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Tuesday Must Reads


The story below is about a video that that supposedly proved that police officers had lied about their probable cause to search a suspect’s car—a search that produced an illegal gun. It turns out now that the video proved no such thing: It was doctored:

Here’s Jack Leonard’s report for the LA Times.

It was meant to be a smoking gun: A grainy security video that proved police corruption.

Officers said they had stopped Rafat Abdallah because his white Mercedes was missing a license plate. During a search of the car, they discovered a loaded handgun — a serious crime for a convicted felon like Abdallah.

But the footage, taken from a surveillance camera, clearly showed a license plate on Rafat Abdallah’s white Mercedes as he left his business just moments before officers pulled him over.

The video was proof, Abdallah’s attorney contended, that the police officers fabricated their story about the missing license plate.

But it was the video that was fabricated.

Defense attorney Jim Epstein conceded in court Friday that he had come to believe that the footage — taken from a surveillance camera at a wholesale produce business owned by Abdallah — was a fraud.

The Fox News report above was the result of attorney Epstein’s PR efforts with the phony tape.

(NOTE TO MR EPSTEIN: when you’re peddling a video as yet untested for its veracity, it’s wise to ditch the smug routine when you yourself are on camera.

(NOTE TO FOX 11: When you screw up badly by airing an unvetted tape like this one, a correction would be nice.)


KPCC’s Julie Smalls reports on Governor Schwarzenegger’s latest hare-brained scheme idea to reduce the state’s prison population:

Governor Schwarzenegger railed against what he called “reckless” state spending on prisons during a speech at the Sacramento press club today. The governor suggested that California pay Mexico to house some of the undocumented inmates in state prisons.

In truth, it’s not an altogether crazy idea since those Arnold was talking about moving would be deported to Mexico anyway, after they’d served their terms. I suppose, at least, it shows he’s trying to think creatively.


In the preliminary hearing that occurred on Monday, Lily Burk’s alleged killer, Charles Samuel, was bound over for trial for the murder of the 17-year old.

In a part of the hearing, the prosecution presented the coroner’s report. which demonstrated that Lily Burk had fought hard to save her life. Lily’s mother cried after the report was read. Her father couldn’t bear to be in the courtroom.

I understand. I can barely stand to read the information once removed in the LA Times, and she is not my daughter.


Benjamin Busch was an infantry officer in the United States Marine Corps.
He is also a writer. He wrote the essay that begins below for NPR:

As a Marine invading Iraq in 2003, I thought we actively separated church and state from our motives.

I know that Scripture embedded in the obscure numbers on rifle scopes may seem like a small detail, and that manufacturer Trijicon likely intended no particular malice by placing biblical references on its equipment. Like, 2COR4:6 represents 2 Corinthians 4:6, “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” There seems to have been neither marketing nor secrecy associated with the presence of these inscriptions.

But these are not innocent times, and the codes are still messages printed and sent out. These notes have now been read and exposed, and we have the baggage of explaining ourselves to people convinced that many of our actions are motivated by religion instead of self-defense, justice or altruism. …

Read the rest.


  • Yeah, but was the video “fake but accurate?” It’s one thing for a local station to be fooled by a lying attorney. It’s another thing for a national news organization to insist that its false evidence is accurate.

    – – –

    How much less would it cost to enforce border crossings than to process illegals through the state justice system?

    – – –

    I don’t read NPR.

  • of course Rafat Abdallah says the gun was not his, what a surprise. He should be carrying poetry books and a bible in his car.

    I wonder if Rafat Abdallah knows father Boyle, the attorney should have Boyle say some nice things Abdallah.

  • I don’t “read” National Public Radio either, Woody. It’s usually tuned in at my shop. I always listen to it with a power tool at hand. That way at my own declared opportune times I can activate a 6″ pneumatic grinder and clear the air. LOL! Some of my less senior and more impressionable co-workers resent the jamming, but I consider it a “public service”…

  • Yeh you must have a lot of liberal co workers who get upset when you fire up your drill while NPR’s on…in Kansas. I’m just messing with you, Joe.

  • Jayhawkers were the forebearers of modern day Liberals, Rob. Kathleen Sebelius is a Kansan, but so is Bob Dole, Arlen Spector, and Sam Brownback. Go figure. 3 parts Red and one part Blue makes us sorta Mauve maybe? Or is it Puce?

  • It’s kind of interesting this blurb from a story about Samuel because it sounds to me you would have been ok with what happened after his last parole violation Celeste. I guess we know how that turned out.

    Sources familiar with his criminal past say he has been arrested previously for assault with a deadly weapon, kidnapping and robbery. He has spent several years in state prison. However, his convictions are more limited and include robbery of an inhabited dwelling, burglary and petty theft.

    According to law enforcement records, Samuel also had been arrested April 23 on Lankershim Boulevard in North Hollywood on a parole violation.

    He listed his occupation to police as a recycler. According to a law enforcement source, Samuel entered a drug treatment program after that arrest. He had been released from state prison in February, where he was serving time after an arrest for petty theft with a prior conviction, law enforcement sources said.

    He was booked on suspicion of murder and was being held without bail.

  • Won’t bite, SF. I’ve written extensively, even obsessively, (here and elsewhere) about Lilly Burk, Samuel, the whole nightmare—and the political hay people keep trying to make out of this monstrous and tragic murder. I’m not going to revisit it.

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