
Antioch, CA -- The family of a 29-year-old Antioch man killed during a Central Contra Costa Narcotics Enforcement bust three years ago has appealed a justifiable killing ruling, the latest development in the law enforcement scandal involving former CNET task force commander Norman Wielsch (pictured above, center). The appeal to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals by the family of Timothy Wayne Mitchell says that other officers involved with the CNET task force will soon be charged with felonies. Wielsch was one of five defendants in a wrongful-death lawsuit filed by Mitchell's family after he was fatally shot by Pittsburg police Officer Les Galer on March 11, 2008, during a drug bust at Mitchell's apartment.
San Francisco U.S. District Judge Susan Illston ruled in January that Galer had "an objectionably reasonable fear of death" and "committed a justifiable act of homicide." However, in filing the appeal, attorneys for Mitchell's family said Wielsch "offered sworn testimony in support" of the officers and that "his credibility is badly damaged." In addition, the lawyers wrote in the motion that the Mitchell family "is informed and believes that other (CNET) agents will soon be charged with felonies, too."
Wielsch was arrested along with private investigator Christopher Butler on drug and weapons charges Feb. 16, 2011. His arrest has has caused attorneys to review many past cases involving the CNET task force. Wielsch and Butler have been accused of other schemes. They are accused of the staged fake arrest of a teenager in Pleasant Hill. They are also accused of attempts to lure targets into drunken driving arrests. Stephen Tanabe, a former Danville police officer, was arrested March 4, 2011. Tanabe was arrested in connection with the so-called "dirty DUI" scheme.
Another Vallejo attorney announced a multi-million dollar civil rights lawsuit against Wielsch, another CNET agent and three Antioch police officers On Wednesday, March 30, 2011. The attorney said: "These officers are acting like mobsters and gangsters." The lawsuit claims the officers stole private property during warrant searches. "We're alleging these individuals are conducting a pattern of a continuing criminal enterprise[.] [They're] abusing the courts and their police authority to seize jewelry, currency and other personal effects from these law abiding citizens." The same attorney provided surveillance photos and videos showing the officers searching the Grow It Yourself Gardens hydroponics store in Antioch in 2009. The lawsuit claims much of the search was done without a warrant. The suit alleges that the owners of the store are the O'Tooles. The suit claims they had personal items (including a Victoria's Secret gift card) seized and never returned. The O'Tooles were never charged with a crime.
The attorney claims one of the officers conducting the search is Wielsch. Wielsch acknowledges some resemblance but says the man in the surveillance images is not him. Wielsch said: "To me, the officer in the pictures looks like he has tattoos, the hair is different, plus we wear totally different raid gear than Antioch PD wears; if I've done something wrong, I'll admit it, but that's not me." The attorney says he still believes the man in the surveillance video is Wielsch and he wants his case to go to a jury so they can decide.
Posted: March 28, 2011
Unarmed & Killed!
CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, CA (WCJB) -- In the East Bay on Monday, one man was shot dead by police and the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office says deputies had no choice, but to open fire. Bay Point's Nathan Poznick said he heard the gunshots just after 1 a.m. Monday. It was the culmination of a traffic stop made by two Contra Costa Sheriff's deputies on a white Buick. At first the driver provided deputies with a false name, then, according to sheriff's deputies, they learned there was a warrant for the man's arrest. "The driver of the vehicle started to flee, inside the car, driving away at a high rate of speed. The deputies attempted to prevent him from driving away. One deputy became partially trapped inside the vehicle. The other deputy was struck by the vehicle. In fear for both of their safety and to prevent serious injury or fatality, one of the officers fired his service weapon," said Contra Costa Sheriff's Capt. Steve Warne. The Buick came to a stop about 200 yards from where the incident began.
"They stopped, locked their brakes up, then the cops pulled up behind him and the guy fell out, and didn't get up," said Bay Point resident Mike Grimm. The driver of the Buick, 24-year-old Johnny Angel Ochoa, was shot in the stomach and later died at an area hospital. A five-year veteran, the deputy who fired on Ochoa received minor leg injuries when struck by the car. Sheriffs say the warrant for Ochoa's arrest stemmed from prior child endangerment and vandalism charges. "This suspect was wanted on a warrant, did not want to be apprehended, and tried to flee," said Warne. Because the shooting involved a deputy, the Contra Costa District Attorney's Office will also investigate Ochoa's death.
Posted: 12:23 pm PDT March 23, 2011
MARTINEZ, CA -- Prosecutors have dropped criminal charges against a suspected madam because their case hinged on a California narcotics officer charged with stealing drugs from evidence lockers. The Contra Costa district attorney's office say up to 40 other cases involving State Department of Justice Agent Norman Wielsch could also be at stake. Wielsch has been charged with 25 felony counts involving the theft of methamphetamines, marijuana, steroids and prescription pills from evidence lockers. The task force led by Wielsch targeted prostitution and drug rings. The San Francisco Chronicle says prosecutors decided to drop a case involving Wielsch in a 2009 sting at the Excel Massage Therapy parlor in San Ramon. There were two arrests. A judge dismissed the case last week at Koeppel's request.
