Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Murder verdict tossed because his mom couldn’t find a seat


Meet Daniel Floyd — the luckiest “killer” in New York.
The 23-year-old Brooklyn man was tried, convicted and — after the jury found he shot a rival dead at a dice game — sent to prison for 15 years to life. But the state’s highest court overturned the guilty verdict — all because Floyd’s mother couldn’t find a seat in the courtroom during jury selection.
A juror who voted to convict Floyd was shocked to learn of the stunning reversal.
“On a technicality like there was no room in the courtroom! That’s something new for me. I don’t think that’s right,” said the woman, who didn’t want her name used.
“Oh my gosh! This is very surprising, boy, because I didn’t know people could get off once they were convicted,” the 65-year-old public-school teacher said.
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Melissa Floyd, mother of Daniel Floyd, leaves Brooklyn Supreme Court on Monday. She found a seat this time.Photo: Riyad Hasan
On Monday, Floyd was back in a Brooklyn courtroom for a pre-retrial hearing, as was the heartbroken mother of the man he had been convicted of killing.
“It’s very frustrating,” said Linda Dixon Hill, whose son, Leon Hill, was gunned down in the March 9, 2008, gambling dispute.
“He was found guilty by a jury [and then] the Court of Appeals overturned it,” she said sadly, adding that Leon’s daughter was 4 months old when he was killed. She is now 6.
Floyd’s conviction was tossed in an April 25, 2013, decision based on his trial lawyer’s complaint to Brooklyn Supreme Court Judge Michael Gary that Melissa Floyd was forced to wait outside a courtroom that was packed with potential jurors.
“Defense counsel observed, ‘Certainly, as a public spectator, she has an absolute right to be present,’ ” the decision states. “Defendants have a constitutional right to a ‘public trial,’ ” the decision goes on, adding that overcrowding does not justify courtroom closure.
“This violation . . . requires a new trial,” the judges ruled.
On his initial appeal, the Appellate Division had found Gary’s offer to get a seat for Floyd’s mom once some juror candidates had been weeded out was sufficient — and upheld the conviction. But the higher court disagreed.
Melissa Floyd declined to comment as she left court. But jurors who convicted her son were shocked to hear of the judicial U-turn.
“That’s a very bizarre reason,” said a male juror, 31, of Crown Heights. “What difference would it have made to the jury selection if she had been in the courtroom?”
Floyd and Hill argued over money on the dice table. Floyd stormed out and returned 20 minutes later, according to court papers — and allegedly fired a fatal shot into Hill’s neck.
Floyd’s current defense attorney, Mario Romano, said they were mulling whether to accept a plea deal or go back to trial.
Floyd, who remains incarcerated, will next appear in court Sept. 12.

Environmental Regulations Leave 800 Miles of Border Unpatrolled


The U.S. Border Patrol is being stymied in its efforts to protect the southern border by federal environmental regulations that leave an 800-mile opening.

The Hill reports that about 40 percent of the U.S. border with Mexico falls under Department of the Interior and Forest Service rules that prohibit the Border Patrol from driving there, creating roads, patrolling, installing surveillance devices, or building infrastructure.

The rules, designed to protect wildlife, also protect illegal immigrants and smugglers, Republicans say.

"There is no doubt that the restrictions on accessing land along the border have made it more difficult for the Border Patrol to do their job," Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, told The Hill. "It seems a common-sense reform to say that the Border Patrol should be able to fully access and patrol the border."

A House Republican working group recently released a dozen recommendations to deal with the border crisis, according to Business Insider, including a recommendation for legislation that would "prohibit the Secretary of the Interior or the Secretary of Agriculture (USDA) from denying or restricting U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) activities on federal land under their respective jurisdictions."

Cruz said smugglers are well aware of what parts of the border are not under Border Patrol surveillance because of environmental regulations and, therefore, use those sections to slip illegal immigrants into the United States.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, visited the border in McAllen, Texas, with Cruz, and The Hill reports she told an Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing, "We're not asking for a major highway around there, but we need to think about national security issues, and how we enforce our own laws when you juxtapose that with other priorities within the federal agencies."

The conflict between environmental and security concerns has been around for a few years. In 2011, Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, proposed the National Security and Federal Lands Protection Act, which would ban Agriculture and Interior from interfering with Border Patrol activities on the border.

"We have basically rolled out the welcome mat for drug cartels on federal lands because environmental policies restrict the U.S. Border Patrol's ability to secure some of the most heavily trafficked areas of the southern border," Bishop said in a press release. 

