WATCH: Security Drags Woman from Hearing for Exposing Big Oil Bribes to Politicians

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West Virginia — (RT) A candidate for the West Virginia House of Delegates was dragged out of a hearing after listing the donations received by state lawmakers from fossil fuel companies. She was testifying on a bill on oil and gas drilling rules.

Lissa Lucas was criticizing a proposed bill, HB 4268, which would allow oil and gas companies to drill on private land with the consent of just 75 percent of the landowners. Energy companies are currently required to have 100 percent approval from landowners before they can extract gas and minerals from land.

As part of her testimony, she read out the list of names of lawmakers who received sizeable donations from fossil fuel companies. Her testimony elicited a less than warm reception from the legislature.

“The people who are going to be speaking in favor of this bill are all going to be paid by the industry … the people who are going to be voting on this bill are often also paid by the industry,” Lucas said.

Lucas was ordered by House Judiciary Committee members to desist from making “personal comments” about members. As Lucas persisted, her microphone was cut off. When lawmakers refused to let her finish speaking, she told them to “drag me off.” Security was called and in a video of the incident she can be seen being dragged from the floor.

“I got dragged out of House chambers … Because I was listing out who has been donating to Delegates on the Judiciary Committee,” Lucas wrote on her blog.

The names include Delegate Charlotte Lane who received 20 percent of her campaign donations from energy firms, and Delegate Jason Harshbarger who received 38 percent, according to Lucas.

Lucas took further aim at the alleged cosy relationship enjoyed by lawmakers and big energy lobbyists. “While lobbyists have the money to buy your time at fancy gatherings like the Wine and Whisky gala at the Marriott on Wednesday—members of the public have been allotted just about two minutes,” Lucas said.

State lawmakers are “getting paid to hand over your property rights to corporations,” Lucas wrote on her blog.

Lucas is a Democratic candidate for District 7 of the West Virginia House of Delegates. She had travelled to the House from her home 100 miles away in Cairo (WV) the previous day to ensure she would make her slot to speak on the issue. “I got [to the West Virginia House of Delegates] early and then I sat outside in the cold and sat on the concrete until they opened the doors, and then I got to the chambers really early,” she told The Intercept.

The bill was passed by the committee and will move to the lower House and state Senate for a full vote.

Source Article from http://thefreethoughtproject.com/woman-removed-hearing-big-oil/

More Than 180 Protesters Arrested At Rally For Dreamers As Congress Drags Its Feet

WASHINGTON ― More than 180 people, including two Democratic House members, were arrested Wednesday in an act of civil disobedience on the U.S. Capitol steps, while demanding that lawmakers inside the building take swift action to help young undocumented immigrants.

They were trying to draw attention to the plight of the so-called Dreamers, whom Democrats and Republicans alike have said they wanted to help after President Donald Trump ended the deportation protection program Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. Even Trump, who frequently disparages undocumented immigrants, has expressed some sympathy.

The difficulty for immigrants and their allies has been to convince lawmakers of the need to act immediately, and specifically to include Dreamer protections in year-end spending measures.

“What do we want? The Dream Act. When do we want it? Now,” protesters chanted, raising fists clad in matching green gloves as U.S. Capitol Police led them away from the steps. Two lawmakers, Reps. Judy Chu (D-Calif.) and Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.), were arrested along with the advocates.

But inside the Capitol building, the Dreamer issue remained at a standstill. Republican leaders have shown little inclination to do anything for Dreamers immediately, and it’s not clear whether Democrats have the votes to force the issue as part of a government funding bill that must pass by Friday, or in a subsequent bill if Congress approves a two-week funding extension.

Those arrested on Wednesday, the thousands of people who participated in an immigration rally in D.C. before the civil disobedience, and other allies won’t accept a delay until next year, Gutiérrez said.

“There will be no tolerance [for delay],” he told reporters. “That would be an act of betrayal. You can’t do it ― it’s got to be this year.”