The Grim Reaper! Robert Gremminger!
On Thursday November 6, 1997, a San Jose jury composed of 7 white women, 2 white men, 2 Latinas, and 1 Asian American woman found former white San Jose Fire Captain Robert Gremminger guilty of 1) involuntary manslaughter and 2) carrying a weapon without a permit. Gremminger could face up to fourteen years in prison. Former San Jose Fire Captain Robert Gremminger had been charged with second degree murder for the shooting and killing of Anthony Lamont Gilbert, an unarmed African American man at the Great Mall of Milpitas on October 24, 1996. Many members of the African American community were outraged by the verdict. In a joint press release, the San Jose Branch of the NAACP, the San Jose Million Man March, and the Human Rights Defense Committee stated: “We are outraged by the jury’s findings. We firmly believe that had there been even one African American juror, the results may have been different. Today’s verdict shows that it's still perfectly acceptable for an individual to act as “judge, jury, and executioner” in Santa Clara County. Gremminger acted as a vigilante in the shooting and killing of Anthony Lamont Gilbert who was an unarmed African American man at the Great Mall of Milpitas.”
BACKGROUND OF THE DEFENDANT
Former San Jose Fire Captain Robert Gremminger resides with wife Judi Gremminger in Ben Lomond which is a small town in Santa Cruz County. Gremminger and his wife own two other properties in Santa Cruz County. One of the properties is in Boulder Creek and the other is in Felton. According to the 1990 census, Ben Lomond’s population is 93% white, Boulder Creek’s population is 95.5% white, and Felton’s population is 96.5% white. Gremminger is a registered Republican and his wife is a school teacher. His daughter is currently a San Jose Firefighter. Gremminger is the son of a San Francisco police officer and he is a former Daly City and Mountain View police officer. In the late 1960s, Mountain View High School teacher Arthur Olmos alleges that Gremminger stopped his brother for drunk driving. According to Mr. Olmos, Gremminger later arrested Mr. Olmos when he argued that his brother should not be arrested. Mr. Olmos was later taken to the Mountain View City Jail. According to Mr. Olmos, Gremminger called him “every dirty name that you could call a Mexican American.” Gremminger shot a white man in the arm in the late 1960s. The man sued and later a settlement was reached in the amount of $3,000.00. Shortly thereafter, Gremminger left the Mountain View Police Department. In 1970, Gremminger joined the San Jose Fire Department. At that time, there were no African American firefighters. On May 21, 1995, Gremminger informed San Jose city officials that an African American firefighter had leaked to him portions of the oral component of the Battalion Chief’s exam. On May 22, 1995, a city consultant rewrote the exam based on this allegation. On May 23-26, 1995, all of the five African American candidates passed the exam whereas 26 of 37 of the white candidates failed. The Santa Clara County Black Firefighters presented evidence that for the past decade, African Americans had a 90% pass rate. In some years, 100% of the African American candidates had passed the Battalion Chief’s exam. Despite this evidence, on July 26, 1995, Gremminger, along with 22 other firefighters, filed a reverse discrimination lawsuit alleging that African American firefighters had cheated on the Battalion Chief’s exam. On January 23, 1996, Superior Court Judge Conrad Rushing dismissed the lawsuit. In his dismissing the lawsuit, Judge Rushing wrote:
“The plaintiffs herein seem to me, by their testimony, to be convinced that there was a conspiracy between the five black firefighters who passed the test and the fire chief. The only evidence of that is that the chief knew and met with those persons at times prior to the test. He also knew and met with the other candidates, but the difference is that (and the only difference is) of skin color. Propping a conspiracy theory on skin color is unreasonable.”
Less than a year later, on October 24, 1996, Robert Gremminger shot and fatally wounded Anthony Lamont Gilbert at the Great Mall of Milpitas in broad day light at 12:07 p.m., with a gun that he did not have a permit to carry. Gremminger claimed that the gun was a 30 year old off duty weapon that he had from his days as a Mountain View Police Officer and prior to this incident, he had never fired the gun. Gremminger also claimed that he initially retrieved his gun from his red Corvette licensed “Hotstuff” on the basis that he thought a security guard needed help after he had confronted Gilbert over an alleged shoplifting incident in the parking lot. Gremminger did not know what the confrontation was about, nor did he ask the security guard did he need help. After Gremminger returned from retrieving his gun, he claimed that he shot his gun because he thought that Gilbert was going to run him over. At the time of the incident, Gilbert’s car was moving at the rate of one mile per hour. The whole incident with the exception of the actual shooting was captured on videotape by the Great Mall’s cameras. Gremminger was later charged with second degree murder.