When President Barack Obama created the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument along the New Mexico border, he was criticized by House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, who said it would "place additional burdens on Border Patrol personnel and limit access to high-crime areas along the border, making it easier for drug smugglers and human traffickers to move in and out of the country," The Hill reports.

source Website: Obama Thanks Muslims For “Building The Very Fabric Of Our Nation"


Statement by the President on the Occasion of Eid-al-Fitr

As Muslims throughout the United States and around the world celebrate Eid-al-Fitr, Michelle and I extend our warmest wishes to them and their families.  This last month has been a time of fasting, reflection, spiritual renewal, and service to the less fortunate.  While Eid marks the completion of Ramadan, it also celebrates the common values that unite us in our humanity and reinforces the obligations that people of all faiths have to each other, especially those impacted by poverty, conflict, and disease.
In the United States, Eid also reminds us of the many achievements and contributions of Muslim Americans to building the very fabric of our nation and strengthening the core of our democracy.  That is why we stand with people of all faiths, here at home and around the world, to protect and advance their rights to prosper, and we welcome their commitment to giving back to their communities.
On behalf of the Administration, we wish Muslims in the United States and around the world a blessed and joyous celebration.  Eid Mubarak.



HOUSTON, Texas--The federal government is in dire need of U.S. citizens willing to house the thousands of illegal immigrants who enter the country each week, and they are willing to pay them to do so. 

The Texas-based nonprofit Catholic Charities is currently seeking out foster families for the migrants, most of whom come from Central America. Ruth Braiser, a spokeswoman for the organization, told Breitbart Texas that foster families can receive monthly payments for housing adult immigrants who are under 23-years-old.
"Most of our children are 15 to 17-years-old," she said. "But some stay in our program until they are 22-years-old; if they're still working on getting their high school diploma, they can stay until they're that age." 
The revelation that some of the migrants receiving foster care are adults will likely come as a surprise to many; the mainstream media has largely portrayed the border crisis as involving only children and family units. 
Braiser mentioned that foster families will be paid $40 per day for each migrant they take in from Catholic Charities. The payments are funded by the federal government, as Breitbart Texas previously reported
Foster parents have the ability to collect more than $7,400 per month, considering that they can house six immigrants at any given time. 
In addition to daily payments, Braiser said that the illegal immigrants are provided with taxpayer subsidized education, health care, transportation, and an "allowance." She was not specific about the amount of such an allowance or how often it is administered. 
Many have expressed outrage that instead of being turned away at the border, many illegal aliens are being brought to federal facilities where they receive a slew of taxpayer-subsidized benefits: housing, food, vocational training, English lessons, recreation, and legal counsel. Ultimately, most of the migrants are released onto U.S. soil after promising to show up at an immigration court hearing.



MCALLEN, Texas—A single group of illegal aliens entering Texas from Mexico over the weekend included foreign nationals from Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka, according to the National Border Patrol Council (NBPC). The group crossed into the Rio Grande Valley sector from Tamaulipas, Mexico.

“One group of our agents apprehended individuals from Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka,” said Albert Spratte, a spokesman for Local 3307 of the NBPC. “Everyone in this group was an adult male. They entered on Saturday, July 26, 2014. Our agents apprehended them, they did not turn themselves in. They were trying to sneak in.”
Spratte said it is unusual and infrequent for illegal aliens from these nations to appear in the Rio Grande Valley sector. “We have had them in the past, but it isn’t common,” he said. “This should be a reminder to the public that unaccompanied minors and family units are not the only ones crossing into the U.S. illegally. On the same day, I also witnessed 3-4 Chinese females at the processing station. The media are concentrating on the Central American families and minors and they are not covering the fact that we are still getting people, often adult males, who are coming from other nations.”
Breitbart News previously reported on foreign nationals coming from Asia, the Middle East, and terror-prone nations from the Horn of Africa—often entering Central America and utilizing the same pathways and smuggling networks as Central Americans and Mexicans who illegally enter the United States. That report was based on information from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Spratte said, “Border Patrol agents in our sector have in the past apprehended aliens from Iraq, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Israel, and from many other nations. People think this is just about Mexico and Central America, but it isn’t. People from all over the world are trying to sneak into the United States.”