Gutiérrez said he’s optimistic. He and 24 other Democratic House members vowed in November to oppose government funding bills if they did not get a fix for Dreamers who will or already have lost DACA protections. One Republican, Rep. Carlos Curbelo of Florida, has said the same. Gutiérrez said that on Wednesday afternoon, a member of the Democratic whip team had asked him if he would vote against a two-week funding extension if it didn’t include help for Dreamers ― which Gutiérrez said was a good sign.

Some immigrant rights advocates rallied on the steps of the Capitol in an act of civil disobedience. (Alex Wong via Getty Images)Some immigrant rights advocates rallied on the steps of the Capitol in an act of civil disobedience. (Alex Wong via Getty Images)

But Democratic lawmakers aren’t united on the matter. Some have said they would not be willing to vote to shut down the government, and in the Senate, Republicans would need only eight Democrats to vote yes on the funding bill if they kept their own party together.

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), the leading advocate of the Dream Act and the Democratic whip, gave no firm answer when asked whether his caucus would hold firm against a spending package without DACA measures, as he has previously said he would do.

“We’ll see,” he told reporters. “We’re working on trying to come up with a bipartisan approach.”

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), who is often cited as one of the Democrats who would vote against government funding over the DACA fix, did not give a yes or no answer when asked whether she would be willing to support a bill without Dreamer measures. She had said in October that she would “not vote for an end-of-year spending bill until we are clear about what we are going to do to protect and take care of our DACA young people in this country,” which includes some wiggle room: Being “clear about” what to do isn’t necessarily the same thing as passing legislation.

“I’m hoping that we still have room for that to happen,” Harris told HuffPost when asked how she would vote if DACA wasn’t in the deal. “It’s a critical issue. I’m going to wait and see how we progress.”

The most recent proposal from Senate Republicans on DACA ― temporary protections with no path to citizenship, coupled with a slew of conservative priorities for border measures, easier deportations and lower legal immigration ― was rejected by Durbin as soon as it was publicly announced on Wednesday.

The critical moment may come Thursday in a meeting among Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). Ahead of the meeting, Trump again said on Wednesday that Democrats want “to have illegal immigrants pouring into our country,” an inauspicious framing of the Dreamer proposals for those who want them in the deal.

McConnell and Ryan each said in the past week that it was not an immediate necessity to address the DACA program, which Trump rescinded in September with a call for Congress to act by March 2018. DACA recipients whose protections will expire after March 5, 2018, were not permitted to renew those protections this year. Should Congress fail to act by March, about 1,000 of them per day would begin leaving the work force and become at risk of deportation.

But March isn’t the real “deadline,” immigrant rights advocates argue, because some Dreamers are already losing protections. An estimated 122 DACA recipients per day have seen their permits expire since Trump rescinded the program.

That’s why, according to advocates, a Dreamer fix is needed urgently. If it isn’t part of a spending deal, some of Wednesday’s protesters had a suggestion on what lawmakers should do about government funding.

“Shut it down,” they chanted.

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

Source Article from https://www.yahoo.com/news/more-180-protesters-arrested-rally-005914761.html

WATCH: Cop Snaps in a Fit of Road Rage, Drags Man from Car, Beats Him to a Pulp for No Reason

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St. Paul, MN — Dashcam video of a senselessly violent assault by a cop on a then 21-year-old Laotian American was released earlier this year and quickly became the subject of an ACLU report and subsequent lawsuit. The video shows Buffalo Ridge Drug Task Force Agent Joe Joswiak stop Anthony Promvongsa in Worthington, Minnesota and immediately begin a violent attack.

This week, the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota filed an excessive force lawsuit against the Worthington Police Department, the Buffalo Ridge Drug Task Force and the City of Worthington along with a number of individual officers on behalf of their client, Anthony Promvongsa a local Worthington resident. Promvongsa was assaulted by Buffalo Ridge Drug Task Force Officer Joe Joswiak in Worthington in 2016.