GREMMINGER’S WIFE DEFENDS HIS ACTIONS
On November 4, 1996, Judi Gremminger called Gremminger a “hero” in the shooting and killing Anthony Lamont Gilbert. She also said “He was really trying to help someone.” Judi Gremminger also stated that if the killing had involved a “black man who shot a black man, or a brown man who shot a brown man, we wouldn’t be here today.”
THE BAIL HEARING When Gremminger was arrested, he was originally held without bail. The prosecution argued that Gremminger should not be released on bail, because he was a danger to the community. On November 8, 1996, Gremminger’s attorney Ken Robinson presented over 70 letters supporting that bail should be set. Among these letters were letters from Deputy District Attorney Rod Braughton and Deputy District Attorney Lynn Knapp. Braughton was Gremminger’s former supervisor when they worked together at the Mountain View Police Department in the late 1960s. Knapp had previously worked with Gremminger at the San Jose Fire Department. To the African American community’s dismay, bail was set at $1,000,000 by Santa Clara County Municipal Court Judge Jerome Brock. On the Monday before the Thanksgiving, Gremminger posted bail (with the help of San Jose Police Officers and Firefighters) and was released.
SPECIAL TREATMENT GIVEN BY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT
After returning from spending the Thanksgiving holiday with his family, on December 2, 1996, the defendant Robert Gremminger was escorted in and out of Superior Court through the hallways which are reserved for judges and escorted out of the back door of the court room. The Sheriff’s office claimed that the reason for the special treatment was that it was necessary to ensure public safety. No one from Gilbert’s family had threatened Gremminger. Many members of the African American community were outraged by this unfair treatment. The NAACP intervened and requested that the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Department stop providing Gremminger with special treatment.
GREMMINGER FILES FOR PENSION
In November 1996, the City of San Jose issued a statement saying that Gremminger was no longer with the department. However, it refused to state whether Gremminger had been terminated or had resigned. Through the San Jose Branch of the NAACP’s investigation, it discovered that Gremminger had applied for retirement benefits when he had turned 55 in November 1996. Under the City Ordinance, the City of San Jose was required to provide an employee with retirement benefits unless he is convicted of a felony or he has committed treason. Because Gremminger had been only charged with a felony, the City of San Jose was required to provide Gremminger with his retirement benefits. As a result, on December 16, 1996, the Police and Fire Retirement Board issued Gremminger’s pension in the amount of $47,000.00 per year.
THE TRIAL AND ITS JURY POOL
On October 6, 1997, the trial of Robert Gremminger finally began. The jury pool of 180 prospective jurors consisted largely of whites. There were only a handful of African Americans. One African American man testified that he could not be fair and impartial, because his family had gone through a similar incident. As a result, he was excused from the jury duty. The final jury picked was composed of 8 white women who were mostly middle aged and senior citizens, 1 white man, 2 Latinas, and 1 Asian American woman. The San Jose Branch of the NAACP was disappointed by the composition of the jury. However, because there was no legal ground for the NAACP to challenge the composition of the jury, the NAACP was unable to take any action.
EVIDENCE THAT THE JURY NEVER HEARD
The jury was presented evidence of the videotape, Gremminger’s testimony, the security guard Gary Petrakowitz’s testimony, Milipitas police officer Steven Petrakowitz’s testimony and about a half dozen witnesses who saw the shooting and killing of Anthony Lamont Gilbert. The jury also visited the scene of the crime. However, the jury was never presented evidence relating the following incidents: 1) Gremminger’s shooting of a man in the late 1960s in the arm, 2) the reverse discrimination lawsuit in which he alleged African American firefighters had cheated on the Battalion Chief’s exam, and 3) testimony from Mr. Olmos in which he would have alleged that Gremminger as a Mountain View Police Officer had called him racial epithets in 1960s. Because Gremminger never presented evidence relating to his character, the prosecution could not present any evidence which related to his character. As a result, the jury was never provided with the above evidence.
GREMMINGER’S ATTORNEY’S ARGUMENT
In his closing argument, criminal defense attorney Ken Robinson pointed out problems with the videotape. Prosecutor Joyce Allegro in her rebuttal later pointed out to the jury that in Robinson’s opening statement, he had said “Thank God for the video. This is the best evidence that we have.” Robinson noted the defendant had dedicated his entire life to protecting people. Robinson pointed to Gremminger’s past careers as a police officer and a firefighter. Robinson also pointed out that Gilbert had assaulted security guards in the past when he had other shoplifting incidents. Robinson also noted that self defense does not require that the individual retreat from danger. Under the law, the individual has the right to stand his ground and defend himself. Robinson noted that he would have left and summoned help. However, given Gremminger’s background in helping others, he was under no duty to retreat. He had the right to defend himself. Robinson also pointed that other witnesses supported Gremminger’s testimony that he felt his life was in danger. He concluded by telling the jury that he was turning over the fate of Gremminger’s life to them.