Illegal immigrants protest outside White House, with little fear of repercussions


Illegal immigrant demonstrators were protesting outside the White House on Monday – but don’t expect America’s immigration officers to intervene.
An Immigration and Customs Enforcement official indicated that even if the protesters end up getting arrested by D.C. police, they’d have to be serious criminals for ICE to get involved.
“Unless the individuals meet ICE’s enforcement priorities, it’s unlikely that the agency would get involved in the case,” the official told
Under a policy that’s been in effect for several years, ICE focuses deportation mostly on serious criminals and – in some cases -- those caught in the act of crossing the border. The agency prioritizes deportation for felons, repeat offenders, gang members and others with a serious criminal record. But the agency largely gives a pass to other undocumented residents.
This is why illegal immigrant activists can protest outside the White House without worrying too much about ICE.  
They did so at lunchtime on Monday, marching across Lafayette Park to the White House and advocating a reprieve for illegal immigrant parents who brought their children to the U.S. – and whose children have benefited from a separate reprieve issued in 2012 by the Department of Homeland Security.
According to The Washington Times, illegal immigrant protesters also planned to demonstrate outside the White House on Monday afternoon, to call on immigration groups to boycott any administration meetings until illegal immigrants are included in those talks.

BREAKING: Mexican Immigrant With Drug-Resistant TB Goes Missing in California (Video)


eduardo rosas cruz
Eduardo Rosas Cruz tested positive with a drug-resistant strain of tuberculosis, health officials say. (BBC)
An arrest Warrant was issued for a Mexican man in California with Tuberculosis.
Eduardo Cruz is a transient who comes from a part of Mexico known for a drug-resistant strain of tuberculosis.
Eduardo Rosas Cruz a homeless Mexican in California went missing in March.
He refused treatment for tuberculosis and fled authorities.
The BBC reported:
Authorities in California are searching for a fugitive homeless man who has refused treatment for tuberculosis and may be contagious.
An arrest warrant has been issued for Eduardo Rosas Cruz, 25, of Mexico.
Mr Cruz was diagnosed with the illness at a local emergency room in March but fled when asked to remain in the area for treatment.
Health officials are concerned he may be infected with a drug-resistant strain of the illness.
“We need help getting him in,” San Joaquin County public health officer Dr Alvaro Garza told US media. “We’ve not been able to find him in places he’s told us he’s going to be.”
It is currently unclear if Mr Cruz is contagious, but he has not completed a nine-month course of medicine required for treatment.
Tuberculosis – spread through air when an infected person sneezes or coughs – can be fatal if left untreated.
In March, Mr Cruz arrived in hospital in San Joaquin complaining of a severe cough, shortness of breath, high fever and weight loss.
After he was diagnosed with tuberculosis, he was told to stay in a nearby motel and wait for a health worker to deliver medication.
He did not comply, prompting government officials to add him to a state-wide law enforcement database and later obtain an arrest warrant.
He went missing in March but we’re just hearing about it now?
That’s unsettling.


Strip club endorses Democratic pastor for Congress


PHOENIX (AP) — An Arizona strip club has endorsed a Democratic candidate for Congress. And the candidate, the Rev. Jarrett Maupin, says he's happy to have the support of The Great Alaskan Bush Company of Phoenix.
The Arizona Republic reports ( the strip club recently announced its endorsement on a sign that reads: "Jarrett Maupin for Congress 'The Rev.'"
Maupin, who calls himself a member of the Progressive Christian Coalition, says employees voted to back him because he supports affordable student loans and all-day kindergarten.
Maupin is running in a close race for the 7th District seat against three other Democrats to replace retiring longtime Rep. Ed Pastor.
But he can't vote for himself because he was convicted in 2009 of lying to the FBI in a case involving then-Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon.

DREAMERS JACKPOT: Family of illegal teen $ue$ Border Patrol in 2012 death


Nearly two years after her son was shot to death in Nogales by Border Patrol agents, Araceli Rodriguez heads to U.S. District Court in Tucson to find out who killed him.

