SPLASH! News: Shelby Acquited, Arrests For Facebook Posts, Robert Mueller, and More

Dive Into the News for May 18, 2017

Kiran Opal


Betty Shelby Acquitted in Terence Crutcher Murder

NewsOn6 – A jury acquitted Tulsa Police Officer Betty Shelby of manslaughter in the death of Terence Crutcher. The jury reached the decision after more than nine hours of deliberation. The jury was given the case just after noon Wednesday after hearing closing arguments from the District Attorney and the defense.

Seven hours into deliberations, the jury sent Judge Doug Drummond a note, asking if it could explain its verdict. Drummond said the jurors could announce the verdict in open court but could not give an explanation in open court.

Also during deliberations, Shelby’s team emailed the judge to ask for a mistrial, saying prosecutors used defense exhibits as their own during the trial but then misled the jury during closing arguments.

Drummond overruled the request for a mistrial.

Once the verdict was read, Shelby was escorted out of the courtroom; Shannon McMurray, Shelby’s attorney, was seen crying. Shelby and her team left the courtroom without giving a statement.

Jailed for Facebook post: How US Police Target Critics With Arrest and Prosecution

The Guardian – Robert Peralta’s life was derailed by a single Facebook comment.

When the San Franciscan saw a well-known local activist had posted about being “choked” and “slammed” by a sheriff’s deputy at city hall, Peralta fired off a short response: “Wow brother they wanna hit our general. its time to strike back. lets burn this motherfuckers house down.”

Peralta, a 35-year-old activist and musician, didn’t think twice about the 23 January Facebook thread until two months later, when he learned that police had issued a warrant for his arrest – accusing him of threatening to kill law enforcement.

“Why waste all of the county’s money on this?” said Peralta, who turned himself in and was booked into jail, despite having no criminal record. “You’re going to take me to jail … for Facebook?”

Peralta’s felony criminal case is part of what civil rights campaigners say is a disturbing trend of police and prosecutors targeting activists for social media posts, arresting users over innocuous political messages that constitute free speech.

Salt Lake City Cops Haven’t Killed Anyone Since 2015

Huffington Post – The Salt Lake City Police Department has gone more than a year and a half since its last fatal officer-involved shooting. Twenty months without a death.

Across the country, police officers have shot and killed at least 367 people so far this year, according to a Washington Post tally. That’s a slighter deadlier pace than the previous two years, despite the national debate over police reform sparked by the 2014 killing of Michael Brown.

But officials in Salt Lake City have done more than talk, according to a heartening report on KSTU this week. In Utah’s capital, police have actively embraced a tactic called de-escalation.

Erdogan’s Guards Clash with D.C. Protesters

NPR – A day after protests at the Turkish Embassy in Washington, D.C., turned violent, the State Department is criticizing Turkey’s government.

Video appears to show security forces belonging to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan pushing past police and violently breaking up a protest outside the ambassador’s diplomatic residence.

Some of the protesters were knocked down and kicked repeatedly in the head. Nearly a dozen people were injured. Investigators with the Metropolitan Police Department are working with the Secret Service and the State Department to identify the people on the videos.

The Legendary G-Man Investigating Russia’s Meddling

Politico – Soon after former FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III was named special counsel to oversee the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and possible collusion by associates of Donald Trump, the president put out a statement saying he looked forward to the inquiry’s speedy resolution.

Trump clearly isn’t familiar with the management style of Mueller, the famously by-the-book former Marine, homicide squad supervisor and long-serving head of the nation’s premiere law enforcement agency.

Mueller, 72, will oversee a sprawling and potentially explosive investigation that, his fans and critics alike said Wednesday night, will be finished when he says it’s finished, no matter the pushback from the White House or Trump’s political appointee running the Justice Department, Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Written by Pamela Getz

Writer and Activist. Follow Pamela on Twitter @goddesspamela.

Pamela Getz is Editor of International Affairs for Progressive Army and a member of its Editorial Board.

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SPLASH! News: Shelby Acquited, Arrests For Facebook Posts, Robert Mueller, and More