Fourteen-year-old Murdered While Watching Fireworks, LAPD Didn’t Misappropriate Funds from LAX…and MoreJuly 6th, 2012 by Taylor Walker
LA TEEN FATALLY SHOT DURING 4TH OF JULY FESTIVITIES
Fourteen-year-old Unique Russell was gunned down while engaging in a 4th of July celebration outside her grandmother’s home in South LA, Wednesday. A 12-year-old cousin and a 21-year-old friend were also shot (their condition is unknown).
Huffington Post’s Anna Almendrala has the heartbreaking story. Here’s how it opens:
When gunshots rang out in South LA late Wednesday evening, residents thought they were fireworks.
Instead, two young teens and a young man were hit by gunfire, one of them fatally.
The Los Angeles County Coroner’s office confirmed to The Huffington Post that Unique Russell, 14 years old, was fatally shot. Her body is scheduled for examination Thursday.
The fates of Russell’s 12-year-old cousin and 21-year-old friend are still unknown, reports KTLA.
“It’s July 4th, you think it’s fireworks,” said resident Dustin Shaffer to KTLA. When Shaffer heard the shots, he ran out from his grandmother’s home to find Russell laying still on the ground next to another body.
A shooting in South L.A.’s Hyde Park neighborhood last night killed one young man and injured two others, police tell City News Service.
The shooter reportedly fired indiscriminately into a group of people celebrating the Fourth of July around 10:30 p.m. — taking the life of 25-year-old Dennis Herbert Tillet.
LAPD DID NOT MISAPPROPRIATE MONEY FROM LAX, INVESTIGATION CONCLUDES
An investigation conducted by the Federal Aviation Administration found no evidence that the LAPD had misused fundspaid to them by LAX to secure the airport, as the Los Angeles Airport Peace Officers Assn. claimed. They did, however, find the LAPD remiss in a few areas, one being the use of the airport K-9 bomb squad to respond to incidents outside of LAX.
LA Times’ Dan Weikel has the story. Here’s a clip:
A federal investigation has found no evidence that the Los Angeles Police Department misappropriated millions of dollars it was paid for providing law enforcement services at Los Angeles International Airport, authorities announced Thursday.
The Federal Aviation Administration reached the conclusion after reviewing a complaint filed late last year alleging that the LAPD overcharged the airport and used the money to bolster city coffers and pay for police services unrelated to security at LAX.
FLORIDA LEADS NATION IN VOTING-AGED DISENFRANCHISED
One million people in Florida, alone, are disenfranchised. Not only does the US have the largest prison population in the world, but the majority of states also ban any prisoners with felonies from voting. Those in jail, who are not disenfranchised, are not given the means to vote.
Mother Jones’ James Ridgeway has the story about the states’ patterns of disenfranchisement and what they might mean for the elections. Here are some clips:
Among the GOP’s myriad strategies to suppress the vote of people considered more likely to vote Democrat—many of them detailed by Kevin Drum and others in —felony disenfranchisement laws may be the biggest bonanza of all for Republican candidates. The United States incarcerates more of its citizens than another other nation. Some 2.3 million Americans are now in prison or jail, with millions more on parole or probation—together, according to a 2009 study, they account for , most of whom would otherwise be eligible to vote.
Florida leads the pack in the number of citizens excluded. But according to the Brennan Center for Justice, 48 states(exceptions: Maine and Vermont) prohibit current prisoners with felony convictions from voting and 29 of them also bar those on probation or parole. All told, felony disenfranchisement prevents more than from voting. And of the four states that permanently bar voting by former felons—Kentucky, Florida, Iowa, and Virginia—the latter three are battleground states.
According to Desmond Meade of the nonprofit Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, “Over 1 million people in Florida right now are disenfranchised,” he says. Nearly 1 in 3 of them are African American men. If these people were able to vote, Meade continues, “Florida would no longer be a swing state.”
There’s also the de facto disenfranchisement of hundreds of thousands of Americans who by law still have the right to vote: those in jail, rather than prison. There are 3,000 local jail jurisdictions in the United States, and jails hold some 700,000 people at any given time. Many are there on misdemeanor charges or are being held in pretrial detention because they can’t make bail. Those lacking previous felony convictions have the right to vote, “but inmates don’t have access to voter registration materials or absentee ballots,” says Marc Mauer, executive director of the Sentencing Project.
Photo taken from Unique Russell’s facebook page.