Twenty-two months after her son was shot to death in Nogales, Mexico, by one or more Border Patrol agents, Araceli Rodriguez is headed to court to find out who killed him.
Attorneys for Rodriguez, including the American Civil Liberties Union, said they will file suit in federal district court in Tucson early Tuesday, seeking civil damages against the agents involved in what their suit terms the "senseless and unjustified" death of Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez, 16, on Oct. 10, 2012. The suit alleges that in shooting and killing the teenager, agents "used unreasonable and excessive force" in violation of Jose Antonio's Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights, and that their actions were not legally justifiable or necessary. The suit doesn't specify an amount sought in damages.
"I'm looking for justice," said Araceli Rodriguez, in an interview with the Republic earlier this year. She could not be reached Monday. "I want to see the faces of my son's killers… I don't know the names of those people; I don't know anything about them."
SPECIAL PROJECT: Force at the border
The killing of Jose Antonio was one of several highly-publicized cases that helped lead to changes over the past year to how Customs and Border Protection handles the use of deadly force by CBP officers and Border Patrol agents. CBP and its parent agency, the Department of Homeland Security, earlier this year issued new guidelines more tightly restricting when agents can use deadly force, instituted additional training, and promised greater transparency in the investigation of use-of-force incidents.
However, the identities of the agent or agents who shot Jose Antonio remain secret, and CBP has denied Freedom-of-Information-Act requests from The Republic for those identities and for video from surveillance cameras, mounted on towers about 150 from where the boy was shot, that presumably would have recorded the incident.
Rodriguez's lawsuit comes less than a month after a federal appeals court ruled that the family of another Mexican teen, killed in Ciudad Juarez in 2010, has the constitutional right to sue the Border Patrol agent who shot him across the international border. That ruling, by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, was the first nationally to determine that the family of someone shot in Mexico by agents firing from U.S. soil has the right to sue in this country.
"That is an important precedent for our case," said Luis Parra, one of the attorneys representing Araceli Rodriguez.
As The Arizona Republic reported, on the October evening Jose Antonio was killed, Border Patrol agents in Nogales, Arizona, were chasing two men who were climbing over the fence into Mexico. As agents and Nogales police officers tried to arrest the men, they said rocks were thrown over the fence from the Mexican side.
One or more Border Patrol agents fired repeatedly through the fence, hitting Jose Antonio in the back and head at least ten times. But according to Isidro Alvarado, a security guard, Jose Antonio was not throwing rocks. Alvarado said the boy was walking down the sidewalk on Calle Internacional, about 20 feet ahead of him, when two youths ran past them away from the fence, he heard gunshots, and saw Jose Antonio fall dead.
Neither Alvarado nor the Nogales police officers on the U.S. side reported hearing any warnings or commands before at least 14 shots were fired by the Border Patrol. Customs and Border Protection's use-of-force guidelines require agents to issue a verbal warning, when possible, before using deadly force.
"Just prior to the shooting, Jose Antonio was visible and not hiding … he did not pose a threat. He was doing nothing but peacefully walking down the street by himself when he was gunned down. He was not committing a crime, nor was he throwing rocks, using a weapon, or in any way threatening U.S. Border Patrol agents or anyone else," the complaint alleges.
Earlier this year, CBP released a study of its use-of-force practices by the Police Executive Research Forum, a non-profit law-enforcement research organization. The forum reviewed all deadly use-of-force cases from January 2010 through October 2012. The report, describing how agents respond to rock-throwing incidents, said "too many cases do not appear to meet the test of objective reasonableness with regard to the use of deadly force…" and added that, "The more questionable cases generally involved shootings that took place through the IBF [International Border Fence] at subjects who were throwing rocks at the agents from Mexico."
The Republic, through the use of information requests, has found seven cross-border shooting incidents involving alleged rock throwing. Border Patrol agents or CBP officers have killed 46 people while on duty since 2005, including three this year.

San Benito man drags cop by car over Democrat candidate's dog getting loose


San Benito man jailed after police officer dragged by car

A San Benito man is facing a laundry list of criminal charges after a dispuate about a loose dog belonging to an elected official ended with a police officer being dragged by a car.
San Benito police arrested 57-year-old Jerry Daniel Smith on several criminal charges just before 6 p.m. Saturday.
Investigators told Action 4 News that officers were called out to a home on the 1700 block of Russell Lane for a disturbance.
According to a police, Smith was upset and using vulgar language because his neighbor's dog got loose.
San Benito police confirmed that the dog belong to Guadalupe Ayala, who recently won the Democratic Party Primary runoff for the Cameron County Pct. 3-1 Justice of the Peace seat.
Ayala is expected to take office in January and could not immediately be reached for comment but police said the officer was going to arrest Smith for disorderly conduct.
Smith was sitting inside a white Dodge, refused to get out and started the engine.
Investigators told Action 4 News that the officer told Smith to turn off the engine but he refused and took off dragging the officer for at least 150 feet.
The officer was not seriously injured but police charged Smith with aggravated assault of a public servant, evading arrest, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.
Smith remains in custody at the Cameron County Jail under $90,000 dollars in bonds.