The beating was captured on another officer’s dashcam who is caught disabling the audio to cover up Joswiak’s insanely violent fury.

According to police, Promvongsa was driving erratically for several city blocks sticking his head out of the window and yelling at Joswiak. Joswiak claims Promvongsa was swerving toward him repeatedly while making threatening remarks and unidentified hand signals.

None of this was captured on any of the dashcam footage involved in this case.

Joswiak claims he turned on his lights to make the stop and that Promvongsa refused to stop. However, from the dashcam, the young man appears to be driving quite safely and pulls over when he sees the actual patrol car with his lights on.

“Get the fuck out of the car, motherfucker. Show me your hands,” Joswiak screams as he immediately begins assaulting Promvongsa before he could even take off his seat belt. As he lays into the young man with knees, fists, and elbows — as if he’s in some UFC fight — the officer on the other side of the car is seen inexplicably turning off the audio recording.

Now, this entire incident is a case of the cop’s word against a 21-year-old who was beaten nearly to death on film.

One of the parties involved in this case is lying. However, only one of the parties, in this case, was captured on video violently attacking a barefoot young man half his size while another officer attempted to cover it up.

“I was left with physical injuries. The police ended up charging me with multiple offenses all because they thought I was tailgating them, and so I’ve been dealing with probation and fees. I lost my job. I’m scared to leave the house alone. Worthington has been my home since I was a child, but I don’t feel safe here anymore,” Promvongsa told the ACLU.

As the ACLU explains, the entire incident from when the vehicle was pulled over to when Promvongsa was under arrest and in the backseat of the vehicle handcuffed is less than two minutes. Promvongsa was not given proper time to obey the Officer Joswiak’s orders before excessive force was used against him, nor did Promvongsa represent any threat to the officers that warranted the use of force at all, let alone the level of force the officers used.

 

“Agent Joswiak’s use of force against Anthony Promvongsa is disturbing and completely unnecessary. We are calling for an investigation of Agent Joswiak’s behavior and for him to be held accountable for his brutal attack on Anthony Promvongsa, up to and including termination and prosecution.”

Agent Joswiak has not been disciplined at all for the violent attack caught on video.

“Everyone has a right to be treated with dignity and respect by law enforcement. The brutal assault against Anthony Promvongsa violated his rights,” stated Teresa Nelson, Legal Director of the ACLU-MN. “This assault, and the lack of discipline against the officers involved, is part of a pattern and practice by the Worthington Police Department and the Buffalo Ridge Drug Task Force who routinely fail to hold their officers accountable for their actions.”

Watch the videos below, does it look like a case of necessary force from a cop protecting society? Or, does it look like a case of road rage — backed by a gun and a badge? You decide.

Full video below:

I want the system to change, because the system is broken here. Everyone sees it. Worthington has a problem with policing and it’s only getting worse.  Officers should not be above the law, and Officer Joswiak and Sgt. Gaul should be responsible for their actions. Our police need to be punished like anyone else and they need better training. That’s why I am working with the ACLU of Minnesota to file a lawsuit against the officers and other responsible parties,” Promvongsa wrote.

In its lawsuit, the ACLU-MN asks the Court to recognize this incident as part of a pattern and practice of misbehavior by the Worthington Police Department and the Buffalo Ridge Drug Task Force. The ACLU-MN is also seeking damages for its client who suffered not only physical injuries but other harms stemming from the 2016 assault.

Source Article from http://thefreethoughtproject.com/dashcam-aclu-lawsuit-police-stop/

Cop snaps, drags man from car, beats him for no reason, and fellow officer tries to cover it up (VIDEO)

    

Dashcam video of a senselessly violent assault by a cop on a then 21-year-old Laotian American was released earlier this year and quickly became the subject of an ACLU report and subsequent lawsuit. The video shows Buffalo Ridge Drug Task Force Agent Joe Joswiak stop Anthony Promvongsa in Worthington, Minnesota and immediately begin a violent attack.