THE PROSECUTION’S ARGUMENT
In her closing argument, veteran prosecutor Joyce Allegro pointed to the videotape as the best evidence of Gremminger’s intent to kill Anthony Lamont Gilbert. Allegro refuted Gremminger’s claim that he had retrieved his gun from his car in order to protect the security guard who was in the middle of a confrontation with Anthony Lamont Gilbert who was a driver of 1989 Pontiac that was boxed between other vehicles. Not once did Gremminger ask the security guard did he need help or what was going on. Allegro also pointed out if Gremminger were so concerned about the security guard’s safety why did he turn his back to him when he went to his car to retrieve the gun. She also noted that Gremminger had not run to his car to retrieve the gun, rather he “sauntered” over to his car. Allegro also refuted the defense’s allegation that Gilbert intended to run over Gremminger after he returned. She noted at the time of the shooting, Gremminger had stated the car was going one mile per hour. Allegro pointed to other evidence that Gilbert’s foot was on the brakes and it took several men to remove Gilbert from the car. She also stated that even if Gilbert had been accelerating, shooting him would not have stopped the car. She compared Gremminger to acting as “judge, jury, and executioner” and practicing vigilantism. Allegro asked the jury “Since when do you get the death penalty for petty theft?”
THE JURY’S DELIBERATIONS AND ITS VERDICT
After jury instructions were given on November 4, 1997, the jury began its deliberations. At the end of the day, one juror informed the court that she could not continue to serve, because she had a prepaid airline ticket. As a result, she was replaced with a white male juror and deliberations began all over again on November 5, 1997. The jurors never really entertained the issue of race. One white male juror noted that they discussed the issue for five minutes and that issue was later put to rest. Initially five of the jurors wanted to acquit Gremminger on theory that he had acted in self defense. Two wanted Gremminger to be convicted of second degree murder. Others felt that Gremminger had acted negligently in firing into a crowded parking lot during noontime. After two days of deliberations, the jury decided to reach a compromise. On Thursday November 6, 1997 at approximately 5:15 p.m., it announced its verdict of involuntary manslaughter. The members of the family of the victim were shocked by the jury’s findings.
THE COMMUNITY’S RESPONSE TO THE VERDICT
The San Jose Branch of the NAACP, San Jose Million Man March and the Human Rights Defense Committee held a community forum at the African American Community Service Agency on the night of the verdict. The civil rights organizations advocated that Gremminger should receive the maximum penalty under California law and he not be given probation, because probation was totally unacceptable. They also advocated that because Gremminger had been convicted of a felony, the City of San Jose Police and Fire Retirement Board should exercise it discretionary powers and revoke Gremminger’s pension.
SAN JOSE CITY COUNCIL MEMBER ALICE WOODY’S RESPONSE
San Jose City Council Member Alice Woody who [wa]s the only African American member of the San Jose City Council and a member of the San Jose Police and Fire Department Board will place on the January agenda of the San Jose Police and Fire Department Board the line item of whether the Board should revoke Gremminger’s pension.
THE FAMILY OF THE VICTIM FILES 7.5 MILLION DOLLAR LAWSUIT
On November 7, 1997, Rodney Moore who is the attorney for the family of the victim Anthony Lamont Gilbert announced that the family had filed a 7.5 million dollar lawsuit against the City of San Jose, City of Milpitas, Great Mall of Milpitas, and Robert Gremminger. The San Jose Branch of the NAACP has vowed that it will support the victim’s family in its civil lawsuit.
RACIST BACKLASH IN THE FACE OF THE VERDICT
Since the announcement of the verdict, the San Jose Branch of the NAACP has received several racist messages on its answering machine. One message from an unidentified white male stated: “Fuck the struggle. You guys are a bunch of niggers. This nigger got shot for shoplifting. Deserves what he got. He fucking steals from people. That’s what I call justice. That’s what I think.”
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Movie Intermission! Officer Daniel Holtzclaw's Rape Interrogation (Full Video)!
Description: Oklahoma City, OK -- The above interrogation was conducted by Oklahoma City Police Sex Crimes Detectives Kim Davis and Rocky Gregory. The interrogation took place at the Oklahoma City Police headquarters during the late afternoon hours of June 18, 2014 - approx. 13-hours after accuser Jannie Ligons claims she was pulled over and sexually assaulted. These are the only comments Daniel Holtzclaw has ever made regarding the rape allegations against him.