This week, the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota filed an excessive force lawsuit against the Worthington Police Department, the Buffalo Ridge Drug Task Force and the City of Worthington along with a number of individual officers on behalf of their client, Anthony Promvongsa a local Worthington resident. Promvongsa was assaulted by Buffalo Ridge Drug Task Force Officer Joe Joswiak in Worthington in 2016.

The beating was captured on another officer’s dashcam who is caught disabling the audio to cover up Joswiak’s insanely violent fury.

According to police, Promvongsa was driving erratically for several city blocks sticking his head out of the window and yelling at Joswiak. Joswiak claims Promvongsa was swerving toward him repeatedly while making threatening remarks and unidentified hand signals.

None of this was captured on any of the dashcam footage involved in this case.

Joswiak claims he turned on his lights to make the stop and that Promvongsa refused to stop. However, from the dashcam, the young man appears to be driving quite safely and pulls over when he sees the actual patrol car with his lights on.

“Get the fuck out of the car, motherfucker. Show me your hands,” Joswiak screams as he immediately begins assaulting Promvongsa before he could even take off his seat belt. As he lays into the young man with knees, fists, and elbows – as if he’s in some UFC fight – the officer on the other side of the car is seen inexplicably turning off the audio recording.

Now, this entire incident is a case of the cop’s word against a 21-year-old who was beaten nearly to death on film.

One of the parties involved in this case is lying. However, only one of the parties, in this case, was captured on video violently attacking a barefoot young man half his size while another officer attempted to cover it up.

“I was left with physical injuries. The police ended up charging me with multiple offenses all because they thought I was tailgating them, and so I’ve been dealing with probation and fees. I lost my job. I’m scared to leave the house alone. Worthington has been my home since I was a child, but I don’t feel safe here anymore,” Promvongsa told the ACLU.

As the ACLU explains, the entire incident from when the vehicle was pulled over to when Promvongsa was under arrest and in the backseat of the vehicle handcuffed is less than two minutes. Promvongsa was not given proper time to obey the Officer Joswiak’s orders before excessive force was used against him, nor did Promvongsa represent any threat to the officers that warranted the use of force at all, let alone the level of force the officers used.

“Agent Joswiak’s use of force against Anthony Promvongsa is disturbing and completely unnecessary. We are calling for an investigation of Agent Joswiak’s behavior and for him to be held accountable for his brutal attack on Anthony Promvongsa, up to and including termination and prosecution.”

Agent Joswiak has not been disciplined at all for the violent attack caught on video.

“Everyone has a right to be treated with dignity and respect by law enforcement. The brutal assault against Anthony Promvongsa violated his rights,” stated Teresa Nelson, Legal Director of the ACLU-MN. “This assault, and the lack of discipline against the officers involved, is part of a pattern and practice by the Worthington Police Department and the Buffalo Ridge Drug Task Force who routinely fail to hold their officers accountable for their actions.”

Watch the videos below, does it look like a case of necessary force from a cop protecting society? Or, does it look like a case of road rage – backed by a gun and a badge? You decide.

Full video below:

I want the system to change, because the system is broken here. Everyone sees it. Worthington has a problem with policing and it’s only getting worse. Officers should not be above the law, and Officer Joswiak and Sgt. Gaul should be responsible for their actions. Our police need to be punished like anyone else and they need better training. That’s why I am working with the ACLU of Minnesota to file a lawsuit against the officers and other responsible parties,” Promvongsa wrote.

In its lawsuit, the ACLU-MN asks the Court to recognize this incident as part of a pattern and practice of misbehavior by the Worthington Police Department and the Buffalo Ridge Drug Task Force. The ACLU-MN is also seeking damages for its client who suffered not only physical injuries but other harms stemming from the 2016 assault.

Source Article from https://www.sott.net/article/368052-Cop-snaps-drags-man-from-car-beats-him-for-no-reason-and-fellow-officer-tries-to-cover-it-up-VIDEO